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Photo: Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec 8 2011, St. Stephen Church



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dec 8 and 9 Masses

Monday, December 8, 2014, is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.



Its a day of obligation. The Latin Masses scheduled are listed below.

5pm High Mass, St. Stephen
5:15pm High Mass, St. Sebastian, Akron
6:30pm Solemn Mass, Immaculate Conception, Cleveland

Also, an Advent Rorate candlelight votive Mass in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be offered at St. Stephen on Tuesday, December 9, at 7am.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent Recollection

A most blessed First Sunday of Advent to you all.

Audo Sancto has a wonderful 3-part sermon for Advent recollection.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Day Mass

Immaculate Conception, Cleveland, will offer a low Mass at 8am on Thanksgiving Day.

Friday, November 14, 2014

F.Y.I.

Fr. Frank Godic, pastor of Immaculate Conception, would like you all to know the following, concerning Sunday's celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

1. If overflow parking is needed, there is a parking lot directly across the street from the church, on Superior Ave., which will be available to those attending the celebration.

2. A reception with light refreshments will follow the Mass in the school auditorium. Anyone who wishes to bring something to share is encouraged to do so. Please bring it to the auditorium before Mass.



Monday, November 10, 2014

Sacrament of Confirmation, Sunday

On Sunday, November 16, 2014, the Sacrament of Confirmation in the traditional form will be celebrated at Immaculate Conception's 12 noon High Mass by The Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon, Bishop of Cleveland. Please consider attending this very special occasion 


Perhaps this is a good opportunity to remind ourselves of some truths about the Sacrament of Confirmation. Excerpts are from Manual of Confirmation.

''The life of man on earth is a warfare" says Job. When
we receive the Sacrament of the Holy Spirit, we take upon our-
selves all the duties of a loyal soldier. The first duty of a
good soldier is Fidelity.

a). But what does fidelity imply? Surely nothing less than
the constant tendency to devote himself with all the powers of
soul and body to the service of his Supreme Lord and Master.
Having once put on the livery of his King, the soldier must
fight the battles, even though he sacrifice his very life on the
field of action. It is a solemn pact entered upon between the
Holy Ghost and the soul. "Be steadfast in thy covenant."
The Apostle speaks to the point : "My beloved brethren, be ye
steadfast and immovable : always abounding in the work of
the Lord." "Be thou faithful,'' says the angel of the Church of
Smyrna. You will keep this fidelity as long as you guard
yourself against the snares of the enemy, and do not surrender
yourself to works of darkness. Rise in the morning with a holy
resolve to be faithful during the day, and ask for help from
above. For "God is faithful, who will strengthen and keep
you from evil."
This fidelity of a soldier of Christ knows of no distinction
between small and great things. The whole life of man, if you
will, is composed of many small duties and functions, but taken
together they constitute the total — the sum of perfection. The
saying, ''Who makes litte of small things will by-and-by fail
in greater ones," is verified also in the life of a Christian. The
Lord says : '' He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful
also in that which is greater. " Any and all success depends
on the faithful adherence to duty. The loyal Christian soldier
only can exclaim in the embrace of death : ''I have fought a
good fight, I have kept the faith.'' 
b). Bravery is the second quality of a good soldier. It is a
most indispensable virtue in face of the enemy. When the soldier
meets an equal foe with undaunted courage, and wavers not in
the critical moment, then we may call him brave. The Chris-
tian has three formidable enemies to contend with, namely, the
flesh, the world and Satan. ''Every man is tempted by his own
concupiscence, being drawn away and allured." "Whatso-
ever is born of God, overcometh the world, '' "Put you on the
armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the de-
ceits of the devil," says the Apostle. In order to overcome
these cunning and ever-watchful adversaries, it needs bravery
which relents not. St. Peter calls upon us to be watchful and
brave : "Because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
goeth about seeking whom he may devour ; whom resist ye,
strong in faith. " Only he who fights bravely with resolute will,
can hope to be crowned. "Blessed is the man that endureth
temptation ; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive the
crown of life which God hath promised to them that love Him."
"The brave Christian will resist at the first onset ; he will not
parley with temptation ; he will resist with unflinching courage
without relaxing, that is to say, with perseverance to the end.
Therein shall we recognize genuine bravery that must charac-
terize the anointed of the Holy Ghost. 
c). Generosity, which means the spirit of sacrifice, is the third
quality of a true soldier. What great fatigues, how many pri-
vations, what wearisome marches await the soldier! Likewise
the Christian has, in a higher sense and to a greater degree, an
arduous road before him. Our great Master Himself points
at it : "How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that
leadeth to life." Great efforts and exertions are required :
"The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent
bear it away" Burdensome labors must be undertaken:
''Whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after Me, can-
not be My disciple." We must be ready to part with what is
most dear to our natural inclinations, rather than to yield to the
enemies of our soul and of our God. Behold what the Apostles
and disciples of Christ were when they fled, abandoned and
denied their Master in the hour of trial. No sooner, however,
were they endued with the Holy Ghost, than they were ready to
sacrifice everything, to suffer the loss of all things, that they
might gain Christ. What an admirable effect of this grace, of
which the Apostles gloried, and of which all who have been
strengthened by the Holy Ghost in His Sacrament, are in like
manner inspired to the same sacrifices, with a generosity of heart
in the grand cause and service of the King of Kings! 
St. Jerome, in a letter to his friend Heliodorus, says as fol-
lows : "In these sacraments, that is, Baptism and Confirma-
tion, you were made a soldier of Jesus Christ. What have you
done to this day that corresponds with this calling? Where are
the trenches you have made to the discomfiture of your
enemies? Where are the breastworks you have built up against
their arrows? How many winters have you been in the field?
What are the hardships you endured? The ringing war-trumpet
sounds from Heaven above. The great King, clad in full armor,
advances to give battle to the whole world. How will you step
out of your voluptuous repose to battle? His double-edged
sword will mow down in its passage everything opposed to Him.
How will you venture out of the shade into the heat of combat?
How will that body so slender bear the weight of the armor?
Will those hands, now so idle, be able to take up severe and
arduous labors? No one is crowned, except he strive law-
fully.'" 
Such are then the qualities of a good soldier; such also the
duties of a loyal Christian, which he has vowed to fulfill. That
is the glorious character with which the Holy Ghost invested the
soul in the great Sacrament of Confirmation.



Saturday, November 1, 2014

All Saints Day

Cleveland TLM Friends wishes you a blessed feast of All Saints!



St. Bernard of Clairvaux gives us the following to think about.
Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day mean anything to the saints? What do they care about earthly honors when their heavenly Father honors them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son? What does our commendation mean to them? The saints have no need of honor from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.
Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.
Come, brothers, let us at length spur ourselves on. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us. We should not only want to be with the saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also earnestly seek to share in their glory. Do not imagine that there is anything harmful in such an ambition as this; there is no danger in setting our hearts on such glory.
When we commemorate the saints we are inflamed with another yearning: that Christ our life may also appear to us as he appeared to them and that we may one day share in his glory. Until then we see him, not as he is, but as he became for our sake. He is our head, crowned, not with glory, but with the thorns of our sins. As members of that head, crowned with thorns, we should be ashamed to live in luxury; his purple robes are a mockery rather than an honor. When Christ comes again, his death shall no longer be proclaimed, and we shall know that we also have died, and that our life is hidden with him. The glorious head of the Church will appear and his glorified members will shine in splendor with him, when he forms this lowly body anew into such glory as belongs to himself, its head.
Therefore, we should aim at attaining this glory with a wholehearted and prudent desire. That we may rightly hope and strive for such blessedness, we must above all seek the prayers of the saints. Thus, what is beyond our own powers to obtain will be granted through their intercession.

 Again, thanks to Video Sancto, a traditional Catholic sermon on the Saints.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Nov 3 Latin Masses

Because November 2 is a Sunday this year, All Souls Day is transferred to Monday, Nov 3.  Requiem Masses will be offered at St. Stephen and Immaculate Conception.

November 3, 2014
7am Low Mass, Immaculate Conception
6:30pm Solemn Requiem Mass, St. Stephen
6:30pm High Requiem Mass, Immaculate Conception




On a special note, we received the following information from Msgr Anthony Spinosa, rector of Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine in North Jackson, Ohio.

The Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon
2959 N Lipkey Rd
N. Jackson, Ohio 44451  330-538-3351
will celebrate All Souls commemoration on Monday, Nov 3 at 7pm
It will be the Missa Cantata with prayers at the catafalque and will be celebrated by
Very Rev Msgr Anthony Spinosa ,Rector
The Mass will be sung by a mens schola for the gregorian chant and a mixed schola for the motets.

All Hallow's Eve, Irish Style

According to some accounts, the Irish had a tradition of marking All Hallow's Eve, or Halloween, as a day of remembering and thinking about the reality of hell and how to avoid it.  Whether or not this traditional act of piety was particularly attached to All Hallow's Eve, the fact remains that meditating on the Four Last Things is fully Catholic. And hell is one of those Things. 

The video sermon below is courtesy of the Video Sancto channel on Youtube. The sermon itself comes from Sensus Traditionis.

An important disclaimer to the media files from Sensus Traditionis:
These media files are Penanceware, which require that you do one of the following: (1) $1.00 via Paypal (http://www.sensustraditionis.org/inde...), (2) offer up a decade of the Rosary, or (3) perform some form of penance for the intentions of Fr. Ripperger (for each individual media file downloaded). The same rule applies if you copy and distribute to friends.



Fr. Martin von Cochem, O.S.F.C., author of The Four Last Things, gives the following thought to the reader on the odors of hell.
IN order that nothing may be wanting to the plagues of hell, wherewith the lost souls are tormented, God has in His anger decrees that this horrible prison should be saturated by an unspeakable stench, as a punishment for those who, when on earth, have taken excessive delight in the use of choice perfumes.
The prophecy of Isaiah will thus be fulfilled: "Instead of a sweet smell there shall be a stench" (Is. iii/ 24). Decaying animal matter emits so horrible an odor that no one likes to go near it. But if we imagine not one tainted carcass, but hundreds of thousands heaped together, the air for miles around would be so infected that it would cause the death of all in the vicinity.
Even this stench, however, when compared with the stench of hell deems as nothing, or rather as a pleasant odor. This vapor or odor of hell arises primarily from the place itself, which is by its nature a most horrible and foul region. No breath of pure air can ever be present in these closely-shut walls of this prison. Moreover, the whole of hell is a lake of burning brimstone and pitch, and every one knows how offensive are the fumes they give out.
"The unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Apoc. xxi. 8).
The prophet of the New Dispensation here speaks of a pool, full of stagnant, foul, stinking water, for which there is no outlet. He adds that this pool is filled with burning brimstone from which a dense smoke ascends, as he says elsewhere: "The smoke of their torments shall ascend up forever and ever."
The very bodies of the reprobate are so foul and disgusting that they emit a most offensive odor, worse than any stench in this world. According to St. Bonaventure, the body of a single reprobate would so taint the air on earth as to cause the death of all living beings coming near it.
If one single body emits so horrible a stench, what can the smell be that rises from many millions of these wretched beings?
It is related of the tyrant Maxentius that he was wont, as a punishment, to cause a living man to be bound to a corpse, face to face and limb to limb, until the unhappy victim fainted, or even died through contact with the dead and decomposing body. That is indeed a torture of which no one can think without shuddering. How much worse will it be in hell, where the bodies will lie close to one an other, without any hope of being separated.
Bad as this stench is, it is greatly increased by the presence of the devils, who naturally are far more offensive to the nostrils than the bodies of the lost. We read in the life of St. Martin that the evil one appeared to him upon one occasion, and the stench that filled the room was so overwhelming that the saint said to himself: "If one single devil has so disgusting an odor, what can the stench be in hell, where there are thousands of devils all together?"
How much suffering this abominable stench must cause to the damned ! how it must aggravate their distress and pain ! For it must be deadly beyond description, arising as it does from so many different sources---hell itself, the bodies of the damned, the devils, the worms and reptiles, the fire of pitch and brimstone, each and all of which stink in the nostrils of the lost. Judge by what has been said how intolerable the combined odors of all these things must be.
Alas for the unfortunate beings who are condemned to breathe such an atmosphere ! Alas for the poor sinners who have to dwell in it for endless ages ! They must sink under it, they be on the verge of death. O my God, I beseech Thee by Thy infinite clemency, spare me from so terrible a fate.

Its also popularly accepted that the Jack O' Lantern has its roots in Irish Catholicism. Herein is a version of the story of Stingy Jack.
As the story goes, several centuries ago amongst the myriad of towns and villages in Ireland, there lived a drunkard known as "Stingy Jack". Jack was known throughout the land as a deceiver, manipulator and otherwise dreg of society. On a fateful night, the devil overheard the tale of Jack's evil deeds and silver tongue. Unconvinced (and envious) of the rumors, the devil went to find out for himself whether or not Jack lived up to his vile reputation.
Typical of Jack, he was drunk and wandering through the countryside at night when he came upon a body on his cobblestone path. The body with an eerie grimace on its face turned out to be Satan. Jack realized somberly this was his end; Satan had finally come to collect his malevolent soul. Jack made a last request: he asked Satan to let him drink ale before he departed to Hades. Finding no reason not to acquiesce the request, Satan took Jack to the local pub and supplied him with many alcoholic beverages. Upon quenching his thirst, Jack asked Satan to pay the tab on the ale, to Satan's surprise. Jack convinced Satan to metamorphose into a silver coin with which to pay the bartender (impressed upon by Jack's unyielding nefarious tactics). Shrewdly, Jack stuck the now transmogrified Satan (coin) into his pocket, which also contained a crucifix. The crucifix's presence kept Satan from escaping his form. This coerced Satan to agree to Jack's demand: in exchange for Satan's freedom, he had to spare Jack's soul for ten years.
Ten years later to the date when Jack originally struck his deal, he found himself once again in Satan's presence. Jack happened upon Satan in the same setting as before and seemingly accepted it was his time to go to Hades for good. As Satan prepared to take him to Hades, Jack asked if he could have one apple to feed his starving belly. Foolishly Satan once again agreed to this request. As Satan climbed up the branches of a nearby apple tree, Jack surrounded its base with crucifixes. Satan, frustrated at the fact that he been entrapped again, demanded his release. As Jack did before, he made a demand: that his soul never be taken by Satan into Hades. Satan agreed and was set free.
Eventually the drinking and unstable lifestyle took its toll on Jack; he died the way he lived. As Jack's soul prepared to enter Heaven through the gates of St. Peter he was stopped. Jack was told by God that because of his sinful lifestyle of deceitfulness and drinking, he was not allowed into Heaven. The dreary Jack went before the Gates of Hades and begged for commission into underworld. Satan, fulfilling his obligation to Jack, could not take his soul. To warn others, he gave Jack an ember, marking him a denizen of the netherworld. From that day on until eternity's end, Jack is doomed to roam the world between the planes of good and evil, with only an ember inside a hollowed turnip ("turnip" actually referring to a large swede) to light his way.

Of course, the glaring issue with the story is that, when a person dies, the soul is judged and sent to one of three places: Heaven, hell or purgatory.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nov 1 Latin Masses

November 1 is, of course, All Saints Day. But because it falls on Saturday this year, the feast has been transferred to Sunday in the Diocese of Cleveland.

Fortunately for Latin Mass Faithful, both St. Stephen and Immaculate Conception will have Latin Masses on November 1, and although it is not a day of obligation, it is still a pious and traditional act of devotion to attend Mass on this day. The schedule of those Masses is below.

Saturday, November 1, 2014
8am Low Mass, Immaculate Conception, Cleveland
9:30am Solemn Mass, St. Stephen
12 noon High Mass, Immaculate Conception




Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hail to Our Sovereign King!

A most blessed Feast of Christ the King to you all!


When Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ in 1925, he observed that "human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation." It was his hope that, by Catholics seriously embracing the Kingship of Christ in their own lives and families, both privately and publicly, "society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony." In short, the Kingship of Christ, His royal empire, is His dominion over all things in heaven and on earth, not just the hearts of men, but also "in the wills of men, for in him the human will was perfectly and entirely obedient to the Holy Will of God, and further by his grace and inspiration he so subjects our free-will as to incite us to the most noble endeavors." This is the public, or social reign of Jesus Christ as King. "Our Lord's regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen's duty of obedience." (Quotes taken from the encyclical, Quas Primas.)

The great Irish priest, Fr. Denis Fahey, wrote the following in his book, The Social Rights of Our Divine Lord:



Student. What is the fundamental condition of the Kingship of Jesus Christ over society? 
Teacher. This condition consists in the explicit will of the Holy Trinity to give to Jesus Christ as man a true and absolute royal power. It is not a question of the rights of the Word of God, which are infinite, but of the rights and powers which God gives to the Sacred Humanity assumed by the Word. 
S. God has made known to us His Will in this matter? 
T. Undoubtedly. In the Encyclical of "Quas Primas" Pope Pius XI brings forward two proofs, indicating the Divine Will in this matter. He sets out the first proof thus:- 
"The foundation of this power and dignity of our Lord is rightly indicated by Cyril of Alexandria. 'Christ,' he says, 'has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped; but His by essence and by nature' (Luke x.). His kingship is founded upon the ineffable hypostatic union. From this it follows not only that Christ is to be adored by angels and men, but that to Him, as Man, angels and men are subject, and must recognise His empire; by reason of the hypostatic union Christ has power over all creatures."
He continues:
S. Explain the second doctrinal foundation of this truth taught by Pius XI. 
T. "But a thought that must give us even greater joy and consolation is this, that Christ is our King, by acquired, as well as by natural right, for He is our Redeemer. Would that those who forget what they have cost their Saviour might recall the words: 'You were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled' (1 Peter, i. 1819). We are no longer our own, for Christ has purchased us 'with a great price' (1 Cor. vi. 20); our very bodies are the 'members of Christ' (1 Cor. vi. 15)."



Getting back to Pope Pius XI, and Quas Primas:
Oh, what happiness would be Ours if all men, individuals, families, and nations, would but let themselves be governed by Christ! "Then at length," to use the words addressed by our predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, twenty-five years ago to the bishops of the Universal Church, "then at length will many evils be cured; then will the law regain its former authority; peace with all its blessings be restored. Men will sheathe their swords and lay down their arms when all freely acknowledge and obey the authority of Christ, and every tongue confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father."
The holy pope is spelling out unity here.

In another encyclical of Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos, he specifies unity:
Unity can only arise from one teaching authority, one law of belief, one Christian Faith … There is but one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by fostering the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it.
 Triumphalistic?  Yes.

The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.
 --Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas


CHRISTUS VINCIT
CHRISTUS REGNAT
CHRISTUS IMPERAT