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Funny, clean joke book available September 10, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, family, fun, General Catholic, silliness, Society, Virtue.
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Occasional commenter Michael McCrory has put together a book of totally clean, totally safe jokes for all ages.  I have had a print copy of it for sometime, but it is now available, via Kindle, generally.  I’m not a Kindle guy, but I know many readers are.  If you’re looking for something fun to pass time or good clean jokes to share with the family, I highly recommend this book.  You can get it here on Kindle for all of $6.99.

There are some very, very funny jokes in the book.  I like this one: “Did you hear what happened to the dyslexic imsomniac atheist?  He stayed up all night trying to disprove the existence of Dog.”  They are all very clean.  I can’t say I’ve read every joke in the book, but I never found anything that was even remotely offensive or even concerning.

We need more products of this kind.  Our culture has fallen so far, even very young children today use words, and have knowledge of very explicitg things, that would have shocked a hardened adult from just a few decades ago.  Books like this, minor though they may seem, can help rebuild a moral Catholic culture.  There, now, see, I’ve turned buying this book into a moral imperative.  By 5, 10, 30 give them to all your Kindle using friends!


We gotta catch up with Arizona! September 10, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, disaster, family, horror, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Here in Texas, we have taken some justifiable pride in the, still very insufficient, but significant recent steps taken to reduce the availability of abortion.  Planned Barrenhood has been defunded by the state, numerous mills and other facilities have closed, a ban on abortion beyond 20 weeks has been put in effect, and all mills must now meet basic health and safety requirements, which will greatly reduce the profitability of this trade in human flesh.  Progress has been made!

But, then, I saw the chart attached below, via Jill Stanek, and I was floored.  How could it be?  How could it be that lowly Arizona, land of snakes and sand and not much else, could have beaten Texas the past few years in “clinics” closing?  12 to 9!  It’s not even that close!

We cannot let this stand!  Texas cannot fall behind in the clinic closing race!  Mr. Governor, we cannot abide or allow, a mine shaft gap clinic closing gap!


Across the board, pretty good news.  54 mills have closed nationwide in the past 3 years.  Only in two states did the number of mills increase (I get Massachusettes, but Nebraska?  What’s up with that?  Up and down the Great Plains, the great “flyover” from North Dakota to Texas, abortion is under heavy, heavy pressure.  Only court orders keep mills open in North Dakota and Mississippi), at least where records are kept.  I find it shocking that nominally Catholic Louisiana does not categorize abortion mills separately, so they really don’t know how many mills they have.  Same for some other, ostensibly conservative, Christ-loving states.  I suspect the Nebraska aberration is due to the heavy pro-abort presence in strangely liberal Iowa.  It should be noted, that some of the states with “no change” already have more limited access to abortion than does Texas or some other states with a favorable red color.

Anyways, interesting data.  I want to see a new color all over that map, white, where abortion does not take place at all.

Prayers to St. Nicholas of Tolentino and for Holy Souls in Purgatory September 10, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, priests, religious, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
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Thanks to MJD:

Today is the feast of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, who had a great love for the Holy Souls. He would offer Mass, pray and do penance for them so they could more quickly enter Heaven. Because many Catholics have forgotten about the souls in Purgatory, except when November 2nd – All Souls Day – comes around, St. Nicholas can teach a valuable lesson.st-nicholas-of-tolentino-1465

Let us pray for our dearly departed loved ones today and ask St. Nicholas to remember them. Prayer is below.

Souls in Purgatory, animals, babies, boatmen, dying people, mariners, sailors, sick animals, watermen

Prayer to Saint Nicholas

O God, source of strength and courage, 
you gave your beloved preacher,
 Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, 
the conviction of faith to the very end.
  Grace us with the ability 
to translate your teaching into action, 
remain patient amid hardship,
 serve the poor and those who suffer, 
and live as your true and faithful
Saint Nicholas of Tolentino,  pray for us.

Prayer for the Deceased by Saint Nicholas

Lord, God of holiness and light. 
You do not allow any shadow of darkness or evil in your sight, 
and so in your mercy you grant to those who have left this world burdened with sin,
a time of purification, applying to them the spiritual treasurers of your holy Church.

Hear my prayer
and through the merits of Christ, 
the Blessed Virgin, the saints,
and all your faithful people 
bring to an end this time of waiting 
for our beloved dead, especially _____.

In your providence
you have chosen Saint Nicholas
 as a special intercessor 
on behalf of the departed.
Hear also his fervent prayer for those whom I recommend to you through his intercession.  Amen.


Pope Francis is a busy man….. September 10, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, contraception, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Papa, pr stunts, Society, the return.
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……he certainly knows how to stay in the news.

First, the good.  Pope Francis called an unmarried mother considering abortion, and not only got her not to have the abortion, but Pope Francis will baptise her baby.  I’m sure pro-abort lefitsts (but I repeat myself) will want to know if Pope Francis will be there to change diapers and feed the baby at 3 in the morning, because all pro-aborts know pro-lifers don’t care anything for the mother or baby after birth, after we spike the baby in the end zone:

Pope Francis has again made headlines with an unexpected phone call—this time, to a single mother.

The Italian woman, Anna Romero, had written to the Pope asking for advice when the father of her unborn child said that he would not take responsibility for the baby. Rather than writing back, the Holy Father called her to give her encouragement; he volunteered to baptize the child.

Anna Romero—who described the phone conversation as brief and very emotional—said that if the child is a boy she will name him Francis.

I think we now have the universal solution to abortion.  The Vatican is going to have a terrible phone bill.

As I said, a terrible phone bill:

Pope Francis telephoned an Argentine rape victim on August 25 and spoke with her for 30 minutes about “faith and trust,” according to a report that appeared in The National Catholic Register.

“The Pope told me he receives thousands of letters each day, but that what I wrote moved him and touched his heart,” she said.

“When I heard the Pope’s voice, it was like feeling the hand of God,” she added. “I was petrified.”

“The Pope listened attentively to my story,” she continued. “I’ll do anything now to go to the Vatican. He told me he would meet with me.”

There is no question this Pope is a man with a tremendous personal touch, who really knows how to appeal to the mass culture. These kinds of actions, sincere as I’m sure they are, also build massive PR equity in the minds of millions.

In a rather different vein, Pope Francis also plans to meet with Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, SJ, the founder of liberation theology.  Could this be the beginning of the “sanctification” of liberation theology, an attempt, like so many attempts since the Council, to take “the good aspects” of something very problematic, even destructive and dangerous, and give it a patina of approval and “holiness?”  Sandro Magister at La Republicca thinks this meeting will be a smackdown on liberation theology, and there is quite a bit of evidence to support that.  Pope Francis, as priest, bishop, and Cardinal Archbishop, stood pretty strongly against liberation theology.  But we know the head of the CDF, Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, loves him some Fr. Gutierrez.  I suppose we’ll just have to see.  After all, Pope Benedict met with Hans Kung on several occasions.  But then again……


Latin Mass at St. Mark TERMINATED September 10, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Tradition, Virtue.
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Father Hopka informed those assisting at Mass last night that the “experiment” of the Novus Ordo Latin Mass at St. Mark will be terminated two weeks from now.  The final Mass, a “High” Mass, will be on Monday, Sept. 23.  There had been warnings that the Mass would be cancelled if attendance (which averaged around 35 or 40 a night, if you count the Schola and two servers) did not improve.  It did not improve.  So, the Mass is cancelled.

I am grateful that we had the opportunity to have this “experiment” play out.  I am grateful to Fr.’s Smith and Hopka at St. Mark for agreeing to offer the Mass at Bishop Farrell’s request. I am grateful to Bishop Farrell for allowing this Mass to exist for 2 1/3 years. And I’m grateful for all who assisted at this Mass over the years, and who, I hope, gained some exposure to the liturgical benefits of the Church’s universal language.

As a sign of this gratitude, I am hoping we can have the Schola lead those assisting at the last Novus Ordo Latin Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in a Te Deum at the conclusion of the Mass.  I should have thought of this earlier, and even now, the idea is not mine.  Another priest suggested this idea to me, for which, I am also grateful, and not a little bit ashamed.

What can I say?  It was quite an experience, this “experiment.”  From the beginning, it was apparent that support for the Mass at St. Mark was diffident, at best.  There was a threat of cancellation before it even began – that’s how I found out about the Mass in the first place!  That’s hardly an auspicious start!

The Mass was little advertised, and was never listed with all the rest of the Masses in the Mass times section at the front of the bulletin.  I would suspect that, even after 2 years of existence, the vast majority of St. Mark parishioners have no idea this Latin Mass is available.  Early on, attendance was quite good, but there was that terribly unfortunate scandal/disagreement over the reception of Holy Communion, from which the Mass simply never recovered.  On top of that, during the period from fall 2011 until well into spring 2012, the Mass was very frequently cancelled, but these cancellations were never listed in the bulletin or website, so people got frustrated never knowing whether the Mass would be on, or off.  You basically had to be at the Mass every week to know what was coming.  I know a number of people who went to St. Mark on Monday night, expecting a Latin Mass, and finding nothing.  It doesn’t take many such occurrences for people to just give up on the whole thing.

So, the Mass struggled along with 35 or 40 people in attendance each night.  And that’s being pretty liberal in my counting.  There were times when there were barely 20 people there.  Thus, the reason we have been told, in the past, for the cancellation: lack of attendance.  As I’ve said here many times, anyone else requesting a Latin Mass, Novus Ordo or TLM, anywhere in the Diocese could now, very possibly, be met with a perfectly justifiable, ready-made excuse not to have one: we tried it, and it failed. No interest.  That doesn’t bode well for liturgical reform in the Diocese of Dallas, I am afraid to say.  Having said that, no one ever said what level of attendance would have kept the Mass going.  Was it 100, 80, 200, 500?!?  And how does this Latin Mass – on a Monday night! – compare with many other daily Masses in the Diocese, in terms of attendance?  I suspect it’s a little on the low side of average.  But that, apparently, was not good enough.  Unless this entire exercise was pre-determined to fail, which I don’t really believe, or maybe, want to believe.

I have to conclude, however, that this Mass has not given a fair reading of the amount of interest that exists in the Diocese for Latin in the Liturgy.  First of all, the Mass was on Monday night, probably the worst time that could have been chosen, outside of making it 2 am on a Tuesday morning or something like that.  Even daily Mass attendees don’t always go to Mass on a Monday, the day after their Sunday Mass. Secondly, as I said, the Mass was never advertised and was basically semi-secret throughout its existence.  Thirdly, I know for a fact that 15-20 people who were assisting at the Mass early on, before all the cancellations, stopped after getting frustrated with showing up and there being no Mass. Even though the Masses have been offered more regularly over the past year or so, once people get frustrated, or out of the habit of coming, I found it’s hard to get them re-energized and re-engaged.

But, even with all that, it’s a minor miracle this Mass occurred at all, given how much institutional opposition that exists against “bad, old” Latin. I do recognize that St. Mark, pastor Fr. Smith, Fr. Hopka, music director Kenton Kravig, the ushers, and others did take a good deal of time out of their normal routines and other duties to make this Mass possible for the time it has existed.  And I am very thankful and grateful for that. But it was apparent at times that even this effort (save for Mr. Kravig, who, I think, really liked this Mass and was fully committed) was conflicted.  I just repeatedly got the sense this Mass did not enjoy wholehearted support from many of those who were involved in making it happen.

And after 2+ years, that’s very much how I feel about this Mass – conflicted.  Long ago, at the third or fourth Mass, when there were still 100+ people a night, we had that terrible row over whether people could be “forced” to receive the Blessed Sacrament from the hands of a lay person.  For traditional Catholics, that is one of the most sensitive subjects possible.  At that time, I made a comment to some folks, and I think it encapsulates the entire “experiment:” you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.  You can’t “force people,” be they laity, priests, servers, whomever, to embrace Latin in the liturgy or more reverent, traditional presentations of the Liturgy if they are not motivated to do so themselves.  That was the fundamental, structural weakness of this “experiment.”

Another conflict for me – had this Mass come along in, say, early 2010, instead of mid-2011, I probably would have been much more excited and committed, myself. But when it came along, I had already been well exposed to the TLM.  And I have to admit, as nice as this Novus Ordo Latin Mass has been, it’s just not the same.  Thus, as the person whose request, I think, originally led to this Mass, I did not have the interest I would have had the timing been a bit different.  By the time this Mass came along, I was already coming to believe there were grave problems with the Novus Ordo that a mere change in language could not alleviate.  I believe that far more, today.

So, for numerous reasons, I am both sad to see this Mass terminated, but also relieved.  For one thing, it will be nice to have Monday nights back. There are also some personal matters I’d rather not discuss yet that have a bearing on what I’m about to say, but, overall, I have over the past year or more felt called or compelled to strive to only assist, within reason, at the TLM.  The Novus Ordo Latin Mass at St. Mark, and the distance involved in reaching the TLM, had kept me from going full on traddy and being TLM-only up to this point.  But with the cancellation of this Mass, and some changes in our personal situation, I think my continued involvement in the Novus Ordo, on a regular basis, is about to end.

In fact, the timing of the termination of this “experimental” Mass, and the change in our personal situation, seems rather Providential to me.  We’ll see.