Woman #1

Stained glass depicting the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus

When friends asked me about my next book, I told them it was about the most famous woman in the history of man; then I would add, “and she’s Jewish.”

 With my Jewish friends it was fun to watch puzzled frowns become smiles and hear them say, “Of course, it’s Mary. But I forget she’s Jewish.”

 When I converted to the Church over six decades ago at age twenty-seven, with joy I mary1embraced the whole concept of Catholicism. This included the Trinity, the Sacraments, the Pope, the saints and Mary. I accepted Mary’s prominence because Jesus was God, Mary was the mother of Jesus; therefore, Mary was the Mother of God.  Now at the final stage of life when daring to explore the essence of Being, I realize that, as a focused light, structured religion is a recent arrival in the existence of Man.  And throughout this period, Mary is the most renowned of all women.

         Mary’s fame is puzzlement.  In the New Testament she is mentioned only 19 times and has just four quotations. At the Annunciation, she said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it done to me according to thy word.” During her pregnancy when she visits her cousin Elizabeth, Mary recited the Song of Praise.  When she and Joseph find the teenage Jesus in the temple, she asked, “Why have you done this? Didn’t you know your father and I were searching for you?”  Then at the Feast at Cana, she let Jesus know they are out of wine and tells the wine steward “Do whatever he tells you to do.” Therefore, the high position of honor and reverence we give to Mary has come primarily through revelation and her interventions through the centuries.

          Over a five year period, I gathered important dates to write A Layman’s Jay'sNew BookMaryChronology of Mary, which I have recently published. With 474 dates, 72 apparitions and quotes from 178 saints and 36 popes, this book is a pebble on the mountain of writings about Mary. The Marian Library at the University of Dayton, Ohio, houses the world’s largest collection of printed material about Mary. The current count there is over sixty thousand books in fifty languages, more than fifty-five thousand clippings from newspaper and magazines and almost twenty thousand holy cards bearing her image.

     When I converted to the Catholic Church, my favorite Cousin Loraine, who was a staunch Baptist, would not have been more shocked had I decided to become a bank robber.  She told a friend, “I couldn’t believe what I heard. Why, I thought Armiger was more intelligent than that.”

         The following year, after a visit with relatives in Alabama, she couldn’t wait to return home and tell me a funny thing she had seen. “One afternoon,” she said, “we were driving through town and passed a Catholic Church.  And can you guess the name of the church?”  I shook my head and braced for what was to come.

  “It was called ‘Mother of God.’! Can you believe it?”

  After she wiped her tears from laughing, Cousin Loraine added, “How can you imagine God needing a mother?”

  Realizing I was bucking the Rock of Gibraltar, I forced a smile and a change of subject.

  MOGletters3In memory of this delightful relative and for others who share her ignorance of Mary, I hope my book which records important dates about Mary will be a spark of enlightenment. Many who do not believe in Mary would like to believe if they had evidence.

As Pope John Paul II said, “In the life of a human being there are many more truths which are simply believed than truths which are acquired by way of personal verification.”

Please send me your comments aljagoe@gmail.com

Current News

PopeFrancisonRollingStone

-        Did you ever think you would see the head of the Catholic Church on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine?  Check the current February 15 issue and see Pope Francis (bigger than life) waving at you on the cover.

-        The Muslims throughout the Middle East are attempting to make Christianity an endangered religion.  Yet in the Central African Republic a militant forcecommunion_africa1 revenging the massacres of Christians by a former government are now butchering Muslims. Reporter Peter Bouchaert wrote, “The Catholics’ humanity, courage and leadership stand out amid the slaughter. They are virtually alone in trying to protect the vulnerable.  The only force that seems able to protect vulnerable Muslims from the anti-balaka are the courageous Catholic priests and nuns of the Bossemptele mission. In Boali, the local Catholic priest sheltered 700 in his church.”

(Comment: you friggin Muslims in Egypt and throughout the Middle East who are burning our churches and treating us roughly – take notice)

                 

Roster of Joyful Catholic Priests

soccer_photos_102

  •  Fr. John Dowling, St. Francis of Assisi parish, Fairfield Glade, TN
  • Bishop James Vann Johnston, (Springfield/Cape Girardeau, MO)

  • Fr. Richard Lopez (Atlanta Archdiocese, GA) NEW!

  • Fr. Noel Sanvicente, (Diocese of San Jose, CA) NEW!

  • Fr. Alex Waraksa St. Patrick’s parish, (Morristown, TN) NEW

  • Fr. Robert Aufieri (New York, NY)

  • Fr. John M. Bauer (Minneapolis, MN)

  • Fr. Edmund Connors, Katonah, NY

  • Fr. Paul D.Counce (Baton Rouge, LA

  • Fr. Paul Duchschere (Fargo, ND)

  • Fr. Anthony O’Gorman (London, UK)

  • Fr. Edward Gorman, O.P. (Providence, RI)

  • Msgr. Edward Filardi (Bethesda, MD)

  • Fr. Charles E. Jacobs, Hartford CT

  • Fr. Raymond Kemp (Washington, DC)

  • Bishop Joseph N. Latino (Jackson, MS)

  • Archbishop Jerome Listecki (Milwaukee, MN)

  • Bishop Dennis Madden (Baltimore, MD)

  • Fr. Joseph Marini (San Mateo, CA)

  • Msgr. Joseph Mayo (Salt Lake City, UT)

  • Fr. John Mericantante (Pahokee, FL)

  • Msgr. Thomas Modugno (New York,NY)

  • Fr. Kevin Nelson, (Lantana, FL)

  • Fr. John O’Donoghue (San Antonio,TX)

  • Fr. Antony Pulikal (Lntana, FL)

  • Fr. James R. Purfield (Denver,CO)

  • Fr. Paul S. Quinter (Pittsburg, Pa)

  • Fr. Michael Radermache, (Vancouver, WA)

  • Msg. David Robichcaux, V.F. (New Orleans, LA)

  • Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi (Mobile, AL)

  • Fr. Alberto Rodriguez, (Miami)

  • Msg. Paul L. Rohling (Birmingham, AL)

  • Fr. David Ross (Lima. OH)

  • Fr. Matthew Ruhl, S.J. (Kansas City, KS)

  • Fr. Michael Scanlon (Steubenville, OH)

  • Fr. Walter J. Szezesny (Buffalo, NY)

  • Fr. Richard Trout (Sanford, FL)

  • Fr. Hayden Vaverek (New York, NY)

  • Fr. Malcolm Sylvester Willoughby, O.P. (Washington, DC)

  • Canon Stuart Wilson (London, UK)                             

 The media loves to publicize bad priests, and we should give recognition to our Joyful Catholic Priests. Send me your recommendation for ones you think merit membership in this splendid group. (aljagoe@gmail.com)

________________

poetry

Poem  (Amy C. Ellis)

 God’s love is like

a shining stream that overflows

with golden beams.

It enters in our hearts

with light and pours out blessings

day or night.

This living stream can cleanse from sin those hearts

that bid it enter in. Its flowing spirit endlessly

is bringing Christ

to you and me.

So you call yourself Catholic – wonderful! Now show me!

Pope Francis meets with children during an encounter with representatives of the civil society in the Municipal Theater in Rio de Janeiro

“So you call yourself Catholic—wonderful!  Now show me!

Show the way you love me.”

Pope Francis

_______________________________________________________________________________

Interesting Sayings 

Mitch

-        I believe that politicians spend too little time on their knees. I am convinced that they would be better politicians if they were to do so….Mother Teresa

-        We Christians are not looking for suffering, but for joy. God, living in joy,   wantedjoy-button-1 to communicate it to all people. This is why he sent it down into our misery, nailing it to the cross. At that point, the cross became the way toward joy. Christianity is not at all morality and prohibitions—first and foremost it is wonder before things.

Fabrice Hadjadj, French philosopher, writer and convert to Catholicism

 

-      When he was born, they should have kept the stork, instead of the baby….Mae West

-      Jesus came into the world so that we might live the truth joyfully, freely and boldly, just as he did….The Word Among Us

st_seraphim_sarov_500     In our day holy faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is so slack, and indifference and lack of passion for communion with God loom so large, that one really must say: We have almost completely abandoned true Christian living…. St. Seraphim of Sarov (died 1833)

 

Psalms 40

      You do not ask for sacrifice and offerings

      but an open ear.

     You do not ask for holocaust and victim.

     Instead, here am I.

 Communiqués

Mass-11

 We, indeed, must be joyful Catholics to enjoy the thralldom of Christianity….Rich Throgmorton

(Regarding “The Mass I am waiting to attend” blog)

-        If you ever find such a Mass scheduled, I’d drive 100 miles to attend….Charles Lambert

-        Should I have the good fortune to be at the Mass you described, I would think I was in the wrong church….Mabel Richardson

-        I was disgusted with this blog. I think you are an arrogant bastard to write such trash…. Anthony Wilson

Chuckle Time

eyechartcartoon

At the oculist’s office, a Polish priest was asked if he could read the eye chart. He said, “Sure I can, and I even know that fellow.”

Vatican Pope

“So you call yourself Catholic—wonderful!  Now show me!

Show the way you love me.”

Pope Francis

What Wimps We Catholics Are 

During WWII, when I was flying missions from Corsica, I recognized and admired Catholic in my squadron because they all wore crosses.  Five years later when I006 converted to Catholicism, the first things I did when leaving the Cathedral was to go to the religious store across the street and buy my cross.  Recently, a curious young attendant at the indoor pool asked me what I was wearing around my neck. (Today, how many Catholic men you know wear crosses?)

     As a bachelor, on a Saturday night my Catholic date kept her eye on her watch, watch1950s1in order not to eat or drink after the strike of twelve. This act, as well as Catholic men wearing crosses, made me aware that there was something different and enviable about Catholics. They had the guts to be different.

          In the 1960’s, either the meat lobby got the ear of Pope Paul VI or theologians (too smart for their own britches) decided to abolish the fish-on-Friday rule. They stupidly assumed that if they made Catholics less different than Protestants and non-believers, it might help the Church. (Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!)

       Next, in order to make our women religious look more like the-woman-on-the-street, they abolished their habits which identified them as Catholics, devoting their lives to Christ. (Heavens, forbid!)

       When I published in a local Catholic paper my chapter “Communion, Ho-Hum” from Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics, I expected to get fiercecover cathb.n reaction from a dozen priests. The only protest I got was from Brother Ed Adams, a retired Christians Brother—and now a close friend. In the writing, I predicted the day when the Host will be dispensed by a blessed robot at a church drive-in. (If you live to see this happen, remember where you first heard about it.)

        Recently, a friend was shocked to see his 16-year-old daughter eating a cookie while walking into Mass. When he admonished her for not fasting, this very bright student, who has always attended Catholic schools, asked with complete innocence, “What are you talking about?”

        From the indifferent way members of the congregation habitually andchewing-gum mindlessly file out for Communion (some chewing gum), I am reminded of watching cows moseying into the barn to get fed.  Regarding lack of fasting before Communion, I foresee the day when donuts will be served before Mass.

       I envy religious who have a most honored place that is of maximum importance to their Faith.  Every year at the end of May, tens of millions Hindus wash in the Ganges (the 5th most 2095polluted body of water), to rid themselves of sin and to pay respect to Goddess Ganza and their ancestors. Muslims, who are obligated to pray five-times-a-day, aren’t assured a place in Paradise unless they travel to be trampled at Mecca.  We Catholics ain’t got such a place. A possible exception is the over 5-million who visit Lourdes with recognition of Mary, as our Advocate and the Mother of God. Regarding any place where Christ, the Son of God, existed—forget it. Jerusalem is now mostly devoid of Christians, and the Way of The Cross is 10-feet higher than it was at the time of Christ.

        Regarding the obligation to attend Mass every Sunday, don’t take it too seriously. There is a story about a time when squirrels invaded all the churches in a small Texas town. The Protestants unsuccessfully tried every known method to get rid of the critters. The Catholics had the solution. They caught all the squirrels and baptized them. Now, they only see them twice a year—at Easter and Christmas.

     Now, you fellow wippy Catholics, let me have your thoughts. aljagoe@gmail.com 

 

Current News

 

news11- Twelve nuns and three young women were abducted from their convent in Damascus by Islamist rebels on December 2. They have never been discovered.

 

 - By request, I sent Pope Francis one of my I AM A JOYFUL CATHOLIC car stickers. Now, if you see it stuck on the Popemobile, don’t be surprised.

 

Recommended Readings

-        “Capitol Exhortations” in December 23 America.

-        “How to cultivate gratitude” in December Catholic Digest

-        “From Piety to Politics in January U. S. Catholic

-       Pope Francis & the Primacy of Conscience” in December New Oxford    Review

 

Roster of Joyful Catholic Priests

njue

The media loves to publicize bad priests, and we should give recognition to our Joyful Catholic Priests. Send me your recommendation for ones you think merit membership in this splendid group. (aljagoe@gmail.com)

  •  Fr. John Dowling, St. Francis of Assisi parish, Fairfield Glade, TN
  • Bishop James Vann Johnston, (Springfield/Cape Girardeau, MO)

  • Fr. Richard Lopez (Atlanta Archdiocese, GA) NEW!

  • Fr. Noel Sanvicente, (Diocese of San Jose, CA) NEW!

  • Fr. Alex Waraksa St. Patrick’s parish, (Morristown, TN) NEW

  • Fr. Robert Aufieri (New York, NY)

  • Fr. John M. Bauer (Minneapolis, MN)

  • Fr. Edmund Connors, Katonah, NY

  • Fr. Paul D.Counce (Baton Rouge, LA

  • Fr. Paul Duchschere (Fargo, ND)

  • Fr. Anthony O’Gorman (London, UK)

  • Fr. Edward Gorman, O.P. (Providence, RI)

  • Msgr. Edward Filardi (Bethesda, MD)

  • Fr. Charles E. Jacobs, Hartford CT

  • Fr. Raymond Kemp (Washington, DC)

  • Bishop Joseph N. Latino (Jackson, MS)

  • Archbishop Jerome Listecki (Milwaukee, MN)

  • Bishop Dennis Madden (Baltimore, MD)

  • Fr. Joseph Marini (San Mateo, CA)

  • Msgr. Joseph Mayo (Salt Lake City, UT)

  • Fr. John Mericantante (Pahokee, FL)

  • Msgr. Thomas Modugno (New York,NY)

  • Fr. Kevin Nelson, (Lantana, FL)

  • Fr. John O’Donoghue (San Antonio,TX)

  • Fr. Antony Pulikal (Lntana, FL)

  • Fr. James R. Purfield (Denver,CO)

  • Fr. Paul S. Quinter (Pittsburg, Pa)

  • Fr. Michael Radermache, (Vancouver, WA)

  • Msg. David Robichcaux, V.F. (New Orleans, LA)

  • Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi (Mobile, AL)

  • Fr. Alberto Rodriguez, (Miami)

  • Msg. Paul L. Rohling (Birmingham, AL)

  • Fr. David Ross (Lima. OH)

  • Fr. Matthew Ruhl, S.J. (Kansas City, KS)

  • Fr. Michael Scanlon (Steubenville, OH)

  • Fr. Walter J. Szezesny (Buffalo, NY)

  • Fr. Richard Trout (Sanford, FL)

  • Fr. Hayden Vaverek (New York, NY)

  • Fr. Malcolm Sylvester Willoughby, O.P. (Washington, DC)

  • Canon Stuart Wilson (London, UK)

                                                      

 

 Poem (a short one)

Life begins

when one knows

there’s an end.

pope francis

“So you call yourself Catholic—wonderful!  Now show me!

Show the way you love me.”

Pope Francis

 Interesting Sayings

The Times

The Catholic Church, like all powerful institutions can choose to stand against social change in the name of dogmatic interpretation of its principles. Or it can seek to adapt to changing mores. It seems obvious that the Catholic Church is more likely to flourish if proper account is taken of how human beings actually behave and how their preoccupations and needs change over time.

 If this is the mission of Pope Francis then it is very much a welcome one.

(From 11/6 LondonThe  Times)  

Let us beg God that he would put on us the heavenly Christ so that established in great joy and thus led by him we may be granted the greatest tranquility.

Pseudo-Macraius, an Egyptian monk who died in 390 A.D. when-they-come-home-returning-catholics-rigney-lanave

Lord, let your love flow through me, that I might be a reflection of you for all those I encounter today.

Melanie Rigney, coauthor of When They Come Home.

Ways to Welcome Returning Catholics” …If joy presents itself because of earning or honor acquired, let them rejoice as moderately as if they did not rejoice, that is,as if the joy were not theirs.

                               St. Robert Bellarmine (died 1621 A.D.)

One way to sum up the good news of the Gospel is to say, quite simply, that the Father of Jesus Christ is crazy about us.

                                             Rev. Robert Barron

 Communiqués 

PisaVery disappointed with your lopsided and poorly considered most recent blog. (then there is a lengthy listing of Christian misdeed during past century).

You do yourself and your message a grave disservice when you take such a slanted and frankly infantile view of geopolitics and say silly things like “Yay for us Christians, boo for those bad Muslims.” If you could get in a time machine and go back just 100 years, this wonderful Christian tradition you sing about was responsible for some of the most horrific trampling on the rights of Arabs, Indians, Africans, and Jews throughout the 1800s up to the 1960s.If you fly back even farther in your time machine, you will land in Spain in the year 1100, where one of the best cultural things that ever happened to that country was the spirit of harmony and respect that was achieved between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the brilliant center of learning in Toledo — under the rule of an enlightened Arab/Muslim regime.Islam is no more or less violent or peace-loving than Christianity.

 I expect better from your blog.  joyful.believer2@yahoo.com

(Comment: I have no argument about our misdeeds of the past. Many of them are horrendous.  You forgot to include the abuses of the Crusades and Spanish368-spanish-inquisition2 Inquisition. However, I repeat, say again, and reiterate that TODAY I thank God that I’m a Christian. Sure, we will still make mistakes and bicker, but we don’t set off car bombs, burn and destroy other places of worship, condemn and butcher non-Christians. Once again, “Yah for us Christians!”

BumperSticker

 Please send me 18 of  your I Am a Joyful Catholic bumper stickers, one for each of our deacons and deacon wives.  Use will be to share how to begin to evangelize without the spoken word.

Kate Mills, Ventura, CA

Chuckle Time

st-peter-at-teh-pearly-gates

When Forrest Gump arrived at the Pearly Gates, St. Peter on the other side told him he needed to answer these three questions before he could enter. The questions were:

(1) What two days of the week begin with the letter “T”?

(2) How many seconds are there in a year?

(3) What is God’s first name?

Forrest said, “That’s easy.  The two days are today and tomorrow. There are twelve second in a year—January 2, February 2, and so on. And God’s first name is Andy, because I learned from the song: ‘Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am his own.’”

 

The Mass I am Looking Forward to Attending

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.   My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan

Archbishop of Santa   Fe

___________________________________________________

imagesCAHCNR2Q

The Mass I am looking forward to attending 

After the entrance of the altar girls, a fat deacon and a new priest, the priest faces the congregation and says, “While you are standing, I want toaltergirls introduce myself, I am Father Felice, visiting your parish from my base in Santa Fe. To prove that we are not merely individuals, but a community of believers, I would like for you to meet everyone within your reach—right, left, front and back—first names only and give eye contact.”  After several shocked seconds, the parishioners awkwardly begin to speak to one another. The church becomes alive with the sound of voices.

       Picture1Then Father Felice says, “Now, I would like for those in the front half of the church to do an about-face and look at those in the back of the church.”

There is the noise of people shuffling to turn around.  “Now,” the priest says, “I want you to acknowledge one another with a friendly wave. Be sure to look at everyone you can see.”

       “Next,” Father Felice says, “about face and let’s acknowledge the shock1tabernacle where our Lord and Savior is our loving host and will be present for this service. During the Mass, each of you will be gifted with the most important event of your life. You are going to receive and be one with the Body of Christ, the man-God and God-Man.  Are you prepared for this momentous event? Do I hear a loud ‘Yes’?”

         There is a modest response from the congregation. And the priest says, “Let’s try it again.”  With that the church resounds with a loud and joyful “Yes!”

         “Now,” Father Felice says, “we are ready to start.”

 

 Miscellaneous

NIrish Kids

In a 2002 survey commissioned by the Northern Irish Community Relations Council, a sociologist interviewed Catholic and Protestant children between the ages of three and six to find out their views on the political situation there. When asked, “What do you know about Catholics?” one Protestant child responded, “They rob. They’re bad. Catholics are different from ordinary human beings because they are badder. They make petrol bombs, get petrol at garages, throw them and they blow up.”

In response to the question, “What do you know about Protestants?” Catholic children provided similar responses, “They want to kill all the Catholics.  They are like Catholics. They do the same things only they’re stronger.”

(Courtesy of Dr. Imre Szeman)

Recommended Readings

-       “Lead us not into clericalism” by Mark Henninger, S.J. in October 21 America

     -   “Fighting on New Terrain” by George Weigel in the August-    September First Things

 

Roster of Joyful Catholic Priests 

priests happy

The media loves to publicize bad priests, and we should give recognition to our Joyful Catholic Priests. Send me your recommendation for ones you think merit membership in this splendid group. (aljagoe@comcast.net)

  • Fr. John Dowling, St. Francis of Assisi parish, Fairfield Glade, TN NEW!

  • Bishop James Vann Johnston, (Springfield/Cape Girardeau, MO) NEW!

  • Fr. Richard Lopez (Atlanta Archdiocese, GA) NEW!

  • Fr. Noel Sanvicente, (Diocese of San Jose, CA) NEW!

  • Fr. Alex Waraksa St. Patrick’s parish, (Morristown, TN) NEW

  • Fr. Robert Aufieri (New York, NY)

  • Fr. John M. Bauer (Minneapolis, MN)

  • Fr. Edmund Connors, Katonah, NY

  • Fr. Paul D.Counce (Baton Rouge, LA

  • Fr. Paul Duchschere (Fargo, ND)

  • Fr. Anthony O’Gorman (London, UK)

  • Fr. Edward Gorman, O.P. (Providence, RI)

  • Msgr. Edward Filardi (Bethesda, MD)

  • Fr. Charles E. Jacobs, Hartford CT

  • Fr. Raymond Kemp (Washington, DC)

  • Bishop Joseph N. Latino (Jackson, MS)

  • Archbishop Jerome Listecki (Milwaukee, MN)

  • Bishop Dennis Madden (Baltimore, MD)

  • Fr. Joseph Marini (San Mateo, CA)

  • Msgr. Joseph Mayo (Salt Lake City, UT)

  • Fr. John Mericantante (Pahokee, FL)

  • Msgr. Thomas Modugno (New York,NY)

  • Fr. Kevin Nelson, (Lantana, FL)

  • Fr. John O’Donoghue (San Antonio,TX)

  • Fr. Antony Pulikal (Lntana, FL)

  • Fr. James R. Purfield (Denver,CO)

  • Fr. Paul S. Quinter (Pittsburg, Pa)

  • Fr. Michael Radermache, (Vancouver, WA)

  • Msg. David Robichcaux, V.F. (New Orleans, LA)

  • Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi (Mobile, AL)

  • Fr. Alberto Rodriguez, (Miami)

  • Msg. Paul L. Rohling (Birmingham, AL)

  • Fr. David Ross (Lima. OH)

  • Fr. Matthew Ruhl, S.J. (Kansas City, KS)

  • Fr. Michael Scanlon (Steubenville, OH)

  • Fr. Walter J. Szezesny (Buffalo, NY)

  • Fr. Richard Trout (Sanford, FL)

  • Fr. Hayden Vaverek (New York, NY)

  • Fr. Malcolm Sylvester Willoughby, O.P. (Washington, DC)

  • Canon Stuart Wilson (London, UK)

 

“Be Happily and Uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Pope Francis

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.  

My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan

Archbishop of Santa Fe

_________________________________________________________________________

News Flashes

-        Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America stated that the world’s Islamic leaders must hear stories about the persecution on religious minorities in majority Muslim countries so that such incidents are not overlooked.

chartup11-        Bishop Bernt Ivar Eidsvig of Oslo reported that in the past eight years the registered members of the Catholic Church in Norway has grown from 42,000 to 110,000. Comment: Wow, we should find out what they are doing right.

-        German bishop, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst must have gotten his come-upstance when he was called to the Vatican to explain why he had spent $42 millionBishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst in a vintage BMW. on a new residence and flown business class to India to check on the poor. I doubt this set well with Pope Francis, who has moved from the pope’s elegant apartment into the smaller guest house.

  Today’s Martyrs

(Lest we forget)

 Let us purify ourselves through the martyrs, or rather, through him through whom they too were purified in blood and truth.

                           St. Gregory Nazianzen (died 390)

 Burned church

Over a three-day period in August, three nuns were taken as “prisoners of  war”  by Muslim radicals in Egypt, while they attacked, looted and burned 14 Catholic churches and convents. A Muslim former teacher at a convent convinced the crazy mob to release her. Despite many calls for help, no local police arrived.

My Favorite Priest, Layperson, Breathing Saint or Organization

 emailforblog

Now, email me about your favorite Catholic priest, layperson or organization that is making a difference

aljagoe@comcast.net

 

Interesting Sayings

 Let us beg God that he would put on us the heavenly Christ so that established in great joy and thus led by him we may be granted the greatest tranquility.

Pseudo-Macraius, an Egyptian monk who died in 390 A.D.

when-they-come-home-returning-catholics-rigney-lanave Lord, let your love flow through me, that I might be a reflection of you for all those I encounter today. Melanie Rigney, coauthor of When They Come Home.Ways to Welcome Returning Catholics”

 

If joy presents itself because of earning or honor acquired, let them rejoice as moderately as if they did not rejoice, that is,as if the joy were not theirs.

                               St. Robert Bellarmine (died 1621 A.D.)

One way to sum up the good news of the Gospel is to say, quite simply, that theFather and son Father of Jesus Christ is crazy about us… Rev. Robert Barron

 Communiqués

Very disappointed with your lopsided and poorly considered most recent blog.(then there is a lengthy listing of Christian misdeed during past century).

myrterYou do yourself and your message a grave disservice when you take such a slanted and frankly infantile view of geopolitics and say silly things like “Yay for us Christians, boo for those bad Muslims.”

If you could get in a time machine and go back just 100 years, this wonderful Christian tradition you sing about was responsible for some of the most horrific trampling on the rights of Arabs, Indians, Africans, and Jews throughout the 1800s up to the 1960s.If you fly back eventhe_time_machine_large_01 farther in your time machine, you will land in Spain in the year 1100, where one of the best cultural things that ever happened to that country was the spirit of harmony and respect that was achieved between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the brilliant center of learning in Toledo — under the rule of an enlightened Arab/Muslim regime.Islam is no more or less violent or peace-loving than Christianity.

 I expect better from your blog.

joyful.believer2@yahoo.com

(reply: I have no argument about our misdeeds of the past. Many of them are horrendous.  You forgot to include the abuses of the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition. However, I repeat, say again, and reiterate that TODAY I thank God that I’m a Christian. Sure, we will still make mistakes and bicker, but we don’t set off car bombs, burn and destroy other places of worship, condemn and butcher non-Christians. Once again, “Yah for us Christians!”

 BumperSticker

Please send me 18 of your  I AM A JOYFUL CATHOLIC bumper stickers, one for each of our deacons and deacon wives. Use to share to begin to evangelize without the spoken word.

Kate Mills, Ventura, CA

 

Chuckle Time

FGump

When Forrest Gump arrived at the Pearly Gates, St. Peter on the other side told him he needed to answer these three questions before he could enter. The questions were:

(1) What two days of the week begin with the letter “T”?

(2) How many seconds are there in a year?

(3) What is God’s first name?

Forrest said, “That’s easy.  The two days are today and tomorrow. There are twelve second in a year—January 2, February 2, and so on. And God’s first name is Andy, because I learned from the song: ‘Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am his own.’”

St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates and said, “Run, Forrest, run.”

Thank you, God, for our Pope Francis

 

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.   My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”   Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe

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pope francis

   Thank you, God, for our Pope Francis   

(Thought #1) Fr. Martin Pable, O.F.M.Cape, wrote that, in1210, when St. Francis was praying before the Crucifix in the church of San Damiano, he heard a voice saying, “Francis, go and rebuild my Church which is falling into ruins!” He took the words literally and began repairing the church building with the help of his friends. Only later did he realize that Jesus was asking him to rebuild the spiritual life of the Church.

(Thought #2) Pope Francis has said we place too much importance on abortion. Ten years ago I gave to non-Catholic friends a questionnaire, asking what they thought was the purpose of Catholicism. 20 out of 20 replied it was fighting abortion. They38th Annual March For Life Winds Through Washington considered the Church merely a major opponent of Planned Parenthood, with little concern about the poor, our staggering number of prisoners, social injustice, education, medical care and the salvation of souls.  For fellow Catholics, could this impression be the reason 1 out of 10 Americans are former Catholics and that a third of all baptized Catholics have abandoned the Church?

(Thought #3) At World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis implored, “I want the church to be in the streets, not closed and turned within.”  With this statement, he has presented a challenge to every parish.

Newly elected Pope Francis appears at the window of his future private apartment to bless faithful during Angelus prayer at VaticanThe Pope later wrote, “Christian morality is not a titanic effort of the will, the effort of someone who decides to be consistent and succeeds, a solitary challenger in the face of the world. No. Christian morality is simply a response. It is the heartfelt response to a surprising, unforeseeable, “unjust” mercy. The surprising,  unforeseeable, “unjust” mercy of one who knows me, knows my betrayals and loves me just the same, appreciates me, embraces me,  calls me again, hopes in me, and expects from me.  This is why the Christian conception of morality is a revolution; it is not a never falling down but an always getting up again.”

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(Thought #4) Bill Donohue, President of The Catholic League, said, “Not in my lifetime have I seen an outburst of enthusiasm for a newly minted pontiff. And not just from Catholics: Pope Francis has won the plaudits of everyone, from people of all faiths to die-hard secularists.”

 

 Miscellaneous

A British soldier searches a teenager in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the Troubles in 1971

                                      (Courtesy of  Dr. Imre Szeman)

In a 2002 survey commissioned by the Northern Irish Community Relations Council, a sociologist interviewed Catholic and Protestant children between the ages of three and six to find out their views on the political situation there. When asked, “What do you know about Catholics?” one Protestant child responded, “They rob. They’re bad. Catholics are different from ordinary human beings because they are badder. They make petrol bombs, get petrol at garages, throw them and they blow up.”

In response to the question, “What do you know about Protestants?” Catholic children provided similar responses, “They want to kill all the Catholics.  They are like Catholics. They do the same things only they’re stronger.”

 

Recommended Readings

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-       “Becoming One” by Bishop Denis Madden in the September 9-16   America

-       “Annie get your background check” in the October U.S. Catholic

-       “Fighting on New Terrain” by George Weigel in the August-September First Things

-       “Your parish needs a hip replacement”  by Msgr. Joseph Kerrigan, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, New Brunswick, NJ    September U.S Catholic

keepcalmandwritepoetry

                                                              Poem 

Look to this day

For it is Life;

The very Life of Life.

Yesterday is but a dream

And tomorrow is only

A vision, but

Today, well spent

Makes every yesterday

A dream of happiness, and

Every tomorrow

A vision of hope.

                       From Sanskrit by Kalidasa, 4th/5th century AD