Monthly Archives: September 2011

Countdown to 1st Sunday of Advent:The Guided Missal Series from @ManwithBlackHat

27 September 2011

Here at we are running a new series by David Alexander from his blog, ManwithBlackHat. There is a plethora written on the New Missal changes for the Ordinary Form but we thought this one best. Why? David is an Extraordinary Form guy (Actually an MC at a Traditonal Mass) but is an objective observer of all things liturgical in our Beloved Church…So, sit back and read a series that will make the transition pleasing…as it should be.


Guided Missal 1: Prelude

Sunday, September 25, 2011

“Lex Orandi,
Lex Credendi,
Lex Vivendi.”

The expression is attributed to Saint Prosper of Aquitaine, a fifth-century Christian writer and disciple of Saint Augustine. Closer to the present, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that “[t]he Church’s faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles – whence the ancient saying … The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays. Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition.” (1124)

“The law of praying, the law of believing, the law of living.” As we pray, so we believe, and so we live.

The rest of the post at >>>MWBH

An Ode to Providence; hail to @LisaGraas

26 September 2011

Yesterday I was angry and very sad. Today I am abandoning myself to Divine Providence as I should.

Most of you reading this opening line will say, yeah, yeah Sofia, what’s this rant about? It’s not a rant this time, it’s an observation of why I love being Roman Catholic. Being Catholic affords me the gift of being a member of the Body of Christ as my family…the ultimate support system and just like family, quite abit of angst at times. This time it started out really aggravating. It went to anger, then sadness and hurt, then letting go and finally, prayer and an answer.

I started Always Catholic to leave a piece of me behind. My health situation leaves me never knowing when God would be calling me home so even a tiny legacy was my wish. Mary Wellman (@AncientSoul on Twitter & author of BattleBeadsBlog and Rosary/Jewelry maker extraordinaire) was and is my mentor and without her there wouldn’t be AlwaysCatholic. For her, I am truly grateful. She kept me going in order to be recognized immediately and published often by the Brothers Archbold at which pushed the site’s readership to dizzying heights.

As Always Catholic moved along with much positive response from readers I fell to the sin against charity. In my enthusiasm and love of the Faith I started to rant against those in charge who were neglecting their duties to the faithful. I am a straight up Jersey girl and did not mince words. One post in particular I went after Cardinal George of the Archdiocese of Chicago concerning the infamous Father Michael Pfleger. That was the day Lisa Graas came into my life. She commented to me on Twitter with gentle, loving fraternal correction. She made me think and actually feel uplifted by her Catholic duty to help me. Later that week I was on Twitter having fun going back and forth with Catholic Twitter friends and Lisa joined in and we had a wonderful time. At that time I didnt realize that she was THE Lisa Graas. In my childlike behavior, I knew who she was as a profound, authentic Catholic writer but I never thought that it was she who was my spiritual mentor. I thought the names were similar and that was it.

One of the Twitter friends sent me a private message and said, “Do you know who Lisa Graas is? I said she’s a Catholic on Twitter. She has a name similar to the Catholic writer…” My friend laughed and laughed saying, “Sofia, don’t ever grow up…your child-like demeanor keeps you sane.”

I came back on the public timeline and private messaged Lisa…I said to her, “I’m sorry I didn’t know you were THE Lisa Graas” she thought that was very amusing and we became sisters in Christ that night. Lisa has never left my side from that day and has been there for me as the mentor I needed to complete my circle.

I am writing this today because I want people to be aware of the evil that is pervasive in the world. I do not want ot blame the Internet, social media on this one. This is the same evil that has affected the Church since the day after Pentecost. Lisa ia a white martyr. She does not shed the physical blood of martyrs but is a “white” martyr as coined by Pope John Paul II. Her suffering is the same as those who spilled and will spill their blood for the Faith. sometimes I think perhaps that would be preferable. To become a martyr when given the choice of physically dying or denying your Faith. The day in day out, relentless evil that attacks those truly holy like Lisa is much tougher in my humble opinion.

Lisa Graas’ blog is no more. Her final post is done.The Catholic Blogosphere is the loser. Lisa walks in Faith now with the Her Saviour and a monastery of Passionist nuns for support. “It’s about Jesus, she says…”

Personal attacks on her to me are of the lowest there can be. Lisa has given so much to us while asking for nothing in return. She made the mistake of being an orthodox Catholic in a world and in a country where that is laughed at. She made the mistake for being faithful to her Lord and to her Church. She told the truth.

“But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16 Lisa Graas is not lukewarm, she never will be. Why? Because in the end, “it’s about Jesus…”

Beware to those who call themselves Catholic….Are you lukewarm? I don’t know about you, but I’m going to follow the lead of my mentor and speak the Truth, to never be lukewarm and know that it’s about Jesus…”


I am providing the link on the backstory of why Lisa Graas closed her blog. I will not give a forum for those who sought to personally attack her by putting the articles up here. AlwaysCatholic is not here to sensationalize this story, however I encourage you to go to her site which is about the Passionist message. She has also opened a thread for her friends to comment. The back story is posted there also.

A little note to this story: Lisa defended a colleague and friend when the friend was being attacked on her blog by endless visits to her blog by anonymous readers with an agenda of hate against Catholics. In defense of her friend, Lisa posted the story and took up her friend’s cause. Her friend freely expressed her opinion as a Mother and as a Catholic. As a result, it was CATHOLICS who personally attacked Lisa. “And Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

Biblical References are from the Douay Rheims version of Scripture.

A special thank you to my fiance, Sean Norris, my personal @Commonpatriot for his support ad help in ALL THINGS ALWAYS CATHOLIC

CNS STORY: Tribunal studies healing attributed to intercession of Archbishop Sheen

21 September 2011

From our friend Steve Smith at his blog, Faith of the Fathers

September 21, 2011 A.D.

A short excerpt from a story from “Catholic News Service:
  • “Considered stillborn one year ago after his mother’s healthy pregnancy and “a beautiful, short labor,” James was without a pulse for the first 61 minutes of his life. It was only when doctors at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria were ready to call the time of death that his little heart started beating.”
Click the link below to read the whole article:

CNS STORY: Tribunal studies healing attributed to intercession of Archbishop Sheen

Posted by Steve Smith


Thank you Steve and to @lamblock our Roving Reporter at AlwaysCatholic who found yet another Archbishop Fulton J Sheen story. We here at Always Catholic have an unwavering devotion to Archbishop Fulton J Sheen and know that one day we will be reporting from Rome at his beatification. Keep praying!

My Guv Chris Christie: Campaign Commercial for 2012???

20 September 2011

Not for nothing Gov, the pizza and bagels stink in DC. When I walked into a 7/11 one day and asked for a hard roll with buttah they looked at me like I was nuts. Can’t get the Mets all the time unless you buy the MLB package and the NY Post is like $3 ?!?!

Now, if you can live with that, then I say jump on in that ring and show’em what a Jersey Boy can do…Oh by the way, say it aint so, Guv…..Climate Change caused by other factors than just NATURE…Come on, if you believe that nonsense, I got a bridge to sell ya! Hey, $12 bucks for the GW from Jersey to NY…No wonder Bloomburg’s approval is in the…uh….you know!

Your buddy,

Real Jersey Shore Girl

Nine-Eleven Plus Ten by @ManwithBlackHat

11 September 2011

by David Alexander

Last Sunday, a lead editorial in the Washington Post lamented the attention given to what happened in New York City on September 11, 2001, at the expense of the tragic scene on the same day in Washington, as a jet plane crashed into the west wall of the Pentagon, claiming 184 victims.

In history books, documentaries and news accounts and across popular culture, the shift toward an almost exclusive focus on the New York part of the 9/11 story has been steady and relentless. Amid hundreds of hours of programming in this week’s many television tributes, there are only nominal mentions of the Pentagon attack.

Today, the streets of New York will be cordoned off near the place known as “Ground Zero” to allow for the usual tributes by the usual suspects. Among them will be those who, for any other occasion, might be accused of loving the sound of their own voices. On the other hand, missing from the center of attention, will be the heroes of that day. The police officers and firefighters of the City of New York will not be in mass attendance. The city claims there was no room for them, so they were not invited. Nor were they invited on this day ten years ago, but they came. And those who are still with us remember nearly four hundred of their comrades who died, while trying to save the lives of thousands trapped in the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

Throughout the blogosphere today, thousands will go to the pages of their favorite would-be pundits, who will post tributes of their own. They will no doubt be sincere in so doing. But most of them can only give secondhand accounts. They were not there. I was in Washington on that day. This is my story.

Please go to MWBH for David’s story…

President George W. Bush Flight 93 Memorial Speech, September 10, 2011

11 September 2011

Thank you, President Bush for being there for us during that horrific time…comforting us, reassuring us and protecting us. God Love you…

Pope Benedict on 9/11: “The tragedy is compounded by the perpetrators’ claim to be acting in God’s name”

10 September 2011

H/T to Deacon Greg at “The Deacon’s Bench”

Archbishop Chaput’s homily- Installation Mass in Philly

8 September 2011

Cardinal Rigali and Eminent Cardinals; Monsignor Lantheaume, brother bishops, priests and deacons; Governor Corbett, Mayor Nutter and esteemed leaders of the civic community; beloved seminarians; fellow religious; members of my family; brothers and sisters in Christ:

A married friend told me last week that getting ready for today reminded him of planning for a very, very, very big wedding. He was being humorous, but he was actually more accurate than he knew. The relationship of a bishop and his local Church is very close to a marriage. The ring I wear is a symbol of every bishop’s love for his Church. And a bishop’s marriage to the local Church reminds me, and all of us, that a bishop is called to love his Church with all his heart, just as Christ loved her and gave his life for her.

Of course, my appointment to Philadelphia is an arranged marriage, and the Holy Father is the matchmaker. The good news is that romance is a modern invention — and given the divorce rate, not everything it’s cranked up to be. In fact, history suggests that arranged marriages often worked at least as well as those based on romantic love. When arranged marriages were common, there was an expectation that people would get to know each other and then come to love one another. Good matchmakers were aware of the family history of each of the spouses and their particular needs. And the really wise matchmakers could make surprisingly good choices.

In the Church, we believe that the Holy Spirit guides the decisions of the Holy Father. And the results are always joyful if we commit our wills to cooperating with God’s plan. For any marriage to work, two things need to happen. People need to fall in love, and together they need to be fruitful. That’s what we need to dedicate ourselves to today – to love one another and be fruitful together in the new evangelization.

Getting to know each other is a great adventure. Our life together is part of the story of salvation, which God continues even into our own time. Mary didn’t expect the Annunciation. She didn’t expect to be mother of the Redeemer. And yet her act of obedience changed the course of history and led to a new covenant of love and fruitfulness. I have no illusions of being worthy of this ministry, but I do trust in the wisdom of the Holy Father. So I’m deeply grateful for his confidence and the privilege of serving this Church.

Along with a ring, two other symbols really define a bishop’s ministry. The first is the pectoral cross that rests next to the bishop’s heart. Jesus tells us that if we want to be his disciples, we need to do three things (Mt 16:21-27): We need deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him. It’s vitally important for the bishop to really believe this, to live it, and to preach it, even when calling people to accept very difficult things in fidelity to the Gospel.

The second symbol is the crosier, which is a symbol of the shepherd. The Good Shepherd was the first image of Christian art created by the earliest disciples in the catacombs in Rome. One of first representations of Christ we have is the Good Shepherd who carries a lamb on his shoulders. All of us should keep that image in our hearts in the months ahead because the Good Shepherd really will bring the Church in Philadelphia through this difficult moment in our history to security and joy and a better future.

This installation today takes place in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. The word cathedral comes from the Greek word cathedra, which means chair. The cathedral is the church that houses the bishop’s chair, which has always been seen as another key symbol of the bishop’s role – in this case, his teaching authority. St. Augustine of Hippo, speaking in the 4th century captured the role of the bishop in these words:

“Jerusalem had watchmen who stood guard . . . And this is what bishops do. Now, bishops are assigned this higher place” — the bishop’s chair in the basilica –“so that they themselves may oversee and, as it were, keep watch over the people. For they are called episkopos in Greek, which means ‘overseer,’ because the bishop oversees; because he looks down from [his chair] . . . And on account of this high place, a perilous accounting will have to be rendered [by the bishop] – unless we stand here with a heart such that we place ourselves beneath your feet in humility.”

Another time, on the anniversary of his episcopal ordination, Augustine described the bishop’s duties in the following way:

“To rebuke those who stir up strife, to comfort those of little courage, to take the part of the weak, to refute opponents, to be on guard against traps, to teach the ignorant, to shake the indolent awake, to discourage those who want to buy and sell, to put the presumptuous in their place, to modify the quarrelsome, to help the poor, to liberate the oppressed, to encourage the good, to suffer the evil and to love all men.”

It’s crucial for those of us who are bishops not simply to look like bishops but to truly be bishops. Otherwise, we’re just empty husks — the kind of men Augustine meant when he said,

“You say, ‘He must be a bishop for he sits upon the cathedra.’ True – and a scarecrow might also be called a watchman in the vineyard.”

My installation today takes place on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a feast which has its origin somewhere in Syria or Palestine at the beginning of the 6th century. The traditional date of the feast, September 8, falls exactly nine months after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. It’s an important feast because it prepares the way for the birth of Jesus. I was ordained a bishop on the feast of Mary’s parents, Saints Joachim and Anne. I was installed as the archbishop of Denver on the Feast of the Annunciation. And now I celebrate my installation as bishop of the great Church of Philadelphia on the Feast of Mary’s birthday. For me, like so many other priests, Mary has been a constant source of hope and protection in my vocation. So I would ask all of you today to pray for me to the mother of God so that she surrounds all of us with her love and protection.

The birthday of Mary is a turning point in the history of salvation, planned from all eternity by God’s divine providence. So the readings for today should reassure us in a powerful way. All the events of a believer’s life are shaped by the will of a loving God. God’s purpose undergirds everything that happens to Christians, for God is truly in control. So in the midst of the turmoil of the Church in our time, specifically in Philadelphia, this feast of Mary’s birth should remind us of God’s loving plan. We need to make the act of faith embedded in today’s first reading: that “all things work for good for those who love God and who are called according to his purpose.” And just as God foreknew and predestined Mary’s birth, God foreknew and predestined us to be conformed to the image of his Son so that Jesus might be the firstborn among many brothers. Saint Jose Maria Escriva said this about the struggle with fear and anxiety that all of us sooner or later face: “Have you forgotten that God is your father? Or [that God is] powerful, infinitely wise, full of mercy? [God] would never send you anything evil. The thing that is worrying you is good for you even though those earthbound eyes of yours may not be able to see it now.”

Of course, in the unfolding of Scripture, Mary’s birthday is ultimately about the birth of her son. The Gospel for today is the story of how Jesus was conceived. And we honor Mary precisely because she gave birth to Jesus, our messiah and Lord. The Gospel focuses on Joseph’s goodness and fidelity, and on Mary’s perfect surrender to God in love, trusting in the providence of God. We need to follow the example of Mary and Joseph, trusting God in the difficult times of our life. The issues that Joseph and Mary faced seemed insurmountable and caused intense confusion. But the name given to Jesus signifies “Savior” and we know that in Jesus, God promises to be with us. God is truly Emmanuel – God is with us. This gives us great confidence in the future God has planned for us.

This Church in Philadelphia faces very serious challenges these days. There’s no quick fix to problems that are so difficult, and none of us here today, except the Lord Himself, is a miracle worker. But the Church is not defined by her failures. And you and I are not defined by critics or by those who dislike us. What we do in the coming months and years to respond to these challenges – that will define who we really are. And in engaging that work, we need to be Catholics first. Jesus Christ is the center of our lives, and the Church is our mother and teacher. Everything we do should flow from that.

What we embark on today is an arranged marriage, where someone who loves you, the Holy Father, is also someone who loves me. And the Holy Father knows in his wisdom that we will make a good family together. So we should see each other as gifts. I receive you as a gift from the Holy Father; and you receive me and my service as a gift from the Holy Father. And this requires us to make a commitment, an act of the will, to love one another, to be patient with one another, and to lay down our lives for one another.

I’ll close by repeating what I said in July to the bishops, priests and deacons of this diocese, to our men and women religious, and to all our people: Whatever my weaknesses and whatever my lacks, no bishop will give more of himself than I will to renewing this great Church.. No bishop will try harder to help persons who have been hurt by the sins of the past. And no bishop will work harder to strengthen and encourage our priests, and restore the hearts of our people. Everything I’ve learned, everything I know, and everything I have, I will give to this ministry, because all of you — the people of God — deserve at least that much.

Comments, anyone???

H/T to @FatherZ via CatholicPhilly

Uh-Oh…Sofia’s Back and Working Hard!

7 September 2011

Hello to all my wonderful friends and readers on AlwaysCatholicBlog! In addition, my dear friends and colleagues on Twitter, FB and the Blogosphere! I have missed all of you, even those who aren’t fond of myself or Always Catholic. (I love a good debate!)

It’s been a long, tough summer and unfortunately, the weather took its toll on my health. I’m doing better and finally I can get back to writing, ranting, tweeting and hopefully more praying for all of you.

There’s much more to my story and it’s time to share more about the great life given to me from our Father in Heaven. So many of you have worried and continued to pray for me. I must apologize for my silence. I am so grateful for every prayer, kind word of concern and wonderful sentiments coming from so many of you!

I have observed much from my perch tucked away this summer. I spent most of the time healing physically and spiritually but watched as many Americans and in particular, Roman Catholics being attacked for their beliefs. I reviewed many texts on World and American History from the 17th Century and sadly, WE HAVEN’T LEARNED A THING FROM THE PAST!

Paramount to the review of the historical texts was the time I gave to more study of Scripture. Ironically, if I reprinted here sections of Saint Paul’s Epistles in American colloquial English without annotation, most would think he was a pundit talking about the problems in modern society.

Eye-opening, indeed; and thus a summer of spiritual reflection both personal and as a Roman Catholic in America was to say the least, a tad overwhelming…

Our Lord did show His love for me, yet once again and allowed my health to take priority. Why was my health affected so seriously? Because until I “get” it, Our Lord makes sure it’s serious, so I take Him seriously…

More tomorrow about the details…stayed tuned!!

God love you,


“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

5 September 2011

A very sad Labor Day in America…

Hoffa Threatens GOP At Obama Event: “Take These Sons Of Bitches Out”



Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa had some profane, combative words for Republicans while warming up the crowd for President Obama in Detroit, Michigan on Monday.

“We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner. It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We’re going to win that war,” Jimmy Hoffa Jr. said to a heavily union crowd.

“President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong,” Hoffa added.

Obama addressed the crowd shortly after Hoffa.

H/T to RealClearPolitics

Obama’s Response:

Obama Declares He’s ‘Proud’ of Hoffa–After Hoffa Declares ‘War’ on Tea Party ‘Sons-Of-Bitches’



Lord, forgive us…

Please, pray for our country!

The USA Chaplet is an approved devotion for all to pray to save our country in this time of spiritual warfare. Please click on this link here for all Chaplet information. A beautiful devotion specifically for our country. God Bless America!

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