Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just Ponder This Message

Watch this very short clip, and then read this article about Obamacare, which will allow 15-year-old girls to be STERILIZED without parental consent.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sister Korn and diocesan activism

TC posted a comment at this post that is so on-the-mark that it needed a blog of its own. The Catholic Ministries TAX Appeal is in full swing. The diocese is feverishly engaged in raising funds for Catholic Charities. Sister Janet Korn from the diocese was down at St. Vincent's on Sunday. Here is TC's take on it:

Sister Janet Korn, (Catholic Ministries Appeal, Rochester Diocese) spoke at St Vincent’s church on Sunday. My blood was boiling. I almost walked out of mass. She stated that there is a need to support migrant farm workers in NY and cited the “failed immigration reform” as the root cause for their plight. Sr Korn failed to explain how her ministry provides assistance to immigrant workers or what their needs were. I have several questions for the Corning Catholic Community to ponder:

1. What are the needs of the migrant workers? Food? Clothing? Spiritual?
2. How did the failure of immigration reform contribute to their hardships?
3. What about assistance for farmers and families who don’t rely on migrant workers?
4. Are these migrant workers exposed to the teaching of the Catholic Church?
5. How many migrant workers actually work/reside within the Rochester Diocese?
6. How does Sr Korn’s mission provide assistance to these migrant workers? Clothes? Food? Church services? Medical care? Child Care? Money? …..
7. Has anyone addressed the “plight” of migrant workers with local farm owners? NY State legislators?
8. Why isn’t Sister Korn wearing a habit?

Her specific mention of the “failed immigration reform” is another way that the liberal agenda is seeping into our Catholic Church. It is the proverbial “Wolf in sheep’s clothing.” She is nothing more than an activist operating under the umbrella of the Rochester Diocese.

Here are the links that TC referenced in his comment (plus a couple more):
 If you haven't been keeping up with the state of our diocese, you may not immediately understand TC's pointed comments and questions. For a quick and devastating primer on why these questions have merit, here's some stats from a Cleansing Fire blog posted yesterday:

The results of Bishop Clark’s 33 year experiment with progressive Catholicism are in – and they are not pretty:
» 93 out of 200 (47%) Catholic parishes, missions, stations and chapels closed;
» 53 out of 78 (68%) Catholic elementary schools closed;
» 4 out of 9 (44%) Catholic high schools closed;
» 220 out of 238 (92%) teaching sisters gone;
» 18 out of 20 (90%) teaching priests gone;
» 33 out of 33 (100%) teaching brothers gone;
» 16,130 out of 21,006 (77%) Catholic elementary school students gone;
» 4,355 out of 7,488 (58%) Catholic high school students gone;
» 28,323 out of 39,402 (72%) Catholic elementary school religious education students gone;
» 7,165 out of 8,767 (82%) Catholic high school religious education students gone;
» Catholic marriages down by 67% (from 2,076 to 689) ;
» Interfaith (or “mixed”) marriages down by 76% (from 1,321 to 320);
» Infant baptisms down by 61% (from 6,742 to 2,646);
» Weekend Mass attendance in free fall (down by over a third in a mere 10 years);
» 251 out of 341 (74%) active diocesan priests gone (with most of the remainder rapidly approaching retirement age);
» Vocations to the priesthood down to a barely discernible trickle; and
» All of this in a diocese that saw its number of registered Catholics drop by 16% while its total population grew by 3% during those same 33 years.

The connection between the political/ideological activism of the DOR and the devastation of Catholic faith and identity is not coincidental.
So, is it wrong to aid migrant workers? Of course not. The question that must be asked is: Why have these ministries thrived while churches are being sold, parishes clustered, and Catholics have left the Faith in droves?

The Faith is being systematically deconstructed and something different is being put in place. Why did Sister Korn reference the so-called failed immigration reform? That's leftist political speak. So, in the name of progressive politics Catholics are supposed to give to Catholic Charities? The whole social justice meme has evolved away from Christ's simple (and non-political) command to feed the hungry and take care of widows and orphans, to an agenda that takes sides in the political arena, that distorts Jesus's admonitions to Christians, and that results in the destruction of our Catholic Faith and identity.

This agenda relies heavily on taxpayer subsidizing. Diocesan ministries are subsidized by federal, state, and local taxpayer dollars to the tune of about two-thirds' funding. So yes, Catholics are giving twice--all the while their churches are being sold and their parishes diminished.

Are diocesan leaders so wedded to a political ideology that they would allow the current situation in our diocese in order to implement their political worldview?

And let us not forget the voiceless cry of the unborn, those who are most vulnerable in our society. Yes, even more vulnerable than migrant workers. Are these little ones given a prominent voice when Catholic Charities comes calling? What about the issue of euthanasia and death panels for our elderly? Apparently the 'seamless garment' meme isn't so seamless after all.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What's it take?

The First Presbyterian Church in Corning celebrated its 200th year this morning. They expected a crowd of between 200-250 at this morning's service. FTA: Ernie Danforth, a longtime congregation member, said he’s expecting some former members who’ve moved away to return for the occasion.

When one thinks about it, the First Presbyterian Church in Corning probably has somewhat less than the numbers expected at this morning's service.

And yet, they manage to do quite nicely. Imagine what they would do with the numbers in our parish.

Oh wait...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Barnhardt on the Assumption

Ann Barnhardt explains the Assumption:

The Science Underpinning the Assumption (1)
Posted by Ann Barnhardt - August 15, AD 2012 9:29 AM MST
What a delightful play on words that title is.
The Assumption is the Dogma that the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed BODY and SOUL into heaven at the end of her life. The archaeological record is one of the most compelling confirmations of this truth. The veneration of burial places, tombs and relics of dead saints is universal and consistent in the early Church and has carried right through to this day. Everyone knows where St. Peter is buried, and the relics of St. Paul and the other apostles and saints, even recent saints like St. Bernadette are venerated and in some cases spread all over the earth. Almost every Catholic Church contains the relics of multiple saints.
But one saint has NEVER had any location venerated as her burial place, nor have there ever been any relics purported to be part of her body. Never. Who is this person whom everyone has always agreed has no earthly tomb and for whom there are no earthly relics? Only the second-most-important person to ever walk the earth, and THE most important person who was NOT God Incarnate: The Blessed Virgin Mary.
The reason why she has no tomb and no relics is because at the end of her life (the Church is not sure whether or not she actually died, and so that question is intentionally left open) Our Lord immediately granted to her the promise made to all Christians of the resurrection and heaven, BODY AND SOUL. So, there are two physical human bodies in heaven right now: Our Lord and His Mother. We don't know exactly how to explain this, but I suspect that it has something to do with temporal or dimensional phase shifting, as Our Lord walked through walls, doors and other solid objects after the Resurrection (John 20:19). As Einstein discovered, mass and energy are equivalent, and thus can phase back and forth. We also know from the Mass itself that while we experience time in a linear continuum, God is in no way constrained by linear time, and can manipulate, bend and intersect points in time. How? Oh, no clue. There is so much about physics that we don't understand. But hey, that's all part of the fun of the mystery, right?
Only after the Second Coming and the Judgment will the rest of the Church be reunited to their resurrected (for those who have died) or glorified (for those who are alive at the Second Coming and Judgment) bodies, to be united to the Trinity, dwelling inside the Beatific Vision forever. But Mary is already there. She has already been ASSUMED into heaven, and is the proof of God's promise of what lies in store for those who die in the Church, in friendship with Christ. And today, August 15th, is the Feast of the Assumption. This is a Holy Day of Obligation, which means that all Christians are required to attend Mass just as if it was a Sunday. So, what better time to talk about and explain the doctrines of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, and the science that underpins both dogmas.
First, the Immaculate Conception. This doctrine and non-negotiable tenet of Christianity teaches that Mary was, by the grace of God, prevented from carrying the stain of Original Sin from the moment of her conception. This is a deal-breaker. If you do not believe this, then you are not a Christian, because the logical consequences of denying the Immaculate Conception inevitably leads to denying the Incarnation and Divinity of Jesus Christ Himself. If you deny the Incarnation and the Divinity of Christ by denying the logical antecedent of the Immaculate Conception, you are NOT Christian. You are a quasi-Christian neo-pagan. Welcome to the New Evangelization. No more boot-licking of Protestant-pagan heresies and caling it "ecumenism".
Mary was saved from sin by her Son, like all of the other faithful, it is just that the timing of her salvation was different from everyone else. This is why Mary, sinless though she is, still calls God “my Savior” in her Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55. Instead of letting Mary fall in the mud puddle of sin like the rest of us, God stuck out His Arm back through time from the Cross and kept her from falling in the mud puddle – but if it wasn't for God's positive action of reaching out across time from the Cross and holding her from falling, she would have fallen. This is called “grace”, and is what the Angel Gabriel was referring to when he greeted Mary at the Annunciation with the words, “Hail! Full of grace! The LORD is with thee. Blessed art thou among women.” Luke 1:28 Full of grace means FULL. OF. GRACE. How full is full? Full is totally full. To the brim. Full does not mean half-full or mostly-full. Full means full. Mary was FULL OF GRACE.
And because Mary was FULL of grace, there was absolutely no room for sin. Mary didn't sin because God her Savior had filled her with grace and therefore she just COULDN'T sin. Most of us reading this have a tiny taste of what this is like. For example, I'm guessing that everyone reading this would be incapable of killing a baby. We just COULDN'T do it. No matter what threat was made against us, no matter what the adverse consequences to our own lives might be, we would take any adverse consequence before killing a baby. We are simply incapable of performing that act. Why? What is that internal force of energy that prevents us from committing acts of evil even when under intense duress and threat? It is grace. Pure and simple.
Sadly, most of us have a little grace, but are not in any way FULL of grace. I am personally much closer to being full of crap than of grace (which many of you have already pointed out to me – thank you very much), hence the daily, persistent, repeated sinning on my part. And I suspect it is a similar situation with you, dear reader, with the grace-to-crap ratio being much higher for you than for me. I really am quite full of crap. With Mary there was no crap because God her Savior had FILLED her with grace, and thus there was no room for crap, and thus there was no sin. It's really just 2nd grade math if you think about it. But WHY? Why was it essential for Mary to be sinless and sinless from the moment of her conception? That's where the science comes in.

The Science Underpinning the Assumption (2)
Posted by Ann Barnhardt - August 15, AD 2012 9:29 AM MST
There are two phases to Mary's existence. The first phase was from the moment of her conception until the Annunciation, which is when Jesus was conceived in her womb. The second phase was from that moment of Jesus' conception forward for all eternity. Each phase has its own physiological delight attached to it which required Mary to be a sinless vessel for Our Lord.
First, the pre-Annunciation period. As it has been discovered just within the last few decades, all baby girls have all of the eggs that are ever going to be in their ovaries fully formed not just at birth, but fairly early in their fetal development phase. Unlike men who are continuously producing new sperm, a woman's eggs aren't created and formed with each menstrual cycle. All that is happening during a cycle is that an egg, which has been fully formed in a woman's body since she was a pre-born fetus, is released into the reproductive tract. What this means theologically is that the egg containing the 23 chromosomes that God would miraculously fertilize with 23 chromosomes that He miraculously supplied (including a Y chromosome) to become the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ, was physically present inside Mary's body from the time that Mary was inside of her mother's womb. That egg, and those chromosomes, that physical constituent of Our Blessed Lord was present inside of Mary's body, waiting to be . . . if I may use the word . . . consecrated. The word consecrate, when broken into its Latin components means:
Con: With
Secr: Holy
Ate: Territory of a Ruler
And so, Mary was, from the time she was inside St. Anne's womb, already carrying a portion of Our Lord's physicality, namely 23 of His chromosomes. And thus Mary was, from her very beginning, already a proto-tabernacle, already the Ark of the New Covenant, carrying within her what would be consecrated into The Law Incarnate, The High Priest, and The Bread of Life – just like the Old Ark, except perfected and fully fulfilled as God Incarnate. And as we know from the book of Exodus, the Old Ark had to be “perfect”. And thus, the Ark of the New Covenant was TRULY perfect, except this perfection was a perfection that only God Himself could accomplish: the perfection of Mary, full of grace and thus saved from all sin.
The second phase is actually broken into two sub-phases. The first sub-phase is when Mary was pregnant with Jesus and His entire body was inside of hers.
The second phase is that phase from the time of Jesus' birth forward into all eternity. Jesus is STILL physically inside of Mary in a unique way. It was discovered just a few short years ago that immune cells pass from a pre-born child to the mother across the placenta. Not only do these immune cells, which are the child's and thus carry the exclusive and complete DNA of the child, pass across the placenta, but they persist in the mother's body for the rest of her life. A woman who has carried a son has immune cells with Y-chromosomes in her bloodstream that can now be filtered out of her blood and observed. Female children also pass cells to their mothers.
Thus, a woman truly does carry her children around inside of her, with their DNA coursing through her heart, for the rest of her life. That isn't just a sentiment – it is a physiological fact.
Thus, Mary continued and continues to this day to be a perpetual, living physical tabernacle of her Son, as she carries cells with His DNA in her bloodstream. And so now we see why Mary was and had to be filled with grace and thus saved from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception eternally forward – because she was and is a perpetual Ark of the New Covenant.
This also explains why Mary's body was assumed into heaven immediately at the end of her earthly life, because her body literally contained living cells of Our Lord and thus her body could not remain on earth in physical death to decay in any way.
She simply was afforded the same physical resurrection that all of the faithful will receive, albeit instantaneously for her, given her very special state, both spiritually and physically. This is what is doctrinally referred to as “The Assumption”.
Finally, if you are a quasi-Christian Protestant-pagan reading this and it has made you the least bit angry, you need to sit down and ask yourself one excruciatingly simple question: WHY?
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Peasant Catholics

Have you heard about the most recent scandal rocking the Catholic Church here in the USA? The Archdiocese of New York has invited Barack Obama to the annual Alfred Smith Dinner. It has caused a firestorm of criticism and defensive answers. Here are links to get you caught up, the latest being Michael Voris's fiery rebuttal to Bill Donahue for name calling:

Alfred Smith website

USA Today article

Archdiocese defends decision

Peasant Catholics

Petition to Disinvite Obama

Inviting Obama to Dinner (Part two)

Inviting Obama to Dinner (Part one)

Archdiocese Response (unofficial)

Archbishop Lori defends decision to invite Obama

It's a free-for-all. Being Catholic is never boring. ;-)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A 'God-incidence'

There are no coincidences. Here is a heart-warming story of Iris and her granddaughter:

Oak Tables and the Afterlife

*Note: The print is by artist Mike Savad.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another DOR school closing

Read about it here. The coach's comments below are heartbreaking. Two weeks before the season starts the school is suddenly closed. A thunderbolt out of the blue. Standard operating procedure.