Please pray for me and my brother priests!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Surprised? Where have you been?

This article was from Couric and Company was linked to by Ignatius Insight. It speaks of the surprise of one CBS newsman at hiring by the John Edwards Campaign of two women who had published online hateful and bigoted screeds against the Church, Our Lord and Lady, and the Pope. Haven't heard much about this? The media didn't deem it very news-worthy. In an age when an editorial cartoon depicting Muhammad as a homicide bomber sets off international crisis, one would thing that an attack on the worlds largest Church that makes the cartoon incident pale in comparison would at least be of interest to the press.

Not so, however, for this attack is deemed acceptable. Why? The Church stands against western modernism, liberalism and secularism, (adherence to which is the very creed of the western press, and western thought for that matter.) I don't believe that the Edwards Camp didn't vett these two women properly. I believe their views and writings were known, and simply dismissed as unimportant. Why? When this all "came to light," these two women were not fired, but simply resigned. Edwards didn't offer as much as a weak reprimand. If they had written anti-Semitic tracts, or had even given the appearance of attacking Islam, would the reaction had been the same? Of course not. (All hateful attacks should be condemned loudly.) Only the Church may be attacked safely and without reprisal.

The Church will though ride out the waves of this latest storm. Why? Christ has told us as much. The gates of hell, and any attack the devil may launch against the Barque of Peter, will not bring her down. She will ride out the storm. Battered and bruised as she may be at the other side of this latest squall, we have divine assurance that she will not at the end simply be the last one standing, but the only one standing.

Questions and comments are welcome.

God love you,
Father V.

The Last Acceptable Prejudice
Posted by Greg Kandra

Well, it looks like the kerfuffle over John Edwards’ bloggers has blown over. They’ve both quit. But he certainly didn’t help matters. Edwards evidently hired people whose previously published comments in the blogosphere were, to put it mildly, distasteful. In fact, I’ll go one step further. They were offensive – especially to Catholics, some of whom were unstinting in their condemnation of Edwards and his employees.

It goes without saying that Edwards should have vetted these people better and displayed a little curiosity about what they had written, and what they believed. (Or, perhaps, he did vet them, did read what they had written, and didn’t see a problem with it – which opens a whole other can of worms and calls into question Edwards’ judgment.)

But the episode has drawn attention to an issue that strikes close to my own life – and the lives of about 60 million other Americans. It involves a particularly insidious form of bigotry, and the nagging suspicion that there is one remaining permissible prejudice in America. It is anti-Catholicism.

I say this as a person who has spent a quarter of a century working in network news, and as a man who, in three months, will become an ordained member of the Catholic clergy. (On May 19th I’ll be ordained a permanent deacon.) Straddling these two worlds, I’ve seen my share of controversies, scandals and public outcries over the Church and how it is treated by both the public and the media. But the Edwards debacle is something I never quite anticipated.

I would not have believed that a candidate for President (and a previous candidate for Vice President) would have hired a writer, Melissa McEwan, who had described President Bush’s supporters as a “wingnut Christofacist base.” I did not think a person of Edwards seriousness and experience would condone welcoming onto his payroll a second writer, Amanda Marcotte, who wrote on her blog “the Catholic church is not about to let something like compassion for girls get in the way of using the state as an instrument to force women to bear more tithing Catholics.” This is also the writer who wrote: “What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit? You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.” (And then there’s this pearl of wisdom: One thing I vow here and now–you motherf*** who want to ban birth control will never sleep. I will f*** without making children day in and out and you will know it and you won’t be able to stop it. Toss and turn, you mean, jealous motherf****. I’m not going to be “punished” with babies. Which makes all your efforts a failure. Some non-procreating women escaped. So give up now. You’ll never catch all of us. Give up now.”)

I certainly would not have imagined that a serious candidate for President would have kept on his payroll people who write things so blatantly, outrageously hateful towards a particular religion.

Which begs the question: would he have been so sanguine if they had written demeaning and insulting tirades about Jews? Or Muslims? How about Mormons?

But we live in an age when the culture defends artists who place a crucifix in urine, display it in a museum, and call it art. (Do that with the Koran, of course, and it’s an act of war.) We live in a time when an artist can cover an image of the Virgin Mary with dung and be celebrated. But if you merely show a cartoon of Mohammed, you provoke an international incident.

I don’t know if Edwards is a bigot. I suspect not. I suspect he’s probably just a product of his age, and that he suffers from what moral theologians would call invincible ignorance.

In other words, he’s just too ignorant to know better.

And he’s just doing what so many others have done, and continue to do: tolerating the last acceptable prejudice.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Funny Video!

I saw this video a long time ago, and just stumbled across it again. I offer it for your enjoyment!

God love you,
Father V.

Gifts in Unexpected Places

As I sit in my office snowed in due to our first Nor'Easter of the season, I came across this truly wonderful story that I thought my readers might like. It will definitely bring a smile to your faces. God gives us gifts in the most unexpected places, and people.

This article is from Catholic Online.

God love you,
Father V.

Handicapped ‘master’ missionary rosary maker gives back to God

By Jennifer Willems2/12/2007
The Catholic Post

GENESEO, Ill. (The Catholic Post) – Eddie DePauw will never cure cancer. He won’t lead the stock market to a record-breaking rally and he will never be elected to office. Born with Down syndrome, his gift is much simpler but it still has the potential to change lives around the world.
DePauw, 44, is a "master missionary rosary maker." As a member of the Rosary Makers of St. Malachy Church here, he has been responsible for helping the group send approximately 3,200 missionary rosaries to people in hospitals, nursing homes and adoration chapels in the United States as well as missions in Africa, the Philippines, Brazil and India over the last seven years.

"I think we formed the group for Eddie and for the blessed mother, so he could give something back," said Jolene Thompson, a member of the Rosary Makers. "His rosaries are definitely blessed."

Part of a national organization known as Our Lady’s Rosary Makers, which is based in Louisville, Ky., the Rosary Makers of St. Malachy’s Church create two kinds of rosaries.

The first are chained rosaries, which are sold to help the group buy materials and ship what they have made to the missions. Thompson noted that these rosaries require some practice and skill to make.

The second kind of rosaries the group makes is cord rosaries, which are knotted. These are the rosaries at which Eddie is a master.

"The missionary rosary is fairly simple," Thompson told The Catholic Post. "There’s a knot you have to learn between the decades but that’s not very complicated."

Jeanette DePauw, Eddie’s mother, said the repetition is what makes it possible for Eddie to make the rosaries so easily and with such grace. "Once you get it, you’ve got it," she explained.
Thompson provides the supplies and then lets Eddie make the rosaries in whatever colors he chooses. When asked what his favorite colors are for the rosaries, Eddie lists red, blue, white and green.

Many of those colors can be found in the World Mission Rosary, which was developed and promoted by Archbishop Fulton Sheen, whose cause for sainthood the Diocese of Peoria is promoting. The decades, made of clear, red, yellow, blue and green beads, represent different continents, according to Thompson.

Eddie received a World Mission Rosary kit for his birthday and works on them, along with all of the other rosaries he makes for the missions, at a table in his bedroom that is piled with beads and plastic crosses. Spools of white, black and brown cord rest on the television stand behind the desk, within easy reach.

Meticulous in counting and placing the beads just so, Eddie ties the knots as he moves from one decade of the rosary to the next. Having a visitor taking pictures and being bombarded by conversation all around him might have distracted another person, but Eddie – a man of action but few words – focused his full attention on what he was doing until he had a rosary made to his satisfaction.

"We’re just so amazed to see him be able to do this," Thompson told The Catholic Post. "What’s interesting for me to watch is his dexterity in working with the small beads."

Commitment is what makes Eddie such a valuable member of the Rosary Makers of St. Malachy’s Church, according to Thompson.

"He is very committed to it – he keeps us going," she said, noting that he also contributes joy and a simple faith to whatever he does.

In addition to making rosaries, Eddie bags them and puts labels on the bags to let the recipients know who has provided the prayer aids for them. He even has a say in where they’ll go.

"We give Eddie a list and say, ‘Where shall we send them?’" Thompson explained.

"We have gotten some beautiful letters back with blessings for Eddie," she said. "I always include a paragraph about Eddie and his work when we ship the rosaries out to the missions."

"Blessing" is a word that Jeanette also uses about her son, who lives with her and her husband, Julian, a retired farmer.

"He’s no different from any other handicapped person," she told The Catholic Post, "but maybe he’s more blessed because of the people who have been put into his life."

Among those special people are their neighbors in Geneseo and Port Byron, Ill., where the DePauws farmed; the Rosary Makers; and the people at Abilities Plus, Inc. in Kewanee, Ill., which provides services to children and adults with disabilities in Henry, Stark and Bureau counties. Eddie goes there three days a week.

One of Eddie’s gifts is his ability to connect with and remember the people he has met, she said, noting that when he was in school they used to say, "the superintendent is as good as the custodian to Eddie."

"When we go to church we sit in the back pew because he makes Mass a social event," according to Jeanette, who brought Eddie to the Special Persons Encounter Christ program at St. Malachy’s even when they lived in Port Byron. She taught in the program for several years.

What’s important to the DePauws, however, is that they just try to live life each day as the Lord wants them to.

"Bloom where you’re planted," Jeanette said. "That’s the same whether you’re handicapped or not."