November 30, 2007

Prayer Request

Please remember my friend, Adoro's mother in your prayers.

Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us

November 29, 2007

Can Gays Change?

My post title is from Ed Vitagliano's most recent article in AFA Journal :

Is that the real question we should be asking and concerning ourselves with or is the real question: Are gays as capable of anyone else of living the Christian life? By Christian life: I mean the full life as as it is disseminated thru His Church-not as each person decides it should be.

Gays are as capable of living the TRUE Christian life as I am. I was just pondering today how the gay lobby's attempt to "empower" themselves by changing Church teaching to accomodate their sins, really makes them appear to be an extremely weak people. If you're basically saying: well, I can't do it, so you better just change centuries of teaching to accomodate me in my weakness then you are giving up. If you are essentially just giving up to sin without a fight, then you are truly weak.

I struggle with sexual sins. Does that mean I shouldn’t struggle, just go over the Devil? Will I never be horny again? Or, is it that: yes, I will be but I know how to fight it. I know I have to fight it. I accept that I have to fight it. I know what it is at stake if I just give in. I know what I'm going to lose if I just give up.

Is it easy? No. Do I expect someone to come along and help me? Yes. That's what prayer is for. That's what my relationship with my Angel is about. That's why I pray to the Saints. That's what my brothers and sisters in Christ are for. Help. However, I have to meet them at least 1/2 way. They can't do the heavy lifting for me.

Because we are ALL capable of failure, does that mean redemption should not be attempted? Is changing the Church to accomodate our sins really going to make us better people? Shouldn't we ALL be fighting to better ourselves?

November 28, 2007

Alert:UST Meeting on Planned Chapel Renovation

From Father Zuhlsdorf's blog a letter from one of his readers:

12:45 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas. Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend.

Dear Fr. Z,
I wanted to make you aware that the University of St. Thomas will again be renovating its main campus chapel. Unfortunately, it is NOT in a more traditional direction.

They are having a campus discussion TOMORROW (Thursday 29 November) with the liturgical "designers" (one of whom collaborated on the dreadful "Art and Environment in Catholic Worship") about the proposed renovations. Essentially, the chapel will become more of a performance space than a "worship" space. (There is an increasing desire to have orchestras, choirs, and recitals in the chapel).
See
here:

I think it would be helpful to notify your many Minnesota readers, especially UST alumni, about the proposed changes, and encourage them to show up and (non-belligerently) ask pointed questions about whether the new "designs" make celebration of the extraordinary form of the Mass possible, or hinder that celebration. And ask why, as the Church returns more and more toward traditional liturgical architecture, the chapel moves away.

The "designers" also designed the School of Law’s ugly Chapel of St. Thomas More.


I will be unable to attend. I work in the far SW suburbs and I have two adjacent lunch meetings tomorrow. Hopefully, some trustworthy folks will attend and report on what happened.

November 27, 2007

I Absolve You in the Name of [Your Name Here]

(A torrent of words follow. Hopefully, it makes sense, Gentle Reader)

We already know that there are a lot of people who’ve set up their own individual magisteriums, but, I’ve only recently come to realize that there are just as many people (often the same people) who are also confessors. It's no secret that there are more sinners than saints. If in any doubt, just read the “I know you are, but what am I” stance that most people try to throw out as their argument for why trying to live a Christian life is unimportant unless they, personally and individually, get to define what being a Christian really means.

What do I mean?

How many times have you read someone saying something like this: “Why should I be told that my actions are sinful by a bunch of men who sinned by (insert current favorite gripe about priest’s failing here. The clerical sex abuse scandal is a popular one)?” or “If our church leaders aren’t perfect, why should I be?" Or “I don’t care that Archbishop N says that my way of life is sinful, look at him, he’s a member of that group of collective sinners. It doesn’t matter to me what his current level of grace with God is, it matters to me what his status is with ME and I think the priesthood is irrelevant and he should not presume to meddle in my life, even if it his 'job'”

I’ve known a lot of priests in my life and I have never, NEVER, heard one of them, whether orthodox or not, claim they are perfect men who never sin.

Yet, if you do anything where you publicly fall on your face, the odds are favorable that some weak Catholic is going to seize on it as an excuse for changing Church doctrine to make their sins appear to be more palatable then they really are.

It almost doesn’t matter to these people that the offender may have received sacramental absolution in the confessional. It almost doesn’t matter if they publicly apologize for their sin. It almost doesn’t matter if they do both. It’s almost like we have become a society of individual confessors. Until, I, I, I, can forgive so and so, then it doesn’t matter to me if Jesus Christ forgave them or not. If I can’t, then no one can, not even God. If I can’t forgive, then I’m just going to sit here and be eaten alive by anger and paralysis and expect, no, demand, that everyone else do the same.

The same group of unforgiving Catholics tend to think that Confession given by Jesus thru His priests is useless. Why? Because THEY aren’t sitting in the Confessional hearing the sin and weighing the options on whether to forgive them or not too. Also, they wonder: how can sinners forgive one another? How can that big sinner, the priest, have the audacity to forgive anyone for their sins when he's a big sinner? Yes, the priest is a sinner, maybe as much as the Penitent on the other side. However, they fail to grasp that The Christ is really the one forgiving on the other side of the screen, not the priest.

Thus, we end up with societal penance. Until a majority of us, collectively weigh the “evidence” based upon our complete misunderstanding and repudiation of Christ’s teachings disseminated thru the Church He founded, decide that someone is forgiven- they can’t be. Even Christ can’t forgive them because WE say so.

If my hypothesis has any basis in reality, then I have to wonder why people are so afraid of individual Confession? Good grief, which is easier to obtain: one-on-one forgiveness with Christ, or one-on-billion forgiveness with humanity? Tough crowd.

Yes, we must reconcile with our brother before going before God AND we have to seek God’s forgiveness too. However, I think we, as a society, put FAR too much emphasis on the reconciliation with our brother and put FAR too little emphasis on reconciliation with God. They are BOTH important. Our refusal to reconcile with our brother and forgive him his trespasses can cost us Heaven. Likewise, our refusal to reconcile with God can cost us Heaven-big time.

The Christ’s messenger’s are flawed. Do you think Jesus failed to recognize that? He knew when He was still with us that the Apostles were flawed. Yet, He went ahead with His plan. He still wanted them to go and make disciples of all nations and spread the Gospel. He didn’t say: "Until I can find 12 perfect men, I’m not going to offer myself in Sacrifice." If that was the case, He would never have been Crucified, He’d still be here trying to find 12 perfect men. And, we’d still be as confused and in need of salvation as we were before He came. Many of us still are. In the end, it doesn’t matter how perfect, or imperfect, the messengers are. It’s the message that matters.

Think about this: Because The Christ did NOT pick 12 perfect men, does that mean He is not perfect? Because people who serve and follow The Christ today are not perfect, does that mean He is not perfect?

November 25, 2007

Feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria



"Peyne is welcome to me," seyd she than,
And deth, eke, I wil it noth forsake,
For thou ye smyth, fle, sle, or banne,
It skyllith me rith noth for my Lordis sake
Swech myschevys for His love to take.
He toke for me mych more wrechydnes
Whill He lyved her in this worldly wyldernes."

Book 5, Chapter 10 The Life of Saint Katherine by John Capgrave, O.S.A.,c. A.D. 1463.

I was going to translate the above into modern English but I decided not to. Why? Because devotion to St. Catherine was strongest in the era when Father Capgrave composed his work, and I wanted to keep the language of the time of her strongest devotion for my post to her. Plus, frankly, the modern English doesn't "sound right" to my ears for this post.

It is not my intention to take away from the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King, which we celebrate today, by posting about St. Catherine instead of Christ the King. However, today is also her Feast day and she's my name Saint. I want to pay her tribute and thank her for her intercession. It's also part of my ongoing attempt at reclaiming her from some of the modern feminazi nuttiness attached to her name.

I posted on St. Catherine last year. You can read that post here

St. Catherine, pray for us!

November 23, 2007

Cathy's Football Minute

I don't watch a lot of football and don't really follow the sport very much but I want to take a moment to give a shout out to the LSU v. Arkansas game. Talk about tension. Good game, good game.

November 22, 2007

I Hereby Interrupt This Blog Break With 2 Words:

FOOD COMA

I've been on my feet since 8 a.m. this morning baking and watching the big snowflakes fall. I'm stuffed and exhausted, but, satisfied. Oh, yeah, nothin' like a good meal sucessfully pulled off and tasty.

The menu at Chez Cathy:

* Baked ham with my special glaze served with choice of au jus, gravy, crushed pineapple or cranberries
* Whipped garlic potatoes
* Cantaloupe and Honeydew melons-balled
* My legendary, secret recipe, Minnesota wild rice hotdish (I mean it. I won't even give my family the recipe! LOL)
* Pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream or my Dad's favorite cake vanilla with caramel icing (he requested I make it so I did)
* Beverages: choice of coffee, beer, pinot grigio, water, milk, apple cider (of course I had all of the above-LOL!)

Ok, I'm going to go fall asleep on the couch now.

What did you have? What traditions do you have? What did you do?

I, also, gave thanks to The One who makes it all possible.

November 21, 2007

Blog Break for Thanksgiving Holiday

Gentle Reader: In the U.S., tomorrow is the Thanksgiving holiday. I have company arriving this evening-including my Dad! My Dad will be staying with me thru the weekend (at least) and as I don't get to spend a lot of time with him, my priority is to spend time with him.

I've been grocery shopping and cooking up a storm which is why I have not been blogging much this week.

Blogging will be light to non-existent for the next several days.

Comment moderation is enabled.

Have a safe and blessed holiday!

November 19, 2007

Oprah's Gift Giving

Oprah's giving out gifts to her audience soon. What do you think? I'm hoping she gives us the gift of NOT endorsing any thing, any book, any set of sheets, or any political candidate. The gift of UNendorsement.

November 18, 2007

*Sigh*



Well, another sports season has come to an end. I only really follow two sports closely: Minnesota Twins baseball and NASCAR Nextel Cup. Gosh, I may have to start going to Vespers on Sunday again! ;-)

In the end, it does not look like my driver (Martin Truex Jr.-in case any of you are joining us late) will not be able to be on the stage at the Waldorf in NYC (I know, New York City for crying out loud!). Only the top 10 finishers get to do go onstage and it looks like he's in 11th. Bono made some questionable pit calls the last several races. I hope they all get it together next year.

Isn't that the sports mantra? "There's always next year!"

February 17, 2008-Daytona 500!

November 17, 2007

Prayer Request

11 years ago on this night, my Mother died of cancer at home surrounded (literally) by me, my Dad, and her Mother. If you could kindly remember to pray for the repose of her soul, I would be more grateful then I can find words to say.

May God bless you.

Protecting the Brand

In the retail business there is a phrase called "protecting the brand". This involves making sure your product is presented in consistently the same way wherever it is sold. Any deviations from the norm are punished by taking the brand from your store, or court action against you. There are people at every corporation whose job is to make sure the brand is protected.

When you go to KFC anywhere in this nation are any of the franchises or corporate owned restaurants still using the name Kentucky Fried Chicken? No. It's not permitted by the parent company. Furthermore, the menu in every KFC will be the same. Pricing will be consistent. The portions sizes will be too. The interior and exterior probably look very similar to each other.

This consistency is enforced so the consumer will know what to expect in your restaurant. There will not be, there should not be, any shocking surprises like suddenly they have replaced all the chicken with black angus beef. Any manager of a KFC who did that, especially without consulting the KFC headquarters, would be shown the door.

We need protection of the Roman Catholic brand.

I should be able to go into ANY Roman Catholic parish ANYWHERE in the world and I should not be shocked by deviations from the rubrics established by the Holy See and Jesus the Christ. Sure, some diocese may have practices that are permitted by their Bishop that are unique to what I'm accustomed to in Minnesota, United States, but if the Bishop approved the innovation then there is little I can do. However, even the Bishop is allowed authority within certain limits-just like any manager or V.P in a corporation.

But, I'm not talking about locally approved "quirks".

Unfortunately, we see all too often, parishes that not only deviate wildly from the Mass rubrics, they have not even bothered to get permission from their local Ordinary.

It is absolutely appalling that so many of the Faithful have to spend their lives suffering thru completely inadequate presentations of Catholicism. Or they have to drive across town every Sunday to find a parish that even remotely follows the corporate handbook.

In the corporate world, this type of wild variation would not be permitted. The offenders would be disciplined and then if they refuse to clean up their act after warnings they would be released.

We see the same offenses against the Catholic brand in schools that have the word "Catholic" in the title. It's ridiculous that our parents and children have no guarantee that said institutions will bother teaching the Faith accurately if at all.

You don't have to be a parent or a teacher to be angry about this. You don't even have to be currently attending a Catholic school to be upset. How is our brand going to thrive and continue if it's not being consistently applied?

It seems to me lately that even optimizing the brand by putting the label "Magisterium" or "Oath of Fidelity" before the Theology faculty is no guarantee there are not underlying problems with the institution. Look at Ave Maria-the home of the titanic ego of Mr. Monaghan, lawsuits by faculty, and no accreditation. Look at Franciscan University in Steubenville-they appear to be having controversies over what forms of the Mass are permitted and which ones are not. However, the problems at both of these schools seem to be solveable and I don't think their issues are an indication that the Faith is being totally repudiated their schools.

Then, we have University of St. Thomas here in my town. I'm not convinced that the "problem" at UST is a book. I think the book has been a catalyst for revealing other problems that we may not have been aware of beforehand. I'm still not upset by the book being read. However, I'm really outraged by the power grab the Board just pulled off to keep the incoming Archbishop off the Board-a position he has historically been entitled to by virtue of his office as our local Shepherd. To me the Board run amok is a greater problem then the Atwood book. Furthermore, the entire incident around that book appears to clarify, yet again, the fact that a lot of faculty at UST have a major problem with Catholicism, yet, they work at an institution with the Catholic name on it, they may have tenure, and they are all happily accepting our money. I think the dissenting faculty at UST is a bigger problem then one book.

What can be done to protect the Catholic brand? Is it too late? Is there not enough left to rescue? Do we need to let some "franchises" go because they are not part of the "corporation" anymore and they refuse to conform in spite of being warned? Do we need to clean house and start over?

I'm sure someone is going to remind me that we need to be merciful. True. However, is there a point when not doing anything is no longer merciful because it hurts other people? What kind of message is it sending to other Catholics when dissent is not only allowed it passes without comment? Is not acting telling Catholics there are no consequences? Don't worry about Sin and Hell because you can see before you everyday other people not concerning themselves and no one is bothering to try and stop them so there must not be anything to Save? Does Salvation just become, then, a concept when we don't bother trying to correct/save our fellow man? Is the Faith just a set of guidelines that can be thrown away at will by those who makes vows to uphold them (I've got news for some of you. We ALL took those vows-not just the folks in Holy Orders)? Somedays, it seems like a lot of Catholics think so.

I am a product of God's mercy. Without it, I would not have reverted. I can only throw myself on His mercy for the rest of my life in order to beg forgiveness for all the lies I was responsible for perpetrating. I was truly far gone and very poorly catachized. If someone (actually a lot of people) were not trying to reach people like me with Truth, I would not be where I am today.

We, all of us, need to fight to protect our brand. Each of us according to our skills. I have a computer and I can write. I blog and I write letters. Some of you do too. Some teach the Faith, some are columnists, some are public speakers, some are playwrights and actors, some start Scholas and learn Chant notation, some join Holy Orders, some raise children, some excel at prayer, some launder the altar cloths, some care for the ill and dying, some are good organizers, some are good at raising capital. We need all of these skillsets. Whatever you can do, you MUST do. None of us should be sitting around on our butts thinking about it and wailing and crying and wallowing in paralysis. Cry for a while then pick yourself up and join the fight.

Monkey Business

A case for Christianity?

Vincenzo took time out of dreaming about zombies chasing him to send me this link. Is there a connection?

Deep curtsy to Vincenzo for all his fine assistance on this blog.

Saturday in the Park with Terry

Terry does not get out enough. This neighborhood sweetie got a little freaked when she/he/it/pod-child? saw him arrive at the playground.



Funny days in the park
and every day is the 4th of July

Because Terry Wants Me to Post SOMETHING




Gosh, I hope this post isn't too snarky. Meow

November 15, 2007

Narcissism



A Cranky Cathy post!

Dinner Theater Mass:

Father Wayne Newton greets the fans at HIS show: “Hey, how ya all doin’? Who’s in town for the big game? Stand up and be recognized! Anyone here from Ohio? Give ‘em love! Go Buckeyes! For my next musical number (This one is for you, sweetie, in the front row-love ya), I’m going to start us off with “One Bread, One Body” Hey, join in if ya know it!”

Greeting the mafia high rollers in the front row at the Sands Mass:

Father Frank Sinatra runs all over the church (and turns his back on the consecrated Host sitting there alone in the Sanctuary) during the Sign of Peace gladhanding the rich Pharisees in the front row. Father has “ads” in the local Catholic paper. He’s at a different casino now but apparently he’s enough of a celebrity around here (or he thinks he is) that the ad makes a point of mentioning his former gig-just so we know who he is and where he‘s taken his act now in case we want to stop by. No word on if he’s “held over” for a 2nd blockbuster year or not.

The "I Will Not Be Ignored" Mass:

As soon as Ms. Glenn Close arrives for Mass she has to start talking to everyone around her. Like those annoying people at the theater who talk during ½ the show or leave their cell phones on. Trying to pray? Forget it. She wants to talk to you about the bake sale-RIGHT NOW! Not during coffee hour AFTER Mass-NOW!

The Musicians Come Marching In Mass:

As soon as Phillip Glass hears the least amount of SILENCE SO WE CAN PRAY IN PEACE!!!! he feels it is necessary to doodle around on the piano, organ, guitar, kazoo, Brazilian rainstick, whatever. Or he inserts another (previously unplanned) song into the “program” to remind us that he's still there.

2-4 Reasons Why All Gift Bearers and Ushers Should be Old White Men Mass:

Does no one know how to simply WALK anymore? Is there some muscular affliction around that causes people walking up an aisle to feel like they must sashay and lift the basket with the money up over their head-all the while attired in their worst slob outfit? Do priests receive some kind of training on jumpshooting in order to grab the gifts from the ushers uplifted hands that I don't know about? (I should ask Father Baer how he's training the seminarians for this) I know people have trouble letting go of the Y.M.C.A move. Really, it's SO over and The Village People are all gay.

Is the longing for silence, one of the reasons Adoration is so huge around here? Really, some days I think the Adoration Chapel is the only quiet and reverant Catholic place in town. I know I do my best praying there. I, certainly, don’t get a lot of prayer in during the biggest prayer of all-or what should be.

What do all of these scenerios illustrate in common? I think they illustrate how pervasive narcissism is today. All of these people have one thing in common: It’s all about: ME!. Look at: ME! Notice: ME! Don’t look at Him who died for many so that sins could be forgiven. He’s not here, look at me! This is why so few Catholics believe in the Real Presence anymore. They think He’s not present, even when He really is. They are so busy putting their 8 x 12 out there that they don’t notice anyone else. We, the Faithful, are so distracted by the dramatics of the perpetually needy that we forget why we are at Mass in the first place.

What a difference could be made in the lives of Catholics everywhere if people quit thinking about themselves and actually put the True Actor FIRST during Holy Mass? And if they all performed and participated in Holy Mass the way it’s supposed to be done instead of the way most guaranteed to maximize their exposure and win them accolades in their own dressing room mirror.

This Week's Paper

Provacative issue of the Archdiocesan paper this week.

Archbishop Flynn has a very well-done rebuttal to an angry letter writer. Coadjutor Nienstedt has a good article reminding us about church teaching on homosexuality. He also mentions WHY a particular father/daughter team were not allowed to speak at a local parish.

WTH is going on?! LOL!

Oh, and yours truly got wound up over a front page story in the last issue of the Catholic Spirit and I had to write a letter to the editor about that. It's in there too. There are only two letters in the entire issue. I'm NOT the Sister. Just wanted to clear up any potential confusion by stating that in case some of you think I'm a nun. Quit laughing, Terry.

November 13, 2007

Individually We are More Effective than Collectively?

Or was it: "individually we are not as dumb as we are collectively"? I think I read something like that in one of those joke motivational office posters.

A friend of mine is always delighted when Congress is at a stalemate. He thinks that means there is less they can screw up if they are unable to implement anything.

Which brings me to the USCCB meeting...

Is anyone else as nervous as I am when the leaders of our domestic church get together? It's like watching a train approach a car stalled on the tracks. You know what's going to happen. You can't bear to watch, but you can't look away either.

Please join me in praying for our shepherds.

Lunchtime Pondering

Over my roast beef sandwich (yum!), I'm browsing some of my blogs for news on the USCCB conference.

Father Zuhlsdorf has an intriguing post up. Unfortunately, his comments forum is closed! So, here I go...

Anyone can report on anything. Most of us can string a sentence together. I can string several together without drawing a breath (just watch, I do it constantly!)

Should reporters on Catholicism be Catholics? Not only Catholics but PRACTICING Catholics? Can someone really report the full story without living it?

Perhaps, it's possible to scratch the surface but you cannot even begin to grasp the depths of the Mystery without understanding some of the Clues.

I don't think that any of us who practice the Faith claim to be experts. I'm the first one to admit I'm not. But, I try and I KNOW what I need to be doing. Furthermore, I accept my flaws and I know they require work to be fully Christian. I know what I want to/need to understand-even if I'm not, or don't think, I'm there yet.

As I know there are few reporters on the Catholic beat who are Catholics, or practicing, this is why I think the truly Catholic blogs and their commenters are so important to me. At least, in this forum, we can get information and perspectives from people who GET IT.

Is "getting it" what makes John Allen so good? I have very little respect for the newspaper he writes for but I think he's brilliant. I don't know. I'm just having lunch and pondering.

November 11, 2007

Priests in U.K. Undergoing Training to Make then Less Dogmatic

Franz has a disturbing link to a story about immigrant Catholic priests in Britain undergoing training to make them "less dogmatic"

Thanks Veterans


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Veterans-serving now and serving past.

The following are the list of veterans that I know of in and around blogdom. If I missed you or if you want to recognize someone, please post the names in the comments. I apologize for not doing blog links. I figure you can scroll thru my sidebar if you are so inclined!

Priestly Veterans:

Fr. Tim Vakoc
Fr. Kevin Cusick
Fr. John Paul Echert
Brother Kevin Thomas

Blogging Veterans:

Ray from MN of Stella Borealis blog
Paul, just this guy you know? of Thoughts of a Regular Guy blog
The Catholic Caveman of Lair of the Catholic Caveman blog
Ma Beck of Ward Wide Web blog
Jeff Miller of The Curt Jester blog

Non-bloggers who I want to give a curtsy too:

John Cich, M.D.
Wayne LaDuke (my Dad)
Gravy Guy, B.B. (my confirmation sponsor)
Rodney DeMarre
Ma Beck's sister, Mary
Angela Messenger's son, Luke (our Canadian friends)
Child of Mary
Adolph Meyer

Thank you and may God bless you.

November 10, 2007

The Third Wall

I watched Blazing Saddles last night! LOL! One of the funniest. movies. ever.

But, I had the strangest dream....

I had a vision of a really bad clown Mass being celebrated by a priest in clericals with a clown face on and then Father Z and some other faithful priests bust thru the sanctuary wall. The clown priest says: "You can't come in here, this is a Spirit of Vatican II parish!". One of the faithful priests says: "----on you, I work with Father Z!" Clown priest: "Not the face". So, faithful priest pulls Clown priests clerical collar off. Clown priest: "Thank you".

Cut away to an area to the left of the altar where a small stage has been set up. Man playing a folk guitar is seated on the stairs while two women look on: "Michael, row the boat ashore". Father Z standing there looking ominous. Listens for a while, scowling, grabs guitar and busts it over the altar rail.

Closes with faithful priests starting Mass ad orientem and a schola chanting, there's smoke everywhere. Mass starts. Adoro and I are wearing our chapel veils. Terry and Ray are actually dressed well.

Then, my cat, Sodak jumped on me and I woke up. Or, did I?

Update: Vincenzo managed to film the whole dream-scary! (Click on the film to view larger)

November 09, 2007

Petition to Beatify Pope Pius XII

Via email from Seminarian Matthew, currently a seminarian at St. John Vianney in St. Paul, MN! The Catholic League has started a online Petition to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Beatification of Pope Pius XII

With profound respect and sincere devotion, We, the undersigned, humbly request that the cause for the beatification of Pope Pius XII proceed without delay. Pius XII's virtuous life speaks for itself and is supported by an abundance of incontestable documentary evidence. The truth regarding his service to the Church and the World, as a diplomat and during his pontificate, prior to and through the World War II period, is also historically established. He has been the victim of an unjust smear campaign for fifty years. Now, however, overwhelming evidence has been amassed that proves beyond doubt that he labored without pause for peace, that he sought to assist in every way possible the victims of war, especially Jews, hundreds of thousands of whom were spared through his efforts, and that he constantly warned the world of the horrors of Nazism and Communism. We urge that you honor this holy and brave Pontiff at the soonest possible date.

To sign this petition, click here.

Cat Eats Crow

Over on the group blog that I'm a member of, Stella Borealis, I made a cynical comment about a, then, upcoming series on the Mass to be published in the Catholic Spirit. The series had barely started and I was already griping that it was not going to focus especially on the, just expanded, extraordinary form.

I leaped to judgement in a bad way. I am hereby publicly apologizing to Father Tom Margevicius. The series was well done. Father wrote well on the assignment he was given.

National Catholic Register on Vianney Seminary

The October 28th issue of the National Catholic Register has a fabulous article on St. John Vianney College Seminary written by local writer Barb Ernster. The seminary is located on the campus of the University of St. Thomas, here, in St. Paul, MN. I think we should all bear in mind that the news from the University of St. Thomas campus these days is not all bad.

You need a subscription to the National Catholic Register to view the story on their website.

Below is a reminder of the upcoming Team Vianney Days for those young men who think they may be called to serve.

Catholic high school to college-age men (9th grade and up) meet for pizza, hear a short, dynamic talk on our Catholic faith, attend Benediction and participate in an energetic Mass with college seminarians and university students.

5:45 p.m to 8:30 p.m. on the following dates: Dec. 6, 2007, Feb. 7, March 6, April 3, May 1, 2008.

St. John Vianney Seminary, University of St. Thomas (St. Paul campus)
FFI: Annette at 651-962-6825 or Fr. John Klockeman at 651-962-6832 or sjv@stthomas.edu

Women Barely Alive And Deluded

Gentle Reader: I think when I'm in my mid-60s, I'll round up Adoro, Angela, Ma, Christine, The Cannonball, and my other homegirls and we'll decide to ordain each other priests. Of course, I get to vote myself Pope. The Holy Mother. That's me.

Elsie and Rose Marie? Are those really their names?!?!? Who knew Archbishop Burke had such a sense of humor? He must be pulling our legs! Or, these are Terry's cats again.

Vincenzo just can't help himself!

Birth Control and Cervical Cancer

From the LA Times (via the Pioneer Press)

Women who take the birth control pill for 10 years have nearly double the normal risk of developing cervical cancer, but the risk begins falling as soon as they stop and returns to near normal within 10 years(!!!!), according to a study released Thursday.

The study confirms previous research linking the pill with an increased risk of cervical cancer and reveals for the first time that the risk falls after pill use stops, said Dr. Jane Green of the University of Oxford, who led the study reported in the medical journal Lancet.

Previous studies have revealed a small increased risk of breast cancer associated with use of the pill. But the increased risk for both forms of cancer is small, Green added, and is "outweighed by reduced risks for ovarian and womb cancer."

The results should "reassure women," (HUH?)Dr. Peter Sasieni of the Queen Mary University of London wrote in an editorial.

I'm sure Dr. Sasieni is saying women should be reassured that it is possible to return to the normal risk of cervical cancer after you quit taking the pill. I don't feel reassured. It takes a DECADE for a woman taking the pill to return to normal risk after she quits taking it. That's not an insignificant amount of time. Plus, this study confirms there is a definite link between pill use and cervical cancer.

November 08, 2007

Tales of Father Sleeves-Rolled-Up and Father Hotstuff

Father Sleeves-Rolled-Up

About a week ago, the story broke that Father Francis Mary Stone of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word is questioning his vocation. Supposedly, Father has fallen in love with a widow he’s been assisting.

I think the first priority is to make sure the young Catholics who watched Father on EWTN's Life on the Rock, or the daily Mass broadcast, understand that just because the earthly messengers may be flawed and have internal conflicts, does NOT mean that the message itself is flawed. Scratch that. I think we ALL need to understand that just because the earthly messengers are flawed does not mean the heavenly message is.

Our kneejerk reaction should be to examine ourselves in relation to the Faith. NOT to examine the Faith in relation to ourselves. Meaning, we should not be using this event as an excuse to dump Church teachings on celibacy because, hey, here's another example of how HAARRD it is. Yes, it is.

Every thinking person who has made a commitment to ANYTHING, whether in marriage, career, living arrangements, or holy orders is constantly re-evaluating (discerning) if they are still satisfied or not. If they are still fulfilling their mission, or not. If they are still living up to their vows, or not. If they need to make changes, or not.

Father may very well decide to remain in his order. I pray that he does. However, if he does leave or if he stays, I pray he has a long and blessed life in Christ.

People leave orders all the time. People change all the time. I’m not trying to minimize the enormity of what is happening here. I’m sure Father is not finding this a simple time. It’s not easy analyzing whether or not your entire life needs to change or if you are being called by God to a different state in life then what you perhaps thought.

When I was in College there were two Sisters who left the order. Both of them were my professors. I remember feeling betrayed and upset because it seemed like it happened overnight and they just decided to leave for no good reason.

Why did I think that?

Because the College was not forthcoming and open about information. The entire thing was kept very hush-hush. There was no “statement”, no discussion. Just one term they were suddenly not on the course list. There was no information to be obtained just rumors and conjecture.

That was, absolutely, the wrong response.

These types of vocational crises, need to be discussed openly. No, we don’t need all the details but we need to be told it’s happening and reaffirmed in OUR vocations which have not changed in spite of someone else changing theirs or questioning theirs.

I think EWTN is making a big mistake by seeming to erase Father Stone from their history (His materials have been removed from the EWTN library and website). Just pretending he never existed and the whole thing is not happening is wrong. Or, we aren’t going to talk about it anymore after the initial announcement on EWTN. It makes it seem like sinners have no contribution to make to Holy Mother Church by pretending they are not around. If sinners have no contribution to make to Holy Church then there will not be anyone in it. What’s the point? We may as well all pack up and leave: me first. Of course, Father did, and does, exist. Of course, he had an impact. Just because he may not be on TV everyday from now on doesn’t mean he’s not still around and can’t teach us anything valid: either directly or indirectly.

I pray that one day Father will tell us his story. I pray that he remains in the Church (whether as a priest or a layman). I pray, especially, that he has an extremely good spiritual advisor at this time.

Father Hotstuff

News that a priest “came out” during a Homily. This is shocking stuff. Really shocking that there were 400 students at Mass on Sunday EVENING at a Jesuit college. THE FAITH IS ALIVE!!!!

Do you think maybe they knew what Father was going to announce ahead of time? I can see the bulletin board e-mail now.

Friends, Faculty, Students: A reminder that, for your convenience, we have Mass on Sunday evenings at 10. The homily will be a surprise; but, in the meantime read my chapter from "A Tale of Two Comings Out: Priest and Gay on a Catholic Campus."
XXXXOOO, Father Brennan

Should the homily BE a big surprise? Gee, is it not supposed to be a lesson from the Gospel/Readings for the day? Sure, Father can get creative to get the point across; but, I think, in this case, Father was a little too creative.

I have no problem with priests inserting personal tidbits into the Homily to make it connect with the parishioners. However, I have NO desire to hear about Father’s foot odor, underwear starch, conflicts with his Mother, how he fantasizes about Jessica Alba, whatever. There is such a thing as TMI (too much information). Why, is it when some people are told they should make things more personable they insert embarrassing tidbits into the discussion (like me! Ha-ha) But, I'm not giving a Homily.

My Pastor has Homilies where he has mentioned he goes to Confession once/month as a way of reminding us that priests have to go too. Or, he ties in his garden growing as examples of growing in the Faith. These are not embarrassing and they are entirely appropriate things to mention. I wish we heard more of this type of APPROPRIATE personal tidbits during Homilies.

Too often, we hear Homilies that have absolutely nothing to do with the readings, much less, church teaching. Too often, it’s all about Father. Apologies, but who cares? If Father wants us to know all about him, why doesn’t he start a blog or a page on Facebook or MySpace? Then, we can blast him for not spending enough time on who really matters; us! LOL! In the end, it should be about God. Not Father, not us.

Parent involved in UST action comments

Heads up: Mr. Michael Bird, one of the parents involved in The Handmaid's Tale complaint against the University of St. Thomas commented on this post

I'm sure he will correct me if I'm wrong, but, I believe Mr. Bird is the principal complainent.

November 07, 2007

Pioneer Press Blog on Handmaid's Tale at UST

Mr. Paul Tosto, Higher Education Reporter, of the Pioneer Press told me that the education reporters at the PP, have started a blog. One of the entries is about The Handmaid's Tale at the University of St. Thomas. Read it here

Miz. THANG



Ladies and Gentlemen: A woman in charge of Catholic education.

Gold Gloves

Congratulations to Minnesota Twins Torii Hunter and Johan Santana!

November 06, 2007

The 3rd Path


"There are those who believe life here began out there...far across the universe"

Adoro , my bosom friend, was really worried about my absence from blogging last week. To calm her mind, I think she turned to hallucinogenic drugs. Please, let's pray for her, ok?

Where was I anyway?




Here's some photos of my brief vacation, enjoy!


Above: A photo of me, with a bad die job, collecting shells with a close, personal, friend (not Sid Hartman) in Jamaica.



A photo of me, after a great underwire bra purchase, in Kentucky.



A boring dinner in Vegas



Touring the Eiffel Tower incognito in Paris. Hey, there are so many Muslims in Paris these days, it's safer to just blend in.

Where will I go next? Hmmmm....

Random Musings

Archbishop Tutu vs. University of St. Thomas (UST)

Archbishop, you won. Don't push your advantage with this misguided attempt at blackmailing UST into allowing Cris Toffolo to remain on the faculty. Give it up. Father Dease was man enough to back down, you may want to consider doing the same.

Parking problems

Memo to City Pages: The only "ambition" Father Dufner has is to bring souls to Christ. I bet there are a lot of parishes that wish they had the same growth "problems" that Holy Family does. It is inevitable that parking conflicts will follow in any neighborhood that shares it's space with a mix of residential, business, or church. When the balance is upset there will be problems. Holy Family is, by no means, the first Catholic parish to have issues with it's neighbors because of increased traffic and parking problems. Did City Pages bother to talk to, oh, say, St. Joan of Arc's neighbors? SJA and it's neighbors have had issues with each other for years. To their credit, SJA formed a task force and a committee to liaison with the neighborhood regarding parking problems. They also looked for alternate parking nearby (they use the parking lot at a nearby school). They encouraged parishioners to carpool and to respect parking rules. They have had mixed sucess with this but, at least, they are making an effort. Holy Family should have probably done the same before things got too heavy. Oh, well, it's never too late. Any big or popular parish is going to bring increased traffic to a neighborhood. St. Agnes does. I can't help but think that some of this would be avoided if people felt, or were able, to bear/attend their neighborhood parish instead of feeling like they have to drive and park somewhere else across town for Mass. But, we are a mobile society now and,unfortunately, there are parishes that are not for everyone. Some of them, I have to wonder, may not even be for Catholics. I pray for a fair and equitable resolution to this conflict.

The Handmaid's Tale

A concerned parent of a student at UST is unhappy that his daughter must read Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale as part of Common Text Week. Each Freshman English class reads and discusses the book. I’m assuming that this English class is the mandatory course that every Freshman must take regardless of their ultimate major.

Are there other books they could be reading? Sure. Am I up in arms that this novel is being read? No. Why? I am taking a guarded, watch and wait approach in this situation. I feel that a case can be made during discussion of Atwood's book for actually living a Catholic life and how Catholic teaching on appropriate expressions of sexuality could go a long way towards making sure society never becomes Gilead. I would be upset if Catholic teachings are not allowed to be discussed during class discussions of the book. But, I don't know what the discussion format will be. If there aren't discussions then I'm upset that there aren't. Yes, I have read Atwood's book. Many years ago.

This begs the question: why was I upset over The Pope and the Witch and now I'm not upset over this? The U of MN in a very half-assed begrudging manner allowed discussion forums but on a night when practically no one could go (which did not seem to be accidental). It was in Lent and the play has absolutely no other purpose then to be a direct attack on the Faith and the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. The entire event appeared to be orchestrated to create controversy and offense. So, ok, I bought it. If UST comes out with some lame response or word gets out that the discussions of the book end up being anti-Catholic, then I’ll be upset.

I don't have a problem with controversial or provacative material in general. I'd be more interested to know what they read in the Theology program at UST. If it's a bunch of dissenting garbage (like the stuff I read in my Theology days at College of St. Catherine), I'd be more upset by that and that I'd protest. Especially at a Catholic college. Hmmmm...wonder what they are reading in Theology at my alma mater St. Kate's these days? Still Rahner, Ruether, and Fiorenza and Daly or have they moved on? I may not even have a problem with those being read if a serious attempt at pointing out their errors was being made. In my day that was not the case. They were all accepted, and we were taught to view them, as accurate commentators of the post-Vatican II church.

I have an issue with the Catholicism, or lack therof, at our "Catholic" schools. I'm not going to make a stand for a piece of fiction. However, I must wonder: Why, as a Catholic school, are they not reading, in common, a work on or about Catholicism? For instance: The Story of a Soul? Or, how about the Holy Father's Jesus of Nazareth? Too bad, if not everyone at UST is Catholic and it would be too exclusive to read something Catholic. Jesus of Nazareth would be, I think, a book that can speak across Christian denominations and may, perhaps, be of interest to non-Christians as well. It is very interesting and well-written. I think it is approachable to many religious faiths.

For the record, my undergraduate degree is in English Literature. At St. Kate’s we also had mandatory reading/discussion groups. I seem to recall it during both my Freshman and Sophomore years. I think the program was called Reading Across the Curriculum. It was heavy on female writers, as you’d probably expect, but they were interesting books and the discussions were provocative. No, none of the books were theological. But, all undergrads were required to take at least one Theology course. Too bad, those Theology materials were so poor.

I also feel that the STUDENTS at UST should be the ones complaining. Why aren’t we hearing from them? I don’t have a problem with parental concern, but, I think a stronger case could be made if we were actually hearing from the daughter and not the father about this.

November 04, 2007

Father Z has left the Church!

Deacon Nathan Allen takes the mic at St. Agnes to tell the Father Z groupies to please disperse and leave the building for crying out loud!

Seriously, Father John Zuhlsdorf makes an appearance in this town and all of blogdom goes ape----! This cannot be permitted to continue. It is just WRONG. WRONG, I tell you, that what he is wearing gets more ink then what I had on. Hey, I had black on too. Well, a black mantilla, but it was black. Who wears a white mantilla to a Requiem Mass anyway? Meow.

Yes, I was there. I saw him from afar and I did not even have to climb a tree to do it. Alas, Father did not say: "This day, I must have dinner at your house, Cathy!" Good thing, too, because my fridge is pretty bare. I did not, however, get to kiss the hem of his cloak or polish his shoes with my hair. Next time, maybe.

Beautiful All Souls Day Mass. The opening strains of the Mozart Requiem's Processional always gives me goosebumps. Msgr. Schuler's presence was very much in the air. Fr. Ubel gave a very nice homily about "the undiscovered country". See, Father Z's unknown readership, yet, again! Or, maybe Father Ubel was talking about how we'll all be dead by the time the new ICEL translations are released.

I did not get everything Father Ubel said because the VISITORS in front of me were talking thru most of the Mass. I'm really trying to be charitable towards folks for whom a Mass, properly celebrated, is a new thing. However, I think being charitable and kind does NOT mean you need to just sit back and permit plain rudeness and bad form to pass by without comment. Some people only go to St. Agnes for the concert of it and not the Mass. To these folks I ask: Would you go to a concert at Orchestra Hall and expect to speak thru the entire second movement of Dvorak's 9th? I don't think so. Then, why, do you think it's acceptable to go to a House of GOD and yakk away the entire time?

I was praying the Rosary before Mass and some yahoo leaned RIGHT OVER ME to talk to the people on the other side of me as I was kneeling in prayer.

I debated:

1)slaying him with my eyes,
2)commenting on his body odor,
3)stabbing him in his big gut with my crucifix.
4) saying "Sweetheart, you are a little early for the Kiss of Peace and we don't do that at St. Agnes anyway, so put it away"

I did not do any of it. Not entirely sure it was due to my Christian charity or the fact that the Confessionals were not open for business. But, I did say something. I was polite, but, I admit, my voice was tight. "Excuse me, sir, do you MIND?". He looked affronted. Too dang bad.

But, I have to think Father Z's continual call for patience and charity towards folks who may be new to the extraordinary form rubbed off on me in this situation (even though this was an N.O. Mass) and saved a man's life!

And for all that, Happy (Belated) Birthday, Father Zuhlsdorf!

I'm Back, Baby!



--Legend has it Frank Sinatra said that after his first recording session with Nelson Riddle
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