Worth Another Look: Joe Versus the Volcano

04/21/2015 Comments (8)

It's always perilous to revisit movies you loved as a kid. Last weekend, we took a chance with  Joe Versus the Volcano (1990). My husband can't stand this movie, and not only because it is so chock full of Meg Ryan, who plays three roles. He says that it's a playwright's movie, which really does explain a lot. He complains that the characters are sloppy and ill-defined, and that many of the lines are delivered on a silver tray labelled "Significant and Memorable!" ("What's with the shoe?" someone asks Joe, who has stumbled and torn the sole on a sharp edge. "I'm losing my soul," he moans.  Womp womp!) And for a movie with "volcano" in the title, you sure had to wade through a lot of movie...READ MORE

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Pope Sends Message of Solidarity to Patriarch After ISIS Atrocity

04/20/2015 Comments (5)

Pope Francis this evening sent a message of solidarity to Patriarch Matthias of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church following the release of a video showing the killing of 28 Ethiopian Christians by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in Libya. 

"With great distress and sadness I learn of the further shocking violence perpetrated against innocent Christians in Libya," the Pope wrote, adding that he was reaching out to Patriarch Matthias and his flock "in heartfelt spiritual solidarity to assure you of my closeness in prayer at the continuing martyrdom being so cruelly inflicted on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia."

"It makes no difference whether the victims are...READ MORE

Filed under ecumenism of blood, ethiopia, isis, islamic state, libya, pope francis, terrorism

Fetal Dismemberment, Bad for Baby, Bad for Mom

04/20/2015 Comments (22)

An abortion advocate last week wrote in the Huffington Post that efforts to ban D&E abortions — like the bans passed this month in Kansas and Oklahoma — are an attempt to “punish women.”

At Priests for Life, Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More, we are always concerned with the health and welfare of women, which is why we would like to see abortion pulled off the market. It is a harmful product for women.

But in discussing dismemberment abortion, it’s the babies we have to be most concerned with.

This is how the U.S. Supreme Court described dismemberment abortion in its Gonzalez vs. Carhart decision of 2007:

“A doctor must first dilate the cervix at least to the extent needed to insert...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, catholic faith, human dignity, janet morana, priests for life, pro-life

Canons Regular Salute Cardinal George

Part of the Cardinal's Major Legacy Thrives in Chicago

04/20/2015 Comment
Courtesy St. John Cantius Church

Cardinal George poses with the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius in 2013; embedded photo also courtesy of the Canons Regular

– Courtesy St. John Cantius Church

Cardinal Francis George holds a special place in the hearts of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius.

This community of priests and brothers dedicated to the “Restoration of the Sacred” grew from a small group — at the once-flourishing church that become by the 1990s a place well-worn down, falling apart and in need of serious repairs and restoration  (and with few parishioners) — to today’s St. John Cantius Church, a jewel of sacred liturgies and music, glorious liturgical art and an ever-growing and thriving congregation (see video of this here).

Cardinal George surely envisioned what would one day come to be.

“Here are the beginnings of an order founded to make available to the...READ MORE

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Swearing and Vulgarity

04/19/2015 Comments (16)

I’ve always loved this funny little tune from Chaucer’s day:

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing, cuccu!
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springth the wude nu.
Sing, cuccu!
Awe bleteth after lomb,
Lhouth after calve cu
Bulloc sterteth, bucke ferteth.
Murie sing, cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes thu, cuccu.
Ne swik thu naver nu!

This joyful, ebullient tune, doubtless sung by many an English peasant out sweating in the field, is full of the solid earthy, good humor of a people who were closely bound to the land. For them, one of the images of sheer joy was when the “Bulloc sterteth” and the “bucke ferteth”. That latter clause is now rendered into modern English by very polite translators as “The...READ MORE

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When in Rome #4: Serendipitous Masses

How God (and Saint Sebastian and Saint John Paul II) met James and me in Rome.

04/18/2015 Comments (1)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

My week in Rome is almost up, and for a variety of reasons my plans to blog the trip didn’t work out quite as expected, though I do expect to write at least one more post about our trip. One of my posts, for reasons beyond my control, has gone missing; I’ll write more about this in the future. 

I had other plans that didn’t work out as expected either. At least two people in Rome I hoped to connect with I didn’t manage to (one was my fault, the other, um, less my fault). 

But James and I hit the big things. On Friday morning we visited Saint Peter’s, crypt to copula, completing our mini-pilgrimage to all four of Rome’s major papal basilicas. On Friday...READ MORE

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Cardinal George: The Myth and Reality of 'I'll Die in My Bed'

What Cardinal Francis George Really Said

04/17/2015 Comments (48)
Darren Leow

– Darren Leow

(Editor's note: This blog entry originally appeaed on Oct. 24, 2012):

At long last, the Archdiocese of Chicago's Cardinal Francis George has definitively affirmed what exactly he said in relation to the much-quoted statement about him dying in his bed, and his successors dying imprisoned and martyred.

I first heard the quote used by a Catholic speaker sometime in 2010. If you're a Catholic reader or conference attendee, you've no doubt heard it as well. It's taken on rather mythic proportions... so much so, that I suspected that it might not be factual. The quote has even made its way into the Cardinal's Wikipedia entry.

Over the years I've heard numerous commentators and speakers and...READ MORE

Filed under archdiocese of chicago, cardinal francis george, quote

The Amazing And Inspiring Story of the Quadriplegic Priest

04/17/2015 Comments (14)

This is an amazing story.

Bill Atkinson was an exceptional athlete and ruggedly handsome young man from the Philadelphia area. He attended Catholic schools throughout his life in the 1960's including Monsignor Bonner High School.

The Atkinson family was a wonderfully faithful Catholic family. In fact, the New York Jets nearly didn't draft his older brother, Al, as a linebacker because they feared he would become a priest. He didn't. Bill did.

Bill attended a pre-seminary program in upstate New York where one winter morning he was terribly injured when a toboggan he was riding down a hill along with three friends crashed into a tree. His friends weren't sure he would survive being carried...READ MORE

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