Month: August 2010

Lightning Bug Catholics

 

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.

My motto… “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”
Michael J. Sheehan
Archbishop of Santa Fe

Lightning Bug Catholics

Recently, my wife and I enjoyed an evening cookout in the park. At dusk as we sat looking over a grassy area towards the woods, we had a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Suddenly the area became alive with hundreds of lightning bugs. They put on a show like quiet fireworks on the 4th of July. One of the little fellows landed on the top of my hand and stayed long enough for me to observe his orange head. Then he lighted up his lower abdomen and took off.
Return home, still tingling from the awe of having witnessed this phenomena of nature, I did some research. I learned that “the bug’s light production (bioluminescence) is caused by enzyme luciferase acting on luciferin in the presence of magnesium ions, ATP, and oxygen to produce light with wavelengths from 510 to 70 nanometers.” Wow!
During the week I realized that we Joyful Catholics are the lightning bugs in the Church. Those other staid, conservative and me-only Catholics are the non-lightning bugs who go about doing their own thing, unnoticed and unnoticing. By contrast, we Joyful Catholics brighten the world around us by demonstrating our concern and love for others—perhaps with a warm smile for a stranger, a call to the lonely, an act of kindness or a note of thanks and appreciation.
As I have said before, a complacent Catholic is third rate. What great joy there is in being a Joyful Catholic!

Recommended readings


– “No Third Reading” in Homiletic & Pastoral Review
– “Saint Teresa of Avila: Prayer-Centered Reformer” in Spiritual Life
– “A Reckoning- the Price Tag for America’s Wars” in Commonweal 7/16
“The Jesus Controversy” in America 8/2-9 (Comment: I get annoyed at us Catholics who enjoy debating “the historical Jesus”. Why can’t we just accept that he was God-Made-Man, and ponder that forever.)

“Be Happily and Uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

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

Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe 

Quiz

Who will be the winner of the autographed copy of …

Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics ? 

 Send your answers to joyfulcatholic@comcast.net

1.     Who is the prophet from the 9th Century BC who is a Catholic saint?   

2.     How did the apostle James, the brother of John, die?

3.     Who is the patron saint of the perfume trade?

My favorite priest

(Submitted by Marcia L. Castro)

My favorite priest is Father David Ross, who served at the Sacred Heart Parish in Toledo, Ohio.  He was a very charismatic priest who revived an old parish. His reverence for the Mass and the Eucharist was always evident.

 His gift of preaching made you want to come to church to hear the sermon. He had a beautiful singing voice and every Christmas and Mother’s Day he sang the Ave Maria.  It was so beautiful that it brought tears to your eyes.

Father Dave was a wonderful confessor and I never felt uneasy going face-to-face confession to him. His penances were always so appropriate, and when he gave you absolution, it was as if God was laying his hands on your head and heart.

The parish school children loved him and were always waiting to give him a hug. He was sadly missed when he was transferred to a parish over 50 miles away. If only there were more priests like Father Dave, the churches would be vibrant and full!

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

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net 

News  

In his New York Times 8/8 article, G. Jeffrey MacDonald, a minister in the United Church of Christ said, “Clergy need parishioners who understand that the church exists, as it always has, to save souls by elevating people’s values and desires. They need churchgoers to ask for personal challenges in areas like daily devotions and outreach ministries.”

–    USA-Today reported that Bobby Jindal, (the jackass governor of Louisiana) approved a law permitting guns in churches. However, the Catholic bishops said, “No siree. Not in our churches” (comment: I bet it increases the churches’ income when the usher has the collection plate in one hand and a pistol in the other)

–         In the London Catholic Review, Dominic Scarborough, a layman from the south of England, wrote,”There is not a day that goes by tht I do not wakeup and question my faith in God and the Catholic Church.  I struggle to reconcile certain teachings with what I am told by the secular world and I frequently lose heart in the ability of the Church to reform itself. Each and every day somehow this struggle receives a reward of grace and I renew my commitment to the totality of the Catholic faith.”

–         From Mother Jones May-June, “In 2003, the predominantly Catholic Philippines bowed to church demand to support only natural family planning. Today more than half the pregnancies are unplanned. A study calculated that easy access to contraception would reduce these unwanted births by 800,000 and abortions by 500,000.”

 Interesting sayings  

There are qualities of Christ in all we serve; the young woman at an abortion clinic, the mentally ill and homeless man at the food pantry, the Latina who needs help fumigating her family’s one-room apartment. When we fail to recognize that, we fail him.  Jesus, let me see you in everyone!

                                                          Melanie Rigney

 

 

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

       Albert Einstein

If temptation, darkness, or sadness come, we must act against them without allowing any bitterness, and wait impatience for the Lord’s consolation, which will evaporate all disturbances and shadows from outside.

                                                          Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1545)

Those fellows who wrote in the Lord’s Prayer “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” had no relatives.

                                                          Tony, my barber

 

Chuckle Time 

Some UK Church signs:

–        Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the snake, and the snake didn’t have a leg to stand on.

 –        Down in the mouth? Come in for a faith lift.

–        Speak well of your enemies. After all, you made them.

  –        Happy Easter to our Christian friends

            Happy Passover to our Jewish friends

             To our atheist friends, good luck.

–        As 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?”         

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, Eileen Grotsky, Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis, Donald Whitcomb, Violeta Zepeda, John Aylor, Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo,

 Sharon McPike, Tom Ryan, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby, Russell Edwards,

Gertrude Goldstein, Rev. Stephen Huffstetter, Hugh Cannon, Eric Moore, Joan Barrett, 8-year-old Michael Fotta and his parents, Lolita Alvarez, Camilus Musselman, Jack Conner, Ed Block, Isobel Milligan,

Peter Bartkiewiez and his family, Joe Toles, Grace Toomey,

Camilus Musselman, Bob Kehlhofer, Ed Cole, Bishop Thomas Olmsted,

 Jay Parker, D.D. Gavin Shipman

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

Aftermath of “The Pope is pregnant

 

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.  

 My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan

Archbishop of Santa Fe 

The Pope, worried 

Aftermath of “The Pope is pregnant” 

I have compiled the comments about this issue into 3 sections.  It is interesting that the messages have been equally divided between the pros and the cons, providing I don’t include two threats.  Here there are:

1.  You have your nerve to poke fun at the Pope!

As a great admirer of Pope Benedict XVI, nothing could have been further from my mind. As you may recall, in a previous issue (“I could have baby-sat the Pope”), I confirmed my admiration and respect for this great holy man. Over 2000 years ago when God wanted to become man, he chose the most perfect human being to be the means of accomplishing this goal—the Virgin Mary. Today, if God wanted to repeat this miracle, He would again select that most perfect person on earth, whom I identified as our beloved Pope. If that is being critical, be my guest.

2. Thanks you for this great thought provoker.  I’ll admit at first I was dumbfounded. After re-reading it three times, I absorbed its most powerful messages.  I only wish our parish priests had the guts to use this in discussion groups with their parishioners.  If they did, what would you suggest as lead points?

– Do you believe that this could have happened—that God could have produced this miracle?  I imagine that only a handful of Jews in Bethlehem believed in Mary’s virginity. In your thinking, is there a glass ceiling on the will of God?  Are you a sincere believer in miracles?

– In your belief, how important is gender?  Do you think of the first person in the Holy Trinity as only God, the Father—or God, the Father, Mother and Essence of all Being?  Should the Parousia occur during your lifetime, would you accept a female baby as the Messsiah?

– When you receive Communion, do you sense the miracle of a new inner life?

3.  This is a real shocker and most Catholics are too complacent and provincial not to be offended.  What fun do you get by rocking the boat? Don't Rock The Boat      I admit I enjoy being a boat-rocker.  If someone doesn’t do it, the comfortable passengers might nap off and miss the beauty and experience of sliding through the blessed waters of life.  In the spiritual life of a Joyful Catholic, there should be no role for complacency.  Unless we constantly sense the ecstasy of our faith, we are poor receivers of God’s treasures that he showers upon us. A complacent Catholic is third rate.

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

Michael J. SheehanArchbishop of Santa Fe

My favorite priest, layperson, breathing saint or organization

As the Executive Director of the Religious Formation Conference, Sister Violet Grennan of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters is a dynamo of energy and enthusiasm.  The purpose of the Conference is to enrich Catholic religious women and men by helping them to gain new knowledge and skills in their pastoral ministries. She is benefiting us Joyful Catholic by endowing our spiritual guides with fresh and effective tools. Sister Violet, we love you!  

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

joyfulcatholic@comcast.net 

Quiz

Last week, the winner of the autographed copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholic is Susan Fox in New Orleans. Here are the answers:

  1. The sons of Jebedee whom Jesus nicknamed “Sons of Thunder” were James and John.
  2. 130 is the maximum number of Cardinals permitted to elect a

(Comment, I wish the maximum age were 50.)

  1. The patron saints of farmers is Isidore

News flashes

–         Bishop Felipe Arizmendi in Mexico lit a blaze when he blamed child abuse by priests on eroticism on television.

–         Commenting on the U.S, Conference of Catholic Bishops publication of “Setting the Record Straight,” Commonweal magazine said, “If the authors of this publication wish to seize a ‘new opportunity for the Catholic community to come together in defense of human life,’ they can start by not questioning the motives of those Catholics who disagree with them about how best to interpret the provisions of the new health-insurance law.  On questions such as this, disagreement should not be understood as a threat to unity, but as a sign of the church’s intellectual vitality.

       “American bishops too often seem to fear that any acknowledgement of the complexity of the issue of the church’s teaching on abortion would weaken their own position.”

(Comment – AMEN!)

–         Even though half of Catholic schools have closed since 1965, with a 20% drop in enrollment in the past ten years, Timothy Dolan, New York’s archbishop is working on a strategic initiative to save the Catholic schools in his archdiocese by co-operating closely with Catholic universities. This is in opposition to converting the schools into charter status (as in Washington, DC) and they no longer operate as religious establishments.

(Comment – Congratulations, Bishop Dolan, may other Catholic educators follow your lead.)

 

–   A sign outside the Church of God in Phoenix: HONK IF YOU LOVE  JESUS; TEXT WHILE DRIVING IF YOU WANT TO MEET HIM.

 Interesting sayings

Once I was at vespers and was gazing at the cross. And while I was thus gazing at the cross with the eyes of the body, suddenly my soul was set ablaze with love; and every member of my body felt it with the greatest joy. The joy which seized my soul in this moment can in no way be spoken of. And in no way whatever can I be sad concerning the passion; on the contrary, my joy is in seeing this man, and to come to him. All my joy now is in this suffering God-man.

Blessed Angela of Foligno, who died in 1309, was a wife and mother, and later a Franciscan tertiary and mystical writer.

 When you are going through hell, keep going.

   A waitress in Atlantis, FL

It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.

James Thurber 

Communiqués

The avalanche of messages from “The Pope is Pregnant” blog deserves a whole blog of its own.  They were both favorable and unfavorable, including a few threats.  So, be patient until I put it together.

 Chuckle time

In the book. How to Become a Bishop Without Being Religious, the author said there were two major requirements to be a bishop:

(a)  grey hair

(b)  hemorrhoids to give you a sorrowful look.

 

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, Tom Medved, Eileen Grotsky, Roseanne Somlock, Nicholas Gallagher, Tom Lewis, Donald Whitcomb, Violeta Zepeda, John Aylor, Rev. Joseph Marini, Enrique Portillo,

 Sharon McPike, Tom Ryan, Joseph Normile, Jim Quimby, Russell Edwards,

Gertrude Goldstein, Rev. Stephen Huffstetter, Hugh Cannon, Eric Moore, Joan Barrett, 8-year-old Michael Fotta and his parents, Lolita Alvarez, Camilus Musselman, Jack Conner, Ed Block, Isobel Milligan,

Peter Bartkiewiez and his family, Joe Toles, Grace Toomey,

Camilus Musselman, Bob Kehlhofer, Ed Cole,Bishop Thomas Olmsted,

Rev. David Granfield, Mort Barron, Jay Parker

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