Sunday, September 16, 2018

What French priests neglected to preach as the church in France collapsed

"A Crisis of the Four Last Things" (New Oxford Notes, July-August 2018)

NOR readers will be familiar with the stark reality that much of Europe is no longer Christian. That goes, too, for the eldest daughter of the Church, France, which boasts hundreds of renowned Gothic churches visited by the thousands each week, most not for purposes of religion. Think Notre Dame in Paris, or the cathedrals in Chartres, Rheims, Amiens, Strasbourg, and Beauvais. The list goes on and on. If only these churches were still honest representatives of a Catholic culture in France. If only that culture were as strong as the flying buttresses of its sacred houses. Alas, each of these cathedrals at this point in its history is little more than a monument to times past, a sepulcher for a once-flourishing religion and way of life. It is instructive to note that only 1.7 percent of Catholics regularly attend Mass in France — and according to Guillaume Cuchet, a professor at the University of Paris-Est Créteil who specializes in contemporary Church history, “regularly” isn’t even defined as meeting the Sunday obligation; it merely means “at least once a month.” Thousands of old French churches are no longer active places of worship; priests often have the care of 20 to 30 parishes and only celebrate regional Masses each week — and even those are attended by few. When Catholics die in France, chances are slim that a priest will be around to bury them.

There is certainly no shortage of hypotheses for the causes of the demise of the Church — the disappearance of Christians and the decline of the traditional Catholic way of life — in France. Popular fingers point to the old French Revolution, the newer sexual revolution, and the increasing influence of scientism, moral relativism, and other personal philosophies of life that have eclipsed the idea that piety, tradition, and doctrine provide a natural compass for faith and morals.

Recently, French Orthodox writer Jean-Claude Larchet reviewed Cuchet’s new book, How Our World Stopped Being Christian: Anatomy of a Collapse (OrthoChristian.com, May 29), a penetrating look at the spectacular decline of Catholicism in France. Some — though likely not most NOR readers — might be surprised at what Cuchet identifies as the root cause of this decline. Catholicism itself, says he, bears the heaviest responsibility in the de-Christianization of France. And yep, he specifically identifies the Second Vatican Council as the primary catalyst of it all. The Council, writes Larchet in his review, “proposed to face the challenges of the modern world,” and yet it “did nothing but adapt itself to the latter; thinking to bring the world to its side, it ended up giving in to the world, and despite wanting to be heard in the secular sphere, Catholicism has instead become secularized.” In other words, the Church in France (and elsewhere, of course) became impotent by its own hand.

Though this assertion is hardly groundbreaking, Cuchet gets into specifics that are worthy of serious consideration. This rupture in the Church, which he traces back to 1965, the year the Council closed, can be identified with the liturgical reforms, yes, but more precisely with the changing attitudes toward sin occasioned by both the Council and its liturgical reforms. In the area of piety, the abandonment of Latin and the change toward the reception of Communion in the hand played an important role, but Cuchet focuses more on the promulgation of a religious relativism that, if not written straight up in the documents of Vatican II, was the result of willful misinterpretation or misapplication of these summary documents. The Council’s documents seem to have been designed to allow for liberal interpretations, the kind that led to the secularization of Catholicism throughout France — a secularization that happened almost overnight. “A whole series of ‘truths’ suddenly fell into oblivion,” writes Larchet, “as if the clergy themselves had ceased to believe in them or did not know what to say about them after having spoken of them for so long as something essential.” More importantly, writes Cuchet in his book, “the Council paved the way for what might be called ‘a collective exit from the obligatory practice on pain of mortal sin.’”

Cuchet traces almost all the official and unofficial conciliar reforms to two fundamental crises: the crisis of the Sacrament of Penance and the crisis of not preaching on the Last Things. According to Cuchet, the massive abandonment in just a few years of the practice of confession had a profound impact on Catholic attitudes toward sin, and toward life in general. In 1952 51 percent of French Catholics went to confession at least the obligatory once per year. By 1983 that was down to just 14 percent. The concept of a personal conscience, misunderstood as it universally was, led to most Catholics rationalizing away the sins they had committed. Not only that, says Cuchet, the French clergy allowed them to do so. They abandoned the practice of confession (that is, hearing confessions frequently) just as had the so-called faithful.

Cuchet, in fact, lays most of the blame at the feet of the French clergy. They failed, he says, in their duty to preach about sin, to preach properly on the work of a well-formed conscience, and to preach about the importance of confession and penance. Thus, the usefulness of confession became less obvious, as did the connection between confession and Holy Communion. In a word, Communion was trivialized and confession nearly non-existent.

Cuchet also claims that the French clergy stopped preaching about the Four Last Things — death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell — “as if they had stopped believing in it themselves.” French priests, he says, in effect “paved the way to Heaven.” They gave the distinct impression that the path was no longer narrow and steep, but was now a wide, well-travelled thoroughfare. In a sense, wonders Cuchet, doesn’t that essentially mean the end of salvation? If one does not believe in sin, why the need for salvation? If there’s no need for salvation, why bother with Jesus Christ? If we needn’t bother with Jesus the Savior, why go to Mass? Why belong to the Church? Why identify as Christian? The rhetorical answer to those questions leads back to the astounding statistic that only 1.7 percent of French Catholics attend Mass even once a month.

Though Cuchet doesn’t provide a way out of the decline explicitly (and that is not his purpose as a historian), one can easily see the implicit solution: a strong Church made up of vibrant, faithful clergy who are not afraid to preach on sin or the effects of sin, and who promote the myriad spiritual, physical, and communal advantages of being a practicing member of the Church.

The foregoing article, "A Crisis of the Four Last Things" was originally published in the July-August 2018 issue of the New Oxford Review and is reproduced here by kind permission of New Oxford Review, 1069 Kains Ave., Berkeley, CA 94706.

Why do you think Commonweal columnist Rita Ferrone wants Cardinal Sarah sacked?

"Off with His Head!" (New Oxford Notes, July-August 2018)



Rita Ferrone wants Robert Cardinal Sarah fired. Immediately. Pope Francis can’t afford to leave this man in his post as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments any longer. Why? Because, Ferrone says, Sarah “does not speak for the mainstream of the church.”

Ferrone calls for the cardinal’s head in a column for Commonweal (Mar. 23). And she doesn’t hold back. She accuses the Church’s top-most authority on matters liturgical of “either appalling ignorance of or an indifference to liturgical history.” She says he is guilty of “promoting distrust and resistance to the mainstream liturgical reform” of Vatican II. Sarah’s crime? He hasn’t shown sufficient enthusiasm for the modern practice of receiving Communion in the hand.

Ferrone’s dander was raised by a preface Sarah wrote to a new book by Fr. Federico Bortoli, an Italian priest, titled La Distribuzione della Comunione sulla Mano: Profili Storici, Giuridici e Pastorali (The Distribution of Communion in the Hand: A Historical, Juridical, and Pastoral Overview). Specifically, she takes exception to this passage:
[W]e can understand how the most insidious diabolical attack consists in trying to extinguish faith in the Eucharist, sowing errors and favoring an unsuitable manner of receiving it. Truly the war between Michael and his Angels on one side, and Lucifer on the other, continues in the heart of the faithful: Satan’s target is the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus in the consecrated host…. Why do we insist on communicating, standing, in the hand? Why this attitude of lack of submission to the signs of God?
Ferrone interprets Cardinal Sarah as claiming that those who take Communion in the hand while standing “are on the side of Lucifer in the great cosmic struggle of good against evil.” What chutzpah! And she rightly identifies this type of “extreme rhetoric” as one of the standard contentions of radical traditionalists of the SSPX variety.

Ferrone points out that most Catholics don’t “insist” on receiving Communion in this manner; doing so isn’t some sort of conscious act of rebellion against tradition. They’re doing what they’ve grown accustomed to doing, and what nearly everybody else in the Church is doing too and have done for the better part of their lives. You know, “when in Rome….”

Besides, the Church officially permits Communion in the hand. It “arose in apostolic times and endured for centuries,” Ferrone says. Sarah might prefer the “more recent historical practice” of receiving Communion on the tongue while kneeling, but the “venerable antiquity” of receiving in the hand while standing should “commend the practice to him as holy.” But no. Instead, Sarah “manages to slander Christians of the first millennium,” as well as those of the third.

Shame, shame, shame on Cardinal Sarah!

Whoa, hold on a minute. Before we join Commonweal’s kick-him-out chorus, let’s dig a little deeper.

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan


Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

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* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

Tridentine Community News - First Public Traditional Mass Held at Orchard Lake Seminary; September 29 Saturday Vigil Mass at Old St. Mary's To Be Special Tridentine High Mass; OCLMA Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form and Pontifical Low Mass on February 10, 2019 at Old St. Mary's; God Does Not Grade on a Curve; St. Patrick's Cathedral Music Director in Ann Arbor; Tridentine Masses This Coming Week


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (September 16, 2018):
September 16, 2018 – Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost

First Public Traditional Mass Held at Orchard Lake Seminary


The first public Traditional Mass to be held at Orchard Lake’s Ss. Cyril & Methodius Seminary in over 45 years took place last Saturday, September 8. At least five seminarians attended, and one chanted the Epistle. Fr. Louis Madey, who teaches a class on the Extraordinary Form there, hopes these will become regular occurrences, as the seminarians have been requesting them.

September 29 Saturday Vigil Mass at Old St. Mary’s To Be Special Tridentine High Mass


On Saturday, September 29, the 5:30 PM Vigil Mass at Old St. Mary’s Church in Detroit will be a special High Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The parish is allowing this substitution of their usual Ordinary Form Vigil Mass in conjunction with a Prayer Pilgrimages bus tour of historic Detroit churches that day. All are welcome to attend, even if you are not participating in the bus tour. For more information on the bus tour being held, visit www.prayerpilgrimages.com or call (248) 250-6005.

OCLMA Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form and Pontifical Low Mass on February 10, 2019 at Old St. Mary’s

On Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 10:00 AM, His Excellency Bishop Donald Hanchon will celebrate a Pontifical Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Old St. Mary’s Church. This will be the first Tridentine Mass to have been celebrated there on a Sunday in over 45 years. The Mass will take the place of the Novus Ordo Latin Mass that usually occupies that time slot.

After Mass, Bishop Hanchon will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form, primarily for the members of the Oakland County Latin Mass Association. However those who do not normally attend the OCLMA are welcome to receive Confirmation at this Mass as well. If you have a child or family member interested in receiving Confirmation, please speak with Msgr. Ronald Browne after a Sunday 9:45 AM Mass at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, or e-mail info@oclma.org.

February 10 happens to be one of the days on which the Academy needs their chapel for a school Mass, so it will be convenient for the entire OCLMA community to have a temporary home for the Latin Mass that day.

God Does Not Grade on a Curve

Back in the 1970s this writer was enrolled in a challenging high school honors chemistry class. One day the teacher gave the students a test that was so inscrutable, only one student – who consistently excelled in everything academic – was able to complete it. Every other student in the class, this writer included, stood up and told the teacher that the test was unrealistically difficult and unfair to us “normal” students. The teacher appreciated the students’ sincerity and threw out the test.

That old incident came to mind while contemplating the developments in the Church of the last several weeks. A declining set of standards for clergy and laity is behind so many of the problems we are witnessing, as though no human could be expected to live a chaste and moral existence.

Unlike in that long-ago chemistry class, however, we cannot expect God to lower His standards to accommodate our weaknesses. A sin is always a sin, even if the vast majority of humans commit it without repentance. We are called to live a virtuous existence, even if no one else appears to be up to the challenge. As faithful Catholics, we must avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Confession, along with indulgenced prayers and works, so that we can be in a continual state of readiness to have our lives judged by our Lord.

St. Patrick Cathedral Music Director in Ann Arbor

One of the highest profile music positions in the Church is the post of Director of Music at St. Patrick Cathedral in New York City. Longtime St. Patrick Music Director Dr. Jennifer Pascual will be venturing afield and giving a workshop for music & choir directors, organists, cantors, students, and all church musicians this Friday, September 21, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Ann Arbor. Details are available at: https://www.facebook.com/events/530980480669982/

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Tue. 09/18 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Joseph of Cupertino, Confessor)
  • Sat. 09/22 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Ember Saturday)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for September 16, 2018. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Tridentine Community News - First Detroit Solemn High Mass for the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit; Music From the Tower: Weekly Radio Show on Sacred Music; Tridentine Masses This Coming Week


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (September 9, 2018):
September 9, 2018 – Sixteenth Sunday After Pentecost

First Detroit Solemn High Mass for the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit

The December 17, 2017 edition of this column reported that Fr. Athanasius Fornwalt, FHS, had then celebrated his first (private) Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The Arizona-based Franciscans of the Holy Spirit send their seminarians to Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and Fr. Athanasius serves as their Post-Novitiate Director.

Our July 29, 2018 column reported that the same order’s transitional Deacon Peter Teresa McConnell, FHS, had served as Deacon for his first Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form this summer at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, alongside a celebrant also from his order.

On Friday, October 5 at 7:00 PM at Old St. Mary’s Church in Detroit, the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit will offer their first local Solemn High Mass. Fr. Athanasius will be the celebrant, Deacon Peter Teresa will be deacon, and Detroit diocesan seminarian Deacon John McKenzie will serve as subdeacon.

Interestingly, both the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit and the Companions of the Cross, whose seminarians also study at Sacred Heart Seminary, were founded as Charismatic communities. Now Fr. Athanasius and his counterpart at the Companions, Fr. Pierre Ingram, who also recently learned to celebrate the EF, have both stated that they intend to invite their respective seminarians to learn the Traditional Mass. Only a few years ago such a crossover would have been unimaginable, but as Fr. Athanasius predicts, “Tradismatics” will become a more common sight in the future.

Also of note, the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit have begun to celebrate most if not all of the Ordinary Form Masses ad oriéntem, both at their local base, the Greyfriar’s House of Studies at Most Holy Trinity Church in Detroit [pictured above], and at their mission church, St. John the Baptist in Laveen, Arizona. Pictured below is yet another ad oriéntem Mass they celebrated in August with Diocese of Orange, California Bishop Kevin Vann at Our Lady of Solitude Monastery in Tonopah, Arizona.

Music From the Tower: Weekly Radio Show on Sacred Music

Skepticism abounded in 2011 when the Diocese of Orange, California announced that they were purchasing Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral, a Protestant landmark, to become the diocese’s new Christ Cathedral. Slowly the cathedral has been transitioning to a more Catholic architectural layout.

One bright spot has been the establishment of a serious sacred music program in the cathedral parish, under the direction of John Romeri, the former Director of Music for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Traditional music is making its way into the repertoire of the choirs there, as can be seen on the parish’s extensive music web site, www.christcathedralmusic.org

Among other initiatives, Mr. Romeri has begun hosting “Music From the Tower”, a weekly program on sacred music, airing at 10:00 PM Sundays California time on KHJ 930 AM and KCEO 1000 AM. All past episodes are posted for listening at: http://christcathedralmusic.org/music-from-the-tower-radio-program/#music-from-the-tower-radio-program-1

While many if not most of the past episodes cover traditional material including Gregorian Chant, of particular interest to readers of this column is Episode #44, which aired on August 18, 2018. The guest was the rarely-interviewed Charles Cole, the famed director of the London Oratory’s children’s choirs.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Tue. 09/11 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (Ss. Protus & Hyacinth, Martyrs)
  • Sat. 09/15 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for September 9, 2018. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Tridentine Community News - Latin Masses Debut at San Quentin Prison; Ann Arbor Deacons Learn the Traditional Mass; Sacred Heart Seminary Side Altars Back in Use; Where to Learn about Local TLM Offerings; Tridentine Masses This Coming Week


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (August 26, 2018):
August 26, 2018 – Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Latin Masses to Debut at San Quentin Prison

Our June 24, 2018 column reported on the Traditional Masses being held as part of the Napa Institute, the Northern California conference series geared towards wealthy Catholics. In the same part of the country but at the opposite end of the societal spectrum, the Archdiocese of San Francisco is starting a Latin Mass ministry at San Quentin Prison.

The team from the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship – including San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone [see linked article]– gave a concert of sacred music as an introduction to the effort. Prisoners were invited to form a schola, and 25 inmates signed up. The first Tridentine Mass was scheduled for Saturday, August 25.

There is hunger for reverence in even the most unlikely of places, and the Church needs to be willing to serve all of its faithful, even those in the most dire of circumstances.

Ann Arbor Deacons Learn the Traditional Mass

Following up on our July 29, 2018 report of clergy in the Archdiocese of Detroit learning the Traditional Latin Mass, [Permanent] Deacons Tom Loewe and Warren Hecht of Ann Arbor’s St. Thomas the Apostle Parish recently called upon Extraordinary Faith’s training program to learn the Solemn High Mass. Associate Pastor Fr. Tony Smela, who already celebrates the Extraordinary Form, also participated to learn the Solemn High celebrant’s role. The team hopes to increase the available of those Masses at their parish.

Sacred Heart Seminary Side Altars Back in Use

Visitors to the main chapel at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary cannot help but notice the arcade of Side Altars lining the left and right walls. Obviously built for private Masses before Vatican II, they have sat barren for decades since. However, as we reported in our August 5, 2018 column, four [visiting priests] at the seminary [during the month of August] have become regular celebrants of the Traditional Mass.

Professor of Philosophy Dr. Phil Blosser has informed us that four of those altars are now left set up with candles and 1962 Missals for daily celebration of the Traditional Mass. Many including this author would never have imagined those historic altars would ever be used for their originally intended purposes again. What a delightful and encouraging sign of the times. [Note: since the visiting priests have now departed, the side altars have been returned to their previous state, although a number of resident priests continue to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass in private chapels in other parts of the seminary].

Where to Learn About Local TLM Offerings

Interested in knowing more about the Masses and events going on in the metro Detroit and Windsor Tridentine Mass scene? Here is a list of resources to consider:

The Tridentine Community News page at www.windsorlatinmass.org contains every TNews column written since their debut in 2006.

A weekly e-mail broadcast, usually sent out on Fridays, has the very latest news on upcoming Masses and special events in our area. Subscribe by sending a quick e-mail to info@detroitlatinmass.org

The Propers Handouts distributed at St. Benedict, the Oakland County Latin Mass Association, Old St. Mary’s, and elsewhere contain announcements of interest on the last page.

Facebook pages and web sites for the OCLMA, St. Benedict, St. Joseph Oratory, Old St. Mary’s, Assumption Grotto, Immaculate Conception Lapeer, Our Lady of the Scapular, St. Edward on the Lake, and most other local TLM sites are primary sources of information on the events taking place there. The OCLMA, Old St. Mary’s, St. Joseph, and St. Edward, among others, also maintain Twitter accounts.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Tue. 08/28 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Augustine, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor)
  • Sat. 09/01 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Saturday of Our Lady)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for August 26, 2018. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tridentine Community News - Fall talks at the OCLMA; St. Bonventure Monastery Chapel Reconstruction; Cathedral Choir Academy of Detroit; Tridentine Masses This Coming Week


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (September 2, 2018):
September 2, 2018 – Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Fall Talks at the OCLMA

The Oakland County Latin Mass Association will be resuming its series of talks at receptions following the 9:45 AM Sunday High Mass at the Academy of the Sacred Heart Chapel in Bloomfield Hills. Two talks have been scheduled thus far: Sunday, October 14: Dr. Phil Blosser, Professor of Philosophy at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary, will speak about Conscience. Dr. Blosser’s translation of an important text by German philosopher Hendrik G. Stoker, Conscience: Phenomena and Theories, was published earlier this year by the University of Notre Dame Press.

Sunday, December 16: Dr. Elizabeth Salas, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary and a member of the OCLMA, will present Theological Virtues of St. John of the Cross. The personal interests of Dr. Salas are personalism, the philosophical thought of St. John Paul II, mysticism, and ethics. Dr. Salas’s publications include Person and Gift According to Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, and with her husband, Victor Salas, Hervaeus Natalis and Dietrich von Hildebrand: the Roots of Realist Phenomenology in Scholasticism.

St. Bonaventure Monastery Chapel Reconstruction

The August 5, 2018 edition of this column reported that the St. Bonaventure Monastery Chapel at the Solanus Center had been reordered to a more traditional arrangement of High Altar, freestanding altar, nave, and organ in the choir loft. Little did we know that this was only the first stage of a planned restoration.

On August 22, the Solanus Center announced that their chapel will be closed until approximately December 1, 2018 for major reconstruction. “The renovations of the chapel will be historically inspired from the time Bl. Solanus was the porter of the monastery.” Encouraging words.

It’s worth reminding our readers that other branches of the Capuchins are rediscovering tradition. For example, the Capuchin-run National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi in San Francisco has become a regular site for Holy Masses in the Extraordinary Form, including one from our own Prayer Pilgrimages Bus Tour in 2017.

Cathedral Choir Academy of Detroit

A promising new initiative has been announced that is a first for metro Detroit: A new diocesan children’s choir to be based at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, to be called the Cathedral Choir Academy of Detroit. It will be led by Susan Lindquist, formerly the children’s choir director at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Plymouth, Michigan. From the Archdiocese’s announcement:
“The mission of Cathedral Choir Academy of Detroit is to provide an experience in which choristers encounter Christ through sacred music, grow in faith aspiring to musical excellence, and give witness to the Word Incarnate.

In residence at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, The Cathedral Choir Academy serves both urban and suburban youth of all faiths, grades 3 – 9. Committed to the belief that all children can learn to sing well, the program welcomes everyone.

With the primary goal of leading the sung worship at Mass, the program will foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of sacred music and its function in Catholic worship. Repertoire is inclusive of all styles and periods. With the implementation of a Kodaly curriculum, choristers will develop their vocal potential and learn to read and write music fluently. Striving for musical excellence and artistry in performance, the choirs also sing in concert throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Invited into affiliation with the Sistine Chapel Choir, the Cathedral Choir Academy of Detroit is a comprehensive after school choral music program offering two levels of instruction; the Cathedral Descant Choir and the Cathedral Children’s Choir. The Cathedral Descant Choir (CDC) is a training choir through which choristers learn the basic skills of choir membership and choral ensemble singing. No audition is required for the CDC.

The Cathedral Children’s Choir (CCC) is a treble ensemble striving for the highest level of artistry in performance and musicianship. While continuing to develop their vocal potential, choristers will learn more advanced music reading skills and sing two and three part treble music.”
It is unclear how traditional the repertoire of this choir is intended to be. Globally, the trend is for children’s choirs to learn Gregorian Chant and the more popular Latin pieces. More information is available at: http://cathedral.aod.org/music/choirs/cathedral-choir-academy-of-detroit/

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Tue. 09/04 7:00 PM: High Requiem Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (Daily Mass for the Dead)
  • Fri. 09/07 7:00 PM: High Mass at Old St. Mary’s (Votive Mass for the Unity of the Church) – Celebrant: Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz. The St. Benedict Choir will sing Missa Brevis by Palestrina. Reception after Mass.
  • Sat. 09/08 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
  • Sat. 09/08 9:00 AM: High Mass at Orchard Lake Seminary Shrine Chapel (Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary) – Celebrant: Fr. Louis Madey – Note different Mass time vs. earlier announcement
  • Sun. 09/09: No Mass at OCLMA/Academy of the Sacred Heart
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for September 2, 2018. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Monday, August 06, 2018

Tridentine Masses this coming week in metro Detroit and east Michigan


Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

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Monday


Tuesday


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Saturday


Sunday


* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

Tridentine Community News - Four priests at Sacred Heart Seminary celebrate the EF; Overwhelming parish Mass schedules - past and present; Solanus Center Chapel architectural reordering; TLMs this coming week


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (August 5, 2018):
August 5, 2018 – Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost

Four Priests at Sacred Heart Seminary Celebrate the EF

In a statistic unimaginable just a few years ago, Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary now has four priests on staff who celebrate the Extraordinary Form:
1. Fr. Cy Whitaker, Spiritual Director
2. Fr. Clint McDonell, Assistant Professor of Theology
3. Fr. Pierre Ingram, Assistant Professor of Theology and Formation Director for the Companions of the Cross
4. Fr. Pieter van Rooyen, Assistant Professor of Theology
Perhaps one day those Side Altars in the seminary chapel will once again be used for their original purpose of hosting the Traditional Mass.

Overwhelming Parish Mass Schedules – Past & Present

If you were to take a look at the breathtaking liturgical schedules from the past, from London’s Westminster Cathedral and Manhattan’s St. Francis of Assisi, you would see that they had nearly non-stop Masses. One of the reasons this pace was more prevalent before Vatican II was because each priest had to celebrate his own Mass every day; concelebration was not permitted.

Even nowadays, a few parishes still offer comparably non-stop Masses. St. Peter’s in the Loop in Chicago and St. Agnes in Manhattan cater to constant crowds of office workers and tourists.

Solanus Center Chapel Architectural Reordering Visitors to the St. Bonaventure Monastery Chapel at the Solanus Casey Center in Detroit are in for a pleasant surprise: The current Capuchin superior has rearranged the chapel back to a more traditional look. The tabernacle and Blessed Sacrament have been returned to the High Altar. The reredos above the High Altar has been pushed back so that the mensa (table) of the High Altar is once again fully extended and capable of hosting the Traditional Mass. The freestanding altar has been relocated from the center of the chapel to just in front of the High Altar. The seating has been rearranged in a traditional order of horizontal rows of seats. The organ console has been moved, presumably back to the choir loft. The bubbling Baptismal Font has been removed.

These are most encouraging changes. The faithful can only benefit when a church looks like a church again.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Tue. 08/07 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Cajetan, Confessor)
  • Sat. 08/11 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Saturday of Our Lady)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for August 5, 2018. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Tridentine Community News - Oregon Sacred Liturgy Conference Report; Commemorations on Sundays; Tridentine Masses this coming week


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (July 8, 2018):
July 8, 2018 – Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

Oregon Sacred Liturgy Conference Report

Last week the sixth annual Sacred Liturgy Conference took place in Oregon, this time in Salem, the state capital. What began as a small gathering focused on Gregorian Chant has grown to become one of the world’s largest conventions devoted to traditional liturgy, with around 400 in attendance. Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample, Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska Bishop James Conley, Norcia [Italy] monastery founder Fr. Cassian Folsom, and Fraternity of St. Peter North American Superior Fr. Gerard Saguto were among the heavy-hitters present. Talks were delivered at the Salem Conference Center and in classrooms at St. Joseph Church, located several blocks away.


At one point a speaker asked for a show of hands to see whether attendees’ primary experience of Holy Mass was in the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form. Approximately 60% were OF, however the bulk of the talks and liturgies were about or in the EF. The OF-going majority seemed to welcome the immersion in the Traditional Mass. One could draw the conclusion that when serious discussion of the Church’s liturgy and music is to be had, the EF brings more substance to the table, including centuries of history and promise for the future that the OF cannot claim.

One of the speakers was Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, the British priest who since 2009 has served as Executive Director of ICEL, the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Msgr. Wadsworth was in charge of the new English translation of the Ordinary Form Mass and is now working on a new translation of the Liturgy of the Hours. A higher ranking Ordinary Form official would be hard to find outside of Rome. And yet…Msgr. Wadsworth is an occasional celebrant of the Extraordinary Form. He is also founder of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in formation in Washington, DC, which, like its fellow Oratories around the globe, periodically offers the Traditional Mass. A true liturgical scholar such as he cannot help but be engaged with the Traditional Mass; it informs the work he accomplishes with the OF.

This writer was invited to provide training to clergy in how to celebrate the Extraordinary Form, spread out over four 1.25 hour sessions. 2-3 priests were expected to attend, but much to our surprise, 17 priests, 4 permanent deacons, several seminarians, and around 25 laypeople showed up. Beautiful evidence of the ever-increasing interest in the Traditional Mass.


The 2019 Sacred Liturgy Conference will be held May 28-31 in Spokane, Washington.

Commemorations on Sundays

We have had two interesting examples over the last two weeks of how Commemorations are handled differently on Sundays, depending on the kind of Feast being celebrated.

A Commemoration is the addition of a second (or third) Collect, Secret, and Postcommunion prayer. On weekdays one sees Commemorations of secondary saints. The main saint of the day has the first Collect, and additional saints are commemorated with additional Collect(s). The two saints’ positions are reversed, however, in churches dedicated to the secondary saint. For example, on July 12 the main saint is St. John Gualbert and the secondary, commemorated saints are Ss. Nabor & Felix. However, in a church named after Ss. Nabor & Felix, they would become the primary saints, and St. John Gualbert would be commemorated. That is why missals provide a separate set of Mass Propers for the secondary saint; another reason is that a Mass of the secondary saint could be celebrated as a Votive Mass on a Fourth Class Feria or Feast Day.

Sundays are dedicated to our Lord, which changes the rules somewhat: If a special Feast displaces the usual Sunday, and that Feast is of our Lord, there is no Commemoration of the displaced Sunday. If the special Feast is not of our Lord, a Commemoration of the displaced Sunday is to be made, so as to ensure our Lord is always in focus on every Sunday. For example, on June 24, 2018, the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist was not of our Lord, so a Commemoration was added of the displaced Fifth Sunday After Pentecost. However, on July 1, 2018, the Feast of the Most Precious Blood was of our Lord, so no Commemoration of the displaced Sixth Sunday After Pentecost was made.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Tue. 07/10 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (Seven Holy Brothers, Martyrs, and Ss. Rufina & Secunda, Virgins & Martyrs)
  • Sat. 07/14 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. Bonaventure, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for July 8, 2018. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan


Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Sunday


Monday


Tuesday


Wednesday


Thursday


Friday


Saturday


Sunday


* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Multiculturalism's cheap rationalizations of non-Western pathologies


Fr. George Rutler (Weekly Column, July 8, 2018):

There is no limit to the excuses ideologues will make to promote theory over fact. Consider attempts to justify Aztec human sacrifice in the interest of “multiculturalism.” Archeological discoveries of massive numbers of victims are being explained away as not really significant. The estimable scholar, Victor Davis Hanson, has written: “For the useful idiot, multiculturalism is supposedly aimed at ecumenicalism and hopes to diminish difference by inclusiveness and non-judgmentalism. But mostly it is a narcissistic fit, in which the multiculturalist offers a cheap rationalization of non-Western pathologies . . .”

Like hyperbole about the Spanish Inquisition, refuted by the latest scholarship, the “Black Legend” would have us believe that the Spaniards destroyed a benign and creative civilization in Mesoamerica. The Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún, a missionary and pioneer anthropologist who translated the Gospel into the Aztec Nahuatl language, represents the best of a not unblemished Hispanic cultural imperative that led to the abolition of human sacrifice, though at a cost, for many Spaniards were cannibalized by the Acolhuas, Aztec allies. Similarly, it was the influence of Christian missionaries like William Carey that banned the Hindu practice of “sati,” the cremation of widows on their husbands’ funeral pyres in the Indian principalities. Between 1815 and 1818, 839 widows were burnt alive in Bengal province alone. A general ban was enforced by Queen Victoria in 1861, the year her own husband died, but sati was still practiced in Nepal until 1920.

One estimate has 80,400 Aztec captives sacrificed in 1487 at the re-consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlán. Although the actual figure may have been lower, the cutting out of hearts from victims still alive is an intolerable barbarity, graphically depicted in the film Apocalypto, which shows such rites among the earlier Mayan people. A mixed-race descendant of Cortez, Fernando de Alva Cortés Ixtlilxóchitl, calculated that 20% of the infants and children in the general “Mexica” area were sacrificed annually to appease rain deities, along with men and women sacrificed in honor of the serpentine god Quetzalcóatl, the jaguar god Tezcatlipoca and the aquiline warrior god Huitzilopochtli.

In the sixteenth century, Montaigne, anticipating Dryden’s “noble savage,” sought to cut the primitive cultures a little slack because he saw barbaric acts among his own European peoples. Those who were scandalized by his analogy then are like those today who commit atrocities under the veneer of progressivism. In 1992, a writer in the leftist Die Zeit of Hamburg rhetorically bent over backwards to deny that the Mesoamericans had committed human sacrifice. We know what happened in his own country among the National Socialist eugenicists.

Sacrifices on the altars of ancient temples cannot match the millions of infants aborted today in sterile clinics. Pope Francis has said, “Last century, the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves.” Perhaps five centuries from now, revisionists will deny that abortion was ever legal.

Monday, July 02, 2018

July 4th, partisan politics, Canada, and the Feast of August 15th

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, July 1, 2018):
Although I try to keep blissfully free from knowledge of some of the risible affairs euphemistically called politics, I can't remain totally uninformed or unaffected by what passes as the "news." It's a shame and an embarrassment to hear about the conniving and the accusations being flung from political pole to pole. I'll be we're the laughingstock of non-Americans worldwide. "Collusion" or "harassment" or "sex scandal," or gay "rights" or media manipulation of public opinion, and the like -- these have become some of the political "issues" in this sad moment in our country. Certainly there are other things that concern us such as crime, the economy and taxes, health care, international security, immigration, the free expression (or else abatement) of religion. For me, however, these valid and relevant concerns are so buried in the ideological ranting as to give me, if not nausea, disgust when following the daily news.

But on July 4th we manage somehow to put all these divisiveness aside and celebrate Independence Day together. It's a momentary respite in the cultural war, a kind of national truce when all or most of us can be proud patriots and observe a secular sabbath rest from the political wrangling. "One nation under God" is the phrase we utter in common, even though it has itself become a matter of contention.

While we pray together the holy rosary after all our Masses here "for God's mercy on our country," I have been adding to the intentions in my daily private prayers, "for the conversion of our people to the ways of righteousness and of Catholicism." "People" in that intention means our American people, and "righteousness" means "moral goodness." My prayer is that Americans may be delivered from the perverse ideological leanings that have caused so much ruination in our country and that they would be open to the full truth of the Catholic faith -- the one and only Christian religion founded by Christ. That's a tall order, one might say, an awful lot to tack on to one's prayer intentions. Agreed. Yet undaunted by the enormity of it I have now with even greater boldness added to this already heavily-laden intention the same prayer intention for our neighbors in Canada. This comes as a result from speaking to some Catholic Canadians recently who are smarting even more than we from the same philosophical poisons that have been dividing and corrupting us Americans. Religious liberty is seriously endangered for our friends to the north, and it is -- naturally -- the Catholic religion and its moral tenets that are the target for elimination from the governing and even from the minds of Canadians.

Would it be too much to ask you to make the mental (if not outspokenly verbal) intention in your daily prayers, "for God's mercy on our country and on Canada"? It would be a very literal and concrete way of having effective Christian charity on our "neighbor," in this case, our geographic neighbor. Over the issues that trouble and conflict Canadians we stand in a unified worry, for we are all solicitous that the rights of Christ be protected.

While the most blissful month of July is at hand when your pastor tries to forget (not you, but) some of the mundane aspects of parish business, there looms in the not-too-distant future our August 15th celebration. My simple appeal to you is to become much involved in the preparation, the events themselves, and the follow up of Assumption Day 2018. I was reminded at the recent preparation meeting for the feast day that my revered predecessor Monsignor Sawher would goad, urge, and exhort parishioners from the pulpit to take August 15th as a holiday and to clear home calendars so that the entire day could be devoted to Our Lady at the parish. Taking my cue from him I ask you to make this your day of parish involvement and pride by being present and active throughout the day, praying and assisting in the various activities. If Grotto holds a special place in your heart, this is the time to prove it in action. Although it may seem that I'm asking a great favor, the reality is that you will get the greater benefit for the investment of your time and work. Plan now to be a big part of our feast day.

Fr. Perrone

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and east Michigan


Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Sunday


Monday


Tuesday


Wednesday


Thursday


Friday


Saturday


Sunday


* NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

Tridentine Community News - Feast days enriched with Plenary Indulgences; Tridentine Masses this coming week


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (July 1, 2018):
July 1, 2018 – Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Feast Days Enriched with Plenary Indulgences

Holy Mother Church grants the faithful the opportunity to gain a Plenary Indulgence for themselves or for the Souls in Purgatory by performing certain actions on certain Feast Days of the year. In many cases, little or no extra effort can obtain the Indulgence. The usual conditions apply: Confession within 20 days, reception of Holy Communion, prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions, and freedom from attachment to sin. The following information and quotes are taken from the currently-in-force book of guidelines, the 2006 Manual of Indulgences, available at: http://store.usccb.org/manual-of-indulgences-p/5-474.htm. All of these statements are prefaced by text such as “A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who...”

Octave Day of Christmas, a.k.a. Feast of the Circumcision (January 1): “Devoutly assist either at the recitation or solemn singing of the Veni Creátor...to implore divine assistance for the course of the whole year.”

Fridays of Lent: “Devoutly recite after Communion the prayer En ego, O bone et dulcíssime Jesu before a crucifix.”

Holy Thursday: “Piously recite the verses of the Tantum ergo after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday during the solemn reposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament.”

Good Friday: “Devoutly assist at the adoration of the Cross in the solemn liturgical action of Good Friday.”

Easter Vigil: “At the celebration of the Easter Vigil...renew their baptismal vows in any legitimately approved formula.”

Divine Mercy Sunday, a.k.a. Low Sunday: “In any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g.: ‘Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!’).”

Pentecost Sunday: “Devoutly assist either at the recitation or solemn singing of the Veni Creátor.”

Corpus Christi: “Devoutly participate in a solemn Eucharistic procession, held inside or outside of a church.”

Feast of the Sacred Heart: “Publicly recite the act of reparation (Jesu dulcíssime).”

Ss. Peter & Paul (June 29): Two plenary indulgences are possible, though not on the same day: A) “Make prayerful use of an article of devotion, as defined by Norm 15, that has been blessed by the Supreme Pontiff or by any bishop, provided the faithful also make a Profession of Faith using any legitimate formula.” Norm 15 identifies these as a crucifix or cross, rosary, scapular, or medal. B) “Visit...a minor basilica [or] the cathedral church...and there devoutly recite an Our Father and the Creed.”

Portiuncula Indulgence (August 2): “Visit...a minor basilica, the cathedral church, [or] a parish church...and there devoutly recite an Our Father and the Creed.”

Feast of Christ the King (Last Sunday in October): “Publicly recite the act of dedication of the human race to Christ the King (Jesu dulcíssime, Redémptor).”

All Souls Day (November 2): “Devoutly visit a church or an oratory and recite an Our Father and the Creed.” This plenary indulgence is applicable only to the dead.

November 1-8: “Devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, if only mentally, for the departed.” Applicable only to the dead.

Dedication of the Archbasilica of Our Savior (November 9): “Visit...the cathedral church...and there devoutly recite an Our Father and the Creed.”

Seventh Day Within the Octave of the Nativity (December 31): “Devoutly assist either at the recitation or solemn singing of the Te Deum ... to offer thanks to God for gifts received throughout the course of the entire year.”

Feast of the Titular of the place: “Visit...a minor basilica; the cathedral church; an international, national, or diocesan shrine established by competent authority; [or] a parish church...and there devoutly recite an Our Father and the Creed.”

Feast of the Founder: “Visit...a church or an oratory of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life ... and there devoutly recite an Our Father and the Creed.”

Some general terms: “In order to be capable of gaining indulgences one must be baptized, not excommunicated, and in the state of grace at least at the completion of the prescribed works. To gain an indulgence, one must have at least the general intention of doing so….” We will strive to mention any relevant Indulgences, Plenary as well as Partial, in the Latin/English Propers Handouts for each of the above Feasts, and to include Latin and English texts of any associated prayers.

Certain Feasts may be moved to a Sunday in the Extraordinary Form. The rules for Indulgences anticipate this possibility: “If a liturgical celebration or its external solemnity is lawfully transferred, it is understood that an indulgence attached to that liturgical celebration is likewise transferred to the same day.”

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Tue. 07/03 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Irenaeus, Bishop & Martyr)
  • Fri. 07/06 7:00 PM: High Mass at Old St. Mary’s (St. Maria Goretti, Virgin & Martyr) – Celebrant: Fr. Clint McDonell. Choir will sing Missa Octávi Toni by di Lassus. Reception after Mass.
  • Sat. 07/07 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Ss. Cyril & Methodius, Bishops & Confessors)
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for July 1, 2018. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]