Sunday, April 30, 2006

Thanks for Your Prayers for Alex

Thanks for joining me in praying for Alex. Here is a thank you e-mail from his mom.

Alex recovered by the afternoon of the day I sent out the prayer request. He had his First Communion today. My dad, a deacon, got to give it to him, and this Mass had both forms (which doesn't often happen in our parish). Alex was so excited and proud, and it was a wonderful, faith-filled celebration. Even better, a friend brought the traveling Mary to our house today, so the day was further blessed by the presence of Our Blessed Mother. The only down side was that his godmother (whose kids got sick on the way here) couldn't make it--she's recovering at my mother-in-law's house with two who are still ill. Her older two children came to Mass and were able to share in the celebration. It was a beautiful day and we really did feel your prayers with us. Thanks again.

Karina

Weekend Humor


Via The Curt Jester:

Odd thought of the day

The real reason Ron Howard took on The Da Vinci Code was that he thought Opus Dei was Latin for Opie Die.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

1,000 Prayer Vigils Against the DaVinci Code


As the controversy around the upcoming Da Vinci Code movie grows, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and its America Needs Fatima campaign announced plans to hold 1,000 peaceful prayer vigils outside theaters nationwide beginning May 19.

“These public acts of reparation will literally blanket the country. From Alaska to Alabama, from California to Connecticut, dedicated volunteers are banding together for protest prayer vigils in front of movie theaters showing the blasphemous Da Vinci Code movie,” said America Needs Fatima director Robert Ritchie.

“Wrapped in Gnostic heresy, The Da Vinci Code is a broadside attack against the Divinity of Christ, the Papacy, and the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church,” continued Ritchie. “Together with the so-called gospel of Judas, The Da Vinci Code is outright blasphemy. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the highest ideal of moral perfection; any detraction from this moral perfection takes on a defamatory character, since it lowers and denies His unique and most excellent position as God-man.”

According to the TFP web site (
http://www.tfp.org/), protests are already scheduled in most major cities in the country. The group is also sending a protest instruction booklet to interested parties, which shows how to organize a protest.

Several Catholic bishops and priests have applauded a book published by the TFP, Rejecting The Da Vinci Code, including Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis.

“Interest is overwhelming. The phones haven’t stopped ringing. Catholics are joining in droves. We have protest leaders of all ages who are very devoted people: priests, college students, parents, and grandparents,” Ritchie explained. “They’re motivated because they realize that if our culture doesn’t respect the rights of God, it won’t respect its own leaders and fellow citizens.”

Referring to the woman who according to tradition wiped Jesus’ face on the way to Calvary, the TFP spokesman said: "Veronica is a good example for us to follow. She saw Our Lord wounded and bleeding, carrying the Cross. Her love for Jesus moved her to take her veil and wipe His face. God inspired her. What she did was heroic. Alone, she faced the guards to console Jesus. Today we have the chance to console Our Lord at hundreds of movie theaters, where He will be mocked again by blasphemy
.”


Via Catholic PR Wire.

Meet the Real Dan Brown

In the book, Dan Brown leaves the historicity of The Da Vinci Code ambiguous. Although the book is termed a “novel” on the cover, the first page informs readers that: “All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.”

However, Dan Brown is not nearly so restrained in later interviews. When appearing on “The Today Show,” host Matt Lauer asked him, “How much of this is based on reality in terms of things that actually occurred?” Dan Brown responded: “Absolutely all of it. Obviously, there are - Robert Langdon is fictional, but all of the art, architecture, secret rituals, secret societies, all of that is historical fact.”

Similarly, in an interview with “Good Morning America” when asked: “if you were writing it as a nonfiction book, how would it have been different?” Dan Brown responded: “I don’t think it would have. I began the research for The Da Vinci Code as a skeptic. I entirely expected, as I researched the book, to disprove this theory, and after numerous trips to Europe and two years of research, I really became a believer.”

In the same interview, Dan Brown strove to substantiate his theory about Our Lord and St. Mary Magdalene being married. He claimed: “The people who ask me how much is true need to realize that this theory about Mary Magdalene has been around for centuries. It’s not my theory. This has been presented, really over the last 2000 years, and it has persisted.”

In another interview labeled “Chronicle,” Dan Brown claims that he wanted his book to be more than just entertaining, but educational as well: “I wanted to write a book that while it entertained at the same time, you close that last page and go ‘Wow, do you know how much I just learned? That’s fascinating.’ That is really what I set out to do.”

In that interview he reiterates his belief in the book’s historic value: “When I started researching Da Vinci Code, I really was skeptical and I expected on some level to disprove all this history that is unearthed in the book and after three trips to Paris and a lot of interviews, I became a believer...

Finally, there is a Time magazine article republished on Dan Brown’s web site calling The Da Vinci Code a “historical” thriller, “purporting to expose a centuries-old Vatican conspiracy to conceal the marriage and offspring of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene.”

It is therefore clear that Dan Brown considers the religious heresies expounded in The Da Vinci Code to be the Gospel truth and not just fiction.

Catholic Bashing I have also heard Dan Brown described as Christian. However, the extent to which he truly believes in Christ, or any absolute truth, is called into question by a lecture he gave to the New Hampshire Writers Project. He said:
We were born into a culture. We worship the gods of our fathers. I humbly submit that if all of us in this room had been born in Tibet, probably a lot of us would be Buddhists. I think the chances are pretty good and I also think that we would hold on to all that Buddhist philosophy with all the passion that some of us might hold on to our Christian ideals.


He reaffirmed this viewpoint later in the lecture, saying: “Again, we worship the gods of our fathers. It is truly that simple.”

Some believe that Dan Brown is ambivalent to Catholicism. However, twice in this lecture he made statements, critical of the Church. The first one lashed out against the Catholic belief in the infallibility of Church doctrine: “The world is a big place and now more than ever, there is enormous danger in believing we are infallible. That our version of the truth is absolute.”


Ironically, Dan Brown is not so relativistic in his own opinions. His opinion of Catholic doctrine on women priests is rather absolute. Later in this same lecture, he stated in a pontifical tone:
Prior to 2000 years ago, we lived in world of gods and goddesses. Today we live in a world solely of gods. Women in most cultures have been stripped of their spiritual power and our male-dominated philosophies of absolutism have a long history of violence and bloodshed, which continues to this day…the fact remains, in the major religions of the world, women remain second-class citizens. Why can’t there be women priests? Why is this even an issue?


The Real Dan Brown After hearing the real Dan Brown in his own words, I saw clearly something that the media are not telling us. Dan Brown is not an innocent fiction writer with an overactive imagination. He is a man with an agenda. He is committed to harm the Church and promote his Gnostic and neo-pagan religious beliefs. He wants to persuade others to accept his false view of history.

That is why, as faithful Catholics, we must reject The Da Vinci Code. We must confront the growing tide of blasphemy and send a strong message that Catholics will not stand by while the Faith is dragged through the mud. We must make it clear that we will resist this attack on the Faith with the absolute certainty that the Church, our immortal Mother, will weather this storm unsullied.
Perhaps Dan Brown knows this as well. During of his lecture to the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, he finished by cynically quoting a British priest who said: “Christian theology has survived the writings of Galileo and the writings of Darwin, surely it will survive the writings of some novelist from New Hampshire.”


At least I can say that on this matter, Dan Brown and I see eye to eye.

Via Michael Whitecraft at Tradition, Family, and Property.

For further information on The DaVinci Code, see the Catholic Answers article Cracking the DaVinci Code.

The Catholic Bishop's website http://www.jesusdecoded.com/ is another place to obtain accurate information on the DaVinci Code.

Help Andrea Clark - Contact List

Help Andrea Clark - Contact List Topics:

Frustrated about what is happening to Andrea Clark? Beth at MVRWC has complied a list of individuals who should be notified about her case and who can help.

(Remember to contact St. Luke's Episopal Hospital: 832-355-1000 as well).

I'm going to reproduce her entire list below and hope that you will do the same - this needs to spread far and wide:

Senator John Cornyn
http://cornyn.senate.gov/index.asp?f=contact&lid=1 (scroll down, there's a form)

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison:http://hutchison.senate.gov/e-mail.htm (scroll down)

They got involved with the Terri Schiavo case, after all.

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee:

EMAIL
Washington Office (202) 225-3816
(202) 225-3317 Fax

Houston Office 1919 Smith StreetSuite 1180 Houston, Texas 77002
(713) 655-0050
(713) 655-1612 Fax
Heights Office 420 West 19th Street Houston, Texas 77008

(713) 861-4070

Acres Home Office
6719 West MontgomerySuite 204 Houston, Texas 77091
(713) 691-4882

State/local people-these are important:

Rep. Martha Wong (R - Houston), 512-463-0389
Senator Mario Gallegos, District 6 (Harris County/Houston)
EMAIL
(713) 678-8600
(713) 678-7080 (fax)

Senator Jon Lindsay, District 7 (Harris County/Houston)
EMAIL
(281) 583-1011
(281) 444-0189 (fax)

Houston Mayor Bill White:
EMAIL
PHONE: 713.247.2200

Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities http://www.houstontx.gov/disabilities/index.html

Governor Perry: http://www.governor.state.tx.us/contact/#contact info
Contact the Governor by Mail or Telephone

Telephone Citizen's Assistance Hotline: (800) 843-5789 (for Texas callers)

Citizen's Opinion Hotline: (800) 252-9600 (for Texas callers)

Citizen's Assistance and Opinion Hotline: (512) 463-1782 (for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers)

Office of the Governor Main Switchboard: (512) 463-2000 (office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST)

Citizen's Assistance Telecommunications Device

If you are using a telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD), call 711 to reach Relay Texas

Fax Office of the Governor Fax: (512) 463-1849

Let's do it and help save Andrea's life. Lord, give us the courage, strength, and determination to help put an end to the culture of death.

Conversing with Jesus - Updated


Today I am praying for...

life for Andrea Clark.

special graces for those who are working to help save her life.

a successful bone marrow match for Mark, who has an aggressive form of leukemia.

safe travel and successful apostolates for the Brothers of St. John, especially for this coming week.

Patty, in her work as a sidewalk counselor, that she will serve as God's instrument in saving babies and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion.

a respect for human life from the moment of conception to the final moment of natural death.

an increase in vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.


Father T.

St. Catherine of Siena: Woman on Fire


“I, CATHERINE, … write to strengthen you in the precious blood of the Son of God, desiring to see you consumed in the fire of his charity….”

That is the way Catherine of Siena, the fiery young lay Dominican of the mid-14th century, might well have chosen to introduce herself to today's 21st century readers. It was typical of this Dominican saint always to think and speak of herself only in connection with Christ and to present herself that way to others. She was a mystic (who had visions beginning at the age of seven) and a doctor of the Church -- a gifted, powerful and highly influential woman of her time.


We celebrate Catherine of Siena as an international political figure and a feminist hero. We think of her as Eleanor Roosevelt with a halo. We envision her dressed in a 14th century tailored suit, traversing Europe to tell popes and emperors how to conduct their business.

This portrayal contains a germ of truth. But only a germ. Catherine did work mightily to reconcile warring popes and emperors. She did most of the work, however, through letters and on her knees.

To get a more accurate view of Catherine, imagine a scruffy, not so-respectable version of Mother Teresa. Catherine was not a nun, however, but a member of the Dominican Third Order. Thus she followed the life pattern of the Friars Preachers as layperson. Think of her as an old - fashioned Italian matriarch, pious but sharp-tongued, who scandalized as many people as she influenced. (I can identify with her already -- at least with this part. After all, she is one of my patron saints.) Picture this short frail lady, garbed in worn, rough clothes, in some of her typical daily activities which included:

Managing a large household of followers, all of whom called her "Mama."

Living in poverty and begging with her disciples for everything they needed.

Fasting severely (living only on the Eucharist) but always seeing that her friends were well fed. Cooking food, baking bread, and sometimes praying for a miraculous delivery of food.

Praying for many hours at a time, at times seeming to become weightless when deep in prayer. People claim to have seen her floating a few inches off the ground.

Reading the thoughts and knowing the temptations of her associates, even at long distances. She saw people's secret sins and confronted these people, urging them to repent. She touched hearts so effectively that the Friars Preachers had to designate three priests to handle the confessions of her penitents.

Interceding fiercely for hardened criminals in Siena's jails. Even blasphemous prisoners embraced the gospel when she visited them.

Caring for the sick. God healed plague victims when she prayed for them or touched them.

Finally, offering advice to popes and princes. However, she was not so much an international politician as she was a spiritual director, and her venue was not the entire world but a small quadrant in northern Italy. The issue that concerned her most was not governmental but ecclesiastical. Catherine's passion was for the Church At the age of 33, she offered herself as a victim soul to bring about unity within the Church.

~ Excerpted in part from Mystics and Miracles, Bert Ghezzi, Loyola Press, 2002.

For more detailed information on St. Catherine of Siena's life, go here and here.

Here is an excerpt from The Dialogue (Catherine's dialogue with God in which God is speaking to her) which is just beautiful!

Prayer

Holy Spirit, come into my heart, by your power I journey to You, God, and grant me charity with fear.

Protect me, o Christ, from every evil thought, warm me with Your sweet love, so that each burden seems light to me.

My holy Father and my sweet Lord, help me always in all my endeavors, Christ love, Christ love.

~Composed and written by St. Catherine at Rocca d'Orcia in 1377, after miraculously having learned to write.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Andrea Clark Still In Danger

Via Pro-life Blogs:

Update: Please pray that everything continues to go forward... I'll keep you informed as information is received.

Update 2 (5:18pm est): Andrea's family has run into a significant problem. There is apparently a question as to whether the level of care needed by Andrea can be provided by the IL facility.

Please ask St. Luke's [832-355-1000 - more contact info] to give assurances that life-sustaining treatments will be provided to Andrea pending a transfer.

Update 3: The transfer fell apart - click here for the latest.

PRAISE THE LORD! ANDREA IS SAFE, MOVING TO CHICAGO!

Melanie Childers wrote a thoughtful letter to you, all those who fought and prayed for the life of her sister, Andrea Clark:

My family has made the decision to move our sister to the hospital in Chicago. Thank God there is someone willing to take her. And, really, it is best to get her out of Texas, because of the futile care law here.


St. Luke's played hardball with us on this issue. We were told that we could make the decision today and they would pay the entire amount of $14 thousand to move her, but if we made the decision tomorrow, they would only pay half of it, and if it were the day after tomorrow, they would pay nothing.

As you know, I'm a Democrat, but one that is against abortion. I agree with the Republicans on that issue, at least. After this experience, though, I have to tell you: I am in absolute awe of the power that the right to life people generate. I, of course, first posted on Democratic Underground, and I have to give them some credit: they let my post stand against the rules about posting something like this under the wrong topic. They also let it stand, even though it had people's (my sister's and mine) personal numbers in it. And, of course, some people there forwarded it to other blogs. And everyone there was very supportive in their comments, as well.

But the pro-life people stepped forward and just absolutely ground St. Luke's into submission on this issue. You have, without a doubt, saved my sister's life. I want you to know that. Without the pro-life/right to life people stepping in from the very first of this fight for Andrea, we would have lost. I have never in my life seen such a centered, focused and energized group of people.

You used that energy and focus to do some good in this world and you didn't care whether you were fighting for a Democrat's life or a Republican's. Now, that's conviction.

There are not enough words in the English language to tell you how grateful I and my family are, for what you people have done. When we protested at St. Luke's last Saturday, the strangers that showed up were people that had had relatives killed at St. Luke's in much the same way that St. Luke's had planned to kill my sister. These people hadn't known any better, and they hadn't known that there was such a powerful group of individuals out there, devoted to this one cause, that might be able to help them.

Because of the people in the pro-life movement, a light has been shown on the truth, for all of Texans; indeed, for all of the world to see. May God bless you for your works. And, please, do not hesitate to ask myself or my family, for anything that you may ever need in order to continue your fight for these precious lives. We are here for you and your cause, as you were here for us in ours.


Melanie Childers

May God continue to bless Andrea and her family as they open a new chapter in their lives.

Background information:
click here

Updates: It looks like Andrea is "safe" - at least she will receive treatment - and bloggers (in particular John Hawkings), readers and alternate media sources (Spirit Daily and WorldnetDaily) made a difference. However, TX law remains the same and many like Andrea will suffer the fate doctors had prescribed for her. Someone needs to challenge the constitutionality of this law. In the meantime, I'm thankful for courageous attorneys, such as Jerri Lynn Ward, who are diligent advocates for the oppressed.

Wesley Smith responds:
It is ridiculous that Clarke has to be moved at all, but at least she will get the treatment she wants and needs to sustain her life. Under the Texas statute, St. Luke's is not responsible for paying for the transportation of a transfer after a futility determination, but they will be paying in this case. I am convinced that this would not have happened but for the heat people put on St. Luke's Hospital.... Now, Texas Legislature: Change the law.


Via Pro-life Blogs.

Way to go People! God bless you!

Conversing with Jesus - Updated


Today I am praying for...

the life of Andrea Clark. Praise God! She is moving to Chicago. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Mary.

the repose of the soul of Leonard K., who died of lung cancer and for peace and comofort for his family.

Maria, who recently had emergency surgery for cancer. Her prognosis is poor.

the Bishop of Belleville, IL, for the Holy Spirit's guidance, wisdom and strength for him.

the success of the Diocese of Belleville's first Vocations Day event May 6 -- for the men who hear a calling and attend.

an increase in vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.

respect for all life from the moment of conception to the moment of death.

Alex, who is supposed to make his First Holy Communion this weekend but has come down with a stomach virus.

Brother Andrew, as he prepares for his investiture on June 4th. Praise God and His Holy Mother!

my new apostolate which has been postponed until next week.

the repose of the soul of for the soul of Megan L. Boever.

Please feel free to share your needs with me and I will be happy to pray with you and for you. Thanks for joining me in praying for these special intentions.

God bless you!

Litany to St. Louis Marie de Montfort


Today is the feast day of one of my favorite saints -- St. Louis Marie de Montfort. He lived in the same area of France that my ancestors did and had a beautiful devotion to Our Mother.

LITANY OF SAINT LOUIS DE MONTFORT
(for private use)
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity,
One God, have mercy on us.
Hail Mary, pray for us.
Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort,
pray for us.
Ardent disciple of Jesus Christ the Incarnate Wisdom,
pray for us.
Eloquent preacher of the Cross,
pray for us.
Singer of the praises of the Sacred Heart,
pray for us.
Loving slave of Jesus in Mary,
pray for us.
Faithful son of the handmaid of the Lord,
pray for us.
Apostle of the Most Holy Rosary,
pray for us.
Preacher of the Mother of the Redeemer,
pray for us.
Servant of the poor and the afflicted,
pray for us.
Man of solitude and prayer,
pray for us.
Wonder of mortification,
pray for us.
Model of priests and missionaries,
pray for us.
Fervent minister of the Holy Eucharist,
pray for us.
Fearless champion of truth,
pray for us.
Restorer of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament,
pray for us.
Marvel of poverty and ababdonment to Divine Providence,
pray for us.
Teacher of the people of God,
pray for us.
Founder of Religious congregations,
pray for us.
Apostle of the end times,
pray for us.
Obedient collaborator with the Pope and Bishops,
pray for us.
You see the Face of God:
obtain for us perseverance in the faith.
You shine within Infinite Charity:
obtain for us the gift of pure love.
You live in the New Jerusalem:
obtain for us the spirit of prayer.
You stand before the throne of the Lamb:
obtain for us the wisdom of the Cross.
You contemplate the Mother of the Lord: obtain for us true devotion to Mary.
You dwell with the Apostles of Christ:
obtain for us missionary zeal.
You share in the communion of Saints:
obtain for us love for the Church.
You are seated at the Table of the Kingdom:
obtain for us the crown of glory.

Let us pray

O God, Who in the power of the Holy Spirit
Have made Saint Louis-Marie
An ardent apostle of Christ Crucified
And a faithful son of the Virgin Mary;
Grant that through his example and intercession
We may be renewed in the spirit of our baptism
And be always faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit.
One God, forever and ever. Amen.

Saint of the Day: St. Louis Marie de Montfort

Louis's life is inseparable from his efforts to promote genuine devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the church. Totus tuus (completely yours) was Louis's personal motto; Karol Wojtyla chose it as his episcopal motto. Born in the Breton village of Montfort, close to Rennes (France), as an adult Louis identified himself by the place of his baptism instead of his family name, Grignion. After being educated by the Jesuits and the Sulpicians, he was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1700.

Soon he began preaching parish missions throughout western France. His years of ministering to the poor prompted him to travel and live very simply, sometimes getting him into trouble with church authorities. In his preaching, which attracted thousands of people back to the faith, Father Louis recommended frequent, even daily, Holy Communion (not the custom then!) and imitation of the Virgin Mary's ongoing acceptance of God's will for her life.

Louis founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (for priests and brothers) and the Daughters of Wisdom, who cared especially for the sick. His book, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, has become a classic explanation of Marian devotion.
Louis died in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre, where a basilica has been erected in his honor. He was canonized in 1947.

Excerpted from Saint of the Day, Leonard Foley, O.F.M.

Things to Do:

Read a longer biography of St. Louis de Montfort's life.

Read some of St. Louis de Montfort's works and/or read articles about his spirituality.

Consider making the consecration to Mary recommended by St. Louis de Montfort.

Resolve to pray the rosary daily starting today.

Learn about the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (Montfort Missionaries) and support their work with your prayers, sacrifices and financial offerings.

From the Catholic Culture Library The Spiritans.

Via Catholic Culture.

The Most Interesting Feature Article of the Day

What It Takes to Be a Writer by Mary Kochan, Senior Editor of Catholic Exchange, contains some interesting tips and insights.

I particularly liked this observation:

Of course, if your goal is to become specifically a Catholic writer, then a solid education in your faith is needed and so is living your faith. The point of being a Catholic writer is not necessarily to write things that are identifiably Catholic, but to bring our sacramental understanding of the world to your writing, to do all things for the glory of God, and to be grounded in your commitment to the truth about things.

Before I became Catholic — while I was still quite anti-Catholic actually — I made a peculiar observation. It seemed that almost every time I read something and found intelligence just shining from the page, I would find out that it was written by a Catholic. This even bugged me a little because it flew in the face of my prejudices about the Catholic faith. Just doing a thing well can be a witness in itself.

Spiritual Quote of the Day


"God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies grey and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light, run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Your honor and glory."

~St. Augustine

Via Sr. Patricia Proctor.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

BREAKING NEWS ON ANDREA CLARK: URGENT HELP NEEDED

The family learned of a facility in Illinois that is willing to accept Andrea and offer her the opportunity to live, an expensive move that would require Andrea to be far removed from her family.

However, placing corporate greed ahead of all patient interests and the interests and wishes of the family, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital has just notified the family that they are willing to pay the almost $17,000 to move Andrea to Illinois if they will immediately - that's TODAY, move Andrea out of St. Luke's to the Illinois facility. If the family waits until tomorrow to decide, St. Luke's will only pay half. And if the family can't make a decision by tomorrow, the hospital may consider to pay absolutely nothing. In other words, the hospital is attempting to force Andrea out of the hospital in order to stop the financial drain of the cost of her care.

St Luke's website has the caption "Live More " on their banner and has the following description:
St. Luke's Episcopal Health System has a unique commitment to patient care. As a faith-based, non-profit organization, St. Luke's believes that true healing involves the body, mind and spirit. Our approach goes beyond religion, focusing on the healing aspects of spirituality and based on deeply held trust, love, caring, compassion, and respect for well-being and life. Obviously this is nothing more than a "come-on" just to fool patients into thinking they can be trusted to be compassionate and respect life! Isn't this a rather "sic" use of false advertising?

In light of
their history, their lead should be "Come to St. Luke's and other Texas hospitals to have your life turned off"!

Urgent help is needed from bloggers and blog readers (contact hospital and redistribute this story through your email lists). Please, immediately contact the hospital by telephone and email, and advise them of your horror that a faith-based hospital that supposedly respects life would act so irresponsibly as to put dollars before a patients life, etc.... :

St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, 6720 Bertner Ave., Houston, TX 77030 Main hospital telephone number - 832-355-1000
Email

The family reports that the phone calls are working and the more the better. Do both telephone and email!

More to come - still breaking ...

Cross posted from
Hyscience

Links


Hospital to kill sick woman?

The Andrea Clark Case - Breaking News Coming ...

More On Andrea Clark - URGENT Action Needed!

Successful Female Author Says Working Mothers Short-Change Children

In her new book To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife, Flanagan tears down the feminist banner that says children are better served by having fulfilled mothers in the work place, over available mothers in the home.

Flanagan challenges women to admit their secret attraction to the job of housewife, saying men who don’t care about housework as much as women are not the real problem to work-load conflicts.

“The only solution is…to say, “I’m a woman and I really care about these things and the reason I’m so angry at him is traditional homemaking might be something that I want to do.’ And if that’s true, they should unleash their inner housewife.”


Read the full National Post article.

Papal Quote of the Day

"The law of God does not mitigate or eliminate human freedom, on the contrary, it guarantees and promotes it. ... Moral law, established by God at the creation and confirmed in the Revelation of the Old Testament, finds its fullness and greatness in Christ. Jesus Christ is the way of perfection, the living and personal synthesis of perfect freedom in His total obedience to the will of God."

~ Pope Benedict XVI, speaking to members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, April 27, 2006

More Catholic Bashing: This time at the University of Oregon

JESUS DEFILED IN STUDENT NEWSPAPER

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, wrote a letter yesterday to every member of the Oregon legislature, the governor, the state’s three Catholic bishops, the president of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and the chancellor of the Oregon University System. The subject was an attack on Christianity that was published in a student newspaper at the University of Oregon. Here are his remarks:

“The March edition of the Insurgent, a University of Oregon student newspaper, was one of the most obscene assaults on Christianity I have ever seen. To make sure that the persons I wrote to understand how vile this attack was, I sent a photocopy of the two most offensive graphics: one was a depiction of a naked Jesus on the Cross with an erection; the other, titled ‘Resurrection,’ showed a naked Jesus kissing another naked man, both sporting erections.

“The pictures are only one small part of the March edition. Indeed, the entire issue is replete with the most egregious examples of hate speech targeted at Christians. For example, there are several cartoons of Jesus—including Jesus crucified—that are so gratuitously offensive that only the most depraved would defend them. Moreover, the two opinion pieces against Catholicism are patently malicious. That all of this appeared in a student newspaper, during Lent, on the campus of a state institution, makes one wonder what is going on at the University of Oregon.

“This explosion of hate speech was a response to a decision reached by one of the Insurgent’s rivals, the Commentator, to publish the 12 Danish cartoons that recently so inflamed the Muslim world. An Insurgent editorial said that because the Commentator published depictions of Muhammad so as to ‘provoke dialogue,’ they had a right to thrash Christians as a way of provoking dialogue.

“The tepid response by the president of the university, Dave Frohnmayer, to this outrageous incident is what necessitated my letter to state leaders.”

Contact Frohnmayer at pres@oregon.uoregon.edu.

Today, he posts an update entitled UNIV. OF OREGON’S DISHONEST PRESIDENT.

Here is the World Net Daily article on this: Jesus with Erection Ignites Outrage.

The Oregon Daily Emerald reports that University student Zachary White, a student minister at the St. Thomas More Newman Center, filed an official complaint with the student government on April 13 in which he said the incidental fee, which all students pay, should not be used to print material that insults Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church, particularly.

“I find it intolerable and contrary to the University’s mission of tolerance and non-discrimination to use public funds to allow for discrimination of a religious group on campus,” White wrote in the complaint.

After meeting with a University attorney and reviewing the rules guide for possible violations of incidental fee use, ASUO Programs Administrator David Goward said Sunday it’s a “pretty black and white” issue. He ruled Friday that The Insurgent need not apologize nor refrain from publishing similar content in the future, both outcomes that White requested.

“We realize that some people are offended by the content of the ASUO Student Insurgent, but we stand firm in the fact that this publication, and previous (ones) do contribute to the cultural and physical development of the university community,” a requirement for student groups receiving student fees.

Student government gave the Insurgent $18,349 in incidental fees for this year’s publication costs and director positions. Each student pays $191 a term in incidental fees.

This is outrageous! I find this extremely offensive, highly inflammatory, discriminatory, and intolerant of my Christian Catholic beliefs. What kind of University are they that they would allow such vile and obscene trash to be printed in their student newspaper? What are they teaching them there -- how to hate and harass and Christians?

Abortion As Birth Control

Abortion is no longer primarily an act of teenage desperation; instead, more and more it is the calculated choice of adults unwilling to accept responsibility for their behavior. Abortion is becoming more “rare” among the nation’s teens, but a larger percentage of women in their mid to late 20s –– women who are supposed to be responsible, mature and informed –– are, to put it bluntly, using abortion as a form of birth control.

Sensible people are glad to see that teen abortions are declining dramatically and that the total number of abortions is also declining. The abstinence message is getting through to teens, and sonogram technology is making possible increased awareness of the humanity of those babies in the womb.

It is also good news that between 1994 and 1998, the number of abortion clinics in the United States decreased by more than 40 percent simply because not enough doctors are willing to provide the abortions and fewer women are asking for them. In addition, more and more doctors are refusing to perform abortions and many medical students are declining to become licensed for the procedure.

While abortion clinics are closing because of the decline in business, Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) are springing up everywhere. In 1980, there were only 500 across the nation. By 1990 there were 2,000, and now there are at least 4,000.
That’s the good news on the abortion front.


The bad news is that abortions to women over 25 have risen dramatically. Over the past decade, the percentage has grown from 35 percent of the total number of abortions to more than 48 percent in 2000. This contrasts with teen abortions, which have declined during the same period, and abortions to women 20-24, which have remained stable at about one-third of the total.

The real shocker, though, is that it is more common for women to have repeat abortions (some four or more) and to have abortions after already giving birth to living children. Obviously, 25-year-old women and women who are already mothers should know how to exercise self-control and to use contraceptives responsibly and effectively.

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 6 million American women become pregnant every year — almost half of them unmarried. The abortion rate for unmarried women is four times greater than that of married women. Obviously, these women engage in irresponsible and risky sexual behavior with men who are poor candidates for marriage and even worse candidates for fatherhood. Of those 3 million unmarried pregnant women, almost half have an abortion and almost half become single mothers. Very few of them marry the father of their child or give the child up for adoption.

Sadly, abortion has made it easier for irresponsible men to turn their backs on women and the children they conceive. Ironically, though, most unmarried women are living with the man who fathered their child. Nevertheless, they do not even consider marriage and never consider releasing the child for adoption to a couple on the long lists of those desperate to have a child. Many women would not consider marrying because they "have to," and they think that giving a child up for adoption is "cruel." Yet, it is not considered cruel to abort an “unwanted” child that the man is unwilling to support.

During the time that the number of repeat abortions has been increasing, the number of women who choose abortion for the first time has decreased very steadily. Women who had not previously had a live birth accounted for 90 percent of the decline in the number of abortions from 1990 to 2000 –– only 40 percent of all abortions. By the late 1990s, though, more than 45 percent of all abortions were being performed on women with previous abortions. By the year 2000, the share of abortions accounted for by women with children increased to 60 percent of the total.

In summary, over the past couple of decades, abortion has enabled women to engage in sexual activity without marriage or any other commitment –– regardless of whether either person is able or willing to commit to a permanent relationship and regardless of whether either person is willing or able to take responsibility for the consequences. That’s the driving force behind the so-called “pro-choice” movement.

Today's Saint: St. Zita


Saint Zita is the patron saint of domestic servants. She is also called upon to assist in helping to find lost keys.

She was born in Tuscany, Italy in the village of Monsagrati. Zita came from a poor, but deeply devotional family. To help support the family, she became a maid of a wealthy family, Fatinelli, in the nearby Tuscan city of Lucca, serving them loyally for 48 years.

Zita considered her work as an employment assigned to her by God and obeyed her master and mistress in all things as being placed over her by God. She always rose several hours before the rest of the family and spent time in prayer while they slept. She started each day with Holy Mass before she began performing her duties.

Zita visited the sick and those in prison, giving them hope and spreading the gospel message. She became well known in the Lucca area for all her works of charity and her sweet, joyful disposition.

Zita had a great love for the poor and donated her own food or that of her master to the poor. At first, her employers were upset by her generous gifts of food to the poor, but in time, they were completely won over by her patience and goodness.

On one morning, Zita left her chore of baking bread to tend to someone in need. Some of the other servants made sure the Fatinelli family was aware of what happened. When they went to investigate, they claimed to have found angels in the Fatinelli kitchen, baking the bread for her.

On another occasion, Zita had given away the family's supply of beans to the townsfolk during a severe famine. Upon suspecting this, the Fatinelli family went to the cupboard to find it full - the beans hand been miraculously replaced.

Another recorded event was just as dramatic, if not more so. On Christmas Eve, Zita had given away a prized and treasured family cloak to a shivering man at the doorway of St. Fredaino, the local church. While the elder Fatinelli was in the midst of a fit of fury, an elderly man came to the door and returned the heirloom. When townsfolk heard of the event, they decided that the man must have been an angel. From that point on, the doorway of the St. Fredaino church in Lucca has been called the "Angel Portal".

With the passage of the years Zita’s fellow servants and the Fatinellis came to realize that she was a genuine saint. The family made her mistress of the household and eventually governess of the Fatinelli children.

St. Zita died peacefully in the Fatinelli house on April 27, 1272. It is said that a star appeared above the attic where she slept at the moment of her death. Zita was canonized in 1696.

To this day, families bake a loaf a bread to celebrate St. Zita's feast day.

Spiritual Quote for the Day / Prayer for the Day



"I tell you that you have less to suffer in following the Cross than in serving the world and its pleasures."
~ St. John Vianney

Prayer for Priests

O Jesus, our great High Priest, hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priests.Give them a deep faith, a bright and firm hope, and a burning love which will ever increase in the course of their priestly life.In their loneliness, comfort them. In their sorrows, strengthen them.In their frustrations, point out to them that it is through suffering that the soul is purified and show them that they are needed by the Church; they are needed by souls; they are needed for the work of redemption.

O loving Mother Mary, Mother of Priests, take to your heart your sons who are close to you because of their priestly ordination and because of the power which they have received to carry on the work of Christ in a world which needs them so much.
Be their comfort; be their joy; be their strength; and especially help them to live and defend the ideals of consecrated celibacy.

Conversing with Jesus


Today I am praying for ...

life for Andrea Clark.

Chris, who is dying from tuberculosis. He and his wife are recent converts to the faith. He is so in love with Jesus and his newfound Catholic faith. I am praying that he will be truly aware of God's Infinite Mercy these last days of his life and that Mother Mary will wrap him ever so gently in her loving protective mantle.

M., a woman with malignant cancer in her ear canal who is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. I am praying for a successful surgery and recovery and for peace to fill her heart as she places her trust in the merciful heart of Jesus.

continued healing for Maria, 17 months, who has been suffering from an unknown illness which has causing been causing high fevers. Praise the Lord! She was dismissed from the hospital! The cause of her fevers has not been determined, but some things have been ruled out.

the repose of the soul of Marie and strength, guidance, comfort and peace for her husband and family.

Harry, the brother of a friend, who has lung and stomach cancer and is scheduled for a biopsy this week.

healing for Ryan, who is addicted to heroin and cocaine.

Janet, who is need of a helper in caring for her mutiply - handicapped son.

Nathan, and his fiancee, Julie. Julie is a fallen away Catholic who has converted to another religion and the two have been seeking spiritual guidance and preparation for their marriage, but have been unable to receive it due to the shortage of priests and religious in their diocese.

an increase in vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated religious life.

Theresa, who is depressed and feels abandoned by God.

a safe trip for the Brothers of St. John to KS and for the success of their work here. I am lifting up my Spiritual Father in a special way for his apostacy here.

peace for Bill and relief from frustration and stress from many sources; for comptent, reasonably priced computer assistance in downloading Norton Anti-Virus and in resolving other technological problems on the computer.

a special intention that is dear to my heart.

healing for Mike, who is struggling with health issues and weight problems.

Amy's preemie nieces, Grace and Elizabeth.

healing for J., who is experiencing severe, unrelenting pain, resulting in lack of sleep and the ability to function normally in her vocation.

discernment for Peggy for her vocation.

for a family who is in need of the prayerful support of friends and community as they make many changes and adjustments in their lives.

Patty, in her work as a sidewalk counselor, that she will serve as God's instrument in saving babies and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion.

Julie, who is scheduled for a hysterectomy, for successful surgery.

WI Catholic and her mom.

Alex, who is supposed to make his First Holy Communion this weekend but has come down with a stomach virus.

Please feel free to share your needs with me and I will be happy to pray with you and for you. Thanks for praying for these special intentions with me. God bless you!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Spiritual Quote for the Day

What should we set as our ultimate goal in this life? The answer: the most perfect worshipers of God we can possibly be.... I sought no more than how to be God's and God's alone. My goal made me resolve to give my all for the All.... Always I worshiped Him as often as I could, keeping my mind in His holy presence. When I wandered I brought Him back to my mind.... At all times, every hour, every minute, even at the busiest times. I drove away from my mind everything capable of spoiling the sense of the presence of God.... I just make it my business to persevere in His holy presence... My soul has had an habitual, silent, secret conversation with God.

~Brother Lawrence

Via Sr. Patricia Proctor.

Thousands Flock to See Weeping Virgin in Colombia

Ok, I know this hasn't been approved by the Church yet and I tend to be very skeptical about apparations, but why is it that Our Blessed Mother keeps turning up all over the world crying? This is more than a mere coincidence.

When she turns up here in Bogota the people feel that it is due to lack of a priest in their village. I am sure that Our Holy Mother is very sad about the shortage of priests and the unholy behavior of some clergy. People who live in these areas where priests are scarce do indeed suffer a "white" martyrdom, being denied Holy Mass and the sacraments. My heart and prayers go out to them. Our priests are the only ones who can offer Mass and give us Jesus in the Holy Eucharist so that is the first place the evil one attacks.

I am also sure there are many things that she is very unhappy about in our pleasure-seeking, self-centered culture of death today. Immodesty in dress, sins of the flesh, our lack of charity towards one another, the killing of the unborn, euthanasia, the list goes on and on.

When I see or hear about apparitions like this it only serves as a reminder that I need to pray more, to fast more, and to proclaim the gospel more everyday by the way I live my life. I feel like the devil is trying every trick in the book to poison people's lives with lies and deception, to tempt them to turn away from God, to get all of us to be lukewarm about our faith, to discourage us in our quest to live holy lives and to draw others into an intimate relationship with Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is on his last leg and is getting desperate.

Well, he can just go back to where he belongs because Jesus is stronger than he is and we have a weapon he will never have -- the protection and love of the Mother of God. Totus Tuus, Holy Mother. Take that, you little cockroach (my name for the devil)! Make my day! Squisssh.

Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel


On the Feast of Saint Mark, the Evangelist, April 25 1467, the people of Genazzano, Italy witnessed a marvelous sight. A cloud descended upon an ancient church dedicated to Our Lady of Good Counsel. When the cloud disappeared, an image of Our Lady and the Child Jesus was revealed which had not been there before. The image, on a paper-thin sheet, was suspended miraculously.

Soon after the image's appearance many miracles were attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Because of this, Pope Paul II ordered an investigation and the results have been preserved.

It was later discovered that the very same image had been seen in a church dedicated to the Annunciation in Scutari, Albania. The image in this church was said to have arrived there in a miraculous manner. Now, the image had been transported from Albania miraculously to avoid sacrilege from Moslem invasion.


A commission of inquiry determined that a portrait from the church was indeed missing. An empty space the same size as the portrait was displayed for all to see.

Many miracles continue to be attributed to Our Lady of Good Counsel. Pope Saint Pius V, for example, credited victory in the Battle of Lepanto to Her intercession.

Several Popes have approved the miraculous image. In 1682 Pope Innocent XI had the portrait crowned with gold. On July 2 1753 Pope Benedict XIV approved the Scapular of Our Lady of Good Counsel, and was the first to wear it. In 1884 a special Mass and Office of the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel was approved by Pope Leo XIII.

For more than 500 years the image has continued to attract countless pilgrims.

Although much of the church was destroyed during World War II, the image has remained intact - and continues to be suspended miraculously.

Our Lady of Good Counsel is the patron saint of those seeking enlightenment. Her feast day is celebrated April 26.


Prayer

O Mary of Good Counsel, inflame the hearts of all who are devoted to you, so that all of them have shelter in you, O great Mother of God. O most worthy Lady, let everyone choose you as teacher and wise counselor of their souls, since you are, as Saint Augustine says, the counsel of the Apostles and counsel of all peoples. Amen.

Conversing with Jesus


Today, I am praying for...

WI Catholic and healing for her mom, who is to be admitted to the hospital.

the life of Andrea Clark.

Denise, who entered the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in Portsmouth, Ohio, on the feast of Divine Mercy.

Theresa, for physical and emotional healing.

Harry, who is suffering from lung and stomach cancer and is scheduled for a biopsy.

Janet and her special intentions.

a special intention for Bill.

an increase in vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.

respect for life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.

the Community of St. John will establish a monastery in my diocese.

discernment for Peggy's vocation.

healing for Mike.

Please feel free to share your needs with me and I will be happy to pray with you and for you. Thanks for praying for these special intentions with me.

God bless you!

The Dancing Pope Video



I enjoyed this one from American Papist via The Curt Jester. Yes, somebody had to do it ... sooner or later. This is just what the doctor ordered -- I am in need of a good laugh today.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

No Denying, Abortion Harms Women: Abortive Women More Likely to Suffer Mental Illness

Professor David Fergusson

(AgapePress) - A self-described pro-choice atheist and rationalist set out to prove that abortion does not have any psychological consequences. He found the opposite, and the results were so profound that they cannot be ignored in the scientific field or the political arena.

Professor David Fergusson, New Zealand researcher at Christchurch School of Medicine and Health, said, "[F]rom a personal point of view, I would have rather seen the results come out the other way -- but they didn't. And as a scientist you have to report the facts, not what you'd like to report."

Fergusson and his colleagues were surprised by the study that followed 500 women from birth to age 25 and revealed that abortive women were one-and-a-half times more likely to suffer mental illness.


"Those having an abortion had elevated rates of subsequent mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors and substance use disorders," according to the research published in the Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology.

Numerous journals refused to publish the research, but Fergusson defended its relevance saying it would be "scientifically irresponsible" to overlook the findings.

"To provide a parallel to this situation, if we were to find evidence of an adverse reaction to medication, we would be obligated ethically to publish that fact," he explained.

"Fergusson's study underscores the fact that evidence-based medicine does not support the conjecture that abortion will protect women from 'serious danger' to their mental health," added Dr. David Reardon, a seasoned researcher of abortion's impact on women. "Physicians who ignore this study may no longer be able to argue that they are acting in good faith and may therefore be in violation of the law."

As a result, the study is heating up the political debate over abortion in the United States while having a more profound effect on countries such as New Zealand and Great Britain where abortions are certified based on what was once thought to be in the best interest of the woman's health.

"If we were talking about an antibiotic or an asthma risk, and someone reported adverse reactions, people would be advocating further research to evaluate risk," Fergusson explained. "I can see no good reason why the same rules don't apply to abortion."

St. Mark, the Evangelist


The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is also called John Mark. St. Mark and his mother, Mary, were highly regarded in the early Church, and his mother's house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians there. It was to her house that St. Peter fled following his miraculous escape from prison.

St. Mark is believed to be the young man who ran away when Jesus was arrested (Mark 14:51-52), and the "John whose other name was Mark" (Acts 12:25).

St. Mark, a cousin of Barnabas, accompanied Saint Paul on his first missionary journey and later went with him to Rome. He was a disciple of Saint Peter whose teaching was the basis for Mark's gospel. Mark is said to be the founder of the church of Alexandria.

St. Mark is the patron saint of attorneys and notaries.


"Go out into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature."
~Mark 16:15

Prayer
Lord, help me to follow in the footsteps of St. Mark and to fall in love with You completely, desiring only Your will in my life. Help me to hear your voice and to be guided by the Holy Spirit to do all that You ask of me. Amen.

Hospital to 'kill' sick woman?

An ill woman in Houston could die within days because a hospital ethics committee has voted to take her off life support – this despite the fact the 54-year-old is not in a coma, is not brain dead and wants to go on living, her family says.

On April 30, Andrea Clark is scheduled to be on the receiving end of a Texas law that allows a hospital ethics committee to terminate care with 10 days' notice, giving the patient's family that length of time to find a different facility.

"They just say, 'Well she's miserable.' Well, to me that's a quality of life decision that is up to her and her family," Lanore Dixon told KHOU-TV. "That is not a medical decision."

Dixon recently protested at the St. Luke's Hospital on behalf of Clark, her sister, who has been hospitalized there since November.

In January, Clark underwent open-heart surgery and later developed bleeding on the brain. A ventilator, which the committee voted to remove Sunday, helps her breath.

Talking about the Texas law, Dixon told KHOU: ""If their ethics committee makes a decision, it doesn't matter what the patient wants. It doesn't even apparently matter what the patient's condition is, because our sister is not in a coma; she's not brain dead."

Clark's family says though she cannot speak, they are able to communicate with her by moving her lips and blinking her eyes.
Columnist and attorney Wesley J. Smith, who wrote extensively on the Terri Schiavo case in Florida, chimed in on his blog:
"Note that the treatment is apparently being removed because it works, not because it doesn't – which means, in effect, that the hospital ethics committee has declared the patient's life to be futile."

Noting that the family wants Clark to live, Smith noted, "It is as if Michael Schiavo and the Schindlers wanted Terri's care continued but the hospital said no."

Smith described the Texas law as allowing "private decision-making that will result in death without even the right to a public hearing, to cross examine witnesses or a formal appeal."
Some have charged the law is meant to benefit insurance companies who want hospitals to get critical patients "off the books."

According to the TV station report, Clark's family is doing all it can to find another facility that will treat Andrea.

Join the Protest

Melanie has asked that those concerned about her sister contact the hospital:

Andrea Clarke is at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, TX. St. Luke's is located at: 6720 Bertner Avenue, Houston, TX. Their phone number is: 832-355-1000. Here's the website, and a general email address.

For further information, see Pro-life Blogs. and Right Wing News.

EWTN SPECIALS

Later this week and next week, EWTN has some exciting specials coming up. The times given here are Eastern.

LIVES OF THE SAINTS: ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA (30:00) Please join us for this special program about the beloved St. Catherine of Siena. Saturday April 29, 2006 2:30 PM

JESUS LIVING IN MARY: THE LIFE OF ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT (90:00) An exciting documentary examining the life of this humble man. St. Louis traveled around France giving parish missions and teaching true devotion to Jesus through Mary. Montfort's life was a quest for sanctity and service. His spirituality has profoundly influenced Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa and the Church of these times in general. The Saint is a model for anyone seeking to truly live as a member of Christ's mystical body, as one of the people of God. Saturday April 29, 2006 8:00 PM Sunday April 30, 2006 2:00 AM Thursday May 4, 2006 1:00 PM

BERNADETTE (2 hours)This quality, feature film production is the story of St. Bernadette and the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes. Actress Sydney Penny gives a beautiful performance as Bernadette. Highly recommended by the Vatican as a "sensitive portrayal of a very moving story that deserves a wide audience." Shot on location in France, this film is shown daily at the Shrine in Lourdes. Saturday May 6, 2006 8 PM Sunday May 7, 2006 2 AM Thursday May 11, 2006 1 PM
For times outside the U.S, click here.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Conversing with Jesus


Today I am praying for...

Our Holy Father, our Cardinals, Bishops, deacons, sisters, and Catholic clergy, that they will be guided by the Holy Spirit and that they will receive strength and perseverance to enable them to do God's holy will.

Maria, 17 months, who has had a high fever for a number of days. I am praying for healing as well as wisdom and discernment for the medical personnel in determining the cause of the fevers and in treating it effectively.

healing for Harry, who has lung and stomach cancer.

all pro-life bloggers, for an out pouring of God's abundant graces to give them the strength and the holy boldness they need to do his will.

the special intentions of my friend, Chris, who is preparing to make her temporary promises as a lay Discalced Carmelite.

Moneybags in thanksgiving for a successful meeting with the diocese's vocation director and continued prayer for his priestly vocation.

a special intention for Dan Lacey at Faithmouse.

an outpouring of God's graces to give me strength, and perseverance in training for my new apostolate, which begins tommorrow.

an increase in vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated religious life.

US Bishops Join Petition for Constitutional Change to Block Same-Sex Marriage

A significant number of prominent leaders in the Roman Catholic Church have thrown their weight behind a petition supporting a constitutional amendment that would block same-sex marriage.

The coalition of Catholic officials that includes seven cardinals, about six archbishops and sixteen bishops has come together with influential evangelical Protestants, rabbis and other religious leaders to encourage public support for protecting traditional marriage.

The Catholic leadership participation is a new and welcome development, said organizers of the petition. Although the Catholic Church opposes homosexual activity and same-sex unions as being gravely disordered and immoral, and has spoken out clearly in defence of traditional families, previous efforts to bring in a constitutional amendment in the U.S. have been largely driven by the Protestant community.

“The personal involvement of bishops and cardinals is significantly greater this time than in 2004,” Patrick Korten, spokesman for the lay Catholic organization the Knights of Columbus, told the Associated Press.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement in March endorsing a constitutional amendment that would ban homosexual unions.

Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, who signed the petition, said, “We think the American people are on our side on this, and we want the Senate to know it.”

The bishops and many of the religious leaders involved have agreed to promote a postcard campaign calling for senators to support the amendment. The Knights of Columbus is distributing 10 million postcards to Catholic churches.

Senate Republican leaders have scheduled a June vote for the proposed amendment.Matt Daniels, who founded the Alliance for Marriage that supports the amendment, said the 50 religious leaders who signed the petition represent “huge numbers” of people.

Princeton University professor Robert P. George, who has been a vocal defender of life and family issues, was involved in organizing the petition. Mr. George is a Catholic with close ties to the evangelical Protestant community.

Among the religious authorities that signed the petition were Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb of the Orthodox Union, Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson, the president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, officials of the Orthodox Church in America, Episcopal bishops, and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention.

It doesn't surprise me to see that Bishop Myers has signed this. He is "unconditionally pro-life" and spoke out boldly for life as the Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria. He even went out to the abortion mill to pray the rosary with his sheep. It's good to hear that clergy of many faiths are now taking the bull by the horns and becoming pro-active. We need strong leaders who can set a good example for us, not whimps. We need authentic shepherds of the faith who are not afraid to stand up for life.

AWESOME PHOTOS

No, it's not just a piece of tissue. It is a gift from God.

Finally - God or the Girl?

Despite the fact that this was a busy weekend for us (We were involved in the Exemplification for the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus as well as Divine Mercy Sunday in our parish.), we managed to watch the final episode of God or the Girl on A & E.

I don't usually watch reality shows on TV (The few I have watched seem to be anything but real, but instead appear to be "staged") I really enjoyed this program. It was a respectful and sincere portrayal of Catholicism. I was especially touched when Steve anounced his decision to be a priest. The tears began to well up in my eyes. I could tell the Lord was moving him in that direction. Each of the young men seemed authentic in discerning their vocation. I hope they re-air it, as I would love to view it from the beginning.

Some endorsements by the faith community can be found here.

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen


Known as Mark Rey and the "Poor Man's Lawyer," Fidelis was born in 1577 at Sigmaringen, Prussia. His studies took him to the University of Freiburg and eventually to the position of tutor for Wilhelm von Stotzingen. Fidelis traveled with Wilhelm extensively throughout France and Italy before returning to Freiburg and earning a doctorate in canon and civil law. He became a prominent lawyer. However, he felt that this career endangered the salvation of his soul and he abandoned law.

He joined the Capuchin Friars Minor, changed his name to Fidelis, and gave away his worldly wealth to the poor. As a Franciscan priest, he served his friary as guardian, and worked in epidemics, especially healing soldiers.

He had a strong devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Trusting in her intercession, he often begged God for the grace of sacrificing his life in vindication of the Catholic faith.

Fidelis was tireless in his efforts to convert heretics and wrote several pamphlets against
Calvanism and Zwinglianism. He was eventually appointed to undertake a mission in the country of the Grisons and to bring that district back to the Catholic faith. He met with terrible opposition, including many cries of, "Death to the Capuchins!" Despite this opposition however, he was extremely successful in bringing many people back to the Catholic faith. It was for this reason that he was bludgeoned to death while saying Mass at Sevins. His body was carried outside the Church where the heretics offered to save his life, if only he would renounce his religious beliefs. He replied, "I came to extirpate heresy, not embrace it." He died on April 24, 1622. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XIV in 1746.

"It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future."
~ St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Collect:
Father, you filled St. Fidelis with the fire of your love and gave him the privilege of dying that the faith might live. Let his prayers keep us firmly grounded in your love, and help us to come to know the power of Christ's resurrection.


Lesson:
If we desire to please God and give Him the gifts he truly desires, we will bring souls to Him, like St. Fidelis. We can do this through prayer, preaching, penance, and living out our daily lives as good Catholic Christians. We must seek to save souls who but for us would otherwise be lost. By offering God these souls, we offer God the jewels of paradise. "And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'" (Romans 10:15).

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Divine Mercy Sunday -- Messages from Jesus, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI


"From now on, the Second Sunday of Easter will be called Divine Mercy Sunday."
~Pope John Paul II, 2000


This is the Divine Image that appeared to Sister (now Saint) Faustina:
"In the evening in my cell, I saw Jesus clothed in white, one hand raised in blessing the other resting on His breast. From His garment came rays of light, one red and the other pale in colour. Jesus said to me", "Paint an image according to the vision you see, with the signature 'Jesus I trust in You'. I desire that this image be venerated first in your chapel and then throughout the world. The two beams of light shining forth from My Heart, are the symbols of blood and water that poured from My side on the day of my sacrifice on Calvary. The pale beam represents the water that purifies souls, the red, the blood that gives life to souls."


"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever."
~ Psalm 118

This feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of My tender mercies. Every soul believing and trusting in my mercy will obtain it...All your miseries have been consumed in the flame of My love, like a little twig thrown into a roaring fire.
~Jesus to St. Faustina

The fullness of this love was revealed in the sacrifice of the Cross.
For "greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
(John 15:13)

"Here is the measure of God's love!
Here is the measure of God's mercy!
Once we recognize the truth, we become aware that Christ's call to love others even as He has loved all of us to that same measure. We feel in some sense impelled to make our lives a daily offering by showing mercy to our brothers and sisters, drawing upon the gifts of God's merciful love."
~ Pope John Paul II

"Holy Mary, Mother, you have given the world its true light,
Jesus, your Son -- the Son of God.
You abandoned yourself completely to God's call and thus became a wellspring of the goodness which flows forth from Him.
Show us Jesus. Lead us to Him.
Teach us to know and love Him,
so that we, too, can become capable of true love
and be fountains of living water in the midst of a thirsting world."
~ Deus Caritas Est
Pope Benedict XVI

I pray that each of you will receive the fullness of His mercy today on this glorious feast of the Divine Mercy.