From the blog of Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (AKA Fr. Z):

I received this very interesting message, which I have been given permission to share.

As I write, it is the Feast of St. Raymond of Peñafort (and of St. Emerentiana).

I haven’t edited this.  It is from a reliable source.   Ed Condon of The Pillar was there, since I saw a different photo of the altar has his photo credit at their site.


The Capitol building and grounds wore a sullen air, almost of foreboding today, as a couple of dozen American Catholics gathered at the South entrance for the first Latin Mass to be celebrated there in living memory.

Capitol police were stationed everywhere, appearing to be deeply engrossed in conversations among themselves. They barely glanced at us.

Aside from them, the nation’s beloved Capitol was empty — no school groups, no lovers snapping selfies — just this quiet, self-conscious group of Catholics, filing silently into a makeshift chapel set up in an anonymous meeting room.

They had come at the personal invitation of Speaker Mike Johnson and Chairman Jim Jordan, to mark the one year anniversary of the release of an internal FBI memo smearing them and their families as ‘extremists’ and ‘domestic terrorists’.

When that memo became public, the head of the FBI was called before Congress to explain this targeting of American Catholics. Christopher Wray repeatedly denied that Catholics were the subjects of the FBI’s criminal investigations. But the memos from Portland and Richmond belied Mr Wray’s testimony.

The writers of those memos are still in their jobs. Mr Wray remains in his office. Both are apparently above the Bill of Rights.

There was standing room only in the meeting room chapel. All of us in that room knew that our presence there was being duly noted by the US intelligence apparatus. All of us

All of us knew that we were not allowed to know the identity of the priest who celebrated the Mass. All of us, on up to the octogenarians kneeling with difficulty on that utilitarian carpet, knew that we were taking a risk.

We were there anyway.

Why was I there? I flew in to DC expressly for this Mass in order to make a point to both the President of the United States who authorized this outrage against Catholics and to the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington from whom the celebration of this Mass was hidden, for fear of reprisals against the clergy present.

Here’s my point, gentlemen. This Mass was celebrated by my ancestors, going straight back to Roman antiquity. My own father, in whose veins ran the blood of the Roman Army, rode shotgun as a copilot and navigator on the B24 bombers in World War Two. His brother was in the first Army Ranger unit in the Philippines. My cousins served in Vietnam and my late husband put 35 years into the US Army Medical Corps.

Gentlemen, I have a God-given right to worship as I see fit in this country that the men in my family risked their lives for. And your atavistic, power-mad impulses notwithstanding, I will do exactly that.

I will kneel on the carpet of Capitol meeting room, surrounded by my fellow believers. I will revel in the breath-taking Gregorian chant redolent of early Christian worship in the catacombs. And I will receive my Savior in Communion on the tongue.

And I will do so as a free woman, because my freedom was purchased by the blood of patriots whose sandals you are not fit to tie.

My experience today at the Mass at the Capitol was a poignant juxtaposition of a troubled DC officialdom against the thousand year old Mass of the Saints.

An unforgettable experience in this Year of Our Lord, 2024.

St Raymond of Penafort, Ora pro Nobis!


Those who never surrender tend to win in the end.

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