Friday, December 25, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Chesterton and Christmas: A Serious Affair

Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Time: 7pm

Location: Fordham University, Pope Auditorium113 West 60th Street at Columbus Ave., New York

This looks interesting!
Msgr. Alan Placa, longtime friend of Rudy Giuliani, not guilty of molesting teenager in 1975

"Long Island priest with close ties to Rudy Giuliani has been cleared of allegations he molested a teenager in 1975, church officials said Saturday.

Msgr. Alan Placa was the Diocese of Rockville Centre's pointman on sexual abuse until 2002, when he was hit with sex accusations.

Stripped of his priestly duties while church authorities investigated, he was found not guilty after a canonical trial. "

There is more to this story than the 1 allegation of which he was cleared - there were 3 and that is what worries me: what of the other allegations?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Huntington nuns choose a life of tradition, service

"The bell rings at 5:15 a.m. every day to wake up the Missionary Sisters of St. Benedict at their semi-cloistered convent in Huntington.

By 5:35 a.m., all 21 of them are gathered in the chapel, dressed in long, black habits and starched veils. They pray for a half-hour, then fall into silent meditation for another half-hour.

They spend an hour tending to the 43 elderly residents of an adjoining adult home they run, then return to the chapel at 7:30 for morning Mass. As the day progresses, they will return several times for communal prayer - about four hours a day in all."

I picked up today's Newsday which featured a picture on the front cover of two nuns with the Headline: The Sisterhood LI order awaits Vatican visitation. It showed the article was pages A22-25 so I figured this would be a good old fashioned long piece with lots of reading material, and lots of anti-Catholic, ignorant nonsense too. Unfortunately or fortunately that was not the case - it was typical of today's Newsday: a short article with not much to read but lots of pictures. (I almost long for the good old days of Newsday with its huge amount of reading material and constant anti-Catholic bigotry.) This article paints a nice portrait of this traditional group of nuns and mentions the fact that traditional orders of nuns are awash in vocations, which is not exactly news. It features some nice photos of the nuns assisting the elderly in the guest house they run. Of course there are quotes from Rev. Thomas Reese who says the Vatican Visitation is all about controlling the liberal nuns in America, blah, blah and blah. God Bless the good sisters of Huntington! I will blog something about the visitation soon.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Faith on Tap - "The Philosophy of J.R.R. Tolkien"

The speaker is Msgr. Charles Fink who serves as Spiritual Director at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception.

When: Mon., Nov. 30, 2009 (Mingling @ 7 PM, Talk @ 7:30 PM)

Where: Wantagh Inn, Upper Room, 3264 Wantagh Avenue, (Across from Wantagh RR Station)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Relic of St. Mary Magdalene venerated at seminary

From The Long Island Catholic

"Huntington — Hundreds of visitors flocked to Immaculate Conception Seminary here Nov. 12 and 13 to view a relic of Mary Magdalene, a saint who “walked with Jesus.” A major piece of the tibia (a leg bone) from remains believed to come from the saint dubbed the “apostle to the apostles” was made available for veneration for the first time in the U.S. Following mid-day Mass in the seminary chapel, Kevin Thompson, a third-year seminarian here, called the event “stunning.”

People love the whole 'hands on' experience of Catholicism - this event was supposed to be for one day only, but was extended to two days. When the heart of St. John Vianney came to Long Island thousands came and waited on line to venerate the relic - including yours truly. I like this part also:

"During the day, three sessions of catechesis were offered. Msgr. Richard Henning, professor of Sacred Scripture at the seminary, spoke on St. Mary Magdalene in the New Testament. (See related article). Msgr. Charles Fink, the seminary’s director of spiritual formation, spoke about veneration of relics in the Catholic tradition. (See story below.)Dominican Father Romaric Morin, one of several priests who accompanied the relic to the United States, spoke about the tradition of veneration of St. Mary Magdalene."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jesus of Israel: Finding Christ in the Old Testament

An evening with Fr. Richard Veras

Communion and Liberation of Long Island in conjunction with Crossroads Cultural Center presents an evening with Fr. Richard Veras, author of “Jesus of Israel: Finding Christ in the Old Testament.”

The Shrine of Our Lady of the Island, Eastport, NY
7 PM on November 21st, 2009

There is no charge for this event. A free will donation is encouraged.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Telecare will cover the national bishops' meeting

"Uniondale — For the first time ever, Telecare will provide live television coverage of the U.S. bishops’ annual meeting in Baltimore next month to Catholics across the country.

“We will be carrying the meeting for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and providing live, gavel-to-gavel coverage,” said Telecare head Msgr. James Vlaun. Through satellite, Telecare will send live transmissions to members of the Catholic Television Network (CTN) and other Catholic and non-Catholic television systems.

Msgr. Robert Brennan, diocesan vicar general, and Sister of St. Joseph Mary Alice Piil, director of the diocesan Office of Faith Formation, will serve as commentators along with Msgr. Vlaun. Telecare will also take a dozen staff members for the meeting, scheduled for Nov. 16 to 19.

“This is a great honor for Telecare that the USCCB chose us,” Msgr. Vlaun said. In previous years, Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) has transmitted its coverage of the bishops’ meeting to other Catholic television systems that wished to carry the coverage."

This is very interesting for several reasons and I hope Telecare does a good job covering the meetings. Folks at Fr. Z's WDTPRS are already wondering about this development with some already seeing a conspiracy by the bishops against EWTN. There is some precedent to that - in Raymond Arroyo's excellent book, Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles, he traces the history of EWTN and its relation to the bishops which was downright hostile at times. Also, Arroyo has recently asked some questions that perhaps some bishops did not like. For example, questions regarding the bishops' Catholic Campaign for Human Development which funds groups that are in conflict with Catholic teaching. In my opinion EWTN has always strived to maintain fidelity to orthodox Catholic teachings, rather than fidelity to the bishops. This is important - the two do not always go together. The coverage will probably be simply 'just the facts' reporting with some background, which could be a good thing. But the honest questioning of things such as the CCHD and the faithful translations of the latin in the Mass are important and hopefully that will not get lost in the broadcast. Telecare might tend to be the Church equal of the NY Mets network (SNY) or the NY Yankees network (YES) - an in house network meant to function as part of the PR or communications department. This is fine, but more is needed in the Church. After all, the bishops have not always been honest, had the Church teachings in mind, or even been good Christians, so they need to be kept honest. The bishops can make the coverage of their meetings more to their liking, but they will not stop the honest questioning of their business activities in this day and age. And that is good. On the other hand the 'orthodox police' sometimes tend to go overboard, or to resemble the Republican Party at prayer to paraphrase a famous saying. Overall, I wish Telecare the best in covering the meetings, many more people will be watching the network so please make Long Island proud.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This is not from The Onion, this is real:

Eliot Spitzer Speaks At Harvard Ethics Forum

"The man whose career ended in scandal was in town on Thursday talking about ethics. Former New York Governor Elliot Spitzer, who was driven from office by a prostitution scandal, isn't talking about his ethical issues, rather ethics in government and business."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Anti-Catholic bigot Tony Alamo was sentenced to 175 years on sex charges.

"CNN) -- Evangelist Tony Alamo is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison after an Arkansas judge sentenced him to 175 years Friday on charges that included taking minors across state lines for sex, according to prosecutors.

A jury convicted Alamo in July on 10 federal counts covering offenses that spanned 11 years and dated back to 1994, according to documents from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Three dioceses, three seminaries, one priesthood

Bishop Murphy's column in this week's Long Island Catholic discusses the possible merger of the 2 seminaries in our area: Immaculate Conception in Huntington and St. Joseph in Dunwoodie. He advises that the apostolic visitation of diocesan seminaries that occurred about 5 years ago (following the priest sex scandals) suggested that there were too many major seminaries. This is a function of the steep decline in vocations that occurred since the 1960's. Although people continue to deny reality, the Church in America was at its height up until the 1950's and it has been in decline in many ways since then. Seminaries back then were full and actually had to turn men away, while today the huge buildings are too big for the number of seminarians. Dioceses have to spend large amounts of money on maintaining buildings meant to house hundreds of men while only a fraction of that number reside in them. So it makes sense to try to figure out a more efficient way of doing things. Bishop Murphy makes clear in his article that merging the 2 seminaries is only one option out of many that are being considered. Bishop Murphy, Bishop DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Archbishop Timothy Dolan are working to try to figure out how to have the two major seminaries and the College Seminary in Douglaston collaborate in forming priests for the 3 dioceses. I hope that whatever is done, it will benefit seminarians and young men discerning a vocation. I think an actual merger of the 2 major seminaries could work well and help make better use of the vast facilities. The formation of deacons and lay people that is done at seminaries would also have to be considered.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Relic of St. Mary Magdalene

Relics of St. Mary Magdalene have been venerated in the Diocese of Frejus-Toulon, France since the second century. One of these relics, a piece of the tibia, can be venerated in the Main Chapel of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington. Members of the public are invited to participate in any or all of the above events in the Main Chapel of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception.

When: Thursday, November 12th from 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

The schedule for the day is as follows:
9:00 a.m - 11:30 a.m. -Veneration
11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Mass
1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. - Veneration
3:00 p.m. - Catechesis, Msgr. Richard Henning (Professor of Sacred Scripture, Seminary of the Immaculate Conception) - “St. Mary Magdalene in the New Testament”
5:00 p.m. - Catechesis, Msgr. Charles Fink (Director of Spiritual Formation, Seminary of the Immaculate Conception) - “Veneration of Relics in the Catholic Tradition”
7:30 p.m - Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Eucharistic Adoration
8:30 p.m. - Catechesis, Fr. Romeric, O.P. (Superior of the Dominican Fathers, Frejus-Toulon) - “The Tradition of Veneration of St. Mary Magdalene”
9:30 p.m. Night Prayer and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Where: Main Chapel of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception
440 West Neck Road
Huntington, New York 11743

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Men In Black

The above picture shows most of the brothers and priests of the Marianist Province of Meribah, which is dedicated to Catholic education within the Diocese of Rockville Centre. They run Chaminade High School, Kellenberg High School, and St. Martin De Porres Marianist. The picture was lifted from their vocations blog, Into The Deep.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Anglican / Episcopal Situation

Last night I attended the talk entitled "Anglicans Looking To Rome: 1570 - Present" at Nassau Community College's Center for Catholic Studies. The speaker, Msgr. Daniel S. Hamilton, works as the editor of The Link, the newsletter of the "Pastoral Provision-USA". Now retired, Msgr. Hamilton was pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lindenhurst, former editor of The Long Island Catholic (and Q & A columnist) and was also chairman of the Rockville Centre Diocesan Ecumenical Commission. While serving as editor of The Long Island Catholic, Msgr. resided at St. William the Abbott Church in Seaford, where he sometimes 'volunteered' me to serve his quick private Mass before dashing off to work. We altar boys called him "Superman" because he had jet black hair that was slicked back, wore black glasses, was editor of a newspaper and bore a striking resemblance to Clark Kent. Check out his article from America Magazine from 1993 Knocking on the Papal Door, in which he called for a "special geographical prelature" for Anglicans although it will probably "draw sharp criticism from those Catholics who want their own church to take the same doctrinal position that official Anglicanism has already taken or is now taking".

Msgr. Hamilton's talk was a scholarly summary of the history of Anglicans looking to Rome starting with 1570 when Elizabeth I was excommunicated by Pope Pius V, although there was not much said about the period from 1570 to the Oxford Movement of the 1800's. A question and answer session followed the talk, which proved very interesting.

Related story:

Children's author G P Taylor to leave 'sinking ship' Church of England and become Catholic

"The Rev Taylor, whose children's book Shadowmancer became an international best-seller, said he was turning instead to the Roman Catholic church, which he believes is less afraid to stand up for important moral issues. "

Taylor is a former Anglican priest who says some pretty harsh things about the Church of England in the linked article. Anglicans entering the Catholic Church is a hot topic since Pope Benedict issued the Apostolic Constitution allowing for corporate reception of Anglicans, something we have had since 1980 in the US under the "Pastoral Provision".

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Reminder for this Friday night:

Anglicans Looking to Rome: 1570 - Present

Lecture by Msgr. Daniel S. Hamilton

Friday, November 6th, 2009 @ 7:30 PM

College Center Building, Rooms 252-253
Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY

Free admission, registration required
Coffee and cake will be served

Sunday, November 01, 2009

For the person who ended up on my blog searching for "Is Scott Hahn sedevacantist", the answer is no.
St. Ladislaus Church

I finally was able to get to the traditional latin Mass (the extraordinary form) for the first time since it moved to St. Ladislaus Church in Hempstead. This is a beautiful Church with some nice paintings on the walls and ceilings. It is a heavily Polish parish so there was an icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa and a plaque on the outside of the Church featuring Pope John Paul II. Here is a picture of the JPII plaque, which dates from the Jubilee Year and commemorates 2,000 years of Christianity. It pictures JPII holding his staff outward in blessing the crowd, as he did in Poland. (click to enlarge)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of NY has a blog and recently posted on Anti-Catholicism. He gives several good examples of bias in the New York Times including this one:

"On October 14, in the pages of the New York Times, reporter Paul Vitello exposed the sad extent of child sexual abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community. According to the article, there were forty cases of such abuse in this tiny community last year alone. Yet the Times did not demand what it has called for incessantly when addressing the same kind of abuse by a tiny minority of priests: release of names of abusers, rollback of statute of limitations, external investigations, release of all records, and total transparency. Instead, an attorney is quoted urging law enforcement officials to recognize “religious sensitivities,” and no criticism was offered of the DA’s office for allowing Orthodox rabbis to settle these cases “internally.” Given the Catholic Church’s own recent horrible experience, I am hardly in any position to criticize our Orthodox Jewish neighbors, and have no wish to do so . . . but I can criticize this kind of “selective outrage."

My opinion is the opposite of Dolan's: Given the Catholic Church's own recent horrible experience I believe we Catholics are in a good position to criticize our Orthodox Jewish neighbors. There is a large problem of child abuse within orthodox Jewish communities and something needs to be done about it. No one recognized any religious sensitivities regarding the Church's handling of cases internally and rightfully so. The steps people took and wanted the state to take regarding the Church, such as rollbacks of statute of limitations is wrong, but if it is going to be done it should apply to everyone, including public school systems.

The other examples of bias are good ones, but I am not sure the issue of NY State not reimbursing Catholic schools as they do public schools for the special payroll tax should have been included. I don't think that is bias, or anti-Catholic, even if it is unfair.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

G. Patrick Ziemann dies at 68; embattled former Roman Catholic bishop of Santa Rosa diocese

"G. Patrick Ziemann, the former Roman Catholic bishop of Santa Rosa who resigned in 1999 amid sexual and financial scandals, has died. He was 68.

Ziemann died Thursday of pancreatic cancer at a monastery in Arizona, said his brother, Joe.

The bishop gave up his post at the Diocese of Santa Rosa after a priest filed a lawsuit alleging that Ziemann had coerced him into a two-year sexual relationship in exchange for keeping silent about the priest's admitted theft of money from a Ukiah parish.

Ziemann publicly acknowledged his affair with Father Jorge Hume Salas after the lawsuit was filed but said the relationship was consensual."

Related story that I don't think I reported on:

Former LI priest accused of molesting boys dies

"A former Roman Catholic priest who was one of the most notorious figures in the Diocese of Rockville Centre's child sex abuse scandal has died in Florida, authorities said.

Brian McKeon, 58, was found dead in his home in
Port Richey, Fla., on Monday about 11:30 a.m., the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. He had become sick at about 3 a.m., coughing up blood and suffering a seizure, a roommate told authorities.

McKeon refused medical care and became unresponsive after another seizure and vomiting more blood. The sheriff's report said McKeon, an unemployed nurse, suffered health problems, "most of which were believed to have been caused by Brian's chronic alcoholism."

It will still take decades to clean up the mess left behind by corrupt, disgusting men like McKeon and Ziemann.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Vatican’s Invitation to Anglicans

The above link is to the letters section of The NY Times regarding the new setup for Anglicans wishing to swim the Tiber. The letters start off with one from our own Msgr. Daniel S. Hamilton, and then proceed downhill fast. The only letters that are not garbage are the first and last, everything in between is the usual silliness. The reading is most entertaining, although there is a serious side: The complaints are from liberals who do not like the idea of people converting to Catholicism. Liberal Catholics, in particular, see this as a repudiation of the past 40 years of ecumenism. Of course, this is only partially true: ecumenism has done great things in improving relations between Catholics and other Christians, but Christians are actually further apart in many ways than they were in the past. Ecumenism must never preclude actual conversion and the Church must be very open to accepting brothers and sisters on their own terms, as long as it is within traditional Christian orthodoxy.

Related story which is a must read: For an Episcopal Parish, a Path to Catholicism

"ROSEMONT, Pa. — When the Vatican announced last week that it would welcome groups of traditionalist Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church, leaders of one Episcopal parish celebrated as if a ship had arrived to rescue them from a drifting ice floe. "

"“We’d been praying for this daily for two years,” said Bishop David L. Moyer, who leads the Church of the Good Shepherd, a parish in the Main Line suburbs of Philadelphia that is battling to keep its historic property. “When I heard the news I was speechless, then the joy came and the tears.”

"This parish could be one of the first in the United States to convert en masse after the Vatican completes plans for a new structure to allow Anglicans to become Catholic while retaining many of their spiritual traditions, like the Book of Common Prayer and married priests."
Film Festival Honors JP2

"A new film about Fatima, a history-spanning documentary featuring George Weigel and Robert George, and a film on the life of a woman close to Pope John Paul II are among the films selected for the inaugural John Paul II International Film Festival in Miami, running Oct. 29 - Nov. 7.

Organized by three Florida Catholics, the John Paul II International Film Festival “John Paul II International Film Festival.,” is intended to highlight less-noticed films that celebrate themes of human dignity, forgiveness and hope.

Rafael Anrrich, a social worker, and Laura Alvarado and Frank William Brennan cite the teaching and spirit of Pope John Paul II as their inspiration, but have solicited film submissions from both Catholics and non-Catholics, and hope to draw audiences from all backgrounds. "

Via The National Catholic Register

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Credit Unions

I received the newsletter today from Oceanside Christopher, my credit union and this quote was included on the front page:

"If love is wise, it can find ways of working in accordance with provident and just expediency, as is illustrated in a significant way by much of the experience of credit unions."

The quote is from "Caritas in Veritate", Pope Benedict's most recent encyclical. I am happy with Oceanside Christopher and would recommend it for Catholics here on Long Island. Right now there are only 2 locations: Oceanside and Seaford, with the Seaford location moving shortly to a beautiful, bigger building that used to house a bank. However, members can also use other credit unions to access their accounts. With all of the problems in banking recently, the idea of credit unions is looking better and better. It did not help when the government bailouts simply made the biggest banks even bigger. This is one area of economics where 'distributism' can really be done. It is truly unique to be able to do banking in a place with a crucifix right on the wall to your side and truly nice people behind the counter.
Center for Catholic Studies thrives at NCC

"Since it started in 2000, the center has hosted nationally known Catholic figures, including Cardinal Avery Dulles, George Weigel, and Michael Novak, as well as such notable local figures as Bishop William Murphy and former Nassau District Attorney Denis Dillon."

This is truly a great thing to have here on Long Island. It is sad there are not more of these type of centers at colleges and universities.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pope approves document on Anglicans joining church

"The Vatican said on Tuesday that the document, known as an "apostolic constitution," would provide a structure for Anglicans who want to join Catholicism, either individually or in groups, while maintaining some of their own traditions.
The move was announced at simultaneous news conferences in Rome and London."

Via The Deacon's Bench

Although this is good news, it is decades late. Anglicans were asking for this type of thing decades ago but were put off by the Vatican who didn't like the idea of 'conservatives' coming into the Church. I think Msgr. Hamilton's lecture couldn't be more timely, in fact, I bet he will have to add to his presentation now.

UPDATE: New Liturgical Movement has the full text of the Vatican statement with all the details. It sounds like this is just a world wide expansion of the situation some Anglicans in the USA have had since 1982. Like I said, this is decades late.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

SSPX Talks Scheduled

"The first meeting of talks between the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and the Society of St. Pius X will take place in the morning of Monday 26th October, the Vatican announced today.

The talks are taking place to consider the doctrinal issues that separate the traditionalist society from full unity with the Church. "

I don't hold out much hope for these talks but hopefully it will bear fruit. The people in the SSPX are for the most part more committed to the Gospel than many Catholics.
Albania to India: Give us back Mother Teresa

"(CNN) -- "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world."

"That's how Mother Teresa chose to describe herself in life. In death, however, her words will probably do little to settle a diplomatic squabble over her remains.
The Albanian government wants her back, before her 100th birthday next year."

Friday, October 16, 2009

New maternity home a labor of love

From the The Long Island Catholic, a nice story about the latest pro-life project in the DRVC -

"MERRICK — Mary’s Residence, a new transitional living facility for young single mothers, was dedicated here October 6 after a nine-month renovation process that was described as “a miracle every step of the way.” The home will allow Catholic Charities to provide additional services for young women who graduate from Regina Residence, which has been offering housing and support to mothers for 40 years."

"Kathy Ryan, program administrator for Regina Residence, explained that the “miracles” came in the form of community members who helped make Mary’s Residence possible. First, the Foley family which owned the house next door to Regina Residence agreed to sell it to Catholic Charities well below market value, in memory of the uncle who had lived there and was a devout man who supported the neighboring residence.

Next, a donor who wishes to remain anonymous gave $100,000 for the project. “Then, we were unbelievably blessed by the Marianist family’s involvement,” said Ryan. The Society of Mary, or Marianists, is the order of priests and brothers who run Kellenberg Memorial and Chaminade high schools and the St. Martin de Porres Marianist School in the diocese. The local Meribah province decided to “adopt” Mary’s Residence and provided all the interior renovations, including materials and labor, which would easily have equaled $150,000 according to Catholic Charities’ estimate. At the dedication ceremony, Bishop Murphy announced that the diocese would match the generous donations already given, by pledging another $250,000 to support Mary’s Residence."
LI diocese: Now in full compliance with sex abuse rules

Here are some snippets from an article in today's Newsday with my thoughts in red:

"The Diocese of Rockville Centre is now in full compliance with nationwide Roman Catholic Church regulations aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse, following its failure last year when it was audited on those rules."

[Actually there are no such 'nationwide rules' in the Catholic Church, just guidelines - bishops rule their own dioceses and can follow or ignore these guidelines at will.]

"Last year an audit found that, while the diocese passed virtually every aspect of the 13-article audit, it failed in one part of one article. Of five parishes audited, one did not take sufficient action to train church volunteers in "safe environments" - or at least did not produce proper documentation showing it did so, church officials said.
That problem has been cleared up, according to the latest audit, conducted by The Gavin Group, an outside organization that audits dioceses throughout the country."

[I wonder if auditing only 5 parishes in a diocese of 133 parishes is really enough? I am afraid the errant parish may have been St. Martin of Tours in Amityville, as they only had their volunteers go through Virtus this past year. I don't see why every parish can't have this Virtus thing in force without any slipups.]

"Some 84,000 people in the diocese including bishops, priests, deacons and lay people, have completed "Virtus" training to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse and instruct them on how to act to keep children safe, the diocese said in a statement."

[84,000 is an astonishing number. I think it is great that many people have been through this training as any type of raising awareness is good. It is also astonishing to think that many people volunteer or work within the Church or Church related entities here on Long Island.]
This is a fun rant from Matthew Archibold at Creative Minority Report -

I'm Making Lutheran Priestesses Here

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Anglicans Looking to Rome: 1570 - Present
Lecture by Msgr. Daniel S. Hamilton

Friday, November 6th, 2009 @ 7:30 PM
College Center Building, Rooms 252-253
Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY
Free, registration required

I hope to be able to attend this event, another program offered by the Nassau Community College Center for Catholic Studies.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mother's milk a sour point

"A security guard at a Medicaid office in Midtown ignored the state's breast-feeding-friendly laws and demanded that a mother stop nursing her baby, according to the mom and her lawyer.

Susana Aldanondo, 33, a mother of three, isn't seeking a dime -- but in a letter to the city's Human Resources Administration, her lawyer, WABC Radio personality Ron Kuby, is demanding an apology and a commitment to train workers.

Aldanondo was at the West 34th Street office on Sept. 24. She said she was discreet in nursing her 3-month-old son, Nicholas, making sure the baby was tucked under her shirt.

"That's when this officer said I couldn't do that there. I just looked at him," Aldanondo said.

"He said, 'Get up, turn the chair around and face the wall.' "

When Aldanondo whipped out her cellphone and pretended she was calling her lawyer, the guard walked off, she said.

An HRA spokeswoman said, "HRA will continue to fully comply with the law as it relates to this issue."

Finally Ron Kuby is doing something worthwhile - let's hope this raises some awareness. Related link: La Leche League

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mom and her teens care for dad with early onset Alzheimer's

This heartbreaking story is today's offering in a Newsday series on Alzheimer's. The Mom in the story blogs at Follow You, Follow Me: Our Journey.
The Human Experience, a new documentary from Grassroots Films, has won Best Documentary at the Long Island Film Festival.
Pope canonizes 5 new saints, including priest who helped leprosy patients in Hawaii

"VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI canonized five new saints Sunday, including a 19th century priest whose work with leprosy patients on a Hawaiian island has been hailed by U.S. President Barack Obama as inspiring those helping AIDS sufferers in today's world.

Among the pilgrims packing St. Peter's Basilica was Hawaii resident Audrey Toguchi, an 80-year-old retired teacher whose recovery from lung cancer a decade ago was called miraculous by the Vatican.

She had prayed to Belgium-born Jozef De Veuster, more commonly known as Father Damien, who himself died from leprosy in 1889 after contracting the disease while working with leprosy patients who were living in isolation on Molokai island.

Toguchi and her doctor, Walter Chang, joined a procession of faithful bringing relics of the new saints to Benedict at the central altar of the basilica."

As usual The Deacon's Bench points out an article with more interesting details:

"Sitting in the front row at St. Peter's Basilica facing the pope were 11 of the last remaining Hawai'i residents sent to Kalaupapa after being diagnosed with Hansen's disease when the state still imposed quarantine restrictions on those with the sickness.

Today, those patients are mostly in their 70s and 80s.

At the ceremony, many of them wept.

Kalaupapa resident Elroy Makia Malo said Father Damien is his hero."He caught the disease and he died," Malo said. "To have given his life for what he believed in. Oh, it makes me feel small."

Friday, October 09, 2009

Why Catholic churches are like shabby department stores

This latest post by Damian Thompson is good - a snip is below, go read the entire thing. Thompson is a writer for the Catholic Herald across the pond.

"Visitors to Catholic churches before the Second Vatican Council used to comment on how strange they found the experience. Their reactions weren’t necessarily positive and one can understand why the late 20th-century Church wanted to stop creeping people out, as the Americans say. But at least Protestants knew they were entering the sacred space of a religion with the self-confidence to welcome visitors on its own terms, to confront them with a culture nourished by the blood of martyrs and ambitious in the demands it made on the faithful. To experience that feeling now, you would have to visit a mosque."

Saturday, October 03, 2009


Just about the only people who still use the US Postal Service on a regular basis are charities asking for money. Because I subscribe or have subscribed to various Catholic publications I am on several mailing lists. The appeals for donations are all the same, they use the same marketing companies that print up several page documents using bold type, highlighted words, and underlined words that make the appeal seem urgent. Apparently there is a lot of danger out there for Catholics: If I do not donate to one organization Catholic youth will lose their faith at World Youth Day, if I do not donate to another group babies will be killed with impunity. I have lived in my current home for over 3 years and yet I still receive a pile of junk mail at my previous address. (Memo to the Catholic Bishop of Alaska - it might be time to stop sending me letters asking for money as you have the past 10 years - I would never donate to anyone that keeps such horrible records that they do not purge their mailing lists after no response for 10 years.) Usually I rip these various appeals up without reading them, but yesterday I received a mailing from "America Needs Fatima" that I decided to read. The (typical) multi-page letter had words that were highlighted or underlined to show how important their work was. The letter stated that they sent me a "deeply spiritual" picture of Our Lady of Fatima and that since it was "holy" they urgently wanted me to notify them to indicate that it arrived in good shape. My BS detector immediately went off. Of course, it would be great if I sent a "gift" along with the notice about the picture's condition for their important work. I really get uneasy about the use of religious pictures and objects in appealing for money so I ripped up the picture and the letter and threw it out. I then needed to get scissors to open the next piece of junk mail: a box from Food for the Poor, which although it has no affliliation with the Catholic Church, regularly sends Catholic items geared at eliciting money from Catholics. I received a Rosary with a nice white pouch to keep it in, with my name printed on a metal attached to the pouch. This was a step up from the usual mailing labels and writing paper - Food for the Poor obviously has a lot of money to use in its marketing. They regularly take out full page ads and even color brochure inserts of some Catholic publications. I actually considered keeping the Rosary and pouch and nameplate for a second, then threw it in the garbage with the rest of the pile. Now that I think about it, I should have taken the Rosary, pouch and nameplate and put it back in the box, rewrapped it and sent it to America Needs Fatima as my "gift".

Although the constant appeals for money give me some entertainment, they get very tiring. Some thoughts on giving:

  • *I just think many of the URGENT APPEALS are phony and the use of Catholic stuff is sleazy. "Send us money and we will pray for you" - how about if I need someone to pray for me I will ask a Christian who will do it for nothing?

  • *I feel bad for those elderly souls out there who I know fall prey to these appeals, writing checks out thinking they are doing some good, even though they could probably use that money themselves. I know there are those who feel guilty about not donating, or about throwing out these pictures, rosaries and prayer cards.

  • *Unfortunately, I have seen too many examples of corrupt people, especially priests, to trust sending money to any organization that I do not have first hand experience with. I would suggest to Catholics to stick to donating to charities that they know first hand do good work.

  • *I would also suggest donating to organizations that are well managed and focused. If I get an appeal from a charity that says they must have X amount of money by a certain time or they will fold, then I have to assume they are not well run and should fold.

  • *It is a sad fact that many of the organizations out there exist to do work that should be done by local parishes, dioceses and religious groups but are not being done. For example, Catholics United for the Faith, Coming Home Network, and the Cardinal Newman Society are each doing good work that is not done well by most dioceses.

  • *The sheer number of Catholic and non-Catholic charities out there is overwhelming so donor fatigue can occur. Although there are really good charities out there it is still necessary to limit your giving to what you can afford, and to do enough research to know what your money will be used for. Never forget the scandals of Covenant House, the Legion of Christ, etc.. I worked a second job at a telemarketing company once. They solicited magazine subscriptions by phone and made it sound like they were raising money for the Special Olympics. What was not mentioned was this telemarketing company was a subsidiary of a major publication company, it was essentially the marketing department selling their magazines. Many people assumed they were simply giving to charity, which was not entirely true, although it was somewhat true - the Special Olympics really did receive money for each subscription sold. I lasted there a week until my conscience took control.

  • *For the record the only charity I currently give money to is my alma mater Chaminade High School. This could easily change if I feel the school loses its way. My parish also gets a weekly donation as well.

Monday, September 28, 2009

We're # 4! We're #4!

Name of Diocese -- Catholic Total

Los Angeles, CA -- 4 ,176,296

New York, NY-- 2,576,800

Chicago, IL -- 2,338,000

Rockville Centre, NY -- 1,493,528

Boston, MA -- 1,484,661

Of course, this is not the number of practicing Catholics, which I imagine would be much lower.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I recently went to a religious ceremony where most of the language used was an ancient one with only some english interspersed. I had to follow the prayers and readings in the prayer book where there were english translations on one page. The two men leading the service occasionally turned and faced the wall, with their backs to us. Many of the prayers used in this ceremony go back centuries. A box of head coverings was kept at the entrance for anyone wishing to wear them, and most did. The stained glass windows showed a vivid history of the revelation of God, and some people walked around admiring them before the start of the ceremony. The readings from the Bible were small fragments, not long passages. This ceremony was a bat mizvah, and I am glad there were no liturgists around to complain about all those things they would have considered 'wrong'.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

DA: Hofstra student lied about rape; 4 released

"The Hofstra University student who told police that she had been tied up in a college dormitory stall Sunday and gang-raped by five men - one of them a student - told prosecutors late Wednesday that she lied about the incident, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement. "

So this "woman" is a liar like Tawana Brawley and Crystal Gail Mangum who both falsely accused men of rape. Hopefully, unlike in those cases, this liar will be prosecuted.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scott Hahn to speak on Long Island

"Scott Hahn, a theologian and author, will speak at a daylong conference at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale Sept. 12."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daughters of St. Paul Manhattan Bookstore has moved!

My wife and I drove into NYC today and went to lunch at Simply Pasta. We parked in a garage on 38th right off of 6th Avenue, and when returning to the car I noticed a sign for the Pauline bookstore right next door. The bookstore moved about a month ago, according to the sister behind the counter. The Daughters of St. Paul are so friendly and their bookstore is so good, it was a nice surprise to be able to go there. I bought yet another Joseph Pearce book - small is still beautiful [economics as if families mattered ].

New Location:

64 W. 38th St.
New York, NY 10018

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Autistic Lindenhurst teen's body found in Catskills lake

The above article from Newsday refers to Ryan Barrett, son of MaryEllen Barrett, blogger at Tales From the Bonny Blue House and columnist for The Long Island Catholic drowned. May he rest in peace, and please pray for the Barrett family.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Voice of the Faithful Milwaukee folds

"The Milwaukee affiliate of Voice of the Faithful, a national Catholic reform group founded in response to the clergy sex abuse scandal, is preparing to fold in September, saying it has been unable to attract new leaders to advance the organization.
The decision comes as the national organization, bolstered in recent days by an emergency infusion of cash, prepares to unveil a blueprint that will place a greater emphasis on political activism."

The most accurate and interesting statement from this article is this (emphasis mine):

"Peter Isely, of the local Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests group, said Voice of the Faithful had lost its focus and centrist roots, alienated conservatives and ultimately came to duplicate efforts of the reform group Call to Action.

"If they would have focused exclusively on the abuse issue . . . including financial issues and matters, where I think they could have been really useful, they might have made it," Isely said in an e-mail to the Journal Sentinel."

Thursday, August 06, 2009

New chief meets with diocesan employees

"According to Trunz, the diocese has more than $300 million of nonsalary expenses. “We are going to look at nonsalary expenses, such as telecommunications, utilities, maintenance, supplies ... to look for ways of centralizing expenses and reducing expenses.

It will be good if the Diocese of Rockville Centre can cut expenses without cutting jobs or benefits. I do not believe you need to spend $300 million to provide the sacraments to people, or to assist Christians in their obligation to do works of mercy. I especially believe Bishop Murphy hit the nail on the head in the quote I bolded below:

"Bishop William Murphy, introducing Trunz at the start of the meeting, said that the new COO will “help us focus on all the things the pastoral center does in terms of making this Church work and work right.” “We have a tendency to take on more and more work ourselves and when we do that we kind of get ourselves off balance,” the bishop said."
Pakistani Christians say police failed to act to stop carnage

"Minority Rights Group International, a watchdog organization, ranked Pakistan last year as the world's top country for major increases in threats to minorities from 2007 -- along with Sri Lanka, which was engaged in a civil war. The group lists Pakistan as seventh on the list of 10 most dangerous countries for minorities, after Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar and Congo.
Christians and other minority religious groups in Pakistan are especially vulnerable to discriminatory laws, including an edict against blasphemy that carries the death penalty for derogatory remarks or any other action against Islam, the Quran or the Prophet Muhammad.

Anyone can make an accusation under the law, and it is often used to settle personal scores and rivalries."

The centuries old, and continuing violence and persecution of Christians by Muslims must be publicized as wide as possible.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sedevacantist "priest" on Long Island charged with sex crime on minor

(From Newsday) -

"A Massapequa man who calls himself a "bishop in the traditional Roman Catholic Church" but has no affiliation with the church has been jailed and accused of performing a sex act on a teenager, Nassau police said Thursday.

The alleged act by Dennis Michael McCormack, 41, who advertises traditional services from an American Legion Hall in Plainview, was caught on tape during the July 14 incident, police said."

McCormack was in the Legionaries of Christ when he was 18 but left (not sure when) and has been running Mary Immaculate Chapel. He considers Pope Benedict to be a heretic.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Office casts a wider net for vocations

"Fathers Fitzgerald, Gerald Cestare and Irinel Racos have been assigned as full-time high school chaplains, with the additional title of associate vocation director. Each will also work with college campus ministry. They join Father Brian Barr, who has served as diocesan vocation director since 2007. Fathers Barr, Fitzgerald and Racos will also reside together to form a “vocations community.”

This is interesting - I wonder if they will live at a school or a parish?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cablevision Adds Full Time EWTN Channel

This is great news - anyone who has IO Cablevision can now get EWTN full time on channel 135. It will be a pleasure to once again see Bookmark, The World Over, The Journey Home, EWTN Live, etc.. Although Telecare occasionally showed EWTN, mostly at night, it will be great to have this Catholic programming in prime time.
Speaking of EWTN, the blog at on the EWTN site: Joan's Rome, has an interesting post about the cleaning of St. Peter's Square. Check out the before and after pictures of the columns and statues.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Four men eager to serve as priests of Rockville Centre Diocese

Today Bishop Murphy will ordain 3 men to the priesthood for the DRVC (another will be ordained later this month). The Long Island Catholic has profiles of each on their website:

Deacon Michael Bartholomew

Deacon Janusz Mocarski

Deacon Harold Noviello

Deacon Gregory Rannazzisi

Also another Long Islander, Brian Dunkle, will be ordained today for the Jesuits.

God Bless!
Christa House in West Babylon is closing

From Newsday:

"Christa House, the West Babylon hospice founded to give poor AIDS patients shelter and companionship in their final days, is closing down after more than a decade of ministering to the dying and indigent."

Housed on the grounds of Our Lady of Grace Parish, Christa House opened in 1998 and was the first AIDS facility on Catholic Church property on Long Island. Its founders - a small group of nuns and laywomen headed by Sister Patricia Ryan and Long Beach nurse Jean Prochilo - wanted to provide poor AIDS patients with a family environment where they would not die alone or in pain.

The home's mission broadened later to include other terminally ill people, including some with health insurance.

"I can't give you any of the details," Prochilo said of the shutdown. "But 569 people, before they died, they knew they were loved, cherished, that their lives had meaning and [they] were able to die in peace, safety and dignity."

Sean Dolan, a spokesman for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, said he did not know when or why the nonprofit home would close. Christa House is not directly affiliated with the diocese, he said."We're sorry that it's closing its doors, because it has been a very vital ministry," Dolan said. "We are looking to see what can be done to continue the mission of Christa House through some arrangement with Catholic Health Services."

Although the original intent was to provide a hospice for people with AIDS, they began taking in anyone needing hospice service soon after opening. I know there is a real need for hospice around here so people do not have to travel far to visit loved ones so hopefully something can be worked out with Catholic Health Services.
Msgr. DeGrocco and Msgr. McNamara do a tag team on Reverence at Mass in The Long Island Catholic. My comments are in red and emphasis in bold, following the Fr. Z. protocol.

DeGrocco: Coffee cups, water bottles,bathrooms and ritual behavior

"If it seems our liturgical celebrations are lacking a sense of the holy and transcendent, the problem is not with the rite itself; it is with the way we are enacting the rite. [I agree but some traditionalist Catholics disagree - they say some of the changes in the Rite itself are the problem] Of course, there is no excuse for a poorly enacted ritual on the part of the liturgical ministers [seen it], and any one or a combination of a careless presider [seen it], a poor leader of song [heard it] banal or unsingable music [is there any other type of Church music?], ill-trained altar servers [seen it], or a reader’s incomprehensible proclamation of the Word of God [heard it, including mistakes that changed the entire meaning of a sentence which is why I always read the missalette] will have deleterious effects on the sense of reverence and transcendence that should be part of liturgical celebrations. But even when all those aspects of the ritual are done well [generally the case at the parish I now attend], there is still something more required, and that is the proper ritual behavior of the assembly, of each and every person present who makes up the Body of Christ gathered together to enter into mystery."

"Perhaps an inability to “get something out of Mass” results from a lack of proper behavior that would allow us to fully enter into it in the first place. When we bring Starbucks coffee cups and vitamin water bottles into church we make going into Mass the same as going anywhere else. By behaving the same way in church as we do elsewhere in terms of our bodily posture, our conversational volume, and even in the way we dress, are we expressing a subtle message about our fear of letting that time and that space truly be something different where we will encounter the holy? Do we deliberately try to tone down or tame the transcendent because we are afraid of it: because we are afraid we might really be transformed, afraid that a real demand might be made on us in terms of changing our life to live in greater conformity with Christ?" [YES! oh wait, those were rhetorical questions]

Ding, McNamara enters the ring: The proper focus of worship is Jesus Christ

"In a recent article in Time magazine on using Twitter at Sunday worship, the writer said, “If worship is about creating community, Twitter is an undeniably useful tool.”Twitter may be a useful tool, but worship is not about creating community." [This should be stamped on Catholic foreheads, perhaps on Ash Wed.] The creation of community is the result of our worship of God. We have become so preoccupied with ourselves in our culture that we are turned inward in a blinding prison. If we cannot see beyond ourselves, we cannot worship God. If we do not appreciate that our true home is in heaven, we will expect this life to be all there is, and we will be disappointed. One of the most critical obstacles to faith today is our preoccupation with ourselves and our lack of appreciation and anticipation of life with God forever.The irreverent and all too prevalent talking in Church is a further symptom of this, as is the complaint that I don’t get anything out of going to Church.

Here are other snips from this article which is really good so it should be read entirely:

"The proper focus of worship is not community or feeling good. Worship is not entertainment."

"The proper focus of worship for us as Christians is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the center of our community, and Jesus is the center of our worship."

"The centrality of Christ also has implications for the priest at Mass. ..... If he inserts his personality too much into the Mass, he becomes a distraction. This is also true when telling jokes and bantering about baseball scores is a regular shtick. "

Monday, June 08, 2009

Solemn High Mass at St. Matthew's in Dix Hills

Fr. Brian Austin, FSSP, recently ordained, came to Dix Hills to offer a Solemn High Mass yesterdcay. The deacon and sub-deacon were from the FSSP and the pastor of St. Matthews Fr. John McCartney preached the homily. The blog DRVC Catholic has some pictures and video clips are at the blog DRVC Catholic.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Charges: West Babylon woman had sex with student, 14

The headline in Newsday neglects to include the word "teacher". This is the latest of many stories of teachers being caught abusing children. Since 2002, all Catholics should be hyper-sensitive to anyone abusing teens and put as much focus on the schools as was put on the Church.
Jon & Kate Plus 8

My wife and I watched the season premiere of Jon & Kate Plus 8 and it was just painful to watch. The first couple of seasons of the show were really funny, interesting and kind of inspiring and now, it just should end. They need to have a normal life and get on with their parenting and forget the show, the fame and the money. Just end it.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Youth and the Future of the Pro-Life Movement

I completely forgot to blog about the Pro-Life Youth Conference held at Nassau Community College yesterday. Leticia posted the panel topics and speakers at Causa Nostrae Laetitia.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Four arrested in plot to bomb NYC targets


"NEW YORK - The FBI arrested four men Wednesday in what authorities called a plot to detonate a bomb outside a Jewish temple and to shoot military planes with guided missiles."

"The men, described as Black Muslims, had planned to detonate a car with plastic explosives outside a temple in the Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale and to shoot military planes at the New York Air National Guard base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh with Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles, authorities said.
The defendants planned to "destroy a synagogue and a Jewish community center with C-4 plastic explosives," Acting U.S. Attorney Lev L. Dassin said. "

"Two years ago, two Muslims pleaded guilty to plotting to attack synagogues in Los Angeles. But officials said that they knew of no connection between those arrests and this latest plot in New York. "

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Friday, May 01, 2009

Men's conference draws over eight hundred

"By Pete Sheehan

HICKSVILLE — Bishop William Murphy looked out at several hundred men filling the auditorium for the diocesan Catholic Men’s Conference last Saturday and exclaimed: “If you could only see what I see.

“There are men from all parishes of the diocese and all different backgrounds,” Bishop Murphy said. At the sight of so many men so serious about their faith, the bishop noted, “I get pumped.”

The congregation at the closing Mass in the auditorium of Holy Trinity Diocesan High School here roared in response with their own enthusiasm for the daylong conference. More than 800 men attended the conference, which had the theme “You Have What It Takes.”

The above link is to the Long Island Catholic article on the Catholic Men's Conference I attended. The huge turnout is an indication that just this sort of thing was needed in this Diocese. I look forward to next year's event and hope they can line up some good speakers again.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Catholic Men's Conference

The Catholic Men's Conference was very good. It was very well organized and very well attended. There must have beeen 700 men there or more. The speakers were all good, Msgr. Lisante was probably the standout. Fr. Joseph Fitzgerald was the emcee and Bishop Libasci welcomed us men. Brother Louis Leonelli, CFR led off speaking of his conversion experience from pagan to Catholic. He will be ordained in two weeks for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. There was a short video from Coach Mike Krzyzewski, the basketball coach at Duke. This video was made possible thanks to Fr. Fitzgerald meeting Coach K at the Olympics - Fr. Fitzgerald was on the USA Olympic European Handball team. Then it was time for another basketball coach, Lou Carnesecca, the legendary coach from St. John's to give a short talk that was well received. Msgr. Lisante gave the best talk, although I had a bit of it before at Faith on Tap. He spoke on the beauty of sex and how men needed to eliminate porn and extra-marital affairs from their lives. Mark Bavaro, former NY Giant, was surprisingly good and very honest in describing his faith as not quite as on fire as it was in his earlier years. He was there to promote his new book, Rough and Tumble which is a novel. The Detective Stephen McDonald gave a moving talk on forgiveness and led us all in a decade of the Rosary. Throughout the day there was Eucharistic Adoration, Confessions, and vendors at various tables selling some good stuff. I bought The Virtue Driven Life by Fr. Benedict Groeschel from a table run by the excellent Daughters of St. Paul. I did not stay for the Mass offered by Bishop Murphy but overall it was a great day. I am glad to see it was a successful event as this is something that is obviously needed in the Church. Unfortunately I brought a camera with almost dead batteries so any pictures I took of the speakers came out too dark. If anyone who attended has any pictures I could post please send them. At least I can post these pictures of the Orange County Choppers Custom Pope John Paul II Tribute Motorcycle -

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I will be at the Catholic Men's Ministry Conference on Saturday. It is going to be a beautiful day, around 82 degrees so hopefully the conference will be good so I don't feel like I wasted a great day indoors. When I first checked out their website there were over 700 tickets available and now there are 100 so it seems like it will be well attended.

Website: Catholic Men's Ministry

Sunday, April 12, 2009



Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I went to Confession yesterday - there was a traffic jam in the parking lot! I had to wait on 1 of the two lines for a little while, and while there each of the two priests were relieved by another priest. This Diocesan wide day of Confession is a great idea and is quite popular. You can hardly spit without hitting a Catholic Church here on Long Island so it is very convenient. It also helps knowing you can walk into any parish anywhere and go anonymously. I am glad to see the Diocese of Brooklyn is on board also.

I wish everyone a prayerful and peaceful Holy Week.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Diocesan Wide Day of Reconciliation

All parishes in the Diocese of Rockville Centre will have confessions heard from 3 - 9 PM tomorrow. This tradition has been going on here for several years and is a good idea. Apparently the Diocese of Brooklyn will also be taking part, as I discovered via The Deacon's Bench who links to this website - SoulWow!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Catholicism and Economics:
Democratic Socialism, Democratic Capitalist, and Distributist Options With a Peschian Response

I attended the first part of this great conference at the Nassau Community College Center for Catholic Studies today. As the picture below attests, it was a good turnout for which I am happy. Professor Varacalli always does an excellent job with these events and they are well worth the time and all Catholics in the area should try to attend.

I had to leave early and took this picture on my way out the door. It shows Michael Novak at the podium during the discussion period.

The conference started out with the traditional huge feast featuring various heroes, salads, several trays of baked ziti and cake. The Center for Catholic Studies always feeds the mind and body! I purchased 3 books after stuffing my face: Business As A Calling by Michael Novak, Economics for Helen by Hilaire Belloc, and The Catholic Milieu by Thomas Storck. I was able to get two of these books signed by the authors. (Mr. Belloc was unable to attend, although he was definitely there in spirit.) After the lunch we all headed downstairs and heard brief tributes to 3 Catholic scholars who have recently passed away:

Cardinal Avery Dulles (tribute by Msgr. Robert Batule)
Msgr. Michael Wrenn (tribute by Msgr. George P. Graham)
Fr. Richard John Neuhuas (tribute by Michael Novak)

Then the 3 speakers gave their presentations on the 3 economic options based on Catholic Social Thought -

Dr. Charles M.A. Clark began by noting the irony that he taught at the nation's largest Catholic University and yet it was a secular community college that had a great Center for Catholic Studies. Dr. Clark pointed out how Catholic Social Thought is not economic theory but moral theology. He contrasted Catholic Social Thought (necessarily social) with neoclassical economics (individualistic) and cautioned that self-interest (greed) as the ultimate value eats away at public virtue. A great point he made in my opinion, is that capitalism works in Europe and America because it is able to take advantage of the self-control and value systems which come from the Christian culture that nurtured these areas for centuries. Once that Christian culture is gone, and it is going, watch out....

Next up was Michael Novak who spoke of wealth being created by the minds of people. It was the ideas and the American value of invention and entrepreneurship that grows wealth. He pointed out the positive value of capitalism as lifting so many people up from poverty in just a couple hundred years.

Last to speak was Thomas Storck who gave a very interesting presentation on Distributism. This system was the creation of Hilaire Belloc and G. K. Chesterton who based their ideas on Rerum Novarum. In a nutshell, distributism means property is distributed to as many people as possible. It focuses on small businesses and advocates large entities being employee owned. Belloc pointed out the danger of making money from things other than actually producing or working. This increases interest in the wealth itself and decreases interest in the product or work itself.

All of the presentations had some interesting points. I was unable to stay for the discussion period and the final statements as well as the response of Dr. Stephen Krason on solidarism. Even though I only witnessed the first part of the program, it gave me plenty to think about. After I got home, I noticed on The ChesterBelloc Mandate blog that several people from The Society for Distributism were attending so I missed the opportunity to meet them. Well, hopefully I will have the chance at another event. The Society may post the video of the talks on their website which would be awesome. It would be great to have a transcript of the talks and debates. Even though I only heard the opening parts, it was a lot to digest.

I hope nobody minds if I post these pictures I took:

Michael Novak speaking with a retired economics professor I met - George Frost, Dr. Clark is on the left

Thomas Storck speaking with conference attendees during the coffee break

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Catholicism and Economics:
Democratic Socialist, Democratic Capitalist, and Distributist Options

When: Saturday, April 4th, 2009.

Where: College Center Building of Nassau Community College, Garden City, N.Y.

Who: All are invited, free of any charge, but registration is required.

What: A conference on the topic of the compatibility of the Catholic vision with three economic systems: "democratic socialism," "democratic capitalism," and "distributism." The conference features scholarly presentations, intellectual exchanges, and summary statements on the three systems and a final reflection on the conference from the perspective of Heinrich Pesch and Solidarism.

All attendees must register with Nassau Community College, Office of Lifelong Learning, One Education Drive, Garden City, New York, 11530 (phone 1-516-572-7472). A parking permit will be mailed to you. Attendees should be aware that failure to display a permit on the inside window ledge of your vehicle or otherwise parking illegally could result in a parking ticket being issued to you.


11:30 A.M. Luncheon

12:30 P.M. Tributes to the Catholic scholarship of the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., of Fordham University by Monsignor Robert Batule of Immaculate Conception Seminary and of the late Monsignor Michael Wrenn of Dunwoodie Seminary by Monsignor George P. Graham, President, NY Metropolitan Chapter of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists.

1 P.M. Presentations. Exchanges, and Summary Statements-

Democratic Socialism - Charles M.A. Clark of St. John's University
Democratic Capitalism - Michael Novak of the American Enterprise Institute
Distributism - Thomas Storck of the Society for Distributism
Final Reflection - Stephen Krason of Franciscan University from the perspective of Heinrich Pesch ("Solidarism").

Conference concludes by 4:30 P.M.

I plan to attend and to see if the 'Democratic Capitalism' option includes much discussion of Libertarianism.
From the Long Island Catholic:

Watch your language

"My advice to my pro-life friends is the same advice my mother offered to me as a child: Watch your language. Calling people “baby killers” or the “anti-Christ” probably isn’t going to persuade them of the rightness of our position. Instead, it makes them less likely to listen and weakens our credibility as pro-life ambassadors. Be conscious of your words. Are they angry, vindictive, mean-spirited? Remember that if you send them out in an e-mail they will travel quickly all over the globe and reach people you don’t even know. Is this the face you want others to see? "

This column by Kathleen Gallagher points out some of the weird and discouraging things I have read within the Catholic blogosphere over the past year. I have enjoyed reading and commenting and blogging for over 6 years now but temporarily lost almost all interest due to the incessant political commentary that made me wonder about St. Blog's. I have read on Catholic blogs that Barack Obama is a "terrorist", a "baby killer", and a "communist". I have seen him imagined as another Hitler and another Castro and even the Anti-Christ. I think this Column hits the nail on the head. If I, a pro-life, orthodox Catholic who is very much a Catholic blogosphere 'fan' am weirded out by the shrill tone of the writing, how do you think others with different outlooks perceive the writing?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Diocese Announces First Catholic Men’s Conference

"ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. 19 March 19, 2009 (Solemnity of St. Joseph) – The Diocese of Rockville Centre announced today an exciting new initiative in its 51-year history, a day-long prayerful gathering of men: The Catholic Men’s Conference. The purpose of the Men’s Conference is to gather Catholic men together for an opportunity to reinforce to them, that the Lord recognizes each of these men, his good and faithful servants in whom he is well pleased.

Held on Saturday, April 25th, 2009, men from across Long Island are invited to Holy Trinity Diocesan High School, Hicksville, NY for a day of prayer, motivational speakers, fellowship and receipt of the Sacraments"

"Guest speakers featured include Brother Louis Leonelli, CFR, Franciscan Friar of the Renewal, with his inspiring story of conversion; former St. John’s University Basketball Coach, Lou Carnesecca; New York Police Department Detective Steven McDonald, with his experience of forgiveness; retired New York Giants’ All-Star tight end, Mark Bavaro and Msgr. Jim Lisante, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes parish, Massapequa Park. The Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre will celebrate Mass at 4:30 p.m."

This sounds like a good thing, the conference has a website here.
Bishop Guglielmone

I got home from the gym and caught just the end of the Mass on Telecare at which Msgr. Guglielmone was ordained and installed as Bishop of Charleston, SC. The Mass was live streamed over the internet on the Diocese of Charleston's website. There was a 'Benedictine' arrangement on the Altar (6 candles and a crucifix in the middle), so called because Pope Benedict started this recently as a way to bring about 'interior ad orientem'. There was some beautiful sounding chants while the new Bishop walked around and blessed those within the Cathedral. Too bad I did not see the ordination.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Archbishop Timothy Dolan to NY?

The rumor is once again being spread that Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee, who had to clean up the mess left behind by disgraced Archbishop Rembert Weakland, will be the next Archbishop of NY. He was long considered a candidate for NY and he may need to clean up a bit of a mess in NY also, although nothing to do with payoffs to gay loves as in Weakland's case. Cardinal Egan was never popular with his priests or his employees who saw him as a 'Dr. House' type, with little social skills. He was sent to NY because his administrative skills, something the great Cardinal O'Connor did not possess, were sorely needed. So now it appears the time is right for Dolan, who is a very warm and caring guy and would probably help the morale of priests in NY.

2/23/09 UPDATE: it is official now
Beautiful Churches on Long Island (2/21/09 update - scroll down)

I have mentioned before that the Church I was married in - St. Martin of Tours in Amityville - is one of the most beautiful Churches in the DRVC. I keep meaning to take some pictures of the Church and post them to show why I believe this.
I would like to know if anyone else knows of beautiful parish Churches on Long Island. Please let me know!

12/14 UPDATE - moved to top, From the comments we have:

St. Kilian's, Farmingdale (yes!)
St. Patrick's Bay Shore
St. Aloysius, Great Neck
St. Agnes, Rockville Centre

I have not been to St. Patrick's or St. Aloysius so I will have to check them out. St. Agnes, I am not sure of, the outside is beautiful, but the inside is kinda plain?

12/21 UPDATE from the comments -

Infant Jesus, Port Jefferson
St. Patrick's, Glen Cove (the oldest parish in the DRVC)
St. Ignatius, Hicksville
Cure of Ars, Merrick
St. Isidore, Riverhead
St. Joseph's, Garden City
Sacred Hearts Jesus and Mary, Southampton

I would also add St. Therese of Liseux in Montauk and St. Raphael's in East Meadow, which are both newer Churches.

2/21/09 Update -

I have been to Mass at St. Patrick's in Bay Shore, and it does have a very nice sanctuary. Unfortunately, the sanctuary is not used as they have moved the altar to almost the middle of the Church, I suppose in an effort to allow more people to see the priest. (This actually doesn't work at least from I sat, it was hard to see the priest and the lector). I went to an evening Mass so it was dark and I would have liked to see the Church with sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows in the high dome in the center of the Church. The Church is similiar to St. Joseph's in Babylon and has a very old feel to it.

I also attended a lecture at St. Joseph's in Garden City and peeked into the Church before the lecture started. It was very beautiful with a big baldachino (?) over the altar. I will have to get there for Mass some day.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I recently starting using Facebook and have many Catholic bloggers as friends there. I logged on last night and immediately saw notice of Michael's death. He was Amy Welborn's husband and collapsed at the gym. This is a big tragedy for Amy and her children. She has asked for people to buy his books, particularly The How-To Book of The Mass.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed,through the mercy of God,rest in peace. Amen.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Episcopal Church

2008 was the year that the situation in the Episcopal church finally reached a boiling point. Episcopalians have been in decline for decades especially starting in the 1970’s when they began to ordain women as priests. With the creation Gene Robinson, a man who left his wife for another man, as bishop of New Hampshire, the church really began to unravel. For some years now, groups of Anglo-Episcopalians have been separating from the official Episcopal organization in the US, but now entire dioceses have officially announced their separation: Forth Worth, Pittsburgh and Quincy.

Perhaps the most severe break was in Pittsburgh: “Approximately 27 congregations, or about 40% of the Pittsburgh Diocese prior to the October separation, remain active in the life of the Episcopal Church.”

It is important for Catholics to keep an eye on this since many Episcopalians, including some clergy have come into the Catholic Church where they should be welcomed home. Also, the movement within the Episcopal church can provide a glimpse of what will happen, and has happened within the Catholic Church if certain ideas take hold. The ordination of women is sometimes seen as inevitable and somehow ‘liberating’ to women. Forgetting the faulty theology for a minute, the ordination of women is also seen as the solution to the vocations crisis. Here is where the situation of the Episcopalians is instructive. The ordination of women in the Episcopal Church has not increased the membership in the church nor has it meant an overflow of clergy. The ordination of actively gay men has not helped either. In fact, Episcopalians are hemorrhaging members as the number of defections within the US grows.

For examples close to home, the Episcopal church in Levittown closed down some years ago and one congregation in Queens completely left the Diocese. The two churches around my childhood hometown of Massapequa do not have resident priests.

The reactions of Episcopalians to the situation (denial) is also instructive and I believe mirrors the reactions of many Catholics, particularly religious, to the loss of active Mass going members in the Catholic Church. One thing many Catholics and Episcopalians share is absolute denial of the negative effects of straying from the path of orthodoxy. As the number of both Church going Catholics and the number of religious declined incredibly from 1960-1980, there were and are many Catholics who say anything but the truth: orthodox theology, teaching, and living attracts people, heterodoxy and giving in to whatever is popular at the time does not attract worshipping,

Sunday, February 01, 2009

My wife and I went to see Gran Torino yesterday and we both loved it. It was funny, heartbreaking, exciting, interesting and uplifting. I was expecting a more dramatic scene between the priest and the Clint Eastwood character but it went in a different direction from what I was expecting. The contrast between the immigrant family and Eastwood's family was portrayed nicely. This was an excellent film that was worth seeing in the theatre instead of waiting to Netflix.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Creative Minority Report is being linked to all over the Catholic blogosphere due to this notice:

"It is being reported in an Australian Catholic weekly that the CDF is prepared to recommend that the Traditional Anglican Communion, a group of continuing Anglicans seeking unity with Rome, be granted the status of a Personal Prelature."

This hopeful news follows the lifting of the excommunication of the 4 SSPX bishops which is a major step to dialogue that may regularize their status. This is quite a good way to followup on the week of Christian Unity and the Year of St. Paul.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

From Whispers in the Loggia comes this news:

"This morning, Benedict XVI appointed Msgr Robert Guglielmone, rector of St Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, as the 13th bishop of Charleston, one of the nation's eight oldest dioceses. In the post shepherding the Palmetto State's 185,000 Catholics, the 63 year-old pick succeeds Bishop Robert Baker, who was transferred to the diocese of Birmingham in August 2007."

It is nice to see the Diocese of Rockville Centre exporting a priest to become a Bishop, something I do recall seeing before. I know Bishop Cardone of the Solomon Islands (brother of Fr. Thomas Cardone of Kellenberg) is a native Long Islander but don't know of any other LI bishops serving elsewhere. Telecare will broadcast Bishop Murphy introducing Msgr. Guglielmone at 11 AM tomorrow. Best of luck to Msgr. Guglielmone!