Sunday, June 29, 2008

Casual Sunday Cancelled!

Trust the Curt Jester to inject a bit of humor into a 'way too sad situation.

God bless you, Archbishop Burke!

Please remember in your prayers the people of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. They are losing a remarkable, Catholic leader. May the Holy Spirit give them an equally holy and strong shepherd.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

How not to judge, from Saint Augustine

I know I've blogged this before, but it bears repeating. It has to do with Jesus' words in today's Gospel:

Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye?

Saint Augustine has some practical advice on how to avoid judging others. It's based on the premise that "a thief thinks that everyone else is a thief."

"Try to acquire those virtues which you think your brothers lack," says Augustine in Enarrationes In Psalmos, "and you will longer see their defects, because you will not have them yourselves."

Very cool.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Let God Be Your Dread": new blog

I was struck by the way the words of Jesus in today's Gospel—"Fear no one"—fit this new blog that blasts apart the notion of "conspiracy theories," along with examining the dangers of obsession and paranoia. See it here.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Okay, "Peter Canisius"'s your plug on St. Joan of Arc parish. Again.

Like many Catholic bloggers, I'm sure, I received a letter from "secret agent Peter Canisius" (google the saint for more info on this guy's namesake).

I tend to give Mister Canisius a relatively wide berth, but this does bear notice. I checked it out and it's legit. Here's the email in full and unedited:


For more information contact:
Father James Cassidy Phone: 612.823.8205
Father James Debruycker - ,,

As announced in the Saint Joan of Arc bulletin last week:

Pride Week at SJA: Please join us on Wednesday, June 25 at 7 pm in the church for a prayer service to celebrate and give thanks for the gifts of our Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered community. Celebrate with us in prayer and song – we'll be joined by guest musician and SJA favorite Ann Reed. This service is part of Pride week in the Twin Cities. FFI on the week's events contact Julie Madden at the Parish Center.

See a more extensive list of MN Catholic GLBT Archdiocese Activities at:

Check out the parish calender for the Voice of the Faithful meeting on June 26:



The Curt Jester publishes a letter from the communications director of the Archdiocese here.

At this writing (June 24, 9:17 PM Eastern Time) the offensive links remain.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Virginia charity probed for helping teen get abortion...and the kicker?

The charity is called "Commonwealth Catholic Charities."

This story is so ugly it's tough to comment.

You tell me.

Here's the recently released AP story.

Here's the PR released by "Commonwealth Catholic Charities" on the "unfortunate event" released yesterday.

Just to prepare you, here's the opening graphs of the CCC fluff:

In January 2008, a minor in foster care in Richmond, procured an abortion while receiving support services from Commonwealth Catholic Charities (CCC).

An investigation of this unfortunate event revealed that some members of CCC staff assisted the minor in preparations leading up to the abortion, and that one member of staff signed the consent form necessary for the minor to have the abortion. The minor was taken to and from the abortion facility by a person associated with CCC.

Neither agency nor diocesan funds were used to pay for the procedure. A subsequent investigation also revealed that about two months prior to the abortion the minor had been assisted by CCC staff with implantation of a contraceptive device.

The irony of the AP story has got to be this paragraph:

"...the conference [that would be the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, no less] acknowledged some responsibility for the incident and said it has revised agreements with the more than 1,700 Catholic Charities offices nationwide to explicitly bar services that contradict Catholic teachings. Catholics are strongly opposed to abortion, and it isn't clear why the organization assisted the teen." is the world to know that "Catholics are strongly opposed to abortion" when stuff like this happens?

Stuff like—incredibly—this:

Members, and perhaps leaders, of the Roman Catholic Church evidently not content with breaking Church law have taken it upon themselves to break civil law. On abortion, no less.

Now this is a Scandal with a capital S.

"Don't worry, Mommy, Jesus loves me just as I am": Mentally disabled give Eucharistic Lesson

The Eucharist teaches the lesson that "Jesus loves me just as I am," said the founder of an organization that ministers to mentally handicapped people.

QUEBEC CITY, June 20, 2008 — Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche Community, spoke Monday to the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, under way through Sunday in Quebec.

Vanier told the story of a mentally handicapped boy from Paris on the day he received his First Communion: "After Mass, which was a family celebration, the boy's uncle, who was his godfather, said to the child's mother: 'What a beautiful liturgy! How sad it is that he didn't understand anything.'

"The child heard these words and, with tears in his eyes, said to his mother: 'Don't worry, Mommy, Jesus loves me just as I am.'"

Vanier affirmed: "This child had a wisdom that his uncle was yet to attain: The Eucharist is God's gift par excellence."

More here, from Zenit.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obama on fathers and...conception

Addressing a packed congregation at one of the city's largest black churches, Senator Barack Obama on Sunday invoked his own absent father to deliver a sharp message to African-American men, saying, "We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception."

Jeff Miller nails the inconsistency in the last sentence.

What, you mean somebody becomes a father at conception? Can you be a father of a tissue mass or a product of conception from his point of view? He does seem to be rather inconsistent since if the responsibility of a father starts at conception then everything he has said in the past or the way he voted is totally at odds with this.

For more, see Jeff's post here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Very cool Father's Day commercial from Dairy Queen

H/T to Tim Lockwood!

Incidentally, I think it's a great idea to give something to priests on Father's Day. Saint Francis Chapel offers a Father's Day Mass Novena, and it's a privilege to enroll my parish priests in the prayers.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Image courtesy

I believe in God, the Father Almighty...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert, R.I.P

Tim Russert died suddenly today at the age of 58. I'm going to miss him. I'm going to miss the man I consider to be one of—if not the—last true gentleman in the main stream media.

Diane at Te Deum laudamus! tells us that the Russert family had just returned from Rome, where they celebrated the recent graduation of Mr. Russert's son, Luke, from B.C.

Requiescat in pace, Tim Russert.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First, contraception. Then abortion. Then...virginity?

As Europe’s Muslim population grows, many young Muslim women find themselves caught between the freedoms that European society affords and the deep-rooted traditions of their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.

Gynecologists report that in the past few years, more Muslim women are asking for certificates of virginity to provide proof to others. That in turn has created a demand among cosmetic surgeons for hymen replacements, which, if done properly, they say, will not be detected and will produce tell-tale vaginal bleeding on the wedding night. The service is widely advertised on the Internet; medical tourism packages are available to countries like Tunisia where it is less expensive.

Fake virginity. What will they think of next?

Some feminists, lawyers and doctors warned that the court’s acceptance of the centrality of virginity in marriage will encourage more French women from Arab and African Muslim backgrounds to have their hymens restored. But there is much debate about whether the procedure is an act of liberation or repression.

Or stupidity?

I'm not downplaying the plight of Muslim women who are, figuratively as well as literally, screwed if their loss of virginity is found out.

But nowhere in the article do I see mention of a logical, non-failing, let's-think-beyond-the-moment solution for their younger sisters.

You libs keep telling yourselves that abstinence is a foolish notion.

The French College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians opposes the procedure on moral, cultural and health grounds. The French College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians opposes the procedure on moral, cultural and health grounds.

I'd oppose it on all these grounds and add sanity to the list.

“We had a revolution in France to win equality; we had a sexual revolution in 1968 when women fought for contraception and abortion,” said Dr. Jacques Lansac, the group’s leader. “Attaching so much importance to the hymen is regression, submission to the intolerance of the past.”

Dr. Lansac, I believe, is sadly missing the point.

And correct me if I'm wrong...but is the good doctor calling the Nation of Islam regressive and intolerant?

This? From France???

Source: The New York Times

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Excommunication works! Edward Florek, for example

An excommunicated board member of a breakaway St. Louis Catholic parish has reconciled with the Church after meeting privately with the Archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond L. Burke. Archbishop Burke has said he is “profoundly happy” about the man’s reconciliation. Edward Florek was excommunicated in December 2005 for his membership on the St. Stanislaus Kostka Corporation board of directors, which opposed Archbishop Burke’s parish restructuring plan and brought in a renegade priest to staff St. Stanislaus Kostka Church.

From Archbishop Burke:

"The purpose of an ecclesiastical censure like excommunication is the return of a member, who has broken communion with the Church, to full communion with the Church. I thank God that Mr. Florek has returned to the Catholic Church and is no longer under any censure from the Church."

Praise God, and welcome back home, Mr. Florek!

h/t: The Curt Jester

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The function of a bishop: Saint John Baptist de la Salle on Saint Norbert

June 6 is the memorial of Saint Norbert, Archbishop, Norbertines founder. About him Saint John Baptist de la Salle wrote:

“The eminent virtues of Saint Norbert led to his being chosen bishop in spite of his reluctance. In this position he could not tolerate vice, and he denounced it boldly in all those who were scandalously abandoning themselves to its practice. On this account some people were offended and looked for a chance to kill him. How true it is that the impious and the dissolute cannot tolerate anyone who opposes their disorderly life. Saint Norbert escaped this danger; then he fought a heretic who denied the presence of the body of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, and he destroyed the error. Is this not the function of a bishop, to oppose vice and to maintain the faith in its vigor and strength?”

Thanks to those terrific folks, the Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Foot progress report

Okay, I know this news isn't as important as the Democratic primary elections which (finally!) seem to be ending, but what the's my foot we're talking about here.

For those of you who don't remember, I broke my foot in several places on Easter Sunday. Since then I've been, consecutively, immobile, in a cast, a bit more mobile, still in a cast, then crutches, then some wacky boot...with crutches. Bottom line: since Easter I haven't exactly been Miss Twinkle Toes and pretty much housebound except for doctors' appointments and Sunday Mass. Actually, I missed the entire Easter Season except for Pentecost Sunday when I began to attend Mass again. (Many thanks to my friend and co-worker, Alden, for bringing me the Blessed Sacrament!)

Today, X-Rays showed marked improvement and to my utter delight, my doctor took me off both the crutches and the boot, "unless needed."

What the bleep does "unless needed" mean?

I hope to find out Thursday when I see the physical therapist. In the meantime, I've been cautiously walking around in real shoes, with no crutches! Admittedly it's a tad painful and I feel a bit dizzy, but's wonderful!

Step back for a couple of weeks, Father Pfleger: Cardinal George

"...I have asked Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina’s Parish, to step back from his obligations there and take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties, effective today. Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time. While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church’s regulations for all Catholic priests."

Please join Cardinal George and the parishioners of Saint Sabrina's prayer for Father Pfleger.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Father Pfleger apologizes...

...and we have to forgive him.