...to be added to as the day goes on.
At a meeting of the priest's council recently, Roman Catholic Bishop Michael F. Burbidge informed its members he intended to be active in public affairs. To the 25 gathered priests gathered, it was no big revelation.
Since assuming office in August, the bishop has been the company man, speaking out on nearly every Catholic social teaching there is. The speed with which he has prepared responses to issues such as embryonic stem cell research and immigration reform has heads turning.
And it marks a dramatic change from his predecessor, Bishop F. Joseph Gossman, who also spoke out on issues of the day but took his time to weigh in.
In the past two weeks alone, Burbidge dispatched his assistant to the state legislature to oppose a bill on end-of-life care. The bishop is concerned it might lead to euthanasia. He also came out in opposition to a bill that would expand sex education in the public schools beyond an abstinence-only curriculum. And today, he is holding a news conference to talk about immigration reform. Burbidge said people have a human right to immigrate and provide for their families.
But it's not as if Burbidge hasn't given people an opportunity to weigh in. The bishop's homilies are available electronically on the diocese's Web site (www.dioceseofraleigh.org). And daily updates allow visitors to keep up with his schedule and read his statements on various issues.
"We can't wait to wake up one morning and see something happen that we haven't discussed or didn't have a chance to study," Burbidge said. "That puts more pressure on us to be vigilant."
From said diocesan website, a section on the beginnings of the canonization cause for Fr. Thomas Price - a native North Carolinian who was a diocesan priest with a missionary zeal and also one of the founders of Maryknoll.
A new edition of "That Catholic Show". It's an introduction to the Catechism. Another link here.
Then...Saint Bombing at Oregon State:
This university has a strong liberal presence. You might remember that The Insurgent student newspaper at the U of O (in Eugene, 40 minutes away) printed pornographic drawing of Jesus Christ about a year ago. This was lauded by some here at OSU. The university has a very strong gay presence (with pride week, featuring "lube olympics" and other vile events). Despite the secularism and liberalism, the Catholic students here are pretty cool.
Well, some friends of mine got the idea to "Saint bomb" campus. Using chalk, hundreds of Catholic Saint names were written all over campus last week. This was done during perhaps the busiest week of spring term. Many events took place this week on the Quad. The Genocide Awareness Project came to the quad, drawing a large number of people. The "Snow in the Quad" (put on by the Protestant apparel designer CIVIL) came to set up the next day. The Relay for Life event happened at night on the quad, which meant hundreds of students were walking by Saint names nonstop all night long. We also used chalk to advertise Mass times. Lots of exposure for the Church!
Here are two videos documenting this event:
The Newman Center had a booth set up inside the Memorial Union building with a "Find your Saint" computer set up. Some non-Catholics came by to find their Saints. Other Catholics who haven't been to Church for a while saw their confirmation Saint name on the ground. Other Catholics got a lot of joy to see the names and to see Christ's presence in a tangible form on campus. And some others were annoyed at the audacity of these students.
We are trying to get more exposure to this project, so if you'd like to link to this video, please do! We'd like to see others get this idea, and maybe do it at their campus, to remind wayward Catholics of their roots and to show a strong presence of Faith! The response we've gotten from people around the community has been amazing, and the priests loved it!
One more thing to note... we got permission from the Memorial Union (the student union on campus) as well as the Church before doing this.
Yet another Chaldean priest was kidnapped this morning in Baghdad. He is Fr. Nawzat P. Hanna, parish priest of Mar Pithion, from the Baladiyat quarter. Confirmation of the abduction reached AsiaNews, via Msgr. Shlemon Warduni, Chaldean auxiliary bishop in the capital, who has invited Catholics to “pray for Fr. Nawzat’s immediate release”. The abductors have already made contact with the Chaldean Patriarchate, but as of yet there is no further news.
In the meantime in the capital the witch-hunt against Christians continues. It has emerged, from what has been reported to AsiaNews, that the persecution is being carried out according to a well studied plan, quarter by quarter across the city. After Dora, Al-Baya’a, al-Thurat and al-Saydia, now it’s the turn of al-Habibia and al-Baladiyat. Those groups who subscribe to the “Islamic state in Iraq” are putting up posters which demand women wear the veil and distributing pamphlets imposing protection taxes on Christians. “They use the same technique on each and every quarter – locals tell – soon they will begin to call house to house to sequester all our possessions”. “The coalition and Iraqi forces are present on the round in these neighbourhoods – they lament – they can see what’s going on, but they refuse to get involved”. Thus many make the decision to leave their homes, packing their most precious belongings in cases and seeking refuge in those few Churches which are still open. But most are already full to capacity, forcing many families to live and sleep on the streets.
From Kansas City - the Kansas City Catholic has a boatload of photos from this event:
On May 19, 2007, 11 nuns of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, made public professions at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at Conception, MO. A postulant also made her investiture in the Benedictine Habit. Officiating were the Most Reverend James C. Timlin, D.D. (Bishop Emeritus of Scranton, PA), Most Reverend Robert W. Finn, D.D., (Bishop of Kansas City--Saint Joseph, MO), and Right Reverend Gregory Polan, OSB (Abbot of Conception Abbey).
Below are pictures of the day. Few show the wonderful Solemn Pontifical Mass or the ceremonies incorporated into the three-hour liturgy. Most pictures show events that took place after the Holy Mass. At the end of this post is a link to pictures from the Mass and ceremonies.
Just consider the general picture that emerges from these links, randomly pulled from my email and my usual morning Web stops. What do you see?
I see a Church filled with the Spirit, with people engaged in the world, bringing the Gospel to bear on the world's real problems, evangelizing in creative ways, making profound, counter-cultural commitments and, as is the case in every era, everywhere, witnessing, perhaps with their lives, in a world hostile to that gospel.
In the same way the Holy Spirit, whose nature is always the same, simple and indivisible, apportions grace to each man as he wills. Like a dry tree which puts forth shoots when watered, the soul bears the fruit of holiness when repentance has made it worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit. Although the Spirit never changes, the effects of his action, by the will of God and in the name of Christ, are both many and marvellous.
The Spirit makes one man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man’s self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches another to fast and lead a life of asceticism, makes another oblivious to the needs of the body, trains another for martyrdom. His action is different in different people, but the Spirit himself is always the same. In each person, Scripture says, the Spirit reveals his presence in a particular way for the common good.
The Spirit comes gently and makes himself known by his fragrance. He is not felt as a burden, for he is light, very light. Rays of light and knowledge stream before him as he approaches. The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend and protector to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen, to console. The Spirit comes to enlighten the mind first of the one who receives him, and then, through him, the minds of others as well.
As light strikes the eyes of a man who comes out of darkness into the sunshine and enables him to see clearly things he could not discern before, so light floods the soul of the man counted worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit and enables him to see things beyond the range of human vision, thing hitherto undreamed of.
What do you see today?