My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”..Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe
– In Philadelphia, after two harsh grand-jury reports and four injunctions, Cardinal Rigali finally put on administrative leave 17 of 37 priests accused of sexually abusing minors. This report in The Economist added, “Philadelphia’s faithful are shaken.”
– To promote dialogue with non-believers, in Paris the Vatican conducted a “Courtyard of the Gentiles”, which were three colloquia on “religion, enlightenment, and common reason.” The event closed with an evening festival in the courtyard outside the cathedral of Notre Dame, with music, art displays and a light show. (Comment: why not try this out in America?)
– Congressman Peter King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, seems to have blown it in his ill prepared and poorly thought-of hearings about American Muslin Community.
– A federal judge upheld the right of the United States Air Force Academy to hold a prayer luncheon. The action to prohibit this event was from a bastard organization known as Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
We should honor the five Iranian Pentecostal Christians who have been sentenced to a year in prison for “crimes against the Islamic order.”
Since the crackdown on Christianity that began last June, 282 people have been arrested in 34 Iranian cities.
My favorite priest, layperson, breathing saint or organization
In the January issue of Homiletic & Pastoral Review, Peter Etzell, of Claissa Minnesota, told this about Fr. Frederick Kampsen: “Fr. Kampsen was a proven “builder.” Young and enthusiastic, he inspired young an old alike and soon the idea took root to build a new brick church two blocks off Main Street, net to the recently purchase rectory. During those next three years Father led our parishioners through the planning pledging and financing of a new church.
He also had a profound effect on many Protestants in our small town. There was a joy about him that was ecumenically infectious.
(Now, tell me about your favorite Catholic priest, layperson or organization that is making a difference
A reader in Geneva, Switzerland, correctly questioned the quotation in the last issue by Albert Einstein. I did my own research from a collection of his sayings and couldn’t find the one referred to me. But I did find this one:
Knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitutes the truly religious attitude in this sense and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man.
Life itself cannot give you love, peace and joy, unless you really want it. Life just gives you time and place; it’s up to you to fill it.
My ideas area always changing, always moving around one center, and I am always seeing that center from somewhere else. Hence I will always be accused of inconsistency, but I will not be there to bear the accusation.
Thomas Merton (written in 1964)
I don’t know whether to thank you or not. Your blog has morphed my concept of being Catholic.
A Jew without a sense of shame for the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is a calloused soul.
I like your idea of letting us layfolks have a crack at theology. That puts our Catholicism down within reach and makes it enjoyable. It also incites us do a bit of our own thinking. Do it again.
In Jerusalem, a reporter interviewed an old man who claimed for 40 years he had been praying at the Western Wall for peace between Jews, Christians and Muslims, for the end of all wars, and for our children to become responsible adults and love their fellow man.
The reporter asked, “And how do you feel after doing this for so many years”
The old fellow replied, “Like I’m talking to a friggin’ wall.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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, Jill Todd, David Abbey, Linwood “Skip” Williams, 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,
Rev. Stephen Huffstetter, Hugh Cannon, Eric Moore, Joan Barrett, 8-year-old Michael Fotta and his parents, Lolita Alvarez, Camilus Musselman,
Ed Block, Isobel Milligan, Peter Bartkiewiez and his family,
Joe Toles, Camilus Musselman, Ed Cole, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Jay Parker, William Stephenson, Roger Stoven, Bob Abbott, Denny Kline, Lois Pinkin, Larry Mannino, Cheryl DeSantis, Lenore Sommers
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Laura Marsh, Marie Lyons
Christian martyrs in the Middle East, those in refugee camps throughout the world, the Japanese victims of their recent calamity.