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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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He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.

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Irish Elk
Friday, May 30, 2003  
Decoration Day

Circa 1906-1911

The US Memorial Day site includes a pitch to restore the holiday to its traditional date of observance, on May 30.


There used to be a ballpark here

Fort Point Channel, Boston, 1925

Indeed, it was along this stretch of Boston waterfront that, 109 years ago today, Bobby Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters became the first player in major-league history to hit four homeruns in a game.

The feat was achieved at the old Congress Street Grounds, being used by the Beaneaters as a temporary home after their South End Grounds burned to the ground. The homers all flew over the waterfront park's 250-foot left-field wall. It is not recorded if any landed in the drink. But after the game, the crowd showered Lowe with $160 in coins.

The location of the old park at Congress Street and Thomson Place is marked with a star on this map.

Given the ongoing speculation over a new waterfront ballpark in the South Station-Fort Point Channel area, it is interesting to note that Boston once did have a ballpark there where history was made. Might the area one day host a Boston version of San Francisco's Pac Bell Park with its Splash Hits?


Milo Loamsdown of Deephallow: My sobriquet according to the Hobbit Name Generator. (Via Catholic Light)


Here & There: JB the Kairos Guy offers a worthy defense of the Jesuits (May 15) * Catholic Light looks at the latest addition to the portfolio of the architect who restored the Washington Monument: a Catholic Church in the shape of an interstellar cosmic fruit-juicer (PG version). What size batteries does the thing take? And will communications soon be established with the home planet? * The Cranky Prof, who attended the Latin Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major, offers a brief report in the comment box at Catholic Light and promises more to come at his site.


Thursday, May 29, 2003  
The Feast of the Ascension is observed at the Anglo-Catholic Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes in Washington, D.C.


Ascension Thursday folk customs and Chesterton's Birthday are remembered at Recta Ratio, Merrie England's outpost in the Witch City.


Milk in the batter, milk in the batter! We bake cake and nothing's the matter! The verse from Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen would make a fitting entrance antiphon should they reprise the lay liturgy recently held at the San Antonio cathedral.


Turn Left at the Renaissance: Paleoconservatism explained, by Stuart Reid, in a dispatch to The Spectator that includes a world traveler's less-than-dewy take on The City of Light:

Is Paris a little overrated? Greatest city in the world and all that, but the Seine end of the Boulevard St-Michel is just like Leicester Square, and how many times can you walk past Shakespeare and Company, all higgledy-piggledy and coy, without wanting to throw a copy of Ulysses through its window? If there is one thing more kitsch than the exterior of the Sacre Coeur, it is the interior of Notre Dame, where the confessionals are glass boxes in which penitents seem to be negotiating bank loans with cross-dressed ledger clerks. St Sulpice may have its Delacroix murals, but there is something irredeemably naff about the place, with its participatory liturgy and Taize-inspired choir. A year ago, I saw a priest there pick his nose while reciting the canon and crumble the snot on to the altar cloth. This is my bogey. If Henry IV had been alive today, he might have thought Paris worth a miss. Give me Rome or New York -- even London -- any day.


Possible Theme Slogans for the Upcoming WCC Assembly are floated at Midwest Conservative Journal by Christopher Johnson, who also mulls the distressing downward trend in Arabian tourism.


Photos of the Latin Mass at S. Maria Maggiore are posted at Una Voce Venetia.


A Head Scarf is a Handy Thing, especially if you're a felon. It would seem a true fundamentalist Muslim woman wouldn't want a license, since she wouldn't drive.


Great Sacred Music in Milan: Six Centuries of the Cathedral Choir: The Ambrosian archdiocese preserves an oasis of resistance against the general abandonment of great liturgical music, reports Espresso Online.


Many Happy Returns to the Blog from the Core, which this week marks its first anniversary on the Web.


Church project inspires awe: Renovations at St. Mary's Oratory, a Latin Mass parish in Wausau, Wisc., culminate in a ceremony Saturday.


The Cruel Wit of Evelyn Waugh: Aside from his cruelty, Waugh was known for his biting wit, his snobbery, and his disdain for the modern world. Yet, as several writers for The Atlantic have attested, it was precisely these unpleasant characteristics that made Waugh a great writer. The magazine offers a retrospective.

Meantime, Waugh's pained correspondence with friend Cardinal Heenan over the liturgical changes of Vatican II have been collected in a book, A Bitter Trial.


The New York Times at Bay: The New Criterion on L'Affaire Blair.


Friday, May 23, 2003  
Memorial Day Weekend 2003

Shaw Memorial, Boston. Photo: Jeffery Howe

Art historian Jeffery Howe has posted a gallery of photos he has taken of the Shaw Memorial in Boston and other sculptures by Augustus St. Gaudens.

Professor Howe also has compiled an impressive digital archive of American architecture. Here's the table of contents. Personal favorites: High Victorian Gothic, including Boston's New Old South Church * Second Empire Baroque * The state buildings of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition The Indiana Building of the 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition

Another favorite from the High Victorian Gothic School: Harvard's Memorial Hall


Washington Post March


Listen to the Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa and other patriotic pieces played by rag historian Perfessor Bill.

For more John Philip Sousa, visit a comprehensive website devoted to the "March King" and the Library of Congress, which features an original Gramophone recording of Stars and Stripes Forever.

As to the Washington Post, I'm 100 percent with Stanley Kurtz: The Post should go national. I'd subscribe in an instant.


Letter to Jackie

Charles Morris writes:

Last spring [2002], the Boston College library acquired a quintessential expression of old-fashioned American patriotism--the "Jackie Letter," the gift of longtime BC classics professor Jack Shea. It was written to five-year-old Jack in 1942 by his father, Lt. Commander John J. Shea '18, while he served in the Pacific on the aircraft carrier Wasp, just weeks before he died trying to save his men during a Japanese torpedo attack.

Commander Shea's letter, full of longing for his wife and son and forebodings of his coming death, was also a lyrical expression of the best of American values--freedom and opportunity, honor and duty, loyalty to country and family. Shea's sisters, Boston public school teachers, read it to their grade school classes, and as word began to spread, the school system printed the letter as a pamphlet that every child brought home. The letter became something of a national sensation when it was featured in the Boston Globe and reprinted in Life, Look, Time, and many other publications.

For students of American Catholicism, however, the "Jackie Letter" is even more striking as an illustration of the mid-century convergence of Catholic values and the American zeitgeist. No one blinked at Shea's flat statement: "Be a good Catholic and you can't help being a good American."

Read the "Jackie Letter" in full.


Polyphonic and Gregorian Chant: The Last Bastion at Rome's Basilica of St. Mary Major: Sandro Magister of Espresso Online writes: The future of the great sacred music is increasingly in danger. The heads of the Church are deaf, but in Rome there are some who resist and fight...


At Arts & Letters Daily, the "Articles of Note" column on the left has the latest on leftist criticism of Castro and a comprehensive roundup on Jayson Blair. Go there


British churchmen back Mugabe: Peter Oborne writes in The Spectator on the refusal of Anglican and Catholic bishops to denounce the tyranny in Zimbabwe. Plus: Zimbabwe Democracy Trust


Thursday, May 22, 2003  
English priest to celebrate Latin Mass in St Peter's

From The Telegraph:

An English priest will this week celebrate what is believed to be the first Tridentine Rite Mass for 20 years in St Peter's in Rome, the heart of the Roman Catholic Church.

The historic service, hailed as a breakthrough by traditionalists, will be led by Fr Andrew Southwell on Friday, a month after the Pope lifted a long-standing ban on the "Old Rite" in the world's most famous church.

Devotees of the Tridentine Rite, which was virtually outlawed after the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, believe that the Pope is now poised to relax restrictions on the traditional Mass throughout the world.

Speculation is mounting that he will grant a "universal indult" to allow all priests to celebrate the Mass without first having to gain permission from their bishops.


Without further ado, the Herz Jesu Kirche, in Munich, for those to whom thinking outside of the box means worshiping inside of a box.

Honestly, in the realm of austere worship spaces, I much prefer the old Mass rocks of Ireland, like this one in County Derry.

For sterile, gleaming Tom Swift World of the Future architecture, give me the New York World's Fair. Hard to top the Johnson Wax Pavilion. I think the LA cathedral architects took notes at the Better Living Center.


Wednesday, May 21, 2003  
The Wasteland Called Huntington Grounds:
Not Quite A Love Song

Cy Young, Huntington Ave Grounds, 1908

Let us go then, you and me
To see
The Boston Americans play
Like patients etherized upon a table.
Let us go through half-deserted streets
To claim our seats
On aisles covered by peanut shells.
Let us cheer and wave our hankies:
Shall we ever beat the New York Yankees?

In the bleachers, a woman wags her tongue,
Talking of the great Cy Young.

-- From "April Is the Cruelest Month: T. S. Eliot and the Boston Red Sox," a piece by Louis Phillips in Elysian Fields Quarterly.

Strike up a chorus of Tessie! *

Grab a 'Gansett! **

The Red Sox and Yankees tonight enter the rubber match of a three-game series at Fenway tied for first place, with Roger Clemens taking the mound for the Pinstripes in search of Win No. 299.

Boston Sports Media Watch has the ballyhoo roundup, while the NYT profiles Sox fans living in New York.

The Curse of the Bambino that has hovered over the rivalry and over the Red Sox since their last championship in 1918 has provided material for a blog, for authors, for scholars and for musical theater, and even has led to the dragging of a Sudbury, Mass., pond for the Babe's lost piano.

* Via the Virtual Gramophone. More on Tessie and the song's role in past Sox success may be found here.

** Even if it's brewed now in Indiana. Who knew Jake Wirth was one of the founders of the Narragansett Brewery?

I recall drinking Narragansett during the '86 Series for luck, but it didn't help. A package store near my home still stocks the stuff, on a cooler shelf that is set aside as a museum of lost brands: Pabst Blue Ribbon, Carling Black Label, Schlitz, Schaefer.

More stray hops: The American Brewing History Page * Vintage Beer Trays * The marriage of beer and TV * Schaefer remembered


Maureen Mullarkey's latest review is at ArtCritical.com, where a wonderful NY newsstand shot circa 1940 runs above the fold.


Tuesday, May 20, 2003  
Which Ivy League college are you?

Does anybody even go to Dartmouth anymore? They
must have people applying -- it's still sort of
hard to get into -- but nobody has ever met any
of these people. They're just swallowed up in
the Vermont countryside, where they disappear
into a world of dead poets, lager, and argyle

Which Ivy League University is right for YOU?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Via Dave Pawlak. Image substituted by yours truly.)

Well, that's probably about right, as long as we're talking Chief Hangover-vintage Hanover. On that note, visit the Dartmouth Review to make the ultimate non-PC campus fashion statement and to read the paper's Indian archive.

And in the true spirit of diversity: Get an authentic Fighting Whities t-shirt.


On second thought, Yoko screeching would have been better than this: When a New York Times reporter giving the commencement address at Rockford College launched into an anti-war screed, he was booed off stage.


Democrat hawk whose ghost guides Bush: Scoop Jackson's body is 20 years in the grave but his spirit goes marching on, according to an article in the Guardian this past December. A former aide to the senator: "Jackson's influence is more powerful now than when he was alive." Plus: Jonah Goldberg pens a series on neoconservatism. Michael Novak responds.


Worth a visit: Power Line


'The high brow domicile of the baked bean': Boston, so dubbed by a New York Times sports reporter in 1918 on the occasion of the Red Sox' last world championship: "...the 1918 triumph marks the fifth world's series that the Red Sox have brought to the high brow domicile of the baked bean. Boston is the luckiest baseball spot on earth, for it has never lost a world's series."


Hero of Little Round Top Remembered

An eight-foot high bronze statue of Civil War hero Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain will be dedicated May 31 in Brunswick, Maine.

It is a fitting and long overdue tribute to the scholarly and chivalrous Bowdoin professor-turned-Gettysburg hero who gained modern-day fame through Ken Burns' Civil War series.

His story, in his own words, is recounted to the musical accompaniment of Scottish traditional airs in an audio recording produced at the College of Wooster in Ohio.

More on Chamberlain is available from the Pejepscot Historical Society and the Bowdoin College Library.

See also the web site of the 20th Maine, "a Civil War Shop Where Real Heroes Come Alive," and the Maine State Archives' Civil War page.


Glad she wasn't at our commencement: Yoko Ono opened her address to graduates of Maine College of Art with 10 seconds of shrieking.


Good Jack, Bad Jack: The Atlantic Monthly and Playboy give you your pick of mythic JFKs. Plus: A review of the new book by historian Robert Dallek on President Kennedy, and a report on JFK's Monica.


How lunatic is the North Korean regime?

Off the charts.

Yet the worker bees of the Asian American Revolutionary Movement EZine -- yes, the one with the Maoist poster art exhorting readers to "serve the people and promote revolution" -- busy themselves taking umbrage at perceived anti-Asian slurs by the white racist Yankee imperialist pig dogs.

How campus leftists can so willfully ignore reality in the name of ideology is hard to fathom. Do they know better, but spout the party line anyway? Is it mass hypnosis?

Millions of North Koreans are starving and suffering untold brutalities under a Dear Leader who is certifiable -- and now has the Bomb. But the Red tribunes of the Asian people, from the safety of their Cambridge ateliers, spend their time complaining that some white people looked at them funny.

Descartes has been updated for today's academic proletariat. The slogan: I am a victim, therefore I am.


Rev. James Martin, SJ, writes in the May 26 America:

For some years my mother has lamented -- and this is not too strong a word -- the fact that I never studied Latin. Whenever she spies a phrase in Latin inscribed on a church facade, or comes across a quote in a book or article, or hears an unfamiliar Latin hymn during a Mass, and I am unable to translate it properly, she will inevitably sigh. "All that Jesuit training," she'll say sadly, "and you still don’t know any Latin. I just can't believe it."

Normally I point out that, having entered the Society of Jesus at an advanced age, I hadn't as much time to take up ancient languages as did my forbears, who entered at 16 or 17 and had plenty of opportunity for their Cicero and Ovid. Moreover, there are many scholars, Jesuits and otherwise, who know Latin far better than I ever could. Even if I studied for many years, I would not be able to match the accuracy of their translations. So better to rely on these.

Sadly, these explanations fail to satisfy. And when I remind my mother that I do in fact know a few other languages, including a smattering of Greek, and can even translate some of the New Testament, she will frown as if this is clearly beside the point; besides, who ever heard of any Attic Greek hymns being sung during Mass?
Lately, though, I've been thinking that perhaps my mother is right after all...

Pick up a copy of the magazine to read the rest or subscribe online at the America website.


Cox & Forkum and Charles Johnson aren't hopeful on the Middle East roadmap to peace. Neither is Israpundit.


A fad for young fogeys, or the authentic spirit of Catholicism?

Forty years after the reforms of Vatican II, the old-rite Latin Mass is enjoying a renaissance in the Catholic Church, reports the Times of London.

INCENSE swirls through the sanctuary, enveloping the neat row of altar servers kneeling on the marble altar steps. A bishop towering above them raises a gold chalice, proclaiming in Latin that it holds the blood of Christ. He is reaching the climax of the Tridentine liturgy, the Mass once standard in the Catholic Church. It includes lengthy Latin prayers, lacunae of silence, an extra Gospel after communion. The priests pray with their backs to the congregation, occasionally breaking into complex bows to the left and right of the altar.

To the modern Catholic, it's a bit of a mystery. Most under 40 grew up with the new rite, which replaced the Tridentine Mass in 1969, dropping Latin for the vernacular and obliging the priest to face his congregation, rather than east -- the direction in which Christ is thought to have ascended to Heaven. To the average Catholic, today's Mass at St James's, Spanish Place, in Central London seems a scene from another age.

Yet a startling proportion of the priests at the altar look younger than 40. A quick survey of the congregation reveals an equally mixed age group: middle-aged matrons in hats and headscarves sitting next to tiny girls in lace mantillas, elderly men in tweed or blazers wedged between earnest boys, pressing their straightened hands in prayer. All seem plunged into intense, reverent concentration, disturbed only by the odd squeal from a recalcitrant toddler.

Photos taken at the parishes mentioned in the article may be found at the Latin Mass Society.

Meantime, re the Times headline, I would note I have long considered myself a Young Fogey, but now, acknowledging the relentless march of Father Time, I must ask: When does one officially become an Old Fogey?

(Via Greg Krehbiel)


Progressive feng shui: That's the term artfully coined by Dale Price to describe the layout of the worship space in this pic of a home mass led by a self-described rent-a-priest. Indeed, the setting is a living-room version not only of the Spirit of Vatican II liturgy but of the reordered sanctuary in many a suburban parish, with the Coffee Table of Celebration placed in front of the old fixed Standup Piano. A traditionalist rent-a-priest would celebrate facing the High Piano.

Dale Price, for his part, remains immune to the allure of do-it-yourself liturgies led by former priests at Elks lodges.


Pasta tubularia: The term for "macaroni" in newly updated Vatican Latin lexicon. "Kamikaze" appears as voluntarius sui interreptor.


No more messy Mass: UPI religion editor Uwe Siemon-Netto writes:

You don't have to be a Roman Catholic to feel some nostalgia for the days when the holy Mass was a less messed-up affair -- and sung in Latin. Now there are signs of hope that some of the beauty of the Church's ancient liturgy will soon return.

Vatican sources told United Press International Thursday that three congregations of the papal curia are working on a document setting liturgical norms intended to put an end to the frequently ugly abuses that have become rampant since the Second Vatican Council 1962-65.

The paper will be published before the end of the year and include "prescriptions of a juridical nature on this very important subject," as Pope John Paul II stated in his latest encyclical letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia" (Church of the Eucharist).

In this context, a Vatican insider said it was highly significant that Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, recently celebrated Mass according to the old Tridentine Latin rite in St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome.

"It's not that the Church will return to the Latin liturgy full-time," a Rome-based prelate cautioned, "but we should celebrate it more often."


Lost Latin legacy lamented in Lafayette, La.: An alliterative lead-in to this report from the Land o' Sibley.


Mel Gibson honored by Loyola Marymount: The Jesuits' giving laurels to a schismatic isn't so surprising. But a Tridentine schismatic? Perhaps a Hollywood indult was at work. So when's the protest by the Cardinal Newman Society?


Minuteman prevails over PC: The Old Man of the Mountain may have crumbled, but another New England state quarter emblem has survived in Amherst. More from ChronWatch and the Hampshire Gazette.


Wednesday, May 14, 2003  
Marking a year on the Web: Thanks to all who have visited!


The Worst Comic Book Covers of All Time: Via Jonah Goldberg. I must confess a certain fondness for Pinhead and Foodini.


Howell Raines' Waterloo? Andrew Sullivan has been outstanding in his coverage of the Jayson Blair debacle.


Nice cover on Time this week. And check out the Burke quote being used in the advertising for CBS' Hitler mini-series.


Inside the Vatican reports Rome is prepared to encourage wider use of the Old Mass. Domenico Bettinelli remains wary.

Meantime, Fr. Rob Johansen, in a sharp essay, describes the Church in Boston as a 'Potemkin Village':

What happened in Boston? Boston used to be considered a bastion of staunch Irish Catholicism. It had giants such as Cardinal Cushing as archbishop and produced others such as Cardinal Spellman. Before The Situation broke out into the open, Cardinal Law would have been considered one of this country's most conservative and orthodox prelates. But in addition to the Scandal, Cardinal Law, and to be fair, his immediate predecessors, can now be seen to have presided over the wholesale collapse of the Faith in that archdiocese. Boston has now been revealed as the Church's Potemkin Village: it had an impressive facade, a beautiful, even romantic image: And who knows but that at one time the facade reflected the reality. But the substance now underneath is empty, or even squalid and decayed. More

These items underscore a comment made below by David Kubiak, who writes:

What is in my view good about the liturgy today (i.e., the extension of the Indult and the increased interest in young people in the old rite) is getting better, and what is bad (i.e., the stranglehold of the professional liturgical establishement on the average parish) is getting worse. And both movements are occurring with ecclesiastical approval. I cannot say often enough how bizarrely incoherent the Church seems today -- it would take heroic faith to convert under the present circumstances.

I will be in Rome for Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos' Mass at Santa Maria Maggiore on 24 May. I hope and pray that a universal Indult will be announced, since it is increasingly clear that two radically different theologies of the Eucharist -- in fact if not in theoretical principle -- are being enacted in the two rites. I want the one I was raised to believe God wants.


1961: It was a very good year, says Bill Cork. And all of us born in it would have to agree. Bill also compares the bulletins of WeBelieve! and Adoremus and finds them divided by a common religion.


Nihil Obstat didn't go to UMass

A trustworthy source indicates that UMass-Amherst Chancellor John Lombardi, recently arrived from Gator-happy U of Florida, is the driving force behind the bid to change the Minuteman mascot.

The spelling of the headline on this alumni magazine account of his installation suggests UMass' education dollars might be better spent.

The chancellor, in any event, is more than welcome to don the ears below.

An article at FrontPage Magazine today lambastes the "leftist" assault on the Minuteman, while a state senator has filed legislation that would make the Minuteman the official UMass mascot.

Phoenix Design Works, the firm brought in to consult on the UMass logo, has been doing a booming business redesigning college athletic symbols. Their work looks largely the same at school after school, and is trotted out with much the same corporate blather.

"New Saluki logos offer modern identity," is the headline on this spiel from Southern Illinois. And here's the new fast-action Saint Bernard at Siena.

Kudos to the UMass Crew, which continues to row under the venerable nickname of "Aggies." (Radcliffe likewise lives on in the name of its crew, which continues to race in black, not Harvard crimson. Tradition is a wonderful thing.)


Tuesday, May 13, 2003  
How's this for a new UMass mascot?

Some might argue it's a pretty fair rendering of AD Ian McCaw, whose move to reconsider the Minuteman symbol has brought the state university in Amherst a good deal of publicity -- mostly bad.

"Marketing, PC endanger UMass mascot," is the headline on the Washington Times report, while the AP notes, "Mascot proposal irks some."

Indeed. The idea is ludicrous that the Minuteman symbol -- unique to Massachusetts, proudly evocative of Concord and Lexington and Bunker Hill -- should be dropped at the behest of a slick marketing design firm and a blow-in athletic director because a Minuteman purportedly is "too hard to draw," doesn't lend itself to backward-baseball-cap sales in Newark and Peoria, and too sexist and bellicose, besides.

The idea comes in for a well-deserved bashing from commenters at ChronWatch.com and Free Republic.

Meantime, "Mustangs" topped a list of alternative mascots in a poll at UMassHoops.com, while the Gray reportedly has been removed from the Wolves symbol floated by the AD.

Fisher Cats? Ospreys? Night Hawks? For these the sports marketers in Amherst would drop the embattled farmer who fired the shot heard 'round the world?

I was a Mustang in high school, and while it's an alliterative name, the closest thing to a native mustang in Massachusetts would probably be found among the Ice Age equine fossils in the UMass museum collection.

And the gray wolf was extirpated in Massachusetts by 1840, the Massachusetts Bay Colony having placed a bounty on the beasts in 1630.

What wolves are found in Massachusetts today are in captivity, having been imported from British Columbia. (Which makes them BC Wolves, UMass might note.)

If you want to talk targets of Puritanical musketry, the Wampanoags have managed to outlast the wolf in Massachusetts. But I doubt UMass is going to challenge Braintree High for the thoroughly un-PC Wamps moniker.

An online petition has been started by opponents of the proposed name change, but the list of e-mails and numbers listed at this UMass contacts page might prove a more useful starting point.

Worth noting: The NFL Patriots were one of the least popular teams in terms of nationwide apparel sales until a Super Bowl victory put their jerseys in the top 10. The UMass Minuteman could be a big seller, too, if the basketball team were a winner.

Izzy Lyman, burka-clad Amherst guerilla, notes at her blog (May 10) that her earthy-crunchy Western Mass. hometown also was behind yanking the arrow from the pilgrim hat on the great old Mass Pike logo. A commenter at Free Republic also laments the loss of the arrow in the hat.

I do like the idea of a Minuteman with a hockey stick in his hand. That would be an instant classic.


Cheerfully taking your Orders, Major and Minor: If Fr. Sibley were to open a tavern, would this be the scene greeting thirsty travelers? And do varlets who offend this cleric run the risk of tasting cold steel?


Essex Junto Update

Wonder what Massachusetts Federalist Fisher Ames would make of having an Internet Evangelical college named for him?

Meantime, his philosophical heir, Tom Fitzpatrick, born two centuries too late (see his May 8 post, "Provincial or Metropolitan Conservatism?") has changed his blog's address and title, so adjust your bookmarks accordingly.


The Scrap Album: See this site for Father Tuck's Picture Maker as well as various Victorian greeting-cards and scraps.


Deck of Weasels: Very nice. And to think brother Billy used to be regarded as the Joker in the family.


Jayson Blair and the diversity sham

School-reformers rightly criticize so-called "social promotions" whereby minority kids keep getting passed until they graduate, unable to read or write. It's frustrating to note this sort of thing occurs not only in classrooms but in newsrooms, at the highest levels of American journalism.

Romenesko is all over the Jayson Blair scandal.

So is Media Minded, who offers a personal anecdote:

About 10 years ago, a black co-worker of mine at a 12,000-circulation daily was hired to be a copy editor by a 300,000-plus metro daily after just a year of reporting. He wasn't seeking a job; THEY contacted HIM from a list he'd filled out at a minority-recruitment job fair in college, and HE didn't even have any experience as a copy editor! Meanwhile, I was ALREADY an editor, and had been in the business a couple of years longer than this guy, but I had been told a few months earlier by my boss that I might be ready for such a job "in a couple of years."

It was one of those things that made me question my support for affirmative action, and a lot of other things I used to take for granted. (I was a "good liberal" back then. Absolutely swimming in white guilt. I even voted for Clinton -- gladly.) Then came a job interview at a 55,000-circulation paper a few months after that. The formal part of the process went fine. But at an informal lunch, I was told by a rank-and-file reporter that, hey, sorry kid, but you don't have a shot, because our bosses told us they were intent on hiring a minority. Which they did...

Welcome to the wonderful world of newsroom diversity. There are so many more stories I could tell, but time won't permit it.

Having been on the receiving end of just this sort of speech, I can say MM's story rings true. Looking back, I can say, perhaps I wasn't qualified for this or that job, but even so, I'd rather have been turned down on merit -- on the up-and-up. Basing hires on race not only places an unfair stumbling block before the candidate of the wrong color who is truly qualified, but also provides a false but handy excuse for rejecting a candidate of the wrong hue who is unqualified for lack of experience or other reasons. In either case, the end result is resentment.

Meantime, this from TimesWatch:

Melissa Block, a host of the National Public Radio program "All Things Considered," interviewed Times executive editor Howell Raines on the Blair fiasco--and challenged Raines with a rather incriminating blast from Raines' past:

"Mr. Raines, you spoke to a convention of the National Association of Black Journalists in 2001, and you specifically mentioned Jayson Blair as an example of the Times spotting and hiring the best and brightest reporters on their way up. You said, 'This campaign has made our staff better and, more importantly, more diverse.' And I wonder now, looking back, if you see this as something of a cautionary tale, that maybe Jayson Blair was given less scrutiny or more of a pass on the corrections to his stories that you had to print because the paper had an interest in cultivating a young, black reporter."

Raines' defensive reply: "No, I do not see it as illustrating that point. I see it as illustrating a tragedy for Jayson Blair, that here was a person who under the conditions in which other journalists perform adequately decided to fabricate information and mislead colleagues. And it is--you know, I don't want to demonize Jayson, but this is a tragedy of failure on his part."

It sounds like a failure of nerve on the part of Raines. And as for his proud admission to the NABJ that increasing racial diversity was more important to him than increasing the quality of his paper's journalism--that's just pathetic.

The National Association of Black Journalists has released a statement reading, in part: NABJ stands staunchly opposed to those who "play the race card" in this unfortunate incident. While Jayson Blair is black, his race has nothing to do with allegations of misconduct.

But race had everything to do with his holding and keeping a job at the NYT.

See this NRO review from 2001 of William McGowan's Coloring the News: How Crusading for Diversity has Corrupted American Journalism. And visit the Coloring the News website.


Friday, May 09, 2003  
The Biretta

Rev. Benjamin King, Church of the Advent, Boston

Fr. Jim Tucker on May 3 posted a wonderful poem by Seamus Heaney that had been given him by a parishioner. Since the link isn't working, the poem is reprinted here.

The Biretta

Like Gaul, the biretta was divided
Into three parts: triple-finned black serge,
A shipshape pillbox, its every slope and edge
Trimly articulated and decided.

Its insides were crimped satin; it was heavy too
But sported a light flossy tassel
That the backs of my fingers remembered well,
And it left a dark red line on the priest's brow.

I received it into my hand from the hand
Of whoever was celebrant, one thin
Fastidious movement up and out and in
In the name of the Father and of the Son AND

Of the Holy Ghost ... I placed it on the steps
Where it seemed to batten down, even half-resist
All of the brisk proceedings of the Mass -
The chalice drunk off and the patted lips.

The first time I saw one, I heard a shout
As an El Greco ascetic rose before me
Preaching hellfire, Saurian and stormy,
Adze-head on the rampage in the pulpit.

Sanctuaries. Marble. Kneeling boards. Vocation.
Some it made look squashed, some clean and tall.
It was antique as armour in a hall
And put the wind up me and my generation.

Now I turn it upside down and it is a boat -
A paper boat, or the one that wafts into
The first lines of the Purgatorio
As poetry lifts its eyes and clears its throat.

Or maybe that small boat out of the bronze age
Where the oars are needles and the worked gold frail
As the intact half of a hatched-out shell,
Refined beyond the dross into sheer image.

But in the end it's as likely to be the one
In Matthew Lawless's painting,
The Sick Call,
Where the scene is out on a river and it's all
Solid, pathetic and Irish Victorian.

In which case, however, his reverence wears a hat.
Undaunting, half domestic, loved in crises,
He sits listening as each long oar dips and rises,
Sad for his worthy life and fit for it.

On that note: Rev Charles Higgins of St. Theresa of Avila Parish, West Roxbury, Mass., photographed on the Feast of Corpus Christi, 2000, at Holy Trinity German Church, Boston.



Splashdown in Dodge: Blogger Bill Cork doesn't share the Diocese Report's amusement at the baptism photo in the Dodge City diocesan paper.

In other gleanings from the Southwest Kansas Register:

A simulated Mass filmed to educate parishes about upcoming changes to the liturgy captures the aesthetic deficiencies that leave many hoping for a Universal Indult.

Meantime, someone appears to have lifted the furnishings from the Dominican Chapel of the Plains. Great open spaces, indeed.

Elsewhere in a related vein: The Curt Jester plays the caption game with a gallery of photos from a Los Angeles religious education conference. A favorite: "Lettuce pray."


Worth a Look: A thought-provoking essay on the history of conflict between Christianity and Islam * A fascinating account of the democratic impulse behind that great equalizer, the Guillotine * Dorothy Rabinowitz on the sacrosanct nature of phony sex-abuse charges * Belloc's singing preserved in a rare recording * Espresso Online's Sandro Magister on the Vatican and Cuba


The 19th-century British church architect A.W. N. Pugin is recalled at a site recommended by The Contrarian (April 13).


Summa Minutiae: This interesting blog is the place to go for the words to the old Cubs fight song and an account of a pro wrestler named Kodiak Joe who became a parish priest. Did I mention the references to Chesterbelloc and Lord Peter Wimsey?


The Archdiocese of Halifax marked its 150th anniversary last year with a virtual exhibit on its history.


Divine Providence: Holy Name Church is the home of the indult Latin Mass in the Rhode Island capital.


Wednesday, May 07, 2003  
Madeleine Beard

Our Lady of the Ukraine

The Catholic artist Madeleine Beard, whose watercolor icons are displayed at her website, writes evocatively of the beauty of Catholic tradition, as in this article on the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation, the church attended by Hilaire Belloc.

She certainly doesn't mince words. See this address, given last June at the Faith of Our Fathers conference at Westminster Central Hall, and printed in the Latin Mass Society's newsletter.

An excerpt:

I paint watercolour icons. During the Latin Mass Society pilgrimage to Rome in October 2000 I was asked by one of our priests, Dom Andrew Southwell, a Benedictine from the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, whose priests exclusively celebrate the traditional Roman Rite, to present a print of one of my watercolour paintings of Our Lady of Walsingham to His Eminence Cardinal Ratzinger. It was an extraordinary privilege. The day before the presentation, Dom Andrew asked me to address the Cardinal. I asked what I should say. Dom Andrew said: ‘Just lay it on with a trowel.’ So when the moment came to present the painting I reminded His Eminence of the long tradition of pilgrimages to Walsingham from all over Europe since the eleventh century; that Walsingham was as popular a place of pilgrimage as Rome, Santiago and Jerusalem. I told His Eminence of the little Slipper Chapel where nothing but the Mass has ever been celebrated, where pilgrims leave their shoes before walking barefoot on the final Holy Mile to the shrine. I told Cardinal Ratzinger that the Slipper Chapel at Walsingham is dedicated to St Catharine of Alexandria. I reminded Cardinal Ratzinger that St Catharine of Alexandria was cruelly dropped from the Calendar in 1969.

Why was it that the most powerful, the most revered, the most popular martyrs and saints, such as St Christopher, St Catharine and St Philomena, were dropped from the Calendar in 1969? And why was it that the statues of more recent and equally popular and powerful saints, the Curé d'Ars and St Thérèse of Lisieux, were discovered discarded and buried at the shrine of Our Lady of Consolation at West Grinstead in Sussex, a recently restored and resurrected shrine where that great defender of the Faith in this country, Hilaire Belloc, himself lies buried?

Under the guidance of Fr David Goddard, himself a convert from the Anglican heresy and now the priest custodian of the shrine (which I would urge every Catholic to visit), those beautiful buried statues have been repainted and restored and look towards the magnificent sanctuary where Solemn High Mass is now, every so often, celebrated. This shrine of Our Lady of Consolation is, for beleaguered and loyal Catholics today, an extraordinary testimony of how loyalty to the Holy See and leadership in a parish can transform a church and bring a congregation back. In this lovingly restored church the sanctuary lamp flickers in front of the tabernacle, beneath the rich warm colours of the crowned statue of Our Lady of Consolation, the first shrine in England dedicated to the Mother of God since the Reformation. In a church which, until a few years ago, was derelict and forlorn, thanks to the wise and practical decision-making of Fr Goddard both the church and the secret chapel in the very old Priest's house, have been cleaned and repainted. Light has been restored and the miraculous painting of Our Lady of Consolation, a copy of the fourth century icon in Turin, venerated then as a protection against the Arian heresy, venerated now as a protection against the Anglican heresy, has itself been made new again and its canopy restored. Because when a priest behaves like a Catholic, showing loyalty to the Holy Father and leadership within his own parish, he brings Catholics back into the Church.

As ever, like Fr Goddard, we must turn with gladness to our past for inspiration. We are not a Catholic country and as a nation our strong national leaders have not been Catholics. But if our leaders in the Church could show just a small amount of the strength in the face of adversity that those who have guided the nation in the past have shown, we would see the recovery in the Church we so desperately need. Winston Churchill himself recognised these qualities in his cousin, the ninth Duke of Marlborough, who was received into the Church in 1927 in the Archbishop's House at Westminster and who spent the last seven years of his life as a Catholic. If you visit Blenheim today no mention is made of this holy Duke, a Brother of the Little Oratory in London, who wanted to end his days as a Lay Brother in a Carmelite Priory in Spain. Churchill observed of his Catholic cousin: ‘The need for contact with the sublime and supernatural of which he was profoundly conscious, led him to the Church of Rome. He asked for sanctuary within that august and seemingly indestructible communion, against which his ancestor had warred with considerable strength.’


St Michael's Abbey: Visit the striking website of the English Benedictine monastery where the French Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie and their son the Prince Imperial are buried.


They could simply retort with naughty limericks: Proof the silly season is upon us.


And the granite of New Hampshire
In their muscles and their brains.

From the song "Men of Dartmouth"


The Old Man of the Mountain. Never actually saw it. And now never will. (Unless the state is successful in a campaign to restore it.)

I grew up a mile-and-a-half from another wonder of nature, Jumbo the Elephant, and never saw him, either, before his stuffed remains were consumed in a fire in 1975. I shall always feel I missed something.

At any rate, to honor the memory of the late state rock-formation of New Hampshire, give a listen to this 1932 recording of The Old Man of the Mountain by Waring's Pennsylvanians.

In other Granite State news:

At Dartmouth College, nanny administrators have decreed fraternity and sorority officers must attend a sensitivity-training seminar called "Seeking Alliances through Leadership and Diversity," or SALAD. According to this entertaining account from the Dartmouth Review, students have complied in something other than the willing spirit of self-improvement envisioned by earnest multi-culti facilitators.

Ironically, the task of going to SALAD fell on me and two of my brothers because we lost a three-on-three boat race (brothers imbibe vast quantities of alcohol, first to finish is victorious). Seems [the assistant dean of residential life] has all but encouraged binge drinking, at least in my case.

Upon entering the 1930s room in Rockefeller Center at 8:30 AM, I found most of the students already there. Many were understandably dazed and limp, it being the morning after the week’s most popular night. The Tri-Kap president, collapsed on one of the plush, green, thousand-dollar government-department chairs, appeared comatose, eyes closed and his head cocked back ninety degrees on top of the headrest…

Nothing like a full day of diversity training to cure a hangover.

Dartmouth – or rather, the old, pre-PC Dartmouth – was, of course, the inspiration for Animal House, one of the two formative comedy films of my generation (the other being Caddyshack.)

The 25th anniversary of Animal House is being marked this July with a parade in Cottage Grove, Oregon. Wonder if the Dexter Lake Club still is for sale?

Last year, the NPR series "Present at the Creation" looked at Animal House and its iconic place in American culture.

And in one of his great columns, Jonah Goldberg searches for the most Burkean line in the movie.


Monday, May 05, 2003  
Report: Pope may lift restrictions on Tridentine Mass

Via Una Voce

The Pope might soon allow the world's Catholic priests the right to celebrate the old rite Latin Mass on Sundays and holy days without the permission of their bishops, reports the UK's Catholic Herald, citing sources close to the Vatican.

According to the report, John Paul II is understood to be ready to grant a "universal indult" by the end of the year to permit all priests to choose freely between the celebration of Mass in the so-called Tridentine rite used up to 1962 - before the disciplinary reforms of the Second Vatican Council - and the novus ordo Mass used after 1970.

It will mean that a priest who wants to celebrate old rite Masses will no longer need to apply for an indult to Ecclesia Dei, a pontifical commission set up to study the implications of the Lefebvrist schism, after first gaining permission from his bishop.

The announcement might be made at the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome on May 24, when Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the Prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy and the president of Ecclesia Dei, becomes the first cardinal prefect to celebrate an old rite Mass in a main Roman basilica for 30 years, the paper says.

The report has sparked much comment at the site of Fr. Rob Johansen since he posted the news on Saturday, May 3.



Belloc on the Mass

Came across this Hilaire Belloc excerpt posted elsewhere by John Cahill, and am moved to reprint it here.

From Path to Rome:

In the first village I came to I found that Mass was over, and this justly annoyed me; for what is a pilgrimage in which a man cannot hear Mass every morning? Of all the things I have read about St Louis which make me wish I had known him to speak to, nothing seems to me more delightful than his habit of getting Mass daily whenever he marched down south, but why this should be so delightful I cannot tell. Of course there is a grace and influence belonging to such a custom, but it is not of that I am speaking but of the pleasing sensation of order and accomplishment which attaches to a day one has opened by Mass; a purely temporal, and, for all I know, what the monks back at the ironworks would have called a carnal feeling, but a source of continual comfort to me. Let them go their way and let me go mine.

This comfort I ascribe to four causes (just above you will find it written that I could not tell why this should be so, but what of that?), and these causes are:

1. That for half-an-hour just at the opening of the day you are silent and recollected, and have to put off cares, interests, and passions in the repetition of a familiar action. This must certainly be a great benefit to the body and give it tone.

2. That the Mass is a careful and rapid ritual. Now it is the function of all ritual (as we see in games, social arrangements and so forth) to relieve the mind by so much of responsibility and initiative and to catch you up (as it were) into itself, leading your life for you during the time it lasts. In this way you experience a singular repose, after which fallowness I am sure one is fitter for action and judgment.

3. That the surroundings incline you to good and reasonable thoughts, and for the moment deaden the rasp and jar of that busy wickedness which both working in one's self and received from others is the true source of all human miseries. Thus the time spent at Mass is like a short repose in a deep and well-built library, into which no sounds come and where you feel yourself secure against the outer world.

4. And the most important cause of this feeling of satisfaction is that you are doing what the human race has done for thousands upon thousands upon thousands of years. This is a matter of such moment that I am astonished people hear of it so little. Whatever is buried right into our blood from immemorial habit that we must be certain to do if we are to be fairly happy (of course no grown man or woman can really be very happy for long—but I mean reasonably happy), and, what is more important, decent and secure of our souls. Thus one should from time to time hunt animals, or at the very least shoot at a mark; one should always drink some kind of fermented liquor with one's food—and especially deeply upon great feast-days; one should go on the water from time to time; and one should dance on occasions; and one should sing in chorus. For all these things man has done since God put him into a garden and his eyes first became troubled with a soul. Similarly some teacher or ranter or other, whose name I forget, said lately one very wise thing at least, which was that every man should do a little work with his hands.


St. Mary's Oratory restoration: A Latin Mass parish in Wausau, Wisc., administered by the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, has undergone a striking restoration. The wildflower motif is inspired by the church's beautiful gardens. A local blacksmith shop involved in the metalwork has been tracking the project.


The Victorian Path to Rome

From an article by Madeleine Beard in the archive of the Latin Mass Society newsletter:

Visiting Seville one traveller wanted to visit the Cathedral. A priest lifted the heavy curtain and ushered her in. Leaving behind the heat and the crowds, she recalled, "My first impression was that of peace. Wherever the eye looked it was delighted; nay more, the mind was soothed and rested." At that time in Seville Cathedral, at its eighty altars, five hundred Masses were said every day. One traveller was forced to admit that on the Continent it was difficult to be insensible to the spirit which pervaded every church, however small. At the Basilica of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls one English visitor observed the open, airy look communicated by the abundant light falling everywhere on objects of splendour, filling the mind with amazement which defied description. A Doctor of Divinity on entering St. Peter's observed that if the intention of Michaelangelo had been to cause breathlessness, astonishment, an inability to cross the threshold, the silent pointing of a finger towards the High Altar and dome, and to continue that silence while walking from one end of the basilica to the other, then Michaelangelo had been successful.The Hon.Edward Legge wrote in his diary that the spectacle was far too grand to describe. When the golden tints of the Italian sun entered the sanctuary, the evening beams of the dusty sun passing through the high windows, the figures in the paintings seemed to come alive.


Friday, May 02, 2003  
Boston's favorite sports, politics & baseball, converge

A Sox righty puts a pro-war bumper sticker on his locker. A lefty sportswriter has a bird. Now the team's top stars aren't talking to the press. Welcome to Red Sox baseball!

More from Media Minded and the Washington Times.


The Latin Mass in streaming video?

Searching with minimal success for online video of the Latin Mass, I came across "Sancta Missa" at the web site of the Society of St. Pius in Korea. My guess is the Mass is SSPX. A VHS copy of the video is offered for sale at a Fatima web site in French that has a bio of Pius X and much on the hidden Third Secret.

Those who haven't attended a Latin Mass might find it worth watching, if only for the purpose of comparison with the Gabe Huck style of modern liturgy described by Bill Cork and cause of chagrin to Dale Price (April 28) and Michael Inman.

An indult Tridentine Mass is webcast live from Louisville on Sundays at 12:30 p.m.

Videos of the Tridentine Mass are available for sale here and here.

But if anyone knows of online video of the indult Tridentine Mass, send along the link and I'll post it here.

Meantime, The Tablet reports on the Tridentine Mass' return to St. Peter's. (Via Fr Jas Tucker)



Hmmm. Fifty corrections have been run on his stories. He didn't finish college. Wonder how he happened to have a job at the Times at all?


Fidel's Useful Idiots

More than 160 foreign artists and intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, have come out in defense of Cuba even as many of their peers condemn recent repression on the Communist-run island, one of the campaigners said on Thursday.

Latin American Nobel laureates Garcia Marquez, Rigoberta Menchu, Aldolfo Perez Esquivel and South African writer Nadine Gordimer, also a Nobel prize winner, have signed a declaration of support, Mexican sociologist Pablo Gonzalez said.

U.S. singer Harry Belafonte and U.S. actor Danny Glover are also among the personalities who have signed the two-paragraph declaration "To the Conscience of the World" so far, Gonzalez announced to a May Day rally in Havana.

Who's solely behind world suffering? Why, the US, of course, say the "intellectuals," a word rendered meaningless in this context. As is the word "conscience."


Saying No to nudity: The Guardian undertakes to restore a sense of British reserve to the oeuvre of Spencer Tunick and Bare Witness, with amusing results.


White Sox Interactive: A baseball fan doesn't have to root for the Pale Hose to appreciate this outstanding site. (Well, a Cubs fan might not like it.) See the sections devoted to the old Comiskey, Chisox uniform changes through the years, and the infamous Disco Demolition Night.


Worst hockey logos ever: A great site that Todd and Dale will appreciate, found via the Society for Sports Uniforms Research. I think the designer of the 1994 Vancouver Voodoo jersey is now doing vestments for Anglican clerics in Canada. And the Fort Wayne Komets logo of 1968-69 shows what happens when Chief Wahoo is pressed into the astronaut corps. I kind of like the Seattle Americans of 1956 and the '66-'67 Long Island Ducks. And who knew there was a team called the Macon Whoopee?


Thursday, May 01, 2003  
Coronation of the Virgin

Gentile da Fabriano, c. 1420, Getty Museum, L.A.

Of interest to readers in the Boston area:

On Saturday, May 3, at Boston College, the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Bapst Lawn will be ceremonially crowned, following a Catholic Mass in the Byzantine rite for the Holy Mother of God at 10:30 a.m. in St. Mary's Chapel.

On Sunday, May 4, at Holy Trinity German Church, a May Procession will follow the noon Latin Mass.


For May, the month both named for and dedicated to Mary, Women for Faith & Family has compiled an outstanding page on feasts, prayers and activities honoring the Blessed Virgin, including the crowning of Mary.

The University of Dayton also has an extensive page of suggestions for celebrating Mary's month.

May crowning photos are included in the archive at Old St. Mary's Church in Cincinnati, while pictures of a 1967 May Procession are found at St. Mary of the Annunciation in Melrose, Mass.

The "Queen of Angels" exhibit may be visited online at the Getty Museum.

And "The May Magnificat" by Gerard Manley Hopkins may be read here.


Costume corner

David Kubiak and Fr Jas Tucker, among others, will appreciate these images of 16th- and 17th-century ecclesiastical vestments (Plate 51, third down) from The History of Costume. Fans of Moors and Janissaries also will be satisfied.

And Fr. Sibley in particular will enjoy this article from Canada's Anglican Journal, "What the Church is Wearing." The old Houston Astros had nothing on Archbishop David Crawley.


Domenico Bettinelli writes on the Vatican and Cuba. He includes this excerpt from a CWN report:

While Pope John Paul II is severely disappointed by the Cuban crackdown, Cardinal Sodano said: "We continue to have a lively hope-- the Pope and myself-- that Fidel Castro will lead his people toward democracy, respecting the progress that has been made in recent decades."

This latest from the Vatican state secretary suggests a foreign-policy outlook shaped less by Metternich than by J. M. Barrie: Believe, and clap real hard.

Meantime: Which august international body has voted Cuba a member of its Human Rights Commission? Hint: The same Human Rights Commission is chaired by Libya.


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