Saturday, July 30, 2005

Two Powerful Poems

I recently came across these two poems at opposite ends of the country. One was used as a prayer at a conference of the National Abortion Federation, addressing the child to be aborted. (I heard it on a tape.) The other was written by a pro-life activist, also addressing a child in danger of abortion. One is the perfect reverse of the other.
--Fr. Frank Pavone

Come Forth
Copyright: December, 1979
By: RoseMarie

Come, pass this way, unseen one
Come, walk through the shadows of life
I invite you, want you, need you
Do not drop back into the unknown void.
Come forward into the bright
Sunshine, feel the softness of the snow,
See the vivid brightness of the stars.

Run over the warm hot sands
Of time, with pink chubby toes,
Reach out cherub arms, innocent
Hands to catch butterflies, fish,
Worms, puppies, whatever pleases your heart.

Grow in happiness, love, agony, despair
Let life be kind or cruel, it matters not.
Just come forth, there is love,
Delight waiting, watching, wanting
You. Come forth dear little heart.
Come forth.


Prayer Used at National Abortion Federation

"Greetings, little one. Little sister, little brother,
Great wise ancestor.
You want to come to our house,
Maybe you think we would make good parents for you---
Well, the food is short now----
The winter was too long, and the summer too hot.
We have too many mouths to feed.
My husband works too hard already.
We cannot open our home to you now.
Try again later, little one, or find a better place.
Go in peace now, go in peace."
Joke of the Day

A Catholic boy and a Jewish boy were talking and the Catholic boy said, "My priest knows more than your rabbi." The Jewish boy said, "Of course he does, you tell him everything."
St. Peter Chrysologus, Doctor of the Church
406 - 450

He was born and died in Imola in northern Italy. Peter had a short life, but it was full of accomplishments. An adult convert, he later became a Deacon, then a Priest, and finally the Bishop of Ravenna in 433. He fought paganism and the Monophysite heresy, enforced reforms, and built several churches and ornate altars in his see. As a Preacher gifted with well- developed language skills, he was given given the name Chrysologus, referring to his "golden word". Known as The Doctor of Homilies, Peter was known for his short but inspired speeches; he is said to have been afraid of boring his audience. 176 of his homilies have survived; it is the strength of these beautiful explanations of the Incarnation, the Creed, the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary and John the Baptist in the great plan of salvation that led to his being proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII.

Peter believed in frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist and beautifully describes the sacrament.

"He is The Bread sown in the virgin, leavened in the Flesh, molded in His Passion, baked in the furnace of the Sepulchre, placed in the Churches, and set upon the Altars, which daily supplies Heavenly Food to the faithful."

"Today Christ works the first of his signs from heaven by turning water into wine. But water [mixed with wine] has still to be changed into the sacrament of his blood, so that Christ may offer spiritual drink from the chalice of his body, to fulfill the psalmist's prophecy: How excellent is my chalice, warming my spirit."

~ St. Peter Chrysologus

Friday, July 29, 2005

Catholic Pro-lifer Writes New Song: Free Speech Gone Wrong

Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka, Dr. B.L.T., a Catholic magazine writer and conservative singer/songwriter/psychologist, outraged by the display of Pearcy's Anti-American "art" at the Department of Justice in Sacramento has written and recorded a retort in the form of a song called Free Speech Gone Wrong (The Pearcy Protest Song). The song (music co-written with Darryl Ens) is being released on Right-wing Records, Dr. BLT's own independent label.

Dr. BLT has openly debated Pearcy in the past regarding the Pledge of Allegiance with reference to the "…one nation under God…" phrase, and this debate was published in Inside the City, a Sacramento newspaper.

Listen to Free Speech Gone Wrong (The Pearcy Protest Song) by Dr. BLT and Darryl Ens ©2005 for free at this link http://www.drblt.com/music/GoneWrong.mp3 .
Joke for the Day

Sister Mary, who worked for a home health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas.

As luck would have it a gas station was just a block away. She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas. The attendant told her the only gas can he owned had been loaned out but she could wait until it was returned. Since the nun was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car. She looked for something in her car that she could fill with gas and spotted the bedpan she was taking to the patient.

Always resourceful she carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gas, and carried the full bedpan back to her car. As she was pouring the gas into her tank two men watched from across the street. One of them turned to the other and said, "If it starts, I'm turning Catholic.''
St. Martha, Virgin
+84

Martha was the sister of Mary of Bethany and Lazarus. Saint John tells us that Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus (John 11:5). Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha's home in Bethany, a small village two miles from Jerusalem. We read of three visits in Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-53, and John 12:1-9.

Many of us find it easy to identify with Martha in the story Luke tells. Martha welcomes Jesus and his disciples into her home and immediately goes to work to serve them. Hospitality is paramount in the Middle East and Martha believed in its importance. Imagine her frustration when her sister Mary ignores the rule of hospitality and Martha's work in order to sit and listen to Jesus. Instead of speaking to her sister, she asks Jesus to intervene. Jesus' response is not unkind, which gives us an idea of his affection for her. He observes that Martha is worried about many things that distract her from really being present to him. He reminds her that there is only one thing that is truly important -- listening to him. And that is what Mary has done. In Martha we see ourselves -- worried and distracted by all we have to do in the world and forgetting to spend time with Jesus. It is, however, comforting to note that Jesus loved her just the same.

The next visit shows how well Martha learned this lesson. She is grieving the death of her brother with a house full of mourners when she hears that Jesus has just come to the area. She gets up immediately and leaves the guests, leaves her mourning, and goes to meet him.

Her conversation with Jesus shows her faith and courage. In this dialogue she states clearly without doubt that she believes in Jesus' power, in the resurrection, and most of all that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus tells her that he is the resurrection and the life and then goes on to raise her brother from the dead. Our final picture of Martha in Scripture is the one that sums up who she was. Jesus has returned to Bethany some time later to share a meal with his good friends. In this home were three extraordinary people. We hear how her brother Lazarus caused a stir when was brought back to life. We hear how Mary causes a commotion at dinner by anointing Jesus with expensive perfume. But all we hear about Martha is the simple statement: "Martha served." She isn't in the spotlight, she doesn't do showy things, and she doesn't receive spectacular miracles. She simply serves Jesus.

We know nothing more about Martha and what happened to her later. According to a totally untrustworthy legend Martha accompanied Mary to evangelize France after Pentecost.
But wouldn't it be wonderful if the most important thing that could be said about us is "They served"?

Martha is the patron saint of servants and cooks.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Joke of the Day

A pastor went out one Saturday to visit his church members. At one house it was obvious that someone was home, but nobody came to the door even though the pastor had knocked several times. Finally, the pastor took out his card and wrote "Revelations 3:20" on the back of it, and stuck it in the door.

{Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and him with me.}

The next day, the card turned up in the collection plate. Below the pastor's message was the notation "Genesis 3:10".

{I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.}
Supreme Court Action Alert

Since August recess is near, please call your senators in both their district and Washington, D.C. offices. Please encourage them to quickly confirm this qualified nominee. Below is a list of senators who could possibly prevent Judge Roberts' confirmation. We must flood their district offices with pro-Roberts calls on Thursday! Thank you for taking action.

For Washington, D.C., offices, call the Capitol Switchboard 202-225-3121.

District numbers:
ARKANSAS: Sen. Blanche Lincoln Little Rock: 501-375-2993 Fort Smith: 479-782-9215 Texarkana: 870-774-3106 Jonesboro: 870-910-6896

Sen. Mark Pryor Little Rock: 501-324-6336

CALIFORNIA: Sen. Dianne Feinstein San Francisco: 415-393-0707 Fresno: 559-485-7430 Los Angeles: 310-914-7300 San Diego: 619-231-9712 Sen. Barbara Boxer: San Francisco: 415-403-0100 Los Angeles: 213-894-5000 San Diego: 619-239-3884 Fresno: 559-497-5109 San Bernardino: 909-888-8525 Sacramento: 916-448-2787

COLORADO:Sen. Ken Salazar Denver: 303-455-7600

CONNECTICUT:Sen. Christopher Dodd Wethersfield: 860-258-6940 Sen. Joseph Lieberman Hartford: 860-549-8463

DELAWARE:Sen. Joseph Biden Jr.Wilmington: 302-573-6345 Milford: 302-424-8090 Sen. Thomas Carper Dover: 302-674-3308 Georgetown: 302-856-7690 Wilmington: 302-573-6291

FLORIDA: Sen. Bill Nelson Orlando: 407-872-7161 Tallahassee: 850-942-8415 Tampa: 813-225-7040 Coral Gables: 305-536-5999 West Palm Beach: 561-514-0189 Jacksonville: 904-346-4500 Davie: 954-693-4851 Fort Myers: 239-334-7760

HAWAII: Sen. Daniel Inouye: Honolulu: 808-541-2542 Hilo: 808-935-0844 Wailuku: 808-242-9702 Kaunakakai: 808-560-3653 Lihue: 808-245-4611 Kealakekua: 808-935-0844 Mililani: 808-847-5761 Sen. Daniel Akaka: Honolulu: 808-522-8970 Hilo: 808-935-1114

ILLINOIS: Sen. Richard Durbin: Chicago: 312-353-4952 Springfield: 217-492-4062 Marion: 618-998-8812 Sen. Barack Obama: Chicago: 312-886-3506 Springfield: 217-492-5089 Marion: 618-997-2402

INDIANA: Sen. Evan Bayh Indianapolis: 317-554-0750 Evansville: 812-465-6500 Fort Wayne: 260-426-3151 Jeffersonville: 812-218-2317 Hammond: 219-852-2763 South Bend: 574-236-8302

IOWA: Sen. Tom Harkin: Des Moines: 515-284-4574 Cedar Rapids: 319-365-4504 Davenport: 563-322-1338 Dubuque: 563-582-2130 Sioux City: 712-252-1550

LOUISIANA: Sen. Mary Landrieu New Orleans: 504-589-2427 Baton Rouge: 225-389-0395 Shreveport: 318-676-3085 Lake Charles: 337-436-6650

MARYLAND: Sen. Paul Sarbanes: Baltimore: 410-962-4436 Silver Spring: 301-589-0797 Cumberland: 301-724-0695 Bryans Road: 301-283-0947 Salisbury: 410-860-2131 Sen. Barbara Mikulski: Baltimore: 410-962-4510 Annapolis: 410-263-1805 Greenbelt: 301-345-5517 Salisbury: 410-546-7711 Hagerstown: 301-797-2826

MASSACHUSETTS: Sen. Ted Kennedy: Boston: 617-565-3170 Sen. John Kerry: Boston: 617-565-8519 Springfield: 413-785-4610 Worcester: 508-831-7380 Fall River: 508-677-0522

MICHIGAN: Sen. Carl Levin: Detroit: 313-226-6020 Saginaw: 989-754-2494 Lansing: 517-377-1508 Grand Rapids: 616-456-2531 Warren: 586-573-9145 Escanaba: 906-789-0052 Traverse City: 231-947-9569 Sen. Debbie Stabenow:East Lansing: 517-203-1760 Traverse City: 231-929-1031 Flint: 810-720-4172 Detroit: 313-961-4330 Grand Rapids: 616-975-0052 Marquette: 906-228-8756

MINNESOTA: Sen. Mark Dayton:Fort Snelling: 612-727-5220 Biwabik: 218-865-4480 East Grand Forks: 218-773-1110

MONTANA: Sen. Max Baucus:Billings: 406-252-0550 Helena: 406-449-5480 Missoula: 406-329-3123 Kalispell: 406-756-1150 Bozeman: 406-586-6104 Butte: 406-782-8700 Great Falls: 406-761-1574

NEBRASKA: Sen. Ben Nelson: Lincoln: 402-441-4600 Omaha: 402-391-3411 Chadron: 308-430-0587 Scottsbluff: 308-631-7614

NEVADA: Sen. Harry Reid: Las Vegas: 702-388-5020 Reno: 775-686-5750 Carson City: 775-882-7343

NEW JERSEY: Sen. Jon Corzine: Newark: 973-645-3030 Barrington: 856-757-5353 Sen. Frank Lautenberg: Newark: 973-639-8700 Camden: 856-338-8922

NEW MEXICO: Sen. Jeff Bingaman: Santa Fe: 505-988-6647 Roswell: 505-622-7113 Las Cruces: 505-523-6561 Albuquerque: 505-346-6601 Las Vegas: 505-454-8824

NEW YORK: Sen. Charles Schumer: New York: 212-486-4430 Buffalo: 716-846-4111 Rochester: 585-263-5866 Albany: 518-431-4070 Binghamton: 607-772-6792 Syracuse: 315-423-5471 Red Hook: 914-285-9741 Melville: 631-753-0978 Sen. Hillary Clinton: New York: 212-688-6262 Albany: 518-431-0120 Syracuse: 315-448-0470 Buffalo: 716-854-9725 Hartsdale: 914-725-9294 Lowville: 315-376-6118 Rochester: 585-263-6250 Melville: 631-249-2825

NORTH DAKOTA: Sen. Kent Conrad: Bismarck: 701-258-4648 Fargo: 701-232-8030 Grand Forks: 701-775-9601 Minot: 701-852-0703 Sen. Byron Dorgan: Bismarck: 701-250-4618 Grand Forks: 701-746-8972 Fargo: 701-239-5389 Minot: 701-852-0703

OREGON: Sen. Ron Wyden: Portland: 503-326-7525 Eugene: 541-431-0229 Bend: 541-330-9142 LaGrande: 541-962-7691 Medford: 541-858-5122 Salem: 503-589-4555

RHODE ISLAND: Sen. Jack Reed Cranston: 401-943-3100 Providence: 401-528-5200

SOUTH DAKOTA: Sen. Tim Johnson: Sioux Falls: 605-332-8896 Aberdeen: 605-226-3440 Rapid City: 605-341-3990

VERMONT: Sen. Patrick Leahy: Burlington: 802-863-2525 Montpelier: 802-229-0569 Sen. Jim Jeffords: Montpelier: 802-223-5273 Burlington: 802-658-6001 Rutland: 802-773-3875

WASHINGTON: Sen. Patty Murray: Seattle: 206-553-5545 Vancouver: 360-696-7797 Spokane: 509-624-9515 Yakima: 509-453-7462 Everett: 425-259-6515 Tacoma: 253-572-3636 Sen. Maria Cantwell: Seattle: 206-220-6400 Spokane: 509-353-2507 Vancouver: 360-696-7838 Richland: 509-946-8106 Everett: 425-303-0114 Tacoma: 253-572-2281

WEST VIRGINIA: Sen. Robert Byrd: Charleston: 304-342-5855 Sen. John Rockefeller IV: Charleston: 304-347-5372Beckley: 304-253-9704Fairmont: 304-367-0122 Martinsburg: 304-262-9285

WISCONSIN: Sen. Herbert Kohl: Milwaukee: 414-297-4451 Madison: 608-264-5338 Eau Claire: 715-832-8424 Appleton: 920-738-1640 La Crosse: 608-796-0045 Sen. Russell Feingold: Middleton: 608-828-1200Wausau: 715-848-5660 La Crosse: 608-782-5585 Milwaukee: 414-276-7282 Green Bay: 920-465-7508
Saints through the Ages Quiz

Try taking the quiz and let me know how you did. Some questions are very easy, while others are more difficult.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Joke of the Day

A Jesuit, a Dominican, and a Trappist were marooned on a desert island. They found a magic lamp, and after some discussion decided to rub it. Lo and behold, a genie appeared and offered them three wishes. They decided it was only fair that they could each have one wish. The Jesuit said he wanted to teach at the world's most famous university, and poof, he was gone! The Dominican wished to preach in the world's largest church, and poof, he was gone! Then the Trappist said, "Gee, I already got my wish!"
Pilgrims flock to see 'moving' Virgin

Thousands of pilgrims have flocked to the Church of St. Peter in Acerra, Italy to view a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary come to life. Witnesses reported the statue’s movement initially began with a leg and a vest and later entailed the ears and the face, which appeared as flesh. Others reported seeing a bright light.

The testimony has yet to be evaluated by the Bishop and is far from being confirmed by the Catholic Church as an authentic apparition, but if it is true, I have questions. Why would the Blessed Virgin appear in this particular community? Why does she appear in the form of a statue and say nothing? What is the message she is trying to convey? Is she attempting to convince a people who are weak in their faith that she is real and not merely a historical figure?


Don’t get me wrong – I think apparitions are beautiful and are God’s way of strengthening man’s faith, but it makes me sad that people flock to these apparitions, when they should be flocking to daily Mass, to the miracle of the Holy Eucharist. It saddens me that all of us are not praying the rosary more frequently, that we are not relying on the powerful intercession of Our Holy Mother, and that we are not consecrating our lives to her. True happiness can only come about through a strong faith and trust in the One we love and not in the seeking out of miracles.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Supreme Test of Faith

Once again the specter of religious bigotry rears its ugly head into the judicial confirmation process. Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, reported in an op- ed that Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) asked Judge John Roberts last week "what he would do if the law required a ruling that his church considers immoral?" The revelation of Senator Durbin's query comes on the heels of his weekend performance on "Meet the Press" where he said that a pro-life stance would "disqualify" Judge Roberts from serving on the Supreme Court. Though Judge Roberts is described as a practicing Catholic, Senator Durbin's litmus test would exclude any person of orthodox religious beliefs whether Christian, Jew, or Muslim. Repeatedly, judicial nominees have been blocked for 'deeply held beliefs' on moral issues.

Senator Durbin's questioning is clearly an attempt to place Judge Roberts in the position of choosing between his faith and the law. Article Six of the U.S. Constitution specifically states that, "...no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust." The Constitution forbids the disqualification of judicial nominees on the basis of religious and moral convictions. Such tactics should be condemned by all sides.

Source
Roe Education Plan Announced in Light of Supreme Court Battle

Washington, DC --Fr. Frank Pavonne, National Director of Priests for Life, announced that his organization will launch a two-month educational campaign to bring Americans to a deeper understanding of how extreme the Roe vs. Wade decision is, and how out of step it is with the American people. The campaign is meant to counteract the view that opposition to Roe is extreme -- a view that will be assumed in many discussions during the Supreme Court confirmation battles.

"Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion nationwide throughout all nine months of pregnancy. Most Americans don't know that and most Americans oppose that policy."
Feast of St. Anne & St. Joachim

Today is the feast day of St. Anne and St. Joachim, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus.

Joachim and Anne were a rich and pious couple who found themselves childless. They viewed their infertility as a curse -- a punishment from God. Anne cried out to God for mercy, asking that this curse be removed. She and Joseph both desired to have a child and they promised to dedicate their first born to the service of God.

An angel appeared to Anne and told her, "The Lord has looked upon thy tears; thou shalt conceive and give birth and the fruit of thy womb shall be blessed by all the world". Joachim also received the same message from the angel. Anne gave birth to a daughter who she called Miriam (Mary).

St. Anne is the patron saint of the province of Quebec, where the well-known shrine of St. Anne de Beaupré is located. St. Anne is patroness of women in labor and those who have difficulty conceiving; she is represented holding the Blessed Virgin Mary in her lap, who again carries on her arm the Child Jesus. She is also patroness of miners, Christ being compared to gold, Mary to silver.

Prayer to Saint Anne

Glorious Saint Anne, we think of you as filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer. Heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present affair which I commend to you under your special protection. {mention your petition}

Deign to commend it to your daughter, our Blessed Lady, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy conclusion. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face. With you and Mary and all the saints, may I praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.

Good Saint Anne, mother of her who is our life, our sweetness and our hope, pray for me.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Feast of St. James, the Greater
Apostle




He was the brother of St John and, like him, a fisherman. He was one of the witnesses of the Transfiguration and one of those who slept through most of the Agony in the Garden. He was the first of the apostles to be martyred, being beheaded by King Herod Agrippa I to please the Jewish opponents of Christianity. He was buried in Jerusalem, and nothing more is known about him until the ninth century.

At this time we learn of a tradition that the relics of St James were brought to Spain some time after his martyrdom, (perhaps early, perhaps as late as 830), and his shrine at Compostela in Galicia grew in importance until it became the greatest pilgrimage center in western Europe. In every country there are churches of St James and known, well-trodden pilgrim routes. In Paris, the Tour St Jacques marks the start of the route and the Rue St Jacques points straight towards Compostela. In England, pilgrim routes lead from all parts of the country to the major ports that were used on the pilgrimage. This network of routes is a vital witness to the fact that the Middle Ages were not the static stay-at-home time that we often think them to be: everyone must have known someone, or known someone who knew someone, who had made the pilgrimage.

The scallop-shell, the emblem of St James, has become the emblem of pilgrims generally. In 1987 the pilgrimage routes to Compostela have been designated by the Council of Europe as historical cultural routes of international importance; and the Confraternity of St James is working to restore and upgrade the refuges on a route which is still in active pilgrim use today.

St. James Appears to St. Gertrude

On the Feast of St. James the Greater, the Apostle appeared to St. Gertrude; adorned with the merits of those pilgrims who had visited his shrine....she asked Our Lord why this Apostle was so honored by pilgrimages that his relics appeared even more revered than those of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

Our Lord replied, "The fervor of his zeal for the salvation of souls has obtained this special privilege for him. As I took him away from the world so soon according to the decrees of my providence, that he was unable to convert many persons, which he most ardently desired to do, his desire still remains before me, fresh and flourishing. What he was unable to do during his life I permit him to accomplish after his death, by bringing an immense number of pilgrims to his shrine, absolving them from their sins and strengthening them in the Catholic faith."

Source: The Revelations of St. Gertrude, Monsignor William J. Doheny, csc.
A Vacation in Paradise

Praise the Lord! What a beautiful vacation He blessed me with this past week! Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is truly God’s country with its beautiful waterfalls and lakes, abundant trees and wildlife and white sand beaches. This was my first trip there and will definitely not be my last. God literally sent me to Paradise located in the northern part of the U.P. close to Canada. In honor of this special visit, I have created 10 Signs that you are in the U.P.

Ten Signs that you are in the U.P.

You just might be in the U.P. if…

1. Every motel, forest, park, and utility company is named Hiawatha.

2. You are never more than five miles away from a lake, lighthouse or waterfall.

3. Snowmobile signs abound.

4. You find yourself consuming Mackinac Island Fudge or Moose Tracks ice cream.

5. Every highway you travel on is located in the middle of a forest.

6. The natives refer to themselves as the Youpers.

7. Pasties are something you eat rather than something you wear.

8. You need to make frequent emergency stops for wildlife – deer, ducks, or cranes crossing the road.

9. You spend your vacation at White Cloud, Cloud Nine, or Thunder Cloud cabins.

10. You find yourself dining out at the Bear Butt.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Vacation

I wll be taking a little vacation from blogging, but shall return in a week or so. May the peace of the Lord remain with you.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Signed without reading?

Jill Stanek has some very interesting comments to make today regarding Governor Blagojevich's most recent immoral action synonymous with "executive order".
Blessed Kateri Tekawitha

(Also known as Catherine Tegakwitha/Takwita.)

Kateri Tekawitha, known as the "Lily of the Mohawks", and the "Genevieve of New France" was an Indian virgin of the Mohak tribe born in 1656 in what is now the state of New York. Her mother was a Christian Algonuin who had been captured by the Iroquois and saved from a captive's fate by the father of Tekakwitha, to whom she also bore a son.

When Kateri was about four years old, her parents and brother died of small-pox, and she was adopted by her aunts and a uncle who had become chief of the Turtle clan. Although small-pox had marked her face and seriously impaired her eyesight and she was reserved and detached, her aunts began making plans for her future marriage.

When Kateri was 20 years old, despite family objections, she was converted and baptized by Fr.Jaques de Lamberville, a Jesuit missionary. She took a vow of chastity three years later. Following her conversion and baptism, she was persecuted and threatened by villagers, but stood firm in her faith. Finally, she went to a Christian Indian village near Montreal. There she became spiritually devoted to the Virgin Mary and practiced many forms of self-denial.

On April 17th, 1680, on Wednesday of Holy Week, she died at 3 o'clock in the afternoon at the age of twenty-four. Her last words were: "Jesos Konoronkwa". "Jesus I Love You". Fifteen minutes after her death before the eyes of two Jesuits and all the Indians that could fit into the room, the ugly scars on her face suddenly disappeared.

On January 3, 1943, she was declared Venerable by Pope Pius XII.
She was Beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 30, 1980.

After her death, miraculous cures were attributed to her. Her persistence and heroic virtue continue to inspire Native American Catholics.

Kateri is the patron saint of ecologists, environmentalists, people in exile, those suffering from the loss of parents, and people ridiculed for their piety.

LITANY OF BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA

Prayer for the Canonization of Kateri Tekawitha

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

HE'S HAVING A BIRTHDAY

Today, some 21 years ago (or so), a great hero was born -- the love of my life. Today, he is working his usual ten hour work day, coming home for a brief party, and then dashing off to his 4th degree Knights of Columbus meeting. Happy birthday, Bill! "Today is your birthday...you're gonna have a good time!"
St. Henry II
(972 – 1024)

A German King and Holy Roman Emperor, Henry was born in Hildesheim, Bavaria, Germany in 972 to Duke Henry II and Princess Gisela of Burgundy. He was a man of great piety who exercised his power to extend the Kingdom of God by promoting missionary work. He also founded schools, quelled rebellions, protected the frontiers, worked to establish a stable peace in Europe, and to reform the Church. His wife was St. Cunegund, also known as Cunegundis. He was miraculously cured of an unnamed illness by St. Benedict. Tradition states that Henry desired to be a Benedictine monk after the death of his wife, but lived as an Oblate. He was canonized in 1146. He was declared the patron saint of Benedictan Oblates by Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914).

St. Henry is the patron saint of childless people, disabled people, those rejected by religious orders, and kings.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

What will IL "Dictator" come up with next?

Well, you never know what new law or mandate or immoral action Gov.Blagojevich will come up with next. He always seems to develop with some new devious plan, whether it is to donate money to Planned Parenthood and attempt to disguise it as an altruistic act towards women on his part or forcing Christian pharmacists to distribute abortifacients via his executive order. Well, he has really done it now -- read below for details.

July 12, 2005

Illinois Funds Immoral Embryonic Stem Cell Research with Taxpayer Dollars

Illinois Family Institute (IFI) today condemned Gov. Rod Blagojevich's decision to issue an Executive Order to fund immoral embryonic stem cell research with $10 million in Illinois taxpayer dollars.

By Executive Order, Governor Blagojevich today directed the Illinois Department of Public Health to create a program that will award $10 million in grants to medical research facilities for the development of treatments and cures. The Governor estimated that the program, to be named the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute (IRMI), will be up and running by the end of the year.

"The governor has done an end-run around the legislative process to fund research that advances a utilitarian agenda in which the end justifies the means," said IFI Executive Director Peter LaBarbera. "As Yale-educated neuroscience researcher Dr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk states, while most types of stem cell research (e.g., adult and umbilical cord stem cell research) are 'morally acceptable and laudable,' embryonic stem cell research is 'always morally objectionable, because the human embryo must be destroyed in order to harvest its stem cells.'"

Continue reading "Illinois Funds Immoral Embryonic Stem Cell Research with Taxpayer Dollars"
Questions and Answers: Why Should I Care About Judges and Judicial Nominations?

Summary: Many of the negative changes in American society over recent decades have been imposed by unelected, activist judges. This paper examines how that has happened and why the fight over judicial nominations in the Senate is so important.

by:
Mr. Peter Sprigg

Q - Why should pro-family citizens care about the appointment of judges?


A - Many of the negative changes in American society over recent decades have been imposed by judges. The removal of prayer from public schools, the creation of a nationwide "right" to abortion, and the legalization of same-sex "marriage" in Massachusetts were all decisions imposed by activist judges, without considering the will of the people and their elected representatives.

Q - What do you mean by "activist" judges?


A - "Activist" judges are judges who impose their own policy preferences in their decisions. Judges are only supposed to interpret the law, not rewrite it. Legislatures, elected by the people, write laws, and the executive branch of government (headed by an elected official) is responsible for enforcing them. Activist judges effectively take away your right to affect policy by your vote.

Q - How have activist judges abused their power?


A - Judges are abusing their power if they read into the Constitution principles that are not declared by the plain language of the Constitution. For example, the First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." But nowhere does it say that there should be a strict "separation of church and state" at all levels of government, barring any acknowledgment of God. The decision legalizing abortion was based on the "right to privacy"--but no such right is declared in the Constitution. [More]

Recommended Reading: Supreme Injustice
NEW STUDY FINDS HIGHER SUBSTANCE USE RATES AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD ABORTIONS
Women Who Carry "Unwanted" Pregnancies to Term Are Not at Higher Risk

A new study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology has found that women with a history of induced abortion are three times more likely to use illegal drugs during a subsequent pregnancy. The study supports a growing body of evidence which suggests that later pregnancies may arouse unresolved grief over prior abortions which women may seek to suppress by increased reliance on drugs and alcohol.

Researchers from Bowling State University, the University of Texas, and the Elliot Institute examined data from a study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The data included 1,020 women who gave birth in one of eight Washington, D.C.-area hospitals during 1992. Analyses of the data revealed that while women who had induced abortions were significantly more likely to engage in substance use during subsequent pregnancies, women who had experienced miscarriages or stillbirths were not.

Previous studies have found that women with a history of abortion are subsequently at increased risk for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, suicidal tendencies and psychiatric hospitalization. At least 21 previous studies have linked abortion with increased rates of subsequent drug and alcohol abuse.

"Most women have deeply conflicted feelings about their past abortions," said Elliot Institute director Dr. David Reardon, one of the authors of the new study. "Later pregnancies may arouse or aggravate unsettled emotions. Some women will experience increased anxiety, perhaps about the health of their unborn baby. Others are so awed by the life within them that they begin to question their past choice and feel drowned in self-blame.

"Still others may find that they have a lot of unmourned grief related to a past abortion that is interfering with their ability to enjoy and bond with their new baby. Whatever the individual experience, it is clear that pregnant women with a history of abortion are at greater risk of trying to suppress their turbulent emotions by relying on more alcohol, cigarettes, or illegal drugs.

"Substance use during pregnancy is an increasing public health concern. Alcohol and drug use has been linked to numerous problems in infants such as congenital birth defects, low birth weight, developmental and learning problems, and death.

This new study confirms a study recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology that also revealed higher rates of substance use during later pregnancies among women with a history of induced abortion. "Medical professionals should be aware of these issues so they can more easily identify which pregnant women are at greater risk of substance use," Reardon said. "Referral to post-abortion counseling and substance abuse programs may not only help protect the unborn child from exposure to dangerous substances, it may also help the mother to resolve issues related to the traumas of a past abortion."
'Nuremberg Files' website free speech?
Pro-lifers in appeals court to defend provocative 'wanted posters'

Pro-life advocates who were assessed a $120 million jury verdict for allegedly threatening abortion providers will argue for a reversal in federal appeals court today.

The so-called "Nuremberg Files" case, Planned Parenthood v. American Coalition of Life Activists, primarily was based on the defendants' use of a website that featured "wanted" posters naming abortion providers. [More]

Monday, July 11, 2005

Seeking Signs and Wonders

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you." He said to them in reply, "An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will it be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet." (Matt. 12:38-39)

"And as He was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all the mighty deeds they had seen. They proclaimed: "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." And He said in reply, "I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!" --- Luke 19:36-40

As I read the article about Chicago's latest "miraculous" image, the passages above came to mind. Apparently, a crowd of 250 people are fascinated by a shadow resembling Jesus Christ that is created by a street light. They take time out of their busy schedules to come to and view it.

Two hundred fifty people? Looking for Jesus? In a shadow? Sad, isn't it?
You would think they were "an unfaithful generation". Or is this actually the stones crying out to show the faithless world today the vision of Christ reflected in the stones?

Still, it makes me wonder "How do you draw men into the Real Presence and tell them, He is here?" Come, He is here in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. He is here on the Altar, waiting for you. He is present Body and Blood, Soul and Divinty, and available to you, without cost, to fill your entire being with all the love He has to give. He is here to give you every grace you need and to fill your heart, soul, body, and mind with all strength you need to do all that He asks of you each and every day for the rest of your life. He makes Himself small so that you can grow large in your love for Him and for your brothers and sisters. He makes it possible to overcome all obstacles and to endure all hardships with the graces He imparts to you in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. He makes it possible for you to see His face in the face of your brothers and sisters -- even the most unattractive faces, even in the faces of those who defy and denounce Him. He exists in all His children and it is only with the eyes of faith that we can find Him there.

There are no words to describe this to anyone -- it is something that must be experienced first hand. It is a gift from God that He gives freely to anyone for the asking. Let us pray that all men will come to Him with contrite and humble hearts and not only ask, but accept all that He has to give.
Right to Life, pro-choice rivals break for lunch

Like the author of this article states, this was no Camp David, but at least it was the beginning of a dialogue.

They ate Greek salads, dressing on the side. It was the unlikeliest lunch group in Lansing last Thursday -- or maybe all year.
One guy from Right to Life. Three women on the pro-choice side, from Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, MARAL. [
Read More]
St. Benedict of Nursia, Founder of Monasticism
(480 - 550)


Benedict was born at Nursia, in Umbria, in central Italy, and studied in Rome. In 500, repelled by the vices of the city, he took refuge in Enfide, a small community of about 30 students just outside of Rome. He became a hermit at Subiaco and remained there for three years under the care of a monk named Romanus.

Benedict's reputation spread, and some monks arrived to study with him. They asked him to be their abbot, but they did not like the discipline he imposed and tried to poison him.

Benedict organized several small communities of monks and nuns in various places, including the great monastery of Monte Cassino. He drew up a set of rules to guide the communal life of monasteries, and, though not the first monastic rule ever, the Rule of St Benedict has proved so wise and balanced that it has served as the foundation for practically every attempt at communal living ever since. The Divine Office -- the daily liturgical prayer of the Church-- was made the core of the monastic routine.

To visit a Benedictine monastery of almost any kind is to find oneself spending time among a group of people who, by their strivings to live and grow together, have become more and more themselves, as God intended them, instead of being crushed into false uniformity by some idealistic and authoritarian regime. For those of us in the world, too, the Rule of St Benedict has much to say: it drags our eyes up to the stars but keeps our feet firmly on the ground; it calls us to perfection but keeps us sane.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Lower Cost Alternative

Our Corporate Operations Committee has defined a lower cost alternative to the previously planned switch to LINUX systems. All computers will be removed from every desktop. Instead, everyone will be provided with an Etch-A-Sketch. There are many sound and viable reasons for this decision:

1. No technical glitches keeping work from being done.
2. No more wasted time reading and writing emails.
3. Reduction in technical support calls will reduce our costs associated with maintaining our I.T. help desk.
4. Reduction in hardware costs.
5. Elimination of all software license fees.
6. Reduction in the amount of training necessary for new hires.
7. Can be used at the desktop as well as away from the office due its extreme portability.
8. Extremely low cost makes them disposable (when one breaks, we will simply replace it).
9. We can now hire 1st graders to do your job.
10. We will maintain a virus free environment... No more Norton.

In anticipation of the questions some of you will undoubtedly have regarding this corporate decision, we have prepared a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions from the Etch-A-Sketch Help Desk:

Q: My Etch-A-Sketch has all of these funny little lines all over the screen. A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I turn my Etch-A-Sketch off? A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: What's the shortcut for Undo? A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I create a New Document window? A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I set the background and foreground to the same color? A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch? A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I delete a document on my Etch-A-Sketch? A: Pick it up and shake it.
Q: How do I save my Etch-A-Sketch document? A: Don't shake it.


I was nearly ready to switch to Etch-A-Sketch earlier today when my Norton Internet Security blocked access to the Internet. Symantec helped me find my way back here. God bless them!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Schindler's List

This time I took a longer version of the same test to see what I would come up with and this is the result.

Mrs. H. Goes to Washington

Well, I have always enjoyed watching this movie and have admired Jimmy Stewart for years. Now, I actually get to be one of my favorite characters. If you have not yet seen this movie, it is one you don't want to miss -- it's definitely a classic.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Ontario Catholic MP Denied Communion for Voting in Favor of Homosexual "Marriage"

Outraged Canadian Media Reveal Ignorance of Basic Catholic Teaching
TIMMINS, July 6, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Newspapers and radio shows in Canada are rife with the 'shocking' news that a Catholic politician has been denied communion after voting in favor of the federal same-sex 'marriage' legislation. Catholic NDP Member of Parliament for Timmins-James Bay, Charles Angus, has been denied communion after voting in support of same-sex marriage Bill C-38 in Parliament on June 28.


Angus seems to be painting the action by his pastor as a shocking and improper action on the part of a lone priest. However, the pastor of Angus's St. Patrick's parish in Cobalt, Fr. John Lemire, told LifeSiteNews.com it is not his choice, but adherence to the clear laws of the Church which forbid Angus from being given communion.

On CFRA radio in Ottawa this morning Angus said, "I feel that we are starting to move into some very uncomfortable waters when the priest is telling me how to vote in the House of Commons." He also accused the priest of illicitly using his role for political pressure. "I felt no matter what else was at stake I can't allow the Eucharist to be a political pressure point," he said.

In fact, it is Angus trying to tell the priest how to run the Church. Fr. Lemire told LifeSiteNews.com that "it is a consistent teaching of the Catholic Church as voiced by the current Pope and his predecessor" that those who reject Church teaching in grave matters may not be admitted to communion. Fr. Lemire stressed that Mr. Angus is "very welcome" to come to Church but cannot receive communion without repenting of his actions.

Angus was very clear on radio that he had no intention of repenting. "I'm willing to live with the results of what has happened," he said, noting also that he had only been to church a couple of times since January, when Fr. Lemire first warned him about the stand of the church on holy communion and politicians supporting laws gravely contrary to Catholic teaching. He says his family has also refused to go to Church as a result of the incident. Willingly not attending Sunday Mass, however, is also considered a grave sin by the Catholic church preventing Catholics from receiving Communion without repentance.

Fr. Lemire noted that the denial of communion is an act of care and concern for the parishioner rather than a threat or punishment. It is "to help politicians and people in the pews to better understand and appreciate the faith" and the seriousness of violating it, he said.
With the backing of Timmins Bishop Paul Marchand, Fr. Lemire repeatedly asked Angus to reconsider his position, noting that the Catholic politician was "scandalizing members of our faith community," and warning him that he was placing himself in a position where he would have to be denied communion.


Local Bishop Paul Marchand joined members of Campaign Life Coalition in February to protest outside Angus's riding office. In a letter to all parishes in the diocese last weekend, Bishop Marchand wrote, "I was deeply disappointed to witness our two area Members of Parliament, Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins - James Bay) and Mr. Anthony Rota (Nipissing - Timiskaming), vote in favor of changing the definition of marriage and support same-sex marriage. Their position is clearly contrary to the teachings of our Catholic Faith and is inconsistent with the vast majority of the men and women who elected them to the House of Commons."

For many faithful Catholics who have for years been battling the Liberal government on the abortion and same-sex marriage issues the greater scandal is that hardly any Canadian bishops are encouraging or at least allowing their pastors to do what Fr. Lemire has done. The absence of such straightforward needed action has resulted in a string of Catholic Prime Ministers and most Catholic politicians believing their support for legislation opposed to Church moral teaching is not a serious problem.

To contact Bishop Marchand:Diocese of Timmins65, avenue Jubilee Est Timmins, OntarioP4N 5W4Tel:(705) 267-6224Fax:(705) 267-6226
Email letters to Bishop Marchand may be sent via:
letters@lifesitenews.com

Praise the Lord! I plan to contact this Bishop and personally thank both him and Fr. Lemire for their strong, courageous stand and for carrying out their duties so conscientiously. I will also pray for this very confused Canadian "Catholic" who apparently doesn't respect the Lord enough to receive Him worthily in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Lord, I pray that the veil of deception be lifted from the eyes of our brother, Charles Angus, and that he will open his eyes and ears to Your Truth as it is spoken through his pastor, Fr. Lemire, and Bishop Marchand. Restore his spiritual vision and help him to clearly see the error of his ways. Let him hear your voice in the silence of his heart. Help him to accept the graces You freely offer him as a precious gift through the sacrament of Reconciliation so that those graces may flow freely through him once again and rejuvenate his soul. Heal him, Lord, and bestow upon him newfound strength -- a bold and courageous faith. I pray for complete and total spiritual healing for his family, as well, Lord. I ask all this in Your precious name Jesus, in accordance with Your holy will, through the intercession of Mother Mary. Pope John Paul II, pray for him and for his family. Thank you for your prayers, dear ones. Amen.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Wish President Bush a "Happy Birthday"

Today is the President's 59th birthday. Be sure to wish him a "Happy Birthday" and gently remind him of his promise to appoint a nominee for the Supreme Court who will to strictly adhere to the Constitution rather than write new policies into it. Please call the White House Comment Line at (202) 456-1111 and tell President Bush that you strongly agree with his view that Justices on the Court should not write law, but apply it. You may also contact the President via e-mail at president@whitehouse.gov or by fax at 202-456-2461.
St Maria Goretti
(1890 - 1902)

Maria Goretti was born on October 16, 1890, in Coranaldo in the province of Ancona in Italy, the third of seven children of Assunta and Luigi Goretti. When Maria was six, her father, realizing he could not support his growing family on the barren countryside, took them south, toward Rome, to a village near Anzio, believing that in the rich, warm farmlands of the Mediterranean he would find a more prosperous living and a make a better life for his family. In order to make ends meet, Maria’s father entered into partnership with a man called Serenelli, and shared a house with him and his two sons, one of whom was called Alessandro. Luigi was a hard worker, but suffering from malaria, typhus, meningitis and pneumonia, he died in 1900, leaving his family peniless. Maria, now a child of ten, was doing the work of a grown woman, suffering hunger and mortification daily.

Maria impressed everyone with her radiant purity. She was naturally pious, kind, and helpful. She was also outstandingly beautiful – and Alessandro Serenelli was a very passionate and undisciplined man. She resisted his attentions, which only made her all the more desirable, and narrowly managed to escape a serious sexual assault, which he made her promise to keep secret by threats of murder.

A month later Alessandro arranged things so that he would be alone in the house with Maria; and he had a dagger. She tried to resist, begging him to be careful to save his immortal soul, but he thrust a handkerchief into her mouth to prevent her from crying out, tied her up, and threatened her with the dagger. She could, the theologians say, have consented then, with no danger to her soul; but her love of purity was too great. Enraged, Alessandro ripped her body fourteen times with a sharp blade and left her bleeding and unconscious.. She did not die, though her entrails were hanging out from one of her abdominal wounds. She was taken to hospital, seven miles of rough road in a horse-drawn ambulance, and was operated on for more than two hours. She lived for twenty hours more, became a Child of Mary, received the Last Sacrament, and specifically forgave her murderer. She died in the afternoon of 6 July 1902, at the age of eleven years, eight months, and twenty days.

Alessandro narrowly escaped being lynched, and was tried and sentenced to thirty years’ in prison with hard labor. For the first seven years or so he maintained a cynical and defiant attitude, but he repented, and dreams of Maria herself were largely responsible for his repentance and conversion.

In 1908, six years after her death, Maria came to Alessandro in a dream or a vision, so real, it was for him reality. His prison cell was transformed into a beautiful garden filled with fragrant flowers and surprising masses of lilies. A figure in white was gathering the lilies. She turned to him and he cried out: "Maria! Oh, Mariettina!" and she came to him, carrying an armful of white lilies, which she handed to him, one by one, each representing a wound he had inflicted don her. And she repeated her dying wish that one day his soul would reach her in Heaven.

Maria was beatified in 1927. Alessandro was released in 1928; and he and Maria’s mother received Communion side by side on Christmas Day 1937, and they spent Christmas together. Maria was canonized in 1950. Her mother was present at the ceremony, the first time this has ever happened. Some people say that Alessandro was present, too. Eventually, he found peace as a gardener in a Capuchin monastery and as a lay brother of the Secular Third Order. His favorite flower was the lily. He died in 1970.

Maria is a beautiful model of purity, chastity, love and forgiveness for those in our society today -- both young and old. She took to heart the words of the priest who upon reception of her first Holy Communion told her,"A Catholic will always rather die than sin against God." She chose to die rather than to sin, and to become a shining saint of purity. She received strength to die as a martyr for purity through her frequent reception of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. She forgave the man who murdered her and helped him repent and turn back to his faith. Impossible, you say? How could anyone forgive someone who commited such a heinous crime? Nothing is impossible with God.

This brief story does not do justice to this great modern day saint. You can find more detailed information here. You can also find more information here.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Abortion Pills are Not 'Essential Medicines'

The Bush administration has been working in recent months to ensure that the drugs mifepristone (aka RU-486) and misoprostol, which are used to end early-term pregnancies, are kept off the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines. According to the WHO, a medicine is considered essential if it satisfies "the priority health care needs of the population." Once a medicine is designated to be essential, efforts are stepped up to ease access and widen distribution.

Abortion is certainly not a priority health care need, and these drugs absolutely do not belong on the List. Inclusion of misoprostol and mifepristone on the List of Essential Medicines would be not only morally and ethically unacceptable, but also scientifically irresponsible. Very serious health risks attend use of these abortifacients, and in response to reports of the long-term ills and even deaths that have resulted from its use, the FDA issued a new warning regarding RU-486 last November.

Abortion advocates such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation and its allies have started a campaign to lobby Dr. Lee Jong-Wook, Director-General of the WHO, to include mifepristone and misoprostol on the List. To counteract their wrong-headed efforts, the WHO needs to hear from you. Tell Dr. Lee that you don't want to see these drugs on the List of Essential Medicines.
HUGE MOSAIC OF JOHN PAUL II BEING PREPARED FOR WYD 2005

Organizers of the next World Youth Day are preparing a gigantic mosaic containing a depiction of John Paul II. The portrait will be made up of thousands of small pictures of the Pope sent in by young people from all over the world.

The initiative will allow many people "to be" in Cologne even though they cannot make the trip. Photos can be sent via
the internet.

The mosaic will be put on display at the Cathedral of Cologne during World Youth Day, and every person who sends in a picture will be sent a link to their individual photo and be able to see the mosaic online.

According to the project's promoters, Ingo Brüggenjürgen, Lutz Langel and Ralf Walter, "with this action we want to show that love is stronger that death and that the message of John Paul II continues to live in thousands of people." Their goal is to make the world's largest mosaic.

Source



Beyond just Hail Mary passes

The summer before his senior season, Joe Freedy approached his personal line of scrimmage and surveyed the field. The University at Buffalo quarterback knew the options at his disposal.

Freedy peered to his right and found comfort that a primary route was starting a family with the girlfriend everyone adored. He glanced to his left and recognized he could use his communications degree for a possible career in sales.

He then swallowed hard and made one of the most momentous audibles a man could imagine. He checked off the possibility of a wife and children, checked off on the sales gig, checked off on a life virtually everyone else in the world would consider normal.

Freedy, the starting quarterback of a Division I football team and big man on campus, decided to become a priest.

"It was a huge tug on my heart," Freedy said, "but the Lord was calling me to this."

Freedy is studying at the epicenter of an extraordinary time in the Roman Catholic Church. Since graduating from UB in 2002 as one of the school's top all-time passers, he received his master's degree in philosophy from Duquesne and last August was assigned to the Pontifical North American College at the Vatican.

He twice met Pope John Paul II and was in Rome for the pontiff's death and stirring funeral.

The 26-year-old from suburban Pittsburgh also saw the white smoke billow and stood beneath the window when Pope Benedict XVI gave his first papal blessing. Freedy on Wednesday served Benedict XVI during the Solemn Mass of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Basilica. [More]

Thanks to Curt Jester for this inspirational post.

Monday, July 04, 2005

New Florida Hearsay Evidence Law Adversely Affects Disabled

The Empire Journal

If you suddenly become incapacitated, cannot speak for yourself and have left no written declarations pertaining to your medical treatment, Florida legislators and Gov. Jeb Bush have made it law that a family member or even a friend can decide to end your life, saying that they remember you saying that you wouldn’t want to be kept alive.

In fact, even your estranged spouse by whom you may have been a victim of domestic abuse and violence could decide to end your life by claiming you told him or her that you wouldn’t want to live if incapacitated.
[more]
I HAVE A DREAM

Praise the Lord in His sanctuary,praise Him in the firmament of His strength.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds, praise Him for His sovereign majesty.
Praise Him with the blast of the trumpet,praise Him with the lyre and harp,Praise Him with timbrel and dance, praise Him with strings and pipe.Praise Him with clanging cymbals.Let everything that has breathpraise the Lord! Alleluia.

~ Psalm 150

Praise the Lord for this glorious day and for our many freedoms -- all precious gifts from God Almighty.

"So let freedom ring. From the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire, let freedom ring. From the mighty mountains of New York, let freedom ring. From the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania, let freedom ring. But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. And when this happens, when we let it ring, we will speed that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last, free at last/Thank God Almighty, we're free at last!"

~ Reverend Martin Luther King, 1963

Let us continue to pray that all God's children will be free -- especially the innocent babes in the womb. Let us oppose all assaults on innocent human life that try to pit liberty against life. I have a dream that one day all human life will be respected and held sacred by man. Thank you, Lord, for giving us the freedom to choose to do your will and to follow after You. Amen.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA! ***********************************
Today most of you will gather with your loved ones for a birthday party--America's 229th birthday party. You may go to the beach, or the lake. You may have backyard barbecues and take the kids to see nightfall fireworks. There will be a lot of Stars and Stripes forevering. It is the way honest John Adams thought we should celebrate our nation's birth. It is the Glorious Fourth. America is the only great nation whose birthday we can pinpoint with precision. July 4, 1776 marked the beginning of a "new order of the ages."

The Declaration of Independence was our birth certificate, Thomas Jefferson's great charter of liberty, and it was unanimously approved by Congress. George Washington had it read to his troops in the field. Later, at Gettysburg, Lincoln pointed to our nation's birth and said we were "dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." As we defend the right to life, we can look with confidence to the Declaration for inspiration. The man who wrote those immortal words said it clearly, for Jefferson also wrote: "The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time."

Today many have forgotten the stirring message of the Declaration. They claim that our right to life is only a right if we are wanted. What a confused and confusing doctrine. It's as if the signers of the Declaration had written their names in disappearing ink! No, the Founders of this great country did not hide their light under a bushel basket. They raised a torch on high. They proclaimed liberty throughout the land. And, yes, they hoped that those words would lead in time to the end of human bondage, to the emancipation of the slaves. As indeed it did.

Today, we oppose all assaults on innocent human life that try to pit liberty against life. We stand with Jefferson and the Founders. They knew that life and liberty were our inalienable rights--endowed by our Creator God. Unashamedly, our Founders sought the protection of Divine Providence. Fearlessly, they pledged their lives, their fortunes and their "sacred honor." So happy birthday, dear America, and may God give you many, many happy returns.

Source
INDEPENDENCE DAY 2005

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

~ Abraham Lincoln, March 30,1863

Sunday, July 03, 2005

MAN PROPOSES SEIZING SOUTER PROPERTY

A California man wants to take advantage of a recent Supreme Court decision on seizing private land -- proposing a hotel on Justice David Souter's land. Souter, a resident of Weare, N.H., joined in the majority opinion that allows governments to seize private property and turn it over to a private developer if the action would benefit a community.

Freestar Media Chief Executive Officer Logan Darrow Clements Tuesday faxed a letter to the Weare Town Hall, proposing seizure of Souter's property for a hotel that would "better serve the public interest," the Concord Monitor reported. City officials say they are taking the letter seriously.

"Am I taking this seriously? But of course," said Charles Meany, who handles building requests. "In lieu of the recent Supreme Court decision, I would imagine that some people are pretty much upset. If it is their right to pursue this type of end, then by all means let the process begin. ... I have to allow the law to take its course."

The Monitor said Clements has dubbed the proposal the Lost Liberty Hotel. It will include the Just Desserts Café. Souter's two-story farmhouse is assessed at $100,000. He pays $2,895 a year in property taxes.

Source

Saturday, July 02, 2005

What July Fourth Means to Me

Ronald Reagan

For one who was born and grew up in the small towns of the Midwest, there is a special kind of nostalgia about the Fourth of July.
[more]
I AM THE UNITED STATES

I was born on July 4, 1776, and the Declaration of Independence is my birth certificate. The bloodlines of the world run in my veins, because I offered freedom to the oppressed. I am the United States.

I am 185,000,000 living souls, and the ghost of millions who have died for me.

I am Nathan Hale and Paul Revere. I stood at Lexington and fired the shot heard around the world. I am Washington, Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. I am Paul Jones, the Green Mountain boys, and Davy Crockett. I am Lee, Grant, and Abe Lincoln.

I am the Brooklyn Bridge, the wheat lands of Kansas, and the granite hills of Vermont. I am the coal fields of the Virginias and Pennsylvania; the fertile lands of the West; the Golden Gate and the Grand Canyon. I am Independence Hall, the Monitor and the Merrimac.

I am big. I sprawl from the Atlantic to the Pacific, three million square miles throbbing with industry. I am more than 5,000,000 farms; I am forest, field, mountain and dessert. I am quiet villages...and cities that never sleep.

You can look at me and see Ben Franklin walking down the streets of Philadelphia with his bread loaf under his arm. You can see Betsy Ross with her needle. You can see the lights of Christmas, and hear the strains of "Auld Lang Syne" as the calendar turns.

I am Babe Ruth and the World Series. I am 169,000 schools and colleges and 250,000 churches where people worship God as they think best. I am a ballot dropped in a box, the roar of a crowd in a stadium, and the voice of a choir in a cathedral. I am an editorial in a newspaper, and a letter to a Congressman.

I am Eli Whitney and Stephen Foster. I am Tom Edison, Albert Einstein, and Billy Graham. I am Horace Greely, Will Rogers, and the Wright Brothers. I am George Washington Carver, Daniel Webster, and Jonas Salk.

I am Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Walt Whitman, Thomas Payne. Yes, I am the Nation, and these are the things that I am. I was conceived in freedom, and, God willing, in freedom will I spend the rest of my days. May I possess always the integrity, the courage, and the strength to keep myself unshackled, to remain a citadel of freedom and a beacon of hope to the world.

I am the United States!

-- Author Unknown


Independence Day Trivia

How long have Americans celebrated July 4th as a holiday?
Essentially since 1777 but, officially, not until 1941. It was in 1777 that
Philadelphians first remembered the 4th of July. However, while the War of Independence dragged on, July 4 celebrations were modest at best. When the war ended in 1783, July 4 became a holiday in some places. In Boston, it replaced the date of the Boston Massacre (March 5) as the major patriotic holiday. Speeches, military events, parades, and fireworks marked the day. In 1941, Congress declared July 4 a federal holiday.

INDEPENDENCE DAY

If There Were Computers in 1776

Mr. Jefferson: Gentlemen, the summer grows hot, and it is essential that
we complete this declaration of independence.
Mr. Franklin: Wait a minute, Thomas. I have to reboot here.
Mr. Jefferson: That's all right, Ben. We'll go on without you. Has everyone
had a chance to look at the draft I posted yesterday?
Mr. Sherman: Not yet, Thomas, I've been having Notes replication problems.
Mr. Adams: Here, Roger, I brought a hard copy.
Mr. Sherman: Thanks. Saaaaay, nice font.
Mr. Adams: Do you like it? I downloaded it off Colonies Online just last week.
Mr. Jefferson: Gentlemen! There is work to be done. I fear our document
will soon leak out.
Mr. Livingston: Too late, Thomas. There's already a bootleg circulating. I
saw it posted on alt.georgeIII.stinks last night.
Mr. Franklin: @#$$%^$# General Protection Fault!
Mr. Adams: Ben, you might try upgrading to Windows 75. It solved that
problem for me.
Mr. Sherman: Thomas, the part here about the Acts of Pretended
Legislation; have you considered using bullets to air out the text?
Mr. Jefferson: I can fix that easily enough. Drat! I've spilled candle wax
on my keyboard again.
Mr. Adams: You know, Thomas, that wouldn't happen if
you'd buy an active-matrix screen.
Mr. Franklin: Hard-disk failure?!? Aw, criminy!
Mr. Livingston: Are you sure it's "unalienable rights"? My spell checker
recommends "unassailable".
Mr. Jefferson: Can we stick to the substance of the document, please?
Shoot. Low battery. Anyone got a spare power cable?
Mr. Sherman: What have you got, a Toshiba? No, mine isn't compatible.
Mr. Franklin: Hello, PCs Philadelphia? What does it mean when the floppy drive buzzes? OK, I'll hold.....
Mr. Livingston: The "In Congress" part here at the top; have you thought
about blowing that up really big and maybe centering it in 72 point Helvetica?
Mr. Jefferson: Not a bad idea. Aw, nuts! Word macro virus!
I can't save the file.
Mr. Franklin: That's all right, Thomas. We can manage. Here, borrow
my quill pen....


-- Author Unknown





Pro-life Quote of the Day

"Many people are concerned with children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is the greatest destroyer of peace today- abortion which brings people to such blindness."

~ Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
The Duplicity of NOW

Truth and Action offers an excellent rebuttal to NOW's reaction to the vacancy in the Supreme Court as a result of Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation.
Court vacancy: 'Women's lives on the line'
Activists rev up rhetoric ahead of historic confirmation battle

National Organization for Women warns women's lives at stake in judicial confirmation battle

Activists revving up for a fierce confirmation battle responded immediately yesterday to the announcement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement, warning Americans that her replacement will have a profound influence on America's most divisive cultural issues.

"It is inevitable that this confirmation battle will revolve around values," said Gary Bauer, president of Virginia-based
American Values and former Republican presidential nominee. "The administration should not be afraid of such a debate."

The website of the National Organization for Women opens with an "Emergency Alert" pop-up that warns "Justice O'Connor Resigns ... Women's Lives on the Line."

Beneath photographs, the site's front page says, "These are the faces of women who died because they could not obtain safe and legal abortions. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, these pictures could include your daughter, sister, mother, best friend, granddaughter. ... Don't let George W. Bush and the U.S. Senate put another anti-abortion justice on the Supreme Court."

Meanwhile, pro-life groups plan to join forces for rallies, prayer vigils and demonstrations at the Supreme Court, beginning three days before confirmation hearings start and continuing until the process ends. [more]
You Know You're From Illinois When...

You can immediately identify what part of the state someone is from as soon as they open their mouths.

When you say "the city" - you mean Chicago, unless, of course, you live downstate, where you mean Peoria.

You know why they call Chicago "The Windy City".


Your favorite place to get a burger is White Castle.

In winter, the trunk of your car or your garage doubles as a deep freezer.

You know what's knee-high by the Fourth of July.

Stores don't have bags; they have sacks.

You eat breakfast at 6a.m., lunch at noon, and supper at 5:30p.m.


Your dream vacation is a trip to the state fair.

You think of the four major food groups as beef, pork, corn on the cob and Jell-O salad with marshmallows.

You know what "Bessie Bingo” is and how to play it.

Your favorite pass-times are mushroom hunting, deer hunting, fishing, and riding the 4-wheeler.

Going on an extravagant shopping spree means stopping at all the local garage sales.


You spent a good deal of your high school nights hanging out at A&W or DQ.

You know what plays in Peoria.

You don't pronounce the "S" in Illinois like the rest of the world.

Whenever anyone mentions going out for seafood, the first place you think of is Red Lobster.

You know more than one person with a septic tank.

You pronounce the invisible "R" in the word wash.

Down south to you means Kentucky.

You think Chicago is a completely different state from Illinois.

Detassling was your first job.

Your idea of a really great steak burger is when the meat is twice as big as the bun.

You drink "pop."


You learn your pickup will run without a muffler.


At every wedding you have been to you have had to dance the hokey pokey & the chicken dance.

You consider being called a "Pork Queen" or a “Dairy Princess” an honor.


You learned to drive a tractor before the training wheels were off your bike.

Every sweatshirt you own is orange with blue letters.


You cast your ballot at the polls in Chicago during the elections so you can vote as many times as you wish to ensure that your candidate gets elected.


People from other states love to hear you say "Illinois" and other words with "Os" in them.

You've ever had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.

You consider it a little chilly when the temperature falls below -30 F.

You think fast food is hitting a deer at 65 mph.

You know the difference between the green tractors and the red tractors.

You know that "combine" is a noun.

You end your sentences with an unnecessary preposition, for example:” Where’s my coat at?" or "If you go to the mall I wanna go with."

You’re either a die-hard Cubs or Cardinals fan and think the Yankees are from another planet.


You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Illinois.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Abortion Advocates Say Wal-Mart Should Stock Morning After Pills

Bentonville, AR -- The world's largest retail chain is coming under fire from abortion advocates because it does not stock the morning after pill at any of its 3,000 locations. Wal-Mart operates more pharmacies in the United States than any other chain, but it will not stock the Plan B drugs, which sometime cause an abortion.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Jacquie Young told the Associated Press that the retailer doesn't carry the morning after pills for "business reasons." She declined to elaborate, but previous Wal-Mart representatives have said the decision is in response to customer concerns. [more]