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.
31 October 2008
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.
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.
30 October 2008
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.
29 October 2008
28 October 2008
27 October 2008
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried."
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.
26 October 2008
25 October 2008
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?
"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.
22 October 2008
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.”
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.
21 October 2008
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES CHURCH 1908-2008
November 23, 2008
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
20 October 2008
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Institute website for the new St. Gianna Oratory in Tucson, AZ is now up and running.
- 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.
18 October 2008
SLU students put money, faith behind pro-life effort
by Jennifer Brinker, Review Staff Writer
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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
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
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.