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Confessionals Out, Pagan Art Gallery In (Catholic Caucus)
cmr ^ | January 11, 2010 | matthew archbold

Posted on 01/11/2010 10:24:19 AM PST by NYer

Oh boy. I don't even know where to start with this one. This story is just a microcosm of so much that's wrong with so many of our "Catholic" universities. The Jesuit run University of San Francisco has removed a number of confessionals and replaced them with a "pagan" art gallery.

Yup. You read that right. And they say they're doing it as a "testament to St. Ignatius of Loyola." You know the St. Ignatius whose Exercises state:

In consequence, having made a better Confession and being better disposed, one finds himself in condition and prepared to receive the Blessed Sacrament: the reception of which is an aid not only not to fall into sin, but also to preserve the increase of grace.
Yeah. Good ol' Iggy didn't talk much about the benefit of gawking at pagan art before receiving the Blessed Sacrament. But maybe it was implied.

You know it's one thing to rip out the confessional. It's another to blame St. Ignatius for it.

The great California Catholic Daily writes:
On November 3, 2008, the online newsletter of the Jesuit California province announced the opening of an art gallery in the eastern alcove of St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco.

Said the newsletter, “St. Ignatius Church, a Jesuit parish in San Francisco, celebrated the opening of its new Manresa Gallery on September 18. Formed by four interior alcoves, which previously housed confessional boxes, the gallery is a permanent testament to St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Composition of Place… In keeping with Ignatius’ understanding that his Constitutions or governing rules for Jesuits would include old principles and new ones, the gallery’s philosophy is to include both traditional religious works and contemporary art in a series of changing exhibitions. Commissioned pieces will enhance the dialogue that take places on a larger scale within the ritual space of the church. Manresa Gallery is open on Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. and by appointment.” The article was written by James R. Blaettler, S.J., Associate Pastor of St. Ignatius.

A few weeks ago, I decided to go to St. Ignatius to take a look for myself. While the museum was closed, I was able to look through the windows to get a glimpse of what’s inside. It was a surprising experience to find an art gallery inside a Catholic Church. It became even stranger when the art displayed was not Christian, but pagan.
Firstly, who calls them "confessional boxes?" Maybe they wanted to make them sound unpleasant like some sort of tool used in the Inquisition?

The exhibition is called “The Arts of Java and Bali: Objects of Belief, Ritual and Performance.” So now instead of a confessional you've got a "hermaphroditic wooden figurine, with female breasts and a male erection. Another is a hairy demonic figure with a women’s face protruding from its mouth. Another is a brightly colored, scaled, demonic figure."



Confused? Don't worry. Fr. James R. Blaettler, S.J., Associate Pastor of St. Ignatius is here to explain it all. Ready?
Fr. Blaettler said, the motivation was to “enhance the dialogue that take places on a larger scale within the ritual space of the church.
I don't even know what that means. I honestly don't.

Now to be completely fair the church still retains one confessional. But I'd bet it doesn't see a lot of use. Why would it when the school is sending the message to the students that hermaphroditic wooden figurines are more important than a confessional?

HT A Woman's Place


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach
KEYWORDS: antichristian; falsegods; jesuit; paganism; sfo; subversion

1 posted on 01/11/2010 10:24:20 AM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 01/11/2010 10:24:52 AM PST by NYer ("Where Peter is, there is the Church." - St. Ambrose of Milan)
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To: NYer

I think I’m going to be sick to my stomach.


3 posted on 01/11/2010 10:28:25 AM PST by pgkdan ( I miss Ronald Reagan!)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: NYer

5 posted on 01/11/2010 10:34:01 AM PST by Petronski (In Germany they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist...)
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To: NYer

SF, does this “church” also offer a bath house for public same sex encounters?


6 posted on 01/11/2010 10:34:04 AM PST by a fool in paradise (Al Gore was more concerned with the evil influence of heavy metal than that of radical Imam.)
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To: Petronski

7 posted on 01/11/2010 10:39:24 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: NYer

As to the pagan art: I am reminded of the story told by Andrew Mead, now rector of St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue (PECUSA), of walking through the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (PECUSA) in the company of Fr. Alexander Schmemann. The encounted a statue of the Buddha in a niche off of one of the aisles.

Fr. Alexander is reported of have remarked (Fr. Mead quoted him, imitating his rolling Russian baritone), “Do you know what this is? This is bullsh*t!”

Still, so long as the removal of confessionals is indicative of the adoption of the practice found salutary in the East of combining spiritual counsel with the Mystery of Repentance, in the context of a confession in which the priest clearly knows the penitent, I’m not sure that *that* is necessarily a bad thing.


8 posted on 01/11/2010 10:41:34 AM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: 185JHP; 230FMJ; 69ConvertibleFirebird; Albion Wilde; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

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Even for non-Catholics this is extremely distressing. Catholicism is a bullwark against the destruction of moral absolutes; this is an example of the opposite, and is very saddening. What is needed is a resurgence of traditional Catholicism and CINOs gotten rid of. This will help everyone.

9 posted on 01/11/2010 1:09:45 PM PST by little jeremiah (Asato Ma Sad Gamaya Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya)
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To: NYer
St. John Cantius, Chicago, ILSt. John Cantius, Chicago< ILThe photograph at the left is at St. John Cantius in Chicago and depicts two of their confessionals. They have about ten such confessionals in their church proper. The cool thing is they hear confessions all through the Sunday masses there. It is one of their "specialties," hearing confessions right before the reception of the Most Holy Eucharist. The second photograph shows the length between the back of church where these particular confessionals are located and on towards the front of the church. This entire space had penitents waiting along the wall at yesterday's Tridentine Mass. If you're in the area and you wish to hear a Tridentine Mass (they have Ordinary Form in English as well), stop by St. John Cantius. The Tridentine Mass is so amazing that most people do not leave their pews immediately when it is over. It's a mixture of being in awe and just taking more time to soak in the beauty of Jesus (and appropriate church art). St. John Cantius Parish, Chicago, IL.

10 posted on 01/11/2010 2:08:01 PM PST by mlizzy ("Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person" --Mother Teresa.)
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To: The_Reader_David
“Do you know what this is? This is bullsh*t!”

There's a book about that.

the practice found salutary in the East

The East has its peculiar practices, and I wouldn't dream of imposing ours upon them. I would appreciate seeing the same courtesy extended by them in return.

11 posted on 01/11/2010 2:14:12 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: NYer
Bishops of these dioceses need to hear from us. This is outrageious.

Bishops listed by Diocese

Bishops by Name

Bishops listed by state

12 posted on 01/11/2010 2:22:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

those statues look demonic don’t they?


13 posted on 01/11/2010 3:14:19 PM PST by GOPPachyderm
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To: mlizzy
And what a lovely statue of Christ receiving the Prodigal Son.

Here are our confessionals (we have two):

I spoke to our rector about having Confession hours more frequently than just Saturday afternoon. He said that even on Saturday there is lots of 'dead time' when nobody shows up . . . and he can't afford to have his priests sitting for 2 more hours on another day when they are constantly on the run. He pointed out that anybody can schedule Confession at any time. And I will say that when my daughter comes into town on Sunday evening whichever priest is around is happy to hear her Confession before Mass on Sunday night.

All our priests preach the virtue of frequent Confession, and the Advent and Lenten penance services are very well attended (this year the crowd wasn't out the door, but the church was still quite full).

So I don't know if it's a chicken-and-egg situation (if you had more confessional hours, more people would come - or they wouldn't come ????)

14 posted on 01/11/2010 3:26:51 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: NYer

If the Jesuits just simply HAVE to have a cultural art exhibit, there’s something called a PARISH HALL . . . rather than using a consecrated space for stuff that is clearly dedicated to somebody else’s religion!


15 posted on 01/11/2010 3:28:59 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother
At your Advent penance service, do the priests hear confessions in just the two confessionals (they are very nice by the way; you must love confession yourself to have photos), or are stations set up in the church/elsewhere for the crowds?

That's nice you asked them for additional Confession other than on Saturdays. I think Confession is so very difficult for many people to attend, that the more it's talked about freely and encouraged like your priests do, the better.

My beef about Confession is that there is rarely a face-to-face opportunity, and because of hearing loss, it is required for me. I feel there are others (seniors, especially) who are enough hearing disabled that they are put off attempting to confess (the whole line hearing all their sins, etc.), so they just don't go. Also, our confessional doors are not that wide; if you're in a wheelchair, I don't think it would work out. So I'd love to have a separate station in the church proper every single week where you can choose to be behind a portable screen or sit right by the priest.

I'm going to e-mail St. John's and ask if there's any way I can go to a priest face-to-face at their parish, however, my husband feels any place that honors the Tridentine Mass wouldn't allow face-to-face. It's hell being disabled, I tell ya, when the Church makes you go out of your way (I can always set up a "standing" appointment at my regular parish) to dump your sins.
16 posted on 01/11/2010 6:20:24 PM PST by mlizzy ("Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person" --Mother Teresa.)
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To: mlizzy
When we do the big services, our rector calls in an AWFUL lot of favors, because we have priests all over!

At the last Advent penance service they began with all the priests at the altar and had a little talk on the benefits of confession, a communal prayer, then the priests fanned out to the various 'stations', mostly in the transepts, around the sanctuary, and the narthex, marked with a little barricade around for privacy. Most of course were face-to-face, sitting on two chairs, because there are only two confessionals. We had over a dozen priests in attendance.

Fun time last Lenten penance service, the retired archbishop came and brought a friend of his, a Cardinal, who happened to be visiting in town. That was pretty cool, he just took a chair and heard confessions like everyone else (I wasn't in his line - I went to my favorite confessor, who gives excellent advice and a penance that's stiff enough that you feel like he took you seriously). I wondered if you use a different formula with a Cardinal . . . "bless me your Eminence for I have sinned" . . . but I asked afterwards and you don't.

The way our confessionals are set up, you always have the option of going round to the other side for a face-to-face confession. They are only single-sided, not double sided like the old ones where the priest sat in the middle with a screen on each side. Now that I think about it, there should be plenty of room for a wheelchair to go around the back side of the confessional -

I kinda like the screen, but really don't have a problem with face-to-face. I lead a pretty boring life, and the older I get the less embarrassed I am about almost everything.

I would just lay your problem before the priest in your Email, and explain that you can't get the benefit of the Sacrament through the screen because of your hearing loss. I've found that most folks are perfectly willing to accommodate an honest problem or obstacle, if you just explain it to them in a straightforward way, as frankly as you can. And be as accommodating as you can to the priest if he suggests a solution.

The Canons (and the Vatican clarification of 1998) do give a priest the power to decide NOT to hear confessions outside the grille at all, and I don't imagine the FSSP folks are very keen on the idea of face-to-face, but the Canons also say that the priest should temper justice with mercy -- anyway, I'd ask.

17 posted on 01/11/2010 6:51:38 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother
spoke to our rector about having Confession hours more frequently than just Saturday afternoon. He said that even on Saturday there is lots of 'dead time' when nobody shows up . . . and he can't afford to have his priests sitting for 2 more hours on another day when they are constantly on the run. He pointed out that anybody can schedule Confession at any time.

The most popular time in my parish is between Masses on Sunday morning. The lines are long enough that frequently there are two priests hearing them. Our priests are in the church every Sunday from 8 am - 1 pm in various capacities. Honestly, they don't leave. Hearing confessions is part of the job. Yes, anyone can schedule a time, but that doesn't do much for the anonymity.

18 posted on 01/11/2010 7:40:30 PM PST by Desdemona (These are the times that try men's souls. - Remember Christmas 1776)
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To: NYer

Darn Jesuits. Here, they ripped out a 100 rank organ and threw it in a dumpster. St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for them. They need all the help they can get.


19 posted on 01/11/2010 7:43:37 PM PST by Desdemona (These are the times that try men's souls. - Remember Christmas 1776)
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To: Desdemona

Well, dang. We sure could have used that organ! Who made it? (not that it matters, I guess - it’s gone.)


20 posted on 01/11/2010 8:53:10 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother
St. John Cantius, Chicago, ILWhat a wonderful comment, and with all the hoopla in the Religion Forum lately regarding the Catholic threads -- not marked with [Catholic Caucus] and the venom spewed therein (by just a few folks--seems their comments could easily be eliminated!), it's all the more refreshing to see. Your love for Confession is obvious and your attitude shows that it works as well! Funny comment about, "bless me your Eminence ...," not to mention you "lead a pretty boring life.":)

My usual confessor for years (ever other Tuesday at 10) was an Opus Dei priest that was a tremendous confessor (he even once gave me "no penance," and it's a standing joke from my husband -- I still, however, go by what I "heard" -- that my hearing at that point must have deteriorated sufficiently as he never knew of anyone receiving no penance -- husband is a cradle Catholic, I, a convert -- and he thought it was a miracle; I wink and say, "seems I only have one more to go!"), but I no longer can confess to this priest even though he is still hearing confessions every Tuesday at our church. It's a little painful to see his name on the door and know I can't go in in face-to-face fashion.

Our confessionals, unlike yours, however, do not even allow face-to-face anyway. I've discussed it briefly with our new very wonderful priest, but he's young, and not fully aware it seems of disabilities, and the angst and disappointment they can cause in situations like this ... but I'll keep up my vigilance and take your words to heart and see if I can't get something set up for not just me, but all the disabled that have been put off by this slight (in my mind) of some of the parishes. I do respect the Orders that will not participate in face-to-face, but maybe they could somehow just "hear" the confession; I have no trouble talking, and then come up with some kind of further resolution from there (writing down the penance on an Etch a Sketch-ish type thingey -- or there's always "texting!" so it could easily be removed by the priest), because I would love to be "in line" at St. John's.

Just recently, I have thought possibly my disability was given as a gift so that I could pursue this and eventually bring more disabled to the extraordinary Sacrament of Confession at all parishes, not just the ones that have face-to-face available. Confession is definitely underused, and yet it removes boulders of pain and sorrow, as you (and your fab priests!) know, freeing us up to look Jesus in the eye ... well, sort of.

21 posted on 01/12/2010 2:19:11 AM PST by mlizzy ("Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person" --Mother Teresa.)
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To: mlizzy

as an old timer Catholic i feel Confession is a good teaching tool for the younger set-those from grade school on up ‘til about confirmation time. If an adult Catholic is going to confession to confess in breaking the 10 Commandments then one would think perhaps this individual may need counseling.
No offense against you but I DO think the Roman Cath Church needs to re-vamp this time-honored outdated tradition.


22 posted on 01/12/2010 2:33:59 AM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT (Free Nobel Peace Prize with oil change =^..^=)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT
St. John Cantius, Chicagoas an old timer Catholic i feel Confession is a good teaching tool for the younger set-those from grade school on up ‘til about confirmation time. If an adult Catholic is going to confession to confess in breaking the 10 Commandments then one would think perhaps this individual may need counseling. No offense against you but I DO think the Roman Cath Church needs to re-vamp this time-honored outdated tradition.

No offense taken, but surely there are more sins than the "Top Ten" that oldsters [like myself] get involved in. Even coming on FreeRepublic and giving a bunch of crap to the "instigators" that deserve it on the "Religion Forum," but nonetheless shouldn't be the recipients of my "anger," is a sin, yet I don't think "standard" counseling is needed for my *clears throat* affliction. And Confession, in and of itself IS counseling ... counseling from Our Lord via suggestions, prayers, and forgiveness, don't you think?

23 posted on 01/12/2010 3:59:19 AM PST by mlizzy ("Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person" --Mother Teresa.)
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To: mlizzy

thank you for the lovely pic esp the angel.

i needed to see that angel today!


24 posted on 01/12/2010 4:19:27 AM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT (Free Nobel Peace Prize with oil change =^..^=)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT
thank you for the lovely pic esp the angel. i needed to see that angel today!

You are very welcome. You can click on the angel, and it will enlarge to nice size.
25 posted on 01/12/2010 5:12:02 AM PST by mlizzy ("Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person" --Mother Teresa.)
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To: mlizzy

Do you believe in angels their powers?


26 posted on 01/12/2010 5:16:06 AM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT (Free Nobel Peace Prize with oil change =^..^=)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT
Catechism of the Catholic Church on Angels

Please click for close-up of the altar at St. John Cantius, Chicago, IL, 01-10-10Do you believe in angels their powers?

Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say on angels. (I've included 334-336 above.)

Me personally? Do I believe in their powers? Just this past Sunday, at St. John Cantius Church in Chicago (photo taken Sunday--click for close-up of altar), I attended their Tridentine Mass (this is not our usual parish, by the way, but is quickly becoming so) and during the homily (which is longer than our usual church's Novus Ordo Mass homily), because I could not make out what the priest was saying because of my hearing loss, I became somewhat distracted and began looking for angels at the altar. While I did not, in fact, *see* any angels, I knew they were there as much as I know anything on this earth, and, yes, I do *indeed* believe in their powers.

27 posted on 01/12/2010 6:29:57 AM PST by mlizzy ("Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person" --Mother Teresa.)
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To: mlizzy

ANGELS!


28 posted on 01/12/2010 6:42:51 AM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT (Free Nobel Peace Prize with oil change =^..^=)
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To: NYer

scary looking?yes,demonic? NO,only if you give those figures your uber-intentionality of demonism.


29 posted on 01/12/2010 6:45:41 AM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT (Free Nobel Peace Prize with oil change =^..^=)
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To: NYer

San Fran, burn in heck. Is there any website for this Jesuit Church (and hey, I LIKE Jesuits, am from a Jesuit school and univ) for us to complain and send them nasty emails as well?


30 posted on 01/12/2010 7:16:27 AM PST by Cronos (Philipp2:12, 2Cor5:10, Rom2:6, Matt7:21, Matt22:14, Lu12:42-46,John15:1-10,Rev2:4-5,Rev22:19)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT; mlizzy
Re: confession of other than mortal sins - from my handy little iPieta (an iPhone app) Examination of Conscience:

"Confession is not just for mortal sins. Frequent Confession is an easy and powerful means to overcome venial sins and lukewarmness."

Archbishop Sheen on frequent Confession

I probably appreciate the Sacrament more because, as an Episcopalian, I didn't have it. While they theoretically permit an individual, auricular confession, in practice it isn't done. All you have is a General Confession during the service. The contrast is unmistakeable - it is way too easy to say, "Yup! I'm a sinner!" and get a general absolution without having to ponder what manner of sin and how many times committed . . .

And in the comic relief department, here's a hilarious video of the "Automatic Confession". It's in Italian, but it's got subtitles. It sort of crystallizes my fear of being overheard . . . .

. . . and I think some of those censorious ladies MIGHT hang around our church . . . hope I'm not one of them!

31 posted on 01/12/2010 12:48:09 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Cronos

This church is USF, Uni of San Fran. Find their website and complain to Father President.


32 posted on 01/12/2010 1:12:16 PM PST by pbear8 (Climate change is a fraud like Obama)
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To: AnAmericanMother

“iPieta”-IPhoneapp? omg i’m waaay behind


33 posted on 01/12/2010 1:33:20 PM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT (Free Nobel Peace Prize with oil change =^..^=)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT
It's dirt cheap too -- $1.99 or $2.99, can't remember which. Includes both EF and OF calendars, with links to the readings, the entire Bible in English and Latin, the entire Baltimore Catechism (as well as St. Thomas's Catechism and the entire Summa Theologica), lives of the saints, every prayer you ever heard of, a lot of them with audio so you can listen while you're driving, a complete guide to Confession . . . and on and on and on.

You can also get the Breviary on line, and the entire Liber Usualis with scores and searchable calendar (THAT is pricey by iPhone standards - 24 bucks).

34 posted on 01/12/2010 3:49:22 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother

thanksbutnothanks!


35 posted on 01/13/2010 1:32:33 PM PST by MissDairyGoodnessVT (Free Nobel Peace Prize with oil change =^..^=)
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To: MissDairyGoodnessVT

It’s got a downside. Those same little old ladies who were looking down their noses at Sig. Urrutia think that I’m texting in church!


36 posted on 01/13/2010 1:39:59 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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