Friday, July 22, 2011


"We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance.

We can be sure that whoever sneers at her name as if she were the ornament of a bourgeois past – whether he admits it or not – can no longer pray and soon will no longer be able to love."

-Father Hans Urs von Balthasar

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Photos from the New Chapel at Saint Benedict's Parish, Chesapeake

Will add more as they appear on the web.

More from one of the parishioners here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Learn About Distributism

From Mr. Dale Ahlquist...

Greetings,  Friends of the American Chesterton Society!

Recently, Gilbert Magazine and The Distributist Review teamed up to produce an entire issue of Gilbert dedicated to the misunderstood and misrepresented topic of Distributism!

Contents of the Distributist issue include:

G.K. Chesterton: The Guild Idea
Thomas Storck: What’s the Use of Having Stuff Anyway?
John M├ędaille: A Distributist Banking System
Bill Powell: Permaculture and Backyard Gardening
Donald Goodman III: Distributism and Marxism
Ryan Grant: Distributist Education
David W. Cooney: Subsidiarity
Richard Aleman: The D-PAC

In order to receive Gilbert Magazine you have to become a member of the American Chesterton Society, however, due to the popularity of this issue the editors ofGilbert Magazine are offering you a chance to purchase this single issue!! (For a limited time, while supplies last.)

The price of the single issue is $6.00 plus shipping and handling. Buy a few for your friends, family, or for yourself!

One reader, new to Distributism, had this to say about the Gilbert Magazine Distributist issue:
“I went through a serious paradigm shift while reading mine!”

Why stop with one issue? Support the American Chesterton Society, become a member (here), and receive Gilbert Magazine all year round. Besides Gilbert Magazine, members of the ACS receive a 20 percent discount on books.

This issue, chock full of Distributism, includes book reviews of John C. M├ędaille’s Toward a Truly Free Market and Christopher A. Ferrara’s The Church and the Libertarian.

PLUS: Dale Ahlquist on Hilaire Belloc, an interview with (Distributist) Thomas More College President Dr. William E. Fahey and much, much more!

To order, click here.

To become a member of the American Chesterton Society, click here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Extraordinary Progress!

Latin Mass of Southwest Virginia reports from their blog...

Fr Joseph Mary Lukyamuzi, OSB, has begun offering regular monthly Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the southwest Virginia region of the Diocese of Richmond. The November 7th Mass, at Our Lady of Peace in Appomattox, was well attended by folks from Lynchburg, Lexington, Radford and other locations.

Recent words from the Bishop at one of his townhall meetings indicated that the Fraternity of Saint Peter may be establishing a presence in that area.  Let's pray and hope.

Holiness & Orthodoxy Attract

CARA Reports on Religious Life Confirm Tradition

From the article:
"Thus, the data of this earlier CARA report confirms what most Catholics already know: those who have vocations to religious life have a strong preference for the practices of tradition. A strong and enthusiastic love of Christ and his Church, fidelity to his teachings expressed through the magisterium, the wearing of the religious habit, vigorous common life and common prayer, a focused apostolate, joyful and faithful members of the community, all these are essential in attracting new vocations. Of course.

Death wish? This has been clear for some time now and why some religious communities do see the obvious and adapt is mystifying to say the least. The clear message of the Holy Spirit who inspires vocations, the clear admonition of Rome which has strongly requested the return to the habit and other reforms, and the obvious preference of the young people who vote with their feet, is a clarion call. Communities that follow these simple truths are growing, some are growing rapidly. Communities that refuse to follow these simple truths would appear to have a death wish."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Philip Johnson on His Vocation

Read more about Philip at his blog, In Caritate Non Ficta or check out his biography page from the Diocese of Raleigh.

Your donations to the Father Damian Abbaticchio Vocation Fund, sponsored by Una Voce of Chesapeake,  actually support Philip and three other seminarians from our parish.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The "Lost Novels" of Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson

Everybody knows about such classics as Lord of the World and By What Authority? but did you know that the noted Catholic writer Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914) wrote “mainstream” novels as well?

A member of the gifted Benson literary clan, Father Benson’s career spanned the early years of the 20th century. All of his siblings were published authors — you may be familiar with E. F. Benson’s “Lucia” novels, or the horror stories of A. C. Benson. Midway in his writing career, Father Benson switched from the historical sagas like The King’s Achievement and “sensational” stories like The Sentimentalists by which he had established his reputation, and began turning out novels about ordinary people set in contemporary (i.e., early 20th century Edwardian) England.

With its clear moral orientation, Benson’s fiction enjoyed astonishing popularity among the general public, both Catholic and Protestant. “Hugh,” as his friends and family called him, was a son of the Archbishop of Canterbury. His conversion as a priest from the Anglican Communion to Catholicism created a sensation that almost rivaled that of Blessed John Henry Newman nearly sixty years before. In great demand as a speaker in both England and the United States, Father Benson wrote from a Catholic perspective but with real understanding of and sympathy for the Protestant position.

In 1910 Benson’s writing took a different and, possibly, unexpected direction. Having established a reputation for solidly researched historical novels and gained popular acclaim as an author of “sensational” fiction (admittedly exciting, but not precisely sensational by modern standards), he suddenly turned his attention to writing “mainstream” contemporary novels, turning out half-a-dozen in rapid succession.

Overshadowed by such deservedly renowned works as By What Authority? (1904), an early entry in the “historical saga” genre, and Lord of the World (1907), a satirical “future war” science fiction epic of the type so popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Benson’s mainstream efforts exhibit an insightful understanding of human nature and of society that places these works solidly among the minor classics of English literature. Remarkably free of the saccharine often associated with religious-themed novels, Benson’s contemporary fiction combines a deceptively light style with pointed, yet oddly gentle barbs. Father Benson’s mainstream novels reflect a mature approach and a finely honed satiric sense that delighted Evelyn Waugh, the “Catholic voice” of the “Lost Generation.” Father Benson’s six mainstream novels — A Winnowing (1910), None Other Gods (1911), The Coward (1912), An Average Man (1913), Initiation (1914) and Loneliness? (1915) — show Benson at the height of his powers.

A Winnowing (ISBN 978-1-60210-005-3) examines our cultural attitudes toward death and its rituals, contrasting the belief that death has meaning, with the secular attitude that only the material world is of value. None Other Gods (ISBN 978-1-60210-006-0) takes a look at our tendency to absolve ourselves of responsibility and expectation that some higher authority, be it God or the State, will take over and run our lives for us. The Coward (ISBN 978-1-60210-007-7) takes on the soul-destroying propensity to adhere unthinkingly to social conventions. An Average Man (ISBN 978-1-60210-008-4) — possibly Father Benson’s most subtle and yet most mature work — dissects the idea that full participation in the common good is only for an elite, promoting the revolutionary concept that life is for everyone.

Initiation (ISBN 978-1-60210-009-1), a complex work, is a study of redemption through pain, especially pain inflicted on the innocent. Finally, Loneliness? (ISBN 978-1-60210-010-7), published posthumously, highlights the tendency to judge people for what they can do for us, rather than their value as human beings.

As part of an ongoing effort to present morally oriented fiction of past generations to a new audience, Once • and • Future Books, an imprint of Universal Values Media, Inc., has republished the full collection of Father Benson’s contemporary novels in newly edited and formatted unabridged editions. This is the first time that some of the novels have been widely available in nearly a century. Each volume features footnotes and a foreword specially written for the collection by Benson scholar Michael D. Greaney.

In light of the rapid spread of moral relativism noted by many civil and religious leaders, the world needs novels such as those of Robert Hugh Benson now more than ever.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Liturgical Parable - The Hard Truth

....We seem to slip out of that golden sense of ultimate truth in two ways. The first is by losing any real awareness of the holy. The second is by denying that it has been lost. Without lapsing into cricitism that would be out of place, suffice it to say that the worship of holiness is weak in our culture, and the beauty of holiness has been smudged in transmission through the revised liturgy. For without impugning its objective authenticity in any degree, its bouleversement [Complete overthrow; a reversal; a turning upside down] of the traditional Roman rite marks the first time in history that the Church has been an agent, however unintentionally, in the deprivation of culture, from the uprooting of classical language and sensibility to wanton depreciation of the arts.

....It is immensely saddening to see so many elements of the Church, in her capacity as Mother of Western Culture, compliant in the promotion of ugliness. There may be no deterrent more formidable to countless potential converts than the low estate of the Church's liturgical life, for the liturgy is the Church's prime means of evangelism. Gone as into a primeval mist are the days not long ago when apologists regularly had to warn against being distracted by, or superficially attracted to, the beauty of the Church's rites. And the plodding and static nature of the revised rites could not have been more ill-timed for a media culture so attuned to color and form and action.

-Father George Rutler, A Crisis of Saints, pp 107-108.

Saturday, November 27, 2010