Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Also if you are looking for a personalized gift for Christmas, Amy and I would be happy to autograph a book personally and send it out to you in time for the holidays. You can look at the options here.
"Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pennsylvania, has suppressed the Society of St. John, citing grave financial problems and reports of sexual impropriety.
The Society of St. John, a conservative group dedicated to the revival of Catholic culture centered around the Tridentine Mass, was founded in the Scranton diocese in 1998, with the approval of then-Bishop James Timlin. But by 2002, the Society was beset with problems involving allegations of financial and sexual misconduct. Critics-- including disaffected former members-- cited lavish spending at the Society's rural Pennsylvania headquarters, and reports that adolescent boys were given alcohol and invited for overnight stays with the group's leaders. "
Monday, November 29, 2004
From Paralyzed woman walks again after stem cell therapy:
"The use of stem cells from cord blood could also point to a way to side-step the ethical dispute over the controversial use of embryos in embryonic stem-cell research.
'We have glimpsed at a silver lining over the horizon,' said Song Chang-Hoon, a member of the research team and a professor at Chosun University's medical school in the southwestern city of Kwangju.
'We were all surprised at the fast improvements in the patient.'
Under TV lights and flashing cameras, Hwang stood up from her wheelchair and shuffled forward and back a few paces with the help of the frame at the press conference here on Thursday.
'This is already a miracle for me,' she said. 'I never dreamed of getting to my feet again.'"
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Saturday, November 27, 2004
"Fascination with the Holy Grail has lasted for centuries, and now the Bletchley Park code-breakers have joined the hunt. But what is it that's made the grail the definition of something humans are always searching for but never actually finding? "
Friday, November 26, 2004
From Wired News | Pope Urges U.S. National Prayer Day for More Priests:
"'I would propose for your consideration that the Catholic community in your country annually set aside a national day of prayer for priestly vocations,' the 84-year-old pontiff urged."
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
From The Times Dispatch:
Reports of the mysterious booms first felt in North Side neighborhoods are now coming from other city sections and beyond.
Folks from the Fan District, Lakeside, Short Pump and New Kent County all say they have sensed the shock.
Richmond leaders have even been contacted by officials from Fort Wayne, Ind., and several Canadian provinces where similar booms have been felt recently, city emergency services spokesman Bill Farrar said.
I should add that the local officials told residents that they had determined the cause of the "booms" but weren't going to share it with them. This story makes that statement less credible.
Monday, November 22, 2004
Joseph has also declared that Daddy Jacob's first words have already been spoken, "Allah"...from the sound he makes when crying.
Please pray for Father Robert Fox who was struck by a car over the weekend. From what I hear he is doing fine, with some fractured bones in his arm. Father Fox is famous for his apostolate to spread devotion to Our Lady of Fatima.
By the way he mentioned last night a friend calling and telling him that they had visited Brother Fernando's grave...that "friend" was me.
Brother Ferdinand was a brother who always prayed for a happy death. Father Benedict had told the story of this brother's death the week before. The brother colapsed in the refectory and was taken to his room where a priest was summoned. After being annointed and having prayers said the brother rose from the bed and said "arrivederci"...waving his hand goodbye to all who were gathered around him and died.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Friday, November 19, 2004
We arrived at the hospital at 12:38, so you can see it all happened pretty quick, naturally and thank God safely.
Both Amy and M. Jacob are doing great!
Thanks to all who have offered their prayers and good wishes.
I've posted a picture on my homepage of Michael Jacob here.
Bernardin made the cut probably because other bishops were voting on it--but given some recent statements by Richard Sipe on his situation, he hardly seems like a good choice.
From Catholic bishops approve national adult catechism:
"However, the final draft removed the Trappist monk and author Thomas Merton, who was originally the opening story. Every bishop on the committee had read Merton's bestselling 1949 autobiography about his journey from atheism to faith and thought he was an excellent example of a young American searching for God. But Merton, who died in 1968, is rejected by conservative Catholics who believe his later interest in Buddhist forms of prayer compromised his faith.
The main reason Merton was removed was because 'the generation we were speaking to had no idea who he was,' Wuerl said. 'Only secondarily did we take into consideration that we don't know all the details of the searching at the end of his life.'"
"Pope John Paul's health has stabilized recently, so much so that the Pontiff has expressed a desire to make at least two major trips abroad next year, including one to Northern Ireland.
The 84-year-old Pope and his aides have come to terms with the rigors and limits of Parkinson's disease. Although it has taken its toll over the past 10 years, it seems to have steadied recently, making planning, albeit tentative, easier."
Thursday, November 18, 2004
"The ol' head ball coach is on his way back to the Southeastern Conference -- just not where everyone expected.
Steve Spurrier, who guided Florida to six SEC championships and a national championship in his 12 years in Gainesville, has agreed in principle to take over at South Carolina for Lou Holtz as the Gamecocks' head coach, a source close to the situation told The Tennessean last night.
One potential snag in the agreement could be if Holtz, 67, has a change of heart and decides at the last minute not to retire. Spurrier has also been known to change his mind, although he's made it clear to South Carolina that the Gamecocks' job is the one he wants."
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
From Boston.com / News / Nation / Washington / US bishops shelve statement urging greater use of Bible:
"'I can imagine the headline tomorrow: 'Bishops, in attempt to cut expenses, do not encourage people to read the Bible,' ' said Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan of Brooklyn.
Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb, of Mobile, Ala., said 'from my position, where the Bible is so much a part of any effort at evangelization, this would be a disaster public-relationswise.' And Bishop John W. Yanta, of Amarillo, Texas, said, 'Coming from a mission diocese, and also from the Bible Belt, I think it would be disastrous for us to vote against this, and I think it would be detrimental. The word of God is essential to evangelization.'
But opponents said that the catechism of the Catholic Church obviously encourages Catholics to read the Bible, and that a statement reiterating that support is unnecessary.
'All these arguments could be applied to just about every statement we make, but at some point we have to draw the line, as difficult as it might be,' said Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, of Youngstown, Ohio.
The bishops voted 137 to 102 not to pursue the statement until the conference can decide what its priorities are."
Monday, November 15, 2004
"The Rev. James J. Scahill, pastor of St. Michael's Parish in East Longmeadow, told 900 cheering members of Voice of the Faithful that parishioners nationwide are engaged in ''a struggle of truth against power' in their long effort to hold church leaders accountable for alleged abuse.
On the eve of a major bishops' conference in Washington, D.C., Scahill told a packed ballroom at the Worcester Centrum Centre that by refusing to speak out quickly and decisively and remove priests accused of abuse from the ministry, some church leaders had become mere ''readers of the Gospel instead of proponents of the Gospel.'"
Sunday, November 14, 2004
From OrlandoSentinel.com: Orange County News:
"Pope John Paul II on Saturday named Bishop Thomas Wenski to succeed Bishop Norbert Dorsey as head of the Catholic Diocese of Orlando, effective immediately.
In July 2003, Wenski was named bishop coadjutor, signifying he would automatically take over for Dorsey when he retired. The common practice under this pope is for bishops to submit letters of resignation as they near their 75th birthday. Sometime thereafter, at the Vatican's discretion, the resignation is accepted.
Dorsey will not be 75 until Dec. 14, but no reason was given for the early appointment. The incumbent had no complaint about the timing of the hand-over to Wenski.
'He's ready, and I'm ready,' Dorsey said in an interview.
Dorsey, who will continue to live in Orlando, said he now hopes to begin a fitness program and to learn how to use a computer. He would still like to do pastoral care at prisons and hospitals, and perhaps fill in for other parish priests.
'I'm still a priest and a bishop,' Dorsey said. He had more earthly matters in mind after Saturday's announcement, however. His first job after the news conference was to get a flu shot."
From FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Cops: Couple Sought to 'Sacrifice' Kids on Altar
Saturday, November 13, 2004
They plan on presenting themselves at the Mass on Monday.
From The Rainbow Sash Movement: Gay Catholics Act Up with the National Council of Catholic Bishops:
"Earlier this year Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago made international news for denying RSM members and their supporters Holy Communion at his Cathedral. Like Cardinal George of Chicago, Cardinal McCarrick will only bring more scandal to a scandal ridden church.
However, there is division on this matter among the bishops: Archbishop Harry Flynn (Minneapolis/St Paul, MN), Cardinal Roger Mahony (Los Angeles, CA), Bishop Mathew Clark (Rochester, NY), have welcomed RSM members to Holy Communion this past year. Additionally, Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton (Detroit) has supported our call for inclusion."
Friday, November 12, 2004
"In their prayers many Christians have been thinking about you and accompanying you during this month of fasting, a month which occupies such an important place in the life of your community. At the earliest age possible you teach your children to observe this month of fasting, thus developing in them a sense of God and a spirit of religious obedience, at the same time helping them to train their will and to acquire self-discipline. In this way the family is, par excellence, the place where your children receive their first religious education."
Thursday, November 11, 2004
The following telegram of condolences was sent in Pope John Paul's name to Rawhi Fattuh, president of the Palestinian Legislative Council, by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, upon learning of the death early this morning of Yasser Arafat:
"At this hour of sadness at the passing of President Yasser Arafat, His Holiness Pope John Paul is particularly close to the deceased's family, the Authorities and the Palestinian People. While entrusting his soul into the hands of the Almighty and Merciful God, the Holy Father prays to the Prince of Peace that the star of harmony will soon shine on the Holy Land and that the two Peoples dwelling therein may live reconciled among themselves as two independent and sovereign."
"A week after failed settlement talks with victims of clergy sex abuse, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane announced Wednesday that it will file for bankruptcy by the end of the month.
The move won't close schools or parishes, but it will stop a civil lawsuit from going to trial on Nov. 29. Filing for Chapter 11 also forces the diocese to surrender its financial records for public scrutiny.
'We are not a wealthy diocese,' Bishop William Skylstad said during a press conference Wednesday. He said filing for bankruptcy accomplishes two goals: 'All claims will be treated equally, fairly, with justice' while allowing the diocese to continue its ministry and mission in Eastern Washington."
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
From LifeSite Special Report - U.N. Demands Poland Overturn Laws Against Abortion:
"The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) concluded a review on Poland's compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), demanding that the mostly-Catholic nation 'liberalize' its abortion laws. The UN committee composed of 18 UN human rights 'experts' from various countries met with Polish officials on October 27 and 28, making its observations and recommendations on November 4.
While, the UN itself and the ICCPR specifically does not officially promote abortion, both the organization and the committee enforcing the ICCPR have often been criticized for meddling in the contentious issue. The November 4 statement of the UNHRC is particularly blunt in demanding Poland legalize abortion. 'The State Party should liberalize its legislation and practice on abortion,' it said."
I am writing in regards to the book "God's Little Hobo" by Virginia Cyr,
edited by Dr. Quentin Colgan and published by Our Sunday Visitor Books.
This book is a compilation of some of the "Letters to Mother" (Blessed
Mother Mary) that Virginia wrote during the last few years of her life has
touched me deeply. Abandoned by her mother at the age of four years, she spent
her life in foster homes and finally an orphanage. In the letters she confides
to our Blessed Mother Mary as a child would confide in her own earthly mother.
She tells Mary about her joys, trials, sufferings. She had such a close
relationship with Mary. Everything she owned and everything she did was always
"ours"....our chair, our room, our mail, our retreat. Virginia longed for her
very own "Nazareth" - a home with family who would be there for her - a place
where she felt wanted and loved. She suffered immense physical pain due to her
cerebral palsy but most people that knew her were unaware of just how much she
really suffered. She hid it so well. Her spirituality reminds me of St. Therese
the Little Flower of Jesus.
My prayer is that some day Virginia Cyr will
be canonized a Saint in our Catholic church. I have told numerous people about
Virginia and some are reading the book now.
This book has left me wanting to know more about Virginia Cyr. Dr. Quentin Colgan has a beautiful web site filled with information about Virginia. It would be wonderful to have more of her "Letters to Mother" published in another book.
I thank Dr. Colgan for introducing me and countless others to Virginia Cyr.
Thank you for publishing this awe inspiring book.
To view Virginia's book click on the link:
From CATHOLIC LEAGUE for Religious and Civil Rights:
"Last week Catholic League president William Donohue listed the anti-religious commentary that many cultural elites offered in the aftermath of the election. "
From Arctic Melting Fast; May Swamp U.S. Coasts by 2099
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
From Yahoo! News - Arafat Is Dead, Palestinian Sources Say:
"'He is dead,' a senior political source close to Arafat told Reuters in Paris, where the 75-year-old leader has been lying in a coma at a French military hospital.
Asked to confirm Arafat's death, another official close to the president said: 'Yes, he is dead. There will be an announcement soon.'
None of the sources gave any details of the cause of death.
Officials in the West Bank said they had not been informed that Arafat was dead. "
"Q: What are the basics of the code that Catholics need to know on a
Vere: There are several of basics, both in
terms of canonical rights and canonical responsibilities.
Yet Canon 213
provides a nice summary, stating: 'The Christian faithful have the right to
receive assistance from the sacred pastors out of the spiritual goods of the
Church, especially the word of God and the sacraments.' In other words, all
Catholics have the right to sound teaching and the means with which to grow in
The book and another new book by Pete and Pat Madrid:
Monday, November 08, 2004
On a side note that is relevant to this point: A whole generation of priests have been taught a confused theology of the Church. Ask any of them a simple question and you are bound to receive an overqualified answer that nuances everything to the point of saying almost nothing. Until this problem is remedied, I don't see how things are going to change.
For Example: All Souls becomes "memorial day" with no mention of praying for the dead, or keeping in mind our final end.
From USATODAY.com - Church struggles with change:
"Today there are fewer parishes and fewer priests than in 1990 and fewer of
the nation's 65 million Catholics in those pews. And there's no sign of
Sunday, November 07, 2004
"We have already seen an example of this. Rosie O'Donnell, a very public lesbian and advocate for lesbian adoption, was asked what she would do if her adopted son wanted a father. According to O'Donnell, her son had already expressed that desire. When he was 6, he said, 'I want to have a daddy.'
O'Donnell replied, 'If you were to have a daddy, you wouldn't have me as a mommy because I'm the kind of mommy who wants another mommy. This is the way mommy got born.' He said, 'OK, I'll just keep you.'
While O'Donnell undoubtedly sees this as a positive affirmation of same-sex adoption, there is another interpretation: She made her son feel that his natural desire for a father is a rejection of her. That is a terrible burden to place on a little boy.
And it gets worse. In the same interview, O'Donnell recounted how she explained adoption to her son: '... he understands that there are different types of people; that he grew up in another lady's tummy, and that God looked inside and saw there was a mix-up and that God brought him to me.'
In other words, in light of this and the previous conversation between O'Donnell and her son, it is wrong for him to want a daddy because God decided that he shouldn't have one. "
"The government declared a 60-day state of emergency throughout most of the country Sunday, as U.S. and Iraqi forces prepared for an expected all-out assault on rebels in Fallujah. Insurgents escalated a wave of violence that has killed more than 50 people the past two days, and a U.S. soldier was killed in an attack on a convoy."
Saturday, November 06, 2004
And here is a prediction: If they hire Urban Meyer who has had success at a MAC school and now at Iowa, look for Florida to post records worst than those of the Zook era....the SEC isn't anything like those conferences.
From All Spurrier truly wanted was a job offer: South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
"Foley was adamant again Friday about how imperative it is for UF to conduct a comprehensive search to make sure the Gators hire the best coach available. Maybe he's right, but I believe he's wrong. Foley, who knows better than anybody how Spurrier thinks, surely had an idea that this 'national search' likely would cost UF a chance to bring back Spurrier.
I give up on trying to figure out the modus operandi UF uses to hire football coaches.
Three years ago, the Gators rushed through the process and hired the wrong coach. Now, they're taking their sweet time, and it likely cost them the right coach."
"'We Catholics don't provoke anyone, but we mustn't be afraid to confess our faith in public,' the cardinal exhorted.
With 'two-thirds of humanity who do not yet know Jesus or don't accept him' and geographic areas 'that need to be re-evangelized. --We cannot remain indifferent,' Cardinal Arinze warned.
'This is why the Pope speaks of a new evangelization. New not in content, but in method, in the impetus, in the spirit with which we proclaim Jesus,' he said. "
Friday, November 05, 2004
From CNN.com - Arafat on life support, U.S. officials say - Nov 5, 2004:
"Two U.S. administration officials have said machines were keeping Arafat alive until his family and officials from France, Israel and Egypt could reach a decision about a burial site."
"The caretakers of the Dolphins are going to make current coach Dave Wannstedt suffer through a dreadful season and earn his pay, then they are going to make him the former head coach. They are going to deposit him in the assistants-who-should-not-have-been-head coaches bin with Ron Zook and try to get right with the fans.
A good start would be to hire Spurrier, who has Florida fans walking toward a ledge today. Six days ago, they were giddy believing Spurrier would rescue them. Today, they hold their heads in their hands.
Spurrier insists the Dolphins have not called, but there has to be a certain telepathy at work here. Bad team needs good coach. Works every time.
And all along we thought Spurrier was going to ride in and rescue the Gators. Wrong water animal. The life preserver could be thrown to the Dolphins.
The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Ronald Paul Herzog of the clergy of the diocese of Biloxi, U.S.A., and pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Laurel, U.S.A., as bishop of Alexandria (area 28,780, population 389,970, Catholics 48,050, priests 69, permanent deacons 5, religious 64), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Akron, U.S.A. 1942 and was ordained a priest in 1968.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
"Yasser Arafat has lapsed into a coma in French hospital, a senior Palestinian official said Thursday, a day after the Palestinian leader was rushed to intensive care following a sharp deterioration in his health"
But if you are Catholic and go to Mass the numbers are radically different, what does that tell us?
Moral issues were the number one factor in Bush getting re-elected.
From NewsMax.com: Inside Cover Story:
"Exit polls are showing that President Bush has won the Catholic vote 51-48 percent, which was decisive in states that were the key to Bush's victory, especially Ohio and Florida."
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
"Motherhood doesn't just change your life. It also changes your brain.
New research, reported last month at a neuroscience meeting in San Diego, suggests that having babies permanently alters brain function.
If you're a rat, it makes you better at finding and killing dinner quickly. If you're a human, it helps you distinguish between your baby's cry and that of other children.
In either case, it's something fathers just don't get. Only mothers undergo these changes.
'Clearly these experiences are changing the female brain, but in a way that's natural,' said Craig Kinsley, a neuroscientist at the University of Richmond in Virginia. "
From Karzai Declared the Winner of Afghan Presidential Election After Fraud Ruled Minor - from TBO.com
Hamid Karzai was declared the winner of Afghanistan's landmark presidential election Wednesday, after investigators concluded that a string of irregularities were too minor to overturn his triumph.
The country's joint U.N.-Afghan electoral board confirmed that the American-backed incumbent had clinched a five-year term as the country's first popularly chosen leader.
"Californians voted Tuesday to spend $3 billion on stem cell research, putting the state on the cutting edge of a field questioned by conservatives and the Bush administration. Arizonans approved a crackdown on illegal immigrants, adopting a measure that would deter them from voting or obtaining certain government services. "
"Gustaaf Cardinal Joos of Belgium, who derided lesbians and gays as 'sexual perverts,' died Tuesday at age 81, local church officials said.
Joos died at his parish home. He fell ill after saying mass Tuesday morning at a church in Landskouter, 44 kilometres northwest of Brussels, which he led since 1970, the Ghent bishopric said. It did not release information on the cause of death.
Joos, who was appointed cardinal last year, studied with Pope John Paul II before the latter became pontiff in Rome. "
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
From Telegraph | News | Vatican sex guide urges Catholics to do 'it' more often:
"The controversial book, It's A Sin Not To Do It, written by two theologians, promises the reader answers to "everything you wanted to know about sex but the Church (almost) never dared to tell you".
In their attempt to galvanise the faithful, Roberto Beretta and Elisabetta Broli, who write regularly for the Italian Bishops' magazine, Avvenire, have written one of the raciest works ever to deal with the Church and sex....
...The pages of It's A Sin Not To Do It, however, feature a frank interview with Cardinal Ersilio Tonini in which he emphasises that "the Church is not an enemy of the flesh". He argues that Vatican doctrine has always defended the "nobility of sexuality", which is regarded by the Church as a "treasure" of humanity.
Another chapter likely to raise eyebrows unearths theological justification for post-coital masturbation for women who fail to achieve orgasm during intercourse.
Beretta told The Telegraph: "The Church is not against sex. Something needed to be done about the cliches and stereotypes. The Church is not only about forbidding the use of contraception and warning against the sins of the flesh.
"The first Tuesday votes came from the northern New Hampshire community of Hart's Location, where 16 voters chose Bush, 14 went with Kerry and one chose Nader. Minutes later, the 26 registered voters in Dixville Notch, about 50 miles to the north, split 19 for Bush and 7 for Kerry."
Monday, November 01, 2004
"Let us all rejoice in the Lord on this solemnity of All Saints' Day. The Eucharistic celebration honouring All the Saints begins today with this invitation to rejoice. A Church pilgrim on this earth raises her gaze to Heaven and joins the chorus of those whom God has brought into His Glory. This is the communion of Saints.
Under the bright lights of this wonderful mystery the annual commemoration of all the faithful departed will take place tomorrow. The liturgy invites us to broaden our hearts and pray for all of them, especially for the souls who need Divine Mercy the most.
I raise a special prayer to God for all the victims of terrorism. I feel spiritually close to their families. As I ask the Lord to make their pain more bearable, I invoke his name that peace may come to the world.
May Mary, Queen of All Saints, help us faithfully follow Christ so that we may reach the Glory of Heaven."
"It is a difficult time for the Church, with scandals, religiously inadequate Catholic higher education in many places, and the decline in vocations. It is also a beautiful time. During my first program last Sunday, with the support of prayer from several communities of cloistered nuns around the country, I was able to speak to an audience of perhaps a million people in the United Sates alone, as well an unknown number in other countries. People from all over the U.S. phoned in with intelligent, well-thought-out questions.
While this is a time of battle and conflict, it is also a time to be hopeful. We must never enter a conflict with a hangdog, depressed attitude. That is the loser's way. "If the trumpeter sounds an uncertain note, who will follow?" is an old saying. Now is a time for the sounding of sure and certain notes. Whatever happens in the immediate future, we must be absolutely convinced that the cause of God will triumph. It would be spiritually helpful to many people at this point to read the first psalm, which has much to say about the current political situation. Read it, and you will know what to do as you go into the voting booth--no matter what the outcome. "
Here is Psalm 1:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does,
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.