Monday, February 28, 2005

National Exposure for Requiem Press????

Friday Dom Bettinelli ( was interviewed on MSNBC, see details here. I believe they showed a snapshot of his blog coverpage on TV. And they put a link to on the MSNBC website - (I don't know if it is still there). What has this got to do Requiem Press?

We have had a blog-ad running on for two weeks, and on Friday morning as the first one was set to expire, we put on a new one for our new book, "Prayers in the Presence of the Holy Eucharist for the Church Suffering".

Thus our 15 minutes of fame.

I can't tell if this sudden fame has helped increase business, but if it has, it hasn't done much.

From the small holding in Bethune....

Oremus pro invicem!


Update: We got him! Number 3 and Number 2 son captured him when he ventured out again.

Friday afternoon two pups wandered into our yard. Both looked to be about 6-10 weeks old. One all black, the other had the coloring of a baby rottweiler. Having three dogs already, I asked around with the neighbors and around town, but with no one claiming them, I took them to the animal shelter in Camden. Saturday afternoon a sandy-haired pup showed up. This one really took to the kids. In a weak moment I promised they could keep him if the vet said he had no contagious diseases.

Sunday afternoon a fourth pup showed up. If we hadn't seen his three brothers and sisters, I'm not sure I would have recognized this fella as a dog. He looks part racoon, part bear, and part human, like an eskimo covered with fur. He has proved difficult to catch. We first saw him curled up in a ball beside his sandy-haired sister's little pen. We ran and chased him sort of haphazardly - but he is much faster than his brethern. A couple of us made stabs and should have got him, but he eluded us and hid under our feed house. We spent a couple of hours in the cold rain trying to coax him from under the feed house to no avail. Thus we left him food and water for the night. I may have pneumonia this morning from these failing efforts.

This morning he has ventured out a few times, but he is very cautious and smart. Every time we make a move he runs back to shelter. I would like to catch him today because both the vet and the shelter are in Camden, and I would like to make only one trip.

How many pups does the average litter have? Do I have to go through this a couple more times? It is obvious someone dumped a litter.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Chickens and Eggs

We got our first eggs today. We found them by accident because we didn't think they would start laying in February. Son went into the hen house after a rooster (for Saturday dinner) and found 5 brown eggs. In hindsight, we now know why the roosters have been grabbing the hens by the neck and jumping on them.

The roosters have started to fight a bit too. One was actually bloodied-up today. We have 8 hens and 7 roosters. We isolated 2 roosters (for Saturday dinner) today. But we need to get down to 2 roosters for the 8 hens we have. I think we may have a suitable pen which we can use until I can build a second coop.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

We pray for you John Paul II!

Just saw the news, first at Fructus Ventris, that our Holy Father is back in the hospital.

Let's pray for John Paul!

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

"Pro Multis"

There is an interesting debate in the 'Letters' section of this month's Catholic World Report regarding the proper translation of 'pro multis' (i.e. 'for many', 'for the many', or 'for all') used during the Mass. I am in no way a scholar in Greek or Latin, so I will not venture an opinion in that regard.

I recall reading (I think on the EWTN expert forum) a priest commenting that while the translation of pro multis used in the Novus Ordo (for all) is unfortunate, it is not so serious. I believe his reasoning was something like: Christ died for all of mankind; but only many will take advantage of His sacrifice, and only many will come to the Eucharistic feast.

This same path of reasoning is also mentioned in the CWR exchange of letters.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Feast of St. Polycarp

For reasons explained below, on the feast of St. Polycarp I always think of the controversy between those who think the Gospels were written early, that is while the Apostles were still alive (and by the traditional authors) and those who believe the Gospels were written later (by either followers of the traditional authors or by ....?).

Of course I am in the former group, and with good reason. St. Irenaeus, a disciple of St. Polycarp, [Polycarp was in turn a disciple of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist], wrote (in Against Heresies):

"Matthew published a Gospel, writing among the Hebrews in their tongue, at the time when Peter and Paul were announcing their glad tidings at Rome and were founding the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, delivered to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke, Paul's companion, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by Paul. Then John, the disciple of the Lord, who reclined on his breast, also published the Gospel, whilst staying at Ephesus in Asia."

If that isn't enough evidence, then consider the practical evidence. The Gospel of St. Luke and the Acts were written by the same author, and Acts was written after the Gospel - (no one seems to disagree with this.) It is inconceivable that the author of Acts would neglect to include the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul and the destruction of Jerusalem (because Christ's prophecies) if the Acts were written (as the Modernists claim) after these events.

Certainly there is much more evidence - however I have never heard an argument which can refute these two pieces of evidence.

From the small holding in Bethune ...

St. Polycarp - ora pro nobis

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

New Things at Requiem Press

Friday we release a new booklet - a holy hour dedicated to the holy souls in Purgatory. It is entitled, "Prayers in the Presence of the Holy Eucharist for the Church Suffering". You can read more about it here.

This is a book we are printing in-house (we are farming out a small part of the manufacture for a time)! In the past few months we have been doing research; in the past few weeks we have been gathering and trying equipment. We printed our first booklets today and they look as good as the "Daily Prayers for the Church Suffering", which we released in July of '04.

This new flexibility will allow us to respond to the "market" more quickly and to have a greater variety of offerings. I expect that by March 7th or so we will have one or two more booklets out. Most of these new booklets will not be prayer booklets. The booklets will deal clearly (albeit briefly) with aspects of Catholic history and/or culture (for example: the theology of martyrdom; the relationship of Church and State in the Middle Ages - just to name two).

The new offerings should all be under $5. Some of these will be good outside reading for high school age homeschoolers . We will still publish full length books. Our next in fact is due for release in late spring. (More on this in the coming months.)

We are very excited. As we did this summer with our first offerings when we launched our new effort with a prayer book to relieve the Church Suffering; we do so again as we start a new chapter in Requiem Press.

From the small holding in Bethune...

(Now more than ever,) Oremus pro invicem!

A Joker in the Mailroom

I received the most unlikely piece of junk mail today. I can safely say that this is the first time I have been invited to join the ACLU. I didn't know that the greatest threat to America was the Bush Administration's attack on religious liberty. I am confused - I had always thought it was the ACLU who attacked my religious liberty. Oh well.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Chicken & Beer!

We slaughtered and ate our second meal of home-grown chickens this weekend. This time the whole process was much quicker - and with better results. The chicken was tasty and tender. Here's my recipe:

Two whole chickens, two quarts of Milwaukee's Best, 1 can crushed tomatoes, a pinch of garlic powder, a sprinkling of parmesian cheese, and a sprinkling of Bells' seasoning - cook in crock pot all day. Serve with biscuits, green beans, and baked potatoes.

Mrs. Curley came back from Florida on Saturday with this feast awaiting her.

Next time I may use a darker beer - but otherwise no one would change a thing. It was so good we felt guilty eating it during Lent.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Light Blogging?

Mrs. Curley's mother flew down to Bethune today. Tomorrow they are off to Florida to visit the older generation. Between work, school (I am told I need to keep their noses to grindstone), cooking (if boiling hot dogs and heating beans count as cooking), and the other messes which are sure to happen, I don't know if I will have time to write anything. I will try to paint the bathroom ceiling and finish scraping the kitchen counter, (The previous owners painted the kitchen counter! You can't put a hot pot on it without melting the paint.), while Mrs. Curley is gone.

If you miss me you can always go over to and see my new ad for Requiem Press!

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

This is a very thought provoking piece at the Caelum et Terra Blog. An excerpt:

"The news story last week, with its tale of sexual and religious abuse of Muslim prisoners at Guantanomo, was reminiscent of earlier reports of abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. In both cases women participated in subjecting Islamic men to pornographic degradation and religious humiliation. ....

"Does anyone for a moment think that women of my mother's generation, which came of age in the 1940s, would have behaved like this? Is not such behavior the result of exposure to pornography? What sort of culture accepts that its young women would possess such easy familiarity with such things? ....

"Al Qaeda is rightly and roundly condemned for its attacks on innocent civilians. Yet how many Americans will fail to defend our country's use of nuclear weapons against Japan at the end of the second World War? This is not lost on Osama bin Laden, who in his writings has invoked the moral logic of Hiroshima to justify his attack on the World Trade Center. Indeed, if Hiroshima can be justified the only argument is whether circumstances justified 9/11, not the inherent immorality of the act."

We know that when men are exposed to pornography women suffer degradation. What does happen when women themselves are routinely exposed to pornography, as they are in this society. Does it make them hate being women?

It seems that the feminist movement has through 'sexual liberation' destroyed women in the eyes of men; destroyed families by leaving children alone; and destroyed women in the eyes of women themselves. Thus they try to become men.

Remember that awful book many of us had to read in high school, "The Lord of the Flies" - it tells a story of a group of boys being left alone on an island with no adult supervision. At first they form a government and organize, but it quickly degrades into an uncivilized barbaric existence.

Isn't this what is happening when we displace the natures of man and woman? In many senses women and children are what keep men from being barbarians. If we make women the same as men - both become barbarians.

On the last point, quoted above, just look at GW Bush's inaugural speech and the general Protestantism of America which truly believes that 'God is an American, - thus for America, the ends always justify the means.'

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, February 11, 2005

In the past month this blog and others have posted on the Mass, and especially the Traditional Latin Mass. This article by Eamon Duffy (found it on Amy Welborn's blog) gives another historical perspective to the Mass.

I think, (of course we at Requiem Press are biased), historical perspective is helpful in understanding things. G.K. Chesterton was known to have said (essentially) that something shouldn't be changed or eliminated until the reason for its existence is understood.

Anyway an interesting read....

I came across this at today and have my own thoughts on the future of John Paul (the Great) II's pontificate.

I think our Holy Father believes he the still has much to accomplish: a visit to Russia; improved relations (or even reunification) with the Orthodox; more direct evangelization with the youth of the world; more episcopal appointments in the likeness of Archbishop Burke; and the list goes on.

I don't know what plans God has for John Paul, but I do agree with Mr. Bettinelli that John Paul is a direct challenge and contradiction to the culture of death with his acceptance of suffering.

Often man (especially in modern culture) thinks short-term. However, the legacy of a great pope is realized and felt over centuries. Just as it is said that a father influences his descendents for at least four generations, our Holy Father will reach even further into posterity.

From the small holding in Bethune on this Feast of our Lady of Lourdes...

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

"The Throne of the World"

In 452 A.D. Attila the Hun was bearing down on Rome and there was no army to stop him. Yet Attila marched within striking distance of Rome and then mysteriously retreated, never to return; he was dead within a year.

Dr. Warren Carroll writes in The Building of Christendom:

"He (Attila) took the Romans by surprise, so his crossing of the eatern Alps was unopposed. The great city of Aquileia ... fell to him and he razed it. Attila pushed on into the lush plain of the Po. City after city opened its gates to him. Wetern Emperor Valentinian III was useless in a crisis, and Aetius, though he had defeated the Huns at Chalons just the year before, now meditated flight. Finally it was decided that Pope Leo (Pope Saint Leo I, the Great) himself should head an embassy to Attila. No man knows what they said to each other, the great wise Pope of old Rome and the new Church and the brutal bandy-leeged Hun .... But when the talk was over, Attila turned his army around and rode out of Italy, never to return. A year later, back in the lands along the Danube, he died suddenly and mysteriously after a night of hard drinking. Modern historians have many ideas about problems and dangers and materialistic considerations which could account for Attila's sudden retreat after meeting Pope Leo. ... The fact remains that it was immediately after meeting the Pope that he departed, without explanation , but without hesitation; and Italy was saved."

I just finished reading "The Throne of the World" by Louis De Wohl, which I picked up in a thrift shop some years ago. Mr. De Wohl writes an historical novel, climaxing on the last three pages with Pope Leo the Great's talk with Attila the Hun. I don't know how close Mr. De Wohl's solution was to reality, but I can imagine that Mr. De Wohl's portrayl of Pope Leo I was accurate: strong, decisive, prayful and holy - in a word: a man of Christ.

(Don't forget that Witnesses to the Holy Mass and other sermons is great Lenten reading especially in this year of the Eucharist. You can get it here).

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ash Wednesday

In his homily this morning Fr. John O'Holohan SJ mentioned that during his many years in Africa, all the pagans and even the witch doctors would come to get ashes on Ash Wednesday for some reason. He always thought that they came because the pagans also recognized their mortality.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Traditional Latin Mass - Columbia, SC

"Dad, Can we please go to the Latin Mass again next month?" - This was the general reaction from my children on the way home from the Traditional Latin Mass celebrated by Fr. Gabet FSSP at Good Shepard Catholic Church in Columbia yesterday.

I asked my 11-year old son this morning (after attending the Novus Ordo), why he liked the Latin Mass better. For one, he said he liked the priest praying inaudibly during the Canon. When asked why, he said, "I'm not sure. It just seems to make more sense for him to pray silently." He also said, "I hope within about two years this Mass (the Traditional) is the more common one." (Agressive expectations!)

My 9 year-old and my 6 year-old both (when asked separately) said the Traditional Mass made them feel closer to God. They all especially like the chant (it was a sung high Mass).

I asked Mrs. Curley for her thoughts. She said the prayers in the Traditional Mass were much more beautiful (than in the Novus Ordo). Not to quote her, but she essentially said that the two Masses are different: the Novus Ordo is like praying with the priest on your own behalf and the Traditional Latin Mass was more like worship, the prayers were both longer and more beautiful - (realizing that 'I am nothing' and that God is everything - you need His love and mercy.) Here you witness the priest offering the Sacrifice on your behalf as you pray silently. [Note that this is my interpretation of her longer explanation.]

At the same time, Mrs. Curley thought the prayers being said audibly in Latin while she tried to follow the English in the Missal was distracting. Also distracting was the Canon being said inaudibly - distracting in that it was harder to follow where we were in the Canon.

3:00 in the afternoon is a difficult time to take young children to a 90 minute Mass (especially after a 1.5 hour drive) - yet our 3 and 4 year-olds were content throughout.

Is the Traditional Latin Mass inherently better? My children think so (albeit after only one Mass).

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Tomorrow we will go to the Traditional Latin Mass at Good Shepard in Columbia. While I have been to Tridentine Masses throughout my life, this will be the first time for Mrs. Curley and the children.

I will blog about this Sunday night or Monday. I myself am very interested in their reactions.

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, February 04, 2005

A New Challenge and an Old Letter

Light blogging of late due to the fact I am still working on my taxes. A new challenge arose this morning though. I went to 'warm up' the car for travel to morning Mass as usual - but the car won't turn over. Went to car number 2 and that won't turn over either. I did not plan to spend my day working on the cars - but it seems to be the only option available.

I suspect I will be walking the 3 miles into town later today.

However, to keep my hundreds (thousands) of readers entertained, I am going to blog on a controversial subject.

In the Fall of 2003 issue of Latin Mass Magazine there was an article by Mr. Kenneth Jones, “Vatican II Renewal: Myth or Reality”. While I didn't dispute Mr. Jones' data, I did dispute his conclusions from the data - especially considering the 'data' he left out. I wrote a letter to the editor of Latin Mass Magazine with my objections and concerns. This letter was never printed to my knowledge. As more than a year has now passed, I think it is time to re-print it below (especially as this will save me the trouble of trying to blog something original). As I recall, my original letter was three times as long, but in fear they wouldn't print it or would edit it to death, I did the editting myself. Therefore, if I were to make a complete rebuttal to Mr. Jones' article, what you see below would only be the highlights.

Without further ado, I present an old letter:

"Dear Editor,

Without being an apologist for the implementation of Vatican II, I am also weary of articles like “Vatican II Renewal: Myth or Reality” by Mr. Kenneth C. Jones (Fall 2003). Tunnel-vision may be the appropriate term to describe the selection and analysis of data whenever a discussion of the wisdom of convening Vatican II is on the agenda. I do not dispute the data Mr. Jones provides, but dispute its completeness and the conclusions.

Was the Faith so robust around the Catholic world as Mr. Jones assumes it to have been in the USA prior to the convening of Vatican II? My understanding is that the Catholic culture in Europe, especially France, was already waning – desperately needing some kind of renewal. Further, the logistics of solidifying the Catholic evangelization in many third world countries may also have been a factor in convening Vatican II and the pastoral documents emanating therefrom.

Further evidence that troubles were already brewing in the Catholic world can be found in Humani Generis where Pope Pius XII says in effect that modernist errors have infiltrated higher education – even the seminaries (HG - Paragraph 13).

If the priests and bishops were, prior to Vatican II, so staunchly orthodox, it is hard to fathom how their orthodoxy disappeared so suddenly following Vatican II. Is it possible that their orthodoxy was more of a convenience and than of true belief?

By 1962 in the US, Catholics had come of age. They were no longer poor immigrants; they had economic and political clout. Sometimes money and power corrupt – both the laity and the clergy. These Catholics had not had their Faith seriously challenged in years. When it was, in the decades of the 60’s and 70’s: were so many so poorly educated in their Faith that they blindly followed modernist clergy and secular immorality; or were they simply not spiritually up to the challenge? Many remained faithful, but many more did not or did not pass the Faith to their children.

Great societal changes were beginning at the time of Vatican II. The introduction of the pill and the resultant so-called ‘sexual revolution’ were the most significant. Neither the clergy nor the laity were up to dealing with these changes. It would be difficult to show how they would have been any better prepared without Vatican II. The battle was joined before Vatican II convened, but it was under the radar.

Vatican II was implemented poorly (I surely understate) because the much of the clergy was already corrupted.

The conclusion that the problems in the Church in the past 40 years would have been avoided without Vatican II is very naive considering all we have witnessed. In fact, one might conclude that Vatican II was convened 10 or 20 years too late!

Understand my comments are generalized and not comprehensive, but perhaps will provoke more thoughtful research. One final thought: is it possible that the fruits of Vatican II have not been fully realized – that the blossom is just beginning during the current pontificate? Looking at Pope John Paul II’s extensive writings, travel, and influence on Vatican II as a young bishop, hasn’t he proposed the Catholic Truths directly to the people – because much of the clergy is unwilling to do so? Ironically, if the fruits are just beginning to blossom, perhaps the true renewal of and with the Tridentine Mass will be one of the fruits of Vatican II.

Oremus pro invicem!

Jim Curley"

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Importance of Culture

Our men's prayer group at St. Joseph's in Columbia, SC (after saying Morning Prayer) has been reading and discussing Steve Wood's ( book, Christian Fatherhood. The subject of 'keeping the Faith' as it concerns teens and college-age sons and daughters has come up in the past and again this week. For some reason many Catholics seem to expect their children to fall away from the Faith - but (because of their Catholic upbringing) expect that they will return to the Faith when they get married and have children.

Personally, (and I said this on Tuesday morning), I am astonished at these expectations. While I realize my children have free will, and that I won't be able to force them to embrace the Faith on their own, and that some of my children (Dear God, please preserve them!) may lose the Faith - in general I expect them to embrace the Faith and to live it - even in college when they are away from home. Why do I expect this about my own children?

1. Children will tend to rise or fall to your expectations. Your expectations are written in your actions and attitudes as well as your words.

2. If you create a Catholic culture in your home, your children will start to love Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament and love the Faith at a young age. You can't just make them memorize the 10 Commandments and the Baltimore Catechism (although they need to do this too); the Catholic culture in your home must be filled with joy in celebration of feasts, and with solemness in the penitential seasons. A child will soon realize - even if unconsciously - that God, through the Faith provides for the needs of man through all times and seasons of life. They will come to understand that one cannot live without God and that He deserves worship. (Misguided Youth Group leaders try to "minister" to youth with crazy innovations to try to prove that the Faith is "cool" or "fun" or try to make the Faith an emotional experience only. These things do not last. Young people are not deceived. They want something authentic. )

3. As your child gets older you give them responsibilities and freedom appropriate to their age and personality. It would be foolish to expect a child who is not mature for their age and is not well-grounded in their Faith (by this I mean more formation than is provided in even the best Catholic schools and/or CCD programs) to keep in faith in college if you shuffle them off to a college with co-ed dorms, no curfews, lax alcohol rules, professors who are hostile to the Faith, etc. etc. A child's first long term experience away from home should be a guided one with rules, and mentors, etc. in an environment with encourages the Faith - not one that is hostile. (Unfortunately few 'Catholic' colleges meet this criteria.) The child can still reject the Faith, and some will. But as parents, we have the obligation to stack the chips in their favor instead of throwing our children to wolves!

If you happen to get chance, go see this entry at El Camino Real. It is obvious from this poem that this child lives in a Catholic culture.

I make no claims about my own parenting skills. I see the beautiful young lady my oldest daughter is - and I know it is God's grace in spite of my faults. But despite my faults as a parent (Mrs. Curley doesn't have any - and if she did I wouldn't dare publish it) at least we have tried to create a Catholic culture at home along with the more formal formation and instruction in the Faith.

(We pray today for our Holy Father, that he may recover and persevere in his mission.)

From the small holding in Bethune...

Oremus pro invicem!