Month: September 2009

How Wonderful to Pee!

Everlasting joy shall be theirs.  Isa. 67:2 

How Wonderful to Pee! 

During each waking hour, we joyful Catholics should have the mantra of  “Thank you!”  It is a device that can fill the cracks in each day with an exhilarating flash.  Anxiety, boredom and fatigue can be diminished by a quick acknowledgment and appreciation of something good.  For example, it is astounding that each of the billion cells in our bodies that are constantly dying and reproducing has its own disciplined operation.  Thank and congratulate each cell for the good job it does.

          kidpeeingroundThe operation of our senses will forever baffle science. How can the million of rods and cones in each eye receive images through the lens and flash recognition through the optic nerve into the brain?   Astounding! Thank you!

          As the writer Terri Mifek said, “Maybe we don’t need more of everything as much as we need a deeper appreciation for what is right in front of us.”  For example, we can be thankful for not being in a war-torn country with only four hours of electricity a day, and limited food and water. Thanks for family, friends and a sense of security.  As I breathe, I remember an associate, dying of emphysema and gasping, “I would give up everything I have for one deep breath.” And I find an endless source of things for which to be grateful.

Peeing is a phenomenal act. A healthy body necessitates intake of fluid. However, after distribution throughout the body, its residue becomes a deadly liquid and must be extracted from the body.  If not, urinary poisoning can kill in a short time.  Realizing this, every pee deserves a “thank you.”

          Thanking has two components. First, we are expressing appreciation for the act or thing received. Then we are acknowledging the kindness of the giver. As joyful Catholics, when we expand our “thank you” to a higher plain, we thank God for having become man, for having lived among us, for his crucified death and glorious resurrection. Wow! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

 Admired saying by Leo Zanchetti, editor of Luke: Devotional Commentary

lukeLord, what a merciful God you are. We love you because you have so perfectly loved us. We want to pour out our gratitude to you today, and every day




Shame on a former Senator, who scratched the back of the applauding members at the recent Catholic Leadership Conference by condemning the Catholic funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy.  He said, “The damage done in the Church is profound”  then “We have Catholic politicians who have led this country astray, have led generations of Catholics astray.”

        tedK car  Let’s look at the facts.  Kennedy served for 47 years, and his critic for a one term, during which time CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) voted him one of the three “Most Corrupt Members of Congress.” When he ran for re-election, he was defeated by the largest margin of defeat for an incumbent Senator in 26 years.

          Kennedy, undeniably one of the most effective senators of the last century, signed almost 1,000 bills, 300 of which he wrote himself, including legislation for the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, immigration reform, children’s health care, the Family and Medical Leave Act. Yet, because Kennedy’s conscience wouldn’t let him vote with the pro-life protagonists, his critic protests Kennedy’s dignified (and rightly justified) Catholic funeral. There is an old Catalan saying that the curs always bark at the heels of a great man.


Returned serve 

My new friend, Father Aloysius Smallhart, really gave me hell about I said about him in the last blog.  At his age of 87, I was flattered that he called me “a young dingbat” (and I’m a year older than he). This was his return to my hard serve:

“You hot-shot converts give me a pain you know where. It’s because of young dingbats like you that the Church is in so much trouble today. And, as a layman, you’ve got your nerve telling a priest how to help himself, like you did in your book Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics.  My wayward friend, why don’t find something useful to do with your time?”

 Joyful Catholic Quiz

(The first to send the right answers will receive a gift copy of

Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics)

1.     Who is the saint patroness of laundresses?


2.     Where do Papal Elections take place?


3.     Who was the first USA bishop? 

       Chuckle time

British Church signs:adamEve

          Adams blamed Eve

          Eva blamed the snake

          And the snake didn’t have a leg to stand on.


There are some questions that can’t be answered by Google.


funeralcartoonAs you pass this little church,Be sure to plan a visit So when at last you’re carried in, God won’t ask, “Who is it?”




My Favorite Priest

(Just click here to submit your recommendation for your favorite priest)

preist B.W


“Johnny One Note” Catholics

In 1939, Judy Garland made popular a song about a musician who played only one note, ignoring the others which comprise harmony.  Today, I think my fellow Catholics with intense zeal for the pro-life movement cause their singleness of purpose to cloud the true vision of the Church.  Rather than a religion, many outsiders now view Catholicism as merely a massive anti-abortion organization.

bishopsOf our 165 Bishops, the 33 who oppose a pro-choice person of prominence setting foot on the grounds of a Catholic educational facility are remnants of a bigoted past. They merit our prayers. And for Catholics who would prefer to be governed only by those who are pro-life, regardless of their qualifications, may they continue to enjoy having their heads in the sand (and God save America!). Father Michael Place, chair of the International Federation of Catholic Health Institutions, wrote in a recent article, “A commitment to life does not replace the virtue of charity.”

Outside observers can be blinded by pro-life fanaticism in appreciating the Church’s deep concern in the secular society for problems such as the widening gap between the rich and poor, our mammoth prison population, the sick and homeless, lack of universal medical care, the neglected aged, environmental problems and need for improvement in education. Pope Benedict XVI is appealing to us to transform the world. His embrace of the need to protect human life encompasses many other needs, including the environment, provision of food and water for needy populations and new international structures to regulate financial markets and governments. He emphasized that a commitment to life does not replace the virtue of charity.

In the August 17-24 issue of America, in referring to the Pope’s call for action, an editorial asks, “Will American Catholics rise to the occasion, leading our fellow citizens to meet these challenges by taking new initiatives on behalf of the human family?”

Many of the staunch pro-life Catholics protested that Senator Kennedy had a public funeral. Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who, with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, presided at Senator Kennedy’s funeral stated, “There are those who objected, in some cases vociferously, to the Church’s providing a Catholic funeral for the Senator. In the strongest terms, I disagree with that position….We are people of faith and we believe in a loving and forgiving God from whom we seek mercy.”

Helen Alvare, one of the most outstanding pro-life jurists said, “We must show those who do not share our belief about life that we care about them….We will not change hearts by turning away from people in their time of need and when they are experiencing grief and loss…Jesus’ words to us were that we must love one another as He loves us.”

Within the Church, let pro-life activists broaden their area of concern and realize that one solo siren note can drown out the majestic symphony of Catholicism. 

 The Joyful  Catholic Quiz

 (Answers to last week’s quiz)

The winner of the gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics is Mildred Edwards in New Orleans who logged in at 7:32 AM on September 10.


1.     Who is the shepherdess saint, born in 422, and is now the patroness of the city of Paris?

Joan of Arc


2.     When a new pope is elected, who selects his name?

He selects his own new name.

3.     Who was the fisherman apostle, brother of the fellow apostle John, and the first apostle to suffer martyrdom (beheaded by Herod

          Agrippa 1)?

          James the Greater 

Chuckle time

(A 12-year-old in the confessional)

connfessionalCartoon“I know God loves everybody, but he never met my sister.

 My mother is very religious. She goes to bingo every week.

 Please say a prayer for our Little League team. We need God’s help, or another pitcher.”




My Favorite Priest

Father Bob Hayden, Pastor of St. William the Abbot in Seaford NY is indeed a man that cares for his parish flock 24/7. He has always placed his needs behind those of his parish and always with a kind word and a genuine smile. He has been an inspiration by his quick wit and keen intellect that a priest can be so many things to so many people in fulfilling God’s plan. He genuinely cares and that is why he is my favorite priest.” 

 This was submitted by:  Thomas A. Hayden, Senior Vice President -Global Sales,  The Affluent Traveler,  Oyster Bay, New York 



Shame on Rev. Aloysius Smallhart!

Shame on Rev. Aloysius Smallhart, a California priest, who bullied John Thomas, a religious publisher, into changing a complimentary prayer for the soul of Senator Ted Kennedy to a simple prayer one would give for a homeless person. Senator Kennedy was one of the most outstanding statesmen of our era and a great champion of the poor and disadvantaged. According to this West Coast priest, all the good Senator Kennedy did for the country is nil, because he wasn’t beating a drum for the pro-lifers. Father Smallhart, please go sit on the stool in the corner, facing the wall. Your bigotry obfuscates the majesty of Catholicism, and you are the enemy for us joyful Catholics who want to invite others to the feast.

          tedKenI reserve the stool in the other corner of the room for Harlan Drake, who murdered Jim Pouillon and his partner, because he was offended by Jim’s pro-life message. Drake also had planned to kill a third person.

          While you are there together, Father Smallhart, perhaps you can hear Harlan Drake’s confession.

Every generation shall give joyful praise to you-Tobit 13:11

family-smileYour current assignment: As a Joyful Catholic, each day be a smile-collector. It’s easy because often you’ll find that your smile is contagious. When you greet a stranger and add his smile to your daily tally, your smile might be the only smile that poor soul will get all day. So, each day, collect a bundle of smiles!


Not recommended reading!

newYorker8.31.09Although The New Yorker is one of my favorite magazines, they blew in the August 31 issue with the article, “God in the Quad”, written by James Wood, who reminds me of a self-admiring professor who is so enthralled by the sound of his voice that he rambles on with intellectual jargon. In this overflow of theological slop, he attempts to wow you by quoting twenty-two thinkers.     



Recommended fellow blog site:  This is produced by Joe Difato and his splendid staff at The Word Among Us, which is part of my daily reading.  


                     What Can Priests Do To Help Themselves?

(An excerpt from Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics) 

Every morning, each priest should ask himself, “What shall I do today to help correct the misconception that all Catholic priests are pedophiles?” 

With this goal in mind, it is important for a priest to plan much exposure in public places.  By doing this, he can be a successful herald for the Church.    

 Suggestion #1

Like in the old time carnival days, have the guts to stick your head through the canvas.  

It is understood that you must be available for your parishioners – it’s in your job description.  This is not too difficult because meeting fellow Catholics is like greeting those at a family reunion.  You are accepted with respect. But this is not always the case when you dive into cold non-Catholic waters. You cannot be assured of receiving a friendly reception.  For that reason, it might require courage to face those who are not yet in the fold. 

    Perhaps each week you could have a leisurely breakfast alone at the counter in a popular food place.  Say “hello” to those sitting on either side.  Get to know the names of the help.  Enliven the place with your personal warmth.  

Suggestion #2

 Branch out in your neighborhood.

Make a cold-turkey call on each non-Catholic family living within a one-block radius of the rectory.  Get to know them and occasionally invite them for tea.  For many, this will be the first experience of seeing the inside of a priest’s home. 

In a church I attended for many years, the resident monsignor pastor let it be known that he hated the neighbors.  Needless to say, they reciprocated his feeling.  When Christ saw this, he must have cringed.

Suggestion # 3

To get more exposure in the outside world, every week, go shopping alone in a supermarket.

 I have seen Protestant ministers, top executives and celebrities pushing carts in a grocery store.  But never have I seen a priest doing this.  Even if the shopping jaunt is to buy only one or two items, each week spend half an hour pushing a cart slowly up and down the aisles in order to see and be seen by other shoppers.

Suggestion #4

Join a civic organization.

Many years ago, Fr. Hartke of Catholic University became a popular member of the Kiwanis Club of Washington, DC.  With his active participation, he got to know the top business leaders in the city, and he was an excellent Ambassador of Goodwill for the Church.  Service organizations such a Kiwanis, Rotary, and Optimists Clubs often have Protestant ministers as members.  However, having a priest as a member will be a rarity.  Break the ice!

 *        *          *          *          *           *          *          *        *

          Although these suggested actions will put new demands on your time, the same is true for a layman.  He also has to prioritize his hours for promoting himself and his cause, while devoting time for his profession, his family, friends, church and the community.

            As a priest, you cannot give the impression that you are a ‘private person’, avoiding exposure to the outside world.  A ‘private person’ can be viewed as one who has good reason to be private. Don’t hide your worthy self.  Keep your candle on top of the table. If you put it down below, it will benefit no one.  Also, it might set the table on fire.

(And what are your thoughts?)


           Joyful Catholic Quiz

(The first to send the right answers will receive a gift copy of

Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics 

1.     Who is the shepherdess saint, born in 422, and is now the patroness of the city of Paris? 

2.     When a new pope is elected, who selects his name? 

3.     Who was the fisherman apostle, brother of the fellow apostle John, and the first apostle to suffer martyrdom (beheaded by Herod Agrippa 1)? 

Chuckle time

   grace, saying child       A little girl watched her mother slaving all day in preparing for a dinner party. That night, seated at the large table filled with many guests, her mother asked her to say grace. When the child protested she didn’t know a grace, her mother said sharply, “Well, just say a prayer you have heard me say.”

          After a moment of silence, the little girl said, “Dear Lord, why did I invite all these people to dinner tonight?”


My Favorite Priest

Just Click Here to Submit your recommendation for your favorite priest

During your next Mass, give a joyful greeting to two strangers.

Your current assignment:

          During your next Mass, give a joyful greeting to two strangers.churchTalking


Today’s Haiku

Today is the day

To serve with a joyful heart;

Today is the day.

How Can We Help Our Priests HAPPYpRIESTS                                                

  What an employee tell others about his or her employer gives a lasting impression about this person.  In like manner, what a Catholic says about Catholic priests will have a positive or negative effect upon what others think about our religious leaders.  

             Newspaper headlines revel in the account of the 4,392 priests who have been dismissed over the past fifty years for having sexually abused children.  This number is only 4% of the 109,800 priests who served during that period.  But because of this past misconduct, today the suspicion of pedophilia is an unfair burden for our present 45,673 dedicated priests.   As Pope Benedict XVI said, “The problem of pedophile priests is one that pains all Churchmen…just one instance clashes with the identity and mission we are called to undertake.”

           We Catholic laymen have an obligation to try to correct this false image of the splendid men who are devoting their lives in serving our Church.  The critics are those who probably have never known or talked with a priest.  The longer these priest-haters remain in ignorance, the more their erroneous impression will be imbedded in their minds.

          There are three ways in which we can become a positive force.  First, each of us must be a defensive speaker for the Church.  Next, we should encourage priests to be seen in the marketplace.  Invite a priest to have a meal with you in a popular eating place. Do you realize that many people have never been exposed to a splendid priest?  Lastly, we can volunteer to do church jobs that will free our priests to participate more in the local community.

           We Catholics must make the effort to promote the correct image of our priests.  Let us accept this role as a challenge and reaffirmation of our Faith.   If we don’t tackle the task today, the Church tomorrow will still be shackled by the innuendos of past sexual misconduct.

 (An excerpt from Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics)


(And what are your thoughts?)


Good Reading 

On the New Advent web page, see Paul Cat’s article “Why the Church Has all those Dogmas and Doctrines.” (dated August 29)


Joyful Catholic Quiz

(Answers to last week’s quiz)

The winner of the gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics is Jose Alvarez in Santa Fe, NM who logged in at 8:34 AM on August 30.


1.     Re: age discrimination—at what age are Cardinals excluded from taking part in the election of a new Pope?  60 – 70 – 80 – 90?

Age 80

2.  Who was the Galilean fisherman who was the first disciple to be called

     by Christ?


3. Who was the first American-born saint?

     Mother Seton 



Chuckle time

 A man walking into a diner during a heavy rain storm said to the waitress, “Wow! It looks like we should get ready for Noah to come by with his ark.”


          The waitress replied, “I’ve been so busy I haven’t seen a newspaper in days.”


Just Click Here to Nominate Your  Favorite Priest