Thursday, February 09, 2006


January 18th, 2003 was the date of my first blog post, . I forgot my blogiversary until finding an old post about Fr. Benedict Groeschel. It was Jan. 2004- around my first year blogiversary and I want to re-post it now. The "friend" mentioned is now my fiance, who told me she remembers reading this post and being angry at me for calling her "my friend".

Fr. Benedict Groeschel

When I began my journey back to the faith, I read a couple of books by Fr. Groeschel including the excellent The Reform of the Renewal. His intelligence and humor really impressed me. The first discovery I made of something orthodox and local was the Americans United for the Pope lectures at Kellenberg High School. At the second lecture I attended a man spoke briefly about a retreat he was running in the high school retreat house which would be led by Fr. Groeschel. He would be there the entire weekend so I could not pass up this opportunity. He was excellent and just as funny and intelligent as expected. I have since spent two weekends on retreats with him and heard him speak a few more times at the school. In December he had another retreat at the school but I passed it up since I had already been to two retreats and had some things I needed to do. I did however make plans to hear him speak on that Sunday, but alas, it snowed heavily and my friend and I decided not to risk the drive. Now of course we wish we had risked it since my friend has never heard Fr. Groeschel in person. Now that he has had this serious accident, I am realizing just how much he has meant to my spiritual journey. Here are some things from Fr. Groeschel that have stuck in my mind-please keep in mind these are mostly from my memory so they are paraphrases and may not be 100% accurate:

Gen X Revert: “How are you Father?”
Fr. Groeschel: (shrugging shoulders) “Ehhh…I’m old”

From Arise from Darkness:

“No one lives the Christian life perfectly. In my life I've known dumb Jesuits, confused Dominicans, proud Capuchins, rich Franciscans, and Salesians who can't stand small children. I've known merciless Sisters of Mercy and uncharitable Missionaries of Charity and foolish Daughters of Wisdom.”

On being called a “conservative” priest: “I don’t want to conserve anything …I want to blow the whole thing up!”

On dressing for Mass: “The middle class dress like they are going to the beach and the upper class dress like they are coming from the beach”

On meeting Mother Theresa for the first time: “I thought she was so ugly she was almost cute”

On his funeral: “If people at my funeral talk about me like I am already in Heaven, or the music is too sappy, I am going to get up out of that coffin and scare the daylights out of everyone!!”

On hearing, along with a Rabbi friend, at an outdoor Easter service, a minister preach that whether the physical resurrection of the body actually happened is not important: “I wanted to push the minister over the cliff, but then thought of the headlines- Priest Kills Minister While Rabbi Looks On”.

On Youth 2000: “I belong to Youth 1950”

On his community: “Our median age is 37 and if I drop dead tonight it will go down to 25”.

On translation: “In the old canon we said ‘From the rising of the sun to its dimunition,( to its setting)’-a beautiful poetic phrase, now we say ‘From East to West’. Whenever I hear that East to West I think of I-80!”

On the younger guys of his community: “The younger men in this community are so good I feel like I don’t deserve them. One guy I teach is so good, so holy, that on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception I wish him a Happy Name Day”.

On Reform from Scandal to Hope: “The fact is that the great majority of laity are more traditional and devout than they have been permitted to be by those who saw renewal as the principal object of Christian life.”

On the scandals from Scandal to Hope: “Does all this scandal shake your faith in the Church? I hope so, because ultimately your faith should not be in the Church. Ultimately our faith is in Jesus Christ, and we accept the Church. We support the Church. We believe in and belong to the Church because Christ established it on His apostles.”

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Need Midget for wedding

Wedding planning is tough work.
Nuns doing the Conga!

Remember when Kellenberg High School, a Catholic school here on Long Island, made headlines for cancelling their prom? Well, Kellenberg and Chaminade (which also dropped its prom) just had a Junior/Senior Prom, see the pics in the link above.
The Extreme Catholic is coming to my town!

Patrick Sweeney will give a talk at Faith & Reason Bookstore at 742 N. Broadway in North Massapequa. The talk will be on "How Catholics Can Teach the Faith and STILL Keep their Friends" . Mr. Sweeney, besides being a blogger, also works with the Catholic Evidence Guild. The talk is this Saturday, February 11th at 1 PM, I plan to be there.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Just when I thought it was safe to read the newspaper again, points out Paul Vitello's column in the NY Times about Bishop Murphy reorganizing the religious formation offices of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Vitello used to be a commentator, not a reporter, for Newsday but left when Newsday downsized. Newsday had to downsize because they were caught inflating their circulation and overcharging advertisers. The result was millions of dollars in payoffs and the dissappearance of many long time Newday writers - Jimmy Breslin, Paul Vitello, Ed Lowe - none of whom had much use for the Catholic Church, all of whom were old. The article by Vitello sounds like the same tired old nonsense that used to be so much a part of Newsday:

-The Diocese of Rockville Centre used to be run by people who loved children and small animals, were open-minded, tolerant and peace loving people. People like Bishop McGann, Bishop Emil Wcela, Dick Ryan, and Robert Keeler were changing the nasty Catholic Church by applying the great documents of Vatican II and had to do it all while being oppressed by the Vatican and those damn young traditionalists, with their yearning for Latin Masses and other nonsense.

--Women had started to become very powerful in the Diocese in these enlightened times but this frightened the conservatives so they put a stop to this.

-Then, when the child molesting priests were exposed throughout the country it brought about the great Voice of the Faithful movement, which would usher in an unprecedented era of giving money to the poor.

-Now, Bishop Murphy (and those damn youngins'!) is messing up everything by clamping down, in a Stalin-like way, on poor defenseless Church workers - mostly women.

This tired old story is wrong of course, and here is why:

The fact is, Bishop McGann, Wcela, Keeler, and Ryan were the ones who befriended some of the very priests who later who exposed as being child molesters and corrupt. It was this "enlightened" era that allowed the corruption to flourish, it was Bishop McGann who shifted these molesters around.

Women have been the majority of "Church workers" for 30 years, but there are dissenters and orthodox ones, and the dissenters ruled. The PFI and other Diocese organizations did not teach orthodox Church teaching, but a blend of feminist propaganda, dissident theology, and just plain nonsense, all wrapped in a feel-good package.

The Voice of the Faithful have been underwhelming in their ability to raise money and donate to the poor. They are constantly referring to the writings of Richard McBrien, Bishop Gumbleton, and Joan Chittister and then wonder why no young people join them.

It is Bishop Murphy who is leading the Diocese to renewal. He has tried to dialogue with people, but he is talking orthodoxy, and most of the complainers haven't heard this stuff in 25 years here.

Vitello attempts to connect the generation of Catholics who grew up after Vatican II with those that sounded the alarm about child molesting priests, and on Long Island this is simply not a total connect. He then tries to say that this reorganization will turn back the clock so that Catholics will not think, women will not teach, and this is nonsense.

Sunday, February 05, 2006



Ales Rarus, group
Auto De Fe, Jason
Cheap Grace, Cheap Grace
Irish and Dangerous, Danny Garland Jr.
Legens et Cogitans, Frederick Gruber
Pontifications, Al Kimel
Quenta Nârwenion , Donna Marie Lewis


21st Century Catholic, Jacob Maurer
Catholic and Enjoying It! , Mark Shea
East of Nowhere, East of Nowhere
Perry Lorenzo, Perry Lorenzo
Radix Lecti, Luke
Take Your Place, Keith Strohm