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Monday, April 28, 2014

Catholic Events

“Good Shepherd Holy Hour” for vocations, on Thursday, May 15, 6:30-7:30pm at St. Stanislaus Church (State and Eld Streets), New Haven.

The Archdiocese of Hartford will have 7 new priests on May 17. Please come and pray before Jesus in the Eucharist in thanksgiving for these new priests, and for the gift of new vocations. The holy hour is time for personal communal prayer before Jesus exposed in the Blessed Sacrament concluding with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The church is handicapped accessible with a secure parking lot behind the church. 

A Holy Hour in the heart of New Haven!


The young adult Korean-American charismatic group, also known as CUNAE is sponsoring the “Life In the Spirit Seminar for Young Adults.”  The retreat will be Friday, May 23 until Monday, May 26, 2014, at the Marian Shrine, 174 Filors Ln, Stony Point, NY. Fr. Michael Lee will be leading the retreat. The cost of the retreat is $300 (includes room & board, 8 meals & snacks). For Registration Form & Questions: or 201-220-4747. RSVP by May 16.


There will be an Education & Craft Fair sponsored by Adoro Te Home Educators, a Catholic homeschooling group, loyal to the Magisterium through Pope Francis.  The date is Saturday, May 17, from 9am to 12noon in St. Peter's Hall at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell.  There will be crafts for kids, used curriculum & book sale, baked goods, craft vendors, people to answer questions about their Catholic homeschooling experience and much more.  Tables are still available to rent for only $10 each.  Contact Grace at for more information.


Bach, Stravinsky & Janacek: Katie Lansdale, violin with Wei-Yi Yang, piano
Sunday, May 4, 2014, 3pm

At Promisek, Skyline Ridge Road, Bridgewater (
Ticket: $25.00 (students $10); champagne reception follows
To reserve ticket:

The concert takes place in St Cecilia’s music room adjoining the Beatrix Ferrand garden

Three powerful pieces —the Bach Cantabile is reflective and intricate; the Janacek Sonata combines the sweet Czech-nationalist nostalgia with the powerful emotions reacting to war; the Stravinsky Divertimento, a rewriting of his ballet the Fairy’s Kiss, lifts Tchaikovsky’s tunes to a height of wit and gesture, almost to cabaret —even without dancers in the room.


Morning of Reflection for Women

I Have Seen the Lord! Encountering Christ through the Gospel Women” with Sr. Catherine Marie, of the Sisters of Life 

Saturday, May 17, 2014
9:00am - 12:00 noon (Mass)
St. Mary’s Church, New Haven

Suggested donation is $20 and includes light breakfast fare. Seating is limited, so register soon! Visit to register or email 


The 56th Pilgrimage Season of the Shrine of Lourdes in Litchfield, 50 Montfort Rd., Rte. 118, Litchfield, begins on May 1st.  Mass is celebrated Tuesday through Sunday at 11:30 AM in the Grotto.  

On Sunday, Benediction & Marian Prayer are held at 3:00 PM. In the event of inclement weather, services are held in the Grotto Chapel.

The Grotto Café, known for healthy, home-cooked food at reasonable prices is open from 10 AM to 2 PM Tuesday through Sunday. 

The Grotto Gift Shop, which features a wide selection of Baptism, First Communion & Confirmation gifts, outdoor & indoor statues, rosaries, books, and many varied gift items, is open from 10:30 AM until 4:30 PM Monday to Saturday and from 12:30 PM until 4:30 PM on Sunday. 

For further information, call 860-567-1041 or email: Visit our

Contributor: Paul A. Zalonski
Catholic Connecticut
255 Foxon Hill Road
East Haven, CT 06513-1216 USA
Email Paul directly:
Follow Paul on Twitter @CatholicCT
Connect with Paul on Facebook "Catholic Connecticut CatholicCT"

***Paul is the Catholic Events Contributor for Connecticut Catholic Corner***

Friday, April 25, 2014

EWTN Press Release: Exclusive Coverage of Canonization

EWTN To Air Exclusive & Complete
Canonization Coverage

Plus, Don’t Miss Emmy Award Nominated Film on Pope JPII, Why A Pop-Rock Singer Stopped Using ‘the Pill’ & More

Irondale, ALA great film focusing on the life of a Great man: Actors Cary Elwes & Jon Voight come together for a powerful #Emmy-nominated portrayal of Pope John Paul II in this epic film that spans the entire course of the beloved #Pope’s lifetime. Filmed on location in #Rome, #Poland, and in close connection to the #Vatican, Parts 1 & 2 of “Pope John Paul II” begin at 7 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 26—on #EWTN! [Not available via Livestream or Roku]. This film is also available through EWTN Religious Catalogue:
 “There is much rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." “Journey Home” Host Marcus Grodi invites Guest Marie Joseph to share why she initially left her #Catholic faith, and what caused her to return with renewed fervor! Watch as she recounts her “Journey Home” LIVE at 8 p.m. ET, Monday, April 28—exclusively on #EWTN! (Luke 15:10)
 Who doesn’t love a love song? Singer-Songwriters Greg & Lizzy Boudreaux demonstrate how they draw from their experiences within their own marriage in order to write songs that reflect the joys, triumphs—and even difficulties—of being in a relationship. See how they’re using their talents to counteract what the secular music culture defines as #love when Fr. Mark and Doug Barry Co-Host “Life on the Rock” LIVE at 8 p.m. ET, Friday, April 25—exclusively on #EWTN!
 Forget double-booked—this week we’re Triple-booked! Author Dr. Alan Schreck has three new books to discuss with “EWTN Bookmark” Host Doug Keck: “The Gift: the Holy Spirit in Catholic Tradition” (; “Jesus: What Catholics Believe” ((; & “The Legacy of Pope John Paul II” ( There’s a lot to cover in this interview, and you won’t want to miss a word of “EWTN Bookmark! Airs 9:30 a.m. & 11:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 27—exclusively on #EWTN! All titles now available through EWTN Religious Catalogue!
 All great journeys have to start small somewhere! Join British Journalist Joanna Bogle and Clare Anderson as they traverse the streets and villages where a young Karol Wojtyla lived, played, and studied before becoming the Archbishop of Krakow, the Pope—and most recently, a Saint!  Walk “In the Footsteps of John Paul the Great” at 2 p.m. ET, on Saturday April 26, & 10:30 a.m. ET, Sunday, April 27—exclusively on #EWTN! Read all about Joanna Bogle’s adventures in filming this documentary in her National Catholic Register Article here:
From something old comes something new! In this new episode of a favorite #EWTN series,  Host Fr. Richard Kunst uses his knowledge of  some of Pope John XXIII’s personal belongings to help illustrate key points that happened in Church history during his time as Pope.  With his canonization coming up this weekend, don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about Bl. Pope John XXIII in a very special episode of “The Papacy: A Living History” when it airs at 11:30 p.m. ET, Friday, April 25 on #EWTN. Look for other episodes of this insightful series, now available through EWTN Religious Catalogue:
 From Blessed to Saint! Join Pope Francis as he prepares to celebrate Holy Mass in honor of his predecessors, John XXIII and John Paul II, before canonizing them as official Saints of the Catholic Church. EWTN’s LIVE coverage of this event begins at 10 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 26 on #EWTN, with encores at 7 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 27 & at 11 p.m. ET, Monday, April 28) Visit for a complete schedule of events & programming
 Why did this Pop-Rock singer stop popping “the Pill?” “Strange Familiar” Singer & Songwriter Kira Leyden says that after tuning in to #EWTN and seeing "Women of Grace's" Johnnette Benkovic discuss the harmful side effects of #birthcontrol , she and her husband Jeff decided to tune out using #contraception completely! Read their full story, and watch the debut of their new music video, “Rain,” which was originally written as a lullaby for their unborn child here:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Catholic Events

Fr. Peter John Cameron OP is producing a special performance to celebrate the canonization of Blessed John Paul II: "Our God’s Brother" will play will run until MAY 3, 2014 at The Storm Theatre (at Church of Notre Dame, on Morningside Drive between 114th and 115th street, 1 block from Columbia University in NYC) with performances Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 PM and Saturday Matinees at 2:00 PM. 

Tickets only available through SmartTix at or (212) 868-4444. (or at the door)


Anxiety Management Seminars

The Franciscan Life Center, 271 Finch Avenue, Meriden, Connecticut, is offering two Anxiety Management Seminars presented by Thomas Finn, Ph.D.
Overcoming Anxiety, Saturday, May 3, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 4: 00 p.m.
Cost:  $90.00
For adults (18 and over)

Helping Children Overcome Anxiety, Saturday, May 31, 2014, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
Cost:  $120.00
For children (8+ years old) who experience anxiety and their parent(s)  

Southington resident, Dr. Finn is a clinical psychologist on staff at the Franciscan Life Center.  He has over 35 years of experience treating anxiety with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
Interactive and innovative techniques/topics will include:
Biology of fear and anxiety
Controlled breathing and relaxation techniques
Thinking patterns that trigger anxiety and how to change them
Building self-esteem

Visit or call Gretchen Rossi 203-237-8084 for more information.


Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena concluding Mass and candlelight procession
Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 7pm
Our Lady of Pompeii Church
355 Foxon Road (Route 80), East Haven


Divine Mercy Sunday

Sunday, April 27, 2014, 3:00 pm
Legion of Christ Seminary
475 Oak Avenue
Cheshire, CT 06410
Please join us for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction as well a talk on the Divine Mercy devotion by Fr. John Paul Durán, LC.

Opportunity for confessions will be available. Refreshments to follow.


Vocation Retreat

A 3-day vocation retreat for women, ages 18-35, with the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne

April 25-27 in Rosary Hill, Hawthorne, NY
Registration required. Contact Sr. Alma Marie, OP at


Class for married and engaged couples at Saint Joseph Parish, 50 Fairmount Place, Shelton.
More info, call 203-470-1845 or e-mail at 

Natural Family Planning is morally accepted by the Catholic Church and the most effective method available.


In your prayers, please pray for the men to be ordained priests in the Archdiocese of Hartford (7 men) on May 17 and in the Diocese of Norwich (2 men) on July 26.


Contributor: Paul A. Zalonski
Catholic Connecticut
255 Foxon Hill Road
East Haven, CT 06513-1216 USA
Email Paul directly:
Follow Paul on Twitter @CatholicCT
Connect with Paul on Facebook "Catholic Connecticut CatholicCT"

****Paul is the  Catholic Events Contributor for Connecticut Catholic Corner****

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Is Pope Francis a bad example to Catholics?

Holy Thursday foot washing in the Catholic Church according to the “rules” – (that is the rubrics of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church) state that only the feet of MEN are to be washed.

For years people in the Church (clergy and laity) seem to be baffled by this concept and need to be reminded every year. (The Vatican says one thing and the United States Bishops say the opposite.)

The confusion was made worse when Pope Francis in 2013 did the very thing the Church had publicly been battling against for years.  He washed the feet of women... and non-Catholics.  He broke "the rules" of the Holy Catholic Church and left more people (clergy and laity) baffled as to what to believe and trust.  

Do we have to trust and keep the Rubrics?
If the Pope breaks them can we all do the same?
What's the point of Rubrics if they don't need to be followed?

Here is an episode of Michael Voris’ The Vortex from March 2012 about the abuse in the Church when Catholic clergy ignore the rubrics of washing the feet of MEN ONLY on Holy Thursday…

Since Voris has made it clear he will NOT now or ever publicly ridicule a Pope we can only assume from his views clearly stated here in 2012 what he thinks of the current pope washing the feet of women and non-Catholics.

Youtube Video notes:Published on Mar 30, 2012As we prepare for the remembrance of Our Blessed Lord's Passion and Death, there could hardly be a more insulting way to begin this, than with a major liturgical abuse. But unfortunately, such an abuse has become extremely common.

As we all know, last year when Pope Francis “broke the rules”, chaos spread among the Church with everyone wondering just when (if at all) anyone has to listen to the rubrics of the Church.  

This year, he’s done it again.

From Rome Reports:  “On Holy Thursday, Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 patients with special needs at the St. Mary of Providence Center, for the Don Gnocchi Foundation.  It's a center for the elderly and people with several disabilities located in the outskirts of Rome.  Their ages ranged from 16 to 86. Among them were four women and a Muslim.” –end quote-

So if a Pope has no regard for the rules of the Church why should anyone else?

What’s the point in making any rules if they don’t need to be followed?

What example is the Pope setting by publicly "breaking the rules"? 

Are his actions telling the Catholic world that rules CAN be broken and you are still a "good" Catholic if you break them?

Can we all pick which 'rules' (rubrics or not) we want to break now?

Don’t like the rule “No birth control”?  Ignore it! 

Don’t like the rule “Confess mortal sins before Holy Communion”?  Ignore it!  

Don’t like the rule “Catholics cannot support gay marriage”?  Ignore it! 

Don’t like the rule “Catholics cannot support or participate in abortion”?  Ignore it!

And the list goes on…anything you don’t like, just ignore it because that is what we’ve learned from our Pope.

After all, who are we to judge?

But the question remains... does anyone have to follow the Rubrics of the Catholic Church?

Are they rules or merely suggestions?

Perhaps the rules don't apply to the Pope only to everyone else?

Who will clarify this for us now? 

Just who and what to do we listen to?

Do we believe, trust and listen to the Rubrics or the clergy who ignore them?  

Can anyone answer that any more?

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Connecticut Catholic Holy Week Events

Some of you may want to experience Catholic prayer in different way this Paschal Triduum. 

These three days could be considered one single day. They reveal the heart and are the key to both the liturgical year and the life of the Church.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Here are some options:

With the Dominican nuns at Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Race Hill and Hoop Pole Roads, North Guilford

Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper, 7pm
Good Friday, 3pm
Holy Saturday Vigil, 10pm
Easter Sunday, 8:30am


With the Benedictine sisters at the Monastery of the Glorious Cross, 61 Burban Drive, Branford (next to St Elizabeth Church)

Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper, 7pm
Good Friday, 3pm
Holy Saturday Vigil, 8:30pm


With the Benedictine nuns at the Abbey of Regina Laudis, 273 Flanders Road, Bethlehem

Jesu Fili Mariae Chapel

Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper, 7:15pm
Good Friday, 3pm
Holy Saturday Vigil, 8pm
Easter Sunday, 8:45am


With the Sisters at Convent of St. Birgitta 4 Runkenhage Road, Darien, CT 06820

Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper, 8pm
Good Friday, 3pm
Holy Saturday Vigil, 8pm
Easter Sunday, 10am


Parishes are collecting your Catholic Relief Services Lenten Rice Bowls! Collect all that extra change and let's how many lives we can impact! More info at


WAY IN ADVANCE: The Stamford Symphony will perform Handel’s Messiah in the Basilica of St John, Stamford, on Saturday, December 6, 2014: Tickets are $50.00. Tickets may be purchased ONLY THROUGH THE STAMFORD SYMPHONY PATRON SERVICE: 203-325-1407, ext. 10.


Dear Friends,

See email below from the Sisters of Life regarding a woman they are serving right now who needs assistance. If you are able to help please respond to Sr. Grace Dominic at

Thank you and Blessed Paschal Triddum


Dear Co-Workers of Life,
We pray that you are well and preparing to enter deeply into Holy Week and the mystery of Redemption.
Currently we are serving a young woman, who is courageously choosing life despite early pressures from the father of the baby to have an abortion. 
Throughout her pregnancy, Ana has continued to work and remain in school at a community college. She is now having a difficult time paying for school and has an outstanding bill. She has just worked out a payment plan with the school and they have agreed to allow her to continue with classes as long as some funds come through. She is working hard to build a future for herself and her unborn baby girl.
We are reaching out to you all today seeking support for this young and heroic soul. First, she would do well to receive your prayers - particularly as we enter the holiest week of the year. Secondly, if you are be able to support Ana financially we would be so grateful. If you are able to assist in this way, please respond to this e-mail for further information.
May God bless you all and fill your hearts with Easter joy.
Peace and blessings,
Sr. Grace Dominic, SV
We check our e-mail Monday through Thursday, once daily. If you are in need of a timely response, please call (212) 737-0221.
"When we come to know Christ... When our heart beats with Christ's heart, we see every human life differently.  We look into the womb of every mother, and see the image of the Son of God."  Our founder - John Cardinal O'Connor 

And in New York

Friday, April 18, 10 a.m.
Communion and Liberation invites you to “The Way of the Cross over the Brooklyn Bridge.” Both Cardinal Dolan and Bishop DiMarzio will be joining at St. James this year. 
It will conclude at St. Peter's Church in Manhattan at approximately 1:30 p.m. For more information please click:
St. James Cathedral, 250 Cathedral Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Contributor: Paul A. Zalonski
Catholic Connecticut
255 Foxon Hill Road
East Haven, CT 06513-1216 USA
Email Paul directly:
Follow Paul on Twitter @CatholicCT
Connect with Paul on Facebook "Catholic Connecticut CatholicCT"

***Paul is the Catholic Events Contributor for Connecticut Catholic Corner***

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Priest on cell phone while hearing confessions...

Yeah, you heard that right.

On Monday night, my children and I went to a local parish for Confession. There were two women before us and soon after our arrival several other people came in. When our turn came I went in first and everything was as usual- not so for my children. 

My youngest went right after me and after a few moments everyone in the pews could hear a cell phone going off.  I didn’t pay much attention to it because I thought it was coming from downstairs in the parish hall, but when my daughter came out her eyes were huge and she gave me ‘that look’ and whispered “Did you hear the cell phone?”

I nodded and shushed her, but she continued, “Father’s cell phone went off when I was confessing and I didn’t know if I should keep talking or let him finish with his call.”

My mouth dropped open.

I simply could not believe a priest would bother taking his cell phone into the Confessional with him, but since I had just confessed my own sins I didn’t want to create new ones by getting angry about it.  I shrugged it off as “He must have forgotten to turn it off” and I let it go.

My eldest daughter went in, came out, prayed and we all left the parish.  Once in the car, my youngest brought up the cell phone ringing during her confession and my eldest responded, “You think that is bad, Father was TEXTING during my confession.”

I hit the breaks on the car and turned around with a “WHAT?”

“Yeah,” she said, “I was confessing and I could see him through the screen texting on his phone the whole time.  I don’t think he really heard anything I said, he just kept mumbling “ahem, yep” and stuff like that.”

I was appalled and very, very disappointed in this priest whom I have known for a few years now and had never seen such behavior from him.

When I voiced my unhappiness at what he’d done, my oldest (always a glass half full girl) said “Don’t worry Mom, maybe he was just multi-tasking, he is busy you know.”

My youngest pipes up “Yeah, it could have been an emergency phone call  too.”

Multi-tasking?  Emergency cell phone calls in the Confessional?

In my opinion, there is NO good reason for ANY priest hearing confessions to be taking phone calls or texting people.  It's just wrong and I am considering writing to his Bishop about it.

Is this the best our clergy can offer us these days?  Is this what we want to teach the next generation about the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Confessional?

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

A few things...

1) This is a GOOD PRIEST who did something he shouldn't.  It was a mistake, that doesn't make him a horrid priest, just a human one who made a bad choice.  Pray for him and others like him.

2) A forum discussion from Catholic Answers in 2010 was brought to my attention and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND EVERY CATHOLIC LISTEN TO THIS:


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Catholic Events

Dear Friends,

May the Lord give you peace!

The Chrism Masses:

St Joseph's Cathedral (Hartford), Tuesday, April 15, 11am
St Augustine's Cathedral (Bridgeport), Wednesday, April 16, 10am
St Patrick's Cathedral (Norwich), Tuesday, April 15, 10:30am


The Church of the Assumption at 61 N. Cliff St., Ansonia, CT cordially invites everyone to attend the final concert in the Sundays at Five Series on April 27, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.  Organist David Hughes will be giving an organ concert which will be followed by a fabulous reception in the church hall. Admission is by free will offering.  For those interested, the Divine Mercy Chaplet will be sung during a Eucharistic Holy Hour of Adoration from 3:00-4:00 in the convent chapel that same afternoon.


Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC  will give his talk, "John Paul II and the Divine Mercy Message" on Monday, May 5, 7-9 pm at St. Francis Xavier Parish, 26 Chestnut Land Rd, New Milford, CT 06776; phone 860-354-2202

Come hear this amazing talk on the intimate connection between the Papacy of "Saint" John Paul II and the Divine Mercy message and devotion. You will learn more about  St.Faustina, the Chaplet and Image of Divine Mercy, The Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday and the amazing Pope that made it all happen.

You won't want to miss this dynamic Marian Priest share this message.


A recommended article on a witness of holiness from the "Catholic Transcript" (April 2014). Here's the link: 


Contributor: Paul A. Zalonski
Catholic Connecticut
255 Foxon Hill Road
East Haven, CT 06513-1216 USA
Email Paul directly:
Follow Paul on Twitter @CatholicCT
Connect with Paul on Facebook "Catholic Connecticut CatholicCT"

****Paul is the Catholic Events Contributor for Connecticut Catholic Corner****

Thursday, April 10, 2014

EWTN Press Release: Divine Mercy Sunday

EWTN To Air Divine Mercy Events On
Same Day “Mercy Pope” Will Be Canonized

Irondale, AL – If not for the support of soon-to-be St. John Paul II, the Divine Mercy devotion might never have been officially approved by the Catholic Church. It is fitting, therefore, that the late Pope, also known as the Mercy Pope, not only be canonized on this feast day, but that EWTN Global Catholic Network broadcast events celebrating the Feast of Divine Mercy from the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass., official promoters of the Divine Mercy message.
Join more than 20,000 people on the grounds of the Shrine and millions more who will follow the Divine Mercy Celebration and more on EWTN. 
This year’s lineup includes:
  • “Divine Mercy Preview Show:” The theme for this year’s program, hosted by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, and Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC, is “Mercy in Action.” Learn how Popes John Paul II and John XXIII lived mercy and how you can too. The program airs live at noon ET, Sunday, April 27, from the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass., with an encore at midnight.
  • “Mass & Celebration of Divine Mercy:” Airs live from the National Shrine of Divine Mercy at 1 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 27, with an encore at 1 a.m. ET, Monday, Sept. 28.
  • “Divine Mercy Holy Hour:” Airs live from the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Ala. at 4 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 27, with encores at 3:30 a.m. ET, Thursday, May 1; 2 p.m. ET, Friday, May 2.
  • “Living Mercy:” Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church's amazing impact on the Baton Rouge, Louisiana community, through their devotion to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and especially their annual Lenten Novena, which draws Catholics and even non-Catholics by the thousands. This half-hour program airs 5 p.m. ET, Sunday, April 27.
Learn more about the Divine Mercy Devotion at
The programs above may be watched or listened to live on EWTN television by cable or satellite (, streaming audio or video on the Internet (, shortwave (, EWTN mobile (, on the EWTN Radio Network via our affiliates, (, on SIRIUS satellite radio channel #130 (, or on iHeartRadio ( , as well as on EWTN’s own YouTube channel (

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, electronic and print news services, and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Review: Bill O'Reilly's "The Last Days of Jesus" book

A few weeks ago Allison Verost, Director of Publicity at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group contacted me  to ask if I would review Bill O’Reilly’s soon to be released book “The Last Days of Jesus: His Life and Times”.  This is an adaptation of O’Reilly’s “Killing Jesus” book and is written for children 10 years and up.  I agreed to read and review the book. 

I should mention here that I  have never read any books by Mr. O’Reilly and don’t watch his Fox News programs (though I did many years ago so I am familiar with who he is), so I had no idea what to expect.

**According to O’Reilly’s Bibliography he used the Protestant NIV Bible, so I will quote that Bible in this review**

*********WARNING SPOILERS*********

I am no theologian but I am pretty well studied in the Scriptures and because of that fact found I had several "issues" with the book. Some people will probably disagree with me, but here is my take on the book...

First up, the book tells a completely fictional story of Jesus as a young boy who along with Mary and Joseph run for their lives from Roman soldiers who are slaughtering Jews in the market place.  I don’t know where exactly O’Reilly got this story from, but its not in any Bible I can find. 

Some people might like a fictional Jesus story, I don’t so right of the bat I was offended.

Next up an example of one of many times O’Reilly CHANGES Sacred Scripture to tell a different story (he does this often in the book and if you don’t know the scriptures you will not know it is altered).

In this example O’Reilly says that the disciples John and James were “jockeying for position” in Jesus’ “new regime” and requested that they each get to sit to Jesus’ left and right in positions of power.  

The Bible tells the story a bit differently…the NIV titles the passage “A Mother’s Request” yet O’Reilly makes no mention of a mother at all.

Matthew 20 [NIV Bible]- A Mother’s Request  20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.21 “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”“We can,” they answered.23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”


No big deal?

OK, lets move on.

Catholics (like me) might take exception to O’Reilly’s version of Simon Peter and Jesus.  The Bible shows in Matthew 16 that Jesus gives Peter the keys to the Church (authority) and tells the disciples he (Jesus) was creating a real Church on earth – O’Reilly ignores most of this in his own chapter circling these events without mentioning the focal points to talk about other things.
The NIV Bible: Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Now O’Reilly’s version:

No keys, no Church, no authority, no papacy…its been gutted. If you are going to write a chapter about this exchange between Jesus and Peter then why leave out the most important parts?  O’Reilly rips out the 18th and 19th verses which his own faith (I believe he claims to be Catholic) highlights as the foundation of Jesus Christ building His Church on earth.  Hardly a trivial matter to Christianity.

Next he guts the Last Supper – no Eucharist.  The focus of this chapter for O’Reilly is that Jesus washed someone’s feet.  For O’Reilly this is the most important part of the Last Supper, yet in the Scriptures the foot washing is not mentioned in Matthew, Mark or Luke, only in the Gospel of John and the reason it is mentioned is to show that Jesus knew Judas was going to betray him (verse 11). Judas was the "unclean" one among the disciples. The significance of the Last Supper- the Eucharist being instituted is simply not shown in this book at all.   

Here is O’Reilly’s version…

Now here is what the Sacred Scriptures says about the foot washing…
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet  13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. –end-

And here is what Scripture says about the Last Supper
Luke 22 (NIV Bible) - Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus 1 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.The Last SupperThen came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”“Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.-end-

Other issues I had… in chapter one, O’Reilly claims Joseph only had a bad dream that terrified him so much he woke up Mary and Jesus and bolted out of Bethlehem.  No mention of the “angel of the Lord” telling Joseph to take his family and leave (Matthew 2:13). 

In chapter two, O’Reilly talks about Jesus sleeping on roof tops and how rare red meat and fish are to Jesus’ diet as a child.  Could he have slept on roof tops and rarely eaten red meat or fish, sure, but that’s not in the Bible. According to Isaiah 7, Jesus ate curds and honey as a child.
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste.

In chapter five, O’Reilly portrays Mary and Joseph as “shocked” by Jesus’ knowledge of God because never before has Jesus nor anything else in their life given them the impression that their son was anyone special. Yet the Bible clearly shows both Mary and Joseph were well informed by God that this was no ordinary son. Luke 1:31-35
31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."

In chapter seven, O’Reilly has John the Baptist proclaim he [John the Baptist alone] “saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him” before Jesus even got to the water to be baptized.  According to the Bible, Jesus was baptized THEN Heaven opened up and dove came down… (Matthew 3:16).

O’Reilly goes on to write that “John the Baptist says “I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One” in chapter seven, but later in chapter thirty O’Reilly claims that John the Baptist “is beginning to doubt his initial faith in Jesus as the Messiah”

In chapter twenty-eight (the Crucifixion scene) O’Reilly doesn’t mention the Disciple John being with Mary at the cross or Jesus giving Mary to John to care for (John 19:25-27) now that Jesus is going to die on the cross and soon ascend into Heaven (after he comes out of the tomb and walks the earth for 40 days).  Also left out of this chapter is Christ's words: “Into your hands Father I commend my Spirit” (Luke 23:46), the earthquake when Christ dies on the cross (Matthew 27:51), the temple curtain torn at the moment of Christ's death on the cross (Matthew 27:51) and the people raised from the dead (Matthew 27:52-53).  No mention of any of those major events.

Most chapters (in my opinion) show Mary, Joseph, the disciples and others as completely clueless about who Jesus is and what he is doing most of the time. I didn't care for O'Reilly's view or depiction of these Saints. 

And the final BIG issue for me… the very last sentence in the last chapter of the book… "To this day, the body of Jesus of Nazareth has never been found.”  No mention that Jesus was seen after the Crucifixion for 40 days (Acts 1:3) or that people watched him ascend into Heaven (Acts 1:9).

The book ends with an “Afterword” that includes assorted religion’s varying views of Jesus (Muslims, Jews, Pagans, Hindus etc).  This also includes what some writings and history say happened to the Apostles and other biblical characters (Pontius Pilate, Mary Magadalene etc).

Because I found too many alterations of Sacred Scripture and missing key Scriptural points I could not recommend this book to ANY parent to give to their child. Better they learn about Jesus from a child's Bible than this fictional portrayal of Jesus.

I am sure this is not the review Bill O’Reilly or his publisher were hoping for, but I have to be honest. I am sorry to say I simply did not like this book and cannot recommend it.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

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