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Veritatis Splendor

"Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith" --Hebrews 12:2

Pope Benedict XVI before our Lord

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed,
each of us is loved,
each of us is necessary.
There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.
~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily April 24th, 2005

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Day Fireworks

St. Paul's Memorial Day fireworks, with the Cathedral of St. Paul nicely situated in the backdrop -- what a sight! I got tons of great shots like this one, I really should go to Cafepress and make a calendar or something :)

Monday, May 30, 2005

Local prof. in NY Times interview

Dr. Christopher Ruddy, a thology professor at my univeristy, got a good quote in a recent NY Times article on Pope Benedict and his "plans." It is a pretty good article, considering the source, and it was nice to see that they interviewed a few good folks (like Dr. Ruddy! :)

For the most part, it would seem that "they" are still pretty much bemused and confounded by the character of our Holy Father Pope Benedict... keeping 'em guessing he is!

"I don't get any sense of him wanting to purge or anything," said Christopher Ruddy, an assistant professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. "But I think he is willing to say what he thinks are hard truths, or unpopular truths."

Benedict XVI and the Church That May Shrink. Or May Not. - New York Times

Episcopal Spine Alert - Bp. DiLorenzo

New bishop making big moves

Annual Corpus Christi procession in Minneapolis!

It's that time of year again - the high feast of Corpus Christi (my favorite feast of all -- and what a feast for our new priests to celebrate their first Masses on!)

We had the annual Archdiocesen Eucharistic procession on Sunday afternoon, going through downtown Minneapolis this year (from St. Olaf's to the Basilica of St. Mary, about 8-9 blocks). I would say 400-500 people came out to walk with our Lord through the streets of Minneapolis -- not bad considering it was a little chilly and rain was predicted (none fell however, thanks be to God! :).

It was led by our auxiliary bishop, Bishop Richard Pates, and was also attended by about 4-5 priests, a few deacons, a lot of religious, and a good number of seminarians to serve (you have to remember that there were a lot of Thanksgiving Masses being celebrated during that time by new priests, so there were a lot of clergy/seminarians who were not able to come this year to the procession).

One nice touch this year was the addition of having a large number of First Communion kids, all dressed up, leading the Blessed Sacrament with their parents! The girls had bags of rose petals that they dropped before the Sacrament, the boys had little bells to ring. There was also a Knights of Columbus honor guard and tons of relgious.

Very traditional, very beautiful. There was a canopy over the Blessed Sacrament and the bishop; seminarian servers (all in cassock/surplice) with incense, candles and altar bells; a police escort and a wonderful cantor with radio so that we could all hear. Beautiful hymns, all Eucharistic and Marian, we also sang the Divine Mercy chaplet (that sounded AWESOME echoing up and down the Nicollet Mall corridor in downtown--the buildings on either side blocked the wind and worked to magnify the singing... we turned a lot of heads with that!).

In downtonw Minneapolis there is a popular Scientology place (what do you call where Scientologists gather?) on Nicollet, some of us commented that the bishop should have turned with the monstrance and doubly blessed that building... What was funny though was that right when we said that, one of the women who was standing in the building came running out with a camera, and ran on ahead to get a good shot! Hmmm.

Then we went through Loring Park, a park notorious for it's homosexual activities and "goings on", I'd like to think that by bringing our Lord through there that He was able to make a difference in some of the people there.

We eventually made it to the Basilica, and then concluded with Benediction. Afterwards, an ice cream gathering in the backyard of the Basilica, before walking back to St. Olaf's to find the cars and some dinner.

All in all, a beautiful way to spend the feast of Corpus Christi, and a beautiful way to spend a spring afternoon, with our Lord held high before us, witnessing to the power and beauty of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

News reports of the ordination May 28th

Here are a couple of newspaper reports of the ordination from Saturday:

Large group ordained in St. Paul reflects a changing priesthood

Unordinary ordination

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Ordination Mass 2005 Photos

I have made another small web page for our Archdiocese's ordination Mass, and have posted a selection of the photos that I took at the Mass on there.

Feel free to go take a look, and pass it along to anyone else you know who would like to see them.

Ordination 2005 Photos

Saturday, May 28, 2005

15 new priests for our Archdiocese!!

15 new priests for the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis!! I will blog more later from this morning's grace-filled Mass! In the meantime, please pray for:

Fr. Terry Beeson
Fr. Daniel Bodin
Fr. John Gallas
Fr. David Hennen
Fr. Michael Izen
Fr. Thomas Joseph
Fr. Randal Kasel
Fr. James Liekhus
Fr. Hoang Nguyen
Fr. Robert Pish
Fr. Troy Przybilla
Fr. Michael Rudolph
Fr. Erich Rutten
Fr. Christopher Shofner
Fr. Timothy Yanta

"You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchezidek"
May 28th, 2005

Friday, May 27, 2005

Mark Your Calendars!

Fr. JC Maximilian, Blogger.

A worthy replacement for the Saintly Salmagundi? We'll see...

Heads up people, Fr. JC Maximilian (of Catholic Ragemonkey fame) has begun his own blog of priestly ponderings.

Sadly he seems to have declined thus far to pick a cool name for it (well, other than the fact that his own name is pretty cool!) - perhaps we can help him out? ;)

Fr. JC Maximilian

Thursday, May 26, 2005

POD alert! - Corpus Christi Catechism Fund

Thought I would pass the word along about a great apostolate that has really taken off here in the St. Paul/Minneapolis region - the Corpus Christi Catechism Fund. It is a young adult led and run apostolate, funded entirely by donations, that works to distribute over 8000 copies of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to all of the teenagers being confirmed in the Archdiocese every year! Not bad!

And hey -- free stuff! Get your free Catechism bookmark by request on their site (also available in bulk sale 100/$15.00 for your parish/youth group/CCD class!).

With all of our help, they can continue their work of "Renewing the Body of Christ One Member at a Time"

Corpus Domini Procession in Rome

Wow. Now that's a Eucharistic procession! It's nice to see that America is once again out of whack, by celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi on a Sunday once again instead of on the Thursday that it is supposed to fall on liturgically. Oh well, in Rome, they've got us all covered it appears!

Hopefully we will get a good turnout at the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis procession this Sunday -- if any locals are reading this, please come! It will begin at 1:30pm at St. Olaf's parish in downtown Minneapolis, with procession to the Basilica.

For the complete scoop on the Roman procession, please visit Zadok the Roman

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Wow did we miss the boat!

Three blogs by Filipino bishops! How on earth did the Catholic blogging world miss these?

Well -- our slip has been noticed and shall now be corrected:

* Bp. Manguiran's "The Meaning"

* Bp. Cruz's "Viewpoints"

* Bp. Medroso's "tidbits"

What fun, bishops with blogs!

While I would love to see what Chaput, George, Burke, and Aquila would blog about, wouldn't it be fun to hear what Mahoney, Gumbleton, Lynch and Co. would carry on about?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

In thanksgiving for the Pontificator's conversion

The Pontificator is converting to Catholicism, as has been noted on multiple blogs by now, but one great idea has come up on the St. Blog's Parish Hall to get everyone together to do a spiritual bouquet for Al Kimel and his family. As Al is an Episcopalian pastor right now, this conversion is going to be a complete leap of trust for him and his family -- they can use all the prayer they can get right now! Please consider joining us in offering up some prayer for them, rosaries, Holy Hours, novenas, etc etc.

Add your "card" of prayerful promise by going to: St Blog's Parish Hall

"The Inconvenient Conscience"

Cardinal Pell wrote a great defense of the authentic meaning of the "conscience" in Catholic teaching, in the May 2005 issue of First Things -- it is finally available online.

When we imagine that conscience is primarily a mark of individual autonomy, we have to pay certain costs; among these is the decay of the idea of moral truth—even when that truth is something we agree with. More than twenty years ago I used to teach the rudiments of morality to trainee nurses in a hospital-based Catholic course. Many in the class were hostile to the idea of moral truth, sometimes asserting that moral opinions were entirely relative, a function merely of the culture in which they happened to appear.

To explain the weakness of such a position I used to ask them whether the British authorities in India were justified in banning the practice of suttee, where a widow was immolated on the funeral pyre of her husband. None of the nurses had any enthusiasm for the practice, but what was extraordinary was the variety of arguments they used to explain their objections—all desperate, convoluted attempts to dodge the general idea of moral truth, to avoid saying that suttee was simply wrong.

One master defender of moral truth in our lifetime has been Pope John Paul II. He is also a man learned in modern thought and passionate about freedom and the responsibility that arises from the possession of freedom. And what the pope has aimed at is a path between those who assert moral truth but ignore personal freedom, and those who assert freedom but ignore moral truth.

More, he has charted this path using coordinates established by the Scholastics, developed by Newman, and confirmed by the Second Vatican Council. The pope argues that in their consciences human persons encounter moral truth, freely embrace it, and personally commit themselves to its enactment. This account (in the pope’s 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor, sections 54-64, for instance) builds upon John Henry Newman’s theory of conscience as man’s free adoption of God’s law. Conscience, in this view, is neither the apprehending of an alien law nor the devising of our own laws. Rather, conscience is the free acceptance of the objective moral law as the basis of all our choices. The formation of a Christian conscience is thus a dignifying and liberating experience; it does not mean a resentful submission to God’s law but a free choosing of that law as our life’s ideal.

Full article: "The Inconvenient Conscience" - George Cardinal Pell

JPII, Why Did We Love You?

Great column by Mary Beth Bonacci, one of my favorite authors for her books on God's love and sexuality for teenagers and young adults (if you have a confirmation class or teach CCD, you need to grab a few copies of her book Real Love)

Why did the youth of the world love a Pope who gave them so many rules? Because he didn’t just give them rules -- he gave them the love of Christ. In the context of that love, those "rules" take on a whole new meaning. They aren’t about jumping through hoops. They are about living and passing on the love they have received.

JPII, Why Did We Love You? | Mary Beth Bonacci

Saturday, May 21, 2005

You know, it is the Year of the EUCHARIST, not the Year of Us!

Well, it's good that they are trying to answer the call of JP II to honor the Year of the Eucharist, but Sr. Rehrauer may need to brush up on her Vatican II documents a bit further, instead of only reading the parts that "America" magazine selectively picks out for the "Spirit of Vatican II" crowd.

Speaker: Eucharist is part of daily life

Opening with Luke 4:16-22, Rehrauer said the Gospel writer of Luke tells of Jesus’ visit to the synagogue, the reading of Isaiah, and Jesus’ comment “This day, this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

“Luke is silent about the content of Jesus’ homily, except for the line on ‘this day.’ The homily unfolds over the next 20 chapters in the words and deeds of Jesus. It outlines the mission of the church and the mission for all of us. It proclaims liberty, freeing the oppressed and preaching the Gospel in word and deed. It talks about building the kingdom by doing justice.

“This is climaxed in the Eucharist,” she said. “It is what sustains us when the vision of Eucharist fades.”

"The vision of the Eucharist fades"? Since the Eucharist is Jesus Himself (a part you seem to have missed along the way), and our eternity is meant to be spent before the face of Jesus, the only way I know of that the "vision" of the Eucharist fades is if you find yourself in the hot hole after you die -- and even then, Aquinas doubts that it fades, but rather that you will experience it just as utterly as if you were saved, only for the damned they suffer more greatly because of their eternal "vision of the Eucharist."

But whatever.


She divided the Mass into four segments:

• Entrance rites, where people are called as an assembly.

• Liturgy of the word, where people listen to the word of God.

• Liturgy of the Eucharist, which is a surrendering of their lives and themselves as they join in a meal with Christ.

• Dismal rites, which tell people to go out and live the mission in prayer and action together.

The "Dismal" rites -- well, I can see why, rites without true meaning are indeed dismal. And hey, if all we're doing is "sharing" a meal with Christ at Mass, then no wonder people are so distraught by not being able to sit at the table themselves -- to share a family dinner when you are spread out among the pews (padded chairs at your church Sister?) is not exactly the same as either the formal dining experience or the family gathering. If you remove the sacrifice, you've lost the primary purpose. But then again, you say that your whole mission is not to save souls but rather to...

“Our mission,” Rehrauer said, “is to become community. Sometimes we divorce prayer and our living, but by coming together for Eucharist, we develop and deepen our relationships and love.”

Translation: "I don't care if you make it to heaven, so long as "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family!""

“When we come to celebrate, we come from different backgrounds, different families and from different faith places,” she said, adding that individuals also never come from the same “faith place” twice. When they come to worship, they may at one time be feeling lonely, fearful, sad or angry. At another time, they may be happy.

Different "faith places"? What the heck is that? "Yes, today, I came from the faith place of I-want-to-kiss-a-tree, tomorrow I might come from Mother-God-loves-witches faith place, and perhaps on Tuesday I will come from Promote-government-programs-so-I-don't-have-to-feel-guilty-about-staying-home-to-watch-Friends faith place.


“As Robert Frost said, home and Eucharist is where they have to take you in,” Rehrauer said. “It doesn’t matter where we come from. It matters that we come. The liturgy has the power to overcome our differences.”

Hmm. Pope Robert Frost. Sounds good to me.

Oh, and Liturgy -- get down! I know you want to bear hug everyone, but you just don't know how much power you have!!

Funny how whenever the Person of the Eucharist is reduced, the Liturgy is personified instead.

Chaput is "most courageous and active pro-life bishop"

Archbishop Chaput is at it again! He and President Bush were the speakers at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, and Chaput's words spoke of the need for Catholic politicians to stand for life above all -- "When public officials claim to be Catholic but then say they can't offer their beliefs about the sanctity of the human person as the basis of law, it always means one of two things: That person is either very confused or they're very evasive."

Read the article at: Chaput targets Catholic politicians: Archbishop hits on abortion theme

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Prayer for the Canonization of John Paul the Great

I am way behind on this one, but Fr. Shane Tharp over at the Catholic Ragemonkeys composed a beautiful prayer for us all to use to pray for the intercession of John Paul II and for his canonization. Yes, it's soon, but hey, as Fr. Tharp observes, "Without being sacriligious, personally, he went to Heaven so directly, there were skid marks on the carpet of the papal apartment." I couldn't agree more!

Particularly since Pope Benedict has formally opened the cause (5 years early!), I think we should all get this one down!

Prayer for the Canonization of John Paul the Great

God of Mercy and of Justice,
you graciously deigned to give to your Church a firm foundation stone as she travels her pilgrim way in the world.
Your Son called Simon the Apostle, Peter,
making him the rock upon which the Church would be founded.
In the successors of St. Peter, we hear you speaking,
strengthening the faith of your children,

You have, in every age and in every place,
led the people claimed by your Son through the visible shepherd of our unity.
We praise you for your generous care for our souls.
In our own time, you have blessed the Church with an outstanding example of truth and virtue
in the person of John Paul II.
He made of himself a gift, freely and totally given, to your Son through His Blessed Mother.
Despite sorrow in his life, he has called us, in your name,
to be not afraid,
to set out into deep water,
to not settle for mediocrity.
We praise you and thank you for your generosity.

If it be in accordance with your will,
raise this holy man to the glories of the altar.
Manifest in our times signs and wonders which demonstrate that he rests now in the glory of Heaven.
By his intercession, I bring my petition to you. (Mention your petition here.)

Glory and honor to you,
through your Son,
in the power of the Holy Spirit,
now and until the ages of man run dry.
We ask these things through Christ our Lord. Amen.

No more papers, no more books, no more ??? (heretical students?) dirty looks!

Yes everyone, my finals are FINITO! Now I just need to get cracking on my plans for leaving for Italy in August, to study in Rome for the whole year!! Eternal City here I come! Guess I'd better go find some good Italian language software now...

(Yes Mom, you get the car!)

Mr. Bayly & his "trophy" Sash experience

Here is the whole sordid account by Mr. Bayly -- Clayton, David Morrison and I have already added our voice, please join us if you feel called to do so.

Pulse of the Twin Cities - Locally Grown Alternative Newspaper

What's the matter Sashers? Media not paying enough attention to you?

The antics of the Sashers this past weekend at the Cathedral were diabolical, we knew that already -- but this takes the cake, I knew that things like this had happened, but didn't really expect to see one of them proudly proclaiming it to the world.

The only humor I see in this is that the reason this fellow rose to the occasion to proclaim himself the true church is because the media in general has not really promoted the Sashers this go around... coverage has been broad in some respects, but very narrow in others, since the Cathedral banned any video/cameras from the media in the church during the Mass. Therefore, the only way they can get their needed "publicity" for their antics is to pretty much promote themselves in letters to the editor. If it weren't so awful it would be funny.

Excerpt: When it was my turn to approach Skluzacek, I did so and received his blessing. I then looked him in the eyes and said, “I realize the situation you’re in, and I forgive you.” I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he was simply following orders. Perhaps if it was up to him he would give communion to all of us. Perhaps he lacked the courage to follow his conscience and defy such orders.

Interestingly, I think everyone wearing the sash made some comment to the Eucharistic minister they approached to receive communion. My friend Mary, for instance, took the hands raised in blessing of one minister and said, “Shame on you!” Later she told me how appalled she was that they would consider their blessing a substitute for what they were denying. “It was so incredibly pompous!” she said.

In retrospect, it was quite amazing: Over a hundred people speaking from that holiest of places—their conscience—and making their feelings and beliefs known to the hierarchy at the most sacred time of the mass. How appropriate for Pentecost!

...For as it turned out, I was to receive communion that morning.

Back in our pew, Eduard gently touched my arm. Turning, I saw that he was reverently holding half a host in his hand. He broke it and gave a portion of it to me. I, in turn, broke my piece and gave half to my friend Kathleen.

Later I discovered that someone without a sash had shared the host they had received with Eduard—who was wearing a sash. What this person (and apparently other non-sash wearers) did seems to me to be what communion is all about. I found this loving and sharing action very inspiring and hopeful. It would be something Jesus would do—and did do through the actions of these people. Here were “ordinary Catholics” taking to heart Christ’s call to be a “priestly people.”

Clayton's blog: "delusions of holiness"

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Happy Birthday John Paul II!

Today, May 18th, 2005 would have been John Paul II's 85th birthday. Instead of sending him a postcard, we all need to mail him a prayer in heaven, a prayer of thanksgiving for his life and legacy!

(Those of you in St. Paul MN -- tonight at the Cathedral of St. Paul, at 6:30pm the Cathedral Young Adults are hosting an evening of Adoration for JP II, with reflection on his life by Fr. Joseph Williams at 7:00pm. All are welcome to join us!)

Schindlers and Pope Benedict

Taking a break from my Philosophy of Mind paper (ugh... what a beast!) I spotted this on the newswire from today's papal general audience!!

Bob & Mary Schindler (the parents of Terri Schiavo, may she rest in peace), plus some memembers of the Priests for Life group, greeting Pope Benedict, with a picture frame of the prayer card that they had printed up for Terri's death. Wonder what he told them? Words of hope I am sure, and thanksgiving for their fidelity to God and life.

Papacy and the Vatican on Yahoo! News Photos

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Finals week...

(Oh, and for those wondering why the silence lately, even over the Sash issue, it's finals week!)

Grant O Merciful God, that I may ardently desire, prudently examine, truthfully acknowledge, and perfectly accomplish what is pleasing to Thee, for the praise and glory of Thy Name. Amen.
~St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Stephen's ignores Flynn, no repercussions

"No one wearing the sash will be permitted to receive the Eucharist either at the Cathedral of Saint Paul or at any of our parish churches."
-- Statement to area parishes by Archbishop Flynn, 5/5/2005

I guess St. Stephen's in Minneapolis is no longer a parish church of the Archdiocese, by this reasoning, huh?

No sanctions for church ignoring Flynn's advisory

Friday, May 13, 2005

Two Popes, One Leader

Great editorial here considering the Providential bond between John Paul II and Benedict XVI --

The National Catholic Register - "Two Popes, One Leader"

Hat tip to the Curt Jester, once again!!

Mount John Paul II adorned with huge cross

Italians remember John Paul II with 6500-foot cross

The town of L’Aquila in central Italy has erected a steel cross towering over 6500 feet on top of a mountain which as of May 18 will be called “Mount John Paul II.”

The massive cross was erected on Mount Gendarme in the central Apennines. As of May 18, the mountain will be renamed in honor of the late Pope.

According to local officials, the people of L’Aquila wanted to honor the man who spent many days of during his pontificate in the area, skiing and enjoying the countryside.

The zinc reinforced steel cross bears an image of John Paul II and his pontifical coat of arms. It was transported to the mountain by helicopter.

Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will preside at the dedication ceremony on May 18.

Hmm, yeah, I doubt the cross itself is 6500 feet tall :) I wonder how big it really is? I couldn't find any photos yet... hopefully some will be online somewhere soon.

Santo subito!!

Today, on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13th, Pope Benedict announced that the cause for the canonization of Pope John Paul II has been opened (I believe that makes JP II "Venerable" now?) -- waiving the usual 5-year waiting period after a person's death.

Santo subito!! Start praying folks!

Catholic World News : Beatification process opens for John Paul II

SF Bay Archbishop Levada new head of CDF

The rumor mills were right... Archbishop Levada from San Francisco has been tapped to take Cardinal Ratzinger's place as prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith...

CWNews: US Archbishop to head Vatican doctrinal congregation

Hmmmm... While Levada's orthodox track record (to us in the pews) seems vague and weak, we've gotta trust the Pope Benedict knows what he's doing. And, we can't forget that Levada did serve at the CDF already in the late 80s under Ratzinger, so presumably he showed good judgement then. Additionally, it is the case that it is "easier" to be orthodox in the middle of the Vatican answering only to a holy and orthodox pontiff -- I think a lot of these bishops are quite simply weak, if they weren't influenced so much by the polls and "chancery morale" perhaps they would be less afraid to stand up for truth "in season and out of season."

In any case, with Pope Benedict at the helm I sincerely doubt that there would be any "trouble" no matter who was tapped for the CDF head, I think it is clear that B16 will be a "hands on" Pope when necessary, yet still a good delegator.

Plus -- this opens up the SF Archdiocese again... some would suggest that this allows for a stronger bishop to come in for some housecleaning...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

And they call themselves Dominicans?

No matter what they say, these Dominican women sure don't understand their faith. You see, they have posted a list of "summaries" here from their recent "One Planet People Preaching" conference earlier this year. They're all worth reading, but these two in particular stood out to me:

Example #1 -- their summary on the "young people":

Summary: The youth are used to great diversity all over the world—Looking for UNITY and looking for God because they know God can provide Unity! Age doesn’t matter, but presence of a person does.
Looking for: Inner Peace, Someone to teach them how to pray, give retreats, just someone to talk to them.
Vocation material ineffective—Call them! Let them know you are in love with the Lord!
Like communal rosary, adoration (provide silence and peace), foreign country missions, personal stories shared in a circle (not lecture style).
Let go of your past (us) and listen to our ways.
The vows are opportunities to grow closer to others.
Don’t push them to come in/Their spirituality is deep and different.

Outcome: Conversation complete. Our conversation is complete at this time and we share it through our summary. We, in this group, commit ourselves to: Listen more to our young people! and announce this to the Convocation.

Ok, let's examine this quickly -- First, I'm not really sure what to make of this, "Let go of your past (us) and listen to our ways." Are they saying that they realize that the kids don't want to hear from mostly old and non-habit wearing women? Sure seems like they are at least sensing that, but their words show how little they really get it (even if they do say that the "conversation [is] complete"). I don't think they really understand the unity that we are seeking, though they are right, we do want unity -- just HOLY unity, not some kind of "diverse/tolerant/eco-friendly/social justice-worshipping" unity that means nothing!

This little summary shows that at least they realize that they have not been reaching the young... But the very next summary shows how hopelessly entwined in their own version of "church" they are.

Example #2 - the "lack of presiders/preachers":

We, the Convocation 2005 of the Federation of Dominican Sisters, USA, wish to express to you, our bishops and brother friars, our heartfelt concern about the increasing difficulty of access to the Eucharist for so many of the People of God.
1. The Eucharist, in both word and sacrament, is the source and summit of our faith experience.
2. The life and holiness of the local church is compromised when the Eucharist is not available to nourish the people of God.
3. We are filled with sorrow when the policies of our Church diminish access to the Eucharist.

To alleviate the injustices imposed upon the People of God, we offer these practical solutions to you, the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist and the General Chapter of the Order:
1. ordination of both married as well as unmarried men, or
2. allowing priests the option to marry, or
3. make celibacy an optional requirement for ordination
4. allow women to be ordained
5. open the deaconate to women
6. allow qualified women to both preach and administer the sacraments without ordination


We believe that everyone at the Convocation is ready to: adopt this statement, sending it to the U.S. Bishops and to the Master of the Order of Preachers. The person who will put this commitment before the convocation is: Dorothy Jonaitis, OP

Oh brother. For being members of the Dominican order, an order founded by St. Dominic with the charism of LEARNING THE FAITH and DEFENDING IT by PREACHING THE TRUTH IN LOVE, they sure don't sound like it! There is so much wrong with that little "summary," I would LOVE to see the looks on the faces of the US Bishops and the "Master of the Order of Preachers" when they get this little statement that "everyone" there is ready to send onward and upward.

I mean, come on. "Allow qualified women to both preach and administer the sacraments without ordination"?? Good grief. I'd love to see the rationale they have behind that one.

On top of everything, according to Barb Nicolosi (see her blog post "Fighting hard for a legacy of failure"), who happened to be at the same hotel at the conference, when she asked about attending Mass with the good sisters on Friday, she was met with quizzical expression and a "Mass? Why would we have a Eucharistic liturgy on a Friday?... We have a VERY packed schedule!"

And they call themselves Dominicans.

Lord have mercy.

St. Dominic, ora pro nobis!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Detective Mark Furman investigating Terri's death

In an interesting twist, it seems that Det. Mark Furman (remember him from the OJ trial?) is "on the case" when it comes to Terri Schiavo's death... he has been investigating the case and apparently will be coming out with a book soon.

I'm not sure what I think about all this. The whole book deal sounds fishy to me... but if he does happen to get things right, perhaps it will keep Terri's life and death alive in the hearts of the public.

The rest of the write-up is pretty interesting too: Flat Lining Liberal Rhetoric

Monday, May 09, 2005

Latin returns to the Sioux Falls cathedral

Here's a good reason for it:

He also thinks a Mass in Latin will serve as a unifying element at the Cathedral, where an order of nuns speaks Spanish, a Sudanese community sometimes speaks Arabic and Asian parishioners also gather."A Catholic used to be able to hear the same Mass anywhere in the world he would travel," Schreurs says. "(Latin) words' meanings won't change, as English words have different meanings in different areas, and we are constantly adding slang to the English language."

Read the whole thing at: Heritage of Latin Mass returns to Cathedral

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Putting the smackdown on heresy... play it again Sam!!


Saturday, May 07, 2005

Help TAN Books -- Buy Some!

Hat tip: Happy Catholic

Tan Books has had to file for Chapter 11 and needs to show they are a viable business over the next 4 to 5 months which is their slowest time.

For this appeal to be successful, we need AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE TO PURCHASE BOOKS AND/OR CONTRIBUTE TO TAN'S MISSION FUND in order to insure that TAN survives these next 4 to 8 months and continues in business past the Chapter 11 period. We truly need your order or contribution, and we need it now. Plus, we really need to ask you to buy and/or give as much as you possibly can! We also need your prayers! A large response to this mailing is absolutely crucial to TAN's successful Chapter 11 case.

Tan has been the source of many of the reprints of classic Catholic books that I have."

TAN Books home page and the letter about their financial situation.

Would you consider helping?

Some of their MANY texts that they have either published or "resurrected" are:

*The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Blessed Anne Katherine Emmerich)
*True Devotion to Mary & The Secret of the Rosary (St. Louis Marie de Montfort)
*Trustful Surrender To Divine Providence (St. Claude De La Columbiere & Rev. Jean Pierre De Caussade)
*Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Dr. Ludwig Ott)
*Catholic Apologetics (Fr. John Laux, M.A.)
*Christian Perfection and Contemplation (Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange)
*The Crisis Of Civilization and 8 other titles by Hillaire Belloc
*The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena (St. Catherine)
*The Faith of Our Fathers (James Cardinal Gibbons)
*My Sister, Saint Therese (Sr. Genevieve of The Holy Face (Celine Martin))
*The Life of St. Benedict (Pope St. Gregory the Great)
*The Life of St. Dominic (Sr. Augusta Theodosia Drane)
*The Life of St. Francis of Assisi (St. Bonaventure)
*The Little Catechism of The Cure of Ars (St. John Marie-Baptist Vianney)
*Modern Saints Book 1 & Book 2 (Ann Ball)

Jesuit editor of "America" mag is going bye-bye

Whoa, this is happening quickly!! I figured with the election of Benedict XVI that the liberal dominos would start to topple one by one, but hey!

So far we've got Marymount College getting disaffiliated from the Church for honoring Sen. Clinton, we've got Archbishop Flynn getting some backbone in the Rainbowcost" debacle, we've got Canadian bishops getting spunk regarding same-sex marriage and freedom of speech, we've got eBay agreeing in the face of massive protest to ban the sale of the Blessed Sacrament, and now we have one of the most "progressive" editors of a supposedly "Catholic" periodical resigning after the Vatican received complaints (from US bishops!) about the stuff he allowed to be printed!

EDIT -- Now, I'm *not* saying that "Papa Ratzi" had anything to do with any of this personally, trust me, I am not one of those folks. I just think all of this, including his election, is telling in terms of what direction the universal Church is moving in (towards Jesus of course!). And it's interesting the variety of different things that are happening that all point to "orthodox."

The editor of the Jesuit weekly America is leaving the magazine after the Vatican received complaints about articles he published on touchy issues such as same-sex marriages and stem cell research, Jesuit officials said Friday.

The Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a widely respected expert on the Catholic Church and the Vatican who was editor for seven years, is being replaced by his deputy, the Rev. Drew Christiansen, the magazine said in a statement.

Jesuit officials in Rome and the United States, who spoke on condition they not be identified, said some American bishops had contacted the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about articles in the magazine over the years that had presented both sides of controversies over sensitive church issues.

But the slightly less-appealing news is that Fr. Christiansen may or may not be an improvement -

In the statement from newly named editor Christiansen, he noted that under Reese, the magazine often gave two sides of the debate on sensitive church issues — and that made it more relevant.

"By inviting articles that covered different sides of disputed issues, Father Reese helped make America a forum for intelligent discussion of questions facing the church and the country today," Christiansen said.

Relevant? Hmm... where have we heard that before? And hey, look where Reese is going -- why is it that everyone always leaves for California?

When contacted Friday, Reese said only that his tenure ends on June 1 and that he would move immediately to California and continue in his Jesuit ministry.

Read the whole article at: Editor of Jesuit Magazine Leaving

Archdiocese's additional statement on RSM

Text of what is in the Cathedral of St. Paul's bulletin for this weekend: (emphasis my own)

Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis

Members of the Minnesota Rainbow Sash movement had notified us of their plans to attend the noon Mass on Pentecost Sunday at the Cathedral of Saint Paul and to receive Communion wearing their sashes, as they have for the past four years. This year, sash wearers also announced plans to take the same action at other Twin Cities parishes. Archbishop Flynn has informed the leader of Rainbow Sash Minnesota that they will no longer be permitted to receive the Eucharist wearing their sashes. Nor will Communion be given to any other group wearing similar items signifying protests against Church teaching.

In a letter to the head of the Rainbow Sash movement, the Archbishop stated that the sash is "more and more perceived as a protest against Church teaching," as indicated by statements made by the group in other dioceses. He also noted that the group refused a request by Father Talbot, at a recent Mass to remove their sashes. Because of this, and the fact that the Vatican has communicated that it considers the wearing of the Rainbow Sash during reception of Communion to be unacceptable, Archbishop Flynn made it very clear that "No one wearing the sash will be permitted to receive the Blessed Sacrament."

The Archbishop emphasized in his letter to the Rainbow Sash movement that "it is Catholic Church and Archdiocesan policy to be welcoming to all, including those with same sex orientations. At the same time, the Holy Eucharist may never be used as a form of protest. Let us all pray for unity and understanding within our Church," he concluded.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Another Catholic pharmacist stands firm in the faith!

This is sad that is has come to this in our country, but I am still very grateful and happy to see such a wonderfully strong Catholic working peacefully as a pharmacist -- and thanks to Walgreens for standing by her side thus far. Send prayers up to heaven for this woman, she is going to need them -- but she seems to be pretty well grounded for now!

Read it at TheMilwaukeeChannel.com - News - Pharmacist Refuses To Fill Prescriptions For Moral Reasons

Here is what I just wrote the news station:

Absolutely! It is lawfully and morally right for a pharmacist to be able to refuse to fill prescrptions they believe are immoral or against their relgious beliefs -- particularly when it comes to contraception pills and "day-after" pills, which by their very created purpose are "chemical abortions." They are no different from any other abortion, as they are meant to destroy the growing fetus. It does not matter whether the fetus is "implanted" yet or not, the fetus is still a fetus -- in other words, a baby. The same baby that will one day cry and squall, and that will one day get a job and possibly discover the cure for AIDS.

If doctors, nurses and other medical staff can be conscientious objectors to particpating in abortion procedures, then it follows that pharmacists should also be able to conscientiously object to participating in chemical abortions.

Any woman who thinks that there is a difference between these two forms of abortion, one being "real" abortion and the other being "just contraception," is fooling herself -- the latter is just a cleaner and "easier" way. But then again, what's the difference between the Nazis killing a Jew in the quick and clean gas chamber, or killing him out in the street with blood everywhere? Either way the Jew is dead, it's just easier to hide the first method.

One Cordelia Flyte, coming right up!

Take that Amy Welborn!! ;) LOL!

You are Lady Cordelia Flyte. You are loving and
loyal. You're not a sentimental dowdy,
however: you have a lively sense of humor and
keen intellect.

What Brideshead Revisited character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Find out yourself: What Brideshead Revisited character are you?

NC Register article on Flynn's Denial to the Sashers

Decent article, by local writer Tim Drake (well, from St. Cloud, speaking of which, it will be interesting to see what Bishop Kinney up in St. Cloud does this year, will he follow Abp. Flynn's example and deny his own Sashers?)

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Will Deny Communion to Protesters

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Archbishop: No communion for sash-wearers

the Pioneer Press is first out of the gate with a story on the new policy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis... the Star-Trib can't be too far behind.

St. Paul Pioneer Press | 05/05/2005 | Archbishop: No communion for sash-wearers

Those wearing the Rainbow Sash will be denied Holy Communion

As the Catholic blogging world was quick to pick up on, the development that many of us speculated would happen this year in our Archdiocese has become reality -- the Archdiocese has released a statement that those wearing the Rainbow Sash or any other sash or item that is in protest of Church teaching will be denied Communion. (this would seem to apply for any attempts to wear a purple sash for women's ordination too, which is another thing the Rainbow Sash Movement have begun supporting).

This comes from the statement that the Archbishop sent to the parishes, of which I have not seen an actual copy yet. As soon as I find a copy I will link to it or give further detail.

However, Brian McNeil of the local Rainbow Sash movement has posted a letter that was addressed to him (dated May 2nd) that basically says the same thing. You can read it at his website.

This Pentecost at our Cathedral is going to be a challenge I'm sure... I would bet you anything that some of the Sashers will be defiant and wear their sash through the Mass, and the ones who take off the Sash for Communion will be immediately going to the press (who is sure to be outside...) to talk about their oppression in the Catholic Church...

I just hope the planned "counter-protestors" are satisfied with the Archbishop's statement and new policy, and stay away from the Cathedral themselves on that day - their presence as well would only be taken as a kind of "gloating" I'm afraid by the Sashers and press.

Pray for all those involved!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Mary, Queen of the Clergy, ora pro nobis

Archbishop Harry Flynn ordains Fr. James Adams, May 29th, 2004

I am inspired to ask for all of you to take a moment right now to stop and pray for the life and ministry of all those men who are going to be ordained priests "forever, according to the order of Melchezidek" this spring.

I see so much going on in the Catholic blogging world that is bitter and complaining about the state of the Church in America. Yes, things are bad, but things ARE getting better! The Holy Spirit will not be denied, slowly but surely He is making Himself known through the willing cooperation of priests and bishops across the globe -- one holy priest at a time, who will become one holy bishop at a time.

Pray with me, particularly for the 15 (!) men who will be ordained for my Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis this May 28th, that the Lord may bless them in their ministry in His Name, and give them the grace of strength and courage to be faithful to Him and to His Church no matter what the cost. Pray for these men that they may be willing to be martyrs for the faith, if not in blood, in reputation and in popularity -- Holiness is the call, and holiness is what we must pray for and strive for.

Let us pause from our worries and anger over the failings of the episcopate and clergy -- and let us return to God our Father and thank him for the blessing of these men who will give us His Body and Blood and transmit His Divine Mercy.

O Mary, Queen of the Clergy, ora pro nobis!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

eBay Bans Sale of the Eucharist!

eBay has relented in the face of massive Catholic protest, and has added the Eucharist to its list of forbidden items to sell on its auction service.

We understand that the listing of the Eucharist was highly upsetting to Catholic members of the eBay community and Catholics globally. Once this completed sale was brought to our attention, we consulted with a number of our users, including members of the Catholic Church, concerning what course we should take in the future should a similar listing appear on our site. We also consulted with members of other religions about items that might also be highly sacred and inappropriate for sale. As a result of this dialogue, we have concluded that sales of the Eucharist, and similar highly sacred items, are not appropriate on eBay. We have, therefore, broadened our policies and will remove those types of listings should they appear on the site in the future.

As always, we welcome and appreciate the assistance of the community in upholding the rules of our site. Should you see another Eucharist listed on our site, we encourage you to notify us so we can take appropriate action. Further, we encourage you to directly communicate with the seller. Members are often unaware that a particular item is offensive to others. A respectful e-mail to the seller is often all that is needed for the seller to voluntarily remove the item. We believe this modification strikes the appropriate balance between respect for our community's values and our goal of providing an open marketplace offering practically anything on earth.

Again, we sincerely appreciate your concern and thank you for communicating your views with us. Your input has helped us frame a policy that will enable us to better serve our diverse community of users around the world.

Thank you eBay!

Hat tip to Bill Cork over at ut unum sint blog

Monday, May 02, 2005

S. Athanasius, ora pro nobis!

Feast of St. Athanasius (295-373 AD) - May 2nd

"Brethren, how fine a thing it is to move from festival to festival, from prayer to prayer, from holy day to holy day. The time is now at hand when we enter on a new beginning: the proclamation of the blessed Passover, in which the Lord was sacrificed. We feed as on the food of life, we constantly refresh our souls with his precious blood, as from a fountain. Yet we are always thirsting, burning to be satisfied. But he himself is present for those who thirst and in his goodness invites them to the feast day. Our Savior repeats his words: If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

He quenched the thirst not only of those who came to him then. Whenever anyone seeks him he is freely admitted to the presence of the Savior. The grace of the feast is not restricted to one occasion. Its rays of glory never set. It is always at hand to enlighten the mind of those who desire it. Its power is always there for those whose minds have been enlightened and who meditate day and night on the holy Scriptures, like the one who is called blessed in the holy psalm: Blessed is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, or stood where sinners stand, or sat in the seat of the scornful, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

Moreover, my friends, the God who first established this feast for us allows us to celebrate it each year. He who gave up his Son to death for our salvation, from the same motive gives us this feast, which is commemorated every year. This feast guides us through the trials that meet us in this world. God now gives us the joy of salvation that shines out from this feast, as he brings us together to form one assembly, uniting us all in spirit in every place, allowing us to pray together and to offer common thanksgiving, as is our duty on the feast. Such is the wonder of his love: he gathers to this feast those who are far apart, and brings together in unity of faith those who may be physically separated from each other.

~from an Easter letter by Saint Athanasius

For more information on St. Athanasius, click here!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Happy Feast of St. Joseph the Worker!

Glorious Saint Joseph, model of all who pass their life in labor, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my own inclinations; to work with gratitude and joy, considering it an honor to use and develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever recoiling before weariness or difficulties.

Help me to work, above all, with purity of intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must render of time lost, talents wasted, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all after your example, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.


What emanates from the figure of Saint Joseph is faith...Joseph of Nazareth is a "just man" because he totally "lives by faith." He is holy because his faith is truly heroic.

Sacred Scripture says little of him. It does not record even one word spoken by Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth. And yet, even without words, he shows the depth of his faith, his greatness.

Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God.

We see how the word of the Living God penetrates deeply into the soul of that man, that just man. And we, do we know how to listen to the word of God? Do we know how to absorb it into the depths of our human personalities? Do we open our conscience in the presence of this word?

~Pope John Paul II from Daily Meditations

Another Reminder to Respect our Eastern Bretheren

Check this out. And it just happened again, as the Eastern Orthodox Church just celebrated another Easter morning yesterday.

The Miracle of the Holy Fire in Jerusalem

At first I wondered what the Catholic take on this would be, and then I realized what a stupid question that was -- of course the Church (if appropriately and prayerfully considered by the Church, as all reports of miracles are) would, objectively speaking, have no difficulty in accepting this manifestation of Christ's glory.

I am reminded of the Catholic verse (was it Aquinas?) that says, "man is bound to God through the sacraments, but God is not bound to man through the sacraments." God's grace flows where He wills, we as Catholics realize that we have no authority to "make our own rules" in our relationshp with Him -- but God, as Father and Creator, has no such limits!

I find it quite moving and beautiful to think that God has quietly graced the faithful Orthodox believers with His light of love in this way, year after year.

Does anyone know of any other information on this ongoing miracle?

Hat Tip to the hats, at least some of them :)

Fra Angelico's Annunciation