Sacred Music – Part Two
Saturday, October 4, 2014, 12:00 PM

The second of a four-part series on Sacred Music presented by the BBC: Palestrina and the Popes.

September 30 – St. Jerome
Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 7:00 AM

“Jerome (in Latin, Eusebius Hieronymus) was one of the most important scholars of the early Christian Church. His translation of the Bible into Latin would become the standard edition throughout the Middle Ages, and his viewpoints on monasticism would be influential over the centuries. (more…)


“Ecclesiastical rank does not make a man a Christian. The centurion Cornelius was still a heathen when he was cleansed by the gift of the Holy Spirit. Daniel was but a child when he judged the elders. Amos was plucking blackberries when in a moment he was made a prophet. David was only a shepherd when he was chosen to be king. The least of his disciples was the one whom Jesus loved most. My brother, sit down in the lower place… ”

St. Jerome, Letter 14 to To Heliodorus, a Monk


Sept 29 – Feast of the Archangels
Sunday, September 28, 2014, 7:00 AM

“The liturgy celebrates the feast of these three archangels who are venerated in the tradition of the Church. Michael (Who is like God?) was the archangel who fought against Satan and all his evil angels, defending all the friends of God. He is the protector of all humanity from the snares of the devil. Gabriel (Strength of God) announced to Zachariah the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary, the birth of Jesus. His greeting to the Virgin, “Hail, full of grace,” is one of the most familiar and frequent prayers of the Christian people. Raphael (Medicine of God) is the archangel who took care of Tobias on his journey.”


(Alas, I can’t translate Han Chinese, but the words in English follow: ~gm)

Ye watchers and ye holy ones,
Bright seraphs, cherubim and thrones,
Raise the glad strain, Alleluia!

Cry out, dominions, princedoms, powers,
Virtues, archangels, angels’ choirs:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O higher than the cherubim,
More glorious than the seraphim,
Lead their praises, Alleluia!

Thou bearer of th’eternal Word,
Most gracious, magnify the Lord.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Respond, ye souls in endless rest,
Ye patriarchs and prophets blest,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Ye holy twelve, ye martyrs strong,
All saints triumphant, raise the song.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O friends, in gladness let us sing,
Supernal anthems echoing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Please Pray for the Church in Greece
Saturday, September 27, 2014, 1:09 PM

Greek Hierarchs: The State Has Deceived the Church

St. Demetrios church 300x201 Please Pray for the Church in GreeceBad news from Greece:

“For the first time in the modern history of Greece, a law has been passed that abolishes freedom of expression and introduces legal liability for an accusatory speech, which is one of the main components of pastoral practice… At the same time, the judicial and legal protection of homosexual orientation, which is a perversion of the human nature and physiology, was introduced.

“The enacted law contradicts many clauses of the Greek Constitution…”

~ Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus

“In Metropolitan Seraphim’s view, after adoption of the new law, the Church of Greece will be obligated to abolish the Committee on Heresies of the Holy Synod; since, for calling someone a heretic one may face persecution for ‘fomenting religious strife.’

Also making statements in a similar vein is one of the most authoritative hierarchs of the Church of Greece from Thessaloniki, Metropolitan Anthimos, who said, ‘We are against an expansion of Islam in our city.’ In his interview with Greek television, made a number of tough statements:

‘We are against the presence of Islam in Thessaloniki. We have already lost so much… When the Turkish minister entered the Church of Holy Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki in our city, he announced at once: ‘Here is a suitable mosque for Turks.'”

c/o Jerusalem Channel TV

Sacred Music – Part One
Saturday, September 27, 2014, 9:42 AM

The first of a four-part series on Sacred Music presented by the BBC.

Update from Iraq and Syria – How to Help
Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 10:53 AM

iraqi refugees cnewa Update from Iraq and Syria   How to HelpOne to One: The blog of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association provides a wealth of concrete information about the church’s relief activities in Iraq and Syria. In addition to providing tangible goals we can act on, the site also serves as an inspiration for Christians wishing to create their own aid projects.

If you wish to donate to CNEWA (and dislike the idea of entering financial information online—I know I do), you can send a check to the address below; they’ll acknowledge your gift with a letter. Since CNEWA provides care to several countries (Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria), specify the country you wish to support on the check. Bear in mind that although a remnant of Iraqi Christians remain in Iraq, many displaced Christians have landed in Jordan and Syria.

1011 First Avenue
New York, NY NY 10022-4195

Web site:

Phone Number: (212) 826-1480.

CNEWA is a ministry of the Roman Catholic Church. I welcome information about aid programs from other front-line Christian groups that are offering direct emergency aid, and a physical presence, to our persecuted brethren.

Lagniappe – Sunday Mass in Old Jaffa City
Sunday, September 21, 2014, 7:00 AM

Longtime Touchstone supporter, Gina Danaher, visited Israel this June with a varied group of Christians, among whom was her Roman Catholic friend, Maureen. One Sunday the two set out to find a local Catholic Mass for Maureen and were shocked to discover that many churches in the city have moved their celebrations to Saturday, in conformance with prevailing local custom—they were empty. Gina was undeterred:

“At this point we had failed to locate a Catholic Church in our area of Tel Aviv, so I thought maybe we would find a Mass at St. Peter’s in Jaffa. Maureen didn’t want to trouble me, but at least I wanted to see this old church… since this church was built to commemorate Peter’s vision at Cornelius’ house in the Book of Acts. By this time Maureen had given up on a Sunday Mass, but when I went into the church, a mass was being served by a Korean priest and a Korean deacon to about 23 South Korean deacons-in-training.”

“Their worship songs were sung beautifully and accompanied by one of the young men on a small size, travel guitar. They sang “All in All”, just as we do at Grace Fellowship, but in Korean. This brought tears to my eyes as I filmed them.

As we talked to these young men after the Mass, we learned that they were completing their training as deacons and were visiting the Holy Land as a part of that training. They would then proceed to Rome. Their tender love of Christ was humbling.”

Thanks, Gina.

Feast : Exaltation of the Cross
Sunday, September 14, 2014, 7:00 AM

… it behooves us to glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: in whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection: by whom we are saved, and delivered. — (Ps. 66. 2).

When I Survey Thy Wondrous Cross

– Isaac Watts, 1707.

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride. (more…)

In Memoriam
Thursday, September 11, 2014, 9:52 AM

Psalm 91

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  (more…)

Feast: The Nativity of the Theotokos
Sunday, September 7, 2014, 7:00 AM

September 8 – The Nativity of the Theotokos (EO)/The Nativity of Mary (RC)

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.

(From the CD “Panagia, Orthodox Hymns to the Mother of God” by Archangel Voices.)

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