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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.

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Irish Elk
Thursday, May 29, 2008  

Philip Neri teeth chalice

This site is returned No. 1 in a Google search on the above phrase.

Pious and Overly Devotional does not begin to describe the good St. Philip, whose feast day was observed earlier this week, on May 26. Fr Sibley writes:

Because of the fact that St. Philip would often go into ecstasy and begin to levitate while celebrating the Holy Mass he would often have to rush through the mass grasping on to the altar to anchor himself in order to not draw too much undue attention to himself while he was offering mass. Many times to avoid this totally and to truly enter into the mystical experiences he would often say mass in a private chapel at the Chiesa Nuova. Since his mass would often last several hours, his acolyte would sit outside of the chapel door and St. Philip would ring a bell to let him know that his services were needed. One day the bell rang, and entered to find marks of St. Philip’s teeth embedded into the silver of the chalice with which he was celebrating mass. It seems that while he was speaking over the chalice, saying the words of consecration, he went into a deep ecstasy and forcefully bit the metal lip of the chalice leaving a set of teeth marks. The chalice with the teeth marks is still able to be viewed today in that same chapel.

As hagiography, The Life of Saint Philip Neri, published in 1902, makes engaging reading, indeed.

* * *


Appearance of the Virgin to Saint Philip Neri

Gian Battista Tiepolo, 1739-40

* * *


St Philip's private rooms at Chiesa Nuova

Order of service, Feast of St. Philip Neri, Brompton Oratory

St. Philip's Chapel in the Oxford Oratory


Wednesday, May 28, 2008  


An erotic portrait of Gustav Mahler's wife is at the heart of a contentious ownership dispute involving Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Two Nudes (Lovers) by Oskar Kokoschka is a self-portrait with the composer's wife, Alma Mahler, with whom the artist had an affair. Alma also was married to the Bauhaus School architect Walter Gropius and to the writer Franz Werfel, author of Song of Bernadette.

Her free-spirited ways inspired a song by Tom Lehrer, who noted Alma "had, in her lifetime, managed to acquire as lovers practically all of the top creative men in central Europe," and thus, "her story…was the stuff of which ballads should be made":

The loveliest girl in Vienna
Was Alma, the smartest as well.
Once you picked her up on your antenna,
You'd never be free of her spell.

Her lovers were many and varied
From the day she began her - beguine.
There were three famous ones whom she married,
And God knows how many between.

And that is the story of Alma,
Who knew how to receive and to give.
The body that reached her embalma
Was one that had known how to live.

Hear Tom Lehrer perform "Alma."


Tuesday, May 27, 2008  

From the Grandstand

Memorial Day, McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, R.I.:

The Paw Sox (six HRs) beat the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, 11-5.

Knuckleballer Charlie Zink got the win.

If you click on the pic you will see his knuckler floating in mid-air.


Monday, May 26, 2008  

Memorial Day

Holliston, Mass.


Saturday, May 24, 2008  

Cantores in Ecclesia

The Portland, Ore., liturgical choir Cantores in Ecclesia has a new home.

From the choir's website:

ST. STEPHEN'S CHURCH (S.E. 41st & Salmon, between Belmont & Hawthorne, Portland, Ore.) is the official home of Cantores in Ecclesia. A fine church with a wonderful Pastor, Fr. Petrus Binh Hoang, St. Stephen’s has welcomed the choir with open arms and we are most grateful Of particular interest to friends who have not yet visited St. Stephen's is the spectacular acoustic of the church, supporting and enhancing the Gregorian and polyphonic music sung each Saturday evening.

All we need now is a viable congregation. Since Cantores in Ecclesia is dependent for its survival on shared collections taken at the 7:30 Latin Vigil Mass, we urgently need your support. Realizing it is not practical for everyone on our mailing list to attend weekly, it is our hope that many of supporters and benefactors will be free to come at least once a month. With better attendance, and God’s grace, we hope to continue singing the Latin liturgy there for many years to come.

Here is the upcoming schedule:

Saturday, May 24 at 7:30 P.M.
Byrd Proper from Gradualia (1605)
Gregorian Missa ‘Cum jubilo’
Gregorian Chant Proper
1112 S.E. 41st Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Fr. Robert Palladino, Celebrant

Sunday, May 25 at 11:00 A.M.
N.E. 3rd & Clackamas
Portland, Oregon
Fr. Anthony Patalano, Celebrant

Saturday, May 31 at 7:30 P.M.
1112 S.E. 41st Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Fr. Robert Palladino, Celebrant

Saturday, June 7 at 7:30 P.M.
1112 S.E. 41st Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Fr. Robert Palladino, Celebrant

Saturday, June 14 at 7:30 P.M.
1112 S.E. 41st Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Fr. Edmond Bliven, Celebrant


Friday, May 23, 2008  

warty bliggens, the toad

i met a toad
the other day by the name
of warty bliggens
he was sitting under
a toadstool
feeling contented
he explained that when the cosmos
was created
that toadstool was especially
planned for his personal
shelter from sun and rain
thought out and prepared
for him

do not tell me
said warty bliggens
that there is not a purpose
in the universe
the thought is blasphemy
a little more
conversation revealed
that warty bliggens
considers himself to be
the center of the same
the earth exists
to grow toadstools for him
to sit under
the sun to give him light
by day and the moon
and wheeling constellations
to make beautiful
the night for the sake of
warty bliggens

to what act of yours
do you impute
this interest on the part
of the creator
of the universe
i asked him
why is it that you
are so greatly favored

ask rather
said warty bliggens
what the universe
has done to deserve me
if i were a
human being i would
not laugh
too complacently
at poor warty bliggens
for similar
have only too often
lodged in the crinkles
of the human cerebrum

-- From archy and mehitabel, by Don Marquis, 1927

* * *

Photo above:

By David Chapman from Garden Photographer of the Year

Via Daily Telegraph Pictures of the Day, 5/23/08


Wednesday, May 21, 2008  

Praying for Sen. Kennedy

The Anchoress

Michael Long, NRO

Dale Price

UPDATE, 5/22/08

Former BU Law dean Ronald Cass



Jon Lester's No-Hitter

Chad Finn:

Is there anyone else in franchise history you'd rather this happened to?

I cannot think of another name.


Dan Shaughnessy



Friday, May 16, 2008  

The Fourth Estate

The Daily Telegraph resurrects its old device.

The motto: "Was, Is, and Will Be."

* * *


The art of newspaper banners from Wiener Zietung

* * *

Former copy editor Dan Laskin recalls newsroom colleagues past:

There was Jonas, the slot man, a dour veteran who sat inside the horseshoe and handed us the stories when the city editor was done. Three of us, the rim men, copy-edited and toiled over headlines. If a head sagged rather than sang, Jonas would growl, thrusting it back for another try. If it was OK, he'd just grunt. Then he'd lift his chin to bark: "Send that mother down!"

There was Chuck, the bespectacled wire editor, who used his metal ruler to tear stories off the endless sheet that stuttered from the Associated Press machine. Turning to come back to his desk, the world's news ribboning out behind him, he'd whack the fire extinguisher with the ruler. Clang! We'd jump in our seats as Chuck sang out, "Ring of truth! Ring of truth!"

And there was Jack, the assistant city editor, collar unbuttoned, necktie askew, belly swollen at his cluttered desk like a mountain looming over a village of scrap paper. I think his job was to finalize page make-up and send the dummies over to composing. Jack hummed as he worked, but every once in a while, apropos of nothing, he'd look up, pause, and say, "But, in a larger sense." A fragment from the Gettysburg Address. Sometimes he'd continue: ". . . we can not dedicate--we can not consecrate--we can not hallow . . . .," and then stop. Usually, though, he'd flourish just the one phrase, "But in a larger sense," then go back to humming.

* * *


Editors, from: "What's in the New York Evening Journal" (1928)


Wednesday, May 14, 2008  

Big Six

Irish Elk celebrates its sixth blog-o-versary today.

To mark the occasion: the Stomp 6

Thanks to all the readers who have visited the past six years!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008  

Del Shannon: "Runaway"

No. 1 song on the Billboard charts the day I was born.

What was No. 1 the day you were born?

(Via Cliopatria)

* * *

While you're at it:

Check out the Cash Box 100 from the week you were born.

On the charts my birth week:

"One Mint Julep" by Ray Charles

Not to mention the "Theme from My Three Sons", by Lawrence Welk.

(Via Llama)


Sunday, May 11, 2008  

"Momma and Aunt Emmy"

Emily Everett Abbot and Mary Susan Everett Abbot, c. 1852

From America's First Look into the Camera:

Daguerrotype Portraits and Views, 1839-1864

Library of Congress


Wednesday, May 07, 2008  

Worth Reading

Callimachus: Remembering the Lusitania.

Vanity Fair: RFK: The Heartbreak Campaign

Harvard Magazine: George Bancroft: Brief life of a public historian

AP: Civil War cannonball kills collector

New English Review: Early color photos of Britain

Claremont Review of Books: Churchill in South Africa

(Via Power Line)

Ross Douthat, Atlantic Monthly:

E Pluribus Nixon

Sailing & sipping nightcaps with Wm F Buckley Jr.

Encyclopedia Virginia: When Mythologies Meet

(Via The Beiderbecke Affair)

Daily Telegraph Obit: Wg Cdr Paddy Barthropp

Above: Josephus Daniels


Monday, May 05, 2008  

A Belated Happy St. Tammany's Day

The Roman Catholic Boys for Art (Ivy League Division) hope it is not too late to raise a walrus-tusk-stirred toast of New England rum to Dartmouth's hidden Hovey Murals.

The Indian princesses evoke the Police Gazette as much as Pocahontas.

It is perhaps not too surprising they were eventually draped. But the Dartmouth Review has made the murals' restoration a cause.

In the NY Times John Casey wrote:

Then there's the matter of the Hovey murals. Painted in the 1930's, they're illustrations of ''Eleazar Wheelock,'' a song by Richard Hovey, class of 1885: Oh, Eleazar Wheelock was a very pious man, He went into the wilderness to teach the Indian, With a Gradus ad Parnassum, a Bible, and a drum, And five hundred gallons of New England rum.

The style of the murals resembles Maxfield Parrish's illustration of ''Old King Cole'' for the bar at the St. Regis. All the remarkably similar Indian maidens are sweetly pretty and wide-eyed. They are wearing, at most, tattered wisps of loincloths. One brave is a perfectly muscled Frank Merriwell, with a large D on his chest. The others are slightly sinister, including the one about to lap up the overflowing rum at Eleazar's feet.

In any case, with Eleazar Wheelock; the Sachem of the Wah-hoo-wahs; and St. Tammany, we say, fill the bowl up!

* * *


Detail, Panel 4, Hovey Murals, Walter Beach Humphrey (1938)

* * *


"Powhatan's Daughter March," Sousa's Band, 1909

* * *

Sarah Bayliss, NY Times (7/2/2000):

"The Three Faces, All of Them Female, of Liberty"

* * *

An Ode to St. Tammany

"Immortal Tammany of Indian race,
Great in the field, and foremost in the chase!
no puny saint was he with fasting pale;
He climbed the mountain, and he swept the vale,
Rushed through the torrent with unequaled might;
Caught the swift boar, and swifter deer with ease,
And worked a thousand miracles like these,
To public views he added private ends,
And loved his country most, and next his friends,
With courage long he strove to ward the blow
(Courage, we all respect, even in a foe),
And when each effort he in vain had tried,
Kindled the flame in which he bravely died,
To Tammany, let the full horn go round,
His fame let every honest tongue resound,
with him let every gen'rous patriot vie,
To live in freedom, or with honor die."

* * *


Detail, Death of General Wolfe, Benjamin West

* * *

From the Irish Elk Archive:

Song for St. Tammany's Day



Bette Davis: Mad Scene, Juarez (1939)

Chewing the scenery, with Claude Rains (French subtitles)

Happy Cinco de Mayo!


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