Sunday, January 30, 2011

There you have it...

Our parish leadership scoffs at being accused of attempting to transform our Catholic faith. Cleansing Fire shares information on an upcoming webinar from the DOR's former Pastoral Planning Director ('97 - '06), Bill Pickett. Land o' Goshen there's a lot to gnaw on in the post and comments! There's a link to Pickett's blog, too. In a post titled Transformation Church Pickett says, "It has long been known that you plant a new church by focusing on three aspects: music, preaching, and hospitality."

Sound familiar? But, but, what do you do when you already have a vibrant faith community and churches and all that stuff? Well, if you want to plant a 'new' church, you do what's being cluster, close, and raze the 'old' ones.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"You are not alone"

A bunch of us went to see The Rite last night. Whew. Not for the fainthearted. See the trailer below. The film is based on the best-selling book of the same name, which is much more detailed and gives a journalistic perspective of demonic possession and the Catholic Church's rite of exorcism. The book also explains the rise in occult practices around the world, especially in western nations that have previously shunned such things. At the same time the book details the rise in cases of demonic attacks (they can take the form of infestations, obsession, or the rare possession) in the west. The book is very blunt about the state of the Catholic Church's program to train and send out exorcists, which was abominable until a few years ago. The Anchoress has done a great job of rounding up links about The Rite and the real priest on whom the book is based. I highly recommend both the film and especially the book. The film has its shortcomings, but don't believe the negative reviews from the pundits. It has merit. The major message of the film was one that goes straight to the heart of our Catholic faith -- we are not alone. Though the Devil has power, he is no match for the Lord Jesus Christ. And of course, Anthony Hopkins is wonderful in the role of the seasoned exorcist.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Photos -- UPDATED -- Time Lapse Video of March

Go here for photos from the March for Life (click on the words to get to the photos). I tried to get a lot of signs. They had so many good messages. Also, it seemed like there were more soldiers in the battle from other faith traditions, which was also a good thing. Get a load of the guys in red--everyone wanted a picture with them. More to come--from others who made the pilgrimage down to D.C. The photo I took here was as the March was just getting in full swing. It was truly amazing how many people were marching. And as cold as it was, people did not disperse at the Supreme Court. They stayed and held their signs and engaged others.

And here's a time-lapse video of the March:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Gordian Knot

An interesting post and comments over at Fr. Longenecker's blog. Does anyone dare describe the situation in our parish/diocese and ask for advice?

And here's more food for thought at Cleansing Fire.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The next generation -- Update

Just got back from the March for Life. Pictures soon. But first, watch Abby Johnson from the Walk for Life in California.

UPDATE: Ever wonder why you don't hear much about the March for Life in the media? Watch this video. The march route, which is about a mile and a half I believe, was filled with marchers for over two hours at this year's March for Life. And yes, the majority of marchers are young. Video from this roundup of The Anchoress.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Speak up in humility

Todd Hartch on The Pride of Silence.

Raise your voice today and tomorrow in solidarity with the March for Life.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Letter to Providence Housing

Read the letter that was sent to Providence Housing Development Corporation in December. It has been a month since it was received in their office, and nearly a month since our Bishop and the Vicar General received a copy.

There has been no reply.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A light shines--Update

The March for Life is slated for next Monday, the 24th. Many locals are making the pilgrimage. No matter where you stand on the proposed sale of St. Vincent's, we can all come together to pray for the unborn, for all life issues, and for those who take a public stand for life.

Those who are active in the fight for life sometimes say that abortion is the greatest civil rights issue of our generation--the right to life.

Inside Catholic has a couple articles that are worth reading. One, sadly, describes some of the fiendish actions of an abortion doctor who has recently been arrested on murder charges, while juxtaposing that with an inspiring story about the organization Mantle of Guadalupe (in Spanish). Another article details the conversion of Abby Johnson, a former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic who is seeking to enter the Catholic Church (see a previous post here). Read about Abby and how God is working in her life and by extension in the Pro Life movement.

Here's some websites for following events in the next several days.

March for Life
EWTN programming
National Pro Life Youth Rally
Family Research Council online gathering
Students for Life
40 Days for Life

Corning and St. Mary's has a history that bears pondering as the March for Life approaches. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was born in Corning and baptized at St. Mary's. Today, St. Mary's looks down on the local Planned Parenthood here that is named in honor of her. Note: A Rosary will be said in front of the Corning Planned Parenthood at 8:45 a.m. in advance of the 9:30 a.m. Mass this Sunday. Additionally, there is  a 6 pm  All Saints Youth Mass - Blessing of pilgrims.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Disappearing signs

Word is that the 'Preserve  St. Vincent Church' signs are being stolen from yards around town. I guess the thinking is that by taking away a material object, the sentiment will also go away. Not so.

What was it Jesus said...."The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy...." (John 10:10)

Monday, January 17, 2011

On the importance of parishes

A friend sent along this  article from the National Catholic Reporter regarding church closings in other areas of the United States. Both the article and comments are interesting and raise several thought-provoking points. Here are a couple quotes from the article:

The document cites the late Pope John Paul II's emphasis on the importance of parishes in a speech to U.S. bishops during their ad limina visit in 2004. The pope said the parish is 'preeminent among all the other communities in his diocese for which the bishop has primary responsibility. … The diocese should always be understood as existing in and for its parishes."

"In the interview with NCR, Borre said the intent of the petitioners is to place renewed emphasis on the parish as that central community in the diocese. The document also seeks clarity in the financial responsibilities of both parishes and dioceses and a renewed recognition of the "principle of subsidiarity in diocesan governance." Subsidiarity is a principle central to Catholic teaching that holds that decisions that can be made at a local level should not be passed on to larger entities."

Permanent deacons

Permanent deacons and continence.

And this from Father Z., What are deacons really for?

Something to ponder

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
                                                                  -- C. S. Lewis

Saturday, January 15, 2011

And now for some lighter fare

Why do you love being a Catholic? Here's one individual's list.

The vocation of the priesthood

In a parish that stifles the priesthood, let us uphold it. When we are lectured that a shortage of priests in our parish is partly the result of priestly scandal, let us uphold the calling of the priesthood. Let us pray for those who are called, for those we know and love. 

"Yet even the most reprehensible abuse cannot discredit the priestly mission, which remains great and pure. Thank God, all of us know exemplary priests, men shaped by their faith, who bear witness that one can attain to an authentic, pure and mature humanity in this state and specifically in the life of celibacy."  (From How to Grow a Priest)

Where would we be without our priests? I thank God for them.  May He bless them and keep them and may His face shine upon them.

Let us pray for our seminarians, of whom much will be required in the coming years (from the Collar as Yoke and Witness):

In the past decades seminarians were discouraged away from the collar in order to discourage the temptation to clericalism, or from forming a superficial attraction to the trappings of the priesthood. The seminarians of today, training for the priesthood in a time of church-wide pain and scandal, do not want to wear the collar out of a feeling of superiority or exclusivity; we want to wear the collar out of a desire to be a witness to the world, and a symbol of hope and continuance. Externals matter. Attire matters. The Roman collar matters.

Let us realize the truth of the Roman collar:

The time of seminary formation is time spent trying to develop the heart of the Good Shepherd. Wearing the collar helped me do that. It helped me tell the people of St. Josephs that I was theirs, that I existed to serve them. Wearing the collar I represented someone much greater than myself. It is not I who serve, but Christ, whose yoke I wear.

The collar pointed to this reality.

Let us, as the laity, do our duty to pray for and uphold the priesthood.

(Hat tip from The Anchoress.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ora and more Ora

Cleansing Fire is keeping us in the loop regarding possible events in the DOR.

Read about it here.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Is it a usual and normal thing to have a deacon do virtually everything at mass, except the consecration? Yesterday, at the 9:30 mass, I noticed that the deacon--as is often the case in our parish--presided at virtually all aspects of the mass except for the actual consecration.

I ask this because it seems as if there is a purposeful de-emphasis of the priest's role. Instead of presiding at the mass, it is as if the priest is merely assisting and not vice versa. In fact, I don't think the welcome included the usual  announcement of who our presider would be.

I remember when we first came to All Saints Parish four years ago we thought the deacon was a priest. We're not the only ones who have made that mistake, either.

If the priest's role in the liturgy is so altered, doesn't that cross over to a sense of diminishing of the Eucharist, too? Doesn't minimizing the priest's role as an active presence in the mass put him, in persona Christi, somewhere in the background, of secondary importance? And isn't that same as putting Christ Jesus in the background?

Sunday, January 9, 2011 there tomorrow night!

St. Vincent de Paul was a champion of the poor and of children. I can't help but think he is cheering on the Pro-Life movement. Have you heard of Abby Johnson's book Unplanned? A former director of a Planned Parenthood in Texas, Abby shares the story of how she left the abortion industry and why. Tomorrow evening, Monday the 10th at 9 p.m. eastern time, is a webcast with Abby. Here's what people are saying about Unplanned:

"The moving true story of the shocking truth of abortion and how God's love transformed Abby's life."
- Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR

"Abby walked out of the abortion industry and came into my office just next door. After seeing her transformation from running a Planned Parenthood to joining our efforts to help women and save lives, I believe that ANYONE can change their mind on abortion."
- Shawn Carney, 40 Days for Life

Click on the links above to sign up for the webcast tomorrow and find out more about Abby's book.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Good advice

A wise priest once counseled our parish that when strange talk starts happening at mass, it's always good to drop to one's knees and begin saying the rosary. Good advice.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Pray for us, St. Vincent de Paul

If you are planning to attend the March for Life on January 24, try to make time to stop by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. There is an apse dedicated to St. Vincent de Paul.