Friday, January 31, 2003

Miracles on the Movie Set?

From the NY Daily News - A very violent 'passion':

"There is an interesting power in the script," he adds. "A lot of unusual things have been happening — good things, like people being healed of diseases. A guy who was struck by lightning while we were filming the crucifixion scene just got up and walked away."

Francesco De Vito, who plays the disciple Peter, says "I talk with Judas [Luca Lionello] and with John [Hristo Jivkov] about this movie and about faith on the set, and there is something going on with many of us. We've become very focused — it has changed us."

"There's a pride that all of us have because we realize we are working on an important movie that could change a lot of lives," says Vera Mitchell, Caviezel's personal stylist on the film.

Photos from Mel Gibson's Movie, "The Passion"

From the Seattle Catholic...

Scroll down to the last photo. They are clearly going for a bloody and horrific representation of the crucifixion (although it is unclear how the crucified Christ seems cleaner than the Christ carrying the cross).

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Great Catholic News Site

I blogged this a few weeks ago and I've been meaning to link to it on th sidebar but until I get around to it let me point out once again that this is a great place to go to get the days news that involves anything Catholic CatholicNexus, Global Catholic News Headlines.
Iraqi Bishop Says War Would be Sin

From Catholic Online:

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Sad News About the Son of J.R. Tolkien

From the IC Birmingham-Local News:

The eldest son of The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien can today be exposed as a paedophile priest.

Fr John Tolkien abused dozens of young boys during his 50-year career with the Catholic church in the Midlands.

Tolkien, heir to his famous father’s multi-million pound estate, died last week at the age of 85.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

An Interesting Apostolate for Men

The e5 man by fasting for his bride imitates Jesus, the Groom, as described by St. Paul in Ephesians Chapter 5 (from which the e5 is named) The incarnate God, Jesus, makes a bodily sacrifice for his bride, the Church, to present her to God the Father "without spot or wrinkle."(Eph 5:27)

Basically men fast on bread and water the first Wednesday of every month for the intentions of their wife.
Work of the Holy Angels

Opus Sanctorum Angelorum - Lay Circular

I met Father Wagner many years ago (over 20) at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Georgia. It is interesting to see that they have a house in Detroit. I wonder if any readers have visited it or are familiar with the work of this community.
The Only Female Jesuit

From the Jesuit magazine Company

Then came Juana. She wanted, and got, for herself not a separate branch of the Society but membership in the Society itself.

So perilous was the project that all existing Jesuit correspondence about the situation avoids her name, using the pseudonym Mateo Sanchez, or Montoya, instead. In a quandary, Ignatius appointed a committee to advise him. It recommended that Juana enter the Society as a permanent scholastic; truly a Jesuit but forever in formation. Otherwise, with solemn vows, she would have been—according to canon and civil law—legally dead, dispossessed of everything, and incapable of ever marrying again.

With the novel, simple, and terminable vows of a Jesuit scholastic, she could have separated from the Society if necessary. When Juana pronounced her three religious vows as a Jesuit, absolute secrecy was enjoined on everyone.

She could make no obvious change in her manner of life. So, for her, poverty meant leading a rather austere life at her already simple court. Chastity meant never marrying again. Obedience—well, her letters show her sometimes trying to give orders to Ignatius and Borgia.

Monday, January 27, 2003

An Excellent Review of Super Bowl Ads and Performances

I basically agree with everything he says... - Page2 - The good, bad, empty on Super Sunday

Here is a sample:

The Empty

Levi's bison thing. Two problems: 1. Made absolutely no sense. 2. (And I'm quoting my wife on this one) Those are some ugly-ass jeans.

AT&T Wireless "Gilligan's Island" bit. Felt like an Old Navy rip-off, only nostalgia making me want to buy clothes I can see; nostalgia making me want to spend my hard-earned cash on your fancy little phones? Not so much.

-17 degrees

That is what it is here this morning. We have been below freezing now for 18 days in a row--that is a lot of cold. Personally I was graced with a respite when I was away in Wichita, KA last week and it was a balmy 67 degrees. There is a glimmer of hope, it is supposed to be 33 degrees tomorrow with three inches of snow and some sleet thrown in to make it interesting, I guess.

From the The Tampa Tribune - Online Edition

Too much. Free beer for every Buccaneer touchdown at Kazbor's Sports Grille in Zephyrhills. Count 'em, six rounds for hundreds on the house. Too much, groaned co-owner Kristy Anderson.

Not many would have predicted the Bucs scoring 48 points! I had only predicted half that many. I know to the casual fan it must have been a bore but to a Bucs fan you could not have asked for a better game.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Need an Interesting Speaker for Your Catholic Group?

I'm available. Here is the talk I'm currently scheduled to give both at the St. Louis Catechetical Congress and the NCEA convention this year. If you visit my home page and click on appearances you'll get some idea of various parts of the country I'l be visiting throughout this year. If your parish is nearby I would be happy to schedule a talk in conjunction with travel I'm alread planning. In most cases my wife Amy could also speak. Check her site out too!
I was Right! Thanks to Amy for Finding the Proof!

Ever since I first saw this beer commercial I said that it was a rippoff of Tom T. Hall's "I Love." Hopefully Coors is paying him big royalties.

From the NY Times:

The team of Aaron Evanson and John Godsey provided the ''Love Songs'' idea. Two hours before the meeting, they were driving back from a focus group in Indianapolis when Godsey, 38, came up with the idea of writing a love song for guys. His inspiration was ''I Love,'' a 1974 hit by Tom T. Hall in which the country musician extols the virtues of, among other things, pickup trucks, coffee in a cup and little fuzzy pups. Knowing that puppies weren't likely to sell beer, they began to compile a list of things they thought would -- ''sports, supermodels, eating and hanging out with friends,'' Evanson says.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Super Bowl Prediction:

Tampa Bay 24

Oakland 13

Friday, January 24, 2003

As Usual the Bruderhof Publishes a Great Story (this time by Mark Twain) on Their Site

Here is a teaser...

"I come from the Throne - bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd and shall grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import - that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of - except he pause and think.

For the whole story go to

Bruderhof Communities - The War Prayer by Mark Twain
Today is the feast of St. Francis de Sales the Patron Saint of Writers

To read more about him, check out the CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. Francis de Sales

There are two elements in the spiritual life: first, a struggle against our lower nature; secondly, union of our wills with God, in other words, penance and love. St. Francis de Sales looks chiefly to love. Not that he neglects penance, which is absolutely necessary, but he wishes it to be practised from a motive of love. He requires mortification of the senses, but he relies first on mortification of the mind, the will, and the heart. This interior mortification he requires to be unceasing and always accompanied by love. The end to be realized is a life of loving, simple, generous, and constant fidelity to the will of God, which is nothing else than our present duty. The model proposed is Christ, whom we must ever keep before our eyes. "You will study His countenance, and perform your actions as He did" (Introd., 2nd part, ch. i). The practical means of arriving at this perfection are: remembrance of the presence of God, filial prayer, a right intention in all our actions, and frequent recourse to God by pious and confiding ejaculations and interior aspirations.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Trying to Reign in a Good Idea Gone Awry

Archbishop of Newark Bans Eulogies at Masses

The interesting thing about this piece is that the "memorial" is allowed for within the ritual.
Long Overdue

Vatican to release guidelines for discerning alleged apparitions

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

An Excellent Piece!

Even though he is dealing with the demise of the Jesuits, what he says could be applied to every religious order and other aspects of Catholicism in the USA.

From theUS Jesuit Conference - Who are the Jesuits

For all the faults of the old theology, it at least recognized that a concupiscential struggle bedevils man and that supernatural salvation demands a conversion beyond the order of nature, that one’s own feelings and reasonings are not necessarily the norm of morality.
Rosary Stories Anyone?

Paul Thigpen wants them! Here is his appeal:

The Holy Father recently declared a Year of the Rosary, and he is asking us to rediscover this wonderful prayer. In response to his request, I am collecting stories about the Rosary to publish in a book: true stories, brief or not-so-brief, from people who have had their lives changed by the Rosary, or who have experienced a powerful intervention of Our Lady through the Rosary--the more specific, the better. (References pointing me to such stories already in print, or to historical testimonies, would also be welcome.)

I don't need for people to write the stories; I simply want them to tell me in an email what happened, and I will write them up. There would be no financial remuneration for submitting a story, but if it were used in the book, folks would have the pleasure of sharing it, reading about it in print (I already have the contract), and knowing they were helping others to rediscover this Catholic treasure.

Would you be willing to post this as an item on your blog? Readers who have stories to share can email them to me at

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Friday, January 17, 2003

Another Site for Catholic News

CatholicNexus, Global Catholic News Headlines
Daily Meditations

I continue to post daily meditations on the readings here.  Since I'll be on the road for a few days next week, I will probably post a few days ahead of time over the weekend.

"Michael Dubruiel"

Great Article on Geoff Bodine

From the racing junky:

Bodine continued doing things his way. Which didn't sit well the with monarchy known as NASCAR. To make matters worse, Bodine won and won during the next few years. In 1986, he captured the Super Bowl of auto racing trophy. He won the Daytona 500. But when Geoffrey went back to Daytona last year (where he finished 3rd, by the way) he went to museum. While watching the film of all the past Daytona 500 winners and waiting for his turn on the film, something strange happened. It skipped right over 1986. When Geoffrey went to the offices for a visit he noticed something else strange. Lining the walls were all the past Daytona 500 winners. Guess whose was absent? Yep, Geoffrey's. Coincidence? Probably not. Remember the "or else" part? NASCAR didn't return calls to comment on the above.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003


Turns out the Stella Awards posted below are an urban legend. See Stella Awards: Decidedly NOT the Stellas

I apologize for posting what a friend had sent along to me. Thanks to Nancy Nall for pointing out my ignorance.
Speed Traps Anyone?

From The Ledger:

When I first arrived in Florida some twenty-six years ago I was warned of this speed trap. I never was ticketed because I went way under the speed limit through this town which I passed through a thousand times. But there was almost always some one pulled over usually from out of state.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Sad News from St. Meinrad

Father Cyril Vrablic has died.

I used to work with Father Cyril and always enjoyed him both personally and as a priest. Please remember him and his family in your prayers.
Other Template was too Messed Up

I had to change back to this template the other one was messing up too often.
What the Capuchins are putting in the Solanus Casey Center

From the

Contreras' work is not easily confused with traditional church art, nor does it have stereotypical images of American Indians. There are no bows or feathers in his stylized pieces.

"Spirit of the Earth" will be installed at the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles this fall. The bronze piece has already been cast in a Mexican foundry.

"Sister Mother Earth" will be installed later this year at the Solanus Casey Center in Detroit. Contreras was putting the finishing touches on its design last week to prepare it for the foundry.

It is nice for the Capuchins to support the work of this fine artist. I just wonder why a Native American theme is the choice for an Irish friar? Ever since the Vatican II a certian group of religious in this country seem to prefer to pray to the four winds rather than the Judeo-Christian God. I have witnessed this time and time again and it mystifies me. When I go to American Indian sites in the U.S. and Canada I expect to find Native American art, but when I go to Roman Catholic churches I expect to find Catholic art--of Christian themes not of "mother earth" or "spirit earth."

Monday, January 13, 2003

Prep Sports pays better these days...

LeBron James is driving a Hummer

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that James, a senior at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, was given the vehicle as an 18th birthday present by his mother, Gloria.

The SUV is outfitted with three televisions and a hookup for computer games. Gloria James obtained a bank loan to finance the purchase, the paper said, quoting anonymous sources close to the team.

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Jesus Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium

I've been reading this book for the past several days and just noticed the title. It is very deceptive. The book is written by a scholar who basically argues that Jesus was an apocalyptist who believed that God was about to intervene in history and turn everything upside down. Later when this didn't happen Jesus disciples wrote the gospels and cleaned up Jesus' works.

I'm reading it because he neatly gathers all of the references to the kingdom and parousia in one place. He argues to support his premise but it is amazing that as you read the passages you rediscover the part of the gospel that has been ignored for the last forty years and was responsible for people leaving everything to follow Jesus.

Wednesday, January 8, 2003

Mamie Mobley Till Dies

Mamie Mobley, 81, Dies; Son, Emmett Till, Slain in 1955

There may be some of you who are unfamiliar with the story of Emmet Till. Emmett was the fourteen year old son of a Chicago woman who went down to Mississipi to spend some time with his uncle in the summer of 1955. His mother had warned him that he had to be careful, but he was young and playful. He whistled a white woman, who later told her husband. The husband and his brother kidnapped Till from his uncle's house and three days later Emmet's body was found. He had been tortured and horribly beaten.

When Mamie came down for the funeral she insisted that the coffin remain open. For three days over 50,000 people filed past the coffin, as Mamie said most needed assistance to be carried away from it so great was the horror. JET magazine published the photo of Emmett's body on the cover of its magazine. The two men were tried and acquited by a jury of white people. Later they published their confession in LOOK magazine.

Till's death was one of them major flash points that led to the civil rights movement becoming a national movement. Mamie Till Mobley always kept her son's story in the forefront so that his death would not be in vain.
Grassroots Renewal Project

For those interested in participating in a positive program of renewal in the Catholic Church. Check out the Grassroots Renewal Project. They offer free CD's with great teaching and encouragement.

Monday, January 6, 2003

Next Book...

I've decided that my next book will be..."When the Son of Man Comes"

I'll offer it to Our Sunday Visitor first but if they don't want it I'm open to offers from other publishers.

The book will deal with questions surrounding the Second Coming of Christ both from Scripture and the Fathers of the Church.

Well, I was going to be 2-0 again but both games miraculously turned around in the last minutes. hmmm

Sunday, January 5, 2003

"Who picked the Falcons?"

Asked Al Michaels last night. You ole faithful reader know the answer.

I see two more upsets today.

2-0 yesterday.

Saturday, January 4, 2003

Picks for this weekend...

Jets in a close win over the Colts...

Falcons in an upset over the Packers...

Browns in a close win over the Steelers...

Giants in a blowout over the 49-ers.
The Ohio State University--National Champions in College Football

Congratulations to Ohio State. I thought they would win but I know that anyone who follows sports will question how they ultimately won. Officiating played a crucial role in extending the game but I thought the call the official made in overtime was the correct one. Ohio State of course would never have been in overtime if they had been more conservative in the first half and kicked a field goal on fourth down and less conservative in the second half when big "mo" was on their side.

Thursday, January 2, 2003

Candidates for the annual Stella Awards

The Stella's are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonalds. That case inspired the Stella awards for the most frivolous successful lawsuits in the United States. The following are this year's candidates:

(Thanks to my friend Hank Morgan for sending these along)

1. K R of Austin, Texas, was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little toddler was Ms. R's son.

2. A 19-year-old C T of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a

Honda Accord. Mr. T apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his

neighbor's hub caps.

3. T D of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't reenter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, and Mr.D found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of $500,000.

4.J W of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his

next door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. The award was less than sought because the jury

felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. W who was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

5.A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay A C of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500 after she slipped on a soft

drink and broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms. C had thrown it at her boyfriend 30

seconds earlier during an argument.

6.K W of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the

bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms. W was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.

7. This year's favorite could easily be Mr. M G of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mr. G purchased a brand new

32-foot Winnebago motor home. On his first trip home, having driven onto the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and

calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly, the RV left the freeway, crashed

and overturned. Mr. G sued Winnebago for not advising him in the owner's manual that he couldn't actually do this. The

jury awarded him $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in

case there were any other complete morons buying their recreation vehicles.
Don't use these:

Banished Words for 2003
Twentieth Anniversary of Al Gore's founding of the Internet Happy 20th birthday to the internet
First Baby of 2003 has Two Moms

A New Year's Baby With an Additional Difference: 2 Moms (
A Story Neglected by the Press in the U.S.A.

Yahoo! News - Cameraman flies over cyclone-hit South Pacific island; reports devastation

Cyclone Zoe, packing winds of up to 360 kph (225 mph), hit Tikopia and Anuta islands in the Solomon Islands on Sunday. It wiped out communications and made initial damage assessment impossible. There was no word on possible casualties.

"Every tree on the island has been blown over or shredded, the island is completely denuded of vegetation," Geoff Mackley reported on his Web site after flying over Tikopia.

"Almost every building has been damaged, a few remain intact, while others have been shredded, and the sea has come through some villages, burying them," he added.