Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The PR Campaign for Catholic Education

Well folks, I finally got a hold of the Cardinal's letter and the reprint of articles on Catholic Education.

I really hate to say this, but it was a colossal waste of time and money.

I am not certain if they are attempting to mitigate the bad news about Catholic education over the last few years, attempt to get us ready for more bad news, or if there is something else. I am not quite certain but only time will tell.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cardinal Wuerl...Some thoughts...

I hope that each of you had a wonderful holiday.

Over the last few days, I have been thinking about the elevation of Cardinal Wuerl. I did not go to the Mass of Thanksgiving yesterday.

Nevertheless, I have been asking myself why the Holy Father would do this. Is it simply because Cardinal McCarrick is no longer eligible to vote. Is is simply because the Holy Father believes that he is the best person for the job? Is it that the Holy Father, guided by the Holy Spirit, believes that there is something else in store for him down the road?

As much as I believe that Cardinal Wuerl is not the best choice for this Archdiocese, I have to believe that the Holy Father, guided by the Holy Spirit, knows what is best.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Educational Promotion?

My friend Melvin contacted me last night and said he had received a packet, via snail mail, from the Archdiocese.

In it it contained a letter from the Cardinal Wuerl reminding us to be thankful (Thanksgiving) for all God has given to us and to remind us of the blessing of a Catholic education. In addition, there was a full color booket containing reprints from the Catholic Standard on education.

  • Did you get his packet?
  • What did you think about it?
  • Did you understand the purpose of why it was sent to you?
  • Do you believe it was worth the cost?

I would love to know what you think and will share with you my thoughts later on it.


Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving. As we move into the Christmas season, please remember to find a good Catholic charity (and there are a number) and make a small donation, esp. those which help those who are less fortunate.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Catholic Standard Weekly Update

Yes, folks...it is that time (trumpets blare, women swoon, children cheer, etc.) for the Weekly Update of the Catholic Standard.

We have an two articles focusing on Cardinal George of Chicago: Protection of Iraqi Catholics and the Health Care debate.

You know, I was thinking, how many people and groups stood up against the burning of the Koran, but when terrorists (Muslim terrorists to be exact) enter a Catholic Church and murder people in prayer, not a sound is uttered by the President et al.

There is a story on the National Council of Catholic Women and one of their speakers -- Sr. Carol Keehan. Yes, the same Sr. Carol Keehan who fully supported the Most Merciful's Health Care program. She says: "We need to be utterly intolerant of trashing other people in the Church." Well then Sr. K, then support life and not a pro-abortion president. Sorry, you reap what you sow.

Again, we hear about supporting CCHD as a way of "giving Thanks to the Lord." Tell me, is the way of giving thanks to support those groups that oppose us? I don't think so.

According to the article, it seems that our Catholic funds went to pay for two libraries and youth recreation centers in Ward 8? Personally, I would have thought that it is something that taxpayer dollars were to be used for. I mean the Archdiocese is having difficulty building a recreation center at the corner of Randolf and Georgia Ave., for the CYO program and yet, we are more than willing to spend $$ on things that we pay taxes for.

We have a full page on the different things you can do in regards to the Consistory. You can wear red (lame), you can send a spiritual bouquet (good), you can watch it live (good) or participate in a Holy Hour (good).

Congratulation to Sr. Rynn, the Principal of Little Flower School. She received the 2010 National Distinguished Principal Award by the NAESP. Congrats.

Congrats also Archbishop Carroll for honoring Fr. Leslie Branch.

And, let us thank/congratulate the following schools:

  • St. Mary in Bryantown for their charitable work for the Foundation of Children w/ Cancer.
  • Annunciation in DC for their support of "Treas 4 Our Troops"
  • St. Peter's for honoring their Principal on Veterans Day.
  • Archbishop Neale School (La Plata) for winning first place in the Careers Category of the Charles Co. Chamber of Commerce Scarecrow Festival.

Great story on the Run for Vocations during the Marine Corp Marathon.

Well folks, that's it for this week. Tune in next week when we will review the "Collectors Edition of the Catholic Standard" on the Consistory.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Can Someone Help This Reader....

We have a reader who has asked for assistance.

This person is a parishioner at St. Rose of Lima. It seems that things are getting quite out of control at St. Rose of Lima -- between VOTF, the Spirituality Lectures, etc.

The reader is asking: Are there any good parishes in the Archdiocese in which the pastor and priests are faithful to the Magesterium?

Any recommendations?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Correction...on the St. Joseph Elementary School Story

Well, one of my readers pointed out to me that I probably misunderstood the numbers and the Standard article on St. Joseph in Beltsville. Yes, he was correct.

I have correct the numbers in the article. The loss of students was actually worse than I originally understood.

This is really turning into a slow moving disaster for Catholic education in this Archdiocese.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Comment from a Reader...

A note from a Anon Reader. If you have any thoughts, please feel free to share.

Thank you.



I have a copy of a letter Bishop Knestout sent to all parishes Sept 24 asking them to participate in a solemn vigil for all nascent human life with the Pope on November 27th. This was never announced in our parish or in the Catholic Standard, but a parishioner of another D.C. parish obtained it from his parish after asking about such a vigil after Pope Benedict's request was publicized on the web.

This person also emailed the Archdiocesan office of life issues concerning this vigil and was told that they didn't have time to create a flyer concerning this vigil (a flyer for what--does anyone know where one such vigil is occuring in the entire Archdiocese of Washington?)

"The Archdiocese made known to pastors to do what makes sense with regard to timing and expression of this vigil. We understand that this is a busy weekend for parishes here in the US … not only is it the first Sunday of Advent, but it is also Thanksgiving weekend.

The Department of Life Issues is not putting together a flyer for this … unfortunately, this also hits us at an extremely busy time as we prepare for two Youth Rallies and an Adult/Family Rally all taking place on January 24th the morning of the March for Life. We simply do not have the “manpower” to work on a flyer for the vigil."

18-20 babies were murdered in my parish this past Saturday at the local abortion clinic. My parish has much time to organize a bazaar, the pastor says a Mass for peace in Iraq/Afghanistan the first Friday of every month, and we pray every week for those who have been killed by accidents and acts of terror around the world, whereupon said pastor adds a special prayer for those who are unemployed but never, EVER do we pray for those who have been killed at our own parish abortion clinic this past week.

There is no time to organize any prayer for the 50 million children aborted in the U.S. on November 27, but there have been two full page ads for the Mass for Thanksgiving for Archbishop Wuerl on November 28 in the Catholic Standard.

There is an article on the site now:

And of course there was more than enough time to make the announcement in all the parishes yesterday inviting us all to wear red to celebrate Archbishop's Wuerl becoming cardinal.

When I heard it the same thought occurred to me that if I wore anything it would be black in expression of deepest mourning...

And yet, do you get this, the same pope appointed him...

P.S. Everyone keeps saying how the priesthood has fallen 100,000 etc. Does anyone know how much the money has fallen or have government funds made it all up?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Archbishop Dolan Elected as President of USCCB

Thank God!

For more, go to the
Catholic News Agency.

St. Joseph Regional School in Beltsville

The Catholic Standard has really been pushing the fact that the new education policies are really doing everything that the Archdiocese hoped -- an more. In the same vein as the "shovel ready projects."

If you look at this week's Catholic Standard (Nov. 11, 2010 Page 7), the article touts the new St. Joseph Regional School in Beltsville, as a reflection of faith and the shared effort of three parishes.

How wonderful and exciting it is that this school, now has an enrollment of 210, has seen an increase of 40 students compared with the year before. How beautiful it is that there are three parishes sharing the burden - St. Joseph, St. Hugh and St. Nicholas.

But things are not as they seem to be.

You see, what the Catholic Standard did not tell you was

  • St. Joseph originally had an enrollment of 170.
  • St. Hugh originally had an enrollment of 125.
  • Combined, they should have an enrollment of almost 300.
  • Now, they only have 210 -- a loss of 90 students.

I guess that is what they mean by new math. A 90 student loss is actually a gain.

I wonder if they contacted the parents of the 90 to determine why they did not come back. Could it be the distance? Could it be that people want local Catholic parish schools?

BTW, this article was "Special to the Standard." In other words, it was created by the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of Washington.

PS: Thank you to one of my readers' for your email on this matter.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

In my review of the Archdiocese of Washington educational policies, such as the elimination of discounts to families with multiple children in Catholic schools, you will notice that they are trying to push everyone through the TAP program.

Now, one of the most interesting things is that there are no guidelines as to who is or is not eligible, so you cannot determine if you should or should not apply. So, in addition to being totally subjective, as far as I can tell, you have to pay a fee to give up a great deal of personal information.


On a separate note, one of my reader's informed me that there is an effort underway to get all Catholics to wear red on Nov. 19th in honor of the elevation of Cardinal-elect Wuerl.

Who's STUPID idea was that over in Hyattsville? I will wear black.

What color do you think we should wear on Friday?


For more information as to why, click here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Not One Thin Dime to CCHD

Remember when I wrote a short time ago about CCHD putting a bandage on the issue? Well guess,what? They cannot even do it right from the very start. Forget the theologian. CCHD and USCCB needs some basic research skills.

You can read about it here first

And more here.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Latin Mass

Last Sunday, I finally got up early and attended the 8am Latin Mass at Old St. John's in Silver Spring, MD.

This was my second time, so I still cannot make a judgement on whether this is for me or not, but I do intend to attend a couple more times.

The small church was fairly crowded. I would estimate about 150 to 175 people. A number of families were in attendance and everyone was well dressed. Many of the women wore mantillas (in fact, they seem to have some you can borrow at the entrance of the Church).

A couple of observations. If you are a regular attendee of this Mass, please do not take any as criticisms but as a way of helping people like myself better understand and learn.

  • I could not hear the priest at all (I probably should sit in the front). As someone who is not familiar w/ The Latin Mass, I had a hard time following where the priest was. I really wanted to follow along and read the prayers as they were being said. So, suggestion...a little louder please...if possible.

  • The prayers are beautiful. My Latin is very poor (okay, almost non-existent) but the translations show the beauty of the prayers. Wow. They really put most of the stuff we hear today to shame.

  • There was no chatting among the congregation. At the Masses I regularly attend, there is always some chatting by someone going on. I was really impressed.

Too bad it it not offered at more than a few places in this Archdiocese.

If you are interested in attending this Sunday (8am), here is the information:

9700 Rosensteel Avenue

Silver Spring, Maryland 20910

Coffee and donuts are served afterwards in the basement of the rectory house next door.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Catholic Schools - What is the Future? Still More Thoughts...

The Catholic Standard this week (Nov. 4, 2010 page 7) quotes Thomas Burnford, the archdiocesan Secretary for Catholic Educuation. He says:

"It's not always easy, but we have to be open and honest when we face difficulties..." "It's great when a comunity comes together to have an open and honest discussion about the future."

Let's face some facts here. The Archdiocese is basically telling the parishes and schools, that the problem is your problem, not our (the Archdiocese) problem. If you want a school next year, you have to raise X amount of dollars.

Now, the one good thing is that they are giving parishes more time to come up with the cash but still, they are putting the full burden on them.

The article discusses the process and the success of the consolidation of St. Mark the Evangelist (Hyattsville) and St. Camillus (Silver Spring). However, they are not telling you the full story.

1. St. Mark's was told that in order to remain open, they had to come up with $90,000. They came up with $86,000. But guess what, they were told that since they did not get the $90K, they were merging. You didn't hear about this in the Standard.

2. The the St. Francis International School was launched with great fanfare. However, enrollment is less than projected. Many of the St. Mark parents have sent their children elsewhere. In addition, there were layoffs at the start of the year due to this low enrollment. Neither of these facts were shared with you.

Look folks, the bottom line is that Cardinal-elect Wuerl is looking to shut down a number of Catholic schools. Remember when I wrote about this during the discussion of the policy and I was told that there were no plans to close any school down. What happened just a few months later? Do you really believe that they did not have a couple of schools in their sights?

Cardinal-elect Wuerl is doing it gradually and not in one fell swoop, like they did a number of years ago in DC. It prevents a public relations disaster and also keeps the awareness down to a bare minimum. If you close one or two schools this year, and one or two next, you really don't notice it (or may not hear about it) like you would 10 or 12 at a time.*

In addition, he and the Archdiocese are not going to take the heat for the closings..they are firmly placing the burden on the parishes. By placing it on you, it absolves the Archdiocese.

What do you think?

UPDATE (7am): Just this morning, a friend of mine informed me that up to 15 Catholic Schools (affecting over 4.000 students) may close in the Archdiocese of NYC. It has made the major newspapers and will be in the media for the next few months.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Catholic Schools - What is the Future? More thoughts

Up until just last year, if you had more than one child in the same elementary school, you usually received a discount for the second, third, fourth, etc. This discount may have been 10% of the tuition or a flat amount. In some instances, it was a progressive discount, the second was 5%, the third 10%, the fourth 15%, up to some sort of max.

Today, the Archdiocese has forced parishes to abandon this practice, as part of ensuring that the tuition covers actual costs.

However, any Catholic elementary school parent will tell you, that if you want a discount, you must go through their Tuition Assistance Program. They will determine, based on your income, if you should receive one or not. If, they determine, you make too much money, well then, you won't get anything, even if you have four or five children in Catholic schools.

This is really not a pro-family position, in my humble opinion.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Catholic Schools -- What is the Future?

The Catholic Standard has a lengthy article on Catholic School consultations. It is interesting as to what it says:

" One year after the Archdiocese of Washington's new Policy for Catholic Schools were adopted, the priority of making Catholic education more affordable has led to the archdiocese awarding more than $5 in tuition assistance...and many parishes have entered into regional partnerships to make Catholic education more accessible to families throughout the area."

This is so FUSTRATING.

1. The policy is that schools must charge the actual cost of education.
2. There are NO discounts to families with more than one child in school. You want a discount, then you apply to their program. Maybe you get something, maybe not. More on this later.
3. These partnerships do NOTHING to make it more accessible. Why? Because it allows parishes who "partner" with others to pay a lower stipend towards education, which goes to the "partner" school but the cost remains the same.

More tomorrow...


Saturday, November 6, 2010

More Possible Catholic School Closings?

I got a copy of the latest Catholic Standard. There is a lengthy article about consultations at five (5) Catholic schools, including St. Michael's in Ridge (this is the second time). (I will discuss this more at length over the next few days.)

This follows the same pattern as last year:
  • There are series of articles in the Catholic Standard on how wonderful the new policy on education is working over the course of a few weeks.
  • Suddenly, in November, consultations are announced. (This is different that a few years ago, when they told the parishes in Feb/March that the schools might close.)
  • Everyone talks about how wonderful everyone is pulling together, esp. the Archdiocese.

Over a year ago, I told you that Southern Maryland was the next target. My source tells me at least one of these schools will close (merge) with a possible second.

Did you notice the other pattern: The Archdiocese places the burden on the parish and pastor to solve the problem. They pretty much wash their hands of the situation.

I keep thinking, if they advertised Catholic education like they did Catholic cemeteries, maybe we would not be in this situation.



Friday, November 5, 2010

Cardinal-elect Wuerl and Mayor Gray

Yesterday, I sent the following note to Susan Gibbs, Director of Communications of the Archdiocese of Washington:

Recently, Mr. Vincent Gray was elected the Mayor of Washington DC.

Mayor-elect Gray has identified himself as a Catholic. Since Mr. Gray is a member of the Archdiocese of Washington will the Cardinal-elect be meeting with him to discuss his pro-abortion and pro-gay rights positions in light of Catholic teaching?

In addition, will the Cardinal-elect inform him that he should not receive Holy Communion because of his beliefs are in total opposition to the Church's teaching?

I look forward to hearing from you and will share your response with my readership.



Her response:

I'm sorry, but we are unable to respond to anonymous questions. By the way, you misspelled the new mayor's name.

Thank you.

Susan Gibbs

Archdiocese of Washington

So folks, other than my misspelling of the name of the new mayor, I guess we have our answer. Maybe someone in my reading audience would like to send this note to Ms. Gibbs and see if they will get a different answer? You can write to her at: gibbss@adw.org


Boycott the CCHD Collection later this month!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Once again, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) collection will be taken up the weekend of Nov. 20 and Nov. 21.

We know the problems, we know that there was a "secret" report that was sent to the Catholic bishops at the end of August (but was not reported in the Catholic Standard) about the problems and the solutions.

Having read the Executive Summary, they are just putting bandages on the problem.

Therefore...I am calling, with many of my other blogging colleagues, for a complete and total BOYCOTT OF CCHD.

That is the only way that Cardinal-elect Wuerl and the other bishops will get the message.

Note: You will see a reminder of this boycott on every posting until Nov. 22nd.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What a Difference a Year (and You) Make....

Last year at this time, the Catholic blogging community was up in arms over the fact that Cookie and Steve Roberts were to be given an award by Support Our Aging Religious (SOAR).

In addition, we discovered that Archbishop Wuerl was right there honoring them -- although SOAR, the Catholic Standard and his PR person -- all attempted to hide the fact.

Nevertheless, the truth did come out (and still we have not forgotten this Cardinal-elect Wuerl).

It was not only a wake up call but a real black eye on an organization that can do some good.

Well, look at what a year does for an organization.

First, they have a new president. The past president has stepped down. Second, the people/groups who will receive this year's awards have not (at least as I an tell) publicly criticized The Holy Father and Church teaching. (But I may be wrong on that matter.)

What a difference a year makes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Today is All Soul's Day

Pray for our family and friends who have gone before us. Pray for those souls who have no one to pray for them.

Today is also Election Day.

Vote Republican.

Annoy the mainstream media and put all of the pro-abortion Democrat candidates in the same place that they send innocent human life -- in the trash.

Monday, November 1, 2010