Monthly Archives: September 2013

How to Read the Pope’s Interview: 1. Pray & THEN: 2. Read @FatherZ s Post

19 September 2013

Sofia says: Thanks, Father Zuhlsdorf. Can’t do this on my own…

First thoughts about the Francis Interview

Posted on 19 September 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Pope Francis, formerly a Jesuit, gave an series of interviews to the Jesuits. The interviews have been edited together, with parenthetical commentary and descriptions of the setting and so forth, and translated by lay people and Jesuits for publication in Jesuit publications. The English version is at the site of Jesuit-run America Magazine.

The interview is dense. There is a LOT going on in it. It is too much for the brain to take in at one sitting.

As you read the interview, and media coverage of the interview, you will find – and this is consistent with Pope Francis’ style of talking off-the-cuff – some truly quotable quotes, leap-out quotes that sit up and beg to be taken out of context. Look at what the MSM is doing with some of them.

For example, the New York Times leads with a headline “Pope Bluntly Faults Church’s Focus on Gays and Abortion (By Laurie Goodstein).” Oh really? Is that what Pope Francis did? CBS has “Pope Francis: Catholic Church must focus beyond “small-minded rules” and goes on to say “Pope Francis has warned that the Catholic Church’s moral structure might “fall like a house of cards” if it doesn’t balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make it a merciful, more welcoming place for all.” Oh really? Is that what Pope Francis really said? The CBS statement makes the Pope sound as if he think that they Church has the change it’s teaching about abortion or homosexuality or it will collapse like a house of cards.

Even if you haven’t read the whole interview/article, some 12000 words, common sense tells you that that is not what the Pope said.

It is important when reading the interview, and media coverage of the interview, to keep your eyes on those leap-out quotes. When you see the MSM using those leap-out quotes in a way that doesn’t pass the smell test, go back and look at the context, the whole paragraph.

The whole context of the paragraph deconstructs the leap-out quotes and makes those quotes make sense.

Please click HERE for the rest of Father’s post.

Ferris Bueller Would Love This Post

18 September 2013

18 September 2013 Anno Domini
Posted by David L.Alexander at HIS BLOG,
Man with Black Hat

The Worst Four Years of My Life (and Why I Celebrate Them)

"Man with Black Hat IS The Man in the Middle"

Lisa Hendley asked for advice at the Patheos Catholic Channel (where all the kewl Catholic bloggers hang out, duh!) on whether to go to one’s high school reunion. She didn’t get much advice in the combox, but she’s about to get some here.

The American experience of high school is an artificial construct of sorts, one where less than five percent of the class — the captain of the football team, the homecoming queen, their circle of friends, you know the drill — can say it was the best years of their lives…

Now click HERE for the rest of David’s post. You won’t be sorry, the boy can write!

Our Holy Father asks for Prayers and Fasting for Peace in Syria Sept 7th

6 September 2013

Posted on September 6, 2013 by Carol Glatz on the blog,
Praying for Peace in Syria
by Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting and prayer tomorrow. And to help people prepare, the U.S. bishops have posted a quick guide on what fasting entails:

For the two days of the year when the Church requires fasting of Catholics (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday), the parameters of the fast are given as: “When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal. Two smaller meals may also be taken, but not to equal a full meal.” Catholics may, of course, eat less, but this is considered the minimum required.

The fasting for Syria on September 7 is not obligatory and so can follow the guidelines of each Catholic’s conscience, ranging from a “black fast” (no food or drink) to a fast of abstinence from one or more items (e.g., no meat, or no dessert, etc.). If one chooses to fast, however, it should be a sacrifice which includes some degree of hunger and self-restraint.

In addition, prayer should be included as part of the fast. Certainly, the prayer for peace in Syria from the USCCB’s website would be appropriate. Other suggestions include praying with Scripture, praying the Liturgy of the Hours, praying the rosary, spontaneous prayer, quiet or contemplative prayer, meditation, etc.

Here is the Prayer for the People of Syria:

Almighty eternal God, source of all compassion,
the promise of your mercy and saving help fills our hearts with hope.
Hear the cries of the people of Syria;
bring healing to those suffering from the violence,
and comfort to those mourning the dead.
Empower and encourage Syria’s neighbors
in their care and welcome for refugees.
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,
and strengthen the resolve of those committed to peace.

O God of hope and Father of mercy,
your Holy Spirit inspires us to look beyond ourselves and our own needs.
Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence
and to seek reconciliation with enemies.
Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria,
and fill us with hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace and Light of the World,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

For the people of Syria, that God may strengthen the resolve of leaders to end
the fighting and choose a future of peace.
We pray to the Lord…


NOTE: In addition, Pope Francis has asked that we appeal to the intercession of Our Lady, Queen of Peace:

APPEAL From Pope Francis:

With great distress and anxiety I continue to follow the situation in Syria. The increasing violence in a war between brothers and sisters with the escalation of massacres and acts of atrocity that we have all been able to see in the appalling images of the past few days impels me once again to raise my voice so that the clash of weapons may be silenced. It is not conflict that offers prospects of hope for solving problems, but rather the capacity for encounter and dialogue.

From the depths of my heart I would like to express my closeness with prayers and solidarity to all the victims of this conflict, to all who are suffering, especially the children, and ask them to keep the hope of peace ever alive. I appeal to the international community to show itself increasingly sensitive to this tragic situation and to muster all its strength to help the beloved Syrian nation find a solution to this war that is sowing destruction and death. All together, let us pray, all together let us pray to our Lady, Queen of Peace: Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us. Everyone: Mary Queen of Peace, pray for us.

“…God Gave Us Music That We Might Pray Without Words.”

5 September 2013

5 September 2013 Anno Domini
Posted by Sofia Guerra

“Bach gave us God’s Word. Mozart gave us God’s laughter. Beethoven gave us God’s fire. God gave us Music that we might pray without words.” – quote from outside an old opera house

Being a lifelong musician and student of music, I pretty much cannot live without it. I loved this quote when I found it years ago.

It truly sums up how important the God-given gift of music truly is.

Now I am going to ask you, my readers to help keep the music going.

My sweet, darling sister in Christ, Lisa Graas, has given us so much with her Catholic blog. She has taken it on the chin from self-serving opportunists all over the blogosphere who think she can be the scapecoat for their lack of humility.

Through this, she continues to give us the Truth everyday without fear, raise her children according to the Catholic faith and love her kids more than a Wisconsin cow has milk.

Lisa’s daughter Teresa is in need of some very special help. It is a need very dear to my heart. Please take a moment to read this and decide.

Teresa’s Music Fund
Posted by Lisa Graas at her site,

My daughter Teresa is an accomplished singer. At the tender age of 14 she is the cantor at our parish, St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Grayson Springs, Ky. Teresa has an old electronic keyboard and has learned to play many songs by ear, but she is in need of piano lessons and a piano. The piano lessons are something that we can handle but I cannot afford a piano for her. We are currently trying to raise money to purchase a used piano for her. Hayes Piano and Music Store has a wide variety of used pianos for sale for $600 each. We thought it might be a good idea to ask my readers if they would like to donate “piano keys.” There are 88 keys on a piano. Every donation of $6.82 will purchase one key. If 88 people donate $6.82 we will have enough money to buy the piano!

Teresa desires to give her gift back to the Church provided that she can develop her talent. If we raise more than $600, we will use the money to help with lessons, gas to take her to chorus class (daily), nice dresses to wear to church where she is singing, etc.

Thank you all so much for your help!

Please read her mother’s post from her site, Lisa Graas , Teresa’s Music Fund.

Always Catholic Blog has donated a “key”. Can we ask our readers to come up with the other 87? I have been blessed with so many readers, I KNOW there are 87 of you out there who would do this. My readers are also great lovers of music, particularly sacred.

Teresa Graas loves the sacred also.Below is a video of Teresa singing soprano in the 2013 Kentucky All-State Jr. High Chorus. She is now singing at the HS level.You can’t see her face, but her voice is there!

This is an easy one. For those who can, one key is do-able. For those who cannot, a prayer to help the cause is priceless.

PLEASE click HERE to donate a key. Please leave a comment for a note of encouragement and that you are praying for Teresa by clicking HERE.

Thank you and God love you,


Santo Subito! Deo Gratias!

4 September 2013

Canonization date for John Paul II, John XXIII to be known in September
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

Pilgrims in St. Peter's Square hold up handkerchiefs featuring Blessed John Paul II the day after his beatification in 2011. (CNS/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis will host a meeting of cardinals Sept. 30 to formally approve the canonization of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII; the date for the canonization will be announced at that time, said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes.The cardinal told Vatican Radio Aug. 20 that only Pope Francis knows for sure the date he will proclaim the two popes saints, although he already implied that it is likely to be in 2014.

Speaking to reporters traveling with him from Brazil to Rome July 28, Pope Francis said he had been considering Dec. 8, but the possibility of icy roads could make it difficult for Polish pilgrims who would travel by bus to Rome for the ceremony.

Another option, he said, would be April 27, which is the Sunday after Easter and the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, a celebration instituted worldwide by Pope John Paul.

Asked to describe the two late popes, Pope Francis said Blessed John was “a bit of the ‘country priest,’ a priest who loves each of the faithful and knows how to care for them; he did this as a bishop and as a nuncio.”

He was holy, patient, had a good sense of humor and, especially by calling the Second Vatican Council, was a man of courage, Pope Francis said. “He was a man who let himself be guided by the Lord.”

As for Blessed John Paul, he told the reporters on the plane, “I think of him as ‘the great missionary of the church,” because he was “a man who proclaimed the Gospel everywhere.”

Pope Francis signed a decree recognizing the miracle needed for Blessed John Paul’s canonization July 5; the same day, the Vatican announced that the pope had agreed with the cardinal members of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes that the canonization of Blessed John should go forward even without a second miracle attributed to his intercession.

Before declaring new saints, the pope consults with cardinals around the world and calls a consistory — a gathering attended by any cardinal who wants and is able to attend — where those present voice their support for the pope’s decision. A date for a canonization ceremony is announced formally only during or immediately after the consistory.

Except in the case of martyrdom, Vatican rules require one miracle for a candidate’s beatification and a second for his or her canonization as confirmations that the candidate really is in heaven with God.

From According to their sources April 27, 2014 is the date Pope Francis was said to have told the sources in front of Vatican officials. Newsmax says it’s their exclusive. We shall see.

Honoring God in Our Work Everyday

2 September 2013

2 September 2013 A.D.
Posted by Sofia Guerra

Labor day to most of us signals the end of summer, back to school and the start of football season. To people in the early 19th century it was a response in honor of the worker as a result of changing times in society.

The Industrial Revolution and the Labor Movement really worked off of each other but wasn’t the inspiration for celebrating this holiday. Click here for the history of Labor Day.

My personal opinion however, is that Labor Day should be a weekend we reflect if our labor or work is done “Ad majorem Dei Gloriam”. (All for the glory of God.)

Ultimately no matter how we convince ourselves otherwise, everything we do must be done for our Heavenly Father’s glory as He is the Creator who made all things possible.

Our dear friend the Reverend Ed Brown and his wife Susanna truly understand this mission. Ed is the Executive Director of Care of Creation (click on title for more info) a Church and Biblical response to our stewardship and care of God’s Creation.

Personally, I have been so annoyed at the political and monetary issues which surround what is our duty given to us by the Father Himself. It is our responsibility
as His children.

Ed has written two books as part of this mission. I will be reviewing his latest book and much more in several posts on the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, October 4th.We will also have a random giveaway for those who leave a comment in the combox. More on that in the next couple weeks.

Why the Feast of St. Francis?

In 1979, Pope John Paul II declared St. Francis of Assisi as the patron saint of ecologists and environmentalists. At the end of his World Day of Peace address, he called for a Francis-like “fraternity” between people and the natural world. Catherine Sinclair,”Six Christian Environmental Leaders You Should Know About”

So as an introduction to our dear friends, Rev Ed Brown and his wife Susanna, I am posting this recent piece to see where our dear Ed finds himself in this important work. Nothing short of remarkable. Enjoy!

Six Christian Environmental Leaders You Should Know About

By Catherine Sinclair at the blog, “Ideas Shaping the End to Extreme Poverty”
July 30, 2013

Sometimes, in order to feel as though you are truly part of a missional community, it is helpful to be aware of the efforts of those who have gone before you. Here are some introductions to significant Christian environmentalists throughout the ages, as well as two who are serving today.

St. Patrick (387–460)

We definitely associate St. Patrick with the color green, but most people don’t know about Patrick’s environmental mission. As an outdoor captive in Ireland, he spent every day contemplating nature and getting to know the environment.

Later, when he was ministering to the Irish people who believed the nature itself was divine, Patrick was able to use what he had learned about the environment to make it easier for them to relate to our Christian God. He used the Irish symbol of a sun, combined with a cross, to form the Celtic cross, making the cross more meaningful for those people.

Patrick introduced the Irish to the Creator of all that they already loved. He redirected their mindset from worshipping creation to worshipping the loving God who formed the earth.

St. Francis of Assisi (1182–1226)

St. Francis has always been known for his love of creation. There are countless stories and legends of him taming and communicating with animals. Even in the Middle Ages, Francis knew that humans were causing destruction to the natural world, and he preached against it.

Francis’ famous “Canticle of the Creatures” (also known as “Canticle of the Sun”) is a hymn calling the Lord to be praised by all of His creations. He refers to celestial bodies as brothers and sisters and thanks God for the natural resources He has given us.

Francis Schaeffer (1912–1984)

In 1967, Lynn White published his famous article “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis,” in which he interpreted the Bible as allowing humans to take over the earth and use resources irresponsibly. He blamed this for the environmental destruction of the 19th and 20th centuries. Francis Schaeffer was one of the most prominent voices to refute this claim, which was the basis of his book Pollution and the Death of Man.

An interesting aspect of Schaeffer’s approach was the way he balanced faith and logic. His points were argued in such a way that was appealing even to the non-believer.

Pope John Paul II (1920–2005)

In his 1990 address for the World Day of Peace, Pope John Paul II said explicitly that “World peace is threatened … by a lack of due respect for nature.” He continued to recount the creation story and bring to people’s awareness that the Church had been neglecting its responsibility to care for the earth. He said that many of our ecological problems had been caused by a “reckless exploitation of natural resources.”

In 1979, Pope John Paul II declared St. Francis of Assisi as the patron saint of ecologists and environmentalists. At the end of his World Day of Peace address, he called for a Francis-like “fraternity” between people and the natural world.

Ed Brown

Ed Brown, who is currently very active in his work, founded Care of Creation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental missions. Care of Creation focuses on communities in the United States and Kenya. Brown has written multiple engaging books, including Our Father’s World and When Heaven and Nature Sing.

Brown emphasizes the idea that Christians who believe there must be a choice between protecting plants and protecting people are deceived. His ministry is dedicated to environmental stewardship, not just out of respect for God’s creation and obedience to protect it but also because doing so ensures the wellbeing of God’s people.

Peter Illyn

Peter Illyn is also a current-day leader. After taking two llamas on a mountain excursion, he felt the Holy Spirit calling him to do something different. “I went into the mountains a minister, but I came out an environmental activist,” Illyn said. Later, in 2001, he founded the nonprofit organization Restoring Eden.

Restoring Eden offers events and volunteering opportunities related to environmental missions. It is based in Seattle but works all over the United States.

Now that you see where Ed ranks… with two Saints and a Pope, after you have already read more about Care of Creation please go to by clicking on the links below and help the cause while learning why we all have a part in this mission.

Our Father’s World: Mobilizing the Church to Care for Creation by Edward R. Brown

When Heaven and Nature Sing by Edward R Brown

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...