Recording of the Prayer to St Michael the Archangel

We have uploaded a recording of the Heiligenkreuz plainchant setting of the Prayer to St Michael the Archangel to youtube.

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Plainchant Setting of the Prayer to St Michael the Archangel

Sancrucensis

In Heiligenkreuz we recently began singing the Leonine Prayer to St Michael the Archangel after conventual Mass on weekdays. The setting is from a 21st century manuscript from Heiligenkreuz. It is said that when this composition was finished the electricity went out in Heiligenkreuz and all the surrounding villages. Here it is:

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New translation project

John Brungardt is translating John of St Thomas on natural philosophy!

Only a philosopher

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After many years of eclectically reading of John of St. Thomas’s great Cursus Philosophicus, I’ve decided to begin the slow process (doubtless to take many more years) of translating the natural philosophical portions of this work into English. The results will be made available at this page.

In due course, a translator’s preface, various notes, and essays will be added. Please feel free to send my way any suggestions, corrections, or resources that would be useful for this project.

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Siegenfeld

The parish of Heiligenkreuz includes not only Heiligenkreuz itself, but also the villages of Grub and Siegenfeld. Both Grub and Siegenfeld have little churches, called Filialkirchen, or chapels-of-ease, where Mass is said on Sundays. I’ve just been named rector of the one in Siegenfeld— in addition to my duties as vice-rector of the Leopoldinum. The church of St. Ulrich in Siegenfeld is a lovely little church with a Baroque altar at which mass is— of course— clebrated ad orientem.

On Celebrating Mass

Maria Bustillos, an editor at Popula.com, whom I know through our common interest in David Foster Wallace, asked me to write something on what it is like to celebrate Mass. I did so, and of course writing about what it’s like to celebrate Mass led me to write a bit about what the Mass is, and therefore what the Gospel is, and then (given that it has been on my mind), to some reflections on the latest chapter of the abuse scandal in the Church. Here’s how my article begins:

I come from a very devout Catholic family, and when I was growing up we went to Mass every day—not just on Sundays. When I was very small Mass was just boring. I fidgeted, day-dreamed, tied the ribbons of the hymnals together, teased my sister, and generally made a nuisance of myself. But then, when I was about 13, I started to serve as an altar boy. The priest whom I served was named Don Reto. He was chaplain at the theological college where my parents taught (both of my parents are Catholic theology professors). Don Reto is one of the best people I have ever met. He changed my life. When he celebrated Mass, it was clear that he believed in it with every fiber of his being. He was full of awe and reverence, a holy fear. Watching him I began to see why we call the Mass “the Sacred Mysteries” and “the Holy Sacrifice.” Not that I could have explained what those words meant at the time. But it was clear to me that Don Reto had found something in the Mass to which it was worth devoting his whole life. Continue reading at Popula…

The Feast of the Crown of Thorns

Today is the Feast of the Crown of Thorns in Heiligenkreuz. The Feast commemorates the solemn translation of the Crown of Thorns to Paris under St. Louis IX. St. Louis gave one thorn to the Babenberg Duke  Frederick the Quarrelsome of Austria, who gave it to Heiligenkreuz. Today it is exposed on the altar. There’s a medieval painting of the Sacred Head, crowned with thorns, in a niche our Church that was probably where the reliquary used to be kept. (Now it is kept in the neo-Gothic Sacrament altar).