Monday, October 31, 2005
Yeah, sure, we don't know that all of our deceased friends and family members have entered the Kingdom. But what we do know is that those who have are our relatives...our siblings!
We're all of us children of God our Father. Ergo (I love using words like "ergo") the saints in Heaven are our brothers and sisters. It's sorta like a family reunion!
And, during this month of November, there's no need to fear about those we're not sure have been purified enough to enter Heaven. Heaven's no! This month, especially, has been set aside by Holy Mother Church to pray especially for the holy souls in Purgatory a favorite intention of mine, and I hope yours.
So, enjoy November our family month. Thank the saints...
...excuse me, a parenthetical comment is coming up here...
(and by the way, when I say "saints," I know that you know that I don't mean I'm talking just about those who have been canonized by the Church...I'm talking about all of God's children who have, since time was created by our God, have entered into everlasting glory...canonized or not)
...for showing us the way, and for interceding for us.
Ask them, too, to pray for those who are waiting to be purified enough to behold the Beatific Vision! In other words, devote this month in praying for those souls in Purgatory. And as long as we're at it, ask the saints to pray for us! I don't think I'm being selfish or greedy here, do you?
After all...when the saints go marching in, don't we want to be in their number?
Sunday, October 30, 2005
For some reason, this proposed law isn't getting much publicity.
Details — and, action items for Canadians — can be found at Father Dowd's blog.
He's spending the semester at Harvard Divinity, where he hopes to get sociologists to study the "fallout" of the 58 priests who signed a letter calling for Cardinal Law's resignation. (He's one of them, natch.)
He's also studying gender and moral theology.
Source: Eileen McNamara, Boston Globe columnist
Saturday, October 29, 2005
"I am directing you, under the provisions of Code of Canon Law ... to dismiss Ms. Bain with all deliberate speed." The letter also states that the termination should be handled with "dignity, sensitivity and appropriate decorum."
What is business as usual...
The media is blaming the mom who blew the whistle on the teacher. She has "a history of complaints."
I could only find one other incidence of this woman's "history" of complaints. Seems the woman dared to gripe about a brochure listing Planned Parenthood as "go-to" agency for domestic violence concerns. Indeed.
An interesting thing:
Her daughter's a blogger.
If nothing else, you've gotta see how Halo Scan can handle multi-hundreds of comments!
I wouldn't bother reading them all unless you've got a few days with nothing to do staring you in the face.
But I do wish you'd stop by 15-year-old Katelyn Sills' blog: Stand Up and Speak Out, and at least scan the last three or so posts. And check out at least some of the comments this kid -- no, not kid, -- sensible young woman -- has had to put up with.
God bless you, Katelyn.
Friday, October 28, 2005
"What inspired the title of my blog?"
It's embarrassingly simple, actually. My greatest joy is being in the pew of a Catholic church. That's how I participate. As my website fine print reads, I'm your basic nobody. No parish pastoral councils for me, thanks. No Leadership Positions. The only organization I care to belong to is the Roman Catholic Church.
('Course, the fact that I'm also a tad lazy might play a small part in all this.)
Speaking o' names...I'm wondering how the Summa Mamas came up with theirs?
Speaking of confusing...is this Jude the same one who wrote this short letter? It's one of my favorite parts of the Bible.
Saints Jude and Simon, pray for us.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Are you like me? Do you tend to commit the same sins repeatedly, despite a "firm resolve to sin no more" after confessing them?
Probably not. But just in case you happen to know somebody like me, you might want to point him or her to John Mallon's latest Catholic Online's "Reality Check" column: Confessing the Same Old "Sticky" Sins.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
I can't answer this lady's questions. A "loose coordination" of anti-Catholic mainstream media articles? Maybe. But I'm thinking that Catholicism is, as has been said many times, the last acceptable bigotry target, and maybe that's all there is to it. Maybe not.
Maybe, as the editorial headline writer put it, without thinking, that there is an "unholy purge"...against the Church, that is, not against "chaste gays."
Which gets me to my only point. The column, as the reader indicates, is filled with holes. The biggest one being the term "chaste gays." That's like saying "dark light," or "male woman," or "cool heat." Or "square triangle." You get what I mean. There's no such thing.
The opening graph is sort of a giveaway, I think:
Picture a journeyman priest called Father Cronin who has served the church faithfully and well for decades. He is gay - a matter he shares only with God - and has heard that the Vatican intends to stop homosexuals at the seminary door and root out gays who had made it inside. He wonders, "Will they come for me next?"
"A matter he shares only with God?" Doesn't look like it, does it?
If you can offer anything to help the reader -- and me, too -- fire away. Thanks.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
"Even Catholic Charities Knows the Vatican is Wrong"
This broke my heart:
This is "charity?"
In a typical display of missing the point, Prominent Catholic[TM] and Catholic Charities board chairman Peter Meade weighs in:
''What we do is facilitate adoptions to loving couples," he said. ''I see no evidence that any child is being harmed."
I see no evidence why Peter Meade shouldn't be relieved of his duties immediately.
Source: The Boston Globe
Friday, October 21, 2005
If so, that sucks. And is also not all that cool, unbiasedly speaking.
'Fess up, Matt.
'Course he could very well be two different people...uh-huh.
Dom points out that the Globe reporter didn't write the article for the homosexual group...the group apparently just reprinted the article on its site without attributing credit to the Globe.
My apologies to Matt Visor.
Harriet Miers was never a Catholic.
Sorry to get you all worked up and hot 'n bothered over this late breaking report. ;-)
Source: Catholic News Service
Thursday, October 20, 2005
You know why they're mad?
Because certain parishioners were led to believe that they would be the ones to choose Father Cuenin's successor. From the minutes of an OLHC "Voice of the Faithful(sic)" meeting in July, 2002:
“We cannot force the hierarchical structure of the church to change if we cannot coordinate meaningful change within our parishes. That is one of the reasons that OLV [i.e., the parish VOTF chapter] has focused on such issues as the role of the faithful in pastoral selection.”
“Working from existing structures, we can create new processes and structures that will empower us to have some say in who ministers to our community, and some recourse if our views are dismissed. We must begin to implement the pastoral selection process now at Our Lady's, because the process we laid out in the paper will take all the time available until Fr. Cuenin moves on.”[my emphasis]Over three years ago, the parish activists were anticipating the "moving on" of their pastor and anticipating the power to choose his successor. They got the rug pulled out from under them.
That's why they're so ticked off.
For the Kessler quote and other bilge, check out today's Boston Globe.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
She's almost 60 years old, works, lives alone, enjoys her friends, and in fact, enjoys life.
You don't see too many Downs syndrome children these days. Prenatal testing and a society that demands what it defines as "perfection" are killing them off before they're born.
Which is society's loss. Pity it doesn't realize it.
Washington Post columnist Patricia Bauer's daughter Margaret is a Downs syndrome child. With admirable restraint, Bauer describes what it's like to be regarded by society as lacking in sense....and to see her beloved daughter viewed as a "tragic mistake."
She unerringly nails the hypocrisy of these folks when she writes:
I have to think that there are many pro-choicers who, while paying obeisance to the rights of people with disabilities, want at the same time to preserve their right to ensure that no one with disabilities will be born into their own families.
Read the whole column here.
Monday, October 17, 2005
I do though...Saint Luke's.
Probably because he wrote, or rather the Holy Spirit wrote through him, so much about Our Lady. It is via Luke's Gospel that we receive Mary's Magnificat, for example.
We know that Luke was a doctor, and a sailor (great shipwreck account in Acts 27!). But legend has it that he was also a painter of portraits. In fact, a painting of the Blessed Mother at Saint Mary Major in Rome is attributed to him.
Saint Luke, pray for us!
Another fun-but-edgy piece by Jeff Miller.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
There's no problem with the Tridentine Mass, I gather...it's a non-issue, actually. Cardinal Arinze:
"If there are groups that desire the Tridentine Mass, this is already provided for," he said. "Bishops may allow it for groups."
It just hasn't been a priority at the Synond of Bishops on the Eucharist. And aptly so!
"It is not a priority for the synod, as no one has spoken about it," the cardinal concluded. "The problem we have discussed is that many people don't go to Mass, and those that come don't understand -- they go to Communion but not to confession, as if they were immaculate."
Source: ZENIT (10-13-05)
Friday, October 14, 2005
This, uh, lady evidently spoke at the U.S. Bishop's Dallas Show in 2002, and is now in a snit. Her villain? Archbishop Sean Patrick O'Malley. Why? Well, let her tell us. (Thanks to Dom...I shamelessly reprint the whole letter here.)
Question: where do the USCCB get their speakers??? By the way, I wrote about the conference 'way back when here.
Dear Pastors of Boston,
Please read this letter to Bishop O’Malley. I hope you will reflect on it and decide to support Walter Cuenin and others like him. Look at how many of you there are. If you stood together for one another, no bishop could abrogate power the way O’Malley is doing in Boston.
Blessings on you,
Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea, Ph.D.
MARY GAIL FRAWLEY-O’DEA, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist & Psychoanalyst
Speaker, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Dallas 2002
Speaker, Annual Assembly, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, 2002
2617 Cadagon Court
Charlotte, NC 28270
October 1, 2005
Dear Archbishop O’Malley:
It is the eve of Walter Cuenin’s reception and the march that will take place on his behalf.
I met you at the Annual Assembly of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men in Philadelphia in August 2002 where I spoke about the long-term consequences for victims of sexual abuse by priests. Interestingly that day, despite your acclaimed affinity for Franciscan garb, you were sporting clericals, complete with pectoral cross. Travel clothing perhaps.
In the three years since my speech to the bishops in Dallas and to the provincials in Philly, I have immersed myself in research and discourse about the multiple underpinnings of the Church’s sexual abuse scandal. My conclusions will be available in my forthcoming book, “Perversion of Power and Sexual Scandal in the Catholic Church.”
As the book title suggests, sir,—and as many others have opined - it has become clear that the responsibility for the sexual abuse of tens of thousands of minors, as well as the succeeding scandal, rests squarely with those least willing to shoulder it. To wit, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, from the Seat of Peter to chanceries throughout the world, have labored long and hard to structure a Church dedicated too much - much too much - to the preservation of their own power. It is the power born of homosocial monarchy and it is frightening. As your recent actions make clear yet again, great woe befalls sexual abuse victims/survivors, laypersons, and especially priests who, in order to follow Gospel teachings, poke at the hierarchy’s assumed power and authority.
With great hope, the Archdiocese of Boston - my childhood Church home - welcomed you. While quickly settling the pending sexual abuse lawsuits - at what turns out to have been bargain basement per victim prices - you have brought enormous pain to this old and richly traditioned Christian community. You, sir, have evidenced yourself as a Pharisee cloaked and secreted in monk’s clothing. The Pharisees, you may recall, were primarily concerned with their authority and they twisted the greatness of the Torah to suit their own lusts for power. You too, sir, have embarked on a spree of serial spiritual soul murders, wiping from your path those men and women who, truly following the Nazarene, challenged their leaders’ twisting of the Gospel. Your misogynistic refusal to wash the feet of women insulted the dignity of we the children of Eve, Sophia, Mary, and the Magdalene. Your closing of vibrant parishes without consulting the People of God involved in them bears scant resemblance to the Galilean’s devotion to and inclusion of the masses. Most egregiously anti-Christ in nature, and glaringly reminiscent of the Pharisees, however, is your exiling of priestly “friends of God and prophets (Elizabeth Johnson, theologian at Fordham, “She Who Is and Truly Our Sister.")” Is there such a log in your eye that you truly do not apprehend the meaning of your rejection of the contemporary true and courageous “other Christs” who have lifted their voices to teach you - to help you refind your way? Do you not remember that Jesus, knowing that his disciples would disavow him at his most horrific hour, loved them still and returned to them, retaining them in ministry as beloved disciples?
In Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” we meet Smeagol/Gollum, once a sprightly creature engaged with life. Upon finding the ring of Sauron, however, his soul became twisted and his capacity to love and be loved was lost as he became more and more enthralled by the dark draw of the ring, with its seductive promise of great power. Once, I am sure, you and your episcopal colleagues were boys who played in the sun, loved, and were loved. Your “Smeagol” humanity still can be detected in ministerial efforts that are safe and unthreatening to your authority. When challenged by Gospel voices unadorned by papal or episcopal garb, however, you become “Gollums,” obsessed with the power dangled by red hats, croziers, pectoral crosses, and newly forged, golden versions of the ring.
Almost surely, if Jesus returned today to St. Peter’s Square (or Holy Cross Cathedral), he would do so as a tattooed, multiply pierced individual wearing jeans and an old camouflage jacket. He (or she) would dine with gays and lesbians, bless the children born in test tubes, and gather unto him the sea of sexual abuse victims. He would, as he did, spend his time lifting the marginalized and powerless of today’s world while taking down the arrogant who teach with forked tongues. He (or she) would remind the modern day Pharisees - you and too, too many of your episcopal brethren - that people are more important than rules or accoutrements of power. As before, almost surely, the Swiss Guards would call the Romans to remove the disruptive truth teller from the temple. Sound familiar?
Last week at Villanova, a woman took to the microphone and told Justin Cardinal Rigali that he is a phony. Harsh truths sometimes require harsh words. You, sir, in my opinion, also are a facade of the Christ follower.
May you receive greater mercy than you have shown to others during your assaultive march through the vineyards of Massachusetts.
Very truly yours,
Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea, Ph.D.
It dawned on me that I hadn't prayed the "Act of Faith" I was taught as a child for quite some time...and that I should pray it more often. One wonderful thing about the Church is Her generosity with prayers. Of course, it's terrific to pray with one's own words, but when this becomes difficult, the Church provides. I've found there are several versions of the "Act of Faith," but here's the one I remember. Please, if you'd like, pray with me:
Oh my God, I firmly believe, that You are one God in Three Divine Perons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I believe that Your Divine Son became Man, died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because You have revealed them, You who can neither deceive nor be deceived.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Oh my Jesus! Forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell. Bring all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Your Mercy.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
I was very upset with the reading of the archbishop’s letter concerning the anti-gay [sic] marriage proposal during Masses last weekend, and, as a lector at St. Albert the Great Parish, would have refused to read it from the altar.
Odd...I wouldn't have expected any lay person to read anything "from the altar." The lady might've meant "lectern" or "ambo." Still, would a lay lector be asked to read a letter from the Archbishop? Doubtful.
For all of this they were rewarded by the Archdiocese...the parish was allowed to remain open. The parishioners' response was to stamp its collective feet because they wanted their old pastor back.
Unless Ms. Anne-Marie-the-Lector-McCarthy is the exception, the parish, evidently, is still stamping its collective feet.
Somebody — like maybe the pastor, Rev. Laurence J. Borges — outta sit the irate lady down and explain the facts of life to her. Assuming, of course, she's finished taking her grand dame kudos for her "brave stance."
Source: The Patriot Ledger, Copyright 2005, October 11, 2005
Sunday, October 09, 2005
An album of her greatest hits is called "The Immaculate Collection."
Which she dedicated to "the Pope, my divine inspiration." The reference is not to the Holy Father, but to her interior designer brother Christopher, nicknamed "Pope."
But that's not what's causing the furor. See, her latest album includes a song dedicated to a 16th century Jewish mystic (Madonna converted to that branch of Judaism a few years ago) which some rabbis are calling a sacrilege.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Let's just say, for a moment, that Father Walter Cuenin's exodus was prompted by:
Those Mean Spirited People Who Resented Walter's Disagreement of Church Teaching Like, For Example, Her treatment of The Poor, The Disenfranchised, The Poor Gay People, Et Cetera, Et Cetera, Et Cetera.
Fine. Then what do we make of this op-ed piece by Father Joseph O'Donnell which speaks of "Corbona"?
What is "Corbona?"
As far as I can tell, it comes from the Hebrew word "corbon." In the Hebrew, it means "a sacrifice to God."
Father O'Donnell explains the term further regarding the Archdiocese of Boston:
During the late 1970s I held the elected position of president of the Archdiocesan Priests Senate, an advisory body to Archbishops Cushing and Medeiros. At that time the issue of a salary and stipend adjustment was proposed. It had been the custom in every parish that the stipends and fees for weddings, funerals, baptisms, and Masses were placed in a common pot known as the ''corbona." At the end of the month the pot was divided among the priests of the parish. [my emphasis]
It was obvious that if one were assigned to a bustling parish, the monthly share, added to a basic salary, was much larger than if one were stationed in the inner city or a smaller suburban parish. It became a matter of equity and justice among a number of priests across the archdiocese. [again, my emphasis...it's my blog
In other words, although they might not have realized it, the "inclusive, we love the poor" parish known as Our Lady Help of Christians were basically screwing priests in poorer parishes. Am I the only one who sees this irony?
And am I the only one who wonders how in the word Father Walter Cuenin -- a well known champion of The Poor -- missed this...uh..."technicality?"
Here's the article. Please. Tell me I'm all wet. I'd love to believe it!
'Cuz the Red Sox? They are out.
One of the tactics:
What right does the priest have to judge you? (And how did he know you were committing adultery? He seemed to look right at you when he was giving his adultery homily. It must have been that blabbermouth Gladys.) You don't want to hear about sin, you want to feel good about church and your "friend" Jesus. This talk about abortion and stem cell research just puts a damper on the celebration. The mass is a celebration, isn't it?
Today we celebrate "Our Lady of the Rosary"...a feast given to us by Pope Saint Pius V 'way back in 1573. For centuries, the entire Rosary consisted of 150 recitations of the Ave Maria ("Hail, Mary"), in a series of 15 "decades." These decades were divided in 3 sets of "mysteries:"
The Joyful Mysteries, which reflect on the joyous occasions in Mary's life, and give us a glimpse into the otherwise "hidden life" of the Child Jesus;
The Sorrowful Mysteries, which allow us to meditate of the redemptive Passion of Our Lord and Savior;
The Glorious Mysteries, which are reflections on the events following the Victory of the Cross — from the Resurrection to the Coronation of Mary, as Queen of Heaven and all of God's creation.
In 2002, His Holiness John Paul II gave us 5 additional decades to the Rosary:
The Luminous Mysteries (or "The Mysteries of Light"). These allow us to more fully reflect on the public life of Jesus...from His baptism by John in the Jordan, to His institution of the Blessed Sacrament — His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, under the appearances of bread and wine.
There are many good websites devoted to the Rosary. Here is one I hope you enjoy.
"Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us."
Thursday, October 06, 2005
So, when the Archdiocese of Boston sinks about $24 million to create affordable housing, and to otherwise revitalize this neighborhood, what do reporters want to know?
At the dedication, O'Malley was peppered with questions about whether the forced ouster of the Rev. Walter Cuenin from Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton was related to the priest's outspoken views. The archdiocese said last week that Cuenin was asked to step down because of financial improprieties.
Poor people? Screw 'em. We want to know about Walter.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Folks? If we take away the Eucharist, we might as well join our ol' buddy Lucifer in Hell.
Pray for these people:
We Are Church argued that the dogma of the transubstantiation-- the teaching that the bread and wine at Mass are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ-- is unacceptable to Protestants, and thus impedes ecumenical unity. The group decried traditional forms of Catholic piety, such as Eucharistic adoration and processions, as tending to make an "idol" of the Blessed Sacrament.
The group also denounced the exclusion of women from the Catholic priesthood, the bar on Communion for those who are divorced and remarried, and "monopoly" claimed by priests as sacramental ministers.
By the way...when you hear "Voice of the Faithful(sic)" think "We Are Church."
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The hard copy edition was, understandably (?) too busy covering the Protest. Against the Resignation of Father Cuenin. A protest of which he was against.
If you're a "Francis Fan" -- or just want to know more about this great saint -- this site is very cool.
Lord, make me a channel of Thy peace.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Some enterprising folks called "Know Thy Neighbor" have created a wonderful opportunity to easily go public in your recognition of the difference between right and wrong.
All you have to do is sign a petition, asking for the right to VOTE on defining "Marriage" in Massachusetts.* That's it! "Know Thy Neighbor" will take it from there!
When you sign the petition, guess what? The good folk at "Know Thy Neighbor" will obligingly publish your name and address on its website! FREE!
How's that for service?
But wait...there's more!
Would you like to know who, in your very own town, has or has not signed the petition? No need to wander over to the attorney general's office and paw through documents...no need to even visit the AG's website and download endless files. No, indeed! Thanks to our neighborly "Know Thy Neighbor" friends, you can be notified by email when any of your neighbors signs the petition!
What can be easier? And remember...this service is FREE OF CHARGE!
So don't delay!
Visit the "Know Thy Neighbor" website today! Or write: email@example.com.
"Know Thy Neighbor." Identifying witnesses to the truth...one signature at a time.
The Fine Print
*Available only (at this point) to citizens of Massachusetts...sorry, you other 49! And yes, it's understood that the dictionary and history have already defined "marriage," but you see, this is Massachusetts, and we have some non-elected judges who sorta want to rewrite the dictionary, to say nothing of history, and so there you are.
In the first reading, old Jonah tries to run away from God. He didn't want the folks in Nineveh warned of their imminent destruction...he didn't like them. They weren't "his neighbors."
In the Gospel, the smarty pants lawyer couldn't bring himself to even utter the word "Samaritan" when asked by Jesus, after the "Good Samaritan" parable, to identify the true neighbor. He didn't like Samaritans. He hated Samaritans. They weren't "his neighbors."
Jesus probably learned a version of this prayer at His mother's knee: "I will love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength. And I will love my neighbor as myself."
I try to pray the same prayer daily. But who is my neighbor?
My family? Friends? People who agree with me? People who like me?
What about those who would do me harm? Who dislike me? (Yes, hard as it is to believe, there are some...)
Yesterday, after Mass, I stepped out of the church to find a few people with signs. Angry people. People who accused me and others of "spewing hate" because of our peculiar notion that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.
Later, I walked with thousands of others on the Boston Common in support of the unborn. Predictably, we all had to pass through the "gauntlet" — people screaming the usual epithets ("keep your Rosaries off our ovaries," et al).
This afternoon, a bus driver got mad at me because I dropped my fare in the wrong slot, and later to top off my day, a telemarketer called me.
Here's the thing.
Every person I described in this post is a person I am bound to love. It's that simple, albeit it's not that easy. (Especially in the case of the telemarketer!)
Who is my neighbor?
The answer is: who isn't?
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Domenico Bettinelli is no cursory reader. In quite a remarkable piece, he not only exposes the untruths this representative of the Fourth Estate espouses...he disarms the representative completely.
What we have is the Boston Globe trying to make something out of nothing. Look at this criticism. They say that priests are being subject to an “unprecedented level of scrutiny.” And that is? “The archdiocese has recently begun conducting more regular and, in some cases, unscheduled financial audits of parishes.” You’re kidding! How dare the archdiocese, which has itself been beset by financial scandals, resolve to clean up its act and make that money donated to the Church is used properly. Horrors! The fiends!
Read, if you get the chance, both the Globe story (and when I say "story" I mean it in the second dictionary definition of the term) and Dom's critique.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
A Catholic priest in one of the poorest parishes in the region has succeeded in raising $900,000 through the sale of edgy T-shirts and one-on-one fund-raising as his parish endeavors to construct and operate a 365-day-a-year meal center to feed the hungry in Lawrence.I'll link to the story in a sec, but just to clarify...the "edgy" T-shirts aren't what you might think. Father O'Brien and his parishioners sold T-shirts packaged in bottles with words like "hunger" and "addiction" on them to underscore the price of poverty.
Here ya go: