Saturday, April 09, 2005


Final rest

Papal fir casket in crypt
Originally uploaded by Salena Moffat.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

L'Osservatore Romano picture of the coffin of Pope John Paul II inside the crypt. This is the three-layered coffin you will have heard about. The cypress casket of the funeral was placed inside a zinc coffin, which was in turn placed inside this fir coffin.

The crypt belonged to Blessed Pope John XXIII before that Pope was disinterred and reburied inside the Basilica above when he was declared "Blessed" by Pope John Paul II.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Papal coffin exits St. Peter's

Papal coffin exits St. Peter's
Originally uploaded by Salena Moffat.
Vincenze Pinto/Getty Images photograph of the pallbearers carrying Pope John Paul II's coffin out of St. Peter's Basilica and into St. Peter's Square for his funeral.

Omnes Sancti et Sanctae Dei, interdicedite pro nobis...Papa, ora pro nobis...

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Totus Tuus

Prayer card--Mary holding the Pope
Originally uploaded by Salena Moffat.
This is a prayer card, and my favorite image of the Pope.


Vestment colors

One of the most interesting things about a Catholic Mass is the way in which we use color to symbolize various things. Since the names of the vestments won't necessarily matter when the time for the funeral comes, I'm posting what the colors you'll see mean. They have meanings other than the ones here, but for the Papal funeral I chose the most appropriate meanings.

The red of the Cardinals stands for the blood of Catholic martyrs, and represents each Cardinal's willingness to die for the Church. Some wear a dark purple, which means much the same thing, although purple is also the color of mourning vestments. Purple also stands for penance and sacrifice. The Cardinals also wear black edged with red ordinarily, and they might continue to wear some black as a sign of mourning.

White and gold symbolize joy and hope, and can be worn during funeral Masses to symbolize the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and thus to symbolize our hope that the departed is now in Heaven.

You will see a lot of red and white in the crowds as well. They are, of course, the colors of Poland, the homeland of Pope John Paul II. The yellow and white flag you'll see is the flag of the Vatican. There will also be flags bearing a blue standard crossed with gold, with an "M" in the bottom right corner--this is Pope John Paul II's standard, representing his love of the Virgin Mary. The motto "Totus Tuus" will also be seen a great deal, I'd assume, and is the Pope's personal motto, meaning "completely yours," his dedication of himself to the Virgin Mary.


What they'll be wearing

For non-Catholics, Catholic Pages Directory: » Mass & Liturgy » VESTMENTS is a wonderfully comprehensive website with links describing each of the vestments Catholic priests wear. I will try throughout the day to post my own descriptions here of exactly what clothing you'll be seeing as you watch the Papal Mass on Friday morning, since each person involved will be wearing clothing with symbols specific to their roles in the Church. Meanwhile, the above site is a decent overview.


Network coverage of the Papal funeral

All times listed here are PDT. Check your local listings online, or in your daily paper, since the regular schedule won't have any of this information.

ABC: 12:30 a.m., Charles Gibson, anchor.

CBS: 1 a.m., Harry Smith and John Roberts, anchors.

NBC: 12:50 a.m., Brian Williams and Katie Couric, anchors.

WB: 1 a.m., Hal Fishman, Stan Chambers and Marta Waller, anchors.

CNN: Midnight, Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour and Bill Hemmer, with Soledad O'Brien in New York, anchors.

Fox News Channel: Midnight, Shepard Smith and Martha MacCallum, anchors.

MSNBC: 1 a.m., Chris Matthews, Chris Jansing, anchors.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


The grave of the Pope's parents and brother in Poland

The grave of the Pope's parents and brother
Originally uploaded by Agnieszka.

From my friend Agnieszka, a member of the Poland Group on Flickr, this beautiful photo of the grave of the Pope's parents and brother. The little lids on the candles are to keep the wind from blowing out the flames, but the lids have holes so that oxygen can get in. Please visit Agnieszka's picture collection--she is an amazing artist with a camera. She can be found at Flickr: Photos from Agnieszka


Honoring Terri--some ideas

If you wish to honor Theresa Marie Schindler in some way, I've come up with some ideas. The places I've listed have not all been vetted by me personally, so use them at your own risk. I've picked sites that seem reliable and have very few or no popups at all.

1. Name a star for her. The International Star Registry is the well-known place to do this--even Carl Sagan and his wife bought themselves a double star before he died in 1996. The link: Name a Star at International Star Registry (R)

2. Plant a tree in her name. There is an organization that will plant a tree in Jerusalem in someone's honor. The link: Jewish National Fund Online Tree Planting Center

3. Buy a Perpetual Enrollment Mass in her name, or an Annual Mass. This can be done at many local Catholic churches, or they can give you information there. Several online links:

Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary: Card and Booklet Requests

About Mass Cards (this one is from the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima)

CATALOGO VIRTUALE 1 (you need to scroll almost to the bottom of the page to find Mass enrollments)

Shrine Memorials & Donations (this site offers both Mass enrollments and actual physical memorials)

Order of Mercy

Passionist Monastery Forms

If you wish to notify the Schindler family that you have honored their beloved daughter in some way, the address I used to send my own Perpetual Mass Enrollment card to is:

The Schindler Family
c/o Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation
4615 Gulf Blvd #104-103
St Petersburg Beach, FL 33706


Conclave date set

The Conclave to elect a new Pope will officially begin meeting on April 18th, the Vatican has announced. Meanwhile, the official delegation from the United States is on its way today to Rome, and consists of President Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, Secretary of State Condaleezza Rice, former president George Bush Sr., and former president Bill Clinton.

Other Americans attending the funeral will reportedly be John Kerry, who calls himself a Catholic while pushing his pro-death agenda, and Nancy Pelossi of California. I have absolutely no idea why Nancy Pelossi is going, I really don't. I suppose with that last name, she could try to claim Catholicism as well, but with her voting record that claim would hardly be supported.

No plans have been announced as yet for the state funeral of His Serene Highness Prince Rainier of Monaco, but I would guess that his funeral would be held next week sometime, perhaps Monday. No word yet on which dignitaries from various countries will attend Prince Rainier's funeral.

On a much lighter note, bookies in London are taking bets on what will be the next cause of delay in the upcoming royal wedding. I find it hysterical that these two adulterers are having problems getting hitched, I really do. First the Vatican has the gall to schedule the papal funeral on the very day Charles was finally going to make his 30-year adulterous affair legal. Then it was announced that the wedding wouldn't be held at Westminster Abbey (a religous site, obviously), but rather at Guildhall (not so religious). The new wedding date, April 9, will mark the third anniversary of the funeral of the Queen Mother. And it's supposed to absolutely bucket rain. Funny as hell...


Prince Rainier, Requiescat in Pace...

Prince Rainier of Monaco has died, leaving the principality in the hands of his son, Prince Albert, who will now be known as His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco. This is the third death in less than a week to rock the Catholic world, beginning with Theresa Marie Schindler on March 31st, and then our Holy Father Pope John Paul II on April 2nd. May all of them find the peace of God's love...

On March 27th, Pope John Paul II sent "a particular blessing" to Monaco's ailing Prince Rainier, who had been hospitalized with a serious chest infection.

The 81-year-old prince, Europe's longest serving monarch, was hospitalized at the principality's Cardiothoracic Center on March 7. The Pope, wrote Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano in a message addressed to the prince, "is united to Your Highness in thought and prayer, expressing his best wishes for your health. Entrusting you to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the Pope prays that the Lord will give you the consolation and support of his grace," he added in the message. Prince Rainier had ruled Monaco since 1949. He married American actress Grace Kelly in 1956. Princess Grace died following a car crash in 1982. She is buried in the crypt of the 19th-century Monaco Cathedral, which overlooks the Mediterranean.
Catholic Online - Cathcom - Monaco's Ailing Prince Gets Papal Blessing

Tuesday, April 05, 2005



The Conclave, which literally means "locked with a key," is that period during which the Cardinals meet to elect a new Pope. There are 117 Cardinals (114 of them were appointed by John Paul II), and all of them are eligible to vote save for those over the age of 80. The Conclave itself must begin no sooner than 15 days and no later than 20 days after the death of a Pope, so April 17th. would be the earliest date by which the Conclave could begin. And for the curious, yes, the Cardinals really are locked into the Sistine Chapel until a new Pope is elected. They will be frisked and wanded for any electronic devices before they enter the Chapel, to ensure that no word can get out prematurely and that no outside influence can get in.

Again, Catholic Online has a wonderfully concise explanation of this time:

The days after the funeral and before the Conclave begins offers the cardinals an opportunity to discuss the state of the Church. They may not do so in a manner which constitutes politicking or electioneering for office or for votes.

"The Cardinal electors shall ... abstain from any form of pact, agreement, promise or other commitment of any kind which could oblige them to give or deny their vote to a person or persons" (UDG 81)

Nor may the Cardinals "enter into any stipulations, committing themselves of common accord to a certain course of action should one of them be elevated to the Pontificate" (UDG 82).

Such promises would, in fact, be null and void (ibid).

There may, however, be "during the period in which the See is vacant, the exchange of views concerning the election" (UDG 81)

If despite the solemn law of the Church, and the penalty of automatic excommunication for selling or trading votes, the validity of the election itself shall not be in doubt. Universi Dominici Gregis states,

79. If—God forbid—in the election of the Roman Pontiff the crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae sententiae. At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision, in order that—as was already established by my Predecessors—the validity of the election of the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.


Interregnum and Novendiales

The period immediately following the death of a Pope and the election of the next Pope is known as the "interregnum" which is Latin for "between the reign of one Pope and another." It's the period we will be in until the next Pope has been officially announced. The Interregnum is governed by papal law, and there must be absolutely no change in the governance of the Church "or to the spiritual or material patrimony of St. Peter, save the election of his successor." When the Cardinals are literally locked into the Sistine Chapel, they will begin the prayerful selection of the next Pope, and will announce their progress each day by burning the ballots. If no new Pope has been elected, the smoke will be the normal black smoke associated with the burning of hundreds of pieces of paper. When the new Pope has been selected, a special brick will be added to the paper ballots being burnt and white smoke will pour forth from the chimney. At this time, the interregnum will be at an end.

As well as being in the period known as the Interregnum, the Catholic Church is also in a period of mourning for nine days. Catholic Online explains this far better than I could:

An official mourning period of nine days, called the Novendiales, begins when a Pope dies. The day of death is counted as the first day of this period. On each of these nine days the Mass of each Cardinal must be a funeral rite for the Pope.

Indeed, the Missal provides a Mass formula "For a Deceased Pope" which can be used by any priest during this time, if the liturgical season permits.

Prior to his burial, and following private rites in the Sistine Chapel, the Pope is laid in state in St. Peter’s Basilica, permitting the faithful to pay their respects. Between the fourth and sixth day after his death (that is, on the 5th, 6th or 7th day of the mourning period) a Solemn Funeral is celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, with the other Cardinals. The deceased Pope is then buried, most likely in the crypt of St. Peter’s. The mourning period then continues until the nine days are completed.


The Camerlengo

I'm going to try to post some informative bits about what's going on now at the Vatican. If anybody reading my blog wants to ask questions, feel free--I'll do my level best to answer them.

The man currently in charge of running things at the Vatican is known as the camerlengo, which means "chamberlain." His functions are more far-reaching than, say, a medieval castle's chamberlain would have been. The camerlengo is the man you will see, and have seen, blessing the Pope's body with holy water and leading the prayers in Saint Peter's Basilica. He was wearing a golden robe yesterday. From Catholic Online comes this informative article:

In Pope John Paul II's 1996 Apostolic Constitution "Universi Dominici gregis" on the vacancy of the Apostolic See and the election of the Roman Pontiff, paragraph 17 reads as follows concerning the duties of the camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, who currently is Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo:

"As soon as he is informed of the death of the Supreme Pontiff, the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church must officially ascertain the Pope's death, in the presence of the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, of the Cleric Prelates of the Apostolic Camera and of the Secretary and Chancellor of the same; the latter shall draw up the official death certificate. The Camerlengo must also place seals on the Pope's study and bedroom, making provision that the personnel who ordinarily reside in the private apartment can remain there until after the burial of the Pope, at which time the entire papal apartment will be sealed; he must notify the Cardinal Vicar for Rome of the Pope's death, whereupon the latter shall inform the People of Rome by a special announcement; he shall notify the Cardinal Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica; he shall take possession of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican and, either in person or through a delegate, of the Palaces of the Lateran and of Castelgandolfo, and exercise custody and administration of the same; he shall determine, after consulting the heads of the three Orders of Cardinals, all matters concerning the Pope's burial, unless during his lifetime the latter had made known his wishes in this regard; and he shall deal, in the name of and with the consent of the College of Cardinals, with all matters that circumstances suggest for safeguarding the rights of the Apostolic See and for its proper administration. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church has the duty of safeguarding and administering the goods and temporal rights of the Holy See, with the help of the three Cardinal Assistants, having sought the views of the College of Cardinals, once only for less important matters, and on each occasion when more serious matters arise."



Yesterday, the Pope's body was moved to Saint Peter's Basilica, where he will lie in state until Friday morning. This is the public's opportunity to view his body and to say one last good-bye. It's estimated that already 500,000 people have filed respectfully past the Pope. The total number by Friday will likely be in the millions.

There are whispers afoot that Pope John Paul II will be the third Pope in history to bear the official title "the Great." He was a tireless advocate for the Catholic Church, and was absolutely unbending when it came to his moral beliefs throughout his lifetime. He did not give in to pressures from various factions of the Church who demanded sweeping change--demands that came mainly from America, that priests be allowed to marry, that women be allowed to become priests, and that the Church stay out of the reproductive systems of those so-called Catholics hungry for the right to kill their unborn children. He faced all of that down with courage and with fortitude. He stood firmly behind the gospel of life, and stared down the growing culture of death with the strength of his convictions. Whether you loved him or hated him, you have to grant that he was a man who did not waver. And if the 500,000 people who've already paid their final respects are anything to judge by, John Paul II's unwavering flame was admired by more than a few.

Monday, April 04, 2005


For the record

I have just removed several comments from this blog because they simply did not belong here. A person was taking me to task for posting pictures while those pictures had not, in fact, been taken by me (I had given full credit where it was due--let that be understood).

My blog is not the place to rant at me about such things. Especially considering that the person--now banned from commenting on my blog--chose to spew his or her anger at me in the posts about the death of the Pope. I am a Catholic, I am in deep mouring over the loss of this man, and what do I see when I view my blog? There, beneath a photo of the Pope lying in state, someone screaming at me (with multiple exclamation marks and question marks) over something I posted on a Flickr group with the permission of the person who invited me to join that group in the first place.

This is all ridiculous, and does not belong in my blog, period. I'm a tolerant person, and I try to answer every negative or questioning comment, and have never yet resorted to deleting them let alone banning their author, but I am in mourning. Go yell at someone else. Meanwhile, can I please just get on with the business of crying my eyes out and saying my Rosary?


Krakow mourns

Originally uploaded by Salena Moffat.
This picture is from a Polish newspaper, and shows a student's dormitory lit in mourning for the passing of Pope John Paul II.



The Vatican has just announced that the funeral for Pope John Paul II will be held beginning at 10 a.m. Rome time on Friday April 8, 2005. I'm sure the news channels will cover it live, so be sure to check your time zone in relation to Rome. I'm going to need to get up at 1 a.m. for instance, since Mountain Time is 9 hours behind Rome. So, again, check your own time zone in relation to Rome.



Beliefnet's coverage of the death of John Paul II can be found here. You can print out prayers, light virtual candles, and discuss your thoughts. I wanted to post this particular link because Beliefnet is truly multi-faith, and there are many articles already on this man from, say, a Jewish perspective. The Israeli Secret Service's code name for him was "Old Friend," which speaks to how he was viewed by the Jewish community.

From a Catholic perspective, Pope John Paul II - 1920-2005 at Catholic Online is a wonderful site. Here you can find specifically Catholic prayers for the repose of the soul of John Paul II, as well as several links to topics such as "what happens next" and "his legacy."

As I said with the death of Theresa Schindler, if anyone else knows of any truly fitting prayers or links, please share them with me through the Comments or by e-mail at the address in my Profile. It's been a really difficult few weeks for me personally, with both Terri and the Pope dying within days of each other, and I'm sure that I'm not the only one in deep need of spiritual comfort at this time. If you'd like to add your own prayers as Comments, feel free to do so here at any time.


Lying in state

Pope John Paul II
Originally uploaded by Salena Moffat.
Yesterday, the Vatican allowed television cameras in to view the Pope's body lying in state. Today, the public will be allowed to pay their respects to the Holy Father. I fully expect the final total of people to set historical records. This man was beloved, and not only by people of his own faith, but by Jews, by Muslims, by Buddhists. This is part of being a Catholic, this incredibly public display of grief and affection for our Popes. We loved him, we lost him, and now begins the long and heartbreaking process of saying adieu to him, until we meet him again.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Pictures of Poland

Flickr is a nifty little photo-sharing tool that I use to blog pics. Flickr: Poland is a great group of people who post pictures of all things Polish--there are a lot of truly beautiful pictures here, give them a visit.


Ave Maria, Mater Dolorosa

Originally uploaded by Salena Moffat.
From the Zenit News Agency, this simple announcement about the death of Karol Wojtyla.

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 2, 2005 ( John Paul II died tonight in his Vatican apartment. He was 84.

"At 9:37 p.m. (2:37 p.m. EST) our Holy Father returned to the House of the Father," said Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Secretariat of State, announcing the Pope's death to more than 60,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square.

The archbishop made the announcement at 10 p.m. (3 p.m. EST), immediately after the crowd had finished praying the Rosary for John Paul II.

The pilgrims intoned the "Salve Regina," which was followed by prolonged applause. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, began to pray the "De Profundis," in Latin and Italian.

The majority of the faithful knelt down, many of them with tears in their eyes.

A few minutes later, the bells of St. Peter's Basilica tolled the death of the Bishop of Rome.


Theresa Schindler memorial Mass

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." Martin Luther King Jr.

I have been accused in comments of apparently needing to get over my own frustrations and mind my own business. Reread that quote above, and you'll see precisely where I stand on comments like that. Oh, and I've been asked what's wrong with me... Just felt the need to post about that on the main page, as it were, and tell those people out there who think that pro-life bloggers have something wrong with them and that they should get over it already and mind their own business that they can, with immense respect, kiss my Aunt Fanny Mae.

Now, on to far more important things--Theresa Marie Schindler's parents will hold a memorial Mass in her honor on Tuesday, April 5, 2005, at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Gulfport, FL. Directions to the church can be found at MapQuest Search: holy name of jesus in Gulfport, FL.


What happens next

National Public Radio seems to have a really decent overview of what happens in the Catholic Church when, and after, a Pope dies. Since there is an entire segment of the population that has never known another Pope, what happens next will be new, and interesting. The Pope's body is now lying in state at the Vatican.

I vividly remember 1978, when I was a girl, about the same age my youngest daughter is now. I remember watching for the white smoke that would indicate a decision had been made, a new Pope elected--we watched for it twice that year...

It's all a very involved process, and it will take weeks. The Cardinals will pray over this--this isn't the kind of election Americans are used to. There are, of course, hopes. There are, no doubt, favorites, perhaps favorites who come into the Conclave with the personal recommendation of Pope John Paul II. We won't be privy to that sort of information. The Cardinals will be literally wanded to assure they don't carry any electronic devices of any kind upon them, and once the entrance is sealed, we won't see or hear from them until a decision has been made. At that time, they will appear on a balcony and annouce that a Pope has been chosen, and the world will get its first glimpse of the new Vicar of Christ.

I will be posting throughout this process, and I hope to be able to post a profile of each of the Cardinals who are now considered by some to be front-runners, including the Cardinal from Nigeria. If anyone has any questions about any of this, feel free to leave Comments or to e-mail me at the address in my Profile.

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