Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Done Document

It's now official.

The instruction (PDF format) regarding the prohibition on ordaining homosexual men to the priesthood has been formally released.

If you are at all a diligent scanner of 'blogs, you have seen all the speculation and ranting on both sides of the issue. They speak for themselves. I will make note of two posts that I found interesting, written within the past week since the document was leaked to the media.

Amy Welborn gives us a different focus:

But the other reason is simply that when it comes to guidelines, as reasonable as it might seem to do the "no homosexuals in the seminary thing," it doesn't get at the problem. The problem is not, in simple terms, the homosexual priest. The problem is priests who don't believe what the Catholic Church teaches on sexuality, who don't preach it, who don't witness to it in the confessional, and who don't live it in their private lives.

Do you see the difference?

Domineco Bettinelli "thought it would be worthwhile to revisit one of the most controversial and commented upon articles ever to run in Catholic World Report." The post and what he sees:

Whether we agree or disagree that the chaste and celibate man with same-sex attraction can be a fine and holy priest, let's acknowledge that this isn't necessarily the problem we're dealing with. As Shaughnessy points out, if you look only at the statistics on AIDS among priests, you begin to get a clearer idea of how much unchaste, uncelibate homosexuality there is among them. Focus deeper and the vile picture becomes clearer.
Thus, the necessity of the document.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Preparing The Way

My parish has made available a booklet to help in our spiritual preparation during Advent. "The Little Blue Book" is published by the Diocese of Saginaw, MI. (They also have booklets for Lent and Easter.)

As a practice in lecto divina, the booklet focuses on the infant narrative (Chapters 1 and 2) found in the Gospel of St. Luke, as well as providing "a variety of facts about the Advent and Christmas seasons, the feast of the day, and various traditions and customs."

In meditating on the opening verses (1:1-4) the phrase that grabbed my attention was "from the beginning". It reminded me of the opening of both Genesis and the Gospel of St. John: "In the beginning...." The beginning is God. I must go if to Him if I am to truly "realize the certainty of the teachings you have received." In order to be "Theophilus" ("lover of God"), I must get to know Him, not just know about Him.

That is where I am in my spiritual development. I know about God, but I really don't know Him. It is the difference between head and heart, casual acquaintence and intimate companion, far away deity and "Abba". I can intellectualize all I want, but that doesn't get me any closer to Him. Only being open to Him will accomplish that.

Fr. John Powell, SJ, a former professor at Loyola University (Chicago), poses this thought in one of his books. We should not be asking about our nature, but His. The question is not "Who, O God, am I that You love me so?", but rather "Who, O God, are You that You love me so?"

To know Him is to love Him. To know Him is to know Love.

A Dime A Dozen

That's how much ideas are worth at times. And some people think that's even overpriced. Like a penny for your thoughts.

I had offered to maintain a list started by Gerard Stafin of the known Catholic 'blogs published. As I discovered, and as the Curt Jester commented, somebody has already beaten me to the punch. Twice.

The direct successor of Some Catholic Blogs is Catholic Blog Directory, maintained by the 'blogmaster of Gen X Revert. The other one is St. Blog's Parish Directory of Catholic Blogs (for which I have registered).

Oh, well. Better luck next time.

'Blog Development Help

Julie D. has a post about another tool that 'bloggers can use to help develop their site.

I need all the help I can get.

A Cyber-Proposal

I may have found a calling in the 'blogosphere.

Gerard Serafin was the 'blogmaster of A Catholic Blog For Lovers who passed away in November 2004. That 'blog and a website has been maintained by his twin sister as a cyber-memorial and is available for viewing. Unfortunately, the comment box of his last post was used as a "dumping ground" and some of the earlier posts shortly after his death had to be deleted as well as the toxic ones.

There are some comments still there. And I, as explained below, utilized it today for a purpose.

I was an occasional visitor to "A Catholic Blog For Lovers" and enjoyed the posts here. I was saddened when Gerard died and read the tributes from around the 'blogosphere with great admiration. When I came back to this 'blog after I saw some posts about the anniversary of his passing, I was outraged when the comment box in his final post became a dumping ground for things unrelated and sorry you had to delete some of those earlier tributes in here.

I clicked on the link "Some Catholic Blogs: St. Blog's" to look at the list. Being it has not been updated since Gerard's death and knowing of more Catholic 'blogs which are on-line, I was struck with this inspiration.

I would be honored if I may have permission from you, as the current caretaker of all of Gerard's internet endeavors, to take over "Some Catholic Blogs". While this 'blog will remain a wonderful memorial of his life, I would like to continue the work he started by keeping the list he maintained accurate and up-to-date.

Please contact me via my 'blog so we can work out the details....You may leave your reply in the comment box. Thank you for your time and consideration.

We'll see what happens.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Candle Time

Happy New Liturgical Year!

My Advent wreath, a wrought iron candle holder with four glass containers, is out. The candles are in place. And this short ceremony was used to begin my preparation.

ADVENT WREATH - SHORTER RITE
(While making the sign of cross.)
My help is in the name of the Lord.
Who made heaven and earth.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing,
As they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils.
For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests.
They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast and forever peaceful,
From David's throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains
By judgment and justice, both now and forever.
(Isaiah 9:1-2, 5-6a)

Lord my God, I praise You for Your Son, Jesus Christ: He is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples, He is the wisdom that teaches and guides me, He is the Savior of every nation.

Lord God, let your blessing come upon us me as I light the candles of this wreath. May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ's promise to bring me salvation. May He come quickly and not delay.

I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Rite found at the website of EWTN.)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Grateful Praise

Fedora Doff to Steve Dillard at Southern Appeal, who also has this posted:

SOLDIERS PRAYER

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing I asked for--but everything I had hoped for.

Almost, inspite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
Anonymous Confederate Soldier

Happy Thankgiving!

Meme: OT Birthday Verses

In my last post, I commented on a meme I saw on another 'blog. It's gotten around; I have seen a few posts, including some which take on other books in the Bible.

I did tag Rick Lugari and his lovely bride, Rhonda; however, someone got to him first and she also replied. One of Rick's commentors did his using the Pentateuch.

I'll take up that idea:
Genesis 7:5--Noah did just as the Lord had commanded him.

Exodus 7:5--"...so that the Egyptians may learn that I am the Lord, as I stretch out my hand against Egypt and lead the Israelites out of their midst."

Leviticus 7:5--All this the priest shall burn on the altar as an oblation to the Lord. This is the guilt offering.

Numbers 7:5--So Moses accepted the wagons and oxen, and assigned them to the Levites.

Deuteronomy 7:5--But this is how you must deal with them: Tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, chop down their sacred poles, and destroy their idols by fire.

Of course, the military-style version as well:
Genesis 5:7--Seth lived eight hundred and seven years after the birth of Enosh, and he had other sons and daughters.

Exodus 5:7--You shall no longer supply the people with straw for their brickmaking as you have previously done. Let them go and gather straw themselves!

Leviticus 5:7--If, however, he cannot afford an animal of the flock, he shall bring to the LORD as the sin offering for his sin two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a sin offering and the other for a holocaust.

Numbers 5:7--...he shall confess the wrong he has done, restore his ill-gotten goods in full, and in addition give one fifth of their value to the one he has wronged.

Deuteronomy 5:7--You shall not have other gods besides me.

Once again, a few verses stand on their own. Once gain, this becomes a good point of departure for reflection and meditation on the entire context.

Yes, this ends the lessons on Scripture. No, I won't tag anybody with this version.

Meme: Birthday Verses

I have not been tagged with this meme. I saw it at Happy Catholic, who got it from another 'blogger, and thought I would beat somebody to the punch.

The original idea is to find the verse in the Gospel of St. John which corresponds to your birth date. It is expanded to include all four evangelists.

So, here are mine. The Bible I use is the NAB--St. Joseph Edition, 1970.

Matthew 7:5--You hypocrite! Remove the plank from your own eye first; then you will see clearly to take the speck from your brother's eye.

Mark 7:5--So the Pharisees and the scribes questioned him: "Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of our ancestors, but instead take food without purifying their hands?"

Luke 7:5--"He deserves this favor from you," they said, "because he loves our people, and even built our synagogue for us."

John 7:5--(As a matter of fact, not even his brothers had much confidence in him.)

Now these are when you list the month first. What if you use military-style dating (the day first)?

Matthew 5:7--Blest are they who show mercy; mercy shall be theirs.

Mark 5:7--...shrieking in a loud voice, "Why meddle with me, Jesus, Son of God Most High? I implore you in God's name, do not torture me!"

Luke 5:7--They signaled to their mates in the other boat to come and help them. These came, and together they filled the two boats until they nearly sank.

John 5:7--"Sir," the sick man answered, "I do not have anyone to plunge me into the pool once the water has been stirred up. By the time I get there, someone else has gone in ahead of me."

While the two verses from Matthew can stand on their own, here is more proof of not taking Bible verses out of context from the whole. Based on the whole section, though, this becomes a good exercise for reflection and meditation.

And now, for something completely different, I will tag Jeff Miller, Rick and Rhonda Lugari (Rhonda, if you can't beat them, join them), Anastasia Crosswell, Krush, and the Holy Fool. All others are welcome to play along in the comment box.

Musings On Motherhood

I am so glad I have the Happy Catholic on my 'blog roll.

Julie D. reflects (via a friend's e-mail) on the world's most noblist calling--being a mom.

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." "We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

Go read the rest of it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Our Miss Katelyn

Jimmy Akin posts on a note from Katelyn Sills and her mother, Wynette. Amy Welborn and Mark Shea also note the broadcast.

Pete Vere, a canon lawyer from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, has an article (courtesy of Catholic Exchange) about some measures of justice the Sills could use if they so choose. (Fedora Doff to Mr. Shea as well.)

Musical Quotes And Thoughts

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." (Aldous Huxley, Music At Night)

As a musician by nature and education, I agree. And as a song leader/cantor at my local parish, I have recourse to invoke St. Cecilia.

"He who sings prays twice." (Attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo)

I can remember two occasions when this seemed to be true.

The first was when I was the director of the Sanctuary Choir at St. John's Lutheran Church, Sioux City, IA. It was the Sunday after the first Gulf War started. The piece I selected for that day was the round "Dona Nobis Pacem". The choir's performance was satisfactory. The silence afterward summed up nicely what the congregation had in mind and heart.

The other was when I was a member of the Concert Choir at Minnesota State University, Mankato. During a spring tour we had arranged for a rehearsal at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rapid City, SD. We pulled out Franz Beibl's "Ave Maria" (a setting of the Angelus) and sang through it. I think it was the best we had ever done with it. Nobody wanted to break the silence after we finished. I couldn't help but think, "Folks, we didn't sing; we prayed." Ora pro nobis, indeed.

"Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,/To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak." (William Congreve, The Mourning Bride)

John Dryden (who converted to Catholicism later in his life) wrote two odes related to the power of music: A Song For St. Cecilia's Day, 1687 and Alexander's Feast. There's also a little history lesson about festivals on this day.

"If music be the food of love, play on,/Give me excess of it that, surfeiting,/The appetite may sicken and so die." (William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Job Hunting Update

I made this comment on the post "Losing My Religion?":

The second reason relates to my job search. I have a second interview with a Catholic church (withholding the name of the parish for now) on November 14 for the position of Music Director. I could be in that setting being discussed at Open Book.

The interview has come and gone. I was told I would have an answer one way or the other by last Friday. When you are looking for a job, you want phone calls and not letters.

There was no phone call on Friday.

Today, this attachment was in my personal e-mail box:

21 November 2005

Dear Ron:

Greetings! I offer my apologies for this late response. I meant to contact you last week by e-mail to inform you that the committee was still pondering and praying over the applicants, you being one of them and that the decision was delayed.

Be that as it may the decision to hire a new Director of Liturgy and Music for Our Lady of Guadalupe has been made. Though we know you are qualified, we have decided to hire someone else. It took several days of deliberation because we believe that this parish could have used your gifts and talents in many ways. However, we also had other things to consider. Once we put them together it became clear that though you are well qualified, this other person would fit the "personality" of the parish best and help us grow in the direction that we need to go.

I am grateful that you considered Our Lady of Guadalupe and for making the trip to St. Joseph. You are a talented person and I hope you find what you are looking for soon.

Sincerely,
Fr. Tom Ludwig, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe
(Note: The church is located in Missouri.)

So do I, Father; so do I.

The job search continues.

Clarification

A recent post told the story of how the Massachusettes legislature was considering a bill proposing to reduce penalties associatied with the criminal prohibition on sex with animals.

Domenico Bettinelli has clarification on what is in the bill.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The "Center" Of It All?

An acquaintance of mine recently sent this to me. I do remember seeing this once upon a time. Now, I have heard of how seemingly inaccurate and speculative the organizing of the Bible into chapter and verse is, especially the Psalms. And there are a lot of tricks you can do with numbers. But, you have to wonder, don't you?
Q: What is the shortest chapter in the Bible?
A: Psalm 117.

Q: What is the longest chapter in the Bible?
A: Psalm 119.

Q: Which chapter is in the center of the Bible?
A: Psalm 118.

Fact: There are 594 chapters before Psalm 118.
Fact: There are 594 chapters after Psalm 118.
Add these numbers up and you get 1188.

Q: What is the center verse in the Bible?
A: Psalm 118:8.

Q: Does this verse say something significant about God's perfect will for our lives?
A: The next time someone says they would like to find God's perfect will for their lives and that they want to be in the center of His will, just send them to the center of His Word:

Psalm 118:8--"It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man."

Now isn't that odd how this worked out?

Or was God in the center of it?

God Talk

This one has to make the rounds of the 'blogosphere, and especially those at St. Blogs.

Is this not what prayer should be?

(Fedora Doff to Julie D., the Happy Catholic. Welcome to my 'blog roll.)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Now, What's Next?

Now I understand why Domenico Bettinelli pulls out his hair in his home state of Massachusetts.

The lastest step down the slippery slope. Story courtesy of LifeSiteNews.com.

(Fedora Doff to Anastasia Crosswell at Southern Catholic Convert.)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Meme: Thanksgiving And Goals In Triplicate

The Holy Fool created this meme; Rick Lugari tagged me with it.

This coming Sunday, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Christ the King. The Church will begin a new Liturgical year, beginning with the joyous season of Advent in anticipation of Christmas.

This is a wonderful opportunity for Catholics to reflect on how they've lived their Faith this past year and how they'd like to live it in the coming Liturgical year.

So, here's the meme. In honor of the Blessed Trinity:


1. Write three things that we're grateful to God for in this past liturgical year.
  1. For challenging me to trust Him more than I ever have.
  2. For carrying me through this ordeal of finding a new job.
  3. For providing the money I have needed when I have needed it.
2. Write three ways in which we hope to improve our relationship with God in this coming liturgical year.
  1. To maintain a more consistant daily prayer life.
  2. To reflect and meditate on the daily readings.
  3. To continue to see Him as a Loving Father.
3. Pass this on to three other bloggers.

You know the drill from me. If interested, go ahead. Those without 'blogs are welcome to leave Nos. 1 and 2 in the comment boxes.

A Grip On The Slope

Stephen Dillard, the "'blogtator" at Southern Appeal, introduces the author:
Maria Eftimiades, a journalist for more than a decade, is currently the New York City bureau chief for People magazine. She has also written five books including Sins of the Mother: The Susan Smith Story and Lethal Lolita: The Amy Fisher Story. She has worked as a reporter, columnist and community editor for the New York Times, New York Newsday, Stamford Advocate, Bergen Record and Dallas Morning News.
This article from her comes from the Washington Post.

Discussions about it are at Southern Appeal, Open Book, and Jimmy Akin (Michelle Arnold is a co-'blogger at his site).

Correct me if I am wrong, those who have studied philosophy and logic more than I (my minor in college), but I remember that a "slippery slope" argument is not that good of an apology to make because there is not a rational sequence to it. Yet, real life seems to bear it out, doesn't it?

Katelyn Sills Interview

The Western Alliance is a group of 'bloggers who are "on the Right side of the Left coast." One of their members conducted a text messaging interview with Katelyn Sills, the student expelled from Loretto Catholic HS (Sacramento, CA).

(Fedora Doff to Rick Lugari at De Civitate Dei, who also has a post on this.)

Vocation Attraction

I live with visible reminders of the shortage of priests in the USA. I am part of a cluster of parishes (two, 16 miles apart) which share one priest, a man closer to 60 than 50. The chaplain of the Newman Center at the local state university is also assigned to a church 15 miles away. "The harvest is plenty, but laborers are few." And we do "beg the harvest master" at every Sunday Mass with a prayer for vocations created by our diocese.

But what is going to draw men to the priesthood (and women to a religious life)? John Mallon, a Contributing Editor to Inside the Vatican magazine, provides insight into the answer:

There is no secret to attracting vocations. There are plenty of them out there. A bishop who tolerates dissent and ignores abuses will not attract them. A bishop who boldly stands up for Christ and His Church, and Church teachings, despite all costs and opposition, will attract them. These young people are the future of the Church. Whether or not they are welcomed into their rightful place to which the Lord is calling them lies in the hands of each individual bishop.

Read the entire article.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Sacramento Saga Continues

This has been Rick Lugari's "story" since Day One. The latest on Katelyn Sills, her family, and the situation at Loretto Catholic HS (Sacramento, CA).

(UPDATE: Both Jeff Miller and Jimmy Akin have posts on the subject at hand.)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Faint With Damning Praise?

Obviously, that memo about not honoring people who disagree with Church teachings by giving them a forum or recognition on Catholic grounds didn't get across the border.

Then, again, it seems to get ignored here as well.

(Fedora Doffs to Anastasia Crosswell and Domenico Bettinelli.)

Plugging Away

This is a pleasant surprise.

The only other plugs I have received are from Rick Lugari (when Unam Sanctum was up) and Anastasia Crosswell at Southern Catholic Convert early in my 'blogging career. I appreciate the recognition by all and hope to earn the respect of those who find me worthwhile.

I hope to someday live up to the promise that the Fool sees in me. "But I have promises to keep/And miles to go before I sleep."

Friday, November 11, 2005

Settlement Reached

Jeff Miller has a post on Marie Bain, the teacher fired from Loretto Catholic HS (Sacramento, CA), and her legal wranglings.

Thank You, Vets

I have two brothers who either currently or did serve in the Air Force. I appreciate their service to our country. So, in honor of them as well as all in our military, I want to thank you for protecting our freedom. You do our country proud.

"Husband Hunting"

A local radio station has a morning show which includes a ten minute phone interview with someone from around the country. Most of their guests are not well know personalities, but rather are people who have some kind of "gimmick" to promote. There were two people featured over the past few months searching for a "significant other". Their purposes are as different as night and day.

"HUSBAND" FOR "HIRE"

Angela Manfredi is a columnist for the Palm Beach (FL) Post and an award-winning television and radio broadcaster. Her columns are humorous looks at her dating life. Over the spring and summer she conducted a contest looking for a "success-minded single man to help [a] never-wed singles columnist experience the practical side of marriage for two weeks." It was made very clear "[t]his search does not include or culminate in a legally binding marriage. It's a temporary arrangement (2 weeks) that will be written about for print publications and videotaped/recorded for possible television/radio broadcast."

The contest is over and
a winner was selected from ten finalists.

HOUSE FOR SALE; BRIDE INCLUDED (?)

The idea of "House With Bride" began while I was contemplating selling my house in Denver, Colorado. Although my company is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a few years ago I bought a house in Denver. My life in Albuquerque had solely revolved around my work, and I felt that I needed to make some changes to improve my social life and hopefully meet my "soul mate".

So goes the opening paragraph of the home page of Deborah Hale's website. The house is for sale. She is also using the opportunity to widen her search for a husband. It is actually an "either/or" situation; she reserves the right to reject any and all offers for her house and herself. In a final remark about her father's two marriages (a widowed retired minister who has re-married), she said, "I am committed to find that same success in a relationship."

COMPARE AND CONTRAST

Both women are professionally successful and physically attractive. Their life experiences would bring a wealth of compatible attributes to a marriage. Either one of them would be a wonderful companion.

But, I just have to wonder about Ms. Manfredi's motive. Obviously, I have no idea of how earnest in her private life she is about finding a mate. And the contest is just fodder for future columns and broadcasts. I hope it's not a case of poking fun at something as a way of expressing frustration of not having it.

Ms. Hale has at least expressed sincerity as stated in her various website pages. I will give her credit for "thinking outside the box" and developing a very creative way to aid her in achieveing her goal. Her desire to succeed is evident in the quote above.

I wish them both the best of luck for what they are seeking.

New Listings

Before I forget, let me introduce the two newest 'blogs to my list.

Ladies first. Amy Welborn. Wife, mother, author of several books on Catholicism, and observer of the happenings in the Church. The 'blog is called Open Book. And she explains the reason for the title quite well.

This man is no fool! (See Psalm 14:1.) With a mixture of commentary and haiku, the Holy Fool continues to be my teacher on Catholic Social Teaching and the follies of those who espouse Reasonableness.

Go. Read. Enjoy.

Loretto Update

There has not been much news in the past two weeks since Katelyn Sills was expelled from Loretto Catholic HS (Sacramento, CA).

But what exactly caused this dismissal?

Rick Lugari at De Civitate Dei has this post.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Plainly Speaking

Pope Benedict XVI, in a meeting with a group of Austrian bishops, exhorted them (and the entire episcopate in effect) to speak "the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth."
The Pope reminded the Bishops present of St. Paul's words in Ephesus: "I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God." The Pope said, "It is true that we must act delicately, but this must not prevent us from presenting the divine message clearly, even on those subjects that do not enjoy widespread approval, or that give rise to protest or even derision, especially in the field of the truth of faith and moral teaching."
We need to hear the Good News and the teachings of the Church in their unadulterated form. It is my opinion that my generation has been poorly catechized. There is a quote, either attributed to Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen or Gilbert K. Chesterton, which states that people don't disagree with what the Catholic Church teaches but with what they think the Catholic Churches teaches.

This is the only way to battle the Dictatorship of Relativism.

Story courtesy of LifeSiteNews.com.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

On The Agenda

I found this short position paper via a link in one of the comment boxes at De Civitate Dei. (Fedora Doff to Ashton Vaz. By the way, when are you going to renew your 'blog? When I click to reach your homepage, it says come back after September 15, 2004.)

The paper seems to be a work in progress, an attempt to develop a strategy. Given the subject matter and the slant, it's more like a screed than anything else. Can you say "fisking material"? (I knew you could.) My comments are in red.

Priestless parishes: Hope for the future
Huh? Must be a working title. But it becomes evident as one continues to read.
By Mary Ellen Donovan, OSF
I have a paternal aunt who has been with this order for over 50 years. I have no idea if they have ever met.

For women religious, the present time is both challenging and inviting. And this calling hasn't been this before now? Ask my aunt. The current upheaval and transformation in our Church (first instance of the corporate "we"; comment to come later) could only be the work of the Holy Spirit. I was thinking about a different celestial form. "Could it be, Satan?" New forms of worship (aka--liturgical abuse?) and new roles (like the proper role of the laity, when it doesn't blur or step over the line between the ordained priesthood and itself) are emerging within the life of the Church, in response to the spirit of Vatican II. How about a response to the letter and the spirit of Vatican II? Those documents must be read in the light of Tradition. And Archbishop Leveda has commented that a better translation of those documents might be in order. Although conservative forces fear the Spirit's work and cling to the status quo (you mean that the Faith is being handed down in an authentic manner, don't you?), the fact remains that male, hierarchical privilege is crumbling (is it?) --a welcome change for those attentive to God's Spirit. Being attentive is one thing; being discerning is something else. Isn't there a Bible verse devoted to testing those discernment?

Women religious today have a prophetic calling: to become God's hands and God's feet, bringing to justice the many structures of sin that have grown up in our Church (second use of corporate "we") over the centuries. And just what are those structures of sin? The Scriptures are full of stories in which God's people, through sin and greed, turned from the voice of the Lord. In every age, the role of the prophet is to bring the people of God to a new way of seeing and living. No, the role of the prophet is to bring the people of God back to His way of seeing and living, to return (turn again) to God.

We truly live in a liminal time--a time both of "not yet" and "already"--which pushes us out of our comfort zones to proclaim the presence of the Lord in our midst. Yes. It's called "living in the world but not of the world". Been around for about a couple millennia now. We must proclaim the new realities being born among us: models of Church that are communitarian (don't you mean collegial? Or are you thinking committee? Remember, it was a committee that created the camel), not hierarchical; feminine (the Blessed Virgin Mary is not a good enough model?), not masculine (or Christ?); inclusive, not exclusive (being included in what? Please read and understand 1 Corinthians 12) ; affirming, not condemning (and what's wrong with loving the sinner but hating the sin?); peace-bringing, not violence-making (what act of violence?).

We cannot expect male leadership in the Church to endorse this work of God (or is it from Satan? "By your fruits shall you be known"), although there are some sympathetic bishops (like those who "ordained" female "priests" and "deacons"). Make no mistake--we will experience persecution as we call to justice male structures of sin and establish new forms of power and leadership in the Church. So, "pink" will become the new "lavender"? And your female structures will not become as sinful? Note there hasn't been one word in this about service. It's all about control. Rather than confronting the present structures head-on, which would doom our work to failure (as it isn't already? See Acts 5:33-39a), we must adopt another approach: From our positions of power, we must work in solidarity to starve out of the Church all that is oppressive. Brilliant! Michael Schiavo will be your consultant? Remember, we are the Church. Of all the phrases taken out of context in the documents of Vatican II, the theme and variation that distorts "the people of God" has to be the most abused. The two instances of using "our Church" go right along with this, as if the Church is owned exclusively by this person and those of her ilk and used for their purpose.

If we want the bishops to face seriously the injustice of an all-male priesthood (you don't have an injustice if you don't have a valid calling), our best strategy is to participate vigorously in the life of vocation offices (sow weeds among the wheat) and to establish a rapport with the rectors of our seminaries (and, again, the corporate "we"; see above). We must network with each other, sharing our stories of success and learning from our failures. Refer to Acts again. Whatever we can do to further the crisis in priestly vocations will force the hand of the bishops to consider alternative forms of leadership--particularly an ordained priesthood that welcomes women. You don't want a direct confrontation; yet, that is what you will get. You eventually have to go through the very thing you are avoiding. And just what part of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis don't you understand?

Same screed, different day.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Complaints Filed

Marie Bains, the teacher fired at Loretto Catholic HS (Sacramento, CA), has filed complaints with the appropriate state government departments as a first step to a possible lawsuit.

Rick Lugari at De Civitate Dei has the details.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Spotlight On Sacramento

The saga of Katelyn Sills and Loretto Catholic HS continues.

A link to some information on Marie Bains, the teacher who was fired. (Fedora Doff to Rick Lugari.)

Rick himself has a new post. By the way, he is doing an excellent job of being the point man on the story. Check out all the related articles.

And then there is this fisking of a comment left by someone in one of Katelyn's posts on the subject.

Just another little battle in the Culture War.

(UPDATE) LifeSiteNews.com offers this synopsis.

Losing My Religion?

Amy Welborn has a discussion going regarding those who have/are working for the Church, whether for pay or not, on how they are keeping their Faith.

This interests me for two reasons. First, I am a song leader/cantor and lector in my own parish. While my duties in proclaiming part of the Liturgy the Word allow me to prepare on my own, such is not the case with the music ministry. It is a struggle for me to relate well to the others involved with it at times. As my post-secondary education is in music, it may be a case where my frustration is based on my "expertise" and standards. A good dose of humility is in order.

The second reason relates to my job search. I have a second interview with a Catholic church (withholding the name of the parish for now) on November 14 for the position of Music Director. I could be in that setting being discussed at Open Book. Let's call it a primer on what I may expect--good, bad, or indifferent.

I am learning much. And, no, I am not dissuaded.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

On All Souls' Day

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

And let Your perpetual Light shine upon them.

May their souls, and the souls of all the faithfully departed, through Your mercy, rest in peace.

Amen.

More From Loretto

Katelyn Sills, the student who was expelled from Loretto Catholic High School (Sacramento, CA) last Friday, released this statement to the Sacramento Bee.

Rick Lugari at De Civitate Dei is all over this story.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005