Monday, April 30, 2007

"That Catholic Show": what do you think?

Rosary Army and Star Quest Production Network launched their new Internet video show today called "That Catholic Show."

"Our goal is to take away some of the mystique and misconceptions people often have with Catholicism," says Greg Willits, co-creator and director of the series. "There are so many fun and interesting things about our faith, and we wanted to present these topics in a way that even non-Christian audiences would appreciate."

Taking a cue from popular cable channels such as Food Network and HGTV, the Willits' have created a show that handles unique topics with a light touch, making them immediately accessible.

The debut show "asks the burning question: `why do Catholics sit, stand, and kneel so much?'"

I know I asked you what you think but I'll tell you my first's cute, it's educational (one would hope, for non-Catholics), and it leaves a little bit out (just my opinion) on the "kneeling part."

Take a peek. It's only a few minutes long and don't miss the post-show credits.

Source: Rosary Army

Sunday, April 29, 2007

In Saint Louis, the Beautiful People joke about death

From the Saint Louis-Post Dispatch:

Archbishop Raymond Burke made it to the Fox Theatre Saturday — but only as a
punch line.

When Bob Costas, the evening's host, walked onto the stage he scanned the crowd, gazing into
the back rows of the upper balcony before breaking the prolonged silence.

"All right," Costas quipped. "I guess the archbishop is not showing up."

This is a knee-slapper? Maybe you had to be there.

Costas evidently thought it was all about him.

"Sheryl Crow made it clear that she is coming here for three reasons," Costas told the crowd.
The singer wanted to help children, put on a good show and, Costas said, "get me ex-communicated."

Excommunication jokes are always so droll, aren't they? I mean...they're so uniquely Papist!

Not to be outdone by a mere sportscaster, alleged commedian Billy Crystal got in his licks:

"I respect his right to choose," Crystal said of Burke. "His right to choose not to be here."

If there's anything funnier than an excommunication joke, it's gotta be one about abortion, right?

(Meanwhile, I'm not sure if there's any truth to the rumor that benefit attendees were allotted only one "square" per visit to the facilities.)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Getting it wrong, and wondering why: first, it's not a "gay Mass"

After reading this article and exploring this parish website, I've gotta wonder:

Why did His Excellency Archbishop George Niederauer appoint Father Stephen Meriwether the chancery’s director of ecumenical and interreligious affairs?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Crow, Saint Louis, and (accidently) apt words

Regarding pro-abortion celeb Sheryl Crow headlining Saint Louis' Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation benefit concert:

Allen Allred, who organized the benefit concert starring Crow, said more than 3,500 of the 4,300 tickets have been sold for the event.

"I think we'll have a sellout," he said.

Uh...Mr. Allred? I think you already have one.

Source: AP

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Don't take away my plastic bags!

Okay, I've admitted it before and I'll say it again: I'm cheap.

But I'm NOT a litterbug!

Therefore the Boston City Council's plan to ban plastic bags in stores has me fuming!

Well, maybe not fuming, but annoyed.

When they ask "paper or plastic," I say "both."

And with good reason! For one thing, the free (did I tell you I was cheap?) plastic bags make great trash can liners. And if I buy, say, a pound of fish, they prevent the fishy gunk (what is that stuff called, anyway?) from leaking through the paper and on to me.

"It's all about you, isn't it, Kelly?"

No it is not. I know other people who use the plastic bags for trash can liners. And to protect themselves from fish gunk (I know there's a name for it, I just can't think of it), and for other things, too.

The thing is, some people are idiots.

And no, I'm not just talking about the Boston City Council. I'm talking about the bone-heads who -- for what reason, I can't fathom -- feel it's cool to festoon the city's trees, streets, and other things with unused bags. Ergo, the proposed ban.

But why punish me?

Instead of passing ridiculous bans, why not slap a fine on those who engage in what is after all...littering?

I saw a used Dunkin' Donut coffee cup on the street just yesterday. Shall we ban paper coffee cups as well?


Archbishop Burke: No to Crow

"When, for economic gain, a Catholic institution associates itself with such a high profile proponent of the destruction of innocent lives, members of the Church and other people of good will have the right to be confirmed in their commitment to the gospel of life."

Archbishop Raymond Burke, Saint Louis, did more than speak out against pro-abortion Beautiful Person Sheryl Crow's scheduled appearance at concert to benefit the city's Cardinal Glennon Medical Center...a Catholic institution.

After efforts failed to convince organizers to cancel Crow's participation, Archbishop Burke resigned from his post as chairman of the foundation's board of governors and asked that his name be removed from any promotional material for the benefit event.

Here's his video statement, along with a news release and pretty decent FAQ.

High school student defends abstinence education

From Arielle Spivey's letter in today's Boston Globe:

Though I had always known having sex was not something to be taken casually, I never had a concrete reason for why I wanted to be abstinent. Learning about the scientific and emotional reasoning behind the decision to be sexually active and the possible outcomes let me know that the goals I had set for my life were much more important to me than a moment of "fun."

Read the whole thing...I especially appreciate Ms. Spivey's evangelical attidude as she looks forward to sharing what she's learned.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Since encouraging abstinence is "dangerous"...

On teaching abstinence in sex-ed classes, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick has a problem, echoed by such luminaries as Angus McQuilken, VP, Public Relations, Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts:

"These programs are prohibited by federal regulation from discussing the prevention benefits of birth control, other than to emphasize the failure rate," said Angus McQuilken, vice president for public relations and governmental affairs for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. "That is a dangerously unrealistic and irresponsible approach."

Did I mention that PP makes mucho bucks from selling artificial contraceptives? And hey, if the "tiresome failure rate" kicks in, they can always scrape up, so to speak, on "fixing the failure."

Using McQuilken's logic, I propose the following "Safe Living" code for students:
  • Since you're probably going to drive while drinking, try and drive real slow.
  • Since the "walk" sign at crosslights is usually ignored, practice dodging oncoming vehicles.
  • Can't swim? Try and make sure there's a lifeguard on duty when you go, uh, swimming.
I'm sure there are more suggestions to make this world A Safer Place For Our Children.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Professor Liviu Librescu was buried in Israel yesterday

Librescu, a 76-year-old aeronautics engineer and lecturer at the school for 20 years, died trying to barricade the door of his Virginia Tech classroom to keep the gunman...away from his students.

"It's so painful for me to think of your last moments, in which you suffered. I'll never know what went through your mind, but I hope very much that wherever you are, you will watch over your family," Librescu's weeping wife, Marlena, said.


Glorified and sanctified be G-d's great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.


Thank you, o Lord for Professor Librescu. Grant him everlasting life, and watch over your family. Amen.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

In honor of the Pope's anniversary...

...I decided to celebrate my birthday.

I did this by going to Mass: a friend drove me.

The thing is, except for Easter and last Sunday, I've been home/office-bound. Why?

Because I idiotically slammed my leg into a 2 x 4 on Easter afternoon, thereby gaining myself what's called a leg "contusion" which is a fancy word for "Really Nasty Bruise."

Basically, I can't walk too good.

(And please don't ask how on earth I found my leg in confrontation with a 2 x 4.)

I learned something today.

Before my leg became "contused," I was (eschewing false modesty) one of the fastest walkers in Boston. Since my stomping ground is generally rather crowded, I pretty much perfected the art of slipping past lesser mortals, gliding between the slowpokes without losing stride.

Today was different.

After my friend dropped me off as close as possible to the Chapel, I still had what was once a 30 second walk to manage. Disdaining the cane I was given (okay, sucks) I found myself s-l-o-w-l-y inching my way toward my destination, while other people actually frightened me by brushing by me, heck-bent on where they were going. At first I cringed. Then I started to get sputter angrily at the -- well, rudeness of it all.

Finally, I recognized myself.

How many times had I done the same thing? How many times have I, in my "hey, I'm the speed walking queen here" glory caused another to cringe while blithely making my own determined way?

To those of you who have experienced my past -- what word besides rudeness can describe it -- walking behavior, please forgive me. If this leg ever gets back in shape, please God I'll remember my lesson.

Meanwhile...where the bleep's my ice pack? (Or is it time for the heat compress?)

Melanie Bettinelli: Thank God!

She's cancer-free.

I'm sure she, along with her husband Dom (and me and zillions of others) hopes that you will, in your thanks to God, pray for those people who aren't.

Thank you, Lord. Please continue to bless the Bettinelli family and, along with Our Lady, Health of the Sick, continue to comfort and strengthen those who are ill.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Johnny Hart, R.I.P. (1931-2007)

(c) Creators Syndicate
(click on the image if you can't read the strip)

"B.C." cartoonist -- and unabashed Christian -- Johnny Hart died this month. May his soul rest in peace...and may we continue to crack up over his work.

Supreme Court agrees: infanticide is illegal

The Supreme Court upheld the nationwide ban on Partial Birth Abortion today which Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law in 2003.

The ruling was 5-4.

Siding with the majority were two Bush appointees: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

And some people wonder how I could have possibly voted for Bush.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Is it about the Mass...or sexual orientation?

Boston's Jesuit Urban Center announced its upcoming closing today. Oddly enough, the church that "serves many gays" offers one Mass a week -- let's give 'em credit, it's on Sunday -- and attracts maybe 200 tops worshippers. It's closing because of money problems.

New England Jesuit superior Father Thomas J. Regan is "incredibly disappointed."

I don't blame him...I would be too. But this comment gives me pause:

"A lot of people are still in the church because of the Jesuits," he said. "We do not want to abandon these people. But there's a spirit among this group, and I think that's going to be lost, and that's very sad."

What's sad to me is that because a church that caters to active homosexuality is closing, its worshippers are going to "lose a spirit." Why?

It's not that there isn't other places to participate in the Holy Sacrifice!

As I've said before, many times in fact, Boston is a city with hot-and-cold running holy water! You can't walk a few blocks without coming across a Catholic Church.

Father Regan is quoted as saying:

...the Jesuits would continue to welcome gays and lesbians to worship at St. Ignatius of Loyola , the parish they oversee in Chestnut Hill, and that there are two other downtown congregations that have been reaching out to gay Catholics, the Paulist Center on Beacon Hill and St. Anthony Shrine, operated by the Franciscans, near Downtown Crossing.

Well, yeah, but there's a parish -- a real one -- a mere 3 or 4 blocks away.

Regan also said members of the congregation may choose to worship at the nearby Cathedral of the Holy Cross, also in the South End, but many gay Catholics are likely to balk at that option because the cathedral is the seat of Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, who has been an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage.

How weird is this?

The Roman Catholic Church Herself is an "outspoken opponent of same-sex 'marriage'" for Pete's sake...what makes Cathedral so unique in that? What, after all, is the purpose of Sunday worship? A self-affirmation? No! It's about Jesus Christ, not about any particular "lifestyle." And you JUC congregants know this as well as I do and if you don't, then some shepherd's been feeding you arsenic, rather than the life giving Word you sheep ought -- no, deserve! -- to be fed.


Come one, come all!

As a parishioner of Cathedral, I can tell you Jesuit Urban folks something -- you're more than welcome to join the parish. We need you. Jesus doesn't...but He loves you and wants you.

You know that, don't you?

Happy Birthday, Papa! (Send him an e-greeting!)

Image courtesy Vatican website

It's not too late to send the Holy Father an e-greeting on his 80th birthday. Just go here.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Cody Lehe update

As promised, Cody's Aunt Denise sends along an update following her Easter visit to her nephew and his family. Thanks to those of you who've been praying for him.

I spent the Easter weekend in Indiana visiting with him and my family...the progress is just incredible. He has an average of one hour of in-home speech therapy each day. He is counting, saying the days of the week, has been able to follow verbal and written commands and can answer questions after listening to short stories read to him. He still has the tracheotomy so his voice is just a whisper, but it is so encouraging to know that he has some long term memory. He also has physical therapy a few hours per week. His feisty personality and competitive nature is back and he challenges anyone who is up for it to a 'thumb wrestle'. He gave his dad a hard time when he tried to cheat to beat him and so far, he is the champ!!!

Our family stood at his bedside on Easter and annointed him with Holy Water and oils from Lourdes. We asked if we could pray with him...he nodded 'yes' and then said the Our Father and Hail Mary right along with us. It was quite a moment!!!! I don't believe there was a dry eye in the room.

Cody has a long way to go. He is still not able to use his legs and has very limited arm movement (except for his thumb wrestling hand!!). When he gains the ability to respond to 'two step commands' (e.g., 'pick up your hand and touch your nose') and a couple of other criteria, then they will return him to a Rehab Facility where he will receive 6 - 7 hours of therapy a day. They are very anxious for this, as he should show much quicker response with the constant therapy.

The family is very encouraged by this progress and is hopeful that this is just the beginning of his full recovery. They credit all of the prayers, masses and novenas of many, many people who have remainded faithful to their pleas for prayer. Their home is such a place of peace, love and amazing faith. They have all embraced this time in their lives and are counting their blessings and praising God for every moment they have with Cody and for every small hurdle that he crosses. Please continue to keep them all in prayer and I hope to report more good news in the near future.

God Bless you all!!!


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Imus and the Ho problem

Okay. I don't think it was very cool of Don Imus to identify a women's basketball team as "ho's."

But I don't think he should be boiled in oil over it. Not unless my neighbors are as well.

You see, I live in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Roxbury, a Boston neighborhood, is almost totally populated by black (all right, "African American") folks. And just about every day, I hear -- on the subway, on the street, in stores -- black women referred to as "ho's" other black women and by black men.

Moreover, I repeatedly hear the "N" word used by black men and women to describe other black men and women.

I hate it.

And when I hear stuff like this, I (a white, excuse me, "Caucasian" woman) voice my objections. Sometimes, people apologize. (They should. And I forgive them, as I should.) Or, people tell me to "mind my own business." (Fair enough, except for one thing: if I'm subjected to offensive language, it sorta is my business and my priority to object.) Often, I'm ignored. But the most common reaction to my objection? A hearty "you go girl" from either elderly people or young mothers with small children.

Why do "victims" object to the very terms they embrace?

I wouldn't dream of calling a homosexual man a "queer." And I won't allow the word in my presence. This is admittedly a strange position, isn't it? Because, for instance, in the South End of Boston -- a neighborhood that "prides" itself on it's "gayness" -- the words "queer" and "queen" and "lesbo" and "dike" and other such niceties are bandied about long as they are uttered by homosexuals to or about homosexuals.

(Remember "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"?)

Don Imus should not have used the term "ho" to describe a female basketball player. But remember this: Don Imus did not coin the term. (The Reverends Sharpton and Jackson, for example, would do well to acknowledge this.)

The Rutgers Women's basketball team did not deserve to be called "ho's."

Neither do my women neighbors.

But let's take a deep breath and put off the execution of white-guy Don Imus for just a second...and take a look at where this stuff comes from.

Because if "victims" and "minorities" refuse to respect members of their own "group"...sorry, but you've got no beef. If you persist in dissing yourselves, then how in the bleep can you demand respect from those "outside" of your own, elitist enclave?

But perhaps Snoop Dogg disagrees.

Monday, April 09, 2007

"Doling out communion wafers" and other scary stuff

Lois Bragan, a Eucharistic minister from St. Pius Church, consecrates the host on the steps of the closed St. Michael's Church during Good Friday services. St. Micheal's was closed by the Archdiocese in 2006. (Item Photo / Reba M. Saldanha)

I've found five mistakes in this photo caption and picture.

Donna Hartshorn and Lois Bragan, both Eucharistic ministers at St. Pius V Church in Lynn, officiated and doled out Communion wafers. At one point during the ceremony, recorded music from a Mr. Frosty ice cream truck drowned out the prayers. And a cold wind whipped the banner hanging from above the entrance, announcing the church’s 100th anniversary, 1906-2006.

“This was my church,” said Debbie Smalley of Lynn, who attended the ceremony with her children, Jeremy, 10, and Rebecca, 6.

I've found five mistakes in the above quote from the story.

Can you name them? Because I might've missed some.

I'm sorry, but I can't blame the parishioners. They're sheep minus a shepherd. Cardinal O'Malley?

(Thanks to Dom for the story.)

Saturday, April 07, 2007


A warm welcome home to the catechumens and candidates who are entering the Church this evening...special prayers for "The Happy Ex-Protestant!"

(Thanks to my friend Alfred for the image...he prints thousands of cards like this and others and they're distributed by regular folks all over the world.)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday

"The Crucifixion" by Henrich Bloch, 1870 courtesy The Real Presence

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pange lingua

A blessed Holy Thursday to you. Please pray for an increase in devotion to the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, instituted on this day, and for priests and the priesthood.

Thank you!

Cody update: Holy Thursday

From Cody's Aunt Denise:

I leave tomorrow to see my family in Indiana, and especially to see how Cody is doing. He is home from the hospital and seems to be improving daily. He is recognizing people and is able to whisper their names.....Praise God!!!! I truly believe that there is a miracle in the working here. I will put out an email when I return to update everyone on his status. We need to keep those prayer warriors praying. Have a blessed Easter!!!!!!!!! Love, Denise

If you're not familiar with Cody's story, see here and here...and thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Spy Wednesday: What have I sold Jesus out for?

Today we recall that Judas Iscariot sold out the Man -- whom, incredibly enough -- he believed to be the Messiah, for 30 pieces of silver.

It's a dark day...indeed the darkness of this day was dramatically portrayed, remembered, in the Office of Tenebrae, observed tonight at my parish and perhaps yours. Yet there remained a sliver of light. The blackness of the Cathedral was not utter: a single candle still glowed bravely and all eyes fastened on it, as if it were a lifeline, as the service ended with an unearthly clash that resembled nothing less than an world petrified.

Prior to the service, I heard, at Mass, Father Dennis ask the question: "have you sold out Jesus?"

We're so quick to shudder at the greed of Judas, at the enornity of his betrayal, and yet, and I so innocent of selling my Savior out?

Every time I sin, I betray the One Who only wants to save me. It doesn't have to be a grand bribe, either. I can sell out Jesus by snapping at a co-worker, cursing a driver who's cut me off, staying quiet when His Church is attacked, no matter how subtly. Compared to Judas' haul, my betrayal of Jesus nets me chump change...but it's a betrayal nevertheless and how it must hurt Him Who loves me so very much.

In yesterday's Gospel, Jesus predicted the betrayal of two...Peter and Judas. And His predictions came to pass.

The best thing, of course, is to never betray Jesus.

If, however, we do -- and I know I have, many times -- our hope, as Peter must have recognized, is that sliver of light burning on this darkest of days. I can weep bitterly and, despite my anguish, despite all wordly odds, look toward the Light of Mercy. Or, like Judas, I can allow Satan to enter me, rob me of all hope, and seduce me into giving in to the faux-luxury that is called despair.

Any day can be a "Spy Wednesday" for us.

And on those days it is imperative to remember that even in the darkest, scariest, and most miserable of times, there stands a sliver of light if we care to see it. It is light enough to guide us out of our guilt through the begging of that Divine Mercy which will surely be granted. If only we repent and ask for it.

God bless you.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Gospel IS Gospel, Mr. Carroll.

From John 19:

But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.

An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows
that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe.

John the Evangelist was an eyewitness to the events recorded in the Gospel he wrote, inspired by God.

James Carroll denies this.

Many Christians assume the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses who were present for the events reported, but that is wrong.

Actually, you are wrong, Mr. Carroll. Again.

First, Christians do not believe that all the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses who were present for the events reported. Most of us know that Luke and Mark weren't there.

Second, the Gospels according to Matthew and John were written by eyewitnesses to the life of Christ -- John's, most certainly, to the death -- of the Savior.

So what's Carroll's point? Why is he lying?

I don't know. But he is not telling the truth. Instead, he is playing with shadows, and seems to be -- either deliberately or through ignorance, and I prefer to believe the latter -- to bury the truth of Christ's salvific death under the pathetic canard that Christians who believe this truth are somehow anti-Semites.

I really mean this prayer: Father, forgive James Carroll...he knows not what he writes.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

John Paul II

Karol Wojtyla: Born May 18, 1920

Pope John Paul II: Left this world, April 2, 2005.

Video tribute here.

I love you, Papa.

"Take up your cross and follow Jesus": a pro-life Good Friday thing to do

BOSTON -- For 20 years, Good Friday has brought processions of priests, religious and families with small children in the Boston-area. They pray and sing in English, Spanish and Italian, carrying crosses, statues and banners, making the Way of the Cross through the streets in reparation for the sin of abortion.

In keeping with tradition on Good Friday morning, April 6, hundreds of pro-life Catholics will walk in solemn procession through Boston neighborhoods stopping at churches or gather for prayer at an abortion clinic.

My friend and organizer of this event, Colbe Mazzarella, invites all Catholics to participate in the Good Friday processions. “If anyone finds it in their heart to come join us, they can help make reparation for this great tragedy.”

Don't live in Boston? Not a problem. Says Colbe:

“Take up your cross and follow Jesus down the streets of your own city. Walk around your parish church, in front of abortion clinics, or to seven churches in the old Holy Week tradition. You will be blessed for your courageous public statement.”

Full story here.

I love Palm Sunday! (Evidently I'm not alone.)

At Mass this morning my usually half-filled parish church was packed with people bearing their palms. (Similar to the way it was packed on Ash Wednesday.)

This is good, of course. Now here's a lovingly given news flash:

EVERY Sunday is a Holy Day of Obligation!

(That means Sunday Mass Attendance is not optional.)

I look forward to seeing you next Sunday, and chances are, I will.

More than that, though? I look forward to seeing you every Sunday.

May you enjoy a blessed Holy Week.