Monday, December 31, 2012

The HHS Mandate is alive and well

As 2012 winds down, please do not forget about the HHS Mandate and its effects. People of faith will be forced to choose between their livelihoods, their businesses, and their religious convictions. No longer can a Christian businessman run his business according to values that promote life. Business owners are facing an either/or situation. Here is the CEO of Hobby Lobby, writing about the repercussions of the HHS Mandate for he and his family, and ultimately, for all those they employ and those who shop at Hobby Lobby. Read it all here, and then pass it on, because as stated in the article, you won't read his words in the mainstream media.

A snippet from the article:

We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Call to Prayer

Just learned from Fr. Z's blog about the USCCB's Call to Prayer. Beginning today, on the Feast of the Holy Family, our bishops have "approved a pastoral strategy to advance a Movement for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty. It is essentially a call to prayer, penance, and sacrifice for the sake of renewing a culture of life, marriage, and religious liberty in our country."

The news release came out December 6 (hello?!!) and you can read it here. From the news release:

1. Starting with the Sunday after Christmas (Feast of the Holy Family) and continuing on or near the last Sunday of every month through Christ the King Sunday, November 2013, cathedrals and parishes are encouraged to hold a Eucharistic Holy Hour for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.

2. Families and individuals are encouraged to pray a daily Rosary, especially for the preservation of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty in the nation.

3. At Sunday and daily Masses, it is encouraged that the Prayers of the Faithful include specific intentions for respect for all human life from conception to natural death, the strengthening of marriage and family life, and the preservation of religious liberty at all levels of government, both at home and abroad.

4. Abstinence from meat and fasting on Fridays are encouraged for the intention of the protection of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, recognizing the importance of spiritual and bodily sacrifice in the life of the Church.

5. The celebration of a second Fortnight for Freedom at the end of June and the beginning of July 2013 is being planned. This Fortnight would emphasize faith and marriage in a particular way in the face of the potential Supreme Court rulings during this time. The Fortnight would also emphasize the need for conscience protection in light of the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate, as well as religious freedom concerns in other areas, such as immigration, adoption, and humanitarian services.

Here's accompanying information:

Call to Prayer handout

Information on Eucharistic Holy Hour

Suggested Prayers for the Faithful

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


When Handel was in the midst of composing his "Messiah" he said at one point, "I did think I saw heaven open, and saw the very face of God."  A little more info here. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Innocents...All of Them

Deacon Ray's homily at this morning's Mass was largely given over to the Newtown shootings in which 20 children were murdered by a crazed young man. He tried to make a connection between that and the Scripture readings of the Visitation -- Mary hastening to see her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist.

Deacon Ray said that, perhaps, the nation has reached a "tipping point" regarding these types of murders, though he did not go much further than mentioning it and something about mental health issues. He correlated the readings with the tragedy by assuring us God is love, and love is over all.

Yesterday, I read an insightful article from author Mark Steyn about the "other" children of the Christmas Story. Here is a snippet:

As Matthew tells it, even in a story of miraculous birth, in the midst of life is death. The Massacre of the Innocents loomed large over the Christian imagination: In Rubens's two renderings, he fills the canvas with spear-wielding killers, wailing mothers, and dead babies, a snapshot, one assumes, of the vaster, bloodier body count beyond the frame. Then a century ago the Catholic Encyclopedia started digging into the numbers. The estimated population of Bethlehem at that time was around a thousand, which would put the toll of first-born sons under the age of two murdered by King Herod at approximately 20 — or about the same number of dead children as one school shooting on a December morning in Connecticut. (My emphasis)

The article is quite pointed and not for young children, but is a thought-provoking read. Also, I received an email from my friend, Mary, a day or so ago. An idea has been going around:

"Go to your nearest Catholic church. Ask for a mass to be offered for the intentions of the Community of Newtown, CT. Then mail the mass-card to St. Rose of Lima Church, 46 Church Hill Rd., Newtown, CT 06470. Wouldn’t it be great, if over the course of time, St. Rose of Lima Church received mass-cards from Christians praying for them from around the world?"

And while we are praying for all those involved in the tragedy at Newtown, please remember the other Innocents who have died -- over 50 million unborn babies have been aborted in the United States of America. One of my prayers is that our parish begins to focus its efforts to "enthusiastically build up the Kingdom of God" by vigorously opposing the abortion culture that currently dwells securely in our community...just down the hill from St. Mary's Church.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!


I'm afraid to ask how much more depraved the pro-abortion movement can get. There are many more abornaments at the link.

If you cannot attend the March for Life, please support those who can. Contact our parish for more information.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Parish Financials Online

The parish financials for 2011-2012 are online.

You can access them at the parish website here: Financial Statement

Monday, December 17, 2012

In Defense of Pope Pius XII

Fr. Gordon J. MacRae, for those who are not familiar with him, is a Catholic priest who was unjustly accused of a sexual crime two decades ago. He was wrongly convicted and has been in prison for 18 years, doing such good works that one can surely see God had a plan. You can read about his case here. As an aside, up to 50% of clergy are wrongly accused. This does not make the real cases any less heinous, it is simply an uncomfortable truth.

This post, however, is about Fr. MacRae's investigatory article about the complicity of the New York Times in its propaganda efforts to destroy the reputation of Pope Pius XII and also, to hide the newspaper's complicity in downplaying and covering up the Holocaust.

Hitler’s Pope, Nazi Crimes, and The New York Times

It is not light reading. It is worthwhile reading. Here is a snippet:

You have all read or heard the claims that Pope Pius XII was silent, at best, during the Holocaust, and at worst secured an accommodation with the Third Reich that saved the Catholic Church at the expense of the Jews. It’s not at all true, but the truth has had an uphill climb against the pervasive story, told again and again, that Pope Pius XII failed to confront Hitler during his systematic genocide of over six million European Jews and millions of others. You’ve heard the story of this supposed silence in a slanderous media sound bite that Pope Pius XII was “Hitler’s Pope.” Next to the “pedophile priest” propaganda, it is probably the most often used and abused modern anti-Catholic slur. But simply put, it is a lie.

Awaiting the Coming of Christ, it is right and just to remember and pray for those in prison, especially those unjustly accused.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blessed is the Fruit of Your Womb

Found this gem of an article (link below). It is something to pass along. It might save a life.

Getting an Abortion in December

And a heads up. The 40th March for Life is next month. Contact the parish office for information on attending.

Tonight: Look up to the heavens

A wonderful meteor shower is on tonight and tomorrow -- Geminid Meteor Shower. At Fr. Z's link there's some interesting info and another link for more.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Did you know?

During this Year of Faith, our diocese is offering a Plenary Indulgence.

Read about it here. And here is the letter that our Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Cunningham sent to pastors and pastoral administrators to: "In your kindness, please make known to your people the announcement of the Plenary Indulgence and the conditions under which it can be obtained."