Thursday, March 31, 2011

More Souls Go To Hell Because Of This . . . | Courageous Priest

This is the fifth talk on the Seven Deadly Sins.  This deadly sin that violates the 6th and 9th Commandments was given by Canon Aaron B. Huberfeld, Vicar at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. Following his lead, I won’t speak its name, but will let you read on:

H/T  to St. Louis Catholic.  Are you unknowingly committing one of these other deadly sins?

Second Sunday of Lent 2011
How to speak of the Unspeakable Vice

At that time Jesus took Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: and He was transfigured before them. And His face did shine as the sun: and His garments became white as snow.

Some of you have been following this series of sermons very closely. The list has been published, so there is no surprise concerning which of deadly sins I’m going to speak about today. But perhaps one or two of you are surprised that I did not begin by quoting today’s epistle. Today St. Paul speaks in very clear terms about our subject. But this is Transfiguration Sunday, and I prefer to begin with the beautiful image of today’s Gospel: that brief moment on Mount Thabor, where Our Lord is transfigured before His closest circle of disciples. Before taking these same three disciples with him to Mount Olivet, where they will see Him in His agony, He grants them the grace to look on Him for one moment in His glory, all resplendent and pure. The scene calls to mind the words of the psalmist: who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord; or who shall stand in His holy place? The innocent of hands, and pure of heart.

You may recall that, in our program, we now are in the midst of the four most human of the capital vices. The last of these, greed, is a vice which man does not share with any other creature in the universe – he keeps it all for himself. But you’ll hear enough on this subject next week from my dear classmate. Today we must consider the last and worst of the three sins which remind us of what we have in common with the lower creatures. Animals are not capable of sin, but man is capable of becoming a beast.

Before I speak about this sin, I must ask myself, should I speak about it at all? This is the sin of which the Apostle said, let it not so much as be named among you. Our fallen world does little else but speak about it, morning, noon, and night. We have been told for several generations that we must speak about it openly and often, that talking about it is the honest and mature thing to do. In the last fifty years our courts have struck down nearly every law on the books which stood in the way of this sin – in images, words, or deeds. And as for our armed forces, not only are brave soldiers and military chaplains forced to confront the most unnatural and detestable vices, they are now forbidden to speak against them.

You and I, at least, are still free to say what we like. And surely we have a duty to speak out – the salvation of souls is at stake. Our Lady of Fatima said more souls go to hell because of this sin than for any other reason. But what can we say? Those who advertise and glamorize this sin love to hear Christians talk about it, even if we speak against it. The victory is theirs; all that matters is that their ideas, their images, their vocabulary implant themselves in our hearts.

The greatest spiritual authors insist that our strategy for combating this sin in our own soul must be different from the tactic we employ against the others. It is good to stir ourselves up by staring our sloth, our envy, our anger, our gluttony in the face. Here we must stop short. We do not make progress by spending time reflecting on the ugliness and shamefulness of this sin; on the contrary, we risk contaminating ourselves even further. We must strive never to think of it at all – St. Ignatius tells us that in this battle, it’s the coward who takes the field. That is why I am determined not to give this sin any air time today – the less air we give it, the sooner we will snuff it out. But even without speaking directly of it, I can provide you with three sovereign remedies for it. These three remedies apply to everyone, but each is intended for a particular sort of people. What these three groups of people have in common is that they all desire to be pure.

  • The first remedy I have in mind, then, is primarily for those who have lost their innocence and are mired in this sin. They want to regain the angelic virtue, but they are unable to feel contrition and make the good confession which will start them down that road. To them I repeat my earlier warning: do not spend time trying to reflect on the ugliness of this sin. Meditate instead on the Four Last Things: death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Eternity is coming closer every day, and this sin is devouring the time that remains to you. It may be deafening the ears of your heart to your vocation in life. It may be keeping you from the happy married life which otherwise would have been yours. Now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation. Our good God promises love and forgiveness for those who turn to Him; He does not promise tomorrow.
  • Secondly, there are those who have returned to God. They are now fighting this sin, and they are resolved to avoid the occasions of it. The first remedy may have helped them thus far, but now they may begin to apply in earnest the second remedy: control of the senses. The devil wreaks havoc on the human race by his exploitation of the senses, especially the sense of touch. Even before the occasions of sin present themselves, we must rise early and take the field by reminding our senses that it is our will that rules the soul. Always maintain good posture, especially in God’s house, but everywhere else as well, even when alone. Always take the time to dress carefully and correctly. Remember the good, Catholic way of enjoying food which we have so recently heard about from the pulpit. At least try to limit your daydreaming, and shun all forms of curiosity with wandering eyes, ears and hands.
  • Finally, there are those who, by the grace of God, have never lost their innocence, or if they lost it, they have, through prayer and penance, returned to the happy society of pure souls. These souls must never cease to apply and reapply the first and second remedies. But for them, and for all of us, there is a third medicine. We must never cease to nourish our souls by considering the joys and the glories of the virtue of chastity. Whether we look to the school of prayer that is the religious life, to the boundless zeal of holy priests and missionaries, or to the love and generosity of spouses, we find in the hearts of all those who are pursuing the devout life a quiet virtue which gently reminds them that, although they are body and soul, they are soul before body.

I would like to close with a word to all parents here. I know how earnestly you all labor to preserve this great virtue in your households. I know that you cherish your children’s innocence, and that you would defend it with your very lives. Do not lose heart! Continue to fight the good fight of faith! I know well that you are ridiculed, that the world mocks you every day. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. You and your children have a gladness, a youthfulness, an indomitable strength which the world can never know.

May St. Joseph, great lover of chastity, grant us the grace to serve Jesus and Mary with unspotted minds and hearts, so that, when this short life is finished, we may be counted worthy to ascend the Lord’s holy mountain, and find the joy which He promised us in that Sermon on the Mount: blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God


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Sitting in Your Own Pew: Religious Liberty and Literacy in America


 on MARCH 30, 2011 · 
Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, survey of American religious literacy, Religious Commitment Analysis, Religious liberty in America, Fr. Gordon J. MacRae, Rev. Gordon MacRae, These Stone Walls, religious liberty, religious literacy, Men's Health magazine, Pew Center Forum, religion and public life, Pew Center's Religious Commitment Analysis, Puritan founders of New England, European Catholicism, Stephen Prothero, Jane Blakemore, Newsmax, Faith & Values, One Nation Under God, American Catholics, American Atheists, Catholics and Protestants, Mother Teresa, Boston College, Catholic colleges, Secular Sabotage, Catholic League Bill Donohue, Michael Paulson, The Boston Globe, Georgetown University, Notre Dame, President Barack Obama, Norma McCorvey, Matt Ridley, The Wall Street Journal, Roe v. Wade, Catholic blogs, Catholic bloggers, Boston Irish Catholic Democrat, Our Sunday Visitor, best of the Catholic web

. . . I wrote of it in “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas 17 Times.” Still, the apathy of many Catholics about the tenets of their faith has only furthered the atheist agenda, not to mention their relative score. Before we all sign up for remedial CCD classes, it might boost our Catholic spirits to know that American Protestants fared no better than Catholics on the Pew Center study. Their score was also a solid “F.” Jews did better overall than Catholics and Protestants, but also flunked, and Mormon scores were just under the atheists’ barely passing “D.” Americans as a whole averaged a score of 50%. There are no bragging rights anywhere. . . .

Religious literacy in America is at an all-time low, and the awareness of Catholics of their own faith is alarming.  Find out just how alarming it is in "Sitting in Your Own Pew:  Religious Liberty and Literacy in America" the subject this week at These Stone Walls.  Please do share this link with your friends and contacts:

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Fr. Peter Kim Woo--My Life was Changed in Medjugorje

Fr. Peter Kim Woo--My Life was Changed in Medjugorje

Fr. Peter Kim Woo

The priest from Korea: My life was changed in Međugorje
date: 29.03.2011.

The young Franciscan Peter Kim Dae Woo visited Međugorje for the second time. He comes from the parish Incon in Korea, where he serves as the assistant parish priest. He was ordained in 2009, despite his great desire to become a singer. He studied at the University for electrical engineering, but he dreamt of music, and that had even reduced his student’s performance at the university. “I studied for four years, but I was not interested in that at all. I would spend most of my time playing and singing, the music was my whole life. I was student only up to the moment when I got to know music a bit better. At one point, I was no longer attending classes. Back in those days, I used to have a nick name “factory of curses”, because all of the words that were coming out from my mouth were bad, but I did not care for that at all. I only cared for music and lived in its world completely. I socialised with ‘so-called musicians’”

He came to Međugorje in September 1998, for the first time. He heard about Međugorje in February 1998, when he read a book about the phenomenon of Međugorje. Fr. Peter continues: “Up to that time, I used to go to Holy Mass only on Sundays. But, after reading that book, I started going to the Holy Mass on a daily basis. I felt desire to start praying the Rosary and I started doing that every day as well. I began to live the five main messages of Our Lady of Međugorje.
 At the time when I started reading that book, my life was not very bright and easy. I was even depressed. My mother suffered a lot because of my condition. To help me, she suggested that I come to Međugorje. I came, and my spirituality started changing. The change was huge, but yet I had burning desire to become a famous singer one day. In those days when I arrived to Međugorje, I used to cry every day, especially during the Adoration, after hearing the sound of violin.”

Fr. Peter returned to Korea and started reconsidering the choice of music in his life. He was not sure whether that was a profession worth for the whole lifetime. Upon his return, he met a person that he prayed a lot with, and that person told him that he had a religious vocation. He continued with his everyday duties, but deep in his heart he was able to hear the Lord calling him: “Dae Woo”

He felt a fear from accepting that call, thinking that if he answered Lord’s invitation, that his music days would be over. He used to cry often in front of the Lord, begging Him to help him change his life.

This young priest told us how he decided to enter the Franciscan Order: “I prayed to the Lord and to Our Lady saying to them – ‘If it is your will for me to have a religious vocation, please help me, give me an obvious sign so I would know whether to persist in that decision.’ I prayed in those moments and the Holy Bible opened at the Psalm 110 that says: ‘You are a priest forever for ever, in the order of Melchizedek’

I closed the Bible and felt as if my heart was going down in those moments. After so many inner struggles, I put the other things in my regular life in the order and I knocked at the doors of one Franciscan monastery. I decided to become a Franciscan in 2000.”

He said that Međugorje is a place of great grace, a special place that enabled him to change his life. He never thought of becoming a priest prior to his visit to Međugorje.
source-Medjugorje Official

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Prayer Request : Theft of Blessed Sacrament | Fr. Z's Blog : What Does The Prayer Really Say


In the Anderson, South Carolina Independent Mail.

Police investigating break-in at Anderson church

ANDERSON — Anderson police are investigating a break-in at St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Anderson.

A church member went to St. Mary to unlock it around 6:35 a.m. today and found damage to a window.

A window was broken and some cabinet doors were damaged. Desk drawers had been opened and items strewn around the space.

The office of Father Aubrey McNeil, pastor of the church, was broken into, and the key to the church tabernacle taken, officials said.

Bread used in communion and distributed at Mass was taken from the tabernacle, but it does not appear that anything else was, officials said.

Mass cannot take place at the church until officials there find out from the bishop for the Diocese of Charleston how to proceed because communion material was disturbed.

McNeil said to his knowledge the break-in is the first at the church since it opened in 1943.

Please pray for the person(s) who did that and please perform some penitential act today in reparation for the desecration of the Eucharist.

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USCCB - Bishop's Doctrine Committee Faults Book by Fordham Professor Sister Elizabeth Johnson

USCCB News Release

March 30, 2011
En Español


Bishops’ Doctrine Committee Faults Book by Fordham Professor

Sister Elizabeth Johnson’s Quest for the Living God distorts Catholic concept of God
Book does not recognize divine revelation as the standard for Catholic theology
Differs from authentic Catholic teaching on essential points

WASHINGTON (March 30, 2011)—The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine authorized a statement March 24, critiquing Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God, a book by a Fordham University Professor, Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, New York. 

            In the statement, the Committee asserts that the “basic problem with Quest for the Living God as a work of Catholic theology is that the book does not take the faith of the Church as its starting point. Instead, the author employs standards from outside the faith to criticize and to revise in a radical fashion the conception of God revealed in Scripture and taught by the Magisterium.”

            The statement notes that Sister Johnson attempts to justify her revisions of traditional Catholic theology by arguing that this tradition has become contaminated by ideas from Enlightenment thinkers, who are responsible for the conception of God in what she calls “modern theism.”

            “Against the contamination of Christian theology after the Enlightenment by modern theism, Sr. Johnson claims to be retrieving fundamental insights from patristic and medieval theology. As we have seen, however, this is misleading, since under the guise of criticizing modern theism she criticizes crucial aspects of patristic and medieval theology, aspects that have become central elements of the Catholic theological tradition confirmed by magisterial teaching,” the statement says.

            The Committee contrasts Sister Johnson's assertion that the Church's names for God are metaphors that do not apply to the reality of God with the traditional Catholic understanding.  The Church teaches, based on patristic and medieval theology, that certain names truly apply to God by analogy and are not merely metaphors. 

            “While Sr. Johnson is well within the Catholic theological tradition when she maintains that human language is never adequate to express the reality of God, she departs from that tradition when she makes the more radical claim that human language does not attain to the reality of God,” the statement says.

            The Committee also criticizes her characterization of the Church's names for God as humanly-constructed metaphors that can be replaced by novel human constructions that are intended to help transform society in a positive way by promoting the socio-political status of women.

            “What is lacking in the whole of this discussion is any sense of the essential centrality of divine revelation as the basis of Christian theology,” the statement says. “The names of God found in the Scriptures are not mere human creations that can be replaced by others that we may find more suitable according to our own human judgment.  The standard by which all theological assertions must be judged is that provided by divine revelation, not by unaided human understanding."

            The committee issued the statement because of the book's unacceptable departures from the Catholic theological tradition and "the fact that the book is directed primarily to an audience of non-specialist readers and is being used as a textbook for study of the doctrine of God."
”For these reasons … the Committee on Doctrine finds itself obligated to state publicly that the doctrine of God presented in Quest for the Living God does not accord with authentic Catholic teaching on essential points,” the statement says. The full statement is available online at

             Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington offered introductory remarks on the committee’s action, March 30, when the statement became public and referred to a canon law concerning use of the imprimatur.

            “The Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine is first and foremost concerned about the spiritual welfare of those students using this book who may be led to assume that its content is authentic Catholic teaching,” he said. “Although an imprimatur is not required for all books that treat Sacred Scripture and theology, it is still a recommended practice (see c. 827 §3).  By seeking an imprimatur, the author has the opportunity to engage in dialogue with the bishop concerning the Catholic teaching expressed in the book. Thus, clarifications concerning the text can be made prior to its publication. It would have been helpful if Sister Elizabeth Johnson had taken advantage of this opportunity.”

            He added that “The Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine is always open to dialogue with theologians and would welcome an opportunity to discuss Sister Elizabeth’s writings with her.”

            Cardinal Wuerl’s introductory remarks are available online at

Quest for the Living God is copyrighted 2007 and published by Continuum. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine includes Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, chairman; Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio; Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, O.S.B., of Indianapolis; Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles; Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut; Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massachusetts; Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana; Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey; and Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit.
Keywords: Quest for the Living God, Sister Elizabeth Johnson, Fordham University, U.S. Bishops, doctrine, Archbishop Donald Wuerl, theology, names of God, Bishop Leonard Blair, Bishop William Lori, Archbishop José Gomez, Bishop Robert McManus, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, Bishop Arthur Serratelli, Archbishop Allen Vigneron

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Another example of a modernist theologian going mad! Thank the Bishops for standing up to fight these errors and proclaiming the truth!
Deacon John

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From Mark Mallett: The Great Refuge and Safe Harbour




WHEN I write of "chastisements" or "divine justice," I always cringe, because so often these terms are misunderstood. Because of our own woundedness, and thus distorted views of  "justice", we project our misconceptions on God. We see justice as "hitting back" or others getting "what they deserve." But what we often don’t understand is that the "chastisements" of God, the "punishments" of the Father, are rooted always, always, always, in love.

He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him takes care to chastise him… For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.  (Proverbs 13:24, Hebrews 12:6) 

Scripture does not say that God is loving, but that He is loveHe is the very "substance" of that which every human heart longs for. So when we speak of chastisements befalling the earth, really, we are speaking of his merciful justice.

I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy.  —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 1588

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Miracle of the Split Mountain

“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, `Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani,’ that is `My God, my God why hast Thou forsaken me?’  And some of the bystanders hearing it said, `This man is calling Elijah.’  And one of  them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it to Him to drink.  But the others said, `Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.’  And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up His Spirit.

“And behold the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split…”Mt 27:45-51

The curtain of the temple was torn in two; the earth shook and the rocks split!

It was always said that the Angels, who had to stand by, helplessly, because they were obedient to the Father’s Will, when their Lord and King suffered cruel punishment and died on the Cross, bellowed out such an agonizing shout, it reached to the ends of the earth; the curtain of the temple tore and the earth trembled and the mountains shook.

There were reports of earthquakes and mountains splitting all over the world.

One happened in the charming historical coastal town of Gaeta, (Italy). Set on a promontory stretching towards the Gulf of Gaeta, it is 120 km from Rome and 80 km from Naples. A chapel was built in one of these fissures of the mountain. This mountain, split into two parts, is a very impressive sight bringing pilgrims flocking by their thousands to venerate our Lord here. “Montagna Spaccata” (Split Mountain) is widely believed to have split the moment Jesus died on the Cross on Calvary, thousands of miles off in the Holy Land.

According to the legend, at the time when the Saracens were overrunning Europe, a Turkish pirate, who did not believe that the rock had split at the death of Jesus, touched the rock and said, “If this is true, then let this rock become liquid.” As he spoke, the rock liquified and gave way to the imprint of his hand. You can put your fingers into the hand print today!

Split Mountain was instrumental in the vocation of St. Philip Neri when he came to take refuge here before he went to Rome. Contemplating the crevices of the mountain plunging into the Mediterranean Sea, his gaze was drawn towards the infinite, filling him with mystery and immersing him in God.

“This is a world marvel, horridly beautiful, which makes enraptured and thoughtful the visitors flocking here in any season from Italian towns and abroad, attracted by the mysterious, superhuman power that produced such a wonder… it is finally the phenomenon that always leaves perplexed and doubtful the most eminent geologists in the world, among whom one of the most learned stated: “natural, physical, geological laws are upset; the splits of the rock are not the product of an ordinary earthquake, which might have separated its numerous layers breaking their ties in the weakest points…The rock is divided in a diagonal way, and it is not opened in its weakest points but in the strongest and thickest”.” (N. Aletta).

Hat-tip to

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Fr. Barron comments on Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

Oakland diocese recommends visit to “Splendors of Faith/Scars of Conquest” exhibit as Lenten activity

Go to a museum

Oakland diocese recommends visit to “Splendors of Faith/Scars of Conquest” exhibit as Lenten activity

The Diocese of Oakland is recommending a visit to a museum exhibit entitled “Splendors of Faith/Scars of Conquest” as an appropriate Lenten activity “for various parish groups.” 

The exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California began on Feb. 26 and runs through May 29. 

According to the museum website, the exhibit features arts from the Missions of Northern New Spain in a “stunning exhibition exploring the rich artistic legacy of the Franciscan and Jesuit mission churches in northern Mexico and the American Southwest. Many of the missions were exuberantly decorated with lavish paintings, sculpture, furniture, and liturgical objects and vestments. This extraordinary exhibition, which originated at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso (Mexico City), features approximately 110 objects from collections in Mexico, the United States, and Europe -- including masterpieces from the missions themselves -- shown together for the first time.” 

The website says the Oakland Museum of California is “the only California venue for this internationally traveling exhibition and one of only two venues in the United States.”


Read more here:


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WYD 2011 Madrid - Official Site - Pope Benedict, Manga Hero

A U.S. based producer of Manga comics prepares a special comic for WYD

Madrid, 25 March 2011.- Manga comic books have experienced a growth in popularity in recent years. Jonathan Lin and Manga Hero, a manga comic producer based in San Rafael, California have produced two Biblical themed Manga comics in the U.S. This August Manga Hero will bring a special edition comic to Madrid for World Youth Day.

The Manga comic entitled “Habemus Papam” was written by Gabrielle Gniewek, a student at John Paul the Great University (JP Catholic) in San Diego, California. JP Catholic was founded in 2006 and is dedicated to finding ways to bring Christ into popular culture using new forms of mass media. Students at JP Catholic train in emerging media.

Jonathan Lin shared with WYD why Manga Hero decided to produce a comic for WYD.

manga2-300Q: What is the point of this comic?

A: The point of Habemus Papam! is to introduce Pope Benedict XVI to those who may not know much about him, except that he is the leader of the Catholic Church.  This short story captures different moments throughout the Holy Father’s life – specifically as a cardinal working with the late Pope John Paul II, and culminating in the moments leading up to his election as Bishop of Rome. The story also shows how he grows into his role as pope.

Q: Why a manga comic?

In the last decade manga has experienced explosive growth in popularity throughout the world, with millions of children and adults becoming fans of the medium which originated in Japan.  In fact it is considered one of Japan’s most successful exports. Manga covers a wide range of subjects with a full range of genres. We want to use manga as a tool to show the youth and the world that the Church is not afraid of modernity and evolving culture. It is not afraid to use, in this case, new and compelling forms of media to meet young people where they are.

Q: Is this going to reach better young people?

There is an opportunity to reach out to people with an attractive form of media and inspire interest in Pope Benedict XVI, especially his message for young people.  Manga is considered a cutting-edge form of entertainment and offers easy reading for all age groups.  Pope John Paul II called for the use of new and different forms of media to reach young people where they are in order to build a culture of love and dignity. Manga is one such medium.

Q: This is not the first religious themed manga you've produced. How did you get the idea for Biblical themed manga comics?

A: I was thinking of starting a business and I was talking about it with my parents; we were thinking about different ideas.   My father asked how come there are no mangas   based on Bible stories or on the lives of the saints.  I was thinking, that is true, how come there aren’t any, or at least, very few? That’s when the idea for Manga Hero was born.  I’ve also always wanted to do something that positively impacts society.  With media playing such an influential role in our culture, especially on the youth, I felt this was an area that I could make a difference. 

manga300Q: Your previous Mangas were about Judith and St. Paul. Why turn these two biblical figures into Manga heroes?

A: St. Paul and Judith perfectly capture the definition of a hero and heroine – people who are noted for their feats of courage and nobility of purpose, especially when risking or sacrificing their lives for something greater than themselves, in this case, their faith. 

Q:Creating these Mangas is a truly global endeavour. Tell us about that.

A: We have two extremely talented writers, Gabrielle Gniewek and Matthew Salisbury, from John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego, California, which specializes in using new media to change our world. Our illustrator, Sean Lam, is a professional artist in Singapore who specializes in manga and is passionate about creating stories that promote positive virtues and heroism. “Habemus Papam” will be printed in Pino, Spain by Dedalo Grupo Grafico, and of course the whole project is produced by Manga Hero in San Rafael, California.

Q: How do you hope to get “Habemus Papam” to World Youth Day pilgrims?

A: We are aiming to distribute the manga throughout Madrid to attendees of WYD and the general public at locations such as churches, schools, hotels or hostels, metro stations, the airport, information kiosks, tourist attractions, and other event locations.  We plan to print over 300,000 copies in both Spanish and English.  We hope the manga acts as a fun platform for people to learn more about the Holy Father and realize that the Church is relevant, visible, and active in modern culture. We want as many people as possible to read the manga.

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Pope Benedict XVI during visit to São Paulo, B...

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MISSIONARY INTENTION - “That by proclamation of the Gospel and the witness of their lives, missionaries may bring Christ to those who do not yet know him” - Comment on the Missionary Intention for April 2011

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – During the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's Homily on 9 March, Ash Wednesday, he highlighted the need for Christians to be a living message, through their witness to the Gospel. Many people today do not have contact with the Gospel other than through the life and words of those who follow Christ. Thus St Paul wrote to the Christians that they too are a letter of Christ, written with the Spirit of the living God (cf. 2 Cor 3:3).
Years ago one could talk about a healthy number of countries marked by faith in Christ, and mission was intended mainly for those countries which had not yet received the Gospel message. Today it is common in western society to find every day, people who have never heard of Christ. So we need a renewed awareness of the missionary dimension of the whole Church, of all the baptised. This missionary activity is to be carried out not only with words but also by the witness. In this sense, John Paul II said: “People today put more trust in witnesses than in teachers,69 in experience than in teaching, and in life and action than in theories. The witness of a Christian life is the first and irreplaceable form of mission: Christ, whose mission we continue, is the "witness" par excellence (Rv 1:5; 3:14) and the model of all Christian witness. The Holy Spirit accompanies the Church along her way and associates her with the witness he gives to Christ (cf. Jn 15:26-27).
“The first form of witness is the very life of the missionary, of the Christian family, and of the ecclesial community, which reveal a new way of living. The missionary who, despite all his or her human limitations and defects, lives a simple life, taking Christ as the model, is a sign of God and of transcendent realities. But everyone in the Church, striving to imitate the Divine Master, can and must bear this kind of witness; in many cases it is the only possible way of being a missionary.” (Redemptoris Missio, 42).
Ultimately the heralds of Christ must be convinced of his Gospel and must try to live it. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 7:21). Words are not enough. Life and witness is needed.

The Missionary Position

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History shows that when there are true witnesses, faith grows. Testimonies such as that of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta or of John Paul II, have aroused a wave of Gospel freshness where they passed. But we can not bear witness to Christ if we are not truly united to Him. “ Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear The upcoming Beatification of John Paul II will also be an opportunity to place a model before the world of a man who was truly dedicated to Christ, who knew how to make the Eucharist the centre of his life, and especially in his final years, lovingly embraced the Cross of his Lord.
In the homily at his funeral, the then Cardinal Ratzinger recalled the words: “Get up, Let us go!”, the title of John Paul II's last book. “Get up, Let us go!”: with these words a tired faith was reawoken from the sleepiness of yesterday's and today's disciples. “Get up, Let us go!”, also speaks to us today. The Holy Father was ultimately a priest, because he offered his life to God to serve his sheep and the entire human family, both in his daily service to the Church and especially in the trying final months of his life. In this way he became one with Christ, the good shepherd who loves his sheep. (Card. J.Ratzinger, homil on 8 April 2005). His testimony revived the faith of many. May we become missionaries like him! (Agenzia Fides 30/03/2011)


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The Long Road Back


Dear Friend in Christ,

An email from a college student bothered by what he hears from on-campus priest and nuns, is full of hope and truth in the midst of all the rubble. Please take a few minutes to watch this video and pass it to your friends and family.

GOD Bless you and your loved ones,

Michael Voris
~senior executive producer,


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Mary TV Daily Reflection 3/31/2011

La vierge aux raisins

Image via Wikipedia

March 31, 2011

Dear Family of Mary!

"Dear children! In a special way today I desire to call you to conversion. As of today, may new life begin in your heart. Children, I desire to see your 'yes', and may your life be a joyful living of God's will at every moment of your life. In a special way today, I bless you with my motherly blessing of peace, love and unity in my heart and in the heart of my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call." 

(March 25, 2011)

What does Our Lady mean when she says, "Children, I desire to see your 'yes', and may your life be a joyful living of God's will at every moment of your life"? 

Fr. Slavko Barbaric gave a beautiful answer in his book, Give Me Your Wounded Heart, A Guide to Confession. 
I will quote it here.  Fr. Slavko refers to the great parable, Matthew 25:14-30, the parable of the talents.  In this parable three servants get talents that they have to use to make more talents for their master.  Two of them are successful, but the third, in fear, hid his talent and could not show any increase.  This servant is punished.  Here is what Fr. Slavko says about this parable.
The parable of the talents, as depicted in a 1...

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"What is important here? The man with five talents received five new talents.  The second with two talents received two more talents.  The man with one talent neither squandered nor lost the one talent.  On the contrary, he saved it and returned it to his master, just as he received it from him.  But the master was dissatisfied.  He took away from this servant what he had received and gave it to another who had more.  Now, the one who had nothing does not even retain what he was given.  This sounds very strange.  You might even consider it unjust.   The one with the least loses what he has, and the one with more receives more.

"When we look at this parable in light of confession, we need to understand that injustice on the part of the master is not implied at all.  Rather, we are presented with a new understanding of the responsibility of man.  Only the one who is perfecting himself, who is moving forward, who is growing, who is not worried even about what he might lose, only he can do something good.  He can mature and will be rewarded for his growth.  The one who prefers to guard his gifts is committing a grave sin.  Whoever does not grow - is falling.  'Whoever is standing still should be careful that he does not fall.'

"From this parable, we can understand why laziness is one of the seven capital sins.  Certainly by laziness we do not mean someone who sleeps an hour extra or is late to school, or who does not finish an assigned task on time.  Laziness is reflected in man's attitude towards cooperation with God.  If I cooperate in the development of my gifts, then I am industrious.  If I do not cooperate in the development of my gifts, I am lazy.  If I am lazy, I am never going to become mature, reflecting the image and likeness of God.  Lack of maturity represents the most serious resistance to the will of God.  God is jealous of the seeds and gifts he has sown in our hearts.  He cares about our actions, behavior and conduct.  What father does not care if his children are not growing and are not progressing?

Sower - Thorns

Sower amidst thorns.

 Image by madison.murphy via Flickr

"What gardener would not be concerned if the seeds from one flower decided to grow only halfway, and not to their full potential?  He would become sad and dejected because he had cultivated the seed in vain.  Similarly, man was created to grow.

"When God created everything, He said all that He created was 'good.'  He also commanded everything he created to 'grow' and 'increase'.  That is God's will.  That is the divine intention for everything that was created, and especially for man.  Every created thing carries inside it the laws of growth.  There is no seed in the world that can resist growing when there are proper conditions for its development.  Only man with his gift of freedom can respond, 'I won't grow.'  Man can refuse to grow.  In other words, he can decide for laziness.  Whenever man indulges that laziness, he is resisting the most fundamental will of God which ordained all living things to grow."  (Give Me Your Wounded Heart. p. 23-25)

Again, we have the idea of our spiritual DNA, that God given code written deep within our hearts that guides us to become the person that God made us to be.  That person has gifts and talents, and also the challenge to use those gifts and talents in accord with the desires of his Maker, to use them in accord with Love!  As Pope John Paul II always said, we are to make a sincere "gift of self".  We are to give everything God has given to us away!!  Give it to others, for their blessing and benefit. 

So Our Lady tells us to live God's will at every moment of our lives.  She wants us to live life to the fullest, constantly striving to love, to serve, to bless, and to increase!  She wants us to become everything that God wants us to become.  She wants us to say: "yes, I will grow!  I will nurture every gift God has given me and I will give myself away at every opportunity!  Yes, I will be fully who I am!"

In Jesus and Mary!
Cathy Nolan  


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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moonbattery: Jesus Forbidden in Suburban St. Louis


The First Amendment guarantees freedom of both speech and religion. It was intended to keep us from reading stories like this:

FLORISSANT, Mo. (KMOX) — A north St. Louis County man says he can't believe what he found in his mailbox — a letter from his subdivision committee telling him he had to take down his yard sign.
The simple green sign has a single word written in white … "Jesus".
"What is this? What kind of country are we living in?" Michael Mayfield asks incredulously.
Things would go more smoothly if Mayfield switched to a Mohammed sign. But that isn't likely:

Mayfield says his sign isn't going anywhere; in fact, he's still deciding whether to put up more Jesus signs in his front yard.
Every time a countermoonbat puts up resistance, America stands a little taller.

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Brooklyn Diocese News: Mass mutual! Two Park Slope Catholic churches to merge

Mass mutual! Two Slope Catholic churches to merge

By Dan MacLeod
for The Brooklyn Paper

Community Newspaper Group / Julie Rosenberg
St. Francis Xavier Church on Sixth Avenue in Park Slope (above) will merge some operations with St. Augustine Church six blocks to the north.

Community Newspaper Group / Julie Rosenberg

Two Park Slope Catholic churches that are just six blocks away from each other will merge some operations by June, church officials confirmed on Monday.

St. Augustine’s and St. Francis Xavier, both on Sixth Avenue, are appointing committee members to oversee the combining of services of the two churches.

Neither church will be shuttered, Diocese officials claim, but some services and office hours will be consolidated so both churches aren’t running similar programs at the same time.

“The discussions have been in terms of administration — how the two parishes would work better together,” said Diocese spokesman Kieran Harrington.

The news comes during a time of general economic hardship for the Brooklyn Diocese, which is consolidating some of its 198 houses of worship in the so-called Borough of Churches.

Harrington said the Park Slope consolidation is more about location than financial hardship: Neither church is broke now, but running two similar churches blocks away is wasteful, he said.

“It seems to make better sense that if you have two churches six blocks away you would leverage your services to better serve the people of the community,” he said.

“The point of it is to find some efficiencies.”

The pastors are currently appointing parishioners to a “collaborative committee” that will guide the merging, Harrington said.

St. Francis Xavier pastor, Rev. William Reuger, made the stunning announcement to his congregation at services on Sunday at the gorgeous, 107-year-old Carroll Street cathedral.

The gothic St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church, at Sterling Place, dates back to 1886, and was originally a spiritual home to German and Irish immigrants.

©2011 Community Newspaper Group

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Catholic Identity


Dear Friend in Christ,

What is REALLY behind the attacks against Faithful Catholics from others INSIDE the Church?  The answer is really all that surprising. Please take a few minutes to watch this video and pass it to your friends and family.

GOD Bless you and your loved ones,

Michael Voris
~senior executive producer,


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If at first you don’t succeed…Rejected pro-aborts not welcome!

Published: March 30, 2011

If at first you don’t succeed…

Rejected pro-abortion Obama appellate court nominee from California back before Senate

A controversial University of California law school professor whose nomination to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was blocked late last year by Senate Republicans will get a second chance for the post after being re-nominated by President Obama.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on the nomination of Goodwin Liu, an associate dean and professor of law at the University of California Boalt Hall School of Law in Berkeley, to be a judge on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, widely considered the most liberal federal appeals bench in the country. Its decisions are also the most overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Liu’s first nomination, which had been vigorously opposed by conservatives and pro-lifers, failed to win Senate approval last year before adjournment. In January, President Obama re-submitted the nomination to the Senate.

Liu’s nomination was included in a list of “controversial” nominations the Senate refused to consider before its December 2010 adjournment. In a back-room deal reached by Senate leaders from both parties, Republicans agreed to allow confirmation votes for 19 less controversial nominations submitted by the president, which the Senate ultimately approved. With the election of more Republican senators in November, the chances that Liu will win confirmation – even if approved by the Judiciary Committee -- appear unlikely. The Senate now has 47 Republicans, as well as one or two conservative, pro-life Democrats, making it virtually impossible for Democrats to halt a filibuster, which requires 60 votes.

Liu has met with strong opposition from conservatives and pro-lifers for his legal views and his membership in certain organizations, like the ACLU of Northern California and the National Women’s Law Center. Liu has supported same-sex marriage and chaired what the San Francisco Chronicle characterized as “the left-leaning American Constitution Society.” He previously was a law clerk for one of the US Supreme Court’s most liberal jurists, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Liu also publicly opposed the nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, using particularly harsh rhetoric against Alito. “Judge Alito’s record envisions an America where police may shoot and kill an unarmed boy to stop him from running away with a stolen purse… where a black man may be sentenced to death by an all-white jury for killing a white man,” Liu wrote of Alito’s nomination to the nation’s highest court. “I humbly submit that this is not the America we know. Nor is it the America we aspire to be.”

Conservative critics say Liu is a “judicial activist” who, among other positions, supports the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in the U.S.

“Instead of nominating an individual who has demonstrated an impartial commitment to following the Constitution and the rule of law, President Obama has selected someone far outside the mainstream of American jurisprudence,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, and a ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee at the time President Obama announced Liu’s nomination. “Professor Liu believes that judges should look to ‘evolving norms and social understandings’ in interpreting the Constitution, he has a history of advocating for racial preferences, and he served on the Board of the directors of the ACLU.”

“Republicans have staunchly opposed Mr. Liu, citing what they said were his liberal writings, including support for using international law in judicial rulings,” reported the Wall Street Journal in a story about Liu’s re-nomination in January.



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Exclusive: Obama authorizes secret support for Libya rebels

Here we go again! Will we ever learn to stay out of other countries business and getting Americans killed? God have mercy on us!

Exclusive: Obama authorizes secret support for Libya rebels
By Mark Hosenball, Reuters
20 minutes ago

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

Read more here:

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Mary TV Daily Reflection 3/30/2011

Sun flower

Image by Meir Jacob | מאיר יעקב via Flickr


March 30, 2011

Dear Family of Mary!


"Dear children! In a special way today I desire to call you to conversion. As of today, may new life begin in your heart. Children, I desire to see your 'yes', and may your life be a joyful living of God's will at every moment of your life. In a special way today, I bless you with my motherly blessing of peace, love and unity in my heart and in the heart of my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call."  (March 25, 2011)

This message was received by Marija on March 25.  It happened to be the opening day of the Marian Conference in Sacramento, and in many ways it was the theme of the conference!  Marija was present for this conference.  Marija receive this message on Friday before the conference began.  And as the weekend progressed, many of the talks and testimonies reflected this message, especially the idea "As of today, may new life begin in your heart."

 For instance, on Saturday morning Fr. John Struzzo, CSC, gave a talk on Confession.  Fr. John spoke about the reality of sin, and the wonderful liberation that can come through Confession.  Really, Confession is the sacrament that helps us begin a new life, every time we receive it.  Sin makes our lives old and worn out, but Confession delivers us of our sins and refreshes our souls, giving us a whole new life from that moment!  Fr. John's talk was very good, and I may try to transcribe some of it for us soon.

But I would like to quote right now a short analogy that Fr. Slavko Barbaric shared about Confession in his book, Give Me Your Wounded Heart, a Guide for Confession, (written in 1991).  Actually Our Lady through Marija gave it to Fr. Slavko, as you will see.  Fr. Slavko wrote:

"Recently, the seer Marija Pavlovic [Lunetti] said: 'Once during prayer, I saw a flower, as in a picture, three times.  The first time it was beautiful, fresh, full of color.  I rejoiced.  Then I saw the flower closed and withered.  It had lost its beauty.  I was sad.  Then I saw a drop of water fall on the withered flower and it opened.  I recognized it again in its first freshness and beauty.  I tried to understand the picture and what it meant for me, but I could not.  Then I decided to ask Our Lady during one of the apparitions.  I told her, "Our Lady, the flower which I saw in prayer, what does it mean?" Our Lady smiled and said, "Your heart is like a flower.  Every heart is gorgeous, full of beauty.  But when sin comes, the heart withers, its beauty disappears.  That little drop that you saw fall on the flower and rejuvenate it is a sign of Confession.  When you are in sin, you cannot help yourself, but need help from outside."

"Dear friend, I am convinced that some of this experience which was shared by Marija is part of your life's experience.  Many times your own heart has been like this flower, beautiful, full of joy and peace, ready to bring joy to others and to love others unselfishly.  But surely, on other occasions, your heart has been closed, wounded, withered, without joy and hope, without peace and love.  Those are always hard and painful moments for you personally and for those around you.  And then something happened to you so that Your heart sang again, blossomed, came back to life and brought joy to others once more....


sun flower

Image by def110 via Flickr

"In Medjugorje, many hearts become blossoming flowers.  Many families become real oases of joy and peace because their hearts are renewed and refreshed with drops of the mercy of God joyfully poured out on everyone [Confession!]." (Give Me Your Wounded Heart, A Guide for Confession.  Fr. Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M.  Franciscan University Press. Steubenville. 1991. P. 1-2)

I love this very simple image of the flower because it says so much!  Our hearts have been created by God to be full of grace, full of love.  Our hearts hold the key to our call from God, the DNA of the meaning of our life!  If our hearts are free of sin, if we choose to follow the Lord and His plan for our lives, then beauty and joy will flow from them.  But if we choose rather to follow another plan for our lives and we sin, our hearts will begin to wither and die.  Turned in on ourselves, we will become disconnected from the God who made us and sustains us, and our lives will end in frustration, isolation and failure.  Just as the flower needs nourishment from its environment, so do our hearts need to be connected to the Lord who nourishes them. 

Sin disconnects us from God.  When we sin, we are choosing another plan, stepping out of God's call for our lives.  Marija and Fr. Slavko both saw that a sin-filled heart cannot grow and blossom.  It will die.  But the cure comes from outside the heart, outside the flower.  The flower cannot heal itself, and neither can we.  The cure comes from God's forgiveness and mercy, administered in Confession.  Confession can bring our hearts back to life, just as water does the flower! 

Flower with water drops

Image by Rutger de Moddertukker via Flickr

This Lent, may we drink deeply of that life-giving Water of Confession!  May we grow and blossom profusely! 

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan


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Catholic Anchor Online Knights of Columbus Council 11816 honored for youth scholarships that promote Catholic citizenship

Alaska State Deputy Michael Welch presents the award to Joe Stehlik, the past Grand Knight at St. Michael Church in Palmer. — Submitted photo

The Knights of Columbus Council of St. Michael Church has been honored by the international Knights of Columbus organization for a scholarship program the Palmer council developed for high school seniors. The teens are graded on extra-curricular activities at church, school and in their community, along with an essay on the responsibilities of a faithful, young Catholic citizen in a free society.

According to an Alaska Knights of Columbus press release, the scholarship program was one of thousands of youth activity projects developed by councils around the world and submitted for the international Knights’ annual “Youth Activity Award.”

St. Michael’s Knights council won fourth place in the international competition. On behalf of St. Michael’s Knights, Alaska State Deputy Michael Welch received the award at the Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention in Washington, D.C. On his return to Alaska, Welch presented the award to St. Michael’s Past Grand Knight Joe Stehlik.

The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic men’s organization based on the principles of charity, unity and fraternity. It consists of 14,000 councils and 1.8 million members worldwide.

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Catholic League president Bill Donohue offers a religious reality check based on some news items from today:
Bart Ehrman doesn't believe in God, which is why he is just the right guy to teach religion at the University of North Carolina. A member of the "Jesus Seminar," a motley crew of religious cynics, he wants us to view the Bible with great skepticism. But not his writings—we should all swallow his dogmatic convictions. His latest book contends that the Bible is a forgery, though he is unable to identify who the cheaters are. Unfortunately for Bart, it was just reported that Biblical scholars believe they have uncovered a collection of ancient texts in a Jordanian cave that may constitute the earliest Christian writings.
Patrick S. Cheng is a seminary professor who also needs a reality check. His brilliance shines in the Huffington Post: he argues that "Christianity is queer because radical love lies at the heart of both Christianity and the queer experience." Perhaps he should read Leviticus.
Fr. Roy Bourgeois has had three years to recant his opposition to the Catholic Church's teachings on criteria for the priesthood. If he doesn't do so in 15 days, the Maryknolls will be forced to kick him out. This will no doubt please him, which is why there will be no reality check.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act supposedly protects more than just Indians, but not according to a 10th Circuit Court ruling. They say unless a believer belongs to a government-designated tribe, he can be prosecuted for possessing eagle feathers. Looks like this court could use a reality check. And how do they prove who is an Indian?
If a Christian or Jewish teacher needs a day or two off for religious observance, the request is granted under the legal banner of religious accommodation. If one of these teachers were so bold as to ask for three weeks offright before final examsit would be denied. But a Muslim woman made exactly this request. She was denied, sued, and now has the backing of the Obama administration. They all need a reality check.
Jeff Field
Director of Communications
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
450 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10123
212-371-3394 (fax)

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