Friday, March 30, 2012

The President's Idea of Women's Health, In Case You Weren't Sure

Here's a new little video from the President to all the Planned Parenthood supporters out there.

I think he REALLY believes that he and Planned Parenthood are on the side of women.

Great Parody of Move

Bravo to the folks at yet again! Awesome video!

Two Film Companies in the Archdiocese!!

Two college-aged young men are doing great work behind the scenes in our Archdiocese, and we are very fortunate to have them. Most dioceses don't have anybody doing this kind of work, and so to have two of them is a true blessing!

Branden Stanley is a junior at Ball State and has a company he runs called Starlight Media.

John O'Rourke is a 21 year old who has founded Blacksone Films.

Both men were at the HHS Rally working their magic. Branden's video I posted a few posts ago. I just got a hold of John's video and I've posted it here:

We NEED these guys doing this work badly. Consider employing them or donating to their companies which are just starting to take off.

Branden's Website can be accessed by clicking here. Also check out John's website by clicking here.

A Good Article From Bad Catholic

I've come across this blogger more and he certainly makes me laugh! He also did a story that mentioned me that I thought I'd share with you.

His post is titled "3 Failed Attempts to Troll the Catholic Church"

Click here to visit the story on his blog.

Father Barron on the Hunger Games

Glad to see Fr. Barron is in agreement with my analyses on the Hunger Games. I have seen the movie twice now. I viewed it at the midnight showing, and then I went back to watch it at a regular time with a friend from Ritter. I must say that from an artistic standpoint, I was MUCH more impressed the second time around. Perhaps it was because I wasn't dead tired! Any way, I think it is an important book/film (as is the whole series) and I really like Fr. Barron's analysis (as usual), especially his comments at the end about how the series could, in some way, be prophetic of a place our country is heading.

P.S. to those who have asked about violence - I think the film did a MARVELOUS job of not glorifying it and of showing as little of it as humanly possible. You can tell that Suzanne Collins, who wrote the books, also had a hand in the script writing (which she does) because just as the books are not in any way a glorification, the movie avoids that glorification as well!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fasting this Friday

In response to the HHS Mandate and all the garbage it entails, the Bishops of the U.S. have asked all Catholics to fast on Friday, March 30th. The fast is to be what we are typically asked to carry out on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and January 22nd, the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

See here to read the statement by the Bishops

In searching for the link from the Bishops, I stumbled across another fast that was declared in history on March 30th - by President Abraham Lincoln!!! It is a MUST read. I put an excerpt below.

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.

WOW! WOW! WOW! That's all I can say! What if our President said something like this today!

Click here to read the address in its entirety

AWESOME Highlight Video from the Indy HHS Rally!!!

This was put together by Brandon Stanley who has started his own Production Company Starlight Media. Check out his awesome work here!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bishop Michael Sheridan Takes a Crack at Expressing His Say

One of our Bishops, Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, submitted an entry into the "I Have a Say" campaign. Have you submitted yours yet? To read Bishop Sheridan's statement (and many other wonderful submissions) click here.

Kalley Yanta Has a Say

Any News on the HHS Stuff?

People have been asking me if there have been any updates on the HHS mandate, and rightly so.

I offer the answer with a tired, exasperated look on my face (or at least that's what I'm thinking in my mind) - "yes and no"

Yeah, there have been updates. More of the tip of the iceberg has been revealed by the administration:

1) Abortions for a dollar
2) College kids now have to be covered for contraceptives through their college insurance plan
3) The Bishops have restated their position - "we ain't budging on this, and we'll close the whole thing down and be an underground persecuted Church as opposed to violating our consciences
4) People from camp Obama met with the Bishops' Conference and, as Cardinal Dolan said it, "they told us that we didn't properly understand Catholic teaching"
5) A group of crazy nuns and a few "catholic" commentators continue to back the President
6) Team Obama continues to publicly be shocked that people are so upset and they point to their willingness to "give it a year"
7) Team Obama continues to, out of the public eye, not only not carry on dialogue, but continues to push through decisions that are of the same frightening nature

People have been asking why there haven't been any updates.
a) The Planned Parenthood "I Have a Say" video has kept me SUPER busy with emails and phone calls and so forth
b) I'm just flat tired of all the nuances of the HHS debate. Not tired in the sense of losing my energy to fight, but sick of reporting on every detail --- it basically comes down to this --- if Obamacare (and all the moral "blank checks" it allows the President to write and force us to accept) if it passes the Supreme Court and the administration is not rebuffed, then we Catholics are, in the earthly realm, in grave jeopardy.

There you go. End of story. It is as most orthodox Catholics have been saying for four years - "This guy has it out for Catholics and has it out for life" Nothing else to say.

Sure, when things break I'll put them up here, but I'm starting to fear that writing a post about, for example, the 1$ abortion announcement last Friday, grants to much credibility to the news, and, I fear, can almost remove it out of its proper context:

The proper context being good vs. evil. This is a battle against principalities and powers, against those forces who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. I don't care if the President or Pelosi or Sebelius or Cecile Richards are cognizant of their roles in this battle or not (they strike me as more of the pawn type).

Any news on this HHS stuff???? Absolutely - Team Obama/Planned Parenthood is who we've been warning about for years... they are who we said they are...and we come to it...the great battle of our age.

Stories on the details of the mandate, after a while, start to take the focus off of what is really going on. If there are people out there on the fence STILL, then hearing that abortions for a dollar is part of Obamacare isn't going to convince them to suddenly back the Church. I'm not going to waste more time trying to convince people on the fence that this is all evil - I'm simply going to fight the evil, and I urge you to do the same.

I'm Talking at This Friday's Rally for Religious Freedom

In cities all across the country at Noon this Friday people will be gathering at their respective governmental buildings to protest the stripping away of religious liberty that the Obama administration is just beginning to do.

At the rally being held at Indianapolis' State House, I have actually been asked to be one of the three speakers. Bishop Coyne had a prior commitment, and someone had seen my "I Have a Say" video and asked if I would be able to speak. I'm honored to join with people of good will from all across the country to stand up and speak out. If you are free on Friday at noon, join us at the Statehouse, and if you don't live in Indy, find your local rally on line!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Genuf....

The "genuf" is what I have decided to start calling the half-genuflection (although calling what I usually see a half genuflection is often VERY generous).

First of all, it is always helpful to mention when it is that we ought to genuflect because many have simply never been taught. We genuflect when coming in and out of the presence of royalty, and certainly our Lord Jesus Christ is the "King of Kings" and thus also deserves that same treatment. No one going to see the Queen of England would drop their knee about 3 inches in more of a curtsy/stumbling motion, so why do we do it with our Lord? I think often times (and this is on the priests to help do a better job of teaching people this) people simply don't know that we even believe Christ is truly present in the tabernacle.

An important aspect of a genuflection is to actually touch the knee to the ground. Part of the value of the genuflection is that it continues to be an opportunity to show humility...and It also hurts and that pain is good! Now of course here some will relegate me to that same class as the masochistic monk in the Da Vinci code and those who enjoy hurting themselves - but it's not so. Catholics believe that there is actually joy to be found in admitting something is greater than ourselves; there is joy to be found when I am able to acknowledge that I'm not in charge and that I don't always know what is best; there is joy in admitting, through a genuflection, that I am not the King of the Universe. There is a childish simplicity and levity that comes from not walking into Church and giving God the "what's up dude head nod" but instead saying "Lord, it is good for me to be here in your presence!"

"Genuflection haters" love to frame genuflection in terms of some medieval custom that hails from a time when people were overly focused on the transcendence and greatness of God, but they say that now that we are enlightened moderns who have crawled out of the swamp of the middle ages, we now know that God is our bud, and so a quick head nod as if to say "what's up" is sufficient.

Next time you come into or leave the presence of the King of the Universe, don't settle for a "genuf" or a head nod but instead let your knee touch the ground, let it be an opportunity to reflect on your position in the universe and to give honor to the King of Kings (and teach your kids and teenagers to do the same).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cohabitation Ceremony

The Vatican Observatory? What in the World?

A good interview with Brother Guy Consolmagno about the Vatican Observatory and the relationship between science and religion.

Brother Guy's Book "God's Mechanincs" is a FANTASTIC, humorous, and important book. You will enjoy it immensely. Either way, enjoy this interview!

BABY 2012

So a documentary of sorts has gone mega-viral about a Ugandan dictator named Joseph Kony. I first heard of Kony in 2004 when some girls I had taught first brought the documentary "Invisible Children" to Bishop Chatard High School. The girls got a front page article in the Criterion and did a great job of helping to spread the word about Kony and the "Invisible Children" child soldiers that he kidnapped, tortured mentally and physically, and then made into soldiers for his army.

Now Kony is on the run, down to a few hundred soldiers, and the filmmakers are back (with lots of celebrity power this time) seeking to bring an end to Kony and bring him to justice.

That's all awesome work!

I once heard a talk by Dr. Scott Hahn, and he was really challenging a group of pro-life orthodox "hard core" Catholics. Dr. Hahn noted that it is really easy for people to fight hard against sins which are not a challenge for them to commit. It is important to note that Dr. Hahn is one of the most pro-life Catholics on the planet - his challenge to people was "are you railing against issues that aren't difficult for you not to commit, while failing to look in yourself?" Dr. Hahn is obviously not saying "stop speaking out on pro-life issues" but is saying "WHILE fighting evil external to yourself, don't look past your own issues."

I wonder if some of what is fueling this "Kony 2012" movement (80 MILLION VIEWS IN 2 DAYS) is the fact that this cause also provides Americans an opportunity to fight against something that is really easy to rally against while also allowing Americans to look past the problems that we REALLY can have a GIGANTIC impact on in our own country.

In the mega-viral video "Kony 2012", a republican congressman and a democratic congresswoman note the following two things about Kony:

"These young members of the Invisible Children Organization know that no child should live in fear of being abducted or killed."


"Of all the problems that are out there, none is more severe than one that mutilates and takes the lives of little kids."

My question is this: does that only happen in Uganda? Does the mutilation of children only take place half way around the globe? Kony abducted a horribly tragic 30,000 children and wreaked havoc for many years in Uganda, and I am in no way dismissing the need to bring him to justice. I just also wonder if some of this passion for "Kony 2012" is to provide us a straw man to whack at so we don't have to confront that our own country kills that many young people a week.

Moore Family Continues to Lead and Teach

Officer David Moore, who I had the quite unexpected privilege of helping to eulogize at his funeral last year, is back in the news. Dave's parents, Spencer and Jo Moore, were on the front page of the Indystar yesterday once again showing this city how to be heroically good people.

Officer Moore's killer had requested mercy, and the family's response..."Once he asked for compassion, we felt like we should give it to him."

The man responsible for ending the life of Officer Moore will get life in jail.

The most open and shut case for the death penalty is the murder of a police officer, and currently in Indiana two men are on death row for just such a crime. The only thing that can spare a person from such a fate - mercy from the family - and that is precisely what David's killer received.

David and his parents were great people before David's slaying, in a heroic flipping of roles, THEY seemed to help the rest of the city mourn Dave's death, and now, yet again, the Moore family has taught the city what it means to forgive.

Click here to read the Indystar's coverage

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sports Sunday Part 1: Coach Calipari and ARETE

The rector ("headmaster") of my seminary, at the beginning of my final year, hung up on one of the hallways 5 metal 1 foot high letters - ARETE. ARETE is Greek for excellence. Being a fan of the "Jumble" game in the newspaper, I had planned to rearrange the letters on my last day so that they said EATER, but I forgot! is what we are supposed to be about in all things and in all situations. I've tried to live by that in all things, and the idea that working hard and well at whatever I am working on goes back a long way. As Catholics, we join a long line of cultures that have held up "ARETE" and have believed that working on any virtue, working to be excellent at anything, makes a person better in all other phases of their life as well. Without straying into perfectionism and obsession (which both have pride at their core), I should work to do my best whether I'm cleaning my room or cutting the grass, preaching for 10 or preaching to 10,000, playing a game with family or playing in front of a crowd - excellence in all things.

That brings me to Kentucky Men's Basketball Coach John Calipari's recent comments. Coach Calipari, I should note, is a daily communicant. A priest friend in Bloomington noted that "Coach Cal" was at Mass on a weekday morning the day Kentucky played IU, and he seems like a really good guy.

Unfortunately, he made a comment recently that I think flies in the face of ARETE. Coach Cal recently noted about all the conference tournaments that are the capstone for every basketball team in the U.S.:

“I couldn’t care less. They [my players] know that. So they go in and know it’s not a big deal."

This also took me back to 2008 when the Calipari-led Memphis team was in the national championship game. Calipari had said in the weeks leading up to the game that his team "makes free throws in the final four minutes when we need them...I'm truly not worried about it," Calipari said. "My concern in this tournament is toughness and rebounding. That will have more to do with us than anything to do with free-throw shooting."

Calipari was making the statement that he didn't feel free-throw shooting was worth much practice time, and wasn't worth the effort that other teams put into it.

Free throw shooting is a "little thing that becomes a big thing" as any basketball coach or player will tell you. It is one of those things that takes the discipline of someone who is seeking ARETE, excellence, to refine. The great players have all been excellent free throw shooters (Bird, Magic, Reggie, MJ, Karim...), with the possible exception of Shaqueille O'Neal who was great mostly because he was so massive that he basically couldn't be guarded.

Anyway, the same year that Calipari made his statement about the triviality of free throws, as fate would have it, Calipari's team was winning the national championship game by 9 with 2:12 to go, but missed 4 of 5 free throws over that time which allowed Kansas to tie the game, and then, in overtime, go on to win the national championship going away. It was a historic collapse on the part of Calipari's team and it was centered completely around free throws.

The Greeks and St. Thomas Aquinas and countless others continue to urge us to do whatever we do with excellence, putting our best effort forward in the little things in life.

I feel bad for Kentucky's team this year because they are young men being told by their coach that the games in the SEC tourney this week don't matter much, and that free throws aren't a big deal. They are some of the best athletes in the world, but, as my rector tried to impress on me so often back in the seminary...excellence in the small things equates to excellence in the big things!

UPDATE 1: Kentucky just lost the SEC Championship game, registering only their second loss on the year

UPDATE 2: Thinking back to last year, the two teams that played in the National Championship Game (Butler and UCONN) both were teams that needed to win their season-ending tourney just to make it into the NCAA tourney. UCONN had no shot at making the field of 68 unless they won the Big East tourney, and Butler was not a lock either unless they won the Horizon League tourney. Both teams got hot (Butler's streak went back a few weeks before the Horizon tourney) and teams who were much higher seeded were upset along the way in the NCAA tourney. ARETE! Excellence!

UPDATE 3: The Colts are another example of the importance of ARETE. The Colts had four legitimate Super Bowlesque years, but the only year they won the whole thing was the year they had to fight and play hard every game of the season. The other three seasons they were able to rest their players the final few games and not play to win. In each of those three seasons where the Colts let up, they did not win it all.

Thanks Lars!

Most of the stuff on the blog is not cheery because storm clouds seem to be rolling in and beginning to blot out the sun.

However, I've learned something from starting the second blog and giving people a chance to say what they're thankful for; I've learned what God has always said - "giving thanks is healthy"

I wanted to take time out on here to thank one of the many rays of sunshine in my life.

My sister "Lars" is a senior in high school. Most high school girls are pretty desperate to fit in. They'll drink whatever or smoke whatever or sleep with whoever simply in order to not be different or stand out.

Lars doesn't work that way!

She's a nutrition junky, she is part owner of one business and is starting a second that has a surprisingly vital business model. She loves bridal magazines but isn't obsessed with physical beauty. She sings, cheers, loves her friends, family, and the Food Network...and is one of the most unique and interesting people I've known in my entire life. People like my sister are people who remind you that life is short, life is good, and each day is a new start.

One of the first homilies I ever gave was on my sister. I include it here:

"In 2001, I was attacked by a Cheetah.

It wasn’t a real Cheetah, it was actually my sister dressed up in a Cheetah leotard. She had lipstick smeared on her face to simulate the blood of her Serengeti prey.

The Cheetah attack is just one of the many ways she has greeted me when I come home. Sometimes she punches me in the stomach, other times she does the splits, and some times she barks and makes strange noises.

It may sound like she needs to be locked up, and we’ve considered it, but she’s always been unique in a good way. She has brought life and energy to our family. From a young age she’s also been a spiritual role model for me, always deeply fascinated by the idea of the devil and angels and Jesus.

The verdict is clearly still out on her sainthood. However, she is a constant reminder that people living in sin are the boring ones, and that it is the saints who are full of imagination and it is the saints who take on as many variations as the stars in the sky.

Some of the saints were fat, and some starved themselves nearly to death. Some were priests and some were mothers. Some were converted prostitutes and others were virgins. Some sat on poles their entire lives, and some were athletes. Some were rich and some were destitute.

Then there was St. Patrick, whom we remember today. The man drove out the snakes from the towns of Ireland. He was walking down the street, and the snakes were fleeing him en masse. Now that is odd and original and interesting and fascinating!

When we contrast the lives of the saints to those living in sin, we see how bland and utterly predictable sin is. How completely boring is an alcoholic, a person addicted to TV, the internet, drugs or pornography, or hatred or bitterness. Living in sin is not actually living at all.

May the saints around us, living and dead, inspire us to embrace the adventure of life. And may they always point us back here, to the Eucharist, where we receive Christ, the one and only source of all imagination, beauty, and creativity."

I'm around young people a lot, and most struggle to carry on a conversation with an adult, but my sister Laura can talk to people twice her age with ease and grace.

Being in high school, I know a lot of times the kids who are mature, who can relate well with others, who don't give in to peer pressure, I know they sometimes get it bad from the immature and socially-robotic clones who have a lot of maturation left to accomplish. No one likes to be around a person who reminds them that they are lacking in human virtues, and I'm sure "Lars" has had her struggles...

But I wanted to take time to tell her, publicly, that she is a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to many people, myself included, and I thank God that she and many other young people recognize there is more to life than Coors Light, the Kardashians, "hooking up" and the latest edition of "Cosmo".

"Lars", I'd rather spend ten minutes talking with you than a month with those who lack your maturity and grace! Keep up the good work and keep being a breath of fresh air to all you meet and know!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New York Times Ad - "Liberal Catholics...It's Time to Leave the Church!"

An atheistic group posted an ad in the NY Times inviting Catholics who hate Church teaching to leave the Church. Some people are offended. I am not. I thank the group for saying exactly what I and many others have been saying for many years --- "If you disagree with Church teaching, what in the heck are you still doing here?"

Click here to read the full page ad

Are Females the Next Dinosaur?

Great Homily on BAD PREACHING!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

God in the Hunger Games

Several months ago, thanks to the encouragement of some of my family, I started reading the Hunger Games Trilogy - and 6 days later (it would have been faster but for priestly duties) I finished.

They really are fantastic books, and I can't recommend them enough, especially if you are looking for a fun read over Spring Break. Two weeks from today, the first of the books will make its much-anticipated appearance on the big screen. You can watch the trailer for the film here

Let me quickly fill you in on some of the details of the story (nothing I say here will spoil the books for you - I'm just setting the table). Post-apocalyptic North America is split into 12 districts all subservient to "The Capital." In order to continually remind the districts who is in charge, "The Capital" hosts the annual Hunger Games. Each district sends a boy and a girl into the arena, and the last one standing is the victor. The entire event is watched live from cameras that have every angle in the arena. Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her sister's place and she is joined from her district by a young man named Peeta Mallark. you are caught up on the basics.

Let me say that I can't recommend the books strongly enough, even to junior high children. There is some definite violence, but it is handled appropriately and is certainly not glorified (as we'll get to in a moment).

I wanted to offer up some reflections on how themes raised in the book are certainly in line with the Gospel and the Church's teaching throughout the centuries on several important topics.

1) First of all, the book is beautifully crafted and artistically written. Every chapter is a cliff-hanger and so you can't read fast enough and it is difficult to put down. Suzanne Collins, the author, has produced something that is very aesthetically beautiful as well; I have reread the last 20 pages of the final book probably 10-15 times and especially there I am struck by the beautiful writing; it is so well done that it almost takes on the quality of poetry! Things that are objectively beautiful, as we'll discuss in a minute, are always worth our time, as the Church has consistently taught through the years.

2) Another important theme is that of poverty. Katniss' home "state", District 12, is the poorest of the districts, and Collins does a great job of painting a picture of what poverty and hunger look life from the inside and from the perspective of a very sympathetic and teenage heroine.

3) The most important theme of the book is that of the dignity of the person. Collins said (either in an interview or on one of the dust jackets of the book) that her main impetus in writing the books was to look at the effect that war has on people. After having read the books I would say "mission accomplished!"

There is a very important conversation between Katniss and Peeta in the book that occurs on the roof of the training facility where they are preparing for the games. This conversation is important not so much for the plot but for bringing up a very important discussion on the dignity of the person.

Here, a brief aside. The Church teaches that we are the only created beings who can CHOOSE how HUMAN we are. Cats can't choose to be a cat, nor do they have the capacity to choose to be less than a cat - they are just a cat.

Humans, on the other hand, can choose to be human or to forsake that humanity. Every sin, every failure to do what we know we ought to do is a giving away of a percentage of our humanity. Saints aren't angels, they are human beings who lived and embraced their humanity. I was listening to Catholic radio the other day and a priest said "When we get to Heaven, God isn't going to ask us "Why weren't you more like Mother Teresa or Terese of Lisieux or John of the Cross"...He's going to say "why weren't you more like YOU!" AMEN!

So back to the roof --- Peeta tells Katniss that he doesn't want the games to change him into SOMETHING HE'S NOT - and that is a very important theme throughout. The games don't change Peeta, he doesn't let who he is be affected by the situations he happens to find himself in - even when other human beings are hunting down hoping to take his life. This isn't to say that he lives out the old 8th grade yearbook scribble "don't ever change!" it is to say that he MAINTAINS HIS HUMANITY despite his environment, and I believe Collins is really holding that up as the ideal (as does the Church). Katniss at one point sees herself during the games and notes that her hair is matted and she looks more like a wild animal than a person, rabid and crazed. Many of the other participants in the games forsake much more of their humanity than Katniss does. Some of the young people have been training their whole lives for the opportunity to be in the arena and are actually excited about it, so there is the whole range of people living out their humanity and differing levels, some forsaking it entirely.

4) Along the lines of human dignity another key scene that carries through the other books as well is when a friend of Katniss' is killed in the arena. Instead of pragmatically and strategically moving on with the games, Katniss reverences her dead friend's body by decorating it with flowers and offering a short "funeral" service. Because the entire nation is watching live, Katniss' actions spread a flame throughout all of the people. As art and beauty ALWAYS DO, once again in this situation it reminds all the people watching of the dignity that ALL people have, and the people watching are reminded that FULLER and MORE WORTHY HUMAN LIVING is possible. That image is one that continues to stir the people to action throughout all three of the books.

5) Of course the very important and very well-handled issues of teenagers trying to figure out love and Katniss being the last one to realize that she is a heroine (as it is with lots of saints through the years - they are the last ones to recognize their holiness). These themes would make it commendable in and of themselves for parents and their children to read and discuss together.

The kids are reading these books and DEVOURING them. Will we seize the opportunity to help show them the deeper truths that Collins is trying to call our attention to, or will we let yet another opportunity to reach our young people go unheeded?

Again, give the series a read. You won't be disappointed. If you have kids, it is a great opportunity to read the books as a family or have some opportunity to discuss the deeper themes present in a beautifully crafted and important work of fiction.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I Have a Say Photos from Across the U.S.

Thanks to Leticia Adams who sent me this link today! It is crazy what has happened since filming the video a week and a half ago in my bedroom in the rectory with a 600 dollar camera and then editing it on my 7 year old computer! God is good!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Poem for the Battle

This was written by a teacher at Roncalli, Mr. Jeff Small. Mr. Small was teaching at Roncalli when I first started, and has always been one of the most loved teachers at RHS. He sent me this poem, and I felt it needed to be shared. He maintains a blog at (Click here to access his blog)

The battle of freedom is about to begin
For the pilgrims of God stand firm against sin

The Empire tells lies without any regret
The death and darkness of mighty Molech

Their giant stands tall against the forces of Light
And did not expect the pilgrims to fight

But Truth will ring and have its day
And the pilgrims of God will have their say

With the Armor of Freedom pulled ever so tight
Into the valley steps the pilgrim knights

And just as David gathered his stones
The pilgrims prepare in the valley of bones

And with a rebel yell the charge is made
Light and darkness collide on this valley stage

There is no turning back, “fight for the King”
And with their shields held high they pull out their slings

And they rotate in orbit like the tick of a clock
Watch out mighty Molech, here comes the Rock

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Confused Nuns Embrace "accommodation"

Joining Sr. Carol Keehan and EJ Dionne on the list of people who are dumb enough to think that the President's "accommodation" was any different than the original mandate is the completely unhinged, theologically and politically irrelevant group of religious sisters that represents 90% of religious sisters in the U.S. (the 90% that is having to close up shop because no one is joining their orders) --- the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Here is their statement:

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is grateful that President Obama and the administration listened to the concerns raised about providing effective healthcare coverage in a way that respects and honors the conscience rights of religious institutions. We believe the resolution the President made is a fair and helpful way for us to move forward.

We are grateful to the many individuals and organizations who courageously voiced their concerns on this critical matter and worked together to find a resolution. Such collaboration and mutual respect model an effective way for our country to deliberate on the many complex issues we face.

LCWR supports the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act so that the urgent needs of the uninsured can be met.

Thanks sisters! 10 years from now, when all that remains of your ranks is located in one convent in Florida, hopefully you'll still be dropping great knowledge on us helping to enlighten us on these matters (sarcasm alert).

P.S. - Did the Prez promise to force the Church to start ordaining women if you betrayed the Church and joined his team?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Class on Contraception

Some thought it might be good to revisit this. I think it was a very good class and explains a lot.