June 29, 2007

Ut Omnes Unum Sint

Today, at 2:00, Bishop John Nienstedt will be installed as Coadjutor Archbishop of this Archdiocese. The Mass will take place at the magnificent Cathedral of St. Paul. They are expecting a big crowd. Unfortunately, I'm heading out of town shortly. I feel it best to leave the area until things cool down. There are some men, in an unmarked car, parked outside my house doing a lame show of reading the newspaper. What could it mean? In my absence, comment moderation will be enabled. I shall return on Monday-I think.

Welcome Coadjutor Archbishop Nienstedt! You are in my prayers.

In the meantime, enjoy the meaning of the Coadjutor Archbishop's Coat of Arms, reprinted below from The Catholic Spirit

• Ut Omnes Unum Sint” means “That they all may be one.” This quote from John 17:21 symbolizes the Archbishop’s emphasis on unity within the Church and among God’s people.

• The shield is green and silver. The bar that runs from upper left to lower right is called a “bend.” The green symbolizes the Archbishop’s mother’s Irish heritage, and the silver symbolizes his father’s German heritage.

• A gold stag overlaps the two bands, honoring the late Detroit Cardinal John Dearden. The stag is taken from Cardinal Dearden’s coat of arms. Archbishop Nienstedt served Cardinal Dearden as a secretary and found a mentor in him.

• A gold-crowned red heart in the shield symbolizes Jesus’ heart.

• The red orsini rose is a symbol for the North American College in Rome, where Archbishop Nienstedt studied. The rose is also symbolic of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, patroness of the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Mich., where Archbishop Nienstedt was pastor when he was called to the episcopacy.

• Three interlocking fish symbolize the Holy Trinity.

• A geometric butterfly is a symbol of friendship to the Dakota people, the native people of the state. In Dakota, the butterfly is called “oihanke wanica,” meaning “everlasting life.”

• A representation of the shield from Ulm, Germany, was added to connect with the homeland of Minnesota’s early settlers to signify his rank as a Bishop.

• A gold processional cross and pontifical hat with six tassels in three rows on both sides of the shield were added by the Holy See.

June 28, 2007

Putting Some Rumors To Rest

During my world travels, whether it's: polo in Barbados, yachting in the Med, drinking Cristal with P.Diddy at Bungalow 8, or using the Law of Attraction to get that diamond necklace that I want from Tiffany, people approach me and ask about some of my blogging buddies. They, usually, ask me about my friends after they ask me a few questions about myself like: "Who the ___ do you think you are?" or "What should we call you?" I'm not going to lie to you, my encounters can start off rather hostile. But, I usually win them over with my charm. After all, I have not had my photo in Town & Country for nothing!

Here are some frequent questions, based upon rumors, that I am asked to address. Frankly, I'm getting rather weary of answering them so it is my hope, that in posting them, I will never be asked them again!

Q: Does Ray talk to St. Padre Pio?
A: It's true, that Ray has been known to talk to himself. However, Ray does not actually TALK with St. Padre Pio. No. Ray, actually gets EMAIL from St. Padre Pio. I know, I know. I would've never believed it either, if I had not actually seen it for myself!

Q: What is Adoro's real name?
A: Adoro likes to say her real name is Julie. I have recently discovered that is not true! Her real first name is: Hildegard for Hildegard of Bingen! How cool is that? I don't know why Adoro persists in using that other name. But, we must refer to people as they prefer, so, Julie it is. (Yawn)

Q: Is it true that Mitchell steals cabs from little old ladies?
A: Absolutely not! Why would Mitchell even need to do that when he and Judith own a 1952 Rolls Royce Silver Dawn and they have their own driver!?! (Like, D'uh)

And the all time #1 question is:

Q: What does Terry really look like?
A: I'm really upset that no one believed me when I pointed out that Terry and, the actor, Ewan McGregor could be twins. However, Terry no longer looks like Mr. McGregor. Several of you are aware of Terry's obsession with plastic surgery. I think Michael Moore should do a film about that! Below is a photo of Terry, post-surgery, that a friend took this week. I'm in the photo trying to persuade him never to have another surgery. He's beautiful as he is/was/could be, oh, gosh, I get so confused.

Well, gotta dash if I'm going to make that flight to Rome! See you at Castel Gandalfo after 7 July! H.H. promised to play the Grieg Piano Concerto for me! I can hardly wait! Ciao.

June 26, 2007

Everyone Else is Going Up So I Should Be Able To

It's too humiliating to sit in the pew while EVERYONE else goes up to receive Communion. Therefore, I will:

a) Not go to Mass at all
b) Go up and receive anyway
c) Go up and ask the Priest for a blessing

Cathy's Big Shoot Down

a) Great idea-NOT!. Adding to your sins with yet another sin, and a mortal one at that, is not a good idea.
b) Bad idea. Really, REALLY, bad idea. Recommended Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:27-29
c) I would not do this unless you are certain that the priest does not mind. Exceptions are usually made for children when they can't be left in the pew, but, some priests prefer not to do blessings during Communion.

Discussion (a.k.a more reasons to make you love/hate me)

Why?! Why, do some Catholics INSIST upon thinking that if they condescend to attend Mass, they are ENTITLED to the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ?

Communion is NOT a communal picnic. It's not a potluck either. I realize that a lot of Catholics think that the Mass exists solely as an occasion to be with your fellow Catholics and that receiving Communion is a sign of your solidarity with the brothers and sisters in the pews. In a way, Communion is that. However, since few of us Catholics can agree on much of anything amongst ourselves, I prefer to think that we are making a greater statement when we receive Communion. That is, we are announcing that we are: properly disposed to receive AND we are in solidarity with God and His Church. Yes, the Church means the people too but to think it's ONLY that is to miss part of the whole picture.

Back in my dissident days, I heard a priest say, during the Homily, that no one should be excluded from Communion because imagine if you went to a birthday party and you could not get a piece of the cake. To this day, that remains the single most horrifying and blasphemous thing I have ever heard from the Pulpit. And, trust me, I've heard a lot of appalling stuff. Yet, a lot of Catholics think that way about the Host. It's a special treat that I get to enjoy with my friends. Clearly, if nothing else, that priest had his finger on the pulse of the average "Catholic".

In this day and age, we are taught that we are all entitled to everything and somehow we are being oppressed when we are excluded. We put the power of exclusion outside of ourselves. It's someone or something else's fault that I am excluded. We don't want to accept the responsibility that our action, or our inaction, may be the cause or our exclusion.

At Communion you may exclude YOURSELF. It's popular these days to think the big, bad, Church excludes me. The Church excludes me because I'm sleeping with my boyfriend. The Church excludes me because I masturbate. The Church excludes me because I aided an abortion. The Church excludes me because I'm a practicing homosexual. The Church excludes me because I use contraceptives. No, beloved, the Church does not exclude you. You exclude yourself.

The Church gives us guidelines to follow. Just like we have guidelines to follow in: our careers, at school, in chat rooms, on the volleyball court. If you don't follow the rules, you don't get to participate.

A lot of Catholics know and accept that what I said above is Truth. However, a lot of people have a major problem with publicly identifying themselves as someone who may have done something wrong. If I remain in my pew, EVERYONE is going to know I did something wrong and everyone is going to be judging me or assuming that I did (insert most salacious sin-ever).

We recite the Confiteor at just about every Mass and, by doing so, we acknowledge, publicly, that we sinned. However, it's one thing to say it and it's another thing to show it, isn't it? It's one thing to say it in a group and it's another thing to stand alone, isn't it? Is this a fear that is keeping people from Individual Confession too? Gee, someone I know might see me in the Confession line. It's "easier" to hide in the General Absolution crowd.

I believe that publicly acknowledging to your fellow Catholics that you may have done something wrong is just about the single greatest act of individual courage in our time. Which is probably another reason that so few are willing to do it. Too many of us have no backbone whatsoever.

At the end of the day, it's no one's freakin' business what you may or may not have done that keeps you in the pew. Maybe it was a mortal sin. Maybe you did not complete your Penance from your last Confession. Maybe you feel like you did not "firmly resolve" to do what you said you would do in your last Act of Contrition. Maybe you have a raging head cold and don't want to give it to Father. Maybe it's your 3rd Mass of the day. Maybe you did your Examination of Conscience and you aren't sure and you'd feel better talking it over with your Confessor before receiving. Who knows? That's right: only you and God.

If you remain in your pew and your brother is judging you unfairly, then the sin is your brother's not yours. If you remain in your pew, when you know you should, then you have done right.

Update: Bearing Blog has a post up on this subject too. I love her blog, but whenever I try to comment, it times out on me. It must be a Masonic conspiracy!

June 25, 2007

Whatever You Do, Don't Die Before Friday!

Almost all of the Priests of the Archdiocese are in Rochester for the Presybyter's Meeting with the Archbishop. Most parishes have reduced schedules this week. I'm sure if it's an emergency your priest will come home but, don't take any chances, don't die this week!

June 24, 2007

Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist

Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

June 23, 2007

Prayer Request

Please join me in praying for Jeffrey Smith of Roving Medievalist blog. I'm not sure what's going on but he appears to be really angry about something and he's talking about leaving God.

Words Matter

Gentle Reader: You may have noticed that I've been on a tear about words recently. Words matter. Words make a difference.

Words can be weapons.

The other day I published a post that deliberately used words that have multiple meanings. The words can benign or they can be hateful or they can be funny depending upon your

The words we use say a lot about us. The way we use words says a lot about us. The way we interpret words says a lot about us.

Recently, a priest in the Chicago area has been in the news for using words that can be perceived as advocating murder. It's possible, that he did not know the potential meaning behind what he was saying. It's possible he meant every word of it. In any case, he should have chosen his words more carefully. He should have reflected upon the venue he was in, who he was with, why he was there, who he is and how he wants to be perceived before he spoke. All of us should do that. Now he's in "hot water", which is, the last time I checked, a phrase that may mean "big trouble".

Words can be deliberately manipulated to deceive us or change the meaning of something.

There is a war of words between the left and the right over certain issues. The words for each side were chosen very carefully and deliberately. Here are some:

abortion---selective reduction
civilian dead---collateral damage

There are certain words that can tell us something about a particular parish:

Confessional---Reconciliation Room
Vestibule---Gathering Space
Vestry---Dressing Room
Baptismal Font---Baptismal Pool

When I'm traveling, I try and view a parish website or a bulletin before I visit. I pay REALLY close attention to the words that I see in use. I judge whether or not I think I may be compatible with the parish before I visit.

Judging based upon words can be a bad thing. However, we all do it. We can't help ourselves. It can be a good thing to judge based upon words. From it we can gain understanding.

Think words don't matter?

It is my firm belief that the deliberate weakening of certain words has made particular things more palatable. For instance: the fight over the word: lifestyle versus orientation in reference to homosexuality. The use of the word: choice versus murder to refer to abortion.

You may "have" a smoke these days, you can "have" a cigarette these days but you RARELY see an incendiary words associated with it, do you? Smoke, fire-up, light-up, burn. My theory is because we've all been persuaded to think smoking is really bad (it is) but the words used with the action and the words we DON'T use with the action help make a medical point.

A word-ONE word-was responsible for the Great Schism of our Faith: Consubstantial. This word is so powerful that the Schism remains today. Not only that but that word is still being argued over today.

Dinner and a Movie-The Good Life

A friend kindly acquiesed to dinner and a movie with me yesterday evening. Anytime, someone assents to being seen with me in public is an occasion of rejoicing for me!

I HIGHLY recommend Arezzo Ristorante in Edina if you are in the mood for good Italian food and in a position to spend some $$$. We split an order of Piatto Di Formaggio and Insalata Novella. For entrees we had Ravioli Neri al Caprino and Salamone al Forno. Both were wonderful. The Panna Cotta for dessert was disappointing. But, that was the only wrong note. Extensive wine list. The Lagaria 2005 Pinot Grigio was delightful with this meal. The service was attentive. They have an outdoor seating area but it was too wet from the recent rains. The dining area is intimate and dark (good romantic ambiance!).

We ROLLED out of the restaurant and saw Paris Je'Taime a French film with quite an international cast in a series of short films by various directors. ALL of the shorts were good and/or interesting. Several of them were superbly done. I highly recommend it.

It's wonderful to be alive. Thanks Be to God!

June 22, 2007

Mind Over Life

Gentle Reader: I used to be quite an advocate for abortion. I was a member of Catholics For a Free Choice as well as a Planned Parenthood supporter. I thought people who were opposed to a woman's "right to choose" were:

* brainwashed Daddy's Helpers (feminist code word for females who will do anything to help a man),
* uneducated suckers,
* religious wackos,
* Republicans,
* men.

Then, several women that I worked with at the time suffered miscarriages. Suffering is the right way to put it. They were devastated. For some, it would have been their first child, for others a second or third child. At the same time, a very good friend of mine experienced her second miscarriage. She's never been able to carry a child to term. Eventually, she and her husband adopted.

All of these women taught me that they did not perceive to be what they lost as:
* it,
* a mass of tissue,
* a blob,
* a collection of cells,
* an unformed person,
* a fetus.

It was a baby that they lost. It was a child. Period. There were none of the lies the pro-abortion folks tell themselves when they sit around and debate when life really begins. A life was lost to these women.

Friends: God gave humans a powerful mind. We can talk ourselves into believing anything. We can trick ourselves. We can turn our emotions on and off at will. We can teach ourselves new things.

We can numb ourselves to the truth that abortion is human murder with words.

How many times have you heard a child in the womb referred to as a fetus? I can hardly open a newspaper without reading about someone who lost their "fetus". Pregnant woman gets into a car accident and loses the fetus. Man beats pregnant woman and she looses her fetus.

We can numb ourselves to the truth by engaging in pointless debates about cognition to justify abortion.

At what point does the collection of tissue in the womb become human based upon it's ability to reason? At what point is "it" human? When you start classifying HUMANS based upon their ability to think you start down the slippery slope of judging one person to be more worthy of life then another based upon their intellect. Don't we all see that happening now? Ask someone who may be classified "developmentally disabled" how nervous they are these days.

Splendidly Truthful has a Birthday Today!

Time for another blog birthday! Today, is Mary of Veritatis Splendor and Roamin' Roman blogs big day. Happy Birthday, Mary!

June 21, 2007

Proud to Be Catholic

Hey, this is Pride Week in the Twin Cities and Sunday is the Pride Parade that goes right past the Basilica of St. Mary and you know what that means.

Yes, it's time to come out and express your Catholicity. Don't be ashamed to proclaim it. Be proud, be gay! Be a gay Catholic today and always!!

I just think it's so fantastic that the parade has lots of rainbows. A reflection of Genesis 9: how much more old-school and counter-cultural can that be?

Fly your flag, pour yourself a fruity drink, and light up a fag!

Who Will Speak if You Don't?

Who will speak if you don’t?
Who will speak if you don’t?
Who will speak so their voice will be heard?
Who will speak if you don’t?

Who Will Speak?
Marty Haugen (yep, that guy!) © 1993 GIA Publication Inc.

The first stanza of one of the dissident Catholic's favorite songs. Some parishes change the "you" to "we"

I'm thinking, today, that we all need to speak up regarding the appalling state of religious education in our parishes. I could rant at length about it's appalling state in our "Catholic" schools, and I have on previous occasions, but I won't do that in this post.

By and large, religious education courses for both adults and children in our parishes are woefully inadequate.


Here's the way I see it.

1) Dissidents are teaching them.
2) Dissidents show up for the courses and are not corrected or repudiated or silenced when they start sharing their erroneous viewpoints or rants about Catholicism.

Dissident Catholics have absolutely NO problem, spreading their particular brand of "Catholicism" around. Why are we such cowards? We have The Truth. Why are we ashamed of it?

We all make excuses.

1) I don't have kids so I shouldn't be teaching them.
2) I'm afraid to stand up in front of a class.
3) I'm scared that I will not know everything.
4) It's not my place to teach, let someone better qualified do it.
5) I don't have time.
6) I'm not sponsoring anyone for entry into the Church so I don't need to be involved.

Cathy's Big Shoot Down

1) We all need to be teaching our Catholic children. By example and by action. If we don't, who will? That's right, the wrong people.
2) Who isn't? The fear goes away over time the more you do something. The apprehension doesn't always go away, it waxes and wanes. Fear and apprehension are a part of life. Pray to the Holy Spirit and your Guardian Angel for guidence and courage. If you are doing the Lord's work, I'm pretty sure they won't let you down.
3) I just bet the Holy Father himself, in all humility, would admit that he doesn't know EVERYTHING either. A wise man will admit that he doesn't. There is no shame in standing up and consulting the Catachism or Scripture to find the answer if someone stumps you. I think it would help students tremendously if they learn about the resources they need to consult by seeing someone actually using them. They need to know what to do if you aren't there. And you won't always be there.
4) Should someone better "qualified" than you be a Catholic? Christ told all of us to evangelize. I don't remember Him asking for credentials. Several of the early Apostles were fishermen, not M.Div's. They trusted that the Lord would help them with the right words to say and He did.
5) If you think something is really important, you can make the time.
6) You probably never will sponsor anyone for entry in the Church if you aren't involved. And, hey, couldn't the teacher use some help!?! If not active help, at least, supporters in the audience.

In my parish, Father, who is quite orthodox, does all the adult religious instruction. The youth religious instruction is done at our school and it's heavily monitored by the priests. However, in many parishes, that is not the case. Laypeople do most, if not all of the religious instructions. I am not suggesting that clergy and religious do a better job then laity because I've seen several folks in clerical or religious garb who are among the worst dissenters I've ever known.

What we need are more orthodox Catholics stepping up and helping out with religious instruction or doing it, period. I've had countless people tell me about their experiences in parish religious education courses and some of it is really scary. IMHO, most of my regular blog readers would make excellent parish religious education instructors. Some of you already are and I've read your postive/negative experiences. We all need to help them.

Adoro told me last year I should help her with adult instruction at her large suburban parish next year. As there is no place for me to help at my small parish in this regard. I, hearby, pledge my support to Ms. Adoro for next year if she can use me.

What are YOU going to do, Gentle Reader?

June 20, 2007

Which Few Did You Have in Mind, Majesty?

The sacred words that we dare not speak aloud...



Bearing Blog has a good post on judging. When is it appropriate? When isn't it? When you should you act? When shouldn't you?

Ladies and Gentlemen: Johan Santana

Photo: Kathy Willens/AP

Blog Birthday

Yet, another local blogger has a birthday today! Stop on over at Adoro's blog and wish her a happy year! Praying to Our Lady of Perpetual Help on her behalf would make a nice birthday gift.

June 19, 2007

Give the People What They Want or What They Need?

Two schools of thought in the field of library selection and acquisition of materials:

1) Give the people what they want
2) Give the people what they need

The first involves responding to either actual requests from patrons OR what you think the patrons want based upon your perceptions and, perhaps, circulation patterns.

The second involves not stocking the library with materials that patrons have asked for nor is it based upon historical circulation patterns. It has to do with what the librarian thinks the library should have because having it will make the patrons better in some way. i.e. it's good for them, it will improve their minds, their life.

Librarians get into really heated arguments over these two ideas. You may find it hard to believe that librarians get animated about anything. Well, I'm a librarian and if you read this blog you know what a opinionated person I can be. Please abolish any ideas you have about librarians being unfeeling, cold, automatons.

You will encounter these types of debates in the library world over the never-ending discussion on whether or not comic books or romance novels should be part of the collection. Obviously, there are people who read both and like to see them at the library. Romance novels are, typically, among the most heavily circulated genre in any public library. Comic books are popular with kids, juveniles and some adults. Comics are among some of the most stolen items (oh, excuse me: never returned items) in the library. But some folks think that romances and comics are frivilous trash and have no place in the collection.

The "problem" with romance novels and comic books is that many perceive both as genres that do little to nothing to further an individual's intellectual development. A debatable issue, to be sure.

The real issue is over the purpose of the library. Is the purpose of a library to only further intellectual development? Or, is the purpose to provide access to what people want regardless of any "quality" judgements? Both?

By now, you are wondering what any of this has to do with Catholicism. I'm getting to it.

I theorize that you can see a parallel to the two schools of library thought in liturgical practice.

1) Give the people what they want
2) Give the people what they need

The first involves giving in to demands to change the prescribed practice of the liturgy to anything the parishioners or the liturgy director thinks or wants to see or believes the parishioners want. We want inclusive language: ok, God is now She or It or just God. Male pronouns must be avoided because our "poll" said so or it makes people uncomfortable. Even though we know it's not, technically, allowed the people want it. During the Liturgy of the Word we want readings other than Scripture because the people don't think the Bible is contemporary. Lay people feel excluded so now we have them "helping" the Priest with the Consecration. You get the idea, you've probably all seen this kind of personal desire run amok. I, certainly, have.

The second involves sticking to the prescribed material of the liturgy and the calendar. Regardless of parish polls or what one person, or even several, may say we are not doing anything that jeoperdizes the individual's soul or distorts Holy Mother Church's teachings. People need salvation and we need to give it to them, even if they may not realize they need it.

Is the purpose of the Church to give the people what they want? or what they need? Both?

In the library, I have no problem with romance novels and comic books. There remains, however, the discussion at the library about which particular item may be appropriate or not (sexually, violence etc) and that would be a discussion for an entirely different post. I think people should get what they want, up to a point, from their public library. But, certainly, more freedom to select materials based upon personal desire should be seen at the library then in the Church.

At your parish, it's perfectly fine to have debate-even about dogma and doctrine. However, it's trying to CHANGE or DISTORT dogmas and doctrine that I have a problem with. For example it's fine to discuss: should we paint the church hall walls cream or green? How should we spend our surplus money? Should we carpet or tile the entryway? Where should we put this statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus? etc. Again, you can get what you want, up to a point, at your parish. It's also fine to discuss what the church teaches about limbo or if you enjoyed Pope Benedict's book Jesus of Nazareth or not. You can discuss inclusive language too, but at the end of the day it should not be implemented if doing so is changing the very nature of God. You can discuss your apprehension about individual Confession but the apprehension should not be used a lever to implement General Absolution only just because some people are uncomfortable with individual Confession.

In my opinion, when it comes to your SOUL there should not be any compromise. Yet, we see, all too often, that there is. I should not be able to get what I want from Catholicism. If I got what I wanted, certain sexual sins would not be mortal sins.

Thank God it's not up to me or we'd all be in grave danger.

Arguments and debates over intellectual development and personal freedom and taste, to me, are ENTIRELY different from salvation.

A lot of people disagreed with my recent posts about attire at Holy Mass. I still maintain that it is disrespectful to attend Mass looking like you are going to play volleyball at the campground or go tanning at the beach immediately after. However, this is a debatable issue because what you have on does not have anything to do with dogma or doctrine. I realize that. However, I still think more people need to make some kind of effort at modesty and appropriatness with their church attire. By and large, I don't see that people are making much, if any, effort. But, as several people pointed out, attire does not speak to your interior disposition or faithfulness.

No librarian will fail to provide recommended reading when the opportunity presents itself. LOL! I recommend you read Mitchell's comment to Karl Keating's e-letter on Stella Borealis and Drew's post on Our Word and Welcome to It.

June 18, 2007

I Wish Someone Would Tell Me About Me

Like, Terry said I was entertaining out of town guests this weekend. No Liszt was played over and over as I stared into a martini glass looking for a reason to go on.

It was a great weekend.

I suffered thru the Twins loss to the Brewers Saturday night. I was at the game. Can we have an honest discussion about closing the borders? I think the border with Wisconsin should be closed. What do you think? I know I should be glad that the Brewers are FINALLY having a good season but Wisconsin fans are insufferable. Don't even get me started on the Packer lunatics.

Twins won on Sunday though! Ha-ha!

Tough road trip ahead: Mets and then the Tigers.

My guy, Martin Truex Jr. ALMOST won at Michigan on Sunday. It was nice to see Carl do his flip again. Which Junior who? #8 fans are having a STROKE that he's going to Hendrick.

Oh, by the by, two local bloggers will be at a Theology on Tap at City Tavern in Coon Rapids tomorrow night at 7:00. Rumor has it that the subject will be New Age/Occult and the Dangers of. Hmmmm...who could it be? All I know is one likes to meditate on breadcrusts and the other one likes to watch fast cars and cute guys go 'round and 'round. It's breadcrust's party but the other one is along for the ride.

As Lino Rulli says: It's empty again now.

June 17, 2007

Thanks Dad

June 16, 2007

Prayer of His Holiness Pope Pius XII to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty,
and impelled by the anxieties of the world,
we cast ourselves into your arms,
O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary,
confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires,
and a safe harbour from the tempests
which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults
and overwhelmed by infinite misery,
we admire and praise the peerless richness
of the sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature,
from the first moment of your conception
until the day on which,
after your assumption into heaven,
he crowned you Queen of the Universe.

O crystal Fountain of Faith,
bathe our minds with the eternal truths!
O fragrant Lily of All Holiness,
captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume!
O Conqueress of Evil and Death,
inspire in us a deep horror of sin,
which makes the soul detestable to God
and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God,
hear the ardent cry
which rises up from every heart.
Bend tenderly over our aching wounds.
Convert the wicked,
dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed,
comfort the poor and humble,
quench hatreds, sweeten hardness,
safeguard the flower of purity in youth,
protect the holy church,
make all men feel the attractions of Christian goodness.
In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven,
may they recognize that they are brothers,
and that the nations are members of one family,
upon which may there shine forth the sun
of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother,
our humble supplications,
and above all obtain for us that,
one day, happy with you,
we may repeat before your throne that hymn
which today is sung on earth around your altars:
You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
You are the glory,
You are the joy,
You are the honor of our people!


--Composed for the Marian Year December 8, 1953-1954

June 15, 2007

Dangers of Dissent

Richie D: Sorry, I missed my noon cutoff! LOL!

I was emailing with a reader earlier today and I wanted to share some of my musings with you. I know some of you are yawning and saying who cares? Hey, it's my blog. Blogging is all about the blogger's thoughts and feelings. If you don't like it, Bye and God Bless!

I swear I'm not crabby today. How can I be when today is one of my favorite Solemnities?

Leinie's Honey Weiss as a lunch beverage helps...For the record, I'm not working today. :-)

One of the dangers of dissenting Catholics, and I'm going to focus especially on Catholic clergy and religious who dissent from the Faith, is that their dissenting words may be attractive on a level that some may not have considered previously.

Dissent may actually make the Faith attractive to outsiders. For example: If someone struggling with SSA (same sex attraction) sees someone in authority saying the practice of gay sexuality is just fine they may think the Church does to. You may find this hard to believe, but I've seen people enter the Church because they think it really endorses GLBT sexual practices because they've heard a priest or a nun say, publicly (on the news, in the paper, in a magazine, at a Pride Event) it's o.k. These folks are shattered when they realize it's not True and they either leave, feeling adrift and betrayed, or join dissidents trying to "change the Church".

People struggling with SSA are fragile to begin with. Luring them with hollow promises of "acceptance" is not going to help them. It's only going to hurt them even more in the long run-in this life and the next.

The Truth hurts and it's difficult. Jesus never said it would be easy to be His follower. Taking the "easy way out", ultimately, is not easy and it's not a kindness. It's cruelty, of the worst kind, because you are meddling with someone's salvation.

Vanity Thy Name is (Insert Name Here)

This week my parish is having photos taken for an updated parish directory. It's a great idea. But, I could not help but notice that people dressed nicer for the photo session then they do for Mass. Honestly, am I expected to recognize these people in the photos from what they look like every Sunday? They wear a t-shirt and shorts to Mass but there they are in suit and tie or a nice dress and blouse for their directory photo.

Why is it when it comes to personal vanity an individual will take great care with their appearance but when it comes to worshiping the Lord your appearance doesn't matter?

Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most sweet Jesus,
Redeemer of the human race,
look down upon us,
humbly prostrate before Thine altar.

We are Thine and Thine we wish to be;
but to be more surely united with Thee,
behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today
to Thy Most Sacred Heart.

Many, indeed, have never known Thee;
many, too, despising Thy precepts,
have rejected Thee.

Have mercy on them all,
most merciful Jesus,
and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart.

Be Thou King, O Lord,
not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee,
but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee,
grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house,
lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions,
or whom discord keeps aloof
and call them back to the harbour of truth and unity of faith,
so that soon there may be but one flock and one shepherd.

Be Thou King of all those who even now sit in the shadow of idolatry or Islam,
and refuse not Thou to bring them into the light of Thy kingdom.
Look, finally, with eyes of pity upon the children of that race,
which was for so long a time Thy chosen people;
and let Thy Blood, which was once invoked upon them in vengeance,
now descend upon them also in a cleansing flood of redemption and eternal life.

Grant, O Lord,
to Thy Church,
assurance of freedom and immunity from harm;
give peace and order to all nations,
and make the earth resound
from pole to pole with one cry:
Praise to the Divine Heart
that wrought our salvation:
to it be glory
and honour forever.


--Pope Pius XI

June 13, 2007

Bone Tired

Too tired to blog, too tired to call anyone, too tired to email...

I spent 6 hours today in my yard. Pruning bushes, cutting the grass, trimming, pruning some flowers, fertilizing and laying down some topsoil.

My body feels like it will be 70 next year rather than 40.

I took much of this week off of work to get some long overdue home projects done.

Friends: Isn't the thought of company coming a strong motivating factor? LOL! I'm expecting two house guests this weekend. Originally, it was going to be four but two people can't make it. I KNOW that my guests are not going to say anything if something is "out of order". It's just that it bugs ME. Tomorrow, I'll be cleaning inside the house and making sure my extra bedding is washed. I'm sure tomorrow night, I'll be tired too.

In all things: Praise God. I spent all day thanking God for the gift of my yard and my home. I'm very fortunate and I know it. I don't always show Him that I'm grateful. I should, but I don't. I took some time out at Noon to pray the Angelus when I heard the St. Agnes bells. Take some time out of your summer to thank God. You won't be sorry.

June 12, 2007

(Dis)Spirit Daily

Terry has a link to an article in Spirit Daily by Mr. Michael Brown.

The article by Mr. Brown really set me off. So much so that I had to calm down and rewrite this post 7 times.

The section of the article on New Age rosaries was very good and Mr. Brown should have just stuck to that instead of veering into talking about our Archdiocese in a section that was riddled with inaccuracy. Some of the stuff he reports is true, but when I read so much error in a newstory I have a really hard time seeing past the carelessness of the fact-checking.

Frankly, I'm not a fan of Spirit Daily because I think they spend way too much time presenting unsubstantiated allegations and being angry over the same old tired crap. Get over it. Go pray, or make some rosaries for the troops.

For the record: Bishop Spong has NEVER, to the best of my 20 years experience in that parish, spoken at St. Joan of Arc (SJA). Is his work advocated there? Yes, but that's true of many other places too. The SJA website does have a report on a visit to the area by Bishop Spong. However, Spong spoke at Ted Mann Concert Hall at the U of MN NOT at St. Joans.

I'm not sure Dignity meets regularly at St. Stephens. I'm wondering where he gets that information. They regularly meet at Prospect Park United Methodist Church.

The Spirit of the Lakes thing was an immigration rally that Auxiliary Bishop Richard Pates was invited to. It so happens he had his photo taken with a minister of Spirit of the Lakes. Spirit of the Lakes is a GLBT church-no Catholic affiliation. It was an ecumenical immigration rally. That photo is becoming as much of something His Excellency would probably like to forget as that infamous photo of Frank Sinatra with the mobsters. Is it unfortunate that someone did not think before they went to that church? Perhaps. Is it possible that the Bishop did not know what kind of church it is because his staff did not tell him? Possible. Is it possible that, for purposes of the intent of this event, it did not matter what the venue was? More than possible.

If we are not "allowed" to bring His Truth to any place but a Catholic Church then what the heck were we doing Processing with the Lord thru Loring Park (the epicenter of gay culture in this town) on Corpus Christi? To me, one of the most powerful moments of the Procession was walking behind the Lord thru that very park. I prayed someone would have a conversion of heart, like I did.

I have yet to hear anyone reputable, WHO WAS ACTUALLY THERE, PROVE that there was an actual Catholic Mass held at Spirit of the Lakes during this immigration thing. I have heard a lot of the local hysterics talking and I give as much credence to them as I do to the likelihood of my cats telling me the answer to Question #1 in the Baltimore Catechism.

A few weeks ago, I had a post on gossip . Now you know what motivated that post. Some people approached me and wanted me to post on the Bishop Pates "thing" and I refused for the reasons I just ranted about above.

Pray for Coadjutor Archbishop Nienstedt, please. He's walking into a big, fat, angry mess. Two extremist camps: the ones who don't want him to do anything-ever and the ones who want him to do everything-on the first day. Neither extremist camp will ever be satisfied.

A Few Good Men Needed for Chanting: No Experience Required

A note from Geometricus:

Any of you men in the Twin Cities who want to learn chant this summer come and join us Mondays at 7 (p.m.) at my parish:
St. Raphael's in Crystal (MN)

Geometricus is the choir director at St. Raphael's. He has even more aliases than I do!

They need a name for their merry band. Gregorian Guys? Suffering Psalters?

I have designated myself as their first groupie.

June 11, 2007

Lone Lion for Life

God Bless the gentleman holding the "Healthpartners Commits Abortions" sign in front of the HealthPartners clinic at Como and Eustis in St. Paul at 4:15 p.m. today.

I discovered he is part of www.savehealthpartners.com. There is a schedule of their vigils here

Archdiocesan Corpus Christi Procession

Check Veritatis Splendor blog in the coming days for photos. Mary says she took several hundred pictures. I think she was kidding. I don't know, maybe not. She had quite an arsenal of photography equipment on her.

Beautiful day. Sunny, a bit windy, warm.

The Procession left from the School of Law at the University of St. Thomas and processed thru Loring Park (OH, the irony!) to the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. I would say there were at least 200 people with a sizeable representation of clergy and religious.

Fr. Joseph Johnson of the Cathedral of St. Paul was the principal Celebrant.

I looked forward to just attending and not having to do anything but Adore and Process. Unfortunately, I can't go to anything these days without being recognized since my blog buddies are in the thick of everything Archdiocesan these days. I ended up with the grueling task of carrying a walkie-talkie so the procession could hear the Cantor. The Cantor was another blogger, Geometricus. One of his daughters was the Reader. The nuns were really working her to encourage her vocation! She's pretty young yet, but who knows, but God? Geometricus probably doesn't have a voice today. He did a fine job.

Ray and Mary did a really good job. Ray, especially, since he had to give last minute directions to some critically needed folks!

It's really an unforgettable experience to approach the Basilica in Procession and hear those bells start up when they see us coming.

Dan of Believe and Profess blog was there with one of his kids. He still has no reasonable explanation for why his blog is silent these days: other than, he's been busy instructing Catholic youth and helping his family. What kind of an excuse is that?! :-)

Afterwards, about 10 of us processed to Buca di Beppo for dinner. Ray and I ended up there first and could not get a table because we had no headcount. No worries, Buca has a bar so you can guess where I waited. Now that I think about it, I probably could've spent the rest of the Sabbath Day doing something else but when I see liquor and food I don't always think clearly.

Passing howler for the day: The manager of Buca came up to me in the bar to see if I was with the group and asked: "Are you Corpus Christi?" I know I look good, but not THAT good.

Archdiocesan News: Lots of good gossip, rumors, half-truths, innuendo and wishful thinking to be had at this event. And you aren't getting ANY of it out of me! LOL!

A Showtune for Terry

Dance Ten, Looks Three
And I'm still on unemployment,
Dancing for my own enjoyment.
That ain't it, kid! That ain't it, kid!
Dance Ten, Looks Three

That's what you get for posting all those tunes that stick in my head on your blog, Ter-Ter! Love ya, lots. Kiss, kiss, hug, hug...

June 10, 2007

4 x 2 Meme

Adoro says she's my friend but she keeps tagging me with these challenging memes. I wish she'd spend more time criticizing parishes in Brooklyn Park and getting her hand slapped for it then making me do what I hate most: tell where I think I'll be in x years! I can't even project what I'll be doing next week without anxiety!

Four New Things in the Past Four Years:

1) 2 new cats: Sodak in July 2005. He was found in a farm field as a kitten in the state of South Dakota on a road called the Sodak road. Kaylen in December 2005. She had that name already when I adopted her. Sorry, no cool Catholic saints names for my cats.
2) Became an, ACTUAL, Catholic!
3) April 2, 2005, the day Pope John Paul II died, I made my first Confession in nearly 20 years.
4) Spent a fortune on home improvements: new roof. There's more but I don't want everyone thinking I have lots of money so when I start asking for money for my blog you aren't angry about it. (kidding)

Four Things in the Next Four Years:

1). A different job would be nice.
2). Marriage: or accepting that it's not His will and it's never going to happen.
3). Continue to grow in His Truth.
4). Continue to be a local "troublemaker" if the need is there. Well, there will probably always be a need. We'll see what Archbishop Nienstedt has in store. I'll say this: There is hope in the air around here these days.

I tag whomever wants to do this meme!

The Real Reason Literature Majors No Longer Study Shakespeare

The June 7, 2007 issue of The Wanderer has an editorial by Mr. Frank Morriss lamenting the absence of the study of William Shakespeare in Literature degree programs. Mr. Morriss has a lot to say about the Bard's absence being due to his expressions of human conduct in ways that are too uncomfortable for our modern society to take. I found his editorial interesting but I'm inclined to disagree.

In my undergraduate days, Shakespeare had his own semester long course. I also remember studying Shakespeare in Junior High and High School English.
I applaud Mr. Morriss' column but let's just cut right to the chase shall we? The Bard is absent from many Literature programs because:

* He's white
* He's male
* He's not contemporary
* He's not relevant
* His language is too difficult to read
* Harold Bloom

Before the Bard fans start howling, be aware that many Literature programs have been taken over by professors who would rather spend their time exposing us to modern literature and literature by writers who are not native English speakers. Shakespeare's language can present difficulties because it's, obviously, not the way we speak now. Beowulf and Chaucer are not popular with this crowd either.

This all can tie-in to the "dumbing down" of U.S. society. Because it's difficult, does that mean it should not be attempted? The Constitution is difficult to read too, isn't it? Obviously, people don't speak that way anymore either. Should we neglect to expose ourselves to the Constitution? In many ways, that has already happened. Do kids even read the Gettsyburg Address anymore? Four score and what? What the heck is that? Yet, aren't the Gettysburg Address and the Constitution relevant to our history? To our very way of life? Neither of these documents are contemporary, yet, don't they transcend time?

This is a nice point to bring Harold Bloom into the mix because he would probably agree with the points in my paragraph just above. Good literature transcends time and culture. Harold Bloom is a frequent critic of the dumbing down of our society. He is controversial and he can be an almost unbearable snob but he makes some good points.

Mr. Bloom is an unapologetic, unabashed fan of Shakespeare. He's written about him several times. Most notably in : Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. Literature profs had a field day with Mr. Bloom's book: The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. In The Western Canon, Mr. Bloom made a list of works from various countries that, he felt, are essential reading. The list engendered a lot of debate. However, what I remember hearing the most was how male the list was (though, really, there are a lot of women on the list. In some circles, it's just not the RIGHT women). Mr. Bloom advocates just reading the works for what they are, not reading INTO THEM.

I think there were a lot of reactionary forces who ran away with literature programs after Mr. Bloom's books came out that said: "We need to stretch the Literature programs more. We need to almost, not, include the works on his list. We need to expose students to less tried and true, but, to more unknown and contemporary."

Vermont Out of Touch with U.S.

The state of Vermont wants to secede from the Union.

They don't want to be a part of the big bad global empire anymore. By their own admission, they are uncertain how they are going to keep their state running without federal money. They better hope Ben & Jerry's sells enough ice cream and The Vermont Country Store sells enough flannel nightgowns to keep them going.

Here's an idea: any time you Vermonters want to return the federal money you are currently getting from the Big Bad Empire please do so. You are under no obligation to accept the money. Feel free to find your own way to build roads, finance Medicaid and SCHIP, send kids to college, all on your own.

Prez versus the Pope Tug of War-The Real Story!

Dateline June 9, 2007: What President Bush thought was a kitschy rainstick, the Holy Father realizes from the Ancient Hebrew notations, is really the Staff of Aaron. A tug of war contest ensues when the President, realizing the enormity of what he's giving away, tries to take it back. Both men realize the cameras are rolling and try to play it off with smiles. After the cameras are turned off, a wrestling contest ensues. All the reporters are told to leave. It's unclear what happened but the Holy Father emerged from the room with the Staff saying in his heavily Germanic accented English: "I may be 80, but I still got it where it counts!"

June 08, 2007

The One Where Cathy Reveals She Has No Inspiration Today

Other than my dream to murder the co-worker who took the last of the coffee and left it BONE DRY. I know it's wrong to think ill and murderous thoughts of my fellow man but, really, aren't there circumstance where murder most foul can be justified? I bet it's in Leviticus someplace. "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: If thy brother offend thee by leaving thee with naught to slake thy thirst thou art justified in smoting his a--"

While I am engaging upon my complete rewrite of The Law, you may want to check out Ray's post wherein he reveals the date of the Motu Proprio release! Kidding. But, Ray has some interesting perspectives and comments in his post.

Also, local blogger AbecedariusRex, of ScribbleBibble blog, has a good post on Arthurian Romance

I know some of you saw my post title and said: Today?! How about ever? Ha-ha! Beat you to the punch!

June 06, 2007

Minnesota (N)ice?

Gentle Reader: I've been reflecting about my post from yesterday and my reader's comments. In particular, the comments of my friend, Mitchell, and one of my new readers, L.

I know that I am, on occasion, a Minnesota Nice person. What do I mean by "Minnesota Nice"? Civility: with a touch of frost. Friendliness: but not always friendship. Cranky: but not always angry. Denying or masking my true feelings because I don't want to be perceived as rude. Standing silent because it's not appropriate or "my place" to speak up.

Friends: When does Minnesota Nice become cruel?

Is it wrong to speak up and say something when you see someone in error? I say: no. However, there is an appropriate way to go about it. You don't talk about people behind their back. You don't smile while you are yelling at them. You don't applaud your cleverness for your witty critique while they scratch their heads trying to figure out if you are insulting them or not.

I feel that, on occasion, I am rude in my presentation on this blog. Often, the particular recipients of my rudeness are local reporters and dissident clergy and religious.

I'm feeling really bad about some of my recent snarkiness regarding Fr. Michael Tegeder. Make no mistake, Fr. Tegeder has not been, what I would call, appropriately airing his opinions regarding our new Archbishop. And, his comments should not go unanswered. But, as my Mom always said: "you need to be better than that"

If I've offended anyone with any of my personal insults on this blog, please accept my heartfelt apologies.

June 05, 2007

StarTribune Front Page Story on Coadjutor Archbishop Nienstedt

A blog reader alerted me to the fact that there is a story in today's StarTribune (code name: Red Star) on our new Coadjutor Archbishop, John Nienstedt. I'm glad he informed me, because I quit subscribing to that biased rag seven years ago: well before my reversion. Even then, I couldn't stomach my daily city newspaper being so obviously biased: whether it be left OR right. Just present the news and the facts and keep the editorial page balanced, please. They don't bother at the StarTribune. They are leftist, progressive, Democrats and proud of it and they think you should be too. The story is online. You may have to register to view it (registration is free: the intellectual damage lasts a lifetime)

There isn't much new ground covered in this story by Pamela Miller: other than the still amazing, to some, "revelation" that Archbishop Nienstedt thinks it's a good thing to be a priest and instruct the faithful. There is an email interview with His Excellency here that does NOT appear in the print edition. His Excellency would not consent to a verbal interview-smart man.

There is a sidebar with some of His Excellency's writings and public speeches, that the newspaper thinks we should fear, included. You can read most of them on the New Ulm Diocese website or it's newspaper The Prairie Catholic.

The interesting part of this story are the comments from some of the priests and deacons of the Archdiocese and the Diocese of New Ulm.

There are three that I thought particularly interesting for various reasons.

Fr. "Tom" Ubel of St. Agnes in St. Paul was both quoted and DISSED at the same time. Fr. Ubel's first name is JOHN, not, Tom. I realize that the name, John, is really difficult because it's so uncommon, but, this is either: a fine illustration of poor fact-checking, poor proofreading, or a deliberate mistake. You be the judge. The online version has corrected Father's name, the print is wrong.

Deacon Bob Wagner of St. Stephens in Minneapolis. It's time I came clean. My post entitled Inner City Blues (Make We Wanna Holler) Part I was "inspired", in part, by this parish. Deacon Wagner calls St. Stephen's "a last chance gas station of faith for Catholics leaving or reentering the church"

Friends, with the price of gas these days, can we really afford (in more ways than one) to keep filling-up these CINO parishes with fuel?

But, Gentle Reader, I saved the "best" for last. It's our old friend Father Michael (whose first name really is Michael!) Tegeder of St. Edward's in Bloomington. Comments in parentheses are mine because I just can't help myself!

"Ray Lucker (hmmmm shouldn't that be "Bishop" Lucker. Oh, what do the titles matter? Authority is medieval) was a wonderful man, (I have to say the late Bishop was a kind man-but wrong about Catholic teaching on many levels. I, actually, met him several times) and for Nienstedt (hmmmm shouldn't that be preceeded by His Excellency or Archbishop?) to come in and denounce his writings was horrible." (yes, it was horrible that it HAD to be done)

(But, wait, it gets SO much better...)

"And for him to come into our state and right away spearhead a campaign to change our Constitution (I THINK Fr. Tegeder is talking about the campaign by several Bishops and Priests, of this state, to stop the effort a few years ago to amend our state constitution to allow for gay marriage. Actually, ALL of the Bishops in Minnesota helped with that effort but Fr. Tegeder is singling Bishop Niensted out. Unless he's ranting about something else that I'm not aware of. In any case, what the h--- else is the Ordinary supposed to be doing? Father would probably rather see the Archbishop in drag during Pride Week then bothering to do all he can to stop an abomination that is contrary to Christian Faith) without any opportunity for discussion (Father, this is not a Protestant denomination and you aren't a Cardinal or a Bishop. You don't get to vote on much of anything but in the election booth the 2nd Tuesday in November and, perhaps, whether to have pizza or brats at the Serra Club Retreat)--why did he have to be a strong arm corrector right from the start?" (perhaps, because it was necessary. but, what is "strong arm" to one is "faithful" to another)

June 04, 2007

Truex Jr. Wins Dover!

YEAH! My driver won today! I missed the whole thing because I was trapped at work, but I just watched the video of his victory lane interview. He could be a Chase contender this year.

"I'm O.K. with you being a Catholic, as long as you aren't actually Catholic"

Tell me if you have heard that one before? Or, if it was not said, was it SO obvious that it may as well have been said out loud?

Since my reversion, I hear this from a lot of people. Sure, we knew you were Catholic, but you didn't act like it. Now, what the heck has happened to you? You are no fun anymore. You spend way too much time praying. You won't party with us anymore because you have to go to Mass all the time. You contradict us constantly. You are always trying to tell us that our views of Vatican II are all wrong. Why can't you be a Catholic like Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy or Betty McCollum? You don't see them pushing their religion on us, do you? I can't pick up a newspaper these days and there you are speaking UP FOR instead of OUT AT the Church!

I had brunch with a couple of friends yesterday and that was the gist of some of our conversation. Then, the Coadjutor Archbishop, John Nienstedt's, name was brought up by one of my lunch companions, who is, what I would call, a moderate Catholic. (read: wishy-washy on some dogmas).

He said: Well, I"m o.k. with him (Archbishop Nienstedt) as long as he doesn't do anything...
Me: LOL! What do you mean, what's he supposed to do?
He: If he doesn't start interfering and tell us that we need to go to Confession in the box again.
Me: When do you think that teaching ended?
He: Vatican II changed so much
Me: Did it, really? Or, is it that you THINK and have been TOLD that it did?
He: Well, it did (lamely)
Me: Prove it. (this went over big-not)
He: What do you mean?
Me: Show me where in the documents of Vatican II..show me, in ANY documents of the Church, where the necessity of Confession was done away with and I will concede that you are right.
He: (mumbling) well, maybe it did not do away with Confession but we don't have to go in that box anymore!
Me: You have never had to have your Confessions heard in "the box". For instance in Poland, the priest will hear your Confession in his ear on the street. (both of us are Polish-Americans) I've known Priests in the Twin Cities who have done this too.
He: Well, I just hope the new guy doesn't make a lot of trouble. I hope he just leaves my parish alone. (for the record, said parish uses general absolution when it shouldn't)

I could go on an on because there was more but, hopefully, you get the drift of what the word on the street (or, in this case, the word at The Good Earth Restaurant) is regarding "the new guy".

There are a lot of folks that hope the new Ordinary, well, really any Ordinary, will be a BINO (Bishop in Name Only) or ABINO (Archbishop In Name Only). This should not be confused with PINO, Priest In Name Only, though there may be similarities. A ABINO or BINO is permitted by the less than orthodox to be a figurehead. All he should be allowed to do is: show up for ceremonial events in his gear, wave his hands in blessing, wish us all the best, tell us everything is just fine, God loves us just as we are, and not do anything controversial like try to help us avoid Eternal Damnation. After all, didn't Vatican II abolish Hell?

Dance Immodestly

Hadleyblogger Bobby over at Our Word and Welcome to It has a very disturbing post about inappropriate attire at a dance recital he attended recently.

Dissident Catholic Dictionary Word of the Day

ecumenism (ec·u·me·nism ek'yu-meh-ni'zem) noun.

In the interest of achieving unity among Christians, embracing any religious practices and/or beliefs, except those of Roman Catholicism, in order to fulfill the goal of unity among Christians by creating an anarchic, relativistic, individualistic, belief system completely free of any collective doctrines or creeds.

June 03, 2007

Faithmouse Cartoon on My Wah, Wah, Post

Faithmouse is working on the above cartoon inspired by my commentary on Nick Coleman's column that I posted on Stella Borealis

Impassioned Reading from Augustine

If you have yet to listen to one of Father Zuhlsdorf's PODCAzTs, todays, is, IMHO, his best one yet. Father has a very emotional reading of a well known passage of St. Augustine's Confessions

Does Blogging Make You Better?

Should it? I think so.

Blogging has helped me be a better Catholic as well as a better person. I'm not even close to Sainthood, but writing things down and seeing them in print, as part of the public record, forces me to live by it.

For example, some of you probably think I look like Jackie O every time I go to Mass because of some of my recent blog posts on apparel at Mass. Sadly, that is far from the truth sometimes. I have been known, on more then one occasion, to go to Mass in jeans or shorts and a t-shirt. I've worn flip-flops to Mass before.

However, I knew even then, that I was not dressed appropriately and, in my case, I had no valid excuse for my attire. Now, that I've blogged about why I think that type of dress is not correct for Mass, I better be dressed well from now on, right?

I've forced myself to dress better now that I've gone on the record. I know someone is going to "call me" out if they catch me at Mass from now on not living my talk.

This is just one example, but there are others, of forcing myself to be better by deliberately making my views public.

Am I the only one who does this kind of thing on their blog?

Update on Fr. Juno

Since my post expressing concern about Fr. Juno of Spirit of Vatican II parish, he has left that "parish" and is at a new one. Read Father's post here

Recently, a militant group has taken over that parish. Not really sure what's going on. I hope it was nothing that I said to my militant friends that put the wheels in motion. In any case, I'm glad that Father Juno was able to get out of there. Stay tuned.

June 01, 2007

8th Grade Graduation Mass at St. Agnes

I went to, what I thought, was the usual First Friday Mass of the Sacred Heart at St. Agnes this evening. They pulled a fast one on me and it turns out they had the 8th grade graduation Mass instead.

It was an honor to be there. I got to see the happy faces of ladies and gentlemen who may have the opportunity to CONTINUE at St. Agnes High School in the Fall now that the High School has been saved from closure.

Fr. Ubel was, clearly, very happy to say "this is a K-12 school"!

Cathedral of St. Paul

Hopefully, Mary got some photos of the lighted Cathedral of St. Paul last night. I was out and I saw it in all its splendor from the Capital overlook and Calvary Cemetary. Unfortunately, I had camera problems so none of my photos turned out!

Update June 5: Mary DID get photos and they are, currently, posted on her blog

Dallas Bloggers' First Friday Intentions

We are three bloggers who also live in the Dallas area. We are deeply committed to ending abortion in this country. To that end, we have committed ourselves to the following: On each First Friday for the next eleven months, we will fast and pray before the Blessed Sacrament for an end to abortion. This will culminate at the annual Dallas March for Life in January of 2008, where we will join our bishop and the faithful of this city in marching to the courthouse where Roe was originally argued.

We ask anyone reading these words to join us. Fast and pray with us each First Friday, no matter how far removed you are from Dallas. Spend some time in Eucharistic adoration, and implore Christ to end this curse. We especially ask other Dallas area bloggers and residents to join us, at least in spirit. If you would rather not fast, then pray for those of us that do.

Deep curtsy to Happy Catholic

I may not be able to fast every First Friday for the next 11 months but I will offer my usual First Friday Mass prayers, Adoration and Benediction time for this intention.

Please join me, Band of Bloggers!

One More Soul

I was corresponding with Minnesota blogger, Sanctus Belle, this week and she pointed me towards this wonderful website called: One More Soul. It has info on NFP practitioners in your area if you input a zip code. Also, it has lots of good information on alternatives to "the pill" and the dangers of contraception.

Check it out!

I found this website to be a very timely piece of knowledge given the recent release of Lybrel
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