REPORT FROM NORCIA

It’s like a film depicting a medieval scene, but it happened, for real, just days ago.  As the earth shakes around them, Benedictine monks intone the Latin Prayers in Time of Earthquake, in the Crypt of their Basilica which in the ancient home of St Benedict (480-547 AD) himself. REGINA sat down with Father Benedict Nivakoff, … Read more

Dublin Beauty

Photos by John Briody In recent years, Saint Kevin’s in Portobello has been the home of the Latin Mass Chaplaincy for the Dublin Archdiocese. This 19th century Gothic gem is glowing with color and statuary. People are traveling to be part of the parish. The trendy neighborhood has been treated to the sights and sounds … Read more

Militant Catholic Film-Maker

He’s a coal miner’s son from the far west of England. Today, he’s making compelling docu-dramas which compete with the best in the business – on both sides of the Atlantic – for America’s EWTN Network. Come along with REGINA as we explore the wonderful world of award-winning film-maker Stefano Mazzeo. This is an unofficial … Read more

Youth, Beauty, Passion & the Mass of Ages

by Wilson Gavin Photos by Constance Cdej and Beverly Stevens My first taste of the Traditional Latin Mass occurred on the 14th of September, 2014, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. The Mass was said by a very famous priest, who has now entered into his eternal rest. The place? St Joseph’s … Read more

Doing Whatever God Has In Mind

Featured Photo: NEWLY ORDAINED Fr. James Mawdsley, FSSP with his father David Mawdsley and his  twin brother, Lt-Col Jeremy Mawdsley, RA, MBE By Beverly Stevens Photos by Joseph Shaw He’s an Englishman, from ‘Catholic’ Lancaster, and he survived more than a year in solitary confinement in Burma – sentenced there for protesting the regime’s human … Read more

Oklahoma Black Mass

REGINA is an international Catholic magazine with people on the ground in many countries. In this exclusive interview, we hear from our Oklahoma correspondent about the Satanic activity that’s been happening in Oklahoma City. (Editor’s Note: This article contains graphic descriptions and illustrations which are not suitable for children. Read more on the spread of … Read more

A Catholic Caught Between Jihad and the Agenda

On the July 26 anniversary, Requiescat in pace, Pere Jacques Hamel

By Beverly Stevens, REGINA editor, July 27, 2016

Image: Patrick Cross and Catholicvote.org

ISIS has made its intentions clear: “the Christian community… “will not have safety, even in your dreams, until you embrace Islam. We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women….”  

It happened yesterday, but it could have been the 700’s. Yesterday, Pere Jacques Hamel, an octogenarian pinch-hitting for a vacationing parish priest in Normandy’s beautiful city of Rouen, was forced to kneel before the altar where he was saying Mass, and martyred.

Only a couple of old nuns and two parishioners were present to see this gentle servant of God beheaded by blood-stained jihadis. Two hundred years of aggressive secularism has had its effect. France today is a proudly secular state run almost exclusively by leftists; few French people attend Mass outside of the traditionalist Catholic community, which is astonishingly large and strong, though a secret outside of France.

This martyrdom is of course only the latest in a series of Islamist outrages that almost now daily attack the civilized world. In 2015, France endured more than 800 attacks on Christian places of worship and cemeteries – most unreported.

It is a dismal, infuriating pattern: early reports surface on the internet, filmed by someone with a smartphone. The mainstream media scrambles to report on what almost everyone on Facebook already knows.

Then, the disinformation begins. No one knows for certain who wielded the guns, the knives, or the bombs which eviscerate the innocent. The police do not jump to conclusions. The rumour mill starts to grind. Not Islamists, no. Possibly right-wingers, dressed in hobnailed boots? Or frustrated homosexuals, with ‘identity issues’? How about deranged ‘haters’ unaccountably set on the mass murder of strangers?

Finally, someone locates the Youtube or the Facebook Page where the now-deceased Jihadis openly boast of their murderous intentions. Most news outlets, mysteriously, do not give these revelations much play, preferring to focus instead on inane starlets attacking political candidates, or football, or kitten videos — indeed anything but the threat that is daily thrusting its long snout into the breathing space of just about everyone on the planet.

Why is this? Allahu Akbar does not fit the Narrative. In the view presented by the mainstream media across the West, almost without exception, we are governed by good, decent men and women who only want to promote global trade and peaceful relations. In a word, ‘Coexist’. These powerful men and women are just like us, the governed. They have children, even grandchildren. They live modest, decent lives. They are ‘public servants.’ They are against ‘hate’ and ‘judging’ we are solemnly assured, until of course Wikileaks reveals otherwise.

Most people are too busy to focus on this. We all want to believe that all is basically well, that these events are tragic anomalies, that everything is under control. When the furor dies down, we will all go back to our lives. As a Catholic, I will go back to my rosary and my Mass. I will ‘coexist’ of course, what choice do I have?

That the West’s political elites know this–and bank on it as the source of their power–is clear.  Politics as usual goes on in service of this agenda.  Payments are made into bank accounts.  Police in America will be targeted and executed by thugs paid out of slush funds.  Less spectacular attacks on women with children in the streets of Frankfurt or Paris or Peoria will go unreported.  School curricula will be changed to reflect the new world order.  Anyone questioning this will be ostracized, placed on ‘extremist’ list.  Public toilets will be gender -neutral. Children will be trafficked for the tastes of those who can pay for it.  Victims be damned.

Meanwhile, in the political arena, gargantuan egos collide,  seemingly impervious to the fact that the ‘little people’ now have a window into their world, far beyond what we used to see in their apparently-controlled media.

Today, the little people see the corruption, the double-dealing, the selling of favors, the gambling with our children’s lives. We understand that the mainstream media is also for sale. But most frighteningly of all, we see that our Western leaders are fiddling while Rome burns.

I think I speak for many millions when I say that I do not want the dystopian future all this portends. I do not want to live sandwiched between two forms of dhimmitude: Koran or Agenda-driven.

I think we can all take a healthy lesson from the experience of David Cameron, the once-powerful UK Prime Minister who by fiat imposed gay ‘marriage’ on that nation, and who was ignominiously swept aside by a tidal wave called ‘Brexit’ just a few short weeks ago.

It’s high time the little people of the world take a lesson from the little people of England. There is good precedent for this. Once upon a time in 1215 AD, a group of English Catholic nobles imposed something called the “Magna Carta” on a tyrannical king with an agenda, the beginning of ‘power to the people’.

While we still have any power at all, who do we elect to lead us in these dark and troubling times? Here’s a clue: whatever country you are in, ask yourself who the media hates, and then ask yourself why. Is it because they are such high-minded shamans, with a global view that is far superior to us mere mortals? Or is it for other, more pragmatic reasons?

I will say it in the ancient Roman Catholic language that those old nobles wrote their ‘Great Charter’ in 900 years ago: Requiescat in pace, pere Jacques Hamel. Ora pro nobis.

 

Raising Men to the Altar In Denton, Nebraska

By Donna Sue Berry

Located in rural Denton, Nebraska, Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary is the Fraternity of St. Peter’s international house of formation for English-speakers.  Young men from all over the world have been formed for the priesthood in the seminary’s intensive seven year program.

 

 

Established in 1988 by Pope Saint John Paul II, the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right which focuses on the sanctification of priests through the worthy celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  The Fraternity instructs and trains its priests to preserve, promote, and protect the Church’s authentic liturgical and spiritual traditions worldwide. It now has over 235 priests and 140 seminarians studying in its two international seminaries in Bavaria and Denton, Nebraska. In this candid and engaging interview with REGINA’s Donna Sue Berry, Fr Joseph Lee ‘opens the door’ to his seminary in Nebraska.

REGINA: Father Lee, what is the Fraternity’s idea of a great seminary?

FATHER LEE: Every good Catholic seminary is a house of discernment and formation for the Priesthood.  Since the vast majority of seminarians at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary are studying for the Fraternity, our formation program takes on a slightly different character or flavor flowing from the purpose of the Fraternity itself.  As our Constitutions state “the object of the Fraternity of Saint Peter is the sanctification of priests through the exercise of the priesthood, and in particular, to turn the life of the priest toward that which is essentially his raison d’être, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, with all that it signifies.  All that flows from it, all that goes with it.”  

This specific objective requires and demands a specific means to accomplish it.  Intellectual, psychological, social even physical elements in our formation will be colored the light and love and grace which the Sacrifice of the Mass offers us.  This will hopefully permeate the spiritual air they will daily breathe in as future priests, whether they are rushing to anoint a dying person at the hospital, teaching an evening parish class or playing soccer with their youth group.

 

Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary attracts seminarians from countries around the world, including Hong Kong, Australia, England and Nigeria. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz -shown here during the Consecration Mass of the chapel – invited the Fraternity into the Diocese of Lincoln to construct the seminary in 1998.

Take for example the area of music.  Music, the most subtle and immaterial of all the arts, is also the most powerful and therefore most closely approaches the liturgy in creating a conducive atmosphere.  Every seminarian takes a mandatory 16 credits of music throughout our seven year program, not including meeting twice a week to practice specific pieces.  Some seminarians will join one of three scholas for sung Masses held twice a week and may also participate in the polyphonic choir.

REGINA: Wow, that’s a lot of musical training!

FATHER LEE: It’s imperative that they learn the nature of music, recognize its fundamental elements and its effects on the passions.  The seminarians listen, appreciate and understand for themselves how various masters have utilized and stressed different elements of music through history.  Upon this natural foundation, they learn to read, sing and conduct Gregorian Chant, the Church’s very own music to suitably adorn its timeless Liturgy.

From the angle of being a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter are to live in community.  Life in common in the daily grind can be understandably challenging on the natural level, taking into account different personalities and interests.  However, when a Fraternity priest remembers that he is indeed his brother’s keeper and does his best to take care of him, the parish will reap the spiritual benefits this unified sacrificial charity produces.  This fundamental thought and desire begins in the seminary.

 

REGINA: Tell us about the seminary’s focus on theological studies.

FATHER LEE: The writings and thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, the universal Doctor of the Church, forms the backbone of our theological program.  With the words of Pope Leo XIII, we tell our seminarians “Ite ad Thomam” (Go to Thomas).

Practically, every single Pope after St. Thomas Aquinas’s death in 1274 has recommended him as an intellectual guide.  We want our seminarians and priests to be able to read like St. Thomas, write like St. Thomas, think like St. Thomas.  Over the centuries, the Church has experienced that when its seminarians study St. Thomas, they advance on a sure, safe and direct route as future teachers of Scripture and Tradition.

 

BISHOP CONLEY OF LINCOLN VISITS DENTON: Those acquainted with St. Thomas with his academic method will remark how self-effacing while being very respectful and even gentle with those he disagrees with while never compromising a single premise in his faithful commitment to the Truth.  Just as the Israelites took the gold and silver and even raiment of the Egyptians and found them useful to build and beautify the Ark, so St. Thomas takes the best and precious achievements that human literature and philosophy have to offer, elevates them and transforms them to a higher use, namely, service of Theology, the queen of all sciences.

ON CATHOLIC THEOLOGY: We are not Protestants.  The Church values the goods of nature.  The Church values secondary causes.  Grace is clearly above nature, but in God’s Providence, builds upon it.  St. Thomas takes this very healthy and balanced and holistic approach in his study of God.

We try to impress upon the seminarians that theology is much more than something apologetical in nature, wherewith our seminarians are able to crush their opponents with valid and logical arguments.  We want our seminarians to join St. Thomas to simply enjoy theology, just because it is a good thing to do.  Hopefully, they will pass this love of theology on to their students.  We want the seminarians to wonder how God is outside of time and space, how one angel teaches another angel, how Our Lady possessed more grace than all the angels and saints together in her Immaculate Conception.  Thus, even in this life, we see what joys contemplation can bring, which in turn, provides a distant glimpse of life in heaven.

Unfortunately, one is unable to really appreciate and really understand St. Thomas unless he really dives into and appreciates the works of Aristotle, or as St. Thomas refers to him, “The Philosopher”.  This demands a difficult and virile discipline.  The passions of the seminarian have to be ordered in addition to the faculties of his soul, the imagination and memory.

 

REGINA: Is this a problem for young men?

FATHER LEE: This is often quite arduous for the young man entering the seminary, whose mental powers are dormant and suffer atrophy, due to the over reliance our culture places on technology.  For impoverished minds filled with a diet of often shallow knowledge of passing things, it is difficult to digest more nourishing and substantial topics such as the nature of motion since the appetitive and cognitive powers are used to intellectual fast food.

 

Whether it’s during the year or on vacations, our seminarians have various opportunities for pastoral experience, whether they participate in various summer camps, altar boy trainings, youth Groups and adult education classes in a parish.  The ideal priest is omnia omnibus (all things to all men).  He can make the elderly lady in the church feel comfortable.  His talk is relevant to the young working professional attending a young adult event.  The little children easily approach him and like to play a game with him.  The seminarian should be placed in situations to prepare him for all of these situations.

 

REGINA: Besides the studies of philosophy and theology, what can you tell us about the spiritual preparation of the seminarians?

FATHER LEE: Well, keeping the Fraternity’s purpose in mind, since the primary source of sanctification for every priest of the Fraternity is the Mass, the same principle holds true for its future priests.  It is our duty to permit Our Lord to transform us when He comes to us in the Mass.  As St. Thomas reminds us, grace builds on nature.  The Mass is our most lofty teacher, the best practical and concrete expression of both Scripture and Tradition that our religion offers to man to experience.  We try to prepare our seminarians for worthy celebration of the Mass, the apex of liturgy, the public prayer of the whole church, in the name of the whole church, by one officially deputed. 

We attempt to impress upon the seminarians in the first year the nature of prayer, its mental and vocal aspects, conditions which facilitate prayer or obstacles that arise.  The idea is that private prayers, such as meditation, order a man, his exterior senses and interior powers of his soul and prepare him to better participate in the Liturgy. It’s possible that nature places obstacles to the flow of grace that Our Lord makes available to us.  It’s imperative that with St. Francis of Assisi, we reign in ‘Brother Ass,’ as St. Francis called his body suffering from original sin.  Thus, a healthy sense of the need for personal penance is taught.

 

Considering the title of your publication, you will be happy to hear that every year, Father William Lawrence, who specially has charge over the First Year Seminarians, promotes St. Louis De Montfort’s Total Consecration to Our Lady.  Much more could be said about his method and the spiritual benefits but very briefly, it’s important that each seminarian remember that better than anyone else, Our Lady prepares us for Our Lord and the Rosary prepares us for the Mass.

REGINA: Are you seeing an increase in interest from Priests who want to learn the Extraordinary Form of the Mass?

FATHER LEE: Actually, we have.   It’s quite edifying to meet these priests, usually quite busy pastors, who make so many sacrifices to learn the Mass.   We believe that it has been the experience of many a priest that learning and celebrating the Extraordinary Form serves as a revitalizing and enriching element in their priesthood.  Thus, after they themselves have been so spiritually nourished, they in turn are more capable and generous in tending to their own flocks.  The training is quite exhausting for both the good priests who come to us and for ourselves, but it is quite rewarding.  We are pleased that we can be of service to the whole Church in handing on this wonderful gift of the Mass.

REGINA: Can you tell us about their training?

FATHER LEE: Since the summer of 2007, the Fraternity has been holding five day intensive workshops for priests who desire to celebrate the Extraordinary Form.    The seminary priests and deacons very much enjoy this opportunity to hand this wonderful gift which Pope Benedict XVI made more accessible for the whole Church.  Following the mind of St. Thomas, during prayer, there are three objects of our attention.  The first would be the first the words and actions of the prayer.  The second would be the meaning of those words and actions.  The third object you can pay attention to in prayer is God.  One comes before two and two leads to three.  With the time constraint of five days, we mainly focus on point one.  We tell the priests that during the five days, we are trying to squeeze seven years of formation into five days.  Repetitio est mater studiorum (Repetition is the mother of learning)!  It’s been estimated that approximately 80% of the priests who have attended our Priest Training Program are celebrating the Latin Mass on a regular basis.  

 

“I personally like to see a sense of humor.  Being able to laugh has long been a manifestation of rational activity, even by the ancient Greeks.  Laughter at one’s self could be a sign of humility and not just humiliation, which the seminary easily and amply provides free of charge. The seminary can be a difficult seven years, making many costly demands on our fallen human nature.  Our Lord wants every seminarian and priest to give and not simply to give, but to give cheerfully.  Fortunately, our Good Lord is never outdone in generosity.”

REGINA: What does the seminary look for in a candidate?

Traditionally, the elements of a priestly vocation are determined by examining a young man’s intellectual ability, moral virtue and attachment to the Priesthood. Personally, I look for common sense, maturity and a sense of humor.

REGINA: Why those three qualities?

FATHER LEE: There are a lot of things the seminary formation program can teach and offer whether it’s conducting a piece of Gregorian Chant, proving the immateriality of the soul or applying some obscure norms in the Code of Canon Law.  Common sense is incredibly difficult, if not entirely impossible, to teach.

REGINA: True.

FATHER LEE: Immaturity is one of those things that’s difficult to define but easy to point out.  Those who are immature grasp universal principles but the application of those universal principles in a particular situation does not happen due to problems with either the cognitive or appetitive powers.  Imagine a teenager who knows he needs to get to work on time but repeatedly sleeps in due to late night partying.  He knows he needs to get to work.  He knows he needs to get out of bed.  However, time and time again, he shows up late for work until he is eventually fired.  

Regarding more serious life decisions such as marriage, the median age for marriage for men was 22.  In 2011, it was 28.  It’s taking longer and longer for young men to stabilize and decide on the natural level.  A candidate to the seminary will suffer from this culture as he enters the seminary.  

 

REGINA: What would you advise a young man wishing to join to do?

FATHER LEE: Visit fsspolgs.org.  Get a spiritual director and pray – especially Our Lady’s Rosary!





 

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