Should I Let My Kid Dress Like a Weirdo?

09/01/2015 Comments (35)

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), "Claude Renoir in Clown Costume"

Last night, I told my kids, "Make sure you have an outfit picked out for the first day of school, so it will be easy to get ready on time!" This morning, I discovered that they heard me say, "Make sure you have an outfit picked out mentally, so we can spend the first morning frantically tearing through mountains of laundry in the hopes that your My Little Pony tank somehow miraculously found its way into a basket."

This is just the little kids, who more or less want to look like all their friends. I do have teenagers, too, and they are all deep into inventing their own styles. Yesterday on Connecting the Dots, a caller asked me and Mark Shea how to navigate kids' style choices, especially...READ MORE

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Pope Calls on All Priests to Absolve Repentant Procurers of Abortion

In Jubilee Year letter, Holy Father also says those who approach SSPX priests for Sacrament of Reconciliation will receive absolution

09/01/2015 Comments (31)

In a letter released today, Pope Francis has called on all priests during the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy to absolve those who have procured abortions if they seek forgiveness with a contrite heart, without special permission from a bishop.

He has also stated that anyone receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation from priests of the Society of St. Pius X during the Jubilee Year will receive absolution for their sins.

In the letter on the Jubilee addressed to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization which is tasked with overseeing the Holy Year, the Holy Father says he wished to focus on “several points” to help all...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, indulgence, jubilee year of mercy, mercy, sspx

Pope Francis Says Something Or Other About an Uninteresting Topic

08/31/2015 Comments (11)

You ever notice that many seem to hear Pope Francis loud and clear when he says something they agree with or if he mentions an issue they believe should be on the world's front burners. But when Pope Francis talks about life in the womb, religious freedom, or the sanctity of marriage he's essentially ignored by many, including the mainstream media.

I'll admit, I do it a little bit too in that I ignore stories that will ruin my morning. It's human nature, I think. And I think the internet makes it very easy to only read websites and sources that tend to agree with you.

But the one issue that is almost completely ignored is when this pope has talked about the persecution of Christians....READ MORE

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The Strange Saga of the Bishop Who Ran a Gas Station for 40 Years

Bishop Broderick's life, and an overlooked Frank Lloyd Wright house, are potent reminders of the hidden drama that surrounds us daily.

08/31/2015 Comments (6)

Herman T. Mossberg Residence, South Bend, Indiana. By Jaydec [CC BY-SA 3.0 (].

“Little, very little, be very little before God.”
St. Jeanne Jugan

My friend Cathy’s family caught the Frank Lloyd Wright bug this summer. “We just went to the Dana-Thomas House, which was wonderful,” she wrote me recently, “and the kids now like his work, too.” Cathy knows I have the same bug, although my own affinity for Wright’s architecture goes way back to my Chicago days when I had the privilege of regularly strolling past the exquisite Robie House. “That’s already on my growing FLW visit list,” Cathy remarked when I mentioned it. For now, however, she and her children have taken to the internet to research the Wright homes right here in South Bend.

Did you catch the plural?...READ MORE

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House to Vote on "Freezing" Planned Parenthood Funding

08/29/2015 Comments (22)

When Republicans say they want to cut government funding for Planned Parenthood but aren't willing to shut down the government over it what they're really saying is that Democrats want to fund the abortion giant more than Republicans want to cut its funding. So in light of them marching into this battle with their hands already up, Republicans are reportedly planning a vote to "freeze" funding for Planned Parenthood in the fall.

What does a funding freeze mean and how does that differ from a funding cut? It seems that the freeze would be temporary - in fact, it would only last for a year. I guess they're hoping that Democrats will more likely be amenable to a freeze as opposed to a cut. Or...READ MORE

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ISIS Be Warned: Persecution Only Strengthens the Faith of Christians

08/28/2015 Comments (16)

Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904), "The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer"

ISIS destroyed another ancient Christian holy site last week. The latest casualty in their 26-year-long campaign to wipe Christianity from the face of the earth was the Mar Elian monastery in the town of Qaryatain near Homs, Syria.

They first kidnapped 230 people—including dozens of Christian families—after taking Qaryatain, releasing about 48 of them and transferring 110 to Raqqa province, the headquarters of the Islamist group. Then they bulldozed the monastery.

How many times has something like this happened? One hundred? More?

It’s getting to be old news, and yet, it should alarm us as much as if we were hearing it for the first time.

It also should motivate us to uncompromisingly...READ MORE

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We Are Saved by Christ, Not by Rules

08/27/2015 Comments (130)

Sometime back, the media got itself all in a tizzy about “the Vatican” supposedly issuing “seven new deadly sins”.  As one particularly egregious headline put it “Recycle or go to hell, warns Vatican”.

Given this view of the Faith, discussions in the press then break down into inane prattle about mortal and venial sin.  Here, for instance, is Slate explaining it all for you:

What kinds of sins aren't deadly?

The venial ones. The Catholic Church divides sinful behavior into two categories: mortal and venial. (The distinction wasn't widespread until the medieval period.) Mortal sins are those that the sinner knows are serious but nonetheless decides to perform. They include the seven...READ MORE

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Dear Teacher

08/27/2015 Comments (33)

Dear Teacher,

At the start of vacation, you sent us a letter about how to prevent "summer slide." It was really great advice, all about keeping the mind engaged, maintaining numeric literacy, cultivating assessment-compatible competencies across cognitive and affective domains, perambulating meaning-centered anagogical plutocracies to iterate syngergistic vainglory, and not just playing Mario Kart all the time.

I skimmed, I skimmed.

The upshot is, I'm sure that whatever you advised totally would have worked, if we had done it. If we had followed your suggestions, and played those fun math games, and done those enjoyable vocabulary exercises, you wouldn't be facing the prospect of...READ MORE

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