Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bishop Carlson Celebrates 2nd Anniversary in Saginaw

I hope Bishop Carlson can forgive me for not posting this sooner...

On Saturday, February 24, Bishop Carlson marked two years as the shepherd of Saginaw. The best way I thought to commemorate these past two years was to look back and see how much has happened, this is obviously not a complete list but more like a very small highlight reel of Bishop's time here. So here it is:

Vocations to the priesthood have risen from 2 to 19
The Annual Bishop's Golf Classic
Faith Magazine
The Mother Theresa Fund providing financial aid to expectant mothers
The Bishop's Charity Ball to Benefit Catholic Education coming this Spring
The Renewal of the Permanent Diaconate
ABLAZE! Youth rally
Eucharistic Congress in June of 2007
The Formation of the Saginaw Area Catholic School System
"We Have Come To Worship Him" Implementation of the GIRM
A Rosary CD for Vocations
And so, so much more...

Thank you Bishop Carlson for coming to Saginaw!

Something from the "It's about time" department:

Study Reveals the Adverse Effects Sexualized Images Have on Women:

WASHINGTON, DC—A report of the American Psychological Association (APA) released today found evidence that the proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is harmful to girls’ self-image and healthy development.

The press release continues by describing certain health domains that are affected:

Cognitive and Emotional Consequences: Sexualization and objectification undermine a person’s confidence in and comfort with her own body, leading to emotional and self-image problems, such as shame and anxiety.
Mental and Physical Health: Research links sexualization with three of the most common mental health problems diagnosed in girls and women—eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression or depressed mood.
Sexual Development: Research suggests that the sexualization of girls has negative consequences on girls’ ability to develop a healthy sexual self-image.

The press release ends with a call for change:

“As a society, we need to replace all of these sexualized images with ones showing girls in positive settings—ones that show the uniqueness and competence of girls,” states Dr. Zurbriggen. “The goal should be to deliver messages to all adolescents—boys and girls—that lead to healthy sexual development.”

Wait, didn't Humanae Vitae ask for the same thing? Let Paul VI remind you:

Everything therefore in the modern means of social communication which arouses men's baser passions and encourages low moral standards, as well as every obscenity in the written word and every form of indecency on the stage and screen, should be condemned publicly and unanimously by all those who have at heart the advance of civilization and the safeguarding of the outstanding values of the human spirit.

Humanae Vitae is starting to look more and more like a prophetic document. Paul VI warned that if a culture abandoned the moral law that that culture, and in particular men, would

forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

It looks as if Peter was right again.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Growing Student Group Unveils Lies Behind Contraception

Students from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia had had enough when Women's Clinic started up again on their campus. They had heard the lies about contraception for the last time and had decided that they were going to do something about it. They describe themselves:
So they started spreading the word and things got a little heated. Efforts they made around campus were thwarted, signs got ripped down, nasty editorials were written against them in the student newspaper, everywhere they went they met opposition.
But then, people started to take notice and their group has started to grow. It has even grown beyond the walls of the University of Mary Washington to other campuses around the country like South Dakota State and the University of Kentucky.
With the trend of our culture to become more and more contraceptive (see earlier post) groups like this one need all the help they can get to get the word out. So check out their website and their blog and spread the word. If you can donate too their cause. And if you are a college student, think about starting a Project Plus chapter on your campus.

Your Yearly Lenten Dose of Someone Claiming to Uncover the Myth That Is Christianity:

I debated with myself about including this in the blog whatsoever but I figured everyone else is...

It has become clockwork that every Lent and Easter, someone "discovers" ancient evidence to prove that us Christians have been duped for 2000 years into believing something that we all really should have known better about. We've heard the story a thousand times: Jesus was just a man who had a really good skill in getting people to follow him. All that fun stuff that goes with divinity like virgin births, being the only child, Resurrection, Ascension, miracles, and a church are simply things people made up to get more followers. If this stuff were such breaking news, why do we only hear about it during the seasons of Lent and Easter and why do we hear the same story re-told every year?

Two reasons: People love a great conspiracy where they can throw back their heads and say: "Wow! were we dumb! They sure fooled us, and now we don't have to worry about any of this church stuff!" The second reason points to why this sort of thing is never done to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, or any other religion for that matter: Christians just don't seem to give a care. A Muslim or Jew would never let this kinda of bashing and discrediting go on and God bless them for it. Christians need to take an example from those other communities and not take this anymore. What happened to the admonition we received from Peter: "always be prepared to make a defense" (1Peter 3:15) Instead of making a defense we move over and say "thanks for clearing this all up."

But maybe I'm just getting too caught up myself, maybe this just brings more attention to the lies, I guess in the end my point is: Why can't we get any respect?
Mark Shea comments

Monday, February 26, 2007

CNN Report: Spiritual Leader thinks he's the Antichrist

It never ceases to surprise me what and who people will follow. God help all these people...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist is "Imminent"

Catholic World News reprts:

Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will soon release the apostolic exhortation summarizing the work of the Synod on the Eucharist, which concluded its deliberations 16 months ago.

The appearance of the apostolic exhortation is “imminent,” the Holy Father told priests of the Rome diocese, during a traditional early-Lenten meeting in the Hall of Benedictions at the Vatican on Thursday morning.

This is news I have been waiting for. It has been a while since a papal document has been anticipated and debated over as much as this one has. Part of that, I think, comes from the premature publication of the suggestions made to the Holy Father from the Synod. "What will the Holy Father incorporate? Will he change the Mass in any way? Will he write a moto proprio for a wider use of the Tridentine Mass?"
It looks like these questions and others will be answered in the near future.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

KFC Seeks Papal Blessing on New Fish Sandwich

I can see it now, cue the deep announcer's voice: KFC, bringing you the only fish sandwich endorsed by the Vatican! This isn't your local K of C Friday Fish Fry, this is Pope approved!
Catholic Online broke the story yesterday:

LOUISVILLE, KY (Catholic Online) – The head of the company internationally known as a fast-food chicken vendor has made an appeal to Pope Benedict XVI to bless its new fish offering.

In a statement released Feb. 18, Ash Wednesday, KFC said its president, Gregg Dedrick, sent a personal letter to the pope asking for a papal blessing for the KFC's new Fish Snacker Sandwich, noting that the fast-food item “is ideal for American Catholics who want to observe Lenten season traditions while still leading their busy, modern lifestyles.”

The company’s statement noted that Vatican officials confirmed receipt of the request concerning the $0.99 (USD) sandwich, adding that KFC “is hopeful to get the pope's blessing this Lenten season.”

"People can enjoy the flavor of the new Fish Snacker any day of the week, but we believe it will be especially popular on Fridays," said James O'Reilly, chief marketing officer for KFC.

KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., has more than 14,000 franchised outlets in more than 80 countries and territories around the world, serving some 12 million customers each day, according to company figures.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pope's Message for Ash Wednesday

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today – Ash Wednesday – we begin our Lenten journey in a spirit of prayer and penance. From the earliest days of the Church, Lent has been a special time of preparation for Baptism. For those already baptized, Lent is a time of conversion and renewed faith. It is a time to “exercise” our desire for God by opening our hearts to the new life offered to us in Christ. Jesus exhorts us to “repent and believe in the Gospel”. Only conversion can lead to true happiness, and God’s grace is needed to inspire and sustain our efforts to direct our hearts completely to him. Conversion consists in recognizing that we depend entirely on God, who created us and redeemed us in Christ. In my Lenten message this year, I wanted to emphasize God’s immense love for us, and to invite all Christians, together with Mary and the Beloved Disciple, to draw near to the Lord, who gave his life for us on the Cross. The Cross – the definitive revelation of God’s love and mercy – is the only way to enter this mystery of saving love. This Lent, by a more fervent participation in the Eucharist, may we learn to enter more deeply into the Paschal Mystery and to “re-give” Christ’s love to others, especially the suffering and those in need.

Finally Some Good News From the Anglican Front...

The leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion who are meeting in Tanzania this week have issued an ultimatum to the U.S. Episcopal Church: "Stop ordaining gay clergy and blessing gay 'marriages.'" If the U.S. Episcopal Church does not heed this warning, it could mean yet another split in Christianity.

Now spliting up Christianity is not something I see as a good thing persay, but thank God that the Anglican Communion is stepping up and defending truth on this one. After watching the Anglican Communion spiral out of control over the past few years one could only ask: Quo Vadis Canterbury? It seems that with this latest out of the Tanzania meeting, the Anglican Bishops will be attempting to answer that question and in couragous form as well.

Could this mean a better chance at a reunion with Rome? Who knows, but if anything it means they won't fall any farther away from her.

Lets certainly keep this one in prayer...

Pope's Advice to Seminarians

When the Pope speakes directly to seminarians, my ears perk up. He met with a group of them last Saturday for a Q & A. Catholic World News has the story, here's a "snipit":

The Pope told the students to “remain attentive to the other voices of the Lord,” recognizing that God speaks to them through “other people, through friends, through our parents.” Most of all, he added, God speaks through the Scriptures, which should be read “not as the word of a man or a document from the past” but as the living Word of God with a powerful message for every reader at every time.
As they embark on their lives as ordained ministers, the Pope said, the young men should “be with the Lord in the Eucharist every day-- not as a professional obligation but as a true interior duty.” He also encouraged them to be attentive in praying the Liturgy of the Hours, thus maintaining their regular contact with the Scriptures and their communion with other priests throughout the world.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Great Video

Anyone who has attempted to play the drums can apprieciate what these people can do. Simply Amazing...

Thanks to Mike G over at The Propaganda Machine for the heads up...

Ave Maria School of Law Moving to Florida...

Thomas over at American Papist has the story...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Parish Group Visits Seminarians at Sacred Heart Seminary

On Saturday, February 17th, a group  of young men from the Diocese came down to visit Sacred Heart Seminary and to learn more about the life of a seminarian and the need to discern one's vocation. The group consisted of young people from elementary school all the way though high school as well as parents and adults who simply wanted to learn more about what the seminarians do. Fr. Bill Rutkowski, from St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Bay City, was also with the group and offered Mass that evening.

The day's events included talks given by Eddie Dwyer about the universal call to holiness; Chris Coman about the need to discern one's vocation; and Denis Heames about the need to always stand for truth. The seminarians also led smaller groups through the seminary to give the visitors an experience of the history as well as the every day life at the there.

It was a day intended to expose people to the priesthood and to encourage young people to ask God what to do with their lives. As one middle school student replied after being asked about his favorite part of the day: "I liked learning about vocations and asking God about his will for my life." "Getting young people thinking about God's call for their life helps young people to hear that call" said one of the seminarians.

Events like these help to raise vocation awareness for all people regardless of age, gender, or state in life. They are a direct response to Bishop Carlson's call to build up a culture of vocations. Soon these young people will have to make decisions about where God is calling them and knowing what their options are enables them to make a more informed, and hopefully, prayerful decision.

Catholics and Anglicans Close to Reunion Under the Pope?

The London Times is reporting today that the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion may be close to reuniting after being separated for over four centuries. The Times reports that the Vatican is now reviewing a document submitted by the International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission which puts into place some possible scenarios for a reunification with the two churches. The Times reports:

In one significant passage the report notes: “The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the ministry of the Bishop of Rome [the Pope] as universal primate is in accordance with Christ’s will for the Church and an essential element of maintaining it in unity and truth.” Anglicans rejected the Bishop of Rome as universal primate in the 16th century. Today, however, some Anglicans are beginning to see the potential value of a ministry of universal primacy, which would be exercised by the Bishop of Rome, as a sign and focus of unity within a reunited Church.
In another paragraph the report goes even further: “We urge Anglicans and Roman Catholics to explore together how the ministry of the Bishop of Rome might be offered and received in order to assist our Communions to grow towards full, ecclesial communion.”

Who knows where this may lead but the possibility of reunion in the future is definitely something to look forward to. We'll keep a look out for developments in this story...
UPDATE: CNS now reports that the Church officials on both sides are claiming the story about reunion was premature and state that the document causing all the commotion will be published after both sides have time to offer a commentary. For the full story...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Benedict and the Beer II

I received such a great response from the previous pic so I found this one for your enjoyment. I like the previous Benedict and the Beer photo but in this one it seems like he's offering to have you join him!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Archbishop Chaput: "We need to end the death penalty now"

No intro needed for this post, just go read it. In case you need some proding, however, sample this:

The death penalty is a bad idea because it diminishes the society that employs it. It doesn’t deter capital crime. It doesn’t bring back the dead. It doesn’t give anyone “peace.” It sometimes kills the innocent. It coarsens our own humanity and sense of justice. And while both Scripture and long Catholic tradition do support the legitimacy of capital punishment in extraordinary cases, the conditions that would justify its use in developed countries like the United States almost never exist.

Papal Message for Lent 2007

Pope Benedict published his message for Lent yesterday reports and it is an intense medition on the love of God for mankind. Here's a little "snipit":

On the Cross, God’s eros for us is made manifest. Eros is indeed – as Pseudo-Dionysius expresses it – that force “that does not allow the lover to remain in himself but moves him to become one with the beloved” (De divinis nominibus, IV, 13: PG 3, 712). Is there more “mad eros” (N. Cabasilas, Vita in Cristo, 648) than that which led the Son of God to make Himself one with us even to the point of suffering as His own the consequences of our offences?
and since it's Valentines Day, a little more on the desire God has for our love:

Dear brothers and sisters, let us look at Christ pierced in the Cross! He is the unsurpassing revelation of God’s love, a love in which eros and agape, far from being opposed, enlighten each other. On the Cross, it is God Himself who begs the love of His creature: He is thirsty for the love of every one of us.

(Read the rest here)

Happy Valentining...

Ok, ok, so yesterday I was a little harsh on Valentine's Day. (and yes I know that "Valentining" is not a word) Of course it was all to make my point about taking a day that honors love and making it a day that honors promiscuity. Plus, I did it before Valentines day to respect the goodness that is still in the holiday. SO...for all of you who would like to hear a little more about the holiday and less about the bad stuff...I provide these slightly outdated statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau about Valentines Day...

And for all you men in Crowley County, Colo. who are dealing with that nasty 2/1 ratio...


Thanks to Carolina Cannonball for the Icon!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Governments starting to realize that promoting condoms has left things worse, not better."

The Register Reports:
“The root cause of the wildfire spread of AIDS is irresponsible moral behavior. By distributing condoms, this [behavior] is not challenged but only encouraged,” Cardinal Napier said Jan. 6, addressing the Jan. 4-9 assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, the Latin rite bishops meeting in the southern state of Kerala.
“By objecting to condoms, we are promoting sexual discipline,” Cardinal Napier said. “Show us a country in Sub-Saharan Africa that has reduced, let alone reversed, the rate of new infections” with condoms.
The condom-centric approach South Africa has followed for years has only pushed the country into the abyss in which it finds itself now, Cardinal Napier said. More than 12% of the country’s 48 million people are HIV positive, and half of all deaths are from AIDS.
To prove his point, Cardinal Napier said that Uganda is one of the greatest success stories in the fight against AIDS, with its abstinence program bringing down the HIV infection rate from more than 30% to below 6%. (Read the Whole Article...)
Interesting considering the efforts at Central Michigan University...You heard it here first.

St. Valentine's Day Now Touted As National Condom Day...

Once upon a time, St. Valentines Day commemorated a saint who uplifted the dignity of love and marriage. For the more historical critically minded, St. Valentine's was simply the attempt at Christianizing the pagan fertility ceremonies of Lupercalia. These ceremonies included the sacrificing of a goat (for fertility) and a dog (for purity) to the Goddess Fauna and Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. Then boys would run around town slapping women and fields of crops with the strips of the meat to make them more fertile. The Christians, then, "christened" it to bring about the dignity of love and marriage which is centered on Christ.

At any rate, it seems like we've come full circle and the pagans are trying to take the holiday over again. In recent decades, it has descended into simply a sex holiday where chocolates are traded for sex. This used to be done in a subtle way, and we could still fool ourselves into thinking that the holiday maintained it's purity (something even the ancient pagans thought important).

This is hardly the case anymore. Valentine's Day, as the national day of promiscuity, has now reared it's ugly head for all to gaze upon. It has descended to a place lower than the ancient Romans who simply prayed for pure fertility. The campus newspaper, at Central Michigan University, reports in its February 12th edition, that this week of Valentine's Day has been deemed National Condom Week by the American Social Health Association or ASHA with the holiday itself being dubbed National Condom Day.

Central Michigan is doing their part to honor this holy day:
Condom Week will have a wide range of educational events taking place at CMU, including an information backdrop by Health Sciences professor Joseph Inungu on HIV/AIDS and a performance by the Spell Birds, a group from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe.
Isabella County AIDS Council will have 15 panels of the AIDS quilt on display at the Bovee university Center Rotunda from Feb. 15-16.
In the subtle message that Valentine's is for promiscuity, (thus all the condom talk) they fail to mention that the best prevention of S.T.D.'s is abstinence. Their message compares to telling a drunk driver that the best way to prevent an accident is to wear his or her seat belt. What is left out is the idea "don't drive." And abstinence isn't simply a religious idea. In Uganda, they decided to take a different approach to fighting AIDS. They promoted abstinence and faithfulness and they have seen drops in the amount of people affected while other African countries continue to watch it rise.

Why does science spend so much of its efforts to try and help people live in a fashion that shows again and again to be frighteningly risky when they could promote the science of initiatives that work to save people from disease?
UPDATE: (4:15 PM) The National Catholic Register seems to be on the same page as Seminarians. Coincidence? I think not...looks like we have another subscriber...

Monday, February 12, 2007

"Seminarians" Get Coverage on Popular Catholic Blog

Thanks to Thomas, a good friend of mine over at American Papist, for giving a shoutout to us Saginaw Sems. He has a very attractive and popular blog which gets plenty of attention from around the country. He covers stories from across the spectrum: everything from a lastest movie or book review to what's new with the Pope and other church events, local and universal. You can also be treated to an occasional PPOTD (Papal Picture Of The Day). The blog is very informative and can be quite humorous. Plus, you can always count on a solid catholic viewpoint on whatever is discussed. Nothing wishy washy about Papist.

Check it out some time.

Catholic Stats Are Up

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The latest Vatican statistics confirm that the church's population and ministerial workforce are continuing to shift to developing countries, especially those in Africa and Asia. Figures released Feb. 12 showed that the overall number of Catholics increased to nearly 1.12 billion at the end of 2005, an increase of 1.5 percent from the previous year. The Catholic growth rate was slightly higher than the rate of overall population increase, which was 1.2 percent. Catholics now represent 17.2 percent of the global population, the Vatican said.

(Read on...)

YOU are invited to the pope's 80th birthday celebration!

On April 16th, Pope Benedict will turn 80 years old and he wants to celebrate. has reported that there will be a mass celebrated by His Holiness to mark the occassion, and you're invited.

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 11, 2007 ( Benedict XVI will preside over a Mass in St. Peter's Square to mark his 80th birthday.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Holy Father's vicar for Rome, sent a letter Friday to invite all the faithful to the celebration on April 15, the eve of the German Pontiff's birthday.

"We pray with the Pope and for the Pope, praying for an abundance of divine blessings for him," wrote Cardinal Ruini, president of the Italian episcopal conference.

The Mass will be celebrated on Divine Mercy Sunday, a liturgical solemnity introduced by Pope John Paul II.

The cardinal also asked the faithful to pray for Benedict XVI on April 19, the second anniversary of his election as Supreme Pontiff.

On April 2, Benedict XVI will preside over a Mass for the eternal repose of John Paul II.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

March for Life Attracts More Around the Country

As we move further and further into the 21st century, it is becoming apparent that the nation and the nation's youth are becoming more pro-life. Young people are not following in the footsteps of their parent's generation in destroying life. Joseph Pronechen writes for the National Catholic Register:

WASHINGTON — It wasn’t just the mainstream media that ignored the March for Life — Internet media sources like the Drudge Report ignored it too.
And it wasn’t just the March for Life in Washington they ignored. Jan. 22 was the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in all nine months of pregnancy. In what may be the great social movement of our time, pro-life Americans protested and attended Masses in cathedrals from coast to coast.
Here are some of the statistics of the day.
While the March for Life Jan. 22 drew an estimated 200,000 to the National Mall in Washington, its ripples were being felt throughout the rest of the country.
On a day that featured pounding rain in Dallas, 9-degree temperatures in Lincoln, Neb., and raw cold in the nation’s capital, the numbers reflected that the pro-life movement is steadily growing.

Keep reading...

Eucharistic Congress

The Diocese of Saginaw has announced that this summer they will be holding a Eucharistic Congress, June 8, 9, and 10. Some of the highlights will be the ordinations of two new priests: Andy Booms, and Jose Maria Cabrera-Bustamante, as well as the ordination of five transitional deacons. The annual diocesean youth rally ABLAZE with a concert by Catholic recording artist Steve Angrisano will also be an event not to miss, as well as a Eucharistic Procession from St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish to St. James Parish in Bay City on Corpus Christi Sunday.

The three day event will feature three bishops: Bishop Robert J. Carlson, bishop of Saginaw, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and Bishop Thomas Poprocki, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago. There will also be periods for eucharistic adoration and catechesis about the eucharist. Information and registration forms can be found on the diocesan website.

This is an event you don't want to miss...


UPDATE: To register for the Eucharistic Congress click here!

March for Life Youth Rally @ Verizon Center

While trying to find something to post about the March For Life, I found this video on of the youth rally. Now I know it is a little shameless to use someone else's video, but hey, I had no choice. I don't have a video of my own.

The Saginaw group, comprised of about 250 people, is visible about 12 or 13 seconds into the video. We took up the entire corner section we were in and are recognizable by the red scarves the kids were wearing. Plus, if you look really close you can see the seminarians in red shirts at the bottom leading everyone in dancing.

Don't miss next year...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pope Delivers Message for WYD 2007

On Monday, his holiness, Pope Benedict XVI released his message to the youth of the world for WYD 2007. Lifesite news covered the story:

VATICAN CITY, February 5, 2007 ( - Today, the Vatican released Pope Benedict XVI's message for the World Youth Day 2007, which is to be celebrated in all dioceses on Palm Sunday, April 1. The message focuses on love, and a significant portion is dedicated to preparation for marriage.

Rather than assume young people incapable of avoiding premarital relations, the Holy Father challenges youth to remain pure even during a marriage engagement. "The period of engagement," he said, "very necessary in order to form a couple, is a time of expectation and preparation that needs to be lived in purity of gesture and words."

Typical of Pope Benedict, he provides youth with the reason behind the instruction. "It allows you to mature in love, in concern and in attention for each other," he said "it helps you to practise self-control and to develop your respect for each other." The Pope added, "These are the characteristics of true love that does not place emphasis on seeking its own satisfaction or its own welfare."

In his message, the Pope also confronts the false notion that in dealing with youthful love between young men and young women, the Church is little more than an impediment. "It is essential that you discover," he told young couples the "project of love" which God has planned for you. Discover it, he said, "with the help of the Church, free from the common prejudice that says that Christianity with its commandments and prohibitions places obstacles to the joy of love and impedes you from fully enjoying the happiness that a man and woman seek in their reciprocal love."

Tribute to Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla 1920-2005

Great photo tribute to one of the greatest popes this Church has ever seen.