Thursday, January 29, 2009


From the Catholic League

On January 24, President Obama said, “I look forward to working with Congress to restore U.S. financial support for the U.N. Population Fund.” He pledged to do this “in the coming weeks,” maintaining that “It is time that we end the politicization of this [abortion] issue.”

Bill Donohue explains the Catholic League’s response:

“The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) claims that it is not pro-abortion. It says that it merely supports ‘reproductive rights.’ Not quite. Starting in 1979, in the first five years of China’s draconian one-child policy, UNFPA gave the program $50 million. To accomplish this goal over the years, which is still ongoing, IUDs have been forced into the wombs of hundreds of millions of women against their will. Indeed, no coercive method is considered taboo, including forced abortion. It was for reasons like these that in 2002 the U.S. State Department blasted China for its affront to human rights. Indeed, Secretary Colin Powell backed the Bush administration’s denial of funds to UNFPA.

“The one-child policy has abetted female infanticide, so much so that there has been a massive decrease in the female population—there are now an estimated 350 million girls missing from China. Other non-white areas of the world where UNFPA concentrates its efforts include Vietnam, Nigeria and Peru. But it can be multicultural: When the genocidal maniac from Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, wanted to tame his people, he invited UNFPA to help reduce the population of Kosovo; he wasn’t unhappy with the results, nor, of course, the means.

“So here we have it. In the name of women’s rights, UNFPA undercuts women. In the name of eradicating poverty, it eradicates the poor. Moreover, it works closely with anti-Catholic groups. And now Obama wants us to bankroll UNFPA. During a recession, no less. To top things off, he is doing all of this in the name of ending the politicization of issues that he says marked previous administrations. The ironies are as endless as they are priceless.”

400,000 members of the Traditional Anglican Communion to join Church of Rome?

GNW_Paul on Twitter referenced a report on Creative Minority Report quoting from an article from "The Record" out of Australia.

History may be in the making. It appears Rome is on the brink of welcoming close to half a million members of the Traditional Anglican Communion into membership of the Roman Catholic Church, writes Anthony Barich. Such a move would be the most historic development in Anglican-Catholic relations in the last 500 years. But it may also be a prelude to a much greater influx of Anglicans waiting on the sidelines, pushed too far by the controversy surrounding the consecration of practising homosexual bishops, women clergy and a host of other issues.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend the Traditional Anglican Communion be accorded a personal prelature akin to Opus Dei, if talks between the TAC and the Vatican aimed at unity succeed, it is understood.

The TAC is a growing global community of approximately 400,000 members that took the historic step in 2007 of seeking full corporate and sacramental communion with the Catholic Church – a move that, if fulfilled, will be the biggest development in Catholic-Anglican relations since the English Reformation under King Henry VIII.

TAC members split from the Canterbury-based Anglican Communion headed by Archbishop Rowan Williams over issues such as its ordination of women priests and episcopal consecrations of women and practising homosexuals.

Make sure to read the whole story

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Please God, Please Don't Make Me Be an Abortion Protester

Thanks to a link from the Curt Jester, I found this great posting at "Paul's Great NorthWest Blog." Make sure you read the whole story.

Prolouge: Although I am a cradle Catholic, and have never completely lapsed, I have a 'conversion' story that isn't over yet. My relationship with God, Jesus, The Holy Ghost, Mary and the Catholic Church has been quite a Journey. Along the way, I've been associated, at least briefly, with everything from outright Sedi Vacantists (The Chair is empty - code for Pius the XII was the last Pope and the followers are somehow not actually Popes, and the chair is vacant) and SSPX (Society of Saint Pius the X- a semi-schismatic group who's Bishops have been excommunicated; devoted to the Traditional Latin Mass and pretty much rejecting Vatican II) to Rainbow Masses with Archbishop Hunthausan in Seattle. Latin, charismatic, liturgical dance, Gregorian chant, ...I've pretty much been part of it all. Most of my associations with the most extremes 'traditional' and 'progressive' have been brief.

My Journey on Abortion

I don't really recall thinking about abortion before my first year of college at Seattle University (A 'progressive' Jesuit Catholic College). My family was outspokenly, solidly and very actively Democratic on my Dads side and I was strongly influenced in that direction. My Mom's family were old fashioned John Birch Society conservatives. Although I loved my Mom's family when it came to politics, I thought they were just a bunch of bigoted, ignorant farmers. Democrats were clearly the educated, enlightened and 'right' voters, party and ideals. So, I don't recall anything in my formative years that exposed me to pro-life views. I don't recall ever discussing it in Church or CCD. I grew up in the 'larger' cities of Montana, and classmates were generally from conservative families. I remember in 1980 in the 8th grade being the only kid that would speak up for President Carter. So, maybe I picked up something by osmosis or there are things I don't recall.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Vatican Youtube?

I found this on the webpage for Catholic News Agency.

Vatican City, Jan 23, 2009 / 11:40 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI has launched himself into the digital age today with the Vatican announcing that a YouTube channel dedicated to his activities and events at the Vatican is now online.

The Vatican’s announcement of its new partnership with Google’s YouTube coincides with the release of the Pope’s annual message for the World Day of Communications, which this year focuses on how to utilize new technologies to promote a culture of respect, dialogue and friendship.

Fr. Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See’s press office, described the Vatican’s YouTube Channel at a press conference today.

Check out the whole article.

Changes coming for Fr. Leo

In October, Bishop Michael Warfel appointed Father Leo McDowell to be the vocation director for the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, responsible for recruiting young men and women to serve the Church as priests, or religious brothers and sisters. In a follow-up to that appointment, Bishop Warfel has ask Father McDowell to move closer to Great Falls. In turn, this will mean changes for the parishes that have been served for the past ten and a half years by Father McDowell.

Last year at this time, in addition to Father McDowell being assigned to the parishes in Circle, Jordan and Richey, one priest was assigned to Glendive to serve there, Wibaux and St. Phillip's and one priest was assigned to Miles City and also serving in Terry. Today there are six priests serving in the same area. Two priests from India are living in Wibaux and helping in the Glendive parishes and the newly ordained priest for the diocese has been assigned to Sacred Heart in Miles City as parochial vicar (associate pastor). This allows for a reconfiguration of the parishes in the area and a change in pastoral leadership. On Ash Wednesday, this change is schedule to take affect. Father Rob Oswald, the pastor of Sacred Heart in Miles City will be given the additional assignment as pastor of the parishes of Jordan, Circle and Richey. Father Cory Sticha will be assisting in serving the parishes from Miles City. Father Alex Palickaparambil, from India, will live in Circle and serve as an additional parochial vicar for the five faith communities. This will create a new dynamic in the service received by these parishes. The parishes will see a variety of priests celebrating Mass in each community.

Father McDowell will temporarily be working out of the Bishop's office in Great Falls so he can get a jump start on his work as Vocation Director. This assignment will include visiting various parishes around the diocese and our Catholic Schools. "I am looking forward to my opportunity to work with the men and women discerning a call to serve the Church," reports Father McDowell. He continues, "We are building on the work of my predecessor and are planning an effort to actively promote vocations around the diocese within each parish. Having time to work on these projects before reporting to my new parish assignment later this year will truly benefit the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings."

While the Catholic people of Circle, Jordan and Richey say good-bye to Father McDowell, they are ready to welcome the changes that are coming. You are welcome to join the parishioners as they say good-bye to "Father Leo" on Sunday, February 22nd. Father Leo will say Mass at 10:00 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Circle, followed by a pot luck in the parish hall. He will also say Mass at 4:30 pm at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Jordan, followed by a second pot luck.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

7 Things Teenage Boys Most Need

Fr. John Trigilio, on his blog pointed out this article from Zenit.

I would encourage you all to read the whole interview with Father Michael Sliney

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 13, 2009 ( Being the parent of an adolescent boy is legendary for its difficulty. But according to one priest who acts as a spiritual director and confessor for high school boys, just keeping in mind seven points can make for a better relationship with adolescent sons.

Legionary of Christ Father Michael Sliney suggests the following seven necessities for parents of adolescent boys:

1. Clear guidelines with reasonable consequences from a unified front; cutting slack but also holding boys accountable for their actions.
2. Reasonable explanations for the criteria, guidelines and decisions made by parents.
3. Avoiding hyper-analysis of boys' emotions and states of mind: avoiding "taking their temperature" too often.
4. Unconditional love with an emphasis on character and effort more than outcome: Encourage boys to live up to their potential while having reasonable expectations. To love them regardless of whether they make it into Harvard or become a star quarterback.
5. Authenticity, faith and fidelity should be reflected in parent's lifestyles.
6. Qualities of a dad: Manliness, temperance, making significant time for family, putting aside work, and being a reliable source of guidance.
7. Qualities of a mom: Emotional stability, selflessness, loving service and extreme patience.

In this interview with ZENIT, Father Sliney takes a deeper look at the seven points.

Monday, January 5, 2009

CLOW-ning Around

I found the following at a blog by Fr. Cranky

I don’t know when it started, but many years ago someone saw that Protestants send their children to day care during their worship services, and voila, we invent Children’s Liturgy of the Word, or as it is called in these parts (and makes my teeth grind) CLOW – pronounced like ‘dough’ and not (as it should be) like ‘clown.’

It is because the readings and homily for the Mass are tooooo haaaarrrrd for our young ones, and unfortunately some of the powers that be agreed and produced a Children’s Lectionary. I don’t remember the end of St. Matthew’s Gospel being:

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. But remember to use really little words and special gatherings with the children, and make sure you have crafts for them because glue on Sunday clothes is a good thing, otherwise it will be too hard for them to really understand, and we can’t possibly expect any of the adults in their life to explain it to them."

All things that are being done in the name of the children have a way of coming back and infecting everything else we do.

Check out the complete posting

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Football opportunity

The kid who does snow removal for me at my parish in Jordan recently passed this letter on to me. It sounds like a fun event.

I was recently selected as 1 of only 26 high school football players to represent the state of Montana in the 10th annual King Kamehameha Football classics. These games are held at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu Hawaii. This is the stadium that holds an annual BCS Bowl game and the NFL’s Pro Bowl game. I think that this is a chance of a lifetime and I am striving to raise money for this trip. Opening the letter was a complete shock to me and upon arrival of the nomination letter from elite sports I had only 10 days to join the team. The basic cost of this trip is $2495, but this does not cover meals or extras.

The team and I will be leaving on June 30 and getting back on July 7. It was stated in the nomination letter I received: “Some of the best high school football players in the country take part in this prestigious annual showcase, which has grown to be the largest event of its kind”. I am very excited to play with and against these athletes from across the nation in a stadium that holds 50,000 fans. I also am excited to fly and see Hawaii and the ocean. We will be staying on Waikiki beach at the Hilton Hawaiian village.

Raising money for this trip is the hardest thing about it. This is because all of the money has to be paid by April 1st and I am required to begin making monthly deposits now. The work availability now is lower than in the summer months where it is easier to find jobs. I also have a lot less time on my hands now with school and basketball. I am asking for your financial support as a “sponsor” of me for this trip. If you would like to have more information, you can call me or go check out the website at

If you would like to sponsor me for this trip you can get a hold of me or my parents by calling (406) 557-2341 or writing to me at: Box 56
Jordan Montana 59337


Richard Hageman

Spiritual Direction

While browsing the Curt Jester this morning I found a link to this article. I think it is important that we work at finding a quality spiritual director if we truly want to grow in our faith and find where God is leading us.

When looking for a good spiritual director, it is standard practice to interview the potential S.D. first. The idea is not to weed out those who are going to challenge you or disagree with you. The idea is find one who holds and practice the Catholic faith as taught by the Church and is able to actually help you grow in holiness.

Ask the following questions politely. There is no need to be offensive or defensive. You are not an Inquisitor. You are not hunting heresy. If it turns out that the potential S.D. is some kind of New Age kook, you are obligated to keep that assessment to yourself. The obligation to confidentiality binds both the director and the directee.

A few cautions up front:

1). Do not be impressed with S.D.'s who have credentials in spiritual direction. Most spiritual direction programs in the U.S. teach their students amateur forms of guru-ism and occult gibberish.

2). Do not be impressed by titles like "Father," "Sister," "Brother," or "Doctor." Anyone holding any of these titles can be dodgy.

3). Do not be impressed by celebrity or ecclesial status. Abbot Father Dr. Alred Boniface Schultz of the St. Labyrinth Benedominican Monastery, author of 46 books on meditation and a national speaker, can be as big a moonbat as anyone.

4). Do not be impressed by the potential S.D.'s personal piety, orthodox theology, solid publishing record with the best Catholic houses, or his/her reputation for brilliant spiritual direction. Every director/directee relationship is different. What works for you, might not work for me. And being a good S.D. takes more than unwavering allegiance to the magisterium.

5). Do not be impressed by a potential S.D.'s willingness, even eagerness, to take you on as a directee. In fact, I would interpret any sort of "salemanship" on the part of the S.D. as creepy and immediately disqualify him/her.

Questions (with the qualification that he/she may say, "'Nunya."):

--Tell me about your spiritual life, your daily spiritual routine, your prayer life.

--What are your strengths as a S.D.? Weaknesses?

--Tell me about your experience as a S.D. How many years? What sorts of directees?

--How would you describe your relationship to the Church? The local bishop? The Holy Father?

--What do you think of commonly used spiritual direction tools like the Ennegram, labrynith?

--What do you think of personal devotions like the rosary, novenas, etc.?

--What authors/books do you regularly read and recommend?

--Have you had any spiritual direction training? Where and what kind?

--What's your understanding of the sacraments, esp. Mass, confession, marriage?

--How do you understand the relationship btw God and creation?

--How do you understand holiness, goodness, morality, sin, etc.?

--Do you use fasting or other sorts of penance in your direction?

--My biggest spititual difficulty is X. How would begin to approach this problem?

--My greatest spiritual gift is X. How would you direct me to use this gift?

--Generally speaking, from what sources do you pull from for inspiration as a S.D.?

Keep in mind that you are being interviewed as well. I have turned down potential directees b/c I didn't have the particular gifts to deal with their challenges. I have also been "fired" as a S.D. for being too theologically orthodox and for being "too hard."

Do you want someone who will "kick butt and take names"?
Or someone who will be more of a gentle listener, a guide?
Or someone who will function as a teacher, a model?
Or someone who will sympathize but challenge nonetheless?
Or someone who maintains an emotional distance and directs you?
Or someone who will "get in there with you" and fight?
Or someone versatile enough to shift among these as needed?

You really have to know yourself before choosing a S.D. But you also have to be open to change and growth. I find it very difficult to get a good S.D. because I need a "kick butt and take names" kinda director. I need someone who can look me in the eye and tell me how full of crap I am. Not many of those around these days. . .sigh. . .
I would encourage you to check out both The Curt Jester and Domine, da mihi hanc aquam blogs for some great insights to our faith and some occasional humor :)