Friday, May 16, 2008

My wife and I attended the reception for the opening of the "Catholics in New York 1808-1946" exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York last night. It was enjoyable with perfect weather to enjoy some wine and Brooklyn Lager outside under a tent. The Museum is right across the street from the northern part of Central Park. I spotted Fr. James Martin, Fr. George Rutler, and Bill Donohue among the crowd. My wife and I, after enjoying some wine and cheese, went into the exhibit while most of the crowd was coming out to hear Cardinal Egan's talk. This enabled us to browse the exhibit with plenty of room to check out all the objects. The exhibit itself was a bit small but interesting. There was a great vestment on loan from St. Patrick's Cathedral, pictures of First Communions and a very intricate chalice. A ceramic dish featured an Irish priest who preached temperence (insert own joke here). Interestingly, this small dish was exhumed from the part of lower Manhattan made famous in the movie Gangs of New York and was the only remaining artifact from that exhumation as the rest were all stored at the World Trade Center and were destroyed on 9/11. Another section featured the Catholic orphanages, Catholic social groups, and of course, the Catholic politicians of the "old days". The exhibit, which runs until Dec. 31st., is worth a visit and there are upcoming events related to it at the link above.
China's 1-child policy causes extra pain

"In Wufu, a farming village two hours north of the Sichuan provincial capital of Chengdu, most of the dead students were a couple's only child -- born under a policy launched in the late 1970s to limit many families to one offspring. The policy was meant to rein in China's exploding population and ensure better education and health care."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cablevision to buy Newsday

Cablevision is somewhat of a monopoly on Long Island although Direct TV, Dish Network, and Verizon have begun to cut into their share. Newsday is a monopoly with no real competition. For the past few years Newsday has been gutted following their inflated circulation scandal, with most columnists gone and the paper a bit more thin. Even with Newsday's (past) virulent anti-Catholic bias I have always enjoyed reading the paper. The Daily News and NY Post is for pictures and sports and gossip, but for real reading, Newsday is the paper. It is a shame how much is missing these days so hopefully this new ownership will pump new life into the paper, without changing its focus on real news.
Catholic League: Hagee Apologizes, Controversy Ends

“The tone of Hagee’s letter is sincere. He wants reconciliation and he has achieved it. Indeed, the Catholic League welcomes his apology.
What Hagee has done takes courage and quite frankly I never expected him to demonstrate such sensitivity to our concerns. But he has done just that. "

This is nice - although I actually enjoy when rural 'bible Christians' rail against the 'Whore of Babylon'. It is so Flannery O'Connor.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bishop Murphy has issued a Pastoral Letter - DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME (Warning: PDF File)


I first read about this in Newsday on Friday (Grrrrr....can't a blogger in this Diocese get a sneak peak once in awhile?). The pastoral letter essentially eliminates weekday communion services. St. Blog's has had some interesting reactions - most have been positive. The interesting thing is that I read about this letter in the Newsday article and then on several Catholic blogs, but only now when I read the actual letter did I realize it referred to weekday communion services held in place of Mass. Basically, Bishop Murphy's point boils down to:

"The reception of Holy Communion is never just passively “getting” or “receiving” Holy Communion. Instead, the reception of Holy Communion is the culmination of participating in the celebration (offering of the sacrifice). There is an inherent interconnection between sacrifice, Real Presence, and Communion. We should never sever the connection between receiving the Sacrament and celebrating the sacrifice; the
two go hand-in-hand. Receiving the Sacrament is the culmination of participating in the sacrifice. In this sense, “receiving it” is a reciprocal reality: we receive Christ and in so doing, Christ receives us and presents us to the Father in the Spirit."

"In the popular mind, all too often the purpose of Mass is still seen as an action simply to consecrate hosts; some people think their participation in the Eucharistic Prayer is all about watching the priest and then receiving Holy Communion. They do not understand the need to offer themselves with Christ to the Father in the Spirit during the Prayer, nor
do they understand that their parts in the Prayer (Introductory Dialogue, Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation and Great Amen) are the outward signs of their participation in the entire Prayer."

"In light of this clear instruction, after having heard the advice and counsel of the Advisory Committee on Canonical Affairs and brought this matter to the Diocesan Presbyteral Council for their discussion, counsel and advice, I, as Bishop, am declaring that no weekday Celebrations of the Word with the distribution of Holy Communion will be allowed in this Diocese thereby bringing our Diocese into conformity with the liturgical norms of the Church."

Bishop Murphy then encourages the Liturgy of the Word in parishes where daily Mass is not able to be offered due to lack of a priest. He also encourages parishes without daily Mass to publish the daily Masses offered in surrounding parishes. Both of these are very welcome suggestions. I have always thought of the Liturgy of the Hours as one of our best kept secrets.