Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Rooting for a Cardinals’ Double Play

September 22nd, 2014, Promulgated by Hopefull

Makes perfect sense:  Burke to NYC, Dolan to Malta.  Turn-2!

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40 Days for Life Update

September 21st, 2014, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

From the Rochester 40 Days for Life email distribution list:

Hello pro-lifers.  There’s only 5 days to go before the Fall 2013 40 Days for Life campaign begins.  Here are some important points to be aware of:

  1. Attached is a file showing key locations for the Kick-off Rally and Prayer Vigil as well as a file covering the dos and don’ts of 40 DFL.  Please look them over.
  2. The on-line schedule is open ready to accept sign-ups for particular time slots.  Due to the re-designed website, all participants must re-register this year before attempting to use the on-line schedule. Just go to and click on “Login / Signup” in the upper right corner . If you don’t register first and login, you will only be able to view the schedule.
  1. The Kick-off Rally is Tuesday September 23 from 6:30 to 8:30.  Centre City Place – 80 University Ave.  We are asking everyone to bring one non-perishable food item, or baby formula, or diapers (size 4 or 5 preferred) to help stock the shelves of the Focus Pregnancy Center as they strive to serve the poor of the community.  Desserts and refreshments will be served.  The agenda for the rally is as follows:
  • 6:30  Opening remarks / Prayer
  • 6:40  Speaker #1 – Rev. Mike Warren – Rescue Rochester
  • 7:00  Live Music by Aidan Loughran and Brody Walsh
  • 7:15  Speaker #2 – Suzanne Stack – Life Issues Coordinator for the Diocese of Rochester
  • 7:35  40 DFL informational video
  • 7:45  Speaker #3 – Fr. Michael Mayer – parochial vicar, Our Lady of Peace Church
  • 8:05  Candlelight vigil on sidewalk
  • 8:20  Dessert / Fellowship

Thank you for standing up for life.


Sung Mass Tomorrow (and every Sunday)

September 20th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie


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st.alban-stainedglassSunday, September 21

Sung Roman Catholic Mass at 12:30 pm

3302 East Henrietta Road, Henrietta
(The older Good Shepherd church building fronting on East Henrietta Road).

Music for the day:

September 21: Pentecost XV (Jacob Fuhrman, organist)

Processional: 279 “Praise to the Lord, the almighty” (Lobe den Herren)

Offertory: 479 “Love divine, all loves excelling” (Hyfrydol)

Recessional: 385 “Glorious things of thee are spoken” (Austria)


The Truth

September 18th, 2014, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

While you wait for “Remaining in the Truth of Christ” to be published (in which Cardinal Burke is one of the authors), you can read a response to Cardinal Kasper’s proposals by a handful of Dominican scholars titled “Recent Proposals for the Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried: A Theological Assessment” from Nova et Vetera (direct link to pdf here, hat tip Called To Communion).

As to the soap opera regarding the upcoming synod, proposed changes to unchangeable truths, book publishings, rumored exiles, and more, we can not possibly keep up with it all here. For the latest in the drama, you can read all about it at Rorate Caeli, Fr. Z’s blog, and Sandro Magister’s blog (who first broke the news on +Burke’s exile).

From Creative Minority Report:

The truth, revealed to us by God in the Creation and in the Redemption, must find always a faithful witness in us, for the sake of our own salvation and for the salvation of the world. -Cardinal Burke (source Rorate Caeli.)

Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty! – St. Piux X


Ordinariate Community in Washington, D.C.

September 16th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

From the National Catholic Register

By Charlotte Hays 9-12-2014


Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, celebrated Mass Sept. 7 at Immaculate Conception Church in Washington, D.C.
– Elza Daniel

WASHINGTON — A formerly Episcopal community that entered the Catholic Church in 2011 marked a historic moment in their journey to Rome when they gathered on Sept. 7 in downtown Washington for their first regularly scheduled Sunday Mass in the nation’s capital.

St. Luke’s at Immaculate Conception — as the community will now be known — offered its first Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in downtown Washington after its move from its former home in a small, rented church in Bladensburg, Md.

St. Luke’s made headlines in 2011 when it became the first Episcopal church in the Washington, D.C., area and the second in the state of Maryland to come into the Catholic Church under the provisions of Pope Benedict XVI’s Anglicanorum Coetibus. Anglicanorum Coetibus is an apostolic constitution that makes it possible for groups of Anglican congregations to enter the Catholic Church, while maintaining distinctive elements of their spiritual, pastoral, and liturgical patrimony.

The Vatican-approved Mass used by the St. Luke’s Community makes use of prayers from a number of Anglican and Episcopal sources, including the Anglican Books of Common Prayer from 1549 and 1662. The Mass fulfills the Sunday obligation… MORE

Read more:

Our own Roman Catholic Ordinariate Community here in Rochester (Henrietta) is the Fellowship of Saint Alban which offers the Anglican Use Mass every Sunday at 12:30 P.M. in the Church of the Good Shepherd, 3318 E Henrietta Rd, Henrietta. The Ordinariate Roman Catholic Mass fulfills your Sunday obligation.

The website for St. Alban is

The Mass at Saint Alban is celebrated “ad orientum”. The website for St. Alban is


Father McAlear Returns!

September 15th, 2014, Promulgated by Hopefull
Fr. Richard McAlear speaking at the Charismatic Conference in Steubenville

Fr. Richard McAlear speaking at the Charismatic Conference in Steubenville

Those who have long been praying for Father Mac’s health and strength to return will especially rejoice in his return to Rochester and Buffalo next month.  It has been several years since we’ve seen him, and had the opportunity to experience the healing gifts which flow through him from God.   Welcome back, Father Mac!

To learn more, visit and click on the video.  It is well worth the half hour listening, even if you are NOT going to see him locally.  Anyone who takes the words “New Evangelization” with any seriousness should hear these words, and take them to heart.

Shown below are excerpts from the letter received from his local ministry, which facilitates these visits.  No teaching day is shown this year, which is understandable given all the very serious health challenges Fr. Mac has had the past few years.

But the most important element of his ministry will be present — celebration of the Mass, Exposure of the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration, Fr. Mac’s sermon/homily, available confessions, and hands-on healing.  We all need healing, but if you know people who especially need physical healing, please put this date on their calendars asap, and help them to come if they need assistance.   Surely, that will be both a spiritual and a corporal work of mercy!  For the sake of those who follow Cleansing Fire from other areas of the country, Fr. Mac’s expanded calendar is also shown below.

Dear Friends in Christ,

Fr. McAlear and his Ministry of Hope & Healing is coming to the Buffalo —Rochester area in October 2014.
Fr. Mac's upcoming calendar.

Fr. Mac’s upcoming calendar.

Fr. McAlear is much in demand all over the world for his gifts of teaching and the healing love of Jesus Christ that flows through him. Please come and bring a friend.
We will have Fr. McAlear’s books, cd’s and dvd’s all available  at the Rochester event.
Please check out his web site for complete information on his schedule, prayer requests at .
Fri., October 10 at 7 pm St. Pius X Church
3000 Chili Avenue
Rochester, NY 14624
(585) 436-4433
Contact: Karen
Wed., October 8 at 7 pm St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy
325 Walden Ave @ Miller St.
Buffalo, NY 14211
(716) 894-4476

Happy Birthday, Bishop Matano!

September 15th, 2014, Promulgated by Hopefull

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Happy Birthday

Bishop Matano





Church Architecture Styles: Byzantine

September 11th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

The architectural form of the dome and centrally oriented ground plan became major characteristics of the Byzantine style. Constantine had moved his capital from Rome to the fairly small city of Byzantium1 in the eastern half of the empire in 324 where he had churches built according to the traditional Roman basilica style. But, one, the Church of the Holy Apostles, was constructed with two basilicas or halls (without side aisles) crossing each other forming a Greek cross layout. In addition, domes are thought to have covered the crossing space and the four arms of the cross. Constantine actually intended the structure to be his mausoleum and had his tomb positioned under the center dome. The altar was, presumably,  in the apse. The Church of the Holy Apostles was much celebrated and copied throughout the Roman Empire but most especially in the eastern provinces.

Greek Cross Plan possibly used in Constantine's "Church of the Holy Apostles" in Constantinople, 4th century

Fig. 1 – Greek Cross Plan with domes possibly used in Constantine’s “Church of the Holy Apostles” in Constantinople, 4th century. The horizontal arms are called ‘transepts’.

High domes over the center of the naves of churches interrupt the horizontal movement to the altar in the traditional basilica and introduce a vertical element. The dome began to symbolize heaven and the ground level, earth. Imagery in the dome and on the walls reflected this hierarchical order.

"Church of the Holy Wisdom" ("Hagia Sophia"), built by the Emperor Justinian I, 6th century.

Fig. 2 -”Church of the Holy Wisdom” (“Hagia Sophia”), built by the Emperor Justinian I, 6th century. Justinian’s ambitious building campaign of dome covered cross planned churches signaled the start of the ‘Byzantine” style.


Fig. 3 -The high placed domes over the center of the nave in Byzantine style churches introduces a strong vertical element. At the top of the dome is an image of God the Almighty Ruler of the Universe looking down from heaven. Saints occupy the intermediate zones between the highest heavens and earth, the floor level of the building, because they intercede between heaven and earth.

Basic ground plan of a Byzantine style church. This building employs only one dome. Altars continued to be placed at the chord of the apse. Clergy continued to sit along the curved wall of the apse.

Fig. 4 -Basic ground plan of a Byzantine style church. This building employs only one dome. Altars continued to be placed at the chord of the apse. Clergy continued to sit along the curved wall of the apse.

There are several variations of the centrally planned Byzantine style, the most common being the ‘cross in square’ plan.

Cross in square plane. The arms of the cross are raised higher that the corners of the square and the dome, higher yet. The dome would be sitting on a cylindrical 'drum' to raised it higher. The drum served as a clerestory, punctured with windows.

Fig. 5 -Cross in square plan. The arms of the cross are raised higher than the corners of the square, and the dome was raised even higher. The dome would be sitting on a cylindrical ‘drum’ to raise it. The drum served as a clerestory wall and so was punctured with windows. The red line in this diagram indicates a chancel railing or windowed screen (“Templon’) that reserved the altar end of the building for clergy. The ‘Prothesis’ apse was where the bread and wine were prepared for the Eucharistic liturgy.  The ‘Diaconicon’ was for the storage of liturgical books, vestments, vessels, etc.


Fig. 6 -This Byzantine style church in Athens, Greece, has only one dome and is laid out in a Greek Cross plan. The transepts also end in apses. Notice the vertical nature of the windows and the ‘banded brick’ pattern of the exterior of the drum. Both are characteristics of the Byzantine style.


Fig. 7 -Looking toward the apse. An Iconostasis screen shields the chancel/altar area. Iconostasis screens did not appear until ca. 1000 or even later. Notice the abundance of imagery common in Byzantine and Orthodox churches. The program of imagery (in mosaic and/or fresco) in Byzantine churches is thought to have been introduced in a palace chapel in Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I.

Overall, embellishments and decorative elements in Byzantine churches betray eastern or oriental (think Persian and Arabic) influences as Byzantium (Constantinople, now Istanbul) was/is on the border between Europe and Asia. Such designs emphasized splendor, complexity, both organic and geometric pattern and color. The classical Greek and Roman forms of arch, dome, and columns merged in the Byzantine style with eastern design elements.


Fig. 8 -Here the classical Greek and Roman Ionic capital has been altered by a pattern of intricately carved leaf forms, betraying eastern influences.


Fig. 9 -It is hard to detect any classical Greek and Roman elements in this Byzantine capital except for perhaps the scroll like forms at the bottom. This is thoroughly eastern in appearance. These flat intricately carved capitals are sometimes called ‘basket capitals’.

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Fig 10 San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, 526-47. Mosaics above and veined marble columns and walls below are characteristics of the Byzantine style.


Fig 11 A chancel railing or ‘templon’ screen (as in this illustration) marked the border between the holiest part of the church and the nave in the Byzantine style. The ‘chancel’ area included the altar and apse and was reserved for the clergy. The church represented in this illustration also has a type of ‘solea’ or walled walkway for the clergy to process to the ‘ambo’ for the scripture readings. The ‘ambo’ is the raised platform. There were no seats. The congregation stood the whole time.

Many regional variations in the Byzantine style developed as Christianity spread into Russia and other regions.


Fig 12 Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow. A totally unique expression within the Byzantine tradition.

"National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception", Washington D.C., 20th century

Fig. 13 “National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception”, Washington D.C., 20th century. Byzantine Revival Style

Fig. 14 "National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception", Washington D.C., 20th century. Byzantine Revival Style. In addition, the dome is meant to echo the dome of the U.S. Capitol building and the tower mimics the Washington Monument.

Fig. 14 “National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception”, Washington D.C., 20th century. Byzantine Revival Style. In addition, the dome is meant to echo the dome of the U.S. Capitol building and the tower mimics the Washington Monument.

Do you know of any Byzantine style churches in your area? There are several in the Rochester area. What characteristics would you look for?


1 The term ‘Byzantine’ is derived from the name of the city of Byzantium. Constantine renamed his new capital ‘New Rome’.  After his death it was named ‘Constantinople’.  The Ottomans changed the name to ‘Istanbul” after their conquest of the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century.


Photo Sources:

Fig.1 By Apostoleion.jpg: Agur derivative work: Arnaugir (Apostoleion.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Fig. 3 Bernie Dick

Fig. 4 Bernie Dick

Fig. 5 Bernie Dick

Fig. 8 Bernie Dick

Fig. 9 Bernie Dick

Fig. 7

Fig. 12 “Moscow July 2011-4a” by Alvesgaspar – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Fig 13 “Basilica National Shrine Immaculate Conception DC 34″ by Gryffindor – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons – Fig.

Fig. 14


Update on “America” Rag-azine and its Dolan-ic Defense

September 9th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

A few months ago, a new editor was named for the Jesuit “Rag-azine” titled “America.”  The publication’s title has always seemed rather presumptuous to me, perhaps never more so than now, in its current lack of any meaningful achievement for the Faith in America or for countering the pagan culture onslaught.   It is as if “America” has no role but to publish, rather than to teach, evangelize or plant a meaningful theological thesis or spiritual impulse.  We should judge by the fruits.  What are they?  Today, all things Jesuit can easily hide under the Jesuit aura of the Papacy, and perhaps receive more deference than has been deserved in a very long time.  But it doesn’t make them fruitful, or faithful.   I say that without in any way diminishing the historic contributions of Jesuits, especially their martyrdom to hold the British soil for the Faith.

Nevertheless, I took a quick read through the new editor’s ruminations, and found them somewhat lacking in cohesion and insight, a veritable potpourri of words without apparent direction.  For example, the September comments by the new editor, Father Matt Malone, is a transparent pulpit for Cardinal Kasper and his radical, damaging proposals to change Catholic Teaching (just before the Synod) and to permit divorced/remarried Catholics to receive Communion.  The buzzword “mercy” can hardly undo the Gospel words of Christ that no one can put asunder what God has joined together.

The  August column is a puff piece on the editor’s visit to Cuba and the late July  issue, while purporting to offer the two sides of the Hamas-Gaza vs. Israel conflict, in effect showcases far more anti-Israel sentiment than vice versa.  The early July column would lead the reader to never suspect there is any such thing as a just-war theory, or that Christ spoke the Truth when He said there would be wars and rumors of wars.

I didn’t go back any further than June in which the editor played the RACE card.  Father Malone offers the inflammatory words:  “I do know this: the notion that whites—even the most enlightened among us—“don’t see race” is ridiculous. It’s quite obviously the first thing that we see. I don’t forget that someone is black, any more than he or she forgets that I am white. That’s just something white people tell themselves in order to feel a little less complicit in the whole ghastly history of racial prejudice.”  Father Malone outrageously continues:  “Do we openly acknowledge our history, our complicity, our shame, while not forgetting our triumphs and joys and especially our hopes for healing?”  “What we need is plenty of honest conversation, painful conversation about what we have done.” This editor offers not much insight into who “we” is, but it isn’t me or most of the people I know.  The new editor is making the classic mistake of asserting that he speaks for all his readers.  
The most charitable thing I can say about “America” under its new editor is that “I am not impressed.”   But see for yourself.  The staff of “America” has been joined by the so-called public relations diva of the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), Sister Mary Ann Walsh, R.S.M., who is now its “U.S. church correspondent.” And her “colors” really are the first thing I see.  Rainbow colors.  Go here   to read for yourself.
The pro-cardinal Dolan article is not surprising, given her long and close working relationship with him when he was President of the USCCB (which she fails to disclose in her article.)  Further, it boggles the mind that she could have been the voice of the USCCB to the media when her article in “America” so ignores and misstates the Catholic Church position on same-sex attracted individuals. Perhaps this is at least part of the root of the wider secular media not understanding the Church’s position?  She uses the word “gay” without in any way differentiating those who are same-sex attracted from those who choose to live a gay activist life-style, causing great and irreparable damage to the perception of what the Catholic Church really teaches.  Here are a few quotes, but please read and comment yourself.  It is a short, easy read if you can control your righteous indignation.

-’This  [parade] is not a religious rite though some attend it religiously. It’s of course associated with Catholics, especially in New York where the saint is patron of the archdiocese’s (some say the nation’s) premier church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. The Catholic Church does not sponsor the parade, though the marchers go by the cathedral where the grand marshal traditionally greets the archbishop of New York. The parade also is preceded by Mass in the cathedral.”  [And this is the argument she makes that the NY Diocese isn't involved or a key influence?]

-”Unfortunately a lot of faithful critics and culture warriors are taking issue with Cardinal Dolan’s tolerance of the parade’s gay and lesbian contingent. They seem to advocate an in-your-face approach to anything gay.’  [Notice the last inflammatory sentence, refusing to differentiate between what is gay and what is gay activist, as if the distinction didn't even exist.]

-”Even the federal government eventually refused to defend the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman for the purpose of federal benefits in the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed with practically unanimous support and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. The government stopped defending the law in court in 2011 and two years later, the Supreme Court found the definition unconstitutional.” [and this is supposed to be an argument for same-sex "marriage"?  That "even" the government .... as if the government had some morality? As if 15 years can change something from immoral to moral?]

-”Nevertheless, Cardinal Dolan also has pastoral obligations. Many Catholics are gay, are related to gays, have gay friends.” [Again note the refusal to distinguish the gay lifestyle from the disorder of same-sex attraction.]

- “The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Marriage and Family voted in 1997 on a statement “Always Our Children,” that addressed the relationship between parents and their gay children. It drew fierce opposition from a number of people, but it cleared the air and comforted families who felt torn between what they understood to be church teaching and the natural love of mothers and fathers for children.”  [Oh, goodie -- it made people "feel good" about their sins, and the sins of their family members.  There was much controversy and the USCCB's position was entirely NON-BINDING on this matter; so Walsh is presenting a skewed view and cherry-picks a few points and ignores many others, but that is not surprising given her prior USCCB involvement, all undisclosed to the reader.]

-”Where to draw the line?” [How about between sin and no sin?]

-”Can a gay couple marry in the church? Since the church does not recognize such a union, this does not seem like something the church can approve of.”  [What kind of a question/answer is this?  "does not seem like something...?"  OBVIOUSLY, Sister Walsh, the answer is NO, and one could wish you had a stronger catechesis.  Could you be any weaker?]

-”Cardinal Dolan’s position on the parade is the pastoral one; you don’t reject people for who they are.”  [Sin is not "who they are;" but rather is what has hold of them, throttling by the enemy.  Clever word-smithing again, and consistently, does not address either Church Teaching on non-repentant sinful life style, or its effect on others.  And just how is promoting homosexual sin under a bragging banner "pastoral" to the rest of the Church?]

Finally, and also in my opinion, what Cardinal Dolan is doing is even worse and more significant than what we experienced in prior years in the DoR.  His audience is larger, his apparent push for normalizing the gay lifestyle is more aggressive and apt to cause division on a wide and deep scale, and he has greater influence.  If this is what he has done in just a few years, what can we expect in the future if he is not removed from office?  Moreover, with our experience in Rochester in speaking out for true Catholic Teaching, and in taking the words of Ezekiel seriously, we probably have more experience here and at Cleansing Fire than many groups in other dioceses, and it is easy to argue that to NOT speak out would be a dereliction of  our duty.  But, as I said, this is all “in my opinion.”  What’s yours?

Michael Voris Saved Me a Post

September 5th, 2014, Promulgated by Hopefull

While I was debating how much to say and how far to go, between calling for more catechesis and some therapy for Cardinal Dolan, or wishing for his resignation, Michael Voris said what needed to be said, with an ever-increasing perspective of what is really going on within Catholic hierarchy in America.  Well, maybe he didn’t say it “all”, but at least enough for the moment,  and saved my writing a new post.

I know some who follow Cleansing Fire do object to his style, or find bones to pick, as he too is a work in process, as we all are.  But Christ said we should be hot or cold, and it is clear which Michael is.  It is certainly not lukewarm. Please listen:



“So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”  Revelation 3:16 (NAB)


Rochester Chesterton Society 11th Annual Conference – Sept 27th

September 5th, 2014, Promulgated by Ben Anderson


Fr. Robert Wild, Madonna House, on GKC’s Mysticism
Fr. Scott Caton, Roberts Wesleyan University, on GKC as Apologist
Joseph Pearce, Author, on GKC and Thankfulness
Dale Alquist, American Chesterton Society, on the Outline of Sanctity

Saturday, September 27th, 2014
9 am — 3:30 pm

St. John Fisher College, Coleman Chapel, Murphy Hall
Donation: $10. Free to students. Lunch will be available at nominal cost.

Funded by the Basilian Fathers of St. John Fisher College.
With support from members of the Rochester NY Chesterton Society and from St. Irenaeus Ministries.


St. Paul Street Evangelization in the DOR

September 5th, 2014, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

From Fr. Mike Mayer:

Easy Evangelization for Everyone!

Members of the Rochester Chapter of St. Paul Street Evangelization regularly evangelize at the Rochester Public Market, Geneva Farmers Market, Ontario Beach Park and Frontier Field. We offer rosaries, rosary guides (English and Spanish), medals, CD/DVDs, and literature promoting our Catholic faith. We also pray with those who ask for prayer and pray for those who enter their requests in our prayer journals. Over 40 people were trained to evangelize in March by Adam Janke of the national organization and others who have joined since are taking the online training at Parishes and individuals are invited to join the Rochester Chapter of St. Paul Street Evangelization and joyfully proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our diocese. For more more information, email or call Fr. Mike Mayer at 315-789-0939, X113.


Praying for Paul Likoudis

September 3rd, 2014, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Paul Likoudis writes in a Memo To The Wanderer Family

With all my heart I want to thank the many Wanderer readers who have supported me with their Masses and prayers through what has been a very challenging time, and is likely to become more challenging.

The July 16 surgery was not a success, and complications required a two-week hospital stay, which has left me extremely exhausted. My surgeon discovered that the rectal tumor is inoperable, and that the cancer has spread to the pelvic wall. On August 13, I began another round of chemotherapy, which will run through the middle or end of December. After that, I will have another MRI to determine to what extent the chemo has worked, and if the cancer has spread to other organs.

I am still praying for a miracle, but also learning that my life is entirely in God’s hands.

A Surprise Phone Call

On the day after the surgery, just moments after I was moved from recovery into my room in the cancer ward at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y., my cell phone rang.
“Is this Paul Likoudis?” asked the voice at the other end of the line.
“Speaking,” I answered.
“This is Cardinal George.”
“Your Eminence, what a surprise and a blessing,” I responded, shocked and in total disbelief.

Read the rest here.

Please keep Paul, a local long time defender of orthodoxy and contributor to the Wanderer, and his family in your prayers as he continues his battle against cancer. Paul is the son of James Likoudis, another local long time defender of orthodoxy.


Light Another Candle — September, 2014 — Cardinal Dolan & St. Pat’s Parade

September 3rd, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris
Torchlight Procession in Lourdes

Torchlight Procession in Lourdes

                                      A comment by Richard Thomas (shown below) is moved here from another post, to begin “Light Another Candle” for September.

And it is only September 3rd!

However, I will not have time to research the issue, so our readers are invited to do so, and we’ll post the additional information right here.

For example, is this a new occurrence or has it happened in previous years?

Does the Diocese of New York have any power over who marches and who doesn’t, except for their own participation?

Has the New York Diocese ever previously contested an LGBT presence in the St. Patrick’s Day parade?  Or in any other civic program?  If so,what happened?

I seem to remember that when he first arrived in NYC, then Archbishop Dolan told St. Francis Xavier parish in Greenwich Village that they could not march in the Gay Pride Parade with a banner that said “St. Francis Xavier” Church.  While the marchers complied with the letter of the Abp.’s order, they marched with a blank banner, wearing St. Francis Xavier tee-shirts.  So, it was “in your face” to Abp. Dolan!  Michael Voris also did a show on Abp. Dolan’s applauding the LGBT group at a Mass at St. Francis Xavier.  That’s all from memory.  Maybe someone can check it out, and give us links?

Here’s what Richard Thomas wrote to alert us to the unfolding scenario:

Richard Thomas says:

September 3, 2014 at 11:30 AM

I just learned that the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will now allow gay and lesbian groups to march in the parade under their banner.

Bill O’Reilly from Fox, the O’Reilly Factor stated he had no problem with it.  O’Reilly is the Spokesman for the Parade.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Grand Chairman of the parade, said he welcomed their participation.


And here is a gutsy article in the National Catholic Register, of all places!  Thanks “J” for the link.


New York Post “…ending ban on gay groups”

LifeSiteNews  ”End St. Pat’s Parade” — article from a Monsignor removed from Diocese of Washington Website

Washington Post - Gays Scoff  - “Dereliction of  Duty”

Rorate-caeli     St. Patrick’s Day Massacre


“GKC: A Night of Mystery” written by Rev. Michael Mayer shows this September at Rochester’s Fringe Festival

September 2nd, 2014, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Buy your tickets today to see:

GKC: A NIGHT OF MYSTERY revisits the era of radio theatre with G. K. Chesterton’s THE HONOUR OF ISRAEL GOW, the tale of the strange-but-honest gardener of the late Lord of Glengyle who causes the priest-detective Fr. Brown and his friends a great deal of bewilderment. Join the Prince of Peace Players as they immerse you in a tale of mystery with all of the thunder you could possibly want to hear in one night!



Reminder: less than 2 weeks left to grow a Spiritual Bouquet

September 2nd, 2014, Promulgated by Hopefull

On the Feast of the Assumption, August 15th, we began collecting flowers for our (individual) spiritual bouquets for Bishop Matano, for his birthday on September 15th.  See link here.

spiritual bouquetThere are now less than two weeks remaining (if we want His Excellency to receive our spiritual bouquets on or before his birthday).  So, how are is your garden growing?  Red roses of Masses? White lilies of Communions?  Blue irises of rosaries? A golden sunflower of adoration?  The aroma of prayers rising like the sweet odor of incense?  May we not suspect that when Bishop Matano says “Pray for me!” that he really means it?  Have we any better way to show our gratitude than our prayers?

I know I am behind where I wanted to be at this point, but the point is not accumulation or obsession, simply a gentle offering of what matters most.  Don’t feel “Oh, it isn’t enough to send a birthday card saying ‘I offered one Mass and Communion for your intentions.’”  A Mass is of infinite value, as I am reminding myself.

Here is the address to send your birthday card, and bouquet:

The Most Reverend Salvatore Matano

Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester

Pastoral Center, 1150 Buffalo Road

Rochester, N. Y. 14624-1890

It might be a good idea to write, with your note, a mention that no reply is expected, in order not to add to the Bishop’s workload.  And please mention this to those in your parish and bible study, and to friends and family.





Monthly Prayer Requests for Priests – September

September 1st, 2014, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

It’s time to print out your September calendar. Thanks to the good folks at for providing these calendars freely available to all on the Internet.

And the Holy Father’s prayer intentions for September:

Universal: That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.

For Evangelization: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.


Update #1 on TLM and STA “together”

September 1st, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

At yesterday’s Mass in the Extraordinary Form, celebrated at St. Stanislaus, Fr. Bonsignore announced that, instead of a sermon, he would give an update on where the situation stands regarding a move of TLM to St. Thomas the Apostle.  As I heard/received the information, it seemed to be divided into three parts:  1) History 2) Input and 3) Meetings with DoR.  If anyone who was in attendance can add or correct the following, please do so with a comment, and I will revise.  Many rapid-fire points were made, and it was hard to cover it all by note-taking.  Where needed for clarity, I’ve put certain clarifications in parentheses.  I have also added, in red, a subject in which a few listeners heard “different” things, and input is especially solicited on that matter. There were also subjects of concern that had been raised, about which no mention was made.  And, at the very end, concerning the next meeting with DoR, please consider your input to Fr. Bonsignore.  He did not ask for further input, but seemed open to continuing communications.


Father Bonsignore began by explaining the original proposal from Bishop Matano.  He noted that on August 10th he had submitted (to the Latin Mass Community) the Bishop’s proposal that TLM move to the STA “building” and that Masses would be said (under both forms on Sundays)  ”at a morning hour.”  He noted that both forms are “equally valid.”  Thus, TLM would “join with the former St. Thomas parishioners.” Father Bonsignore would be named “Chaplain” of the TLM community (at a point in time to be clarified) and he hopes and expects the community would grow, to be “one parish entity in the future.”  (Now those were the words I wrote down, but another listener who reviewed this post heard that it would not (eventually) become a parish, and would remain part of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.)

Father Bonsignore told those present: “You understood and reacted”, with “depth and insight” in the spoken discussion, offering ideas and showing “passionate commitment” to the TLM.  He continued:  ”I asked for a show of hands and an overwhelming majority” reacted positively (to the proposal at that first meeting). Further, Father Bonsignore also had invited written input, which he characterized as having  ”intelligent and forceful comments.”  He stated that he had read “every single one” and again mentioned “overall support.”  He hoped we would hear some of our own inputs as he summarized.


Father Bonsignore characterized the written input “main issues” as follows:  (Some answers were given and are in parentheses).

-repairs and maintenance; (St. Kateri will pay for the roof repair)

-engineering report on the building (he noted this had been done already)

-questions of how finances will work -part of St. Kateri? (answer: yes) (future maybe separate parish?)

-Holy Day Masses? (yes)

-Triduum? (no)

-What about the school  (tenant needed asap)

-Can facility be used for other meetings (not decided) -Operating expenses?  ($100,000 per year for STA (!) Much financial analysis is needed on this estimate.)

-”Atrocious acoustics” (but Father says excellent for Gregorian Chant)

-Will Fr. Helfrich be there at STA?  (Father Bonsignore answered “I hope so.”)

-How will conflicts be settled?  (“needs to be discussed”)

-We need a “chain of command” was another input.

-We will need “advertising of the move and the Mass time”

-If 3 years to become a parish, how will we measure success?  This relates to the prior question of whether or not there is a “parish” light at the end of the tunnel, and what exactly did Father Bonsignore say on this matter?  Please comment.

-Written comments included caution about “working out details as we go” (much needs to be decided in advance.)

Father Bonsignore said there are a “huge number of ideas to process.”


August 20th:  Father Bonsignore met with Father Condon (Chancellor)

August 27th:  Father Bonsignore met with Fathers Condon and English, and  Lisa Passero (diocesan finance officer).  Bishop Matano joined part of the meeting. Discussed some of the issues raised (see answers in parentheses shown above). Other comments:  ”STA no longer exists … now TLM would be …  ”at the St. Thomas site.”

September 10th:  Next meeting, to be focused on financial and budget concerns. (Input to Father Bonsignore before that meeting is appropriate, even though unsolicited.) Fr. Bonsignore closed with these comments:  ”This proposal/plan/project is not simply picking up and moving a few things. There are complex issues and hard work.  We need to work AND pray. As the Psalm says:  ’Unless the Lord builds the house, we labor in vain.’   Good topic for Labor Day weekend.”  

Father Bonsignore said that, as he was leaving the diocesan meeting, that Father Condon said to him: “We want you to succeed”.  (It is unclear if Bp. Matano was in the room at this point.)  When Fr. Bonsignore said he was looking slightly disbelieving “like Thomas,” Fr. Condon repeated his words, saying “Have faith.” Father Bonsignore avowed he has no problem with “faith” and urged us to have “faith.”

My own personal comment on the closing statement is this:  I have never found dealing with the Diocese to be an issue of faith.  Rather, I have consistently found it, under the prior administration, of which parts and pieces remain, to be an issue of trust.  As the Psalms say:   “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no help.”   

MIA:  I heard no discussion of the patrimony of St. Thomas Apostle being repatriated to STA, believed to be over a half million dollars, which apparently resides under control of St. Kateri, and those who voted to close STA.  It would seem that without such settling of the parishioner-mandaters’ complaints to Rome, that TLM would be stepping into the middle of a canonical lawsuit, and be divisive with the perception of having intruded in the matter.  That would not seem to be an auspicious beginning, nor a way to work with or win prior parishioners to the TLM.  For example, would former STA parishioners want to pay toward $100,000 costs per year, when their prior patrimony has been taken away? Perhaps it is better to wait until that matter is definitively settled?  What do you think?  


Church Architecture Styles: The Early Christian Period

August 28th, 2014, Promulgated by Bernie

Previously in this series: The Period of Persecution

The construction of church buildings began in the third century well before the legalization of Christianity in 313. Legalization of Christianity saw an increase in the construction of churches due to the sudden patronage of Constantine and subsequent emperors.

The Roman ‘basilica’ became the architectural form of the Christian church as it was the standard structural type used by Roman architects for housing large group meetings. Very little modification of the secular basilica was necessary to convert it into a church.

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Fig.1 – Church basilica from the 4th century in Syria. A pitched wooden roof covered the center, and sloping roofs covered the side aisles. Basilicas were the typical building type used by the Romans in structures constructed for large groups of people. Construction materials varied from region to region.

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Fig. 2 – Cross section of a 4th century church basilica. The center aisle –the ‘Nave’– was raised higher than the side aisles so that windows could puncture the higher walls to illuminate the center.  Larger churches might have four side aisles.

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Fig. 3 – This is a very basic ground plan of a simple basilica church in which we can see that altars were usually placed just at the border of the apse (the ‘chord’). Clergy sat along the curved back wall of the apse. During the Eucharistic Prayer, however, the clergy moved to the front of the altar, facing East along with the congregation. Churches were usually oriented to the East as Christ’s second coming would be from out of the Eastern sky.

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Fig. 4 – Sant Apollinare in Classe,  near Ravenna, Italy, is an excellent example of an early Christian basilica. Here we can see the raised roof supported by the walls of the clerestory which are punctured by windows. We can also see clearly the side aisle and the apse on the far right. The exterior is unfinished brick as was the norm in Italy.

Christianity developed and expanded within the Roman Empire and so the architectural forms the faith employed were Roman. Most especially this meant incorporation of the classical Greek ‘orders’ (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian) that had been adopted by the Romans and Roman structural forms derived from the Round Arch.

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Fig. 5 –  These are the three basic classical ‘Orders’ developed by the ancient Greeks. The Romans admired the Greeks and copied their architectural style of classical Orders, especially the Ionic and Corinthian. Christian basilicas used columns in these three styles to form arcades that separated the Nave from side aisles. The columns were joined by arches or by flat Entablatures.

Fig. 6 - Roman architecture is especially noted for its masterful engineering feats based upon the use of the round arch. Early Christian basilicas used the round arch mostly in the construction of arcades which separated the aisles from the nave. Sometimes, but rarely, stone vaults or concrete vaults based on extensions of the round arch covered the side aisles. The round arch was also prominent at the front of the apse where it usually formed the front edge of the curved wall and quarter domed space.

Fig. 6 – Roman architecture is especially noted for its masterful engineering feats based upon the use of the round arch. Early Christian basilicas used the round arch mostly in the construction of arcades which separated the aisles from the nave. Sometimes, but rarely, stone vaults or concrete vaults based on extensions of the round arch covered the side aisles. The round arch was also prominent at the front of the apse where it usually formed the front edge of the curved wall and quarter sphere vault.


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Fig. 7 – Here we can see the arcade that separates the Nave from the left side aisle consists of a row of round arches supported by a line of classical columns. Arcades form a perspective which direct the eyes of congregants toward the altar at the apse end of the space.

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Fig. 8 – The Nave and first side aisles in this basilica are separated by Corinthian columns supporting an Entablature. The second –from the Nave– side aisles are separated in this basilica from the first side aisles by an arched arcade. At the far end of the nave are two large round arches at the area in front of, and at the border of, the apse.

The exteriors of early Christian churches were plain brick or stone. The main entrance facades were sometimes decorated with paintings or mosaics.


Fig. 9 – Without exception, the exteriors of early Christian churches were left as unfinished brick or stone. Here we can easily identify the nave, side aisle and apse of this 4th century basilica.

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Fig. 10 – On the facade of Santa Maria Trastevere, in Rome (4th century) both painting and mosaic imagery were added. Such exterior decoration was not usually part of the initial fabric of the building but were added some years later with sections perhaps completed in different periods.

After construction of the basic structure of the church building, decoration was added to the interior. Colorful mosaics of biblical scenes and theological concepts eventually dominated the interiors. The colorful interiors contrasted with the plain exteriors so much that Christian churches were sometimes called ‘houses of mystery’ for the exterior of the building did not suggest the splendor within.


Fig. 11 – The mosaics in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, are from the 5th century.

Doors were sometimes carved with biblical scenes.

Santa Sabina Doors

Fig. 12 – Doors of Santa Sabina in Rome, 430-32. These are original doors of the period but experts agree that they were made for a different doorway. Each panel depicts a New or Old Testament scene.


Fig. 13 – Crucifixion scene from the doors of Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome. This is the earliest known representation of the crucifixion (ca. 432)

Ceilings in the basilica churches were initially open timbered but in subsequent centuries were often finished with coffer paneling.


Fig. 14 – This is a cross section drawing of the original Saint Peter’s Basilica showing the open timber ceilings, the most common type of ceiling in the early churches. You can also see that the farthest aisles out from the nave are covered not by open timber but by masonry vaults. Being smaller they were easier to vault in stone or concrete.

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Fig. 15 – The coffer wood ceiling in this basilica was gilded in gold taken from the new world. In addition to the ceiling notice the classical ionic columns supporting an Entablature. A Round Arch (called a ‘Triumphal Arch’) is also clearly prominent at the altar end.

‘Ciboria’ (Bladachins, canopies) over altars were first introduced in Old Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome (begun ca. 320 completed ca. 336).  Saint Peter’s Basilica was built over Peter’s grave.  Similar basilicas were constructed over other martyr’s tombs in imitation of Saint Peter’s. Altars in each were positioned over the tombs and Ciboria, as  funerary memorial structures, were erected over the altars. The tradition of using Ciboria to mark the grave of a martyr continued when relics of martyrs and saints were divided up and distributed among churches not located in a cemetery. The relics were placed in or under altars and Ciboria erected over the altars.

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Fig. 16 – This shows the original ‘Ciborium’ (memorial structure) over the tomb of Saint Peter the Apostle, Rome, ca. 336. Later, this original Ciborium was removed and the floor of the chancel of the basilica was raised to cover the entire grave, including an existing arched memorial (shown in the drawing). An altar was then positioned directly above the grave. A new ‘Ciborium’ was then erected over that.

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Fig. 17 – Ciboria had to be repaired and even replaced over the centuries. In this basilica in Croatia, the columns are original and date from the 6th century. The rest of the Ciborium is renovation from later centuries.

The basilica of the early Christian period set the basic form of church architecture for centuries to come, right up to the present time. Everything following those first centuries was a variation, elaboration, or copy of the basilica form. Even so, it is a history of amazingly rich styles and expressions. Knowing the characteristics of each style greatly enhances a person’s ability to judge good from bad church architecture. It enhances our ability to appreciate various interpretations of the sacred liturgy through the centuries and guides us in our decisions regarding proposals for new churches.

Does your church have a basilica plan with arcades separating the center of the church from side aisles? Any Doric, Ionic or Corinthian columns? How about an apse? Ciborium? Clerestory?  Let us know. Maybe send me a picture:


There is quite a variety in the purposes and styles within the general category of Early Christian church architecture. More information can be found in my online book, “History of Christian Art”, here and here.


Picture Sources:

Fig. 5 -

Fig. 6 – edited:

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Fig. 13 - ”SabinaCrucify”. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Fig. 14 -

Fig. 15 -

Fig. 17 – edited: ”EuphrasiusBasilika” by Klaus D. Peter, Wiehl, Germany – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0-de via Wikimedia Commons –


Mass in the Extraordinary Form 7 September 2014 in Corning NY

August 25th, 2014, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Father Peter Mottola will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form also known as the Traditional Latin Mass, at St Vincent de Paul Church in Corning NY on 7 September 2014 at 12:30pm. The Mass will be a Missa Cantata, a sung Mass, with an accompanying Schola. Come experience this timeless form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is the second in the three Masses scheduled this year. The last one is scheduled for 23 November at the same time and place.