View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Limerick: Obama and Planned Parenthood


All babies are a punishment?
That's probably not what he meant.
But Planned Parenthood
still thinks that it's good
Obama's our President.

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Rochester screening: Film on the traffic in human eggs



According to the producers of Eggsploitation:

"The infertility industry in the United States has grown to a multi-billion dollar business. What is its main commodity? Human eggs. Young women all over the world are solicited by ads—via college campus bulletin boards, social media, online classifieds—offering up to $100,000 for their “donated” eggs, to “help make someone’s dream come true.” But who is this egg donor? Is she treated justly? What are the short- and long-term risks to her health? The answers to these questions will disturb you.

"Produced by The Center for Bioethics and Culture (Lines That Divide, 2009), Eggsploitation spotlights the booming business of human eggs told through the tragic and revealing stories of real women who became involved and whose lives have been changed forever."

This expose is being screened August 9 at 5:00 PM at the The Little Theatre here in Rochester, N.Y.

For more info, go here.

Bad Haiku Friday: Weird Habits


writing about slugs
each day may seem weird to some
but it's what I do

Anne Rice quits Christianity

Horror author turned Catholic/Christian Anne Rice has now rejected Christianity.

She issued a couple of statements recently explaining her rejection:

"For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else."

and also:

"As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

I remember when she embraced Christianity and Catholicism. There was a big to-do about it. But as I read her book about her faith journey (Called Out of Darkness), I was uneasy and skeptical. I even penned a clerihew hinting at my unease:

Anne Rice
found a pearl of great price.
But she had to make money first
dwelling on an unnatural thirst.

I had hoped that she would grow in her understanding of her rediscovered faith. Sadly, she apparently did not.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A pro-life video.

Her mother chose life. Alleluia!

40 Days for Life in Rochester

We hold the first meeting for the 40 Days for Life fall campaign tonight. This year's campaign will run from September 22 to October 31.

I'm praying that more parishes, more diocesan representatives, more members of the Knights of Columbus, will join us this time.

It being an election season, maybe we can even get a politician to join us! That might draw attention. Tom Reed, the Republican candidate for the 29th Congressional District, is a Catholic. Pro-life? I don't know. But I do know his Democratic opponent has already declared himslef pro-choice.

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Pro-choice violence

The pro-choicers and their fellow travelers have tried to paint pro-lifers as violent. Actually, the pro-choice side is guilty of greater and much more consistent violence. As a group, pro-lifers tend to be much more non-violent than the pro-choicers - but the media (i.e. one group of fellow travelers) tend to ignore that, and instead report the pro-choice propaganda as fact.

Factcheck.org - Taxpayer-funded+Abortions

Remember when President Obama said that under health care reform abortions would not be covered? Pro-lifers doubted his word, and sure enough, as some of the health care measures were about to begin using federal monies, some did cover abortion (such as in Pennsylvania).

Pro-lifers cried foul, government officials hemmed and hawed, pro-choicers and their fellow travelers said it wasn't true. But then the government clarified what the funding can be used for, basically acknowledging that abortions would have been covered except for the fact pro-lifers caught them.

Factcheck.org has now corroborated what the pro-lifers had been saying.

Taxpayer-funded+Abortions+in+High+Risk+Pools

Monday, July 26, 2010

Spanish cloistered nuns see vocations surge

How inspiring. Given the right environment, there are out there plenty of vocations to religious life, the priesthood, and to married life (and not just living together using the excuse of being "engaged").

Rock of Faith/St. Pius Concert

For our August 27 concert at St. Pius, Tom, Rock of Faith's fearless leader, has suggested we consider playing the following songs:

Proclaim to the Nations
Celebrate Youth
Seek First
Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble
Great God
Fish With Me
Let The River Flow
God Has Chosen Me
I Can Only Imagine
God of Wonders

10 songs in about 30 minutes? Pretty ambitious. As we rehearse we may decide to drop a song or two to fit in the time. We'll see.

With four contemporary bands, it could be a full evening of music!

Reports reveal media support for Obama

The article linked below is one of a series.

What they suggest is what many had suspected all along: The main stream media was in the tank for Obama.

While not a formal "official" conspiracy, these Journolists posts make clear that there was discussion of how to support Obama, and how to cement negative images of McCain and Palin. The talking points raised in these discussions became the talking points repeated in so many articles and opinion pieces.

Journolist debates making its coordination with Obama explicit The Daily Caller - Breaking News, Opinion, Research, and Entertainment

Saturday, July 24, 2010

NJ Governor Christie Vetoes Planned Parenthood Funds

New Jersey Governor Christie Vetoes Bill Sending Millions to Planned Parenthood

Good for him. I wish more governors had his courage, and would pay attention to what Planned Parenthood - the billion-dollar abortion business - really does.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Youth ministry: Flamers for Jesus!



I think he's visited a few of our parishes already.

(A nod to Mark Shea )

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The slug chronicles (95)


a slug among weeds
finds that even his silence
speaks eloquently

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our new dog!


I went to the city pound, and the three people ahead of me did not show up ... so this little lady is now ours. A retriever/springer spaniel mix. I pick her up Friday.

The pound folks had given her the name "Ruby." I'm debating keeping that as her name. Or maybe Rosy?

Hmm.

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Catholic cars!

This morning's homily

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore.

And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.

Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots.

Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.

But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.

Whoever has ears ought to hear."

Father had some interesting observation about this reading this morning.

The sower scatters the seeds - not carefully, not in a planned way as we might in our gardens - but indiscriminately. The word is there for all, scattered to the four winds, for God wants to reach all.

He further noted that when birds eat seeds, they do not digest them all. Some of those seeds are dropped elsewhere, where they grow. In other words, God's word can be spread even unintentionally - though our actions, through our examples, through unexpected means.

And he noted - using the example of the rectory driveway - that even seed that falls on hard ground can grow, finding and creating cracks in hard surfaces. God's word is so powerful it can't be stopped.

Good thoughts to consider. God gets His word out!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The slug chronicles (92)


a slug among weeds
when at a funeral thinks
of eternal life

Planned Parenthood - Caught deceiving again!



The deception continues at the billion dollar abortion business.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Funeral -- and a dog

I got a call from our choir director. The mother of one of the choir members passed away. The director asked if I could play and sing for the funeral Mass tomorrow.

That's one of the nice things about being on summer break. I readily agreed.

It's a blessing to help someone in this painful time.

Meanwhile, I'm on the waiting list for a dog at the City Pound. I'll find out tomorrow afternoon if I got the lovely little redhead (Retriever mix). My fingers are crossed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

National Ice Cream Day - Enjoy!


July is National Ice Cream Month, and the third Sunday of July - today! - is National Ice Cream Day.

Go have some!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Planned Parenthood "Honors" Speaker Pelosi

Planned Parenthood - the billion-dollar abortion business - is "honoring" House Speaker for betraying her faith and supporting abortion.

Pelosi, who claims to be a "devout Catholic," was slated to receive the abortion giant's "Champion of Women's Health (sic) award for her work in passing the federal health care legislation, and especially for her efforts to ensure that the Stupak abortion funding ban was not inserted in the bill. Two other Congresswomen will be honored along with her.

In a statement, Planned Parenthood praised Pelosi for having "led her female colleagues in Congress as they stood strong against attempts to insert the Stupak abortion ban into the bill."

“With their steadfast commitment to passing health care reform and making sure that women will be able to get the health care they need, the women leaders we honor today set the course to change the lives of millions of women for generations to come.”

And to help ensure that untold numbers of babies get killed, some with the help of federal funds.

In her efforts, by the way, Pelosi ignored the objections of the U.S. Bishops to the legislation and its support for abortion. That support is already beginning to surface - most recently in Pennsylvania.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The slug chronicles (87)


a slug among weeds
pursues the truth except when
it's inconvenient

The pill can cause abortions

Evangelical group releases documentary on the pill as an abortifacient :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Just more information about something that's been known, but not talked about.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Zombie Beatles - I want to bite your hand



(Blame Fr. Erik.)

Padre Pio Chapel Concert

The Father Beatini Choir will perform a Summer Concert at the St. Padre Pio Chapel (141 Frank Dimino Way) Friday, July 16 at 7: 30 PM.

It's free and open to the public.

If you haven't seen the chapel, go check in out. It's next to the Italian American Community Center in the Rochester suburb of Gates. Even if you don't make the concert, it's a nice chapel to stop in for some prayer time.

Proof: Obama Care to pay for abortions

I and other pro-lifers warned about this: President Obama's Health Care Plan will pay for abortions. Yes, he promised it wouldn't, but he deceived us - again.

The first evidence is being provided in Pennsylvania.

The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new "high-risk" insurance program - and has quietly approved a plan submitted by an appointee of Governor Edward Rendell (D) under which the new program will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.

Under the plan, the program will pay for any abortion deemed "necessary (i.e. you just have to get a doctor to say it is, whether it really is or not) can be performed at under 24 weeks for any reason except sex selection.

The high-risk pool program is one of the new programs created by the health care legislation President Obama signed into law on March 23. The law authorizes $5 billion in federal funds for the program, which will cover as many as 400,000 people when it is implemented nationwide. The program is paid for by federal money.

President Obama issued and executive order regarding funding for abortion, but that order has no real power, and the legislation, as approved, will pay for abortions. We now have the first instance. More will follow.

Go here for more information and analysis.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Franciscans ready for St. Bonaventure's Feast

Thursday is the feast day of St. Bonaventure, “The Seraphic Doctor.”

In his honor, I'll be doing some reading of his works. Hmm. Maybe his life of St. Francis?

Catholics prepare for feast of great Franciscan saint :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Monday, July 12, 2010

More Anglicans to join the Catholic Church?

A decision by the Anglican Church to ordain women bishops could potentially lead to as many as 200 of more traditionalist clerics switching to the Catholic Church.

Apparently 70 clerics have already met with a Catholic bishop.

This is the report out of the General Synod, which rejected a compromise measure that would have allowed the traditionalists to have male bishops.

In a news story in the Telegraph, Canon David Houlding, a prebendary at St Paul’s cathedral, estimated that as many as 200 traditionalist clergy could leave the Church. He also said that they would take thousands of worshippers with them.

Meanwhile, the article reports that 70 traditionalist clergy met with a Catholic bishop on Saturday to discuss plans to defect to the Roman Catholic Church.

And earlier this year three bishops travelled to the Vatican to talk over an offer made by Pope Benedict XVI inviting disillusioned Anglicans to convert to Catholicism.

Go here for the full report: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7884316/Hundreds-of-traditionalist-clergy-poised-to-leave-Church-of-England.html

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The slug chronicles (83)


a slug among weeds
responds better to requests
than to hints and gripes

Monty Python meets Star Trek

Friday, July 09, 2010

Pius XII may have helped 200,000 Jews leave Nazi Germany

Researcher finds evidence Pius XII may have helped 200,000 Jews leave Nazi Germany :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Cuomo, Duffy, Gillibrand: Excommunicated?

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson has some pointed words for those who say they are Catholic, yet support or promote abortion: You are excommunicated.

Are you listening Andrew Cuomo, Bob Duffy and Kirsten Gillibrand?

Excommunicated.

It's an automatic - you don't have to be excommunicated by a bishop or priest. The simple act of publicly supporting abortion means you are no longer a Catholic in good standing.

In a July 6 column in the St. Louis Review, the Archbishop said:

Since the first century, the Church has addressed the moral evil of abortion and the killing of a defenseless baby in the womb. People who are casual about the sin of abortion and who choose to view it as a political issue rather than the serious moral issue that it is are guilty of violating the Fifth Commandment. You cannot be "pro-choice" (pro-abortion) and remain a Catholic in good standing. (emphasis mine)

That's why the Church asks those who maintain this position not to receive holy Communion. We are not being mean or judgmental, we are simply acknowledging the fact that such a stance is objectively and seriously sinful and is radically inconsistent with the Christian way of life.

The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council said, "God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and human life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: Abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes" ("Gaudium et Spes," No. 51.3). That's why formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life (see canons 1398,1314, and 1323-1324).

He also goes on to point out the the Fifth Commandment commands us to avoid war whenever possible, to limit "the use of capital punishment to the most extreme (and rare) circumstances required to protect human life," and to not engage in euthanasia.

"Taking proper care of our health, respecting others and showing respect for the dead are all matters covered by the Fifth Commandment's demand that we reverence God's most precious gift — human life," he writes.

Check out the full column.

As for our Catholic politicians in New York, please, think - and pray - about the positions you are taking and the legislation you support.

I post this not to condemn them, but to point out the teachings of the Church that they (and others) may not understand. They may not be fully aware of the gravity of their positions.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

How Twilight Should Have Ended



(Nod to Fr. Erik.)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Abortion: Kill for the Cause?

The nearly 200,000 aborted babies in the UK eachyear are the lesser evil, no matter how you define life, or death, for that matter. If you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too. - Antonia Senior - Times of London

http://www.scribd.com/doc/33782505/Yes-Abortion-is-Killing

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Merton quotations: Every moment and event


Every moment and every event of every man's life on earth plants something in his soul. - Thomas Merton

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Monday, July 05, 2010

Sign the petition against Kagan

I always try to give Supreme Court nominees the benefit of the doubt. But the evidence against Elana Kagan reveals her as too pro-choice - and even willing to engage in duplicity to support abortion. (I talk about this in a June 30th post.)

There is a petition opposing her appointment to the Court. If you are a pro-life, consider signing it.

http://www.iopposekagan.com/

A surprise during a visit to the Fatima Shrine

The Good Looking One and I went to the Fatima Shrine in Lewiston today, and it turns out it was the feast St. Anthony Zaccaria, who founded the Barnabite Order that runs the shrine.

The priest who celebrated Mass had a relic for veneration, and a blessing for all of us. Nice surprise.

St. Anthony studied to be a doctor, finishing his degree at age 22, but then studied for the priesthood and was ordained at age 26 in 1528. In addition to establishing orders for men and women, he worked to reform the morals of the faithful, encouraged laymen to work together with the apostolate, and urged frequent reception of Communion. He's also one of the Saints who helped to encourage 40 Hours devotions.

He got sick and died in 1539 while on a peace mission.

As for the shrine, they have been renovating the basilica, and what's been done so far looks very nice.

Unborn - a pro-life song

A song that reminds us there is another person involved.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Presidents Rated - Obama's 15th???

The Siena Research Institute has released its fifth ranking of the U.S. Presidents - based on a survey of 238 Presidential scholars historians and political scientists - and once again Franklin Roosevelt tops the list. (He's topped all five lists since the first one in 1982)

Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln switched positions, so TR is now ranked #2 and Lincoln #3. They are followed by Washington and Jefferson.

I can't argue against any in the top five. I'd rank Lincoln above TR, but that's a quibble.

The bottom five (in descending order) are:

G.W. Bush
Pierce
Harding
Buchanan
A. Johnson.

Again, no real arguments from me.

But they do get an argument from me with their ranking of Obama as 15th.

Now he may one day end up a good President worthy of being in the top third of the rankings, but he's only been in office a year and a half. I think we need to wait until he's at least through one term before ranking him. Next thing you know they'll be awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize before he actually does anything (oh, wait).

By the way, some other recent Presidents' Rankings:

Ford: 28
Carter: 32
Reagan: 18
G.H. Bush: 22
Clinton: 13

Here's the full report:

http://www.siena.edu/uploadedfiles/home/parents_and_community/community_page/sri/independent_research/Presidents%20Release_2010_final.pdf

Saturday, July 03, 2010

The slug chronicles (76)


a slug among weeds
takes too much pride in his
feigned humility

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Fiftieth parish closes in Diocese of Cleveland

Fiftieth parish closes in Diocese of Cleveland’s consolidation program :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

This is all in the last YEAR. And we think we have it bad here in Rochester.

An interesting quote from Cleveland's bishop:

“The Church is about people and their faith, not about buildings, and we will always be here to serve the people,” said Bishop (Richard) Lennon in a March 2009 statement announcing the closures. “The task for the Church is to be faithful to what God asks of us, which is to bring the message of Jesus Christ to all people, to reach out and serve the poor and marginalized among us, and to become holy and bring people closer to God.”