31 October 2008

A Quick Tax Parable

Thanks to Mark S. for sending this one:

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this: 

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. 
The fifth would pay $1. 
The sixth would pay $3. 
The seventh would pay $7. 
The eighth would pay $12. 
The ninth would pay $18. 
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59. 

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in t he bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers, he said, I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80. 

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to=C 2work out the amounts each should pay. 

An d so: 

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings). 
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings). 
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28%savings). 
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings). 
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings). 
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings). 

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. 

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!" 

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!" 

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!" 

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" 

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. 

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill! 

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier. 

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. 

And This Is What He's Saying Out Loud

Thanks? to Creative Minority Report on this Halloween for this scary item:

Help Wanted


The following is from today's edition of the St. Louis Review, confirming in a very particular way the report of the resignation of the paper's editor:

Editor-- St. Louis Review

Archdiocese of Saint Louis seeks an Editor for its official newspaper, the St. Louis Review.

The Editor should be a practicing Catholic who exhibits a strong knowledge of, and fidelity to, the Magisterium and is particularly attuned to and supportive of the priorities of the local Archbishop. The Editor should be able to help staff write stories about issues and teachings in a way that's easily understood.

Reporting to the Chief Communications Officer; with direction from the Episcopal Vicar and the Archbishop, responsibilities include staff development and supervision, editing, leading the St. Louis Review Online efforts and working with the Business Manager to assure a financially sound paper. The Editor will work as a team member to assure the mission of the Catholic newspaper is being fulfilled.

The Editor should hold a degree or equivalent in Journalism or other field(s) related to newspaper writing, production, and/or editing. A working knowledge of computers, Internet, writing and publication software, experience and demonstrated skill in writing, editing and production, a track record in the ability to train, lead and supervise staff, and effectively and consistently meet deadlines.

The Archdiocese of Saint Louis offers a competitive salary and benefits package along with a wonderful work environment.

Please submit your resume to: humanresources@archstl.org

Faure's Requiem Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory November 8

November 8, 2008, 6:30;

Requiem for Ms. Alice Bub;

The public are welcome to attend;

Upon the request of the family, memorials and donations to the Department of Sacred Music are welcome.

Good News from St. Peter's Basilica

The hideous dining room table/anvil that has menaced the sanctuary where Bernini's Altar of the Chair of St. Peter used to be before its destruction by liturgical revolutionaries is getting a traditional makeover.

That must be step one only. The Bernini Altar must be reconstructed, or a reproduction made and installed. Then sell tickets to watch the Anvil being destroyed, which ought to cover expenses.
Unless it needs to be carried to the crack of Mount Doom...

Call in the Brute Squad


Thuggery. Plain and simple.

30 October 2008

Something Certainly is Ripe, I'll Give You That


I saw this story the other day, and wasn't going to post on it. Mostly, it just seems like a freak show item, like paying 25 cents to see the Bearded Lady or the Snake with two Heads at the carnival.

Yet I had this story sent to me by a few readers, and I have succumbed.

I might have written a different headline than the one chosen, such as one of the following:

Fake Priestess Expects Real Baby *

*that is, if she wants it and decides to carry it to term; otherwise, it is merely a clump of cells over which she has full rights- how dare you pressure her into continuing a pregnancy! P.S. men are pigs.

Co-Leader of 90 (maybe)- member Congregation Seeks Publicity by Dressing Up as a Priest While Pregnant

Ecumenical Community Puts on "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" this Thursday

Well, enough fun with that. If you follow the link to the Kristin Hinman story that goes with the rather disturbing photograph, above, of pretend priestess Jessica Rowley, make sure you scan down to the comments box to read former Catholic priest Frank Krebs' remarks insisting that his sect really, Really, REALLY IS Catholic. Really. They just don't believe any of it.

Bishop Finn Rallies the Church Militant


Thanks to the editor of The Catholic Key for sending this column from His Excellency Bishop Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph:

Warriors with Our Eyes Fixed on Heaven

Last Saturday I had the privilege of consecrating the restored church of Old St. Patrick. This is the oldest existing Catholic church in Kansas City. It will serve as the Oratory for the Latin Mass community which first began here under Bishop John Sullivan, and for many years has shared the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows.

One of the beauties of the Traditional Latin High Mass that I celebrated is that it highlights a most profound aspect of the Mass, namely our participation with the Communion of Saints. The high altar, multiple candles, incense and Gregorian chant, collectively give us a striking image of the Heavenly Jerusalem which is our ultimate home. Every Mass celebrates this reality, but I must admit that the traditional Mass captured this magnificent expression of the ultimate hope and goal of Christians in a powerful way. We should reflect on this often, because the ultimate goal of everything we do is to get ourselves to heaven and bring with us as many as we can.

The month of November begins with the two great celebrations: All Saints day (November 1) and the Commemoration of All Souls (November 2). These feasts celebrate our communion with the "Church triumphant" in heaven, and the "Church suffering" in purgatory. Today I would like to share a few brief comments about what we have sometimes called the "Church militant," the Church here on earth.

We, the Church on earth, have a very special challenge as participants in the grace and life of Jesus Christ to "fight" against the enemies of Christ's justice and truth and light and life. We must be attentive to the demands of this daily "battle" in a peaceable but serious manner.

I am sometimes amazed at the casual manner with which Christians, Catholics included, take up our life within what Pope John Paul II rightly called the "culture of death." The Church, by comparison, reminds us that we are engaged - by reason of our Baptism and Confirmation - in a battle, "not with flesh and blood, but with the principalities and powers, with the rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in heaven." (Eph 6:12) Jesus Christ has won the ultimate battle, but we, in the course of our human life must make our choice, determining on whose side we will live and die. Whose side will you choose?!

What is at stake in this battle is our immortal soul, our salvation. My responsibility as bishop is with the eternal destiny of those entrusted to my care. My total energies must be directed to the well being of those who otherwise may come under the spell of a radically flawed and fundamentally distorted moral sense, at odds with what our Mother the Church teaches. There are objective and transcendent truths. There is such a thing as right and wrong. There is a legitimate hierarchy of moral evils, and the direct willful destruction of human life can never be justified; it can never be supported. Do you believe this firm teaching of the Church?

Did you know that in Canada priests and Christian ministers have already been brought before tribunals for preaching and teaching in support of marriage? They are charged with "hate speech" against homosexuality. In light of the tyranny of choice growing each day in our own beloved country, we ought to be ready for similar attacks on religious freedom. We must not fail to preach the Gospel. We can not withhold the truth of our faith. That is why I will never be silent about human life. It is why I am proud of so many others - bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity - who are not afraid to speak out about the values that matter most. What about you?!

Our Lord told His apostles that they would be hated by the world, just as He was. Nearly all of them died a martyr's death. As warriors in the Church militant, we must never resort to violence. But we must stand up fearlessly against the agents of death, the enemies of human life. Human beings are not Satan, but we know too well that they can come under his spell. They can become willing agents of death, numbed and poisoned in this culture of death. What about you?!

As we begin this month of November, the month of the Church, let us call upon the Saints to inspire us, befriend us, and pray for us. Let us offer many prayers and sacrifices for the poor souls who have gone before us. They need our meritorious suffrages to help them reach heaven.

And let us resolve to be warriors of the Church militant; warriors with our eyes fixed on heaven.

Let us ask God's mercy and strength to persevere in our call - individual and collective - to holiness. Mary, Mother of the Church, Pray for us!

48,000,000 Reasons to Vote


48,000,000...

...and counting...

...48,000,000 little babies, created by God, with immortal souls, murdered in the womb-- just from procured abortions in the United States alone...

...dying without the benefit of baptism...

...crying out for justice.

Percentage of voters in Missouri who cite abortion as the most important issue this election: 2%.

Please remember the unborn when you vote.

New Website for Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles


I already have a link to this wonderful, traditional Benedictine convent at the right of the blog. But a reader tipped me to the fact that they have a brand new site. It is really good. Click here to see it, or at the link on the side bar.

Father Corapi Talks about the Election

I saw this first at Colleen Hammond's site. Fr. John Corapi has produced a 30 minute video on the upcoming election. I will post the three, ten-minute Youtube videos here. It is a talk worth hearing.





29 October 2008

What Does This Mean?

I understand the title of this article from CNA. I just don't understand the content. What, exactly, is the context of the Holy Father's words? What are the "fundamental tenets of Vatican II" and what constitutes the "vast doctrinal patrimony" of the Council?

I am not trying to be a provocateur, but am trying to ask a few sincere questions.

For if the fundamental tenets of Vatican II are not easy to define, then doesn't that somehow help explain why the "spirit" of Vatican II liturgical and doctrinal revolutionists got away with so much destruction and denudation? The Holy Father made it quite clear that the documents of the Council had to be analyzed with the "hermeneutic of continuity" and not an "hermeneutic of rupture".

Otherwise, why would we be "debtors" to the Council, as opposed to "creditors"? Therefore, the fundamental tenets of the Council would have to be the reiteration of constant Church teaching without novelty, yet perhaps with a new energetic approach to the dissemination of these teachings. Is this right? I know that many Catholics, clergy and lay, have not taken this approach.

Furthermore, if the Council was pastoral and did not issue a single solemn definition, how is it a vast doctrinal patrimony? What does this mean?

We are used to seeing these kinds of stories from time to time, about the vibrancy of Council, or the beneficial effects of the Council's "reforms", or other such. Because there is usually no specificity to these claims, I usually get the impression they are just polite words to smooth over hard feelings against the Holy Father's moves to reintroduce traditional doctrinal and liturgical formulae as he has done.

But I think it is legitimate to want some specificity, not only to try to implement the Council's intent, assuming it is ascertainable, but also to provide a ready defense against those who would try to challenge the Council's validity or goodness, as some mistakenly do.

So, I ask for help-- what are the fundamental tenets of the Council, and what is the vast doctrinal patrimony?

"Bitter Clingers" Prepare for the Election

A video sure to make the Cronan's crowd cringe.  Prepare for the next candlelight vigil in your neighborhood!


28 October 2008

If That Latest Obama Post Cheered You Up, Try This One

From PJB.

Oh, and this.

Vote as if it mattered; it might.

St. Louis Review Editor Steps Down


Saint Louis Catholic has learned that Jim Rygelski, the Editor of the St. Louis Review, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, has resigned his position. Multiple sources in the past several days have confirmed the resignation. As of yet, there is no official announcement on the websites of either the Review or the Archdiocese. When more information is available, I will post it.


We wish Mr. Rygelski every success in his future endeavors.

27 October 2008

Quotable


"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting.  It has been found difficult; and left untried."

--  G.K. Chesterton

"Let us thank God that He makes us live among the present problems.  It is no longer permitted to anyone to be mediocre."

--  Pope Pius XI

Election Prayer


O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, at this most critical time, we entrust the United States of America to your loving care.

Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your Son. Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection.

Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people. Open our minds to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilities that accompany human freedom.

Free us from the falsehoods that lead to the evil of abortion and threaten the sanctity of family life. Grant our country the wisdom to proclaim that God’s law is the foundation on which this nation was founded, and that He alone is the True Source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and the strength to build a new Culture of Life.

Luke 21: 8-36


I had the privilege to speak to one of the successors of the apostles a few weeks ago. The subject of the election came up, and I asked him about his take on the situation. The answer was immediate, sobering, and amounted to this:

If a certain anti-life candidate wins, there may be a persecution of the Catholic Church.

This sounds very dramatic, of course. But is it fantastic? Consider:

Against the relentless march of the culture of death there has been--there is-- only one institution that consistently defends life.

Only one that defends life consistently, and insistently.

Only one that is global. Universal. "Catholic".

Only one with a universally acknowledged and authoritative leader whose positions and message, however garbled and confused by those within and without the organization, are noted and feared by the architects of the global culture of death.

And most importantly, there is only one institution that is the Church founded by the real Lord of History, the King of Kings, and only one that is the Body and Bride of Christ. For this battle is not of flesh and blood, but with the "powers and principalities of this present darkness."

This one institution is the Catholic Church.

And the importance of this moment-- at least for the Church in the U.S., but possibly with repercussions around the world-- is palpable. You can feel it. The scandal of modern America-- its determination to exterminate its unborn citizens in massive numbers and in new and ever more diabolical ways-- has reached a crossroads moment. Either the Church's belated but surprisingly vigorous attempt to catechize her members and discipline her erring member politicians works to avoid the upcoming potential catastrophe, or it doesn't.

Either way, there will be serious consequences for the Church.

If she succeeds in derailing the anointing of Obama, her role in the defeat will result in an even more palpable hatred and resentment by the proponents of the death culture, who will seek to punish her in time.

If she fails, it will be worse. The Church will be seen as having tried in a massive way to sway the votes of her members, and yet still have failed. The Biden-Pelosi-McCaskill position that each Catholic politician can decide for himself what the Church teaches will be confirmed. Note that this is different than the old, also intellectually bankrupt position of "I'm personally opposed, but...". This is an open disagreement with the Church on what the Church's doctrines actually are. And because this view will be confirmed, and the Church that opposed it will have failed, she will be seen as weak, and ripe for punishment.

How will this be manifested? Without claiming to predict the future, here is what I submit to be one possible scenario. Obama is a friend of supra-national governance. Certainly the UN leadership hopes he wins. He will support the ratification of several UN treaties that will attack the foundations of the sanctity of family life (as this must-read post states in detail); these treaties will promote and protect from potential state regulation abortion, will effectively outlaw homeschooling, will infringe on parental rights to education, religion, and child discipline, will enact a scheme of global taxation where U.S. citizens will pay taxes to international groups, and will allow U.S. citizens to be tried before international courts for acts that aren't necessarily crimes in the U.S. but are in some other country. These treaties, if ratified by the Senate, will have the force of law and will, when in conflict, supersede the Constitution of the United States.

If his party gains a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate, as seems possible, no minority opposition could stop objectionable bills regarding homosexual marriage, abortion, embryonic stem cell research or any other issue of concern. This same Senate will vote to confirm Supreme Court appointments, and we are looking at 2-4 possible vacancies.

And should the Church, in her leaders or her members, try to oppose any of this, they will be targeted.

If you are a pharmacist who won't fill prescriptions for contraceptives or other abortifacients, you will face punishment and civil liabilities. If you are an employer who won't cover insurance for the same, ditto.

If you are a priest or Bishop who dares preach on the intrinsic evil of sodomy, you will face fines and imprisonment for hate speech.

If you are a parent who wants to homeschool, you must surrender your children to the government's plan, or face losing them.

The Church herself will face the prospect of losing tax-exempt status for speaking the truth. Will she be forced to accept women "priests" under some bastardized reading of the equal protection clause? Or else be shut down? Will there be a "patriotic" U.S. "Catholic" church and the real, underground Church?

Let the Tudor persecution of the Church in England or the current persecution of the Church in China be your guide to imagining just how this could happen.

Do you think I am being unreasonable? Why are so many Bishops finally speaking out forcefully for life, and the voting responsibilities of Catholics--even ones who were fairly timid before? Abortion did not burst on the scene this year. Or this decade. They know this election is fraught with peril. The enemies of life know that the Church is the only force strong enough (or potentially strong enough) to effectively oppose them. For them, she must be defeated, and utterly.

There isn't a perfect alternative in the political parties and candidates this time around. But there is a perfectly unacceptable one.

The Church stands for life. Will you stand with her? Or will you be one of the long line of compromisers and rationalizers brought forth and forgotten again by history? Are you willing to stand, really stand, for your faith? We are all coming to the test.

Life News Publishes Pro-Life Voting Guide

Here it is.

26 October 2008

Photos from the Consecration of Old St. Patrick Oratory

I wanted to post some links to photos from the consecration.  

UPDATE:  The Catholic Key has excellent photos.

Christopher at Lost Lambs has some very nice shots.

KC at Kansas Catholic has this post, and promises more to come.  So, if you follow this link, hit his homepage link for future updates.

The Institute's Kansas City homepage will undoubtedly have more, so check there in the coming days.  Old St. Patrick's is an Oratory of the ICRSP, though you would never learn this fact from certain Very. Famous. Bloggers. not mentioned here-- we'll assume that the omission from three separate posts is unintentional and leave it at that. 

Finally, the blog of some OSP parishioners also has more photos.

I am glad the day was so beautiful, and may God bless this apostolate for all the years to come.

25 October 2008

All-Day Adoration at the Oratory on Election Day


Father Michael Wiener has announced that St. Francis de Sales Oratory will host an all-day Adoration on election day, Tuesday, November 4, 2008, beginning with morning Mass at 8:00 am until 8 pm.  Why not vote for a pro-life candidate, then come and pray that others do the same?

Beginning Sunday on the Feast of Christ the King, until the election, there will be prayed a novena for the election.  The intention of both events is expressed in this prayer, the collect for those in authority and the people under their charge:
"Almighty and everlasting God, who alone workest great wonders, pour down upon Thy servants and upon the flocks committed to their charge the spirit of Thy saving grace, and that they may truly please Thee pour down upon them the continual dew of Thy blessing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen."
Sunday, October 26, 2008, is the Feast of Christ the King.  Those who assist at Mass at any Oratory or other apostolate of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest may obtain a Plenary Indulgence under the ordinary conditions of Confession, Holy Communion, prayers for the intention of the Holy Father, and detachment from all sin.
Also, as today is the dedication of Old Saint Patrick Oratory in Kansas City, it would be a good occasion to offer prayers for this church, its members and Father Avis, and to give thanks for the efforts of so many who brought about this beautiful restoration.  It is surely providential that the Bishop invited the Institute to Kansas City, and that its well-known skill in supervising such restoration projects was brought to bear, along with the time, money and talents of so many volunteers from the community, and the brilliance of architect William Heyer.  I am sure that KC from Kansas Catholic will post pictures when he returns to his secret location.  I was prevented from attending this event at the last minute, but his photos are always better than mine anyway.  Check his site and the local sites for pictures and I am sure you will be rewarded.
Finally, the Institute announced it has been given two more new apostolates, this time in Grenoble and Laval, France.  It lately seems that the Institute gets new apostolates as fast as I get children.

24 October 2008


"...The best part of a journey-by plane, by car or train--is when the trip is over and you are... home again."

22 October 2008

Brief Recess

Until Saturday, unless something big breaks and I can get to a computer. Until then, enjoy the outdoors or something.

A Shout-Out to All You Crazy Ladies Out There

By the way, I love how Democrats (Democrats! Oh, delicious irony!) like to charge Republicans with election fraud. Anyway, to the point. This comes from the Hill:

Police prepare for unrest

By Alexander Bolton
Posted: 10/21/08 07:58 PM [ET]

Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest.

Public safety officials said in interviews with The Hill that the election, which will end with either the nation’s first black president or its first female vice president, demanded a stronger police presence.

Some worry that if Barack Obama loses and there is suspicion of foul play in the election, violence could ensue in cities with large black populations. Others based the need for enhanced patrols on past riots in urban areas (following professional sports events) and also on Internet rumors.

Democratic strategists and advocates for black voters say they understand officers wanting to keep the peace, but caution that excessive police presence could intimidate voters.

Sen. Obama (Ill.), the Democratic nominee for president, has seen his lead over rival Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) grow in recent weeks, prompting speculation that there could be a violent backlash if he loses unexpectedly.

Cities that have suffered unrest before, such as Detroit, Chicago, Oakland and Philadelphia, will have extra police deployed.

In Oakland, the police will deploy extra units trained in riot control, as well as extra traffic police, and even put SWAT teams on standby.

“Are we anticipating it will be a riot situation? No. But will we be prepared if it goes awry? Yes,” said Jeff Thomason, spokesman for the Oakland Police Department.

[...]

Political observers such as Hilary Shelton and James Carville fear that record voter turnout could overload polling places on Election Day and could raise tension levels.

Shelton, the director of the NAACP’s Washington bureau, said inadequate voting facilities is a bigger problem in poor communities with large numbers of minorities.

[...]

“On Election Day, if this continues, you may have some tempers flare; we should be prepared to deal with that but do it without intimidation,” said Shelton, who added that police have to be able to maintain order at polling stations without scaring voters, especially immigrants from “police states.”

Carville, who served as a senior political adviser to former President Bill Clinton, said that many Democrats would be very angry if Obama loses. He noted that many Democrats were upset by Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) loss to President Bush in the 2004 election, when some Democrats made allegations of vote manipulation in Ohio, the state that ultimately decided the race.

Experts estimated that thousands of voters did not vote in Ohio because of poor preparation and long lines. Carville said Democratic anger in 2004 “would be very small to what would happen in 2008” if the same problems arose.

Carville said earlier this month that “it would be very, very, very dramatic out there” if Obama lost, a statement some commentators interpreted as predicting riots. In an interview Tuesday, however, Carville said he did not explicitly predict rioting.

“A lot of Democrats would have a great deal of angst and anger,” said Carville, who predicted that on Election Day “the voting system all around the country is going to be very stressed because there’s going to be enormous turnout.”

Other commentators have made such bold predictions.

“If [Obama] is elected, like with sports championships, people may go out and riot,” said Bob Parks, an online columnist and black Republican candidate for state representative in Massachusetts. “If Barack Obama loses there will be another large group of people who will assume the election was stolen from him….. This will be an opportunity for people who want to commit mischief.”

[...]

“We’re prepared for the best-case scenario, we’re prepared for the worst-case scenario,” he said. “The worst-case scenario could be a situation that requires law enforcement.”

But Tate declined to describe what the worst-case scenario might look like, speaking gingerly like other police officials who are wary of implying that black voters are more likely than other voting groups to cause trouble.

Shelton, of the NAACP, said he understands the need for police to maintain order. But he is also concerned that some political partisans may point their finger at black voters as potential troublemakers because the Democratic nominee is black.

Shelton said any racial or ethnic group would get angry if they felt disenfranchised because of voting irregularities.

[...]

How to Get Your Own Blog


  1. Go to www.blogger.com.
  2. Click "Create your own blog now".
  3. Follow directions.
Enjoy!

21 October 2008

100 Year Anniversary of St. Francis de Sales Church

(click on above image to enlarge)

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES CHURCH 1908-2008

KIRCHWEIFEST

November 23, 2008

10am

Pontifical Solemn High Mass

CHARLES GOUNOD- MESSE SOLENNELLE– ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

100 Year Anniversary

Our Anniversary Celebration will begin with a Pontifical Solemn High Mass celebrated by
the Most Reverend Bishop Robert J. Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator. The
Centennial Choir sings the Charles Gounod, Saint Cecilia Mass, with members
of the Symphony Orchestra.

Immediately following the Mass the church will celebrate the annual Kirchweifest, hosted by the SFdS K of C Council # 14067. Dinner served around 12:30pm. Advanced ticket pricing $12.50-Adults; $6-age 4-12; 3 and under FREE.

LUNCH MENU- Sauerbraten, Roast Pork, Bratwurst
Braised Red Cabbage w/ Apples, Green Beans, Applesauce,
Sour Cream, Rolls & Butter.

REFRESHMENTS- Tea & Coffee

Ohio at Gravois-South St. Louis City– 314. 771. 3100

BLACK FOREST CAKE CONTEST-ALL WELCOME

ENTERTAINMENT- German Waterloo Band
12:30pm-3:00pm

Stories Like This Just Make Me Feel Soooooooooo Good


Colleen Hammond has a great blog, and she seems to share my healthy (or otherwise) distrust of the global big brother. Check out this story, and follow the links.


Makes me wish for the first car my parents made me drive-- a 1970 Plymouth Fury III, which was approximately the size of Idaho.


P.S. No, that is not me in the photo.

20 October 2008

Institute News


A quick round-up of news from the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest:

  1. 1. The design contest for the proposed children's theater/classroom space on the St. Francis de Sales Oratory campus was a very nice event. Five finalists from the School of Architecture at Washington University presented their plans, and a panel of judges selected a winner. The winning entry makes simple adjustments to the layout of the interior space utilizing some of the original architectural details, re-orients the stage and theater area, and adds classrooms. It also includes plans to create a new courtyard in what is now a parking area between the Church and the theater building. Rome of the West took pictures of the event, which I hope he will post soon.

  2. A DVD of the televised Mass on EWTN on the anniversary of the effective date of Summorum Pontificum is available at the Institute's website.

  3. On Monday, November 3, members of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will offer another live televised Mass on EWTN. The Mass will be offered for the faithful departed at 8:00 AM EST, 7:00 AM CST.

    Live streaming video of the Mass will be available online via EWTN's Web site.

  4. The Institute website for the new St. Gianna Oratory in Tucson, AZ is now up and running.

  5. The dedication of Old St. Patrick Oratory in Kansas City, MO will take place this Saturday. Don't worry about violating the Communion fast (old or new) for this baby unless you actually eat in Church. The ceremony and Mass are expected to cover 4-5 hours. For your enjoyment, I am posting a picture of the Oratory as it nears completion.

Santo Subito!


Reading recent news stories yet AGAIN slandering a good man, I wonder yet AGAIN why the Catholic Church should allow any other organized religion to dictate to her who she should or should not beatify, canonize or otherwise honor. If Jewish groups refuse to believe sober scholarly evidence that belies their ill-founded complaints about Pope Pius XII, great. I will heartily advise them not to honor him. It is their business.

But in response to stories like this or this, I say there is only one fitting response, assuming the necessary investigation in his cause is favorable in the eyes of the Church:

Beatify Pius XII now!

The Catholic Church beatifying an heroic Catholic causes a "wound difficult to heal" to another religion? Please. If the Catholic Church displeases another religion for functioning as the Catholic Church, then the problem does not lie with her. The time for walking on eggshells in this matter is past, whether or not it should ever have been thought necessary.

A little backbone would be nice to see. Pius XII certainly deserves it.
The Church cannot allow one of its holy shepherds to continue to be calumniated as he has been without adequate response. So far, all of the steps taken (and they have been good, as far as they have gone)-- release of documents, eyewitness accounts, scholarly evidence-- have failed to repair the damage. At this point, the Church should do what is right and let the chips fall where they may with those who don't like it.

18 October 2008

Good News on the Pro-Life Front at SLU

The St. Louis Review has a nice story about some dedicated pro-life students at St. Louis University who are taking practical steps to assist the cause of life.  It is good to see some Catholic action coming out of SLU:

SLU students put money, faith behind pro-life effort 

by Jennifer Brinker, Review Staff Writer


A pregnant college student should never have to choose between continuing her education and carrying her baby to term. 

That’s what the members of St. Louis University’s Students for Life organization believe. And to put its money where its mouth is, the group is doing something to help young women at SLU who find themselves in just that situation. 

Last week, Students for Life announced the establishment of the Pregnant and Parenting Student Assistance, an endowed scholarship that will provide financial assistance to any SLU student facing unexpected pregnancy or parenthood, so they can stay on the path toward earning a degree. 

The group already has raised about $6,300 — more than a fourth of its goal to raise $25,000, the minimum amount needed to establish an endowment. The goal amount will provide at least $1,000 in scholarship funding each academic year for the life of the endowment. 

The scholarship was announced at an event the organization held Oct. 10 on campus in Midtown St. Louis. The gathering also coincided with Respect Life Week Oct. 3-12 at the university, also sponsored by Students for Life. 

"There are students reaching out to us, saying ‘I could use this scholarship,’" said Kathleen Neuner, past president of Students for Life and a senior early childhood and special education major. "The need is there." 

The scholarship also is just one of several achievements of the group, which in recent years "has turned into a real training ground for leaders in the pro-life movement," said staff adviser and SLU campus minister Steve Fowler. 

"It’s intellectual, it’s spiritual, it’s political — they appreciate the complexity, and that excites me," Fowler said of the organization, which was chartered in 1992 and has roots that go back years before that. 

Based in the tradition and teachings of the Catholic Church, Students for Life also is "an engagement of people and where they’re at," Fowler explained. "This is an organization not sponsored by a Church organization. Its members are going down different career paths and backgrounds." 

In the last few years, Students for Life has experienced a small boom of sorts in membership. When Fowler was hired as campus minister in 2005, average attendance at weekly meetings was under 10 people. 

During the 2006-2007 school year, several new events were sponsored, which Fowler said laid the foundation for "growth in good leadership." 

Today, the group has an active membership of more than 50 students, said Sarah Pingel, external vice president for Students for Life and a junior majoring in elementary education. 

"It’s exciting being a member and seeing your work make a difference on campus," said Amanda Labuz, a sophomore elementary and special education major. 

Fowler noted that some of the group’s recent accomplishments have displayed that the members are "thinking outside of the box." 

Last year, a brochure was developed to provide resources to students who face an unplanned pregnancy. The brochures are distributed among resident advisers, campus ministry and SLU’s Student Health and Counseling Center. 

Students also have hosted a baby shower at Our Lady’s Inn, a emergency shelter for women who face unplanned pregnancies; gotten involved in the campaign to ban human cloning in Missouri; and hosted talks on current issues such as birth control and the morning-after pill. 

In an effort to engage dialogue among students campuswide, the group incorporated the topic "Is Abortion Racist?" into its display of crosses on the quad this year. 

Using recent statistics from the Guttmacher Institute, the display features more than 1,600 crosses, each representing two abortions that are performed in the United States each day. Thirty-seven percent are marked with black ribbons, representing the number of black women who have had abortions; 34 percent are white, and 22 percent are red for Hispanic women. 

Armed with that information, Students for Life points out that while 37 percent of black women in the U.S. are having abortions, African Americans make up a little more than 12 percent of the population, according to recent U.S. Census data. 

"The statistics show that there is a huge misproportion of abortions taking place in the African- American community," said Pingel. "We’re trying to raise awareness and ask the question so students can look into it. So often we hear how abortion is bad, but we wanted people to take a new look at the issue." 

Their efforts were met with some criticism, though. 

Labuz, for example, said that she heard several students in her cultural diversity class criticize the display, "saying Students for Life was being racist. They thought we were targeting minorities, rather than looking at it as minorities who are being targeted" by abortion. 

Students for Life president Kevin Grillot said as a student leader, it can be challenging, "working on the concept of building a culture of life. This group has built up so much momentum. We are at a point where we want to grow and expand and pursue so many different things. Members are bringing different aspects to the table." 

Students for Life also is getting some exposure at the national level. In January 2007, the group was presented with the Evangelium Vitae Award for leadership in pro-life activities at Georgetown University’s annual Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life, sponsored by Georgetown’s Right to Life student organization. The $1,000 award went toward the establishment of SLU’s endowed scholarship. 

Students for Life also made a presentation at a state leadership conference sponsored by Students for Life of America in Washington, D.C. And the University of Florida has requested information from Students for Life on how the group organizes its annual benefit run/walk. 

For more information on Students for Life or to make a contribution to the Pregnant and Parenting Student Assistance scholarship, visit pages.slu.edu/org/sfl/about.html, send an e-mail message to sflscholarship@gmail.com, or call (314) 977-2430. 

Donations also can be made by check to St. Louis University (write Pregnant and Parenting Scholarship on the memo line) and mailed to Pregnant and Parenting Student Assistance, c/o Students for Life at St. Louis University, MSC 11, 20 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis MO 63103. 

17 October 2008

New Episcopal Pro-Delegate Named


Congratulations to Father Michael Wiener of the ICRSS, who has been named by Bishop Hermann as the Episcopal Pro-Delegate for the Implementation of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis.

Father Wiener is pictured above at right, next to the previous Episcopal Delegate, Fr. Karl Lenhardt, and of course the Holy Father, then-Cardinal Ratzinger. This was taken at a Mass several years ago in Germany.

This appointment is a wonderful sign of continuity and continued good news for the Archdiocese, its parishes, and its seminary.

"This coming election may very well be judgment day, for this election will measure us."


Bishop Hermann continues to use his time as Archdiocesan Administrator to courageously preach the Gospel. I wonder what the folks who were so put out by Fr. Waldman's (not actually, if you're Catholic) "controversial" sermon will think about this column in the Review today:

Judgment Day is on its way. We cannot stop it. We don’t know when it will come, but just as surely as the sun rises daily, the Son of Man will come when we least expect.

Judgment Day is on its way. For many, this coming election may very well be judgment day, for this election will measure us. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us in 10:32-33: "Everyone who acknowledges Me before others, I will acknowledge before My heavenly Father. But whoever denies Me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father."

Judgment Day is on its way. When my time comes, I will be measured by my Savior for the decisions I have made. I will either be acknowledged by Jesus or denied by Him in the presence of our heavenly Father. The question I need to ask myself is this: What kind of witness will I give to Him when I go into the voting booth this election day?

The decision I make in the voting booth will reflect my value system. If I value the good of the economy and my current lifestyle more than I do the right to life itself, then I am in trouble. Pope John Paul II, in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Christifideles laici tells us: "Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights — for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture — is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination."

The right of our children to be protected from destruction is greater than my right to a thriving economy. I am living proof of this, since I am here because my parents believed this priority and lived it. My desire for a good economy cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion. My desire to end the war in Iraq cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion.

My parents got married about one year before the stock market crash of 1929, and yet they raised 15 children in the midst of the Great Depression. They had no money. My mother made her own wedding gown and her own bouquet of flowers. I have my parents’ wedding picture on the wall of my office, and I am reminded every day of the sacrifices they made for life.

We had no money, but we had each other! My parents were at home with us for three meals every day. We had plenty to eat because we raised almost all of our food. We seldom got new clothes, but we wore hand-me-downs, unless my mother would buy materials and make our clothes. We lived in poverty, but we learned the value of hard work. We had no running water or electricity. We had no TV, Internet or cell phone. Yet, we were very happy because we had life! We had each other! Today, all 15 children in my family of origin are most grateful for the sacrifices Mom and Dad made so that we could have life. Making sacrifices for each other brought us incredible joy and enhanced our dignity, because it gave us a chance to participate in serving each other!

In an article written by Pope John Paul I, printed in the current issue of Magnificat, the pope reflected on the life of Andrew Carnegie, who wrote: "I was born in poverty ... but I would not exchange the memories of my childhood with those of a millionaire’s children. What do they know of family joys, of the sweet figure of a mother who combines the duties of nurse, washerwoman, cook, teacher, angel and saint?" Does life get any better than this, when gifts of creativity, generosity and faith are nurtured in the midst of poverty? This is the abundant life on this earth, because it is fueled by faith and sacrifice! Perhaps this is not so much poverty as it is faith-filled luxury.

Judgment Day for us is on its way. Those 47 million children our nation destroyed are still living. We have destroyed their bodies, but their souls are still alive. When our Lord comes again, they may very well be there to judge us. Even worse, Jesus tells us that whatever we do to the least of our brethren, we do to Him. We would truly shudder if we heard the words, "I was in your my mother’s womb but you took my life!"
It is quite possible that we might see these children, but, depending upon the choices we have made, we may very well be separated from them by a great chasm which cannot be crossed, much as the rich man who ignored Lazarus, the poor man, during his lifetime here on earth but was separated from him after death. The rich man was in flames, but Lazarus was in the bosom of his heavenly Father.

The Catholic Church teaches, in its catechism, in the works of Pope John Paul II and in the writings of Pope Benedict XVI, that the issue of life is the most basic issue and must be given priority over the issue of the economy, the issue of war or any other issue. These same teachings inform us that when both candidates permit the right to abortion, but unequally so, we must chose to mitigate the evil by choosing the candidate who is less permissive of abortion.

Judgment Day is on its way! I may deny it. I may pretend that it is still far away, I may deny that my actions are sinful, but that will not change God’s judgment of me.

The deepest problem with many of our Catholics is that they have become so accustomed to rationalizing away a life of sinful actions so that they seem to be on cruise control, heading in the wrong direction. "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."

My goal is not to engage you in some political party way but to engage you with our Savior and His teachings. We need to constantly challenge our accustomed behaviors in the light of the Gospel. We may say that we are following our conscience, but are we informing our consciences with the truth about these issues? Cardinal George Pell of Australia has said that we must follow truth and our conscience, but be steeped in truth so that our consciences be rightly formed.

Perhaps having to face these issues during this coming election can turn out to be a grace that truly awakens our need to learn more about the teachings of the Catholic Church, and then to use the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that we can receive His mercy and bring our behavior into conformity with the mind and heart of Christ. It is not too late to admit our sinfulness and turn to the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When we do this, both we and the heavens will be filled with joy!

Judgment Day is on its way. Pray your way into conformity with the teachings of Christ and His Church. Pray the family Rosary daily between now and Election Day so that you may not only make the right choice but also have the courage to discuss these issues with others who may have been misled by our materialistic culture. Include the candidates in your prayer intentions. It is my hope that our discussions will bring all of us to our knees to seek help from above.
____________________
Wow. God bless you, Bishop Hermann!

Archbishop Ranjith to Speak in St. Louis


Good news from the St. Louis Review-- Archbishop Ranjith, Secretary 0f the Congregation for Divine Worship, will be a keynote speaker at the Gateway Liturgical Conference on November 7-8, 2008. Archbishop Ranjith, you may recall, has been a great proponent of Summorum Pontificum and of the Benedictine reforms to the Ordinary Form, such as Communion while kneeling and on the tongue, ad orientem worship, etc. Also delivering keynotes are Bishops Allen Vigneron (Oakland, CA) and Paul Zipfel (former St. Louis area priest). From the story:


Liturgical conference will be Nov. 7-8 in Cdl. Rigali Center


The eighth Gateway Liturgical Conference will be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7 and 8, at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury. The theme of this year’s conference is, "Liturgy: Becoming Who We Celebrate." The event is sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Worship and is open to everyone, especially those involved in Church liturgy. Keynote speakers include Archbishop Malcom Ranjith, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Bishop Allen H. Vigneron of the Diocese of Oakland, Calif.; Bishop Paul A. Zipfel of the Diocese of Bismarck, N.D., a former auxiliary bishop of St. Louis; and Msgr. Nicholas Schneider, retired archdiocesan priest and former pastor of St. Monica Parish in Creve Coeur.

16 October 2008

Intervention of Archbishop Burke at the Synod of Bishops


From Zenit:

-- H.E. Most. Rev. Raymond Leo BURKE, Archbishop Emeritus of Saint Louis, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (VATICAN CITY)

1. Regarding no. 58 of the Instrumentum laboris, the Holy Scriptures teach that God has written His law upon every human heart. The divine natural law, inscribed upon the human heart, can be discovered by reason but is clearly announced to all through the inspired Word of God (cf. Rom 2:15).

2. In the context of pervasive materialism, relativism and radical individualism, it is especially urgent that the Scriptural teaching on the natural moral law be presented as the common heritage of every man.

3. Also urgently needed is the proclamation of the divinely inspired teaching on the discipline which disposes man to do what is good and to avoid what is evil. Holy Scripture teaches us that the observance of the law is not the height of man' s self-expression, but it is the irreplaceable foundation of the highest expressions of human goodness.

4. Proclaiming the Scriptural teaching on the place of discipline in the lives of individuals and of society is a challenge in a culture which is either antinomian or has made law a tool in the hands of the most powerful.

5. Regarding the relationship of the Word of God and law, it is important to underline the service of canon law in the Church, by which the life of Christ can grow and develop in the whole Church. In his Apostolic Constitution Sacrae disciplinae leges, Pope John Paul II, describing the service of Canon Law in the Church, referred to "that long heritage of law, which is contained in the books of the Old and New Testament and from which the whole juridical and legislative tradition of the Church takes its origin, as from its first source."

6. In the Church, as in society, the understanding of the law has been obscured and, in some cases, lost, leading to gravely harmful effects, for example, the widespread disregard of liturgical laws and the failure to follow the procedural laws by which the faithful vindicate their rights and ecclesiastical delicts are duly sanctioned.

7. The deeper appreciation of the service of law in the Church, through the study of the Word of God, not only helps the Church to understand and treasure the gift of its canonical discipline for the attainment of its divine mission, but also assists society, in general, to understand and treasure the irreplaceable service of law for the attainment of the common good.

Cryptic in the Cryptic Sense


The latest attempt to put the Bishop Matano rumors in proper perspective comes from Tim Townsend of the Post-Dispatch. In what can be termed a type of relationship-builder, he actually acknowledges the existence of this blog. It's like the cool girl has asked me to prom!

But my mom won't let me go...

Here is the post, with lots of links to the sources for the various points he covers. I will say that one of the reasons I chose the cryptic photo clues approach instead of just naming names is that I agree that this decision is, to quote The Obama, so far "above my pay grade" that I am not staking what very little reputation I have on the winner.

Yet.

Townsend writes:

In a town as Catholic as St. Louis, it’s only natural that in the transition time between archbishops the speculation about whom the pope might assign as the city’s next Catholic leader runs rampant.

The truth is, no one knows who will succeed Archbishop Raymond Burke, and anyone who has any information about the specifics of the search is bound by a vow of silence - called a papal secret. A papal secret is a secret - if you’re a priest or bishop - you likely don’t want to let out of the bag.

Those who keep a close eye on this kind of thing rarely stick out their necks to offer actual candidates’ names to inquiring reporters, or, when they do name names, they take pains to ensure their own remains off the record.

What is always unclear is where prospective candidates’ names surface to begin with, since only a handful of people actually know which bishops’ names are in the envelope sent from the office of the apostolic nuncio - the pope’s U.S. diplomat - on to the Vatican.

In recent years blogs have ramped up the energy surrounding the speculation game, and this year - and this archdiocese - is no exception. One local blog has used cryptic photo clues to have its readers guess at the guesses.

The most recent blog darling for the position of Burke’s successor is Bishop Salvatore Matano, who leads the Burlington diocese (which happens to be the only diocese in Vermont.) Matano, 62, is a Rhode Island native who got the Vermont job three years ago.

Matano is also a former classmate of Burke’s - the two studied together in Rome in the early 1980s. That’s a connection many commentators have seen as the common thread among the speculees (new word I just made up meaning those about whom something is speculated.)

Giving more credence than most to the Matano speculation was
a post by Rocco Palmo on his popular “Whispers in the Loggia” blog. Palmo is well-sourced and his blog is followed by those both inside and outside the church.

Common wisdom is that because of Burke’s new and prominent position as head of the Vatican’s supreme court, he will have Pope Benedict XVI’s ear on his successor in a way that many outgoing bishops do not. In an interview with the Burlington Free Press, Palmo offerered some recent history as guide:

Palmo cited as an example the 2006 decision to replace San Francisco Archbishop William Levada with his longtime friend, Utah Bishop George Niederauer, after Levada became a cardinal at the Vatican.

Speculation will continue until the morning (St. Louis time) when Benedict finally reveals his selection. St. Louis is a relatively large diocese and word is it won’t be long before the pope makes his announcement. Until then, the guessing game will continue.