Thursday, July 31, 2008

Clergy Confraternity call for prayers because of reported desecration of Eucharist

Baltimore, Jul 29, 2008 / 10:51 pm (CNA).- The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a national association of over 600 priests and deacons, has responded to the reported desecration of the Eucharist at the hands of a Minnesota biology professor and science blogger by asking for the Catholics of Minnesota and the entire nation to join in a day of prayer and fasting.

“We find the actions of University of Minnesota (Morris) Professor Paul Myers reprehensible, inexcusable, and unconstitutional,” the group said in a statement. “His flagrant display of irreverence by profaning a consecrated Host from a Catholic church goes beyond the limit of academic freedom and free speech.”

The confraternity argued that Myers’ claim to have acquired and desecrated a consecrated Host is a violation of the freedom of religion guaranteed in the Bill of Rights... (Continued here)

Nine out of Ten babies aborted in Spain with Down's Syndrome

Madrid, Jul 31, 2008 / 10:19 am (CNA).- The National Association for the Defense of the Right to Conscientious Objection is deploring new data this week that indicates that 9 out every 10 babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are aborted by their parents in Spain.

General coordinator of the Association, Jose Antonio Diez, said that in 94.5% of the cases that a prenatal diagnosis indicates the presence of Down’s syndrome, the baby is aborted.

He said such diagnoses are often used to “eliminate children with more or less serious defects. The doctor is not free to offer alternatives,” and for this reason many parents are now conscientiously objecting to prenatal diagnosis that is not intended for medical treatment, Diez said... (Continued here)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls not performing abortions

Sioux Falls, Jul 29, 2008 / 12:11 am (CNA).- South Dakota pro-life advocates continue to report that the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is no longer performing abortions after a rigorous informed consent state law took effect earlier this month, though they say further investigation is required for confirmation. “We were the first state that ever made Planned Parenthood put up a closed sign,” one pro-life leader said.

Dr. Allen Unruh, a leader in South Dakota’s Vote Yes for Life campaign, wrote a statement last week describing how on Monday, July 21 a sign on the Planned Parenthood clinic door said it was closed and women who had scheduled abortions were turned away.

“On this Monday, no unborn babies died in South Dakota by an abortion,” he said.

The clinic normally flies in a doctor from Minneapolis, Minnesota to perform fifteen to twenty abortions every Monday.

Dr. Unruh credited the state informed consent law for discouraging doctors from performing abortions.

“The penalties for abortionist's non-compliance could include a prison sentence, loss of medical license, and civil liability. In South Dakota, a wrongful death case can be brought for the death of an unborn child at any age of gestation,” he said.

“Time will tell if an abortionist will take the medical and legal risk of completing abortions in South Dakota without compliance to the 8th Circuit decision,” Unruh continued in his... (Continued here)



MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (July 30, 2008) - The WORLDWIDE ROSARY FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 18th, 2008. Participants will pray the Rosary during the 9:00 a.m. hour for the following intention: For an end to the surgical and non-surgical killing of unborn babies. Because participants will be praying the Rosary during the 9:00 a.m. hour according to the particular time zone they are in, it is hoped that the earth will be circled with multiple waves of Rosaries within a 24-hour time period. (If a person needs to, he/she may pray the Rosary at another time on October 18th, 2008).

" This October 18th pro-life prayer event gives people throughout the world a great opportunity to unite in prayer for unborn babies," said Patrick Benedict, President of the Saint Michael the Archangel Organization, the organization that is coordinating the WORLDWIDE ROSARY FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event.

" The primary way to stop the killing of unborn babies is by using spiritual weaponry. One of the greatest spiritual weapons is the Rosary, and I encourage everyone to pray the Rosary on October 18th for the unborn babies," concluded Benedict.

In addition to participating, people are also encouraged to promote the WORLDWIDE ROSARY FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event. The Saint Michael the Archangel Organization's website( has a one page information sheet about the prayer event available in the following languages: English, Italian, Korean, Polish, and Spanish. (Translators are still needed for Chinese, German, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Any person willing to do a translation may write a letter or send an email to

A person without internet access who wants more information about the WORLDWIDE ROSARY FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event may send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Saint Michael the Archangel Organization; P. O. Box 41257; Memphis, Tennessee 38174; United States of America.

(The Saint Michael the Archangel Organization coordinated the ROSARY FOR LIFE SUNDAY prayer event(October 14th, 2007) and coordinated the ONE MILLION ROSARIES FOR UNBORN BABIES prayer event(May 3rd, 2008). The Saint Michael the Archangel Organization does not know if the goal of one million was met for the latter prayer event.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Catholic Company is giving Catechisms and books to the poor!

Can you help? Did you know that The Catholic Company is giving Catechisms to the poor? I just found out. Take a look at their page here to see what they are doing. It's really incredible! I noticed that they are also offering the "Pieta Prayerbook" to be given to the poor. I have one of these incredible prayer books on my night stand and one in my purse. I'm not kidding. :) My older sister gave me my first one many years ago. Both of mine are very tattered now from years of use!

"This project is a true blessing. We really pray that The Catholic Company will continue to evangelize the world!" - Father Richard Ho Lung, founder of the Missionaries of the Poor

Chris Cash, their Director of E-Commerce said, "The Catholic Company has undertaken a challenge, together with the Missionaries of the Poor (MOP), to send 5000 (or more!) catechisms to the poor and needy at MOP missions in Jamaica, India, the Philippines, Haiti, Uganda & Kenya. We are sending the first 500 catechisms, and hope our loyal customers will help us send at least another 4500 copies."

I think they are doing an amazing thing and hope that perhaps you can say a little prayer for their efforts and see if maybe you can help them to reach their goal too. You will be helping to evanlgelize and that is what our Lord calls us all to do.

Thanks for considering!

God bless!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Joan Lewis gives us practical Vatican visit information

Joan Lewis's recent blog post at "Joan's Rome" is filled with practical information should you have the opportunity to visit the Eternal City. Even if a trip to Rome will not be in your near future it's still very interesting to read all about it. Take a look at what Joan has to say:


I will be leaving on vacation for a few weeks on July 17 and I thought it might be helpful to dedicate my column today to information on visiting the Vatican – St. Peter’s Basilica, the Museums, the world famous “scavi” and the gardens and Vatican City itself. Many of you are planning trips and will leave in coming days or weeks or months. The following practical information – which you should print and bring with you - is from the Vatican’s web site: I have added some practical notes in a few places - “A Note from Joan.”

Tomorrow I will take you on a tour of Vatican City and the gardens, adding that column to this one so that you have a summer’s worth of reading and planning while I am away!

PAPAL AUDIENCES: A ticket - always free of charge - is required for attending the General Audience on Wednesday mornings or other papal ceremonies. They are issued by the Prefecture of the Papal Household reached by way of the Bronze Door. The office is open Mondays from 9:00 to 13:00 and Tuesdays from 9:00 to 18:00. To request a ticket: Telephone +39.06.69883114 – +39.06.69884631; or fax +39.06.69885863.

A note from Joan: Remember, you can also ask for tickets through the North American College by going to the web site of the Visitors Office of the Pontifical North American College: or by visiting the church in Rome for Americans that, like NAC, on Tuesday afternoons distributes tickets to those who have quested them in advance. I recommend both of these avenues because of the extraordinarily personal treatment you will receive as you meet fellow Americans, “ex-pat” Americans who live in Rome.

ST. PETER’S BASILICA: The Basilica is open every day from 7.00 to 19.00, April to September and from 7.00 to 18.00, October to March. To preserve the sacred character of the church, groups consisting of more than five members and accompanied by a guide are kindly requested to use "audio-guides" which can be rented at the entrance to the Basilica. Proper dress is required for admission to the Basilica To rent "audio-guides": telephone +39.06.69883229 or +39.06.69881898.

A note from Joan: “Proper dress” means that knees and shoulders must be covered - for men and women.

HISTORICAL AND ARTISTIC MUSEUM (Treasury): The Treasury is open from 9.00 to 18:15, April to September and from 9.00 to 17.15, October to March. The entrance is from inside St. Peter’s Basilica (on the left side).

VISIT TO THE DOME: Visits to the dome of St. Peter’s are possible every day from 8.00 to 18.00, April to September and from 8.00 to 17.00, October to March. The entrance is at the portico of the Basilica (on the right hand side of the basilica, just off the atrium).

A note from Joan: There are 320 steps to the top of the dome and it is an incredibly wonderful.." (Continued here).

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Professor says he desecrated the Eucharist!

This is so dreadful...

"Morris, MN, Jul 26, 2008 / 02:40 am (CNA).- Saying “Catholicism has been actively poisoning the minds of its practitioners” and characterizing religious instruction as “a devastating crime against the whole of the human race,” University of Minnesota at Morris biology professor Dr. Paul Zachary Myers claims to have carried out his threat to desecrate the Eucharist.

Prof. Myers says that he pierced a Host with a rusty nail and then threw it in the trash alongside coffee grounds, banana peels, and pages torn respectively from the Koran and a book by the atheist polemicist Richard Dawkins.

In a rambling prelude to his announcement of the desecration, Myers tried to explain his actions in a Thursday post on his blog “Pharyngula.” Referencing the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, which he said codified Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist and established legal punishment for Jews, he said that accusations of Eucharistic desecration had been harmful to Jews in medieval Europe.

“That is the true power of the cracker, this silly symbol of superstition. Fortunately, Catholicism has mellowed with age — the last time a Catholic nation rose up to slaughter its non-Christian citizenry was a whole 70 years ago, after all — but the sentiment still lingers,” he said, apparently making a reference to the Spanish Civil War.

Myers said he had received “thousands of mindless comments” from Catholics and quoted several letters he had received. He said prayerful letters with no threats were representative of the majority of his e-mail, but he also quoted several threatening and bizarre e-mails.

The professor argued that Catholics were intolerant for demanding he be fired and sending threats, repeating his claim that he was motivated by the case of Webster Cook, a student senator at the University of Central Florida, who was accused of taking a Host from a Catholic Mass and keeping it in a plastic bag.

Responding to charges that he is an evil man, he said the truly evil were “hypocritical” clerics who dressed ornately while preaching poverty, people who “undermined family planning efforts for the poor.”

He then asserted that religious education is a crime against humanity, saying:

“And if I wanted to be so evil that I would commit a devastating crime against..." (Continued here)

Women's Thirst for the Living Water: On the Dignity and Vocation of Women

Just click here to read my article in the latest Canticle magazine.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This just in - Professor threatens to desecrate Eucharist!

Dear friends, please pray about this situation below:

Morris, MN, Jul 23, 2008 / 04:53 am (CNA).- The University of Minnesota has told CNA that disciplinary action has not been taken against Professor Paul Zachary Myers, a biology professor at the school’s Morris campus who threatened to acquire and desecrate a consecrated Host on his popular science blog Pharyngula. However, impeachment proceedings have begun against the University of Central Florida student senator who took a Host from a Catholic Mass in the incident which inspired Myers to make his threat.

Daniel Wolter, the News Service Director in the Office of University Relations at the University of Minnesota, reiterated in an e-mail to CNA that Professor Myers’ views “do not reflect the views of the University of Minnesota.”

“We appreciate the Catholic League's making us aware of the improper link to Myers' blog that was on the University website,” Wolter wrote. “That link has been removed as it was a violation of University web policy.”

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights had criticized Myers’ threat in... (Continued here)

Humanae Vitae: Forty Years Later

Check out Hugh's blog post on Humanae Vitae

"The cornerstone of Catholic moral and ethical teaching reaches the famous Jack Benny age of 39 on July 25, 2007. It has been almost 40 years since Pope Paul VI stunned the world with the traditionally conservative encyclical during the traumatic period of social and sexual upheaval during the 1960's. This author, remembers the announcement very clearly, even though I was only a grade school student. At the time I was 8 years old and quite honestly was more concerned with enjoying my summer vacation and getting to the beach more than papal proclamations..." (Continued here)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pope Benedict bid farewell to the Youth

You have opened your doors and your hearts to the world’s youth, and on their behalf I thank you.’

Pope says God bless and goodbye at departure ceremonySydney, Jul 20, 2008 / 11:53 pm (CNA).- Pope Benedict departed Australia for Rome today after a busy eight-day stay. The Holy Father bid adieu by blessing Australia and holding a farewell ceremony with the Prime Minister (PM) Kevin Rudd, who announced that Australia will begin diplomatic relations with the Holy See for the first time.

When Pope Benedict entered the airport hanger, he was greeted with applause and the sight of Australian and Vatican flags.

The Holy Father thanked the Australian government and its authorities for their support of the World Youth Day activities.

“The Federal Government and the State Government of New South Wales, as well as the residents and the business community of Sydney, have been most cooperative in their support of World Youth Day.” (Continued here)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I will be featured on EWTN TV shows coming up

EWTN TV shows on “Faith & Culture”

“Faith & Culture” is scheduled to air throughout August! (Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time and Wednesdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time). If you don’t have EWTN, you can also watch the shows on the Internet at those times. They will also eventually re-air on radio.

August 3 and 6: Women’s Round table on Mulieris Dignitatem; episode one (Dale, Genevieve, Elizabeth)

August 10 and 13: Women’s Round table on Mulieris Dignitatem; episode two (Dale, Genevieve, Teresa)

August 17 and 20: Women’s Round table on Mulieris Dignitatem; episode three (Genevieve, Elizabeth, Donna)

August 24 and 27: Women’s Round table on Mulieris Dignitatem; episode four (Teresa, Donna, Elizabeth)

Fr. James's Sunday Homily: "An Enemy Has Done This"

Every week I post my friend, Fr. James's Sunday Homily. I think this Sunday's is especially relevant and critical. I hope you'll find a few moments to read it through to the end. I would have posted this earlier today, but we had a flat tire to contend with in the Church parking lot on a very hot and humid day.

God bless your Sunday!


Fr. James's Homily:

Chapter Thirteen of St. Mathew's Gospel is comprised of seven different parables. For this reason this chapter is usually called the parable discourse. Because the subject matter and themes are similar, the parables are called the kingdom parables.

Jesus' parables are very effective. By drawing on the ordinary routines of daily life, he sheds light on the deepest supernatural mysteries. Thus by reflecting upon the parables we may get a glimpse at the humanity of Jesus and his kindness toward those crowded about him, eager to hear his message of truth. Jesus taught the seven parables on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, sometimes called Lake Gennesaret or Lake Tiberius.

Last week we focused on man's response to God. We have been given the gift of free will and we all respond to God differently. This Sunday, let us focus our attention on the mystery of evil.

Pope Paul VI often commented that this Sunday's gospel passage had proven the most difficult for him to understand. Why does God allow the weeds and the wheat to grow together? Why does God allow evil to co-exist with good?

The Second Vatican Council ushered in an era of excitement and hope for the Catholic Church. Two world wars, the Korean conflict, the global tensions of the Cold War, and the Cuban missile crisis which had brought North America to the brink of destruction, were countered with a time of euphoria.

Shortly after the close of Vatican II, Pope Paul VI was overwhelmed by the universal rejection of many of the Council's teachings. The true teachings of the Council were hijacked, and the post-conciliar crisis ravaged the Church causing massive apostasy.

Throughout the remainder of his pontificate, the Holy Father lived a daily martyrdom. His secretary kept the morning newspapers away from the Pope until later in the day. At one point during the crisis, Paul VI delivered his famous Wednesday General Audience on the smoke of Satan entering through the cracks of the Church. His teaching was met with abundant ridicule, mostly from the clergy.

Pope Paul VI speaking to another General Audience said in 1972: "So we know that this dark disturbing being exists and that he is still at work with his treacherous cunning; he is the hidden enemy who... (Continued here)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

This an amazing World Youth Day website - World Youth Day Central!

Be sure to check out the World Youth Day Central regularly for scedules and all kinds of good stuff! Just click here!

Wow! Over 500 Million Tuned In To Watch the World Youth Day Stations of the Cross!

I was able to catch some of this on EWTN TV while I was busy at work on a book I am writing. It was a little too quiet in my little office so I turned on EWTN because sometimes I'll have that channel on playing at a very low volume and so I can listen to the Rosary or Stations of the Cross or Litanies playing in the background as I write. When I turned the TV on, I found the World Youth Day and it was so mesmerizing that I finally told myself (I talk to myself a lot! :) It happens when you are an author and are by yourself quite a bit) to stop the writing for a few minutes and watch Jesus (portrayed by an actor) on his way to the Cross. It was very moving.

The crowds present in Sydney were very serious and somber, until they happened to see themselves on the camera and then flashed a peace sign or smiled broadly! I got a kick out of the very reverent Missionaries of Charity nuns who for a split second smiled when they saw that they were on camera and then you can see how quickly they became reverent once again - in a matter of a half second! They are human and they are a very JOYFUL bunch! Below is a recent article about the Stations of the Cross at World Youth Day in Sydney Australia.

Sydney, Jul 18, 2008 / 09:36 am (CNA).- An audience of half a billion tuned in to watch the performance that involved around 80 performers and was played out by young people at six major venues around Sydney. Over 270,000 international and local spectators also made their way to points around the city to watch the Stations of the Cross live and on big screen televisions.

The first station held on the steps of St Mary’s Cathedral was attended by Pope Benedict XVI who led the prayer.

“Make us generous and insightful as we try to walk in your footsteps,” the Holy Father prayed.

The Pope then watched the procession on television from St. Mary’s Cathedral Crypt.

The procession moved through the Domain, a large open space in Sydney; the Art Gallery of NSW; and the Sydney Opera House, where the actor playing Jesus, Alfio Stuto 27, received the crown of thorns. At Darling Harbour, the stations were played out on a wharf built across the small bay specifically for the purpose before travelling by ferry to Barangaroo.

A somber and reverent mood permeated the crowds, previously filled with cheering and chanting... (Continued here for article and to see a YouTube clip)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fr. Mark's Blog (EWTN)

It was spectacular. The Holy Father came into Sydney Harbor on a boat, past the Opera House and under the Sydney Harbor Bridge. I watched it on a TV monitor, and it was still amazing to see.

Pope Benedict, given to understated gestures, has a way of balancing dramatic images. He simply smiled, waved, laughed and enjoyed the moment. And what a moment it was. Cardinal Pell greeted him and said there has not been a greeting like this since the first Irish Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Patrick Francis Moran, arrived on September 8, 1884.

The Pope seemed very much at ease, smiling at those around him and reacting to the responses from the crowd. It seems that the apprehension of what kind of pope he will be is over. He can be himself, and make his own contribution to the Church... (Continued here)

Jubilant crowds of half million pilgrims greet Pope Benedict

Sydney, Jul 17, 2008 / 07:00 am (CNA).- In the midst of jubilant crowds, the Papal “Boat-a-cade” arrived at Barangaroo this afternoon, after sailing around Sydney Harbour, where the Pope waved to tens of thousands people who had lined the foreshore to catch a glimpse of the Pontiff's arrival.

“His Holiness stood waving in full-view of the crowd on board the vessel,” said WYD08 spokesman Father Mark Podesta. The Papal Boat carried approximately 530 people including 168 international pilgrims.

After thanking the indigenous people of Australia for their warm welcome to the country, the Holy Father addressed the international and local pilgrims at the site, who had waited hours for his arrival.

“Standing before me I see a vibrant image of the Universal Church. The variety of nations and cultures from which you hail shows that indeed Christ’s Good News is for everyone; it has reached the ends of the earth.”

“Yet I know too that a good number of you are still seeking a spiritual homeland… To you I wish to offer encouragement: step forward into Christ’s loving embrace; recognize the Church as your home.”

The Pope also evoked images of the early Church and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles in the upper room as part of the theme of WYD08 “Receive the Power.” (Continued here)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

World Youth Day: Pilgrims Greeted

Sydney, Jul 15, 2008 / 05:10 am (CNA).- Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd greeted pilgrims prior to the Mass, in several different languages. “You are here for this great celebration of life, this great celebration of faith and this great celebration of hope," said the Australian Prime Minister. "For this you are so much the light of the world at a time when the world has so much darkness."

Cardinal Pell presided over the opening Mass, which was the largest Mass to be hosted in Australia’s history, with 26 Cardinals, 400 bishops and approximately 4,000 priests.

In his homily Cardinal Pell called all to listen to Christ’s message saying, “Christ’s call is to all who are suffering, not just Catholics or other Christians, but especially to those without religion. Christ is calling you home; to love, healing and community.”

The Cardinal’s words are particularly relevant in Australia, where nearly one-third of its population does not identify with any religion.

Given this dearth of religion, Australia's top clergyman emphasized the opportunity for reform and reiterated the Pope’s message of hope.“While there is life there is always the option of hope and with Christian hope come faith and love.” “Our task is to be open to the power of the Spirit, to allow the God of suprises to act through us.” (Continued here)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Pope Benedict in Sydney, Australia: "Joan's Rome"

Pope Benedict arrived Sydney, Australia Sunday afternoon following a 20-hour flight from Rome, with a re-fueling stop in Darwin where he deplaned and briefly walked around. During the flight, the Pope sent telegrams – as is customary - to the heads of State of the 16 countries that the papal plane flew over, including l’Albania, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The 10,000 mile flight was the start of the Pope’s ninth foreign apostolic trip. He sat in the first class section of the Boeing 777 which was furnished with an armchair, bed, writing area, kneeler and crucifix. He was accompanied by 27 Members of the Papal entourage, including the secretary of State, master of liturgical ceremonies, Swiss Guards and gendarmes, his private physician and private valet, and personnel from Vatican Radio and Vatican television, including the head of CTV, Vatican Radio and the press office. Also on board were 43 accredited members of the media and 2 assistants. The 73 passengers flew in a Boeing which typically accommodates between 283 and 368 passengers in a three-class configuration.

An hour into the flight, Pope Benedict went to the section of the plane with... (Continued here at Joan's Rome)

Pope Benedict doing fine in Sydney

Sydney, Jul 14, 2008 / 09:12 am (CNA).- The Pope has passed his first 24 hours in Sydney in an environment of peace and tranquillity, the official spokesman for the Vatican Father Federico Lombardi, told the press.

As part of the Pope’s schedule, he celebrated Mass after landing on Sunday in the Kenthurst Study Center at 6 p.m. followed by a dinner at 7 o'clock.

On Monday the Pope celebrated mass at 8:00 a.m. with two of his secretaries and two priests of the Kenthurst Study Center. He then had breakfast at 9:00 a.m. followed by a short walk around the Centre’s native bushland.

The Pope shared lunch with the Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell and the Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, who reported to him on the course of the preparations for World Youth Day.

After lunch the Pope had his usual meeting with his secretaries, and then prayed the rosary at 5 o'clock in the evening. Later in the evening he enjoyed a private concert with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

The Holy Father closed his first full day in Australia with supper at 7 p.m. (From Catholic News Agency)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

Chapter Thirteen of St. Mathew's Gospel is comprised of seven different parables. For this reason this chapter is usually called the parable discourse. Because the subject matter and themes are similar, the parables are called the kingdom parables.

Jesus' parables are very effective. By drawing on the ordinary routines of daily life, he sheds light on the deepest supernatural mysteries. Thus by reflecting upon the parables we may get a glimpse at the humanity of Jesus and his kindness toward those crowded about him, eager to hear his message of truth.

Jesus taught the seven parables on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, sometimes called Lake Gennesaret or Lake Tiberius. Visitors to this fertile plain west of the Sea of Galilee can appreciate Jesus' description of the sower in the parable (Matthew 13: 1-23).

In the Holy Land at the time of Jesus, the fields were laid out in long narrow strips. The ground between the strips served as a footpath for those who crossed through the fields. Over time these paths were beaten hard by the feet of countless villagers who passed through the fields to get to their destinations. As the sower went about his task in the fields, the wind carried the seed and some would fall on these hardened paths... (Continued here).

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fr. James is ready to Rock and Roll about the Theology of the Body!

My friend, Fr. James who is a pastor at a parish in Texas and a very fine priest will be a contributing author to Catholic Exchange's new "Theology of the Body" channel of their marvelous website. If you know a priest who would enjoy these articles or one you know could benefit from this information, please pass on this post to them. You may read it yourself and find it very interesting, too. Feel free to leave a comment here at my blog and also at Catholic Exchange if you would like with suggestion, questions, or other feedback.

Thanks and enjoy!

God bless!


Priestly Celibacy: Introduction

What does priestly celibacy have to do with the Theology of the Body? Isn’t all of this talk about John Paul II’s teaching really just for married couples? Surprisingly, this is what a lot of priests really do think.

I have been asked to write a series of articles for priests on the topic of celibacy in light of John Paul’s Theology of the Body. Wow, what a task I signed up for! I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject. I am on a journey too. But, I do know that just as the whole business about sex and marriage is confusing for most people who are called to marriage, the whole business about sex and celibacy is really confusing for many priests. Wouldn’t it be better just to let Catholic priests marry? What’s the big deal?

I am not going to try and answer every concern and every issue just in one short article. These articles will be a work in progress. I am learning a lot about John Paul’s Theology of the Body and I welcome comments and corrections. However, I can promise you that in these articles I will be who I am: up-front, direct, honest and controversial. I thrive on controversy. Controversy makes life interesting and exciting. So, if you are ready to rock and roll, let’s begin.

Theology of the Body requires study. John Paul’s teachings from his General Audiences are not easy to plow through. Begin by purchasing a copy of Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body by John Paul II and Michael Waldstein. Read this along with Christopher West’s Theology of the Body Explained. I can guarantee one thing: if you assimilate the message of these books and make it your own, you will see celibacy and the priesthood in a whole new dimension. These teachings are really awesome... (Continued here)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pro-life videos pulled from YouTube

CNA STAFF, Jul 7, 2008 / 03:04 pm (CNA).- has re-posted two videos in Spanish and English posted by the Catholic News Agency about the controversial abortion documentary “The Decency Gap” that were pulled from the video-sharing site several days ago in response to pressure from abortion supporters.

The video entitled, “The Decency Gap / Eve Reinhardt,” shows a meeting between Carlos Polo, director for Latin America of the Population Research Institute, and film maker Eve Reinhardt, who attempted to gain an interview with Carlos by hiding the true nature of the documentary.

“The Decency Gap” aims to promote the legalization of abortion in Latin America and is financed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the largest abortion provider in the world, Marie Stopes International and the Center for Reproductive Rights, as well as by the abortion organization PROMSEX of Peru.

The video features the encounter that took place several weeks ago in Lima and does not violate YouTube’s terms of use in any way.

Although YouTube has not given an official explanation for initially taking the video down and then re-posting it, hundreds of users expressed their support to keep the video online.

The video can be seen at

Just click here to see the short and very powerful video.
(From Catholic News Agency)

What do you think? Please leave your comments.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pope Benedict asks for prayers for World Youth Day

Vatican City, Jul 6, 2008 / 10:33 am (CNA).- Before the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday, July 6 in Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict XVI requested prayers for his upcoming trip to Sydney, Australia for the 23rd World Youth Day.

The Holy Father said, “My head is already in Australia, where God willing, I will go next Saturday, July 12.”

“Over the last few months the Youth Cross has traveled across Oceania. In Sydney there will be a silent witness of the alliance between Our Lord Jesus Christ and the next generation.”

The Pontiff then reviewed the major activities to take place during WYD and stressed that the “Australian Bishops Conference has prepared everything with care, correctly with the collaboration of the civil authorities.”

“The first groups of young people are departing from the other continents for Australia. I invite the entire Church to participate in this next phase of the great youth pilgrimage to the world, initiated in 1985 by the Servant of God John Paul II.”

“The Holy Spirit prods the Church ‘to take to the open seas’ yet again to bring to all people the good news of the love of God, fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for us,” Benedict XVI stated.

He also expressed hope that “Catholics from the four corners of the earth will unite with me and the young people gathered, as in a Cenacle, in Sydney fervently invoking the Holy Spirit so that He will inundate hearts with interior light and love for God and neighbor...” (Continued here)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fr. James' s Homily: Fourth of July week end

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" (The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776). We have heard and read these famous words many times. Yet, it should be interesting for us to note that of the three fundamental rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the founding fathers of our nation recognize life as the first of these three unalienable rights.

Why is the right to life the first of these God given rights?

Life is a gift from God. The first pages of the Holy Bible direct our gaze to the awesome gift of life. "And now, from the clay of the ground, the Lord God formed man, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and made man a living person" (Genesis 2: 7). Life is entrusted to man as a gift. Thus, man has a responsibility to this gift.

In his encyclical letter "The Gospel of Life", Pope John Paul II reminds us that this responsibility is carried out in three ways: love life, respect life, and promote life... (CONTINUED HERE)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

All-powerful Father,
today we rededicate ourselves to your service,
and to the works of justice and freedom for all.
as you have called us from many people
to be one nation,
help us to give witness in our lives
and in our life as a nation
to the rich diversity of your gifts.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

---opening prayer, Mass: Independence Day; and feast of Saint
Elizabeth of Portugal

Thursday, July 3, 2008

We have much to learn about St. Paul

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI is known to the world as the successor of St. Peter, the first pope. But for the next 12 months he'll be turning the spotlight on St. Paul, the church's archetypal missionary.

The jubilee year marks the 2,000th anniversary (more or less) of the apostle's birth, and it fits nicely into what has become an important theme of Pope Benedict's pontificate: the Christian duty to evangelize.

As the pope told the Roman Curia last December, the idea of all religions getting along harmoniously does not negate the task of leading others to Christ.

"Whoever has recognized a great truth, who has found a great joy, should transmit it. He cannot in fact keep it to himself. Gifts so large are never destined for just one person," he said... (Continued here.)

Are the US Catholic Pews tilting to the left?

US Catholics tilt left, Pew survey finds

Washington, Jun. 30, 2008 ( - A newly released study from the Pew Forum shows that many self-described American Catholics ignore Church teachings on both theological and social issues.

In March the Pew Forum released the first findings of an ambitious"religious landscape" survey, showing an important demographic shift within American Catholicism, with with younger Catholics less likely to remain active in the Church, while Hispanic immigrants replace many of the "cradle Catholics" who no longer practice the faith. The Pew survey found widespread dissent from Church teaching and a massive exodus from the Catholic Church, concluding that "roughly released earlier this month, the Pew Forum explains that "roughly one-third of those who were raised Catholic have left the church, and approximately one-in-ten American adults are former Catholics..." (Continued here.)

What do you think?