Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2008

Pelosi has Company

Just in case you think Ms. Pelosi is a rare bird for mangling Church history and teaching to justify her support of abortion, read this:

SEN. BIDEN: Well, I was 29 years old when I came to the United States Senate, and I have learned a lot. Look, Tim, I’m a practicing Catholic, and it is the biggest dilemma for me in terms of comporting my, my religious and cultural views with my political responsibility. And the decision that I have come to is Roe v. Wade is as close to we’re going to be able to get as a society that incorporates the general lines of debate within Christendom, Judaism and other faiths, where it basically says there is a sliding scale relating to viability of a fetus. We can argue about whether or not it’s precisely set, whether it’s right or wrong in terms of its three months as opposed to two months, but it does encompass, I’ve come to conclude, the only means by which, in this heterogeneous society of ours, we can read some general accommodation on what is a rel…

Back to School

Right now my oldest son is in an Army training environment rather than an operational environment. My next two children started classes at Rice University this past Monday. Next week my youngest begins high school. And guess what--beginning next Monday, it is back to school for me as well. Only Catholic Dad will not be an official student.

Beginning next Monday, I will be participating in the certification program at the National Catholic Bioethics Center. I am a little nervous. It has been a long time since I was a real student. There will be reading assignments and homework and papers and......GRADES! Oh my!

I am hoping that once I complete this year-long program there will be gainful employment for a Catholic bioethicist/doctor/writer. We shall see.

I am not quite sure how this course will affect this blog. Like I tell my kids, I will have to get my schoolwork done before I play so the course work has priority over the blog. But I also suspect that the topics covered will stimulate a …

A Study in Contrasts

That didn’t take long. Close down the Olympics and it is back to business as usual:

Roman Catholic Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding, Hebei province, China, was arrested again by local authorities. Bishop Jia Zhiguo belongs to the “underground” church not recognized by China’s communist government. He was arrested on the morning of August 24, the twelfth such arrest since January 2004. Zhengding is a small village situated approximately 100 miles south of Beijing. Its Roman Catholic community numbers approximately 110,000. Bishop Jia Zhiguo was consecrated bishop in 1980.

Government officials arrived in vehicles at Christ the King Cathedral at WuQiu while his current whereabouts are unknown at this time. Bishop Jia Zhiguo was last arrested in August 2007 and released four months later. The reasons for his current unrest are as yet unclear. After his release in December 2007, the bishop was consigned to house arrest and not allowed to receive visitors unaccompanied by government watc…

Not in the Diocese of Arlington

Well, that can take the wind out of your sails. I just posted on what I still consider a great vocations poster. I was so impressed I passed it on to the priest in charge of vocations. I told him I thought it would be great to have postcards with that image and quote from Pope Benedict to give to parents. He didn’t answer me but had his assistant respond to me:

We have recently seen posters from other dioceses using similar images with boys. While they are endearing and clever, and no doubt might grab the interest of the faithful at large, in our opinion they do not adequately depict the mission that our Office of Vocations wants to convey.

The mission of the Diocese of Arlington Office of Vocations is …

… to seek out men and women of prayer called to witness the faith with courage, teach with clarity and serve with charity as priests and consecrated religious. We focus on the restoration of all things in Christ through prayer, hard work, generosity and sacrifice. We foster the formatio…

Your Child Has a Vocation

This poster from the Diocese of Raleigh is just too precious not to share. (H/T to American Papist)

I hope that you often hear a prayer for vocations offered at Mass. We need more priests. Jesus implored us to pray for more workers because the harvest is in abundance. But I am also certain that each of us is called to do more than pray.

I do not believe that our priest shortage is because God has stopped calling men to the priesthood. Rather, young men have stopped hearing and stopped answering this call. As parents we are called to impart the faith to our children. We are to give them the faith foundation that allows them to hear God’s call. He is calling each of them to a vocation. For some it will be to the vocation of marriage. For some it may be to the vocation of consecrated religious life. For some it may be the vocation of being single. And for some it is the vocation of the priesthood. Our families, our little domestic churches, are the font of vocations.

Our parish community m…

Paging Archbishop Niederauer:

I tried to write my first post today without bringing in the messy politics. However, I have to admit that I did think of nominally Catholic Senator Biden when I wrote it. I’ve been wading into the discussion about the Catholic credentials of Obama’s pick for VP on Dawn Eden’s blog. Then one of the comments pointed me to this:

MR. BROKAW: Senator Obama saying the question of when life begins is above his pay grade, whether you're looking at it scientifically or theologically. If he were to come to you and say, "Help me out here, Madame Speaker. When does life begin?" what would you tell him?

REP. PELOSI: I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator--St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to cho…

Better than a Gold Medal

And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

I guess I have been watching too much of the Olympics lately. Listening to this Gospel reading this morning I felt like I wanted to punch two fists in the air and cheer. (You will be happy to know I restrained myself) Peter, dear St. Peter, just received something far more precious than a gold medal. He got the keys—and not just any keys—THE KEYS! Christ gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of Heaven. And these keys were not just for Peter as an individual. They were for Peter as leader of Christ’s Church—The Church—One, Holy, Catholic Apostolic Churc…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

Lex Orandi in Louisville

Lex orandi lex credendi—The way we pray is the way we believe. Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville gets it.

But he's also drawn mixed reviews from his flock by requiring all churches to begin adhering to liturgical reforms approved by Pope John Paul II in 2000.

Currently, parishes have different practices on such things as when -- and if -- they stand, sit or kneel. As a result of Kurtz's directive, some churches that haven't practiced kneeling will have to purchase kneelers, and Kurtz acknowledged some parishioners have been reluctant to change

But, he said, "The way in which we pray affects the way in which we believe, which in turn affects the way in which we act in the faith."

Asked whether some parishioners have said money would be better spent on charity than kneelers, Kurtz cited humanitarian workers such as Mother Teresa as representing "the connectedness between the care with which we pray and reaching out in service to others."

Arbishop Kurtz has been i…

Answer the Call

Religious education programs around the country are busy pleading for volunteers to teach and assist with the upcoming school year. I really can understand why so many are reluctant to take on this mission. In the ideal world the bulk of the catechesis occurs at home and the religious education classes are an enrichment of the faith passed on by parents. Unfortunately, reality looks quite different. The children often have little support for their faith at home. Sports, travel, or just sleeping in trumps getting to Mass on Sundays. Family prayer is not much more than an occasional grace before meals. Being Catholic is more of a social construct than a spiritual one. Is being a catechist worth the effort? Pope Benedict XVI thinks so.

In response to another question about what do with the children and young people who request First Communion and Conformation but do not appear to be ready to persevere in the faith, Benedict XVI confessed that “when I was younger I was stricter. I said, th…

Thank You For The Prayers

First of all, thank you for your prayers against the storm. Tropical Storm Eduard made a northeasterly turn and sped up after I posted last night. He is already ashore and does not appear to be causing much trouble. We will spend the day making last minute preparations for tomorrow's move in to the dorm.

I must also thank all those who have offered prayers for my daughter's recovery from knee surgery. She is now about seven weeks post-op and making steady progress. Emotionally it is hard. She will be moving in to the dorm with her college soccer teammates, but when the rest of the girls hit the practice field she will be heading for more physical therapy. But as I have said before, every challenge is an opportunity for virtue. This is her opportunity to exercise patience and diligence.

I know we have been lifted up and buoyed by your prayers. I will be praying for you as well.

We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Life....

As if I needed another reminder, I am once again keenly aware that God is far more in control of this world than I am. Right now I am in Houston. I was supposed to be moving my daughter into her dorm tomorrow. Instead, we are enjoying an extra day of visiting with my parents and waiting for Tropical Storm Eduard to make his way across the area. The storm is expected to make landfall tomorrow afternoon so most of tomorrow’s activities are canceled. Please pray for the safety of all in the storm’s path.