Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Take the "PC Vision Test"...

As presented by The Curt Jester.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

How to Save the World

John Mallon makes an excellent point about the Sacrament of Confession. When we sin, we hurt ourselves of course...but we also hurt the entire Body of Christ. When are sins are forgiven, the entire Body is healed in some way.

He puts it much better than I can, so enjoy his short but on-target article.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Prayer Opportunities: What are yours?

If you're like me — (and I sincerely hope you're not!) — you might find it hard to follow a prescribed prayer life.

For example: do you pray, regularly, the Liturgy of the Hours? I don't. If you do, then don't tell me because I'll have to go to confession and pray for forgiveness for my jealousy.

(Okay, if you do, then do tell me. I'll get over it.)

But you know? I've discovered — probably not I've discovered, but God showed me — a pretty nifty way to "pray without ceasing" as Saint Paul told us to do.

It has to do with everyday life.

Yes! Here's a secret that shouldn't be a secret (and probably isn't a secret to you and all, but it may be a secret to somebody you know) to praying pretty much all the time.

God gives us reminders.

I live around the corner from a funeral parlor. I live in Boston, which means I pass by cemeteries — old and not so old — every day. These are reminders for me. Every time I pass one, funeral parlor or cemetary — I'm reminded to pray for the dead. It's a no-brainer!

I pass by hospitals a lot. A zillion times, while tromping around the city, an ambulance passes me by. These are reminders to pray for the sick.

Often I see a police car, either with siren on or just passing by. Aha! A reminder to pray for at least two groups of folks: those who put their lives on the line, daily, to protect us...and those who we need protection from.

These are just a few reminders to pray. Can you think of others? Let us know!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Happy New Year!

As we enter the new liturgical Year B, I wish you a blessed Advent, and a year filled with holiness and grace.

"Rejoice, rejoice, o Israel, to thee shall come Emmanuel!"

Friday, November 25, 2005

Catholic Charties makes the simple complex

You probably already know that, not surprisingly, Archbishop Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston has declined to attend the December 9 Christmas fundraiser, to be held at the ritzy Boston Harbor Hotel, honoring pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion Mayor Thomas Menino.

Points to ponder:

From a Catholic Charities spokesman:

"But with respect to same-sex marriage and abortion rights, Catholic Charities added, ''We differ with the Mayor on both of these issues, even as we recognize his contributions to those we seek to serve each day in our city."

That's rather silly, and awkwardly put, at best. The above sounds like an difference in "opinion" when it's most emphatically not about "opinion" at all but Church teaching and the definition of "sin."

Given these "differences of opinion," Catholic Charities erred seriously in choosing to publicly honor the Mayor. Period. They can still fix the problem by either "uninviting" him or — a much better idea, in my view — calling the whole thing off and just asking the invitees for the dough.

Think about it. The peon seat at the black tie affair costs $500 per...and out of that, only $325 is tax deductible. The higher up one goes in the Catholic Charities dinner pecking order, the more dough needs to be shelled out. If you pay enough, you get the glory of your name in the program.

Why not just skip the "honors" (along with the expense of throwing a wing-ding like this) and...just ask people for the money?

Just a thought.

Another thought.

In stories about the Catholic Church, it seems to be part of the Boston Globe's style sheet to ask somebody to say something stupid...and in this instance, Boston College prof Thomas O'Connor manfully steps up to the plate to accommodate:

''It seems to be a bit of a contradiction," said Thomas O'Connor, a Boston College history professor who has written extensively on the relationship between the Catholic Church and City Hall in Boston. ''People who are pledged to the right to life are adopting a policy that will, in effect, be denying the raising of money for Catholic Charities, whose function is to prolong life."

"Adopting a policy?" O'Malley didn't "adopt a policy" against abortion, for heaven's sake! Again, if people want to buy into to Catholic Charities mission to "prolong life," they can write a check.

And the implication, repeated time and again by Catholic Charities apologists — that the "mission of the Church" is to help the poor — is really wearing thin.

The mission of the Church is to get you and me and Mayor Menino and Thomas O'Connor to Heaven.

You don't do that by putting on a strapless dress, or donning a tux, and toasting a guy who doesn't object to people killing babies and homosexuals playing house.

Source: The Boston Globe

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

It's a Catholic Crossword Puzzle After All!

Last Friday, I "confessed" that I've made crossword puzzles for publications like the New York Times. My work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Simon & Schuster Crossword Puzzle Books, Games Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and others.

But what I really enjoy is making puzzles for my parish and other friends, based on Sunday Scripture Readings.

Folks who don't belong to my parish get them via e-mail in a format called "Across Lite." The software is FREE, easy to use, and available for quick download here. You can solve the puzzle on your computer, or you can print it off and solve it with a pen or pencil.

If you'd like to receive these weekly, 15 x 15 crossword puzzles, use the "Email Kelly" link on the left and let me know!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Pro-Life Search (powered by Google)

If you use Google — and who doesn't? — please do try ProLife Search. Why? Because when you search anything on the Web using this sight, the two Catholic guys who run it donate money to pro-life groups like Priests for Life, American Life League, EWTN, Sisters of Life, and more...and it doesn't cost you a dime!

Check it out, and tell your friends!

Fellow bloggers...consider linking ProLife Search to your site. Thanks!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

"Our Lady's Friends" visit my parish

I'm not very good at crowd estimates, but I'd guess that at least 250-300 red-attired, button-boasting guests from Newton, Massachusetts' Our Lady, Help of Christians (and their friends from "Voice of the Faithful"[TM]) dropped in for Mass (and protest) at Cathedral of the Holy Cross today. Permit me to address them.

First, thank you for coming. We're a small parish, despite the size of the church building, and it's always good to see the pews more amply filled. You are cordially welcome to join us in worship anytime your buses are available to bring you into the city. Remember always that this is your Cathedral, and the Cathedral of every Catholic in the Archdiocese of Boston.

With this is mind, let me offer a few words of counsel.

Please change your name. I do hope that you are "friends of Our Lady," but I don't think that using a Mass — any Mass, but particularly one to honor her Son as King — to protest would please our Blessed Mother. You might consider a more appropriate name, like "Walter Cuenin's Friends."

Please do not bring food and beverages into the church. While we're happy to welcome you, we're not all that happy about picking up empty Dunkin' Donuts coffee containers after Mass.

Please remain standing until the deacon or master of ceremonies places the Book of Gospels on to the high altar.

Please pony up a bit as the collection basket passes your way. For those of you who contributed, thank you. But next time, you might consider more than a dollar. For those of you who thew a penny into the baskets, please know that in our parish, this is known as "rude."

Please kneel after the Agnus Dei. (That would be the prayer that translates into "Lamb of God.")

Please consider a change of costume. I love red myself, but it's the color reserved for martyrs. (There are no martyrs in your situation, regardless of how you might feel about your former pastor.)

Please consider losing the buttons. This is a house of worship, not a political convention arena. The focus is on Christ...not on you.

Please leave your signs at home. See above. If you have a disagreement with the Archbishop, the place to voice that agreement is the Chancery...a building with which you are very familiar. (And besides — duh! — the Archbishop is rarely, if ever, at the Cathedral on Sundays!)

Please do not ignore the one or two victims of abuse that remain faithful to their witness even after you folks abandoned them. This makes you look very, very bad. I noticed only one red-shirted lady — bless her — who took a moment to shake their hands. (Correct me if I'm wrong...aren't you the folks who's Numero Uno raison d'etre is to "support victims of abuse?)

Thank you for attention. Again, on behalf of my fellow parishioners, thank you for joining us...and don't be strangers!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Confiteor Meme

Domenico, Domenico! The man hath taggeth me with a meme entitled:

::::::::: drum roll ::::::::::::

"I Confess"

I suspect it's a conspiracy to find out why I don't have anything on my blog entitled "What I'm Reading Now," so okay, BettNet Boy, here ya go:

I confess that What I'm Reading Now is an autobiography of Esther Williams, the old time swimming movie star. And that I'm hooked on Agatha Christie mysteries. And Sue Grafton novels.

I confess that I'm a strong adherent of "meatless Fridays." I confess that I took up this cause when I discovered lobster.

I confess that I laughed my tush off when, on April 19, 2005 (my birthday!), I beheld the tragic-looking faces of some of my friends when Cardinal Ratzinger got the Big Job.

I confess that, often, when I'm skimming through Amy's "Open Book" blog, I scroll down to the last few comments...who on earth can read every single one???

I confess that when I open a newspaper, my first stop is the comics section. Generally, it's also my last stop. (Unless you count the editorial page of The Boston Globe...which I consider to be an extension of the comics section.)

I confess that I make crossword puzzles for the New York Times and other lib pubs. (I also confess that I am unable to solve any crossword puzzle without cheating. And that I actually subscribe to a mailing list called "Cruciverb-L" which is primarily for nerdy people like me who make crossword puzzles.)

I confess that, when giving tours of my parish church (which is a Cathedral) I sometimes make eerie sounding noises when we get to the crypt.

I confess to thoroughly enjoying "The Simpsons."

I confess to — often! — starting the sing the Agnus Dei at daily Mass, solely in order to avoid having my hand pumped during the "Kiss of Peace."

(Okay, one time I happened to be sitting next to a good looking guy and forgot all about starting the Agnus Dei. I confess.)

I confess that often, while taking my morning shower, I break into a Dolly Parton rendition of "Nine to Five." (I also confess that I will never give Dolly Parton any sleepless nights.)

I confess that my work often requires me to convince people to buy stuff they really don't need. (I'm in advertising.)

Finally, I confess that I have no idea how to create a comment box hyper link on Dom's blog or anybody else's and that I am consumed with jealousy for those with the ability to do so!

Having confessed, I happily tag Melanie Bettinelli and Jeff Miller. Enjoy!

Maccabees...a great read!

Disclaimer: I am most emphatically not a scripture scholar.

That said...I don't get why the Books Macabees are considered apocryphal by Protestants Or, I guess, at least I understand it to a certain extent....these books are not included in the Hebrew Scriptures.

I wonder why?

We've been hearing from these books at daily Mass now for a number of days. The writings underscore the zealous love of God's law displayed by many of His Chosen, in the face of incredibly brutal persecution.

What inspires me the most is how these martyrs faced gruesome death with courage and confidence. At age 90, Eleazar preferred a horrible death to leading astray the young men of his community. The account of martyrdom of the woman and her sons — while, I grant you, not exactly easy reading — is a superb testimony of faith.

As we continue to step up the prayers for the souls in Purgatory this month, it is good to reflect on the actions of Judas Maccabee, when he ordered prayers and sacrifices in Jerusalem for soldiers who had died in battle. The soldiers had been found wearing "good luck charms" which, of course, went smack against the First Commandment.

"He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.
"But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.

"Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin."
Today's reading describes the purification of the Temple, which had been defiled by the Gentiles.

"Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev."

That 8-day festival is called Hannukkah.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Boston Protestants aren't stupid, guys!

Catholic Senator Marian Walsh and Catholic Secretary of State William Gavin are no doubt a tad miffed at their separated brethren.

Protestant church representatives were able to table a bill requiring all religious organizations to disclose financial matters to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
(See this post, if you want, for background.)

The point of this bill, of course, was to punish the Catholic Church in Boston. Protestant leaders aren't having any of this, and rightly so. So they fought back, and least temporarily. Good for them!

Source: The Boston Globe

Seems like everyody's doing it...

Source: Mother Goose & Grimm Comics Page (c) Grimmy, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

McBrien bestows imprimatur on Benedict XVI papacy

Well, we can all relax.

Father "where's my collar" Richard McBrien tells us the Holy Father is okay in his book.

The Notre Dame prof, who is trying ever so hard to help director Ron Howard (Sheriff Taylor? Would you come wup that son of your'n!) make cinematic sense out of Dan Brown's silly Da Vinci Code, offered his unique assessment of the Holy Father's pontificate to date:

“I have observed little or nothing from my vantage point that would trouble me or other reform-minded Catholics,” McBrien said.

Evidently, he managed to squeeze in a bit of apostasy while grading the papal report card:

McBrien said that there was historical evidence to suggest women were ordained in the very early centuries of Christianity. He also pointed out that there is no express law that prohibits women from receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders.

Source: Herald-Argus News

(Hat tip to Mare Streetpeople)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Show Michael Newdow the (godless) money!

The phrase "In God We Trust" is apparently anathema to Sacramento attorney Michael Newdow, who plans to ask a federal court to remove the phrase from U.S. coin and currency.

You might think that Attorney Newdow is a non-believer. Au contraire!

In fact, Michael Newdrow is a churchman. Yes indeed!

Attorney Newdrow founded the "First Amendment Church of True Science" according to the Associated Press. His church's creed -- 'scuse me, "suggestions" are:

1.) Question
2.) Be honest
3.) Do what's right

Now, every dictionary I've consulted indicates that the word "church" has to do with "worship." The word "worship" indicates that reverence due to a "deity." The word "deity" means — unabiguously — a god or goddess.

So what's Newdrow's beef? He says that the phrase "In God We Trust" violates the religious rights of those who belong to his "church." Indeed, claims Newdrow, it wouldn't be right to take up a collection when the money says "In God We Trust."

I question this, Michael. If you're in a church, you worship, and if you worship, the worship is aimed a deity, and a deity is either a god or goddess.

I ask you to be honest, Michael. You don't have any more of a relationship to a "church" than I have to the Queen of England.

Do what's right, Michael. Cut the crap and admit that you don't want the word "God" anywhere near you or anybody else in the world because you abhor the notion that anybody is the slightest bit greater than you. (I have no way of knowing this for certain,'s just a "suggestion.")

Incidentally...if you really have founded a "church" then I strongly suggest that you avoid the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, if you value your privacy and that very currency whose wording you'd like to eliminate.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Gee, Ted...what should we do? (Bishops in DC this week)

Okay, it's from the Washington Post...but still.

One of the issues, evidently, the U.S. Shepherds will address this week in DC is:

The question of whether to limit access to Communion or take other actions in 2006 against Catholic politicians who oppose church teaching on abortion or gay marriage.

Fine. That's a good thing to address. But...uh...

A bishops' task force led by Washington's Cardinal Theodore McCarrick plans to seek advice on this at meetings with Catholic Democrats and Republicans who were recommended by their local bishops, but the bishops' headquarters declined to provide further details.

Let's get this straight. They're seeking advice from Catholic politicians on what to do about...Catholic politicians?

Source: The Washington Post

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans Day: Ministering to those who died in battle

"Those who fall in battle deserve to be gratefully remembered. Innocent
citizens who were killed are to be counted among the heroes who faced the
enemy without weapons. In life they were ready to carry on with quiet bravery,
doing the ordinary things necessary for life...

"Now some are buried under the pile of rubble of shattered cities; the
remains of others are scattered about deserted prison camps. Many of them died
in the state of grace, it is true, but suddenly and without benefit of the
Last Sacraments, and with a debt upon their souls.

"We could not minister to them and ease their pain while they were dying,
but through our prayers we can help now, and obtain for them a speedier
release from their sufferings in Purgatory."

Pope Pius XII

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Massachusetts "Catholic" gets her way in the senate...

(Protestant minister nails the tactics)

Churches and other religious organizations would be required to disclose their finances like other nonprofit groups under a bill overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate on Wednesday.

"We have a law that enables that darkness," said state Sen. Marian Walsh, D-Boston, chief sponsor of the bill, which was approved 33-4 in the Senate. "Moral transparency and financial transparency are inextricably linked."

The Rev. Dr. Diane C. Kessler, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, criticized the Senate for rushing the bill to the floor for a vote on the same day that they debated a complex overhaul of the state's health care system.

"It is ironic that those advocating transparency would resort to these tactics which are far from transparent," Kessler said in a statement.

Source: Boston Globe

(emphasis: mine)

Canadian Kill Bill Update: It's "alive" and well

Father Dowd lets us know that Bill C-407 didn't die in Commons.

Secret Agent Man presents offers a challenge.

(Warning to Canadian readers: the latter isn't for the thin-skinned.)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Remembering the souls in Purgatory

From today's First Reading (Wisdom 3:3-7)

They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction, and their going from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of Himself. As gold in the furnace, He proved them, and as sacrificial offerings He took them to Himself.
Try to cultivate the habit of offering up the pains you endure — minor and major — for those being "proved, as gold in the furnace."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

In England, Gene Robinson bashes Vatican

The Bishop of New Hampshire said the Vatican's ban on ordaining gay men was "vile", in a speach in London.

Noting that "so many Roman Catholics" are evidently joining Robinson's demonination (huh?), he said:

"Pope Ratzinger may be be the best thing that ever happened to the Episcopal Church."

I find it interesting that Robinson chose to make his remarks on Guy Fawkes Day.

Source: BBC News/Gay bishop attacks Catholic stand

Friday, November 04, 2005

Fired Loretto (pro-abortion) teacher files complaints

From today's Sacramento Bee (registration required, but it's free):

A former Loretto High School drama teacher alleged Thursday that her firing last month for having volunteered at a Planned Parenthood clinic was a case of sexual and religious discrimination and violated her free-speech rights.

Bishop's actions likened to "Taliban-style"

"Unfortunately, the action of the bishop, cowering to noisy fundamentalists, threatens to turn Loretto into a Taliban-style institution of thought control and repression."

Bishop Weigand of Sacramento ordered a Catholic school drama teacher fired after learning she was a Planned Parenthood "escort."

Oddly enough, the media isn't saying anything about the pro-life Loretto High School student's recent status as an expelled Loretto High School student.

"A Modern Seminarian's Dictionary"

Dom dug up this classic Fidelity spoof from 1987. It's hard to believe the piece is that old!

Catholic Leaders Form Committee to Decide If It's Okay to Sin

The Catholic Church teaches that the adoption of children by actively homosexual couples is "gravely immoral."

So what do the Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts do when confronted by the fact that Catholic Charities of Boston has facilitated these gravely immoral acts?

They form a committee to "review" the whole thing.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Please pray this for the souls in Purgatory

Thank you!

November, of course, if the month we pray for the Church Suffering. But it needn't end in November!

I've got some tips to remind you and me to remember those folks who are waiting to be purified enough to enter the Kingdom.

Meantime, let's pray this.

Thanks again!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pro-life student expelled from Catholic school

As Jane pointed out in the comment box below, pro-life blogger and high school student Katelyn Sills has been expelled from Loretto High School in Sacramento.

Her mother blew the whistle on a teacher who is evidently a Planned Parenthood proponent, causing diocese Bishop William Weigand to direct the school to terminate the teacher's employment.

Lots of interesting comments at Katelyn's blog, "Stand Up and Speak Out."