Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Father Dan Kennedy. A loss for us...but just for now

Rev. Daniel J. Kennedy, 34, of Needham and Winthrop, died of a heart attack Sunday, January 27, 2008 at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut.

Here's Father Dan's reflections on his ordination, less than two years ago. It's really worth the read.

Requiescat in pace, Father Daniel.

(In lieu of flowers, the Kennedy family requests that donations be made in memory of Father Daniel J. Kennedy to Catholic Memorial School, 235 Baker Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132 or to Saint Joseph School Endowment Fund, 90 Pickering Street, Needham, MA 02492.)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Jerry Springer and the conversion of Saint Paul

Okay, call me a wimp.

(Hey...I didn't mean that literally, sheesh!)

But here's the thing.

Christians have been persecuted from the get-go.

Today we celebrated the Feast of Saint Paul's Conversion. Prior to getting knocked off his high horse (yes I know the Bible never recorded Paul-then-Saul being on a horse) the guy was an observant Jew, albeit in the only way he thought acceptable...in a lousy way.

It included, by his own admission, brutally hunting down men, women, and kids who followed Christ and throwing them into prison or worse.

Christ Himself intervened and converted Saul. Why?

I don't know, really. But I strongly suspect — as did some fathers of the Church — that prayers had something to do with it.

Take Stephen, for example.

In a Christ-like manner, the martyred Christian prayed for those who killed him. Were it not for the prayers of Stephen, would Jesus have taken steps?

"Kelly...what's your point here?"

Oh. Sorry. Well, there's this wacky "opera" slated for Carnegie Hall, New York, called Jerry Springer: The Opera. The main point of it is to entertain folks by slaying Christian beliefs...not unlike those blood-lusting folk of ancient Rome.

Now don't get me wrong!

I truly admire Bill Donohue, the American TFP, and others for blasting this monstrosity and urging action. Go for it! Defend the Faith!

But do remember Saint Stephen and his example. Pray for those who continue to try to persecute Jesus and us. Ask Jesus to intervene once again and convert those who want our Faith dead. Poor souls...they don't quite get the fact that Jesus already won forever.

Personally, I'd rather see the creators and participants of this silly "opera" seeing the light than merely closing a tacky piece of "show biz."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bernard Cardinal Law: the myths about his resignation

A little over five years ago, my pastor and friend, Bernard Cardinal Law, resigned from his position of Archbishop of Boston after a year of near hell for everyone concerned, including me.

National Catholic Reporter made this event its cover story, which is fine...this article by John Allen is not a bad one...particularly given the publication. (John Allen generally does good work.)

But another article, written five years ago by George Weigel, bears re-reading...or reading if you've never done so.

It exposes two myths. Please read the whole article...I'm quoting a few snippets.

Myth #1: Cardinal Law was forced from office by the Vatican in response to irresistible pressures from Boston clerical and lay activists.

In brief, the chief factor in Cardinal Law's resignation was...Cardinal Law. Whatever you hear to the contrary from Voice of the Faithful*, the Boston Priests' Forum*, Newsweek or the Boston Globe is myth-making, usually agenda-driven.

Myth #2: Rome's decision was heavily influenced by the public letter signed by 58 Boston-area priests, asking Cardinal Law to resign.

The first thing officials in Rome likely noticed was that there are some 1,650 religious and diocesan priests in the Archdiocese of Boston; thus the signatories represented about 3.5 percent of the Boston presbyterate. Not exactly a landslide, that.

The second thing to be noticed and pondered were the names on the list. However slow it has sometimes been to measure accurately the breadth and depth of the crisis in the American Church, the Vatican is not clueless. Officials in Rome could see that the signatories included priests who had never truly accepted Cardinal Law's authority; their request for him to lay down an authority they had rarely acknowledged rang rather hollow...

The third thing no one in Rome could have missed was the text of the priests' letter itself. It praised Cardinal Law for his ecumenical and inter-religious initiatives, his work for immigrants and the homeless, and his opposition to capital punishment. But what was blatantly and (it could only be assumed) deliberately missing was any reference to Cardinal Law's major public policy concern for 18 years - his defense of the right-to-life of the unborn.

Bernard Cardinal Law, perhaps unlike the pundits and the critics, made mistakes. I can relate...I've made them myself.

And although I correspond with him on occasion, I miss him.

*These are groups you may not be familiar with. Five years ago, they were considered by themselves and by the mainstream media as Big Deals. Today they are dead.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Comment test

For some reason I can't seem to comment on my own blog.

This might well be a wise decision from those who control these things! But nevertheless...

Can a few of you do me the favor of using the Halo Scan doo-dad (I know there's another name for it but it escapes me) and post a comment? And furthermore, check the little box that says that you will be notified by email if someone comments on your comment?

(Cripes...how do these people manage this???)

I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

Reflections on Martin Luther King and Roe v. Wade

Oh, God, what would Martin Luther King, Jr., who dreamed of having his children judged by the content of their characters do if he’d lived to see the contents of thousands of children’s skulls emptied into the bottomless caverns of the abortionists pits?

Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King and pro-life advocate

I know the big news is the March on Washington, but I thought you'd be interested in what went on in San Francisco last Saturday.

I've had the privilege of meeting both abortion survivor Gianna Jessen in Washington many years ago...and the opportunity to hear Alveda King speak with then Boston Cardinal Archbishop Bernard Law at my parish rectory some years later. These women's words are etched in my mind.

It is, to me, not coincidental that the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the celebration of the birth of one of America's greatest civil rights leaders are so closely spaced in time.

Not when you consider the fact that the nation's leading provider of abortion was founded to "exterminate the Negro population."

Please God, that the dream, which isn't really a dream but what we call justice, prevails in our time. Amen.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pope imparts learning to Italian profs...will they receive it?

Amid shouts of "Long live the Pope," Benedict XVI recounted how his visit to the 700-year-old university, the largest in Europe, had been postponed. "Unfortunately, as is known, the climate that was created rendered my presence at the ceremony inopportune."

"I love the search for truth," the Holy Father added, "the comparison, the frank and respectful dialogue between reciprocal positions of the university environment, which for many years was my world. All of that is also the mission of the Church, committed to faithfully following Jesus, master of life, truth and love."

Source: Zenit

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Can we PLEASE drop the "Eucharistic Minister" title?

I know it was a slip and I revere my Cardinal Archbishop but sheesh...to describe Dr. Mary Grassa O'Neill, the new secretary of education and superintendent of schools in the Archdiocese of Boston a "eucharistic minister" of her Milton parish is just plain wrong. (You'll have to scroll down a bit to see it, and I realize it's not that big of a deal and the blog is worth reading, but still...)

Folks. Please. READ Redemptionis Sacramentum if you don't believe me. Use your "find" button and search for either 154 or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.

Update: My Cardinal Archbishop's blog now refers to Dr. O'Neill as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. I knew it was just a slip!

Father Adolfo Nicolas new Jesuit leader

Pope Benedict XVI gave his consent on Saturday to the election of the Spanish Jesuit Adolfo Nicolás as the new Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

Please pray for Father Nicolás and for all Jesuits.

Source: Catholic News Agency

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sapienza "scientists" and students shoot their own feet. Jewish professor demonstrates common sense.

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 15, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI canceled his visit to Rome's Sapienza University amid protests from professors and students regarding the Church's role in science.

The visit was planned for Thursday, but a group of professors and students signed a letter protesting the visit by a Pope whom they claimed is "hostile to science."

Today, the protesters occupied the rector's offices in protest.

The Vatican press office reported today that "it has been considered opportune to postpone the event," which had been planned "by invitation of the major rector."

The Holy Father will nevertheless send the discourse he had prepared, the Vatican statement added.

The Holy Father is acting far holier than I'd be acting.

The protesters' letter mentioned a 1990 speech at Sapienza University that then Cardinal Ratzinger gave about the Church's 17th-century condemnation of Galileo. The signatories of the protest letter mentioned that the future Pope quoted an Austrian philosopher who said the trial was "rational and just." The protesters did not mention that Cardinal Ratzinger went on to say that he was not in agreement with the philosopher.


Giorgio Israel, a Jewish mathematician and professor at the university, noted in L'Osservatore Romano that the 1990 speech actually defended Galileo.

Cardinal Ratzinger said at that time, "Faith does not grow from a resentment and refusal of rationalism, but from its basic affirmation."

Israel lamented the contradiction of those who have opposed Benedict XVI's visit, who are purportedly defending the secularism of science, but are also negating the freedom of speech.

Money quote:

"It is surprising," the mathematician said, "that those who have chosen as a motto Voltaire's famous phrase, 'I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,' oppose themselves to the Pope pronouncing a discourse at the university of Rome."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ripley learns to fetch...sorta

Remember this guy?

He's getting into higher education.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Clinics? In pharmacies??? How awful (according to His Honor, Mayor Menino)

Drugstores such as CVS and Walgreen's plan to run "mini-clinics" in their stores, offering limited but actually important, in my opinion (and in the opinion, I might add, of any thinking person) diagnoses of minor ailments including pink eye, swimmer's ear, poison ivy, and the like, and then prescribe medication to treat them.

This is really not all that different from what your neighborhood pharmacist would do anyway, isn't it?

But the Mayor has a problem with it.

“Allowing retailers to make money off of sick people is wrong,” said Menino, as he called on city health commissioners to help him block the so-called mini-clinics from coming to Boston.

Huh? What about allowing doctors and hospitals and insurance companies to "make money off of sick people?" Is that somehow "different?"

Pharmacists are among the most noble people I know. The mayor outta get to know them.

(H/T to Dom, whose daughter might just possibly be on the point of becoming potty trained!)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Odd question on the priesthood and celibacy

A woman whose husband would like to be considered for the Catholic priesthood asks:

With all due respect, how in the hell can celibate unmarried (or never married) people possibly give adequate marriage counseling? Ridiculous. While the Catholic Church bemoans the modern divorce rates, I see them doing little to remedy this glaring oversight.

I find this question, or rather stance, rather odd.

One might, using this reasoning, may also ask:

How can oncologists who have never had cancer possibly treat cancer patients?

How can an obstetrician who has never given birth possibly deliver a baby?

How can a CPA, who has never owned a business, advise a business owner?

How can a woman (or man), who has never participated in armed conflict, possibly become President of the United States which means being Commander-in-Chief of armed forces?


Monday, January 07, 2008

Proclamation of Easter on Epiphany Sunday, 2008

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 twentieth of March
and the evening of the twenty-third of March.

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

From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy.

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent,
will occur on the sixth of February.

The Ascension of the Lord will be commemorated

on the fourth of May.

Pentecost, the joyful conclusion of the season of Easter,

will be celebrated on the eleventh of May.

And this year the First Sunday of Advent

will be on the thirtieth of November.

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, for ever and ever.


It's continuing to look a lot like Christmas!

And I, for one, approve!

I'm not sure what it's like where you live, but here in Boston, I haven't seen a single tree dumped unceremoniously in the trash the day after New Year's. Mine's still up -- but of course I only put it up and all Christmas decorations on Christmas Eve -- and so are many in the neighborhood. Tromping around the streets, I can joyously still see sparkling lights, Nativity scenes...everything. It's wonderful, of course, but I wonder why the change? Seems to me that not so long ago -- like maybe last year or the year before -- the Christmas Season was abysmally short.

Anyway, it's great.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Jesus is God! Yes!

Oh, well, I know that you know that...but I think we all need a reminder and that's why God invented Epiphany.

Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year's resolutions...for all those others.

Face it, shall we? New Year's resolutions for ourselves tend to last about as long as the flavor of chewing gum does...if that long.

But hey, that doesn't mean we can't create resolutions for All Those Other People Whose Lives Need Improving!

So let it rip. Here are some of mine...er, for others:

  • I will strive to forgo umbrellas in busy city areas. Repeat to self: Umbrellas Are Evil. They have the potential of knocking out the eyeballs of people.
  • I will not ever again open my driver's side door while parked on a busy street, because this is a royal pain to oncoming traffic.
  • If I must talk to someone on a cell phone on a crowded bus, I will keep the discussion brief and incidentally won't regale the whole crowd with intimate details of last night's date.
  • As a driver, I will stop at all crosswalks.
  • As a pedestrian, I will not leap out at a crosswalk, assuming it's my God-given right to cause a coronary to unsuspecting drivers.
There's a few...have fun with your own. And remember...you're doing others a favor! :-)

Ellen Goodman's miffed at Hollywood. Why?

Too many heroines aren't aborting their babies.

...we are in the midst of an entire wave of movies about unexpectedly pregnant women - from "Knocked Up" to "Waitress" to "Bella" - all deciding to have their babies and all wrapped up in nice, neat bows.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Catholic Media Review: new blog

In the mailbox:

In response to the controversy surrounding the USCCB's withdrawn review of "The Golden Compass," as well as Harry Forbe's review of "Brokeback Mountain," five Catholic bloggers have created a group blog called, "Catholic Media Review."

CMR which attempts to create a reliable site for those who wish to evaluate various forms of media in the light of the Magisterial teaching of the Church, and with special regard for parent's needs to protect the innocence of their children.

May God bless their work. And may He shower His bishops with the graces to make such an effort unnecessary!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Oh please, add your prayer to this Litany of Our Mother!

Our Lady, Mother of God, pray for us.

Our Lady, Health of the Sick, pray for us.

Our Lady, Mother of God, pray for us.

Please add!