G. K. Chesterton on Thanksgiving


“Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace.”

“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

The First Thanksgiving Observance


A Proclamation Signed in Script Type by George Washington
Appearing in The Massachusetts Centinel of October 14, 1789

This historic proclamation was issued by George Washington during his first year as President. It sets aside Thursday, November 26 as “A Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer.”

Signed by Washington on October 3, 1789 and entitled thanksgiving“General Thanksgiving,” the decree appointed the day “to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”

While there were Thanksgiving observances in America both before and after Washington’s proclamation, this represents the first to be so designated by the new national government.

After their first harvest, the colonists of the Plymouth Plantation held a celebration of food and feasting in the fall of 1621. Indian chiefs Massassoit, Squanto and Samoset joined in the celebration with ninety of their men in the three-day event.

The first recorded Thanksgiving observance was held on June 29, 1671 at Charlestown, Massachusetts by proclamation of the town’s governing council.

During the 1700s, it was common practice for individual colonies to observe days of thanksgiving throughout each year. A Thanksgiving Day two hundred years ago was a day set aside for prayer and fasting, not a day marked by plentiful food and drink as is today’s custom. Later in the 18th century each of the states periodically would designate a day of thanksgiving in honor of a military victory, an adoption of a state constitution or an exceptionally bountiful crop.

Such a Thanksgiving Day celebration celebration was held in December of 1777 by the colonies nationwide, commemorating the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga.

Later, on October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for the observance of the fourth Tuesday of November as a national holiday.

In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the third Thursday of November (to extend the Christmas shopping season and boost the economy). After a storm of protest, Roosevelt changed the holiday again in 1941 to the fourth Thursday in November, where it stands today.

Fr John Berg, FSSP at the Tomb of Peter

p_johnberg                                                                                                                Very Rev. Father John Berg, FSSP                                                         Current and Third Superior General                                                      of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter

CARMEL, INDIANA – During the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter’s 20th anniversary last month, Mr and Mrs. Augusto “Tito” Cano from Noblesville, Indiana and their brother, Father Roberto Cano, FSSP traveled to Italy to participate in the celebration.  The Canos are charter officers of Una Voce Carmel and have kindly shared these photos for your viewing pleasure.   

All the photos are of Father Berg offering Mass at the tomb of St. Peter.  The server is Deacon Antony Sumich, FSSP who will be ordained to the Priesthood next month in New Zealand.  




Institute of Christ the King Chant Workshop

Institute of Christ the King

Gregorian Chant Workshop

CHICAGO, IL Are you a member of a parish choir which sings Gregorian Chant?  Are you a choir director who is starting or building a Gregorian Chant schola?  Are you familiar with the basics of Chant, but wish to master the Gregorian art?  Then this Chant workshop on the weekend of January 9-11 is for you.


icksp-1                                                                                           Canon Wulfran Lebocq, center

Under the direction of Canon Wulfran Lebocq, participants will learn the fine points of the classic method of Solemses as taught by the late Dom Joseph Gajard and will sing each day at Holy Mass and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  On the final day, participants will sing at a Solemn Pontifical High Mass celebrated by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph N. Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago.

About Canon Wulfran Lebocq

Having studied for several years with the Schola Saint Gregoire (Le Mans, France), Canon Lebocq has been serving as the Choirmaster of the schola cantorum of the Institute’s Seminary in Gricigliano since his ordination to the holy priesthood in 2003.  He has participated in three Gregorian Chant CD recordings. Most recently, he directed the Institute’s schola for the November 3 All Souls Day Solemn High Requiem Mass which was broadcast on EWTN.

icksp-2                                                                                                                 His Excellency, Bishop Joseph Perry


Please see the event flyer for details about this unique opportunity!

S. Carolina Councilwomen describes Catholic beliefs as ‘hate’

Attention All Catholics:

Please take the time to drop Ms. Von Harten a note and tell her you accept her apology and forgive her.  Then ask for her resignation!  She can be reached at the following e-mail: lvonharten@bcgov.net or simply call her at (843) 379-1367.

 37007_2-15-2007_9-21-42_pm_0003_123_740lo Ms. Laura Von Harten, Councilwoman 

Charleston, Nov 21, 2008 / 02:56 am (CNA).- A South Carolina county councilwoman has apologized for remarks she made at a land management committee discussion considering whether to allow a Catholic church to expand. She had said she would oppose the expansion because she sees “hate” in the Catholic Church, criticizing the Church’s pro-life position and its lack of female clergy, which she called “an affront to my dignity and all of womankind.”

On Monday the Beaufort County Council heard a request from Saint Gregory the Great Church in Bluffton to rezone land for a proposed expansion.

The website of Saint Gregory the Great Church, whose pastor is named Father Ronald Cellini, reports it is seeing “unprecedented growth of this parish family,” increasing by more than 5,000 souls since 1995.

During a land management committee discussion, Laura Von Harten explained she would oppose the request of the parish at the full council meeting later in the week. Although Von Harten does not serve on the land committee, she took the floor to make plain her views about the Catholic Church.

According to the Beaufort Gazette, she cited “human rights issues” as a reason for her opposition.

“I could not have Father Cellini’s job or the Pope’s job if I wanted it and it’s an affront to my dignity as a woman and all of womankind,” said Von Harten, who is reportedly a Unitarian Universalist.

“I don’t want to support anything that will perpetuate that kind of ideology that would prevent me from being an active leader in an organization, and I don’t like the way they want to control women’s uteruses, and I just don’t want to do anything that would perpetuate that.”

If land must be rezoned, she said, “I want it to be to create a loving inclusive mixed-use community and that’s the only way I will give up rural land… I just have to vote in favor of love and against hate when I see hate.”

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, went so far as to call for the councilwoman’s resignation.

“Without the slightest provocation, Laura Von Harten decided to bash Catholicism,” Donohue said in a Wednesday statement. “This suggests an animus so deep as to call into question her fitness for public service. She should do more than recuse herself on matters Catholic-she should resign from her post as councilwoman. There is no legitimate role for bigots in public life.”

Following criticism of her remarks, Von Harten on Tuesday said she would abstain from any votes on St. Gregory the Great’s rezoning.

She made what she called a formal apology for her remarks on Wednesday, saying her reference to human rights pertain to “the Catholic Church as a political entity, with a seat at the United Nations, but I acknowledge that I offended individuals in my own community.”

The Holy See in fact has a permanent observer mission to the United Nations but no voting seat.

Saying she intended no infringement of anyone’s religious freedom and did not intend to disparage any individual member of the Church, she added:

“I respect the rights of all people to worship in the church of their choosing. Given the history of persecution endured by members of the Catholic Church, I regret my insensitivity on this matter.”

Saying she was “truly sorry” for having “interjected” her concerns about the Catholic Church into a zoning discussion, she claimed she had “meant only an extension of my overall opposition to development that restricts access on the basis of factors such as race, age or gender but it was an inappropriate forum.”

“Please be assured that I have been reminded of the importance of separation of church and state in matters of land use, and have learned a great deal from this incident,” Von Harten continued, asking for forgiveness and pledging “to approach my duties as councilwoman from a more restrained and objective viewpoint.”

Archbishop Fulton Sheen Narrates 1941 Mass

Easter Mass from 1941, at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Chicago, Illinois.  Narration by Archbishop Fulton Sheen.  This lasts about 55 minutes!

Vatican allows traditionalists to keep holy days


Britain’s Leading Catholic Newspaper 

By Anna Arco

LONDON, UK (November 14, 2008) – The Vatican has told traditionalists they have the right to celebrate major feast days according to the older calendar even where they have been transferred to the Sunday by the bishops.

This appears to contradict a statement made by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales earlier this year.

Responding to a dubium (query) by the Latin Mass Society, the Ecclesia Dei Commission, which deals with the implementation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, said the older calendar is legitimate. Unlike the new calendar, in which the feast moves to the Sunday if the bishops’ conference transfers it, the rubrics for the 1962 calendar allow for the obligation to be transferred to the Sunday without moving the feast.

The statement says the use of the 1962 missal also includes the legitimate use of the calendar that accompanies it.

Also, while the bishops can legitimately transfer the Holy Days of Obligation to the nearest Sunday, it is equally legitimate to celebrate the Mass and Office belonging to that day on that day, provided that it is made clear there is no obligation on that day. Furthermore, in accordance with the rubrics accompanying the 1962 Missal, “it is appropriate to celebrate the external solemnity of Holy Days on the Sunday to which they have been transferred by the Episcopal Conference”.

According to one expert, the use of the word “appropriate” could mean that those attached to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite would not be required to celebrate the transferred feast on the Sunday at all, but could do so in a public Mass if it were considered appropriate. The Sunday Office would remain the same.

In May, traditionalists expressed dismay after the bishops announced that Holy Days of Obligation which had been transferred to the Sunday should be the same in both the new and the old calendars. In 2006 the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales removed the obligation for Epiphany, Ascension and Corpus Christi and the feasts were transferred to the nearest Sunday. Some Catholics continued to celebrate them on the original days in the extraordinary form.

For Catholics who continued celebrating the feast days according to the older calendar this meant that they were no longer doing so with the bishops’ permission.

A statement by the bishops earlier this year read: “Following a request for information, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales submitted a dubium to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei which confirmed that in the Roman Rite, whichever form of the liturgy is being celebrated, the Holy Days of Obligation are held in common. Where the obligation has been removed and the Holy Day transferred to the Sunday, the Epiphany of the Lord, the Ascension of the Lord and Corpus Christ, this is to be followed in both ordinary and extraordinary celebrations of Mass.”

The bishops did not release the full text of Ecclesia Dei’s reply to their query.

Mgr Andrew Summersgill, general secretary of the bishops’ conference, told The Catholic Herald in May that the bishops had wanted to clear up the question about which calendar should be followed, a question initially raised by a publisher of the 1962 Missal. “Since these Holy Days are to be observed by all the faithful, priests who celebrate according to the 1962 Roman Missal for the benefit of the faithful attached to the Latin liturgical tradition should also celebrate these Holy Days on the prescribed Sundays,” said Mgr Summersgill.

The liturgical scholar Dr Alcuin Reid said: “This new ruling takes into account the calendar and rubrics of the 1962 Missal and allows for the possibility of celebrating feasts on Sundays.

“For one thing this is building bridges between the bishops and those attached to the older form of the Mass. It is important to have legitimate diversity in practice while maintaining the unity in faith which the Church has known for centuries. It is also important to note that this clarification is also building bridges towards reconciliation with the Society of St Pius X because it shows that the older liturgy’s integrity is being respected.”

Julian Chadwick, the chairman of the LMS, said: “This ruling is very important. It confirms that the calendar for the extraordinary form is integral to the rite and cannot be suppressed or altered by bishops’ conferences. It also confirms the right of those attached to the extraordinary form to continue to celebrate the traditional feast days.”

A spokesman for the bishops’ conference was unavailable for comment as The Catholic Herald went to press.

Bishop D’Arcy Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to Offer TLM


SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – Our friend to the North, Mr. David A. Werling from THE TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS IN MICHIANA  is reporting that His Excellency, Bishop John M. D’Arcy is going to offer the TLM in January 2009.  It would seem that His Excellency will be the first bishop in forty years to offer the TLM in the Great State of Indiana.  Keep in mind that his Excellency submitted his resignation over one year ago to the Holy Father! 

God bless His Excellency, Bishop D’Arcy for acknowledging His will, as revealed in the personal initiative of our Holy Father, Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum!

Our Newest Ad on Catholic Radio 89.1 FM

Close up - InfantThanks to Fr. Christopher Roberts and Jim Ganley, 89.1 FM station manager, we have been able to put together a radio spot to be played by our local Catholic Radio station, 89.1 FM. Listen to our ad and please support Catholic Radio with your prayers and financial contributions.

Click here to listen now.  https://uvcarmel.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/uvcads.mp3%20

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Sung Masses at Kokomo’s St. Patrick’s