Saturday, December 20, 2008

"The 12 Pains of Christmas"

Saturday, December 20. 2008 - Feast of Saint Dominic of Silos

A friend, her children, and her children's friends made this hilarious video! Make sure you watch it to the very end. Oh, an adult performed the third day.

The 12 Pains of Christmas

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Hearthside Homeschool Reviews has a great post on some books for children on cleaning (reminds me a bit of FlyLady). If my children knew about these books, they would beg for them to save them from my lectures on how they don't help out around the house! LOL!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Shrink Art

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 - Feast of Saint Bibiana

Queen Lucy is using Seton's Art 7 for Young Catholics (It is now "Art 6", but we have an older book). A recent lesson was on stained glass. One of the assignments was to color a picture of the Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven, and her Holy Child.

I had the bright idea of putting it on vellum or something else that is "see-thru" to hang in the window, then I remembered something from when I was a child - Shrinky Dink!

I got some Shrinky Dink Frosted Rough and Ready. I placed it over the picture, shiny side up, and traced with a black permanent marker (I simplified the smaller details). On the rough side, Queen Lucy used her colored pencils. I then trimmed off the excess plastic, punched holes in the top (regular sized hole puncher), put the picture on a cookie sheet & put it in the oven (per the directions on the SD package). I have a window in my oven door, so Queen Lucy and I watched in awe as the large piece of plastic melted, shrunk, and rolled up - uh, oh, I thought all of her hard work was ruined! But I remembered that the directions said it will flatten in the last 30 seconds.... so we waited. Suddenly, it unrolled! After it cooled, she checked out her finished project.

(I scanned this, and it looks much better in real life.)
Now all that is needed it to thread ribbon through the holes, and hang it.

Things we have learned:
***Sometimes it will stick when it rolls up, but it can be reheated, gently pulled apart, then left in the heat to unroll the rest of the way.
***The finished product stuck slightly to the pan, and left some of the permanent marker on the pan. I have read suggestions to use a non-stick cookie sheet, foil (shiny side up), parchment paper, or a paper sack (the oven does not get hot enough to burn it.) We are going to make Christmas ornaments, and will try the other suggestions.
***The softer the colored pencil the better (I guess they blend better, leaving less blank/uncolored spots). We are also going to try permanent markers.
***Plastic #6 (not the foam kind) can be recycled from various sources like food containers, to be used as shrinkable plastic. I have not tried this yet because I am confused about whether or not it emits gasses when heated, and I do not want to possibly contaminate the oven I cook our food in.
*** There are many projects on the internet - Google "shrinky dink" or "shrinkable plastic".

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Excellent quote!

From one of my favorite authors!

Democracy put "man" on a pedestal; feminism put "woman" on a pedestal; but neither democracy nor feminism could live a generation unless a "Child" was first put on a pedestal, and such is the significance of Nazareth!
-Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

Friday, November 07, 2008

Your oxymoron for the day - "Knights for Obama"

It seems there is a group out there, consisting of some (very few, I pray) Knights of Columbus who support Obama. They are "resisting church pressure to make abortion the primary issue that should drive Catholics' votes...." according to an article on Beliefnet.

For those who may be unaware, the Knights of Columbus are a Catholic men's pro-life group.

They need our prayers.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I rescued the Blessed Mother! (sort of)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - Tuesday in Easter Week

I was passing by a thrift store, and found a statue of the Blessed Mother. She has some nicks, chipped paint, and her hands are missing, as is the head of the serpent. The owner said she was going to through it away, but thought that someone would want it. I rescued it for a dollar!

It's 15 inches tall & looks to be well made. You can see a metal support where one hand used to be. I am no art expert, so perhaps someone can help me identify it/tell me what I have. And perhaps someone can advise me on how to repair it.
*** I know it is Our Lady of Grace. I would like to know about the statue itself - it's history, artist, age, etc. (I included close-ups of imprints on the base.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Christus resurrexit!

Monday, March 24, 2008- Monday in Easter Week

Lent is over, and we are now in the Easter season. Forty days of sacrificing ended, followed by a day of celebration. We went to a beautiful and reverent Sung Mass, then to my mother's for a feast.

This is the beautiful High Altar at a Novus Ordo/Traditional Latin Mass parish where we attended the Easter Latin Mass (notice they had moved the table - which you will see in later pics).

These are the young men who served the Mass with Father. In this picture are two seminarians, a soon to be seminarian, and a new member of the Catholic Church; as well as King Peter in front on the right of Father. By the way, for the first half of Mass, King Peter's surplice was all messed up, and I was mentally straightening it. Not ONE of those young men noticed! LOL!

Finally, here is Queen Lucy with King Peter.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Horton Hears a Who - Horton is Prolife

Sunday, March 16, 2008 - Second Sunday of the Passion
Taken from here -

Dr. Seuss Book
God is communicating His big dream of ending abortion in a most profound way through the dream stream story of Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss. In February 2005, one of our youth, a 15-year-old girl at the Justice House of Prayer, had a dream. In the dream she saw a large, beautiful building with the words “The Who” appearing over it. She and her sisters entered the house and began to look throughout the building until they found the attic where there was a series of old books from the past that they knew would be needed for the future. She shared her dream with the JHOP team. I knew the dream was from God, but I wondered, “What is ‘The Who,’ and what are these old books?”

The next morning while pondering the dream, I received a remarkable email from a man in Kansas City that included a sermon he gave several years ago on what must
occur for abortion to end. He felt led to send it to me, even though he thought it was unusual that the analogy the Lord had given him was based on the Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hears a Who. When I read this, I instantly connected “The Who” in the dream with “The Who” in the book. I was immediately interested!

In this children’s book written in 1954, we find an elephant whose name is Horton. He is the prophetic Church with big ears and a large trumpet. He can hear what no one else can hear—the sound of these little people called, The Whos, who live in the microscopic town of Who-ville.

In the book, we also find a kangaroo who wants to kill all the little Whos, because he cannot see or hear them. He doesn’t believe they exist. Immediately the thought came to me, “The kangaroo is the kangaroo court!”—it stands for the Supreme Court who issued the death decree of ‘73 in Roe v Wade, and legalized abortion. Wow! I realized that what I was reading was a parable from the past that was now going
to be used en masse, for the ending of abortion. The theme of the whole book amazingly is, “A person’s a person, no matter how small!” And the remedy for the crisis is that every voice must be raised loudly and urgently to rescue all the little unborn Whos. With the kangaroo’s death decree hanging over Who-ville, Horton implores the mayor “to CALL a big meeting, get everyone out, make every Who holler, make every Who shout!”

This Book Speaks of Abortion
Graciously, The ElijahList blasted this story February 16, 2005. Amazingly, the next day I received an email from a woman who said she read The ElijahList article and received three confirmations the following day at her Day Care Center. One child came in with a Horton Hears A Who backpack, a second was carrying a Who-ville doll, but the third–a ten-year-old boy–came to her and said, “Ma’am, I had a dream last night. I dreamt of Horton Hears a Who, and all the little Whos were not saying YOPP; they were crying STOP!!!”

Oh, my God, there is a massive cry being raised up from the young ones of the earth, praying and prophesying, “STOP ABORTION, STOP! STOP! STOP!!!!!!!!!!” What are the chances of this divine confirmation? Those who read this are now held accountable. The whole Church must cry out now—STOP ABORTION! Soon after,
another man connected with me and said, “My ten-year-old daughter was reading Horton Hears A Who to her little brother.” She came to her father and said, “Dad, I think this book is about ending abortion.” That afternoon, he read The Elijah List article on Horton Hears a Who. This man now leads our Bound4LIFE ministry.

Again, amazingly, we found out that Fox Movies is doing a major
motion picture in 2008, called, Horton Hears A Who, starring Jim Carrey.

The Lord is SHOUTING to the nation! Will we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying?

A great convergence is upon us. If the Church understands the times and what God is seeking to bring forth, we can shout to the nation, before the movie comes out, that Horton Hears a Who is about the ending of abortion–so when millions of people watch the movie, they will all be thinking, “A person’s a person, no matter how small–The Whos are the unborn!”

Can you see it? This is God’s trumpet to the nation! God is marching out, shattering ideologies, and moving His great Mind and Heart into the earth. He moves the media and makes it His pawn. Oh, the brilliant Wisdom of God! He takes a book out of the archives of history that millions have read since 1954, pulls it out, and slams it into the present through a movie. The light penetrates the lie, the armor of the strongman is stripped away, the demon is named, and can now be cast out!

Oh God, we need a national exorcism of this spirit of death that has ruled over us for 34 years! Every voice must be counted. Buy the book! Spread it around! Start children’s prayer meetings to end abortion! Support crisis pregnancy centers! May your voice be heard in your voting. Pray for Jim Carrey to be radically haved—he could shout to the world, “This movie is about ending abortion!”

A young woman had a dream knowing nothing of the movie or Jim Carrey’s involvement. She dreamt that Jim Carrey was a Christian and that he was carrying a briefcase with two books in it. The first one was called, Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting, by Derek Prince, and the second one was a book called, Mobilizing The Army of God. Could this man and this movie mobilize a pro-life army of young people who will fast and pray for justice?

The front page of Time Magazine (last year, 2007) showed a hand with four different-sized fetuses resting on it. The article is saying that there are more crisis
pregnancy centers than there are abortion clinics in America, and that abortion is at its lowest rate since the beginning years of when abortion was legalized. In the same magazine, there is an article about Jim Carrey, and he is seeking spiritual enlightenment, but doesn’t know Jesus yet. Save him, God!!!

“It is time for all the Whos who have blood that is red to come to the aid of their country, he said.” Suddenly, Dr. Suess kicks out of Who-ville and into national prophecy, not even knowing it. Christians must come to the aid of America carrying the Blood of Jesus, which alone can wash away our sins. It is not enough that Jesus died; the Blood must be applied to the doorposts of our national guilt. Oh, that millions of Christians would plead, “Jesus, I plead Your Blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to America.” Go to to see how you can be a part of a mass movement of pleading the Blood of Jesus over our nation.

The YOPPS Must Be Heard
The voices of Jo-Jos just bouncing their yo-yos must now be heard. The Jo-Jos are Christians who are enjoying their comfortable careers, but are oblivious to the crisis. They are the youth in our Church youth groups who play with their iPods and who browse in their Windows. While living for entertainment, they have no idea that they were meant to be a part of God’s great movement to end abortion! Their voices must be heard now!!! Let Myspace® and You Tube™ become their Eieffelberg towers from which they shout out their YOPPS and their STOPS.

Why would God give this dream stream to a group of young people who pray everyday in front of the Supreme Court calling on God to raise up righteous judges who will reverse Roe v Wade? To encourage hearts and release a movement through their prayers! So that it will be said:

“How true, yes, how true,” said the big kangaroo, “and from now on you know what I am planning to do? From now on I am going to protect them with you!”

Brothers and sisters, let us believe that the Supreme Court will protect all the unborn little Whos, that God’s big dream will come true, and that all the Whos’ dreams could come true too.

It is profound that in the dream, the young lady saw not just one book, but a series of old books needed for the future. Read Horton Hatches an Egg. It is about a bird who wants to go play, rather than sit on her egg. So Horton, the elephant again, sits on the egg until the egg hatches. When the egg hatches, out comes, not a little baby bird, but an elephant with wings.

The moral of the story is this: he who cares for the unwanted child—that child will take on the nature of the one who cared for it. It is the spirit of adoption! God is calling the Church to adopt and care for the unwanted children in the nation. We have got to be Jesus’ love answer. We can’t just be pro-birth we must be pro-life!

Let the prophetic Church arise and carry the heart of Heaven! Let them hear The Call for united fasting and prayer on behalf of those who have no voice! Let the prophetic Church hear what the world can’t hear, and may they blow the trumpet once again, declaring, “God has a dream, and we have His dream, and millions will be mobilized to become the river of justice rolling down again…”

~Lou Engle, TheCall

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hair today........

Passion Sunday

I have a LOT of hair. It is very thick, and grows fairly quickly. BC (before children) my hair was long enough that when I tucked in my shirt, I also could tuck in my hair. As part of Lent, I decided that I would chop off my hair, and donate it.

A "friend" suggested I go for this look:

(now you can tell what kind of friends I have)

I assure you, I will NOT go that route!

Anyway, here is my picture - taken today by Queen Lucy on our porch (yes, I still have Christmas greenery on my porch - in my defense the weather til now has been lousy; and yes, that is the same sweater as the one in my profile picture; and yes, I do have other clothes, but if you want to contribute some money so I can buy more, I will let you. LOL!) Oh, and my hair is longer than it looks in the picture; there is more, and longer, hair in the back.

This is the "before" picture. The big cut will happen before Easter.

Dissecting the Dead

Sunday March 9, 2008 - Feast of Saint Dominic Savio


King Peter is doing Apologia's Biology 1. He got to do his first dissection - an earthworm. He went through the lesson, pointing out the guts to Queen Lucy, and said "cool" when he found the "worm poop". Gross! How is it that boys kind find humor in waste? As Queen Lucy often says, "BOYS!"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's Extortion, I Tell You!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - Feast of Saint Irene

A while back, I got some wonderful body spray from Bath & Body Works. It was from their aromatherapy line - Lavender Vanilla, Tranquil Body Essence. I loved the scent - more so because it did not trigger headaches (as so many scents do with me.) Of course, it went the way all good things go - it was discontinued. Yes, they still have the line of products, MINUS the body essence! I was very upset when I found this out, so I went to eBay. Of course eBay has it (what don't they have?), but for a fee nearly triple what I paid in the first place. It's extortion I tell you! Or perhaps it is a conspiracy by the store to drive up prices, and they are the ones extorting us on eBay? I better go now before the black helicopters begin to circle overhead.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Resurrecting the dead - a homeschool experiment

February 25, 2008 - Feast of Saint Walburga

Queen Lucy is using Jeannie Fulbright’s book Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, published by Apologia Educational Ministries. She loves creatures of all kinds (except spiders, but can you blame her?), so this course is right up her alley.

She is now studying insects, and one of the experiments, the Lazarus Experiment, required a live insect. Since there aren’t many of those around here in February, we went to the pet store and bought half a dozen feeder crickets (I think he told us they were Gulf Coast Crickets.) Queen Lucy set up a habitat for them in a larger peanut butter jar (she is hoping they will breed – ummm, I don’t think so!)

Back to the experiment. It required drowning a bug and bringing it back to life (I bet you can guess where it gets its name). I will let you research to find out why this happens.

First, let me introduce you to Lazarus –

Here is Queen Lucy drowning him –

Here is Lazarus – may he rest in peace –

This is Queen Lucy blowing salt off of him in an attempt to bring him back to life –

“I, Lazarus, declare this experiment a success!”

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Catholic Excellence in Our Schools

February 14, 2008 - Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius

The local diocesan paper has an article about by our Bishop. The article is about some remarks that Bishop Finn gave at the Acton Conference on Catholic Education in Napa, California on February 4, 2008. I homeschool, but that does not stop me from recognising that our Catholic schools need work. My favorite quote is this: "I believe that our schools have to be so undeniably and unabashedly Catholic that they risk being thought of as almost fanatical."

Here is the article, posted in the Catholic Key February 8, 2008, edition:

Catholic Identity and Catholic Excellence in Our Schools

By Bishop Robert W. Finn
Kansas City-St. Joseph

We have noted some of the differences between Catholic Schools of generations past and Schools today. We have considered our shortcomings and opportunities.

The challenge of Catholic Schools, particularly concerning Catholic Identity and the Excellence of Catholic teaching and formation, is akin to the challenge of the New Evangelization. That is, we have responsibility for the message of Christ and the mission of His Church in the midst of a hostile culture. Ours is, in many ways, a post-Christian culture. Even among Catholics the fundamentals of the Catholic faith cannot be assumed or taken for granted. Many people are not practicing their faith in an integral manner. Catholics who are baptized might not be living in the state of Sanctifying grace: this includes students, parents, teachers, and other school leaders.

How do we organize and direct a Catholic school in such a way that it fulfills its part in the mission of the Church - rather than merely provide an alternative education in what may be a safer environment? Pope John Paul II, in a 1987 address to Catholic educators in New Orleans, reminds us that "The ultimate goal of all Catholic education is salvation in Jesus Christ." (no.8)

So how do we make progress in this ultimate task and responsibility through the work of the Catholic Schools?

Given the financial challenges of running our Catholic school system, I think it is possible to conclude that unless our schools are something radically different than their best public school counterparts, there is little justification for their existence - at least in light of the heroic sacrifice of the broad Catholic community.

But if our schools are readily and unmistakably identifiable as Catholic schools - and they are successfully working hand in glove with the Church in moving children and their families toward salvation, then they are necessary. If they are conscious instruments for the transformation of the culture in Jesus Christ, then they must continue. They must be more broadly available than they are in many dioceses.

I believe that our schools have to be so undeniably and unabashedly Catholic that they risk being thought of as almost fanatical. Lukewarmness will not be enough to distinguish them, and establish a sufficiently attractive niche in the education marketplace. It is not enough for Catholic schools to offer an occasional all school Mass, two penance services a year, Religion three times a week, and a requirement for Confirmation students to do a service project. It is not enough.

So what are some of the elements and areas to consider to intensify and to make intentional the Catholic identity of our schools? More importantly what must we do if we are serious about getting our students to heaven?

The Declaration on Christian Education from the Second Vatican Council, Gravissimum Educationis, assigns the first and primary work of formation of students to parents, but expresses the Church's conviction to provide from its Maternal richness a strong support and collaboration in the institution of the Catholic school. The Council document lays out the principal aims of Catholic education in this way:

"As the baptized person is gradually introduced into the mystery of the knowledge of salvation, he may daily grow more conscious of the gift of faith he has received; that he may learn to adore God the Father in spirit and in truth, especially through liturgical worship; that he may be trained to conduct his personal life in righteousness and in the sanctity of truth, according to his new standard of manhood." (no. 2. translation Abbott)

From the standpoint of the school, then, the first necessary element in the Church's program of education is enthusiastic and faithful school leadership that is inseparably allied to the parent. This leadership should exist at several, if not all, levels: principal, pastor, superintendent, bishop, and school board.

The Principal, in addition to all the professional educational skills required, must be a Catholic leader: one who prays, one who receives the sacraments, (including Reconciliation), one who reads and understands the Pope. He or she has a devotional life and can talk about the saints and the classics of Catholic literature. This person knows the Catechism of the Catholic Church and sees it as the handbook for formation and curriculum.

The Catholic school leader values and holds up the role of parents and families and constantly expects and inspires the active cooperation of parents in their children's education and faith life. They constantly remind parents of their primary role in their child's education. They expect a lot of parents (not just in terms of fundraising) but in sacramental preparation and catechesis, in their child's discipline and homework, in attending Mass (or church services if they are not Catholic) every Sunday with their child. The Principal knows that parents are the first teachers, and that without a continuity between what is taught at school and at home, formation remains incomplete.

Programs for renewal and catechesis are very important for teachers in the Catholic school - all the teachers. For the second year now, in our four Diocesan high schools, teachers are required to participate in an hour of catechesis once a week before school. Our Diocesan catechetics institute teaches the courses on each school site. Formation of Catholic teachers cannot be taken for granted, especially since the decline of the great teaching Orders of Religious. If our schools are to witness a strong Catholic identity, every teacher must know the faith and be formed in holiness.

Prospering the mission of the Catholic school means interacting faithfully within the structures of the Catholic Church. As Catholics, we know Jesus Christ and we are necessarily connected in the Church. We are connected to families; we are connected to parish life; we are connected to the Diocese; we are connected to the Universal Church. We are living in the historical and eternal Communion of Saints.

Let us look briefly at these key "connections" which characterize the Catholic school:

Schools have to be connected to the families of their students. There has to be an intentional continuity between school and parents. Strong family rootedness is part of being Catholic: Parents read to their children. Parents pray with their children and take them to Mass every Sunday. Parents know their children's teachers and teachers know their students' families. Parents oversee uniforms and modesty before the child leaves the house, and outside of school as well. They see that their children get food and rest and love, and are not consumed by the internet, video games, television, and other poor substitutes for meaningful human communion. They learn a love and respect for the body, the sanctity of human life, and the joy of purity.

Elementary schools and high schools must be connected to parishes, since, beyond the family, the parish is the fundamental unit of the local Church. Catholic schools - even if they are private - cooperate with the parishes of the students, and see to it that there is reinforcement of the total faith life. The parish supports the mission of Catholic education. The school never tries to draw the student or the family away from the parish but into a deeper involvement in the life of their parish.

Catholic schools (even private Catholic schools) are connected to the Diocese. They support the bishop, and are interested in and committed to the goals and priorities of the local Church. They are connected to the work of other Catholic schools and institutions, and look for ways to be signs of the unity of the local Church.

Every teacher promotes vocations. Students learn to pray for God's guidance in their vocation, and a good number of vocations to priesthood and consecrated life come from the schools.

Catholic schools and educators are connected to the Universal Church. They are convinced of the primacy of the Church's Tradition and magisterial teaching. They are very conscious of their identity as an extension of the worldwide Catholic communion. They express love for the Pope and acknowledge him as the visible sign and cause of our unity as Catholics. All that they teach and undertake flows from the broad embrace of truth championed by the Church and a sense of our dignity, freedom, and responsibility as Children of God.

Students learn to pray in the richness of the Catholic tradition. While they are helped to understand and respect other religious formulas, they are not invited to dabble in practices or prayer techniques of other religions or pseudo-religions. The celebration of the sacraments is the center of worship in Catholic schools. Mass is available as
"daily bread." Students learn about the meaning and destructive effects of sin. They are formed in their conscience. They learn right from wrong, and to daily examine their conscience. They have frequent recourse to Confession in order to grow into saints.

In short, the curriculum of formation in the Catholic school is best modeled after and drawn from the Catechism's four pillars: The Profession of Faith, Sacraments, the Moral Life, and Prayer.

Catholic schools sense and highlight their connection to the Communion of Saints and the rich tradition of teaching and holiness which makes up the pilgrim journey of the People of God. They learn to read and pray the Sacred Scriptures within the heritage of the Fathers of the Church. The devotional life of the school is alive with doctrinally sound hymns and prayers, the frequent meditative recitation of the rosary, the Stations of the Cross, festivals of the particular patrons of parish, school, and Diocese. They enjoy visits to the Blessed Sacrament and periods of Eucharistic Adoration, and Benediction. The school makes intentional use of beautiful authentic religious art and images.

Catholic Schools are connected to the world, because the mission and apostolate of the Church unfolds in the world. Students grow strong as they are formed in the life of the virtues, progressing in each area of beatitude. Deeply aware of their divine filiation as sons and daughters of the Father, they charitably regard each other person with this God-given dignity. They are challenged, and inspired by example to be faithful and generous stewards, and they become leaders in all areas of secular work, in a way which sanctifies themselves and every daily effort.

But in the Catholic schools students must first be formed well in holiness, otherwise instead of being agents for the world's transformation and renewal, they will become worldly and deluded by its false promises.

The work of Catholic education is a vital and inseparable part of the mission of the Church. When, through a renewed and intensified effort to stress Catholic excellence and the Catholic identity of the school, school leaders collaborate with parents in the arduous work of shaping saints for the Kingdom, the greatest dignity and supernatural purpose of Catholic schools will be furthered.



Thursday, January 03, 2008

January First Not a Holy Day of Obligation?????

Whether you call January 1st the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord, or the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God , it is a Holy Day of Obligation..... or is it?

Someone recently told me that they were told, at a parish in California, that January 1st is no longer a HDO. What?!?! I thought the person heard the information incorrectly, and that what was really said was that it was not a HDO LAST year, since it fell on a Monday (because of the silly concession the USCCB made for us lazy Americans who think going to Mass two days in a row is much too difficult - the concession being "when January 1, August 15, November 1 fall on a Saturday or a Monday, the obligation to participate in Mass does not hold".) Sadly, that was not the case.

Apparently, for some reason, the bishops of California now have the option to make January 1st to NOT be a HDO. Or do they? How did they get the permission? I cannot find anything that says who gave the permission, why, or when.

Can anyone shed a light on this?

Here is some information I found:

What of Holy Days?

Many Catholics wonder what will happen to Holy Days of Obligation -- the few days of the liturgical year other than Sundays when Catholics are required to attend Mass. The obligation to attend Mass on New Year's Day was abrogated this year in the West Coast archdioceses of Los Angeles and San Francisco.

A November 30 communication to the priests of Los Angeles from Monsignor Terrance Fleming, the archdiocesan Moderator of the Curia/Vicar General, announced that Cardinal Roger Mahony was "dispensing parishioners in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from the obligation to attend mass on Tuesday, 1 January 2002, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which is normally a Holy Day
of Obligation".

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops lists January 1 as a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States. (The liturgical calendar is on the USCCB web site, liturgy section.)

According to the General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar §55, "Only with the approval of the Apostolic See may a celebration be removed from the calendar or changed in rank".

The Los Angeles announcement to priests did not mention authorization from the Holy See for this change.

Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco also abrogated the January 1 Holy Day of obligation. Adoremus received several reports that bishops of other West Coast dioceses acted similarly.

For the past several years Catholics have been increasingly confused about the obligatory feasts - and whether they are to attend Mass on these feasts. Permission granted to US bishops to change the day of the celebration of the Feast of the Ascension to a Sunday, and to remove the obligation to attend Mass on All Saints and the Assumption if they fall on a Saturday or a Monday has contributed to confusion and misunderstanding.

The result has been to diminish the meaning and importance Catholics attach to the Church's obligatory celebrations.

In addition to Sunday, the days to be observed as holy days of obligation in the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States of America, in conformity with canon 1246, are as follows:
January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God;
Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, the solemnity of the Ascension;
August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
November 1, the solemnity of All Saints;
December 8, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception;
December 25, the solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the
solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls
on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated.

I did find information where the bishops were given permission to move Ascension Thursday to Sunday, but I cannot find permission for removing the HDO for January 1st.

Could someone please explain it?