29 August 2003

I've been writing stories and making up characters for as long as I can remember, and a lot of those stories were co-written with my friends. Especially Sarah. She had advice for any plot twist, and could write out of any hole. She always had suggestions to make my characters more real and more interesting. She was excellent with action scenes, and she had the best sense of humour--she especially loved dry wit.

We met in 8th Grade through another of our friends, and we've been best friends ever since. She's been through everything, her parents' divorce, her mom and her brother's sickness, moving a lot, and her own sickness, but she never complained or let it get her down. She was also nearly fluent in Japanese, and enjoyed drawing. She even spent a few months in Japan to study! She was a very hard worker, too, (although one has to be to master Japanese!) and she loved learning. She had two jobs in addition to a full course load at the community college. She would often scold me for procrastinating my homework.

She died July 31st this year, of a very very aggressive form of cancer. It was the strangest thing I've ever seen, going to the funeral of one of my best friends. It's not supposed to work that way! She's supposed to go to med school and become the best oncologist the world has ever known. I know, I know, I really don't know how it's supposed to work. But I always thought that was a nice plan. Sarah would've been a great doctor because she'd been through it twice.

The incredibly incredibly cool thing about it (the only cool thing) is she was baptized AND received Communion at the Hospital in Seattle. That made me so proud. And I can only hope that one day, Sarah can look down from Heaven and be proud of me.

28 August 2003

"Accented Passing Tone, Here We Come!" (Lizzy Quoting Fr. Gary)

An accented passing tone, for those of you not in-the-know, is a music theory term denoting a non-chord-tone which is entered by step in one direction and left by step in the opposite direction, and which falls on the beat. For the record, I prefer unaccented passing tones.
As for why we're coming to accented passing tones, well, the fun, stress, and insanity (also known as school) starts next week. I'm leaving to drive to Spokane with my parents tomorrow morning, and will arrive in my new living space on Sunday afternoon. I wonder if I'll be able to get all my crap in there. Actually, at the moment, I'm more worried about getting all my crap in the car and van tomorrow morning. It would all just fit in my one little Subaru, except that we're bringing one Celtic harp (5'x3') and one concert-grand harp (6'2"x4'). Oh boy, oh boy, is tomorrow morning going to be fun. I've got a bet with my parents that we'll have to take everything but the harps out and put it back again at least once. They think we'll get it right the first time, the optimists.

Who's the patron saint of packing?
Hope to be back in the blogging business by late Sunday, or maybe Monday if I'm too busy with how-d'-ye-do's for people I haven't seen since May.

27 August 2003

Yessss, Preciousss

We doesn't know why, precious, but we bought The Two Towers today. We wants to wait until the Special Edition came out, but no, precious, we wants it. Our sisterses made us do it! She says Orlando Bloom is a sexy beast (onna vanima in elvish, if you like). We likes the music! But we doesn't want to go to Walmart and spend moneys, precious. We doesn't like it. So we stands in line and the filthy thievses takes our moneys! And we doesn't like nassty orcses!

We doesn't like falling victim to sneaksey money-taking companieses who makes us wait long times for the movieses we wants. Yes, precious, they knows how to take moneys. We hopes New Line Cinemas likes their moneys, and uses it to make more fun movieses!

Gollum, Gollum!

26 August 2003

Nichols' Looking at the Liturgy Ch.1

I've just finished reading Looking at the Liturgy by Aidan Nichols, O.P. It is certainly one of the best-researched books I've ever seen, and Fr. Nichols has an extremely large vocabulary. (It's been a long time since I had to read a book with my dictionary close at hand, and some of his sentences are positively Dickensian in length.) He devotes his first chapter to the modern history of the liturgy, from the beginning of the Liturgical Movement with Dom Prosper Gueranger. Then he back-tracks a little: it is "abundantly clear that the origins of the liturgical movement lie in the eighteenth century Enlightenment."
"The Enlightenment liturgists offer to our gaze two further traits that may give us a sinking feeling of deja-vu. First, they put forward the notion that...parish priests have the right to modify individual celebrations of the Liturgy...And secondly, they are somewhat fixated on the fourth century." This does indeed sound familiar.
"What we, over half a century after Trapp [a German liturgist-historian writing in 1940], may note in out turn, however, is that the approach to Liturgy that apparently predominates today is much more reminiscent of the Enlightenment as he describes it than of the interwar liturgical movement that he presents as its foil. Antrhopocentric, moralizing, voluntaristic, didactic, subjectivist...[rather than] theocentric, redemption-conscious, and aware of [some impossible German phrase] 'ontological bonding' with God through the divine Logos incarnate, our Great High Priest, found as he is in all his glorious objectivity in the given cultic pattern of the community of faith." See what I meant about his writing style? His thesis is very convincing, if you can dig it out of his extremely scholastic language.
He actually offers his conclusion to this chapter at the begining, but I'm going to put it here: "Not enough attention was paid to certain ambiguities in the history of the liturgical movement either by those who brought about the Second Vatican Council's commitment to the "liturgical renewal", in the Constitution Sacrosanctum concilium, or by those who subsequently worked to give that commitment concrete form in the revised liturgical books whose publication began with the issue of the reformed Roman Calendar in 1969."

This is a book well worth tackling. It's not a particularly easy read, but it's only 126 pages. And (time for an ad) it's currently free with an order of $50 or more from Ignatius Press.

The cause for the beatification of Dom Gueranger has been put forward.

25 August 2003

Road Map!!!

Mass Plan of the Day:
Entrance: Glory and Praise to Our God
Gloria: Mass of Light
Psalm: Celebration Series: Taste and See
Gospel Acclaimation: Mass of Light
Offertory: I Will Choose Christ
Holy: Mass of Creation
Memorial Acclaimation: Hurd/Wood
Our Father: Zilar
Lamb of God: Simek
Communion: I Am the Bread of Life
Seek Ye First
Dismissal: Canticle of the Sun

Very exciting.

24 August 2003

In my excitement over Pieper (which is unfortunately not divine but only ordinary madness), I forgot to mention that today is a very important day for my home diocese. Today's feast is shared by St. Rose of Lima and St. Eugene (or Eogahn, of Ireland). I live in the diocese of Santa Rosa, and our cathedral is St. Eugene's. So happy feast day to me, I guess.
Divine Madness

This is from Josef Pieper's "Divine Madness: Plato's Case Against Secular Humanism":
"Genuine and grand poetry is not possible unless it is born out of divine madness...
Can a Christian accept a thesis that puts poesy on the same level as revelation and inspiration?..
The reflection here points out the sad deficiency of our not having available any theological or philosophical doctrine on the nature of fine arts, which would provide the framework for discussing Plato's thesis in more adequate critical terms. Such a theology or philosophy of poetics, incidentally, might have to be reconstructed ever anew, according to different spiritual conditions of each epoch; and this would probably turn out to be, like theology and philosophy in general, a task becoming ever more difficult."

I am neither poet nor philosopher, but I am a musician, so the mention of fine arts caught my attention. I hope I have put down enough of the context for this to be intelligible.

23 August 2003

MORE Meyers-Briggs

I normally don't really care about personality tests. (I swear I have one! Ask Jane!) Depending on my mood, I get all range of answers, both Introvert and Extrovert. Maybe that means I'm just crazy.

But for the most part, I end up INFJ, meaning I worry about things, I'm very intuitive and stubborn (see Jane, I told you I was a seer!) and I like puzzles and things with hidden meanings. In the immortal words of the Great Leopold Bloom, "There is a lot more to me than there is to me!"
I've never put much stock in tests to determine personality-type, at least, not as a way of "getting to know yourself." Since they pretty much tell you exactly what you told them when you answered all those questions, don't you already know yourself?

That said, these sorts of tests are interesting to me when I see other people's results. Fr. Jim at Dappled Things has posted a list of the Meyers-Briggs Personality-Type Indicator Test results of St. Blog's people. I just sent mine in. I've taken a few different online versions of this to see how consistent it is. Pretty consistent--I always come up INTJ. The first time I took this test almost five years ago for school, I was 50-50 on Introverted/Extroverted. Now I'm 93% Introverted. The other percentages are N=59%, T=95%, J=59%. If you're interested. If you're not, stop reading. Now. I mean it! Why are you still reading this? I'm introverted; I want to be alone!

Happy Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
Scroll to the bottom of this page to hear the Nashville Dominicans sing the Salve Regina.

22 August 2003

Today is the feast of Pope St. Pius X. Great guy. Banned drums at Mass.

21 August 2003

Community Life

Well, as you can see, "Catholic, Musician, Student, in that order" is now plural. My best friend, and, in less than two weeks, my roommate, announced that she wanted a blog, too. I suggested that she join me, since I've been rather at a loss for ideas lately, and since there seem to be so many community blogs around.
From knowing Lizzy's personality, I infer that her posting will be erratic and alternating between nutty and profound. And good luck getting her to explain what she means, because she seems to like being a little mysterious.

How Lizzy and I met:
We are both music majors, and we introduced ourselves while waiting in line for our first academic advisor meeting during the first week of school last year. Later that week, I rather tenatively asked her if she wanted to go to daily Mass with me, thinking, "hopefully she won't think I'm some kind of religious nutcase." She seemed delighted with the idea, and we've generally walked to Mass together ever since, eaten an average of two meals a day together, and just generally been regarded as a single entity by a lot of people. Perhaps being roommates this year will force us to be a bit more independant, because otherwise we might get sick of each other.
Lizzy plays the piano brilliantly and likes to sing. We both sing in the Schola, but she was in the Schola from the beginning of the year and encouraged me to join about two weeks in. She's also in choir, which is fantastic. I follow her around so much that I've become a sort of honorary choir member. (Choirs are almost by defenition cliques.)

Lizzy's a great gal, and I'm proud to share a blog and a dorm room with her.

(Incidentally, I am also grateful to Lizzy for introducing me to my sweetheart. Thank you! *bows repeatedly*)


Hi, I'm Lizzy! *waves* I'm new to Blogger and Jane has kindly agreed to share her lovely blog with me. Thank you, Jane! Now just to post something worth reading... :)


About a year ago, my literature class read selected poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Mr. Riley came up with yet another one of his absurd ideas, and I actually took him up on his suggestion to write a short story in which all the lines of one of the characters are lines from Mrs. Browning's poems. Some of the quotes are strained, but here it is.

Mountain Bars

A short, bald man in a wrinkled coat and tie walked into the bar. Being on the side of a mountain, this place had the best view this side of the Rockies, or so he'd heard. He had never been to the bar before, or even this strange country. The sight which met his eye as he placed his hat on the rack was quite odd. A pale woman in Victorian dress knelt in front of a red-bearded dwarf, pleading with him.
"I love thee...Mark! I love thee!"
"That's Marc with a 'C,' you maniac! Get away!" The dwarf grabbed his axe off the table and stormed out into the snowy wilderness.
The pale woman hopped up onto a bar stool and pounded her weak fist on the bar. The bartender brought her a glass, the contents of which were unfamiliar to the observer. She downed it in one gulp, and banging the glass down on the bar, proceeded to straighten the laurel wreath on her head. A cyclops lumbered by and demanded another keg of beer. Eyeing the laurel bedecked woman, he lifted the keg effortlessly with one arm and headed back to his party. Nearly everyone who went by, dwarf and giant, biped or quadruped, looked at her sideways. But she was the only human female in the room, so the bald man clambered onto the barstool next to her.
"Hi. My name's Jerry."
The woman did not stir. She stared into her empty glass as if searching for the meaning of life somewhere at the bottom. Jerry tugged at his collar. "Do you come here often?" She passed out and tumbled off her bar stool. The bartender leapt over the bar and calmly plucked her up off the floor. "Miss Barrett can't hold her liquor. I keep telling her to sip slowly, especially that stuff, but she never listens to me," he explained.
Miss Barrett, recovering slowly, chose a wing-backed chair. This, at least, seemed a wise choice.
"So, I take it you do come here often," said Jerry.
"All the mountain-bars," muttered Miss Barrett.
"Oh, a bar-hopper, eh?" Jerry thought she didn't look the part. A dragon flew by the window, breathing fire. Miss Barrett gazed at it with a sort of blank wonderment.
"Fire is bright," she stated, "and love is fire." This last statement made Jerry nervous. He loosened his tie.
The bartender came by again. "Another drink, Miss Barrett?"
"Behold, I erred in that last." Miss Barrett looked slightly green and gloomy.
"I'll take that as a no. You, sir?"
"I'm fine, thanks." Jerry was about ready to give up on Miss Barrett. He was pretty desperate, but not this desperate.
Just then, a somewhat startling figure appeared at the door. He was human, unlike many of the bar's partons, dressed after the fashion of the same period as Miss Barrett. The exception was that, where most Victorian men would have worn a hat, he had a laurel wreath. These things in and of themselves were not so extraordinary, but the fact that his hair was on fire was a bit unusual. Miss Barrett contemplated this phenomenon and whispered, "Love is fire." The man swept into the establishment, took hold of Miss Barrett, and carried her out the door.
Jerry paid the bartender. "See you again soon, sir?" the quiescent barkeep queried. "I don't think so," replied Jerry. "This isn't really my sort of place.

19 August 2003

I have been reading "The Reform of the Reform" by Fr. Thomas Kocik.
Actually, the bit that's by Fr. Kocik stops after page 103. Everything to page 273 is essays by other priests: an Epilogue by Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, "The Postconciliar Eucharistic Liturgy: Planning a 'Reform of the Reform'" by Brian W. Harrison, O.S., "Salutary Dissatisfaction: An English View of 'Reforming the Reform'" by Aidan Nichols, O.P., "A Reform of the Reform?" by Fr. J.P. Parsons, and "A Question of Ceremonial" by Monsignor Peter J. Elliott.

I'm almost finished. I haven't gotten through "A Question of Ceremonial" yet. The book has answered some questions, but it's left me with still more questions. (Isn't that always the way?)

All these authors agree on these points: we are dissatisfied with the postconciliar Mass and a new reform should be undertaken which is more true to the letter of the Council documents. But more than one solution seems to be offered, if I understand them aright. One is to replace the current postconciliar Mass with this new reformed liturgy, and continue to have the Mass according to the Missal of 1962 severely limited or even banned. Another is to allow the current postconciliar Mass to coexist with a slightly modified version of the Missal of 1962.

The argument for the last possibility is that the Church has always tolerated (and continues to) a multiplicity of rites. So why not have the Tridentine and current rites coexist? Well, they're not supposed to be different rites. Yet, they are so different that it seems they are different rites, whether that was the original intention or not. So, will the Tridentine and modern (so-called by Msgnr Klaus Gamber) rites ever be acknowledged as seperate? Do they need to be? Maybe it's too late at night for me to be considering these questions.

17 August 2003

Music for Mass today was and will be (I get to sing two Masses, yay!):

Processional: The King of Love My Shepherd Is
Gloria: Said, rather than sung
Psalm and Alleluia: as in "Respond and Acclaim"
Offertory: Gather Us Together
Ordinaries: Mass of Creation
Communion: Behold the Lamb of God
Recessional: I Am the Bread of Life

I felt that "I Am the Bread of Life" was misplaced. It is obviously meant to be for Communion and not as a recessional. Besides which, there's something not right about songs in which we are singing from God's point of view. 10:30 am at St. Joan of Arc in Yountville, CA, and 5:30pm at St. Apollonaris in Napa, CA.

Hey kids, let's play a game!
How many words can we tack the word "faith" onto the beginning of?
Let's see:


Can you think of any more?

(All of the above are actual things Fr. Gordon has said, and says on a fairly regular basis.)
Eve of the 20th Sunday in Ordinary (so misnamed) Time, and Feast of St. Stephen of Hungary.

This site has some links to interesting, "alternative" Catholic web sites.

16 August 2003

Happy Feast of the Assumption, or Marymass, if you're a bit old fashioned. We like old fashioned, don't we?

I'm in a nostalgic mood. Not quite sure why. But I suddenly feel like talking about my alma mater, Trinity.

Trinity is a private Catholic school, 1st-12th grades. It started when I was in 6th grade, so that's when I started school there. When I began, there were 60 students. By the time I graduated, there were 142. There were ten in my graduating class, which is about average. The largest class has been 14, the smallest, 3. For about five years, we began every day with Mass, until we lost our chaplain. On days during that time when our chaplain couldn't make it, there were two priests who'd take turns coming all the way from San Francisco to say Mass for us (about an hour's drive, with no traffic). One of them was an Opus Dei priest, and the other was from Germany. Both had a habit of saying at least part of the Eucharistic Prayer in Latin. On one occasion, a visiting priest said a Tridentine Mass. The school administration apparently worked for several weeks to arrange this for the benefit of the students.

I took Latin for three years (now it's six if you're there that long) and two years of New Testament Greek. I remember little of either. I had to take foreign language, upper-lever math and science classes at the community college my junior and senior year to meet college entrance requirements, but it was an invaluable maturing experience. All high schoolers should do that before they leave for college. It forces you to be independant.

Our chaplain was my religion teacher for all of junior high and most of high school. Our textbooks in high school were the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church and an Ignatius Press Bible. Supplemental texts, such as photocopied excerpts from the Fathers and Doctors were also provided. My senior year we got a new teacher, Mr. John Galten, newly "released" from his duties at the St. Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco. He trotted off to Washington D.C. that fall to receive an Ex Corde Ecclesia Award from the Cardinal Newman Society for his work at the Institute. Last year, he and Fr. Joseph Fessio founded Campion College. Mr. Galten is now the president of Campion College in San Francisco. The vice president and I believe one of the professors both had daughters in my class.

In addition to our religion class, Mr. Galten also taught an optional senior seminar. We read Chesterton's Orthodoxy (the beginning of a love-affair for yours truly); Joseph Pieper's Leisure, the Basis of Culture; some short stories by Flannery O'Connor, and quite a lot of the Theology of the Body. Discussing the Theology of the Body with six other 17 and 18-year olds was an eye-opening experience, to say the least. The class that most sticks in my memory was the day when Mr. Galten couldn't be there and told us to have class anyway. We talked even more freely than usual, and the class went overtime. We talked about modesty for an hour. Some of the gentlemen of the class did not realize that it is possible for a man to dress immodestly, that is, in a way that is intended to make him sexually attractive to women. We corrected their assumption. I was told that not all guys are attracted to women who wear skimpy clothing. Some really do go for girls who dress modestly. What a revelation. Actually, I already knew that. I just didn't know that about those particular boys.

Oh, and uniforms: girls weren't allowed to wear pants or shorts except for P.E. We wore knee-length skirts (yes, they checked) and the boys wore slacks. The high school boys were required to wear ties, but they could choose their own ties. One boy wore hideous bowties. The male teachers all wore ties and jackets or sweaters, and the females wore dresses.

Trinity had its problems. It was mismanaged, and there was/is never enough money. But it provides a classical Catholic education, with a lot of really good books and a few excellent teachers. I miss it a bit, but I was ready for college.

14 August 2003

My blog is advertising convents again. But it's not advertising the right ones. Oh well.

I'm going to be busy with lots and lots of Masses in the next few days. I'm singing at the vigil and all three Masses of the day for the Feast of the Assumption at my former parish, plus singing Sunday morning and Sunday evening at two different churches. The members of my extended family already glanced sideways at me when I announced that I was leaving for daily Mass this morning, and when my mom told them my schedule for Friday, my aunt's eyes nearly popped out of her head. I'm not sure she understands the concept of "Holy Day of Obligation."

I'm getting tired of this. I want to go back to school, where people don't look at me sideways when I say I'm going to daily Mass, but instead say, "Wait for me, lemme get my jacket!" Where I don't have to explain being shocked that a kid showed up to read at Sunday Mass wearing basketball shorts with his boxers peeking over the waistband. Where I don't have to explain why I look a little sad when the army of extraordinary ministers lines up at the altar. (Communion at St. John's for 600 people took 4.5 minutes last week.)

No response to The Letter yet. My dad is getting pretty angry that they have acknowledged receiving it, but haven't done anything yet. My mom says to be patient, that the committees probably haven't had regular meetings because people are on vacation. I don't know what to think. I do think that there has been more silence at the Masses there the past two weeks. (I've been cantor at a few Masses during the regular musician's vacation. I need the cash.) So, maybe they paid attention to one thing that I wrote, which is better than nothing. But I'm still waiting for a response.

13 August 2003

If you ever learn to speak Japanese, please refrain from having conversations in Japanese in front of people who don't speak it. My cousins, whose mother is from Japan, are visiting, and they do this to me a lot. Their mother tells them not to, that it is rude, but they are so used to a mish-mash of Japanese and English that I think they often don't realize what they're doing. Unfortunately, their mother's accent is so heavy that she might as well be speaking Japanese to me. She tells Sachi, Mari and Yuri that they're being rude, but it sounds sort of like "lude" to me. Which, in a different spelling, could mean something which my cousins are definitely not.

Family is interesting. These cousins and their parents are not at all religious. As far as I know, the only times these kids have ever gone to church are when my parents and I or our grandparents took them at Christmas when we were all little kids. My uncle was raised Catholic, but he hasn't gone to church since he left home. I don't know if my aunt was raised in a religious home or not. She doesn't talk about it. From the sense of morality that the girls have (they're all in their mid-late teens), you might think they were raised to be God-fearing kids. Maybe it's just that strict Japanese upbringing. They're very modest in dress and speech, charitable (or altruistic at least), and have a high sense of right and wrong.

It was particularly of interest to me that three of us were watching a news report about some kids conceived through artificial insemination using dontated sperm. They'd gone to look for the men who donated half their DNA. After about five minutes, we all agreed that it was disgusting and weird, and changed the channel. So here are some kids whose father is a doctor, they hear about medical procedures all the time, and have had no religious upbringing at all. But they know, without being told, that making a baby in a labratory is wrong. Well, yay for natural law.

11 August 2003

I am informed by an inside source that the Domincan sisters in Nashville celebrated the feast of their founder in grand style, with six sisters making their Final Vows and several postulants receiving habits. Did someone say there was a vocations crisis?

08 August 2003

Today is the Feast of St. Dominic. Check out the top 10 reasons to be a Dominican at Catholic and Enjoying It. Also check out the link at left which says "really cool nuns." It leads to the website of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia of Nashville, Tenn.
For the Gonzaga students and any recent alumni out there, you may now take the "How Gonzaga-ite Are You?" quiz. I scored 42%, because I've never been drunk and don't like basketball.

06 August 2003

In case you're curious, the books I'm currently reading (there's always more than one) are:
A History of Irish Traditional Music
When Jesuits Were Giants
The Reform of the Reform?

New CD's:
Palestrina Masses
There was a Maid (Dolores Keane)
A Celtic Evening with Derek Bell
I just watched a commercial that was playing the "Waltons" theme. That's just wrong.

04 August 2003

I went canoeing for the first time on Saturday. It was fun, and gave me some "bonding time" with my half-sister and her daughter, but my shoulders are killing me. I told my sister that she is going to have to put a brick on my niece's head, because she is getting too tall. She's going to be 12 in October, and she is alread 5'5"; one inch shorter than me. Of course, my sister is 6'1". My other sister (also 5'6") and my brother (5'8") decided that she must have gotten all the tall genes Dad had to impart. She's putting them to good use as a firefighter. My niece plays basketball.

This canoe trip was just part of the festivities of the annual family campout. Of my grandfather's eight children, six were in attendance, and nine of the 25 grandchildren, ten of the uncounted great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. The ages in my family are all messed up. My oldest cousin is older than my youngest aunt and has several grandchildren, and my youngest cousin is about to start 7th grade. We're an odd bunch without the odd ages, but that's ok.

I ask your prayers for my aunt and uncle: they recently moved because of a scandal at the Protestant church where my uncle served as minister for many years. A teenager falsely accused him of sexual abuse. Even though the case was dropped for lack of evidence and the boy admitted that his claim was false, my uncle's reputation suffered a tremendous blow. They decided to move to a ranch and start a Christian retreat center, but they're having some trouble getting started. At one point they were down to $60 in their bank account, but thankfully some friends bailed them out. Please pray for their success.

And for Lizzy's friend Sarah, a brave teenager who died of cancer last week, may her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.