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Showing posts from September, 2016

Catholic Churches are Unfriendly

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Catholic Churches aren't welcoming.  How many times have Catholics heard that and then tried to give examples of welcoming activities.  But you know what?  I can see why people say that. When you walk into most Catholic Churches, the atmosphere is quiet and if one looks around, he wouldn't see laughing and back slapping conversations.  So the perception would be that Catholics aren't friendly.

It's a misconception.  In the first place, Catholics go to church to pray, not for socialization.  Catholics have parish activities for that.  Also, parishes usually have many members; we don't know everybody.  Catholics go to Mass at different times and again, see different people.  IOW, how do they know you're new to the parish? There should be greeters/ushers/hospitality people to help you.  They're the ones near the doors with smiles on their faces and outstretched hands.

When a Catholic enters, he dips his fingers in holy water and blesses himself.  Hence, he im…

St. Jerome: Father and Doctor of the Church

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St. Jerome: Father and Doctor of the Church: September 30 is the feast of St. Jerome, a Father and Doctor of the Church. Translator of the Bible into its official Latin version.  He has a reputation of being a grouch, but he had many women friends.  He probably was a gentleman grouch.  By that I mean, he watched his "p's and q's" around women.  And he just may have enjoyed                                 their company.  Click on this link from the blog                                Catholic Fire.

How Jesuits Elect

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Jesuits explain their process for electing new superior general: ROME (CNS) -- The Jesuits have a murmuratio.
unique process for electing a superior general for their order, a process that takes four days of conversation--

Democracy?

My Trump Prediction

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Let me make it clear that I am not a Trump supporter.  I find it incomprehensible that many of my Lay Dominican friends can even consider him worthy of consideration, never mind vote for him!  Geesh!  Did they forget that you can't worship both God and mammoth?  Or that forgiveness trumps (no pun intended) all, along with mercy?  What about loving our neighbors and welcoming the foreigner?

They dare say "Life" trumps (no pun intended) everything.  But Donald Trump keeps changing his position on abortion, depending on his audience.  See how he changed positions three times in a week.  Trump is such a hypocrite.  He now says he's changed his mind and is "pro-life."  However, changing one's position is the very reason Trump mocked Ben Carson.

Let me also make it clear that I am not a Clinton supporter, either.  I am too pro-life to support her. However, I look at the two of them very objectively.  And besides not liking what I see, I also see an unfair c…

My Turn for Lectio

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St. Vincent de Paul (Simon François de Tours, 17th Century) @ www.wikipedia.org It is my turn for Lectio Divina.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 St. Vincent de Paul More details Thru Samaria Lectio When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village. (Lk 9:51-56) HideStudium
The time for Jesus’ mission to be fulfilled was approaching. He started to go towards Jerusalem. To get there, He had to travel through the land of Samaria, an adversary of the Jews. V 53-4 They did not welcome Him, which is insulting because Middle Eastern peoples have an obligat…

Our Lady Mother of Humanity: Apparitions of Our Lady of Gietrzwald

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Our Lady Mother of Humanity: Apparitions of Our Lady of Gietrzwald: The apparitions and messages of Our Lady in Gietrzwald, small village in Poland, there were to Barbara Samulowska, 12 years old, and Justyna Szafryna, 13 years old.



This is a new apparition for me.  I found it interesting.  I'll send it to a Polish friend of mine.

Mexicans Defend Marriage -- with Pope Francis' Blessing

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Mexicans flood the capital to defend marriage -- with Pope Francis' blessing: Mexico City, Mexico, Sep 26, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Some 400,000 people filled the streets of Mexico City on Saturday to protest the Mexican government’s attempt to redefine marriage as anything between one man and one woman.  Of course the Vatican would take this stand.  It is necessary for the sake of the future of humanity.

the pope was a pope-donkey -- 9/27/16

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And here I thought that current political discourse was the coarsest in history!the pope was a pope-donkey -- 9/27/16 from Delancey Place tells us differently.

Today's selection -- from Martin Luther by Scott H. Hendrix. In his theological split with Catholicism and his verbal war against the Pope, Martin Luther made grotesque caricatures of the Pope. In part, it was because the Catholics were doing likewise to him.  In the sixteenth century, vulgar, slanderous, and coarse polemics were common.  What made this unique, however, was the fact that the printing press allowed the ideas to get out to the public.  A battle of images and words ensued which the laity had never encountered before.  The Church often published in Latin and Luther in the vernacular.  Guess what the laity read.  Luther also bombarded the populace with his publications much more than the church, hence beginning in 1518 an astounding number of people left the church and joined Luther's side.  Read more on the…

Archbishop Gomez: It's time to end the death penalty

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Yes!  The death penalty doesn't work.  Archbishop Gomez: It's time to end the death penalty: Los Angeles, Calif., Sep 24, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Californians should vote for Proposition 62, a ballot measure to end the death penalty, the Archbishop of Los Angeles has said in a reflection.  If you're in California be careful how you interpret the ballot.  Read thoughtfully.

The Difference Between Faith And Religion

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Faith is what you believe.  Everyone has it, even if one says, "I don't believe in anything," has just stated his belief.

Religion is the systematic organization of thoughts regarding a divinity, prayer, and practices.

They are not the same.  One can have faith and religion but another can have faith and no religion.  Today there are more people that have faith and no religion.  There are different reasons offered.  Laziness and sin are up pretty high on the list.  But it isn't our job to judge; we're not God.  Only He knows what we've been through that makes us who we are.

Responsible Journalism

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Pope Francis must have finally gotten around to reading Monday's post about "news literacy,"  because he agrees with me. The silliness that passes for news is not worthy of consideration.  What has happened to the profession of journalism?

In an audience today with some journalists the pope expressed what I've been thinking for a long time.  Here are some of his points:

There are few professions that have so much influence on society as journalism does. The journalist has a role of great importance and, at the same time, of great responsibility.

The times change and the way of working of the journalist also changes. Though the printed paper or television lose relevance in respect to the new media of the digital world – especially among young people – when journalists have professionalism, they remain an important pillar, a fundamental element for the vitality of a free and pluralist society. 

I will pause on three elements: to love the truth, something essential for al…

The Josephs

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Lectio:  Amos 6:1a, 4-7
Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts:
Woe to the complacent in Zion!
Lying upon beds of ivory,
   stretched comfortably on their couches,
they eat lambs taken from the flock,
   and calves from the stall!
Improvising to the music of the harp,
   like David, they devise their own accompaniment.
They drink wine from bowls
   and anoint themselves with the best oils;
   yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph!
Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile,
   and their wanton revelry shall be done away with.

Studium
These verses condemn the over-indulgenced Israel. The splendor was over the top obscene.  Woe tothe complacent in Zion portrays their leaders as only interested in themselves. They considered that they should be serving their people, not lording it over them.  These degenerate leaders did not see the Josephs. ( Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers.)  These leaders were not made ill by thecollapse of Joseph.  The Josephs amo…

Pray for our Elections

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This is from the United States Council of Catholic Bishops: Bearing in mind our nation's challenges and the particularly urgent need for wise, moral, civic leadership in addressing them, the Call to Prayer will be adapted Friday, September 9, 2016 – Friday, November 11, 2016 to highlight certain time-sensitive matters of national concern.

On Friday, September 9, the intention highlighted the National Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities. The focus for the remaining nine weeks will be on the upcoming elections. 

In addition to the current invitation to fast on Fridays, participants are encouraged to pray one Our FatherHail Mary, and Glory Be for the week's intention and for our civic leaders and upcoming elections.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2016     May all people understand the moral and
    ethical dimensions of political decisions
    and decide accordingly.

Texting Novenas

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What a good idea!  In reading "Confessions of a novena failure," in Aleteia, by Katheryn Jean Lopez, I found a novel way to pray.

Lopez talks about a website that constantly has a novena going in.  It's short and sweet which makes it doable.  Copy the prayer and text it every day for nine days to your prayer buddy.  She likewise, prays and passes it on.

Do you think it will work?

I don't think it will work in my prayer group because 9 out of the 10 people don't have cell phones.  It might work in my Lay Dominican chapter.  We text each other to keep community and what better way to keep in touch than to pray with each other.

Indulgence for Passing through Holy Doors

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On Wednesday, October 26, parishioners in my parish are invited to make a pilgrimage to La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, to pass through the Holy Doors of Mercy.
Why should we walk through the Holy Doors of Mercy?  Because Our Holy Father has granted a special indulgence for those pilgrims who pass through the designated doors.
What!!!!!!!  Are there still such a thing as indulgences?  Didn’t the church do away with them?
Yes there are still indulgences.  No the church would not do away with a tried and true way of forgiveness.  God is always ready to forgive, especially for us sinners who go out of our way to seek God’s mercy.
Jubilee years are celebrations which have been well recorded in history.  Slaves were freed and debts forgiven, during jubilee years. The pope is carrying on the tradition.  Pope Francis explains this in his decree (Misericordiae Vultus.)  Essentially, the decree states that through the mediation of the church the conflicting consequences of sin are forgiven.  Yes, …

Indulgence for Passing through Holy Doors

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On Wednesday, October 26, parishioners in my parish are invited to make a pilgrimage to La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, to pass through the Holy Doors of Mercy.
Why should we walk through the Holy Doors of Mercy?  Because Our Holy Father has granted a special indulgence for those pilgrims who pass through the designated doors.
What!!!!!!!  Are there still such a thing as indulgences?  Didn’t the church do away with them?
Yes there are still indulgences.  No the church would not do away with a tried and true way of forgiveness.  God is always ready to forgive, especially for us sinners who go out of our way to seek God’s mercy.
Jubilee years are celebrations which have been well recorded in history.  Slaves were freed and debts forgiven, during jubilee years. The pope is carrying on the tradition.  Pope Francis explains this in his decree (Misericordiae Vultus.)  Essentially, the decree states that through the mediation of the church the conflicting consequences of sin are forgiven.  Yes, …

Chimeras

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Don't mess with Mother Nature: About a dozen faculty from the Catholic University of America and Georgetown University wrote to NIH expressing concern about funding more research involving human/animal chimeras -- mixing human genes with those of different species.  


Turns your stomach? 


 Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.  Your meditation for the day.

Pope Highlights Sanctity of Life in Year of Mercy Visits

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Pope highlights sanctity of life in Year of Mercy visits: VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis
donned a green hospital gown over his white cassock and entered the neonatal unit of a Rome hospital, peering in the incubators, and making the sign of the cross.

News Literacy

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The other day on Facebook I read a news flash that was ridiculous.  I don’t even remember what it was;   these implausible claims are so obvious that I’m incredulous than anyone even takes more than a moment’s notice, never mind that they seriously believe them.  A few examples:
Hilary dies on Sept. 11 Pope shocks world endorses Trump Pope shocks world endorses Hilary Putin endorses Trump
There was even a picture that went viral of the huge crowd of people protesting the pipeline in North Dakota.  Only it turned out to be an aerial photo of Woodstock, taken over 50 years ago!
Who would believe these outrageous lies?  They remind me of those magazine rags that used to be sold in front of the grocery store checkout lines. Nowadays people don’t have to leave their house and go to the store to see dubious rumors, hoaxes and other nonsense.  Satire and/or propaganda, advertisements, entertainment, etc. are masquerading as news on their computers and phones. Many people are shocked, or their c…

Father Paco

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'Love one another as I have loved you!': It is by Father Paco.  I love Father Paco. I knew him way back when.  He is a wonderful priest.  He ministered to my prayer group when he first came to the USA.  He was an Xaverian missionary priest, at the time. I'll tell you something else about him.  He has the gift of healing.  If you need to be healed and know Father Paco, ask him to pray for you.  If it's God's will, you will see what I mean.  Also, he has a beautiful singing voice and plays guitar.

Exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth Dies

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World Famous Exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth Dies at 91: The outspoken Pauline priest had performed over 70,000 exorcisms over the past 30 years.



May the prayers of Father Amorth help us all in our spiritual battles.

Distorted Catholic Teaching on Sanctity of Life

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Ads distort Catholic teaching on sanctity of life, says state conference: WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Ads appearing around the country  sponsored by a group "Catholics for Choice," are offensive.  If you are Catholic then abortion can never be a "choice."  It is murder.

Cardinal Schönborn warns of 'Islamic conquest' of Europe

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Cardinal Schönborn warns of 'Islamic conquest' of Europe: Vienna, Austria, Sep 14, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has warned that Europe risks forfeiting its “Christian inheritance”.



You have to remember that Cardinal Schönborn isn't American and therefore isn't used to a country proud of its immigrant heritage.  In fact, it's proud of repelling the "foreigners."

From Paranoia to Metanoia

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From Paranoia to Metanoia: Father Ron Rolheiser explains metanoia in this article.

Bullying

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A Pastoral Approach to Bullying is an article in Homiletic and Pastoral Review.  It's a good article.  I agree with everything the author says.  I approach bullying as a parent.  I think parents need to constantly point out situations for the opportunity to be kind.  Parents need to look for activities that are all inclusive.  For example, send your child to a preschool, day care, etc., where some of the children are handicapped and with special needs.  Praise your child when he is kind.



It starts in the home.

Pope praises bishops' guidelines on helping divorced, remarried couples

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Pope praises bishops' guidelines on helping divorced, remarried couples: VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis thanked a group of bishops in Argentina for providing their priests with concrete guidelines for implementing the section of his apostolic exhortation on the family.



You can see that Pope Francis is a pastor and not a theologian.  The Holy Spirit gives us what we need.

Getting a Tattoo in Jerusalem

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Aleteia has a good article on getting a tattoo in Jerusalem.  Think old time sailors getting an ear pierced the first time they crossed the equator.  Or a marine getting the marine insignia when he's made it out of boot camp.

Not me.  I don't think of either of those benchmarks.  Tattoos to me mean Nazi's tattooing Jews in concentration camps, or Castro tattooing "undesirables" and sending them to the USA, so they'd be identified and wouldn't be allowed back into Cuba.

My frame of reference has bad connotations.

Besides, I know for a fact that I'd change my mind and wish I'd gotten a different tattoo, or no tattoo.  Look at how I regretted bleaching my hair, getting all those ear piercings, plucking my eyebrows away, etc.


Triptych of Marriage, Family and the Sacredness of Life

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Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, head of the Pontifical Committee for Life has a book coming out dealing with life issues.  He calls the issues, the "triptych of marriage, family and the sacredness of life."  This is an article in Crux by John Allen.  Paglia explores life issues, especially the way we approach death.

God Bless You.

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It's a new App.  I just tried to get it at the App Store and it's not available--yet.  Just wait.  What is it?  Wouldn't you like to bless your family and friends with a swipe?  How about blessing the world with a sign of the cross?



It's the brain child of Sebastien Poncelet and six others are on board to produce the app.  The Godblessyoo team is currently made up of seven people: developers, experts in marketing and entrepreneurship, and a priest —  Fr. Geoffroy de la Tousche, a parish priest in Dieppe, France.



Missing the Point!

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What really frustrates me is "talk radio."  Way too too frequently the call-ins ask a question  and the answer misses the point.  First of all, the caller has to waste precious time saying how much they enjoy the program...blah, blah..., then they come to their question.  The person responding will take one silly aspect of the question and ONLY answer that detail and ignore the rest of the important stuff.

First I want to tell you how much I love your program.....my mother, father, children, aunt, etc., always listen and say how much they love you....

Finally they ask, "Nuclear weapons are deadly.  They are a threat to lives everywhere.  Yet the media's attention has been on Iran wanting the capability to posses nuclear weapons.  Why aren't we focusing on Russia, China, N. Korea, etc, who have vast arsenals and are very capable of using their nuclear weapons"

Don't you think the question is "Why is the media focusing on Iran and not the big guns?&…

Attention Seekers!

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As a true believer, I am always looking for inspiration for meditation and ways to explain my faith, but it is rare that I find a book that satisfies my needs and that I want to recommend to others.  One of theFew by Jason B. Ladd is one of them.

Ladd’s book is an excellent aide to someone like himself, who was searching.  He came from no faith, suspicious of religion—if not downright disdainful.  Lucky for him, his wife is a good Christian woman.  She must have been inspired to ask the question that made the author stop in his tracks and think.  “What do you think happens when you die?”
Jason Ladd is blessed.  Not only was he blessed to have a beautiful, faithful follower of Christ as a wife, he personally was blessed to have intelligence and an open mind.  Ladd set out like he was on a reconnaissance mission to see (who/what/why) this Jesus Christ.  Was this guy, Jesus, friend or foe?  Was He for real?
One of the Few will encourage the seekers.  The author’s personal sharing and insig…

Bishops Get $ from Mormons

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MRS gets $1 million-plus grant from Mormons for refugee resettlement: WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. bishops' Migration and Refugee Services is receiving a $1.25 million grant from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to aid in its refugee resettlement efforts in the United States. The Mormons, excellent missionaries themselves, don't have any services inside the  USA.  After a fund raising drive the Mormons approached nine resettlement agencies and offered them grants. The U.S. bishops Migration and Refugee Services will receive $ 1 Mill +.  Thank you!




Feeding off Life's Sacred Fire

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Feeding off Life's Sacred Fire: See the wise and wicked ones

Who feed upon life's sacred fire

These are lines from Gordon Lightfoot's song, Don Quixote, and they highlight an important truth, both the wise and the wicked feed off the same energy.  This article from Father Rolheiser reminds me of something a confessor once asked me in confession.



Do you realize that your sins are misuses of your gifts?

Apologists, Catechists, Theologians: Wake Up!

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Apologists, Catechists, Theologians: Wake Up!: After perusing the latest Pew Study on why young people are leaving the active practice of Christianity, I confess that I just sighed in exasperation. I don't doubt for a moment the sincerity of those taking the survey.  It's just their objections are so easily answered--hasn't anyone ever addressed them?



I agree with Bishop Barron's article.  I was shocked once when I asked my RCIA class what they wanted to learn.  The first subject was Jesus.  I had always assumed that everyone was Christian and was in my class to become Catholic.  WRONG!  I had Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccan, and once a Satanist, but most were basically nothing.  They were taking RCIA to learn what Christianity is all about.



All catechists have to assume that their students know nothing.  Start                                                                                                                               with Jesus.

We Chose to Stay

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Only sister to survive Yemen attack: despite danger, 'we chose to stay': Vatican City, Sep 3, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- A year before a March 4 attack killed four sisters, the Missionaries of Charity opted not to leave, but to remain with their patients in the war-torn country.



My question is why aren't their patients offered a chance to leave.  If it were a convent, a seminary, a monastery, a friary, a priory, abbey...wouldn't the offer be extended to all the religious living there.  Well, why didn't they offer to evacuate the patients and tell the sisters that their presence is required to be with their patients.  Take them out (the patients).  Too difficult?  How do dying troops get taken out of a war zone?



Oh well, I'm not queen of the world, so it is what it is.   Pity, though.

Today is the Memorial of Pere Lataste

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Lectio Divina for   Monday, September 5, 2016:

Lectio
On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the Sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus. (Lk 6:6-11)
Studium
It could be claimed that the Pharisees planted the man with the crippled hand to lure Jesus into breaking the Sabbath’s law against working on this day of rest. That is really not a concern because Jes…