Sunday, February 24, 2008

Under New Management....

Let me apologize for the months without a post.

The reason was simple: I needed as few distractions as possible. I've discerned that it is God's Will that I move on and not continue towards the priesthood.

I've moved out East to D.C. and will be starting my Masters at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. I would appreciate your prayers as I begin this new stage of my life.

Saginaw Seminarians has a new writer, however, and will soon begin filling up this space with new and original posts. Enjoy.

Thanks again for all your prayers and support,

Richard Budd

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Get Ready For the Yearly Christmas Debate...

Here we go again. It seems like these battles begin earlier and earlier every year. This time it's hitting a little closer to home...

A citizens' petition drive to re-establish a Christmas tradition has begun in Berkley, Michigan. Under pressure from the American Civil Liberties' Union, the Berkley City Council voted to remove a decades-old nativity display.

Berkley resident Georgia Halloran launched a successful petition drive to place a Charter Amendment on the November ballot. The amendment would overturn the city council's decision and would model the Nativity scene on a holiday display ruled constitutional by the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal court that governs Michigan.

Ms. Halloran described her efforts: “Christmas is a national holiday. And we’re not going to let ACLU threats dictate how we publicly celebrate it.”

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, provided legal assistance to Halloran’s group. It also offered to represent the city without charge should it be sued by the ACLU.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, commented: “Despite all of their public rationalizations of why the Nativity should be removed from city property, it is clear the city council acted out of fear of an ACLU lawsuit. The council made the wrong decision, and Berkley citizens are working within the political system to correct that wrong.”
Of course the Thomas More Law Center is involved. These God-fearing lawyers have been defending the rights of Christians for some time now from those who are hell-bent on removing the civil liberties of Christians in this country.

I hope the good people of Berkley get their nativity back. This should be getting more press as the vote draws near...


Saturday, September 22, 2007

"Seminarians" Gets Nod From TIME Magazine

In covering the story of a certain Dr. Lina Pavanelli's opinion that John Paul II was euthanized, (She makes this judgment on "on her medical expertise and her own observations of the ailing pontiff on television, as well as press reports and a subsequent book by John Paul's personal physician.") TIME Magazine refered to a story I did about a week ago. Naturally, I was honored to receive a hat tip from a source as noteworthy as TIME so I thought I'd link to their story.

I'm not exactly sure what to make of this story. The doctor they are refering to had no contact with the dying pontiff, except for what her T.V. was telling her. In addition, she didn't seem to care three years ago when it happened but only became interested after a largly contested case of euthanasia in Italy last year.

It seems to me that they are giving attention to someone who doesn't really deserve it. (Which is kind of ironic, don't you think...haha) In the end the story serves no purpose but to raise doubt about the integrity of the Church and her teaching. However, the article did end on this note:
The medical aspects of the Pope's final days are clearly difficult to verify from afar, and the Vatican is convinced that the actions of the both its doctors and its Pope were in absolute good faith. Of course, medical opinions can often vary. So too can those on bioethics.
Not sure what to make of that last sentence though...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Always the Last to Know...

A few months ago, when the NFP vs. Contraception Vids were really popular CNA did a story about them. Obviously, I never knew about this...

So, I figured I'd run their story and link to all six videos in case I have any new readers who didn't have a chance to see them the first time.

Saginaw, Aug 2, 2007 / 09:59 am (CNA).- A group of seminarians has joined the YouTube phenomenon and posted three one-minute videos on the Church’s teachings about contraception.

The videos, entitled "NFP vs. Contraception", are a take on the popular Mac-PC commercials.

The three videos have already had nearly 9,000 views combined. According to Nielson/NetRatings, the website has nearly 20 million visitors per month, with the dominant age group being 12 to 17 year-olds.

The actors are seminarians for the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, Dan Kogut and Jeremy Meuser.

Kogut, who mimics the cool Mac personality in the popular commercials, plays the part of “NFP” and represents the Catholic position on sex, sexuality and natural family planning. Meuser impersonates the PC personality as “Contraception”. Eddie Dwyer, a seminarian for the Diocese of Saginaw, wrote the three skits.

The seminarians decided to make the videos while at the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, Nebraska, this summer.

“Eddie definitely had evangelization in mind with the skits, but we also just thought it would be fun to do and that people might get a kick out of it,” Kogut told CNA.

The seminarians’ videos join hundreds of other pro-life videos are posted on YouTube.
Here are the Vids:

NFP vs. Contraception I
NFP vs. Contraception II
NFP vs. Contraception III
NFP vs. Contraception IV
NFP vs. Contraception V
NFP vs. Contraception VI

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Amazing Coverage of Planned Parenthood Fraud on Sean Hannity

This coverage is amazing for a mainstream media source. Thank God for helping us to get the word out about the evils of Planned Parenthood!

I covered the example of statutory rape in the video back in May. Here's the link.

Pope Offers Advice To Couples For Avoiding Divorce

CNA: Pope Benedict XVI continued in his series of catecheses on the subject of the Fathers of the Church today in his General Audience. The church father that the pontiff drew upon is the saint known as the “Golden Mouth”, or perhaps more commonly as St. John Chrysostom.

The Holy Father stressed how St. Chrysostom teaches that if young couples want to avoid divorce, then they should be formed in their faith before marriage and once married, they should form their children from a young age.

Modern message of St. Chrysostom

Benedict XVI focused on how "St. John Chrysostom was concerned that his writings should accompany the integral - physical, intellectual and religious - development of the person." The Pope then explained how St. John thought a person should develop in their faith as they grow.

In his works, the saint highlighted the importance of childhood because it is then "that inclinations to vice and virtue appear. For this reason the law of God must, from the beginning, be impressed upon the soul 'as upon a wax tablet'."

Childhood, said the Pope referring to the saint's writings, "is followed by the sea of adolescence in which the gales blow violently as concupiscence grows within us."

For an age such as ours, that is witnessing constant attacks on the family, St. John Chrysostom had great words of wisdom for couples planning to marry. The eloquent church father said, "that a well prepared husband and wife close the way to divorce: everything takes place joyfully and children can be educated to virtue. When the first child is born, he or she is like a bridge: the three become a single flesh because the child brings the two parts together and all together they constitute a family, a little Church."

The Pope also recalled how the saint used to address his writings to the lay faithful who, "through Baptism, take on the priestly office, royal and prophetic. ... This lesson of Chrysostom on the authentically Christian presence of the lay faithful in the family and in society is today more important than ever."

For the complete story...

299 and counting

Less then 300 days...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Vatican: Feeding Tubes Obligatory

In case there was any doubt...
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified that the administration of nutrition and hydration to people in the so-called vegetative state is, with rare exceptions, morally obligatory.

The document and accompanying note, released today and approved by Benedict XVI, came as an answer to questions presented to the Vatican by the U.S. bishops in 2005.

The questions were sent just months after Florida woman Terri Schiavo, who was living in a vegetative state after having sustained brain-damage, died 13 days after having her feeding tube removed.

Schiavo's estranged husband requested that her feeding tube be removed, but her Catholic parents said this would constitute murder. After years of legal battles, a judge decreed that the tube should be removed.

Edward Furton, ethicist and director of publications for the Philadelphia-based National Catholic Bioethics Center, told ZENIT that the Vatican statement "speaks directly to the Terri Schiavo case, stating flat out that the removal of food and water from her was not the right thing to do."

He added that the statements "are a reaffirmation of John Paul II's 2004 statement which calls Catholics to provide food and water to patients in PVS [persistent vegetative state]. It affirms that food and water are ordinary care and not considered medical treatment."

Furton explained that there has been "considerable debate about this issue among theologians in this country, with two different schools. Many thought that after John Paul II's statement, the case was closed, but doubts persisted."

He continued: "Some said John Paul II was breaking with Pius XII's teaching, which is mentioned in the Vatican clarification. Pius XII had a lot to say about these issues and was well ahead of his time.

"But the [Vatican] commentary makes pains to say that there is no contradiction between what John Paul II said and what Pius XII taught. Pius XII was speaking about patients who were near death or even already dead. John Paul II was talking about patients who are not dying."
The story then gives some examples of possible exceptions as well as the reason for the Vatican's ruling. Human dignity demands this basic treatment and this dignity is from God, it is not something we give ourselves or even earn.

Lets hope this clarifies the issue for Catholics dealing with difficult end of life issues.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Saginaw Seminarian Update...

I have received several e-mails recently asking for news on the current statistics for priestly vocations in Saginaw (a.k.a. Seminarians). So, I figured now would be a good time to run a post. The picture above was taken August 15, at the Rite of Candidacy Mass and includes, along with the 24 seminarians, our vocation director Bishop Carlson, his assistant vocation director Mark Graveline, and Permanent Deacon Al Oliver

Here is a bit that was written up by the Diocesan communications office on the occasion of the Rite of Candidacy, August 15, the patronal feast of the diocese.
SAGINAW – Nine diocesan seminarians appeared before Bishop Robert J. Carlson to receive the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders today, the feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Mary Cathedral.

The rite of candidacy publicly acknowledges the intent of those aspiring to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. During the celebration, the bishop publicly accepts them as candidates for the priesthood.

The seminarians who participated the rite include:

Eddie Dwyer, 25, of Escanaba, who is entering his first year of theology studies at Mundelien Seminary in Mundelein, Ill.;

Nate Harburg, 26, of Ann Arbor, who is enrolled for pre-theology studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit;

Wilfrid Houeto, 48, of Benin, who is enrolled in Licentiate studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and serves as director of religious education at St. Mary Cathedral in Saginaw;

David Jenuwine, 45, of Detroit, who is entering his third year of theology studies at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.;

Joseph Jiang, 24, of China, who is entering his first year of theology studies at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.;

José Parra, 30, of Colombia, who is participating in a formation year at the St. John Vianney Formation House in Saginaw;

Marcel Portelli, 44, of Waterford, who is entering his first year theology studies at Mundelien Seminary in Mundelein, Ill.;

Prentice Tipton, 53, of Detroit, who entering his third year of theology studies at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.; and

Rick Varner, 40, of St. Agnes Parish in Sanford, who entering his fourth year of theology studies at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Conn.

In total, the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw has 24 enrolled as seminarians this academic season, including five transitional deacons, who are on track for priestly ordination during the next year.
Please keep us all in your prayers as we continue to discern God's Holy Will for our lives.

This might help...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Author of Lastest Mother Teresa Book Offers Clarifications

In an interview with the Spanish daily “La Razon,” Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, author of the book “Come Be My Light” and postulator of Mother Teresa’s cause of canonization, said the revered nun “lived a trial of faith, not a crisis of faith,” and that she overcame it showing that the love “is in the will and not in feelings.”

“Come Be My Light” is a collection of letters Mother Teresa written about various aspects of her life, some revealing that she suffered spiritual darkness for decades. Father Kolodiejchuk expressed regret that Time Magazine twisted the meaning of the book, whose title comes from “the words Jesus spoke to Mother Teresa in 1947. Time Magazine, even with the cover photo (of a Mother Teresa who appears depressed), has greatly manipulated world opinion. The book is about a trial of faith that Mother endured for 50 years, which is very different from a crisis of faith. This is not something new in the saints. This phenomenon of the dark night is well know in spiritual theology,” he said.
A very good article which will hopefully clarify the possible scandal that was caused by TIME Magazine. It goes on to explain what a trial and a dark night are. (click here for the full story) Hopefully, this will reach many of the people who were confused about Mother's faith life...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pavarotti Returns to the Catholic Faith Before Dying

Well, after taking a bit to get settled back in the seminary for another academic year,
Seminarians is back and I couldn't think of a better story to start with then Pavarotti returning to his Catholic Faith before going home to the Lord. CNA has the story:
Luciano Pavarotti, the world renowned tenor was laid to rest in Modena’s cathedral with a grand funeral which paid tribute to the opera legend and gave witness to his return to the Catholic faith.

The diocese had received criticisms that it had gone overboard in honoring a remarried divorcé. But Pavarotti's parish priest, Fr. Remo Sartori, said the twice-married singer had been reconciled with the Catholic faith, reported the Sydney Morning Herald. Pavarotti had received the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick before losing his battle against pancreatic cancer last Thursday, aged 71.

Church leaders and pastors, including Pope Benedict XVI, sent messages conveying their condolences. The Pope’s message expressed his sorrow at the loss of "a great artist who with his extraordinary interpretative talent honored the divine gift of music".

In his tribute, Archbishop Benito Cocchi of Modena recognized Pavarotti as an exceptional talent and as someone who “expressed himself in charity towards those who suffered."

One of the emotional climaxes of the funeral was a 1978 recording of Panis Angelicus (Bread Of Angels), performed by Pavarotti and his father, Fernando.

Another followed a prayer composed by Pavarotti's three eldest daughters from his first marriage, which said: "We thank God for having given Dad the gift of a great voice and we pray that he will allow him to use it in heaven to sing his praise."

Pavarotti's musical talent emerged in a church choir, where he sang with his father, Fernando Pavarotti, who was a baker. His father also had a terrific tenor voice, but stage fright prevented him from developing his talent.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pope Encourages Young People To Put Their Lives In The Care Of Mary
Benedict XVI invited young people to put themselves under the protection of Mary.

The Pope said this today at the end of the general audience in Paul VI Hall, on the memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

"We raise our gaze to heaven to contemplate the splendor of the Holy Mother of God, who the liturgy invites us to invoke today as our queen," the Pontiff said.

"Dear young people," added the Holy Father, "put your lives and each of your projects under the maternal protection of the one who gave to the world a savior."

Speaking to the sick, Benedict XVI continued: "As you wait to regain your health, ask her each day for the strength to confront with patience the trials of suffering."

To the newlyweds present, the Pope said: "Cultivate a sincere devotion to her so that she will be at your side in your daily life."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Michigan Governor Removes Petition From Website

As reported earlier, Governor Granholm of Michigan had placed a petition on a public website for the overturning of Michigan's law against embryonic stem-cell research. Now, it seems, she's backed off:
Michigan Gov. Jenifer Granholm’s office has removed its petition supporting embryonic stem-cell research from the governor’s publicly funded website.

The governor’s action came less than a week after the Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit asking the court to either ban the petition or allow pro-life groups to place their own petition supporting the ban on embryonic stem-cell research on the website.

“The battle is not yet over. She [Granholm] has not yet answered our lawsuit,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center. “It’s important to keep in mind that the website in question is paid for and owned by the people of this state; it is not Gov. Granholm’s personal property. Yet, she only allowed people who supported her position to use the website to petition the leaders of the legislature -- a clear case of discrimination against citizens who are pro-life.”

Law Center spokesperson Mallary Hernly said the issue is one of “fundamental fairness.”

“It is not about Governor Granholm voicing her opinion,” he said in a press communiqué. “It’s about only allowing persons who agree with her position to use a publicly funded website to communicate with their legislative representatives.”

The Thomas More Law Center filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Lansing on behalf of the Lansing Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, Flint-Area Right To Life, and Right To Life – Lifespan.

The lawsuit also seeks a declaration that Granholm’s policy violated the constitutional rights of those citizens who were denied equal access to, and use of, the website.

Further, it is not yet apparent whether the governor’s action is a principled end to the discrimination or simply an attempt to put the lawsuit to rest.

329 Days and Counting...

Vatican Plans Pilgrimage Flights To Various Destinations

From The Guardian:
The Vatican may have territorial limits, its own post office and even a football tournament, but it has hitherto lacked what all real states offer: an airline.
That will be put right this month as the Vatican launches its first charter flights for pilgrims from Rome to Lourdes, with some of the world's top religious destinations to follow, including the shrine of Fatima in Portugal and the shrine of the Madonna of Guadalupe in Mexico.

"The spirit of this new initiative is to meet the growing demand by pilgrims to visit the most important sites for the faith," Father Cesare Atuire at the Vatican pilgrimage office, the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, told La Repubblica. He said that with 8 million visitors a year, Lourdes was an obvious first destination.

The flights come thanks to a deal with Italian charter airline Mistral, whose blue and yellow colours coincidentally match the Vatican's, noted CEO Valerio Vaglio.

Mr Vaglio said the headrests on passengers' seats would sport the logo "I'm Searching for Your Face, Lord", while religious guides would be on hand, alongside the usual stewards.

The inaugural flight will include Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the former head of the Italian Bishops Conference, La Repubblica said.

Mistral was launched by the Italian action and comedy film star Bud Spencer and today it is controlled by the Italian post office. Mr Vaglio said that at night, the aircraft flying pilgrimage routes will have their seats removed and be converted back to flying sacks of mail.

Father Atuire hinted that luxury would not be a selling point. "The cost of the packages will bear in mind that the customers will be pilgrims," he said.
H/T American Papist

Monday, August 13, 2007

This Is Just Sick A service offering a complete "revenge package" in which people can destroy the financial status and relationships of their enemies at the click of a mouse is being offered over the Internet.

For as little as $20 a month, customers of the Web site can make the credit ratings of people they dislike plummet, and even have them suspected of fraud.

Victims' bank accounts can be shut down remotely and all their essential utilities cut off.

Fake e-mails and text messages which purport to come from someone else, such as the victim's spouse, can be sent containing false accusations of affairs or sexual liaisons.

The new "revenge" services are the latest example of the harm the Internet can cause individuals.

A British House of Lords committee report published last week described criminality on the Web as so bad that it was like "the Wild West."

The Web site, which also offers to create perfect "novelty" copies of any documentation necessary to enable the customer to gain revenge, promises its services "can create mayhem."

"CA [Confidential Access] can make it so someone couldn't even get an ice cream cone on credit again," the site promises.

One way of doing this, it explains, is to apply repeatedly for credit using the victim's name and multiple addresses, leading inevitably to a red flag from Britain's Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System (Cifas) or similar agencies.

Credit is then stopped until an investigation by Cifas decides whether the subject has been the perpetrator or victim of fraud.

The story continues...

In addition, there was provided this Editor's Note:

At one point Monday morning, the front page of had been replaced by a lengthy ad offering content optimization on RSS feeds.

What appeared to have been the original front page later reappeared, with "revenge" services no longer offered, but many other fraudulent documents such as fake driver's licenses and bank statements still available.

People who provide "services" like this should be in jail. Period. The world has become almost un-navigable outside of the Internet so when people can destroy lives this easily, you can't help but be a bit frightened...

Michigan Governor Being Sued for Discrimination

CNA: The Thomas More Law Center has filed a federal lawsuit against Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm for discrimination against citizens who oppose embryonic stem-cell research. The law center is a national public interest law firm, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The governor is allowing citizens to use her office’s website to submit a petition urging legislators to lift the state’s legal restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research.

However, the governor has refused the request of pro-life groups to place a petition on the same website opposing efforts to lift the ban.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of three pro-life organizations, the Lansing Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, Flint-Area Right To Life, and Right To Life - Lifespan, after the governor refused their request.

“Governor Granholm’s decision to use public funds to discriminate against citizens who disagree with her on the issue of stem cell research violates our clients’ constitutional rights of speech, association, equal protection, and petitioning,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, in a press release.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Lansing. It seeks a declaration that Granholm’s policy violates the constitutional rights of those citizens who were denied equal access to, and use of, the website.

It also seeks injunctive relief ordering Granholm to cease discriminating against citizens based on their views about legal restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research in Michigan.

Monday, August 06, 2007

NFP vs. Contraception IV

As promised, here is number four...enjoy