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Showing posts from August, 2009

The Slippery Slope of Sexual Immorality Continues

Following the lead of the Episcopalians, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently voted to allow their clergy to be in "committed, lifelong, same-gender relationships." This did not sit well with Reverend Debra Haffner, an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. She objects to the requirement for the relationships to be committed and life-long:

All of this is excellent news for same-sex couples, of course, but the emphasis on "committed, lifelong relationships" leaves out the single minister, the divorced minister, the widowed minister -- whether gay, straight, or bisexual -- who must still adhere to a standard of celibacy unless their partner status changes.
I've long believed that the major sexuality problem denominations face is that they are unable to acknowledge that celibacy until marriage doesn't apply to most single adults. There are more than 75 million American adults who are single -- more than at any time in history. We are marrying l…

How to become a Catholic

In addition to school and CCD classes, most parishes are also beginning RCIA classes. Here is a quick summary about how to become a Catholic.

Speaking of CCD, I can guarantee you that your parish religious education office is in need of teachers and other volunteers. If you are reading Catholic blogs, you are already light years ahead of most Catholics in the pews. Remember God does not call the equipped. He equips the call. Pray about it, then respond to His call.

National Endowment for the Arts Assembling a Propaganda Machine?

I love the arts but I really think they should be funded more by private philanthropy than by the government. Patrick Courrielche participated in an interesting NEA conference call that appeared to be pushing for NEA grants to artists that would create work to further the Obama Administration agenda:

The NEA is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts. That is right, the largest funder of the arts in the nation - a fact that I’m sure was not lost on those that were on the call, including myself. One of the NEA’s major functions is providing grants to artists and arts organizations. The NEA has also historically shown the ability to attract “matching funds” for the art projects and foundations that they select. So we have the nation’s largest arts funder, which is a federal agency staffed by the administration, with those that they potentially fund together on a conference call discussing taking action on issues under vigorous national debate. Does there appear to be any potential…

Feast of St. Monica Blessings!

Happy Feast of St. Monica to you. I received the Sacraments in a rather unconventional way so I was confirmed at age three. There was no preparation. My mother just took me to the church, I knelt at the communion rail, and the bishop eventually came by and gave my face a little slap. About all I remember is that my hat fell off when the bishop slapped my face.

Because of this, I never did pick out a Confirmation name. But if I were to choose one now, it would be Monica. I refer to St. Monica as the patron of nagging mothers since she followed St. Augustine to Rome and then to Milan and kept after him for seventeen years until he became a Christian. She is a constant reminder that the ultimate mission of every mother is to first and foremost pray for our children and then to do everything within our power to help them get to Heaven.

Fortunately, none of my children has caused me the heartache that Augustine caused Monica. Whenever I am feeling my maternal efforts are inadequate, I think …

The Perfect Reflection on Ted Kennedy

Senator Edward Kennedy died last night. I feel a great deal of conflict when I reflect on what Senator Kennedy represented to America and to Catholics. I think The Anchoress offers the perfect reflection:
I expect, though, that beyond health care, and beyond the inevitable hagiography and histrionics in the press (and the competition between the Clintons and the Obamas as to who can best-use this moment) Ted Kennedy’s death will do what every Kennedy death does: shine a spotlight on Catholicism, its rituals and rites and rubrics. There will be lots of people -both Catholic and non-Catholic- who will declare themselves “shocked and scandalized” that Kennedy would be given a Mass of Christian Burial. Some will declare that he should have been “thrown out of the church” a long time ago; others will insist that his Funeral Mass brings shame to us. Some will focus on his personal sins -the assumed repentance or lack of same (of which they will likely have no real knowledge, just hunches) a…

How to find Mass

I've covered the topic of finding Mass several times on this blog. I just included it in the Catholic Living 101 series on my column. This is a pretty non-controversial column so hopefully my cyber stalker commenter can leave it alone. It would be comical if it were not so sad that no matter what I publish, this guy feels the need to leave a personal insult in the comments section. It is a shame that some people are so offended by Church teaching.

Catholic Identity

I just published a brief account of the Mass of Thanksgiving to mark the 35th anniversary of the Diocese of Arlington. It really was a beautiful Mass. But what struck me most were the words of Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. He gave the Diocese of Arlington three tasks as it goes forward. The first task is to establish a solid Catholic identity. Know what it means to be a Catholic. The second was to establish a sense of community. Understand the importance of belonging to the Church Universal. Finally, seek excellence in all aspects of your lives, not for the glory of the world, but for the Glory of God.

This idea of Catholic identity has been playing out in my head for a while now. As I approach the upcoming year of religious education, I hope to put a renewed emphasis on Catholic identity. I teach the seventh grade Confirmation preparation. These students are preparing to complete their initiation into the Catholic Church. What does that mean? I ho…

Loyal Friend and Visitor Award

Here are the rules:
1. Copy the loyal picture above and post it on your blog.
2. Pass it on to who you think who is/are deserving.
3. Leave a message to them
4. Pass as many as you want.
5. Message back or leave a comment to the owner.

Dear sweet Rosemary has nominated me for a Loyal Friend and Visitor Award. I could certainly return the honor. Rosemary's blog, A Catholic Mother's Thoughts, is a lovely faith-filled spot in the blogosphere. She is just so full of joy and offers smart, thoughtful, and charitable reflections on Catholic family life and the culture around us.

I must say that I really needed this pick-me-up. As some of you may have noticed, my writing has branched out to include a column at When you step out of the Catholic blogosphere and start offering a Catholic perspective in the secular world, you have to be ready for the hostile response. I really love it when my blog friends stop by my site and leave a supportive word because several of m…

Soup for One

Usually, I subjugate my food preferences to those of the rest of my family. I really enjoy good fish and seafood but most of my family wants meat. I can get some of them to occasionally eat shrimp. When we do go meatless, it is usually an egg and cheese meal. However, right now I am at the peak of my home grown tomato crop. I absolutely love gazpacho. The rest of my family turn their noses up at the idea of cold soup. Too bad. I used four of my lovely red tomatoes and whipped up a batch of gazpacho. I guess I'll be eating it for lunch for the next week, but that is okay. This is so yummy!

I used the recipe for roasted gazpacho from my favorite all-purpose cookbook, How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. This is one of those recipes that you don't have to follow exactly. It gives you the basic principle and then you work with what you have. Basically, put four unpeeled whole tomatoes in a roasting pan. Add in about ten peeled cloves of garlic. Then add onion, zucchini, squash,…

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel states a lack of shared values hinders health care reform

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel understands that his ethical principles are not the same principles held by his critics. His utilitarian view of human beings is definitely contrary to Catholic moral teaching. So the question as we go forward with health care reform is which voices will be heard. Will the Catholic voice influence the health care debate?

You mean eating organic foods doesn't make you an automatic Obama supporter?

This is kind of funny in a strange sort of way. The CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, published an article in the Wall Street Journal criticizing the Obama health care plan. The liberals are outraged. How could anyone who eats organic food disagree with President Obama? They are calling for a boycott of Whole Foods.

I don't shop at Whole Foods for all my groceries, but if I am making ice cream, it is the best place to find heavy cream that is not ultra-pasteurized. If you use ultra-pasteurized heavy cream the ice cream comes out more like Cool Whip. It is also a super place to buy spices. Many are much cheaper there than in the regular grocery store. Also, they sell a very good chai tea concentrate at a very reasonable price. I can also find a great selection of sausage links to cook on the grill. The apple sausage links are great for those who prefer mild foods and the chipotle sausages have a nice kick for those of us who like something a little spicier. Maybe I will stop in and…

Health Care Reform bill sets up elderly to be pressured to refuse care

If you read the accounts of women who have given birth to children with Downs syndrome you will soon realize that our culture has moved from the idea of an option to abort these children to the idea of a duty to abort these children.

The end-of-life counseling in the current health care reform bill has the potential to do the same thing to the elderly. The option to refuse care will evolve into a duty to refuse care. Read more here.

Obama health care adviser advocates denying care to elderly and disabled

Add Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel to the list of rather creepy Obama advisers. Dr. Emanuel is the brother of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and the top health policy adviser to the Office of Management and Budget. (OMB) He is also a member of the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (FCCCER). Under the current health care reform legislation, he will be advising the Health Benefits Advisory Council on who should get care and what kind of care they should get. He is on record as advocating the denial of care to the elderly and the disabled.

Unfortunately, this dramatization may not be too far off the mark.

Classroom teachers may not be the real burden

The cover article of today's Washington Times Sunday Read section includes a long article chronicling the woes of teachers being laid off due to the economic downturn. The cover picture in the print edition is not included in the online version, but it shows angry teachers in SEIU t-shirts protesting the lay-offs. If teachers want support, they might want to downplay their SEIU connection considering the actions of SEIU thugs in St. Louis. (H/T The Anchoress)

Of course, it is the classroom teachers who are getting the pink slips. Perhaps we could save more money and improve our educational system if we got rid of the high paid administrators who come up with all the social-engineering educational theories and politically correct curricula. Maybe our schools would once again become havens of true education instead of dens of indoctrination. (See here and here)