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.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cardinal-designate Burke: Why we can't vote for Cuomo

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cuomo's role in the "Recession"

Another reason not to vote for him.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Andrew Cuomo Insults Catholics

Andrew Cuomo has already been open about disregard for Catholic teachings, but now he's in effect insulting Catholics who actually follow their faith.

In an attack on opponent Carl Paladino, he describe Pladino's view as "extremist."

The problem is, Paladino's position is that of the Catholic Church.

So, in effect, Cuomo was saying that Catholics who support their Church's teachings on this issue are extremists.

Thanks Mr. Cuomo. I guess you don't want Catholic votes. But then, New York's Bishops have already said good Catholics should not vote for candidates like you anyway.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Were you there? (40 Days for Life)

Were you there?

I was.


Outside Planned Parenthood, praying as part of 40 Days for Life.

Most of the time, I was alone.

Were you there?

That was the case almost all day. Few people had signed up to hold vigil.

Most of the day, no prayers.

Were you there?

I said a rosary. Waved to people who honked or gave me a thumbs up or a peace sign. Including a couple of police officers. Said a few words to people walking by.

Remembered to smile.

Were you there?

Wondered why so few people had signed up to pray.

The diocese did send out the information to all parishes. Many parishes ran announcements.

Were you there?

At my own parish, we had a table display set up. Two of us stood there after all the Masses one weekend. Father announced the campaign a couple of times, at Masses and in the bulletin. He even ran a lengthy article on the front of the bulletin.

As far as I know, only two of us from the parish responded. Perhaps a few more did.

But there are lots of gaps in the prayer list.

Were you there?

Maybe some people are afraid.

Maybe some were nervous about the threatening rain.

Maybe some are to busy trying to survive.

Maybe some don't want to face the guilt of their own involvement with abortions.

Maybe some are too busy with their own agendas and causes.

Maybe some don't care.

Were you there?

Mary of Focus Pregnancy Center arrived. She stood with me for a while, holding a sign, waving, talking to people, chatting with me.

After a while, I helped her unload some supplies and baby items from her car. To help the women in troubled pregnancies. To provide them with an alternative to the death Planned Parenthood offers.

Then I went home.

I know I shouldn't focus on what others are or are not doing. But I'm human and sinful myself.

At least I know for an hour and a half, someone was at Planned Parenthood praying for life.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

He's crucified every day in places like Planned Parenthood.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

40 Days for Life Fatima Rosary Rally

We gathered outside Rochester's Planned Parenthood headquarters today to hold a Fatima Rosary Rally as part of 40 Days for Life 2010.

All 40 decades of the rosary, plus the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

There was construction in front of Planned Parenthood, so we moved across the street.

We stood beneath a pole that had a bar on it - forming a cross. That cross faces Planned Parenthood every day.

Many cars passing by with people honking, yelling out encouragement, or giving us a thumbs up. Alleluia.


Jesus Crucified

Jesus crucified -
the nails are driven daily
at Planned Parenthood

40 Days for Life - and Fatima - Rosary Rally

We're having a Fatima Rosary Rally at Planned Parenthood on University Avenue at noon today - part of 40 Days for Life.

Join us!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Walking the dog

walking the dog
on a cold, wet October night -
who's whose best friend?

A nifty Franciscan vocations video

Thursday, October 14, 2010

NY Bishops: Catholics shouldn't vote for Cuomo

Okay, they didn't say that specifically, but in a statement just issued they said abortion takes precedence over other issues, and that Catholics should consider pro-choice candidates (like Andrew Cuomo) "less acceptable for public office."

But as the U.S. Bishops’ most recent document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship ( makes clear, not every issue is of equal moral gravity. The inalienable right to life of every innocent human person outweighs other concerns where Catholics may use prudential judgment, such as how best to meet the needs of the poor or to increase access to health care for all.

The right to life is the right through which all others flow. To the extent candidates reject this fundamental right by supporting an objective evil, such as legal abortion, euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research, Catholics should consider them less acceptable for public office. As Faithful Citizenship teaches, “Those who knowingly, willingly, and directly support public policies or legislation that undermine fundamental moral principles cooperate with evil.”

Go here for the full statement.

Pope John Paul II closer to beatification?

Attempted "Liturgical Dancer" hit!

Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako of Khartoum was nearly attacked by a knife wielding man pretending to be a liturgical dancer.

The foiled attack took place October 10 during a Mass celebrating the feast of St. Daniel Comboni.

While Cardinal Wako was leading the Mass Hamdan Mohamed Abdurrahman, a Misseriya Arab from Southern Kordofan state, infiltrated the crowd, disguised himself and joined the liturgical dancers. He danced to within four steps of the Cardinal when he was spotted and disarmed.

Just another danger of liturgical dance, I guess.

More here.

Thinking of Fatima

fingering my beads
beneath the haloed street lights
October thirteenth

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Where are the Priests and Deacons with Courage?

We were talking tonight about the dearth of local Church support for the 40 Days for Life campaign or, more importantly, for pro-life efforts in general in the Diocese of Rochester.

Yes, there are a few priests and deacons who do provide some support. My own pastor has spoken about 40 Days, and posted articles in the bulletin about it.

But when was the last time a priest or deacon got up and really preached about abortion? Talked about the emotional effects? Talked about the increased chances of breast cancer? Talked about the broken relationships? Talked about the lost lives?

Yes, there may be some pastoral concern about causing pain to the many women sitting in the pews who did have abortions. (There may also be fear of watching attendance and contributions drop at first - hopefully that is not the motivation for silence.)

But maybe some of those women - and men - need to hear the truth so that they face what they have done, and then seek the healing and forgiveness they need.

There is help out there for those living victims of abortion. There is forgiveness waiting. There is God's love ready to bathe them.

They only need to open their eyes and hearts and minds.

And priests and deacons who speak out can help to get them started.

Where are those priests and deacons with courage?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Confession: Thanks, I needed that

I was beginning to find myself drifting into habits I don't like - and that could lead me astray.

Habits of selfishness and laziness.

Habits that come when my spiritual life is weakening.

So I went to confession.

The priest wisely pointed out that many of my failings are due to choices I make - and that I could make the right choices. I have to get into the habit of making the right choices. Then when the bigger challenges come I'll be stronger, more sensitive, and more self-aware.

Ah, but the wrong choices are so easy.

I felt better, cleaner, after. Thank you Lord.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Neil Young Harvest Moon (live)

A dash of love on a Saturday morning.

Walking the dog (haiku)

walking with Ruby
on a clear October night -
the stars, oh, the stars


Friday, October 08, 2010

Pope Benedict to Catholic press: Keep flame of hope lit

... The "Word" continues to be the "fundamental and ... essential instrument of communication."

Saying that people who work in the Catholic press must "always put God at the top of their scale of values," if they do not wish to be just a 'clanging cymbal,' he told them that their task is "that of helping modern man to turn to Christ, the one Savior, and to keep the flame of hope alight in the world, so as to live worthily today and to adequately build the future. ...

I think this goes for us new media posters as well.

Pope Benedict asks Catholic press to keep flame of hope lit :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Archbishop Nienstedt speaks out for marriage

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

More NY governor's election clerihews

"The right to wed," said Andrew Cuomo,
"should be granted to all members of the genus homo.
But I can't be bothered with the right to wed
the woman who shares my bed."

No one says Carl Paladino
is overly fond of vino.
But he does seem to like barking
and parking.

NY Governor's race clerihews

Carl Paladino
downed a cappuccino
then threatened to kill
unless he got a refill.

The aim of Andrew Cuomo
is to be New York's majordomo.
If that's the way things go
it means four more years of the status cuomo.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Abby Johnson: Quitting Planned Parenthood and embracing life

40 Days for Life works!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Pro-abortion Violence: Abortionist Pulls Gun

Police have arrested Gary Boyle, 62, a Blountville, Tenn., abortion doctor, on charges of pointing a firearm.

Boyle reportedly drove into the parking lot of a Charleston abortion clinic around 8:30 a.m. The 40 Days for Life protesters, including a 17-year-old boy, peacefully approached him, and Boyle brandished a black handgun loaded with 15 rounds, according to a police report.

The report then says Boyle stepped out of his SUV and walked into the Charleston Women's Medical Center without further incident. One of the three protesters called 911.

More here.

I'm glad he chose not to fire.

Was if media-fueled fear? (Pro-choicers tend to be more violent that pro-lifers, thought you wouldn't know that form what the media reports.)

Was it guilt?

Was it pressure?

Only God knows. Say a prayer for him - and for the safety of pro-lifers.

St. Theodore's has a website

My parish, St. Theodore's, has added a website. Nice to see. Hope to see it grow.

Pro-choicers are in denial

Our pro-choice brohers and sisters are in denial. If they admitted the scientific fact that a child is involved, they would realize the horror of what they are promoting.

They need our prayers, and to have the facts calmly and clearly presented to them.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Paladino loses my vote

The chances of me voting for him were already slim, but this exchange clinched it:

SHAFFER: Today some of your supporters brought up the issue of abortion.

PALADINO: I’m running on economic issues. Social issues aren’t in our interest this year. The people want to know how are we going to end this reckless spending, how are we going to get taxes down so we can expand jobs, expand our business base, give good, fulfilling jobs to our neighbors, and provide an atmosphere where people can feel grounded and tell their kids and grandkids that there’s a future for them in New York. We can avoid these peripheral issues for now.

Peripheral? Abortion is peripheral? Money counts more than killing babies???

The slug chronicles (149)

a slug among weeds
enjoys noshing on apples
both raw or in pies