Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another Convert to Catholicism

Another protestant jumps the Tiber. Give George here a Catholic Bloggers Welcome Home!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Feast of St. Francis DeSales

Today is the feast day of Saint Francis DeSales. I like to think of him as the patron saint of this blog because of his desire and success in winning back fallen away Catholics to the Catholic faith. In the age before mass media and printed materials, he hand wrote tracks and slipped them under the doors of Calvinists in Switzerland and eventually won 60,000 back to the faith. He eventually was made bishop of Geneva.
He wrote a series of apologetic tracts which have been collected under the title called Catholic Controversies which I have blogged about before. Here is the link. Here's a snippet:

"Are you not aware that one of your greatest ministers teaches that the body of our Lord is as far from the Lord's Supper as heaven is from earth, and are you not likewise aware that this is held to be false by many others? Has not one of your ministers lately confessed the reality of Christ's body in the Supper, and do not the rest deny it? Can you deny me that as regards Justification you are as much divided against one another as you are against us:-witness that anonymous controversialist. In a word, each man has his own language, and out of as many Huguenots as I have spoken to I have never found two of the same belief.

But the worst is, you are not able to come to an agreement:-for where will you find a trusted arbitrator? You have no head upon earth to address yourselves to in your difficulties; you believe that the very Church can err herself and lead others into error: you would not put your soul into such unsafe hands; indeed, you hold her in small account. The Scripture cannot be your arbiter, for it is concerning the Scripture that you are in litigation, some of you being determined to have it understood in one way, some in another. Your discords and your disputes are interminable, unless you give in to the authority of the Church. Witness the Colloquies of Lunehourg, of Malbron, of Montbeliard, and that of Berne recently. Witness Titman, Heshusius and Erastus, to whom I add Brenz and Bullinger. Take the great division there is amongst you about the number of the Sacraments. Now, and ordinarily amongst you, only two are taught; Calvin made three, adding to Baptism and the Supper, Order; Luther here puts Penance for the third, then says there is but one : in the end, the Protestants, at the Colloquy of Ratisbonne, at which Calvin assisted, as Beza testifies in his life, confessed that there were seven Sacraments. How is it you are divided about the article of the almightiness of God? -one party denying that a body can by the divine power be in two places, others denying absolute almightiness; others make no such denials. But if I would show you the great contradictions amongst those whom Beza acknowledges to be glorious reformers of the Church, namely, Jerome of Prague, John Hus, Wycliff, Luther, Bucer, Cecolampadius, Zuingle(Zwingli), Pomeranius and the rest, I should never come to an end Luther can sufficiently inform you as to the good harmony there is amongst them, in the lamentation which he makes against the Zwinglians and Sacramentarians, whom he calls Absaloms and Judases, and fanatic spirits (in the year 1527)."

Sister Mary Finnick and The Matthew 25 House

The Matthew 25 House is the Haitian arm of the Parish Twinning Program of the Americas. It was through the Matt 25 House that we were able to first establish our connection with Fr. Andrew and St. Simon and Jude Parish, just a short distance away. Sister Mary in the video chose to work in Haiti instead of retirement when her order of sisters said she could retire from her nursing education career.(She has a PhD in education)

Today we boxed up lots of antibiotics and pain relievers and oral rehydration salts (we had in our basement for our upcoming trip) and were able to give them to a team from NYC that is leaving tonite for PAP along with a bishop and 4 doctors. They are going to to relieve the team at the Matthew 25 House.
Aid is slowly getting to the people in the most unusual ways. God be praised!

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Another Update From Father Andrew in Haiti

Things are still pretty bad in Delmas, Port-Au-Prince. The aid from the airport has yet to get to the community of St. Simon Jude, a mere 3 miles away. That is very disturbing, given what we have seen in the news regarding the amounts of aid flown in.

From Fr. Andrew:

We laid the good archbishop to rest today. the funeral service was very moving, in front of the ruined cathedral. Thousands of people and close to a hundred clergy, most of us standing in the sun, to pray together for this country.
What was more painful was the remains of the choir members trapped at the door. Their bodies haven't been recovered and can be visibly seen at the side-door of the cathedral.
Then I went to the UN base at the airport and blessed the remains of the wife a high ranking UN military personal. His wife and son were vacationing in Haiti.
There I was able to talk to the head of the UN responsible for relief operations. He promised me to visit the parish (this afternoon) or tomorrow to bring food and water. He was an American major, I told him we are now beyond medical intervention, people are need of food and water. I will pray that he will honor his promise to deliver food and water to the parish.
To those of you who visited the parish. The garbage site - future site of the clinic- is full of evacuees, I estimate about 1000 people in there. Then the school compound where we use to park our car - about 400 people, and further up the church, a football field with over a 1000 evacuees. So far, I was able to secure few bundles of drinking water. My resources are so limited. I bought drinking water for about 100 families and ordered 2 trucks of water for school-site.
At the rectory, I still have about 50 people. Most of them are now at the provinces. But these 50 people most probably will stay here till things are in order in the city. It may takes a long while though. Although, their presence at my rectory compound gives some sense of security.
There's no way we can access our banks at the moment. Some banks are suppose to open next week, but as foreigners we are a bit hesitant to go to the banks. Western Union and other money transfer offices opened 2 days ago, but the line could extends to miles away. It most catered Haitians with families abroad sending them money. These agencies could not afford to give out substantial amounts.
For now, keep praying for us.
Father Andrew

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Top Prospect for the Oakland A's Enters Seminary


Walk away from a possible million dollar sports career? Turn your back on your lifelong dream? Check this out.
Yep, Grant Desme has chosen a higher calling. Outfielder to Catholic priest. I suspect that he will be responsible for influencing a number of vocations in the years to come. God bless him. St. John Vianney, pray for him.

The Archbishop of Port-Au-Prince Is Laid To Rest



Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

May he rest in peace.

Amen.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Gospel and the Haitians


"Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?" James 2:5

I received an e-mail from a friend today telling of a Christian physician volunteering in Haiti who....

"helped 80 critical, post-op patients, who will likely die anyway...she got to deliver the gospel message and minister to many."

This got me thinking about the spirituality of the Haitian people. I have participated in many medical clinics over the years and have found them to be Christians with a deep faith despite facing a life of overwhelming suffering. There are always exceptions, but by and large, these people cling to God and trust him for every little crumb of their daily bread that falls from the table. Can I prove this? No, I can't, but listen to the stories on the news. Watch the people marching through the streets singing hymns. Listen to the words of the survivors trapped under the rubble for days at a time. Hoping, trusting and praying to the Lord. They say there are no atheists in foxholes and the Haitian people have been trapped in a foxhole of the violence of unimaginable poverty. Here's a quote from a woman who was trapped under the rubble with her daughter for over a week, who watched her daughter slowly die:

I consoled my daughter, and we started singing. We sang, "Keep me, keep me, God of love, give me a safe place to stay close to you. Let me find a place to hide behind you, and I know you will never leave me." I told God, "If it is your will for me to die, send your angels to come get me and receive me into your kingdom, but if your will is for me to stay alive, keep me alive so I can testify to the miracles you've performed in my life." I just sang and prayed to God to let me live so that I could live a spiritual life for him.

Do the folks in Haiti need the gospel preached to them right now in the midst of this tragedy upon tragedy? No, I don't think so. I think they understand and relate much more to the life and suffering of the poor carpenter from Nazareth than we can begin to imagine. They need our love, support, prayers and cups of cold water given to them in the name of Jesus. In my song, Jewel of the Caribbean I tried to express my awe for their faith: "I don't think that I deserve to tie your shoes until I have walked a mile in your shadows." I believe the Haitian people will teach us what it means to live out the gospel and truly trust God in the worst of circumstances. Indeed, it was the result of my first trips to Haiti that caused me to re-examine my life and down-size and learn to appreciate more with less and change my priorities.

Father Scanlon wrote this in an article as a result of his time ministering in rural Mexico.

In hearing the gospel the poor have discovered the richness of God's love and the value of their own lives. That wisdom ennobles them as well as enables them. It enables them to be free in spirit no matter how burdened in body. No need for them to wait for their "pie in the sky" to make this world bearable. It is bearable because the poor carpenter from Nazareth chose to be their blood-brother. In their poverty they lay claim to a special identity and intimacy reserved to God's privileged ones. The first shall be last. The depossessed will be repossessed. Being God's preferential choice, they will be in the kingdom before us to welcome us as we straggle in. Since in some measure our industrialist/capitalist ways helped put them there, they will surely welcome us and forgive us. Although we must energetically dedicate ourselves to battle poverty and injustice, at the same time we must be humble enough to concede that it is the impoverished who enrich us and gift us with more than we can offer in return. Part of their gift is the invitation to share in their kingdom.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God."


St. Vincent: A Non-Bible Burning Catholic

Today the Universal Church remembers St. Vincent who St. Augustine preached about. Saint Vincent was a deacon in the Church in the early 4th century during one of the Roman persecutions.
He was imprisoned for his faith and tortured. The governor offered to set him free if he was willing to burn his "sacred books." This was 303 AD, so obviously the Bible as we know it was not yet collected into its present number and canonized. Yet, some of these "sacred books" of Saint Vincent's were no doubt books of sacred scripture and he chose death rather than allow the written Word of God be destroyed.

Next time you are told that Catholics burned bibles in the medieval ages to prevent the common folk from learning about faith, tell'm about Saint Vincent!
Check out my post on Catholic Bible Burners.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

March For Life 2010

Since 1973, on the anniversary of Roe vs Wade thousands of us will once again descend on Washington DC to register our displeasure with the US government for legalizing the murder of unborn humans. I remember the days when the president would get on the phone and address the crowd. That won't be happening this year and the main-stream media will once-again ignore the event.

The Catholic Church in the US considers this as a day of prayer and penance for the sake of the lives lost and hope that abortion will come to an end. Tomorrow, we can all join our hearts together in prayer and send a message to our government that 37 years later we protest this legalized holocaust in America.

As an aside, I enjoy the unity among different faiths that occurs on this March, where one sees Lutherans, Orthodox, Methodists, Catholics marching side by side for the Gospel of Life. The Franciscan friars in their sandals and bare feet in freezing temperatures is always a sight to see!
Hopefully, pics will follow from our trip.

Update: I brought home a little gastrointestinal virus from the nursing home which manifested itself in the middle of the night. Will be watching and praying from home this year :(

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oral Contraception and Breast Cancer Again.

I blogged about this 3 years ago here. For the past ten or more years several studies have come out that have shown the link between OC use and breast cancer. These studies have been ignored by the MSM as well as most of the scientific community. A study funded by the federal government has now just once again shown the link. This study has been out for 8 months now. Have you read about it in the newspaper or seen it on the news?
Interesting that the rate of breast cancer is rising dramatically and everyone has a loved one affected and no one says "what's going on?" There are Susan Komen marches/collections/ribbons/markers everywhere now. "Breast cancer awareness" is now become part of our modern lexicon.
But will "The explosion of Breast Cancer is caused by young teenagers being given oral contraceptives" become a part of our lexicon? It doesn't look like that's going to happen any time soon.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Elderly Woman Rescued from the Cathedral!


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7 days spent buried under the collapsed Church. When they found her she was singing. What amazing faith!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Report from Port-Au-Prince

Jacqueline has been my translator for the past 2 trips to Haiti. I reached him by e mail and this was his response today:

Thank you in advance Russ. Whatever you can do for a person in Haiti right now would count for a million. In Port au Prince right now, there is no rich people. Everyone's hurt and we are in the same bold pack. Let me tell you for now, I have nothing in my apartment we can call food or money. We ran out of food since last weekend, This morning My sister woke me up at 7am and told me that we no longer have gas in the tank to run the stove. We have no water, nor soap. We are out of everything.

Most of the offices are destroyed. The ones that are not are still closed. The street is smelly, i am so afraid getting on the streets. Everyone is complaining of hunger. There are a lot of help but only young man who are strong and can fight are able to get some. Lots of people are heading to their countrysides which is the best thing they can do. Communication is very difficult, the price for food and all products are doubled.

Coming in Haiti with a group of mission is not a good idea for now. Maybe by March, I would suggest. But I would also suggest you discuss that with Fr. Andrew and some other folks to see what's possible.

As for myself, Food, water and money are my priorities....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Satan Objects to Pat Robertson's Comments

Regarding Pat Robertson's recent comments about Haiti's earthquake, apparently the devil didn't care for them. Check this out from the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

"Dear Pat Robertson,

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I'm all over that action.

But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I'm no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished.

Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth -- glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven't you seen "Crossroads"? Or "Damn Yankees"?

If I had a thing going with Haiti, there'd be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox -- that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it -- I'm just saying: Not how I roll.

You're doing great work, Pat, and I don't want to clip your wings -- just, come on, you're making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That's working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.

Best, Satan"

Church in Haiti



I have read many times that Haiti is 90% Catholic but 100% Voodoo. I have not seen this in the Catholic Church in Haiti in my experiences there and do wonder about the origins of this statement.

Haitians gather outside the destroyed cathedral for mass on Sunday

Be Proud To Be Catholic

"Be Proud to be Catholic," ironically, written by a Jewish man!

Sam Miller, prominent Cleveland Jewish businessman (NOT a Catholic) in a speech March 6, 2008 said:

Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States, namely the Catholic Church? Do you know - the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to your Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. Your graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%, all at a cost to you. To the rest of the Americans it's free.
The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students. The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people - not just Catholics - in the United States today.
But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.
Let me give you some figures that you as Catholics should know and remember. For example, 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the United Methodist Church , 41.8 % of clergywomen reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed. Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia. {10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia.}* This is not a Catholic Problem.
A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.
The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been totally weeded out by now.
Walk with your shoulders high and you head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the United States. Then remember what Jeremiah said: 'Stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls'. Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions. Be proud that you're a Catholic.

Reprinted excerpts with permission of the Buckeye Bulletin - courtesy of Brookside Council #3297, Cleveland Diocese.

Update 4/30/10 *Please Note: Sam Miller's statement of 10% of protestant ministers being guilty of pedophilia has not been substantiated and Philip Jenkins research does not support this number. I apologize to all my readers for passing on this incorrect information. Thanks to Rob Pollak in the combox for bringing this to my attention.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More Good News from Haiti

Tom Kardish our team leader from the November 2009 trip just passed this on:

Great news - please forward .
Received word from Fr Andrew directly! As some of us thought/feared he was saying Mass when the earthquake hit - at the consecration! Contrary to earlier reports rectory and church intact; security walls down; fr andrew still sleeping in his car. all the people we know survived and fr andrew has sent them to the countryside. he does not have access to internet much if at all; phones are very sporadic.

The community of St Jude parish has been totally destroyed and is littered with dead bodies. Fr Andrew has been a one man medical clinic at the church during the day (thankfully he has some supplies from our leftovers) and the rectory grounds are full of refugees and members of the filipino community. his fellow missionaries are in fact at the formation house. He says he doesn't know where to begin.

I let him know he is in our prayers, and to let us know what (medical/construction) he needs us to do and when and we will be there. Thanks so much for all your interest support and prayers.

I am sure you are all overjoyed as am I.
Peace
Tom

Good News From Haiti

(Our last mass with Fr. Andrew Nov 21)

One of our medical team members received a cell phone call from a member of Fr. Andrew's parish where we have our mission. The members of the Church are OK and Fr. Andrew and his household are all right! Thank you God for your mercy.
They are sleeping outside and need food and supplies.

Donations can be sent directly to Fr. Andrew and St. Simon Jude Parish by making checks out to Missionhurst and include "Fr. Labatorio/Haiti" in the memo line. Thanks so much.


Mail Checks to:

Missionhurst-CICM
4651 North 25th Street
Arlington, VA 22207

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Redeem Us O Lord

Today's Responsorial Psalm
44:10-11, 14-15, 24-25
R. (27b) Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.
Yet now you have cast us off and put us in disgrace,
and you go not forth with our armies.
You have let us be driven back by our foes;
those who hated us plundered us at will.
R. Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.
You made us the reproach of our neighbors,
the mockery and the scorn of those around us.
You made us a byword among the nations,
a laughingstock among the peoples.
R. Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.
Why do you hide your face,
forgetting our woe and our oppression?
For our souls are bowed down to the dust,
our bodies are pressed to the earth.
R. Redeem us, Lord, because of your mercy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More Sad News From Haiti


I have been going to Haiti almost yearly since 1997. We were hosted by an elderly Haitian woman named Se Tata who opened her home and heart to us each week we were there. We worked in the church of Pastor Bienne Lamerique who allowed us to care for his parishioners these past years and was a kind and godly man. He would take time out of his incredibly busy schedule to translate for me in the clinic we set up in his church.

Here's a note from Tom Kardish, who has accompanied me on missions to Shiloh Baptist and to St.Simon and Jude Church these past two years.

Se Tata's house (Juanita Joseph, age 80 approx) completely collapsed and she is presumed dead. Her house may have been the most solid structure I was in while in Haiti so I'm surprised. We would be awakened before dawn each morning by her singing hymns at the top of her lungs. We would then shuffle-off down stairs to her morning psalms and singing. She called us all "my son" "my daughter". She made a good life in Port-Au-Prince despite being longtime a widow. On tuesdays we would be sent out of Port au Prince for our "day off" as she could not look after us - she would go off preaching the gospel out in the town or country side. Her son is a pastor in Boston.

Pastor Bienne L'Amerique, the baptist pastor whose church and school we did mission work at prior to our efforts at St Jude, has been killed. Pastor Bienne was a great young pastor and was the head baptist "bishop" in Port -Au- Prince. He operated three schools I believe.I carry his card in my wallet. He always drove me to the airport and after trying to get me to drive, his final words would be "pray for the people of Haiti." He also correctly said once that "I have Haiti in my heart". One of his schools was close to St Jude. Thanks to Terry Macbride, he met Fr. Andrew a few times during the past year. Thankfully his wife and children survived though his church was torn in two.
I'll keep you apprised as I hear.

tom

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May they rest in peace.

Amen.


Pope Benedict Appeals For Haiti

Here's the link

Haiti News Updates

"The archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Monsignor Joseph Serge Miot, was also killed, Father Pierre Le Beller said from France after speaking to missionaries who pulled his body from the rubble. " fox news

Report From Port-Au-Prince

Here is a note from the folks at Matthew 25 House, a hospitality/logistics center for missionaries in Haiti. It was the folks from Matthew 25 who first put us in touch with Fr. Andrew's parish where we run our medical clinic. I want to point out that Sr. Mary in the letter below is a 78 year old American nun who "retired" to spend the rest of her days as a missionary in Haiti.


"We are all OK physically at the house, including Domond and family and Vivienne Haitian. Have not heard from Ricardo. We were home when it hit. The house stood up well, does not appear to be any serious structural damage.downstairs, but upstairs is pretty bad, unusable as a matter of fact.

Matt 25 cooked up 4 big pots of soup for the people coming for treatment, and served as a triage and treatment center. We were able to climb over the fallen bookcases and shelves and retrieve a lot of meds and supplies we had in our depot

Sr Mary, Vivian and our 6 guests performed superbly in treating many injured. Eventually, 3 Haitian doctors showed up, I think when they heard we had supplies.

Worked till about two in the morning. We were also one of the few houses to have power with our inverters and batteries, so we set up 3 o4 4 lights on the soccer field to help with the treatment.

The hospitals are either badly damaged or destroyed, and have stopped taking patients as they are overwhelmed.

Pray for our sisters and brothers.

Pat, Viv, Sr. Mary"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Please Pray for Haiti


An earthquake of 7.0 magnitude struck Haiti today at 4:30 PM
The epicenter of the quake was about 10 miles southwest of Port-Au-Prince.
The capital itself is devastated and thousands are expected to have perished.
Our medical mission to Haiti is in the capital and we have no idea how Fr. Andrew and the parish of St. Simon and Jude have fared. Please keep our brothers and sisters of Haiti in your prayers. If you have any extra cash please consider a sacrificial donation to Catholic Relief Services or the Red Cross to anyone of the aid organizations that will be heading there.
Lamb of God , have mercy on them.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

All Thumbs

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Catholic Vitamins Podcast

I was recently interviewed by Deacon Tom Fox of Arizona for his podcast called "Catholic Vitamins." I was given the opportunity to once again talk about how God brought us back to the Church. It's a rather long podcast, but if you get the time, here it is.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Trying My Hand at Liturgical Music


I usually attend the 8:30 AM Mass on Sundays. It just works out better for our schedule. It also happens to be the "folk" Mass. Usually just three gals singing, 2 of which have nylon strung guitars. Very reminiscent of my 70's folk Mass experience. Though I am not that keen on "folk" Mass music, there's something innocent and non-pretentious about their assisting worship with their music and I never feel like it's a concert or they are saying, "hey look at us over here."
But, we tend to sing the exact same melody for the Gospel acclamation before the gospel reading, the Memorial acclamation after the consecration as well as the Agnus Dei during the fractionation. The beauty of the Mass is that as long as the Eucharist is validly consecrated, Jesus comes to us and we get to receive Him- soul, body and divinity in the Eucharist! Regardless of how polished or not so polished the music that accompanies the liturgy is.

Nevertheless, I started thinking today, maybe I could try to write some new melodies for these parts of the Mass. Here's my first attempt starting with Agnus Dei .Yeah, I know. I'm trapped in the 70's.

Addendum: 1/4/10

My liturgically astute wife, Prodigal Daughter just pointed out this AM, that I left out the "Have mercy on us" on the second refrain. Back to the drawing board.......

Driven To Catholicism-Governor Bobby Jindal

"I was driven to Rome by my love for Scripture and my desire to learn how Christ and His Church intended for me to understand Scripture."

His conversion story was news to me and if you hadn't heard it, I will share it with you.
Bobby Jindal went from Hinduism to evangelical Protestant to Catholic. Here's his story.
Just think..... we could have a Catholic president in 2012. Here's hoping.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year

video

Mary And The New Year


Our parish had Eucharistic adoration from 10PM to 12 AM New Year's Eve so we were able to usher in the New Year in the presence of Christ himself, then the following morning celebrate the New Year by receiving Him during in mass. What a way to start the New Year!

The New Year's Day Mass used to be the feast of the circumcision but it has been changed to be a solemnity, the Solemnity of Mary. The Church in her wisdom reminds the faithful that Mary is the model of holiness and obedience for all Christians. When Mary is emphasized, which tends to be a sticking point for non-Catholics, God is ultimately glorified. This has been the pattern for 2000 years and whenever the Church made an infallible statement regarding her, it was for a better understanding of Christ. ( Yes I am aware that some Catholics can take Marian devotion too far, and this issue has always been with the Church, see my post here)

Dr. Jeff Mirus has written an excellent piece on Mary which is one of the best short articles I have seen that explains Mary's role in the Church. From the early Christians onward, Mary was considered an important part of salvation history. She is not an "add on" by Catholics but it has been the Father's will from the beginning to grant us salvation through the flesh of humans, and in particular Mary, the first Christian.

Universalis