Monthly Archives: August 2016

St Hyacinth, his Pierogi, and the Olympics?

17 August 2016

This post is for Jacek, a good and holy man who is one of God’s anointed. Happy Feast and Name Day Jacek! God love you as I do! Szczęśliwego święta i Imieniny Jacka! Bóg cię kocha!

One of my favourite and endearing Saints is Dominican Saint Hyacinth or in Polish “Jacek”. I have come to love this Saint recently even though I was quite aware of his existence from my Polish neighbors growing up in an Italian section of NJ with a small but fervent Polish community next door to the Italian section. I always admired the faith of my Polish neighbors as they stood hard and fast to Catholic Tradition in a new land where Catholicism is still looked on with suspicion and superstition. Sadly, the Catholic Faith is the last great acceptable discrimination in the USA.

You would never know my Polish neighbors felt discriminated against as the local butcher store proudly hangs the Stars and Stripes high with the flags of Poland and the Vatican right underneath. A resilient people, I believe they would really die before turning against their Faith. Perhaps my strong belief that if martyrdom were upon me I would embrace it as well.

I pray to St Hyacinth that as Catholics we are not afraid to preach the Truth, no matter what! Święty Hiacynt, módl się za nami.


St. Hyacinth, 1185-1257, priest and religious
Patron saint of weight lifters and pierogi

Rev. Michael Burzynski

hyacinthSaint Hyacinth is another of our Polish saints with pseudonym seemingly unrelated to his baptismal name. He is also known as Jacek. His proper name “Hyacinth” seems to be related to the hyacinth flower or hyacinth stone. He was born near Wroclaw (Breslau) in Upper Silesia, Poland, around 1185. He was ordained and became a priest of the cathedral of Krakow. Although he was renowned at an early age for the simplicity of his life and his great intellectual gifts, he may have remained rather obscure if he had not been invited, along with several companions, to accompany his bishop, Ivo Knock, (who was also his uncle) to Rome in 1220.

In Rome, Hyacinth and his companions were attracted to the Order of Friars Preachers (commonly known as Dominicans) by the holiness and preaching of its founder, St. Dominic, who had worked a miracle
in their presence. At this time, St. Hyacinth was one of the first to receive the habit of the newly established Order from St. Dominic.

He and his companions, Blessed Chester, Herman, and Henry, because of their spirit for prayer and their zeal for the salvation of souls, were sent to preach and establish the Dominican Order in Poland. On the way they were able to establish several monasteries.

In Poland the new preachers were well received and their sermons were productive of much good. Hyacinth founded communities at Sandomir, Cracow, and at Plocko on the Vistula in Moravia. He extended his missionary work through Prussia, Pomerania, and
Lithuania; then crossing the Baltic Sea he preached in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. It was these apostolic travels that earned Hyacinth the title “The Apostle of the North.”

Tradition holds that he also evangelized throughout Scotland, Russia, Turkey, and Greece. However, these travels are not supported
by wider historical texts.

The life of Hyacinth is replete with legends. One of the major miracles attributed to Hyacinth came about from a Mogul attack
on Kiev. As the friars prepared to flee the invading forces, Hyacinth went to save the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle in the monastery chapel, when he heard the voice of Mary the Mother of God, asking him to take her, too. Hyacinth lifted the large, stone statue of Mary, as well as the ciborium. He was easily able to carry both, despite the fact that the statue weighed far more than he could normally lift. Thus he saved them both.

For this reason he is usually shown holding a constancy and a statute of Mary. This legend groups him with St. Christopher as the patron saint of weight-lifters. He is also a patron of those in fear of drowning.

Hyacinth died in the year 1257. He was canonized on April 17, 1594, by Pope Clement XVIII and his feast day is celebrated on Aug. 17. Hyacinth is a Polish saint with a wide international following. In Spanish-language countries, Hyacinth is known as San Jacinto which
is the name of numerous towns and locations in Spanish-speaking countries. He is also the patron saint of the Philippine city of Tuguegarao, where his feast day is celebrated with processions and folk dance contests.

St. Hyacinth is depicted in one of the windows of St. John Gualbert in Cheektowaga, and his relics are housed in its relic chapel. There is a Polish saying, “Swiety Jacek z pierogami!” (St. Hyacinth and his pierogi!) is an old expression of surprise, roughly equivalent to the American “good grief” or “holy smokes!” Pierogi may be the only Polish dish that seems to have its own patron saint.

Rev. Michael H. Burzynski, Ph.D. is pastor, Saint John Gualbert Church, Cheektowaga.

My Spiritual Pilgrimage to the Holy Land thanks to @ESWesthoff

15 August 2016

This past April, my dear friend, Elizabeth Westhoff make a trip to the Holy Land… what happened was something neither of us expected.

Our lives were changed forever.

Elizabeth describes the pilgrimage simply as life-changing whenever anyone asks and I fully understand what she means…

I journeyed spiritually with her as she wrote on Social Media about her experiences and accented the trip with many photos…many not your typical tourist photos but pictures which as her friend I totally get. (Im thinking of her feet in the Jordan with a great pedicure going on!HAHA!)

Seriously, being able to travel there via Periscope and Social Media was truly remarkable and I thank Lizzie for it everyday.

The trip started out for me with a request for prayer to Lizzie for my health…or more importantly, a request for God’s Will concerning my health. Lizzie had already decided to pray for me there in Jerusalem (as she prays for me EVERYDAY, thank God.) I just joined my prayers with her in unity.

What I didn’t expect is for our prayers to be answered so quickly and to experience a life-changing understanding of my Faith and how the Lord decided to answer those prayers.

I know that God always gives us what we need, not always what we want but in this case I received both. My health is improving daily and my life has changed for the better with a gift directly from God Himself.

So thank you Lizzie B for letting me tag along spiritually. I am forever grateful for your love and generousity. Thank you for praying for me, as ALWAYS. ;)

God love you as I do and אלוהים יברך אותך ואת המשפחה שלך !



holy land

A Pilgrimage in The Land of Mercy

Posted by Elizabeth Westhoff at her blog,

In April, New Media Journalist for the St. Louis Review, Lisa Johnston, North Central Regional Marketing Manager for EWTN, Christine Schicker, Public Relations Director, Midwest Region for the Israel Ministry of Tourism, Denise Bossert, and I–I’m the Director of Marketing & Mission Awareness for the Archdiocese of St. Louis–were part of a four-woman contingent who, as guests of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, went to the Holy Land to experience The Year of Mercy in the very place where the greatest act of mercy was ever shown to mankind.

Touching down at Ben Gurion airport, anyone occupying an aisle seat wanting to catch a glimpse of the surroundings will likely wind up looking through the peo’t, or un-cut ringlets some Orthodox Jewish men wear on their temples in accordance with a Biblical restriction against cutting the hair there, of the men who are also looking out of the window onto the land their people have inhabited for thousands of years. Ancient prayers uttered softly in Hebrew, presumably in thanksgiving, mingle with the sound of seat belts being unfastened and mobile phones being powered on as everyone begins to disembark the plane. There’s an immediate sense that this is a special place, a place where God is present. It is a place where, in Christ’s Passion and Death, the greatest act of mercy ever took place. It is in this land where acts of mercy—both large and small—continue to take place every day.

A Catholic Pilgrimage

The first place most people probably think of when they think of the Catholic Church is Rome. However, unlike other religions, Catholics aren’t mandated by the Church to make a pilgrimage to Rome or anywhere else. For a Catholic, a pilgrimage is a personal undertaking.

In Rome a Catholic experiences the beauty, grandeur, and history of Catholicism. Most of the disciples, martyred for their faith, are buried in Rome. Beautiful artwork, produced over centuries and known the world-over, depicting all that Catholics hold sacred is housed in the Vatican Museums. In the life of the Catholic Church, Rome is—without a doubt—its Sunday best. However, while Rome may be the Church’s Sunday best, Israel is the place to experience the day-to-day, living faith of Catholicism.

For Catholics, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a unique and moving experience not only because Jesus Christ was born there but so, too, was the Catholic Church. The mercy inherent in the birth of Christ and subsequent rise of the Faith is made tangible in the Holy Land; the stone room where Christ’s birth was announced by an angel, the home of the first pope, the settings of the Gospel readings, Caesarea Philippi where Christ told Peter, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,” the locations where prayers such as the Our Father were first prayed, the garden where He would bitterly weep, the rock where His battered, bloodied body hung on a cross, and the place where His glorious, salvific resurrection happened are all there.

For the rest of this life-changing post please CLick HERE NOW!

Toronto Area Traditional Latin Masses for the Assumption

13 August 2016

Thank you to @VoxCantoris and
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2016

Mater Ecclesiae: “The Little Church with the Heart of a Basilica…”

13 August 2016

Mater Ecclesiae’s 2016 Solemn High Choral Mass for the Feast of the Assumption Mon 8/15 7pm EST

Dear Friend of Sacred Music and Mater Ecclesiae,

Assumption1This year on the Feast of the Assumption, we will celebrate our 16th Annual Mass of Thanksgiving on Monday, August 15 at 7 p.m. at The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Reverend Robert C. Pasley, KCHS, Rector of Mater Ecclesiae, will be the Celebrant and Preacher.

The Solemn High Tridentine Mass will once again feature the Ars Laudis Festival Chorus and Orchestra. Our Cantor Mr. Nicholas Beck, a graduate of Westminster Choir College, will direct the singing of the Gregorian Propers. Dr. Timothy McDonnell will be the conductor for this Mass.

We celebrate this feast each year by the use of the great treasury of Sacred Music, especially the beautiful polyphonic Masses that are very infrequently prayed in their proper place; the Sacred Liturgy. We want to foster a greater love for the great works of our Catholic heritage. For notes on this year’s music from Dr. McDonnell, click here. For a detailed listing of the music click here.

In order to sponsor such grand music we cannot depend on our little parish of 500 families. We need the help of everyone in the Delaware Valley who wants to foster excellent sacred music as well as support professional musicians who have been blessed by God with magnificent talent. I, therefore, appeal to you for financial assistance. We need to raise at least $10,500.00. Any money that is raised over the amount needed will be put directly in the Sacred Music Fund.

If you wish to donate, please choose a category, write out a check to Mater Ecclesiae Chapel and fill in the name that you want printed on the donor list. When we receive the donation, we will send a letter acknowledging receipt that can be used for tax purposes. We will also put your name before the statue of Saint Jude, and specifically remember all the donors at our Novena to St. Jude on nine consecutive Wednesdays starting August 19th.

Parking at the Cathedral is available in the adjoining parking lot and at the underground garage at the Sheraton Hotel on 17th Street. A link to directions at the Cathedral’s website is here.
Click here for the donation form. Click here for the advertising form.

That being said, I have for a long time now wanted to tell the story of Mater Ecclesiae an all Latin Mass, all Sacraments according to the 1962 Missal Diocesan-run parish. I throw the challenge to any Catholic blogger who has a very narrow view of the Traditional Mass to make a pilgrimage to Mater Ecclesiae and then write your opinion.

From moment one when I started attending Mater Ecclesiae I was treated with such kindness, respect, friendship and charity. I continued to go to Mater Ecclesiae with gratitude and joy and became good friends with our pastor, Father Pasley and I came to know what a holy priest and good man he is. In addition, I came to know what a vibrant and loving congregation worshipped there.

Father Pasley loves his vocation. I once told him that he would have made a wonderful Catholic husband and father if he had been called to that vocation just based on how he treats his parish family and his priestly vocation. I think most people would find that strange but Father got what I meant.

ConsecrationThe thing about belonging to Mater Ecclesiae is that it becomes your family. It is not a place where people form a cult around the priest, it is a place where Father is our spiritual father and the parishioners our sisters and brothers. It reminds me of the Italian parish I grew up in on the Jersey Shore. The parish didnt have a parish council (THANK GOD) and all of us pitched in when the pastor asked us. Same at Mater Ecclesiae.

Mater Ecclesiae is a parish that remembers what was best about parish life and applies it to this century. It never gives in to the mood of the day but it services our needs as a family in these trying times. It gives us the best of the past with the best of what we NEED today! The greatest gift at Mater Ecclesiae is the vocations which keep coming forth!

Father Pasley is someone who emulates Our Lady in his Fiat, his obedience to the Lord and ultimately we, the Body of Christ benefits from his vocation and his obedience. It is just like the love of a father who would give his life for his family. This is the gift he gives us. This is the gift that given generously has caused Mater Ecclesiae to become a big family.

Mater Ecclesiae is a small place physically but like the loaves and the fishes there is enough for as many who come . The Church itself seems to hold as many she can, no matter what. The beautiful hall named after Bishop Nicholas DeMarzio is a place of beauty lined with life-sized statues and soft colors and a top notch commercial kitchen all done by the generosity of the parishioners of this little Church, always seems to be large enough to hold as many as needed. The Padre Pio Gift Shop has all one could need for sacramentals and for spiritual enrichment with such a wide variety you would think it was as big as Costco.

This little Church that could has the heart of a basilica. It is a place of pilgrimage for all. Priests and seminarians already get that about Mater Ecclesiae. On any given weekend you will find seminarians helping Father by serving at the Altar or whatever the parish needs at the time. Many priests including our famous Father Z from the Internet and Father Benedict Groeschel have come to Mater Ecclesiae with the spirit of a pilgrim.

There are many more things I could tell you about this little Church, but what I will tell you is that if you ever get to the East Coast and the Philadelphia area, PLEASE make a pilgrimage to this holy place. You will be renewed in a way that is unexplainable until you go there.

Christmas and Easter are as if you are at the Vatican or the Holy Land. The liturgies, the music and presence of the Holy Spirit are felt at every moment. In the Fall there is the older devotion, 40 Hours which in itself alone worthy of a pilgrimage. On the social end, there are dinners, n, barbeques, Craft Fairs, plays and many more events that are worthy of a visit.

Most importantly, it is worthy of a visit to see how a real parish, a loving parish lives. It is a model parish with a model pastor and nothing could describe it better, this little Church that could…

God love you, Father Pasley and my sisters and brothers at Mater Ecclesiae! I am with you in spirit and not a day goes by that I don’t think of you all fondly and pray for all of you. I miss my joyful family at Mater Ecclesiae.

I have since moved to Wisconsin but I still consider myself a parishioner at Mater Ecclesiae. I have the country’s greatest Bishop here in Madison so I have been truly blessed. To have been part of the Mater Ecclesiae family has been such a gift. To now come to Madison WI to find the love of the Latin Mass by our Bishop keeps Mater Ecclesiae alive in my heart. If I had one wish, it would to be in Philadelphia today at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul to be part of our thanksgiving celebration to Our Lady for Mater Ecclesiae’s very existence.

Below I have published info concerning Mater Ecclesiae’s Assumption Mass to be held tonight at 7 pm in Philadelphia. If you are in the area, please do not miss this.

It is truly a piece of Heaven on earth to be part of this Mass. If you haven’t yet experienced life at Mater Ecclesiae please try to make a pilgrimage there. It is very close to Philadelphia and one could combine it with a trip to see the historical sites in Philadelphia. Now that Pope Francis is planning to visit the City of Brotherly Love, make sure you get to Mater Ecclesiae after seeing the Holy Father.

In fact, somebody better let Pope Francis know about this little basilica in NJ, he would’t want to miss this jewel while he visits the United States.

From the Website of Mater Ecclesiae, Berlin, NJ

On October 13, 2000, Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio, Bishop of Camden, in the Jubilee Year, and on the anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, established Mater Ecclesiæ Roman Catholic Church within the Diocese.

We were established having no regional boundaries the way normal parishes do. This is in order to serve Catholics who feel an attachment to the Traditional Latin Mass and Sacraments according to the Roman Missal of 1962.

In 1988, Pope John Paul II in the binding Moto Proprio “Ecclesia Dei” encouraged a wide and generous application of the Traditional Latin Mass.

Mater Ecclesiae is the first canonically established Church owned and staffed by a Roman Catholic Diocese, that has been granted exclusive use of the Roman Missal Typical Edition of 1962.

The “Tridentine Mass” has been called “The Most Venerable Rite of Mass in all of Christianity” as well as “The Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven”.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate these Divine Mysteries at Mater Ecclesiae

Mater Ecclesiae

About the Rector

frPasleyFather Robert C. Pasley, KCHS, a native of the Diocese of Camden, was born on November 20, 1955 in Woodbury, NJ. He attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary College from 1974 to 1978 and received a BA in Philosophy. He then attended Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD from 1978 to 1982 and received an MA in Systematic Theology.

He was ordained by the Most Reverend George H. Guilfoyle in 1982. Father Pasley was stationed as a parish priest in Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Berlin, NJ, 1982-1984, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Cape May, NJ 1984-1987, Our Lady Queen of Apostles, Pennsville, NJ 1987-1990, and Sacred Heart, Mount Ephraim, NJ, 1990-1992. In 1992, he became a resident at St. John, Collingswood, NJ were he lived for the next 8 years.

In 1992, he was assigned to Paul VI High School, Haddon Township, NJ and taught all levels of Religion and reestablished a course in Latin. In 1996, he was transferred to Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill, NJ, were he taught Religion and French I.

In 1998 he was appointed Vice Principal of Academics and served in this post for two years. During his time at Camden Catholic, Father received an MA in Education from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ.

On October, 13, 2000, he was appointed Rector, by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, of the newly established Tridentine Parish of Mater Ecclesiae, Berlin, NJ. Mater Ecclesiae is the first, diocesan run Tridentine parish in the United States.

Father Pasley is also the Chaplain of the Church Music Association of America and attends the Sacred Music Colloquium that has been offered by the Association since 1990. He also serves on the faculty at the Colloquium. The Colloquium has been held at Christendom College, Front Royal, VA, Catholic University, Washington DC, Loyola University, Chicago, IL, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA and in 2012, for the first time, at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, Salt Lake City, UT. He also served as Vice President and a member of the board of directors of Sacred Music Magazine.

Father Pasley, along with Dr Timothy McDonnell, established the annual Mass of Thanksgiving on the Feast of the Assumption. This Mass features some of the greatest orchestral Masses ever composed for the Sacred Liturgy. Some Masses that have been used for the Assumption Mass are the Lord Nelson Mass of F.J. Haydn, the Missa Septem Dolorum of Carl H. Biber, The Mass in Bb Major of Franz Schubert and the Missa Brevis in C of W.A. Mozart. The Assumption Mass will take place this year on August 14, 7:00PM, at St Peter Church, Merchantville, NJ. The Mass setting will be the Mass in E minor by Anton Bruckner.

In the Diocese of Camden, Father Pasley was a member of the Presbyteral Council. He served as a county Pro-Life Chaplain, and as Chaplain to the Camden County Presidium of the Legion of Mary. He also served as a member of the Diocesan Marian Commission, the Diocesan Liturgical Commission and an assistant vocations director for recruitment.

In September of 2004, Father was installed as a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, NY, by His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan. In September of 2010, Father was raised to the rank of Knight Commander, by His Excellency, now Cardinal, Timothy Dolan.

Father Pasley would like to thank Almighty God for the establishment of Mater Ecclesiae. He also acknowledges the maternal love and protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This place is a living miracle where the Faith is vibrant and totally Catholic. It truly is a site of the New Evangelization, a place that would make Pope Benedict very proud. Father Pasley is honored and privileged to participate and serve at this wonderful parish.


Mater Ecclesiae’s 14th Annual Assumption Mass
by Fr. Robert C. Pasley, KCHS
Published at New Liturgical Movement 8.17.2014

As many of you know the 14th annual Assumption Mass was celebrated this year at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Even though Mater Ecclesiae is in the Diocese of Camden, across the Delaware river in New Jersey, we were privileged and honored to be given permission to bring this grand celebration to the historic Cathedral Basilica begun by Saint John Neumann. Special thanks are given to His Excellency, Archbishop Charles Chaput for giving permission and to Fr Dennis Gill, Rector of the Cathedral, for his support, kindness and wonderful hospitality.

Mater Ecclesiae Assumption Mass at altar

This celebration has become an anticipated spiritual event for the whole Delaware Valley and beyond. Parish groups came from Dioceses of Trenton, NJ, Allentown, PA, Wilmington, DE, Harrisburg, PA, Camden, NJ, and the Archdioceses of Philadelphia and Washington, DC. The Cathedral was full. The procession was filled with Knights of Columbus, Knights and Lady’s of the Holy Sepulchre, Members of the Sovereign order of Malta, members of the TFP, the Blessed Immelda Society, the Maidens of the Miraculous Medal, Altar servers from across the region, and seminarians and priests. The choir under the direction of Dr Timothy McDonnell, music department chair at Ave Maria University, and the Schola Cantorum, under the direction of Mr Nicholas Beck, music director at Mater Ecclesiae, prayed the music of the Mass flawlessly. A seventy two page booklet filled with descriptions, explanations, lists of donors and adds of patrons, prepared by Miss Barbara Rodio, was given out to the participants. Msgr Andrew Wadsworth, celebrant of the Mass, delivered a beautiful sermon on our Blessed Lady. It was a devout and grand celebration of Our Lady’s Assumption and a magnificent participation in the greatness of Catholic Culture.

For the rest of the post and more of the beautiful photos of this glorious Mass please click >HERE

Just Do It! Let’s get Spiritually Fit! Via @FatherZ

13 August 2016

54 Day Rosary For Our Nation – 15 August (Assumption) through 7 October (O.L. of the Rosary)

Posted on 11 August 2016 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf at his blog,
“Father Z’s Blog”

Novena-for-our-nation-graphic-thumb-232x300Can we agree that our nation – I mean these USA – need some serious intervention and graces from God? I fear that if we don’t change our collective ways, God will either intervene somewhat less gently. Otherwise, He’ll owe Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.

My friend Fr Richard Heilman is spearheading a 54 Day Rosary Novena for our Nation.

What do you do? Say the Rosary every day for 54 days.

This 54 Day STORMING of heaven through the intercession of Mary will take place from 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption, until 7 October, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto.

I’ve written about Fr. Heilman pretty often. Lately I interviewed him in PODCAzTs.

The National Catholic Register wrote this up:

“I call this our Nineveh moment,” said Father Richard Heilman, assessing the situation in our nation in reference to the story of Jonah’s warning to a wayward people.

Father Heilman is spearheading a major spiritual initiative to turn the tide and heal the country — the “Novena for Our Nation.”

The “54-Day Rosary Novena” will begin on Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption. The faithful are asked to pray daily for the nation to return to holiness, through the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on Oct. 7.

Knowing that Father Heilman, a priest of the Diocese of Madison, had experience with 54-day Rosary novenas through social media and that he recently launched the national Holy League, a group — including Father Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life — approached him to head this nationwide prayer campaign.

“They thought: ‘What better time than now, in this election year, the terrorism going on and the condition of this world and our nation, to do this,’” explained Father Heilman.

“All the signs are there,” said Father Imbarrato. “We have an immoral and corrupt government that is becoming more and more tyrannical. The fact of the matter is: We need a conversion of our culture, but, more specifically, of our elected officials or leadership. This 54-day novena and the Rosary Rally [on Oct. 7] is all part of the effort we need to end preborn child killing and attacks on marriage and the family.”

For the rest of the post and additional links for Father Heilman, please CLICK HERE

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