Jonathan DimmockJonathan Dimmock

HARTFORD – Noted international organist Jonathan Dimmock will present “Paris: Between the Wars,” an organ recital, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph at 7 p.m. Feb. 6.

8202773256 5d16c585fa mA statue of Blessed Junipero Serra at the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala in San Diego, Calif. (Photo by Bob Mullen/The Catholic Photographer)

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM MANILA, Philippines (CNS) – Pope Francis said his September trip to the U.S. will take him to Philadelphia, New York and Washington – where he intends to canonize Blessed Junipero Serra – but probably no other stops.

20150127cnsbr8170 webDan Nelson shows how Shockbox helmet sensors are attached to the inside of the crown of a football helmet with a piece of Velcro Dec. 8. (CNS photo/Joanne Fox, Catholic Globe)

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) – Micah Herbst of Sioux City does not have a son on the football team at Bishop Heelan Catholic High School.

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Students represent the Archdiocese of Hartford at the March for Life today on the National Mall.

20150118cnsbr7984 webAn aerial view shows pilgrims gathering to hear a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at Rizal Park in Manila, Philippines, Jan. 18. The view shows only a portion of the Mass site. (CNS photo/Philippine Air Force/Handout via Reuters)

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- Pope Francis told a crowd of an estimated 6 million gathered in a Manila park to protect the family "against insidious attacks and programs contrary to all that we hold true and sacred, all that is most beautiful and noble in our culture."

sledesky 053 webA man photographs Father Stephen Sledesky, pastor of St. Bridget Parish in Manchester, and friends during reception in priest's honor Jan. 11.

MANCHESTER – Hundreds gathered at St. Bridget Parish on Jan. 11 to honor Father Stephen Sledesky, who was recognized as this year’s Archdiocesan Distinguished Elementary School Pastor. The award is presented annually to a pastor who exemplifies leadership, dedication and commitment to Catholic school education.

AAA 2015 POSTER final web

FARMINGTON – The campaign for the 2015 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal got off to a rousing start with a reception and dinner for past donors at Farmington Gardens Jan. 9. Archbishop Leonard P. Blair spoke on the theme of this year’s appeal, “Living the Joy of the Gospel.”

soccer web(Photo provided by Knights of Columbus/l'Osservatore Romano)

Wilfrid Macena and other members of a Haitian amputee soccer team present Pope Francis with a soccer jersey on Jan. 12, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson stands to Mr. Macena’s left.

st fran spirit award winners 2015 webFrom left, Mark and Barbara Lentini, Daniel O'Connell and Christopher M. Dadlez

HARTFORD – Archbishop Emeritus Henry J. Mansell and the late David A. Lentini were recipients of the St. Francis Spirit Award during the annual luncheon meeting of St. Francis Care, parent company of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, at the Connecticut Convention Center Jan. 7.

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MsgrLiptak_TNOf all the "modifications" in the recently introduced English Missal, the most discussed word among laity and clergy seems to be the reference to the "dewfall" in Eucharistic Prayer II.

The irony of this situation is that "dewfall" is not simply a poetic term inserted by the recent translators. It is, in fact, the very word, correctly translated, for the authentic Latin of Pope Paul VI’s 1969 Missal; namely, rore. (The nominative is ros, used by both Caesar and Vergil.)

My edition of Pope Paul VI’s promulgation of The Order of Mass, The Roman Missal, dated 6 April 1969, reads as follows in the above context: Haec ergo dona, quaesumus, Spiritus tui rore sanctifica…(No. 74, Prex Eucharistica II). The accompanying rubric directs the priest to extend his hands over the bread and wine: Iungit manus, easque expansas super oblata tenens

Somehow, the 1973 translation of the 1969 Missal totally ignored the original text in this regard. Thus, the 1973 English Mass read: "Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy…" Accurately rendered into English, the 1973 Mass text should always have read: "Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall…"

This mistranslation is especially puzzling because it occurs in the section of Mass that is technically known as the epiclesis. The term, epiclesis, borrowed from the Greek, means a "calling upon the Father to send the Holy Spirit" (i.e., to sanctify the offerings of bread and wine).

Why was the word "dewfall" used in the 1969 Latin Missal, and why was it ignored (apparently) by the English translators in 1973? I readily admit that I cannot find the definitive answer. Although I have put together an enormous theological library over the past 50-plus years, I cannot possibly retain copious source materials that haven’t even been published, such as the minutes of meetings and fragments of correspondence collected by committee members – data that may be stored somewhere in Vatican archives (or perhaps not). What I can write, to move this study toward some resolution, is to emphasize that, in the final analysis, the focus should be on the Church’s official approval. In this case, the Church did ratify the 1973 English version of the 1969 Latin Missal.

But, at least one other key question remains; specifically, why the metaphor "dewfall"? From the published sources that I do have in my library, "dewfall" calls to mind several well-known Biblical references, especially the story of Gideon’s fleece (Judges 6:36-40). Indeed, Gideon’s miracle, which pales before that of transubstantiation, mysteriously points to the Mass. (See A Commentary on the Prefaces and the Eucharistic Prayers of the Roman Missal by Msgr. Louis Soubigou; trans. Rev. John A. Otto; Liturgical Press, 1971. I have found this volume most helpful in trying to understand the revised Missal.)

Of course, this whole discussion of "dewfall" occurs in a study of Eucharistic Prayer II. But Eucharistic Prayer II (or Anaphora II, Canon II) is fascinating for other reasons. One is that it is inspired by the historic Canon of St. Hippolytus of Rome, who died a martyr in the lead mines of Sardinia. Dating from the beginning of the third century, it was originally composed in Greek, and is readily available as such on the Internet. It is so ancient, in fact, that it takes us back to a time when even in Rome the Mass of the Roman Rite was offered not in Latin but Greek.

Ironically, St. Hippolytus is sometimes referred to as the first "anti-Pope" – an anachronism, surely. Somehow he allied himself with factions in the early Church that could be described as ultra-restrictive – "more Catholic than the Church" is the contemporary description. But he was a Christian at heart, and was eventually arrested by the Roman authorities for his faith. The sentence pronounced by a judge was the terrifying Ad metalla – literally, "to the lead mines" [of Sardinia]. There, enclosed in darkness and forced into heavy labor, he met the authentic Pope, likewise condemned to die, and was reconciled with the Church. My recollection is that Blessed Pope John XXIII noticed St. Hippolytus’s statue outside of Rome, and ordered that it be returned there.

The original Canon of Hippolytus, which, like other ancient documents, appears with some textual variations (even Shakespeare’s dramas do the same), serves as a significant ecumenical medium today. For example, it has been introduced into college courses studying the history of religions, and is used by some churches as a basis for prayer.

Msgr. David Q. Liptak is Executive Editor of

The Catholic Transcript and censor librorum for the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Events Calendar

February 2015
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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09:00 AM
St. Mary School, Newington, Michigan City, United States
Saint Mary School in Newington will host several open houses next week for families interested in the [...]
Date :  February 03, 2015
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07:00 PM
Our Lady of Pompeii Church, East Haven, East Haven, United States
There will be a Mass for people living with breast cancer at 7 p.m. Feb. 5, the feast of St. Agatha, [...]
Date :  February 05, 2015
6
07:00 PM
Cathedral of St. Joseph, Hartford, Hartford, United States
HARTFORD – Noted international organist Jonathan Dimmock will present “Paris: Between the Wars,” an organ recital, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph at 7 p.m. Feb. 6. The program, which is [...]
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07:30 PM
Lauralton Hall, Milford CT, Milford, United States
Lauralton Hall will stage “If a Man Answers,” by Richard Morris, at 7:30 Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 and [...]
08:00 PM
Sacred Heart Church, Wethersfield
Father William Agyemang will celebrate a healing Mass at 6 p.m. Feb. 6 at Sacred Heart Church in [...]
12:00 AM
Litchfield, Conn.
LITCHFIELD – A Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat weekend is being planned in Litchfield Feb. 6-8. The [...]
Date :  February 06, 2015
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07:30 PM
Lauralton Hall, Milford Ct, Milford, United States
Lauralton Hall will stage “If a Man Answers,” by Richard Morris, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7 and 2:30 Feb. 8 [...]
12:00 AM
Litchfield, Conn.
LITCHFIELD – A Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat weekend is being planned in Litchfield Feb. 6-8. The [...]
Date :  February 07, 2015
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02:30 PM
Lauralton Hall, Milford, CT, Milford, United States
Lauralton Hall will stage “If a Man Answers,” by Richard Morris, at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the school’s [...]
12:00 AM
Litchfield, Conn.
LITCHFIELD – A Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat weekend is being planned in Litchfield Feb. 6-8. The [...]
Date :  February 08, 2015
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07:00 PM
My Father's House, Moodus
MOODUS – A healing retreat, “Communion with God,” will be offered from 7 p.m. Feb. 13 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at My Father’s House at 39 N. Moodus Road. It will include the Eucharist, as well as [...]
Date :  February 13, 2015
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01:00 PM
La Bella Vista Ponte Club, Waterbury CT, Waterbury, United States
WATERBURY – Sacred Heart High School will hold a tribute in honor of retiring baseball coach Mark Saukas [...]
Date :  February 15, 2015
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12:00 AM
Immaculata Retreat House, Willimantic, Southington, United States
SOUTHINGTON – The Church of St. Dominic will sponsor a men's retreat led by ACTS (Adoration, Theology, [...]
Date :  February 19, 2015
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09:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield Shrine, Litchfield, United States
A Lenten Day of Recollection titled "Praying Our Broken World: Lessons From Our Lady of Sorrows" will be [...]
09:00 AM
Lourdes in Litchfield Shrine, Litchfield, United States
A Lenten Day of Recollection titled "Praying Our Broken World: Lessons From Our Lady of Sorrows" will be [...]
10:00 AM
Archdiocesan Center at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, United States
The Archbishop O’Brien Library and archdiocesan Office of Black Catholic Ministries are teaming up to sponsor a two-part presentation titled “The Emergence of Black Catholic Women and Men in the [...]
Date :  February 21, 2015
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06:30 PM
Caritas Christi Center, Hamden, United States
A film study of "Belle" will be presented from 6:30-9 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Caritas Christi Center in [...]
Date :  February 25, 2015
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01:30 PM
Caritas Christi Center, Hamden, United States
Caritas Christi Center's ongoing centering prayer program will continue from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the center. Sister Carolyn Severino, ASCJ, [...]
04:00 PM
Our Lady of the Angels Convent, Enfield, Enfield, United States
The Felician Adult Day Center will have its annual Snowflake Raffle from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 28 at Our Lady of the Angels Convent, 1315 Enfield St., Enfield. Baskets will be available for viewing from [...]
Date :  February 28, 2015

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