Saturday, June 07, 2003

So the Great Debate between Fr. Pacwa and Dr. White was over "Is the Catholic priesthood biblical and historical?". I did not come away from the event with a good knowledge of the biblical and historical basis for the priesthood, but this was not Fr. Pacwa's fault. I did have my interest raised though, so I may have found a good site to learn from---

Catholic Apologetics On the Internet
N.H. Episcopalians Elect Gay Bishop
A funeral was held today at Our Lady Star of the Sea for the youngest firefighter to die on Sept. 11th.
Thoughts on a couple of old posts

Sometime ago there was discussion at Catholic and Enjoying It! on Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly as “tribal Catholics”. I put in a half-hearted defense of my fellow Long Islanders with the observation that, when it comes to Catholics in the public square, I’ll take what I can get. Not exactly a resounding hurray but I was thinking about this lately. The charge is that Catholics like Hannity and O’Reilly, and many other Catholics, are Catholic due to upbringing and they are ignorant of their faith. Their faith is not strong enough to overcome the political and cultural biases they have. I would agree with this idea. Recently, a Crisis magazine article began with this quote from the fictional Cardinal in Godfather III: “Look at this stone. It has been lying in this water for a very long time, but the water has not prenetrated it…The same thing has happened to men in Europe. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity, but Christ has not penetrated, Christ does not live within them.”

We long islanders live in a very middle class, upwardly mobile area where religion is quietly tolerated but expected not to get in the way of our financial and social goals. People easily spend money for parties on baptisms, communions, confirmations, and weddings-but very few see them as deeply religious sacraments. I grew up with an image of the “Bible Belt” as a place where people were nuts about religion and that we were more sophisticated than that. Of course, the truth is that we never really examined our faith much, and I suspect Catholicism is 95-99% cultural with most Long Island Catholics. This would also explain the Potemkin Village post of Fr. Johannsen at Thrown Back. Our diocese fits the description.
I just want to go on record as saying that this article on St. Blogs in Crisis magazine, written by Mark Shea was great. I have seen an article in the National Catholic Register about Catholic blogs and hope to see more in mainstream news. Crisis is my favorite of all the Catholic magazines I have subscribed to. Crisis may be going tabloid though, the “Next Month in Crisis” describes the mysterious questions surrounding Pope John Paul I’s death. –“What really happened that night? Next month, you’ll find out.” Geez, what’s next, pictures of the Pope with his arms around an alien? Anyway, it worked, I can’t wait to get the next issue. To think, that at one point in my life, only a few years ago, the only Catholic magazines I knew were the ones found at the local libraries: US Catholic, Commonweal and America.

Friday, June 06, 2003

There is a serious generation gap in the Church and it has more to do with culture than age. Older Catholics talk about growing up in the famous “Catholic Ghetto”. Every person around here above 50 mentions the parish they grew up instead of the neighborhood or town. For those who grew up in the 70’s or 80’s, there wasn’t too much that separated us from non-Catholics. I am not even sure of the religion of some people I grow up with, or even if they practiced a religion.
This huge difference in the way Catholics grew up leads to different ways of looking at things. When I hear Catholics talk about Ecumenism and Interfaith issues, most of the time its older people. For me, its just not an issue I am interested in, especially since I don’t feel competent enough in my own faith. Many times when I hear people talking about latin in the mass, it’s the youngins. Social Justice is usually older Catholic, while evangelization is a young thing.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Victims Compensation Fund
application deadline nearing

Many Long Islanders who were severely injured in the September 11th attacks or families who lost loved ones on that day have not taken advantage of the Victims Compensation Fund. Time is running out; the firm deadline for the application is December 21.
A free reception for those eligible for the Victims Compensation Fund (those who were severely injured and family members of those killed in the attacks) will be held in Melville on June 13 from 2:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Federal Victims Compensation Fund Special Master Kenneth Feinberg will meet victims at the reception. To secure a reservation, call Kate Anastasia at the Health &Welfare Council of Long Island at 516-483-1110 ext 425.
As of this day less than 40 percent of eligible families have applied. Although more than 600 Long Island families are eligible, there could be more than 350 who still have not taken advantage of the compensation offer.
Good News


Monday, June 02, 2003

Choices, Choices, Choices
I was invited to a first Mass on June 15th by a seminarian I met on retreat but since my mother needs a little care in recovering from surgery, and the Church is a pretty good drive from my home, I don’t think I should go. However, I just found out today that another man who is being ordained the same day is from my parish, St. William the Abbott. Gilbert Lap will have his first Mass there on June 15th so I will be able to attend this one. I always wanted to go to a first Mass or an ordination ceremony so this should be interesting. Please pray for our 3 men to be ordained on June 14th. Since I will be attending this first Mass locally, I won’t be able to attend the Anglican Use Mass being held in Manhattan on June 15th either. This is a second Mass being held by a group working with the Archdiocese to try to start an Anglican Use Congregation in NYC. Here is the info if interested:

Anglican Use Mass, 2:00 p.m. Sunday, June 15, 2003 at St. Vincent Ferrer Church, at 869 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10021 ((212) 744-2080). The church is between East 65th and 66th Streets near the 68th Street subway line (Line 6 on the Lexington Avenue Local service).
This link will tell you a good bit about the church.
Father Bradford of Boston will celebrate the Mass with Father Wilson of Brooklyn. The day is also Trinity Sunday which is a special day in the Anglican calendar as traditionally Sundays after the Easter season are numbered from Trinity rather than ordinary time as is the Catholic method.

Following the Mass, we will have a brief coffee session for everyone to meet and then a meeting to discuss various issues such as 1) arranging an Anglican Use retreat on NYC area, 2) hosting the annual Anglican Use meeting in NYC during 2004, 3) ways to promote the establishment of an Anglican Use congregation in NYC, and other issues of interest.

The priest at Mass yesterday announced the second collection was for the retired religious fund. The priest said that when he was in parochial school, Sr. Mary ripped up his Mickey Mantle baseball card. He argued that if the nuns had saved all the baseball cards they confiscated instead of throwing them out, they would all be millionaires and the collection would not be needed.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Fr. Pacwa explained how he started his Ignatius Productions. When he went to the Holy Land he wanted to film various parts of it for teaching purposes. EWTN was unable or unwilling to provide the camera people/equipment so Fr. Pacwa got his own. Ignatius Productions has various videotapes and audiocassettes available. It is incorporated under the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus and although small, it has some good stuff. There, now I can say I said something nice about a Jesuit apostolate.
Fr. Pacwa’s talk last night was very good. He made a couple of points that I took to heart because they apply to me. First, he compared the dissidents and heterodox Catholics to Bugs Bunny. They get Catholics riled up by saying and doing outlandish things and we respond like Elmer Fudd: we get angry and end up getting blown up. This is a good point, if you look around, orthodox Catholics can seem like we do nothing but complain. When I started this blog I wanted it to be a positive place since my experience in the Church and Catholic school was nothing but positive. Since then, I have become more negative and complain a lot. The other point he made was that if we do nothing but respond to the heterodox, then we allow them to set our agenda. We spend all our time saying what we don’t want but never get around to saying what we want. I think this is why we should do everything possible to support good, orthodox apostolates and put our energy into them, rather than spend time bashing or complaining about things in the Church.
Interestingly, Fr. Pacwa said that he may have a conference here on Long Island sometime next year that would be televised by EWTN. This would be great! This diocese is educated, wealthy, diverse, and large, if it were not for poor leadership in the past, we would be as vibrant in the Church as Rockford or Denver or maybe even Lincoln Nebraska. The fact that many dioceses that are much smaller than us have more ordinations is very telling.