Failure is not fatal,
but failure to change might be.
– John Wooden
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Failure is not fatal,
Monday, November 29, 2010
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation because your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
– John Wooden
ROME - Pope Benedict XVI said on Monday he "commended" the Philippines' Church for its pro-life stance and defense of the institution of marriage.
"I commend the Church in the Philippines for seeking to play its part in support of human life from conception until natural death, and in defense of the integrity of marriage and the family," Benedict told visiting Philippine bishops.
"In these areas you are promoting truths about the human person and about society which arise not only from divine revelation but also from the natural law," he added.
Benedict said he appreciated "the Church's work to abolish the death penalty" and acknowledged the "on-going commitment to the struggle against corruption."
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III recently announced that the government will pay for contraception for the poorest couples in the devoutly the catholic country, despite strong opposition by the Catholic Church.
In the four months since Aquino came to power the impoverished country's population has grown by about 600,000 -- the fastest rate of increase in Southeast Asia.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord because He knows what we really are, and that is all that matters – John Wooden
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Only one thing is necessary: that is to do at every moment what is most pleasing to Jesus. – Blessed Charles de Foucauld
I know I would be in tears if I was there.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Ash Wednesday is 09 March
Palm Sunday is 17 April
Good Friday is 22 April
(Western) Easter Sunday is 24 April
(Orthodox) Easter Sunday is 24 April
Ash Wednesday is 22 February
Palm Sunday is 01 April
Good Friday is 06 April
(Western) Easter Sunday is 08 April
(Orthodox) Easter Sunday is 15 April
Ash Wednesday is 13 February
Palm Sunday is 24 March
Good Friday is 29 March
(Western) Easter Sunday is 31 March
(Orthodox) Easter Sunday is 05 May
Ash Wednesday is 05 March
Palm Sunday is 13 April
Good Friday is 18 April
(Western) Easter Sunday is 20 April
(Orthodox) Easter Sunday is 20 April
Ash Wednesday is 18 February
Palm Sunday is 29 March
Good Friday is 03 April
(Western) Easter Sunday is 05 April
(Orthodox) Easter Sunday is 12 April
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Here is another version which is a little lively:
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
A true story to be made into a movie about what a priest went through in training as exorcist starring Anthony Hopkins. The priest is Father Gary Thomas, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Saratoga, California.
Rare is the priest in the United States who holds the title of diocesan exorcist.
Rarer still is the priest who is the focus of a book on his training as an exorcist, not to mention that the book has inspired the making of a feature film called “The Rite” – starring Anthony Hopkins, no less.
But that’s all become part of the life of Father Gary Thomas, a priest of the Diocese of San Jose, Calif., who is pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Saratoga, Calif.
When some of his fellow priests were discussing that another priest had declined an offer from the bishop to serve as diocesan exorcist, he thought to himself, “I could do that.”
Not that it was easy, Father Thomas said. For one thing, he could find no U.S.-based course of study for priests to be trained as exorcists. He wound up taking a three-and-a-half-month sabbatical to go the Rome seminary of the Legionnaires of Christ and get training from a priest based there.
His experiences are recounted in the 2009 book “The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist” by Matt Baglio.
But Hollywood being Hollywood, when reality isn’t good enough for the big screen, it invents a new reality. “In the movie, I don’t start out as a priest. I start out as a seminarian who has a faith crisis,” Father Thomas said in an Oct. 18 telephone interview with Catholic News Service. “I am ordained eventually before the end of the movie. In the book, already I’m already a priest and I’m not having a faith crisis.”
Hopkins plays a priest-mentor to the seminarian, who anchors the story.
Father Thomas explained that “two months before Pope John Paul II died, he issued a directive through Cardinal Ratzinger’s (now Pope Benedict XVI) office that every bishop train and appoint an exorcist.”
With no U.S. training available, Father Thomas studied three days a week during his sabbatical. “Partially, I made up my own curriculum,” he said. “There’s no cookbook for this stuff.”
A priest for 27 years, Father Thomas has been San Jose’s exorcist for the past four years. In that time, he said, he has conducted exorcisms on five people.
The results, he acknowledged, are mixed.
“One is ongoing and has been successful, but has not been completely delivered,” Father Thomas told CNS. “Two decided not to continue after a time because they lost patience. And the other two, the persons are dramatically better.”
But those are just the five whose cases he’s taken. “I get calls from all over the United States and e-mails, and I try to direct them to their own local church. It’s difficult to diagnose these things over the phone,” Father Thomas said.
“Every person who approaches you has a different story. You have to be able to discern out what they’re bringing is psychological matter or a preternatural mater or a combination of both - or neither, none of the above. Quite honestly, no two situations are identical.”
Exorcism, he added, is the last step. He said he was uttered a “prayer of deliverance” over some people who fear they’ve been possessed.
Father Thomas said he served as a consultant on the set of “The Rite,” with an anticipated released date of Jan. 28.
“I’m very excited about the release of this movie,” he said. “I think the move is very authentic about the topic. I was very impressed with Anthony Hopkins and Colin O’Donoghue (who plays the seminarian) and their portrayal of the ministry of exorcism as accurate ... as was the scene that specifically involved exorcism.”
Mark Tuohy, a co-producer of “The Rite,” said of Father Thomas, “I think he’s a great guy.”
Father Thomas said he is certain that demonic possession exists. He noted that one theme in common with his five exorcism clients is “they had opened doorways to the demonic, either through witchcraft or going to witch doctors or other people having gone to witch doctors on their behalf.”
Asked about the case of Republican U.S. Senate aspirant Christine O’Donnell of Delaware, and her comment that she had “dabbled into witchcraft” in high school, Father Thomas replied, “I find that incredibly troubling that a person who had taken part in witchcraft would run” for office.
O’Donnell made the comment in an appearance on a 1999 television show. The segment had never aired until the host of the show, Bill Maher, aired it during the election campaign.
“I think that immediately disqualifies her from public office (as it would for) anybody who engages in witchcraft or engages in any new age activities,” the priest said. “It opens doorways to the diabolical. I think it impairs people’s judgments.
“There’s a difference between witchcraft,” Father Thomas said, “and somebody who goes and has their palm read.”
In interviews, O’Donnell has attributed her experimentation with witchcraft to being a teenager. Raised in a Catholic family, she describes herself as an evangelical Christian.
With no American training for exorcists available, Father Thomas said he has given orientation sessions to other priests. “But spending a day and a half with me is nothing compared to the three and a half months I spent in Rome,” he added.
The U.S. bishops and priests, including diocesan exorcists, are scheduled to meet Nov. 12-13 at a closed-door conference, prior to the annual fall general meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 15-18.
“I’ve been pushing that (training) at the local seminary without success,” Father Thomas said. “We hope something will emerge (in Baltimore), but we have nothing at the present.”
Friday, November 5, 2010
The Living Years
Artist: Mike & the Mechanics
Album: The Living Years (1988)
- Teen heartthrob Justin Bieber (who, it turns out, is Catholic).
[via Deacon's Bench]
My heart overflowed watching this!
Monday, November 1, 2010
And the way church leaders see it, there's no room for debate, even though many adherents to the faith would like to see women in the ranks.
Now, an Evanston pastor, the Rev. Bill Tkachuk, is raising the question of whether women can become deacons -- ordained ministers a step below priests.
His parish, St. Nicholas, has been kicking around the topic for months, and a longtime female member has expressed interest in becoming a deacon should the Vatican open up the option to women.
Experts said that's unlikely to happen anytime soon, given how slowly change comes to the church.
Like bishops and priests, deacons are ordained through a sacrament called Holy Orders, which is available only to men. Deacons aren't allowed to consecrate the Eucharist at mass or hear confessions, but they can preside at baptisms and weddings. They often help priests with other liturgical and administrative duties.
Perhaps some of you have never thought about this before. Perhaps some of you think being a saint is not for you. Let me explain what I mean. When we are young, we can usually think of people that we look up to, people we admire, people we want to be like. It could be someone we meet in our daily lives that we hold in great esteem. Or it could be someone famous. We live in a celebrity culture, and young people are often encouraged to model themselves on figures from the world of sport or entertainment. My question for you is this: what are the qualities you see in others that you would most like to have yourselves? What kind of person would you really like to be?
When I invite you to become saints, I am asking you not to be content with second best. I am asking you not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others. Having money makes it possible to be generous and to do good in the world, but on its own, it is not enough to make us happy. Being highly skilled in some activity or profession is good, but it will not satisfy us unless we aim for something greater still. It might make us famous, but it will not make us happy. Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places. The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts.
Not only does God love us with a depth and an intensity that we can scarcely begin to comprehend, but he invites us to respond to that love. You all know what it is like when you meet someone interesting and attractive, and you want to be that person’s friend. You always hope they will find you interesting and attractive, and want to be your friend.
God wants your friendship. And once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know him better, you find you want to reflect something of his infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of virtue. You begin to see greed and selfishness and all the other sins for what they really are, destructive and dangerous tendencies that cause deep suffering and do great damage, and you want to avoid falling into that trap yourselves. You begin to feel compassion for people in difficulties and you are eager to do something to help them. You want to come to the aid of the poor and the hungry, you want to comfort the sorrowful, you want to be kind and generous. And once these things begin to matter to you, you are well on the way to becoming saints.”
--Pope Benedict XVI [source: Whispers in the Loggia/via Deacon's Bench]
Greeting to Catholic Pupils of the United Kingdom
St Mary's College, Twickenham
17 September 2010