Saturday, December 29, 2012

Litany of Christmas Thanks

Litany of Christmas Thanks

(Response: Baby Jesus, we thank you.)

For the Blessed Virgin Mary your Mother who said "Yes" to the angel. R/
For John the Baptist who leapt in the womb of Elizabeth his mother when you visited him in Mary. R/
For Joseph your foster father who trusted the angel instead of heeding his own doubts. R/
For the donkey that carried your expectant Mother to Bethlehem. R/
For the neighbor who led your holy family to the stable. R/
For the manger in which you were placed as if in the first tabernacle. R/
For the animals who were there in the first moments that you were adored. R/
For the angels and their song that led shepherds to your stable. R/
For the shepherds who worshiped you and then proclaimed the Good News like priests. R/
For Simeon who all his life had been waiting for you in the temple, longing to hold you. R/
For Anna the prophetess who proclaimed you to all those looking for deliverance and peace. R/
For the star that led the Magi to your manger and your Mother. R/
Loving Father,
all of these Christmas gifts
symbolize how much you love us
with the supreme Gift of your Son, Jesus Christ,
born for us this Christmas day.
We give these gifts to one another to express
how grateful we are for your unfathomable generosity
and to show how eager we are to share that goodness with one another.
Bless these tokens of love and caring.
Never let us get attached to material things,
but rather let the joy flowing from these presents
strengthen our bonds of love, deepen our relationships,
and move us to be more thankful, selfless, and giving all the days of our life.
Thank you for the birth of Jesus,
our brother and our Savior.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning,
is now and will be forever.
by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Mom, the Religious Ed Teacher


Dear God, I want so much
To place my trust in you --
But there are times, dear God
I know not what to do.

I feel such pain, and loneliness,
I fear the long dark night --
I wish that I could keep Your face
Forever in my sight --

Then, I'd remember how
Your Son did suffer too,
And how in fear He was
And how He prayed to You.

For He was human as am I,
And knew He'd have to die
He put His trust in You
And never questioned why.

Please, let me be like Him
And follow in His way
I'll place my trust in You, dear God...

...and never cease to pray.

Marie Kelly
Written for my C.C.D. class
November 16, 1987

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santa Claus: pro-life, pro-woman, pro-Jesus

'Course, maybe like you, I've known Santa Claus since I was a kid. I used to see him a lot, but lately? Only a few weeks before each Christmas. Still, it's always good to see him.

For the past few weeks he's been hanging around the Prudential Center of Boston, directly across from the post office and a few steps away from Saint Francis Chapel.

I've tried to pop by to see him whenever I could...sometimes—often—he's busy with little kids, patiently listening to them. If we can't chat, we manage to blow kisses to each other (often, alas, to the dismay of the photographer who has to take the picture over again.)

A couple of weeks ago—on the eve of his namesake's day (that would be Saint Nicholas)—we spent a half an hour or so together, talking over old know. We posed for a photo, which was fun.

And, somewhat to my surprise, he asked me what I wanted for Christmas!

He: "Kelly, come on. What'd you like me to bring you this year?"
Me: "Santa, you come on! You know I've got everything I need and I'm not a kid anymore."
He: "Sure you are don't be silly, there's got to be something."

As it happened, I had in my hand a gift request from the annual Saint Francis Chapel Giving Tree—a wonderful effort by some good pro-life folks to help unborn babies and their parents to warm up Christmas a bit. So...

Me: "Okay, Santa. What I'd like is for the Chapel Giving Tree to be a great success!"
He: "Giving Tree?"
Me: "Yeah. You know. Moms. Babies. Folks in need."
He: " Jesus and Mary and Joseph?"
Me: "Well, yes, actually."

Then I kissed him goodbye and hurried off.

Today I found myself in an impossibly long line at the post office. I needed to mail two letters overseas and the auto-machine thing wasn't working. Since I'd just been to confession—top story: Kelly Was Impatient—I tried to ignore the line and make cheerful talk with my fellow queue-mates. It worked, actually. In the middle of one conversation, a nice looking lady came into the crowded area calling out:

"Excuse me, is there a Kelly here?" I looked around, and since nobody else claimed the name, I pleaded guilty as charged.

"Oh, good," she said. "Santa sent me to ask if you'd be good enough to stop by and see him...if it doesn't make you late for Mass, of course."

Gamely trying to ignore my slightly flaming cheeks (along with the sudden hush in the post office...I mean, how often does a 50++ woman get publicly summoned by that Little Round Elf?) I assured the lady I'd do my best, and hey presto! Suddenly I was at the counter!

In no time, my transaction with the grinning post office lady done, I rushed across the aisle and sank into Santa's sofa. He said:

"Kelly. Forgive me for taking so long. Here. Take this for the Giving Tree. And the babies. And the moms. And for Him."

After staring at the wad of bills he thrust into my hands, I threw my arms around him and dashed off to the Chapel Office minutes before Mass started, and gave the money to the receptionist. "It's for the Giving Tree," I explained.

"Great timing!" she said. "They're on their way to pick up the stuff. Thanks, Kelly!"

"Don't thank me," I mumbled. "Thank Santa Claus." But she only smiled.

I entered the Chapel praising God...and giving thanks for a very giving man.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The dead in Newtown, CT, 12/14/12: please pray!

Please pray for the souls of those who suffered a violent death in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, December 14, 2012, and for the consolation of their loved ones.

The children

Charlotte Bacon, age 6
Daniel Barden, age 7
Olivia Engel, age 6
Josephine Gay, age 7
Ana M. Marquez-Greene, age 6
Dylan Hockley, age 6
Madeleine F. Hsu, age 6
Catherine V. Hubbard, age 6
Chase Kowalski, age 7
Jesse Lewis, age 6
James Mattioli, age 6
Grace McDonnell, age 7
Emilie Parker, age 6
Jack Pinto, age 6
Noah Pozner, age 6
Caroline Previdi, age 6 
Jessica Rekos, age 6
Avielle Richman, age 6
Benjamin Wheeler, age 6 
Allison N. Wyatt, age 6

The adults

Rachel Davino, age 29 
Dawn Hochsprung, age 47
Adam Lanza, age 20
Nancy Lanza, age 52
Anne Marie Murphy, age 52
Lauren Rousseau, age 30
Mary Sherlach, age 56
Victoria Soto, age 27

May God continue to bless you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Threaten marriage?" Go 'way to the back of the line, ladies

There's a meme traversing social media networks that uses these two old ladies (below) brandishing their "marriage certificate," courtesy of the state of Washington, to challenge those of us who doggedly persist in believing that marriage is a union between a man and a woman on our "feelings of threat."

Makes me laugh out loud...or perhaps cry.

Because these two old gals, of course, have about as much "threat" power as did a wandering ice berg had after the Titanic sunk.

The threat began—let's face it, folks—long before the notion of same-sex "marriage" ever entered the picture.

And when did the threat begin?

Gee. Probably forever. But for purposes here, let's just start with my lifetime. (It's my blog.)

How 'bout when among Catholics of The Greatest Generation, after reading Humane Vitae, (clearly limning the dangers of artificial birth control), a sudden rash of "irregular periods" infested women...a "disorder" obligingly "cured" by The Pill?

Or maybe when the divorce rate overcame the 50% mark?

Or when "wife swapping" became vogue in suburbia?

Or when "open marriage" gained popularity as a means to "keep the zip" in marriage?

Or when the "sexual revolution" opened the doors to premarital sex, abortion, and all sorts of nice stuff like that? And the ladies and gentlemen of The Greatest Generation had no problem with taking their daughters to the friendly neighborhood gynecologist to be either fitted for a diaphragm or prescribed The Pill?

I could go on, but you get the picture.

Dearest ladies, you couldn't cause a threat to traditional marriage if you tried. Because you, and the "activists" who are using you, have missed the point entirely.

You're not a threat. You're merely a result.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Our Prayer" to Our Lady: written by my mom in 1940

My sister Buzzy gave me my mom's diary on my wedding day. While thumbing through it this evening on the day of the Presentation of Our Lady, I was struck by this entry, written in 1940.

"Our Prayer"

Oh, Virgin Pure

Oh, Virgin Fair
Sweet Mary, lily white,

Keep us in thy loving care.
Protect us, day and night.

Watch o'er us when
The days are dark
With life's great trouble
And strife.

Keep within us
A burning spark
A Love for eternal life.

Keep vigil, sweetest Mother dear
When Satan aims his arrow of sin
Coat our souls with an armor of fear
Of Hell's precocious din.

Please give us thy helping hand
When we stumble
In erring way.
Deliver us from the Devil's snare;
Protect us, we humbly pray.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

3 Days of Adoration, Prayer, Fasting: 2012 Elections

The inspiration for 3 days of fasting and prayer is found in the Book of Esther. Queen Esther, when informed of the possible annihilation of her people, called for a three day fast prior to her interceding with the king on behalf of her people.

Mary has been likened to Esther as she continually intercedes with the King of kings on our behalf. The nation has been entrusted to her under the title of Immaculate Conception. Let us ask her to pray with us and for us that we, as a people, will choose life.

"Who knows but that it was a time like this that you obtained the royal dignity?" (Esther 4:14)

Many thanks to my friends at Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament for this prayer.

Prayer for Our Country

O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, at this most critical time, we entrust the United States of America to your loving care. Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your Son.

Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hears and seek refuge in your motherly protection. Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people.

Open our minds to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.

Free us from the falsehoods that lead to the evil of abortion and threaten the sanctity of family life.

Grant our country the wisdom to proclaim that God's law is the foundation on which this nation was founded, and that He alone is the True Source of our cherished rights to live, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and the strength to build a new Culture of Life.

"...I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy All Saints Day!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Prayer to Prevent Assisted Suicide

True Compassion at the End of a Life

O God, source of all life and hope, grant us the grace to see you in others, especially in the poor and vulnerable, the frail and the old.

Look kindly on your sons and daughters who have grown weak through illness and age: fill them with the strength of your Holy Spirit. Keep them firm in faith and serene in hope, that they might give us all an example of patience and joyfully witness to the power of your love.

We pray for our country and for our Commonwealth of Massachusetts: that we might continue to protect and defend the dignity and worth of every human life, created in your image and likeness.

Assist us as we oppose those who, out of misguided mercy, advance the cause of doctor-assisted suicide.

Help us to recognize that to die with dignity is to die in your loving embrace, trusting in your compassionate care for us, and allowing your will be done in us.

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us and help us grow in faith and trust, so that your words might become ours:

"Let it be done to me according to God's will."

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Many thanks to Father Jonathan Gaspar, Director of Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Boston for this prayer. Please. Vote NO on Question 2 in Massachusetts.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mary, and getting a jump start in doing our job: Prayers of the Faithful

There are two really important words in the Ave Maria —the Hail Mary prayer.

NOW. Pray for us sinners, NOW.

And at the hour of our DEATH.

Because there are really only two important times in our lives. NOW. And when we are approaching the final "now."

Not everyone prays the Hail Mary.

Sad, but true. And yet—aside from The Lord's Prayer—this one doesn't get any better. Our job is to get people to Heaven.

So here's what I propose (and many priests already do this):

When concluding the prayers of the faithful—or, as they're also called, the Offertory Intercessions—why not make it a habit to vocally implore Our Lady to intercede for add her wonderful voice... in that amazing prayer called the "Ave Maria?"

Think about it. Not only are you asking Mary to pray for you, but, if everyone prays to her, well...everyone is asking for the same thing:

"Pray for us sinners NOW, and at the hour of our DEATH."

I mean, really. Jesus never denied His Mother anything. That's why the "Hail Mary" is such a great prayer! And if, for whatever reasons, our brethren (to say nothing of our sisthren) aren't in the habit of using this magnificent prayer, what is to stop our celebrants from leading the assembly in doing so?

Pray about this. And maybe encourage your pastor to do the same.

May God, through the intercession of His Mother, Mary, continue to bless you.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Father George W. Rulter in Newton: Wed. 10/17 at 6:00 PM

From reader Kristine DeMatteo:

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Parish presents:
Father George W. Rutler
"Crisis of Saints: Holiness in the Year of Faith"
Wednesday, October 17, 6 PM, Lower Church Hall.

(and my alert eyes spotted the money question: it's FREE!)

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton Upper Falls extends an open invitation to attend a talk by Father George W. Rutler, who will speak about "A Crisis of Saints: Holiness in the Year of Faith." He will discuss the importance of looking at the saints for guidance. For while saints have lives peculiar to a specific time and place, human nature never changes. The way the saints draw on the strength of the Holy Spirit is a guide for today's faithful at a time of cultural upheaval.
For more information, contact Kristine at

Okay, that's the PR. Here's my take.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to, after even a cursory glance at Father Rutler's bio, to realize that here's a guy worth listening to. It also doesn't take a genius to know that holiness is the A Numero Uno No Questions Allowed One Single Thing We're Needing Right Here, Right Now.

And anybody who recommends looking to the saints for guidance is right up there with the Evangelists. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"Gentle Woman?" Yeah. "Tough Woman?" Absolutely!

While reflecting upon the Seven Sorrows of Mary tonight, I was reminded of a homily I heard at Mass today by Father Mike McNamara. He spoke against something that somehow always bugged me—didn't sit quite right—and that would be the notion of Mary as the weak, totally berserk, wreck of a grief-maddened woman unable to cope with her enormous sorrows.

(I almost got up and applauded, but thankfully my guardian angel held me firmly in my check.)

Indeed, it's true that Mary is a "gentle woman." So please, Carey Landry fans, no protests, thanks.

She's also One. Tough. Lady!

Don't like the image of Mary's toughness? Ponder, if you will, on the "Seven Sorrows."

1.) Simeon's Prophesy. Okay so she's told her Child will be the rise and fall of many..."and you, yourself, a sword shall pierce." How did she react? Did she say "good grief, no, no, I'm not ready nor willing for this stuff!" Nope. She accepted it. Pondered his words.

2.) The Flight into Egypt. I mean, come on! First she gives birth in some barn somewhere in a tiny town. Then she finds out some maniac "king" is dead set on killing—killing!—her little Boy. Her husband tells her he dreams that they've gotta hot tail it into a foreign country and what does she do? Say, "no, sorry, my parents haven't even seen the Boy and besides, what the bleep am I supposed to do in Egypt of all places?" Nope. She just does it. She goes. She Womans-up, so to speak.

3.) Jesus Can't be Found. Any parent who's lost a child—in the mall, at the beach, in the park, wherever—has to understand the agony of this situation. As it turned out, Mary thought He was with Joseph, Joseph thought He was with know the story. So for three bleeping days they backtracked, searching, looking, praying...and finally they found Him. In the temple, for Heaven's sake, "listening...and asking questions." Did she admonish her Son? Well, in a way, yes she did, and understandably so! But when He answered her question, she accepted it. She didn't kvetch and moan about the Impossible Nerve of Some People's Children or anything like that. She accepted it and took Him home. Period.

4.) Mary meets Jesus on the Road to Calvary. She probably cried. But she didn't keel over. She followed him.

5.) Mary Sees Her Son Crucified. Crucified! As horrible as any death is, crucifixion pretty much trumps it all. Imagine how you'd feel if you saw your son, or daughter, or husband, or even that person you really don't like all that much suffering unspeakable horrors? Again, she probably cried. But again, she didn't crumple. She stood by the Cross. Mostly all their friends fled like ninnies—to be honest, what I'd probably do—but she stood by the Cross. Did I mention that this is One Tough Lady?

6.) Mary Sees Her Son Taken Down from The Cross. It's all over folks. Nothing more to see. The guy's dead. Another day in good ol' Roman-ruled territory so you might as well go home. Not so with Mary. If you examine Michelangelo's Pieta and other similar images, you can search but you will not find any hysterical woman. You'll see a sorrowful woman, indeed, but not one ready for the looney bin. You'll see—and I hope you pray on this—one resigned to the Will of God.

7.) Mary Sees Her Son Laid in the Tomb. A few days ago I went to a wake of a beautiful, three year old girl who died of leukemia. Her casket was opened. The last thing I wanted to see was this child buried. I cannot even begin to think about how her parents felt. What excruciating pain!  Hell, I couldn't even bring myself to see my late husband Bill, or my mom, or my dad, being lowered into the ground. But did Mary throw herself over the grave, hysterically screaming? Nope. She watched it all. And somewhere inside of her she knew that God's Will was done. More than anyone else, she knew. And accepted it.

Here's the thing: Mary is tough!

She's tough on sin, tough on the devil, and filled with tough love—of the best sort—for her children. That would be you and me.

So it's probably best to follow her advice: the last of her words recorded in the Bible:

Do Whatever He Tells You!

May He continue to bless us, and may our very loving, and very tough Mother continue to pray for us all.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

If someone asks for your prayers? Just DO it! Now!

Today, after Mass, a very good friend asked for my prayers. I responded, quite truthfully, that in fact I prayed for him every morning.

Wrong response!

When someone asks for you to pray for him or her, do it immediately. Never mind that you prayed for that person already, or -- even worse -- that you intend to pray for that person. Or worse even than that, the Pavlolian response: "yes of course I'll pray for you."

Why is this a wrong—or least an woefully inadequate response? Here's analogy:

Picture yourself in a dark alley somewhere. Someone, you sense, is after you, perhaps armed. Thank God, here comes a policeman! You—sensibly—say: "Hey, Officer! Please help me! I think I'm in danger!"

And the man in blue responds: "Oh don't worry. I protect folks all the time. If you're ever in trouble, just call on me...or any police officer. Meanwhile, know I'm on the job!"

And then he walks away, cheerfully convinced he's done his duty.

And there you are, a sitting duck for the guy you sense is on his way to get you.

Prayer is a powerful weapon. 

A gun or a shield or an armed officer is also a powerful weapon—potentially. But unless he or it is used immediately, he or it is pretty much useless at the moment. Use it, or it's rendered impotent. 

So the next time someone says "please pray for me" here's what you want to do.

Stop. And pray. Right then and right now.

Never mind your good intentions. You might not live to realize them. A sobering thought, but true.

You just stop and pray. Maybe a "quick" Ave—by the way, an incredibly powerful prayer—or maybe a more intense prayer, depending on the requester's needs.

But never mind the "sure I'll keep you in my prayers" or any of the other well-meant promises.

You might forget, you know. Or you might not get the chance to carry out your promise.

So why delay? Pray! Right then, and right now.

May God continue to bless you.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Thank you, Paul Ryan...

...for saying "yes."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Leadership sister" shows true colors, alas

"We would question, however, any policy that is more pro-fetus than actually pro-life. You know, if the rights of the unborn trump all of the rights of all of those who are already born; that is a distortion, too, if there's such an emphasis on that."

Sister Pat Farrell, president, Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Again. I suspect anybody who crowns herself as a "leader." Particularly, of course, in the Catholic Church.

Here, this self-proclaimed "leader" screws up royally. Worse, she...hesitates. If you're a Catholic? You don't hesitate. You know there's a difference between right and wrong and you know what that difference is and you don' say it.

Sorry, Sister. You are one sorry sister.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Catholic "institutions" should refuse federal $$$

I hate to say it, but the president has a point. If Catholic institutions accept Caesar's dough, then they should be prepared to pay the price.
In the immortal words of Nancy Reagan? Just say "no!"
Swensen: “He describes himself as a Catholic voter and wrote 'What can you say about a healthcare bill that’ll mandate insurance companies to provide birth control, sterilization, etc. to employees of Catholic universities, hospitals and churches since this goes against the Catholic religion?' We know there is compromising language in place. Some say it doesn’t go far enough and that the real, the much bigger issue is religious liberty, not contraception.”
Obama: “Yeah. Well it’s absolutely true that religious liberty is critical. I mean that’s what our country was founded on. That’s the reason why we exempted churches, we exempted religious institutions, but we did say that big Catholic hospitals or universities who employ a lot of non-Catholics and who receive a lot of federal money, that for them to be in a position to say to a woman who works there you can’t get that from your insurance company even though the institution isn’t paying for it, that that crosses the line where that woman, she suddenly is gonna have to bear the burden and the cost of that. And that’s not fair.”
Here's the whole interview here.

Read the black. Do the red.

Improvising Illinois priest barred from pulpit

Monday, July 09, 2012

ObamaCare's Lost Tribe: Doctors

A Wall Street Journal story the day after the Supreme Court ruling examined in detail its impact across the "health sector." The words "doctor," "physician" and "nurse" appeared nowhere in this report. The piece, however, did cite the view of one CEO who runs a chain of hospitals, explaining how they'd deal with the law's expected $155 billion in compensation cuts. "We will make it up in volume," he said.

Volume? Would that be another word for human beings? It is now. At Obama Memorial, docs won't be treating patients. They'll be processing "volume."

This article is worth the read.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

We might not win this battle. But we've already won the war.

Please do be prepared. In the eyes of the secular world, we might not win the battle we are fighting during—and after—the Fortnight for Freedom.

As a matter of fact, in the eyes of the world, we've already lost. You know this. Catholic teachings are all but outlawed in the land of the fruited plains and the home of the brave.

The memorials we celebrate on June 22—Saints John Fisher and Thomas More—remind us all too clearly that a country once dedicated to the Church of Jesus Christ, and Her Vicar in Rome—that, in the secular world, the Kingdom of God is not all that easy to help come about.

But. No matter. We've already won the battle—or, rather, Christ on the Cross has won it for us.

Pray. Fast. Sacrifice. And, yes, fight.

But in the end? Be of good cheer.

We've already won.

Fortnight for Freedom

Prayer. Study. Catechesis. Public Action.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Welcome home, Leah!

She was a very cool atheist, as atheist's go. I expect she'll be an even cooler Catholic. Thank you, Lord.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar!

A blessed Corpus Christi to you!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Pelosi On Contraception & Faith: "I Do My Religion On Sundays, In Church" does one "do" one's religion, exactly?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Guardsman, peace-loving landlady are at odds over apartment rental -

Yes, indeed, war is hell. But so are some not-so-grateful would-be landladies, in my humble opinion.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

My fetus might be ____. So I'll kill her.

Your Congress, my congress, and our president simply reaffirmed the fact that abortion is not at all a "pro-woman" issue. But we knew that already, didn't we?

"The right to choose [to kill my child]" has been a mantra for lo these many years now. What puzzles me is trying to figure out why so many pro-lifers are so upset about the recent decision to bless abortions based on sexual preference. [Read: "I don't want a girl." Or, if it makes you feel better, "I don't want a boy." Probable reality? "I want a boy."]

Well, to be clear, I do understand why folks are upset. I guess my question is: where's the surprise here?

Abortion has never been about "women's rights."

Abortion has always been about egoism. About "I'm better than you are." About "if we're going to [sigh] go through all this crap, then we'd damn well get what we're paying for."

And it's a buyer's market.

If you're apt to be sickly, forget about it. If there's a chance you might be a slow learner, or too short, or too tall, or not quite have the right hair, or not have the exact dimple, or may be a brunette (you wanted a blonde) or might be blonde (redheads are so cute!) or won't be athletically, scholastically, musically, artistically, or fill-in-the-blank inclined, it's toodle-loo toots. You won't make it in our world.

And God help you if they really do find a homosexual gene because if they do? And you've got it?

You're toast.

It's the age of designer babies, folks.

I'm sorry, of course, that our elected officials decided—nah, not decided: affirmed—that it's just peachy to kill an unborn child because she's the "wrong gender."

But I'm certainly not surprised. What else did you expect? Equality???? Come on.

May God continue to bless you.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I hear a siren's time to pray...

A siren. Something might be wrong. "Dear Mary, someone might be in trouble. Please pray for them, and for those who are off to help them."

It takes next to no time to ask for these prayers. And yet the power of them is something I'm humbly aware of.

I'm driving past a cemetery. It's time to pray. "Lord, have mercy on them...and on me."

A nanosecond and yet how powerful...who knows what soul will be freed from the bondage of Purgatory and welcomed into His Holy Arms? (And let's not forget: I asked for mercy on myself as well.)

I'm walking, sure-footed, and see many people. There's an old man in a scooter. A young woman on crutches. An elderly lady in a wheel chair. A laughing young lady, obviously pregnant, wheeling a carriage with an infant in it and dragging along a toddler.

Yes, indeed. It's time to pray.

As I walk home I see a policeman, lights whirling in his car, approaching another motorist. A speeder? Something worse?

No matter. It's time to pray.

The thing is, our gracious Lord gives us ample opportunities to pray for one another. Not just "hints" but scenes that scream out "for the Lord's sake please pray for me!"

And I'm grateful for them. Because every time I offer up a prayer for someone else I'm also offering a prayer for myself. After all, prayer is conversation with the Almighty and Who else but the Great Conversationalist Himself will ignore me? Or ignore you?

And so, right now, you  might be reading this, intent on feeding your child, kissing your spouse, calling your mom, waving to your doesn't matter.

Because right here and right now? It's time to pray.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Celebrate the anniversary of my Baptism!

"Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Matthew 28-19

Alleluia! Today is the anniversary of my Baptism according to the rite of the Roman Catholic Church, by Reverend Joseph Zalibert at Saints Cyril & Methodius Church, Detroit, Michigan (the church moved to Sterling Heights, Michigan in 1971). I thank my parents, Leo James Kelly and Maria Victoria Ulanowicz Kelly, my godparents, Vincent and Angelina DuRocher, and most of all, my God Who claimed me for His own.

It is my great joy to renew the vows made by my parents and godparents on my behalf!

I reject Satan, and all his works, and all his empty promises.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Daily Mass: Confessions of a spoiled brat

I am blessed—and I wish I'd realize this more—to be able to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on a daily basis...have been since the mid-1980's.

This privilege is something I've taken for granted, as easily as a child takes for granted that she'll be fed by her parents.

And, like that same child? I've been complaining. Not that the food isn't good. No, never that. Receiving the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ daily? It just doesn't get any better.

Still, I do complain.

Mostly about the priest celebrants. You know these guys...they gave up their lives in order to serve Christ and His people. I pray for them every day.

Yet still, I complain.

Publicly! Mostly about what I consider the "ad libbing" on the part of the priests. Oh, sheesh, a parenthetical comment is creeping up on me here...

(Okay I can't resist...from today's Mass I give you: "...with you and the Holy Spirit, live and LOVE forever and ever. Amen." Father? There's nothing wrong with the word "reign")

I'm sorry. Actually this, or rather the snitty irritation it aroused it me — forget that, the truth is I allowed  the snitty irritation in myself — got me thinking.

"Kelly? You thought???"

Okay, enough of that. Yes, I did indeed think!

Mostly, I thought of the people who don't have the incredibly blessed luxury of being able to participate in the daily celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I recalled being jarred by a Facebook post from my friend Colleen Hammond, for example, who wrote: "Oh, how I wish I could go to Mass every day!" And I recalled how, years ago now, by friend Lisa Graas, being disabled, was often unable to attend Mass on Sundays, never mind weekdays.

And my mind became unbearably filled with thoughts of folks—Catholic, Jesus-in-the-Eucharist adoring folks—who have been barred by any sorts of things: government, illness, lack of priests, whatever—from celebrating the incredible Sacrifice of Calvary offered bloodlessly but no less live and in Person...that Sacrifice that redeemed us, set us free, and is repeated endlessly, every day, world without end.

And I was, and remain, truly humbled.

I—there's that word again, "I"—need to remember that, through no merit of my own, God has given me the opportunity to, every day, embrace Him in what's the most precious gift in the world: The Mass. And, not incidentally, pray that everyone, the world over, be given the same opportunity.

No doubt, God willing, I'll still point out irregularities some priests insist on practicing when they, too, have been given a gift without compare.

But, please God, with every wince I experience, during the Mass, remind me to pray for those who haven't even the luxury of wincing.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thanks, Chuck. May the Lord welcome you into his arms.

Chuck Colson. Requiescat in pace.

"One of the most wonderful things about being a Christian is that I don't ever get up in the morning and wonder if what I do matters. I live every day to the fullest because I can and I know no matter what I do today, I'm going to do something to advance the Kingdom of God."

Thank you, Charles Colson.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vermont's "Death with Dignity" Bill: the epitome of cowardliness

Montpelier, VT. In an act even Dorothy's friend, the Cowardly Lion, would've been ashamed of, the Vermont Senate Health and Welfare Committee gave its stamp of approval to a bill which will allow them  and others to, among other things, be the proud witnesses—sole witnesses, incidentally—of, say, a dying guy with a few bucks to bequeath to said witness(s).

How did they do this? Why, for heaven's sake, it was easy...for cowards.

"The physician-assisted suicide bill was inserted into (what else?) a bill that regulates tanning beds.
With no discussion and no testimony, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted 3-2 in favor of adding the death with dignity amendment to the tanning bed bill and then voted 3-2 to approve the overall tanning bed bill.
A battle will surely ensue in the Senate — which is closely divided on death with dignity — over whether the physician-assisted suicide amendment is “germane” to the tanning bed legislation.
But Sen. Hinda Miller, a Chittenden County Democrat who sponsored the amendment, argued it is germane because both bills are related to cancer. The tanning bed bill is designed to prevent it, and physician-assisted suicide would be used by people dying from it, Miller said."

Saturday, April 07, 2012

He has risen!

Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!

A blessed Easter Season to you! And remember: every day this week is Easter Sunday.

He has risen!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Priesthood Vocations: My God of Surprises

Today, among other things (they're called "sins") I confided to my confessor that I was a tad annoyed at the fact that, despite my every-day-insistent-persistent prayers to God our Father -- in His Son's Name, yet! -- for more vocations to the Church, my prayers seemed to be going unanswered. In fact, since the shortage of priests has become more acute than ever (in Boston, of all places, where there was once, not long ago,  the city was the place of choice for the newly ordained), I couldn't figure out why God was ignoring my requests.

My confessor looked at me and asked: "Why do you think God's not answering your prayers?"

Almost sputtering -- okay, I pretty much did sputter -- I gave him my list:

1) The fact that the Confession lines were enormous and only one priest was available to hear us

2) Just yesterday, on Palm Sunday, I had to scrounge up lay folks to help distribute the Blessed Sacrament since Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion were scarce and the place was packed

3) The hospital (not to mention any names but it's initials are "MGH") where I bring the Sacrament to patients a few times a week just cancelled its daily Masses

4) Parishes are closing

5) It's rare to hear a priest preaching about sin, and...

There he stopped me and repeated the question:

"Why do you think God's not answering your prayers?"

I simply blinked. Perhaps the priest, I thought smugly, was overtired. Which seemed to prove my point. But before I could summon up the energy to repeat my complaints, he pretty much told me to shut up and listen. (Not in so many words, but you know how it is.)

"Kelly," he said, "we're sending our newly ordained to other countries. God willing, they will be blessed with the grace to return to this city, this country, one day, and be missionaries to us. God heard and hears your prayers."

Gee. It never occurred to me to specifically ask God to send more harvesters to Boston. And now that it has occurred to me, I don't plan to specify.

The United States of America is a mission country. Years ago, probably before I was even born, this country sent missionaries to Africa, Asia, and all over the world.

Now? We're the ones who need the missionaries.

But first, we need to ask, repeatedly and persistently, God for more vocations to the priesthood.

And let Him decide where to send them.

May the Master of the Harvest continue to bless you.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

HHS Mandate Protest: the beginning of the last gasp in the US?

Tomorrow, God willing, thousands of people will protest across the fruited plains in opposition to the US of A's Health and Human Services mandate under the Affordable Care Act (known more as "Obamacare.") The mandate requires all employer health plans to provide free contraceptives, sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, etc., regardless of any moral or religious objections.

Many really good people, like the folks at Stand Up for Religious Freedom, as well as those who are not Catholic, are on the good side, and, no doubt, plan to fight the good fight.

But when you come right down to it, this is a Catholic issue. Why do I say this?

Because, for the most part, although the other major faith groups in the world don't consider the "services" mandated by the Executive Branch of the United States of America all that bad. I'm sorry to have to say this, but it's true. Oh, sure, they're "not good," "regrettable," and even "tragic"...but they're not considered a damnation of a soul to hell unless repented via the Sacrament of Reconciliation. (Or are they in other religions? I sure don't think so, but if you know differently, by all means let me know.)

I'm grateful for to all the non-Catholics, including very thoughtful atheists, who oppose this mandate, and I pray to God that they will be rewarded.

But the bottom line? This is, I believe, one of the last steps in eradicating the practice of Catholicism in the United States. Which is, of course, "not good," "regrettable," and "tragic," indeed.

Yet remember: this isn't the first time this has happened in this magnificent world created by God. The Catholic Church, 2,000+ years ago, began as a persecuted institution. Fast-forward 500+ years later, let's say, just across The Pond, and the persecution continued. Hell, it's been going on for years throughout the world. And still is. There is, I daresay, at least one martyr receiving his or her glorious crown each and every day.

And now we come to The Great Experiment: The United States. 

Where Freedom of Religion was supposed to be the watchword, or at least, one of them.

We'll fight. Of course we'll fight. The reason we'll fight is that we're supposed to be put here to spread the Good News, to go out to all the world in order to do so. To do our damn best to make sure that every soul we encounter is made safe for everlasting life with our Triune God.

There's a very good chance that we might lose this battle.

What I mean is, there's every chance that the government of this country will force the Catholic Church—or try—to eat pork, so to speak, as those guys tried to do to the old man in Maccabees. Some, tragically, will eat it. Some will flee. And, many, God willing, will either be punished, fined, imprisoned, or die before we'll do it.

So, remember: we might well lose this battle.

But the war? We've already won it! Or rather, that God Made Man won it for us...just look at your nearest Crucifix.

Hey, I love my country.

But I love my God infinitely more and His promise of eternal life is sweeter than anything imaginable.

So friends, continue to fight the fight. Keeping in mind that the war was won ages ago.

May God continue to bless you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another "class act" among the so-called "Irish" comics: VP Biden, you're not funny either

What is about Saint Patrick's Day that brings out the very worst in attempts at humor? Or the very worst in attempts at humor by politicians and office holders?

I mean, I'm of Irish descent, think I've got a reasonably working funny bone, but is this even near to being amusing?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the vice president—the second in command for those o' you who shuddered at the notion o' Sarah Palin holding that spot—Joe Biden.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Not so funny, Senator Brown

Actually, it's been years since I've found the annual "Saint Patrick's Day Breakfast Roast-or-whatever-they-call it-these days" particularly amusing.

But Scott Brown's comment on Rick Santorum should've died in Poughkeepsie (with all due respect to the good folks in that great town):

“I see that both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum now have Secret Service with them on the campaign trail,” Brown said. “And in Santorum’s case, I think it’s the first time he’s actually ever used protection.”
Uh...Scott? I'd say it was a bad joke, but it really isn't even a joke. Gee...wasn't this guy endorsed by Mass Citizens for Life? Weird.

Yay! Bye, Bye, HaloScan, J-S Kit, et alia!

I've been trying to get ride of halo scan, J-S Kit, and their ridiculously STUPID comment set up for weeks. At first, I liked it, but then it turned into a nightmare. I couldn't do it, but very cool dude Harvey Olson was able to air-traffic control me through the process. Check out his blog. And thanks loads, Harvey o' mine!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Do it NOW!

If you're reading this on March 10, 2012, and it's past 9:00 PM then for heaven's sake, get up and set all your clocks and watches ahead one hour!!!!!

This has been a Public Service Announcement from the lady in the pew.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

@Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Prez: we have a say, too.

"You'd better knock us out now. You and the President better knock us out right now because Cecile, I can promise you: Here comes the Catholic Church…you've awakened a sleeping giant."

Father John Hollowell

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Response to "The Mystery of Faith"

In the old days—okay, it was maybe a couple months ago—we prayed as if "the Mystery of Faith" was something to be proclaimed. 'Course that's probably because we were asked to "proclaim the Mystery Faith."

But never mind...things progress and straighten themselves out.

"The Mystery of Faith," which the priest proclaims after the Consecration, is the wonderful, unimaginable, yet so very true fact: that what was once only bread and wine is now the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ Himself. Right here with us! That's the Mystery of Faith!

What the lay people do is joyously respond to this statement of glorious. And it's a privilege to do so!

Let's learn how to do this properly. The best way, of course, is through chant. Learn this and enhance your elation at proclaiming our awe and wonder and gratitude to Jesus, for what He did for us.

Memorial Acclamation • 12 of 22 from Church Music Association of Amer on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday: why not welcome them?

It's a well-worn Catholic phrase: "they only come to get something."

You know what I mean. Folks who storm the churches on Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday. A priest I know said it himself while trying to get folks to seat themselves in what might have been unfamiliar surroundings:

"It's our most crowded day...more even than Easter and Christmas."

I understand that. And I understand, in a way, the grumblings of the "regulars": where ARE they on Sundays?

But here's the thing: this is our big chance!

Yes, on Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday, folks we've never seen in church are piling in in droves.

But is that such a bad thing?

A thought? Let's pray for those who creep into churches in order to "get something." 'Course, what they'll be getting—or so they think—something visible. Ashes, palms, what have you. Something, I think, that might just remind them—even if they don't really know it—what they've been missing.

So here's what I suggest:

This Lent? Why not pray for just one person who came into a church in order to leave it with that little smudge on her or his face? Why not "adopt a fallen Catholic?"

This is an easy one, actually. Because if somebody is urged (and may I suggest it might be our Invisible Friend, the Holy Spirit? Just askin') to creep into a church on Ash Wednesday, in order to receive that mark which marks him or her as a Christian? Wouldn't it be marvelous if that same person decides to come back again...and again...and again?

Let's not resent those who are on the (I believe) the verge of coming back. Yes, indeed, I know that ashes on a forehead aren't exactly the mark of salvation.

But maybe, in Her Wisdom, Holy Mother Church, lead by Our Savior, is giving a gentle invitation: "Come back!"

May God continue to bless you.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Anti-life's lamest excuse: "there's no help for women in crisis pregnancies!"

Satan's greatest achievement is the lie. The clever lie, which, if charged with enough emotion and silliness, makes others his believers. One of the most effective:

"These so-called `pro-lifers' would sing a different tune if they were asked to actually help a woman in a crisis pregnancy!"

(Often, there's a "hah!" delivered after these and similar statements, evidently calculated to ultimately vindicate the claimant.)

To which I say: HAH!

All one needs to do is google "alternatives to abortion." The results flow in. There are literally thousands of resources, most of the free of charge, for women and men in unwanted pregnancies who do not want to go the abortion route.

One "catch" if you will...the pregnancy must NOT be "terminated."

To put it more simply, the baby MUST live.

So. If carrying an unwanted child to term is not an option, then, yes, you're right...I can't help you. But if it is, then there are plenty of people willing to help you and your baby. And I'm grateful to say that I'm one of them.

Can we stop kidding ourselves?

Can we please, please, stop with the lie that folks aren't willing to step up to the plate and help stop unwanted abortions? Because we all know that's a lie.

If an abortion is wanted, so be it. (God help us, but that's the reality.)

If it isn't, there's plenty of help to stop it and to save a child. (Thank God, that is the reality.)

May God continue to bless you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Physician-Assisted Suicide": just another way to get rid of the unwanted

Sorry, "Hemlock Society" but your name change may fool some folks, but it isn't fooling, for example, the Massachusetts Medical Society:

The Massachusetts Medical Society, the statewide association of physicians with more than 23,000 members, today voted to reaffirm its opposition to physician-assisted suicide, with its House of Delegates voting by a wide margin to maintain a policy the Society has had in effect since 1996.
Opposition to physician-assisted suicide was part of a larger policy statement that includes recognition of patient dignity at the end of life and the physician’s role in caring for terminally-ill patients. The policy was approved by more than 75 percent of the Society’s delegates.
Lynda Young, M.D., president of the Society, said that “Physicians of our Society have clearly declared that physician-assisted suicide is inconsistent with the physician’s role as healer and health care provider. At the same time we recognize the importance of patient dignity and the critical role that physicians have in end-of-life care.”

The proposed ballot question slated for November is horrendous at best, murderous as its kindest adjective.
Here's a scenario of a typical case:
John Q. is ailing. Maybe cancer, maybe a mental illness, maybe incapacitated by an accident. John Q. is, understandably, upset. Perhaps he's upset because he feels he's a burden on his relatives, or, because he's in pain, or both. Or a combination of other factors. At some point, John Q. wonders if life is really worth living.
Enter the "heroes": the Hemlock Society (nope, I'm not giving the link to the new, "more humane-sounding" name)
"John Q," they tell him—or, more than likely, his relatives who are, again, understandably, weary of John Q's pain—"tell ya what you outta do. Just ask your doc to prescribe some nice, soothing pills that'll take ya away from all this misery—and, by the way, the misery you're causing your loved ones, poor things, and hey, presto, everybody's problems are solved. You're gone, off no doubt to the [insert religion of your choice]'s promise of your reward and is everybody happy? Yes!"
So, the hapless physician—who probably doesn't want any part of this but is required by law to acquiesce to his patient's request—is forced to prescribe a deadly mixture which will put and end—with "dignity," mind you—to poor John Q who will feel obliged to take the stuff (even though at this point he may have changed his mind, but gee, wasn't he the one who brought this all on?) and, ignominiously, die.
Although the fiends who really brought this all on will deny the ignominious part…they'll say he "died with dignity."
And who's to deny the fiends their claim?
Nobody. Why? Because poor John Q's death certificate won't say "he committed suicide." No indeed! The document will claim—shamelessly—that John Q. died of cancer, or a mental illness, or maybe an incapacitating accident.
That's the picture that Massachusetts voters will be asked to condone come November.
Let's not do this. It'd be laughable...except that it's a real bill.
For more info on this egregious proposal, please visit Suicide is Always a Tragedy. Thank you, and may God continue to bless you.