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Apostle to the Germans - Boniface, the English Monk A Story from the Dark Ages: The English Princess Who Converted The Germans St. Walburga Hildegard the Polymath: Catholic Saint In the Footsteps of Saint Edith Stein Zita, Catholic Empress in Excile BEAUTIFUL, CATHOLIC, GERMANY Bavaria: On Wandering in a Catholic Landscape The Second Rome - Christian Trier in Germany If the Vines Could Talk Fantastic Flammkuchen! The Modernists’ Nightmare - A New Renaissance in High Sacred Art


Germany’s Grand Catholic Knights German Catholic Church, Inc. The Great German King Who Sleeps until Christendeom’s Hour of Need The Young Germans who Spoke Truth to Power The Protagonist


Success in the City - FSSP’s Growing Congregation in Cologne Benedicamus Domino California Dreamin - The Spiritual Exercises of an Expatriate German An Atheist in Germany A Young German Reclaims His Catholic Heritage Queen Kunigunde


Practicing In the Timeless Presence of God Bringing the Latin Mass to a German Village How the Latin Mass Returned to Roman Trier Midsummer on the Moselle for a Latin Mass Wedding True Grit - An Update on the Latin Mass in Germany A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Council











From the Editor

Editor: Beverly De Soto Contributors: Beverly De Soto Ed Masters Mariella Hunt Teresa Limjoco, MD Meghan Ferrara Michael Durnan Donna Sue Berry Alexander Niessen Christoph Pitsch Tamara Isabell Paul Dahnen Harry Stevens Susanne Michels Stefan Schilling, MD Associate Editor Rosa Kaspar

Translators: Gordon Broxton-Price Teresa Schilling Fr. Daniel Bartels Franz Schönberger Christoph Pitsch Layout/Graphic Designer: Phil Roussin Photography: Harry Stevens Migdalia Mass Tamara Isabell Paul Dahnen Karen Scheuer Roger Dekeyser Webmaster: Jim Bryant

Interested in Advertising? For details on advertising your business in Regina Magazine contact Mr. Phil Roussin at for more information.

REGINA Magazine is a quarterly Catholic review published electronically on REGINA draws together extraordinary Catholic writers with a vibrant faith, and wide-ranging interests. We’re interested in everything under the Catholic sun — from work and family to religious and eternal life. We seek the Good, the Beautiful and the True – in our Tradition and with our God-given Reason. We really do believe in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. We are joyfully loyal to the Magisterium. We proudly celebrate our literary and artistic heritage and seek to live and teach the authentic Faith. Today we place REGINA under the patronage of Our Lady, Mary Most Holy. We pray that she lays our humble work at the feet of her Son, and that His Will be done. There is no charge for REGINA. Inquiries should be directed to “Regina Magazine” on Facebook or the Editor at

The Secret Catholic Insider Guide to Germany


oday, Germany is a world-beater. Beautiful cars, sculpted landscapes, sparkling clean cities, a social welfare system that provides for all -- Germany, the pariah of the world after World War II, was in 2013 voted the most admired nation on the planet. Such amazing success is heady stuff indeed for the three generations since Hitler who have rebuilt this war-torn land with a traumatized population and a Marshall plan.  German Language and  Ideology Germans and their culture are often misunderstood, perhaps due to their difficult language and idiosyncratic culture. Linguists have long noted that the German language allows for precision in a way almost impossible to imagine in English or the Romance languages. For this reason, in the 18th and 19th centuries, German was considered to be the ‘best’ scientific language. (Full disclosure: Although I am a New Yorker, I speak German fluently, having been raised with it as my first language.) The German language is also key to understanding the Germans’ love of ideas -- good, bad or indifferent. From Luther to Marx to Freud, from Heidegger to Nietzsche to Hitler, Germany’s history is full of men of ideas who have vastly influenced the world. Ideas of course often quickly lead to ideologies -- the Nazis amply demonstrated  the destructive power of an ideology fervently embraced. This leads us to the question of the German’s idiosyncratic culture. Many have asked how such a modern, forward-thinking nation as 19th century Germany could turn into the war machine of the early 20th century -- and the purveyor of death and destruction of the Shoah. This is a troubling question, particularly for the generations who have come afterwards. Modernizing the Germans Since the last War, German social engineers have endeavored to instill anti-conformism in a culture with a several-thousand year history of strict conformity to authority. They have succeeded mainly in making Germany’s young people conform in their enthusiasm for consumerism, internet-fueled trends and exotic vacationing. One thing that most young Germans are not doing is getting married and having children. Despite government subsidies for each child, under the burden of mass derision for the traditional ‘hausfrau’ role, families are simply failing to form. Anecdotal evidence from a few German young families reveals strangers lecturing parents with more than two children about their ‘anti-social’ tendencies; having a family in Germany is decidedly not ‘cool.’ Today, we see these cultural forces -- ideology, conformism and  materialism -- at play once again in Germany’s Catholics. According to the German bishops’ own statistics, the Catholic Church is Germany is in imminent danger --  Catholics are leaving in droves and the vast majority of those who remain in the Church do not attend Mass. (For more about why people are leaving, see here.) Mass-goers are inevitably over age seventy; they sit passively while grayhaired priests harangue them about politics. (Afterwards, when asked about the content of the homily, most will shrug merrily and admit they were not

paying attention. At all.) Younger people will only darken the door of a Church for the rare family wedding, first Holy Communion or baptism. Funerals in this aging country are so common, however, that priests in some dioceses can’t be spared for them. Catholics are often cremated and interred -- or their ashes spread over forest floors -- without benefit of clergy. In many parishes, a once-a-month Requiem Mass is celebrated for anyone in the parish who has died; these are sparsely attended.

The German Post-War Catholic Avant-Garde There is a German word that has found its way into English -- ‘ersatz’ meaning something used as a substitute for the real thing. Here, in the homeland of ideology, there is a kind of ‘ersatz’ Arian catholicism which is firmly in control of the Catholic Church’s multi-billion euro revenues.

In the 20th century, Germany has been ground zero for the ideology of Modernism. Post-World War II, an avant-garde of German theologians were pretty much responsible for pushing ill-defined liturgical and sartorial Fabulously Rich & Famously Liberal changes through the Second Vatican Council. Josef Ratzinger was among this group, though his later about-face earned him the everlasting enmity What’s going on? The Church in Germany is fabulously rich -- the of former friends in German church circles such as Karl Lehmann, beneficiary of a financial system which routes 9% of the income tax paid powerful Cardinal of Mainz and ‘free-thinking’ theologian Hans Kung. by Catholics into the Church’s coffers. (To be clear, if Catholics do not pay (In a presumably unrelated development, Dr Kung has just announced his this, they will not receive the Sacraments.) The German bishops live and intention to commit suicide to the world’s press.) act like CEOs, which of course they are -- as the Church employs 650,000 Germans, making it the second largest employer after the German state, Modernist innovations have been zealously applied over the past few more than six times the size of Mercedes Benz. decades, not least in art and architecture. Tourists accustomed to the beauty The German Church is also famously liberal -- with bishops and theologians of English and French stained glass windows are often disappointed in regularly issuing public demands that Rome abandon its ‘out-dated’ ideas Germany. Ancient church windows bomb-blasted out were dutifully replaced by stained glass and ‘get with of two varieties: the program’ of the dull and cheap modern times. To or the ugly and outsiders, such expensive.  As arrogance may be  for the medieval breathtaking, but and baroque it is important to saints, they were understand the stripped out of context for this. German churches and placed in The bishops’ diocesan museums, broadsides aimed where they can at Rome are be appreciated an attempt to by culturati -- as pander to the opposed to Masssensibilities of goers. the German elites and media. The Churches stripped German bishops bare of piety are do a tremendous de facto evidence amount of talking of   iconoclasm about helping those (in German less fortunate, ‘bildersturm’ or because that is the ‘storm about single role that Altarpiece, Beuron Abbey, Germany pictures’) which most Germans will fits nicely with willingly accord the ersatz the Church. On matters of morals, they are expected to tow the secular line -- which they “catholicism’ propounded by today’s well-paid German theologians. It’s a kind of Arianism by another name -- they have pretty much decided that do. any intelligent person should be able to see that Jesus of Nazareth was nothing more than a particularly effective social reformer. In Germany, this Accustomed to luxurious prelates and the high politics of Church and is ‘normal’ Catholicism. State, ordinary German Catholics are blase about such verbal pyrotechnics. They know that for centuries ferocious power struggles between the State and Church -- not to mention between Protestants and Catholics -- have A Crippling Shortage of Priests cut a broad swathe of destruction across Germany’s tragic history. The diaspora of Germans across the New World, Eastern Europe and Russia Predictably, a course of study about a nice guy in Jerusalem 2000 years ago have all resulted from the wars and famines induced by conflict. (So, if your draws few students; hence, Germany has few seminarians.This state of affairs has been the status quo for decades, and the priest shortage here is family came from Germany, this is probably why.) acute. Most German parishes must share;  in some formerly Catholic areas there is only one priest for every 5-6 parishes. Clerics who rebel against Rome are old news, here. The shortfall is partly made up by priests ‘borrowed’ from poorer countries. Their paychecks are very much needed in their home diocese, and their lack of German language proficiency and vulnerable status insures that they will not rock the boat. (Any attempts to beg funds for their desperately poor folks back home are coldly rebuffed.)

On the Cover: Church of St Paulinus Trier, Germany by Harry Stevens

This is not to say that Germany does not have some stellar priests. These

few, faithful men work very hard indeed, in a country where wearing a Roman collar has not been ‘done’ for decades. (Those who dare risk hostile stares, if not outright aggression from Germans, in public.) They must administer the Sacraments in parishes run by clueless laypeople who want to serve coffee and cake during Mass, show Powerpoint presentations in lieu of homilies -- or indeed, during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament -- or stage children’s plays in the midst of the Mass. (We have personally witnessed each of these; the term ‘liturgical abuse’ is not known here.) German laypeople are not wholly to blame, however, as the lack of basic catechesis is everywhere evident. Almost no one goes to Confession. Few genuflect before entering pews in German churches. Most Catholics have no clue about the Real Presence in the Tabernacle, which is often a strangely-decorated box set oddly to one side of an elevated platform. Priests and layfolk alike in most parishes are loath to be quoted, too. This is because some Germans pay close -- and vocal -- attention to Church matters, odd for a people who are such professed agnostics. In a notorious recent case, the Bishop of Limburg was publicly humiliated, ostensibly for lavish spending. In a astounding display of group-think, this scion of a famous noble family was painfully crucified in the media, and forced to step down. More than a few priests have privately confided that the Bishop’s crime did not involve money at all, but rather his efforts to instill orthodoxy in a diocese out of control. (The Limburg diocese has since been quietly dissolved.)

A Future for a Thoroughly Modern Church? If the real Faith does not prevail in Germany, most Germans now accept that the State takeover of Church properties is inevitable, probably within two decades. This will be because the nearly 650,000 employees of the Church cannot be sustained by 9% of the income tax paid by dead Catholics. It’s a demographic cliff that is looming. Why is this country so important for Catholics outside Germany? In short, because its wealth makes it politically powerful; it remains the driving economic force of the European Union. Influence accompanies wealth, of course -- this is  as true in the Vatican as it is in Congress, Parliament or the Bundestag. But what of the future of Catholicism in a country with a declining population, no seminarians, disbelief in dogma -- which is openly antagonistic to the Faith? Thanks be to God, it is not as bleak as it seems. This is because -- unknown to most ‘educated’ Germans today Catholicism formed their civilization, beginning with an English monk who found his way to Mainz in the 500s. And it continues today, with brave German Catholics risking  ostracism from both their culture and their Church in order to pass the Faith on.

German Church Slaps a Stigma on the Latin Mass Our story begins with Boniface -- and “The Secret Catholic Insider Guide Clown Masses, ‘masses’ presided over by women, masses with liturgies to Germany” goes on to show how St. Peter’s Barque remains afloat in made up on the fly -- according to many Catholics, the Latin Mass is the the stormiest of ideological seas. one innovation that the power structure of the German Church is loath to permit. For a country that is avowedly uninterested in ecclesiastical Because even in Germany, the Faith will not die. matters, online articles about the Latin Mass draw an astonishing amount of ire from commenters who assert that they are ‘normal’ Catholics. In Christ, Unsurprisingly, Catholics who attend the Latin Mass will often not discuss Beverly De Soto this with their family or neighbors for fear of being ostracized. Wiesbaden, Germany March 2014 Outsiders can be forgiven if they observe that this strange social stigma is redolent of an earlier, nastier era when opposition to Nazi ideology was similarly dealt with. (For more about what happened to those who resisted the zeitgeist during Nazi times, see here.) Fascinatingly, this smear on the Mass of Ages seems to stem from an apparently invented connection with Nazism. Who made this odd connection? What is its nature? Diligent investigations for any proven historical evidence for this have led us precisely nowhere. The most we’ve been able to uncover is a distaste for tradition and an almost complete lack of historical perspective rooted in the counterculture movement of the 1960s, which period in Germany has now assumed a halo of righteousness. The greying ‘68-er’ generation here -- university students in the pivotal year of 1968 -- continue to be revered for their ‘brave’ stance in opposing their parents’ Nazi past. Their tastes and ideas dominate everything in Germany; it may or may not be merely coincidental that their children are failing to form families. One thing is certain: the imminent passing of this 68-er generation will go unmarked by Last Rites, and they will not be mourned at Requiem Masses. But it is possible that the stigma surrounding the Latin Mass is merely evidence of the Arian power structure’s terror of being supplanted. After all, there are only two forces which such a thoroughly modern Church has to fear: secularization (when the State grabs the Church’s assets) or the influence of the Faith, itself. The real thing, that is.


by Michael Durnan

f you are Germanspeaking or descend from German emigrants and you call yourself a ‘Christian,’ you owe The Life of a Brilliant Scholar this fact to Boniface, an English monk who lived in the 8th Wynfrid entered the monastic life century. The first archbishop when he was around seven years of age, attracted by the monastic ideal of Mainz, Boniface is known and the opportunity for a first-class as the “Apostle to the Ger- education. The monks discerned his mans.” He also is the patron academic and intellectual ability, and he seemed destined for the life of a saint of Germany, and is cred- brilliant scholar. ited with conceiving the idea He became a teacher of Latin gramof the Christmas tree. mar, wrote several treatises, and

Boniface the English Monk

Bonifazius by Martin Bahmann / CC BY-SA-3.0

St. Boniface was born in the year 675 AD in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Wessex, and given the baptismal name Wynfrid. Wessex occupied the far west and south of modern-day England. By the seventh century, St. Augustine of Canterbury and Lindisfarne monks St. Aidan and St. Cuthbert had converted the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. Wynfrid was to be one of the beneficiaries of this flowering of early Christian culture and learning.

The Anglo-Saxons were a Germanic warrior people who arrived from Northern Europe after the Romans left Britannia in 410 AD. Christianity transformed them by calming and pacifying the wilder aspects of their pagan culture, and by appealing to their noble and virtuous qualities. Culture and learning flourished in Christian Anglo-Saxon England under the guidance and patronage of the newly converted Christian kings and the monks of Lindisfarne and Jarrow.

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also composed Latin poetry. Eventually, Wynfrid’s talent was rewarded when he was made head of the abbey school. Wynfrid’s reputation as an outstanding teacher and scholar, coupled with his personal popularity amongst his students, meant that many travelled great distances for the chance to study under his tutelage. At about the age of thirty, Wynfrid was ordained priest. Although he loved teaching his young students, he also felt called to travel as a missionary amongst the pagan Germanic tribes of mainland Europe and to bring them the light of Christ, mindful that only 100 years earlier his forebears had lived in pagan darkness.

The Saints In 716 AD Abbot Winbert granted him permission to travel, and he set forth to Frisia in the Netherlands. Upon his arrival he met with great opposition from the local chieftain, so his mission to bring the Gospel of Christ failed. He returned to Wessex, but did not lose heart.

What the Pope Told Boniface Two years later he made a pilgrimage to Rome, where he had an audience with Pope Gregory II (715 – 731). In a letter to his disciples, Wynfrid wrote that Pope Gregory had received him with “a smile and look of full of kindliness,” and had held long, important conversations with him during the following days, conferring upon him his new name, Boniface, and assigning him, in official letters the mission of preaching the Gospel to the German peoples. Encouraged, inspired, and comforted by the Pope’s support and wise counsel, Boniface journeyed to the Germanic lands, preaching and campaigning against pagan worship and practices, such as human sacrifice to the Norse gods, Odin and Thor, as well as teaching and reinforcing the foundations of Christian morality and ethics. When Archbishop Boniface returned to Germany from Rome, for Christmas 723, he discovered the Germans had turned back to their pagan ways and were getting ready to celebrate the winter solstice by sacrificing a young person under Odin’s sacred oak. Archbishop Boniface felled the oak, thus demonstrating the victory of Christianity over the pagan gods. This historically documented story eventually gave rise to the legend of the first Christmas tree. According to the legend, St. Boniface replaced the felled oak with a spruce he found growing amidst the tangle of oak branches.

‘We Are Not Mute Dogs’ With a profound sense of duty and commitment, Boniface wrote in one of his letters, “We are united in the fight on The Lord’s day because days of affliction and wretchedness have come….We are not mute dogs or taciturn observers or mercenaries fleeing from wolves! On the contrary, we are diligent pastors who watch over Christ’s flock, who proclaim God’s will to the leaders and ordinary folk, to the rich and the poor, in season and out of season.”

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With his tireless efforts, persistence, and gift for organisation, Boniface achieved remarkable results converting the pagans he encountered. The pope rewarded Boniface by consecrating him a regional bishop of the entire Germanic lands. He continued his apostolic efforts with the same dedication and commitment, and extended his mission to the land of the Gauls. Pope Gregory II’s successor, Gregory III, appointed him Archbishop of all the Germanic Tribes. Archbishop Boniface also founded abbeys for monks and nuns to be beacons of learning and culture throughout the Germanic lands, as they had in his native Anglo-Saxon England. The Monastery of Fulda, founded in 743 AD, was the heart and epicentre of outreach for religious spirituality and culture.

The Death of Boniface At the age of about 80, with 52 monks, Boniface wrote to Bishop Lull of Mainz, as he set forth to renew his failed mission to Frisia: “I wish to bring to a conclusion the purpose of this journey; in no way can I renounce my desire to set out. The day of my end is near and the time of my death is approaching; having shed my mortal body, I shall rise to the eternal reward. May you, my dear son, ceaselessly call the people from the maze of error, complete the building of the Basilica of Fulda that has already been begun, and in it lay my body, worn out by the long years of life.” On 5 June 754 AD, Boniface started the celebration of Mass in a place called Dokkum in the present-day Netherlands, when a gang of pagans attacked him. Forbidding his fellow monks to retaliate, he exclaimed: “Cease, my sons, from fighting, give up warfare, for the witness of Scripture recommends that we do not give an eye for an eye but rather good for evil. Here is the long awaited day, the time of our end has now come; courage in the Lord!” These were his last words before his assailants struck him down. His remains were taken to the Monastery of Fulda, where he was given a burial fitting for a martyr and saint. Since then, St. Boniface has been known as “The Apostle to The Germans.”

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hen the mists covering that faraway time blow aside for an instant, we get a tantalizing glimpse of life in the ‘dark ages,’ when Walburga was born into a royal family of saints. Daughter of St. Richard, King of Wessex, and his wife, Queen Winna (sister of St. Boniface), Princess Walburga, along with her uncle and two brothers, Willibald and Winnebald, made enormous contributions to the conversion of the Germanic peoples to Christianity in the eighth century AD.

A Story from the Dark Ages The English Princess Who Converted The Germans

On departing Wessex for Rome on a pilgrimage, King Richard entrusted his 11-year-old daughter to the care by Michael Durnan of the abbess of Wimborne, whilst he journeyed to Rome with Walburga’s two brothers. After her first year in the abbey, Walburga received the devastating news of In 776 AD, Walburga fell ill and Willibald assisted her in her last moments. She was buried next to her her father’s death in Lucca, Italy. deceased brother, St. Winibald, and many wonders and miracles were wrought at both tombs. St. Willibald lived The abbey nuns educated Walburga, and she later joined the community as a sister. During the twenty-six another ten years. After his death, devotion to Walburga declined and her tomb was neglected. years Walburga lived in the abbey, her uncle, Boniface, was engaged in his great mission to convert the pagan Germanic tribes. (For more about St Boniface, see here.)

Such was the magnitude of this undertaking that St. Boniface realised the long-term success of his mission would require as much help and support as he could muster. Boniface was one of the first missionaries to call women to missionary work, and Walburga, along with a large group of nuns, was sent from Wessex to assist him. On the sea voyage to the continent the weather the ship was caught in a fierce storm. Walburga knelt down on the deck and prayed for the storm to end, and for the safe passage of the ship. At once the storm abated and the sea became calm. On disembarking, the sailors proclaimed they had witnessed a miracle. As a result, Walburga was received with joy and veneration. Upon arriving in Mainz, she was welcomed by her uncle, Boniface, and her brother, Willibald. She then departed to Wurttemburg and Franconia to assist in the conversion of the Germans.

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KLOSTER OF SAINT WALBURGA TODAY in Eichstadt, where she is the Patroness.

In 870 AD, Oktar, Bishop of Eichstadt, set out to restore her tomb and the monastery where she was buried. Whilst the restoration work was being undertaken, workmen desecrated her tomb. She appeared one night to the bishop, reproaching him. This episode led to the translation of her remains to Eichstadt, where they were placed in the Church of the Holy Cross, now renamed after her.

The Saints Meister von Meßkirch (1500–1543)

In 893 her tomb was opened to extract relics and it was found that her remains were immersed in precious oil that since then has continued to flow. Portions of her relics have been taken to Cologne and Antwerp, as well as to other places.

PD-US Heidenheim am Hahhenkahm: Of the nuns there, mid-19th century French apologist and writer Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam wrote in his Etudes Germaniques (‘Germanic Studies’): “Silence and humility have veiled the labours of the nuns from the eyes of the world, but history has assigned them their place at the very beginning of German civilization: Providence has placed women at every cradle side.”[i]

In the Roman Martyrology her feast is listed as 1 May, and in Germany the previous evening is known as Walpurgis Night. Because Walburga was canonized on 1 May (ca. 870), she became associated with May Day festivities, especially in the Finnish and Swedish calendars. Patroness of Eichstadt, Oudenarde, Furnes, Antwerp, Groningen, Weilburg, and Zutphen, sailors also invoke St Walburga’s intercession against storms.

[i] Quoted in The Catholic Encyclopaedia, New Advent: 1917

Editor’s Note: Michael Durnan’s home, Preston, Lancashire, in northwest England, boasts a beautiful Catholic Church dating from the 19th century, dedicated to the Saint as patroness.

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Photo: Matthias Zepper, Creative Commons BY SA

Catholic Saint

Hildegard the Polymath

by Ed Masters

In the year of Our Lord 1098, Hildegard was born of noble parents in Bockelheim on the Nahe river in southwestern Germany. She grew up to become a polymath —a prophetess, writer, composer, philosopher, abbess, and visionary – famous as “the Sybil of the Rhine.”


ildegard would have been a remarkable woman in any day or age.Tradition has it that Hildegard was the youngest of ten children born to Mechtilde (Matilda) and Hildebert; she was weak and prone to illness. St. Hildegard’s parents were interested in worldly affairs, yet they entrusted their eightyear-old daughter to the monastery of Mount Saint Disibode, under the care of a relative, Jutta -- a holy, devout nun and sister to Count Stephen II of Spanheim. From an early age Hildegard experienced visions: “Up to my fifteenth year I saw much, and related some of the things seen to others, who would inquire with astonishment, whence such things might come. I also wondered and during my sickness I asked one of my nurses whether she also saw similar things. When she answered no, a great fear befell page 10

me. Frequently, in my conversation, I would relate future things, which I saw as if present, but, noting the amazement of my listeners, I became more reticent.” Hildegard had little formal education: She learned the Psalter in Latin but never mastered the Latin language. Nevertheless, following God’s command, she wrote down everything she was shown in her visions. Hildegard herself described it thus: And it came to pass…when I was 42 years and 7 months old, that the heavens were opened and a blinding light of exceptional brilliance flowed through my entire brain. And so it kindled my whole heart and breast like a flame, not burning but warming… and suddenly I understood of the meaning of expositions of the books…

The Saints Feeling unworthy and unqualified for such a task, she was reticent about God’s command, and wrote:

the last of these works when she was in her 70s.

Hildegard also had some interesting observations about the earth and the universe regarding its elements and function.In the interior of the earth, she believed, are two vast spaces shaped like truncated cones, where punishment was endured, and from whence great evil came forth. She thought the earth itself was composed of the four elements that are represented as being curiously unequal in proportion and shape. Their arrangement, Hildegard knew her visions were of Divine origin, but she yearned she believed, is not orderly, and this very disorder illustrates one for them to be approved by the Church. Beset by this dilemma, she of Hildegard’s fundamental doctrines regarding the relation of wrote to St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who notified Pope Eugene III this world to the universe: Before man’s fall, the elements were (1145-1153) of the situation. The Pontiff encouraged her to the task united in an harmonious combination, and earth was paradise; after that catastrophe, the harmony of the universe was God commanded. Knowing she now had papal approval, disturbed, with the center of all the trouble on this planet the immediate result of her first recorded visions was her which has ever since remained in its now familiar state of book Scivias (‘Know the Ways of the Lord’) and her fame chaotic confusion or mistio, as Hildegard’s age called it. spread throughout Europe. But although I heard and saw these things, because of doubt and low opinion of myself and because of diverse sayings of men, I refused for a long time a call to write, not out of stubbornness but out of humility, until weighed down by a scourge of God, I fell onto a bed of sickness.

Hildegard the Abbess The Real Hildegard

After Jutta’s death in 1136, Hildegard became the superior of the convent that had grown up around the anchorage where people devoted themselves to a solitary life of penance and prayer. As this convent grew in numbers Hildegard decided to go elsewhere, encouraged by a Divine command. She settled in Rupertsburg near Bingen on the left bank of the Rhine.

Hildegard had no use for schismatics and heretics such as the Cathars, who thrived in southern France and northern Italy at the time. She preached against them her entire life, rebuking them severely. Hildegard, like her friend St. Bernard of Clairvaux, also supported the Second Crusade. When Philip of Flanders arrived in the Holy Land in 1176 AD to lend support to the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the leper King Baldwin IV, he was supported by Hildegard’s mandate: “If the time shall come when the infidels seek to destroy the fountain of faith, then fight them as hard as, with God’s help, you may be able to do.”

Having been granted permission by Count Bernard of Hildesheim, she stayed in her new home with eighteen sisters from 1150, until she founded another convent in 1165 at Eibingen on the right side of the Rhine. During these years, she was privileged to meet with the Emperor Frederick and to correspond with Popes Eugene III, Anastasius IV, Adrian IV, and Alexander III, as well as the Emperors Conrad III and Fredrick I.

In what was to be her final year of her earthly sojourn Hildegard was forced to go through a grim test. In a cemetery next to her convent, an excommunicated young man had been buried. The Church authorities in Mainz demanded that she remove his body, which she refused to do, because the young man had received the Last Rites and had been reconciled to the Church. Her convent was placed under interdict by Christian Buch, Bishop of Mainz. After notifying Rome of her predicament, she was successful at having the unjust interdict removed. She died a peaceful, holy death in 1179 AD.

Luminaries as well common people asked Hildegard for advice, Biblical interpretations, and explanations of the divine mysteries. She made predictions for the Holy Roman Emperor -which he confirmed came to pass -- as well as predictions for the future that have yet to be fulfilled. Against Abuses of the Clergy Of interest to modern-day Germans, Hildegard strongly condemned venal priests and prelates for their luxurious lifestyles, sexual immorality, and other abuses. On one occasion a prior asked her to pray for him as he was praying for her; Hildegard chided him for having a pagan outlook on prayer. Hildegard also left many written works and a number of prophecies about the future of the Church and of Europe that have yet to come to pass. She wrote a variety of musical compositions for use in the liturgy; the musical morality play Ordo Virtutum; sermons, which she preached in the 1160s and 1170s; two volumes on natural medicines and cures, Physica and Causaeet Curae, (including a cure for the then-dread disease of leprosy). In addition, she invented a language called “Lingua Ignota”; wrote a Gospel commentary and two works of hagiography; in addition to Liber Vitae Meritorum (‘The Book of Life’s Rewards’) and Liber Divonorum Operum (‘Book of Divine Works’). She completed Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

Hildegard Today There has been a renewal of interest in Hildegard’s life in recent years, especially after her fellow countryman, Pope Benedict XVI, made her a Doctor of the Church in 2012. (Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, various New Age groups within and outside of Catholicism have hijacked some of that interest. No doubt St. Hildegard would have had as much use for them as she had for the Cathars.) Hildegard was beatified by Pope John XXII on August 26, 1326 and formally canonized after almost seven centuries by Pope Benedict XVI.

ABOVE PHOTO: Relic of St Hildegard in Madonna statue, Abbey of St. Hildegard page 11


Eyewitness to Death Edith later entered to a nursing program, though, and soon found herself in an Austrian field hospital in the midst of the typhus epidemic of the First World War. She assisted in an operating theater and witnessed young people dying. It was too much for her. Even before the war ended, she fled the battlefield, following Husserl to the University at Freiburg, and in 1917 gaining her doctorate summa cum laude on “The Problem of Empathy.” In her dissertation she wrote: “There have been people who believed that a sudden change had occurred within them and that this was a result of God’s grace.” At the Frankfurt Cathedral one day, Edith was astounded to see a simple woman with a shopping basket kneel for a brief prayer. “This was something totally new to me,” she wrote. “In the synagogues and Protestant churches I had visited people simply went to the services. Here, however, I saw someone coming straight from the busy marketplace into this empty church, as if she was going to have an intimate conversation. It was something I never forgot.” Converting to Catholicism

In the Footsteps of

Saint Edith Stein She was an intellectual German Jew and a Carmelite nun. She was murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Today, she is a Catholic saint. But who was this astounding woman, really?


by Beverly De Soto

he story of Edith Stein begins on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, 1891 when she was born the youngest of eleven children of a Jewish timber merchant in Breslau, Germany. By the time she was two her father died, leaving her devout, hard-working mother to struggle alone. The prevailing secularism in German intellectual culture in the early 20th Century, however, meant that the young Edith and her siblings would lose their mother’s faith in God. At the age of 14 “I consciously decided, of my own volition, to give up praying,” Edith wrote, years later. Later, as a brilliant university student and a radical suffragette with a keen interest in philosophy, Edith studied at Gottingen University under the renowned Professor Edmund Husserl. Husserl denied Kant’s assertion that all reality is subjective; his view had the unintended effect of leading many of his pupils to Christianity.

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The next step to her conversion came when Edith visited her friend Mrs. Reinach, a young, grieving war widow. “This was my first encounter with the Cross and the divine power it imparts to those who bear it ... it was the moment when my unbelief collapsed and Christ began to shine his light on me Christ in the mystery of the Cross.” Though she had a doctorate, Edith was not permitted to teach at the university level because she was a woman. Years later, when women were professors, she was denied because she was a Jew. With no employment options, she returned to home to Breslau, where in the next few months she read the New Testament, Kierkegaard and Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. In the summer of 1921, Edith happened upon the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila. She stayed up all night reading. “When I had finished the book, I said to myself: This is the truth,” she wrote. On January 1, 1922, at age 31, Edith Stein was baptized. She spent a great deal of time at remote Beuron Abbey, studying under the tutelage of the Benedictine Abbot there. Later, she was confirmed by the Bishop of Speyer in his private chapel and for almost ten years afterwards she taught German and history at the Dominican Sisters’ college in Speyer. In 1932, she lectured under Catholic auspices at the University of Munster.   Though she wanted to join a Carmelite convent, the Bishop dissuaded her. “During the time immediately before and quite some time after my conversion I ... thought that leading a religious life meant giving up all earthly things and having one’s mind fixed on divine things only. Gradually, however, I learned that other things are expected of us in this world... I even believe that the deeper someone is drawn to God, the more he has to `get beyond himself’ in this sense, that is, go into the world and carry divine life into it.”

The Saints

High Altar at the Benedictine Abbey at Beuron, where Edith Stein took instruction from the Abbot in the 1920s photo by Harry Stevens

Stein was a prolific translator and writer. She translated the letters and diaries of Cardinal Newman from his pre-Catholic period as well as the Quaestiones Disputatae de Veritate of St Thomas Aquinas. She wrote Potency and Act, a study of the central concepts developed by Aquinas. In 1933, Hitler came to power. The Nazis made it impossible for Edith to continue teaching. “I had heard of severe measures against Jews before. But now it dawned on me that God had laid his hand heavily on His people, and that the destiny of these people would also be mine,” she wrote. “If I can’t go on here, then there are no longer any opportunities for me in Germany. I had become a stranger in the world.”

in the Netherlands. There, Edith wrote “The Church’s Teacher of Mysticism and the Father of the Carmelites, John of the Cross, on the Occasion of the 400th Anniversary of His Birth, 1542-1942.” Arrested by the Gestapo Edith Stein was arrested by the Gestapo on August 2, 1942, while in the chapel with the sisters. She was given five minutes to leave, together with her sister Rosa, another nun. Her last words there were addressed to Rosa: “Come, we are going for our people.”

Their arrest – along with other Jewish Christians -- was a Nazi act of retaliation against a letter of protest by the Dutch Catholic Bishops on the pogroms and deportations of Jews. On She resolved to enter the Carmelite Convent in Cologne. In August 7, 1942, early in the morning, 987 Jews were deported 1938 Edith Stein, now known as Sister Teresa, Blessed of the to Auschwitz. Records indicate that it was probably on August Cross wrote: “I understood the cross as the destiny of God’s 9 that Edith and Rosa were gassed to death. people, which was beginning to be apparent at the time (1933). I felt that those who understood the Cross of Christ should take The Miracle for Her Canonization it upon themselves on everybody’s behalf. Of course, I know better now what it means to be wedded to the Lord in the sign of the cross. However, one can never comprehend it, because it is a mystery.” Entering Carmel

“Those who join the Carmelite Order are not lost to their near and dear ones, but have been won for them, because it is our vocation to intercede to God for everyone,” she wrote on October 31, 1938. “I keep thinking of Queen Esther who was taken away from her people precisely because God wanted her to plead with the king on behalf of her nation. I am a very poor and powerless little Esther, but the King who has chosen me is infinitely great and merciful. This is great comfort.”

Photo by p. schmelzle / CC BY-SA 3.0


The miracle which was the basis for her canonization was the cure of Teresa Benedicta McCarthy, a little girl who had swallowed a large amount of acetaminophen which causes hepatic necrosis. Her father, Reverend Emmanuel Charles Mc Carthy, a priest of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and her entire family prayed for Stein’s intercession. Shortly thereafter the nurses in the intensive care unit saw her sit up completely healthy. Dr. Ronald Kleinman, a pediatric specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital who treated Teresa Benedicta, testified about her recovery to Church tribunals, stating “I was willing to say that it was miraculous.” Photo by Siehe Lizenz / CC BY-SA 3.0

Saint Edith Stein was beatified in Cologne in 1987 and canonized in 1998. Blessed Pope John Paul II said that the Church “bowed down before a daughter of Israel who, as a Catholic during Nazi persecution, remained faithful to the crucified Lord Jesus Ten days later, the violent persecution of German Jews went Christ and, as a Jew, to her people in loving faithfulness.” into overdrive, and Edith’s Prioress worked desperately to smuggle her across the border to a Carmelite Convent in Echt, MEMORIAL PLAQUE TO EDITH STEIN IN COLOGNE, GERMANY on the occasion of her beatification there.

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Discover & Rediscover



ere is something strange: A writer who takes the trouble to defend what is normal. 100 years ago he saw that civilization was starting to fall apart because people were no longing desiring normal things. And what did he say those normal things were? Normal marriage, normal ownership, normal worship, and a normal appreciation of life itself. He saw the broken world that we now live in. He saw the coming chaos in education, economics, politics, art, and religion. But he did not just see the problems; he saw the solutions. He was one of the most important writers of his own time, but he may also be one of the most important writers of our time. He may be one of the greatest of modern prophets. He may be a saint. We need G.K. Chesterton’s profound insight and refreshing common sense today.

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“How would Christ solve modern problems if He were on earth today? For those of my faith there is only one answer. Christ is on earth today; alive on a thousand altars.” —G.K. Chesterton page 15


Catholic Empress in Exile 2014 marks 100 years since the beginning of the Great War, which tore European civilization asunder in ways that we are only now beginning to grasp. In this look back at that turbulent era, Meghan Ferrara turns the spotlight on an enduring Catholic marriage, which just happened to take place at the pinnacle of European society -- on the ancient Throne of the Holy Roman Empire.


n their wedding photos, they are so young, in those far-off days before World War I ripped into their lives. She, in particular, is luminous. It is difficult to believe, observing the smile of the joyful bride, that she and her husband were destined to be at the center of one of the major conflicts of the twentieth century. In the midst of World War I -- which Pope Benedict XV failed to prevent despite all his efforts -- and through a series of extraordinary events, Charles and Zita von Hapsburg  ascended the Imperial throne of AustriaHungary. Upon the death of Emperor Franz-Joseph in November 1916, they became Emperor and Empress

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by Meghan Ferrara

of all the Austro-Hungarian territories. By the end of the “War to End All Wars,” they would be deposed from the Imperial throne, and exiled from Austria.

Their reign, though brief, and their legacy would make an indelible mark on modern history. Their deep commitment to the Faith manifested itself in all areas of their lives. Today, both Charles and Zita are in the process of canonization – a rare and remarkable feat in modern times. From a very young age, both Charles and Zita held great reverence for the Faith. Attending daily Mass and receiving the Sacraments on a regular basis were established routines in both Charles’s and Zita’s childhoods; they continued this practice with their own children. In addition, they both developed a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Eucharist.

The T h e Sa S aint i n t ss An integral part of Charles and Zita’s Catholic education was a keen awareness of the weakest and most vulnerable of society and the desire to help them. They each donated money, clothes and other necessities to those in need. Despite their royal rank, the Faith taught Charles and Zita to maintain a servant’s heart towards those less fortunate. Princess Zita of BourbonParma was born Zita Maria delle Grazie Adelgonda Micaela Raffaela Gabriella Giuseppina Antonia Luisa Agnese on May 9, 1892 in Parma, Italy. She first met Charles when they were children, and they played together quite happily. Their friendship quickly rekindled when they met again as young adults. While the marriage was dynastic, their union was also a true love match. Charles and Zita were devoted to each other and they continued to support and love each other despite the difficulties they faced. For Charles and Zita, their marriage was a sacramental union blessed by God with special graces. The day before their wedding, Charles remarked to Zita, “Now we must help each other to reach heaven.”

As a soldier, Charles witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by the war. When he ascended the throne, his most ardent desire was for peace, earning him the nickname, “the peace emperor.” However, there were few who shared Charles’ vision, and this isolation cost him dearly. His advisers blocked his efforts and even, in some cases, betrayed him. In addition to his quest to end the war, Charles, inspired by the papal encyclical Rerum Novarum, put into practice many innovative social reforms to help his people, such as social security and social welfare systems. Zita worked in tandem with her husband, frequently visiting nursing homes and hospitals, volunteering for the Red Cross and traveling with him when possible. As rulers, the imperial couple always put service to their people above everything else, in accordance with their coronation oaths and the principle of Catholic kingship. This adherence to service endured long after their exile following the war and remains an important aspect of the family’s life today.

Charles died in exile on the island of Madeira in 1922. Shortly before his death, Charles promised Zita, “We will always be together in the By the end of that War, Charles and Zita would Sacred Heart of Jesus.” be deposed from the Imperial throne, and exiled from Austria. Their reign, though brief, The last words Charles ever and their legacy would make an indelible spoke were, “Jesus, my Jesus,” mark on modern history. as he kissed his crucifix.

This observation formed the basis for their marriage and family life, as they raised their eight children with the same love of Christ and the Catholic Church that they shared. When their eldest son, Otto, received his First Communion, Charles dedicated his family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Often, Charles and Zita taught the children their Catechism lessons personally and Zita continued this tradition with their grandchildren.

The courage that Charles demonstrated in accepting his death and that Zita displayed in assuming a future without her husband reflected their profound trust in God’s providence. Even when faced with widowhood, the education of her children and the protection of the Hapsburg legacy, the empress never wavered in her confidence in Christ. Zita remained devoted to her family, her people and her Faith for rest of her life.

Zita lived to be almost 100 years old; she died on 14 Charles followed Catholic teaching in all areas of his life, March 1989. Today, the Cause for Canonization of including his political activities. Though he had been well Blessed Emperor Charles and Servant of God Empress prepared for the Imperial throne, Charles’s political life Zita of Austria is only the next stage in the was fraught with extreme difficulties and danger. journey of this holy couple.

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

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On Wandering in a Catholic Landscape


St. Bartholomew’s Church, Berchtesgaden / KonigSee Monastery by Matei Domnita / CC By 2.0

he German word for hiking is ‘wandern,’ of dark and thorny wildness, but in Bavaria one which brings to mind the cheerful act does not encounter such trials. Bavarian land is of wandering and the serendipity of blessed with gentle slopes, curving streams, and discovery.  Pope Benedict has called his a verdant glow of health.  native Bavaria “a land so beautiful that it is easy to recognize The Bavarians, over that God is good and the eons, have fitted be happy.”  To wander themselves into this in such a lovely, wellbenevolent order and by Tamara Isabell ordered landscape is have developed the story photos by Migdalia Mass to inevitably encounter virtues to preserve God.  and enhance the land.  Villages are To think of a natural tucked discreetly into the landscape as “wellparticular dales where ordered” might seem they ought to go, with strange to Americans, no urban sprawl.  Artful as our forests loom forest management with a particular sort has rendered the page 18

Beautiful, Catholic, Germany What more perfect setting for Catholicism to flourish in? We know the Faith takes hold everywhere, but one gets the sense it is bound to happen in such a place where the material world so clearly reaches out for and testifies to, His glory. 

woodland hospitable to humans and wild creatures alike. Everywhere one sees evidence of man having been inspired by God’s bountiful Providence, and his respect and deference to that Providence.

We can imagine Saint Boniface and his early encounters with the roving Germanic tribes in that land. Were the forests themselves a bit darker and more unruly in those pagan times? Nevertheless, Boniface recognized it as a land which wanted only a bit of industriousness on the part of man in service of God to perfect it.  So he took out his axe, hewing oaks into churches, allowing the grace of God to hew pagans into Christians. And the fruits of their efforts have endured. 

Today’s Bavarians are the heirs of this Catholic landscape, created by God but embellished by the devout sweat of their ancestors. One can hardly round a bend in a Bavarian road without finding a roadside chapel, a crucifix, or a statue honoring Our Lady or a saint. page 19

Religious murals adorning Bavaria’s charming Fachwerk architecture. The world-famous Passion Play in Oberammergau has been running steadily for almost 400 years, with every sign of running for the next 400, as well.   Annual festivals continuously revolve around harvest and religious events with an almost liturgical rhythm, celebrating everything from the humble asparagus to regional wines with a distinctly Christian joy for the simple and natural. Whereas the Deutsche Bischofskonference reports a falling away from the Church in Germany as a whole (Editor’s Note: Today, under 30% of Germans identify themselves as “Catholic” – see here for the reasons) Bavaria maintains a strong 55%.  This is because the region is so tied to the Catholicism of its forefathers that it is impossible to imagine that bond ever being completely undone.  The Bavarians won’t stop calling themselves Catholic any more than they will stop calling themselves Bavarian, and for the same reason: it is their honorable and historical identity. To be Bavarian is to be Catholic, and both qualities spring from the same soil.

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Beautiful, Catholic, Germany Just as God allows the fallenaway Catholic to stray a bit before calling him back to that which he has forgotten, the Bavarian will always be summoned by a rediscovery of the natural beauty all around him. The patterns of life that have been built into that natural order form a rhythm that harkens to God.  In a land so reflective of God’s own beauty, one can only wander so far.  All Bavarian paths wind their way back to their Creator -- and the wanderer joyfully discovers that He is good.  The fierce independence of the Bavarian is connected to the cycles of his natural environment, and his Catholicism is a product and a reflection of that same environment. Although Europe’s postmodern secularism has infected Germany as a whole, it has not and will not gain the same ground in Bavaria.  Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

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The Second Rome

Christian Trier in Germany


by Christoph Pitsch

rier is an ancient German city near the Luxembourg and French borders. At the 2002 inauguration Mass of then-Bishop Marx at Trier,* Bishop Kamphaus of Limburg brought something special with him – ‘the crozier of St. Peter.’ The metropolitan Archbishop of Cologne ceremonially presented this to Bishop Marx “as a visible symbol of the communion of the church of Trier to St. Peter and his successors.“ The Legend of ‘St. Peter’s Crozier’

The Real History of Trier

How much of this is true? In fact, according to the medieval episcopal lists, Eucharius was the actual first bishop of Trier in the 200s. Valerius is listed as the second. Maternus, who was the first bishop of Cologne (Roman ‘Colonnia’) is mentioned as the third bishop of Trier. But these sources also state that there was Christian life in Trier before these three holy bishops.

Of course, Peter lived hundreds of years before croziers became ecclesiastical paraphernalia, but the secret behind this crozier is a fascinating legend about the According to this legend, foundation of St. Eucharius and St. the Church in Valerius, disciples of Trier (Roman St. Peter, together with ‘Treverus’— St. Maternus, left Rome from which the Christian to  preach the Gospel name ‘Trevor’ north of the Alps. Other comes).

Built on the Foundations of Saint Helena’s Palace Trier’s ancient Cathedral stands next to the Church of Our Lady page 22

Augusta Treverorum (Trier) was founded in 30 BC as an imperial residence of the Roman legends say they were Emperor and capital of Upon reaching sent as priest, deacon and the province subdeacon respectively. of Gallia presentday AlsaceBelgica. It Lorraine, was the most Maternus died from exhaustion.  important city north the Alps; Eucharius and Valerius, even today Trier is filled with discouraged, returned to Rome. buildings of amazing antiquity – There, St. Peter gave them Roman baths, arenas, even wine his crosier and sent them to warehouses that date back to Maternus again, where they ancient Roman times. (Editor’s resurrected him using St. Peter’s Note: One of Germany’s bestcrosier. Then, Eucharius and kept secrets is the unbelievable Valerius proceeded to Trier to scope and breadth of ancient found a Christian community Roman ruins at Trier -and Maternus did the same in unrivaled anywhere in Europe Cologne. besides Rome itself.)

Beautiful, Catholic, Germany Trier was also the site of one of the most notorious slaughterings of Christians, when during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian the Trier governor Rictiovarus carried out the atrocities. When soldiers of his own Roman Legion refused to renounce Christ, they were put to death by the sword on the Roman bridge over the Moselle River, which still stands. Local legends say the Moselle ‘ran red with the blood of the martyrs’ for miles -- and that Christians downstream collected the remains and buried them. These remains are today under the churches of St. Paulinus, St. Maximian and St Matthias. (In 1990, excavations for the regional museum uncovered the remains of 1300 at the church of St. Maxmian -- now in State hands -alone.)

a beautiful Gothic church in the shape of a rose, dedicated to Our Lady -- the oldest Gothic church in Germany. The Benedictine Abbey of St Matthias at Trier houses the only remains of an Apostle north of the Alps. The Abbey itself was built on land belonging to a Roman Senator from Trier. In recent decades, a stupendous archaeological find there revealed the bones of hundreds of Christians surrounding a Roman sarcophagus buried deep under the Abbey grounds for many centuries. St Helena and the Holy Robe

Early Christian Trier After the promulgation of the Edict of Milan under emperor Constantine, Christianity was no longer illegal. By then, Constantine’s mother, Helena, had retired to Trier. (Some say she ROMAN RUINS TOWER OVER HUMAN SCALE showing the grandeur founded a convent of Imperial Rome in Trier more than 2000 years later. there.) Then came the so-called ‘Constantinian Shift,’ when the Empire became Christian. So, where to build the first Christian basilica on German soil? Literally, on the foundations of the palace of St. Helena. From this ancient basilica the present double – church complex of the ‘Cathedral’ (in Latin, ‘seat’) of the Bishop of Trier developed. Today, the Roman basilica sits beside Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

Legend has it that Helena found the Cross and the Robe of Christ during her pilgrimage to Jerusalem. She was a lady much advanced in years when she visited the Holy Land, and both the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem were built on Helena’s orders. Today the Holy Robe (“Heilige Rock’) of Christ is kept in the Cathedral of Trier – one of the most important relics of our Lord.

Why do Catholics venerate relics? See Here: Holy or Macabre? Relics and Incorrupt Saints page 23

Beautiful, Catholic, Germany ROMAN RUINS the most extensive in Europe, north of the Alps at Trier, Germany.

Trier in the Center of the Storm he was exiled from Trier to Turkey, where he died. This was a time of stormy church-political and theological What role did Trier play? After the controversies. A man named Arius in council, in which the teachings of Egypt preached that the Son of God Arius were rejected and the Nicene did not always exist, but was created Creed agreed upon by the bishops, by – and is therefore distinct from Athanasius fell into disfavor with – God the Father. This was the first Emperor Constantine and was heresy to rock Christianity, which it banished to Trier, where Paulinus did to its very roots. was the bishop. (Arianism is actually a debate we can see today as well, when people ask ‘Is Jesus Christ ‘God’ or was he simply a social reformer?’) This controversy assumed even greater dimensions and only finally ended in the First Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.), from whence we get the Nicene Creed which we recite at every Mass.  Two of the leading bishops against Arius were Father Athanasius of Alexandria – one of the four Great Doctors of the church -- and Bishop Paulinus. St. Paulinus was at one time the only bishop who would not conform to the rampant Arian heresy that swept through the Church. For his faithful witness,

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At the same time, another Church Father participated in the dispute with Arius – the great Ambrose of Milan. He is known as the composer of the Catholic hymn the Te Deum and as the one who baptized St. Augustine. Another legend says that as Augustine was being baptized, he intoned the first line of this hymn and that Ambrose answered. Today the Te Deum is sung at the end of every year in every Catholic church in the world.

The Second Rome We can see that the Church of Trier played a very important role in defending and preaching the Faith in history – literally a second Rome. The immense ruins of the ancient Roman civilization surround us at Trier, and the literal handing-on of that civilization through the Faith to us in the present day is apparent with every step through the old City. All these Trier symbols, relics and legends have one thing in common: they demonstrate to the faithful what our origins are. We in Trier were the first Christians on German soil. This is our pride, and our responsibility. (Editor’s Note: Marx is now cardinal and archbishop of Munich and a member of the group of eight cardinals advising Pope Francis.)

Ambrose was born in Trier, the son of a Roman prefect.

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Germany’s Best Kept Catholic Secret Forget the scandal of the bishops. Ignore the empty churches. Look, instead, at the land itself, and the story of the Catholic Church in Germany will reveal itself to you. by De Soto pageBeverly 26


hey are everywhere. Vineyards, stretching for miles – on scalloped terraces rising over the winding Moselle River, ranging across the wide-open spaces in Franconia and the Palatinate, enveloping the mighty Rhine. “How many of you were raised here?” I recently asked a class of German teens. Ninety percent of the 16 year-olds raised their hands. “Okay, so who created these vineyards?”


f The Vines Could Talk

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

Stumping the German Students I gestured out the window to the vines covering miles of gentle slopes down to the Rhine. The students exchanged glances, shrugging. “The Romans?” ventured one brave boy whose family farms the vineyards here. “Nope,” I said. “Let’s try this again. Who cut down the trees, hauled away the stumps and prepared all these kilometers of land to grow grapes? I’ll give you a hint. It happened way before electricity and the combustion engine…” No idea. “Who built the wine presses? Developed the science of wine-making? “ The class was stumped. “It was the Church,” I told them finally, grinning. They looked at the priest whose class I was teaching, utterly flummoxed. Could this be true? “I can’t believe it,“ the observing German lay teacher was mildly embarrassed. “How can you not know this?” she asked them, shaking her head. How can this be? The answer, of course, is that they haven’t been taught this. No one – not their parents, nor the Catholic schools they attend -- apparently ever bothers to teach what is glaringly apparent. page 27

A Civilization Created by the Church Nevertheless, facts are facts. Unbeknownst to them, these teenagers inhabit a civilization that was created by the Church. And it wasn’t just vines, or the wine-making. The Church brought engineering, medicine, education – all the blessings of civilization -- to Germany. And the Rheingau today is living proof of this. This 20-mile stretch along the Rhine (‘gau’ is German for ‘coast’) is a landscape painstakingly carved out of the wilderness by generations of monks. Ancient abbeys crown the hilltops. Tiny chapels, still lovingly maintained by anonymous hands, dot the hills. World-famous Rieslings – a light white grape – were created by the Church’s viniculture here, centuries before Martin Luther ever saw the light of day. The wallenclosed vineyard of Kloster Eberbach (the ‘Steinberg’) is said to produce one of the most sought-after white wines in the world today. All of this is the patient work of centuries. The Cistercians were the land-shapers, and their handiwork is visible everywhere. Where once only mosquito-infested swamps thrived, streams flow merrily straight downhill between orderly rows of vines, into the Rhine. In addition to their impressive wine-making skills, the Benedictines celebrated the ancient liturgy. Carmelites were the contemplatives. Ursuline nuns taught the children. Here in the Rheingau, even the famously austere Jesuits kept vineyards. But they are all gone, now, except for the Benedictine nuns in St. Hildegard’s Abbey.  And all of this is unknown to the weekenders from Frankfurt for wine tastings, or to the tourists who enjoy the Rhine river cruises. Even the people of the Rheingau, justly proud of their land, are in the dark about their own history. Why is this? Kidnapping Catholic Boys “The Church was hated,” insisted one innkeeper with an amateur interest in local history. We were cozily ensconced in his Michelin-rated restaurant in a 16th century building. “They were rich, and lordly. The people were forced to tithe to them.”

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Did the people felt any kinder towards the Hessian government? “Ach, they weren’t any better. You know those Hessian soldiers who fought in the American Revolutionary War?” he asked. “The ones who George Washington’s troops murdered in their sleep on Christmas Eve after crossing the Delaware? “They were Rheingau farm boys, and they were forced off these vineyards – sold like cattle for money --to the British by the local princes to fight in their bloody wars in America. They never had a chance, those poor bastards. The lucky ones ran away from the Redcoats. They deserted, found work and wives and became Americans.” And the Church didn’t raise its voice in protest against this outrage? “The government was Protestant,” he shrugged. “Very easy to sell the Catholics’ sons to the Protestant British. And what could the Church do, anyway? Pray?” An Unknown Past Why are the local Germans so ignorant of their own history? “Because we are only taught about the 20th century,” the innkeeper explained, shaking his head. “The terrible years. The hunger. World War I. The Nazi terror. World War II. The bombings. The death. And then the rebuilding, the great accomplishments of the generations after the War. “We learn almost nothing of the years before the 20th century. It is as if it never existed. Though, as you see, we live in the middle of it, surrounded by the physical evidence of a past that we barely know anything about. “We think we are so smart, we Germans. But we are ignorant of who we are.” Germany’s best kept Catholic secret is the country’s own Catholic history. And therein lies, perhaps, the greatest mystery of all to modern Germans. And that is the question of who they actually are.

reg in a eats !

Fantastic Flammkuchen! It’s called a “tarte flambée” just across the French border, and like all delicious Catholic food, it originated in the kitchens of the ordinary people -farmers from Alsace, Baden or the Palatinate. (Tarte flambée is French and Flammkuchen is German for “cake baked in the flames.”) Housewives used to bake bread once a week and use a tarte flambée to test the heat of their wood-fired ovens. At peak temperature, the oven would be ideal to bake a tarte flambée, which would bake in the embers in minutes. Impress your friends with real European home cooking at its best – and this recipe makes two trays of flammkuchen, which you can devour hot or lukewarm.

What You Will Need • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus more for handling • 1/2 tsp salt • 1 package of yeast • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 cup crème fraiche* • 2 oz heavy cream • fine sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg to taste • 3 ounces finely chopped pancetta (or bacon or ham) • 3 red onions, finely sliced • Chives, chopped For the Dough Add flour and salt to a large bowl, mix briefly and make a well in the center. Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water, pour into the well and add the olive oil. Knead well, either by hand or with a machine for 5 minutes (medium speed).The dough should come together nicely. (Too sticky? Add more flour until it cleans the sides of the bowl all by itself.)

Serve with a crisp dry Riesling or a Grauburgunder (Pinot Grigio) and a green salad.

Shape into a ball, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for about 45 minutes at a warm and sheltered place. After the dough has risen, punch it down, divide it into 2 equally sized portions, shape them into neat balls and let them rise again under a kitchen towel for 20 to 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 480°F or as hot as your oven permits and place an oiled baking tray on the bottom level, so it gets preheated, too. For the Topping Mix crème fraîche and heavy cream with spices (salt, pepper and nutmeg) to taste. Cut red onions into thin semi-rings. Chop the chives finely. Roll out the dough thinly, using extra flour to prevent sticking. Transfer to hot baking sheet. Spread crème fraîche mix on top, cover with pancetta/bacon/ham and sliced onions. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes. It should be golden-brown color. * No creme fraiche around? No worries. It’s really easy to make: Mix one cup heavy cream with two tablespoons buttermilk. Combine well in glass container and cover. Let stand at room temperature for 8-24 hours, or until thickened. Stir well and refrigerate. Use within 10 days. Flammekueche by Lulu Durand / CC By 2.0

The high art of wood carving is everywhere in evidence in traditional German churches — inspired, many say, by the country’s vast forests. Sadly, in the 20th century — mostly in the years post-Vatican II – iconoclasm swept through the German Church.

The Modernists’ Nightmare A New Renaissance in High Sacred Art

Interview by Donna Sue Berry

Edited by Rosa Kaspar

In a spasm of runaway clericalism, many churches were denuded of their sacred art. Even today, this work is often sneered at by the German elites, though secretly beloved by the people. But even ideology and iconoclasm slowly die away. This interview by Donna Sue Berry is one clear sign of this salutary trend -- the story of an Italian family business with German roots experiencing an uptick in demand for their astonishingly beautiful work.

Photography by the Stuflesser family

The Stuflessers create all their woodcarvings in their workshops in Ortisei, Italy, where they use raw materials of the highest quality. Their work features altars and hand-carved statues in wood, bronze, and marble.

Fifth-generation Stuflessers, brothers Filip and Dr.Dr. fter 140 years and five generations, the Ferdinand Robert Stuflesser are prized by their customers Stuflesser family continues to create exquisite throughout the world for their state- of-the-art church restorations, believing that dignified art inspires praying. Their customers include the Vatican, as craftsmanship, assurance of superior quality, and their continuing dedication to improve. well as cathedrals and churches throughout the world.


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Beautiful, Catholic, Germany


Robert, have you noticed a growing interest in statues from people looking for a more traditional decoration in their churches? Can you tell me what they are wanting?

Yes, during these last years I have noticed that people are coming back to more traditional statues and interiors. Some like a more modern style, but the trend is going clearly towards a more traditional style. Some also like combining a modern architecture with traditional carvings.


Have you built any traditional altars lately?

Yes, we had the opportunity to realize different altars during these last years. None of them was modern; they all were constructed in a traditional style. One of the high altars we realized was a copy of an altar destroyed during war. Its height was 27 feet and it was created for Vukovar, Croatia. Another altar was for Scotland, and it was actually a reconstruction of an altar we received from the Vatican.  We also constructed one for a church in Burleson, Texas. Our long experience and knowledge passed on from generation to generation for approximately 140 years allows us to form our creations with all the ancient techniques used a century ago. Naturally, these techniques are refined with modern instruments. All projects are custom-made, which allows us to adapt each realization to the rest of the interior perfectly.

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

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Q you?

What is the most popular statue that people want from

This is difficult to tell, for we realize traditional and new statues, but maybe the most requested statues are the Christ figure, St. Joseph, Our Lady in different representations, as well as Padre Pio, Mother Teresa (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta), St. Francis (of Assisi), and St. Antony (of Padua).

“Ferdinand Stuflesser 1875” statues and also a high altar that was constructed and donated from our workshops.


Is there a ‘special’ project that you are working on or that you would like to do in the future? At the moment we are working on an interesting project. We are restoring a Gothic high altar, which we bought some time ago. We are adapting it to the specific needs of a church in Holland: The existing parts will be completed by new parts to fill the space harmonically. My dream for the future? A lot of custom carvings of each sort, which will make a lot of people happy and maybe one for Pope Francis.


Your family history is so interesting! Do you Does your have family have a precious a favourite church that you go to? Have you carved treasure from the earlier generations carved by Ferdinand Stuflesser I or II or the statuary there? Johann Stuflesser?

Since we all are living in Ortisei, where our workshops are located, our preferred church is our local parish church. We are not far away from this very beautiful church, which is full of carved art. Yes, there are some


Yes, there are some beautiful pieces that we all particularly love: A Pieta statue (above) a St. Ann figure and a Christ figure. These are my favourites.


Robert, if there is anything you would like to add to these questions, please tell us.

To add: I thank all the people who love our carvings and pray to them. I also want to say thank you to our precious Facebook followers who see so many of our new statues. To tell: I love to communicate with so many people all around the world and there is one thing that bonds us: Our Catholic Faith!

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ABOVE: In 1906, the stuflesser family created this altar still in use at their parish church in Ortisei, Italy. RIGHT: Robert and Filip Stuflesser with their recent art work. BELOW: High altar created for a Catholic Church in Croatia for the Stuflesser studio.

Readers may see the Stuflessers’ work at and
 Ferdinand Stuflesser on Facebook at FerdinandStuflesser1875

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

In the summer of 1991 I spent two weeks touring Poland. One of the most impressive places on my sightseeing itinerary was the medieval castle of Malbork located in Pomerania east of Gdansk on the River Nogat. This massive building is the largest castle by surface area in the world and the largest building made of brick in Europe. Why was this massive fortress constructed and by whom?

Panorama of Malbork Castle, Żuławy region, Poland by DerHexer / CC BY-SA 3.0

by Michael Durnan


albork castle was built on the orders of the Teutonic Knights, or to give them their full and proper title, the ‘Order of Brothers of the German House of St. Mary in Jerusalem.’ (In German, ‘Orden der Bruder vom Deutschen Haus St. Mariens in Jerusalem.’)

The Knights were one of the military religious orders established in Catholic Europe during medieval times. Other leading military religious orders of the time included the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitallers of St. John. 
The Teutonic Knights, and the other military religious orders, were founded to give aid, assistance, and protection to Christian pilgrims travelling to the Holy Land, as well to establish and run hospitals. The German Travelers in the Holy Land They were founded at the end of the 12th century in Acre, in the Holy Land, or as that region was known, the Levant. The Order’s page 34

origins go back to the year 1143 when Pope Celestine II ordered the Knights Hospitaller of St. John to take over the running and management of a hospital that accommodated countless German-speaking pilgrims and crusaders who spoke neither the local language, nor Old French, nor Latin. Although the hospital belonged to the Knights Hospitaller, the pope commanded that the Prior and

A Catholic Past

Germany’s Grand Catholic Knights the brothers of the Domus Theutonicorum, (‘House formally recognized in 1192 by Pope Celestine III. of Germans’) always should be German speakers. Thus the tradition of a German-led institution was Becoming a Military Order established in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. 
At first its brothers followed the Augustinian Rule, After the loss of Jerusalem to Saladin in 1187, some but in 1198 it developed into a fully-fledged military merchants from Lubeck and Bremen took up the religious order based on the Knights Templar, with idea of a field hospital during the siege of Acre. This its head known as the ‘Grand Master.’ The Order was field hospital became the nucleus of the future Order granted papal orders to participate in crusades to

retake Jerusalem as well as to defend the Holy Land from attacks by Muslim Saracens. Under Grand Master Hermann von Salza, the order made the final transition from being a hospice brotherhood for pilgrims to being primarily a military order.

The Decline Sets In 
In 1410, after the Knights were defeated at the Battle of Grunewald by a combined Polish-Lithuanian army, the Teutonic Order went into decline, losing lands, military strength, and power. Eventually the Teutonic Order was expelled from Prussia after a war with Poland and Lithuania. In 1525 Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg converted to Lutheranism and secularized the remaining Prussian territories. The Teutonic Order suffered further losses of its lands that remained in the Holy Roman Empire. In 1555, after the Peace of Ausberg, the Teutonic Order allowed its first Lutheran members, though it still remained largely Catholic.

Emperor Frederick II raised his friend, von Salza, to the rank of Reichfurst, or Prince of the Empire. When Frederick was crowned King of Jerusalem in 1225, the Teutonic Knights provided his escort in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. 
In spite of this honour and recognition, the Teutonic Knights never became as influential in the Holy Land as the Templars and the Hospitallers. Events nearer home would provide a new crusade and role for the Teutonic Knights and would shift their focus to the Baltic and Eastern Europe. The military history of the Teutonic Knights ended in 1809, when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered its The Knights in the Baltic
 dissolution, giving its secular holdings to his own vassals and allies. The Knights continued to exist in This new opportunity came in 1226 in north-eastern Austria, out of Napoleon’s grasp. In 1929 the Order Poland, when Duke of Masovia, Konrad I, appealed was transformed into a purely spiritual Catholic to the Knights for military assistance to defend his religious order and renamed the Deutscher Orden, borders from attack and to subdue the pagan Baltic or German Order. Prussians. During the next fifty years the Teutonic Knights engaged in a fierce and bloody crusade to Teutonic Knights in Modern Times conquer Prussia and to subjugate, kill, or expel any native Prussians who remained unbaptized. The 
Hitler was not a fan of the Knights. After Austria’s Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor issued charters annexation by the Nazis in 1938, the Order was granting the knights Prussia as a sovereign monastic suppressed throughout his Greater German Reich, state, similar to that of the Knights Hospitallers on although it continued to function in Italy. With Malta. the defeat of the Nazis in 1945, the Order was reconstituted in Austria and Germany. The Knights encouraged immigration from the Holy Roman Empire to boost the population, which The Teutonic Knights are divided into three branches, had been reduced severely by the war. The settlers one Catholic and two Protestant. The Protestant established new towns on the site of Old Prussian branches are based in Utrecht, The Netherlands and ones and the knights built several castles from which in Brandenburg, Germany. The Catholic branch of they could defend attacks by Old Prussians. the Teutonic Knights now includes 1,000 associates, including 100 priests, 200 nuns, and 700 associates, Having conquered Prussia, the Knights turned their with the priests providing spiritual guidance and the attention to pagan Lithuania, and it took 200 years nuns caring for the sick and aged. The associates are before they conquered and converted Lithuania active in Belgium, Austria, Germany, Italy, and the to Christianity. Other conquests included the city Czech Republic. of Danzig, (in Polish, ‘Gdansk’) and the region of Pomeralia along the Baltic which provided a land Many of the Order’s priests provide pastoral care bridge to the Holy Roman Empire. The capture of for German speakers outside of German-speaking Danzig in 1307 marked a new phase in the Knights’ lands, especially in Italy and Slovenia. In this way development, and it was after this they moved their the Teutonic Order has returned to its original headquarters from Venice to Malbork Castle. spiritual roots of providing aid and assistance to German speakers outside of their homelands.

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A Catholic Past

German Catholic Church, Inc.

by Harry Stevens

In Germany, Catholics are leaving the Church in droves, as an average of 140,000 formally abandon the Faith annually.*  This is easy to track, because numbers are publicly reported in a system where Germans pay 8-9% of their income tax to receive the Sacraments. The church tax is administered by the State on behalf of the Church through a payroll deduction, for a lucrative 2-3% processing fee.


nd there is no tax relief. This was clarified at the highest levels when a Catholic canonist asked for relief of his Church tax in 2007. In response, the German bishops’ conference issued a decree stating that those who have declared to a government registry office that they are no longer members of the Catholic Church will no longer be able to actively participate in Church life nor receive the Sacraments.  Period.

charitable and tax-exempt and guaranteed by the German constitution.

a tremendous amount of money in the German b i s h o p s ’ hands. The C a t h o l i c Church and the Lutheran C h u r c h combined are the second l a r g e s t employers in Germany, with the Catholic C h u r c h employing 650,000 people, plus another 600,000 volunteers. In 2011 (the latest date available) the Church spent 129 million Euro in its dioceses. 

‘City of God’ by Saint Augustine of Hippo

But that’s not all there is to the story. Closer inspection reveals a German Church which is extremely wealthy and completely unregulated. Digging a little deeper reveals some questionable activities, mostly having to do with profiting from pornography and abortion.

As of November 2013, however, it was still being reported that the Diocese of Augsburg, and the Archdioceses of Munich and Freiberg still owned parts of Weltbild.   On January 19, 2014, parts of the company filed for insolvency.***

Profiting from Abortion Also, unlike other public corporations like universities, the Church is not subject to any After German reunification in 1989, new state supervision of its finances.  laws came into effect stating that abortion would be legal within the first twelve weeks Catholic Church, Inc. of pregnancy, but only after the woman This all means received counseling on her decision.

“It is the glory of vain men never to yield to truth. Such vainglory is a deadly passion for those it dominates. It is a disease that, in spite of every effort, is never cured-not because the doctor is inept, but because the patient is incurable.”

Why are Germans a b a n d o n i n g the Faith? The proximate causes range from wellpublicized sex abuse scandals (touched off at a prominent Jesuit boys’ high school in Berlin) to a simple lack of faith. Largely un-catechized and uninterested, German Catholics would rather save the money, it seems.

After years of public complaints, articles in Der Spiegel and a rebuke from Pope Benedict,** the German bishops’ conference finally announced that they had sold the company. Many believed the bishops’ shares were liquidated in 2011. 

The Catholic Church provides many social services for the elderly, infirm, and youth through organizations such as Caritas (‘Catholic Charities’ in the USA). Through these channels, the bishops’ influence reaches far and wide within the German Catholic community of 24 million. (Though Follow the Euros only a tiny fraction -- 2.8 million -- actually Money is pivotal to this discussion. In 2013, attend weekly Mass.) the German Catholic Church collected a whopping 5.2 billion euro in church tax, The Publishing Business in addition to 100-200 million euros per While it might seem that the German Church year in State subsidies from a still-valid has more than enough revenue, apparently 1803 agreement. Other income was derived this has not been the case. Weltbild was from multiple sources, including Church the second largest bookselling company in ownership of no less than ten banks, several Germany in 2011, with annual sales of $2.1 breweries, a mineral water company, and billion.  Until that year, it was 100% owned multiple insurance companies.  by the German bishops’ conference. Unlike the beleaguered German taxpayer, In addition to a lucrative pornographic book the Church does not pay tax on Church publishing company that carried some 2,500 property. Nor does it pay corporate or titles, Weltbild also sold books promoting capital gains taxes.  Everything it does as a satanism, the occult, esotericism, and antipublic corporation in Germany is considered Christian atheist propaganda.   Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

Naturally, counseling would be wellcompensated, paid for by the German State. The Catholic Bishops promptly organized a counseling service, which for a decade received state moneys for issuing certificates which permitted women to have abortions. On January 26, 1998 Pope John Paul II asked the German bishops to withdraw from this lucrative side business. Cardinal Ratzinger, as prefect of the Congregation for the Faith, was given the task of carrying out the Pope’s instructions.  More than a year later, the German bishops finally responded, unanimously rejecting the Pope’s demand. On  November 20, 1999, JPII specifically instructed the German bishops in a letter that in the future pregnant women should no longer be issued any certificates by the counseling service of the German Bishops.  It wasn’t until March 8, 2002 – four years later -- that the German bishops finally removed themselves from this counseling business in all dioceses. **** The Root of All Evil Reviewing these facts, it is easy to conclude that the Bible is correct; the love of money may well be the root of all evil. Bearing this in mind, perhaps there is a bit more to the steady exodus of German Catholics from the Church than what the German media reports. For, in addition to the fact that Catholics are getting very little for their money, there are very serious ethical questions indeed about how it is being used by the German Church. Source information may be found here page 37

A GREAT, TALL MAN: The skull of Charles the Great is preserved in this reliquary in the Treasury of the great Cathedral built in his capital, today’s Aachen, Germany (Aix-La-Chapelle in French). From his remains, we know he was heavily built, sturdy, and of considerable stature. He had a round head, large and lively eyes, and a slightly larger nose than usual. His hair was prematurely white and he bore a characteristically bright and cheerful expression. He enjoyed good health. Charles the Great stood 1.84 meters (slightly more than 6 feet) making him a very tall person for his time.


Great German King Who Sleeps Until Christendom’s Hour of Need page 38

Photo: Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GFDL

WHO IS THAT KING? Poised on his charger, his hand raised in a warning or a salute -- this is Charlemagne, one of Christendom’s great heroes. A Frank -- forerunners of today’s Germans and French -- Charlemagne died 1200 years ago, in 814 AD. His name in Latin was Carolus Magnus. For the Germans, he is ‘Karl Der Grosse;’ ‘Charles the Great’ in English andCatholic. ‘Carlo Magno’ in Spanish. Inspiring. Intelligent. page 39

'CAROLUS PRINCEPS' Latin for 'Charles the Prince,' inlaid in marble in Aachen Cathedral. His father was the Frankish leader Pepin the Short, mayor of the palace under the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings. His grandfather was Charles Martel, aka ‘Charles the Hammer.’ (In Germany today, people still use ‘Der Hammer’ to describe a man they admire.)

CROWNED EMPEROR OF THE ROMANS BY POPE LEO III ON CHRISTMAS DAY in A.D. 800 and ruled until his death in January, 814 at the age of 71. He started the custom whereby Christmas Day became a traditional day of crowning Emperors and Kings. It took 32 years before Charlemagne completely conquered the Saxons from 772 to 804 AD. He also conquered the Bavarians, Slavs and Avars and obliged them to pay him tribute and also defeated and ruled the Lombards of Italy in 773 and northern part of Spain in 778 AD. page 40

A Catholic Past THE EMPIRE THAT CHARLEMAGNE built included almost all of western and central Europe. He presided over the cultural and legal revival of the West known as the Carolingian Renaissance. Modernday France and Germany emerged from Charlemagne’s empire, the former as West Francia and the latter as East Francia.

CHARLEMAGNE INVITED THE MONK ALCUIN OF YORK, ENGLAND to his capital at Aix-la-Chapelle (today Aachen, Germany) to set up the first Christian Cathedral School. Though he was illiterate, Charlemagne recognized the great power of education, and ordered bishops and abbots to set up schools for the training of monks and other clerics throughout the Empire. Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

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WORTH MORE THAN $100 MILLION, (top left) this coronation cross was made for Charlemagne and carried at every Coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor for almost a thousand years.
His warrior-king image was the inspiration for all subsequent empire builders in Europe during the Middle Ages. The word for “king” in several modern Slavic languages such as Krol in Polish and Kral in Czech are based upon the German name of Charlemagne, Karl. CATHEDRAL WINDOW AT CHARLEMAGNE’S TOMB (top right) He made Latin the standard written and spoken language in his huge empire of several languages and dialects, thus making it possible for Europeans to communicate across cultures. Charlemagne also played a key role in preserving much of the literary heritage of ancient Rome. CHARLEMAGNE’S FIRST TOMB (below) After a funeral Mass, he was buried the same day he died, in this stone sarcophagus. According to medieval legend, Charlemagne was said to have risen from the dead to fight in the Crusades.

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b o o k rev iew

A Young Person’s Review


by Mariella Hunt

hese days it’s difficult to find Young Adult (YA) literature that even mentions the living arrangements of most people – that is, in families. Popular YA novels often mention parents only in passing and in many, main characters don’t actually have parents—they’re orphaned, or runaways. This is a marketing mistake, because today’s youth is looking for books where the family matters. In this category, The Book Thief is a great choice. Hailed as a modern-day classic, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a force to be reckoned with. Set in Nazi Germany, it walks us down a place called Himmel ( “Heaven” ) Street. Death is a person for 500 pages, who relates the story of a girl named Liesel. Though it lacks a “proper” plot, the characters steal your heart at once. Liesel’s adopted Mama and Papa have endearing personalities. Hans Hubermann is a patient man who teaches Liesel to read her first book— one she stole called The Gravedigger’s Handbook. His wife Rosa has the mouth of a sailor and thick enough skin to overcome the hard times.

Rosa rocked back and forth, ever so gently. “Liesel,” she whispered, “come here.” She held the girl from behind, tightening her grip. She sang a song, but it was so quiet that Liesel could not make it out. The notes were born on her breath and they died at her lips.”(Page 374) All of the characters in this book are memorable. We have a shopkeeper who demands her customers say “heil, Hitler” when they enter. Liesel’s neighbor is a troublemaker named Rudy who has skill in stealing food. Then there’s the character of Death, our surprisingly human storyteller.

In trying times, evil can be easier to see than good. Death admits he’s scared of us—then notes the small, beautiful things people do to bring light to the darkest places.

History is handled masterfully in this novel, which was also adapted into a film. It’s gathered a strong fan base for a reason: Injustice and heartbreak haunt these characters—such as the The Book Thief deserves every bit of this praise. It will make you neighbor whose son died in battle, and the Jews marched through shed a tear, and smile because hope isn’t lost. Beautiful writing town to concentration camps. Even as hope appears to vanish, and vivid characters make it a story you won’t forget. Death sees kind gestures done in secret. Hope is restored in the act of a brave soul feeding emaciated Jews.

As her eyes scanned the paper, Liesel could see through the punched letter holes to the wooden table. Words like compulsory and duty were beaten into the page. Saliva was triggered. It was the urge to vomit. (Page 416) Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

Available for purchase at a special Regina discount at: use code REGINA14 at checkout

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T h e Yo u n g Who Spoke

TRUTH to POWER By Limjoco, MD pageTeresa 44


ne used his Faith as a shield in the face of brutal Gestapo interrogation; he did not talk. Another converted on his way to the guillotine. All were inspired by the heroic resistance of one Catholic bishop. Today, they would be regarded as very odd, indeed. What would modern Germans think of university students with strong Christian beliefs -- many sustained by a deep attachment to Catholicism -- defying the government? It is almost unheard of. In this look back at the heroic young Germans who died defying the Nazi terror, Teresa Limjoco reveals the truth about where their strength came from.

Photo: White Rose Movement Public Memorial - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat - Munich - Germany Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic. page 45 Photographer: Adam Jones, Ph.D./Wikimedia Commons Personal website:


the 1930s, they were young, middle class and well-educated. They discussed philosophy, sang in a Bach choir, enjoyed music, poetry, art, and books. They could easily have continued with such lives, but their consciences were awakened as they watched 1930’s Germany succumb to Nazi barbarism.

Their weapon? Leaflets. The first, in mid1942 incited Germans to passively resist the Nazis, whom they termed ‘an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct.’1

Moving beyond the passive ‘inner emigration’ most intellectuals resorted to, these University of Munich students formed the 'White Rose' ('Die Weisse Rose'), a resistance movement which In eight months, they distributed six leaflets. dared to speak truth to power. Their bravery would be short-lived, however; the Scholls and Probst were soon arrested. The It would cost them their lives. White Rose was mercilessly crushed.

Speaking Truth to Power

Enthusiastic Hitler Youth members as teens, siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl grew disillusioned when the anti-Jewish hooliganism of Kristallnacht in 1938 revealed the ugly, ruthless face of Nazism. Disillusion would turn to outrage as they learned of ever-escalating heinous Nazi attacks on defenseless Jews.

Domkapitular Gustav Albers († 1957)

In 1941, Hans heard of a homily preached by von Galen, the Roman Catholic bishop of Munster, who bravely denounced Nazi euthanasia of the disabled and mentally ill. In this, Hans - a medical student who had served as a medic on the Eastern front found his inspiration.

With medical students Christel Probst and Willi Graf, and their friend Alexander Schmorell, Hans formed the ‘White Rose’, one of the only groups that ever dared to voice opposition in Hitler’s Germany. His sister Sophie and Professor Kurt Huber joined them.

page 46

Their sixth and last leaflet was sent out between February 16 and 18, 1943, an especially dangerous time. After the disastrous defeat of the Wehrmacht in Stalingrad, Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels gave a 'scorchedearth' speech on February 18 at the Sportpalast that called for ‘total war’. (Coincidentally, Sophie’s correspondent-boyfriend, Lt. Fritz Hartnagel, was assigned to Stalingrad). As glimpses of their vulnerability surfaced, the Nazis ramped up their brutality. More death sentences were meted out to dissidents. Yet the need to oppose such a malevolent entity trumped fear. Hans and Sophie knew the risk of their fateful decision to distribute those leaflets in the university. They were quickly reported. The Nazis prosecuted and executed the three on

A Catholic Past February 22, 1943 with unusual swiftness and stealth, fearing they would become martyrs. Their sentences would serve as an example. After a sham 'trial', they were condemned to death by guillotine for 'high treason' by Hitler's 'hanging judge,’ Roland Freisler.

Christel’s Story

Like many Germans today, 'Christel' Probst grew up with no religion. As a young adult, however, he’d felt a closeness to the Catholic Church. News of the Nazi euthanasia program and persecution of the Jews outraged him. As he wrote his sister Angelika, ‘ was not given What They Believed to any human being, under any circumstance, to make judgments that are reserved to God alone. While their incredible courage has made them ... Every individual’s life is priceless. We are all latter-day film heroes, most people today have no idea that the extraordinary acts of the Scholls, dear to God.’3 Christel Probst, and Willi Graf were grounded in Evidence linking Christel to a draft for the a firm belief in God.  Their fourth leaflet boldly seventh leaflet led to his arrest by the Nazis.  called Hitler the Anti-Christ, and declared that He asked to be received into the Roman ‘[o]nly religion can reawaken Europe, establish the rights of the peoples, and install Christianity Catholic Church on the day he was to die. He was baptized and received First Communion, in new splendor visibly on earth in its office as after which he said, ‘Now my death will be easy guarantor of peace.’1, 2, 6 and joyful’.3  He left behind a wife, two young children, and a newborn baby. The Scholls’ mother, Magdalena, was a Lutheran deaconess who taught her children the Bible.  Her son Hans also found guidance in Catholic works such as St Augustine’s Confessions and Paul Claudel’s writings.3, 6  (St Augustine’s City of God (Civitas Dei) would even find mention in the third leaflet. 2) Sophie kept a well-worn copy of Confessions in the concentration camp. One line in particular resonated with her: ‘Thou hast created for us Thyself, and our heart cannot be quieted till it find repose in Thee.‘ 2

Willi’s Story

German historians Jakob Knab and Guenther Biemer believe today that Cardinal John Henry Newman’s writings influenced Hans and Sophie’s moral, spiritual, and intellectual formation  --  including the Christian understanding of conscience. 2 

As a Roman Catholic, Willi Graf felt deeply the Nazi persecution of his Church. While serving as a medic during the invasion of Poland and Professor Carl Muth had introduced them to St Russia, Willi was horrified by the atrocities Augustine's works, and also to Cardinal Newman's committed by the Wehrmacht there. He could work through his friend, Theodor Haecker. not but reject a system that went against his Haecker was a Catholic convert who had translated deepest beliefs. He would help write the leaflets, Newman's writings into German. ' [C]onscience,' but it was July 1943 when the Gestapo finally Newman wrote, 'is the voice of God....’5  Sophie caught up with him. apparently valued Newman's ideas enough to share them with Fritz Hartnagel, giving him two volumes He was executed in October following Gestapo of the Cardinal’s sermons in 1942. 2, 4, 7 efforts to extract more information from him.

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

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His Faith gave him strength to withstand brutal interrogations without compromising his friends. 2 On his last day, he wrote to his family, ‘On this day I’m leaving this life and entering eternity. ... strength and comfort you’ll find with God and that is what I am praying for till the last moment ... Hold each other and stand together with love and trust.... God’s blessing on us, in Him we are and we live ...’.6

Sophie Calmly Faces Nazi Torture and Death All who witnessed their last days were struck by their ‘Seelenkraft,' their 'strength of soul.’3 Sophie’s calm fortitude so impressed her interrogator, Robert Mohr, that he actually offered her a way out: that she admit to having misunderstood what National Socialism meant and must regret what she did. “Not at all,” Sophie defied him. “It is not I, but you, Herr Mohr, who have the wrong Weltanschauung ('world view'). I would do the same again.”3

Photo: Paul Simpson

Memorial to the White Rose Movement - Munich References 1 Scholl, Inge. The White Rose: Munich, 19421943. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1983. 
[NOTE: Inge Scholl was the sister of Hans and Sophie. The book was originally written in 1970, and a new Introduction by Dorothee Soelle is included in the 1983 edition.]
 2 McDonough, Frank. Sophie Scholl: The Real Story of the Woman Who Defied Hitler, Stroud, Gloucestershire: History Press, 2009.

The executioner himself, a veteran of thousands *Note 13 in Chapter Three mentions Jakob Knab’s of such tasks, said that he had never seen anyone findings on the Cardinal Newman influence. meet her fate so calmly as Sophie Scholl did. She was 21 years old. [NOTE: The latest, with a few additional tidbits that have not been mentioned in previous publications. ]

Not ideology, but Faith sustained them Seventy years after their deaths, the exceptional moral courage of these young people remains astounding. It was not a political agenda nor an ideology but basic human decency and lifeaffirming beliefs based on strong religious convictions that inspired and sustained the White Rose martyrs. Hans was 24, Sophie was 21, Christel was 23, and Willi was 25 years old when their brave young lives were extinguished.

Would that their heroism live on to inspire more bravery in us all. page 48

3 Hanser, Richard. A Noble Treason: The Story of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Revolt Against Hitler. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1979. 
[NOTE: Excellently written, hard to put down.] 4 Cardinal John Henry Newman and the Scholls 
 5 Quotation from Cardinal Newman. asp#Conscience

 6 Dumbach, Annete and Newborn, Jud. Sophie Scholl and the White Rose. Oxford, England: Oneworld, 2006.
[NOTE: Another fine and credible source.]

 7 Excerpts from Fritz Harnagel’s letters to Sophie Scholl.


he history of the Catholic Church has taught us that real renewal movements start small and they come from the ground up. The latest example comes to us from St. Louis, where Veils By Lily, an enterprise producing traditional Catholic veils is inspiring a deeper love for the Holy Eucharist and a strengthening of family life.

Veils by Lily

Mantilla-Style Chapel Veils

Lily Beck Wilson is a cradle Catholic who had a “reversion” experience five years ago. “I was lukewarm…” she admitted. “I received the Eucharist as if it were something trivial.” During her reversion, Lily studied Catholic doctrine on Christ’s Real Presence. “My husband is Protestant, and I had to think about what I believed and why”, she recalled. “I was blown away by John Chapter 6—how literal and forceful Jesus was.” The truth of the Real Presence was overwhelming to Lily—“the God of the universe wants to be personally united to us—to me.” Lily added that in a world where all of us long to be loved, it is in the Holy Eucharist that Jesus Christ Himself wants to give us all that love and more. Lily wanted to acknowledge Our Lord’s love—“to shout it from the rooftops”, as she put it. The veil became her way of metaphorically doing just that. It wasn’t easy—there were few, if any, at her parish who wore the veil, and wearing one had the disadvantage of bringing unwanted attention. When Lily saw a beautiful veil and thought “I could wear that”, the inspiration for her business took hold. What if the veil could be made truly beautiful—a garment whose physical beauty would be a small reflection of the Divine Beauty

that it seeks to honor and proclaim? Maybe more women would feel as Lily did and think “I could wear that.” She put up a website and started to sell her own homemade veils. The business came in quickly, but there were challenges, including one pretty big hurdle before she ever went public-Lily didn’t know how to sew. But she taught herself to use a sewing machine and the orders came in fast enough that it replaced her part-time job. Giving up the part-time job led to another fruit of her venture and it was more time near her husband and what was then three children. When she worked part-time she was starting work as her husband was coming home. “Family life was nonexistent” she said. Now they could eat dinner as a family and rest on Sunday. Those good fruits extended to the families of others. Business increased to the point where Lily hired a seamstress and a shipping assistant, who each work part-time, along with several freelancers who cut veils. “It’s flexible work with flexible schedules, and we ask everyone not to work on Sunday,” Lily told Regina. “If I need something on Tuesday, it can wait until Wednesday if it means taking Sunday off. Family comes first.” Lily’s family-first policy is a demonstration of a truly Catholic business, one that is Catholic at its soul, not just its exterior, and something that can be emulated whether one sells veils or widgets. Lily’s husband is now in the RCIA program and preparing to enter the Church at Easter Vigil, and the couple had two additional children since the starting of the business. It was those births that showed her the need to hire help. When she needed office space to store the lace, she found it in the same building as Liguori Publications. The office has been blessed by a priest from The Institute of Christ The King. The building has a chapel, with the Blessed Sacrament. It seems quite appropriate for a venture encouraging Catholic women to take their faith in the Real Presence and shout it from the rooftops. Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic. Lily with Seamstress Diane and Baby Rose

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The Protagonist I

f you were the Devil, and you wanted to disrupt a European Catholic church which was growing and strong, spreading its wings after disastrous decades of unspeakable war, what would you do?

I speak of the time of the 1950s. If you were the Devil, how would you go about this? (I am assuming here for a moment that you are so unenlightened so as to believe that the Prince of Lies exists, of course.) Well, since you are only a spirit, you need a human being to do your work, so I shall call him the Protagonist. Someone reliable, someone whose fortunes you could improve over the course of his life. Someone young, highly influencible, someone who was hungry for fame and riches, underneath a pious exterior. The Protagonist would have to have a pious exterior of course because he would have to be a member of the Church. And he could not be identified with any of the clearly Satanic forces that you had so successfully unleashed in the 20th century. Not a Marxist. Not a Communist. Not a Nazi. Someone wholly reasonable. Someone who cared about the poor, the environment and the marginalized. Of course you would have to give him the resources he needed to spread the destruction far and wide. Money. Useful idiots. These things could be used to take advantage of the spectacular increases in technology and communications that would ensue in the wake of World War II. And of course very little oversight would be needed, in order to give him free rein. Of course, your Protagonist would have to be eminently corruptible. A weakness for luxuries perhaps? Or sins of Now, it would be important to shield the Protagonist the flesh? from having to spend all of his time tediously communicating your destructive messages. This work can be done by mouthpieces. Professors of theology, for And he would get his appetites satisfied. Oh yes, you example, whose daily bread is dependent on the good would see to that. will of the Protagonist. They can be trusted to work assiduously for the intellectual undermining of the The Protagonist’s financial base would have to be Church and her position – all from the safety of their assured. You couldn’t have him too distracted with jobs inside the Church. They can demand that Rome money problems. A good move would be to tie his income to a growing concern. And his success or failure dismantle her morals, her catechism. They can disdain the queries from the faithful as ‘uninformed’ and/or in his ostensible ‘job’ should not be tied to his income. ‘uneducated.’ That should be something quite separate. The money needs to flow in regardless of whether he is doing his ‘job.’ page 50

A Catholic Past They will for sure be applauded by the secular media. They will be heroes. No, the Protagonist would have to be deployed in using his natural gifts, like his talent for management. He will naturally see that the Church’s ‘customers’ – ie the faithful – are nothing but a nuisance. The fewer of them to take up his time, the better. So, his priests must be trained to believe that the nonsense emanating from the theologians was actually their religion.

Finally, the killer sin. Pride. He must be a proud man. And he must link his personal pride deeply with your satanic cause. He must believe that what he is doing is furthering the cause of Christ on earth. Until it is too late, of course. That’s when you will grant him the full view – the supreme vision—so he can see the destruction he has been the agent of, the countless souls lost. But you will make sure he will see this only in his last, tortured hours on this earth, maybe even in his last breath.

Which is to say no theology at all. The old, Scholastic ‘theology’ must be ridiculed and derided. By then it will be much too late, and he will only The ‘Sacraments’ must be administered grudgingly, see the devils, your minions, swarming around and in their most diminished form. him. Exactly like the folktales about the death of one of your other great European success stories, Napoleon Bonaparte. Of course of all this will discourage vocations, which is a delightful prospect. The few faithful left can be served by imported priests from India and Of course, once he dies, he will leave behind Africa, grateful for the pittance they are paid to be precisely the kind of Church which the people sent back to their desperately poor dioceses. Barely will hate most. Swollen with riches. Rife with conversant in the language, they will make no corruption. Riddled with proud clerics grasping for trouble. the reins from the dead Protagonist’s hands. The Protagonist will be in a position to dispense gifts and favors to his enormous native workforce, of course. This will minimize the occasions when he will have to use his primary talent for bullying. Of course, when the occasion merits it, he will not hesitate to bully, Mafia-style. It will be salutary for his henchmen to see a victim every once in a while. Perhaps a Bishop from a wealthy family, dismembered and shamed before the entire nation?

Perfect for secularization. Again. It would be important to give the Protagonist cover, of course, from criticism. Probably best to locate him in a society where people have for centuries been trained not to resist the will of great and powerful princes. Someplace like Germany, perhaps?

But I digress.

Inspiring. page 51 Intelligent. Catholic. page 51

by Beverly De Soto

Success in the City

FSSP’s Growing Congregation in Cologne

religion plays virtually no role in the lives of most inhabitants. Like most German cities, families are small, splintered or failing to form at all in Cologne. Unlike New York, Paris and London, however, which enjoy enthusiastically-supported venues he Fraternity’s Maria Hilf (“Mary, for the Traditional Latin Mass, Cologne did not Helper”) parish is located in an Cologne have a church dedicated to the the TLM until urban neighborhood rebuilt after the 2004. devastating bombing of World War II. The church building has a stripped-down facade Intriguingly, with the support of Una Voce, and 1950s modernistic stained glass windows. the Fraternity has been able to build a growing Only in recent years have confessionals have been congregation in the last ten years. Dr. Johann von Behr of Una Voce Cologne agreed to talk with added. Regina Magazine about their experience there. Where religion plays virtually no role “From our first year in Maria Hilf, about 10 years Although Cologne is the largest Catholic diocese, ago, we have found a numerous and still growing the success of Maria Hilf must be understood congregation, especially at our Sunday Masses,” in the context of a modern German city where said Dr Von Behr.  “Since it was the decision of

Since the foundation of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) in the Fall of 1988 in Germany, the Fraternity has established numerous houses around the world. With an average age of 38 among its more than 400 priests, this thriving Fraternity is now active in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy,  México, Netherlands,  Nigeria, Austria,  Poland,  Switzerland and the USA.


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A Catholic Future our archbishop, Joachim Cardinal Meisner, to give us this church with a renting contract of at least 25 years, we did not encounter much resistance from our neighbors.” Ten years of significant growth Maria Hilf has experienced significant growth since 2004. “When we started, our faithful were perhaps 50 parishioners every Sunday, with of course much less during the week,” Dr Von Behr estimates. “Today, we normally have least twice that at each Mass.”  Like many Latin Mass parishes,  a dedicated music program has been key to this growth. “At present we are happy to have three different Gregorian scholas and choirs singing regularly the liturgy on all Sundays and feasts,” said Dr. Von Behr. “One of them is the well-known Schola Cantorum Coloniensis with about 20 singers, founded more than 30 years ago at the Musicological Institute of the Cologne University. The organ music and singing of all liturgical services is conducted by three renowned professional musicians.” Parish families are keen to have their sons serve as altar servers. “We have about 6 to 8 altar servers each Sunday,  children between the ages of about eight to fifteen Father Miguel Stegmaier, FSSP outside Maria Hilf in Cologne, Germany. years. They are all very enthusiastic and come regularly  to assist at the Sunday Masses. Beside them we have another array of four to six adults who Frequent confessions and religious vocations are also able to do the altar service.” The newly-built confessionals at Maria Hilf stand out Traveling for the Mass against the manifest general tendency of Catholics in Cologne has a substantial international community, Germany to avoid this Sacrament. but “the parishioners of our church are nearly “The Extraordinary Form of the Mass and Confession exclusively Germans, many of them inhabitants belong very close together,” Dr. Von Behr explains. of Cologne, but also many who come from outside “So we have many opportunities for Confession Cologne. For a couple of years we had a French family in our church, which are very well attended. Our that came every Sunday, with two children who also parishioners and others often take advantage of the helped as altar servers.” Sacrament.” Again, like most Latin Mass parishes, the pattern of Finally, Maria Hilf seems to be following a similar growth includes attracting young families. pattern for most TLM parishes of producing religious “There are more and more young people and young vocations. families that come to Maria Hilf,” according to Dr. “Personally, I know of one vocation in our parish Von Behr, “We presume that the word about the of a young man who entered into a traditional Extraordinary Form of the holy Mass is getting monastery,” Dr. Von Behr said. “But there may have around between them after they seem to have turned been more vocations which I am unaware away from the ordinary form.” of.” Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

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Benedicamus Domino A Short Story

by Beverly De Soto

Still, I didn’t become despondent until I learned about his new, Norwegian wife, and the child she was carrying. Andreas had never even spoken of marriage. I had always taken it for granted that we would be together wholly of our own choosing. Marriage seemed unnecessary, really.

his was outrageous enough, but it was the later conversation with my 37-year old sister that put me over the edge. She had had way too much to drink.

Our half-brother is ten years younger than me, an East German truck driver, like his father before him. And like his dad, he is blunt-spoken and hardworking. My mother is still living with his dad, though I know it’s just because she dreads being alone. He is not at all what she, a retired teacher, would have expected for herself. As for me, I respect both my step-father and my half-brother, but we do not agree on many things.

All of this sent me to Dr. Becker’s office, where I blubbered for hours into the tissues she had discretely placed near the low-slung, Bauhaus-style leather chair I occupied once a week. She was kind, but she didn’t understand why I could not accept any of these things. Even though I am a trained physician, fully cognizant of how modern people live, I still could not help but wishing for, dreaming of, something better.

“The most important thing is not to end up like my mother,” I was telling my therapist Dr Becker, who nodded at me in a slightly disapproving way. She disapproved, I knew, because And now he was beginning a brave new it is not healthy for a woman to life. And I was alone. I felt so old. not identify with her mother. Also, because there is nothing so wrong with my mother; she is like every other woman of her generation in Germany. They are called ‘the 68-ers,’ the university students of 1968 who rebelled against the Establishment and ushered in the modern Germany, leader of Europe. Here in Mittel Europa, at the beginning of the 21st century, the 68ers reign supreme. I am seeing a therapist because, at age 32 and a successful gynecologist, I am despondent. You see, my partner Andreas has left me. We had been together since university, in the early, wonderful, warm and giddy days when we brought our sweet Otto home. He was a lovely puppy; our child, really. When he died of old age twelve years later, our grief spilled over in a black pool, flooding our bedroom and the boredom of our life together. It was not long afterwards that Andreas told me that he had accepted another position, a significant promotion at the Uniklinik in Hamburg, 500 kilometers from the university town where we have lived together since our student days. He said that it would make no difference to our relationship, and that the promotion was too good to pass up.

“You think because I’m a teacher, that I’m pretty boring, don’t you?” she asked me, in a drunken, challenging sort of way. Everyone else had gone to sleep. Sabina lives in Wiesbaden; she has a good position, an excellent salary and no man since her last relationship My family was not very much help in disintegrated. “Well, I think you might all of this. My mother shrugged, tossed be a little surprised at how much fun I her long gray hair and tried to look do manage to have.” sympathetic. She does not hold men to very high standards. She has had Before I could stop her, it all came out. too much experience. My father was How she’s ‘registered’ with an online one of her serial relationships; growing website that sets her up with ‘hot’ dates. up, I saw him twice a year when her It’s all perfectly proper, she assured me. current lover would drive me and my The men are all attractive, and she never sister Sabine to Munich for a brief visit. has to do anything against her will. Though a brilliant mathematician, he was a pot-head, pure and simple -- and “I’ve come to understand that I have a as soon as he could he buggered off very strong sex drive,” she told me in for a decrepit farmhouse in Portugal, a sly, confidential whisper that made where he lives now, painting abstracts my skin crawl. “It’s probably inherited, and smoking weed. don’t you agree?”

“You’re like all the other German women,” Stefan said, quaffing his Bitburger beer. It was Christmas Eve, at our parents’ apartment. “You think you’re too good for German men. That’s why German I have known him too long to be deceived men are marrying foreigners. All of you by his lying. He gradually eased himself women have no real interest in having a out of my life, and I let him go reluctantly, family. Feminism has ruined you.” feeling helpless all the while.

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“So what is it that will make you happy, do you think?” Dr Becker asked. “You are not like your mother, or your siblings. You have worked hard through medical school. You are a professional, used to setting goals. Where do you want to be in five years? What do you envision your life to be like?”

A Catholic Future The single answer that came immediately to my mind was embarrassing in its directness: I wanted children. I wanted to be a mother. What’s more, I wanted to be successful in a way that my mother never has been. I want a forever husband. I want a forever family.Where did I get such ideas? Though she found my ideas distasteful and unbelievably naive, Doctor Becker is a good therapist, and a practical woman. “Some of that is under your control. So, what is the problem, then?”

hunched against the early spring wind. “Most of them are over 35 and not married. Why should I wait that long?”

Andreas’s desertion, had made Dr. Becker’s brisk suggestion that I simply go to the sperm bank very attractive.

I could talk to Jennifer that way because we are friends. I say this with all due respect to every European who thinks that Americans are incorrigibly shallow, and incapable of true friendship. When Andreas moved out of the apartment, I was virtually immobile with grief for days. Jennifer patiently stayed by me, sleeping on my couch and cooking me simple meals, talking to me endlessly about her God, and how He would help me if I would just ask.

“Not a good idea. Look at these women,” Jennifer responded with emotion. “I see them in my practice, all grim and stressed out. Manless, or between lovers. Their kids alternately cling to them or berate them, depending on whether their current man is in the picture or not. I am telling you, this is not a good idea. This whole way of life – the contraception, the abortions, the artificial inseminations…it is all playing God. Women deserve better than that. You deserve better than that.”

The problem, of course, is that I have “You’re like all the other no man. And German women,” Stefan I know that finding a man to said, quaffing his Bitburger marry and have beer. It was Christmas Eve, children with is at our parents’ apartment. pretty nearly an “You think you’re too good impossible goal for German men. That’s these days in Germany. But why German men are that is not what marrying foreigners. All of Dr. Becker was you women have no real referring to.

interest in having a family. “Don’t do it,” Feminism has ruined you.” said Jennifer, for the umpteenth time. She is an American, a pediatrician who trained at Mainz. Like me, she is youngish and single. Unlike me, she is religious. “You do not need to live like these people. It is a dead end street. There is a better way to live. There is hope.” “Probably half the German women in our maternity ward are pregnant by artificial insemination,” I replied, trying to sound rational as we walked through town,

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

While I appreciated the sentiment, it fell on deaf ears. Perhaps it is because I do not come from a religious family. My mother’s idea of religion lies somewhere between Celtic earth goddesses and the Tarot. My siblings and I acquired good German skepticism about these things in our education; in this, we are like most Europeans. To be perfectly honest, talk of religion makes me uncomfortable. And my Christmas experience, coming so soon after

The tears suddenly sprung to my eyes, unbidden. I swallowed, hard. I really don’t understand why, but suddenly all I could think of was the abortions. Not even the panicked young girls coming into our clinic, sometimes accompanied by their grim-faced mothers. (Almost never by their boyfriends, o f course.) No, w h a t I was thinking of w a s the selective abortions, when too many babies are conceived by artificial insemination. And one – or more – must be aborted. When she arrived t h r e e years ago, Jennifer made a name for

herself in the clinic by going on record in a very public way against this practice. After that, no one at the clinic trusted her; she was seen as a religious fanatic. She became marginalized, almost invisible in the clinic. Such marginalization would have almost killed a German in her professional shoes, but Jennifer is an American. “I have lots of friends,” she shrugged, grinning at me disarmingly. “I really don’t need to be popular with people at this clinic.” Something about her spirit made me like her, and we became friends - which is how I wound up sobbing in the back of an 18th century chapel in an old folks’ home that evening. Tears rolling down my face, I followed numbly as Jennifer led the short way to the Catholic chapel where she attends the Latin Mass every night, after work. She had invited me before, telling me about the group of young

Catholics that followed the Latin Mass, but as I said, I am not a religious person. (To be honest, I’d pictured some intolerable nerds following a ghoulish priest -though of course I wouldn’t tell her that.)

I listened, transported, as “Did you like it?” the priest the centuries fell away. said, a pleased grin lighting up his face. “Was it your first I was in a trance when the time, then?” Mass ended. All I wanted to do was stay there, “Y-yes,” I admitted. “I-I had and breathe the incense- no idea…” scented air. Jennifer stood up, though, as the priest and “…I’ve been trying to bring However, when I dried my two of the men approached her here, Father,” Jennifer tears, I found this old chapel us, smiling. said, grinning. to be oddly comforting. It was very quiet. Aside from the I saw immediately that one “But she is no doubt a very spring evening light filtering of the singers was enamored busy person at the clinic, through the stained glass of her. Jennifer returned no?” said the priest, still windows, a single, stout his admiring glance with a smiling. beeswax candle glowed radiant smile and introduced before a bank of radiant him as ‘Josef;’ he shook my “I-I am,” I faltered, not sure pink hydrangeas adorning hand earnestly. Then she of what to say. a Pieta of surprising beauty presented me to the priest, and power. who welcomed me. The “Perhaps you will join us for other singer stood quietly supper?” he said cordially.  Soon, the door opened and a by. youngish priest in a cassock strode in, followed by three “And this is Christoph,” “N-now?” I said, somewhat men. The priest nodded at whispered Jennifer, and we nonplussed. us with a smile, and vanished shook hands. He was a tall, into an anteroom with one calm man with aristocratic “Yes, now,” said Christoph, of the men. The other two bearing. I suddenly thought with a teasing smile. I liked grinned at us wordlessly, of my tear-stained cheeks, his dark eyes. “Your Jennifer and took up their places at and wished I had a lipstick. has taught us her casual American ways. Nowadays the rear of the chapel. we often will simply go and eat something together, after Mass.”

A few minutes later, a golden bell rang. The priest and altar server emerged. The small group of worshipers who had quietly assembled got to their feet. As the evening light slowly died, the two men lifted their voices in an ancient Gregorian chant. page 56

laughter wine.’”




“’At least I’ve always found it so…’” continued Josef, his arm around Jennifer. “’…Benedicamus domino,’” finished Father, smiling at me. The group laughed. “W-what is this?” I asked, amused but perplexed. “A very clever Catholic Englishman wrote that,” Jennifer explained, grinning. “A man named Hilaire Belloc.” “A mere Englishman,” said Josef teasingly, winking at Jennifer. “A genius!” exclaimed Father, laughing. As we walked together through the old streets, a strange, giddy feeling came over me. I looked up at the tall, grave Christoph walking beside me and returned his smile.

“And a glass of wine is I began to feel younger, for mandatory,” said Josef, some reason. laughing. “Shall we go?” Lighter than air, actually. As we filed out of the empty church, I watched as each of my companions genuflected briefly, then crossed themselves, eyes on the altar. Once outside, we shivered in the cold night “So very pleased to meet air. you,” he said, in the correct manner that Germans “’Wherever the Catholic sun always know indicates good doth shine…’” Jennifer said, family background. But his in English. smile was genuine, and his grip was warm. Christoph took up the “This was beautiful,” I said refrain, smiling to the priest, sotto voce and broadly. “’… somewhat abashed. there’s always

War of the Vendée (2011) is one of the most arresting films I’ve seen in quite a while. Everyone knows about the ten month long Reign of Terror in Paris instigated by the Jacobins, led by Robespierre and Marat. But The War of the Vendée is a mystery, says Director Jim Morlino in his introductory commentary. It isn’t even taught in French schools! The French historian Reynald Secher has called the systematic neglect, the cover-up, indeed the virtual black-out of this war, which lasted for more than five years between 1793 and 1799, a “memoricide.” Another critic has called it “the first ideological genocide.” This civil war broke out in the southwest region of France under the leadership of Catholic peasants who quite simply had had enough of the anti-Catholic policies of the new Republic in Paris. Engaging the help of local royalist nobility, they rose up, formed an army, and within several months had driven all Republican forces from the region. The film ends, though, as the Republic begins its return in force.

Though the whole story is not portrayed, it is certainly forecast. The end for the Vendéan rebels was the almost total destruction of everything: land, livestock, homes, villages, men, women and children. The end for France as a whole, on the other hand, was full restoration of religious liberty under Napoleon. As one of the characters, Jacques Cathelineau, the peasant who became the Vendéan General, says to another real life hero Henri de La Rochejaquelin, “When faith is discarded, Henri, those who rely on reason alone for justice will stop at nothing to achieve their ends.”

I must admit that for the first several minutes of the film I wasn’t sure what I was watching. You see, every single member of the cast is a child. No one is older than their teens, even the lead actors and actresses. Little children are the extras: soldiers, rebels, townspeople. At first the viewer wonders, and then is charmed, and then becomes involved in a well told and important story, a tragic story about the brutal suppression of Freedom and Truth by ideology.

by Peter Gallaher

And that is what the issue is, really. The Vendée cannot be allowed to exist because the people there do not recognize the State as the source of Truth, nor do they believe their freedom is a gift from the state. The fact that mere children are before you on the screen never disappears from consciousness, but somehow their very presence makes the story they tell even more compelling, more affecting and effective. There are two scenes near the end of the film which particularly illustrate this. One takes place just before a decisive battle showing the rebel soldiers, children all, dressing for war in exact sync with their priest as he vests to celebrate the Holy Mass before their final fight. The other depicts the martyrdom of a group of Carmelite nuns who offer themselves as a sacrifice for peace, sixteen pure new martyrs joining several hundred thousand earlier Vendéan ones. “The War of the Vendée” was awarded the 2012 prize for the Best Film for Young Audiences at the Mirabile Dictu International Catholic Film Festival in Rome. Tenderly and with great restraint Navis Pictures has crafted, in this picture, a film anyone of any age can

This is a special advertisement section of Regina Magazine paid for by: Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

profitably watch, but especially in the homeschool, especially in the home-church. As the Vendéan hero Cathelineau proclaims in another place in the film, the enemies we fight against, as Catholics, are ancient, and they keep returning in new forms, but the truly faithful are forever young and thus we triumph.

REGINA readers can save an additional 14% at The Christian Book Corner in 2014 by using promotional code REGINA14 at checkout! page 57

Where do I begin? How is it that I ‘m surrounded by all these men who do not talk to each other? Instead, they listen attentively to a man with a strong French accent who lectures us on primary responsibility and the basis of human life.


am a German expatriate living in California, a lay Catholic who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s -- ‘Generation X,’ I suspect  -- and I have never heard of these things.

There’s something in your heart of hearts that screams that you’re doing something fundamentally wrong with your life. It seems like it is human nature. Theologians would call this the “Moral Law.”

California Dreamin’

The Spiritual Exercises of an Expatriate German

Sin. Every morning you wake up with the feeling.   It was not there before in your life and now it troubles you every day. Many people in Germany or indeed all over the western world are perhaps not even aware of this damage – the small and large scratches on your once so-pure soul. We do not talk about sin in the Western world. Sin is medieval. Sin is in the past. Sin cannot harm us; we know everything -- science and vague feelings keep our lives in balance and so can explain everything and make life bearable. page 58

Really? I think many have lost both their inner harmony and their awareness of their transgressions -- both given to us by God. These feelings can be ‘worked out’ in so many ways today. You can start drinking, go to a psychologist, fitnesstrain like crazy or just go shopping. I think that many who still believe in God today think that He is a God of great love, and that they’ll ‘be fine’ with God. They think that their lives are not bad – they keep more or less to the law - and that at the end of their lives God will be waiting for them in heaven and welcome them into His Heavenly spa.

What is ‘Sin’?

First, it’s a small discomfort that you can still easily ignore, like a spider’s web that you simply wipe away. But it always comes back, this discomfort and it is growing every day, until you finally realize that what is bothering you is not a discomfort but, ‘sin.’

Here in California, we have the opportunity simply to change our religion until we arrive at the one that says “Do not worry, everything is good.”

by Alexander Niessen | photo by Harry Stevens

But these people probably will have difficulties with the assumption that everything will be OK. They are grounding their hope in the faith that this God of great love will say, “Well, I accept that things did not work out so good with you; but anyway, that was reasonably good.”

We moderns have a motto: Everything is Possible. Just carry on everything as usual. Only do not be disturbing, it is But if God is pure love, I do not think that there is ‘reasonably’ a chance for us better for you and your fellow man. to be in His presence and not connect 100 % with him and emulate His infinite Difficulties on the Way to the love. Can we ever reach this goal? I Heavenly Spa would say “no” simply because we are human -- but we can try to aim as close But how should I deal with my own as possible. guilt? Where should I look for help? My wife?  My friends from football at my Perhaps a driving metaphor will work favorite pub? Maybe I should just buy a for both Germans and Californians, who glass pyramid or get a tattoo. Maybe that love their cars. If you drive away from would help restore my inner harmony. the light, you cannot see the dirt on the

A Catholic Future windshield. Only when you drive towards the light is it very After each three-hour class, we returned to our wooded obvious that you have accumulated a lot of dirt on your cabins. Mine, which was wonderfully situated in the forest, was called ‘Cecilia,’ for the Saint of Music. Here, I began glass. with a prayer and then reflected undisturbed about what I’d At this point in a person’s life, everyone must determine learned. for himself. It may be earlier for some; later for others. For some, it may never happen. Fortunately, I was brought up After 25 minutes, there is a bell announcing the beginning Catholic. By the grace of my parents, I was baptized into the of the next session. After the second meeting, the day is then interrupted for a silent lunch and then we continue with the One, Holy, Roman Catholic Church. sessions three and four in the afternoon. When the time came where I could no longer live under this burden of guilt, I had to put my whole conduct in question. After dinner, there was Mass. All Masses are in Latin and I soon discovered that I was far away from my so-beautiful, so bring Christians to respect the Sacrifice of Christ far original baptismal purity.  So I decided to align my life more than the normal Mass. A gorgeous liturgy which has anew. I never left the Church, though I was a typical “gray survived, luckily for all of us. Catholic.” But now I felt the need to change my life. So the days go by fast and each day is divided into specific The Spiritual Exercises of a 16th Century Basque aspects of life and work of Jesus. Saint On the first day, I found myself setting myself apart from The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius Loyola have since my personal sin and its consequence - namely hell for my the 16th century brought peace and healing to generations soul. But here there is not the slightest impression that of Catholics. I set out to search for them as all moderns everything is OK. would – on the Internet. By American standards, the place was not so far away. For Europeans the ride was certainly On the second day, we covered the imitation of Christ and very long, as was my own way back to Christ. intimate knowledge of how God is working through Jesus. On the third day, the saving grace of God, through the death When I saw the house for the first time, I felt very of Jesus on the cross for all sinners who believe in Him. On uncomfortable. It was early in the morning, gray and rain- the fourth day, we had contemplation on the joyful mysteries driven. A big house, a little run down. I sat there in the rain of Jesus in life. On day five, we followed up on the Apostles on the large gravel parking lot surrounded by wooded hills. after they went out into the world to spread the Good News. Fog lay over the whole area and I felt like I was in a Stephen King book. On all days, the priests used concrete examples. How would you behave – would you even sit with Jesus at the table of Should I really go inside and introduce myself? I still have the Last Supper? What would you do if you could be with time to say goodbye to the whole project. But I am by nature Jesus before his arrest in the Garden? one of those people who once I have begun, I work very hard and perform to an end. So I walked into in the house. Crying in the Confessional A nice older nun has greeted me warmly. She then asked if this was my first Ignatian Exercise; it was. So we went over the rules: no talking during the whole retreat, no cell phone and no computer. One can only talk with the priest during the Exercises. Let the Holy Spirit work in you.

On the third day was the time of confession. The priest whom I liked the most heard my confession. Wow, I cried. Not tears of sorrow, but tears of joy about the special grace of God which was given to me.

What a blessing these retreats are. The experience has changed my life and the lives of the people with whom I share my life. Now I know what the main responsibility and OK, simple enough, I thought, though somewhat to my foundations are in a human life. surprise these rules turned out to be in earnest. No “good morning” for breakfast. If you would like salt and pepper, What is my primary responsibility? What is my earthly you must indicate this by gesture only. In the event you goal? First, to save my soul. Man is created to honor and need something urgently, you must write it on a piece of serve God, and so his soul can go back to God. Second, all paper and give it to the nice nun, who will then address your other things on the face of the earth are created for man concern. For me, this is not a big problem. I’m okay without to serve him in achieving this task. One can make use of conversation. them, insofar as they help one to attain one’s heavenly goal. Otherwise you have to renounce them, insofar as they We began at noon on the first day, and I was surprised. represent an obstacle in the way of this. First, we had lectures about God by a Jesuit who is very holy and passionate. The classes are divided into two sections. Unfortunately, many people in Germany and in the Western The first phase explains the doctrinal viewpoint and its world no longer know what the goal of human life is.  But implication for human life and the second section is then there is a 16th Century Basque who can tell them. the life and actions of Jesus Christ. These two classes are in harmony. No Talking, Please

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

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An Atheist in Germany Story and Photos by Tamara Isabell

At the age of seventeen, I stumbled upon the idea of moral relativity. At that age, the concepts of ‘right’ and ‘wrong,’ seemed to be self-evidently pure abstractions. This almost immediately-probably inevitably -- led me to atheism.


t was 1989 and I was the only atheist I knew. I was ridiculously enamored of my own philosophizing and fancied myself bold and daring in my Godlessness.

in every archway and cobblestone, a history so lacking in our own American landscape.

We wound up living in Germany almost fifteen years. Two of our three Ten years later, I was the wife of an children were born there. I became ever more fluent in German over the Army Aviation Officer, assigned to Germany. I fell in love with German years, immersing myself by stages in culture from the beginning, fascinated community life, primarily through my by their rich artisanal history displayed eldest son, who spoke German from

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his earliest Kindergarten days and entered the Grundschule at the age of six. My life centered around his school and play schedule, the mothers of his playmates becoming my dear friends.   Most of those years were spent in or near Wuerzburg, “The City of Churches” in the Franconian wine region.  My daily errands were run in the midst of the most impressive architecture.  I loved to stop in the gaudy Hofkirche chapel of the Residenz, letting my eye follow the gilded swirls of Baroque exuberance, ever upward to the domed ceiling.  I regularly passed the 900 year old Dom (cathedral), hastening my steps past the looming skeletons above the side entrance.

A Catholic Future Though my everyday horizons were dominated by church domes and steeples, and my days were measured by church bells, I remained an atheist. I regarded it all with the academic curiosity of a museum-stroller, absorbing the beauty of the Christian world around me for its aesthetic value alone, never considering there might be more.

What were they all about?

Almost all my German friends at this time were ‘Catholic.’ I found myself swept along in their customs, helping my son keep his candle lit against the wind in the children’s Laternezug honoring Saint Martin, allowing my house to be marked with a chalk blessing by neighbors dressed in Magi costumes on Three Kings Day. 

I refer here to the theme of suffering. Indeed, why does that stone saint hold his head in his hands? Why will Saint Lucy persist in offering up her gouged eyes on a golden plate?  And what about Christ on the cross?

Through it all, I maintained a stubborn intellectual detachment. I observed and participated with pleasure, but made a point to find it all very fascinating in a strictly anthropological sense. I was still an atheist, still proud to stand in opposition to religion in all its backward manifestations.  Then a strange thing happened.  As the years went by and my appreciation for German culture deepened, I somehow found it harder to hold it at an academic arm’s length.  Gaze long enough at a statue of Saint Denis, and you find yourself asking why he happens to be holding his head in his hands.  Surrounded by so much Christian art, I began to focus on recurrent themes and symbols.

Of course, like art enthusiasts before and after me, I initially explained such symbols in terms of mythology. I did this for many years, but those explanations ultimately could not satisfy because of the one overwhelming theme in Christian art, found nowhere else.

I slowly started getting a sense of voices from the medieval past; it was as if they were trying to communicate with me through the paintings and statues they’d left behind. I began to wonder if the structures they’d erected stood as a testimony to something, perhaps something other than the patriarchal Church-state I’d always disdained.  I developed a nagging sense that evil could not be the creator of such beauty.  At this point, God injected Himself pointedly into my life, revealing His truth through conversations with devout Catholics and the writings of long-dead Saints.  Sadly, I could only find

reasoned arguments for Catholicism and encouragement to convert amongst my American acquaintances. My German friends seemed clueless.

I’ll never forget that first shy inquiry I made to a German about going to Mass -- and my shock when she told me they weren’t going to Mass that Sunday or pretty much any Sunday after that. Most of my German friends who’d appeared so very Catholic to me in their customs only attended Mass on holidays, or for baptisms and other sacramental rites.  I had to go to my American Catholic friends to find unabashed, joyful evangelization.  Still, the seeds of my conversion were planted amidst the remnants of truth radiating through the beauty of German Catholic culture.  I will be forever grateful to that country and its people for striking the spark that ultimately illuminated my life though Christ.

important)-sisterssitting-around-a-tableand-thinking-abouthow-we-can-help-thepoor-children-in-Africawhile-we-are-holdinghands.“ For sure, we have to minister to the poor (Pope Francis is doing it right), but what’s going on in the most parishes is finally only a cheap attempt to salve the conscience.


Young German Reclaims His Catholic Heritage

Q. How old are you? What do you do for a living? Where do you live? I’m 26 years old and was born in Trier, the oldest city in Germany, which has a rich Catholic tradition. Now, I’m studying Japanese studies/ economics and I was living in Japan. Q. How old were you when you left the church?

I can’t pinpoint a specific year; it was rather a process of moving away from the Church and Christianity. I was baptized as a baby, received Holy Communion at the age of 9, and went to Confirmation with 14, as it is tradition in Germany. Of course, at my first Holy Communion I didn’t think about religion in a deep way, but in retrospect I cannot say, that I had a relationship to God either. And to be honest, I only wanted to get confirmed for the money. As a teenager I was fascinated by Zen-Buddhism, but didn’t practice it. So until I was 17, I had my own one world outlook peppered with a bit of Buddhism. Q. Why did you leave the church? There are a lot of reasons, which I understand now, but didn’t understand at that time. I’m a person, who really like thinking about philosophy and I love spiritual places. When my friends in our “wild-years“ went to party, I preferred to take our dog for a long walk in the forest. I think that’s the key to understanding why I turned my back on the Church. At that time I couldn’t find spiritual nourishment there. I cannot relate to sentimental, pseudo-religious stuff like, “we-are-all-brothers-and (most

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Sitting in a circle and talking about “Who am I?“ is another example. That’s what we did in religious classes. Or guitar-masses. What I experienced was a Church that set man in the center and not God. And that’s not what I was searching for.

Q. When and why did you return? A. That’s a good question. I read a book “Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organisation of the Catholic Church“ written by Thomas Reese S.J. I found it fascinating. Then, I researched the Vatican, the Roman Curia and – with the Catholic Faith. About that same time Blessed John Paul II was dying and – I don’t know why – I felt the urge to pray for him. I had never prayed before that time. In an Italian magazine my mother read, was a poster pictures of the pope and on the back side psalms were written. So, every evening I prayed these psalms (i cannot speak Italian!), and it was an important time for me. I started speaking with God! Then, the bishop of Trier celebrated a requiem and it was the first time in years that I saw a church from the inside – and I was ‘caught.’ I felt so great and excited, that I decided to go regularly to Holy Mass. For sure, that was the work of the Holy Spirit. Over the years my parish changed, and now the masses are dignified and beautiful, so I found a place where I can find God. And I discovered the Latin Mass. So my view on the church changed, as I read further books about the Faith, talked to priests and prayed a lot. When a German Cardinal was elected pope, this pushed my decision trying to follow Christ. And now I can say, it was not a mistake to restart my Catholic life. The belief in Jesus Christ

enriched my life and helped me in so many difficulties. When my father died two years ago, it was a hard time, but the Faith helped me. The hope of eternal life makes those sad things much easier to carry. And that’s not only a promise, but reality. But the most important thing is, that I have a relationship to God. We humans belong to God and it’s great to come home, after a long journey. I found God, and that’s what I was searching for. I can say, despite the fact that less and less people accept Catholicism in Germany, in a Christian country (what Germany for sure is) living the faith is easy. In the region where I come from there are lots of beautiful churches and chapels. You can find crosses everywhere; we have a lot of priests. Now, that I’m living in Japan, it is much more difficult. It is not an Christian environment. As only 1% of the Japanese are Christian, you will be lucky if you find ONE Catholic church in a town. It can be easy to forget the Faith, if you don’t take care. This has taught me the importance of religious symbols. Q. What advice would you offer to someone who has left the Church? Often people are going to leave the church because they had bad experiences and didn’t really know the Catholic faith. That’s the point! Faith! If someone doesn’t believe in God – and in Germany most young people do NOT – objectively it makes no sense to stay. So, they leave the Church. But in most cases, the bad experiences (such as guitar masses, a humanistic view of God, etc) – these things are not really Catholic. If your parish has only these types of things and you are searching for God and the Sacred, my advice is as follows: 1) Read the Bible, 2) Learn the Catechism and 3) Find a good, Catholic parish with a good, Catholic priest. Talk to him and to the parish people. Try to get to know the Church from another perspective. Learning about the faith and living it is difficult, if you don’t have someone to learn from. If you have the chance to attend a Mass according the Extraordinary Form (Latin Mass), DO IT. You will be overwhelmed by the beauty of this old rite. And last, but not least: PRAY. Ask God to show you the way back home. He surely does! If you do these four things: reading, learning, talking, and praying — your life will change.

Tonight on the parapet I stand feeling alone. Not just from the night, But the hard castle stone. The message was clear, The Crusade was now done. You were headed for home As the battle was won. “I’m waiting my love, As I promised I would. Waiting for kisses As only you could. Awaiting your love With your lips upon mine, Awaiting your warmth like The rush from red wine.” Road weary and worn You appear o’re the hill. Tired from the fighting, But my hero still. In your armor you ride With your shield and your sword. Loyal men by your side, With peace your reward. You’ve finally come home, Tis’ a welcoming sight. No more leaving for you; No more back to the fight! I race down the stairs, My dress dusting the ground, You shout out my name, And my heart starts to pound! You bolt up toward me, When I come into sight. My hero, my husband, You’re my Knight tonight! ***** ***** ***** Donna Sue Berry February 5th, 2013

You’re My Knight Tonight

They rise at 3:00 am for Mass. They work and study and pray. They are vegetarians. photos by Harry Stevens & Roger Dekeyser

Practicing In the Timeless Presence of God


he Cistercian Rule is considered one of the strictest in the Church, and the Order has left their mark on Germany for centuries.

The Abbey at Mariawald was established in 1486, six years before Christopher Columbus set sail for America. The monastery is picturesquely located among rolling green fields and forests near Germany’s French and Belgian borders. Here, the strict rule of the Trappists is once again in effect, by special permission of Pope Benedict XVI. The monks celebrate the traditional Latin Mass in their ancient Rite. In February, Abbot Josef Vollberg OCSO of Mariawald sat down to talk with Regina Magazine about his Abbey, their strict Rule, and how today German Catholics are turning up at the monks’ door seeking Confession, the Mass and the life of a Cistercian monk. page 64

The Liturgy


he first Cistercians came here to Mariawald (‘Mary’s Forest’) on 4 April 1486. There was a pilgrimage movement here for the veneration of a famous Pietà. The monks were forced to leave the monastery three times in its history. First, for almost 60 years as a result of the French Revolution, then again in the Kulturkampf under Bismarck in the 19th century and finally they were forced out by the Nazis. But again and again God granted a fresh start. In its heyday around 1900, there were about 100 monks in here in the monastery.

Abbot Josef, tell us about your monastery.


myself have been a monk in Mariawald since 1986; that is, exactly 500 years after its founding. Currently our Community is comprised of 14 monks. Eleven live here in Mariawald, two live outside as hermits, and one has worked as a priest in the Sisters’ Abbey "Maria Peace." After a private audience in the summer of 2008, Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI granted permission for the return of the abbey to the older rules of the Order and to the celebration of Holy Mass in the Usus antiquior. To implement these reforms it took some time of course, because something lost cannot be immediately restored. Since 2009, we celebrate the Holy Mass regularly with the books that were in effect in 1963. Since then, we have been contacted again and again by men who want to get to know our way and who want to take possible steps towards profession. Ten of these were accepted after a long examination; that is an average of two per year. However, seven of these left the monastery, after a shorter or longer time. The reason was often in contrast to what we saw in their assessment – that they did feel they could grow sufficiently in order to meet the requirements of our strict rule. Of the remaining three, one has already taken the final profession.

What is the Abbey’s situation today?

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.


he Eifel, which is the name of this beautiful mountain area in which our abbey is located, was originally a Catholic area. It is not difficult to have contact with Catholics and Mariawald is known for our reform far beyond the region. The High Mass on Sunday is usually well attended, although the monastery is situated in a very lonely spot. Of course, in the nearby towns and villages, there is the opportunity to participate in worship, naturally in the Novus Ordo Mass. There are obviously a considerable number of believers who appreciate the traditional rite so much that they take a long journey to Mariawald for this Mass.

How have you been received by your neighbors?

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Can you describe a day in the life of a monk at Mariawald?


he day of a monk in Mariawald begins at 2:30 in the morning, because at 3:00 am we have Mass. The prayer penetrates the darkness, leading out of the night to the light of the returning Christ. After the vigils -- the first prayer times -- follow Lauds and Prime, and the days’ times, Terce, Sext, and Nones , and finally Vespers and Compline at 19.15 clock, the night prayer. The highlight of day is the morning celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The monk is offered with Christ to the Heavenly Father as a victim, he fulfills his vow, and at the same time, the monk provides through this sacrifice and his prayer a service for the whole world. The time between these services, a Trappist spends with mental and physical labor, such as studying, spiritual reading, gardening or housework. In addition to possible mid-day rest time, monks only have just under seven hours for sleep at night. The food is simple and meatless.

Mariawald Abbey by Roger Dekeyser / Used with permission

The Liturgy


s a boy, I was indeed an altar server, but I never thought to go later to a monastery -- moreover, to the strict Trappists who get up in the middle of the night to pray. I was more interested in television and fitness training and many other things. I thought maybe I would be a pilot or sailor. I had thoughts of emigrating to Canada. What a contrast to my current life behind high convent walls! A rather unpleasant experience during my time as a soldier of the Bundeswehr (German Army) led me to want to learn more about our Catholic faith. While at a soldier’s Mass one of my colleagues made fun of the sacred celebration. And though my faith was very weak at that time, I felt injured at his mockery. I began to concern myself more with spiritual things. Throughout my studies, I then realized that my chosen subject – business studies – didn’t really interest me. I turned to psychology and philosophy and eventually read literature about the Bible and the Catholic Church. I began to regularly attend Mass and go to confession, which was not previously the case. Finally, I stopped my studies at the university. After two years of searching, prayer and struggle, I finally found my way in 1986 to Mariawald. Twelve years later, I began the study of theology, which I completed in 2005 at the University of the Cistercians of the Holy Cross (Austria). In 2006 I was ordained a priest, and two years later was elected as Abbot of Mariawald. I trust that it was part of my vocation to inquire in that same year of Pope Benedict for the privilege of placing the Abbey at Mariawald again under the traditional rule of the Cistercians and to be able to celebrate the liturgy in their time-honored form. The mockery of my soldier comrades may have all this set in motion. And who knows what my path would have been, had not my grandmother always prayed that one of her descendants should be called to the priesthood?

How did you become a monk?


ince we are not parish, we are limited to providing the sacraments of Eucharist and Confession. It's amazing how many people, especially men, come to Mariawald to confess. Therefore, in addition to our regularly scheduled confession times every week, Catholics may almost always ask for the Prior to hear their confessions. I believe that our worshipers reflect the structure of the nearby population, perhaps more than is usually the case otherwise in the communities. In Mariawald, our worshipers are not only the elderly and they are not almost exclusively women. Here we also have men between 20 and 40, and even a few children. Why do they all come? Maybe they see that the reverence towards God, and participation in the mystery of the sacrificial victim of Jesus and salvation can be experienced with greater propriety here than in some forms of error of the Novus Ordo. These people do not want to be distracted by entertainment; they subjectively love the withdrawn severity of the rite. They treasure the full withdrawing in silence and immersion in the rhythm of the Gregorian devotion.

Do Catholics visit your monastery for the Sacraments?

Morning Prayer by Roger Dekeyser / Used with permission

Notes from the Field

Bringing the Latin Mass to a German Village by Paul Dahnen


t. Lambertus in Bliesheim, where I live, is a 19th century neo-Romantic church by Cologne regional architect Robert Ferdinand Cremer.

He selected the Parish Church of St. Martinus in Pingsheim. To measure the site, I visited with Father Fuisting (FSSP). The 1844 Romanesque church is landmarkprotected and was first established in 1022. St. Lambertus is also very beautiful, and It’s also very beautiful, with a 19th Century perfect for the Old Rite. There is still an high altar and a cemetery with grave crosses elaborate high altar by the Cologne Master from the 17th through the 19th Century. Muschard, who in 1927 carved it from Westphalian stone. The columns of the high altar are made of German marble; the images are Italian marble, of Christ on the Mount of Olives and on Tabor.  The church even preserves some valuable historical 19th Century copes and chasubles.

First Latin Mass in 40 Years About 70 believers found their way to Pingsheim for a weekday Mass, for that first time. It had been more than 40 years since the last time the

Unfortunately, all this was at first too good to be true. Not long after I inquired, I received from Pastor Hoffsümmer the answer that the Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Rite was prohibited in this church. This, he said, was on the instruction of his superior, Pastor Jansen from Erftstadt –Liblar. When I telephoned Pastor Jansen, I was given a terse reply and not much of a foundation for the decision. Not So Quickly Discouraged

Very Welcome in Architectural Gem

But I was not to be so quickly discouraged; where there’s a will, there’s a way. Another childhood friend of mine, also a native of Bliesheim, Pastor Willi–Josef Platz, is the responsible minister for the parish community Erftstadt-Borde. (He is responsible, as many priests are in Germany for many parishes – a total of six in his case.)

St. Martinus is much smaller than St Lambertus but nonetheless a gem in terms of both the furnishings and the construction; it was of course created for the Old Rite. In Pingsheim, we were even very welcome-- there was strong support by the Church Council and the Sexton.

I spoke to him to ask whether we can use one of his churches, and I received a prompt commitment, as well as a disarming answer: “If the Holy Father has allowed the Old Rite, then why should we not allow it?”

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Beautiful, Old Mass was celebrated in that beautiful church.

We fixed on date for 15 April, the Friday after the first Passion Sunday. So, we rehearsed the proper chorales for this with our lay Schola. Father Fuisting celebrated the Mass, supported by a group of young altar servers from Wesseling.

Since then, we celebrate the Mass at Pingsheim every three weeks, and slowly people are beginning to know this, and believers are finding their way there to the beautiful Mass. The author is a Catholic who stumbled upon the Latin Mass after the Motu Proprio of 2007. Well-catechized in his childhood, he wanted his children to grow up with the Mass of the Ages. So he set out to try to make this happen in his small German village, today a suburb of Cologne, Germany.

The Liturgy A German medical doctor relates how he fell in love with the traditional liturgy – and how he became embroiled in a decade-long struggle to win permission for the Mass to be celebrated in the ancient city of Trier, founded by the Roman Emperor Augustus and Catholic since the time of Constantine.


s I was born in 1963 -- during the convocation of the Second Vatican Council -- I never actually experienced the traditional liturgy during my childhood. I grew up in a good Catholic family in a modern suburban community outside Mainz (a small city in central western Germany). In my parents’ house and in our local parish, we followed the new, post-conciliar liturgy of Paul VI.

the wake of the Vatican Council. After school, I was active in the Catholic Boy Scouts, where we were encouraged to ‘use our creativity,’ inventing our own liturgies in loose-leaf notebooks. No one ever questioned the “new” liturgy, neither my family nor anyone in my social environment. There was simply no other liturgical variant.

By the time I was slightly older, however, I began increasingly to question this liturgy I had grown up with. It seemed to me that the new rite was less about worship, and more about featuring the priest at center stage, along with the lay people who were ‘selected’ to participate in the liturgy. 

During the 1960s, our suburb was a newly built postIn fact, it seemed to me that in the new rite the proper war settlement, and we had no church building for focus on the major events of Holy Mass had been lost many years.  Instead, we long ago. We were afforded used a local rectory for hardly a moment for our Mass and for Carnival own silent prayer, or to events.  There was no await that inner peace so sacred space for our essential for worship.  In village.  In the rectory, the new rite in Germany, we had only chairs, no every moment had to be benches – and of course filled with action. no way to kneel. We were told that there was Together with other no money available for students, then, I became building churches in the increasingly interested in Mainz diocese. by Stefan Schilling, MD experiencing  the quieter,

How the Latin Mass Returned to Roman Trier

In the late 1970s, I attended our diocesan high school in Mainz, and I can’t remember anyone ever expressing any critical thoughts regarding the huge liturgical upheaval that followed in

more predictable, “real” worship found in the old Mass, where people’s actions were in the background and God was brought back to His rightful place -- in the center of the action, so to speak. Now and again we students would drive to a parish in Kiedrich, a picturesque medieval town amidst the vineyards along the Rhine. In this simple country parish, the church had maintained a special schola cantorum for many years.  Saints’ days and feasts were celebrated with due solemnity. 

Standing room only for Mass with Cardinal Brandmuller as thousands of Germans flood the Basilica of St Maximian for a Latin Mass for the Holy Robe in 2012

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

At about this time I decided I would no longer receive Communion in the hand. My belief in the Real Presence was too powerful for me to countenance the numerous abuses I had observed in the practice of giving Communion in the hand. At the suggestion of a friend, I attended the Holy Mass in the traditional rite for the first

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time in a parish near Frankfurt. I watched joyfully as the celebrant handled the Body of Christ in a reverent, convincing and consistent manner.  His careful use of the corporal,  the closed hold of his fingers on the Host from conversion to purification, on the paten and in administering Holy Eucharist in the mouth -- here, it was clear that no one needed to explain the Real Presence.  From these many gestures and signs, that the Body of Christ was really and truly in the Host was abundantly clear to anyone attending this Mass.  I remember thinking that the form followed the content of our Faith totally in these actions. Only much later did I come across the concept of lex orandi lex credendi; that is, the notion that “the law of prayer determines the law of faith“ and therefore that one’s external actions shape one’s inner attitude. I was equally impressed by the Traditional Rite’s common orientation in prayer.  That is,  the traditional rite does not make the priest the center of the action -though to be fair there are many priests who do not seek this center stage.  Instead, his place is almost akin to that of the head of a procession in a village feast.

Trier Bishop Ackermann watches as thousands of Germans flood the Basilica of St Maximian for a Latin Mass for the Holy Robe in 2012 page 70

Finally, there was plenty of silence, especially in the central part of the Mass where we are called really to pray with the celebrant. I was also delighted to find that my private prayer was no longer seemingly an affront to others – something to be “talked to death.“  The Holy One was the focus of this Mass, not the person of the priest, nor the performances of amateur liturgists. Here, I felt spiritually secure and at home.  Over time, I came to love the liturgy more and more,  despite the fact that traditional Masses at that time were hard to find for me, and indeed for anyone in Germany. For me, this liturgy touches my interior life, something I can hardly put into words.  Perhaps it is the experience of what we call  “grace.“ Over the years, I often wondered why Catholics were not permitted to attend both liturgies. The de facto ban on the traditional rite irritated me, the more so because pretty much everything else in what one could term liturgical “peculiarity“ was allowed and indeed encouraged.

The Mass for the Holy Robe was conducted on a makeshift stage before thousands of German Catholics by the Fraternity of St. Peter.

The Liturgy For example, I’m somewhat chagrined to report that the seminary of the diocese of Trier – an important Catholic community since the time of the Romans – organized what was billed as a “techno worship“ to celebrate the Millenium Year 2000. The concluding “hymn“ of this “Mass“ was a German Idol hit for that year entitled  “No Angels,” performed in the presence of the Bishop and diocesan clergy. (You will forgive me if I use an American phrase here: “You can’t make this stuff up.“) Liturgically speaking, in Germany everything seemed possible.  The single exception to this rule was any request to allow the traditional liturgy.  This was treated as if it were indecent and, indeed, reprehensible. I learned this after I graduated from my medical studies, and established my family in Trier in 1993.  This was when I first approached the nowdeceased Bishop of Trier with a request to permit an “Indultmesse” here.   A need was not seen by the bishop. Thank God for the good priests and even municipalities in Trier that we found that offered a respectful form of the liturgy of Paul VI “ordinary” Mass.  Our family found such a community, and there our three daughters were baptized.  For these many years, our family has lived with both forms of the Roman rite - the ordinary and the extraordinary form. 

For many years we had to drive many miles to do this. When the new Bishop (now Cardinal Marx) of Trier was installed in 2002, I began asking him for permission to celebrate the Holy Mass in the traditional rite in our diocese. During our subsequent correspondence, I collected about 300 signatures to support my request.  After over two years of  painstaking correspondence with the Diocese’s Consultancy Department, permission was finally granted at the end of 2004 for a single Indultmesse to be celebrated on Sundays and holidays in Trier.  Permission was conditional, however, on the observation of many restrictions regarding place, time, inter alia, etc. This was eleven years after my first request to the bishop of Trier. In spite of the limitations established, I’m happy to report that the response to the Old Mass has been such that the diocese has agreed to provide a separate priest for pastoral care in the extraordinary rite in the Trier jurisdiction. Of course, we greatly rejoiced over the long-prayed-for Motu Proprio from the Holy Father regarding the traditional liturgy.  In the Diocese of Trier, we hope and expect for a future of “normality“ in the usus antiquior of the one Roman rite.

Throngs of German Catholics wait in the cold rain for the Holy Robe procession in the Extraordinary Rite to begin.

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

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ens and I were engaged one year before our wedding; he is 27 and I am 24 years old. We live in Mainz during the week, where we both went to university and where I work part-time. Every weekend we return to our hometown Cochem to see our families and Jens works there as a piano teacher. Jens was the one to introduce me to the Latin Mass in 2008. I had heard about a priest in the neighboring town who had been saying the early morning mass in the Old Rite for quite some time, but I knew too little about it and had never been there. Only a couple of days after we started dating Jens invited me to join him.

Some of our guests knew the TLM from their childhood or early adulthood, but had not been able to attend one since, amongst them were my grandparents. My grandfather gave me his Missal when he heard that I had started hearing the Mass in the old Rite with Jens – he was very pleased when we told him about the wedding and he keeps saying that he enjoyed it very much. Others had been introduced to the TLM later in their lives – they were very happy to have the opportunity to attend a Solemn Mass (Missa Solemnis).

Jens and Susanne very much wanted to be married in the Extraordinary Rite in their beautiful hometown of Cochem on the Moselle, a river which winds through vineyards between Germany, Luxembourg and France. In this article, Susanne recounts the extraordinary events around their TLM wedding in mid-summer 2013 for Regina by Susanne Michels Magazine. photos by Karen Scheuer

Amazed at the solemnity and silence I remember that at first I was amazed at the solemnity and the silence. I felt that, probably for the first time in my life, I was truly able to pray. Soon I began to learn more about the traditional Latin Mass and I’m still learning new things all the time.

Not so weird or boring Most of our guests though especially friends and family members our age --had never been to a TLM. Some were curious, others rather skeptical. The latter seemed surprised that the Mass didn’t turn out as “weird“ or boring as they had thought. In the end the responses were very positive: almost all our guests found it very solemn and moving.

Perfect motivation to learn the Mass We soon had to learn that there are people (even within the Church) who strongly dislike the thought of the Latin Mass being held.

Knowing this, we are even more thankful for all the support we had during the process of planning the wedding and now as a married couple. There was the priest, Jens’ former lecturer at university who lives in I don’t think our families were too surprised when we Brasil and who started teaching himself the TLM when told them what we had planned for our wedding, because we told him we would get married and asked him to do we had been going to the TLM regularly for a long time. the ceremony. He had always wanted to learn the TLM

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

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and this was the perfect motivation. How could we ever thank him enough for everything he did for us? Then there was the old friend from university – he and Jens had been studying Catholic theology together (Jens will be a school teacher, the friend became a priest). He was the deacon in the Mass. He was ordained in the Extraordinary Form, thus very experienced, and could help all of us and guide us. He would also remind us that we’d only need to trust whenever we struggled with all the stress and he heard our confessions on the morning of the wedding day. Filling in on short notice The third priest, who was the sub-deacon in the Mass, filled in for somebody else on short notice. We first went to his church in Trier on Palm Sunday in 2013, because they had needed someone to play the organ - we’ve been going there almost every Sunday ever since.

We were warmly welcomed by the most lovely community and a wonderful, warm- hearted priest. We very much felt like we finally found a new home after the priest who held the old mass near Cochem took up a new parish in Switzerland. The altar boys from Trier agreed to help out at our wedding and they even made time to practise beforehand with the priest. Their families made the effort to come to our wedding, too, and so did many other members of the community, which we are very grateful to them for.

Many churches, or vestries today are unfortunately missing the equipment for the Extraordinary Rite, such as garments for a Solemn High Mass. Again, we had to rely on outside help, which we received. Since not many organists have enough experience with old Masses, we had to improvise. One of our witnesses, Jens ‘ friend and former piano teacher was of course

during the ceremony itself not sitting at the organ. We were so grateful that he was willing to arrange for another organist to accompany the first part of the Mass. What would we have done without all of them? Recognizing the profound truth in the Mass Of course, today there are not always and everywhere the perfect conditions for a TLM. With the necessary trust in God and the many dear people who have already discovered the

beauty of the Mass in the Extraordinary Rite, a dignified and solemn mass will be in honor of God. How many people have never had the chance to attend such a Mass? Those who are allowed to experience it once, recognize the profound truth in it.


An Update on the Latin Mass in Germany


a Regina Q&A

onika Rheinschmitt is the Stuttgart-based Director of Pro Even though the numbers of Missa Tridentina, one of the most active organizations on Mass-goers and Catholics continue to drop precipitously the planet to practically support the Latin Mass. Since 1990 in these countries, there seems she has been the editor and publisher of a traditional newsletter, to be little awareness on the part of Church leadership of in 2010 upgraded to the magazine “Dominus vobiscum�, which the significant power of the is published twice a year and avidly read in Germany, Alsace, Form to attract Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Belgium and the Netherlands. Extraordinary converts and indeed to bring

Hers is not an easy job, not the least because in these countries the Latin Mass faces an unimaginable uphill battle. In Germany and its neighboring lands, secular attitudes range from indifferent to hostile about the idea of religion itself. Within the Church, both traditional teachings and the traditional rite are often suppressed, ignored or ridiculed in ways that might astonish outsiders.

page 76

Catholics home again.

Against this background, the gains that the Latin Mass has made are a testimony to the true grit of Catholics, laity and clergy alike. In this exclusive interview with Regina Magazine, Monika gives us a view into her world.

The Liturgy


ell us about Pro Missa Tridentina. When was it founded, and by whom?
Pro Missa Tridentina was founded in Stuttgart in Spring 1990 as an association of laypeople dedicated to the care of the Traditional Latin Rite of the Catholic Mass. We work to promote this “Vetus Ordo” by supporting Catholic laity who wish to be able to assist at this beautiful rite. That includes the organization of trainings for priests, altar servers and choirs as well as practical help finding locations for the Mass – and from writing letters to the local bishop to preparing the first celebration of a Traditional Latin Mass.

150 TLMs in Germany -- and 36 in Austria, 37 in Switzerland, 4 in Liechtenstein, 4 in Alsace, 1 in Luxembourg, 4 in the South Tyrol, 17 in Belgium and 12 in the Netherlands. Of course, these Masses are not always regularly scheduled on Sundays.


hat is significant growth! How has this been accomplished?
A lot of hard work on the part of many, many laypersons and priests. Most have had to face a real struggle to find a church where the Rite can be celebrated and a priest who was willing to be trained and to offer the Mass. Then of course many bishops will forbid the advertisement of the Mass, so hat progress do you see being made, the only way the faithful can learn of it is through say, since the Motu Proprio of 2007 in word of mouth – or through the use of the Internet. Germany?
Immediately after the 2007 Motu Proprio, there was a significant jump in the number For many years Pro Missa Tridentina has maintained of Latin Masses available around Germany. From a website ( Regina Magazine’s reports on England and America ) which supplies not only information about the I see that there has been an impressive growth since Traditional Latin Mass but also lists of locations for 2007 as well. What is remarkable about Germany is many countries and several maps. that there was an immediate increase – more than threefold the number of Masses in 2008, followed by his impediment seems counter-productive in a very quick leveling-off. a Church which is rapidly losing membership,



hat do you attribute this to?
I believe the slang phrase is ‘clamp-down’ in American English. The German bishops moved quickly to suppress the Mass, though officially of course this was forbidden by the Motu Proprio.

either through natural attrition (death) or through Catholics simply deciding not to pay their Church tax.
Yes, it seems so to me and to quite a few others. But this doesn’t seem to be a rational decision; in fact it is much more ideological in nature, this resistance on the part of these older clerics.




ow would you characterize the growth in hat of the future?
A. Since many years we the TLM in Germany?
When we started in are seeing a lot of youth and young families 1990, there were exactly four TLMs available in all becoming in-terested in the Mass, and their Faith is of Germany. Today there are now approximately being strengthened. Most have not been catechized; they don’t know their Faith, but they are AFTER THE 2007 MOTU PROPRIO there was an immediate increase in Latin attracted by the beauty and reverence of this ancient Rite. Masses in Germany– more than threefold the number of Masses in 2008 --  followed by a very quick leveling-off. 160   140   120   100   80   60   40   20   0  

1993 1995   1997   1999  2001   2003   2005   2007   2009   2011   2013  

They are insisting on the other sacraments as well: from Weddings to Baptism, from First Holy Communion to the Anointing of the Sick, Catholics in Germany continue to plead to receive the abundance of graces of their new spiritual home – the Traditional Latin Mass.

Second Vatican Council by Lothar Wolleh / CC BY-SA 3.0

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Council

The Rhine Alliance and Vatican II


by Harry Stevens

Catholic Mass Unchanged Since 600 AD t was huge news in 1965: the Catholic Mass would finally be Up until the 1960s, the Roman Rite Mass had ‘modernized.’ By 1970 the Pope remained essentially unchanged --except for minor Paul VI Missal was in place, setting local variances -- from the time of St Pope Gregory the Great (590-604). The Council of Trent (1545-1563) off a chain-reaction of liturgical decreed that the Mass was to innovation which be celebrated uniformly and shook the Catholic so St Pope Pius V in 1570 "Those therefore who after the manner published a revised missal world to its core. of wicked heretics dare to set aside Today, almost 50 years later, many Catholics are beginning to ask why and indeed whether such drastic liturgical changes were ordered by the Council. These are serious questions. Now that the actual Council documents are available online for all to peruse, it is painfully clear that many of these liturgical changes -now in practice around the world – were never actually specified by the Council.

Ecclesiastical Traditions, and to invent any kind of novelty, or to reject any of those things entrusted to the Church, or who wrongfully and outrageously devise the destruction of any of those Traditions enshrined in the Catholic Church, are to be punished thus: if they are bishops, we order them to be deposed; but if they are monks or lay persons, we command them to be excluded from the community."

by the Bull Quo Primum.

The Missal of Pius V continued in use with very minor changes until the John XXIII Missal of 1962. The Roots of Change

A torrent of questions remain basically unanswered. What led to the revolutionary changes in the Mass, post-Vatican II? --------- Second Council of Nicaea 787 A.D. Why have the priest face the people? Why term the priest no longer a ‘celebrant’ but a ‘president’? Why change all the ancient prayers to the vernacular? Why delete the One thing is clear: those that were, were spearheaded prayers at the foot of the altar? Did all of this really by a group of liturgists and theologians from the start at Vatican II, as many believe? Or did it actually Rhine Valley. start earlier? page 78

The Liturgy Some say these liturgical changes began with St Pope Pius X on November 22, 1903 with his motu propio ‘Tra le sollecitudini’ “It being our ardent desire to see the true Christian spirit restored in every respect and preserved by all the faithful, we deem it necessary to provide before everything else for the sanctity and dignity of the temple, in which the faithful assemble for the object of acquiring this spirit from its indispensable fount, which is the active participation in the holy mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church.” Tra le sollecitudini, in short, SAINT PETER’S DURING THE VATICAN COUNCIL Curious onlookers -- mainly lay people -- watch helped reform liturgical music the clergy process. with active participation of the Annibale Bugnini, was responsible for changes in some faithful. Pius X’s reform energized others to action. Holy Week rites. Father Romano Guardini, an Italian by birth who was raised in southern Germany, may have been the genesis for what later became known as the ‘liturgical movement.’  This was an effort to enhance the appreciation and experience of worship with one goal: to enable the active participation of the faithful in the liturgy. Guardini’s liturgical movement spread to the Rhine. Concentrated mostly in France and Germany, this pre-World War I liturgical movement was made up of academics, scholars, monks, priests and visionaries. There was little in the way of representation from the laity in the pews. Even the century before, Dom Guéranger from Solesmes, France, was an early visionary with the reform of Gregorian chant.  Later, Benedictines in France and Germany were pioneers in the liturgical movement: Abbott Anselm Schott (who edited a LatinGerman Missal); Dom Odo Casel, Dom Beauduin, Dom Maurice Festugière, Dom Ildelfons Herwegen, Dom Virgil Michel, and Dom Pius Parsch.

Today, there are questions about whether Pius XII was really kept informed about the activities of Bugnini’s commission, which implemented the first major changes to the Pius V Missal since 1570. Some of these changes directly affected the rite of the Mass: the suppression of the prayers at the foot of the altar and last gospel on certain occasions and the celebrant not himself reading parts of the Mass. The overall effect was to begin a watering-down of the Rite. Today, questions are still unanswered. Was this a trial run for the reforms that came later from the Council?  Was there an overall Italian plan led by Bugnini for the Council?   And what about the Rhine countries during this time? Post War Along the Rhine
The Rhine Alliance, as it came to be known, included clerics from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. In the wake of World War II, these were at the center of a push for modernization across European society. Both the secular and religious intelligentsia were keen to be rid of “tradition.”

Pius XII’s Post World War II Commission

Apparently this trend did not escape the note of Pope John XXIII. Eight months before the Council, he Forward to 1948 and back to Italy, when the next phase wrote,” of liturgical reform began. Pope Pius XII – expressly stating his wishes that the liturgy be kept within the In France, the alliance of most of the conservative spirit of Pius X – formed a liturgical commission.  bishops with the Vichy government resulted in their In November 1955, this commission, under Father complete discredit and removal from office. The Rhine

Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

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contingent to the Second Vatican Council was composed of men who had been bishops during the war, many of whom were cardinals by the 1960s. They brought with them younger advisors -- the so-called ‘periti’ -- whose names since have become well-known to Catholics: Congar, de Lubac, Ratzinger, Rahner, Schillebeeckx and Küng. These young men brought their various ideas and schools of thought to Vatican II, with a view towards modernization and ecumenicism.

A High-Jacked Reform
 From whence came all of this unprecedented change? By the 1960s, opposition to the Vietnam War and Cold War balance of power politics prompted the US peace movement. In Germany and France, the ‘68er’ movement of student protest, activism and rebellion seemed to shadow America’s experience.  But did the turmoil in society necessarily have to affect the Church so much – and for so long?

In the years since, well-regarded observers have posed different explanations for what happened at the Council. In the decades since this tumultuous era, various observers and authors have offered their comments. Some have reported that it was the powerful Rhine Michael Davies famously opined that the liturgical alliance – with reluctant Italians in tow -- and more movement was ‘high-jacked’ and contended that a specifically, Father (later Archbishop) Bugnini that ‘pseudo liturgical renewal’ developed afterwards. led the revolution. Father Wiltgen, who reported on the Council for the news media, described a struggle Of this same  influence Benedict XVI later reported, “I between the Italian and German contingents.  Cardinal was not able to foresee that the negative sides of the Ratzinger, in his 1988 book, ‘Milestones’ described liturgical movement would afterward reemerge with ‘German arrogance’ as a key factor. redouble strength, almost to the point of pushing the liturgy towards its own self-destruction.” Furthermore, The Council Unfolds he stated unequivocally that the Council Fathers ‘never intended many of the changes that took place.’ The Second Vatican Council opened in October 1962, and closed three years later.  In terms of liturgy, several How then did this all happen? changes set a precedent for further change early in the Council’s meetings. These included permanently Outright rebellion against the Council omitting Judica me (prayers at the foot of the Altar), the Last Gospel, the Confiteor and the Absolution before In the final analysis, it appears that fifty years later we Communion. can say with certainty that it was outright rebellion on In December 1962 Pope John XXIII changed the Canon by adding St Joseph’s name immediately after the name of the Most Holy Virgin.  This was the first change to the Canon of the Mass in the entire history of the Church – an unexpected move which surprised many.

the part of some European and American bishops and priests that led to institutionalizing practices such as

Also, early in the Council, missionary bishops assigned to Asia and Africa sought liturgical reform and practices, hoping that languages other than Latin would bring a richer and more vital liturgy to their faithful. There were a few calls for changes such as shortening prayers at the foot of the altar, ending the Mass at Ite, missa est, making the priest facing the people, and developing an ecumenical Mass. The vast majority of the Council Fathers, however, did not call for any liturgical change. Undaunted by this lack of enthusiasm, however, the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy approved three distinct Mass formulas, specifying that the Canon was to be said aloud, in the vernacular, and with the priest facing the people. One can say things moved quickly in just three years. page 80

Second Vatican Council by Lothar Wolleh / CC BY-SA 3.0

The Liturgy

Second Vatican Council by Lothar Wolleh / CC BY-SA 3.0

Communion received standing and in the hand, and priests no longer celebrating Mass ad orientum. Furthermore, this same group unleashed a storm of iconoclasm never imagined by the Council Fathers, destroying the work of centuries in beautiful art -- high altars, stained glass, and statuary in Catholic churches all over the world. Tragically, the damage wrought by the so-called ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ did not end there. The catechesis of Catholics was seriously damaged. Traditional Orders quickly lost their bearings -- and most of their members. As religious vocations plummeted, abuses rapidly crept in to the Church -- in seminaries, in parishes and in Orders. Today, many observers point to the fact that two generations of un-catechized Catholics have meant mass apostasy in most of the Western world. The damage that has been done to the Church is only now starting be assessed by a new generation of unbiased Catholic and secular scholars alike. What really happened at Vatican II may in fact take another fifty years to understand.

Editor’s Note: This short essay is but an introduction to and some thoughts on the liturgical movement, the Rhine alliance and Vatican II. See the Reference list and their bibliographies for further reading. Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

Second Vatican Council by Lothar Wolleh / CC BY-SA 3.0 References
Davies, Michael. Liturgical Revolution, Volumes I, II, III, Angeles Press
Fortescue, Adrian.  The Mass, A Study of The Roman Liturgy, University Press, Longmans, Green and Co, Ltd 1955.
Guardini, Romano.  The Spirit of the Liturgy. Sheed & Ward, London 1930;
Ratzinger, Joseph.  Milestones Memoirs 1927-1977, Ignatius
Wiltgen, Ralph. The Rhine Flows into the Tiber, The Unknown Council, Hawthorne Books, Inc

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Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.

Vol 7 Winter 2014 Germany  


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