Saturday, January 17, 2004

Now that Ken Carney, Phil Sofia, and Tom Diasparra have been sentenced for leading the rape and torture of younger football players in the Mepham High School football camp, I would like to ponder a few things. Am I the only one who thinks the culture these guys grew up in helped lead to this crime? I do not know the faith or upbringing of Sofia and Diasparra but I do know that Carney's father's funeral was held at St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Bellmore. Ken Carney had been in trouble before and was the ringleader of the assaults. The father had been in and out of jail and died at the age of 40, rumored to be suicide due to distress over his son's crimes. I wonder if these three young men, or any others in the neighborhood ever heard anything about morality or justice or judgment. I wonder if they had been raised with a sense of right and wrong, or if they grew up hearing the “God loves everybody no matter what you do” type of theology. Quite frankly, I am not surprised at anything people do around here because I never thought Long Island had many nice people on it. That sounds harsh but truth is truth. What is worse is that Long Island has more than a million Catholics on it, meaning that the culture of the island should reflect Catholicism to a large degree. I think the failure of the Church to teach its teachings, and for us Catholics to live out those teachings, are what causes this culture to stink. And that can lead to things like Mepham, which is a real shame.
From an email:

Sunday, January 18th, 1:30 - 4:00 pm

This Sunday, at the Church of Holy Innocents on West 37th Street in Manhattan, there will be a Holy Hour beginning at 1:30 pm, the praying of the Rosary at 2:30 pm, and Mass at 3:00 pm, all offered for the intention of Fr. Benedict Groeschel's return to good health.

Fr. Groeschel was scheduled to give a talk and celebrate Mass at Holy Innocents this Sunday. Let's continue to pray for his recovery!

January 18th, 2003 = 1 year

I forget exactly how I discovered it but when I saw Gerard’s list of Catholic Blogs I became hooked on reading them. I then started to comment on many of them and eventually figured I needed to start a blog of my own since commenting was just not enough. I noticed that the blogs in St. Blog’s sometimes contained comments from people who are less than happy with their Catholic upbringing or the horrible “Situation” of corruption in the Church. I had 16 years of Catholic school and never a bad experience in the Church. By starting my own blog I thought I could share the positive things I have found with others and counter the negativity I read. In this aspect my year of blogging was a miserable failure. I fell into the trap of reacting to other posts, news stories, and info on the net and mostly the reactions were critical or negative. I think this is still valuable but I wanted my blog to be positive and it has not always been. For my New Year’s resolution I am going to try to make it more positive, not by ignoring bad stuff or by never criticizing, but by trying to again share some of my positive experiences as a Catholic. I don’t know how much longer I am going to blog, it is still fun but I don’t think I have many profound things to say. I try to stick to areas of life involving Catholicism specifically and leave out other interests. (I am a big Rolling Stones fan-which you might guess from the way I introduced myself in my very first post).

The St. Blog’s parish is filled with wonderful people who can write so well and really make you think. I am going to post some of my old posts just because I find them interesting to re-read a year later. Unfortunately all my old comments are gone since the first commenting system suddenly went awol. I then replaced the second commenting system when it broke down too often. That system just went out and now I am back with Haloscan. In the 1 year of blogging I have only had one troll place a stupid comment about not liking Catholics which I deleted. I am insulted by this because I would have thought I would have attracted more angry anti-Catholics. Oh well, I guess my writing is not strong enough or my opinions good enough to be attracting trolls. It has been fun doing this and I have appreciated any comments left by readers. I especially like the fact that I have met people (real live people!!) through this blog, which just blew me away. I don’t read many blogs outside the parish but from what I can see, the most popular blogs are political in nature. Politics bores me-if religion is the last refuge of the scoundrel, then politics is the first. From what I can see, St. Blog’s parish has the most humorous, most deep, most thoughtful and thought-provoking bloggers around. I am proud to be a very small part of it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Fr. Glenn Sudano will call in to EWTN Live tonight to speak about Fr. Groeschel.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

The article from Crisis Magazine with an inside look at the Long Island Voice of the Faithful is now online. I found this out by going to the Catholic World News blog. Check it out for yourself and tell me if you agree the author was very fair, balanced, and did a good job exposing the bias of a group that COULD do some good things in the Church. If only they were orthodox....

One thing that I would like to point out: the article mentions Richard McBrien being invited to speak to the group. Bishop McGann, the bishop who shuffled abusive priests around and lead the diocese when most of the abuse occurred, also invited McBrien to speak. This was at a meeting of all the priests of the diocese many years ago. Why would a group want to follow the same path of the Bishop who was responsible for the mess the diocese is in?? Interestingly, Bishop Murphy, the Bishop under whom there has been no cases of abuse by priests, invited Fr. Benedict Groeschel to speak to priests soon after he came here.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Please pray for Fr. Benedict Groeschel last night (Sun) he was in a car accident in Florida. I have read his books, attended 2 retreats with him, and heard him speak many times, he is one of the best. He is also a wonderful guy to talk to - a very good spiritual leader. He is in critical condition, please pray.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Mepham Sentencing Set for Next Week

"The three Mepham High School football players who admitted to sexually assaulting younger teammates will learn their fate at a court hearing in Pennsylvania next week, sources said yesterday."

This local case of rape and torture has brought national attention to the violent crimes committed by high school jocks. Fortunately that may bring pressure on schools to do something about this common problem.

Parents begin to fight back against hazing

"My wife teaches at a Catholic school," James Meeker says. "I'm captain of an American Airlines widebody, and went to the Air Force Academy. I've coached kids. I've been president of the PTSA. If we're getting blown off by the school district, what chance do single parents have?"
N. Massapequa mother accused of killing her baby may have killed another child

This is one of the reasons that members of the ambulance medical technicians unit of the Nassau County Police department started the Children of Hope Foundation. I think it would be a good idea to link the Children of Hope site. Their profile follows:

"We were founded by members of the Ambulance Medical Technicians of the Nassau County Police Department. After a series of cases of infanticide in Nassau County, the emotional impact began taking its toll, on ourselves as well as the community. We sought a level of closure, peace and hope. Looking after these unfortunate victims of a society gone astray through a dignified burial gave us a sense of healing from this pain. We turned our focus toward the despondent people who would commit such a horrible desperate act. Our effort to enlighten these people to other means of solving their problems is the driving force of the Foundation. Although this is a huge undertaking, we believe that doing nothing, as more infants are found abandoned shortly after birth, would be a far greater tragedy."