On May 30, the archdiocese of San Francisco sent out its First Announcement of Archdiocesan Clergy Appointments for 2013. The announcement is a list which includes names of new pastors and administrators, pastors reappointed to a second three-year term, pastors continuing in their current parish, newly named parochial vicars, retiring religious, religious named to special ministries, personnel board electors, priests beginning sabbaticals, priests returning from sabbaticals, priests in residence, and priests leaving the archdiocese.
Among the names in this transition, one jumps out: the appointment of Reverend Samuel Weber, OSB to a teaching position at St. Patrick’s Seminary. Father Weber is perhaps the most highly regarded liturgical music expert in the country.
He most recently served as the founder and director of the Institute of Sacred Music for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, which was established in 2008 at the direction of then-archbishop (now Cardinal) Raymond Burke. Its purpose is the promotion of the sacred liturgy, and especially Gregorian Chant. Father Weber served at the institute until 2011, when he had to leave to care for his sister, who was gravely ill. At that time, another liturgical music expert, Jeffrey Tucker, wrote: “Father Weber is truly one of the greatest and most inspired Catholic music scholars, composers, and practitioners of chant in the English-speaking world.”
Father Weber has been studying and singing Gregorian chant since 1953. In August 18, 2010, the New Liturgical Movement website profiled Father Weber and the Benedictine sisters of St. Mary Priory in Nauvoo IL, with whom Father Weber studied.
Father Weber reminisced: “…every day we studied Gregorian chant. This is how it worked. On Monday morning Sister Germain would write on the blackboard (at the very top) the new chant we would learn that week. She even used colored chalk for the initial at the beginning! Very artistic. First we repeated the Latin text after her. Underneath the Latin text, with a different colored chalk, she had written the English meaning. And she would explain that to us. Then we repeated the chant melody after her. Everything was done by imitation, as simply as possible. Explanations were kept to a minimum. We never did sol/fa or chironomy or anything like that. Just imitate Sister and let it slowly soak in. The practice sessions were short, but frequent. Frequent repetition was the key. Whenever we had a break, or would begin a new subject, we would start by singing the ‘chant of the week.’ By Thursday morning we pretty much had it all memorized. On Friday afternoon around 2:15 p.m. we cleaned up our desks and the classroom. This included erasing the blackboard. So we said good-bye to the ‘chant of the week.’ By this time we didn’t need to see it anymore. It had been planted in our hearts.”
The article also included a vignette of Father Weber’s return to the priory: “Some forty years later I was assigned to give the retreat to the Benedictine sisters at Saint Mary Priory. I was never so frightened in all my life. Imagine. Giving a retreat to the very sisters who had known you since you were six years old, who knew everything you had said and done during those years!…
“At one point during a break I was having a cup of tea with Sister Jane. I asked her if she remembered that day in 1953 when she had come into our first grade classroom. Oh yes,’ she said. ‘When I was principal, I made a point of going to every first grade classroom on the first day of school and handing out the little red books for the Divine Office. I always did this myself. I wanted this important moment to be personal and special, so that every student would remember it throughout life.'”
Sister Jane’s approach apparently worked. In the same article Father Weber said: “By the providence of God, today, as the founder and first director of the Institute of Sacred Music, I have been given the opportunity to continue the work of promoting the sacred liturgy and Gregorian Chant that the Benedictine sisters of Saint Mary’s Priory, Nauvoo IL, began… The Institute of Sacred Music was established by Archbishop Raymond Burke, who, as it happens, also was educated by Benedictine sisters (these from a priory in Wisconsin), and has a story to tell similar to my own. The goals of the institute are to carry out the directives of the Second Vatican Council and papal documents regarding the role of Gregorian Chant and sacred polyphony in the life of the Church. To this end, I teach courses in Gregorian chant, liturgical Latin, and other pertinent topics in the institutions of the archdiocese, especially the seminary, religious houses and parishes….”
For those interested, a number of Father Weber’s works may be found on YouTube.
How will the clown “masses” and liturgical dance fit in with this liturgical reform?
What clown masses would those be, John? It seems you are railing against something which doesn’t exist, at least not in the vicinity of St. Patrick’s.
The Menlo Park/Palo Alto/Stanford area has multiple world class choirs who have recorded Gregorian chant and polyphonic chant among other styles of liturgical music. We’ve had chanted High Mass in Latin with since the 1700’s, and our area also has multiple Eastern Rite Catholic liturgies which are achingly beautiful with chant in Greek. We have all this AND we have a high level of preaching in the surrounding parishes, thanks to the good Sulpicians at St. Patricks, as well as the Jesuits, Franciscans and Dominicans whom we welcome and support in our area.
And most important, we don’t put other communities down because they choose to follow a different rubric than we do. That wouldn’t be very Christian, would it?
Fr. Weber is most welcome, with open arms and hearts, to our area.
Don’t get your panties in a bunch Fran. By the way, I thought you said goodbye to this website? Lucky us, you’re back.
Snob. Francis, you need to get into other parts of the world for once in your life. Maybe then you’ll begin to understand something about people and God.
So Francis, clown “masses” are okay with you. What other litugical aberrations do you condone?
Your statement is a baseless attack, falsely attributing both action and motive to me, to priests who say Mass specifically for chidren and to the region where I live. If I tried to quote all the CCC sections and scriptures your behavior violates, my comment go way over the 1500 character limit. What other child-abusive aberrations do YOU condone?
Nobody here condones clown masses. I’ve lived here a long time, and attended a LOT of Masses including masses specifically for children, and I insist that there ARE NO clown masses within any reasonable radius of St. Patrick’s Seminary. I’m inviting you to disprove that, not just by your hyperbolic say-so. Prove that there’s something more than just regional animosity or disdain for children’s spirituality behind your aggressive calumny.
Then, man-up and apologize for your behavior.
I witnesses a mass where a “gay’ priest, swished his way to the altar, like a south pacific islander, under the beating throng of drums and cymbals and other revolting music that was not liturgical, (good secular music though)…he cracked jokes, made goofy faces at the crowd and was “flaming” throughout, it was nauseating and it was designed to ENTERTAIN!…every bit as shameful and disgusting as a freakin’ “clown mass”…what’s even more shocking is the staggering number of “gay” priest’s in California, in fact across the nation…even getting righteous about being “proud and gay”…these putrescent priest’s are a blight and scandal within the church…never, never should these “twinkie’s” been ORDAINED…NEVAH!
I will woman up and tell you that while many of your posts speak of charity, the majority of your posts seem to to be serving something else besides the fullness of the truth. Francis, the individuals on this website who consistently uphold “all” Church teaching do not bring confusion or division. Francis why do you?
Francis do you have a child who is homosexual? The reason that I ask is that you *always* sound like you are more interested in protecting something else besides the fullness of the truth.
Francis, you didn’t answer the question. What other liturgical aberrations do you condone?
I’ll violate my personal principle of not answering irrelevant questions, but since you seem to like fishing for something wrong with me, I’ll humor you: No, I am not SSA or homosexual. Nor do I have a gay child. Nor am I a serial murderer or a shoplifter or drunkard or even divorced. If I were any of those, do you seriously think that would have anything at all to do with this bizarre business of “clown masses”?
I’m just an ordinary Catholic who doesn’t care to see his Church, parish or region trashed by inaccurate and even calumnous statements.
To your statement “…the individuals on this website who consistently uphold “all” Church teaching do not bring confusion or division…” I suppose you count yourself among those said elect individuals? You’d never judge someone to be afflicted with a burdern that marks him as less than yourself, would you?
Frances, do you suppose Catherine has something to hide? Maybe she drives a pink Cadillac? Or Maybe she wears her underwear for 2 days in a row. Because, you know, she is always saying ridiculous things about PEOPLE, instead of responding to the Blog article, or to the comments that others have made.
You can be a knowledgeable “faith inspector” because you know more Scripture, more Catechism, more Church documents, more Church history, more writings from the Saints. But you can also be an ignorant “faith inspector” because you think you know more. If you are serious about Catholicism, you will go to authentic sources for knowledge. You will never hold someone to your opinion or even a priests’ or bishops’ opinion. Ignorance is not bliss. Pope Francis wants the simple believer (and that includes the ignorant) to have a place of safety and a place where their faith is nourished. He seems to be saying “Come as you are. You’ll grow and you’ll learn.” Do you know there is a Blessed who was a Satanist at one time? There are certain phrases and words that people use that indicate their ignorance. Sometimes, the ardent believer just knows something isn’t right and they can’t really verbalize what it is and they use stereotypes and words that they have heard but are unclear of the meaning of. People who talk about clown masses are talking about liturgical abuse, which we all are appalled by. Sometimes people are confused but it takes two to be divided. Sometimes faithful Catholics can’t agree with something that someone says; but you do not have to mischaracterized the person or insult them or be a general jerk to them. Sometimes people don’t understand that their post was insulting or upsetting. It would be better to ask. Or to explain why you disagree with the post. People should keep their ideas about the person who posted charitable at all times. This is the month of the Sacred Heart. Jesus loves everybody. If he sends you someone that is ignorant, it may be because he wants you to correct them or maybe just to pray for them but definitely to love them. There are no chance meetings in the Kingdom.
Thank you for responding, that was very charitable of you. You are perceptive Francis, but only to a certain degree. Yes, I am fishing.
Maybe you are not consciously aware but you seem to be violating your own personal principals in many of your posts. Francis, Don’t you love God first? If you say you do love God first, then why are you always more of a deliverer of confusion than a clearer speaking disciple or fisher of men?
Clown Mass in Pleasant Hill:
Puppet Mass in San Jose:
Overview of Abuses:
Pleasant Hill was in 2002-11 years ago.
Puppet Mass in San Jose was a Call to Action Mass.!!!!
Overview of Abuses has pleasant hill tape. The second one is an Episcopalian Church.
We all agree that this is inappropriate.
Thank you for posting gravey’s links to the clown mass and puppet mass materials. That was very helpful.
As I see it, the links support the point I’ve made from the beginning of this discussion: The Brian Joyce clown mass happened more than 50 miles away from St. Patricks, and more than 10 years ago. It might be the “original clown mass” after the “original Barney mass.” The San Jose puppet mass happened apparently in 2008, and obviously not in a church, so we don’t really know where it happened or what the context was. The “collection” video was too much for me to watch all of it, and I didn’t see any familiar venues or recent times (other than a repeat of the Brian Joyce clown video).
I don’t think it helps to call these odd events “abuse.” Abuse is when someone deliberately alters the rubric to say something it isn’t supposed to say. Misunderstood symbolism isn’t abuse. The events in the videos all show sincere (perhaps unsuccessful, often irreverent) attempts to teach legitimate and important spirtual lessons. “Irregularity” or “irreverence” would be more on-target. I sympathize with anyone who attended one of these events, expecting to participate in the Mass, but then getting something entirely different. I’d feel cheated if I planned to attend Mass, but then found myself in something entirely different, something that looks more like a show than a service. But that’s never happened to me. Maybe my life is just to straight and boring.
But what about relevance? Can someone help me understand how these videos of sporadic events in past times and distant places have anything at all to do with the quality of education at St. Patrick’s or the direction of priestly formation? What does any of this have to do with Fr. Weber’s arrival to teach sacred music?
John F., there are no such thing as clown Masses.
If you have personally witnessed such an abuse of the Mass, and if you have not reported it to the Diocese Bishop, and/or the US Papal Nuncio and the Vatican – then YOU are part of the problem.
In the USA – Bishops and Priests are required to adhere to GIRM 100% for the Ordinary Form of the Mass.
You can find GIRM on the Vatican (and USCCB) web sites.
(GIRM = General Instruction of the Roman Missal)
Rachel, there may or may not be clown masses but there are plenty of liturgical abuses. A workmate of mine told me that he went to Easter Mass this year and the priests entire homily was a stand up joke routine, the entire thing. This points to the fact that many priest make the mass about themselves.
It’s what we call in psychology, “cerebral narcissism”…a priest who wants to impress with his adroit intellect and craft as a wordsmith during a homily, uses the parishioners as a source of “narcissistic supply” …it tragically serves a two-fold purpose, validating ones own ego at the expense of the laity and simultaneously “seeking” to entertain them through their clever wit and joke-telling… these priest’s leverage their intellect, whilst seeking adulation and praise from the audience…not humble, not holy…just wrong…another sick, maladaptive example of what the priesthood has become for so many…shocking, positively shocking
I find your adroit intellect and well-crafted analysis very impressive!
Rachel C., you say that there is no such thing as clown masses. Google “Clown Masses” and you will see plenty of examples including pictures.
Yes, “clown masses” happened…priest’s even were using hand-puppets and other sacrilegious mumbo-jumbo, to “entertain” parishioner’s…these were bleak times, fueled by the heresy of MODERNISM!
I answered your question when I wrote “Nobody here condones clown masses.” In case it wasn’t clear, that includes me. Now it’s your turn: Do you also dislike Scout Masses (where the parish invites Scouts to wear their uniforms to Mass)? Or Masses attended by the Knights of Columbus (with the feathers and swords)?
As for examples from a simple Google search, those are pictures of other places and other times. NONE of them are relevant to St. Patrick’s or the surrounding area. I can’t understand what motivates you to turn the joyful arrival of a music scholar into an occasion for calumny. Clown masses in Pleasanton, New York or Rome (if such things still happen) just aren’t relevant.
Francis, I find nothing wrong with Boy Scouts being invited to to wear their uniforms to Mass or Masses attended by the Knights of Columbus with their feathers and swords. I almost attended a clown mass put on by a Catholic organzation that I belonged to. I quit that organization the next day. I also accidently went to a mass that included liturgical dance. It was a big distraction with a group of people doing, “Look at me!” For the last 20 years I have been going to a Traditional Latin Mass were people go to worship God, not themselves and each other.
Clicking on google image pages is pretty risky, in terms of getting viruses. But most of the images are from Episcopalian churches. There are some that are Catholic. They don’t seem very recent.
Here you go Rachael C.
Clown Mass in Pleasant Hill:
Puppet Mass in San Jose:
Overview of Abuses:
Thanks Gravey, master stroke…the truth should sober up these modernist’s
The only two that are at Catholic Masses (we don’t count Call to Action)were 8 and 11 years ago.
I spent all of two minutes on You Tube; the clips were not meant to be a definitive study on clown masses. I posted them in response to the false assertions that clown masses do not exist. My point is Liturgical abuses are the norm in the Bay Area and St. Patrick Seminary’s history of heterodoxy has undoubtedly contributed to the problem. Many posters here are members of the Church of Nice, having grown up in Parishes which have a Protestant ethos. These people just don’t know any better and reading their comments is more sad then anything. Yes, the videos are old, so here is a 2013 example of Liturgical abuses in Palo Alto:
What exactly are the “liturgical abuses” committed at the Merton Society Msses? Having Christian social values at odds with yours or celebrating Mass in a way that looks different from what you know, while adhering to GIRM, is not “liturgical abuse.” I haven’t been to one of their Masses in a few years, but in the past the priest who celebrated Mass for them adhered to GIRM, though using many options that aren’t used in other Masses. It didn’t look like the Masses televised on EWTN.
As for the Mertons being the “norm”! If they were “the norm” as you say, they wouldn’t be organized independent of the Church.
Rachel, I attended a Mass at the Newman Center at UC Berkeley on the weekend of my daughter’s graduation three years ago. The priest used several hand puppets during the ridiculous and meaningless homily. My daughter was so embarassed, she told me she had only attended Mass there a couple of times and preferred the local Latino parish. The area around the altar was full of stuffed animals. The celebrant had the stuffed animals passed out to children during the offertory. At the end of the Mass he asked the children to give the toys back! I have never seen so much senseless, irreverent nonsense and clueless behaviour (this Newman group had no empathy or understanding of children whatsoever) anywhere, let alone at a Mass. And then those kids wept and cried not understanding why the toys that they were given and encouraged to hug were coldly taken away. The parents were embarrassed and the children got some wicked antirreligious training. Yet the crazy groupies rushed up to that priest and gushed about the wonderful “service”. It was nauseating. Thank you for this commentary reminding me to pray for an end to this sad and destructive irreverence and to stay mindful. I have been a catechist and taught children preparing for Communion, I am also a mother and grandmother.
This is very encouraging. Finally, some are seeing the “anything goes” mentality has been nothing short of a disaster. Let us give to God His due reverence and beauty in our worship, artwork, music and the practice of our Holy Faith.
If “anything goes” the observer who has actually seen the abuse and not reported it appropriately, is partially to BLAME.
May God Bless Abp Cordileone, and thank you for this appointment.
Faith starts with the Eucharist and the Mass.
Excellent! More good news courtesy of Arch Bishop Cordileone, we are lucky to have him in SF though he is sorely missed here in the east bay where he did much good during his tenure.
This is a nice development. I think ordinary Catholics take for granted how their priests are trained. I speak from personal experience on this. Many young men come into seminaries well intentioned and full of the Spirit but a bit naïve and uninformed. The men fitting this description are thus very impressionable and ripe for formation. Unfortunately some seminaries (specifically on the west coast) have a modernist bent in their theology programs and a de-constructionist attitude toward traditional liturgy and biblical scholarship. A seminarian gets 5 years (day in and day out) of this type of formation. Think about it, it’s bound to have an effect. As a result, many seminarians graduate and are ordained not fully formed in Catholic tradition and orthodox thought, but a bit malformed. What was once a Catholic man (influenced by the prayer/support of family, friends and faithful, rosary praying Catholics of his parish) upon entering the seminary, is now a victim of a 60’s/70’s agenda. He enters his first parish assignment unaware of the rich history of the Church and perhaps subconsciously hostile toward traditional trappings.
To bring Gregorian chant back into the seminary is a good step in the (re)formation of solid Catholic priests.
Sadly, many of these seminarian’s are “inculcated” in “modernism” for 5 years, day in and day out! The professor’s teaching these young men are for the most part infected with modernism, and a good many are flaming homosexual’s as well. The seminaries need to be purged of the “gay” element, that has become the norm since the close of Vatican II..This a fact, without equivocation…
Bigfoot, please, there is no place for accusations without merit, or the use of words like “flaming” which is only written here to inflame others. You have no evidence…none…of which you speak, yet you call these accusations facts without equivocation. Like so many others here, you accuse, accuse, accuse.
Yeah, you’re right YFC…I’m out of order…totally “off the wall”…the hundreds of molested children is a mere fiction… the “gay” priest problem, a fantasy cooked up by bored newsmen, stoking the coals of sensationalism…NOT!…the “GAY” priest problem has been a blight and cancer within the Church for decades…and an outgrowth of this evil has been the tragic molestation and sexual assault of scores of innocent Church members…does your delusion have any restraint?
Well said Bigfoot, the gay priest problem is the scourge of the Church, I had to personally threaten a religious brother who kept harassing my 17 year old nephew for a date. Threats of violence work like no other ……..
Did you report it?
What a wonderful appointment, now Liturgy will be supported by music and not vise versa. The organ grinders have gone overboard with their interpretation of what is relative to the liturgy and need to be reminded we are attending a sacred action not a performance module for local talent. Good wishes Father and may you be successful in your assignment.
St. Patrick’s and St. John’s in Camarillo, were hotbed’s of homosexual activity amongst the seminarian’s, for many, many years. I heard that a lot of these young men, used to cruise the Castro District and the “bathhouses”, which were teeming with sodomites on the weekends, looking for “hook-ups”!
One of the poisoned fruit’s that has burgeoned since the close of VCII, is an overflow number of actively homosexual men, who were ordained into the ministerial priesthood…this poisoned fruit has led to innumerable sacrileges’s…the least of which has been the tragic child molestation of hundreds if not thousands of children and sub-adults…this is just some of the contaminated, poisoned fruit that has been an outgrowth of modernism, which has blossomed demonstrably since the close of VCII
Be still, my heart. I swoon for Gregorian chant, my favorite form of music. I can only imagine what this music must mean to monks who live in silence but for this heavenly music.
This latest great development under Archbishop Cordileone should remind us that bishops are human and can and do make mistakes (the DUI incident, which he may have been set up for and endorsing a questionable book). Overall, Archbishop Cordileone seems to be making great strides in a very trying situation!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Mr Fisher why even bring that up? That was past news can we just not bring it up anymore.
Fisher, why are you publically reporting the personal sins of others in the media? This is called “DETRACTION”. I’m sure there are many who have never heard of what happened.
His sin did not affect us or his ability to lead in accordance with Church teaching.
The Abp apologized and it is over.
All of the 12 Apostles were sinners.
Are you without sin?
CCC: ” 2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
– of RASH JUDGMENT who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
– of DETRACTION who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
– of CALUMNY who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.
Thank you Rachel C…I agree….I can understand if the Archbishop continued in those scandals but when one apologizes and has not done any more scandalous thing…then we should not take this opportunity to do more harm by bringing up that awful thing.
A proper apology should be posted as well.
With the installation of Archbishop Cordileone, God smiled on San Francisco. It is beautiful to see all the wonderful changes happening in the archdiocese.
You are blessed to have him…pray for him…pray for fortitude
i don’t have any prob with the Ab of Frisco having gotten a little DUI…he’s human, like the rest of us! I wish all the bishops in our Church were as traditional and possessed his fortitude and strength of spiritual will…very good man…keep him in your prayers
Pray for the good archbishop. God dropped him into a veritable cesspool of corruption. May God give him the strength to deal with the filth that has ruled this city for far too long! When will he have the sheer intestinal fortitude to clean house at Most Holy Redeemer, the citadel of Sodomy disguised as a church?
San Fran is a beautiful city…love it…sadly it’s teeming with gay’s who indulge in the perversion of sodomy, as casually and with as much indifference as you or I, when we blow our nose…shocking, positively shocking…
OMG if you ever heard the music at Most Holy Redeemer you would realize that beyond a tweek here or a twiddle there, there is little musical advice that this fine man will help MHP with. (pardon the grammar plz)
Cesspool? really? This is the way you speak of a canonically erected parish in good standing?
For those who would take the church back to the pre VII days, here is what the Pope said today: “I’ll share two worries of mine. One is a pelagian current that’s in the church at this time. There are certain restorationist groups. I know them as I took to receiving them in Buenos Aires. And you feel like you’ve gone back 60 years! Before the Council… you feel like it’s 1940 again… One anecdote, only to illustrate this – not to make you laugh – I took it with respect, but it bothered me; when they [the cardinals] elected me, I received a letter from one of these groups, and they told me; ‘Holiness, we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries.’ Why they didn’t say ‘we’re praying for you,’ let’s wonder… but this [thing] of taking account [of prayers]… and these groups return to practices and disciplines I lived – not you, none of you are old – to things that were lived in that moment, but not now, they aren’t today….
Father Samuel F. Weber, O.S.B. is a traditional, faith-filled, energetic, remarkably talented, and very Holy priest _ who was a wonderful blessing to our Cathedral of Saint Eugene parish in Santa Rosa while he had been serving here.
Our loss is Bay Area’s great blessing.
I do church music in Canada and I know how to deal with modernists doing liturgy – just show up and know how to play your instrument. Most people who do church music don’t practice, don’t show up regularly and don’t play very well. This is because the good musicians are off playing concerts in public where the music is subject to public scrutiny, not like OCP people whose music is only copywritten within the Catholic church. That is why they get away with inclusive language. Unlike a pubic concert, where you can walk out, these second class musicians have the audacity to ask you for more money in their Diocesan appeals. I am laboring under no illusiions about the new liturgical reforms but at least Pope Benedict had the courage to take on the Muslim world and the abuses in the church and not try to just make changes in the church to accommodate everybody. So I might look like a guitar playing Liberal at Mass, but I play a Taylor guitar with real Christian musicians during the week and I don’t like being insulted by mediocrity whenever I help out my parish priest by playing for him.
Fr. Weber did a chant seminar for our newly formed EF schola in February. The seminary is blessed indeed! Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!