Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snakes and maidens

A Somali born young man got caught before he could bomb a Christmas tree lighting in Oregon. I am not surprised. About five years ago Catholic Charities and the Episcopalians brought a huge number of Somalis to my building. It was not a happy experience. The Somali men were stunned by the normal behavior and dress of even modest American women. The women had never seen stoves before and the fire department had to come every week sometimes two or three times in a single week. By the time the state, the Episcopalians and Catholic Charities moved them out they had created a huge black eye for the refugee program. Neighbors of mine who never once thought about Catholics one way or another now associate us with the reasons why they and their children were shivering in the cold while waiting for the fire department to put out yet another fire in the middle of the night. And Catholic Charities still hasn't learned anything. Just last week the School Board of Fredericksburg, Virginia wrote a letter to the governor asking him to halt more Somali settlement in their town by Catholic Charities.

I don't know who brought Mohamed Osman Mahumud to America but I'll bet it was an organization of kind hearted souls who never heard the story of the snake and the maiden. It's a tale about a naive woman who rescues a dying snake. He of course bites her as soon as he's recovered. As she lies dying he slithers away with the remark, "You knew what I was when you picked me up." Before anybody has hysterics, I'm not calling Somalis snakes. However, if you bring a Muslim from an incredibly backward war torn culture do not expect him or his kids to become American in a few years. Do not expect a man from a primitive culture to feel happy amidst the Great Satan. He is horrified and frightened every time he goes outside and sees how we live. There have been few exceptions but the Somalis I've met who have adjusted well were either not members of the Bantu tribe, Christians to begin with or lived in towns.


Rocky had a rare Saturday off so we spent it in Southern Maryland. We drove along the backroads and visited a winery and an Amish market at Charlotte Hall, MD. We bought pickled beets and peaches, bread and dried corn. We went to Mass at St. Ignatius Loyola, the oldest church in the original colonies. We've been there before during Osprey season in the Spring and it's such an experience to sit down in the old fashioned pews and gaze around the plain wooden church. I always imagine how many people had trod the path to the church and how many priests must have served here.

If you're interested in spending the day in Southern Maryland and learning about our Catholic heritage read this. It's a delightful account of a groups day trip in the area.

It's incredibly noisy before Mass but the young priest who has been assigned there is trying to change some of the abuses that slipped in-- remember, this is a little country parish that seems like it's at the end of the world, indeed if you drive on the road to the church and keep going you'll hit the Newton Bay--- so some for a long time nobody from the diocese paid attention. But having said that I also have to say that the parishioners were incredibly kind and friendly. We've never been treated with such manners in any Northern Virginia church. I noticed another thing: when you have altar girls, flirting, giggling and showing off are more likely to happen than when you just have boys . It's not the kid's fault. Hormones are what they are and pity the poor priest who is brave enough to tell a proud mama that she needs to correct her litttle darling's behavior. God bless the men who dare.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Now hear this....

George Weigel*,Rorate Caeli hysterics, some of the more daft Fisheaters et al, you are not the pope. The Holy Spirit did not choose you. What you know or think you know about theology wouldn't fill Pope Benedict's morning cup of tea.

George made a lot of money off of John Paul II, and is primed to do the same with Benedict while criticizing him when he's making speeches or writing essays in the States. I hope somebody in the Vatican wises up and keeps him as far away from Benedict as possible.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The couple have been exposed

Some people really need a good slap upside the head. I had refrained from saying anything about the couple who were running an internet poll on whether to murder their unborn child because I simply had no words. Today I read that the whole thing is a hoax. My first thought was to thank God. My second reaction is plain fury. These idiots call themselves pro-life activists.

I suppose that in a few days they'll claim that they meant well and just wanted to make some sort of point. Well, this little stunt does not help the cause of protecting the unborn but is one more thing that makes pro-lifers look weird. Thanks a lot Mr. and Mrs Arnold. Oh and one more thing, before the hoax was exposed 71% of the online voters voted for the abortion.

Solemn High Mass

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

I have a question

I was looking at the parish Advent schedule of our old parish, St. Matthew's Cathedral and saw that December 1 is the World AIDS day Mass. The AIDS Mass has been the starting event of Advent for over a decade and nobody seems to know why. And why do we have an AIDS Mass at all? Why not a Diarrhea Day Mass? I'm not being sarcastic. About a million people die from diarrhea every year. Better yet, why don't we have a Malaria Day Mass? Millions of little African children and adults have died after the West banned DDT, in response to Rachel Carson's shaky grasp of science. And what about diabetes and cancer? Are these diseases not horrible? Is the suffering involved somehow unimportant? Why is AIDS alone worthy of a special Mass?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

St. Ann with the Young Mary


My mother had thyroid surgery on Friday. She is recovering well and I'm so thankful. I haven't slept through the night in days. We won't do a Thanksgiving feast as she's not up to being around people yet and she's still suffering from a desperately sore throat. Thank you, St. Blaise. Thank you St. Anthony and St. Zita. Thank you, Mary, saint of saints.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Dolan, High Ho,the merrio, the Cheese (head) Bishop stands alone.

Thanks be to God. 111 bishops voted for Bishop Kicanus. Over 120 showed some sense and voted for Archbishop Dolan to be president of the USCCB. Archbishop Dolan is not my favorite clergyman. He's no "Dagger" John Hughes but he beats the heck out of Bishop Kicanas, the man who let a seminarian with a drinking problem and a sexual obsession become a priest who later molested 23 victims.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Our Lady of Salvation, Iraq

I was reading a close to big time Catholic blog this morning and noticed that only two people had commented on a post about the parishioners of Our Lady of Salvation in Iraq but over 30 people had written in to comment about post on a lesbian teacher who got fired from the Catholic college where she worked. I find that disheartening. Maybe it's the feelings over intellect Oprah culture we live in or maybe it's a fear of offending Muslims but I've noticed that other than the pope there has been very few expressions of outrage or sympathy for these fellow Catholics.

Now that's a thurible!

In the St. James Cathedral in Spain they are serious about waving their incense.

I love the Holy Father's expression. He looks just like a delighted little boy.

Do you belong to your parish becuase of the church groups or the Mass?

Rocky has often commented to me that it seems to be the fad in Catholic churches to split the parish up into groups. The school parents only hang with each other and frankly don't care about the rest of the parish (I've seen some of this), the young women's prayer group meets in each others homes and only hang with each other. The over 50 group has their thing, the single, college grad, and under 30 group has theirs and the two groups never mingle. A single guy over 30 who didn't go to college but is doing quite well spiritually and financially and who'd make a great husband isn't welcome in either group. The married men's group only talk to each other. The Working Mothers group have no place for the mother who works all day at home. The Spanish parishioners have their own bivouac and will bristle if intruded upon.

I know a woman whose only reason for going to church at all was because she sang in the choir and her entire social life was there. When she lost her Faith she decided to leave because she couldn't bring herself to be a hypocrite. The poor woman is quite restless and unhappy now. I don't think Holy Mother Church really wants us to be separate exlusive little units within the church. I don't think it's healthy either. Stephen Kellmeyer, whom I know is not well like in some blog circles has a point with this post.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Pray for the souls in Purgatory

Random political thoughts

  • Someone should've told Nancy Pelosi that allowing herself to be photograped like this was not a good idea. Normal people don't laugh like that. She looks like a crazed movie villain.

    Indio's wanted poster from the movie, For a Few Dollars More

Thursday, November 04, 2010

All Souls Day

Peter Kreeft

Peter Kreeft may be a nice man but I wouldn't want him on my side if I ever had to fight. Reading a review of his new book,"Between Allah and Jesus: What Christians Can Learn from Muslims", makes me want to pat him on the head and tell him to go home and tend to his knitting. I wonder what he'd say to the survivors of the Our Lady of Salvation massacre? Would he tell them that they simply misunderstood the men who came to their church and slaughtered their priests and loved ones?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

All Souls Day

Eternal rest grant unto
Mamie and Mac
Glen and Elvira
Kristin, Bertha and Yank
Bet and Joe and Dave
Ida and her Ida Mac
Sophie, Marie, Tyler, Farr
Gretel and Tammy
Leila, Walter, Daisy and Junior
and our John Mary Thomas
and the martyrs of Our Lady of Salvation Church