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May 21, 2007

Comments

David Kubiak

Forgive a very unspiritual remark about a most edifying spiritual event. But the fact that Bishop Finn was wearing the ferraiolo after Mass boggles the mind. Very occasionally one sees a Cardinal in it at black tie charity events, but I don't think I've seen a bishop wear one since the reforms. Quite remarkable to us prelatial vesture hobbyists who notice these things. Father Tucker take note!

Don

By coincidence, Bishop Burbidge celebrated mass at our parish here in Philadelphia the morning after JPII died.

I came to mass in tears and left with such hope, much of it due to his homily.

What a great shepherd Bishop Burbidge is.

Glenn Juday

Re: the Oregon State University saint-fest.

Sociologically speaking, the modern western/American university is the institution with the lowest level of self-identification of religious belief among the people in it. The Pacific Northwest and Alaska are the regions of the U.S. with the lowest level of religious affiliation and participation. What a beacon of hope these young people offer in that environment.

Oregon has state-promoted suicide, and the campaign to establish the practice through referendum got a crucial bump of momentum with the electorate when it adopted a clear appeal to anti-Catholic bias and myths. A number of folks in political circles I knew there when I was young have gone off the deep end into vitriol, cynicism, and dead-end vision – which is increasingly misanthropic across the board.

Oregon State University is my Alma Mater. My wife and I have fond memories of the place. Two of our children who died at and shortly after birth, are buried there. I was in graduate program at the university when both deaths occurred. The spectacular environment and scenery there, the pleasant setting for the town, the exciting life of the mind, the professional and research opportunities, all those made for a rewarding life. But somehow from the very beginning of my time there I understood that none of these secular advantages answered the fundamental human need to understand what it was all for, the purpose of life, the quest to live a good life, to be in relationship with God through Christ and His Church, alive and present with us in our daily journey.

After the death of our second child, seeing the quiet pain that my wife and I bore, our pastor at St. Mary’s in Corvallis, Oregon took the time to arrange and conduct a Mass for our lost little ones. In a semi-darkened church on a typical cloudy day, with just us and the priest in a quiet church huddled near a corner tabernacle, the mercy of God and the communion of saints were made tangible and real and lived out in us. My wife and I had no need to be convinced intellectually of the mercy of God, or the communion of Saints. But the lived reality was a part of our human vocation, just as producing new human persons to offer to God through baptism into His Church was our vocation as parents.

Next to this, the secular had nothing to offer, nothing to say that meant anything, beyond ‘sorry you feel bad – you’ll get over it.’

I’ve never forgotten that moment – or its lesson. No matter what the success or failure in worldly terms, no matter what else, our lives are a gift from God, our lives find their real meaning in God, and God is here with us – most especially and powerfully in His Church which is a vehicle for grace no matter whether anybody is noticing or not. The saints can be a great comfort to us as powerful advocates for us, sometimes to help us look beyond the secular into the eternal where God awaits us. Sometimes those we know will go on before us to join the heavenly throng.

May God abundantly bless these wonderful, wonderful Oregon State University students who have reminded their peers of the heavenly reality and the heavenly intercessors who just wait for us to call upon them for their advocacy for us. May it yield real spiritual fruit, even if it is no more seen that a priest in a quiet church praying with a young couple to entrust a few more saints to God.

Lisa

We are very blessed here in the Diocese of Raleigh to have Michael Burbidge as our new bishop! He is a very strong leader, very active, and gives me great hope.

I enjoyed the article about him in our local paper, "The News and Observer" but found it very telling that the headline was "Bishop crusades quickly on social issues". Given the liberal nature of the newspaper, I'm sure his strong opposition to liberal causes like comprehesive sex education, embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia must be vexing to them. Maybe that's why they used such a provocative word like "crusades" in the headline?

Benedicamus

The "saint bombing" is a great idea. More large Catholic colleges could derive benefit from something like that.
I agree with you, Glenn, about the Pacific Northwest- and would extend your comments to Montana, which sometimes is counted as a Pacific Northwestern state. I have always felt that that state, which is comprised of one diocese, was still a mission territory in reality (though not technically).
As to what "lube olympics" are- I have no clue, nor do I think it wise to try and figure that one out.

Mike Walsh, MM

I had the honor of meeting Bp. Burbidge a week or so ago. I found him enthusiastic and very supportive, especially of the cause for Fr. Price. We are currently looking for witnesses and hope to present the cause in the NY archdiocese (where Maryknoll is located) later this year.

Garrett Vogenbeck

Glenn Juday,

I was wondering what kind of response we would receive when the names were put down on the chalk. I was timid and was anticipating a more negative reaction from many people. Surprisingly, many people thought it was pretty cool, even some who weren't Catholic. However, your comments here have touched me the most, and made me glad that my friends came up with this idea.

The question I keep getting asked is "WHY?". Your comments on this blog explain exactly why we did this. The secular has nothing to offer. I know that my friends who did this were full of joy, knowing that we actually went through with our idea! I think my friends and I are a little bit intense in how we express our faith. But this is why we are Catholic, because it is so real, and the truth within it is so obvious and tangible. I can't imagine being Christian and not having the Saints and the Mass and the great gifts of the Sacraments given to us by our Lord. I guess that's what we want to do, like you said, is to remind others of the Heavenly Intercessors we have, and to remind our fellow Christians of the ultimate reality.

Hopefully this simple idea (chalk art) will spread to other campuses. It will happen at U of O I'm sure. I hope that if others do it, they'll put it out there like we did in order to inspire others to be strong in their faith on campus.

Thank you for your comments, and God Bless!

In Christ,
Garrett Vogenbeck

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