Friday, October 31, 2014

Can You Help - a film about Catholic persecution

A young filmmaker that I've known for several years, Mr. Matthew Herbertz, is working on a short film that has a lot of potential.

The topic is something that interests me a great deal, and I think it will interest most of you as well - a world where Catholicism is persecuted.

Like most filmmakers, Matt needs a little help from all of us to pull this off.  Many potential Catholic artists out there WOULD stay in the business of doing religiously inspired art (film, painting, architecture, music, dance, etc.) but often they receive virtually no financial support from Catholics...whereas the secular world will pay them a fortune for their talents.

We have to show Catholic artists that we support and appreciate their work so that they'll know they can do this work the rest of their lives and make a living off of it.

Here's the trailer for Matt's film...please consider donating a few bucks (or much more) for Matt and his film.  I can't wait to see how this film turns out!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


"Brothers and sisters: Be kind to one another" (Ephesians 4:32)

When I was in school, we had teachers and coaches that let us do whatever we wanted.  We liked it, but we didn't respect them.

When I was in high school, we had teachers and coaches that yelled at us a lot, and it came from a place of anger and rage.  We didn't respect them either.

We also had teachers and coaches who praised the things in us that deserved praise and called us and challenged us to be better in those areas that needed correction.  And even in their discipline, I certainly look back on what they did for us, and I would describe their words as "love" and "kindness".

May we be kind in all things, and not simply think that kindness only = smiling

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I prefer electrons to humans

"The older dictators fell because they never could supply their subjects with enough bread, enough circuses, enough miracles and mysteries. Nor did they possess a really effective system of mind-manipulation.  Under a scientific dictator, education will really work--with the result that most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution. There seems to be no good reason why a thoroughly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown."
Alduos Huxley

Brave New World

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Support our youth programs AND evangelize your local community!

If you'd like your order shipped, each shirt would be $18.00, but they're totally worth it!  Just send me an email with the number of each size that you'd like, and I'll get you your shirts!

Please place any orders by October 25th.  

Thanks for helping us out!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Humorous Story

I hope this makes you smile!

Today I spoke at my alma mater, Roncalli High School, with 300 freshmen about the Theology of the Body.  I was asked to do the same thing five years ago, the first year I was a priest, and I said yes then as well.

Important pieces of information:
1) I was pretty crazy busy figuring out my new parish, my high school chaplaincy, coaching football, and teaching three classes

2) My good priest friend Fr. Meyer is known throughout the country as a great presenter to teens on the topics pertaining to St. JP II's Theology of the Body

Because of those two factors, I asked Fr. Meyer to email his PowerPoint presentation that he uses (I had never seen his talk; I only knew it was good from others).  Fr. Meyer agreed and sent me the PowerPoint.

I meant, for about three weeks, to look over the PowerPoint presentation BEFORE giving the talk to the kids, but I procrastinated, and in the moment I decided to just go into the presentation cold and just try to make it work (I know, I know, terrible decision).

There were some tough transitions, but I did a decent job making the transitions seem somewhat reasonable.


A cartoon popped up on the screen of a guy in a hockey mask and overalls burying a chainsaw into the chest of another guy and there was blood flying everywhere!

You could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium as we all looked, for the first time, at the three story tall screen with the above mentioned slide projected onto it.

I stammered and stuttered and tried to make it work somehow.  My brother, a freshman at the time, said I did a decent job of covering it all up, but I think he was just trying to be nice.

To his defense, when Fr. Meyer gives the talk, it all fits in as he talks about violence in video games...but know that I certainly learned a lesson that day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How to Distort the Synod - Quote Priests Like Fr. James Martin, SJ

I have been saddened to see a priest who is an editor of a national magazine saying things that are highly misleading, and thus providing fodder for all those looking to paint a completely distorted picture of the Synod on the Famly.

Fr. James Martin, a Jesuit, edits the national magazine America, and has been saying things that the national media have been quoting quite fervently.

One such statement from Fr. Martin is the following:

Did the Church ever say people living with same-sex attraction don't have any gifts?  Can he point to where the Church USED to say that?  Of course not.

Instead, Fr. Martin irresponsibly perpetuates a gigantic myth - namely that the Church "used to hate gays but are now warming up to them."  It is extremely irresponsible for a priest to perpetuate this myth because it is wrong on so many levels.

"gay people" is such a simplistic and false term.  Does Fr, Martin mean:
1) people living with same sex attraction
2) people having homosexual sex

EITHER WAY - even if a person is in a state of mortal sin - the Church doesn't say such people HAVE NO GIFTS!

Wouldn't that be a fascinating statement: "The Catholic Church would like to declare that those who are in a state of mortal sin have no gifts", or, even worse, "those who are in a state of mortal sin are not welcome."  It is sad to see a priest of the Church perpetuate these childish myths.  Perhaps it helps sell books, though?

Also from the desk of Fr. Martin:

We all struggle with humility in our own ways, but to put oneself forward as knowing when the Spirit is afoot and when it isn't so much afoot is not a power most claim for themselves.

We can't, in the same tweet, simultaneously PREDICT what the Holy Spirit is doing while saying it is UNpredictable.

The Synod and the Media

We are being given yet another reminder that the Holy Spirit is, without a doubt, unquestionably steering and protecting the Church, because, as per usual, there's no other way to explain how this is all being held together.

I want to comment on one aspect of the Synod as a guy "in the trenches" who has actual real life parishioners who are asking really key questions about what is going on in the Synod because the topics of the Synod are VERY important to them in their situations in life.

The Synod has two things going on with regards to the media, and the fact that both are happening at the same time is, in my mind, highly problematic.

1) No one is allowed to know what is actually being said in the discussions themselves
2) Attendees of the Synod are being encouraged to talk with the media

For the sake of the people I minister to, I hope one or both of these change, and here's why:

We are currently relying on a telephone game to get the word out on the Synod, and the telephone currently has two relayers - 
1) Anonymous Synod attendees
2) Media folks

I challenge anyone to please draw up a more disastrous way to have news about the Synod trickle down to the average lay Catholic.

The most disturbing tweet I've seen on this entire Synod is the following:

So let's recap:
1) We have the media telling our story for us
2) We can't fact check the spin because we aren't releasing what actually is being said
3) We have bishops that are surprised that the media isn't getting it right

*Insert face into open palms*

I would have thought, after the Humanae Vitae rollout debacle (that we're still dealing with), we would have learned our lesson about letting anonymous sources and the media get the "truth" out.

But again, on a positive note, we are left with yet another reminder that the Holy Spirit is definitely steering this ship, because if the Catholic Church wasn't being protected by God, it would have surely sunk by now.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Synod on the Family Homilies and Classes

Happy NFP Awareness Week!:

A talk at the Indiana Catholic Youth Conference:

A homily on homosexuality:

Warp-speed catechesis: why the Church only ordains men:

A homily on abortion:

A homily to Ritter High School about sex:

Class on Contraception at Ritter part 1:

Contraception Class Part 2:

Contraception Class Part 3:

A warp-speed version of a class on homosexuality:

Class on celibacy, part 1:

Class on celibacy, part 2:

Second class on celibacy, part 1:

Second class on celibacy, part 2:

We Hunger for Earthly Feasts...But How About Heavenly Ones?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Call to Action and Macklemore vs. Jesus and the Church

This is from Call to Action, a group that labels themselves Catholic but have, time and again, done things which suggest that they have removed themselves completely out from under the umbrella of Catholicism.

This graphic of course includes two same-sex partners with children, and cites one of the worst "rappers" I've ever heard - Macklemore - whose song last year "same love" took the country by storm as he noted that all love, whether between a married man and woman or two people of the's all the same, and it's all beautiful.

Call to Action, in the run up to the Synod on the family, is apparently hoping to ride the tidal wave of Macklemore's "theology" by picking off people who understand very little about what Love really is when Jesus, St. Paul, the Church etc. speak of the word.  

Of course people can think they are loving each other even if they aren't actually expressing what Christ means by the word Love.

Everyone acknowledges that love means so many different things, and yet this graphic seeks to pretend that there AREN'T different types of love.

People love cinnamon rolls
People love their pets
People love the NFL
People love their siblings
People love their friends
God loves all of us
God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit love each other
a Man and wife love each other

These "loves" aren't the same thing...unless you work for Call to Action...then Love means whatever you want it to mean and all loves are the same.

I'll take the Bible, the teachings of Jesus and St. Paul, the writings of the saints, popes, theologians, the Church, etc. over the theology of Macklemore.

Friday, October 3, 2014

"In It, Not of It!"

A Nursing Home Nativity

"Can I help you find someone?" asked the kindly nursing home staffer.

"I'm trying to find Beth"

"I think she's still in the dining room waiting for her aid to take her back to her room.  Let's go see."

I followed her down a hall and into the dining room.  "There she is, over in the yellow sweater."

"Thank you for your help ma'am.  Have a wonderful day."  She smiled and got back to whatever task she had taken time out from to help me.

The woman in the yellow sweater sat in a wheel chair at a table that looked to have had other occupants not too long ago, but now it was just her.  A few other elderly folks remained in the now mostly empty dining hall.  Most of those who were still at their tables had some family members sitting with them and making conversation.  A warm light shone in through the windows on this fall Sunday afternoon.

I introduced myself and got down on one knee so I could speak more easily with her.  I told her I was the new pastor and was out visiting the folks who couldn't come to Mass.  She thanked me for coming, and told me a little bit about her self and her past.  She told stories about being baptized by this priest, confirmed by that monsignor, and some stories about her family and her Faith.  Most of the time she didn't look at me, but instead stared off over my shoulder, as if her past was a film playing behind me and she was describing to me what she was seeing as it played.

After maybe ten minutes of conversation, I asked her "would you like to receive Communion?"

She responded "Oh yes, very much, thank you."

I took out the pyx of Hosts from my pocket and sat it on the table.  There on the table, amidst spilled granules of a half-used equal packet, sitting next to a partially-consumed piece of bread pudding and a cooling cup of coffee sat the King of Kings.  A few employees were busy in the background as they were picking up trays from other tables and trying to clean up the day's lunch.  Some family members moved about as well, but no one even glanced in our direction as we prayed an Our Father and then I offered her Communion.

I was struck, in the moment, by how similar this must have been to the first appearance of our Lord on Earth in a little town of Bethlehem 2,000 years ago.  Hardly anyone noticed.

And why should they have?  I didn't fault the people in the dining room because why would they know better?

It was, though, a reminder to me that I have been anointed (and so have you if you've been baptized Catholic) to help all of these people to get to the point where they DO recognize Him in the Host.

We have the job of proclaiming what the Angels sang about at the first Nativity, we have the job of going to the rich and the poor alike, to the kings of this world and to the shepherds, and telling them "unto you this day a Savior has been born, and He is Christ the Lord."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My YouTube Channel Trailer

YouTube encourages you to put together a short trailer to let people know what is on your channel.  Here's mine: