Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Your Way Tuesday

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COMMENTARY:
Faithful Citizenship and the Formed Conscience
By Deacon Keith Fournier
4/26/2008
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Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
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Sadly, there are too many politicians who are professed Catholics and yet stand publicly for political and policy positions which are directly at odds with the teaching of the Church and the Natural Law.

It is an election year for citizens of the United States. The next President will appoint at least two Justices to the United States Supreme Court, at a time when America is rethinking the decision which legalized all abortions, Roe v Wade. The next President will also have to handle the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and an economy in crisis, leaving the poor, in all of their manifestations, the most vulnerable.
It is an election year for citizens of the United States. The next President will appoint at least two Justices to the United States Supreme Court, at a time when America is rethinking the decision which legalized all abortions, Roe v Wade. The next President will also have to handle the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and an economy in crisis, leaving the poor, in all of their manifestations, the most vulnerable.
LOS ANGELES (Catholic Online) - Every year the Bishops of the United Sates address the issues surrounding what they aptly call “faithful citizenship”.

In their most recent pronouncement on how Catholic Christians are to participate in the political process entitled “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility.”

This well written document can be found at www.usccb.org/faithfulcitizenship. There, one can also find helpful aides to assist both understanding its implications and helping others to apply its teaching.

[ read the entire article here ]
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[ 3:04 ] . . . . . Adoro Te Devote



'Click-on' the above > and take in the peaceful love
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Hammering Kids for Christ

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Controversial Catholic youth minister Justin Fatica is tough and bruised, but soft-hearted, and few dispute he has a knack for reaching troubled kids
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by Greg Ruehlmann

Photos courtesy of HBO and Allison Redlich
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The following article was done in partnership with the National Catholic Reporter (NCR), an independent news-weekly founded in 1964. It is the cover story for their April 4th issue.

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The crowd is larger than usual today, and the reason for this is a young man named Justin Fatica, who stands by the door, bellowing in a baritone that nearly drowns out the rest of the room. Only 29, Fatica has already staked a claim as the most intensely passionate — and most intensely debated — Catholic youth minister in America. [ read entire article here ]
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Economics As Science: A Catholic Defense of the Free Market
by Thomas E. Woods Jr.
4/29/08
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Put forth a robust defense of the free market as the most morally and materially satisfying economic system and you invite all manner of invective and accusation. What are you, some kind of dissenter?
Not so fast. Although the documents of modern Catholic social teaching normally begin with Rerum Novarum (1891), students should instead start with Pope Leo XIII's Quod Apostolici Muneris(1878), an encyclical entirely devoted to socialism, in order to understand that socialism and the free market are not being described as equally objectionable. For while socialism is per se condemned, the market is criticized only for alleged abuses. [ read entire article here ]
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Way Sunday
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how the Word of God dismantled my shell ... one 'peck' at a time
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It was 7 or 8 years after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. Parishes world-wide were still trying to deal with the reality of offering Mass in the local language [the vernacular]. In the parish I was living at the time, we were still being 'led' through the new order of the Mass [novus ordo] by way of a commentator whose job was to keep us on the correct page of the missalette in use at the time, and to help identify which specific prayers and readings were assigned to this particular day of the year.

Ever used the words 'shy', or 'timid', or 'reclusive', or 'a loner', or 'introvert', to describe someone. They paint an image, at least to me, of someone who makes little effort to connect with the rest of humanity around him. That is how I viewed myself - not very complimentary, is it?

I was married. We had one child and another on the way. I was gainfully employed. I did my job fairly well. I was scared to death of meeting people and having to have conversations, or of having to make a presentation of some sort, or of being in front of people to talk to them. The problem, while personal, was beginning to affect my job - I was assuming more responsibility that included talking with and working with other people.

At one point in my work career I was being promoted to a job that involved a lot of customer face-to-face contact. My wife commented, "You're no salesman. You can't do that job." I had to come out of my shell.

The Novus Ordo gave me my chance to come out of my shell. Being extremely introverted did not make that an easy thing for me. One Sunday at Mass, I thought, as I listened to the reader / commentator / lector, something along the line of "IF I could do that, just get up there and read these passages from the Bible, at Mass, in front of all these people, maybe I could get over being shy."

I signed up. The first Mass I was assigned to do was an utter fiasco. As the commentator, I 'started' all the parts that were read or prayed by the congregation, like the Lord's prayer, Holy Holy Holy, the Lamb of God, etc. Well, at one point I turned one too many pages in the missalette and started with the next thing I had highlighted on that page - I skipped everything on the previous two pages. The celebrant then had to bring it all back together after I finished messing everyone up.

The celebrant was a visiting substitute filling in - and while I had been introduced to him before Mass, I didn't know him and he didn't know me. After Mass he really let me have it verbally, like I had done it on purpose or something. I was so nervous as a first timer, I didn't even know I had skipped anything. But I didn't give up - I went back determined to do it right eventually. And I still remember his name.

Did it help me? I say "Definitely, yes!" It took a long time, but I did gradually get more and more comfortable with people, which really helped me with my employer and socially. Today I'm hard to keep quiet. Now when I enter a room of people, I don't go off to the nearest corner to hide anymore. I can now meet people and speak with them - actually have conversations. I give talks at retreats and give presentations at various functions. I teach youth and adult religious formation classes. None of this was possible before I started reading the Word of God as a reader at Mass.

It was through this that I became interested in knowing more about the Bible. It got me involved in studying the Bible. It got me reading from it daily. That has been a blessing of my lifetime.

God used a different way to attract me to His Word. My original motive may have been ulterior, but it got me where I needed to go. That is how the Word of God dismantled my shell.

uncle jim
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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Any Way Saturday
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i stole this joke from:
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T
herese of the AussieCoffeeShop [check-out her site here]
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[she got this joke from Leah at Lowdenclear]
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The Perfect Husband.

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Several men are in the locker room of a golf club. A cell phone on a bench rings and a man engages the hands free speaker-function and begins to talk. Everyone else in the room stops to listen.
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MAN: "Hello"
WOMAN: "Honey, it's me. Are you at the club?"
MAN: "Yes"
WOMAN: "I'm at the mall now and found this beautiful leather coat. It's only $1,000. Is i
t OK if I buy it?"
MAN: "Sure, ..go ahead if you like it that much."


WOMAN: "I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and saw
the new 2008 models. I saw one I really liked."
MAN: "How much?"

WOMAN: "$60,000"

MAN: "OK, but for that price I want it with all the options."


WOMAN: "Great! Oh, and one more thing .... The house we wanted last year is back on the market. They're asking $950,000."
MAN: "Well, then go ahead and give them an offer, but just offer $900,000."

WOMAN: "OK. I'll see you later! I love you!"

MAN: "Bye, I love you, too."
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The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room look at him in astonishment.
Then he asks: "Anyone know who this phone belongs to?"
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[ 3:49 ] - so shut-up already...just listen



Click on the above > and take out the noise around you
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cause Way Thursday
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off topic
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I
've been tagged ... by my nephew, Dennis.
[Dennis will be ordained a priest June 7 for Diocese of Memphis TN]
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T
he rules of this game are as follow:

1 - Each player answers the questions about him or her self.
2 - At the end of the post, the player 'tags' five people and lists their names.
3 - The player then goes to their site and advises them they've been tagged.
4 - The player then asks the newly tagged to read tagger's blog.
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H
ere are the questions or commands [and my responses]:

What was I doing 10 years ago?
- working full-time in an automotive transmission repair shop as a partner [but not as a technician ... as a manager and janitor].

Name 5 things on your 'to-do' list today.
- prayer; pay bills; plan party; go to bank; go to post office

What things would I do if I were a billionaire?
- pay-off debt for self and family members and parish; contribute to grass roots evangelization and missionary work; provide for future education of many by a yet to be determined selection procedure; help other in financial distress; help fund new business starts to get people jobs

Name 3 bad habits or qualities.
- those pertaining to: pride, lust, gluttony


Name 5 places I've lived.
- Toledo, northwest OH; Cleveland northeast OH; Muncie eastcentral IN; Valparaiso northwest IN; Monroe southeast MI


Name 5 jobs I've had. [times 2 for extra credit]
- [first 5] bartender & cook - oil refinery laborer - appliance delivery truck driver - retail Hardware Dept Mgr in Discount Department Store - life insurance salesman - warehouse laborer in a tomato cannery; [next 5
all for a nationwide interstate trucking company over a 21 year span: dispatcher & billing-clerk - terminal manager - regional sales & operations manager - director of inter modal operations - vice-president of agency development]


Name 5 books I've read recently.
- The Appeal [Grisham]; The Cure [Dickson]; For One More Day [Albom]; The Broker [Grisham]; Every Man's Battle [Arterburn]

Name 5 people I'm going to 'tag'.
- Father V.; Robert Going; Adrienne; Tom [in Vegas]; Adoro Te Devote,
and anyone else who wants to give it a go. [you can click on the above names and link to their blog sites - go on - check them out]

I hope you have fun with this.

uncle jim
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Pittsburgh’s Bishop Zubik is a hit with teens
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By John Franko
4/23/2008
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Pittsburgh Catholic (www.pittsburghcatholic.org)
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PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Catholic) - From his seat in the middle of the second row, Bishop David Zubik fit right in with the teens around him.

REACHING THE YOUTHS - Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh said the warm welcome he has received from teens
REACHING THE YOUTHS -
Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh
said the warm welcome he has
received from teens "says a
great deal about the future
of our Church."

He watched the concert intently, clapping enthusiastically after each song.

It was obvious that he was comfortable in the presence of the young people — and they were comfortable with him.

More than 600 teens from around the diocese gathered to officially welcome Bishop Zubik to the diocese during an April 6 convocation at Bishop Canevin High School in Pittsburgh’s Oakwood neighborhood.

The gathering included a concert by Who Do You Say I Am?, a prayer service and a social.

“The bishop showed me that he’s a man who can relate to people of all ages,” said Luke Haywiser of St. Valentine in Bethel Park. [ read complete article here ]
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Your Way Tuesday
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Lou Dobbs Bashes Pope
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NEW YORK, N.Y. (Catholic League) - Over the weekend, CNN host Lou Dobbs lashed out at Pope Benedict XVI again; his first rant was on April 17. [read article here]
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‘Totally Cat
holic' Vacation Bible School
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LOS ANGELES, Calif.(The Tidings) - Never in their wildest dreams did siblings Susan Lawson and Melissa Kaiser ever think they’d become self-publishers exhibiting their “totally Catholic” Vacation-Bible School programs at the largest catechetical gathering in the U.S., the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim.

Mothers with 11 children between them, they were busy raising families and doing volunteer work in South Carolina (Lawson) and Indiana (Kaiser). In 2001, Kaiser’s neighbor, who wrote Lutheran VBS programs, asked her: “Why do Catholics buy VBS programs from us?”

[read article here]
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a nun with a gun
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Adoro Te Devote has an interesting post yesterday April 21, 2008
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Synthetic Connections Many moons ago, back in the summer between high school and college, back when I was focused on a future career in law enforcement, I went on several ride alongs with the City police department and the Deputies. And I usually rode with one Deputy in particular for I knew he and his family well.
[ continue by clicking here ]
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Another V-day, Another Drama
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Rather than condemning The Vagina Monologues
the Church should be listening to what it is telling us
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By Sr. Bernadette M. Reis, fsp

“The split between the Gospel and culture is without a doubt the drama of our time,” wrote Pope Paul VI in 1975. Occasionally I am reminded of this “drama” when some Catholic group boycotts something. But nothing makes me more aware of how deep this split is than the debate over the performance of The Vagina Monologues on Catholic college campuses.

The Vagina Monologues is offensive to women,” writes Most Rev. John M. D’Arcy of South Bend, Indiana. “It is antithetical to Catholic teaching on the beautiful gift of human sexuality and also to the teachings of the church on the human body…This play violates the truth about women; the truth about sexuality; the truth about male and female, and the truth about the human body.”

[ read complete article here ]
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What do you think?
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Way Sunday
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happy pesach / passover
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how shall i pray?
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Regarding the laity during the mass, Pope Benedict XVI says in The Spirit of the Liturgy, “It must be plainly evident that the oratio (prayer/praying) is at the heart of the matter.” Elsewhere in the same document, “In this prayerful approach to participation there is no difference between priests and laity.” [from Fr. V.]

This refers to the efficacy and prominence of prayer in the liturgy, not to physical posture or gesture. That is another issue.
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2nd-3rd century instructions for personal prayer
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Origen (c.185-253), priest and theologian
Prayer, 31, 2-3 (©Classics of Western Spirituality)
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"Whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son"

It seems to me that the person who is about to pray should withdraw for a little and prepare himself, and so become more attentive and active for the whole of his prayer. He should cast away all temptation and troubling thoughts and remind himself, so far as he is able, of the Majesty whom he approaches, and that it is impious to approach Him carelessly, sluggishly, and disdainfully; and he should put away all extraneous things. This is how he should come to prayer: stretching out his soul, as it were, instead of his hands; straining his mind toward God instead of his eyes; raising his governing reason from the ground and standing it before the Lord of all instead of standing. All malice toward any one of those who seem to have wronged him he should put away as far as anyone would wish God to put away His malice toward him, if he had wronged and sinned against many of his neighbours or had done anything whatever he was conscious of being against right reason. And although there are a great many different positions for the body, he should not doubt that the position with the hands outstretched and the eyes lifted up is to be preferred before all others, because it bears in prayer the image of characteristics befitting the soul and applies it to the body. I mean that this position must be preferred barring any chance circumstance. For under certain circumstances it is allowed to pray properly sometimes sitting... or even lying down... And kneeling is necessary when someone is going to speak against his own sins before God, since he is making supplication for their healing and their forgiveness. We must understand that it symbolizes someone who has fallen down and become obedient, since Paul says, "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named" (Eph. 3:14-15). And spiritual kneeling is called this because every single existing creature at the name of Jesus has fallen down before God and humbled himself to Him. The Apostle seems to me to indicate this by the phrase "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth" (Phil 2:10).
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okay, guys, let's step up to the plate
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a mini-series: leadership requires core values - part 1
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do the right things for the right reasons
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In one of the sermons recorded in Matthew's gospel, he spotlights Jeus' major emphasis on values. This week we'll look at Mt 6:1-8, 16-18 [NJB-ce].
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1 'Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract attention; otherwise you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. 2 So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win human admiration. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. 3 But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right is doing; 4 your alms-giving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. 5 'And when you pray, do not imitate the hypocrites: they love to say their prayers standing up in the synagogues and at the street corners for people to see them. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. 6 But when you pray, go to your private room, shut yourself in, and so pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. 7 'In your prayers do not babble as the gentiles do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. 8 Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

and

16 'When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. 17 But when you fast, put scent on your head and wash your face, 18 so that no one will know you are fasting except your Father who sees all that is done in secret; and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.

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Now we have more instruction regarding prayer. How do we stack-up?

The key thing to remember here is this: we're working towards developing specific core values - values we need if we're going to be leaders in the kingdom here on earth. Now, how do I interpret Matthew's rendering of Jesus' words? How do I apply them?

uncle jim
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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Any Way Saturday
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isaiah visits poor neighborhood of shreveport LA
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City-building effort of the People of Praise
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Several years ago, the People of Praise [an ecumenical Christian covenant community] sought the Lord for direction. The issue was one of 'what to do' and 'where to do it' - the result is a 'miracle' on Yale Street and the surrounding neighborhood in the Allendale section of Shreveport Louisiana. It is in one of the poorest areas in the northern part of the state.

Each Spring and Summer since 2002, over a hundred high-school age, and college age, and older adults, flock to the heat of this overlooked area of the city and perform work for the residents - they fix, repair, paint, build new. Additionally, this is not just a 'good thing' to do on spring break or summer vacation, a number of families from People of Praise branches around the country have actually moved into the neighborhood permanently.

This past year, a couple of young men who were working and living there from the People of Praise wrote their own version of a passage from Isaiah. It became so popular that a local pastor used it as a jumping-off point for his Sunday service.
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[ 6:21 ] ... and I think it is worth every second



'CLICK' on the > above and marvel at the Lord's handiwork
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Read more about Allendale here.
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duh ... gee, i didn't know that
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Adult formation, or more specifically 'continuing formation, is a hot topic these days in most parishes. Some parishes are good at promoting and providing substantive formation opportunities. Some parishes are good at the providing, but fall short on the promoting. Some parishes do neither very well.

The results, good and bad, are usually plainly evident. Just jump around the blog-o-sphere awhile and you'll see glaring examples of both. Look around you in the pews on Sunday. Even there you will see a variety of participation in, or attendance at, the weekly liturgy - good and bad. And where bad prevails, the priests are sometimes as much in the dark as are the folks in the pews.

Our Bishops need to do a much better job in priestly formation and continuing formation. From there it may trickle, or flow, down to the people in the pews. For example, what about the holding of hands during the praying of the Lord's Prayer - do they do that in your church? Does it seem to be almost 'required'? Does the priest do it, too?

There are many other opportunities to see us at our ignorant worst, not just at mass. What about our understanding of most contraceptives acting as an abortifacient? Do people even know what the issue is?

We can go on and on and on. The reality is that we all need good opportunities to learn the facets of our church's teachings - the teachings of Christ.
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Would you care to share things you see in your parish that are good and/or bad. What do you see that suggests formation is lacking? What does your parish do that is good? Share your observations so we all benefit and perhaps help things get better where we reside and worship.
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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cause Way Thursday
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Pesach: Passover
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Of all the Jewish holidays, Pesach is the one most commonly observed, even by otherwise non-observant Jews. According to the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS), more than 80% of Jews have attended a Pesach seder.
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Exodus 12:14-17
And this day shall become a memorial for you, and you shall observe it as a festival for the L-RD, for your generations, as an eternal decree shall you observe it. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove the leaven from your homes ... you shall guard the unleavened bread, because on this very day I will take you out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day for your g
enerations as an eternal decree. -
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Passover this year starts Saturday April 19 at sunset. Coincidentally, this is the regular time of shabat, or sabbath. The traditional seder meal is held on the next day, Sunday April 20.

Want to know more?

go here

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Is this what you mean?
by Fr. Frank Pavone
InsideCatholic.com
04/14/08
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Members of the pro-life community have been fed up for a long time with public servants who can't seem to tell the difference between serving the public and killing the public. They want to mask the violence of abortion with the smooth language of "choice," and they don't want to lift a finger to extend the freedoms -- whose merits they praise -- to the neediest members of our human family, the children still in the womb.

Some of these individuals hold public office, and others seek it. This type of politician is found in both major political parties. And Church leaders have been hesitant to d
iscipline such individuals, even as many of them claim to profess the Christian gospel.

This election season, it's time for that to change. No matter what politicians or voters or Church officials are or are not going to do, it's time that we draw a line in the sand and tell candidates and office-holders alike: If you're going to take a position on abortion, then you're going to have to come clean about what it is. We are no longer going to let you obscure or trivialize the issue. Whether people agree with you or not, you owe it to them to be honest about what you're talking about.

Therefore we issue this simple challenge to honesty: We will describe abortion to you, and you tell us if that's what you're talking about. We just want to make sure that we're hearing you. When you say "abortion," we want to make sure we're all talking about the same thing.

I recently posted two videos on YouTube in which I describe and demonstrate
the two most common abortion techniques, using the actual instruments of abortion and the words found in medical textbooks and court testimony. Go to www.priestsforlife.org and you will see the links to these videos, as well as brief quotes you can use from abortionists themselves.

[To get to the videos directly, click here and here.]

Then simply ask pro-choice politicians (whether they're candidates or already in public office) if this is what they mean when they say "abortion." Yes or no. Ask it publicly. Ask it repeatedly. Ask it at town meetings, on blogs, in editorials. Those whose support they are seeking deserve to know.

Rev. Frank Pavone is the National Director of Priests For Life.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Your Way Tuesday
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hillary - the 'cookie monster'
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[ :58 ]



'CLICK' on the above > and get to the truth
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mccain - the 'hokey monster'
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[ 1:47 ]



'CLICK' on the above > and take a nap
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Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Way Sunday
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forty winks does not a night make
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Forty-four 16 & 17 year olds - male and female - all gathered together, from 7 of the 8 different high schools in the county and representing 2 of the 3 parishes. It was only 7:45am, and many of them had been up much of the night, I suspect. From the groggy eyes and the yawns and the 'blankies' and even a few pillows, I was judging it was going to be a little harder than normal to get and keep their attention. They were, after all, on Confirmation Retreat - many, if not most, there by parental edict.

It was time for breakfast - 30 minutes to eat donuts or fruit and drink fruit juice or milk. Maybe that would be enough time to wake-up. After breakfast was morning prayer, Liturgy of the Hours - a brief 15 minutes to recollect one's self and try to bring some sense of spirituality into the awakening herd [it seemed like a herd - they moved about in groups seemingly without direction, just kind of foraging].

They gathered for the opening talk of the day. The speaker was me. I had them get up on their feet and I played cheerleader. We shouted some cheers and stomped our feet and tried to get our blood flowing and eyes and ears opened. Seemed to work - at least good enough to start.

I used questions to them as a group to draw out some helpful definitions for the scripture verses I would use. Words like deception, and mockery, and reaping, and sowing, and others were defined. During the presentation I would send them off to small groups for discussion [5 minutes] of something I assigned. Each of the 6 groups would then report back to all their response or the understanding gained in the small group. We did this twice

F
irst part was about not getting deceived by the world around us - Galatians 6:7 was scripture I used along with examples of such deception.

Part two was based on Galatians 6:8 - what goes around comes around ... we reap what we sow.

The third part was meant to illuminate the behavior we exhibit when sowing to feed our sinful nature - Galatians 5:19-21 provided the basis for that.

Fourthly, we talked a bit about the story of the blind-man in John's gospel, chapter nine. Our spiritual blindness was the point addressed here.

Key to all of this, point #5, was the realization that they were being assigned to be defenders of the Catholic faith - they are part of the 'church militant'. We talked about how to share their faith in school and other environments, and how to diffuse emotional confrontations. We talked about our need for mutual support in these efforts.

And I tried to affirm them as worthwhile and important members of the Body of Christ. Their 'mantra' was to be, "I AM THE BEST ! I reap my best because I sow my best - even when it is hard."

They stayed awake - they participated - they didn't stone me. I think they will remember some of it.
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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Any Way Saturday
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[ 8:01 ]
..... a little long, but like Fr. V's symbolic Saturday features, so worthwhile



'CLICK' on the above > and learn about idolotry
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on a retreat ... again
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This time I am part of a team presenting a retreat to a group of high school 10th graders in preparation for their upcoming Confirmation. I'll let you know how it went, later. There are to be 45 - 50 confirmandi. Pray it all goes well as we get them ready to be Soldiers of Christ - part of the Church Militant - defenders of the faith.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cause Way Thursday
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P
LEASE
- go to this site and 'sign-up'.

May 3rd, 2008

One Million people praying
the rosary for the unborn.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle...


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Addendum:
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What do they know?
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Last eve I went to pick-up some tickets for a political rally here on this coming Saturday morning. Senator Barak Obama will be here speaking at the local state college campus.The announcement said that the local campaign office would start giving out tickets at 5pm.

They did not say how many you could have, or how many total they were giving out. His local campaign office is in the college campus area known locally as "the Village." When I arrived at the Village area around 4:45pm, I experienced traffic grid-lock. Local and campus police were directing traffic and trying to keep it moving.

When I arrived at the block where the office is located, I decided to go back to my normal life and give up on getting tickets - the line was already 5 blocks long and more people were pouring into the area, some jumping out of cars to get in line while the poor drivers had to find someplace to park.

By 7:00 pm, according to the local news this morning, they had given out their quota of 3,000 tickets. There were many hundreds still in line - any many, like me, who probably did not stop. I drove around the area, just to see and ponder the crowd standing in this long line.

I did not see one - not one - black person in that line. I will grant that I was driving through a very traffic congested area - I may have missed some. What do they know that those in line don't?
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'cause he's one of the greatest hockey players alive
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"Mr. Hockey #9" - Gordie Howe

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Tonight, Thursday April 10, 2008, the Detroit Red Wings start their crusade to bring home the Stanley Cup - the top prize in all of professional hockey. If successful, it will not be the first appearance of Lord Stanley's Cup in their building - it will be the 11th time it has resided there.

Ten days ago on March 31, 'Mr. Hockey' celebrated his 80th birthday. The day before on March 30, there was a huge birthday party for him at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The Detroit Red Wing players and organization and all fans present, celebrated the man of the day.
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from the Detroit Red Wing web-site:

One day before he turns 80-years-old, Mr. Hockey was honored in a special pre-game ceremony at center ice prior to the Red Wings’ game against the Nashville Predators on Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.

Asked about his NHL longevity, Mr. Hockey paused to reflect. “I think you stay awake some nights and think, ‘How the heck did it ever happen?’ ” Gordie Howe said. “I think it was my love for the game.”

Wings general manager Ken Holland presented Howe with a newly updated Red Wings varsity jacket, commemorating the jacket he received when he signed with the Red Wings back in October 1946.
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Gordie Howe played in the NHL from 1946 to 1981 - 35 years. At one time in his career he played on the same NHL team with his two sons.

Our love of hockey and the Detroit Red Wings comes easily. My wife grew up in southeastern Michigan, about 45 minutes from downtown Detroit. I grew up in Toledo Ohio, an hour away from downtown Detroit.

For many years, my wife and I try to go to at least one Red Wings game a year. It is usually in Detroit, but it could be elsewhere - we live within 3-6 hours of five NHL team cities. This year that game took place on Friday eve March 28 in Detroit.

During the game, they made several promotional announcements encouraging everyone to come on Sunday and help celebrate Gordie Howe's birthday. They also were promoting the release of a new biographical book entitled simply " 9 ".

That is the number he wore as a Detroit Red Wing. And wouldn't you know it, old 'Mr. Hockey', Gordie Howe, #9, was in the building that night to promote his book and sign autographs. Guess who's wife has a very special gift for her birthday coming in June?

The inscription on
the book's cover reads:

Hi Rozann. Sincere best wishes.
Gordie Howe
Mr. Hockey
HoF - 72


[HoF = Hall of Fame]

Then, to complement the book, I obtained a picture of Gordie in full stride stick-handling the puck ... from many years earlier in his career.

The inscription on the picture reads:

To Rozann,
Warmest regards and
Happy Birthday.
Mr. Hockey 9
Gordie Howe 9

Think I'll score any points?
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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Your Way Tuesday
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the Church militant
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Adoro Te Devote has an excellent entry on defending our faith.

You really need to go here and read this post from Saturday March 5, 2008.

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charlton heston couldn't have done this scene better
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Why Catholics and Protestants Don't See Eye to Eye

By Rev. Dwight Longenecker
3/28/2008

Inside Catholic
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The two may share the same moral values, but they will do so for different reasons. They may share the same essential beliefs, but they will see them from different perspectives.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Inside Catholic) - My niece's husband is a trainee Baptist pastor. Jimbo's hip, friendly, and fun to be with.


He's smart and theologically savvy. I like him. He loves Jesus and believes the Bible, and on most moral and doctrinal issues I can affirm what he affirms. We agree on a lot.

But even when we agree, we don't see eye to eye.

[for complete article, go here]
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The 'Grid' Could Soon Make the Internet Obsolete

Monday, April 07, 2008

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The Internet could soon be made obsolete. The scientists who pioneered it have now built a lightning-fast replacement capable of downloading entire feature films within seconds.


At speeds about 10,000 times faster than a typical broadband connection, “the grid” will be able to send the entire Rolling Stones back catalogue from Britain to Japan in less than two seconds.

The latest spin-off from Cern, the particle physics centre that created the web, the grid could also provide the kind of power needed to transmit holographic images; allow instant online gaming with hundreds of thousands of players; and offer high-definition video telephony for the price of a local call.

[read article here]
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Sunday, April 6, 2008

My Way Sunday
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I'm ba-a-a-a-a-a-ack
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You may have noticed there have been no entry posts here for a couple of days, as well as no comments on your posts from me. I have not been sick or lost or mad or had writer-block or any such thing.

I been gone on an annual retreat. It started Friday evening 7pm and ended 3pm this afternoon. Lots of good silent time for reflection and prayer...and lots of mind-stretching.The general theme of the retreat was "Friendship with God". The basic notion stressed was "Love" - love as a noun, as a verb, as God. From there on I needed to dig up some old stored away memory files [in my head, not my computer] from Logic 101 and Theology 521 and elsewhere, like previous conversations with the Lord. I was stretched, as were all in attendance.

This is an annual retreat I take with 40 - 50 other men every spring. We rent a retreat center about an hour from here; we recruit a retreat master; we talk about themes and directions and arrive at an agreed upon topic. We actually have our dates already booked there for the next 7 years I think. We've been using this facility for over 20 years already - we used to jump around between several facilities before that.

It was good...but I have a lot to chew on and pray through and talk about to my Father. I'll write on some of it in future posts.
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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Cause Way Thursday
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really!?!?!?!
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- When asked by U.S. News & World Report columnist Deborah Kotz if whether or not Obamamania could actually cause people to lose consciousness, Thomas Swift , the president of the American Academy of Neurology, replied: Yes. Being extremely excited can trigger a sudden large surge of adrenaline and other stress hormones…You might feel lightheaded, clammy, and a bit nauseated before your vision dims and the world goes black.
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PURE fashions
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Modest teen models change fashion one outfit at a time — with dignity
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4/1/2008

The Georgia Bulletin (www.georgiabulletin.org)

ATLANTA, GA (The Georgia Bulletin) - On Sunday, April 20, the Pure Fashion Show, an annual faith-based event, will hit the runways again in style, as it has in Atlanta for the past nine years.

This year, guests will enjoy a show at the Georgia World Congress Center sure to cause a positive stir in the fashion industry. With an emphasis on modesty—mirroring the “Modesty Movement” that says girls can wear cute clothes and still maintain their dignity—Pure Fashion includes more than 60 teen models and emphasizes that real models are role models who know who they are and know that they can “change the culture one outfit at a time!”

The show is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. in the Georgia Ballroom, and doors open for pre-function activities at 12:30 p.m. The 2008 Pure Fashion Show is expected to draw more than 2,000 attendees, who will be treated to an impressive line-up of entertainment, including performances by Carried Away, a Dove Award-winning Christian group from Tennessee, and Lindee Link, a 13-year-old musician from Peachtree City, who is preparing her first CD in Nashville. A parade of hip, trendy and modest spring fashions modeled by more than 60 teenage girls will round out the event.

As with every year, models began their preparation for the show in September with an entire development program that includes training in etiquette, public speaking, make-up application and modeling.

These young women have also been given a new appreciation for human virtues and values that seem forgotten in recent fashion design and trends.

One such virtue is modesty. “Modesty is more than the way we dress; it is an outward reflection of an interior attitude,” says Brenda Sharman, former Miss Georgia USA and national director of Pure Fashion.

Tickets are $45 per person.
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(Tickets are on sale now via http://tickets.purefashion.com/ordertickets. For more information, go to www.purefashion.com or contact Vivian Heard at vivian.heard@comcast.net or (770) 886-6176, or Rhonda Boyle at rhonda.boyle@gmail.com or (770) 317-6408.)
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This story was made available to Catholic Online by permission of The Georgia Bulletin(www.georgiabulletin.org), official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Ga.

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Ind. lawmakers OK cord-blood banks
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By Brigid Curtis Ayer
4/1/2008

The Catholic Review (www.catholicreview.org)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (The Catholic Moment) - Property tax reform dominated the headlines during the 116th session of the Indiana General Assembly, but two proposals supported by the Indiana Catholic Conference — to encourage adult stem-cell research and limit pornography — soon will become law, too.

AUTHOR - Rep. Peggy Welch (D-Bloomington) authored a bill that would increase access to an ethical source of adult stem cells through the creation of a public umbilical cord blood bank. The law passed on March 13, one day before adjournment.
AUTHOR - Rep. Peggy Welch (D-Bloomington) authored a bill that would increase access to an ethical source of adult stem cells through the creation of a public umbilical cord blood bank. The law passed on March 13, one day before adjournment.

Increasing access to an ethical source of adult stem cells through the creation of a public umbilical cord blood bank is the goal of legislation written by Rep. Peggy Welch (D-Bloomington) which passed on March 13, one day before adjournment.

It requires the state Family and Social Service Ad-ministration (FSSA) to create a governmental nonprofit corporation to establish and run an umbilical cord blood bank; begin an umbilical cord blood donation initiative, and promote public awareness concerning the medical benefits of umbilical cord blood.

The two most common sources of stem cells are embryonic and adult stem cells, but a lesser known source is material discarded after the birth of a child — the umbilical cord, cord blood, placenta and amniotic fluid.

Stem cells also can be taken from adult tissues and organs such as bone marrow, fat from liposuction, regions of the nose and even cadavers.

Welch explained that people will be able to donate cord blood to a public cord blood bank the same way they currently donate blood.

“When a person donates blood, they do so in order that someone else may benefit from it. That would be the same motivation for donating to a public cord blood bank,” she said. “The priority of the cord blood bank would be for transplants, the secondary purpose would be for research.”

Dr. Scott Goebel, who is responsible for cord blood transplants at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, said, “We have children and adults in Indiana, as well as around the country, who die each year from the lack of a suitable hematopotentic stem cell (marrow or cord blood) donor, which is both regrettable and correctable with more cord blood banking.”

Two out of 10 cord blood donations are of transplantable quality, but the other eight would have research value.

“What is exciting about this legislation is Indiana will be receiving hundreds of thousands of umbilical cord blood units with postnatal tissue for transplants and research,” Welch said. “The goal is that we will increase the number of transplantable stem cells, help save lives of cancer patients, provide more research quality stem cells and improve the quality of life for Hoosiers both physically and financially.”

Welch said she thinks a public cord blood bank will bring more researchers and significant research dollars to Indiana, and help the economy. The bank would be self-supporting in two to three years from its inception, she estimated.

Private and public umbilical cord blood banks have proven invaluable. Doctors use cord blood cells to treat approximately 70 diseases, mostly anemias or cancers of the blood, such as leukemias and lymphomas.
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