Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Book Launching and a Protest

An email update I received:
This week we have two major items so my letter is a little long. Please see if you can address both issues. I would like you to take a look at our new book and I would also ask if you could protest against a “Queerfest” in Notre Dame.

First, our new book, Rejecting the Da Vinci Code, is now ready. Read about it by clicking here. It is certain to be part of the controversy surrounding the soon-to-be-released film based on Dan Brown’s book.

Here are just a few of the things you will find in this book:
• Why the Church is not guilty of “the greatest cover-up of History.”
• Having it both ways: claiming the book is both fact and fiction. Dan Brown’s questionable historians and sources.
• The code behind The Da Vinci Code: Gnosticism.
• The real story of Saint Mary Magdalene - much more beautiful than Dan Brown’s.
• Telling the difference between true Gospels and false Gnostic “gospels.”
• The “sacred feminine” and the feminist side of The Da Vinci Code story.
• And much, much more.
See why Fr. John Trigilio called this book “a brilliant succinct, objective and convincing refutation of the prolific errors found in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code.”

And so I urge you not to delay and to get your copy of this book today. It is only $8.95 and if you order on the web, postage is FREE. Click here to buy your book now.

The second item on the agenda is to ask you to protest right away.
For two consecutive years, the Catholic University of Notre Dame hosted a "Queer Film Festival" promoting sodomy to students.

At one session, pro-homosexual Sister Jeannine Gramick is reported to have told students: "I'm beginning to believe that the greatest sin for lesbian and gay people is to want to be straight." (, 02-14-05)

You see, next year's "Queer Film Festival" was already approved by Notre Dame's board of directors for some time in February. In a board meeting, they stated: "Such films should be shown and discussions on them should be held on a university campus."

That's why I am asking you to join me in a massive prayerful protest to stop this scandalous festival. You don't need to be a student to join this effort.
Click here now to send your urgent protest to Notre Dame president Fr. John Jenkins.

Finally, we also have a report on a small protest against Margaret Starbird promoted by friends and supporters in Kansas. Click here to read the story.

Until next time, I remain,

Yours in Jesus and Mary,
John Horvat

P.S. Remember there are two urgent items. First, click here to see our official web launching of the TFP book Rejecting The Da Vinci Code. Second please protest against the “Queer Film Festival” at Notre Dame by clicking here.

St Louis Marian Conference 2006 Announces Keynote Speaker

The Seventh Annual Saint Louis Marian Conference 2006 will be held at the


January 13, 14, 15 -- 2006


It is an honor and privilege to announce:

His Imperial and Royal Highness Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza.

It is not often that you hear of a truly Catholic prince who lives his Faith, prays the Rosary daily and defends the right to life. What makes this prince even more special is that he is a descendent of St. Louis and he will be coming to St. Louis!

Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza has graciously agreed to speak at our 2006 Marian Conference. He will deliver the keynote speech on the topic, “Our Lady of Fatima: The Reign of Mary.” You will not want to miss this talk!

Prince Bertrand is the Prince Imperial of Brazil and son of Prince Pedro Henrique of Orleans-Braganza (1909-1981) who until his death was the Head of the Imperial House of Brazil.

As a descendent of the Royal House of France, Prince Bertrand descends directly from Hugh Capet and St. Louis IX of France (1214-1270). He is 22nd in a line of unbroken male legitimacy from the holy Crusader King. He inherits from his mother, Princess Maria of Bavaria, the traditions of the Wittelsbach family, one of the oldest royal families of Europe and famous for its role in the arts, culture and history of Germany.

With kings, saints and heroes, empire builders and crusaders as his ancestors, Prince Bertrand received an education appropriate for the traditions he embodies.

Born in Mandelieu (France) in 1941, Prince Bertrand studied at the Jesuit high school in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and graduated as a lawyer in 1964 from the traditional Law School of the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil). From his earliest years Prince Bertrand received a polished Catholic formation. His final education was entrusted by his father to Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira, the great Catholic thinker, writer and man of action. Prince Bertrand is first in the line of succession to his older brother, Prince Louis of Orleans-Braganza, the current Head of the Imperial House of Brazil. He actively pursues his many activities in defense of our Christian tradition, the family and every man's right to private property and free enterprise. Faithful to the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church, he is outspoken in defense of the innocent unborn and is active in the pro-family and pro-life movement around the world.

Since his childhood he has always been attracted to the outdoors and enjoys hunting and horseback riding. Also a licensed pilot, he keeps up with aviation developments during his travels around the world. Prince Bertrand is Bailiff Grand-Cross of the Order of the Rose, Grand Cross of Peter I and of the other Imperial Orders of Brazil, and Bailiff Grand Cross of the Constantian Order of St. George of the House of Bourbon-Sicilies.

Jan 13-15, Seventh Annual St Louis Marian Conference

We invite and welcome you to the Seventh Annual St. Louis Marian Conference.

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke will open the conference on Friday 4:00PM January 13, 2006 with a special Mass. The Honorable Francis Slay, Mayor of St. Louis has been invited to officially receive and welcome Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza to the city of St. Louis and to the Marian Conference. Prince Bertrand is a direct descendant of St. Louis IX, King of France, the patron of St. Louis and namesake.

“Mary is a woman, who brings people together.” Our Lady brings us closer to her Son. We embrace Jesus in the Eucharist with a hunger and thirst for his Presence. Please join us in this grace-filled weekend. Come for a winter retreat, a reunion with family and friends. Our fine selection of speakers include the following:

Archbishop Raymond L. Burke;
Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza;
Father Eugene Morris;
Father Bill Casey;
Father Andre Mhanna;
Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J.;
Father Joseph Fessio, S.J.;
Father Charles Becker;
Father Don Calloway;
Father Pablo Straub.

The cost for the 3-day event is $35 ($40 aftter 12/28); ($40 at the door); ($40 for Saturday only); (group of 8 or more $25 prior to 12/28); Young adults $15; Children (5-11) $5. Registration for Priests, Deacons, Vowed Religious is no charge. Gift registrations are available.

The conference will be held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown St. Louis, MO located 20 minutes from Lambert International Airport. When making your reservations at the Adam’s Mark, please ask for the discounted rates for the Conference of $67 + tax (single or double occupancy) $77 + tax (triple or quad). Please make your reservations as soon as possible. 1-800-444-ADAM

To REGISTER and for further information please call
(314) 423-1075 or FAX (314) 423-9973

Saint Louis Marian Conference 2006
8015 Monroe Street
Saint Louis, MO 63114

Saint Louis the Gateway to Jesus Through Mary

The Marian Centre of St. Louis is a member of the Catholic Chamber of Commerce

Gospel for Saturday, 29th Week In Ordinary Time

From: Luke 13:1-9

The Need for Repentance

[1] There were some present at that very time who told him of the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. [2] And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered thus? [3] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. [4] 0r those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? [5] I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."

Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

[6] And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. [7] And he said to the vinedresser, 'Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?' [8] And he answered him, 'Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. [9] And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"


1-5. Our Lord used current events in his teaching. The Galileans referred to here may be the same as mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (5:37). The episode was fairly typical of the times Jesus lived in, with Pilate sternly suppressing any sign of civil unrest. We do not know anything about the accident at Siloam other than what the Gospel tells us.

The fact that these people died in this way does not mean that they were worse than others, for God does not always punish sinners in this life (cf. Jn 9:3). All of us are sinners, meriting a much worse punishment than temporal misfortune: we merit eternal punishment; but Christ has come to atone for our sins, he has opened the gates of heaven. We must repent of our sins; otherwise God will not free us from the punishment we deserve. "When you meet with suffering, the Cross, your thought should be: what is this compared with what I deserve?" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 690)

3. "He tells us that, without Holy Baptism, no one will enter the Kingdom of heaven (cf. Jn 3:5); and, elsewhere, that if we do not repent we will all perish (Lk 13:3). This is all easily understood. Ever since man sinned, all his senses rebel against reason; therefore, if we want the flesh to be controlled by the spirit and by reason, it must be mortified; if we do not want the body to be at war with the soul, it and all our senses need to be chastened; if we desire to go to God, the soul with all its faculties needs to be mortified" (St John Mary Vianney, "Selected Sermons", Ash Wednesday).

6-9. Our Lord stresses that we need to produce plenty of fruit (cf. Lk 8:11-15) in keeping with the graces we have received (cf. Lk 12:48). But he also tells us that God waits patiently for this fruit to appear; he does not want the death of the sinner; he wants him to be converted and to live (Ezek 33:11) and, as St Peter teaches, he is "forbearing towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance" (2 Pet 3:9). But God's clemency should not lead us to neglect our duties and become lazy and, comfort-seeking, living sterile lives. He is merciful, but he is also just and he will punish failure to respond to his grace.

"There is one case that we should be especially sorry about--that of Christians who could do more and don't; Christians who could live all the consequences of their vocation as children of God, but refuse to do so through lack of generosity. We are partly to blame, for the grace of faith has not been given us to hide but to share with others (cf. Mt 5:15f). we cannot forget that the happiness of these people, in this life and in the next, is at stake. The Christian life is a divine wonder with immediate promises of satisfaction and serenity--but on condition that we know how to recognize the gift of God (cf. Jn 4:10) and be generous, not counting the cost" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 147).

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.

Nov 6 - It’s Not Just Fiction: Why We Must Reject The Da Vinci Code

You and your family are cordially invited to a presentation titled:

“It’s Not Just Fiction: Why We Must Reject The Da Vinci Code

A Preview of the American TFP’s New Book

Rejecting the Da Vinci Code

to be held at:

Maria Center

336 E. Ripa Ave.

St. Louis, MO 63215

Sunday, November 6, 2005 at 1:30 PM.

They say it’s only fiction. However, The Da Vinci Code is a novel that brutally attacks Our Lord and the Catholic Church. Now, you can learn how to refute this work with hard-hitting facts. Get the real story of Saint Mary Magdalene. Defend the truths of the Faith that are being distorted. Discover the real Gnostic code behind The Da Vinci Code.

In this talk, American TFP member John Horvat will preview this new book, which also will be available for purchase. He will also discuss ways in which you can protest. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to defend Our Lord especially since Hollywood is pulling out all the stops to turn the book into a blockbuster movie. This is your chance to meet with like-minded Catholics who want to stand up and make a difference!

This talk is one of a series of regularly held talks sponsored by the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and its America Needs Fatima campaign.

A question and answer period will follow the presentation. Please join us for what promises to be a stimulating evening of Catholic conviviality, enlightening conversation, and hope for the future.

For additional information, contact Mark Serafino at (573) 459-5531.

The American TFP – America Needs Fatima • P.O. Box 341 Hanover, PA 17331 717-225-7147

Friday, October 21, 2005

New Grammar Rules in "netherlands"...

No more "Christ" with a capital "C" in the [n]etherlands (Title corrected to reflect the lunacy occurring in [b]elgium and the [n]etherlands.
According to a new grammar rule in the [n]etherlands and [b]elgium, the name "Christ" will soon be written with a lower-case "c", as stipulated by an orthography reform published last [f]riday.

According to the [k] agency, the new spelling rules also will stipulate that the [d]utch word for "jews" (joden) be spelled with a capital "J" when referring to nationality and with a lower-case "j" when referring to the religion. The changes will be mandatory starting in [a]ugust 2006.
The above was corrected in anticipation of the [a]ugust 2006 requirement. I decided that in this context [i] would only capitalize the the first letter of the first word of a sentence. Of course that rule is probably superceded if the first word of a sentence happens to be "God" or "Christ"...

Some people/nations/societies are falling so fast towards complete and utter stupidity that they will become but an historical footnote in annals of recordas of mankind. They've lost their minds - they've all gone mad! The worst part is that it seems to be contagious...


Charleston Diocese Withdraws Support from "Race for the Cure"

CHARLESTON, S.C., October 20, 2005, ( - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston has officially pulled its support for a fundraiser after learning the recipient organization gives money to the United States’ largest abortion agency.

The Diocese, along with Bishop England High School, was to have been involved with the Race for the Cure, a fundraising event that attracts 6,000 participants and benefits the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Foundation. It was later discovered that the foundation financially supports Planned Parenthood in other cities.
More at LifeSiteNews

Is This Appropriate Bulletin Material???

As seen in the October 9 bulletin from St. Cronan's Parish (the self proclaimed beacon of Archdiocesan "Social Justice"), we note the following:
Prayer and Party - the perfect combination! The Holy Families Committee of the Catholic Action Network invites you to an early celebration of All Souls Day - Reclaiming the Gay Saints. We will have readings about gay saints, live music, scrumptious desserts and appetizers, wine, and wonderful company. Held at the home of Marty and Jerry King, on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15/advance, $20/door. For tickets, call CAN (721-2977) or Joan Lafferty.
Actively promoting homosexuality is an abomination. Something seems seriously amiss at St. Cronan's and one wonders why this parish continues to promote itself as a Catholic entity?

Source of Bulletin Article is here.

Pride and Arrogance Renders Priest "Unfit" for Priesthood

PETERBOROUGH -- An Eastern Ontario Catholic priest has been stripped of his duties for suggesting women could someday become priests. Rev. Edward Cachia "can no longer be relied upon to celebrate the Eucharist within the Church as Christ intended," states a letter from Peterborough Diocese Bishop Nicola De Angelis.

Cachia served at St. Michael's parish in Cobourg. Following an unofficial ordination of nine women on a tour boat on the St. Lawrence River near Kingston in July, Cachia told the Cobourg Daily Star that he hoped the ceremony was "the beginning of a new and awesome change in the life of the church."

LifeSiteNews also had an article on this:
In a press release yesterday from the chancery office of Peterborough Bishop Nicola De Angelis, the diocese states that it "regrets (Fr. Cachia's) decision to refuse to accept the universal and constant teaching of the Catholic Church in relation to holy orders being reserved to men alone." It continues, "Though having freely professed adherence to all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and to the Roman Pontiff on the day of his ordination, Fr. Cachia now feels unable to live out this commitment."

Fr. Cachia was given over two months to reconsider his position but "sadly", says the release, "has chosen to remain attached to positions contrary to the teachings of the church."

The release explains that the Catholic Church, "like any other organization possesses rules and expectations that are necessary for membership," and that priests freely take on the responsibility of "teaching the entire deposit of the Catholic faith in the name of the Church and not his own feelings or points of view."

His refusal, "now renders him unfit to serve the Catholic people in the leadership role of priest," says the release.
There are some priests around here who still maintain that women will someday be "priestesses" in the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, most of these men have brains infected with all sorts "diseases" and about the only thing we can do is to pray for them.

Many of them cannot follow or understand simple reasoning or logic. Many really don't care what the Church teaches and, by and large, these same men ignore the Holy Father and act as though he doesn't even exist. Further, they continue to poison other Catholics with whom they come into contact.

These men and others like them who continue to poison the faithful seem to me to be the Church's version of the infamous "Typhoid Mary". The bishop in this case, should be applauded for taking the proper action to protect the faith and the faithful from those who, in essence, promote ideas contrary to what the Church teaches.

Perhaps other bishops will do likewise and begin removing those who are no longer "fit" to be priests because of a refusal to assent to Church teaching or because of openly denying Church teaching and promoting error. The souls of the faithful are seriously jeopardized by people such as these. They are the wolves in sheeps' clothing about which our Lord warned us.

Walgreens Gives $100,000 in Support of 'Gay' Games

Received via email last night.
Walgreens has given $100,000 to help sponsor the Gay Games in Chicago next year.

Oddly enough, Walgreens says they agreed to sponsor the Gay Games under the guise of helping prevent AIDS. But the official Gay Games web site has the following promotional statement, which promotes the very type of activity Walgreens says they are trying to prevent.

"The Gay Games Social Committee is currently in the process of gathering together Chicago's best bars and clubs, and some of the biggest and best party promoters in the country to create a Social Schedule unlike anything you've ever seen. Chicago's LGBT scene is fierce no matter what time of year it is, but during that one week in July 2006, we are committed to making sure you have the time of your life."

The gift, made to placate homosexual activists, puts Walgreens in the very top Premium Category of sponsorship. To make their sponsorship appear to be a good thing publicly, they say they are providing AIDS education. If any group should be aware of the dangers of AIDS and how to prevent it, it should be homosexual activists. Billions of tax dollars have been spent to educate the public about AIDS.
I quit supporting Walgreens years ago. This only serves to confirm my opinion of that organization.

Gospel for Friday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 12:54-59

The Coming of Christ

[54] He (Jesus) also said to the multitudes, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, `A shower is coming'; and so it happens. [55] And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat'; and it happens. [56] You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearances of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"

[57] "And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? [58] As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. [59] I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper."


56. Jesus' listeners knew from experience how to forecast the weather. However, although they knew the signs of the Messiah's coming announced by the prophets, and were hearing His preaching and witnessing His miracles, they did not want to draw the logical conclusion; they lacked the necessary good will and upright intention, and they just closed their eyes to the light of the Gospel (cf. Romans 1:18ff).

This attitude is also found to be very widespread in our own time, in forms of certain kinds of atheism denounced by the Second Vatican Council: "Those who willfully try to drive God from their heart and to avoid all questions about religion, not following the biddings of their conscience, are not free from blame" ("Gaudium Et Spes", 19).

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.

From Inside the Vatican: "Adoration Is Awakening"

A cardinal attending this month's Synod of Bishops in Rome to reflect on the Eucharist, gives his view of the gathering. He found the exposure to traditions of the Oriental-rite Churches "very enriching."

By Andrew Rabel

VATICAN CITY, October 20, 2005 -- Canadian Cardinal Marc Oulette has been the archbishop of Quebec City, Canada since 2002. A member of the Order of St. Sulpice, he is an accomplished theologian who has been a professor at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage & the Family. He was made a cardinal by John Paul II in 2003.

His Eminence spoke today to Inside the Vatican about this month's Bishops' Synod of the Eucharist.

Some at this month's Synod, discussing liturgical abuses, have lamented a general forgetfulness of the supernatural dimension of the Eucharist?

CARDINAL MARC OULETTE: Something very enriching was the experience of the Oriental Churches. They have different liturgies and they have a different sense of the liturgy and so to hear them speak about the Holy Eucharist was very defining for us. At the same time, I think we became more aware of the abuses here and there in the way the liturgical reform has been implemented.

The Oriental Christians exploit the architecture of their churches to be respectful of the Church herself and of the Holy Eucharist which is the heart of the temple. They have a deep sense of the sacredness and so to hear them speak about the Holy Eucharist was very edifying for me. At the same time I think we became more aware of some abuses here and there in the way the liturgical reform has been implemented.

Many have spoken on that and I think there will be a follow-up in the congregations and in the different countries. I hope that the sacredness of the holy liturgy will be more conscious in the future. We need that in the West, to recover the sacredness of the liturgy. But what I have observed is that the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is awakening and developing all over the world and this will help to restore the sacredness of the liturgical celebration of the Mass.
Do you feel more devotion to the Eucharist among our clergy, would have the same effect on the laity?

OULETTE: I think the renewal of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, for example, comes from the laity. And that is a sign of the times, and a great sign of encouragement.
At the same time, I think that the Synod has a message of encouragement for the priest. They are in many parts of the world asked to cover long distances and give many Masses on Sundays, so it is a hard job. So they need encouragement; and so they need to be sustained by the people of God, by their prayer and sacrifices.


More later here.

Reading for Friday, 29th Week In Ordinary Time

From: Romans 7:18-25b

Interior Struggle

[18] For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. [19] For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. [20] Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.

[21] So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. [22] For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, [23] but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. [24] Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? [25b] Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!


14-25. As can be seen from the use of the present tense, the "I" in vv. 14-25 is no longer Paul before his conversion, but rather after it: and it also stands for all mankind redeemed by Christ's grace. Here we have a vivid description of the interior struggle which everyone experiences, Christians included. These words are in line with something we are all well aware of: in our bodies there is a "law", an inclination, which fights against the law of our spirit (cf. v. 23), that is, against the spiritual good which God's grace causes us to desire. The very _expression "the law of sin which dwells in my members" emphasizes how strenuously our senses, appetites and passions try to reject the dictates of the spirit; however, the spirit can gain the upper hand. The Church's teaching is that Baptism does not take away a person's inclination to sin ("fomes peccati"), concupiscence: he or she still experiences a strong desire for earthly or sensual pleasure. "Since it [concupiscence] is left to provide a trial, it has no power to injure those who do not consent and who, by the grace of Christ Jesus, manfully resist" (Council of Trent, "De Peccato Originali", can. 5).

The Jews were able to keep the Law of Moses only through the help of divine grace granted them in anticipation of the merits of Christ. Without grace they were like slaves, "sold-under sin" (v. 14). After Christ, a person who rejects the Redemption is in a similar position, for "in the state of corrupt nature man needs grace to heal his nature and enable him to avoid sin entirely. In this present life this healing is brought about in his mind [the spiritual part of man]: the carnal appetite is not completely healed. Hence the Apostle (Rom 7:25) says of the person healed by grace, 'I serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin'. In this state a person can avoid mortal sin [...] but he cannot avoid all venial sin, due to the corruption of his sensual appetite" (St Thomas Aquinas, "Summa Theologiae", I-II, q. 109, a. 8).

Hence our need for God's help if we are to persevere in virtue; hence also our need to make a genuine personal effort to be faithful. The "St Pius V Catechism", when dealing with the fact that even after Baptism man is subject to various disabilities, including concupiscence, explains that God has willed that death and suffering, which originate in sin, remain part of our lot, thereby enabling us to attain mystical and real union with Christ, who chose to undergo suffering and death; and, likewise, we still have concupiscence, and experience bodily weakness etc. "that in them we may have the seed and material of virtue a which we shall hereafter receive a more abundant harvest of glory and more ample rewards" (II, 2, 48). "'Infelix ego homo!, quis me liberabit de corpore mortis huius? Unhappy man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?' The cry is Saint Paul's--Courage: he too had to fight" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 138).

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, October 20, 2005

Springfield Missouri Abortion Clinic Closes Its Doors

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Springfield abortion clinic leading a legal challenge against a new state law unexpectedly shut down Thursday, leaving Missouri with just two abortion clinics.
Missouri has just two other abortion clinics, both operated by Planned Parenthood, in St. Louis and Columbia. Another abortion clinic is located not far from St. Louis in Illinois, and the Kansas City area is served by a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Kansas.
The true reason for the closure remains a secret known only to the five-member board of the for-profit clinic, although they do say it was "business" decision. Could it be that they weren't able to murder enough babies to stay in business?

Post Dispatch story here.

The Truth About Catholic Social Teachings

If you want to find out what the Church really teaches about social structures and policies, keep reading.

Recently I wrote an article about Catholic social principles. It immediately became apparent (from the responses I received) that there is a lot of confusion about what the Church has said regarding this topic.

I'm hoping that this week's Highlights article will shed some light on the subject. Titled The Truth About Catholic Social Teachings, it strives to dispel the confusion by discussing how individual freedoms relate to the common good -- in light of the Church's social teachings.

Read the Article!

The Truth About Catholic Social Teachings

Thank you for your continued support of

God bless,

Peter Mirus
Vice President, Trinity Communications

Gospel for Thursday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 12:49-53

Jesus the Cause of Dissension

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [49] "I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! [50] I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! [51] Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; [52] for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; [53] they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."

49-50. In the Bible, fire is often used to describe God's burning love for men. This divine love finds its highest __expression in the Son of God become man: "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" (John 3:16). Jesus voluntarily gave up His life out of love for us, and "greater love has no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

In these words reported by St. Luke, Jesus Christ reveals His abounding desire to give His life for love of us. He calls His death a baptism, because from it He will arise victorious never to die again. Our Baptism is a submersion in Christ's death, in which we die to sin and are reborn to the new life of grace: "We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).

Through this new life, we Christians should become set on fire in the same way as Jesus set His disciples on fire: "With the amazing naturalness of the things of God, the contemplative soul is filled with apostolic zeal. `My heart became hot within me, a fire blazed forth from my thoughts' (Psalm 38:4). What could this fire be if not the fire that Christ talks about: `I came to cast fire upon the earth, and would that it were already kindled' (Luke 12:49). An apostolic fire that acquires its strength in prayer: there is no better way than this to carry on, throughout the whole world, the battle of peace to which every Christian is called to fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ (cf. Colossians 1:24)" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 120).

51-53. God has come into the world with a message of peace (cf. Luke 2:14) and reconciliation (cf. Romans 5:11). By resisting, through sin, the redeeming work of Christ, we become His opponents. Injustice and error lead to division and war. "Insofar as men are sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so continue until the coming of Christ; but insofar as they can vanquish sin by coming together in charity, violence itself will be vanquished" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 78).

During His own life on earth, Christ was a sign of contradiction (cf. Luke 2:34). Our Lord is forewarning His disciples about the contention and division which will accompany the spread of the Gospel (cf. Luke 6:20-23; Matthew 10:24).

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, October 19, 2005

Gospel for Oct 19, Memorial: St. John de Brebeuf, Priest & Martyr; St. Isaac Jogues...

Memorial: St. John de Brebeuf, Priest & Martyr; St. Isaac Jogues,
Priest & Martyr; and their Companions, Martyrs

From: Luke 12:39-48

The Need for Vigilance and the Parable of the Steward (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [39] "But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been awake and would not have left his house to be broken into. [40] You also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

[41] Peter said, "Lord are you telling this parable for us or for all?" [42] And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? [43] Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. [44] Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions. [45] But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, [46] the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. [47] And that servant who knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. [48] But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much is given, of him much will be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more."


40. God has chosen to hide from us the time of our death and the time when the world will come to an end. Immediately after death everyone undergoes the Particular Judgment: "just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment..." (Hebrews 9:27). The end of the world is when the General Judgment will take place.

41-48. After our Lord's exhortation to vigilance, St. Peter asks a question (verse 41), the answer to which is the key to understanding this parable. On the one hand, Jesus emphasizes that we simply do not know exactly when God is going to ask us to render an account of our life; on the other--answering Peter's question--our Lord explains that His teaching is addressed to every individual. God will ask everyone to render an account of his doings: everyone has a mission to fulfill in this life and he has to account for it before the judgment seat of God and be judged on what he has produced, be it much or little.

"Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed (cf. Hebrews 9:27), we may merit to enter with Him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed (cf. Matthew 25:31-46) and not, like the wicked and slothful servants (cf. Matthew 25:26), be ordered to depart into the eternal fire (cf. Matthew 25:41)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 48).

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

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

A Touching Story from a Recent Email

From a recent email.
In spite of all you hear and read about the past few weeks regarding the hurricanes, this is one of many stories that will continue to rise to the top!
I just returned from New Jersey. While en route there, I was stuck in traffic on Interstate 81, just below the Virginia state line, (Bristol, Tennessee), due to a traffic accident with a fatality involved. This accident involved a tanker truck hauling a hazardous material load that developed a leak, which meant that we weren't going anywhere for several hours.

After being told by the Tennessee State Troopers that we would be sitting still until the clean up was completed, I set my brakes on the truck and got our to stretch my legs. Other truck drivers did the same, and at one point there were 5 of us standing there by my truck, complaining. Sitting right beside me in the left lane, were two elderly people in a Silverado pick up truck, which was loaded quite well.

The man, (Joe), lowered his window and asked what was going on regarding the traffic situation. Soon we were all talking with this couple. I mentioned that if I had known about this, I would have bought something to drink, (water), for I was becoming thirsty.

The lady, (Anna), said that they had plenty of water and sodas in the cooler in the bed of the truck, and offered everyone present something. While she was back there, she said that she had plenty of tuna salad made up, and asked if we would be interested in a sandwich. After some urging from Joe, we agreed to a sandwich.

While Anna was making the sandwiches on the tailgate of the truck, she was singing like a songbird. To be close to 70, (I guess), she had a remarkable voice. When she finished making the sandwiches, and putting everything up, Joe raised the tailgate of the truck to close it. I noticed a Mississippi license plate on it. I inquired as to what part of Mississippi they were from. Joe said Biloxi. Knowing that Biloxi had been ravaged also by hurricane Katrina, I asked if they sustained any damage.

Joe said that they lost everything but what they had on and what was in the pickup. All of us drivers tried unsuccessfully to pay them for their drinks and the sandwiches. They would have nothing to do with it. Joe said that their son was living around Harrisonburg, Virginia and that they were going there. He was in the real estate business and that there was a home that became open, and that they were going to start all over there. Starting over at their age would not be easy.

I will soon be 48 years old, and I have say that I have never eaten a tuna sandwich with side orders of reality and humility.

These people lost everything except the pictures, important documents, and some clothes. Joe had managed to get their antique heirloom grandfather clock into the bed of the truck and Anna got her china and silverware, but that was all. These wonderful people lost practically everything they owned and still would not accept any money for their food and drinks.

Joe said that "it was better to give than it is to receive." They sought refuge behind a block wall that he had built years ago, and they watched their belongings and their home disappear in the winds of Hurricane Katrina. Joe said that during all this he had one hand holding onto Anna and the other holding on to God.

They and their truck came out of Katrina unscathed. As I stated before, Anna was singing a song while making the sandwiches. The song is titled "I know who holds tomorrow," an old gospel song. She knew every word, and was quite a gifted singer of it. Have you ever heard it?

The chorus of this song is, "Many things, about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand. But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand."

There is no doubt, in my mind Who was holding both their hands. I know there have been many, many emails that have circulated over the years about things that will touch your heart, but this one I personally was involved in.

Forget all of the politics that the news is striving on, and think about people just like Joe and Anna.

If you can, help out with the victims relief funds. If you cannot, at least offer a prayer for everyone.

Do what you wish with this email, forward it, delete it, whatever. I know that these two elderly people got to this old boy. I will always remember them. Joe and Anna, if by some strange way you, or someone you know gets this, and shows it to you, God Bless you!

Mike D.
Hartselle, Alabama

Gospel for Oct 18, Feast: St. Luke, Evangelist

From: Luke 10:1-9

The Mission of the Seventy Disciples

[1] After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to come. [2] And He said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. [3] Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. [4] Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. [5] Whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace be to this house!' [6] And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. [7] And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. [8] Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; [9] heal the sick in it and say to them, "The Kingdom of God has come near to you.'"


1-12. Those who followed our Lord and received a calling from Him (cf. Luke 9:57-62) included many other disciples in addition to the Twelve (cf. Mark 2:15). We do not know who most of them were; but undoubtedly some of them were with Him all along, from when Jesus was baptized by John up to the time of His ascension--for example, Joseph called Barrabas, and Matthias (cf. Acts 1:21-26). We can also include Cleopas and his companion, whom the risen Christ appeared to on the road to Emmaus (cf. Luke 24:13-35).

From among these disciples, our Lord chooses seventy-two for a special assignment. Of them, as of the Apostles (cf. Luke 9:1-5), He demands total detachment and complete abandonment to divine providence.

From Baptism onwards every Christian is called by Christ to perform a mission. Therefore, the Church, in our Lord's name, "makes to all the laity an earnest appeal in the Lord to give a willing, noble and enthusiastic response to the voice of Christ, who at this hour is summoning them more pressingly, and to the urging of the Holy Spirit. The younger generation should feel this call to be addressed in a special way to themselves; they should welcome it eagerly and generously. It is the Lord Himself, by this Council, who is once more inviting all the laity to unite themselves to Him ever more intimately, to consider His interests as their own (cf. Philippians 2:5), and to join in His mission as Savior. It is the Lord who is again sending them into every town and every place where He Himself is to come (cf. Luke 10:1). He sends them on the Church's apostolate, an apostolate that is one yet has different forms and methods, an apostolate that must all the time be adapting itself to the needs of the moment; He sends them on an apostolate where they are to show themselves His cooperators, doing their full share continually in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord their labor cannot be lost (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:58)" (Vatican II, "Apostolicam Actuositatem", 33).

3-4. Christ wants to instill apostolic daring into His disciples; this is why He says, "I send you out", which leads St. John Chrysostom to comment: "This suffices to give us encouragement, to give us confidence and to ensure that we are not afraid of our assailants" ("Hom. on St. Matthew", 33). The Apostles' and disciples' boldness stemmed from their firm conviction that they were on a God-given mission: they acted, as Peter the Apostle confidently explained to the Sanhedrin, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, "for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

"And the Lord goes on," St. Gregory the Great adds, "Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road.' Such should be the confidence the preacher places in God that even if he is not provided with the necessities of life, he is convinced that they will come his way. This will ensure that worry about providing temporal things for himself does not distract him from providing others with eternal things" ("In Evangelia Homiliae", 17). Apostolate calls for generous self-surrender which leads to detachment; therefore, Peter, following our Lord's commandment, when the beggar at the Beautiful Gate asked him for alms (Acts 3:2-3), said, "I have no silver or gold" ("ibid.", 3:6), "not so as to glory in his poverty", St. Ambrose points out, "but to obey the Lord's command. It is as if he were saying, `You see in me a disciple of Christ, and you ask me for gold? He gave us something much more valuable than gold, the power to act in His name. I do not have what Christ did not give me, but I do have what He did give me: In the name of Jesus Christ, arise and walk' (cf. Acts 3:6)" ("Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam, in loc".). Apostolate, therefore, demands detachment from material things and it also requires us to be always available, for there is an urgency about apostolic work.

"And salute no one on the road": "How can it be", St. Ambrose asks himself, "that the Lord wishes to get rid of a custom so full of kindness? Notice, however, that He does not just say, `Do not salute anyone', but adds, `on the road.' And there is a reason for this.

"He also commanded Elisha not to salute anyone he met, when He sent him to lay his staff on the body of the dead child (2 Kings 4:29): He gave him this order so as to get him to do this task without delay and effect the raising of the child, and not waste time by stopping to talk to any passer-by he met. Therefore, there is no question of omitting good manners to greet others; it is a matter of removing a possible obstacle in the way of service; when God commands, human considerations should be set aside, at least for the time being. To greet a person is a good thing, but it is better to carry out a divine instruction which could easily be frustrated by a delay ("ibid.").

6. Everyone is "a son of peace" who is disposed to accept the teaching of the Gospel which brings with it God's peace. Our Lord's recommendation to His disciples to proclaim peace should be a constant feature of all the apostolic action of Christians: "Christian apostolate is not a political program or a cultural alternative. It implies the spreading of good, `infecting' others with a desire to love, sowing peace and joy" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 124).

Feeling peace in our soul and in our surroundings is an unmistakable sign that God is with us, and a fruit of the Holy Spirit (cf. Galatians 5:22): "Get rid of these scruples that deprive you of peace. What takes away your peace of soul cannot come from God. When God comes to you, you will feel the truth of those greetings: My peace I give to you..., peace I leave you..., peace be with you..., and you will feel it even in the midst of troubles" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 258).

7. Our Lord clearly considered poverty and detachment a key feature in an apostle. But He was aware of His disciples' material needs and therefore stated the principle that apostolic ministry deserves its recompense. Vatican II reminds us that we all have an obligation to contribute to the sustenance of those who generously devote themselves to the service of the Church: "Completely devoted as they are to the service of God in the fulfillment of the office entrusted to them, priests are entitled to receive a just remuneration. For `the laborer deserves his wages' (Luke 10:7), and `the Lord commanded that they who proclaim the Gospel should get their living by the Gospel' (1 Corinthians 9:14). For this reason, insofar as provision is not made from some other source for the just remuneration of priests, the faithful are bound by a real obligation of seeing to it that the necessary provision for a decent and fitting livelihood for the priests are available" (Vatican II, "Presbyterorum Ordinis", 20).

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.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The "Extra" Synod Father: Raphael

The reproduction of his "Disputation on the Sacrament " has been placed in the hall of the synod on the Eucharist. Timothy Verdon, whom Benedict XVI has called to Rome as an expert consultant, explains why

by Sandro Magister
ROMA, October 17 2005 – In the hall of the Vatican where the synod on the Eucharist is being held from October 2-23, above the presider's table is a large screen. It displays a famous fresco by Raphael, which illustrates for the synod fathers the theme of their meeting: the "Disputation on the Sacrament." At the center of the depiction, on an altar surrounded by other fathers who are reasoning and discussing – while they adore – is the consecrated host exposed in a magnificent monstrance.
More here.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Gospel for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 22:15-21

On Tribute to Caesar

[15] Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how to entangle him in his talk. [16] And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God truthfully, and care for no man; for you do not regard the position of men. [17] Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?" [18] But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? [19] Show me the money for the tax." And they brought him a coin. [20] And Jesus said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this?" [21] They said, "Caesar's." Then he said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."


15-21. The Pharisees and Herodians join forces to plot against Jesus. The Herodians were supporters of the regime of Herod and his dynasty. They were quite well disposed to Roman rule and, as far as religious matters were concerned, they held the same kind of materialistic ideas as the Sadducees. The Pharisees were zealous keepers of the Law; they were anti-Roman and regarded the Herodians as usurpers. It is difficult to imagine any two groups more at odds with each other: their amazing
pact shows how much they hated Jesus.

Had Jesus replied that it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, the Pharisees could have discredited him in the eyes of the people, who were very nationalistic; if he said it was unlawful, the Herodians would have been able to denounce him to the Roman authorities.

Our Lord's answer is at once so profound that they fail to grasp its meaning, and it is also faithful to his preaching about the Kingdom of God: give Caesar what is his due, but no more, because God must assuredly be given what he has a right to (the other side of the question, which they omitted to put). God and Caesar are on two quite different levels, because for an Israelite God transcends all human
categories. What has Caesar a right to receive? Taxes, which are necessary for legitimate state expenses. What must God be given? Obviously, obedience to all his commandments--which implies personal love and commitment. Jesus' reply goes beyond the human horizons of these tempters, far beyond the simple yes or no they wanted to draw out of him.

The teaching of Jesus transcends any kind of political approach, and if the faithful, using the freedom that is theirs, chose one particular method of solving temporal questions, they "ought to remember that in those cases no one is permitted to identify the authority of the Churchexclusively with his own opinion" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 43).

Jesus' words show that he recognized civil authority and its rights, but he made it quite clear that the superior rights of God must be respected (cf. Vatican II, "Dignitatis Humanae", 11 ), and pointed out that it is part of God's will that we faithfully fulfill our civic duties (cf. Rom 13:1-7).

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.