Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
New York church maintains Gay Pride presence, but with blank banner
By Susan Candiotti and Vivienne Foley, CNN
New York (CNN) --
This year, as for the past 12 years or more, parishioners from St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church have marched under their church banner in New York's colorful Gay Pride parade.
But this year, there was a difference.
Their banner was blank, missing the name of the church.
New York's Archbishop Timothy Dolan asked the church's pastor to keep St. Francis' name out of the picture.
The parish was told that the archdiocese's spiritual leader was concerned the church might be seen as endorsing some elements of the gay pride march that may advocate a promiscuous lifestyle.
"Our people are not endorsing that at all," said the church's pastor, the Rev. Joe Costantino.
Members of the gay ministries of St. Francis Xavier say they view the parade as an opportunity to welcome gay Catholics back into the fold.
They hand out welcome brochures to reach out to anyone watching the march.
"Perhaps some people come to St. Francis because they don't feel judged," said Stephanie Samoy, a self-proclaimed lesbian who has been active in the parish for several years.
"I don't know if it's the Holy Spirit, but there's love...the presence of the savior," said Samoy.
For years, Samoy and other parishioners have taken their spirit to the streets, proud to advertise their church.
"It's empowering, it's refreshing, it's a mission, and people need to know there's a place they can come home to," said Samoy.
She said when parishioners heard about keeping their church's name under wraps in the march, many in the church's gay ministries weren't happy.
"I was like, hell no," said Samoy.
Then, she said the LGBT-- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender -- ministries together decided to march with a blank banner and continue to distribute their brochures.
"We are honoring his request," she said of the archbishop.
But they also wore T-shirts on which they printed the St. Francis Xavier name.
A compromise, Samoy said, that they and their pastor accept.
"For me, the blank banner stands for, 'We've been silenced.' For me, that's also very powerful and we can -- I can -- live with that this year."
A spokesman for Archbishop Dolan told CNN he had no comment.
(If you watch the clip on this link, there is little doubt that this "pastor" has some issues as well)
The Vision of Hell, shown by The Blessed Virgin Mary to the Fatima Children, 1917: She “showed them “a sea of fire; and plunged in this fire the demons and the souls, as if they were red-hot coals, transparent and black or bronze-colored, carried by the flames which issued from it with clouds of smoke, falling on all sides as sparks fall in great conflagrations – without weight or equilibrium, among shrieks and groans of sorrow and despair which horrify and cause to shudder with fear.”
Feastday 28th June
The writings of St. Irenaeus entitle him to a high place among the fathers of the Church, for they not only laid down the foundations of Christian theology but, by exposing and refuting the errors of the Gnostics, they delivered the Catholic Faith from the real danger of the doctrines of those heretics.
Prophesy of St. Irenaeus:
“He shall sit in the Temple of God as if he were Christ, and leading astray those who worship him For when he is come, and of his own accord concentrates in his own person the apostasy, and accomplishes whatever he shall do according to his own will and choice, sitting also in the Temple of God so that his dupes may adore him as the Christ...” “By means of the events which shall occur in the time of Antichrist it is shown that he, being an apostate and a robber, is anxious to be adored as God; and that although a mere slave. he wishes to be proclaimed as a king. For he being endued with all the power of the devil, shall come, not as a righteous king, not as a legitimate king obedient to God but as an impious, unjust, and lawless one; as an iniquitous and murderous apostate; as a robber, concentrating in himself a satanic apostasy, and setting aside idols to persuade men that he himself is God .
The antichrist will deceive the Jews to such an extent that they will accept him as the messiah and worship him .
The disciples of the apostles say (from oral tradition) that they (Elias and Henoch) whose living bodies were taken up from this world have been placed in an earthly paradise where they will remain until the end of the world .
At the time of his reign antichrist will command that Jerusalem be rebuilt in its splendour and will make it a great and populous city, second to none in the world and will order his palace to be built there.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Her Doctrine and Morals
Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
27 June 2010
Today we are to consider our behavior. St. Peter in today's epistle gives us some very salutary lessons to consider in living in peace and concord with one another. And Our Lord in today's Gospel warns us that unless we become more just than the Scribes and Pharisees we will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Now, outward appearances are good and necessary, but they are not enough. It is good for us to live peaceably with one another but it is even more necessary that we love one another from the bottom of our hearts. God looks into the depths of our hearts and upon this is what we will principally be judged. The outward appearances will only account for a small part of the judgment even though these too are necessary for the edification of one another and the avoiding of scandals.
What we hold in our hearts is what God sees and judges. And this is what the Scribes and Pharisees failed to understand. They put on the outward appearance of justice but inwardly they were most unjust.
While they could say that they had not physically killed anyone, they nonetheless have murdered many times over in their hearts with the anger raging within. We can only physically kill a person once, but by maintaining hatred in our hearts we can become guilty of his murder many times over. This hypocrisy is what Jesus hated and detested about the Scribes and Pharisees the most. While pretending to virtue and a love for God they inwardly rebelled most violently against Him.
Likewise with the vices of impurity; it is not enough to just avoid the physical sin. This is what the Scribes and Pharisees had done. One becomes guilty of the sin by simply desiring it. "One who looks upon a woman lusting after her in his heart is already guilty."
How many are there today who are guilty of just these two sins of the heart?!
St. Peter gives us the admonition to practice the various virtues that assist us in living in peace with one another, but Our Lord gives us means to this end.
All the evil begins in our hearts. It is not what enters a man that defiles him, but what comes forth from the depth of his heart.
If we are to keep the commandment not to kill, we must begin deep within our hearts were the seeds of murder take root and grow. We must not only weed out all hatred from our hearts but we must replant the virtue of love in its place. With every exposed piece of fertile earth something will grow either a plant or a weed, so within the fertile ground of our hearts something must grow: either hatred or love.
To live in concord as St. Peter tells us to do we must not only avoid killing one another and we must do more than just avoid hating one another. We must come to truly love one another. And to aid us in this we are reminded that we are all children of God and therefore we should live peacefully in the fraternal charity of true brothers and sisters.
We must practice mercy towards one another sharing each others burdens and crosses. And in this way we make each other's lives not only more tolerable but a pleasure even in the midst of pain and suffering. A burden shared is a burden lightened. And a pleasure shared is a pleasure increased.
And we must be modest not only in our dress and conduct, words, etc., but within the depths of our souls. If we truly love then we never seek to arrogate or overstep our bounds, but on the contrary prefer to err on the side of safety in humility and modesty.
We must remind ourselves to be vigilant and on guard. What we allow ourselves to look at and hear enter into our hearts; and what we allow ourselves to dwell upon take root and grow strong within our hearts; and what has grown strong within our hearts will eventually manifest itself in our words and actions.
To keep our words and actions holy and pure before men, we must first keep our hearts and minds pure before God. And it is not enough to just avoid the evil, we must develop the good. While we root out the evil weeds let us plant and nourish the plants of virtue. And in this way our virtues will not be hypocritical and our justice will exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees and we will be made worthy to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Massachusetts town opts for unlimited, free condoms for all children, starting in elementary school
What the world needs now are condoms, sweet condoms...
No, not a new song by Dionne Warwick. But it could be the theme song for one Massachusetts school system.
Earlier this month, the school committee overseeing Provincetown’s schools passed a resolution that will provide all students from elementary to high school with free, unlimited condoms. All you gotta do is step up and request one.
Let’s say you’re the parent of a 6-year-old and you don’t like the idea.
Tough! says the district.
You don’t get a say. School officials don’t even have to tell you if your....
...child requests a condom. Further, if you object, they can run roughshod over you. They can distribute at will.
Sounds like a condom-bonanza!
Not quite, sneered the committee chairman.
“It’s about availability; we’re not handing 'em out like M&M’s,” Peter Grosso told the Boston Globe.
That’s true. You have to go talk to the school nurse and she can load the student up with a wallet-ful if necessary.
If the person requesting them is particularly young? Say, a kindergartner wanted a few dozen? These are professionals we’re talking about, so don’t worry.
The superintendent said that “if an especially young child requests a condom, the nurse will ask the student’s motive and act accordingly.”
Whew. That’s good. We don’t want some wingbat distributing condoms like a crazy person.
Further good news: tossing the condoms out like beads at a Mardi Gras parade is only a secondary option.
A school administrator told the FOX News station in Boston that the school “encourages abstinence for all students as a first priority.”
By the way, are any parents against ‘Condom-palooza’? No one apparently showed up to comment at the committee meeting.
That doesn’t mean that everyone’s OK with the policy though. One committee-member thinks the new condom rule is way too tight.
“I don’t like that students can’t be discreet about this,” school committee member Shannon Patrick told the Provincetown Banner. “They have to go and ask for it. I’d rather them not have the conversation [with counselors] and have the condom than not have the condom.”
-- Jimmy Orr
Also, note in a few blogs posts down, the risk of strong storms that night in our area was "SLIGHT". Just goes to show you that GOD IS TRULY IN CHARGE!
By Staff Writer
Last week we reported that Archbishop Dolan had sent a letter to the pastor of St. Francis Xavier parish, requesting that the parish not participate in the “March.” In spite of his directive plans were still in the works for parish participation in this event At the time that article was written the Lesbian and Gay Ministry group within the parish was continuing to promote the March and distributing flyers encouraging support.
Last weekend, on June 19, Archbishop Dolan was the celebrant at the rededication Mass of St. Francis Xavier in which a ten year renovation project was concluded. Cardinal Egan was also present. Archbishop Dolan welcomed all the parish organizations at the end of the Mass including the lesbian, gay, and transgendered group members, and those wearing rainbow ribbons. No public mention was made during the rededication Mass of the parish defying the archbishop’s request.
The official roster for this week’s Pride March can be found here. On page 1 of 4 of this document, dated June 22, 2010 is the listing for St. Francis Xavier Parish as an official participant. A picture of a section of that page appears below and the entire document can be found here.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
“Oil is a complex mixture containing substances like benzene, heavy metals, arsenic, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons -- all known to cause human health problems such as cancer, birth defects or miscarriages,” said Kenneth Olden, founding dean of New York’s CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, who is monitoring a panel on possible delayed effects. “The potential here is huge and we have to be diligent about protecting the public health and these workers.”
...While they suggest there is no threat, the CDC simultaneously advised “everyone, including pregnant women” to avoid spill-affected areas.
...“It’s completely scientifically dishonest to pooh-pooh the potential here when you are talking about some of the most toxic chemicals that we know,” said Kramer, who is founder and president of consulting firm Epidemiology International in Hunt Valley, Maryland. She isn’t involved with the Institute panels....
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Reporting from Rome — A pope, let's face it, has certain built-in limitations as a main character in a musical (see: Celibacy, rule of). If for only that reason, Andrew Lloyd Webber probably has little to fear from the latest musical to open in Rome: a three-hour marathon about the life of the late John Paul II.
But "Non Abbiate Paura" ("Be Not Afraid"), which recently had a two-night run before a longer return in the fall, does offer a passion and reverence for its subject that the opening night audience clearly appreciated.
You might expect as much from a play by two Roman Catholic priests, Giuseppe Spedicato and Biagio Mandorino, who took their title from an exhortation by Jesus that John Paul frequently repeated.
The timing is auspicious, with the legacy of John Paul, perhaps the most significant and beloved pontiff of the last century, taking something of a battering in recent months, even as the Vatican considers sainthood for him, which seems almost certain.
The widening of the Catholic sex abuse scandal to Germany, Italy and elsewhere has exposed more cases of misconduct that occurred under John Paul's watch, often without significant consequences for the abusive priests or their supervising bishops.
Even more damaging has been the case of Father Marcial Maciel, the Mexican founder of the Legion of Christ. As the story of Maciel has unraveled, it has revealed a crafty pedophile, womanizer and drug abuser who found a friend and champion in John Paul, even after tales of the priest's double life began to emerge. The Vatican recently denounced Maciel, who died in 2008.
"His image doesn't improve because of this," said Sandro Magister, a leading Vatican watcher with the Italian newspaper L'Espresso, referring to the pope with wry understatement. The revelations, he said, will help shape a "more realistic view of John Paul II, more realistic and less mythologized."
The authors of "Be Not Afraid" don't exactly see their work as mythologizing, but they want to do their part to cement John Paul's image as a great and deeply spiritual man.
I was at work unfortunately. I have no television and the radio gets very limited reception. So at first all I had was the radar screen on the Internet which did NOT tell me exactly where this storm was going. I saw a lot of red and didn't know if it was just a thunderstorm or a tornado.
About 9:30, my boss called and said that there was a tornado headed in a straight line right for our complex. I was alone downstairs and there were two young ladies upstairs: one was brand new and the other one was, shall we say, very excitable. In other words, it was up to me to keep my head on straight to ensure the safety of the 300 residents in our community !
Some of the residents came out of their rooms and wanted to seek shelter. I put them in the laundry room. As I came around the corner, the winds picked up, the two front doors opened up and the lights went out! I tried to close the doors but to no avail! Mind you, its a GLASS atrium. Finally I got the inside door closed and watched as debris flew past and the doors and windows just rattled! My rosary was firmly in my hand at that moment and an act of contrition on my lips!
My boss and her husband actually drove over to help me and she said she just clung to his arm and watched as trees fell in front of them and water just poured from the sky. I told my boss on the phone before she came over that we are all in God's hands - and that it's truly out of our hands. He will allow to happen only what HE wills. She agreed! (BTW - I also told her not to come - that it was too dangerous. She obviously didn't listen but said she will never do that again!)
After the storm passed, we spent a lot of time securing things and checking on the residents to make sure they were ok. The phone rang off the hook - families wondering about the safety of their parents or loved ones.
During all of this, I didn't have a clue if my own family was safe. I tried to call home - no answer. I tried each one of my children and only got my daughter. She was trying to drive home and was frightened because a tree was blocking the highway and she had to take an alternate route. By the time I drove home, the trees were removed from the road but it was very clear that there was a LOT of damage.
The story is not over yet because today is hot and humid and they are predicting more storms tonight. Perhaps God will be merciful to us and not make them as severe as last night. But it's truly up to Him!
The rest of my family was safe. One of my children was visiting a friend in a nearby town that had several homes - at least 100 - that were damaged or virtually destroyed. He got home at 1:30a.m because he couldn't even drive until then.
Right now, I'm thanking God from the bottom of my heart for our safety and His care of us!
Monday, June 21, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
20 June 2010
"The sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come. . ."
These words of St. Paul from today's epistle bring a tremendous peace to the soul as we bear our crosses and difficulties in this world.
Everyone in this world must bear with crosses. The Catholic has within the Faith the means to render these crosses sweet and light, while the non-believer is without any true alleviation for his problems.
The poor non-believer must not only endure the suffering of his present cross which he makes even more intolerable by his resistance and refusal, but if he never converts his suffering will significantly increase and be continued for all of eternity in Hell.
The Catholic because he loves has within himself the means to render his crosses not only more tolerable, but he can reach the point of rejoicing in them and thanking God for them. And this in turn will mitigate and even remove the punishment that he would deserve after death.
If we could only see and contemplate the felicity in Heaven we would soon begin to understand that even the greatest crosses that we must bear with in this life are a very small price to pay for the joy of Heaven. And once we allow this thought to take hold of us, it is not long before we understand that the greater the suffering here and now the greater the reward later. Thus, we can understand how the saints sought out crosses and desired to be humiliated and to suffer any and all crosses that they could here on earth.
Without the true Faith all suffering becomes meaningless and a waste of time. That is why we see the non-believers all around us doing everything they can to avoid and/or eliminate all pain and suffering. And the more they seek to run away from suffering the more intensely it finds them. What they cannot bear in their bodies they will bear in their souls. Thus they become physically and spiritually tormented. In the endless pursuit of a life here on earth that is devoid of any discomfort they "medicate" with drugs, illicit sex, entertainment, and distractions of all sorts. And in this moral degeneracy their souls begin to suffer too even as the pain in their bodies increases due to the abuse they are heaping upon it.
Also, we see the endless attempt to end all these ills in society. These faithless people see the suffering and poverty of other people and are eager in their "humanitarianism" to put an end to their poverty, sickness, and discomfort. But it is all in vain. No matter how much money you give out there will always be poverty. No matter how much food you give out there will always be hunger. And no matter how much "medicine" you distribute there will always be illness and perhaps even more illness than before once the "side effects" of the medications are factored in.
As Catholics, we must find the good in all suffering and rather than attempt to run away from suffering or to destroy it, we must embrace it as Christ did for us. The suffering of this world is a very small price to pay for the joy of Heaven. To run away from the cross is to stingingly refuse to make any payment towards our eternal happiness. And if the entrance fee is not paid there will be no admittance.
Friday, June 18, 2010
It was in this once-sacred basilica that, on June 11, 2010, the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Benedict-Ratzinger permitted the sacrilege of a Clown and Balloon Mess as part of the Novus Ordo "Ordinary Mess" of the New Order. This feast was established as a feast of atonement for human ingratitude toward God in spite of the supreme sacrifice of Calvary. The theme for the new Mass and the Divine Office was taken from the words of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary: "Behold the Heart which has loved men so greatly, but which has been given so little love in return."
Rock amplification blasted through the archbasilica, balloons floated up to the sacred ceiling paintings, clowns danced, and the Newchurchers clapped to the profane music.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
By Eric J. Lyman Eric J. Lyman – Thu Jun 17, 2:57 am ET
TAORMINA, Sicily (Hollywood Reporter) – When Jake and Elwood Blues, the protagonists in John Landis' cult classic "The Blues Brothers," claimed they were on a mission from God, the Catholic Church apparently took them at their word.
On the 30th anniversary of the film's release, "L'Osservatore Romano," the Vatican's official newspaper, called the film a "Catholic classic" and said it should be recommended viewing for Catholics everywhere.
The film is based on a skit from "Saturday Night Live." In the story, Jake and Elwood -- played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, respectively -- embark on an unlikely road trip featuring concerts, car chases, clashes with the police and neo-Nazi groups, and attempts at revenge from a spurned lover, all, ostensibly, to raise money for the church-run orphanage where they grew up.
But aside from a brief appearance from Kathleen Freeman as a wrist-slapping nun referred to as "The Penguin" and the brothers' periodic claim that they were on a mission from God, spirituality does not play a significant role in the film.
In addition to Belushi and Aykroyd, the film featured an all-star cast including musicians James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, and Chaka Khan, in addition to noted actors John Candy, Carrie Fisher, Charles Napier, and Henry Gibson, and cameo roles for Frank Oz, Steven Spielberg, Landis, Mr. T, and Paul Reubens.
With the recommendation, "The Blues Brothers" joins the list of dozens of films recommended by Catholic authorities that includes Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments," "Jesus of Nazareth" from Franco Zeffirelli," Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ," Victor Flemming's "Joan of Arc," and "It's a Wonderful Life" from Frank Capra.
The following is from the Internet Movie Data Base IMDb website's parental advisor for The Blues Brothers:
Sex & Nudity
A soiled condom is seen briefly. Very little sexual-related dialogue and somewhat romantic subplots.
Violence & Gore
The Blues Brothers are chased by police, Nazis and Jake's ex-fiance, the latter of which uses powerful weapons, such as rocket launchers, to attempt to kill them. The brothers always come up unharmed. Many car crashes result from these events, but no death is seen onscreen. Many guns are seen being held by police officers and SWAT team members. Beer bottles and related items are thrown at a stage the Blues Brothers Band is playing, but a screen of chicken wire prevents these from hitting the band. All of this is played for laughs.
About 25 f-words. Some uses of s**t. Many hells and damns.
Some drinking is present throughout the film. The band apparently drinks "$300 worth of beer" during a performance. Beer bottles are thrown during said performance.
The brothers are chased throughout most of the film, but it's all played for comedy. A woman tries to kill them through various methods involving powerful handmade weapons.
Yes in the satanic Novus Ordo Church this is a "Catholic Classic" - when will people wake up?
Government would have “absolute power” to seize control of the world wide web under Lieberman legislation
Paul Joseph WatsonPrison Planet.com
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The federal government would have “absolute power” to shut down the Internet under the terms of a new US Senate bill being pushed by Joe Lieberman, legislation which would hand President Obama a figurative “kill switch” to seize control of the world wide web in response to a Homeland Security directive.
Lieberman has been pushing for government regulation of the Internet for years under the guise of cybersecurity, but this new bill goes even further in handing emergency powers over to the feds which could be used to silence free speech under the pretext of a national emergency.
“The legislation says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines or software firms that the US Government selects “shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed” by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined,” reports ZDNet’s Declan McCullagh.
The 197-page bill (PDF) is entitled Protecting Cybersp
ace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA.
Technology lobbying group TechAmerica warned that the legislation created “the potential for absolute power,” while the Center for Democracy and Technology worried that the bill’s emergency powers “include authority to shut down or limit internet traffic on private systems.”
The bill has the vehement support of Senator Jay Rockefeller, who last year asked during a congressional hearing, “Would it had been better if we’d have never invented the Internet?” while fearmongering about cyber-terrorists preparing attacks.
The largest Internet-based corporations are seemingly happy with the bill, primarily because it contains language that will give them immunity from civil lawsuits and also reimburse them for any costs incurred if the Internet is shut down for a period of time.
“If there’s an “incident related to a cyber vulnerability” after the President has declared an emergency and the affected company has followed federal standards, plaintiffs’ lawyers cannot collect damages for economic harm. And if the harm is caused by an emergency order from the Feds, not only does the possibility of damages virtually disappear, but the US Treasury will even pick up the private company’s tab,” writes McCullagh.
Tom Gann, McAfee’s vice president for government relations, described the bill as a “very important piece of legislation”.
As we have repeatedly warned for years, the federal government is desperate to seize control of the Internet because the establishment is petrified at the fact that alternative and independent media outlets are now eclipsing corporate media outlets in terms of audience share, trust, and influence.
We witnessed another example of this on Monday when establishment Congressman Bob Etheridge was publicly shamed after he was shown on video assaulting two college students who asked him a question. Two kids with a flip cam and a You Tube account could very well have changed the course of a state election, another startling reminder of the power of the Internet and independent media, and why the establishment is desperate to take that power away.
The government has been searching for any avenue possible through which to regulate free speech on the Internet and strangle alternative media outlets, with the FTC recently proposing a “Drudge Tax” that would force independent media organizations to pay fees that would be used to fund mainstream newspapers.
Similar legislation aimed at imposing Chinese-style censorship of the Internet and giving the state the power to shut down networks has already been passed globally, including in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
We have extensively covered efforts to scrap the internet as we know it and move toward a greatly restricted “internet 2″ system. Handing government the power to control the Internet would only be the first step towards this system, whereby individual ID’s and government permission would be required simply to operate a website.
The Lieberman bill needs to be met with fierce opposition at every level and from across the political spectrum. Regulation of the Internet would not only represent a massive assault on free speech, it would also create new roadblocks for e-commerce and as a consequence further devastate the economy.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Called to what by whom is the question of the day...
This is an example of just how evil this world has become. This is a video made by an animal rights nut that is celebrating the accidental deaths and murders of hunters including teenagers and ten year-old childen! This is a clear example of just how satanic movements like the animal rights and radical environmental movements really are.
On the Feast of this most wonderful of Saints, your priest might bless lilies for you to keep (this isn't a universal practice). The blessing of lilies, which remind us of St. Anthony's purity and have always been a symbol for him, stems from a miracle which took place in Revolutionary France: many priests and religious were murdered, so many churches and convents destroyed, but the faithful still showed up at a surviving church on the Feast of St. Anthony. Months later, it was discovered that lilies that had adorned the church at that feast were still fresh.
Let the lilies beautify your house, or carry them with you, or press them in a book, etc. If your priest doesn't bless lilies, you can still use them non-sacramentally to remind you of one of the greatest Saints ever. The English of the Blessing of the Lilies is as follows:
Monday, June 14, 2010
One-time flagship Philly Catholic school closing
By KATHY MATHESON (AP) – 1 day ago
PHILADELPHIA — Even as financially strapped Catholic schools continue to close across the country, no one in Philadelphia ever thought the church would shutter Cardinal Dougherty High School.
Not the flagship campus that once boasted 6,000 students and billed itself as the biggest Catholic school in the world. Not the school whose marching band once played for a pope, a princess and a presidential inauguration.
Not Cardinal Dougherty.
But the unthinkable came to pass in October when the Philadelphia archdiocese announced 2009-10 would be Dougherty's last school year. The school, a victim of declining enrollment and changing demographics, will close this month after 54 years and more than 40,000 graduates.
"My head understands it, but it really hurts your heart," said 1966 alumnus Tony Conti. "This is where I went to high school, this is where I met my wife."
Dougherty is hardly alone. Nationwide, 174 Catholic schools have closed in the past year, compared with 24 opening, according to the National Catholic Education Association. Catholic school enrollment in the U.S. has declined 20 percent in the past decade.
Named after a former archbishop of Philadelphia, Dougherty (pronounced DOCK-er-tee) opened in 1956 in the city's East Oak Lane section with more than 2,600 freshmen and sophomores.
The students — nearly all white and nearly all Catholic — paid no tuition, because local parishes could afford to subsidize the cost. A wall divided the boys' and girls' sides of the building.
"The only thing the males and the females shared was the chapel," said Jack Seydow, a member of Dougherty's first graduating class in 1959. "So I went to chapel a lot."
By 1965, the school reached its peak enrollment of 5,944, staggering schedules to accommodate the crowds. Church officials today can't say how they verified Dougherty's title of the world's largest Catholic school, but the oft-repeated claim gave students "a tremendous sense of pride," Conti said.
Pride also stemmed from Dougherty's renowned marching band. In its 1960s heyday, about 200 students participated in the band, color guard and drill team, an ensemble so popular that it recorded albums each year. People joked it was the only band with a high school attached.
Dougherty performed for Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, President Lyndon Johnson's 1965 inauguration and for Princess Grace of Monaco, a Philadelphia native. The band played at NFL games — including the 1962 championship — and won a world competition in The Netherlands in 1966.
"We were very much in demand in those days," said Msgr. James Mortimer, who managed the band from 1957-68. "We were the best, and everybody knew it."
Though an alumni group still performs, the school has not fielded a marching band in about 20 years. Dougherty's enrollment — about 600 students this year — fell 43 percent in the past decade, and was projected to fall another 34 percent over the next three years, officials say.
Urban Catholic schools have been hard hit by dwindling enrollment. Neighborhoods once filled with large families have emptied as parishioners move to the suburbs. For those in the city, free charter schools are an appealing option.
Some dioceses paying settlements to priest-abuse victims have less money to subsidize school operations. Fewer subsidies leads to higher tuition, which fewer families can afford in a recession, creating a vicious circle.
"We are faced with rising costs to maintain the overhead of large, older schools that simply are not operating close to their capacities," Richard McCarron, the archdiocese's secretary for Catholic education, said in announcing Dougherty's closing.
Joseph Caruso, a 1967 alum who returned to teach for 39 years, blasted church officials for the decision. The closing will end family traditions of attending Dougherty and leave inner-city students with one less alternative to the academically troubled public schools, he said.
"You can't measure success all the time by the bottom line," Caruso said. "I just don't think that they understand how many lives this is affecting. I really don't think they care."
Older alums praised Dougherty for its rigorous academics, taught by a cadre of conscientious priests and nuns. Seydow, who said his parents never went to high school, was thrilled to learn Latin and French.
"For me, it was an intellectual awakening," said Seydow, now an English professor at La Salle University in Philadelphia.
Over the years, the wall between the sexes came down, and laity increasingly replaced religious teachers in the classrooms. Current students describe Dougherty as a model of tolerance and diversity, with more than 30 countries represented and about 42 percent non-Catholics. They described the small, close-knit school as a family.
"I was here my four years more than I was at my house," said senior Maureen Hawkins, the daughter of a 1969 Dougherty graduate. "Everyone wants to be here."
Administrators have refrained from using the word "last" — last prom, last homecoming, last graduation — to keep the year as normal as possible, Principal Thomas Rooney said.
But it hasn't change the facts.
The last classes at Dougherty will be held Thursday.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
For those of us that attended Catholic schools, this is just another example of what we had and what we have lost! 6,000 students!!!! When I was in high school, my tuition was $400 per year and that was considered high. Our grade school never charged a dime until the year that I graduated and then it was only $30 per student. I heard recently that a bogus ordo "catholic" high school in our area is charging between $7,000 and $8000 per year! That's more than technical college !
They are truly paying for their sins here - and wait til they have to pay for them in eternity! The cost is REALLY high there!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
St. Anthony of Padua
13 June 2010
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Anthony of Padua. St. Anthony is often represented to us in pictures and statues holding the Divine Child and with a lily.
St. Anthony from his youth practiced an undivided love and service for God. At fifteen he left his home in Lisbon and joined the Clerics of St. Augustine at Coimbra. His teacher the celebrated Abbot Thomas of Vercelli, testified of St. Anthony that "he advanced so far in the love of God that we may well apply to him what the Holy Gospel says of St. John the Baptist: `he was a flaming, consuming fire of Divine love.'" As a boy he made the vow of perpetual chastity to God, and sought holy purity with all his might for both soul and body.
God had other plans for St. Anthony. God would not leave this brilliant light hid under a bushel. One day he was asked to speak to some newly ordained priests both Franciscan and Dominicans. And the moment that he began to speak it was clear that he had greater works to do than in the kitchen and garden. He was given the task of teaching theology within the Order. This position was appointed to him by St. Francis himself. God still wanted more from this burning flame of love. It was not enough for him just to prepare other Friars in the sacred sciences; he was later to take up the ministry of preaching. He preached in a great number of towns in France and Italy. The churches could not contain all the people so he spoke in public squares, in the plains, and the hillsides and on the river banks. His heavenly mission was confirmed by many miracles. He fought the Albigensian heresy with such success that Pope Gregory IX gave him the title of "Hammer of Heretics".
This magnificent doctor of the Church has something to give to everyone from the highest to the lowest, if we will only observe and listen to his life and wisdom.
Wisdom is inseparable from purity. The Holy Ghost declares in the book of Wisdom (1, 4) that: "Wisdom does not enter into an unclean heart." St. Anthony possessed such great wisdom precisely because he practiced such purity. And St. Anthony was able to practice such purity because he was humble, and kept himself occupied. He prayed and practiced custody of the eyes; mortification of the senses; the sense of shame, and devotion to the Blessed Mother.
The world today is lacking in this wisdom because the world today is lacking in this purity; and we are lacking in this purity because we will not humble ourselves or pray (especially to the Blessed Mother) as we ought to do. We will not deny our bodies any pleasure and so our bodies become tyrants running and ruling our lives with their various passions. We must learn to curb these desires and deny ourselves many things even things that are not sinful. (To deny ourselves only that which is sinful is no sacrifice at all.) We must guard all our senses but especially our eyes against seeking pleasure in many created things. If we wish to one day view God Himself with these eyes of ours they must be pure and unsullied with things of lesser value. With our eyes focused upon God in heaven it becomes possible for us to overcome so many temptations to seek pleasure in the bodily senses of the things of this world.
We must take to heart the gospel for this day and remind ourselves that as Catholics we are the salt of the earth and if we lose our way as Catholics we are not fit for anything but to be cast out. Let us pray that St. Anthony might instill in us a true love for God as well as a love for Wisdom and purity by which we too may merit the crown of eternal glory in Heaven.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Cause of death of Italian saint uncovered
Friday, 11 June 2010 10:14 UK
Santa Rosa lies in a monastery in Viterbo near Rome
Researchers have used X-ray techniques to uncover the cause of death of a 700-year-old Italian saint.
Santa Rosa - who died when she was 18 or 19 years old - was most likely killed by a blood clot in the heart, say the Italian research team.
It is said the 13th Century saint had miraculous powers that allowed her to raise someone from the dead and to survive the flames of a burning pyre.
Her mummified remains are conserved in a monastery near Rome.
The research team had been asked in 1995 to carry out some preservation work on the body, which was showing signs of damage.
As part of the restoration work, they were able to take X-rays using a mobile device.
Historical records suggested she may have died of tuberculosis, the researchers said, but they found no evidence she had the infection.
What they did find was that she had Cantrell's syndrome - a rare condition causing defects in the heart and surrounding tissues.
Now an X-ray of the heart has shown a dark area suggestive of a probably fatal blockage, according to a report published in The Lancet.
Study leader Professor Ruggero D'Anastasio said: "Santa Rosa is one of the most important saints in the Roman Catholic Church and is revered by thousands of people.
"In the future we hope to analyse the heart with more modern technologies."
This saint is Brother Bonaventure's and my "birthday" saint. We are both very devoted to her and found this to be very interesting!
By Jenn Giroux
FRONT ROYAL, Virginia, June 10, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As a Registered Nurse and mother of 9 I am stunned at the mis-information found in Adam Sonfield's CNN article entitled: "What if Contraception were always covered?"
Sonfield claims that there is overwhelming medical, social and economic benefit to contraception access. The complete opposite is true.
Undeniable medical evidence confirms that use of the pill increases a woman's risk and incident for Breast, Cervical, and Liver Cancer. Prior to the pill and the widespread use of contraception there were known to be 5 sexually transmitted diseases. Today there are more than 30. Will treatment be free for these 50+ million US men and women who are reported to have incurable genital herpes (Source - Sexual Transmitted Disease Surveillance and Statistics, The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention)? And what about the health of unsuspecting young girls who now use hormonal contraceptives for a minimum of 4 years prior to their first full term pregnancy? Is it also a "health benefit" that according to the Guttmacher Institute they will have a 52% higher risk of developing breast cancer (Mayo Clinic Proceedings)? I think not.
On the social end, it is clear from the admitted behavior of those who receive early access to contraception that they have sex sooner. Had Mr. Sonfield not cited only selected research from his employer, he would have disclosed that Guttmacher's own research confirms that 60% of women have abortions because of failed contraception. Therefore, always and without exception, increased contraception means increased abortions. Contraception is abortion's feeder system - and Gutmacher, Planned Parenthood, and Obama know that.
And how ironic is it to mention the 'Healthy People 2010' goals as a reason for pushing contraception (many methods of which are known abortifacients)? Socially, a recent report by researchers at the Wharton School of Business confirms that mothers are more unhappy today than ever before. It states: "If the pill made motherhood 'better,' then one would expect that mothers would be happier now than they were in 1972, before the birth rate fell dramatically as contraception use expanded. Instead, as, between 1972 and 2006, the happiness of U.S. mothers fell just as dramatically." This helps identify the widespread 'post contraceptive regret' that is felt in the hearts of women across America who mourn the children that God intended for them yet they knowingly prevented or aborted.
With 50+ million surgical abortions, an estimated 250 million chemical abortions from hormonal contraceptives, and nearly 20 million individual new cases of STD's reported in US every year, it is time for the advocates of Planned Parenthood's own research arm, Guttmucher Institute, to be held accountable to taxpayers for the straight facts.
Women and young girls should not be misled into a lifestyle of contraception that carries more medical costs and emotional pain than the benefits its purports to bestow. It is time that the focus once again be placed on America's greatest resource: children.
Dare Mr. Sonfield argue with that?
Jenn Giroux is a Registered Nurse and the new Executive Director of HLI America, a new program of Human Life International founded to educate on the physical, emotional, and spiritual harms of contraception and to highlight the beauty of having children. She and her husband, Dan, have nine children and live in Cincinnati. See http://www.hliamerica.org/ for more information.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
HOW ST FRANCIS, WHEN ABOUT TO DIE, BLESSED THE HOLY BROTHER BERNARD, NAMING HIM VICAR OF THE ORDER
The holiness of Brother Bernard shone forth so brightly, that St Francis held him in great reverence, and often was heard to praise him. One day, as St Francis was in prayer, it was revealed to him by God that Brother Bernard, by divine permission, would sustain many painful combats with the devil. Now St Francis felt great compassion for Brother Bernard, whom he loved as a son; wherefore he wept for prayed for many days, imploring the Lord Jesus Christ to give him the victory over the evil one. As he was praying thus devoutly, the Lord answered his prayer, and said to him: "Fear not, Francis, for all the temptations which will assail Brother Bernard are permitted by God, to increase his virtue and win for him a crown of merit; for at length he will gain the victory over all his enemies, because he is one of the ministers of the kingdom of heaven." This answer to prayer filled St Francis with joy; he thanked God; and from that moment, Brother Bernard became even dearer to St Francis than before, and many proofs of affection did he give him, not only during his life but more especially at the hour of his death. For when St Francis was about to leave this world, being surrounded like the holy prophet Jacob by his devoted sons, all grieving at the departure of so beloved a Father, he thus addressed them: "Where is my first-born son? let him come to me, that my soul may bless him before I die." Then Brother Bernard said in a whisper to Brother Elias, who at that time was vicar of the Order: "Go to the right hand of the saint, that he may bless thee." On this Brother Elias placed himself on the right side of St Francis - who had lost his sight through much weeping - and the saint, putting his right hand on the head of Brother Elias, said: "This is not the head of my first-born, Brother Bernard." Then Brother Bernard placed himself on the left side of St Francis, who, crossing his arms in the form of a cross, put his right hand on the head of Brother Bernard and his left on that of Brother Elias. Then said he to Brother Bernard: "May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, bless thee with every blessing, spiritual and celestial; for thou art my first-born son in God, chosen in this Order to set an example of every virtue, and to follow Christ in evangelical poverty; for not only didst thou give all thy possessions and distribute them freely and liberally to the poor, but thou didst likewise offer thyself to God in this Order as a sacrifice of love; blessed be thou, then, by our Saviour Jesus Christ and by me, his poor servant, with eternal blessings, when thou goest out and when thou comest in, when thou wakest and when thou sleepest, both living and dying; he that blesseth thee shall be blessed, he that curseth thee shall not remain unpunished. Thou shalt be at the head of all thy brethren, and all thy commands the brethren shall obey. I give thee power to receive into this Order whomsoever thou willest; no brother shall rule over thee. Thou art free to go where thou wilt, and to remain where it pleaseth thee best." So, after the death of St Francis, the brethren loved and revered Brother Bernard as their father, and when it was his turn to die, many brethren came from all parts of the world to take leave of him; amongst them the angelic Brother Giles, who when he saw Brother Bernard exclaimed, with great joy, "Sursum corda! Brother Bernard, Sursum corda!" and Brother Bernard ordered secretly one of the brothers to prepare for Brother Giles a place meet for contemplation, which was done even as he ordered. Now when the last hour of Brother Bernard arrived, he begged to be raised in his bed, and thus addressed the brethren who surrounded him: "Beloved brethren, I have not many words to say to you; but I wish you to consider that, as the religious order which has been my choice has been yours also, the hour which is now come for me will also come for you; and this I find in my soul to tell you, that for a thousand worlds I would not have served another Lord than our Saviour Jesus Christ. Now I accuse myself before my Saviour and before you all of every offence I have committed; and I pray you, my dear brethren, to love one another." And having said these words, and given other good advice, he lay down on his bed, his face radiant with joy and shining with celestial brightness, of which all the brethren were witnesses; and in that ecstasy of joy his holy soul, crowned with glory, passed from this present life to the blessed life of the angels.
HOW ST FRANCIS PASSED THE TIME OF LENT IN AN ISLAND, ON THE LAKE OF PERUGIA, WHERE HE FASTED FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS, EATING NO MORE THAN HALF OF ONE LOAF
The true servant of Christ, St Francis, was in certain things like unto a second Christ given to the world for the salvation of souls. Wherefore God the Father willed that in many points he should be conformed to his Son, Jesus Christ, as we have already explained in the calling of his twelve companions, as also in the mystery of the holy stigmata, and in a fast of forty days which he made in the manner following:
St Francis, one day of the Carnival, was near the Lake of Perugia, in the house of one of his devout children, with whom he had spent the night, when he was inspired by God to go and pass the time of Lent in an island on the lake. Wherefore St Francis begged his friend, for the love of God, to convey him in his boat to an island uninhabited by man: the which he should do during the night of Ash-Wednesday, so that none might know where he was; and the friend, because of the great devotion he bore to St Francis, agreed to his request, and conveyed him to the said island, St Francis taking with him naught but two small loaves. When they had reached the island, his friend left him and returned home; the saint earnestly entreating him to reveal to no one where he was, and not to come and fetch him before Holy Thursday; to which he consented. St Francis being left alone, and there being no dwelling in the island in which he could take shelter, entered into a thick part of the wood all overgrown with brambles and other creeping plants, and forming as it were a kind of hut, there he began to pray and enter into the contemplation of divine things. And there he passed the whole of Lent without drinking or eating save half of one of the small loaves he had taken with him, as we learned from his friend who, going to fetch him on Holy Thursday, found one of the loaves untouched and the other only half consumed. It is believed that St Francis ate this half out of reverence for our Blessed Lord, who fasted forty days and forty nights without taking any material food; for by eating this bit of bread he put aside the temptation to vainglory, and yet fasted forty days and forty nights in imitation of the Saviour. In later times God worked many miracles, through the merits of the saint, on the spot where St Francis had fasted so wonderfully, on which account people began to build houses and dwell there, and little by little a town rose up, with a convent called the Convent of the Isle; and to this day the inhabitants of that town hold in great respect and great devotion the spot in which St Francis passed the time of Lent.