Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Hail and Blessed"

(b. 1362/63, Siena, d. 1422, Siena)
The painting depicts the Virgin Mary, St. John the Baptist and St. Andrew.

Today begins the unfailing Novena which must be said everyday 15 times until Christmas. In the past my children have said this novena for the intentions of twin baby girls, being able to fly, and for favorite Aunts to marry.

“Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment when the Son of God was born
of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in a stable, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires,through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ,and of His Blessed Mother. Amen."

Thanks for the reminder from Recta Ratio.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Reading Cardinal Sean's blog has been interesting and I was especially struck by his description of participating in the dedication Mass for the Baltimore Basilica after it's two year renovation:

The Cardinal wrote:

"When we first arrived in Baltimore for the Bishop's Conference, we were invited to take part in the dedication Mass on Sunday for the renovated Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption, the Baltimore Basilica. It was a wonderful occasion to showcase this very historic church, were so much of the history of the Catholic Church in the United States took place."

Here is a picture of the Basilica:

After investing $32 million dollars and divesting the Church of its stained glass windows the final results can be seen here:

In all honesty it looks more like a courthouse than a Church to me.

Cardinal Keeler stated at the dedication that:

"We realize that we're only temporary guardians of it. It belongs to the community that gives it life and to the many future generations that will call this church their spiritual home."

This statement made me think of another historic Church and the future generations that are to be deprived of it. And I wonder if Cardinal Sean can see the irony in my mentioning it?

The latest proposal for the Latin Mass community (though I abhor the use of the word community)is to be re-assigned, and their allegiances realigned to Mary Immaculate in Newton, Massachusetts.

Here is picture of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Church:

Another very strange coincidence. This would certainly give the conspiracy theorists who see in every action of some administrators the drive to make the Catholic Church in America the American Catholic Church ample ammunition.

Once this is gone, we will never get it back.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pumpkin pie time

Since our pumpkin pies have just come out of the oven (why, oh why do I only make these once a year?)I wanted to send you over to the Catholic Caveman's Lair for a snapshot of the domestic life that rang so true.

Why is the Catholic Caveman going to the store to buy pie? The answer is here.

See this on Drudge?

Article with photos of animals in the womb. What is so sickening about this is the fact that while we are marveling over these precious little mammals, babies are being aborted that have been determined to be "products of conception", "masses of cells", "potential humans" and blithely disposed of in incinerators and garbage disposals.

It is a very simple and modern concept. Babies are expensive, messy, career-ending, education-wasting, impositions.

Instead we have doggy daycare, pet costumes, pet therapy, pet insurance- oh I'm sorry I meant to say "animal companion". And does it make anyone else crazy that the baby supplies- diapers, wipes, baby food share the pet aisle in the supermarket???? The Huggies baby wipes are directly adjacent to the dog chow.


As we approach Advent and Christmas and images of the Nativity are dancing in our heads (I hope) let's remember that it was the animals in the stable that worshipped (in their own dumb way) Our Lord. It is not for humans to worship or revere or adore animals. Animals are here to serve us in the divinely ordered state of existence. They are our food, our clothing, our entertainment, our livelihood and may even be our pets. But let's be clear that they are NOT our children, our progeny, our family, or our reason for living.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Marriage: Top Ten List of Why Traditional Catholic Men Do Not Marry

It is obvious that married couples are becoming a minority in the population and according to these statistics analyzed by one of my favorite authors Maggie Gallagher in this article.

From the NCR article:

WASHINGTON — If the decline in marriage is to be reversed, the Church, families and society must do a better job educating children about its value.

That’s the message noted marriage and family experts have in response to a recently released survey showing the percentage of married couples in the U.S. has dipped below 50% for the first time.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 49.7% of U.S. households in 2005 were married-couple families. This is a half-percentage point less than the 50.2% of married-couple families reported in 2004.

“The marriage rate has gone down about half since 1960. The proportion of households that are married has declined from 76% in 1957 to below 50% now. The number of non-family households has climbed,” said Allan Carlson, president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society. “These are massive changes, and marriage as an institution is in decline.”

I have noticed this trend even amongst traditional Catholics, I am very sorry to say.

From reading blogs and meeting Catholic men I have come up with the Top Ten Reasons Traditional Catholic Men Say They Cannot Marry. See if you agree with any of them.

Traditional Catholic men today:

10. Can't find a young lady who will only wear skirts

9. Can't find a young lady who has not been corrupted by travel.

8. Can't find a young lady who has not been corrupted by attending college.

7. Can't find a young lady who will use NFP.

6. Can't find a young lady who will NOT use NFP.

5. Can't find a young lady whose father will pay a handsome dowry.

4. Can't find a young lady who is the epitome of the Blessed Mother and Barbie.
(if you are under 30 substitute Brittany Spears for Barbie)

3. Can't find a young lady who will homeschool the children.

2. Can't find a young lady who will NOT homeschool the children.

And the number one reason that Traditional Catholic men do not marry is that

1. They are really Bon Vivant Libertines.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Man of Contradiction

Fr. Joseph Patrick Breen, pastor of St. Edward's Catholic Church for 35 years, is a man of many contradictions. Fr. is a proud and noted advocate of women deacons, married priests, artificial birth control and divorce.

This article by the Tennesean has the following to say:

At 71, Nashville priest Joseph Breen doggedly continues a years-long quest to challenge church teachings he says are driving more and more of the faithful away from the Catholic Church.

Officially "gagged" once for his outspoken advocacy for married priests, Breen has remained undaunted. He hand-delivered a letter to the Vatican last month asking the pope and top officials to revisit church teachings on married priests, artificial birth control, divorce and women deacons.
"There is a serious disconnect between the hierarchy and the people," said Breen, pastor of St. Edward Church in south Nashville. "And that is causing the church great harm. These are not my views. They're the views of ordinary Catholics. American bishops need to start listening to the people; otherwise they're going to lose them."

I think we have managed to clone Andrew Greeley. The shame of it is that Fr.'s silencing was lifted 2 short years later.

Breen's Bishop has the following to say:

Far from being out of touch with the needs of ordinary Catholics, the teachings provide a steady guide on morals and faith for Catholics, however challenging they may be to live by, according to the Most Rev. David Choby. He is bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tennessee, who oversees 51 parishes in 38 counties, including Breen's.

"I think the church as an institution understands human nature better than any other institution in our society," Choby said. "Taking a position on faith and morals that does not coincide with what all people think does not mean that the church is out of touch."

The article fails to say what pastoral action the Bishop will take against Fr. Breen's heresy. But I am sure there is something very, very imminent.


Then last month, Breen celebrated the 45th anniversary of his ordination in Rome with fellow seminarians, including Cardinal Bill Levada, [Cardinal Bill as a nice ring to it, doesn't it?] who now heads the powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which sets policies on faith and morals for Catholics worldwide.

Breen handed Levada a letter that said there was consensus among Catholics for married priests, artificial birth control, a greater acceptance of divorced people and women deaconesses.
"I ask you to prayerfully consider and reflect on the concerns of the people of the church," he wrote in closing.

So, I think we can safely discount the theory that priests like Fr. Breen are acting without Rome's knowledge. Fr. Breen made his views quite clear, with no apparent concern for inquisitional action (more's the pity)to Cardinal Levada.

"There's burnout," he said. "Many of us are quite old, and if there were other priests available, priests would be able to retire."

It's nice to know that in spite of burnout and being overextended, Fr. Breen still has time to exercise his ministry among the entertainment industry.
According to this link, Fr. Breen is well known fixture and has a unique point of view. Ain't that the truth. No doubt Fr. Breen's liberal views are very reassuring to the people of good will among the entertainment industry.

I see that it escapes Fr. Breen that the shortage of vocations and the limiting of family size has everything to do with birth control, whether artificial or natural.

On birth control, Breen said, "I really think if the bishops had two or three children, they'd be better informed on what constitutes great parenthood. Catholics have already examined their conscience and determined (birth control) is a necessary part of parenthood."

No argument from me that the Bishops need a refresher course on what constitutes "great parenthood" in their capacity of the father of the diocese but birth control is such an admission of failure. It is the failure of the parent that makes one resort to birth control. It is the admission that I don't really love my kids enough, not enough to have another. Really it is a passive form of agression against the lives that have been entrusted to you. And a passive form of aggression against your spouse and an utter rejection of the lifelong commitment you have entered into.

And very strange words from a man who was raised in a family of nine children.

But that's what all these views are- a rejection of authority, a rejection of right ordered living, a rejection of commitment and faithfulness, a rejection of the reverence and respect due to the clergy.

Imagine going to Confession to a priest who holds these views. What would you confess? Oh yeah, being wealthy if you're not on welfare, voting Republican, being judgmental, lacking uncompassionate for the poor and the sinner - because if you are not affirming them you are engaging in hate, chauvinism, destroying the environment by having too many children. I suppose there are plenty of things to confess after all.

Antique Christmas Cards

For Reproduction Antique Christmas cards, holy cards and soon greeting cards-

Find them here.

Remember Christmas is coming and let us do all in our power to avoid going to the Mall.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Solution is Simple

Ever had the experience of while starting something new, something out of the ordinary, you have all this energy in the world? You don't feel tired. You can walk quickly everywhere and in fact it irritates you to have to go slowly. And the new activity can even be quite mundane but because it is novel it generates excitement.

You can go on like this for days, sometimes weeks and then it hits.

All the normal tiredness you should have felt catches up with you all at once. You feel like you have lead in every vein.

There is a solution to that feeling. You may be thinking sleep. You would forget then that I'm a mother and sleep is not an option except maybe between the hours of 1am and 4am.

No the answer is caffeine. And this:

is my drug delivery method of choice. I used to be embarassed to admit that I drank it for breakfast but I got over that. Around the holidays it is nice to combine it with chocolate Easter bunny for example or foil covered chocolates at Christmas. But you have to have the old reliable Diet Pepsi. With a multi vitamin of course.

Friday, November 10, 2006

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

I am so tired of hearing about the Religious and priests who had their marriages annulled and then entered the Religious life or the priesthood. Now mind you, I'm not talking about when a widow or widower embraces the religious life.

There is something about making the religious life your second choice, after things don't work out. It just isn't the same.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Kathak Dance and Presentation of the Bells

Kathak Dance:
About a year ago my daughters started studying Kathak dance. It is a classical form of storytelling dance that originated in North India. You can read more about it here and here.

This is a picture of their teacher presenting the dancer with her bells. They are worn on the ankles and depending upon the age of the dancer can consist of between 45-100 bells on each ankle.

It takes at least a year of studying the rhythms and movements before the bells are added to the performance.

It is a challenge to learn how to put them on.

This final picture show Anastasia and Veronica (the two center dancers) dancing with their bells for the first time.

Friday, November 03, 2006

What Zero Tolerance means

photo- Eric Schmadel/ Tribune Review

This is Monsignor Stephen T. Forish on the right. He was in court defending himself against a charge of soliciting prostitution from (do I even need to say it?) a man. Sadly, this article states that ten years ago the Monsignor was charged of the very same thing but was acquited. What a strange coincidence or was it merely a run of bad luck? This is the recent article. It appears that a plea agreement has been made and there will be no trial.

What is very interesting and does not appear to have been picked up by the current press coverage is that the Monsignor has a long history of being a child predator. According to this website the Fr. Forish was sued by parents in the 1990s for "luring" their children. But that did not keep the reverend from his "ministry".

In the early 1990s after complaints from parents the police "watched" Forish but he was never caught doing anything. There is no word on how the lawsuit was resolved. May I suggest that it was settled quietly?

In 1997, Msgr Forish drove up to a 22 year old man and solicited him. When he was refused he was said to have asked if the victim knew of any 15 year olds who might be interested? The charges were dropped because the prosecutor could not find the victim.

The current case is very similar and we are assured in the news article that Fr. Forish, though a priest is not acting as a priest he is merely a psychologist for Family Psychology Associates in Kittannig, Pennsylvania. Though I can't figure out why he is said to be living at St. Emma's Monastery and Retreat center if he is not associated with the diocese.

Isn't it strange that I can find these things out while sitting at my computer but the Bishops who are responsible for Fr. Forish do not take any action?

Fr. Forish is one of a number of priests that victims' advocates claim the Diocese knew about and chose not to act.

So, I guess zero tolerance means exactly... nothing.

Icon Museum Opens in Clinton, Massachusetts

Here in little old Clinton, Massachusetts a Museum of Russian Icons has just been opened. Shown above is the icon of St. George slaying the dragon. It's description:

Title: Saint George Slaying the Dragon
Date: c.1500
Description: The theme of Saint George Slaying the Dragon is one of the most popular in Russian Iconography. The dragon symbolized evil in the form of paganism. Therefore, the image of the Saint slaying the dragon was a symbol of a heathen country being converted to Christianity.

Legend tells us that many children were sacrificed to appease the dragon and when it came for the daughter of the king to be sacrificed Saint George appeared on a horse. With the words In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Saint George drew his lance and knocked the dragon to the ground. His horse then trampled the dragon to death

For a little background on how the collection got started and why you can go here.