Monday, April 17, 2017

New Inigo Hicks Short Story!!

Lot and His Daughters, Jan Brueghel the Elder (17th Century)

“Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable…. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.”

Readers will note the great extent to which Flannery O’Connor’s dictum has inspired Inigo Hicks’ new short story,”The Suburbs of Gomorrha”, in that the story not only contains much that is grotesque, perverse and unacceptable, but also a lot of shouting, as well as several large, and sometimes startling figures. 

Which doesn't mean it isn't funny.  Malcolm Muggeridge suggested that the fall of man was just the old bananaskin joke on a cosmic scale.  The humor in "The Suburbs of Gomorrha" belongs to the bananaskin genre.

“The Suburbs of Gomorrha” is affordably priced at just 99 cents (cheap) on Amazon Kindle. Where else can you get so much perversity (seen by the light of Christian faith), not to mention laughs, for less than a dollar? 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Edward Cardinal Koch?

The one in scarlet resembles a former mayor of NYC
(click to enlarge)

Judging from these paintings by Eduard von Grutzner, monks used to have a lot of fun, and the ready supply of alcohol sure didn't hurt.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Are galeros making a comeback?

Cardinal Medeiros' galero (and two other galeros)

In 2001 Avery Dulles was made a cardinal by Pope John Paul II, but did not receive a galero, the cardinal's distinctive red hat.  Pope Paul VI had abolished those in 1969 AD, on the grounds that a galero was at odds with "the spirit of humility and poverty, which must always and preeminently shine forth" from cardinals.  And yet Dulles' galero hangs in the university church at Fordham University, where Dulles had resided for many years.  So where did the galero come from?

Perhaps Cardinal Humberto Medeiros' galero provides a clue.  Medeiros was made cardinal in 1973 AD by Pope Paul VI, the abolisher of galeros, and naturally didn't receive a galero on that occasion.  However, in 2010, Medeiros' galero was raised to the ceiling of Holy Cross cathedral in Boston.  Since Medeiros didn't get a galero from Pope Paul VI, where had the galero come from?  According to the Boston Pilot, Cardinal O'Malley of Boston had bought the galero while on a visit to Rome on other business.   The galero which was recently raised to the ceiling of Holy Name cathedral in Chicago had likewise been purchased for the late Cardinal George as a gift.  Cardinal George's galero joined Cardinal Bernardin's galero up on the ceiling, and Bernardin's (made a cardinal in the post galero year of 1983) had been a gift, too.

So Pope Paul VI may have abolished galeros, but galeros are making a quiet comeback as a popular gift item for a cardinal, though it's generally a posthumous gift, as in the cases of Cardinal Medeiros and Cardinal Bernardin.  If the cardinal is alive when he receives his galero, as Cardinal George was, a well-behaved cardinal will be mindful of Pope Paul VI's strictures, and modestly set his galero aside until the time comes for raising it to the cathedral ceiling.  In the meantime, a certain amount of private gazing upon or even wearing of the galero is to be expected.

Not all cardinals are so modest and well behaved.  Cardinal Burke, created a cardinal in 2010, has been wearing his galero around since 2011 AD, though I suspect Cardinal Burke's galero was not a gift.

If you're interested in buying a galero for a cardinal of your acquaintance, where is the best place to shop?  Alas, that seems to be a well-guarded secret.  For instance, Barbiconi of Rome sells saturnos and various cords to be worn on saturnos, but no galeros.   Gammarelli has black felt hats, and a variety of cords, but no galeros.   Maybe the best thing to do is ask Cardinal O'Malley where he bought that galero for Cardinal Medeiros.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Galeros in the news

Whose galero is this?
Hint: this galero hangs in NYC, though not in a cathedral

I'm happy to report the extremely long drought of galero-related news has at last ended: last Sunday in Chicago, Cardinal George's galero was raised above the sanctuary in Holy Name Cathedral.  Cardinal George, who died on April 17, had received the galero as a gift but, sadly, never wore it, perhaps fearing to fall afoul of Pope Paul VI's "Instruction on the Dress, Titles and Coat-of-Arm of Cardinals, Bishops and Lesser Prelates," which among other things, banned the galero.   Pope Paul VI, though an estimable pope in many respects, was not much given to mirth or whimsy, a quality which shines with particular clarity in this Instruction.

The present pope is cut from very different cloth, though one suspects he may be even less galero-friendly than Paul VI was.  In naming Pope Francis its "Best Dressed Man" of 2013, Esquire magazine noted approvingly his ''black shoes and unadorned, simplistic regalia.''   A black shoed, "unadorned" pope seems unlikely to top off his "simplistic regalia" with a galero, or look approvingly upon those who do. 

However, Esquire's reference to Francis's regalia as "simplistic" may be unintentionally telling. Webster's dictionary defines simplistic as "not complete or thorough enough: not treating or considering all possibilities or parts."  That strikes us as perfectly apt.  The red shoes, capes and hats Pope Benedict was mocked for wearing were not only traditional, which, for the leader of a 2000 year old Church, has value in itself, but also red to recall the martyrs' blood which helped the Church grow.  We would thus urge Francis to consider more "possibilities and parts" in his regalia. We would further urge Francis to permit more "possibilities and parts" in the regalia of cardinals, too.   Indeed, we'd recommend Francis instruct cardinals as follows: "If you've got a galero, flaunt it."   And if you don't got a galero, get thee to a galerory.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beverly Sills and the Production Lodges of South America

Everything You Need to Know

The internet is funny and kind of mysterious.  Somebody for some reason (probably hoping to make lots of money) went to the trouble of translating the Wikipedia page for Beverly Sills into another language and then back into English.  Then they put that material, plus a lot of other weird Beverly Sills-related text into a book called "Beverly Sills 108 Success Facts."  Here are a few typical sentences:

In South America, she chanted in the production lodges of Buenos Aires and Santiago, a musical performance in Lima, Peru, and emerged in some performances in Mexico City, containing Lucia Di Lammermoor with Luciano Pavarotti.  On November 9, 1971, her execution in New York City Opera's manufacture of  The Golden Cockerel was telecast live to wire TV members.

Here are those sentences as they appear in Wikipedia:

In South America, she sang in the opera houses of Buenos Aires and Santiago, a concert in Lima, Peru, and appeared in several productions in Mexico City, including Lucia di Lammermoor with Luciano Pavarotti. On November 9, 1971, her performance in the New York City Opera's production of The Golden Cockerel was telecast live to cable TV subscribers.

"Beverly Sills 108 Success Facts" is available from Amazon, and the Kindle edition costs only $24.99.

The publisher, Emereo Publishing, does this a lot.  As of August, 2014 there were 2,441 similar books for sale on Amazon.  My advice is don't buy these.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

For that obscure Christmas music lover on your list

There are some nice songs on this cd, the most interesting of which is "Huron Carol" by St. Jean de Brebeuf, the Jesuit missionary and martyr.  It's Canada' s oldest carol (1642 AD), and fairly popular up there (covered by Crash Test Dummies, among others), but rarely heard down here in the lower 48.  Brebeuf composed the lyrics in Wyandot, the Huron language, which he'd worked tirelessly to master, but they are sung here in English, alas.  The English translation dates from 1926, and appears to be a bit on the fanciful side.  Google translate doesn't work on Wyandot, so this is difficult to confirm (though the use of " 'twas" is a tip off).

Here is the first verse in Wyandot:

Ehstehn yayau deh tsaun we yisus ahattonnia
O na wateh wado:kwi nonnwa 'ndasqua entai
ehnau sherskwa trivota nonnwa 'ndi yaun rashata
Iesus Ahattonnia, Ahattonnia, Iesus Ahattonnia.

And in English:

'Twas in the moon of winter-time
When all the birds had fled,
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim,
And wandering hunters heard the hymn:
"Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria."

"Gitchi Manitou," the Algonquin word for God, appears in the third line of the translation, even though Huron and Algonquin are totally different languages, and St. Jean de Brebeuf didn't use the Huron word for God in his carol.

The Huron were allies of the French, and were all but wiped out by the ferocious Iroquois, the allies of the English who also martyred St. Jean de Brebeuf (martyrdom is a mild, polite term for the beastly violence inflicted upon de Brebeuf).   The Huron language has pretty much disappeared, too, though it is partly preserved in a Wyandot dictionary compiled by none other than St. Jean de Brebeuf.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

God chooses the weak to confound the strong

Brendan Kelly

Brendan Kelly had Down Syndrome and died last year at 15 of leukemia.   Yet in his short, pain-filled life, Brendan established a world-wide reputation for sanctity, counting popes and senators among his friends.   Though in his amazing life Brendan worked miracles, perhaps his greatest achievement was to demonstrate the irresistible power of sacrificial love. (h/t Creative Minority Report)