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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Diocletion Revisited?

This is not the first time somebody has wanted Christianity to be wiped off the earth. Diocletian wanted this. So did Voltaire and his French Revolution disciples. So did Lenin and Stalin. So did Hitler. With the exception of Voltaire, who wanted to ruin it with ridicule and indignation, everybody on the list wished to ruin Christianity by the use of force. Today, in the "advanced" countries of the world, the way you destroy Christianity is by bringing about a massive rejection of the sexual and pro-life elements of its ethic. You persuade people that sexual license is fine, that same-sex marriage is fine, and -- above all -- that abortion is fine.

Read entire piece from Inside Catholic

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Turnabout is Fair Play! (WOTS Chronicles cont...)

Friends, you don't know what joy it brings to my heart when I hear stories such as these. I've take too long a break from the Woman on the Streets Chronicles. Much at large has happened including the turnaround story that this picture illustrates. (Turnarounds are what we affectionately refer to as an abortive-minded woman who has had a change of heart and decides not to abort her baby.)

One such turnaround occurred a bit over a year ago where Lynn counseled the young mother in the picture above. On April 11, Easter Vigil, the mom and her growing family came back to join the pro-life crowd at the Avocado Green Planned Parenthood Clinic on 7th Ave to join forces with those who helped her say yes to life. The little guy obviously seems eager to agree with the poster being held which proclaims HUMAN LIFE IS SACRED. Indeed. I have the privilege of standing on the front lines with Lynn and so many others that use their compassion and their voices to proclaim a word that might rouse those who have fallen asleep to the sacredness of life. How do we do this? One little guy at a time.

40 Days for life Campaign is ended but the battle still rages. Please consider joining us either in person on the street or in private in your prayers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tax Like a Pirate Day

"Wait a minute, now...
I didn't authorize ATTACKS on the Pirates,
I authorized A TAX on the pirates"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dedication of 1st EF Church in Florida

(Catholic Edition) On April 19, 2009 Bishop Frank J. Dewane of the Diocese of Venice in Florida Dedicated Christ the King Church in Sarasota, the first church in Florida which will administer the Sacraments exclusively according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Over 400 people were on hand for the Dedication-- and the Mass in the Presence of a Mitred Bishop.
The celebrant was Father James Fryar, FSSP. Also assisting were clergy and seminarians of the FSSP, as well as Father Robert Tatman of the Quasi-Parish of Ave Maria Oratory, and Father Fausto Stampigilia, SAC.

The choir included Dr. Susan Treacy and many members of the Ave Maria University Schola. This was, to our records, the ‘highest’ Extraordinary Form Mass in over 40 years in the state of Florida. Bishop Dewane graciously stayed to chat with the parishioners and visitors for the reception which followed.
You can learn more about The Priestly Order of St. Peter or FSSP by clicking on this link:

Monday, April 20, 2009

This is SPARTA: MSU Prof responds to Muslim Protests

(Warning...this is deliciously politically incorrect!)

Claim: A Michigan professor sent an e-mail telling Muslim students to leave the country.

Status: True.
The story begins at Michigan State University
with a mechanical engineering professor named
Indrek Wichman.
Wichman sent an e-mail to the Muslim Student's Association.
The e-mail was in response to the students' protest
of the Danish cartoons
that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist.
The group had complained the cartoons were
'hate speech'
Enter Professor Wichman.
In his e-mail, he said the following:
Dear Moslem Association,
As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU
I intend to protest your protest.
I am offended not by cartoons,
but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders,
murders of Catholic priests
(the latest in Turkey ),
burnings of Christian churches,
the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt ,
the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims,
the rapes of Scandinavian girls and women
(called 'whores' in your culture),
the murder of film directors in Holland ,
and the rioting and looting in Paris France .
This is what offends me,
a soft-spoken person and academic,
and many, many of my colleagues.
I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal,
and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems
to be very aware of this as you proceed
with your infantile 'protests.'
If you do not like the values of the West
- see the 1st Amendment -
you are free to leave.
I hope for God's sake
that most of you choose that option .
Please return to your ancestral homelands
and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.
I. S. Wichman
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
As you can imagine,
the Muslim group at the university didn't like this too well.
They're demanding that Wichman be reprimanded
and the university impose mandatory diversity training for faculty
and mandate a seminar on hate and discrimination for all freshmen.
Now the local chapter of CAIR has jumped into the fray .
CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations,
apparently doesn't believe that the good professor
had the right to express his opinion.
For its part,
the university is standing its ground
in support of Professor Wichman,
saying the e-mail was private,
and they don't intend to publicly condemn his remarks...

A theological stretch, but it'll work for Monday

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away

It's a sad day in Santa Paula, California today. I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Dr. Thomas Dillon at a recent Legatus dinner earlier this year. Dr. Dillon loved his school. He made a point of visiting with Ron and I after his talk about Thomas Aquinas College and invited us to bring our son to CA for a summer study program. He truly believed in solidly Catholic Higher Education (I guess we need to start using these kinds of qualifiers);and his passion for learning was apparent from his joy. His crowning triumph was the completion of the majestic Our Lady of the Most Hcly Trinity Chapel that rounded out the school's focus: Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

There's a lovely place in California that bears witness to a great Man, and His servant's name was Tom. Please pray for the repose of Dr. Dillon's soul; the Dillon Family and the Community of Thomas Aquinas College. They have lost a hero.

Thomas Aquinas College president killed in Ireland accident
By Jean Cowden Moore (Contact)
Originally published 04:13 p.m., April 15, 2009
Updated 04:55 p.m., April 15, 2009

Thomas Dillon, the president of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, died today in a car accident in Ireland.

Dillon, president of the Catholic college for 18 years, was attending a conference for the International Council of Universities of St. Thomas Aquinas in Limerick, college spokeswoman Anne Forsyth said.

“He was just a really fine man,” Forsyth said. “It’s hard to think of the world without him. It’s certainly hard to think of the college without him.”

The college learned of Dillon’s death this morning from an Irish police officer, Forsyth said. Dillon’s wife, Terri, was slightly injured in the accident. Further details were not immediately available.

Full text of story:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hey, Maybe TX is Onto Something Here

Tue Apr 14 2009 08:44:54 ET

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry joined state Rep. Brandon Creighton and sponsors of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 50 in support of states’ rights under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state,” Gov. Perry said. “That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.”

Perry continued: "Millions of Texans are tired of Washington, DC trying to come down here to tell us how to run Texas."


A number of recent federal proposals are not within the scope of the federal government’s constitutionally designated powers and impede the states’ right to govern themselves. HCR 50 affirms that Texas claims sovereignty under the 10th Amendment over all powers not otherwise granted to the federal government.

It also designates that all compulsory federal legislation that requires states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties, or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding, be prohibited or repealed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Gun Saint Society Commends U.S. Navy for Phillips Rescue

WASHINGTON, April 13 /Christian Newswire/ -- "The St. Gabriel Possenti Society ( commends the United States Navy and in particular its Seal sharpshooters for the daring Easter rescue of heroic Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama," John M. Snyder, Society Founder/Chairman, said here today.

"We know this is a tremendous occasion for Captain Phillips and his family," he continued. "We offer our prayers of thanksgiving to Our Resurrected Lord and we honor our American armed services at this moment.

"This action demonstrates that guns in the hands of good people can be used to save lives and to thwart the intentions of wicked people using guns for nefarious purposes. This underscores the necessity of accurate firepower in certain circumstances."

Snyder added the Middle East action "demonstrates in the early 21st century what St. Gabriel Possenti, our patron, demonstrated in the mid-19th century. That is that good people need firearms to perform good and necessary acts on particular occasions. St. Gabriel Possenti was a Catholic seminarian who used handguns in 1860 to rescue villagers of Isola del Gran Sasso, Italy from a gang of renegade marauders. He died two years later of natural causes and was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920."

The international St. Gabriel Possenti Society, Inc. commemorates the 20th anniversary of its founding this year. An interdenominational group, the Society emphasizes the historical, philosophical and theological bases for the doctrine of legitimate self-defense. It seeks official Vatican designation of St. Gabriel Possenti as Patron of Handgunners.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Liturgist's Joy

It is 3:25pm
8 Masses in 4 days are complete
the people have all been fed with Manna from Heaven
fresh new Catholics are all baptized, professed and confirmed
I am in bare feet
comfy clothes
Family is home
there is silence
chocolate is within reach
there is the warm glow of so many shared joys
no alarm will sound at 4:30 tomorrow morning
I melt into the bliss of an Easter afternoon

blue sky

empty tomb

God winks.

Happy Easter

Friday, April 10, 2009

Why Good Friday is Good

"God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that anyone who believes in Him might have eternal life." (Jn 3:16)

The other reason Good Friday is Good is because God also gave us His Mother. What wondrous love is this, O my soul?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Invisible Decals

I'm driving around town nowadays with the new decal on my back window. (not the bumper, mind you, but the entire rear window). It's not just any decal. It's one that #1 identifies me and #2 implicates me. This adds an interesting new perspective to my that most of you that I share the road with will appreciate indirectly: I drive slower; I am more courteous; I tend to pay stricter attention to the volume of my radio whilst idling at stop lights. I keep my vehicle cleaner. I park more carefully and in places where more people may walk by and notice my nice new decal. I make sure that I have CE business cards handy in case anyone stops me and asks me questions about my decal. If my decal gets dirty or starts to peel off, I can take it back to the company that put it on and they will fix it. I like my decal and what it represents. In many ways, I take special pride & comfort in its extraordinary meaning no matter who jerks around me suddenly or smiles inquisitively.
Do you have a decal on your car? Maybe? Maybe not. If you were baptized, you do have decal. It is sealed onto your soul. It is a special decal, one that can only be "seen" by God. But your baptismal decal is vastly more important than a marketing scheme placed on a car to attract new viewership. Your decal identifies you to a common enemy and includes you as part of a family that is permanent and eternal. Your decal can get dirty from time to time and so we take it to the confessional and clean it off. Our CEO - Jesus, can make it new again. When cognizant of our decal, we tend to go a little slower, pause more frequently and use kindness and gentleness in our demeanor. We might even step out in faith and offer a defense of the hope that is within us! The grace of the "decal" changes us as long as we stay faithful to its promises.
I've seen some people who tell me they have baptismal decals but their "vehicle" freqently ends up double-parked or in ditches or hitched to the back of dirty tow trucks. On the other hand, I've seen some folks who never talk of their baptismal decals but the way they speak, think and act makes me suspect that they have a glorious skyscraper-sized decal that God is surely aware of and that people unwittingly love to be around.
If you don't have a decal yet, you can get one. It's not very difficult. The price is high however; it can cost you your worldly reputation. In some rare places and situations, it can even cost you your life. Contrary to popular british opinion, once you get your decal, you can't really give it back. Getting a decal on my car made me excruciatingly aware of the decal that is on my soul. My prayer is that someday I will be able to live up to my baptismal decal and what it all represents.
Today I would like to officially declare Baptismal Decal Awareness Day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pausing for Station Identification

Putting all things very important & prayer-worthy to the side for just a moment (and yes, that means earthquakes, floods, scandal, basketball games and anything else that I missed that is not posted up on Catholic Edition!) I would like to pause for "station identification"...

Today is special to me. Not only because the Michigan State Spartans have won a birth in tonight's Championship nail-biter vs. North Carolina but also because I am 13 years a Catholic TODAY. (Thank you Cathy for your dear remembrance of this). It is my birthday! I love this time of year, this Liturgy that we approach on Thursday-Friday-Saturday because it was the "birth canal" of sorts for me into a new life. I am a different person than I was 13 years ago in many ways and I am also very much the same. Different are my views now on life issues: abortion, contraception, euthanasia and bioethics. A staunch pro-choicer in my post collegiate life, I would have vehemently disagreed with you rigid pro-lifers and blamed protagonists for the horrors and loss of life in the senseless bombing of abortion clinics. I would have condemned you for being judgmental and out of touch with reality. I might have suggested then, that a woman's choice was as much if not more important than a "medical procedure" and that an all loving God should and has an obligation to love and understand an abortive woman despite the poor choices made by a fallible human. As I reflect on some of the views that I once held and how radically changed those views have become, I'm much more aware that I needed the good old fashioned remedy of following a thought through. Connecting the dots that a medical procedure meant that someone's life would end; that feelings or discomfort of one do not justify taking the life of another; that God does love unconditionally but this same merciful God also loves justice and wants his children to be fit for His Kingdom; that only a loving God would draw good from evil . A concept that still baffles me. I am grateful for the mercy that Mercy Himself has taught me. I am grateful that I was given opportunity to grow into something that I didn't quite understand at first.

And along those same lines, another area of progress has been my revised view of what a person suffers to be "new". Added was the perspective being able to appreciate what it means to be uncomfortable in a totally unfamiliar situation - and growing "into new skin" as it were. Like a puppy into new paws, this takes time, patience with the baby steps and the ability to laugh at the awkwardness. (A little Aquinas doesn't hurt either!) I knew that my ideas were illogical, inconsistent and dissonant, however I also did not understand how the church arrived at Truth. It took fits & starts; trials and errors to "find" objective truth and arrive at rational conclusions. His name was Christ and He can be found in the Sacraments and learned about through Sacred Scripture, Holy Mother Church, and the Saints. These encounters are all fueled by prayer, nourished in Holy Eucharist and converted to action by works and faith. Help with courage to accomplish this task arrived in the form of the human windows...the Saints and the saints. The Big Saints are those individuals who we remember who mastered their defects and about whom books are written and churches named; the littler saints are those whose books and churches are still in blueprint form- that's you!

Our immersion into the Church is incomplete. Speaking for myself, God has me retooling on patience, humility, trust, perseverence, gratitude, hope, faith and most especially love. I am learning that time is a mercy and love is a verb. And God, who is All Truth, will keep me here in this birth canal of life in the church until he's ready for me on the next leg of the journey. I am grateful to the folks who have made this road a little smoother. I am grateful to be soft enough to take on new challenges and to continue to learn...

I was "just one beggar looking for the Bread" and am happy to report that I found it!

Take time to remember your have more than one, you know.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Magdalene

Inside Catholic writer, Mary-Jo Anderson, produced a thoughtful piece about true penitent, my patron saint and namesake/patroness of this weblog--St. Mary Magdalene. Mary of Magdala, to be sure, was among the first to witness the risen Lord which earned her the title of The Apostle to the Apostles. She was present with Jesus on many occasions during his public ministry and is recognized as one of the women who Christ would have considered a good friend. That relationship was special, unique and pure and not what the modern femmes have considered when they have used that specialness for public plunder and scandalous mistruth.

Says Anderson...
I accept the ancient legend of the saint and reject the Johnny-come-lately versions of Mary Magdalene that one finds in dissident accounts like the Woman with the Alabaster Jar -- a book some say was part of the inspiration for the equally silly The Da Vinci Code. Mary of Magdala is an example that the modern world urgently needs, an example of true sorrow for sins. That her story has been appropriated by modern sexual libertines under the guise of "feminism" is all the more witness to her actual life of penance: Why else would the dissident gaggles work feverishly to rehabilitate the penitent in their image? It is because a penitent woman cannot be tolerated by modern feminist ideology. (use link to access entire article)

Hmmm, true sorrow for sins. What a refreshing concept! The point of her life is so often missed. We emulate the Magdalene, whenever we've had that "lump in your throat" tearful contrition that can accompany our most agonizing confessions. You know what I'm talking about: when you can barely drag your butt to the medicine box and once there, through tears, can barely speak the Act of Contrition. The "matter" of the sacrament is our SIN. It is the ingredient that must be used to convert our sinful state to a reconciled state through grace. The penitents are us and the likes of us can change the world! What a concept. God uses, dirty, rotten, filthy sin to turn darkness to light, death to life, worms to butterflies. So as we take our first few bold steps into Holy week, let us walk in the shoes of Mary Magdalene and remember that he loves us because he CAN and he will. He who is forgiven much, loves much.

Blessed Holy Week to all.
Amor Vicente Omnia

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Caption Contest

Me first: The bar scene in Star Wars

Move Over Catholics...

I would suspect that we will need to make more room in the pews after this outrageous move by the Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale, who was appointed as the sixth and newest president of Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge, MA. In her own words: “These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.”

Full story from Catholic Online's Randy Sly

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Learner's Permit

I must confess, the daunting task of parenting seems, on some days, to be as fitful as "hair in a hurricane" to quote one famous philosopher. A cool drink of water came today however, when my friend "facebooked" the Spikenard blog on his wall, and thus opened the door to a few more friends. *Welcome to you!* I am grateful to my friend, Patrick Madrid, and humbled by his kind words.

That having been said (and my palms instantly got sweaty), I have figured out how to post my 4-part conversion story over here to the right - another miracle.

Onto the warp and weft of the day: Elder son, age 16, who is campaiging for student govt at his Catholic school greets mom at 5am with "I had to take down all of my Che Guevara/hammer and sickle posters today because they offended Mrs. D". Now, mind you, I knew that said son - an avowed communist from September-ish thru now - was going to attempt to incite a quasi-revolt. Why? Because he is a teenager. In my feeble wisdom and since all of my tyrades have fallen on deaf ears, I decided to offer him rope long enough with which to (figuratively) hang himself, and stayed my hand at intervention on the poster pin-up extravaganza. A spirited debate ensued over why I believe communism to be intrinsically evil and a failed social construct. As tempered cooled, I simply asked him to consider the experiences and strong feelings of others as he tries to objectively think through his opinion. And then the research began. After we parted company, I went to God. I admitted that this subject matter made me feel rather dumb and asked for His patience and help to find guidance for my boy. Help arrived in many forms: a best friend's encouraging words, the support of a father who has 11 of his own, the ability to PAUSE (and that is huge), and more comically, a totally unexpected whisper from the past from Facebook, 3.5 hours post conflagration: It went like this:

Hey Karen, I just remembered: One day Army Recruiters or some sort of recruiters came to our school to give us aptitude tests. We both protested this and refused to take it and then left the school and hung out.

Coincidence? No, I don't believe in coincidence. My kid may not look anything like me, however he is every bit like me in temperment and moments of open defiance. What a blast of conviction! It took my friend's memory and communication to remind me of this moment of clarity. Miracle #2. I believe my Father knows me better than I know myself and he waits until I am soft enough to understand. The lessons my son must learn are lessons for me too. The teacher arrives, when the students are ready. Please continue to pray for me, for my kiddo and for all parents who are still struggling on the "learner's permits"; that we may recognize God's image enough in us and in our children to trust His gentle steering.

And yes, my hubster and I will be engaged in an in-home crash course of the Envoy Institute's DVD: "Combating Relativism and the Culture of Death". That guy with 11 kids must have a commercial license.