Monday, December 28, 2009

FREE Epiphany greeting card in PDF format

I don't, as a rule, mail Christmas Cards, but I do like sending and giving Epiphany cards. If you'd like one, just use the "email Kelly" link on the right (at the end of "About Kelly") and ask.

I'll send you a printable PDF file. All you need to do is print as many copies as you like (8 1/2 x 11), fold it twice, and there you are! The cover image is lovely and the text is from the Epiphany Vespers antiphon.

(If you still have the one from last year, this one's the same one. If you're like me, say an immediate Hail Mary and ask for another one since your probably lost last year's! )

This is my gift to you...thank you for being so good to me!

Save a Mass at a time

Brevity may be the soul o' wit, but in Father Dennis Brown's case, it's also the crux o' common sense.

At Mass today—on the Feast of the Holy Innocents—Father Dennis shared an inspired notion:

Save a baby: one Mass at a time.

The idea is simply and simply divine. During every Mass, ask God our Father, through His Son Jesus, to please turn one woman's plan to abort her child around. Just one!

Imagine the fruit this simple intention can reap!

Yes, it's important to work in secular ways to spread the Gospel of Life. Yes, it's important to pray...more than important, actually: it's vital.

But to offer a Mass!

This is a foolproof way to save a baby's life with every Mass you participate in. God will not deny this request. Nor, I reckon, will He forget you for making it.

And there's a bonus...

Imagine the joy you will experience when you meet the child God saved—through your intercession—in His Heavenly Kingdom.

Oh, you Holy Innocents: pray for us!

(Father Dennis Brown, OMV, is a priest serving at Saint Francis Chapel, Boston.)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Senator Tom Coburn on ObamaCare

This vote is indeed historic. This Congress will be remembered for its arrogance, corruption and stupidity. In the year of 2009, a Congress ignored the coming economic storm and impending bankruptcy of our entitlement programs and embarked on an ideological crusade to bring our nation as close to single-payer, government-run health care as possible. If this bill becomes law, future generations will rue this day and I will do everything in my power to work toward its repeal. This bill will ration care, cut Medicare, increase premiums, fund abortion and bury our children in debt.

Read the good doctor's whole column here.

Saint Stephen, Deacon and Martyr

Of Saint Stephen, Saint Augustine wrote:

If Stephen had not prayed to God, the Church would not have had Paul.

Saint Stephen, pray for us, that we may use God's grace to pray for our enemies.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Saint Peter Canisius. The model of reform.

It's been my experience, during the final days of Advent, that optional memorials of saints are not celebrated.

(Unless, o' course, the celebrant is Father Dennis Brown, OMV, Saint Francis Chapel. This priest could find a saint to honor under a rug if one was to be found.)

Anyway, his homily on Saint Peter Canisius sorta turned me upside down.

First, you need to understand that the reformation of the Church began before the Protestant revolution.

Not many people realize this...that the Church realized Her need to reform Herself—and indeed, had begun the work of doing so—before the Protestants stepped in.

Peter Canisius was a reformer. But, unlike—say, for example, me—he didn't verbally or otherwise bang dissidents over the head.

He emulated Jesus, in charity and humility.

This gives me pause, since I realize that charity and humility and not two o' my strong points.

Read about this remarkable saint—and your friend and mine—here. Or google him to find more about him.

And, a favor? Ask him to pray for the Church. (And for me.)


Great series of meditations by Unborn Word of the Day

George and Michele Peate offer an amazing series of reflections, each introduced by the Unborn Jesus, on Our Lord's nine month journey in his mother's womb. I've been moved by each installation and I think you will be too. Go here, and make sure you check out the "recent posts." And rejoice!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Popes Pius XII and John Paul II declared venerable!

A wonderful Christmas present from The Holy Spirit!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Voters' remorse and other wackiness from Boston Globe letter writers

From today's Boston Globe Magazine, excerpts from letters on last week's articles on the anguish of in vitro fertilization parents, and on regarding the president's "loss of poetry"...

"A Nonissue"

Let me assure you “The Maybe-Baby Dilemma” (November 22) doesn’t exist. It’s disingenuous for couples taking such extreme measures to procreate to turn around and agonize over the fate of a leftover embryo....We’re talking about a few frozen cells. A potential life, true. But not truly a life until nine months of gestation and several years of nurturing, love, feeding -- the labors of love all parents do for their kids. By themselves, a few cells don’t mean nearly as much.

Charles Reitzel

Mr. Reitzel, in his own words, not only doesn't believe life begins at conception, but evidently believes a "true" life takes "several years of nurturing, love, feeding"... after birth! What's next? Life begins at first grade? Upon high school graduation?

"Missing the Magic"

Neil Swidey’s “Where’s the Poetry, Mr. President?” (Perspective, November 22) gives voice to something many have perhaps been feeling -- the unsettling sense of the political mundane that’s been creeping into the Barack Obama show. What Swidey doesn’t mention, though, is the Obama administration’s insistence that the president appear incessantly, making comments, giving speeches, and doing interviews. This over-accessibility is watering down the product, preventing its refinement, and making it seem boring when it is not. The Obama strategists should take a lesson from Colonel Tom Parker, who understood that by keeping the supply of Elvis a little behind demand, the demand was always there.

Mark Rast

Mr. Rast: he's the president, not an oldie rock and roller. (I think.) In any case, why throw the advisers under the bus? Could it be that the president -- not his administration, but the president himself -- likes incessant appearances? (Colonel Tom Parker, huh?)

Where is the substance we thought would come with President Obama’s election? That’s more worrying than the lack of sound bites. I was excited for his “Conversation on Race,” but after his great speech, that conversation never materialized. I fear this presidency was built on words spoken and written prior to his inauguration and that the rest of the term will be in the hands of the machine behind the man.

Everitt Speros

Another one blaming the background guys rather than facing what might be the truth...that the "substance we thought would come with" the election is as substantive as the Emperor's New Clothes.

I’ve been an ardent Obama supporter and moved to tears by some of his speeches. This year, however, almost from his inauguration, I’ve felt something is missing. Swidey’s article hit the nail on the head. The poetry has gone out of his speeches and a dull prose has taken its place. I worry he’s not what I thought he was. I take issue with his economic team, with his possible escalation of war, and his anemic backing of those who were his most ardent supporters. He downright waffled on what he said was the most important aspect of health care -- the public options. Barack Obama seemed to go silent just when our liberal causes needed him to be the most vociferous. Where is he? I don’t know.

Natalie Rosen

Ms. Rosen? I'll tell you where he is...right where you put him. The term "poetic justice" comes to mind.

Somewhat to my surprise, I was disappointed in Obama’s inaugural address. I took the day off in January 1961 and was transfixed by John F. Kennedy on that cold snowy day. Perhaps I anticipated something on that level this year. It did not come. It was at least partly his speechmaking that drew me to Obama: At last, a president who could put together two consecutive complete sentences! But he has disappeared. Bring him back!

Ruth L. Kaplan

My dear Ms. Kaplan: he has not disappeared. He's here. Because o' you and the folks who put him into office, we're stuck with him. But cheer up! You can deal with it! Remember that "speechmaking" that first drew you to him, look in the mirror and repeat after him: "Yes I Can!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dockers: An ad I wish I wrote

Once upon a time, men wore the pants, and wore them well. Women rarely had to open doors and little old ladies never crossed the street alone. Men took charge because that's what they do. But somewhere along the way, the world decided it no longer needed men, disco by disco, latte by foamy non-fat latte, men were stripped of their khakis and left stranded on the road between boyhood and androgyny. But today, there are questions our genderless society has no answers for. The world sits idly by as cities crumble, children misbehave, and those little old ladies remain on one side of the street. For the first time since bad guys, we need heroes. We need grown-ups. We need men to put down the plastic fork, step away from the salad bar and untie the world from the tracks of complacency. It's time to get your hands dirty. It's time to answer the call of manhood. It's time to WEAR THE PANTS.

(c) Dockers

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Contemplating a Christmas gift list for priests...

...that is, for any priest who would love to give me a gift for Christmas.

Heading the list is a simple mantra, one that Father Z has popularized, but in any case one I—and I pray most Mass-goers—hold dear:


Starting out with a simple "good morning"....

...or "good afternoon" or "good evening" or "how the heck are ya"—why do so many celebrants think this is so necessary? So much necessary that it precedes the Entrance Antiphon, the Sign of the Cross, and one form or another of the most beautiful of greetings: "The Lord be with you"?

You might say this is no big deal and perhaps you're right. But I think it is the beginning of the slippery slope that shines the spotlight on the celebrant, rather than Whom he is acting for.

Besides, it's the first thing that happens at Mass that sets my teeth on edge, and this being my blog, there you are.

More, God willing, later. Meanwhile, if you want to add your own gripes, feel free.

Remember though, to pray for our priests...and to thank Our Father for giving them to us, and to ask for more, in Jesus' Name.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Missing Vocations? Help find them.

The Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations helps men and women follow God's call to service in the Church through a life of consecration.

How? By offering grants that eliminate the delay many young people face as they struggle to pay off their student debts. These grants cover a candidate's student loan payments while he or she is in formation for either religious life or the priesthood.

From the Mater Ecclesiae website, some good news:

We are helping 50 men and women follow their vocations (and have helped another 21 to try their vocations), and each year we must raise the money necessary to make their student loan payments. These men and women are learning to become priests, monks and brothers, and nuns and sisters and pray each day for you, for the Church and for the world.

And some bad news:

The truly awful news is that we have had to turn away 58 young people who wanted to offer their lives to Christ, but could not because of their student debt! Will the Church lose these vocations?

She won't if you help. First, pray.

This video dramatizes the plight these good folks—and potential servants of The Church—are facing. Watch it, and pray. Visit the Mater Ecclesiae website to find out more about their work. And, if you can help in a monetary way (or know someone who can), all the better!

Thank you. You will not go unrewarded.

Friday, November 27, 2009

ACORN, "provided to," and the justice department

The NYT tells us:

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has concluded that the Obama administration can lawfully pay the community group ACORN for services provided under contracts signed before Congress banned the government from providing money to the group.

The weird thing is that President Obama signed a law including this:

"No taxpayer money—including money authorized by previous legislation—could be provided to Acorn or its affiliates."

Seems the phrase "provided to" is...ambiguous.

David Barron, the acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel said he had based his conclusion on the statute’s phrase “provided to.” This phrase, he said, has no clearly defined meaning in the realm of government spending — unlike words like “obligate” and “expend.”

Evidently, Mr. Barron consulted his dictionary and thesaurus to come to his decision. Somebody outta show him how to use these tools. To say nothing of explaining what a preposition is.

(By the way, regarding "is"...Is there a definitive definition of what the word "is" is?)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A blessed Christ the King to you!

Have some fun with Nestle's Crunch! :-)

Okay, let's have some fun.

Call the Nestle's Crunch Hotline at 1-800-295-0051. When you are asked if you want to continue in English or Spanish, just wait quietly for about 10 seconds and you will smile. Promise! (If you comment on this status after listening, don't give away the surprise...) Keep going and press gets even better.

(H/T to Marika)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

AP goes rogue with the facts *

AP goes rogue with the facts *

Dom has an interesting blog on the supposed "fact checks" on Sarah Palin's new book.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Listecki for Milwaukee!

Archbishop Jerome Listecki has been chosen by the Holy Father to succeed Archbishop Timothy Dolan as chief pastor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Here's a bit o' what I know about His Excellency, and it looks good!

Prayers for my Milwaukee brethren and their new pastor. Our Lady, Mother of the Church, pray for us, and for your Son's priests!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blood Money

To learn more about this film, go here.

You keep telling yourself that Fort Hood wasn't a terrorist attack.

Incredibly enough, the headline o' this NYT story has nothing to do with the terrorist's -- excuse me, alleged -- what? -- is it okay to say "murderer?" -- but the, um, person's attorney's opinion regarding his health.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And the stupid liturgical award o' the week...

...goes to the celebrant who, although steadfastly refusing to participate in the purification rite during the Offertory (again I ask...what in Heaven's name is the symbolism we uninformed laity are supposed to get from this omission?) elaborately cleansed his hands, wrists and, indeed, forearms with a portable hand sanitizer before distributing the Blessed Sacrament.

No urban myth...I was there.

Health care, China, and connecting the dots

From today's New York Times:

Now, Chinese and foreign health officials say that some of those contested measuresmore easily adopted by an authoritarian state — may have helped slow the spread of the disease in the world’s most populous country. China has not had to cope with a crush of cases, and it began administering a vaccine for swine flu in early September, the first country to do so.

Yay, China!

I guess my question is pretty simple: why couldn't those measures to help slow or eliminate the spread of swine flu been left to free enterprise — not The Government?

My opinion is not changing. Expect more —and more blatant — accolades to "solutions" offered by "authoritarian" states. Expect more — and more blatant — suggestions that Big Government will solve all our problems.

Expect the worse, in so far as this country is concerned.

(On the other hand, my hoped-for citizenship — and I pray this is the same for you — is not of this world at all. Given that, expect the best.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday rant: health care, terrorism, and Obama


Forgive me, but I'm feeling a tad ticked off. Why? Because I'm growing weary of living in Alice's Wonderland.

Here's the facts:

Last Thursday, 14 people were massacred at Fort Hood, which is an American defense post in Texas. (We keep hearing "13" but that's BS. One murdered woman was carrying an unborn baby. So we're talking 14.)

42 people were wounded.

The "alleged" perpetrator is a fellow named Nidal Malik Hasan.

This was a terrorist attack on American soil -- on an American Army base! -- and I don't give a bleep whether the terrorist's name is Hasan or Maloney. We're talking no brainers, here, friends.

And it happened on Obama's watch.

Remember the swine flu? It hasn't gone away. You enter "swine flu" into Google and guess where you're taken? Directly to the government-run CDC. This stands for "Center for Disease Control" but so far the government hasn't done much in controlling the disease.

My niece is a physician. She got the disease a couple of weeks ago.

I work part time with hospital patients undergoing bone marrow transplants.

Neither one of us have been vaccinated. Have you? I thought not.

And yet this country is actually considering the notion of putting health care in charge of the federal government!!! Are you kidding me???

Folks, it's time to wake up. Under the Obama watch, this country has been attacked on her own soil by a terrorist. Under the Obama watch, this country has been deprived of a vaccine to prevent what we've been told is a deadly disease.

Under the Obama watch, we've seen more "czars" -- people with enormous power who need not undergo any congressional approval or even investigation -- than pre-revolutionary Russia had ever seen.

Do we pray for the terrorist? Of course we do. Do we pray for Obama? Of course we do.

Do we just sit back and let this bleep happen?

You decide. I've already decided.

While President Obama is fit -- and evidently more than eager -- to be an emperor, emperor status is not afforded under the United States Constitution.

He should be impeached and removed from office.

I'm Kelly Thatcher and I so approve of this message.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Keeping the lines of Communication open

All Souls' Day is not the only day to pray for the Church Suffering, but it's a good start if you've been remiss in doing so. Do it every day.

Yesterday, All Saints' Day, wasn't the only day to ask the Church Triumphant for prayers, but it's a good start if you've been remiss in doing so. Ask for their intercessions every day.

The Communion of Saints: still another gift from God Who is Love!

We pray for our brothers and sisters in Purgatory because it pleases God. And they pray for us because it pleases God and gives them joy to do so. And because they love us. We must love them in return because it pleases God and so therefore should give us joy to do so.

The saints in Heaven pray for us because it pleases God and because they love us.

All of this love emanates from the One Who is Love!

May His Kingdom come!

Planned Parenthood Director Leaves, Has Change of Heart

Planned Parenthood Director Leaves, Has Change of Heart

Saturday, October 31, 2009

For those who generally make it to Mass on time...

...please turn your clocks back one hour -- might as well do it now -- and enjoy an extra hour o' sleep tonight.

For those who generally saunter in just after the Offertory? Kindly ignore this post.

This has been a pubic service announcement from the Lady in the Pew. I'm Kelly Thatcher and I approve o' this message.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Have you contacted your congressman yet?

Great post, and an informative one, from Unborn Word of the Day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Attention St. Jude fans: he doesn't need a "magician's assistant"

It happened again this evening. As I was leaving Saint Clement's Shrine after a visit with Jesus, I spotted a stack of xeroxed sheets labeled "Miraculous Prayer to Saint Jude." Sighing, I glanced at them and, sure enough, there was a lovely prayer to the Saint of Hopeless and Desperate Cases...and a not so lovely instruction:

"Make 90 copies of this prayer and distribute 10 each to 9 different churches will surely get your wish, guaranteed!"

Or some such drivel.

As usual, I tossed them in the trash. Where such garbage belongs.

I happen to consider Saint Jude a very good friend.

And as such, it pains me to see him used as a baal.

It is a good thing to ask for this good saint's intercession, particularly in situations which seem hopeless.

It is a bad thing to think that he's a magician.

It's a terrible thing to think that one can manipulate what is, after all, God's domain.

If you are facing what appears to be a hopeless or desperate situation, three things:

1) You're not, really. You're just facing a situation that you, personally, can't see how to handle.

2) This is a good reason to ask Saint Jude to intercede on your behalf. Let him do it. Don't muck it up by adding your own brand o' witchcraft to the mix.

3) Remember that you're asking the good saint to pray for you! You're not asking him to wave a magic wand (he doesn't own one) and you're not helping matters by spreading idolatry around.

Okay? Thank you. When I approach Saint Jude, I often ask him to pray for folks who misuse his love this way.

Because sometimes it seems like a hopeless cause.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Maybe Barack doesn't totally own the MSM after all?

Short, but incredibly sweet article.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Meet my cool new friend Lera

I met Lera for the first time today, along with her daughter and husband, and feel like I've known her my whole life.

Do, please, visit her wonderful website, check out her blog, and join this remarkable woman in her faith-filled battle. And for you Archbishop Fulton Sheen fans, there's a special place just for you!

Celebrating Fatima -- enjoy!

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

God! Save the Queen, and England!

When Pope Benedict visits this country next year, he is expected to stay at Buckingham Palace as a guest of the Queen. The warmth of her welcome will come as no surprise to the Pontiff, if senior sources at the Vatican are to be believed.

Read the linked story, and pray!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Father Damien of Molokai to be canonized this Sunday!

Image courtesy Hawaii Magazine

Father Damien, pray for us!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Supreme Court refuses message to choose life for Illinois folk

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to review a lower-court ruling that said Illinois did not have to issue "choose life" license plates.

The rejection came without comment.

Well, I can understand that. I mean, no matter the comment, it would sound stupid.

Here's the plate, which, as you can see, is incredibly threatening. Sheesh. (Image courtesy Jill Stanek's blog.)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Word of God on marriage, children

From Sunday's First Reading:

When he brought her to the man, the man said:
"This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called 'woman, '
for out of 'her man’ this one has been taken."
That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one flesh.

From the Responsorial Psalm:

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants.

From the Gospel:

"Let the children come to me;
do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to
such as these.
Amen, I say to you,
whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child
will not enter it."
Then he embraced them and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.

A blessed Respect Life Sunday to you!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Could somebody clue in Father Richard McBrien on Adoration of the Eucharist?

Once again (70 x 7?) it's time to pray for priests. Once again, it's time to pray for Father Richard McBrien. And, if I might say so (and I hate to do it), once again, it's time for priests—good, orthodox priests—to face the fact that some o' their brother priests aren't exactly following Catholic teaching and, maybe...even say something about it?

Notwithstanding Pope Benedict XVI's personal endorsement of eucharistic adoration and the sporadic restoration of the practice in the archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere, it is difficult to speak favorably about the devotion today.

Now that most Catholics are literate and even well-educated, the Mass is in the language of the people (i.e, the vernacular), and its rituals are relatively easy to understand and follow, there is little or no need for extraneous eucharistic devotions. The Mass itself provides all that a Catholic needs sacramentally and spiritually.

Eucharistic adoration, perpetual or not, is a doctrinal, theological, and spiritual step backward, not forward.

Source: what else?

"Glorious Guardian Angel" by Saint Therese of Lisieux

Glorious Guardian of my soul,
You who shine in God's beautiful Heaven
As a sweet and pure flame
Near the Eternal's throne,
You come down to earth for me,
And enlightening me with your splendor,
Fair Angel, you become my Brother,
My Friend, my Consoler!...
For you the Kingdom and the Glory,
The Riches of the King of kings.
For me the ciborium's humble Host.
For me the Cross's treasure.
With the Cross, with the Host,
With your celestial aid,
In peace I await the other life,
The joys that will last forever.

Thanks to our friends at Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cardinal Arinze makes it pretty clear

On kneeling, altar rails...and crawling to Christ. I love this man!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

(Father) Richard McBrien must be humble...why else would he revel in displaying ignorance?

From the National "Catholic" Reporter:

Lest anyone question Benedict's personal preference in this matter, it should be pointed out that, beginning on the feast of Corpus Christi last year, those receiving Communion from the pope must do so only on the tongue. He has also expressed support for restoring the practice of the priest's celebrating Mass "facing the East," which means in plain English with his back to the people. In plain English it means "facing God." By your logic, Father o' mine, if I sit in the first few pews I'm turning my back to my brothers and sisters in Christ. The Mass, my dear Father, isn't about the celebrant. Although you'd never know it when attending Mass celebrated by your comrades. It's distracting as bleep to be subjected to the showman trying to make eye contact with the audience -- excuse me, congregation -- instead of trying to reach God.

Given the possibility that such reversals (sometimes referred to as a "reform of the reform") will eventually be mandated, one can only imagine the confusion, frustration and anger that many priests and laypeople will experience.

One can indeed only imagine it because the doom you predict is...imaginary.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Father Longenecker's perspective on health care...I missed the point, I think.

Although the comments are interesting.

Reflection on today's Gospel (don't read if you're a Kelly's Catholic Crossword subscriber!)

If you wish the top spot, then head for the end of the line.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Have I mentioned wordXross lately?

Okay, 'course I have. But if you're a friend -- and I know you are! -- you'll visit the site and download the FREE game. In case you missed the link, here it is again:


wordXross: not just a client...a paying client that allows me time to go to Mass every day. Please go now.

I'm Kelly Thatcher and I approve o' this blog. ;-)

Monday, September 14, 2009

His name is James Pouillon, Mr. President...

...and indeed, "violence is never the right answer."

I think that's what Mr. Pouillon was protesting. In a non-violent manner.

Jesus: the radical Lover and the New Testament

Certainly no one can dispute that lovers of God were persecuted and still are persecuted throughout history. One need only to read, for example, the words of Jeremiah, or the story of the Maccabees to learn how brutally God's chosen were treated.

What's the difference between the Old and New Testament martyrs?

Jesus. As Saint Peter tells us, He left us an example.

In the Old Testament, brave men died for the love of God...and they, no doubt with solid human reasoning, prayed earnestly to God to rain justice down upon their persecutors.

Jesus changed all that.

The punishment of crucifixion under Roman rule was not just excruciatingly was humiliating beyond belief. Those crucified were, under these conditions, almost expected to endure their deaths only by mouthing oaths and even terrible much so that, in many cases, it was customary for their executioners to sever their tongues in order to silence their horrible words.

Nobody had to cut off Jesus' tongue.

"Father, forgive them...they know not what they do."

The first of Jesus' last words introduced love in its most radical form: that of mercy on those who do us wrong.

This is Christianity: a radical sort of love the world had never seen.

Saint Stephen, Christianity's first martyr, echoed Christ's words as he died, stoned by those whom, it might be argued, thought they were doing A Good Thing.

Time after time, we learn of those who were—and still are today—tortured and murdered for the love of Christ, cheerfully and even joyfully accepting their lot with love and tenderness toward their enemies.

This is Christianity: radical love that, sadly, much of the world has still not embraced.

And when we recall that Jesus is God—the Author Life—His example is even more awesome.

Awesome. But not inimitable.

I pray that the next time someone insults you or insults me, we may remember the way of Jesus. That we may be truly radical when it comes to love.

What a great work of charity! Death itself died when Life was slain on the Tree!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rain in San Antonio, Deo gratias!

Pro-lifer murdered in Owosso, Michigan

An elderly pro-life activist was shot multiple times and killed this morning in front of Owosso High School in Michigan while he was peacefully protesting abortion with a sign depicting a baby and the word "Life," according to local police cited in the Flint Journal newspaper.

More here.

Ora pro nobis.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Obamacare: 1 minute after the speech, the "myth" word comes up

Unbelievable...but maybe not. But just one minute after the president's speech, CBS's Katie Couric wonders if the speech will dispel the "myths" about this plan.

Face it, America. The MSM thinks you're stupid fairy-tale believers.

(If it's any comfort to you, I don't think you are.)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Two New York Times articles, two presidents, one subject...and there the similarities end

Here's a fun test for you.

In 1991, the first President George Bush gave a speech to school kids. The New York Times covered the criticism of the action, which you can read here.

Now here's Part 1 of the test:

Try to find the following words or phrases:


Hard, huh?

Okay. Here's an easier one.

Today, the same paper covered criticism of current President Obama's plans to deliver a speech to school kids this Tuesday. You can find the article here.

Now here's Part 2 of the test:

Try to find these words or phrases:


Easy, isn't it?

Which only goes to show that it's easy to win the game...when it's fixed.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Where do you stand?"

When you can spare a few minutes—nah, do it now—listen to a homily I wished I'd heard last Sunday, by Father Phillips of San Antonio's Our Lady of the Atonement parish.

Father Phillips' blog can be found here.

H/T to Richard.

Also, Richard asks that we pray for rain in the San Antonio area. Thanks!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Obama: ironically, the one who seemed to get it at Edward Kennedy's Mass of Christian Burial

It's unlike me to ask you to listen to President Obama. Yet he was the only one who—outside those reciting the required liturgical words—to publicly pray for Senator Edward Kennedy.

He's also the only one who mentioned that the late Senator had faults. (As we all do!)

So, in this case, I beg you emulate Barack Obama, by echoing his words:

"May God Bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Alveda King, Father Pavone, remember Ted Kennedy

Bless us o Lord, and these thy gifts...

My friend and cooking whiz Fr. Leo Patalinghug has a cool website and is preparing to do battle with Iron Chef Bobby Flay in a Food Channel Steak Fajita contest.

That's great. But my question to you is:

Do you pray before meals? After meals? Does your family?

I was brought up to do both and to this day, even while eating alone, I still do. What do you think about this practice?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ad Orientem: Thank you, Bishop Edward Slattery, Tulsa!

I get a lot o' mail and hear many people complain about the "liturgical abuses" a celebrant commits during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Some—perhaps many—are legitimate complaints and should be addressed. Some really aren't. All, though, in my opinion, stem from the seemingly unsolvable problem of the celebrant facing the people during Mass.

I mean, think about it. Imagine yourself in the celebrant's place. All eyes on are you. Unless you're a saint—and I daresay few people are, even priests—it's only natural that in that position one is perhaps a wee bit self-conscious. "Do I look okay?" "Am I doing this right?" "Is that person in the back actually yawning?"

Which might very well lead to thoughts such as:

"Hmm...there's so many references to `the Father.' And all those male pronouns. Will women be offended? Will they blame me? I didn't write the bleeping words!" Or "Maybe if I make a little joke, you know, lighten up the atmosphere a bit?" Or "Why are they all staring at me when I wash my hands? Don't they know I feel silly doing this?" Or "I've got it! I can invite them all into the sanctuary...maybe that'll work."

And so on and so on.

It's only been about 40 years since priests facing the people became the norm.

Prior to that, priests, along with congregation, faced God! It wasn't all about the celebrant (as in, "oh, how I love the way Father Whosis makes eye-contact" or "what's with Father What's-his-name, he barely looks at us" or "when Father Blank prays, I feel like he's speaking directly to me!")

It was, or at least seemed to be, I expect, all about God. Or at least it wasn't all about how the priest's hair looked, sheesh.

In the Diocese of Tulsa, Bishop Edward Slattery is doing a good thing. From his letter:

If our conversation about the Mass is going to “make any sense,” then we have to grasp this essential truth: At Mass Christ joins us to Himself as He offers Himself in sacrifice to the Father for the world’s redemption. We can offer ourselves like this in Him because we have become members of His Body by Baptism.

We also want to remember that all of the faithful offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice as members of Christ’s body. It’s incorrect to think that only the priest offers Mass. All the faithful share in the offering, even though the priest has a unique role. He stands “in the person of Christ,” the historic Head of the Mystical Body, so that at Mass, it is the whole body of Christ—Head and members together that make the offering.

Facing in the same direction.

My thought is that many so-called (or even legitimately called) liturgical abuses can be rectified quite simply: by the celebrant and the people looking in a Singular Direction.

By remembering that the Mass isn't about the people's "feelings" or celebrant's "feelings"...but rather about his place ad persona Christi as the head—and ours as the members—of the Body of Christ.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

For those o' you whose celebrants wimp out on Sunday's Second Reading...

Here's what you missed. Here's the complete reading.

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the church,
he himself the savior of the body.
As the church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.

My question: why are girly-girl priests and feminists so eager to keep the wives out of the action when they choose the "shorter" version (which is actually four short lines less)?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pope Saint Pius X: priest of the Eucharist

We can thank God — and His servant, Pope Saint Pius X — for the opportunity for daily Communion, and for the availability of Jesus to children. From the canonization address of this amazing man:

A priest, above all is in the Eucharistic ministry: this is the most faithful portrayal of Saint Pius X. To serve the mystery of the Blessed Eucharistic as a priest, and to fulfill the command of our Savior—`do this in remembrance of me'—was his goal. From the day of his sacred Ordination until his death as Pope he knew no other path than this in order to arrive at heroism and in his love of God and to bring about a wholehearted return to that Redeemer of the world, Who by means of the Blessed Eucharist poured out the wealth of His divine love on men.

Overcoming the prejudices springing from an erroneous practice, he resolutely promoted frequent, even daily, Communion of the faithful and unhesitatingly led children to the banquet of the Lord, offering them to the embrace of the God hidden on the altars. The spouse of Christ experienced a new springtime of Eucharistic life.

The Holy Eucharist and the interior life: this is the supreme Adoration of the Real Presence and universal lesson which Saint Pius X, from the height of glory, teaches in this hour to all souls. As apostle of the interior life, he becomes, in the age of machine and organization the saint and guide of men in our time.

Pope Pius XII, on the canonization of Pope Pius X, May 29, 1954

"Show Me State" nuns enforce the 7th Commandment

Sisters Catarina and Connie spotted a young man with a rifle walking through a field near the St. Francis convent. They thought he was an illegal hunter and went to confront him. He dropped the gun, but after a few questions, he turned and ran.

Despite wearing flip-flops and a habit, Sister Catarina gave chase while Sister Connie called police. She caught up with him and asked him to stay put, but he ran into a wooded area.

Canine teams arrived and with the nun's help, they found and caught the man.

Full story here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Andrea Mitchell "mythology" on abortion funding under ObamaCare

Andrea Mitchell in today's NBC News, Washington broadcast:

Our new NBC News poll shows misinformation is heavily clouding public opinion on health care...half believe that tax dollars would fund abortions.

Dear Myth -- 'scuse me Ms -- Mitchell:

Most of us heard our Fearsome Leader's pledge to Planned Parenthood as a candidate in July 2007:

There will always be people, many of goodwill, who do not share my view on the issue of choice. On this fundamental issue, I will not yield and Planned Parenthood will not yield.

Some of us have actually read the New York Times -- don't you?

WASHINGTON — An Obama administration official refused Sunday to rule out the possibility that federal tax money might be used to pay for abortions under proposed health care legislation. Peter R. Orszag, the White House budget director, asked whether he was prepared to say that “no taxpayer money will go to pay for abortions,” answered: “I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It’s obviously a controversial issue, and it’s one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.”

Andrea: you are a myth creator.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Perpetual Adoration at Saint Clement's coverage: Michael Paulson and the Globe should know better

As one commenter posted: "All in all, it's not a bad article." And it isn't. But the lead taints it from the get-go.

The adorers sit in silence before the wafer.

Come on. "The wafer?"

Michael Paulson has been reporting on religion since at least the turn of this century. There is absolutely no journalistic reason why he didn't note, in the lead, that Catholics believe that the consecrated wafer is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ. Instead, he, or his editor, chose a lead that reflects the Catholic put-down style of a P.Z. Meyer. (For quick reference only...please don't bother to read the linked post, unless you really want to.)

Other problems with the article include...

...the implication that adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is "unusual." What I think (I hope) he means is that Perpetual Adoration is rare. Adoration itself is quite common!

This comment by the Cardinal is a good one:

“For us to have the Eucharist visible for adoration is a very ancient tradition in the church, and a way to nourish people’s faith and spirituality,’’ O’Malley said. “Throughout the country, there is a renewed spirit of Eucharistic devotion, and we certainly want to encourage that here.’’

This line in the article is, at best, disturbing:

O’Malley said he occasionally participates in the practice.


There's gotta be a typo here. There is no way I can believe that any priest, in whose home and workplace resides the Real Presence of Jesus, doesn't spend at least some time every day in Eucharistic Adoration. "Occasionally?" There's no way I want to believe this comment.

Perhaps it's a question of semantics.

Perhaps. In any case, it's a joy—regardless of odd reporting—to know that, in still another place within the Archdiocese of Boston, Perpetual Adoration is taking place.

Source: The Boston Globe

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saint Lawrence, how I love you!

Today is the Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr. The readings are 2 Cor. 9:6-10, Psalm 112, and John 12:24-26.

Here is the day's commentary by Saint Ambrose (circa 340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church on both the Gospel passage and Saint Lawrence himself. Enjoy! (Many thanks to the good folks at the Daily Gospel.

"If it dies, it produces much fruit"

When Saint Lawrence saw Bishop Sixtus being led to martyrdom, he started to weep. It was not the Bishop's suffering that drew tears from his eyes but the fact that he was going to martyrdom without him. That was why he began shouting after him in these words:

"Father, where are you going without your son? O, holy priest, where are you going in such a hurry without your deacon? Yet you have never been accustomed to offer the sacrifice without a minister!...Test it out that you have chosen a good deacon: would you refuse to share the sacrifice of your blood with him to whom you have entrusted the administration of the Lord's blood, with whom you share the sacraments?"

Then Pope Sixtus replied to Lawrence:

I have not forgotten you, my son, nor am I forsaking you. But to you I am leaving even greater combats to undergo. I am old and can only bear a light struggle. But you are young and there remains an even more glorious triumph against the tyrant to be won by you. You will be coming shortly; dry your tears; you will follow me in three days..."

Three days later, Lawrence was arrested. He was asked to bring out the Church's wealth and treasures. He promised to do so. The following day he returned with some poor people. He was asked where the treasures were that he had to bring. He showed the poor people, saying:

"These are the Church's treasures. What greater treasures could Christ have than those of whom he said: `Whatever you have done to one of these little ones, you have one to me.'"

Lawrence showed forth those treasures an so he was the victor, for the persecutor had no desire to take them from him. But, in his fury, he caused him to be burned alive.

Saint Lawrence, pray for us.
Pope Saint Sixtus, pray for us.
Saint Ambrose, pray for us.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Please patronize my client's -- and my -- new blog!

It's called wordXross and it's all about the launching of a new computer game. Keep us in your prayers!

And don't think that the lady is about to leave her pew!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Perpetual Adoration returns to Boston after 40 years!

"Adorers are not content to be alone in adoring, loving, and serving the God of the Eucharist,” they wish “to make Him adored, loved and served by all…to erect a throne of love for Him everywhere and find faithful adorers for Him.”

St. Peter Julian Eymard, Priest of the Eucharist

After four decades, Perpetual Adoration will, God willing, return to Boston...appropriately enough, at Saint Clement's Eucharistic Shrine.

From Chris Pham of CatholicTV:

The return of perpetual adoration to Boston was in direct response to the call of Pope Benedict XVI to have spaces dedicated to prayers for vocations and the sanctity of priests during the Year for Priests.

Large billboard advertisements in East Boston and Brighton, MA are currently advertising the return of perpetual adoration. The billboards show a picture of the sun shining in the sky with the caption “Sun’s rays for Your Body”. To the right of the image of the sun is an image of a monstrance which holds the Eucharist. The message reads “The Son’s rays for Your Soul”.

Watch CatholicTV August 4 at 10:30 AM, ET, or just check the archives... see and hear Father Peter Grover, OMV, rector of Saint Clement's, talk about Perpetual Adoration with lay coordinator Tim Van Damm.

Miracles do happen.

For a great read on this, check out the Boston Pilot story, here.

Planned Parenthood, South Korea: "Have more children!"

In the 1960s, the average South Korean woman gave birth to six children during her lifetime. Forty years later, South Korea has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world—slightly more than one child per woman.

Gee...I wonder why?

After years of encouraging families to have only one child, the government has done an about-face. It established a “Low Fertility Rate and Aging Society Commission” under the direct control of the president.

But as Choi Seon-jeong realizes, government policies aren’t enough. He notes that attitudes “towards marriage and having children has changed a lot among the younger generation. They think more highly of relationships with their partners and are less likely to depend for fulfillment on their children."

Choi called on “religious groups . . . to advocate respect for life, abortion prevention and positive values on marriage and parenthood, [and urge] the younger generation to form families and have children.”

And guess who Choi Seon-jeong is?

See article here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Filipino priest Eddie Panlilio: hey, if I lose the election, I can always go back to the priesthood!

Father Eddie Panlilio, a priest running for president of the Philippines, doesn't seem to care much about his superiors, Canon Law, or anything much to do with his presumed vocation, according to this ZENIT article.

The guy's running for president. Even though it's against Canon Law.

'Course, Canon Law doesn't seem to matter much to Father Panlilio...he already holds a political post: he's governor of the province of Pampangna. Which resulted in his suspension by his archbishop, but what the heck.

"The situation is causing division among the Philippine faithful."

Why is this? Are the Philippine faithful unaware of the Canon forbidding priests to hold political office? Perhaps they are. If so, why the ignorance? Do not the Filipino priests inform the faithful of this? Or is this another instance of—as we've seen in the U.S.—priests muzzled (or presuming they're muzzled) and therefore unable to preach against Catholics voting for certain candidates?
The situation is causing division among the Philippine faithful. Perhaps the most vociferous support for Father Panlilio comes from the Philippine Alliance of Xseminarians, PAX, which claims some one million members, some of whom are lay, others who are priests.
Ah..."some one million members." Perhaps. Are these "Xseminarians" (some of whom are priests) educating the Philippine faithful?

Read the whole article, if you have the time, but here's the money quote:
Father Panlilio…has affirmed that, if he were to receive authorization, he would take up again his priestly ministry in the event that he does not win the presidency.
Forgive me, but isn't this sorta putting this world in second place, so to speak, to the Kingdom of God?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

On -- I don't know, the "etiquette?" -- of receiving Jesus

There are times—I like to think of them as "extraordinary circumstances"—when I'm asked to help distribute the Blessed Sacrament. Primarily, this means taking the Sacrament to hospital patients. But sometimes this also occurs at Sunday Mass...usually when my parish church is unusually filled with tourists, as so often happens in the summer here in Boston.

The honor is awe-inspiring.

The point, though, is often—too often—I'm distracted from this amazing honor by the manner in which some folks receive the Lord.

Personally, I'd rather everyone receive on the tongue.

And, to my delight, many people do—many more than I can recall for several years. What's especially gratifying is seeing younger folks—college age, for the most part—receiving on the tongue.
And new communicants seem to receive with proper respect.

I've noticed that younger kids—say, from age 7 to 16 or so—seem to not only know Whom they are welcoming, but the proper way to welcome Him. Even when they receive in the hand.

But what's with the "liturgical hors d'oeuvre" crowd?

I've encountered people respond to my "The Body of Christ" in some of the following manners:
  • "Uh-huh"
  • "Thank you"
  • "Thanks"
  • ...silence...
  • "Okay"
  • "Yep"
Generally this is followed by an attempt to snatch the Host from my hand and pop the Sacrament into the mouth like a Frito, for Heaven's sake.

Often, I've found myself refusing to give the Host to people who don't, at the very least, indicate to me how they'd prefer to receive. (I.E.: "if you're receiving on the tongue, open your mouth, please." Or: "put your hand under the other hand, that's right, now please consume the Host.")

Am I alone in experiencing this, and in my dismay at it? Ordinary and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, please feel free to respond.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Celebrating life...and the first moon walk, 40 years ago today

Thanks to the great folk at Catholic Vote -- and a tip o' the hat to Father Dennis.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"Voice of the Faithful?" (Who?)

Replete with questionable "facts," the AP story begins thusly:
BOSTON (AP) — A lay Catholic group founded in the worst days of the church's clergy sex abuse scandal said Monday it may be forced to cease operations because of a downturn in donations.

Leaders of Voice of the Faithful sent out a fundraising letter Monday to members saying it is "at the crossroads of financial survival" and needs $60,000 by the end of this month.

Bill Casey, chairman of the group's board of trustees, said Voice of the Faithful has been hit hard by the economic downturn and is making an "emergency appeal" for donations. The group is based in the Boston suburb of Needham.

"Our revenue has been dropping. We've made significant reductions in our operating expenses. We've cut salaries, we have cut contracts," Casey said.

"But I think for us, the killer has been the inability of people to continue to contribute because of the economic crisis."

This, in my not-so-humble opinion, is a crock. The group never was a "voice of the faithful." The group was—and the emphasis is on was—a bunch of dissidents (with, admittedly, some people sincerely distressed by the scandal...who pretty much left the organization within a year or so of its inception) who used the scandal to try to push "reform" in the Catholic Church in America. You don't have to take my word for it. Somewhere in the bowels of my computer is the slide show that outlines the whole sorry plan.

Wait, I just remembered something. 'Way back in 2002, I wrote about the group here.

Bye, bye, VOTF. You're not even're gone.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mark Shea on Mariology by ZENIT: part 1

Terrific interview with fellow blogger and author of "Mary, Mother of the Son."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Crossword solvers and constructors: alert!

Hey, gang! Alden and I just got a cool new client—folks who are in the final stages of a game combining crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, brain-teasing hints from old and new game shows like "Concentration," "Wheel of Fortune" and even "Jeopardy!" What a blast!

I realize experienced American-style crossword puzzlers aren't the main readers of this blog, but if you are one, or know of one, drop me a line!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Judge Ruth Ginsberg on Roe, according to Bill Donohue

Excerpts of a New York Times Magazine interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which will appear on July 12, include the following quote by the Supreme Court Justice about the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion: “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”
Stay tuned to see if the NYT prints this. (Sheesh.)

The president seens the sights in Rome...

Obama: Baby Got Barack

(Sorry...couldn't resist)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Welcome, Benedict Bettinelli!

Dom and Melanie's boy was born today!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Make new friends...they're saints!

Okay, there's Twitter and Facebook and all sorts of ways to make and keep contact with your earthly friends. And that's great! But let's not forget those "cloud of witnesses"—the saints—who right now are cheering us on from our eventual home.

Although the Church calendar honors many saints, there are gazillions who aren't necessarily recognized in the liturgy of the day but are saints nevertheless. One way to meet them? Check out the Saint of the Day.

In just a few minutes, you can learn about the essentials that made holy men and women friends of God—and your friends, too. And, you can ask them to pray for you…they'll be happy to do so!

Saint of the Day—because nobody can have too many friends.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Monday, July 06, 2009

Father Z on "toning down the rhetoric...and why we probably won't do it"

Chittister graciously demonstrates the reason for the Vatican's "nun" inquisition

Modestly dubbing herself as "A Voice of Reason," the lady opens with her never failing blatherskite:

Well, we're in trouble now. U.S. bishops, not all of them but clearly a vocal few, have brought the church to the point of serious confusion. By denouncing Notre Dame for inviting President Obama to give the university's 2009 commencement address and, in the course of that ceremony, to receive the honorary degree awarded to eight U.S. presidents before him, the bishops are surely in an awkward position. To say the least.

The problem is that on July 10, Pope Benedict XVI will receive President Obama at the Vatican itself. That kind of reception is, of course, no small honor for anyone and surely a symbol of dialogue and listening at the highest level of Vatican diplomacy.

So will those same bishops denounce the Vatican, too, as they did Notre Dame? And if not, what is that saying?

Look, sis. While Our Fearsome Leader might—actually, outta—consider an audience with the Holy Father an "honor" (and somehow, a doubt is niggling at the back of my mind, no doubt unworthy of me), the Holy Father isn't giving the guy an Emmy, an Oscar, an Honorary Degree, or even a silver star to stick on his forehead.

For Heaven's sake, please Lord, start this investigation now!


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Freedom Prayer

Archbishop Allan Vigneron of Detroit posted this beautiful Independence Day prayer on the archdiocesan website. (H/T Father Dennis Brown)

You must try Colleen Hammond's daughter's... fail PERFECT flaky pie crust!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Obama: "expect a `robust conscience clause'"

The President met with some Catholic media types yesterday.
Obama began the meeting with brief remarks, describing his conversation with the Holy Father just after his election, the National Catholic Register reported. The president said he looks forward to his meeting with Pope Benedict next week, especially to discuss immigration, climate change and the Middle East.
All important issues, to be sure, but not the issue.
President Obama said he views the Holy See in some ways like a government, with whom he will sometimes agree and sometimes disagree, but also as more than a government, because of the influential role played by the Church across America and throughout the world.
More than a government? Well, yes. Remember "My Kingdom is not of this world"?
Father Owen Kearns, editor in chief and publisher of The National Catholic Register, observed, “The most noteworthy thing during the meeting was his dispelling of what you might call the expectation of the worst regarding conscience clauses.”

Obama told those gathered that he had only reversed the Bush-administration’s conscience provisions because “it hadn't been properly reviewed” and there were questions about “how broad it might be and what its manifestations would be once implemented.”

Yet Obama assured people that “my underlying position has always been consistent, which is I'm a believer in conscience clauses.”

My not-so-underlying position is: I disapprove of abortion and killing of any type.

Father Kearns also commented on Obama’s treatment of the divide between conservative and liberal Catholics. “After the first question, from the National Catholic Reporter's Joe Feuerherd, the president jokingly asked, ‘Was there really [a controversy at Notre Dame]?’”

Yuk yuk.

Regarding the division of opinions within the Church, Obama said he believes that “the American bishops represent a cross section of opinion just like other groups do,” said the National Catholic Reporter.

Uh...Eminences and Excellencies? The above quote is your challenge. You're not "just like other groups." For the love of God, will you get your acts together?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Nun investigation

First of all, there's a difference–I think—between religious sisters and nuns. Anybody with more info, please chime in.

The Vatican is quietly conducting two sweeping investigations of American nuns, a development that has startled nuns who fear they are the targets of a doctrinal inquisition.
Good. And I'm not at all offended by the word "inquisition" and don't you folks be cowed by it either, please.
Nuns were the often-unsung workers who helped build the Roman Catholic Church in this country, planting schools and hospitals and keeping parishes humming. But for the last three decades, their numbers have been declining - to 60,000 today from 180,000 in 1965.
Not good. The declining numbers, I mean. The "unsung workers" label is a good thing. We're not supposed to look for kudos.

While some nuns say they are grateful that the Vatican is finally paying attention to their dwindling communities, many fear that the real motivation is to reel in American nuns who have reinterpreted their calling for the modern world.

First clause good. Second clause? Silly.

In the last four decades since the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, many American nuns stopped wearing their religious habits, left their convents to live independently, and went into new lines of work: academia and other professions, social and political advocacy, and grass-roots organizations that serve the poor or promote spirituality. A few nuns have also been active in organizations that advocate changes in the church like ordaining women.

Not. Good. At. All. We all know these "few" ladies.

Here's the whole article.