Monday, December 31, 2007

Typical phone conversation

in many parishes this time of the year:

Me (answers phone): Hello, Cathedral.

Caller: Do you have Midnight Mass this evening?

Me: Yes, sir.

Caller: What time?

Me: Ummm.... Midnight. (Thinking: Hence, the name!)

Caller: It's not earlier in the evening?

Me: Nope, it's at Midnight.

Bored this evening?

Why not stop down at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati for Adoration and Mass?

What better way to ring in a new year than spending some time with Our Lord in Adoration and celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the stroke of Midnight?

The Vocation Office is hosting 'Adoration for Vocations' from 6 pm until Midnight, with Mass following Benediction. Start of the new year with a recharge from Christ!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Beautiful Worship

In the thread below, Rich hijacked my wishes for a Merry Christmas to steer the conversation onto 'beautiful worship' as the key to convicting the next generation. Uncle Jim chided that 'beautiful worship' could be something subjective, and what hits you may not hit me.

*By the way, I'm not complaining about the hijack, it dovetails nicely.

I just got off the phone with my father, which is always a treat b/c he doesn't do phone 'small talk' well.

In the course of our discussion, he mentioned that he and mom attended the 9:00 AM Mass Christmas morning at our home parish. The Mass had all the smells and bells, incense, singing and chanting, full compliment of servers, even lasted 1.5 hours.

Drove him nuts.

Not that it was too long, not that the homily was bad, not that the singing was offkey (we didn't discuss most of that), but a family in front of them seemingly have had infrequent attendence at best, and in dad's words: "The kids were old enough to know better" than what their behavior showed.

"I left Christmas Mass with the desire to go home and get a drink at 10:30 in the morning."

I wonder if the family in front of my parents left 'convicted.'

Admittedly, it is unfair to ask one liturgy to do that, but it could happen, because ultimately Mass is where we have the most profound interaction with Christ (and Adoration as an offshoot that returns us deeper into Mass.)

But, to know Jesus, one must first know about Jesus. But knowing about Jesus isn't enough to sustain a life long pilgrimage of faith.

Hmmm.... dilemma.

Much more to ponder over in this great season of Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Well, after a busy few days, I've finally caught up on some rest and and am basking the glow of the Second Day of Christmas, aka St. Stephan's Day. (Or Boxing Day for those crazy Canuckistanis!)

I hope you all had a wonderful and joyous Celebration of Our Lord's Birth. I had five Masses (two vigils, Midnight, and two morning) over the last two days at one parish while the pastor recuperates from a hip replacement. It was a nice little parish (seats 120 people tightly!) Afterwards, I went to a friends house for dinner and a long conversation about the state of the Church, a little to do with the Vocation Office and how to 'Convict' the next generation.

Finally, I hope the joy you experienced was even only slightly as great as my niece, who really got into a new NEMO! something or other.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thoughts to Ponder...

Is there anything more peaceful than a two year old sleeping soundly on her father's lap? Free Smiley Face Courtesy of

Is there anything more terrorizing than a two year old who needs a nap but is fighting it off so that she doesn't miss anything because company is over and she wants to be the center of attention? Free Smiley Face Courtesy of Free Smiley Face Courtesy of

I love staying with my brother and visiting with my other siblings as well, but it also reassures me that I am in the vocation God laid out for me. Free Smiley Face Courtesy of

Good Families = More Vocations

Via the eNewsletter of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, comes the exhortation from the Asian Bishops that good families make for more vocations:

In their final statement, the bishops said that it was in families that the mystery of a vocation is born, encouraged and guided, and “the quality of family life […] either nourishes and fosters vocation or weakens and destroys” it.The bishops said an emerging global culture that fosters individualism, self-assertion and ambition brought a negative influence to Asian families and vocations as well.

As Catholics, especially during Christmas, we need to combat this 'emerging globacl culture that fosters individualism, self-assertion and ambition' with the deeper reality that an embrace of Christ, born for us by the Virgen, and crucified to take away our sins, is the only true path to an embrace of life.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Top Ten Posts

A few days ago, Adoro tagged me for a 'Top Ten' posts meme. Life interfered, but since it is a cold and foggy day in Iowa, it is time to scour my archives to see if I can round up ten posts that are worth sharing.

1) Spiritual Moms for Priests is a recent addition to the 'Called by Name' archive. I not only pass along info from the Vatican, but tell a bit of my own vocation story.

2) November brings The More, the Merrier with an idea of how to reinvigorate life in a parish.

3) October brought an unexpected surprise in Grateful for Gifts Received.

4) September brought about craziness in A Week in the Life of a Vocation Director.

5) I swiped A Father grows to support his daughter's vocation from Brad at Roman Catholic Vocations.

6) Seek Eagerly After Love was my attempt to present some of the themes from Deus Caritas Est.

7) My thoughts on Ordination to the Priesthood appeared in the Telegraph in May.

8) How to promote vocations in the Parish was the subject of One Every Eight.

9) Just in time for Advent comes a reflection from Lent on The Need for Reconciliation.

10) Last, but hopefully not least, are the words from one of the hardest days of my life as a priest, but also one of the most rewarding, as I shared my thought from the Homily for the Funeral Mass of a dear young one.

What day of Christmas?

Darcee passes on a little exercise in fun (by way of the Anchoress):

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Best laid plans...

So, tonight was organize the room (always a necessity), get things outlined and ready to go before driving to Iowa tomorrow to visit my brother for the weekend. I was hoping to get that 'top ten posts' meme (how do you say 'meme' anyways?) that Adoro tagged me with done at about this point in the evening, and hit the sack early. Instead I'm eating a cold dinner at 9:00 at night.

What's that about how to make God laugh, tell Him you plans?

Between confessions ending at 5:00 and Mass at 5:15, my friend Kelly called to inform that our friend Tim was having a heart attack and was on his way to Christ hospital, could I get there NOW? (Ok, put this in the right context:) "Shit, I've got Mass at 5:15, I'll go up when I'm done!"

By 6:00, I was in my car heading up to Clifton and Christ hospital, which is only about 1.5 miles from the Cathedral. By the time I got up there, he was in surgery, and I sat and talked to Janet, his wife, for a while. (The hospital chaplain scored major points and showed up as well.) Janet's sister and nephew showed up shortly, and we were eventually brought back to see Tim and speak to the doctor. (Dr. Jennings, a parishioner from my former assignment, came out to see us as well.)

They had taken care of the blockage, one main artery completely blocked, and had put in a stint. Tim was back to his normal color and personality (something about the nurse looking at his legs?) By this point, Janet had greatly calmed down and relaxed, but she was very cute when we first got to see Tim, you could see the love in her eyes.

God was very good to him, Janet and the family (7 children). They were driving to deliver gifts for a family who had lost everything and had just stopped to fix a tire at a Speedway gas station, and he went out. The squad got there quick, and Kelly was right there to take the children back to the house so Janet could go with Tim to the hospital. Janet's brother (I think) lives next to Dr. Jennings. And she was right there to give him someone to focus on so he didn't drop completely off.

Praise God for his many blessings!

An email just came across the wire that friends are putting together a 'spiritual bouqet' for Tim and his family. If you want to add to it, just post it in the combox and I will forward it to them.

Friends, take care of yourself (me included!) Tim is a physical therapist and knows the dangers, but wasn't as cautious as he needed to be. It certainly woke him up, do you have an unhealthy habit that could lead to something similar?

Consider it

Norbertine Nuns?

Another new community, or at least newly arrived in the states.

Swing of the Thurible to Drew at the Shrine.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Spiritual Moms for Priests

It is no secret to anyone who has asked my vocation story. I am convinced that I made it through the seminary on the merits and prayers of 'God's Blue Hair Army' who diligently attended their weekly holy hour at the little Adoration Chapel at Immaculate Conception Church in Botkins, Ohio. (Which just so happens to be my home parish.)

Let me back up a bit. I guess it was during the summer between my junior and senior year of high school that I had my first opportunity to attend a retreat day/visionary experience at Our Lady's Farm in Falmouth, Kentucky. (Think Medjugoria without all the hoopla.) I think the visions that were supposedly happening there have since been proven false, but on the 8th of the month for several successive months, my mother, brother and I would attend this pilgrimage, even to the point that we (my brother and I) were 'leading' a bus for the day. We would leave the friendly confines of Botkins, Ohio, and travel in a caravan of two to four buses to the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center for Mass (now the location of the studios for Sacred Heart Radio, among other things) before traveling further down the road to Falmouth for messages that Our Lady would give to a visionary. While there were certainly miraculous things that happened during those trips, I didn't go b/c of the visionary, I went to connect with God, through Mary.

After going a few times that summer and then heading into my senior year during the fall, Cindy, who was the coordinator of the trips, started challenging me. Every time she saw me, she would look up at me and say: "You're going to be a priest some day!" My response: "Cindy, SHUSH! I'm going to be a doctor!" "I'm praying for you." was her simple response. I, of course, immediately started to pray to be a doctor. (Hindsight says if you have an option of me praying for you or Cindy S., choose Cindy!)

These little tits for tats lasted my entire senior year of high school, during which time I was dating a very nice girl (shhhh! she was a Protestant! Oh, the horror!) so I was not at all interested in the priesthood. Cindy became especially devious and by this time had started putting a petition in the prayer book in the Adoration Chapel at the parish, as well as getting her prayer group of her fellow little old ladies, to pray that I might become a priest one day. (SHE CHEATED!)

Low and behold, I went off to Ohio State after graduating from high school as a proud chemistry/Pre-Med major thinking that God had answered my prayers and left her's in the dust! HA!

As is again obvious, she triumphed in the end. (Ok, really, it was God, but only because she went all Andy Dufrense on Him and kept pestering him about me and the priesthood.) At the beginning of my third quarter at OSU, I came in a little late to the Catholic Student meeting at the Newman Center (run by the Paulists, no less) because I was an officer for the Pre-Med group which met the same night. Well, this particular evening, the topic at hand was vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

I couldn't sleep that night. I tossed and turned. I got up at one and watched tv (causing my roommate to look at me with serious concern on his face.) I left at two in the morning to walk around campus (don't suggest you follow in my footsteps on this one!) Finally, I agreed that I would talk to one of the priests at the Newman Center about it, and got to some sleep that night.

Easter weekend was even worse, as how do I tell my mother and what would she say? Finally, after hemming and hawing all weekend, I stopped her at about 2:00 on Easter Sunday: "Mom, I think God might be calling me to be a priest."

Well, after picking her up off of the floor, we looked at each other and wondered what was next. The rest, as they say, is history. I switched to the Josephinum in Columbus the following year. Three years later, I graduated and headed to Mount St. Mary's in Cincinnati. Five years post that, I was taking a nap in the Cathedral one morning....

But, importantly, during those eight years (which were a little more tumultuous than I lead on, but for the sake of brevity (In an already 1000 word plus article, he mentions 'brevity'?!?!?) I'll skip the nasty details), Cindy, her friends, my mother and sister, plus people I did not even know, prayed for me, by name, before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

I would have NEVER made it without their prayers.

Which leads me to my whole point, that I have wanted to make on this blog for at least the last week ====>

The Vatican Congregation for the Clergy is looking for people willing to offer Eucharistic adoration for the preisthood and 'consecrated feminine souls' ready to become spiritual mothers of priests.

If you think that there is nothing that you can do to reverse the vocation crisis, you can always pray! NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PRAYER!!!!

It got my sorry butt through the seminary, unworthy tho I be. Pick one man in seminary, one young woman in formation, and offer each an hour of prayer weekly.

My priesthood is an example of what can happen when a community joins together to pray for this. (Oh, and the gifts keep giving, as another young man from my home parish is likely entering the seminary in the fall!)

A Hidden Joy of Advent

Advent, and Lent, too, for that matter, are the two primary penitential seasons in the Church, which means extra work for her priests, as there are confessions to be heard. Most parishes schedule at least one communal penance service during these two seasons, with the result that extra priests are called in to assist in freeing parishioners from the traps of sin. While it is a joy to help out in parishes, it does eat up evenings as we travel the circuit from parish to parish.

The 'Hidden Joy' of the season is often connected with these penance services. It is a common expectation (but not universal) that the host pastor provide dinner for the priests who can make it, either before or after the penance service. As happened for me last night, there were mainly priests there whom I do not necessarily see too often. There was a flock of retired guys there, and the conversation over drinks and dinner about their history as priests, assignments they had as young priests, dealing with former Bishops and Archbishops, their rememberances of their time in the seminary and of their first pastors and old priests who were around as they began their service; it all made for a good connection with the past, as we also look to the glory of the future.

Please pray for your priests, as we get stretched thinner, it is not always easy to balance out our schedules. Please pray especially for an increase of vocations to the priesthood as well. It is a wonderful and joy-filled life, one which i wouldn't pass up for all the treasures in this world.

Monday, December 17, 2007

6,852 priests and 11,010 nuns (vocations “shortage”?)

So gives Fr. Thomas Euteneuer as the number of potential priests and religious killed by abortion. He cites the statistics in an article on Tim Tebow and his rise to the Heisman Trophy, but also that because of a set of circumstances before he was born, his mother's doctors advised her to have an abortion. The only question that remains: 'What could've been???'

The sports world recently greeted the news that this year’s Heisman Trophy Winner, Tim Tebow from the University of Florida, was almost a casualty of abortion. Twenty-some years ago he was not the strapping 6’3”, 235 lb. beloved sports hero that he is today. At that time he was a one-inch-long unborn child whose existence, because of an amoebic infection, was defined as threat to his mother’s health. Pam Tebow, his mother, was told by a doctor that it would be in her best interests to abort this baby, and she refused. Her husband backed her up on that generous decision, and seven months later they gave birth to a perfectly healthy boy. Little did they know that twenty years later they would be standing on a national stage with a Heisman Trophy winner giving that magnificent witness to life. The world thanks you, Mr. and Mrs. Tebow! There cannot be a more touching Advent story than this.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I want this!


Commentator M. Swaim points us to a similar game! (hmmm... I hope Santa subscribes to my blog!):


Today, here at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains, we celebrate 25 years of leadership by Archbishop Pilarczyk with a special Mass of Thanksgiving this afternoon. In attendance will be most of the bishops from Ohio, as well as a number of visitors from out of state, most notably Adam Cardinal Maida of Detroit. (I wonder if he'll let me try on the reds? You think?)

Hopefully the weather doesn't deter things too much.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Crunch Time

So, it's now about 3:30, and I have the vigil Mass at the Cathedral at 4:30.

Hmm... Now about that homily....

Friday, December 14, 2007

First Sighting

At least for me, here in Cincinnati, of the Smart ForTwo:

Seen in the 100 block of W. 8th Street while walking to work today. It was parked behind a BWM 5 or 7 series, which looked like it was towing a two year old in arears.
Can I say I want one?

Church Squirrels

Just in time for the Christmas turnout:

There were four country churches in a small Texas town: The Presbyterian Church, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church. Each church was overrun with pesky squirrels.

One day, the Presbyterian Church called a meeting to decide what to do about the squirrels. After much prayer and consideration they determined that the squirrels were predestined to be there and they shouldn't interfere with God's divine will.

In the Baptist Church the squirrels had taken up habitation in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a cover on the baptistery and drown the squirrels in it. The squirrels escaped somehow and there were twice as many there the next week.

The Methodist Church got together and decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creation. So, they humanely trapped the Squirrels and set them free a few miles outside of town. Three days later, the squirrels were back.

But -- The Catholic Church came up with the best and most effective solution. They baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Some good news

and some not so good.

First the good, via Rich Leonardi and Amy Welborn, comes news of a new Vatican webpage which should be extremely helpful for priests and those doing academic research, especially in the area of the Church Fathers: Biblia Clerus

Then the bad, Dawn Eden passes along advertizing posters of Planned (un)Parenthood from around the world, shivers down the spine.

Living the courage of the Martyrs

Fr. Z. passes along a CNS news story of an Iraqi Muslim woman coming to faith in Christ through the witness of military medical personnel and a Navy Chaplain:

As Fr. Bautista continued speaking with us, he described the fascinating story of a young Muslim woman who was entering the Church under his guidance through the RCIA process. Her story was moving. While working with Americans, this woman, who must remain anonymous, was touched deeply when she realized that the U.S. medical personnel not only treated wounded Americans and Iraqi civilians, but also treated wounded enemy combatants, including one who was known for having killed U.S. Marines. As she put it, “This cannot happen with us.” This dramatic extension of mercy even to enemy soldiers caused her to take the next cautious step. She asked Father Bautista to “tell me more about Jesus.” As Father described Jesus and his life in the Gospels, one thing stood out among the rest for the Muslim woman he called “Fatima” (not her real name) and that was how kindly Jesus had related to, as she put it, “the two Mary’s.” Fatima was moved to see how Jesus deeply loved Mary, his mother, who was sinless, but also how Jesus deeply loved Mary Magdalene, who was “a great sinner.” As these discussions continued, Fatima reached a point where she said to Father Bautista, “I want to become a Christian.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A priest's impact on others

The Dominican blog tells of the story of Father Robert A. Morris, OP, who likely doesn't even remember one act of kindness, that has stuck with a friend 50 years after the fact:

Father Morris ordered the cabby to stop and call the police. I watched from the cab as he ran to the man, removed his black wool coat and covered the man with it — not half the coat, as St. Martin did, but the whole thing. Then Father Morris knelt in the freezing rain, administering the last rites.

Be a Hero

Saturday, December 8, 2007

St. Ambrose and First Friday Homily

If you missed the delivery yesterday on the radio, here is the printed text used for my homily yesterday for Sacred Heart Radio:

As we gather today to celebrate this Mass, there are many things that are happening in the Church’s cycle of prayer. Not only do we gather on this First Friday of December, but we are making our way through this great season of Advent, plus we celebrate an early Doctor of the Church, one of the four great Latin Patriarchs in St. Ambrose, not to mention that tomorrow is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, you may be wondering how we’re going to tie all this together, or even if they might somehow be related to a theme of Vocation as well. Hmm… Let’s give it a shot, shall we? It is this last aspect, the theme of Vocation that underlies all that I do, is one aspect that I see that unifies all of these various themes and venues that we celebrate today.
First, let’s begin with the Season in which we find ourselves: Advent. This is, as we have been hearing, a season of Preparation, a joyful season of anticipation of Christ’s coming, not only at the great Feast of Christmas that ends this season, but also an acknowledgement that Christ is coming that the end of time. However, if we look at it this way, there may be a temptation to think that Jesus has left us orphans somehow. He is currently off enjoying the richness of Heaven, exploring the endless mansion that His Father has up there. But we all know that this is NOT the case. During this season of Advent, we have such moving passages, especially from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, that show how God is intimately concerned with what is going on ‘down here.’ God wants to turn our world which can be full of hatred, jealously and tyranny, into a world of peace, full of orchards, where the poor rejoice in God’s presence and the lion and the lamb lie down together, in peace.
We hear in the moving announcement to Mary that she will ‘conceive and bear a son, and you shall name him: Emmanuel; which means: God is with us.’ So we know, fundamentally, Christ is present here with us, leading us deeper into the mystery of his very self, and drawing us ever closer into His heavenly home.
But, how does he do this? How is His presence made known to the world today? Obviously, there are many and varied ways, but a primary way that he enters the world is through the life and ministry of His priests, whom he calls to do His bidding in the world.
As a priest, I have to be very conscious of the fact that what I do in this world is not about me, rather I am to be a doorway for others to come to know Christ, in whose presence, in whose persona I act, that we do represent Christ to the world. I am reminded of this continually as I walk downtown and am asked repeatedly if I am ‘a reverend.’ “Nope, I am a Catholic priest.” Even the homeless guys respond: ‘Pray for me, Father.’ You betcha!
The priest stands as a constant reminder that Jesus is still present to us, that he gives his life for His people, just as the priest does in celibacy. The priest is also a reminder that all of us live in anticipation of the world to come, and not just for this world. The priest is an eschatological sign of our hope in heaven.
But interestingly, as he stands arranged to the world to come, he also focuses on this world, on the here and now, which is part of the lesson that we have today from St. Ambrose, the great teacher and doctor, Patriarch of the Latin Church and founder of the Ambrosian Rite in Milan. While I admittedly do not know as much as I should about Ambrose’s thought and theology, there is always a connection between him and another great Patriarch of the Latin Church: Augustine, whom he baptized. This connection points to the fact that the priest is not to be concerned with his own salvation, per se, but with the salvation of the souls entrusted to his care. He is to give his life so that others may live. He is to draw others deeper into the mystery of Christ, so he is to not only be a witness, but must also be a teacher of the mysteries which he celebrates. The two great Patriarchs, along with Gregory I and Jerome, help us even yet today to understand the mystery of Christ’s presence in the world, and give especially the priests of today the example to follow of preaching Christ, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Finally, and most importantly, we come to Mary, whose presence is inescapable during this great season. She is the mother of all priests, for she is the mother of the Great High Priest, Jesus Himself. But she is also first and foremost a disciple, who gives those who follow in her footsteps the pathway to come to know her son better.
But, she is also the extreme example for her priests to follow, for everything that she does points the way not to herself, but to her Son, just as everything that a priest does should also point to her Son. In a sense, she is the first priest because she bears Christ to the world, she makes Him known through her deeds and actions. Yet, she is also the model of humility because she never sought the glory for herself, even as she recognizes that ‘All generations will call me blessed.’ But this is only because of her connection with the Almighty, ‘who has done great things for’ her; and ‘Holy is His name.’
Because of her example, because of her connection with her Son, every priest is to be Marian in his devotion, and I am convinced that my vocation to the priesthood was marked by her gracious intercession and guidance. I was baptized and raised at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Botkins, I was formed as a disciple of Christ under Mary’s patronage in this very chapel and at Her Farm in Falmouth, for which I am very grateful. I attended Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, which celebrates her Patronal Feast tomorrow, and I was first assigned to Our Lady of the Visitation on the West Side upon my Ordination. She guides not only her priests, but all the disciples of Her Son, closer to Him.
One final note regarding Mary’s life: she also teaches us that to follow Christ, to bear Christ to the world, is not a pathway for glory, it is a pathway of humility. She knew whom she was bearing in her womb, yet she submitted and gave birth in a manger, with the animals to keep her company. The Shepherds in the fields were the first to come and visit, and the kings only came later. She experienced persecution and ridicule when she ended up pregnant before she and Joseph came to live together. Through all this, though, God refined her and made her a more perfect dwelling place for Christ. In the same way, God brings us through our own sufferings that we too might become more perfect dwelling places for Christ, too.
During this Advent season, as we make our journey to Christ, coming not only at Christmas, but also at the End of Time, let us embrace this journey, that in following the footsteps of Mary and the Saints, we may make Christ known more perfectly in our lives, and that through our faithfulness, Jesus may transform this world of suffering and pain, to a world that recognizes that Christ is always with us. And with that knowledge, we have the true freedom that comes to His Son’s and Daughters.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


First off, the 'slogan' below is a reworking of a quote from Pope Benedict, and his comes across much stronger:

Fulfillment does not lie in comfort, ease, and following one’s inclinations but precisely in allowing demands to be made upon you, in taking the harder path. Everything else turns out somehow boring anyway. Only the person who recognizes and ideal he must satisfy, who takes on real responsibility, will find fulfillment.

Unfortunately, we can't find the attribution. :(

And Barb wins the prize here for her comment in the 'Post 300' thread. Thanks for the kind wishes, Barb.

Narcissism, Priestly Style

With a swing of the thurible to Carl Olson at Ignatius Insight, he points readers to the following article on priests and narcissism:

Much of this change was long attributed to the “Spirit of Vatican II”, but in fact, our point is that the secular and narcissistic spirit of the times lies beneath these liturgical irregularities. This secular spirit, as described by Lasch, was explicitly self-indulgent and self-aggrandizing. The rationale of those who personalize the liturgy is clearly one that rejects the Church’s history and tradition — just as society in general has rejected its past. This is easily seen in the frequent neglect and sometimes even explicit disparagement of the Church’s liturgical tradition by those who should be most closely wedded to the Church — priests.

The article is a good read about how the underlying the narcissism of the wider culture has infiltrated its way into the ranks of the clergy. The authors (a father and son team, one a psychologist, one a brother and seminarian) point to the psychological aspects that help spur the advent of the 'happy, clappy Mass,' as some call it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Reb Bull and New Slogans

So, after fielding pressure from a Catholic priest, Red Bull pulled an ad from Italian television:

The advert depicted four wise men, instead of three, visiting Mary and the Baby Jesus in Bethlehem. The fourth wise man bore a can of the soft drink.
"The image of the sacred family has been represented in a sacrilegious way," Father Damanti told Corriere della Sera. "Whatever the ironic intentions of Red Bull, the advert pokes fun at the nativity, and at Christian sensitivity."

Speaking of adverts (not Advents), hows this for a new slogan for the vocation office:

Choose the Priesthood, everything else turns out somehow boring anyway.

Post 300!

And a Big ol' Happy Birthday goes out to my brother Kurt, swarming through the snow in Iowa (That Iowa, always was a corny state!)

Anyway, thanks for those that turned in to listen to the Son Rises morning show. I now have a fair amount of scheming to do in response, however. I was a little suspicious as Matt went looking around for a set of head phones for me to wear in studio with Brian Patrick: "What, I never have head phones, who's calling in???"

The surprise was that my mother called in to wish Kurt a happy birthday. It was good to talk to her, and share some reminisence.

God Bless, and enjoy the day!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Did you know that the Chad Johnson Degree commercial, with the four guys in empty stands yelling 'C' 'H' 'A' 'd' with the last guy staying seated, yeah you know the one, was filmed at Elder High School's Pit, the 10,000 seat concrete horseshoe football stadium?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

3 PSA's

Three Public Service Announcements, from the fine folks here at Called by Name:

1) If you missed the radio broadcast of my homily for this weekend, you can catch it LIVE at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, 11 AM and 6 PM Masses.

2) If you haven't seen the movie Bella yet, they've announced more cities. (Be forewarned, they release some type of eye irritant into the theatre near the end, caused my eyes to water furiously!) If we want more success like the last post and Planned (un)Parenthood, ventures like this will certainly help our cause!

3) For the teenagers out there, when unpacking the dishwasher, remember its not where you put the dishes, it's where the cook has to find them! Just out to help.

Man, I hope he

picks me up one! (The Geek Cleric's Holy Grail, that is!)

(If anyone is looking for a Christmas gift for the good padre....)


Sometimes words come out of your mouth and later seem to be prophetic, as I hope was the case this morning.

For the last ten years or so, Holy Name Church in Cincinnati's Mount Auburn neighborhood (between Univeristy of Cincinnati and Christ Hospital) has been kept open primarily because of its proximity to the largest Planned (un)Parenthood mill in the city. During those years, the faithful have gathered on Saturday mornings to pray for a conversion of those who work there, of those who seek their services, and for the repose of the souls of those killed there.

For many years, they gathered one Saturday a month. Low and behold, the 'clinic' was soon closed on those days! So, in a moment Andy Dufrense (sp?) would be proud of, they started gathering twice a month. Well, soon, the 'clinic' was closed those two Saturdays!

In February of this year, I was asked to be part of the First Saturday's Mass at Holy Name, which would have a focus for youth and young adults, and we would now have covered four of five Saturday's a month: Mass, followed by Exposition and a Rosary Procession to the front of That Evil Institution.

Since I hadn't yet heard, but assumed, I checked with the organizer this morning before Mass to see if I was still on the schedule for next year, First Saturday's. Response: 'Unless that place closes down, we're still doing!" I think my response was: "While I would love extra sleep on a Saturday AM, as long as there is a need and I am available, I'm here."

Well, low and behold: the gates into the Compound were CLOSED and LOCKED this morning!!!

What a great sign that God rewards the faithfulness of His people! Now, can we get a 24/7 vigil going there?