Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Overcoming a major vocation obstacle: The Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations

Student loans. They come in handy for college, but can become a major obstacle for those aspiring to the religious life. Here is an apostolate helping to overcome this challenge.

From the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocation's Mission Statement:

As part of the vow of poverty, a person who enters religious life must be debt-free. If you have no financial assets, you have no way to make monthly payments on any kind of loan. Most vibrant religious orders have no assets to spare for assisting their aspirants with their debts. What little they have must be allocated to feeding and housing their members. Many religious orders are mendicant and beg for their daily sustenance.

Most aspirants to religious life have no trouble clearing their personal debt: selling a car to pay off the car loan, working to pay down credit card debt. But the average student loan runs in the tens of thousands of dollars and presents a greater obstacle.

The average aspirant to religious life who has attended college faces a student loan balance of $30,000 which must be paid in just months rather than the 20 years originally intended.

As a result, an aspirant's entrance is delayed, sometimes for many years. Consider the impoverishment to the Church in terms of years of lost consecration and sacrifice for our Lord.

It is our mission to eliminate the obstacle an aspirant's student loans present to answering his vocation.
A notion I'm sure is inspired by the Holy Spirit! Do visit the group's website.

Mary Ann Glendon pulls no punches

Friday, April 24, 2009

Abortion, the death penalty, and war: Archbishop Dolan's words (for which I can't find the source)

In today's press release from the Cardinal Newman Society—a pretty much daily missive—I found Archbishop Timothy Dolan's exposition on the difference, for Catholics, between war, capital punishment, and abortion extremely lucid. The Society credited the New York Post for the interview.

Unfortunately for me — and for you, if you're a reader — I simply cannot find any source online (other than the Cardinal Newman Society) that iterates these words. (Except for the Cardinal Newman Society.) If you can help me on this, I'd appreciate it.

Meanwhile, if you're one who keeps insisting that Catholic teaching on war, the death penalty, and abortion are somehow "equal," then I invite you to read the following. Thank you.

The Most Reverend Timothy A. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, explained during a recent interview that his opposition to Notre Dame’s slated honor for President Obama on May 17 is due to the President’s support for the “intrinsic evil” of abortion. He also contrasted abortion to other serious concerns, like the Iraq war and the death penalty, which “are open to some discussion and are not intrinsically evil.”
The [New York Post reporter] asked Archbishop Dolan why he is publicly opposed to Notre Dame honoring President Obama at its commencement on May 17, but did not publicly oppose the same honor to President George W. Bush in 2001, given Bush’s positions on the Iraq war and the death penalty.

“There’s a big difference,” Archbishop Dolan said. “There are some issues where the Church has weighed in, that one must be very sensitive to the morality of some issues, but they’re not intrinsically evil. An intrinsic evil means that something is always and everywhere wrong.”
The Church’s teaching on the death penalty and war, explained Archbishop Dolan, allow for such activities in extreme cases. So while Archbishop Dolan said he was uncomfortable with President Bush’s positions, he “would have to give him the benefit of the doubt to say that those two issues are open to some discussion and are not intrinsically evil. In the Catholic mindset… that would not apply to abortion."

This is, without question, Church teaching, plain and simple. I only wish I could find a back-up source that actually quotes Dolan speaking it. It shouldn't matter, I realize that, since the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes his points very clear, but it does matter to me, and it should to you.

Anyway, please don't send me this link because I've read it and it doesn't relay the entire text quoted above. But if you can find the source, again, I'd appreciate it.

Update: DUH on me! As Michele points out in the com box, the link in the above paragraph, is the right link...the trick is to watch the video, sheesh. The interview is a good one, by the way, and worth the look-see.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mother Angelica!

Photo courtesy EWTN.com

Yesterday, Mother Angelica turned 86. To offer a Spiritual Bouquet for Mother's intentions, go

Monday, April 20, 2009

Meet my husband!

Kenneth Alden Thatcher and Patricia Kelly Thatcher (the blogger formerly known as Clark), were married during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Easter Saturday, April 18, 2009, in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, Massachusetts. Please pray for us...thank you!

Photo credit: Mr. & Mrs. Alden Thatcher, who paid $2.00 for this portrait in a photo booth in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

Friday, April 17, 2009

An atheist recants...Alleluia!

British intellectual A.N. Wilson, by his own admission, was a member for many years of the company of smug mockers of religion that dominates Britain’s chattering classes.

Not any more.

Writing in Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, Wilson recounts why he has abandoned the trendy atheism of which he was formerly a prominent apostle.

Read the whole story at the National Catholic Register.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"My name is Susan Boyle..." Go on and enjoy!

Tom Dillon, Thomas Aquinas College President: R.I.P.

From Dr. Robert Moynihan at Inside the Vatican:
One of America’s leading Catholic educators, Dr. Thomas Dillon, President of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, was killed [yesterday] morning in an automobile accident while in Ireland. His wife Terry, who was traveling with him, was also injured, and is currently in a Dublin hospital, but is expected to survive. The couple have four children and 15 grandchildren.

I knew Dr. Dillon personally. He was a thoughtful, learned, kind man who committed his life to the noble cause of Catholic education, building Thomas Aquinas College into one of the great Catholic colleges in the world.

Read more here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Archbishop Timothy Dolan installation services available online

Over 5,000 folks are expected to attend Archbishop Timothy Dolan's Mass of Installation tomorrow at Saint Patrick's Cathedral beginning at 1:30 PM. (Eastern Time)

Can't get there? Then surf over to CatholicTV Online for a front pew seat!

And remember to pray for the Archbishop and his New York flock. Thanks!

Monday, April 13, 2009

"And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day."

In today's Gospel (Matthew 28:8-15) we hear Jesus once again telling his disciples—this time, two women—"do not be afraid!"

This is good advice. Evidently some people didn't take it.

For reasons I cannot fathom, the hierarchy at the time was very afraid.
"...some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them: "You are to say, `his disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.'"...and the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day."
Well, duh!

I wish I could find commentator William Barclay's words on this passage, but I can't. So you'll have to do with mine.

This story has circulated, not just among the Jews but among all non-believers to this present day. Why? Why is such a ridiculous story given any credibility at all?

I believe the answer is fear. But why people, some people, are afraid to face the fact of the Messiah's birth, death, resurrection, and, most of all, the salvation he gave us is beyond me.

I've heard a number of theories about Jesus. That he was a "nice guy." A "healer." A "kind person," and even a "prophet."

But none of these theories square if his resurrection is denied! And if his resurrection isn't true, then Jesus wasn't a "nice guy" at all—he was a liar, and liars are not "nice guys."

Resurrexit sicut dixit!

Jesus said, over and over again, that he would rise from the dead. And he did. Obviously. Sleeping guards normally don't get rewarded...they get punished. The whole sham about the "stolen body" is so transparent a blind person could see it, so why do people, some people, believe it?

What are they afraid of?

Sometimes, I guess, it's scary to live like a follower of Christ. When things get tough, it may seem easier to deny, not just the cross, but the resurrection. Because here on earth, there is a price to be paid for following Jesus.

Pay it. It's worth it. And don't be afraid!

Tell everyone you know the truth: He Has Risen! Jesus, the Messiah, God made Man, has come to us as a human, lived among us, taken up our crosses, suffered for us, died for us, conquered death itself, saved us!

Do not be afraid.

Don't be afraid to tell the truth. Tell it humbly, tell it joyfully: He has risen! God be praised, we are saved!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Regina Coeli -- for 50 wonderful days!

Not that I have anything against the beautiful Angelus, but the Regina Coeli is so Easter!

Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. / For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.

Has risen, as he said, alleluia. / Pray for us to God, alleluia.

Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. / For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


He has risen!

"He descended into hell..."

An awesome piece from today's Office, in which Christ seeks out Adam.

Julie Green, R.I.P.

My friend Julie died either late last night or very early this morning. Please pray for the happy repose of her soul. Thank you.

Requiescat in pace.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Divine Mercy Novena starts today

Here are the daily intentions for the Novena, to be prayed prior to reciting the Chaplet.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Prayer request: for my friend, Julie Green

My friend Julie is dying. She is not expected to survive the night. Please pray, right now:

Hail Mary, full of grace!
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners, now,
And at the hour of our death. Amen.

Thank you.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Notre Dame: "decades old elephant in the closet: American Catholics no longer oppose pro-choice politicians"

The reality is that Catholicism in America has quietly become a house divided, and now with one very public act, Notre Dame has dragged into view a decades-old elephant in the room: American Catholics no longer oppose pro-choice politicians.

As the White House shrewdly noted when it fielded the first wave of outrage, half of American Catholics voted for Barack Obama. Home run, Mr. President, as usual.

The White House is aware of the true crux of the issue, and so should we be: Catholicism in America -- as well as the entire pro-life movement -- is a house divided. Indeed, many who say they are pro-life are part of the new president's constituency. The choir is not the choir anymore.

From a Zenit interview with Mariangela Sullivan, founder and director of Notre Dame Action Coalition. Available here.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Obama Stem Cell Story: 9 things the media messed up

"The longer I live the less I’m surprised by poor journalism in major media outlets," writes Josh Brahm of Central California. "However, I think the reports about President Obama's recent decision (3/9/09) to force taxpayers to pay for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (HESCR) takes the cake. After reviewing the articles and videos by major media sources, as well as the local media here in Fresno, I offer this analysis of what you likely either missed or were misinformed about if those were your only sources for information."

Please read it. Share it. Defend life with it.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Wipe off that gloomy mask of tragedy; it's not your style...

A blessed Holy Week to you!

Father Zuhlsdorf writes:
Destruction of economies, missile tests by rogue nations and no solution in sight, the dissolution of societal mores, left to himself man will screw things up every time.

We need to attune ourselves to the workings of grace in our lives.
He continues by asking readers to share their good news...the post and comments are wonderful!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Some "Catholic" senators to health care workers: "check your consciences (whatever they are) at the door"

Obama's $3.5 trillion budget? Not a problem!

Protect the rights of medical professionals? No way.

Last night, the Senate voted 56-41 against Senator Tom Coburn's budget bill amendment preserving the right of conscience for health care workers...and patients.

Coburn's amendment reads:
"To protect the freedom of conscience for patients and the right of health care providers to serve patients without violating their moral and religious convictions."
Coburn offered the amendment because the Obama administration is seeking to rescind a federal regulation established by the Bush administration that offers further protections to doctors and other caregivers who decline to participate in procedures such as abortions.

The Senate said "no."

A bright spot? Senator Casey and nine other Catholic Senators said "yes."

Nine Catholic senators voted to support the Coburn amendment: Murkowski, Martinez, Risch, Brownback, Bunning, Vitter, Johanns, Voinovich, and Bob Casey. Significantly, I think, is the fact that this is the third pro-life vote cast by Senator Casey since his public admonishment by his local ordinary, Bishop Joseph Martino.

(Not-so-parenthetical comment? Bishops, for Heaven's sake, take note!)

Senators professing to be Catholic opposing the Coburn amendment: Begich, Dodd, Kaufman, Durbin, Harkin, Landrieu, Collins, Mikulski, Kerry, McCaskill, Menendez, Gillibrand, Reed, Leahy, Cantwell, and Murray. Senator Edward Kennedy did not vote.

Said Senator Coburn on his amendment:
“Like many pro-life doctors, I would go to jail before being forced to perform procedures, such as abortion, that violate my deepest held convictions. Discriminating against health care providers by requiring them to disregard their deeply held beliefs is assault on liberty.”
Sources: World Magazine and Catholic.net.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Notre Dame: a new name, a new fight song

Recognizing the aptness of Bishop Thomas Doran's suggestion that the South Bend university, which plans to honor a pro-abortion celeb at its graduation ceremony, change it's name to "Northwestern Indiana Humanist University," I humbly submit the following new "Humanist U Fight Song" for consideration:

Cheer, cheer old Humanist U,
Shake up a Catholic teaching or two,
Send a message to the Church
Don’t let them leave you in the lurch!
Don’t let those racists spoil your fun,
Honor Obama, be Number One,
While those silly papists march out...


“Northwestern Indiana Humanist University?”

From Bishop Thomas Doran to Father John Jenkins:

March 31, 2009

Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Dear President Jenkins:

I wish to express in my own name and on behalf of the Catholic community of this Diocese, my dismay and outrage at your decision to invite the current President of the United States to address the 2009 graduates of the University of Notre Dame and to receive an honorary degree.

This decision of your flies in the face of the expressed directive of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the year 2004, that Catholic institutions not so honor those who profess opposition to the Church’s doctrine on abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

I would ask that you rescind this unfortunate decision and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese. Failing that, please have the decency to change the name of the University to something like, “The Fighting Irish College” or “Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.” Though promotion of the obscene is not foreign to you, I would point out that it is truly obscene for you to take such decisions as you have done in a university named for our Blessed Lady, whom the Second Vatican Council called the Mother of the Church.

I sign myself

Very truly yours,

The Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran, D.D., J.C.D.
Bishop of Rockford

Source: The Cardinal Newman Society

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"Oh, boy, have YOU got a crazy sponsor!"

Once upon a time...many thanks to Father Ryan and Jeff Miller for the tip on this wonderful video on this incredible man.