Saturday, June 21, 2003

I just finished watching The Scarlet and the Black with Gregory Peck, John Gielgud, and Christopher Plummer. The movie was ok, the music was a bit hard to take. Anyway, the best part of the movie was at the very end-I had no idea of the full story of Msgr. Hugh O'Flaherty. Here is a good sermon by an Episcopal priest on the 1st anniversary of September 11th that tells the O'Flaherty story. A fellow Long Islander, William Simpson (a Scottish Presbyterian ), wrote a book on Hugh O'Flaherty and the Vatican's role in saving people in WWII- The book is mentioned here.
I have added some more Catholic blogs to my list and will add more later. I really need to get a cable modem because this aol thing just isn't cutting it anymore. I was excited to see on Swimming the Tiber, Sean talks about a service that allows you to see when your favorite blogs have been updated. This is great since there are so many I like to check out and some I have probably not even seen yet.
I just found out that a new Catholic bookstore opened in my neighborhood this week! The amazing thing is that it also contains a lending library, which is an idea I have had for awhile. I mentioned this idea on this blog, here here and here. I visited and spoke to the owner and I hope she does well although it will be a challenge. The store is small and since it just opened there are not enough items for sale on the shelves. The lending library contains mostly older books which, although there are some out of print gems, might not be attractive enough to pull people in. I had thought of trying to start a lending library in a parish and had some ideas about how to keep it orthodox, but I also kept in mind the idea of starting a Catholic bookstore and then having a library within. Imagine my shock when this idea, which I only expressed on this blog, and to a few people, actually came into existence right in my own neighborhood. I bought 3 books and rented a movie. The movie was The Scarlet and the Black, starring Gregory Peck. The books were:

The Fathers of the Church An Introduction to the First Christian Teachers by MIke Aquilina
My Brother Pier Giorgio His Last Days by Luciana Frassati
Salvation Outside the Church? by Rev. Peter Stravinskas

Any locals who read this blog, please check out the store Faith & Reason, Inc. at 742 North Broadway in Massapequa. It is a wonderful apostolate to support and hopefully will grow and be successful.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Alright! This blog was listed for a second time of the Giant List of Catholic Blogs under "NEW". This could mean being mentioned on the Nihil Obstat blog, which is a cool honor.
The Roman Catholic Faithful website is one of my favorite places to keep up with corruption in the Church. The way that RCF gets information and exposes people is great to see, worthy of the old 60 minutes. Here is a great article on the founder of RCF, Stephen Brady, a true Catholic hero. It is sad to see someone dedicated to being Catholic put through such turmoil by others in the Church.

"Brady heads Roman Catholic Faithful, a group he created in 1996 to address his concerns about the Springfield Diocese, which includes Catholic congregations throughout central Illinois. Brady, who earns most of his income running Leo's Pizza in Petersburg, has since expanded his field of battle. Roman Catholic Faithful's Web site,, is a disorganized mixture of news updates, warnings to Catholic leaders, press releases, and links to church scandals all over the world. Brady claims his work has forced the resignations of six priests and two bishops, in dioceses from Dallas to South Africa. In 1999, he created headlines when he exposed a Web site where several dozen Catholic priests swapped stories of their sexual exploits, occasionally involving young children."

The Diocese Report is another great website, and they have this story about a priest in the Altoona-Johnston diocese who is being persecuted for being orthodox.

Monday, June 16, 2003

The efforts by some to foster “community” among parishioners have been rather childish and probably have turned some people away. Some priests, at the start of Mass, tell people to turn to the people around them and introduce themselves. One parish by me has a priest who asks if anyone is celebrating a birthday or anniversary and people shout out their answers and then everyone applauds. This caused me to stop going to that parish, I felt like a child and I really didn’t care if it was someone’s cousins’ 45th birthday. Some parishes encourage people to talk in Church before Mass. All these things are terrible but they are at least efforts to get Catholics to act like a real community. Long Island has very large parishes where it is common for most parishioners to know few of the people in the pews. I guess smaller parishes don’t have this problem. I think people should allow people to pray in Church before Mass and so talking is a bad idea. The older people are the worst, they think they are whispering but you can hear them 15 pews away. I read the readings before Mass and have been annoyed when people around me carry on conversations. I once heard an older couple discussing what type of cereal they should get at the supermarket, corn flakes or bran-flakes. I resisted the urge to turn around and throw my missalette at them. The missalette is so flimsy it wouldn’t have hurt anyway. There should be some ability to talk, converse, discuss, catch up, socialize, encourage each other, discuss cereal options, but not in Church. Churches should have some sort of vestibule suitable for people meeting and greeting. Some newer Churches and some older Churches have this. I have seen Cathedrals and Churches with nice gardens or squares in front of them and this is good for the nice weather. The traditional latin Mass in our diocese is held in a former school chapel, so the cafeteria is used for a nice breakfast after each Mass. This is the perfect opportunity for people to get to know each other. Many parishes could set up their basement or another room for a meeting spot before or after Mass. Any of these would be preferential to people interrupting the prayer and preparation time before Mass.

Sunday, June 15, 2003


My Catholic Howl poem has been posted on a philosophy professor's website. I wish I had been told-this is neat since I can link to it. Professor Philip Blosser's website is great. Here is an article he wrote entitled "What I Learned from U.S. Catholic Magazine: Discerning Editorial Bias " Also, check out his personal info:

"I was born in China (Chengdu) and raised in Japan (Sapporo & Tokyo). After twenty years of living in the Far East, it is still difficult to feel completely at home in the United States. Nevertheless, since taking up residence in North Carolina in 1984 to teach at Lenoir-Rhyne College, I have earned honorary Tar Heel citizenship by eating twenty-six grits, drowned in red eye gravy, two moon pies, and one hush puppy (in one sitting, I'll have you know)! I do continue to favor fine sushi cuisine whenever I can find a restaurant where it ain't called "fish bait."
Also, just found this old article:

Gen-X Christians want their churches to be spiritual, not hip

"The church always goes wrong when it tries to appear cool. It never goes wrong when it tries to attend to people's deepest thirst."

"I'm not necessarily in favor of taking Smashing Pumpkins and Sarah McLachlan and making that church music," Beaudoin said. "I find most Gen-Xers suspicious when the church comes too closely to resemble what they're doing in their secular lives."

"For example, he said, "I work with so many young, moderate-to-progressive-thinking Catholics who want to pray the Rosary, who are interested in Marian adoration, very curious about the Latin Mass, and who love Taize-style worship."
Just found this from the Mystical Rose page:

You might be a Gen X Catholic if...

"...You think Extreme Unction is a new professional wrestling show on TV. "
"...If a non-Catholic says, "I wish I'd been exposed to the rich, fascinating cultural and spiritual heritage of Catholicism", you think, "Yeah, so do I."
One of my favorite sites, The Catholic Educator's Resource Center, has so many good articles on their front page you should go there right now. Examples:

Thomas More for Our Season by Robert Bork (!)
God's Secret Agent: Interview with Sue Thomas by Barbara Nicolosi
12 Claims Every Catholic Should Be Able to Answer by Deal Hudson
I went to the first Mass of Fr. Gilbert Lap today at St. William the Abbott parish. The new priest had 14 of his brother priests concelebrating with him. The parish choir sounded wonderful with a trumpet player joining them. All things considered, we have a pretty good parish.