Wednesday, July 23, 2014

August 1: Global Day of Eucharistic Adoration for Persecuted Christians in Middle East





By now, you have hopefully heard of the ethnic cleansing in Mosul, Iraq.  ISIS terrorists forced Christians and others out of their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Their directive: Convert to Islam in 24 hours, or die. 

The FSSP has initiated this, asking all apostolates to join in.  Given the time frame, it gives priests and people an opportunity to prepare. Here is their post:

July 22, 2014: August 1, Day of Prayer for Christians persecuted in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East 
The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter asks all of its apostolates around the world to dedicate Friday, August 1 to a day of prayer and penance for the Christians who are suffering terrible persecution in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

August 1 is the First Friday of the month and the Feast of St. Peter in Chains, which is celebrated as a Third Class Feast in FSSP houses and apostolates.  It is the feast in which we read of the great power of the persevering prayer of members of the Church: “Peter therefore was kept in Prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5)

This feast of our Patron should be an invitation to the faithful to join us in Holy Hours and other fitting prayers  to beg the Most Holy Trinity that these members of the Mystical Body may persevere in the faith, and that, like St. Peter, they may be delivered from this terrible persecution.  May such a day serve as a reminder to us of the stark contrast that stands between our days of vacation and ease, and their daily struggle for survival as they are killed or exiled from their homes.

http://www.fssp.org/en/fildesmois2014.htm#Iraq

I hope bishops and priests will join this effort in their dioceses and parishes on the same day.  Find an Adoration chapel and join in, regardless.




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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
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- Diane M. Korzeniewski

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Euchre Tournament at Assumption Grotto - July 26


See the Facebook page for an upcoming Euchre Tournament at Assumption Grotto on July 26, at 5:30 PM.





The Call to Holiness Conference is set for September 12-13 at the Sterling Inn in Sterling Heights. See Archbishop Vigneron, Dale Ahlquist, Dr. Peter Kreeft, Fr. William Casey, Sr. John Dominic, and Dr. Ray Guarendi.  See the Call to Holiness Website and sign up today.   Early bird pricing through August 15th.

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Saturday Night: St. Paul Street Evangelization Fundraiser at Ss Cyril & Methodius

Please support this fundraiser if you are able to go, or donate.  I am familiar with the work of St. Paul Street Evangelization here in Detroit because I have friends who have been involved.  Here is an advertisement, and an earlier letter from Archbishop Vigneron supporting the effort.








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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and the July 16, 2001 Homily of Fr. Robert Altier




May all of my Carmelite brothers and sisters around the world have a blessed feast day.

I found a page with several homilies given over several years on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel by Fr. Robert Altier.  Remember him?

Fr. Altier is a diocesan priest and a secular Carmelite, just like Fr. Perrone, who is the spiritual chaplain of my community which meets at Assumption Grotto on the First Saturday of every month.  Yes, diocesan priests who are drawn to a particular religious spirituality can become members of their secular branches, in many cases.

Here is the one he gave on July 16, 2001 - the year of the 750th Anniversary of the Brown Scapular.

I'm going to include this note which accompanies each of the homilies:

Note: Father Altier does not write his homilies in advance, but relies solely upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 
This text was transcribed from the audio recording with minimal editing.


Monday July 16, 2001
Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Reading I (1 Kings 18:42b-45a)
Reading II (Galatians 4:4-7)
Gospel (St. John 19:25-27) 
Today we celebrate the most wonderful feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. One might wonder why Our Blessed Lady would be named after a mountain. If we think about some of the apparitions of Our Lady, when she appears in a certain city they name her after the city. In this particular case, Carmel (which in the ancient world is always considered a holy mountain) is where the hermits lived from the time of the prophet Elijah. In the first reading, we heard about Elijah going up and sitting on top of Mount Carmel (at what would be modern-day Haifa) overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. He sent his servant out seven times to see if there was a cloud; there had been three years of drought at this time. Elijah prayed and up from the sea a little cloud, which symbolizes Our Lady, came to Mount Carmel. From that time on, there were hermits that lived on that mountain. They knew that the Mother of God was going to be born to the Jewish people and that she would bear the Messiah. These hermits on Mount Carmel were dedicated to the future Mother of God. They prayed for the woman who would give birth to the Messiah. 
We are told, in Saint Matthew's Gospel, that after the birth of Jesus the Holy Family went down to Egypt. But then, because of fear of Herod, they came back by a different route. There were only a couple of routes that they could have taken at that time to get up to Nazareth. They took the route that goes up along the Mediterranean Coast through Caesaria Maritima and up to Mount Carmel. The tradition is that there, on Mount Carmel, the hermits gathered and Our Lady showed to them the Christ Child. There is evidence from the very early centuries of chapels that were dug into the side of the hill in the caves where the hermits lived that were dedicated to Our Lady. They were little Nativity chapels made in the form of the Cave of the Nativity in Bethlehem. There they worshipped God and they honored Our Blessed Lady. After that, the hermits were no longer devoted to the future Mother of the Redeemer, but to the one that they had seen, the Mother of Our Lord who had come to them and showed them Our Blessed Lord. 
Today we also celebrate something else which is very wonderful: the 750th anniversary of the Brown Scapular. In 1251, Our Lady appeared to Saint Simon Stock and gave him the scapular. That is being celebrated today in a special way. If you do not have a Brown Scapular, I strongly urge you to get one. As we heard, in both the second reading and the Gospel, we are children of God and children of Our Lady, adopted sons and daughters of God. From the Cross, Our Lord said, "Behold your mother." Like any mother, Our Lady will clothe us. She has given us this garment of salvation - the Brown Scapular - and promised that anyone who dies wearing the scapular will not go to hell. Anybody who does not wear the scapular needs to stop and think about where their soul is at. Why would we not want to wear the garment of Our Lady, to take on the yoke of Christ (as the scapular covers both sides and goes over the shoulders), to be able to say that this is a sign of a life of holiness and innocence? It is Our Lady's guarantee that she will take care of her children and that she will bring us safe and sound to the glory of Heaven. That is what we celebrate today. 
When we think about Our Lady and name her after a mountain, we recall that Jesus is called a mountain. We see that most clearly in Daniel's prophecy. Remember when he sees the statue with four different types of material: bronze, silver, gold, and tile. Then, he sees a little stone hewn from a mountain that becomes a huge mountain and fills the whole world; that is Jesus Christ and He is Carmel. We read Saint John of the Cross and one of his great works is called Ascent of Mount Carmel. It is the way to growth in holiness and perfection. The climbing of Mount Carmel is the climbing of the mystery of Jesus Christ, it is to enter into the depths of Christ. It is Our Lady, Our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, who leads us perfectly to her Son and to the top of the mystical mountain.


Once again, there are several years worth of July 16 homilies by Fr. Altier on this page. Incidentally, I found some websites with archive material that is back online.


Here is a bit of history on the feast day:

This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg. duplex" to celebrate the victory of their order over its enemies on obtaining the approbationof its name and constitution from Honorius III on 30 Jan., 1226 (see Colvenerius, "Kal. Mar.", 30 Jan. "Summa Aurea", III, 737). The feast was assigned to 16 July, because on that date in 1251, according to Carmelite traditions, the scapular was given by the Blessed Virgin to St. Simon Stock; it was first approved by Sixtus V in 1587. After Cardinal Bellarmine had examined the Carmelite traditions in 1609, it was declared the patronal feast of the order...

And we end this post with the Flos Carmeli by Floor Peeters




FLOWER of Carmel, Tall vine blossom laden; Splendor of heaven, Childbearing yet maiden. None equals thee. Mother so tender, Who no man didst know, On Carmel's children Thy favours bestow. Star of the Sea. Strong stem of Jesse, Who bore one bright flower, Be ever near us And guard us each hour, who serve thee here. Purest of lilies, That flowers among thorns, Bring help to the true heart That in weakness turns and trusts in thee. Strongest of armour, We trust in thy might: Under thy mantle, Hard press'd in the fight, we call to thee. Our way uncertain, Surrounded by foes, Unfailing counsel You give to those who turn to thee. O gentle Mother Who in Carmel reigns, Share with your servants That gladness you gained and now enjoy. Hail, Gate of Heaven, With glory now crowned, Bring us to safety Where thy Son is found, true joy to see. Amen. (Alleluia.)



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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
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- Diane M. Korzeniewski

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Karaganda, Kazakhstan diocese is vacant after Bishop Kaleta resigns

This is a somewhat newsworthy item for those of us familiar with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, ORC, since he is one of a handful of bishops in the small country of Kazakhstan.

Bishop Janusz Kaleta has resigned.  He has had charge of the diocese of Karaganda since 2011, where Bishop Schneider served as auxiliary bishop (2006-2011).  Source: VIS-News


- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, presented by Bishop Janusz Wieslaw Kaleta, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Bishop Kaleta was is only 49.  Here is paragraph 2 under CIC 401 on resignations.
§2 A diocesan Bishop who, because of illness or some other grave reason, has become unsuited for the fulfilment of his office, is earnestly requested to offer his resignation from office.

Whatever the reason, we should pray for Bishop Kaleta.

Vacant See and a Handful of Bishops


With regards to the Diocese of Karaganda, which is now vacant, you can count on one hand the number of bishops in Kazakhstan.  Unless someone is transferred to Kazakhstan, or there is a new bishop elevated from among priests working there, I suspect after 8 years serving as an auxiliary bishop, Bishop Schneider may be headed back to his old diocese.  He was in charge of the project to build a cathedral there (see interview here and news story on the dedication to of Our Lady of Fatima). Just prior to that, he was transferred to the metropolitan See of Astana.  

An interesting side note, was that in 2008, Kazakhstan saw the first priestly ordination of a native of the country, at least in modern times.

More on the Church in Kazakhstan here. 





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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
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- Diane M. Korzeniewski

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Video: "I have 422 Friends, yet I'm lonely…"


I saw this on Facebook, then found it on YouTube to embed here.  It has a great message and it is done with class.  You might have to get past the commercial.  It has over 44 million hits.  It's called, "Look up."





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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

No. Cardinal Woelki didn't say that (Part 2)



Yesterday, I saw a blog post by Patrick Archbold, at his personal blog, Creative Minority Report,  about a Catholic prelate in Germany entitled, "Putting the Homo-Heretics in Charge,"  I decided to do some digging into the matter to see if a controversial quote from the early spring of 2012 attributed to the Cardinal was authentic or a media-hack job that went viral.  I explained in my post yesterday, why I believe it is the latter.

In that post, I had not linked to Patrick's original blogpost, as I have above now, because I was hoping he might change the title.  But, after some discussion with him through private message last night, and with a public response by him to my post, I felt it was best to let people see his words and the justifications he is using since he is standing by his title, and his position on Cardinal Woelki.  We pretty much agreed to disagree and parted amicably.  I'm sure he is praying for me as I am praying for him.

Right now I'm interested in probing the issue deeper in order to see if we can get better clarity in the English language, and there is something worth sharing that was found late last night in German media.

A second interivew on the controversial issue with Cardinal Woelki


Last night, after my discussions with Patrick and editing my original post for further clarity on my understanding of the Cardinal's words based on a different translation of the diocesan spokesman than he had in his response to me, I went looking in German language press for more information.  I can't speak or read German so I am at the mercy of an auto-translator.  After many years of getting translations from Richard Chonak on various things, I've learned how easy it is to get the wrong idea about something said through an auto-translator, and even through other translators who have only a basic knowledge of the language.  I've seen people persecuted over things they didn't say because of reliance on auto-translators and on translations done by people with less experience in a given language.  So, that makes me cautious when I hear something about a prelate in another country.

I found some things last night and sent them to Richard Chonak.  First, I found that in 2011, Cardinal Woelki hit the hornets nest in Berlin when he first took over, causing a lot of anger in the local homosexual community.  Anger is an understatement.  The reason they were angry is because he had been very direct about Catholic teaching and homosexual acts.  Perhaps he wasn't clear enough that it was the acts he was speaking of, but in an interview in early 2012, he seemed to be trying to calm the storm.  You can read the hacked version of what the German media provided, and which spread to other countries, including the U.S. in the post I made yesterday.  You will find that the diocesan spokesman for Berlin stated that the Cardinal's words were, "severely truncated."  We all know how that can change the entire meaning of a statement, not just the context.

Richard was able to find the original source for an interview I saw discussed that happened with Cardinal Woelki about six months after the interview in early 2012.  The interviewer asks questions about that controversial quote and the Cardinal responds.  Richard Chonak, in his post, "What did the Cardinal Really Say?"  offers his translation of that part of the interview.  I would invite everyone to read it carefully, and ask if they really believe that this Cardinal is a so-called, "homo-heretic."  If he has fault in anything, it might be with the fact that he made a statement which could easily be misunderstood.

That same interview is discussed elsewhere in German media, but what prompted me to ask Richard to find the original is that they summarized part of what he said, then gave a quote, and I felt there was something  missing.  I was right.

The Cardinal gave examples in the original interview of what he meant when he said "recognizing the relationship."  If you read the full interview at Richard's blog, Catholic Light, the way I see it, he is distinguishing between judgment of sexual acts and judgment of acts of compassion, such as caring for another who is sick.  He mentions how we recognize the relationship, and respect the care given, by an adult child of an elderly parent.  He then points out that a homosexual person who gives such care to a dying partner is also something to be recognized.  Here again, he is not saying that we should recognize sexual activity, but the act of compassion of one human being giving care to another.  Putting this into my own example, if I see a self-avowed gay man pull someone from a burning house, it's not only okay to recognize that he put his life on the line, I should respect what he did as I would any other person who does not have same-sex inclinations.  By recognizing that heroic act, I am not condoning the homosexual life style.

Some will still take issue with this by continuing to interpret the entire set of words in the most damning way, rather than interpreting it in the most favorable way.  What does the CCC teach us about this?


Unspecific is not equivalent to endorsement


Richard points out something worthwhile at the bottom of his post:

Overall, it sounds like the bishop’s method is close to what the reporter thought: the bishop enunciates Catholic teaching clearly as applying to intra-Church matters; but he is unspecific about what society and the state should do. There is Catholic teaching against unjust discrimination toward homosexual persons, and perhaps the bishop is only calling for observance of that. But he gave no guidance about where the state should restrain itself in granting status to same-sex couples.

I thought the same about the part where he was unspecific, but being unspecific is not equivalent to endorsing same-sex civil unions.  That's just an objective fact, so let's be careful there.  God didn't gift me or anyone else with reading the Cardinal's soul to state why he is being unspecific and there can be many reasons, which includes the possibility that he does not quite know how to form the words without causing more confusing.  In time, he might get specific.

What we cannot do is invent dots where they do not exist to make a line go in a direction we think it is heading.  We cannot fill in blanks to fit a particular narrative.  And we need to question anything that puts a prelate or the pope in a bad light, whether we like it or not.

Part of the problem is that some are too quick to believe the most ridiculous things pedaled by a secular press that has proved over and again, it is willing to play with the words of our Holy Father and prelates in such a way as to change the meaning, and withhold the context. Sometimes this is done out of haste or ignorance of the consequences and other times it is done in order to further an agenda or narrative that is contrary to Catholic teaching.

I don't think the solution is to put the hierarchy into a dungeon and only let their words filter out through spokesmen.  As I pointed out yesterday, if Jesus had walked the earth today, no one would have had their words tinkered with more than him.  Maybe that's why he came into the world 2000 years ago instead of today.

While I take serious issue with using offensive language in reference to prelates who say something we believe to be in error, such as Patrick's headline, I understand how some of the confusion happened.  What matters is how we treat it going forward.

Final Word: Pray!


One thing I hope we can all agree on is that we can do much more good for the mission of the Church by praying earnestly for Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki and for his diocese.  Do a Holy Hour for him.   There is no way to offend God by taking any anxiety or anger into Adoration and placing it on his shoulders. This not only helps us, it helps the Cardinal.  I recommend the same for the Pope and all clerics.  Catholics in ages past didn't have the internet to make them aware of every word and deed of the Holy Father, and bishops in distant places.  The Church did just fine without combox warriors berating bishops and the pope every time something controversial comes out.


NOTE: I've gotten some notes from people trying to comment.  Comments have been closed on this blog for several months.   Blogger does not seems to allow me to prevent you from typing out a comment then seeing it go nowhere.  If I hide comments, it hides all comments on every post.  It also does not allow me to put a time limit on how long people can post comments so I was moderating comments to posts that were years old.  On some posts, moderation can be time consuming and this was interfering with other things I needed to do. Blogger is a free tool which does have limitations.  My apologies for any inconvenience. 



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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

No. Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki did not say that!


UPDATE: A later interview with the Cardinal was found, taking place about 6 months after this dust-up, and has been translated by Richard Chonak.  I discuss it here and provide a link to the translation.  http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2014/07/no-cardinal-woelki-didnt-say-that-part-2.html


I know little about Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, recently named to head the Archdiocese of Cologne, Germany, but I'm fairly certain that a scandalous quote attributed to him is false and I'll explain why.

So, what's this all about?  First, please read the brief news piece offered by Catholic Culture yesterday as I think it has helpful information.

Now to the heart of the matter. A story was put out, I think back in 2012 in German press, that made it's way into English language (and others, I'm sure) in which the Cardinal allegedly said:
"If two homosexuals take responsibility for each other, if they are loyal to each other over the long term, then one should see this in the same way as heterosexual relations."

One blogger, reacting yesterday to the news of Cardinal Woelki's transfer from Berlin to Cologne used the misguided headline, "Putting the Homo-Heretics in Charge."  Pitiful. I'm not a fan of shock-jock reactionary blogging and reporting because there is nothing like being in the room when a cigarette ash drops on gunpowder.  I won't link to it because it's just distasteful. A number of combox warriors, predictably, presume it is authentic news. Needless to say, the blogpost comment section houses some pretty rash remarks about the Cardinal, and the Pope.  I left a comment there and saw that it had posted, so I thought.  Some 45 minutes later, I could not find my comment.   Hopefully, it was simply lost and not censored out.  I decided to make this post rather than try to comment there again. [confirmed it was in moderation cue]

So, it seems in 2012, secular media sources in the US, and Catholic bloggers -  including professional journalists who blog, ran with the line that Cardinal Woelki gave a green light to active homosexual relationships.  This despite the glaring conflict with Catholic teaching that should have had at least the Catholics checking the source, and the accuracy of the quote, even unto asking for a clarification from the diocese. Now it is getting recycled in 2014.

Rod Dreher, writing at The American Conservative, was one such person using the quote in 2012 but he at least precedes it with, "if the report is accurate."  To his credit, he updated his post twice, including one with a statement from the Cardinal's Press Secretary back in 2012, saying he was grateful to have the clarification (See "Update 2" here).  He writes:

UPDATE.2: A German-speaking reader, to whom I am grateful, translates Cardinal Woelki’s press secretary’s statement about the matter as follows:  Press Secretary Stefan Förner explained that media reports had severely truncated [the Cardinal's] words. It is the Cardinal’s desire that homosexuals are “not discriminated against.”

The press secretary then explained [the Cardinal's statements] word for word to KATH.NET: “Cardinal Woelki set long-term homosexual relationships in which two people have already made a life-long commitment to one another in relation to [certain] heterosexual relationships which indeed are not in any case “in [proper] Catholic order” (the unmarried, those lacking commitment, etc.). A comparison with sacramental marriage between man and wife was absolutely not the theme.”

Press secretary Förner explained in concluding to KATH.NET: “Sacramental marriage between man and woman retains its special role. I see no cause for confusion.”

EDIT: Because we are dealing with a translation, the word order may not be expressed the way we would in every day English.  My understanding of the one paragraph [in the translation quoted from Dreher's post update] is that the Cardinal was saying that long term homosexual relationships are not any more proper than heterosexual couples, living together, and not sacramentally married.  I understand that the the heterosexual couple's relationship is ordered in the way nature intended it and that a homosexual couple's relationship is not in the natural order. Therefore, the Catholic Church could thus never consider it ordered.  He seems to be saying that in either case, they are not in the [proper] Catholic order, but to my reading does not seem to be saying both are in the natural order.  [I had to edit this again to correct a double-negative that was misleading].  

Also, in common language we might refer to two people of the same gender, living together long term with sexual relations as having a "relationship" or having "loyalty."  Such a statement could be made as a matter of objectivity without condoning the nature of the relationship or loyalty.  Is it possible this is what Cardinal Woelki meant?

Falsehood spread on the internet is the gift that keeps on giving.  Unfortunately, many secular and Catholic sources probably never saw that updates.  Those using it today may not be scrolling down to read the updates, or they are getting the quote from others who did not know about, or did not care to share, the update, for whatever reason.

The English edition of La Stampa's, Vatican Insider website, rather than quoting the Berlin spokesman, simply stated, "The Diocese of Berlin’s press office hastened to clarify that Woelki did not mean to say that same-sex unions were the same thing as marriage."  This makes it look like he said the outrageous quote, but didn't mean it that way.  It's also lazy journalism suffering the effects of, "gotta get it out now; don't have time to do the homework"

What is happening to Cardinal Woelki with that distorted quote reminded me of the great story on St. Philip Neri where he tells a gossiper to bring him a chicken, but to pluck the feathers as it is brought to him.  The feathers scatter all over the town.  When the chicken is handed to him all plucked, he then orders the feathers all be collected again.  Of course, this is impossible. That was his point - you can't get gossip and falsehood back once it comes out. It is depicted in one of my favorite movies, Saint Philip Neri: I Prefer Heaven, but on YouTube, you can only see a 3 minute clip in Italian with non-english subtitles. You get the idea.  I see that happening every time there is a swift reaction and a blogpost update.  Just because some news source or high-traffic blogger, or talking head tell us something, it doesn't mean we should run out and share it.

If we discover we were involved in the spread of falsehood there is a healthy remedy that is good for the soul.   Often times, there are other underlying sins preceding the spread of untruths, such as sins against prudence, but hold that thought for the moment, I'll come back to it.  It's good to ask a Confessor to judge if a case is venial or grave if one is unsure, but there are graces that come from expressing remorse in participation even when the conditions are not met for grave sin.  There is also the counsel of the priest that can be helpful in overcoming.  Gossip - in it's many forms, is one of the most addicting vices we can engage in. Our fallen nature enjoys it like prime rib.


How many times have we seen the words of our Catholic prelates truncated, snipped, and re-arranged in such a way as to put words into their mouths that they never said?   Have we learned nothing about how the Angel of Darkness wants to divide and conquer? Some want to blame the Holy Father and the prelates for the fact that others miscommunicate - either ignorantly or intentionally - what they say.  Others don't want them communicating with any sources other than through official archdiocesan or Vatican offices, thinking that will prevent such things.  I've seen those official press releases get twisted by major news suppliers, as well, simply by omitting a few key words.   I cannot imagine how the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ would have been filtered down through the kind of media machine we have today.  I do know that the sins and imperfections journalists, bloggers, talking-heads, and com-box warriors would not have stopped Jesus from proclaiming the truth everywhere he went and with whatever tools were available.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that rash judgment, detraction, and calumny are all sinful - sometimes gravely sinful (CCC 2477-78).  I think we are seeing many manifestations that Catholics do not understand sins against the 8th Commandment, especially as they can occur on the internet.

We, on the internet, need to slow down and start questioning sources and accuracy of quotes. What compels us to react the minute we hear something before we question it more discreetly so as not to scandalize others needlessly?  I can say this because I've been equally as guilty at times of jumping on something only to wish I hadn't offered an opinion so quickly.  When something sounds outrageous, it might be best to let some time pass before reacting to it.  Nothing requires us to blog today on something that happened this morning, or yesterday, especially if someone's good name is at stake.

Fr. John Hardon, in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, defined sins against prudence by defect and excess.  What he says about imprudence by defect applies to situations like this.

Sins against prudence that are either by defect or by excess. Sins by defect against prudence are: rashness, which acts before due consideration has been given; thoughtlessness, which neglects to take the necessary circumstances into account; and negligence, which does not give the mind sufficient time for mature deliberation.

Here is something Pope Benedict XVI said in his homily on Palm Sunday 2010 for Youth Day XXV:

Jesus walks before us and towards the heights. He leads us to what is great, pure. He leads us to that healthy air of the heights: to life in accordance with the truth; to courage that does not let itself be intimidated by the gossip of prevalent opinions; to patience that bears with and sustains the other.

Don't follow others over the proverbial cliff. 

Further reading:



*Picture at top: Pope Benedict XVI putting the red biretta on Cardinal Woelki on the consistory in February 2012. (Tony Gentile/Reuters)

NOTE: I've gotten some notes from people trying to comment.  Comments have been closed on this blog for several months.   Blogger does not seems to allow me to prevent you from typing out a comment then seeing it go nowhere.  If I hide comments, it hides all comments on every post.  It also does not allow me to put a time limit on how long people can post comments so I was moderating comments to posts that were years old.  On some posts, moderation can be time consuming and this was interfering with other things I needed to do.  Blogger is a free tool which does have limitations.  My apologies for any inconvenience. 

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Day of Recollection this Sunday at Grotto; and, Bishop Schneider's book, "Corpus Christi


The Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, through their apostolate, Opus Angelorum, will be giving their annual, summer Day of Recollection at Assumption Grotto, this Sunday.  After the Noon Mass there is a Eucharistic Procession to the outdoor grotto where the Rosary is prayed, weather permitting (otherwise there is Exposition in the church with Rosary).  The parish has grilled meats, along with the usual donuts and coffee, each Sunday, with only a few exceptions.  With the conference set at 2:00, it gives a little time to spend having a quick meal.  

You can read more about Opus Angelorum here and visit the Opus Angelorum website here

This is an opportune time to mention that Bishop Athanasius Schneider's latest book, Corpus Christi, is being distributed here in the U.S. by them. I know they have stacks of it in the convent, so if you come, look for it on their table with other books.  If you want to order the book, you can do so online.  Here is a report about the book from Catholic News Agency before it was available in English.

They also have many of their talks recorded.  One I frequently recommend is, "On Holy Silence" (scroll down). You can see many other titles by scrolling, and by clicking on the sections in the side bar for other subject areas.  


The Grotto News - Assumption Grotto's weekly bulletin, is out (these are only online in PDF form for a limited time so do a save-as on it if you want to keep it).   With Fr. Perrone away on his July vacation, you can read Fr. John's column.  In it, he has a reminder about the Preparation for Total Consecration According to St. Louis de Montfort.  I'm sure books will be available in the Grotto gift shop for that.  In fact, Sunday will be a good time to browse with the Day of Recollection taking place at 2:00.

Help is also needed for our feast day and the bulletin has a chart showing where you can help.




For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Monday, July 7, 2014

On praying for, and adopting, Catholic priests, bishops, and seminarians




I wish I had known about the Annual Global Day of Prayer for Priests.   One of the priests at Grotto sent me a notice on it last week, but it had already passed.  I'm sharing this now so we  know for next year. In fact, I've signed up to be included in notifications and recommend you do to.

I'm also including in this post other formal ways to get involved with praying for priests.

Last night, I found this news story on it at Catholic News Agency about the Global Rosary Relay for Priests.  I hope there is better publicity on this before it happens next year so we can participate, even if only in our homes.  We need to pray for priests.

From Catholic News Agency:

.- Catholics throughout the world joined together on June 27 to ask for Mary’s intercession in a 24-hour rosary initiative for World Priest Day. 

“Be assured that I will offer my praying of the Holy Rosary for the sanctification of priests,” wrote Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, announcing that he would participate in the day of prayer. 

“The sanctification of priests is a daily intention in my prayers, and, therefore, I am happy to participate in this global prayer for priests,” he added. 

The Annual Global Rosary Relay is an initiative for World Priest Day, a day of prayer and sanctification established by St. Pope John Paul II to be celebrated on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. This year, the feast day fell on June 27. 

Read the rest of this interesting article which explains how the relay worked this year.


More ways to pray for priests


Rosary for the Bishop is still active.  You should pray first and foremost for your own bishop, then any others.

At Assumption Grotto, the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross offer a Holy Hour with Exposition for the Sanctification of the Priesthood on Thursdays following the 7:00 PM Mass going through 9:00 PM.  This is all part of the Passio Domini they have on Thursdays.

The affiliated Sisters of the Holy Cross run the Crusade for Priests - a formal plan of prayer for a bishop, priest, or seminarian they assign each year for you to pray for.  You can always ask to include a priest or bishop of your choosing, but they will assign you one, as well.  Each year you will get a new name.  See more information here on how to adopt a priest, bishop, or seminarian through them.

There is another effort online running a spiritual adoption of priests called, adoptapriest.org.  Priests can enter their names to be put out for adoption and people can get someone to pray for.

Of course, there is always personal prayer using some of the resources found in the links provided.  Always pray for your parish priest, your bishop and the clergy and seminarians of your diocese.  Have Masses said for them.  Pray also for the discerning young men who have not yet responded to that call. And remember, it's not just prayer that is helpful in bringing them graces, it is the small sacrifices.  The link for the Crusade for Priests has a PDF of the document the Vatican put out on Spiritual Motherhood which has, among other things, some very fascinating stories about how priests and bishops were aided by prayers and sacrifices of others.  And, it demonstrates many alternative ways to make sacrifices.  Check it out.

Let's not forget to pray for our deacons too.  Many of them are helping out in large parishes where there is only one priest, or in parishes where one priest is divided between many parishes.  I know of priests who have such large numbers to care for that without those deacons they might otherwise crack under the pressure.

*Image at top is Fr. Eduard Perrone in Adoration in 2013 during the 40 Hours Devotion he holds each year in November at Assumption Grotto. 

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Friday, July 4, 2014

St. Francis de Sales on Zeal and False Zeal



From Chapter XVI in the Treatise on the Love of God by St. Francis de Sales.  I always think of him when I hear someone say, "nice people go to hell."

True zeal is the child of charity as being its ardour; wherefore, like to charity, it ispatient, is kind, envieth not, dealeth not perversely, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, rejoiceth in the truth. The ardour of true zeal resembles that of the huntsman, being diligent, careful, active, industrious, eager in pursuit, but without passion, anger or disquiet, for if the huntsman's work were done in anger, bad temper and vexation, it would not be so much loved and desired. Zeal in like manner has ardours which are extreme, but constant, solid, sweet, industrious, equally agreeable and untiring; whereas on the contrary, false zeal is turbulent, troubled, insolent, arrogant, choleric, transient, equally impetuous and inconstant.

There's a good piece of discernment material when trying to identify sources that will help you to build virtue.

This old work is available online. See the source chapter here.

UPDATE:

I just read, this morning, an interview of blogger, Jennifer Fulwiler, by Emily Stimpson of Our Sunday Visitor who discussed her conversion to Catholicism. She was an atheist.  Jennifer has released a book on her conversion through Ignatius Press: Something Other Than God: How I Passionately Sought Happiness and Accidentally Found It

This stood out in the interview as relevant to this post.

OSV: What did you find unhelpful along the way? What sort of things did people say or do that hindered your progress towards the Faith? 
Fulwiler: Anytime someone treated me without love, it pushed me away. At the time, I told myself that my conversion was all about data and seeking the truth, that it wasn’t about emotion. But looking back, I see that wasn’t strictly the case. I’m human, and we all long for the love of Christ, even if we don’t know how to articulate that. When people were trying to correct me or steer me on the right course, but didn’t do it in the spirit of Christ, that set me back. That happened even if what they were saying was true.

It is one thing how we treat people to their faith, but must also keep in mind that we are always "on display," for good or for bad.  When we act without virtue, in person or online, especially when talking about the faith, people see that. It can make Catholicism attractive or ugly.


For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bishop Athanasius Schneider on St. Philip Neri



The Brompton Oratory uploaded, yesterday, a sermon given there by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, ORC, back on May 26, 2014 on St. Philip Neri:

Saint Philip Neri, received the title ‘the Apostle of Rome’. This title means that he contributed through his saintly life and priestly ministry to the restoration of Christian life in Rome in a measure comparable to the work and to the spirit of the Apostles. Our Saint is known also as the ‘Saint of joy’….



*Photo at top taken at the 2009 Call to Holiness Conference in Detroit at the Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak. 

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Monday, June 30, 2014

15th Call to Holiness Conference - September 12-13, 2014 (Early Bird Prices thru August 15th)



Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron will be the keynote speaker at the 15th Call to Holiness (CTH) Conference on Saturday, September 13, 2014. There is also a dinner on September 12th (see details below).  It will all be taking place at the Sterling Inn in Sterling Heights, Michigan, where conferences were originally held in the early years of the apostolate.  There are early bird prices if you purchase your tickets through August 15th.

As a member of the Board of the Call to Holiness, I would first like to explain that it has been about one year since I first suggested this kind of conference theme to my fellow board members. I am most grateful that they found it worthy to pursue.  In fact, the board, with the thoughts and ideas that flowed in our many meetings, surpassed the vision I had for such a conference.  This dedicated group of volunteers, under President, Christopher Kolomjec, and Spiritual Director, Father Charles White IV continues to work tirelessly to make this conference possible.  Father Eduard Perrone, the original and now Emeritus Spiritual Director, remains an advisor whose guidance has been very helpful.

Before I get into the details of the conference, I would like to offer this commentary which hopefully gives greater understanding of the theme.

Commentary: Evangelization starts with evangelization of the self


The theme of the 15th Call to Holiness Conference surrounds the question: Is Sainthood Possible Today?  Its aim is to help us to discover the need for holiness and personal sanctity as part of our evangelization efforts.  Conferences can give us information, but retreats make us dig deep within ourselves.  This conference, to my mind, is more of a day of recollection - one that is intended to make us look inward at the one person we can change the most - ourselves.

We can know the Catechism of the Catholic Church well; and be proficient in things like Church history; and be capable of recalling many documents of the Church, and still not be holy.  We can go to daily Mass, pray our Rosary every day, spend time before the Blessed Sacrament, and pray the Divine Office, and still not be holy.  We can be active in the pro-life movement, work in various apostolates, and work in the parish office or sing in the choir, and still yet, not be holy.

Holiness is not automatic or something that comes from our own actions; it is a grace that comes from God.  We must learn how to predispose ourselves for this grace. We learn from the saints that holiness is fundamental for evangelizing others.  Our conduct, whether it is at home, in the work place, or at a mall, at the ball park, or online, is the witness we provide, for good or for bad.

We must mirror the love of Christ at all times - in season and out of season; in good times, and in times of great persecution. Catholics have been faced with adversity from the beginning of the Church, but what separates ordinary Catholics from the saints, is not the sword of our tongue, but heroic virtue.

While some Catholics will die for the faith in red martyrdom, the rest of us must die to ourselves in white martyrdom.  It is holiness others see in us which makes Catholicism attractive to discerning souls and it is this holiness for which there is so much hatred by the Powers and Principalities behind evil in the world (Ephesians 6:12).  With holiness, we become pure conduits for the actions of the Holy Spirit who is trying to reach others through us.  No amount of human strength or force can equal the power of the Holy Spirit working in soul. Our Lord taught us to follow him, not because he flipped tables, but because he was meek and humble of heart (Matthew 11:29).  And, as Fr. Hardon taught, meekness is not weakness.

In recent years many of us have taken an interest in our faith, getting to know the nuts and bolts of it better, and talking about them.  But, without practicing some of the more difficult virtues, we risk becoming noisy gongs and clanging cymbals in our zeal to bring others to Christ.  If we are to be countercultural, then we must learn how to counter the culture of vice, with the practice of virtue.  While there is no charity without truth; truth must be conveyed with charity.

Conferences on Friday, September 12


The Friday evening before the main conference will feature a dinner with Dr. Ray Guarendi, who will talk on Friday Night Laughter: The Sanity of Family; and, Dale Ahlquist whose talk is entitled, G.K. Chesterton and Wholeness of Holiness.


Conferences on Saturday, September 13:


Here are the speakers for Saturday. The order in which each will speak, will be shown on the brochure which I will share as soon as it is available.  

Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit - The Charity of the Heart of Christ: the Living Soul of Christian Virtue

Sr. John Dominic, O.P. - Children Learn From What They See: Why Education in Virtue is Necessary 

Fr. William Casey, C.P.M. - Humility, the Foundation of All Virtues 

Dr. Peter Kreeft - Roller Coaster Down to Hell or Patient Climb to Heaven; Your Choice 

Dr. Ray Guarendi - The Family as a Pathway to Sainthood: Standing Strong as a Parent


Youth Conference


Call to Holiness also has a youth conference with many of the same speakers Saturday, including Archbishop Vigneron. It will MC'd by Father Anthony Kathawa, who was a hit at the last youth conference.  Watch for more details.

Sunday Mass at Assumption Grotto


As is customary following the Call to Holiness Conference, on Sunday, Father Perrone is preparing to have an opportunity for people to assist at a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Noon, and it will be an orchestral Mass for which he will be conductor.  Those commuting may want to take this into account in their travel plans.

Place and Registration


15th Call to Holiness Conference
In collaboration with Ave Maria Radio
Best Western Sterling Inn • 15 Mile & Van Dyke • Sterling Heights
Friday & Saturday, September 12 - 13, 2014

Register Online By Credit Card At: cthconference2014.eventbrite.com (early bird prices in effect through August 15th, after which, the prices will go up).  Note the various options for either just the Friday night event, or just the Saturday event, and the combos.  Also note, that you can offer a donation to help sponsor a seminarian, priest or religious.  No amount is too small.   




Accommodations



This event is taking place at a hotel and conference center, the Best Western Sterling Inn. We have blocked in a number of rooms for participants of the conference, so if you register for the conference, contact the hotel and let them know you are staying for the Call to Holiness conference. Also let them know if you plan on staying through Sunday, for the Mass.

Vendors



Information forthcoming.

Help with advertising and getting the word out 


Like many non-profit apostolates made up of volunteers, Call to Holiness relies on donations and other assistance.  This includes advertising.  Brochures will be available for placement in parishes and I will post on that when I have information on how you can get them.  We always ask that you get permission of the pastor to place any material in a parish.

If you own a publication, blog or website, or use other new media with video or audio, and would like to inform others of this opportunity in Sterling Heights, please email me and I will assist you (click on my profile in the sidebar for contact info).  We have graphics which can be used conveniently on websites in development now, but don't hesitate to make a simple blogpost, for example, linking to this post, especially if you have readers within driving distance of this great conference.

We would also appreciate any donations. I will ask that a category be added for general donations to Call to Holiness eventbrite page to assist with this conference and others. Here again, a donation of just $5 when multiplied by many can add up.  You can also contact me and I will put you in touch with our treasurer, James Kortes II.

Call to Holiness Online:


Call to Holiness now has a public Facebook page which can be viewed by anyone.  If you are already on Facebook please follow or like to get updates.

You can also follow Call to Holiness on Twitter for updates.

The main website, which will soon be updated with the latest graphics and info, can be found at calltoholiness.com


For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Father Hardon on "Pharasaical Scandal"

Perhaps I heard someone declare that nice people go to hell; or suggest that people who did not go to a Corpus Christi procession were indifferent to the Eucharist (mindful of how scarce they are or whether people have ever seen one. Only in recent years are Eucharistic processions gaining popularity).  

I was poking through the Modern Catholic Dictionary online by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. when I ran across something worth pondering when encountering people who make such rash judgments about others.



Source


Jesus may have turned the tables on the money changers, but what Our Lord said to the Scribes and Pharisees should put more fear of God into us.


Here's one more thing from the Modern Catholic Dictionary: Imprudence defined:

Sins against prudence that are either by defect or by excess. Sins by defect against prudence are: rashness, which acts before due consideration has been given; thoughtlessness, which neglects to take the necessary circumstances into account; and negligence, which does not give the mind sufficient time for mature deliberation…. 

Let's build the Body of Christ with fraternal charity, not by tearing others down with contempt. Let's foster Eucharistic devotion and reverence with reverence for others.  Promoting Eucharistic reverence without fraternal charity is like trying to increase love with hatred.  Both are contradictions.


For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Converting others takes greater love for the sinner than hatred for the sin

Bishop Donald Hanchon leading a Rosary in front of an abortion mill on 8 Mile Road


In the nine years that I have been covering the Helpers of God's Precious Infants of Michigan prayer vigils in front of abortion mills in metro Detroit, I have learned a major lesson by observing Dan Goodnow and his Helpers in action: Converting others takes greater love for the sinner than hatred for the sins they commit.  There is simply no other way to explain the success they have had in getting mothers to reconsider that choice which affects the body of another, who has no choice in the matter. It  is often being urged by someone else as their only, 'hope.' From the Helpers they learn about the local crisis pregnancy centers willing to help them bring their babies to term; and they get assistance in keeping them or giving them up for adoption.  There are accounts of mothers, fathers, and grandparents bringing those children back to the abortion mill just to see the pro-life counselors outside who saved their lives.

The killing of another, especially of a baby, is among the sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance, but that vengeance belongs to God alone and we are admonished in Scripture to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:19-21).  The Helpers are not out there just for the baby; they are there out of love for the mother and for those who bring them there, as well as for the abortionist and mill workers.  This interior act of love is a conduit for the Holy Spirit.

The Helpers of God's Precious Infants are out in front of the two abortion mills on 8 Mile Road during all open hours (one in East Pointe, and the other in Detroit, just a few blocks apart with only the boulevard separating the two cities).  However, 3-4 times yearly they hold a major prayer vigil on a Saturday, usually led by one of the Detroit bishops.  The format is always the same: Mass at 7:30 AM at a local parish; participants drive to St. Veronica near the mills where they process  a few blocks to the first mill.  With only the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a Crucifix, they pray the Rosary, using walkie-talkies so everyone can hear.  All mysteries of the Rosary are prayed, not just the five of that day, as is the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  Hymn verses are sung between.  After kneeling for a moment of silence, they walk over to the second abortion mill a short distance from the first on opposite sides, continuing to pray the Rosary, then they process back to St. Veronica.  Finally, they return to the original parish, or to another local parish for Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.  Adoration takes place after Mass until participants return, for those who cannot make the walk.  Refreshments and a brief meeting is held afterwards.

This past Saturday, Auxiliary Bishop Donald Hanchon celebrated the Mass and led the vigil.  Below are a few images from the Mass, which took place at St. Basil the Great in East Pointe.











On the far right you see Fr. Tony Sulkowski, the pastor of St. Basil the Great, with Fr. Matthew and Fr. Ludwig of the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross who assist at Assumption Grotto.


Deacon Gerald Smigell, who has been active with the Helpers, reads the Gospel.



Bishop Hanchon delivers his homily...


"Women choose to take away life to make things easier… Our compassion in God's name can change their hearts. Abortion is a last ditch birth control. It is a sinister solution that enriches others...  We are right to do more than pray for the unborn… to be public. We serve one Master who is Jesus the Lord. We have no alternative… not with vengeance, but with hope in his protection, confident that God created life… life should flourish and not be extinguished…" - Bishop Donald Hanchon




Sisters of the Holy Cross take up the gifts.



Bishop Hanchon elevating the Precious Blood (Mt 26:28)



After commuting the short distance to St. Veronica's the procession begins.   The June vigil is always the lightest with summer vacations, but this was a decent turn out for June.








Here they are getting ready to cross 8 Mile Rd. For whatever reason, East Pointe police did not show up.  Usually, both Detroit and East Pointe police are there to ensure safe crossing.





















After the praying in front of the second mill, people went back to St. Basil the Great for Benediction given by Fr. Tony, the pastor.





After Benediction came refreshments and a brief meeting.






Dan Goodnow, below, is the president of the Helpers of God's Precious Infants of Michigan.  He invited people to get involved, not just at the periodic vigils, but in sidewalk prayer and sidewalk counseling.  Training is provided.  If you want to explore it more, contact me at TeDeumBlog (at) gmail (dot) com and I will put you in contact with the Helpers.








For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!

- Diane M. Korzeniewski

Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.