Monday, December 29, 2008

Case for Homeschooling - Exhibit 4

Time for another example of why my wife and I will be homeschooling our children. This one is about proponents of homosexuality pushing their agenda on to kindergarten children (yes, 5 year old children). This example comes from California (surprise, surprise!). I quote this article from the WorldNetDaily:

School holds surprise 'Gay' Day for kindergartners
Parents outraged at public elementary's secretive 'coming out' event
Posted: October 22, 2008 @ 9:34 pm Eastern
By Chelsea Schilling

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Some parents are shocked to find their children are learning to be homosexual allies and will participate in "Coming Out Day" at a public elementary school tomorrow – and they claim the school failed to notify parents.

One mother of a kindergartner who attends Faith Ringgold School of Art and Science, a K-8 charter school in Hayward, Calif., said she asked her 5-year-old daughter what she was learning at school.

The little girl replied, "We're learning to be allies."

The mother also said a Gay Straight Alliance club regularly meets in the kindergarten classroom during lunch.

According to a Pacific Justice Institute report, Faith Ringgold opted not to inform the parents of its pro-homosexual activities beforehand. The school is celebrating "Gay and Lesbian History Month" and is in the process of observing "Ally Week," a pro-"gay" occasion usually geared toward high school students.

The school is scheduled to host discussions about families and has posted fliers on school grounds portraying only homosexuals. According to the report, a "TransAction Gender-Bender Read-Aloud" will take place Nov. 20. Students will listen to traditional stories with "gay" or transgender twists, to include "Jane and the Beanstalk."

Some parents only recently noticed posters promoting the school's "Coming Out Day" tomorrow – celebrated 12 days after the national "Coming Out Day" usually observed on Oct. 11. When WND contacted the school to confirm the event, a female representative replied, "Yes, it is scheduled on our calendar."

When asked if the school made any efforts to inform parents, she refused to answer and said Hayward Unified School District would have to respond to additional questions. However, the district did not answer its phones or e-mails, and a voicemail recording would not take messages. "Coming Out Day" is not listed on the district's online school calendar.

Some of the parents contacted Pacific Justice Institute for representation when they learned the school was pushing pro-"gay" events for young children without warning.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, said opponents of California's proposed ban on same-sex marriage, or Proposition 8, often say the measure would not have an effect on public schools – but this is one of many recent developments that prove otherwise.

"Do we need any further proof that gay activists will target children as early as possible?" he asked. "Opponents of traditional marriage keep telling us that Prop. 8 has nothing to do with education. In reality, they want to push the gay lifestyle on kindergartners, and we can only imagine how much worse it will be if Prop. 8 is defeated. This is not a scenario most Californians want replayed in their elementary schools."

Concerned individuals may contact Faith Ringgold School of Art and Science by e-mailing Principal Diana Levy or calling (510) 889-7399. The Hayward Unified School District can be reached at (510)784-2600 or by filling out the district contact form.

Don't think for a moment that this sort of this couldn't happen at your school! Let me throw this question out to you, considering how many of the proponents of the homosexual agenda seek to keep parents in the dark, how do you know it's not already taking place in your local government school!?!?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Greetings from Father Corapi

A message from Father John Corapi:
A Christmas Greeting
The blessed and joyous time of Christmas is here again. So, I’ll just take the opportunity to thank all of our viewing and listening family for allowing us into your homes. I don’t take that for granted. I am honestly grateful to you for allowing us to serve you in that way.

As I look out the windows of my home in Montana it sure is “beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” We have about a foot of snow and it’s been below zero for about ten days. Two of my dogs are under my desk with their heads resting on my feet--looking like those big fuzzy slippers that little kids sometimes wear.

Christmas is, of course, the best time to recall that Jesus, the Son of God, in fact was born in a poor stable or cave on a cold night—“for us men, and for our salvation.” Amidst the escalating uncertainty and chaos of the modern world we must sit still for a moment and remember what really matters.

In recent years major corporations have been vaporized in the twinkling of an eye. It’s a sign of the times, but recall that what really matters is that it was the twinkling of a star that led shepherds and wise men to the One who is the Light of the world.

In recent years the biggest accounting firm in the world ceased to be over night. They don’t account for anything today, but it honestly doesn’t matter. What really matters is that on a cold night two millennia ago the God who loves us was born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger by the Mother who loves Him.

In recent years the unthinkable has happened--major banks and financial institutions have ceased to be. That doesn’t matter either because the truly unthinkable happened on the first Christmas Eve long ago when the God who always was and will never cease to be came to show us the depth and breadth of His love.

In recent years I have been accused of being a “prophet of doom, and a pessimist.” I can understand this criticism, but it really isn’t true. I am a realist, and as a priest and Catholic/Christian of necessity must share in the prophetic dimension of Christ. The United States, and the entire world for the most part, is in many ways precipitating its own demise. That matters, and we must do all we can to “fight the good fight,” but what truly matters is the state of your soul and mine because in the end that will determine how we live forever, and compared to that nothing else really matters.

Things may go from bad to worse. It may well go from uncomfortable to dangerous to live your Catholic/Christian faith in a world unraveling rapidly due to one bad moral choice after the other. Remember that it will not be the first time if Christians are persecuted, even imprisoned and executed. “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.” The Western world is too fat and lazy, in the secular order and even in the religious. Perhaps a jolly good persecution may be what it takes for people to decide to live their faith, rather than go along with what they know to be a sick society.

In any event, don’t let it get you down. Whatever happens, stay close to Jesus and Mary. Remember that our God is not against you. He is for you, and He will be with you through all of the ups and downs of life. He will be with you in sickness and in health; in good times and in bad; and when death comes knocking at your door He will be there to comfort you and lead you safely home. Having fought the good fight and run the race to the finish line, you will surely hear those beautiful words:


A most blessed and merry Christmas and a holy, happy, and healthy New Year to each and all of you!

Fr. John Corapi

See also Fr. John Corapi's Television Schedule.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Intentions of Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for December 2008

General Prayer Intention:
"That, faced with the expansion of the culture of violence and death, the Church may courageously promote the culture of life through all her apostolic and missionary activities."
Missionary Prayer Intention:
"That, especially in mission countries, Christians may show through gestures of kindness that the Child born in Bethlehem is the Hope of the world."


December 2008

The Apostleship of Prayer receives monthly prayer intentions from Pope Benedict XVI and urges Christians throughout the world to unite in prayer for those intentions. The reflections below seek to illuminate the Holy Father's concerns.

General Intention:

Culture of Life. That, faced with the expansion of the culture of violence and death, the Church may courageously promote the culture of life through all her apostolic and missionary activities.

Pope Benedict XVI asks us to pray for the culture of life - specifically, that the Church may effectively promote life through its activities. Prayer for the culture of life is urgent because the culture of violence and death is growing.

The culture of death is based on the idea that humans are something less than beings in the image of God, unique creatures so loved by their Creator that he took flesh and died to restore us to friendship with himself. When a society loses this belief in the inestimable value of each person, the culture of death creeps in.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church in its discussion of the fifth commandment, "You shall not kill," specifically condemns murder, abortion, euthanasia, genocide, wars that are not necessary for defense, slavery, racism, sexism, torture, abuse, suicide, and all other acts that degrade or victimize people (2258-2317).

Although its moral vision has sharpened throughout history, the Church has always condemned the practices of the culture of death. The truth we uphold is that God is Love and Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Jesus both affirmed and reversed the negative "thou shalt not" of the fifth commandment by giving us the positive commandment to love others and do good to them, even to the least of them, even to our enemies. We are to love, protect, and serve all who are vulnerable, including the unborn, young, old, ill, handicapped, weak, hurting, outcast, and oppressed.

This month we pray that the whole Church may promote the culture of life and be a true light to our darkening world.

Because we are sinners, we all have done things or have attitudes that are opposed to the culture of life. How do you think God wants to change you?.

Matthew 5:21-22 - You have heard that it was said to the men of old, "You shall not kill: and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment." But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment."

Mission Intention:

Fraternal Witness. That, especially in mission countries, Christians may show through gestures of kindness that the Child born in Bethlehem is the Hope of the world.

This month the Pope offers us a Christmas intention that emphasizes again that Christians ought to be doers and not just hearers of the Word of God. We are to pray that all Christians will show by actions as well as words that the Child born in Bethlehem is the true Hope of the world.

What actions? "Gestures of kindness," says the Holy Father. What is the message? That God became a human being, a fragile child born into a world torn by sin and strife. God was never indifferent to our plight, but chose in one person at one time and in one place to manifest his Love. Previously God spoke through the prophets; this time he spoke through a gesture, his own appearance in the flesh.

In so doing, he unites himself with every person. Jesus was like us in all things, except sin. He walked among us and spoke God's own words. But then in another incomprehensible gesture of kindness toward us, he offered himself as an innocent sacrifice for our eternal life. Now "each one of us can say with the Apostle: The Son of God 'loved me and gave himself up for me' (Galatians 2:20)" (Gaudiem et Spes, 26).

Gaudiem et Spes (Joy and Hope) was approved by the bishops at the end of the great Church council of the 1960s. The document speaks eloquently about the Hope that extends from Bethlehem to our own world today. "By suffering for us he not only provided us with an example for our imitation, he blazed a trail, and if we follow it, life and death are made holy and take on new meaning" (27).

"Through Christ and in Christ, the riddles of sorrow and death grow meaningful. Apart from his gospel, they overwhelm us. Christ has risen, destroying death by his death; he lavished life upon us so that, as sons in the Son, we can cry out in the Spirit: Abba, Father" (33, 34).

By the power of that same Spirit of Christ, may Christians everywhere reflect their great Hope by "gestures of kindness," gestures small and large, expressing genuine love for others, forgetful of ourselves.

Through what gesture of kindness will you express your faith that the Child born in Bethlehem is the Hope of the world?

Mark 9:36-37 - Taking a child he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, "Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the one who sent me."

Prayer of the Month

O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life.
Look down, O Mother, upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build,
together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.

--concluding prayer of Pope John Paul II's encyclical Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Catholic Revolution

Catholics from all over the country are responding to the call for a Catholic Revolution after recognizing the division within the church which became so clearly evident during the recent Presidential election. The call is being answered by Catholics who are angry, feel betrayed by weak leadership on the part of many bishops, and are searching for a voice. I hear it all the time from callers on the Catholic radio programs I listen to.

RealCatholicTV owners sent out an email late Friday from Michael Voris, host of The Vortex, who says the culture of death demands a counter-cultural revolution on the part of faithful Catholics. Read and listen to the message from
My Fellow Catholics,

I wanted to take a moment following the election to reflect with you.

This is a link to a video commentary (The Vortex) from the day after the election that I invite you to watch. (also seen at the end of this post)

But in short, Our Blessed Lord tells His faithful that we are the "salt of the earth". Considering that at the time Our Lord said that, salt was just as valuable as gold. That is no small statement.

I firmly believe the Catholic Church in the United States and the west in general is entering a time of great change.

This change will demand much from us, much more than we have perhaps ever conceived of having to sacrifice. We have to come to the realization very quickly that we could be entering into a period of persecution against the Church.

We are all sadly aware that the last forty years have brought about many destructive changes in the spiritual lives of many Catholics - most refuse to go to Mass, engage in the sacraments and so forth. We know the devastation.

What is needed now is a total rock-solid re-commitment to the Faith and teachings of the Apostles, a counter-attack that has enveloped the culture and large parts of the west.

I ask you to prayerfully and seriously consider this one question -- What am I doing to advance the Kingdom of Heaven against Satan and his allies? and Saint Michael's Media are done grieving over political outcomes. A time for bold counter-cultural action is now needed - A Catholic Revolution.

Let's all join together and allow ourselves to be used to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven - no matter the personal cost.

God bless and happy viewing.

Michael Voris

P.S. I'm very interested in your responses to our call for a revolution. Please feel free to contact me with your reactions at

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI, Divine Revelation and the recent elections

A message from Father John Corapi:
Pope Benedict XVI Asks Catholics to Read the Bible as the Church Reads the Bible
A recent priority of the Holy Father has been to motivate more Catholics to read the Bible as the Church reads the Bible—in other words, authentically. Pope Benedict XVI chose the Sacred Scriptures as the topic of the fall Synod of Bishops. There has been a healthy interest in reading the Bible since the Second Vatican Council, but all-too-often there hasn’t been proper instruction and direction for the lay faithful in this area.

One of the most important major documents that came out of the Second Vatican Council is the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, or “Dei Verbum,”—“Word of God.” This is the Church’s most important contemporary document on how to read and interpret Sacred Scripture, indeed on Divine Revelation as a whole.

The Holy Father expressed concern recently that there is a real danger in some modern biblical interpretation that he believes can diminish the meaning of Sacred Scripture and erode the bond between the Bible and the Church. The substance of the Pope’s concerns are pastoral in nature, more than academic, although the two certainly converge. He wants Catholics to be enriched on a daily basis by the proper and authentic reading of the written Word of God. The Church has given us the “road map”, if you will, of just how to do this in “Dei Verbum.”

Several years ago we presented a series entitled “Word of God,” seeking to do exactly what the Holy Father has now called for. This six-part seminar synthesizes in a clear and easy way the six chapters of this landmark Church document. It will help you to better read and interpret the written Word of God as the Catholic Church reads and interprets it.

Surely one of the most important teachings we have ever produced, I know “Word of God” will help you greatly in reading and understanding the Bible as the Catholic Church does, and as the Holy Father has recently asked us to do.

The American people have now made it abundantly clear who they want to lead them, and the policies and practices that this president-elect has represented for some time, they can now claim as their own. Actions have consequences, and I am sure God has duly noted what our priorities are in the US of A. Economic matters would seem to take precedence over moral matters; money more important than life itself to most people (I guess they don’t consider almost 50,000,000 innocent children murdered by abortion part of life).

Now we shall see what the fruit of such a tree will be. I predict that we won’t have to wait long. In recent months we have seen “corrections” in the stock market, housing market, and banking industries. Now we’ll see if God orchestrates a “correction” in a country and a world that has demonstrated quite clearly that it prefers convenience and wealth to life itself.

Regardless of whatever happens next, remember there is still a God in Heaven and He loves you. He is infinitely merciful—and He is infinitely just as well.

God Bless You

Fr. John Corapi

See also Fr. John Corapi's Television Schedule.

The Intentions of Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for November 2008

General Prayer Intention:
"That the testimony of love offered by the saints may fortify Christians in their devotion to God and their neighbor, imitating Christ who came to serve and not to be served."
Missionary Prayer Intention:
"That the Christian communities of Asia, contemplating the face of Christ, may know how to find the most suitable ways to announce Him, in full faithfulness to the Gospel, to the people of that vast continent so rich in culture and ancient forms of spirituality."


November 2008

The Apostleship of Prayer receives monthly prayer intentions from Pope Benedict XVI and urges Christians throughout the world to unite in prayer for those intentions. The reflections below seek to illuminate the Holy Father's concerns.

General Intention:

Love of God and Neighbor. That the testimony of love offered by the saints may fortify Christians in their devotion to God and neighbor, imitating Christ who came to serve and not to be served.

This month Pope Benedict XVI points us to the saints of the Church, that all Christians may imitate them in their imitation of Christ. For this is the love of God and neighbor, to serve and not to be served.

Scripture is very clear on this: "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us" (1 John 4: 11-12).

We pray that all Christians may be fortified in love that serves others, because any love that does not serve others isn't really love at all. The saints have shown us that there are thousands of ways to serve others, but it's the serving of others that is essential. As we faithfully serve others, we are living out the love of God, even in those times we don't feel the love.

The Feast of All Saints on November 1 puts us in mind of one we claim as our own, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. A member of the Apostleship of Prayer, Frassati was devoted to both prayer and action. He used to say, "Charity is not enough; we need social reform." He also said, "We need constant prayer to obtain from God that grace without which all our prayers are useless; organization and discipline to be ready for action at the right time; and finally, the sacrifice of our passion and of ourselves, because without that we cannot achieve our aim."

Blessed Frassati died in 1925 of polio. Many of the sick people he helped came to his funeral. May all Christians be inspired to a love that expresses itself in prayer and service.

In what ways has your love for God led you to serve others? Thank God for the privilege of extending his love.

James 2:26 - Just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Mission Intention:

Church in Asia. That the Christian communities of Asia, contemplating the face of Christ, may find the most suitable ways to announce Him, in full faithfulness to the Gospel.

Last December Pope Benedict XVI addressed a group of Korean prelates, exclaiming: "The Church in your countries has made remarkable progress since the arrival of missionaries in the region over four hundred years ago, and their return to Mongolia just fifteen years ago."

The Holy Father attributed this growth to the "outstanding witness of the Korean Martyrs and others throughout Asia who remained steadfastly faithful to Christ and his Church."

This month he asks us to pray for the many and diverse Christian communities throughout Asia. These communities include the Philippines, Asia's most populous Catholic country; India, where Catholicism goes back to St. Thomas the Apostle; South Korea and Vietnam, where Catholics make up a surprisingly large percentage of the population; China where there are new hopes that persecution is slowly easing; Indonesia, where there are conflicts with Muslims; India, where there are conflicts with Hindus; the Middle East, where many conflicts continue; and Iraq, from which Christians are fleeing.

After visiting Asia, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe reported on Vatican Radio that the Christian minority there often lives the faith "with great enthusiasm," comparing themselves to the first Christians who set out to evangelize the world.

We are praying this month that Asian Christians may find the most suitable ways to announce Christ. We in the West must respect the ancient cultures of the East and let the Church in Asia find the best ways to spread the Gospel. After all, Christianity is a religion that transcends, rather than imposes, culture. Cultures are transformed and elevated by Christ living among the people, for the Church is his Body.

May the Holy Spirit guide those who preach and teach the faith in Asia. May this be, as Popes John Paul II and Benedict have said, the millennium for the evangelization of the East.

People come to know Jesus Christ in a tremendous variety of ways. How did you come to Christ? Who helped?

Acts 20: 17-24 - I consider this life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the gospel of God's grace.

Prayer of the Month

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks. You are glorified in your saints, for their glory is the crowning of your gifts. In their lives on earth, you give us an example. In our communion with them, you give us their friendship. In their prayer for the Church you give us strength and protection. This great company of witnesses spurs us on to victory, to share their prize of everlasting glory. May we imitate their lives of service and daily give you all honor and glory. Amen.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The audacity of Barack Obama

I am a registered Independent voter (non-partisan). More importantly, I am a truly Catholic voter. My Catholicism defines who I am and how I conduct my life. It permeates every aspect of my life. I can't imagine what my life would be like without my Catholic faith.

This being said, it should be clear at this point that I could not vote for Barack Obama primarily for his radical anti-life, pro-abortion views. Some would say that I'm looking at only one issue and ignoring the rest. My response is that I am interested in all of the issues -- health care, the economy, environmental issues, immigration, family values, gun control, capital punishment, euthanasia, activist judges, abortion, stem-cell research, and more. However, some issues trump all others. For example, what good does health care, a good economy, strong family values, and a green environment mean to the child that has been killed even before he or she has seen the light of day? All those issues are mute if your dead!

Here's a wonderful quote from a man far smarter than I:
"The common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition of all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination."
(Pope John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, 1988)

So it would not be fair to say that I am a single-issue voter. I am multi-issue voter with a clear understanding that the right to life serves as the foundation for many other issues. If you get the life issue wrong (by being pro-abortion), you can't claim to have a good understanding of the other issues. You can't put the roof on a house until the foundation has been set and the walls raised.

This being said, it is clear where Barack Obama lies with his pro-abortion views. I've mentioned them elsewhere on my blog. For those "other issues" voters out there that think the life issues are not as paramount as I do, allow for me to put forward this video which speaks to Obama's patriotism (or lack thereof) and his questionable beliefs as applied to his proposed policies as the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. Considering the "spread the wealth" comments recently spoken by Obama which point directly to tenets of a Socialist economic policy, I feel the following video just continues to point to the many hints of Obamas anti-American sentiment.

The words spoken from his mouth speak volumes...

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Call for a Rosary Novena

A message from Father John Corapi:
A Call for a Rosary Novena
Among the most important titles we have in the Catholic Church for the Blessed Virgin Mary are Our Lady of Victory and Our Lady of the Rosary. These titles can be traced back to one of the most decisive times in the history of the world and Christendom. The Battle of Lepanto took place on October 7 (date of feast of Our Lady of Rosary), 1571. This proved to be the most crucial battle for the Christian forces against the radical Muslim navy of Turkey. Pope Pius V led a procession around St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City praying the Rosary. He showed true pastoral leadership in recognizing the danger posed to Christendom by the radical Muslim forces, and in using the means necessary to defeat it. Spiritual battles require spiritual weapons, and this more than anything was a battle that had its origins in the spiritual order—a true battle between good and evil.

Today we have a similar spiritual battle in progress—a battle between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness, truth and lies, life and death. If we do not soon stop the genocide of abortion in the United States, we shall run the course of all those that prove by their actions that they are enemies of God—total collapse, economic, social, and national. The moral demise of a nation results in the ultimate demise of a nation. God is not a disinterested spectator to the affairs of man. Life begins at conception. This is an unalterable formal teaching of the Catholic Church. If you do not accept this you are a heretic in plain English. A single abortion is homicide. The more than 48,000,000 abortions since Roe v. Wade in the United States constitute genocide by definition. The group singled out for death—unwanted, unborn children.

No other issue, not all other issues taken together, can constitute a proportionate reason for voting for candidates that intend to preserve and defend this holocaust of innocent human life that is abortion.

I strongly urge every one of you to make a Novena and pray the Rosary to Our Lady of Victory between October 27th and Election Day, November 4th. Pray that God’s will be done and the most innocent and utterly vulnerable of our brothers and sisters will be protected from this barbaric and grossly sinful blight on society that is abortion. No woman, and no man, has the right to choose to murder an innocent human being.

May God grant us the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and counsel to form our conscience in accordance with authentic Catholic teaching, and then vote that well-formed Catholic conscience.

God Bless You

Fr. John Corapi

Now through Friday, October 24th, all orders will receive a free "Vote Your Conscience" Double Feature DVD. This DVD Contains both Father's "Death Wish" talk and his "Wake Up America" Talk (see below for previews). We urge any of you who receive this DVD to show it to any friends and family who may be in doubt of what "proportionate reason" means when it comes to voting for a pro-abortion candidate. Visit Father's website or call 1-888-800-7084 to place an order. (Phone hours M-F 8AM-6PM EST)

Death Wish - Part 1

Death Wish - Part 2

Wake Up America

See also Fr. John Corapi's Television Schedule.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Intentions of Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for October 2008:

General Prayer Intention:
"That the Synod of Bishops may help all those engaged in the service of the Word of God to transmit the truth of faith courageously in communion with the entire Church."
Missionary Prayer Intention:
"That, faithful to the sacrament of matrimony, every Christian family may cultivate the values of love and communion in order to be a small evangelizing community, sensitive and open to the material and spiritual needs of its brothers."


October 2008

The Apostleship of Prayer receives monthly prayer intentions from Pope Benedict XVI and urges Christians throughout the world to unite in prayer for those intentions. The reflections below seek to illuminate the Holy Father's concerns.

General Intention:

Pope Benedict XVI asks us to pray for this month's Synod of Bishops as they discuss how we can use the Bible to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. The goal is that Catholics will spend time reading the Bible and, by doing so, grow in knowledge and love of God in unity with the whole Church. Strong in the Word of God, we may become courageous witnesses to the world.

Jesus promised the Apostles that the Holy Spirit would lead the Church into all truth (John 15:26). The Church sees the Word of God and the Tradition of the Church as the two great sources of this truth, and it is the Church's ultimate responsibility to codify the truths of our faith. Otherwise the meaning found in the Bible becomes subjective, with readers or groups of readers interpreting the Word of God in any way they wish.

Most Protestant denominations were born of such independent readings of the scriptures. As a result most Protestants have no authority to establish the true meaning of the Bible, and their churches split and splintered thousands of times, each group claiming to have the true interpretation but with no authority to do so. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has upheld one faith.

The doctrines of the Church actually illuminate scripture. Take the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Although a triune God is clearly implied by the scriptures as a whole, especially in light of the New Testament, the doctrine of the Trinity was not proclaimed by the Church until the fourth century. That proclamation was based on scripture, at least two centuries of tradition in the Church Fathers, and the need to counter the Arian heresy denying the divinity of Jesus.

Thus, safeguarded from error, we Catholics benefit a great deal from reading the scriptures, whether we do it publicly at Mass or privately. If we hear or read the Word in a prayerful manner, we receive faith, hope, and love, grow in unity with the Church, and find new courage to proclaim the Gospel.

How has the bible enriched your faith? Can you think ways to increase your time reading and praying the scriptures?

Psalm 119:97-105 - How I love your teaching, Lord! I study it all day long. Your command makes me wiser than my foes, for it is always with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, because I ponder your decrees. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.

Mission Intention

October is the month of the Rosary and the Missions. Pope Benedict asks us to pray this month that every Christian community may participate in missions through prayer, sacrifice, and concrete help. The Pope wants us to take missions seriously because he is aware of several grave threats to evangelization.

Some Christians have decided that evangelization must be modernized. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith calls it a "growing confusion" which misinterprets the "missionary command of the Lord" as a suggestion merely to present Christian ideas rather than preach repentance and Baptism into Christ. Some say that it is enough to try to help people act according to their own consciences without attempting to convert them to Christ, that it is enough to help people become more faithful to their own religions without attempting to convert them to the Catholic faith ("Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization," Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, December 2007).

But the Pope strongly contradicts these errors. In the same document cited above, we are reminded of the words of Jesus, who said, "As the Father has sent me, so I send you" (Jn 20:21). By his Church, Christ wants to be present in every time and place on earth in order to reach every person so there may be "one flock and one shepherd" (Jn 10:16). "The Apostles, therefore, prompted by the Spirit, invited all to change their lives, to be converted and to be baptized. It is the same Lord Jesus Christ who, present in his Church, goes before the work of evangelizers, accompanies it, follows it, and makes their labors bear fruit: what took place at the origins of Christian history continues throughout its entire course."

The Pope calls the Church to recommit ourselves to evangelization. How shall we proceed? Let us do what the Apostles of Prayer have always done. Like St. Therese of Lisieux, who never set foot in a mission field, we direct our prayers to God on behalf of missionaries and those they seek to reach. We sacrifice our time and our money to support them. We speak to others about the importance of evangelization. We look for concrete ways to build up a missionary culture. We deeply respect the Pope's wisdom in making these requests of us.

The Pope stresses the word "concrete" in this intention. How have you acted in concrete ways to support the missions? What might you do this month?

Luke 5:10 - Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Feast of the Archangels

Today is the feast of the Archangels - Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Angels—messengers from God—appear frequently in Scripture, but only Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are named.

Michael appears in Daniel's vision as "the great prince" who defends Israel against its enemies; in the Book of Revelation, he leads God's armies to final victory over the forces of evil. Devotion to Michael is the oldest angelic devotion, rising in the East in the fourth century. The Church in the West began to observe a feast honoring Michael and the angels in the fifth century.

Gabriel also makes an appearance in Daniel's visions, announcing Michael's role in God's plan. His best-known appearance is an encounter with a young Jewish girl named Mary, who consents to bear the Messiah.

Raphael's activity is confined to the Old Testament story of Tobit. There he appears to guide Tobit's son Tobiah through a series of fantastic adventures which lead to a threefold happy ending: Tobiah's marriage to Sarah, the healing of Tobit's blindness and the restoration of the family fortune.

The memorials of Gabriel (March 24) and Raphael (October 24) were added to the Roman calendar in 1921. The 1970 revision of the calendar joined their feasts to Michael's.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Education, Faith & America

A message from Father John Corapi (links and emphasis mine):

Education, Faith & America
In speaking with faithful Catholics all over the world for the past twenty years there is a consensus among them that the average Catholic doesn’t know much about their faith. Likewise there is an overwhelming consensus that if we did, the world would be a very different place. In the United States of America we have over sixty million Catholics. If these Catholic citizens knew their faith and then voted and lived their faith, this country would be incalculably better off. In turn, so would the entire world.

In the past few months leading up to what may prove to be the most crucial presidential election in this country’s history, it is outright frightening how many Catholics think they can vote for a pro-abortion candidate. As many of our good bishops have pointed out, under the current circumstances this is not possible. Abortion is the overridingly most important moral issue of our times, all others being important, but rendered irrelevant if the preeminent right—the right to life—is destroyed.

As Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon recently pointed out, clarifying the teaching of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops in their excellent pastoral letter "Faithful Citizenship," a candidate or office holder is disqualified from receiving the vote of a Catholic in good conscience if they hold a pro-abortion position. In other words pro-choice candidates under the current set of circumstances are disqualified because of their pro-death political positions. We cannot vote for them. As the Bishops of Kansas recently asserted in their excellent voter’s guide, "Catholics would 'commit moral evil' by voting for a candidate who supports abortion and other intrinsically evil things. Voting is a moral act, and voting for pro-choice candidates is evil in itself. One becomes a collaborator in evil by so doing. No amount of rationalization can escape this logical and moral conclusion."

There was some confusion over this based on a statement made some time ago by Pope Benedict, who was speaking in general terms, saying that for a “proportionate reason” it would be possible to vote for such candidates. However, in the concrete situation we face, with a candidate who is pro-life, this would not be possible. No amount of “other reasons” would excuse voting for a pro-choice candidate. The Church clearly teaches that life begins at conception. As Pope John Paul II stated many times, “abortion is murder.” Following logically from this, if a single abortion is murder, then 48,000,000 (the approximate number of abortions in this country since Roe v. Wade) of them is genocide. What would be the “proportionate reason” supporting such an outrage? There is none.

Lack of understanding of what the Catholic Church teaches is grossly harmful to the individual Catholic and to society in general. It is for this reason that I have always tried to promote and teach the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is a sure norm for teaching the faith, as Pope John Paul II asserted in promulgating the Catechism. “Guarding the Deposit of Faith is the mission which the Lord entrusted to His Church,” are the first words of the Apostolic Constitution "Fidei Depositum." These are the words the Holy Father used to introduce us to the Catechism.

For this reason we are making my series “The Teaching of Jesus Christ” more and more available through television, radio, and the lowest prices ever offered for DVD and CD versions. Ignorance of the Faith can prove fatal—for individuals and for nations. Learning our faith is the best investment we can make. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the very best way to do this.

May God bless you, each one, and may God bless America in this time of national crisis,

Father John Corapi

Father Corapi can be seen and heard on EWTN TV and EWTN Radio. Check the schedules for airtimes.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Vortex: Single-Issue Voters

Who are the real single issue voters when it comes to Abortion?

Let wives be subject to their husbands; An examination of authority in Christian Marriage

In late July, I mentioned that Christendom College has placed audio podcasts online, especially for my specific interest in their Annual Summer Institute. My wife and I just finished listening to Mary Stanford speak about the differences of women and men associated with Ephesians 5:
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
28 Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,
30 because we are members of his body.
31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
32 This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church;
33 however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Simply stated, Mary's presentation is the best I have heard on this subject. She not only covered the redeeming qualities that Jesus brought in to marriage, but she also clearly addressed the common misconceptions associated with this particular part of St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians. She does this through her obvious thorough study of the subject and gains additional insight from Edith Stein and Pope John Paul II's Familiaris Consortio, just to mention a few resources. I highly recommend this presentation.

I have placed a link to the podcast below as described on the Christendom College website. I would also encourage you to see my earlier post so that you can download all of Christendom College's podcasts. Accessing the podcasts via iTunes means gaining access to all of the latest content, including the 19th annual Summer Institute held on July 12th, 2008.

Authority in Marriage
Christendom College’s 18th Annual Summer Institute on Marriage and the Family was held at its Front Royal, Virginia campus on July 21.

Acclaimed professor of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, Mary Stanford discussed authority in marriage. She said that our modern culture has a misconception of what marriage is.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Kill and Destroy

Barack Obama's support of infacticide.

Obama & Live Birth Abortion / Induced Labor Abortions / Infanticide Pro-Life Anti-Abortion Video

"Kill and Destroy" Synopsis:
Featuring an interview with Jill Stanek, "Kill and Destroy" explores Barack Hussein Obama's support of infanticide in Illinois, an alarming decision that was opposed by every Democrat and Republican in the U.S. Senate. "What does it take to make a man a monster any more?" Illuminati Pictures president Molotov Mitchell recently wrote. "If Americans can watch this video and still support Barack Obama, then America is...beyond all hope."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Real Catholic TV - Purpose of the Vortex during the election season

A few days ago, I made mention of a new Catholic Internet TV station - I signed up as soon as I heard about it (it's free for most content). I have been impressed with the content being produced -- the news, commentary on "The Vortex", saint of the day, this day in history, and more -- all from a Catholic perspective. There's no apparent watering down of the faith. In fact, has been produced to be bold in its Catholic approach.

Case in point is this segment of "The Vortex"; a commentary by Michael Voris. Some of you may know Michael from Saint Michael's Media. Today's topic is largely focused on the purpose of the Vortex throughout the election season. See the hard-hitting segment below along with a summary of topics and excerpts.

Purpose of the Vortex
  • Presenting the truth of the Catholic faith in many different ways

  • Dedicated to helping people learn exactly what the church teaches and to share their knowledge with others

  • is not just a catechism online

  • Whatever the church teaches officially is guaranteed by Christ himself to be truth; this truth must penetrate whenever and wherever needs be

  • During Presidential campaign season, each daily Vortex episode will bring forward the Catholic truth

  • Not about interfering with the so-called separation of Church and State

  • Not about supporting John McCain; people are free to vote for any pro-life candidate, a write-in candidate, or to vote for nobody at all

  • Does endorse the wholesale abandonment of Catholics voting for Barack Obama for one main reason - his support for abortion on demand up to any point in the pregnancy and supporting legislation allowing for babies that survive an abortion to simply die without any medical care

  • Describes Obama's support of abortion, including his promise at a Planned Parenthood conference to sign the radical Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) as his first action as President (link to YouTube) to undermine every pro-life law that has been enacted through the past few decades

  • Obama has lost himself and is bringing down Catholics with him, all so that he can be President

  • Catholics with properly formed consciences can not support pro-abortion politicians -- Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy, and dozens of others -- regardless of the other favorable positions they may hold

  • No matter what Obama supports, claims to support, position he postures, legislation he proposes, it accounts for nothing in the face of the cruelty he advocates and seeks to expand

  • Catholic teaching forbids each and every Catholic politician from voting in support of abortion in any way

  • Barack Obama's platform is a murderous cry for the annihilation of over 1,000,000 innocent citizens each year, all in the name of a false and immoral "right"

  • Barack Obama, the "smiling baby killer", must never see the Oval Office except on a tour

  • Does not advocate the voting for the lesser of two evils, but rather a vote for the lessening of evil overall

  • With 50,000,000 dead babies and counting, Catholics must do whatever they can to bring abortion to an end; at this point our vote is what we can most immediately

  • Wishing Obama no personal harm; praying for his conversion and arrival to Heaven

  • Satan is the real enemy, not Obama. But as long as Obama aligns himself with Satan by participating in and advancing Satan's work, we must fight him every step of the way

Share this with everybody you know. Catholics must have their consciences properly formed before stepping in to the voting booth.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Case for Homeschooling - Exhibit 3

Michael Petrany, a Catholic homeschooled student, was recognized in his local newspaper – the Herald-Dispatch of Huntington, West Virginia – for his academic achievement. The link takes you to the full article. I quote in part below:

Michael Petrany took the college entrance test in June, when he was 15, and he was one of four West Virginia students to accomplish a perfect score, the second Huntington resident in the past year.

But as surprised as the homeschooled student was, he admitted the test was "fairly easy for the most part." He took the test, like his older brother before him, because he wanted to take classes at Marshall while finishing his high school degree. This semester, he is taking art, and he plans to take calculus, philosophy and political science.

That’s a well-rounded and an impressively challenging curriculum. The article continues…

When he's not reading textbooks, Michael Petrany is reading something else. He also plays the piano, volunteers at Ebenezer Medical Outreach and attends a regional Catholic youth group.

As for his future, well, he's still only 16. He's exploring his college options and may follow in his father's footsteps and become a doctor.

Best to you Michael!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On the Seventh Anniversary of 9/11

A message from Father John Corapi:
Today the world remembers the day of infamy that has come to be called 911. On September 11, 2001 the unthinkable happened—We were attacked by a hostile force deep within our own country. We were all shocked, many people were surprised, angry, saddened, or had their faith shaken.

Political correctness and genuine civility restrain us seven years later from saying much of what many of us think. We must love our country in season and out of season, convenient or inconvenient, whether the rest of the world does or not. That, however, does not mean we can’t correct ourselves, better ourselves. “Know thyself,” the Philosopher says.

Seven years later I admit that I am weary of the arguments at both extremes. At times the far left seems to truly despise the hand that feeds it. America bashing in some quarters has taken on the respectability of a rite of passage, if not a religion. You might expect it from some of the western European nations we have repeatedly bailed out of the hell visited on them by the Hitlers, Stalins, and other assorted thugs and mass murderers. It is shocking, however, when immigrants that have gone from relative rags to riches (most of us) hate themselves so venomously (We are the country after all).

On the other hand, there are those on the far right that seem to have a blind patriotism that discounts the evils this poor nation “under God” has subjugated itself to. We are in an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions, not just because of dependence on foreign oil, the housing crash, etc., but because of the crass negligence of the leaders we have voted into office—in both parties. Poor and weak leadership is punishment for sin. In an indirect way, so are all of the other evils that beset creation. An increasing number of countries hate us for various reasons. Terrorism has intruded itself into our daily life. We worry constantly about a host of evils. Why?

Do you suppose that a nation and the people that have democratically elected the leaders of that nation can be pleasing to God if they were guilty of the outrageous crime of genocide? If a nation legally and systematically had murdered 48,000,000 unwanted women over 60 years of age, would that nation be favored, blessed, and protected by God? Alright, change it to men under 30 years of age. Human beings are human beings.

We have under the specious pretext of law—the law of the highest Court in the land—murdered 48,000,000 innocent human beings through abortion in this country since that dark day Satan donned judicial robes and issued his decision in Roe v. Wade. The nation, and most of the world, is “bewitched” into thinking that this is somehow acceptable because a court of morally blind, if not insane, men said so. Hitler said many things, as did Stalin, and every other individual or institution living apart from God and His unalterable law. They are all gone. The immutable will of God and His truth still stand and always will.

As we recall the hell of 911 and pray for the victims, their families, and the nation in general, remember that God is not a fool, nor is He a disinterested party in the affairs of men. God knows every human being He created from all eternity by name. He loves each one as if they were His only child. How shall one nation under God answer God when He calls for an accounting for these beloved souls? Will we be protected from our enemies, from a never-ending cascade of natural disasters, from financial ruin?

May the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life, enlighten our minds and strengthen our wills to love the good and fight evil tirelessly; to defend the most innocent and helpless of our brothers and sisters—the unborn. The hour is late, darkness is falling, a day of reckoning is fast upon us. Now is the time to attack the evils of the day, abortion being the preeminent evil, for if the right to life is undermined, eroded, and ultimately destroyed, no other rights are relevant or meaningful.

God Bless You,

Father John Corapi

Monday, September 8, 2008

Five points about Mary in Pope Benedict's thought

Today is the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To mark the occassion, John Allen has published a piece today entitle "The Marian Papacy of Benedict XVI."

The Marian Papacy of Benedict XVI

By conventional standards, Jesus’ mother is not a major figure in the New Testament. Her name appears barely a dozen times; famously, Mary is mentioned more often in the Qur’an than in the Christian Bible. Yet despite that relatively low profile, few figures in Scripture have been the subject of greater controversy.

For some Protestants, Mary has long loomed as a symbol of Catholicism’s penchant for “adding” to the gospel, in this case an almost blasphemous level of devotion to a mere human being. For some feminists, veneration of Mary as both virgin and mother sets an impossible standard for women, thereby perpetuating male dominance. For many secularists, the body of miraculous lore surrounding Mary, especially her reported apparitions in various parts of the world, strains credibility in a special way.

In part, perhaps, Mary has been a lightning rod precisely because she is such a uniquely Catholic figure. Catholics share Christ, the gospels, prayer and sacrifice, even the sacraments, with many other forms of Christianity. Yet even though other Christians treasure Mary in their own ways, she is strongly associated in the popular imagination with the Catholic church.

Mary’s centrality in Catholic tradition may help explain why the last two popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have been so committed to reawakening Marian devotion in the church. For both popes, defending Catholic identity in a highly secular age has been job number one, and nothing says ‘Catholic’ quite like the Blessed Virgin Mary.

John Paul’s motto was Totus Tuus, “all yours,” a phrase from the book True Devotion to Mary by the 17th and 18th century French saint Louis de Montfort. As for Benedict XVI, so far he’s made nine foreign trips, and virtually all have pivoted on a major Marian shrine. While in Brazil, for example, Benedict went to the shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida; the heart of his trip to Austria was a stop at the sanctuary of Mariazell.

Once again next week, Benedict will be at a major Marian center to mark an important occasion, in this case the 150th anniversary of the first appearance of Mary to St. Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes.

Thus for Benedict, the pilgrimage to Lourdes is not a largely obligatory act of piety, one that represents a sideshow to his session with French President Nicolas Sarkozy or his efforts to revitalize the French church. Instead, Mary is very much the beating heart of this trip – and, for that matter, of much of Benedict’s papacy.

Over the weekend, Benedict offered a preview of his message in Lourdes during a brief stop at another Marian shrine – Our Lady of Bonaria, on the Italian island of Sardinia. (Our Lady of Bonaria is the traditional patron of sailors in the Mediterranean; Spanish conquistadores named the capital of Argentina for her, Buenos Aires.)

In summary, the pope made five points about Mary in Sardinia, which are likely to surface again while he’s at Lourdes:

  • Mary points to Christ, above all to his incarnation.
  • Mary is a symbol of the beauty and tenderness of God.
  • Mary is a forerunner and a model for all disciples of Christ.
  • Mary is a model for mothers, children and spouses, and thus a patron of the family.
  • Mary is the “star of the new evangelization,” a patron for efforts to bring Christ to the world.

Benedict encouraged the Sardinians to renew their Marian traditions, not merely as a matter of preserving local culture, but also because of the importance of Mary in Catholic theology and spirituality.

“The role of Mary in salvation history stands out in all its clarity: the being of Mary is totally relative to Christ, in particular to his incarnation,” Benedict said in his homily at the sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria. “Respecting everything human, God makes it fecund from within, causing the most beautiful fruit of his creative and redemptive work to bloom from the humble virgin of Nazareth.”

“Thus we can, once again, contemplate the place of Mary in God’s plan for salvation,” the pope said. “She is, in fact, in Christ, the summit and model of ‘those who love God.’ In the ‘here I am’ of the Son, we find a faithful echo of the ‘here I am’ of his mother, as well as the ‘here I am’ of all the adoptive children of the Son.”

In a nod to local devotion, Benedict cited a line from a Marian hymn in the Sardinian dialect: Sa Mama, Fiza, Isposa de su Segnore, referring to Mary as a mother, daughter, and spouse.

“May Mary help you to carry Christ to families, small domestic churches and the building blocks of society, which today more than ever need faith and support both on the spiritual and the social level,” the pope said.

“May Mary help you find the right pastoral strategies to help young people encounter Christ,” Benedict said. “Youth by their nature carry new energy, but are often the victims of a widespread nihilism. They are thirsty for truth and for ideals, precisely when both seem to be denied.”

Finally, Benedict urged the Sardinians to turn to Mary as a patron of efforts to evangelize the world – not just in terms of making disciples, but also bringing Christian values to society and public life.

“May she make you capable of evangelizing the world of work, of the economy, of politics,” Benedict said, “all of which today need a new generation of committed lay Christians, capable of seeking, with competence and moral rigor, solutions to sustainable development.”

Benedict’s Marian leitmotif illustrates a by-now familiar theme of his papacy.

In contrast to those who regard traditional piety and doctrine as a distraction from building a better world, Benedict insists that shoring up classic Catholic identity is not merely a means, but ultimately the only means, of fostering durable peace and justice. In the final analysis, in his view, a world without God, who is revealed in Christ, cannot be just – and Mary is the ultimate witness to Christ, as well as the role model par excellence for all who wish to follow Christ.

Like John Paul before him, Benedict XVI seems determined to lead a deeply Marian papacy. That will almost certainly be the story of his visit to Lourdes, whether or not it shows up in the headlines.

» John L Allen Jr Daily Column

A Note on the Blessed Virgin Mary's Birthday

A message from Father John Corapi:
A Note on the Blessed Virgin Mary's Birthday
The universal Church celebrates September 8th in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s birthday. This is an excellent opportunity for each one of us to do something to show our love and appreciation for the Mother of God and our spiritual Mother. From all eternity, God in his infinite wisdom decreed that Mary would be the Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ. She was with Jesus at all of the important moments throughout his life from the Incarnation, to his death on the cross. Before our Savior died He gave his Mother to each one of us in giving her to his beloved disciple, St. John.

This September 8th let’s thank God our Father for his beloved Daughter; thank Jesus for his Mother, full of grace; and thank the Holy Spirit for his immaculate Spouse, our Mother Mary. Offer a Rosary in thanksgiving to God for the gift of his own Mother as our Mother. Tell your Mother you love her, and most of all follow her example of holiness, humility, and perfect fidelity to Jesus and his teaching.

Happy birthday Mother, from all of your children still trying to fight the good fight and run the race to the finish line. We love you and ask you to intercede for each one of us with Jesus your Son. Keep us safe in the enclosed garden of your Immaculate Heart. Protect us from the wiles of the Devil. Lead us safely home to Heaven, to be with you, the most holy Trinity, and all of the angels and saints. Pray for us sinners, dear Mother, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Promo for the New EWTN Series for Catholic Men

Peter Herbeck has recorded a 2 minute audio promotion for the all-new Catholic Men's series on EWTN "Crossing the Goal" .

This promo is posted on the National Fellowship of Catholic Men Online Media Network!

The show debuts on the evening of Friday, September 5th at 9 PM Eastern (that's tonight!). Also check out the website at which has a ~7 minute video clip of the show with some outtakes.

Help get the word out!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

On Our Third Wedding Anniversary

To my wife on our anniversary:

Matrimony is a great Sacrament! Our marriage is our vocation in this life. We have been joined for life. Our mission and work are life-long efforts. Through the sanctifying grace we receive by fulfilling our vocation, we can hope to be welcomed in to Heaven and to live eternally with our God.
"Well done my good and faithful servant... Come, share your master's joy."
Matthew, Chapter 25
The exchange of our marriage vows seems as though it just recently took place. Yet when I reflect upon our life experiences and look at our two sons, I am reminded of how much time has passed. Yet, we are still in the early years of our vocation. So much has yet to transpire. So much has yet to be revealed. So much has yet to be accomplished.

Through our marriage and the deep study of our faith, I have come to better understand the gravity of our responsibilities in this vocation including how we are to help each other become saints and to raise our children to be saints. Our lives are now aligned in service to each other, our children, and to our neighbors.

We are to be living examples of what it means to be Catholic Christians and therefore true disciples of Christ. We are to be shining lights for those in the shadows of despair. We are to be the first and primary educators of our children, especially in matters of their religious education. We are to establish an "ecclesia domestica" so that our home is truly a domestic church in every aspect, so that anybody that meets us and enters our home can clearly see that our thoughts, words, and actions are all in union and alignment with how Jesus would have us conduct our lives.

Good health and God-willing, I look forward to a long, rewarding life with you and welcoming more children in to our home. Know that for all the many reasons that describe why I love you, the reasons that stand out the most are your interest in learning more about our shared faith and the miracle you cooperate with when you bring our children in to the world. My heart overflows with love for you and I know that what I feel for you now is still minuscule when compared to how I will love you in the years to come.

My heart is yours. My soul is united with yours. This will always be true.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First Catholic internet TV station goes live

A US company has launched what it claims to be the world's first exclusively internet TV station.

IBL News reports that Amigot Corp New York has designed and engineered for a group of businessmen of Indiana, Real Catholic, said to be the first television station ot its kind on the internet.

Starting September 1, the station features daily news, daily political commentary, daily features on saints and history as well as regular episodes on morality, movie reviews, entertainment, apologetics and much more.

With its own proprietary technology, the station will provide viewers with free access to home page content, daily news and commentary (current events and politics) from the Catholic perspective, messages directly from Catholic bishops to the faithful, and program previews.

Premium memberships for US$10 per month will allow access to the full site which includes original programming including talk shows, movie/book/art reviews, programs featuring Church teaching on morality and doctrine.

The station claims the backing of various bishops in the US including Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput of Denver and others.

RealCatholic TV was formed in early 2008 by lay Catholics who claim to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church with extensive experience in commercial broadcast television, specifically network and local television news, and Fortune 500 companies.

The Intentions of Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for September 2008:

General Prayer Intention:
"That those who, because of wars or oppressive regimes, are forced to leave their homes and country may be supported by Christians in the defence and protection of their rights."
Missionary Prayer Intention:
"That, faithful to the sacrament of matrimony, every Christian family may cultivate the values of love and communion in order to be a small evangelizing community, sensitive and open to the material and spiritual needs of its brothers."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

America - Meet Sarah Palin

Here is a video clip of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as she speaks for the first time as the Republican Vice President candidate. I will have more to say on this nomination in the near future.

Monday, September 1, 2008

New EWTN show -- "Crossing the Goal" -- encourages men to get in to spiritual shape

The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is set to air a new series focused on men's spirituality. The show debut takes place on Friday, September 5th @ 9PM (Eastern), 6PM (Pacific) with multiple airings on EWTN television & radio. See the schedule.

Here is the show description:

Danny Abramowicz, former NFL all-pro wide receiver and coach, has created a television show with EWTN Global Catholic Network called “Crossing the Goal,” which uses a sports show format to encourage men to get into spiritual shape.

“On this show, we talk to men about the things that are happening in their lives right now and we challenge them to do something about it,” said Abramowicz, who played for the New Orleans Saints and the 49ers. “Guys respond to a challenge. The Lord will help them, but they have to admit that something is not right in their life.”

Abramowicz – who ranked, in varying years, in the Top 10 for receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns – admits that he is a former party boy whose life once revolved around his ego and booze. He says he and his three co-hosts – Peter Herbeck, vice-president of Renewal Ministries; Curtis Martin, founder of Fellowship of Catholic University Students; and professional broadcaster Brian Patrick – provide real solutions to the spiritual challenges men face.

Segments include “The Kickoff,” where the problem of the day is quickly presented; “The Game Plan,” where two team members lay out the facts men need to know; “The Red Zone,” where the team talks about how they’ve dealt with the problem in their own lives, and “The End Zone,” where each team member gives the audience a take-away for the week.

“The economy is tough,” he said. “Men don’t think of the Lord when things are rockin’ and rollin’. When things start turning bad, that’s when we need to be available to the men.”

Learn more from the "Crossing the Goal" website.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Catholics Against Joe Biden

By now, you probably heard the big news about how the Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama has selected Senator Joe Biden as his Vice President candidate. Joe Biden is a "Catholic" in support of intrinsic evils such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research and thus goes against his faith in such matters.

A new blog has been established to provide ongoing analysis and commentary on the positions of Senator Biden at variance with clear and authoritative Catholic moral teaching. It is hoped that as a community, we will move Senator Biden and other "pro-choice Catholics" of all political parties to self-examination and greater obedience to the teachings of Christ and His Church.

The following information from the Catholics Against Joe Biden blog provides the foundation for our concern:

Why should Catholics oppose Senator Joe Biden?

Catholic Teaching on Abortion and the Obligation of Catholics in Public Life

In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae ("The Gospel of Life"), Pope John Paul II stated that

Among all the crimes which can be committed against life, procured abortion has characteristics making it particularly serious and deplorable. The Second Vatican Council defines abortion, together with infanticide, as an "unspeakable crime."
Regarding laws which seek to legitimize abortion, the Pope asserted that Catholics have a "grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection."

Speaking on the topic of Catholics in Political Life, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops affirm an "unequivocal commitment to the legal protection of human life from the moment of conception until natural death," stated that "the killing of an unborn child is always intrinsically evil and can never be justified," and emphasize the duty of Catholic legislators:

To make such intrinsically evil actions legal is itself wrong. This is the point most recently highlighted in official Catholic teaching. The legal system as such can be said to cooperate in evil when it fails to protect the lives of those who have no protection except the law. In the United States of America, abortion on demand has been made a constitutional right by a decision of the Supreme Court. Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good.

Senator Joe Biden: At Odds with the Church

On August 23, 2008, it was announced that Illinois Senator Barack Obama -- a Christian politician with his own lamentable record on the "life issues" -- had selected DE Senator Joe Biden to be his running mate in the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections.

As with Senator John Kerry in 2004, Biden's prominent role as a Catholic in public service, together with his deplorable record on abortion and embryonic stem cell research (in addition to other issues), has placed the matter of the responsibilities of Catholic legislators and the reception of the Eucharist by those unworthy before the public eye.

According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Biden "strongly support[s] Roe v. Wade":

He said he is "prepared to accept" the Catholic Church's teaching that life begins at conception but said Roe v. Wade "is as close to we're going to be able to get as a society" to incorporating diverging religious views on the issue. Although he voted in favor of the bill to ban late-term abortions, Biden said the Supreme Court's April 2007 decision to uphold the ban was "intellectually dishonest," saying its language undermined Roe v. Wade.

Biden voted in favor of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, which was vetoed by President Bush. The bill would have allowed federal funding for research on stem cell lines obtained from discarded human embryos originally created for fertility treatments.
A summary of Joe Biden's recognizably mixed record on abortion and Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR) can be obtained from; a list has also been provided by the Family Research Council.

On a positive note, Biden opposes public funding of abortion, stating on Meet The Press in 2007 that "It goes to the question of whether or not you're going to impose a view to support something that is not a guaranteed right but an affirmative action to promote."

Voted for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban: S. 1692, Partial Birth Abortion Ban, Roll Call 99-340, October 21, 1999 -- but, as the FRC points out, "He did not vote on the one that became law in the 108th Congress."

That said, Biden's general support of Roe v. Wade and a number of his specific votes on abortion and life-related issues merit the concern of Catholics:
  • He voted against a ban on transporting minors across state lines for an abortion (S.403, Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, Roll Call 06-216, July 25, 2006.

  • He voted against parental notification of minors who get out-of-state abortions: S.403, Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, Roll Call 06-216, July 25, 2006.

  • He voted against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which made it a criminal offense to harm or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime. S.1019/H.R. 1997, Unborn Victims of Violence Act, Roll Call 04-63, March 25, 2004.

  • He voted for increasing taxpayer funding for destructive embryonic stem cell experimentation: S.5/H.R. 3, Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, Roll Call 07-127, April 11, 2007.

  • He voted for increasing funding to Planned Parenthood and similar clinics by $100 million: S.Amdt. 244 to S.Con.Res 18, Appropriation to expand access to preventive health care services, Roll Call 05-75, March 17, 2005.

  • Voted against a ban on abortions on military bases: S. 2549, Roll Call 00-134, June 20, 2000.

  • Voted against a ban on human cloning: Motion to proceed for S. 1601, Roll Call 98-10, February 11, 1998.
The FRC also points out that Senator Biden co-sponsored the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) in the 102nd and 103rd Congresses but -- in fairness -- has not done so since. FOCA would overturn hundreds of state laws on the books that limit abortion.

In an interview with the Christian Science Monitor, Senator Biden disputed the notion that disobedience to Catholic moral teaching placed one at odds with the Church:
"My views are totally consistent with Catholic social doctrine ... There are elements within the church who say that if you are at odds with any of the teachings of the church, you are at odds with the church. I think the church is bigger than that."
In 2007, he boasted on MSNBC: "I strongly support Roe v. Wade... That's why I led the fight to defeat Bork, Roberts Alito, and Thomas."

On the Profanation of the Eucharist by "Pro-Choice" Catholic Politicians

On the matter of dispensing communion to admittedly "pro-choice" Catholics, one can appeal to no greater an authority than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. In a 2004 memorandum -- Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles -- sent to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Bishop Wilton Gregory:

5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.
The issue was explored at greater length by Archbishop Raymond Burke, who in 2007 published an article in the prestigious canon law journal Periodica de re Canonica, entitled: The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin.

In June 2008, Archbishop Burke was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the office of Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (the highest tribunal of the Vatican). In a recent interview, Archbishop Burke reiterated his position that Catholics, especially politicians who publicly defend abortion, should not receive Communion:

“Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily is a sacrilege,” he warned. “If it is done deliberately in mortal sin it is a sacrilege.”

To illustrate his point, he referred to “public officials who, with knowledge and consent, uphold actions that are against the Divine and Eternal moral law. For example, if they support abortion, which entails the taking of innocent and defenseless human lives. A person who commits sin in this way should be publicly admonished in such a way as to not receive Communion until he or she has reformed his life,” the archbishop said.

“If a person who has been admonished persists in public mortal sin and attempts to receive Communion, the minister of the Eucharist has the obligation to deny it to him. Why? Above all, for the salvation of that person, preventing him from committing a sacrilege,” he added.(Source: Catholics who support abortion should not receive Communion, says Archbishop Burke Catholic News Agency. August 19, 2008).

The Catholic advocacy group Fidelis points out, Biden's former bishop, Michael Saltarelli of Wilmington has said that the issues pertaining to the sanctity of human life are the "great civil rights issues of this generation" and warned against the profanation of the Eucharist by unworthy reception:

Bishop Saltarelli denounced the notion that politicians can 'personally oppose' abortion, but refuse to pass laws protecting the unborn.

"No one today would accept this statement from any public servant: 'I am personally opposed to human slavery and racism but will not impose my personal conviction in the legislative arena.' Likewise, none of us should accept this statement from any public servant: "I am personally opposed to abortion but will not impose my personal conviction in the legislative arena,” said Bishop Saltarelli.

In fact, Bishop Saltarelli made clear that pro-abortion Catholic politicians should refrain from receiving the Eucharist.

"The promotion of abortion by any Catholic is a grave and serious matter. Objectively, according to the constant teaching of the Scriptures and the Church, it would be more spiritually beneficial for such a person to refrain from receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. I ask Catholics in this position to have the integrity to respect the Eucharist, Catholic teaching and the Catholic faithful.”
Bishop Saltarelli reached the age of retirement on January 17, 2008. The Diocese of Wilmington’s new bishop, W. Francis Malooly, will be installed September 8th.

Further Reading

Vote for Real Hope and Change, by Charles J. Chaput. First Things' "On The Square" August 19, 2008. Excerpt:

"Obviously, we have other important issues facing us this fall: the economy, the war in Iraq, immigration justice. But we can’t build a healthy society while ignoring the routine and very profitable legalized homicide that goes on every day against America’s unborn children. The right to life is foundational. Every other right depends on it. Efforts to reduce abortions, or to create alternatives to abortion, or to foster an environment where more women will choose to keep their unborn child, can have great merit—but not if they serve to cover over or distract from the brutality and fundamental injustice of abortion itself. We should remember that one of the crucial things that set early Christians apart from the pagan culture around them was their rejection of abortion and infanticide. Yet for thirty-five years I’ve watched prominent “pro-choice” Catholics justify themselves with the kind of moral and verbal gymnastics that should qualify as an Olympic event. All they’ve really done is capitulate to Roe v. Wade."

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