Monday, December 29, 2008

The Ordination to the Order of Bishop of the Most Rev. Barry C. Knestout

Well, I decided that I would attend the ordination, especially since I had never attended one before. Of course, it is not like they happen every day in the Archdiocese of Washington DC.

On my way up the steps into the Cathedral, I spotted Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who was at one time, in charge of the Spanish Center here in DC. He was greeted by a number of people on the way in. More about his Eminence later.

When I entered, one of the ushers asked if I had an invitation. Being an honest guy, I said no. Since all of the open seating was taken, I was asked to wait for a while. No problem. But it did make me aware of how small St. Matthew's really is. Finally, they sent me over to the right hand side (facing the altar), where I promptly took a seat and a program. (Two pages are scanned above for you.)

At 2pm, the procession began to enter St. Matthew's. I would estimate that there were over 150 priests and deacons, and apx. 12 Cardinals and Bishops, including Cardinal's Baum and McCarrick. (I may be off a bit on the Cardinal and Bishop count, but who's counting.) Although it was not the crowd that you might get on a Holy Thursday or Good Friday, it was none the less a good sized crowd.

Things moved along very smoothly with a nice homily by Archbishop Wuerl and wonderful music by the choir. The Apostolic Letter was nicely read by Mrs. Jane Golden Belford, Chancellor of the Archdiocese. Although I could not see everything, the program explained what would happen and why it was happening.

One interesting note was that Cardinal O'Malley did not process in or out with the other Cardinals and Bishops but with the priests and deacons.
As Bishop Knestout went through the congregation bestowing his blessing, you could see not only the happiness and joy, but there was this look of the utmost respect for this holy and faithful priest. In fact, one woman was so overcome with happiness and joy for his blessing, she began to cry.

Bishop Knestout gave a very nice thank you to his fellow bishops and priests but you could tell he was nervous. It must have been a real whirlwind of activity over the last few weeks.

From what I have heard in the past and seen today, I have to say that we in the Archdiocese are really blessed to have someone like Bishop Knestout.
Ad Multos Annos!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Have you guessed correctly?

The Catholic school which was converted into a Charter school and has not received the first lease payment...

St. Gabriel.


I am going to take a couple of days off to be with family.

So, I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas.

Remember, without Christ, there is no Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Yesterday, we saw how the Archdiocese can take the closing of Catholic schools and turn it into a victory celebration (so to speak). However, not everything is perfect.

From my understanding of the situation, the Center City Consortium schools were not funded out of the original education budget. This means that the DC City Council would have to approve supplemental funding, from the educational funding reserve. Is there a possibility that they may not? Maybe.

As part of the plan to convert these schools, in a presentation made by Mr. Duffy, the Archdiocese would lease the school to the Center City Public Charter School (CCPCS) for a term of 5 years, with three additional 5 year renewal periods.

The CCPCS would get
- 24/7 access to the buildings
- pay 100% of the school maintenance (cleaning, lighting, etc.)
- pay 50% of the landscaping and common lighting area
- remove snow, ice, etc. (at apx. 75% of cost)
- allow for off hours scheduling access by the parish.

The parish would have to maintain the building and base systems, such as electrical, HVAC, etc. In addition, they could use the school for CCD, meetings, etc.

Based on this basic agreement, the parish would get between $85,000 to $100,000 in rent for the first year. In Year 2, between $125,000 and $140,000 and in Year 3, between $135,000 and $150,000.

(My guess is that the difference in rent in a given year, may be due to the number of students in attendance.)

Payment is to be made on a quarterly basis starting Nov. 1, 2008, with additional payments on Feb., 1, May 1 and August 1.

However, there is at least one parish that has not received a minimum payment of $21,500 yet. And the word on the street is that they rent may not come in until sometime in the Spring 2009.

Can you guess which one?

The answer tomorrow!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Orwell Lives

In this week’s Catholic Standard (Dec. 18, 2008 page 12), Thom Duffy (CFO Archdiocese of Washington DC) was recognized by the Greater Washington Society of CPAs as one of the city’s top nonprofit CFOs. He was given Honorable Mention for what the Society called “innovative work during the past year” that was “exemplary” and “worthy of recognition.” Congratulations!

Mr. Duffy stated that “I got the award on behalf of the Archdiocese of Washington and what we did last year, particularly for what we did in the conversion (of former Center City Consortium schools) to charter schools.”

Wait, let’s look carefully at that statement. Mr. Duffy received an award for closing Catholic schools and converting them into public charter schools. And, there is no guarantee that these charter schools will remain in existence, even past the first year.

Well, only in the Archdiocese of Washington DC and in the Catholic Standard can the closing of Catholic schools be lauded and praised.

Do the folks over in Hyattsville really believe what he is saying? Do they believe that we will just go "Yes! This is wonderful."

Personally, I don’t see the closing of Catholic schools as something to be really proud of, even though it may mean a larger revenue stream for the parishes which had those schools.

However, from what my sources tell me, not everything is perfect in paradise…

Friday, December 19, 2008

CHA President Supports Obama's Health Picks

According to LifeNews.Com:

The president of the Catholic Health Association, Sister Carol Keehan, has issued a response to the pro-life advocates who are upset with her statement praising two pro-abortion picks by incoming president Barack Obama.

Instead of backing down from her position, Sister Keehan goes further by offering a defense of Obama as well as his new pro-abortion Health Secretary Tom Daschle and pro-abortion deputy health care director Jeanne Lambrew.

They are committed to getting access to quality health care for all Americans, including pregnant women and their unborn babies," Keehan adds. "It is my belief that we ... will prevent more abortions by ensuring tangible health care for pregnant women and their unborn babies.

Wow. This sounds like it was taken out of the Catholics for Obama playbook.

Maybe it is because they see this as a chance for socialized medicine?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Missed It...Did You?

Well folks, it looks like I missed the last meeting of the dissenters at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown. Darn.

Never ceases to amaze me how a supposedly Catholic parish can host dissenters on a regular basis. But then again, it is Holy Trinity and run by the Jesuits. Need I say more?

BTW, VOTF has thrown in their lot with Fr. Bourgeouis. Talk about your dissenters.

The folks over in Hyattsville will turn a blind eye.

But, what else is new.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Come Home For Christmas

The Archdiocese of Washington DC has once again initiated their "Come Home For Christmas" campaign to remind fallen away Catholics that they can come back.

For more details, you can go to the Catholic Standard's article here.

Above you will find a photo I took using my cell phone on the Metro.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Catholic schools save U.S. $19.8 billion annually...

According to CNA, Catholic schools have saved the US over $19 billion annually.

Some of my earlier postings have discussed this. When I look at the elementary school associated with my parish, it saves government (Federal, state and local) over $220,000 per year (based on $11,000 per student per year, at an enrollment of 200).

By politicians allowing Catholic schools to close (and did you see the article in the Catholic Standard this week about southern Maryland -- told you so months ago), it only will cost the taxpayers more and allow more children to be put into failing schools.

Psst...rumor has it that there have been meetings in Montgomery County recently as well.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

They are not clowing around -- National Migration Week

Well, it looks like the USCCB is at it again with National Migration Week 2009.

Although they are not clowning around this year, there is still lots of funny business.

Looking through some of the materials offered for use by teachers, I came across a song entitled: I AM AN ALIEN by Wilfred Suprena.

I guess the basic idea of the song is that all of us aliens and throughout the years aliens have been abused and taken advantage of.

However, as I reviewed the song, there are some questions (among many) that came to my mind regarding the song and aliens.

1. The song says that aliens have no skin color, but then the writer talks about "dark skin, red skin." What about "white skin"? Are their no aliens who are white? Or are those with "white skin" the "no skin color" ones? Are aliens only those who are "dark or red"? (Hey, don't call me racist, I am just using the songwriter's own words.)

2. She talks about aliens being made slaves in Ancient Rome and in the Middle Ages (probably in Europe). You mean that there were no "aliens" who were slave in other societies at other times? I guess there were no alien slaves in Ancient Egypt, Carthage, Greece, Timbuktu, Babylon, etc.

3. I am not certain what aliens have to do with Austerlitz? I had no idea that there were millions of aliens from the Czech Republic, did you?

4. I did not know that there were aliens from Auschwitz? Or is she saying that the prisoners kept and killed there were aliens? Or, when the war ended, those who were held there were aliens?

5. Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Again, I am not certain. Does she mean that the population in those cities were aliens, which is why it was bombed? Or did the population become aliens after it was bombed? Or, is it a way to throw a bone to the anti-nuclear/revisionist history crowd?

Ah yes, the funny business continues sans clown at the USCCB.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No Religous Christmas Stamps at the Local Post Office!

So today, my good friend "A" goes to the local Post Office at Four Corners (Silver Spring, MD).

She walks in to mail some packages, and pick up some religous Christmas stamps for herself and for me. (I told her to pick up about 8 or 9 books for me -- like I said, I use them throughout the year.)

The clerk behind the counter tells her: "We are sold out. We have Hanukkah stamps. We have Kwanzaa stamps. We don't have the religious ones. Would you like one of the others?"

Can you believe that? Out of religous Christmas stamps.

I am going to have to go to one of the larger Post Office stations now.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ordination of Bishop-Elect Barry Knestout

Just got word from a friend of mine...

The Ordination will take place at 2pm on Monday, Dec. 29, 2008 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew. Located at 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW Washington, DC, it is near the Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations (Red Line) of METRO.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"Because I created you and I love you..."

From Catholic News Agency:

In November the American Humanist Association (AHA) bought advertisements on Washington D.C. buses reading “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake.” The campaign aspired to bring together the non-religious during the holiday season.

The “I Believe Too” campaign, sponsored by the Center for Family Development, called the AHA effort a “campaign against God.” Aiming to “fight back with the same campaign they are running,” the I Believe Too ads are planned for 10 buses with side posters, 10 buses with tail posters, 200 interior bus posters.

I hope to see it soon and take a photo.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Vatican on display at the National Museum of Funeral History

Although not a "Washington DC" story, I thought my readers might find the largest exhibit of Vatican artifacts outside of Rome both unsual and different. From the Washington Post:

The only exhibit of Vatican artifacts outside the papal capital is on display in an unlikely spot _ the National Museum of Funeral History, an exhibit hall that celebrates coffins, hearses and other ceremonial aspects of death.

The exhibit is designed to recreate the experience of attending a papal funeral. There is a re-creation of a pope lying in state at St. Peter's Basilica, flanked by two members of the Swiss Guard. A mannequin representing the pontiff is clothed in the funeral vestments made for John Paul II; the Swiss Guard figures wear blue and yellow uniforms donated by the corps.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The American Baby Code

Published in 1934 in American Weekly Magazine by Margaret Sanger (the founder of Planned Parenthood), it gives insight into her thinking. Makes me wonder if PP will disavow Margarat Sanger, but I doubt it. Special thanks to our friends over at Les Femmes - The Truth.

Article 1. The purpose of the American Baby Code shall be to provide for a better distribution of babies. To assist couples who wish to prevent overproduction of offspring and thus to reduce the burden of charity and taxation for public relief and to protect society against the propagation and increase of the unfit.

Article 2. Birth control clinics shall be permitted to function as services of government health departments or under the support of charity, or as non-profit, self-sustaining agencies subject to inspection and control by public authorities.

Article 3. A marriage license shall in itself give husband and wife only the right to a common household and not the right to parenthood.

Article 4. No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit for parenthood.

Article 5. Permits for parenthood shall be issued by government authorities to married couples upon application, providing the parents are financially able to support the expected child, have the qualifications needed for proper rearing of the child, have no transmissible diseases, and on the woman’s part no indication that maternity is likely to result in death or permanent injury to health.

Article 6. No permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.Article

7. Every county shall be assisted administratively by the states in the effort to maintain a direct ratio between county birth rate and its index of child welfare. When the county records show an unfavorable variation from this ratio the county shall be taxed by the State…. The revenues thus obtained shall be expended by the State within the given county in giving financial support to birth control…..

Article 8. Feeble-minded persons, habitual congenital criminals, those afflicted with inheritable diseases, and others found biologically unfit should be sterilized or in cases of doubt should be isolated as to prevent the perpetuation of their afflictions by breeding.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Update on Knights for Obama

Periodically, I like to go back and review a couple of stories. A few months ago, many of us were quite upset when a website appeared entitled: Knights (of Columbus) for Obama.

It was a pretty unimpressive site (as far as layout, design, etc., go) but it was enough to get many of us talking about it. It even included one Knight from the Washington DC area, a Mr. John Koback CPA, who is the parish accountant for Our Lady of Grace in Silver Spring, MD.

Well, I had booked marked the site. When I clicked on it, it now is a sub-page of the Catholics for Obama page.

What else should we have expected.

All I can say of these Knights is "For Shame!"