Saturday, October 25, 2008

10 Reasons the Church is Not WalMart

Upon this Rock

This is an excellent post written by Fr. Philip. I've been wanting to find time to share it with you and today I finally found the time. Please read.
I had a much longer piece, but I scrapped it for something a lot shorter and more to the point.

1). The Roman Catholic Church isn't WalMart or Burger King; it's the Body of Christ.

2). Catholic priests, nuns, sisters/brothers and laity aren't employees; we are members of the Body of Christ.

3). The doctrine and dogma of the Catholic Church are not consumer products that the Church's employees sell to those who want them; Catholic doctrine and dogma express the unchanging truth of the faith.

4). Life in a Catholic parish is not a trip to Disney Land or Target or McDonald's where your consumer needs and whims are catered to by the whimpering clergy and lay staff; parish life is the life of Christ for the local Catholic family.

5). You do not come into the Catholic Church b/c you like the building better than you like the Methodist chapel; or because the priest at the Catholic parish is cuter than the Baptist preacher; or because you heard that the homilies are shorter at St. Bubba's by the Lake than they are at the Unitarian Church. You come into the Catholic Church because you believe that the Catholic faith is the truth of the gospel taught by Christ himself and given to his apostles.

6). Leaving the Catholic Church because a priest was mean to you, or because sister whacked you with a ruler, or because the church secretary looked at you funny is as stupid as giving up on the truths of math because you hate your high school algebra teacher. Why would anyone let a crazy priest or a cranky nun or anyone else for the matter drive you out of the faith you believe is true? My only conclusion: you never thought it was true to begin with; or, you have a favorite sin the Church teaches against and crazy priests and cranky nuns is as good an excuse as any to leave and pursue your sin all the while feeling justified b/c Father and/or Sister are such jerks.

7). Anyone who comes in the Catholic Church thinking that they will find clouds of angels at Mass dressed as parishioners; hordes of perfect saints kneeling for communion; seminaries packed with angelic young men burning to be priests; a parish hall stacked to the ceiling with morally pure people eager to serve; and a priest without flaw or blemish, well, you're cracked and you probably need to go back and try again. Telling Catholics that they aren't perfect makes as much sense as telling fish they're wet. We know already. Move on.

8). Of the hundreds of priests and religious I know, I know two who could count as saints right now. The rest of us are deeply flawed, impure, struggling creatures who know all too well that we fail utterly to meet the basic standards of holiness. For that matter: so do you. Get in line.

9). The Catholic Church owes no one a revision of her doctrine or dogma. She didn't change to save most of Europe from becoming Protestant, why would you imagine that she would change just to get you in one of her parishes?

10). If you want to become Catholic, do it. But do it because you think the Church teaches the true faith. If a cranky priest on a blogsite is enough to keep you from embracing the truth of the faith, then two things are painfully clear: 1) you do not believe the Church teaches the faith; 2) and you care more about expresssing your hurt consumer feelings than you do for your immortal soul.

Fr. Philip, OP

UPDATE: Yes, I am a priest, and a huge part of my ministry is to console, to be present, to advise, and to try my best to shine out the light of Christ. As a Dominican friar, I do all of that first and best by telling the truth! The best pastoral approach is always to tell the truth, so please, forget the notion that "to be pastoral" is somehow opposed to "telling the truth" or "teaching the faith."

New Catholic Site - Catholic iPod and other New Sites


For a few weeks now I have been revising and updating the sidebar's blog links and website links. If you have a chance check out the sidebar's newest additions.

Here is one I am adding today Catholic iPod

Apologetics - Faith Alone vs. Faith and Works

Shared by Barb.

Parental Rights - Pastor charged with felony for spanking son

Thanks to Shana for sharing the following story:

WorldNetDaily - Pastor charged with felony for spanking son

Reminder - Tomorrow is Priesthood Sunday

Priesthood Sunday

Pray for Our priests!

Prolife Movie - Come What May

You can watch it free. Click Advent Film Website for details.

H/T to Heather

Mary Defends Souls Who Invoke Her

Stella Maris

When They Are Tempted by the Devil
Taken from The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus de Liguori

Not only is the most Blessed Virgin Queen of Heaven and of all saints, but She is also Queen of hell and of all evil spirits; for She overcame them valiantly by Her virtues. From the very beginning God foretold the victory and empire that our Queen would one day obtain over the serpent, when He announced that a woman should come into the world to conquer him: I will put enmities between thee and the Woman — She shall crush thy head.

Who could this woman, his enemy, be, but Mary, who by Her fair humility and holy life always conquered him and beat down his strength? The Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ was promised in the person of that woman, as it is remarked by St. Cyprian, and after him another ancient writer; and therefore God did not say, "I place," but "I will place"; lest He might seem to refer to Eve: meaning that God said, I will place enmities between thee and the Woman, to signify that the serpent’s opponent was not to be Eve, who was then living, but would be another woman descending from her, and who, as St. Vincent Ferrer observes, "would bring our first parents far greater advantages than those which they had lost by their sin." Mary, then, was this great and valiant woman, who conquered the devil and crushed his head by bringing down his pride, as it was foretold by God Himself: She shall crush thy head. Some doubt as to whether these words refer to Mary, or whether they do not rather refer to Jesus Christ; for the Septuagint renders them, He shall crush thy head. But in the Vulgate, which alone was approved of by the sacred Council of Trent, we find She, and not He; and thus it was understood by St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and a great many others. However, be it as it may, it is certain that either the Son by means of the Mother, or the Mother by means of the Son, has overcome Lucifer; so that, as St. Bernard remarks, this proud spirit, in spite of himself, was beaten down and trampled under foot by this most Blessed Virgin; so that, as a slave conquered in war, he is forced always to obey the commands of this Queen. "Beaten down and trampled under the feet of Mary, he endured a wretched slavery." St. Bruno says "that Eve was the cause of death," by allowing herself to be overcome by the serpent, "but that Mary," by conquering the devil, "restored life to us."

And She bound him in such a way that this enemy cannot stir so as to do the least injury to any of Her clients.

Shared by Sue

Friday, October 24, 2008

St. Paul Online Game

St. Paul
A big mahalo to Easter for posting this fun game

In the Footsteps of St. Paul

The Rosary is Anchored in Scripture

EWTN News Article

Humor Break - Three Thoughts to Ponder

Shared by Jim via email.

Three thoughts to ponder.

1. Cows
2. The Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments

Cows - Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that, when investigating Mad Cow disease, our government can track a single cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington?
And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate the 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

The Constitution - They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq . Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

The Ten Commandments - The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this: You cannot post 'Thou Shalt Not Steal,' 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,' and 'Thou Shall Not Lie' on a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians.
It creates a hostile work environment.

Fine Art Friday - Jean-François Millet

Jean Francois Millet
Portrait of the Artist

The Angelus
The Angelus

Woman Sewing by Lamplight
The Sewer

The Knitting Lesson
The Knitting Lesson

The Sower
The Sower

The Spinner
The Spinner

The Gleaners
The Gleaners

Feeding the Young
Feeding the Young

Jean-François Millet (October 4, 1814 – January 20, 1875) was a French painter and one of the founders of the Barbizon school in rural France. He is noted for his scenes of peasant farmers. He can be categorized as part of the movement termed "naturalism", but also as part of the movement of "realism".
Source Wikipedia

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Election Prayers

Picture source America Needs Fatima
An Election Prayer to Mary

O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, at this most critical time, we entrust the United States of America to your loving care. Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your Son. Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection. Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people. Open our minds to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilities that accompany human freedom. Free us from the falsehoods that lead to the evil of abortion and threaten the sanctity of family life. Grant our country the wisdom to proclaim that God's law is the foundation on which this nation was founded, and that He alone is the True Source of our cherished rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and the strength to build a new Culture of Life.

Trusting in your most powerful intercession, we pray…

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To thee do we come, before thee we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in thy mercy
hear and answer us. Amen.


Ever-faithful God, we consecrate the 2008 U.S. presidential election and our entire nation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Loving Mother, Patroness and Protectress of the Americas.

We ask that You take our Nation into Your Loving Care, reach into the hearts of the electorate, and give them the strength and enlightenment to know your Will, and to exercise Your Will in their vote.

Abba, Father, Thy Will Be Done!

Thanks to Sue for these prayers.

Bishop Serratelli - "No Right to Life, No Freedom"

Bishop Serratelli
The Catholic League has reported that Americans United for Separation of Church and State's Barry Lynn has complained about Bishop Arthur Serratelli's pastoral letter to the IRS. Maybe that is the reason the Bishop's article has not been available online from the Diocese of Paterson, NJ's website. BTW, did you know that the worse thing you can be in New Jersey is a snitch? Anyway, I found the bishop's letter at Catholic Online and am posting it here in case it has been removed permanently from the Diocese of Paterson's webiste:

PATERSON, N.J. (The Diocese of Paterson) - After committing a murder in Rome, the famous 17th century Italian painter Caravaggio went to Malta to avoid the death penalty. While there, the Great Master of the Order of the Knights of Malta commissioned him to do a painting for the chapel of the Co-Cathedral of St. John in Valletta. Caravaggio chose as his theme the martyrdom of John the Baptist. He produced The Beheading of St. John, his largest work, the only one he ever signed. No doubt the scene touched him personally.

Herod was married to Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. Because John the Baptist preached against this sin, he incurred the hatred of Herod’s wife. The day her daughter Salome delighted Herod with her seductive dance, Herodias had her make Herod promise to kill John the Baptist. Within the severe architecture of a 16th century prison, Caravaggio vividly depicts the grisly moment when Herod kept his promise.

Caravaggio’s work, considered his greatest masterpiece, immortalizes the misguided fidelity of a ruler to his gruesome promise. With the stroke of the soldier’s sword, John dies and so does freedom. Freedom is based on the truth of the human person as created by God and protected by his law.When a ruler can decide against God’s law, true freedom is sentenced to death.

Recently, a politician made a promise. Politicians usually do. If this politician fulfills his promise, not only will many of our freedoms as Americans be taken from us, but the innocent and vulnerable will spill their blood.

On April 18, 2007, in Gonzales v. Carhart, The Supreme Court upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. The very next day prominent Democratic members of Congress reintroduced the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). The bill is misleadingly packaged as a freedom bill. It is not! It is a clear act of unreasoned bias to end abruptly and brutally the debate on the pressing and fundamental moral issue of the right to life.

For thirty-five years, Americans have been wrestling with The Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion in Roe v. Wade. Most Americans now favor some kind of a ban on abortion. Most who allow abortion would do so only in very rare cases. In fact, in January, 2008, the Guttmacher Institute published its 14th census of abortion providers in the country. Its statistics showed that the abortion rate continues to decline. Abortions have reached their lowest level since 1974. There is truly a deep sensitivity to life in the soul of America.

The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) would mortally wound this sensitivity. In effect, it would dismantle the freedom of choice to do all that is necessary to respect and protect human life at its most vulnerable stage. FOCA goes far beyond guaranteeing the right to an abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. It arrogantly prohibits any law or policy interfering with that right. While advocates trumpet this law as the triumph of the freedom of choice, they hide the dark reality that the law would actually inhibit choice.

Laws protecting the rights of nurses, doctors and hospitals with moral objections to abortion would no longer stand. Health and safety regulations for abortion clinics would also vanish. Gone the freedom of health care professionals to be faithful to the Hippocratic Oath “to prescribe regimens for the good of …patients…and never do harm to anyone, to please no one [by prescribing] a deadly drug nor [by giving] advice which may cause his death.” Gone the freedom of conscience so essential for a civil society!

If a minority of avid abortionists succeed to impose this law because of the ignorance or apathy of the majority, the law would force taxpayers to fund abortions. Gone the freedom of taxation with representation!

In its 1992 Casey decision, The Supreme Court ruled as constitutional state laws requiring that women and young girls who seek an abortion receive information on the development of the child in the womb as well as alternatives to abortion. The ruling also determined that a period of waiting, usually 24 or 48 hours before making a decision about an abortion is not an undue burden. The Freedom of Choice Act would nullify these laws immediately. Gone the freedom of women and young girls to have all the information they need to make their own choices!

In about half of the States, there are parental notification or consent laws in effect for minors seeking an abortion. The Supreme Court has ruled that these laws are permitted under Roe v. Wade. With the stroke of a pen, these laws would be abolished. Gone the freedom of parents to care for and protect their children and grandchildren!

Advocates of FOCA redefine a woman’s “health” so as to expressly permit post-viability abortions. Thus, a child who survives an abortion can be left to die for the health of the mother. No politically correct word ...

can mask this reality for what it is. This is infanticide. Gone the freedom for a baby, once born, to live!

Science does not dispute that the child in the womb already has all the characteristics that he or she will develop after birth. Notwithstanding, abortionists obstinately refuse the right of the child within the womb to live as a fundamental human right. They are not happy that Americans have not swallowed their distorted propaganda that denies the dignity of the human person from the first moment of conception.

Pro-abortion advocates close their eyes to the fact that abortion even hurts women as it undermines the very fabric of our society. Their zeal for the Freedom of Choice Act sounds the alarm for decent Americans to wake up! The more the right to life is denied, the more we lose our freedoms. The “pro-choice” movement is not pro-choice. It stands against the freedom to choose what is right according to the truth of the human person.

In 2002, as an Illinois legislator, the present democratic candidate voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act. This law was meant to protect a baby that survived a late-term abortion. When the same legislation came up in the Judiciary Committee on which he served, he held to his opposition. First, he voted “present.” Next, he voted “no.”

Along with 108 members of Congress, the present democratic candidate for President continues his strong support for the Freedom of Choice Act. In a speech before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund last year, he made the promise that the first thing he would do as President would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. What a choice for a new President!

At the time when Herod murdered John the Baptist because of his promise, Rome practiced the principle "one man, one vote." Whoever the emperor in Rome placed in authority over a subject people, ruled. Today we live in a democracy. We choose our leaders who make our laws. Every vote counts. Today, either we choose to respect and protect life, especially the life of the child in the womb of the mother or we sanction the loss of our most basic freedoms. At this point, we are still free to choose!

Judgment Day is on its way

Bishop Hermann
Bishop Hermann: ‘I thought you should know’
Judgment Day is on its way

by Bishop Robert J. Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator

Judgment Day is on its way. We cannot stop it. We don’t know when it will come, but just as surely as the sun rises daily, the Son of Man will come when we least expect.

Judgment Day is on its way. For many, this coming election may very well be judgment day, for this election will measure us. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us in 10:32-33: "Everyone who acknowledges Me before others, I will acknowledge before My heavenly Father. But whoever denies Me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father."

Judgment Day is on its way. When my time comes, I will be measured by my Savior for the decisions I have made. I will either be acknowledged by Jesus or denied by Him in the presence of our heavenly Father. The question I need to ask myself is this: What kind of witness will I give to Him when I go into the voting booth this election day?

The decision I make in the voting booth will reflect my value system. If I value the good of the economy and my current lifestyle more than I do the right to life itself, then I am in trouble. Pope John Paul II, in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Christifideles laici tells us: "Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights — for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture — is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination."

The right of our children to be protected from destruction is greater than my right to a thriving economy. I am living proof of this, since I am here because my parents believed this priority and lived it. My desire for a good economy cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion. My desire to end the war in Iraq cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion.

My parents got married about one year before the stock market crash of 1929, and yet they raised 15 children in the midst of the Great Depression. They had no money. My mother made her own wedding gown and her own bouquet of flowers. I have my parents’ wedding picture on the wall of my office, and I am reminded every day of the sacrifices they made for life.

We had no money, but we had each other! My parents were at home with us for three meals every day. We had plenty to eat because we raised almost all of our food. We seldom got new clothes, but we wore hand-me-downs, unless my mother would buy materials and make our clothes. We lived in poverty, but we learned the value of hard work. We had no running water or electricity. We had no TV, Internet or cell phone. Yet, we were very happy because we had life! We had each other! Today, all 15 children in my family of origin are most grateful for the sacrifices Mom and Dad made so that we could have life. Making sacrifices for each other brought us incredible joy and enhanced our dignity, because it gave us a chance to participate in serving each other!

In an article written by Pope John Paul I, printed in the current issue of Magnificat, the pope reflected on the life of Andrew Carnegie, who wrote: "I was born in poverty ... but I would not exchange the memories of my childhood with those of a millionaire’s children. What do they know of family joys, of the sweet figure of a mother who combines the duties of nurse, washerwoman, cook, teacher, angel and saint?" Does life get any better than this, when gifts of creativity, generosity and faith are nurtured in the midst of poverty? This is the abundant life on this earth, because it is fueled by faith and sacrifice! Perhaps this is not so much poverty as it is faith-filled luxury.

Judgment Day for us is on its way. Those 47 million children our nation destroyed are still living. We have destroyed their bodies, but their souls are still alive. When our Lord comes again, they may very well be there to judge us. Even worse, Jesus tells us that whatever we do to the least of our brethren, we do to Him. We would truly shudder if we heard the words, "I was in your my mother’s womb but you took my life!"

It is quite possible that we might see these children, but, depending upon the choices we have made, we may very well be separated from them by a great chasm which cannot be crossed, much as the rich man who ignored Lazarus, the poor man, during his lifetime here on earth but was separated from him after death. The rich man was in flames, but Lazarus was in the bosom of his heavenly Father.

The Catholic Church teaches, in its catechism, in the works of Pope John Paul II and in the writings of Pope Benedict XVI, that the issue of life is the most basic issue and must be given priority over the issue of the economy, the issue of war or any other issue. These same teachings inform us that when both candidates permit the right to abortion, but unequally so, we must chose to mitigate the evil by choosing the candidate who is less permissive of abortion.

Judgment Day is on its way! I may deny it. I may pretend that it is still far away, I may deny that my actions are sinful, but that will not change God’s judgment of me.

The deepest problem with many of our Catholics is that they have become so accustomed to rationalizing away a life of sinful actions so that they seem to be on cruise control, heading in the wrong direction. "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."

My goal is not to engage you in some political party way but to engage you with our Savior and His teachings. We need to constantly challenge our accustomed behaviors in the light of the Gospel. We may say that we are following our conscience, but are we informing our consciences with the truth about these issues? Cardinal George Pell of Australia has said that we must follow truth and our conscience, but be steeped in truth so that our consciences be rightly formed.

Perhaps having to face these issues during this coming election can turn out to be a grace that truly awakens our need to learn more about the teachings of the Catholic Church, and then to use the Sacrament of Reconciliation so that we can receive His mercy and bring our behavior into conformity with the mind and heart of Christ. It is not too late to admit our sinfulness and turn to the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. When we do this, both we and the heavens will be filled with joy!

Judgment Day is on its way. Pray your way into conformity with the teachings of Christ and His Church. Pray the family Rosary daily between now and Election Day so that you may not only make the right choice but also have the courage to discuss these issues with others who may have been misled by our materialistic culture. Include the candidates in your prayer intentions. It is my hope that our discussions will bring all of us to our knees to seek help from above.
St. Louis Review

Shared by Sue

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"On this Issue, I will Not Yield; Planned Parenthood Will Not Yield"

...from Senator Obama's own mouth.

From America's Choice Now and shared by reader Ernesto.

Priest Reverses Statement Opposing Bishops on Prop. 8

Orate Fratres - San Gabriel Mission Priest Reverses Previous Statement Opposing Bishops on Prop 8 in California

Assault on the Family

Fortify Your Faith's Emergency Broadcast - Assault on the Family

Thanks Sue!

George Soros Funding Catholic Left

Billionare George Soros is dangerous for America. He has a very liberal, socialistic agenda for the U.S.A. and he has the money to veer the country down a very bad path.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue exposes the nexus between George Soros and two left-wing Catholic groups, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United:

“In 2003, after left-wing mogul George Soros blamed Jews for anti-Semitism, the ADL branded his comments ‘obscene.’ Two years later, I accused him of anti-Catholicism when his group,, posted a picture of a smiling Pope Benedict XVI holding a gavel outside the U.S. Supreme Court, along with the following inscription: ‘God Already Has a Job…He does not need one on the Supreme Court.’

“Why is this relevant? Because this same bigot is connected to two apologists for abortion rights, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United. In 2006, Soros’ Open Society Institute gave Catholics in Alliance $100,000 (double the amount he gave in 2005), and in the same year Catholics in Alliance listed Catholics United on its 990 as an organization with which it has a formal relationship. John Podesta, who runs the Soros-funded organization, Center for American Progress, admits that he works closely with Catholics in Alliance and Catholics United. The Center for American Progress is also the sponsor of Faith and Public Life.

“Why would any Catholic organization take money from a man like George Soros? Because legitimate sources of revenue aren’t available? And why would Soros have any interest in funding Catholic groups? He doesn’t give the Catholic League any money, and if he offered, I would refuse it.

“The reason Soros funds the Catholic Left is the same reason he lavishly funds Catholics for Choice, the pro-abortion group that has twice been condemned as a fraud by Catholic bishops: they all service his agenda, namely, to make support for abortion rights a respectable Catholic position. On October 17, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput accused Catholics in Alliance and Catholics United as doing a ‘disservice’ to the Catholic Church. He’s right. And now we know what really makes them tick.”

Susan A. Fani
Director of Communications
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
New York, NY 10123
212-371-3394 (fax)

The Catholic League

Hawaii - Vote Yes for ConCon

On November 4, we have a significant opportunity for the peoples’ voices to be heard through a ConCon. That opportunity has been taken away from the people for the past 30 years. We must not allow it to be bypassed again.

Please encourage your friends to vote YES for ConCon. Even if, the opposition says nothing is wrong that need fixing, think about it, if Con Con does not go pass this Nov. 4th and any laws which you do not agree with gets passed by activist legislators without regard to the people's will, NONE of us will have the opportunity to fix it.

This is a Safety Valve for the People of Hawaii.

I know for instance, the laws on Pro-choice in the state is so tightly written that they have practically locked up legislation, disallowed any review (on the grounds of confidentiality) to even examine what harm is done to the woman (instate or from out of state) who may have had a blotched abortions, suffered effects from artificial contraceptives all in the name of women's health.

God Bless us all and please pray for a wise Pro-Life Presidential team who will enact God's Natural laws on Traditional Marriage. If God called us by name (gave each of us tasks to fulfill) & formed us in our mother's womb even before we were born, think how many potential future leaders, scientists, doctors, financially responsible leaders are not around to fix problems (caused by greedy CEOs) or even the least amongst us to do the tasks which many do not like to do....L.J., a concerned citizen in HI.
Please vote “YES” for the ConCon. And remember a no vote counts as a “NO.” Leaving that question blank means that you are voting “NO.”

Marriage Matters to Kids

Sacrament of Marriage
Dear Friend,

Natural marriage with a biological mother and father is the foundation upon which society rests. Unfortunately, natural marriage has come under attack in the United States. How marriage is "defined" by our state government will have a dramatic impact on everyone, but most especially on children. There is a new website called "Marriage Matters to Kids" where you can learn the truth about marriage and what it means to the common good.

Please visit Marriage Matters to Kids and see what Bishops, priests, counselors, mothers, fathers, and kids all have to say about marriage, children, and the family.

Remember, Marriage Matters to Kids!

Visit Marriage Matters to Kids at Marriage Matters to Kids Site/

Shared by The Maritime Sentry

A House Blessing

God bless Our HomePicture source here
O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, we recognize thee as the Lady and Queen of this house. Have the kindness to preserve it from any evil; from fire, water, thunderstorms, earthquakes, robbers, wicked people, revolutionaries, wear, raids, persecution and taxes, and any other evil known by thee.

Bless, protect, defend and preserve as they personal property those who live and will live here. Keep us away from adversity and misfortune, but above all, preserve us from offending God. Let not a single mortal sin be ever committed in this house and may all those who enter it work for the Glory of God, for the reign of Jesus and Mary. Let this house be forever consecrated to Thee, O Jesus and Mary. Let it be blessed with all those who will inhabit it. Amen.

Shared by Sue

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pastoral Letter from Honolulu Bishop Silva

Bishop Silva
19 October 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese of Honolulu:

Peace be with you!

We are all probably very weary of the Presidential campaigns by now. We have heard debates and speeches, seen blogs, read newspaper articles, and seen opinion polls. No matter what the polls may have said at any given moment, there is only one opinion poll that matters, and that is the vote itself. One of the candidates will emerge victorious because of the people who supported him with their votes.

I urge all of you to cast your vote on November 4. It is our civic responsibility. But I ask you in these final days before the election to pray over the choices, to reflect upon the values of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to make an informed choice.

There are many issues to consider: war, the economy, ecology, the stability of the family, health care, education, the elimination of poverty at home and abroad. Among the many issues to be weighed, however, one issue alone far outweighs all others: the right to life. Without life, all other issues do not matter. It is the right to life that is fundamental. Abortion in a special way is an issue that we need to focus on, since it is a violation of the human rights of human beings who are so vulnerable they cannot speak for or defend themselves. It is the most widespread – and the only legal – form of domestic violence. It is a cancer that erodes our respect for one another in many different ways. It is a hidden source of anger, depression and denial for those who cannot admit what they know in their heart of hearts, that it is the deliberate taking of the life of a real human girl or boy.

I have often heard the slogan, “You cannot legislate morality.” It is meant to say that there are different opinions and no law can make people do what is right. However, I think the slogan is false. If we cannot legislate morality, then what is it we do legislate? Why is there a need for government at all, if not to articulate and guide society in doing what is right and just? Is that not what morality is? Respect for one another, and the most fundamental respect for life are the bases of all morality and all law. All government officials must serve not by doing what is convenient or popular, but by insisting on higher values for the good of all in society, especially the most vulnerable.

I urge all to vote. But before you do, please pray about what the Lord wants us to do in our society, about what the gospel of Jesus demands. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Pray for the strength to do what is right not only in the election but in the years that will follow it, so that we can all remain citizens who are faithful to the Lord and Giver of Life.

What was said or not said during this long campaign matters only now in how it leads us to vote for our new President and other leaders of government. May the Lord enlighten and guide you!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Larry Silva
Bishop of Honolulu

Diocese of Honolulu

Separation of Church and State During the Elections

Father Daren's Faith and Politics
It seems many priests and ministers are unaware of what they may legitimately do without jeopardizing the status of their churches as 501(c)3 under the current tax code...
What are the Do's and Don'ts for Churches?

10 Points for Catholic Citizens to Remember - Archbishop Charles Chaput

AB Chaput
Catholic Association of Latino Leaders: 10 Points for a Catholic Citizen to Remember
1. George Orwell said that one of the biggest dangers for modern democratic life is dishonest political language. Dishonest language leads to dishonest politics - which then leads to bad public policy and bad law. So we need to speak and act in a spirit of truth.

2."Catholic" is a word that has real meaning. We don't control or invent that meaning as individuals. We inherit it from the Gospel and the experience of the Church over the centuries. We can choose to be something else, but if we choose to call ourselves Catholic, then that word has consequences for what we believe and how we act. We can't truthfully claim to be Catholic and then act like we're not.

3. Being a Catholic is a bit like being married. We have a relationship with the Church and with Jesus Christ that's very similar to being a spouse. And that has consequences. If a man says he loves his wife, his wife will want to see the evidence in his love and fidelity. The same applies to our relationship with God. If we say we're Catholic, we need to show that by our love for the Church and our fidelity to what she teaches and believes. Otherwise we're just fooling ourselves, because God certainly won't be fooled.

4. The Church is not a political organism. She has no interest in partisanship because getting power or running governments is not what she's about, and the more closely she identifies herself with any single party, the fewer people she can effectively reach.

5. However, Scripture and Catholic teaching do have public consequences because they guide us in how we should act in relation to one another. Loving God requires that we also love the people He created, which means we need to treat them with justice, charity and mercy. Being a Catholic involves solidarity with other people. The Catholic faith has social justice implications - and that means it also has cultural, economic and political implications. The Catholic faith is never primarily about politics; but Catholic social action - including political action - is a natural byproduct of the Church's moral message. We can't call ourselves Catholic, and then simply stand by while immigrants get mistreated, or the poor get robbed, or unborn children get killed. The Catholic faith is always personal, but never private. If our faith is real, then it will bear fruit in our public decisions and behaviors, including our political choices.

6. Each of us needs to follow his or her own properly formed conscience. But conscience doesn't emerge from a vacuum. It's not a matter of personal opinion or preference. If our conscience has the habit of telling us what we want to hear on difficult issues, then it's probably badly formed. A healthy conscience is the voice of God's truth in our hearts, and it should usually make us uncomfortable, because none of us is yet a saint. The way we get a healthy conscience is by submitting it and shaping it to the will of God; and the way we find God's will is by opening our hearts to the counsel and guidance of the Church that Jesus left us. If we find ourselves disagreeing as Catholics with the Catholic teaching of our Church on a serious matter, it's probably not the Church that's wrong. The problem is much more likely with us.

7. But how do we make good political choices when so many different issues are so important and complex? The first principle of Christian social thought is: Don't deliberately kill the innocent, and don't collude in allowing somebody else to do it. The right to life is the foundation of every other human right. The reason the abortion issue is so foundational is not because Catholics love little babies - although we certainly do - but because revoking the personhood of unborn children makes every other definition of personhood and human rights politically contingent.

8. So can a Catholic in good conscience support a "pro-choice" candidate? The answer is: I can't and I won't. But I do know some serious Catholics - people whom I admire - who will. I think their reasoning is mistaken. But at the very least they do sincerely struggle with the abortion issue, and it causes them real pain. And even more importantly: They don't keep quiet about it; they don't give up their efforts to end permissive abortion; they keep lobbying their party and their elected representatives to change their pro-abortion views and protect the unborn. Catholics can support "pro-choice" candidates if they support them despite - not because of - their "pro-choice" views. But they also need a compelling proportionate reason to justify it.

9. What is a "proportionate" reason when it comes to the abortion issue? It's the kind of reason we will be able to explain, with a clean heart, to the victims of abortion when we meet them face to face in the next life - which we most certainly will. If we're confident that these victims will accept our motives as something more than an alibi, then we can proceed.

10. Lastly, the heart of truly "faithful" citizenship is this: we're better citizens when we're more faithful Catholics. The more authentically Catholic we are in our lives, choices, actions and convictions, the more truly we will contribute to the moral and political life of our nation.

C.A.L.L. Website

Fast for Hope - Elections

God bless America
Fast for Hope
November 3rd and 4th – National Days of Prayer & Fasting

Just as our forefathers did in founding this great nation, we declare that we are one nation under God, and recognize that under God’s care we remain. At this crucial time of transition, please join your fellow Americans in lifting our eyes, our hearts and our prayers to our Heavenly Father, pleading for His mercy.


* That all U.S. citizens will be graced with the awareness that the greatest right is the right to life, and that each individual will protect this right above all others in faithfulness to their God, their country, and to all of humanity.
* For the election of a President who will do everything possible to secure the right to life for every human life - from conception to natural death.
* For the defeat of all candidates who promote, support, or advocate in any way, a culture of death.
* That all of our elected leaders be inspired by God to work to protect the pre-born, the innocent, helpless and needy above all else, and to serve as responsible stewards of human life, God-given resources, national strength and worldly influence.
Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
ELECTION PRAYER (Please Pray Daily)

“Ever-faithful God, we consecrate the 2008 U.S. presidential election and our entire nation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Loving Mother, Patroness and Protectress of the Americas.

We ask that You take our Nation into Your Loving Care, reach into the hearts of the electorate, and give them the strength and enlightenment to know your Will, and to exercise Your Will in their vote. Abba, Father, Thy Will Be Done!”
Thanks to Sue for sharing this.