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Lisa Bergman, St. Augustine Academy Press

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May 15, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – As the founder of St. Augustine Academy Press, publisher Lisa Bergman helps parents instill a strong Catholic identity in their children and now she is sounding the alarm for all Catholics to pursue the goal of living an authentically Catholic life and truly understanding what it means to be Catholic. 

“It’s been an eye opener in the last year to see how things are falling out,” said Bergman. “As people are coming to the realization of what a big mistake it was to close our churches, you’re starting to see people sorting themselves out.”   

Bergman, who grew up on a small farm in Ohio, is concerned about the widespread lack of Catholic identity around the world today. Nevertheless, she said that she believes that we are living through “a time of great blessing” during an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews at a winery in Purcellville, Virginia.   

“When I was growing up we had a big ol’ grapevine outside our barn and we didn’t do anything with it, and it grew wild and we were always disappointed because we had little tiny grapes and they were too bitter to eat and they were no good. And we didn’t understand that there’s a way that you have to actually care for grapevines if you want to have lots of good fruit. You’ve got to have good soil and you have to have good support. And you also have to know how to prune properly. You have to cut them back and have a vision. You have to pick your really strong, fruiting vines and get rid of all the rest.”  

Having that vision can lead to an unpredictable and adventurous Catholic life. In the summer of 2019, Bergman was led to spread the message of her beloved Latin Mass primer Treasure and Tradition to thousands of those attending the canonization of St. John Cardinal Henry Newman at the Vatican, which also coincided with the scandals of the Pan-Amazonian Synod. “It was such a bizarre break with reality,” said Bergman. “Looking back you think, the things that are happening now all make sense. What have we done? We’ve turned our backs on God, so now, He’s said, ‘You think you can do without me, go ahead.’”  

After a year of “sorting out,” Bergman observes that only churches with deep Catholic roots will survive.  

“What I’m finding is it’s not just Latin Mass parishes, although those tend to be leading the charge,” Bergman said. “I’m really finding that there are parishes where there is a strong Catholic identity, and an understanding of who we are as Catholics and what the Catholic faith really means to us. Because we want to live that life, especially now more than ever, now that we’ve been locked down, and been forced to come back to the bare minimum. Now we really value where our roots are, and now we really want to flourish, we want to be all in now.”   

And when that happens, Bergman says beauty, truth, and goodness will follow. “It’s beautiful to watch these different parishes – Novus Ordo parishes that are really strong in the faith with great catechesis, and are orthodox are doing wonderful things. You’ve got your Latin Mass parishes, the SSPX, which has been fighting like soldiers the whole time – you’ve got to give credit where credit is due.”  

“But you’ve also got some of the smaller, more ethnic parishes, where you’ve got Byzantine Catholics, Ukrainian, Maronite, Anglican-use parishes….all these different usages under the Catholic faith that are a little bit smaller, and have a more tight-knit community to begin with, and they really understand their faith because it’s different from mainstream Catholicism.”  

“The Eastern Rites have the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom,” she explained. “They have different traditions and they have to put their roots down deep into those and that’s what we really need right now. We need to put down those deep roots so we can bring forth the good fruit.”   

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A senior Church prelate is strongly opposing a new Vatican proposal to ban private Masses and restrict traditional rite Masses at the world's premier church, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

Cardinal Raymond Burke said that the new directions, issued by Pope Francis’ Secretariat of State, should be "rescinded" since they are "contrary to" and in "direct violation of" universal Church law.

Therefore, we ask you to SIGN and SHARE this petition, which is directed to Pope Francis and the current and just retired Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica (Cardinals Mauro Gambetti and Angelo Comastri, respectively), and which asks them to rescind the new directive banning private Masses and restricting traditional rite Masses at St. Peter's.

On March 12th, the Vatican’s Secretariat of State circulated a note with details of new dispositions restricting all “individual” Masses in Saint Peter’s, with special, even more restrictive measures for the traditional rite.

The note, which was unsigned, stated among other things that "individual celebrations are suppressed."

In response, Cardinal Burke said the new rules cause the faithful, and above all, priests, the "deepest concerns."

In particular, he addresses the celebration of private or "individual" Masses at the Basilica, something that the new document appears to target, writing:

The document imposes concelebration upon priests who wish to offer the Holy Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica, which is contrary to universal Church law and which unjustly conditions the primary duty of the individual priest to offer the Holy Mass daily for the salvation of the world (can. 902).

In what church more than in the Basilica of Saint Peter would a priest desire to offer the Holy Mass, which is the most perfect and fullest way in which he carries out his priestly mission? If an individual priest wishes to offer the Holy Mass in the Basilica, once the directives in question are in force, he will be constrained to concelebrate, in violation of his freedom to offer the Holy Mass individually.

Quoting from the Council of Trent, Burke then emphasized the fact that the whole Church benefits spiritually from every Mass that is said, whether with people attending or without, stating:

The holy council would certainly like the faithful present at every Mass to communicate in it not only by spiritual devotion but also by sacramental reception of the Eucharist, so that the fruits of this most holy sacrifice could be theirs more fully.

But, if this does not always happen, the council does not for that reason condemn as private and illicit Masses (can. 8) in which only the priest communicates. Rather, it approves and commends them, for they too should be considered truly communal Masses, partly because the people communicate spiritually in them and partly because they are celebrated by a public minister of the Church, not for his own good alone, but for all the faithful who belong to the body of Christ’ (Session XXII, Chapter 6).

Please SIGN now and support the call to Pope Francis and the current and just retired Archpriest of St. Peter's to rescind the new directives which would severely restrict priests from offering private and traditional rite Holy Masses at St. Peter's Basilica.


Cardinal Burke: Vatican’s ban on private Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica should be ‘rescinded’ -

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Far from being naïve about the state of affairs in the Church and world, Bergman lives in Chicago under the scornful eye of Cardinal Blase Cupich, who has implemented some of the most severe Mass restrictions of the past year.  

Knowing Catholic history is helpful, and that’s why Bergman insists that we can’t afford to live a negative Catholic identity. 

“Yesterday was the feast day of St. Pius V, who was the Pope when the Battle of Lepanto took place. That was the most unlikely battle that we would ever win. But we won it through prayer, so pray, pray, pray. Get involved, live your Catholic faith and let God take care of the rest.”


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