Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Dear friends, here is the latest information regarding the Notre Dame fiasco -
I just received this message from the The Cardinal Newman Society - April 29, 2009
First 300,000 Petition Signatures Delivered to Notre Dame Board Members, Fr. Jenkins
Copies Are Being Rushed to Rome, Papal Nuncio, USCCB and ND Bishop John D’Arcy
Manassas, Va. – Today, April 29, 2009, the first 300,000 names of individuals who signed the petition at NotreDameScandal.com — opposing the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Barack Obama at commencement — are being delivered to Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the Board of Trustees and the Board of Fellows as they prepare for scheduled meetings on Friday, May 1, at Notre Dame.
As of this morning, more than 344,000 people have signed the petition, but because of the overwhelming numbers it took The Cardinal Newman Society more than 24 hours to prepare the data and print more than 64,000 sheets of paper, double sided, which were then bound in notebooks and sent via FedEx to Father Jenkins and individual members of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees and Board of Fellows.
Copies of the petitions are also being rushed by The Cardinal Newman Society, which sponsored the petition, to Archbishop Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education; Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican ambassador) to the United States; Francis Cardinal George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Bishop John D’Arcy, of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who presides over Notre Dame; and Bishop Robert McManus, Chairman of the USCCB Education Committee.
“Only the Notre Dame Trustees and Fellows have direct authority over Father Jenkins, so their meetings on Friday are our best hope for an end to this scandal,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society.
“It is critical for all of us to pray that the Trustees and Fellows charged with safeguarding Notre Dame’s Catholic identity will heed the 50 bishops and hundreds of thousands of faithful Catholics urging Notre Dame to withdraw its invitation to President Obama.”
The University of Notre Dame is governed by a 12-member Board of Fellows, including six Holy Cross priests, who are charged with ensuring “that the University maintains its essential character as a Catholic institution of higher learning.” The Fellows delegate most of their governing authority to the 38-member Board of Trustees, comprised mostly of lay people.
The university’s charter states: "The essential character of the University as a Catholic institution of higher learning shall at all times be maintained, it being the stated intention and desire of the present Fellows of the University that the University shall retain in perpetuity its identity as such an institution."
Click here to sign the petition - Notre Dame Scandel.com
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Back in the 60's, I attended Holy Family Grammar School in Union City, NJ. Almost all of the teachers in our school were Franciscan Missionary Nuns, a teaching order based in Peekskill, NY. These nuns were sent to America at the turn of the century to maintain the faith of Catholic immigrants. Our nuns were dressed in full habit. You would not mistake these women as being anything but a nun. And the habit was severe. The only skin showing was face and hands. Each sister carried a wooden rosary that almost touched the floor. Let me tell you, these nuns were very close to God. Sometimes we thought THEY WERE GOD! Through the years, my friends and I have always enjoyed sharing the "nun" stories of our youth. Certainly there may have been some incidents, but mostly they were brought on by us unruly city kids. I cherish these memories. I loved those nuns.
We are now confronted with a serious problem. Our Catholic grammar schools are closing - at alarming rates. Certainly there are good reasons, high tuition, insurance costs etc. Still, we know - Catholic schools that preach sound Catholic Doctrine to our children are our greatest tool for evangelization. In my humble opinion, the answer to this problem is VOCATIONS! We need nuns (and brothers) who teach. And, we need parents who will encourage vocations!
A new order of nuns, The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist based in Ann Arbor Michigan, is exactly what the Church needs today. As stated on the Sister's website, part of their mission is to "Establish and support Catholic schools steeped in the rich culture of the Catholic faith to nourish the spiritual formation of youth, their families and society". Please keep these sisters in your prayers, and PRAY FOR VOCATIONS!
Here is a short film about this wonderful new order of Sisters, a grace for all of us.
This article is presented by Dr. Denton D. Weiss, M.D. on Catholic-Online. It concerns the current "swine-flu" fear. Dr. Denton shares some good common sense.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Catholic Online) – The rush is on to give us information… or, in some cases, is it really to sell fear? As I watched the National News Organizations give the moment by moment occurrences of the “upcoming Pandemic” throughout the day I felt moved to speak the truth about the current flu and present the facts for our readers. Swine flu is a viral infection that can kill but rarely does if simple precautions are taken and supportive care is provided. The highest risk patients are those who are compromised in some fashion. (i.e. a patient on chemotherapy, a patient who is nutritionally depleted, an individual who has liver or renal failure.) Flu patients who are extremely young or elderly may need IV fluids if severe diarrhea develops.
Patients with asthma or other pulmonary issues may need oxygen or short term bronchodilator medications for breathing difficulties. But, the majorities of patients, at least in this country, need to stay home, eat nutritional meals, drink water and electrolyte fluids such as Gatorade or Pediolyte, and not go out to the mall or to work while you have symptoms. Swine Flu can be spread via hand to hand contact, drinking out of an infected cup, or coughing in someone’s face. How do you prevent this? Simply wash your hands often. Don’t use a communal towel. If you have a high fever, body aches or flu symptoms don’t go to work or to class. The concepts are simple; we need to follow good hygiene.
Richard Besser, Director of the CDC, has called this a Public Health Emergency. By doing so he could more efficiently - and with less red tape - distribute appropriate medications and support resources to the States where Swine flu has been reported. This doesn’t mean we have an epidemic that’s killing millions. It means use common sense, do not give in to fear and this will be appropriately managed both in Mexico and across the World. For those who have lost their lives in Mexico, we need to pray for them and for their families. The losses unfortunately occurred before awareness was properly noted and proper precautions taken. Currently, the 40 + cases in the US and throughout the World have not been as lethal.
When “bird flu” hit the Asian continent and subsequently the World. It was managed by the demand for good hygiene or your job was lost. The flu came and went because people worked together in clean and supportive environments. Few patients were lost once the awareness was achieved and health care providers and the public used common sense.
I have a close friend who is a man of world travels. He lives by the statement “help me help you stay healthy”. His personnel are always advised on simple techniques when traveling. The recommendations may seem a bit obsessive/compulsive to some but I think they make good sense and I offer them to our reader. They are as follows:
The routine is pretty simple: One very simple rule, never touch your face or food unless you wash your hands first. Wash your hands often.
When I get on the plane, I wipe down everything I am going to touch.Air vent, seat belt, arm rest.
Clorox wipes work best in my opinion. I use germ-X wipes before I eat. I am often asked by the Flightt Attendants for one or two and I gladly share!
I never use the seat pocket or read a magazine I did not bring on the aircraft.
If possible, I watch the attendant and how he/she handles the glass I'm going to drink from.
When I land, next stop is the rental Car. I wipe down everything I'm going to touch.Steering wheel, shifter, radio button, door handles(inner and outer), etc.. Clorox wipes again.
Now the hotel:
Again everything you are going to touch. Door handles, remotes, lamp switched, etc..... At a hotel where they service your room daily, do it daily. It takes 30 seconds!
At work, I buy a big hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes and encourage people to use them. Lots of times they laugh at first but then see the light.
Thanks Mike, I couldn’t agree more with your practical thoughts. Now, I offer our readers some more. Those wipes are great for the office and classroom. Sleep 6 – 8 hours a night. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables (Remember the food we eat is our body’s medicine - frozen fruits and vegetables are great). Green vegetables have high amounts of B Vitamins and are great for the immune system. Vitamin C is also an excellent immune booster so keep that citrus in the frig and in your diet. Don’t forget the green tea and finally remember Faith not fear should direct your life…… your health! Take care of the Temple of your body…we’ve all been given just one.
Be aware, but be at Peace. Remember, we have been given the treasure called Faith! To end with the words of the Lord: "fear is useless: what is needed is trust" (Mark 5:36 New American Bible). Swine Flu Fear is Useless: Precaution, Faith and Common Sense are needed.
Dr Denton D. Weiss, M.D. is board certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He and his wife Michelle strive for an integrated approach to life which recognizes the unity of the body, mind and soul. They are contributing writers for Catholic Online.
Monday, April 27, 2009
My wife and I visited Ireland three times, and every time has been delightful. Ireland is a special place, where you can experience her Catholic past historically and spiritually. As in all of Europe, many Catholics in Ireland do not practice their faith. The disease of secularism is rampant. On a particular Sunday morning we attended Holy Mass at Galway Cathedral. We noticed there were very few people in the pews. After Mass, most ran for the gift shop - so I guess most of them were tourists. Michael Kelly, of the Catholic News Service, says Mass attendance has increased due to the recession.
Irish parishes report increase in Mass attendance since recession
By Michael Kelly Catholic News Service
DUBLIN, Ireland (CNS) -- Many Irish parishes have reported an increase in Mass attendance in recent months, with some parishes reporting increases of up to 30 percent.
Bishop Joseph Duffy of Clogher, Northern Ireland, said it is not just the older people who are attending Mass in greater numbers.
"There are a lot of people with young families who have been absent from the church who are now returning," Bishop Duffy said.
"It's been happening for a little while now -- people are seeing the need for deeper values, for moral values that lead on to a search for spiritual values; people are certainly searching for something deeper," he said.
After a period of unprecedented economic growth, Ireland's economy has been in dire straits in recent months. In a work force of 2 million, approximately 1,000 people lose their jobs every day.
"People are experiencing deep crisis for the first time in their lives," Bishop Duffy said. "The pace of this economic collapse has been so swift, I think it is causing people to stop and search; this naturally finds a home in coming back to church."
Several priests around Northern Ireland and Ireland echoed the bishop's comments.
In County Donegal, in Ireland, Father William Peoples said there were "much bigger crowds than recent years. On Easter Sunday, we had a 30 percent increase, but it's been noticeable over the last few months.
"The recession certainly has something to do with it," he said. "I suppose we have walked down the road of the Celtic Tiger for many years; we get fed up of a materialistic world and desire more."
In Tuam, in the west of Ireland, Father Sean Cunningham said: "I have noticed an increase in numbers of the last few months and I think the recession has a big part in that. I sense a move to more openness to faith and religion, and that people are searching for something deeper than material things."
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Arlington Diocese Bishop Paul S. Loverde is the 43rd Bishop to speak out against the invitation of President Obama to speak at the Notre Dame commencement on May 17, 2009. It is about time that Fr. Jenkins rescind the invitation, as embarrassing it may be. He must do the right thing. Catholics and all Christians must stand together to defend the dignity of the human person, to stamp out the Culture of Death. Catholic colleges must be symbols of everything the Church professes and believes.
This article is from the The Cardinal Newman Society, which is dedicated to renewing and strengthening Catholic identity at America's 224 Catholic colleges and universities.
MANASSAS, Va. (Cardinal Newman Society) - Arlington Diocese Bishop Paul S. Loverde has joined 42 of his fellow bishops in opposing Notre Dame’s planned honor of President Barack Obama at commencement on May 17, 2009. Bishop Loverde’s statement was included in a letter from the Arlington Chancellor to a parishioner, a copy of which was provided to The Cardinal Newman Society. The text of Bishop Loverde’s statement is being made public with the permission of the Arlington Diocese.
In the letter to the parishioner, Chancellor Mark Herrmann wrote: “Bishop John M. D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has noted that Notre Dame appears to have ‘chosen prestige over truth.’ Please join him, and Bishop Loverde, in asking Our Lady ‘to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige.’”
“The Cardinal Newman Society, which is located in the Arlington Diocese, is thankful for Bishop Loverde’s strong statement regarding the Notre Dame scandal,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “For more than a decade, Bishop Loverde has been a strong and consistent leader on life issues, and for that we are especially grateful.”
The text of Bishop Loverde’s statement is reprinted below:
The Catholic bishops of the United States, in their 2004 statement on ‘Catholics in Political Life,’ directed that ‘The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.’ It is clear that the Church’s teachings with regard to abortion and the sanctity of human life are among the ‘fundamental moral principles’ referred to by the bishops.
While he has been in office only a few short months, President Obama’s actions with respect to life issues already have been a source of grave concern to Catholics. You can read my statements on these issues, including the lifting of the Mexico City policy, funding for embryonic stem cell research and the proposed removal of conscience protections for health care workers, at www.arlingtondiocese.com. I share your dismay that Notre Dame, contrary to the direction provided by the bishops, has chosen to extend to him an invitation which – despite the University’s statements to the contrary – undoubtedly will be viewed by many as approbation of his policies.
If Notre Dame were hosting the President as a participant in a dialogue that included a full presentation of the Church’s position regarding the primacy of life, then the University’s action would be more understandable. However, given the unique national prominence of Notre Dame among Catholic universities, the decision by a few administrators to give him a platform and honor on Commencement Day will be damaging to the Church, to the pro-life cause and, ultimately, to the university itself.
This situation underscores the need for Catholics to be united and speak with one voice in our respect for all human life; otherwise, we project confusion and uncertainty on this most basic of issues.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Oh hummingbird, mankind was waiting for you to come flying along.
Heavenly songbird, we were so wrong. We've harmed you.
Oh hummingbird, lend us your wings.
Let us soar in the atmosphere of Abha.
Lift us up to the heaven of holiness,
oh source of our being, oh hummingbird.
Lyrics by Seals & Crofts
Dear friends of New Jersey. Spring is here, the flowers will be blooming and the birds will be singing. I have been to Colorado Rockies and the Adirondack Mountains in New York and enjoyed the beauty of the hummingbirds. Many folks do not know that there are hummingbirds right here at home. This article was written by Deborah Anderson. I hope you enjoy it - get your gardens ready!
Hummingbirds in New Jersey may not be something that is heard very often. Mainly because the number of hummingbird species is not real large, there are only two species that visit this state. These two species are the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird and the Rufous Hummingbird. With the number of hummingbirds returning each year to New Jersey not being as large as other states, it becomes important for hummingbird enthusiasts to provide an environment that will attract them and provide the needed nourishment that they desire to continue with their migration.
During the month of April, the hummingbirds begin returning to New Jersey. They can show up as early as the 4th or as late as the 28th, each year varies as to when the first hummingbird will be seen. The average date for them to return is between the 19th and the 23rd of April. Usually just in time for the blooming of the Flowering Quince, the Crabapple, the Apple, the Blueberry, the Azalea, the Autumn Olive, the Black Locust and the Tulip Tree. Hummingbirds may also thrive on the sap supplied from trees and shrubs that have been drilled by yellow-bellied sapsuckers, especially if a late cold front happens to wander through the area, thus delaying the blooming of the plants that they prefer.
Even though hummingbirds in New Jersey will almost totally ignore the feeders that have been carefully supplied and maintained when their favorite plants are blooming, it is still important to have them ready in case the blooms end, or the hummingbird population gets to large for the hummingbird garden to handle it. Hummingbird enthusiasts maintain their hummingbird gardens and feeders with this in mind and have the foresight to ensure that their hummingbird gardens are in bloom the entire season that the hummingbirds are visiting. This can be accomplished by including plants in the garden that bloom at different times of the year, such as Japanese Honeysuckle, which blooms from about May 25 to June 15.
While hummingbirds may actually prefer the nectar provided by the blooming flowers in a hummingbird garden, identifying these hummers may not be as simple as when they are feeding on a hummingbird feeder. The good news is that with only two species of hummingbirds in New Jersey, the task of identification of each bird is not as difficult as it would be if there were many species, some of which have similar features. Identifying the Ruby-throated Hummingbird and the Rufous Hummingbird is easier with the males of the species, because they both have very colorful, bright feathers that cover their body, but the feathers that cover their throats really stand out and make it easy to identify which bird is which. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird has, of course, a ruby red throat, but the Rufous Hummingbird does not get its name from the color of its throat, which is orange-red, not rufous. However, the male Rufous Hummingbird does have rufous colored feathers covering its crown, tail and sides. The females of these species are not as colorful as the males, but they can be identified just as well. The female Ruby-throated Hummingbird is best identified by its white breast; where as the female Rufous Hummingbird has a streaked breast.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
During the retreat, we viewed the Rob Bell video "Rain." We all enjoyed it and were moved by it. Watch it - you may also find it moving....
Monday, April 20, 2009
Here is Fr. Sudano's e-letter from April 14, 2009
"Christ is Risen. Indeed He is Risen" !
The mind-boggling, knee-knocking, earth-shattering, and head-spinning historical event we celebrated on Sunday, simply known as “the Resurrection,” is indeed a case of history and not hysteria, as some might believe. In short, what all our “Alleluias” are about surrounds an event actually witnessed by no one, yet its truth is witnessed by many.
Unlike the sacred writings of other religions, the highly embellished imaginative legends of Greek and Roman mythology, and those of the Hindu tradition, what we have are stark historical events. It is of interest to note that all the miraculous events we read in the Bible, most notably the resurrection, all somehow fall within the context of human reason. Meaning, there is a difference between the extraordinary events in mythology and the miraculous events in the Gospels. There is big difference between Medusa who turns people into stone and the man born blind who sees. In Oriental legends people sprout wings and fly away, in the Gospels paralyzed people walk away – there is a difference.
What I like to propose is that the historical event which we are celebrating as the key and cornerstone of the Christian faith is rational and reasonable. While we may not be able to understand the depth and dimensions of the resurrection, we are not speaking about myth, but rather mystery. The resurrection is a credible historical event – a product of God’s hand and not man’s imagination.
Yet the power of the resurrection on the apostles and disciples of Our Lord was indeed mind-boggling and knee-knocking – literally! All of us have a friend or family member who has died. For some of us their passing is quite recent. Now, how would you react if the person who you know is dead suddenly walked into the room? What would you do – jump up and say “Wow! I thought you were dead! What are you doing here?” No, you and I would probably either faint, punch ourselves in the head to make sure it wasn’t a dream, or we would run out of the house! In short, we would be like the disciples – incredulous at first, then beside ourselves with fear and joy. No wonder Jesus’ first words to the gathered apostles were: “Peace be with you.”
Friends, while few of us experience the full impact of the resurrection in our emotions, we can possess in some way its power in our soul. This means we can believe in this mysterious and miraculous event without physically or emotionally collapsing. The faith and conviction exhibited in the lives of the early disciples who literally saw and touched the Risen Lord can be ours. In fact, while many of you don’t believe you have such an apostolic faith, you should remember how the Lord has carried you through some dark and difficult days. The power which has brought you through the deep valleys and up the daunting mountains was at work in you. This is what we call faith.
Although you have not witnessed the battered and bloodied body of Jesus placed in the tomb, and then gloriously liberated from death, you believe it, not because it happened in history but because it is happening in your history. Faith is not only a gift by which we believe in the things of God, but it enables us to behave as God – to be godly, holy, and righteous – especially when it is most difficult.
The saints – those sanctified by the gift of faith – prove that the historical event called the resurrection is not only reasonable, but real. Despite a cross, a scouring, and a spear, they lived a life triumphant and glorious. Especially seen in the lives of the martyrs, we read about those who conquered sin and death – stared into the face of death – and smiled. Yes, the power of the resurrection alive and at work, not only in past history, but in your history.
During these eight days, the Octave of Easter, let us continue to wish each other a “Happy Easter.” It’s not about a day – this is the Easter season. Let us reflect on the ways faith has lead us through a Red Sea, fed us in the desert, opened our eyes, and empowered our weak limbs. Despite it all, we’re still here in hope of that day when death will be no more. The Easter story is not a myth, but a fact – a fact of faith. For this faith, this gift, this grace, may we be ever grateful. Perhaps the only word that sums it all up is “Alleluia!”
Fr. Glenn Sudano, CFR
Most Blessed Sacrament Friary
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
If you were not able to catch Archbishop Dolan's homily given at St. Patrick's Cathedral Wednesday April 15th, click on the link below. You will not be disappointed. Here are the first few lines of the Archbishop's homily....
"This is the day the Lord has made!
Let us rejoice and be glad! Alleluia!"
"He has risen as He said, alleluia! alleluia!"
"Jesus Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end,
Alpha and Omega.
All time belongs to Him
and all the ages,
to Him be glory and power! Amen!"
You are all so very welcome here, in this "Cathedral of suitable magnificence," as Archbishop John Hughes, whose cross I wear today, termed it, that has been such a warm, embracing spiritual home for untold millions.
Thank you, thank you all for so personally supporting me as I begin this apostolic ministry in the Archdiocese of New York.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
On Tuesday April 14th, my wife Mary and I sat in front of our TV and watched (on ewtn) , the Evening Vespers Service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. This service marked the beginning of the installation rite of Archbishop Tmothy Michael Dolan as the new Archbishop of New York. The service was exciting and emotionally overwhelming. This Archbishop is full of joy. New York will be very happy. The Archbishop's mother, extended family and friends all attended. Over three thousand clergy and religious were in attendance. Archbishop Dolan's second grade teacher, Sister Mary Bosco Daly, arrived from Ireland, honoring one of her favorite students with her reading from the First Letter of St. Peter.
Click on the link below for the full homily, from Catholic Online.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.
For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.