Month: June 2011

We Do Indeed Need to Show Joy as Catholics.

  “Be happily and uncomplicatedly
Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe

News flashes

Alex Salmond, 1st Minister of Scotland, has protested to Parliament about a law on the books since 1701 stating that no member of the royal family can marry a Catholic. He pointed out that they can yet marry a Jew, Muslim, Voodoo priest or Atheist. (Comment: Martians accepted, but no Catholics)
The Mayor of  Moscow has approved plans to build 200 Russian Orthodox churches in the Russian capital.                                  

My favorite priest, layperson, breathing saint or organization 

CNEWA (Catholic Near East Welfare Association) was established in 1926 by Pope Pius XI to assist Eastern churches, to work for church unity and to raise consciousness in the West about the churches and people of the East. The current annual report shows over $5 million spent for carrying for needy children, $3 million for constructing and maintaining religious institutions, $2 million for developing Church leadership, $2 million for heightening public awareness, over a million for urgent human needs, and $600,000 for fostering interfaith communications.

          Today is a time of greatest need for us to support this splendid Catholic organization in its valiant effort to protect and expand our church in the Middle East. Your contribution can be sent to:

CNEWA

1011 First  Avenue

New York, NY 10022-4195

And if you want more information, contact Father Hayden Vavarek at (212) 826-1480,
ext.105  frhayden@CNEWA.org

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

aljagoe@comcast.net

 

Interesting Sayings

By baptism we acquire a new title to the paternal providence of God the Father. The important point to remember is that our confidence in the continual paternal protection and solicitude is based not on our own merits, but on our membership of his Son’s Mystical Body, an his own goodness and mercy.  By baptism, God is
in us, and we are in God, and are made Godlike.

Father E. Eugene Boyland, (1964), was a monk of the Cistercian Abbey in Roscrea,Ireland.

For this is truly perfection: never to stop growing towards what is better and never placing any limit on perfection.

 Saint Gregory of Nyssa (395)
It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t do.

Will Rogers

Our faith is not blind, nor is it a childish and irrational belief in something that cannot be seen.  Our faith is alive and as real as a shepherd sitting on an ancient hillside, his hand on the napes of our necks and his eyes never resting as he scans the flock in search of danger. Our faith is about this kind and ever-loving shepherd who has claimed us for his own, knows us by name and has, in fact, already sacrificed his life for our own.- Steve Givens

Communiqués 

I admire your Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholicsfor the subtle
way you remind us that Christ is the theophany.

Madeline Crossman,Ann Arbor,MI

It is dangerous for you to want us to dive into deep theological waters to try to imagine what went on between Jesus and Mary, other than what is written in the Bible.  

Marie Stetson, Toledo, OH

 Israel was one of the first countries that sent assistance to Haiti, as well as numerous other disasters around the world.
Stephen Diaz Gavin,Washington,DC

Many thanks to the fellow who prompted you to urge us to think about the personal relationship between Jesus and his mother, the Virgin Mary. It opened a new range of thinking for me.

Elllis, Craftsman,Seattle,WA

You flippancy annoys the shit out of me. (I bet you won’t print this.)

                                      Joe Wright, New York, NY

                    (Comment: Joe, now you owe me one.) 

Chuckle Time

An Irishman goes into the confessional box after years of being away from the Church.  He is amazed to find a fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap.  On the other wall is a
dazzling array of the finest cigars and chocolates in the world.

Then the priest comes in.
Excitedly, the Irishman begins…”Father, forgive me, for it’s been a very long time since I’ve been to confession, but I must first admit that the confessional box is much more inviting than it used to be.”         The priest replies “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 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, John Vaughen, Andy Samworth, Carrol Otto. Bill Daniels. Wynne Ambrose 

Christian martyrs in the Middle East, those in refugee camps throughout the world, the Japanese victims of their recent calamity. 

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The Devil Was Right

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

Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe

_____________________________________________

                  The Devil Was Right 

In Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics, the Devil learns that God has created Man and offered a gift which God unsuspectingly accepts. The gift is religion. Then the Devil gleefully cries, “Now there will never be peace on earth. There will be more fighting over religion than over land and gold. Thousands of religious turf battles will be a constant war until Man no longer exists.”

In his book, The Catholic Martyrs of the 20th Century, Robert Royal states there were more martyrs in the last century than all those since Stephen, the first Christian, was murdered. And I bet there were more martyrs in the past decade than in the previous 100 years. What does that tell you?  The U. S. Commission on International Religious Freedom lists 14 of the world’s worst religious freedom violators and human rights abusers. Here they are: Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq ,Nigeria ,North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

The squeeze play against Christians is evident throughout theMiddle East. We Americans must accept the blame for having devastated Iraq. Before our military intervention there were 1.4 million Christians living peacefully with the Muslim

Mgr Louis Sako, Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk in Iraq.

community. Today the estimate is 150,000. Louis Sako, Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, likened the force of Islamic fundamentalists to a volcano, with the goal of creating Islamic regimes throughout theMiddle East. He said, “The Western mentality does not allow it to fully comprehend this risk because the West does not recognize the significance of religion in public life.”

InIsrael, because of discrimination and hardship imposed by the Jewish State, the Christian population in Bethlehemhas fallen from 85% to 12%.

Worldwide, although we Catholics are the victim of prominence, we have to acknowledge other battles taking place within the wide umbrella of Islam; Muslins vs. Hindus; tribal massacres, etc. 164 Mexican priests received death threats during the past year.

While being aware of and concerned about persecuted Christians, we must remember that these dastardly actions are done mostly by a fraction of 1% of the Muslim population. You cannot condemn a body because of a painful hangnail. We must have empathy for the Muslim mass that cringes with shame at the actions of their militant criminals. Ali Gomaa, Egypt’s senior Islamic scholar and the country’s Grand Mufti, agreed that, “Outlaws want to defy the authority of the state.” In a future blog, I will invite a Muslim leader to be a guest writer to express his thoughts.

We Americans can be proud of our considerate restraint. Following 9/11, we didn’t destroy mosques and kill Muslims.  If a religious idiot in theMiddle East burns a Bible, we don’t have mob protests and burn images of their leaders.  We don’t condemn to death one who slanders Christ. And it is important that we don’t becoming “an eye for an eye” people.

 We must be aware of prejudice, which is the first cousin of martyrdom. On a recent visit to Glasgow, when I asked my Catholic host if the Scots were prejudiced against their immigrants from Africaand the Middle East. “No,” he said, “but we live in a Protestant country and all the prejudice here is focused against us Catholics. I recently was told not to bother to apply for a particular job.”

Also, we should support our organizations that are aiding Christians in troubled parts of the world. (See “My Favorite Organization”)

 During our historic era of martyrdom, what do you think we Joyful Catholics can and should do? I welcome your suggestions to share with other readers.(aljagoe@comcast.net)

Other recommended Catholic blogs

–         Mary Beth Bonacci’s Real Love.net

–         Damian Thompson

–         Rorate Caeli

 

Recommended readings

“Solidarity, Forever?” in May 16 issue of America

–  “The Suffering of God” in June 3 Commonweal

“His God & Ours” in May-June Touchstone

“What if there’s no Hell?” April 25 Time

                                      Interesting Tid-Bits

In an interview with the London Times, #1 pop singer Katy Perry showed her “Jesus” tattoo on inside of her left wrist. She said, “I had it done when I was 18 because I love Jesus.” She added that the tattoo constantly reminds her about respect and integrity, the difference between right and wrong.

     On tours, she carries a box of prayers and she said, “Before each performance, we form a circle and read a little prayer. I have a constant feed between me and God and every day is a chance to ask for humility and grace, like — don’t become too proud.”

Roster of Joyful Catholic Priests

The media loves to publicize bad priests, and we should give recognition to our Joyful Catholic Priests. Send me your recommendation for ones you think merit membership in this splendid group. (aljagoe@comcast.net

Msgr. Edward Filardi (MD)

Fr. Andrew Gries (DC)

Fr. Joseph Marini (CA)

Fr. John Mericantante (FL)

Fr. Matthew Ruhl, S.J. (KS)

Fr. Michael Scanlon (OH)

Canon Stuart Wilson,London(UK)

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

Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe

 

News Flashes

Police in Beijing detained 40 member of a Protestant Church on Easter Sunday. Joseph Kun of the Cardinal Kung Foundation, said, “For the past five years, the degree of persecution increased with many Christian arrested, sentenced, abused and tortured. There are still bishops and priests in jail and we don’t know is they are still alive. There is no freedom for the underground Catholic Church in China.”The bearded Archbishop of Canterbury, who will stand on his head to get notoriety, has criticized President Obama for the death of Osama bin Laden. 

Today’s Martyrs

In Mexico City, 60-year-old Fr. Francisco Sanchez Duran was murdered on April 26th. Last year, 162 Mexican priests have received death threats.   Cardinal Norberto Rivera said that all their priests live in constant danger.                              

       My favorite priest, layperson, breathing saint or organization

 


Promise Hsu, a member of a Beijing Protestant Church, was arrested for taking part in an outdoor religious service. While in the police car, he continued singing hymns and gave a bible to one of the policemen, He told the judge, “In our hearts, we know that we gather here to worship, and for the sake of worship, we will pay the price.”

(Comment; Love gutsy Christians!)

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

aljagoe@comcast.net)

Interesting Sayings

No storm can shake my utmost calm while to this rock I’m clinging. Since love is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?

                                      Patricia Livingston

Turning to the Lord God the Father almighty, from a pure heart, as far as our littleness is able, let us give him the most sincere and true thanks, praying his singular gentleness with our whole hearts, that he would be pleased at his  good  pleasure to hearken to our prayers.

                            St. Augustineof Hippo (410)

Religion can do enormous good as long as people take religious teaching metaphorically and not literally; as long as people understand that all religions ultimately preach love and service underneath their superficial particulars; as long as people practice their faith open-mindedly and are tolerant of different beliefs.

                             David Brooks, New York Times Columnist

 

Communiqués

Every cretin who thinks ontologically will realize that joy is the keystone of our faith. I like your computer site.

                                      Ellsworth Kennedy 

What makes you think we lay-folks should meddle in writing theology?

                                      Mabel Adkins

 I’m afraid The Joyful Catholic is turning into The Hateful and Bigoted Catholic. I’m truly saddened by your decision to make your blog an anti-Muslim platform.

MJK,Katona,NY

Reply: Many thanks for your frankness, and I agree I am guilty of showing only the dark side of Islam. However, I think we Westerners have to be aware of the fate of persecuted Christians in the Middle East – just as I want us Americans to be aware of and concerned about our current dramatic division between the rich and the poor. In future blogs, I’ll attempt to show both sides of the Muslim issue.

                                     

Chuckle time  (thanks to Msgr. Filardi)

When the priest called on a recent widow, she said, “You realize you are the cause of my husband’s death. He had a bad heart and two weeks ago after he had been to confession, you gave him the penance of saying the rosary one day, skip a day and then say the rosary again.”

          The priest asked, “How would saying the rosary cause his death?”

          “It wasn’t the rosary,” she replied. “It was the skipping that did him in.”

 

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, 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, Jill Todd

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, John Vaughey,

Christian martyrs in the Middle East, those in refugee camps throughout the world, the Japanese victims of their recent calamity