Saturday, May 07, 2005

Mothers and Motherhood - A Reflection on Family Life

If the father is the head of the family, the mother is its heart. I do not know of a better way of showing the true worth and position of the mother of a family than by likening her to its heart.

Strength must be tempered with gentleness, or there is danger of rule by force. The strength of man is required for the protection and up­building of the family. The gentleness of woman is just as necessary to restrain that strength and sustain it. For strength needs maintenance as well as restraint. The mother's sacrifices and devotion reanimate the father when his strength wanes from exhaustion, and restrain him when it wouM lead him to excessive measures. Children who are blessed with a firm father and a gentle mother have something for which to thank God all the days of their lives.

In considering the father, it seems that he means more to the family than does the mother. But in considering the mother, it seems that she is the more essential. The truth is, both have their necessary place and dignity, and in general it can­not be said which makes more for the well-being of the children. Where father and mother are what they ought to be, their mutual influence on the children is ideal, and though different in kind, usually equal in degree.

A good father means everything to a family if the mother is not the right kind. And a good mother has often made the children forget that they have a bad father. It almost seems that whenever the father is delinquent, the mother rises to noble heights of devotion and service, and if the mother fails, the father assumes added duties nobly.

Neither father nor mother, however, can fall short of his or her duty without a decided detri­ment to the children in one way or another. Chil­dren without a good father lose something which no mother can make up for. And children without a good mother will go through life deprived of something which the best of fathers cannot supply. Neither father nor mother, therefore, can afford to leave to the other the part which God has intended specifically for him or her.

I do not need to say anything about the worth and dignity of a mother. The man or child who needs to be told that nothing on earth approaches so near to the divine as does a mother's love, knows not what a mother is, and cannot be made to know. The man or child who does not know the sublime influence of a mother's love has not felt the most inspiring sentiment that one human being can arouse in another.

Instead of glorifying the mother, I wish to say a few words to her which may help her to become what every mother desires to be - the best human influence in the lives and hearts of the children whom God has given her. It is hard for me to restrain myself from eulogizing instead of advis­ing the mother.

Taking for granted, therefore, that mothers are the loftiest expression of the goodness of God in this world of ours, let me say that they should do nothing to lessen the wonderful influence for good which they can exert. A mother should remember her function in the family - she is its heart.

What a world of meaning that one word sug­gests! It is the heart that suffers and sometimes breaks. It is the heart that rejoices and over­flows with joy. Suffering and sympathy make the mother so cherished, so inspiring, so loved. Suf­fering and sympathy also bring to the mother her greatest joy. For her heart is so good that she delights to suffer for the well-being of others. Her kind, gentle nature it is that cheers the chil­dren and their father, and helps them over the rough places on the journey of life.

But if the mother has her cares and sufferings, she also has her joys. Indeed, it may be said that no human joy is comparable to that expe­rienced by a good mother. Every joy of the chil­dren and their father is hers twofold. If her mother's love causes her to suffer with her family, it also enables her to rejoice with them, and no human joy is so free from alloy as a mother's.

Besides she realizes that in proportion as she lives for her family, they live for her. The good mother is the queen of the household. She reigns supreme over the hearts of her subjects. More than that, she is the inspiration of the father of the family. Under the gentle influence of a good mother, the father of a family finds it easy to toil and to face the trials of life. Oh, that every mother might realize her dignity and power, for she holds the key to the souls of her children and it is she who opens their little hearts and places in them the seeds of future character.

Motherhood exercises the most intimate and powerful influence known among men. Some of the greatest Saints were the children of saintly mothers. St. Augustine was the fruit of St. Monica's example and prayers and tears. St. Louis of France found in his mother Blanche a holy model. Her words, spoken to him in his youth, "I had rather see you dead at my feet than guilty of mortal sin," were engraved on his heart and influenced him throughout his entire life. The great St. Bernard was the child of a mother so holy that virtue, inculcated by her example, be­came almost second nature. Bad mothers have also left their impress on their children. The mother of Nero was a murderess. What he was the whole world knows to its disgrace. The mother of Voltaire was notably immoral. The son surpassed the mother in vice. Rightly, then, may we say, "The mother in her office holds the key of the soul, and stamps the coin of character on her child." What a wonderful responsibility that puts upon the mother! As the potter fashions the clay, so does the mother mould the child by her precepts, but still more by her example. Her responsibility gives to the mother her lofty place in life and justifies the poet when he exclaims, "Then crown her queen of the world."

The first school a child attends is the one pre­sided over by its mother. On those early lessons begun in the cradle and continued in the home, the career of after life mainly depends. Youth is like wax for receiving impressions and like steel for retaining them. If in the tender years of childhood the mother has placed the proper impress on her children, they will be the better for it all their lives. But if, as sometimes happens, a bad im­pression has been made in the classroom of child­hood, the misfortune of it for mother and for child will indeed become evident as time goes on.

As the children grow up the solicitous care of the good mother follows them in the home and outside. You may fancy that all this is a burden on the mother. As well say that a miner who safeguards the gold he has dug from the earth is burdened by its care. As the miner looks ahead and sees in vision the comfort and luxury which his wealth will procure, and in that prospect finds peace and joy in spite of his labor, so does the good mother rejoice in the care of her children, forseeing that her affectionate care will make both them and herself happier and better in the years to come.

The good mother is like a gardener who cul­tivates delicate plants. The gardener must prepare the soil and keep it moist and remove every harmful growth. But the joy he experiences as the plants rise from the ground and develop into beautiful flowers, more than repays him for his labor. The pleasure of beholding the result of his painstaking care is so great that frequently he cultivates a garden not for what it produces but for the pleasure of producing. When the plants are human souls, when the tender growth is one's own child, what must be the joy of the gar­dener! And as the devoted mother watches her flowers unfold, beholds their love responding to her own, what joy on earth compares with hers! "Then crown her queen of the world," for queen she is. The world is what mothers make it.

Napoleon, on being asked what France needed most, as it lay prostrate after prolonged war, re­plied, "Mothers I" Mothers of the right sort, he wanted, mothers who would rear children to pro­mote the glory of France. Napoleon knew of what he spoke. He had seen men under all con­ditions, and with his genius for realizing situations he perceived that the greatest need of his fallen country was not wealth, but mothers.

The mother it is who by her gentle care trans­forms the "young animal," the being with its pos­sibilities of selfishness and cruelty, into a Chris­tian man. She thus cooperates with God not only in the creation of her child but also in the forma­tion of a cultured man and child of God. Rightly conceived, what a dignity is motherhood! These days, alas, some mothers fail to appreciate their lofty station. Instead of living for the substan­tial joys of motherhood they spend their energies on trifles. Like children, they desire nothing but sweets, failing to realize that nature calls for substantial diet and not merely attractive desserts. Desserts are very good in their place, but they must not take precedence of substantial food.

Some mothers neglect the home for outside. Relaxation and amusement are necessary for mothers, but not at the expense of their motherly duties. Nature has so ordered that a good mother finds her greatest relaxation and entertainment in the home. No amount of outside distraction will compensate for what she loses by spending her­self on external amusements and persons. I do not mean at all to belittle social duties and proper amusements. These are not only desirable but necessary. But they are not paramount. Some mothers seem to make visiting and shopping and display their main purpose of living. And all the while they are losing the God-given joys of the home and, moreover, their children are grow­ing up without due supervision and the father of the family is often secondary to outsiders. I know that I may be considered extreme in speaking thus, but if you knew of all the broken homes caused by frivolous mothers you would desire me to be even more vigorous in exposing this malady, which is more pronounced now perhaps than ever be­fore. Because of licentious magazines and in­decent theatres and a worldly code of morals a premium is now put upon the very things which formerly were in disrepute. All this has resulted in wrong standards of motherhood among many women.

Some frivolous mothers measure their happi­ness by the amount of money they can spend and by the capacity of the father of the family to furnish them with dress and outside amuse­ment. Such mothers wonder why it is that after a time they are like dried up cisterns. They have sold their inheritance for a mess of pottage. The supreme joys of the home have been bartered for outside distraction, which brings in the end noth­ing but emptiness. Not that a mother should not have recreation, I repeat, but a good mother usually finds that her chief pleasure is the home.

Please do not understand me to mean that a mother should be tied down to the home. But there are some mothers who are almost strangers to the home. They are uneasy unless they have a date for this and that, and they count that day lost which has not been spent in paying or re­ceiving a visit.

They are surprised at length when they realize that the home has no attraction for them. But it is they who have made it unattractive. If the mother runs about, the children will run loose also. The father on returning from a hard day's work will find a cold reception. The mother has spent herself on outsiders, and she has nothing left for the children and their father.

Soon she has nothing left for herself. The affection and esteem of her family have been lost. As the children grow up, they seek their amuse­ment outside, away from the home made unat­tractive by a selfish mother. Then, too late, she realizes that she has made a mistake. Her home is not a home. Her children find their pleasure anywhere, except at the fireside, their father seeks his pleasure elsewhere, and the home has gone forever.

How very, very many homes have been made desolate by such procedure! The woman is amazed when she hears about the devotion of other families to their mothers. She wonders why her children and their father do not mean for her all that other families mean for other mothers. Oh, if I could only make mothers realize how much their happiness and that of their families depends upon devotion to the home!

Nature has fitted all things for their appointed purposes. And nature has so constituted a mother that her greatest peace and happiness is found in motherly duty. There need be no fear that she will become a piece of furniture in the home. If she does her part, she will find that her children and their father are more solicitous for her wel­fare and enjoyment than for their own.

In a thousand ways, all that is done for them will come back to the mother. How to make their mother happy will be their first thought. They will find ways and means of giving her more pleasure in the home and outside than she would ever get by being always on the lookout for her own amusement and distraction.

Never in the history of the world has there been such a craze for selfish enjoyment as of late. People seek amusement here and distraction there, thinking only of themselves. With what result? In this era of selfishness there is more dissatisfaction, disappointment, distress and disorder than ever before.

The worst way to satisfy self is to seek self. Selfishness is the worst possible investment a per­son can make. We are images of God. God's happiness is to make others happy. The closer we approach to His way, the happier we shall be. The very essence of goodness lies in im­parting itself to others. The best and happiest people in the world are they who find their pleasure in doing something for others. It is the one pleasure that has no unpleasant reaction.

I remember on one occasion meeting a long­shoreman on the docks of Manhattan and saying to him: "My dear man, you have a hard and long day of it."

"Very true, Father," he replied, "but when I think of my children and their mother, and that my wages give them the comforts they need, the day does not seem hard or long."

That was wisdom in a nutshell. That man did not find life a burden. That man was happy in making others happy. God bless him, and the many like him!

After all, what do we get out of life that is worth while! Dress, food, travel, society, enter­tainment? When you sum it all up, what does it give you that really contributes to a contented mind? A good friend is more than all the style and amusement of life. And if a friend is one of the greatest blessings of life, what must chil­dren and their father be to a mother!

We like to please our friend. A mother likes to please her children and their father. Who does not know the great joy that comes from giv­ing a friend a substantial and desirable present? A good mother gives to her children and their father the best present of all - herself. And this is a pleasure she enjoys, not only occasionally, but daily. Mrs. Gadabout often wonders how Mrs. So-and-so can stand her quiet and confined life. And all the while Mrs. So-and-so, a good mother, is thanking God for her paradise on earth.

Oh, the joys of a mother who is a good mother! Oh, the happiness of the mother who spends her­self on her children and their father! Drudgery, Mrs. Gadabout calls it, but a little bit of heaven the good mother considers it. Is there any joy in the world like working for those you love? And no human love is, or should be, greater than that of a mother towards her children and their father. The mother who does not find her greatest joy in living for her family is hardly a mother at all.

Of course I know as well as you, Mrs. Gada­bout, that a woman should not be tied down to the routine of domestic duty. There are social duties as well as domestic. The mother who fails in her social duties is unfair to herself and her family. For certain circles the social duties are imperative. But the good mother will know how to discharge them, not as a detriment to the home, but as a benefit to it.

I have known social butterflies, mothers of families, who did not see their children more than once a week! Of course that was among people of wealth, where maids and governesses were sup­posed to look after the children. But maid or governess is not a mother, and it may be too late when the mother realizes it.

In the ordinary walks of life, Mrs. Gadabout has no maids or governesses, but, nevertheless, she sacrifices the home, the children, and their father to her craze for novelty and amusement. Such a mother must pay an awful tax for her pleasure. When she can least afford it that tax will be levied, for the time will come when she no longer cares to gad about. She will wake up to the emptiness of it all and then turn to seek her comfort in her home, only to find that she has none. Meanwhile the children and their father have lost the best human influence. in their lives.

But the good mother! As the years steal on, the affection of the children and their father grows stronger and stronger. Their only thought is for her. She who found her joy in sacrificing her­self for others now finds that it has all come back to her manyfold. Idolized by her family, she reigns queen of the home. Her heaven, it seems, has begun before she says farewell to earth.

And that is another thing which the good mother has always in view, that this life is not heaven, but only the way to it. She expects a way of the cross, and that very expectancy makes it less hard to walk in the path of aflliction when it stretches before her, as sooner or later it does for all.

She teaches her children and their father by her example to live in this world, but not for it. She is careful that family prayers are said, that Mass is duly attended, and the Sacraments frequently received. She inculcates piety by word and deed.

Although solicitous for the worldly success of her children, she gives them to understand that it must never be attained at the cost of virtue. She teaches truthfulness, purity and consideration by her own high ideals. She knows that if she is to have the love and respect of her children she must show love and respect to their father.

While insisting on the necessity of the virtues of religion, she does not overlook the social vir­tues. She realizes that the religion of her chil­dren will lose nothing before God, but will gain before men if it be adorned by the outward graces and refinements which constitute good manners and are held in esteem by good society.

To live for the eye of God, but not to over­look the eye of man, that is her lesson to her little ones. She knows that often a very virtuous person may be put down as vicious because of vul­garity. Vulgarity is not sin. But as people see only the exterior, a virtuous person should avoid vulgarity as a disease. The good mother will inculcate this in the minds of her children.

How often have you traced a non-Catholic's condemnation of our Religion to the fact that a Catholic maid, butler or workman was careless or lacking in the social virtues? A good Catholic would die rather than offend God by sin. Yet often enough people without religion, sinning seriously and continually, appear more virtuous than some Cathohics simply on account of the social virtues.

Mothers of families should be the first to see the importance of the niceties and conventionalities of good society. Children brought up in the right Catholic way will have manners superior to all that the rules of society alone can give. Keep God's commandments and do not neglect the polite laws of human intercourse. That should be the aim in every family, and it will be accomplished mainly by the influence of a good mother.

A mother who has good children possesses more than money or anything else can give. You know the story of the Roman matron who, when asked by a frivolous gad-about of that era, to display her jewels, called her two sons, and embracing them, said: "Behoid my jewels!"

On a certain occasion a mother was complaining to me of her poverty. I told her I thought she was quite well off. In surprise, she declared that she could not understand my remark. I answered nothing in reply, but changed the topic of conversation. A few minutes later I returned to the matter indirectly.

"I know a gentleman who is very wealthy, and he has taken a decided fancy to your little John. He told me he would like to adopt him and he will give you fifty thousand dollars as a present if you will consent. You have seven children, and you will not miss Johnnie. What do you say?"

Of course I knew what she would say, but I was not prepared for the vigorous denunciation of the gentleman and myself which followed. It concluded by her announcing that not for fifty thousand nor for fifty million would she give up Johnnie. Smiling, I said: "Did I not tell you that you were rich ?" She, too, smiled and went away happy - and rich.

Every good mother is possessed of more wealth than she realizes. Money does not procure happiness - good motherhood does. Even though a good mother has privations to meet and disap­pointments and even ingratitude, she nevertheless has a wealth of joy in her solicitude for her loved ones.

Ingratitude is the hardest stroke she may have to bear. God may at times permit a good mother to suffer this extreme pang. But it is because He loves her as she loves her children, and He knows that affliction will make her dearer to Him. Christ and His mother knew the sting of ingrati­tude. They bore it in order to sanctify its endurance for those who accept it patiently for God's sake.

The good mother will turn even ingratitude into a source of peace and joy, realizing that by it she can draw closer to God, and also obtain His help and grace for her ungrateful ones. For the good mother loves even the ingrates of her household.

How like unto God she thus becomes, for He loves us even when we turn away from Him or positively offend Him. The Good Shepherd sought especially the sheep that strayed, and the good mother somehow seems to love with especial tenderness her strayed sheep. God made her so.

Mothers, you have a wonderful mission in the world. Not until you see God face to face will you realize what it meant to be a good mother.

From "You and Yours, Practical Talks on Family Life"
by Fr. Martin J Scott, S.J.

Archdiocesan Annual Catholic Appeal

This is just a reminder that the ACA runs through this weekend. Some have increased their contributions, in part because of the strong, faithful, and spiritual leadership of Archbishop Burke.

There have been some reports of negativity, however, it must be remembered that this negativity reflects badly, not only on the Archdiocese and Archbishop Burke, but on our priests and our parishes.

We are called to a faithful and generous stewardship and to show our unity with others who rely on our sharing of our gifts with them. Please do all you can and remind others to participate in this very important campaign.

More information is available here.

Gospel for Saturday, 6th Week of Easter

From: John 16:23b-28

Fullness of Joy (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [23b] Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, He will give it to you in My name. [24] Hitherto you have asked nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

[25] "I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to in figures but tell you plainly of the Father. [26] In that day you will ask in My name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; [27] for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from the Father. [28] I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father."

25-30. As can be seen also from other passages in the Gospels, Jesus spent time explaining His doctrine in more detail to His Apostles than to the crowd (cf. Mark 4:10-12 and paragraph)--to train them for their mission of preaching the Gospel to the whole world (cf. Matthew 28:18-20). However, our Lord also used metaphors or parables when imparting instruction to the Apostles, and He does so in this discourse of the Last Supper--the vine, the woman giving birth, etc.: He stimulates their curiosity and they, because they do not understand, ask Him questions (cf. verses 17-18). Jesus now tells them that the time is coming when He will speak to them in a completely clear way so that they will know exactly what He means. This He will do after the Resurrection (cf. Acts 1:3). But even now, since He knows their thoughts, He is making it ever plainer to them that He is God, for only
God can know what is happening inside someone (cf. 2:25). Verse 28, "I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father" summarizes the mystery of Christ's Person (cf. John 1:14; 20:31).
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, May 06, 2005

Fr Thomas Reese "forced" to resign...due to Vatican pressure?

So says National unCatholic Reporter...
Jesuit Fr. Thomas J. Reese, editor for the past seven years of America magazine, a premier publication of Catholic thought and opinion, has resigned at the request of his order following years of pressure for his ouster from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The resignation caps five years of tensions and exchanges among the congregation, which was headed at the time by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, the Jesuits and Reese, according to sources close to the magazine who asked not to be identified.

A release from the magazine May 6, which did not mention the forced ouster, announced that the new editor is Jesuit Fr. Drew Christiansen, who has served as associate editor.

13 Catholic Colleges & Universities Defy Bishops' Ban on Honors for Public Dissidents

MANASSAS, VA (May 5, 2005) – At least 13 Catholic colleges and universities—which this spring have invited 14 commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients who are public opponents of fundamental Catholic teachings—are at odds with the U.S. bishops who forbade such honors and platforms in a statement last June.

“We are blowing the whistle on any Catholic college or university that blatantly disrespects the bishops by defying their clear command and teaching,” said Patrick J. Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), a national organization dedicated to the renewal of Catholic identity at America’s 219 Catholic colleges and universities. “After decades of scandal at secularizing colleges, last June the bishops drew a line in the sand. No college that crosses that line deserves the label ‘Catholic’ or the support of the faithful—most especially monetary support.”

Use of Latin makes some uncomfortable

A recent "Dear Father" question is answered by Father Thomas G. Keller who is a part-time associate at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica Parish, archdiocesan master of ceremonies and associate director of the archdiocesan Office of Worship.

Occasionally, he teaches classes at the Paul VI Center. If you have the opportunity to enroll in a continuing education class which he teaches, don't pass it by. You can learn a great deal from him - which is probably why he is one of the outstanding priests who provide answers to the weekly questions in the St. Louis Review.
Dear Father:
I recently completed the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and have noticed that occasionally my parish sings the various Mass parts (Holy Holy, Lamb of God, etc.) in Latin. Since I did not grow up Catholic I feel left out. Why do they do that?
The reply:
I did not grow up with the Latin liturgy either and have a couple of Latin teachers from the seminary who would testify that I am probably left out also during the singing the Sanctus (Holy) and Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). But I have always tried to improve my comprehension of Latin.

The purpose of liturgy is to be an instrument of participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, therefore the use of our own language facilitates this goal. However, as the recently televised liturgies from Rome demonstrate, the Catholic Church is multinational and Latin is our common language. If you viewed Pope John Paul II’s funeral or the following conclave liturgies on TV, you would have heard Italian, English, Spanish, Polish and other languages. But Latin was used most often.

Possibly anticipating the use of media to broadcast the liturgy or seeing the increasing frequency of international travel, the bishops of the Second Vatican Council in their "Constitution on Sacred Liturgy" offered this reflection in paragraph 54: "Nevertheless, steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them."

We are a Church of many cultures, traditions and languages, but we all draw on the common heritage of the Church of Rome and the contribution of the Latin language. If your parish uses Latin occasionally or even regularly, I encourage it to help you and others born since the advent of vernacular liturgy feel more comfortable with it through the use of worship aids or even occasional practice. Just as the presence of other cultures and their languages enhance our worship, so does our common language Latin.

May 7 - St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr

From: The Liturgical Year-Dom Prosper Gueranger O.S.B

The eleventh century, the century of contest between priests of the Church and Barbarism, gives today another martyr to our Risen Jesus. It is Stanislaus, beloved by noble Poland as one of her chief protectors. He was slain at the altar by a Christian prince whom he had reproved for his crimes. The blood of the courageous Pontiff was mingled with that of our Redeemer in the same sacrifice. What an invincible energy there is in these lambs whom Jesus has sent amidst the wolves. (St. Matthew 10:16) They seem to be straightway changed into lions as Jesus himself was at his Resurrection. There is not a century that has not had its martyrs; some for the faith, others for the unity of the Church, others for her liberty, others for justice, others for charity, and others, like our great Saint of today, for the maintenance of morals.

The nineteenth century too, has had its martyrs; scarcely a year elapses without our hearing of some who have added to the bright list in the far East. At the commencement of the eighteenth century there was little probability of it’s providing such an abundant harvest of martyrdom as it did. Of one thing we are quite sure: whatever persecutions may arise in the future, the Spirit of fortitude will not be wanting to the champions of truth. Martyrdom is one of the Church’s characteristics and it has never failed her. The Apostles who are very close to Jesus during these days preceding his Ascension drank the chalice which he drank; and only yesterday we were honouring the martyrdom of the favourite disciple-yes, even he had to tread the path prepared for all.

Holy Church tells us, in the account we now subjoin, how the saintly bishop of Cracow was offered the glorious chalice, and how courageously he accepted it.

Stanislaus was born at Cracow in Poland. His parents, who were of a noble family, after being thirty years without children, obtained him from God by prayer. He gave promise, even from his infancy, of future sanctity. Whilst young, he applied hard to study, and made great progress in Canon Law and Theology. After the death of his parents, he wished to embrace the monastic life, and therefore distributed his large fortune among the poor. But divine Providence willing otherwise, he was made a Canon and preacher of the Cathedral of Cracow, by Bishop Lampert, whose successor he afterwards became. In the duties thus imposed on him, he shone in every pastoral virtue, especially that of charity to the poor.

Boleslaus was then king of Poland. The Saint incurred his grave displeasure for having publicly reprimanded his notorious immorality. Wherefore in a solemn meeting of the grandees of his kingdom, the king summoned him to appear in judgment, to answer to the accusation of having appropriated to himself some land purchased in the name of his Cathedral. The witnesses were afraid to speak the truth and the bishop was unable to produce the deeds for sale, but he promised to bring before the court within three days the seller of the land, Peter by name, who had died three years previously. His proposition excited laughter, but was accepted. For three days did the man of God apply himself to fasting and prayer; and, on the day appointed, after offering up the sacrifice of the Mass, he commanded Peter to rise from his grave, who, there and then, returned to life, and followed the bishop to the king’s tribunal. There, to the bewilderment of the king and the audience, he gave his testimony regarding the sale of the land, and the price duly paid him by the bishop. This done, he again slept in the Lord.

After several times admonishing Boleslaus, but all to no purpose, Stanislaus separated him from communion with the faithful. Maddened with anger, the king sent soldiers into the church, that they might put the holy bishop to death. They thrice endeavored to do so, but were each time repelled by the hidden power of God. The impious king himself then went: and finding the priest of God offering the unspotted victim at the Altar, he beheaded him with his own hand. The corpse was then cut into pieces and thrown into a field; but it was miraculously defended from wild beasts by eagles. During the night, the Canons of Cracow, aided by a heavenly light, collected the scattered members, and having placed them in their natural position, they found that they were immediately joined to each other, so that not a single mark of a wound was traceable. God manifested the sanctity of his servant by many other miracles, which occurred after his death, and which induced Pope Innocent the Fourth to proceed to his canonization.

Thou wast powerful in word and work O Stanislaus! And our Lord rewarded thee with a martyr’s crown. From thy throne of glory, cast a look of pity upon us; obtain for us from God that gift of fortitude which was so prominent in thee, and which we so much need in order to surmount the obstacles which impede our progress. Our Risen Lord must have no cowards among His soldiers. He took by assault the kingdom into which he is about to enter; and he tells us plainly that if we would follow him thither, we must prepare to use violence. (St. Matthew 11:12) Brave soldier of the living God, obtain for us brave hearts. We need them for our combat - whether that be one of open violence for the faith or unity of the Church, or one which to be fought with the invisible enemies of our salvation. Thou wast indeed a good shepherd, for the presence of the world neither made thee flee nor fear; ask our heavenly Father to send us shepherds like thee. Succour every part of the world. Convert her persecutors, as thou didst convert Boleslaus; he was thy murderer, but thy martyrdom won mercy for him. Remember thy dear Poland, which honors thee with such fervent devotion. Be with her now that she has regained her rank among nations. During the severe trials which her sins drew down upon her, she maintained the sacred link of Catholic Faith and unity; she was patient and faithful; our Risen Jesus has had pity on her, and rewarded her patience and fidelity by granting her a share in his own Resurrection.

What a parallel there is here today - The Board of Directors of St Stanislaus Kostka Parish as King Boleslaus, and Archbishop Burke and the Faithful Polish Parishioners being persecuted and vilified by the Board and others over a piece of land as was St Stanislaus...

May is Mary's Month

Archbishop Burke offers his reflections on the Blessed Virgin Mary during this special time of the year.

Diocese employee says judge in abortion case should be denied communtion

WEST PALM BEACH — An employee of the Diocese of Palm Beach said Thursday that Palm Beach County Juvenile Court Judge Ronald Alvarez, a Catholic, should be denied communion for allowing a 13-year-old foster child to have an abortion.

Don Kazimir, who works for the diocese's Respect Life Office, which opposes abortion and the death penalty, called Alvarez's office Wednesday to ask which church the judge attends. Kazimir said he wanted to speak with Alvarez's priest, who he said might have a problem with a Catholic judge agreeing to an abortion.

My Friend, Benedict XVI | An Interview with Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ

Father Joseph Fessio’s answers to a series of questions posed about Pope Benedict XVI. They were answered on April 21, 2005, before he got on an airplane to fly to Rome for the formal installation of Pope Benedict XVI.

An Instruction on Miracles

And these signs shall follow them that believe.(Mark 16:17)

What is a miracle?

A miracle, as defined by St. Thomas Aquinas, is any­thing beyond the ordinary, fixed state of things that is done through God. Thus when the sun stands still in his course, when thousands are fed with five loaves and two small fishes, when by a word or simple touch the dead are raised to life, the blind see, and the deaf hear, these are things contrary to nature, and are miracles which can only be performed by God or those persons to whom God has given the power.

That God can work miracles, cannot be denied. God has made the laws of nature, and at any time it pleases Him, He can suddenly suspend them, and that God has at times done so, we have more solid and undeniable proofs, than we have for the most renowned and best authenticated facts of history, far more witnesses testify to miracles, the whole world has believed them, and been converted by them; more than eleven millions of martyrs have died to confirm and maintain their truth; no one gives up his life for lies and deceptions; the Jews and pagans have admitted them, but ascribed them to witchcraft and the power of demons rather than to God; by this they proved and acknowledged the truth of miracles, because in order to deny them, they were driven to false and absurd explanation of them.

Can men work miracles?

No; only God works miracles through man to whom He gives the power. The history of the Christian Church in all ages bears testimony, that men have wrought miracles in the name of Jesus, as, for example, the apostles and the saints.

Can miracles be worked by the relics of saints, pictures, etc.?

The Church, in the Council of Trent, solemnly declares, that we are never to believe that there is in any picture or relic any hidden power by which a miracle can, be worked, and that we are not to honor or ask any such thing of them. Therefore no miracle can ever be worked by them, but God can perform miracles through them, and He has done so, as the holy Scriptures and the history of the Church of Christ both prove. But when through certain pictures (usually called miraculous pictures) miracles do take place, that no deception may occur, the Church commands that such a picture shall not be exposed for the veneration of the faithful, until the truth of the miracles performed is by a rigorous examination established beyond doubt; she then causes such pictures to be respectfully preserved as monu­ments of the goodness and omnipotence of God.

Why are there not so many miracles in our ties as there were in the first days of the Church?

Because the Church is no longer in need of such extra­ordinary testimony to the truth of her teachings. Thus St. Augustine writes: "He who in the face of the conversion of the world to Christianity demands miracles, and strives to doubt those which have been wrought in favor of this most wonderful change, is himself an astonishing miracle of irrationality and stupidity;" and St. Chrysostom says: "The question is sometimes asked: How happens it there are not so many miracles now‑a‑days? The answer is, because the knowledge of Christ is propagated all over the earth, and the Church is like a tree which, having once taken deep root and grown to a certain height, no longer needs to be carefully watered and supported."
From "The Church's Year" by Fr. Leonard Goffine

Gospel for Friday, 6th Week of Easter

From: John 16:20-23

Fullness of Joy (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [20] "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. [21] When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come; but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world. [22] So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. [23] In that day you will ask nothing of Me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, He will give it to you in My name."

21-22. This image of the woman giving birth (frequently used in the Old Testament to express intense pain) is also often used, particularly by the prophets, to mean the birth of the new messianic people (cf. Isaiah 21:3; 26:17; 66:7; Jeremiah 30:6; Hosea 13:13; Micah 4:9-10). The words of Jesus reported here seem to be the fulfillment of those prophecies. The birth of the messianic people--the Church of Christ--involves intense pain, not only for Jesus but also, to some degree, for the Apostles. But this pain, like birthpains, will be made up for by the joy of the final coming of the Kingdom of Christ: "I am convinced," says St. Paul, "that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us" (Romans 8:18).

23-24. See the note on John 14:12-14.

[Note on John 14:12-14 states:
12-14. Jesus Christ is our intercessor in Heaven; therefore, He promises us that everything we ask for in His name, He will do. Asking in His name (cf. 15:7, 16; 16:23-24) means appealing to the power of the risen Christ, believing that He is all-powerful and merciful because He is true God; and it also means asking for what is conducive to our salvation, for Jesus is our Savior. Thus, by "whatever you ask" we must understand what is for the good of the asker. When our Lord does not give what we ask for, the reason is that it would not make for our salvation. In this way we can see that He is our Savior both when He refuses us what we ask and when He grants it.]
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, May 05, 2005

Prayers Answered: Outreach Center Will Continue

The prayers of the people of Immaculate Conception/St. Henry have been answered, and the people have received a partial yes.

The church's outreach center, which includes its food pantry, will continue, even though the church will close at the end of June.

About 60 families get the food they need to survive at the pantry each month. The outreach center is at 3135 Lafayette Avenue, between Grand Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue. The church is across the street at 3120 Lafayette Avenue.

Catholic school system is failing to deal with sprawl

This can been seen of the public school system throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area as well, especially here in St Charles County. It seems that new subdivisions cannot be built fast enough. Once beautiful, peaceful farms have become a network of new roads, with fields from which have sprung acres and acres of houses instead of corn and soybeans. And with this 'progress' have come the pains experienced by local educators.

As an aside, we are witnessing about 300 or so new homes being built on the other side of the road from our house. The traffic will become progressively worse. The 'country' atmosphere, to which we moved some 20+ years ago, is disappearing before our very eyes. Instead of cattle, horses, and hayfields, we now see cars, trucks, and homes...And this goes on for's absolutely unbelievable! I still have not figured out from where all these people came...or even better, how anyone can afford it...Anyway, I digress.
Schools in St. Louis need help, according to the superintendent . As schools close in the inner city and inner suburbs, and new schools are sought in western St. Charles County, the St. Louis region has yet to come to grips with the issue of urban sprawl, educators say.

George Henry, superintendent of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, has watched the issue affect not only public schools but also the 164 Catholic schools in 11 counties in the region.

Mary Broome's Letter to the Editor

Mary Broome runs the St. Louis Chapter of the Blue Army and was instrumental in getting the local Marian Catechists group established here in St Louis with Archbishop Burke...Her letter to the Post:
Regarding the pope

Speaking as a lifelong Catholic, I feel compelled to respond to the calumnious opinions of Maureen Dowd and J.M. Haas in the April 26 Post-Dispatch.

Anyone who sincerely listened to Pope John Paul II for 26 years, or to the few public comments of Pope Benedict XVI in the past two weeks, would have heard the transmission of the gospel of Jesus Christ in humble and conciliatory terms. They also would have understood the tremendous responsibility the popes have to protect and defend the faith handed down to them.

It is understandable that many will not embrace the teachings of the Catholic church. Jesus said, “Do you think I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” The Catholic church’s teachings do not conform to the spirit of the world; hence they will always be difficult to accept.

The attraction of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI for multitudes of Catholics, non-Catholics and especially the young is their unambiguous response to difficult issues. This is an example of courage and strength in a world of contradictions.

As a Catholic woman, I am profoundly grateful to God for blessing my church and the world with such a pious, humble genius. My hope is that those who feel as I do will pray constantly for our shepherd, as he has requested, so that he will be strengthened in the battle with the wolves both visible and invisible.

Mary Broome
St. Louis

Survey Finds 45% of Catholic Hospitals in US Dispensing Abortion Drugs

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2005 ( - A study funded by the radically pro-abortion organizations, the John Merck foundation and Catholics for a Free Choice, surveyed staff at all 597 Catholic hospitals in the United States and found that only 55% of them refused to dispense the abortifacient morning after pill.
As repulsive as this news is, it could actually be worse. The percentage could be as high as the number of colleges and universities which claim to be Catholic and which are not even close.

Sooner or later, bishops are going to have to act with courage to clean up this mess which has resulted from many decades of neglect and derelection of duty.

Archbishop Flynn: No Communion for sash-wearers

In a stunning reversal from last year:
Archbishop Harry Flynn has told gay-rights supporters they will not be allowed to receive Holy Communion while wearing rainbow-colored sashes because the practice has come to be perceived as a protest against Catholic teaching and is unacceptable to the Vatican.
It's also unacceptable to faithful Catholics and should be seen as a grave scandal...
"I am asking you to remove your sashes before you receive Holy Communion," Flynn wrote to Brian McNeill of Minneapolis, the Rainbow Sash Alliance organizer. McNeill made the letter public today. "I ask you to observe this sign of respect for the Eucharist not only in the Cathedral but in all our parishes. No one wearing the sash will be permitted to receive the Blessed Sacrament."
What utter nonsense...a request to remove one's sash before receiving Holy Communion...
Flynn said previously that members of the local group "assured us, in writing, that their attendance at the annual Pentecost Mass … is not in protest of the Church's teachings."
Perhaps, by some sort of mental gymnastics, one might conclude that wearing the sash might not have been the intention of the sash-wearer. However, how, exactly, is it possible to conclude that wearing the sash means anything other than a rejection of the teachings of the Church? Inquiring minds would like to know....

Does the fact that Cardinal Ratzinger is now the Holy Father have any bearing on this latest development?

Will Cardinal Mahony be issuing a similar letter before May 15?

Article here.

Oh, I forgot the link to the letter of Archbichop Flynn...You can read it here.

Archbishop Chaput: The Crusades: The truth makes a difference

Anyone who reads George Orwell’s dark novel of the future, “1984,” will remember the following lines:
“He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.”

Memory is a powerful thing. It helps form who we are, how we think and what we do. By influencing our choices here and now, memory encourages a certain shape to the future — and discourages others. That’s why every new ideology and generation of social engineers seeks to rewrite the past. Whoever controls the memory of a culture also has power over its future.

That’s why today’s European Constitution makes no mention of the continent’s profoundly Christian past. By writing Christian faith out of Europe’s history, secularists hope to wipe it out of Europe’s future....

Why Ratzinger Is the Right Pope: The Market Explains

The laws of economics applied to the election of Benedict XVI. An analysis by Luigi Zingales, and a counter-analysis by Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.
by Sandro Magister

Article here

Urgent Appeal from the Friday Fax

Dear Colleague,

UN radicals met for a two week meeting in March and the pro-life and pro-family coalition was there. Radicals attempted ONCE MORE to make abortion a universally recognized human right. Once more they attempted to export the UN's extremist abortion policy to the rest of the world by using a UN document.

Like I said, we were there. Partway through the first week, we receive intelligence that the radical groups intended to issue a document in support of their pro-abortion position and that it would be signed by 300 groups. This document would have put immediate pressure on poor countries to support the radical abortion position.

Here is what we did.

We sent a message to the Friday Fax list, a list that now numbers 60,000 readers from all over the world. We sent an emergency message to this massive list and asked ORGANIZATIONS to send a note of support for the pro-life language in the document under debate.

Here is what happened.

Within two hours 400 groups had sent a message. Within eight hours this number had grown to 800. Within 24 hours this number had grown to 2000 groups from all over the world who wrote notes in support of our pro-life position.

And this is what we did then.

On the morning of March 8th, the US Ambassador to the UN held a briefing for non-governmental organizations attending the UN meeting. The US Mission to the UN was packed with friends, and also with enemies, those who want to force abortion on the developing world.

At a key moment in the briefing, I rose and presented the names of these 2000 groups to the US Ambassador to the United Nations. It was a stack of paper almost a foot high! There was thunderous applause from our friends and hisses and boos from our opponents. And this was precisely the encouragement the US needed at that moment to continue the pro-life fight.

In the end, we won that UN debate and a large part of the credit goes to those good folks on the Friday Fax list who answerer that emergency call that day in March.

Friends, the Friday Fax is a cornerstone of our ongoing UN pro-life fight. And now it is time for you to help the Friday Fax.

We need your sacrificial financial gift to keep the Friday Fax going. It costs around $100,000 per year to produce the Friday Fax. This money does not come from rich foundations like the ones that give billions of dollars to our enemies. This money does not come from governments that give billions of dollars to the enemies of life and family. THIS MONEY ONLY EVER COMES FROM YOU!

Friend, please go to and give as much as you possibly can in support of the Friday Fax.

We can continue winning the UN pro-life fight but we cannot do it without your immediate help. Please go to and give as much as you possibly can.

I will be back to you each week for the next six weeks to give you plenty of reasons to open up your wallet and your heart to our work.

Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse
Editor in Chief
Friday Fax

PS You will be pleased to know that after we presented our 2000 names to the US Ambassador, our opponents chickened out and never even presented their puny 300! We can win friends. Help us do that.

Ascension Thursday

Why did Christ say to His apostles: "Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to all creatures"?

To show that no one is to assume the office of preach­ing, but must look for his mission from the lawful pastors of the Church. And when Christ sends His apostles into the whole worlds to all nations without exception, He shows His willingness to save all men. If the designs of God are not fulfilled, the blame is not to be attributed to God, but to man, who either does not accept the doctrine of the gospel, or accepting, does not live in accordance with it, or else renders himself by his obduracy in vice, unworthy of the gospel.

Is faith without good works sufficient for salvation?

No, faith that is not active in love, not fruitful in good works, and therefore not meritorious, (Gal. V. 6.) is not suf­ficient for salvation. "Such faith," says St. Anselm, "is not the faith of a Christian, but the faith of the devil." Only he who truly believes in Christ and His doctrine, and lives in accordance with it, will be saved.

Is ours then the true faith since all the faithful do not work miracles; as Christ has predicted?

St. Gregory very beautifully replies to this question: "Because the Redeemer said that true faith would be ac­companied by miracles, you must not think that you have not the faith, because these signs do not follow; these miracles had to be wrought in the beginning of the Church, because faith in her had to be increased by these visible signs of divine power." And even now when such signs are necessary for the propagation of the faith, and victory over unbelief, God gives His faithful power to work them.

Are miracles wrought now in the Catholic Church?

Yes, for there have been at all times saints in the Church, who, as seen from their lives, have wrought miracles, on account of their faith, which even the heretics cannot deny; for instance St. Francis Xavier, who in the sight of the heathens, raised several dead persons to life. In a spiritual manner all pious Catholics still work such miracles; for, as St. Chrysostom says, "they expel devils when they banish sin, which is worse than the devil; they speak new tongues when they converse no longer on vain and sinful things, but on those which are spiritual and heavenly." "They take up serpents," says St. Gregory, "when by zealous exhortations they lift others from the shame of vice, without being themselves poisoned; they drink deadly things without being hurt by them, when they hear improper conversation without being corrupted or led to evil; they lay their hands upon the sick and heal them, when they teach the ignorant, strengthen by their good example those who are wavering in virtue, keep the sinner from evil, and similar things." Strive to do this upon all occasions, O Christian, for God willingly gives you His grace and you will thus be of more use to yourself and others, and honor God more than by working the greatest miracles.

Where and how did Christ ascend into heaven?

From Mount Olivet where His sufferings began, by which we learn, that where our crosses and afflictions begin which we endure with patience and resignation, there begins our reward. Christ ascended into heaven by His own power, because He is God, and now in His glorified humanity He sits at the right hand of His Father, as our continual Mediator.

In whose presence did Christ ascend into heaven?

In the presence of His apostles, and many of His dis­ciples, whom He had previously blessed, (Luke XXIV. 51.) and who, as St. Leo says, derived consoling joy from His ascension. Rejoice, also, O Christian foul, for Christ has today opened heaven for you, and you may enter it, if you believe in Christ, and live in accordance with that faith. St. Augustine says: "Let us ascend in spirit with Christ, that when His day comes, we may follow with our body.

Yet you must know, beloved brethren, that not pride, nor avarice, nor impurity, nor any other vice ascends with Christ; for with the teacher of humility pride ascends not, nor with the author of goodness, malice, nor with the Son of the Virgin, impurity. Let us then ascend with Him by trampling upon our vices and evil inclinations, thus build­ing a ladder by which we can ascend; for we make a ladder of our sins to heaven when we tread them down in combating them.

From "The Church's Year" by Fr. Leonard Goffine

Pope's car in eBay bidding war

BIDDING for Pope Benedict XVI's old Volkswagen, on offer on eBay Germany, topped 100,000 euro ($166,000) today, 10 times the price the current owner paid for it.

Cardinal Rigali on the Gift of a New Pope

ROME, MAY 4, 2005 ( Cardinal Justin Rigali sees the new Pope's commitment to promoting the dignity of people as a key response to terrorism.

The archbishop of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was among those participating in the events of Benedict XVI's first week as Pontiff. Here is an excerpt of an interview he gave April 25, the day after the inauguration of the new pontificate.

The Unity of the Church

By unity is meant that the members of the true Church must be united in the belief of the same doctrines of revelation, and in the acknowledgment of the authority of the same pastors. Heresy and schism are opposed to Christian unity. By heresy, a man rejects one or more articles of the Christian faith. By schism, he spurns the authority of his spiritual superiors. That our Saviour requires this unity of faith and government in His members, is evident from various passages of Holy Scripture.

In His admirable prayer immediately before His pas­sion, He says: "I pray for them also who through their word shall believe in Me; that they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me," (John 17:20-21) because the unity of the Church is the most luminous evidence of the divine mission of Christ. Jesus prayed that His followers may be united in the bond of a common faith, as He and His Father are united in essence, and cer­tainly the prayer of Jesus is always heard.

St. Paul ranks schism and heresy with the crimes of murder and idolatry, and he declares that the authors of sects shall not possess the kingdom of God (Gal 5:20-21). In this epistle to the Ephesians, he insists upon unity of faith in the following emphatic lan­guage: "Be careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; one body and one Spirit, as you are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us al1" (Eph 4:3-6). As you all, he says, worship one God, and not many Gods; as you acknowledge the same divine Medi­ator of redemption, and not many mediators; as you are sanctified by the same divine Spirit, and not by many spirits; as you all hope for the same heaven, and not different heavens, so must you all profess the same faith.

Unity of government is not less essential to the Church of Christ than unity of doctrine. Our divine Saviour never speaks of His Churches, but of His Church. He does not say: "Upon this rock I will build my Churches," but, " Upon this rock I will build my Church," (Matt 16:18) from which words we must conclude, that it never was His intention to establish or to sanction various conflicting denominations, but one corporate body, with all the members united under one visible Head; for as the Church is a visi­ble body, it must have a visible head.

The Church is called a kingdom: "He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His king­dom there shall be no end" (Luke 1:32,33) Now in every well-regulated kingdom there is but one king, one form of government, one uniform body of laws, which all are obliged to observe. In like manner, in Christ's spiritual kingdom, there must be one Chief to whom all owe spiritual allegiance; one form of ecclesiastical government; one uniform body of laws which all Christians are bound to observe; for, "every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate" (Matt 12:25).

Our Saviour calls His Church a sheepfold. "And there shall be made one fold and one shepherd" (John 10:16). What more beautiful or fitting illustration of unity can we have than that which is suggested by a sheepfold? All the sheep of a flock cling together. If they are momentarily separated, they are im­patient till reunited. They follow in the same path. They feed on the same pastures. They obey the same shepherd, and fly from the voice of strangers. So did our Lord intend that all the sheep of His fold should be nourished by the same sacraments and the same bread of life; that they should follow the same rule of faith as their guide to heaven; that they should listen to the voice of one Chief Pastor, and that they should carefully shun false teachers.

His Church is compared to a human body. "As in one body we have many members, but all the members have not the same office; so we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one mem­bers one of the other"(Rom 12:4-5). In one body there are many members, all inseparably connected with the head. The head commands and the foot instantly moves, the hand is raised and the lips open. Even so our Lord ordained that His Church, composed of many members, should be all united to one supreme visible Head, whom they are bound to obey.

The Church is compared to a vine, all whose branches, though spreading far and wide, are neces­sarily connected with the main stem, and from its sap they are nourished. In like manner, our Saviour will have all the saplings of His Vineyard connected with the main stem, and all draw their nourishment from the parent stock.

The Church, in fine, is called in Scripture by the beautiful title of bride or spouse of Christ, (Apoc 21:9) and the Christian law admits only of one wife.

In fact, our common sense alone, apart from revela­tion, is sufficient to convince us that God could not be the author of various opposing systems of religion. God is essentially one. He is Truth itself. How could the God of truth affirm, for instance, to one body of Christians that there are three Persons in God, and to another that there is only one Person in God? How could He say to one individual that Jesus Christ is God, and to another that He is only man. How can He tell me that the punishments of the wicked are eternal, and tell another that they are not eternal? One of these contradictory statements must be false. "God is not the God of dissension, but of peace" (1 Cor 14:33).

I see perfect harmony in the laws which govern the physical world that we inhabit. I see a mar­vellous unity in our planetary system. Each planet moves in its own sphere, and all are controlled by the central Sun.

Why should there not be also harmony and con­cord in that spiritual world, the Church of God, the grandest conception of His omnipotence, and the most bounteous manifestation of His goodness and love for mankind!

Hence, it is clear that Jesus Christ intended that His Church should have one common doctrine which all Christians are bound to believe, and one uniform government to which all should be loyally attached.

With all due respect for my dissenting brethren, truth compels me to say that this unity of doctrine and government is not to be found in the Protestant sects, taken collectively or separately. That the various Protestant denominations differ from one another not only in minor details, but in most essen­tial principles of faith, is evident to everyone con­versant with the doctrines of the different Creeds. The multiplicity of sects in this country, with their mutual recriminations, is the scandal of Christianity, and the greatest obstacle to the conversion of the heathen. Not only does sect differ from sect, but each particular denomination is divided into two or more independent or conflicting branches.

In the State of North Carolina, we have several Baptist denominations, each having its own dis­tinctive appellation. There is also the Methodist Church North and the Methodist Church South. There was the Old and the New School Presbyterian Church. And even in the Episcopal Communion, which is [was] the most conservative body outside the Catholic Church, there is the ritualistic, or high church, and the low church. If you question closely the individual members composing any one fraction of these denominations, you will, more often than not, find them giving a contradictory view of their tenets of religion.

Protestants differ from one another not only in doctrine, but in the form of ecclesiastical govern­ment and discipline. The church of England ac­knowledges the reigning Sovereign as its Spiritual Head. Some denominations recognize Deacons, Priests, and Bishops as an essential part of their hierarchy; while the great majority of Protestants reject such titles altogether.

Where, then, shall we find this essential unity of faith and government? I answer, confidently, no­where save in the Catholic Church.

The number of Catholics in the world [circa 1895] is computed at two hundred and twenty-five million. They have all "one Lord, one faith, one baptism," one creed. They receive the same sacraments, they worship at the same altar, and pay spiritual allegiance to one common Head. Should a Catholic be so unfortu­nate as contumaciously to deny a single article of faith, or withdraw from the communion of his legiti­mate pastors, he ceases to be a member of the Church, and is cut off like a withered branch. The Church had rather sever her right hand than allow any member to corrode her vitals. It was thus she excom­municated Henry VIII because he persisted in violating the sacred law of marriage, although she foresaw that the lustful monarch would involve a nation in his spiritual ruin. She anathematized, more recently, Dr. Dollinger*, though the prestige of his name threatened to engender a schism in Germany. She says to her children: "You may espouse any political party you choose; with this I have no concern." But as soon as they trench on matters of faith, she cries out: "Hitherto thou shalt come, and shalt go no farther; and here thou shalt break thy swelling waves" (Job 33:11) of discord. The tem­ple of faith is the asylum of peace, concord, and unity.

How sublime and consoling is the thought, that no matter where a Catholic goes over the broad world, whether he enters his Church in Pekin or in Mel­bourne, in London, or Dublin, or Paris, or Rome, or New York, or San Francisco, he is sure to hear the self-same doctrine preached, to assist at the same sac­rifice, and to partake of the same sacraments. [comment: Were this only the case today...]

This is not all. Her Creed is now identical with what it was in past ages. The same Gospel of peace that Jesus Christ preached on the Mount; the same doctrine that St. Peter preached at Antioch and Rome; St. Paul at Ephesus; St. John Chrysostom at Constantinople; St. Augustine in Hippo; St. Ambrose in Milan; St. Remigius in France; St. Boniface in Germany; St. Athanasius in Alexandria; the same doctrine that St. Patrick introduced into Ireland; that St. Augustine brought into England, and St. Pelagius into Scotland, is ever preached in the Catholic Church throughout the globe, from January till December - "Jesus Christ yesterday, and to-day, and the same forever." (Heb 13:8)

The same admirable unity that exists in matters of faith, is also established in the government of the Church. All the members of the vast body of Cath­olic Christians are as intimately united to one visible Chief as the members of the human body are joined to the head. The faithful of each Parish are subject to their immediate Pastor. Each Pastor is subor­dinate to his Bishop, and each Bishop of Christen­dom acknowledges the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter, and Head of the Catholic Church.

But it may be asked, is not this unity of faith impaired by those doctrinal definitions which the Church has promulgated from time to time? We answer: No new dogma, unknown to the Apostles, not contained in the primitive Christian revelation, can be admitted. (John xiv. 26; xv. 15; xvi. 13.) For the Apostles received the whole deposit of God's word, according to the promise of our Lord: "When He shall come, the Spirit of truth, He shall teach yon all truth." And so the Church proposes the doctrines of faith, such as they came from the lips of Christ, and as the Holy Spirit taught them to the Apostles at the birth of the Christian law - doctrines which know neither variation nor decay.

Hence, whenever it has been defined that any point of doctrine pertained to the Catholic faith, it was always understood that this was equivalent to the declaration that the doctrine in question had been revealed to the Apostles, and had come down to us from them, either by Scripture or Tradition. And as the acts of all the Councils, and the history of every definition of faith evidently show, it was never contended that a new revelation had been made, but every inquiry was directed to this one point - whether the doctrine in question was contained in the Sacred Scriptures or in the Apostolic traditions.

A revealed truth frequently has a very extensive scope, and is directed against error under its many changing forms. Nor is it necessary that those who receive this revelation in the first instance, should be explicitly acquainted with its full import, or cogni­zant of all its bearings. Truth never changes; it is the same now, yesterday, and forever, in itself; but our relations towards truth may change, for that which is hidden from us today may become known to us tomorrow. "It often happens," says St. Augustine, "that when it becomes necessary to defend certain points of Catholic doctrine against the insidious attacks of heretics, they are more careful1y studied, they become more clearly under­stood, they are more earnestly inculcated; and so the very questions raised by heretics give occasion to a more thorough knowledge of the subject in question." (De Civitate Dei, Lib. 16,Cap. ii, No.1)

Let us illustrate this. In the Apostolic revelation and preaching, some truths might have been con­tained implicitly, e. g., in the doctrine that grace is necessary for every salutary work, it is implicitly asserted that the assistance of grace is required for the inception of every good and salutary work. This was denied by the semi-Pelagians, and their error was condemned by an explicit definition. And so in other matters, as the rising controversies or new errors gave occasion for it, there were more explicit declarations of what was formerly implicitly believed. In the doctrine of the supreme power of Peter, as the visible foundation of the Church, we have the implied assertion of many rights and duties which belong to the centre of unity. In the revela­tion of the supereminent dignity and purity of the Blessed Virgin, there is implied her exemption from original sin, etc., etc.

So, too, in the beginning, many truths might have been proposed somewhat obscurely or less clearly; they might have been less urgently insisted upon, because there was no heresy, no contrary teaching to render a more explicit declaration necessary. Now, a doctrine which is implicitly, less clearly, not so earnestly proposed, may be overlooked, misunder­stood, called in question; consequently, it may hap­pen tl1at some articles are now universally believed in the Church, in regard to which doubts and con­troversies existed in former ages, even within the bosom of the Church. "Those who err in belief do but serve to bring out more clearly the soundness of those who believe rightly. For there are many things which lay hidden in the Scriptures, and when heretics were cut off, they vexed the Church of God with disputes; then the hidden things were brought to light, and the will of God was made known." (St. Augustine on the 54th Psalm, No. 22.)

This kind of progress in faith we can and do admit; but the truth is not changed thereby. As Albertus Magnus says: "It would be more correct to style this the progress of the believer in the faith, than of the faith in the believer."

To show that this kind of progress is to be ad­mitted, only two things are to be proved: 1. That some divinely revealed truths should be contained in the Apostolic teaching implicitly, less clearly explained, less urgently pressed. And this can be denied only by those who hold that the Bible is the only rule of Faith, that it is clear in every part, and could be readily understood by all from the begin­ning. This point I shall consider farther on in this work. 2. That the Church can, in process of time, as occasions arise, declare, explain, urge. This is proved not only from the Scriptures and the Fathers, but even from the conduct of Protestants themselves, who often boast of the care and assiduity with which they "search the Scriptures," and study out their meaning, even now that so many Commentaries on the sacred Text have been published. And why? To obtain more light; to understand better what is revealed. It would appear from this that the only question which could arise on this point is, not abou the possibility of arriving by degrees at a clearer understanding of the true sense of revelation, as circumstances may call for successive developments, but about the authority of the Church to propose and to determine that sense. So that, after all, we are always brought back to the only real point of division and dispute between those who are not Catholics and ourselves, namely, to the authority of the Church, of which I shall have more to say here­after. I cannot conclude better than by quoting the words of St. Vincent of Lerins: "Let us take care that it be with us in matters of religion, which affect onr souls, as it is with material bodies, which, as time goes on, pass through successive phases of growth and development, and multiply their years, but yet remain always the same individual bodies as they were in the beginning. . . , It very properly follows from the nature of things that, with a perfect agreement and consistency between the beginnings and the final results, when we reap the harvest of dogmatic truth which has sprung from the seeds of doctrine sown in the spring-time of the Church's existence, we should find no substantial difference between the grain which was first planted and that which we now gather. For though the germs of the early faith have in some respects been evolved, in the course of time, and still receive nourishment and culture, yet nothing in them that is substantial can ever suffer change. The Church of Christ is a faithful and ever watchful guardian of the dogmas which have been committed to her charge. In this sacred deposit she changes nothing, she takes nothing from it, she adds nothing to it."
Adapted from "The Faith of Our Fathers"
By James Cardinal Gibbons

* Dr Johann Joseph Ignatius von Dollinger - A historian and theologian, born at Bamberg, Bavaria, 28 February, 1799; died at Munich, 10 January, 1890. Excommunicated by the Church.

Dollinger declared, concerning the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, “As a Christian, as a theologian, as a historian, as a citizen, I cannot accept this doctrine.”

His followers came to be called Old Catholics because they rejected the new doctrines of the Papal Church and appealed to the standard of faith and worship in the Undivided Christian Church.

More info on Dollinger

Gospel for Thursday, 6th Week of Easter

From: John 16:16-20

Fullness of Joy

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [16] "A little while, and you will see Me no more; again a little while, and you will see Me." [17] Some of His disciples said to one another, "What is this that He says to us, `A little while, and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, `because I go to the Father'?" [18] They said, "What does He mean by `a little while'? We do not know what He means." [19] Jesus knew they wanted to ask Him; so He said to them, "Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, `A little while and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me'? [20] Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy."

16-20. Earlier our Lord consoled the disciples by assuring them that He would send them the Holy Spirit after He went away (verse 7). Now He gives them further consolation: He is not leaving them permanently, He will come back to stay with them. However, the Apostles fail to grasp what He means, and they ask each other what they make of it. Our Lord does not give them a direct explanation, perhaps because they would not understand what He meant (as happened before: cf. Matthew 16:21-23 and paragraph). But He does emphasize that though they are sad now they will soon be rejoicing: after suffering tribulation they will be filled with a joy they will never lose (cf. John 17:13). This is a reference primarily to the Resurrection (cf. Luke 24:41), but also to their definitive encounter with Christ in Heaven.
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.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

'Catholics Supporting the Denial of 'Nutrition and Hydration' are not in Communion With the Church'

It is a rare person who has not heard of the recent cruel homicide of the Florida woman, Terri Schiavo. Everyone, it seemed, had a strong opinion on the subject. Yet, despite clear moral teachings on the evils of euthanasia, there are ‘Catholics’ who boast support for euthanasia and doctor-assisted suicide.
An excellent article by Barbara Kralis, supported by numerous documents (with links).

Once Moral Decay Begins, Stopping It Is Extremely Difficult

Bestiality on the Rise in Sexually Libertine Sweden

Here's a indication of the "thinking" of animal protection people:
Animal welfare agents are not concerned about the morality of the act, or that human beings would actually resort to this kind of behaviour, but rather are concerned that animals are being hurt and are perhaps suffering "psychological harm" in the process. "Even if it is difficult to assess an animal's degree of psychological suffering, it is likely that it experiences discomfort or is subjected to psychological suffering even in cases where there is no evidence of physical injury," said the report.
Is it time to kiss Sweden good-bye?

Missouri State Says no Adoption for Lesbian Women

KANSAS CITY, Mo, May 4, 2005 ( – Two lesbian Kansas City women, told they could not adopt children because of their homosexual lifestyle, are suing the state with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Lisa Johnston and Dawn Roginski were denied the right to adopt a child by Missouri Department of Social Services who acted according to state policy. The pair argue that they are eminently qualified – Johnston being an early childhood education specialist, while Roginski is a chaplain and youth counsellor.
An "early childhood education specialist" and a "chaplain and youth counsellor"? Isn't that something else about which to be concerned?


Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, who is President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, on Monday said, of adoption by homosexuals:
"They say that children adopted by two people of the same sex are very happy. A child may be for a couple of years but when the child reaches the age of reason, when he grows up and becomes a young adult, how tragic it will be for him to let his friends know that his 'parents' are two women or two men? This situation endangers the child's personality, balance, harmony."

Blogs sounding off on Catholicism, new pope

Knight-Ridder reports on Catholic Blogs. Father Jeffrey Keyes of St. Edward Church in Newark, Calif., whose blog, The New Gasparian, is quoted in the article as are some others.

Those listed in the article are:

A sampling of Catholic and pope-related blogs:

_ The New Gasparian:

A journal by Father Jeffrey Keyes of St. Edward Church in Newark,Calif., "dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our ongoing mission is to share good news of hope and communion."

_ Erik's Rants and Recipes:

By Oakland, Calif., freelance writer Erik Keilholtz on "food, art, music, bullfighting, politics, Catholic Theology."

_ Shrine of the Holy Whapping:

"`Catholic Nerds' at the University of Notre Dame share their thoughts on Catholic identity at the university, cultural reviews and other musings."

_ St. Blog's Parish:

List of Catholic blogs.

_ Open Book:

Blog by Catholic author Amy Welborn.


Pope Designates Cardinal to Stand in at Beatifications

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has designated a cardinal to stand in for him at a beatification ceremony later this month in a shift from his predecessor who declared more "blesseds" and saints than all his predecessors over the past 500 years combined.

[Cardinal Jose] Saraiva Martins told Vatican Radio on Wednesday that Benedict was merely reverting to the accepted practice at the Vatican that pre-dated John Paul, whereby the pope would designate a bishop and cardinal to preside over beatifications. The pope himself would celebrate canonizations.

Is Marymount Manhattan College Still Catholic?

New York church official says group wrong on college's Catholic label

NEW YORK (CNS) -- A report by the Cardinal Newman Society that Cardinal Edward M. Egan of New York has declared Marymount Manhattan College to be no longer Catholic is not correct, according to the cardinal's spokesman.

Joseph Zwilling said in a telephone interview May 1 that the cardinal had taken no action regarding the college.

National Directory for Catechesis is Now Available from USCCB

WASHINGTON (May 3, 2005) – The National Directory for Catechesis (NDC), reference point for the formation of catechists and the preparation of all catechetical materials in the United States, is now available from USCCB Publishing. Published simultaneously was a Summary of the National Directory for Catechesis, a resource developed by the Committee on Catechesis.

Respectful Silence at St Agatha's

Respectful atmosphere

Those annoyed by the social chatter at their parish churches might prefer the atmosphere at St. Agatha Catholic Church, 9th Street and Utah Avenue in St. Louis. Attendees observe respectful silence. Every Sunday at 8 a.m. the Latin Tridentine Mass is celebrated, followed by a Latin High Mass at 10 a.m.

In 1988 Pope John Paul II wrote the "Ecclesia Dei Adflicta" and instructed, "Respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued by the Apostolic See." The services at St. Agatha's are sanctioned by Archbishop Burke.

St. Agatha's is easily accessible from Interstate 44. Take I-55 south to Arsenal Street and turn left, then right at the first light. The church is several blocks south on 9th Street.

Suzanne Bolten
Why not attend Ascension Thursday Mass on Thursday (of all days) at St. Agatha Church at 7:00PM?

Pope's election is a wake-up call

A good letter to the editor in today's Post Dispatch:
To the Editor:

The election of Pope Benedict XVI should be a major wake-up call for the liberal faction that has infiltrated the Catholic Church.

In these days of "everything is OK attitude—whatever you do, do not hurt anyone's feelings," we get guidance from the Holy Spirit. He helps the cardinals elect a very conservative pope who will keep the sacred doctrines intact despite the immoral society that wants otherwise.

The news media are always asking if this pope would relax the hard-line stance of Pope John Paul II. What they do not understand is these "hard-line" doctrines cannot be changed (by a church that truly follows Jesus' will) even if the pope wants to. They are doctrines established 2,000 years ago by Jesus himself—men cannot change them.

Celibacy by the clergy is a custom, yes. Why does the church hold fast to this? Paul tells us in the Bible that "It is better if they not marry." So do we follow our desires or the Bible?

Abortion and euthanasia (Thou shalt not kill); marriage (which we now have to define in law), the doctrine on contraception (which was taught by all Christian churches until 1930), the ban on human cloning and only men clergy, etc., are doctrines set up by the Lord himself—they have been taught the same by the church for 2,000 years. The pope is not God—he is just a servant, here to promote the correct doctrine and keep them intact as Jesus commanded.

Paul Harvey said that the new pope wants to unite all Christians, and then he said that the new pope was known as a hard-line conservative of the old views.

I guess he thinks that agreeing with the liberal society, going along with the idea that sin and immoral ideas are OK will promote unity? Not! The devil would want us to think that that is true! Nothing could be farther from the truth.

True unity comes from following the Lord, following His will, not ours. If we follow His will and trust Him, He will take care of us.

It is a fact that people do not like to be told that what they are doing is wrong; they do not want to give up their "fun." I was caught up by this idea several times in my life. I am very happy that I have overcome my dependence on sin and I am able to make the Lord number one in my life—more important than anything and find true happiness. This is a happiness and peace that is just too hard to explain, but once you experience it, you will never go back.

No Jesus, no peace. Follow and know Jesus—know peace.

Gerald Macke

Nearly Four out of Five Catholic Politicians in Canada to Vote in Favor of Homosexual 'Marriage'

TORONTO, May 3, 2005 ( - An analysis by Catholic Insight magazine reveals that 72.4% of Catholic Members of Parliament in Canada have committed to voting in favour of homosexual 'marriage'. The magazine's report indicates that only 27.6% will vote in favour of traditional marriage.
Over 7 out of 10 have, for some reason, rejected their obligations to God, family and country. Of course, this may be similar to the legislators here in the US.

Brain-Injured Fireman's Recovery Takes Science Into a Murky Area

Another article as a followup to the post last night.

Archbishop Levada to be next CDF Prefect?

Former Portland Archbishop William Levada could become the next guardian of religious orthodoxy in the Vatican, charged with safeguarding church doctrine and morals.

"It's a quiet rumor that I have heard," current Portland Archbishop John G. Vlazny told The Oregonian.

Levada met privately with the pope Tuesday, according to news reports.

Gospel for Wednesday, 6th Week of Easter

From: John 16:12-15

The Action of the Holy Spirit (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [12] "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. [13] When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak of His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come. [14] He will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you. [15] All that the Father has is Mine; therefore I said that He will take what is Mine and declare it to you."

13. It is the Holy Spirit who makes fully understood the truth revealed by Christ. As Vatican II teaches, our Lord "completed and perfected Revelation and confirmed it...finally by sending the Spirit of truth" (Vatican II, "Dei Verbum", 4). Cf. note on John 14:25-26.

14-15. Jesus Christ here reveals some aspects of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. He teaches that the Three Divine Persons have the same nature when He says that everything that the Father has belongs to the Son, and everything the Son has belongs to the Father (cf. John 17:10) and that the Spirit also has what is common to the Father and the Son, that is, the divine essence. The activity specific to the Holy Spirit is that of glorifying Christ, reminding and clarifying for
the disciples everything the Master taught them (John 16:13). On being inspired by the Holy Spirit to recognize the Father through the Son, men render glory to Christ; and glorifying Christ is the same as giving glory to God (cf. John 17:1, 3-5, 10).
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.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A Request from the Dissenters of St Stanislaus Kostka

I received the following letter, a Request from the President of Concerned Parishioners of St Stanislaus, this evening (PDF format-image file). It has been transcribed here, I believe, correctly and accurately.

It is a letter which deserves much commentary, but that will have to wait due to the late hour. It has been suggested, however, that this is another step, in a series of steps being taken, for those to separate themselves from the Church despite the Archbishop's generous offers to reconcile and compromise. This letter demonstrates the obstinacy, evidently, of many who remain disobedient, enslaved by pride.

The letter:
St. Stanislaus Kostka
Polish Roman Catholic Church
Page 1 of 2 April 20, 2005

A Request:

This is a simple and humble request We, the parishioners of St. Stanislaus Kostka Polish Roman Catholic Church, are asking you, the clergy of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, to assist us in persuading the Archbishop to begin a true dialogue with our representatives or to answer publicly why we are continuing to be denied our faith in our parish. You are the "front line" apostles, dedicating your lives for our Lord and our religion.

For the past year the faithful of the St. Louis Archdiocese have read in the St Louis Review, Our Sunday Visitor, and their church bulletins and now nationally a myopic view of the conflict between the Archdiocese of St. Louis and St. Stanislaus Polish Roman Catholic Church. This information provided either by Archbishop Burke himself, designated delegates, or by Polish dissidents (who were moved from St. Stanislaus to St. John's) portray us as an evil empire. Our responses and position continues to be restricted in any official Catholic Church media.

We are being called renegades, our Board of Directors, following our direction, were interdicted, priests are threatened if they serve us in their religious basic calling, and Bishops are informed there is no need for priests in St. Louis and especially at St. Stanislaus. We have the celebration of mass denied, marriages, christenings and any other religious celebration that comes with the Roman Catholic faith from a Roman Catholic priest prohibited. Individuals who devoted their life to the Roman Catholic faith and our parish, whose roots in our Heritage ran deeper than most mortals have had to have their last mass at another parish, crushing the families and further shaking their faith. This withholding for the sake of the almighty dollar and ultimate solitary power under the guise of selected Canon Laws should be an insult to you and all religious leaders.

This letter is about the Roman Catholic religion and providing religious sacraments to all Roman Catholics that request it. We can provide the history of our parish and this conflict, but for brevity, we have placed our web site

On numerous occasions through our Board of Directors. individuals, a parishioner group and through attorneys have attempted to resolve this conflict and retain somewhat what our ancestors and Archbishop Kendrick achieved. Regardless of what offer was made, all compromises or offers were rejected.

The parishioners of St. Stanislaus Kostka also expressed their wishes in several open letters to Archbishop Burke. A letter was hand delivered to Archbishop Burke on March 20, 2005 asking him to provide a priest to have mass. This year has been proclaimed the "Year of the Eucharist", In the letter, we appealed to the Archbishop, to provide us Roman Catholic religious leadership and to open a true dialogue with us. One hundred and sixty (160) parishioners signed this letter. No response was provided.

St. Stanislaus Kostka
Polish Roman Catholic Church
Page 2 of 2 April 20, 2005

On April 1, 2005, another letter was sent stating that many of our parishioners are older people and requesting that the worldly differences be set aside and work together to resolve this embarrassing Roman Catholic conflict. Some parishioners are terrified of the idea that they may die tomorrow and no priest will be allowed to have a funeral mass in their parish." This has already happened on at least three occasions. No response was received.

On April 6, a letter signed by the Board of Directors was sent asking, "That our differences are set aside at this sad time and you find it in your heart to grant
a memorial mass for Pope John Paul II in a parish he visited." No response was received.

With the support of some prelates from Rome, we asked Archbishop Burke to begin a dialogue by accepting a mutually agreed mediator. No response was received.

We are being forced out of the Archdiocese of St. Louis not through any intention or agenda on our part. We are good, supportive Roman Catholics, but as any human, we cannot continue to tolerate the withholding of our faith under the conditions demanded.

We agree that we are structured differently than most Roman Catholic churches, but it is allowed in Canon law and what is wrong with our structure? We are certain that many of the parishes being closed wish they had a true voice in their parish and as the clergy, we are certain most of you rather be dealing with the religious aspects rather than mini­-CEOs. We have survived for 125 years, have been faithful to the archdiocese all this time, and have had no hidden intention other than being united in our worship and faith of Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

We realize what we are asking, but are certain there are many clergy who have a disdain for what is being done to us through a very narrow view of Canon Law. To those content in the archdiocese and believe withholding the sacraments from the faithful is an acceptable form of our religion discipline, think of your calling to God. Afterward, if you still feel this is a correct process, then, please do not distort the conflict from the pulpit or through your written words as some have done. Understand both sides before you speak.

Pope John Paul II gave a group of US bishops who were visiting Rome in 2004 for their "Ad Limina" a message: "The bishops must have the confidence of the people". We ask this of you.

Thank you for your time and please consider our request.
Mr. Ben Krauze
President of Concerned Parishioners
St Stanislaus Kostka
Polish Roman Catholic Church