Thursday, January 28, 2010

Protesting the Mother Teresa Stamp?

It's unbelievable! Well, actually, why am I surprised? An atheist group (small but loud) is complaining, actually they're protesting because Mother Teresa will be on a US stamp and the group is claiming that this violates regulations against honoring individuals whose achievements are associated with religion.

When I first heard about this earlier today, I said to my friend, "Well, that's ridiculous because Mother Teresa doesn't only represent a religion, she was a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a humanitarian!" When I read the article, I was happy to see that the fact that she was a humanitarian and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient were both mentioned in the article.

Here's the news article from Fox News...

An atheist organization is blasting the U.S. Postal Service for its plan to honor Mother Teresa with a commemorative stamp, saying it violates postal regulations against honoring "individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings."

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is urging its supporters to boycott the stamp — and also to engage in a letter-writing campaign to spread the word about what it calls the "darker side" of Mother Teresa.

The stamp — set to be released on Aug. 26, which would have been Mother Teresa's 100th birthday — will recognize the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner for her humanitarian work, the Postal Service announced last month.

"Noted for her compassion toward the poor and suffering, Mother Teresa, a diminutive Roman Catholic nun and honorary U.S. citizen, served the sick and destitute of India and the world for nearly 50 years," the Postal Service said in a press release. "Her humility and compassion, as well as her respect for the innate worth and dignity of humankind, inspired people of all ages and backgrounds to work on behalf of the world’s poorest populations."

But Freedom from Religion Foundation spokeswoman Annie Laurie Gaylor says issuing the stamp runs against Postal Service regulations...
( Continued here at Fox News)

At the end of the article, it says, "The Foundation is encouraging its supporters to purchase the new stamp honoring the late actress Katharine Hepburn, who was an atheist, instead — or any of the other 2010 stamps, which include cartoonist Bill Mauldin, singer Kate Smith, filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, painter Winslow Homer and poet Julia de Burgos."

And I say, why don't we all buy up tons of Mother Teresa stamps when they are released August 26th, the anniversery of her birth (she would be 100) and use them abundantly! Let's bring back the art of letter writing. In fact, I am going to highly encourage everyone when it comes that time, to write a bunch of letters, getting in touch with loved ones and old friends and use that beautiful stamp to do so. :) What do you think?

Another idea is to buy a bunch of these beautiful stamps and then donate them to the Missionaries of Charity convents! The Sisters can sure use the stamps.

The Reality of "You-Know-Who"!

Rome, Italy, Jan 28, 2010 / 04:28 am (CNA).- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver followed his keynote address to the Emmanuel Community of Rome's conference on "Priests and Laity in the Mission" with a short reflection on the "disappointing times" he is experiencing. He also elaborated on a major theme of his talk—the reality of Satan and the importance of "spiritual combat."

Just before launching into a question and answer session, Archbishop Chaput gave a reflection on his years as a bishop to stimulate discussion, saying, "I thought that after 20 years more of my life things would change and things would be a lot better but I don't think they are.

"I think we live in disappointing times, in times of confusion, and in some ways that is the result of our failure to understand that we have an enemy in the Devil, but also we have enemies in the world around us."

He pointed to a "great talk" from an American Protestant pastor he once heard which was titled "We preach as though we don't have enemies," and reflected that this sentiment "is true in the United States... .”

"I think it's important to understand the we are in a battle, we really do live in a time of spiritual combat and I think we've lost that sense of the Church," Archbishop Chaput stated.

He continued with a comparison of the temptation we face to be like "everyone else" like the Israelites from the Old Testament wishing for a king like the other nations. They wanted a king ... they got Saul and he was a good man, and then he became a politician and he lost his faith. We're just like that."

"In America, we don't want to be different than our Protestant brothers and sisters, or the secular forces around us. And, I think that's the great danger of our time, we don't love God enough and we don't enter into combat with the enemy enough and we need to recommit ourselves to doing that," the Archbishop of Denver urged.

During his keynote address, Archbishop Chaput had also referred to the importance of recognizing that evil exists and that "Satan is real."

Responding to a question from CNA about where he sees the Devil's presence in society, the archbishop said, "Well, one of the most obvious...( continued here)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Catholic Church and blogging

"Pope Benedict XVI is boldly making use of new technologies of communications to spread the Gospel message. In his discourse for World Communications Day, the Holy Father teaches that the digital use of modern technologies such as the World Wide Web, internet blogs and other electronic tools are an essential part of the priest’s resources in spreading the message of the Catholic Church. One should really not be too shocked about the Catholic Church’s use of technology as a method for evangelization. Most of the inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries that enabled mass communications were adopted by the Catholic Church in it educational and evangelical activities from their inception.

In 1886 the Vatican had ten telephones and used them to communicate inside the complex array of Vatican offices. In 1929 after the Lateran Pact, the Vatican initiated telephone service with the help of contributions from the United States inside the newly independent Vatican City State and the rest of the world..." ( Continued here)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

CT Deacon and His Wife Rescued From Rubble in Haiti

Southbury, Conn., Jan 21, 2010 / 06:22 am (CNA).- A permanent deacon in the Archdiocese of Hartford has spoken about his rescue from the ruins of his destroyed mission house in earthquake-struck Haiti. Though death “filled the night,” he said he believes God still has plans for him and he intends to return to help the country.

Deacon Chuck Dietsch, 66, has served at Sacred Heart Church in Southbury, Conn. for fourteen years. For the past two years he has worked with Haitian Ministries for the Diocese of Norwich.

Last week he was working at Norwich Mission House in a suburb of the capital city Port-au-Prince. There, he helped provide food, shelter, and education while supporting orphanages, parish communities, and medical missions.

The deacon, a stocky man with graying hair, bore several gashes on the left side of his forehead in his appearance at press conference on Monday. He said that he had been in the mission house with its acting director Jillian Thorp when the earthquake struck... (Continued here)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Immense Upset Victory"

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 19, 2010 ( – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown pulled an immense upset victory in Massachusetts’ special election Tuesday night, overtaking Democrat Martha Coakley by five points with three out of four districts reporting.

A meeting of key pro-life leaders in the nation’s capital erupted in cheers as 75% of districts confirmed Brown’s lead over Coakley, swinging open the door to a possible defeat for the health care bill widely decried as the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.

Brown, who unexpectedly exploded in popularity in the deeply Democratic state, promised to be the 41st vote against the health care bill and shatter the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

President Obama placed calls to both of the candidates after the results came in, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

In her concession speech, Coakley said that Obama told her “that we can’t win them all, and he knows that better than any, as he told me. But he appreciates what I did and what you did, and he said to extend his heartfelt thanks to everyone who worked on the campaign.”

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life told (LSN) that the results mark a “pendulum swing” for the majority party on Capitol Hill.

“Americans love freedom. If Washington ignores the will of the people, as the Democratic party has been doing in so many issues, the people respond at the voting booth to reclaim their own voice,” said Pavone.

“When the people feel powerless to change the minds of those in power, they change those in power.”

Interview with Elena Maria Vidal

Here is my interview with author Elena Maria Vidal about her newest novel: The Night's Dark Shade. You can see it here at Catholic Exchange today.

Speaking to God

"However softly we speak, He is near enough to hear us. Neither is there any need for wings to go to find Him. All one need do is go into solitude and look at Him within oneself. Since He does not force our will, He takes what we give Him; but He does not give Himself completely unless we give ourselves completely."
--St. Teresa of Avila

Lots of food for thought here, huh?

God bless!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Pope Benedict entrusts Haiti to the Blessed Mother

Vatican City, Jan 17, 2010 / 01:31 pm (CNA).- After praying the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI remembered those affected by the earthquake in Haiti. He prayed that patroness of Haiti, the Virgin Mary, protect and assist them so that they might "find aid and comfort."

The Holy Father mentioned that through contact with the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, he is keeping "constantly informed" as to the situation on the ground in the island country. Pope Benedict said that he heard from Archbishop Auza of the death of Archbishop of Port-au-Prince Serge Miot, and so many other priests, religious and seminarians.

Pope Benedict assured the charitable organizations who are "taking charge of the immense need of the country" that they have his support.

"I pray for the injured, for the homeless and for everyone who has tragically lost their life," he said.

Following the Angelus, as Benedict XVI addressed the French-speaking pilgrims, he entrusted the care of the "dear Haitian population" to the protection of the Holy Virgin in their current trials, so that they might "find aid and comfort."

The Pope finished by exclaiming in prayer, "May Our Lady of Perpetual Help, patroness of Haiti, protect her children!"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Words from the Vatican on Haiti

From Catholic News Agency:

As Haiti reels from the destruction left by Tuesday's devastating earthquake, messages of support and prayers are coming in along with aid from every corner of the globe, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi says "the only real comfort" of these days in Haiti is this "generous and genuine love."

“The world is rightly shaken by the tragedy of the people of Haiti," already some of "the poorest of the Earth," said Fr. Lombardi on “Octavo Dies,” weekly television program that will be aired on Saturday through the Vatican Television Center.

"Also the Church, that lives with its people, has been directly and painfully hit by the deaths of so many of its members," he continued, referring to the death of Archbishop Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince, in particular, and the disruption of the Church's activities on the island.

Fr. Lombardi called attention to the reaction of Pope Benedict who "immediately raised his voice with vibrant words of spiritual participation and a call for solidarity" along with "innumerable others, from all countries, in particular the closest on the American continent." In this massive response, said the Jesuit, we see yet again that "the gravity of the tragedy becomes an occasion for an extremely vast contest for solidarity and love."

To see the continuaton of this article click here.