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Today, the feast of the Queenship of Mary and the 11th anniversary of our purchasing the island of Papa Stronsay, a new novice was received into our community.

Giovanni Escamilla kneels before the altar, preparing to cast off the old man and put on the new.

Receiving the Holy Habit. Brother is our first vocation from the Philippines.

Brother receives his crucifix. He comes from the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa. With almost 400, 000 Catholics, there are around 8000 baptisms a year!

Brother takes his rosary in his hands.

His skull cap is placed on his head and he receives his religious name: Br. Alfonso.

Br. Alfonso with the community after his clothing.

We all wish him many blessings and especially the great grace of perseverance.

Our Mother of Perpetual Succour - Pray for him!

Lately, I'm Obsessed With

Perfectly round, puffy boxwood in pots. Love them. 

I have my 40% off coupons for JoAnne Fabrics all stacked and ready.

(They have lots of great clay pots there all the time!)

This is our next weekend patio project, definitely.

Planned to kidnap Pius XII and kill Roman Curia -Wolff, SS

Venerable Pius XII

From Zenit.org

New findings have revealed documents and testimony, which clearly show that on Oct. 16, 1943, it was the intentional lack of a public denunciation by Pope Pius XII against the arrest of the Roman Jews, which saved their lives and enabled their rescue.

Gen. Karl Wolff

We have a signed 1972 deposition of General Karl Wolff, SS commander for Italy and deputy to Heinrich Himmler, which states that in September 1943
Adolf Hitler ordered him to develop a plan to invade the Vatican,
kidnap the Pope,
seize the Vatican assets,
and kill the Roman Curia.
This plan was to be carried out immediately.

General Wolff knew that if this invasion were executed, massive riots throughout Europe would ensue, resulting in a military disaster to the German war effort. General Wolff stated that he was successful in convincing Hitler to delay the invasion. This view of a potential military disaster was shared by the military governor of Rome, Major General Rainer Stahel, and German ambassador to the Holy See, Ernst von Weizsäcker.

Pius XII learned of the invasion plan, and likewise believed that the result would be massive riots potentially killing thousands of innocent people and that the Vatican’s neutrality would be breached, thereby enabling German forces to enter all Vatican properties.

Handwritten minutes exist,
which state that on Sept. 6, 1943,
Pius XII secretly called the cardinals together
to tell them the Vatican would be invaded
and he would be taken to the north and probably killed.
The cardinals were to be prepared to leave for a neutral country immediately,
upon the invasion of Vatican territory.

He also signed a letter of resignation,
and placed it in his desk.
He instructed the cardinals to form a government in exile
and to elect a new Pope once they were safe.
We have a handwritten letter from the secretary of state
ordering the Swiss Guard not to resist invading German forces with firepower,
and numerous documents detailing how they were to protect
the Vatican Library and museum contents.

Throughout this period, von Weizsäcker sent deceptive positive messages about the Pope to Berlin to calm Hitler, not to justify an order to invade. Some critics of Pius XII have erroneously based their theories of papal complicity and collaboration on these intentionally misleading cables -- what von Weizsäcker’s lieutenant, Albrecht von Kessel, later called "tactical lies."

We have additional testimony from Lieutenant Nikolaus Kunkel, a German officer from the headquarters of the military governor of Rome, which corroborates documented evidence and testimony of exactly how Pius XII directly saved the Roman Jewish community and that they were expecting the invasion order from Berlin any day.

The Arms of Luigi Cardinal Maglione

When the early morning arrests began Oct. 16, 1943, Pius XII was alerted to this by Princess Enza Pignatelli Aragona Cortes. He immediately took multiple steps to force the Germans to stop the arrests. He summoned the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Maglione, and instructed him to launch a vehement protest against the arrests. Cardinal Maglione warned von Weizsacker that same morning, that the Pope could not remain silent as they arrested the Jews under his very windows, in his own diocese. Pius XII then sent his nephew, Carlo Pacelli, to meet with a German sympathizer, Bishop Alois Hudal, to instruct him to write a letter to his German contacts to immediately stop the arrests.

Venerable Pius XII stopped the arrests of Jews in Rome

This too proved ineffective. Pius XII's last effort, the most successful, was to send his close confidant, Salvatorian Superior General Father Pankratius Pfeiffer, to meet directly with the military governor of Rome, General Stahel. Father Pfeiffer warned Stahel that the Pope was going to launch a loud and public protest against these arrests if they were not stopped. Fear that this public protest would result in Hitler's ordering the invasion of the Vatican prompted Stahel to act.

General Stahel immediately telephoned Heinrich Himmler, and fabricated military grounds to stop the arrests. Trusting Stahel's assessment, Himmler advised Hitler to stop the arrests. The order to stop the arrests was issued at noon on Oct. 16, resulting in its implementation by 2 p.m. on the day they began.

This sequence of events was independently confirmed by General Dietrich Beelitz, the liaison officer with Field Marshal Albert Kesselring’s office and Hitler’s command. Beelitz personally heard the Stahel-Himmler conversation. When Stahel’s deception later became known, Himmler punished General Stahel by sending him to the Eastern front.

It was known that the Vatican was infiltrated with spies.
The Pope could only send trusted priests and confidants throughout Rome and Italy
with verbal and written papal orders to lift cloister,
allowing men and women to enter Catholic convents and monasteries,
and ordered all ecclesiastical institutions to hide the Jews wherever they could.

Sir Martin John Gilbert, CBE, D. Ltt.

According to famed British historian Sir Martin Gilbert, the Vatican hid thousands of Jews in literally one day (See supporting documents here and here). Once hidden, the Vatican continued to feed and support their Jewish “guests” until Rome’s liberation on June 4, 1944.

Documents from Berlin and the Eichmann Trial in Israel also show that the 8,000 Roman Jews that were to be arrested were not supposed to go to Auschwitz, but were to be sent to the work camp at Mauthausen and held as hostages. This order was later countermanded by persons unknown and 1,007 Jews were sent to Auschwitz to their death. Sadly only 17 survived. While there are those who repeatedly criticize Pius XII for not saving the 1,007, they remain completely silent on his direct actions, which saved this 3,000 year old Jewish community of Rome.

It was recently discovered, in the American archives, that
the allies had broken the German codes
and knew almost a week in advance
of the intended arrests of the Roman Jews.
The allies decided not to warn the Romans
since this might alert the Germans to this intelligence breach.
This “military decision” left Pope Pius XII alone,
without advance notice, to try to end the arrests.

Venerable Pius XII -
left alone by the Allies and today made a Scapegoat.

When speaking of Pope Pius XII, the foremost Jewish scholars of the Holocaust in Hungary, Jeno Levai, stated that it was a "particularly regrettable irony that the one person in all of occupied Europe who did more than anyone else to halt the dreadful crime and alleviate its consequences is today made the scapegoat for the failures of others."

* * *

Gary Krupp is the founder of Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF), a non-sectarian organization whose mission is to identify and try to eliminate obstacles between religions and to initiate positive gestures in order to improve interreligious relations.

--- --- ---

On the Net:

For more information: www.ptwf.org

Expression of gratitude by the Italian Jewish communities (1946): www.pavethewayfoundation.org/Downloads/Italian%20Jewish%20Community%20Placard.pdf

Jewish praise for Pius XII: www.pavethewayfoundation.org/Downloads/Jewish%20Praise.pdf

Testimony of Jesuit Father Peter Gumpel (Video 9): www.barhama.com/PAVETHEWAY/INTERVISTA_A_GUMPEL/GUMPLE.html

Wordless Wednesday

Back to Life

I ran today for the first time since two days after ET. I feel alive again. I mean really alive. It doesn't hurt that I was able to keep up an 8:30 pace for most of the run either :)

I am just past 10% of my running goal for the year, which is truly sad. But with the IVFs, the miscarriage and the fear of being pregnant, I *think* I have a good excuse. I would really like to run through this entire pregnancy. We'll see how that goes. If anything my goal will just have to be tweaked a bit.

For now, I am feeling very happy and very ready to lace up again tomorrow.

Girls Night In BBQ

If you read this blog and you are coming to the BBQ this Thursday, please, please don't mention me being knocked up! I've come out on my blog and on thebump, but we haven't told anyone and don't plan on letting the cat out of the bag until we are through the first trimester (especially after what happened last time).

Thanks for your understanding!

If you don't subscribe to Cooking Light

You can get all of the magazine's recipes each month here

I wish I would have known this before I paid $24 for a subscription!

Weeks 14-17 Resolution Recipes & Review

Oh man, I've been a slacker. We cooked weeks 14 and 16, but I forgot to log it and I don't even remember what we made. I know it was a lot of repeater recipes. Week 15 was IVF week and we ate takeout a lot.

So on to week 17 where we cooked a TON of amazing food. I love trying new recipes and and actually loving them.

Amazeballs. So good we made it TWICE last week. The key to this is going to a butcher (not the grocery store, a real butcher) and buying skirt steak. And don't skip the grilled lemon halves. Oh my god. You'll thank me, I promise.


The chicken was just a basic grilled chicken, but the marinade was super yummy and very versatile. I'll be using it all summer, definitely. Buy skin on bone in chicken, as it grills better.

The pasta salad was hands on for about 30 minutes. But worth the effort. Super hearty and so fresh. We've been shopping only local ingredients lately so this salad really let the veggies shine. Good, good, good.


This is basically just grilled swordfish, but the dipping sauce is amazing. Don't taste it on it's own, it's kind of weird as a standalone sauce. But on the fish it's superb. We'll be using this sauce all summer, definitely.

The risotto was another chance to use up some local veggies and it was REALLY good. I'm not normally a risotto fan, but the veggies got me.

Another fabulous excuse to use up veggies from our local farmer's market. I used store bought whole wheat pizza dough. Instead of grilling the dough, I greased a cookie sheet with EVOO and baked the crust in the oven. Then we put the finished pizza on the grill to melt the cheese. Bad idea because I had oiled the dough, it burned on the bottom. Next time I will just melt the cheese in the oven.

The key to this is good fontina cheese. We went to our local COOP and bought amazing cheese and it made this dish. Otherwise it would have been just a burnt pizza with veggies.

Meh. This was just okay. I am not a big fan of bacon. And I have about 1000 seared scallop recipes that I like much better than this one. Of note, if you are in the Capital Region, Two Cousins has the most amazing scallops in store right now. They were delish. I will make scallops again this week just to buy those again. HUGE and sweet. Yum.

It must need to be said: the Universal Church precedes the Local one.

Pentecost Sunday, 2010

Benedict XVI says
local Churches should always remember
that the Universal Church precedes them,
and conform to her in unity and universality.

"From the very beginning,
from the day of Pentecost,
she speaks all languages.
The universal Church precedes the particular Churches,
and the latter must always conform to the former
according to a criterion of unity and universality.
The Church never remains a prisoner
within political, racial and cultural confines;
she cannot be confused with states nor with federations of states,
because her unity is of a different type
and aspires to transcend every human frontier."
-Benedict XVI,
Pentecost, 2010 -

Benedict XVI
The Roman Pontiff.

So, then, if anyone says that
the Roman Pontiff
has merely an office of supervision and guidance,
and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction
over the whole church,
and this not only in matters of faith and morals,
but also in those which concern
the discipline and government of the church
dispersed throughout the whole world;

that he has only the principal part,
but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power;

that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate
both over all
each of the churches
over all
each of the pastors

let him be anathema.

- Vatican Council, Session 4, Ch.3
First dogmatic constitution on the church of Christ -

Garage Sale

Husband and I are having our first garage sale this summer. I have two computers that we'd like to sell - a desktop and a laptop. 

Both are loaded with either spyware or a virus, plus all of our personal info. Anyone know how to wipe a computer's hard drive to clean out the viruses and to erase our data?

Beta #2


More than doubled since Monday!!!

First ultrasound is June 5. My whole life is two week waits. 

But this one I'm willing to be patient for!

Wordless Wednesday

Beta #1

Quant hCG = 311! 

P4 = >40 

e2 = 2000

I am keeping my fingers crossed that this lucky cycle stays, well, lucky.

Next beta is Wednesday.

A little IVF #2 Update

A Note from Rome

Last night I was surprised to be alerted to the article of Damian Thompson in The Telegraph blog. We had not been asked about this project as I am sure the organisers would state. It is true that our faculties for celebrating the Mass in public are restricted to the islands of Papa Stronsay and Stronsay.

I would like to give our friends and families an update on our process of canonical erection. To be as clear as possible I limit myself to saying that things are not at all easy for us.

Our seminarians, two of whom could be ordained to the priesthood, finish their studies this month and are not able to be ordained because we have not been canonically erected as yet. We ask for your prayers.

For the rest, let me invoke St. Arsenius as quoted by St. Alphonsus. I am thankful for their wisdom particularly in a time when one would like to speak from the heart; and loudly.

Restraint and silence are the better roads.

Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.
Rome, 15 May, 2010

Very celebrated
is that saying of the holy Abbot Arsenius,
which he used to repeat many times,
and even sing it,
as Sirius in his History says:




In suffering -interior peace, spiritual joy

Pope Benedict XVI

Dear brothers and sisters who are sick,

Before I walk among you carrying the monstrance containing Jesus present in the Eucharist, I would like to offer you a word of encouragement and hope, a word which I extend to all those following us on television and radio, and to those without even such means, but who are united to us by the deeper bonds of the Spirit, that is, in faith and prayer.

My dear brother and sister, in the eyes of God you are “worth so much to God that he himself became man in order to suffer with man in an utterly real way -- in flesh and blood -- as is revealed to us in the account of Jesus's Passion. Hence in all human suffering we are joined by one who experiences and carries that suffering with us; hence con-solatio is present in all suffering, the consolation of God's compassionate love -- and so the star of hope rises” (Spe Salvi, 39). With such hope in your heart, you can leave behind the quicksand of illness and death and stand on the firm rock of divine love. In other words, you can overcome the feeling of the uselessness of suffering which consumes a person from within and makes him feel a burden to those around him when, in reality, suffering which is lived with Jesus assists in the salvation of your brethren.

How is this possible? Because the spring of divine power rises in the midst of human weakness. This is the paradox of the Gospel. Therefore, the divine Master, instead of explaining the reasons for suffering, preferred to call everyone to follow him, saying: Take up your cross and follow me (cf. Mk 8:34). Come with me. With your suffering, take part in the work of salvation which is realized through my suffering, by means of my cross. As you gradually embrace your own cross, uniting yourself spiritually to my cross, the salvific meaning of suffering will be revealed to you. And in suffering, you will discover an interior peace and even spiritual joy.

Pray the Rosary

Dear friends who are sick, welcome the call of Jesus who will shortly pass among you in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and entrust to him every setback and pain that you face, so that they become -- according to his design -- a means of redemption for the whole world. You will be redeemers with the Redeemer, just as you are sons in the Son. At the cross … stands the mother of Jesus, our mother.
-Pope Benedict XVI tothe sick

View of the crowds

I Spy

with my little eye Schumacher's High Voltage (in sand). 

I've loved this fabric as curtains against bamboo shades in Southern Living.

But I think I love it even more on this settee from Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Magazine

Found it for $60/yard HERE

I think it could make a cute pair of oversized pillows for the living room…

Although my living room needs a little bit of color at this point. 

I am such a color-phobe. 

Wordless Wednesday

Profound need to learn penance again

Pope Benedict XVI in Portugal
The Holy Father was asked if it is possible to see in the Fatima message an allusion to the sufferings that the Church is going through today.

Benedict XVI replied that what can be discovered again today in Our Lady's message from Fatima is the "passion" that the Church is experiencing, and that "is reflected in the person of the Pope."

"The attacks on the Pope and the Church do not just come from outside, but the sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin that is in the Church. This has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way: The greatest persecution of the Church does not come from external enemies, but is born from the sin in the Church.

"And the Church, therefore, has the profound need to learn penance again, to accept purification, to learn on one hand forgiveness, as well as the need for justice. Forgiveness does not replace justice."

Pilgrims walking on their knees in penance.

A penitential pilgrim at Fatima crawling along Lucy's Mile.

"And the Church, therefore,
has the profound need to learn penance again,
to accept purification,
to learn on one hand forgiveness,
as well as the need for justice.
Forgiveness does not replace justice."

-Pope Benedict XVI
11 May 2010

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