And now for a musical break: Pale Shelter

Ann Barnhardt posted recently a video of “Everybody wants to rule the world” by Tears for Fears (one of my favourite bands from the 80s). I love that song.

I am showing my age. I’m as old as Tears for Fears band members, Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal.

But the music is still so good!

I found a video clip of Tears For Fears performing my favourite song of theirs, Pale Shelter, live in 1983 at the Rockpalast in Germany. It’s amazing how well Curt Smith can sing while playing bass guitar. I had such a crush on him when I was in my 20s.

Here is the official video for Pale Shelter, a rather strange one which features a crocodile in a swimming pool and a Pan Am jet taking off.


Passion Friday: Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater

In the Mass commemorating the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Passion Friday, the Sequence is Stabat Mater, which the Italian composer Giovanni Pergolesi set to music, right before his death.

Today, take out your Roman Missal, pray and meditate on the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin. These sorrows are:

1. The prophecy of Simeon. (St. Luke 2:34, 35)
2. The flight into Egypt. (St. Matthew 2:13, 14)
3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple. (St. Luke 2: 43-45)
4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.
5. The Crucifixion.
6. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
7. The burial of Jesus.

If you don’t have the Roman Missal (by Father Lasance), you can download it in PDF format here.

Then, listen to Pergolesi’s haunting Stabat Mater. My favourite performance is by Andreas Scholl, Barbara Bonne, and Les Talens Lyriques led by Christophe Rousset (it is available on Amazon in CD and MP3 format).

Here is a performance of Stabat Mater by the Concerto Koln at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Matthaeus Passion (St. Matthew Passion) by Bach

As we get closer to Good Friday, let us sit and listen to the Matthaeus Passion (St. Matthew Passion). In the Netherlands, hundreds of people pack churches and concert halls to listen to the Matthaeus Passion. Many of these people are not Christian and of those who are, most don’t go to church. Yet, they sit on hard church benches for three hours listening to Bach’s sublime masterpiece. Perhaps some of them will be converted by the grace of God through the beauty of Bach’s music.

This year, as on every year since the 1920s, the Netherlands Bach Society performs the Matthaeus Passion on Good Friday in the Grote Kerk in Naarden. It is nearly impossible to get tickets but you should try if you happen to be in the Netherlands.

Holy Week 2018: what to listen to and read

Holy Week is here. It is a time of meditation, prayer and penance (Go to Confession, as Father Z tells us).

I have compiled a list of things to read and music to listen to.


St. Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach: the best recording is by John Eliot Gardiner with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists in 1989 (Deutsche Gramophon).


Pre-1955 Holy Week Propers: This is an excellent website for those who want to download Holy Week booklets in Latin and English, and more!

The Liturgical Year: Passiontide and Holy Week by Dom Prosper Granger


The Benedictines of Mary need your help

This came from Father John Zuhlsdorf’s websiteThe Benedictines of Mary need your help. These sisters pray for priests in a special way.  They are the real deal.  They have the Extraordinary Form and so many vocations that they need, soon, to make a foundation.

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we make final preparations in our homes and in our hearts for the coming of our Savior, we want to send our love and prayers to all of you. We thank you for your past support, knowing that we couldn’t live our lives of prayer without your generous assistance.

If you are still in need of Christmas gifts, we have all of our CDs in stock, and are offering them right now for just $12 each!

Any orders placed before 9am(CST) today will be shipped today, and orders placed by 9am Monday will be shipped on Monday.

[NB] Amazon inexplicably stopped selling our Caroling at Ephesus CD early last week, so we unfortunately lost a tremendous number of sales. So we reach out to you now, hoping that through your kindness, we might make up for this loss, which will help us to raise the last $150,000 needed to make our final construction payment of the year.

We would be most grateful if you could spread the word by any means, near and far! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your goodness and continued support!

In the Divine Infant,

Mother Cecilia & Sisters

p.s. After many requests, we’ve finally made our first wall calendar, available soon. Please check our website mid-week if you are interested!

Everyone… click


I have two CDs of the Benedictines of Mary: Adoration at Ephesus and Advent at Ephesus. Such beautiful music!