Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Rather Sad Article on Southern Jews (With A Christian Angle too) (Link Corrected)

A good article at Traveling rabbi serves tiny Southern congregations

It starts out like this:
NATCHEZ, Miss. -- As the sun inched below the horizon in this Mississippi River town, people arrived alone or in small groups and walked up the steps of Temple B'nai Israel on Shabbat.
Only about a dozen Jewish residents remain in Natchez, a city of about 16,400 best known for its elaborate plantation homes. As younger generations moved away, the congregation hasn't had its own full-time rabbi since 1976.
With a circuit-riding rabbi visiting on this Friday night, about 80 Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists joined their Jewish neighbors and helped fill the wooden pews of the 105-year-old temple.
Rabbi Marshal Klaven gave people an extra 10 minutes to slip in before the service, joking that under "Jewish Standard Time," it's not unusual to run late.......

It does not shock me at all the attitude of the Christians we see above helping out. Most (well the ones that can recall) are dismayed that there are few Jews left in the South. My grandmother used to tell me all the time that you can barely get up the street for the cars when they had a event in Natchez.

Another friend, a Catholic from Vicksburg, told me when the Jews leave the town you know the town is going to hell in a hand basket. I must say looking at the state of the towns mentioned and those not in the surrounding area I have to agree there might have been something to that.

An interesting article but sad all the same.

Tip of the hat to holyweblog

WOW- National Democrat Party Uses New York Democrat With Katrina Scandal To Attack Rep CAO

Words fail me.

LSU Baseball To Play Hideous Yankee Rodent Looking Folks From Binghamton University New York Tonight (Links)

What in Heavens name is that!!! I looks like a Cross between a rat, a cat and some perhaps bear.

When I saw we were playing some school called Binghamton University my first thought was who? I assumed it must be of these small Presbyterian schools that are in the Calvinist enclaves of North Carolina or something similar in nature.. However they are not. They are FROM NEW YORK. This will be the first time LSU has played Binghamton in History.

So welcome Binghamton Bearcats to the RED STICK.

On their web site they say they are "The best public university in the northeast. Period." Mighty big claim!! They already sound like the Yankee version of Ole Miss with that attitude.

Binghamton to is small city in upstate New York located near the New York - Pennsylvania border. It also The Parlor City" and"Carousel Capital of the World. Also it appears it is surrounded by ugly beasts that make NUTRIA look pretty. The Univeristy was established around 1946 (very ULM like). However unlike ULM it has a LAW school and already a nice list of Alumni.

Their Alumni include among others William Baldwin, that funny girl on the Progressive Insurance commercials , and Tony Kornheiser, Washington Post sportswriter, host of Pardon the Interruption on ESPN, and former co-host of Monday Night Football.

Tiger Rag has a initial post here at Binghamton visits Tigers tonight at Box that has some audio interviews. LSU Coach quote of interest "They beat Tennessee earlier this year, and they just won two out of three against Centenary last weekend. Their players know how to win, so we have to make sure we’re ready on Wednesday night.”

Back to discussing the enemy for a second.

Their web page is pretty nice for the team and they were just down the road it appears playing Centenary. Binghamton won the series. NOW it is to LSU. See their story on their very good 2009 season here.

Here is their PDF media guide.

Now back to the articles

LSU SPORTS NET has Baseball Begins Homestand Against Binghamton

The LSU paper has a good article here at Baseball: Tigers to face Binghamton Bearcats in midweek game As the LSU coach points out this game is not a cake walk!!!

Other related interesting article as to the LSUTeam in the papers today. See Former LSUE stars have made smooth transtion to LSU and Walk-on from Byrd in high Cotton at LSU

Vatican comments On "Maureen Dowd’s silly parroting " and other New York Times Issues

Wow. Well as Whispers says "Over these last days, you've seen many responses by top clerics regarding Pope Benedict's actions as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, criticizing the reporting of the record as produced by the New York Times.Until now, though, you've seen nothing like this."

See the full statement of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Update Very much related Setting the record straight in the case of abusive Milwaukee priest Father Lawrence Murphy

Maybe Henry Reid Should Have Consulted Mormon Missionaries About the Health Care Bill

My goodness when you think about it they have seen it all. Andy's Place has a interesting post he has reposted on LDS Missionaries and their observations of European Health Care. See It may be too late to do anything about it...

In Louisiana Holy Week Has An Unspeakable Crime

Ughh. I was just outraged when I read the paper this morning. My Bossier has The murder of a child , Brian Horn charged with murder of Justin Bloxom , and Body of 12 year old boy found in DeSoto Parish: Sex offender being questioned

What Vatican Stations of the Cross Will Be Highlighted By The Media This Week?

Needless to say every liturgical action by the Vatican and what is said will be highlighted this week. That is GOOD. At least people will be paying attention.

The GOOD FRIDAY Way of the Cross will no doubt be one of those. Again good because it might lead people to these wonderful meditation (and good Art work) that has just been put on the Vatican Web site.

Now of course we don't know when this was written and there is no real evidence to indicate these were written with the current "crisis" in mind. However as you can read expect the media to highlight the FIFTH STATION, SEVENTH STATION and the TENTH STATION.

I have no problem with that and I do see the linkage between our failures in the Church and current events as shown in those meditations.

I Wonder What Converstions The U.S. Envoy to the Vatican has Been Having Lately?

See Clinton/Obama Again Trumpet US Efforts to Expand Abortion Worldwide

BUT BUT Sec of State Bertone all of this is negated by the Health Care Law we passed . The Common Good you know HOPE CHANGE Yada Yada.

It would be interesting if Italian Catholic papers on the scene could start digging about what the Holy See thinks all about this.

The Diocese of Shreveport Has A Case of the Gas

Well at least it is concerned about Natural Gas and very much the newly found HAYNSVILLE SHALE that has got the nation excited. The Diocese of Shreveport really wants to help it's flock out. See page 7 of the PDF download of April's Diocese Newspaper. In fact some of the biggest heavy hitting Oil and Gas lawyers will be at a event to help their fellow Catholics understand all this stuff.

We see

This special three-part
presentation will feature
professionals in their field who
have been working with those who
have, or may be, affected by the
discovery of natural gas and oil
deposits in our region. Topics will
include basic methods of dealing
with energy companies and the
use of your property, wise care of
sudden income relative to discovery
of energy deposits on your property,
and the planning for future use of
these assets through your estate......

Ahh yes that estate planning!!! Did we mention the ESTATE PLANNING DON"T LEAVE YET until you hear that.

Actually I am glad to see this and shows someone in the Dicoese is thinking. Let me say when the Haynesville Shale Dollars start flowing in after the fortunate Catholics that had this land pass on may I recommend some money be used for a Diocese wide radio station and subtantial resources into Campus ministry. JUST MY TWO CENTS.

Photos From the 2010 Diocese of Shreveport Chrism Mass Are Online

Nice ones. I wish I could figure out a way to save them.

Should Catholics View the Church Like the Post Office

Ahh with the New York Times on the attack this week I was thinking of the great faith of all those Catholic ancestors of ours.

In Apologetics we talk about and deal with the cases where there was a "bad" Pope. Oh we say yes we have had "bad" Popes but Christ's promise protected even evil Pope's(which there were few) from teaching error.
Well all that is correct of course and true. However it is largely a academic exercise for many of us. Back then to the faithful Catholics in some eras it was not just theory but they kept believing.
We have not had a "bad" Pope in some time. In fact the Popes from the time of our foundation of our little Republic here in the USA have all been pretty decent Holy men. We can thank God for the Holy Spirit of giving that in these times.

I am convert and I love Jesus and his instrument on Earth the Church. The Church from the Pope, to the religious, to the Clerics, and to all her members (us lay folks).

I was thinking of a interesting post Rod Dreher made some time back that deal with Chesterton and one of his critics. Rod also gave some of his thoughts.

In taking stock of Chesterton's Catholic apologetics, though, Gopnik finds the great man to have been not much more than a hack. Again, Gopnik:

In these books, Chesterton becomes a Pangloss of the parish; anything Roman is right. It is hard to credit that even a convinced Catholic can feel equally strongly about St. Francis's intuitive mysticism and St. Thomas's pedantic religiosity, as Chesterton seems to. His writing suffers from conversion sickness. Converts tend to see the faith they were raised in as an exasperatingly makeshift and jury-rigged system: Anglican converts of Catholicism are relived not to have to defend Henry VIII's divorces; Jewish converts to Christianity are relieved to get out from under the weight of all those strange Levitical laws on animal hooves. The newly adopted faith, they imagine, is a shining, perfectly balanced system, an intricately worked clock where the cosmos turns to tell the time and the cuckoo comes out singing every Sunday. An outsider sees the Church as a dreamy compound of incense and impossibility, and, overglamorizing its pretensions, underrates its adaptability.

A Frenchman or an Italian, even a devout one, can see the Catholic Church as a normally bureaucratic human institution, the way patriotic Americans see the post office, recognizing the frailty and even the occasional psychosis of its employees without doubting its necessity or its ability to deliver the message. Chesterton writing about the Church is like someone who has just made his first trip to the post office. Look, it delivers letters for the tiny price of a stamp! You write an address on a label, and they will send it anywhere, literally anywhere you like, across a continent and an ocean, in any weather! The fact that the post office attracts time-servers, or has produced an occasional gun massacre, is only proof of the mystical enthusiasm that the post office alone provides! Glorifying the postman beyond what the postman can bear is what you do only if you're new to mail.

Boy, does this feel familiar to me, and I can see now (from my own experience) why converts tend to wear on cradle believers (and vice versa: little exasperates a convert more than a cradle believer's apparent inability to get excited about the Amazing Wonderful Church). Again, I can't discern the justice of Gopnik's judgment re: Chesterton's writing, because I've never read enough of his apologetics to know. But this feels right to me. It also gives me insight into why I don't have and never had that convert's glow about Orthodoxy. I didn't believe when I left it that Catholicism was a jury-rigged makeshift system, nor did I believe that Orthodoxy was a uniquely fabulous thing. I'm glad not to have those illusions about either faith, but it does take some of the romance out of the thing.

In other words to many Catholics and converts what makes this Church so wonderful is a observation I saw made recently. That is in comparing Catholic Church and the U.S. Navy: "It's a machine built by geniuses so it can be operated safely by idiots." Now of course those geniuses were the Saints that were aided in all things by the grace of Christ.

Well I am not saying the Post Office is run by idiots nor the Navy but you get the point. It is quite remarkable that often it can operate this way. However at times we do see a epic system failure.

Now of course I still have what Rod calls that "Romance". Converts generally come in with their eyes wide open and accept the Church with all her failings.

There is, and is difficult to explain, a connection for many Catholics (and I would say for a lot of non Catholic Christians) when we see the Pope. There is something spiritual that has little to do with the "man". This can be seen in the repeated reactions to how crowds react on Papal visits. In the same way I get that feeling when I see the Bishop.

One reason the Church has vestments , and elaborate ones at that, for Priests and Bishops is to hide their personality. To make it less about Bishop X and all his pluses and failings but to represent something greater than the man. There is something often profoundly important going on there.

Now I heard people go if you Catholics just worried about Jesus and not all these men and Church stuff all would be better. Of course there is wisdom to that and of course that was got Catholics of old when they had to deal with bad Pope's through it. Plus perhaps a healthy Post Office mentality.

However of course that is not how it really works. Christianity is not ONLY just a Jesus and I thing .It is a intensely communal and relational thing with our fellow Christians.

The hurts , the loss of faith, etc often comes from when we fail in each other. That can occur in politics, in the Church, in friendship , and indeed most often the family. This is what makes things like this so dramatic. For some reason since the beginning God has used human beings to set out his plan of salvation with all their weakness and failings. That can be annoying at times but that is how it is set up it appears.

However if the Church is the Post Office it is a Post Office set up by Christ. The attacks we are enduring ( and endure on multiple fronts and issues) is I think a recognition in some way by even non believers they sense something is going on in that Post Office.

I think the Archbishop of Toronto this past Monday said it well. You can see the full text here.

People expect that one who is consecrated with the holy oil of Chrism, will act in an exemplary manner, and never betray the trust which people know they should be able to place in a Catholic priest. At his ordination we pray: Bless this chosen man, and set him apart for his sacred duties.

And yet to our shame some have used the awesome gift of the holy priesthood for base personal gratification, betraying the innocent and devastating their lives. When that happens, our first concern must be for those innocent young people who have been abused, to help them overcome their suffering, and to resolve to take whatever steps are needed to be as sure as is possible that this does not happen again.

We have all had to learn through failures and mistakes and that is especially true of bishops, who have sometimes failed in their responsibility to act effectively.For this diocese, anyone who looks at our website can see the policies that are in place to help us to act rightly, but we must never be satisfied.

We cannot escape the horror of this by pointing out that almost all priests serve faithfully, though that fact is a grace that gives joy to the Catholic people, whose love and prayerful support sustains us all. But even one priest gone wrong causes immense harm, and throughout the world priests have done unspeakable evil.

We should be grateful for the attention which the media devotes to the sins of Catholic clergy, even if constant repetition may give the false impression that Catholic clergy are particularly sinful. That attention is a profound tribute to the priesthood which we celebrate at this Mass of the Chrism. People instinctively expect holiness in a Catholic priest, and are especially appalled when he does evil.

As we look to the continuing painful purification of the Church, we all need in a particular way to give thanks to God for the leadership of Joseph Ratzinger, as Cardinal and Pope, who has acted decisively, fairly, consistently, and courageously to purify the priesthood and to make the Church a safe place for everyone. Anyone with any knowledge of this terrible reality realizes that Pope Benedict has led the way in confronting this evil.

A Holy Week Meditation From Mississippi's Sister Thea Bowman

Ahh I have not thought about Sister Thea Bowman in some time. Whispers has a nice post related to Holy Week that she wrote. See "Let Us Make This Week Holy"

Governor Bobby Jindal Will Be More Unpopular After Legislative Session

Say goodbye to those high voter approval ratings!!!

As one of the main State political reporters is clear today this new legislative session will be NO FUN AT ALL.

Bobby Jindal politics wise is apt to suffer the most and there is not much he can do about it.

Cuts have to be made in a budget that is pretty lean with fat anyway and no one will like them. People will yell about cuts to lets higher ed but they will be pretty silent as to what should be cut in it's place. Every group, faction, and interest are liable to feel some pain. This will be Jindal's biggest challenge as Governor yet. If he can pull this off then it will show his political and administrative skill. Still there are going to be wounds.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Here Comes Stormy Daniels Into the Louisiana Senate Race

Oh boy here we go. I have said this before but if she runs as a independent or some third party(which I expect she will) this really in reality hurts the democrats and not Vitter.

Those protest votes that often go to challenger of the incumbent might very well go to her. Melancon can't afford to lose any of that . People know Vitter engaged a hooker. They have internalized that and for the most part he has recovered. So I am not sure this will hurt him besides perhaps some uncomfortable moments

A 2010 Catholic Convert Is the Church's Organist

A interesting article here that really goes into his thoughts on music and the liturgy. See Protestant organist finds home, makes beautiful music in the Catholic Church

A Democrat Congressman's War Against Accounting

For supporters of the Health Care LAW well you can't just hide your head in the sand. I am afraid being upset at accounting practices will not help.

SNAP's Director Unhelpful Statement on Pope Benedict

This will not be popular to bring up but it needs to be said and engaged. ALL THE BOLDING IS MINE. My comments after the his Op-ed.

If Pope Benedict were to resign (highly unlikely), it would no doubt bring short-term comfort to tens of thousands of deeply wounded and still suffering clergy sex-abuse victims across the globe. It would also provide some hope for millions of Catholics who desperately want to believe that their church hierarchy is capable of reform. It might temporarily scare and deter others who have, are or might be reckless, callous or deceitful regarding child safety.

But there's plenty it would not do. It wouldn't end centuries of secrecy in an ancient, rigid, self-perpetuating, all-male monarchy. It wouldn't unearth volumes of carefully concealed church records that contain names of predator priests and complicit bishops, some or many of whom are still in parishes and chanceries around the globe. It wouldn't strengthen efforts to reform archaic, predator-friendly laws that enable corrupt employers to hire and shield offenders while jeopardizing kids.

Benedict's resignation, at this point especially, would foster the tempting but naive view that change is happening. It would not address the deeply rooted, unhealthy, systemic dysfunctions that plague any medieval institution that vests virtually all power in a pope who allegedly supervises 5,000 bishops across the planet.

If the pope were to step down, like Cardinal Bernard Law did in Boston, it would create the illusion of reform while decreasing the chances of real reform.

In terms of how Benedict deals with clergy sex abuse and cover-ups, we've seen just the tip of an enormous iceberg. The tip is very ugly, and we suspect the rest of it is, too. But victims, parents, Catholics and law enforcement need and deserve to see the full picture. Benedict can show it to us. He should disclose the records of the hundreds of predator priests he dealt with during the years he headed the Vatican agency charged with this sorry chore. That is why Pope Benedict should not resign — just yet

Now it is not secret that many Catholics that are very angry and want reform also have an ambivalent relationship with SNAP (which is the main voice for Victims of Clergy Abuse and not just Catholic). This is not to say that there are not many good people in SNAP. However there are some that also have theological agendas and viewpoints. That is fine however I think it does there cause and their work harm.

Here we see that come into play. With all talk of all Male Monarchy and Medieval Papacy.

Even the Op-ed is a contradiction. He does not seem to like the fact that all power is in the Pope (which is a false statement on so many ways) and yet he is mad the Holy See did not use power to stop and supervise this problem . Which is it? If you want to Holy See to take responsibility and take direct control you can't try to destroy the Office.

Further the Op-ed does not engage or in fact give a clue that reforms have taken place on both the United States level and at the Vatican. We saw a flurry of this starting 2001. What is going right with those reforms in his views and what is going wrong? That would be helpful to know. I very much would like his opinion and viewpoint.

Also the director of SNAP is aware because there are SNAP groups in various Protestant and Jewsih faith communities that there is a problem there. None of these groups have a "Male Monarchy" and a "medieval papacy".

Now I don't expect David Clohessy to advocate for the office of the Bishop of Rome at since since he is now an ex Roman Catholic. I also feel and pray for him because he was the victim of Catholic Clergy abuse.

However I think it does his crucial cause no good to try to bring in unrelated issues. There needs to be reform but I am not sure getting rid of the Office of Bishop of Rome or Bishops is crucial to that case.

Again I am not sure that he MEAN'T to do it but the feeling one gets fron is Op-ed is that he considers other core doctrines of the Church as linked to the problem. However as we see ample evidence shows that the problem of clergy sexual abuse does not just happen in the Catholic Church.

God Bless Linebacker Scott Fujita For Coming Back to Louisiana

and doing great work on the biggest environmental and domestic national Security threat this country faces. That is Louisiana Coastal erosion See Ex-Saints LB Scott Fujita still has work to do in New Orleans

A Baptist Almost Gets the Clergy Sexual Abuse Problem (Updated)

I largely agree with the thoughts of Stop Baptist Predators and her post Baptist propaganda regarding the comments of David Gushee who is a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University. I agree his point 4 is way off!!! Also there is the problem of lay folks involved in ministry that seems to be getting glossed over here.

The only thing I would add is I think one point Mercer makes is a tad more complicated.

He says:
First, this scandal has been fueled by imbalances of power between laity and clergy, and especially between children and adults. When a child is sexually abused by the most-trusted authority figure in a church, he or she begins from a position of total powerlessness. He or she starts off with the voicelessness of every child in a world where the rules are set by adults. He or she lives in a context in which adults are far more likely to be believed than children. And if he or she does somehow develop the capacity to articulate the abuse, the complaint must eventually be made to the very institution led by the child’s abuser. The victim will need a significant infusion of power arrayed in solidarity with him or her from other adults -- such as parents, lay leaders in the congregation, lawyers, or the civil authorities -- to start leveling the imbalance of power.

Well I largely agree with that. However lets focus on the Laity for a second. I suppose of course there is in the Baptist Church an abuse of Baptist clericalism.

However, and this is the point I make to Catholics as someone that has seen the other side, it is not like it just the bad preachers. There is a ton of lay governance from the Board of Deacons to prominent members of the Church to folks that run the schools? Why are they being absolved? In fact the Southern Baptist "messengers" (delegates that often lay folks) don't seem to be concerned about the problem in this midst. If so why is not more concern to deal with the problem. Note I am talking here about Southern Baptist. Other National Baptist groups have made needed reforms.

However as to to the subject of laity there is a ton of "Laity" that knows exactly what is going on.

Update- The author of the original piece contacted the blogger and has revised his piece somewhat. See comments

Liberals and Conservatives Ignore It- But Natural law Is Always in the Background

Thomas Peters at the American Principles Project picks up on a Arkes pieces I addressed last month. See
"Where do Immigrant Rights come from?"

Pope Benedict Under Five Years of Constant Attack

I think this is a good Italian article. I have linked it via google translate that while has a somewhat clumsy translation very well gives you the content of what is being said.

The Incredible Story of Rwanda's Immaculee Ilibagiza

I so wish I could have got down to Baton Rouge when she was there. Da Mihi Animas has a nice post on her at
Miracle in Rwanda

Not as If the Pope Did Have Enought to Worry About This Week

But now a VOLCANO that can destroy most of ITALY!!!!

Catholic Judge In Wisconsin Clergy Sexual Abuse Case Speaks Out

Good read . The Anchoress has the links at Murphy Case: NYT Never Talked to Judge

Monday, March 29, 2010

Why Obama's Position On Israel is Dangerous

Contentions has a good piece on this at What Makes This President Different from All Other Presidents?

Thankfully we can hope that massive Congressional displeasure (Hey Bi partisanship) , and it appears in fact a revolt in the White House will reverse this.

Peace is getting further bumped down the road with now Israel distrusting some American guarantees for their security. I mean it appears past understandings on various subjects mean nothing. All of which sets up a perfect storm for nothing to happen.

Now of course nothing is going to happen until we see a Peace partner that can actually enforce a Peace deal on it's own people. I have not seen the Palestinian workable solution for that.

Again I find all this illogical. I am amazed that the Obama administration thought that people would buy that the building in East Jerusalem is anything similar to some outpost on the West Bank. It is becoming a mess.

Catholic School in D.C. Will Become Half Catholic Because of Student Converts

When I up went to Chicago we were in a black part of town. I was familiar with the migration patterns of how a lot of blacks showed up n Chicago. I asked the Priest how did all these people become Catholic.

He explained they worked with the community. That often they would encourage to also attend religious education classes since their protestant kids were getting to hear the faith. VIOLA there it is.

Well it appears the same thing is happening in a D.C. school. I would love to know more about the dynamics of this story and how it worked. LOOK WHAT JUST THREE AFRICAN SISTERS DID. Maybe we should be repeating this!!! Also perhaps this indicates if we have this attitude that we should be opening more inner city schools not closing them. The interesting history of this school and parish can be found here.

Archbishop congratulates 21 St. Augustine students preparing for Baptism
LAURA WRIGHT Catholic Standard

The secret to having 21 students decide they want to be baptized Catholic is simple - recruit women religious to serve at the school, said Father Patrick Smith, the pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Washington.

About three years ago he did just that, and three Handmaid of the Holy Child Jesus sisters from Africa arrived at the historic parish school in the District shortly thereafter - bringing discipline, strong morals and a missionary spirit in tow.

Since then, the sisters, who dress in a white and gray habit, have worked hard to build trust and relationships with members of the school community. "They shared their community life with the community of the school. They really permeated the school life with prayer," he said. St. Augustine is the oldest African American school in the District and one of the oldest Catholic schools in the city.

It was founded by emancipated African Ame-ricans and by free men and women of color in 1858. Handmaid of the Holy Child Sister Emmanuella Ladipo, the director of religious education and the assistant principal, said they have tried to figure out where children and their families go to church, and if they go at all.

She has found that many parents belong to other Christian denominations, or they don't have a religion. Sister Gloria Agumagu, the principal, said the sisters are not just influencing the conversion of students, but the conversion of parents and the community, too. "Nuns don't just teach, we are missionaries," she said. Sister Emmanuella said she is a "product of Catholic education," and she converted to the faith in high school. "I wasn't born Catholic, I was baptized in 10th grade, so I know when you go to a Catholic school, it works."

Archbishop Donald Wuerl congratulated the 21 student candidates for Baptism while visiting St. Augustine during Catholic Schools Week on Feb. 4. He said the most exciting thing about becoming Catholic will be "when Father Pat celebrates Mass, you will be able to receive Holy Communion ...

At Easter time you will not only be able to be part of the Church, but receive first Holy Communion."The 21 students preparing to become Catholic are scheduled to be baptized during the Easter Vigil on April 3 at St. Augustine Church.

The archbishop gave each student a cross blessed by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Washington in 2008.This is "so you have one with you when you are received into the Church ..." the archbishop said. Every time the archbishop entered a classroom, the students stood up and greeted him saying, "May the peace of the Lord be with you, welcome to the home of the saints."

The archbishop received many homemade cards filled with notes and prayers from the students. Pre-kindergartners and kindergartners sang, "I am a living testimony. I didn't make it on my own. It was Jesus." Statues of Mary, rosaries, Bibles and crucifixes filled the classrooms.

Of the 180 students at St. Augustine, 168 are African American and 38 percent are Catholic. After the students are baptized at Easter, the number of Catholics will rise to 49 percent.

Father Smith said the large number of student converts proves that at the heart of Catholic education is the call to evangelize. "Catholic schools are clearly an extension of the mission of the Church," he said. "...It demonstrates how open and hungry our children are for the Good News and the Gospel.

It's simply up to us to share it, (and) they are ready for it." Ryan Washington, an eighth grader who was baptized Catholic in 2006, read an essay during an assembly in front of the school and the archbishop about what Catholic education means to him. He said Catholic education "emphasizes knowledge, discipline and faith ...

Because of our Catholic education we are considerate and respectful of ourselves, as well as others." At a Catholic school some students are hearing about God and His mercy for the first time, while other students learn more about their already deep rooted faith, Washington said. Rasheda Twitty, a sixth grade student and Washington's sister, said it is a "blessing" to have religion in school.

"It brings you closer to God," she said. Twitty said the sisters, Father Smith and her brother inspired her to become Catholic. Estelle Henyo, a fifth grader, said becoming Catholic was "everything I wanted." "We get to believe in Christ," she said. "... I love Jesus, because He died on the cross for us."

Bowen Nosiri, a third grader preparing for Baptism, said he loves St. Augustine School because he learns about God."I love religion and learning about Jesus Christ. He loves us, and if we are baptized we will be alive in heaven forever and ever."Father Smith said the students preparing for Baptism is "by far the greatest sign of God's affirmation of all of the hard work and sacrifice that we as a parish and staff have done to make sure St. Augustine School continues to thrive."

Looking Again At The 2010 Catholic Convert Numbers

These numbers are good but of course could be a lot better. I am glad to see nice numbers in some Dioceses that were the worst affect by the Catholic Clergy Scandal.


What is interesting are the figures of young people converting for instance in the Archdiocese of San Antonino. I will try to look into that and see what is up with that. Also note the interesting story about the 18 converts coming into the Chruch from St Augustine High school . Again ditto on trying to track down that story,

Again I think these numbers can be much higher but are good signs.
...........The conference press release noted that thousands more will join Feldbusch, with especially high numbers of new Catholics expected in the South and Southwest regions of the United States.

The Diocese of Dallas, Texas, is preparing to receive 3,000 new Catholics. Of these, 700 are catechumens (never before baptized) and 2,300 are candidates (already validly baptized into the Christian faith, but seeking full communion with the Church).

Also in Texas, the Archdiocese of San Antonio is reporting that 1,112 people will enter the Church. A good number of these are young people, who have already reached the age of reason, including 214 child catechumens and 124 candidates.

The Diocese of Forth Worth in that same state will welcome around the same number of new Catholics.

The Archdiocese of Atlanta is preparing for 1,800 new Church members, which is the largest group ever recorded for that region, the press release reported

.On the West Coast, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which is the largest diocese nationwide, will receive 2,400 new members. (In my view this should like 20 times higher. Well mabye under the leadership)

In Seattle, 682 people will be baptized into the Church, and 479 welcomed into full communion.

The Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, will welcome 842 new Catholics.

Other dioceses who are expecting over a thousand new members are: Detroit, Michigan (1,225); Cincinnati, Ohio (1,049); Denver, Colorado (1,102); Arlington, Virginia (1,100); Washington, D.C. (1,150).

In the Archdiocese of Washington, 18 of those preparing to enter the Church are students from St. Augustine School, the oldest African American school in the nation's capital.

Ok I found one of the stories I was looking for. See Catholic School in D.C. Will Become Half Catholic Because of Student Converts

Catholic Bishops React to the Assassination Of Abraham Lincoln

On Good Friday of course was when Lincoln was shot and killed (though I guess he really died early Saturday) . I have done some reading on this and the religious significance was not lost. The timing of this event being on Good Friday no doubt played a part in his being made a secular Saint.

It is interesting to see the Catholic Bishops reaction. This is taken from this very interesting book that goes into detail about the nation's observances. Of course there is a lot going on here. Needless to say when it became clear that some of the alleged co conspirators were Catholics no doubt alarm bells went off. For decades anti Catholic talk of Jesuit and Papal plots being behind Lincoln's death was rampant.

At St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York, after the Pontifical Mass was finished, Archbishop McCloskey, from the steps of the altar, spoke as follows:

" You will, I trust, beloved brethren, pardon me if, notwithstandin1 the length of the services at which you have been assisting, I should ask the privilege of trespassing for a few moments more upon your patience. The privilege I ask is, indeed, a sad and mournful one, a privilege that I have reserved for myself alone, for the reason that I could not, and that I cannot, without injustice to my own feelings, and, I am sure, to your feelings also, allow myself to forego it; and that privilege, as you doubtless already anticipate, is of addressing to you at least a few brief and imperfect words in regard to the great, and, I may say, the awful calamity which has so unexpectedly and so suddenly fallen upon our beloved and now still more than ever afflicted country.

But two days ago we beheld the rejoicings of an exultant people, mingling even with the sorrowful memory of our Saviour's crucifixion. To-day we behold that same people's sorrow mingling with the grand rejoicings of our Saviour's resurrection.

It is, indeed, a sad and a sudden transformation. It is a mournful—it is even a startling contrast. The Church could not divest herself of her habiliments of woe in Good Friday, neither can she now lay aside her festive robes, nor hush her notes of joy, gladness, and thanksgiving on this, her glorious Easter Sunday.

Still, although as children of "the Church we must and do participate in all her sentiments of joy, yet, at the same time, as children of the nation, as children of this Republic, we do not less sincerely, or less feelingly, or less largely, share in that nation's grief and sorrow. Oh, not There is but one feeling that pervades all hearts, without distinction of party or of creed, without distinction of race or of color; one universal sentiment of a great and a fearful bereavement, of the heavy, and I had almost said, crushing suffering, that has just befallen us.

All feel, all acknowledge, that in that death which has so recently come to pass, in that sudden and awful death of the Chief Magistrate of this country, the entire nation, North and South; has sustained a great, a very great loss; and if we took counsel of our fears, we might say an almost irreparable loss. But, no! Our hopes are stronger, far stronger, than our fears; our trust and confidence in a good, gracious, and merciful God is stronger than the foreshadowings of what may be awaiting us in the future; and it is to Him to-day, in our trials and adversities, we raise our voices in supplication.

Him we beseech to give light to those who areand who are to be the rulers of the destinies of our nation, that He may give life and safety and peace to our beloved country. We pray that those sentiments of mercy, of clemency, and of conciliation, that filled the heart of the beloved President we have just lost, may animate the breast and guide the actions of him who in this most trying hour is called to fill his place. And we may take comfort, beloved brethren, in the thought that in the latest intelligence which has reached us, the honored Secretary of State (a man full of years and of honors), who was, like his superior, stricken down by the hand of a ruthless assassin, still lives, and wellfounded hopes are entertained of his final recovery.

Let us pray, then, that a life always valuable, but in this critical state of affairs dear to every one of us, may be long preserved, and that the new President may have the advantage of the wisdom, the experience, and the prudence of this honored Secretary of State.

I need not tell you, my beloved brethren, children of the Catholic Church, to leave nothing undone to show your devotion, your attachment, and your fidelity to the institutions of your country in this great crisis, this trying hour. I need not ask you to omit nothing in joining in every testimonial of respect and honor to the memory of that President, now, alas! no more. On whatever day may be appointed for his obsequies, although the solemn dirge of requiem cannot resound within these walls, yet the dirge of sorrow, of grief, and of bewailing, can echo and re-echo within your hearts. And, on that day, whenever it may be, the doors of this Cathedral shall be thrown open, that you, beloved brethren, may bow down before this altar, adoring the inscrutable decrees of a just and all-wise Providence, beseeching His mercy on us all, and imploring Him, that now at least His anger may be appeased, and that the cruel scourge of war cease, and that those rivers and torrents of human blood, of fratricidal blood, that have been saturating for so long a time the soil of our beloved country may no longer flow over our unhappy land.

Yes, let us pray, while almost even in sight of that deed of horror, which, like an electric shock, has come upon and appalled our fellow-citizens in every section of the land—let us pray to Him that we may now forget our enmities, and that we may be enabled to restore that peace which has so long been broken. Let us take care, beloved brethren, that no spirit of retribution or of wicked spite, or of malice, or resentment, shall, at this moment, take possession of our hearts.

The hand of God is upon us; let us take care that we do not provoke Him to bow us down with misery and woe. Even over the grave of the illustrious departed who has been taken from us, over the graves of so many enemies and friends, in every section of the land, fallen in the deadly conflict, let us hope that those who are spared, who are still living, may come and join their hands together in sweet forgiveness; and let us pledge ourselves, one to the other, that we will move and act together in unity and in perpetual and Divine peace."

Fellow-citizens—A deed of blood has been perpetrated which has caused every heart to shudder, and which calls for the execration of every citizen. On Good Friday, the hallowed anniversary of our blessed Lord's crucifixion, when all Christendom was bowed down in penitence and sorrow at His tomb, the President of these United States was foully assassinated, and a wicked attempt was made on the life of the Secretary of State ! Words fail us in expressing detestation for a deed so atrocious—hitherto, happily, unparalleled in our history. Silence is, perhaps, the best and most appropriate' expression for a sorrow too great for utterance.

We are quite sure that we need not remind our Catholic brethren in the Archdiocese of the duty—which we are confident they will willingly perform—of uniting with their fellow-citizens in whatever may be deemed most suitable for indicating their horror of the crime, and their feeling of sympathy for the bereaved. We also invite them to join together in humble and earnest supplication to God for our beloved but afflicted country; and we enjoin that the bells of all our churches be solemnly tolled on the occasion of the President's funeral.

Given from our residence in Baltimore on Holy Saturday, the 15th day of April, 1865.
Archbishop of Baltimore

Rev. Dear Sir—We hereby request that to-morrow you will announce to your people in words expressive of your common sorrow the melancholy tidings which have oome so suddenly amid the first rejoicings of the Easter festival to shock the heart of the nation, and plunge it into deepest distress and mourning. A life most precious to all, the life of the honored President of these United States, has been brought to a sad and startling close by the violent hand of an assassin ; the life of the Secretary of State and that of his son have been assailed by a similar act of wickedness, and both are now lying in a critical condition. While bowing down in humble fear and in tearful submission to this inscrutable dispensation of Divine Providence, let us all unite in pouring forth our prayers and supplications with renewed earnestness for our beloved country in this mournful and perilous crisis.

Given at New York, this 15th day of April, 1865.
•f. JOHN, Archbishop of New York.

Secretary's Office, No. 198 Madison-ave. New York, April 17,1865.
Reverend And Dear Sir—As the funeral obsequies of the late lamented President of the United States will take place in Washington City on Wednesday next, the 19th inst., the Most Reverend Archbishop directs that, in sympathy with the national sorrow, the various churches of the city and Diocese be open on that day for public service at 10£ o'clock, A. M., and that at the several Masses the collect, " Pro quacumque tribulatione," be recited in addition to the usual collects of the day.

It is likewise recommended that at the end of Mass the psalm Miserere should be read or chanted, supplicating God's mercy" for ourselves and all the people.
By order of the Most Reverend Archbishop.

FRS. McNEIRNY, Secrefeuy.
To the Reverend Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of Philadelphia : Reverend Brethren And Beloved Children—It is not necessary for us to announce to you the sad calamity which has befallen the nation. It is already known in every city, village, and hamlet of our widely extended country. Everywhere it has sent a thrill of horror through the hearts of all true and law-abiding citizens.

We desire thus publicly to declare both for ourselves and you our utter abhorrence and execration of the atrocious deed, and at the same time, our sympathy and condolence with all our fellow-citizens, and especially with those most nearly interested in this sad and afflicting bereavement. We desire to enter fully and cordially into the universal expression of the national grief and into the public demonstrations by which it is appropriately manifested.

In times of peril and danger, it is the duty of all to recur by most earnest prayer to the Divine Disposer of all events, and with due resignation to our existing afflictions and calamities, to pour forth our supplications to God that we may be saved from future and impending evils. We prescribe to the clergy the recitation, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, of the prayer " Pro quacumque tribulatione," for the space of one month, and enjoin on the faithful the sacred duty of imploring in their daily prayers and devotions the aid of Almighty God to our afflicted nation in its necessities.

Dominus sit semper vobiscum.
JAMES FREDERIC, Bishop of Philadelphia. Easter Monday, 1865.
The prayers prescribed by the Rt. Rev. Bishop, and which may with great propriety be used by the faithful, are as follows :

Turn not away Thine eyes, 0 most merciful God, from Thy people crying out to Thee in their affliction; but for the glory of Thine own name relieve us in our necessities, through Christ our Lord.

Mercifully receive, 0 Lord, the offerings by which Thou vouchsafest to be appeased ; and by Thy great goodness restore us to safety, through Christ our Lord.

Look down mercifully, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, in our tribulation, and turn away the wrath of Thy indignation, which we justly deserve, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our Father. Hail Mary.

The Anchoress's Sane Words On the Catholic Abuse Crisis (Must Read)

The Anchoress has a must read piece on this at Praying for the Pope & for All.

I mentioned for Holy Week I would be posting less (like not every other post) but still doing some on it. There is really no choice and there is obligation to confront some of this.

I intend to still do a post that is EASTER hope filled on this topic as we get closer to Holy Saturday.

One reason why I am posting less is this becoming a occasion of sin for me. I went to confession this past weekend and confessed my anger toward the attacks on the Church were entering sinful mode.

A lot of it is frustration. PEOPLE DEMAND WHY ARE YOU NOT ANGRY. Well I was angry. There was a lot of anger when this was on the news everyday. Yet Catholics in the USA did something with that anger and made changes. The results which we are seeing. I went through the anger phase. I can't really get angry again discussing stories that have been in the news 24/7 for years.

I also think as a convert I have a different view of all this. I have seen the other side too and realize that the Church is unfairly being singled out.

Though my anger is coming back. It is anger that people are using abuse victims for their own agenda. It is anger that no one is noticing the true reforms the Church has made.

However I am glad this day has come. The Church will get through it (CAN WE RECALL ALL THE STORIES OF THE DEATH OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN AMERICA). The USA Church is stronger now. So this will be it appears the last painful purification on this issue.

Again what happens when the Catholic abuse stories run out? People that are wagging their finger at the Church will have to get out of the cocoon. For all that rage people will realize perhaps it was a convenient place for them so they did not have to address the underlying problem in their own communities.

New Orleans Did Not Get the Memo On Earth Hour

Andy's place has a serious of fun posts on last nights Earth Hour. See that series here. There are some real interesting photos including one of the West Coast where it appears this was a big deal. However dear decadent NOLA might not have got the memo it looks like.

Now I am not one of these conservatives that is really anti Earth hour. I think conservation is a good conservative idea. Though I understand those having fun with this are engaging a bigger underlying agenda.

However my problem with Earth Hour is this. Not enough sacrifice!!! Why is this occurring in the nice days of early spring like temps. Would it not be better to have Earth Hour during like the month of August when consumption is so high there are power outrages and yes perhaps one has to suffer a tad more discomfort?

Things Not To Do When You Are On Death Row- Sue For Porn

I saw this story yesterday on the Internet but I did not realize till I clicked over to My Bossier that this on a Louisiana inmate and that inmate was Danny Irish of all people. See Why is he still alive?

Now there some things we don't know. I guess we are assuming it is porn the books are not mentioned. It could be some art book but I have my doubts. I would love to know if he filed this lawsuit himself. As the saying goes a Prison law library can to be a inmates worst friend.

I say that because I would to think the people handling his appeal would not to be to thrilled with this lawsuit. Would not his lawyers (who I asume are public defenders) would want the public to forget about Danny Irish so people don't start asking "Why is he still alive". Needless to say asking for porn and then finding he has internet access is going to anger a lot of people.

Bad move on his part.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

All Hail Obama Commander In Chief

I think many conservatives (besides those that rant about scary neocons 24/7) should be pleased with our President's trip to Afghanistan today.

The one good thing about the passage of the Heath Care bill is it will placate his liberal base and give him some time. Add to that expected conservative victories in NOV and at least on this issue there will I expect be much more GOP/Obama meeting of the minds.

Contentions has a nice piece on this at A Fine Speech in Afghanistan

Somewhere in Texas a Catholic is Crying Over the Baylor Loss Tonight

Sorry Dr Francis Beckwith :)

However go visit his blog Return to Rome.

Can Catholics Be Police Officers?

Can Catholics and other Christians ever lie?

This discussion comes up all the time in Catholic land and on blogs it seems. There was not too long ago for instance a pro-lifer that got some nasty stuff on what was happening in abortion clinics on tape. She got this by being deceptive and lying about who she was. There was a ton of Catholics that went NO THAT IS LYING IT IS EVIL SHE WAS WRONG!!! I have never been satisfied with that really and yet I don't have a solid answer myself about why in my gut or via tradition/scripture why I think it is more complicated.

I just saw this very good article via THIS ROCK that is helpful in some regards. See Is Lying Ever Right? (Tip of the hat to Xt3_iActiv8 and his twitter post).

Now I have suspected this is more complex than some folks wish to admit (and by complex the Church is leaving some areas for discussion here) by the fact if this is such a iron clad NO NO then there are a heck of a lot of jobs Catholics would not be able to enter.

Here are a few:
The Secret Service
Undercover Reporter
Military intelligence as an agent

and of course the real biggie your average policeman!!!

Now I don't know about everyone else but I have not heard the Bishops say Catholics cannot be police officers. YET police folks must and do lie as a part of their jobs.

I very much would love to talk to a Catholic Priest that ministers to police to get his thoughts.

Police lie all the time and their lying is generally accepted. Policemen lie and deceive all the time in undercover work.

We see this in the Vice Squad when they pose as escorts or as johns. Does a Catholic police officer that puts up a FAUX escort ad in the paper in order to conduct a sting operation need to go to confession?

We see this as they go undercover to buy drugs and infiltrate gangs.

Even in interrogation of a suspect it is common and legally acceptable for a Detective to lie to the suspect. Such as " you might as well confess and make it better on yourself because your friend has already finked on you so better tell us where the body is" even though his friend has done no such thing.

So if lying or deception is ALWAYS WITHOUT EXCEPTION an intrinsic evil the Catholic Church has appeared to allow many of its flock to endanger their souls by hellfire if the above is prohibited. Talk about a act of extreme negligence!!! So I think there is a lot more up in the air than many want to admit.

Bishop Gene Robinson Tired of Straitjacket of Gay / Straight /Bi " Many other sexualities to be explored"

Oh good grief.

I am going to be doing a post later on an important document the Episcopal Church put out. That is "Same-Sex Relationships in the Life of the Church". This a document where the conservatives(anti same sex marriage) put forth their side and the liberals "Pro same sex marriage" put forth their side. Again I will plenty to say on this later.

It appears that one of the theologians was giving a presentation and Bishop GENE ROBINSON made this comment.

Along with Dr. Willis Jenkins of Yale, Grant went to the Spring 2010 meeting of the House of Bishops to present the work of the panel. Both Willis and Grant gave ten minute presentations summarizing the two positions, for and against same-sex marriage. The bishops then discussed among themselves in table groups following which there was an hour for the bishops to ask questions. Perhaps the most interesting thing which happened during that question period was a short speech by Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, who expressed dissatisfaction with both papers and stated that it was time to move beyond speaking simply of "GLBT" (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered) orientations: "there are so many other letters in the alphabet," he said; "there are so many other sexualities to be explored." He did not elaborate as to what those other sexualities and other letters of the alphabet might be.

Many people on Anglican blogs are going what the heck is he talking about. One person gave a hint and said those "letters of the alphabet are currently felonies.

This commenter at Stand Firm was more blunt

[43] driver8,

Sadly, I can only guess, although surely he must be talking about a list including at least some of the following:
• autoeroticism•

pædophilia (man/boy, woman/girl)
• polyamory (heterosexual or otherwise)
• incest
• bestiality
• necrophilia

He may also be thinking of sexual behaviors of which even I, a former sailor now 64 years old, have never heard.
Pax et bonum,Keith Töpfer

Lincoln and Holy Week

It is of course folly I suppose to think that there was some Divine plan as to the Holy Week and America's most bloody and horrible conflict.

Still it is striking that as America Catholic pointed out that the Civil War for all practical purposes ended on Palm Sunday . The fact that Lincoln was killed on Good Friday makes it all the more striking.

I really wonder what people thought at the time as this strange occurrence of events. Did they make a religious connection. Did it add to the religious fervor associated with Lincoln's death.

On a side note I always thought is sort of scandal that Lincoln went to a Play on Good Friday. I am not sure if Good Friday was as big for Protestants then as it is now but it does seem sort of unseemly. I might be under the impression that people were just far more conservative back then in these things.

Just some American Civil War / Holy Week thoughts.

Are Ron Paul Groups Trying to "Hijack" Upcoming GOP Meeting In New Orleans?

Red Stick Rant has something to keep your eye on here at
Will The SRLC Be Hijacked Like CPAC?

I guess what I find interesting in this is that seems to be a lot of money to be invested and I am not sure the purpose is for workshops. I suppose as is often the case there will be some Straw poll and perhaps the Paul folks want to win it. It just seems like a incredible amount of money to invest in order to win a straw poll this early in the game at a conference in NOLA

Sarah Palin Has Fun With Politically Correct Language Police

This is some fun humor especially after watching the commentators on CNN's reliable sources this morning.

William Faulkner and Other Literary Greats on the Miss State / Georgia Baseball Game

Well I must say sports writing has got better these days

William Faulkner tells us what happened in the seventh through ninth innings . To see the full post and contributions of Cormac McCarthy and Tom Wolfe and their play by play action in earlier innings see Mississippi State Bulldogs 9, Georgia Bulldogs 8: Another Diamond Dogs Loss, As Told by Cormac McCarthy, Tom Wolfe, and William Faulkner

Now let me post the exciting conclusion as brought to us by the great Southern Literary giant.

The seventh through ninth innings are brought to you by William Faulkner.

From a little after 7:30 until after sundown of the long chill drowsy dying March evening they played in what State fans still called the park because Ron Polk had called it that---a dim ringed baseball diamond cool in the dark even as an odor of lilac and magnolia, wisteria and verbena, wafted across the field and hung in the air, portentous and profound---but above all, the mound; the epicenter, the locus, the raised hub about which the spokes spin in their whirring and wheeling span; squatting, hovering, in the middle of the diamond’s circumference like a lone hawk circling in the ring of the horizon, casting its vast shadow to the uttermost rim of the world’s encircling edge; mulling, pondering, avatar and synecdoche, high as the sky, inscrutable as the earthworks dotting the landscape ominously left lonely and mute by the Indians in their time, towering over all: repository and vanguard of the ambitions and the dreams. My pitcher is a fish.

As the seventh inning got underway, I could just remember how my old coach used to say that the reason for playing baseball was to get ready to stay beaten a long time, but the sport of the long season calls us to toil, admits no apostasy, uncoils incrementally, undeterred and unbidden by time clicked off by little wheels, embodiment and epitome of all the passions and foibles of the human heart in conflict with itself, the players like mules who labor ten years willingly and patiently for the privilege of kicking you once. I feel like a hot pitch fouled off the wild blind bat.

Without knowing it then, since he had not yet discovered that innocence which cannot be acquired but by the losing, sacrifice, of that which was without meaning until it had been named, Verdin led off with a double to center field. Hyams popped up and Cone grounded out, sending into the bland gloved hands of the awaiting infielders the horsehide that was not an actual horse, living creature, to writhe and whinny and expel sonorously the rich zephyrs of its voluptuous and feminine-encompassing entrails. Shipman singled to score a run, evening integer of achievement and striving. The baserunner smelled like trees.

Once a loss, always a loss, what I say. I says you’re lucky if us losing a baseball game is all that worries you. Steve Esmonde opened the bottom of the inning by striking Ogden, granting him first base uncontested, the ensorcelling sack awarded after a plangent plunking. Did you ever hit a batsman? Did you?

The runner was sacrificed over to second by Frost, a prime freshman who emanated a quality, inviolate and invincible, that seemed to suggest that, between an RBI and nothing, he would take the RBI. A pair of outs, moist conjoined and annealed, the image of each shattering and combining with that of the other in a ripple of fading sunlight through the trembling verdant fecund leaves of spring, followed without scoring ensuing. The seventh inning wasn’t dead; it wasn’t even past.

Carson Schilling sardonically smacked a two-out double, desolate doomed and futile, into left field in the eighth frame, and his teammates surrounded it by actual strikeouts. "Sho now," the catcher said, and spat, seated shrewdly in the dugout as though perched atop a buckboard, the reins dangling loosely from his tanned hands. Powers was hit by a pitch and Sneed walked in the bottom of the canto, the former finally scoring on a wild pitch lofted, flung, into the thick damp evening air like an overripened peach bursting with the old Dionysian honeyed symbology of all mammalian rapacity suffused with scornful and graceless unrequited longing. Save us, ump, the poor sons of bitches.

Through the screen, between the tiny diamond places, I could see them hitting. They were coming toward where the plate was and I watched behind the screen. The pitcher was throwing the ball from the mound. He threw the ball, and Verdin hit. Then Verdin went to second and I watched behind the screen. Hyams flied out to left. "Baseball, s---!" the tall infielder said.

Cone walked and Shipman walked. My, my. A body does get around. Here we ain’t been coming from first but three batters, and now it’s already third. May struck out and Davidson grounded out and the diamond was empty and green and serene again as three baserunners were stranded, each in his ordered place, and the Diamond Dogs fell 9-8 to lose their seventh straight.

"I don’t hate baseball," Quinton McDawg said, hastily, at once, swiftly; "I don’t hate it," he said. I dont hate it he thought, panting in the cold air, the iron Mississippi dark: I dont. I dont! I dont hate it! I dont hate it!

Text of the Supposed Controversal 2010 Benedict Palm Sunday Homily

First the negative. We see within hours the media was on the attack

We see from the London Times Pope: I 'will not be intimidated' by sex abuse accusations Now the title and where those quotes are should alert a reader that something is a tad off.

In fact the story does not even qualify the headline at all. Further if you look a this early translation (it appears) that there is no I even.

On the bright side this is the homily itself which is very beautiful. As soon as we have an official Vatican English translation I will link that.

Big Day For Catholic Louisiana- Henrietta Delille of New Orleans Founder of Religious Order Declared Venerable

This will be Louisiana's first native born Saint. See this short article here at African American founder of New Orleans religious order declared venerable by Pope

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Maybe Obama Knows What He Doing By Treating Israel Badly?

Ok here is a hopeful theory from Instapundit:

WHY HAS BARACK OBAMA TREATED NETANYAHU SO RUDELY? “Obama would never treat the president of Equatorial Guinea that way.”
Possibly Obama just hates Israel and hates Jews. That’s plausible — certainly nothing in his actions suggests otherwise, really
. ( I think Glen is just being cute here)

But it’s also possible — I’d say likely — that there’s something else going on. I think Obama expects Israel to strike Iran, and wants to put distance between the United States and Israel in advance of that happening. (Perhaps he even thinks that treating Israel rudely will provoke such a response, saving him the trouble of doing anything about Iran himself, and avoiding the risk that things might go wrong if he does). On the most optimistic level, maybe this whole thing is a sham, and the U.S. is really helping Israel strike Iran, with this as distraction. The question for readers is which of these — not necessarily mutually exclusive — explanations is most plausible.

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald refers to the above speculation — which I regard as favorable to Obama, since it suggests he knows what he’s doing instead of merely being, you know, a snot — as “bizarre conspiracy theories.” He then proceeds to demonstrate his usual lack of comprehension by conflating treatment of Israel by the United States with treatment of Netanyahu by Obama. Yeah, Israel gets a lot of support from the United States, because the United States electorate is pretty supportive, which over the years has led Congress to appropriate money and pass laws in ways that help Israel. This hardly suggests that Obama himself is equally supportive, and, in fact, his behavior suggests quite the opposite. It’s telling that — as usual — Greenwald can only criticize a post of mine by misrepresenting it and attacking a straw man. Pathetic.
Some related thoughts from Prof. William Jacobson.

Who knows maybe there is something to this. I have to admit what has the last couple of monthsstrike me as bizarree. Maybe this is all staged?

LSU Baseball Beats Tennessee (Home of Evil Instapundit) on the Road In Game 1 (Links)

Big day for LSU Sports fans. Even the LSU SPRING FOOTBALL game will be on ESPN2 today. I have not talked at all about Spring practice because I have found over the years we learn nothing useful from it really. Seriously. SO I will be watching both the game and listening to LSU baseball on the radio today. PERFECT WORLD. In fact it is LSU all the time today because we are playing the other two games of the series all today because of threats of bad weather in Knoxvegas (Knoxville)

Now back to the business at hand. We beat Tennessee in GAME 1!! This is a team that for some reason only know to the oracles of old I guess that LSU baseball has fits with the last three years.

LSU Sports Net has their story up on the game Ross, Hanover Lead Baseball Past Tennessee

Carl Dubois has his excellent post up at GAME BLOG: LSU 6, Tennessee 2 (final) that has also some GREAT audio interviews of the players and such. THANKS TIGER RAG FOR SENDING CARL UP TO GOD FORSAKEN TENN with all that "orange".

The Advocate has Ross, LSU handle Vols, 6-2 and Ranaudo to start DH opener

The rest of the reporting is sort of blah in the other papers sine I think Tiger Rag and the Advocate are the only ones that made the road trip I think. So you can get what you need from the above.

Carl has already started his new Game Day thread (I guess there will be two today since it is a doubleheader) at GAME BLOG: LSU at Tennessee ( Think this is the game thread ) . He already has some audio interviews up.
Update here is some some stuff from the evil orange Rocky Top folks and their viewpoint.
Tennessee Drops 6-2 Decision as No. 4 LSU Pulls Away Late and there is a photo galley from last nights game linked there (OH THE ORANGE HURTS MY EYES) BUT GOOD ARMY PARACHUTE PHOTOS

What Enterprising Person is Going to Translate All These Neat New Vatican Documents Into English?


I would love to read them. Maybe some enterprising blogger would get on that in their spare time. Sadly since I just speak Engish I am not available.

Catholic Vocations and Louisiana Prisons

A nice short story that reminds from Abitia Deacon that reminds us not to forget the people behind bars nor the people that minister to them this week. . See No two visits are alike

Holy Thursday 2010 At the Vatican Could Be Dramatic

I don't know if Whispers is just making an observation or perhaps he is getting hints from Rome itself that something might be up.

It is worth the read just for the last two paragraphs.

Karl Rove Was Against Dick Cheney As VP

Hmm a little interesting behind the scenes at

Karl Rove says "[Bush] was set on Cheney for vice president, and I thought it was a bad idea." via Ann Althouse

Former KKK Member: "I am Going to Hell" Seeks Forgiveness

This is just a wonderful story with so many angles in it. Get Religion has thoughts and links at One man’s quest for redemption

Pope Benedict Speaks to 70,000 Youth Answers Questions (Full Text)

I saw this at the Benedettoxviforum. He has done a translation which is below. RED are Youth Questions Blue is the Pope. There are more pictures at the link. I swear for a tought week poor old Pope looks upbeat!!

At 8:20 Thursday night, the Holy Father met the young people of Rome and Lazio in St. Peter's Square for an encounter preparatory to World Youth Day which will be celebrated on Palm Sunday at the diocesan level. It will also be the 25h anniversary of the first WYD convoked by John Paul II in Rome in 1985.

The arrival of the Holy Father was preceded by a program of celebration and reflection organized by the diocesan service of Rome for pastoral ministry to youth. Taking part were at least 70,000 representatives from the parishes of Rome and the dioceses of Lazio province where Rome is located.

After greetings by Cardinal Agostino Valli, the Pope's Vicar for Rome, and a youth leader, three other young people took turns posing a question to the Holy Father on the theme of this year's WYD, taken from the Gospel narrative of Jesus and the rich young man. Here is a translation of the Q&A:

Holy Father, the young man in the Gospel asked Jesus: "Good teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?" But I don't even know what 'eternal life' is. I cannot imagine it, but one thing I am sure of: I don't want to throw my life away, I want to live it in depth, and not by myself. Nut I am afraid this may not happen, I am afraid that I am thinking only of myself, that I will be wrong on everything and find myself without a goal to reach for, just living by the day. Is it possible to make something beautiful and good of my life?

THE POPE: Dear young people, before answering the question, I wish to say thank you from the heart for your presence, for this wonderful testimony of faith, of wanting to live in communion with Jesus, for your enthusiasm in following Jesus and to live right. Thank you!

And now the question. You said you do not know what eternal life is and cannot even imagine it. None of us is able to imagine eternal life because it is outside our experience. Nonetheless, we can begin to understand what it might be, and I think that with your question, you have given us a description of what is essential in eternal life, namely, of true life: not to throw your life away, to live it to the depth, not to live for yourself, not to live by the day, but to truly live life in its richness and in its totality.

[I marvelled last night at how he repeated the young man's question almost word for word as if he had been reading from notes! It is what his students always said of him- that he could recapitulate a question precisely, no matter how complex, before answering it.] But how to do this? This is the great question, what the rich young man came to see the Lord about (fr Mk 10,19).

At first glance, the Lord's response seems very sparse. In short, he says: Follow the commandments (cfr Mk 10,19), But if we reflect well, if we listen well to the Lord, in the totality of the Gospel, we find the great wisdom of the Word of God, of Jesus. The commandments, according to another Word from Jesus, are summed up in one alone: love God with all your heart, with all your reason, with all your existence, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.

This is the first step we must make: to seek to know God. Thus we will learn that our life is not by chance, it is not random. My life was wanted by God in eternity. I am loved, I am needed. God has a plan for me. So my life is important and even necessary. Eternal love created me with depth and awaits me.

So that is the first point: seek to know God and thus understand that life is a gift, that it is good to live. Then the essential is love. To love the God who created me, who created this world, who governs through all the difficulties of man and history, and who is with me. And to love one's neighbor.

The Ten Commandments which Jesus refers to in his answer simply makes the commandment of love explicit. They show the way of love with these essential points: the family, as the foundation of society; life, to be respected as gift of God; the sense of sexuality, as the relationship between a man and a woman; the social order; and finally, truth.

These essential elements make the way of love explicit, how to love truly, and how to find the right way. God has a fundamental will for each of us which is identical for all of us. But its application is different in each life, because God has a precise plan for each man. St. Francis de Sales said once that perfection - to be good - and living in faith and love are substantially one and the same, but possible in very different forms.

The holiness of a Carthusian monk is different from that of a politician, a scientist or a peasant, and so on. So, since God has a plan for every man, I should find what it is, in my circumstances, in my way of love that is the singular as well as common will of God, whose rules are indicated in the commandments as explications of love.

Thus also, to seek to fulfill the essence of love, which is not to take life for myself but to give life; not to 'have' life, but make my life a gift to others; not to gratify myself but to give to others. This essential - but it implies renunciation, which means, going out of myself, not seeking myself. By not seeking myself but giving myself for great and true things, I find true life.

So, everyone must find the diverse possibilities in one's life - to commit yourself to volunteer work, to a community of prayer, in a movement, in parish activity, in your profession. To find my calling and to live it is important and fundamental, whether I am a great scientist or a peasant.

Everyone is important in the eyes of God. it is beautiful if live is lived to the depth, with that love which truly redeems the world. Finally, let me tell you a little anecdote about St. Josephine Bakhita, this tiny African saint who found God and Christ in Italy, and who has always made a great impression on me. She was a sister in an Italian convent.

One day, the bishop came to visit the monastery, sees this tiny black nun, about whom he appears not to have known anything, and asks her: "Sister, what are you doing here?" Bakhita answers, "Exactly what you are doing, Excellency". The bishop, visibly irritated, said, "What do you mean, doing the same thing I am?". "Yes, we are both doing the will of God, are we not?"

So this is essential: to know the Word of God, with the help of the Church and of friends, both in its broad lines that are common to all, and in the concreteness of my personal life. This way, life becomes perhaps not too easy, but beautiful and happy. Let us pray to the Lord that he may always help us to find his will and follow it with joy.

The Gospel tells us that God looked at the young man and loved him. Holy Father, what does it mean to have the look of love from Jesus. How can we today make this our experience? And is it really possible to have this experience even in our day?

Of course I would say Yes, because the Lord is always present and looks at each of us with love. But first we have to find this look and encounter him.

How to do this? I would say the first thing is to have an experience of his love and to know him. Getting to know Jesus can be done in different ways. A first condition is to know him as he is presented in the Gospels, which gives us a very rich picture of Jesus, in the great parables - think of the prodigal son, the good Samaritan, Lazarus, etc.

In all these parables, in all his words, in the Sermon on the Mount, we find the real face of Jesus, the face of God, up to the Cross, where for love of us, he gives himself totally up to death, and at the hand, he could say, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit", my life (cfr Lk 23,46). Therefore: know Jesus, meditate on him with your friends, with the Church, and know him not only in an academic, theoretical way, but with the heart, and thus, talk to Jesus in prayer. One cannot be able to know a person the way one can study mathematics.

For this, reason is necessary and sufficient. but to be able to know a person, above all the great figure of Christ, God and man, we need reason, but at the same time, also the heart. Only by opening our heart to him, only with a knowledge of the totality of what he said and what he did, and then, with our love, going towards him, we will be able gradually to know him even better and experience what it is to be loved.

So, listen to the Word of God, listen to it in the communion of the Church, in her great experience, and respond with our prayer, our personal conversation with Jesus, where we can tell him what we cannot understand, our needs, our questions.

In a true conversation, we will always find more of this road to knowledge which becomes love. Of course, not just yo think, not just to pray, but to walk toward him: by doing good things, to be committed to our neighbor. Again, there are different ways.

Each one knows his own possibilities, in the parishes and communities where we live, to commit ourselves to Christ and for others, for the vitality of the Church, so that the faith can truly be a formative power in our society, and of our time.

Again, the elements are: listen, respond, enter into the community of believers, into communion with Christ through the Sacraments, in which he gives himself to us, in the Eucharist, in confession, etc.:and finally, carry out the words of faith so that they become a power in my own life, and in that way, I will really see the loving look of Jesus , and his love will help me and transform me.

Jesus asked the young man to leave everything and to follow him, but he went away sad. Like him, I would find it hard to follow him because I am afraid to leave my things and often, the Church asks me to make difficult renunciations. Holy Father, how can I find the strength to make courageous choices and who can help me?

There it is. Let us start with a word which is difficult for us: renunciation. Renunciations are possible, and in the end, they can become beautiful if there is a reason to make them, and that reason justifies even the difficulties of renouncing. St. Paul used, in this context, the image of the Olympics and the athletes engaged in these contests (cfr 1Cor 9,124-23).

He says: In order to win the medal - or at that time, the crown - they must live a very difficult discipline, they must give up a lot of things, they must practice the sport they will compete in, and make great sacrifices and renunciations because they have a motivation that is worth it all.

Even if, in the end perhaps, I may not end up among the winners, it is still a beautiful thing to have disciplined myself and to be able to do these things with a kind of perfection. So the same thing that made it worth, in this image of the Olympics that St. Paul gave, for all sports, is also the same for all other things in life.

A good professional life cannot be reached without some renunciation, without adequate preparation that always requires discipline, that demands giving up something - and so it is in art, and in all the aspects of life. We all understand that in order to reach a goal, whether it is professional, sports, artistic, cultural - we must renounce, give up something, learn from this in order to go ahead.

Even the art of living, of being oneself, the art of being a man, demands renunciation. And the true renunciations which will help us find the way of life, the art of life, are found in the Word of God.

They help us from falling, shall we say, into the abyss of drugs, of alcohol, of slavery to sexuality, of the slavery to money, and laziness. All these things, initially, may appear to be free actions. But they are not free, but the start of a slavery that becomes ever more insuperable. To succeed in renouncing the temptations of the moment, to proceed towards the good, creates true freedom and makes life precious.

In this sense, I think, we must see that without saying No to certain things, then the great Yes to true life cannot come, as we see even in the lives of saints. Let us think of St. Francis, of the saints of our time, Mother Teresa, don Gnocchi, and so many others who renounced and have won - they became not just free but a treasure for the world, who can show us how one can live.

To the question, "who will help me?", I would say the great figures in the history of the Church, the Word of God helps us, the parish community, the movement, volunteer work, etc. And we are helped by the friendship of those who are 'moving ahead', who have already made progress on the road of life and who can convince me that they are on the right road. Let us pray to the Lord that he may always gives us such friends and communities which help us to see the road of goodness, and thus find life beautiful and joyous.