Saturday, October 09, 2004

We “orthodox” Catholics had better slow down! Catholics are starting schools meant to be thoroughly Catholic to combat the “Universities Formerly Known As Catholic”syndrome. This is a great thing, in theory and I am all for it, being the product of a University that was supposed to be Catholic. But I am noticing a trend, is anyone else? Fr. Fessio is booted from the University of San Francisco because he was too Catholic for the Jesuits. He starts Campion College right across the street to show them how Catholic education is done. It folds. Thomas Monaghan starts Ave Maria College and Ave Maria Law School in Michigan. The law school seems to be a success but the college has troubles. The Catholic philanthropist moves the college to Naples Florida but the people left behind in Michigan are not happy with the way the move was handled. Meanwhile, in Florida Fessio and Monaghan plan for a Church that looks more like a greenhouse. Catholics remember elementary science and realize greenhouse + Florida Sun = Baked Catholic Worshippers. Fessio announces the greenhouse plan was a mistake and it is back to the drawing board. Traditionalists in Pennsylvania try to start St. Justin Martyr but run into trouble when the sponsoring community of priests is exposed as corrupt. Meanwhile, Dr. Thomas Droleskey is planning Christ the King College (while driving around the country in his RV) because none of the existing schools are traditional enough. I want to see good Catholic schools succeed. I want to see them grow and become enough of a threat to the existing “Catholic” schools that they are forced to revert to being Catholic. But good intentions and lots of dough are not enough. These schools need to be good, academically and administratively. Please lets get our orthodox act together! This post was prompted by a fund raising letter packet I received today from Ave Maria University. The brochure is slick, and features idealized pictures of fully habited nuns, beautiful buildings and smiling students. I want to support Ave Maria and any other authentically Catholic schools but I am worried that these mistakes are going to be repeated. I hope things work out for the “new Notre Dame” so it will truly become as good as it could be.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Muslim Fundamentalists Attack Catholics Near Jakarta

What is it going to take to wake the world up to the nightmare of muslim fundamentalism?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Bad Priests, Bad Men

At Off the Record, there is mention of a Jesuit who died. He is quoted in his obit as saying that "The only thing wrong with that bloody Turk (who shot Pope John Paul II) was that he couldn't shoot straight". What a horrible, evil, nasty, hateful, vile, disgusting, cold, immature, and childish man. This reminds me of a priest of my diocese, still alive, who a couple of years ago publicly said he "can't wait for Mother Angelica to die". When I emailed him about this he admitted it was perhaps an overreaction, but quickly added that she overreacts to things too. This "priest" occupies a powerful position in this diocese. He belongs on the same ash heap as Kung, Shanley, Geoghan, Ritter, McBrien, and this dead Jesuit.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Therese and Ground Zero

Therese was no The Passion of The Christ. The movie makers wanted to capitalize on the appeal of The Passion and its "grassroots" way of marketing. They were smart to do this, but first they should have made sure to make a excellent film like The Passion. The music was nice, some of the scenes were beautifully shot, and some of the acting was good. People afterwards mentioned they would have liked to have seen her visions in the film. My girlfriend, who has a special devotion to St. Therese had this reaction: If she did not already know alot about St. Therese and had not read books on her, then she would have left this film wondering why she was a saint. I added that you wouldn't have a clue why she was a doctor of the Church either. I was glad to see a decent crowd in the theater in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, and I wished the story had been a little better. Highlights would be the scene of Therese escorting an elderly nun down a hallway while listening to music in her head, the nuns putting together the Joan of Arc play, and the finale of the film which left some people moved. Overall, not bad but I wish the filmakers would follow the advice offered on the blog Church of The Masses: Make good films that would appeal to everyone! When I was leaving the movie theater I couldn't help but think: Catholics have the greatest and the most number of stories to tell. We could be pumping out dozens of great movies just on the Saints alone. We need to be able to tell our stories on film in a way that will appeal to anyone who likes a good story. Therese was a start, but only that.

After the film we stood in the lobby wondering whether to eat first or go to Ground Zero. We were by a giant window on the fourth floor when I noticed to our right was Ground Zero. We did not realize it, but the movie theatre was in the Embassy Suites building that had been damaged on September 11th and reopened in the middle of 2002. Since it was closer than we thought we walked over the pedastrian bridge and to one of the viewing areas. It is not as big as you might imagine. People were taking pictures like tourists and that made us feel a little uneasy. So did the tables with merchandise picturing the twin towers, etc.. I expected it to be like a giant memorial or something, but it is actually just a construction site. Just a big hole with trailers, dirt, and some steel and concrete. The giant ramp that descends into the pit is what I recognized first. There is an information booth with pamphlets and drawings of the future of the site which people were studying with interest. I don't find anything particulary good or interesting about the future site design. On the fence are pictures of the history of the twin towers and the attacks of September 11th. There is also the names of everyone who died at Ground Zero that day. The Cross at Ground Zero looked small but was the only thing that made me feel like this was a place of tragedy. The buildings around Ground Zero bore testimony to the day in a more real way. One giant building, probably 40 stories high, was completely covered in black netting. ( I just looked it up on the internet and this was the Bankers Trust building and was exactly 40 stories high- I found information on the area buildings by going into the Ground Zero Interactive Map at this site.) I just hope that when they rebuild the site, they will make sure to create a place where people can come to cry, to remember and to pray.