Saturday, February 26, 2005

"Abort" the Academy Awards Sunday Evening

Christian and Pro-Life Groups Encouraged to "Abort" the Academy Awards Sunday Evening

The divide between America's culture of life and Hollywood's culture of death will not be on any wider display than this Sunday night, via the Academy Awards.

From the movies the Academy has chosen to laud to its vulgar host, it is clear it has determined to spit in the faces of pro-lifers. Last week, Matt Drudge exposed what Chris Rock, this year's Oscar night emcee, quipped during a recent comedy act. "Abortion, it's beautiful, it's beautiful abortion is legal," joked Rock. "I love going to an abortion rally to pick up women, cause you know they are f---ing."
. . .
But I know how to get back at Hollywood, a society that is so narcissistic it becomes unglued if not given constant attention. Thus, the best way to get back at Hollywood is to ignore it: Abort Sunday night's Academy Awards from your television screen.
Jill Stanek fought to stop "live-birth abortion" after witnessing one as a registered nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. In 2002, President Bush asked Jill to attend his signing of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. In January 2003, World Magazine named Jill one of the 30 most prominent pro-life leaders of the past 30 years. Her column appears regularly at the leading conservative news website

An Appeal from a Group of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parishioners

Parishioners of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish
at Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist Church
15 Plaza Square Saint Louis, Missouri 63103-2318
Contact: (314) 781 4486,


February 21, 2005

Dear Friends in the Archdiocese of St. Louis:

Since March 2004 Catholics in the St. Louis area have been affected by a dispute between the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and the lay board of directors of the civil corporation of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish which illegally took away control of the parish corporation from the Roman Catholic Church. The conflict escalated after the board refused to bring the parish civil structure into conformity with Church law that clearly states that the pastor appointed by the Archbishop, not a group of laymen who assign the pastor the role of an employee, has ultimate authority regarding parish life. As a result of the board’s defiance, manifested by offensive behavior of board members towards our priests, in August 2004 Archbishop Burke transferred the parish center to St. John, Apostle and Evangelist Church in downtown St. Louis. Parishioners who support Archbishop Burke continue to celebrate the Mass in Polish there and the parish continues to thrive.

Many Catholics in the St. Louis Archdiocese have initially expressed support for the board of directors of the civil corporation of St. Stanislaus Parish. This was a result of an intensive media campaign conducted by the board of directors and their supporters. The main objective of the board seems to be to discredit Archbishop Burke, damage his reputation, and portray the parish community as a victim of his demands. Secular media not only disregarded the existence of parishioners supporting Archbishop Burke, but also distorted the truth about the background of the conflict. One such distortion relates to the fact that St. Stanislaus Kostka parishioners supporting Archbishop Burke refused to participate in January 9th voting which was orchestrated as another publicity exploit by the board of directors and its media advisers. Although the board and their spokesmen loudly attempt to portray themselves as representatives of St. Stanislaus parish community, in reality they represent only a group of supporters who choose to affirm them. This critical distinction was never made by the media.

Support for the “Save St. Stan’s” campaign mounted by the board of directors is provided from many sources interested in destroying the unity of the Roman Catholic Church. The campaign slogan became even a City of St. Louis mayoral race issue, when one of the candidates publicly expressed support for the board of directors, while acknowledging no affiliation with the Catholic Church. The public scandal caused by the board, which has been instrumental in swaying the opinions of many of its supporters, and of the general public, has created much pain in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and in the community at large.

Unfortunately, the campaign proved to be very persuasive in deflecting the attention of many parishioners, as well as the public, from fundamental principles of operating a faith-based community. These include the structure and authority of the Church, respect for law, and accountability to parishioners and the public at large. Over the last several years members of the board fostered a culture of blatant disrespect for the Church as well as for many members of the parish community. There is ongoing speculation about the reasons the board of directors changed corporate by-laws and assumed control over the parish finances. It is apparent that this situation exempted the board from the strict accountability required of all other parishes of the Roman Catholic Church. Contrary to public declarations, the board refused to conduct an independent financial audit by a certified public accountant, and to disclose details of parish operations, including procedures for awarding contracts and service agreements. The change of corporate bylaws was done with premeditation through amendments in 2001 and 2004. This itself is a clear violation of the original 1891 corporate bylaws, which explicitly state that corporation bylaws must be in conformance with diocesan rules, regulations and requirements.

A few months ago, members of our congregation published an “Open Letter to Parishioners and Supporters of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish”. The letter outlined details of the parish conflict, and expressed support for Archbishop Burke in his efforts to bring the parish structure into conformity with the governance model that is followed by all parishes in St. Louis diocese. These efforts were subsequently affirmed, and mandated, by the Vatican in its decree of November 11, 2004, rejecting the appeal against the Archbishop made on behalf of the board of directors. The full text of the open letter, as well as other documents related to this conflict, is available at the website of the Archdiocese of St. Louis: Please contact us if you would like to receive a copy of our letter.

We are deeply concerned that the actions taken by the board of directors are clearly intended to weaken the authority of the Holy See and of Archbishop Burke. We reject the board’s rhetoric comparing their role to that of Solidarity in the fight for the freedom of Poland. This comparison is simply insulting to many of us who are parishioners, and who personally participated in the fight for the freedom of Poland, and drew our strength and inspiration from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Resolution of this conflict will have a profound impact not only on the future of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish but on the entire Catholic community in the United States. We reject the notion of separating St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish from the Roman Catholic Church. We call on the board of directors of the parish civil corporation to stop the campaign of hostility and animosity towards the Catholic Church, and its leaders in Rome and in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, a campaign that knowingly, deliberately, and publicly has damaged seriously the unity of the Roman Catholic community.

None of us – Roman Catholics in St. Louis Archdiocese – should remain disinterested in this matter. This conflict is a test of our judgment as Catholics, a test of our ability to clearly comprehend the complexity of the situation, and of our courage to make a conscientious choice.

We appeal to all Catholics the in St. Louis Archdiocese to express strong support for Archbishop Burke in his efforts to resolve this matter. On the second Sunday of each month we invite you all to attend our monthly bi-lingual Mass of Solidarity with Archbishop Burke during which we will pray for the strength of our spiritual leaders, unity of the Catholic Church, and the future of our congregation. The first Mass of Solidarity will be celebrated on March 13th, 2005 at 9:00 a.m. at St. John, Apostle and Evangelist Church in Plaza Square in downtown St. Louis. We kindly ask for your support.

God Bless,

The Appeal Letter (PDF File)

Send "Best Wishes" & Prayers for the Holy Father

Vatican provides email address for people to send kind words to the Holy Father.
Go here and click on this picture:

Bishops Urged to Take Action, Uphold Church Teaching in Terri Schiavo Case

Washington DC, Feb. 24, 2005 (CNA) - The American Life League is urging Catholics bishops to take up the fight to save Terri Schiavo’s life. The Florida woman, who has been severely physically and mentally disabled for the last 13 years, is being kept alive by tube feedings.

“We implore Catholic bishops — and in particular, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg — to take up Terri's fight in both prayer and action and to uphold Church teaching regarding the dignity of human life,” said Joe Starrs, director of American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of Our Catholic Church.

"The lack of clear, decisive action by Bishop Lynch and far too many of his brother bishops across Florida and across the nation has been more than disappointing," Starrs said in a press release. (Emphasis mine)
And quite a bit more than disappointing - Where is the strong vocal opposition and condemnation of the anticipated death sentence of this innocent woman whose parents wish to care for her? Where are the voices of those who wish to abolish the "Death Penalty"?

We should remember that we are guard against becoming accomplices to sin. One becomes an accomplice when one culpably assists another in the performance of an evil action. This assistance may come about by counsel, command, provocation, consent, praise, flattery, concealment, participation, silence, or defense of the evil act.


Illinois, Peoria Diocese Investigate Burial of Body Parts

DANVILLE, Ill. - State officials and the Catholic Diocese of Peoria are investigating an allegation that a central Illinois hospital used a Catholic cemetery to bury body parts.

The investigation stems from a suit filed earlier this month by Thomas and Carolyn Pichon, who say they saw a cemetery worker toss a box of medical waste into their loved one's open grave at Danville's Resurrection Catholic Cemetery.

According to the Peoria diocese, it oversees 128 cemeteries, and most are owned and operated by parishes and other Catholic institutions. The cemeteries must follow diocesan rules, which prohibit burying uncremated amputated body parts without permission from the diocese's director of cemeteries.

Pope isn't talking, at least for a few days

The Vatican says he is breathing on his own and writing notes.

VATICAN CITY - The voice that encouraged millions to revolt against communism, attracted Roman Catholic faithful in more than 100 countries to vast religious gatherings and captured the attention of leaders across the globe was silent Friday.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the pontiff was breathing without the aid of a respirator but would not be able to speak for at least a few days. The treatment included insertion of a tube into the pope's throat. It allows air to enter his lungs and bypass his mouth, nose and upper throat. While the trachea is open and the tube is attached, speaking is impossible.

"He's breathing on his own, and cardio-circulatory conditions remain good," Navarro-Valls said. He added that on the advice of his doctors, the pope would not speak for several days "so as to favor the functions of the larynx."

Archbishop Burke Moves Polish Masses Permanently

The decision Friday by the St. Louis Archdiocese to make St. Agatha's parish the permanent official Polish parish in St. Louis ratcheted up the continuing battle between parishioners at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church and the archdiocese.

The decision was made, according to an archdiocesan spokesman, to accommodate a group the archdiocese said was made up of 150 to 200 Polish Catholics who remained loyal to the archbishop in the struggle for control of St. Stanislaus.

"The archbishop decided it was necessary for them to have their own parish and, at the same time, help to save St. Agatha's," said Jamie Allman, the archdiocese spokesman. St. Agatha's was most recently used for the archdiocese's Tridentine, or Latin, Mass.

Robert Zabielski, a member of the St. Stanislaus board, said he was not surprised by Burke's decision to name another church as the official Polish church in the archdiocese. "We're still the Roman Catholic Polish church in St. Louis," said Zabielski. "It looks like he doesn't want to work this out. He's abandoned us. We have not abandoned him."
Mr Zabeielski is simply wrong! St. Stanislaus WAS the Roman Catholic Parish of Polish heritage....but that was BEFORE the board ABANDONED the Church and REJECTED the Archbishop.


Gospel for Saturday, 2nd Week of Lent

Luke 15:1-3; 11-32

Parables of God's Mercy

[1] Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Him (Jesus). [2] And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."

The Prodigal Son

[3] So He told them this parable: [11] "There was a man who had two sons; [12] and the younger of them said to his father, `Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them. [13] Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. [14] And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. [15]So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. [16] And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. [17] But when he came to himself he said, `How can many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! [18] I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you; [19] I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.'" [20] And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. [21] And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' [22] But the father said to his servants, `Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; [23] and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; [24] for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry.

[25] "Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. [26] And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. [27] And he said to him, `Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.' [28] But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, [29] but he answered his father, `Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. [30] But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!' [31] And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. [32] It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"

1-32. Jesus' actions manifest God's mercy: He receives sinners in order to convert them. The scribes and Pharisees, who despised sinners, just cannot understand why Jesus acts like this; they grumble about Him; and Jesus uses the opportunity to tell these Mercy parables. "The Gospel writer who particularly treats of these themes in Christ's teaching is Luke, whose Gospel has earned the title of `the Gospel of mercy'" ([Pope] John Paul II, "Dives In Misericordia", 3).

In this chapter St. Luke reports three of these parables in which Jesus describes the infinite, fatherly mercy of God and His joy at the conversion of the sinner.

The Gospel teaches that no one is excluded from forgiveness and that sinners can become beloved children of God if they repent and are converted. So much does God desire the conversion of sinners that each of these parables ends with a refrain, as it were, telling of the great joy in Heaven over a sinner who repents.

1-2. This is not the first time that publicans and sinners approach Jesus (cf. Matthew 9:10). They are attracted by the directness of the Lord's preaching and by His call to self-giving and love. The Pharisees in general were jealous of His influence over the people (cf. Matthew 26:2-5; John 11:47) a jealousy which can also beset Christians; a severity of outlook which does not accept that, no matter how great his sins may have been, a sinner can change and become a saint; a blindness which prevents a person from recognizing and rejoicing over the good done by others. Our Lord criticized this attitude when He replied to His disciples' complaints about others casting out devils in His name: "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will be able soon after to speak evil of Me" (Mark 9:39). And St. Paul rejoiced that others proclaimed Christ and even overlooked the fact they did so out of self-interest, provided Christ was preached (cf. Philippians 1:17-18).

11. This is one of Jesus' most beautiful parables, which teaches us once more that God is a kind and understanding Father (cf. Matthew 6:8; Romans 8:15; 2 Corinthians 1:3). The son who asks for his part of the inheritance is a symbol of the person who cuts himself off from God through sin. "Although the word `mercy' does not appear, this parable nevertheless expresses the essence of the divine mercy in a particularly clear way" ([Pope] John Paul II, "Dives In Misericordia", 5).

12. "That son, who receives from the father the portion of the inheritance that is due him and leaves home to squander it in a far country `in loose living', in a certain sense is the man of every period, beginning with the one who was the first to lose the inheritance of grace and original justice. The analogy at this point is very wide-ranging. The parable indirectly touches upon every breach of the covenant of love, every loss of grace, every sin" ("Dives In Misericordia", 5).

14-15. At this point in the parable we are shown the unhappy effects of sin. The young man's hunger evokes the anxiety and emptiness a person feels when he is far from God. The prodigal son's predicament describes the enslavement which sin involves (cf. Romans 1:25; 6:6; Galatians 5:1): by sinning one loses the freedom of the children of God (cf. Romans 8:21; Galatians 4:31; 5:13) and hands oneself over the power of Satan.

17-21. His memory of home and his conviction that his father loves him cause the prodigal son to reflect and to decide to set out on the right road. "Human life is in some way a constant returning to our Father's house. We return through contrition, through the conversion of heart which means a desire to change, a firm decision to improve our life and which, therefore, is expressed in sacrifice and self-giving. We return to our Father's house by means of that sacrament of pardon in which, by confessing our sins, we put on Jesus Christ again and become His brothers, members of God's family" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ is Passing By", 64).

20-24. God always hopes for the return of the sinner; He wants him to repent. When the young man arrives home his father does not greet him with reproaches but with immense compassion, which causes him to embrace his son and cover him with kisses.

20. "There is no doubt that in this simple but penetrating analogy the figure of the father reveals to us God as Father. The conduct of the father in the parable and his whole behavior, which manifests his internal attitude, enables us to rediscover the individual threads of the Old Testament vision of mercy in a synthesis which is totally new, full of simplicity and depth. The father of the prodigal son is FAITHFUL TO THIS FATHERHOOD, FAITHFUL TO THE LOVE that he had always lavished on his son. This fidelity is expressed in the parable not only by his immediate readiness to welcome him home when he returns after having squandered his inheritance; it is expressed even more fully by that joy, that merrymaking for the squanderer after his return, merrymaking which is so generous that it provokes the opposition and hatred of the elder brother, who had never gone far away from his father and had never abandoned the home.

"The father's fidelity to himself [...] is at the same time expressed in a manner particularly charged with affection. We read, in fact, that when the father saw the prodigal son returning home `he had COMPASSION, ran to meet him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him.' He certainly does this under the influence of a deep affection, and this also explains his generosity towards his son, that generosity which so angers the elder son" ("Dives In Misericordia", 6).

"When God runs towards us, we cannot keep silent, but with St. Paul we exclaim, "ABBA PATER": `Father, my Father!' (Romans 8:15), for, though He is the creator of the universe, He doesn't mind our not using high-sounding titles, nor worry about our not acknowledging His greatness. He wants us to call Him Father; He wants us to savor that word, our souls filling with joy [...].

"God is waiting for us, like the father in the parable, with open arms, even though we don't deserve it. It doesn't matter how great our debt is. Just like the prodigal son, all we have to do is open our heart, to be homesick for our Father's house, to wonder at and rejoice in the gift which God makes us of being able to call ourselves His children, of really being His children, even though our response to Him has been so poor" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 64).

25-30. God's mercy is so great that man cannot grasp it: as we can see in the case of the elder son, who thinks his father loves the younger son excessively, his jealousy prevents him from understanding how his father can do so much to celebrate the recovery of the prodigal; it cuts him off from the joy that the whole family feels. "It's true that he was a sinner. But don't pass so final a judgment on him. Have pity in your heart, and don't forget that he may yet be an Augustine, while you remain just another mediocrity" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 675).

We should also consider that if God has compassion towards sinners, He must have much much more towards those who strive to be faithful to Him. St. Therese of Lisieux understood this very well: "What joy to remember that our Lord is just; that He makes allowances for all our shortcomings, and knows full well how weak we are. What have I to fear then? Surely the God of infinite justice who pardons the prodigal son with such mercy will be just with me `who am always with Him'?" ("The Story of a Soul", Chapter 8).

32. "Mercy, as Christ has presented it in the parable of the prodigal son, has THE INTERIOR FORM OF THE LOVE that in the New Testament is called AGAPE. This love is able to reach down to every prodigal son, to every human misery, and above all to every form of moral misery, to sin. When this happens, the person who is the object of mercy does not feel humiliated, but rather found again and `restored to value'. The father first and foremost expresses to him his joy, that he has been `found again' and that he has `returned to life'. This joy indicates a good that has remained intact: even if he is a prodigal, a son does not cease to be truly his father's son; it also indicates a good that has been found again, which in the case of the prodigal son was his return to the truth about himself" ("Dives In Misericordia", 6).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Terri Schiavo and the Odd Silence of the St. Petersburg Diocese

An excerpt from the Crisis E-Letter by Brian Saint Paul:
Terri and her family are practicing Catholics in the diocese of St. Petersburg. However, even casual observers of this situation the past few years have noticed the odd silence from the diocese and Bishop Robert Lynch.

What's going on?

"To put it bluntly," Fr. Johansen told me, "Bishop Lynch has been invisible on this matter for the last couple years. He made a few statements in October 2003. But even those were, in my opinion, pretty weak. They basically expressed his sympathy and his feeling that this was a tragic situation."

A quick perusal of the bishop's three statements (available here: gives us a bit of a mixed bag. While the bishop does articulate in several places the Catholic teaching on these matters, he nowhere applies it forcefully to Terri's specific situation.

For example, Bishop Lynch writes in his August 12, 2003, statement:
"Our Catholic teaching is also clear that 'nourishment or hydration may be withheld or withdrawn where that treatment itself is causing harm to the patient or is useless because the patient's death is imminent, as long as the patient is made comfortable. In general, the terms "death is imminent" and "terminally ill" imply that a physician can predict that the patient will die of the fatal pathology within a few days or weeks, regardless of what life prolonging methods are utilized.'"

Precisely. And this statement should be followed by Bishop Lynch noting that no one in the dispute claims that, barring the removal of her feeding tube, Terri will die "within a few days or weeks." Nor can anyone intelligently argue that the food and water are somehow harming her.

Sadly, that's not what the bishop does. Instead, he follows this statement by observing that "Terri Schiavo's case is especially difficult because her actual medical situation is in dispute."

And that's where Bishop Lynch misses an important teaching opportunity. Since no one is saying that Terri's death is "imminent," food and water must not be removed. When the authentic Catholic teaching is applied to Terri's specific case, the judgment is clear.

To be fair, the bishop also strongly recommends that "Terri's family be allowed to attempt a medical protocol which they feel would improve her condition." He also writes that "Catholic teaching notes that the proxy may not deliberately cause a patient's death or refuse ordinary and normal treatment, even if he or she believes a patient would have made such a decision."

The problem with Bishop Lynch's public statements is not that they are in themselves wrong, but that he doesn't go far enough in applying Catholic teaching to this specific case. As a result, he puts too much trust in the actions and motivations of Michael Schiavo -- Terri's husband and the main actor in the effort to halt her

(As you may know, Schiavo has lived with another woman for years and stands to receive quite a bit of money upon Terri's death. What's more, after her accident, Prince Charming had her engagement ring and wedding band melted down to make a ring for himself...and had her cats put to sleep so he wouldn't have to take care of them.)

When I asked Fr. Rob what we can do to help Terri, he offered several suggestions:
1. "Pray, not just for Terri but for Michael Schiavo and his lawyer, George Felos. After all, people's hearts can be turned."

2. Since the ruling comes down today -- a Friday in Lent -- Catholics have a special opportunity to offer up a sacrifice. Don't underestimate the power of this season.

3. "Get informed about the real issues. Spread the word. The mainstream media continues to report that Terri is brain dead or comatose. No one has ever claimed that. Furthermore, contrary to media reports, this is NOT a right to die case. People need to spread the word on this. Call their talk radio stations, send e-mails to friends, and to Florida state representatives." One way to get informed is to read the article Fr. Rob wrote for us on the situation in our January 2004 issue. It's the single best overview of the debate that I've seen and is available for free on our website at:
(You have full permission to reprint, forward, link to, or quote the article any way you like. We need to get this information to as many people as possible.)

4. Finally, if you have the chance and the means, you could also donate money to Due to high web traffic, the site is down right now (I just tried it), but should be up again soon.

This is a pivotal day in the fight for the Culture of Life. Let us pray that truth prevails.

Judge Greer Grants Permission for "Husband" to Murder Wife

"The court is no longer comfortable granting stays simply upon the filings of new motions," Greer wrote. "There will always be 'new' issues."
No longer comfortable granting stays?

Cdl. Arinze to Keynote St. Louis Liturgical Conference

Liturgists who want to perfect what they do or Catholics who just want to better understand the Church’s liturgy will benefit from attending this April’s Gateway Liturgical Conference, organizers say.

The conference will take place Thursday-Friday, April 7-8, at the Adam’s Mark Hotel Downtown. Events will run 1:15 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Friday.

This year’s keynote speaker will be the Church’s chief liturgist, Cardinal Francis Arinze. Cardinal Arinze is the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments. He has been traveling around the world to share the vision of the Church as outlined in its liturgical documents and is recognized as a master communicator and theologian, according to organizers. The cardinal is participating in the St. Louis conference at the invitation of Archbishop Raymond L. Burke.

For fees, registration materials and deadlines or other information, call the Office of Worship at (314) 792-7230.

A Little Story Worth Repeating - The Brick

Once again, I received an email which I would like to share. I apologize in advance if this is a repeat:
Read the next line very slowly and let it sink in...
"If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. "


A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something.

As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.

The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, "What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?"

The young boy was apologetic. "Please, mister..please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do," he pleaded. "I threw the brick because no one else would stop..."

With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. "It's my brother," he said. "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up."

Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, "Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me."

Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts.

A quick look told him everything was going to be okay..."Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger.

Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home. It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar.

The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message "Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!"

God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us.

It's our choice to listen or not.

Some other thoughts for the day:
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every spring.
He sends you a sunrise every morning.
Face it, friend - He is crazy about you!

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

The Consciousness of Christ

One of the books which I am currently reading is this one titled, "The Consciousness of Christ", by Fr. William Most. Some background on why:

After listening to a homily at the Christmas Vigil Mass in which the priest proclaimed to the packed church such things as Jesus not knowing that He was God, and other ramblings evidently appropriated from heterdox 'theologians', I felt that I was obligated to provide him whatever information I could so that he might come to understand what the Church actually teaches. I felt obliged to do this for a couple of reasons.

During the homily when these strange things were being said, some of the people who attended an adult catechism class which I facilitated, turned and looked at me with confusion. They had learned in the catechism class that what they were hearing was not what the Church teaches - God had provided them with the graces by which their minds were sufficiently enlightened with truths of the faith that they could recognize that something was wrong with what they were hearing. For the others in Church, as I had mentioned before, I felt sorrow and regret that their minds may have become confused without them even being aware of it.

This little episode led to me to do more in-depth research into this area of such great confusion, even among some priests. I turned first to two great theologians to get direction: Fr. John Hardon and Fr. William Most. As a consequence, I obtained the book, the title of which is the heading for this post.

I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone who wishes to understand what the Church teaches about the human knowledge of Christ and that relation with the divine mind of Christ and about the numerous errors that have become so prevalent today. It is a thoroughly easy book to read and understand, written so that those of us who are not 'theologians' can readily grasp its content.

What follows is the preface of the book, "The Consciousness of Christ."
"Can you show me now that I would not be killed in vain? Show me just a little of your omnipresent brain. Show me there's a reason for your wanting me to die. You were far too keen on where and how, and not so hot on why."

So speaks Jesus Christ Superstar, the day before the great Passover. Obviously He is presented as being quite ignorant not only of who He is-there is no trace of awareness that He is divine, if indeed the author of Superstar thought Jesus was divine; and Jesus does not even know the fundamental reason for His dying, to redeem and save mankind by atoning for sin.

Nor only popular rock musicals express such egregious error. Many scripture scholars today do much the same, e.g., "The New Testament gives us no reason to think that Jesus and Paul were not deadly serious about the demonic world.... I do not believe the demons inhabit desert places or the upper air, as Jesus and Paul thought... I see no way to get around the difficulty except by saying that Jesus and Paul were wrong on this point. They accepted the beliefs of their times about demons, but those beliefs were superstitious."1

The writer, Father Raymond Brown, thinks Jesus was so ignorant as to preach error based on superstitions. He also wonders if Jesus knew much about the future life: "Perhaps he had nothing new to say about the afterlife other than emphasizing what was already known, that God would reward the good and punish the wicked."2 As to whether Jesus knew who He was, we find Fr. Brown inclined to prefer the opinion that Jesus had "some sort of intuition or immediate awareness of what he was, but...that the ability to express this in a communicable way had to be acquired gradually."3 To put it simply: Jesus knew in some vague way who He was but somehow could not manage to say it!

This view is basically the same as that of Karl Rahner, who holds that the self knowledge of Jesus paralleled that of ordinary humans. We do not know our own soul directly; we get to know it indirectly by observing its actions. To express that information is, of course, something additional.4

In ancient times similar ideas were expressed in the aftermath of Nestorianism, a heresy propounding the presence of two persons in Jesus. That is the same as saying there were two he's in Him, a divine person and a human person. The divine person, Nestorians often said, took the human person and lived in him as in a temple. Another sect, the Agnoites, followed logically with the conclusion: the human in Jesus might not know he was bound up with a divine person, and might lack various other kinds of knowledge also. Their error was condemned, with an anathema, by Pope Vigilius in 553 A.D.5

The current storm about the consciousness of Jesus was sparked by a book written by P. Galtier in 1939.6 Without holding for two persons in the Nestorian sense, Galtier sought to distinguish a psychological self apart from the ontological self. So, he asserted, there can be a "real psychological autonomy" in the human soul of Jesus.

The heart of our modern problem, then, is this: without claiming two persons in the Nestorian sense, we can still ask, 'Did a given fact (e.g., the day and hour of the last judgment) register on the human mind of Jesus'? Unfortunately, even theologians are often very loose in their language. They say: He did not know that. Such a statement is heresy, for the He is a divine He. But it is not heresy to ask: Did that point register on His human mind?

To examine the question adequately, we must consider data from four different sources: Scripture, patrology, the magisterium, and speculative theology.

Before considering the Scriptural evidence, we must face the fact that in our day there are numerous challenges to the reliability of the Gospels. So before we can appeal to the Gospels, we must examine whether or not we can believe the Gospels. The introduction is devoted to this problem.
End Notes:
1 In St. Anthony's Messenger, May 1971, 47-48.
2 R. E. Brown, Jesus, God and Man, Macmillan, N.Y. 1967. 101.
3 Ibid, 100.
4 K. Rahner, "Dogmatic Reflections on the Knowledge and Self-Consciousness of Christ" in Theological lnvestigations, tr. K. H. Kruger, Helicon, Baltimore, 1966, 5,193-215.
5 DS 419.
6 P. Galtier, L Unité du Christ—Etre, Personne, Conscience, 3rd ed. Beauchesne, Paris, 1939.

St Agatha Church to Become Personal Parish of Polish Heritage

This was actually one of several surprises.

At least the faithful Catholics from St. Stanislaus who have been placed "in exile" by the actions of the board of directors will now have a parish of their own. And St. Agatha's is such a beautiful church.

I hope and pray that those from St. Agatha's will be comforted to know that the church will not be closed and that the Latin Mass will contine at St. Francis de Sales.

The "Right Way" of Fr. Luigi Giussani

The memorable interview in which the founder of Communion and Liberation recounted how popes Montini {Paul VI] and John Paul II saved the Church from disaster
by Sandro Magister

Archbishop Burke's Column on the Reorganization of the South City Deanery

In announcing the final decisions regarding the pastoral reorganization of the South City Deanery, I am deeply conscious of the pain which changes in parish and Catholic school life cause. I have the deepest compassion for the faithful of the South City Deanery and regret sincerely the pain which you are enduring. I assure you that the changes which I announce today are made to further the mission of the Church in the archdiocese. They represent prudential decisions, but they are made on the basis of the thorough work of the task force for the South City Deanery Pastoral Planning. I ask you to accept the suffering of change in your parishes and schools, asking that God bless the Church in the deanery and the archdiocese.
Part 1 of the Archbishop's Column
Continued to Part 2

After having briefly read this, I noticed several things of note:
St. Agatha Parish, which has been serving as a personal parish for the faithful attached to the celebration of the Mass and other sacred rites, according to the liturgical books in force in 1962, is to become the personal parish of the faithful of Polish language and heritage.

St. Francis de Sales Parish is to be suppressed, and its territory and faithful are to be united to St. Pius V Parish. The Archdiocesan Hispanic Ministry, presently located at St. Francis de Sales Parish, is to be transferred to St. Cecilia Parish. St. Francis de Sales Church is to be an oratory for the faithful attached to the celebration of the Mass and other sacred rites, according to the liturgical books in force in 1962. St. Francis de Sales Oratory is to be under the pastoral care and direction of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest, a society of apostolic life.

Kathleen McChesney Steps Down

The first child-protection monitor for the U.S. Roman Catholic Church said in an interview the day before she steps down that the unrelenting focus on bishops' failures to rein in sexually abusive priests had obscured the efforts of countless diocesan workers and volunteers dedicated to helping victims.

McChesney is departing as the church reviews the policy she was hired to help implement. Included in its many provisions is a requirement that all guilty clerics be barred from church work, including saying Mass in public and working as parish priests.

Archdiocese Decides Which South St. Louis Parishes Will Close

The official list will come out on Friday, but Newschannel 5 has obtained the list of Catholic churches and schools that will be closed by the Archdiocese.

Debate over which parishes to close has gone on for months. Church leaders say the closings are necessary, due to a declining Catholic population in the area.
The list (per KTVI) of churches was listed last night here.

The closing list includes:
Holy Family Church and School
Immaculate Conception/St. Henry Church
St. Bonaface Church
St. John Nepomuk Church
Saints Mary and Joseph Church
St. Mary Of Victories Church
St. Hedwig Church
Resurrection of Our Lord Church and School
St. Mary Magdalen School (Church stays open)
St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church
St. Anthony School (Church stays open)

Sources tell Newschannel 5 the closing list would have been much longer, had the Archbishop not listened to the concerns of parishoners in the area.
Even though this should put to rest the scandalous allegations that Archbishop Burke does not listen, it probably won't for people, generally, only hear what they want to hear.


Pope Recovering from Surgery, Advised Not to Speak

ROME (Reuters) - Pope John Paul (news - web sites) spent a restful night in hospital after throat surgery and is now breathing unassisted, but doctors have advised him not to speak for several days, his spokesman said on Friday.

Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the Pontiff's heart and blood circulation remained good and he had no bronchial pneumonia infection -- a possible complication of the tracheotomy performed on him on Thursday to ease his breathing problems.
Please keep the Holy Father in your prayers. Tonight as many attend Stations of the Cross, offer those prayers for Pope John Paul that, if it be God's will, the Holy Father might make a full recovery.


Dominicans Under Fire in Oakland

Editor's note: The following story was to appear in our February issue. The day before deadline, however, I received a call from a Dominican priest asking me to pull the story. The priest told me he could give me information that would put the situation at St. Albert's Priory in perspective. I agreed I would at least hold the story for another month and arranged to talk with the priest in about a week and a half. When that time expired, I thrice called the priest, leaving messages both where he carries out his apostolate and at the Dominican house. After about a week, the priest contacted the Faith's publisher with a message that Dominican superiors directed him to refer me to Dominican spokeswoman Carla Hass. Calls to Hass went unanswered.
The story is here.

William Donohue Blasts NBC For Mocking the Blessed Sacrament

During the February 22 episode of the NBC-TV sitcom, “Committed,” two non-Catholics are mistakenly given Holy Communion at a Catholic funeral Mass. Nate, who is Jewish, and Bowie, a Protestant, don’t know what to do with the Eucharist, so they make several failed attempts to get rid of it. For example, they try slipping it into the pocket of a priest, dropping it on a tray of cheese and crackers, etc.

At one point, the priest, who is portrayed as not knowing the difference between the Host and a cracker, goes to grab the “cracker” from a tray of appetizers; he initially balks when he discovers that it is the last one. Then he changes his mind, saying, “Oh, what the hell.” By far the most offensive scene occurs when Nate and Bowie accidentally flush what they think is the Host down the toilet.
More here.

How wonderful it must be to live in LA.?

Mel Gibson to follow up 'The Passion' with Fatima film

Fittingly, just ten days after the death of Sr Lucia dos Santos, the last survivor to witness the appearances of the Virgin Mary at the Portuguese town of Fatima in 1517, Mel Gibson has bought the rights to the book ‘Stealing from Angels’.

‘Stealing from Angels’ is a work of fiction that tells the tale of a man who shoulders a huge secret and trusts no one.

One thing’s for sure; this film is destined to be a controversial box office blockbuster. But before the conspiracy theories get out of hand, not to mention individual reader interpretations, the author himself has the final say in an interview with The Tribune: “It’s a great story and that is that,” said Dullaghan.

Hollywood holds its breath…...

Gospel for Friday, 2nd Week of Lent

Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

(Jesus told the chief priests and the elders,) [33] "Hear another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country. [34] When the season of fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to get his fruit; [35] and the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. [36] Again he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did the same to them. [37] Afterward he sent his son to them, saying, `They will respect my son.' [38] But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, `This is the heir; come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.' [39] And they took him and cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. [40] When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" [41] They said to Him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons."

[42] Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures: `The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes'! [43] Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it."

[45] When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking about them. [46] But when they tried to arrest Him, they feared the multitudes, because they held Him to be a prophet.

33-46. This very important parable completes the previous one. The parable of the two sons simply identifies the indocility of Israel; that of the wicked tenants focuses on the punishment to come.

Our Lord compares Israel to a choice vineyard, specially fenced, with a watchtower, where a keeper is on the look-out to protect it from thieves and foxes. God has spared no effort to cultivate and embellish His vineyard. The vineyard is in the charge of tenant farmers; the householder is God, and the vineyard, Israel (Isaiah 5:3-5: Jeremiah 2:21; Joel 1:7).

The tenants to whom God has given the care of His people are the priests, scribes and elders. The owner's absence makes it clear that God really did entrust Israel to its leaders; hence their responsibility and the account He demands of them.

The owner used to send his servants from time to time to collect the fruit; this was the mission of the prophets. The second despatch of servants to claim what is owing to the owner--who meet the same fate as the first--refers to the way God's prophets were ill-treated by the kings and priests of Israel (Matthew 23:37; Acts 7:42; Hebrews 11:36-38). Finally he sent his son to them, thinking that they would have more respect for him; here we can see the difference between Jesus and the prophets, who were servants, not "the Son": the parable indicates singular, transcendental sonship, expressing the divinity of Jesus Christ.

The malicious purpose of the tenants in murdering the son and heir to keep the inheritance for themselves is the madness of the leaders in expecting to become undisputed masters of Israel by putting Christ to death (Matthew 12:14; 26:4). Their ambition blinds them to the punishment that awaits them. Then "they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him": a reference to Christ's crucifixion, which took place outside the walls of Jerusalem.

Jesus prophesies the punishment God will inflict on the evildoers: He will put them to death and rent the vineyard to others. This is a very significant prophecy. St. Peter later repeats to the Sanhedrin: "This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of the corner" (Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:4). The stone is Jesus of Nazareth, but the architects of Israel, who build up and rule the people, have chosen not use it in the building. Because of their unfaithfulness the Kingdom of God will be turned over to another people, the Gentiles, who WILL give God the fruit He expects His vineyard to yield (cf. Matthew 3:8-10; Galatians 6:16).

For the building to be well-built, it needs to rest on this stone. Woe to him who trips over it! (cf. Matthew 12:30; Luke 2:34), as first Jews and later the enemies of Christ and His Church will discover through bitter experience (cf. Isaiah 8:14-15).

Christians in all ages should see this parable as exhorting them to build faithfully upon Christ and make sure they do not fall into the sin of this Jewish generation. We should also be filled with hope and a sense of security; for, although the building--the Church--at some times seem to be breaking up, its sound construction, with Christ as its cornerstone, is assured.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Videoconference to Focus on Year of the Eucharist

A theologians videoconference, the 35th in the series organized by the Congregation for Clergy, will be held this Friday on the topic "The Year of the Eucharist."

The conference may be followed live, starting at noon (Roman time), and recorded through the Web page

Jesuit Gonzaga University Favours Gay and Pro-Abortion Campus Clubs

SPOKANE, February 24, 2005 ( - Gonzaga University, the Catholic college in Spokane, Washington, owned and run by the Jesuit order, has made its stand on the side of abortion supporters and homosexual activists against Catholic and pro-life groups on campus.

“We live in a strange age, indeed, when a Catholic, Jesuit university would deny a Christian pro-life group recognition because its religious nature is considered discriminatory,” said Greg Lukianoff, spokesman for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education in Philadelphia.

Dr. Adams [Mike S. Adams, a professor of criminology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a columnist for] writes, “Gonzaga Law School’s deplorable conduct towards its Christian students should serve as a warning to Catholic parents everywhere: avoid sending your Catholic children to GU.”
More of the article here.

Cardinal Martino Appeals for Terri Schiavo

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 24, 2005 ( A Vatican official launched an appeal to save Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman whose husband wants her off life-support care.

In statements on Vatican Radio, Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: "If Mr. Schiavo succeeds legally in causing the death of his wife, this not only would be tragic in itself, but would be a grave step toward the legal approval of euthanasia in the United States."

He added: "I would like to remind everyone in this connection, about all that the Holy Father has said in past days to the Pontifical Academy for Life, confirming that the quality of life is not interpreted as economic success, beauty and physical pleasure, but consists in the supreme dignity of the creature made in the image and likeness of God.

"No one can be the arbiter of life except God himself."

St. Stanislaus - Reasons for Not Appealing the Interdict


As announced in a previous News Release, the St. Stanislaus Board of Directors (BOD), who have received a most unjust form of punishment from the Archbishop of St. Louis, has after much consultation with Can Law experts and its attorney have decided not to appeal the Interdict.

The rationale for this decision is as follows:

1. The BOD must first appeal to the Archbishop, who imposed the Interdict (Canon Law)

2. The Archbishop of St. Louis must approve the (Canon Law) canon lawyer to defend the BOD against his actions.(Canon Law)

3. The BOD would be restricted from discussing the case in public. The archbishop does not have that restriction.

4. The BOD cannot consider, or speak to another religious order of priests or independent priest to provide religious guidance to our Parish.

5. The BOD cannot take any action that would be upsetting to the archbishop.

6. All public statements by any BOD member must be approved by the attorney before hand.

7. Actions by the parishioners may be construed as being initiated by the BOD, and thus hinder the appeal.

8. The canon lawyer advocate shall have the privilege and right to release any or all data at his discretion.

As the BOD has a primary responsibility to the parishioners of St. Stanislaus, it cannot accept these limitations that are tantamount to a gag-order during the appeal process.

As unjust as the Archbishop’s action is over a property dispute, the BoD as representatives of the parishioners stand firm in their conviction and pray that a Man of God steps forward and rights this wrong.

Board of Directors
Polish Roman Catholic St. Stanislaus Parish
For additional information contact Richard Bach at 314-518-5047
It basically comes down to the fact that "RULES" have to be followed if one wants to appeal...The "RULES" are judged to be unfair. Since the "RULES" are felt to be too restrictive and unbearable, there will be no participation.

How utterly sad and pathetic!


St Stanislaus Board Releases Letter to Parishioners

February 21, 2005

To all Parishioners and Friends:

The attempt to live in harmony with the Archdiocese in a similar role prior to their attempted takeover is finished. We must move on.

From all legal counsel, clergy, and lay people with expertise in Canon Law and prior dealings with the Archbishop we will be unable to reach a mutual resolution to the current situation; regardless of what is offered. The Archbishop’s sole interpretation of Canon Law and his continued demonstrated behavior in the matter continues to prevent this.

To deprive a parish and individuals of all religious guidance and celebrations over a property dispute is not in religious doctrine. Yet it is acceptable and enthusiastically embraced through clergy made law, called Canon Law.

The BOD, with advice from many has agreed that it is time to grasp the obvious that there is no hope for a timely mutual resolution. Our religious needs, time, support and funds will diminish our position, wear us down and continue to break and wreck havoc in our community. We, your representatives cannot allow that. After 2+ years of this struggle the insults to our Parish coupled with the disgrace, in depriving us of all religious guidance and celebrations are at an end.

That being said, the BOD has unanimously voted that during this most holy Easter season, to seek interim religious guidance and celebrations from an order of priests or an individual priest outside the authority of the Archbishop of St. Louis. We will do our best to obtain a Roman Catholic Priest with Polish Heritage and who speaks the Polish language. Please bear with us, as this will be difficult, but it may be our ultimate future.

We realize this is a major decision and may come as a shock to some but as the leaders in this conflict we believe it is for the good for the intermediate life of the parish.

We again want to emphasize it is only a temporary move. We will keep the door open to the Archdiocese for dialogue, but only as you direct.

If in the near future, a permanent move outside the Archdiocese is decided in the best interests of the parish, a parishioner vote will be required.

We solicit you religious understanding and continued support in this undertaking. God bless us in these momentous times. We must regain religious leadership and guidance and live with dignity. Mass schedules will be sent to you in the near future, but until then our religious service will continue to be at 9:30 AM in Polish and English.

Mr. Bill Bialczak
Board of Directors

KTVI News Lists Parishes Which Will Close

The South City Deanery parishes that are to close according to KTVI
(from an advance copy of the St. Louis Review):

Holy Families
Holy Innocents
Immaculate Conception/St Henry
Resurrection of our Lord
St. Aloysius Gonzaga
St. Boniface
St. Hedwig
St. John Nepomuk
St. Mary of Victories
Sts. Mary & Joseph

Weakened Pope Struggles to Breathe

An email News Flash from Inside the Vatican:
Doctors attending Pope John Paul II have performed a tracheotomy

Inside the Vatican has learned, from reliable sources, that doctors attending the pope decided to insert a tube into the pope’s neck to assist his breathing. The operation is called a tracheotomy. "He is very weak; that is the problem," said one source. "I am very worried."

This morning I would still have said that he would still have had some years to live, however this evening I am no longer so sure. The Vatican has not yet officially commented on this matter. We will keep you updated on these very serious developments as the day progresses.

- by Dr. Robert Moynihan
Forwarded Email.

"Soundoff" Entries from the Chesterfield Journal

The Post Dispatch's edition of the Chesterfield Journal contained a few more nuggets of foolishness.
Allman and Burke
Catholics should question how much of their donated money is used to pay the salary of Jamie Allman, who left a good job to make a fool of himself as a voice for Archbishop Burke.
I wonder how it is that people who make these kinds of comments are even permitted to roam the streets of St. Louis without proper supervision. Clearly, this troubled individual is simply regurgitating what he has heard repeated by others.

First, monies which are freely given to the Church, unless designated for a special fund, are given with the understanding that the Archbishop is fully capable of disbursing those funds as he sees fit. He is aware of the needs of the Archdiocese where we, the faithful scattered about the Archdiocese, are not. Would Archbishop Burke be in a position to determine how this caller should spend his money? For food? For a new car? For utilities? For a charitable cause? Of course not!

Secondly, for those whose hold opinions similar to the above individual, one should know and understand the facts before speaking, lest one demonstrate his own foolishness. The Archdiocese has employed a spokesman and Director of Communications for quite some time. It is a position which was, in all likelihood, already budgeted for the current fiscal year and perhaps for years in the future. Mr. Allman was hired to REPLACE the man who held the position previously.

Why did we hear nothing about this spending of donated money then? Perhaps, because the previous spokesman was, to a great extent, silent, not well known, or rarely covered on the local news.

Mr Allman, as a well known public figure of the media and a vocal defender of the faith, is well suited, it seems to many, for the position for which Archbishop Burke hired him. Who are we to question his judgment in hiring a man with excellent credentials and experience? Our responsibility is to support our Archbishop and those whom he has chosen to speak in his behalf.
No role model
The archbishop of St. Louis is going against what he stands for. He is not acting as a role model for Catholics. He has done nothing but turn Catholics and others in St. Louis against him. He needs to leave St. Louis. He is out of control.
Those who are uncomfortable with being exposed to the light, quickly return to the darkness from whence they came. Their thinking is confused and their minds are cloudy. This is obvious in the caller's sentences.

The Archbishop courageously stands up for Christ, His Blessed Mother, the truth and for the teachings and disciplines of the Church. He stands up to help those who need his help and his direction. Those who turn away from him or turn against him do so, not because of him, but because they have problems with what he says to us, what he teaches us. He calls us, as does the Holy Father, and as Christ Himself calls us, to conversion - to become heroic examples of holiness and sanctity by following in the footsteps of out Lord and by responding to the graces He bestows on us. Sometimes, this call is hard to listen to and hard to accept, but that does not diminish its importance or its necessity.

Christ calls us "to be perfect as His Father is perfect." The Holy Father as the successor of St. Peter exhorts that we listen with attentiveness to the call of our Lord and respond obediently to it. Archbishop Burke, as a legitimate successor of the Apostles whom Christ chose to feed and tend His flock, reminds us over and over again of these same things. Numerous times, he has called upon us to, not only hear the words of the Mother of our Lord, but to open our hearts to her call, "Do whatever He tells you." Are we doing what Christ wants us to do?

It is unconscionable for one to suggest that this man needs to leave St. Louis. Those whose hearts are hardened, will no doubt, feel this way. Those, however, who are alive with hope and anticipation are thankful that he is here. In His Divine Providence, God has bestowed countless blessings and graces on the faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, especially with the appointment of Raymond Burke as our Archbishop.

Maybe those who feel anger or bitterness or hatred toward the Archbishop or the Church will seek our Lord's assistance in overcoming their difficulties if we pray for them? We might pray as well, that the Post Dispatch will one day exhibit some fairness in what it chooses to put on its pages. Miracles do happen!

The Link is here.

Another Article on the Holy Father

Pope rushed to hospital with flu relapse

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope John Paul II was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance for the second time in a month Thursday after suffering fever and congestion from a recurrence of the flu, the Vatican said.

The 84-year-old pontiff had the same symptoms of the breathing crisis that sent him to Gemelli Polyclinic on Feb. 1, a Vatican official said on condition of anonymity. On Wednesday, the pope made his longest public appearance since being discharged from the clinic two weeks ago.
"It appears the pope is suffering from pneumonia, likely a bacterial pneumonia, a serious problem for a man of his age with Parkinson's," said Dr. Barbara Paris, chairwoman of geriatrics and vice-chairwoman of Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center in New York.
Whatever the problems, let us pray for his speedy and complete recovery.

Full story here.

The LARK Program

I received this email, and while I normally post little to nothing which is not related in some way to the Faith, I thought I would share it nonetheless. Please forgive my indulgence - I felt the irony was well worth sharing.
LARK Program
A person wrote a letter to the White House complaining about the treatment of a captive taken during the Afghanistan war. Following is a copy of a letter they received back:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20016

Dear Concerned Citizen:

Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Our administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington. You'll be pleased to learn that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like you, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care.

Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday. Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of admonishment. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome these character flaws.

Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. He will bite you, given the chance. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling. Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We do not suggest that you ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters (except sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him, and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that Ahmed will recommend as more appropriate attire. I'm sure they will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the bhurka - over time. Just remind them that it is all part of "respecting his culture and his religious beliefs" - wasn't that how you put it?

Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you, who know so much, keep us informed of the proper way to do our job. You take good care of Ahmed - and remember - we'll be watching. Good luck!

Don Rumsfeld

Rift is hopeless, say St. Stanislaus leaders

Pope rushed to hospital with fever

VATICAN CITY (CNN) -- Pope John Paul II has been rushed to hospital by ambulance after suffering a recurrence of the flu that forced him to be hospitalized for 10 days earlier this month.

The Vatican said the 84-year-old pope had a relapse of the flu and was taken to Gemelli hospital at 10:45 a.m. (0945 GMT) on Thursday for "specialist treatment and further checks."
Please keep the Holy Father in your prayers.

Gospel for Thursday, 2nd Week of Lent

***** I apologize, I posted the wrong Gospel and commentary. I inadvertantly posted Thursday's Gospel for Wednesday... I will repost Wednesday's later this evening...Again, I apologize sincerely for the mistake.

From: Luke 16:19-31

Lazarus and the Rich Man

(Jesus told them this parable:) [19] "There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. [20] And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, [21] who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. [22] The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; [23] and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. [24] And he called out, `Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' [25] But Abraham said, `Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things, but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. [26] And besides in all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.' [27] And he said, `Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, [28] for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' [29] But Abraham said, `They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' [30] And he said, `No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' [31] He said to him, `If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.'"

19-31. This parable disposes of two errors--that of those who denied the survival of the soul after death and, therefore, retribution in the next life; and that of those who interpreted material prosperity in this life as a reward for moral rectitude, and adversity as punishment. This parable shows that, immediately after death, the soul is judged by God for all its acts--the "particular judgment"--and is rewarded or punished; and that divine revelation is by itself sufficient for men to be able to believe in the next life.

In another area, the parable teaches the innate dignity of every human person, independently of his social, financial, cultural or religious position. And respect for this dignity implies that we must help those who are experiencing any material or spiritual need: "Wishing to come down to topics that are practical and of some urgency, the Council lays stress on respect for the human person: everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as another self, bearing in mind above all his life and the means necessary for living it in a dignified way lest he follow the example of the rich man who ignored Lazarus, the poor man" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 27).

Another practical consequence of respect for others is proper distribution of material resources and protection of human life, even unborn life, as Paul VI pleaded with the General Assembly of the United Nations: "Respect for life, even with regard to the great problem of the birth rate, must find here in your assembly its highest affirmation and its most reasoned defense. You must strive to multiply bread so that it suffices for the tables of mankind, and not rather favor an artificial control of birth, which would be irrational, in order to diminish the number of guests at the banquet of life" ("Address to the UN", 4 October 1965).

21. Apparently this reference to the dogs implies not that they alleviated Lazarus' sufferings but increased them, in contrast with the rich man's pleasure: to the Jews dogs were unclean and therefore were not generally used as domestic animals.

22-26. Earthly possession, as also suffering, are ephemeral things: death marks their end, and also the end of our testing-time, our capacity to sin or to merit reward for doing good; and immediately after death we begin to enjoy our reward or to suffer punishment, as the case may be. The Magisterium of the Church has defined that the souls of all who die in the grace of God enter Heaven, immediately after death or after first undergoing a purging, if that is necessary. "We believe in eternal life. We believe that the souls of all those who die in the grace of Christ-whether they must still make expiation in the fire of Purgatory, or whether from the moment they leave their bodies they are received by Jesus into Paradise like the Good Thief--go to form that people of God which succeeds death, death which will be totally destroyed on the day of the resurrection when these souls are reunited with their bodies" (Paul VI, "Creed of the People of God", 28).

The _expression of "Abraham's bosom" refers to the place or state "into which the souls of the just, before the coming of Christ the Lord were received, and where, without experiencing any sort of pain, but supported by the blessed hope of redemption, they enjoyed peaceful repose. To liberate these holy souls, who, in the bosom of Abraham were expecting the Savior, Christ the Lord descended into hell" ("St. Pius V Catechism", I, 6, 3).

22. "Both the rich man and the beggar died and were carried before Abraham, and there judgment was rendered on their conduct. And the Scripture tells us that Lazarus found consolation, but that the rich man found torment. Was the rich man condemned because he had riches, because he abounded in earthly possessions, because he `dressed in purple and linen and feasted sumptuously every day'? No, I would say that it was not for this reason. The rich man was condemned because he did not pay attention to the other man, because he failed to take notice of Lazarus, the person who sat at his door and who longed to eat the scraps from his table. Nowhere does Christ condemn the mere possession of earthly goods as such. Instead, He pronounces very harsh words against those who use their possessions in a selfish way, without paying attention to the needs of others[...]."

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus must always be present in our memory; it must form our conscience. Christ demands openness to our brothers and sisters in need--openness from the rich, the affluent, the economically advantaged; openness to the poor, the underdeveloped and the disadvantaged. Christ demands an openness that is more than benign attention, more than token actions or half-hearted efforts that leave the poor as destitute as before or even more so [...].

"We cannot stand idly by, enjoying our riches and freedom, if, in any place, the Lazarus of the Twentieth Century stands at our doors. In the light of the parable of Christ, riches and freedom mean a special responsibility. Riches and freedom create a special obligation. And so, in the name of the solidarity that binds us all together in a common humanity, I again proclaim the dignity of every human person: the rich man and Lazarus are both human beings, both of them equally created in the image and likeness of God, both of them equally redeemed by Christ, at a great price of the `precious blood of Christ' (1 Peter 1:19)" ([Pope] John Paul II, "Homily in Yankee Stadium", 2 October 1979).

24-31. The dialogue between the rich man and Abraham is a dramatization aimed at helping people remember the message of the parable: strictly speaking, there is no room in Hell for feelings of compassion toward one's neighbor: in Hell hatred presides. "When Abraham said to the rich man `between us and you a great chasm has been fixed...' he showed that after death and resurrection there will be no scope for any kind of penance. The impious will not repent and enter the Kingdom, nor will the just sin and go down into Hell. This is the unbridgeable abyss" (Aphraates, "Demonstratio", 20; "De Sustentatione Egenorum", 12). This helps us to understand what St. John Chrysostom says: "I ask you and I beseech you and, falling at your feet, I beg you: as long as we enjoy the brief respite of life, let us repent, let us be converted, let us become better, so that we will not have to lament uselessly like that rich man when we die and tears can do us no good. For even if you have a father or a son or a friend or anyone else who have influence with God, no one will be able to set you free, for your own deeds condemn you" ("Hom. on 1 Cor.").
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

A List of Those Disciplined by the Holy See

In light of the recent censure of Fr. Roger Haight, some sent me a link to this list.
The list is located at the National Catholic Reporter...Caution is urged...
The List

Editor's note: Following is a list of Catholic theologians and others disciplined by the Vatican during the papacy of John Paul II. Though not an exhaustive list, it is a substantial representation of the range of people subject to papal discipline during the past 26 years. The list was compiled by Tara Harris, assistant to the editor.
See who these people are.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Catholic News Service Provides a Followup Article...

...of the recent National Catholic Reporter hit piece on "conservative Catholics" undermining "Faithful Citizenship".

Karl Keating, in his most recent "E-Letter", commented on "Faithful Citizenship":
There were two chief problems with "Faithful Citizenship."
First, at 8,000 words it was verbose. If you want people to take action, give them a guide, not a treatise.
Second, "Faithful Citizenship" was not structured as a voter's guide anyway.

A voter's guide helps voters narrow down their choices. Some guides name names and recommend particular candidates. The "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics" didn't do that. Instead, it gave the Church's official teaching on five key moral issues and left it to readers to apply those teachings in the voting booth.

"Faithful Citizenship" was not designed to help voters eliminate unacceptable candidates. It did not indicate what to do if a candidate was wrong on one issue (such as abortion) and right on another issue (such as housing, assuming there is a "right" position for Catholics on such an issue). It did not make clear whether some issues were to be given more weight than other issues.

Instead of being a true voter's guide, "Faithful Citizenship" was a backgrounder, useful for small-group discussions but not for deciding how to cast a ballot.
Not only these, but the fact that this document comes from an administrative committee, and not the body of Bishops, is something which must be acknowledged as well.

Getting back to the CNS article, we now find that William A. Dinges, a professor of religious studies at The Catholic University of America, in his recent address at a national gathering of about 100 diocesan social action leaders stated that the U.S. Catholic community reached a new peak in the 2004 election season and that a
"more ominous" element of the election-year divisions was the "vitriolic and escalating" rhetoric and "uncivil behavior, characterized by confrontation, harassment and attempts at intimidation."
I'm not certain where these cases of harassment and intimidation occurred but I do not recall any stories of these "ominous" elements engaging in any such behavior, although I will admit it that such things could have happened. That being said, however, I believe that "vitriolic rhetoric" was used, to a large extent, by those who did their utmost to blur the distinctions of intrinsically evil acts with those issues for which legitimate disagreements of positions can occur. There were a number of email groups which were especially hostile to anyone who tried to 'dialogue' with them.

Mr. Dinges goes on to state:
"We have a 'blue faith,' if you will, and a 'red faith' as much as a community of faith. In significant ways our church remains a house divided against itself as interest groups, ideological factions and in some cases individual Catholics compete to control the narrative of the Second Vatican Council, to act as a de facto magisterium (teaching authority), to fill or exploit leadership voids and to define Catholicism on their own terms or in terms of single-issue politics."
Once again, while his statement(s) are partially correct (it appears that he sees things upside down or from an inverted perspective), he again points his finger at the wrong group of people. Those who are faithful (which I assume to be those of the "red faith") to the teachings of the Church are not the cause of the dissension within the Church.

The Second Vatican Council has been misinterpreted, it seems to me, not by those of the "red faith" but by those of the "blue faith", generally speaking. And to be blunt, the Magisterium "controls the narrative of the Second Vatican Council", despite attempts by those who seek to undermine or subvert its teachings. I have yet to hear of a faithful, orthodox group trying to "nuance" the documents of the Second Vatican Council to promote or teach things which are not in the documents or contrary to the perennial teachings of the Church.

He said his talk focused on Catholic groups of the right because it was from there, not the center or the left, that the social action leaders experienced opposition and contentious challenge during the election campaign.
Perhaps some people "from the right" questioned the social action leaders' fidelity to the Church?

Perhaps the time was ripe for Catholics to exercise the graces and gifts they received at Baptism and Confirmation to fight heterodoxy?

Perhaps this demand by the faithful for the fullness of the truth was, after so many years of apathy or fear, unexpected by the social action leaders.

Perhaps, concerned and faithful Catholics are becoming tired of the ambiguity and fluff from those who have engaged in 'teaching' their interpretations rather than what the Church teaches?
Dinges said the polarization among Catholics "mirrors polarization in our country at large, along with the general climate of rancor and incivility, coarseness, recrimination and name-calling" found in much political and social debate.
Again, I suspect that any instances of "name-calling" or such by any faithful Catholic group was extremely rare, and more than likely non-existent. However, one only need look at other groups (the "blues") to see the incivility, name-calling, and other acts of verbal violence...many examples could be cited, which is more than that which Mr. Dinges or CNS provides.

It seems to me that Catholic News Service, once again, does all of us a disservice by publishing this article.

Holy Thursday-Washing of Feet (Redux)

There is a document, to which many refer in justifying the washing of women's feet on Holy Thursday, titled Holy Thursday Mandatum . This document was authorized by the Chairman of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy of the NCCB/USCC, which is now known as the USCCB.

The document itself was printed in the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy (BCL) Newsletter in February 1987. The document was not authorized or voted on by the body of Bishops nor was it approved by the Holy See. As such, I understand that the BCL response has no legislative force.

One of the current authoritative documents of the Church states unambiguously that those whose feet are to be washed by the priest on Holy Thursday shall be twelve chosen men. This 1988 document from the Holy See, refutes the BCL document from the previous year, and states::
The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came "not to be served, but to serve." This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained. [Paschales Solemnitatis No. 51], (emphasis added).
Another authoritative source is the Sacramentary, the book that provides the instructions for the liturgy. The Sacramentary clearly states that the ritual is optional:
“Depending on pastoral circumstances, the washing of feet follows the homily… The general intercessions follow the washing of feet, or, if this does not take place, they follow the homily” (emphasis added).
These instructions allow no substitutions of the rite, such as the washing of hands. The only options are 1) to have it or 2) not to have it.

The Sacramentary continues by specifically requiring "men" to represent the Apostles during the ritual:
The men who have been chosen are led by the ministers to chairs prepared in a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers, he pours water over each one’s feet and dries them. (emphasis added)
Notice as well that it is a priest who performs the washing of the feet - no deacon, no lay person.

While the following is not an authoritative source as the quotes from the preceding sources, Fr. Edward McNamara of the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum answered this question in a March 23, 2004 Zenit column, as follows, using the authoritative documents from the Holy See:
Question 2: I have learned today about the washing of the feet ceremony at Mass in my parish on Holy Thursday. To take the place of the twelve apostles, we are to have six gentlemen and six ladies. I would welcome your comments about this innovation. — M.R., Melbourne, Australia

Answer 2: The rubrics for Holy Thursday clearly state that the priest washes the feet of men ([Latin], viri) in order to recall Christ's action toward his apostles. Any modification of this rite would require permission from the Holy See. (my emphasis)

It is certainly true that in Christ there is neither male nor female and that all disciples are equal before the Lord. But this reality need not be expressed in every rite, especially one that is so tied up to the concrete historical circumstances of the Last Supper. (Source).
One should particulary note the phrases above which state:
"This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained" and "in order to recall Christ's action toward his apostles".

There is also the added question and answer, which notes that deacons or the lay faithful DO NOT perform the foot washing rite in the place of the priest.
Questions 3: Each year I find it increasingly difficult to perform the washing of parishioners' feet at the celebration of the Lord's Supper because of stiffness in my knee joints which make it almost impossible to get back up on my feet when moving from one parishioner to the next. Is it permissible to delegate this function to an older server? — C.D., Archdiocese of New York

Answer 3: The rite of the washing of feet is not obligatory and may be legitimately omitted. However, this is usually not pastorally advisable.

While the rite may not be delegated to a non-priest, a concelebrant may substitute the main celebrant for a good reason.

The rubrics describing this rite are limited to the essentials (selected men sit in a suitable place) and so allow for practical adaptations to the realities of place, time and circumstances.

Thus, taking the example of our Holy Father, as he has grown older, and less able to bend over, the seats of those whose feet he washed were first elevated so that he could continue to perform the rite. But in the last year or so he has been substituted by a cardinal.

Thus, if possible, the seats used by those whose feet are to be washed should be elevated, so that an elderly priest need not stoop too much.

If this solution is not feasible, I do not think it is contrary to the overall sense of the rite to find other practical solutions resulting in a similar effect, provided the rite be carried out with decorum.
It is not extraordinarily difficult to understand why many have been disregarding the rubrics of this special rite on Holy Thursday for a number of years. Perhaps, some are unaware - perhaps, some assume to no better than the Church?

There have been instances of deacons washing feet, lay people washing others feet, priests having their feet washed by the laity, and people washing each others hands. Some have witnessed and been forced to endure, after the foot washing rite, men and women giving personal testimonies of their "service" to the community. The last time I was at Mass when this occurred, no mention was made of the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Orders or of the Sacrament of the Eucharist or Holy Communion. Thus, an important and essential aspect of the Holy Thursday liturgy is diminished if not entirely lost.

During these deviations from the norms, it is rare to hear that one of the reasons for Pope Pius XII's renewal of this rite was to bring to mind the idea of service. Even when it is mentioned, what seems to be lost is that the washing of feet during the Holy Thursday celebration of the Last Supper is a reminder primarily to the priest that he acts in the person of Christ and must serve God’s people in humility. We are to learn from the priest that humility is essential for for us in order to be of service to others - for without humility, we cannot truly serve others.

Something I did not know previously was this:
At their June 1996 meeting, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) proposed a change to emphasize that all are called to serve one another in love. “Those whose feet are washed should be chosen to represent various people who constitute the parish or community: the young and old, men and women.” The proposal would allow women and children to be among those whose feet would be washed. It would not allow the washing of hands, or some other substituted ritual. While approved by more than two-thirds of the U.S. Bishops, this norm requires the confirmation of the Holy See in Rome before becoming law for the United States of America.

This action by the NCCB is a recognition that changes can not take place without the approval of the Holy See. Until then, the current ritual remains the binding norm, and any changes express a violation of SC 22. (Catholics United for the Faith, Faith Facts)
Because of the failure to follow the liturgical guidelines and diminishing the sign value of this special rite, I now attend Holy Thursday Mass, not at my parish, but at another parish, where the priest celebrates Holy Mass in a sacred and reverent manner without any liturgical 'innovations'. What a blessing this is!!!

Maybe this year, depending on the schedule, I may attend one of the Latin Masses for Holy Thursday or attend Mass at the Cathedral...

A Temporary Reprieve for Terri Schiavo

CLEARWATER, Florida, February 23, 2005 ( – A state judge extended the stay of brain-disabled Terri Schiavo today, giving her until five pm Friday to consider new arguments presented by the Schindler’s attorney. They contend that further testing be conducted before her feeding tube is removed, and that her husband be dismissed as her legal guardian.

St. Stanislaus Board Cuts Ties to Archdiocese?

In a letter to parishioners, the chairman of the six-member lay board of St. Stanislaus Kostka church said its relationship with the archdiocese “is finished,” and that the board had voted to “seek interim religious guidance...from an order of priests or an individual priest outside the authority of the Archbishop of St. Louis” for the Easter season.
Surely the board knows that a priest coming into the Archdiocese must have faculties granted to him by the Archbishop.
In a separate statement, the board said Wednesday it would not appeal to the Vatican the penalty imposed on them by Burke that denies them access to the Roman Catholic sacraments, saying the board members “pray that a Man of God steps forward and rights this wrong.”
The board seems unable to recognize that a man of God, in the person of Archbishop Burke, is there for them, and he is trying to help them to understand and to recognize that the situation can be reconciled, if they merely follow the structures that all parishes must follow.

Of course, for many, this will involve a conversion of heart - as St John the Baptist tells us, "decreasing so that He may increase". This can be difficult, especially in our culture where the "spirit of freedom" and "primacy of conscious" is constantly invoked, yet many times, is not properly understood.

What is so troubling, is that it appears that many of the parishioners seem to be of the same mind as the Board, ready to reject the Church over a simple matter of conformity to the laws of the Church.

It cannot be stressed enough that prayers are needed for the Board members and the like-minded parishioners. Prayers are also needed for those parishioners who have been exiled, so to speak, because of their humility and willingness to follow the directives of Archbishop Burke.

Surely, the faithful parishioners have also helped ro contribute to the upkeep of the parish and such, yet because they have chosen to be faithful to the Church, they must suffer more because of the actions of the disobedient. These parishioners, perhaps more than the others, should be embraced with love and compassion as their parish has been taken from them, by a group which does not seem willing to embrace the Cross, and hear the words of our Saviour.

Article is here.

*** Updated
Does this mean that the 11:00 am Candlelight Vigil at the Cathedral scheduled for March 6 will be cancelled? Inquiring minds, you know...