Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!

I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bioethics Council dissolved

I just returned from the Catholic New Media Celebration in San Antonio. I have much to write about on that, but for now, consider this article on the dissolution of the President's Council on Bioethics.

This is a topic near and dear to my heart as I finish up my final paper for my certification in bioethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Friday, June 19, 2009

What are you going to do for Year for Priests?

Here is how I marked the beginning of the Year for Priests.

St. John Vianney, ora pro nobis!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Still thinking about Corpus Christi

Pope Benedict offers some powerful words about the Eucharist.

Don't Mess with Mom

This little girl will be able to say, "Don't mess with my mama. She fought off a cougar with her bare hands!" When Maureen Lee saw a cougar pounce on her daughter and pin her to the ground, the mother acted quickly:

"She was on her back and (the cougar) had his paws on her head, and I just knew I had to react quick.

"So I just jumped in there and wedged myself between the cougar and her on the ground."

Then "I just got up and threw it off my back and grabbed" Maya and ran, she went on.

Even a wild cougar is no match for motherly love. However, do go and read the entire article and most especially the comments. The major concern seems to be the welfare of the cougar. There is outrage that the cougar was hunted and killed.

Consider this comment by tracie:

of course it had to be put down! it was only in its increasingly depleteing habitat! lets just put all wild animals down! disgusting! the animal gets shot again and again and again i give up on the human race i really do, we invade every habitat in the world with our buildings and digging etc and this is what happens, i wouldnt want the little girl to be killed i have kids myself but it really is wrong that these animals are forced in to living closer and closer to humans to them we are a food source what are we going to kill every living creature thats hungry.

Or this one by joe:

Too many people in the world, invading the few remaining natural environments. We must manage and stop the ever accelerating growth of the human population.

Or this one by Clair:

Why do they have to be killed? It's barbaric - are these people trespassing on the cougars natural habitat. Typical...If that was a man that had attacked that child, would he be tracked down and shot?....No...he'd be given a cushy cell and a lifetimes' membership to specialist hospitals and therapy and trips to the caribbean!

Personally, I am very happy the mother and child are safe. I am sorry the cougar had to be killed. However, the safety of the humans is paramount.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I am supposed to be diligently working on my final paper for my certification in bioethics. I am writing a paper on the unethical nature of age-based rationing of health care. Of course, these events at the Basilica sound much more enjoyable!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blessed Feast of Corpus Christi to you!

This is the second of the three big feasts that follow the Easter season. Read more here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ordination Mass

I spent several hours today at the Ordination Mass for the Diocese of Arlington and the reception that followed. It was an inspiring, enjoyable, and grace filled day. More details here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

"Slutty" not offensive but "not classy" is?

The whole dust up between David Letterman and Sarah Palin has been all over the internet for several days now. You can read about it here, here, and here. The bottom line is David Letterman was vulgar and insulting and thought it was funny. He still sees no need to apologize. He excused his "joke" about Palin's daughter being "knocked-up" by Alex Rodriguez by saying he was talking about the 18-year-old Bristol Palin and not the 14-year-old Willow Palin. That makes it okay?

What I find interesting is the following exchange between MSNBC reporter Contessa Brewer and John Ziegler, a media critic who recently interviewed Sarah Palin.

I am truly amazed that Ms. Brewer can dismiss Sarah Palin's offense at being called "slutty" by David Letterman as overly sensitive hurt feelings yet gets visibly irate when John Ziegler suggests the NBC network acts less than classy. Does she really believe that a woman should laugh off misogynous epithets but come unglued over the accusation of media bias? Is that what it takes for her to get ahead in the world of broadcasting? How sad.

Gearing up for Year of the Priest

We are enjoying the blessings of ordinations in the D.C. Metro area. Remember that next Friday on the Feast of the Sacred Heart we begin the Year of the Priest.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Begin your Sacred Heart Novena today.

Still lots of feasts for the month of June. The Feast of Corpus Christi, like the Feast of the Ascension in many places, has been translated to Sunday. But don't wait to start your Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus which traditionally starts on the Thursday Feast of Corpus Christi. That starts today. Here are a couple of options:

Novena to the Sacred Heart

Say once a day for 9 days, especially beginning on the Feast of Corpus Christi and ending on the Feast of the Sacred Heart

O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus help me.


Novena Prayer

Divine Jesus, You have said, "Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you." Behold me kneeling at Your feet, filled with a lively faith and confidence in the promises dictated by Your Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret Mary. I come to ask this favor: Mention your request).

To whom can I turn if not to You, Whose Heart is the source of all graces and merits? Where should I seek if not in the treasure which contains all the riches of Your kindness and mercy? Where should I knock if not at the door through which God gives Himself to us and through which we go to God? I have recourse to You, Heart of Jesus. In You I find consolation when afflicted, protection when persecuted, strength when burdened with trials, and light in doubt and darkness.

Dear Jesus, I firmly believe that You can grant me the grace I implore, even though it should require a miracle. You have only to will it and my prayer will be granted. I admit that I am most unworthy of Your favors, but this is not a reason for me to be discouraged. You are the God of mercy, and You will not refuse a contrite heart. Cast upon me a look of mercy, I beg of You, and Your kind Heart will find in my miseries and weakness a reason for granting my prayer.

Sacred Heart, whatever may be Your decision with regard to my request, I will never stop adoring, loving, praising, and serving You. My Jesus, be pleased to accept this my act of perfect resignation to the decrees of Your adorable Heart, which I sincerely desire may be fulfilled in and by me and all Your creatures forever.

Grant me the grace for which I humbly implore You through the Immaculate Heart of Your most sorrowful Mother. You entrusted me to her as her child, and her prayers are all-powerful with You. Amen.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Francis J. Parater

Have you ever heard of Servant of God, Francis J. Parater? He is a model for all of us, but if you have sons, make sure they know his story!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Government Health Care: Bring a book--or maybe a library

You may remember that it took numerous tantrums, phone calls, emails, and faxes to get my daughter seen in a timely fashion in the government run military health system when she ruptured her ACL last year. Recently, one of my son’s teammates had a knee injury. For months the mother tried to get a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. No luck. Finally, when the physical therapist noted an abnormality the pediatrician following the mother was able to convince them to give her a referral. He might be able to see the orthopedic surgeon within three weeks. Then an MRI could be scheduled which would be another five weeks. Fed up with the system, the parents opted out of the military HMO plan and went with a standard point of service plan. It meant more money out of their pocket, but their child would be seen promptly.

David Gratzer reminds us that this is the primary way governments ration care. And countries that have had government run health care for decades are backing away and embracing private care because the excessive waiting times of government care can be deadly.

Indeed, Canada's provincial governments themselves rely on American medicine. Between 2006 and 2008, Ontario sent more than 160 patients to New York and Michigan for emergency neurosurgery -- described by the Globe and Mail newspaper as "broken necks, burst aneurysms and other types of bleeding in or around the brain."

Only half of ER patients are treated in a timely manner by national and international standards, according to a government study. The physician shortage is so severe that some towns hold lotteries, with the winners gaining access to the local doc.

Overall, according to a study published in Lancet Oncology last year, five-year cancer survival rates are higher in the U.S. than those in Canada. Based on data from the Joint Canada/U.S. Survey of Health (done by Statistics Canada and the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics), Americans have greater access to preventive screening tests and have higher treatment rates for chronic illnesses. No wonder: To limit the growth in health spending, governments restrict the supply of health care by rationing it through waiting. The same survey data show, as June and Paul O'Neill note in a paper published in 2007 in the Forum for Health Economics & Policy, that the poor under socialized medicine seem to be less healthy relative to the nonpoor than their American counterparts.

At the end of his article he asks a very pointed question:

In Canada, private-sector health care is growing. Dr. Day estimates that 50,000 people are seen at private clinics every year in British Columbia. According to the New York Times, a private clinic opens at a rate of about one a week across the country. Public-private partnerships, once a taboo topic, are embraced by provincial governments.

In the United Kingdom, where socialized medicine was established after World War II through the National Health Service, the present Labour government has introduced a choice in surgeries by allowing patients to choose among facilities, often including private ones. Even in Sweden, the government has turned over services to the private sector.

Americans need to ask a basic question: Why are they rushing into a system of government-dominated health care when the very countries that have experienced it for so long are backing away?

American Papist Interview

I had the opportunity to interview Thomas Peters of American Papist fame. He was very gracious to make the time for my little column. Read it here.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Got Strawberries?

Take this ice cream maker

Use the strawberry ice cream recipe from this cookbook.

Use strawberries picked at their peak of sweetness like the ones I got at Saturday’s farmers market. Heaven must be something like this.

Eat like a Catholic

There is more to eating like a Catholic than fish on Friday. Take a look!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Classic wheels

My children are long past the Little Tikes toy stage. However, this article brought back many memories. My children didn’t have a cozy coupe. We had the black pickup truck instead. Many of their friends did have the Cozy Coupe. The neighborhood sidewalks often looked like the Beltway at rush hour.

While my children were enmeshed in the Little Tikes stage I was working at an urgent medical care office. One of the doctors I worked with was a gentleman over age fifty who had no children. He had just seen a child with a broken arm and was concerned the mother had not given a believable story. He was wondering if she was covering up abuse. Her account of the injury went something like this: Her five year-old had just been watching a surfing show on television. He wanted to try surfing. He climbed up on top of his Cozy Coupe and asked a friend to push him around while he tried to balance just like a surfer. He then tumbled down suffering a broken arm on the landing. My colleague questioned whether children would really do anything so outlandish. I just stared at him. At that point I had two young boys of my own. That story sounded so believable I made a mental note to warn my sons against surfing on top of any toy vehicles.

As my children now zoom up and down real highways in real vehicles I think wistfully about those Cozy Coupe days.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Cult

Is it just in the D.C. Metro area or is everyone else seeing images of Obama plastered on cars, T-shirts, water bottles, and key chains? Think Mao or Che Guevara. It is so pervasive that when I saw the new Pepsi advertising campaign I thought the Pepsi symbol was more Obama worship. Seems a little too similar to me!

Now we have the editor of Newsweek comparing Obama to God:

This is not healthy for our nation. This is not healthy for democracy.

One more reason I will be on my knees praying to the real God!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Sacrament of Confession

The Secretary for the Congregation for the Clergy expressed some concerns about Catholics and confession. He is right to be concerned, but we may need more than the handbook he is offering.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

No Presidential Proclamation after Murder of Army Recruiter

On Sunday, after abortionist George Tiller was murdered, the White House issued this statement from President Obama:

I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.

I completely concur with this statement. It was entirely appropriate for President Obama to issue such a statement.

In addition to issuing this statement, the White House had time to issue a proclamation of June as National Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Pride Month.

No thank you. June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Apparently, what the White House does not have time to speak about is the shooting death of a military recruiter in Arkansas. Is not the death of an American soldier at the hands of an anti-military Muslim convert as worthy of condemnation as the death of an abortionist at the hands of an anarchist?

I noticed liberals are wasting no time in painting the pro-life movement with the broad brush of extremist terrorists:

In another segment on MSNBC with David Schuster later that day, Mr. Hern upped the ante, holding the GOP partly responsible for the killing.

"This was not the action of a single, deranged lone gunman, this was the result of 35 years of anti-abortion terrorism, vigilantism, harassment, intimidation and outright hate speech and rhetoric, which has been exploited by the Republican Party and the radical political right," charged Dr. Hern, who also performs late-term abortions and reportedly has sought the protection of the U.S. Marshals Service. He runs the Boulder Abortion Clinic in Boulder, Colo.

"This is the inevitable outcome of those behaviors ... . These people talk to God and carry guns. The do not respect the American Constitution or American laws or freedom or American society," he said, going on to repeat the line he used earlier that day, verbatim, comparing pro-life Americans to the Taliban.

Neither MSNBC host challenged Dr. Hern's assessment.

Can you imagine the outcry if we tried to brand all Muslims as terrorists? Perhaps that is why President Obama chose to ignore the assassination of the Army recruiter. He is headed off to the Middle East. He might not want to offend Muslim sensibilities by calling attention to the heinous crime committed by a Muslim against a member of the United States Army. This is the same Army of which he is supposed to be Commander in Chief. Of course he did make note that the United States is one of the largest Muslim nations in the world.

“And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world,” Mr. Obama said.

Even though our president cannot find the time to offer outrage and condolences over the murder of Pvt William Long, I ask that you join me in prayer. Let us pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. Let us also pray for the recovery of Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula who was also injured in the attack.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Monday, June 01, 2009

How should pro-lifers respond?

The murder of George Tiller was not the act of someone who is pro-life. But how should pro-lifers respond? My answer is here.