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Showing posts from February, 2007

Episcopal Church Developments

For those who are following the turmoil of The Episcopal Church this is a very interesting video. It is a one hour video of a question and answer session with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as she comments on the recent meeting of Anglican Primates in Tanzania. She is very articulate but manages to dance around most issues. She does express her adamant support for the homosexual agenda and for the blessing of same sex unions. She states that marriage is about the relationship between two people without regard for gender. For her, marriage is totally unrelated to biological reproduction. She views any compliance with the communiqué of Dar Es Salaam as a pause in the current direction of The Episcopal Church not a change in the course of the church. She refers to those who oppose this as “neuralgic” and “dissident”. She says those in the more developed West must wait patiently for their brethren in the less developed areas of the world to catch up with the enlightenment of …

Planned Parenthood teams up with Sprint

Are you using Sprint as your wireless provider? You may want to reconsider..

Planned Parenthood Wireless is a new choice for your cell phone service. By signing up for this service, you will help preserve reproductive rights, and ensure access to comprehensive family planning and medically accurate sex education for women and families around the world. You'll do something you do every day – talk on your cell phone – and you'll be helping Planned Parenthood as 10% of all monthly charges goes to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, at no extra cost to you.Planned Parenthood Wireless is powered by Working Assets, the progressive phone company that delivers quality phone service using the all-digital nationwide Sprint® network*. Since 1985, Working Assets has raised more than $50 million for progressive nonprofits, including $1.6 million for Planned Parenthood alone. You get great cell phone service, exceptional customer service, and the satisfaction of knowing that you are co…

Angelus Message from Feb 25, 2007

After I wrote about how we should be listening to Rome a bit more, I thought I would try to be more diligent about linking to the Pope's addresses. Here is his Angelus address from last Sunday. I especially liked these words:

Contemplating the Crucified One with the eyes of faith we can understand in depth what sin is, how tragic is its gravity, and at the same time, how immense is the Lord's power of forgiveness and mercy. During these days of Lent, let us not distance our hearts from this mystery of profound humanity and lofty spirituality. Looking at Christ, we feel at the same time looked at by him. He whom we have pierced with our faults never tires of pouring out upon the world an inexhaustible torrent of merciful love.

7th Grade CCD Students want to go to Confession More Often!

My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn. (Psalm 51)

I haven’t written too much lately about 7th grade CCD but it is progressing well. Last night I took the class to confession. Our parish is trying to establish the habit of frequent confession so we make it available during CCD every couple of months. Afterwards we returned to the classroom and the mood was jubilant. One boy commented on how “light” he felt. Several agreed they feel almost giddy as they exit the confessional. I was asked if we could do this more often. My teacher’s mindset suspected this might be a ploy to get out of class work so I reminded them we had lessons to accomplish in the classroom. One student suggested that if we finish lessons early we could ask Father to hear confessions.

Now I suspect that Father may not always be available for a round of spontaneous 7th grade confessions but the fact this idea was initiated by my students is humbling. The Spirit …

Catholic Cartoons

Because I am such a fan of Cardinal Arinze this caught my eye. Then I found out there is a whole collection of Catholic editorial cartoons at this site. Some of these are really funny.

Saying it is so doesn't make it so.

The New York Times pays tribute to Frances Kissling as she steps down from her post as president of Catholics for a Free Choice. I read the article, but to be quite honest, my stomach churned as I did so. This woman is definitely not Catholic and her organization is not Catholic. She acts as if being Catholic is akin to an ethnicity that one passively claims.

I’m so Catholic, I can’t get away from it,” said Ms. Kissling, who was once in a convent. “How I construct concepts of life, of justice, it all comes out of being Catholic.”

“The constant refrain in this office is, ‘Are we really Catholic?’ ” Ms. Kissling said here in a recent interview. “I know with every ounce of my being that you don’t have to agree with the positions of the church on issues of abortion and contraception to be Catholic.”

You know on one level she is right. The question is not whether or not Ms. Kissling agrees with the Church. The question is will she humbly obey the Church. Her strident support for abortion and…

Catholic Carnival 108: Themes of Lent

As we enter our first full week of Lent, Catholics across the blogosphere are offering great posts for us to ponder.

Lent is a the home stretch for many candidates and catechumens preparing to enter the Church. 50 Days After offers his own Top 5 Reasons I am Catholic.

Deo Omnis Gloria offers an exploration of who died on the cross. Was it Jesus? Was it God? And why it had to happen.

Phatcatholic Apologetics offers a liturgical celebration of the Stations of the Cross, with content taken from St. Alphonsus Liguori and Franciscan University's liturgical guide for this celebration to provide people with an online way to walk through the Stations every Friday.

CatholicLand gives us a mega-post chock full of useful tidbits and necessary questions.

Fr. Ben Hawley, SJ treats us to The Good New of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus' Passion, Death and Resurrection make the Good News real and available to those who believe. But, what exactly is the Good News? If you had to explain it to a frien…

Indulgences and the Church Suffering

Yesterday we completed Day 6 of our 40-day Family Consecration Retreat. This retreat follows a pattern of a reading by Pope John Paul II, a reading from True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort, a Scripture reading, a review of a catechetical topic, and a family recitation of one decade of the Rosary. Without the decade of the Rosary, the program only takes between ten and fifteen minutes. The Rosary only adds another five minutes so it really isn’t a huge commitment of family time. It is very doable, even for our busy family.

The catechetical topics have been varied. The last two days have reviewed the practice of plenary and partial indulgences. My husband is a convert to Catholicism and I sense his discomfort as this topic is broached. Shadows of the Reformation dance in his head. My 1960’s and 70’s catechesis is not that sharp on this subject so I struggle to reasonably explain the practice. I am always wary of letting my Catholic devotions and practices slip into the realm…

The Experts Have Spoken

When we went to bed last night the weather forecast called for a wintry mix today with up to two tenths of an inch of ice accumulation. We awoke to a light dusting of snow. As we left for Mass great big heavy white flakes of snow were falling. The weather forecast had been adjusted to a possible one inch of snow accumulation. By the time we returned from Mass there was at least two inches of snow in the driveway. My husband and children cleared the driveway. Then did it again about an hour later. Then my two children cleared the driveway one more time. The weather forecast was again adjusted and called for 1 to 3 inches of snow. After the fourth time of shoveling the walk and driveway and looking at our deck with a good 8 inches of accumulated snow, I am happy to report the weather forecast has once again been revised. It now calls for 4-8 inches of snow. CCD is canceled for tonight. The school district has not made any decisions about school for tomorrow. After all, the weather fore…

Molded by Mary

We are on day 5 of our 40-day family retreat for Family Consecration to Jesus through Mary in Union with St. Joseph. The pattern for our retreat is to listen to a reading from Pope John Paul II’s writings then a passage from St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary. Today’s reading from St. Louis de Montfort was especially poignant:

Walk in Mary’s immaculate way. Take the divine practice I teach. And you will find Him. Night or day, you will seek Him in a holy place, and you will see Him clearly. There is no night in Mary, since there has never been any sin in her, not even the least shadow. She is a holy place. She is the holy of holies, where saints are formed and molded. Note, I pray you, that I say the saints are molded in her. There is much difference between making a statue with hammer and chisel, hewing it out of wood or stone, and the method of casting in a mold. In the first method the sculptor has much toil. He spends much time, and he may make many blunders. In the seco…


Virginia has now entered the ranks of those attempting to mandate the HPV vaccine for pre-pubescent girls. I have written extensively about this here. This week’s National Catholic Register has an article about the vaccine controversy and the Texas governor’s executive order for vaccination.. (Only subscribers can view the online article.) Unfortunately, the article seems to mix those who oppose the mandate of the vaccine with those who oppose the vaccine itself. Those who oppose the vaccine itself come across as shrill and hysterical, predicting increased promiscuity if girls are protected from HPV. I fall in the former category and want to clarify my view of the vaccine.

1. This vaccine is ethically produced. It has the potential to prevent infection with the four subtypes of HPV that are associated with 99% of the cases of cervical cancer.

2. This vaccine does not prevent all forms of cervical cancer. It does not prevent other sexually transmitted diseases, including venereal w…

One Small Step Into the Confessional, One giant Leap of Faith

Yesterday’s WashingtonPpost ran an article about Bishop Wuerl’s very public campaign to draw the faithful back to the Sacrament of Confession. As would be expected from the Post, it really did not capture the essence of the sacrament. The author kept equating going to Confession with psychotherapy and self-help groups. The article closed with this testimonial from a DC Catholic:

Damiana Astudillo, 33, a researcher who lives in Mount Pleasant, said she hasn't been to confession in a decade because she is turned off by what she sees as paternalism among church leaders.

"The Catholic Church is unwilling to adapt to the modern world. They're still hung up on the dogma of ancient times, and life is very complex today," she said yesterday on L Street NW. "I've grown to believe a priest is a man, and he doesn't have the power to forgive. Confession and a prayer? That doesn't work for me anymore."

Doesn’t this just scream for increased adult catechesis? N…

Even the Pope Struggles

Lella, at the Papa Ratzinger forum offers a wonderful collection of questions and answers between the priests of the Diocese of Rome and the Pope.

VATICAN CITY - There were moments of hilarity this morning in the encounter between the Pope and the priests of the Diocese of Rome in their traditional start-of-Lent appointment.

Benedict XVI made some offhand remarks that provoked applause or laughter from his audience, responding to some of the questions placed to him in his second Q&A session with them as Pope. He innovated this practice at their first encounter last year.

Laughter broke out when the pope cited St. Augustine, saying he was 'torn away' from his intended life of meditation and prayer to immerse himself all day in his episcopal tasks and so only had the nighttime left for prayer. But he followed that by saying:

"I must confess a personal weakness. At night, I find it difficult to pray. I just want to sleep," he said to much applause. "Nevertheless, i…

The Keys to the Kingdom

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. We acknowledge and praise God for the teaching authority of the Magisterium. Beginning with St. Peter, each successive Pope, guided by the Holy Spirit, has carried the mantle of this authority. Some have carried it better than others. Each has been burdened with his own set of human frailties.

The office of Pope is not just a titular role to lead the rites and ceremonies of the Vatican. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ. He is the shepherd of the Church. I am not sure that many of us are paying attention to his voice.

We hear sound bites from the mainstream media when the Pope comments on a controversial topic and his words are dee…

He Loves Me!

Every year Lent seems to develop a theme for me. A couple of years ago when Mel Gibson’s The Passion was hitting the big screen, the concept of redemptive suffering permeated my Lent. As I review a few of last year’s blog entries, God’s mercy and forgiveness was the common thread of my reflections.

Beginning with Pope Benedict XVI’s Lenten message, this year’s Lent is about God’s love.

With a more fervent participation let us direct our gaze, therefore, in this time of penance and prayer, at Christ crucified who, dying on Calvary, revealed fully for us the love of God

Yesterday’s Mass readings pushed the message a little farther. Because of God’s infinite and unfathomable love, we can let go and trust Him. The first reading from the Book of Sirach exhorts us:

Trust God and God will help you; trust in him and he will direct your way;

In our responsorial psalm (Psalm 37) we heard:

Trust in the Lord and do good, that you may dwell in the land and
be fed in security
Take delight in the Lord…

Faith in Phoenix

Well, I took my laptop to Phoenix, but I just never got around to blogging. I did keep reading, but things were busy. First the soccer news: The girls played well and made it to the quarter-finals before being eliminated. This was a very competitive tournament so I think they should be proud of their showing. As an added bonus, the temperature was in the mid 70’s all weekend so our frozen toes actually thawed out for a while. Of course, that did make yesterday’s return to ice and snow a bit brutal.

It was a very busy weekend with four soccer games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday but we did find Mass near our hotel. We went to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in a rather industrial area of Phoenix near the airport. It was a very nice Mass with the baptism of a young boy who looked to be about a year old. The small congregation was predominantly Hispanic and was very pious in the celebration of the Mass. It was clear who the matriarchs of the community were because as young men entered th…

Enthronement of the Image of the Holy Family

Last night we completed Step 2 in our Family Consecration plan. We enthroned a picture of the Holy Family in our home. We followed the format provided by the Apostolate for Family Consecration. We began with a reading from the Gospel of John 17: 15-19.

I am not asking you to remove them from the world, but to protect them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world, and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth.

We placed our picture of the Holy Family in a prominent place. We read the Family Covenant with the Holy Family Prayer. Then we prayed a rosary together. Each of us has a copy of the Daily Consecration Prayer to offer each morning.

Most Holy Family, unite my daily life with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Accept all of my spiritual and material possessions as my seed of sacrifice offered …

Just call me Snowbird

It is truly a singular joy for me to watch my children play soccer. I am off to another soccer tournament this weekend. However, this time there is more to look forward to than just the beautiful game of soccer. We are headed for the warm sunshine of Phoenix. After two days of being snowed in here in Virginia, I am so ready to thaw out.

We are planning on attending either the noon Mass at Sacred Heart parish or the 1PM Tridentine Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish.

Please keep my daughter and her teammates in your prayers. This is a very important opportunity for college coaches to watch them play. Pray that they can play their game for the Glory of God and that all avoid injuries.

Pope John Paul the Great (former soccer goalie) please pray for us!

Welcome New Readers

Somehow I got linked over at Buzzfeed and have been getting quite a few readers from there. Welcome! I am guessing this may not be the kind of blog you are used to. I am Catholic, faithful to the Magisterium, and constantly growing and developing my faith. I invite readers along for the journey. Liberal and conservative are political labels and not really appropriate for discussing Catholicism. You might be interested in what it means to be in communion with the Church. I hope you enjoy your stay at my blog.

New York City Taxes at Work

Leave it to New York to have an official city condom.(Do go to the link and see the video).

If you need to buy flowers or chocolate for your Valentine on Wednesday, you're on your own. The condoms, however, are free courtesy of New York City.

Taking advantage of the holiday for lovers, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration was to unveil the official city condom in midtown Manhattan, where volunteers were to hand them out free at Fifth Avenue and 50th Street.

The health department's condom program already distributes 1.5 million free condoms each month, but the regular wrapper doesn't allow for tracking the effectiveness of the effort. Officials hope that will change with the new design, which is said to revolve around a subway theme, with different colors for the various train lines.

Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden recently told The Associated Press that the distinctive wrapper will provide the opportunity to include questions about the condom on the city's annu…

A Love Letter

Today, February 14, as our thoughts turn to love and we share tender thoughts and red paper hearts with those who are special to us, don’t forget the most supreme expression of Love:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Pope Benedict XVI reminds of this in his 2007 Lenten Message:

Dear brothers and sisters, let us look at Christ pierced in the Cross! He is the unsurpassing revelation of God’s love, a love in which eros and agape, far from being opposed, enlighten each other. On the Cross, it is God Himself who begs the love of His creature: He is thirsty for the love of every one of us. The Apostle Thomas recognized Jesus as “Lord and God” when he put his hand into the wound of His side. Not surprisingly, many of the saints found in the Heart of Jesus the deepest expression of this mystery of love. One could rightly say that the revelation of God’s eros toward man is, in reality, …

Is it Teaching or is it Political Indoctrination?

Andrew Yarrow provides a pathetic tale of one school’s political bias creeping into the elementary social studies lessons. His own fourth-grade son who attends a gifted-and-talented magnet school in suburban Washington DC, was assigned a “Human Values Chart”. Eight supposed contemporary American values were presented in contrast to eight traditional Native American values. So what does this curriculum claim contemporary Americans value?

So, what were some of these values? For "nature," this magnet-school curriculum sheet proclaims Americans believe they "must conquer, dominate, and control nature, as God commanded me to do through Adam, and as is necessary for my survival." Leave aside the environmentally absurd theological sleight-of-hand and the nonseparation of church and state. For at least a generation, poll upon poll and politician after politician have declared it our duty and goal to preserve -- not destroy -- nature, and serve as environmental stewards for …

God has it figured out--not me!

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of including both the devotional and the active as part of our faith. I must pray, study and reflect, but then I must put my faith into action in the world. Of course, writing that piece was a form of reflection and I began to wonder if I could be doing more of the action thing. I am a reader and a writer so it seems very natural to study and reflect. Prayer gets worked in there too. But I am not so sure I get my hands dirty enough in the action part. It is very easy to write a check and I know it is appreciated. Yet I find it much easier to sacrifice money than to sacrifice time. So I did some praying yesterday in Mass for some guidance.

I was thinking I probably could take some time to do some really deep digging in our closets and get some clothes and coats to our local homeless shelter. Maybe I could figure out one morning a week to volunteer at a food pantry. Of course after Mass I was immediately sucked into the daily grind of managing the h…

Almost--- Sigh.

Alas! I was actually nominated but whoever submitted the nomination did not include a category so my blog cannot be considered for an award. Oh well. We'll try again next year. In any case, there are lots of really great blogs that are eligible for awards so go take a look.

Authentic Catholic Charity vs Social Activism

This week the Anglican Communion primates are meeting in Tanzania. It could be one more step towards a formal schism of the communion. The media simplistically paints this as division on the issues of homosexuality. In truth, the division is much deeper. The question is about the reality of sin. The presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church voices her view in this interview published in USA Today.

"It's no longer the social norm to be a Christian," Jefferts Schori says. Her answer isn't to ramp up on orthodoxy but to reach out to all ages and cultures with Christlike social action.

Critics say she equivocates on essential doctrine — the necessity for atonement and the exclusivity of salvation through Christ. They cite interviews in which she has said living like Jesus in this world was a more urgent task than worrying about the next world.

"It's not my job to pick" who is saved. "It's God's job," she tells USA TODAY.

Yes, sin "is perva…

A Providential Homily

I don't normally read blogs on Sunday morning before Mass. However, this morning I had a few extra minutes and found myself reading this:

How can we be cursed?Let’s count the ways!We can be cursed with an inattentive spouse, rebellious children, busybody in-laws, impatient creditors, sickly and lazy co-workers, an over-stuffed schedule, a small salary, bad insurance coverage, no retirement plan, insomnia, depression, binge-eating, binge-drinking, another form of emotional illness, another form of addiction, repair bills, tax bills, grocery bills, tuition bills, car payments, house payments, and so on and so on.We can also be cursed with spiritual apathy, a hard heart, a weak will, an easily fooled intellect, a bag of vices and not many virtues, a love of money and all the seven cardinal sins.So, we can be cursed physically, spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, financially, and domestically.And how does this happen?How do we end up cursed?Jeremiah says, “Cursed is the one who t…

Family Consecration

The Cardinal Arinze podcasts I mentioned in my previous post are produced by the Apostolate for Family Consecration. This is a wonderful ministry seeking to strengthen families in our Catholic faith. They have numerous programs and resources to support your family vocation. As we see the evil that besets the world it is easy to become discouraged. Yet through this apostolate the Church militant is strengthened family by family.

I have a rather ambitious suggestion for Lent. The Apostolate for Family Consecration is all about dedicating your family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary:

You are about to enter upon the most powerful spiritual adventure for you and your family in your pilgrimage of faith on earth. That adventure is following Pope John Paul II on the journey to union with God through Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, in union with St. Joseph.

Early in his life, Pope John Paul II made his Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary according to the formula of St. Lou…

Cardinal Arinze and Leadership

After wallowing in the mire of politics over the last twenty-four hours I need to immerse myself in something morally uplifting. Today I listened to Parts III and IV of Cardinal Arinze’s discussion of Deus Caritas Est. I had listened to it before but there was a section I needed to hear again. Cardinal Arinze discussed the idea of ascending and descending love. Pope Gregory the Great used the imagery of Jacob’s ladder to explain this. We must ascend the ladder towards heaven as we reach for God. Then we descend the ladder to give to others what we have received. If one is to lead others, he must first present himself to God. He must establish a prayer life that lifts him up to God. Moses entered the tabernacle time after time to spend time with God before he led the Israelites.

My oldest is in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M. He plans to enter the Army when he graduates in a little over one year. Leadership is an integral part of his college education and experience. I had to shar…

These People are Defending John Edwards

An organization which call itself Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good sent out the following communiqué to major Catholic writers like Mark Shea and Amy Welborn. (I didn’t get one. I’m still just part of the amateurs. Sigh.)

I saw that you've been covering this story; and wanted to give you a different perspective on it than you’ve seen from some other Catholic groups. While we certainly find some of the writings of those junior staffers repulsive, I think most Catholics have a different take on this. Happy to talk.

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good Executive Director Alexia Kelley issued the following statement today in response to the controversy over the John Edwards campaign’s hiring of netroots consultants who had made insensitive remarks regarding Catholicism:

"Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good condemns these and all religiously intolerant remarks. We accept Senator Edwards' assurances that he too was offended by comments made by recently-hired …

Then again--Those Catholics really shouldn't have taken offense

John Edwards has decided to keep the vulgar Amanda Marcotte on his campaign staff after all. After it was reported that he was firing her the liberal blogs and other commentary were ferocious in their criticism. They vowed to work against him if he caved in to conservative pressure. I guess it seemed politically astute to offend the segment of the population that wasn't going to vote for him anyway instead of angering the segment that might vote for him. His actions are directed entirely by politics with no regard for what is right and honorable.
John Edwards said Thursday that he was offended by the "intolerant language" of two employees of his presidential campaign, in writings on their personal Web logs, but he said they would remain with the campaign.

"They have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word," Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, is quoted as saying in a news relea…

He Said, She Said

As I perused my daily dose of blogs I found Sarah’s post to be my must-read of the day! It seems those bath crayons given to the kids have found their way to her shower. She and her husband use them to leave notes of information and affection. What a sweet and creative way to keep in touch!

Figuring out how to communicate is such a challenge in any relationship. I don’t know if this is true with all men, but the Y-chromosome members of my household are not very receptive to subtle or even not-so-subtle hints. One of the older boys came home from a youth group meeting and said, “I think this girl was flirting with me. She programmed her phone number into my cell phone.” You think so?! Another time a high school son was perplexed when he got off the school bus. “This girl just keeps talking to me. I answer her questions, but she just keeps talking.” That’s right. She doesn’t care what your answers are. She just wants your attention. Reading the subtext is not one of their strong points.


John Edwards Campaign Staffer Alert

Please read this item about the woman John Edwards just hired to supervise his presidential campaign blog. Amanda's Marcotte has a definite bias against religion in general but also has a putrid animosity towards the Catholic Church in particular. Her writings include a piece entitled "FAQ ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S ‘CRAZY’ TEACHINGS ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL". Her comments are too vile for me to put on my blog pages but you can read them at National Review Online As they say, you can tell much about a man by the company he keeps.

(H/T to Gerald for the link)

UPDATE: According to Salon the Edwards campaign has fired blogger Amanda Marcotte. They received a great deal of negative press from bloggers, the Catholic League, and conservative columnists.

(H/T to Argent for the info)

UPDATE II: Tales of Amanda Marcotte's demise have been greatly exaggerated. John Edwards has been assured she meant no offense by her hateful, bigoted, vulgar remarks.

In Communion with the Church

I read this post on Mirror of Justice a couple of days ago and have been mulling a response ever since. Steve Shiffrin addresses a statement from the recent meeting of the US Conference of Catholic bishops, Happy Are Those who are Called to His Supper. This document states those who receive communion must be in communion with the Church. Mr. Shiffrin then asks what does it mean to be “in communion” with the Church. He cites a litany of statistics to illustrate how many American Catholics and priests disagree with Church teaching on morals. He then writes:

What would happen if the Conference made a statement with no wiggle room, maintaining that if you did not agree with the Vatican on all of the issues above and many others, you should not receive the Eucharist (or say mass if you are a priest)? I am uncertain about what the relevant priests would do. But regarding the lay population I suspect a small percentage would stay in the Church and not partake in the Eucharist. Many would lea…

Blogging in a Vacuum

For the last couple of weeks site meter has been lagging terribly. Today it is the worst it has been. Right now it says it is over 900 minutes behind. I didn't realize how much I depended on the site meter numbers to feel connected with the blogging community. I can watch the numbers go up during the day and know that I am really sharing my thoughts with someone. Fortunately, enough folks are leaving comments that I can tell readers are still out there. However, I will be glad when their system is back up and running. I like the feedback of knowing a particular piece resonated and was shared with many.

A Gadget Worth Having

I am always a bit leery of gadgety kitchen appliances. (Remember the Salad Shooter?) So often they just take up room in the cupboard because it is not worth the effort to use and clean them. One appliance that has become a mainstay of my kitchen, however, is my bread maker. In fact, mine is used so often that my second son was amazed that his dorm kitchen wasn’t stocked with one. He has remedied that and now has an inexpensive model to impress his buddies with pizza dough and cinnamon rolls.

Part of the reason I get such good use out of my bread maker is that I have the right cookbook. Bread Machine Magic by Linda Rehbrg and Lois Conway has been used so much that I had to buy a second copy since my first one was literally falling to pieces.
I have also rejected the notion that my bread maker is for baking bread. Oh, it makes some lovely loaves of bread. But the real value is the dough making function. I make pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, calzones, French bread baguettes and all kinds of …


Yesterday as I was leaving Mass I saw Father out in the parking lot wearing only his alb in spite of the frigid weather. He was busy sprinkling holy water both inside and outside of someone’s new car. I guess I never thought to do that with any of the cars we have owned. Now that my kids are driving it sounds like a great idea!

It got me to thinking about our tradition of sacramentals and having items we use blessed .I did get a supply of candles blessed for Candlemas. I try to have any rosaries, Bibles, or religious pictures I give as gifts blessed before I present them. I know many people get their homes blessed. Why do we do that?

This is from my son’s CCD book, The Life of Grace from the Faith and Life Series, Ignatius Press(highly recommended, by the way):

Sacramentals help us to be ready to receive grace and cooperate with it. They give us grace by the prayer of the Church and our own cooperation.

What about you? How do you use sacramentals and blessed items? I think it would be fun…

Housekeeping Meme

Rosemary tagged me for the Housekeeping meme. Housekeeping is definitely not my strong suit, but here goes.

Aprons- Y/N- If I am going to be cooking a lot, for example getting ready for a party, making Christmas cookies, Thanksgiving dinner, etc. Also, if I am doing a major pick up session since I love the big pockets of an apron for putting change, toys, etc found out of place in one room and and carrying them to their proper destination.

Baking-- Favorite thing to bake: Christmas cookies. Probably because almost anything done in the Christmas spirit is fun, but also because my family is so happy when I bring out their favorite varieties. Each family member has his own personal favorite.

Clothesline- Y/N: No. I am very happy to pop things in the dryer.

Donuts-- Have you ever made them? No. I do make homemade cinnamon rolls that are a real hit. Making the dough in the breadmaker makes them a relatively easy treat. If I am really industrious I will make batches up ahead of time and put th…