Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wise Words From Fr. Robert Sanders

"Everyone thinks we did what we did because of the homosexuality issue," said Sanders, referring to the 2003 consecration of the openly gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire.

"It's shameful to say it, but there are plenty of people who could look the other way when we had heretics denying the lordship of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection, the virgin birth and all kinds of things. But now they're ready to take a stand, because they just don't like gay people. It's a dismal commentary on the state of the church that sexuality had to be the dividing line. It should have never come to this."

"The bishops are supposed to be the people who are helping us defend the faith, but right now I feel like they are the source of most of the confusion," he said.

"Priests aren't supposed to have to make all of these decisions. I know that, but I reached the point where I felt that I had to act. I decided that I didn't have to know all of the truth in order to decide to defend the truth that I do know, the basic truths that the church has handed down from generation to generation."

Read it all here.
Quote Of The Day

"Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you."

1 Peter 3:15
Hanging With Anglican Seminarians

Last weekend I was hanging out with some Episcopal seminarians who were curious as to why I have decided to leave the Episcopal Church and become Catholic. I explained my reasons and so forth, causing a small argument to ensue.

One of the reasons I gave, was that the Anglican Communion does not have a definitive statement concerning what they believe as a communion. One seminarian said that my reason was what all the people who have left the Anglican Communion have cited and that it was an empty excuse. I countered by asking him to define as well as show me in writing what the Anglican Church believes. He did not have a definition, nor a source.

Then he said, "Well, what about the thing at the beginning of the service where you worship the bread?"

I replied, "The Blessed Sacrament. What about it?"

"Do you think it's right to worship it?"

To which I said, "Let me ask you this, do you believe the bread and wine are the actual body and blood of Jesus?"

"You mean transubstantiation?"

"Yes, exactly!"

"No, I do not."

I told him then that it was superfluous to argue with him about the Blessed Sacrament if he didn't believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

By a seminarian saying that he did not believe in the Real Presence, he proved my statement about the Anglican Communion not having a definitive statement of belief.

Because, believe me. I know many Anglican priests who do believe in the Real Presence. I also know for a fact that he isn't the only priest (-to be) who does not.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Another Theological Worldview Test

Here is a more in depth test. Once again, 100% Roman Catholic!

Check out the test here.

(100%) 1: Roman Catholic

(77%) 2: Anglican/Episcopal/Church of England

(66%) 3: Eastern Orthodox

(63%) 4: Presbyterian/Reformed

(51%) 5: Lutheran

(49%) 6: Congregational/United Church of Christ

(45%) 7: Methodist/Wesleyan/Nazarene

(42%) 8: Baptist (Reformed/Particular/Calvinistic)

(41%) 9: Church of Christ/Campbellite

(35%) 10: Pentecostal/Charismatic/Assemblies of God

(29%) 11: Anabaptist (Mennonite/Quaker etc.)

(16%) 12: Baptist (non-Calvinistic)/Plymouth Brethren/Fundamentalist

(5%) 13: Seventh-Day Adventist
What's your theological worldview?

Whew! I scored 100% Roman Catholic! I knew there was a reason I converted!Hat tip to Pontificator.

You scored as Roman Catholic. You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox


Classical Liberal


Reformed Evangelical








Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

Sunday, November 20, 2005

GQ Magazine Interviews God

From the Dec. 2005 issue.

Ever notice how many jocks credit God for their accomplishments? We sat down with the Supreme Being and let him make the final call.

GQ: Congratulations on getting the San Diego Padres to the playoffs.

GOD: Didn't see that coming, did you?

Did they pray alot?
Here and there. No more than anyone else. Joe Randa certainly begs me not to ground into double plays, but what am I here, a miracle worker?

So does it work?
Does what work?

Praying to you in sporting events, giving praise to you.
It does and it doesn't. Like, if a running back goes to church and he gives me a shout-out during Monday Night Football, I might grant him a touchdown or two. But it has to be against Arizona.

Do you notice when David Ortiz points to you every time he hits a home run?
We love Papi up here.

Anyone who prays to you whom you don't care for?
I'll just say this: I don't care if Davis Love III holes another chip shot again.

Will you curse a team that doesn't show respect?
Um, does the name Tampa Bay Devil Rays mean anything to you?

Who do you like in the NBA this year?
I like Detroit, as always. Ben Wallace is a friend. And I'm a Steve Nash guy. He looks a little like my son.

Jesus? Could he ball?
Yes, but he blew out his knee versus Jerusalem and was never the same.

Tell us something cool that's going to happen next year.
Terrell Owens is going to piss you off.

We could have told you that! Tell us something amazing.
Okay. How does "world champion Detroit Tigers" sound to you?

No, Jeremy Bonderman. He's a righteous dude.

Any last words, God?
Yeah. Tell Curt Schilling to stop e-mailing me.
News Of The Weird

Here is an article I found in the Pittsburgh City Paper written by Chuck Shepherd.

"Chicago lawyer Stephen Diamond has filed about 100 lawsuits since 2002 against companies for failing to charge him sales tax on items he bought, earning himself about $500,000 in settlements and judgements, according to an October Wall Street Journal report. Diamond has exploited a law in Illinois that allows citizens to receive part of the proceeds from certain law violations, including from companies that might be authorized to collect sales tax on internet purchases but have chosen not to because the law is not completely settled. (Tennessee and Virgiana, which have similar laws, have amended them to prevent lawsuits like Diamond's.)"
Vienna Cardinal Draws Lines In Intelligent Design Row

"Can we reasonably say the origin of man and life can only be explained by material causes?" he asked. "Can matter create intelligence? That is a question we can't answer scientifically, because the scientific method cannot grasp it."

"Common sense tells us that matter cannot organize itself," he said. "It needs information to do that, and information is a manifestation of intelligence."

Read it all here.
No...It's Prefect.

So, last night I went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on IMAX at the Carnegie Science Center. It was intense! Before I went into the movie, however, I stopped at the gift shop. In it I found a pin that had the Gryffindor House logo on it with the words "prefect" across it. I decided to buy it in case I happened to sit next to some kid who talked during the movie and then I would be able to point at my badge and say, "Yeah, that's right! I'm a prefect so hush up."

Fortunately, I didn't sit next to anyone who talked during the movie, but when I was in line to get into it, I was behind a family that consisted of a mother and a father (good start...most likely not Episcopalians) and their three kids. When the mother saw my pin she laughed and pointed it out to her kids saying, "Look! Do you see his badge? It says prefect, get it?"

At this point I figured she knew what she was talking about and was going to tell her kids that I was a prefect at Hogwarts and that I was able to tell her kids to behave.

If only....

Instead, she finished by saying, "It's supposed to say perfect, but it's misspelled. He's not perfect!"

...I didn't want to embarrass her in front of her kids and I didn't have the heart to tell her that she was wrong.
Tag! I'm It.

I have been tagged for a meme by dilexitprior, so here goes...

This Sunday is Christ the King, which marks the last Sunday of the liturgical year. Next Sunday, a whole new liturgical year commences with the first Sunday of Advent as we anticipate the coming of our Lord once again in glory, as he did so many years ago.

1. Write three things for which we are grateful to God for in this past liturgical year.
1. For blessing me with a wonderful wife!
2. For making the move from Tallahassee to Pittsburgh go as smooth as it did. (We got a flat tire on the way, but believe me, it could have been much worse!)
3. For giving me the courage to leave Anglicanism for Catholicism.

2. Write three ways in which we hope to improve our relationship with God in this coming liturgical year.
1. Pray more and pray more regularly!
2. Listen to God's will better and trust in God's will more fully.
3. Pray the rosary more. (Yes, some Anglicans do pray the rosary.)

3. Pass this on to three other bloggers.
I'd have to say Mike Liccione, Al Kimel, and Keith Kenney. Out of the blogs I read daily, it appears as if they have not yet been tagged. Now, the only question is...will they see my blog to know that they have been tagged?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Jon Voight Plays John Paul II, Benedict Grateful

"Watching this film," said the Holy Father, "has renewed in me and, I think, in everyone who had the gift of knowing (John Paul II), a sense of profound gratitude to God for having given the church and the world a pope of such an exalted human and spiritual stature.”

“That affective and spiritual bond with John Paul II, which became even closer during the period of his final illness and death, was not interrupted,” he told the crowd.

“It has never been broken,” he emphasized, “because it is a bond between souls, between the great soul of the pope and the souls of innumerable believers; between his fatherly heart and the hearts of countless men and women of good will who recognized in him a friend, and a defender of man, of truth, of justice, of freedom and of peace.”

Read it all here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Office (UK Version)

I was looking at the site meter for my blog just now and I saw that someone from Slough, England had read my blog!! Now, for the average American this might not mean anything. But for those of us who love British Comedy, recognize Slough as the setting for the UK version of the show The Office.

It would be great if they happened to work at a paper company!

Anyways, here's to you blog visitor from Slough!
A Little Humor

Here's a joke from one of the posters over at titusonenine.

Three young boys were drowning in Belfast Lough when a Paisleyite Presbyterian jumped in to save them. Then he built a fire to dry their clothes.

He spoke to the first boy:-What religion are you?

First boy: Protestant.

- Good lad. Stand by the fire.

Second boy: Protestant.

- Good lad. Stand by the fire.

Third boy: Cat’lic.

- Miserable Taig. Stand over there, far away from those fine lads.

Then he spoke to the boys:-When I rescued you, were you going to heaven?

- Aye, mister. King Billy was there, saying, C’mon in, lads.

Excellent, said the Paisleyite.

Then he turned to the shivering Catholic. ‘And what about you, Taig? I suppose you were going to hell?

-Yes, mister. And you know, it was just like here and now.

- What do you mean, Taig?

- Well, I couldn’t get near the fire for all the Protestants.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Canadians Even Rob Banks Politely!

From Yahoo! News:

TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian bank robber, who politely presents a hold-up note on a recipe card, has hit 29 banks in four months, police said on Thursday.

The unidentified man is the main suspect behind two bank heists in Toronto on Wednesday and 27 other robberies in the region since August.

The suspect waits his turn in line and, once at the teller, quietly makes his intentions known on a recipe card. He has never shown a gun.

The clean-shaven robber, who looks around 30 years old, usually wears a baseball cap and sometimes sunglasses.

"They're (the police) very confident something will happen shortly," said Toronto police spokeswoman Wendy Drummond. "They're pulling out all the stops here," she said.
She said the new confidence stems from better views of the suspect on surveillance tapes of his latest robberies.

Police declined to say how much money the man, dubbed the "Recipe Card Bandit" by media, has stolen in the robberies.

The Canadian Bankers Association offered a reward of C$10,000 for information leading to an arrest, a move only used twice in the past six years.
Why You Should Only Drink Starbucks Coffee!

Click here to find out.
Cars Stolen Most Often

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB®), the nation’s motor vehicle thieves continue to favor imports over domestic brands as their target of opportunity. The NICB® has compiled a list of the 10 vehicles most frequently reported stolen in the U.S. in 2004. That top 10 includes:
1) 1995 Honda Civic
2) 1989 Toyota Camry
3) 1991 Honda Accord
4) 1994 Dodge Caravan
5) 1994 Chevrolet Full Size C/K 1500 Pickup
6) 1997 Ford F150 Series
7) 2003 Dodge Ram Pickup
8) 1990 Acura Integra
9) 1988 Toyota Pickup
10) 1991 Nissan Sentra

And here are the cars stolen most often in Pennsylvania:

1) 1990 Toyota Camry
2) 1991 Honda Accord
3) 2000 Honda Civic
4) 1993 Dodge Caravan
5) 1995 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
6) 1994 Plymouth Voyager
7) 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass
8) 1996 Ford Taurus
9) 1997 Nissan Maxima
10) 1990 Chevrolet Cavalier

Fortunately, my car isn't on any of these lists! Although, when I was 16 and living in Florida I had an '89 Chevrolet Cavalier that could have been mistaken for a 1990. Boy, I wish someone would have stolen that car!
Irish Saint Of The Day: Lawrence O'Toole

Augustinian archbishop of Dublin, Ireland. He was born at Leinster, the Son of Murtagh, chief of the Murrays, in Castledermot, Kildare. Taken hostage by King Dermot McMurrogh of Leinster in a raid, Lawrence was surrendered to the bishop of Glendalough. Lawrence became a monk, and in 1161 was named archbishop of Dublin.

In 1171 he traveled to Canterbury, England on diocesan business. While preparing for Mass there he was attacked by a lunatic who wanted to make Lawrence another Saint Thomas Beckett. Everyone in the church thought Lawrence had been killed by the severe blow to the head. Instead he asked for water, blessed it, and washed the wound; the bleeding stopped, and the archbishop celebrated Mass.

He was involved in negotiating with the English following their invasion of Ireland, and in 1172 convened a synod at Cashel. He also negotiated the 1175 Treaty of Windsor which made upstart Rory O'Connor the Irish king and vassal of king Henry II of England, but ended combat. He also attended the General Lateran Council in Rome in 1179, and was named papal legate to Ireland.

Lawrence later traveled on a mission with King Henry II of England, a trip taken as a peacemaker and on behalf of Rory O'Conner. It resulted in his imprisonment and ill-treatment by the king who decided he had had his fill of meddling priests. Lawrence died at Eu, Normandy, France on November 14, 1180. He was canonized in 1225.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My Wishlist!

With Christmas coming up, I figured that I should have a list of possible gift ideas for my family members and friends and anyone else who would like to further my knowledge!

So here is my wishlist from Ignatius Press.

And here is my Amazon wishlist.

Some books are on both lists. The more options the better!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lemur Species Named After John Cleese

ZURICH, Switzerland - Most people know him as the Minister for Silly Walks on "Monty Python" or as Q in James Bond films. But John Cleese' name will also go down in history for another reason: lemurs.

Researchers from the University of Zurich have named a newly discovered species of lemur — one of the most primitive and endangered primates in the world — after the British comedian in honor of his work with the animal.

The avahi cleesei, which weights less than two pounds and eats leaves, was discovered in Western Madagascar in 1990 by a team led by anthropologist Urs Thalmann and his colleague Thomas Geissman of Zurich University.

The name is a tribute to Cleese's promotion of the plight of lemurs in the movie "Fierce Creatures" and documentary "Operation Lemur with John Cleese," the university said in a statement. A lemur even appears next to Cleese on his Web site.

The lemur's long legs are the only physical attribute it shares with Cleese, Thalmann told New Scientist magazine. "Woolly lemurs can't really walk — but they do enjoy silly jumps," he said.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Know What You Believe!

Ask the average Christian of any denomination what they believe and they will probably look at you like a deer in headlights. Sure, they might be able to profess the basic doctrines of Christianity, such as the resurrection, Christ being the savior, etc., but how many can tell you what their specific denomination believes? Or even how their denomination compares to others?

I believe it is essential for ALL Christians to be able to profess what they believe! How can you believe in something you don't know about? What if your beliefs are different than that of your denomination?

I was talking with someone once who mentioned that he was a Presbyterian. Then I said, "Oh, so you believe in pre-destination!"
To which he responded, "No I don't. Why do you say that?"

Christians should also know, at the very least, their denominations history! I can't tell you how many Methodists have been shocked when I tell them that John Wesley never left the Anglican Church. He start the Methodist movement as a reform within the Anglican Church. He never intended on leaving, and he never did. It was his brother, Charles, who broke away and started the Methodists as a separate entity than that of Anglicanism.

This is a call to the average Christian (and even the above average) everywhere. Read, study, and learn what you believe and the history of why you believe it! How can you profess your faith if you don't know what your faith is?
Feminists For Life Celebrates Introduction Of Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant And Parenting Student Services Act Of 2005

Today Senator Elizabeth Dole introduced S. 1966, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Students Act of 2005.

If passed, the act would establish a pilot program to provide $10 million for 200 grants to encourage institutions of higher education to establish and operate a pregnant and parenting student services office. The on-campus office would serve parenting students, prospective student parents who are pregnant or imminently anticipating an adoption, and students who are placing or have placed a child for adoption.

Feminists for Life's President Serrin Foster said, “We are so pleased that we can share what we have learned from pregnant and parenting students through our efforts hosting FFL's Pregnancy Resource Forums at top campuses across the country. Today's parents need creative solutions that challenge the status quo. Thanks to the leadership of Sen. Dole more women, children and families will be better served.”

Research by Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood's research arm, proves that women of college age are at highest risk of having an abortion. Forty-five percent of women who have abortions are of college-age, 18-24 years old. Women with some college had a pregnancy rate that was lower than average, but still “had the highest abortion rate of any educational group.” “The statistics support what pregnant and parenting students have been telling Feminists for Life for years-that they need more resources and support,” Foster said. Among women who had abortions, 71% of 18-19 year olds and 58% of 20-24 year olds said having a child would interfere with their education or career. “We need to listen.”

Participating colleges would be responsible for hosting an initial pregnancy and parenting resource forum to assess resources on and off campus and set goals for improved services and access to services including housing, child care, maternity coverage and riders for additional family members in any student health care plan, flexible schedules and telecommuting, resources for pregnant women and children, and counseling. Feminists for Life's successful Pregnancy Resource Forums served as the model for the legislation. Schools would annually assess the performance of the office in meeting the needs of pregnant and parenting students. The college may allow employees to access these services, too.

The first Pregnancy Resource Forum was hosted at Georgetown University in 1997 and moderated by Foster. “We took an inventory of services and decided what was most needed. Within two years Georgetown trustees set aside nearby housing for parents, started Hoyas Kids childcare, established a 24-hour hotline, and cross-trained counselors to address pregnancy resources as well as sexual assault and domestic violence.” Every year Georgetown hosts another Pregnancy Resource Forum to see what improvements should be made next.
Since that first forum, FFL has brought the program to top colleges across the country, including Harvard, Swarthmore, Berkeley, Stanford, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Loyola Baltimore and Notre Dame, among others. Foster shared solutions created at one college with the next. “Every college built on the others' solutions.”

“Schools can talk about everything else in orientation, classes and the student newspaper—drinking, drugs, rohypnol, sexual assault, STDs, domestic violence and gay rights—but they never bring up pregnancy. When a woman doesn't see anyone else succeeding as a student parent, she assumes that the administration won't support her. Most often the clinic automatically refers her to an abortion clinic. There is a better way.”

In 1999, Feminists for Life's Pregnancy Resource Forums inspired similar legislation by Michigan women legislators—both Democrats and Republicans of the House and Senate. Foster told them about the needs of pregnant and parenting students and the success of FFL's groundbreaking program. The Michigan legislation offered an incentive to schools to provide pregnant and parenting students a single location on campus where they can acquire information about prenatal care, foster care, adoption, and other services. Designed to debut at four Michigan schools, the law was overwhelmingly supported by both pro-life and pro-choice legislators and signed into law by the pro-choice Governor Granholm.

“We have found that when you listen to the unmet needs of women and focus on identifying and creating resources on- and off-campus, people will stop yelling at each other and start working together to solve the problems that drive women to abortion.”

University of Virginia students started a babysitting service. Pro-life students raised funds and placed diaper decks in men's and women's rooms all over campus to support more than 1,000 student parents enrolled at Berkeley each year. Wellesley pro-life and pro-choice students recently collaborated in a rummage sale to benefit pregnant and parenting mothers.

“Many women want to have children earlier again, for health reasons, but when a woman is in a 6- or 8-year doctoral program with her husband, it can be very difficult. We can make this easier for them,” said Foster. “Elizabeth Cady Stanton would have been proud to know that she still inspires action today.” The bill is named for the mother of the women's movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was also the mother of seven children. “Stanton was a revolutionary who consistently advocated for the rights of women, women's education, the celebration and acceptance of motherhood, and the protection of our children-born and unborn.”
“Feminists for Life gives colleges and universities the tools to provide the 'rest of the choices.' We are sparking a new revolution on campus. The legislation introduced today by Senator Dole can put solutions into hyperdrive. She too walks in the footsteps of Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” said Foster.

Read more about FFLU—our dream campus. To host an FFL speaker or Pregnancy Resource Forum on your campus, contact
Married Priests Aren’t The Answer


The Vatican’s Synod of Bishops and the ongoing Apostolic Visitation of U.S. seminaries has piqued media speculation about the possibility of allowing married men to be ordained priests.

One participant in the synod, Australia’s Cardinal George Pell, said last week that he did not favor this possibility. As a student for the priesthood, I agree. Celibacy is an asset for both practical and spiritual reasons. What’s more, I am skeptical of the notion that married clergy is the miracle solution to the priest shortage. Here’s why.

For starters, I reject the notion that the current crisis of vocations in the Catholic Church is rooted in the celibacy requirement. According to a 2004 USA Today article entitled “Protestant Churches Struggle to Fill Pulpits,” most mainline Christian denominations that allow married clergy are also facing serious recruitment challenges. A life of service to God is a hard sell for every denomination in a materialistic culture that touts six-figure salaries and fast cars as the benchmark of fulfillment.

But if the Catholic Church allowed priests to marry, there would be other complications as well. Father David Medow, 47, of the Diocese of Joliet, knows that first-hand. A former Lutheran pastor who converted to Catholicism in 1996, Father Medow received a dispensation from Rome to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood as a married man.

“It would fundamentally misunderstand the issue if, by allowing married priests, we would automatically ensure numbers sufficient to minister to the people of God,” Medow said. “To ordain married clergy is to trade one set of challenges for another.”

One of those challenges would be maintaining the delicate balance between work and family. Married clergy have made an ultimate promise and obligation to two different entities. According to Medow, the family almost always loses.

“My obligations in my parish work often take me away from time when I would prefer to be with kids. I can’t go their ball games, or recitals or school plays,” Medow said.

A second challenge would be financial. Most priests in the United States earn a yearly salary in the neighborhood of $20,000, paid by donations from the collection basket.

Even if that number were to triple, what guarantee is there that droves of married men would leave higher paying jobs to line up at the seminary doors? And realistically, how many Catholics in the pews would be willing to triple their Sunday offerings?

If certain small but vocal Catholic groups want married priests, they have to be willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Third, the possibility of marital difficulties cannot be discounted. How will Catholics react if their parish priest is going through a divorce? To deny that such a thing would never happen is naïve, given the stress placed on the families of married clergy.

Finally, it is categorically false to link celibacy to the sexual abuse of minors, as if to say, “If only priests could marry, then there would be no more pedophiles.”

Sexual abuse is a tragic sin committed across the board by married and single people from all walks of life, though this heinous crime seems to make the front page only if the perpetrator is a Catholic priest.

It is a common misconception that priests are dissatisfied with celibacy and clamoring for change. In his 2004 book, Priests, Father Andrew Greeley noted that most priests surveyed are very happy as celibates, despite the fact that most in our pan-sexual American society look strangely upon their lifestyle.

But more than that, celibacy has value in and of itself for Catholic priests and nuns. It is not primarily a functional matter, adopted so that we can work longer hours. It has a spiritual dimension which is really the primary reason we in the Church regard it as a gift, not an onerous sacrifice.

For one, a celibate is a living sign here on Earth of how things will be in heaven (see Mark 12:25). Furthermore, celibacy is a sign of total dedication to Christ and to the people of God, and becomes therefore a motive for pastoral charity. Any priest or sister will tell you that lay people welcome them with an almost implicit trust and intimacy. As Father William Bausch of Trenton, N.J., put it, “I was a father of no one, yet father to everyone.” I was, he said, “an unspoken family member” of every person in the parish.

The result is often great personal fulfillment. Father Stephen Rossetti of the Washington D.C.-based St. Luke’s Institute found that 90% of priests were happy overall. In a 2004 article in America, Rossetti wrote: “The picture of the priesthood as largely populated by single, isolated males made dysfunctional by years of celibate, Catholic living is a fiction.”

Now, I’m not interested in whitewashing celibacy; it does entail an enormous sacrifice. Wearing a Roman collar doesn’t make attraction to the opposite sex go away. Nevertheless, I believe that celibacy can be an asset, not a hindrance, in recruiting for the priesthood.

There are many examples today of men and women who have given up far more than I have. I’m thinking of those members of the military who have left behind fiancés and spouses to serve our country overseas; some have even made the ultimate sacrifice. If they responded to their calling, how can I not respond to mine?

In the midst of this crisis, perhaps we need to challenge young people to choose priesthood by emphasizing celibacy, not soft-pedaling it. When the Marines recruit, they don’t say: “Well, if you’re looking for an easy, comfortable life, join us.”

What attracts young people to the Marine Corps is the challenge; it’s tough, but the calling is bigger than you. So is the priesthood. It’s about serving a cause greater than all of us.

A recent article in The Washington Times seemed to confirm this. Today’s seminarians, the Times reported, are strongly motivated by the image of the priest as a warrior for the good, and are willing to embrace a life of sacrifice to this end.

In his book, The Priest Is not His Own, the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen said much the same. “Could it be that one reason for the lack of vocations is our failure to stress sacrifice? The young … want a mission, a challenge! When we follow the type of advertising appeal used by Madison Avenue to sell toothpaste, when we use commercial techniques in our vocation literature, do not the hearts of the young spurn our distance from the Cross?”

It is true that the pastoral needs of the Church still outweigh the number of newly ordained, but there is good news in that the numbers of men joining the celibate priesthood is on the rise.

Worldwide, vocations are up 75% from 20 years ago, and today there are 5,200 seminarians studying for the priesthood for the U.S. dioceses and orders, reported Father Edward Burns, the Director of Vocations for the Washington D.C.-based U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

There are currently 200 men studying at Chicago’s Mundelein Seminary. This fall, the seminary welcomed one of the largest first-year classes in recent history.

Father Medow, who studies part-time at Mundelein, is very confident in the future of the celibate priesthood. “With the men I know at the seminary, it gives me great hope for the Church.”I wholeheartedly concur.

Raymond Cleaveland writes from Chicago’s Mundelein Seminary.
Quote Of The Day

“Ought we really to be rearranging everything all over again? Nothing is more harmful to the liturgy than a constant activism, even if it seems to be for the sake of genuine renewal. I see a solution in a suggestion that comes from the insights of Erik Peterson. Facing east, as we heard, was linked with the “sign of the Son of Man,” with the Cross, which announces the Lord’s Second Coming. That is why very early on the east was linked with the sign of the Cross. Where a direct common turning towards the east is not possible, the cross can serve as the interior “east” of faith. It should stand in the middle of the altar and be the common point of focus for both priest and praying community. In this way we obey the ancient call to prayer: “Conversi ad Dominum,” “Turn to the Lord!” In this way we look together at the One whose death tore the veil of the Temple-the One who stands before the Father for us and encloses us in his arms in order to make us the new and living Temple. Moving the altar cross to the side to give an uninterrupted view of the priest is something I regard as one of the truly absurd phenomena of recent decades. Is the cross disruptive in mass? Is the priest more important than the Lord? This mistake should be corrected as quickly as possible; it can be done without further rebuilding. The Lord is the point of reference. He is the rising sun of history. That is why there could be a cross of the Passion, which represents the suffering Lord who for us let his side be pierced, from which flowed blood and water (Eucharist and Baptism), as well as a cross of triumph, which expresses the idea of the Second Coming and guides our eyes toward it. For it is always the one Lord: Christ yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8).”

-Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Which Saint Am I?

You are Athanasius! You are willing to fight a
losing battle, just to make sure that the truth
is told. But don't get discouraged; sometimes
it takes more than one lifetime for truth to

Which Saint Are You?
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A Lovely Day For A Guinness!

A while back, I was talking to a friend of mine over a pint of the black stuff. He mentioned that Guinness was made with rat protein, thus making it high in anti-oxidants. Now, I assumed he came up with this because he had heard a song called Good Rats by the band Dropkick Murphys. He assured me that he had never heard it before and that he had learned about the rat protein from his father. So, I went online to check it out, but I couldn't find any verification on the myth. Has anyone else heard of this?

With rat protein or not, it's ALWAYS a lovely day for a Guinness!

For those interested here is

"A Guide For The Un-Initated To Buying Guinness In An Irish Pub" by Alan Clinton

1 Choose your pub carefully. A pint of Guinness does not appreciate loud music, loud people or bright flashing lights.

2 Ask politely for a pint of Guinness. Depending on the pub, it is possible to catch the barmans eye and mouth the word "pint", he will translate this accurately.

3 The barman will fill the glass between 70% and 80% capacity. It will then be put to the side for a few moments to allow it "to settle". Once the brownish liquid has almost turned to a solid black the barman will then fill the rest of the glass. NB: do not under any circumstances take the glass before it is filled. Some virgins seem to think that the settling stage is the final stage and walk away with an unfinished pint. At this point we Irish DO understand the predicament, but I assure you it causes endless mirth as well.

4 Once you have received your pint, find a comfortable stool or seat, gaze with awe into the deep blackness, raise the pint to your mouth and take a large mouthful. Be firm.

5 A good pint can distinguished by a number of methods. A smooth, slightly off- white head is one, another is the residue left on the inside of the glass. These, surpise surprise, are known as rings. As long as they are there you know your're okay. A science of rings is developing - the instance that comes to mind is determining a persons nationality by the number of rings (a ring is dependent on a swig of Guinness each swig leaving it's own ring). An Irishman will have in the region of 5-6 rings (we pace ourselves), an Englishman will have 8-10 rings, an American will have 17-20 (they sip) and an Australian won't have any at all as they tend to knock it back in one go!

6 As you near the end of your pint, it is the custom to order another one. It is a well known fact that a bird does not fly on one wing.

Also, here are the lyrics to Good Rats by Dropkick Murphys

Have you ever stopped to think about what rats do for run? Sure they crawl around and scurry, yeah they're always on the run but a rat sure likes a good time just like you and me I'll prove it with a tale about a rat-infested brewery.

It started with a little lad named vermin McCann who fell upon a drink that made him feel like quite a man he rounded up his furry boys, though some wore a frown they quickly changed their tune and they slammed a couple down.

Chorus:One, two, one-two-three-four! Come on all you good rats we'll send you to heaven you'll find the pearly gates in the froth and the foam 'cause in these vats you've made quite a creation a potion that turned the Guinness to gold!

Like mice behind a piper, rats from all around soon headed for this factory in old Dublin Town. They surely heard the news about this fancy new rat-brew they come, they saw, they had a taste and knocked back a few.

The rats wre in a tizzy addicted to the bone the hairy lugs wer giddy they were never going home like a bunch of drunken pirates prepared to walk the plank they drank, they sang, they took a plunge and in the beer they sank!
Quote Of The Day

"Where Peter is, there is the church."
-St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Have You Been Saved?

Evangelical Protestants will sometimes ask a Catholic acquaintance "Have you been saved?" Many Catholics find this a puzzling question. On the one hand, a Catholic wants to say "of course I've been saved. Why do you have to ask?" But on the other hand, the question seems to suggest that a person's salvation is a once-and-for-all event that happens in a single moment, rather than a process or a "race" that continues throughout our lives.
I believe that an adequate (biblical and Catholic) answer to the question "Have you been saved?" involves making three affirmations. A Catholic can say that, "I have been saved", "I am being saved"; and "I hope to be saved."
First, a Catholic can say "I have been saved." It is an objective fact that Jesus Christ already has died and been raised to save me from my sin. The salvation of the world has been accomplished by Jesus Christ. This salvation has already begun to take effect in the life of everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ and been baptized. As St. Paul said, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation..." (2 Cor 5:17). In this sense, I can say, "Yes, I have been saved."
Second, Catholics need to say that "I am being saved." We must realize that we are still "running the race" to our ultimate destiny of heaven. We must turn to the Lord each day for the grace to enter more deeply into his plan for our lives and to accept his gift of salvation more fully. "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another" (2 Cor 3:18). In this sense, I can say, "I am being saved."
Third, a Catholic must also say, "I hope to be saved." We must persevere in our faith in God, love for God, and obedience to his will until the end of our lives. We have hope and confidence that God will give us that grace, and that we will respond to it and accept his gift of salvation until the day we die. In this sense, "I hope to be saved."
Like Paul,
...[I hope] that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Phil 3:11-12)

-from Catholic & Christian by Alan Schreck

Friday, November 04, 2005

Homosexual Behaviour is Outside of God's Intentions

The first thing God saw to be "not good" in His perfect creation was that man was alone. He created woman to complete man. The complementarity of male and female coming together in sexual union in the context of the marriage relationship is itself, a reflection of God's image. Within Himself, God combines all that is truly masculine and feminine.

When two men or two women come together, they lack this complementarity and they do not reflect the image of God in their union. This is serious business for a holy God.

I certainly know that same-gender partnerships can be loving, kind, faithful and reflective of many very good qualities. But they do not reflect God's image as He has intended.

For truly, all of humanity is called to find their life in God—whether married or single. God's love does not always mean that we get everything we think we want in this life. God's love means that He offers Himself, fully, to us. The Christian journey is one of discovering that truth in every aspect of our lives, of testing and ultimately learning to trust that God is good, that He will be faithful to us, and sufficient for us in our time of need. God can be trusted with our deepest needs, and as we turn to Him, He will meet us.

Read it all here.
St. Drogo: Patron Saint Of Coffee!

Working at Starbucks on All-Saints day, I got into a conversation with a customer about saints and their patronage. I wondered if there was a patron saint of coffee. And the answer is YES! Well, sort of. St. Drogo is the patron saint of coffee house owners. Close enough I say.

St. Drogo was born in 1105 of Flemish nobility. His mother died giving him birth, a fact that emotionally crushed him when he learned of it at age 10; he imagined himself responsible for her death. Later in life he practiced extreme penances, possibly to expiate this guilt. He was orphaned in his teens. At 18, he disposed of all his property and became a penitential pilgrim, making 9 trips to Rome. He was also a shepherd for six years at Sebourg, near Valencienne, France, working for Elizabeth de la Haire. Drogo was revered for his holiness. He reportedly had the ability to bilocate, with witnesses seeing him simultaneously working the fields and attending Mass. Stricken with an unsightly bodily affliction during a pilgrimage, he became a hermit at Sebourg in Hainault for 40 years surviving on barley, water, and the Eucharist. He died around 1186 at Seboug, France.

So, next time you go to Starbucks (yes, that's the ONLY coffee shop you should be going to ;-) ) think of St. Drogo!
Catholic School Nixes American Girl Fundraiser

A Roman Catholic school is canceling a fashion show by American Girl, a manufacturer of a popular line of dolls and children's books, amid criticism that it is contributing to an organization that supports abortion rights and acceptance of lesbians.
St. Luke School in Brookfield notified its parents of the decision through bulletins at Masses over the weekend. Money raised through ticket and raffle sales was to go toward a new playground and a refurbished library.
"It's a bargain we'll just have to pass up," wrote Frank Malloy, St. Luke pastor. "The cost is too high. Our integrity isn't for sale."

read it all here.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Quote Of The Day:

"When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it."

Bernard Bailey

Thanks to my wife, Laura, for showing me this quote!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Response To A Blog

Earlier today I read a blog from a friend of my wife's from college and was pretty distressed by the spin she put on my post from Monday titled Danny's Dilemma Deferred, Distress Distinguished.

A quote from her site reads as follows, "Basically he said that he wants to go to the Catholic church because they hate the gays and beleive in transubstantiation."

Now, I have reread my post a couple of times and nowhere in it could I find myself saying that I wanted to be Catholic because they hate gays. I didn't even mention transubstantiation. (Although, I do believe in transubstantiation.)

I am leaving the Anglican Church because of their actions at General Convention 2003, yes. General Convention 2003, however is only the tip of the iceberg. But I, nor do any orthodox Anglicans, Catholics, or any professing Christian hate gays. That is not Christianity. Please listen to me when I say this and try to suppress the gay/lesbian propaganda against the church. Liberals in ECUSA have said that orthodox Episcopalians are upset about a gay bishop because they hate gay people. That is simply not true! (The revisionists of ECUSA are so inclusive until they disagree with you and then watch out!)
Christians are called to respect the dignity of every human being. And part of respecting their dignity is speaking the Truth in love. The problem with a gay bishop or priest (besides homosexuality being against scripture and having Lambeth 98 affirm that it was contrary to scripture) is that they are supposed to be leaders and role models of their Christian flock.

During the ordination of a priest, the ordinand is asked by the bishop:
Will you be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them? And Will you, in accordance with the canons of this Church, obey your bishop and other ministers who may have authority over you and your work?

To which the ordinand responds:
I am willing and ready to do so; and I solemnly declare that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church.

A priest is also asked:
Will you do your best to pattern your life (and that of your family, or household, or community) in accordance with the teachings of Christ, so that you may be a wholesome example to your people?

The priest answers I will.

Gene Robinson, who divorced his wife to be with his gay lover, should have been defrocked as a priest for not following these vows. He is not a wholesome example. But as we have come to see the Anglican Church has no discipline. (Look at Bishop's Spong, Ingham, and Pike to name a few.)

Let's see what is required of bishops!

At the bishops ordination he is asked:
Will you guard the faith, unity, and the discipline of the Church?

The bishop to be responds:
I will, for the love of God.

He has not guarded the Faith as a priest. He should not be a bishop.

If a heterosexual priest divorced his wife to be with his lover he would not be made a bishop!
Although I do know of a heterosexual priest who did divorce his wife for his lover and he is still a priest. One of the reasons I am leaving the Anglican Church.

Now you may say that we are all sinners. If we kicked all the sinners out, you would have an empty church.

Yes, we are all sinners, but we are called to repent! Jesus said to the woman who committed adultery, "Go and sin no more." He didn't say, "I love you. Keep on sinning."

The Gospel is about transformation, not affirmation! Why do you think God sent his only son to die for us? We need redemption for our sinful ways. Repent and do not let Christ's death be in vain!

The blogger also said on her site, "Why is it that the rules man has created in the form of organized religion have any bearing on how I live my life and how I have a relationship with my God?"

To her I say, man did not create the rules. God did. Man is carrying out those rules because that's what God has told us and it has considerable bearing on how you live your life and how you have a relationship with God!

I thank you for reading my site (I don't need to mention your name, you know who you are.) and I pray that you truly see what God has intended for you. Transform your life to do his will. It's not easy. It's not supposed to be. Put your faith in God and you will be alright.

I write out of love for you (though you may not believe it) and wish you the best. Put away your anger and open your eyes, ears, and heart to God and you will be transformed!

For a very good article on homosexuality and scripture click here.
The Feast Of All Souls

I was listening to a radio show today and a lady called in to talk about praying for the dead in Purgatory. I thought her explanation was great. She said that God so loved us that not only did he send his only begotten son to die for our sins, but he made Purgatory to be a place where souls can go that may not be worthy of a direct ticket to Heaven in order to escape Perdition. Now is a good time to pray for loved ones who have passed. May God release them from Pergatory. And....when you're done praying check out Michael Liccione's site Sacramentum Vitae for a great article on Purgatory and All Souls!

It took me forever to figure out how to post a picture on my profile, but I have done it. I didn't go to college for nothing! (well, some may argue that my B.A. in Theatre was for nothing, but I disagree)
Pontificator’s First Law: When Orthodoxy and Catholicism agree, Protestantism loses.

Here's a great article by Al Kimel over at Pontifications about the (un-) catholicity of Anglicanism.

Al's comment, "So why do Anglicans continue to insist that Anglicanism is catholic? My best guess: It is a way to reassure themselves that Anglicanism is just as good as Catholicism and Orthodoxy, if not better (this was particularly important for me during my thirty years as an Episcopalian), with perhaps a not so subtle suggestion that Anglicanism is Protestantism in its fullness, i.e., Protestantism-plus."

That's exactly how I was as an Anglican. I wanted to reassure myself that we were "in there" with the Catholics and the Orthodox.
Hot Dogma!

This is the best place to get a hot dog in Pittsburgh! The shop is actually a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and can be found in the back of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. They are also going to be featured on the Food Network on Nov. 8. If you are in the area, stop by for lunch. They have a great staff and an awesome atmosphere. I suggest the Germany or the New Yorker!
Visit there site here.
A Wake Up Call To ECUSA

This comes from the back cover of Joseph Ratzinger's book On The Way To Christ:

Jesus Christ is as popular as ever. Films, books, and news articles ask,"Who was Jesus Christ?" Even outside of Christianity he continues to appeal to people. And yet for so many, the popular Jesus is not the Jesus of Christianity. The popular Jesus makes no demands and never challenges people.
In this series of meditations, Pope Benedict XVI says that the true Jesus, the Jesus of the Gospels, "is quite different, demanding, and bold. The Jesus who makes everything OK for everyone is a phantom, a dream, not a real figure. The Jesus of the Gospels is certainly not convenient for us. But it is precisely in this way that he answers the deepest question of our existence, which keeps us on the lookout for God, for a gratification that is limitless, for the infinite. We must again set out on the way to this real Jesus."

The emphasis added is mine. DG Jr.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy All Saints Day!

Who's your favorite saint? Mine is definitely St. Patrick! Any Saint that drives away all the snakes and is Irish is my kind of saint. After that I'd have to say St. Brendan the Voyager. Once again, another great Irish saint!