Friday, January 09, 2009

1.5 Million Homeschoolers in the U.S.

homeschooling mom
American Parents Lose All Confidence in Public Schools

The Spiritual and Psychological Value of Frequent Confession


Judging by the drastic drop in confessions in countries like the United States, the false opinion is gaining ground that Confession is not to be received, or made, frequently.

No doubt, one reason for this sad state of affairs is the prevalence of some wild theories about mortal sin. For example, the Fundamental Option theory claims that no mortal sin is committed unless a person totally rejects God. Who but the devil hates God? One adultery or one abortion is not a mortal sin. On these grounds, there are parishes in which almost no one goes to Confession.
Read the rest at The Real Presence's Fr. John Hardon Archives

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Fine Art Friday - Berthe Morisot

Portrait by Manet
Portrait of Berthe Morisot by Edward Manet, her brother in law

The Piano Lesson
The Piano Lesson

The Cradle
The Cradle

Sewing in the Garden
Young Woman Sewing in the Garden

The Lecture
The Lecture

Children at the Basin
Children at the Basin

Getting out of Bed
Getting Out of Bed

Berthe Morisot (January 14, 1841 – March 2, 1895) was a painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists. Undervalued for over a century, possibly because she was a woman, she is now considered among the first league of Impressionist painters.

source Wikipedia

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New Blog - Prayer Requests for Our Pets

I have been getting prayer requests from other pet owners who are also missing a pet. With a lot of thought and prayer, I decided that I would start a new blog for this specific intention.

Prayer Requests for Our Pets

If you have a pet in need of prayers, please feel free to let me know.

If you would like to help out, I will be happy to add you as a contributor.


Bishop Larry Silva Addresses Pro-Life Activities for the Diocese of Honolulu

Bishop Silva
From the Bishop:

January 7, 2009

Dear friends, As Catholics, we believe in the fundamental right to life for all, from conception until a natural death. We transform this conviction into a commitment to defend the unborn, and to guard the dignity of our poor, disabled and elderly.

This year, 2009, our obligation to protect the right to life leads the Diocese of Honolulu to concentrate on four public efforts. These will be coordinated by the Hawaii Catholic Conference and our Respect Life Office, headed by our Chancellor, Deacon Walter Yoshimitsu. Here is what we have planned:

Read the rest at Catholic Hawaii

R.I.P. Father Neuhaus

Fr. Neuhaus

It is with much sadness that I read this morning that Fr. Richard Neuhaus had passed away. I remember the last time I saw him on EWTN. He and Raymond Arroyo were reporting on some major Catholic event (which has since slipped my mind). I just remember the playful repartee and friendship shared by the two men.

Eternal rest grant unto him o Lord and may Your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

First Things - Richard John Neuhaus, 1936–2009

A Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson - Mother Marianne Cope

Mother Marianne Cope

I am currently reading Faith in Paradise, by Maggie Bunson. It is a book about the history of the Catholic Church in Hawaii. I found out that famed writer Robert Louis Stevenson, who is famous for having defended Father Damien, also wrote a poem dedicated to Mother Marianne Cope.
Reverend Sister Marianne
Matron of the Bishop Home, Kalaupapa

To see the infinite pity of this place,

The mangled limb, the devastated face,

The innocent sufferers smiling at the rod,

A fool were tempted to deny his God.

He sees, and shrinks; but if he look again,

Lo, beauty springing from the breast of pain!—

He marks the sisters on the painful shores,

And even a fool is silent and adores.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Kalawao, May 22, 1889

Source: Blessed Mother Marianne Cope

Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly

Stage 1
stage 2
Stage 3
I found this nearby. Sorry for the poor resolution. These photos were taken by my cell phone.

Photos taken by Esther, Honolulu

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Prayer Requests

For Fr. Neuhaus

For Philip

Ideas? - How Do We Eradicate Poverty?

Easter posed this question on her blog. Please check out some of the responses she received. I would also invite you to share your thoughts and ideas with her too.

Mostly Prayers Poses a Question

Prayer entrusting the USA to the Mother of Mercy

Mother of Mercy

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.


Shared by Sue

Prayer for Aborted Babies

Aborted Baby

Heavenly Father, Thou hast given us the gift of freedom to love and to follow in Thy ways and commands. Some parents choose to abuse this freedom by destroying the gift of life which Thou hast given to their offspring. Please forgive those who destroy human life by aborting their unborn babies.

Give these unborn children the opportunity to enjoy Thee for all eternity, in accord with Thy ordinance. Assist me in being one in solidarity with Thy little ones by taking to heart the words of Thy Son, "whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me." (Mt. 25:40)

Therefore, allow me today, Father, to adopt spiritually an unborn child and to offer my prayers, works, joys and sufferings for that little one, so that child will be able to be born and live for Thy greater honor and glory.

Source here

Shared by Half the Kingdom

The Most Grievous Sin

Abortion Kills Love
Of all human evils death is the most grievous, by which human life is destroyed....

St. Thomas Aquinas

Shared by Sue

The Holy Rosary


The Rosary is THE weapon.
St. Padre Pio

Recite your Rosary with faith, with humility, with confidence, and with perseverance.
St. Louis de Montfort

The Rosary is my favorite prayer. A marvelous prayer! Marvelous in its simplicity and in its depth. . .the simple prayer of the Rosary beats the rhythm of human life.
Pope John Paul II.

Shared by Half the Kingdom

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Epiphany Blessing for the Home

Wise MenThanks to my friend Adrienne my family and I were able to bless our home for the new year. I know it's too late for you on the mainland and other parts of the world. I am hoping that some of my Hawaii readers will see this in time.

20 C + M + B 09
May Christ bless this House…
All who dwell and pray in it…
And All Whom they Welcome in His Name


Let us pray, In the name of + The Father, and The Son, and The Holy Spirit. Amen.

V. On entering the house, the Magi found the Child Jesus with Mary his mother.
R. They did Him homage and presented to Jesus symbolic gifts: gold to the great King, incense to the true God, and myrrh as a foreshadowing of his suffering and death.

Let us pray, God, our Father, by the guidance of a star, You revealed Your only Son as the Savior of all nations. Grant that we who already know You by faith, may be brought to the contemplation of Your glory in our heavenly home. We ask this through Christ your Son, Our Lord. Amen.

All may recite the Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary (The MAGNIFICAT) by which Mary praised God at the time of her Visitation to the house of Elizabeth found in St. Luke's Gospel Chapter 1, verses 46-55.

V. Be enlightened, O Jerusalem, and shine forth …for Your light has come!
R. And upon you is risen the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary.
V. All nations shall walk in Your light and kings in the splendor of Your birth.
R. And upon You is risen the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary.
Now, a Reading of the Gospel for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord
from St. Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 2, verses 1 to 12.
V. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, has appeared and been revealed to the nations.
R. The prophets foretold His coming, and the angels and shepherds adored Him.
V. The Magi rejoiced to find Him and they lay their treasures before Him.
R. All you nations and peoples, …come and adore Him!

All recite The OUR FATHER as all the rooms of the house are sprinkled with holy water …and also if possible with blessed salt.

Let us pray, Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through Your goodness we have received all benefits. Come, visit and bless + this house so that it may be a shelter of health, chastity, self-conquest, humility, goodness, mildness, obedience to the Commandments, - and thanksgiving to God, + The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.

May the love and blessings of God, + The Father, and The Son, and The Holy Spirit, descend upon this house, all those who reside within it, and upon all those whom they welcome in the Sacred Name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and may God's grace and peace remain with all of them forever. Amen.

NOTE: The initials of the names ascribed by tradition to the Magi (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar), and the numerals of the current year are to be written with the blessed chalk above all the entry doors of the house in the following manner:
20 C + M + B 09

(Some interpret the letters to stand for Christus Mansioni Benedicat! May Christ bless this house! )

Catholics Called to Abandon Public Schools

Still more reasons why it is better to homeschool your child.

Catholic Knight covered it here

Prayer for Choosing a State of Life

From all eternity, O Lord, You planned my very existence and my destiny. You wrapped me in Your love in baptism and gave me the Faith to lead me to an eternal life of happiness with You. You have showered me with Your graces and You have been always ready with Your mercy and forgiveness when I have fallen. Now I beg You for the light I so earnestly need that I may find the way of life in which lies the best fulfillment of Your will. Whatever state this may be, give me the grace necessary to embrace it with love of Your holy will, as devotedly as Your Blessed Mother did Your will. I offer myself to You now, trusting in Your wisdom and love to direct me in working out my salvation and in helping others to know and come close to You, so that I may find my reward in union with You for ever and ever. Amen.
Source EWTN's Rural Life Prayer Book

Shared by Half the Kingdom

Feast of the Epiphany - Behold the Infant Jesus

Holy Family

Behold the dear Infant Jesus, and adore Him fervently. Contemplate His poverty, and humility, in imitation of His most holy Mother and of Saint Joseph. Repose near Him as sweetly as you can, He will not fail to love your heart, void as you find it of tenderness and feeling. Nothing will be wanting to you, since you will be in the presence of that holy Infant. Abide there, and learn of Him how meek and humble He is,how simple and amiable. See how lovingly He has written your name in the depth of His Divine Heart, which beats on that couch of straw from the impassioned zeal it has for our advancement, and heaves not one single sigh unto His Father in which you have not a part, nor a single movement of His spirit except for your happiness.
St. Francis de Sales

Shared by Sue

God is Love

God is Love

We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.

St. John (1 John 4:16)

100th Anniversary of Fr. Patrick Peyton's Birth

Fr. Patrick Peyton

Holy Cross Family Ministries

I'm very late posting about this but better late than never...
100th Anniversary of the Birth of Servant of God Patrick Peyton, CSC

Celebrated with a Novena of Family Rosaries, January 1-9 2009.

Pray a Rosary Day for peace in the world and your particular family intentions.

Begin the observance of this Centenary Year of 2009 with a Novena of Rosaries in your home with your family. If some members of the family will not join you, include them in the Rosary by praying for them. If no other members of the family join you, pray it yourself in their name and let the blessings of God come upon them and you by Mary’s and Father Peyton’s intercession. Make your Rosary for the intention of world peace and any particular petitions dear to the hearts of your family members.
More information can be found here.

Join HCFM for a year-long celebration honoring the servant of God, Father Patrick Peyton.

The Family that Prays Together Stays Together

Monday, January 05, 2009

Beautiful Video Hawaiian Style

You can watch it here

Father Damien's Rule of Life

Fr. Damien's Grave
Fr. Damien's Grave, Kalawao
Photo by Esther

Fr. Damien's Grave Kalawao
Brother Joseph Dutton's Grave - Kalawao
Photo by Esther

Today I finished reading the book I picked up during our pilgrimage to Kalaupapa and Kalawao. The book is Damien and Dutton, Two Josephs on Molokai by the late Howard E. Crouch. I found the book to be extremely interesting especially due to the fact that I was personally familiar with many of the places mentioned in the book. Some of the names also started to be put in context because for example, I have visited their burial places. It brought be even closer to Father Damien and my love and admiration for him has grown even more, if that is possible.

I would like to share with you Father Damien's Rule of Life, from the book that published by the Damien-Dutton Leprosy Society
Father Damien's Rule of Life
September 3, 1879

5 a.m. Rise and go to the Church as soon as possible. Morning prayers, Adoration and Meditation.

6:30 Mass and instruction. Thanksgiving until quarter to eight.

7:45 Take care of various matters for the good of the faithful.

8:00 Breakfast followed by a short recreation and domestic affairs.

9:00 Small hours (on the porch).

9:30 Spiritual reading followed by study and correspondence until noon.

12:00 Dinner.
After dinner visit the sick and the Christians in general in such a way that each week I may know all that goes on in each house in my district.
If I can return by 5 0'clock, say vespers and occupy myself with domestic affairs.

6:00 Supper.
When twilight sets in, Rosary, Breviary, Night Prayers.

9-10 Retire.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Christmas in India

12th Day of Christmas
I would like to share with you the following story by my new friend Fr. Prabhakar Kalivela, the priest who is currently assigned to three parishes in Oklahoma.

He recently sent me the following email:
...I had a good Christmas. I celebrated three Masses in three different Churches on Christmas night and one on Christmas day. I have three small churches where I celebrate Masses. These three churches in three small towns in the North Western part of Oklahoma. These three Towns are Okeene, Seiling and Fairview.

The people in my parish have asked me how the celebration of Christmas would be. This is what I wrote for the bulletin of the Sunday before Christmas. Hope you find it interesting.
Christmas Celebration in India

Christmas brings joy to every soul because it is the celebration of the birth of salvation of humankind. It is celebrated all over the world. It is a pleasure for me to tell you how we celebrated Christmas in India. I share from experiences when I was a boy and when I was a priest in India.

I remember very well how I celebrated Christmas as a small boy. A month before Christmas the women in the village get busy cleaning the houses. People whitewash the houses or paint the houses. Clean the streets and decorate the streets. They want their houses look new on Christmas.

There is an art which south Indians call as 'Muggu' and north Indians call as 'Rangoli' which is kind of drawing various shapes with color powders on the streets. Usually women and girls draw these 'muggu' on the streets. This makes the streets colorful and brings festive mood.

Families also participate in cleaning the Church and church campus and decorating the church. There would be a big star placed on the church, Christmas lamps lit around the church. There would also be Christmas Crib built.

Last week before Christmas boys and girls go into the streets and sing Christmas carols in the night. Some children dress like Mary, Joseph, shepherds and Magi and accompany carol singing party. Some of the families invite the children into their homes and serve them coffee and cookies.

This is the time that the children get new pair of clothes. Most of the children get only one pair of clothes in a year that would be at Christmas. One of the excitements for the boys and girls is to show their new clothes to one another on Christmas night when they come together for Mid-night Mass.

Christmas mid-night mass is the main celebration. So people come in big numbers to the church. Some people walk 10 miles to reach the church to attend Mid-night Mass. If the church could not hold all the people they arrange mass outside the church. People sit in the open air in the cold (of course the cold in India is not as cold as here in winter) and attend Mass.

This is the day people eat the best food of their year. Most of the families don't get to eat meat very often because they cannot afford to buy meat. Most of the families may be able to get meat once a month. Some of the families don't get to buy meat at all. But on the Christmas day every house will cook non vegetarian food and the children really look forward to eating meat this day. Mothers also bake cookies and special sweets on this day.

On December 25th evening the statue of Child Jesus is taken in procession in the streets of the village. Every one will go in the procession singing hymns and reciting Rosary. After the procession everybody will come back to the church and the celebration ends with Benediction in the Church.
Father Kalivela is currently using the small stipend he receives from his pastoral work and Mass requests to support his old parish in India. If you would like to request a Mass and at the same time help this young priest, please email him at the following: