Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bishop Jeffrey Monforton Installation September 10, 2012

The installation of Bishop Jeffrey Monforton will take place on Monday, September 10th at 2:00 p.m. at the Finnegan Field House on the grounds of Franciscan University of Steubenville.


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Friday, August 17, 2012

Franciscan Lay Apostolate


The Franciscan Lay Apostolate  is currently under the direction of Fra Chris Dickson, F.L.A. Along with his staff, the F.L.A. works to foster the spread of the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, and helps to raise the dignity of people's lives in Appalachia. 

Apostolicam Actuositatem is the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity. It defines the mission of the lay Christian faithful to both "lead non-believers to the faith and to instruct, strengthen, and encourage the faithful to a more fervent life". The lay apostolate is made up from laypeople and consecrated religious who exercise a ministry in cooperation with the Catholic Church. These organizations cooperate with ecclesiastical authorities. They operate "under direction of her pastors" but are not members of the official Church hierarchy nor in Holy Orders
Apostolates operate with the permission of the local Ordinary of a Diocese, but without material support. The Franciscan Lay Apostolate does not employ a professional fund raiser. We depend solely upon contributions from people like yourself.
Won't you please prayerfully consider a one-time gift of $5.00 or $10.00 to help us tend to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of our brothers and sisters in Appalachia? 

Mailing Address (Currently):

Portiuncula Hermitage
P.O. Box 114
Richmond, IN 47375-0114

Thank you for your kind consideration and Pace e Bene!


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The Catholic Church vs. Liberation Theology


by Chris Dickson, F.L.A.

I am appalled by the naivete of our Church being duped into anti-Christian communism. Liberation theology is a threat to free society by its undermining of the Church and its Magisterium through attempting to redefine moral issues (changing the Gospel to support theology opposed to shaping theology as a result of the Gospel.)

Ignorance is not bliss and unless we familiarize ourselves with the dangers, then future generations will demand answers as to why we threw away our freedom in lieu of communism.

To quote Gustavo Gutierrez (the "father" of liberation theology,) "There is no evil in being subversive, struggling against the capitalist system...Liberation leads to reinterpreting the Gospel...As I have witnessed the power of Marxism to provide motivation for a life of service where none existed before, I have come to a new appreciation of this part of my own history. I cannot settle for any story of America that fails to give a central place to this vision."

Again, Roger Garaudy (one of France's foremost Marxist intellectuals) wrote, "Socialism is a traditional stage in the passage from capitalism to communism." Also, "When the established order involves such injustice that millions of men are exploited, oppressed, mutilated, and humiliated by this order, a revolution, even armed revolution, can be less costly and in the long run less 'violent' than this established disorder, which has become pure violence. Of this, incidentally, many Christians are today becoming conscious, including, for example, even priests and bishops in Latin America."

Charles E. Curran, no longer permitted by the Church to teach moral theology at Catholic universities, has stated,"Questions arise in the light of both the importance and the limitations of Scriptures. In the light of the most striking development has been the emergence of dissent within the Roman Catholic theological community from the teachings of the hierarchical magisterium on specific moral issues."

One cannot help but feel an air of approval when local archdiocesan newspapers print articles written by these people. Already we have seen a swing by our priests and educators away from the Church's doctrine of "norma normans non normata"(the Scriptures being the norm above all other norms by which all norms are taken) and are thus shown to question the Scripture's relevance in our daily lives.

Perhaps we need to seek the definition of a couple terms which seem to have taken on good and bad connotations in complete reversal of their intended meanings:

First of all, the term orthodoxy means "right praise," or consistency with the faith of the Church as embodied in Sacred Scripture, the Fathers, official teachings and the liturgy.

Libertaion theology, on the other hand, is defined as a new type of theology which emphasizes the motif of liberation in both Old and New Testaments and which reinterprets all doctrines in terms of that motif. Forms of liberation theology include Latin American, black and feminist.

Jesus "liberated" all of us from the bonds of oppression. Rather than reinterpreting the Gospel, perhaps we would be better served to "live it." This idea may not be popular with some in the Church today, but by returning to the basics of our faith, we will be truly liberated through the instruction of Sacred Scriptures if only we would accept Jesus as the catalyst of our lives.


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"Come to the Quiet" Retreat Venue Change


October 2012 "Come to the Quiet" Retreat   
Venue Change

Our October "Come to the Quiet" Retreat will be held at St. Sylvester's Roman Catholic Church in Woodsfield, Ohio.

Exact Dates and Times to be announced shortly...

There appears to be a growing interest in the monastic life among people of all
lifestyles – and no wonder! For centuries, the monastic life has provided monks and nuns with disciplines and practices aimed at helping them maintain balanced, healthy and centered lifestyles while they “prefer nothing to Christ.” But these practices are not only for monks! Join us as we explore practices such as silence, prayer, simplicity, solitude and celebration, and the benefits they have for all our lives.
Fee:   Free-Will Offering

To register, or for additional information, please email the Portiuncula Hermitage at hermitage@parallax.ws

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Thursday, August 16, 2012



Members are those persons considered to be part of the F.L.A. All baptized Catholics who are fourteen years of age or older, who are in complete harmony with all the teachings of the Roman Catholic church and the Magisterium, are eligible to enter formation as Members.

Members include those who have pledged to live the F.L.A. Rule and Constitutions as well as those pursuing formation in the F.L.A. at the Postulance level or above and who have no impediments to pledging if their formation were complete (as example, someone already pledged to the Third Order Carmelites).


A pre-inquirer is an individual who contacts the F.L.A., or any Member of it, for information, advice, and/or prayer about discerning the possible vocation to the F.L.A., but who has not completed the Inquirer application.


Inquiry is the first level of formal contact with the F.L.A.. inquirers are exploring the F.L.A. way of life and discerning a possible vocation in it.


The postulancy is an introduction into the formation process. Postulants reflect on certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, on penance, and on the spiritual journey. They study the F.L.A. Rule and Constitutions and begin to follow them in certain ways. The Postulancy is a time of further discernment of a vocation to the F.L.A.


The principle years of formation are three years of the Novitiate, each consisting of at least twelve full months during which the Novice regularly participates in at least one Spiritual or Corporal Work of Mercy. The Novice undertake a study of Scripture and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Each year of formation integrates different prescriptions of the Rule and the Constitutions into the Novice life. These prescriptions are: for Novice 1, prayer; for Novice w, fasting and abstinence; Novice 3, simplicity of life. At the end of three years of Novice formation the penitent shall be praying certain prayers for a certain amount of time daily, shall fast and abstain weekly, and shall have greatly simplified his or her wardrobe and possessions.


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Friday, August 10, 2012

Powerful! Catholic Pro-Life Commercial Featuring Obama

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Barack Obama Campaign Sued Ohio To Block Votes Of American Military

Major Chris Dickson (Ret.)

In a move that could have an impact on the final result of the presidential election, Barack Obama’s campaign has sued Ohio to block a measure which extends early voting for members of the military.

The action brought quick responses from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and as many as 15 military groups.

DeWine told Fox News on Friday that he found the July 17 action by Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Ohio Democratic Party “quite shocking."

The tradition for allowing special circumstances for military personnel in voting dates back to the civil war, he said.

Republicans traditionally have had the lock on the military vote, and with Ohio being a key battleground state especially this year — Obama leads GOP challenger Mitt Romney there by only 6 points in the latest Quinnipiac University poll — these military votes could swing the Nov. 6 election to either candidate.

And as the Buckeye State is considered one of the key marginals, a victory for either candidate there could end up being the difference between taking the White House and losing it.

“I’m just outraged by this,” DeWine told Fox on Friday. “I can’t believe that the Obama campaign [and] the state Democratic Party are actually saying there’s no rational basis for a distinction between someone who is in the military voting, and somebody not in the military.

“Our whole history in this country, we’ve made a distinction between the two, recognizing the difficulties, and the unique situation that people in the military are in.”

The Obama campaign sued Republicans DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted, contending Ohio’s two-tiered early voting process violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection under the law.
Ohio is among 32 states that allow voters to cast an early ballot by mail or in person without an excuse. In 2008, about 30 percent of the swing state's total vote — or roughly 1.7 million ballots — came in ahead of Election Day.

In addition, state law allows families of armed forces members and civilians overseas to vote through the Monday before an election, while early voting for all other Ohioans ends the preceding Friday. The Nov. 6 election falls on a Tuesday.

The Obama lawsuit said that the latter part of the Ohio law is “arbitrary” with “no discernible rational basis” — and that all voters should be able to vote on those days. The campaign seeks a court order invalidating the statutes.

In his response, filed late on Wednesday, DeWine noted that all Ohioans have numerous voting options, which include casting an absentee by mail starting 35 days before the election, casting an in-person ballot on other days, and voting at their polling location on Election Day.

Ohio, with 18 electoral votes, has been critical to U.S. politics, and no Republican has been elected president without a victory there. Obama won the state in 2008 with 51.5 percent of the vote.

But remaining ahead of his Republican opponent is proving tougher for Obama this time around. A survey by Quinnipiac University earlier this week shows the president leading Romney by only 6 points, 50 to 44 percent.

The military vote has traditionally gone Republican. In 2008, Obama lost among veterans to Arizona Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam War hero, 55 to 45 percent. Four years earlier, GOP President George W. Bush outdistanced Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry, another Vietnam veteran, among former service personnel by 57 to 41 percent.

In addition, military members and their families generally tend to vote in higher percentages than the general public, according to federal election data.

The Obama for America lawsuit comes after several election-law changes cleared Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature and GOP Gov. John Kasich signed them.

Before the changes, local election boards had the discretion to set their own early, in-person voting hours on the days before the election. People were allowed up until the day before the election to vote in person. Weekend voting varied among the state's 88 counties.

With the changes, most Ohioans now have until the Friday evening before the Tuesday election to cast a ballot in person. But military voters can continue to vote in person until Monday.

Separately, the National Guard Association of the United States and more than a dozen other fraternal military groups asked a U.S. judge for permission to intervene and oppose the Democrats' lawsuit.

“Members of the U.S. Armed Forces risk their lives to keep this nation safe and defend the fundamental constitutional right to vote,” the military groups said in in their request.

“The Obama campaign’s and Democratic National Committee’s argument that it is arbitrary and unconstitutional to afford special consideration, flexibility, and accommodations to military voters to make it easier for them to vote in person is not only offensive, but flatly wrong as a matter of law,” the groups said.

They’ve asked U.S. District Judge Peter Economus for permission to join the case on the side of the state, and to oppose the Obama campaign’s request for injunctive relief. A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 15.

Read more on Newsmax.com: Obama Campaign Sues in Bid to Suppress Military Vote

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Monday, August 06, 2012

With the elections coming ACORN work are firing up their voting base...

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Spiritual Joy


Francis declared that if the servant of God strove to possess and preserve interior and external spiritual joy, which proceeds from purity of heart, the devils could do him no harm, but would be forced to admit: "Since this servant of God preserves his joy in tribulation as well as in prosperity, we can find no way to harm his soul."

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of Perugia - 97


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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Knock And It Will Be Opened To You In Contemplation

"Seek in reading and you will find it in meditation; knock in prayer and it will be opened to you in contemplation."

St. John of the Cross
Sayings #158


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Friday, August 03, 2012

Am I Not A Miserable Man?


St. Sylvester, a diocesan priest, was one of the first four companions of St. Francis of Assisi. He is buried in the Basilica in Assisi.

By divine inspiration, a priest named Sylvester began to reflect on Francis' action, and said to himself: "Am I not a miserable man, old as I am, to be avid for temporal goods, when this young man despises and hates them for love of God?" During the following night in a dream he saw an immense cross reaching to the sky, and its foot was planted in the mouth of Francis, while the arms spread from on end of the world to the other. On awakening, the priest realized and was convinced that blessed Francis was indeed the friend and servant of Jesus Christ and that the form of religion he was introducing would spread over the entire earth. Thus Sylvester was brought to fear God, and he began to do penance while still living in his own house. Before long, however, he entered the fraternity in which he lived perfectly and died gloriously.

Saint Francis of Assisi
Legend of the Three Companions - 31


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