Friday, December 31, 2004

Justin DuVall Elected Archabbot at Saint Meinrad

From Saint Meinrad :: News:

"The Right Reverend Justin DuVall, OSB, was elected archabbot of Saint Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, IN, by the Benedictine monks of the community on Friday, December 31, 2004. He becomes the ninth abbot and sixth archabbot in the community's 150-year history, succeeding Archabbot Lambert Reilly, OSB, who announced in the spring that he would resign the position on December 15.

Archabbot Justin, 53, is a native of Toledo, Ohio. He came to Saint Meinrad as a college seminary student in 1969. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in French in 1973 and a Master of Divinity degree in 1978."

End the Year on a Good Note

Donate to Catholic Relief Services to aid the victims of the terrible disaster in Asia.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Freddy Jesus Named Bishop of Los Teques

From the Vatican:

The Holy Father appointed Bishop Freddy Jesus Fuenmayor Suarez of Cabimas, Venezuela, as bishop of Los Teques (area 2,295, population 1,261,000, Catholics 1,061,000, priests 61, permanent deacons 15, religious 245), Venezuela. He succeeds Bishop Ramon Ovidio Perez Morales whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese was accepted in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Controversial Theologian Dies

From Catholic World News : Controversial theologian Jacques Dupuis dies at 81:

"Father Jacques Dupuis, the controversial Jesuit theologian whose work drew a rebuke from the Vatican in 2001, has died at the age of 81.

Father Dupuis had been editor of the theological journal Gregorianum , and a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Interfaith Dialogue. He had lived in India and taught in Delhi from 1958 through 1984, and his theological work, with its emphasis on the shared insights of major world religions, has been heavily influential in the discussion of 'inculturation' in Asia. The Belgian theologian died in a hospital in Rome on December 28, reportedly of a cerebral hemorrhage. In February 2001, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a formal note cautioning against the arguments found in one of Dupuis's works, Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism , which had been published in 1997. In a 4-page document, the Vatican pointed to serious 'ambiguities' and 'difficulties' in the theologian's thought, particularly his failure to affirm the unique and necessary role of Jesus Christ and his Church in the work of salvation. "

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Monks to Elect New Abbot on New Year's Eve

From Jubilee Criterion Page:

"On Dec. 31, the Benedictine monks of Saint Meinrad Archabbey will elect a new archabbot, only the ninth monk to hold the office in the 150-year history of the monastery.

Benedictine Archabbot Lambert Reilly, elected by the community nearly 10 years ago, announced his resignation on April 30. The resignation took effect on Dec. 15.

Abbots of the Benedictine monasteries in the Swiss-American Congregation, of which Saint Meinrad Archabbey is a member, do not have set terms but may serve in that office until death or they choose to resign."

Disaster mystery: No dead animals

I have a theory about this when it comes to humans. I think we share this same instinct but it is dulled because of all that we distract ourselves with in life. I base this theory on numerous experiences I've had in life where I felt I was being warned right before something happened. Often because I was in a hurry or felt something else was more important I've ignored these "feelings" and ended up suffering the consequences. The importance of the spiritual life (and I realize that much of what is touted as 'spiritual' is anything but) is that it helps us as Jesus said to "watch".

FromWorldNetDaily: Disaster mystery: No dead animals:

"According to reports out of Colombo, Sri Lankan wildlife officials are said to be stunned.

'The strange thing is we haven't recorded any dead animals,' H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of the national Wildlife Department, told Reuters. 'No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit.'

'I think animals can sense disaster,' he added. 'They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening.' "

Song that Played as We Drove to Ft. Wayne Yesterday

From Artist Biography - Red Foley:

"A great friend of Hank Williams Sr., he was ironically headlining a touring Opry show that included the young Hank Williams, Jr., when, after playing the matinee and evening shows, Foley suffered a heart attack and died in his sleep at Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA on 19 September 1968. This prompted Hank Jr., seemingly the last person to speak to him, to write and record, as Luke The Drifter, Jr., the tribute narration I Was With Red Foley (The Night He Passed Away), which charted for him in November 1968. In the song, Hank Jr. relates, that after reminiscing about the problems faced by a country singer, such as himself and Hank Sr., Red's final words were 'I'm awful tired now, Hank, I've got to go to bed'. "

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Today Michael Jacob will be baptized into our Catholic faith by a Bishop friend of mine who is visiting his mother in Ohio. We will journey there this morning to meet them...a sort of taking the child out of Indiana to Ohio...Israel to Egypt motif.

Joseph ever the wordsmith has asked "Was I bap ba tized too?"

"Yes" we tell him, "that is why you have to go to Church every Sunday. Now your brother will have to go too." This seems to satisfy him.

Joseph was bap ba tized in a monastery in Southern Indiana.

Merry Christmas to All

During this octave of Christmas when there is some down time I hope that you find time to reflect on the meaning of God becoming one of us and coming into this world. If you attended Mass on Sunday (Feast of the Holy Family) you were confronted with what that coming of God into our world means: the Kingdom suffers violence and the violent are taking it by force.

On the same day a tragedy of mamoth proportions took place in the Pacific, thousands of human lives ended on that day, a modern slaughter of innocents at the hands not of a Herod but of nature itself. It should give us all pause to reflect on what is the meaning of life and what are we doing with whatever time we have on this planet?

For Joseph it was responding to the message of an angel in a dream. What might God be speaking to us in the subbtle messages that we barely notice?


Sorry that I haven't been posting much in the last week. I've barely been online between running around doing erands and shoveling snow. Also sorry that I dropped the ball on the Advent meditations--a work in process, I'll try to pick that up again next year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Fort Wayne Ranked Least Intelligent City in USA

News that hits close to home...

The list is in the current issue of Men's Health Magazine. I haven't seen anything about it in the local press yet (although someone will tell me if I'm wrong). I intend to email both papers a tip on the story. | News:

"Denver is one of six cities to get an A + on the 'intelligence' survey. Minneapolis, Boston, St. Paul, Seattle and San Francisco were the others.

Just a little farther south, Colorado Springs, came in ninth out of 101 cities and earned an A-. Aurora tied with Grand Rapids, MI. Both cities earned a C + and came in 45th.

Los Angeles and Kansas City also earned an A- and tied for 12th. New York City tied with Spokane, Washington and came in 32nd with a B-.

The six least intelligent cities, according to the survey, are El Paso, TX, Newark, NJ, Las Vegas, NV, Laredo, TX, Corpus Christi, TX and Fort Wayne, IN. These cities each earned an F."

More about Foucauld

From Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome:

"The Vatican officially attributed a miracle to the intercession of Charles de Foucauld, French explorer and evangelizer in the Sahara, clearing the way for his beatification.

The Congregation for Sainthood Causes promulgated a decree today, in the presence of John Paul II, in relation with the miraculous cure of a cancer sufferer in 1984.

Born in Strasbourg, France, in 1858, de Foucauld was orphaned at 6. After a brief military career, in 1883 he undertook an expedition in the Moroccan desert which won him the gold medal of the French Geographic Society. "

Monday, December 20, 2004

Pope to Declare Charles de Foucauld a Blessed

I think it is a sign of how saintly someone is that when many of you hear this you'll think "I thought he already was a saint."

Friday, December 17, 2004


A book refuting that Christianity was the invention or copycat of the pagan mystery religions...a must for every college student:


A scriptural support for the Catholic Church's teaching on sex:

Thursday, December 16, 2004

New Auxiliary for Pittsburgh

From the Vatican Information Service:

Fr. Paul J. Bradley, vicar general and moderator of the Curia of Pittsburgh, U.S.A., as auxiliary bishop of the same diocese (area 10,594, population 1,967,494, Catholics 812,078, priests 576, permanent deacons 50, religious 1,616), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1945 in McKeesport, U.S.A. and was ordained a priest in 1971.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

New Book Coming Out in March

Also Praying the Rosary will be out in hardback the same month.

Now, Gay Divorce

Why do we have to read about what is going on in Massachusetts in a Scottish online paper?

From News - International - Seven-month itch leads to first gay divorces:

"LESS than seven months after same-sex couples began tying the knot in Massachusetts, the state is seeing its first gay divorces.

Newlyweds seeking to renounce the vows they so recently took have been trickling into probate courts across the state, filling out obsolete forms that still read 'husband' and 'wife'.

Josh Friedes, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Freedom To Marry Coalition, said the rapid divorces are no cause for concern.

'It would be wonderful if every marriage lasted until a couple lived to a ripe old age, but unfortunately we know from our heterosexual peers that all too often there are irreconcilable differences, and divorce is often the most humane option,' Friedes said. 'Anyone who argues that gay and lesbian couples divorcing is grounds for opposing gay marriage is being incredibly hypocritical.' "

Holy Water-Gate!

Documentary in the works...Holy Water-Gate: Abuse Cover-Up in the Catholic Church

Church Archtecture Site Called "Judgemental"

Critical letter by priest posted on the site...Church architecture - Architettura della chiesa

Vatican Will Release Document on Homesexuals and the Priesthood in 2005

From CNS STORY: Vatican firms up plans for U.S. seminary visitation in 2005:

"Sometime before the process begins next fall, the Vatican expects to publish a long-awaited and potentially controversial document on whether candidates with homosexual inclinations should be admitted to the priesthood.

The document on homosexuality has been in the works for more than five years. An early draft of the document took the position that homosexuals should not be admitted to the priesthood; in its current form, the document takes a more nuanced approach to the whole issue, sources said."

Monday, December 13, 2004

Statue Vandalized at Knoxville Church

From WBIR-TV, Knoxville, TN:

"The statue of the Virgin Mary with a baby Jesus in her arms stood in front of the Knoxville Diocese since September of 2003.

It was installed to celebrate a church anniversary. Now, the statue is tarnished with an upside red cross.

'We were suprised this morning by a disturbing act of vandalism and we really don't know why something like this would have happened,' says Father Vann Johnston of the Diocese.

Parts of the Jesus were destroyed and thrown in through the front door. The violence quickly became the topic of the Sunday sermon.

'To wake up and find an image of Jesus broken, it's a reminder I think our world is still broken and needs a lot of healing,' says Johnston.

The vandals hit on a very holy day for catholics, it's the third Sunday of Advent."

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Mass Marks 25th Anniversary of Archbishop Sheen's Death

I received a personal invitation to attend this and was saddened that I was unable to...I wish I had known that it was going to be televised live on EWTN. I have a humble site devoted to Archbishop Sheen that you can access from my links page on my homepage. I also will send free holy cards with prayers for his intercession and canonization to anyone who sends a self-addressed envelope to me.

From CNS STORY: New York Mass marks 25th anniversary of Archbishop Sheen's death:

"Family, friends and admirers of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen gathered at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York Dec. 9 for a Mass marking the 25th anniversary of his death.

In the homily Msgr. John E. Kozar, who as national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith holds a post the archbishop once did, said those participating in the Mass had come together to 'celebrate his legacy' and 'pray for the cause of his canonization.'

The Mass was sponsored by the Propagation of the Faith office and the Sheen Foundation, and carried live on Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network.

Archbishop Sheen died in New York, and although a sainthood cause is normally initiated where the individual dies, the Archdiocese of New York deferred to the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., because the archbishop was born and ordained there. The cause was opened in 2002."

Friday, December 10, 2004

Recognise Faults, Rise Again, Pope tells U.S. Church

From Reuters AlertNet - Recognise faults, rise again, Pope tells U.S. Church:

"'Can we not see in the pain and scandal of recent years both a sign of the times and a providential call to conversion and deeper fidelity to the demands of the Gospel?,' the Pope asked.

'In the life of each believer and the life of the whole Church, a sincere examination of conscience and the recognition of failure is always accompanied by renewed confidence in the healing power of God's grace and a summons to press on to what lies ahead,' he said."

Thursday, December 9, 2004

New Bishops for Atlanta and Wheeling

From the Vatican Information Service:

- Appointed Bishop Wilton Daniel Gregory of Belleville, U.S.A., as metropolitan archbishop of Atlanta (area 55,521, population 5,752,854, Catholics 367,472, priests 237, permanent deacons 50, religious 179), U.S.A. The archbishop-elect was born in Chicago, U.S.A., in 1947 and was ordained a priest in 1973. He succeeds Archbishop John Francis Donoghue whose resignation the Holy Father accepted upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Msgr. Michael J. Bransfield, rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C., as bishop of Wheeling-Charleston (area 62,866, population 1,801,916, Catholics 83,325, priests 170, permanent deacons 32, religious 334), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in 1943 in Philadelphia, U.S.A. and was ordained a priest in 1971. He succeeds Bishop Bernard William Schmidt whose resignation the Holy Father accepted upon having reached the age limit.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Mockery of Feast Ad Withdrawn

From News:

"A Christmas campaign for an 'immaculate contraception' morning-after birth control pill has been scrapped by a drug company in Britain after causing offence on religious grounds.

The poster, which appeared on London Underground trains, asked: 'Immaculate contraception? If only.'

'It might be Christmas time,' it read, 'but condoms still split and pills still get forgotten. So if your contraception lets you down, ask your pharmacist for Levonelle One Step.' "

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Faith and Communion

This is an example of why the pope is saying that we need to keep faith and praxis together. This piece attacking Bishop Robert Baker's position is an example of the confusion that exists out there. What does it mean to go to communion?

When you get down to it the common view doesn't even fit the "club" mentality for you would presume if you are a member of a club that you agree with the club's membership requirements. What I think is at issue for most Catholics who fantasize that communion is being used as a weapon by some bishops is their notion that "communion" has nothing to do with Communion--that we are free to remain individuals with our own opinions about everything and then just present ourselves at the take-out rail for Jesus--without any conversion on our part!

I write in my Advent Meditations today about searching out for the lost who Jesus says will perish if they are not brought back into the fold. In some cases we haven't done enough to seek out the lost, in other cases we haven't done enough to make some people aware that they are lost.

From The State | 12/07/2004 | Politics and communion

My friend Yvonne walked out of a Catholic church in Charleston and slammed the very heavy door behind her recently. The priest just had told the congregation that worshipers voting for candidates who support abortion rights should not receive communion, although he didn’t propose a Profession of Vote.

Charleston is my hometown, and I usually attend Mass there six or so times a year with my sister and her family. I was in Charleston the week after Yvonne’s exodus, and we commiserated about the latest twist in the Catholic church’s bumpy political ride.

It was my first trip back home since the bishop of Charleston, Robert Baker, announced that politicians who support abortion rights could not receive communion in South Carolina.

Pope to U.S. "No Separation Between Faith and Practice"

From the Vatican Information Service:

"Lay men and women," said the Holy Father, "must be encouraged, through sound catechesis and continuing formation, to recognize the distinctive dignity and mission which they have received in Baptism and to embody in all their daily activities an integrated approach to life which finds its inspiration and strength from the Gospel. This means that the laity must be trained to distinguish clearly between their rights and duties as members of the Church and those which they have as members of human society, and encouraged to combine the two harmoniously, recognizing (as stated in "Lumen Gentium) that 'in every temporal affair they are to be guided by their Christian conscience, since there is no human activity - even of the temporal order - that can be withdrawn from God's dominion'."

The Pope underscored that "a clear and authoritative reaffirmation of these fundamental principles of the lay apostolate will help to overcome the serious pastoral problems created by a growing failure to understand the Church's binding obligation to remind the faithful of their duty in conscience to act in accordance with her authoritative teaching. There is urgent need for a comprehensive catechesis on the lay apostolate which will necessarily highlight the importance of a properly formed conscience, the intrinsic relationship between freedom and moral truth, and the grave duty incumbent upon each Christian to work to renew and perfect the temporal order in accordance with the values of God's Kingdom. While fully respecting the legitimate separation of Church and State in American life, such a catechesis must also make clear that for the faithful Christian there can be no separation between the faith which is to be believed and put into practice and a commitment to full and responsible participation in professional, political and cultural life."

He encouraged the bishops "to foster among the laity a shared sense of responsibility for the life and mission of the Church" which, when "rooted in the principles of a sound ecclesiology," will ensure genuine collaboration "without the danger of distorting this relationship by the uncritical importation of categories and structures drawn from secular life."

The Curt Jester

The Curt Jester

Monday, December 6, 2004

Immaculate Conception Parish in Jacksonville Celebrates 150 Years

One of the most beautiful churches in the south...

From Metro: Church thrives as it marks 150 years 12/06/04:

"With its imposing white limestone construction and Gothic design, twin steeples, pipe organ, vaulted ceilings, marble pillars, life-like statuary and bigger-than-life stained glass windows, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in downtown Jacksonville is a lot to take in.

'It's overwhelming compared to a normal church, at least in the beginning,' said Curt Crossley, 47, a parishioner at St. Patrick Catholic Church on the Northside.

A city employee who works downtown, Crossley attends Mass at Immaculate Conception during his lunch hour at least once a week because it's convenient. While he emphasizes that a church is its people, not its building, sometimes it's hard not to admire the structure itself. "

Feast of Saint Nicholas

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Saint Nicholas ::: Who is St. Nicholas?

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Saturday, December 4, 2004

Gator's Get Pope Urban

From Florida Gators: Ute movement 12/04/04:

"Utah's Urban Meyer has agreed to become the next coach at the University of Florida, choosing the Gators over Notre Dame, several sources told the Times-Union on Friday.

Meyer's salary package is expected to be in excess of $2 million annually, according to a Utah source. Another report said the deal is a seven-year, $14 million package.

Neither Utah nor Florida officials issued a confirmation of the hiring on Friday, but Meyer's older sister, Cincinnati resident Gigi Escoe, did. She said she spoke with Meyer on Friday afternoon and congratulated him.

'I don't question him at all [about choosing UF over Notre Dame],' she said. 'He did exactly the right thing. He had two wonderful choices. Those opportunities were amazing.' "

Pope's Message to Catholic Journalists

From Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome:

"'To be able to carry out your mission fully, pay attention first of all that you yourselves are not lacking the necessary spiritual food of prayer and of an intense sacramental life,' he said.

'Be concerned as well with enriching your ethical and cultural formation, so that your convictions are kept in harmony with the Gospel and are not diverted by the prevailing pernicious tendencies of a certain modern culture,' the Pope added."

Friday, December 3, 2004

Fox Resigns as Publisher of NCR (Reporter not Register)

From News - Catholic News Agency:

"The longtime editor and publisher of the National Catholic Reporter resigned Sept. 29, citing "professional and personal reasons."

Thomas C. Fox was at the newspaper for 25 years, holding the post of editor for 17 years and publisher for eight. His resignation will take effect Jan.1. The board of directors accepted Fox's resignation Nov. 13, and they named associate publisher Rita Larivee, a Sister of St. Anne, his successor.

The 60-year-old?s resignation comes unexpectedly at a time when the liberal newspaper is responding to the defeat of Senator John Kerry, the candidate NCR supported during the presidential campaign. "

From the Relapsed Catholic

Great title!

Sounds like a "must have"...

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Hint: If He Turns Blue He Probably Isn't "Slain in the Spirit"

This ties in well with my meditation for today at The Day Shall Dawn (Advent/Christmas Meditations posted daily):


"In the midst of a 'Holy Spirit' revival meeting at Full Gospel Temple Saturday night, Barry Munrow, 58, suffered a heart attack and went unnoticed for three hours because dozens of people were 'slain in the Spirit' around him.

'I thought he was overcome by the power of God,' says associate pastor Kevin Toomey, 35, who saw Munrow fall into the aisle during the visiting evangelist's sixth impassioned altar call. An usher laid a modesty cloth over Munrow and various people prayed for him throughout the evening. The evangelist came by at one point and touched Munrow's forehead and said, 'More, Lord. Fill him up.'

But at 11 p.m., when the service wound down, people noticed that Munrow had not moved for at least two hours. They also noticed he was blue. "

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Daily Advent Meditations

Just a reminder that I am posting daily advent meditations here.

Also if you are looking for a personalized gift for Christmas, Amy and I would be happy to autograph a book personally and send it out to you in time for the holidays. You can look at the options here.

Gator's Bound for Peach Bowl

Will play either Miami or Virginia Tech (depending upon who wins the ACC) on Dec. 31st in Atlanta.

Priests Who are Heroes

Named by Michael Brown at Spirit Daily - Daily spiritual news from around the world:

"They are out there, these heroes. They are men like Father Bill McCarthy and Father Joe Whalen of Connecticut and Father Robert Altieri in Indiana, they are in there eighties like Father Donnan still plugging away out near Santa Fe. They are men with names like Sylvia and McFadden They are bishops with names like Galeone and Aquila and Curtiss. They are men with names like Woyjtila."