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A Brief History of the Early Years of the Society of the Holy Cross

August 7, 2009





The province of the Americas

By the Rev. Dr. Thomas Hightower, SSC


This is a paper presented to the SSC Chapter of Our Lady of Walshingham in 1999. It is shamelessly stolen and copied from other sources, both old and new. It is not footnoted or documented in any way. (That has been started but will probably never be actually accomplished.) I therefore apologize to the authors of the material, those in the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant, for not recognizing their work.

One of the things that impressed me over the years with the early years of the SSC and its leaders is the parallels with our own day. They taught and fought for the truth of Eucharist. By their ceremonial, they pointed a people who lived in a time of confusion and relativity, to the very presence of our Lord in an immediate and accessible form.

They revived confession as the certain means of restoring a right relationship to God in circumstances of moral decay and depravity. For their efforts, they were despised and persecuted. They were refused advancement in the Church and threatened and persecuted in the courts. In a time of overwhelming social and economic change, in a day when religion was under critical attack by moral and theological relativism, the SSC stood firm for the truth of the Catholic Faith.

And they boldly took this message into a place of alienation and despair. At this time, poverty so isolated each person and the poor as a class from society at large, that loneliness and despair was the norm. Into this drab and hopeless situation, the members of the SSC brought beauty, order, and hope. And through the ministries of the individual priests and parishes, human contact was made and human dignity restored.

We too, exist in a time of theological confusion. The sacraments we are called to defend are marriage and orders. We also live in a time of persecution, a time when some of our own friends have been warned about associating with those of our kind. And in a time of increasing technological growth, when we grow complacent and confident in our own abilities to overcome all obstacles, we need to be reminded of the Transcendence of Almighty God. By our witness, we must teach the truth of the power and the otherness of God, as well as his intimacy and closeness.

And technology carries with it another danger. We grow isolated from each other through email and fax. And the personal contact that every human needs is missing from our lives.

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Democracy Leads to Ruin

August 6, 2009

How We Can Win the Second American Revolution Without Firing a Shot

August 5, 2009


How We Can Win the Second American Revolution Without Firing a Shot

A Tea Party Manifesto

by James Ostrowski

Ladies and Gentlemen.

I have news for you. Barack Obama is not the problem with America. He is merely the symptom. When big government failed, the people, not knowing what went wrong, went for the fresh face who promised that government would solve the problems the people didn’t know government caused in the first place.

America went off course many, many decades ago. Blaming Obama for our problems is like saying a 500 pound man is fat because he just ate three pizzas. Obama is the captain of the Titanic and his ship is speeding recklessly along, but he did not design the ship nor place that giant iceberg in its path.

The tragedy is that the American people do not know why the economy collapsed. They do not know the nature of the regime that runs the country. They do not know that this regime is not the regime for which the Founding Fathers and Mothers fought. They do not know what the regime was that the Founders fought for. Finally, they do not know that the solution to our economic collapse is to restore that regime.

What were those Minute Men fighting for at Lexington and Concord? A republic of largely independent states. They weren’t fighting for the Constitution. There was no Constitution. They were fighting for a republic that would protect their natural right to liberty.

What is a republic? There’s much confusion about this. We must get this right. John Adams once complained that he “never understood” what the guarantee of republican government meant “and I believe no man ever did or will.” With apologies to John Adams, by “republican,” I mean a government exercising limited powers delegated to it by the people, whose officials are answerable to the people in regular, free elections.

Distinguishing between a republic and a democracy is critical. Both forms of government feature voting by the people to select officials. The difference between them is that while republican voting is done for the purpose of choosing officials to administer the government in the pursuit of its narrowly defined functions; democratic voting is done, not only to select officials but also to determine the functions and goals and powers of the government. The guiding principle of republics is that they exercise narrow powers delegated to them by the people, who themselves, as individuals, possess such powers. They cannot spring as they do in democracies, ex nihilo, from the mob’s collective whim.

Only a republican government can be truly limited. A republican government may only exercise powers delegated by the people that the people actually possess. The people do not have the right to steal from their neighbors so they cannot delegate to the government the power to create a welfare state. The people don’t have the right to counterfeit so they cannot delegate that power to the Federal Reserve. The people do not have the right to rule the world so they cannot delegate to the government the right to create a global military empire. You see where I am going with this? If we had a republic, we wouldn’t be in the bloody mess we are in.

In a democracy, there are no real limits to government power. If you object, you will always be told, hey, majority rules.
Long before Barack Obama was born, America traded in its decentralized libertarian republic for a centralized, democratic, corporate state with a global military empire. You can’t destroy a great country immediately. By the 1970’s, however, the corporate state, the welfare-warfare state started to cause economic stagnation and an endless series of domestic and foreign crises. Middle class living standards have been frozen in place for decades. Our standard of living was only maintained by smoke and mirrors: young mothers joining the workforce, parents working three jobs, credit card and mortgage debt, huge federal deficits, inflation and foreign borrowing. What is happening now is judgment day, the day of reckoning, the day the national Ponzi scheme collapsed. To con the people into thinking that all was well, our puppet masters created a lot of phony money and the bill is now due.

Now, the solution to all this is quite simple. Here’s what we need to do.

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Obama’s Secret Police

August 4, 2009

via Justin Raimondo at

President Obama is presiding over an even wider war than George W. Bush ever dreamed of, and because of that the antiwar movement is a natural target for his spy agencies, whose reach continues to grow. Why any of this is surprising to anyone is beyond me, but then again I’ve not been inducted into the Obama cult.

One wonders what it will take for what passes for the “left” these days to wake up. If I were them, I would heed the words of Murray Rothbard, the great libertarian theorist and onetime ally of the New Left, and apply it to their own movement:

“For the libertarian, the main task of the present epoch is to … discover who his friends and natural allies are, and above all, perhaps, who his enemies are.”

Imaginary Seminary for Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest

August 3, 2009


Matthew G. Alderman
Taken from: Dappled Things, Ss. Peter & Paul, 2009

MY FAVORITE BUILDINGS never got around to being built. Some, like Sir Edwin Lutyen’s majestic design for Liverpool Cathedral, fell victim to budget cuts and the vagaries of history. Others were consigned by good taste, or occasionally outright timidity, to competition honorable mentions, and still others, like numerous student proposals or visionary dreams—like Boulée’s alarming hemispherical cenotaph for Newton, or an imaginary papal palace in Jerusalem cooked up by one of the votaries of the Vienna Sezession—weren’t terribly serious to begin with, unfortunately.

Note that I say favorite buildings, my own personal favorites, rather than the best or the most beautiful. Lutyens’ and Boulée’s fantasies may cross into that sublime territory of beauty by the power of their imaginative vision, but so many of the others owe their charm to their dreamlike extravagances, their intriguing if perhaps incomplete answers. An architect’s education lies in gathering up such fragmentary answers for the questions he will face down the road from clients and patrons. And therein lies the lure, and the value, of paper architecture.

I, like most of my colleagues, spent much of my time in school devising such useful fantasies, sometimes grand, sometimes small. Yet, they were not castles in the air. Each, while often existing in something like the best of all possible worlds in terms of budget and client, was grounded by an actual site and the laws of nature.

The most elaborate of all was my thesis project. It was an imaginary American seminary for a very real religious order, the fast-growing Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. This new congregation, dedicated to evangelization through the beauty of art, music, and the traditional Latin Mass, started out in, of all places, Gabon in Africa, but its present headquarters lies in Tuscany, in a villa bursting at the seams with seminarians in formation. While their ranks are dominated by Germans and Frenchmen, the increasing number of American clergy and their recent erection of a number of apostolates scattered across the Midwest suggested that a seminary in the United States, if not planned, might at least make for a plausible student project. Also, they seemed to have adventurous taste. I have since developed a passion for the Gothic but my first love has always been the Italian baroque. Perhaps they might be open to its vigorous beauty.

I garnered an award for the end result, the Rambusch Prize for Religious Architecture, and my putative patrons wanted copies of my enormous presentation watercolors to hang on their office walls—though, of course, the seminary would forever remain unbuilt. Its gigantic scale—typical for a student project—put it outside budgetary reach, unless, as someone cheerfully quipped, Bill Gates converted. Yet, the design was logical, consistent, and helped hone design skills I use every day at my drafting board.

The notion for the seminary came shortly after my first real-life encounter with the Institute’s work. My friends and I were road-tripping through the hill country of central Wisconsin, thick with vivid fall colors, and had just come back from a serene, silent low Mass and a long, talkative, private tour of St. Mary’s Oratory in Wausau. The Institute had transformed from a bland Midwestern Gothic to a dazzling near-replica of a fourteenth-century Bavarian court chapel. Bill Gates or no, these priests think big. Since then, they’ve overhauled a historic church in downtown Kansas City, and they’re presently turning their American priory from a burnt-out shell in a borderline south-side Chicago neighborhood into something out of Counter-Reformation Rome, and I have no doubt they’re going to succeed. Lest these projects seem like archaeological transplants, they are in fact derived from a logical extrapolation from local Catholic culture—Chicago’s colorful Polish cathedrals brought back to their ultramontane source, or, as I had just discovered, Midwestern Gothic returned to its Germanic roots.

As we headed north out into the rolling countryside, my head full of gilded angels and polychromed heraldry, I saw the high knobs of hill bright in the sunlight and the wistful ghost of an idea formed in the back of my mind. A city on a hill—the heavenly city on a hill—a great domed church on a hill, with a seminary clustered round its flanks. A little less than a year later, I started prepping for the project. I phoned the North American superior for the society in Chicago and found him very happy to give me the background to make my imaginary project feel a little more real. I subsequently spent one summer afternoon engaged in a rather strange three-way conversation between Monsignor the vicar-general, the Institute’s art director, and myself, hashing out numbers and locations of classrooms, refectories, audience halls, chapels, even confessionals. Monsignor spoke German and English, the Abbé understood English but spoke only German, and I barely speak even Spanish. When I asked about style, the answer I got was “Barock! Barock! Barock!” punctuated by fingertips stabbing the tabletop. I had found the right client.

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Bernanke Admits Fed Caused Depression

August 2, 2009

Ben Bernanke to Milton Friedman at the latter’s 90th birthday celebration in 2002:

“I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we [the Fed] did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

July 17, 2009 Newsweek

Serving the Remnant

August 1, 2009

Isaiah’s Job

by Albert Jay Nock

One evening last autumn, I sat long hours with a European acquaintance while he expounded a political-economic doctrine which seemed sound as a nut and in which I could find no defect. At the end, he said with great earnestness: “I have a mission to the masses. I feel that I am called to get the ear of the people. I shall devote the rest of my life to spreading my doctrine far and wide among the population. What do you think?”

An embarrassing question in any case, and doubly so under the circumstances, because my acquaintance is a very learned man, one of the three or four really first-class minds that Europe produced in his generation; and naturally I, as one of the unlearned, was inclined to regard his lightest word with reverence amounting to awe. Still, I reflected, even the greatest mind can not possibly know everything, and I was pretty sure he had not had my opportunities for observing the masses of mankind, and that therefore I probably knew them better than he did. So I mustered courage to say that he had no such mission and would do well to get the idea out of his head at once; he would find that the masses would not care two pins for his doctrine, and still less for himself, since in such circumstances the popular favourite is generally some Barabbas. I even went so far as to say (he is a Jew) that his idea seemed to show that he was not very well up on his own native literature. He smiled at my jest, and asked what I meant by it; and I referred him to the story of the prophet Isaiah.

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