About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and two children.
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“Iconographic tradition has theologically interpreted the manger and the swaddling cloths in terms of the theology of the Fathers. The child stiffly wrapped in bandages is seen as prefiguring the hour of his death: from the outset, he is the sacrificial victim, as we shall see more closely when we examine the reference to the first-born. The manger, then, was seen as a kind of altar.”
— Pope Benedict XVI (2012)

A Catholic Nun Challenged Reagan As Vice-President … For The Communist Party!
published 15 September 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

868 Sung vs Spoken Propers IANE DRUFENBROCK, also known as Sister Madeleine Sophie, was a Franciscan Sister who challenged Ronald Reagan in 1980 as VP candidate for the Socialist Party. She taught mathematics at Alverno College (Wisconsin), which had published the famous Alverno Hymnal during the 1940s. For the record, Sister Drufenbrock also wrote a hymn text called “Going out to spread the light,” which GIA published in their Worship hymnal.

Is Sister Drufenbrock relevant to discussions of Sacred music? Certainly, because her bizarre actions 1 remind us that the 1970s were A VERY STRANGE TIME for the Catholic Church.

We’ve discussed many times the 1970s mystery of “Sung Propers” vs. “Spoken Propers.” Yet, many people still demand to know why this confusion was introduced. I repeat: The 1970s were a very strange era!

WE’VE PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED how the Jogues Missal is the safest & best way to help your congregation fall in love with authentic liturgy, because it lays out ATTRACTIVELY each Mass Proper & Reading using gorgeous letters. At the same time, we’ve never failed to point out that priests who desire to improve their parish music programs will often face obstacles. These obstacles can seem insurmountable at times, but we have an advantage over the 1970s era: novelty !

Over the years, every possible style of music has been tried at Mass: mariachi, jazz, broadway, rap, and so on. After such rampant experimentation, the introduction of styles mandated by the Second Vatican Council—Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, dignified organ interludes, etc.—seem novel and fresh, because our congregations lack any experience with them. It reminds me of a Protestant girl I dated in college. Once, she explained to me a new fad certain Protestant ministers were introducing. The fad was called “courting,” and basically meant that fornication was not allowed. Needless to say, “courting” was identical to the Roman Catholic way to date … but Protestants had “repackaged it” as a novelty.


1   Cf. Pope Pius XI: “No one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.” (Quadragesimo Anno, §120).