Here is Bulletin_2016-05-29
Commentary and Analysis
The Wrong Direction for Catholic Education: I attended Catholic Schools from first grade through high school graduation. I was taught by Ursuline sisters and Marianist brothers. During the third grade I was literally raised by nuns while I was in a Catholic orphanage. I was formed in my faith and grew up in a better time. Many in the Church insist that the Church should continue to move in its current direction – a direction that has yielded no vocations and no spiritual fruit. Please consider these two stories from this week’s Arlington Catholic Herald.
The religious community has staffed St. Michael School in Annandale since 1954. Earlier this year they announced that they would be leaving the school due to decreased vocations and a desire to strengthen community life.
At the end of this school year, Sisters of the Holy Cross Anne Tardiff and Elizabeth Rossetti will retire after six decades in Catholic education. But when the sisters leave Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, it will also mark the end of another era: the Holy Cross Sisters’ service in Virginia Catholic schools, where they have taught since the end of the Civil War.
Consider also that there used to be a Catholic primary school at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Arlington. The Arlington Catholic Herald chronicled that story in the article St. Charles announces school restructuring. Need we go into detail concerning who was the pastor at St. Charles at the time? Perhaps a memory jog would be worthwhile:
Rose McDermott, president of the St. Charles PTO, said that parents met with Father Grinnell Jan. 16 to talk about the possibility of keeping the school open and were told that the decision would not be reversed.
I was, as were many of you, formed in the faith and grew up in a better time. Now, our children and grandchildren have been abandoned.
My wife and I are but one married Catholic couple. We came to Rappahannock County to escape the often encountered lunacies and heresies of the Diocese of Boise. We had reason to believe that we could expect better in the Diocese of Arlington. Since June of 2014, however, we have seen a parish and an entire county be subjected to the community organizing, social justicism of a radical pastor.
Over the course of several months we have addressed the topic of the series of five discussions entitled “Care of Our Common Home”. For example, read: Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #13 – Graduation Day and check out the material compiled Laudato Si’ – Care for Our Common Home.
In the name of the Pope, the Catholic Church, and St. Peter Catholic Church of Washington, VA, that pastor, in collaboration with the Rappahannock Clergy Association, which our Pastor founded, sponsored “a conversation: Care of Our Common Home”. The bait to lure folks to this blatant community organizing event were these words from Pope Francis:
“I urgently appeal for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone…”
The widely distributed advertisement noted:
Sponsors include St. Peter’s Catholic Church; Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection; Unitarian Universalists of the Blue Ridge; Green Team of St. James Episcopal Church, Warrenton; RappFLOW.
The ad contained a subtle use of prepositions that revealed the deception of this series of discussions:
The first of five conversations based around Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter “On Care of Our Common Home.”
In retrospect it is quite clear now. There was no, I repeat no intention whatsoever to really consider what Pope Francis attempted to convey in Laudato Si’. When I set out to drive around a town, I have no intention of driving to a town or driving through a town. In fact, it is likely that the town is something I am trying to avoid.
I could write in great detail about the first four talks, but that would only obscure the most important issue. That issue is these discussions did not bring forth the Holy Spirit to enlighten souls. Rather, the conjured up an evil brew of hostility towards many teachings of the Catholic Church, especially teachings about life from conception to natural death. Please read the following slightly edited [one word] excerpt from the “May 15, 2016 Categorized notes from the Conversation on Care for Our Common Home with three circles”:
OverpopulationThere are too many people for the earth to sustain.Dense population creates pressure on society.– Contentious issue with population control; Encyclical says that’s not the issue –sharing more equitably is.– If we don’t take care of the population, nature will take care of it for us.– Education especially for women helps decrease population naturally.– Catholic teaching is that abortion is wrong, and some birth control. See p. 50. American Life League – … dedicated his life to saving human beings.– Tension between different views– responsibility to respect the environment and life; Catholic views,other faith views, secular.The population crisis is part of the root of the problem –too many people on the planet, resources spread too thin. Try to decrease birth rate. Need maternal/child health care, birth control. Also need education, especially for women/girls. Successful program in Bangladesh cut birth rate from 7 children per family to 3. But not moving fast enough – historically famine, war, and pestilence has cut populations.Beyond the local, worldwide We cannot ignore the problem of overpopulation.The planet is fighting back– rising sea level, desertification, rise of diseases.Overpopulation goes hand in hand with poverty.Plan B 3.0 tells story of how a nation that wants to bring down population growth can do so quickly. Birth control, education of girls,On the other hand, with more people you have more ideas to solve problems.Prediction– 80 percent of population will live in urban areas within 20-30 years.This may be a self-regulating mechanism.
Here is Bulletin_2016-05-22
This post is at least two hours later than we planned. —- I’m waiting for the Vatican to announce that those of us who manage to work through a week of problems with Windows 10 without saying a single curse word will be eligible for a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions of course. I have earned my indulgence this week – well almost. Maybe I’ll do better next week.
Analysis and Commentary
1. Visiting Priest this Weekend: After the Communion Service today, Deacon Benyo announced that Fr. Pilon would celebrate all the Masses at St. Peter’s this weekend. For those of you who drive to other parishes, this is one weekend when you can save money and avoid the hazards of Chester Gap.
2. Cursillo Weekend: And why was it that there was an unscheduled Communion Service today and why is it that there will be a visiting priest this weekend? Simple – The 147th Women’s Weekend, May 19-22 at Missionhurst 4651 25th St N | Arlington, VA 22207. Our Pastor will be the Spiritual Director. There are no candidates from St. Peter’s listed on the candidate roster. One would wish that Father would announce these absences in advance so that one could plan accordingly.
3. Give Us This Day: When something doesn’t fit the expected pattern, we make note of it. When something goes right, we do our best to let you know. Our mission is to offer “Assent to Counter Dissent”. You know how frequently we have had to alert you to the problems with the “Little Book” series that found its way into the vestibule. Today, there was something different – Give Us This Day® Daily Prayer for Today’s Catholic, a combination missalette and daily prayer book, based on the Liturgy of the Hours. (This is what the June issue of This_Day looks like.)
A new, personal prayer periodical from Liturgical Press-a trusted publisher of liturgy, Scripture, and spirituality founded by the Benedictines of Saint John’s Abbey in 1926.
Deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition, Give Us This Day® is about prayer-praying daily, praying well, praying with confidence.
Give Us This Day® supports your desire to establish prayer as a part of your life, enhancing your existing practices and deepening your encounter with God by providing:
- A practical approach to daily prayer
- Prayers and readings for daily Mass
- Daily prayer, Morning and Evening
- A reflection on the Scriptures for each day
The booklets were in boxes in the vestibule, not in the pews. Perhaps that is a good thing because they contain morning and evening prayer and you would not be able to use them at home if they were in the pews. Our recommendation is that you take one home and bring it to Mass. My wife and I pray the Liturgy of the Hours together each day and that has been a blessing to our marriage.
Rumor has it that there will be more offerings of orthodox instructional and spiritual materials available to the sheep at St. Peter’s. Considering what is happening in the world and in parts of the Church, we need to make use of anything that will bolster our faith and resolve as Catholics and the Church Militant.
4. Bible Choices: As I mentioned last week, I was asked by a reader what translation of the Bible I use or I would recommend. We provided a short, rather indirect response last week, but one of our very kind and learned readers obviously has devoted more time to this topic. So, we defer to him:
On the request for recommendations, I point out the last paragraph of my document:
This author personally finds the Douay Rheims more inspirational (“And the angel, being come in, said unto her: ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.'” Who, having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.” (Luke 1, 28 â 29)), and thus is preferred for prayers; while the RSV-CE is more readable for the story line (“And coming to her, he said, ‘Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.’ But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. (Ibid.)).
If the requestor is looking to purchase a study Bible, I highly endorse “The Haydock Bible”; a copiously foot-noted annotated version of the D-R version. My copy was published by “Catholic Treasures”, but I am pretty sure I got it through Ignatius Press. And after that, any imprimatured versions of the New American Bible (our family has worn out a St. Joseph’s edition from The Catholic Book Publishing Company).
I think my learned reader and I would agree that having a copy of the Douay Rheims translation or access to it online would be a good thing. Whichever translation or version you choose, keep it close and keep it open.
5. Birthdays: For those of you celebrating your 70th birthday, may you have the happiest and most blessed of birthdays. For those of us who haven’t quite reached that milestone and those who may have already passed it, you are in our prayers – God bless!
6. Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors: Yes, I attended the fourth in the series Caring for Our Common Home on May 15th. No, I haven’t written a single word about it yet. Why? An observer and commentator noted this about the fourth session:
Across the three working groups, folks generally spoke with ease. Politeness was the rule even when, as one of the moderators noted, “we have some tension here, some very real tension.” That was between some who are devout, and some whose faith lies more in the constitution that governs us all. Any disagreements were firm, but civil — as they have been throughout the Conversations.
From now on, you may call me “polite”, “devout”, “firm, but civil”. There were at least three Knights of Columbus at the meeting. Two of them openly defended the teachings of the Catholic Church on contraception and abortion. If the third defended those teachings, it was not observable from my vantage point.
When my guardian angel finally helps me to get my hackles down, I will take the time to write about what happens on a Pentecost Sunday when the teaching of the Church are challenged by human secularism and overt atheism.
Here is Bulletin_2016-05-15
The press has no words or time for what we share this week, perhaps because there is no controversy or money to be made. Despite the silence and ignorance of the world, the Church has the Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima (today) and Pentecost Sunday. Let us all profit greatly from the message of hope proclaimed on both these days.
Analysis and Commentary:
1. Join the Conversation: Once more we hear the refrain:
SUNDAY, MAY 15TH…..
JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME
3:30-5:30p.m. at the WASHINGTON FIRE HALL
Please read the Flyer insert in this bulletin
We have two comments. First, please do read the flyer. You will find it with the link to Bulletin_2016-05-15.
Next, please read Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #13 – Graduation Day.
2. Biblical Study: A couple of weeks back, I was asked by a reader what translation of the Bible I use or I would recommend. I’m not very good with off-the-cuff answers. So, I just stuttered and stammered. Here is what I should have said. I have the New American Bible – it was a gift from my Mother. I have the New Jerusalem translation, the King James red letter, and several other translations. On electronic file, I have some Mormon versions of the King James. I also have the Bible in Russian and several books from the Bible in Japanese. Quite often, however, I go on line and refer to the Douay-Rheims translation. Occasionally, I even refer to original Greek text so that I can confuse myself. When I quote the Bible on this blog, I usually use the readings from the USCCB Website or I use the Douay-Rheims.
Now that I have wasted your time with my inability to give a direct answer, I am reminded of something my dead horse Petition and I learned from Fre3d Capra. He told me that he found a book at the Flatwood Refuse and Recycling garbage drop off site that claims to have a full chapter that was edited out of the Book of Acts. He says this book was written by a most credible door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman who translated the original Greek using a Urim and Thummim purchased at Woolworth’s in 1952.
Apparently, a new “Christian community” more or less sprung up on its own and was claiming to teach “in the spirit of” Peter and Paul. Initially, the community flourished, but suddenly vanished because of loss of interest. The edited chapter recounted one of the practices unique to the community. It was called “conversation”. Here is an excerpt from the deleted chapter:
Format of our discussion:
— We will share in groups of 10 or 12.
— We will introduce ourselves (short).
— We will use a “round robin” method of sharing, i.e., each person has an uninterrupted chance to share (no more than three minutes for initial sharing).
— After each person has had a chance to share, we will have general discussions.
— There will be a note taker in each group to capture our ideas.
— After the general discussion in each group, we will have reports from the note takers for the benefit of the group at large
— Sharing of final thoughts: “How was this conversation for you?” “What would make the conversation better?”
Possible Questions for sharing –
I will spare you the rest of the story. Suffice it to say. The conversation led nowhere and the teaching of Christ as conveyed by St. Peter and St. Paul was never mentioned.
Congratulations Rappahannock County and parishioners of St. Peter Catholic Church. You have been successfully organized! Your five-month indoctrination period is nearly at an end. Your new alma mater the Rappahannock Clergy Association (RCA) School of Applied Social Justicism (SASJ) is now preparing you to venture forth and begin your post-graduate studies. We applaud you on your achievement, even if you were and continue to be unwitting.
In working for your newly conferred degree, you have intensely studied almost five full paragraphs from the 246 paragraphs that constitute Encyclical Letter LAUDATO SI’ of the Holy Father Francis on Care for our Common Home. In so doing you have been exposed to nearly 2% of what Pope Francis had to say to the world.
Today, on this Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, let us share with you one of the 241 paragraphs you never encountered during your study of Laudato si’:
Mary, the Mother who cared for Jesus, now cares with maternal affection and pain for this wounded world. Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power. Completely transfigured, she now lives with Jesus, and all creatures sing of her fairness. She is the Woman, “clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1). Carried up into heaven, she is the Mother and Queen of all creation. In her glorified body, together with the Risen Christ, part of creation has reached the fullness of its beauty. She treasures the entire life of Jesus in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19,51), and now understands the meaning of all things. Hence, we can ask her to enable us to look at this world with eyes of wisdom.
The unfortunate fact is you will probably never read nor ponder the implications of paragraph 241. Instead you will be deeply involved in your new commission, which is in no way related to the words of The Great Commission related in Mark 16:14-18:
And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And seeing them they adored: but some doubted. And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.
Nevertheless, dear friends, you are about to be given your Little Commission by the RCA. This Sunday at the fourth session of the RCA-organized discussion series “On Care for Our Common Home” you will learn about Next Steps Towards Care for Our Common Home. Please read this document very, very closely. You will find nothing about Laudato si’, the words of Pope Francis, or the reflection presented in paragraph 241. Why? Because it was never, we repeat never the intention of the RCA to develop any meaningful action based on the social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. It has always been about organizing you and inducting you into the ranks of the social justicism radicals. Read and see:
In our Conversations, we have discovered many possibilities for further work – as individuals, as communities, as advocates for public policy, as naturalists, as citizens, as ethicists and philosophers, in quest for social and environmental justice. We find others who share some of our concerns and quests.
Now that you are preparing to receive your RCA SASJ degree you are ready to take “Your Next Step”:
In taking this step, you are making a commitment to facilitating others’ participation in your endeavor. Your endeavor could take one of several forms: recruiting volunteers for an existing organization; forming and leading a new group; leading a group on a field trip; hosting a one-time activity.
If you came to this series of discussions expecting to learn how Pope Francis’ encyclical could become a means to “enable us to look at this world with eyes of wisdom” and advance the Kingdom of God, you were mistaken. Perhaps you were even deceived. – In the end, you were organized and indoctrinated to serve the secular humanists and social justicismists rather than the One True God.
Once again, congratulations Rappahannock County and parishioners of St. Peter Catholic Church! You have been successfully organized! Now, take up your green flags and follow your mentors, the professors of the RCA SASJ.
In Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #1 we presented Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” and Gordon E. Simmons’ Rules for Radical Pastors. In Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors #2 we provided an expanded view of Simmons’ Rules for Radical Pastors. Takes some time now to see how these rules were used by the RCA SASJ.
RULE 1: Build an organization through individual meetings
Building and sustaining an organization requires a great deal of time meeting with people one-on-one. The reason for this is to discover where your leadership is and to develop relationships of trust so that you may call upon that leadership.
This was done in the original development of the Rappahannock Clergy Association and the recruitment of kindred spirits who combined their efforts to bring about the “Care for Our Common Home” forum.
RULE 2: Build an organization by presenting a vision of where you are going and moving toward it.
Saul Alinsky said that people were to have the power that their ideas and programs should come to the surface. But he also understood that the organizer had to capture the best of those ideas and present them as a vision so that people could move toward them. Alinsky wrote, “The organizer’s biggest job is to give people the feeling that they can do something”
This was done both with the RCA/kindred spirits and with the attendees at the Laudato Si’ discussions.
RULE 3: Build an organization through leadership development.
Alinsky had a strong notion that leaders are made and not born. He believed that people’s leadership skills could be developed. He started working among the poor, people among whom some would say leadership skills are lacking. He didn’t let that deter him. Remember the “iron rule” –IAF has a principle called the “iron rule” of organizing. It goes like this: “Never do for others what they can do for themselves.”
The building of an organization started with the discussions and now will continue during the period of “Your Next Step Towards Care for Our Common Home”.
RULE 4: Teaching happens best through an action-reflection model.
The fourth principle is that teaching happens best through an action-reflection model. Alinsky felt strongly that the best model of education is not one of training people and then sending them out to do their work. Rather, the best model involves sending people out to do their work and then helping them to learn about what they are doing.
Alinsky was very intolerant about taking a long time to get things started. He hit the ground running. Get going. Then do your learning through reﬂection upon what has happened.
There it is! “Your Next Step Towards Care for Our Common Home” exhorts you newly organized recruits to start your own efforts immediately and learn from them.
At the June 12 meeting you will have opportunity to set up a display and/or give a brief presentation to the entire group about your invitation.
The RCA followed the Rules for Radical Pastors and you followed the RCA/kindred spirits. Congratulations and enjoy your new found servitude.
Here is Bulletin_2016-05-08
For my sweet and loving Mother in heaven, may there be roses!
For my Mother, passed away, but ever remembered, may there be roses!
For my wife, the mother of our children, may there be roses!
For every mother reading this, may there be roses!
And in honor of Our Lady, during our time of need,
may there be Rosaries!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Comments & Commentary:
1. 30 Years – Ever Faithful: Our former Pastor, Fr. Paul L. Dudzinski is celebrating 30 years of priesthood. My wife and I remember the newly ordained Fr. Dudzinski in his first parish assignment. He has been a friend to our family and has provided us spiritual direction on many occasions. He is in our prayers as he continues faithfully in his vocation.
2. Growing Up: I had every Beatles album. I gave them to my daughter. I went to the Monterey Pop Festival, held June 16 to June 18, 1967, at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey, California. I went to San Francisco when people were going there with a flower in their hair. I even had John Lennon’s Imagine album. BUT I grew up. I used to enjoy singing all of the Glory and Praise music. I even had two albums of Glory and Praise on vinyl. BUT I grew up. The Beatles had a drug problem. John Lennon was out to lunch with Yoko Ono. Why would I want to follow them. Fr. Carey Landry, the author of so many Glory and Praise songs, gave up his priesthood. Are the songs as flawed as their author?
The music at the 5PM Mass is going backward in time and truth. The guitars are here and Glory and Praise is here. Everyone at Mass tonight received a copy of “Peace is Flowing Like a River” and the guitar and vocalists tried to bring us all down that river. I have included a copy of the handout with the bulletin. Go and take a look at the words. I contend that peace does not flow out of you and me. Peace comes from God. Peace comes from Jesus Christ. That peace flows through you and me just as it does through our beautiful Virgin Mary. We can share that peace, but we are not the authors of that peace.
The music belongs to another age and, in many cases, the words belong to a religion of the world and not of the Church of God.
3. Join the Conversation: Sunday, May 15 is the next opportunity to see the principles of Saul Alinsky in action. If you had problems with my double-dog dare a few weeks back, maybe you can come and join me this time as we watch the facial distortions as inveterate liberals are confronted with irrefutable logic and the wisdom and teaching of the Catholic Church. It’s called apologetics and, if you go into it with the proper frame of mind, it can be great fun. See you there, if you dare!