Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Rise of Suicide in America

The cover story at The Daily Beast is on suicide and anyone interested in a Culture of Life should take the issue seriously.  The rise of suicide seems to go along with the breakdown of the family and the loss of faith in the west as mentioned in my previous post.

The Suicide Epidemic

Islam's Civil War

Michael Coren writes a great column in the Toronto Sun about the battle within Islam:  Extremist Vs. Moderates and how the west must support the moderates.

Islam's Civil War

"Islam is undergoing a civil war, between those who interpret their primary holy texts literally and those who understand and embrace metaphor and modernity.

As author Daniel Pipes puts it, if fundamentalist Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution.

But if the moderates have even a hope of winning, we have to enable and empower them. And we don’t do that by pretending, as British Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson have just done, that violence and Islam have no connection."

Friday, May 24, 2013

Woolwich heroine says Catholic faith inspired her to confront attackers

In yet another terrorist attack by muslims, this time in Woolwich England, two muslims savagely hit an innocent man with their car and then cut him to death with a butcher's knife.  A woman got off a bus to try to help the dead man and she confronted the attackers.  Just as the attackers were motivated by their muslim faith, that woman, Ingrid Loyau-Kennet, was motivated by her Catholic faith.

"A mother of two who calmly confronted the Woolwich attackers on Wednesday has attributed her courage to her Catholic faith.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennet, a practising Catholic, told the Daily Telegraph: “I live my life as a Christian. I believe in thinking about others and loving thy neighbour. We all have a duty to look after each other. A whole group of people walking towards those guys would have found it easy to take those weapons out of their hands. But me, on my own, I couldn’t.”

Read more here at the Catholic Herald.

Bishop Murphy Authorizes Special Collection for Those Suffering from Oklahoma Tornado

From the Diocese of Rockville Centre:

"ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – May 17, 2013 – The Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre asks that all parishes join in prayer for those who are suffering after the tornado in Oklahoma this week, particularly for those who were injured and those who have died.

To support those in need at this time the bishop authorizes a special collection to be taken at the Masses either this weekend or next. Pastors are asked to remit proceeds of the collection to the finance office as soon as possible so that the aid can be sent to help the Church in Oklahoma meet immediate needs in the work of relief."

How the West Really Lost God

At Crisis Magazine, Austin Ruse of C-Fam looks at a new book:  How the West Really Lost God by Mary Eberstadt here and then again here.  Basically the book argues that the decline in religion was caused by the decline of the family.

The description from the publisher makes this book sound like something I would enjoy reading:

"In this magisterial work, cultural critic Mary Eberstadt delivers a powerful new theory about the decline of religion in the Western world. The conventional wisdom is that the West first experienced religious decline, followed by the decline of the family. Eberstadt turns this standard account on its head. Marshalling an impressive array of research, from fascinating historical data on family decline in pre-Revolutionary France to contemporary popular culture both in the United States and Europe, Eberstadt shows that the reverse has also been true: the undermining of the family has further undermined Christianity itself.

Drawing on sociology, history, demography, theology, literature, and many other sources, Eberstadt shows that family decline and religious decline have gone hand in hand in the Western world in a way that has not been understood before—that they are, as she puts it in a striking new image summarizing the book’s thesis, “the double helix of society, each dependent on the strength of the other for successful reproduction.”

St. Aloysius Church Celebrates 100 Years

From the Great Neck Record -

"Great Neck’s beautiful, majestic St. Aloysius Church celebrates its 100th birthday this year. On Sunday, June 23, the church hosts a centennial celebration, including a special mass and a dinner dance. The historic church is located at 592 Middle Neck Road in the Village of Great Neck.

“Even after 100 years, many people still consider St. Aloysius one of the most beautiful churches on Long Island,” said Monsignor Brendan Riordan, pastor of St. Aloysius.

The church traces its roots back to 1876 when Bishop John Loughlin, the first Bishop of Brooklyn, established the parish and appointed Reverend Patrick Sheridan its first pastor. Father Sheridan celebrated the first Mass in Great Neck in February 1876 in a near-by private home. Later that year the first church was dedicated on May 20, 1876, further back than the current site.

Father John J. Molloy, fourth Pastor, was responsible for the building of the present church. He chose a distinguished architect, Gustave Steinbach, an expert in Byzantine Romanesque style of church architecture. The cornerstone was laid on August 13, 1913. "

Here is the website for the parish (the link in the article is incorrect, it is for a 500 year old school in Glasgow.)

And here is more info on the parish including pictures, from Joe McMahon's Nassau County N.Y. Catholic blog. 

Sanctuary of St. Aloysius (Joe McMahon)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Traditional Latin High Mass - Corpus Christi Sunday

Sunday, June 2, 2013
12:30 PM

St Matthew Roman Catholic Church
35 North Service Rd, Dix Hills, NY

From the parish bulletin:

This year, on Sunday, June 2nd, at the 12:30 PM Mass we will continue our recent tradi-tion of offering a special Missa Cantata or "Sung Mass" in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, or traditional Latin High Mass followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The powerful and beautiful music of our Catholic tradition ( Gregorian Chant, polyphony, and Mozart’s Ave Verum) will be featured. The Eucharistic Blessing will be intended to reach our entire community as well.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Funeral held for victim of Hofstra home invasion

From the USA Today

"The Rev. Osvaldo Franklin, speaking in both Portuguese and English, told the near-capacity crowd at St. Teresa of Avila Church in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., that the 21-year-old Hofstra University junior killed last week during a home invasion gone bad would have been pleased to see so many of her friends and family gathered to say farewell.

Family members, including Andrea's twin sister, Jessica, sat mostly in silence during the morning Mass, gripping tissues and each other's hands. A few sobs could be heard from the attendees, many of whom had come to Sleepy Hollow from Hofstra

"During this tragedy, a question comes to mind, why? Why?" Franklin said. "Why Andrea? In the flower of her youth, she left us. She was a good daughter and, like Jessica, a good student. Both Andrea and Jessica were always smiling."

"They came from a good family with good values," Franklin said. "My dear friends, only the word of God, through our faith in the resurrection, can help us in this moment of pain."

Many of the attendees wore white ribbons during the service at the church where the sisters received their First Communion."

Mass in a Mall

From PRI's The World:  Catholic Church in Philippines Holds Mass in Malls

"The Catholic Church in the Philippines is doing all it can to reach out. Even though the Philippines is the third largest Catholic country in the world, the Church has been losing followers. In this hot, humid country, many families prefer to spend Sundays in climate-controlled malls than in church. So the priests have followed them.

At Robinsons, I meet Father Maximo Villanueva. He also preaches at a nearby church but he admits that the mall is more user-friendly. And there are benefits to celebrating Mass in a shopping center.

“About a second after the Mass you can eat anywhere and go to the movies. I like it,” Father Villanueva says, laughing."

With the design of many Churches today, and the way people dress at Mass, would a Mass in the mall really feel that much different?  I suppose this is what Pope Francis means when he says the Church must go out among the people.  I remember hearing about an idea to setup a Catholic Information kiosk in a mall on Long Island.  I think it would be a good way to evangelize but I don't think anything has happened on the idea yet. 

The Arab Collapse

Ralph Peters is a columnist in the NY Post, a retired US Army Lt. Colonel, and certainly not a dove when it comes to war, foreign policy and geopolitics.  I think he has an good understanding of the middle east and his latest column calling for the US to stay out of Syria is excellent.  America has become addicted to wars and we have to stop the mentality that we must kill in order to promote the good around the world.  The popularity of neo-conservativism in America among Catholics is understandable due to issues of abortion, general attitudes towards Christianity and religion and the Catholic Church in particular, family issues, the gay agenda, etc... But the worst aspect, the policies that are most wrong, the most incompatible with traditional Catholic teaching is the neo-conservative support of wars.  I have found my own views on this shifting towards the libertarian view of war and I think more and more Catholics are waking up on this issue. Peters shows why the USA does not need and should not interfere (again) in the middle east.

Go read Peters' whole article


"The Arab Spring has unleashed the Arab Collapse. Everybody still standing in the region is picking the flesh of the helpless. The Islamist cancer proved more virulent than Arabs themselves expected, while dying regimes behave with unrestrained ruthlessness.

And our diplomats still think everyone can be cajoled into harmony.

We’re witnessing a titanic event, the crack-up of a long-tottering civilization. Arab societies grew so corrupt and stagnant that violent upheaval became inevitable. That’s what we’re seeing in Syria and Iraq — two names, one struggle — and will find elsewhere tomorrow.

We can’t stop it, we can’t fix it, and we don’t understand it. But we can stay out of it.

When the US is in the Middle East, the Arabs want us out. When we’re out, they want us in. But our purported Arab (and Turkish) allies consistently agree that Uncle Sam should pay the party bill, while they take home all the presents.

Yes, Syria’s humanitarian crisis is appalling. And no, I don’t like to see innocents dying or suffering. But the calls from the region for American action are nakedly cynical.

Turkey has the largest military in NATO after our own, but cries “helpless” crocodile tears over Syrian refugees — while dreaming of rebuilding the Ottoman Empire upon their ruined lives. Our Saudi “friends” spent decades building the most-sophisticated military arsenal in the Middle East, apart from Israel. Now the Saudis wring their hands over Syria’s misery — but won’t intervene directly to stop the killing.

The Saudi position is always “You and him fight!” As long ago as Desert Storm, Saudis joked about renting the American army and our bumpkin gullibility. (Try to find one US officer who’s worked with the Saudis and doesn’t hate their guts. . .) Now they want Washington to spend our blood and treasure to open the mosques of Damascus to their Wahhabi cult."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Suicide at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

It was a blogger:

"Some 1,500 visitors were cleared out of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after a man put a letter on the altar of the 850-year-old monument Tuesday, pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head.

It's the first suicide in decades at the landmark site, Monsignor Patrick Jacquin, the cathedral's rector, told The Associated Press.

"It's unfortunate, it's dramatic, it's shocking," Jacquin said. The motives for the suicide, and the contents of the man's letter, were unclear.

The Paris prosecutor's office identified the man as 78-year-old Dominique Venner.

Venner's blog describes him as a historian and essayist, and includes description of his involvement in the campaign against France's new law authorizing gay marriage. In some posts he criticizes "massive immigration" and what he describes as encroaching Islam; others include historical analysis of revolution or American-European relations."

French, Catholic And Proud: Gay Marriage Battle Fuels New Kind Of Youth Revolution

This interesting article looks at the movement of young, orthodox and fervent Catholics in France.  It is easy to see the parallel here in the US, although the article makes it sound like this is a newer movement there than here.

"PARIS - Everyone thought they had disappeared, and they had indeed become invisible to most of us. But for the past six months, they have been resurfacing and taking to the streets relentlessly to protest against gay marriage.
They use their networks to organize events and rallies, as well as candlelit sit-ins and vigils. As defenders of the so-called traditional family, they represent a large proportion of those who march against same-sex marriage.
“It is a real groundswell,” says Christine Pedotti, editor-in-chief at Témoignage chrétien (“Christian Testimony”), the only Catholic magazine to favor gay marriage. “These young conservative activists obey the Church hierarchy and are addicted to family values and genuflecting. This is the new face of the Church.”
This new generation of Catholics – the John Paul II and Benedict XVI generation – became the unexpected sentinel of the Church in the battle against gay marriage, which started on August 15 with a “Prayer for France.”

I find the tone of the article amusing:  sort of where did these young people come from and how did this happen?  I imagine that France is more secularized than America so this must be much more shocking to the French:

"Sister Nathalie Becquart is the head of the French national youth evangelism service. She says, “Trying to understand this phenomenon is like being an explorer in Papua New Guinea.” These “Catholics 2.0” have their own codes, their own priorities and communication methods (see video below).
The 43-year-old nun – a graduate of France’s top business school HEC and a former marketing and communications consultant – is astonished by how religious practices have evolved in the past five years, even among young people from less privileged backgrounds and immigrants: “At the end, they were all on their knees.”

America and Catholicism

Here is a mostly negative review of Christopher Ferrara’s "Liberty: The God That Failed".

And here is a review by Jeff Miller (aka The Curt Jester) of Rusell Shaw's new book:  'American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America'

So, what are we Catholics to think?  Is America compatible with Catholicism or not?  Has America been good for the Church at large, and has it been good for us Catholics who live here?  How are we to live as Catholic Americans?  I can't wait to dig more into these books.

Monday, May 20, 2013

What’s Killing American Catholicism – 4

Fr. Dwight Longenecker has posted part 4 of his series on what is killing American Catholicism.  I found his take on the Liturgy in America to be right on target.  Go and read the whole series but I found this to be the key part that describes my experience:

"The Catholic religion–like all ancient religions both pagan and Jewish–is ritualistic. It speaks in the language of liturgy, sign, symbol and sacred gesture. We only have to experience the typical AmChurch Mass to see that the Americans attending Mass don’t understand such things. The altar servers wear robes but they don’t know why. They serve the altar, but have not the slightest idea of the liturgical or symbolic significance of what they do. The chew gum [sic]and wear da-glo sneakers underneath their robes. The people sit in the pews in big auditoria dressed as if they are at the movies or a basketball game. The music is an entertainment based blend of honkey tonk, nightclub style and country Western. This is made worse by the fact that the vast majority of AmChurch Catholics don’t realize there is anything wrong. The like this form of worship, and they like it because they don’t understand ritual, sign, symbol and sacred gesture–even worse they don’t understand that they don’t understand."

Star Parker: There is an alternative to the abortion culture

Yesterday there was a great column by Star Parker in Newsday regarding Kermit Gosnell and the abortion culture.  (I am linking to the same column in the Washington Examiner because Newsday has a pay wall). 

"But it is ironic that those who call themselves "pro-choice" argue that the only alternatives facing low-income women are unsafe abortions done by sleazebags or government-subsidized abortions.

There is another choice, but those who call themselves "pro-choice" don't want women, particularly poor women, to consider this option. This option is called "birth."

When conservatives talk about a culture of responsibility, we're not just talking about the personal responsibility of the individual in trouble. We're talking about the personal responsibility of the rest of us toward that individual.

There are now thousands of crisis pregnancy centers operating nationwide. More than 2,000 are affiliated with either Care Net or Heartbeat International. I maintain a regular active speaking schedule for and consult with these centers.

They work with pregnant women in trouble and provide them the services they need to have their child. They provide ultrasounds, parental counseling, life-management counseling, help with the physical needs of the mother and child and, if need be, help with adoption services."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bishop Murphy Ordains 14 Men to Diaconate

Yesterday Bishop Murphy ordained 14 men to the permanent diaconate at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre.  Unfortunately, I have no other info available except for their names and parishes.  In the past there would have been biographies of each man printed in The Long Island Catholic but that is no longer printed weekly.  God Bless these men!

Rene Orlando Alvarado
St. John of God, Central Islip

Jose Domingo Arevalo
St. Luke, Brentwood

Vincent Joseph Barreca, Jr.
Resurrection, Farmingville

Joseph Frank Bianco
Ronald Edward Federici
Cure of Ars, Merrick

Edward John Karan
Our Lady of the Snow, Blue Point

Frank Louis Kurre
Notre Dame, New Hyde Park

Orlando Alexis Mancilla
St. Luke, Brentwood

Rodolfo Bartolome Martin
St. Aidan, Williston Park

Gregory Thomas Nardone
St. Patrick, Bay Shore

Joseph Eric Oliva
Maria Regina, Seaford

John Salvatore Panzica
St. Gerard Majella, Pt. Jefferson Station

Ralph Joseph Rivera
Holy Cross, Nesconset

William August Weiss
St. Kilian, Farmingdale

Thomas E. Dennelly, RIP

I saw in Newsday the obit of Thomas E. Dennelly of Sayville and immediately recognized the name as a gentleman who often wrote letters to the editor in The Long Island Catholic, National Catholic Register and other publications.  I did not know him personally, although I believe I met him at events around Long Island, but I always appreciated seeing his faithful and pro-life letters.

Pentecost Sunday

This is Pentecost Sunday - the birthday of the Church!  Click here for the Catholicism entry on Pentecost by Scott Richert to learn about this great Solemnity.

"Pentecost Sunday is one of the most ancient feasts of the Church, celebrated early enough to be mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles (20:16) and St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians (16:8). It is the 50th day after Easter (if we count both Easter and Pentecost), and it supplants the Jewish feast of Pentecost, which took place 50 days after the Passover and which celebrated the sealing of the Old Covenant on Mount Sinai."

 Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.  
V. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

One Up, One Down

In the 'upstate' section of NY State, which has had disasterous leadership (in politics as well as in the Church), yesterday saw the consecration of a new Catholic Church.  Right down the block another Catholic Church is being demolished to be replaced by a Pricechopper.

Saint Ann's Maronite Catholic Church consecrated

St. Patrick's Church demolished

"WATERVLIET, N.Y. -- Bishop Mansour of Brooklyn was welcomed into the Church of Saint Ann Saturday morning as part of a formal consecration and dedication ceremony.

The historic building was built in 1850, but closed its doors in the 1960’s, and remained boarded up for years. Saint Ann's bought the building in 2004 and renovated it before opening this past December.

“We have restored the interior to its original design, including the organ,” said Rosemary Patnode, a lifelong parishioner of Saint Ann’s Church.

But while parishioners celebrated the new life of the church, only a few blocks away stands the partially fallen tower at Saint Patrick’s.

“It's a sad day for the parishioners of Saint Patrick's, some of those parishioners have discovered us and have joined our parish,” said Patnode."

Here is a biography of Bishop Mansour of Brooklyn and here is the website of the Eparchy of Saint Maron.

Bombers target Catholic church in Benghazi, priests escape unhurt

I wonder if the State Dept. would like to spin this Benghazi story?

"Fr Alan Castillo and Fr Raghib Marzouk escaped unhurt after a bomb went off at the Catholic church in Via Torino, Benghazi, late Friday night.

According to sources, a bomb was placed at the main of the church when an explosion rocked the area at around 11.30pm shattering several glass windows on the opposite side of the narrow road and also several windows in the building adjacent to the church housing the priests.

Fortunately, Maltese bishop Mons. Sylvester Magro was not there as he is currently in Spain attending a religious function."