Sunday, December 21, 2014

Catholic Culture: Military Academy

St. Thomas Academy. 

Distinguished Service Cross

For valor.

Handwriting of a Nun

Always beautiful.

The good sisters always had the best penmanship.  And they taught the students under their care to have the same.  D'Nealian handwriting was my favorite class exercise.  

I purchased this card at the old Bethany Convent in St. Paul.  The sisters make and sell cards there.  God bless the nuns as they continue to inspire us in so many ways.   

Church Banners

St. Louis Park, Minn.

Catholic Culture: Wedding Ring

My great-grandfather's wedding ring.

A blessed object.  Blessed by the priest on his wedding day.   

The blessing and exchange of rings is a cherished part of Catholic culture. 

Catholic School Cross

Priests Ordained in the 1950s

Meet the great Fr. George Welzbacher. 

It was wonderful to see two of the very last legends of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Fr. George Welzbacher and Fr. James Stromberg, both nearly 90-years-old and still very active week-end assistants at a lively suburban parish.  

They were members of the old generation of eminent priest professors who taught at the College of St. Thomas and St. Thomas Military Academy.  They had studied in places like Laval (Canada), Louvain (Belgium) and Rome.  Archbishop Murray saw the need to have priests in the classrooms teaching.  I pray a new generation worthy of the name will take their place and receive what had been handed on to them and continue the tradition.       

American Architecture: Renaissance Revival Style

The Saint Paul Hotel.

Located in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Renaissance Revival style was widely employed for public, institutional, and commercial buildings from about the years 1900 - 1925.  Would be nice to see a revival of this same style.   

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Gloria in Excelsis - Christmas Song

Papst-Bier in Honor of Pope Benedict: Frohe Weihnachten!


A Word About Keeping the Faith

It was a great joy to visit our oldest living relative.

Born in 1917.  Wed in 1940.  She was a nurse for many years in labor and delivery at our local Catholic hospital.  Mother of 7 children.  Still going strong.   

Now in her 97th year, on the stand next to her chair was her St. Joseph hand missal.  It was edifying to hear her speak of her love and devotion for family and friends.  She says she watches EWTN and that Holy Communion is brought to her at home.  She asked of the new pope if he is as good as people say he is.  Keeping the faith gives us so much solace.  This lady is as happy as ever.  God bless and keep her always.   

One of the most beautiful prayers of the Latin Church is this one, at the end of the Nuptial Mass, which would have been prayed over her as a new bride in September 1940: "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob be with you, and may he fulfill his blessing in you, that you may see your children's children to the third and fourth generation, and then have eternal and unending life: with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, God for ever.  Amen. 

Winter in Saint Paul, Minnesota (USA)

Cathedral of Saint Paul. 

Catholic Culture: Ancestral Baptismal Gown

Always nice to hand it down through the generations.

Made by hand with a lot of love by Mrs. Sonnen over 100 years ago.

The Sonnens were always frugal, even in good times.  You see how simple and sweet it is.

I think it was made from parts of the wedding dress.  The blue bows were pined on for the latest Baptism. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Stamps

It is that time of the year and these cards have arrived.  So nice to see the Madonna and Child stamps!

Christmas Stamps in Canada

A beautiful tradition. 

A.D. on the Cornerstone

So nice to still see this.  

Robbinsdale, Minn. 

IN the Year of Our Lord!

Catholic Culture: Ancestral Parish

This is the ancestral parish of yours truly.

Church of the Assumption in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  

My family: parents, and grandparents, and great-grandparents were wed here.

Members of the Sonnen family have been attending Holy Mass in this German parish since the cornerstone was laid in 1871, and even before.

The twin gray towers of Assumption church in downtown Saint Paul on the upper banks of the mighty Mississippi River have speared the downtown skyline since the early 1870s - the church was consecrated on October 15, 1874, and took about three years to build.

It would be nice to see some modern church construction modeled after this fine working example.  

Growing up here in the choir loft provided a perfect Catholic ethos for a kid growing up in our ever encroaching non-sectarian world.  It was a great way to grow up - a liturgical life flowed into my heart!  I can still remember my grandmother praying at the Maria Hilf and Our Lady of Perpetual Help altars and offering her Holy Communion for some special intention.  

One day my dad and grandpa came to me and explained it was time I graduate from the choir loft to the altar.  It was Advent 1988 when I served my first Mass here as Christ’s page at the altar.  The cassocks and surplices I sorted through were the same ones that had been there for generations.  Some of the fondest and proudest moments of my life were serving here at the altar.  And I will go in unto the altar of God!  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Beautiful New Vestments from the St. Bede Studio

This is the place to buy your vestments.

Such quality and artistic merit. 

A friend showed me this in a Minneapolis sacristy. 

See more here:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Catholic Culture: Family Heirlooms

My great-grandfather made this manger scene for the family with his own hands in about 1950.  He would have been around 80 years of age.  He lived to be 96.

Such a thoughtful gift to be treasured for generations.

Catholic men, make something like this for your family to be cherished and enjoyed for many years to come.  Simple and easy plan.  And it would be nicer than anything you could ever purchase in a store.  The kids will enjoy it.       

Church of St. Agnes Crypt Chapel

This is where my great-grandparents were wed in 1898 in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The original chapel was destroyed when in 1912 a new church was constructed on the same site.

In the 1940s this basement chapel was completed.

Louise Asfalg and Anthony Sonnen.  Pray for them.  May they rest in peace.

They left a Catholic progeny.  May God be praised.     

New FSSP Parish in Minneapolis

Church of All Saints.

Located in the historic Catholic neighborhood of North East Minneapolis.

Support this parish so they can restore the interior of the church.  Will be great to see the inside outlined again by elegant stencil work, which ads to the dignity of the worship space.  A place of spiritual nourishment.

Many who visit here for the first time leave saying the experience has led them to rediscover or deepen their faith.  

After a wonderful Polish dinner at Nye's Polonaise Room in the Chopin Dining Room, we came here.

Be generous this season and give:

Monsignor Richard J. Schuler, PhD

He exhibited eminent priestly qualities.

He was good at being a priest.

He loved the Roman rite.

He longed for the music of the Church.

He promoted vocations.

He preached the Mystical Body of Christ.

He taught us to accept what Holy Mother Church has given us in Her wisdom.    

Cardinals in the Vatican

Christmas Image

An antique German Christmas image.

Jesus is the reason for the season.

My uncle got this at an antique show.  You never know the treasures you will find.

Catholic Statues from Japan

So many lovely antique statues made in Japan. 

This one yours truly discovered in a used clothing store. 

These objects of devotion ought to be kept in the family. 

Agnus Dei Wax

Oratio Pro Missa Latine Celebranda (Prayer for the Celebration of the Mass in Latin)


O mundi Regnator, qui te omni lingua hominum angelorumque laudari voluisti; tribue, quaesumus, ut etiam in diebus nostris sacrificium dilecti Filii tui immaculatum assidue lingua Romana in oratoriis gentis nostrae omniumque permultis tibi offeratur a populo ad te toto corde converso: per Christum Dominum nostrum.  Amen.

Cum licentia Ordinarii
Baton Rouge, LA
Aug 8, 1994

Join Us to See the Shroud of Turin!

I invite you all for the trip of a lifetime...

When the Shroud of Turin goes on display in the Cathedral of Turin next spring – only the sixth time in nearly a century – it can have an illustrious visitor: you.

The Shroud, believed to be the burial cloth of Christ, is normally kept inside a special climate controlled container inside Turin’s cathedral. But in 2015, the Shroud will be on display for an extraordinary public exhibition from April 19 until June 24.  Do not miss this opportunity for you to see this most precious relic of Christendom.

We will lead a pilgrimage of students and teachers from Vancouver to visit the Shroud while on pilgrimage.  The dates for our scheduled trip are April 27 - May 7, 2015.  I strongly encourage all to participate with us in this truly remarkable experience.  All are welcome.  Do not miss out.

The Turin visit is an added bonus.  We will also see Milan, Rome, Pavia (burial place of Augustine), Genoa, Vatican City.   

Feel free to contact myself with any questions.

For registration and itinerary click here.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gaudete Sunday in America

Church of Saint Agnes in Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

An oasis of worship and liturgical piety and Christian devotion.

 A Solemn Latin High Mass has been celebrated on this site every Sunday - without interruption - for over 100 years.

I will forever be grateful to the good Lord in heaven having guided me here to learn the Roman rite.  Was great to get back today.  Just like old times.

Holy Mass was celebrated by the great Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB, prior of Norcia. 

Rose Colored Vestments

Church of Saint Agnes in Saint Paul, Minnesota (USA). 

Gaudete Vespers at Church of Saint Agnes (USA)

Church of Saint Agnes in Saint Paul, Minnesota (USA).

This is where yours truly learned the chants of the Roman Church.  I began attending Vespers here while in high school.  The best way to learn Gregorian Chant - attend weekly Vespers!  It was crucial to my liturgical and spiritual formation.  Ideal for priests and seminarians.

Rose Colored Altar Setup for Gaudete and Laetare Sundays

Church of Saint Agnes in Saint Paul, Minnesota (USA). 

Antipendium (Altar Frontal)

Church of Saint Agnes in Saint Paul, Minnesota (USA). 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Catholic Culture: A.D. on Cornerstone

Nice to see.  At the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. 

"In the Year of Our Lord..."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Saint Paul, Minnesota (USA)

Where yours truly was born.  In a city founded by a priest, Fr. Lucian Galtier.  On the upper banks of the mighty Mississippi River, the "Father of Rivers." 

Under the shadow of this dome, the mighty Cathedral of Saint Paul, located on St. Anthony Hill in the city named for the Apostle to the Gentiles, Saint Paul. 

I was born in Saint Joseph's Hospital, in the J.G.M (John Gregory Murray) unit which opened in July 11, 1960, named for Archbishop Murray.  

It is important for all of us to know where and what we come from.  And to revisit our roots.

The story of St. Joseph's Hospital is more than the tale of the 1853 converted log chapel which grew with the needs of its community into today's massive hospital.  The narrative must include an accounting of the deeds performed by the physicians, nurses and other professional and auxiliary personnel of the hospital staff, working with the Sisters to form a team which has brought the best of the art and science of medicine and nursing to the patients of St. Joseph's.

These good Samaritans follow in the venerable footsteps of Bishop Joesph Cretin, who gave both financial and spiritual aid to begin the Sisters' project.  Symbolic of the general community support which has grown with the years, the land upon which Saint Joseph's stands today was donated by Senator Henry Rice and lumber was furnished by a Sioux Indian Chief, Cloud Man.

God bless the spirit and determination of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, who had opened their hands and hearts to the pioneer community which was St. Paul and have continued to serve with a devotion and idealism flowing from the example of Christ Himself.  Let's hope for a revival of their Order and we invoke the intercessions of the good Sisters who have gone before us.  Let us pray! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter Ale Blessing in Minnesota (USA)

For the men's club.

A nice tradition.

From the Roman Ritual.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Immaculate Conception Mass in USA

Holy Mass this evening in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

Church of the Sacred Heart, constructed in 1958.

The celebrant is the great Fr. Bryan Pedersen.  We went to high school together.

Fr. Bryan is really good at being a priest.  Holy and meek.  And a super nice guy.  I consider him a very good friend.  He is a convert to the Catholic Faith from Anglicanism.  Well liked by everyone, he is one of the best preachers I have heard in a long time.  He is a liturgical scholar.    

Thanks, Father!

Secretaria Status Watermark from the Vatican

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Advent Liturgical Music

From the St. Gregory Hymnal.

Note to readers: not all sacred music is liturgical music. 

In the St. Gregory Hymnal, you will always find sacred music that is also liturgical music.

This gem is a favorite for Advent.

JFK Godfather at Westminster Cathedral Baptism

American President Kennedy Godfather at the 1961 Baptism of his niece, Anna Christina Radziwill (daughter of Caroline Lee Bouvier and the late Polish Prince Stanislaw Albrecht Radziwill).

Rose Kennedy with Pius XII