Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Traditional Catholic Women and Sports

It has been suggested that Traditional Catholic women, or girls for that matter should never engage in sports or any physical activity that involves competition. Critics believe that engaging in sports or athletics will make girls less feminine, more aggressive and compromise their modesty.

Leaving philosophy aside for a moment (never my strongpoint anyway)what is the natural and unfortunate result for the girl or young lady who never engages in physical exercise? Sadly I think obesity, poor health and a lack of stamina are the unavoidable eventualities. In marriage, once the babies start coming every year, as they do in the blessed Catholic marriage, it is difficult if not impossible to avoid it when one has never been active. Childbearing, child rearing, carrying around toddlers, especially uncooperative ones, heavy housework, moving furniture and keeping up with the day's demands are challenging enough when a mother is in excellent physical shape. When she is not the work is overwhelming.

If a prospective groom is looking for a wife who will lie upon a divan all day, direct the servants, supervise the nanny, entertain fainting spells, nurse depressed spirits and a nervous condition he would do very well to marry a woman who has never engaged in any activities or sports.

We have at least two examples of holy women who were avid athletes- St. Gianna del Molla was a mountaineer and skier and Venerable Maria Theresa Quevedo was a champion tennis player and the captain of her high school girls' basketball team. Neither compromised their femininity or modesty I dare say.

Philosophically speaking, what are the effects of sport on a woman's character? A woman learns perserverance, to overcome difficulty, to maintain a consistent effort in the face of adversity, to discipline her body, to work hard, graciousness in defeat and victory, teamwork, sacrifice, obedience to authority; all excellent attributes for the wife and mother.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Myspace: Your Kids Uncensored

Wondering if your teenagers have ever tried drugs, are drinking alcohol, use profanity, or have friends who do?

There's an easy way to find out- Just check out their profiles on Myspace, Facebook, Xanga, Friendster, Bebo or My Yearbook. Though some teens have learned not to use their real names as titles it is easy to find them by searching using a nickname, their zip code and their age. Once you find your teen's site you can read their friends' comments, see the pictures they have posted and you have a peek into their world. You might be surprised at what you discover.

These sites are the equivalent on cyber Spring break- no adults (many teens believe), no rules, no restrictions and check your conscience at the door.

Is Myspace and the like neutral? Merely a tool than can be used or misused? I don't think so. Humans learn by imitation. When a young teen immerses him or herself in a world that glamorizes rebellion, rock and roll, rap, drug use, alcohol, and impure and suggestive poses your mind becomes imprinted with these images and values.

The tainting of Myspace with pornography is easily experienced with just a few minutes. Naturally the presence of 100 million members is an attractive audience to pornographers.

According to Wikipedia, Playboy in the June of 2006 issue featured a nude photo display called "Women of Myspace".

Some private schools are banning Myspace websites for their students. Colleges and employers are checking profiles to find out what candidates are really like and more importantly what values they hold.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Princeton Review Ranks Party Schools

According to this article, the top ten party schools are:

1. The University of Texas at Austin
2. Penn State University Park
3. West Virginia University
4. University of Wisconsin-Madison
5. University of Mississippi
6. Ohio University-Athens
7. University of Massachusetts-Amherst
8. Louisiana State University
9. University of Iowa
10. University of California-Santa Barbara

According to the Princeton Review's website these determinations were made:

"Based on a combination of survey questions concerning the use of alcohol and drugs, hours of study each day, and the popularity of the Greek system."

So the term party really means depravity and we all know what, though unmeasured follows from such decadent hedonism. Even more listing is the rankings of the "Stone Cold Sober Schools". It would be hard to be more perjorative than that!

They are:

1. Brigham Young University (UT)
2. Wheaton College (IL)
3. College of the Ozarks
4. Grove City College
5. United States Naval Academy
6. United States Coast Guard Academy
7. United States Air Force Academy
8. CUNY - Queens College
9. Wellesley College
10. Calvin College

Interestingly, BYU is Mormon. Wheaton, College of the Ozarks, Grove City and Calvin are Evangelical Protestant schools. The military academies speak for themselves and I can't imagine how Wellesley ended up on this list.

Now, I enjoy a drink as much as the next person. Well maybe even more than the next person, afterall I am Irish, but I am sorry to see that no Catholic schools made the list of those eschewing debauchery. Of course one could make the argument that the likes of Notre Dame, Boston College, Holy Cross, Georgetown, Catholic U are no longer really Catholic so it doesn't really matter.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

"Lay Pope, Icon, Secular Saint"

This nut has a best selling book in Catholic Italy or should I say post-Catholic Italy. Some members of the hierarchy are rightly concerned. From this article by the Times ONline which can be found here in its entirety.

A spiritual book by a former journalist turned Asian mystic is having a far from peaceful impact in Italy. A book offering Asian mysticism and spirituality as the keys to life has become this summer’s bestseller in Roman Catholic Italy, provoking growing alarm at the Vatican.

La Fine รจ Il Mio Inizio (The End is My Beginning), by Tiziano Terzani, a former war correspondent, has sold 400,000 copies and gone into four editions since it was published posthumously in March — an astonishing figure in a country where bestseller normally means 100,000 copies.

Terzani, an expert on China and Japan who covered wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan before adopting a long white beard and robe and living in an Indian ashram, argues that people have an “innate moral sense” and do not need institutionalised religion to teach them right and wrong.

The former Communist, whose mother was a devout Catholic, outlines a philosophy of Indian spirituality, communion with nature and “the harmony of opposites” that he said helped him in his fight against cancer. He deplores the impact of Western materialism on Asia and describes how his growing pacifism made him a bitter opponent of war, and especially of the Bush Administration’s War on Terror.

This week Avvenire, Italy’s leading Catholic daily, accused Terzani of “leading people astray”. He had “completely lost sight of the incarnate and historical dimension of religious experience”. Alessandro Gnocchi, a Catholic author and television presenter, accused Terzani in the conservative newspaper Libero of peddling “a confused mixture of Oriental philosophy, Marxism and Christianity” that muddled “St Francis with Zen Buddhism”.

Vatican sources said that this was anathema to Pope Benedict XVI, who, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, warned of the dangers of trying to reconcile Oriental and New Age spirituality with Catholicism.

Terzani’s website has been indundated with admiring e-mails. The book was “a beautiful journey towards the authentic meaning of life,” reads one from Carlo. “I was knocked out,” writes Luisa.

“Terzani has become the lay Pope,” said Panorama magazine. La Stampa said that a “cult” had grown up around the former journalist, making him “an icon, a secular saint”.

Do you think it could have anything to do with this?

Scenes from the Interfaith Service at the Fatima Shrine where a Hindi "priest" offered a prayer to Vishnu and flowers to Devi at a Catholic altar. The "priest" came to the Shrine to take advantage of the "spiritual vibrations". Source- this article.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ad Jesu Per Mariam

An excellent blog that you won't want to miss. Check out today's post entitled:

"Okay, Honey, Where's the Burqa?"

Great visuals and having lived in Saudi Arabia (known by its inhabitants as the "Royal Kingdom")this has a special appeal for me.

Family Tragedy in Dorcester, MA

Please pray for the repose of the souls of William and Dominic Davulis. Dominic Davulis was diagnosed with a brain tumor last December and died at 12:50am. As he was dying he was asking family members to "go with him". His oldest brother William, 26 said he would. In a tragic accident, William was killed in a motorcycle accident on his way to say good bye to Dominic. He died at 4:35pm just 8 1/2 hours before Dominic died.

The Boston Herald Article is here. Dominic was an altar boy at Holy Trinity Church, the Indult in Boston and had attended Montfort Catholic Boys camp run by the Saint Benedict Center.

Donations for burial costs would be very much appreciated and can be sent here:

c/o the Davulis Family
3 Oyster Bay Road. Apt. 36
Dorchester, MA 02125

Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. Amen

The Noble, the Beautiful, and the Heroic

A very interesting article about how things have changed and what this author remembers are true leisure can be found here.

Mitchell Kalpakgian is an Adjunct Professor of English at St. Anselm College and Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire. I'm sorry to say with countercultural statements like these he is unlikely to make tenure. Couldn't he write something about how rap and hip hop are freeing our souls?

A sample:

This habit of daily reading has become rare in the lives of young people, who are diverted by video games, the Internet, and DVD players, and who lack the imaginative life cultivated by the reading of good and great literature. Reading forms the memory, develops the interior life, whets an appetite for the magic of words, and provides a knowledge of men and manners that video culture and information highways can never duplicate. Reading the classics exposes a person to the timeless realities of the noble, the beautiful, and the heroic. When reading ceases to be a normal activity and daily pleasure, the mind dulls. The wisdom of the past does not inform the thought of the present, and a standard of comparison that judges modern life by contrasting it with older times is missing. A simple joy, the exquisite pleasure of reading is replaced with superficial diversions.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

She's Come Undone

Has she finally gone too far? Will she be excommunicated for blasphemy? It took Sinead O'Connor being "ordained" for her to be excommunicated. Nice to see Muslim and Jewish leaders join in the denunciation. That's my kind of ecumenism.

From the article:

Cardinal Ersilio Tonino, speaking with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI said: "This time the limits have really been pushed too far.

"This concert is a blashphemous challenge to the faith and a profanation of the cross. She should be excommunicated."

"It is disrespectful, in bad taste and provocative," Father Manfredo Leone from Rome's Santa Maria Liberatrice church said late on Wednesday about the star's latest stage stunt.

"Being raised on a cross with a crown of thorns like a modern Christ is absurd. Doing it in the cradle of Christianity comes close to blasphemy."

Unfailing Novena to St. Joseph

Oh, St Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. Oh, St Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St Joseph, Patron of departing souls, Pray for me.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Early Church Fathers on No Salvation Outside the Church

Saint Irenaeus (died A.D. 202): "[The Church] is the entrance to
life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account we are
bound to avoid them... We hear it declared of the unbelieving and
the blinded of this world that they shall not inherit the world of
life which is to come... Resist them in defense of the only true and
life giving faith, which the Church has received from the Apostles
and imparted to her sons." (Against Heresies, Book III)

Origen (died A.D. 254): "Let no man deceive himself. Outside this
house, that is, outside the Church no one is saved." (In Iesu Nave

Saint Cyprian (died A.D. 258): "He who has turned his back on the
Church of Christ shall not come to the rewards of Christ; he is an
alien, a worldling, an enemy. You cannot have God for your Father if
you have not the Church for your mother. Our Lord warns us when He
says: `he that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth
not with Me scattereth.' Whosoever breaks the peace and harmony of
Christ acts against Christ; whoever gathers elsewhere than in the
Church scatters the Church of Christ." (Unity of the Catholic Church)

"He who does not hold this unity, does not hold the law of God, does
not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and
salvation." (Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Latina, Father Migne)

"Nay, though they should suffer death for the confession of the
Name, the guilt of such men is not removed even by their blood...No
martyr can he be who is not in the Church." (Ancient Christian

Bishop Firmilean (died A.D. 269): "What is the greatness of his
error, and what the depth of his blindness, who says that remission
of sins can be granted in the synagogues of heretics, and does not
abide on the foundation of the one Church." (Anti-Nicene Fathers)

Lactantius (died A.D. 310): "It is the Catholic Church alone which
retains true worship. This is the fountain of truth, this is the
abode of the Faith, this is the temple of God; into which if anyone
shall not enter, or from which if anyone shall go out, he is a
stranger to the hope of life and eternal salvation." (The Divine

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (died A.D. 386): "Abhor all heretics...heed
not their fair speaking or their mock humility; for they are
serpents, a `brood of vipers.' Remember that, when Judas said `Hail
Rabbi,' the salutation was an act of betrayal. Do not be deceived by
the kiss but beware of the venom. Abhor such men, therefore, and
shun the blasphemers of the Holy Spirit, for whom there is no
pardon. For what fellowship have you with men without hope. Let us
confidently say to God regarding all heretics, `Did I not hate, O
Lord, those who hated Thee, and did I not pine away because of Your
enemies?' For there is an enmity that is laudable, as it is written,
`I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and
her seed.' Friendship with the serpent produces enmity with God, and
death. Let us shun those from whom God turns away." (The Fathers of
the Church)

Saint Ambrose (died A.D. 397): "Where Peter is therefore, there is
the Church. Where the Church is there is not death but life
eternal. ...Although many call themselves Christians, they usurp the
name and do not have the reward." (The Fathers of the Church)

Bishop Niceta of Remesiana (died A.D. 415): "He is the Way along
which we journey to our salvation; the Truth, because He rejects
what is false; the Life, because He destroys death. ...All who from
the beginning of the world were, or are, or will be justified -
whether Patriarchs, like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or Prophets,
whether Apostles or martyrs, or any others - make up one Church,
because they are made holy by one faith and way of life, stamped
with one Spirit, made into one Body whose Head, as we are told, is
Christ. I go further. The angels and virtues and powers in heaven
are co-members in this one Church, for, as the Apostle teaches us,
in Christ `all things whether on the earth or in the heavens have
been reconciled.' You must believe, therefore, that in this one
Church you are gathered into the Communion of Saints. You must know
that this is the one Catholic Church established throughout the
world, and with it you must remain in unshaken communion. There are,
indeed, other so called `churches' with which you can have no
communion. ...These `churches' cease to be holy, because they were
deceived by the doctrines of the devil to believe and behave
differently from what Christ commanded and from the tradition of the
Apostles." (The Fathers of the Church)

Saint Jerome (died A.D. 420): "As I follow no leader save Christ, so
I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the
Chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the Church is
built. ...This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it
shall perish when the flood prevails. ...And as for heretics, I have
never spared them; on the contrary, I have seen to it in every
possible way that the Church's enemies are also my enemies." (Manual
of Patrology and History of Theology)

Saint Augustine (died A.D. 430): "No man can find salvation except
in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have
everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have the
sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have
faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in
the Catholic Church." (Sermo ad Caesariensis Ecclesia plebem)

Saint Fulgentius (died A.D. 533): "Most firmly hold and never doubt
that not only pagans, but also all Jews, all heretics, and all
schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church,
will go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his
angels." (Enchiridion Patristicum)

St. Bede the Venerable (died A.D. 735): "Just as all within the ark
were saved and all outside of it were carried away when the flood
came, so when all who are pre-ordained to eternal life have entered
the Church, the end of the world will come and all will perish who
are found outside." (Hexaemeron)

Saint Thomas Aquinas (died A.D. 1274): "There is no entering into
salvation outside the Church, just as in the time of the deluge
there was none outside the ark, which denotes the Church." (Summa

Saint Peter Canisius (died A.D. 1597): "Outside of this communion -
as outside of the ark of Noah - there is absolutely no salvation for
mortals: not for Jews or pagans who never received the faith of the
Church, nor for heretics who, having received it, corrupted it;
neither for the excommunicated or those who for any other serious
cause deserve to be put away and separated from the body of the
Church like pernicious members...for the rule of Cyprian and
Augustine is certain: he will not have God for his Father who would
not have the Church for his mother." (Catechismi Latini et Germanici)

Saint Robert Bellarmine (died A.D. 1621): "Outside the Church there
is no salvation...therefore in the symbol [Apostles Creed] we join
together the Church with the remission of sins: `I believe in the
Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of
sins'...For this reason the Church is compared with the ark of Noah,
because just as during the deluge, everyone perished who was not in
the ark, so now those perish who are not in the Church." (De
Sacramento Baptismi)

This list is not exhaustive, but our point is made. It is clear
that, throughout her 2000-year history, the Church has constantly
and consistently taught that, if a man does not accept the faith of
Christ and enter into His Church and subject himself to the
authority of the Roman Pontiff, he cannot be saved. The language
used to express this doctrine has always been simple, direct and
unequivocal - no "if"s, "and"s or "but"s. This is the true "context
of the entire teaching of the Church on this matter" down through
the centuries.

No Salvation Outside the Church

The excellent Diogenes has this post about Mel Gibson and the anti-Catholic Boston Globe. It's just too good to miss.

New Traditionalist Blog of note

A new and very worthy blog- Dust of Time. She will be added to my Les Femmes Sinister list and referred to frequently.

Milingo at large

Photo taken at the National Press Club July 2006

...for any official action on Bishop Milingo, you will have to wait a bit longer. Bishop Lungu says that the Church is "aggrieved" at Milingo's actions and statements.

The Bishop's comments:

"We were proud of him because he is a child of Chipata Diocese. We were proud of his gifts, he was a model of our priesthood in terms of loving the Church. He used to strengthen us by his service to the Church, but what has prompted him to do what he did, to say what he said, what message is he going to give to us young ones?" Bishop Lungu asked. He urged Christians to pray for Archbishop Milingo for what he had done.

"To us our conclusion is to put him in prayers. We are not putting him in the hands of Maria Sung, but in the hands of Mary the mother of the Saviour. It's no laughing matter, he needs prayers, he is our son, the son of this diocese," he said.

Archbishop Milingo, whose 2001 marriage to a Korean acupuncturist caused a series of controversial actions, announced on July 12 in Washington that he wanted to change the Roman Catholic discipline on celibacy and reconcile an estimated 150,000 married priests worldwide with the Church to allow them to resume priestly ministry.

Bishop Lungu added that Catholic priests in Chipata Diocese would try to be faithful to their vow of celibacy.

"On behalf of my fellow Catholic clergy in this diocese, I would like to assure the Catholic community in Eastern Province, the Catholic community in the world, Christians from other churches and sympathisers that we the clergy in this diocese shall strive to remain faithful to our vow of celibacy, vow of chastity until death," he said.

Bishop Lungu said although it was difficult for priests to remain unmarried because they were also human beings, they should strive to maintain their vow of celibacy.

Is it much of a concern- priests leaving the priesthood to marry? I think it is.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Missionary Trip to the Dominican Republic

The Sisters from Saint Benedict Center have just returned from a missionary trip to the Dominican Republic. You can see a slide show of their trip here.
You need quicktime and it does take a few minutes to load.

This is their second trip this year and they are focusing on the "bateys" villages where Haitian workers live. They work in the sugar cane fields of the Dominican Republic and I'm sure you can imagine what the conditions in which they live are like. And yet they are happy and always smiling. (Just like us, right?)