Month: March 2010

Through the Eyes of a Young Latino

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

Michael J Sheehan Archbishop of Santa Fe

 

Through the Eyes of a Young Latino 

By

Hugo A. Quintanilla, a senior at the University of Maryland, who will be the first in his Salvadorian family to have a college degree.

 In religion, culture does matter because it affects how one views the Mass, ideology and religious tradition. With my family’s Salvadorian background, growing up in the United States was a unique experience.  Each day was a compromise between two cultures as my parents instilled in me the traditions, language and knowledge of our heritage, while we all were being indoctrinated into American society.

          At an early age, I realized it was my responsibility to preserve, learn and appreciate my inherited culture and, one day, pass these values on to the next generation. It is interesting to review the role my religion has had in my blending of these two different ways of life.

          For example, come with me to a Spanish Mass and you will see families with little children running around and playing with each other.  Most of the youngsters speak Spanglish, an English-Spanish hybrid language, typical of first generation Hispanics in America.

          The priest will give a homily confirming that ‘the family’ is the most important aspect of new parents today.   This often leads into an ever important Catholic hot button — abortion, aimed at the age 12-21 Hispanic females whom studies show are the most likely to have an abortion. But even beyond the statistics or the propaganda, a Hispanic Mass is uniquely self-contained, meaning everything from music to diction is specifically catered to our cultural references. The priest demands that we protect our heritage, the value of hard work, honesty, perseverance and spiritual dedication.  Themes from biblical passages are extrapolated and made relevant to our problems of assimilation in a distant land.

          In contrast, the English Masses I attend are all about globalization of mind and action.  There is no personalization, no distinct music and no personal emotion of fervor or feeling of urgency.  The congregation is of men and women, mostly with small families who have good jobs, fair working hours and worthy benefits. They go to Mass to learn to be better, and we Latinos go to Mass to try and find solutions for our problems. The English Mass is about self-improvement; the one for Hispanics is about self-enlightenment.

In a Spanish Mass there is a sense of urgency, of import and that the scripture we read was written to help us make it through another week.  It is a message that relates to our problems and to our worries.  The English Masses I attended had the message, but it was standardized, tame and expected.  The Hispanic Mass is passionate, alive and real.

          Culture only tints religion slightly, not taking away the beauty and purpose of its inherent message.  The only thing that isn’t different about going from one Mass to the other is that hope, faith and the text in the Bible itself is still the same, regardless of what culture you pertain to. 

 

(What is your story you would like to share?)

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net)

 

Interesting sayings

 People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. 

                                                          Maya Angelou

Happy those who observe God’s degrees, who seek the Lord with all their heart.

                                                          Psalm 119:2

 Jesus of Nazareth, you took nothing for granted.  Help me to see the people, places and things of my world today through your eyes.

                                                          Sr. Melannie Svoboda, S.N.D.

Truly blessed poverty of spirit is to be found  more in humility of heart than in a mere privation of every day possessions, and it consists more in the renunciation of pride than in a mere contempt for property.  

                                                Blessed Guerric of Igny (1157)        

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.        

                                                Anne Frank                   

 

 

(And what are a few of your favorite sayings?)

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net

My new blog friend

Meet the delightful Patricia McKeever, editor of the Catholic Truth blog in Scotland.  This is a splendid site you will thoroughly enjoy.  I appreciate her writings because I sense we are on the same wave length. In the USA there is not a Catholic blog that can surpass Catholic Truth.  

 

News flashes

Canon Stuart Wilson, my favorite London priest who has renewed and revitalized St. Mary’s Cadogan Street Church, a few blocks from Sloane Square, is getting a lot of flack because he has put out a gift list of things needed for the rectory.  And I ask, “Why not?” As he told me on my last visit — “Parishioners should consider the rectory as their home.”  So, why shouldn’t they be invited to buy practical items that are needed?  Canon Wilson, I compliment you on what you did!

 

Recommended reading

In the January issue of America, Msgr. David Rubino in Erie, PA, gave these six suggestions to young clergy: (1) Be yourself. (2) Practice sacrificing self.

(3) Be easy on the folks. (4) Speak with many tongues. (5) Laugh with your elders, not at them. (6) Stop judging, that you may not be judged – good intentions, bad impact.

Fr. Mark Plaushin. O.S.F.S., at DeSales University, has an excellent article, “St. Francis de Sales’ Introduction to the Devour Life, 1609-2009” in the March Homiletic &Pastoral Review.

 

 

The Catholic World Report in January published an interesting interview with author Dinesh D’Souza on “The Rational Evidence for Immortality.”

(It is so convincing that it encourages us today to lead a better life to get ready for the next role!)

Contributions

This week I sent a donation to:

          Prison Outreach Ministry, that is doing a needed job in helping men and women leave prison and become self-sufficient.

 (And let me and others know about a special non-profit organization you support)

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net

Other recommended Catholic Blogs

Joyce Rupp’s Open the Door

Today’s Catholic Woman

Catholic Fire

Musing From a Catholic Bookstore

Being Frank (a delightful New Zealand site)

 Communiqués received

Quit blasting the singing during Communion. I think it adds a folksy touch to the Mass.

                                      Oscar Overton, Lake Worth, FL 

Thanks you for reminding me of the Holy Name Societies. What ever happened to them?

                                      Richard Edwards, Scranton, PA 

If you could have baby-sat the Pope, you must be old as Methuselah.  If you can stay young, so can I — so I’ll start tomorrow getting back into exercising.

                                      Mabel Thompson, Phoenix, AZ

 

My favorite religious priest, layperson or organization

 There are no recommendations this week. – SHAME ON YOU!

If you can’t think of a splendid person or organization to recommend, you’re sleeping at the switch.

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

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net)

Quiz

 The winner of a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics, who clocked in at 3:31PM on March 12 is Roger Davenport in Omaha.

 1. In 1517, Martin Luther tacked his 95 theses on the church door in   Wittenberg.   

2.  Andrew was the disciples who had been a follower of John the Baptist? 

3.  The first America to participate in a papal election was Cardinal James Gibbons in the election of Pope Pius X

Chuckle time

When Dublin Paddy arrived in New York, he stood for twenty minutes on the curb, listening to the cop directing traffic shout out, “Okay, pedestrians!”

          Finally Paddy shouted to the cop, “Is not it yet about time ye let us Catholics cross?”

Special Intentions List

As you pray with a broad brush, please include these loved ones, who have been submitted by our readers. You, too, are invited to send me names of your special persons who are in need of prayer. My address is joyfulcatholic@comcast.net. They will be on the list for 60 days. At the end of that time, if prayers are still needed, you merely have to renew the name.

Juanita Caldwell, Isola Todd, David Abbey, Amie Ellis, Linwood “Skip” Williams, Gerry Paradiso, Nick DeCarlo, Tom Medved, Eileen Grotsky, Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis, Donald Whitcomb, Violeta Zepeda, Rev. Joseph Healy, John Aylor, Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo, Sharon McPike, Tom Ryan, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby, Russell Edwards, Msg. Louis Quinn, Rev. Lawrence Boedt, Gertrude Goldstein, Rev. Stephen Huffstetter, Hugh Cannon, Eric Moore. Joanne Palmer

As you note, because of miraculous healings, several names have been deleted and added to our Deo Gratias list.

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I Could Have Baby-Sat the Pope

Being converted is simply meeting yourself for the purpose of going to the very end of your being. Conversion means a willingness to see the truth of things and conform one’s conduct to it.

                   Antonin Sertillanges

                   French spiritual writer 1863-1926

 

I Could Have Baby-Sat the Pope

          But Benedict XVI has been in the Church longer than I have because he is a born-Catholic and I didn’t convert until I was in my late twenties. 

As Archie Bunker said, “Ah, those were the days!” On the second Sundays of each month, over forty of us men in the Holy Name Society would gather for a rollicking breakfast in the basement of the church. Our occupations varied between a cab driver and construction worker to a federal judge and two doctors.  The many no-nonsense women in the Sodality made their presence known. And every Saturday there were lines outside the confessionals.  

          On each First Friday we had Nocturnal Adoration with good participation. I remember that the desk clerk in my apartment building was always puzzled when he would see me leave at 1:30 AM and return in good spirits two hours later.

          Back then, the Sacrament of the Eucharist was treated as the Holiest of the Holy. We would not receive Communion unless we had recently been to Confession and fasted since midnight. This time during the Mass was treated with quiet awareness and awe for one of the greatest Mysteries of our Faith.  In recognition of what was taking place there was respectful silence. Following the distribution of the Host, we had continued quiet time for thoughtful meditation.

          Today, the Church authorities have done an admirable job of watering down the importance of the Eucharist. They have achieved this by eliminating silence for depth of thought and by adding distractions to prevent more than two noiseless seconds.  The effective disconcerting things to keep the parishioner from being aware of the spiritual majesty of the Eucharistic include singing, announcements and the frequent second collection.

          Now, at Communion time, every Tom, Dick and Harriet line up like school children getting ready for recess and proceed to the front of the church.  As one parishioner told me, “Why not take Communion? It’s like a spiritual vitamin pill.  It can’t hurt and, besides, it’s free and part of the service.”

          I understand that if the present distractions had not succeeded in weakening the importance of the Eucharist, the bishops had planned to have ushers tap dance in the aisles with castanets. So be it.

          Back to Pope Benedict XVI, baby-sitting for him would have been a treat. I would have like him because I bet he was a bright and joyful kid who didn’t kick the dog.

          I do today.

(And you, who also are of vintage age, let me know your thoughts.)

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net

Interesting sayings

 Making your unknown known is the important thing—and keeping the unknown always beyond you — catching crystallizing your simpler clearer vision of life. The form must take care of it self if you can keep your vision clear. I some way feel that everyone is born with it clear but that with most of humanity it becomes blasted — one way or another.  

                                                Georgia O’Keefe 1926

 

 

Faith is not the refuge of the weak-minded but the domain of the brave.

                                                Psalm 116 (12) 

Do not be deterred from taking part in Sunday Mass, and help others discover it, too. This is because the Eucharist releases the joy that we need so much, and we must learn to grasp it ever more deeply, we must learn to love it.

                                                Pope Benedict XVI

 

 

(And what are a few of your favorite sayings?)

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net

Fancy words

(this one is good for us Joyful Catholics)

          theosophy (def: being wise in the things of God)

(this is a no-no for us)

          solipsism (def: that self is the sole existence)

News flashes

After the worst snow storm in 100 years, the South End Baptist Church in Frederick, MD, posted this on their outdoor sign: “Whoever is praying for snow, please stop.”

In chapter “What can priest do to help themselves?” in Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics, I recommend that a priest go shopping once a week in a supermarket where he can see and be seen. I read this week that Rev. Anita Naves, pastor of Cathedral of Life with no church, goes to the Giant Supermarket in Prince George County, MD, and accompanied by a saxophonist she offers to bless and pray with each customer. She has become so popular that she now has a sizeable following and has been given a location for her church. (Hey, you Catholic priests, are you paying attention?)

As I noted in the last issue, with the NBC’s poll on the question of whether to keep “In God We Trust” on our currency, 86% voted “yes”. However, with sneaky bureaucracy-at-its-best, the newly released dollar coin no longer has this phrase. I have received many blogs, recommending that we believers refuse to accept the new dollar coin when offered at the bank.

Contributions

This week I sent donations to:

St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota (desperately in need of funds to cover their winter heating bills.)

Roman Catholic Heroes (doing good TV work for us Joyful Catholic.)

 

Other recommended Catholic Blogs

        Creative Minority Report

        Onward and Upward

        Roman Catholic Heroes

 Communiqués received

In regard to “Blessed are the poor” Beatitude, note that the Ten Commandments are negative and the Beatitudes are positive. 

           Charley Myers, Atlanta, GA 

Ain’t it a shame we can’t keep the spirit of Lent going throughout the year!

                                      Elmer Ruffson, Buffalo, NY 

I enjoy your blog which I share with friends. It is refreshing and oh so American.

                                      Alice Appleton, London, UK 

Yes, so long as people do not understand Scripture and Tradition regarding women deacons, there will be division and conflict. Hope you and all interested will use this as an opportunity to recover the historical diaconate for women in Christianity.

                                      Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D.

                                      Visiting Professor of Theology and Religion

                                       Saint Leo University, FL

My favorite religious priest, layperson or organization

This week I want to recognize Bill Clinton.  In serving as the U.N. representative in Haiti, he didn’t go there as do many celebrities who rush to a place of emergency to be photographed and quoted. Instead, he rolled up his sleeves, pitching in to help with his administrative skill and international influence.   President Bill, with your tireless effort, you set an example for all of us!

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

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net)

Quiz

The first to send the right answers to joyfulcatholic@comcast.net will receive a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics.

 1. In what year did Martin Luther tack his 95 theses on the church door in   Wittenberg?    

2.  Which of the disciples had been a follower of John the Baptist? 

3.  Who was the first America to participate in a papal election?

Chuckle time

(From our friend, Father Van Windsor, Episcopal Priest in Little Rock, AR.)

 One Sunday morning, Father Van noticed a six-year-old boy staring at the large plaque in the back of the church with American flags mounted at the top. When the youngster asked what it was, he explained it was a memorial to the young people who had died in the service.

          Then the kid asked, “Which service, the 8:30 or the 10:45?

Special Intentions List

As you pray with a broad brush, please include these loved ones, who have been submitted by our readers. You, too, are invited to send me names of your special persons who are in need of prayer. My address is joyfulcatholic@comcast.net. They will be on the list for 60 days. At the end of that time, if prayers are still needed, you merely have to renew the name.

Juanita Caldwell, Isola Todd, David Abbey, Amie Ellis, Linwood “Skip” Williams, Gerry Paradiso, Nick DeCarlo, Tom Medved, Eileen Grotsky, Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis, Donald Whitcomb, Violeta Zepeda, Rev. Joseph Healy, John Aylor, Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo, Sharon McPike, Tom Ryan, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby, Russell Edwards, Msg. Louis Quinn, Rev. Lawrence Boedt, Gertrude Goldstein, Rev. Stephen Huffstetter, Hugh Cannon, Eric Moore

As you note, because of miraculous healings, several names have been deleted and added to our Deo Gratias list.

Regarding fasting for Lent

This, rather, is the fasting that I seek;

Releasing those bound unjustly…

Sharing your bread with the hungry…

 Clothing the naked when you see them.

                                Isaiah 58:6-7

A man who fasts for his sins, and then goes and commits them again—who will hear his prayer, and what has he gained by his mortification?

                                    Sirach 34:26-

Suggested Assignment for Lent

In attempting to personalize your religion during this special season of Lent, you may want to try what I’m going to do.  Believe me; it’s harder than merely giving up something I enjoy. It is writing the answer to these four questions. 

  1. In your own words, describe God, the Father.  For the past two thousand years, brilliant theologians have pondered this and written their views. But, as a simple layman, responsible for my own being, what do I visualize when I say, ‘God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth?”
  2. Just as Jesus said to his apostles, “But what do you say I am?”   In your own words, record who you think Jesus is, in his role as the second party of the Holy Trinity. Elaborate on why you think he became man. How have his teachings affected your life?  Do you picture Jesus as the portrayed handsome young Mediterranean with the silky brown beard?
  3. Then, defining the Holy Spirit may require much thought. In conversation with a non-believer, without using staple expressions such as “Giver of Life”, etc., how would you describe the Holy Spirit?

Think of examples when you think the Holy Spirit has been an important factor is your life.

  1. Lastly, in your own words, answer: “Why the Cross?”  One time, an elderly Spaniard who had been an active Catholic throughout his life, confessed to me that, for the first time, he questioned why Jesus died on the Cross.  He felt lost in trying to find an answer. On this subject, record only your thoughts.

 

(And let me know your suggestions in making the best of Lent.)

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net

Interesting sayings

How am I working to build a more just world—starting in my own home, workplace, parish and neighborhood? With whom am I sharing my “bread”—whether that bread is food, money, time, talents or attention?  Who am I helping to free from bondage—the bondage of addiction, ignorance, poverty, sickness, loneliness, poor self-esteem?

                                                            Sister. Melannie Svoboda, S.N.D.

 

 

Thus never delay inner purification for a single moment, as soon as you are conscious of something wrong in you.

                                                            Father Lorenzo Scupoli (died 1610)

 

 

The good Physician comes himself to heal me, but always find me engaged in acts that prevent his remedies from rendering their healing power.  O Lord, enlighten and sober me. Cure me and I will be cured!

                                                            Saint Ephrem the Syrian (died  373)

(And what are a few of our favorite sayings?)

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net

News flashes

Karl Rabeder, the 47-year-old Austrian millionaire is giving away his 5 million dollar fortune to be poor and spend his life in a wooden hut in the mountains. He said, “I was just listening to the voice in my heart and head.”

 

Citizens Against Government Waste published the Senate’s biggest porkers of the month. They are (all Republicans) Thad Cochran (MS) Susan Collins (ME), Richard Shelby (AL).

NBC’s poll on the question of whether to keep “In God We Trust” on our currency and 86% voted “yes”.

Historians (who sometimes have little to do) in Egypt declared that King Tut had a club foot and died of pneumonia. And an Italian scientist maintains that the reason Mona Lisa is smiling is because da Vinci was gay and this is a self-portrait with him cross-dressed.

 

 

Contributions

This week I sent donations to:

Population Research Institute, which seem to be taking a practical approach to the Pro Life cause.

The Catholic League, which is our B-nai B-rith organization, monitoring and defending our Catholic image in the massive communication world.

 

Other recommended Catholic Blogs

Adams Ale  

Man With Black Hat  

 

Communiqués received

Many thanks for your thoughts about the “Blessed are the poor” Beatitude which has puzzled me for years.

          “Poor in spirit” Ames Woodward, Sacramento, CA

I think you are taking too much liberty in your interpretation of this first Beatitude. Jesus said what he meant!

                                                Inez Goodall, West Point, ME

My favorite religious priest, layperson or organization

Father Stephen Huffstetter, S.C.J.. (submitted by Mary Wiley, Richardson, TX)

“Father Steve is a wonderful person, a man of faith who practices Jesus’ admonitions about the “little children” and the “least among us” every day of his life as director of St. Joseph’ Indian School on a Sioux reservation.

            Two other facts, please add Father Steve to our Special Intentions List as he has cancer. Also, his school is desperate for donations for their winter fuel bill! (saintjosephs@stjo.org.)  

Nearly 200 Native American children call St. Joseph’s Indian School home (another 100 are on our waiting list).

Your tax-deductible online donation provides Native American children in need with a stable home and an education. Thank you for your generosity!

Please let me know about your favorite Catholic priest, layperson or organization that is making a difference.  Share this with our many Joyful Catholic members.

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net)

Quiz

 The winner of a gift copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics, who clocked in at 1:32PM on February 18 is Gretchen Williams in Meridian, MS.

1.      The least Catholic area of the United States is the north-central part of my native state of Mississippi, which is part of the Diocese of Jackson (2.4% Catholic).

2.      The last word spoken by Mary in the Bible was at the Feast of Cana, when she said, “Do whatever he tells you.”

3.      The seven sacraments of the Church are Baptism, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick.

 

Chuckle time

An Irishman goes into the confessional box after years of being away from the Church. Inside, there’s a fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap. On the other wall is a dazzling array of the chocolates and tasty snacks. Then the priest comes in.

            “Father, forgive me, for it’s been a very long time since I’ve been to confession, but I admit the confessional box is more inviting that it used to be.”

            The priest replied, “Get out. You’re on my side.”

Special Intentions List

As you pray with a broad brush, please include these loved ones, who have been submitted by our readers. You, too, are invited to send me names of your special persons who are in need of prayer. My address is joyfulcatholic@comcast.net. They will be on the list for 60 days. At the end of that time, if prayers are still needed, you merely have to renew the name.

Juanita Caldwell, David Abbey, Amie Ellis, Linwood “Skip” Williams, Gerry Paradiso, Nick DeCarlo, Tom Medved, Eileen Grotsky, Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis, Donald Whitcomb, Violeta Zepeda, Rev. Joseph Healy, John Aylor, Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo, Sharon McPike, Tom Ryan, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby, Russell Edwards, Mary Darwish, Msg. Louis Quinn, Rev. Lawrence Boedt, Gertrude Goldstein,

Rev. Stephen Huffstetter.

As you note, because of miraculous healings, several names have been deleted and added to our Deo Gratias list.