Rorate Caeli

Sacred Music and More from the Benedictines of Mary

Today Rorate received this note from the prioress of the Benedictines of Mary in Gower, Missouri, whom we have featured many times for their wonderful music and their growing community. Please support them if you can. The new church they are building is magnificent, and the monastery is bursting with sisters.

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we make final preparations in our homes and in our hearts for the coming of our Savior, we want to send our love and prayers to all of you. We thank you for your past support, knowing that we couldn't live our lives of prayer without your generous assistance.

If you are still in need of Christmas gifts, we have all of our CDs in stock, and are offering them right now for just $12 each! Any orders placed before 9am(CST) today [Dec. 16] will be shipped today, and orders placed by 9am Monday will be shipped on Monday.

[NB:] Amazon inexplicably stopped selling our Caroling at Ephesus CD early last week, so we unfortunately lost a tremendous number of sales. So we reach out to you now, hoping that through your kindness, we might make up for this loss, which will help us to raise the last $150,000 needed to make our final construction payment of the year. 

We would be most grateful if you could spread the word by any means, near and far! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your goodness and continued support!

What time can Midnight Mass begin?

As we mentioned previously, 24 December is the Vigil of Christmas, which takes precedence over the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  Thus, the Fourth Sunday of Advent is not commemorated this year using the 1962 missal.

The following day is, of course, the feast of the Nativity of our Lord, the first day of Christmas, on 25 December. A popular question in novus ordo circles is: What time does Midnight Mass begin? The novus ordo is not our concern, but if the question is about the traditional Latin Mass, the answer is clear: no earlier than midnight on 25 December. There is no permission to use the next calendar day's propers for the traditional Latin Mass on the evening before a Sunday or holy day, even at 11 p.m.

The liturgical law specifying the calendar day timeline for the use of TLM propers is found in the very beginning of the rubrics governing the 1962 liturgy, under part one, chapter two, number four:

4. Dies liturgicus est dies sanctificatus actionibus liturgicis, praesertim Sacrificio eucharistico et publica Ecclesiae prece, id est Officio divino; et decurrit a media nocte ad mediam noctem.

Schedule for Roman Forum Summer Symposium 2018 Released

We are happy to inform our readers of next year’s Summer Symposium of the Roman Forum in Gardone Riviera. We encourage our readers to attend this important gathering of Catholic thinkers. Or to support their important work through prayer and donations.

The Roman Forum
Twenty-Sixth Annual Summer Symposium
Gardone Riviera, Italy
(July 2nd - July 13th, 2018; 11 nights)
The Fittest and the Weakest: The Interwar Era, the Foundations of Late Modernity, and the Resilience of Catholic Christianity
         The twenty-sixth annual Summer Symposium at Gardone Riviera derives its theme from the centennial concluding the “War to End All Wars”, fought “To Make the World Safe for Democracy” with the aid of a League of Nations that was to guarantee peace the globe over. Unfortunately, 1918 provided an entry into a twenty-one year period of disruptions rather than into an epoch where the lion would lie down with the lamb.

A Letter on Charity from Conservative Publisher Neil McCaffrey, February 1977

(Rorate thanks Roger McCaffrey for permission to publish this letter written to him in 1977 by his father Neil, a noted conservative publisher and political commentator, who for many years ran the Conservative Book Club and assisted with PR for National Review. Needless to say, the content of the letter is astonishingly timely, as we shiver our way through a second postconciliar winter.)

February 23, 1977

Dear Roger,

The problem of true charity is—the problem. Some random thoughts.

There can be no charity without justice, in this sense: charity may go beyond justice, but never at the expense of justice.

Von Hildebrand makes a useful distinction between injuries done to me and injuries done to God; the latter either directly or indirectly [because] to others. I cannot forgive an injury done to God, or to another.

We owe charity to our leaders in the Church, yes. But this does not extend to forgiving what in fact we cannot forgive, their offenses against God and the souls in their care. We should pray that they acquit themselves of these sins, but we do them no charity by pretending that their sins are virtues. Indeed, we do them the gravest disservice with such lies; and a worse disservice to those they harm.

"The Benedict Option" - This is it.

This is "The Benedict Option" -- not anything else:

Rorate Mass in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, December 16th, 2017

St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (524 W Historic Mitchell St, Milwaukee, WI 53204) will be celebrating its second annual Rorate Mass this year on December 16. See information in the flyer below. Please help spread the word if you are in this part of the USA.

Sermon for the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From the Gospel of St. Luke
“Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.”

It was the first femtosecond, when from the stillness of the void, from the nothing that was apart from God, the birth of the creation, of the universe, when matter was unbelievably dense, when everything burst forth in a big bang, utter chaos, a incomprehensible burst of energy, seething, writhing, forming matter, like a sea of blood.  

New Reprints of Three Theological Classics

People who enjoy reading theological books quickly discover, in the vaults of university libraries, at used bookstores, or by lucky links online, a lot of hidden gems out there — books that were first published 50, 75, 100 years ago or even more, which have long since fallen out of print and yet very much deserve to be back in print for new readers.

Event: Rorate Mass in Kokomo, Indiana, Saturday, December 9

Aureas Manus, the Chant Group of Purdue University, and Una Voce Kokomo will be hosting a Rorate mass the morning of December 9th at St. Patrick's in Kokomo. Fr. Christopher Roberts will be the celebrant. Music will be provided by Aureas Manus and the choir of St. Patrick's. Candles and hymnals will be provided. Breakfast to follow. Those wishing to follow upcoming events of the Latin Mass Community in the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana should email

Mother knows best! Support the seminarians of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

The following letter was given to us by this mother of a seminarian of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICR). When we ask you to consider giving money to causes, you should know we almost always have done so ourselves. We support an ICR seminarian on a weekly basis. We ask you to as well, even in very small dollar amounts, if at all possible. You can click here to do so now, by scrolling down to "International Seminary":  

 Letter from the Mother of a Seminarian: 

The late Father John Hardon, of happy memory, once said, "The proof of love is pain." We see this truth in all it's paradoxical beauty when we gaze upon our crucified King on the Cross. 

We have begun a new liturgical year with the start of Advent; that time of joyful waiting for the birth of our Precious Lord. We will prepare for this great feast with special prayers, adornments for our souls and for our homes, and works of mercy, to name a few. We will relish our Advent traditions. We will spend the next four weeks contemplating what we are about to celebrate; the dawn of our Redemption.

"I am the Immaculate Conception"

Father R. Plus S.J.

The Song of Bernadette (1943 - apparition of March 25, 1858)

We should not be astounded at such a sublime privilege! Are not the reasons which wage battle in favor of the Immaculate Conception of Mary evident? Due to His holiness, Jesus had to be born of a sinless Mother; He ‘who finds specks in the Angels themselves’ and Who ‘takes delight only amongst the lilies’ would never have consented to have been born of a flesh tainted by sin.

The starting point of the elevation to grace is, for each one of us, Baptism. Every man, in fact, enters into existence with the consequences of original sin, and he does not possess that divine life which God wanted to give to humanity, because our first parents lost it. Therefore, born firstly to human life, it is necessary that he be born a second time to the divine life. This is the reason the baptismal rite exists: to introduce him into the Christian life, in the supernatural sphere, into the family of the children of God.

Review: The 2018 Angelus Press liturgical calendar

As we do every year, we are highlighting traditional Catholic calendars that are sent to us. And one of our favorites each year is from Angelus Press. The 2018 theme is The Creed

For anyone who has purchased this calendar in the past, you know three things: It's always big; it's always well made and stands up to the kids grabbing at it; and it's always beautiful and inspiring. And the 2018 calendar is no different.

For the Record: Franciscan Friars & Sisters of the Immaculate status update -- Bergoglio's destruction nearly complete

For so many years now we have both broke and chronicled the news of Pope Bergoglio's destruction of the Franciscans of the Immaculate -- both the Friars (FFI) and the Sisters (FSI). So much has happened, often in the shadows, and has gone unreported. 

Below are simple bullet points of what we've been told recently. They come from multiple sources both inside and outside the order. But all must be recorded for history, so we post it today. We do this, as we have for years, while facing both harassment and threats for doing so. It is worth noting that about half of the FFIs who called for the original visitation are no longer in the order. Like the Imperial Prosecutor accusing St. Bernadette, they now know they were wrong, and are hopefully repenting. Please see our notes below, as well as an educated prediction of what comes next for the order.

The original commissioner, the late Fr. Fidenzio Volpi, meeting Pope Francis the day the FFI seminary was shuttered.
  • The FSI (Sisters) were assigned a commissioner (Noris Adriana Calzavara of the Suore Rosarie di Udine) and two co-commissioners by a decree of the Congregation for Religious. Since the Congregation did not have its decree approved in forma specifica by the Pope, it was open to be challenged in the Signatura. The challenge resulted first in a reduction of the powers of the commissioners. It looked as though a further challenge would lead to the decree being be overturned altogether early this year. 

  • However, before it was overturned, the Congregation went to Pope Francis and got his personal approval for a fresh assignment of the same commissioner. This was obviously very demoralizing for the sisters, who thought they were about to regain their autonomy.

Video: What is an SSPX brother?

Well worth the watch, especially you know of a young man discerning a vocation: 

Prepare ye the way of the Ordo

Sunday, 24 December 2017 may be a confusing day for diocesan priests who offer the TLM, a reminder that every priest and sacristy should have an Ordo.  On that Sunday, the Vigil of Christmas is the Mass to be offered all day, using the 1962 calendar, including Sunday morning. The Vigil of Christmas takes the place of the Fourth Sunday of Advent, as it has for centuries when landing on Sunday the 24th. As we mentioned last week, the novus ordo (of course) does the complete opposite.

The photo above shows the FSSP Ordo.  The Vigil of Christmas entry is based on the rubrics, which state:

You suggest: Rorate Mass in Philadelphia

Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate can't take postulants for 3 years (Discalced Carmelites benefit)

The tragic story of Francis' all-but-suppression of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate is well known to our readers. The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, we have now learned, have been banned from accepting postulants for three years, on order of their commissioner. 

One young lady who now cannot join those Sisters has found her new home as a Discalced Carmelite. Her story, published in the Huffington Post, of all places, is below. Kudos to the publication for giving this wonderful young woman a voice: 

My first memory of meeting an actual nun (as opposed to watching The Flying Nun, played by Sally Field, on TV) was when I was nine years old.
My mom and I were in the New York City Port Authority Bus Terminal and she bought me this awesome doll, which I named Janine. (Mind you, this is before “V” came out, otherwise the doll for sure would have been named Julie.)
So my mom had her wallet out and sitting by the entrance to the building were two nuns. They were handing out pamphlets. My mom said to me, “Let’s make a donation” and she let me put some money into the box.
Fast forward to today.
Jade Banks, 23-1/2 years old, will be entering the Discalced Carmelites on November 30th of this year (2017). I finally had a chance to find out what goes on inside the mind of a young woman who wants to become a nun.
Did you always want to be a nun?

Pope Francis Promulgates Buenos Aires Guidelines Allowing Communion for Some Adulterers in AAS as his "Authentic Magisterium"

This week, the Vatican's organ for promulgating the Official Acts of the Apostolic See, Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS), has published its October 2016 issue, containing Pope Francis' infamous Letter to the Buenos Aires Bishops. AAS not only published this letter, declaring that there are "no other interpretations" ("No hay otras interpretaciones") of Amoris Laetitia other than those of the Buenos Aires bishops, but it also published the full Buenos Aires guidelines themselves, which permit Holy Communion in some cases for couples in a state of permanent and public adultery who are not committed to living in complete continence. 

Reminder: Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society

This is our monthly reminder to please enroll Souls of the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. Over the last 30 days we've two new wonderful priests dedicated to bringing relief to loved ones enrolled by our readers. We now stand at 85 priests saying weekly or monthly traditional Latin Masses for the Souls. Come on Fathers, let's get this to 100! 

** Click here to download a "fillable" PDF Mass Card to give to the loved ones of the Souls you enroll. It's free for anyone to use. **

Priests: The Souls still need more of you saying Mass for them! Please email me to offer your services. There's nothing special involved -- all you need to do is offer a weekly or monthly TLM with the intention: "For the Souls enrolled in the Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society." And we will always keep you completely anonymous unless you request otherwise. 

How to enroll souls: please email me at and submit as follows: "Name, State, Country." If you want to enroll entire families, simply write in the email: "The Jones family, Ohio, USA". Individual names are preferred. Be greedy -- send in as many as you wish and forward this posting to friends as well.

De Mattei: Cardinals Burke, Brandmüller and Müller and The Dictator Pope

Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
November 29, 2017
Over the last few weeks three interviews from  prominent cardinals have appeared.  The first was released by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller  to Christian Geye and Hannes Hintermeier for the Frankfurter Allgmeine Zeitung on October 28th 2017; the second was given by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke to Edward Pentin on November 14th  for The National Catholic Register; the third, to Cardinal Müller, appeared on November 26th in the Corriere della Sera, by Massimo Franco.