Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A couple of follow-up items...

First, the Catholic Standard (My Catholic Standard) devoted quite a bit of print to the opening of Catholic schools, as well as, some issues which will affect the larger Catholic community (for example, the use of Yahweh in songs and prayers). This is a nice change considering that other than the Papal Visit, the Standard has seemed to focus on the promotion of pro-abortion politicians and had fully become just another way for the Office of Communications to reach the Catholic population.

Oh, don't get me wrong. Susan Gibbs will continue to use it as such, but it was nice to see that not all of the articles were a "Special to the Standard."

There were a number of articles on new principals, new teachers, etc. There was even an article on two Catholic school principals who are married two each other. They first met as teachers in Catholic school. (They seem like a nice couple -- I wish them the best.)

Of course, we cannot forget that seven Catholic schools were closed. No matter what the spin put out by the Archdiocese, Superintendent Weitzel-O'Neill et al., this was a terrible thing.

Oh, and did you notice, that there was a new Executive Director of the Consortium of Catholic Academies?

There was a nice article about Harold "Hal" Gordon of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian who died on August 5th. I work with one of parishioners from that parish and she only could say good things about him.

Second, the Archdiocese of Washington has updated their on-line directory. There are now a number of names with email addresses and phone numbers attached to the various offices. About time.


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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Archbishop Wuerl Responds to Sen. Pelosi (Update)

Statement by Archbishop Wuerl to Sen. Nancy Pelosi from the News Release of the Archdiocese of Washington DC yesterday (Aug. 25, 2008):

We respect the right of elected officials such as Speaker Pelosi to address matters of public policy that are before them, but the interpretation of Catholic faith has rightfully been entrusted to the Catholic bishops. Given this responsibility to teach, it is important to make this correction for the record.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear: the current teaching of the Catholic Church on human life and abortion is the same teaching as it was 2,000 years ago. The Catechism reads:

“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception…Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” (Catechism, 2270-2271)

The Catechism goes on to quote the Didache, a treatise that dates to the first century: “’You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.’”

From the beginning, the Catholic Church has respected the dignity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death.

I congratulate the Archbishop on this, setting the record straight and clear.

Now, there is this big matter of her receiving Communion we should discuss...

Catholics Against Joseph Biden

There is a new blog and I think that it is important for me to link to it:

(I would have prefered using "Senator Joe Biden" but hey, that is just me.)
I am looking forward to one central place for all things regarding Sen. Joe Biden and his faith.
Reminds me of the Catholics Against Kerry website during the last election cycle. I bought a couple of bumper stickers from them. They were defaced or torn off by the supposedly open minded liberals. I guess freedom of speech only goes so far with the radical left.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Okay, I know I need to say something about this...

The choice of Sen. Joseph "Obama is not ready at this time to be president" Biden has brought out a number of discussions on the various blogs about his faith and pro-abortion stance.

So, let me throw out my two cents (actually, a dime) and quote from FIDELIS:

“Barack Obama has re-opened a wound among American Catholics by picking a pro-abortion Catholic politician. The American bishops have made clear that Catholic political leaders must defend the dignity of every human person, including the unborn. Sadly, Joe Biden’s tenure in the United States Senate has been marked by steadfast support for legal abortion.

”During the recent Democratic primary campaign Biden said: “I am a long-standing supporter of Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose.”

Senator Biden is an unrepentant supporter of abortion in direct opposition to the Church he claims as his own. Selecting a pro-abortion Catholic is a slap in the face to Catholic voters,” said Burch.

Biden's own bishop, Bishop Michael Saltarelli of Wilmington, Del., has said that the issues pertaining to the sanctity of human life are the "great civil rights issues of this generation.”

Bishop Saltarelli denounced the notion that politicians can 'personally oppose' abortion, but refuse to pass laws protecting the unborn."No one today would accept this statement from any public servant: 'I am personally opposed to human slavery and racism but will not impose my personal conviction in the legislative arena.' Likewise, none of us should accept this statement from any public servant: "I am personally opposed to abortion but will not impose my personal conviction in the legislative arena,” said Bishop Saltarelli.I

In fact, Bishop Saltarelli made clear that pro-abortion Catholic politicians should refrain from receiving the Eucharist."The promotion of abortion by any Catholic is a grave and serious matter. Objectively, according to the constant teaching of the Scriptures and the Church, it would be more spiritually beneficial for such a person to refrain from receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. I ask Catholics in this position to have the integrity to respect the Eucharist, Catholic teaching and the Catholic faithful.”

Burch concluded: “The American bishops have instructed Catholic voters to consider many issues, but have characterized the defense of human life as ‘foundational’ and have explained that the issue has a special claim on the conscience of the Catholic voter. This means that a political candidate like Biden, because of his strong support for abortion rights, forfeits any claim for support despite his views on other issues like health care and the economy.”

Note: Bishop Satarelli is retiring and will be replaced by the Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, D.D. on Sept. 8th. I pray he will be a forceful voice in the Church, esp. since Biden comes from Delaware - his Diocese.


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Friday, August 22, 2008

TLM Training in the Archdiocese of Washington DC

It seems that a workshop for priests on the Extraordinary Form will be held in Sacred Heart Church in La Plata, MD in September.

Personally, I never thought it would happen but I am very happy to hear that it has.

Tip of the Hat to Fr. Z.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fathers For Good

Although I have been told I am too critical of the Church, there are times when it is important to point out that things are wrong and times to point out when things are good. Earlier this week, there was a great website regarding the Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church.

Today, I would like to point out a new website (actually a few weeks old) sponsored by the Knights of Columbus called: Fathers for Good. According to the website:

Welcome to the FATHERS FOR GOOD, an initiative for men by the Knights of Columbus.

Whether you are a seasoned dad, a new dad, a dad to be, or a single guy wanting to know more about fatherhood, this website is for you.

There is a role only a father can fill and gifts only a father can give. In a culture that often does not favor fatherhood or masculine virtue, we wish to highlight the unique contributions of men, husbands and fathers. The world would be lacking without them.

We also welcome wives who want to support their husbands in becoming the best fathers they can be.

Although it is new and not a huge amount of stuff, it has the potential of being a great site. Enjoy! (And I have added it to my links.)


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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Catholics who support abortion should not receive Communion

Once again, Archbishop Burke speaks the truth loud and clear. From the Catholic News Agency:

The prefect of the Apostolic Signature, Archbishop Raymond Burke, said this week that Catholics, especially politicians who publically defend abortion, should not receive Communion, and that ministers of Communion should be responsibly charitable in denying it to them if they ask for it, “until they have reformed their lives.”

In an interview with the magazine, Radici Christiane, Archbishop Burke pointed out that there is often a lack of reverence at Mass when receiving Communion. “Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily is a sacrilege,” he warned. “If it is done deliberately in mortal sin it is a sacrilege.”

He goes on to say:

If a person who has been admonished persists in public mortal sin and attempts to receive Communion, the minister of the Eucharist has the obligation to deny it to him. Why? Above all, for the salvation of that person, preventing him from committing a sacrilege,” he added.

“We must avoid giving people the impression that one can be in a state of mortal sin and receive the Eucharist,” the archbishop continued. “Secondly, there could be another form of scandal, consisting of leading people to think that the public act that this person is doing, which until now everyone believed was a serious sin, is really not that serious - if the Church allows him or her to receive Communion.”

“If we have a public figure who is openly and deliberately upholding abortion rights and receiving the Eucharist, what will the average person think? He or she could come to believe that it up to a certain point it is okay to do away with an innocent life in the mother’s womb,” he warned.

Now, only if Archbishop Wuerl would make these types of public statements.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - A Website

This website, created by Salvadore Miranda, provides one with a wealth of information regarding the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. It provides a list of Cardinals, biographies, Papal Elections, etc.

There is so much information, it is overwhelming but fascinating.

Take a look:

Tip of the Hat to Catholic Culture.


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Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Waste of Newsprint

Forget Father Daly. If you really want to know what is going with immigrants, ignore is his most recent Parish Diary column in the Catholic Standard.*

  1. You want to see a photo regarding a demonstration by illegal and legal Mexican immigrants? You don’t have to go to El Pregonero to find one. Go to your favorite search engine (Yahoo or Google will do nicely), enter “immigration protests” and press [ENTER]. Then, click on the images tab at the top. Voila, you have a couple of hundred photos.
  2. Dealing with illegal immigrants is not a story that is rarely talked about, even for the Catholic press. For the last three years, it has been one of the “hot” topics in American politics – and it still is.
  3. You don’t have to read El Pregonero to find out about what Raul Castro, Morales or even Hugo are doing to their countries. There are a ton of articles and websites which adequately discuss these issues. Powerline does a nice job when there are important issues in these countries.
  4. Fr. Daly should look at who is really doing the “demonizing” regarding immigration. Many of us have nothing against those who have come here legally (and in fact welcome them w/ open arms) but do have an issue with those who have broken the law to enter the county. Yet, Fr. Daly continues to confuse illegal aliens and legal immigrants. Either he is ignorant that there is a difference, or deliberately is attempting to confuse the average Catholic, just like the Maryland Catholic Conference.
  5. You notice how he seems to link “conservative members of congress” with “rich lobbyists.” I am not certain of what one has to do with the other, other than playing the old class warfare card.
  6. I wonder how many “liberal” members attend the same country club that Fr. Daly talks about. But of course, they would never abuse an illegal alien because they are the enlightened ones.
  7. If Fr. Daly is correct, and El Pregonero accepts advertizing that aids this business to hire illegal aliens, then maybe Fr. Daly should take El Pregonero to task for helping to indirectly break the law. Maybe Fr. Daly should be taken to task for promoting a publication which aids in the breaking of Federal immigration laws.

Fr. Daly ends his column by talking about how the Spanish language Catholic press can open our eyes to a parallel universe. After reading this column, I wonder what universe Fr. Daly is living in.

*It is only in the print version but you can find it at the St. John Vianney Parish website if you are interested. And yes, I know that it would have been better to have ignored it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tuition Program -- A New Thought...Simplified Endowment Funds!

Yesterday, I posted about the new Tuition Program Pilot for schools in the Archdiocese of Washington.

Today, I would like to recommend to that the Archdiocese help every school to create an Endowment Fund.

Currently, the Archdiocese requires that a minimum of $1,000,000 of principle in an Endowment Fund before the revenue generated can be used. It is my gut feeling that the number is set very high to discourage parishes from investing in a specific school, versus investing in all of the schools.

However, I would strongly recommend that the $1,000,000 mark be reduced to $250,000. By reducing the amount, it gives the parishioners and parents of a school a very achievable goal.

But more importantly, it fosters a sense of community among them -- this is our school and we will do what ever it takes to make our school a strong and viable part of our community and of the Archdiocese.

In addition, the rules dealing with the generated revenue should be modified: 50% can be spent on the school, while the other 50% must be put back into the Fund. In this manner, parents and parishioners see that money is flowing back into the school, while at the same time increasing the base fund.

Even if a school generates $6,000 in income in the first year of reaching that goal, with $3,000 flowing into operations, it reduces the burden on the Archdiocese. (Yes, it is a small amount but every penny helps.)

When and if the fund reaches the million dollar mark, then all of the revenue generated can be used for the school.

Let’s think out of the box and not make fundraising for schools so difficult.

Anyone in Hyattsville wants to discuss further, I would love to hear from you.


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Pilot Tuition Assistance Program

According to the August 7, 2008 edition of the Catholic Standard, the Archdiocese has doubled the amount of $$ spent on tuition assistance to $2,000,000. Over three-quarters have been allocated to the more traditional Tuition Assistance Programs. However, $400,000 has been allocated to a new Tuition Assistance Opportunity Fund. This new program provides partial scholarships to students who may leave, as well as, attempting to attract new ones.

Some of you might think that I will criticize this but I won’t. Why? Because it is a good idea and in many ways is reminiscent of “vouchers.”

For example, “St. Michael the Archangel in Silver Spring used a $15,000 grant to add 14 new students and retain two. Those students are bringing with them $54,000 in tuition.” Little Flower in Great Mills received $19,000 in tuition aid and the students bring with them $32,000.

Now, I don’t know if the money brought into the school included the “scholarship” money, but even it was, additional income was generated. That is a good thing.

This may be one of the things that helps to save Catholic Schools. It is my hope that this plan gets extended to more than just nine schools. Maybe money should be reallocated from the traditional TAP program to this. Seems it has the real potential of filling our schools again.

In fact, I would recommend that any school which falls below 80% enrollment capacity should be eligible for this program. For example, a school that can easily hold 500 students with an enrollment of 350 automatically becomes eligible. We all know that there isn’t a huge difference in the cost of a class of 25 students versus 28 students. So, if we can add two or three students per grade, it can really make a difference in the bottom line of a struggling school.

(to be continued)


This blog wishes farewell to the DC Catholic blog.

DC Catholic signed off in June (if I remember correctly) but now the authors have taken down the blog. I am sorry to see it go because I thought it communicated events and issues that you may not find easily.

It has been removed from my links.


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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mother Seton Shrine

This weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the National Shrine of Mother Seton. It had been my first visit to the Shrine in many, many years.

They now have a nice Visitor Center (including a short video), two Gift Shops (one which sells a "ton" of rosaries, medals, etc. and one which supports the Retirement Fund). In addition, the Stone House, White House and Cemetery were also open. The Church itself was a beautiful as I remember it.

Although I did not read every item in the exhibit area, it gives a nice overview of her life from her birth in NYC till her canonization.

If you are ever in the Emmitsburg area, and can spend at least two hours learning more about the first American born saint, I highly recommend it.


Thanks to all who took the poll on the Catholic Standard. If you did not get a chance to view the results, here they are:

Still Relevant: 2
Not Relevant: 13
Not Certain: 2
Did not know it existed: 1


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Monday, August 11, 2008

Just Say "NO" to Pro-Abortion Politicans

We will never succeed in building a culture of life if we continue to vote for politicians who support a culture of death.

It is time that Catholics shine a bright line of separation between themselves and all those politicians who defend the abortion regime of Roe v. Wade.

Imagine if this year millions of Catholic voters simply say “no” – no to every candidate of every political party who supports abortion.

It’s time we stop accommodating pro-abortion politicians, and it’s time we start demanding that they accommodate us. This is the only decision that offers a real chance for real change. What candidate or political party can withstand the loss of millions of Catholic voters in this election or the next?

Karl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus.

I have been saying that here for almost a year.

It is my hope, that Archbishop Wuerl, every priest and religious and every Catholic lay person take this to heart.

However, as I have said before, our leadership is gripped with the Cardinal McCarrick School of Thought when it comes to dealing with politicians: Don’t do anything to upset them, since we may need their support for other things.

Hats Tip to Dioneges.


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Note: You will notice a new graphic on the left side of the page regarding Sen. Obama. Credit is given to Ace of Spades, via The Curt Jester. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Archibishop's Appeal 2008 (An Update)

A friend of mine gives me a call. Here is a synopsis of our conversation:

Melvin (not his real name): Hey, I got a call from the Archdiocese the other night.

Me: You did? (Wondering what the heck was going on.)

Melvin: Yeah, they told me to stay away from you next week?

Me: Oh? (Now I am really confused, did they figure out who I was?)

Melvin: Yeah, they said there were going to send over a couple of the boy's from the Lavender Mafia and beat me with their pink purses. Not the Vera Bradley ones. But the ones our grandmother’s carried…you know the ones with the brass metal corners, the couple of pieces of hard candy (which have been in there for years), a couple of tissues, bobby pins, a pencil, small pad of paper, etc.

Me: (rolling my eyes)

Melvin: (Laughing)

Me: Okay, okay. So what’s up?

Melvin: Well, I did get a call from the Archdiocese.

Me: About what?

Melvin: Since I had not given to the Archbishop’s Appeal, they were calling me to contribute.

Me: So, what did you tell them?

Melvin: Well, the person on the phone explained who she was, the importance of the Archbishop’s Appeal, and then hit me up for $XXX (Note: A nice three figure amount.)

Me: What did you say?

Melvin: Well, I told her no but nicely.

Me: And?

Melvin: They she understood that $XXX was too much in this economy, so she dropped the amount about one-third.

Me: And?

Melvin: Told her no, I was not interested in giving. She asked me why?

Me: And you told her it was because of his stance of illegal aliens? On communion to pro-abortion politicians? What?

Melvin: I just told her I was not interested. And when she asked I again, I was very polite but told her no.

Me: Mmmm. Have they ever called before?

Melvin: Nope. Never.


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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Richard Dowling Retires

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you are aware that I have not been pleased with the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC). There are a number of reasons: the socialist mentality regarding taxes and state spending, support of illegal aliens, failure to identify anti-Catholic legislators, etc.

Word came through last Thursday (August 1, 2008) via the Catholic Standard (as a "Special to the Standard") that Mr. Richard Dowling, Executive Director of the MCC will retire later this year. He will be replaced by Mary Ellen Russell.

As someone who has taken an interest in the legislation affecting Catholics in this diocese over the last few years, I would have to say that his overall tenure has been rather disappointing, to say the least.

Yes, the article touts the early years and provides all of the appropriate accolades from various people but lately, the MCC has taken on a rather socialistic approach, such as increasing taxes on the wealthy is acceptable*, advocating socialized medicine, giving a free ride to illegal aliens. I personally love the way the article states that "he has lead advocacy efforts to...assist immigrant families..." Just another phrase for illegal aliens.

Although he has seemed to help head off the impending rcognition of gay marriages, it is only time before true marriage becomes just a thing of the past. The only victories they can seem to count on are in the area of bigger government programs.

The MCC under Ms. Russell will look forward to a victory in the area of the death penalty, but in the areas of support for Catholic education, abortion, true marriage (not traditional but true), etc., I do not see them as being successful given their track record and socialistic undertone.

Maybe Ms. Russell can turn things around but the Cardinal McCarrick view of politicians gripping Catholic leadership and Archbishop Wuerl's "avoid controversy at all cost" approach, we will be lucky if they don't outlaw Catholic schools in the next decade.

*Whenever I ask for a definition of "wealthy," (how much does a person have to make per year - gross or net -- to be considered wealthy) I never seem to get one.


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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Tale of Two Schools (Part 2)

It seems that St. Elizabeth’s has lost a number of students to St. Raphael’s.

Now, the loss in students at St. E’s is not due to poor teachers, a bad pastor, etc. St. E’s is a very good school by all indications (ie, my conversations with some of the parents). But due to the fact that St. Raphael’s is only a couple of miles up the road, why should parents drive from their parish to another for the parish school.

Now, as you may not know, St. R's is a new school -- dedicated in 2006 by Cardinal McCarrick. However, as St. R’s adds a grade every year, this draws more children away from St. E’s.

We have been told that a reduction of Catholic school students in Mont. Co. is due to increased tuition and a change in demographics (this is a multi-year trend). However, did the Archdiocese not consider these things before opening up St. R’s?

Or maybe (as one buddy of mine suggests), it is because St. R’s is in North Potomac and that area is considered to be a more affluent parish?


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Monday, August 4, 2008

A Tale of Two Schools

This past weekend I was talking w/ a friend.

During our conversation, we were discussing the closing of Catholic schools in DC. He told me that his sister is a parishioner at
St. Andrew the Apostle (Silver Spring) and that the rumor going through the parish was the fact that there might be a merger of their elementary school and that of St. Bernadette’s (Silver Spring) next year.

I thought that both were doing very well, I confidently stated. On the contrary, he explained, St. Bernadette’s has lost a large number of students.

I asked if was due to the increased tuition or poor academics. No, was the reply.

I stated that I had heard rumors that the pastor at St. Bernadette’s was not well liked.

All I got was a smile.

Update: I don't know much about Fr. Smith. He may be a very good priest. It may be his communication style. It may be that the previous pastor let things get out of hand and Fr. Smith is there to clean things up. So, if there is anyone out there who can clarify the situation, I would love to hear from you. And, if my friend is wrong, I will certainly let him know what I have heard.


For those Catholics who support Obama, I thought that it would important for you to realize that many people know that he is THE ONE!


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Friday, August 1, 2008

Catholic School with Free Tuition?

With Archbishop Wuerl's closing of a number of inner city schools, and southern Maryland as his next target (or at least my sources tell me), here will have a story (courtesy of The Deacon's Bench) of one school which does not charge tuition.

Maybe the folks over in Hyattsville can learn a thing or two from this parish priest:

The Whitehall school remains free, and it's the only Catholic school in the state without tuition.

Staying free matters, according to Haney, school officials and parish members, because of the pride, sense of community and passion it creates. They have done it for one another and God through tithing, said parishioner Francis Nowalk, 79.

Now, you know what should be the most embarrassing thing to Archbishop Wuerl, Thom Duffy et al?

This took place while the Archbishop was the Bishop of Pittsburgh!!!

To the Rev. John Haney and the parishioner's at St. Gabriel, I say: Ad multos annos!

Archbishop Wuerl and Thom Duffy, what do you have to say for yourself now?


Remember, if you are from the Archdiocese of Washington DC, take a moment to complete the poll on the right.


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