Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tony Blair

As every blogging Catholic knows by now, Tony Blair was recieved into the Church. I feel ambivalent. I'd be happier if he'd done it while he was still Prime Minister--that would've been a real act of swashbuckling guts, but so be it. A lot of people are disturbed because while he was in power Blair was pro abortion, pro killing babes in embryo (stem cell experiments) and pro gay rights. He has not publicly repented these public sins. Other people feel that since so many of us are lousy Catholics anyway we can't criticize Tony. I don't know.

Does his conversion help the Church or does it confirm the cynical belief that our prelates have one law for us common folk and quite another set for the stars. Damian Thompson has this sharp post and Mark Gordon has this to say. I'm reminded of what Kathy Shaidle posted when Pavarotti died.

Mass at St. Mary Star of the Sea

Rocky and I went to Baltimore yesterday. We got married in a civil ceremony there 19 years ago--- we were impatient young things and weren't willing to bother with Pre-Cana or the Gordian Knot of his family's disapproval---- and were married in Church a little while later------- so the dirty old town has sentimental value to us.

Baltimore is a rough place. If you go, stay in the tourist areas. Do not take the public bus, especially if you are white or just don't look like a local. Having said that there are many lovely sights and experiences in Bmore if you're careful. We visited the St. Jude Shrine, Holy Cross Church, the Baltimore Basilica, Lexington Market and went to the vigil Mass at St. Mary's Star of the Sea in South Baltimore.

The church is very old and was built by Irish immigrants. Most of it survived the 60s. The main altar is gone and so is what I guess was once the St. Joseph altar which was replaced by a rather drab little box on an ugly plaster pedestal containing the Blessed Sacrament. It made me so sad because nobody stopped to genuflect or visit Our Lord before or as far as I could see, after Mass. The cantors bowed to the altar but ignored the Blessed Sacrament. Moving Jesus to side chapels or even out of the building all togethter was a terrible mistake.

The Mass itself was celebrated in a solid manner. The elderly lector was excellent. The cantors were typically annoying, they butchered the Gloria and the Santus and good grief --it's Mass ladies, not a concert. We're here for Jesus, not you. Both sang beautifully but nobody in the pews joined in because it was too hard to follow. It would be like trying to play football with Peyton Manning--- you'd look and feel like a fool.

The parishioners were very friendly. South Baltimore doesn't get too many black people walking around but no-one seemed the slightest bit surprised to see us. They were really nice folks, especially the old sacristan and his sweet wife.

The priest fascinated me. He's the pastor of THREE churches. After Mass he had just 20 minutes to get his vestments off and trot two or three blocks to another parish to say Mass there. We looked at his schedule in the parish bulletin and were amazed. It's definitely an assignment for a young priest because he does a lot of running. The sight of one priest pastoring three parishes and having no parochial vicar made Rocky sad.

After that we left Baltimore and went to Columbia to look at the drive through Christmas light display.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

There's somebody else I have to thank everytime I go to a Tridentine Mass

Go here, to read a wonderful poem by the terrfic blogger : Long Skirts


Monday, December 24, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

J.K. Rowling took you for a fool oh Christian Harry Potter fan

When a smiling J.K. Rowling announced that Dumbledore was gay a lot of people twisted themselves into pretzels to defend her, the character and the series. Regina Dorman has written an interesting essay in defense of Dumbledore.

Regina is a talented writer but honestly, I'm tired of this......... Can't people just accept the fact that Rowling played them for fools? Gee whiz, stop drinking the Kool-Aid . Please note that Rowling Did Not out Dumbledore until after the last book was published and the millions had already rolled in.

Two priests who need our prayers

*I was born at night but it wasn't last night so I don't believe a word of this.

*Remember the priest who went jogging naked? Well he's about to have his day in court......... The fact that guys like this got ordained in the first place is a tragedy.

Fr. Coyle, martyr of the South, pray for us.

Rocky and I sometimes joke that accept in places like New York and Maryland it's almost impossible to just drive around and happen to come upon a Catholic church. Our churches are usually on side streets or tucked away down a long road. Our joke is that for Pete's sake the KKK is not riding the hills and valleys anymore but we both know that at one time in this country being Catholic could get you killed or discriminated against and it was prudent to not build a Catholic church on the main street. That's why old churches in the South are discretely tucked away. The story of martyred Fr. Coyle is a reminder of those ugly days.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Don't forget Fr. Francis Mary of EWTN

I think it's safe to assume that he won't be coming back to Life on the Rock and that's perfectly sensible but the important thing---- the absolutely vital thing is the state of his vocation. The story has died down now but please don't forget him. He must be terribly sad right now. Imagine being a priest and not being part of your church's daily life. He must miss saying Mass something awful. Let's keep praying for him.


*I spent some time reading the Family of the Americas website and I am studying their book. I'll be talking to one of their instructors via phone tommorow and I feel hopeful that I'll be able to master this method. I'm going to back it up with this.

*Our pastor has been ill for weeks and last night for the vigil Mass he was able to be the celebrant. Rocky and I were thrilled to see him back in action. After Mass he gave us both a blessing and I was greatly comforted. We gave the Frs. a capon for Christmas and they were amazed at the size of the thing. They were even more amazed when I told them what capon is.

*At home I felt good enough to attempt Christmas baking. I'm not going to produce my usual amount of cakes this year but a few people are getting goodies. All in all, it was a happy Saturday.

*Golden Compass is a bomb. One it's boring, two it has Nicole Kidman in it which is never a good sign and it's anti-Catholic crap. This stinker will be headed straight to video faster than you can say, "See I told you so."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My patron saint for 2008

is...... St. Jose Maria Escriva. I find that funny because it was an Opus Dei priest who got me to come back to going to to Mass when I drifted in college and it was in the Opus Dei run Catholic Information Center library in DC that I found a treasure trove of solid Catholic books which inspired me. St. Jose Maria was a no-nonsense kick butt sort of saint. This should be an interesting year spiritually.

Thank you, Angela Messenger for coordinating the saint for the year project.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I am the Immaculate Conception

Those were the words Our Lady of Lourdes gave St. Bernadette in answer to the little saint's querry as to who she was.

Yesterday Rocky and I went to the 2 PM Tridentine Mass in honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at St. Rita's. Fr. Scalia and a visiting priest celebrated the Mass. Frl Scalia's homily was spot on as usual. Davd Alexander of the Man with a Black Hat blog and his lovely friend Sal (she's a lady) sat two pews in front of us but I didn't introduce mysefl. One because I'm shy and two because I dislike chit chat in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

The altar boys were amazing. The church was packed with young people and kids. There were a wide array of veils on display. Mine was cherry red and Rocky is quite fond of it.

I felt pretty good but was exhausted when we got home. I was absolutely wiped out and sore.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Was Shakespere actually St. Edmund Campion?

This website proposes a theory that doesn't seem so wild once you read her arguments. I am pretty sure that Shakespeare, was Catholic but if he could've actually been one of England's greatest saints too..... Alas, we'll never know for sure this side of Eternity.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Oh dear... this is most appalling

I sympathize with many people who go to SSPX Masses. I actually have bought books from Angelus Press and I enjoyed watching the online catechism taught by Fr. Daniel Cooper and Bishop Fellay seems like a cautious and sensible man but Bishop Williamson makes me cringe.

As long as he's the "face" of the SSPX and says things like this the entire worthy Trad movement will have an image problem. Could someone persaude Williamson to take an extended retreat to a nice, cozy hermitage in Pantagonia or South Dakota?

Crushed and anxious

We went to the Vigil Mass at St. Rita's last night. It was my first day back and it was hard. Mass was wonderful, the homily was well thought out and darn near magnificent but I felt crushed. I guess it was the sight of four adorable little kids sitting in the pew in front of us. I was exhausted, and had been worrying myself about the inevitable conversation I am going to have with my gynecologist. She's not Catholic and will probably argue that I'll need to go on the Pill on some other contraceptive method. I know that it would be dangerous for me get pregnant again even as late as January or February and frankly the idea is enough to make me feel like an anxiety attack is coming on. I'm not a fan of NFP and don't look forward to sitting through a class with some gooey, grinning instructor.......... Drat it all.

St. Dymphna, my dear patron please pray for your namesake.
John Mary Thomas, pray for your mom, darling.

Not this crap again

Sooner or later this Advent I'm going to hear the "Joseph and Mary were illegal immigrants/homeless so it's a sin to be worried about the 50 increasingly as the day goes on, drunk or sexually suggestive guys standing at the day labor lot next to your office or to rush past the hulking young man who's demanding a dollar from you after Mass," argument.


First off, Joseph was not an addict who has consumed all the family's money. Nor was he insane and in need of medical care. He and Mary were on their way to Bethelehem to pay his taxes. Bethehem was a one horse town then and it was full of people doing the same thing.

A few years ago Rocky and I were traveling through Blacksburg, Virginia. We were tired and decided to spend the night at a hotel. Alas, Virginia Tech was playing a football game that weekend and there wasn't a hotel room available for a 50 mile radius. That didn't make us homeless, it made us out of luck, hotel wise.

Second, Joseph and Mary were not entering Egypt illegally to work. They fled to Egypt to avoid Herod, yes but they were not technically refugees. Egypt belonged to the Roman empire as did most of the known world. As Roman citizens they were free to go anywhere in the empire. In the face of Roman power Egypt's borders meant nothing.

Third, Joseph and Mary did not bring any social problems to Egypt. They did not demand that their Egyptian neighbors speak Hebrew or Aramaic to them. They certainly didn't demand that the Roman soldiers speak something other than Latin. They did not get onto the Egyptian welfare system, had there been such a thing.

Using the Holy Family to push a political agenda is wrong. Illegal immigrants are working for substandard wages, in often shameful conditions. Creating a permanent underclass of 30 million people who we only want to do our hard work for us is unAmerican and will come back to bite us all. Perhaps it would be best if that day comes sooner rather than later. In the mean time let's not use the Holy Family as slogans.

Monday, November 26, 2007

John Mary Thomas, pray for us

Rocky and I decided that the baby should have a name. John because he (for some reason I feel like he was a he) was a gift from God, Mary, for the Blessed Mother and Thomas because every other guy in Rocky's family has Thomas for a first or middle name.

Friday, November 23, 2007

and i lived to tell the tale

On November 5th I went to work and passed out at my desk. At the hospital a surgeon told me that I had an cornual ectopic rupture. Our poor baby just got confused and implanted in the thickest part of my left fallopian tube instead of making it down to the uterus.

The hospital chaplain, a wonderful priest from Nigeria gave me Last Rites and then I went to surgery. Recovery has been slow but I was very much encouraged by my family, friends and the grace and mercy of God and His holy church. Priests came to give me confession and communion in the hospital and my parish priests called me on the phone to comfort me. Another wonderful priest walked from his rectory to my mom's home where I'm recuperating to give me Holy Communion.

Thank you, Lord for sparing my life.
Thank you St. Bernadette, St. Therese and St. Joan for your prayers.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Mozart's version of Dies Irae

the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven

Last night Rocky and I went to St. Rita's for the Tridentine Mass. It was for All Souls day and I can't remember a time when I've been so overwhelmed at Mass before. Everything was gorgeous. We had three (young!) priests in birettas and black vestments--- when I saw them I almost cheered. We had six well scrubbed altar boys. Those kids didn't make one mistake. We had chant provided by a schola choir. We had a sublime homily and the Dies Irae was the Sequence.

I cried the whole time. It's been a long time since I've felt like my heart was tearing itself out of my chest because of sheer, wild joy. That's what happened last night.

The church was packed and it was so quiet. I don't know if it's due to the action on the altar or the calming effect of chant but the babies and toddlers were very still and seemed to be happy. Young people were everywhere I looked. The Missionaries of Charity nuns came all the way from DC to attend the Mass and seeing the variety of veils on the ladies was cool. Everyone was decently dressed. I didn't see any butt cracks spilling out from low slung jeans and most of the young guys had on blazers. There were also a lot of first and second year seminarians there.

I almost couldn't walk out when Mass was over. I was so taken up with the love of Jesus that my legs didn't seem to want to work. There is something about the Traditional Mass that seems to let me be free to think, to pray to really focus on the holy sacrifice and who Our Lord is. In the Novus Ordo we are encouraged to be active, and to talk back and forth to the priest. In the Traditional Mass we are encouraged to pray hard.

I think I could've sayed for hours if Rocky hadn't had to go to work early the next day.

I don't know when St. Rita's will try this experiment again but I am sooooooo there when they do.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Sad, sad, sad today.

I read on Tea at Trianon and the Catholic Musings blogs that Fr. Francis Mary, the host of EWTN's Life on the Rock has decided to take a leave of absence to discern his vocation. Uh oh. Usually when priests announce that they are discerning their vocations it means they are really half way out the door already. Fr. Francis Mary is a fine man and I feel terribly sad and sorry for him and for all of us cause you know the Catholic haters are going to eat this like sweet cream.

A saint, I can't remember which one, said that priests must be ultra careful about women. Not the obvious trampy ones becuase they all but shout what they're about but the real danger is the nice ones, the ones who genuinely mean no harm. I've seen many a Protestant minister fall this way. It starts innocently enough. She needs help... she needs kindness... she's the most devoted worker in the parish.... she's the one person who will stay up all night blowing up balloons for the senior's dance. She thinks he's wonderful... he finds that he looks forward to seeing her alone each day and suddenly stuff happens.

Pray for our priests. They are men called to a divine vocation but they are just men and in the ungaurded moment stuff happnes in the mind, the heart and the body. Ladies, have a care for your priest. He's your father, not a regular guy. Don't get into the habit of hanging out at the rectory, no matter how legit your business there is. Whatever you need to see Father about can be taken care of in the office. Do not get into the habit of traveling alone with him, even if it's giving him a ride to the Catholic Family conference in the next county. People WILL talk and it could be an occasion for temptation--- yours, his, whatever.

Do not invite him to your house for "counseling". See him in the confessional or across a table in the office. Do not invite him to your house, PERIOD, if you are single or if you are alone in the house. People will talk.

Do not call his personal number unless it is for a genuine reason. Arranging a time for confession or checking to see what time he needs your husband to come by with the chain saw to clear the brush around the parish playground or asking a theological question is fine. Calling him just to say "hi" is flirting and darn if you don't know that deep down inside.

If you are afraid of sex and prefer to hang out with men who are unavailable go see a good Catholic therapist. Do it right now. Do not hug Father, especially if you are the type who tends to do the grinding bosom thing when you embrace someone. Do not ask him to be a dad figure to your son. That's asking too much and if he's at your house all the time people will talk and temptation might arise. Do not dress provocatively around Father because you assume he' s above all that and you can go all wild thing with him without any complications. Do not flirt with Father on ANY level.

If you have a crush on Father, take a deep breath, grow up and get over it. If you have to join a different parish, then do it.

Pray for our priests.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Saints

Today was a holy day of obligation so I hope you made it to Mass. It’s easy to look at the saints and think I can’t be like them but except for a very few, like St. Therese and St. Dominic Salvo, the saints weren’t astonishingly pious from tender youth. Most strove hard for their level of holiness and we can do the same. St. Pelagia, started out as a harlot, St. Moses was a thief and a killer. St. Margaret of Cortuna lived in sin with a man for years. Blessed Bartolo Longo was at one time a satanic priest. That’s right, the dude was a devil worshipper. Once you repent and amend your life, great things are possible.

The saints are our friends in Heaven. We have very real relationships with them and they care passionately about us. Tonight, don’t forget to say thanks for all their prayers.

St. Elizabeth, pray for us.
St. Rita , pray for us.
St. Giana, pray for us.
St. Therese, pray for us.
St. Anthony, dear, dear friend, who’s never let me down, pray for us.
St. Joan, in this age of the “nice gospel” where so many of us would rather go along and get along, pray for us.
St. Pio, pray for us.
St. Nicholas, who once punched out the heretic, Arius, pray for us.
St. Athanasius, pray for us.St. Dymphna, pray for us.
St. Joseph, patron of the universal church and model for men, pray for us, especially for all the confused guys who have no clue what manhood is.
St. Maria Goretti, pray for us and all the young girls who think sex is love.
St. Raphaella Maria, pray for us.
St. Gemma, pray for us.
St. Martha, pray for us.
St. Jerome, pray for us.
Solanus Casey, pray for us.
Fulton Sheen, pray for us.
Catherine Dougherty, pray for us.
Queens Isabella and Catherine, pray for us.
All holy men and women, pray for us.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Mass that will not die

The Washington Times had a nice article about the Traditional rite Mass. A reporter and a cameraman went to St. Mary's in DC. I used to go to that church. If you're ever in China town go visit. It's beautiful.

Arlington diocese blogger

Here's a new (to me) local blog that got me very excited.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mass tonight

Mass was beautiful tonight. Father gave his usual sterling homily this time it was about pride. How many of us are like the pharisee who was so smug that he was no longer talking to God in the temple but was really carrying on a lovefest with himself when in his prayer he listed all his virtues. How many of us prayer like the publican who knowing himself simply said, "Oh God, be merciful to me, a sinner."

After Mass I went to confession-- we got there too late to go before and ordered a Christmas wreath. For Priesthood Sunday we gave the Fathers two dozen home made doughnuts. I hope they get a kick out of them.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

a silly daydream

I have this recurring daydream of being able to go back in time and finding Martin Luther straining over his chamber pot. I'd hand him a bottle of Kaopectate. "Here Marty, drink this!"

Hopefully he'd mistake me for an angel or a demon, drink the constipation medicin and the whole cleaving of Christendom thing never would've happened.

I mentioned this to Rocky once and he, bless his heart, suggested that Martin Luther probably would've been so shocked to see a woman in his privy that he would've refused the bottle. Rocky's other theory is that Luther and I would've had a Star Wars Duel of the Fates type argument and he would've gone dark anyway. Rocky then went on to point out that Luther's problems with the Church went beyond crazy thoughts while having chronic battles with his bowels. Oh well.


J.K. Rowling says that Dumbledore's character is gay. My brother-in-law wouldn't allow his kids to read the series because something about it just didn't feel right. I thought he was being extreme at the time but now...

Dymphna asks a few rude questions...

Tony Blair the former Prime Minister of Great Britain was the speaker at the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York. Now Tony is not a Catholic or if he is he is a secret one which I find inexcusable unless you are in stuck in Muslim country and announcing your faith would get you slaughtered in the street by the neighbors--- and I don't recall that he was much of an abortion fighter so why is he the key note speaker? Eliot Spitzer, (NY State gov) and Michael Bloomberg (da mayor of NYC) were also there, and I have to wonder why was Cardinal Egan even present at this dinner.

Somebody may read this and say, "Now Dymphna, Jesus went to dinner with sinners." Yes, He did and He told them to repent and sin no more. He didn't sit around shooting the shit with them and confirming them in their wicked ways.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Priesthood Sunday

October 28 is Priesthood Sunday. Say a prayer for your priest or do something thoughtful for him. Invite him to dinner (obviously this is not an option for single women unless you invite other people as well), bake him cookies, offer to sweep the leaves away from the church door, pick up the trash in the parking lot, offer to drive him to the hospital for his sick calls some time (this is a great gift to elderly priests who are having problems driving at night). If you're handy offer to do some of the repairs around the church and rectory.

There are a whole lot of little things that go into a priest's day. Some members of the laity who are dying to "help" really could help by offering to do the mundane tasks that make Father's life a little easier or let me put it more bluntly: instead of clamoring to be Eucharistic Ministers more of us should be volunteering to clean the toilets and the pews.

You gotta read this

Last Sunday, my pastor preached on contraception and it was a mighty sermon. He said he knew this would not be well recieved but he had to speak the truth and that he was inspired by Our Lady of Hope.

This absolutely brilliant blog post from Mission Territory is very much along the lines of what Fr. was talkin' about:

WARNING: What follows is going to be a pretty bitter rant. Let me qualify everything I may say (since I won’t have time to edit it) with this: no, I have not lost my faith. I am still every bit the traditionalist, pro-life, wholeheartedly believing Catholic I was. I’ve simply seen too much in the past few days to believe that we’re having any success whatsoever at reaching those who need us more than anyone else: the poor.
We’re fighting the wrong battle. Abortion is so visible; it attracts so much attention; but, it’s a wicked feint. We’re like French soldiers haplessly manning the impregnable Maginot Line while the Germans, ruthlessly efficient, simply marched around. We feel so good praying our Rosaries in front of abortion clinics; we might even spend time showing others the horrors of “termination” with graphical photos of dismembered fetuses. We donate to pro-life causes; we volunteer at agencies that promote support of pregnant women. We really do make a difference.
But for every person we help lead back to a culture of life, we lose countless others who fall victim to the ultimate modern seduction. It goes by a simple name; it is a simple ploy; and unfortunately, it works. It’s called the Pill, and it may be the Enemy’s perfect weapon.
Think about it: what else can you procure that will instantly divest you of any responsibility for anyone but yourself? Just take a pill every day (or even better, a shot every three months or a patch every week), and you no longer have to worry about kids interrupting your pleasure. It’s no wonder that the vast majority of poor Hispanic women, of whom a large number are nominally Catholic, fall for it. Why have a brood of children when you can have sex with your boyfriend (and why bother to get married for that matter?) with impunity?
And yes, there are consequences to this libertine mentality. Sexually-transmitted diseases are rife. But there’s another subtle aspect to this sabotage of fertility: an often warranted faith in the infallibility of modern medicine. If we do get sick, the doctors can fix it. What’s scary is that, in many cases, we can.
So, on the one hand, we have the Catholic ideal: accepting the God-given gift of marriage and fertility, loving children as we procreate them, supported by a community–a Church–that makes the raising of future faithful generations possible. It’s an incomparably beautiful vision–but it relies upon self-denial. On the other hand, we have the modern ideal: planned parenthood. Sex is for your pleasure only; if you want to, you can let it follow its “natural” course to produce children; if you don’t, it’s not a problem. Hedonism rules under the guise of liberty, and self-denial is the ultimate evil.
Look at the evidence and tell me which of these two visions is winning the hearts of the one group of people that we are commanded above any other to serve: the poor. We well-catechized Catholics can see the beauty of the culture of life–and even we, if we really look into our hearts are seduced to some extent by the other side. Imagine those who do not know their Faith–those who often simply struggle from day to day to make ends meet. They are provided–usually for free, by our health care system–access to the modern vision of freedom. We Catholics, on the other hand, offer an alternative that is costly. Beautiful and true, yes, but at a price that most people today are unwilling to pay.
So what can we do to stem what I’ve described as an inexorable tide? I really don’t know, but here are some thoughts.
We have failed first and foremost in community. If a woman has a child in an adulterous relationship, we should step and help her to take care of him. If she can’t, then we should take the child in. We must, for our own souls’ sake, rely upon others of like commitment.
We have also been failed by our priests. If Father neither preaches from the pulpit nor counsels in private that contraception is a problem, then the message is obvious: that it’s OK. Even worse, if he actively counsels his flock in private (or in public) that it’s OK to contracept and have sex outside of marriage–and I know this happens in our parishes daily–there is no way we will be able to convince people otherwise. Especially not in a hierarchical Latin-American society where the padre, for some reason which escapes me, still commands a vestigial position of authority. Our pastors must be men of faith who preach and practice what the Church teaches. Yes, they are human and they will sin, but that does not change the Truth they proclaim.
And we have failed, and will continue to fail, individually. Original sin still haunts us and will continue to do so. So, in the end, despite my bitterness, I am compelled to write that there indeed is hope. We are not intrinsically different from our fathers; they failed but the possibility of life eternal continues. We should pray; we should start attempting to rebuild, on a small scale at first, the communities, pastored by good priests, that make living the Catholic life possible. It was possible before despite our sinfulness; it is still possible. Maybe, as Alasdair Macintyre suggests, we do need a new St. Benedict to lead us into the desert and teach us to purify our souls.
We rightly fight the evil of abortion, but by all means, we mustn’t lose sight of the real battle.

some times my fellow Christians embarrass me pt. 2

I saw this story about a priest who is an Elvis impersonator at Ignorant Redneck and Carolina Cannonball. He also sings Celine Dion songs.

Oh my.

Somehow I don't think St. John Vianey would give this young and perhaps well meaning priest a pat on the back. I wouldn't expect a bucket load of praise from Archbishop Fulton Sheen either and I almost tremble to think what St. Pio's reaction would be.

Somebody needs to run screaming to Fr. Petrescu's bishop. Gee whiz!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A word of wisdom from St. John Eudes

"The most evident mark of God's anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clergy who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. Instead of nourishing those committed to their care, they rend and devour them brutally. Instead of leading their people to God, they drag Christian souls into hell in their train. Instead of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they are its innocuous poison and its murky darkness...."

some times my fellow Christians embarrass me

Really now, people this is ridiculous! If you believe this story you should just go join a church where they dance with snakes on Saturday night.

while I was out

My mama and I went to South Carolina to sell my some family property. It went very well. The lawyer I found did a great job and I thank God my father left such a clear and straightforward will. Afterwards we bought flowers and visited the family graves. There is a small Catholic church in my mother's home town and I've always wanted to go there but it's a mission church which means the priest comes twice a week for confession and for one Mass. I was reminded yet again how lucky I am. There are several parishes near me and my own is open for most of the day and evening.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Beware of mini popes

Coming from Mark Shea that's a really ironic statement since the man makes his living off a Catholicism. He's attacking a woman named Janice Kraus who dares to say that some Evangelical converts have been confused in their application of the Faith and are causing confusion because of their teaching. Shea calls her a lot of names and snobbishly insults her job---- she's an Administrative Assistant but he never answers her questions. Is the church served by people who aren't priests, traditional nuns or bona fide theologians going from parish to parish giving speeches and selling their books just like a Evangelical preacher on a revival tour?

I don't know Janice Kraus from Eve and I'm not saying I'd rush to hear her talk or buy her books if she was selling any but I know I don't trust Shea and his ilk.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Pay any price, bear any burden

I was reading a post over at Walled Garden about facing possible infertility and deciding whetehr to fight or accept that some things are meant to be and was trasported back to the worst time of my life. One day in what now seems like a long time ago, I looked up at the calendar, did a mental calculation of how long Rocky and I had been married and realized that something was wrong. I should've have a successful pregnancy by then. I went to doctors and endured unpleasant and expensive tests. I decided that I was going to do whatever it took to get pregnant and stay that way until I could deliver a viable baby. I was willing to pay any price and bear any burden in my great crusade.

Here's something the infertility doctors don't tell you: Trying to get a baby costs a lot of money. Let no one sugar coat this. You will need LOTS of ready cash and in the end you may have nothing but massive credit card debt to show for it. Adoption, to be fair, also costs a LOT of money and you'd best try to do it while you are under 40 and before you spend all your cash on infertilty treatments. You will also have to put up with well meaning advice from people who have no freaking idea of what they are talking about and the smug near contempt of luckier women. (So much for universal sisterhood. I find that other women can be crueler than any man and with minimal effort.)

I remember going to the hopsital to have a test that my doctor told me would be mildly annoying, like a pinch. I knew I was in for trouble when I walked into the hospital room. He had three nurses. Two to assist him and one hold my hand if I needed it and to keep me from thrashing around. It was not mildly annoying. It felt like a swarm of bees was moving through my reproductive system and stinging me as they went. I prayed for courage. I prayed that I not start crying and embarrass myself. Finally, just when I realized that I couldn't contain myself anymore and was going to start weeping the test was over. The nurses and the doctor congratulated me for being so tough and remarked with wonder that I didn't carry on one bit. They had me lie still for about ten minutes(to avoid dizziness) and then slowly go to the dressing room. Rocky came in and helped me get dressed. I was still stunned from how painful the whole test was and pretty much did nothing but nod and grunt when the doctor told me that my tubes were clear.

We went home and Rocky told me to stop this. He refused to let me torture myself anymore. I was relieved but sad. Actually sad doesn't adequately describe how I felt. Amy Winehouse singing Back to Black sounds like a mere case of the blues compared to the state I was in. I felt like a failure. I felt as if I'd let everyone down. I, who was always the best little girl in the world. I, who was always a high achiever who feared and dispised failure, was publicly, spectacularly letting everyone down. Rocky would not have a child. My mother would not get a grandbaby. My deceased father's family line would die out. His genetic gifts would perish from the earth. It was as if he was dying a second time and it was my fault. A few days later my brother-in-law called to say that his wife was having a baby. I told him how happy I was for them and I meant it. Then I hung up the phone, collasped to the floor and cried and cried and then when I thought I was done, I cried some more.

I felt such rage. People like Susan Smith and Diane Downs have children easily. The undeserving, the ill equiped, the abusive all seemed to be able to have children but not I. I hated being around babies. I loathed the sight of a pregnant woman. It seemed like I was constantly being smacked in the face with reminders of my own physical decrepitude. I brooded and sank into a pit of despair.

And then one day, things got better. One day God decided that since I wasn't going to help myself He'd give me a shove in the right direction. I may tell that story one of these days. Say a prayer for childless women. It's not something you just get over and it's forever. I'm happy now and I can even suspect that it might be for the best. Two serious hereditary health conditions run in my family and I would hate to pass that on to a beloved child. One day, God will tell me why He said no and I accept that.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Please let this poor man retire.

Something is wrong with Bishop Donald Pelotte. The poor man should be allowed to quietly retire and he obviously needs prayers.

Pray for me St. Therese

Tridentine Mass at St. Rita's

Last Saturday my parish celebrated Mass in the traditional rite. It was gorgeous. I was struck by two things. First, it was so quiet. Even the littlelest kids were quiet. Maybe they were entertained by angels. Everyone was paying attention to the action on the altar. Nobody was talking to either each other or on their cell phones. Second, every veil Halo Works makes was on display and most were worn by young women. Black and white were the majority veil colors. I had a red one made by a nice lady in Alabama.

A few days later my husband had a fascinating conversation with a 70 year old priest about the Traditional Mass. The priest, a dear man really, said he thought it would all come to nothing because people don't understand Latin. Oh Fr., I wanted to say, give us a chance. Younger Catholics aren't as dumb as you think. If you challenge us we will rise to the occasion. If you give us the same old crap we will fall away.

At any rate, the Mass was stunning. My eyes were filled with tears and all I can say is thanks, Holy Father.
Laity, if you really want to do some Catholic action don't just bitch and moan. This is our moment. Get dressed, heave yourself off the sofa and go to any Traditional Mass that is offered at least once a month. If we don't show up the bishops will drop it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Here's one thing you can't pin on the bishops.

This blogger blames part of the Church's current crisis on bishops who back in the 40s and 50s didn't preach breastfeeding to the people. I think that's a bit much. Oh heck, I actually think it's ridiculous.

How many straight and sober men in 1948, would've willingly lectured women from the ambo or at the dinner table about breastfeeding? And what effect would it have had, anyway? My mother was delighted with baby formula. If any man had told her to go back to breastfeeding she would've smacked him upside the head with one of my baby bottles and then told him to go jump into a lake.

Christopher Hitchens

Fr. Rutler rocks!

You what's wrong with Christopher Hitchens? I mean besides his drinking? I suspect that when he was a little boy somebody let him down. Maybe his parents didn't love him enough. Maybe he didn't get the pony he prayed for. Maybe the first girl he got a crush on broke his heart. At any rate he's mad with God and is having a tantrum in public. Sometimes the tantrum is pathetic. Sometimes it's just ridiculous but it's always ugly as you'll see after reading this exchange between poor Hitchens and the awesome Fr. Rutler, who thinks Hitchens will one day either pull out of his pity party and become Catholic or die a madman. My bet is on madman right now but miracles happen. Look at Ratisbone and St. Augustine.

The Mass that will not die.

On Sunday night Rocky and I attended a lecture on the Tridentine Mass. It was glorious. We all met in the church (the Blessed Sacrament had been removed and is every time a lecture takes place in the church) and Fr. proceeded to walk us all through the Tridentine Mass. It was crowded and you could've heard a pin drop. Every eye was on Fr. as he spoke and many of us were taking notes. The parish has bought a bunch of copies of the Ecclesia Dei mini missal for us. There were handouts and a list of books to read on the Tridentine.
I was so excited to see so many young people there. If anybody tells you that the desire for the Tridentine is just nostalgia tell them to get a clue. Most of the people in church that night were, like me, born after Vatican II and have never known anything but the Novus Ordo.

Fr. was so happy. You could see that he was thrilled to be talking about this subject and he's chomping at the bit to celebrate the Tridentine.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I laughed out loud when I saw this.

Fr. Scalia explains it all

Fr. Paul Scalia, the PV at my parish explains Catholicism in 800 words or less here.

John Kerry bows out

John Kerry was supposed to give a lecture at Catholic University. That's right, I wrote Catholic University, the school where Archbishop Fulton Sheen once taught.

This weekend there was a second collection at Mass for CU. Rocky and I declined to give this year and so did many of the people sitting in front of us. Well it looks like Kerry will not be speaking due to a "scheduling conflict". Whatever. At any rate CU probably lost a lot of money this weekend. I hope they learn something from it. Don't spit in the face of the Faithful and then ask us to give you money.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Even lone wolves get the blues

I've always been something of a lone wolf. My husband, Rocky sometimes refers to me as his shy woodland creature. Last weekend there was an announcement that our parish is going to start a women's group. It's going to be for married women who are mothers. That upset me. The parish already has a mother's group and I felt stung to the core of my soul that I can't join because I've never had a successful pregnancy. I brooded and wrote a letter to the head of the group. She wrote back and said I can join and if there's anyone else in my situation in the parish they can join too.

Now I'm not so sure I want to join. I resented feeling cut out of the heard but on some level I'd rather run free byself. My moods are like quicksilver sometimes but I'm glad I wrote that letter.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Casualties of war

One of the sadest things about the aftermath of Vatican II is how many Catholics just said "I don't understand what's happening here so to hell with it. I'm leaving." These people wandered off into the New Age mess, cults, Protestantism, and schism. Others stayed in the Church, but endured such misery that they now no longer trust anything their bishop or even the Holy Father says. These people may or may not put a dollar in the collection basket and they attend Mass but they're so burned out and disgusted that their joy and peace is gone.

One of these people writes a blog that I can hardly bear to read. It's so pain and suspicion filled. This poor soul sees evil under every rock and has gotten to the point where she hates going to Mass. Pray for the casualties of the Spiritual war.

My answer to Kathy Griffin

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most mysterious and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in heaven, on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the most holy Sacrament of the altar.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Saint Gwen?

Gwen Coniker, the co-foundress of Catholic Family Land has a cause for cannonization. Mrs. Coniker has been described as a housewife but that's not really acurate. Mrs. Coniker was an ordinary housewife the way Blessed Teresa was an ordinary nun or the way Fr. Capadanno was an ordinary priest. The lady was a champion mother and organizer. It will be interesting to see how her cause works out.

Never, no more

One of Rocky's favorite Patsy Cline songs is "Never, No More." That's the line that popped into my head when I read that DC Archbishop Wuerl is planning on closing 8 city schools in DC. One of them is my old school.

I will never give to any of Archbishop Wuerl's annual appeals again. Ever. That's it. I'm done. From now on, my charitable giving will go directly to the school, order or Catholic insitution and not through the archbishop's office.

Springtime? Yeah, right.

Fra Domenico asks,"Is it Springtime yet?," in this sensible post. The answer sadly is no. We're still in Winter. There are signs of thaw in various places but most of the church is still like pre-Aslan Narnia. It's always Winter and never Christmas.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Father Corapi Facts

Father Corapi is awesome....

Father Corapi does not know where you live, but he knows where you will die (in order to administer Viaticum...duh).

Every time Father Corapi says Mass, an angel gets its wings.

Father Corapi and God once shared a high-five. The wind that was created caused Hurricane Katrina.

Father Corapi, when he was in the military, once shot down an enemy plane by pointing his finger and shouting, "Bang!"

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice. Neither does Father Corapi. He doesn't have to."

Abortion clinics, pornography stores...I would move my artillery into place and light 'em up! I would totally liquidate them...speaking metaphorically, of course"

The Soldier's Creed states, "surrender is not an option...except when Father Corapi is in town."

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. The only thing fear has to fear is Father Corapi.

Regardless of race, gender, location, or education level... at one point in your life you have underestimated Father Corapi. You will live just long enough to regret this.

"I am ready and willing to destroy my enemies in close and mortal combat."

Father Corapi's statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary wears combat boots.

Father Corapi's Rosary is made of spent .54 caliber bullet shells. No, really.

When Satan goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet to make sure Father Corapi isn't there.

An apple a day does not keep Father Corapi away. Only going to Mass and confession every day keeps Father Corapi away... sometimes.

Ask a rude question --- get a straight answer

Well enough people were grouchy enough to ask and amazingly enough we got an answer. According to his parish priest Luciano Pavoratti came back to the Church before his death. Thanks be to God.

Do not forget--- watch this video

death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Giving scandal

Okay, somebody's got to ask. How come Luciano Pavarotti got a big Catholic funeral? He was an open adulterer who left his wife after 30 plus years of marriage to marry his girlfriend. I love Pavarotti and hope he repented while he had time but.... didn't it occur to Archbishop Benito Cocchi that this was not a good example to give to people. No wonder young Italians don't bother to go to Mass anymore. You have to say what you mean and mean what you say even with beloved celebrities.

Again, may God have mercy on the maestro's soul.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Give Fr. a break

On another blog, sorry I can't remeber which-- someone remarked that it's a shame that parishes were closed on Labor Day and glumly noted that the priesthood has become too much like a regular job. Well, in defense of priests everywhere I have to say that it's not Father's fault. Unless he's a tough old dude who's been there for 20 years or a bright, young fearless lad most parishes are run by grisled, bitter lesbians or grouchy church ladies in polyesther stretch pants. They run the office. They decide if your issue is worth calling Father. They make bad enemies. They write long letters to the bishop and get answered. They would be as fierce as harpies if Fr. dared to suggest that they work on a holiday. It's a rare man who wants to face down angry women.

My parish is blessed with high testosterone and no nonsense young priests so the church was open on Labor Day and Mass went on as usual but again, my pastor is a saint and the parochial vicar is as brave as Aragorn. How many parishes have that?

catholic lady frumpiness----

Kathy Shaidle at Relasped Catholic is a heck of a writer and I check her blog everyday. However, she's not sweetness and light. In fact, I get the impression that Kathy is extremely pissed right now because her boyfriend's annulment proceedings are taking so long. She does not like Jamaicans much and loathes Muslims. She's also quite disgusted with young Catholic women who go around looking like potato sacks.

I abominate deliberate ugliness so I completely reject this trend. There is no virtue is looking so unnattractive that your husband has to put on a brave face in order to perform his marital duties but Kathy is so harsh in her condemnation that I think she might drive some of her readers in the opposite direction.

the tricky thing about blogging

is that sooner or later you will offend someone. Normally I don't give a hoot but when it's people I like I cringe a little. Ah well... .these things must happen when you shout your opinion into the blogosphere.

Mahoney strikes again...

In order to pay for the pedophile suits these little old nuns are going to be cast out of their convent.

Lovely. Just frigging lovely. But come on, we knew this is how it was going to go down, didn't we?

My God, does Cardinal Mahoney have any shame at all? Why doesn't he sell his own home instead? It would fetch a bigger price than the modest home the sisters live in.
The above image is a millstone. I think it's appropriate.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Football is back! Tell Beckham to go pose nude in a gay magazine. Cue Hank Williams Jr. Fire up the grill. Yes, Bocephus I am ready for some football!

Did the Catholic Library Association sell out?

In 2006 the CLA asked for affiliate membership with the American Library Association, the biggest librarian association in the US. They were turned down essentially for being Catholic. In 2007 they got affiliate status. Cathy, at Recovering Disodent wonders what the CLA had to do to get that membership. As a Catholic librarian I wonder too. See Cathy's remarks here.

Farewell to the greatest

Luciano Pavoratti, the greatest tenor of our times has passed away. His private life was not lovely but his voice was one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard in my life. One of the most beautiful things that ever graced the earth.

May God have mercy on his soul.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The bishop means well but....

Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has instituted a new marriage prep program for his diocese. Engaged couples have to endure a course based on Theology of the Body and NFP. Bless his heart but I strongly suspect that this will simply lead to Catholic couples going to Vegas or Hawaii, getting married civily and then coming back to church to have their marriage validated. Who really wants to spend 4 to 6 months meeting in the church hall and listening to Fr. drone on about sex that you can't have yet?

Plus, NFP is contraception. Yes, I know there are no chemicals involved but it's supposed to be an emergency measure for short term use, not a lifestyle. And ultimately, by charting periods and testing mucas and avoiding sex during your fertile period you are, no matter how you sugar coat it, deliberately choosing to have sex ONLY when you are least likely to get preggers. That's contraception at heart, if not in mechanics.

Oh, one more thing. Despite the required marriage prep classes Catholic get divorced at the same rate as heretics and the unchurched.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Rock on, Father Rutler!

The magnficent Father Rutler, is being humorous in his comments about child education but he has a huge point. I hated school when I was young and much preferred being around adults and I learned far more prowling the library than I ever did stuck in a room with my peers.

He writes:

"I'd encourage your youngest one to abandon kindergarten altogether. Almost everything I learned was learned outside the classroom, and school itself interrupted my education. Moreover, school locks you in with your peers.

That is a mistake.

One's social circle should never include one's equals. From my earliest years I found children uninteresting and always preferred the company of adults. This was an advantage, because I got to know lots of folks who are dead now whom I never would have known if I had waited until I was an adult. - So I have a collective memory - and oral tradition - that goes back to the eighteenth century, having spoken with people who knew people who knew people who knew people who lived then. - The only real university is the universe and a city its microcosm.

That is why an expression like "New York University" is foolish. New York City is the university….Instead of school, children should spend some hours each day in hotel lobbies talking to the guests. They should spend time in restaurant kitchens and shops and garages of all kinds, learning from people who actually make the world work….One day spent roaming through a real classical church building would be the equivalent of one academic term in any of our schools, and a little time spent inconspicuously in a police station would be more informative than all the hours wasted on bogus social sciences.

Formal lessons would only be required for accuracy in spelling and proficiency in public speaking, for which the public speakers in our culture are not models, and in exchange for performing some menial services a child could learn the violin, harp, and piano from musicians in one of the better cocktail lounges, or from performers in the public subways….So I urge you to keep your child out of kindergarten, because kindergarten will only lead to first grade and then thegrim sequence of grade after grade begins and takes its inexorable toll on the mind born fertile but gradually numbed by the pedants who impose on the captive child the flotsam of their own infecundity."

The Catholic Report

I've been looking for a good Catholic news source blog. I think I may have found a good one.

A Baptist minister makes comments about Mother Teresa

I, a Southern Catholic am moved to remark, "Sir, you are a pompous, ignorant gasbag!" You can read his remarks for what little they are worth, here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A dark night of the soul

Some people are surprised that Mother Teresa had such a long dark night of the soul. Others are calling her inner struggle a crisis of faith. Both groups are silly. God chastises every son (and daughter) that He loves. Every great saint, except for the ones who were martyrd quickly had a dark period.

St. Therese fought a huge battle as she lay dying of TB. St. John of the Cross suffered greatly. St. Teresa didn't have it easy either. Fr. Corapi once talked about the great spiritual graces he was granted when he first reverted back to the Faith. And then, when he was no longer a "baby" Christian, the special favors ceased. Fr. Donald Callaway talks about the incredible, special moments he had with Jesus and Mary when he first converted. And then the marvelous moments stopped and he had to ask himself was it Jesus he loved or was it the graces. He was able to say it was Jesus and he became a priest.

Mother Teresa went through an intense period of dryness and yet, she still carried on for the love of Jesus. She did not see Him anymore. She didn't get any visits from angels of His blessed Mother but Teresa carried on. She trusted and she loved. That's a saint.

Monday night Mass

On Mondays we usually go to the 7PM Mass at historic St. Joseph in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. It's on our way home and is it the perfect time for our evening commute. Tonight I felt such sweetness and peace when Father raised the Host. There is nothing better.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

EWTN will be televising the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven-----tune in!

DENTON, Nebraska - AUGUST 17, 2007 -

For the first time in its 26 year history, Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) will be broadcasting a live Solemn High Mass at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama on September 14, 2007 at 8:00AM EST.

EWTN has asked for the assistance of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, an international Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, to help celebrate this "extraordinary" form.This past July 7th, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed the beauty and importance of the Tridentine Mass by issuing Summorum Pontificum, a papal document encouraging and confirming the right of all Latin Rite priests to use this more ancient use of the Mass starting September 14th. The Tridentine Mass was the normative liturgy experienced by Latin Rite Catholics prior to the Second Vatican Council.

"Most Catholics have not seen this heavenly celebration in over 40 years," said Father Calvin Goodwin, a professor at the Society's international English-speaking seminary located in Denton, Nebraska. "We are very excited to help EWTN and to support the Holy Father's call for a wider presence of this form of the Mass. This is a cause for great joy."Priests and seminarians from Denton, Nebraska will travel to Alabama and provide the celebrant, deacon, subdeacon, preacher, master of ceremonies and altar servers.

Dedicated to Rocky

One, two, three
Counting out the signs we see
The tall buildings
Fading in the distance
Only dots on a map
Four, five, six
The two of us a perfect fit
You're all mine, all mine
And all I can sayIs you blow me away
Like an apple on a tree
Hiding out behind the leaves
I was difficult to reach
But you picked me
Like a shell upon a beach
Just another pretty piece
I was difficult to see
But you picked me
Yeah you picked me

So softly
Rain against the windows
And the strong coffee
Warming up my fingers
In this fisherman's house
You got me
Searched the sand And climbed the tree
And brought me back down
And all I can sayIs you blow me away

Like an apple on a tree
Hiding out behind the leaves
I was difficult to reach
But you picked me
Like a shell upon a beach
Just another pretty piece
I was difficult to see
But you picked me

Yeah you picked me

You Picked Me by A Fine Frenzy

Thursday, August 23, 2007

One word, no explanations

(Tagged by the delightful Fr. Erik Richtsteig All readers consider yourself tagged.)

1. Yourself: intense
2. Your spouse: devout
3. Your hair: dark
4. Your mother: darling
5. Your father: missed
6. Your favorite item: mascara
7. Your dream last night: none
8. Your favorite drink: Perrier
9. Your dream car: Hummer
10. The room you are in: office
11. Your ex: forgotten.
12. Your fear: Hell.
13. What you want to be in 10 years: happy
14. Who you hung out with last night: mommy
15. What you're not: patient
16. Muffins: corn.
17: One of your wish list items: monstrance.
18: Time: fast
19. The last thing you did: research.
20. What you are wearing: cute
21. Your favorite weather: cool
22. Your favorite book: too many
23. The last thing you ate: eggs
24. Your life: crazy
25. Your mood: irritable
26. Your best friend: Jesus
27. What you're thinking about right now: lunch
28. Your car: red
29. What you are doing at the moment: posting
30. Your summer: busy
31. Your relationship status: married
32. What is on your TV: Discovery
33. What is the weather like:hazy
34. When was the time you laughed: yesterday

Friday, August 17, 2007

World Youth Day: what is it good for?

This may offend you--- actually, I'm afraid it will definitely offend you and you should go to one of my other posts right now


Still with me? Okay, I warned ya. Forgive me, but I think WYD is a waste of time and money. Yes, I loved JPII and I revere his memory but honestly, how does getting a bunch of kids together on a grassy field to listen to pop music really help the Church? Are they hearing about sacrifice? Are they hearing about duty and honor? Are they being told to be real rebels, defy the world and live the Gospels?

From what I've seen WYD is mainly an excuse to tell kids how special and precious and wonderfully wonderful they are. Young Catholics don't need such an expensive excercise in narciscism. St. Maria Gorreti didn't have a pep rally, neither did St. Agnes, St. Bernadette, or St. Gemma. Frank Parater and Paul Murphy attained holiness without WYD too. Instead of a pat on the back St. Josephine Bakhita spent her youth suffering tortures that I don't even want to dwell on.

To the people say that WYD offers daily Mass and Adoration I say "so what?" You don't have to go to Australia for that. Jesus-- the sweet Lord Jesus, so patient, so loving, so merciful, awaits us in every tabernacle in the world. All you have to do is go to Him. Do you want an experience? Go to Mass. At the moment of transubstantiation it becomes heaven on earth. You can't beat that. Do you want beauty, do you long to be awed by the power of love? Do you want to swim in an ocean of grace? You don't need to go to Oz, all you need to do is spend 30 minutes on your knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament. There you'll find everything you need.

The next WYD is going to be in Australia, a country that despite having a pretty good bishop could use a major evagelization effort. The local muslims have invited young Catholics to visit their mosques while in there.

Instead of warning people not to set foot in a mosque the folks running WYD seem to think this is a great idea. Parents don't write a huge check so your kid can go to the other side of the world and then be preached at by an iman.

Things that tick me off

  • The sight of Jesus being stuck in a chapel down the hall or in another building instead of being on the altar

  • Theology of the Body--- sorry!

  • Brides in strapless or backless gowns

  • cantors who think the Mass is all about them

  • Eucharistic ministers

  • parents who bring food (No- I'm not talking about a baby bottle. I mean food snacks like vienna sausages, cereal and peanut butter crackers) for their kids at Mass. Someone has to clean up that mess, parents. Have you thought about that?)

  • People who go to the back of the church for their cell phone conversation---- dude, we hear you!

  • felt banners

  • statues that don't look a human being

  • stained glass that makes me wonder what its supposed to be representing

  • RCIA

  • Pre-Cana
  • Calling everything ministries ( the tour guide ministry, the young adult ministry, the
  • greeting ministry...)

  • Catholic communities---- what the heck does that mean? I prefer to belong to a parish, thank you.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Some bishops are shepards and some dance with the wolves.

I believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church. I know in my own mind that holy mother Church is established by God because with the bishops we have, the only reason the Church has survived is the direct will of the Almighty.

I doubt that Bishop Muskens has ever heard the story of the sheepdogs who were tricked into joining the wolves but I fear that he may one day live out the punchline.

In memoriam

A priest is a lover of God. A priest is a lover of men.
A priest is a holy man because he walks before the Face of the
All Holy.
A priest understands all things.
A priest forgives all things.
A priest encompasses all things.
The heart of a priest, like Christ's, is pierced with the lance of love.
The heart of a priest is open, like Christ's, for the whole world to
walk through.
The heart of a priest is a vessel of compassion.
The heart of a priest is a chalice of love.
The heart of a priest is the trysting place of human and divine love.
A priest is a man whose goal is to be another Christ.
A priest is a man who lives to serve.
A priest is a man who has crucified himself, so that he too may be lifted up and draw all
things to Christ.
A priest is a man in love with God.
A priest is the gift of God to man, and of man to God.
A priest is a symbol of the Word made flesh.
A priest is the naked sword of God's justice.
A priest is the hand of God's mercy.
A priest is the reflection of God's love.

Well done good and faithful servant....

Mngr. Gerhardt of St. Matthew's Cathedral died. He was 81 and was a very fine man. This was posted on the St.Mattew's website:

With great sorrow St. Matthew's Cathedral parish announces the death of Msgr. Bernard C. Gerhardt, former Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Washington, on Friday, August 10, at George Washington University Hospital Center. He was 81 years old.

Born in Washington, DC, Msgr. Gerhardt attended Gonzaga College High School; St. Charles College, Catonsville; St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore; and the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City, where he was ordained to the priesthood on December 19, 1953. Following his ordination Msgr. Gerhardt was appointed as an assistant priest at Holy Redeemer parish, Kensington, and began his studies in canon law at The Catholic University of America. In 1958 Msgr. Gerhardt was assigned to the Archdiocesan Tribunal and to his residence at St. Matthew's Cathedral, where he served until his death.

A Vigil will be held at St. Matthew's Cathedral on Friday, August 17 from 3pm-9pm, with a Vigil Mass at 7:30pm. Archbishop Wuerl will celebrate the funeral Mass on Saturday, August 18 at 10am at St. Matthew's Cathedral. Please join the Cathedral parish in prayer as we mourn the loss of Msgr. Gerhardt.

Eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord. Let perpetual light shine upon. May he rest in peace. Amen

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Birmingham's Has a Bishop & Blogville has undergone a major change

After a two year wait the folks in Alabama have a bishop. I don't know a thing about him and I hope he does well.

Amy Welborn, the queen of Catholic blogging has decided to hang up her old blog and go onto a different one. It looks like it's going to be a travels with the baby type blog. I didn't always care for Open Book but it was the source for a good chunk of nationwide Catholic news and commentary. I'm looking for a substitute.

Whispers in the Loggia engages in some wishful thinking

Something amazing has happened with the Whispers in the Loggia. The guy who writes it has grown up over the last few months. The whole tone of the blog has changed for the better. In this post he writes aboout Vietnamese Catholics who have a ginormous Marian festival every year. He ends the post with the words, "US Church, this is your future....Welcome it."

Well um.... no. Bless his heart but US Catholics (white Catholics to be blunt--- sorry if this irks anybody) are very insular. At the sight of a group (10 plus) Catholics of other races in the room the average US Catholic will quietly ease out of the back door.

Last night I saw a little bit of this. After the Assumption Vigil Mass Rocky and I noticed that there was a stunningly beautiful statue of Our Lady in the chapel. The Hispanic parishioners were celebrating the vigil by spending an evening of prayer with our dear mother. With their own money they completely transformed an ugly modern little chapel. Banks of pink and white flowers and pink and white candles were all around the altar. The chapel was packed. Everyone was decently dressed (sadly I can not say the same about the Americans in the main church) and even the kids were silent. Other than Rocky and I not one American set foot in the chapel. The non Hispanic parishioners stopped, peeked in, saw all those Hispanics and quickly moved on. Even the priest seemed hesistant about going in. That's the future of US Catholicism. I'm not happy about it, I'm just pointing at the pooping elephant in the living room.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Assumption

I haven't been feeling well since we got back from our trip so Rocky and I went to the Vigil Mass for the Assumption. When I wasn't hot and cold I felt alternately dizzy and nauseated. I have to admit to being exceptionally cranky tonight. Everything from the off key cantor to the endless verses of the Gloria, to the clapping for the choir (we were not at our parish church tonight) bugged me. I tried to concentrate on the homily and on the fact that Jesus was there on that altar patiently putting up with the lame music and with me and that helped a bit.

Oh Mary, concieved without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Oh mother of the Eternal Word, pray for me!
Oh dear mother, dear model, dear heroine keep prodding me towards you divine Son!

and the band played on...

Well the stories are coming out just as I thought they would. It seems the priest who went jogging naked as a jay bird has had a history of odd behavior. A neighbor says he goes nude with the windows open and he was once accused of appearing nude in front of several boys. He's been in years of therapy. When will the bishops ever learn that therapy is useless if the patient does not want to change?

Monday, August 13, 2007

The continuing crisis.... another priest gives scandal

By now you've probably heard or read about the priest who went jogging in the nude on a high school jogging track. He's been suspended. He told the police that he sweats profusely and took his wet, sticky clothes off for comfort's sake and never thought he'd be seen by anyone. I don't believe that. My husband sweats a river but it's never occured to him to go nude in public. I suspect that this poor priest needs intercessory prayer because he probably had certain fantasies and on this night he decided to act on them. The urge to run naked in woodsy places in not uncommon but most of us who don't have Playboy as our moral guide don't go for it. Something is wrong here and don't be surprised if some of this priests former parishioners have a few salty stories to tell the media in the days to come.

back from nashville

Well we made the trip to Nashville. It was interesting. We saw my family of course, and the Hermitage, the Parthenon, the County Music Hall of Fame, (Dolly Parton had the tiniest little waist) hit the malls and we walked up and down Broadway past the rib places and honky tonks. Tennessee isn't as pretty as Virginia. It's a very masculine looking state. There's about 18 inches of topsoil on top of rock. The whole vibe was very busy and diamond hard; it didn't feel graceful or Southern at all. We went to Opryland and were delighted to see the Knights of Columbus there for their convention.

We had a cook out at the home of one of my relatives and someone put on the Talladega Nights DVD. The movie is vulgar, blasphemous, lewd and incredibly offensive. It didn't have to be. The plot line was clever and the story could've been told in a funny and yet non-filthy way.

We went to St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows for Mass. It is the oldest church in Nashville. It's a handsome church and the very spry elderly priest was charming. I was pleased to see one young lady wearing a mantilla. On Sunday we went to a different church that I won't name. It was a dreadful experience. The five piece music group totally dominated the Mass. The women bounced around (one was very large girl and needed a better bra on) and shook their hips while singing the most insipid praise and worship music I have ever heard. The parishioners refused to sing along and maintained a stony silence or talked among themselves while the music went on and on and on. Father's homily was adequate. There were several eucharistic ministers. I did not wish to go one but I would've had to have cut through multiple lines to reach the priest. I didnt go to communion because my thoughts were so uncharitable that I dared not approach the Lord in that frame of mind. As soon as Fr. passed by during the recessional I bolted.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Rocky, Mama and I are going to Nashville to visit relatives for a few days. Last night we went to Mass at St. Rita's. It was exquisite. Fr. Scalia had Adoration, Benediction and confession beforehand. What a great joy for us all before we hit the road. If you're in the Alexandria area come to St. Rita's. Fr. Donahue is a saint and Fr. Scalia is a really fine young man.

St. Christopher, pray for us.
St. Dymphna, pray for us.
St. Martha (Rocky's patron), pray for us.

Who beat up the bishop Pt. 2

The bishop says he fell down eight or nine carpeted stairs but the evidence suggests that he took a nasty beating instead. It looks like this story isn't going away any time soon.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

how to kill the romance in your marriage

  1. Flop around the house naked. I don't care what that bobbled headed skeleton, Victoria Beckham says, hanging around the house naked just makes your body seem ordinary. An orthodox rabbi once told me, ('nother story, 'nother time) that a wife should never be seen completely unclad unless she means business. I don't think I need to elaborate.

  2. Be slovenly. I'm not saying you need to be Martha Stewart but doing disgusting things like leaving your underwear on the floor (my mom was a housekeeper for 30 years, she's seen women of all classes do this), not being discrete about your menses, neglecting to buy new underwear for years at a time, and turning into a slob after the honeymoon are all romance killers.

  3. Making your husband the butt of every one of your jokes. Ever notice how some women can't seem to go ten minutes without making some kind of critical or mocking remark about their husbands? It's uncomfortable for the listeners and it cuts your husband to the quick until he stops caring. When that happens your marriage is dead or almost there.
  4. Always putting your children first. Your first duty is to your marriage. I know a woman who fussed and cried and made her husband's life hell because she wanted a house in the country. She was convinced that country living would be better for the kids. After a year of misery her husband bought her that house in the country. His two hour commute is now four hours. The wife is delighted with her country home and yes, the kids love playing in the woods but her husband is quietly seething with resentment and no longer feels the same way about her. She won the battle but has lost the war.

  5. Treating your husband like nothing more than a paycheck. Some women are so busy with their families, their friends, their kids, and their careers that they forget about their men. I know women who act as though they really don't care what their husband's do or feel as long as that paycheck is in the bank on Friday.

  6. Listening to the wrong people. Don't listen to your divorced sister's advice on marriage. She blew it and the odds are she doesn't even know why. Don't listen to your man-hating best friend and for pity's sake don't listen to magazines like Glamour, Redbook, Cosmopolitan or Playgirl. Find a godly woman who has been married for ten plus years and study her. Is her husband happy? Does her home seem liveable? Is she content? That's the woman you should be paying attetion to.

  7. Turning into a nagging shrew. This one is obvious.

  8. Never being satisfied with what you have. If your husband can not afford the kind of lifestyle you want you have two choices: rethink your fantasy or get a job yourself. I am not of course, talking about the guy who can't keep a decent job or the guy who is so unmotivated that he hasn't had a promotion in ten years. I'm talking about the man who makes a perfectly comfortable living and still can't seem to satisfy his wife becuase she want's to live like the movie stars and the rich folks she sees in the magazines.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Did the bishop fall or was he roughed up?

Oh dear. Someone please inform the Vatican. Looks like something's afoot in Arizona. Let the truth--- whatever that may be, come out now before this thing snowballs into a scandal.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Something smells

Terry of the Abbey Roads 2 blog smells a rat. I think I smell the same rodent. Most of the professional lay Catholics (converts or cradle) give me the creeps. I don't feel comfortable with a layperson hawking their books and CDs and acting as thought they are a voice of church authority.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Rocky's birthday.

43 years ago the love of my life was born in Olathe Kansas. Rocky's father was in the Air Force which is the only reason they were in Olathe and back in '64 it was the kind of place a black person really didn't want to hang around. Luckily they got much better assignments after that and Rocky traveled the world before running into me.

We celebrated the big day by going to Baltimore. We went to Mass at the Basilica It was lovely. My only qualm was the sight of the altar boy giving out Communion. That kid couldn't have been more than 14. After Mass we walked down to the crypt chapel and stayed with Jesus in the tabernacle for a while.

Next we headed over to St. Alphonsus. What a church! It's decorated in Southern German gothic style and it is so beautiful I was stunned. My heart was ravished by the sight of the place. It was like a peep into heaven. St. Alphonsus is special not only for it's staggering beauty but because two saints were once pastors there; St. John Neumann and Blessed Francis Seelos. If you're in Baltimore go visit.

Later we stopped by the Baltimore Cathedral. It was okay. It is sort of a mix between the Episcopalian National Cathedral and the DC Basilica. There was no light on in the Blessed Sacrament chapel. We weren't too impressed by that.

Then we went to dinner at Gladys Knight's restaurant. The line was long, the decor is pedestrian and the food was only adequate. You'd get better waffles at IHOP. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thankyou Jesus

A friend of mine's husband has been out of work since April. I went to church this Sunday and asked Baby Jesus to get him a job this week. On Monday my friend got a phone call from her husband. He got a job offer. Thank you Divine Infant King.

my last harry potter post

I am increasing feeling tired of the whole HP phenomenon. What does it say about us that more Catholic people want to talk about a KID'S book on the blogs and the Catholic Answers Forum than the Holy Father's book on Christ? Grown people with presumably things to do stood in line for hours to get a KID'S book. How many of them would stand in line to buy the Bible?

This last book in the series reminded me of a big white cake with almond butter cream frosting made with sugar, butter, almond extract and a dash of powdered bird's droppings. Yes, it was highly entertaining and yes, Harry ends up happily ever after --- did you really doubt it? But euthanasia is shown here in a noble light. I found that unnerving.


Dreams and nightmares

This Jesuit dreams of women cardinals and he's not having a nightmare. Good grief. I propose that someone start a movement begging the Holy Father to suppress the Jesuits again. The order either needs a great reformer or it just needs to die since many of them have clearly forgotten what St. Ignatius meant for them to do

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chips and beer?

I was looking at the National Shrine of St. Rita's web site (we were thinking about making a pilgrimage) and was startled by what looked like a bowl of chips and a pitcher of beer.

Dear Lord, it's not chips and beer it's the Precious Blood in a glass pitcher and His own body in a serving bowl. Why do people do things like this? It's like a certain group of church folk aren't satisfied unless they are spitting in Our Lord's eye.

St. Rita, pray for us.

bikini car wash

Sunday Rocky and I were driving along when we passed a Methodist church. They were having a charity car wash and all the girls were wearing bikinis or bikini tops with skimpy shorts. The boys were wearing shorts and t-shirts but they were doing the drying. The girls were the ones getting wet. This was probably deliberate. If I were a member of that church I'd be in the pastor's face and who ever is in charge of the kids asking why they chose to pimp out the girls like that.

I guess we live in such a pornified culture that even Christians think its cute to use sex to sell a product.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The death of Tammy Faye

Rest in peace, Tammy Faye. God's mercy be upon you and may you be in a place where you can see that Jesus and heaven are nothing like the nonsense your ex used to spout.

A sick culture breeds monsters

In a Florida slum a woman and her child were raped by as many as 10 teenaged boys. Other things happened which I will not print here but not one neighbor called the police. Not one "neighbor" came to the aid of this suffering woman and her child. They ended up walking to the hospital for help. Take a good long look at this story, America. 

While we were all watching Oprah, OJ, Anna Nicole,, Paris Hilton and hyperventalating over Lindsay Lohan and that silly creature, Angelina Jolie; a segment of our society was bubbling and rotting without our notice. The average black kid is born out of wedlock and what happend this month in West Palm Beach is the natural result of such a deformed culture. 

Underclass black boys grow up with a tired, often angry mother and a dad who's either an occasional visitor or is just plain gone for good. They grow up in a sea of misogyny. Rap and Hip Hop are incredibly woman hating forms of music. When they aren't listening to the music they live in places where it is perfectly normal to hear men refer to women as bitches an ho's (slang for whore) in their casual conversations. It is also sadly normal to hear black women of all classes refer to black men as worthles, dogs or merely sex mad fools who need to be managed or hustled. Feminists talk about being free to have kids or not, to continue living one's own wicked life just as one did before the kids were born, and to get married or not but the reality is nothing like what the feminists promised. So what's to be done about this? Much but it will cost sacrifice and that's a dirty word in America today.
  • First, black women are going to have to start expecting and demanding better treatment from men.
  • Stop having sex outside of wedlock.
  • Get an education.
  • Get out of the old neighborhood as often as you can and pay attention to how other cultures live.
  • Get rid of any friend who tries to drag you down.
  • Observe the successful people at school or at work. Learn from them.
  • Promise yourself that you'll never settle for life on welfare even if your mom, her mom and her mother before her all did.
  • If you already are a single mother get your kids, especially your son into a stable situation. Find a decent man for them to look up to.

Moms' are great. They can be heroic. They can be noble. They can be self-sacrificing, mine certainly was, but mom is not dad. Kid's need a dad in their lives and if you have an entire culture where nobody has a dad don't be surprised in you end up with feral, hostile, violent boys.