Thursday, November 29, 2012

"I Can't Wait to Watch It All Burn!"

Let's get our Book of Revelation on!  From today's first reading:

"With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down,
and will never be found again.
No melodies of harpists and musicians,
flutists and trumpeters,
will ever be heard in you again.
No craftsmen in any trade
will ever be found in you again.
No sound of the millstone
will ever be heard in you again.
No light from a lamp
will ever be seen in you again.
No voices of bride and groom
will ever be heard in you again.
Because your merchants were the great ones of the world,
all nations were led astray by your magic potion." (Rev. 18:21-23)

Of course the Gospel for today talks about the end times, destruction, persecution, the end of the world, flames, etc.

I think there is a temptation for Catholics who try their best to follow Christ and live out the Catholic Faith to get excited when we hear about "Babylon the great city" the country whose "merchants were the great ones of the world" being razed and burned to the ground.

The temptation: "finally, all the wicked people will see I was right, all the people who hated me, who spat on me, who lied about me, who slandered me, who cursed me, they'll all finally see I was right!!!"  There is a temptation to see ourselves as above this fray, above Sodom and Gomorrah, to hold our noses at the stench and filth that exists in our world and say "well, I told you so."

...But neither the saints nor the Church have ever taken that stance.  We don't live in the first society that morally speaking is going down the toilet.  The Church was just coming online as Rome was plummeting towards its glorious destruction and pillaging by the "barbarians" (which side were the "barbarians" is open to interpretation), and the Church has seen lots of other civilizations and nations rise to the top before gloriously and triumphantly imploding into a dung heap.

The saints and the Church call us not to aloofness but to do something try to call out to people EVEN as they spit on you, even as they mock you, just as they did with Jesus.  The saints before us and the Church both ask us to not disengage, but to redouble our efforts in fasting, penance, almsgiving, etc.both for our own continuing conversion and for the conversion of those we live with.

We may live in Babylon the Great, and it may tire us, and we may be tempted to throw our hands up and say, "LATER!  I'm out of here, I'm going to go get a good book to read as I watch this country burn from a safe distance."

but disengaging and waiting for the sky to fall isn't an option for any true Catholic.  Until the sands of time expire, we are asked to see every person as a member of the Body of Christ, and to work like heck to help every last person attain salvation, ourselves included. 

Wednesday's Gospel...How Appropriate!

Jesus said to the crowd:
"They will seize and persecute you,
they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons,
and they will have you led before kings and governors
because of my name.
It will lead to your giving testimony.
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,
for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking
that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.
You will even be handed over by parents,
brothers, relatives, and friends,
and they will put some of you to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.
By your perseverance you will secure your lives."
- Luke 21:12-19

I always want to ask Catholics who merely view the Catholic Faith as a handy dandy coping mechanism that just happens to suit them but isn't right for everyone:

"You seem to believe that the only virtue in the world is "to be nice."  Do you think anyone, in the history of the world, has ever or will ever be thrown in jail or persecuted for being nice?"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I'm Back on the Gay Blogosphere!

Anyone think that there isn't a move from the liberal left to SILENCE the Catholic Church on this issue should click here.  I'd encourage you to go there and try to leave a comment and evangelize if you have the time..."to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death." 

Friday, November 23, 2012

New Wine in Old Wineskins???

What we're doing right now isn't working...the window is closing on our opportunity to actually explain our key teachings to people compassionately and beautifully.  Join us and contribute to our project by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'll Be on a National Program on 11/28 at 9 p.m. EST

Courageous Priest, a fantastic website, is hosting and interviewing me for a call-in show/presentation on how to help reevangelize the culture, and help the world understand what the Church ACTUALLY teaches on the subject of homosexuality. 

To participate in the show next Wed., and to ask questions and join the discussion, click here to find out how to join us.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Changed the Blog Background to White!

Many people have requested this - I finally got around to changing the background today.  People have said that it is hard to read with a black background so I hope that this helps! 

Let me know what you think, whether you love it or hate it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Questions on the Title "Unnatural Law?"

There is only so much you can explain in a six minute video.  Given the fact that the average YouTube viewer leaves a video after 87 seconds of viewing, we already knew our video was pushing it.  I wanted to take some time to answer a few questions that have arisen.

1) "The title "Unnatural Law?" is off-putting and/or offensive"

The title was chosen so as to attempt to DRAW people in who might be hostile to the Church on this topic.  Please note that the question mark is a VERY important piece of the title.  The term "Natural Law" is one that offends many people living with same sex attraction, so when people see the title who are in that camp, we're hoping they might say..."hmm, this is interesting, is this a film that is saying the Natural Law argument is it saying the laws in the 47 U.S. states are wrong?  Is it saying that the laws in the states that just redefined marriage are unnatural???  What's going on here?"  Then, when the documentary starts with people who LIVE WITH same sex attraction talking about that AND their Catholic Faith, we're hoping they'll watch some more.

If you don't like the title though, leave a comment on the blog here or on our Facebook page and let us know what it SHOULD be called, and we'll take a new title into consideration if it does a better job of drawing people in than our current one.

2)  "Is the film going to be compassionate or judgmental and harsh?"

This is the question that frankly upsets me a bit.  The whole point of this project is to explain to people what we ACTUALLY believe as Catholics; that our teachings are NOT the same as the religious right, that our teachings are true, but also compassionate, backed up by sound science, inviting and that they speak to LOTS of people who live with same sex attraction.

The whole point of the documentary is to stand up and say "we don't teach that a person living with same sex attraction ought to be sent off to a reeducation camp."

The point of this film is to put something out there that will hopefully correct the faulty stereotype that is put out there by people who THINK they understand the Church's teachings (but don't), and who are out there telling everyone else what we believe, and are doing so quite effectively with little clarification from Catholics - a problem arising because most Catholics don't know what we believe either!  

We are hopeful that some prominent Church leaders in the U.S. will grant us an interview for the film.  In fact we are in the early dialogue process already (we don't want to put too much in place if the film doesn't get funded).  Does anyone think that ANY bishop would let us put something out there with their name on it that was angry, demeaning, intimidating, off-putting, offensive?  Would any bishop approve of a project that was going to be anything other than attempt to reach out to people and speak to their situation and life, hoping to show them compassionately what the Church has to offer?

3) "Fr. Hollowell is a rigid and angry conservative, and he sometimes wears a cassock...I hope the documentary doesn't have him in it."

No, the documentary will not have me in it.  I am simply working with Blackstone as a consultant on the project, frankly more on the artistic end and answering basic questions for the producers/crew as they arise.  The film is being released by the Studio.  I will not be interviewed for the project, so if you find me angry or offensive, you can donate and rest easy.

Notre Dame is #1, No More Twinkies...the World is Ending!

The end of the world should worry us some, but we should be more worried about the people who AREN'T in Church.  How do we go on the (non-violent) offensive during this Year of "Twitterifying" our Faith!

"Unnatural Law?" Promo is Now on YouTube

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm Involved in Something Crazy, and I NEED Your HELP!!!

A film company and I are trying to make a movie.  I need your help.  Check out the film's website, spread the word via Facebook and Twitter and email, do whatever you can to help us make this awesome project a reality!  Please visit our website by clicking here, and please help us do anything you can to see this project through!  Thank you so much for partnering with us!!!!

The Latin Mass comes to Brazil

At Annunciation Catholic Church in Brazil, Indiana, we have begun celebrating the Mass in Latin once a week on Tuesday evenings at 5:30.

That sentence sets off more ecclesiastical alarms and earthquakes than just about anything else a priest could say.

I want to first of all address all the fears and concerns people not from our parish have about this

Also, lots of people are intimidated by the prayers that are recited because most people obviously have never used any Latin before.  This is a practice video that allows for an easy way for people to practice the prayers and responses from the comfort and security of their own home.  It's embarrassment-free!  Besides, people are welcome at the Mass even if you simply want to observe for a while and pray with us.  You are still MOST welcome to come to Mass even if you plan to silently observe at Mass!

Finally, here is our second Latin Mass that was celebrated just last evening.  Some had requested that we videotape the Mass so that parishioners and family and friends who are currently out of town could still take part in some way.

We've had a great turnout so far - we probably have two or three times the number of regular daily Mass attendees who come out for the Mass in Latin.  We'd love to have you join us if you are able.

God bless!
Fr. John Hollowell

Monday, November 12, 2012


"Progress by its very name indicates a direction; and the moment we are in the least doubtful about the direction, we become in the same degree doubtful about the progress." - G.K. Chesterton

In the final days of the campaign, the slogan of President Obama caught my attention, and it has provided much food for thought because I think it is emblematic of where we are as a country.


Purely from an advertising/branding standpoint it is brilliant.  The period says so much.  The period also is the only way to answer all of the concerns that undecided voters surely had about the President.  The slogan is liberalism summed up in a word and a punctuation mark.  Don't ask questions about how we got to this point, don't ask questions about whether or not someone is to blame, don't ask questions if we've learned lessons from the past, don't ask about Benghazi or the economy, don't ask questions about whether or not Obamacare is a good idea, don't ask questions about the HHS Mandate, don't ask questions about contraception and its effects on women.

In short - don't ask questions about where we've come from and don't ask questions about where we ought to go.  The only thing we can do is go FORWARD.


An exclamation point doesn't work - it sounds aggressive, like the cry of a general to troops at the front of a war.  A question mark surely also sends the wrong message - "Should we go forward?" - who would answer "no" to that question? 


People who are overly-nervous and anxious are always moving; they can't sit still.  People who don't want to do the tough work and acknowledge that some things are actually good and some things are actually bad choose to be jittery as well - "JUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD!" they yell at us who stop to ask a question about where exactly it is that we are going. 

FORWARD.  Just go forward, no matter where forward is, even if it is over a moral or fiscal cliff, today the only thing that we think is good anymore is moving somewhere, even though we can no longer talk about right/wrong/good/evil - the words that, in the past, have always been used to gauge whether a destination was worthy of our traveling there.   

Of course history screams out to us and reminds us that from 1940 to 1945 the German people moved forward chronologically.  In the 1920's, the Communist Party moved forward in Russia.  We are all in agreement that those were bad "forwards"; a fourth grader can point to lots of examples in history where things did NOT get better simply by watching the calendar move "forward", but at the same time we convince ourselves that we must move "forward" no matter where that is, because apparently today if we just move forward and don't ask questions, it will all work out.

Pastor Chesterton...brings us home:

"Every one of the popular modern phrases and ideals is a dodge in order to shirk the problem of what is good...the modern man says "Away with your old moral formulae; I am for progress." This, logically stated, means, "Let us not settle what is good; but let us settle whether we are getting more of it." He says, "Neither in religion nor morality, my friend, lie the hopes of the race, but in education." This, clearly expressed, means, "We cannot decide what is good, but let us give it to our children."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Just Give Them Bread and Circuses

"the People have abdicated our duties;
for the People who once upon a time handed out military command,
high civil office, legions —
everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things:
bread and circuses"

Roman poet Juvenal, 100 AD

Robert the Bruce and Obama Catholics

First, click here to watch a classic scene from the movie Braveheart

Braveheart is obviously a classic.  In the film, Robert the Bruce, the dashing young man from the video above, betrays William Wallace for money, lands, and titles.  He regrets it after looking into Wallace's eyes and seeing the wreckage that his decision has on his country.

I firmly believe that when Catholic hospitals are closing, when priests are being arrested for not marrying Adam and Steve, when our country starts aborting children with tax money, when the Catholic Church is completely turned on and the movement by secular atheists to annihilate the Church begins in full force, then the utterly horrendous, morally bankrupt nature of the voting practices of the cafeteria Catholics will finally be realized, and a lot of Catholics who voted for Obama will say the same thing Robert Bruce said above:

"Money, lands, titles, power..nothing...those pro-life Catholics fight for something that I've never had, and I took it from them when I betrayed them and I saw it in their faces on the battlefield, and it's tearing me apart."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Today's Tolkien Quotes

I turn to the Lord today...and also to J.R.R. Tolkien.  Three of my favorite quotes from him seem apropos this morning.

1)  "All that is gold does not glitter, not all who wander are lost, the old that are strong do not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring, renewed shall be blade that is broken, the crownless again shall be king."

      indeed, preaching in a few weeks on Christ the King Sunday will certainly be much easier given the election results

2)  Frodo: "I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened."
     Gandalf: "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us"

3)  (from the film) "I'm glad to be with you Samwise Gamgee, here at the end of all things!"

I love this one because it shows that even as the world is crashing down around folks, as it has many times in the past, what really matters is love and friendship - the things that no one can beat out of you or kill from without.  "Faith Hope and Love remain, and the greatest of these is love!"  I still likely have Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family and friends, I still have great friends and I still have the Lord, and I think it is those realizations that have given strength to the persecuted of our glorious past.


Election Reflection for Warrior Catholics

I became a priest because God was calling me to it.  I can promise wasn't my idea.  At the time of my calling, and indeed throughout seminary, I imagined being a priest in a medium-sized parish, baptizing babies, marrying couples, growing old, and eventually dying and going to heaven.

Perhaps to keep me from running away, I was spared viewing the type of priesthood that God has since let me know that I would ACTUALLY be called to.  Practically from my ordination day, I've felt (and been shown) that the priesthood God is raising up in me and my fellow priests of my generation is a priesthood of warriors who will fight and die for the faith.  I've also realized, from pretty early on, that this generation of warrior priests would be, in an earthly sense, too late.  It is tempting to ask, "why didn't God raise up priests like this 40 years ago?"  I don't have the answer, but I know enough to know that God has his reasons.

It began with homilies...when people would come up and complain about them I would sit there and have a kind of out of body experience and think "I should be really affected by this, but I could care less that this person is yelling at me right now."  Of course it continued with videos spreading out across the country to friends and foes alike...I remember thinking "I should be really sad that people are attacking me" but I remember in those moments being overcome with the urge to chuckle at how little it actually DID affect me.  You, as a faithful Catholic, have likely had similar experiences...and that is God working in you and preparing you for what is to come as well. 

And so it begins...

I'm a bigger fan of authentic peace, but I'd rather have a battle than surface level passive-aggressive "peace" that simply masks evil.  I've seen, in 3.5 years of priesthood, that perhaps a battle would do us all some good.  If the stats hold true, 40% of Catholics who go to Mass every week just stood in open defiance of their bishops and the Church in voting in the affirmative for a candidate who
1) supports redefining marriage
2) supports forcing the Church to do something it will never do
3) is for abortion through all 9+ months of pregnancy
4) is for the government helping people procure abortions if they can't afford one
5) provides for the destruction of human embryos for research

Please draw me up a candidate who could more completely embody the opposite of Catholicism.

The Catholic Church in the United States is a cage that needs rattling, and the coming battle will provide just such a shake-up.  The days of bishops and cardinals yucking it up with anti-Catholic politicians will soon be at an end.  The days of bishops and cardinals wagging fingers at anti-Catholic "catholic" politicians and telling them not to cross this line again...and then redrawing the line further back...those days will soon be at an end.

And I guess what I'm saying is that there is a lazy part of me that prefers comfort and wishes it never had to come to blows like this surely will...but there is another part of me that realizes God is doing something in the hearts of faithful priests and Catholics and I think we're on the edge of something that will be unlike anything we've seen in our lifetimes.

"Do not think that I have come to bring peace.  I've come not to bring peace but rather the sword."  - Jesus Christ.  He brings the sword because the sword wakes people up, and it is better to be awakened at the last moment so that one can still repent than it is for a person to gain the whole world but lose his soul.


My favorite scene from the Dark Knight Rises movie is at the beginning.  Commissioner Jim Gordon is at a podium and a couple of fatcat politicians are talking about him from afar:
fatcat 1: "He's going to have plenty of free time, the mayor's dumping him."
fatcat 2: "But he's a hero!"
fatcat 1: "He's a wartime hero, this is peacetime."

"Wartime Heroes" always seem clumsy, brutish, unpolished, unrefined etc. when things are going swell and dandy and everyone has enough food to eat.  Wartime heroes don't know how to make a martini and don't have a room full of stogies, but when peacetime evaporates, no one gives a dang about priests and bishops and leaders that are "refined" and "dignified", people turn to warrior priests and warrior Catholics...they will turn to us soon...and we will be ready.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Video and a Prayer

The only way to end it all!

And now, a prayer from our bishops:

Lord God, as the election approaches,
we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/state/country,
and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.
We ask for eyes that are free from blindness
so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters,
one and equal in dignity,
especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.
We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned,
Men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.
We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom.
We pray for discernment
so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word,
live your love,
and keep in the ways of your truth
as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles
and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Things the HHS does NOT mandate

1)  From the HHS website: "HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is joining with the Ad Council to launch a new nationwide public service advertising (PSA) campaign called “Together We Can All Fight the Flu.” “Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the H1N1 flu virus,” said Secretary Sebelius.  “Fighting the flu is a shared responsibility, and it is up to all of us to help prevent the spread of the flu in your community.  Right now, Americans have a window of opportunity to get vaccinated.  These new PSAs will encourage pregnant women, children, young adults, and other priority groups to protect themselves by getting the H1N1 vaccine.”

The HHS has not mandated that the shot be covered

2)  Mammorgams.  From the HHS website: "In October, during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we remember those who have lost their lives to breast cancer, and those who are battling it now, by recommitting ourselves to their fight and spreading the word of the importance of prevention and early detection.  Because of the Affordable Care Act, it’s a new day for women’s health and the fight against breast cancer.  Budgets are tight, and even moderate copays can deter many women from getting those important screenings.  Because of the Affordable Care Act – the health care law signed by President Obama two years ago – many private health plans and Medicare now cover mammograms and certain other preventive services with no copays or other out-of-pocket costs."

sidebar question here - what does Obamacare do to move the needle from many insurers covering it before Obamacare to still having many cover it now? Many covered it before Obamacare, and many cover it now! 

Regardless...the HHS has not mandated that mammograms be covered

3)  From the HHS website: "Nearly 26 million Americans are affected by Asthma, including 7 million children, especially minority children and children with family incomes below the poverty level. Asthma rates of African American children are currently at 16 percent, while 16.5 percent of Puerto Rican children suffer from the chronic respiratory disease, more than double the rate of Caucasian children in the United States. The annual economic cost of asthma, including direct medical costs from hospital stays and indirect costs such as lost school and work days, amounts to approximately $56 billion."

The HHS has not mandated that asthma meds be covered

4)  From the HHS website: "Last year, 45.9 million adult Americans had a mental illness, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health. These conditions affect individuals, their families and loved ones, and communities.  Unfortunately, many individuals do not receive needed services and treatment."

The HHS has not mandated that mental health medicine be covered

5)  From the HHS website: "Right now, half of those Americans with high blood pressure still don’t have it adequately controlled. African Americans are at particular risk—often having more severe hypertension, and developing it at younger ages.  Each year, more than 795,000 Americans have a stroke and more than 130,000 people in the United States die every year after a stroke—an average of one stroke-related death every 4 minutes.  Together, the financial costs of high blood pressure and stroke are staggering.

The HHS has not mandated that blood pressure medicine be covered

But...contraceptives/sterilizations/abortion causing drugs...we got you covered here in the USA.