Sixth annual Nellie Gray Mass set for Friday afternoon at Chinatown Old St. Mary’s

The Paulus Institute will sponsor the sixth annual Nellie Gray Mass at 4:00 pm this Friday, January 19, 2017, at Washington’s St. Mary Mother of God Church, which was the late Miss Gray’s place of Sunday worship. Friday afternoon’s Mass will come at the conclusion of the annual March for Life in Washington. This Mass is being added to our seven-day schedule.

Very Reverend Monsignor Andrew Wadsworth, Moderator of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Washington, will offer a Solemn High Mass for Forgiveness of Sins. Choral accompaniment for the Mass on behalf of the vulnerable unborn, in whose defense Miss Gray worked tirelessly for many years until her death in 2012, will be provided by the St. Mary’s Schola under the direction of David Sullivan.

St. Mary Mother of God Church is located at 727 Fifth Street NW in Chinatown.

Openness to life and respect for the family enable societies to thrive

From Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate (2009):

The notion of rights and duties in development must also take account of the problems associated with population growth. This is a very important aspect of authentic development, since it concerns the inalienable values of life and the family.110 To consider population increase as the primary cause of underdevelopment is mistaken, even from an economic point of view. Suffice it to consider, on the one hand, the significant reduction in infant mortality and the rise in average life expectancy found in economically developed countries, and on the other hand, the signs of crisis observable in societies that are registering an alarming decline in their birth rate. Due attention must obviously be given to responsible procreation, which among other things has a positive contribution to make to integral human development. The Church, in her concern for man’s authentic development, urges him to have full respect for human values in the exercise of his sexuality. It cannot be reduced merely to pleasure or entertainment, nor can sex education be reduced to technical instruction aimed solely at protecting the interested parties from possible disease or the “risk” of procreation. This would be to impoverish and disregard the deeper meaning of sexuality, a meaning which needs to be acknowledged and responsibly appropriated not only by individuals but also by the community. It is irresponsible to view sexuality merely as a source of pleasure, and likewise to regulate it through strategies of mandatory birth control. In either case materialistic ideas and policies are at work, and individuals are ultimately subjected to various forms of violence. Against such policies, there is a need to defend the primary competence of the family in the area of sexuality,111 as opposed to the State and its restrictive policies, and to ensure that parents are suitably prepared to undertake their responsibilities.

Morally responsible openness to life represents a rich social and economic resource. Populous nations have been able to emerge from poverty thanks not least to the size of their population and the talents of their people. On the other hand, formerly prosperous nations are presently passing through a phase of uncertainty and in some cases decline, precisely because of their falling birth rates; this has become a crucial problem for highly affluent societies. The decline in births, falling at times beneath the so-called “replacement level”, also puts a strain on social welfare systems, increases their cost, eats into savings and hence the financial resources needed for investment, reduces the availability of qualified labourers, and narrows the “brain pool” upon which nations can draw for their needs. Furthermore, smaller and at times miniscule families run the risk of impoverishing social relations, and failing to ensure effective forms of solidarity. These situations are symptomatic of scant confidence in the future and moral weariness. It is thus becoming a social and even economic necessity once more to hold up to future generations the beauty of marriage and the family, and the fact that these institutions correspond to the deepest needs and dignity of the person. In view of this, States are called to enact policies promoting the centrality and the integrity of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman, the primary vital cell of society,112 and to assume responsibility for its economic and fiscal needs, while respecting its essentially relational character.

110 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Laborem Exercens, 24: Acta Apostolicæ Sedis [AAS] 73 (1981), 637-638.
111 Ibid., 15: loc. cit., 616-618.
112 Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 27: AAS 59 (1967), 271.

Caritas in Veritate 44

Fifth annual Nellie Gray Mass set at Chinatown Old St. Mary’s

The Paulus Institute will sponsor the fifth annual Nellie Gray Mass at 3:00 pm this Friday, January 27, 2017, at Washington’s St. Mary Mother of God Church, which was the late Miss Gray’s place of Sunday worship. Friday afternoon’s Mass will come at the conclusion of the annual March for Life in Washington. This Mass is being added to our seven-day schedule.

Reverend Father Paul Scalia of the Diocese of Arlington will offer a Solemn High Mass of the Holy Innocents. Also participating in the votive Mass for the unborn, in whose defense Miss Gray worked tirelessly for many years until her death in 2012, will be deacon Reverend Father Luke Melcher of the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana, and subdeacon Reverend Father Ernest Cibelli, Administrator of St. Mary Catholic Church in Hagerstown, Maryland. Choral accompaniment will be provided by the Vox in Rama Choir from the Church of the Holy Innocents in New York City.

St. Mary Mother of God Church is located at 727 Fifth Street NW in Chinatown.

FSSP pilgrimage to conclude Saturday with Missa Solemnis at National Shrine

A three-day walking pilgrimage from upper Montgomery County, Maryland, to Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), will conclude at 5:30 pm on Saturday, June 4, with a Solemn High Mass in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Sponsored by the Paulus Institute in cooperation with the FSSP, the Mass will be offered as an act of reparation for abortion and the sins of our nation. Musical accompaniment will be provided by a local men’s schola directed by David Sullivan and by a polyphonic choir. This Mass is being added to our seven-day schedule.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is located at 400 Michigan Avenue NE in Brookland, a five-minute walk from the Brookland-CUA Metrorail station. Ample parking is available adjacent to the Shrine and on the surface lot across Harewood Road.

What Georgetown and we must do

As of this writing we have not heard that Georgetown University has acted to overrule its Lecture Fund’s speaking invitation to abortion-industry magnate Cecile Richards, for which the time, date, and location were announced this past week. We hope and pray that the University will act in accordance with the instruction of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in their 2004 pastoral letter, “Catholics in Political Life“:

The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.

And whatever Georgetown decides, we of the laity have our call to action as well:

Catholics need to act in support of these principles and policies in public life. It is the particular vocation of the laity to transform the world.

With Our Lady’s Rosary in one hand and the pen of fraternal correction in the other, may the transformation begin today.

Georgetown must affirm life, mission by overruling Richards invitation

Over three thousand times per day—about once every 25 seconds or so—another human being is put to death in the United States legally.

That human being’s crime: not to have been born yet.

The pandemic butchery of abortion on demand is the most visibly brutal reality of the contracepting, perverse, “self-affirming” and self-abusive culture that is the fruit of Modernism.

Of those 3,000 lives per day, about 1,000 are taken at facilities operated by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, accounting for roughly 85% of Planned Parenthood’s prenatal “services.” Some number of those lives—helpless babies’ lives—reap a profit either for PPFA or for one of its downstream customers in the form of baby parts dismembered and sold, as grimly chronicled by the Center for Medical Progress and unaccountably denied by the zealous defenders and promoters of PPFA, whose business of slaughter-for-pay continues unabated.

To the Catholic—indeed, to anyone of good will—this practice is an unconscionable crime, no matter what a legislature or court may rule on the matter. To the Lecture Fund at Georgetown University, this practice is evidently just another interesting line of commerce, and its most notorious practitioner’s CEO, Cecile Richards, a celebrity whose achievements merit her not opprobrium but a podium.

The official response of Georgetown University has been to downplay this scandalous invitation as an exercise in the “free exchange of ideas,” even as the University administration admits that Richards advocates “perspectives” that “run counter to the Catholic and Jesuit values that animate our university.”

This response is indefensible and unacceptable. Georgetown administration’s tepid commentary on the Richards invitation, far from affirming Catholic and Jesuit values, is an implicit endorsement of the culture of death promoted by Planned Parenthood and its defenders. University President John DeGioia has no defensible position or option other than to overrule the Lecture Fund and rescind the Fund’s invitation to Richards.

Five centuries ago, St. Ignatius of Loyola experienced a profound conversion that ultimately led his Society of Jesus to become, up through a few generations ago, the Church’s brightest torch in its unapologetic defense of the Faith and heroic proclamation of Catholic truth, even in the face of martyrdom. Today’s Church, beset by crisis and challenged more than ever before by the forces of Hell in the battle for souls, demands no less of Her faithful and of the Society.

We pray that Georgetown will halt this mockery of its Catholic and Jesuit identity and will seize the opportunity to repair the scandal occasioned by the Richards invitation. Through the intercession of St. Ignatius and his fellow saints and blesseds of the Company, may the Society of Jesus, accompanied by all who owe a debt of gratitude to Georgetown’s legacy of educational and moral excellence, see fit to undertake a deep and fruitful Ignatian examen that will restore the University—and indeed the entire Jesuit order—to their rightful place as heralds of the Church’s teaching and vanguard of the Social Reign of Christ the King.

UPDATE: Nellie Gray Mass moved to 3 p.m. because of snow

We have just been informed that the time of the fourth annual Nellie Gray Mass, which was scheduled to be offered at 4:00 pm on Friday, January 22, at Washington’s St. Mary Mother of God Church, has been cancelled advanced to 3:00 pm because of the heavy snow forecast for the area.

Readers planning to attend Masses anywhere in the Washington area this weekend are advised to check parish web pages and this site for schedule updates.

Fourth annual Nellie Gray Mass headlines list of pro-life TLMs on January 22

The Paulus Institute will sponsor the fourth annual Nellie Gray Mass at 4:00 pm on Friday, January 22, 2016, at Washington’s St. Mary Mother of God Church, which was the late Miss Gray’s place of Sunday worship. Friday afternoon’s Mass for the intentions of the unborn, on whose behalf Miss Gray worked tirelessly until her death in 2012, will come at the conclusion of the annual March for Life in Washington. The Most Reverend Edward J. Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa, will offer a pontifical Solemn High Mass from the faldstool.

St. Mary Mother of God Church is located at 727 Fifth Street NW in Chinatown. This Mass, as well as other local pro-life Masses on January 22, has been added to our seven-day schedule. Additional Masses in observance of the annual March for Life can also be found on the Juventutem DC Facebook page.

REMINDER: Third annual Nellie Gray Mass set at Old St. Mary’s

The Paulus Institute will sponsor the third annual Nellie Gray Mass at 4:00 pm on Thursday, January 22, 2015, at Washington’s St. Mary Mother of God Church, which was the late Miss Gray’s place of Sunday worship.  Thursday afternoon’s Mass will come at the conclusion of the annual March for Life in Washington.  This Mass is being added to our seven-day schedule.

The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki, Bishop of Springfield in Illinois, will offer a pontifical Solemn High Mass of the Holy Innocents from the faldstool. Also participating in the votive Mass for the unborn, in whose defense Miss Gray worked tirelessly for many years until her death in 2012, will be assistant priest Reverend Father John Zuhlsdorf, deacon Reverend Monsignor Charles Pope, and subdeacon Reverend Father Paul Scalia. Choral accompaniment will be provided by The Schola Cantorum from The Lyceum School of South Euclid, Ohio.

St. Mary Mother of God Church is located at 727 Fifth Street NW in Chinatown.

Terri Schiavo: Our forgotten sister

Nine years ago, on March 31, 2005, after a decade and a half of increasing discomfiture to the agendas of her husband and eventually of the “progressive” American mediasphere, Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo, age 41, was put to death by dehydration.

Please pray a Rosary today in reparation for this atrocity.  Let us ask Our Blessed Mother to intercede for the protection of all whose existence falls short of convenience-based “quality of life” standards, and for the conversion of the stewards of the culture of death.

A memorial Mass will be offered Monday evening, March 31, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. by Archbishop Charles Chaput at the Chapel of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, 18th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia.