Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fwd: Saint Therese's Parents' Beatification

I cannot put the original version of this email on my blog, because it does not fit into the space provided, without distorting either the email or my blog. Please go here and read the news from St Luke Productions (and yes, there are also offers)...
To view an online version of this email, click here.


I had not known about this story until I read Lee's blog! Bad enough, but then this professor has made it worse!

The original student is supposed to have been raised Catholic. Had he truly been Catholic in more than name only, he would realize that this is Jesus Christ --- Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity --- not just a host. He would KNOW why someone would try to remove the Consecrated Host from the hands of one who did not have the intention of receiving Him, but of potentially abusing Him.

Catholics believe that Jesus meant what He said in John Chapter 6, and was NOT speaking metaphorically or symbolically. He was speaking LITERALLY. When a priest -- in persona Christi -- speaks the words of Consecration over the bread and wine, they are transubstantiated. They are no longer bread and wine. They ARE Jesus, fully and completely.

Saints have died saving the Eucharist from those who would desecrate a Consecrated Host.

So his 'buddy' who wants to remain anonymous pulls a 'good line', which is far from accurate. He says that Jesus was a pacifist? Oh, no He was not. He drove out the money changers, turning over their tables, shouting, and... He did not 'sit down to protest'. The only time Jesus stood in any remotely pacifistic way was before those who  wanted to put  Him to death, and the only reason He did THAT was because it is why He came here to begin with... to Lay Down His Life for US so that we can be saved! 

If someone has actually threatened to kill either or both of the two students, Jesus would not condone that, for certain. Neither would I. But the act this young man committed is wrong, and cannot be condoned.

Then, another enters the picture, and he is actually threatening, AND he is inviting others to take a Consecrated Host(s) from a Church and bring it/them to him! This is a Professor, and is outrageous. Just because HE does not believe as we do, he has no right to cause others to commit sacrilege for him, nor the right to do so himself.

This disrespectful behavior smacks of anti-Catholic bias.

I tried to find HIS article online...Please be aware that there is 'language' here...His piece on his blog is called "It's a Frackin' Cracker!" now, but it HAD a different title originally (based on the url). The comments are not worth reading. It had apparently also been linked to his faculty profile, now removed...

But...I found these:

This first article is clearly written by someone who has NO idea of what we, as Catholics really believe about the Eucharist. However, Cook CALLS it the Eucharist--and he should know better, if he was raised Catholic, than to even begin to take the Consecrated Host (note: not 'bread', not 'cracker') back to the pew with him, much less to take Him home and put Him into a plastic baggie...

'Body Of Christ' Snatched From Church, Held Hostage By UCF Student

The update a few days after the above article clearly shows that he had an agenda other than just to show his friend, IMHO. And he has the audacity to demand an apology. I don't think HE deserves one. I think BOTH of those two owe one to the members of the Church attending that Mass, and to all Catholics (especially if HE REALLY is/was Catholic!!)

'Body Of Christ" Returned To Church After Student Receives Email Threats

University Called on to Fire Prof who Pledged to Publicly Desecrate Holy Communion

Minnesota Prof Pledges to Desecrate Eucharist

Death threats for stealing 'Body of Christ'

Teacher threatens 'cracker abuse' with communion wafer

Tony Snow: "Reason, Faith, Vocation"

Catholic University of America has a tribute to Tony Snow on its website.

They also have his commencement speech there from May 12, 2007.

118th Annual Commencement Address:

"Reason, Faith, Vocation"
Tony Snow, White House Press Secretary
Basilica of the National Shrine of Immaculate Conception
May 12, 2007

Your excellency Archbishop Wuerl, President O'Connell, members of the board of trustees, members of the administration, distinguished faculty and staff, graduating students — and families who paid for [their education] — honored guests, Dr. Williams, thank you one and all. 

This is a wonderful thing, a graduation: And I hope your lives will be filled with many more – not in terms of diplomas, but in the sense that you will have escalating accomplishments throughout your days. I've been asked to aid in that quest by giving you some advice, so here it goes. 

First, live boldly. Live a whole life. I have five tips for pulling this off and – let me warn you — they've all been road tested.  I learned the old-fashioned way, through trial and error. 

Number one, think.  You've got a diploma now, you've got a brain. Put them to work.

Catholic University has equipped you with an extraordinary and valuable tool. It's taught you how to learn. This handy skill never wears out, so please use it all the time. After all, the human mind is a wondrous thing. It's restless, always eager for action, always raring for places to go. While you've been here you have developed analytical skills, but they alone won't get you through. You're smart but we humans are also gullible. Really gullible. Just ask the serpent in Eden. Therefore you're going to need to develop some discernment, some common sense.

My grandmother, who was reared in hardscrabble rural Kentucky, used to lecture me all the time about the perils of book-learning. I used to scoff at that, until I got out on my own. I still remember living in my first apartment, waking up in the morning to a weird muffled popping sound. I padded out to the kitchen and felt something cold on my scalp. I looked up and saw viscous orange goo dripping from the ceiling. See, Grandma would have known not to let frozen orange juice sit on the counter thawing without letting the cap loose. Common sense.

Heed the counsel of your elders, including your parents. I guarantee you, they have made some howling mistakes if, like me, they were in college in the '70s and '80s. They probably haven't owned up to them, but they might now, because they want to protect you.  You see, they know that you are leaving the nest. And now that you're leaving the nest, predators soon will begin to circle. Some are going to try to take your money, but the really clever ones are going to tempt you to throw your life away. They'll appeal to your pride and vanity – or worse, to your moral ambition. After all, there's nothing more subversive than the offer to become a saint. So think things through. Be patient. If somebody tries to give you a hard sell, you know they're peddling snake oil; don't buy it. If something's not worth pondering, it is certainly not worth doing. And if your gut tells you something's fishy, trust your gut.

You know, hucksters perform an unintended service. Like everybody here, I'm sure you've all been conned. I am such a sucker that I get conned all the time. What happens is they make you look in the mirror and assess honestly the person on the other side. Now all of us love to delude ourselves, making excuses. But you know, the more we resist being honest and doing an honest evaluation, the sillier we behave. If you don't believe it, think of any swinger you have ever seen in your life. Socrates was right: Know thyself.

But see, there's more. Once you've gotten past the mirror phase, then things begin to get really interesting. You begin to confront the truly overwhelming question: Why am I here?  And that begins to open up the whole universe, because it impels you to think like the child staring out at the starry night: "Who put the lights in the sky? Who put me here?  Why?" And pretty soon you are thinking about God. Don't shrink from pondering God's role in the universe or Christ's. You see, it's trendy to reject religious reflection as a grave offense against decency. That's not only cowardly. That's false. Faith and reason are knitted together in the human soul. So don't leave home without either one. 

Second recommendation: Go off-road.

It's tempting to search for comfort, but don't play it too safe. Every once in a while you've got to get yourself into a mess, a scrape, a circumstance that makes you look around and gasp, "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore." You'll shudder and tremble, but you will have no choice but to rise to the occasion. Let's be honest.  Most of us spend a great deal of our lives over our heads in one way or another. Don't reject it, don't resist it, don't deny it. Just make the most out of it.

You see, when you go off-road, when you start taking risks, your ambitions and limits get to know each other up close and personal. You'll also learn never to try to do anything all by yourself. You're going to need help. Lots of it. Don't be bashful. Ask. Everybody you know harbors a secret desire – maybe an unsecret desire – to do something good for somebody else. For every important venture or adventure in your life, you're going to dangle one foot over the abyss of uncertainty and ask, "Can I do this? Am I up to it?" You're going to have to summon a little faith in God, your friends, strangers, and, most of all, in yourself.

When you're going off-road, don't be content with what you know now.  The reason you came to college is you didn't know very much.  Now you know a little more.  But the challenge is to keep building on it.  So try something completely different — I don't care, learn something trivial.  Learn it well.  Sing karaoke, if you dare.  Learn to fix something in the house.  Help out at a homeless shelter.  Start a rock 'n' roll band. 

My wife hopes I'll just venture out and start cleaning up my study. 

And be ready for the unplanned educational experiences. Sometimes they're the very best of all.  If fact, the most revealing moments are the ones that are unplanned. Practice a little daring. I'm not talking about driving with your eyes closed. But something that's tantalizing because it raises the question of whether this particular activity and goal lies inside or outside the limit of your abilities.

Last summer we were in Crawford, Texas, with the president. And you know the president has this love of riding a bicycle off-road. It's a treacherous and crazy thing, plunging down the hills, over seeming cliffs, ravines, up rocks. He loves it. Well, I said, "I might like to try that sometime." I was just, you know, trying to make nice. I was trying to kiss up to the boss.

So the first time out at the ranch, he said, "Snow, you ready to ride?"

I looked around and said, "Well, I don't have any shorts, sir."

And so he said, "Hey, Jerry, do you got shorts?" 

"Yes sir." Hands out a pair of shorts.

"Well, all I have are these running shoes," I protested.

"They'll do."

He hands off a t-shirt so off we go. Now, again, it's an adventure because the president, being aerobic in everything he does, plunges into this with absolute incredible vigor, and I thought I was doing all right at the beginning. I'm chuffing along at the back of the pack, respectfully (and also because I was the worst rider). But there was always that lingering fear. At one point he says, "Okay, you're going to need your brakes here. It's straight down, it's boulders. Oh, and the other side, it's a cliff. Watch out."

We finally get to this place where the road parts. You go off-road and there's a drop of about 15 or 20 feet, it rises up again and then goes around the curve. The president goes down and goes "Woo hoo!" Person behind him goes down and goes "Woo hoo!" I'm in the back and I go "Waaaah." But there I am.

Okay, where am I? The limits of the abilities. Which side of the line am I on? Well, I go down. It's great! I'm going full-speed. And then all of a sudden coming up a tree appears right in the middle of the path. Ooof. Everybody hears it.

"Snow, you okay back there?"

"Yes sir. Just hit a tree."

"Okay, well come on then."

I made the rest of the trip with a wobbly front tire which had been bent up in the encounter.

The point's simple. When a chance presents itself, take a prudent and interesting risk. If it doesn't work out, that is okay. Don't worry about that, either. You see, God presents blessings in unexpected packages. Don't overlook them. Remember: no guts, no glory.

Third: Commit.

This is a way of talking about faith. American culture likes to celebrate the petulant outcast, the smart-aleck with the contempt for everything and faith in nothing. Snarky mavericks. The problem is these guys are losers. They have signed up for an impossible mission. Because they've decided they're going to create all the meaning in their lives. They've either decided that no moral law exists or they will be the creator, the author of those laws. Now one road leads to complete and total anarchy. Life is solitary, nasty, brutish and short. The other is to insanity, since it requires playing God. We know in our hearts, intuitively, from our first years as children, that the universe unfolds with a discernable order and that moral laws, far from being convenient social conventions, are firm and unalterable. They predate us, they will survive us. Rather than admitting our weakness a lot of times, we just decide we'll try to get by. And maybe rather than giving God credit, we'll try to look for a cheap substitute.

Walk into a bookstore, you'll know what I mean. The shelves are groaning underneath the trendy tomes promising salvation — medicine balls, herbs, purges, all sorts of weird stuff. In politics, there's a variant that elevates government to the status of God. It says that it is the source of love. It ought to be the recipient of your tithes, but government, while it does pursue compassionate ends, cannot be loving and personal. It treats all of us as completely equal rather than uniquely divine. The point is you can't escape the question of God and you can't escape the question of commitments.

When it comes to faith, I've taken my own journey. You will have to take your own. But here's what I know. Faith is as natural as the air we breathe. Religion is not an opiate, just the opposite. It is the introduction to the ultimate extreme sport. There is nothing that you can imagine that God cannot trump. As Paul said "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." And once you realize that there is something greater than you out there, then you have to decide, "Do I acknowledge it and do I act upon it?" You have to at some point surrender yourself. And there is nothing worthwhile in your life that will not at some point require an act of submission. It's true of faith and friendship. It is a practical passage [of the Bible], especially to marriage.

Tolstoy once said all happy marriages are happy in the same way and here's what he meant. When both people commit, when they say, "You and I are bound together, forever, period, no questions, no codicils, no pre-nups, no escape clauses," then all of a sudden, the temptations become irrelevant, and the glories become possible.

There is nothing like the pleasure of being a parent. Waking up the next morning to somebody whose breath has become the echo of your heartbeat. Trust me on this, it does not get any better. Commit.

Next, get out. (Your parents are probably saying that, too.)

You are about to encounter a world larger than you know with peaks, valleys, pits and precipices that you cannot possible imagine. You're going to work long hours. You'll eat pizza at four in the morning. You'll try to find love in the weirdest places. You'll audition personalities, outfits and styles until something seems to fit but eventually the way you're going to craft your legacy is predictable. You will stamp your imprint on other people's hearts. You're not going to get to do that writing in front of a computer.

I've been informed by my teenage daughter that there's a new trend in high school now: dating. Only it's a peculiar kind of dating because the "datees" do not actually spend time in each other's presence. Instead they conduct their courtship online. Now technology invites us to build communities out of electrons rather than blood and flesh and I'm just encouraging you, please understand the difference between a closed parenthesis followed by a colon, and a smile. Ladies and gentlemen, you cannot kiss a cursor.

Now, the world can be a frightening place, and sometimes a computer may seem to provide refuge, but don't do it. We also try to hide in other ways. By looking away from the panhandler around the corner or ignoring the fact that somebody is berating someone for no reason at all. What you have to do is learn those adult wiles that I was telling you about but don't give up the child in you. When kids see injustice, they mention it. "Daddy, why is that man screaming at his wife?" They ask about the things we pretend not to see and we have to step up to. So, when it comes to the world, engage it in every possible way. Don't be chicken. Get dirt under your fingernails. Scrape your knees. Laugh … a lot … at yourself. Trust me, if you don't, others will do if for you. But don't shrink from the pain and the poignancy and aches because they're essential.  They bring us together. They are a part of our experiences. They enliven everything you do but they cannot work their magic until you leave the computer screen and get out that front door.

Finally, love. How trite is that? But it's everything. It separates happiness from misery. It separates the full life from the empty life. To love is to acknowledge that life is not about you. I want you to remember that: It's not about you. It's a hard lesson. A lot of people go through life and never learn it. It's to submit willingly, heart and soul, to things that matter. Love is not melodrama. You don't purchase it, you don't manufacture it. You build it.

Every time I buy something gaudy for my wife she says, "Oh that's nice," and then it goes away someplace. The love letters she keeps; I don't know where the jewelry is.

Love springs from small deeds, the gestures that say casually and naturally "I care." That acknowledge what's special about somebody else. If somebody's smarter, quicker, better, prettier, wiser than you, tell them. Learn from them. Don't be jealous. Glory in it.

Now the reason that I talk about love is it pulls together the strands of the other tips I've already given you. I'll give you some examples, another presidential story. I traveled with the president last Wednesday to Greensburg, Kansas. Now 10 days ago, that town was small, pretty and whole. But within minutes on a Friday, a giant tornado reduced Greensburg to splinters. Once-nice homes now lie in matchstick heaps. The trees stretch their barren, barkless limbs toward the sky. It looks like Hiroshima, but with grass all around. It's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. I ran into a guy who hadn't had a shower in five days because the water is not back on, and he motioned for me to come up. He just wanted to tell me a story.

He's a plumber. And just the week before, they put a brand new boiler in the local school. Well, the school had been leveled and the boiler was just a hunk of twisted metal. He came and he said, "I got a call from the people who sold it to me. They said they saw what happened and said 'Don't worry about the boiler. When the time comes, we're going to replace it.' " Then he stopped and said, "You know what else they did? They said they're sending me a truck. They said, 'We saw what happened, we know you lost your truck. The one we're sending you isn't new but it works great.' " And then he stood there, surrounded by the splintered homes and Halloween trees, and just cried. He's crying and he reached his arms out and he hugged me. He said, "Thanks." See, here's somebody who let somebody else help. He let somebody else into his life. He went off-road in a different kind of way, baring himself, and then he decided to pass on the favor.

Think not only of what it means to love but what it means to be loved. I have a lot of experience with that. Since the news that I have cancer again, I have heard from thousands and thousands of people and I have been the subject of untold prayers. I'm telling you right now: You're young [and you feel] bullet-proof and invincible. [But] never underestimate the power of other people's love and prayer. They have incredible power. It's as if I've been carried on the shoulders of an entire army. And they had made me weightless. The soldiers in the army just wanted to do a nice thing for somebody. As I mentioned, a lot of people — everybody out here — wants to do that same thing.

To love is to place others before you and to make their needs your priority. Do it. When you put somebody else at the center of the frame, your entire world changes, and for the better. You begin to find your own place in the world. When you're drawn into the lives of others, you enter their problems, their hopes, their dreams, their families. They whisk you down unimagined corridors, toward possibilities that had been hidden to you before. So resolve to do little things for others. You don't know where they're going to lead but then again, you don't have any idea where your life is going to lead. When I was your age, I had long hair, a beard and thought of myself as a socialist. You are going to pinball all over the place, from experience to experience, job to job. And I want you to remember that you've got company. And that if you engage them with heart and mind, with faith and energy, you are going to find yourself on a cresting wave. It'll carry you forward and it'll push you under water from time to time. And some day in the dim and distant future, when you're looking back at it, you're not going to think about your car or your career or your gold watch. You'll think about a chewed-up teddy bear you had as a baby or maybe your child's smile on a special Christmas morning. The only things that are sure to endure are the artifacts of love. So go out and build as many as you can.

And finally this: Wherever you are and whatever you do, never forget at this moment, and every moment forward, you have a precious blessing. You've got the breath of life. No matter how lousy things may seem, you've got the breath of life. And while God doesn't promise tomorrow, he does promise eternity.

Let me make a confession: I've never been happier than I am today, not because I got this wonderful, fancy degree. But because the tips that I've been sharing with you are leading me toward my next graduation. You see, 30 years after I got my Bachelor of Arts, I'm just like you. I aspired to new graduations and I'm just as excited about the future. It doesn't matter who you are or what you do, none of us ever stops taking baby steps. Be humble, be alive, be awake. Take each new step as if it were the first. Then take another. And when you tumble, as you will, when a kind hand reaches out to pick you up, smile, say "Thanks" and give back to them. It may not give you a whole life, but it'll sure get you started.


Last Revised 12-May-07 04:42 PM.

David Gregory: 2007: The public personal struggle of Tony Snow

This is the video that Wesley J Smith referred to in his own blog, Secondhand Smoke. It is powerful, and brings tears as he speaks of his son.

I only wish that I had seen the rest of this interview when it was on.

God Bless!

2007: The public personal struggle of Tony Snow

Aug. 7, 2007: NBC's David Gregory sits down for an exclusive conversation with White House spokesman Tony Snow and the difficulty of battling cancer in a very public setting.

There are two other videos at this site:

Tony Snow dies after battle with cancer

July 12: Former White House press secretary Tony Snow has died after a long battle with colon cancer. NBC's Steve Handelsman reports.

Tony Snow dies at 53

July 12**: Former White House press secretary Tony Snow dies at age 53 after a battle with colon cancer. NBC's Patty Culhane reports.

Labels: ,

Wesley J Smith on Death of Tony Snow

"Many people wonder what famous people are like behind the scenes. All I can say is that the Tony Snow you see on television is Tony Snow--affable, principled, deeply caring, with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye regardless of the circumstances."

For the rest, go here.

New Biblical controversy?

New Biblical controversy*

I am not sure what the controversy is, exactly. Has anyone seen this or heard about it in other areas?

From another source.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Mom was born July 12, 1924 and has lived in Kaukauna, WI most of her life, with relatively short periods of time in Askeaton, WI, Minneapolis, MN, Springfield, IL, Little Chute, WI, Kimberly, WI. She has lived at the same address since May, 1959, where she raised her family.

Mom is one of six siblings, the third child of Dan and Florence (nee Campbell) Burns, the oldest girl. There were three boys, three girls in the very Irish family, one brother now deceased.

She married Dad on Oct 2, 1948 in St Mary's Catholic Church, Kaukauna. Together, they had ten children, six daughters and four sons. He left us in death on June 3, 1987, but has remained in our hearts, and in hers. She speaks of him often these last few years.

She went to school to become an RN at St Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee, WI, but life got in the way, and she left before graduating. She worked a large portion of her life at Kaukauna Community Hospital and St Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, WI as a nursing assistant, retiring in January 1988 when the snow began, because she had always hated driving in snow.

Mom has ten children, 31 (with one on the way) grandchildren (as well as one who died pre-birth), and a growing number of great-grandchildren (another due in Jan 2009).


God bless!

Dan, Mom, Jack, Mary, Bob
(Alice had not yet been born when this picture was taken)

We (her children) have always loved this picture of Mom,
0ften referring to it as "Mom in Pearls".

Mom in Little Chute with one of her 4 sons, and three of my cousins.

Grandpa Burns, Mom and Dad
at the wedding of her younger brother, my godfather, Dan ("Bud")

Mom and Dad and nine of ten children.

June 27, 1970
Our wedding day.
My parents are on the right in the photo.

May 19, 2008
Mom was in the hospital on the day of her grandson's wedding.
They went to see her before their reception.


I woke to the sound of my cell phone delivering a message from my son about the probability of another new tooth for my little grandchild.

I debated for a very short time curling up under the covers and returning to sleep, but decided instead to get up and opt for possibly taking a nap later on today. I got myself a cup of my ice cold French vanilla coffee (homemade 'Frappacino'), and turned on my computer. I saw that I had new mail at a yahoo addy, and double-clicked on the little mail icon, and saw the announcement...and I stopped.

I will miss him.
I liked him, a lot.
I did not know him, but I felt like I did in many ways.
I enjoyed watching and listening to him for years.

I remember the first announcement of his bout with cancer. I remember the announcement that it had returned. I was saddened when he chose to leave the White House Press Secretary position he had held for such a relatively short time, and thought...this is to spend more time with his family.... and stopped thinking.

When my own diagnosis came in, Tony Snow became not only one of my favorite news casters; he became my hero. (Other parts of my own journey are here, here, here, here, and here)

In reading about the announcement of his death, I came across a page of quotes from some who knew him in his professional life. The one statement that was closest to my own opinion of him was:

"Tony Snow was a gentleman."

— FOX News Chief Washington Correspondent Jim Angle

The second:

"Churchill said, 'I like a man who grins when he fights,' and that was Tony Snow. For 35 years, as a writer, broadcaster and spokesman, he fought fiercely for what he believed in, and he did it with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. His loss is a loss for our country. ... Despite everything Tony did and achieved in life, he never forgot his hometown roots or those who grew up with him. He was a proud son of Cincinnati, and I will miss him."

— House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio

I did not know him personally, and never tried to reach him privately to wish him the best in his fight or to let him know that I was praying for him. But I did know him in his chosen profession, and those two statements are a summary of my own observations about him.

Farewell, my hero.

Husband of Jill. Father of three. So young. May he rest in peace.

God bless!

Tony Snow Dies at 53

Former White House press secretary and FOX News anchor Tony Snow dies after losing long bout with cancer

VIDEO: Brit Hume on Life of Tony Snow
FOX FACTS: Tony Snow's Battle With Cancer
FOX FORUM: A Man Who Loved His Family

From Yahoo news:

Former Bush press secretary Tony Snow dies
Slideshow: Tony Snow

From CNN:

Former Bush spokesman Tony Snow dies

'A tremendously decent human being'
Remembering Tony Snow in pictures

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Catholic Thing

I was going to introduce this now month old website before I left on vacation when I found it, mid-June, but... one thing led to another, and I forgot to send the email. Now, it was accidentally deleted by me. SO, I hope that I am forgiven for just letting the person starting it explain it...

God bless!

Monday, 02 June 2008
The Catholic Thing
By Robert Royal   

The Catholic thing - the concrete historical reality of Catholicism - is the richest cultural tradition in the world. It was born from Judaism and, through that spiritual parentage, even reaches back into the great ancient civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia. In its early days, it confronted, absorbed, and redirected what was then the most sophisticated society in existence, Greco-Roman culture. When that culture fell, Catholicism preserved what it could and rebuilt the rest over centuries, incorporating new influences from Northern Europe and, during the great age of exploration, from the entire globe. Today, it numbers over a billion souls on every continent. Despite its all-too-human imperfections, there is simply nothing like it.

That is the deep background to The Catholic Thing, the series of columns that begins today. This tradition has a great deal to say about politics and economics, culture and warfare, the temporal and the eternal, children and careers, and many other contemporary questions. In addition, it has inspired some of the greatest art, music, and architecture, while offering unparalleled human solidarity to millions through hospitals, soup kitchens, schools, universities, and disaster relief. Our confidence that the Catholic thing is without peer, almost needless to say, is not generally acknowledged in American culture. Anti-Catholicism still blocks much that it might bring to the public square, though that situation has greatly improved through dialogue with Protestants and Jews. The greatest obstacles lie in the main culture-forming institutions: the universities, the media, Hollywood. They think of themselves as representing a much wider world than the Catholic one. Readers of these columns are invited to judge for themselves.

Some of our well-wishers have asked whether there is a need for yet another online publication. We believe there is. A lot of good Catholic material appears on the web, some that is not so good. But we expect that you will not find anything quite like the quality, experience, and accessibility of The Catholic Thing. All of our columnists write frequently in other places, but there is no one place where you will find them all together offering material unavailable elsewhere. Wide-ranging and solid Catholic commentary on events is necessary, not only to keep us from being overwhelmed by the tsunami of information now coming at us all from many sources, but to cast a steady and invigorating Catholic light on what is otherwise a superficial and dull world.

In the nature of things - we begin in the middle of a presidential campaign - we will be talking a lot about politics, economics, and public affairs. The only partisanship The Catholic Thing intends to express, though, is a loyalty to Catholicity. Our more learned readers may recall that the original Greek meaning of Catholicity is universality, in the sense that what is Catholic gives proper weight to all truths. Our writers all share that commitment, but, as writers do, we will no doubt also take differing positions. Our mission is to bring the best Catholic thought and action into the public square, not to favor politicians or parties. You can probably anticipate the next sentence: The Catholic Thing takes no institutional positions. All our writers' opinions are their own.

The format is straightforward. We will bring you an original column every day that provides fresh and penetrating insight into the current situation along with other commentary, news, analysis, and - yes - even humor. Our writers include some of the most seasoned and insightful Catholic minds in America: Michael Novak, Ralph McInerny, Hadley Arkes, Michael Uhlmann, Mary Eberstadt, Austin Ruse, George Marlin, William Saunders, and many others. The regulars will appear every other week - along with a few distinguished pinch hitters - so you can visit the site at any time to see what they are saying or to catch up with columns you may have missed.

We hope you will come by this page often - daily, in fact. There will be a new column here every morning, 8 AM. You will not find a blog. At least for now, our mission lies elsewhere. But we invite your comments, which you can conveniently send us through the Contact button. From time to time, we may also publish readers' opinions, too. And don't be shy about donating if you want to help us carry on this important work.

Come back tomorrow. You can read Michael Novak on "Adventures in Catholic Social Doctrine," partly a personal memoir of more than fifty years at work in the field, partly a wholesome reminder of what changes and what does not in that hardy perennial, the Catholic Thing.


Robert Royal is president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His latest book is "The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West."


Secondhand Smoke: Your 24/7 Bioethics Seminar : Haleigh Poutre to Go to Schoo...

WI Catholic has sent you a link to a blog:

NOTICE his final 2 sentences. I could NOT agree more!

Blog: Secondhand Smoke: Your 24/7 Bioethics Seminar
Post: Haleigh Poutre to Go to School and be Adopted

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Secondhand Smoke: Your 24/7 Bioethics Seminar : Good: Delaware Didn't "Learn ...

WI Catholic has sent you a link to a blog:

This story on Lauren, as well as others from his blog are all worth reading. Others include an UPDATE on Haleigh Poutre

Blog: Secondhand Smoke: Your 24/7 Bioethics Seminar
Post: Good: Delaware Didn't "Learn the Lesson" of Schiavo

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Terminal Sedation

It is becoming part of Hospice in many places! This TERM is not used, but hourly MS given regularly, among other things tells you... watch OUT!

God bless!

You might be interested in the following story from
'Terminal sedation' gaining popularity in CA

shot and needlesDr. David Stevens, the chief executive of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, says he and his colleagues are very concerned about the "terminal sedation" bill that he calls another assisted suicide measure, AB 2747, which narrowly passed through the Assembly chamber of the California legislature last week.

Catholic Fire--Catholic Books Meme

I have a LOT more that are not listed on this that I have read and loved, and some that I did not like at all. Some of THESE titles hold NO interest for me whatsoever. A few of the 'older' titles are some that some day I may get to, even if I did not italicize them, but not in the near future (have to many bought and waiting to be read to even think about those that I DID italicize, much less all the others).

Got this from Jean of Catholic Fire.

God bless!!

On Wed, Jul 9, 2008 at 4:29 PM, Jean Heimann <> wrote:
Hi All,
I didn't tag anyone for this online, as I know how busy everyone is this time of year with vacation plans and summer activities, but if this meme appeals to you and you are not swamped, would you please consider it?
God bless you,

If you would like to do this meme, please be my guest. Just leave a message in my combox.

Posted By Jean M. Heimann to Catholic Fire at 7/08/2008 09:56:00 PM

My answer:

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you would like to read. (If it were given to you as a gift or if you had the money to buy it.)
3) Put the books you LOVE in red or underline them.

1. Mother Teresa: In My Own Words
2. Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles by Raymond Arroyo
3. The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn
4. Amazing Grace for Those who Suffer by Jeff Cavins and Matthew Pinto
5. Mystics and Miracles by Bert Ghezzi
6. True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis De Montfort
7. In Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
8. Interior Castle By St. Teresa of Avila
9. Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross
10. A Holy Life by St. Bernadette of Lourdes
11. The Spiritual Legacy of Sister Mary of the Trinity edited by The Rev. Silvere Van Den Broek
12. Saintly Women for Modern Times by Joan Carol Cruz
13.Butler's Saint for the Day by Paul Burns
14. Modern Saints by Ann Ball
15. Visionaries, Agnostics, and Stigmatists by Bob and Penny Lord
16. Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality by Raymond Arroyo
17. St. Catherine of Siena by Alice Curtayne
18. Voices of the Saints: A Year of Readings by Bert Ghezzi
19. The Silver Chalice by Thomas B. Costain
20. The Imitation of Mary by Thomas a Kempis
21. Saints and Other Powerful Women in the Church by Bob and Penny Lord
22. Heart of Joy - Mother Teresa
22. Theotokos: Woman, Mother, Disciple (A Catechisis on Mary, Mother of God) by Pope John Paul II
23. In the Presence of the Lord: The History, Theology, and Psychology of Eucharistic Devotion by Fr. Benedict Groeschel
24. Praying in the Presence of the Lord: Prayers for Eucharistic Adoration by Fr. Benedict Groeschel
26. The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena
27. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas
28. Life is Worth Living by Fulton J. Sheen 29. Seven Last Words by Fulton J. Sheen
30. The Spear by Louis de Wohl
31. The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux
32. My Daily Eucharist Complied & Edited by Joan Carter McHugh
33. Way to Happiness by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
34. The World's First Love by Fulton J. Sheen
35. Dressing with Dignity by Colleen Hammond
36. Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul II
37. On the Way to Jesus Christ by Pope Benedict XVI
38. The Gift of Peace by Joseph Cardinal Bernadin
39. The Virtue Driven Life by Fr. Benedict Groeschel
40. The Privilege of Being a Woman by Alice Von Hidebrand
41. Sex and the Sacred City by Steven Kellmeyer
42. Emily's Hope by Ellen Gable
43. Surprised by Truth (Any in the series) by Patrick Madrid
44. Praying in the Presence of the Lord with the Saints by Fr. Benedict Groeschel and James Monti
45. The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort
46. Mystical City of God by Ven. Mary of Agreda
47. Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Francis of Assisi by G. K. Chesterton
48. It is I Who Have Chosen You: An Autobiography by Judie Brown
49. The Heart of a Saint: Ten Ways to Grow Closer to God by Bert Ghezzi
50. Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light
51. The Confessions of St. Augustine by St. Augustine
52. Arise from Darkness: What to Do When Life Doesn't Make Sense by Fr. Benedict Groeschel
53. Love and Responsibility by Pope John Paul II
54. Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God by Scott Hahn
55. Padre Pio: The True Story by Bernard C. Ruffin
56. Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox by G.K. Chesterton
57. There are No Accidents: In All Things Trust in God by Benedict J. Groeschel, John Bishop, Glenn Sodanno, Michael Dubruiel
58. Mr. Blue by Miles Connolly
59. Saints Behaving Badly: The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and Devil-Worshippers Who Became Saints by Thomas J. Craughwell
60. The Authentic Catholic Woman by Genevieve Kineke
61. 101 Inspirational Stories of the Rosary by Sister Patricia Proctor
62. God Is Love (Deus Caritas Est) (Benedict XVI)By Pope Benedict XVI
63. Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II by George Weigel
64. Archbishop Fulton Sheen's St. Therese - A Treasured Love Story by Fulton J. Sheen
65. A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World by Carl Anderson
66. My Life With the Saints by James Martin
67. Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life by Johnnette Benkovic
68. The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary: From the Visions of Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich by Anne Catherine Emmerich
69. The Promise: God's Purpose and Plan for When Life Hurts by Fr. Jonathon Morris
70. Weeds Among the Wheat by Thomas H Green
71. Praying in the Presence of Our Lord with Fulton J. Sheen by Fulton Sheen, Michael Dubruiel, Fr. Benedict Groeschel
72. Praying in the Presence of Our Lord With St. Padre Pio (Praying in the Presence)by Eileen Dunn Bertanzetti

73. Shower of Heavenly Roses: Inspirational True Stories of Healing Guidance, and other Miracles, Atrributed to the Intercession of Therese of the Little Flower by Elizabeth Ficocelli
74. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
75. Edith Stein: A Biography/the Untold Story of the Philosopher and Mystic Who Lost Her Life in the Death Camps of Auschwitz by Waltraud Herbstrith
76. The Catholic Church And Conversion by G. K. Chesterton
77. Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year by O.C.D. Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen
78. The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur: The Woman Whose Goodness Changed Her Husband from Atheist to Priest by Elisabeth Leseur
79. What Does God Want?: A Practical Guide to Making Decisions by Michael Scanlan, James D. Manney
80. Married Saints and Blesseds: Through the Centuries by Ferdinand Holbock
81. Butler's Lives of the Saints: With Reflections for Every Day in the Year by Alban Butler
82. Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
83. 101 Inspirational Stories of the Sacrament of Reconcilation by Sister Patricia Proctor
84. 201 Inspirational Stories Of The Eucharist by Sister Patricia Proctor
85. By Love Refined: Letters to a Young Bride by Alice Von Hildebrand
86. Blessed Miguel Pro: 20th-Century Mexican Martyr by Ann Ball
87. Good News About Sex and Marriage: Answers to Your Honest Questions About Catholic Teaching by Christopher West
88. Father Elijah: An Apocalypse by Michael D. O'Brien
89. Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen by Fulton J. Sheen
90. Visits To The Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori
91. The Grunt Padre by Father Daniel Mode
92. Literary Converts: Spiritual Inspiration in an Age of Unbelief by Joseph Pearce
93. Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
94. The Theology of the Body in John Paul II: What It Means, Why It Matters by Richard M. Hogan
95. Saint Gianna Molla: Wife, Mother, Doctor by Pietro Molla, Elio Guerriero, James G. Colbert
96. Love Letters to My Husband By Gianna Beretta Molla
97. Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla: A Woman's Life, 1922-1962 by Giuliana Pelucchi
98. Behold Your Mother by Heidi Hess-Saxton
99. Let Nothing Trouble You: 60 Reflections from the Writings of Teresa of Avila by Heidi Hess Saxton and St. Teresa of Avila
100. Catholic Saints Prayer Book by Donna Marie Cooper O'Boyle

If you would like to do this meme, please be my guest. Just leave a message in my comment box.

Defend disabled, unborn with equal vigor, Catholic brother urges

Brother Paul O'Donnell spoke at the National Life to Right Conference held in Washington DC this past weekend (over the fourth of July, 2008). He also manned a space next to Bobby Schindler and his sister, Suzanne Vitadamo in the display section of the Conference. I was privileged to be able to speak and to meet them, and had the opportunity to buy and read my now autographed copy of the book that the family has written about the struggle to save Terri's life.

God bless!

Defend disabled, unborn with equal vigor, Catholic brother urges

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- A Catholic brother who cared for a brain-damaged fellow brother for more than 12 years urged activists in the pro-life movement July 5 to defend the rights of the disabled as vigorously as they fight for the unborn.

Brother Paul O'Donnell, a member of the Franciscan Brothers of Peace in St. Paul, Minn., spoke at a workshop session of the National Right to Life Committee's annual convention in Arlington.

He said he ran into conflict with health care professionals, even at Catholic facilities, as he sought appropriate care for Brother Michael Gaworski, founder of the Franciscan Brothers of Peace, who suffered a severe brain injury after he contracted a rare bacterial pneumonia at age 32.

Until he became involved in Brother Michael's care, said Brother Paul, "I had no idea of the effect the anti-life forces had had on the health care industry."

"Quality of life is not a Gospel value," he said. "It's a secular value. Quality of life is Hollywood secularism and materialism. ... Where there's love there is no burden."

Read the rest of this article here.

New DNA Evidence Clears Ramsey Family

This is really very sad. It is also very late in coming. Patsy has died, having lived under suspicion for years! Even their then young son was under suspicion.

Every time I hear about botched cases, I think of JonBenet's death. By the way, it says in this article that she died in 2006. That is incorrect. It was  Dec 26, 1996. This is over a DECADE of suspicion by many in the world that this family had to live through. If stress is a factor in Cancer, it may also have contributed to Patsy's death.

Sad. I really wish she had lived long enough to have gotten this apology.

God bless!

---------- Forwarded message ----------


**Watch FOX News Channel or go to for more

New DNA Evidence Clears Ramsey Family in JonBenet Death

Wednesday, July 09, 2008,2933,379041,00.html



Officials cleared the immediate family of JonBenet Ramsey in her death Tuesday thanks to new DNA evidence that links the murder to a still unknown man.

Boulder (Colo.) District Attorney Mary T. Lacy gave John Ramsey a letter that stated that "significant new evidence convinces us that it is appropriate, given the circumstances of this case, to state that we do not consider your immediate family, including you, your wife, Patsy, and your son, Burke, to be under any suspicion in the commission of this crime," according to a letter obtained by

Click here to read the letter.

JonBenet, a 6-year-old beauty contestant, was found dead in her family's Boulder home on Dec. 26, 2006. (SIC) She had been reported missing early in the morning and was found by her father, John, in the family's basement. She'd been strangled and bludgeoned and had signs of sexual molestation.

In the letter, addressed to John Ramsey, Lacy said that a "touch DNA" test by Bode Technology Group, found new DNA evidence on long johns and underwear worn by JonBenet.

"The match of male DNA on two separate items of clothing worn by the victim at the time of the murder makes it clear to us that an unknown male handled these items," Lacy's letter said. "Despite substantial efforts over the years to identify the source of this DNA, there is no innocent explanation for its incriminating presence at three sites on these two different items of clothing that JonBenet was wearing at the time of her murder."

The letter also included an apology.

"To the extent that we may have contributed in any way to the public perception that you might have been involved in this crime, I am deeply sorry," the letter said. "No innocent person should have to endure such an extensive trial in the court of public opinion, especially when public officials have not had sufficient evidence to initiate a trial in a court of law."