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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Horrors... (or not)

I've never been a fan of Halloween, even as a child I didn't like it.  I hated the houses playing horror sounds (blood curdling screams, gasps and creepy ghostly sounds).  

I hated the gory costumes and people "TPing" homes (especially of the elderly who had a horrible mess to clean up the next day).  

And it felt odd to go begging strangers for candy that might have razor blades in them.  My grandmother and mother would inspect the candy for hours looking for weapons and possible poisonings in this "fun" kid holiday where eating a "treat" might kill you.  

I just never saw the appeal in Halloween and soon we gave it up because none of us liked it.  Instead we bought our OWN candy treats that WE liked and ate it all ourselves- I've continued this practice with my own children.

I didn't grow up Catholic, so the thought of dressing up as some amazing saint never crossed my mind- I wish it had, I might have had a whole different view of this holiday.

This is Halloween done RIGHT!  Shower of Roses is one of my VERY VERY favorite Catholic family blogs- EVAH.  I have been reading and following this blog for years- pure delight!  Please check them out... a wonderful family with a fantastic blog.

LINK: http://showerofroses.blogspot.com/


Now to some things I found in the news.

These children's faces and comments are priceless as they sample "healthy" Halloween treats!

LOL



What's Halloween without a WITCH? 

 Happy Halloween FATSO!...


 Crazy magician head falling off trick (*mild profanity*)

 


Do NOT purchase or use NOVELTY FAKE CONTACT LENSES- you can damage your eye balls!



Yes, apparently some people need to be told this is NOT good for your eyes.

God bless and be safe this Halloween.

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

EWTN Press Release: "The Magnificat Day" to air on EWTN

EWTN To Air ‘The Magnificat Day’
Live From Philadelphia


Irondale, AL The EWTN Global Catholic Network is proud to partner with Magnificat and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to bring you “The Magnificat Day,” a celebration of the graces of the Year of Faith, on Saturday, Nov. 9. The event, hosted by Doug Keck and Johnnette Benkovic live from the Philadelphia Convention Center, will feature Fr. Robert Barron of the famed “Catholicism” series and Dr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., Magnificat Editor-in-Chief.
 
EWTN’s coverage will begin at 7 a.m. ET and end at 6:30 p.m. ET with the Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Philadelphia.

“We are thrilled to be working with Magnificat to bring EWTN’s viewers this special day,” said EWTN President & Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw.
 
EWTN Executive Vice President & COO Doug Keck agreed. “So many of our viewers use ‘Magnificat’ magazine to follow the Mass, and have benefitted from its many special features including the art, the prayers, the profiles of saints, and especially the daily devotions.”
 
“I believe this day will be specially blessed,” said Johnnette Benkovic, host of “Women of Grace” on EWTN. “Magnificat Foundation has been entrusted with the U.S. pilgrimage of the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux and her parents, Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, and these relics will be available for veneration at the venue. How important is the witness of the saints to us in this our day and time! Their example inspires all of us to be men and women of heroic virtue 'for such a time as this.'”
 
For more information about “The Magnificat Day,” please go to http://www.magnificatday.com/. And please check EWTN’s website, www.ewtn.com, for further information about our coverage as we get closer to the event!
 
EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 32nd year, is available in over 230 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website www.ewtn.com, electronic and print news services, and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.

Monday, October 28, 2013

EWTN Press Release: EWTN Files New Law Suit

EWTN Files New Suit
Against Contraception Mandate

State of Alabama Joins as Co-Plaintiff


Irondale, AL – EWTN Global Catholic Network filed a new lawsuit October 28 in Federal Court against the Department of Health & Human Services, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other federal agencies seeking to stop the government from imposing the HHS contraception mandate as well as asking the court to find that it is unconstitutional. The State of Alabama, through its Attorney General Luther Strange, has joined EWTN as a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit.

“EWTN has no other option but to continue our legal challenge to the mandate,” said EWTN Chairman and CEO Michael P. Warsaw. “The revised rules, published by the government in July, have done nothing to address the serious issues of conscience and religious freedom that EWTN has been raising since the mandate was first published last year.

 The government has decided that EWTN is apparently not religious enough to be exempt from the rule. It has still placed us in a situation where we are forced to offer contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs as part of our employee health plan or to offer our employees and their families no insurance at all. Neither of these options is acceptable. The mission of EWTN is not negotiable.”

EWTN’s original lawsuit opposing the mandate was filed Feb. 9, 2012, but was dismissed by Federal Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn on March 25, 2013. In her order dismissing the original suit, Judge Blackburn noted that the government had promised to implement a new rule addressing the issues raised by EWTN. Blackburn’s opinion stated that “common sense weighs in favor of withholding judicial review until new regulations are created and finalized. At that point, if EWTN still has objections, it may then file suit.”
The Department of Health and Human Services issued a new set of rules on July 23, 2013 which Secretary Sebelius claimed addressed the concerns of EWTN and other similar organizations.

“When the government opened up a period for public comment earlier this year in advance of publishing its revised rules, EWTN submitted extensive remarks and an explanation of its moral objections to the mandate,” Warsaw continued. “We sincerely hoped that our concerns would be addressed. Instead, the government ignored our comments entirely and pressed forward with a rule that changed nothing. We are in the same position today as we were when the mandate was first published.

“As an organization that was founded to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church, we do not believe that contraception, voluntary sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs constitute health care.  We simply cannot facilitate these immoral practices,” said Warsaw.

“Version 2.0 of the mandate is just as bad as version 1.0,” said Lori Windham, Senior Counsel at the Becket Fund, which filed both the original and new lawsuits on EWTN’s behalf. “It would still force the world’s preeminent Catholic network to betray publicly the very teachings it was founded to promote, and which it promotes on a daily basis.”
 
In 2012, shortly after the first EWTN lawsuit was filed, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange petitioned the court to join the EWTN complaint. In this new lawsuit, the State of Alabama has joined EWTN as a co-plaintiff from the start.

Commenting on this new lawsuit, Attorney General Strange said, “I am proud to stand with EWTN to oppose this unconscionable mandate. …
The freedom of religion, and to believe as one sees fit, is our ‘first freedom’ under the United States Constitution. The people of Alabama have recognized the importance of this freedom and have enshrined it in their Constitution as well. Alabama law does not allow anyone to be forced to offer a product that is against his or her religious beliefs or conscience.”

“EWTN is extremely grateful to Attorney General Strange for his support on this important issue. The Attorney General clearly understands what is at stake here, not just for EWTN, but for all people who feel that government cannot take away the right to religious freedom,” said Warsaw.

EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 32nd year, is available in over 230 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website www.ewtn.com, electronic and print news services, and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. The Becket Fund has a 17-year history of defending religious liberty for people of all faiths. Its attorneys are recognized as experts in the field of church-state law, and they recently won a 9-0 victory against the federal government at the U.S. Supreme Court in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Connecticut Catholic Events

A men's trio that performs medieval sacred music, Trio Triumvirum, are pleased to be the "recital" portion of a recital and lecture to be held at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Chapel, at Holy Apostles Seminary, 33 Prospect Hill Rd., Cromwell, CT.

The event is free, and begins at 6pm on Wednesday, November 6 with the trio; Father Paul Check will give a lecture following the recital.

For more details, see the attached flyer.  (I can also send you a high-res version for printing, if you'd like.)  To hear clips of the trio, click  here (Preview or  here (Preview.

This is the first time Trio Triumvirum will perform for a bioethics conference(!), but that music is a great manifestation of the beauty of humanity and truth, the same humanity and truth which bioethics also serves.

Stay for the lecture by Fr Check, "Clarity & Charity: Catholic Church and Homosexuality." Father Check is a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

A reception follows.

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6th Annual Connecticut Catholic Men's Conference
October 26, 2013

Join Dr. Bryan Thatcher, founder and director of the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, as he speaks on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the message of Divine Mercy as a “Way of Life," and his personal conversion.

No Fee for clergy.

Standard ticket $35: For all non-clergy, 20 years of age or older. Includes box lunch.

Teen ticket $25: Youths between 13 and 19 years of age. Includes box lunch.

Exhibitor registration $250: Includes two tickets each with a box lunch.

Location
Goodwin College, River Campus
One Riverside Drive
East Hartford, Connecticut 06118

Contact
Ken
Phone: 860-739-4607
Email: info@ctcatholicmen.org

For more information, please visit ctcatholicmen.org.




Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book Review: The Evangelization Equation


Book review: The Evangelization Equation= The Who, What, and How


By Father James A. Wehner, S.T.D.

Foreword by Cardinal Donald Wuerl

*This is a book review for The Catholic Company*

Description: The Evangelization Equation: The Who, What, and How by Father James A. Wehner, STD is a crash course in the “New Evangelization” to which both Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI have called all Catholics. Father Wehner explores the challenges and the opportunities in American culture for spreading the Gospel. While giving a full presentation of the cultural, historical, pastoral, and theological background of his topic, he also communicates the very practical implications of the call.Father Wehner, who made the New Evangelization his area of specialization at the Pontifical Gregorian University, has been educating seminarians since 2002. He also has pastoral experience in a large and vibrant parish and has worked with the Catholic Men’s Fellowship in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Thus, he is uniquely qualified on the topic of this book.,p> The reader, upon finishing this book, will be equipped with the intellectual and practical tools to move forward as an effective evangelist. Also, most readers will be infected by Father Wehner’s enthusiasm and commitment to spread the Good News to individuals and, by so doing, effect change in our culture. The last sentence of the book expresses both the sure hope and the charge of the New Evangelization for Catholics: “We are the Body of Christ and the gates of hell shall not prevail!”

I picked up and put this book down several times.  When I hear “new evangelization” coming from the Catholic Church (and her clergy) my skin crawls because instantly I want to defend the “old” evangelization.  After all, it was the OLD evangelization worked for well over a thousand years and since Vatican II the Church has seen a horrible (in my opinion) decline- on all fronts.  So you see, I don’t think very highly of “the new evangelization”.

That said, I am still happy… perhaps that’s not the right term… I am grateful for having chosen “The Evangelization Equation” to review for The Catholic Company.  The book gave me a deeper insight into this “new evangelization”- it didn’t make me like it any better, but I had a more rounded understanding of it.

The book is written in three parts; The Who, The What and The How.  Beginning in part one, I felt as though I had climbed onto a roller coaster.  The foreword had me feeling a little uneasy (remember I nearly break out in hives over the term “new evangelization”) but hopeful when I began reading statements like “Only the Church possesses the whole truth about man, God, and the God-Man who redeemed the world.  For only in the Church has that truth been passed down infallibly from generation to generation through the teaching power of the Magisterium.”  [Introduction xvi]

Yeah!  I totally agree!  No wishy-washy protestant sounding “evangelization” there.  The roller coaster climbed higher and I wasn’t turning green or feeling ill. 

Part one begins by explaining what is wrong with ‘modernization’ in society -not medical help and things that save lives, but rather things that make us more secular.  Material things that take the place of God in our lives.  I totally agree with Fr. Wehner on this.  Father goes on to tell how modernization has led to society rejecting absolute truth and Catholics who have decided abortion is OK and gay marriage and birth control and a list of other things.  The absolute truth taught by the Church from the Holy Spirit has been rejected by many Catholics because of the secular modernization of our society.

The roller coaster is climbing higher and higher and I am still feeling good.  No worries in sight!

I am thrilled to see Father admit that this destructive modernization has found its way into the Church among the clergy who are afraid to speak in absolute truths on any number of issues (contraception, homosexuality, divorce, the need for Confession etc).
  
Father goes on to write “One of the challenges in evangelization is our need for the Church.  The independent mindset of so many leaves people with a spiritual crisis of wanting to believe in God without the Church. ‘Me and my Jesus’ is often the mantra of those who are convinced they can be Christians without the burden of belonging to the Church.”

'Right on Father!' I shout as the roller coaster climbs to its highest point yet!

I turn the page to chapter three, and the roller coaster does a nose dive as I shrill “NO!” after reading:

“The phrase, ‘new in its ardor, method, and expression’ is crucial to understanding the new evangelization.  The new evangelization seeks newness in its methods, not in its message.  It looks at the world and says, ‘This place isn’t what it used to be.’  It recognizes what modernity has post-modernity have done to men, and admits that if the Church wants to reach people, it has to do things a bit differently.”

ACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!

No, no, no, no NO!  I completely disagree with this last part.  If anything, we see the FAILURE of this “new evangelization” since Vatican II.  Is there seriously ANY Catholic who FULLY believes ALL official Catholic teaching (abortion is ALWAYS wrong, gay marriage can NEVER be condoned, birth control is a sin etc) who also thinks that Vatican II has HELPED to “evangelize” anyone of the True Faith?

Since Vatican II we have clueless Catholics sitting in the pews that reject MOST of Catholic teaching, refuse to confess their sins and yet march up for Holy Communion on the rare occasions they even attend Mass.

Today’s Catholics are a FAR cry different than the majority of Catholic’s pre-Vatican II.
Just before I think the roller coaster is going to crash and burn into the ground below, it whips me to the right and begins to climb again when I read:

“Now we also see how Pope Benedict XVI is asking the Church to reclaim the mystery and awe of our faith as a direct way to evangelize the culture.  An important component of the success of the new evangelization is indeed to reclaim the wonderful traditions that have directly influenced music, art, literature, science, architecture…” [Page 47]

Yes!!  All those things LOST because of Vatican II (my opinion).  I was once again in agreement with Father.  The BEAUTY of the Church, not just her doctrines but also the liturgy, the music, the architecture of the parish buildings themselves all help evangelize people.

We are called to WORSHIP God at Mass.   Our surroundings often influence the mood we are in.  Look at World Youth Day for a moment… sun shining, waves crashing, flags flying and people swaying.  Now compare that to an “old” (pre-Vatican II) High Mass.  Which one looks more like worship to you?

Apparently Father and I differ here because he says [page 50] 
“Just as the new evangelization doesn’t seek to present a new Gospel, it also doesn’t seek to restore some past Catholic Golden age.”

If it was a “Golden Age” doesn’t that mean it was good?  What age are we in now?  The Catholic Iron Age?  Is this better than the Catholic Golden Age of the past when Catholic families attended Mass together, when Catholic parents were actually married to each other, had their babies baptized and practiced the Faith?

Roller coaster plunges again then soars to another peak.

Father goes on to discuss humanism and the call to Holiness and then to the Church being “more effective” in teaching against the evils of communism, Marxism and materialism.   Part three goes on to discuss “inculturation and interculturation” (thanks to JPII).  Basically (if I understand it correctly) it means making the Gospel flesh- yeah, I know that is Jesus- God Incarnate.  But this is the MESSAGE incarnate- brought to life in things like symbols, and how we talk (this changes with time and cultures). 

Father writes: “An inculturated catechesis seeks to transform hearts as well as minds.  It helps people see the connection between what they profess in the Creed on Sunday and how they act Monday through Saturday.”

Honestly, this chapter took me two times to even vaguely grasp because it sounded like nothing new at all, only someone got tired of the old terms and decided to use new ones.  So clearly I missed something vital here because I don’t see most of the Catholics I know personally putting what is said/taught at Mass into effect when they walk out the doors.  I know they still practice birth control (they tell me) and I know they still support gay marriage (they tell me that too) and I know they still think abortion is a woman’s choice so it should remain legal (they tell me that).  Either they don’t know their Faith or they reject it.  The “new evangelization” methods are not working on most of them.

The highest point of the book for me is found in chapter five [page 90-93].  This part is about Father Derek Lappe (in 2002) at St. Thomas Aquinas in Camas, Washington.  When Fr. Lappe first arrived, the parish was small, the people had a “bad understanding” of their faith and there was “incessant chattering before Mass” (BOY CAN I RELATE TO THAT ISSUE!).  Anyway, Fr. Lappe sets out to correct the things he found “problematic” by (get this) RESTORING the things that had been lost over the years!  He put the Tabernacle back to front and center (yeah!), he remodeled the building removing the modern look with a traditional frescoes (YEAH!), he walked into the sanctuary early before Mass and knelt down before the altar to pray giving a visible WITNESS to HOW people should behave before Mass (YEAH! No more chattering), he also brought back the REVERENCE with the “smells and bells’ that have marked the Church liturgy for centuries.”

WAY TO GO FATHER!  Now that is a GREAT way to evangelize people!  It worked!  People changed how they behaved at Mass.   The parish increased its members and more than doubled its daily Mass attendance.  Adults and children learned HOW to be Catholic.  Wonderful stuff!

I particularly loved this part:
“Lessons learned?  First, beauty matters.  A beautiful Church, with beautiful liturgy and beautiful music, communicates the faith.  It shows people, makes it visible, in a way that mere words cannot.  If the parishioners, when they go to Church, only experience what they experience every else in culture,  and if they have no experience of the transcendent when they enter the church and participate in the Mass, one of the more important catechetical tools we have at our disposal is wasted.”

So true!  For example when people walk into an old parish, full of enormous stained glass windows, statues, ornate wood carving and a gorgeous marble altar they often behave differently than walking into a plain concrete block building that might resemble their work place rather than a place of worship.  If the music is Gregorian chant or Ave Maria coming out of a pipe organ people will behave one way.  Silent and reverent.  Now take those same people and walk into a parish where someone is strumming a guitar while his back up is bongo drums.

You’re just NOT going to get the same behavior or reverence.  What is around us, what we see, what we hear all effect our mood and how we behave.  That’s just how it is. A beautiful Church with beautiful music has much more to offer in the way of “new evangelization” than a modern plain Church with modern music.

Father Wehner admits to the failings of Vatican II while at the same time saying this “new evangelization” will work. 

I don’t know how he comes to that conclusion, but I admire his optimism.

So while this book had the ups and downs of a roller coaster ride for this Catholic, I am grateful that I read it and have a better understanding of where our clergy and Church are coming from when I hear the term “new evangelization”- even if I don’t think it is working.

Overall, I would recommend this book for other Catholics who want to learn what is meant by “new evangelization”- especially now that Pope Francis is speaking so much about reaching out to the world with the Gospel message, this book will help Catholics understand what the Church is referring to.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner



Catholic Events in Connecticut

“In this Year of Faith, Are We Faithful?”

AN AFTERNOON OF REFLECTION WITH FATHER BRIAN MULLADY, OP

Sunday, October 27, 2013 
Saint Joseph’s Church
50 Fairmont Pl, Shelton, CT 06484

3 - 4 p.m. - Fear is Useless, What is needed is Faith?
4 - 5 p.m. - Holy Hour with Reflection: Blessed are you Mary for your firm believing
5 p.m.       - Holy Mass - Homilist: Fr. Mullady


Father Brian Mullady entered the Dominican Order in 1966 and was ordained in Oakland, California in 1972.  He has been a parish priest, high school teacher, retreat master, mission preacher and university professor. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) from the Angelicum University in Rome, Italy and was professor there for six years. He has taught at several colleges, universities  and seminaries in the United States.  He is an academican of the Catholic Academy of Science. Mullady is an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT, and preaches parish missions and retreats. He has several series on EWTN.  He is the author of several books and numerous articles.  He is the author of the Question and Answer column in Homiletic and Pastoral Review. He is the Theological Consultant to the Institute on Religious Life.
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The Franciscan Earth Corps invites all who are interested to the launch event of the Connecticut Chapter to be held on Saturday, October 26 from 9:30am-4pm at St Patrick-St Anthony Franciscan Urban Center at 285 Church St, Hartford CT. 

Franciscan Earth Corps, a new initiative of Franciscan Action Network, is a national network of young adult servant leaders (18-35ish) engaging in Franciscan spirituality and social and ecological justice. 

Participants at the October 26 launch event are invited to be co-creators of the state chapter, developing the activities of creation care, justice advocacy, and spiritual reflection that engage and reflect the concerns of the local community. 

The Director of Franciscan Earth Corps, Rhett Engelking will be participating as well as Hartford social justice and environmental leaders: Brian Kavanaugh of the Hartford Catholic Worker, Deacon Art Miller, Director of the Office for Black Catholic Ministries, Archdiocese of Hartford, Bill Upholt, representing the Hartford Advisory Council on the Environment (ACOTE) and Terri Eickel, Director of the Inter Religious Eco-Juctice Network (IREJN.) Suggested donation is $25 and includes lunch. 

For any questions, please email or phone Fr. Sam Fuller, OFM Cap of St Pius X in Middletown, CT at  fr.sam@snet.net or 860-347-4441.

To register please visit: http://franciscanearthcorpsct.eventbrite.com/
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/FranciscanEarthCorpsCT



Monday, October 21, 2013

Rest in Peace Father Pablo



 Rest in peace Father, thank you for answering the call to the priesthood.

EWTN Press Release: EWTN Promotes Senior Executives

EWTN Promotes Senior Executives

Warsaw named Chairman & CEO; Keck now President & COO



Irondale, AL The Board of Governors of EWTN Global Catholic Network has announced that it has named current Network President and CEO Michael P. Warsaw to the post of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.  The Board has also named current Executive Vice President and COO Doug Keck to the position of President and Chief Operating Officer.  The promotions were announced following the board meeting on October 18, 2013 and are effective immediately.
 
Mr. Warsaw joined EWTN in 1991 and has held senior management positions in the areas of television production, satellite operations and technical services. He was named President of EWTN in 2000 and assumed the post of Chief Executive Officer in 2009.  With the Network’s 2011 acquisition of the National Catholic Register, he also assumed the role of Publisher of that newspaper.
 
“I am extremely grateful to the EWTN Board for their confidence in appointing me to this added post,” said Warsaw.  “It is an honor for me to succeed both Mother Angelica and the late-Deacon Bill Steltemeier who both served in the role of Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer during their years at EWTN. I look forward to continuing to guide this important mission in the years ahead.”
 
Prior to joining EWTN, Doug Keck  served in senior level positions with Rainbow Programming, Cablevision, and  regional sports and news networks over his 35 years in media, getting his start in  New York-area radio.  Since coming to EWTN in 1996, he has been responsible for overseeing the Network’s television, radio and Internet programming and production.  He took on an expanded role in the Network’s day-to-day operations with his appointment as Chief Operating Officer in 2009.  He also serves as host of the Network’s “Bookmark” program.
 
“I feel blessed to be named the President of a network that positively impacts so many people’s lives around the world,” said Keck. 
 
EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 33rd year, is available in over 230 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website www.ewtn.com, electronic and print news services, and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.

Connecticut Catholic Events

CT Catholic Men’s Conference
Saturday, 26 October, 8:30-5pm
Goodwin College, 1 Riverside Drive, East Hartford
visit: www.ctcatholicmen.org

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TONIGHT: Theology at Bar (254 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511) is a casual forum where young adults in their 20s and 30s, single or married, of all denominations and walks of life, gather in a local bar for 'straight talk, hard facts, and real answers' on our faith and how it applies to daily life. Confessions available during the talk.

Dan Norton is a Catholic apologist from Boston, Massachusetts. He has spoken to college and Theology on Tap groups throughout the northeastern United States. He is an award winning speaker and the former President of the public speaking club, Copley Square Toastmasters, in Boston. He has academic degrees in both philosophy and engineering. He received a MA in Philosophy degree from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio and a Civil Engineering degree from the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. As someone with an extensive background in religion and science, he is especially interested in the perceived conflicts between these two areas today.

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Saturday October 26 Please join us for our 6th Annual Concert, benefiting Malta House (Norwalk) and Saint Joseph Parenting Center (Stamford). This event will be held at Norwalk Concert Hall, at Norwalk City Hall, 125 East Avenue. There will be a VIP Pre-Concert Award Reception from 6:00-7:45 p.m., featuring the Eighth Ave Jazz Trio with John Colianni, piano, followed by an 8:00 p.m. curtain.


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The Saint Thomas More Soup Kitchen, Park Street New Haven
Wednesdays, 9 am - 2 pm
Open to Everyone 
Volunteers Needed 

The Saint Thomas More Soup Kitchen served 314 meals this week. Lunch is served from 11:00 am—1:00 pm on Wednesday through April.

If you would like to be a part of this wonderful opportunity and respond to the needs of others, show up anytime in the Golden Center Dining Hall between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm. Volunteers are especially needed to meet in the Commons rotunda at 9:00 am to help transfer food from their pans to ours. Please consider being part of this wonderful opportunity and respond to the needs of others. For more information: katie. byrnes@yale.edu.


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Sunday Dinner with Rosalie Riegle
Sunday, October 27, 6:00 pm
St Thomas More Center, Park Street New Haven

Open to Everyone

Please join us for dinner and a presentation by Rosalie Riegle: Recipient of the 2013 Vox Populi Award from the Oral History Association, given for “outstanding achievement in using oral history to create a more just and humane world,” from 2004 through 2007 Rosalie Riegle interviewed 173 war resisters who risked arrest and sometimes long prison terms to speak in the loudest way possible against US militarism. The results of this project can be read in her recent books, Doing Time for Peace: Resistance, Family, and Community (Vanderbilt UP, October, 2012) and Crossing the Line: Nonviolent Resisters Speak Out for Peace (Wipf and Stock Cascade, 2013.) She is also the author of Voices from the Catholic Worker (1993), and Dorothy Day: Portraits by Those Who Knew Her (2003). Riegle is a member of the National Committee of the War Resisters League, the Project for Justice, the Environment, and Peace, the Peace and Justice Studies Association, and the American Catholic Historical Association. For more information: katie.byrnes@yale.edu

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Sisters of Life Come & See retreats
November 14-17, 2013
February 13-16, 2014
May 23-26, 2014

Vocation Office: Sr Antoniana Maria, SV, 718-863-2264
www.sistersoflife.org/vocations

Retreats include: Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharistic Holy Hour, Rosary, Conferences by Sisters, sacramental Confession, visits to Sisters of Life convents.

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St Thérèse Church, 105 Leetes Island Road, Branford
Parish Mission conducted by Father Eugene O’Reilly
October 27-30, 7:30pm each evening

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2014 March for Life, Washington, DC
Wednesday, 22 January 2014

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Lourdes Medical Director to Speak at Holy Family Retreat Center November 18
Dr. Alessandro de Franciscis will discuss “Cures and Miracles in Lourdes”

Italian physician Dr. Alessandro de Franciscis says his mission is to “serve the truth” as head of the Lourdes Medical Bureau, which investigates reports of miraculous healings at the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France.  Dr. de Franciscis will discuss his work and share his insight into the wonders of this celebrated shrine in a fascinating presentation scheduled for Nov. 18 at the Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center in West Hartford.  The talk, “Cures and Miracles in Lourdes; An Evening with Dr. Alessandro de Franciscis,” begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes a reception.  The suggested offering is $50, more if you can, less if you can’t.

Holy Family Retreat Center is located at 303 Tunxis Road in West Hartford.  To register for Dr. de Franciscis’ talk, call the Retreat Office at 860-760-9705 or visit www.HolyFamilyRetreat.org/LourdesMiracles.  Space is limited.


Friday, October 18, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday: 7 Things I WON'T BUY!

Today I have made a list of 7 things I am pretty sure I will never buy...

--- 1 ---

The first item I won't be buying is the "Count down Christmas Whiskey Advent Calendar".
Ya... I'll pass on that one.

--- 2 ---

I love statues in my gardens. Growing up, my great grandmother Nanie used to tell us tales of the wood fairies (tiny wee folk) who lived in the forest. She had a beautiful garden gnome figure that she would occasionally move around in the garden partially hiding him behind flowers. It was a sort of adventure trying to see where that gnome had gotten to each day. Fun stuff for a kid! Anyway, I am always on the look out for a cute garden gnome to add to my own gardens. But there is one garden gnome I will not be buying... The Stripper Gnome
Is there nothing people won't pervert? *sigh*

--- 3 ---

I've never been a big fan of Halloween- aside from the Peanut's Charlie Brown Halloween special (who doesn't love "I gotta rock"?). So it won't be any great surprise when I pass on buying a "Creepy Crapper" bathroom door cover.
I'll be taking a pass on the creepy zombies climbing out of the toilet too.

--- 4 ---

I will NOT NOW OR EVER be buying lunch at the "Magic Restroom Cafe"...
where patrons sit on toilets and eat out of toilets. *gag*
*gagging*

--- 5 ---

I won't be buying the men in my family any "Jesus shaves mugs" this Christmas either.

--- 6 ---

I'll let the advertisement speak for its self here...
BELIEVE IN GOD INSTANTLY BREATH SPRAY In need of a faith lift? When you're ready to turn to God, we're here to show you the way. Contains 0.25 fluid ounces of Peppermint Flavor breath spray. *Warning: This spray is a potentially dangerous weapon. Do not administer to individuals against their will. Forced religious conversions will be prosecuted! Just $5.99

--- 7 ---

I will not be buying adopting any "Zombie-Repelling" pets (I think the small zoo we currently have will keep most zombies far, far away!). But I would recommend getting a Zombie-Repellent pet to anyone who lives in a zombie zone.
Published on Oct 10, 2013-- In the weeks leading up to Halloween, shelters and rescues across the state of NC are urging citizens to arm their households with zombie-repellent cats and kittens. Shelters and cat rescues feel it is their civic duty to be sure at least one of these special cats or kittens are placed in each NC home. With the rising interest of zombies in pop culture, shelters are taking advantage of its popularity and harnessing the meme to find homes for the thousands of homeless cats and kittens in the state of NC. "Since none of the shelters in NC have ever been attacked by zombies and all shelters have cats and kittens, we see the link; with this link we feel it is a public service we need to provide to fellow North Carolinians," says an SPCA spokesperson. "We never know where or when the zombie apocalypse will occur. It best to protect your family by adopting a cat or kitten from a shelter near you." Visit www.spcawake.org/zombies for more information.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Why are so many people screaming about God?

A few days ago a woman begins screaming on a plane: "GOD YOU'RE MY SAVIOR" for nearly a half an hour.



Last night during the vote in the House, the stenographer begins screaming about Freemasons and not serving "two Gods".  

She had to be physically removed from the building.  News this morning said she is currently under going a mental evaluation.


So what's up with these recent "screaming for/about God" outbursts from people who have never done this sort of thing before?

Prayers for the mental health of both women- perhaps these outbursts are merely from being under so much stress?


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Catholic Murderer's funerals- or not

I’ve been watching the media coverage of the funeral (that never was) for former Nazi Erich Priebke. 

"ROME — Former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke, who died on Friday aged 100, never understood why he was found responsible for a wartime massacre when all he had done was obey orders."The order came directly from Hitler in Berlin," he told the Italian military tribunal which staged his first trial in Rome in 1996. "Anyone who refused to obey would have been tried by the SS."Priebke was sentenced to life in prison in 1998 for his role in the massacre at Rome's Ardeatine caves in March 1944, which left 335 people dead, including 75 Jews." [source: HERE]

The Catholic Church formally and officially refused Priebke a Catholic funeral.  I’m OK with that.  It’s Canon Law (#1184) and I actually think the Church should go further in actually following Canon Law #1184- more on that later.  
Preibke (according to most sources, though not all) never repented of his role in the deaths of just over three hundred people.   About as close to any sort of remorse I could find is his comment [from the same source as above]:

"He later described the massacre as "a horrible thing, a personal tragedy" in a long letter written at the time of his failed appeal.But he stopped short of real remorse. "If I could have stopped this horror I would have. My death would not have allowed for those innocents to be saved," he wrote."

Preibke says he was “just following orders”. 

“…Berlin ordered the Rome SS chief Herbert Kappler to draw up a list of prisoners, Jews and Roman citizens to be arrested.Kappler delegated the task to Priebke, who drew up the list and checked off those who went to their deaths. Priebke later admitted killing two of them himself.”

So Priebke follows evil Nazi orders, makes a list that results in the death of hundreds of people and actually kills two of them himself.  He’s a murder.  He’s broken the Fifth Commandment…

THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
 You shall not kill.54You 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 every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.55
2258 "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being."56


And sadly he is an UNREPENTING murderer- according to sources anyway.

So why won’t the Catholic Church perform a funeral for an UNREPENTING murderer?  Because of Canon Law 1184

Can.  1184 §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals:1/ notorious apostates, heretics, and schismatics;2/ those who chose the cremation of their bodies for reasons contrary to Christian faith;3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.§2. If any doubt occurs, the local ordinary is to be consulted, and his judgment must be followed.
Now there are more ways to be a "murderer" than actually committing the crime with your own hands.  If you voluntarily- yet indirectly cooperate with the murder of someone, that murder is on your hands.  Such is the case with abortion and helping someone have an abortion.
2268 The fifth commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful. The murderer and those who cooperate voluntarily in murder commit a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.69Infanticide,70 fratricide, parricide, and the murder of a spouse are especially grave crimes by reason of the natural bonds which they break. Concern for eugenics or public health cannot justify any murder, even if commanded by public authority.
2269 The fifth commandment forbids doing anything with the intention of indirectly bringing about a person's death. The moral law prohibits exposing someone to mortal danger without grave reason, as well as refusing assistance to a person in danger.
The acceptance by human society of murderous famines, without efforts to remedy them, is a scandalous injustice and a grave offense. Those whose usurious and avaricious dealings lead to the hunger and death of their brethren in the human family indirectly commit homicide, which is imputable to them.71Unintentional killing is not morally imputable. But one is not exonerated from grave offense if, without proportionate reasons, he has acted in a way that brings about someone's death, even without the intention to do so.
2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"77 "by the very commission of the offense,"78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

From most media reports, Preibke never repented or showed true remorse for the murders of hundreds of people aside from admitting it was a “horrible thing”. Presuming that is correct, he was RIGHTLY denied a Catholic funeral. 

That said, I find it sort of hypocritical that the Church doesn’t ALSO refuse funerals for pro-abortion supporters (public politicians specifically) when they die. They indirectly help in the slaughter of millions of children.  Murder is murder.  A beating heart is stopped by the abortionist.  A life ended. 

Now you might say "But you don't know if they repented just before death" and you would be right.  But the "sin of scandal" still holds.  The Church by providing a public funeral for such a person is a "cause for scandal among the faithful" (see Canon Law above).  It's causes confusion. To any non-Catholics or Catholics who don't know to "cause public scandal" is in itself a sin.  It must be confessed.  But that's an entirely different discussion for another time.

People who dedicate a good part of their "public service" life to ending the lives of others are indirect murderers.

Oh you know, folks like "Catholic" Senator Kennedy:

“On the question of the choice issue: I have supported the Roe v. Wade. I am pro-choice.” [Kennedy during debate with Romney]

Kennedy (like Pelosi and Biden today) supported the murder of MILLIONS of infants. He spent YEARS working FOR abortion.  He publicly rejected Church teaching and worked for abortionists to murder millions of children. 

Indirect murder is still murder.

These “Catholic” pro-choice politicians are either personally supporting abortion OR (as we often hear) “just doing what their constituents” want.  In other words, “just following orders” (like Priebke taking orders from his Nazi superiors) from other people (Kennedy from his voters).

Just "taking orders" doesn't mean you haven't directly or indirectly murdered someone.

So WHY does the Catholic Church SEEM to pick and choose which unrepenting MURDERERS to have funerals for and which ones to deny?  

It seems to me the “scandal” caused by the Church having a funeral for someone like Kennedy or Priebke is very different.  SOME Catholics were offended and even scandalized by Kennedy's Catholic funeral (myself included here), while other Catholics and the secular world CHEERED it. Calling it 'beautiful' and 'fitting' because Kennedy advocated for "so many Catholic issues like immigration reform" etc., completely ignoring the butchered little bodies of the infants his politics caused. 

While direct and indirect murderer Priebke is openly hated for his crimes in the secular world and among Catholics, all objected to his having a Catholic funeral and it was refused. 

Is it right to treat them differently according to the Catholic catechism on direct and indirect murder, abortion, or Canon Law?  Personally, I don't think so, but clearly those in the Church disagree, so perhaps I am wrong here.

In my opinion, IF Kennedy died without repenting (the public can only go by what we see and heard from him publicly) Kennedy WRONGLY got a funeral that looked like the Church was declaring him a Saint, while Priebke RIGHTLY is denied a Catholic funeral.  Should have been NO for both.




How about we say 'NO' to all of them?  

Saying "no" to all such unrepenting murderers would accomplish to very important things, 1) stop a scandal and 2) allow for teaching of Catholic doctrine on abortion.

People don't seem to understand INDIRECT murder.  Deny unrepenting pro-aborts Catholic funerals and TEACH the faith.

If the Church doesn't we are left to wonder why did the Church provide an amazing funeral mass with all Catholic “honors” to a man with the blood of MILLIONS of aborted babies on his hands, while denying the man with the blood of hundreds of innocent people on his hands?  Both were murderers (directly or indirectly).

One difference, is one man had influence, money and power in the United States.  Other did not.  Is that what we are think?  I honestly don't know, but I have heard others say that is why Kennedy was "allowed" so much from the Church.  There could be another reason, so no one should 100% presume to know the full truth- after all, we only have what we see and hear publicly to go on. The key is REPENTING.  Did the Nazi murderer repent?  Most sources say no, but one source I found seems to lean to a different conclusion...


In a statement, the society [schismatic Society of St. Pius X  ] said it agreed to perform the funeral at the family's request because "no matter what the guilt or sins" anyone who dies reconciled with God and the Church "has the right to celebrate Mass and a funeral."

Did he repent before his death?  I don't know.  Does any of us know for sure?
We (the general public) have decided that the former Nazi must not have repented so does not deserve a Catholic funeral, while just a few years ago many held a very different view for the funeral of an indirect murderer that we also had no idea if he ever repented.  But we judged one as unrepentant and the other as repentant or not in need of repenting because he was so well liked in secular society.

Now I have to point out here NO ONE but Kennedy's priests know if he decided to repent at the end of his life.  If he did, WONDERFUL.  If he did, he deserved the full Catholic funeral.  And perhaps he did, I hope for his sake that he DID repent before his death.  But even if he repented and "deserved" a Catholic funeral, the SCANDAL it caused among the Catholic faithful might not have been worth it.

But if he didn't... if he died as he lived supporting abortion... than he was an indirect murderer.

An unrepenting murderer is an unrepenting murderer. 

Acts 10:34
Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition
 34 And Peter opening his mouth, said: In very deed I perceive, that God is not a respecter of persons.

According to God, we are all one and the same, none above the other.  Equal. The Church should treat us that way in life and in death.  If that's how God see us, why can't Christ's Church do the same?


In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner







Scandal: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13506d.htm


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