August 31, 2007

What's New in the Catholic Library Association

In 2006:
At the last ALA (American Library Association) meeting, the CLA (Catholic Library Association) asked for affiliate status with ALA and was turned down because the CLA indicated that its purpose was to further the beliefs and values of the Catholic Church (yeah, duh). Numerous council members felt
that ALA should not affiliate with a sectarian organization. CLA responded that it is discussing revision of its constitution and may reapply after this occurs.--
West Virginia Libraries Newsletter

This year, CLA was granted affiliate status with the ALA. It makes me wonder what CLA did to get affiliation.

What is an ALA affiliate?

ALA Affiliates are nonprofit membership organizations, either national or international in scope, that have interests consistent with those of ALA. Affiliates are elected by the ALA Council upon submission of an application that includes, among other criteria, evidence of interest in libraries and librarianship or information science and a statement of ways in which the applicant visualizes cooperation with ALA. The Catholic Library Association is the 24th organization to achieve Affiliate status with the ALA.

What does ALA say about the CLA after they granted CLA affiliate status?

Established in 1921, the Catholic Library Association is an international membership organization providing its members professional development through educational and networking experiences, publications, scholarships, and other services. The Catholic Library Association coordinates the exchange of ideas, provides a source of inspirational support and guidance in ethical issues related to librarianship, and offers fellowship for those who seek, serve, preserve, and share the word in all its forms.

Do you see the words: "Catholicism" or "Catholic" anywhere in that ALA description of the CLA outside of the organization name itself?

The rumors are that ALA granted the CLA affiliate status after CLA promised to incorporate "ecumenism" in its constitution. The word "ecumenism" is now in the CLA constitution. However, the only remotely faith-like words I see in their ALA affiliate description are: "inspirational" "ethical" and "fellowship". Gosh, even the ALA thinks it's inspirational, ethical, and provides fellowship. I think the CLA promised to be more spiritually vague in order to get affiliate status. Even if CLA promised to be more ecumenical; WHY, if the word "CATHOLIC" is in your name is the pursuit of ecumenism to be given precedence over your Faith?

Why would a, supposedly, Catholic association WANT to be affiliated with the ALA anyway?

The ALA does many good things. However, they have many agenda items that would appear to contradict the mission of a, truly, Catholic library. The ALA has, historically, been opposed to Internet filters-even in Children's areas of libraries. They tend to think every book should be in every library-if not, it's censorship and censorship is always bad. The ALA thinks all library collections should foster diversity and multiculturalism. Diversity and multiculturalism can be very good things. However, the ALA has a strong history of pushing GLBT materials for inclusion in library collections in the name of diversity. What if a Catholic library really doesn't want to include a selection of books on Islam or Judaism or Calvinism? Is that refusal going against the CLA vow to be ecumenical in regards to their ALA affiliation?

I think rather then trying to change the ALA by seeking affiliate status, the CLA changed itself.

Well, I should backup a little. The CLA has not always been the most orthodox Catholic organization on the planet. At least, in recent history they have not been. The list of CLA Aggiornamento Award winners, in many cases, is a who's-who of dissenters. The CLA refuses to index certain publications in their Catholic Periodical and Literature Index (CPLI): among them, The Wanderer and, recently, New Oxford Review-both conservative publications. CPLI is heavily used by Catholic libraries since it is a major index-flawed as it is. However, I think the granting of ALA affiliate status to the CLA was the moment the CLA completely crossed over to the darkside.

The CLA sold out. Pure and simple.

Why should we care? Because the CLA is the professional organization for many of the librarians in our school libraries, parish libraries and seminary libraries. The CLA positions are "pushed" to their membership at every meeting, at every convention, in every newsletter, in every issue of Catholic Library World. Many librarians are already members of the ALA as well, but how much more of the ALA positions are going to be openly incorporated into the CLA now? How much easier will it be for ALA platforms to insinuate themselves into Catholic libraries with that professional bond?

A lot of Catholics worry about the Catholicism of the people teaching the Faith-and rightly so. However, did you check the library collection at your school/parish/seminary while you were at it? Did you know that many school librarians are also teachers? In many schools, the librarian is required to have a state teaching license or certificate because sometimes they are called upon to teach classes or sub when needed. Do you know what kinds of materials are being selected for your Catholic library and why? Do you care? Do you know what your Catholic librarian really believes and what he/she thinks should, or should not, be in your library? You should.

I'm sure there are CLA members who look upon these recent events with troubled eyes but feel they have little choice since there are no professional library associations for their subject specialization out there that are really any better. Is it time for a Magisterium Catholic Librarian Association?

Thanks for the Prayers

Thank you to all who prayed for, and inquired about, the health of my Dad. He is doing much better and he was able to return to his home a few days ago.

Please remember in your prayers, Ray, of Stella Borealis blog. Ray has been quite ill this week.

August 30, 2007

Letters to the Editor-Catholic Spirit

The Catholic Spirit printed my response to Father John Mitchell's opinion column of August 16th in today's issue of the paper. It is not online. Here is what I said. I took no pleasure in writing this letter. Contradicting a priest does not make me happy, but I felt that something needed to be said. I prayed on it for five days before I sent this letter to the editors.

I read with concern Father John Mitchell's assertions in the August 16th issue.

Summorum Pontificum does not really offer anything new to anyone who paid attention to Pope John Paul II's Ecclesia Dei 20-years ago or what the documents of the Second Vatican Council actually said.

I believe a large reason for the Holy Father's issuance of this motu proprio was in response to the fact that the prior, applicable, church documents are not being appropriately implemented, if at all. However, rather then "turning the clock back" Pope Benedict in Summorum Pontificum gives us, the Faithful, an extraordinary form of the Mass that may be new to some while still leaving intact the more familiar ordinary form.

I think the fact that we have another valid form for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should be an occasion for rejoicing, not, fear and anger.

The Mass, in either form, is NOT the priest's nor the people's. It never has been; it never will be. It's God's.

Janice LaDuke
St. Andrew
St. Paul, MN

Oh, and my buddy Ray gets in on the action too!

Father John Mitchell in his Catholic Spirit "My Turn" article of Aug. 16, is "very sad and very angry". In his opinion, "the Tridentine Mass is a huge step in the wrong direction for our beautiful church".

I would bet that the result of the decision by Pope Benedict to loosen the restrictions on the offering of the “Tridentine Mass” (more properly, it should be called the 1962 Latin Mass of Pope John XXIII) will be that six or so parishes might offer that Mass occasionally.

Why is Father Mitchell so angry about that? Is he being required to say or go to those Masses? No. Is he angry about the far more than six parishes in this Archdiocese who make a travesty of the Novus Ordo Mass of the Second Vatican Council by their improvisations and omissions? I don’t know.

Is he angry about the Minneapolis pastor who allows his parishioners to personally intinct the Sacred Host into the Precious Blood in direct contravention to Canon Law?

What is there about church progressives that drives them to demand that only their view be permitted?

I respect and love our priests. But I really wonder about priests who won’t let me worship in a way that others feel will bring them closer to their God. And by the way, I’m not a real fan of the Mass in Latin. I might go occasionally, but not as a general rule.

Ray Marshall
Basilica of St. Mary
Minneapolis, MN

There is also a letter saying the Latin Mass does not send the church backward by Mr. Timothy Kay of Nativity of Our Lord in St. Paul.

Cross Posted to Stella Borealis

August 29, 2007

Not in My Happy Place Right Now

I'm really angry today. I, of all people, probably have no business being angry over this particular issue, and I'm well aware of it. Some people tell me righteous anger can be a good thing; if you are angry about a worthy subject that's o.k. I'm not so sure. I don't think anger is healthy. Frequently, and you've probably noticed this already, I heal or mask my anger with laughter and/or sarcasm.

I'm never so angry as when I'm angry on another person's behalf. Many of you probably know what I mean. When a friend or a loved one is attacked, you are angrier for that then you are for people attacking you.

A blogger friend has really been under fire recently from a gentleman who claims to be a Catholic but dumps at least 1/2 of the Church's teachings. Especially, those teachings that don't permit him to live his gay lifestyle.

My friend has had his sexuality openly questioned. Why? Because my friend has several blog posts illustrating how the practice of gay sexuality is contrary to God's plan and is destructive. Just because my friend has dared to post Truth, he's under attack by a bothersome gnat.

Is a person being attacked for posting the Truth new? No. If a person is incapable of making a rational argument, they will try attacking the person making the argument. It's like a child retorting: "Your Momma!" for lack of a better counter-argument.

I should just let it all go. I used to make the CINO doing the attacking look like a raging conservative. I think what has set me off is the CINO in question is citing as evidence some of the same "experts" that I used to listen to, hang out with, take coursework from, read etc. I just want to scream: "You are being cruelly misled!!!!" So, I just did.

I have a unhealthy dose of rage, which I try really hard to temper with prayer, but it doesn't always work. My rage is aimed at the "catholic" experts, the "catholic" religious, the "catholic" priests, the "catholic" teachers, who hide behind their degrees, their tenure, their authority, their collars, and their habits. They have zero respect for the Church and spend all their time undermining it and corrupting souls with their lying filth.

If they want to believe their own deceptions that's one thing. But, when you try to push that garbage on other people, then I have a problem with you. I was led down the merry path of dissent by you for decades.

Are vows meaningless? Are oaths ridiculous? No wonder so many Catholics break Sacramental vows. We see "catholics" who took oaths to uphold and teach, believe and profess, the Faith break their promises every day.

The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

He must increase: I must decrease--John 3:30

August 28, 2007

Where in the World is Father What's-His-Name?

"Is there a priest around?"
"Who runs this joint?"

You may know parishes like this. Unfortunately, there are several in this Archdiocese. Yes, there is a priest's name on the masthead of the bulletin and maybe, even, on the sign outside. But, where is Father? Most of the services are Word and Communion run by laypeople or prayer services run by laypeople. Maybe one service per week is an actual Mass where Father is, seemingly, released from his chains in the basement for good behavior. But, you are never quite sure when that is going to be. Most of the information on the bulletin and/or website is written by Deacon Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named or the Head of Pastoral Misinformation Ms. Ministry Certificate.

What the bleep is going on? Why is this kind of bunk allowed? Are there priests being held prisoner in a Chinese laundry somewhere? I have no answers to these questions. I am genuingly confused. Help me achieve understanding, Gentle Reader.

And I'm Telling You I'm Not Moving

Not exactly a song from Dreamgirls, but close.

There's a thread in the comments on this post of Terry's that inspired a Cranky Cathy post!

S'up with the folks that HAVE to not only sit in the same pew at every Mass but once they are in it they sit on the end and WILL NOT MOVE! Don't even THINK of sitting here next to me! Climb over me if you want to Grandma. Oh, and I'm not going up for Communion but I'm still going to sit here on the end of the pew. Furthermore, I'm not getting up so YOU can go up to receive Communion. You DARED to sit in MY pew, why should I help you?

Where's the Christian charity? Do people still pay pew rental? Is no one capable of getting up? What if there's a fire? Does anyone work out anymore?

Now, see, I KNOW Catholics CAN get up and move quickly if they feel they need to. Cripes, they practically knock me over on their way to the elevator immediately after Communion (or right when Communion starts if they aren't going up to receive). Ding-ding! Ding-ding! Goes that elevator button in the back. Not like they are making a quiet get away. Like most Catholics they are probably double parked in a tow away zone and need to get out of there in a quick hurry since they got to Mass 10 minutes late anyway.

August 27, 2007

Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

Good article on conscience by Leon Suprenant in the September 2007 (vol. 18 num. 7) issue of This Rock. More recent issues are not yet available online. Worth tracking down, if you can get a copy.

Lights Out!

From my former "spiritual home":

“Light’s Out!” At the end of each Sunday liturgy we spend one minute in the dark to show our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Iraq who suffer every day without the necessities of life…clean water, electricity, safety on the streets. We will continue until this war comes to an end.

This is in addition to the preceeding 60-minutes "in the dark". This is all a good thing. Keeps the evil, capitalist, support of electricity to a minimum. AND, it keeps the people from seeing all the liturgical horror.

I know, I'm a snark. But, the note just SCREAMED out for me to parody. No, I did not make it up.

August 24, 2007

Help Wanted

I was trolling around the web at lunch looking for trouble.

Sometimes, you just can't ask for better material!

My comments are in parentheses/bold-faced type.

Catherine of Siena (wasn't she a SAINT?) Vitual College Development Director Project Manager

Housetop Care Limited, a Registered Charity, supports two major projects at present:

1. Catherine of Siena Virtual College (wasn't she a Saint?)
2. the campaign for the Ordination of Women in the Roman Catholic Church. (I love dreamers)

We conduct our projects mainly through the Internet: (= Catherine of Siena Virtual College)
& (15 languages, half a million visitors a year = our academic library on ministries for women) .

If you join us, you will become part of an international network of people who are committed (what asylum?) to promoting the good of women (Oh, darn, I'm SO looking for a career that does NOT promote the good of women).

We already have a full-time Office Administrator who coordinates the work of our local and international volunteers.

If you become our Development Director/Project Manager, you will have responsibility for building up the support structures that make the work of our central office possible. You will help plan the academic contents of our websites, will represent aspects of the college and our work to the outside world, have charge of the fundraising and promote the international network of supporters and friends.

Essential qualities we are looking for
You are qualified (define qualified) in theology and/or gender studies (My degree in Gender Oppression Studies can FINALLY be used! Yeah!). A Masters' Degree is a minimum. Having studied (wait a minute, I thought we had to be qualified!) theology will enable you to enter more fully (into the sacred mysteries....oh, sorry, got carried away) into some aspects of the debate relating to women's ministries (I wonder if a stint at the Augustinianum would count here!?).

You can take charge as a real leader. You possess creativity, can inspire people, can achieve results, etc. (hey, that's me!)

You speak and write English (Gaawiin ninisidotanziin). English does not need to be your mother tongue, but a lot of your work will be conducted through English. (Je ne comprends pas.)

You are committed (but will be out soon for good behavior) to the cause of women (is there one cause and what is it?). You need not be a fanatic women's libber though (WHAT!?!), in fact we definitely prefer someone with a balanced approach. (oh, crap! If I can't be a fanatic about it, how can I fit into the organizations mission?)

You have fundraising ability. You can draw up project applications, meet people, etc. The precise skills in all such things can be learnt as long as the basic willingness and ability for fundraising is there. (So, you don't have to know how to draw up project apps or meet people but you better be able to come up with some moolah? If you are incapable of meeting anyone for fundraising, you better come with your own trustfund?)

You are prepared to live in/near London. Some of our work requires access to our central office in Rickmansworth (Couldn't they find a place without the word; MAN, in it? Gee whiz!). If you live not too far away from London, a flexible solution may be found. (how about La-La-Land?)

Desirable qualities that will enhance your chance of being accepted
You are a Roman Catholic or familiar with the Catholic Church (Define familiar, heck, define Roman Catholic! I dare you.). Since one of our main projects concerns the Roman Catholic Church, familiarity with that (as opposed to our) Church makes it easier to lay the contacts (see, SEX again!) and make the connections that will be required (wait a minute, you said up top that meeting people was not a must!). However, we realise that you may be disenchanted from the official Church for various reasons without that stopping you from being a Catholic (Is it possible to be disenchanted with the cause of women without that stopping you from being a woman?).

You have had experience of carrying real (not imaginary!) responsibilities (Slackers need not apply!). If you have actually been in charge of an organization or a project (hey, if you've ever done ANYTHING!), it would prove your leadership capability (I wonder if leading a 40-hour devotion will count? Or, running a household with 8 children?). But we are willing to consider your application if you can demonstrate your ability in another way (confirmed nutjob).

You speak more languages (as opposed to less?). Since you will be in touch with people in other countries as well, familiarity with their (who?) language (which?) is an added bonus.

You are content with a moderate salary (Your reward will be great in Heaven). Much will depend, of course, on your qualifications and abilities (I'm still waiting for those to be clearly defined!), and especially on your success in fundraising (ah, so I have a salary!). At present we do not have reserve funds from which we could afford to be generous (expect to live in the Tube). If you join us, we will want to be fair to you within your own and our posibilities (be prepared to be a volunteer).

The Truth About Terry's Reflection!

Terry said he's taking a few days off for "reflection". Translation: Eating at the State Fair! Don't let him fool you!

Support Your Local Schola-Return Performance!!!

The Chant Schola is back again. They are chanting tomorrow August 25th. Same schedule, program and location as last week. (click on the hyperlink for more information)

One Year Blog Anniversary!

Thousands Confused!
Hundreds Angered!
Hordes Unamused!

As an exercise in personal humility and mortification, I thought I would share with you, Gentle Reader, some of my, er, fan mail excerpts from the last year.

"May you relapse into your Catholic dissent."
"You have brought God down to your level by making Him as petty as you are."
"If you can't take the art, get out of the creative space."
"Puh-leez stop the sanctimony."
"The only thing I like on your blog is the image of St. Catherine on it."
"You are overly smug."
"You are a victim of a superstitious cult. You need to break free."
"You Catholics are incapable of thinking for yourselves. Your blog proves it."
"I liked you when you were still cool. I hate you now."

Hey, keep those cards and letters coming!

August 23, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different.....

I, normally, don't announce blogs when I add them to my blogroll. I just stealthily add them. However, there is a new blog in town that is truly unique. Ecclesia Domestica is an architectural blog by a Catholic family in Ham Lake building a home that will encourage their Faith. Check it out!

Recommended Blog Reading

Veritatis Splendor has had some great posts lately. You should check it out!

August 22, 2007

It's Alright to Cry

Sing it with me now my Gen X brothers and sisters............

There's a land that I see where the children are free
And I say it ain't far to this land from where we are
Take my hand, come with me, where the children are free
Come with me, take my hand, and we'll live


I've spent over 30 years trying to run like Atalanta and escape those blasted songs in my head and last night I heard in a TV commercial...

It's all right to cry
Crying gets the sad out of you
It's all right to cry
It might make you feel better


Do you have any idea how MANY times I had to watch Free to Be...You and Me in grade school? Did that series play a part in much of the political correctness run amok that we see today? I wonder.

"I'm just a bill, yes, I'm only a bill".....Now, that song was useful. Or, the song that helped you learn the Preamble to the Constitution.."We, the people". Remember the days when Saturday morning cartoons actually tried to teach kids something useful as opposed to encouraging them to bug their parents to buy them the toys that go along with the show? I'm jealous. I always wanted a Sleestak costume, but, marketing did not exist on the scale it did now. We had to use our own creativity to create it or imagine it. You couldn't always buy it.

Labels: Childhood memories, Land of the Lost, That Girl Ruined Me

One Word, No Explanations Meme

Angela tagged me for this One Word, No Explanations meme. I thought Angela was my buddy. Does she realize how difficult it is for me to do this with NO explanations? Just ONE word. Then, I realized I could have fun if I came up with words that make you go...hmmmmm or huh? AND, I don't have to clear up your confusion or explain myself! Bwah-ha-ha! Hey, I like this meme!

1. Yourself: God's
2. Your spouse: unknown
3. Your hair: present
4. Your mother: deceased
5. Your father: ill
6. Your favorite item: organizer
7. Your dream last night: strange
8. Your favorite drink: water
9. Your dream car: Rolls
10. The room you are in: bedroom
11. Your ex: who
12. Your fear: Hell
13. What you want to be in 10 years: satisfied
14. Who you hung out with last night: Dad
15. What you're not: patient
16. Muffins: blueberry
17: One of your wish list items: Heaven
18: Time: passing
19. The last thing you did: ate
20. What you are wearing: mu'umu'u
21. Your favorite weather: sunny
22. Your favorite book: John
23. The last thing you ate: walleye
24. Your life: challenging
25. Your mood: introspective
26. Your best friend: Jesus
27. What you're thinking about right now: tea
28. Your car: new
29. What you are doing at the moment: thinking
30. Your summer: ending
31. Your relationship status: over
32. What is on your TV: off
33. What is the weather like: overcast
34. When was the last time you laughed: now

I tag YOU!

Prayer Request

Gentle Reader: Will you be kind enough to pray for the health of my Dad? Thank you and God bless you.

August 21, 2007

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

Let's talk about sex for now to the people at home or in the crowd
It keeps coming up anyhow
Don't decoy, avoid, or make void the topic
Cuz that ain't gonna stop it
Now we talk about sex on the radio and video shows
Many will know anything goes
Let's tell it how it is, and how it could be
How it was, and of course, how it should be
Those who think it's dirty have a choice
Pick up the needle, press pause, or turn the radio off
Will that stop us, Pep? I doubt it
All right then, come on, Spin

--"Let's Talk About Sex", Blacks' Magic, Salt 'n' Pepa

Sex is everywhere is it not? We all know that. You see it and you hear it every day. Even if you'd rather not.

Look at all the commercials and ads depicting ordinary folks sitting around at bars, in kitchens, in the backyard, at the office, on the golf course, discussing their preferred method of contraception, erectile dysfunction pills, popping breathmints that are sure to get you laid, drinking beer brands that make you irrisistible, douching all the live-long day, gellin' at Helen. I'm stunned there are no vibrator commercials on the air.

In reality, are these commercials and ads are far wrong?

It used to be that the only safe topic of group conversation was the weather. Now, thanks to rampant disagreement over whether global warming exists or not, I don't think even weather can be an entirely safe topic. But, oh boy, bring up sex and that's just fine. How many times have you been in a group of people and someone feels it necessary to bring up some kind of sexual topic? For me, it's frequently among co-workers at lunch. How many times when this happens does someone speak up in protest, change the topic, or leave? My guess, from observed experience, is, not many.

The most frequent reaction is laughter, head nodding, or adding your personal, similar story to keep the sexual conversation going.

But, bring up politics or religion or even what you are currently reading and you are just asking for trouble. "I want to talk with you about my parish and how great I think it is." Response: Yawn or "I don't share your religion so I feel like you are infringing upon my personal, spiritual space." "I really think Hillary Clinton should be our next President." Response: Unless you are in a certain crowd after you say that, run for cover. "I'm reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, do you think that's an accurate portrayal of the struggles of Islamic women?" Response: "Who cares?" or "I'm reading Maxim right now! That cover photo is hot!"

That's just it. Most of us are taught that, unlike practically any other topic, sexuality is an experience that we ALL have in common. Furthermore, my generation was taught that a healthy sexuality must be publicly discussed and expressed openly.
Oh, no, let's not go back to the big, bad, olden days when there were certain things that were just not talked about or done in public! Is anything inappropriate anymore?

Healthy topics of conversation CAN be: religion, politics, media, books, music. However, it's tough to find a group of people that has the same interest in common. Does that mean that such discussions should not even be attempted? Do all of us share the same sexual experiences anyway? No, yet, that does not seem to stop sexual discussions.

I think part of the problem is that so few people these days know how to engage in civilized healthy debate. It would be nice if people could bring up topics like religion, politics and media without a fist fight breaking out. Or, people feeling
"dumb"if they don't know the subject so they'd rather talk about sex but fail to realize that they still sound dumb. Are all of us experienced, completely, in the sexual realm? We've all done it all, done everyone, and seen everything there, right? No, yet that does not seem to stop inappropriate sexual conversations. We are a depraved people.

Sex is everywhere. It's acceptable, or we think it is, because it is everywhere. Media is saturated with it. Sex sells. If you aren't doing it and buying it and accepting it then you aren't normal.

There are a lot of people in society today who define themselves almost totally in relation to society by their sexual practices. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questing, Swinger, Straight, Fur Lover, Open, Dominatrix. How many times do you hear: Hi, I'm a virgin? which is slightly more acceptable then "Hi, I'm celibate" because there is the perception that virginity is something that can and will be "lost" at your earliest opportunity. Celibacy is perceived as a choice for religious wackos. Surely, that can't be healthy. Who would CHOOSE NOT to have sex? They should be locked up!

How about a new sexuality acronym? NOYB-None Of Your Business

Because everyone is pretty much expected to announce at their earliest opportunity how they ACTIVELY express themselves sexually, no wonder celibates are viewed as freaks. No wonder so many think clergy and religious and laypeople who have taken a vow of celibacy should be out announcing to everyone how they like their sex and how often they get it just like practically everyone else. What they fail to grasp is that celibacy is an announcement of how often celibates have sex and how they like it: Never.

I have, absolutely, NO desire to sit around and share tales of sexual conquest with the person who consecrates the Host or hears my Confession. Yuck.

I'm probably going to be flamed by the folks who think that I'm an old stick in the mud. But, that just proves my point. If you don't stand up and just go along with our over sexualized society you, supposedly, aren't normal or healthy.

Random Sports Posts

I feel like I've been ignoring my Minnesota Twins lately. Well, they have not been doing too much this season that is worthy of tribute. However Johan Santana killed the Rangers in the Dome on Sunday. 17 strikeouts!!!!! Respect must be paid to #57. BUT, the game was only 1-0 Twins. There still is not enough run support behind him.

I hope the Michigan NASCAR Nextel Cup race actually runs this morning (it's been delayed two days for rain) or the whole Cup schedule is going to be one big mess for the rest of the year.

Hmmm, what else...

Hey, old-school Minneapolis power trio fans, long-gone Longhorn Bar folks, you may know you are (I know the 70s were tough on some of you). The Suicide Commandos are reuniting and opening for Fountains of Wayne at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand on Sunday night! The show is FREE (well, you do have to pay to get into the Fairgrounds). But, if you are already there, why not Clichè Olè?

August 18, 2007


Hospitality is a benchmark of a truly Christian life. Most of us are familiar with the story of Abraham's hospitality to the strangers, who were really Angels in disguise, in Genesis 18.

I was musing today (I warned you ahead of time!): Is there a dangerous point where hospitality may be extended to a visitor at the expense of your family?

The steppe peoples of Mongolia are renowned for their hospitality to strangers. However, I've read that the Mongolians are becoming concerned that there are so many foreign travelers now that their own means are being stressed in the effort to accomodate the visitors. Is it good to feed the strangers who will be with you for a few hours while your family is going hungry?

Certainly, it is wonderful to give to others. It is holy to give to someone else while you go without. But, I think there is a fine line between being hospitable and being reckless. I think the Mongolians are realizing this.

At our parishes, aren't we, usually, equally hospitable to visitors, as well as to our regular parishioners? Most parishes have some kind of hospitality functions set up where all are welcome: festivals, game nights, Lenten fish fries, tortilla bakes, dances, concerts, regular coffee after Mass etc. These are good things.

I've seen parishes, and you probably have to, step out of their normal "comfort zone" and allow something they don't normally do or allow in order to accomodate a visting priest.

(I better step in here and clarify before I get the dissenters trying to insert their favorite topic into this post: I am only assuming and talking about accomodations that follow the permitted rubrics for the Mass and Catholic teaching in this post)

I've seen visiting priests, suddenly (it's sudden to a parish not accostomed to it) break into Latin during parts of the Mass. Does someone leap up and yell: "You can't do that?". No, that would be rude. Most people deal with it. The sky doesn't fall in. And, he's a visitor so he can certainly be accomodated for one Mass. If the parish knows ahead of time that visiting Father prefers to pray the Mass in Latin are they going to tell him to go away? They can probably have the parish secretary print up some Latin guides ahead of time. If they know our brothers from the Ambrosian Rite are going to pay us a visit and they usually pray the Mass ad orientem are we going to be rude and tell them not to come or force them to pray the Mass in a way they are not accostomed to? I would hope not.

There probably are, sadly, occasions where a visitor who wants to do something entirely appropriate during the Mass is told in so many ways they are not welcome.

Accomodations are made, every day, around the world to incorporate cultural traditions into the Mass; often, with the full blessing of the parish priest and the local Ordinary. Dancing during the African Mass, Japanese lantern lighting at Japanese Catholic parishes, sweetgrass burning at Native American Catholic parishes, Masses in Spanish in areas where there are a lot of Spanish speakers, are just some of the cultural traditions permitted in various Masses throughout the world.

Undoubtedly, there is a lot of angst that accompanies these accomodations. But, most of us deal with it. If you don't like it, well, there is probably a Mass nearby that you would prefer. If not, I hope you are not denying yourself the Sacraments in your hardness of heart.

Why is it, then, that there is all this drama over impending implementation of the extraordinary form of the Mass? If we will bend over backward to accomodate visitors and people from other cultures in our daily Masses, why don't we want to be equally hospitable and open to the parishioners who are already in the pews week after week? The folks who give their time, money, effort and prayer to a parish. If a few of our brothers and sisters want the extraordinary form why can't we just deal with it? Hey, try it, you might even like it?! The Church is not going to collapse overnight because something new and different to our regular M.O. may happen. New things have occurred in our Church for centuries. It's still here.

August 17, 2007

Invasion of the Soul Snatchers!

In U.S. theaters today another remake of the classic film Invasion of the Body Snatchers is out. I'm still waiting for someone to remake The Creeping Terror but, I digress.

Anyway, the premise of Invasion is probably known to most of you. Some kind of alien being assumes the bodies of us Earthlings. Those who are taken over can be identified by their emotionless personalities.

As a society, we have been under attack by a similar threat. A soul snatching threat. It's rendered us, largely, emotionless-outwardly, anyway.

How easy it is these days to talk freely, openly and even rhapsodically, about sin. How few people acknowledge, publicly, the existence of sin? How many of us speak up when we see sin or hear it or know about it?

It's easier, and quite commonplace, for someone to talk, openly, about the birth of their 5th child by the 3rd guy they have not married, then it is for someone to talk, publicly, about prayer.

We may, secretly, disapprove of a sin we can see right before our eyes, but that's the problem: secret disapproval. It's not acceptable anymore to actually say OUT LOUD: "That's wrong and here's why"

We are all supposed to keep our mouths shut anytime something is right in front of our faces that clearly contradicts the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we don't, we are identified as outsiders. You know, the ones who aren't abnormal. The ones who have NOT been taken over by the evil aliens.

August 16, 2007

Support Your Local Schola

A group of local men, including a couple of bloggers, have formed a Chant Schola under the direction of blogger, Geometricus. If you were at the Archdiocesan Eucharistic Procession this year, Geometricus was the Lead Cantor. He also directs the choir at St. Raphael's in Crystal, MN.

Ray of Stella Borealis blog and Dan of Believe and Profess blog are two of the members.

Like Leather's backup band on Happy Days , I don't think these men have a name yet. I recommended the "Suffering Psalters" but I think that was rejected.

They have been rehearsing for a while and Ray tells me they are making their formal debut at the 8:30 a.m. Mass this Saturday, August 18th at St. Anthony of Padua, 813 Main St NE in Minneapolis. Confessions are heard from 7:45-8:10, Rosary begins at 8:00.

I think it is important to support lay people that are stepping up and offering their time and talent to help bring the art of chant back to more of our Masses. I think it is important to thank the priests that are open to it. Ray told me the Pastor of St. Anthony was receptive to the idea and offered them the opportunity to chant at the Saturday morning Mass. I believe that if chant is to make a comeback, it is going to require a joint effort of lay people and clergy working together to: not only want it, but ask for it AND do it. Yes, we all know that chant was never formally abolished. But, we all know that there are few parishes that have it anymore.

St Gregory, pray for us!

Update: Dan posted their repertoire for tomorrow on his blog

God's Gift

Today, I received in my mailbox the August 16, 2007 issue of our Archdiocesan newspaper The Catholic Spirit. I always read it right away-usually with my dinner (I see some of you laughing. Ha, she must use reading that paper as a way to keep her weight down!). The Catholic Spirit is like one of those secret paper bags of goodies that you can buy the final day of a yard sale for $1. You know, the ones where you don't know what's in it before you open it? It's either going to be fabulous or terrible.

The Opinion/Letters page is, rarely, boring.

It's like a car accident, you just can't help but look. about that Father John Mitchell column, eh?

I feel like I should write a letter or some kind of formal, thoughtful, CALM, response. Honestly, the column is so full of _______(I could insert several adjectives here and so, probably, can you after you've read it). I don't feel I CAN respond right now without disrespecting the author-a retired priest of the Archdiocese.

Martha or Mary?

As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary (who) sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me."
The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her." Luke 10: 38-42

Radical feminists spill a lot of ink over Martha and Mary. To many radical feminists it is: "Better to be a Mary than a Martha" Why? Because Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, is frequently cited as evidence that women interacted with Jesus so they should be priests. Martha is usually described by radical feminists as a sterotypically beleaguered female, trapped in a life of servitude by a patriarchal system of oppression.

Mary is shown listening, and we should assume, learning, from Christ at a time when, feminists like to remind us, women were uneducated. I think a lot of people make the mistake of presuming that uneducated means ignorant. Or, that just because someone doesn't go to a school they don't know anything important. Jesus is sitting down. In the Jewish tradition when a Rabbi sits down you can look forward to some serious teaching. People who want women to be ordained point to The Christ's interaction with Mary as "proof" that Jesus intended women for the priesthood.

I think Jesus would interact with anyone who showed even a slight willingness to listen to him. I always think of him as being about as popular in his time as a door-to-door evangelist in ours. "Oh no, I see that wacky Nazorean on the horizon! Quick, let's hide in the storehouse and pretend we aren't home!" I think it's a leap to presume that Jesus called everyone to the same type of service based simply upon the fact that He interacted with them.

Mary is at Jesus' feet so I assume she is sitting on the ground and He is sitting on something. Not exactly an equal position is it? Mary is not described as speaking, arguing, debating, agreeing or disagreeing with Jesus. A rare instance in Scripture where we don't know what He was saying nor what His audience said, if anything, in return. I think of Mary as a true contemplative in this situation. She seems, to me, to be engaged in a kind of adoration of Jesus. Perhaps Jesus wasn't even speaking verbally but Mary was listening to him with her heart?

A lot of radical feminists disregard the notion of contemplative service. We've all known people who think that the contemplative way of religious life is irrelevent. It's better to be engaged and active then it is to be contemplative and passive. Now, who's the Martha and who's the Mary?

If you are too much Martha, how can you be any Mary and listen to the Word if you are too busy running around and complaining (like Martha) to hear it? Yes, Martha serves her house. But, if you are Mary, you can serve all of us by praying to and adoring God. I think this is what Jesus is really getting at. Seemingly passive service is not irrelevent. Which is why Jesus thinks Mary's behavior is the better part.

Hypothetical question: What's the ratio of Martha's to Mary's at the average Mass these days? How many people overly desire "doing something", "carrying something" "speaking" "singing" at Mass versus those who want to actively listen, pray and contemplate God? Which people do you think God might prefer? It seems to me that the Mary's are probably spending more quality time with God at Mass than the Martha's who are too busy worrying about their next cue.

It's clear to me that Jesus thinks Mary's passive contemplation is better than Martha's busy work. What message can this give to certain people in our time? Unfortunately, too many of them are too busy agonizing, like Martha, to hear, like Mary.

Locals in the National Catholic Register.

Mitchell and Judith Hadley of Our Word and Welcome to It blog are featured in a story by local writer, Tim Drake, in the wake of the I-35W bridge collapse. They are featured in the cover story of the August 12th issue: "Heroes and Faith Emerge After Collapse". The story is on the National Catholic Register (NCReg) website but it requires a subscription to view the story.

Also, Father John T. Zuhlsdorf is interviewed by Tim Drake regarding the Motu Proprio in the current issue of the NCReg. This article is available free online.

There is a lot of regular local involvement in the NCReg. Tim Drake is a Senior Writer for the paper. He lives in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Barb Ernster is another frequent contributer to the NCReg. She lives in Fridley, Minnesota.

National Catholic Register is a fine, solid, weekly, Catholic newspaper-unlike it's evil twin the National Catholic Reporter. If you don't subscribe, you should consider doing so.

Back to School

It's the time of year I always dreaded as a kid. The time when you start nervously eyeing the calender and notice that the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL is in sight. The time when my Mom would, with a diabolical laugh, happily bring the ads from the newspaper over to me and my brother and say: "I think we should go shopping for school supplies and clothes this weekend" AAARGH!!!! Getting new stuff was fun but always in the back of my mind was the knowledge of what the new gear was for.

Well, those days are over for me now. But, not for everyone. Children and adults will be going back or starting school soon (in some farming areas they start next week). Whether it's grade school, high school, college or seminary-off they go!

I was looking around for a prayer. I had trouble finding one. But, I found this one from the North American Martyrs School in Lincoln, Nebraska. I like it.

Holy Martyrs and patrons, protect this land which you have blessed by the shedding of your blood. Renew in these days our Catholic faith which you helped to establish in this new land.

Bring all our fellow citizens to a knowledge and love of the truth. Make us zealous in the profession of our faith so that we may continue and perfect the work which you have begun with so much labor and suffering.

Pray for our homes, our school(s), our missions, for vocations, for the conversion of sinners, the return of those who have wandered from the fold, and the perseverance of all the Faithful. And foster a deeper and increasing unity among all Christians. Amen.

I know Adoro will be back studying with Ave Maria University soon. Adoro has a PayPal Bleg going as well as a request for some needed books

Seminarian Matthew will be attending our own St. John Vianney Seminary here in St. Paul soon. He will be suspending his blog shortly but he is humbly requesting financial assistance for his seminary studies via PayPal

August 15, 2007

Online Petition To Support Extraordinary Form at Cathedral of St. Paul

Via email from Veritatis Splendor

Hello friends,

As many of you are aware, the Holy Father has issued a new document (the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum") which clarifies that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (commonly called the "Tridentine Mass" or the "Traditional Latin Mass") as promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962 may be offered freely by any priest privately, or by any parish where a group of the faithful request to worship at a Mass using this Form. The full text of the document, which is short but beautifully written, is available at

During a conversation that a few of us had with Fr. Erickson of the Cathedral last week, someone (not me! :) brought up this topic and inquired as to whether or not the Cathedral would consider offering the Extraordinary Form in the future. Fr. Erickson's response was personally positive as to the possibility of this, and he suggested that the names of those interested be gathered, to see if there is indeed a group desiring this.

Hence - this e-mail. :) I am sending this note to a wide variety of people, and I do not know how many of you would be interested in participating in the Extraodinary Form of the Mass at the Cathedral. If you are not at all interested, that is fine - feel free to ignore this e-mail!

If you would, however, be interested in this, then please considering signing the interest form (it's not really a petition, we're not trying to demand anything!) now online at . (FYI - Only the name is publicly visible on the web, other information is kept private until the list is turned in to the Cathedral.)

Never been to a "Tridentine Mass"? Not sure about this, but open to the idea? No problem - if you do not have any experience with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and do not know whether or not you would wish to participate in it on an ongoing basis, but would like to "try it" - please sign the form anyway, and make a note that you would just like to "try it" in the comments section - no commitment required!

While the Cathedral will likely be primarily interested in hearing from current parishioners and associate members, non-members may sign it as well. I would ask that non-members make a note when signing as to why you would be interested participating in this form of the Mass at the Cathedral specifically (regular visitors, daily Mass goers, relatives who are members, would be a member, etc).

After September 14th (the date that the Motu Proprio goes into effect), the list will be given to the Cathedral - and may God's will be done, whatever comes of it!

Thanks, Veritatis. I signed it. I'm not a member of the Cathedral. However, it is near my home and I do, occasionally, attend the Cathedral for late afternoon Confessions and Mass during the week. Periodically, I'm there for the late Sunday Mass. I'd LOVE to see the extraordinary form in that setting. Beautiful church. I'd also sign any petition asking for the removal of the free-standing altar which, I think, really cripples the Sanctuary architecturally.

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Blessed be her glorious Assumption....

Today is a Holy Day of Obligation. For decades, I had never heard the phrase and had no idea that there were certain days of the year (including Sundays!) where we, as Catholics, MUST go to Holy Mass. This day is one of them. Go to Mass-Today!

August 14, 2007

Head Lice Outbreak!

Ray has the link to the original post about delusional women and those who affirm their mistakes by the blogger who is not an instigator or an organizer of dissent but participates in it at nearly every opportunity. Gee, I really wish Ray would get his facts straight.


Terry's Janet Jackson shout-out! He doesn't talk about attire. I'm not sure what he's talking about. It's funny (how time flies when you're having fun).

Bringing It All Back Home or Time Out Of Mind?

Terry and Ray have been freaking out that I left town without warning. Don't believe anything they tell you other then the truth. The truth is that my sudden absence put a major crimp in their stalking of me. Under the guise of concern for my welfare, Ray even threatened to come by my St. Paul home looking for "storm damage". What a lame story. They are terrible stalkers. How many skilled stalkers need their pray to tell them where they are? They should be able to tell ME where I am! Where am I?

When they become extremely knowledgeable about me, they should be able to tell me; not only where I am, but WHO I am. Imagine that!

Rumor #1: I was a co-star on the HWTN's 4:30 a.m. Saturday broadcast of the Diocletian Chainsaw Massacre. Kathy with a "K" is my evil twin. What more do I need to say? Look at the title of that program. I wouldn't even go to the set of that kind of production for less then $1 million dollars a show!

Rumor #2: I was parachuting from the Devil's Tower in Wyoming. False. Not this trip. LOL!

Rumor #3: I'm replacing Karl Rove as advisor to President Bush. It would be a blast to mountain bike with the Prez on a regular basis. However, I'd probably be incarcerated everytime I wacked him upside the head and called him a dumb---. My friends don't have enough money to raise my bail. But, I've heard Guantanamo is lovely in the Spring. Vincenzo is circulating a photo of me and the Prez as "evidence" that I'm interviewing for the job. I am amazed he found that photo of me and George. However, it was taken last Spring before I had a big falling out with GB about the Easter Egg Hunt. (Note: The bushes are green and George is wearing a coat. Being a Minnesotan, I found the weather perfectly comfortable w/o a coat). Now, the Secret Service won't let me carry the symbol of my matyrdom in my arms when I visit the Oval Office. Not that it matters because GB is no longer returning my phone calls. Another friendship of mine on the ash heap because of my big mouth and my militant tendencies.(sigh)

Rumor #4: I was on a silent Carmelite retreat in the mountains. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Rumor #5: I was in Sturgis, S.D. getting ready for Bike Week. That's SO pre-reversion. Look at the evidence: I don't use drugs anymore. I won't flash anyone. I don't own a motorcycle. Leather makes my butt look REALLY big. It's like being the only sober woman at a Bachelorette Party-yawn.

August 09, 2007

Go West Woman! For Mercy's Sake-GO!

Wow! It's been a LONG time since I've left town has it not? LOL! Yes, Gentle Reader, I'm off on another adventure. This time, I'm heading west. I'll be offline until August 14th.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to keep an eye on our local Minnesota bloggers for me! (see my sidebar under Support Your Local Blog)

God Bless!

Update: For those who freaked that my post originally said September 14th. Sorry! What do you expect at the crack of dawn? :-)

August 08, 2007

Raise Your Arm If You're Sure or The Word "Made" Flesh

A cranky Cathy rant!

Is the Word of God incapable of standing on it's own without the "your tatt here" arm raising of the "Readers" and "Musicians" during the Psalm?

I'm tired of seeing the smooth white underbelly of EMHC arms. I'm happy to see that you waxed today. Or, you must be lifting since your arms are so nicely sculpted. Yes, you can usually tell since so many wear sleeveless tops or else their short sleeves peel back when they do that fashion model flourish.

I know that I'm supposed to say/sing something when you quit speaking/singing. I don't need the visual prompt and the reminder that you will not be ignored.

Flip This Rectory

The priest(s) not living in the parish Rectory has been a gripe of mine even going far back into my dissenting era. It's one thing if the parish does not have a Rectory or if Father is serving more then one parish and lives in the Rectory of one parish but not the other (for obvious reasons). It's another thing entirely different, and unacceptable to me, if the Rectory is there and he prefers not to live there because he wants "his own life". For heaven's sake, if he wants his own (read: selfish) life, why is he a priest? Really, if you think about it, none of us have our own life. We are all God's. However, some of us consecrate our lives with vows of service to Christ and I think there is more of a visible expectation of them actually living a life of service then the rest of us. I'm not saying the rest of us don't have to serve in our own ways. But, what does the phrase "Holy Orders" mean then? Why are Holy Orders on the list of the Seven Sacraments if the "employed" of Holy Orders are just supposed to be like everyone else with the 8 hours/day, 5 days/week, 20 vacation and sick days/year, 10 holidays/year, work schedule?

I think some priests do think of the priesthood as just a job. I see this attitude more in dissenting priests then the Magisterium faithful priests. For those priests for whom the priesthood is just a career path, you will see them trying really hard to get at least 2 days/week off like everyone else. You will see them being difficult to reach during their "off-hours" since only a select few know where they live or how to get a hold of them. They don't schedule a lot of Devotion or Confession times or Daily Masses because it's "more challenging" to drive across town to get to the parish when you don't live right next to it. You may see heavy reliance on their lay minister army because Father is not residing in a convenient location.

I think the priest not living in the Rectory contributes to the mindset of those who want to think the priesthood is irrelevent. What do we need him for? We, laity, can do just about everything ourselves. Why bother Father, he lives 10 miles away. It's easier to forget about the priest when he's not around. Dissenters like to remind us of the big bad olden days when priests were unapproachable and inaccessible. I think they have shot themselves with their own gun by encouraging/allowing priests to live somewhere besides the Rectory. How approachable and accessible is Father is he's nowhere near the first place most of us go for spiritual help?

But, if Father doesn't want to live in the Rectory it cuts down on those pesky Rectory maintenance expenses, right? So, we'll sell the Rectory and distribute the money from the sale to our favorite lefty causes. The Catholic church is SO wealthy anyway. We should cut all that overhead where we can. Too bad, if the next priest may actually want to live in the Rectory and now it's gone. Oh well....He'll just have to live with "the people" instead of that exclusive, posh, quiet, enclave on a busy street by the church parking lot and next to the dumpsters.

Extraordinary Form: Exclusively Urban?

How many priests in rural areas are going to have the opportunity or the ability to offer the extraordinary form of the Mass after September 14th?

Very few rural areas offer the Tridentine Mass now. There are entire states without it: North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Utah among others (according to the list by Ecclesia Dei )

The areas that do offer the Tridentine Mass are, largely, concentrated near urban centers.

I'm thinking of the wide areas of the Plains, Western Mountain and Desert Southwest states where there is a shortage of priests. A single priest may be serving 2-3 parishes that are 20 or more miles apart. If the faithful of their parishes request the extraordinary form, and the priest feels he is not adequately trained, how is he going to manage the training? Who can cover his parishes if he has to travel in order to learn the extraordinary form? Will he even be able to fit the training in timewise since a lot of these priests spend a great deal of time in the car bringing the Sacraments to the faithful?

Will the rural faithful be deprived of the extraordinary form because the logistics of trying to bring it to them will be too great?

I don't have any answers to these questions. Maybe someone reading this does. Maybe it's just too early to be asking these questions. But, as someone who spends a lot of time in very remote, rural, areas, I've seen first hand the challenges Catholics and Catholic priests in some areas of our Nation face on a daily basis in order to receive and give the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church.

August 07, 2007

Resume Builder by Beelzebub

Can we talk?

Cover letters are a total waste of time. Hi, it's me! Here's some dynamic factoids about me that you can read from my resume (see attached-PLEASE) anyway. Call me. If you don't, I'm going to call you next week. I mean that now! Don't try and tell me you aren't taking phone calls. I want to show you how motivated and persistant I am. Seriously, I'm going to show up at your doorstep!

However, my true wrath is reserved for those infernally cursed online resume builders: lengthy, automated, word-trolling forms of burning hell. Yes, yes, desperate one. Spend one hour filling in all the lines and WE STILL WANT YOU TO ATTACH YOUR RESUME ANYWAY, SUCKA! As a special additional hoop to jump thru, PLEASE MAIL COPIES OF YOUR OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS! and the fun never ends! EMAIL THE NAMES, ADDRESSES AND PHONE NUMBERS OF THREE PERSONAL REFERENCES!!!!


wait for it....


I need to go to Adoration.

Hey, Ray, aren't you glad you sent me that email? :-)

Sisterhood Slumber Party!

Little do they know there will be some uninvited guests....(bwah-ha-ha-ha!)

Angela recently did a post about Bloggers who mean a lot to her. I meditated on it for a while, intending to do a similar post. Then, last night I had the strangest dream....

Angela, Ma Beck, Christine, The Cannonball, Julie D, Adoro and I were at some big beautiful house. You know, one of those big Home Alone like houses owned by people you secretly hate but feel like you must pray for because the the odds are they won't make it to Heaven kind of houses?

All of us gals were having a slumber party in the big living room by the fireplace! But, there was little slumber to be had.

Cell phones kept going off because Ma's husband kept calling for advice about the kids. Angela's son was calling from boot camp. Julie's family was calling wondering why they couldn't find her. The Cannonball was on a tirade about the lack of support she's getting for the extraordinary Mass in her Diocese. Christine wanted to talk about the collected films of Pauly Shore but no one would engage with her in that conversation. Adoro was in the corner studying. I was roasting a pig that I shot in the fireplace.

But, eventually, our natural good humor and comaraderie asserted itself, the phones quit ringing, and we spent the rest of the evening doing girlie things that guys think all women do when they get together: did our nails, curled each others hair, read Scripture, sang "Without You" really loudly, talked about shower cleansers, mud wrestled, pierced each others ears, gave each other commemorative tattoos. The usual.

The doorbell rang and it was Father Z! Father said he was in the neighborhood and wanted to see if anyone needed help. He could hear Confessions. I told him it is always great to see him but he brings too much class to this dream so would he please leave before he is dishonored? He left.

Suddenly, Christine swore she saw a face in the window. (Mary Worth, is that you?) We all went to investigate. Fortunately, Adoro and I both have conceal and carry licenses so we were ready for any trouble.


A male voice, that I swore I recognized, pierced the night!

Two big men stood outside in really ill-fitting and sloppy clothes. They did not bother with costumes or camo. Good thing, because these two could be recognized anywhere. Yes, it was Terry and Ray. Ray couldn't keep a straight face but Terry was looking kind of intense.

Behind them a figure stood in the shadows. "Gentlemen, I don't think this is appropriate behavior" Mitchell emerged from the dark resplendent in a black tux with a pale blue vest (very nice, the ladies were impressed). Terry was really upset: "I told you, Ray, that we should've gone formal!"

No one can be sure what happened after that because Adoro suddenly started screaming "There's a big spider"!!!! A shot rang out and the dream ended.

Prayer Request

Gentle Reader: Please keep me in your prayers. I'm embarking on some major leaps of Trust in Him.

Thanks and May God Bless You.

August 04, 2007

Do Priests Have Gang Signs?

Witness the across the fruited plain exchange between Father Z and Father Fox earlier today.

Ecce homo-You da man-LOL!

I read both of their blogs regularly. You should too.

St. John Vianney

Well, I let this sneak up on me. Today is the Memorial of St. John Vianney. Kind of an important Saint for this Archdiocese. Forgive me St. John.

Today, would be a good day to pray for vocations. It would also be a good day to pray for Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, MN.

There is a Novena to St. John Vianney. I did not know there was and probably should have been praying it before today. Oh, well, it's never too late.

St. John Vianney, pray for us!

Minjimenim Julia Blackhawk

Member of the Winnebago Nation and blood relative to Geometricus of Standing Thunder blog. Julia Blackhawk was among the dead from the Minneapolis bridge collapse.

Please pray for Julia and for all the dead. Requiem aeternum....

Mom, I'm Bored!

When my brother and I were kids, we knew better than to say: "Mom, I'm bored." You KNEW if you said you were bored Mom would find dreadful household chores for you to do like: cleaning the basement or digging the dandelions out of the yard by hand with that cursed dandelion fork implement (I don't think it's an accident that thing looks like Satan's pointed tail!).

How many of us are bored? Spiritually bored? The word for this is: acedia. Bloggers Terry Nelson and Don Marco have had excellent posts on the topic of acedia on their blogs.

I was musing this morning about those Catholics who say they seek out all kinds of spiritual practices, other then Catholic, because they are meaningful to them. The inference being that somehow Catholic practices aren't meaningful to them.

You know the people I mean. The Catholics who do a labyrinth but rather than Catholic meditations on, say, the Way of the Cross or the Rosary they recite contemporary poetry or Buddhist chants during the walk.

They want to tie ribbons to May Poles, each tie signifying a wish, each ribbon carries that wish into the 4 Winds. They journal their poisonous thoughts and then burn them in a pyre of purification.

They take Reiki workshops and Yoga classes. They spend a lot of time talking about their Chakras.

A lot of faithful Catholics wonder: why don't these Catholics just pray at Mass and send those prayers up? Why don't they just go to Confession or unite their prayers with the incensing at Mass or Benediction? If they feel ill, why don't they ask the priest for a blessing or ask for the Anointing of the Sick? Why aren't Litanies or the Rosary adequate 'centering' prayers for these Catholics that always seek something else?

I posit that, in some cases, it may not be that these Catholics feel Catholicism is irrelevent or meaningless. Certainly, there are some Catholics who practice these "New Age" things that do. However, I think some Catholics just can't work through their spiritual acedia.

We are human. We all get bored. Some people can't tolerate routine. They have to have something new all the time. They are spiritual junkies. They run around looking for the next new (to them) spiritual practice that they have not known before and they do that for a while. Eventually, that bores them and on they go to the "next big thing".

I'm not sure we as Catholics should be offended by these people. They don't know what they are doing. They have no more understanding of Buddhism or Hinduism or Kabbalah then they do of Catholicism. They lack depth. They may know each religion but they may not seek to UNDERSTAND it. They know the tenets of each religion but they never get any deeper, because as soon as they are bored or frustrated they move on. We should pray for them.

It can be difficult to follow a routine, to commit to it. It's a mental discipline to stay with a routine. Who among us has not, on occasion, been bored at Adoration? How many of us have had our minds wander during Mass? How many of us waiting for Father in the Confessional are thinking about dinner rather than calling to mind our sins?

The strong recognize their weakness and work through it. The true mental discipline is STAYING with it-not just giving up and walking away. Any recovering addict will tell you that the first step to recovery is recognizing that you have a problem. Many addicts will fail at times. Yet, those who will succeed shrug failure off and move on. Tomorrow is a new day. Tonight, I can go to Adoration again and make it better. Tomorrow, I can go to Mass again and strive to remain involved.

The "ritual hoppers" will never be satisfied. Today, Pow-Wows, tomorrow, Santaria. Whatever keeps their short attention span engaged in their quest for "something meaningful" they will try for a time.

It may not be that they forgot that the "something meaningful" can be found in Holy Mother Church. They just lack the patience to seek it thru the meaningful rituals and devotions we've already been gifted with.

Rather than complain and walk away, tell Our Mother you are bored and offer your sufferings to her. She may have a task for you, but most Mother's do.

August 03, 2007

First Friday Fast Intentions

Solidarity with the Dallas bloggers for an end to abortion.

For Adoro's job hunt and the strength to get thru the loss of her dog, Fire.

For Angela's son, Luke, and for Margaret and Louisa.

That my relatives who have left the Church will return.

For an increase in vocations to the priesthood and the religious life from this Archdiocese.

In thanksgiving to God for the numerous blessings in my life.

For the souls of those lost in the I-35W bridge collapse in the city of my birth, Minneapolis. I also pray for their families and loved ones. I pray, too, for the safety of those combing the wreckage.

August 02, 2007

What DOES Extraordinary Really Mean?

If the word: "extraordinary" is interpreted in regards to the extraordinary form of the Mass in the same way "extraordinary" is employed with regard to Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC's), crikey, maybe the extraordinary form of the Mass WILL sweep the world!!!!

Maybe extraordinary really will mean everywhere-even if NOT asked for or really wanted-just like the EMHC's!!!!!

Labels: Munchies, Deep Thoughts, Silliness, I Make Funny Faces at EMHC's, Australian, Meaningless?

A Mathematics of Breathing

A Mathematics Of Breathing


Think of any of several arched
colonnades to a cathedral,

how the arches
like fountains, say,

or certain limits in calculus,
when put to the graph-paper's cross-trees,

never quite meet any promised heaven,
instead at their vaulted heights

falling down to the abruptly ending
base of the next column,

smaller, the one smaller
past that, at last

dying, what is
called perspective.

This is the way buildings do it.


You have seen them, surely, busy paring
the world down to what it is mostly,

proverb: so many birds in a bush.
Suddenly they take off, and at first

it seems your particular hedge itself
has sighed deeply,

that the birds are what come,
though of course it is just the birds

leaving one space for others.
After they've gone, put your ear to the bush,

listen. There are three sides: the leaves'
releasing of something, your ear where it

finds it, and the air in between, to say
equals. There is maybe a fourth side,

not breathing.


In my version of the Thousand and One Nights,
there are only a thousand,

Scheherazade herself is the last one,
for the moment held back,

for a moment all the odds hang even.
The stories she tells she tells mostly

to win another night of watching the prince
drift into a deep sleeping beside her,

the chance to touch one more time
his limbs, going,

gone soft already with dreaming.
When she tells her own story,

Breathe in,
breathe out

is how it starts.

-— Carl Phillips

Freeway Bridge Collapse

By now most of the nation, if not the world, knows about the freeway bridge collapse we had in the Twin Cities yesterday evening during the height of the commute home from work.

This bridge was a MAJOR North/South river crossing for this area.

I have to cross both rivers (Minnesota and Mississippi) to work every day. But, I cross by Fort Snelling to the south.

Pray for those who were killed and their families. Pray, too, for those who are missing.
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