July 31, 2007

No, You Aren't Dreaming

I took a post down. Satan was jabbing me with his pitchfork and I fell for his tricks. I went to Adoration and I feel better now.

July 30, 2007

Oh No, Not the Back!

In all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that has accompanied the release of Summorum Pontificum (I'm still eagerly awaiting the A.P. photos of people rending their garments over it), there are two frequent complaints about it: Latin is back and the priest will have his back to us.

Leaving aside the reality of how Latin was never abolished in the first place, I want to muse about the priest's back for this post.

Why are some Catholic's upset about the priest praying the Mass ad orientem?

Here's what I think based upon my decades of Catholic dissidence:

* We can't see Father's face
* It's rude to have your back to people when you are talking to them
* Father can't see us
* I'm going to have trouble hearing him/reading his lips

Obviously, these responses reveal that these Catholics, unfortunately, think the Mass is about them and Father Joe. It's not about you, me, the organist, the liturgist, or Father Joe-it's about God.

Cathy's Big Shoot Down:

We can't see Father's face
Won't you see him after Mass for coffee in the church hall? Can't you sleep at night without knowing if he cut himself while shaving before Mass? There's more to people then their face anyway. Some of the holiest men have faces for radio. Don't be obsessed, Father's not going to date you.

It's rude to have your back to people when you are talking to them
Is it better to have your back to God then the congregation? Father isn't talking to us. He's praying to God. He's in front of us because he's LEADING us in prayers to God. You don't lead someone by pushing AT them.

Father can't see us
Honestly, considering what some people wear to Holy Mass these days, this could be a great blessing for Father. (You knew I was going to say that didn't you?). Father can see you and note that you were there and what you are, or are not, wearing when he shakes your hand in the porch after Mass.

I'm going to have trouble hearing him/reading his lips
The parts of the Mass where Father faces us are largely the parts that can change each week (readings, homily, announcements). The rest of it doesn't change that much and if you have to you can follow along in the Missal. If you've been to Mass for awhile, you should be able to get an idea where Father is by his gestures. (i.e. the elevations, the hand-washing, the sign of the cross etc.) If you are paying close attention, you can still see what he's doing even he's not facing you. What do Catholics who are visiting this country and don't speak English do? Surely, they have an idea what is going on? What about the deaf or the blind?

The Israelites spent centuries desiring to see the Face of God. God said to Moses: "You shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen" Exodus 33:23 God was revealed to us, at long last, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. (John 14:9)

I've been thinking that one of the, many, reasons for ad orientem is to recreate the Israelites frustration and desire to see the face of God. They were only allowed to see his back or his light or some other natural phenomena but not His face. I think of it as the period of deprivation before He is revealed to His faithful when His stand-in (the priest) turns around at long last and offers us His Body and His Blood at Holy Communion.

Crackpots at Commonwhine

Father Zuhlsdorf's blog has one of Father's patented incisive critiques. This time, Father discusses an article in Commonweal

Frankly, I could quit drinking for life if I played a game wherein I took a drink everytime Commonweal said something positive about the Faith and/or something accurate about the Faith.

I used to subscribe to that rag. Commonweal is extreme, even for a dissident Catholic. I got so sick and tired of the negativity and the whining that I dropped it. If you have so little respect for the Faith: leave.

I LOVE this section from the article by Rita Ferrone:

Before the council, women were forbidden to serve in liturgical ministries. They were kept outside the sanctuary-a very old taboo perceived by many today as sexist and out of keeping with our sense of the dignity of the baptized. This prohibition was ended after Vatican II.

Gentle Reader: If you don't have any BUSINESS in the Sanctuary or, I would add, the Sacristy, why SHOULD you be allowed there? Do I go to a restaurant to eat dinner and immediately charge into the kitchen and start nosing around? Or, do I go to the theater to see a play and decide to walk around backstage? Or, the next time I'm at the gym, I think I'll just stroll thru the Men's Locker Room since I think it's unfair that I'm not allowed to just walk thru and use their showers whenever I feel like it. Simplistic and outrageous analogies to be sure, but I think they make my point that perceived sexism is not the issue no matter how hard some people try to make it appear so. The real problem is people that can't hear the word: no.

There are areas of any building that are off-limits to the public for any number of reasons: safety, fear of theft, security, inappropriateness, and just because you are in the way of people trying to do their job.

Door-to-Door Evangelization

swissmiss has a thought provoking post about Catholic evangelization or the lack therof.

July 29, 2007

Have You Called Your Mother Today?

Angela must be reading my mind! Those Canadians-never underestimate their ability to get into your head. Of course, it's all about ME. LOL!

Last night, I was praying before an image of the Blessed Virgin and telling her, yet again, how I'm sorry that I don't spend enough time with her. Then, this morning, I read Angela's post. Amazing!

Go on over and read Angela's post for yourself!

July 28, 2007

Sit Up and Take That Gum Out of Your Mouth, Young Man!

Gentle Reader:

Father may chant like an angel, move like he's performing the most timeless ballet ever, have all the rubrics down pat, and be entirely undone by his altar servers.

The altar servers may have the most starched and blindingly white albs or suplices we've ever seen. They may have the most appropriate and well-shined shoes we've ever seen. Their hair may be clean and neat. They may even have dress trousers poking out of the bottom instead of frayed denim.

All the beauty will come to naught as the parishioners watch these same altar servers slouch in their chairs, slough across the floor scuffing their shoes, chew their cud, roll their bovine eyes, sigh heavily about 100 times, yawn loudly about 30 times, act clueless, and look for all the world like they'd rather be in summer school retaking their final trigonometry exam.

If you see this (and, oh boy, I sure have!) kind of behavior, it pays to mention it to Father or whoever at your parish is responsible for altar server training. It's true that people can have an off-day, and if they are we should cut them some slack. But, sometimes, it's SO bad and SO clear that the servers just don't want to be there that, I think, if raising the issue to the appropriate people doesn't help, the altar server needs to be told their services are no longer needed.

I realize that in many instances it's not a youth's desire to serve at the altar, their parents want them to for various reasons. Parents: sometimes you just have to let it go.

The reverence of the Mass is so important: more important, then anyone's ego or social standing in the parish community.

I think we have witnessed not only the erosion of linguistic manners in our society but also physical manners. It seems to me that a lot of people don't know how to sit up straight or that it's not appropriate to talk and crack your gum at the same time. A lot of people don't know what a napkin is for at the dinner table or that you shouldn't lean on the table while people are eating (elbows off!). I'm not suggesting that everyone has to know exactly what every fork on the table is for, and always sit like they have a ramrod up their spine, but even the basics and the situations when you should employ them appear to have just fallen off our social radar. For instance, if you are sitting in front of everyone up on the altar, now is not apropriate time to sit like you would during the latest MN Twins loss (massacre): slouched with your arms crossed and scowling.

In some parishes there is a lack of youth available to be altar servers. I've seen adults perform the altar service just as well. I've also been to Masses where there were no altar servers, Father does it all himself. I don't think we should be settling for less just because there are few willing, or able, to serve.

July 27, 2007

Fear of Missalettes

A cranky Cathy post! (I might as well just state that up front so my readers know what to expect and be, appropriately, afraid! bwah-ha-ha-ha)

A lot of people are bitchin' that with the release of Summorum Pontificum Catholics will have to read the Mass in the Missalette to understand what is going on because the Mass won't be in the vernacular.

This Sunday take a look around at the people in the pews at your parish: How many, for whom English is their first language, already have their faces buried in the Missalette during the English Novus Ordo?

At my parish, which provides Missalettes at the door, it's about 1/2 the congregation.

If some Catholics can't take the time to memorize the Mass in their native language, these same people are not going to bother with the Latin anyway. They will read it just as they are doing now.

Frankly, I think you can be called lazy if you've known English your whole life and been going to essentially the same Mass for over 30 years and still haven't bothered to figured out what WTF is going on. But, what do I know what's in a person's heart, you lazy fool!?! (I"m talking here to those who have full capacity for learning. Let me make that clear before someone who has a learning disability chimes in and yells at me)

It astounds me that people will whine and say: "It's too hard, to memorize the Mass" or "I don't have time" and then turn around and quote to me all the stats for all the players on the current Minnesota Twins roster from memory.

The drama about people having to follow along, wah, wah, has no basis in "lived reality of the faithful" (a fav phrase of the dissenting set) since, from my observed experience, a lot of the faithful are regularly following along now.

For those who do know the English N.O. by heart but complain because they may have to read along with a Missalette for a while-get over it. We all have to start someplace. Baby steps, people. Be humble. Become a child again. Remember, what it was like? So, you may look like you don't know what's going on for a while. So will most everyone else. Most of the faithful every Sunday have no idea what's going on now. Why be different? LOL! Think of it this way: we (well, most of us anyway) are starting at the beginning at the same time. In any event, the odds of the Tridentine Mass sweeping the world overnight is low so for many S.P. may have little to no daily impact. Quit acting like it's a tsunami wave. Be glad that this particular document WILL NOT have the massive impact on EVERYONE that the Mass changes in the 70's did. My maternal Grandpa never recovered and virtually left the Church over the sudden shock of the "new Mass".

The Tridentine Mass is largely unknown to me so I'll be following along. I have to follow the Missal during parts of the Latin N.O. now because that Mass is fairly new to me. Heck, a properly celebrated Mass is fairly new to me! (Remember, the infamous parish I came from?) I had to relearn the Profession of Faith in English since I had not said it for nearly 20 years. I'd never heard of the Confiteor prior to 2004.

I don't understand why people are so afraid to learn and afraid others may judge their capacity to do so. Broaden your mind. Christ has given us a treasure trove of riches, why not explore all of it and learn as much of it as you can?

Random Silliness

I had a plan this week to have Terry type my blog posts for me while my hand was healing but he decided to try and use my blog for his screed on why he thinks all Lectors should be large-breasted women in flesh colored, spaghetti-strapped, tank tops. Mercifully, I put a kibosh on his plan before he posted it. On his way out, he stepped in my flower bed and crushed half of my impatiens. Thanks, Big Foot!

No, that is not really Terry in the illustration by Vincenzo but I think Matt Damon as Jason Bourne is an accurate reflection of the fact that Terry is, continually, trying to figure out who he is.

I've yet to see a recommendation for what one should do if you approach your pastor requesting the Extraordinary form and he retorts that you have no business asking for it because you are unstable. [LOL! I crack myself up!] I don't recall Summorum Pontificum stating mental competency is a prerequisite for requesting the Extraordinary form. However, reading most of the press around S.P. it's clear a lot of folks want us to believe you'd have to be crazy to want the Extraordinary form. Speaking of crazy, look at all we've had to put up with from the whackadoos who've decided (with no basis in reality) what we should have to suffer thru every Sunday for the Ordinary form for the last several, oh, DECADES?! Now that I think about it, maybe mental compentency should be tested on everyone who works on liturgy coordination? On third thought, I don't want to see more A.P.A. political proclamations. On fourth thought, the last thing we need is more liturgy coordinators.

I'm back, and goofier then ever! Must be those pain meds.....Naw, I'm goofy anyway. LOL!

July 26, 2007

NFP Week

Dan reminds us it's Natural Family Planning Week!

July 25, 2007

Hopeful Story about Vianney Seminary in Pioneer Press Today

Ray has the full text. The story is by higher education reporter, Paul Tosto.

July 24, 2007

Coming to a Theater Near You or Straight to Video?

Vincenzo, official photoshopper of What Does the Prayer Really Say? with talent on loan from God (Rush stole that line from Vincenzo!), just loves to make me laugh. I love to laugh! I need to laugh these days. Thanks, Vincenzo.

This film is not yet rated.

July 23, 2007

The Truth About Terry's Blog Break

Don't let him fool you with stories of despair and depression. I spotted him during a lifting contest this weekend. I barely recognized him with that horrific outfit on. I thought he could do better (both lifting and outfit wise)!

I'm not supposed to be typing (ouch, my hand) but I could not help myself. You missed me, Terry. I know you did! LOL!

One Hand

July 20, 2007

Crippled and Cranky: The One-Handed Catholic Strikes Back!

Yes, yes, yes, I'm back!

If I had known Richie was going to worry, I would have posted something sooner to let you know what is up. It's nice to be missed.

Well, here's the 411.

Chicagoland was fantastic! It was great watching Smoke climb the fence within sight of me! It was fabulous seeing him later by his RV in a white T-shirt and shorts with, yes, ladies, Kasey Kahne!

What's not so great is I developed a cyst on the back of my right hand a few weeks ago and I had to have it taken off today. I have to keep my right hand as immobile as possible for another week. It's wrapped right now and I can only type with one hand. (ok, stop snickering, Terry and Ray!)

So, it's going to be another week before I'm blogging again. But, hey, keep those extraneous comments coming, I have to keep my stats up! LOL!

If you've sent me any emails, please don't be offended if I have not responded.

July 12, 2007

I'm Outta Here!

I'm leaving shortly to pass thru the Badger State on my way to the Land of Lincoln. Chicagoland Speedway here I come!

Go #1!

I'll be offline until the 18th.

Image by Vincenzo-who else? :-)

July 11, 2007

CDF-Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church

This is interesting. Read the documents, NOT the news releases. It is brief. Documents, Commentary

Deep curtsy to Vincenzo. He told us about them yesterday but I just got around to reading them.

July 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to a Mighty Wind!

Today, a mighty wind of Truth for the Faith celebrates a birthday! You know her as always cheerful and patient. She's a big fan of liturgical banners and the music of David Haas.

Happy Birthday to The Crescat!

(She's going to come over here and kick my a--, I just know it!)

July 09, 2007

What Catholics Watch in Sports Bars

Deep Curtsy to Vincenzo!

On EWTN tonight:


Host Raymond Arroyo will discuss the newly- released papal document by Pope Benedict XVI widening use of the 1962 Roman Missal.

Guest include:
Most Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz, Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska
Monsignor James Moroney, Executive Director of the USCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy
Fr. Kenneth Baker, SJ, Editor of Homiletic & Pastoral Review
Most Rev. Thomas G. Doran, Bishop of Rockford, Illinois

Fr. George Gabet, FSSP, North American District Superior of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter
July 9, 9 PM (ET) Live
July 13, 8 PM (ET) Encore


And streaming video is available.

July 08, 2007

Catholic Humor

I'll let you in a little secret: Catholics can be funny! Catholics can have humor. We may not think Robin Williams is funny these days, but we do know how to laugh.

Mostly we laugh at ourselves and our situations.

I spend a lot of time making fun of Terry from the Abbey. Don't feel bad for him. If you read any of his blogs (actually, Terry has more than one because he has DID), you know I'm one of his favorite targets.

That's o.k., though, because I always laugh with the people I love and respect. Seriously.

Which brings me to the point of this post (See, Terry, it's not about you. Or, you, Ray!).

Magisterium Catholics can be funny!

Think about our clergy for a moment. How could any of our faithful Catholic priests have made it all these years without humor? My Pastor, Father Patrick Ryan celebrates 49 years (!) in service to Holy Church this year.

How could any of our good priests have made it thru our, formerly, appalling seminary with a good sense of humor?

How could my Pastor have made it 49 years without humor? (and he can be funny) Just think of all the history, some of it great, some of it nutty, he's seen in 49 years!

Everytime I see a certain priest of this Archdiocese I feel like I should apologize to him. Why?

For years, I hated him from afar. Up until a few years ago, I had never even met him, never seen him, never heard him preach, never heard him lecture, never read his writings. So, how could I have hated him?

It was not him that I hated, it was what he represented.

His existence threatened my so-called Catholicism. Here was a priest, who is not much older than I am, who toed the "party-line".

Once I met him, I came to realize he has a great sense of humor. He's orthodox, but he knows when to make a joke. And some of them are really funny. Some of his best humor is aimed at himself and his experiences.

I could write the same apology to any number of local priests. Men, whom I have now come to respect and admire. They were right and I was wrong. I don't even have to be funny about it to say it. There it is.

Love Others, Judge Yourself

An anonymous commenter on a prior post hurled a lot of adjectives at me that indicated Anonymous thinks I love myself more than anyone else and that I think I'm holier than anyone else and judgemental.

I'm always grateful for any occasion of self-analysis anyone can provide.

I've wondered that myself. Do I think I'm holier than anyone else? Do I think I'm better than everyone? Do I act like I do? Do I sound like I do?

I pray I don't act or sound like I love myself more than anyone else or that I sit in unfair judgement of my fellow man.

Honestly, I don't love myself more than anyone else. There was a time when that wasn't true.

In my dissident Catholic days, I thought I was better than anyone who had not found the enlightenment of the "Third Way" as I had. Anyone, who embraced the teachings of the Magisterium was an ignorant, brainwashed, fool in serious need of counseling.

How could I not love myself? I decided on my own what was right and what was wrong. I professed to be a Christian but I discarded any of His teachings that were inconvenient to my lifestyle.

I surrounded myself with people who thought the same way I did. People who were sure they knew everything. People who professed to love everyone and respect everyone no matter what they believed, yet, sneered at those people who happened to have beliefs contrary to ours.

Now, that I have fully embraced Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium, I find that I don't love myself the way I used to. I still love myself, but, now, only as a creature of God. I don't love myself anymore for MY sake. In fact, I realize how far from enjoying the perfect love that is Christ Jesus I really am. My shortcomings are brought into sharper focus than ever. The exercise of daily examining my conscience (which I NEVER did in my old life) forces me, each day, to assess how I lived that day, how I thought, how I acted, in light of God's will for me. Was I too harsh? Was I unfairly judgemental? Did I violate a Commandment? Do I need to go to Confession?

However, I love OTHERS more than ever. The "theology" of relativism teaches you to be inward and think of yourself in each situation first. When you are the one weighing how bad each vice is, what you think Scripture really says, what you would do in each situation in light of your personal truth: how can you love anybody more than yourself? When you don't care about anyone else enough to tell them what they are doing is wrong because you don't want to interfere with their personal space, isn't that a form of cruelty, not compassion?

When you accept the Truth in its entiriety without putting your own personal spin on it, you don't have to spend time analyzing each situation and interpreting it relative to your relationship with the world. You think in terms of Christ's relationship to the world.

Does this make us mindless? No. It takes a lot of effort, thought and reflection to live in the Law. Nonbelievers will tell you otherwise. Don't believe it. I spend more time now each day THINKING and REFLECTING then I ever did before. I think before I do something, I think before I go someplace. I think each moment of Him. I don't always do the right thing. But, I know what I should be doing. I'm aware of it at all times. I'm aware of Him at all times.

We all judge. We all judge each situation. As part of our (hopefully, daily) examination of conscience we have to judge OURSELVES in relation to others and judge OUR conduct in relation to His will.

As Christians, we know and believe and accept that certain behaviors are wrong. It is not judgemental on OUR part to think so or to say so. If the teachings say it is wrong to cohabitate without marriage then it's wrong. That's not ME saying that or thinking that because I came up with that on my own, it's God. If I reiterate God's teaching to you, it is part of my duty as a Christian to do so. I'm not here to keep my mouth shut and watch you go merrily to Hell while I stand by and do and say nothing to help you. My failure may mean I'll be there with you. I'd rather join you for dinner.

Let me be clear, just because I, as a baptised believing Christian, deliver God's teaching does not mean I think, or that I'm saying, I'M God.

I believe that we who accept the Church's teachings love others but judge ourselves. Really.

Last Call, Gentlemen!

I mean it this time! My arms are tired. Hey, you try tending bar holding a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, a full glass, and a symbol of your martyrdom!

July 07, 2007

Chillin' the Veuve!

Literally. I scored a bottle at Surdyk's today for $51.99! Not bad for Veuve Clicquot. I'll drink it later this evening, after I get home from a birthday party. A friend is turning 30 today and is having an outdoor BBQ in this baking heat (95 degrees Fahrenheit). I'm bringing a bottle of Freixenet Brut to her party. Call me cheap and a bad friend, I don't care!


The Machu Pichu is out (Hi, Terry)! Hey, isn't that in the running for the new Seven Wonders of the World list?

Read What Does the Prayer Really Say? for commentary and translations by a Vatican reporter who actually waited until it was officially out to comment on it. Meow.

Remember the 5 rules of engagement.

I added a 6th: Enjoy fine alcohol in moderation.
You can see from the photo (by Vincenzo) that I'm doing just that!

Seriously, it remains to be seen how the M.P. will be LIVED now that it's out but the Holy Father has been saying for years that we should not deprive ourselves of the historical richness of our Faith and the Tridentine Mass is a part of our vast Catholic treasure trove.

True, the Tridentine Mass is not for everyone. But, I'm happy that it may be available to those who want it and that we have so many valid options for celebrating His Holy Sacrifice.

We are so blessed. The Faith is so beautiful.

I feel a song coming on...

Te Deum laudamus...

July 06, 2007

Kids and Confession

I used to think that making kids go to Confession was ridiculous. Then, again, I thought that Confession was ridiculous for everybody-including me. I was taught by people, who should know better, that Confession was something Catholics had to do 40 years ago but don't have to do anymore since Vatican II "liberated" us. (Since Vatican II is blamed and used to justify just about everything, I'm amazed that someone has not discerned the link between Vatican II and "global warming" yet!)

I had an argument with one of my dissident "Catholic" buddies a few months ago on the very topic of kids and Confession. She said, snorting loudly: "What's the point? What have kids done that's SO bad? What are they going to confess? I hit my sister?" Then she laughed and snorted again.

For the record, this gal has probably not seen the inside of a Confessional for, at least, 20 years.

Many parishes that call themselves Catholic, and you may know of some, skip the Sacrament of Confession either altogether or they water it down so much that it becomes a picnic, literally. Let's have a picnic where we can sing songs and feel good about ourselves and each other. Why guilt ourselves? Why burden our kids with guilt? Or, the kids go talk with Father about whatever before they receive their First Communion. By whatever, I mean everything but BAD or SIN. If they want to rap with Father Joe or, just Joe, about the baseball game they played last night and they feel kind of sad they didn't win that's valid. The exercise teaches them socialization skills and how cool and approachable Joe is. (think I'm making this up? think again)

Examinations of conscience are skipped. The form of confession is not taught.

Why is this alarming? Why does it matter?

We teach children because:

1) We want them to learn the difference between right and wrong, appropriate versus inappropriate
2) We want them to learn skills/habits that they will carry with them thru life

We teach children not to hit their sister because it's not appropriate behavior. We hope that in doing so they will quit doing it and they won't keep doing it as they grow up. True, it may have to be repeated several times to sink in. In extreme cases, it may never sink in.

Same with confession. We teach kids the habit of the Sacrament of Confession because it helps teach them the value of right versus wrong. Also, we pray that they continue the practice into adulthood. If it doesn't sink in, then at least we fulfilled our mission in that we did our part. They have the free will to accept or reject Him. However, hopefully, we did not do anything to push them to reject Him by our action or lack thereof.

If the worst a kid can come up with is that they hit their sister. Don't worry. that won't be the worst thing they will ever confess. But, if we laid the foundation correctly and early enough, when the time comes for the "heavy stuff", they will know what to do.

I am a big fan of confessing venial sin. People have accused me of being overzealous in this regard. However, confessing venial sins helps me work on them and perceive the patterns of my behavior since I frequently struggle with the same ones and I have discovered there are patterns to their reoccurance.

The Catachism says:

1458: Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful. (Catachism of the Catholic Church 2nd edition)

It may not always be STRICTLY necessary for kids to go to confession. However, I think it is a good thing for them to become accustomed to. I'm always happy when I see kids at confession with their parents.

Which brings me to another point: What good does it do to teach your kids by word only, but not example? Do your kids ever see YOU at confession? If not, your kids may think:
a) Mom and Dad must be Saints
b) When I become an adult, I won't have to do this anymore

Why would I, single and childless, want to talk about kids and confession? Gentle Reader, we are ALL responsible for handing on the Faith whether the kids are ours or not. We do this by example and pointing things out. Whether the kids are mine or not, they are the future of our Church and they are fellow members of the Body of Christ. We also have to answer for ourselves if we don't fulfill our end of the bargain by teaching our little ones.

Honestly, it terrifies me that our children could go thru the same DECADES of ignorance that I did. Consider this post as doing my part.

Confession matters: Your SOUL depends on it.

First Friday Fast Intentions

My Fasting Intentions for This First Friday

Solidarity with the Dallas bloggers for an end to abortion.

For an increase in vocations to the priesthood, permanent diaconate, and religious life from this Archdiocese

In thanksgiving for the upcoming Motu Proprio allowing greater use of the Tridentine Mass

That Adoro te Devote may find a new job soon

For the intentions of all faithful Catholic bloggers on my blogroll and for those who regularly comment on my blog but may not have their own blog.

In thanksgiving for the blessings God has bestowed upon me. In reparation for my ingratitude for them.

For the repose of the soul of my late brother, Wayne, who would have been 36 years old today.

July 05, 2007

Catholic Churches Near Chicagoland Speedway

Gentle Reader: Does anyone know if there is a Roman Catholic parish within walking distance of Chicagoland Speedway outside of Joliet, Illinois? From my research, there does not appear to be one but I'm trying to confirm with someone who may know the area and the track.

It HAS to be within walking distance. I will not have access to a car. I define walking distance as 1-2 miles AND on a road it's safe to walk on (i.e. something with a sidewalk so I'm not walking in traffic!)

I have already used masstimes.org.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

July 04, 2007

Freedom, Government and God

Local blogger tMichaelB has a thought provoking post up. Good 4th of July reading.

God Bless America

"Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --President John Adams, A.D. 1798.

We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope Benedict, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own archbishop, Harry Flynn, all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, George Bush, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his excellency, Tim Pawlenty, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.
--"Prayer for the Government" by Archbishop John Carroll, A.D. 1791

July 03, 2007

Avoid Sinners?

Gentle Reader: This last weekend, I stayed at a Bed & Breakfast with a couple of friends in Iowa City. This, particular, B&B is owned by a gay "couple". I have stayed there before and it is a beautiful place. The breakfast is excellent. Why would anyone, who says they are Catholic, "endorse" or "support" the gay lifestyle by staying in such a place?

I've thought about this a lot lately. It's true that they earned money from me for the weekend. However, if we limit ourselves to only being with saints, we will never leave our homes. In fact, I should go drown myself in Como Lake right now since I live with a sinner on a daily basis-myself.

In the news, in the last year, is the plan by Thomas Monaghan to build, what I consider, a Catholic ghetto in Florida. Have we reverted back to the founding days of our nation when Catholic loyalty to our nation was in question? Or, are we just too tired to evangelize so we want to hide out with our own kind?

Dissidents like to remind us, again and again, that Jesus socialized with sinners, outcasts and unbelievers. Yes, He did. However, Jesus never squandered an opportunity to rebuke, correct or teach these people to repent and change their lives. The last is the part that the dissidents usually forget to mention.

I think conservatives remember the last part about rebuking, correcting and teaching, but not the first about socializing with the different. I think we need to show and tell as many people as possible the glory and the truth of our Catholic Faith. You are never going to do this by avoiding them. You are never going to do this by solely limiting yourself to blogging or writing for Catholic journals-chances are non-Catholics or the fallen away are not going to read those sources anyway. The best way to reach others is to be there, right in the thick of it. Use words if necessary, as a great Saint once said.

I've said this time and again and I know it: Why are we so ashamed of our Faith? It's great to be with people that ONLY think the way you do. It's easier, certainly.

But, we are charged with bringing the light of Christ to others. We can teach amongst ourselves and we do that. However, at the end of the day, it's preaching to the choir.

Which is greater:

Persuading your already Catholic friend that Pope Benedict XVI is a greater writer than Pope John Paul II or, persuading a gay couple that children are better raised with married parents of the opposite sex?

Persuading a Protestant that Catholicism is the one, true, church founded by Christ, or, persuading your already Catholic friend that your parish is better than his?

During my stay at the B&B, I made an obvious trip to go to Mass on Sunday. My car has a Relevant Radio sticker on the back and one of the guys asked me about that. We had a long discussion on fiscal conservatism and we found out we have a lot in common there. We had a civil discussion about gay marriage and found out we don't have a lot in common there. No, they did not immediately decide to repent and reform their lives thanks to my overwhelmingly persuasive rhetoric. But, perhaps, it was the start of something. Perhaps, not, but I think we need to try.

Discussions like this will never take place, unless we step out of our comfort zones. I would not be where I am today, if Catholics had not stepped out of their comfort zones and associated with an undesirable-me.

Why I Should Leave Town More Often

Terry may have let himself go physically and sartorially but he sure has been blogging some fantastic stuff the last couple of days. Check it out!

Terry's not the only one. Our Word and Welcome to It! has been strong lately as well.

I can't wait to see what the local crew comes up with during my next vacation!

Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe."
Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you."
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing."
Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"
Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." --John 20: 24-29

July 02, 2007

Local VOTF Takes a Stand

I used to be a member of our local Voice of the Faithful chapter. I've, repeatedly, asked them to remove me from their mailing lists. Despite my best efforts, they continue to send me their propaganda. I usually just throw them, unopened, in the trash or I write "refused/return to sender" on the envelope. Today, I got this letter (below) in my email inbox. I found it interesting. One of the reasons I quit VOTF was that I felt there were too many members who had far more on their agenda then supporting people who had been abused by Catholic clergy. I, also, was not happy about the fact that their "priests of integrity" were usually dissidents. However, I have to give the local chapter credit for distancing itself from the national organization in this matter. Here's the letter:

Dear Twin Cities VOTF Members and Friends,

I don't know if you have heard yet, but the National Voice of the Faithful has issued a call for the church to open discussion on the issue of clerical celibacy. They see this as somehow connected to the abuse crisis because it contributes to secrecy. This was addressed in a New York Times article last Sunday, June 24 and is explained further in today's issue of the VOTF eNewsletter In the Vineyard.

I wanted you to know that the local affiliate of VOTF has unanimously disagreed with the National office on this matter. We think that identifying VOTF with any position on clerical celibacy distracts from our core mission of helping victims of abuse and supporting priests of integrity. Our experience is that it is hard enough to get the bishops to take VOTF's concerns seriously and if VOTF gets identified with this issue, it will only make VOTF less effective.

We have communicated our disagreement to the National office. We will also be sending letters to the local bishops to make them aware that the local VOTF is not embracing this issue because we want to stay focused on issues around sexual abuse. We will indicate our willingness to meet with the bishops and vicar general to find more ways of helping victims of abuse.

The press releases from the National office are expected to go out early next week.

Here is an excerpt from the letter being sent to the local papers and local bishops:

Recently, the national office of Voice of the Faithful has announced a call for reviewing the requirement for a celibate priesthood. The leadership council of Twin Cities VOTF has voted unanimously not to endorse this initiative because it draws focus away from the main goals of VOTF: to support victims of abuse, and to support priests of integrity. We are also concerned that taking this position will confuse the entirely separate issues of priests who abuse with priests who may or may not live out their vow of celibacy. Married priests will not be less likely to abuse children or vulnerable adults. We do not hold the view that mandated celibacy is what caused bishops to keep abusers in active ministry or failed to cause them to report credible accusations to local law enforcement.

I invite you to contact me if you wish to discuss this issue further.

Suzanne Severson
Co-Moderator, Twin Cities VOTF

Installation Mass

Correction 7/3/07:A blog reader, informed me that the Pioneer Press had a prominent story on the Installation Mass. I find the Pioneer Press website search engine to be, largely, inaccurate. When I could not find anything, I assumed they had not covered the Mass. Thanks for the correction!

Now that I'm back in town, I heard the local papers largely ignored Coadjutor Archbishop Nienstedt's Installation Mass on Friday. Who cares what they have to say about it? Mary and Ray were there. I trust their opinions and commentary on the event more then those for whom the reporting that event is just another task.

By the by, several FAITHFUL local priests that I've spoken to are very excited about our new Coadjutor. Either because they've known him for years, or they liked what they saw/heard during the Presbyter's Meeting last week.

Pray for our Shepherds.

A Black Statistic

Abortions in Minnesota increased 5% from 2005 to 2006.

14,066 infants were murdered. Let's say that again: 14,066.

If 14,066 people were being killed anywhere else or for any other reason, the U.N. would be involved in trying to find a solution to stop it.

Pray for an end to the slaughter. Please support pro-life organizations with your money and your time.

Jazzin' in I.C.

I went to Iowa City for a long weekend and visited a friend. The weather was fantastic. My lodgings were splendid. Cuong Vu Trio had a supernatural set late Saturday afternoon that was, by far, my favorite of the three days of the festival. Even one of my friends, who absolutely detests "adventurous" jazz, was riveted to her lawn chair and bought their latest CD after the set. Mr. Vu is frequently compared to Bitches Brew Miles Davis. I think that comparison is accurate only so far as they are both trumpet players and trailblazers. Mr. Vu has his own sound. It's not a Miles Davis fusion resurrection.

I am notorious for refusing to give just an arbitrary/obligatory standing ovation (really, I'm often the only one still sitting down!). I was on my feet after the set. Not everyone was, but there were quite a few of us. Fusion/avant-garde jazz is not for everyone but, if you dig it, you should check out Cuong Vu Trio!
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