Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hey, look at me...I'm a GEEK!

Since I started blogging last summer, I've enjoyed just about everything about it except one thing:

Every time, it seemed to me, that a discussion had gotten interesting, or if I suddenly wanted to comment on something I'd posted (okay, I admit it...I talk to myself at times) I'd rush over to the article only to find that -- poof -- it'd disappeared off the page!

'Course, I knew that I could dig through the archives and find the darn thing but to what avail? If I thought plowing through archives was a colossal bore, how could I expect you to want to do it?

Tapping my foot impatiently, I'd look at other blogger's sites. How come, for example, the Summa Mamas' thoughts could be seen for days on end? How come I could scroll down on Jeff Miller's site and come across things he'd posted more than a week ago? And sheesh, look at Dom...his blog is visible for days -- weeks, even!

Finally, before my tapping foot got too itchy to aim itself into my computer screen, I decided to do something drastic.

I read the blog's directions.

What a revelation! I found out that one could actually adjust the number of posts visible on one page! And so I did -- d'ye notice anything different about this site? (Please say "yes!")

So there you have it. Amazing, isn't it, what happens when you admit you need help?

The Lady in the Pew. Better blogging through...uh...tutorials.

Father Cuenin's Brandeis University appointment

Father Walter Cuenin's appointment to Brandeis as a chaplain should be, in my opinion, a cause for concern and prayer.

Back in September, I blogged on this article written by Father Cuenin, counseling Catholic parents who don't want to raise their children as Catholics.

"For interfaith couples who have chosen to raise their children within Judaism, problems with regard to not baptizing their children arise because traditions do not die easily. It would not be uncommon, for example, to have a relative, perhaps a grandmother or grandfather, who might be very upset that the baby is not baptized."

As I suggested last fall and insist on now, it could very well be that Grandma and Grandpa want their grandchildren to be...Catholic. It could be that the old geezers are on to something when they consider Catholicism to be the true faith.

I understand that Father Cuenin's intent in writing the article was to reassure parents that unbaptized babies don't necessarily go to Hell. But that's simply not the point. Catholic parents whose kids are students at Brandeis, which is a Jewish school, might understandably be concerned. Not because the school is Jewish! No, but because its newest Catholic chaplain evidently doesn't regard the failure to raise children of inter-religious marriages in Catholicism much of a big deal. In fact, he gives a blueprint on how to deal with those pesky relatives who dare to suggest that it is, in fact, a very big deal.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Terri Schiavo II: (It's the KILLING, stupid)

Reason magazine writer, blogger, and Boston Globe columnist purports to be outraged at the lack of "national outrage" over 11-year-old Haleigh Poutre -- the girl condemned to death by the Department of Social Services, ably backed up by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Displaying the symptoms of the "reason-challenged," Young states in today's Globe that the blame for the lack of outrage "rests with the right-to-life advocates who made Schiavo their cause celebre."

The column is a recycled version of Young's January 24 blog posting.

"After all the lies and all the hysteria from the "save Terri" brigade, any cause seen as Schiavo redux is going to be seen with a certain degree of cynicism. As far as I'm concerned, those responsible for that macabre circus have squandered all moral authority on this issue. The best thing they can do for Haleigh is keep quiet and leave this case to those who have some credibility."

And that would be who, exactly, Cathy? The court that condemned the child to death? The DSS that ignored the child's abuse time and again? Journalists like you?

Fact: Terri Schiavo was starved to death. That's called "murder."

Fact: Haleigh Poutre was condemned to the same fate. That's called "attempted murder."

"Keep quiet?" I don't think so.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

"Fishers of Men"

"You have to be a real man to become a priest."

I was asked to view a trailer of a documentary on the priesthood, produced by Brooklyn-based production company Grassroots Films.

Having seen it, I'm grateful to the company for the request.

I hope the U.S. Bishops Committee on Vocations, which commissioned the film, succeeds in getting the finished product into the view of every priest in this country.

Please take a moment to see "Fishers of Men." While you're at the site, treat yourself to other trailers, including "God in the Streets of New York," and "Cross Culture."

If you poke around the website, as I did, you'll find other projects worth a look-see, including one called "Good Friday," in which the viewer joins Father Benedict Groeschel in following Christ's journey to the Cross.

Go here, click on "enter," and then click on the "Fishers of Men" icon.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

For fans of the Angelic Doctor...

Happy Saint Thomas Aquinas day!

Here's a very cool site devoted to him.

Thanks to Amy's "Saint of the Day" section for the link.

January 28, 1986: Remember the Challenger and her crew

At about 11:30 AM, Eastern Time, the Shuttle Challenger was launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida. Aboard the ship were its Commander, Francis R. "Dick" Scobee, its pilot, Michael J. Smith, and its crew Christa McAuliffe, misson specialists Ellison S. Onizuka, Judith Resnick and Ronald E. McNair, along with Payload Specialist Gregory B. Jarvis.

Seventy-three seconds into the mission, the Challenge exploded and fell into the sea.

All aboard were killed instantly.

For probably obvious reasons, I've found it a privilege to remember these folks on this day every year. Along with millions of others -- including the family and students of Mrs. McAuliffe -- I saw the explosion on television.

My purpose here is to, frankly, take advantage of your generosity and ask you to remember them in your prayers today.

Thank you!

For more on the Challenger, you might want to go here.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

William Lee Clark, 1946 - 1986


It's hard to believe that this handsome guy would be 60 years old today!

I do ask you to pray for the soul of my husband, Bill Clark, who died at age 40, twenty years ago on January 27, 1986.

Thank you very much.

Requiest in pace, Bill.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Since he's one of my favorite saints, and since the accounts of his conversion are among my favorite Scripture passages, it follows that today's solemnity -- the Conversion of Saint Paul -- has to be one of my favorite days.

Because his conversion was so stupendous!

Think about it. Here was a guy who had everything. He was a Pharisee, well respected among his people, and among his superiors. He had only the best of teachers, including, according to his own account, Gamaliel. Now Gamaliel was no slouch! Even today, Jews rightfully consider him one of the finest minds of his time.

And Saul was a good and pious Jew.

Yes, he deviled the early Christians, but to his mind, he had good reason...he sincerely believed that Christianity was the single most dangerous threat to the Chosen People of the Lord.

Remember, he'd never met Jesus before Damascus. He didn't sense, as perhaps the first disciples did, the divinity of this supposedly ordinary carpenter. He never saw the paralized man cured. He certainly never, as did James and Peter and John, see the glory of Jesus transfigured!

No, all he knew -- or thought he knew -- was this: some upstart was, even after death, messing around with his fellow Jews...carrying them away from the one true God.

Imagine what he had to give up in order to follow Jesus!

Essentially, Saul -- now Paul -- had to give up not only his status in the community. (Which was considerable.)

No. He had to give up what he'd been weened on since childhood...that blasphemy was intolerable and the eradication of it was the only way to preserve the relationship between God and His Chosen ones.

But he did it. He understood, through the grace of this same God, the Divinity of the One he had been persecuting. ("Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?") Understood that, in persecuting the followers of Christ, he was persecuting Christ himself.

And without a backwards glance he willing turned in the position, respect, and beliefs he had known all of his life for -- what? -- hard word, imprisonment, torture, and the ultimate crown of martyrdom.

Each of us has his own conversion story.

At Mass today, the priest reminded each of us that we all -- whether cradle Catholics, Protestants, converts to Catholicism -- have experienced once, or perhaps (one hopes!) many times, moments of conversion. You or I might not have been, literally, knocked off our horses.

But no doubt you and I have been knocked off our high horses and have been brought -- either for the first time or in a marvelous reunion -- into the arms of Jesus.

As we celebrate the conversion of Paul the Apostle, this might be a good time to reflect on our own blessed moments of conversion.

And as we conclude this week of Prayer for Christian Unity, to ask Saint Paul to intercede for us as we work toward becoming one in Christ Jesus.

Gettin' to Heaven Meme

The Curt Jester tagged me with this one:

What five things would you ask Jesus should you get to Heaven?


Who are the first five people you'd like to see in Heaven?

I'll take both. Questions for Jesus:

1.) "Uh...this isn't a joke, right?"
2.) "How long did Saint Joseph live after You were born?"
3.) "What was your favorite game as a child?"
4.) "What wine on earth comes closest in quality to the wine you created at Cana?"
5.) "Would Noah really have gotten into much trouble if he...er...forgot to bring a pair of mosquitos with him on the ark?"

First five people I'd like to see:

1.) Mary
2.) Joseph
3.) Elizabeth
4.) Abraham
5.) Moses

(What the heck, I figure these folks would be happy to introduce me to other cool people!)

Now I'm tagging Elinor Dashwood, GOP Soccer Mom, and JenB, the Totally Catholic Youth.

Deus Caritas Est

It's here.

I've read it and the one thing I realize is that I'd better read it again and again, and, I hope, with some help.

Love is a big subject!

But the Holy Father has covered it in an interesting, engaging, and thought-provoking way...with the emphasis on thought-provoking! I've got a lot of questions, but here's a quote that's got what I dubiously call my brain humming:

"The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State. Yet at the same time she cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice. She has to play her part through rational argument and she has to reawaken the spiritual energy without which justice, which always demands sacrifice, cannot prevail and prosper. A just society must be the achievement of politics, not of the Church. Yet the promotion of justice through efforts to bring about openness of mind and will to the demands of the common good is something which concerns the Church deeply."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"The Book of Daniel"...

Has been closed.

Seems that shortly after its premier, the folks in TV land voted with their remotes.

"The Book of Daniel" drew an audience of 6.9 million on its first night. By its fourth airing, the number had dipped to 5.8 million viewers.

And gee...I didn't even get around to expressing my outrage to NBC!

I've got to agree with Dom on this one. Sometimes just ignoring junk really does make it go away.

Nearly a million people did just that, it would appear.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Saint Albert the Great parish weeping...again.

What is it about the folks at Weymouth's Saint Albert the Great parish? Are the never happy? Must they always weep?

This is the parish that responded to its closing by staging a 10-month sit-in, and holding lay-led Communion services (the Sacrament reportedly provided by a "sympathetic priest.")

When, back in July, the Archdiocese (for reasons I never could fathom, but there you are) allowed the parish to open again, were they grateful? Not altogether. They were in a snit since their former pastor -- Father Ron Coyne -- was not reassigned to the parish.

(Father Ron Coyne once told me, along with his parishioners and the media, that there was "no such thing as Hell.")

Now they're crying again. Why?

Because the Archdiocese has taken away another of their "beloved priests"...Father Robert Bowers.

"Bowers, who has been assisting the new pastor of St. Albert's by saying occasional weekend Masses, told the congregation that he was disappointed to leave, but that church officials had asked him to end his work in Weymouth and to take an assignment helping at a parish in Chelmsford."

Only he's not going go Chelmsford.

No, he's taking a leave of absence.

Obedience isn't exactly on Father Bowers' "List of Qualities I Admire," evidently.

Bowers, who described weeks of meetings with church officials over his future, said he held no bitterness toward the church but said his decision was part of ''following God, not a church leadership that I don't necessarily agree with."


Bowers told the parish that the archdiocese had asked him to leave St. Albert after yesterday's service, but that he would stay on to preside over next Sunday's Mass as well, drawing sustained applause from the congregation.

What is in store for this part-time priest?

He said he hopes to work full- time at a program for disaffected Catholics at the Paulist Center in Boston.

(You remember the Paulist Center, right?)

''He's being forced out, because he doesn't necessarily go by the book," said Brian Hurley, 42.

Of course, the Archdiocese denies this. But Brian? Don't you think priests should go "by the book?"

I guess not.

For more on the recent tragedy, here's the story. Bring your Kleenex.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

"Scheduling Eucharistic Ministers": What's wrong with this premise?

Aside from the term "Eucharistic Ministers," can you tell me what's really wacky about "scheduling" people to perform an act that is supposed to out of the ordinary?


The reason I ask is that the senior altar boy/man/person in my parish suggested that it be done.

Heresy. You know, it don't come easy.

It's often bugged the living bleep out of me when I hear or read folks bandy about the words "heretic" and "schismatic" willy-nilly -- and interchangeably! They are not the same.

Moreover, they're not common labels to be thrown around, even (gasp) with people we can't help but actively disapprove of. It's not easy to become a heretic.

You, no doubt, and I, I'm certain, have never met a genuine heretic.

But once in a while, someone comes around to emulate Arian.

Please pray that Ned Reidy turns it around and comes back.

N.B. Go on and on about Jeanne d'Arc and Galileo Galilei all you want...but get the facts straight, please.

Roe v. Wade: 1973 - 2006

Kyrie eleison.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Close call on "Brokeback Mountain" (and Christian Unity)!


From the nonsectarian, but certainly Christian
Family Research Council:

"The film is one of the most controversial of our time. It has been nominating for numerous awards in the Hollywood circuit, winning the Golden Globe for Best Picture and Best Director. Conversely, it was issued an "O" rating by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for being morally offensive."

Good grief! Fortunately -- or, rather blessedly -- for Christians and all who believe in the One, True God, especially during this week of prayer for Christian Unity, the Family Research Council evidently didn't know about the USCCB's original rating of the film.

Or maybe they did. Maybe they understand that everybody makes mistakes, and that by God the Father's love for us and Christ's redemptive act, we can be forgiven. I don't know. I do know, though, that the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a good thing. Please keep this intention in your daily prayers.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Will Father McBrien's alleged plagiarism be Father Cuenin's Honda?

Father Richard McBrien.

Father Walter Cuenin.

Wouldn't it have been easier to attack and correct their dissenting "opinions?"

Oops...how silly of me. Of course it wouldn't have been easier...that would require testosterone on the part of their superiors, wouldn't it?

Pray for them. And their superiors.


11-year-old Haleigh Poutre defies death sentence

Two days ago, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that life-support systems -- like, for example, food -- for 11-year-old Haleigh Poutre can be removed, saying the child was in a "vegetative state" (sound familiar?) and should be able to "pass away with dignity."

Starving an 11-year old girl. There's dignity for you.

Today, we learn that Haleigh has turned the tables on a Court that sentenced her to death. Today, we find that, despite the opinion of the judicial sages, she might not be in an "irrevesible coma" after all.

Haleigh seems to be getting better.

She's breathing on her own.

Without the ventilator she supposedly has depended on for months. The Department of Social Services (who brought the case to court as custodians of Haleigh) spokesman said that doctors "elicited responses from Haleigh during tests performed yesterday."

The DSS magnanimously reported that it has "no immediate plans to remove her feeding tube."

No "immediate plans."

So for now, Haleigh's in the arena and the emperor hasn't given her the thumbs down. Yet.

Source: The Boston Globe

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Week of prayer for Christian Unity begins today

I met a lady a few months ago and we fell into a casual conversation. The topic ranged from the weather, to current events, to family members. In less than a half an hour, we were chatting away like old friends.

At one point she noticed the Crucifix I was wearing and admired it. Then she asked me if I were a nun, or perhaps a minister.

"Who, me?" I responded. "Nah. Just a Catholic lay woman. You?"

She confided that she was a minister in a Protestant denomination whose name escapes me.

At this, our conversation fell silent for a few minutes. I felt inexplicably sad. Finally, I looked up at her honest, kindly face and asked her:

"Do you think we'll all ever get together sometime?"

She, too, looked sad. And said something I'll never forget:

"Only if we stop focusing on ourselves...and instead focus on Christ."

Monday, January 16, 2006

Pat Buchanan challenges U.S. Bishops

It shouldn't be any news that the confirmation of Judge Sam Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court will most likely happen. Why? Because the Senate is enamored of Alito? Hardly. More than likely, it's because they realize they can't win this war.

And it is a war. But not a real war. No, it's a rhetorical battle...a war of words.

Of course, it's all about abortion.

There's at least a make-believe fear that the confirmation of Alito will quote-deny-women-the-right-to-control-their-own-reproductive-rights-unquote.


Even if Roe is overturned -- and it should be overturned, don't get me wrong -- the "right" to suck a baby bodily out of a womb won't be threatened...that is, if it's the will of the people to retain this so-called "right." Before Roe, abortion in some states was legal. If the decision is overturned, there's no need to believe that it won't remain so. Just one difference: it won't be in the hands of the courts. It'll be in the hands of the people.

And that's what's scaring the pro-aborts to death.

They know -- or at least suspect -- that a vote on the issue will spell disaster for them. They know that their cheerleaders -- NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the like -- know this too. And so those "leaders" whose primary ambition in life is to keep their jobs, put on, for the benefit of their rah-rah folks, an extraordinary show during the confirmation hearings. In my opinion, they dug their own political graves (to say nothing of embarrassing themselves completely) by doing so.

The people (including media columnists and self-identified "objective journalists") running around trying to stir up hysteria over the "return to the days of back alley butchers" are blowing smoke. If the country is determined to keep abortion legal, it will remain legal. Regardless of what the court says. And that's the elephant in the living room. Nobody on the pro-abort side wants to admit this.

Well, that's my view, which, if you read the subject line, you didn't really count on getting. And I'm sorry about that.

Let's take a look at a Catholic viewpoint from Pat Buchanan...and a challenge to the U.S. Bishops that's well worth the read.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

"Lord, Hear Our Prayer": The Politics of the "Prayers of the Faithful"

If somebody in charge ever put me in charge of Liturgy, I'd do two things:

1. Seriously consider having the person who did such a thing committed, and

2. Dump the "Prayers of the Faithful." (Along with "Eucharistic Ministers" and the "Kiss of Peace," come to think of it.)

Not that group prayer is wrong!

On the contrary...there's nothing I treasure more than joining my brothers in Christ in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Or praying, with a group, the Most Holy Rosary.
Public prayer is a good thing. But the "Intercessions" or "Prayers of the Faithful" seem to be getting out of hand.

How long has this custom been around?

I don't know. But for as long as I can remember, after the Credo (or sermon sometimes, at a daily Mass) somebody — priest, deacon, or layman — rattles off a list of what I am sure are, for the most part, sincere petitions to the Almighty, after each the congregation dutifully responds: "Lord, hear our prayer."
As far as I can tell, these "intercessions" aren't part of the Roman Missal...nor are they given much attention by the hierarchy. They're made up by somebody in charge of making them up. And too often for my taste, they make me squirm. And I don't like squirming at prayers directed (supposedly) to God.

What do you mean "supposedly," Kelly?

I mean that sometimes — and once is once too often — they're not directed to God at all, but rather to make some point or another to the congregation at large. That's just not right.

For example:

A friend relates this story. About a year after 9/11, she and her fellow worshippers listened as the priest intoned something like: "For our troops, let us pray to the Lord," and obligingly responded in the accepted manner. After prayers offered for the sick of the parish and for a recently deceased parishioner (which, by the way, I'm not objecting to, per se) the priest invited the faithful present to add his or her own petitions.

Big mistake!

A lady, evidently chagrined by the priest's apparent support of war (he did mention "troops," didn't he???) loudly invoked the Lord to protect "those of us who deplore this country's aggression in battle" or something to that effect. This, in turn, elicited another plea for "Our Commander-in-Chief" which niggled another into praying for "those who have been cheated out of elected office"...well, you get the point.

Why not just stop the faithful from participating?

Why not indeed? Well, gee...if you're going to call them "the Prayers of the Faithful," it hardly seems right to leave the "faithful" out, does it?
Of course, there are a myriad of books published that offer intercessions based on the Readings of the Day. But even then, the most innocuous of "petitions" can ruffle feathers. Ah...I remember...

[insert "dream" harp music here]

...a day when the First Reading — from 1 Samuel, if I'm not mistaken — relayed the story of Eli confronting the barren, unhappy Hannah in prayer. Accordingly, an intercession was prayed for "couples who desire children." Pious enough, right? Well maybe...except for the person who confronted the priest after Mass, demanding to know why prayers weren't offered for "those couples who had too many children, children they couldn't afford to have, while the Church insisted on its stubborn refusal to consider birth control, yada yada yada."

To get back to my friend's story about the "troops"...

The anti-war petitioner happened to be a....[sigh] "Eucharistic Minister" that day. The guy who prayed for "Our Commander-in-Chief" stood in line for the Precious Blood just behind the one who besieged the Lord to intervene on behalf of those cheated out of their rightful elections. The "Eucharistic Minister" urged the communicant to drain the chalice, thereby preventing her Foe-In-Prayer to consume a drop.
(And did I mention that during the "Kiss of Peace," the antagonists-in-prayer studiously avoided each other...even though they were all in the same pew?)

Boy, does God love us or what?

I've seen, far too many times, attempts to turn the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a political battlefield. And I dislike it intensely. Again...it's not about us! It's about God, may He forgive us.

And so, ahem, may I offer this petition?

"For the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to remain just that, without Almighty God, to say nothing of Kelly Clark (yeah, okay, sometimes it really is All About Her, sheesh) subjected to the unwanted political opinions of her brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray to the Lord...Lord, hear my prayer!"

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Four Boston churches ponder: "Is it ethical to be Catholic?" (While another "vents.")

Nope, I'm not making this up. St. Anthony’s Shrine, the Paulist Center, St. Ignatius of Loyola Church, and the Jesuit Urban Center are cordially sponsoring a lecture and a workshop enabling folks to question the Catholic Church.

Sadly, not surprising. Nor new.

This reminds me of a Catholic parish in Newton, Massachusetts which held a "town meeting" awhile back.

They met to decide whether or not they wanted to stay Catholic. I wrote about it on my old and faithful website here.

Meanwhile, back in Newton...

The folks who back the pastor who once held a meeting for his flock to decide whether or not to "stay Catholic" are venting. Yes indeed!

I'm sorry, but this line cracks me up:

"Since Cuenin left, the parish has held closed-door sessions for parishioners to vent."

What do they do, I wonder? Close the doors, stamp their feet, and throw things?

So that's the news from Boston, friends. Four parishes are wondering if their Catholicism is "ethical"...and another just "vents."

This, of course, is why Boston is hailed universally as the model of how to strengthen the Roman Catholic Church.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Is the Massachusetts Family Institute" named oxymoronically?

The same folks, it appears, who so anxious to "strengthen, protect, and preserve marriage" in the Commonwealth...have, in my opinion, caved.

Newton, MA — VoteOnMarriage.org — the campaign to allow voters to decide on the definition of marriage in Massachusetts — today announced, along with a bi-partisan group of state legislators, the filing of the Benefits Fairness Act.

The Benefits Fairness Act would ensure that citizens in the Commonwealth who are ineligible for marriage [emphasis mine] are afforded necessary rights, protections, and benefits not currently provided for under Massachusetts law.


Ineligible for marriage? Who might that be? My friend's dog and my own cat come to mind and that's about it, other than human children. Any male and female adult couple are eligible for marriage.

So what's the point of this "act?"

It's a well-meaning but stupidly (in my opinion) conceived sop.

It seems to me that the very people who have worked diligently to at least put the insane, court-mandated notion of same-sex "marriage" to a vote are running scared...scared of seeming to (gasp!) "lack compassion."


The "rights" this "act" is looking to establish are already in existence. If, for example, I wanted to designate my friend Lizzy to act as my health care proxy, I could already do so. If, as an employer, my employee Bruce wanted me to include his pal Barry in his insurance coverage, and I chose to do so, I could do so!

Again. No adult human male and female couple are "ineligible" for marriage. This proposed "act" is absurd.

Give it up, guys. This compromise is so transparent it's an embarrassment.

Deus Caritas Est Countdown...courtesy of the Curt Jester

Check out Jeff Miller's Papal Countdown to the first encyclical of His Holiness, Benedict XVI.

Why does the Jesuit Urban Center flaunt a gay pride flag over the Tabernacle?

If you go here, you might not see it. You might see rainbow colored streamers festooning what appears to be the nave, or you might see another picture.

But if you click on the "refresh" or "reload" button on your browser, you'll eventually come to this.

Please pray for the folks at this parish...both the shepherds and the followers.

(Thanks to Charles who tried to explain it by phone earlier today.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Yippeeeee! May 10! God is good!

My Baptismal day is May 10! The Lord was with me on this one. I went to the Archdiocese of Detroit website (I was born in Motown) and saw that parish church I'd been baptized in was gone. However, a church by the same name was evidently alive and well in a Detroit suburb.

(See, my parents, godparents, and husband are all dead, R.I.P., so I couldn't very well ask them!)

Anyway, I telephoned the church and found out, indeed, that it was the same parish. They'd moved years ago.

I spoke to the secretary about the sermon I heard yesterday, and she was amazed and delighted...she didn't know her baptismal date either! After a lengthy but fun conversation, she told me to email the pastor. I did so early this evening...and within an hour I received a response from him, including the name of the priest who baptized me!

Best of all is the parish itself. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the parish in which I was reborn in Christ Jesus: Saints Cyril & Methodious Parish, Sterling Heights, Michigan. By all means, explore this parish...it's amazing! (You might not see it on the website, but, for example, the secretary tells me folks receive Holy Communion — at a Mass in either Latin, English, or Slovak — while kneeling at an altar rail!)

Notes to self:

#1. Get copy of Baptismal Certificate and frame it as suggested by a cool commenter
#2. Arrange a Mass celebrated for ME on May 10, as suggested by the cool secretary

Forgive me for acting so goofy about this...it's just that I'm very, very grateful.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Can we PLEASE stop the "gay" label?

Here's the thing. If you proclaim yourself as "gay," you're not telling everybody you're a "happy person."

Same -sex attraction is one thing, and it's probably one of the heaviest crosses one has to bear...especially at a young age.

But "I Am A Gay Person" is some thing else again.

Please realize that I am praying for you, that I understand (and dammit, I DO!) what you're going through.

But give your parishioners a break, Padre. At least, tell them, if you have to, that you suffer from same-sex attraction. If you have to. (By the way, do you have to? I suffer from many temptations and don't feel as if I have to bear my soul to anybody but God...but I guess you and and I differ and I'm not referring to anything to do with homosexuality.)

And let them know that acting on this — in the same way that acting, without the sanctity of matrimony — is NOT a good thing.


Source: KATC

I'd like to wish you a Happy Baptismal Day! (Uh...when is it?)

Since the time of our fall from grace, God has planned our salvation. And we remember a stupendous piece of salvation history on today's Feast — the Baptism of the Lord.

When Jesus willed to be baptized by John in the the Jordan, He gave us the key to freedom. Three keys, perhaps. From today's Gospel (Mark 1:7-11)

"On coming up out of the water He saw the heavens being torn open..."

Yes. Jesus, true God but also true Man, saw Heaven opened for us all. Heaven became our permanent kingdom, and remains open to us today and forever.

"...and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon Him."

When we were baptized, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity made His home in us. We might not see a dove descending upon us, but consider the words of Saint Thomas Aquinas:

"The Holy Spirit descended
visibly in bodily for upon
when he was baptized
so that we may believe
Him to descend invisibly
upon all those who are
baptized afterwards."
(Summa Theologiae)


"And a voice came from the heavens: `You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'"

Is that incredible or what??? As the first to be baptized, Jesus, our Brother, intervened with the Father. At our baptism, our Father repeats these amazing words:

"You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased."

In a perfect slam-dunk (so to speak), Jesus gave us our triple-gift: the Kingdom of Heaven, the solace of His Spirit, and the privilege of becoming children of God the Father. Not too shabby for His first public act of ministry!

The priest at today's Mass challenged me.

"On what day were you baptized?" he questioned the congregation. I was stunned...I didn't know! I knew it was probably sometime shortly after my birth — and my birthday is a date very dear to my heart — but I couldn't have revealed the exact date.

This is important. The day of my baptism, and of your baptism, is as important — or perhaps even more so — then the day of our births.

You probably already know your baptismal date. I plan to find out mine. And I plan, God willing, to celebrate that day as it deserves to be celebrated...as the day God opened up His Kingdom to me, gave me His Spirit, and made me his beloved daughter.

It sure beats the cake out of a birthday cake. And I won't even ask for presents...I've already received the greatest gifts possible!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Epiphany proclaimation of moveable feasts

Sure, we all have calendars now (although now that I mention it, I don't have one for 2006, which is ironic since a calendar is my traditional gift to family members) and can find out, at a glance, when Easter falls this year. Still, many parishes retain the custom of proclaiming the date of Easter on Epiphany Sunday.

This is a good thing. The proclamation reminds us that Jesus' Resurrection is the center of our Faith. If you didn't hear the proclaimation today, here it is (try to imagine it chanted):

Dear brothers and sisters,

The glory of the Lord has shone upon us, and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of His return. Through the rhythms of times and seasons let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation.

Let us recall the year's culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord: His last supper, His crucifixion, His burial, and His rising, celebrated between the evening of the thirteenth of April and the evening of the sixteenth of April.

Each Easter — as on each Sunday — the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed by which Christ has forever conquered sin and death.

From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, will occur on the first of March. The Ascension of the Lord will be commemorated on the twenty-fifth (or twenty-eighth) or May. Pentecost, the joyful conclusion of the season of Easter, will be celebrated on the fourth of June. And this year the First Sunday of Advent will be on the third of December.

Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the passover of Christ in the feasts of the holy Mother of God, in the feasts of the Apostles and Saints, and in the commemoration of the faithful departed.

To Jesus Christ, Who was, Who is, and Who is to come, Lord of time and history, be endless praise forever and ever.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Got chalk? An Epiphany house blessing

Celebrate Epiphany by asking God to bless your house! (Hey, the dismantling of the tree and such can be done anytime...and this is much more fun.)

How to:

Grab a piece of chalk and mark the main door of your house with initials of the traditional names of the Magi — Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar — and the numbers of the new year, connected by crosses, so it looks like something like this:

20 + C + M + B + 06

What makes this very cool is that the initials also stand for the motto: "Christus mansionem benedicat" — or, "May Christ bless this house."

(Couple of reasons to use chalk. One is a no-brainer...it washes off in the rain or snow. But mainly it reminds us of the dust of the earth from which we were made.)

While you're marking your main door, you might say this prayer:

"The wise men followed the star of God's Son Who became man two thousand and six years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us thoughout the new year. Amen."

Thursday, January 05, 2006

How cool is (pro-life) Interstate Batteries? Very.

Need a battery? (Of course you do! Everybody needs a battery at some time or another!)


Interstate Batteries sells every type of battery there is. The Interstate Batteries brand goes hand in hand with premium products and premium service. Its team of qualified battery experts have the specialized product knowledge you want when you're in the market for a new battery.

So. If you need a battery — and you either do or will — choose Interstate.

Why? Let Concerned Women for America tell you.

After that, visit Interstate's Corporate Chaplaincy area of its website to learn even more.

(Hat tip to Patte)

Saint John Neumann (not to be confused with the Venerable Cardinal with a similar name)

This guy's amazing! Born in Bohemia, he emigrated to the U.S. — Manhattan, to be exact — because he wanted to be a priest. Back in 1830s, Bohemia evidently had more priests than they knew what to do with (now there's a notion to chew on!) while the New York area had hardly any. He was welcomed with open arms.

The first American man and the first American bishop (he became a citizen) to be canonized, the quiet priest accomplished an astounding amount of work in his relatively short life. Just for openers, he:

  • Build 50 churches
  • Opened nearly 100 Catholic Schools
  • Learned and spoke twelve languages fluently to cater to European immigrants to the U.S.
  • Wrote two catechisms
  • Promulgated the 40 hours devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in the U.S.

He's buried in a parish church in Philadelphia, where you can find more interesting and inspiring facts about this saint.

Prayer of Saint John Neumann:

“How much I love You, O my Jesus! I wish to love You with my whole heart; yet I do not love You enough. My lack of devotion and my negligence still haunt me. I have one desire, that of being near You in the Blessed Sacrament. You are the sweet bridegroom of my soul. My Jesus, my love, my all, gladly would I endure hunger, thirst, heat, and cold to remain always with you in the Blessed Sacrament."

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Led to Jesus in His Real Eucharistic Presence: Elizabeth Seton

Today's memorial honors the first native born United States saint. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was born to an upper crust, New York Episcopalian family just before the Revolutionary War. She was, in turn, a wife, mom, widow, Catholic convert, Catholic school founder, and religious order founder.

She was drawn to Catholicism primarily through the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

Here's a good overview of Saint Elizabeth Ann, but I really like this quote:

“There is a mystery, the greatest of all mysteries — not that my adored Lord is
in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar ; His word has said it, and what so
simple as to take that word which is truth itself? — but that souls of His own
creation, whom He gave His life to save, who are endowed with His choicest gifts in
all things else, should remain blind, insensible, and deprived of that light
without which every other blessing is unavailing!”

I love it! To Elizabeth Seton, the Big Mystery wasn't the Real Presence of Jesus...no, what mystified her was the fact that folks actually deprived themselves of this Gift!

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us.

Please pray for the folks in Sago, WV

Like me, you might've went to bed last night thanking God for sparing the coal miners in Sago, only to find out this morning that a horrendous mistake had been made.

Can you imagine how the relatives of the dead miners are feeling now? I can't.

Keep them — and, of course, the souls of the miners — in your prayers. Thank you.

Local high school student gets it right on abstinence

Good for Peter Skipper, B.C. High School student. Read his letter.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Blessed be His Holy Name!

Today we celebrate the Holy Name of Jesus.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2666):

But the one name that contains everything is the one that the Son of God received in his incarnation: JESUS. The divine name may not be spoken by human lips, but by assuming our humanity The Word of God hands it over to us and we can invoke it: "Jesus," "YHWH saves."
The name "Jesus" contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation. To pray "Jesus" is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies. Jesus is the Risen One, and whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God who loved him and who gave himself up for him.

If you find yourself in the state of temptation, invoking the Name of Jesus is your salvation. The devil hates that Name!

It also should be noted — and in fact, was noted by the celebrant at Mass today — that the most recent General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) affirms that at the mention of the Name of JESUS, particularly during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the heads of priests and laity alike should bow. (This is also true when the name of Mary is mentioned during the Eucharistic prayer, and when the Names of the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity are spoken together.)

Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus ever knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Speaking of ailments and such...

Jeff Miller, the Curt Jester, has done it again...this one's a gem!

May I present...Vitamin B16!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Have fun with this really cool site!

"My Catholic Home Page"...you can customize it and make it your own!

(By the way, not to complain but I've got a monster cold...what is it again? Starve it? Feed it? Any advice would be lovely. I already know about Vick's, which as far as I'm concerned, rules.)