Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Come back...I swear, it's not too late...

From Saint Augustine:
Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I love you!
Lo, you were within, but I outside, seeking there for you, and upon the shapely things you have made  rushed headlong—I, misshapen.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
They held me back from from you, those things which would have no being, were they not in you.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness: you flared, blazed, banished my blindness you lavished your fragrance, I gasped; and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and how I hunger and thirst; you touched me, and burned for your peace.


Let Truth, the Light of my heart, speak to me, and not the voice of my own darkness. I wandered far away, yet I remembered you. See, now I return to your fountain, with longing and a burning thirst.

I myself am not the goal of my own existence. Left to myself, I lived in sin, bringing death upon myself. In you I have discovered life.  See, now I return to your fountain, with longing and a burning thirst.


Here's the thing: if I came back to our Holy Mother Church, anybody can. Yes, even you!

May God continue to bless you…and welcome you back to His arms. Amen.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Dear Leadership Conference of Women Religious: Huh?

In her address to the assembly, LCWR president Sister Florence Deacon, OSF presented reflections on what it means to be a faithful woman of the church as a framework for a way forward in LCWR’s relationships with church leaders. Referring to LCWR’s doctrinal assessment, she concluded, “Our situation reflects larger questions and concerns such as the ongoing implementation of the Second Vatican Council; the ecclesial roles of women religious and of the laity, especially women; understandings of authority, faithful dissent, and obedience; and the need for spaces where honest, probing questions about faith and belief can be raised and discussed.”

Personally? I don't get it. I don't get what "faithful dissent" means. I mean, I understand that many saints—Joan of Arc, Theresa of Avila, and Bernadette come easily to mind—had to argue…strenuously!…with the Powers That Were about what they saw, and what they believed.

But "faithful dissent?"

Also, I don't get the concern about the "ecclesial roles of woman religious and of the laity, especially women…" [emphasis mine, but really…come on].

Freud once asked "What do women want?"

The Lady in the Pew asks: "What do `Women Religious Leaders'" (an oxymoron if I've ever heard one) really want?

Here's the whole press release…I mean, do religious sisters generally give out press releases? 

I admit it. I don't get them. I really, truly, do not understand them. But then, maybe it's the pant suits. I'm not being snarky…it's just that, to me, Roman Catholic sisters are sisters and lay women are lay women. And these…ladies…seem to want to have the respect due to their orders…and the power—yes, the secular power!—of their lay sisters in Christ. You tell me. What am I missing?

Monday, August 19, 2013

What pro-lifers really do (and no, it's not harassing The Right to Choose)

My "pro-choice" friends aren't going go like this and you know what? I don't give a bleep. From an email conversation between Carol McKinley (aka, alas, That Nut) and me, Her Fellow Nut, today:


[no subject]

Hi, I am at work and need to be brief.  Sorry!

There are a few pregnant homeless people that are hanging at south station. Is the Sancta Maria House full?  What is the procedure?

I tried calling but got a mechanical voice that told me to call back.

Thanks and love

Sent from my iPhone

Subject: Homeless Pregnant Ladies

Hi Carol,

Since you're the one advocating, you need to call Sancta Maria House: 617-423-4366. They open the doors for women in the early evening…I'm not sure what time. Sharon Dias is the current house mother now that Mary's retired and at Marion Manor. Tell who answers the phone that you're friends with Sharon.

Your other option, and this might be better since the ladies are pregnant, is Friends of the Unborn in Quincy. 617-786-7903. Tell them you're friends with Marilyn Birnie, who's also retired, but still is active. Friends can keep them longer…I think Sancta Maria has a week limitation.

God love you for doing this,

Subject: Re: Homeless Pregnant Ladies

Kelly, thanks.  

I think one of them may have a drug issue but she claims she is sober.  

Does Marilyn's place take people with drug issues, I thought not...but will call both. Thank you so much for guidance and suggestions!


Sent from my iPhone
Both do…but neither one *allows* drugs or alcohol. Sheesh, if they didn't take women with drug issues, they'd have *plenty* o' room :-)

Friends of the Unborn, I think, is probably the best bet, because they're tailored to pregnant women, not just homeless women.



Subject: Re: Homeless Pregnant Ladies

Ha.  LOL.  Sometimes I am stupid.  Hahaha.

Thanks Kelly and love.

Sent from my iPhone

Subject: Re: Homeless Pregnant Ladies


You're what being pro-life is all about.
Subject: Re: Homeless Pregnant Ladies

I am only leading the horses to the real heroes!

Thanks for your kind words Kelly.

Sent from my iPhone


So. I don't know what happened to our friends at South Station. But I do know something else. People who allege that pro-life women are [fill in the blank…you know what they say] are filled with you know what.

This isn't an extraordinary scenario. It is not at all unusual for a person to concern herself with his her or fellow men or women.

"Pro-choicers" (and yes, I put them in quotes because I simply don't believe in them) would love to think that people like Carol don't give a bleep about anybody.

Sweets? You're wrong. And if you're a "pro choice person," tell me something: when was the last time you gave "Pregnant Homeless Persons" a choice at all?

Yep. I didn't think so.

May God continue to bless you.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Preach it, Father Jim Doran, OMV!

Homily by Father James Doran, OMV, Sunday, August 18, at Saint Francis Chapel, Boston

Why was the prophet Jeremiah thrown into a cistern, a well? It was because he told the truth as God revealed it to him. King Zedekiah of Judah did not want to convert and submit so he rejected Jeremiah's warning that Judah would be overrun by the Babylonians. The king had Jeremiah thrown into the empty cistern and Jeremiah sunk into the mud. Jeremiah prays and is rescued from the well. Our response is in Psalm 40. "I have waited." 
His prophecy came true. The Babylonians breached the city walls. The king Zedekiah and his soldiers fled. They were captured. Zedekiah's sons were brought into his presence and slain. Zedekiah's eyes were put out and he was taken to Babylon in chains. Meanwhile, the prophet Jeremiah was spared and released. 
Jeremiah's story is seen as a prefigurement of Jesus's Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Jesus was handed over by Pilate to the Jews, descended into Hell, and was raised from the dead. King Zedekiah was defeated in spite of all his power and political skill. Jeremiah preached the word of God without diluting it in any way. Even though he knew it was unpopular and could get him killed, he stayed faithful. In the end, Jeremiah was saved and Zedekiah was not. 
"I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!" Fire is often used to describe God's love for men. The images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus show a Heart wounded and bleeding, but in flames for love of sinners. "I must be baptized, and how great is My anguish until it is accomplished!" The word "baptism" comes from a Greek word that means to be dipped or submerged. Jesus, at this point, is not talking about John the Baptist's baptism. Jesus has already been baptized by John in the river Jordan. He is talking about being submerged into His Passion and Death. He could not wait to save humanity through that ordeal. Perhaps He could not wait to get it over with. 
"Do you think I have come to establish peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division." Saint Cyril comments on this passage: "What are You saying, Lord? Didn't You say, `peace I leave you, My peace I give you?'  
However, the peace of Christ is not as the world considers peace. The world offers a false peace to those who cooperate with evil." 
Don't say anything about an unjust situation and you will be taken care of. Just go along with corruption and immorality and everything will be all right. They are murdering babies in hospitals and clinics but don't say anything. Keep the peace. Women and children are being exploited in the sex trade, human trafficking. The abortion industry is the silent killer that devours women and children, and silence facilitates it, enabling it to go on and on. 
Blessed are these who stand up, who take to the streets; those who pray and protest and choose not to empower pro-abortion candidates. Those who empower them share in their crimes. 
"Do you think I have to establish peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. A man's foes will be those of his own household…" [Matthew 10:36] 
This past Friday two ladies were praying outside Planned Parenthood on Commonwealth Avenue when a couple came out and walked straight over to them. "We are not going to have the abortion," said the man. When one lady asked what prompted the change of heart, he said "I just knew what we were doing was wrong." 
Yesterday a couple stopped to listen to a pro life counselor for a moment on their way into the clinic. They came back out after about a half an hour and said they'd changed their minds. One of the people exchanged phone numbers with the couple and promised to get them a crib. 
That is the 46th baby saved between Haverhill, Brookline, and Boston in 2013. 
My brothers and sisters, "Since we are surrounded by so great a crowd of witnesses" for life, "let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us." Let us shake off the apathy and indifference about saving lives. "Let us persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of Faith. Consider how He endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood." 
You have not even been cast into a cistern!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Orlando, Nazareth, and a Cell: a study in contrasts

Well, I know you're all on tenderhooks in anticipation of the meeting of those amazingly humble ladies, humbly known as the LEADERSHIP Conference of WOMEN religious.

Here's where they're meeting.

Here's where Mary, Joseph, and Jesus lived.

Here's where your typical Carmelite nun lives.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

My Aunt Caryl's gift: my family contacts

From a letter I wrote to my Aunt Caryl Maloney, who died today.

Spring 2010

Dear Aunt Caryl,

Thank you for your letter! And your handwriting is fine, beautiful even. Mine isn't, so you must forgive this typed letter.

I was saddened to learn about the deaths in our family. I have such happy memories of all of them. I remember Diane so well. We were "best-friend-cousins" when we were young. Our parents would often "swap kids" for a couple of weeks each summer. I'd stay with Aunt Anesta and Uncle Freddy's family, and Diane's sister Donna would stay with my family. Diane—and I remember this like it was yesterday!—first told me about the "facts of life." I do hope Aunt Anesta is at least comfortable. And how inspiring it is to me that Aunt Adele rallied from a stroke to take care of Uncle Ira. I've prayed for them all, of course, and look forward to continuing to do so.

It's always such a joy to hear about your activities. I can just picture you with the girls you went to school with. I hope you manage to stay out of trouble! (Just kidding!)

You must be awfully proud of your kids and grandchildren. I love hearing about them. Do give them my love.

Yes, Kenny has been my best friend since my Bill died in 1986, and we've been business partners since then. A year ago last Easter I shattered my foot and Ken took care of me since I couldn't do much. He cooked my meals, drove me to physical therapy—you name it and he was always there for me. It finally occurred to me that I was in love with him! And so, after gathering up my courage, I proposed to him and we were married last Easter Sunday. I'm very happy. Our business has it's ups and downs, but we're managing. The wedding was relatively small, but do you know what made it special? My late husband's family—we've remained close all these years—came from all over the country to the wedding! It was wonderful!

I'd love to see your pictures. Better yet, why not ask Jimmy or Patty or Peggy—or one of your grandkids—to scan them and email them to me! I'd love to hear from them. Tell them (or just show this letter to them) that my email address is—they'll know what to do. And if any of them are on Facebook, they can "friend" me: my Facebook name is "Kelly Thatcher." If this makes no sense to you, I understand…feel free to show this letter to any or all of them. It would be really wonderful for us to keep in touch and Facebook makes it easy.

Thank you so much for your good wishes, Aunt Caryl. Buzzy and Sharon are fine. Sharon is semi-retired from her law practice, and Buzzy's boys both have good jobs. No, neither one is married yet…we keep hoping!

God bless you, Aunt Caryl, for keeping me in the "family loop." You were always so good about that. I remember my mother being so grateful to you for including her in all the news, particularly after my dad died.

You take good care of yourself, okay? And do give my love to the kids and grandkids!

Much love and prayers,


Monday, August 05, 2013

Taking back the real definition of "feminism"

I love the National Catholic Register, for the most part, but in this case I think the amazingly talented Sue Ellen might've missed the boat…just a tad. Not even a tad: a scintilla, if that.

In her article, called "Meet the Bold `New Feminists," Sue does—and I applaud her for this—put the term "New Feminism" in the quotes it so well deserves.

Because the women she's talking about—Helene Alvare, Kim Daniels, Terry Polakovic, Mary Meehan, Erika Bachiochi, The Feminists for Life women—to say nothing of women like, well, me and many others like me? We're not "new." We're the real deal.

Even my Apple Dictionary says so.
The issue of rights for women first became prominent during the French and American revolutions in the late 18th century. In Britain it was not until the emergence of the suffragette movement in the late 19th century that there was significant political change. A "second wave" [emphasis mine, but not the quotes] of feminism arose in the 1960s, with an emphasis on unity and sisterhood.

My Apple Dictionary doesn't mention "and on the right to abort children" but hell, this is my blog and I'm going to take up where my friend the dictionary leaves off.

The emphasis on the NEW feminism born in the 1960s had pretty much everything to do with the "right" to "terminate pregnancy"…and still does.

But I don't have to tell you that. Just google the phrase "abortion rights history" and you'll see those bell-bottomed, braless, long-haired, granny-specs-wearing babes carrying signs saying really intelligent stuff like "My body, myself," and "Abortion rights now"…soon to be added slogans include the delightfully "pro woman" attack on Catholicism's most venerated mortal (uh…she's a woman): "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries." (The newbies couldn't rhyme then and they're not all that talented now.)

However, Sue recovers nicely and slam-dunks her point.
Early suffragists…woman like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony…"were pro-lifers who opposed abortion as an exploitation of women," said Serrin Foster…"The same women who fought for the rights of slaves to be free and the rights of women to vote also fought for the unborn to be born…"

Serrin Foster follows up with a slam-dunk of her own:
…by embracing abortion, NOW [the National Organization for Women; I know, it's been a long time since they've had any impact at all and so therefore the explanation of whom they are, or rather, were. They're the group that couldn't get the Equal Rights Amendment passed even though every president in office at the time of their pushing it favored it…but I digress. Sort of.] essentially betrayed woman and let universities and workplaces off the hook. Rather than having to provide housing, maternity care, flextime and other resources to pregnant women, university administrators and employers could simply say "It's your baby, your choice. If you want to give birth, that's your private choice, but we have no further obligation to you."

In other words, the "tyro feminists" screwed women royally.

They still are. I mean, one of—if not the—main reason for "terminating a pregnancy? The baby's not the preferred gender…she's a girl. And I'm talking about you, Margaret Sanger, Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Melissa Etheridge, Uma Thurman, Demi Moore, Jane Fonda, and the rest of you. It's time for you to retire from the "feminist" scene. You're history. Worse? You're not even cool anymore!

So, ladies? Let's cut the bull and take our description back. Feminism: the advocacy of the rights of women to be equal to those of men on the grounds of the right to life, the right to have our say in the running of the country, the right to equal wages for equal work…and the right to bear children without economic and/or social punishment.

May God continue to bless you.