Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Okie Trad and Laramie Hirsch having Cigars with a Trusted Tulsa Trad

Its the 4th Day of Christmas, and I'm kicking back once again in my Okie Armchair by the Netflix fireplace to blog, smoking a brand spankin' new corn cob pipe with the finest tobacco, given to me by one Laramie Hirsch for Christmas.  Thanks again Hirsch.

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Readers may have stumbled across an October post about Hirsch and me enjoying a cigar at Classic Cigars and Lounge in Downtown Tulsa.  Talking about our blogging hobby that night, I decided, what the heck, I'd be using my hobby in part as one voice for traditional Catholics in my Local Church.

The original post:  Calling All Okie Traditionalists

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Cigars with a Trusted Tulsa Trad:

Fast forward a couple months later--last night--Hirsch and I met up again at the same cigar lounge, but this time with a local Tulsa Trad gentleman we've only known so far through Facebook.  He's a man I'd consider to be one pillar in the local trad community.  I'd give his name, but then I'd risk people pressuring him to say who we are, and if so then, well, we'd have to kill him.  haha

So, I'm not exactly in the habit of buying $10 cigars, but it was actually well worth it considering the one cigar would last an hour and a half.  We grabbed a corner towards the back and started ordering whiskeys, rum and diet cokes, and a hot toddy for Hirsch who had a sore throat.  The waitress was attentive with holiday cheer, bringing us endless supplies of Gardettos and Vickis potato chips.

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This was a new experience for me, already newish to the cigar bar scene, but this time in a group of fellow Okie Trads in the back of a literally smoke-filled room, as it were, ruminating and reflecting on church, society, and daily life.

Subjects varied.  Of course there was the requisite examination of our blogs and the Konderla Affair, but soon we were sharing our stories as traditional Catholics and common experiences with familiar people and places across the Latin Mass scene.  After an hour or so the discussion turned more deeply to details of current, geopolitical affairs--of which I am decidedly ignorant--but no worries, I grabbed a bag of Vicki's and leaned back and listened.  By then I had a very heavy buzz going on from the cigar.  (Mental note: next time ask clerk which cigars give less buzz)

Words of Affirmation:

There are a few things I think I can impart from this somewhat incognito meetup with this Catholic gentleman, who likewise takes the pulse of our Local Church:  it seems we are not alone in our analysis of recent events in the Tulsa diocese, and a similar consternation is running through the local trad community.

Likewise, in our opinion, while there is a time and place to address our specific trad differences, now is the time more than ever for Okie Trads across the spectrum to unite in publicly defending the true Faith. As in, here in Oklahoma.

At any rate, it was an affirming evening.

Are there any local Okie Trads out there who would like to join in next time for cigars and whiskey?  How about Bishop-emeritus Slattery, if somebody knows how to get ahold of him!?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Memory Foam Pillow

Got one for Christmas, and man oh man, thank you Santa.  I've been adjusting and readjusting my pillow on a nightly basis for years.  Last night I felt like I was sleeping with the angels on a soft cloud.  They're about $25, but well worth it.

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Anybody need more rum in their eggnog?

May the warmth of the manger keep us warm on this second day of Christmas.

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Two Turtle Doves

Friday, December 23, 2016

New Tulsa Bishop Responds to The Okie Traditionalist

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My Original Email:

Dear Bishop Konderla,

I have a blog called The Okie Traditionalist. I had reported about your decision to not establish the Doloran Fathers, and recently the Daughters of Mary, two religious communities founded by Bishop Slattery with devotion for the Traditional Latin Mass.

Many people are asking why you are doing this, as a new bishop? To these priests, sisters, and to the work of Bishop Slattery? Many local Catholics are concerned that you personally disapprove of the Latin Mass and Catholics attached to it, and intend to continue similar actions to priests, religious, and laity in your diocese, who are attached to the traditional liturgy.

I hold out hope this is not true.

Would you be open to an interview for my blog to set the record straight, and assure local Latin Mass Catholics you are not against them or the Latin Mass? I would make it very respectful, submit a few questions to you by email which you answer and I'll post it to the blog, after you give final approval for the post.


Joseph Ostermeir

Bishop David Konderla's Response to The Okie Traditionalist:

Dear Joseph,

Thank you for your inquiry. No, I do not disapprove of the Latin mass and the people attached to it. It would be erroneous to read such disapproval into decisions the diocese has made regarding the two religious communities. Merry Christmas to you and yours. 
Bishop David Konderla
Diocese of Tulsa
(Written permission was given by the Bishop to post his response)
My Commentary:

Well my fellow Okie Trads, there you have it. The Bishop has given his Official Answer.  He says he personally is not opposed to the Latin Mass or traditionalists. His opinion about the traditional Mass and Catholics attached to it, he says, did not factor into his decisions.

Up until now, I have not disclosed details given to me personally by an official, primary source involved--and I won't--but I still trust 100% that source and their clear, detailed account. God knows exactly what went down.

My intention in these blog posts about the TWO suppressions of traditional religious communities in my own Local Church was to present the public facts as disclosed by official sources, to let readers consider the circumstances, and raise their own pressing questions and concerns.  The overwhelming majority of commentators had very similar reservations.

God knows the heart of the new bishop. God help him.  But his and the diocese's official decisions are tragic for those involved--and that includes traditional Catholics still living in the Tulsa diocese.  Honestly, I'm still concerned if the diocese may keep suppressing traditional Catholic communities and restorations established by Bishop-emeritus Slattery.  If so, you'll read about it here.

At the very least we have this Public Statement from the Bishop of Tulsa. If ecclesial forces should ever try to force his hand to suppress a Third (yes, third) Latin Mass-praying community or traditional cause, then at least we have some kind of official assurance in this statement.

Folks, I'm sitting in my Okie Armchair keeping warm, waiting for Christmas. And I'm gazing over at our Family Altar where I have a holy card with Bishop Konderla's photo, next to the shepherds in the Nativity set.  I will be praying for him that His Excellency will be faithful to his Office of Bishop and ultimately to the traditional Catholic Faith in his diocese.

Merry Christmas,

Joseph Ostermeir
The Okie Traditionalist

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Newly Ordained Tulsa Bishop Konderla Dismissing ANOTHER Traditional Catholic Religious Community

(UPDATE:  Bishop Konderla responded to me today in an email.  Read HERE)

This cold Advent evening I'm setting down my eggnog, heavy-hearted to report what I think is another public tragedy in the Diocese of Tulsa, relevant to traditional Catholics here in the Heartland.  

The newly ordained bishop for Tulsa--Bishop David Konderla--is dismissing from his new diocese yet another religious community devoted to the traditional Catholic religious life, known by many local faithful for also actively participating in the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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This time it is the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel's Hope, a public association of the faithful preparing for years for permanent approval, originally founded by now retired Bishop-emeritus Edward Slattery of Tulsa and Mother Miriam (a Jewish convert known for her talks on EWTN).  

From their recent Advent/Christmas 2016 Newsletter (emphasis mineLINK
The new bishop of Tulsa told us earlier this month that he does not see a way forward for our community in the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In a memo to Diocesan priests and staff, the bishop wrote: “After careful consideration and prayerful discernment, the Diocese of Tulsa has elected to end its affiliation with the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel’s Hope and allow the community to continue their apostolic exploration in another diocese.”
 This is a great sadness to us and to many families and individuals in the Diocese of Tulsa and beyond who have worked so hard and given so much to establish our Priory and renovate the guest house that was donated to us.  Yet, we are at peace...

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My Commentary:

I encourage you to look at all the photos in their recent newsletter, especially on page 5 and 6.   LINK 

Do you recall how the same new bishop inexplicably shut down in September the Latin Mass-offering priestly exorcist society--the Doloran Fathers--founded by his Predecessor and Fr. Chad Ripperger?   DIOCESAN MEMO

Like the Doloran Fathers, these sisters (not yet in the novitiate phase) were established by Bishop Slattery, but are also being inexplicably removed by the new bishop, Bishop Konderla.

Both communities are dedicated to our Catholic tradition, widely known for their pious love of the Traditional Latin Mass.

Both received donations and help from many local benefactors to establish an actual Religious House.

For the priests, it was a Monastery north of Tulsa in the countryside, living a removed, quiet life devoted to helping some of the most spiritually tormented souls.

For the sisters, it was a Priory and Guesthouse in the city area, where they have evangelized families with the Catholic Faith.

Do I even  need to ask, why this is happening again?

Please pray for these dear ladies that they might be able to fulfill their vocation in another diocese.  Pray for the future of this Local Church.  And pray for Bishop Konderla that he may understand and support traditional Catholics/traditional Catholicism in his new diocese.  Kyrie eleison.

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Some Recent Blog Posts for My Fellow Okie Traditionalists:

Calling All Okie Traditionalists

History of the Latin Mass in Oklahoma

New Tulsa Bishop (July)

Fall Road Trip to Clear Creek

First Catholics in Oklahoma

Thursday, December 15, 2016

2 New Polls: Are you an Okie Trad? And What Do You Think of the Blog?

UPDATE:  Just a Few More Hours to Vote, My Online Friends!  

Spiked Eggnog and Mistletoe Kisses to All Who Vote!  :)

DUBIA WATCH: Growing List of Cardinals (7 Now) Supporting the Dubia Presented to Pope Francis

(Update: 12/22/16.  Francis Addresses Roman Curia  Still Does NOT answer Dubia)

(Update: 12/19/16.  Cardinal Burke suggests a Formal Correction of Francis after Feast of the Epiphany LINK)

So far folks these are the courageous Cardinals who've stepped up to the plate to defend the doctrine of the Church, risking criticism, condemnation, or even loss of position.  These Princes of the Church need our prayers and encouragement!  Since I haven't seen a website with a list, then here goes.  Spread it on Facebook!

Growing List of Cardinals (7 Now) Supporting the Dubia:

Cardinal Raymond Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of Bologna, Italy

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne, Germany

Cardinal Walter Brandmuller, President emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences

Cardinal George Pell, Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy

Cardinal Paul Cordes, President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum

Cardinal Renato Martino, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

ANOTHER Cardinal Supports "The Four" Cardinals' Dubia Asking Pope Francis for Clarification!!!

(Update: 12/17/16.  A 7th Cardinal is now Supporting the Dubia, Cardinal Martino of Italy.  As reported by One Peter Five...I think I'll just keep adding updates as more valiant Princes of the Church defend our Faith)

Well, this is encouraging news!  But I'm a bit surprised the blogs and forums have been largely quiet about this the last couple of days.  I guess the Okie Traditionalist blog has the scoop!  I've been enjoying a restful day off from work in my Okie Armchair blogging, otherwise I would've missed the story myself.

A 5th Cardinal joined the cause a couple weeks ago--Cardinal Pell of Australia  LINK   But now we have a 6th Cardinal, Cardinal Cordes of Germany!

"The Four"

Weeks ago my heart strings pulled back and forth learning about "The Four" brave Cardinals publicly asking Pope Francis to clarify his document Amoris Laetitia.  The Dubia

(By the way, am I the only one who needs some efficient nomenclature to encapsulate this issue?  How about CFDR, short for Communion-for-the-Divorced-and-Remarried? I'm thinking we need a term to make it easier to talk about. Something. I kinda doubt there's a handy phrase for this in the old theology manuals.)

But then my blood pressure dropped a bit ruminating and reflecting on the fact we only have 4 retired Cardinals so far putting their reputations on the line.  "Only 4?? Hello, that's not enough to form a basketball squad!"

But yesterday--Deo gracias--a 6th, heroic Cardinal joined the effort, giving formal support for the "Dubia" presented to the pope.  Now we have a team!

A Fifth Cardinal Interviewed Yesterday:

The Wanderer broke the story here in the States, reporting this courageous Cardinal's interview with in Austria.  LINK  As a traditionalist at times admittedly wary of the Wanderer in the past (I'm more of a Remnant guy), I want to run up and embrace them for supporting The Four. They're likewise putting their earthly reputations on the line.

Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes of Germany joined The Four yesterday speaking about Communion-for-the-Divorced-and-Remarried (I mean CFDR):

“it appears in a footnote of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia with the argument that, under certain circumstances, the reception of the Sacraments can be of help for such Christians [the “remarried” divorcees] for their growth in the Faith and in Charity” however, "“the theological foundation of such a permission is not at all compelling. Its formal obligatoriness (a footnote) certainly does not have the status and rank of a Dogma.”
He added:

“With an objective tone, the four cardinals have asked for the removal of doubts about the text [Amoris Laetitia]. They were met with a disproportionate protest. I was not able to understand this indignation; I also had doubts that these indignant persons were motivated by a desire to find the truth.”
My Commentary:

Folks, we now have a 6th Cardinal joining the 4!  He and the others need all the thanks and encouragement we can give, I'd think.  Christmas baskets, thank you cards, rosary bouquets, and such.

Plus we have indirectly supportive comments made by Cardinal Mueller up on Vatican Hill, head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith no less.  And we've got the amazing Bishop Athanasius Schneider and one Bishop Wrobel giving public support, and many other bishops making it clear in their own dioceses Eucharistic sacrilege will not be permitted.  Can I get an "Amen?"

For the love of all that is holy and divine, may we keep having more Cardinals with the cojones to step up to the plate and give support to "The Four."  A practical schism already exists on this doctrinal issue, and it wasn't and isn't being caused by faithful Catholics.  Every eight year old child dutifully preparing for their First Communion right now, using the Baltimore Catechism for example, can explain this (or I hope they can if they want to receive their First Communion!).

Folks, the mainstream Church is only going to spiral to deeper levels of division and crisis the more orthodox cardinals and bishops remain silent.  Let's pray for them to publicly defend the Faith!  Time will tell in the weeks and months to come...

Tulsa Diocese (yes, again): New SSPX Latin Mass Location Just 3 Blocks South of Downtown Cathedral

St. John Fisher Church
The Ivy Chapel - at Fitzgerald's Funeral Service
1402 South Boulder Ave
Tulsa, OK

2nd & 4th Sunday: 3:00pm
Confessions: 2:15pm  

DIRECTIONS to Downtown (a quick expressway drive from any part of town)

Yes, at a Funeral Home. :) But what a church!

Blessed Advent my Okie Traditionalist online friends. Mistletoe kisses and spiked eggnog to all who dare read my fulminations and vociferations. Just 12 days to go 'til Chrismas!

I'm sittin' here in my Okie Armchair enjoying my crackling fire in the fireplace care of Netflix, enjoying a short, much needed rest after a month of endless work.

And what an illumination it was to read on the SSPX website they've posted the new Mass location for the SSPX-Tulsa St. John Fisher Chapel Community.

It happens to be just 3 blocks south of the diocese's own Holy Family Cathedral on the same street--Boulder Avenue--at the very traditional, Gothic-style chapel, an historic landmark for the City of Tulsa. It is Fitzgerald's Ivy Chapel. A nice alternative down the road!

Info from an SSPX-Tulsa Correspondent:

As you may have picked up on, the proverbial "we" here at The Okie Traditionalist blog consider "ourselves" friendly to the Society of St. Pius X. I've had the pleasure of befriending some of their chapel members over the years, just as I've befriended members at the Fraternity, Diocesan TLM, Clear Creek, and the Trad Communities of OKC. One related to me recently some details about their chapel.

So, here's the low down on what's been happening with the SSPX-Tulsa Apostolate, in case you've been wondering. The Society was forced to sell their church in west Tulsa last summer, where they had offered Holy Mass for over two decades, due to mounting costs of repair and maintenance. They are holding out hope for a better church and location.

Looking for a suitable, temporary place for Mass, Ivy Chapel was ideal since it is a traditional-style chapel (outside and inside) with choir loft, organ, and long pews enough to seat 200+ attendees.  (The fact that the cathedral is nearby was not a factor ).  The pastor is Fr. Patrick McBride, SSPX who attends to a Mass circuit, driving first from his Priory in St. Mary's, Kansas near Topeka to St. Michael's Chapel in OKC, and then east to Tulsa. Folks, that's a 10 hour trip to provide Mass, confessions, and the uncompromised, traditional catechesis of the Church!

At present the congregation is on the small side, but hopes to grow, with new families joining periodically, especially in wake of the "Francis Revolution." At the old location, the parish met after every Mass in the parish hall for a potluck. Right now they often go out to eat with Father after Mass somewhere near downtown, and all are welcome!

This same Society anticipates a near-future accord with the Vatican as discussed over at Rorate Caeli. Also, their ordinary Faculties to hear Confession were renewed last month, as announced by One Peter Five.   To boot, Bishop Athanasius Schneider is one the greatest voices in the Church today supporting the work of the Society.

My Commentary:

Man oh man! 3 blocks from the cathedral.  Interesting times we're living in. If/when the Society becomes a Personal Prelature, their Tulsa apostolate could become a Fortress for all decidedly traditionalist Catholics to take refuge from the stormy winds of modernism picking up force across the diocese.  And no more "jurisdiction scruples."  At the same time, I can see the few conservative, tradition-revering priests of the diocese (perhaps Bishop Emeritus Slattery himself?) connecting and collaborating with the Society priests!

But, how justly would the Diocese treat SSPX-Tulsa?  Would there be more collaboration, neutrality, or hostility?

At any rate, I hold out hope one day sooner than later we the Traditional Remnant will form a Trad Alliance!  The polemical problems of Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Mass can be civilly discussed in less feral settings (to borrow a word used more recently by my local colleague Laramie Hirsch), yet focusing on our shared traditional Faith.  My hope is the SSPX here in Oklahoma will become the unifying force for trads of the FSSP, St. Peter and Paul parish, Clear Creek, and those out West who attend the SSPX and FSSP.  And even indirectly for all local Catholics who love orthodoxy and orthopraxis.

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Tribute to Homeschool Mothers

I was recently surprised to hear that homeschool mothers here in Oklahoma have been reading my blog, but it seems I haven't been getting the best reviews I guess based on my rants and raves about the new Tulsa bishop's doings.

Here's the deal.  I am a traditional, orthodox, practicing Catholic.  That is first and foremost in the mind of me and my own domestic family.  When I look across the diocese I see a new religion everywhere.  I don't pretend this view is infallible, but I've formed it slowly for decades, and its how I see it from my Okie armchair.

As I said before LINK, I want to write blog posts about the Catholic Church here in Oklahoma.  I want to see it purely for what it is at present, the good, true, and beautiful, as well as the bad, false, and ugly.  I'm an "idealist-realist."

All this said, I want to reach out to and inspire my fellow Okie Trads in particular, and that very much includes our local homeschool mothers.  So here is my tribute to them.

Homeschooling Mothers Rock!

Imagine a man who works two jobs yet finds quality time for his wife and kids and to pray the family rosary.  I have to admit, that's a challenge to imagine.  How many men are like that just here in my local area?

But flip over to the other side of the coin.  In fact there are dozens (if not dozens and dozens) of mothers across just my own diocese who also work two full-time jobs, yet also make time to pray with the family, if not be the one to kneel down at night with their children and be the spiritual leader of the nightly rosary.  These women are heroes.

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Two jobs?  Yes.  Its doubly heroic.  While most modern women shun the life of a domestic engineer and homemaker in favor of careers, these bold, superhuman souls have embraced the traditional life of matrimony, a word which means "motherhood."  And at the same time, they are able to summon the talent and courage to provide a holistically authentic Catholic education for their children themselves, which they certainly are not getting in public schools or your average postmodern parochial school.  Their work is a silent, at times thankless job.

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Imagine rising early to feed husband and children, organize the household's share in daily chores, and then settle into a day of lesson planning, grading, lecturing, academic discussions, and field trips, all the while doing the laundry, cleaning the toilets, frequenting doctors and dentists, and finding time perhaps each week to meet with other homeschooling mothers in the diocese, for shared "coop" classes and healthy socialization.

Dear Homeschool Mothers here in Oklahoma and far and wide, I salute you!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Family and the Holidays

Its the holiday season again which reminds me of my youth when I reviled in excitement for the whole month of December.  The Christmas tree, Nativity set, Advent wreath.  Shopping, outdoor Christmas lights, writing Santa.  And my greatest anticipation was of Christmas eve.  Usually all the relatives would pour into our family's home smiling carrying armfuls of presents.  The tree was now decorated and lit.  My mother being European, she always wanted a live tree that looked like this:

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It was a jolly evening of egg nog, litte quiches, mini eggrolls, my sister's specialty chocolate chip cookies, my mom's favorite of ruffles potato chips with French onion dip.  Lots of "So how have you been doing?"  Lots of "Oh you're getting bigger since the last time I saw you."  By the end of the evening we were beat, and the Catholics were off to midnight Mass, me an hour early to prepare to help serve Mass.

But like many American families, throughout the 364 other days of the year our family contacts and support were at best mediocre.  A lot of infighting, petty quarrels, and cool neglect to give support to each other, but mixed in with a few visits and good deeds.  And I was always the little peacemaker wanting the family to come together.

Decades later, our Fam-damnily, as I sometimes call it, is the same or worse. Family get-togethers are more sporadic, smaller, and shorter.  Its hard.

As I'm writing this I glance at the Nativity set.  There's the Holy Family.  Joseph, Mary, and the Baby Jesus (hidden under a mini blanket until midnight Christmas eve).  Its cold outside.  I don't expect we'll be spending any get-togethers with family these holidays, save my mother, despite our best wishes.

Every year I've hung onto the expectation of some level of family warmth during the holidays.  I suppose its an attachment I formed in my youth bursting with energy those Christmas eves, waiting for our relatives to come over for an evening.

But this year I'm going to try and do it differently.  It will be a quiet but spiritually-renewing Christmas, God-willing, doubly focused on the "real meaning" of Christmas.   This Advent feels rightly some light sorrow for me, fitting for this liturgical season, but in a couple weeks Christ will come and be our Joy!