Blessing after Miscarriage

I recently had the opportunity – for the first time in my 8.5 years as a priest – to do a “Blessing after Miscarriage”. I wanted to post about it, because I suspect that it is simply not widely known that it is even a possibility.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for all mothers!

Nowadays, I ordinarily use the 1962 Roman Ritual for blessings, as I generally find the prayers contained therein to be more meaningful and efficacious. However, in this case, there is no such blessing found in the older rites! It is the newer Book of Blessings that has this ritual/blessing, in both a longer and a shorter form.

You can see a somewhat simplified form HERE. (In the actual Book of Blessings, there are some additional options given, as well as a short form – so I recommend to any priest who may want to offer this blessing to use the deadtree version and not the online edition.)

If you know anyone who has recently suffered a miscarriage, you might suggest that she approach her priest to receive this blessing.

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Vestments Arrived

The vestments that many of you helped me purchase have just arrived – a day early, and in any case, much faster than I ever expected!


I will bless them soon. I will be able to use the green one for the first time tomorrow at a school Mass that I will celebrate, and the white set will be used for the first time next Wednesday evening! (FYI – these two Masses will be the first of the 10 total that I will celebrate for those who helped me raise the funds for these.) I’ll see if I can get someone to take some photos of them while in use.

Again, many thanks!!

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Many Thanks!

Beautiful textiles in a beautiful painting of the Annunciation.

Beautiful textiles in a beautiful painting of the Annunciation.

My profound thanks to all who helped me be able purchase two beautiful chasuble sets! I updated the original post (click here) with more information. I’m making this separate post also, since the update would not have been “pushed” out to those who read the blog via email subscription – but this will. Know of my grateful prayers!

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Help Me Buy A Chasuble?

UPDATE January 16, 2017 – I have removed the links to the crowdfunding page, as a total of $1,800.00 was donated so that I could purchase not only the white set pictured but also this green chasuble & stole! Thank you to all for your great generosity! I’m overwhelmed by the 21 generous gifts that came in — and so quickly. Know of my prayers for all!



Friends, with some trepidation I have decided to try a “crowdfunding” campaign in order to buy a new white vestment for my “personal” use. I say “personal” inasmuch as it would be technically of my possession and used mostly by me. But its use would be for the Church’s public worship – definitely not a merely “personal” affair! If I am able to raise the money needed, I will offer a total of ten (10) Masses for my benefactors over the next months.

The great vestment maker of London, Watts & Co., has a good discount offered right now, such that I can purchase the entire set pictured above for about $1,200 USD. That includes the extra “accessories” needed for the celebration of the Tridentine (old Latin) Mass, which I have been doing with greater frequency lately. I would be most grateful if you helped me reach the goal! If I don’t raise what’s needed, I’ll refund donations. Please see the crowdfunding page for more information: HERE.

Please click either the image above or THIS LINK to go to the YouCaring page I set up and read more about this “project”! (You may also have to click “Read More” to see all that I wrote.) Thank you for your consideration. Here, also, is an older post on this blog about the matter of beautiful vestments: HERE.

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The Pope of Gestures

Pope Francis has repeatedly been referred to as “the pope of gestures“.

It is of note, then, that the Holy Father again celebrated Mass on the high altar of the Sistine Chapel this past Sunday, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (on the Vatican calendar – here it was on Monday), instead of having a temporary detached altar set up (which he did for his very first Mass as Pope in the Sistine Chapel).

A screenshot from the Vatican Television video of the event.

A screenshot from the Vatican Television video of the event.

This is the fourth year in a row that the Holy Father has celebrated Mass on the high altar of the Sistine (see this year’s video here). He also celebrated one time with this same orientation (facing the cross, popularly called “ad orientem”) at the tomb of Pope St. John Paul II (see here).

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Merry Christmas to All

Receive my prayers and wishes for a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

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In Time for Christmas

My saturno arrived today — much quicker than expected. This will do nicely. 

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Weddings and the Sunday Obligation

It’s very common nowadays for couples to hold their wedding on a Saturday afternoon – in my current parish, 1:30pm is the standard time.

A question that I often pose to couples when I am doing marriage preparation is: How will you make provision for your Sunday obligation? You will have your wedding, party into the wee hours, get some rest, and then (usually) depart for your honeymoon sometime the next day. Will you also go to Sunday Mass?

It appears that, in spite of the months of planning that go into every aspect of the weekend, few couples prepare also to include Sunday Mass. And it is a pity. Are they ultimately starting off their marriage on the wrong foot?

In my diocese, priests are given the faculty to dispense from the Sunday obligation in individual cases. If a couple were to request this from me, I would very likely grant it – if for no other reason than the fact that they actually included it in their planning! But I cannot recall any case where a couple requested to be dispensed.

I suppose that Saturday has long been the preferred day for weddings. Are there any “old-timers” out there who got married on a Saturday and then went to Mass the next day? I wonder if this problem is not really all that new. In any case, I would encourage brother priests, wedding planners, marriage preparation couples/mentors, and any others to address it in their respective areas of work.

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Saturno – Another Priest Christmas Gift Idea

I’ve never really been much of a hat-wearer, but I do enjoy the wonderful variety of hats in the Church. Recently, it seems, a particular style of hat has been in the news: the Saturno (so-called because it resembles the planet Saturn with its rings).


There are a number of sellers of this type of hat online, with a wide range of prices. However, this seller out of Milan, Italy, seems to be very reputable and also has quite reasonable prices:

Cappelleria Melegari (Click for the Saturno page)

As you can see, they have options in simple wool felt, (fake) fur, “melousine” (a synthetic beaver pelt-like material – traditionally these hates were made of beaver pelt, at least for winter use), and then straw (for summer). The simple wool felt one, with shipping to the US added (and IVA – sales tax – subtracted off), comes out to about $130 after converting to Dollars from Euros. That’s not a bad price.

Maybe see if your priest wants one? “Father, what’s your hat size?”…

(It does say that it takes them 20 days to fulfill the order. And I would guess that with the holidays coming up they will have a longer delay.)

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Now Available – Bilingual Catechism

I am pleased to announce the release of a resource I developed several years ago, now to a wider market. It is a basic bilingual catechism (Spanish/English). This resource meets a pastoral need that I have encountered over and over again: in working with Latino immigrants, I have found that a very large number of them have little formal education in the Catholic faith. Many come to the Church as adults to make their first communion — some, even, to be baptized! When faced with pastoral situations such as this, it is helpful for the pastor or catechist to have a basic resource to put in their hands: something that can be a sort of “springboard” for learning what is needed for sacramental preparation and personal spiritual growth. I have also found that many individuals who already have their sacraments enjoy this resource for “brushing up on the basics” of their faith.


Click image to go to the sale page

This slim volume, at 98 pages, entitled Our Wonderful Catholic Faith, has a number of features that I think are quite useful:

  • It is in large print (helpful for the many immigrants who have poor eyesight and have never been able to remedy that due to their financial situation)
  • It is completely bilingual (helpful especially for the second generation – those born here – who live in “both worlds” and who need to know their faith in both languages; also helpful for those who still only speak Spanish but need to learn English in order to integrate better into American society)
  • It is attractively priced (at just under $5.00 per volume – notwithstanding coupons that you might find on sites like – making it affordable for pastors and catechists to buy multiple copies and even re-sell them at a modest profit; also making it affordable for those of modest financial means, like many immigrants)
  • A complete preview is available online (on the sale page, there is a small “Preview” link that you can click on to thumb through every page of the book on your web browser and so know what you are buying in advance)

As you will see from the online preview (accessible via a small link under the cover image on the sale page), this book has several sections: Basic Prayers (including the beautiful rhyming prayers often used in Spanish), Formulas of Catholic Doctrine (often in list format, either for memorization or reference), Questions and Answers (101 total, touching upon the main tenets of the faith in a non-exhaustive manner), How to Confess Well (including a basic examination of conscience suitable for children – when this book will be used by adults, a more complete examen should be inserted), and a section on Indulgences (this may seem somewhat esoteric to some, but I am convinced that by teaching the spirituality of indulgences we can be most effective at encouraging regular worthy reception of the sacraments).

A pastor faced with helping an adult immigrant prepare to complete his Christian initiation could give him a copy of this book, encourage him to study it, and then meet with him on several occasions to “flesh out” the relevant sections and understand them better. An Hispanic family (with bilingual children) that wants to practice daily family prayer could use the prayer section of this book as a guide, ensuring that their children not only learn their prayers in Spanish but can see them in English also. A seminarian charged with learning Spanish could find in this book a good reference for things not easily found elsewhere.

This book does not pretend to be exhaustive: there is much more that I could have included in it, such as “How to pray the Rosary”, the Stations of the Cross, more Q&A, the Liturgical Year, etc. But I saw the need for something more basic. Perhaps in the future I will be able to develop a more comprehensive resource. This book is not meant to replace official Church catechisms, such as the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, but rather is to serve as an introduction to such official resources.

To learn more and/or to place an order, GO HERE (click). Remember to check the web site, typing “” in the search box — often there are great coupons available. (As of this posting on 11/26/16 there is a 35% off coupon available!)

Please share this resource with your pastor, DRE, other parish staff, seminarians, and other possibly interested parties!

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Priests


Several visitors to the blog have arrived via Google search on “Christmas gift ideas for priests” or the like in the last week or so. I have posted on this in the past, but figured I should post an update with some additional thoughts – since several kind folks are apparently wanting them! In addition, if you search the web, you will find other sites that provide suggestions.

1. A Prayer Commitment – Priests are used to signing Mass cards for others, but rarely receive the gift of a Mass card for their intentions (if you request one, maybe go to another parish, so another priest fulfills the intention). Spiritual bouquets and other prayer commitments, also, are always appreciated. Priests need prayer in a particular way, since the devil is like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8) and especially targets priests; also, it is always a consolation to know that people are praying for you in a special way.

2. Cash (for a diocesan priest – religious orders have different policies about whether their priests may accept cash, or indeed, any gift) – Most priests have certain things they would buy if they had the extra money: perhaps a special vestment, a plane ticket, a new cassock, or any number of other things. Cash (or check) is always appreciated.

3. Booze – Usually the priest’s secretary knows what kind of whisky/bourbon he likes, wine, etc. It’s well known that there are some priests with drinking problems (priests are people too…) – also, if you get the sense that your priest struggles with loneliness, this gift may not be a good idea in his case. But if he is well-adjusted and tends to stay busy, then this should be a safe and much-appreciated gift.

4. Gift Cards – Again, the parish secretary may know which restaurants Father likes or which store he buys his black socks at. Car wash gift cards are a great idea as well! Is there a full-service car wash in town where they will also do the vacuuming and waxing for you? Even better.

5. Books – This can get a little tricky, since many priests, on the one hand, do not have a whole lot of time to read nowadays (definitely not a good thing), and on the other hand, tend to have their own interests with regard to which authors/subjects/genres to read. But I will recommend two books that Father might be less likely to have and that would be edifying for him: A Man Approved (see my post about it here) and In Sinu Iesu (recently published – see here). (If you’re not sure, Amazon gift cards always work great.)

These are the items that immediately come to mind… if anyone recommends anything else, feel free to leave a comment and I may add it to the list. Thank you for your kindness and generosity to your priest(s)!

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Christmas Greetings to Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict

It’s time once again for many to start thinking about their Christmas cards. My post last year about sending cards to Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict was very popular. I again want to share their addresses, for those who might want to include them on their list. Here is that post, with a new image (click to go to an interesting online shop):


If you’d like to send Christmas greetings to Pope Francis and/or Pope Emeritus Benedict, these are the addresses that you may use:

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Domus Sanctae Marthae
00120 Vatican City-State

His Holiness, Pope Emeritus
Benedict XVI
Mater Ecclesiae Monastery
00120 Vatican City-State

Traditionally, the Vatican Secretariat of State (which handles a lot of the incoming mail) will send a Christmas holy card in gratitude for the greetings sent to the Holy Father. I can’t guarantee that you will get one, but this is what happened in the past. And of course, it’s not known for certain if the Pope will ever get to see your card, but it is the thought that counts and there is the chance that he will!

It’s nice also to send a Christmas card to your local bishop and your parish priest (and to anyone else whose “family” is the Church – so, local convents/monasteries as well)!

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