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Showing posts from January, 2010

Get ready for Candlemas

Next Tuesday is Candlemas, or Feast of the Presentation. While this is not a Holy Day of Obligation, it is a wonderful Holy Day of Opportunity. Gather up devotional candles and take them to Mass on February 2nd so that they can be blessed. Read more here.

March for Life

Real life has kept me away from the computer for a few days, but I've put up a brief report on the March for Life here. It was truly an inspiring experience to walk with hundreds of thousands of people in solidarity with the unborn and all of those who are vulnerable to the Culture of Death.

What struck me most was the sheer youth of the marchers. This throng of hundreds of thousands of marchers was predominantly people under the age of thirty. They were joyful, enthusiastic, and uncompromisingly committed to the sanctity of human life. The supporters of abortion took notice.

The Washington Post sent a pro-abortion columnist Robert McCarntney to cover the March for Life. His response is interesting. Here is a snippet, but do read his whole report. Then take heart and keep fighting for the Culture of Life.

I went to the March for Life rally Friday on the Mall expecting to write about its irrelevance. Isn't it quaint, I thought, that these abortion protesters show up each year on t…

Pope Benedict XVI calls for support of families and young people

Pope Benedict XVI received Gianni Alemanno, mayor of the City of Rome, Esterino montino, vice president of the Region of Lazio, Italy, and Nicola Zingaretti, president of the Province of Rome for the traditional exchange of New Year greetings. The Holy Father touched on several issues in his address to these local leaders, however, in light of my previous post, these words stood out:

"When educating on the great questions of affectivity and sexuality, which are so important for life, we must avoid showing adolescents and young people ways that tend to devalue these fundamental dimensions of human existence. To this end the Church calls for everyone to collaborate, especially those who work in schools, to educate the young to a lofty vision of human love and sexuality. Thus I invite everyone to understand that, in pronouncing her 'noes', the Church is really saying 'yes' to life, to love lived in the truth of the giving of self to the other, to the love that …

Symptoms of our Cultural Malaise

I've been teaching seventh grade CCD for several years now. In our parish, this is the Confirmation prep year. The students will be confirmed in the fall of their eighth grade year. Please, please, please, hit your knees and offer a prayer for all "tweens" and their families. What I hear every week reveals a great poison in our culture.

Recently, our class was discussing virtue. Specifically, we were covering the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. In discussing the virtue of hope, I explained that hope is what allows us to trust God. Because we trust God, we are able to submit to His will when our own will would lead us in a different direction. Naturally, these students think of moral strictures regarding sexuality when they think of this topic. I explained that sexual activity is a gift from God and can only be properly expressed in the total self giving between a husband and a wife. This prompted one student to blurt out, "You mean my mother wa…

Testing the Water

Life is always changing. As of today it looks like I will be dipping my toes back in the employment waters. Now that one child is launched and married, two are in college, and one is nearly half-way through high school I am looking for a little paid employment. I will be teaching human anatomy and physiology at the local community college. I've never had any desire to get back into clinical medicine. The lawyers and the insurance companies took all the fun out of that. If I think about it, what I really loved about practicing medicine was the teaching. Family physicians don't cure a lot. What we do is educate our patients on both preventive and therapeutic measures for their health. So I guess I will let my inner teacher come out. School starts in a week. I have a lot to do to get ready. Lesson plans, labs, paperwork, etc are waiting for me.


Since it is 23-degrees right now and feels like 9-degrees with the wind chill, I am very interested in snuggling under the covers. In fact, hibernating until spring does not sound unreasonable. I must say that Michelle's post on bedwarmers had me laughing so much that I forgot how frozen I feel after walking the dog. Enjoy!

Was I too harsh?

Today I prepared for tomorrow's 7th grade Confirmation prep CCD class. This year I do not assign the students written home work. I do have them read the one or two chapters that we will cover in the next class. This usually amounts to five pages or less. After our introductory prayer, I give the students an open book quiz on what they were supposed to read. Even if they did not read the homework at home, the quiz is short enough that they could read the assigned reading while they do the quiz. As I prepared their semester grades I noted an interesting correlation. Those with the highest scores were those who reported weekly Mass attendance. Those with the lowest scores were those who report rarely if ever going to Mass. Because of this, I sent the following letter to the parents:

I will be giving your child a grade as a percentage. This represents his/her composite score for the weekly quizzes. Every week the students are assigned one or two chapters to read for the upcoming lesson…

Black-eyed peas? Cabbage? Other?

Just curious. What do you eat on New Years Day? I grew up eating black-eyed peas and figured that was the universal food to start the New Year. Then the Air Force moved us to Ohio and everyone was fixing cabbage. I am back in black-eyed pea country again. I cooked them with the ham bone from our Christmas dinner, some onion, salt, pepper, thyme, and crushed red pepper. If I had a few fresh jalepenos, I would have thrown that in too. Served them over rice with some fresh homemade cornbread. It was true comfort food. What about you?