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A good men’s retreat coming up at St. Mark in Plano! January 26, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, Society.
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Well, shuck my corn.  Here I’ve been complaining about the Sr. Marie Schwan dealie coming shortly at St. Mark, and I find out today there’s going to be a good men’s conference held there a few weeks later.  On March 12-13 February 12-13, the St. Peter chapter of the Brotherhood of the Iron Will, or Kepha, will be hosting a men’s retreat at St. Mark in Plano. The retreat will start on Saturday, February 12th at 8:00 am and end on Sunday, February 13th after the 10:30 am Mass is over. 

Activities on the retreat will include apologetics talks, dodge ball, Saints reports, service projects, brotherhood, 2AM Yawns for Christ, prayers and more. 

Special guest Fr. Clifford Smith, Pastor of St. Mark Catholic Church, will speak on apologetics and also be available for confession

You can register here

What is Kepha?  Well, it’s a men’s group inspired by Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and St. John Bosco who seek to live a dynamic, orthodox Catholic faith and focus on apologetics, brotherhood, charity, mortification, and prayer.  Although primarily oriented towards fathers and sons, all men are welcome.  Sounds pretty intriguing to me!   I may try to attend, at least on Saturday (but, must check with my wife first, ‘course!).

Voris on the inertia setting into pro-life movement January 26, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Society.
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I agree with all of this. 

I’ve already mentioned some reticence I have regarding the inertia that may be inadvertantly setting in with the pro-life cause, where folks seem to view abortion as an institution that will be around for a long time.  I can’t agree more with the link between contraception and abortion.  It is very sad that contraception is such a rare topic for homilies.  It is avoided because it is controversial, and it might make people mad.  By justice, it should be an A#1 topic repeated throughout each year, with priests exhorting the faithful to live in accord with the doctrine of the Church, especially because we know so few Catholics do!  And, of course, the topic is mentioned even less often by our bishops.  I was disappointed when Bishop Farrell did not tie abortion to contraception during his sermon prior to the March for Life.   Until exhortations to follow Church Doctrine on contraception become frequent and forceful, from all levels of the Church, Catholics will be fighting abortion with one hand tied behind the back. 

I do want to give a shoutout to a few local priests who ARE strong in the Faith and who do address the topic of contraception.  They are definitely the exception, and they need our prayers.

Then, there’s the whole issue Canon 915.  If Canon 915 were strictly enforced in all diocese, would we even have abortion?  Or would we have a new ‘American Catholic-Episcopal Church?’

A harrowing exorcism story January 26, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, sickness, Society.
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Since the topic of exorcisms has come up on this blog a few times recently, mostly over the issue of Fr. Euteneuer and his now nearly unobtainable book, Exorcism and the Church Militant, I found this story, via Creative Minority Report, very timely, and a bit frightening.  It describes a possession and exorcism that took place in Iowa in 1928:

Emma Schmidt was 40 years old in 1928. An Iowa native, from childhood she was a practicing Catholic, but for twenty-six years she had experienced almost continual psychological and spiritual unrest. She heard voices sexually tempting her. Obsessive thoughts nearly drove her to suicide. Over time she developed an indefinable anger toward religious objects. When a priest blessed her, she flew into a rage and attacked him. She also found herself able to understand languages she never studied, like Latin and German.

Doctors could find nothing physically wrong with her, so Emma looked to religion for help. But Church authorities are slow to acknowledge possession before extensive investigation. After carefully examining her case, Bishop Thomas Drumm of Des Moines gave the approval for Emma’s exorcism. He then called Father Theophilus Riesinger (1868-1941), one of the few American priests known to have any experience in this controversial area…………

As Emma stepped off the train, she felt an overwhelming urge to attack the Sisters waiting there. At the convent, she was offered food that had been secretly blessed, but she refused, purring like a cat for hours. The next morning, Father Theophilus began the exorcism. Emma was placed on a bed, with a group of Sisters nearby. As the prayers began, Vogl writes, “a hair-raising scene occurred”:

With lightning speed the possessed dislodged herself from her bed and from the hands of her guards; and her body, carried through the air, landed high above the door of the room and clung to the wall with a tenacious grip. All present were struck with a trembling fear. Father Theophilus alone kept his peace.

Later “a loud shrill voice rent the air . . . as though it were far off, somewhere in a desert.” Everyone, Vogl records, was “struck with a terrible fear that penetrated the very marrow of their bones.”

At times the work was unendurable. An unnatural stench filled the room, and though Emma ate little, she vomited dozens of times daily. She screamed and moaned for hours in unearthly voices “that no human could reproduce.” Witnesses noticed that her “face became so distorted that no one could recognize her.”

Riesinger identified four main spirits operating in Emma. One called itself Beelzebub, another Judas Iscariot. Two were spirits of deceased relatives. One was Emma’s father Jacob, an alcoholic who sexually abused her and placed a curse on her. The other was her aunt Mina, Jacob’s mistress, a child murderer who practiced witchcraft. When Emma was 14, Mina put a spell on her food. Father Theophilus asked the demon’s intent. It answered: “To bring her to despair so that she will . . . hang herself! She must get the rope, she must go to hell!”

Chilling stuff.  A few important notes: 1) the woman did successfully complete the exorcism process, and all four demons were excised from her spirit.  2) this is a very rare case, actual cases of demonic obsession or possession are very rare, but they do happen. 3) Even though rare, due to the extreme horror such cases involve, it is best to do what we can to insulate ourselves from these sources of evil, through prayer, sacrifice, remaining in a state of Grace, and receiving the Sacraments (Eucharist, Confession) as frequently as possible.  4) We should also be supportive of those who work in the Church in this important field, so subject to sensationalism and derision.  I pray that the current situation, with only 6 (or is it 5, now, with Fr. Euteneuer out of public life?) exorcists for the entire country will change, and Bishop Paprocki’s efforts to train new exorcists will yield much fruit.  There is not a demon hiding under every rock, but this is an important field of the Church’s ministry that must not be neglected, no matter what the head of the NationalFederation of Priest’s Councils says.

Colleen Hammond speaking in OKC on Feb. 5! January 26, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Society.
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OK, so it’s not Dallas, but it’s kinda close – just 3 hours north.  Join occasional commenter, former television personality (I think the Weather Channel counts!), and Catholic mom Colleen Hammond at the “fifth annual Oklahoma Catholic Women’s Conference will be at Feb. 5 at Clarion Conference Center in Oklahoma City”  Other speakers include   Marge Fenelon and Sharmane Adams.  Colleen will give talks on “The Family: A Sacred Calling” and “Love, Honor… and Obey?”  There will also be a Mass celebrated by OKC Bishop Eusebius Beltran (Eusebius – now there’s a name for a bishop!  Almost as good as Athanasius!  If I have another son, I’m going to name him Augustine Chrysostom!  No, I won’t!  Or will I…….????). 

Take a little pilgrimage up to OKC and go see what will surely be an informative and spirit filled conference.  To register or for more information, go to www.OCWConference.com

Requiring profession of faith from those who serve in the Church January 26, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, scandals, Society.
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You can probably guess where I fall on this issue, but I note with interest that the good Bishop Robert Vasa, recently named coadjutor of the Santa Rosa, California (good St. Rose!), requires a profession of faith from all those who serve in any role in the churches of his diocese – from lectors and (un)extraordinary ministers of Communion to catechists and teachers, which includes:

This includes declaring such things as: I believe in God, the virgin birth, the existence of purgatory, the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. I also accept the Church’s moral teachings, such as the evil and sinfulness of contraception, homosexual activity, and adulterous behavior

Woot!  While that may not be everything you might want to see in a profession of faith, it’s a heckuva start!

Some more Vasa gold, from the Catholic World Report interview.  On national conferences:

It is easy to forget that the conference is the vehicle to assist bishops in cooperating with each other and not a separate regulatory commission.” He added, “there may also be an unfortunate tendency on the part of bishops to abdicate to the conference a portion of their episcopal role and duty

True dat, and more so, it’s important to recognize that even where a bishop may have yielded some authority to a unanimous decision of the conference, it is always within his right to take that authority back, as he is the ONLY person responsible for the Faith in his Diocese, and bears an awesome responsibility.  On to CCHD:

While I trust the bishops on the committee itself, I have many concerns nationally about how we as the Catholic Church interact with elements of our society that do not share our values. It is one thing to interact with those who do not share our values, but it is quite another to financially support agencies, individuals, or agendas which are absolutely, diametrically opposed to our principles and values.Unfortunately, there are multi-layered corporations seeking funding that might have 90 percent of their activities perfectly in accord with the teaching of the Church, and they’re working in many areas and on issues for which the Church has a passion. Unfortunately, those same corporations may have a spin-off group that they fund which supports, say, population control, artificial contraception, and abortion. This would, in my mind, disqualify them from any support.

No disagreement here.  I think that’s what many orthodox Catholics have been saying for years.  You should read the whole interview at Catholic World Report.  It’s very good.  I pray for many more men like this in the episcopate, who elucidate the Faith in such a forthright manner.  I will continue to pray for this good bishop.

Deadly California abortion doctor loses license – UPDATED! January 26, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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The State of California has shut down the abortion operation of Andrew Rutland, an abortionist with a record similar to the Pennsylvania abortion “doctor” recently arrested on multiple murder charges.   Rutland was involved in the death of at least one adult woman and 2 infants that were “born alive.” 

When I discussed the Kermit Gosnell (the Pennsylvania abortionist) last week, I opined that the horrors described in his particular case could be applied to numerous abortion mills around the country.  Certainly, some of our local mills do not appear to be paragons of hygiene, and one can only wonder in dismay at what transpires inside.  I pray some good may come from this terrible situation in Pennsylvania, that numerous dirty, unsafe (well, they’re all unsafe) abortion mills will be shut down, and we can see some of the worst operators and abusers of women and children denied the ability to practice and continue to kill innocent children and harm, or kill, the women they purport to help.

UPDATE: Is calling an abortionist “deadly” an oxymoron?  I think it is!