Month: November 2013

“Be Happily and Uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Pope Francis

We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.  

My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan

Archbishop of Santa Fe


News Flashes

–        Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America stated that the world’s Islamic leaders must hear stories about the persecution on religious minorities in majority Muslim countries so that such incidents are not overlooked.

chartup11–        Bishop Bernt Ivar Eidsvig of Oslo reported that in the past eight years the registered members of the Catholic Church in Norway has grown from 42,000 to 110,000. Comment: Wow, we should find out what they are doing right.

–        German bishop, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst must have gotten his come-upstance when he was called to the Vatican to explain why he had spent $42 millionBishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst in a vintage BMW. on a new residence and flown business class to India to check on the poor. I doubt this set well with Pope Francis, who has moved from the pope’s elegant apartment into the smaller guest house.

  Today’s Martyrs

(Lest we forget)

 Let us purify ourselves through the martyrs, or rather, through him through whom they too were purified in blood and truth.

                           St. Gregory Nazianzen (died 390)

 Burned church

Over a three-day period in August, three nuns were taken as “prisoners of  war”  by Muslim radicals in Egypt, while they attacked, looted and burned 14 Catholic churches and convents. A Muslim former teacher at a convent convinced the crazy mob to release her. Despite many calls for help, no local police arrived.

My Favorite Priest, Layperson, Breathing Saint or Organization


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


Interesting Sayings

 Let us beg God that he would put on us the heavenly Christ so that established in great joy and thus led by him we may be granted the greatest tranquility.

Pseudo-Macraius, an Egyptian monk who died in 390 A.D.

when-they-come-home-returning-catholics-rigney-lanave Lord, let your love flow through me, that I might be a reflection of you for all those I encounter today. Melanie Rigney, coauthor of When They Come Home.Ways to Welcome Returning Catholics”


If joy presents itself because of earning or honor acquired, let them rejoice as moderately as if they did not rejoice, that is,as if the joy were not theirs.

                               St. Robert Bellarmine (died 1621 A.D.)

One way to sum up the good news of the Gospel is to say, quite simply, that theFather and son Father of Jesus Christ is crazy about us… Rev. Robert Barron


Very disappointed with your lopsided and poorly considered most recent blog.(then there is a lengthy listing of Christian misdeed during past century).

myrterYou do yourself and your message a grave disservice when you take such a slanted and frankly infantile view of geopolitics and say silly things like “Yay for us Christians, boo for those bad Muslims.”

If you could get in a time machine and go back just 100 years, this wonderful Christian tradition you sing about was responsible for some of the most horrific trampling on the rights of Arabs, Indians, Africans, and Jews throughout the 1800s up to the 1960s.If you fly back eventhe_time_machine_large_01 farther in your time machine, you will land in Spain in the year 1100, where one of the best cultural things that ever happened to that country was the spirit of harmony and respect that was achieved between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the brilliant center of learning in Toledo — under the rule of an enlightened Arab/Muslim regime.Islam is no more or less violent or peace-loving than Christianity.

 I expect better from your blog.

(reply: I have no argument about our misdeeds of the past. Many of them are horrendous.  You forgot to include the abuses of the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition. However, I repeat, say again, and reiterate that TODAY I thank God that I’m a Christian. Sure, we will still make mistakes and bicker, but we don’t set off car bombs, burn and destroy other places of worship, condemn and butcher non-Christians. Once again, “Yah for us Christians!”


Please send me 18 of your  I AM A JOYFUL CATHOLIC bumper stickers, one for each of our deacons and deacon wives. Use to share to begin to evangelize without the spoken word.

Kate Mills, Ventura, CA


Chuckle Time


When Forrest Gump arrived at the Pearly Gates, St. Peter on the other side told him he needed to answer these three questions before he could enter. The questions were:

(1) What two days of the week begin with the letter “T”?

(2) How many seconds are there in a year?

(3) What is God’s first name?

Forrest said, “That’s easy.  The two days are today and tomorrow. There are twelve second in a year—January 2, February 2, and so on. And God’s first name is Andy, because I learned from the song: ‘Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am his own.’”

St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates and said, “Run, Forrest, run.”


Thank you, God, for our Pope Francis


We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.   My motto — “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”   Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe


pope francis

   Thank you, God, for our Pope Francis   

(Thought #1) Fr. Martin Pable, O.F.M.Cape, wrote that, in1210, when St. Francis was praying before the Crucifix in the church of San Damiano, he heard a voice saying, “Francis, go and rebuild my Church which is falling into ruins!” He took the words literally and began repairing the church building with the help of his friends. Only later did he realize that Jesus was asking him to rebuild the spiritual life of the Church.

(Thought #2) Pope Francis has said we place too much importance on abortion. Ten years ago I gave to non-Catholic friends a questionnaire, asking what they thought was the purpose of Catholicism. 20 out of 20 replied it was fighting abortion. They38th Annual March For Life Winds Through Washington considered the Church merely a major opponent of Planned Parenthood, with little concern about the poor, our staggering number of prisoners, social injustice, education, medical care and the salvation of souls.  For fellow Catholics, could this impression be the reason 1 out of 10 Americans are former Catholics and that a third of all baptized Catholics have abandoned the Church?

(Thought #3) At World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis implored, “I want the church to be in the streets, not closed and turned within.”  With this statement, he has presented a challenge to every parish.

Newly elected Pope Francis appears at the window of his future private apartment to bless faithful during Angelus prayer at VaticanThe Pope later wrote, “Christian morality is not a titanic effort of the will, the effort of someone who decides to be consistent and succeeds, a solitary challenger in the face of the world. No. Christian morality is simply a response. It is the heartfelt response to a surprising, unforeseeable, “unjust” mercy. The surprising,  unforeseeable, “unjust” mercy of one who knows me, knows my betrayals and loves me just the same, appreciates me, embraces me,  calls me again, hopes in me, and expects from me.  This is why the Christian conception of morality is a revolution; it is not a never falling down but an always getting up again.”


(Thought #4) Bill Donohue, President of The Catholic League, said, “Not in my lifetime have I seen an outburst of enthusiasm for a newly minted pontiff. And not just from Catholics: Pope Francis has won the plaudits of everyone, from people of all faiths to die-hard secularists.”



A British soldier searches a teenager in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the Troubles in 1971

                                      (Courtesy of  Dr. Imre Szeman)

In a 2002 survey commissioned by the Northern Irish Community Relations Council, a sociologist interviewed Catholic and Protestant children between the ages of three and six to find out their views on the political situation there. When asked, “What do you know about Catholics?” one Protestant child responded, “They rob. They’re bad. Catholics are different from ordinary human beings because they are badder. They make petrol bombs, get petrol at garages, throw them and they blow up.”

In response to the question, “What do you know about Protestants?” Catholic children provided similar responses, “They want to kill all the Catholics.  They are like Catholics. They do the same things only they’re stronger.”


Recommended Readings


–       “Becoming One” by Bishop Denis Madden in the September 9-16   America

–       “Annie get your background check” in the October U.S. Catholic

–       “Fighting on New Terrain” by George Weigel in the August-September First Things

–       “Your parish needs a hip replacement”  by Msgr. Joseph Kerrigan, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, New Brunswick, NJ    September U.S Catholic



Look to this day

For it is Life;

The very Life of Life.

Yesterday is but a dream

And tomorrow is only

A vision, but

Today, well spent

Makes every yesterday

A dream of happiness, and

Every tomorrow

A vision of hope.

                       From Sanskrit by Kalidasa, 4th/5th century AD