Castle San Miguel
Castle San Miguel
We left the abbey heading for Shirine of the most blessed sacrament, picking up our guest house people on the way.

There is a single entrance to the site down a country road filled with farmland horses and cattle grazing calmly nearby giving no clue as to what is to be found at the end of the road.

There were very few members of the group who had been to the shrine and the Castle that sits upon it but even so it remained an imposing sight as you approach it.

When you walk into the medieval style keep this is what you see

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The Conference Room
this is the area used for conferences dining (items are catered and brought in). It also contains the rather large and very catholic gift shop full of coins, prayer cards and medals. As our catholic supply store in the Fitchburg area closed I loaded up on small bottles for holy water to be given out a few of which I filled from the taps connected to huge tanks of holy water kept in the nativity area next to the castle

For those who are not catholic be aware that all such items are just that items that can be bought and sold until blessed by a priest or deacon, once blessed they can NOT be sold either by a gift shop or by the person who had them blessed. No legit catholic gift shop will sell a blessed item.

The Courtyard
The Courtyard

We then filled into the conference room for a talk on the origins of Mother Angelica, her vocation and the Shrine of the most blessed sacrament. I set up a mic for the talk next to her podium so I caught all of her speech but in the Q & A you’ll only hear the “A” not the “Q”

When the talk was over we headed for mass at the lower chapel where Mother Angelica is buried. No photography is allowed there so naturally I have no images to show you. I was struck that not only was the Liturgy of the Eucharist celebrated Ad Orientem but communion was received kneeling at the altar rail with an altar boy holding a salver under a chin, both of which I found very appealing.

Touring the Eucharistic Center
Touring the Eucharistic Center
After mass we had some time before our tour of the John Paul II Eucharistic Center we spent some time at the grave of Mother Angelica. We pressed rosaries against her grave that the station planned to give away and prayed a rosary for the person who would be receiving it.

A bit later we visited the Eucharistic Center. The last time I was there the young knights of the Holy Eucharist were the tour guides, but they had been transferred to Nebraska so a gentleman name Micah gave the tour.

When the Tour was over he took a few minutes to speak to me about his job.

The Vast Collection of Relics of Saints
The Vast Collection of Relics of Saints

When the tour was over and after a quick sandwich we had free time. I spent mine at Mother’s grave with several hundred rosaries saying a Hail Mary over each as I touched them to her grave.

Soon it was time to head back to St. Benedict Abbey where I visited and filmed the famous Grotto.

And interviewed Brother Christopher who gave us the history of brother Joseph

From there we were back to the cafeteria at St. Bernard Abbey where I interviewed one of the students who attended the school.

At St. Bernard Abbey
At St. Bernard Abbey
However at this point things took a turn for the worse. Our bus driver had been a tad under the weather on day one, by that evening he was in horrible pain. we had a pair of nurses on the trip who took a look at him and it was decided he needed to get to the local hospital. We had no way of getting him there. The Taxi services stopped running early, there was no Uber or Lyft and we failed to get ahold of the local parish or Knight of Columbus that we hoped to get a hand from. Eventually our driver drove to the hospital in his bus with our nurses with him while the rest of us took up a Rosary Circle. One of the Nurses takes up the story.

In the end our driver got the treatment he needed while a substitute driver arrived from Atlanta while he waited to be treated. Ironically our substitute had driven for our tour leader Maryann before and while our primary driver would have a day of rest we would be getting ready for our trip to the EWTN studio the next day.


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Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.

Matthew 10:32-33

You know there are very few things more depressing when on a pilgrimage to the grave of a nun who built an organization proclaiming the truth of catholic faith to the world to read about this:

Sr Jane Marie Klein, told AP the name changes are in keeping with the mission of the Sisters of St Francis of Perpetual Adoration, which founded the hospital system.

What name change is Sr. Jane Marie Klein saying is in keeping with the mission of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual adoration? Why removing the “saint” out of hospital names that she runs.

The health care system that oversees the Illinois and Indiana hospitals has determined that dropping the saint names will strengthen the brand identity of the system as a whole, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

“Unsainted” hospitals include those that had incorporated the names of St James, St Anthony, St Elizabeth, St Margaret, and St Francis.

Because nothing better illustrates the mission of Catholic nuns like ditch the saints and the Catholic identity they allude to.

It seems she followed the exact path that Screwtape suggested.

quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely part of the “cause”… Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing.

This entire story might seem confusing. While the Hospitals will discover that like God, the saints will not force themselves on those who don’t want them and will, however reluctantly agree to stay away, you would think that given the purpose of a hospital is to treat the sick, the aid of the Hospital’s patron would be very valuable. Of course that presumes actual belief and unfortunately I’ve discovered belief is not longer a given among the professed religious.

Exit question, who wants to bet that the Hospitals don’t remove the “St.” when trying to fundraise from faithful Catholics?


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Baldilocks is tied up and her piece will go up thursday so to tide you over here are a pair of videos from the St. John Paul II Eucharistic Center at Mother angelica’s Monastery:

The role of Saint Juliana and Thomas Aquinas on the feast of Corpus Christi

and an interview with the gentleman who presented the tour

And lets throw in a few photos too

You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Matthew 5:21-24

Before I fell asleep yesterday afternoon the most outrageous thing that had happened Thursday was the testimony of the chief of the FBI whose assertions, prevarications and evasions combined with there being no record of Hillary’s questioning bothered and astounded me.

Then I woke up when my wife got home and looked at my computer to find that snipers had killed four police officers during a blm protest and frankly I was furious, not only at the murders but at the point out country has reached and those who have or their own gain pushed us in this direction. These tweets were typical

For reasons I can’t explain It suddenly dawned on me that my angry reaction was in fact a temptation so I invoked my guardian angel and tweeted an odd fact.

and suddenly everything changed, both in terms of my emotions and in terms of my tweets.

Take a look at my timeline before and after 1:58 AM and look at the difference. I submit and suggest that to faithful christians in general and catholics in particular that is a “feature”.

Perhaps it is time for us as a nation to consider the advantages of turning back to Christ and the teaching that goes like this:

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

1 John 3:15-18

I further submit and suggest that invoking not only our guardian angels but the guardian angels of each other would be a rather good idea for us as individuals and for our nation.

Like all disciplines in life this would be only the first step.  For this to have a long term effect it will take time and there will be resistance both physically by those who stand to benefit from continued national anger and spiritually by the other side, so we should not overestimate the instant effect of this (that is in fact another temptation).

But if we want to change the direction of our country we have to change our own direction and this is the way to do it.


Well the year his half over and despite a horrible June (My worst traffic month in many years) We are still way over our pace at this time last year and slightly over the previous six months here at DaTechGuy Blog the first six months of last year.

DaTipJar however continues to lag, sitting at just over 21% of our annual goal or less that half of where we might hope to be by now.

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This week is the 65th Anniversary of the ordination of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and somehow that made three Catholic stories jumped out a me.

A very interesting interview with Archbishop Gänswein on Pope Benedict:

Later on, he also says he would sum up Benedict’s papacy with the word Veritas. He says: “It is about the fact that truth became man in Christ, that is for him [Benedict] the great theme of his life which reappeared again and again throughout his life in different variations and in different forms.” Gänswein adds that Benedict’s pontificate had “strengthened the Church in her foundations,” concluding with the words: “That will remain.”

A lot of times in the back and forth about the world we forget that in the end this fact is all that matters.

Yesterday Pope Francis & Pope Emeritus appeared together and I think the most significant part of the story was this:

Francis has recently dismissed new questions about the implications of Benedict’s resignation by insisting that there is only one pope — himself — and that Benedict had pledged his obedience to him on the day he resigned.

He told reporters this weekend he felt that Benedict “had my back” and was continuing to help the church through his prayers. He added he had heard that Benedict had even chastised some nostalgic faithful who were complaining about the “new pope.”

I may not know what the Holy Spirit is doing but I have faith that he does.

Finally here is a story about Francis that the MSM has left alone

The Vatican is summoning the heads of two more female religious orders so they can explain their “public dissent” from Church teaching.

The most recent communities to be summoned are the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJ) and the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM). The Vatican’s concern in both communities involves their dissent from Church teaching.

When Benedict did this the MSM was up in arms, I guess this one is just too hard for the media to spin Francis on this so they just let it be.

Today is the feast of Sts Peter and Paul and it’s very fitting that they share a feast day because the two men illustrate so well two specific natures of Christianity in General and the Catholic Church in Particular.

First look at the contrast, Peter the uneducated fisherman, the hothead, the loudmouth yet for all of those things is the first to declare Jesus as the Christ and is appointed the head of Jesus’ church on earth.

Paul the educated scholar, the pharisee, a Roman Citizen at the very top of the heap, a man well versed in the law yet so blind he could not see what a poor fisherman could until God literally wacks him upside the head and blinds him and a man sly enough to know how to play the Jewish factions against each other.

Two more different men you could not find yet both are united in being called by Christ and willing to accept that call despite horrible consequences.

That is the Catholic Church, the rich, the poor, the educated, the laborer, the sly, the hot tempered, all different types of people, united in the call of Christ and seeking to follow him.

Yet while this first nature reflects the Church well the 2nd which Peter and Paul had in common reflects it even better.

Paul the persecutor, who watched approvingly the stoning of Stephen, the man who admits openly that he does what he doesn’t want to do and works even harder for fear of losing his salvation.

And Peter, the man who up front tells Christ “Depart from me for I am a sinful man” the man who denies Christ Three times the man who even in his old age, by tradition has to be guilted by Christ to go back to Rome to face crucifixion.

The common thread, both were sinners, called to Christ and whose belief didn’t make them immune from sin or flaws, but made them able to overcome them through the forgiveness of Christ.

That is the best definition of a Christian there is, it’s also why those who attack Christians because they have flaws or sins demonstrate their ignorance. A Christian isn’t defined by lack of sin (though we do our best to avoid it) , a Christian is defined by striving toward Christ’s perfection despite our sins and flaws, sometimes falling, sometimes failing but always getting back up, asking for Christ’s pardon and carrying on

One of the things that is axiomatic about Christianity is the ability of God to create good in the aftermath of great evil in that such an act moves people to acts of kindness, repentance and mercy. A great example of this comes via Stephen Green at Instapundit came from Instapundit yesterday linking to this CNN story:

“As we deplaned, EVERY SINGLE PERSON STOPPED TO OFFER HER THEIR CONDOLENCES. Some just said they were sorry, some touched her hand, some hugged her, some cried with her. But every single person stopped to speak to her, and not a single person was impatient at the slower deplaning process”, she wrote.
“We can confirm that these are our crewmembers, and that the story appears to be an accurate account of one of our flights from yesterday morning,” Jetblue spokeswoman Morgan Johnston told CNN.

However while the graces of God are active and working the other side is also busy at work hoping to exploit an already evil act as a catalyst for sin some of them obvious and others more subtle.

The first and most obvious is the conflation of a person’s potential sin with the state of their soul.

There is a reason why he Church doesn’t specify any particular person being in Hell, because a person has till their very last moment of life to accept the hand that God offers.  To presume the damnation of a person is the Judging that Christ is referring to in the gospel.

Even worse than this temptation are those who actually celebrated the murder of those in Orlando based on their presumed sins.  To celebrate the violent murder of others over their sins not only makes the mistake that Jesus warned about those killed in the collapse of the tower of Siloam but is risking the most dangerous sin of all:  Spiritual Pride, or as it’s often called today virtue signaling.  

Pride is the worst of the deadly sins but spiritual pride is undoubtedly the Devil’s favorite, not only does it deceive the one committing the sin making repentance less likely, but such pride tend to chase people away from God by a horrible example making it doubly productive for him.

It’s a cowardly thing because it’s done to avoid the critique that can come with the one task that can make a difference, engaging someone with love.

But while this is one extreme of Orlando temptation there is a 2nd style just as dangerous, but less obvious, that our enemy tries to tempt us toward, confusing sympathy for the victims of a terrible with excusing, tolerating or even celebrating mortal sin.

It takes very little effort to go along with the world, to suddenly say that sin is not sin, or to go along with the parade and celebrate mortal sin and get the platitudes of the media.

And even those who do not go so far might choose to keep silent, to not make waves, to suggest that stating or teaching clear church doctrine is not the right thing to do because it might cause offense, but Christ warns us that rejection by the world is standard procedure for a Christian.

The irony of course is that like the other extreme, this is also an example of spiritual pride, virtue signaling and cowardice, rather than engaging with love one doesn’t engage at all.

In both cases the Devil wins and you lose, which is the entire idea.

No matter which extreme you are tempted to the thing to remember is this:  No matter what people say on twitter,  love wins not when you enable mortal sin to the damnation to the plaudits of the crowd, love wins when you engage a person, with patience and love, to help them overcome it.

You might be rejected by the elders, the elites, the betters and even those who rule but that’s OK,  because if you are, you’re in good company.


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One of the interesting things we have seen in our immigration debate is the corruption of language.

Suddenly the words “Illegal immigration” is not allowed even though the person is clearly breaking the law thus doing something “illegal” and the law this person is breaking is the law on “immigration”

Suddenly a Somali immigrant who settles near St. Paul Minnesota who is on trial for terror becomes a Minnesota Man

But the most amusing term of the lot, the term that we heard over and over in the primary season and one I suspect we will run into a lot during the election year is “Path to legal status”.

To the speaker using the phrase the purpose is to differentiate position of the person using it from “Amnesty” which is entirely different but the reality is the actual purpose of this phrase is to keep the listener from understanding that a “Path to legal status” is in fact amnesty.

So problem, how do you explain to the person being spun by the words “Path to legal status” that this is in fact Amnesty.

My solution? The Doctrine of Purgatory.

For those not familiar with Catholic Doctrine Purgatory is the place the temporal cost is paid for sins whose eternal cost have been already been forgiven, it’s where a soul is perfected for heaven.

Once that cost is paid and the soul has reached that state of perfect love either by either by indulgences earned during life, prayers or indulgences offered by the faithful for them after death, or through the purification process of purgatory then the soul is ready for Heaven.

Is this not the same thing as the “path to legal status” promises?

A “Path to legal status” by definition earns that a person is not currently legal. So the person has violated the immigration law, and through a process that might involve the paying of a fine and back taxes, which can be paid by either the person or someone else, and/or the waiting for a period of time, they at last achieve full legal status.

Why is this important? because every single soul is purgatory, no matter if they spend a single hour or till the end of time in Purgatory, those souls are saved, they have accepted the cost Christ paid in blood for their sins and sought the mercy he offers for their offenses.

Thus the souls in Purgatory have received the Amnesty that Christ has given them.

And that what the Path to Citizenship is, no matter how large the fine, no matter how long the wait, in the end the person is forgiven for their legal offenses.

Thus the persons who have received a “path to legal status” have received amnesty that the government has given them.

No amount of linguistic trickery will change it.

I’ve written about the indulgences available for the dead in purgatory during the year of Mercy by passing through the designated holy doors and my quest as a daily mass attendee to obtain as many as possible while thru mid November.

Yesterday for the first time during Pope Francis’ declared Year of Mercy circumstances I found myself attending mass at a designated Church of pilgrimage rather than simply passing through the doors either before or after attending mass at my own parish to obtain the available indulge for a soul in purgatory.

The parish St. Joseph’s in Fitchburg which was built in an area once populated by the French Canadian population that came down during the thriving factory days of the city, was once much smaller but the building was expanded after World War 2 and now has the largest capacity of the remaining churches in the city, but even with the consolidation was less than half full for mass yesterday.

However even with that lesser crowd as a sat in the “Old” church with the priest’s back to me (the layout is a Cross with the altar at the center of the “t”) It occurred to me that every person receiving Holy Communion at that mass had automatically fulfilled most of the requirements for a year of Mercy indulgence, meaning that there were hundreds of potential indulgences dispensed at that mass, several times for all the masses each week at St. Joseph’s.

That meant that the congregation at St Joe’s had the potential to easily secure indulgences for every person buried at St. Joseph’s cemetery down the road during the course of the Year of Mercy with plenty to spare with almost no alteration to their regular routine, all that would be necessary was sacramental confession once every two weeks!

That was a comforting thought that was followed by a sobering question: How many of those in attendance were actually bothering to do so?

That question nagged at me, and it reminded me of a sad story concerning a wonderful charity named Angel Tree that obtains Christmas gifts for the children of those in jail.

There was a fellow in prison who had six children by six different mothers who had not heard of Angel Tree. He was informed of it by a fellow inmate who had heard about it through the prison ministry. He was told that all he had to do was go and fill out the forms and each of his children would receive a Christmas gift that year.

Weeks passed and nothing happened and the deadline was upon them. His fellow came up to him on that last day saying that if he wanted gifts for his kids he would have to come to the service that evening and fill out the paperwork otherwise it would be too late.

He declined, opting for a card game. His kids got nothing.

Right now in every Catholic diocese in the word there is a Holy Door. In the United States there are hundreds of them. If you are in the congregation at the designated church containing that door you have the potential to earn the indulgence for a soul in purgatory on a weekly or even daily basis.

The year of Mercy ends November 20th meaning that as of today if you go to daily mass you can secure potentially 168 indulgences between now and then. If you attend mass weekly at once of those locations you have the potential to earn 24 indulgences before the year closes.

I submit that it’s a horrible waste to not take advantage of this time and even more so if you attend one of the churches on that list. In the words of James T. Kirk

Take the time and earn one of those indulgences. A soul in purgatory will thank you

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.

G. K. Chesterton

Yesterday I saw the following link at Drudge

Outbreak of super STD difficult to contain…

It linked to the following Daily Mirror story titled thus:

Why outbreak of super gonorrhoea is proving difficult to contain

which talks about a particularly nasty drug resistant version of Gonorrhoea

As the gonorrhoea bacterium can resist our most powerful antibiotics when used alone, two drugs, ­azithromycin and ceftriaxone, are used in combination.

However, resistance to azithromycin has developed and is spreading, and experts fear it’s only a matter of time before ceftriaxone fails too.

Now given these facts one might presume that both the Drudge headline and the Mirror one are absolutely correct.

They’re not.

Actually the outbreak of “super STD’s” is very easy to contain and the solution to avoiding said STD’s it just involves a solution different than that advised by the medical community

Dr Gwenda Hughes, the head of the sexually transmitted infections unit at Public Health England, said: “We cannot afford to be complacent. If strains emerge resistant to both azithromycin and ­ceftriaxone, treatment options would be limited as there is currently no new antibiotic available to treat the infection.”

She’s encouraging people to practise safe sex to minimise the risk of STIs.

You see the solution to keeping this disease from spreading is not to have sex with infected people.

That’s all it takes.

In fact there is an organization that has been suggesting such a thing for centuries:

233 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason.

2342 Self-mastery is a long and exacting work. One can never consider it acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of life.128 The effort required can be more intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and adolescence.

and has also pushed solutions that don’t involve abstinence from sex

2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.

2361 “Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death.”

So if you want to avoid this or any other sexually transmitted disease, if you and your spouse avoid premarital sex and then avoid sex with anyone other than your spouse you will not catch it.

If you want your kids to avoid it teach and encourage them to do the same.

And if we had the culture we did at the time of my birth, that would be the very first message that health professionals would be giving while still pursuing medical solutions for those who don’t follow this advice.

Alas, the need to discourage any remnants of the Christian Culture that once dominated England overrides any possible benefit to the population of arresting the spread of the superbug.

Closing thought, Does it never occur to people that the laws God has given us are not for his benefit but for ours?


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