Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Who Really Matters?

Take ten minutes and let Rebecca Kiessling, Family Law Attorney and Pro-Life speaker, remind you.

To read more:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shut Down!

I just couldn't be prouder of my friends.  They are the personification of the phrase, "Actions speak louder than words." They don't just tell people that they are pro-life Catholics, they show you exactly what that means by starting a foundation and doing something pretty big.

This morning I received the following note in my inbox from Robin, board member of Mahoning Valley Health, dedicated pro-life activist and, most importantly to me, my friend. Read it and weep--I sure did.

By the grace of God, Mahoning Women’s Center has closed. The Center had been aborting children since 1976 and since that time people of faith have united in prayer for its closing. The center was moved to the location at 4025 Market Street in the early ‘80’s. It was the last abortion mill in the six counties of the Diocese of Youngstown. The building was listed for sale on April 10, 2009 but the abortions continued every week.

Mahoning Valley Health formed a new nonprofit organization to buy the building to stop the abortions. On November 27, 2009, the feast day of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Mahoning Valley Health made an offer to buy the building. The offer was accepted.

We had faith but no funds. After much prayer and discernment, we appealed to you for help. Over a period of 21 days, we received enough money to buy the building for cash, which would stop the abortions.

The last monetary contribution needed to secure the purchase price was received on December 12, 2009 on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The abortions ceased being performed in mid January in anticipation of MVH owning the property. The equipment and furnishings were auctioned off on January 21 (the feast day of St Agnes) and the building was emptied on January 22 (the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade). We were expected to close on the property by January 30, 2010.

Due to many bureaucratic city delays beyond our control, the date was pushed forward. Mahoning Valley Health obtained ownership of the building on March 19, 2010 on the Solemnity of St Joseph. There is no longer an abortion center in the Youngstown Diocese thanks to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the intercession of Our Lady, of St Joseph, the saints and angels, your prayers and your generous monetary contributions. You each have now seen the answer to your prayers. The building was blessed and consecrated for the cause of life on March 29, 2010.

This without a doubt is a direct answer to prayer. For years pro-lifers (including me on occasion) have peacefully protested across the street from this facility, praying for this day to come. Now the real work begins---Mahoning Valley Health is carefully discerning its options for the building.

What do you think should be done with the facility?

Your suggestions are most welcome. I will provide contact information on the sidebar of this blog for you're convenience. If you have a suggestion, please forward it to Mahoning Valley Heath before May 30, 2010.

...and keep Mahoning Valley Health in your prayers.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Protectress of the Americas, Pray for Mahoning Valley Health!

Media Responsibility

A few years ago, Sam Miller, co-chairman of Forest City Enterprises in Cleveland, OH, spoke at a First Friday Luncheon for the Diocese of Cleveland. He reminded his audience that in America, Catholics are a minority group, and as such, are subject to discrimination. Miller, who is Jewish, opened his speech with the following:

"I’m going to say things here today that many Catholics should have said 18 months ago. Maybe it’s easier for me to say because I am not Catholic but I have had enough, more than enough, disgustingly enough...During my entire life I’ve never seen a greater vindictive, more scurrilous, biased campaign against the Catholic Church as I have seen in the last 18 months, and the strangest thing is that it is in a country like the United States where there is supposed to be mutual respect and freedom for all religions."

This speech was given in 2003. Seven years later many everyday Catholics are still taking this ongoing media frenzy at face value and hanging their heads in utter shame.

My brothers and sisters, we mustn't be so afraid to defend the real truth about our faith. There is PLENTY of solid information--real statistics and facts--that clearly refute the misinformation being touted by the secular media about our Clergy. Take a look at the following excerpt from Miller's speech.   (All emphasis mine.  Read the speech in its entirety here.)

The Church today, and when I say the Church keep in mind I am talking about the Catholic Church, is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by an infinitesimally small number of wayward priests that, I feel, have probably been totally weeded out by now. You see the Catholic Church is much too viable to be put down by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, take your choice, they can’t do it, they’re not going to do it and sooner or later they are going to give up, but you’ve got to make sure that you don’t give up first.

In 1799 a notice was placed in a French newspaper that a citizen Brachi had died in prison. Little did the people realize that this was Pope Pius VI who had occupied the Chair of Saint Peter for 25-years. He had been taken prisoner by Napoleon’s forces and died in prison as an indigent. At that time the thought was that this was the end of the Catholic Church, this was 200 and some odd years ago. And the reason was that there was no Pope to succeed him at that time. But you fooled them then, and we’re going to fool them again.

I’ve been talking more or less about the United States of America as far as the importance of the Church; let’s bring it home to Cuyahoga County and the seven surrounding counties. In education you save the county 420 million dollars per year. Wherever there’s a Church, and most other churches have fled the inner city, there’s a Catholic Church, and wherever there’s a Catholic Church there’s an absence of drug dealers. You talk to any bank that has real estate mortgages in the inner city, and they will tell you that the one thing that keeps up the value in that particular area is your Church. I’ve seen for example on Lorain near the Metro Catholic Schools there at the Church the nuns used to go out in the morning with brooms and sweep away the drug dealers from around the particular area. On Health and Human Services, the homeless, adoption, drugs, adult care and so on you saved the county 170 million dollars a year. At the end of the day the difference that your local Catholic institutions make in the eight counties that comprise this diocese are several billion dollars per year. Why don’t we hear about this? Why, because it’s good news. If some priest was caught with his hand in the collection plate it would be front page news. But the fact that you have thousands of students being education free, as far as the rest of the country is concerned doesn’t make news. Why? Because it is not newsworthy, it’s not dirty.

I'm not here to deny freedom of the press, but I believe that with freedom comes responsibility, and with rights you have an obligation. You cannot have rights that are irresponsible. Unfortunately our society today is protected by all rights and ruled by some of their wickedness. Anybody who expects to reap the benefits of freedom must understand the total fatigue of supporting it.

Television and news services are flat out being irresponsible in its obligation to the truth in the case of this "sex abuse scandal" within the Church.  As they continue to flood the world with a constant barrage of commentary and judgment against the Church and the Holy Father for the behavior of 1% of her priests named in less than 0.5% of sex abuse reports, the media is outright ignoring roughly 79,600 victims and hiding behind the First Amendment to do it.

You bet that's irresponsible.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Friday Morning Quiz

Read the following quotation, and let's see if you can guess it's origin:

“There are cases of sexual abuse that come to light every day against a large number of members of the Catholic clergy. Unfortunately it’s not a matter of individual cases, but a collective moral crisis that perhaps the cultural history of humanity has never before known with such a frightening and disconcerting dimension. Numerous priests and religious have confessed. There’s no doubt that the thousands of cases which have come to the attention of the justice system represent only a small fraction of the true total, given that many molesters have been covered and hidden by the hierarchy.”

This quotation is from:

A.  The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
B.  The April 20, 2010 cover story of Newsweek titled "What Would Mary Do?"
C.  A speech given in 1937 by Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reich's Minister of Propaganda

CLICK HERE for the answer.

(Thanks to Patrick Madrid for posting this article yesterday)

Here are two facts that I'd like you to ponder: 
1.  There are over 80,000 reports of child sexual abuse every year.
2.  Of these 80,000+ reports, less than 350 are reports implicating a member of the Catholic clergy, representing less than 0.43% of all reports.

Note, these are REPORTS, not convictions. I found these numbers myself by simply googling them. It took a while, as there's a lot of junk out there on the internet, but I found some good sources that all reported the same findings. I'm sure if you look for these sources yourself, you'll find similar statistics. The question that came to my mind, and that I hope is coming to your mind by now, is this: If the media is so concerned for the well being of our nation's children, where, then, is the media frenzy over the other 99.57% of child sexual abusers?

If understanding the truth about this disturbing topic is something you're called to do, I suggest you study the work of Dr. Judith Reisman. Your eyes will definitely be opened.  Don't get suckered by spin-media and their talking head counterparts living in Boob-Tube Land. (You already know what I think about television.  If not, click here.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Truth Will Set You Free

What an incredible interview.

Don't stop at part 1...and don't skip it, either. You just have to watch all three to appreciate it.

Now go get real.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Follow Me

Hearing today’s gospel reminded me of the last time I read this passage of John.  I was in Lectio when I realized just how important it was that Peter went back to fishing after the Crucifixion.  This epiphany led to a rather vivid imagining on my part of the entire scene, which I present to you all here.  

After they finished eating breakfast, Peter bent down to pick up his nets. It made sense to him to return to fishing; it was the life Peter always knew, after all. As he stood with the nets in his hands, intending to return to the boat, he met the gaze of the Lord Jesus standing before him. “Simon, son of John," He said to Peter, "do you love me more than these?”

He squeezed the nets tightly in his hands and swallowed hard. “Yes, Lord,” he answered, his voice cracking and low. “You know that I love you.” 

Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

Peter nodded, then turned toward the sea, focusing once again on gathering up his nets. 

Jesus placed his pierced hand on Peter’s shoulder. “Simon, Son of John,” He said, turning Peter back around to face Him.  Looking earnestly into Peter’s eyes, Jesus asked him again, “Do you love me?” 

Peter tightly closed his eyes for a moment and answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  He gripped the nets tighter, afraid to let it go, afraid to disappoint his Master once again. 

“Tend my sheep.” 

He remembered with shame his arrogance in the upper room before Jesus' arrest, promising to follow Jesus anywhere, even to death. Peter stared at the nets in his hands. I'm still that same arrogant fool, he thought. He couldn't catch a fish all night, until the Lord arrived at the seashore. He needed his Master for everything.  


“Simon, son of John.” Jesus placed his wounded hand on Peter's clenched fists and asked him a third time, “Do you love me?”

Peter’s gaze shifted from the nets to the wound in the back of Jesus' hand. Everything Jesus said, everything He predicted, flashed through Peter's mind, especially that last prediction--that Peter would deny his Master. “Lord, you know everything.”  He looked into Jesus’ face as tears quietly fell from his eyes. “You know that I love you.”

"Feed my sheep."  Peter saw that Jesus was holding in his other hand some of the bread from which they ate that morning. "Amen," Jesus continued, "Amen I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."  It was at this moment that Peter realized exactly what Jesus was asking of him.  "Follow me."

He said nothing in reply, but dropped his nets, took the bread from Jesus' hands and followed, even unto death. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Stations to be continued...

With a few more obligations than I anticipated, I put writing the entire stations of the Cross on hold.  I will resume them, however, over the next few months, and have them linked together for use anytime.

Thanks for understanding!

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