Peter Pumpkinhead

One of my Priest friends told me the other day that this song reminded him of Pope Francis. I don’t exactly agree with him, but it’s an interesting thought. (I don’t agree with the notion that most Catholics should be seen as jealous, small minded, controlling, etc., simply for being faithful Catholics.)

“The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead”

Peter Pumpkinhead came to town
Spreading wisdom and cash around
Fed the starving and housed the poor
Showed the vatican what gold’s for
But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who’ll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?
Oh my!
Peter Pumpkinhead pulled them all
Emptied churches and shopping malls
Where he spoke, it would raise the roof
Peter Pumpkinhead told the truth
But he made too many enemies…
Peter Pumpkinhead put to shame
Governments who would slur his name
Plots and sex scandals failed outright
Peter merely said
Any kind of love is alright
But he made too many enemies…
Peter Pumpkinhead was too good
Had him nailed to a chunk of wood
He died grinning on live TV
Hanging there he looked a lot like you
And an awful lot like me!
But he made too many enemies…
Hooray for Peter Pumpkin
Who’ll pray for Peter Pumpkin
Hooray for Peter Pumpkinhead
Oh my oh my oh!
Doesn’t it make you want to cry oh?

Priest’s Online

I came across this interesting series encouraging Priest’s presence online.

I’ve noticed that I’m actually frightened about blogging for several reasons, one of which was highlighted by a recent Facebook interaction that left me a bit speechless. And, I know who frightens me more than anyone else, but I’m not letting that get to me anymore.

These articles are a few years old, and contain advice most Priests know by now. Still, it’s helpful for me to read through and rediscover the reasons I started keeping a web presence to begin with.

Part 1: Broadcasting and Narrowcasting the Gospel Father Dwight Longenecker
Sometimes “preaching to the choir” is part of our mission too, but the fruits will surprise you.
Part 2: Getting Online? Get Help! Father Leo Patalinghug
The key to a vibrant online ministry isn’t technical savvy, but knowing who to count on for help.
Part 3: Are Priests Afraid of Facebook? Father Jose de Jesus Palacios
Why aren’t more priests active on social networking sites?
Part 4: Social Media Evangelization: 18 Ways Ana Roca Castro
The horizons for new media evangelization are limitless. This should get you started.
Part 5: ‘Get Rid of the Website: Advice to Ignore Father Len Plazewski
Keep the website, but get on Facebook too: vocation recruiting in 2010.
Part 6: ‘Men in Black’ Belong in the Combox Deacon John Burns
Being a part of online conversations is key to priestly presence on the Internet.
Part 7:Turn to the Spiritual Masters to Overcome Internet Superficiality Father Robert Barron
The Gospel cannot be reduced to a sound bite. So how can we get it across?

A Prayer of St. Aelred

Lord I sometimes wander away from you, not because I am deliberately turning my back on you, but because of the inconstancy of my mind. I weaken in my intention to give my whole self to you. I fall back into thinking of myself as my own master. When I wander from you, my life becomes a burden, and within me I find nothing but darkness fear and anxiety. So I come back to you and confess that I have sinned. Forgive me Lord. — St. Aelred of Rivaux
saint aelred
I wandered into Church this afternoon to pray, and picked up one of the Advent booklets we’re giving out, and opened it up to read this beautiful prayer from St. Aelred. He’s renowned for his treatise on Spiritual Friendship, a brief summary of which can be found here, and a pdf version can be found here.

Aelred speaks about spiritual friendship – a relationship which helps us grow in love: love of each other and love of God. In fact, for him friendship is a sacrament of God’s love. In an earlier book he says that just as there is a continuous dialogue and interchange of love berween the three persons of the Trinity, so human beings – the rational creatures made in the image and likeness of this Trinity of Persons – are called to relationships based on mutual dialogue, exchange, sharing and self-giving. This is the theological foundation for all spiritual relationships. In fact, through the experience of spiritual friendship we come to experience something of God’s love. He refers to this friendship as a very holy sort of charity.

But his prayer (rather than his treatise, although it did come to mind,) struck me so peacefully as I knelt in Church and prayed and felt God’s grace working in my life, healing my spirit and bringing a sense of understanding to the quasi-complex, more than likely semi-pelagian issues of the last weeks. Also, this is the start of Advent Confessions, and tomorrow is First Friday (which will bring an abundance of Confessions…) so I realized the need for a more thorough examination of conscience. I have issues, man.

God’s grace…. It’s only by God’s grace we get to heaven.

Organo Pleno

I interrupted my reading of Evangelii Gaudiem, which is achingly slow going due to work demands anyway, to tend to even more work today. And in the big news this morning, our new organ was delivered. It’s an Allen Bravura series, and it’s a beauty.

organo pleno

An electronic organ is the best bet for this space. A number of music friends have tried to talk me into a pipe organ, which is ideally my first choice; but our choir loft is tiny as it is, and it’s difficult to imagine a pipe organ in this small space. At least if you’re also going to have a choir.


Everything is hoisted up by a crane … In this case hand cranked.


Piece by piece.


It’s gently lifted over the edge of the loft.


And the speakers were put together.


Delivery down. Installation is a go tomorrow. If I never blog again it’s because I’m practicing once more.

Splash, out.

A Basketful of Struggles

This quote from the comments over at Harvesting the Fruit really sums up some of the struggles I’ve had in the Papacy of Francis.

A decade ago a wave carried me to the shores of the Catholic Church. In March it abruptly halted, and the tide of indifferentism and apathy that pulled and then kept me away for 20 years has returned. If what this pope has been teaching the past 9 months is true, then all the painstaking hours I’ve spent, re-learning the faith and trying to live it out is false. Pope Francis wanted to make mess: well, He has in this Catholic’s life. After 10 years of certainty, I again question whether the Church is the one true faith – or, more correctly, that a ‘one true faith’ even exists. Either Francis is right and the Church is not what I thought it was, or He is wrong and…. the Church is not what I thought it was. I am stuck. Fatherless, Motherless, rudderless, confused… I thought I had rediscovered the pearl of great price… now, I don’t know what it is. This doubt and questioning could not have come personally at a worse time. I am desperately afraid.

I ask for your prayers, please.

There’s this also regarding the Jewish faith, the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.

And so much more.

The Codgitator brings up this point also:

And lo–! As if right on cue, thanks to Jonathan in this thread at Bones on the same malapapalism, I became privy to another exegetical epiphany from Pope Francis:

‘[T]he first and the greatest of the commandments, and the one that best identifies us as Christ’s disciples [is]: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”’. — Evangelii Gaudium §161

Compare this with:

‘“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ — Matthew 22:36-37

I am aware of John 13:34-35–”A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another”–, but the pope’s written assertion in E.G. manifestly conflates our Lord’s words in Matthew 22.

It’s a struggle for many.

But my ultimate take comes back to a Priest who got up and spoke during our Priest Convocation two years ago. (He actually is the Priest who married my parents.) But he got up and said that if we younger Priests didn’t like what his generation was doing, then we just had to wait for them to die.

God love them, and so do I; but… I’m willing to wait. I’m reminded of Hezekiah smashing the Nehushtan.

There’s a new generation coming down the line. And whatever happens in the meantime, many, many Priests, Religious and Faithful are willing to wait, to watch, to pray.

And to heed the call of Christ in His Church, every day.

The Rev. Kenneth Allen