24 December 2013

What time is Midnight Mass?

It is not uncommon to hear jokes about persons calling a parish to ask what time Midnight Mass will be at. Such jokes may seem funny, but the question of the time for Midnight Mass and the common answer betray a problem. There are four Masses for Christmas: Vigil Mass, Mass at Midnight, Mass at Dawn, and Mass During the Day. Each Mass has different readings and different prayers. Midnight Mass might not actually be at midnight and, although the correct prayers might be used, all of the Christmas Masses of a particular parish might just have the same readings so that the priest only has to prepare one homily.

So, when one phones in to find out what time Midnight Mass is, he might also want to ask if it is actually Midnight Mass that will be celebrated at midnight.

23 December 2013

Maculate Degeneration

Please pray for me. I’ve been diagnosed with maculate degeneration. This often results in moral blindness. There is treatment, which can be very successful, but it is very difficult because it involves dying: dying to self. The treatment is continued until physical death, at which time, if the treatment is successful, one become immaculate.

This condition is very common. In fact, there have only been four humans that did not have it from the beginning of their existence. Two eventually developed it, one was Incarnate Divinity, and the other was His Mother.

20 December 2013

The Intrinsic Connection between the Liturgy and Harley Davidson

The last really beautiful bike made by Harley Davidson was the FL Duo-Glide, which the Motor Company made from 1958 to 1964. Although, the front end was made even more beautiful in 1960 with a two-piece stamped aluminium fork nacelle to shroud the headlight. Of course, the heart of the bike was the Panhead engine, which succeeded the Knucklehead in 1948. This is, by far, the most beautiful product of the Motor Company, but things began to change the following year.

11 December 2013

Infallible Word of God

Do you believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God? If you do, you can thank St. Pope Damasus I for infallibly leading the Catholic Church in discerning which books should be in the Bible. He delegated most of the work to his friend St. Jerome, who, I’m sure, had help from others. All of whom used the intellect that God gave them and prayed that the Holy Spirit inspire them to use it correctly.

Of course, not everyone agreed, particularly in North Africa, and councils had to be held to decide if they would use the Canon of Scripture the pope said they should: one in Hippo in 393 and two in Carthage in 397 and 419. Pope Damasus I wasn’t at these councils since he had died in 384.

06 December 2013

Novena to the Immaculate Conception, Day 8

A Song about the Real Santa Claus

This is a song inspired by a true story about the real Santa Claus (a.k.a. Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra) who was at the First Council of Nicaea in 325, and was one of the bishops who signed the Nicene Creed.

22 November 2013

Santa Cecilia

Today is the feast of St. Cecilia and in the Office of Readings, we find this quote from St. Augustine:
If you were asked, “Sing to please this musician,” you would not like to do so without having taken some instruction in music, because you would not like to offend an expert in the art. An untrained listener does not notice the faults a musician would point out to you. Who, then, will offer to sing well for God, the great artist whose discrimination is faultless, whose attention is on the minutest detail, whose ear nothing escapes? When will you be able to offer him a perfect performance that you will in no way displease such a supremely discerning listener?

25 October 2013

The Real Miss America

I’ve crawled from beneath my rock again, and it is quite amazing what’s going on in the world. It seems that a citizen of the United States of America with an Indian heritage has won the 2014 Miss America [Is it still called a beauty pageant?]. (I guess the Miss America doesn’t follow the Gregorian Calendar or the Julian Calendar. Seems they follow the Detroit Calendar. (Is Toyota (a city located in Aichi Prefecture, Japan) the New Detroit?) This does not surprise me at all since I’ve often thought that some of the most physically beautiful women in the world are from the asian subcontinent, closely followed by the women northwest of them.

15 October 2013

Christ Pantocrator

This icon is called Christ Pantocrator. This one is from Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai, more commonly known as Saint Catherine's Monastery, and is the oldest known icon of Christ Pantocrator.

01 October 2013

My Prayer Intention for Jennifer

My wife, Jennifer, is very sick. She has been for many years. I too have been sick for many years, but not anymore. Our Lady, Mediatrix of all Graces, has given me many graces from Our Lord, more than I expected; and, I’m sure there are more to come if I accept them. I pray that Our Lady give Jennifer all of the graces that Our Lord has for her. Perhaps one of these graces is the healing of her health.

Like the novena I asked for myself from March 11th to March 19th to Blessed John Duns Scotus for my healing, I also asked for a novena from October 4th to October 12th for Jennifer’s healing. March 11th was the 20th anniversary of my entrance into the Catholic Church and March 20th was the 20th anniversary of the beatification of Blessed John Duns Scotus.

30 September 2013

Power of a Woman

Woman is the most powerful creature, much more powerful than man. This is even demonstrated in the way woman was created. Man was created from the dust of the earth. He is connected with the land; with work and toil. This is also how all of the animals were created; thus man is more closely connected to the animals than woman is. Woman was created out of the side of man; out of relationship. She was begotten, one could say, from man.

It is in relationships that we find meaning and power. The word person itself is defined by relationship and communion. This is why we say there are Three Persons in the Holy Trinity.

St. Jerome and the Vernacular

St. Jerome: the first to translate the entire Bible into the vernacular. That is, unless you consider Greek the vernacular. In which case the New Testament was written in the vernacular (except possibly the Gospel of St. Matthew) and the Septuagint was the first translation into the vernacular. Of course, you could also say that Hebrew is the vernacular because us slaves just don’t understand the language of the Master.

I guess we have to use the vernacular no matter what language we choose until we celebrate the Eternal Divine Liturgy in Heaven. But will we fully understand the true Liturgical Language? It seems we will spend eternity contemplating, but never fully understanding, the true Liturgical Language: The Eucharist/Incarnation, the mystérium fídei.

14 August 2013

The Death of Mary

Some Catholics believe that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, did not die. They imagine that when she was assumed into heaven, it was much like the ascension of Our Lord, only without the preceding death and resurrection. Although Pope Pius XII said, “having completed the course of her earthly life,” and not “having died,” when defining the Dogma of the Assumption, Munificentissimus Deus must be read in context and in its fulness.

08 August 2013

Are You A Board Catholic?

Severe and Debilitating Condition

Please pray for me. I have a very severe and debilitating condition. It seems both of my parents are carriers of a hereditary disorder, which was passed on to me when I was conceived, called original sin. The stain of this disorder was corrected 21 days after I was born with a procedure called baptism. However, the fallen nature of this disorder remained, even after this cleansing and life giving procedure.

07 April 2013

No Guns in Canada

I have a number of readers from the United States of America, and I’ve been thinking that perhaps they might be thinking that I’ve been rather harsh on their country. Don’t get me wrong, I think the U.S.A. is a pretty good country. I like Canada because, well, I’m Canadian. That doesn’t mean I’m any less harsh on Canadian governments. I mean, what’s not to like about a government that destroys all evidence of the most advanced fighter jet ever developed so all the smart people that developed it leave Canada and go work for NASA, and then buys some soon to be discontinued nuclear-tipped anti-aircraft missiles from the U.S.A. Destroy all evidence of something that could make us some money? Send all the smart people out of the country? Buy some other country's weapon that can blow up enemy aircraft with a nuclear explosion? Let’s face it, you’ve got much better used car salesmen running your country (no offence to used car salesmen).

04 April 2013

Communicants Supporting Same Sex Unions

There are some Catholics that are wondering if they can receive Holy Communion if they support same sex unions. It is absolutely wonderful that they are asking themselves such a question because most Catholics receive Holy Communion regardless of if they should or not. But in a way, it is rather sad that they have to wonder about something that should be so obvious. Supporting same sex unions not only denies the sacramental nature of marriage, it denies the very essence of marriage. As well, by supporting same sex unions, even if you don’t actually call them a marriage, you are encouraging others to commit an intrinsically evil and sinful act (i.e. mortal sin). It is a mortal sin to encourage others to commit a mortal sin. If you commit a mortal sin, you cannot receive Holy Communion until you have taken this sin to Confession, otherwise you commit another mortal sin.

03 April 2013

I Support Gay Marriage

You read that headline correctly. I support gay marriage. I believe all marriages should be gay at times. I also believe that redefining words is a tool used by the Evil One to push his evil agenda.

You can ask pretty much anyone that knows me to find out that I am quite often very gay. However, you will also find out that I have never had any homosexual inclinations. You see, until recently, the word gay had a very different definition than what is currently being applied to it today. This has impoverished our language as we now have no word to express the reality of gaiety. Instead, we are left with a word defining a scientific impossibility.

01 April 2013

Is Denial from Holy Communion a Punishment?

If anyone received the e-mail at the bottom of this blog post and is a bit worried or concerned, I suggest you take note of the date of this e-mail and the date the “directive” was issued. You may also want to click on the source document, which explains that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the life and mission of the Church. However, perhaps you are concerned about something serious in this e-mail.

Many are unaware that all Catholics are obliged to assist at Mass on all Holydays of Obligation, which includes every Sunday (the Vigil Mass the evening before counts). If one does not assist at Mass on these days without being prevented by a serious reason, it is a grave negligence that must be taken to the Sacrament of Confession before receiving Holy Communion again.

This means that all C&E Catholics cannot receive Holy Communion unless they first go to Confession. And, the Confession is invalid if they have no intention of not committing this sin again.

30 March 2013


As many of you know, I am a Franciscan. Last June, at the Sacred Music Colloquium, I met another Franciscan, but he was from a branch of the order that I was unfamiliar with: the Franciscans of the Immaculate. I was very interested in this branch of my Franciscan family because it follows anew the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi through, as Bl. Pope John Paul II described him, the "St. Francis of the 20th century": St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe. St. Maximilian Kolbe believed that the future of the Franciscan Order lay in the unlimited consecration to the Immaculate.

28 March 2013

Thy Will Be Done

A friend e-mailed me today, and in the e-mail this friend had written: “I believe, based on what it says in the Bible, that it is His will that you be well.  I'll continue to pray for complete healing for you Russell.” Now I very much appreciate receiving e-mails from friends telling me that they are praying for me. However, after receiving quite a number of such e-mails, I am beginning to become concerned that some people do not quite have the correct intention to their prayer.

Before I explain my concern, let me say that I may have misinterpreted what this friend was saying, but similar sentiments have been expressed to me a number of times, so I’d like to explain my concern without singling anyone out.

Intercessory prayer is very important. God has many wonderful graces and displays of His love for us, but He will not give them unless we ask for them. Much of what God wants to give us, He does not give because we don’t ask for it. However, what if we ask for something that He doesn’t want to give us?

20 March 2013

PowerSurge III

Some people would like to know how I discovered I had lymphoma, well here’s the story:

Getting Ripped with Lymphoma, Elite FTS

Should be a follow up article on Monday.

19 March 2013

Patriarch Sviatoslav in Edmonton

In relation to my last post, I want to tell a quick story about Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk coming to Edmonton last June (technically, he doesn't have the title "Patriarch"). There was no way I'd miss a chance to assist at a Pontifical Divine Liturgy with the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. I, of course, went real early to pray. OK, I really went early to get a good seat that would give me the possibility of receiving Communion from His Beatitude. It turned out that he didn't distribute Communion to the congregation, but I'm very glad I went early, and not just to pray.

Ecumenical Patriarch

Having Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at Pope Francis' Inaugural Mass is a very significant event; however, I have a bit of a problem with the language used in the media. You often hear that Constantinople split from Rome in 1054, but really, Constantinople and Rome split from each other. Equal blame should be placed on both of them. We should also keep in mind that unity was achieved, at least on paper (actually, they didn't use paper until Gutenberg came along because they considered it a Muslim invention), with the Council of Florence in the middle of the 15th century, which led to the Uniate Churches in the 16th century.

18 March 2013


The citizens of the United States of America have a major problem: What do they call themselves? Most of them don’t realize they have this problem, but those of us that live in the other American countries can see it quite clearly. Of course, I’m from Canada, and it seems many Canadians don’t see this problem as clearly as all the American countries south of the U.S.A. The reason many Canadians don’t see this problem as clearly is that we’d almost be the 51st state if it wasn’t for our loyalty to the Crown that our neighbours to the south rebelled against.

13 March 2013

White Smoke

I was planning on writing a blog post today about my hopes for the Church and the papacy. Not much point now since I’m glued to the live feed from the Vatican’s YouTube channel to see what all the white smoke is about.

I was going to sarcastically explain how the media doesn’t have a clue and how the use of the terms liberal and conservative are quite WRONG in this context. The correct terms are orthodox and unorthodox, and if you think that unorthodox might be good, or even possible, the only two options with unorthodox are heterodox and heretical. And, by the way, one of the main reasons for the papacy is to maintain orthodoxy, which has happened for the last 2000 years despite some men becoming pope that weren’t planning on doing that at first.

10 March 2013

Novena Starts Tomorrow

I would like to ask you to join me tomorrow, March 11th, in beginning to pray a novena to Blessed John Duns Scotus that I be healed from cancer. There is the possibility that I might be healed because of this novena or prayers through the intercession of Blessed John Duns Scotus that you may pray after this novena. Such a healing could even happen in a way that would fulfil the criteria necessary to be used in the canonization of Blessed John Duns Scotus. These are very real possibilities; however, there is also another very real possibility. There is the possibility that I will not be healed.

If this last possibility happens, I will not be disappointed, and I ask that you not be disappointed either. What will most likely happen then is that at the end of my treatment, my cancer will go into remission. After at least 10 years of remission, and maybe even more than 15 years of remission, I will have a relapse. When I do have a relapse, I'm going to start this all over again, and ask you to pray the exact same novena to Blessed John Duns Scotus.

02 March 2013

Why Me?

I have been told that many in my situation ask in desperation, “Why Me?” With this present illness and with my former one, I never directly asked this question. Although, with my former illness, I indirectly implied this question by living in a delusional world that rejected the pain of reality. That’s probably why I was able to cope for so long, went so long without being diagnosed, and why I’m still here today.

Due to my mathematical and logical way of thinking, combined with an almost unbearable compassion for others, I’ve often said that it was a very good thing that I have schizophrenia because 1 in 100 people have it, and if I didn’t have it, some other person in my group of 100 would have it, and he or she may not have been able to handle it as well. This, of course, was after I was hospitalized and began to actually handle it and became aware of this statistic. (I believe schizoaffective disorder would fall into this statistic. They did have me reading a lot of literature on schizophrenia.)

01 March 2013

My Heroes

When I was young, my hero was Mozart, followed by Elvis and then Pavarotti. When I was 14, John Lennon became my hero followed by Ozzy and then John Bonham. Once my faith became more mature, my hero became Karol Wojtyła who was later joined by Dietrich von Hildebrand.

In the last couple of months, my heroes have changed again. They are now the people that shovel my drive way and drive me to the cancer clinic. It's much nicer to have heroes that I personally know; although, I've sometimes felt like I personally knew Karol Wojtyła.

No Rum. Please!

Yesterday I had my first cancer therapy (antibody and chemo), which went very well. It only took 7 hours instead of 8 because they didn't have to stop it for side effects or reactions. It went so well that next time they're going to give the antibody to me faster. I wasn't even nauseous but was hungry afterwards.

My mom bought me some ginger-ale and other stuff for people who are nauseous. I asked her if she got any rum to go with it, otherwise I probably won't drink it. What I really wanted was one of those deluxe hamburgers from Burger Baron with everything.

Did You Hear I Had Cancer?

I've never been much of a hockey fan, but I know some of you are, so I'm sure you'll appreciate that I have NHL (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma).
I've always wanted an FL, particularly one between 1960 and 1964. In 1960, Harley-Davidson improved the look of the Duo-Glide with a two-piece stamped aluminium fork nacelle that shrouded the headlight. Of course, in 1965 the Duo-Glide became the Electra-Glide, which meant that an ugly box to hold the battery took the place of the beautiful oil tank. Unfortunately for me and my family, the letters "FL" have more meaning than Harley-Davidson's complicated, and sometimes meaningless, model nomenclature. For us it means: Follicular Lymphoma.

12 February 2013

Who Should be the Pope

I noticed, this morning, a great deal of discussion online about who should be the pope. I have the answer. The cardinal that should be pope is Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. It should be remembered that Benedict XVI is the pope and will remain to be the pope until February 28, 2013, at 8:00 pm (CET). Until that time, I personally believe that any discussion concerning Pope Benedict's successor should be done in a way that affords the greatest respect for our current pope.

Another thing that should be taken into consideration is that if you don't have the word "Cardinal" following your first name, your opinion really doesn't mean anything at all. And, if you do have the word "Cardinal" following your first name, your opinion only means something if you allow your opinion to be formed by the will of God.

11 February 2013

Novena for the Retirement of Pope Benedict XVI

A friend just sent me some news that, I admit, upset me at first, but after reading the report on News.va, I understand. Today, Pope Benedict XVI said he plans on resigning the papal office on February 28th. Now he and his brother can spend the time together they planned to in their retirement, a plan that was altered by the conclave of 2005.

My friend also suggested that we pray a novena from February 19th to February 28th as a 'retirement gift' to our beloved pontiff. This is a very good idea; however, I suggest different dates. The F.S.S.P. has suggested a Novena to St. Peter for the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, which is prayed from February 14th to the 22nd. I suggest we pray this novena but extend it an additional six days as a 15 day novena.

06 February 2013

Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed John Duns Scotus

Although I feel a strong desire to promote the Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed John Duns Scotus for any intention, I have a specific intention for myself. I have been diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma.

Please pray the Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed John Duns Scotus, and if you wish, please add my intention. More information about my intention can be found by clicking on "Russell's Intention" (it doesn't look like a link, just plan text) towards the bottom of the page for the Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed John Duns Scotus. This prayer page can be found by clicking on the picture of Blessed John Duns Scotus in the bottom right hand corner of my website.

19 January 2013

Intellectual Pitfalls

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned the name Alice von Hildebrand. Yesterday, an article by her was published on Catholic News Agency (CNA). This is a very good article, and hits upon some important points that a number of Catholic speakers need to understand.

Please read it:

08 January 2013

Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed John Duns Scotus

Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed John Duns Scotus

O Most High, Almighty and gracious Lord,
Who exalts the humble and confounds the proud of heart,
grant us the great joy of seeing Blessed John Duns Scotus canonized.

He honoured Your Son with the most sublime praises;
he was the first to defend successfully
the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary;
he lived in heroic obedience to the Holy Father,
to the Church and to the Seraphic Order.

O Most Holy Father, God of infinite love,
hear, we beseech You, our humble prayer,
through the merits of Your Only-Begotten Son and of His Mother,
Coredemptrix and Spouse of the Holy Spirit.


03 January 2013

"This Sucks!"

Today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Fr. Elias Mills, F.I. preached a very good homily about it today, which can be found on AirMaria. I find it very disturbing when the Lord’s name is used in vain, but there is the common use of another word that I also find disturbing. The use of this word has become so common that people that would never use the Lord’s name in vain think nothing of repeatedly using it. I can only assume that they are ignorant of, or have forgotten, the true meaning of this word in the context they are using it in.

When I was in grade nine, I became a very big Ozzy Osbourne fan. One day, a girl that I respect very much because of her moral beliefs (never think that your morality doesn’t have an effect on others) said to me, “Ozzy Osbourne sucks!” I was dumb stuck in shock. Not because she disapproved of Ozzy (an opinion I respected), but because she said that he “sucks.”

What does the term suck mean in this context? This is vulgar slang for performing fellatio. I can only assume that the girl I mentioned above had no idea of the origins of the slang usage of this word.