Thursday, April 30, 2009


Please, please pray for God to guide President Obama as he selects a candidate to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter. And please pray that God touches this individual profoundly, and guides their every decision.

How important is one supreme court justice?
The lives of one million unborn children per year hang in the balance of this decision.

President Obama's decidedly liberal personal stance is no guarantee that the justice he apppoints will vote in a liberal manner.

Souter himself is a perfect example.

Souter was a Republican appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, largely on the recommendation of New Hampshire's former Gov. John Sununu, who had become the first President Bush's chief of staff.
But Souter surprised Bush and other Republicans by joining the court's more liberal wing.

He generally votes with Stevens and the two justices who were appointed by President Bill Clinton — making up the bloc of four more liberal members of the court, a group that has usually been in the minority throughout Souter's tenure.
Please forward this request to prayer warriors everywhere.
Thank you and God Bless.

A Day in the Life of a Carmelite Monk

There is no noise for all is still, except perhaps for the wind from the canyon beating against the walls. Each room is dark and silent as the bright brilliant moon shines its glow and the stars twinkle in the heavens above. The towns and cities of Wyoming are black; every man is asleep in bed. It is 4:10 in the morning and the day for many has not yet begun, but in this silent stillness there tolls a bell for the space of a “Hail Mary” and those precious words of the new day sound from the monk’s lips, “Praised be Jesus Christ!” Many do not hear these words, but to the monks who wake to such a resounding cry the day has begun. Jesus is waiting for them in their small, poor little chapel; there is work to be done, prayers to be said and souls to be saved.

Read more here ( wow!), and please keep these dedicated servants of God in your prayers.

Rejoicing in Principle over Prestige

Harvard Law professor and former US Ambassador the the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon announced this week that she would turn down Notre Dame University's prestigious Laetare medal.

The Laetare Medal is the highest honor conferred on Catholics in the United States. For a Catholic, it has greater prestige than a Nobel Prize for a scientist or an Academy Award for an actor, as the award is given for career-long achievement, for "staying the course" in the words of St. Paul. It doesn't just showcase a single discovery or film role.

To renounce it, therefore, is not the lightest of matters.

Laetare, translated from Latin, means 'rejoice'. As in the Catholic community rejoices in your good example.

I am inspired, yet not surprised, that a woman who has dedicated her life to defending Truth concluded that she could not in good conscience accept this year's award.
God Bless you, Professor Glendon.

And thank you God, for the grace of her good example.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

For God and Country

Temptation to despair abounds at present.
The United States of America is run by a man who is doing everything in his power to violate some of the most sacred principles of the Catholic faith.

He seems capable of only spending massive amounts of money to morally and economically cripple future generations of America.

But a very smart group of people remembered that Jesus promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church.

They know that prayers from YOU could turn this country around overnight.

They know God responds to prayers from the heart by touching the most hardened of hearts.

These smart folks launched America's Prayer Campaign, an inspired initiative harnessing the power of promised prayers everywhere.

Visitors to their site make a prayer 'pledge' - rosaries, chaplets of Divine Mercy, alms giving, fasting, general prayer , etc. - offering prayers "... To Renew, Re-awaken and Restore our Nation"

"The constitution of the United States of America states clearly that we as citizens have the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Yet in this great nation that holds individual rights as supremely sacred, the most basic right, the right to life is systematically denied to its most vulnerable. Faith and God in our nation are under attack and new government policy is moving us even further down the path to atheism, secularism, and from the vision of our founding fathers.

I visited America's Prayer Campaign, and made my humble offering.

Guess what?
It was so much FUN to to offer those prayers!
I love my country. I don't want to see it destroyed with Godless secularism, socialism, immorality, greed and indifference. The United States of America desperately needs prayers. This is an opportunity for anyone, anywhere to serve this great nation of ours.
Please consider visiting America's Prayer Campaign and making a spiritual offering. Forward the link to friends and family, asking prayer warriors to join in the fight to renew the divinely inspired, Christian nation of the United States of America.

God Bless you.

God Bless America.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Totus Tuus

Today is the feast date of St. Louis de Montfort. His book True Devotion to Mary is a must-read for Catholics everywhere. Check the reviews on and you will get an idea of how the timeless message of this book continues to transform lives and hearts hundreds of years after it was written.

In his work as a preacher and author, St. Louis de Montfort spread devotion to the rosary. He knew better than most the incredible power of this glorious prayer. St. Louis de Montfort understood that when the faithful pray the rosary from the heart, miracles happen.

So St. Louis de Monfort wouldn't have been a bit surprised to learn what happened centuries later when the world's super-powers were locked in the global arms and intelligence standoff known as the Cold War.

In response to the escalating tensions between the United States and Russia, Pope John XXIII called for prayers, and a million pilgrims in Fatima held an all-night prayer vigil before the Blessed Sacrament on October 12-13, 1960. On October 24th, a bizarre accident resulted in the explosion of a new Soviet missile, killing many of their top scientists and setting back the Soviet nuclear arms program.

On May 13, 1984, one of the largest crowds in Fatima’s history gathered to pray. On the same day, a series of explosions started at Severomorsk, Russia, the site of the Soviet Union’s northern fleet. The explosions continued for five days and destroyed much of the weaponry that was stored there at the time, but fortunately the nuclear weapons and ships were missed.

Four years later, it happened again. As thousands prayed all night long on May 12, 1988 during the vigil of the anniversary of the apparition at Fatima, another major explosion shut down the Soviet Union’s only missile motor plant.

Did the faithful ask for destruction of Russia's nuclear capabilities? I don't know. But I have no doubt that many people prayed the rosary for peace during those vigils.

A testament to the awesome power of prayer.
Especially prayer of the rosary.

Even if you've never heard of St. Louis de Montfort, his motto may ring a bell. In it's entirety it reads:

Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt, O Virgo, super omnia benedicta.

which translates as:

I am all yours, and all that is mine is yours, O Virgin, blessed above all.

Sound familiar? Pope John Paul II shared St. Louis de Monfort's True Devotion to Mary, and adopted Totus Tuus as the motto of his pontificate.

with appreciation to

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bishop D' Arcy Responds to Father Jenkins

An update on the Notre Dame scandal follows. This whole mess is so sad, and is just such an unnecessary trial for the Church. I guess it is a lesson to us all on the importance of obedience and humility.

Bishop John D'Arcy released the following statement this week:

Statement to the faithful

April 21, 2009

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Recently, Father John Jenkins, CSC, in a letter of response to Bishop Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix, who had written him, critical of the decision to invite President Obama to speak and receive an honorary degree of law at Notre Dame, indicated that it was his conviction that the statement “Catholics in Political Life” (USCCB) did not apply in this matter. Father Jenkins kindly sent me a copy of his letter, and also at a later meeting, asked for a response.

In an April 15th letter to Father Jenkins, I responded to his letter.Now the points made in his letter have been sent by Father Jenkins to the members of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees and have been publicized nationally, as well as locally in the South Bend Tribune. Since the matter is now public, it is my duty as the bishop of this diocese to respond and correct. I take up this responsibility with some sadness, but also with the conviction that if I did not do so, I would be remiss in my pastoral responsibility.

Rather than share my full letter, which I have shared with some in church leadership, I prefer to present some of the key points.

1. The meaning of the sentence in the USCCB document relative to Catholic institutions is clear. It places the responsibility on those institutions, and indeed, on the Catholic community itself.“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” — “Catholics in Political Life,” USCCB.

2. When there is a doubt concerning the meaning of a document of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where does one find the authentic interpretation? A fundamental, canonical and theological principal states that it is found in the local bishop, who is the teacher and lawgiver in his diocese. — Canon 330, 375 §§ 1 & 2; 380; 381 § 1; 391 § 1; 392, & 394 §1.

3. I informed Father Jenkins that if there was any genuine questions or doubt about the meaning of the relevant sentence in the conference’s document, any competent canonist with knowledge of the tradition and love for Christ’s church had the responsibility to inform Father Jenkins of the fundamental principle that the diocesan bishop alone bears the responsibility to provide an authoritative interpretation.

4. I reminded Father Jenkins that he indicated that he consulted presidents of other Catholic universities, and at least indirectly, consulted other bishops, since he asked those presidents to share with him those judgments of their own bishops. However, he chose not to consult his own bishop who, as I made clear, is the teacher and lawgiver in his own diocese. I reminded Father Jenkins that I was not informed of the invitation until after it was accepted by the president. I mentioned again that it is at the heart of the diocesan bishop’s pastoral responsibility to teach as revealed in sacred Scripture and the tradition. (“Lumen Gentium,” 20; and “Christus Dominus,” 2.) I reminded him that it is also central to the university’s relationship to the church. (“Ex corde ecclesiae,” 27 & 28; Gen. Norm., Art. 5, §§ 1-3.)

5. Another key point. In his letter to Bishop Olmsted and in the widespread publicity, which has taken place as the points in the letter have been made public, Father Jenkins declared the invitation to President Obama does not “suggest support” for his actions, because he has expressed and continues to express disagreement with him on issues surrounding protection of life. I wrote that the outpouring of hundreds of thousands who are shocked by the invitation clearly demonstrates, that this invitation has, in fact, scandalized many Catholics and other people of goodwill. In my office alone, there have been over 3,300 messages of shock, dismay and outrage, and they are still coming in. It seems that the action in itself speaks so loudly that people have not been able to hear the words of Father Jenkins, and indeed, the action has suggested approval to many.In the publicity surrounding the points Father Jenkins has made, he also says he is “following the document of the bishops” by “laying a basis for engagement with the president on this issue.” I indicated that I, like many others, will await to see what the follow up is on this issue between Notre Dame and President Obama.

6. As I have said in a recent interview and which I have said to Father Jenkins, it would be one thing to bring the president here for a discussion on healthcare or immigration, and no person of goodwill could rightly oppose this. We have here, however, the granting of an honorary degree of law to someone whose activities both as president and previously, have been altogether supportive of laws against the dignity of the human person yet to be born.

In my letter, I have also asked Father Jenkins to correct, and if possible, withdraw the erroneous talking points, which appeared in the South Bend Tribune and in other media outlets across the country. The statements which Father Jenkins has made are simply wrong and give a flawed justification for his actions.

I consider it now settled — that the USCCB document, “Catholics in Public Life,” does indeed apply in this matter.The failure to consult the local bishop who, whatever his unworthiness, is the teacher and lawgiver in the diocese, is a serious mistake. Proper consultation could have prevented an action, which has caused such painful division between Notre Dame and many bishops — and a large number of the faithful.That division must be addressed through prayer and action, and I pledge to work with Father Jenkins and all at Notre Dame to heal the terrible breach, which has taken place between Notre Dame and the church. It cannot be allowed to continue.

I ask all to pray that this healing will take place in a way that is substantial and true, and not illusory. Notre Dame and Father Jenkins must do their part if this healing is to take place. I will do my part.

Sincerely yours in our Lord,

Most Reverend John M. D’Arcy

Friday, April 24, 2009

God Bless You, Emma

Deepest gratitude to God for the grace of Emma's heartwarming example. May He bless Pope Benedict and everyone at Make a Wish who worked to make Emma' s dream come true.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Et Tu, Georgetown?

What is it with 'Catholic' universities these days?

There are a lot of other things that my HappyToBeCatholic self would prefer to write about, but I find myself again confronted with a prestigious Catholic university honoring an undeniably pro-abortion elected official in a big way.

This time it is Georgetown, and they are honoring Vice President Joe Biden.

This is every bit as bad as the Notre Dame scandal.

Consider the following:

Biden is Obama's VP. I don't care what he says about his personal feelings about abortion, he is second in command in the most radically pro-abortion administration our country has ever seen.

Biden professes to be Catholic, yet maintains a pro-life political position despite admonition from Church authorities. Obama is not Catholic.

Georgetown is violating the USCCB 'Catholics in Political Life' directive. "...Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

Georgetown is bestowing the "Legal Momentum Hero' award on Biden tomorrow at a symposium celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Cruel irony there. Abortion is the ultimate act of violence against a woman and her unborn child.
Please pray for all involved.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No Shame at Notre Dame, Part II

Nearly seventy bishops have now have publicly expressed disapproval for Notre Dame University's decision to invite unapologetically pro-abortion President Barack Obama to deliver their upcoming commencement address. For the full list, click here.

Father John Jenkins, Notre Dame University President and Inviter-in Chief of President Obama is apparently unperturbed by the prolific and profound admonitions from the bishops, as evidenced by his comment yesterday that "(Notre Dame is)..proud and honored to welcome (Obama)...This is a tremendous event for us. We're tremendously proud."

Jenkins continued "I think it's unfortunate that the great event of President Obama coming to this campus has been a little clouded by that controversy... but we believe what we believe, and we're clear on that, but at the same time, we recognize this remarkable leader and this remarkable person who has accomplished so much."

Accomplishments? Let me list them for you in case you missed them.

  1. Gave the Queen of England an Ipod

  2. Befriended Hugo Chavez

  3. Rescinded the Mexico City policy on his second day in office

  4. Lifted the ban on fetal stem cell research

  5. Fired the Chairman of GM

  6. Spent more money in two weeks than we can ever hope to repay

Jenkins gushed "He will speak to our graduates in such a powerful way. He's one of our great orators of our time, and we're just so proud to have him."

Speech was my college major. Do you know who else was often referred to as one of the greatest orators of all time?

Adolf Hitler.

He didn't value life either.

Mass of Reparation

The Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski, Bishop of Orlando, is offering a Mass of Reparation to atone for Notre Dame University's invitation and intent to confer an honorary degree on anti-life extremist President Barack Obama.

All are invited to attend, please spread the word. If Orlando is too long a journey, please consider asking your diocese to consider a similar Mass.

A statement from the Diocese of Orlando follows:

As Catholics we are aware of the many shortcomings and transgressions committed against the dignity and sacredness of human life in our world. That is why it is inconceivable that the University of Notre Dame, a Catholic institution of higher learning, should receive and honor anyone who promotes policies that are contradictory to who we are as a people of faith.

As our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI stated in his visit to the U.S. last year in reference to Catholic university presidents, "to justify positions that contradict the faith and teaching of the church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission."

Mass of Reparation

May 3 at 6:00 p.m. Cathedral of St. James 215 N. Orange Avenue

Downtown Orlando

Come and pray with Bishop Wenski for all of our transgressions against the Gospel of Life.

Reparation is the making amends for a wrong done or for an offense against God. By his death on the cross, the Son of God offered his life out of love for the Father to make reparation for our sinful disobedience (CCC #614).
We are obliged to make reparation for personal sins against justice and truth (CCC #2412 and #2487).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Divine Mercy Sunday!!!

I begin this post with apologies for not posting the ninth day of the novena, the very important day that Jesus asked us to bring him the Lukewarm Souls. I wasn't able to get to my computer, hopefully you were able to find the prayers elsewhere on the Internet.

Now, about today.

Divine Mercy Sunday!!!

Today Our wonderful, loving and MERCIFUL Lord opens the floodgates of heaven.

The promises are so BIG, so bold and so wonderful that I don't dare try and describe them myself...instead I quote Our Lord himself from St. Faustina's Diary. (699)

My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy.

There is one more thing. In order to receive God's mercy, we must be merciful to others. We must live His example.

We are not only to receive the mercy of God, but to use it by being merciful to others through our actions, our words, and our prayers; in other words, we are to practice the Corporal and Spiritual Works (Acts) of Mercy.
The Lord wants us to do these works of mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no use without works.

What are the Works of Mercy?

Corporal Works

Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Shelter the homeless
Comfort the prisoners
Visit the sick
Bury the dead

Spiritual Works

Teach the ignorant
Pray for the living & dead
Correct sinners
Counsel those in doubt
Console the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently
Forgive wrongs willingly

Jesus' Call to Mercy

"I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it.
I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor:the first — by deed, the second — by word, the third — by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy.

Many souls ... are often worried because they do not have the material means with which to carry out an act of mercy. Yet spiritual mercy, which requires neither permissions nor storehouses, is much more meritorious and is within the grasp of every soul.

If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasure for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall My judgment with their mercy" (1317).
with appreciation to the Marians of the Immaculate Conception

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Divine Mercy Novena, Day Eight

Divine Mercy Novena
Eighth Day

"Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory,
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion.


Divine Mercy Novena, Day Seven

Divine Mercy Novena
Seventh Day

Today bring to Me the Souls who especially venerate and glorify My Mercy*,
and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over my Passion and entered most deeply into My spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God:Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory.


*The text leads one to conclude that in the first prayer directed to Jesus, Who is the Redeemer, it is "victim" souls and contemplatives that are being prayed for; those persons, that is, that voluntarily offered themselves to God for the salvation of their neighbor (see Col 1:24; 2 Cor 4:12). This explains their close union with the Savior and the extraordinary efficacy that their invisible activity has for others. In the second prayer, directed to the Father from whom comes "every worthwhile gift and every genuine benefit,"we recommend the "active" souls, who promote devotion to The Divine Mercy and exercise with it all the other works that lend themselves to the spiritual and material uplifting of their brethren.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Divine Mercy Novena, Day Six

The other day my two year old daughter tugged on my hair. I was about to scold her when I saw that she was actually reaching for the crucifix I wear around my neck.

She leaned in to kiss it and then smiled sweetly at me.

No wonder the souls of children bring Jesus so much joy.

Divine Mercy Novena

Sixth Day

Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages.


Novena prayers may be followed by the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Divine Mercy Day Five, Divided States of America?

President Obama would have the world believe that, despite our name, we are a nation divided.

The proffered premise: he represents a nation of fractured faith, certainly not a Christian nation. Jesus can't unite America, or the world for that matter, but he can.


A recent Newsweek poll of 1,003 American adults found that 62 percent consider the United States to be Christian.

You will recall that Barack Obama won the election with 52.92% of the vote, not quite ten percent less than Jesus.

So, who better represents America?

However misleading his remarks, Obama does highlight a good point. The world is full of division.

One need look no further than Notre Dame University to see examples of division within our own faith. Interestingly enough, the Greek roots of the English word diabolic is 'to divide' or 'to tear apart'

Jesus is pained by division in the Church. He revealed that to St. Faustina when He asked that today we bring Him all the souls who have left the faith or those who deliberately disturb harmony in the Church.

But find solace in His words " As they return to the Church my wounds heal..."

Divine Mercy Novena

Fifth Day

"Today bring to Me the Souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church*,
and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages.


*Our Lord's original words here were "heretics and schismatics," since He spoke to Saint Faustina within the context of her times. As of the Second Vatican Council, Church authorities have seen fit not to use those designations in accordance with the explanation given in the Council's Decree on Ecumenism (n.3). Every pope since the Council has reaffirmed that usage. Saint Faustina herself, her heart always in harmony with the mind of the Church, most certainly would have agreed. When at one time, because of the decisions of her superiors and father confessor, she was not able to execute Our Lord's inspirations and orders, she declared: "I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus " I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me" (497). The Lord confirmed her action and praised her for it.

Biased Reporting Smackdown

No, it is not your imagination.

There really is an anti-Catholic bias in many mainstream media venues.

Reverend Thomas J. Paprocki, auxiliary bishop of Chicago agrees. And he's not going to take it anymore.

The Chicago Tribune today ran a letter to the editor written by Bishop Paprocki, calling attention to the paper's long and not-so-secret history of anti-Catholicism.

History provides helpful perspective here. In the post World War II Nuremberg trials, hatemonger tabloid publisher Julius Streicher was viewed by the court to have committed worse crimes than the soldiers in the concentration camps.

The judgement against him, reads in part:

"In his... articles, week after week, month after month, he infected the German mind with the virus of anti-Semitism, and incited the German people to active persecution... "

"In its extent Streicher's crime is probably greater and more far-reaching than that of any of the other defendants. The misery which they caused ceased with their capture.

The effects of this man's crime, of the poison that he has put into the minds of millions of young boys and girls will continue on for years to come, since he concentrated so much of his hatred for the Jews upon the youth and childhood of Germany.

He leaves behind him a legacy in print, that swayed the hearts of thousands of people poisoning them with hate... Those thousands will remain a problem and perhaps even a menace to the rest of civilization for generations to come."

Streicher was found guilty of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial and sentenced to death on October 1, 1946.

Is the venerable Chicago Tribune comparable to Julius Streicher's hateful tabloid Der Stürmer? Of course not.

Der Stürmer was an obnoxious, lie-filled instrument of genocide. It's hateful rhetoric was over the top.

The Tribune's anti-Catholic bias is more subtle. Instead of hate speech, it is more of a hate whisper.

Both are journalistic crimes. Both are dangerous. And I would argue, both are immoral.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Appreciating God-Given Talent

All talent is God given.

Seems obvious enough, but more often than not I forget that.

But every once in a while, we are treated to a display of talent so pure and so uncontrived that one knows instantly that God's precious gifts are on full display.

I once saw the original painting of Van Gogh's Irises. I appreciate art, but had never been moved by it. I recall rounding a corner, looking up and seeing it there on the wall in front of me. I gasped. It literally took my breath away. It didn't register that I was in a museum, or that it was an original Van Gogh or that it was a painting of which I had seen countless reproductions. It was just...breathtaking. And for a moment, time stood still.
Since that time, I've seen other original work by the Masters - including Da Vinci and Rubens - but nothing has affected me in the same way.

Tonight I happened on an Internet site that told the story of a British woman called Susan Boyle who recently appeared on the television program Britain's Got Talent ( looks similar to American Idol). Ms. Boyle is 47, unemployed and lives alone with her cat Pebbles. She spent much of the recent past caring for her widowed mother. Neighborhood children make fun of her and the judges on Britain's Got Talent seemed barely able to repress snickers as she introduced herself on their program.

And then she began to sing.

It felt like I was seeing Irises again for the first time.

And I thanked God, because I knew without a doubt, it was a gift from Him.

One more happy thing - Ms. Boyle is a devout Roman Catholic. It was reported that her fellow parishioners gave her a standing ovation upon returning home.

More on Mercy!

Just a quickie, I am so looking forward to the upcoming Feast of Divine Mercy and I wanted to share more info.

Here's background on the graces Our Lord says are waiting for all who approach Him with a sincere heart that day...

The Extraordinary Graces of Divine Mercy Sunday

According to the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, Jesus Christ made a special promise, which she was to communicate to the whole world:

My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy(Diary, 699).

In three places in her Diary, St. Faustina records a promise from our Lord of specific, extraordinary graces He will make available through the devout reception of Holy Communion on this Feast Day; truly a "whole ocean of graces" is contained in these promises:

I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy (1109).

Whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (300).

The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (699).

More information on how to prepare for this spectacular feast can be found here.

Divine Mercy Novena, Day Four

Thomas, who doubted the Risen Christ even though he saw Him with his own eyes, probably offers special prayers for the souls we bring to Jesus today.

This novena is so very, very powerful. And if there ever was a day to ask Jesus for forgiveness, to ask for His is fast approaching.

He showers us with mercy every day, of course. But on Mercy Sunday...the floodgates are open.

Divine Mercy Novena

The Fourth Day

"Today bring to Me those who do not believe in God and those who do not know Me,
I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy."

Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages.

*Our Lord's original words here were "the pagans." Since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, the Church has seen fit to replace this term with clearer and more appropriate terminology.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is Risen!

Happy Easter!!!

What a spectacular day.

Can you imagine the joy, the wonder, the absolute awe that the apostles and Our Lady felt to be in the presence of the risen Lord?

How do we as Christians ever thank the Father, Son and Holy Spirit enough for something so loving, so profound and so awesome as the Passion, death and resurrection?

A good start is to continue the Divine Mercy Novena.

Our Lord specifically requested we say this prayer. And on Easter Sunday, he asked that we bring him the souls of the faithful.

This prayer may be followed by the Divine Mercy chaplet.

Third Day

"Today bring to Me all Devout and Faithful Souls,
and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness."

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Divine Mercy Novena, Day Two

Today is Holy Saturday

At this point in time, the Apostles were probably a little overwhelmed. Their Lord had been crucified, betrayed by own of their own. This was the first day He was not physically present among them. It had to be very unsettling.

But they were comforted in their belief that He would rise again.

A fitting day to pray for priests and religious everywhere.

I imagine at times priests of today feel very much like the apostles did on that uncertain first Holy Saturday.

Overwhelmed. Unsettled.

They have lived through the betrayal of Our Lord by some of their own.

And they have faith that He will come again.

Divine Mercy Novena, Day Two

Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:
"These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.' The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy."

In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:
"On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy ... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls."

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy may also be offered each day for the day's intention, but is not strictly necessary to the Novena.

Second Day

"Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious,
and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind."

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard -- upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end.


* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun "us" since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday: Day of Mercy

Good Friday

The day Our Lord suffered and died for us.

Suffering unimaginably, willingly, even gladly... until death. All because he loves you.

The greatest victory world will ever know.

How can we ever thank Him enough?

A few suggestions...

Obey His Father's commandments.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Pray, fast and pray some more.

Love and honor His Mother and Foster Father.

Pick up your cross and follow Jesus.

and finally

tell everyone you can about His mercy!

Which brings me to the fact that one of the Church's most powerful novenas begins today

The Divine Mercy Novena.

Please join in this magnificent prayer!

Background ( courtesy

Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday.

He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:

"These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.' The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy."

In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:

"On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy ... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls."

Prayer for Today, Good Friday

"Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners,
and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Mercy for Binghamton

Please take a moment to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the victims of the hostage situation in Binghamton.

Thank you.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Santo! Santo!

Today marks the 4th anniversary of the death of our beloved Pope John Paul II.

Hard to say how much he means to the world. He loved Truth. He loved freedom. He lived to advance the cause of both, and we loved him for it.

Thank you Jesus for the grace of his example.

Serdecznie dziękuję , Papa. We love you. We pray for your canonization, and pray that you continue to intercede for the Church and people everywhere.

Salt and Light TV has a beautiful tribute here.

Sixty-two and Counting...

In case anyone is keeping track, sixty-two bishops have publicly expressed disapproval of Notre Dame University's decision to invite pro-abortion, pro-fetal stem cell research President Barack Obama to speak and receive an honorary degree.

In alphabetical order, following Notre Dame's diocesan authority Bishop John D'ARcy, the bishops are:

1. Bishop John D'Arcy - Fort Wayne-South Bend, IN
2. Bishop Samuel Aquila - Fargo, ND
3. Bishop Gregory Aymond - Austin, TX
4. Bishop Gerald Barbarito - Palm Beach, FL
5. Bishop Leonard Blair - Toledo, OH
6. Archbishop Daniel Buechlein - Indianapolis, IN
7. Bishop Robert Baker - Birmingham, AL
8. Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz - Lincoln, NE
9. Archbishop Eusebius Beltran - Oklahoma City, OK
10. Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Cantú - San Antonio, TX
11. Archbishop Charles Chaput - Denver, CO
12. Bishop Paul Coakley - Salina, KS
13. Bishop Edward Cullen - Allentown, PA
14. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo - Houston, TX
15. Archbishop Timothy Dolan - New York, NY
16. Bishop Thomas Doran - Rockford, IL
17. Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty - Scranton, PA
18. Bishop Robert Finn - Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO
19. Bishop Joseph Galante - Camden, NJ
20. Bishop Victor Galeone - St. Augustine, FL
21. Cardinal Francis George - Chicago, IL; President, USCCB
22. Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger - Evansville, IN
23. Archbishop José Gomez - San Antonio, TX
24. Bishop Bernard Harrington - Winona, MN
25. Bishop Robert Hermann - St. Louis, MO
26. Bishop William Higi - Lafayette, IN
27. Archbishop Alfred Hughes - New Orleans, LA
28. Bishop Michael O. Jackels - Wichita, KS
29. Bishop James V. Johnston - Springfield-Cape Girardeau, MO
30. Bishop Peter Jugis - Charlotte, NC
31. Bishop Joseph Latino - Jackson, MS
32. Bishop John LeVoir - New Ulm, MN
33. Bishop Jerome Listecki - La Crosse, WI
34. Bishop William E. Lori - Bridgeport, CT
35. Bishop Paul Loverde - Arlington, VA
36. Bishop George Lucas - Springfield, IL
37. Bishop Robert Lynch - St. Petersburg, FL
38. Bishop Joseph Martino - Scranton, PA
39. Bishop John McCormack - Manchester, NH
40. Bishop Robert Morlino - Madison, WI
41. Bishop William Murphy - Rockville Centre, NY
42. Bishop George Murry - Youngstown, OH
43. Archbishop John J. Myers - Newark, NJ
44. Archbishop Joseph Naumann - Kansas City, KS
45. Bishop R. Walker Nickless - Sioux City, IA
46. Archbishop John C. Nienstedt - St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN
47. Archbishop Edwin O'Brien - Baltimore, MD
48. Bishop Thomas Olmsted - Phoenix, AZ
49. Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk - Cincinnati, OH
50. Bishop Reymundo Pena - Brownsville, TX
51. Bishop Glen Provost - Lake Charles, LA
52. Cardinal Justin Rigali - Philadelphia, PA; Chairman, USCCB Pro-Life Committee
53. Bishop Kevin Rhoades - Harrisburg, PA
54. Bishop Alexander Sample - Marquette, MI
55. Bishop Edward J. Slattery - Tulsa, OK
56. Bishop Richard Stika - Knoxville, TN
57. Bishop Anthony Taylor - Little Rock, AR
58. Bishop Robert Vasa - Baker, OR
59. Bishop Michael Warfel - Great Falls-Billings, MT
60. Bishop Thomas Wenski - Orlando, FL
61. Archbishop Donald Wuerl - Washington, D.C.
62. Bishop David Zubick - Pittsburgh, PA

Archbishop Beltran said this in a letter to Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins:

"... President Obama has publicly and ruthlessly affronted the Catholic Church of America during the short time of his presidency. His single-handed actions have totally reversed decades of successes of the Church in the prolife cause. Needless to say, he deserves no honor or recognition from Notre Dame or any other Catholic institution."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tipping My Hat to Cardinal George

Francis Cardinal George wears two hats, and I am not just referring to his mitre and biretta. He has one as the Archbishop of Chicago and the other as head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

It was in his role as the latter that Francis Cardinal George spoke in grave terms about the 'extreme embarrassment' Notre Dame University has caused Catholics everywhere.

He is referring to the University's decision to invite President Barack Obama to deliver the 2009 commencement address. To add insult to injury, the University bearing the name of the Mother of Our Lord has also decided to confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on the most anti-life President the United States has ever had.


Thanks to Franics Cardinal George and the USCCB for taking a stand on this issue.

Please take a minute and follow the links in this story if you would like to join the nearly 240,000 people who have recorded their objections thus far.

First Saturday

The first day of a month means a first Saturday is right around the corner...

A wonderful opportunity to take part in the FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTION

If you're not familiar with this devotion, it is a wonderful practice that Our Lady specifically implored us to do!

First Saturday Devotion

The desire for a First Saturday devotion revealed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three children at Fatima in 1917.


To establish devotion (in accordance with God's wishes) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and to make reparation for...

1. Attacks upon the reality of Mary's Immaculate Conception

2. Attacks against her the reality of Mary's Perpetual Virginity

3. Attacks upon Mary's Divine Maternity and the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all mankind

4. Those who try to publicly implant in children's hearts indifference, contempt and hatred for Immaculate Mary

5. For those who insult Mary directly in her sacred images.


The devotion involves the following practices on five consecutive first Saturdays with the specific intention of making reparation for the offenses (above) against the Blessed Virgin.

1. Go to Confession (within 8 days before or after the first Saturday)

2. Receive Holy Communion

3. Recite five decades of the Rosary*

4. "Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary" (separate from the Rosary itself)* (*Preferably done in the presence of the Lord in the Tabernacle or at Exposition)


1. The Virgin Mary's assistance at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation for those who practice the devotion.

2. Salvation of souls and peace as a result of promoting of the Devotion to the Immaculate Heart.

with appreciation to