Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mary, the first Tabernacle: The Feast of the Visitation

From the sermon I heard today, inspired by John Paul II's Ecclesia de Eucharistia:

In a certain sense Mary lived her Eucharistic faith even before the institution of the Eucharist, by the very fact that she offered her virginal womb for the Incarnation of God's Word. The Eucharist, while commemorating the passion and resurrection, is also in continuity with the incarnation. At the Annunciation Mary conceived the Son of God in the physical reality of his body and blood, thus anticipating within herself what to some degree happens sacramentally in every believer who receives, under the signs of bread and wine, the Lord's body and blood.

As a result, there is a profound analogy between the Fiat which Mary said in reply to the angel, and the Amen which every believer says when receiving the body of the Lord. Mary was asked to believe that the One whom she conceived “through the Holy Spirit” was “the Son of God” (Lk 1:30-35). In continuity with the Virgin's faith, in the Eucharistic mystery we are asked to believe that the same Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, becomes present in his full humanity and divinity under the signs of bread and wine.

“Blessed is she who believed” (Lk 1:45). Mary also anticipated, in the mystery of the incarnation, the Church's Eucharistic faith. When, at the Visitation, she bore in her womb the Word made flesh, she became in some way a “tabernacle” – the first “tabernacle” in history – in which the Son of God, still invisible to our human gaze, allowed himself to be adored by Elizabeth, radiating his light as it were through the eyes and the voice of Mary. And is not the enraptured gaze of Mary as she contemplated the face of the newborn Christ and cradled him in her arms that unparalleled model of love which should inspire us every time we receive Eucharistic communion?

Source: Encylical Letter: Ecclesia de Eucharistia

Sunday, May 28, 2006

He died with his men: Sainthood cause begins for "The Grunt Padre"

On May 21 in Washington, the cause for canonization of Father Vincent Capodanno, who died heroically in Vietnam on September 4, 1967, was officially opened.

"Stay calm, Marine...God is with us all today."

Ray Harton remembers the September day when Father Capodanno, a military chaplain, reassured the wounded Marine. The chaplain had been seriously wounded himself.

“Just by him touching me, I believe that really had something to do with me still being here. I do believe that the second Father Capodanno leaned over and touched me, that was God touching me through him,” he said. “When he said ‘Stay calm, someone would be there to help and God is with all of us there that day,’ I believe he was – through Father Capodanno.”

Minutes later, Father Capodanno was called to minister to another fallen soldier. Machine gun fire killed them both.

Read the whole story here.

Father Capodanno, Servant of God, pray for us.

Friday, May 26, 2006

"Memorial Day Weekend"... upon us.

May I humbly suggest that, before firing up the grill, packing up for the beach, and in general getting ready to enjoy our extra day off...

Warning! Parenthetical comment ahead!

(Memorial Day used to be celebrated on May a day of memorial. As a day to remember those who gave their lives to allow us to take a day off, sip beer and/or chablis, and, in many cases, trash the country they died for.)

...we take a moment to remember.

Some "memory jogs":

Kathlena Peebles 1996 Memorial Day Essay


Dennis Prager's Letter to a Soldier in Iraq

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Son Returns to His Father

Fr. Todd Reitmeyer returned to his Father on May 24th at 12:30 PM in the year of our Lord, 2006.

His death occured as the result of a boating accident while Fr. Todd was vacationing in Austin, TX.

His family and friends request your prayers.

This information was posted today, Ascension Thursday, on Father Todd's blog by a family member or friend.

If you read his latest blog entries, you'll learn that Father Todd was greatly enjoying his vacation, being with his family and friends, and celebrating a Mass in which a young relative received her First Holy Communion.

The family will be reading the comments on his blog, for anyone wishing to offer prayers and support.

Requiest in pace.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Novena to the Holy Spirit

The first novena took place between the Ascension of Jesus (Ascension Thursday) and the Descent of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost).

Begin this powerful prayer tomorrow, on the Feast of the Ascension. It needn't be elaborate. It needn't be public. (Although it certainly could be.)

It could be as simple as praying The Lord's Prayer, an Ave, a Glory Be, and ending with the simple request: "Come, Holy Ghost!"

Veni Sancte Spiritus!

Can I breathe now?

I haven't been near my computer all day today but it looks like somebody apologized, sorta, for smearing Boston priests (see post below).

Father Bob Carr apparently got into a communication from somebody from the Associated Press...but has anybody seen an apology? (A public one, I mean.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

It's always a priest...even when it isn't

ABC News and the Associated Press (and only the Lord knows how many members of the MSM have picked up on this screaming headline):

Uh...guys? The "hugging and kissing" accusations haven't been leveled at any priest, Boston or otherwise.

It's a story about Doctor Robert Haddad, who heads up a hospital system here which happens to be run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. He's not a priest.


Anybody holding his or her breath for an apology to every priest in the Archdiocese of Boston?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Father Neuhaus on Father Maciel

"The most precise statement of what has happened, I believe, is that, in the judgment of CDF and the pope, it is in the best interests of the Church, the Legion, and Fr. Maciel that he relinquish his public ministry and devote the remainder of his life to penitence and prayer. It should be noted that “penitence” in this connection does not connote punishment for wrongdoing. The Vatican statement also says that “the worthy apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and of the association Regnum Christi is gratefully recognized.”"

Worth reading the whole thing.

Friday, May 19, 2006

"You know when a movie's a dud...

...when even its self-flagellating albino killer monk isn't any fun. "

Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee

And I love this from Victoria Alexander at

"I’ll say it: It is anti-Jesus and anti-Catholic. Unintentionally though, it is a recruiting film for Opus Dei. Where do I sign up?"

More fun from Da Rotten Tomatoes!

Fun movie to see this weekend

"Over the Hedge"

The cool thing about it? It's really Fiction!

You can tell, because it's a cartoon. I mean, a real, honest-go-goodness, up-front, in-your-face, non-apologetic "I am a cartoon" movie.

(As opposed Da Other cartoon opening this weekend which pretends to be A Real Movie.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Dragging my Mother through the mud...!"

I didn't see it, but I kinda think an early morning inteview with Dan Brown might've stuck in the priest's craw today.

The sermon started conventionally enough.

As you know, the first readings during this season focus on the earliest days of the Church...and the earliest days were fraught with controversy. Father spoke about this, nicely linking the passage from Acts to the Gospel.

And then he...well, he narrowed his eyes and seemed to leave his prepared remarks.

"This man, this Dan Brown, said this morning that the Church has survived many things. And indeed She has. And She will certainly survive this...this thing that he has created.

"But I will tell you one thing. I would not — ever — spend even five minutes reading or watching something that drags my Mother, and your Mother, through the mud! Not five minutes! Not one minute!

"This — ah, he calls it `fiction' and indeed it is `fiction,' yes — but it is abominable `fiction.' Ah, yes, he says `this is just a story,' hah!

"I tell you: I will not spend even a minute of my life participating in this `story' that drags my Mother through the mud!"

The chapel was silent. The priest seemed to try to compose himself for a moment, but then laughed, as if composure was a silly thing.

The congegation laughed with him...because, I think, composure is often a silly thing to try to attain. Especially when somebody "drags your Mother through the mud." Or tries to.

For today's sermon, I give Padre two thumbs up.

Welcome, Isabella Marie Bettnelli!

Almighty Father, we thank you for the gift of life!

Go say hi...she's gorgeous!

"It's only fiction!"

Dale Price nails the reason why Catholics are upset at Dan Brown's fictional (yes, we know it's fiction) attack on our Mother — Holy Mother Church — in a clever satire.

From Dale's "submission letter to Random House:"

Yes, though fictional, it is based on aspects of the life of your hottest author, Mr. Dan Brown. Consequently, that will prove to be a useful hook to piggyback sales and simplify the promotional campaign.

The essential thesis of my fictional work is this: It was Mr. Brown's mother, Constance, who starred in the controversial film Deep Throat, not Linda Lovelace.

Ironically enough, a commenter, angered by the "attack" on Mrs. Brown, perhaps inadvertently put his finger on what, indeed, the fuss is all about.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Da Vinci. Da Dud.

Snippets of reviews from the secular press:

"There's no code to decipher. Da Vinci is a dud -- a dreary, droning, dull-witted adaptation of Dan Brown's religioso detective story ..."
Rolling Stone

"... The Da Vinci Code may be controversial and even heretical -- but worse, still, it's plodding, tedious, deathly dull."
Philadelphia Inquirer

"A jumble of historical myth, religious symbology and international thriller-action makes for an unwieldy, bloated melodrama."
Hollywood Reporter

"... it's not very good -- long (2hr.32min.) and mostly inert."
Time Magazine

More at Rotton Tomatoes.

So. You planning on seeing it this Friday?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Wilted flower, Precious Blood

Angela Messenger posts a beautiful image from Kel, who was received into the Church this past weekend. Go see!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

On Mother's Day...

If you're a mom, or a mom-to-be;

If you're a mother-in-law, a stepmother, a foster mother or an "honorary mom;"

If you're a godmother, a grandmother, or a great-grandmother;

If today you are regaling your mother...or remembering a mom who is no longer with you...or wondering what your mom was like...

Then please know that I prayed for you today. And look forward to continuing to do so.

May Jesus continue to bless you. And may His Mother — and ours! — continue to show us the way.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Thank you, Eternal Father!

Today is the anniversary of my Baptism...Deo Gratias! What a joy it is to write this:

I, Patricia Kelly Clark, who through the tender mercy of the Eternal Father was privileged to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and thus to share in the dignity of His divine Sonship, wish now in the presence of this same loving Father and of His only-begotten Son to renew in all sincerity the promises I solemnly made at the time of my holy Baptism.

I, therefore, now do once again renounce Satan; I renounce all his works; I renounce all his allurements.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was born into this world and who suffered and died for my sins and rose again. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.

Having been buried with Christ unto death and raised up with him unto a new life, I promise to live no longer for myself or for that world which is the enemy of God but for Him who died for me and rose again, serving God, my heavenly Father, faithfully and unto death in the holy Catholic Church.

Taught by our Savior's command and formed by the word of God, I now dare to say:

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A day that will live in infamy

This Day in History: May 9, 1960:

Here's how the History Channel puts it:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the world's first commercially produced birth-control bill--Enovid-10, made by the G.D. Searle Company of Chicago, Illinois.

Development of "the pill," as it became popularly known, was initially commissioned by birth-control pioneer Margaret Sanger and funded by heiress Katherine McCormick. Sanger, who opened the first birth-control clinic in the United States in 1916, hoped to encourage the development of a more practical and effective alternative to contraceptives that were in use at the time.

(Thereby making it even easier to "control the population" of blacks and mentally ill folks.)

In the early 1950s, Gregory Pincus, a biochemist at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, and John Rock, a gynecologist at Harvard Medical School, began work on a birth-control pill. Clinical tests of the pill, which used synthetic progesterone and estrogen to repress ovulation in women, were initiated in 1954. On May 9, 1960, the FDA approved the pill, granting greater reproductive freedom to American women.

(Hey, let's not forget American men! "The Pill" — along with abortion — are among the greatests gifts selfish men could ask for.)

Not incidently, thanks to — and prayers for — the good folks who held a Rosary Vigil today at the former Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology (now called the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research) for the twelfth consecutive year.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Church in Belgium?

I can understand empathy toward immigrants. Some of my best family members are from somewhere else.

I'm not too sure I understand the bishops in Belgium, though.

Am I missing something?

(Thanks to Amy for the link.)

Vatican says "no" to condom use

Here you go.

Related stories:

Ice is cold!

Water is wet!

Gravity makes things fall!

More at eleven.


Friday, May 05, 2006

What's "political" about the words "Choose Life?"

A lady in Wakefield, Massachusetts is trying to garner enough support to enable the Registry of Motor Vehicles to issue a license plate with the words "Choose Life" on it.

Three years ago, Nordeen, who opposes abortion, contacted the Florida-based group, Choose Life Inc., that promotes the special plates, sunny yellow with ''Choose Life" written in a child's handwriting above a crayon drawing of two children. If she is successful in bringing them to Massachusetts, she said, she hopes the Registry of Motor Vehicles will allow the same design.

If the Choose Life plates are approved, $12 of the $40 fee would go to the state. The other $28 would go to the groups supported by the Massachusetts Choose Life chapter, headed by Nordeen and her husband, Kenneth, who are the parents of six children. Nordeen said the group would award the money to antiabortion organizations that submitted grant applications, from pregnancy counseling groups to agencies that place children for adoption.

Planned Parenthood has a problem with this.

"Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts believes that state government should not be sanctioning political messages on license plates," Dianne Luby, the group's president and chief executive, said in a written statement.

The plates seem to be doing very well in other states.

Nationally, the plates have raised $5 million for pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, and nonprofit adoption agencies. About $4 million came from Florida residents who have chosen the license plate, the country's first, since it became available in 2000, said Russ Amerling, national coordinator of Choose Life Inc.

Helping moms-to-be and their unborn babies...of course Planned Parenthood objects.

Source: The Boston Globe

Update: to find out more about these license plates, go here. Be sure to read it carefully.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Education, work, and the May Day "boycott"

In your neck of the woods you might have felt the impact of Monday's "boycott." I didn't, and I live in an area chock full of immigrants. The immigrants I know — Asians and Latinos for the most part — took it as just another day.

Apparently lots of folks did boycott school and work.

Parenthetical comment warning...

(Duh! You mean to tell me that kids, given a chance, to — with adult kudos, to boot — skip classes for the day would pass on that?)

Anyway, I was pretty impressed by a letter written by a Dedham, Massachusetts lady about the whole thing. I'm reprinting it here, just in case the link to the Boston Globe editorial page doesn't last:

"The two most important keys to success in America are education and work. Without each the immigrant is doomed to remain in the lower socioeconomic levels of American society.

"On Monday hundreds of thousands of immigrants abandoned either work or school to participate in demonstrations for improved status. They made a point of rejecting, for the day, the two things that have made Americans the success they are. I think they're missing an important connection.


Source: The Boston Globe Editorial Page, May 3, 2006

Monday, May 01, 2006

"Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May"

Happy May!

I know today is the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker — whom I revere! But I couldn't help remembering my grammer school days, when we sang this song as we processed to the statue of Our Lady with flowers. Do you remember this song?


Bring flowers of the fairest,
Bring flowers of the rarest,
From garden and woodland
And hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our Glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale.

(Then sing along!)

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May!

(Next verse, which I didn't remember:)

Our voices ascending,
In harmony blending,
Oh, thus may our hearts turn
Dear Mother, to thee;
Oh, thus shall we prove thee
How truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary
Life's journey would be.

(Join in!)

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May!

(Another verse...this is good!)

O Virgin most tender,
Our homage we render,
Thy love and protection,
Sweet Mary to win.
In danger defend us,
In sorrow befriend us,
And shield our hearts
From contagion and sin.

(C'mon! Don't be shy!)

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May!

(One more verse!)

Of Mothers the dearest,
Oh, wilt thou be nearest,
When life with temptation
Is darkly replete?
Forsake us, O never!
Our hearts be they ever
As pure as the lilies
We lay at they feet.

(Everybody SING!)

O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May!

Well, I enjoyed this...I hope you did, too. Thanks!

Oh, Mary conceived without sin,
Pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Catholic hierarchy kills people: James Carroll

Former Catholic priest and muddled media darling James Carroll accuses the Catholic Church (that would include me) of murder.

"For more than 20 years, the hierarchy's rejection of condom use has been killing people. Even were the Vatican to change its position now -- and pray it does -- Catholics must still reckon with that betrayal. "

Here's the entire piece of trash.

Most of Carroll's tripe wouldn't bother me, except for the way he keeps referring to himself as a "Catholic" spokesman. He may be Catholic (that's up for debate) but his the way he demonstrates his knowledge of Catholic doctrine makes my Lutheran niece look like an ace Canon lawyer.

"Yet as a Catholic [?] I respond to this news with complicated feelings. It is one thing to toss out the doctrine of Limbo, say, or to drop regulations about abstaining from meat on Friday. The issue raised here is graver."

First of all, "Limbo" was never a doctrine. Ask then Cardinal Ratzinger who said back in 1984 that Limbo had "never been a definitive truth of the faith."

Second, nobody every "dropped the regulations about abstaining from meat on Friday." We're all required to do penance every Friday. One way is abstinence from meat.

And speaking of "abstinence..."

Let me repeat: abstaining from sexual relations with an AIDS/HIV person is a real good way to protect yourself.

Could, perhaps, someone in the "murderous hierarchy" care to publicly point this out to Mister Carroll and his readers?

Thank you.