Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The ordination of Fathers Boniface Willard OP and Mark Francis Manzano took place Saturday, May 28 at St Theresa parish in Oakland California.

It was nice to see so many Dominicans, and Sisters from different congregations, including the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist (Sacramento)

The interior of St Theresa; much concrete!

Procession starts...

...and at the rear, The Bishop,

His Excellency Anthony Fisher OP of Parramatta, Australia.

The calling of Brothers Boniface and Mark Francis. Note, "calling" to the priesthood is an act of the Bishop, not an interior disposition!


Promises and prayers and litany of the saints...

The laying of hands; apostolic continuity!

Blessings from all the other priests, and there were many!

Including Fr. Andrew Szymakowski

The newly vested priests receiving of the chalice and paten from the Bishop

First blessings given by the new priests: (R to L) Fr Reginal Martin OP, prior of St Alberts, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP, and Fr Mark Padrez OP, Prior Provincial of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus (Western Dominican Province)

Oh, yeah! party!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jesus and Barabbas

Although I purchased this book quite some time ago, its taken being confined to bed with the flu to start reading it. I must admit that reading in the introduction about "historical criticism" and the important contribution of protestant and irreligious scholars, sort of gave me a negative response; until I read that such leads down the wrong path without being conducted in the full context of faith and the Holy Scripture as a unitary expression of the Holy Spirit.

Although I'll return to work tomorrow, and my reading will slow down as a result (I'm about half way through the book), there have been a couple delightful insights which I was pleased to discover. The first was the Holy Father's heavy use of Jacob Neusner's A Rabbi Talks with Jesus, in order to place the Sermon on the Mount in the deep context of Jewish faith, as the expression of the New Law from the New Moses on the new Sinai. So, there's another book for my reading backlog [I just ordered one].

The second is a little linguistic surprise which was so obvious yet I'd never read or heard it before. Let's go back to the Praetorium, where Pontius Pilate is asking the mob who to release, Jesus, your king, or Barabbas, robber & murderer (sometimes rendered "revolutionary"). Turns out "robber" in the context of 1st century Greek is infused with the meaning of a "resistance fighter" and it was in this context that Barrabas had committed murder. It is even stated that historical evidence shows he was the leader of yet another resistance movement intent on driving out the Romans, a secular "messiah" who will save Israel and restore the kingdom.

With that, look at the name: Bar Abbas = Son of the Father. Add to this an observation from Origen that prior to the third century, approximately half of the codexes in circulation name him "Jesus Barabbas."

The choice before the mob, was a savior who promised to drive out the Romans and restore the kingdom, and a Savior who promised suffering and claimed the Kingdom was already present. The Holy Father brings up Barabbas in the context of the third temptation of Jesus; "bow to me, and I will give you all the kingdoms..." This temptation remains with us today, doesn't it? In this light, I am more inclined to be understanding and join our Lord in saying "forgive them Father, they know not what they do."

It is good to reflect on which Jesus we are asking for...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May Meeting

Well, the May meeting is over! We held this one at St Paul's Student Center, BSU, for the second time in a row. This time we were able to use the lower loung, which is where we met for the first 8 years. So it was sort of like a homecoming.

We were a little late getting the web telecast started, aplogies for that! Matt Keenan worked hard to do a professional job and we are very grateful.

We were very pleased to be joined by Father Andrew Szymakowski of the Baker Diocese.

Presentations by Anita, Mike, Phil (looking very professorial here), Stephanie and Carolyn were all very good.

Remarkably, the peanut gallery was relatively quiet this meeting. Perhaps Paul put the fear in all of us...

John and Matt kept the video going as best they could, but bandwith was being sucked up somehere else and had a negative impact on our ability to stream the content.

To all who watched, thank you. To Matt Keenan, a special thanks, and stay tuned next month to do it again; this time from Our Lady of the Valley, Caldwell, on June 18!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Safe Haven

Hungary: a governmental pro-life campaign
M. Viktor Orban’s government, just few weeks after the promulgation of the new Constitution protecting “the life of the foetus […] from the moment of conception”, started a consciousness-raising campaign in favor of adoption aimed at pregnant women in distress. Here is a poster. This picture was taken (by Sakari Huttunen for the Hu-lala website) at the beginning of May in a subway station in Budapest. This is a positive and comprehensible message, which invites to prefer adoption to abortion:
“I understand well that you are not ready to welcome me in your life, but give me to the adoption service, let me live”, entreats the unborn child.


Article II of the new Hungarian Constitution protects a foetus’ right to life, which begins at conception:

“Human dignity shall be inviolable. Everyone shall have the right to life and human dignity; the life of the foetus shall be protected from the moment of conception."

From Grégor Puppinck, Ph.D, writing the blog Turtle Bay and Beyond

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The 1960s generation: Getting Knickers in a Knot over Devotion.

At times I get the opportunity to leave my office for a break, which is located about three blocks from the St. John’s Cathedral in Boise, and either go to Holy Mass or take some time in prayer in the downstairs Chapel. I visited there today—not long after the Mass had been completed.

As I entered, it was quiet and the lights were dim and I knew it was a good time for silent prayer. After kneeling, it was apparent the sacristy door was wedged open slightly and a conversation could be heard.

The uneasy conversation occurred while others were praying in the Chapel including myself. While I could not attend Mass earlier, I was in the Chapel not long thereafter. From the wedged door, the people in the Chapel could hear the celebrant engaged in a lively discussion with a young woman.

From what could be discerned, she had knelt to receive Communion during Mass. The celebrant obviously objected to her posture. Having caught the end of a degrading dialog, I heard the young woman cite a recent statement by the Vatican encouraging receipt of Communion while kneeling. She also noted the fact she had received Communion while kneeling at another church without objection.

The celebrant voiced his objection again and—posing a question laced with cynicism—asked whether the “other” church celebrated the Latin Mass or had a communion rail. The young woman responded “no.” The woman recalled that the Mass celebrated at the “other” church was the ordinary form of the Holy Mass. After her response, the celebrant again objected to her kneeling and cited that she presented herself for communion “carrying Rosaries and a picture of Jesus.”

The celebrant asked the young woman to leave. As I had already finished my brief prayer and as I parted, the young woman appeared outside the Chapel in tears. From what I could discern during the last part of the dialog mentioned above, the woman’s motive was her object of devotion: Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist.

The celebrant is an elderly priest. His communication seemed intolerant of certain outward expressions of devotion as unsuitable in the modern Church. Yet, his generation and the 1960s mode of thinking are passing.

While I continue to pray for and am thankful for these elderly priests who celebrate Holy Mass and who sacrifice for others every day; why is it they get their knickers in a knot when it comes to the Faithful’s public expression of devotion to a Good God? Especially, when there is no harm done? If anything, public devotion is a good model for others to follow particularly children. Also, it appears that the celebrant’s objection to kneeling for Communion has more to do with form than substance.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ordination, Meeting

Br. Boniface Willard, O.P. To Be Ordained, Will Hold Celebration Holy Mass in Emmett, Idaho

On May 28, Idaho native and seminarian Brother Boniface Willard, O.P., will be ordained in Oakland by His Excellency Bishop Anthony Fisher OP of the diocese of Parramatta, Australia. Fr Willard will celebrate his first Holy Mass at St Albert Priory on Sunday, May 29, at 1PM. Returning to Idaho, Fr. Willard will celebrate his first Holy Mass at his home parish at Sacred Heart Church in Emmett, Idaho, at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2011. A potluck will follow. Please join the remainder of the Dominicans in celebration of Br. Boniface being ordained and becoming Fr. Boniface Willard. Sacred Heart Parish is located at 211 East First Street, Emmett, Idaho.

May Chapter Meeting, 11:00 A.M., May 21, 2011 At St. Paul’s Catholic Student Center, BSU, Boise

The May Blessed Margaret of Castello Chapter meeting will be held with a Rosary at 11:00 a.m., lunch, and meeting to follow at St. Paul’s Catholic Student Center, 1915 University Drive on the Boise State University campus.

The Chapter will again broadcast the meeting on line at
If you have questions or comments you may email at john@keenan.org; or join the dialog online at the above site or join the twitter. For more information as to the agenda etc., please email the Stephanie DeNinno, O.P. (Lay) at ssdeninno@yahoo.com. The agenda and notice will be posted online next week at http://www.dominicanidaho.org/.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I have seen a few articles decrying people expressing joy at the death of Osama bin Laden.

Wesley Smith, anti-euthanasia and Human Exceptionalism proponent, takes a slightly different view which I think bears consideration:

Was Killing Osama Unethical?

I don’t see anything wrong with people being happy about a victory over an implacable and dangerous enemy that acted so despicably and mercilessly against unarmed, defenseless people ...

Monday, May 09, 2011

Truth Be Told issue #16 - Newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

The 16th issue of "Truth Be Told," the newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus has been posted to the web.

The newsletter is available for download at the provincial web page here:

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Divine Mercy

Does anyone think it interesting that JPII was declared a blessed on Divine Mercy Sunday, and the following day one of his very poor appointments as bishop, the Most Reverend William Morris of the diocese of Toowoomba, was removed? Is this a portent of further mercy on the abused faithful?

Controversial Australian bishop sacked by Pope Benedict XVI