Sunday, May 31, 2009

American Life League Statement On George Tiller Killing



Washington, DC (31 – The following is a statement from Shaun
Kenney, executive director of American Life League, on the
killing of abortionist George Tiller:

"Leaders within the pro-life movement often discuss justice
in connection with our mission to end the tragedy of abortion.
Today, Dr. George Tiller's life ended in an act defying those
principles.

With genuine sorrow, we reflect on today's events in prayer.
Justice for all human beings includes the lives of those with
whom we fundamentally disagree as well as the victims of
abortion. We firmly hope the perpetrators of this act are
apprehended, that the facts be made known, and that justice
according to the law is preserved and dispensed.

Today's actions were tragic, and serve as another reminder
that all human life is sacred. Pro-lifers by our nature and
commitment to human rights reject violence as a means of
resistance. Our thoughts and prayers indeed extend to the
Tiller family and the community at Reformation Lutheran
Church.

American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown.
It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization
in the United States and is committed to the protection of
all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to
natural death. For more information or press inquiries,
please contact Katie Walker at 540.907.5826.


Katie Walker
Director of Communication
American Life League
1179 Courthouse Road
Stafford, Virginia 22554
540.659.4942
kwalker@all.org

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Third Branch Conference To All Journalists

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

To All Journalists:

The AP is partially breaking the story of a wide Conservative
Movement coalition letter being delivered to the Senate on
Monday.

The "what for" of it is that after two weeks of Press
projection, speculation and hype of what Conservatives want
or expect from Senate Republicans, the coalition letter is the
first true representation of the Conservative Movement, from
Norquist to Bauer, from gun owners to life advocates to RNC
Committeemen, conservatives to libertarians.

The Third Branch Conference is making clear what Conservatives
expect and it may surprise the media, Democrats and those who
have grabbed the microphone all this past week. It focuses
not on the President or his nominee but on the Senate
Republicans.

Until now, conservatives have been represented by a small set
of noisy groups aided by their paid publicists. This is the
first time the wider Conservative Movement has spoken with a
united voice through their most recognized leaders.

I can be reached for comment on Monday after 1 pm at
202-262-7789. (I am available all of Tuesday.)



Best,

Manuel Miranda
Chairman
Third Branch Conference

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Pope Benedict to meet with Obama in July

Hope We Can Believe In

Rome - Pope Benedict XVI will receive US President Barack Hussein Obama in early July, around the time of the upcoming Group of Eight (G8) summit in Italy, diplomatic sources said. Italian media reports cited both Vatican and US sources as confirming that preparations for the first-ever meeting between Benedict and Obama were underway. The exact date is not yet certain, with Italian media saying a possible point for an audience would be July 10, after the three-day G8 summit set for July 8 to 10 in La Maddalena.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Notre Dame's Watershed Moment - University Continues To Struggle with Catholic Identity

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"


SOUTH BEND, Indiana, (Zenit.org).- While the debate over Notre Dame's Catholic identity is nothing new, the recent controversy surrounding its decision to honor President Barack Obama may be a watershed moment for the university.

Father John Jenkins, the university's president, put the issue front and center when he invited Obama, a staunch defender of abortion rights, to give the May 17 commencement address. The university also bestowed on him an honorary law degree.

The gesture drew national and international media attention as some 80 bishops and more than 367,000 Catholics voiced disagreement with Father Jenkins, saying he was compromising the school's Catholic identity. They said he disregarded the 2004 guidelines from the U.S. bishops that state: "Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles" with "awards, honors, or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

The university's leadership didn't budge, and Obama was greeted on campus with a standing ovation at commencement. Hecklers were shouted down while students chanted, "Yes, we can." Forty seniors -- out of a graduating class of more than 2,900 -- boycotted the ceremony.

Such a reaction might seem to indicate there is only a small remnant of faith left on campus.

But according to senior Mary Daly, president of the Notre Dame Right to Life group and chief editor of the Irish Rover, a campus newspaper, that's not exactly the case.

Daly told ZENIT that the admissions office reports that 80%-85% of every incoming class is Catholic.

She also noted a "strong subculture within the student body of earnest Catholics: people who are making sincere efforts to grow in their faith and to discern and live out God's will in their lives."

She described Notre Dame as a place that has "adoration five days a week on campus, Mass in all the dormitory chapels at least four times a week, and priests in every dorm."

Faith

Thus, Daly said, "if you are serious about your Catholic faith and want to grow in your personal relationship with Christ, this is an excellent place to do so," though, she acknowledged, you have to be willing to "challenge yourself." ::MORE

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Miraculous Healings Taking Place In Ohio And Indiana


Do you believe in miracles? The Richmond Catholic Community does! Countless people in East Central Indiana, and East Central Ohio, have been experiencing miraculous healings!

Miracles happen when we encounter the healing power of God through the power of the Eucharist and of prayer. Healing points the way to a closer relationship with Jesus, greater knowledge of his love, and deeper faith in his power to do the impossible.

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Please Help Build The Portiuncula Chapel

Photobucket

Above photo is of the Portiuncula Chapel at the Franciscan University of Steubenville

To duplicate this Chapel, the Portiuncula Hermitage needs to raise $120,000


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It's times like these that tempt Catholics to throw in the towel and give up on the culture of despair.

Greed and corruption have wreaked havoc on our nation's economy. Euthanasia just received Washington State's stamp of approval. And all the pro-life victories of the past decade are now in jeopardy. It's the perfect storm for despair. But despair is the last thing we should do.

In troubled times, Christ calls us to pray, to trust in his perfect will, and to cooperate with his grace.

Ultimately, Christ calls us to hope. He calls us to remember that for Christians, peace does not rest on who wins an election or on the value of our stock portfolios, but in a loving God who “in everything...works for good.”

Of course, God doesn't just call us to hope. He gives us reasons to hope and signs of the good things to come.

I truly believe one of those reasons, one of those signs, is the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center.

While many other Catholic institutions have sold out to the culture of death, the Portiuncula, along with a few others, has fought steadfastly for a culture of life. It has faithfully stood alongside the Church, forming men and women capable of true leadership and committed to bringing Christ to the culture.

But the "Portiuncula Chapel" can't be built alone. To continue building, they need your help! And that is why I'm writing you today: To invite you to join me in helping our culture through these troubled times by helping build the Portiuncula Chapel.

United in the Roman Catholic tradition and obedient to the Magisterium of the Church and the Bishop of Steubenville, they are committed to our Lord and Savior in the Scriptures, the Eucharist, the Sacraments of the Church and in our Brothers and Sisters.

With God's grace and your help, I believe past Portiuncula retreatants and those soon to follow in their footsteps will lead our culture and our country out of these troubled times.

That is why I invite you to share the work of these Catholics and the Portiuncula Hermitage that is forming them.

First, allow them to pray for you.

Prayer is the lifeblood of the Portiuncula Hermitage, and the Franciscan family would be honored to include you in their prayers. Please e-mail your most pressing intentions to: dicksoncorp@parallax.ws

Everyone at the Portiuncula will pray for your intentions before the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and at Mass.

In turn, please pray for the Portiuncula, that it might continue to form leaders who can be salt and light to our world.

Finally, I would be grateful if you supported the work of building the Portiuncula Chapel with a generous financial contribution.

Your support of the Portiuncula will make it possible for the sons and daughters of the Church to grow in faith during their retreats, and become the courageous Catholic leaders the world desperately needs.

Today, I want to challenge you to become a partner in the Portiuncula's mission to build the Portiuncula Chapel by donating $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, or more.

PORTIUNCULA FRANCISCAN HERMITAGE/RETREAT CENTER
ON LINE DONATION



Please, become a part of the Portiuncula Hermitage's work today. Don't let this chance to turn the culture around pass you by.

Pax Et Bonum!

Brother Chris


P.S. Don't despair in troubled times. Join the work of building the Portiuncula Chapel. Your contributions will provide God's people with training that is unwaveringly Catholic and equip them to become the courageous Catholic leaders that our world needs.


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Obama's Poor Choice For Ambassador to the Holy See

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"


Washington D.C., (CNA).- In a surprising move, President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday evening that Miguel H. Diaz, Ph.D., a 45 year old lay Liberation theologian born in Havana (Cuba) is his pick to become the United States Ambassador to the Holy See.

An associate professor of theology at St. John's University and the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota, Diaz, a strong Obama supporter and father of four, earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas University in Miami, Fla., and his master’s and doctorate in theology from the University of Notre Dame at Notre Dame, Ind.

He taught previously at Barry University, Miami Shores, Fla.; St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, Boynton Beach, Fla.; University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio; and the University of Notre Dame. He also served as the academic dean at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary and is fluent in Italian, Spanish and French.

Diaz serves on the board of the Catholic Theological Society of America, is past president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States, and is a past member of the steering committee of the Karl Rahner Society.

He is also a theological consultant to the Catholic Association of Teachers of Homiletics and was appointed to the task force overseeing the review and revisions of the accrediting standards for the Association of Theological Schools.

Diaz is author of the book "On Being Human: U.S. Hispanic and Rahnerian Perspectives" (Orbis Books, 2001); Co-Editor of "From the Heart of Our People: Explorations in Catholic Systematic Theology" (Orbis Books, 1999;) and author of numerous articles and book chapters inspired in the Latino and Black liberation theology, such as the forthcoming “The Life-Giving Reality of God from Black, Latin-American, and U.S. Hispanic Theological Perspectives,” “Otherness in Black Catholic and Latino/a Catholic Theologies and the Otherness of God,” and “Outside the Survival of Community there is no Salvation,” in Building Bridges, Doing Justice: Constructing a Latino/a Ecumenical Theology (Orbis Press, 2009.)

Diaz is currently working on two future books: "Cuban-American Catholics" (Paulist Press) and “Migrating Across Theological Borders: The Essentials of Theology from U.S. Hispanic Theological Perspectives" (Orbis Books.)

His body of work, which includes some controvesial positions related to how to understand “inclusiveness,” has gained him significant apprisal from the Catholic left, and his nomination was immediately hailed by pro-Obama Catholics such as “Catholics United” and “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good,” as well as from Prof. Douglas Kmiec. ::MORE

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Opus Dei Welcomes 30 New Priests

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"


Newly Ordained Come From 12 Countries


ROME, (Zenit.org).- Opus Dei welcomed 30 more priests to its personal prelature Saturday, ordained by their prelate, Bishop Javier Echavarría, who encouraged them to guide the faithful on the path of eternal life.

The newly ordained come from 12 nations, including China, the Ivory Coast, Kenya and Brazil.

"Starting today, conformed to Christ the Head of the Church, they will be able to carry out the priestly ministry: preaching the Word of God with authority, administering the sacraments, above all the sacrament of penance and the Eucharist, and guiding the Christian people along the paths of eternal life," the bishop said in his homily.

Noting the common call to holiness shared by all the faithful, Bishop Echavarría added that "it is undeniable that priests are particularly obliged to be holy." Citing the founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaría Escrivá, the prelate added, "I remind you that 'the priestly vocation brings with it the need for sanctity. This sanctity is not just any sanctity, a common sanctity, nor is it even an excellent sanctity. It is a matter of heroic sanctity.'"

Bishop Echavarría also referred to the upcoming Year for Priests, convoked by Benedict XVI from June 19 of this year through June 19, 2010.

"The Holy Father […] has wanted to make the Christian people aware of the need for many holy priests," he said. "We are all asked to offer prayers and mortifications for the sanctity of priests during these months."

Ready to serve

Some of the newly ordained offered their testimony for the Opus Dei Web site, explaining how they discovered their call to the priesthood.

Father Sebastián Ramos Mejía, 35, of Argentina, said he realized while working in a school that he wanted to be a priest, so as to be able to offer spiritual assistance to the students.

"All of us need a person who helps us, encourages us, opens horizons for us, makes us see that God trusts in us more than we trust in ourselves," Father Ramos Mejía said. "Now as a priest, this idea motivates me a lot and offers me consolation. To know that if I put forth a little effort and seek the grace of God, I am going to be able to overcome the difficulties that come up and transmit this idea to many people."

Father Abdoulaye Sissoko of the Ivory Coast recounted his story, coming from a family with a Muslim father and a Catholic mother. He said he wants to live his priestly ministry with "24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year availability, to serve souls with the sacraments of the Eucharist and confession."

The new priest recalled Benedict XVI's visit in March to his continent, saying "that the Pope has encouraged Africans to make our continent progress." Father Sissoko affirmed that he wants to work "helping my brothers to love Africa, but above all to love God more."

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Barack's Big Abortion Bailout

Saint Obama of Assisi


Francis of Assisi: Obama’s Saint?

by Rose on April 24, 2009

tablet-orig1

The Franciscan Catholic religious Order is celebrating its 800th birthday this year. I grew up around the fantastic women and men who are members of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity and the Order of Friars Minor on the West Coast.

The spirits of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare have had a profound influence on my faith, ministry, and vision of and for the world.

Check out the current issue of The Tablet, a U.K.-based Catholic magazine, which has a great article by literary critic Philip Hoare examines the influence of Francis on arts and culture–not to mention, President Obama. Here’s an excerpt:

Francis’ message of poverty was a potent antidote to an age obsessed with material advancement at the cost of both human lives and earthly resources. This was nowhere more noticeable than in Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “The Wreck of the Deutschland”, published a year after Ruskin’s visit to Assisi. It dwelt upon the fate of five German Franciscan nuns fleeing anti-Catholic laws and who drowned together as their ship sank in a storm off Harwich, the sisters holding hands as their leader called out, “O Christ, come quickly!” In his exquisite verse, Hopkins elided the nuns’ fate with their founder’s, “With the gnarls of the nails in thee, niche of the lance/his/ Lovescape crucified.” In Hopkins’ words, St Francis’ stigmatic body became a landscape of Christ’s love.

Throughout the twentieth century, Francis remained an inspiration to artists and dramatists. In 1922, Laurence Housman, brother of A.E. Housman and a socialist and pacifist, wrote a series of playlets based on the life of St Francis. In 1950, Roberto Rossellini directed the beautifully shot Francesco, giullare di Dio (Francis, God’s Jester). By the 1960s, Francis was recast as a radical, the Che Guevara of the faith. Franco Zeffirelli portrayed him in his 1972 film Brother Sun, Sister Moon, as a proto-hippie in soft focus - complete with a poster displaying the naked saint and a soundtrack by Donovan. In 1989, a tougher Francis was played by the New York-born Catholic Mickey Rourke, in Francesco, a film by Liliana Cavani based on a novel by Hermann Hesse.

Yet even as a new generation embraced Francis’ proto-ecological message, welcoming his recognition as patron saint of the environment, Francis’ words were being invoked to herald an era of materialism. When Margaret Thatcher entered Downing Street on 4 May 1979, she intoned the saint’s prayer: “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.” Recently, critics of Barack Obama’s tax plans have also quoted Francis at the president: “It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor.” More optimistically, Francis’ embrace of change may be seen in the ambitions of the new leader - who, as a boy, attended the St Francis of Assisi school in Jakarta.

Read the whole article here.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

181 Franciscan Friars Arrive in Assisi

Fra Giles Mary Christopher


Franciscans Begin 187th General Chapter

ASSISI, Italy, (Zenit.org).- Franciscan friars are in Assisi for the order's 187th general chapter as they celebrate 800 years since St. Francis founded the group.

In representation of 15,000 religious working in more than 110 nations, 181 friars (152 delegates and 29 support personnel including translators and assistants) arrived this week for the start of the month-long meeting. The chapter ends June 20.

The Franciscans are considering the theme "Verbum Domini nuntiantes in universo mundo" (Announcing the Gospel of the Lord all over the world).

The friars processed together into a Mass on Sunday, during which the current minister-general, Father José Rodríguez Carballo, highlighted the need to announce the Gospel with the force of St. Paul and the directness of St. Francis, even where this causes problems and suffering.

"Go out, friars minor, the Spirit of the Lord continues telling us today, not as owners of the truth, but as humble servants, and what you have received freely, give freely," he said in the homily. "Go out and announce to those you find along the way and in the plazas of the cities, their condition as sons and daughters of the same Father, your brothers. Go and evangelize in collaboration with laypeople, men and women, young and old."

Father Rodríguez Carballo acknowledged, "Certainly there will be no lack of difficulties but it is the Lord who says: 'Take courage. Do not be afraid.'"

During the second week of the chapter, a new minister-general will be elected by absolute majority, in the presence of the pontifical delegate, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins. The third and fourth weeks will involve discussions on orientations for the order for the next six years.

Speaking the message

In a May 22 press conference in Rome to present the general chapter, Father Rodríguez Carballo emphasized "missionary challenges," particularly inculturation and a renewal of the language of evangelization: "more humble, more wise and less pompous," and accompanied by a coherent life testimony.

He mentioned the efforts of evangelization made by the order not only in parishes, but also in some 800 educational institutions run by the Franciscans.

The minister-general noted that St. Francis was "above all a believer," even though many times he is portrayed as "a social and political revolutionary. Francis was a revolutionary of the Gospel."

At the end of the press conference, Father Rodríguez Carballo presented the commemorative medal struck for the 800th anniversary of the Franciscans (1209-2009).

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Vatican Newspaper Publishes Back-to-Back Stories Supporting Bishops' Criticism of Obama

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"


Vatican City, (CNA).- For a second day in a row, the Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano echoed the U.S. bishops’ criticism of Barack Obama’s pro-abortion policies, which many pro-life Catholics have claimed to be missing from previous reports in the Vatican newspaper related to the U.S. President.

The front page article, signed by Marco Bellizi and titled "the U.S. Bishops Regarding Conscientious Objection," reports on Cardinal Francis George’s statement released last Friday by the USCCB. The statement requested that President Obama deliver on his alleged commitment to respect the right to conscientious objection, a right which, according to L’Osservatore, should include "the right not to finance abortions with taxes paid to the state."

"This is a relevant issue, since following the decisions made by the new administration on ethical issues, many health workers could find themselves providing services that they do not morally accept," Bellizi writes.

The front page article in the Sunday edition of the Vatican’s newspaper quotes extensively the President of the USCCB as well as Msgr. David Malloy, General Secretary of the USCCB, who recently urged the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to respect human life at all stages.

L’Osservatore quotes Msgr. Malloy’s claim that "President Obama’s executive order of March 9" rescinded "the executive order of 2007 instructing the NIH to thoroughly explore new avenues for obtaining pluripotent stem cells without destroying human embryos… Both science and ethics have been ignored in this decision."

The two back to back articles in L’Osservatore Romano reflecting the U.S. episcopate’s critical stand to Obama have followed a series of complaints from several bishops and pro-life Catholics.

Early this week, the Vatican’s newspaper published a short news story commending Obama’s speech at Notre Dame and ignored the opposition of more than 70 U.S. bishops – including the President of the USCCB, Cardinal Francis George- to the university’s decision to honor the President despite his staunchly pro-abortion record.

The article, as well as a previous one arguing that Obama’s first 100 days in office did not confirm the Catholic Church’s worst fears about policy changes on ethical issues, had been used by pro-Obama Catholics to push the theory that "the Vatican" was somehow distancing itself from the majority of U.S. bishops.



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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Judge Sonia Sotomayor - Obamma's SCOTUS Pick

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"


The President has nominated a highly-credentialed judge with an inspiring life story.

Regrettably he also tainted the nomination from its start by
suggesting that his nominee
would judge based on personal
feelings and background, or be biased with empathy for

particular classes of litigants. Judge Sotomayor now has a
much higher hurdle to climb
than any nominee before her.
The President's taint combined with her aggressive record

present an ample stage for a great debate in the Senate."


"The fact that Sonia Sotomayor is a Latina should not give
Republican senator any pause.
There is no larger demographic
group in America today that could better understand what
it
means to have courts and judges who favor one side over
another without an argument
being made, than do Hispanics.
It is among the reasons why we came here. This nomination

offers a great opportunity to explain to Hispanic Americans
why the Constitution must be
defended against a judge who
would rewrite it according to personal biases and politics."


Manuel Miranda
Chairman
Third Branch Conference

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East Timor Resisting Legalized Abortion

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

UN Committee Calls Current Policies "Discriminatory"

NEW YORK, (Zenit.org).- The predominantly Catholic nation of East Timor is under pressure from the United Nations for its laws that penalize abortion, even in the case of rape and incest.

The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute reported last week that East Timor's policies are being scrutinized by the U.N. committee responsible for overseeing compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which will meet for its 44th session in July.

The country's new penal code, which will take effect at the beginning of June, continues to penalize the practice of abortion, though it adds an exception for cases where the mother's health is in jeopardy.

A report from East Timor to the committee states that abortion is a "sensitive issue" in the country, "especially given the traumatic events of recent years" when a 24-year Indonesian occupation enforced family planning programs that were "widely resented" by the people.

The report notes that in the Timorese culture, contraception is generally unpopular, as both men and women see it as "fueling promiscuity and sexually-transmitted diseases while decreasing the number of children."

The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute stated that despite general support in East Timor for the continued criminalization of abortion, several non-governmental organizations such as the Alola Foundation and Rede Feto, with the support of the United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Children's Fund, have been lobbying for more liberalized abortion laws.

It also reports that under the guise of promoting "gender equality," the U.N. committee is pushing for the "modification of customs and practices" regarded by them as "discriminatory."

Additionally, the U.N. body responds with opposition or indifference to Timor's reference to their long-standing customs, distrust of foreign influence, and the "reproductive rights" abuses suffered by Timorese women under Indonesia's rule.

The Timorese report states that the nation values gender distinctions as they help to protect the integrity of the family, as well as the well-being of women.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Tribute To Our Fallen Heroes

Mystic Monk Coffee: Order Through Portiuncula And Donate To Birthright (a loving alternative to Abortion)




The Carmelite Monks of Wyoming


Mystic Monk Coffee is roasted by the Carmelite Monks, a Roman Catholic monastery in the silence and solitude of the Rocky Mountains of northern Wyoming. The monks live a hidden life of prayer and contemplation in the pursuit of God. The monastery is inundated with young men who seek to leave everything to pray for the world, in a tradition at least a thousand years old. It is the monks’ great joy and privilege to share the fruit of their life with you in every cup of Mystic Monk Coffee.


The Monk Master Roaster

Br. Java is the master roaster who meticulously roasts beans in small batches. His philosophy is that each roast must be not only the labor of his hands, but a master roast of the highest quality. Br. Java is passionate about obtaining the perfect roasts for you. He carefully roasts only the finest gourmet beans under conditions that will make each roast consistent and smooth with a taste that will make your taste buds tingle. With experience and perfection, Mystic Monk Coffee is a coffee to savor and enjoy – with or without cream.


The Legend of the First Mystic Monk

Coffee is a product perfected and loved by monks from its beginning. When a monk of old heard the anguished tale of a shepherd who had sleepless goats, he himself discovered growing on shrubs the berries, which had such a wonderful affect. Delighted at his find, the ingenious monk boiled the beans in water and drank the resulting coffee. He found in his discovery a hot drink that could keep his eyes awake even amidst the midnight vigils and unceasing prayers of the monastic life.

The secret of coffee continues to keep monks ever alert and vigilant for their prayers, but now Mystic Monk Coffee shares the hidden, master roasts of monks with all who seek a delightful cup of coffee.


Monks are passionate Perfectionists

The monastic life is one of ordered perfection, which you will taste in every bag of Mystic Monk Coffee. Passionate about perfection, no challenge is too great for Br. Java and the monks, if it will result in a Mystic Monk brew suited for the most discriminating coffee drinker. The Carmelite monks have mastered the ancient art of roasting coffee, laboring with steadfast determination to make each cup of coffee simply superb. Taste the monastic perfection in each brew, which makes all the difference.

Please remember that when you buy Mystic Monk Coffee through the Portiuncula Hermitage, ten percent of all their commission sales is donated to Birthright (a loving alternative to abortion.)

Please remember to keep our pre-born in your daily prayers!

To order direct, simply click on the Mystic Monk Coffee Icon on the Right Side of this page:





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Parsing the Vatican Newspaper

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

It doesn’t always speak for the pope.

By George Weigel

The newspaper published by the Vatican, L’Osservatore Romano, has created more than a little mischief recently, featuring essays by ill-informed European journalists who imagine that they understand American history, the American political scene, and the grave moral issues being contested in these United States. Pro-administration American journalists and activists have leaped with barely concealed glee on several unfortunate articles in this genre, claiming that they demonstrate that “the Vatican” believes the U.S. Catholic bishops overreacted to Notre Dame’s award of an honorary doctorate of laws to President Obama, and that “the Vatican” is taking a wait-and-see, so-far-so-good attitude toward Obama after the horrors of the arch-demon Bush.

About which, several points must be made.

1. The first thing one learns in Vaticanology 101 is that there is no such thing

as “the Vatican.” The Holy See is as complex and confused a bureaucracy as

one finds in national governments. Many points of view coexist within the

Vatican walls, and there are more than a few curialists who like to talk to

reporters. Very few if any of these chatty people count, in terms of expressing

the settled judgment of the senior leadership of the Catholic Church. That

leadership, when it wishes to make a serious point, does so through its major

figures, not through the bureaucratic munchkins and not via commissioned

essays in a newspaper that, while published by the Holy See, is not taken all

that seriously there. The last is a shame, for it suggests yet another facet of

the Holy See’s communications problems; but it’s the truth, nonetheless. As

for the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, what counts is what is said

by the Bishop of Rome, who does not exercise his teaching office through some

generic institution called “the Vatican” but in his own unmistakable voice.

And he lets you know when he’s doing it.

2. In the normal course of events, L’Osservatore Romano does not speak

authoritatively for the Church in matters of faith, morals, or public-policy

judgment. The exceptions are when a senior churchman offers a commentary

on a recent papal document (an encyclical, for instance), or on those

exceedingly rare occasions when an editorial in the paper is followed by

three dots, or periods, a traditional convention signaling that the opinion

being expressed is from “high authority.” No knowledgeable or responsible

analyst of Vatican affairs would regard commissioned essays in

L’Osservatore Romano, even if they appear on page one, as somehow

reflecting an authoritative view from the Holy See or the Pope. The same

is true for statements by the paper’s editors or editorials without the dots.

In other words, without those dots, there is nothing here but opinion, to

be weighed and judged as any opinion is weighed and judged — on its

tether to facts and its argumentation. It is unfortunate that several

recent pieces on the Obama administration in L’Osservatore Romano

have been both factually questionable and analytically dubious.

That is a problem for the senior officials of the Holy See to address,

and they ought to address it soon. Any American commentator trying

to spin these articles as a “Vatican” attempt to tell the bishops of the

U.S. to “chill out” (as Time’s Amy Sullivan put it recently, in an article

whose spin was similar to that of the Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne)

is playing political games.

3. It is true, however, that the offices of the Holy See are replete with

middle- and lower-level officials who are enamored of Barack Obama.

Why? In most cases, because they are Europeans who share the

typical European Obamaphilia and whose sources of information

and analysis are manifestly skewed. On the other hand, no one in

a serious position of authority in the Vatican can doubt that the

Obama administration poses the gravest challenges to the Holy

See’s positions on the life issues since the Clinton administration

tried and failed to get abortion-on-demand declared a fundamental

international human right. The Obama administration will also be

at loggerheads with the Holy See when the defense of marriage rightly

understood is contested in international institutions.

Moreover, several officials at very high levels — men I can say with

confidence are not in conversation with E. J. Dionne, Amy Sullivan

, or Obama administration fronts like Catholics in Alliance for the

Common Good — spoke to me last fall of their deep appreciation for

the Bush administration’s positions on the life issues, AIDS

prevention in Africa, AIDS and malaria relief, and religious

freedom. Indeed, one very senior official told me that, at his level,

it was understood that no American administration of the

immediate future was likely to be as supportive of Holy See

positions as the Bush administration had been — and this,

despite the obvious and serious disagreement over the

administration’s 2003 decision to enforce the resolutions

of the United Nations and depose Saddam Hussein by force.

It would, of course, be helpful if the newspaper published by

the Holy See did not display a sorry ignorance of recent

American history (including the history of the civil-rights

movement) and a fideist credulity about the magic of Barack

Obama. To assume that the pope and his most senior advisers

have drunk the Obama Kool-Aid and wish the American

bishops would chill out is, however, another story altogether,

and not a very credible one — no matter what foolishness

finds its way into the pages of L’Osservatore Romano.

—George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow at

Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he

holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies.





Weigel, who has been awarded eight honorary doctorates
and the papal cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, serves on the
boards of directors of several organizations dedicated to
human rights and the cause of religious freedom. He is also
a member of the editorial board of
First Things.

He was an honored guest on my radio program on May 13, 2006.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Franciscan Chapter Meeting In Assisi To Elect Superior




Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley would be my choice!

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- To coincide with the 800th anniversary of their founding, representatives of the almost 15,000 Franciscans of the Order of Friars Minor will gather in Assisi to elect a superior and plan for their future.

The 152 delegates to the Franciscan general chapter will meet May 24-June 20 in the city of St. Francis' birth. They will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the order June 9.

Father Jose Rodriguez Carballo, elected minister general of the Franciscans in 2003, is eligible for a second six-year term when delegates hold elections June 4.

"But ours is an unpredictable order," Father Francesco Patton, secretary of the chapter, told reporters during a May 22 press conference. Two of Father Carballo's predecessors were elected to two terms; two were not, he said.

Father Carballo told reporters the delegates will look at how well the order has met the priorities set in 2003 for deepening spirituality, improving fraternal life and living as poor among the poor and in solidarity with all those in need.

Second, he said, they will try to find new ways to meet the challenge of being missionaries in the modern world.

Father Mirko A. Sellitto, head of the order's press office, said video of the main liturgical celebrations of the chapter meeting will be posted on the video-sharing Web site YouTube, and some of the talks and interviews with delegates will be packaged as podcasts that can be downloaded from iTunes.

Father Carballo told reporters, "Even if numerically our order is diminishing, that does not mean we are not opening new mission," including ones in Sudan and Myanmar.

In 1930, the Franciscan Friars Minor numbered 22,000, said Father Francesco Bravi. As of Dec. 31, 2008, the number had declined to 14,724.

However, he said, like many of the church's oldest religious orders, the Franciscans are growing in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, holding steady in Latin America, and declining in Western Europe and North America.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Nuns Without Habits


Franciscan Sisters, TOR, Toronto, Ohio




Franciscan Sisters, TOR, "First Vows"



(Franciscan Sisters, TOR, is one of the fastest growing Franciscan Orders in America)



"Women who satisfy their vanity in their dress can never put on the life of Jesus Christ; moreover they even lose the ornaments of their soul as soon as this idol enters into their heart."


Saint Padre Pio

What did St. Padre Pio mean by that? Let's take a look:


Nuns Without Habits In Houston

by CVSTOS FIDEI

Today in the Houston Chronicle's Religion section there were two articles about nuns. What makes this story stick out, like most liberal articles, is that of course they interviewed "new age" nuns.

The reporter asks these nuns, the Dominican Sisters of Houston, "So, do you have to give up everything?"

The Sister responds to this question with "Do we look as if we have given up everything?",

Can I presume they have given up much more? Like contemplation, praying, and suffering in solitude?

The next question coming from the reporter is "Can you ever get married". Which the nuns never reply to but whimsically respond that questions such as these gave them reason to update their website so as to clear any confusion. The title on their website pretty much says it all, "Our habits have changed. But not our mission".

Sister Niehaus continues on by saying, "We sort of discovered that people don't know we are here or don't recognize us,". Is that because you don't look, behave, or lead a nuns life?

Here's another nun's intonation on the need to update their (web)site with emphasis mine:

Sister Hubbard, who spearheaded the project, said the sisters spent more than six months developing the site, which launched earlier this month. When they began discussing ways to update their public image, the Internet seemed the ideal place to start, said Sister Hubbard, a BlackBerry user who uses words like "hard core" and "rockin' with the music."
To view their website click here.

In the other 'nun' article also aptly titled, "This sister's spiritual journey includes study of cosmos". The Houston Chronicle reporter interviews Sister Linda Gibler who recently earned her doctorate in "philosophy and religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies, with a concentration in philosophy, cosmology and consciousness."

Yes, you read that right, "cosmology and consciousness". Oh, the article gets even better, read this very "incisive" selection (emphasis mine):

"I call myself a cosmologist, which basically is the study of the cosmos. But I studied with Brian Swimme, and he calls it 'functional cosmology,' " she said. "It's not only 'Ain't that grand?' but it's also the 'so what' of it."
Huh? So what what? Forgive me, but maybe I'm just a neanderthal Catholic with a limited vocabulary, but was anything said at all in that last sentence?

Now I wonder why people would get confused with her on this or on here appearance? (emphasis mine):

She smiles when people get confused and think she's a hairstylist. Sister Gibler patiently explains the difference between a cosmetologist and a cosmologist.
Maybe not wearing habit could be a clue to the confusion


And here's the best part of the article (again, emphasis mine):

"Long before we had Scriptures, we had Earth. God was present and taught us through Earth. That's not some pagan or New Age notion. So, how do we read this first book of revelation?"

She's already protesting what we already think!

Classic.



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Bishop Says Obama's Address Halted Dialogue, Affirms Need for "Frontal Attack" in Favor of Catholic Values

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

KANSAS CITY, Missouri,(Zenit.org).- Although the Notre Dame president spoke hopefully about dialogue, President Barack Obama threw that desire "back in his face," according to Bishop Robert Finn.

The Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph affirmed this Monday in an interview with the diocesan newspaper regarding the University of Notre Dame's decision to honor President Obama at last Sunday's commencement ceremony.

To date, 83 prelates have publicly denounced the decision as going against 2004 guidelines set by the U.S. bishops' conference for Catholic institutions of higher education, which state that schools should not bestow honors on individuals who "act in defiance" of the Church's fundamental teachings.

We cannot give up working with the administration, Bishop Finn said, but "we're fighting for our lives -- literally."

He continued: "We are attempting to protect real unborn children by the thousands. We're fighting for the right to exercise a rightly formed conscientious difference with public policy.

"We shouldn't underestimate the danger of dragging our feet in this effort, or taking a 'wait and see' approach. If we are not ready to make a frontal attack on the protection of conscience rights, the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, and the primacy of authentic marriage, we will lose in these areas."

He added, "If we sit back and allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of peace and cooperation in regards to these things, then we will lose these battles and, later, wonder why."

The prelate commented on the commencement speech by the university president, Father John Jenkins, who employed a series of "very hard words," such as "division, pride, contempt, demonize, anger, distort, hateful, condemn, hostility."

These words, he said, might be understood as a "caricature" of the bishops who spoke out against the invitation.

Bishop Finn noted that Father Jenkins' address focused on encouraging dialogue, and to this end, it referenced Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II's "Ex Corde Ecclesiae," and the Second Vatican Council.

The prelate affirmed, "Dialogue is important, but the question is fairly raised, 'May we negotiate about things that are intrinsic evils?' and I think the answer is no."

He continued: "The bishops realize the very destructive decisions that President Obama promised to make concerning the life issues, and now has been making in connection with abortion and human embryonic stem cell research. This is serious business; it is about life and death."

The bishop explained that the scandal of Notre Dame's decision arises from its "potential of confusing people concerning the Catholic teaching against abortion, and on the priority of abortion among other issues of public policy."

Irreconcilable

He noted that in the commencement address, Obama "said that the differences that we have on abortion -- namely the Catholic Church's staunch opposition to abortion and his staunch support of abortion were 'irreconcilable.'"

"And at that moment," the prelate stated, "it would seem to me that the dialogue came to a screeching halt."

"Father Jenkins' expressed desire for dialogue, whether it was well-founded or justified, at that point got thrown back in his face," he added.

Bishop Finn explained: "The president shut the door on dialogue by saying that there was not going to be any change in his position on abortion and he understood that there was not going to be any change in the Church's position on abortion.

"To me, that was the lesson of the day. I am glad that Mr. Obama was so clear."

Although some may have seen it as a positive step that Obama spoke about "reducing unintended pregnancies," the bishop said, "I fear" this will be through the "promotion of Planned Parenthood and contraceptive services."

He noted the president's support for the Prevention First Act, which is "not about abstinence education" but rather about "promoting contraception and giving Planned Parenthood a huge blank check."

"If Catholics don't see a problem with this," said Bishop Finn, "then I don't think they understand the threat it represents to the meaning of marriage, to fidelity, to chastity, to the very sanctity of human life and intimate love."

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Bishops Weigh in on US Stem Cell Proposal

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

Participate in Public Comment Period

WASHINGTON, D.C.,(Zenit.org).- As the National Institutes of Health is considering guidelines on federally funding embryonic stem cell research, the U.S. bishops say the proposal is not only "morally objectionable" but also increasingly "scientifically obsolete."

Monsignor David Malloy, general secretary of the U.S. episcopal conference, submitted comments on the draft guidelines. The public comment period on the guidelines ends Tuesday.

The bishops' have provided citizens an easy way to submit comments at their Web site.

For his part, the monsignor affirmed the dignity of human life at every stage and the right to not be subjected to harmful experimentation without one's consent. The "central fact of science," he added, is that the embryo to be destroyed to obtain stem cells, "is a human being at a very early stage of his or her development."

Not about religion

Monsignor Malloy affirmed that the stem cell debate is not a matter of religious belief.

The priest recalled the conclusion of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission appointed by President Bill Clinton, that "because human embryos deserve 'respect' as a form of human life, destroying them for stem cells is 'justifiable only if no less morally problematic alternatives are available for advancing the research.'"

He went on to note that alternatives are not only available, but have been found to offer the only effective promise for stem cell cures.

He said "science and ethics have been ignored" in President Barack Obama's March decision to rescind both the policy preventing researchers from destroying live human embryos for federally funded research and the executive order instructing the NIH to thoroughly explore new avenues for obtaining pluripotent stem cells without destroying human embryos.

"As the president noted," Monsignor Malloy said, "we must not make 'a false choice between sound science and moral values.' In fact, these sources of guidance both point in the same direction, away from destructive embryonic stem cell research. His executive order and these guidelines nonetheless insist on a course of action that is both morally objectionable and, increasingly, scientifically obsolete."

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Friday, May 22, 2009

In Troubled Times, Christ Calls Us To Pray

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It's times like these that tempt Catholics to throw in the towel and give up on the culture of despair.

Greed and corruption have wreaked havoc on our nation's economy. Euthanasia just received Washington State's stamp of approval. And all the pro-life victories of the past decade are now in jeopardy. It's the perfect storm for despair. But despair is the last thing we should do.

In troubled times, Christ calls us to pray, to trust in his perfect will, and to cooperate with his grace.

Ultimately, Christ calls us to hope. He calls us to remember that for Christians, peace does not rest on who wins an election or on the value of our stock portfolios, but in a loving God who “in everything...works for good.”

Of course, God doesn't just call us to hope. He gives us reasons to hope and signs of the good things to come.

I truly believe one of those reasons, one of those signs, is the Portiuncula Franciscan Hermitage and Retreat Center.

While many other Catholic institutions have sold out to the culture of death, the Portiuncula, along with a few others, has fought steadfastly for a culture of life. It has faithfully stood alongside the Church, forming men and women capable of true leadership and committed to bringing Christ to the culture.

But the Portiuncula can't do that work alone. To continue building its retreat center it needs your help.

And that is why I'm writing you today: To invite you to join me in helping our culture through these troubled times by helping the Portiuncula.

United in the Roman Catholic tradition and obedient to the Magisterium of the Church and the Bishop of Steubenville, we are committed to our Lord and Savior in the Scriptures, the Eucharist, the Sacraments of the Church and in our Brothers and Sisters.

With God's grace and your help, I believe past Portiuncula retreatants and those soon to follow in their footsteps will lead our culture and our country out of these troubled times.

That is why I invite you to share the work of these Catholics and the Portiuncula that is forming them.

First, allow them to pray for you.

Prayer is the lifeblood of the Portiuncula Hermitage, and the Franciscan family would be honored to include you in their prayers. Please e-mail your most pressing intentions to: dicksoncorp@parallax.ws

Everyone at the Portiuncula will pray for your intentions before the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and at Mass.

In turn, please pray for the Portiuncula, that it might continue to form leaders who can be salt and light to our world.

Finally, I would be grateful if you supported the work of the Portiuncula with a generous financial contribution.

Your support of the Portiuncula makes it possible for the sons and daughters of the Church to grow in faith during their retreats, and become the courageous Catholic leaders the world desperately needs

Today, I want to challenge you to become a partner in the Portiuncula's mission by donating $1, $5, $10, $25, $50, or more.

Please, become a part of the Portiuncula Hermitage's work today. Don't let this chance to turn the culture around pass you by.

Pax Et Bonum!


Chris

The Portiuncula
508 South 16th Street
Richmond, IN 47374



P.S. Don't despair in troubled times. Join the work of the Portiuncula. Your contributions will provide God's people with training that is unwaveringly Catholic and equip them to become the courageous Catholic leaders that our world needs.

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Vatican Missing From Obama Itinerary

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

WASHINGTON, D.C., (Zenit.org).- A press statement from the White House this week gives details about U.S. President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to Italy, but makes no mention of a stop at the Vatican.

The president will be in Italy to attend the Group of Eight meeting from July 8 to 10, during part of an international tour that also includes Russia and Ghana.

According to the National Catholic Register, the White House explained that the notable absence is because details of the president's tour are still pending: "We won’t go into the details of who he’s meeting and the places he'll be visiting until nearer the time," a spokesman said.

The Register also reported that the Vatican is hoping for a presidential visit.

Father Ciro Benedettini, deputy director of the Vatican Press Office, said the Holy See is "waiting" to hear from the U.S. administration, but that as of last week no contact by the current administration had been made. Additionally, the president has yet to name a U.S. ambassador to the Holy See.

Heads of state visiting Italy traditionally also visit the Pontiff.

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Denver Prelate Calls Obama Invitation Inexcusable

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

Says Catholics Have Duty to Defend Life


DENVER, Colorado, (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Denver had some "hard words" for Notre Dame's president, Father John Jenkins, after last Sunday's commencement.

Archbishop Charles Chaput criticized the university president Monday in a statement posted on the diocesan Web site, denouncing his decision to invite U.S. President Barack Obama to give the address to the school's graduating seniors.

"There was no excuse -- none, except intellectual vanity -- for the university to persist in its course," the prelate said. "And Father Jenkins compounded a bad original decision with evasive and disingenuous explanations to subsequently justify it."

More than 70 U.S. bishops voiced disagreement with the university's decision to invite President Barack Obama as the commencement speaker and bestow on him an honorary law degree. They noted that it went against the 2004 guidelines set by the U.S. bishops' conference for Catholic institutions of higher education, which states that schools should not bestow honors on individuals who "act in defiance" of the Church's fundamental teachings.

"Let’s remember that the debate over President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame was never about whether he is a good or bad man," Archbishop Chaput recalled. "The president is clearly a sincere and able man. By his own words, religion has had a major influence in his life.

"We owe him the respect Scripture calls us to show all public officials. We have a duty to pray for his wisdom and for the success of his service to the common good -- insofar as it is guided by right moral reasoning."

The prelate also noted as equally important the duty to defend Catholic teaching on "foundational issues" such as abortion and embryonic stem-cell research.

"And we also have the duty to avoid prostituting our Catholic identity by appeals to phony dialogue that mask an abdication of our moral witness," Archbishop Chaput said. "Notre Dame did not merely invite the president to speak at its commencement. It also conferred an unnecessary and unearned honorary law degree on a man committed to upholding one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our nation’s history: Roe v. Wade."

The archbishop accused Father Jenkins of ignoring the concerns of the local bishop, more than 70 other bishops from around the country, including the president of the U.S. episcopal conference, as well as "thousands of Notre Dame alumni and hundreds of thousands of other American Catholics."

"The most vital thing faithful Catholics can do now is to insist -- by their words, actions and financial support -- that institutions claiming to be 'Catholic' actually live the faith with courage and consistency," the archbishop concluded. "If that happens, Notre Dame’s failure may yet do some unintended good."

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bishop D'Arcy Joins Notre Dame Prayer Protest

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

Calls Student Coalition a Group of Heroes


SOUTH BEND, Indiana, (Zenit.org).- Bishop John D'Arcy intended to stay away from Notre Dame last Sunday, but he says he belonged on campus to accompany a group of Notre Dame students in prayerful protest.

The bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese informed Notre Dame in March that he wouldn't attend this year's commencement ceremony after the university announced its decision to invite President Barack Obama as the speaker and bestow on him an honorary law degree.

Eighty-two other prelates soon joined Bishop D'Arcy in voicing disagreement with the university's gesture toward Obama, saying it went against the guidelines set by the U.S. bishops' conference for Catholic institutions of higher education.

The 2004 statement says schools should not bestow honors on individuals who "act in defiance" of the Church's fundamental teachings.

But the activity of a coalition of 12 Notre Dame student groups, formed to protest the administration's plans for graduation day, and to organize a parallel event in support of life and Catholic values, caught Bishop D'Arcy's eye.

The coalition, called ND Response, organized a prayer vigil the night before the commencement ceremony, including a directed meditation by Father John Corapi of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.

The vigil launched an all-night Eucharistic adoration, which concluded on Sunday -- graduation day.

Sunday Mass was held outside on one of the campus quads to accommodate the 3,000 people who had traveled from as far away as Mexico, New York, California and Florida to support the Catholic identity of the university and its pro-life mission.

The outdoor Mass, concelebrated by eight priests and presided over by Holy Cross Father Kevin Russeau, was followed by a rally featuring speakers with ties to Notre Dame.

Cameo

Bishop D'Arcy made a surprise appearance, and after being invited to take the podium, he admitted, "It was not my intention to come today."

He explained, however, that he had visited the Marian grotto on campus and had observed students praying, and later visited the chapel where Eucharistic adoration was being held.

These moments of prayer, he said, "showed me the place for the bishop to be is here."

"The office of bishop is very important," the prelate added. He echoed the words of Pope John Paul II, and affirmed the importance of standing up "for life, all the time, everywhere, without exception."

Bishop D'Arcy told the crowd: "I found myself saying in recent weeks that this is a sad time, that there are no winners. But I was wrong."

He affirmed that the "heroes" are "the young people on campus, the students" who followed in "the great tradition of Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict."

The bishop continued: "Their protest was carried out with love, and with prayer, and with dignity and with respect. But with a firmness, also, as to what is right."

The diocesan newspaper reported that outside groups protested the college's decision at the university entrance with demonstrations that "grabbed national headlines," while ND Response chose to "prayerfully, respectfully and faithfully make their opposition known in a different way."

Bishop D'Arcy concluded, "So there are heroes; all of you here today are heroes, and I'm proud to stand with you."

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Fordham University Honors Bloomberg, Archbishop Dolan Not Informed

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

New York City, N.Y., May 21, 2009 (CNA).- Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan has said that Fordham University did not inform him that pro-abortion rights Mayor Michael Bloomberg would speak at the Catholic school’s commencement and receive an honorary degree.

Fordham University President Fr. Joseph McShane, SJ, in his address to Fordham graduates, singled out Mayor Bloomberg and television commentator Tom Brokaw for “special mention,” acknowledging the mayor first.

“Last week I heard the Mayor speak at a Jesuit fund-raising event in Manhattan,” Fr. McShane said. “In the course of his typically gracious remarks, he noted wistfully that he had not had the benefit of a Jesuit education. Mr. Bloomberg, this is your lucky day: you are now a Fordham graduate and thus a member of the Jesuit family!”

Pro-abortion rights Sen. Charles Schumer also spoke at Fordham Law’s graduation on Sunday, also unbeknownst to the archbishop, the New York Post reports. Archbishop Dolan had criticized the University of Notre Dame for inviting President Barack Obama to be commencement speaker and to receive an honorary degree.

According to the New York Post, the archbishop’s spokesman Joseph Zwilling wrote in an e-mail that Archbishop Dolan was unaware that Mayor Bloomberg was speaking or getting a degree at Fordham.

Zwilling also did not know about Sen. Schumer.

Last fall, the now-retired Edward Cardinal Egan had criticized Fordham for giving the pro-abortion rights Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer an ethics award.

Fordham said its hosting of speakers from “across the political spectrum” points to “a vibrant culture of engagement with the real world, rather than an insufficiency of Catholic teaching.”

“The quality of a Catholic education at the university can't be measured by trying to parse the positions of speakers or honorees in relation to church teachings,” Fordham added. ::MORE

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mike Pence Meets With Isreal Prime Minister Netanyahu

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Congressman Mike Pence participated in a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of the State of Israel today in the U.S. Capitol.

Congressman Pence serves as Chairman of the House Republican Conference and is a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Congressman Pence previously served as Ranking Member on the Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee. He last traveled to Israel in 2008.

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Cardinal Arinze Defines a Truly Catholic College

"RENEWING THE AMERICAN DREAM"

(Notre Dame Need Not Apply)

Says Intellectual Formation Must Be Accompanied by Morals

MANASSAS, Virginia, (Zenit.org).- The mark of a good Catholic university is success at turning out model Christians who are good citizens, says Cardinal Francis Arinze.

The cardinal, former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, affirmed this May 10 in a commencement address he delivered at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

He said that a Catholic college that adopts an attitude of "courageous creativity and rigorous fidelity" contributes much to promoting a "healthy synthesis between faith and culture in society," the Cardinal Newman Society reported.

Cardinal Arinze contended that a Catholic institution of higher learning should teach its students "to appreciate that moral rules of right and wrong apply also to science, technology, politics, trade and commerce, and indeed to all human endeavors."

"In the complicated world of today, where all kinds of ideas are struggling for the right of citizenship, a university student needs a clear and viable orientation on the relationship between religion and life," he continued. "The Catholic college or university is ideally positioned to help him see the light and equip himself for a significant contribution in society."

The cardinal recognized that universities need to offer premium intellectual formation, but he affirmed that formation in upright behavior is also a need.

"But what does it profit us if a student is an intellectual giant but a moral baby," he asked, "if he or she can shoot out mathematical or historical facts like a computer but is unfortunately a problem for the parents, corrosive acid among companions in the college, a drug addict and sexual pervert, a disgrace to the school, a waste-pipe in the place of work and 'Case No. 23' for the criminal police? It is clear that intellectual development is not enough."

The former Vatican official acknowledged that defending morality can bring difficult consequences. "A person who holds that certain actions, like direct abortion, are always objectively wrong, is regarded as 'judgmental,' or as imposing his views on others," he said.

But, citing the teachings of Benedict XVI, the cardinal added: "The exercise of freedom in pursuit of the truth is very much a part of integral education. If a Catholic college or university does not help in this way, should we not say that it has failed in one of its important roles?"

"If a Catholic college or university answers to its vocation in the ways outlined above, then it will be educating, forming and releasing into society model citizens who will be a credit to their families, their college, the Church and the state," the cardinal stated. "It will prepare for us members of Congress or the Senate who will not say 'I am a Catholic, but ...' but rather those who will say 'I am a Catholic, and therefore ...'"

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