Friday, October 19, 2012


Oct. 22 is the Feast of Blessed JPII. Let’s make a prayer to him and ask his help to encourage our youth to become more involved with their faith, for he had a strong connection with the youth while he was with us.

“Without God, man ultimately chooses selfishness over solidarity and love, material things over values, having over being.” Pope Benedict XVI, at the Marian shrine of Loreto. How very true.

From Our Sunday Visitor: “Praise for Noble Prize – The awarding of this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka, two pioneers of adult stem-cell research, has been praised by Catholics. The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community said the award should encourage institutions to switch funding from embryonic stem-cell research to adult stem-cell research.” Yes, let’s leave the little ones alone, they need not give up their lives to harvest their stem-cells for research.

Movie recommendation: October Baby. Loved it. A baby having survived an abortion attempt is adopted. As a teenager, when she learns the truth and that she is adopted she searches for her natural mother. I won’t say anything else about it. Hope you will watch it. Good story, well done.

Book recommendation: Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. I thought it was great. So much so I bought several copies to hand out to friends. I still have a few left. Let me know if you would like one. My parish, St. Stephens passed our CDs on the same subject awhile back which led me to get the book. You can learn more at

Year of Faith: Have you thought about doing anything for the Year of Faith? We are affected by the secular society and godlessness all around us, don’t think we are not. Have you sat down and thought about you faith and your relationship with the Lord? I would like to make one suggestion here. For a little while put aside the black and white printed words and the memorized prayers and have a little conversation with Jesus, not as Lord, but as friend. Tell Him what is on your mind, what is troubling you. Perhaps, take a little walk doing this, see Jesus walking next to you and just talk to him. No, people won’t think you’re crazy talking to yourself – they can’t tell the difference anyway with so many people talking on the phone using blue tooth or ear phones. Even better, sit for some time, face to face, with Jesus before the Blessed Sacrament.

Lastly, I’m sure we have all decided by now who we are going to vote for. This election is so very important to us as Catholics. So first do vote. That is our responsibility as a citizens and now more so as Catholics. Try to find out who it is you are voting for. Do they reflect our morals and values?

Blessings to all!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Received this in today’s email and thought I would share it. Read, obviously, to the rhythm of T‘was the night before Christmas.


T ‘was the night before elections
And all through the town,
Tempers were flaring
Emotions all up and down

I, in my bathrobe,
With a cat in my lap,
Had cut off the TV,
Tired of political crap.

When all of a sudden,
There arose such a noise,
I peered out my window,
Saw Obama and his boys.

They had come for my wallet,
They wanted my pay,
To give to others,
Who had not worked a day!

He snatched up my money,
And quick as a wink,
Jumped back on his bandwagon,
As I gagged in the stink.

He then rallied his henchmen,
Who were pulling his cart,
I could tell they were out
To tear my country apart!

'On Fannie, on Freddie,
On Biden and Ayers!
On Reid, On Pelosi',
He screamed at the pairs!

They took off for his cause,
And as they flew out of sight,
I heard him laugh at the nation,
Who wouldn't stand up and fight!
So I leave you to think,
On this one final note,

The Geezer Manifesto?

Received this in my email today. You should get a kick out of it regardless of your political party, well maybe not.

Some of us are Older than the "Baby Boomers” getting ready to retire. Others have been retired for some time. We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were.

We have worked hard, raised our children, worshiped our God, and grown old together. Yes, we are the ones some refer to as being over the hill, and that is probably true. But before writing us off completely, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.

In school we studied English, history, math, and science, which enabled us to lead America into the technological age.

Most of us remember what outhouses were, and many of us with first-hand experience. We remember the days of telephone party lines, 25-cent gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes.

For those of you who don't know what an icebox is, today they are electric and referred to as refrigerators.

A few even remember when cars were started with a crank.
Yes, we lived those days.

We are probably considered old fashioned and outdated by many. But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off.

We won World War II, fought in Korea and Viet Nam. We can quote The Pledge of Allegiance, and know where to place our hand while doing so.

We wore the uniform of our country with pride and lost many friends on the battlefield. We didn’t fight for the Socialist States of America we fought for the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave."

We wore different uniforms but carried the same flag. We know the words to the Star Spangled Banner, America, and America the Beautiful by heart, and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing.

We have lived what many of you have only read about in history books and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America.

Yes, we are old and slow these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us. We have loved this country, fought for it, and died for it, and now we are going to save it. It is our country and nobody is going to take it away from us.

That is an oath we plan to keep. There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.

It was the young people of this nation who elected Obama and the Democratic Congress. You fell for the "Hope and Change" which in reality was nothing but "Hype and Lies." You have tasted socialism and seen evil face to face, and have found you don’t like it after all.

You make a lot of noise, but most are all too interested in their careers or "Climbing the Social Ladder" to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism and voting.

Many of those who fell for the "Great Lie" in 2008 are now having buyer’s remorse. With all the education we gave you, you didn't have sense enough to see through the lies and instead drank the 'Cool-Aid.' Now you’re paying the price and complaining about it. No jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and less freedom. This is what you voted for and this is what you got. We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty and you traded it for a paycheck and a fancy house.

Well, don’t worry youngsters, the Gray Haired Brigade is here, and in 2012 we are going to take back our nation.

We may drive a little slower than you would like but we get where we're going, and in 2012 we're going to the polls by the millions. This land does not belong to the man in the White House or to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. It belongs to "We the People" and "We the People" plan to reclaim our land and our freedom.

We hope this time you will do a better job of preserving it and passing it along to our grandchildren. So the next time you have the chance to say the Pledge of Allegiance, Stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor our country, and thank God for the old geezers of the "Gray-Haired Brigade."

Come on guys. Let’s get this circulating.
Gray-Haired Brigade Member
I am another Gray Haired Geezer signing on.

Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly.
Live While You Are Alive.
Forgive now those who made you cry.
You might not get a second time. 

Biden was wrong on HHS mandate, says Archbishop Chaput |

Biden was wrong on HHS mandate, says Archbishop Chaput |

Monday, October 15, 2012

Gianna Jessen Abortion Survivor in Australia

A great speech given by Gianna Jessen, and abortion survivor in Australia. Very touching, very real. From 2008, still so very poignant.

Part 1

Part 2

God bless!

The Nurse, The Extremist, The Survivor

Perhaps one of the best pro-life ads ever.

H/T The American Spectator

Obama's "Catholic Plan"

This video goes back to 2009, but it is most relevant today especially in light of the upcoming elections.

YouTube has had 3.4 million hits for this video.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Elections 2012 – Catholic Conference of Illinois

Elections 2012 – Catholic Conference of Illinois

This is the third of four bulletin inserts to offer guidance and reflection points from Illinois’ Catholic Bishops in preparation for the elections of November 6, 2012. The first insert was an introduction to this effort. The second insert discussed the expectations of a well-formed conscience. (Go to for a copy of the first and second insert.)

“Christ…fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear.”
–Gaudium et Spes, 22

As followers of Jesus Christ, we understand the human person in light of the mystery of the Incarnation. HUMAN DIGNITY flows both from our origin (being created in the image and likeness of God) and from our ultimate destiny, which is communion with God. Legitimate concern for the material well-being of all must never eclipse our concern for their spiritual and moral well-being. [Matthew 10:28]

The preciousness of every human being demands our concern for well-being of all, beginning with those closest to us for whom we bear the greatest responsibility, and with a special concern for the weakest and most vulnerable among us and for future generations.

The moral imperative to respond to the fundamental needs of our neighbors—needs such as food, shelter, basic health care, education, and meaningful work—is universally binding on our conscience, but may be legitimately fulfilled by a variety of means. These responsibilities cannot be simply delegated to the State.1

As the Catechism reminds us, “It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens.”2 Relying on well-formed consciences, Catholics citizens must use prudence in responding to these needs and serving the COMMON GOOD.

While there may be many legitimate ways to address the needs of our neighbors, there are some actions which are always and everywhere immoral. As Catholics, we must recognize that not all issues carry the same moral weight. The continuing slaughter of innocent children through legal abortion—to take the most appalling example of such “intrinsic evil”—is a grave offense against God and our own human dignity, and cries out for justice. Accordingly, “the moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions.”3

Those who knowingly, willingly and directly support public policies or legislation that protect and perpetuate such injustice cooperate with that grave evil. Candidates who promise to support the common good, while at the same time glossing over their support for intrinsic evils such as abortion, perpetrate a lie. Catholic candidates who do so are also a cause of scandal among the faithful.

Finally, two other issues of particular importance in this election year demand our attention. The first is marriage: the permanent, faithful relationship of a man and a woman as husband and wife is the root of a family and the foundation for all of society. The decline of marriage in our culture has already inflicted untold spiritual and material costs upon society and individuals alike. Attempts to redefine marriage are contrary to the natural and moral law and only serve to further erode this fundamental institution. The defense of marriage is a matter of social justice. The second issue—which is of such pressing importance that the final insert, beginning on October 28th, will address it specifically—is religious freedom. Additional information can be found on the Catholic Conference of Illinois website, or at

1 Caritas in Veritate, 38
2 CCC, 2442
3 Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, 37

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Year of Faith - Pope Benedict's Homily

From News VA

(Vatican Radio) On Thursday Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass marking the 50th anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Council and launching the Year of Faith.
Below the full text of the Holy Father’s Homily:

Dear Brother Bishops,Dear brothers and sisters!

Today, fifty years from the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, we begin with great joy the Year of Faith. I am delighted to greet all of you, particularly His Holiness Bartholomaois I, Patriarch of Constantinople, and His Grace Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. A special greeting goes to the Patriarchs and Major Archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and to the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences. In order to evoke the Council, which some present had the grace to experience for themselves - and I greet them with particular affection - this celebration has been enriched by several special signs: the opening procession, intended to recall the memorable one of the Council Fathers when they entered this Basilica; the enthronement of a copy of the Book of the Gospels used at the Council; the consignment of the seven final Messages of the Council, and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I will do before the final blessing. These signs help us not only to remember, they also offer us the possibility of going beyond commemorating. They invite us to enter more deeply into the spiritual movement which characterized Vatican II, to make it ours and to develop it according to its true meaning. And its true meaning was and remains faith in Christ, the apostolic faith, animated by the inner desire to communicate Christ to individuals and all people, in the Church’s pilgrimage along the pathways of history.

The Year of Faith which we launch today is linked harmoniously with the Church’s whole path over the last fifty years: from the Council, through the Magisterium of the Servant of God Paul VI, who proclaimed a Year of Faith in 1967, up to the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, with which Blessed John Paul II re-proposed to all humanity Jesus Christ as the one Savior  yesterday, today and forever. Between these two Popes, Paul VI and John Paul II, there was a deep and profound convergence, precisely upon Christ as the centre of the cosmos and of history, and upon the apostolic eagerness to announce him to the world. Jesus is the centre of the Christian faith. The Christian believes in God whose face was revealed by Jesus Christ. He is the fulfilment of the Scriptures and their definitive interpreter. Jesus Christ is not only the object of the faith but, as it says in the Letter to the Hebrews, he is “the pioneer and the perfecter of our faith” (12:2).

Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus Christ, consecrated by the Father in the Holy Spirit, is the true and perennial subject of evangelization. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor” (Lk 4:18). This mission of Christ, this movement of his continues in space and time, over centuries and continents. It is a movement which starts with the Father and, in the power of the Spirit, goes forth to bring the good news to the poor, in both a material and a spiritual sense. The Church is the first and necessary instrument of this work of Christ because it is united to him as a body to its head. “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn 20:21), says the Risen One to his disciples, and breathing upon them, adds, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (v.22). Through Christ, God is the principal subject of evangelization in the world; but Christ himself wished to pass on his own mission to the Church; he did so, and continues to do so, until the end of time pouring out his Spirit upon the disciples, the same Spirit who came upon him and remained in him during all his earthly life, giving him the strength “to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” and “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lk 4:18-19).

The Second Vatican Council did not wish to deal with the theme of faith in one specific document. It was, however, animated by a desire, as it were, to immerse itself anew in the Christian mystery so as to re-propose it fruitfully to contemporary man. The Servant of God Paul VI, two years after the end of the Council session, expressed it in this way: “Even if the Council does not deal expressly with the faith, it talks about it on every page, it recognizes its vital and supernatural character, it assumes it to be whole and strong, and it builds upon its teachings. We need only recall some of the Council’s statements in order to realize the essential importance that the Council, consistent with the doctrinal tradition of the Church, attributes to the faith, the true faith, which has Christ for its source and the Church’s Magisterium for its channel” (General Audience, 8 March 1967). Thus said Paul VI.

We now turn to the one who convoked the Second Vatican Council and inaugurated it: Blessed John XXIII. In his opening speech, he presented the principal purpose of the Council in this way: “What above all concerns the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine be safeguarded and taught more effectively […] Therefore, the principal purpose of this Council is not the discussion of this or that doctrinal theme… a Council is not required for that… [but] this certain and immutable doctrine, which is to be faithfully respected, needs to be explored and presented in a way which responds to the needs of our time” (AAS 54 [1962], 790,791-792).

In the light of these words, we can understand what I myself felt at the time: during the Council there was an emotional tension as we faced the common task of making the truth and beauty of the faith shine out in our time, without sacrificing it to the demands of the present or leaving it tied to the past: the eternal presence of God resounds in the faith, transcending time, yet it can only be welcomed by us in our own unrepeatable today. Therefore I believe that the most important thing, especially on such a significant occasion as this, is to revive in the whole Church that positive tension, that yearning to announce Christ again to contemporary man. But, so that this interior thrust towards the new evangelization neither remain just an idea nor be lost in confusion, it needs to be built on a concrete and precise basis, and this basis is the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the place where it found expression. This is why I have often insisted on the need to return, as it were, to the “letter” of the Council – that is to its texts – also to draw from them its authentic spirit, and why I have repeated that the true legacy of Vatican II is to be found in them. Reference to the documents saves us from extremes of anachronistic nostalgia and running too far ahead, and allows what is new to be welcomed in a context of continuity. The Council did not formulate anything new in matters of faith, nor did it wish to replace what was ancient. Rather, it concerned itself with seeing that the same faith might continue to be lived in the present day, that it might remain a living faith in a world of change.

If we place ourselves in harmony with the authentic approach which Blessed John XXIII wished to give to Vatican II, we will be able to realize it during this Year of Faith, following the same path of the Church as she continuously endeavors to deepen the deposit of faith entrusted to her by Christ. The Council Fathers wished to present the faith in a meaningful way; and if they opened themselves trustingly to dialogue with the modern world it is because they were certain of their faith, of the solid rock on which they stood. In the years following, however, many embraced uncritically the dominant mentality, placing in doubt the very foundations of the deposit of faith, which they sadly no longer felt able to accept as truths.

If today the Church proposes a new Year of Faith and a new evangelization, it is not to honor an anniversary, but because there is more need of it, even more than there was fifty years ago! And the reply to be given to this need is the one desired by the Popes, by the Council Fathers and contained in its documents. Even the initiative to create a Pontifical Council for the promotion of the new evangelization, which I thank for its special effort for the Year of Faith, is to be understood in this context. Recent decades have seen the advance of a spiritual “desertification”. In the Council’s time it was already possible from a few tragic pages of history to know what a life or a world without God looked like, but now we see it every day around us. This void has spread. But it is in starting from the experience of this desert, from this void, that we can again discover the joy of believing, its vital importance for us, men and women. In the desert we rediscover the value of what is essential for living; thus in today’s world there are innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life. And in the desert people of faith are needed who, with their own lives, point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive. Living faith opens the heart to the grace of God which frees us from pessimism. Today, more than ever, evangelizing means witnessing to the new life, transformed by God, and thus showing the path. The first reading spoke to us of the wisdom of the wayfarer (cf. Sir 34:9-13): the journey is a metaphor for life, and the wise wayfarer is one who has learned the art of living, and can share it with his brethren – as happens to pilgrims along the Way of Saint James or similar routes which, not by chance, have again become popular in recent years. How come so many people today feel the need to make these journeys? Is it not because they find there, or at least intuit, the meaning of our existence in the world? This, then, is how we can picture the Year of Faith: a pilgrimage in the deserts of today’s world, taking with us only what is necessary: neither staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money, nor two tunics – as the Lord said to those he was sending out on mission (cf. Lk 9:3), but the Gospel and the faith of the Church, of which the Council documents are a luminous expression, as is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published twenty years ago.

Venerable and dear Brothers, 11 October 1962 was the Feast of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. Let us entrust to her the Year of Faith, as I did last week when I went on pilgrimage to Loreto. May the Virgin Mary always shine out as a star along the way of the new evangelization. May she help us to put into practice the Apostle Paul’s exhortation, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom […] And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:16-17). Amen.

Year of Faith

Year of Faith

Thursday, 10/11/2012, started the Year of Faith called by Pope Benedict XVI. I'm wondering how I could make this time meaningful to me. I hope to occasionally blog some of my thoughts. The Year of Faith commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Ecumenical Council in the Vatican, and the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic faith.

The USCCB tells us this: “The upcoming Year of Faith is a ‘summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world’ (Porta Fidei 6). In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The ‘door of faith’ is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.”

I think, for most of us, especially myself, we can participate in this Year of Faith into two ways: 1) to catechize ourselves, to learn our faith in a more deeper sense, and; 2) to evangelize others, to bring others to our faith. I think the first is important because we live in a very secularized society. Know it or not, it has an effect on us, in the TV we watch, in the secular books we read, in common conversations. God has been kick-out of the public forum. Our children cannot pray in school, it is not politically correct to discuss our faith in public. Yet, that is exactly what we are called to do. To do so, we need to know the subject matter, it would be hard to make any arguments at all if we do not know the very faith that we profess; and sadly, many of us don't know our faith. Our religious education more or less stopped in the eighth grade unless we were blessed to attend a Catholic high school. Few of us read Scripture as a family and talked about what we read. We are fed at Sunday Mass by the readings and a homily, if that homily was well prepared, but how many of us Catholics do attend Mass regularly?

There are so many souls out there looking to be filled, to satisfy that inner emptiness, and many don't know what that emptiness is. They fill this void with alcohol or drugs, pornography and material things – the more the better. But it does not fill them, and so they think more alcohol or more drugs will fill that need. We worry about our physical health, our mental health, our emotional health, but how much time and effort we spend on our spiritual selves. Those seeking to fill that void only need to turn to God. That longing for the Other, our Creator, is built within us by the very act of our creation and the infusion of our souls at conception. That void is simply filled when we turn away from ourselves and focus on God and our fellow man. Joyful we are when we experience that right relationship with God, when we do something, no matter how simple, for another without expectation of repayment.

Many of us have not been happy with all the changes stemming from Vatican II. It seems there were too many changes too quickly, it seems we were on a runaway train; at times it seems we were changing for the sake of change. Certain elements in the church were not satisfied; they wanted more and more change. Some things that have bothered me are the loss of the sacredness, the relegation of the Tabernacle away from the central focus to some side room, the building of new churches looking more like theaters around, Perpetual Adoration and holy hours. Yet I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit was working with the Pope and the Bishops during the Council leading the church in the direction the Spirit wanted it to go. I miss the Latin, though I didn't understand it, I had to follow along in my Missile. It was comforting matter were in the world we were we would hear the same words. But there were so many at Mass who prayed their personal devotions or the rosary during the Mass and not the Sacrifice that was being offered. Our attention was only brought to focus with the ringing of the bells at the Consecration. I miss the church bells, the incense, and like I said the feeling of holiness and sacredness in the presence of God in church.

We are in a period of correction. In some ways John Paul II and Benedict XVI have put on the brakes. In the long run I see a very vibrant church with true and active Catholics.

So I will begin this Year of Faith by reading some of the Vatican II documents, starting with the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum). I will try to be a more public Catholic and look for opportunities to call others to faith.

I hope you will make this year meaningful, and I hope you'll join me in my efforts to learn my faith more deeply and to call others to grow in their relationship with God.