Thursday, July 27, 2017

Catholic T-Shirt Club

I mentioned last April that our boys have been preparing to receive the sacrament of confirmation and that one of their confirmation gifts is a subscription to the Catholic T-Shirt Club. Due to their grandfather's aggressive cancer at the end of May, just before he passed away at the beginning of June, they ended up missing their Confirmation Mass on May 26th. Instead we will be traveling north this September and they will will finally get confirmed! At least that's the plan... In the meantime they are still enjoying their monthly box from Catholic T-Shirt Club! The box for July arrived yesterday and featured St. Teresa of Calcutta.

"Intense love does not measure. It just gives."
- St. Teresa of Calcutta


The boys have been sharing a subscription to the Bishop Box that comes with some sacramentals each month in addition to the t-shirt! Ranger claimed the first t-shirt they received, the second (pictured above on the right) they decided to save to give to their sister for her 14th birthday next month, Captain claimed the third (St. Padre Pio), and this month's went to Ranger again. I absolutely love the quote on this month's t-shirt. I wonder which saint will be featured next!? 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Flowering Rod of Jesse Cake

"Saint Anne has two colors, red and green, one for love, the other for rebirth, as she bore the New Eve, Mary..."

Today my little star bakers, after watching another episode of The Great British Baking Show, created a "Flowering Rod of Jesse" (an ancient title connected to Our Lady as well as St. Anne) cake for today's feast! I somehow managed to take pictures while holding and bouncing this incredibly colicky baby of ours before she finally fell asleep for a few minutes. ♥


Saint Anne and the Child Mary by Sleightholm Folk Art

O models of pious and virtuous married persons, St. Joachim and St. Anne! Through the wondrous blessing with which God rejoiced you when He chose you as the parents of the ever blessed Virgin, the mother of our Savior, obtain for us, we beseech you, the grace to desire nothing but virtue and piety; that, in fidelity and love, we may share each other's joys and sorrows, and together with our children lead such a life as to insure our entrance into the kingdom of heaven! Amen.

Happy Feast of Sts. Joachim & Anne!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

On the Feast of St. James

One of the girls baked dessert for today's feast of St. James! 🐚 {Recipe at Catholic Cuisine}
Saint James the Greater from Catholic Folk ToysSaints: A Year in Faith and Art

O glorious Apostle, St. James, who by reason of thy fervent and generous heart wast chosen by Jesus to be a witness of His glory on Mount Tabor, and of His agony in Gethsemane; Thou, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory: obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life, that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus, we may be victors in the strife and deserve to receive the victor's crown in heaven. Amen.

St. James the Greater, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Blessing from His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke

Defender of the Faith and the Family
Just look at that smile!

Along with his blessing, this holy man of God also gave our baby a 2nd class relic of St. John Paul II!

Pontifical Mass of the Diocesan Bishop

Last night my husband and I were blessed to be able to attend the opening Mass of the Sacred Liturgy Conference. It was the Mass of St. Peter, Apostle (Ordinary Form, Votive Mass) celebrated by our Most Reverend Archbishop Alexander Sample.  It brought tears to my eyes to see our two oldest sons and one of our godsons up on the altar (in the church where my husband and I were married) with His Eminence Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Sample and Bishop Vasa!

We were sitting up near the front, behind the first few pews that were filled with all the priests and seminarians, but I was able to take a few pictures when I took the baby to the back. My husband took some more following communion. The boys will have the honor of getting to serve again on Friday for the Pontifical Solemn Mass at the Throne: Mass of St Bonaventure, Bishop (Extraordinary Form, Class III) which will be celebrated by His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke. We are so incredibly blessed to have this holy Cardinal with us here in Oregon, all the way from Rome, for a few days!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

On the Feast of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin

"Mrs. Martin loved her darling Therese as much as she could. Mr. Martin loved his sweet little girl as much as he could. He called her his Little Queen. And Baby Therese loved her mother and father as much as ever she could..." ~ Excerpt from Catholic Children's Treasure Box: Book 1

Sts. Louis, Therese, and Zelie - Handpainted by Catholic Folk Toys

"As little birds learn to sing by listening to their parents, so children learn the science of virtues, the sublime song of Divine Love, from souls responsible for forming them." ~ St. Therese

Watchmaker Cake with Cameo in Lace Candy

Saints Louis & Zélie Martin, ora pro nobis!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Churching of Women

Churching is the woman's way of giving thanksgiving to God for the birth of her child, and predisposes her, through the priestly blessing that is a part of the ritual, to receive the graces necessary to raise her child in a manner pleasing to God.

Following the baby's Baptism and just before Mass began, I received the Churching of Women.
(You can read more about Churching of Women here.)
 I've now received this blessing from all three of my husband's brothers!

Photo credit: Marc at AV Creations

The Ritual
(English Translation)

The woman will make arrangements with her priest (ideally, the priest should know the women of his parish and make the offer to her). At the appointed time, she will kneel in the Narthex, holding a lighted candle. The priest, wearing a white stole, will bless her with holy water, and say:

V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
R. Who made Heaven and Earth.
ANT. She shall receive.

Psalm 23 1

The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; the world, and all they that dwell therein. For He hath founded it upon the seas; and hath prepared it upon the rivers. Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord: or who shall stand in His holy place? The innocent in hands and clean of heart, who hath not taken his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbor. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and mercy from God his Savior. This is the generation of them that seek Him, of them that seek the face of the God of Jacob. Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of glory shall enter in. Who is this King of glory? the Lord Who is strong and mighty: the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of glory shall enter in. Who is this King of glory? the Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.

Glory be to the Father.

ANT. She shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and mercy from God her Savior: for this is the generation of them that seek the Lord.

The priest places the end of his stole in the woman's hand and leads her into the church while saying:

Enter into the temple of God, adore the Son of the blessed Virgin Mary, who gave you fruitfullness of offspring.

Outside the sanctuary, the mother kneels before the Altar and prays, thanking God for her child.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. (Now the Our Father is said silently)

V. And lead us not into temptation.
R. But deliver us from evil.
V. Save your handmaid, Lord.
R. Who hopes in Thee, my God.
V. Send her help, Lord, from the sanctuary.
R. And defend her out of Sion.
V. Let not the enemy prevail against her.
R. Nor the son of iniquity approach to hurt her.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come to Thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
V. Let us pray.

Almighty, everlasting God, through the delivery of the blessed Virgin Mary, Thou hast turned into joy the pains of the faithful in childbirth; look mercifully upon this Thy handmaid, coming in gladness to Thy temple to offer up her thanks: and grant that after this life, by the merits and intercession of the same blessed Mary, she may merit to arrive, together with her offspring, at the joys of everlasting happiness. Through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

The priest sprinkles the mother with holy water in the shape of a Cross. 

The peace and blessing of God almighty, the Father + and the Son and the Holy Spirit, descend upon you and remain forever.

R. Amen.

One of my favorite moments was following the Churching, at the end of the dedication to Our Lady, when Father took the baby out of my arms, carried her over to the statue of Our Lady, knelt down and chanted Salve Regina ♥

+   +   +

Offering of a Child to God after Baptism
(from my Mother Love prayerbook) 

Behold, Heavenly Father, this precious gift of Thy goodness, my dearly beloved child, whom even before its birth I already offered to Thee! By holy baptism, Thou hast raised it to the state of grace, hast regenerated it, and made it Thine own child. I give and dedicate it anew to Thee. With all my heart, I devote it to Thy service, Thy love, and Thy good pleasure. Would that I could offer and consecrate it to Thee with a heart as sincere, as pious, and devout as was that of Elizabeth when she offered St. John to Thee, as was that of Anne when she consecrated to Thee her immaculate child, as was that of Mary when she sacrificed to Thee her only, her Divine Son!

Take, O Father of Jesus Christ, this child for Thine own! Possess it as Thy own property. Keep it safe under Thy constant protection from every grievous sin, and grant that it may never fall from the state of grace in which Thou hast placed it. May it carry the snowy garment of baptismal innocence, adorned with which it now lies before me, to Thy Judgement-seat, where it will have to render an account of its earthly pilgrimage.

Gladly do I accept all the care and trouble which its support, its protection, and its education will bring along. All that Thou wilt require of me on its account, I shall willingly bear, through love of Thee and of it. Grant me only Thy grace, for without that I can do nothing toward advancing its true welfare. Stand ever at our side with Thy paternal love, that I may gain for myself the reward of a good mother, and that this Thy beloved child, may, like its Divine Model, increase in wisdom and in grace, as in years, before Thee and all good men! Amen.

The rest of her baptism pictures and uncle's visit can be found here:

Baptismal Grace

This past Tuesday, on Independence Day, our little "Grace" was baptized!  Her uncle flew all the way across the country to baptize her for us. He also offered a Latin Mass following her baptism.  It was such a beautiful day filled with blessings!

A special thank you to our dear Archbishop Sample, for giving our oldest son a dispensation from the requirement of being confirmed in order to serve as his baby sister's godparent at baptism!

Ever since our oldest son asked me if I was pregnant (before I had even considered the possibility) and I found out that I was, I had wanted to have him as the baby's Godfather! I have always loved being the Godmother to my youngest brother, who my mom delivered when she was my age/39. After requesting the sacrament of confirmation for the past few years, our older boys finally completed the year of required classes/preparation and retreats (driving an hour each way and scheduling make up classes when it conflicted with their hockey and golf schedules) and were to be confirmed at the end of May. With the baby due in June it was perfect timing, but my husband and our oldest son were needed in Arizona and couldn't get back home in time. We will have a trip to make, but our boys will now be confirmed by our Archbishop in the Extraordinary Form this fall!

Thank you also to our friend Marc at AV Creations for taking all these photos of the baptism for us! I shared some more pictures here and here.

The Rite of Baptism
Part I: Outside the Church

The priest (wearing a violet stole), sponsors, and the catechumen stand in the narthex of the church, symbolizing that at this point, the candidate is not a member of the Church.

.: The Questioning :.

Priest: N., what do you ask of the Church of God?
Sponsor/Catechumen: Faith.
Priest: What does Faith offer you?
Sponsor/Catechumen: Life everlasting.
Priest: If then you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments. ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.'

.: The Exsufflation :.
The priest then breathes 3 times on the candidate in the form of a Cross, recalling the Spirit (breath, wind, "ruach") of God.

Priest: Go forth from her, unclean spirit, and give place to the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.

.: The Sign of the Cross :.
The priest now makes the Sign of the Cross with his thumb on the candidate's forehead and breast.

Priest: Receive the Sign of the Cross both upon your forehead + and also upon your heart +; take to you the faith of the heavenly precepts; and so order your life as to be, from henceforth, the temple of God.
Priest: Let us pray: Mercifully hear our prayers, we beseech Thee, O Lord; and by Thy perpetual assistance keep this Thine elect, N., signed with the sign of the Lord's cross, so that, preserving this first experience of the greatness of Thy glory, he may deserve, by keeping Thy commandments, to attain to the glory of regeneration. Through Christ our Lord.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen.

.: The Imposition of Hands :. 

The priest places his hands on the candidate's head.

Priest: Let us pray: Almighty, everlasting God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, look graciously down upon this Thy servant, N., whom Thou hast graciously called unto the beginnings of the faith; drive out from him all blindness of heart; break all the toils of Satan wherewith he was held: open unto him, O Lord, the gate of Thy loving kindness, that, being impressed with the sign of Thy wisdom, he may be free from the foulness of all wicked desires, and in the sweet odor of Thy precepts may joyfully serve Thee in Thy Church, and grow in grace from day to day. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Priest: Through the same Christ our Lord.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen

.: The Imposition of Salt :.

Now the priest puts a little blessed salt in the candidate's mouth. Salt is the symbol of that wisdom which gives a relish for the sweetness of divine nourishment; preserves, by the teaching of the Gospel, from the corruption of sin, and prevents evil passions from growing in men's souls. Adult catechumens might be signed on the brow, ears, eyes, nostrils, mouth, breast, and between the shoulders before the imposition of salt. If this procedure is followed, afterwards the candidate will kneel, recite the Our Father several times, and a Cross is made on his forehead, first by the sponsor and then by the priest.

Priest: N., Receive the salt of wisdom; let it be to thee a token of mercy unto everlasting life. May it make your way easy to eternal life.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen.
Priest: Peace be with you.
Sponsor/Catechumen: And with your spirit.
Priest: Let us pray: O God of our fathers, O God the Author of all truth, vouchsafe, we humbly beseech Thee, to look graciously down upon this Thy servant, N., and as he tastes this first nutriment of salt, suffer him no longer to hunger for want of heavenly food, to the end that he may be always fervent in spirit, rejoicing in hope, always serving Thy name. Lead him O Lord, we beseech Thee, to the laver of the new regeneration, that, together with Thy faithful, he may deserve to attain the everlasting rewards of Thy promises. Through Christ our Lord.
Priest: Through the same Christ our Lord.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen

Part II: Admission into the Church Building

.: The Exorcism :.
The priest makes the Sign of the Cross over the candidate three times and says:

Priest: I exorcise thee, unclean spirit, in the name of the Father + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Ghost, that thou goest out and depart from this servant of God, N., For He commands Thee, accursed one, Who walked upon the sea, and stretched out His right hand to Peter about to sink. Therefore, accursed devil, acknowledge thy sentence, and give honor to the living and true God: give honor to Jesus Christ His Son, and to the Holy Spirit; and depart from this servant of God, N., because God and our Lord Jesus Christ hath vouchsafed to call him to His holy grace and benediction and to the font of Baptism.

.: The Sign of the Cross :.
The priest again makes the Sign of the Cross on the candidate's forehead.

Priest: And this sign of the holy Cross, which we make upon her forehead, do thou, accursed devil, never dare to violate.
Priest: Through the same Christ our Lord.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen

.: The Imposition of Hands :.
For the final time, the priest lays his hand on the candidate's head.

Priest: Let us pray: O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, Author of light and truth, I implore Thine everlasting and most just goodness upon this Thy servant N., that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to enlighten him with the light of Thy wisdom: cleanse him and sanctify him, give unto him true knowledge; that, being made worthy of the grace of Thy Baptism, he may hold firm hope, right counsel and holy doctrine.
Priest:Through Christ our Lord.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen.

.: Admission into the Church Building :.

The priest lays the end of his stole on the candidate as a symbol of his priestly authority, and admits him into the church building, which is the symbol of the Church of Christ. If the catechumen is an adult and was anointed in Part I above, he may be asked to lie prostrate before the Altar in adoration of Christ before this next step.

Priest: N., enter thou into the temple of God, that thou mayest have part with Christ unto life everlasting.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen.

.: The Credo and Pater :.

Sponsor/Catechumen: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. He descended into Hell. On the third day, He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence shall He come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Sponsor/Catechumen: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation: but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Part III: In the Nave of the Church

.: The Solemn Exorcism :.
Priest: I exorcise thee, every unclean spirit, in the name of God the Father + Almighty, in the name of Jesus + Christ, His Son, our Lord and Judge, and in the power of the Holy + Spirit, that thou be depart from this creature of God N, which our Lord hath deigned to call unto His holy temple, that it may be made the temple of the living God, and that the Holy Spirit may dwell therein. Through the same Christ our Lord, who shall come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.

.: The Ephpheta :.
The priest takes a little spittle and touches the ears and nostrils of the candidate with it. For health reasons, the use of spittle may be omitted. This rite comes from Mark 7:33-35, when Jesus healed the deaf-mute: "And taking him from the multitude apart, he put his fingers into his ears: and spitting, he touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he groaned and said to him: Ephpheta, which is, Be thou opened. And immediately his ears were opened and the string of his tongue was loosed and he spoke right."

Priest: Ephpheta, that is to say, Be opened, for an odour of sweetness. Be thou, devil, begone; for the judgement of God shall draw near.

.: The Renunciation of Satan :.

Priest: Do you renounce Satan?
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do renounce him.
Priest: And all of his works?
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do renounce him.
Priest: And all his pomps?
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do renounce him.

.: The Anointing :.
The priest annoints the candidate with the oil of catechumens on the heart and between the shoulders in the form of a Cross, saying:

Priest: I annoint you + with the oil of salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord, that you may have everlasting life.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen.

Part IV: At the Font

The priest removes his violet stole and puts on a white one.

.: The Profession of Faith :.

Priest: N., do you believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth?
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do believe.
Priest: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, Who was born and Who suffered?
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do believe.
Priest: Do you believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting?
Sponsor/Catechumen: I do believe.

.: Baptism (Matter and Form of the Sacrament) :.
If the one to be baptized is a baby, the godparents (or proxies) take him to the font (the godmother holds him in her arms, the godfather touches the baby's shoulder with his right hand); if he is an adult, the sponsor puts his right hand on the shoulder of the one to be baptized.

Priest: N., will you be baptized?
Sponsor/Catechumen: I will.

The priest pours water over the head of the candidate three times, once after each mention of the Divine Persons. The water he uses will have been consecrated during the Easter Vigil or on the Eve of the Pentecost. As he pours the water, the priest says these words (or the words of a conditional Baptism):

Priest: I baptize you in the name of the Father + and of the Son + and of the Holy + Ghost.

.: The Annointing with Chrism :.

Priest: May the Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath regenerated thee by water and the Holy Ghost, and who hath given thee the remission of all thy sins, may He Himself + anoint thee with the Chrism of Salvation, in the same Christ Jesus our Lord, unto life eternal.
Sponsor/Catechumen: Amen.
Priest: Peace be with you.
Sponsor/Catechumen: And with your spirit.

.: The White Linen Cloth :.
This priest takes a white linen cloth -- symbolizing the purity of a soul cleansed from all sin, and a relic of the days when the newly baptized wore white albs for 8 days -- and places it on the head of the candidate.

Priest: Receive this white garment, which mayest thou carry without stain before the judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, that thou mayest have life everlasting.

.: The Lighted Candle :.

The priest gives the candidate or the sponsor a lighted candle.

Priest: Receive this burning light, and keep thy Baptism so as to be without blame: keep the commandments of God, that when the Lord shall come to the nuptials, thou mayest meet Him together with all the Saints in the heavenly court, and mayest have eternal life and live for ever and ever.

.: Last Words of Good Will :.

Priest: N., go in peace and the Lord be with you. Amen.

Deo Gratias!