Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Cross of Remembrance takes shape!

Bonnie Fitzpatrick has sent a picture of the work completed to date on the Cross of Remembrance project. This is our Lay Dominican Chapter's permanent memorial for the children lost to abortion and other pre-natal deaths. It is located at our Homedale Chapter House in Owyhee County.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

St Augustine's Schola Advent CD

Dominican chapter member Lydia Brown sends announcement of the release of a CD for Advent. The music is sung by the St Augustine Schola, Moscow Idaho.
The music can be listened to free online, or downloaded for $8. Check it out here

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Choice in America

Tuesday I voted. I also saw this bumper sticker...

Yes, too many do.
...but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Carol Brown at Salt and Light sends the following:
I was hoping you could promote these two events to the Dominicans:

Salt & Light Catholic Radio is showing Restless Heart (the new movie about St. Augustine). Here is a trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa0gvTRvzfE

Two showings on WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17
4:00pm and 6:45pm
Overland Park Cinema in Boise

Suggested donation of $5 to benefit Salt & Light. Tickets will be available at the radio station located at 5601 Cassia in Boise. Since seating is limited, please get your tickets in advance. For more information call 208-344-4774 or email tickets@saltandlightradio.com.

Secondly, we are in need of volunteers for the pledge drive November 7-10. I was especially hoping the Dominicans can help be our prayer warriors. Below are all the volunteer descriptions. Please have them sign up here for November 7 & 9: mysignup.com/kgemvolunteers. November 8 is KTFI day in Twin Falls and November 10 is Sal y Luz. They don't have online sign-ups, but still need the prayer. support.

Hope to see you at one of these events.

Thanks for your support!
In Christ,

Job descriptions:

Phone Bank:
You will be answering telephone calls with a headset and reading a script off of a laptop. You must be able to type and talk at the same time. Training is provided when you first arrive for your shift.

Prayer Warrior:
Prayer is vital to the success of this powerful ministry. We ask for protection from any technical failures, serenity for the guests and volunteers, for the intentions of our listeners, and in thanksgiving for the blessings shared. You are welcome to pray in our station chapel or spend your scheduled time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament at your parish. Coming to the station chapel allows you to pray with the guests before they go on air and read the specific prayer intentions we are receiving from the callers.

Welcomes all that walk through the door and shows them where they need to go to volunteer. They also ensure the food and beverage table is stocked and clean.

Office Assistant:
This person will be the runner around the station and needs to be computer savy (understanding use of the web and printing documents).
This person captures the moments of the day on our website and Facebook. They take pictures and post about behind the scenes events and upcoming guests.

Carol Brown

Director of Marketing & Community Relations | Salt & Light Catholic Radio
carol@saltandlightradio.com | 208-658-4491
www.saltandlightradio.com | Facebook | Twitter | Text saltandlight to 90210

Blessed Archangel Gabriel, patron of radio broadcasting, pray for us.
Restless Heart @ Overland Park Cinema: October 17, 4:00pm & 6:45pm showing
Faith & Freedom Fall Pledge Drive: November 7-9

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Next Chapter meeting


Meeting, Saturday, September 15, 2012
10:30 a.m. Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, Caldwell, Idaho

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. The meeting will be on the following readings from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Para. Nos: 1749 TO 1803. The Morality of Human Acts.

God bless you! John Keenan O.P.(Lay)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

St Francis and "poverty"

Here's an interesting quote from Fr Augustine Thompson OP's "St Francis of Assizi, a new Biography"
Ghinato (1973), 42-43, thinks that Francis’s 1209 decision to seek approval from the pope was the result of a “Catholic scruple” about the need to distinguish his movement from heretical sects. He contrasts this to the 1223 Rule approbation, when the need was to formalize a set way of life. Miccoli (1991), 73, links the decision to get Roman approval to Francis’s desire to subordinate himself to the Catholic clergy who ministered the Eucharis. This is an important insight. I also agree with Miccoli (1991), 58-72), that renunciation of one’s own will is the essence of “poverty” for Francis. One can see this in Francis’s own writings, e.g., Adm 2. Both scholars are on to something, but I would go a step further.

Francis’s decision was about a scruple, but the scruple was a personal, even private one. He wanted an ecclesiastical authority (and who better than the pope?) to certify that the “form of the Gospel” he was to follow was one acceptable to the Church and not the result of an autonomous act of his own will. To obey the Gospel for Francis meant also to obey the Church. Manselli (1995), 193-94, makes the excellent observation that for Francis “poverty” was above all a state without defenses, subordinate to others. That is why he chose to call his followers minores, not paupers. Thus the submission of his intentions to the pope. Pace Flood (1983), 49, this poverty is really quite different from being “marginal,” which is a social state. Francis’s concern in 1209 was more spiritual, even psychological, than social, if one wants to use modern language. We have to infer what Francis intended to do in Rome from his own words and known actions, not from retrojection of later Franciscan concerns.
Francis of Assisi, A New Biography, Augustine Thompson OP, 2012, 195

A sword will pierce your heart...

From Dominican Daily, this perceptive item by Fr Francis Belanger, OP:

Catholic Social Teaching does not fit neatly into any political agenda. As Blessed John Paul puts it, “Since it is not an ideology, the Christian faith does not presume to imprison changing socio-political realities in a rigid schema…” (46) Some on the right celebrated Centesimus Annus as justifying their views, but a brief review shows it to be broader than a party platform. The lesson of this encyclical is the lesson of all of them. In the words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a political prisoner of the Soviets who might be called a spiritual brother of John Paul II: “Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts.” (From The Gulag Archipelago, 1973)
Read the whole article here

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Catholic alternate "Vacation Bible School" - The Vatican Express

why do we always use generic protestant programs? well, not eveyone does... From the Dominicans of the Eastern Province, comes:

Every summer, St. Patrick’s in Columbus has a huge Vacation Bible School. The numbers of kids and volunteers has steadily been increasing to the point of reaching nearly 200 kids. This year beat even that, with about 215 kids registered to hop on board the “Vatican Express.” Unlike many generic Vacation Bible Schools, St. Patrick’s looks to make their program explicitly Catholic. Hence the theme this year, the Vatican Express, which took the kids on a tour through St. Peter’s Basilica, led them to learn about apostolic succession and the Holy Father (and even get to “meet” him during the days), and helped them better understand what a great gift the Eucharist is. Throughout the week, the children were given catechesis, did crafts, and learned music to help drive home the teachings of the Church. One of the special projects the kids did was to write letters to the Holy Father, which will soon be sent to Rome. Some of these are so touching and really show what love children have for the Pope and the Church. Click on any of the slides below for a larger image: (Link)

Location change for August meeting!

Prioress Carolyn Reese writes:
To all Members: Because of the Church Festival at OLV in August, we have had to change our place for our monthly meeting. It will take place on Aug 18 at the Nazareth House at 4450 N Five Mile Rd. It is located close to McMillan and Five Mile (map) It will begin in the Chapel with Rosary and Liturgy of the Hours at 11AM. Lunch will be served to us at 12 noon at the cost of $8.00 per person. Sorry, no sack lunches! We want everyone to attend, if someone can not afford the cost, please let us know. Please do not miss the meeting because of this cost. I have to have a count on everyone attending by Monday, Aug 13th. This is per their request. Your lunch can be paid on that Saturday, but they need a count ahead of time. I will send it into Dorothy at the Nazareth House by noon that day. Any questions, let me know. Blessings, Carolyn
On July 13 the Dominicans met for the 8th annual Mary Magdalene retreat, and also to bury Mrs Kathleen Schuck OP, our beloved prioress. Fr Arnold Miller, parochial vicar of Our Lady of the Valley, where the chapter meets, was the guest presenter and he gave a presentation on the two Marys (Mother of God and the Magdalene).
The presentation was followed by dinner, and after dinner at dusk, we processed to the cemetery with Kathleen's cremains for the inurnment, which Fr Miller presided over.
Kathleen joins her husband Jim who went before her. We pray that together they will quickly enter the presence of God.
This weekend I stayed out at Chapter House Friday night; harvesting has started and I must say that it presents a very attractive morning view.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Our Lady of Mt Carmel

From the Friars of the Eastern Province -
Common Threads Today the Church celebrates the memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a day that highlights the maternal protection of Our Lady over the Carmelite Order. There are numerous ties that bind the Dominicans and the Carmelites together... read the rest here

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Aquinas Institute advance printing discount on Thomas!

I received the following message from professor Kwasniewski at Wyoming Catholic College. This is quite an undertaking; please consider supporting!
On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 8:31 PM, Peter Kwasniewski wrote:

Dear Mark,

Please forgive me for indulging in a bit of advertising.

Some years ago, a group of theologians at Wyoming Catholic College came together to establish The Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine.

By now you may already know about the ambitious project that our Institute has launched -- nothing less than publishing, over time, the works of Thomas Aquinas, in Latin certainly, and whenever possible, in bilingual Latin/English editions, in a uniform hardcover format, beautifully printed, and (finally) at affordable prices. Our initial offerings are the complete Commentaries on Paul’s Letters, the Summa theologiae, the Commentary on John, and the Commentary on Matthew.

We are looking for pre-orders at this time to help offset the initial costs of printing. I come to you as a fellow Thomist, with the request that you would consider whether you might be able to pre-order one or more of the volumes being offered by our Institute, as a concrete way of promoting the great good of the present and future study of St. Thomas. The discount on preorders lasts only a few more days – till Monday, July 16, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Please take a moment to visit our website for details: www.theaquinasinstitute.org.

Yours in Christ,


PS -- If you could recommend these books also to some confreres, that would be a most helpful way to promote this apostolate!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

The July Retreat will be a week early, and will be held at the Homedale Chapter House. The following note from Bonnie Fitzpatrick outlines the event:

We will have a short annual retreat this month...on the 13th & 14th at which time we will intern our sister and prioress, Kathleen Schuck.

The internment will be Friday night at dusk.  Please let me know if you invite other friends of Kathleen to join us.  We will gladly have them join us for a light meal, opening prayer, memory sharing,  and the internment at graveside before we return to the Chapter House for our retreat

Please bring your brevaries, water bottles (drinking and spray)  favorite pillow if staying overnight (please let us know ASAP so we can "book a bed" for you.) bug spray, easy food items for Friday night (salads...no BBQ!) and Saturday brunch/continental breakfast, and be prepared for some silence.  We are working on adoration through the night if possible,too. 

Since it is a short time, we will want to get as much spiritual enrichment as possible...

Your sister in Christ, and St Dominic,


PS: I am serving as coordinator so please keep in contact with me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Upcoming mass

Fr Andrew Szymakowski is coming back! Mass at Chapter House this Friday evening and will offer a votive mass of St Thomas More, martyr and defender of religious freedom.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Retreat with Fr Kelber

Formation Director Stephanie DeNinno sends the following:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Sorry this is so late.......with all the confusion with our beloved Prioress's funeral plans, etc and our not connecting with OLV to see if we could use the Chapel for a Mass with Fr. Kelber here is what we've come up with!

Friday: - following the Funeral Dinner at OLV on Friday....not sure what time. Those who want can come out to Homedale for a get-together with Fr. Kelber, Les, Rozetta, Gayle, Peggy Backlund, and Margaret Warner. LADIES WILL BE IN THE DOMINICAN BUILDING AND THE MEN WILL BE WITH LES AT HIS HOUSE. So far, I know that Maria and John with Timmy are going to be staying Saturday night.

Saturday: Regular meeting times and potluck (Bring something wonderful to eat and share) BE READY TO START THE MEETING AT 11:00AM SHARP.....PLEASE AND THANK YOU!

·         10:30 - 11:00am Gathering and set up for potluck
·         11:00 - 12:00 Office for the Dead and the Rosary
·         12:00 - 12:45 Potluck - sharing of LPC meeting and discussion of the necessary election procedure to fill Kathleen's position.
·         12:45 - 1:30 First presentation by Fr. Kelber
·         1:30 - 1:45 Break
·         1:45 - 2:30 Second presentation by Fr. Kelber
·         2:30 - 3:00 or so Discussion of presentations
·         3:00 or so Confessions for those of us with Fr. Kelber
·         4:30 Gather in the church to prepare ourselves for the 5:00pm Mass
·         6:30 Dinner at Mr. V's in honor of Kathleen and the many times we've there to celebrate!
For those who will be staying out in Homedale or whoever wants to join just us will be doing our usual "Wine and Star Gazing" Saturday evening!
Sunday: - Homedale, Dominican Building 10:00am - Dominican Rite Latin Mass. Following Mass we will have brunch and relaxing time. Please let me know if you will be staying either Friday or Saturday nights. The Sacred and Immaculate Hearts are in control of these days of our remembrance of Kathleen and our retreat.

Yours in the spirit of St Dominic and "Little" Margaret,
Stephanie DeNinno

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

when holy water isn't?

Fr Z has an interesting and disturbing post about the blessing of holy water (outside of mass) which is found in the book of blessings. Is it really blessed, if there is no explicit blessing? perhaps taking the holy water out of the stoops in Lent wasn't so bad after all, being more honest because what was there, probably wasn't?

Read the item here

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Go see "For Greater Glory"

For Greater Glory, a supurb movie about the Cristero war in the 1920s in Mexico, opens tomorrow in US theaters. In Mexico it rivals Titanic at the box office. Little known history of persecution of the church in  modern Mexico, it is instructive and should be seen!

for more information, see http://www.forgreaterglory.com/

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cross of Remembrance taking shape!

Yesterday, on Memorial Day, prioress Mrs Kathleen Schuck OP arranged for a group of folks to come out with a trencher to cut the outline of the Cross of Remembrance Memorial Garden in the ground at our Homedale Chapter House. This project will contain 1000 small crosses to commemorate babies lost before birth. Joe Spurgeon of Colorado was visiting and came out to help:

Here's a shot the gives an idea of the size. The cross is 75 feet long and 50 feet across.

Here's a shot of Mrs Gayle Boyer OP helping Joe with the stones which will form the outline of the cross. There is to be a 5 foot wide brick walkway around the cross, and the interior will be infilled with white gravel.

For more information, see page 29 in the March edition of the Lay Dominican Newsletter, Truth Be Told (click here), or the online order page (click here).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Addendum on the missing altars, from the cathedral in Lake Charles LA

Here is a email to a Dr Markey of Portland, a PhD historian who took an interest and made inquiry about the Boise Cathedral altar oddessy history.
Dr. Markey,

My name is Morris LeBleu and I am the Director of Communications for the Diocese of Lake Charles. I was forwarded your e-mail which included questions about the altars in our Cathedral church.

Here is a short explanation contained in a pamphlet about the structure.

The three Gothic altars were installed in 1923 and were originally housed in the Salt Lake City Cathedral. The Cent4ral altar is dominated by a statue of the Blessed Virgin under the title of Immaculate Conception. In the four niches, two at either side, are statues of the Evangelists: St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John. These four statues are of Carrara statuary marble from Italy, the same type of pure marble Michelangelo used in his works.

The south chapel is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the north chapel to St. Joseph. The altrs of plain Carrara marble as is the surrounding flooring in the sanctuary.

The back story, as I understand it, is that a resident of Lake Charles was related to someone in the Diocese of Salt Lake City and may have had an "in" with the Bishop there. The altars and other various accoutrements were stored in a warehouse at the time and a deal was struck to send it to Lake Charles. It arrived in pieces on railroad cars but there were no directions as to how the pieces should fit together. A local stonemason, whose family remains in the business to this day, was called upon to figure out the 'puzzle'.

The church building (that would become the Cathedral of the Diocese of Lake Charles in 1980) was completed and dedicated in 1913, three years after a devastating fire destroyed the previous church, school, and convent as well as a nearly all of the other buildings in the community. It was, at the time, considered one of the finest examples of Lombardy Romanesque architecture in the United States and was dedicated by Archbishop James Blenk of New Orleans. The Cathedral will celebrate its centennial next year.

The church parish was founded in 1869, then named St. Francis de Sales, and responsible for Catholics in a 5,000 square mile area of Southwest Louisiana. In 1927 the church was solemnly consecrated to the Immaculate Conception.

Work is being done now by volunteers at the Cathedral on a more in depth history of the parish and the church. You may wish to contact the Cathedral directly - 337-436-7251 - if you wish any further information. Also, there could be further clarifications to the story on the altars about which I have not been made aware.

Thank you and God bless you.

Morris J. LeBleu
Director of Communications
Diocese of Lake Charles
411 Iris Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601

Friday, May 18, 2012

Episcopal ordination in Bend underway

The episcopal ordination of Fr Liam Cary is just getting underway in Bend.

watch it live here:

The deacons and priests enter; here's our beloved Fr Andrew!

The bishops

including Cardinal George, who is the former archbishop of Portland.
Bishop Vasa is in there somewhere, as is the Apostolic Nuncio

The gloria was sung in Latin. beautifully!

Bishop Vlazny chanted the introit, in English. He has a beautiful voice!

Bishops Vlazny, Vasa, and Skylstad come to thr fore while the choir sings Veni Creator Spiritus

The apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Vigano, reads the order from the Holy Father

Bishop designate, his excellency Liam Cary (on right)



prostration during the litany

The principal and then all bishops lay hands

The book of the gospels is held over his head

while Archibishop Vlazny sings the prayer of ordination

then we have the annointing with sacred chrism

and then the ring, mitre, and crozier.
The mitre chosen by Bishop Cary is an "Ambrosian mitre"

Then the new Bishop is seated in the cathedra

Today is the birthday of Blessed John Paul II

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

post-abortion grief captured by sculpture

Read the article at LifeSite News: Young Slovakian sculptor captures post-abortion pain, mercy and forgiveness by Dan Zeidler

Open Letter to Georgetown University

Sign the petition to Georgetown University asking them to rescind the invitation to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to address graduates at the commencement ceremonies of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute on May 18. do it here:http://catholicsforunity.com/

Boise's missing altars found

Recently I posted about the high altar which was built for the Cathedral in Boise but went to Utah instead (Got off the train in the wrong city), and followed that with a post about the missing side altars Boise's missing altar(s). now, "wbbruchhaus", an otherwise anonymous commenter, has posted the answer to the mystery!

Boise's main and side altars, originally diverted to Salt Lake City, in 1917 were shipped to the diocese of Lake Charles, LA, where they are currently serving at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception! Here's a picture that shows the high altar:

And here's a picture that shows one of the side altars:

This picture gives a better appreciation for the size of the high altar. Taken during a Pontifical High Mass in the usus antiquior, celebrated by Bishop Provost, Dec 26, 2010. (Beaumont Enterprise, link)

So, "wbbruchhaus", a sincere thank you for providing the links!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Two made solemn vows on Saturday

On Sunday, Brothers Corwin Low OP and Peter Hannah OP made their solemn vows to Fr Mark Padrez OP, prior provincial of the Western Dominican Province. Previously under temporary vows as students, these solemn vows make them Dominicans for eternity; way to go, guys!

To see a lovely slideshow of the vows which took place at St Dominic's in San Francisco, click here

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Faith vs Sentimentalism

This is the first time I've seen a Bishop directly address this topic! I'm also rather amazed that in a conflict between parish liberals and their orthodox pastors, this bishop stands with his priests and Christ. I'm also sad that I would say so.

Anyway, here's an excerpt of what Bishop Robert Morlino has written in his letter regarding the school closure which resulted from protesting parents.

Your feelings do matter to me, and I do not take them lightly. However, our end goal should not be simply to restore good feelings. No, there is something greater than good feelings at stake, as good feelings come and go. Much deeper than feelings, what these priests have been sent to offer, is Jesus Christ, He who suffered with and like you, who died for you, and who has been raised to new life, so that you might have lasting joy, lasting hope, and lasting peace – eternal life. The reality of following Jesus is not at every moment full of good feelings; neither Jesus Himself, in His human nature, nor Mary, nor the Apostles were even granted that gift of freedom from painful emotions. By allowing ourselves, with openness, to enter into the mystery of His Church and His Sacraments we find that deep inner joy which passing emotions can’t eradicate.

As Christ’s Church, we profess faith in one Holy Spirit – the same Spirit that descended upon the apostles at Pentecost, the third person of the Blessed Trinity. It is this same Spirit that guided the early Church; has led the Church through two millennia, and will lead her until the end of time. The same Spirit that led the Church from the beginning and through the Second Vatican Council leads her today – and His message is the same, it cannot change. To think otherwise, or to claim that the hierarchy in union with the Pope, and the People of God might receive conflicting direction from the Spirit, would be mistaken. There is only one Holy Spirit. He is the Spirit poured out on the Church, which Christ,Himself, established.

Bishop Robert Morlino, Diocese of Madison (Link)

 Follow the link and read the whole thing!

Two Dominican Brothers to Make Solemn Vows

On April 28, Brothers Peter Hannah OP and Corwin Low OP will make their solemn profession to the Dominican Order; this is the very significant point when both will move from temporary vows to permanent vows. It's a big deal, and we are very happy for them both!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Catholic Teaching and the Elections

Micahael Greaney, Director of Research, Center for Economic and Social Justice and Contributing Editor for Economics and Finance, Inside the Vatican magazine, has written an analysis of the candidates from a Catholic perspective, published in Inside the Vatican.

please read the rest here!

and visit Michael's blog and the CESJ website

The economy remains a central political issue, and a central issue of social justice for Catholic teaching, both in Europe and America. How should a Catholic assess what the US presidential candidates are saying about the economy?

The 2012 presidential election has brought America’s economic crisis into sharp focus. Despite ephemeral gains in the stock market and manipulation of unemployment statistics, the economy continues to stagnate. Growth is limited, by and large, to the financial services industry that shifts around existing wealth, and government, which produces nothing. Ordinary people, unable to gain an adequate and secure income by their own efforts, are increasingly dependent on the State for meeting their daily needs.

As we have seen in the controversy stirred up over the contraception mandate, dependency on government leaves people susceptible to “Welfare Blackmail” and other offenses against human dignity imposed by a progressively authoritarian State. This is the “yoke little better than that of slavery itself” that the propertyless condition imposes on workers and their families, condemned by both Leo XIII (Rerum Novarum, § 3) and Pius XI (Quadragesimo Anno, § 59).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tribute to Fr Z.

Since Fr Z (What Does the Prayer Really Say) regularly posts cooking adventures, I thought I'd do the same with a little culinary adventure of my own. Last night I had the desire to prepare a fish dish I hadn't made for a long time, but have fond memories of; Ca Chien Sot Ca (Fried fish with tomato sauce) from the book "The Classic Cuisine of Vietnam," by Ngo and Zimmerman.

Since my cookbook is 50 miles from home, I actually found a version of the recipe at the NY Times, which Fr Z calls, not without cause, "Hell's bible." But it gave me enough to go on.

So, in Zinimascope, here it is...

The fish sauce is mixed with sugar; the garlic sliced paper thin, and the onion tomatoes are diced. Those in the know will be disappointed I'm using Phillipine dark fish sauce instead of Vietnamese clear, but it's what I had in the house. You'll notice the quantities are far more than the linked recipe. well, I like this stuff!

The fish is fried in olive oil (I used red snapper)

Then it is set aside and everything else is rendered down in the pan.
The fish sauce is boiled off …

…resulting in sort of glazed veggies and served over the fish with (Thai Jasmine) rice.

With all that garlic, how can you go wrong?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Catholics in the public square

This is a new commercial which I understand will be playing before the election on television. [click the picture to watch]

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Francis of Assisi - A New Biography

Fr Augustine Thompson OP has written a new biography (not just another modern one) of St Francis. It is a serious attempt to apply the historical critical method to the wash of legend that surrounds this ever-popular saint. The book is not targeted to popular market, but is a serious historical work that is also readable by folks like you and me. It is available from Cornell University Press here.
Fr Augustine concludes his introduction with some observations on what Francis has taught him; the following caught my eye as germaine to what our Lay Dominican chapter is currently studying, and the fact that today is Easter.

True freedom of spirit, indeed true Christian freedom, comes from obedience, not autonomy. And as Francis showed many times in his actions, obedience is not an abstraction by involves concrete submission toanother's will. Freedom means becoming a "slave of all."

Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Ph 2:7-8

the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom 11 for many Mt 20:28

Blessed Easter to you! He is risen!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Church where Bl Margaret lies incorrupt in Italy

The church where Blessed Margaret of Castello's incorrupt body lies has been closed for many years. However, that has changed, according to a note forwarded by a dear friend in Florida, a Bl Margaret devotee who helped us acquire our first class relic of Bl Margaret. One of her Italian contacts writes:

The Church of St Domenico where is Margaret is open everyday. The mass is
in sunday only.
I wish you, together with my parents, a Happy Easter!

Elvio, Luigi, Elena
This is a good sign as we approach Little Margaret's feast day (April 13)! The novena should start Holy Thursday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vatican Approves English and Spanish Texts for ‘Blessing of a Child in the Womb’

The following from the USCCB:

WASHINGTON—The Vatican has approved the publication of the "Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb," which will be printed in English and Spanish in a combined booklet and should be available for parishes by Mothers' Day. The U.S. bishops who collaborated on the development of the blessing welcomed the announcement of the recognitio, or approval, by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome.

"I'm impressed with the beauty of this blessing for human life in the womb," said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). "I can think of no better day to announce this news than on the feast of the Annunciation, when we remember Mary's 'yes' to God and the incarnation of that child in her the womb that saved the world."

"We wanted to make this announcement as soon as possible so that parishes might begin to look at how this blessing might be woven into the fabric of parish life," said Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship. "Eventually the new blessing will be included in the Book of Blessings whenthat text is revised."

The blessing was prepared to support parents awaiting the birth of their child, to encourage parish prayers for and recognition of the precious gift of the child in the womb, and to foster respect for human life within society. It can be offered within the context of the Mass as well as outside of Mass.

The blessing originated when then-Bishop Joseph Kurtz of Knoxville, Tennessee (now archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky) asked the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities to see if a blessing existed for a child in the womb. When none was found, the committee prepared a text and submitted it to the USCCB's Divine Worship committee in March of 2008. It was approved by the full body of bishops in November 2008, and then sent to Rome for editing and final approval.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Health Care Act: Supreme Court; Tuesday's oral arguments

Today's oral argument before the Supreme Court is at the heart of the Health Care bill: health insurance purchase mandate (written about yesterday here).

Listen to today's arguments here


John Keenan

British Abortion Probe Exposes Widespread Criminality

The following article from The Daily Telegraph was reprinted in prolife.ie, an Irish prolife web digest.

British Abortion Probe Exposes Widespread Criminality

Up to one in five British abortion clinics is suspected of breaking the law and faces a police inquiry following an official investigation ordered by the Health Secretary. The regulator conducted a series of unannounced raids on every clinic offering abortions and found that a “shocking” number may be breaking the law. The Daily Telegraph reports that it understands that more than 250 private and NHS clinics were visited and more than 50 were “not in compliance” with the law or regulations. Doctors were regularly falsifying consent forms and patients were not receiving acceptable levels of advice and counselling in many clinics, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) discovered.

Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said he was “shocked” by the findings of the CQC’s audit and was preparing to report doctors and organisations to the police. Many clinics may be stripped of the licences that allow them to offer abortions. Mr Lansley ordered the investigation into the clinics after The Telegraph disclosed that several were offering illegal sex-selection abortions and falsifying paperwork. He said the regulator had found that a number of clinics may be acting beyond the “spirit and letter of the law”.

“I was appalled,” he said. “Because if it happens, it is pretty much people engaging in a culture of both ignoring the law and trying to give themselves the right to say that although Parliament may have said this, we believe in abortion on demand.” He said it was not just a matter of enforcing the law. “There is the risk that women don’t get the appropriate level of pre-abortion support and counselling because, if your attitude is that, ‘You’ve arrived for an abortion and you should have one,’ well actually many women don’t get the degree of support they should.”

The main problem identified by the CQC was that doctors were “pre-signing” consent forms. The law requires the signatures of both the supervising consultant and a second professional who has either seen the patient or read the medical notes and the summary of a consultation. During inspections, regulators are understood to have found piles of “pre-signed forms”.

The Health Secretary said he was shocked by the pre-signing of certificates. “We’re talking about doctors who have professional responsibilities and it seems to me that you can’t satisfy your professional and ethical responsibilities [by pre-signing]. I completely understand the law doesn’t require the doctor to have met the woman concerned, but to pre-sign certificates when you don’t even know which woman it relates to and there hasn’t been an assessment, is completely contrary to the spirit and letter of the law.”

He added that action would be taken promptly. “We’re dealing with all this quickly,” Mr Lansley said. “If there is evidence of an offence we will give it directly to the police.”

The Health Secretary said pre-signing forms “constitutes a criminal offence” and could also lead to doctors being struck off by the General Medical Council. He warned that so-called abortion on demand was not acceptable. “It’s not what Parliament intended and it’s not what the law provides for,” he said. “My job is to enforce the law.”

The rigour of the Care Quality Commission, responsible for regulating abortion clinics, hospitals and care homes, has been repeatedly called into question since it was established in 2009. Last month, the commission’s chief executive resigned after a Department of Health report criticised the quango. Cynthia Bower stepped down from her £195,000-a-year post on the first day of The Daily Telegraph investigation into abortion clinics, which found that some doctors were offering terminations on the basis of gender and raised major concerns over the regulator. The level of potential abuse uncovered at abortion clinics is expected to lead to further searching questions over regulation in the past.

Ann Furedi, the chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), claimed that inspectors from the Care Quality Commission had been diverted from their duty of inspecting standards at institutions such as hospitals. Mrs Furedi suggested that the timing of the inspections was “absolutely wrong” and risked jeopardising other work undertaken by the CQC.

Are we surprised to learn that abortionists are not following the law in Britian either? "Lets make criminal acts legal" and give criminals free reign and that's supposed to work?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Health Care Act: Supreme Court; Oral Arguments before

Dear Dominicans & Friends:

As you may recall, last Friday, March 23rd, 2012, marked the second anniversary of the signing of the Health Care Reform Act by Mr. Obama. Time has revealed an insidious agenda of promoting abortion, abortifacients, and contraception through the instrument of the Administration's health reform efforts. In this effort, the Act provided for "no copay" for certain preventive medical procedures. There was no mention of contraception or abortifacients in the original statute. The traditional meaning of preventive medicine, which included such procedures as "well-checks," check-ups," and procedures like colonoscopies, etc., was applied by the federal government to include measures to prevent disease or conditions that develop into a disease or bodily disorder. Although not in the original federal statute, the national institute of medicine stretched the term "preventive" to include measure to prevent pregnancies. Obviously this stretch of meaning was grounded on a lie.

Through this mechanism has come the HHS mandate that invades our personal and religious liberties forcing all to fund morallly offensive procedures such as the use of contraceptions and abortifacients (and eventually abortions)!

In addition, the contraceptive prophets have argued that the right to health care includes the right to use contraception and abortifacients--as well as abortion--and that this right to health care is equal to First Amendment freedoms of the free exercise of religion. This nonsense pervades the public mind despite the fact there is no "right" to health care grounded on natural law. There is certainly no such right traditionaly at law or in equity nor is there a moral obligation of the state [government] to provide such health care.

Despite these facts, the current scheme of the individual mandate and the HHS mandate was thrusted on this Nation two years ago. Twenty-nine states have filed suit in a Florida District Court seeking to have this law set aside on the basis of the "commerce clause" and the 9th and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

This morning, March 26th, 2012, oral arguments on this matter have commenced and will continue two more days. The timing of this is providential, as it is occurring during the octave of the Feast of the Annunication (which is being celebrated today as the regular feast day, March 25, 2012, fell on a Sunday this eyar.

You can listen to the oral argument at this link:

Please pray and fast for wisdom that truth may prevail on the minds of the justices of our U.S. Supreme Court. Their decision will be issued in late June or early July of this year. If this law is struck down, the entire Administration construct of contraceptive and abortifacient rights and "preventive" health care will collapse like the tower of babel.

In St. Dominic,

John Keenan

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lost a grand lady...

This week, Ellen Logue, a long time Lay Dominican of the St Albert Chapter (Oakland CA, Western Province), passed away.  Last summer at the Lay Provincial Council meeting, the council celebrated Ellen's 60 years as a professed member of the Dominican Laity.

Those of us who were blessed to know Ellen will greatly miss her; and pay that she speedily joins our Lord in that eternity to which we seek and strive with the help of our Dominican profession.

We look forward to meeting you again on the other side, Ellen. May the Lord grant you peace, and do pray for the Order to which you gave so much.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Truth Be Told issue #21 - Newsletter of the Laity of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

The 21st 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: