Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Requiem aeternam

Pictured above are a few of the first-printed service programs I designed for the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in my hometown of San Antonio, resting atop their altar as a "first fruits" offering. This evening, a Requiem Mass will be offered for the sisters' late abbess, Mother Angelica, on the month's mind of her death at my old parish of Our Lady of the Atonement. Memory eternal!

The image chosen for the cover is one of my favorites: a Requiem Mass illustrated by the great architect and father of the Gothic revival, Augustus Welby Pugin, as an endplate for his Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament (which I discovered and commented on a few years ago here). For any new readers, know that this blog is largely dedicated to Pugin, a Catholic convert in 19th century Britain who is most famous for designing the "Big Ben" Clock Tower and the interior of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. But, more important than his contributions to the state were his efforts to rebuild the Catholic Church in England, which had just been emancipated after centuries of suppression. In less than two decades, Pugin raised up dozens of Gothic revival churches for the poor Catholics of Victorian England, including the first Catholic cathedral built in the realm since the Reformation. He also designed countless stained-glass windows, chalices, vestments, and other ecclesiastical furnishings, and wrote several books; including a tract advocating the restoration of Gregorian chant. Augustus Pugin, who effectively worked himself to death at age 40, was a forerunner of the Liturgical Movement and is commemorated by yours truly whenever I get the chance.

Today, I expect to speak with the Poor Clares on their weekly radio program, A Good Habit, later this afternoon on such matters as the Requiem Mass and devotions surrounding prayer for the faithful departed. The program begins at 1pm central time and is broadcast primarily in Texas. See here if your city is listed among the stations on the Guadalupe network. Otherwise, check back later when I post the recording.


  1. Hello, James, just wanted to tell your readers that they can also listen live online at, or through GRN's app. The podcast will also be available on iTunes. We are looking forward to talking with you!