Month: November 2012

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


In light of the Muslim outbreaks throughout the Middle East, I thought you might enjoy this chapter of my book Light Reading for Good and Wayward Catholics.

Conversation, Pre-Man

Devil: Are you sure you know what you’re doing?

God:  I am.

Devil: From what my fallen angel spies tell me, you’re putting a big stake on this new thing that you’re creating.

God:  I guess there are leaks everywhere.

Devil: From what I hear, this new creature is going to be superior to the thousands of other species you’ve made.

God:  You are right on target.

Devil: What’s the matter with the monkey?  You seemed to have been pretty well satisfied with him.

God:  I am, as a matter of fact.  But I think I can do even better.

Devil:  Don’t be too sure of yourself.

God:  Well, as long as word has already gotten out, let me give you a few facts.  This new animal will have a fantastic brain that will enable it to reason, to master all the other animals and even to create.

Devil:  Wow!  Sounds like you’ve done a bit of self-cloning.

God:  To a certain extent, you are right.  But during this creative process, I accidentally pressed the wrong button.

Devil: (with chuckle) You mean you goofed?

God:  Even perfection has its problems.

Devil:  Agreed.

God:  As a result of a mishap, this superior animal which I intend to call “Man”, will be the only creature on earth that can hold malice.

Devil:  The hell you say!  Doesn’t that mean that these man-animals will  eventually destroy themselves?

God:  I was concerned about that.  So I compensated for this flaw by adding a positive ingredient I call “free will”. Thus, Man will be able to make the right decisions.

Devil:  Verily, verily, I know you’re right in all things, but don’t you think this free will might be a two-edged sword?  If Man makes bad decisions, the history of Man will be a one of random slaughter.

God:   I see your point.

Devil:  Acknowledging that you are the Supreme Power and the Perfect

One, I’ll tell you what I’ll do.  For this new superior animal, I’ll give it a special gift.

God:  I have good reason to be skeptical of anything you have to offer.

Devil:  Be at ease, my friend of infinite wisdom.  My contribution to

Man will be the gift of a behavioral ability that will make him aware of you.  This will guide him in believing in the unbelievable.  Also it will encourage Man to be better than he is.

God:  So far I see no objection.  What is your gift?

Devil:  I call it “religion”.  It will be the means through which Man can worship you.  And religion should enable Man to fulfill his role in the universe.

God:  On that basis, I see no reason why I should not accept your offer.

So be it. Devil:  Deal accepted!

God:  But why are you smirking?

Devil:  Even though you are All-Knowing, you’re going to witness something that will shake you to the core. Now, with his religion and free will, each Man will try to possess you.

God:  I do not understand.

Devil:  For example, Man will have the expression, “Oh, My God” – not  “Oh, Our God”.

God:  Well, that implies intimacy.  But I do not like the gleeful tone of your  voice.

Devil:  Rather than trying to reach up to you, Man will attempt to pull you

down to his level and put you in a straitjacket.  Thousands of religious turf battles will be a constant war until Man no longer exists.

God:  Why should that be?

Devil:  These man-animals will give you dozens of names, and each will

interpret his personal relationship with you.  Throughout the multitude of religions, malice will be the hostile link between one man and another who believes differently.

God:  Are you telling me that rather than religion being a unifying force, it

would be divisive?

Devil:  Divisive?  Hell, it’s going to be explosive!  The more religious, the

more fractious the world will become.  Religion will assure that there will never be peace on earth.  Man’s worst enemy will be his fellowman.  And there will be more fighting over religion than over land and gold.

God: That does not make sense.

Devil: During a battle, both armies will be convinced you’re on their side.

Believing he’s right, Man will murder fellow-Man with impunity.  And transformed by religion, Man will become his own greatest predator.

God:  I have changed my mind.  You can take back your gift of religion.

Devil:  No way – a deal’s a deal.

God:  Damn!  You have sure played the devil.

Devil:  So?

Recommended Readings

 –        “A Jewish take on Jesus” in October U.S. Catholic

–        “The Road Ahead” in September 24 America

     –    “Endless War” in October 12 Commonweal

      –     “Saint Thomas Aquinas, ‘The Dumb Ox’” G. K. Chesterton (a must!) 

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 group.   (

Fr. Robert Aufieri (New York, NY)
Fr. John M. Bauer (Minneapolis, MN)
Fr. Edmund Connors, (Katonah, NY)
Fr. Paul D.Counce (BatonRouge, LA)
Fr. Paul Duchschere (Fargo, ND)
Fr. Edward Gorman, O.P. (Providence, RI)
Fr. Andrew Gries (Washington, DC)
Msgr. Edward Filardi (Bethesda, MD)
Fr. Charles E. Jacobs, (Hartford CT)
Fr. Raymond Kemp (Washington,DC)
Bishop Joseph N. Latino (Jackson, MS)                                                         Archbishop Jerome Listecki (Milwaukee, MN)
Bishop Dennis Madden (Baltimore, MD)
Fr. Joseph Marini (San Mateo, CA)
Msgr. Joseph Mayo (Salt Lake City, UT)
Fr. John Mericantante (Pahokee, FL)
Msgr. Thomas Modugno (New York,NY)
Fr. Kevin Nelson, (Lantana, FL)
Fr. John O’Donoghue (San Antonio,TX)
Fr. Antony Pulikal (Lntana, FL)
Fr. James R. Purfield (Denver,CO)
Fr. Paul S. Quinter (Pittsburg, Pa)
Fr. Michael Radermache, (Vancouver, WA)
Msg. David Robichcaux, V.F. (New Orleans, LA)
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi (Mobile, AL)
Msg. Paul L. Rohling (Birmingham, AL)
Fr. David Ross (Lima. OH
Fr. Matthew Ruhl, S.J. (Kansas City, KS)
Fr. Michael Scanlon (Steubenville,OH)
Fr. Walter J. Szezesny (Buffalo, NY)
Fr. Richard Trout (Sanford, FL)
Fr. Hayden Vaverek (New York, NY)
Fr. Malcolm Sylvester Willoughby, O.P. (Washington, DC)
Fr. Anthony O’Gorman (London, UK)
Fr. Alberto Rodriguez, (Miami)                                                                               
Canon Stuart Wilson (London, UK)