Month: April 2011

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics!

  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.

 

Today’s Martyrs

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

aljagoe@comcast.net)

 

Interesting sayings

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.

Bill Basansky 

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)

 No one every told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told them are pretty, even if they aren’t.

Marilyn Monroe

 

Communiqués 

I don’t know whether to thank you or not. Your blog has morphed my concept of being Catholic.

Reggie Wentworth 

A Jew without a sense of shame for the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is a calloused soul.

Regimra

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.

Margaret McDougall 

 

Chuckle Time

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 aljagoe@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, 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.

Shame On Those Unjoyful Catholics

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

Michael J. Sheehan Archbishop of Santa Fe

 

 

Shame on those unjoyful Catholics who attend Mass with the expression of school kids who have been sent to the superintendent’s office. Like hooded monks, they keep their eyes to themselves and act as if you were the only ones in the church. The handshake of peace is their reluctant nod to as few others as possible—then they quickly climb back into their shell. At the end of the service, their “thanks God it’s over” attitude is confirmed by the way they get out as soon as possible. Canon Stuart, one of my favorite priests, told of an incident which had an impact on him. One morning his secretary showed him a picture in the newspaper obituary of a man they recognized. For years they had noticed him sitting alone at daily Mass. They knew nothing about him, not even his name. As a result of this, at the end of each Sunday Mass, this priest now tells the congregation, “Before you leave, take five minutes to meet someone you don’t know. Find out something about them and tell them about you.” The effect is exciting with the church suddenly become alive with happy talk as fellow Catholics come in contact with one another. They are selfish hoarders of a duffer bag filled with the treasures of our Catholicism. This is a magic container because God is constantly refilling it with more than we give out.

What can we Joyful Catholics do to humanize a Mass? I suggest before the Mass begins, make a point of shaking hands with someone you don’t know. And broadcast smiles at those around you. When I first tried this, the result was mostly shock. But later I found that previous recipients would now acknowledge me with a smile, a nod or even small wave. It broke the ice. St. Ambrose once said the beauty of the Church consists in hearts that love Jesus—it is bound in knowing Jesus as the source and power of all that is good and exalting him in our thoughts and actions. More recently, Dom Ancar Vonier, O.S.B., the abbot of Buckfast Abbey in Devon, England, who died in 1906, advised us, “Begin with goodness, with sanctity, with the thought of God, and that you are the children of God. What should affect you is the power of Christ, the power of sanctity.” Following the advice of these two men, let us Joyful Catholics be the sparks that enliven the Church. (And let me have your thoughts about this: aljagoe@comcast.net)

 

 

A Must-See Movie

Every Joyful Catholic should see the 4-star film Of Gods and Men. Be sure to go with friends because this is a show you will want do discuss later.  I was surprised to have three Protestant friends, who had seen the show, call to recommend it to me.

 

Other recommended Catholic blogs

What Does the Prayer Really Say?

Whispers in the Loggia

Charlotte Was Both

Recommended readings

–         “The Role of Catholic Media Today” by Gregory Erlandson in the March New Oxford Review.

–         “Annulment Nation” by Jeff Ziegler in the March The Catholic World Report.

–         “Get Closer” by James Martin, S.J., in March 31 issue of America. 

–         “Theo-Poetics, Merton, and Mary: The Center Holds” in the spring issue of Spiritual Life. 

 

Those Frigging Militant Moslems 

 – On March 20, Muslim extremists burned down 69 Protestant churches in southwestern Ethiopia. The cause of this demoniac action was the rumor that in one of the churches the Qua’an had been flushed down the toilet. Thirty homes, a school and an orphanage were also burned down, and 10,000 Christians had to flee their homes.

– In Egypt, least 13 people died in a sectarian row when Coptic Christians protested against the burning of a church on the outskirts of Cairo.

 

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

1.     Who was the man who first broke all Ten Commandments?

2.     Who was the first American-born canonized saint?

3.     Before coming a disciple, what was Matthew’s profession

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.  

My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe

 

Quiz

 

Last week, the winner of the autographed copy of Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholic is Kathleen Riley in Bangor, ME. Here are the answers:

 

1.     Including Sundays, there are 46 days in Lent.

2.     The two people who appeared to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration were Moses and Elijah.

3.     The biblical saint who died and was buried twice was Lazarus.

 

 

News flashes

 

Pat Archbold in National Catholic Register wrote: Of the many things that have been lost during the last forty years in the name of the council, I miss one the most.  Silence. 

 

 A few years ago my Bishop, Bishop Murphy of Rockville Centre, visited my parish for a confirmation and was appalled at the noise level and the total irreverence he witnessed.  He wrote a letter to my former pastor and said this: “I am very concerned about the comportment of the faithful in your parish church prior to the celebration of the Eucharist. This component interferes with the ability of the people to enter into the liturgy. Conscious awareness of’ the presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is lacking to those who enter the main body of your parish church.

 

 This is further hampered by the fact that the music ministry is set up in front of the doors into that chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. That means that anyone who wishes to go and pray needs to go through the paraphernalia of those who provide music.” 

          

 Real active participation can be fostered by silence, glorious and heavenly silence. So to those who still think that cacophony equals community, I say one thing.  For the love of God, shut up. (Comment: I say Amen! as expressed in “The New Mass, a-la-Show Biz” in my Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics)

 

 

Bad news! The Vatican stated that you can’t get forgiveness of sins by using the new iPhone device that is supposed to prepare one for going to confession.  (Comment: Damn!)

 

In 2009 the worldwide the number of baptized Catholic increased to 1.18 billion, with over 49% in the Americas and 24% in Europe. (Comment: That gives us half of the total, so what about the next Pope being an American?)

 

Today’s Martyrs



 In the Indian city of , 13 Catholic bishops and 500 Church leaders staged a protest about the local court whitewashing the 57 incidents of attacks on Christian churches and 150 cases lodged against injured Christians.

 

  

The Chaldean Catholic archbishop in Mosul stated that Christians in Iraq’s second-largest city live in a state of constant fear. “Most families that fled the city last august following anti-Christian violence have used up their saving and had to return. There is always fear and they know they are targets.”

 

My favorite priest, layperson, breathing saint or organization

I want to honor posthumously retirees Scott and Jean Adam, who were wonderful workers in their California St. Monica Catholic parish. In 2004, deciding to make a difference in the world by bringing Bibles to the far-flung corners of the earth, they began sailing expeditions in their 58-foot sloop, the Quest.  This year their visits included Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.

         

 Last month, they were en route to Salalah, Oman, when they were captured by bastard Somali pirates who killed them.

         

 Their pastor, Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson, said, “They were great people of our community. Jean, who was a retired dentist and mother of two, sang in the church choir. Regarding St. Paul’s reference about receiving a crown of glory, I believe with all my heart they are with God today. Catholics can take inspiration from the Adams.”

         

 As St. Clement of Alexandria wrote in the third century, “Martyrdom means bearing witness to God. Every soul that seeks in pureness of heart to know God and obey his commandments is a martyr, bearing witness by life or by words.”

         

 I agree with Monsignor Torgerson’s comment.

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

aljagoe@comcast.net)

 

 

Interesting sayings



 

A Jewish wife will forgive and forget, but she’ll never forget what she forgave.

                                      Old Jewish proverb

 

As to the church, where else shall we go, except to the Bride of Christ, one flesh with Christ?  Though she is a harlot at times, she is our Mother.

Dorothy Day

 

Happy the people who walk, O Lord, in the light of you face, who find their joy every day in your name, who make your justice the source of their bliss.

Psalm 89



 

That lowdown scoundrel opponent of mine deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I’m just the one to do it.

A Texas congressional candidate.

 

 

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Communiqués

 

In your self-assigned role as a Catholic doyen, what business it is yours if Christ wanted to be baptized by John?

Oliver Whifield

 

I could not agree with you more with regard to your having selected Msgr. Filardi as a favorite priest. He is a very special, joyful Catholic and a marvelous example for young people who may be considering a vocation.

                                                Dennis Harper

 

You’ve got your nerve suggesting targets (like St. Patrick’s Cathedral) to those Muslin terrorists.  Shame on you!

                                                Julia Ellis

 

(Regarding Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab providence, who was assassinated for opposing the Islamic blasphemy law.) Tarseer simply did what he believed would be offensive and unjust not only to Christians, but to all other beliefs in that country.
      

A Christian nation with 5% Muslim population even counts the very rights of this small percentage seeing to it that their human freedom is well respected. They do not mixed Politics with religion. I only see such unfair establishment of Governments when Islam plays a role to dictate over it.
Definitely, Islam sets unfair standards that deplete the rights of any other just because they think there religion is the “truth”. In general, there really is no peace in the “Religion of Peace.”
           

God bless Tarseer, and may his acts to protect Christ’s body hurry Him unto the gates of heaven.

Reggie Crimshaw

 

Chuckle time



Recently, at a First Communion practice at Blessed Sacrament Church in Washington, DC, Msgr. Jon Enzler asked who wrote the four books of the New Testament. A young girl said, “Matthew, Mark, Luke…..” – then she drew a blank.

The boy sitting next to her shouted out, “Kindle.”

 

 

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 aljagoe@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.

And several of those on the list who recently have received miraculous healings; they thank you.

Juanita Caldwell, Isola 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, Bob Earll, Camilus Musselman,   Ed Cole, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Jay Parker, William Stephenson, Roger Stoven, Bob Abbott, Denny Kline, Lois Pinkin, Larry Mannino, Cheryl DeSantis, Lenore SommerRep. Gabrielle Giffords, Laura Marsh,

the cholera victims in Haiti, Christian martyrs in the Middle East, those in refugee camps throughout the world.