Wednesday, March 31, 2010

From the National Catholic Register on the sex scandal

"The level of vitriol being directed at Pope Benedict by the mainstream media right now is truly extraordinary. It’s primarily drive by desire for cash (scandal sells), followed closely by hatred, along with a hefty dose of ignorance.

Reading Maureen Dowd’s latest opinion column is just a cringe-inducing experience.

Even in ostensible news pieces the misrepresentation of facts is staggering. That’s where the ignorance comes in. Reporters in the mainstream media are seldom well versed in the matters they are reporting on, and it is clear that—even when outright malice is excluded from the equation—they simply do not have the background to properly understand or report on how the Vatican works and what its actions mean.

I am not saying that the Holy See’s handling of abuse cases can’t be legitimately criticized. I’m not saying that then-Cardinal Ratzinger/now-Pope Benedict XVI didn’t experience a learning curve on this point. And I don’t know what else is out there that remains to be discovered.

But I am saying that the media is getting this story wrong, particularly in the case of Fr. Lawrence Murphy, the American priest whose case was dealt with by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when Cardinal Ratzinger was its head.

The New York Times has done a great service to those wanting to look into this story by putting online a large number of primary source documents pertaining to the case. No doubt they mean these to incriminate Pope Benedict, but if you read them carefully—and if you know the relevant background—they don’t. (The documents are also posted here in .pdf format.)

So let’s look at the facts of the case in light of the documents:..." (Continued here)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fr. James's Palm Sunday Homily

When we encounter Jesus and the Gospel, we immediately sense that we are dealing with something that is not of this world. To be a Christian is not the same as being a member of an organization. When we join an organization, we make a commitment to the goals and objectives of the organization, but we still have our own private lives that we live outside of the meetings and activities of the organization.

Christianity is essentially different. When we embrace Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, we are faced with the reality that Jesus encompasses our entire being. Christianity is a way of life. Jesus wants to send his Spirit through every door and window of our soul.

Pope John Paul II once wrote: “It is urgent to rediscover and to set forth once more the authentic reality of the Christian faith, which is not simply a set of propositions to be accepted with intellectual assent. Rather, faith is a lived knowledge of Christ, a living remembrance of his commandments and a truth to be lived out. A word, in any event, is not truly received until it is put into practice. Faith is a decision involving one’s whole existence. It is an encounter, a dialogue, a communion of love and of life between the believer and Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life. It entails an act of trusting abandonment to Christ, which enables us to live as he lived, in profound love of God and of our brothers and sisters” (Veritatis Splendor, 88).

On Palm Sunday, we come face to face with Jesus. Thus, we come face to face with the reality of how we are to live our lives each day.

Jesus, the Savior of the world and the king of the universe was born in the humility of Bethlehem. All throughout the Gospels he taught his apostles and disciples the importance of humility.

His followers had already heard his piercing words: "blessed are the meek" and "blessed are the peacemakers". But, he continued to affirm the importance of the virtue of humility when he held a child and said: "unless you become like a child, you shall not enter the Kingdom of God". The Apostles continued to struggle with pride and Jesus continued to teach its importance. "Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave".

When the first Palm Sunday took place, Jesus, the king of heaven and earth, once again gave a lesson of humility. He entered into Jerusalem riding upon a donkey.

His humble entrance into Jerusalem clearly illustrates that God is humble. God in his might, power and majesty, is also a humble God. He is not like the gods of the ancient Greeks and Romans. He is not like the powerful people of yesterday and today that will do anything in order to gain prestige, power and money...( Continued here)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fr. James's Sunday Homily

Fr. James gives us his Sunday homily and begins it with what he says are strong words about the health care issue. Just click here for the audio version.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Interview with Zenit

Mother Teresa Shows Families How to Be Holy

Interview With Author Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle

By Genevieve Pollock

NEW YORK, MARCH 18, 2010 ( Mother Teresa encouraged working with the poor not only in the slums of India, but primarily in our own families, says the author of a new book about the nun.

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle is the author of the recently published "Mother Teresa and Me: Ten Years of Friendship."

She spoke with ZENIT about her experiences with Mother Teresa, now recognized as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and the ways in which the nun taught the Missionaries of Charity, the congregation she founded, and others to love Christ in the poor.

Mother Teresa encouraged O'Boyle, a wife and mother, to live her vocation well and to help other families thrive. Over the years, the author has also written other books with this goal, including "The Heart of Motherhood: Finding Holiness in the Catholic Home," "The Domestic Church: Room By Room," and "Grace Cafe: Serving Up Recipes for Faithful Mothering."

As well, she is a host for Eternal Word Television Network, and will soon be premiering a new series, "Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms."

O'Boyle has written for several newspapers and magazines, and maintains various personal blogs, including a new saints' Web site for youth.

In this interview with ZENIT, she spoke about the holiness of Mother Teresa, and the ways in which her teachings can be implemented in families today.

ZENIT: In one point in your book, you talk about Mother Teresa's unshakeable faith coupled with a feisty attitude; in another part you mention that she was called extraordinarily ordinary. Yet you also say that you have no doubt about Mother Teresa's eventual canonization. What makes you so certain? How does the normality of your relationship affect your belief that she is a saint?

O'Boyle: My relationship with Mother Teresa was certainly normal but I feel that it was extraordinary as well because I never had a doubt that I was visiting and corresponding with a living saint.

I saw great holiness in everything about Mother Teresa -- in her speech, her posture, her demeanor, the "glow' about her that radiated Christ's love, peace, and joy.

I knew that she truly lived the Gospel of Matthew: "Whatever you do to the least of these that are in my family, you do to me."

She lived her life, her every moment to satiate the thirst of Christ for souls... Continued here

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Breastplate prayer

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;*
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My brand new saints' blog

The Stuff of Saints

“God knows just what each of us needs to become a saint. It’s when we decide to respond in love to all of the little details of life we are immersed in that we are heading in the right direction.” Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

Take a look at my brand new saints' blog on the Goodness Reigns website for youth by clicking here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Oh my gosh!

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) The World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides hosted a no-adults-welcome panel at the United Nations this week where Planned Parenthood was allowed to distribute a brochure entitled “Healthy, Happy and Hot.” The event was part of the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which concludes this week.

The brochure, aimed at young people living with HIV, contains explicit and graphic details on sex, as well as the promotion of casual sex in many forms. The brochure claims, “Many people think sex is just about... (Continued here)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Dominican's Post-Oprah...

Isn't this great?

Ann Arbor, Mich., Mar 9, 2010 / 06:51 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In February, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Since then, almost all the feedback the sisters have received has been overwhelmingly positive the sister's mission director told CNA/EWTN.

During their appearance, the sisters fielded questions regarding their vocation and discernment, their vows of poverty and chastity, and their life in community. “I think the main excitement for the sisters comes from the fact that we are glad to have had the chance to tell our story in such a positive, balanced manner to such a large audience,” Sister Maria Guadalupe Hallee, Director of Mission Advancement for the sisters, told CNA/EWTN.

“One of the sisters here put it really well when she said that the focus of the show really seemed to about ‘who we are’ rather than ‘what we do,’” she added. “We are really pleased with this, because although it seems like a very small distinction, it’s really quite important.”

On the show, “many of the sisters spoke about experiencing a desire for something more, and I would say that it is our identity as religious (brides of Christ, which Oprah found so fascinating) that fulfills us more than our activity – again, the primacy of ‘being’ over ‘doing,’” Sister Maria Guadalupe explained.

Since the show aired, the sisters have received positive feedback from all sides. Sister Maria Guadalupe reported that while traveling by plane, a flight attendant asked her... (Continued here)

Circle Press is offering discounts on two of my books for Lent!

Enrich your faith this Lent and SAVE 10% when you order
Mother Teresa and Me or Grace Cafe
by Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle!



Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle will never forget the first time she laid eyes on Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Hunched over, frail, shorter than one of Donna's own children, the aging servant of the poorest of the poor cut an unassuming figure awaiting the start of Mass with her Missionary of Charity sisters. They would speak briefly after the liturgy (Mother Teresa wanted to meet the mother of such reverent, grace-filled children) and then spend the next ten years intermittently sharing hopes, dreams, and prayers through the mail and in face-to-face conversations. With Mother Teresa and Me, Donna-Marie invites you to step inside her deeply personal experiences with one of the greatest souls of modern times. Take her up on the offer and don't be surprised if you, too, find your heart blessed and your soul inspired by the diminutive nun who left an enormous impression on Donna-Marie... and on the whole world.

Order now and receive 10% off!
Ten Years of Friendship
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle
192 pages

Ever wish you had a cookbook for life as a Catholic wife and mother... a step-by-step guide for various "domestic church" situations? Consider your prayers answered. The recipe theme may be lighthearted, but there's real nourishment to be had here too. Inspiriting entrees - practical ways Catholic women can live out their familial vocations - are seasoned with simple suggestions for answering Christ's universal call to holiness.

A special section of lovely poems and prayers end the book on a note of warmth that will lift hearts beyond the kitchen and up toward heaven.

Order now and receive 10% off!
Serving Up Recipe for Faithful Mothering
Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle
236 pages




Friday, March 5, 2010

Boston Pilot article today about my recent conference

[Photo caption: A sell-out crowd of nearly 2,000 pack the Cathedral of the Holy Cross for the 2010 Boston Catholic Women’s Conference. The day-long event featured adoration, confession and inspirational Catholic speakers. Pilot photo/ George Martell, The Catholic Foundation]

SOUTH END -- A sellout crowd of women, estimated at about 2,000, from parishes across the Archdiocese of Boston gathered for spiritual renewal and solidarity at the 5th annual Boston Catholic Women’s Conference at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Feb. 27.

“It’s nice to see 2,000 women who are on the same page -- from all different nations and all different nationalities,” said Claire Nicholson, a parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Sudbury who has attended all but one of the conferences to date. “It’s a great day.”

Annamarie Monks, a parishioner at St. Mary Parish in Mansfield, attended her first conference this year.

“It was very uplifting,” she said. “I felt a lot of joy.”

Monks recalled her father who recently passed away. She said he was a staunch Catholic whose faith inspired him to be active in the 1960s civil rights movement.

“I feel like I was honoring him too by being here today,” she said.

The all-day event included four speakers, confession, adoration, praise and worship music, a chance to meet with exhibitors in the adjacent Cathedral High School gymnasium, and Mass with Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley.

Saturday’s first speaker was Leah Darrow, a former participant in the television show “America’s Next Top Model,” who spoke of her Catholic upbringing, modeling career, and return to Christ.

Darrow was followed by Patti Mansfield, a Catholic author who has also participated in Catholic Charismatic Renewal, who spoke about the role of Mary in the lives of today’s Catholic women.

After lunch, noted Catholic author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle spoke to participants about how they can share their faith with others, using the example of Mother Teresa.

The speakers’ portion of the program was rounded out by Sister Olga Yaqob, an archdiocesan hermit and chaplain at Boston University, who spoke of her journey from Iraq to becoming a nun in the United States.

Saturday’s program concluded with a 4:00 p.m. Mass.

“The conference provides an opportunity for women all over the archdiocese to come together in a community of women and be nurtured in their faith and grow closer to God and one another,” said Jennifer Schiller, a member of the conference’s leadership team and master of ceremonies for each of its five years of existence.

This year’s theme was taken from Phillipians 4:13; “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.”

Schiller said that the theme was appropriate this year because of the challenging economic and cultural times that mark today’s society. She said St. Paul wrote those words while in a Roman prison.

The article in the Catholic Pilot newspaper is continued here.