Monday, December 29, 2008

Behind the Collar ~ An inside look at life as a priest

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has a fine new website called "behind the collar - An inside look at life as a priest" This is a new promotional site that will be extremely helpful for young men who are discerning a call to the priesthood because it answers many of the basic questions a person might have concerning such a vocation.

You will find an interesting article written by Steve Neill in the December 29, 2008 issue of The Catholic Virginian concerning this new online campaign by our diocese. Apparently it is the first of its kind in the nation.

behind the collar contains videos with comments shared by Richmond seminarians on a variety of topics pertaining to their journey toward priesthood. The site also links the prospective candidate to the social networking sites, Facebook and MySpace, where you can be in contact with Fr. Michael Renninger and others. Fr. Mike is Vicar for Vocations for the Diocese of Richmond and can be reached there with this email address:

Take a look! What do you think?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

For unto us a Child is born...

"For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Friday, December 12, 2008

Scientist Reacts to Vatican Bioethics Paper ~ National Catholic Reporter Article

The National Catholic Reporter has just published an article by William B. Neaves, who is president and CEO of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, Mo. Neaves is responding to the bioethics paper, Dignitas Personae, that has just been released by the Vatican.

Here are a few paragraphs from the NCR article:

"Dignitas Personae catalogues the consequences of actions derived from a moral framework based on a point of view about personhood — a view that is not shared by all. This point of view accords the dignity of a person to the first cell that results from fertilization of an egg by a sperm. If this premise is accepted, all the consequences detailed in Dignitas Personae logically follow."

and further along:

"An alternative point of view to the Vatican’s, embraced by many Christians, is that personhood occurs after successful implantation in the mother’s uterus, when individual ontological identity is finally established. This way of thinking about when a person comes into existence reconciles another otherwise troublesome reality of normal, natural human reproduction: in many (and probably most) instances, the single cell resulting from fertilization of an egg by a sperm perishes in the woman’s reproductive tract and never implants in the uterus. Only after implantation does a birthed baby become highly probable. Would God have ordained that most people should die in the first two weeks of existence, long before seeing the light of day? No human being can know, but it seems unlikely."

Please go
here to read the complete article before responding.

I thought this was a very thoughtful article and an important one to consider. What say you about this alternative view?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Excesses of the Pre-Vatican II Church?

There is a lively discussion taking place on Fr. Z's blog about this picture of the new Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal CaƱizares Llovera...

Would you like to comment on this Cappa Magna? Needless to say, this is a bit much for me! Do we as a Church have to go back to this triumphalism?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Creches from around the World

I came across a very inspiring website this morning. Since we are now in Advent and are awaiting the coming of Emmanuel, I would like to gift all of you with an opportunity to see how our Savior's Birth is depicted all over the world.

The website, Creches From Around the World, can be found here. Enjoy!

The picture above is my own family's Nativity Scene, using Fontanini figures that I bought many years ago.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Praise and Worship Music

There is an interesting article on the New Liturgical Movement about Praise and Worship Music and its place in our Mass settings. Since this website is a proponent of traditional sacred music, the slant is for the removal of praise and worship music (a.k.a. music by Marty Haugan, etc.) from our liturgies.

However, the article and the resulting comments are interesting and so I present the article here:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Priest urges confession for Obama supporters

The McClatchy Tribune carried the following article on November 30, 2008:

Priest urges confession for Obama supporters
Homily singles out president-elect's stance on abortion

MODESTO, Calif. - The Rev. Joseph Illo, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Modesto, Calif., has told parishioners in a homily and in a follow-up letter that if they voted for Barack Obama
, they should consider going to confession because of the president-elect's position on abortion. (Read More)


It appears that Fr. Illo's bishop, The Most Rev. Stephen Blaire of the Stockton Diocese, disagrees with him. "Blaire said Catholics who carefully weighed many issues and settled on a candidate, such as Obama, who favored abortion rights, were not in need of confession. He said confession would be necessary 'only if someone voted for a pro-abortion or pro-choice candidate - if that's the reason you voted for them.'"

Our bishops are not speaking or teaching with the same voice, it appears. Is this what happens when the hierarchy enters the political arena.