Thursday, August 31, 2006

Saint Mary's University Purchases Memorial Blood Center Building to Expand Its Twin Cities Campus

The Saint Mary's University Twin Cities campus will double in size with the addition of a nearby building and parking lot. Its purchase of the Memorial Blood Center at 2304 Park Avenue in Minneapolis will help accommodate a growing enrollment, which has increased 24% over the past five years.

The university closed on the Memorial Blood Center purchase on August 29. Two blocks north of the present campus, the center will add 35,000 square feet on three levels and 100 parking spaces to the university's Twin
Cities facilities.

The three existing Saint Mary's buildings along Park Avenue include approximately 35 classrooms and 50 office spaces. While a second-floor addition to Mother Teresa Hall was considered, that expansion project will not be pursued, according to Brother Craig Franz, president of the university. "The Blood Center purchase is more cost-effective, and it will provide more useable space. The additional parking will be welcomed by all," Franz said.

Growing graduate and professional program enrollment has resulted in a considerable need for additional Twin Cities classroom, parking, and office space. In the past year, the university had to rent classroom and parking space from the adjacent Phillips Eye Clinic.

The former Memorial Blood Center will be primarily used for classroom and office space. Suggestions from Twin Cities faculty and staff will be considered in its redesign and function. Building renovations will likely be completed by the start of the 2007 summer semester.

"This addition to the Saint Mary's campus will allow for continued growth in enrollment and program offerings," said Franz. "It will help us provide improved service to adult learners in the Twin Cities area."

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is a private, Catholic, coeducational institution offering comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs. The university takes education to its learners through campuses and facilities in Winona; Minneapolis; Apple Valley; Rochester; numerous other locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin; Nairobi, Kenya; classes offered on the sites of its various corporate partners; and online course offerings. Nearly 3,900 full- and part-time students are enrolled in the university's School of Graduate and Professional Programs, which offers bachelor's degree completion and master's degree programs in fields including business, technology, health and human services, and education. SMU of MN

It is thought that one of St Blog's Parish's most famous and entertaining bloggers is resident down at St Mary's main campus. Maybe that person might finagle junkets to visit us urban bloggers now and then and see how the other half lives and teach us a bit about semi-mordancy.

Father Robert Altier's September Schedule for South St Paul and Hastings

Courtesy of the Schwabs at the DesertVoice web page, here is Father Robert Altier's September Schedule and information on his Fundamentals of Catholicism Course:

Many of you have inquired about future sessions of Father Altier’s popular Fundamentals of Catholicism course. We are happy to announce that the next sessions will be taught at Holy Trinity Church on Wednesday evenings (6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) beginning on September 13. Each class will be 1 hour in length with an open forum for questions and answers after class. The classes will run for 24 weeks, 12 before Christmas and 12 after Christmas, with one reception for converts in the spring.

For enrollment, please contact the church office:
Holy Trinity Church, 749 6th Avenue South, South Saint Paul, Minnesota, 651-455-1228

Following is the September schedule of Masses that Father will be praying at the
Church of St. Augustine
302 5th Avenue North, South Saint Paul, Minnesota, 651-451-9905

Friday, Sept 1 -- 7:30 p.m. First Friday Tridentine Mass
Sunday, Sept 3 -- 7 a.m.
Sunday, Sept 10 -- 7 a.m.
Sunday, Sept 17 -- 11:30 a.m. Tridentine Mass
Sunday Sept 24 -- 7 a.m.

The regular Mass schedule at the Regina Medical Center Nursing Home is:

Monday – Saturday at 9 am
Sunday at 10 am
Confessions beginning at 3 pm on Saturdays
Address: 1175 Nininger Road, Hastings, MN

Don't Count Out the Second Career Men

Father Guy Selvester (sic), one of St Blog's abler clerical members, active at Shouts in the Piazza in New Jersey, a fellow seminary alumnus of Bishop Swain, posted thusly:

Congrats to Mons. Swain of Madison, WI on his appointment to Sioux Falls, SD. Congrats, too, to the people of the Diocese of Sioux Falls for faithfully lasting all this time waiting for a bishop while the gang in Rome sifted through dozens of "no" answers until they came to someone who would say "yes".

People often think of seminaries that cater to what is now euphamistically called the "second career seminarian" as not being the breeding ground for the hierarchy that so many distinguished seminaries are...filled with the young turks in starched cuffs and tailored cassocks. But good old Blessed Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Massachusetts (run by the Archdiocese of Boston) has come through twice now! I am happy to count myself among those who pursued studies there and I can testify with pride to the wonderful job the faculty and staff do.

I suppose that some priests would refuse advancement to the episcopacy for reasons of health or age, etc. And I suppose others who consider themselves proteges of prominent archbishops, hold out for "A list dioceses."

But I would say that the record of the American Church over the past 50 years in selecting the minions of its Archbishops and Cardinals has not been particularly good at all. Saying "no" to advancement to a small diocese in a remote location indicates two things, insufferable pride and an underlying fear that they wouldn't be able to do the job without 200 assistants to help them.

I Hereby Declare that the Games of the 2006 Coadjutor Rumor Wars are Officially Re-Convened!

Father "Z", Minnesota's official ambassador to Rome, who blogs at W.D.T.P.R.S? started out with this:

Bp. Aquila of Fargo no longer Administrator of Sioux Falls

S.F. Argus Leader: New Bishop for Diocese

A lawyer who joined the Roman Catholic Church at the age of 39 has been named the eighth bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls.

Pope Benedict XVI has named Madison, Wis., priest Monsignor Paul J. Swain as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Sioux Falls.

“I am honored and humbled to be named by Pope Benedict who has set forth such an uplifting yet challenging call in his first encyclical, homilies, and meditations to live the vocation of love in its deepest sense,” said Swain, 62.

He will be introduced to the people of the Diocese of Sioux Falls at a press conference at 10 a.m. today at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 523 N. Duluth Ave.
[snip] Argus-Leader

Sioux Falls Has A Bishop Again!

It only took slightly over 20 months, but this morning Pope Benedict named Msgr Paul Joseph Swain, heretofore vicar-general of Madison, as bishop of Sioux Falls, succeeding Bishop Robert Carlson, who had been named to Saginaw in December 2004.

The bishop-elect -- a convert from Methodism -- marks his 63rd birthday in two weeks. Having attended law school at the University of Wisconsin, he served in Vietnam in air intelligence and, after his return home, was legal counsel to then-Wisconsin Gov. Sherman Dryfus. Received into the church in 1982, he attended Pope John XXIII National Seminary at Weston and was ordained in 1988. In 2002, he was named Madison's vicar-general and rector of its cathedral of St Raphael. Thanks to Rocco! (and Pope Benedict)

It looks like Rome can move fast when it has to:

August 16, 2006:
Rome to Sioux Falls: "What? You don't have a bishop?!"

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Catholic Spirit "Safe Environments" Special Report Now Online

The Primary Educators League has just released this second statement today:

The Catholic Spirit has finally posted the articles that ran in the August 17, 2006 special pull-out section on "Safe Environments."

There are three key links:
1) Julie Carroll's article entitled, "Parishes, schools to begin sex abuse prevention, safety programs."

2) Parish and School Curriculum Choices. There are no specifics by parish. We are trying to collect that information and once we have it, we'll post it on The Archdiocese does not intend to publish this information.

This is also the first time that the archdiocese has publicly stated in writing that the "Formation in Christian Chastity" or Harrisburg program is approved by Archbishop Flynn. With no public exposure, the Harrisburg program now has 36 schools using it while "Talking About Touching" has 31 according to The Catholic Spirit (Aug. 17, 2006).

3) Questions and Answers with Sr. Fran Donnelly, Director of the Protection of Children and Youth Initiative for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Sr. Fran addresses the concerns many parents have about this program.

Here's the cached version where Sr. Fran Donnelly confirms that Planned Parenthood endorses "Talking About Touching."

Just for fun, run the following Google search for "Planned Parenthood endorses" and see what you come up with.

Archdiocesan staff has been busy preparing for the launch of the "safe environments" initiative this fall. Pastors, principals, and DREs will be prepared to answer all your questions and concerns. It is expected that every parent will have an opportunity to review the material before their children are taught safe touch.

If you haven't seen the "Talking About Touching" or TAT lessons, or if perhaps you need a refresher after a long summer, please check here.

There is another alternative to VIRTUS/TAT besides FICC: KidsWISE "Safety Fair" and "Out of Harms Way"

The Primary Educators League has just released the following statement:

Paula Statman, Founder of the KidWISE Institute, will be speaking at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Medina on Wednesday, September 6th at 7pm (see page 4 of the bulletin linked). (Here's a map for the church location). This will be a good opportunity to hear her talk in person about the KidWISE "Safety Fair" for grades K-4 as well as her program, "Out of Harms Way" for the 5th - 8th graders. The Safety Fair is an approved alternative for parishes to use for the "safe environments" curricula. "Out of Harms Way" is the recommended, or default program for the middle schoolers grades 5-8th. For a complete list of the Archdiocese's recommended program see here.

Given all the controversy that has surrounded the "Safe Environments" curricula recommended by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Paula Statman's KidWISE Institute stands to benefit the most financially from the "Safe Environments" initiative in the Twin Cities.

Several of the Primary Educator League leaders have been speaking with priests, principals, and directors of religious education regarding the "safe environment" options. Many have viewed the KidWISE one-day "Safety Fair" as a good option. It doesn't appear to carry the same controversial baggage that the "Talking About Touching" program does and it only takes one day to complete it. They figure they can get this "safe touch" program out of the way in one day.

Many parishes had been under the impression that the KidWISE Institute's "Family Safety Fair" would cover K-12th grades. However, over the summer, it became clear that it was only going to be implemented for grades K-4. That means, parishes, and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will have to purchase two programs from Paula Statman...the KidWISE "Safety Fair" and the "Out of Harms Way."

Holy Name of Jesus in Medina was one of the parishes that was going to be creating a new program with Statman. However, it's unclear at this time as to whether or not that is going to happen. Perhaps we'll learn more on September 6th during her talk.

You still can make a difference at the Chancery


Cathy_of_Alex, our novice blogger who just started the other day at The Recovering Dissident Catholic, was browsing through her most recent issue of The Wanderer, national Catholic newspaper, and shrewdly picked up on the fact that the folks at the Chancery had removed the name of an individual from its list of "Catholic Resources" who was into "Women's Spirituality, drum and ritual groups, River Spirit, focusing on eco-spirituality and the Misissippi River" and as a shamanic "Local Minister of the Circle of the Sacred Earth" The Wanderer feels that local bloggers were responsible for the publicity that spurred the Chancery into action."

Read Cathy's post here.

Along the same line, Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Plymouth recently cancelled a scheduled program with the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities - CPCSM, an organization of parents of gays whose director is also the organizer of the Rainbow Sash movement's activities at the St Paul Cathedral. This cancellation was due to complaints by bloggers and others.

So if you see something that is not appropriate for the Archdiocese or a parish, let the Chancery know.

Just in case you wonder how to make 12 million hosts a year . . . .

Hours before sunrise, life begins anew at the Valley of Our Lady Monastery. It’s a life like no other in this rural countryside. The 14 Cistercian nuns, who call the 122-acre monastery in Prairie du Sac, WI, in the Diocese of Madison, their home, live a cloistered life of solitude and prayer.

To sustain their livelihood, the nuns bake altar bread. Their modern bread-baking operation seems out of place in a Cistercian monastery, whose roots go back to 1098.

The process begins with flour and water measured and mixed into a commercial mixer, blending gallons of altar bread batter. It is then pumped through a hose attached to a pipe and poured into an oven, where 30 heated irons bake the bread and move it along a conveyor belt. The oven is about 15 feet long and each baking iron is heated to about 325 degrees.

The computerized baker, manufactured as a cookie wafer machine and imported from Austria, produces about 6,000 11-by-15-inch sheets of whole wheat or white bread in about six hours. The nuns bake one day a week and cut and package the other five days. A workday is from about 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with breaks for prayer and meals.

The process, which involves 10 nuns doing various tasks, produces more than 12 million altar breads each year.

After the thin sheets of altar bread are removed from the oven, they must be softened. They are placed on racks and moved to a special room where a warm fog penetrates and softens the bread.

Following this dampening process, the sheets are stacked several inches high and placed on a bread cutter that resembles a drill press. The bread is cut into round hosts of three different sizes and then inspected for imperfections.

The wafers are gathered and placed upright on a half-tube rack in batches of 100. These racks are loaded onto another machine that packages the wafers in rolls of airtight cellophane tubes, ready for packaging into cardboard shipping boxes and transporting to more than 400 parishes around the United States. [snip] Catholic OnLine

Interestingly, if this monastery is able to provide only 400 parishes with 12,000,000 hosts, there must be a heckuva lot of other religious orders also involved in the baking of hosts. There are about 19,000 parishes in the U.S. Of course, many of them are small.

But one would guess that the decrease in the number of nuns in the last 40 years must also have led to a crisis in the manufacture of hosts. I certainly hope that Sara Lee or Wonder Bread aren't grabbing a chunk of that market for themselves.

In the "olden days" it used to be that maybe 30% or so of the congregation would receive Holy Communion at Mass. Except on Easter Sunday when just about everybody did. After Vatican Two, it must have happened that a miracle was performed by someone that prevented most Catholics from sinning; for now virtually everybody receives Communion at Mass, with no Confessions necessary. I'd bet the convent production planners didn't expect that, either.

Do ya suppose that it was not the abandonment of habits that led to the decrease in the population of nuns, but rather the change of the name of their homes from "convent" to "monastery?"
Tip O' the Hat to Amy Welborn!

Pilgrimage Site O' the Day: St John's Abbey, Collegeville, MN


Alberta Bill to Protect Critics of Homosexuality Loses to Stalling Tactic

A private member’s bill that would protect Albertans who oppose homosexual activity from fines or discrimination charges faced a third and final reading yesterday in the legislature. However, the Liberal and NDP opposition commandeered the time available for private member’s bills with procedural matters effectively killing the bill.

MLA Ted Morton introduced controversial Bill 208 in April. The Protection of Fundamental Freedoms (Marriage) Statutes Amendment Act would have permitted marriage commissioners to opt out of performing homosexual “marriages,” and require schools to obtain parental permission before introducing material on homosexuality in the classroom. As well, persons would have been protected from fines or other charges for speaking out against homosexuality.

While homosexual activists have condemned the bill as discriminatory and an attack on human rights, Morton has said the bill is about balancing rights and has nothing to do with homosexual “marriage.”

“Gay marriage is not a human right, it’s a social experiment,” Morton told the Edmonton Journal. “I think it’s a misguided social experiment. Gay marriage does not appear in a single recognized human rights document in the world. It’s not in the Charter of Rights. It’s not in the Canadian Bill of Rights. It’s not in the European Convention of Human Rights, it’s not in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.” [snip]

Watch out, Cretin Raiders! Here come the Lions!

The football traditions at Providence Academy, a private catholic school in Plymouth, aren't quite up to those at Notre Dame. But that doesn't mean there's not already some history within the two-year-old football program.

This season, the Lions' first true senior class includes lineman David Vertin. Vertin's father Tony was a player on Wayzata's football team in 1976, Roger Lipelt's first year there as head coach. Lipelt is now the coach for Providence.

He took the reins when the school opted to add football beginning two seasons ago on a junior-varsity level. After a 1-7 showing last season in the school's first year with a varsity squad, those within the program believe this fall will have a different feel. [snip] StarTribune

LAW FLAWED, DEATH DENIED: Elijah Page Reprieved

Ten minutes before Elijah Page was to eat his last meal, Gov. Mike Rounds announced a stay of execution, citing a discrepancy between state law and the way Page was about to be killed.

Shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday, Rounds postponed the execution until some time after July 1, 2007, so that the South Dakota state legislature would have time to amend the law to match the method the state Department of Corrections had planned to use.
[snip] Sioux Fall Argus Leader

Thank you, Lord

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Spiritual Adoption Program

Jayne at So Many Devotions, So Little Time . . . . has discovered this wonderful Spiritual Adoption Program used by St Isidore's Catholic Church in Yuba City, California.

Spiritual Adoption Program

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Intercessor of the Unborn, pray for us.

Dear Friends in Christ,

Since the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion for all nine months of pregnancy in this country, over 41 million babies have been destroyed in the womb. With this assault on human life increasing at an alarming rate, I am asking each of you today to make a personal commitment to pray daily for one unborn child who is in danger of being aborted. This Spiritual Adoption Program, originated by the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, involves praying that this unborn child will be carried to term and experience the fullness of life, as God intended.

For just a moment, picture a young woman who just this week discovered that she is seven weeks pregnant. What she may not know is that her baby's heart has been beating for four weeks; the baby can flex its fingers and toes and suck on his or her thumb. The baby is totally dependent on her. She is considering aborting this baby. She may be under pressure from others and think there is no other option. But many people, like us, do care enough to help her and her baby. All our prayers can make a difference in whether this baby will be born-or aborted. Our prayers can also be a form of spiritual support for both of the baby's parents.

I am requesting that every day you say the prayer written by Archbishop Sheen and shown above and at the end of this page for your adopted child. During your earthly life this spiritually adopted child will be known only to God, but in the world to come it is hoped that you will meet the child whose life was spared by your prayers! I also encourage you to name your baby and give him or her an identity. Each month we will place a poster in the vestibule showing the baby's development and bulletin announcements will also follow the baby's progress. Additional fetal development information is in the Right to Life display in the vestibule. At the end of the nine-month period we will celebrate the births of our spiritually adopted babies with our annual baby shower for A Woman's Friend Pregnancy Resource Center in Marysville. In this way we can also help, in a very tangible way, the mothers as they bring to term these beautiful gifts of life.

May God bless you and your loved ones.
In Christ,
Rev. Manuel B. Soria

Spiritual Adoption Program - Your Baby's Progress
(also, see large posters in the vestibule of the Church)

First Month:

At fertilization a new human life begins, complete with his or her own unique set of DNA, which is present from the first moment of life. The new little person's sex is also determined from the moment of conception. During this first amazing month the baby grows to 10,000 times his or her size at conception. By the third week the baby's heart begins to beat.

Second Month:

The developing baby is now called a fetus, which is Latin for "little one." He or she is making rapid progress developing all external and internal organs. During the second month baby teeth form; fingers and toes are developing. Ears, nose, lips and tongue can now be clearly seen. Brain waves can be recorded. The skeleton changes from cartilage to bone. Forty muscle sets begin their first exercises. This Little One can now suck his or her thumb. By eight weeks all body systems are present.

Third Month:

The baby can now squint, swallow and move his or her tongue. Baby sleeps and awakens. Fingernails and toenails form. He or she now has his or her own unique set of fingerprints. Sensitive to touch, he or she will tightly grasp an object placed in the palm of the hand. He or she breathes amniotic fluid to help develop and strengthen the respiratory system, but gets the oxygen needed through the umbilical cord.

Fourth Month:

The baby's brain has begun maturing-a process that will continue until he or she is about 14 years old. The eyelids are now sealed shut and will re-open at seven months. The taste buds are working. Nutrients consumed by his or her mother are passed on to the baby within an hour or two. Three hundred quarts of fluid a day are sent to the baby via the umbilical cord. Fine hair begins to grow on the head, eyebrows and eyelashes. Facial expressions similar to the baby's parents can be seen at this time. This month REMs (rapid eye movements) have been recorded-a sign of dreaming!

Fifth Month:

This month marks the halfway point to birth, and the baby is very active. Sleep habits develop and the mother can feel him or her move and stretch, particularly when mom is resting. Baby is big and strong enough to kick hard against the outside uterine wall and dent it. Up to now, although he or she swam with ease in his or her watery world, the baby was too small for the mother to detect because the inside wall of the uterus has no feeling. Babies born at this age have survived.

Six Month:

The baby can now roll over inside the womb. Oil and sweat glands are functioning. A white filmy layer called vernix covers the baby and protects the delicate skin from the surrounding amniotic fluid. This waxy substance will be quickly absorbed into the skin soon after birth. He or she can now respond to sound. The lungs are fairly well developed, and he or she would stand a good chance of survival if born at this time.

Seventh Month:

Beginning this month the baby uses all four senses. Eyelids open and close, and the eyes look around. The baby can taste, touch, cough, yawn and hiccup. He or she now recognizes his or her mother's voice. His or her grip is even stronger now than it will be after birth. The hair on the head is growing longer and the downy covering on the rest of the body is disappearing. During this time the baby will receive antibodies from his or her mother providing immunity to a wide variety of diseases.

Eight & Ninth Month:

In the last two months the baby continues to gain weight. He or she is developing a layer of fat that will keep him or her warm after birth. In the ninth month baby will shift to a head-down position, preparing for birth. The lungs are now fully developed and capable of making the transition to breathing air. After birth he or she will continue the human growth process for approximately the next 80 years.

(graphics Linda Benegan, Archdiocese of Baltimore, Respect Life, Spiritual Adoption Program)

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Intercessor of the Unborn, pray for us.

Return to St. Isidore's Home Page

Index Canticorum Prohibitorum, the "Index of Forbidden Hymns"

The Prairie Priest from Sioux Falls who blogs at "White Around the Collar", asks all to prayer for Elijah Page tonight.

He also presents a George Weigel article, "Heretical Hymns", that should be required reading for all Catholics:

A dear priest friend of mine sent me the link to this article about heretical liturgical music. I am so glad someone of the literary magnitude of George Weigel is saying something. Here are a few highlights from the article, but please, read the whole thing:

Thus, with tongue only half in cheek, I propose the Index Canticorum Prohibitorum, the "Index of Forbidden Hymns." Herewith, some examples.

The first hymns to go should be hymns that teach heresy. If hymns are more than liturgical filler, hymns that teach ideas contrary to Christian truth have no business in the liturgy. "Ashes" is the prime example here: "We rise again from ashes to create ourselves anew." No, we don't. Christ creates us anew. (Unless Augustine was wrong and Pelagius right). Then there's "For the Healing of the Nations," which, addressing God, deplores "Dogmas that obscure your plan." Say what? Dogma illuminates God's plan and liberates us in doing so. That, at least, is what the Catholic Church teaches. What's a text that flatly contradicts that teaching doing in hymnals published with official approval? [snip] Read it All

S.D. Catholic churches plan services tonight: Execution on for 9 p.m.

Frankly, I am quite surprised that the professional "Death Penalty Protestors" haven't flooded into South Dakota to protest their first execution in 59 years. Could it be that they don't protest the executions of caucasians?
But people protested and prayed for Timothy McVeigh.

Set your computers for 10:00 p.m. tonight and say a prayer for the repose of the soul of Elijah Page!

A prayer service has been planned at St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls tonight as the state prepares to execute Elijah Page. Page, 24, of Athens, Texas, ended his appeals and requested to be executed for his role in the 2000 torture slaying of Poage, 19, of Spearfish. A judge had sentenced Page and an accomplice to die for their crimes.

Locally, Catholics in Spearfish will gather at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church to pray for the victim, Chester Poage, and for the conversion of Elijah Page, the man who will die tonight for his role in Poage's murder.

Also in Sioux Falls, Vicar General Charles Cimpl will represent the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese at an ecumenical service planned at East Side Lutheran Church.

Special services also are planned at Catholic churches in Aberdeen and Yankton before and during the scheduled execution.

In a release, the Sioux Falls Diocese says Catholics have been contacting Gov. Mike Rounds - a Catholic - and asking him to intercede and prevent the execution and if he will not, to explain to South Dakota citizens why Page's execution is an absolute necessity. Black Hills Pioneer

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

15. To whom is the deposit of faith entrusted?

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

15. To whom is the deposit of faith entrusted? - 84, 91, 94, 99

The Apostles entrusted the deposit of faith to the whole of the Church. Thanks to its supernatural sense of faith the people of God as a whole, assisted by the Holy Spirit and guided by the Magisterium of the Church, never ceases to welcome, to penetrate more deeply and to live more fully from the gift of divine revelation.

See Compendium for all Catechism Questions Posted on Stella Borealis

Monday, August 28, 2006

Jeff Cavins Bible Time Line Study in South St Paul and Woodbury

Called by Faith Bible Study is offering three opportunities to study the Bible and salvation history with the Jeff Cavins Bible Time Line Series. The 24-week class will be offered at St. Augustine’s Church in South St. Paul on Thursday mornings for women with children’s program for newborns through age 5. For more info on this one call Barb at 651-426-8176.

The class will also be offered at Holy Trinity Church, South St. Paul for men and women on Thursday evenings.For info on this session call Ron at 651-687-0969.

A third study will be offered for men and women at St. Ambrose in Woodbury on Monday evenings.For info on this session call Marilyn at 651-731-0501.

Come and get more information,register and pickup class materials at St.Augustine ’s on Thursday,September 7 at 9:30 am,at Holy Trinity on Thursday,September 7 at 7:00 pm and at St.Ambrose on Monday,September 11 at 6:30 pm.

Total Life-Care Centers 9th Annual Banquet Sep 9

Mike Williams,pro-life author and comedian,will be
the featured speaker and entertainer at the Total Life-Care Centers ’ 9th Annual Banquet and Silent Auction at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel on September 9.Social begins at 5:30 pm.Tickets are $50.00 per person.Proceeds will help support the 22 Life-Care pregnancy centers by offering compassionate pro-life support to moms,babies,and families.

For more info,or to order tickets please call Total LifeCare Centers at 651-291-9473.

World Apostolate of Fatima First Friday - First Saturday Devotions at Epiphany

The World Apostolate of Fatima will hold its next All-Night Vigil at Epiphany Catholic Church at 1900 111th
Avenue Coon Rapids.

The Vigil will begin on Friday,September 1 at 8 pm with the Rosary and conclude with Mass at 4 am on Saturday, September 2.

Everyone is invited to attend all or part of this devotion.

What are the Names of the Twelve Apostles?

What are the Names of the Twelve Apostles?
  • Simon: called Peter (Greek petros, petra; Aram. k?f; Engl. rock) by Jesus, also known as Simon bar Jonah and Simon bar Jochanan (Aram.) and earlier (Pauline Epistles were written first) Cephas (Aramaic) by Paul of Tarsus and Simon Peter, a fisherman from Bethsaida "of Galilee" (John 1:44; cf. 12:21)
  • Andrew: brother of Peter, a Bethsaida fisherman and disciple of John the Baptist, and also the First-Called Apostle
  • James: ("the Great") and
  • John: sons of Zebedee, called by Jesus Boanerges (an Aramaic name explained in Mk 3:17 as "Sons of Thunder")
  • Philip: from Bethsaida "of Galilee" (John 1:44, 12:21)
  • Bartholomew: in Aramaic "bar-Talemai?", "son of Talemai" or from Ptolemais (Also called Nathaniel)
  • Thomas: also known as Judas Thomas Didymus - Aramaic T'oma' = twin, and Greek Didymous = twin
  • James: ("the Less"), son of Alphaeus
  • Matthew: the tax collector, sometimes identified with Levi son of Alphaeus
  • Simon the Canaanite: called in Luke and Acts "Simon the Zealot"
  • Judas Iscariot: the name Iscariot may refer to the Judaean towns of Kerioth or to the sicarii (Jewish nationalist insurrectionists), or to Issachar; he was replaced as an apostle in Acts by Matthias

Three Week Old Mary Jane has had her First Trip to the State Fair Already!

Erin who blogs at bearing blog and just became a third time mom, giving birth at home again about three weeks ago, is starting her home schooling early. She took young Mary Jane out to the "Miracle of Birth Center" in one of the barns. I'm not sure if that is part of the VIRTUS/TAT program, or the FICC program. But Erin had some time to contemplate the "Miracle of Birth." If you are a mother or have a mother, you'll surely want to read it.

Another item at the Minnesota State Fair: There's a new, expanded "Miracle of Birth Center." This is the barn full of hugely pregnant and/or lactating livestock, also incubating poultry eggs. It's always packed full of people hoping they'll be there at the very moment that some lamb or piglet or calf will emerge from its mother.
This "miracle of birth" thing is hard to wrap my mind around. Many of the people at the fair (not, I admit, myself) are farming families. I doubt that a litter of piglets really seems like a "miracle" to a family who's raised pigs for four or five generations.
It does seem miraculous when it's a little person. And yet it is ordinary. (For those of us who conceive and birth without much trouble or fanfare, anyway.) I marvel at her eyes, simply at how they are put together, their pure white moistness, their dark blue irises, their inky pupils, their smooth orbits, the folded fleshiness of their lids and creases, their nearly invisible lashes. This grew in my body, all by itself? This perfection? [snip] bearing blog

A Visit to Father Altier's Chapel in Hastings

I went down to Hastings (about 25 miles) with Cathy_of_Alex, the region’s new blogger ( The Recovering Dissident Catholic ) to see for ourselves what it is like down there, especially after news circulated that some of the attendees at the Regina Medical Center's chapel were unhappy with Father Robert Altier and had circulated a petition to present to the Archbishop.

We wanted to arrive about 30 minutes early so we could say a Rosary, but chatting and road construction in South St Paul got us lost and we didn’t get there til 9:45; And half the congregation was already was there, quietly praying. I would venture to guess that these were the “true believers” that would follow Father Altier almost anywhere within reason with gas at $3.00 a gallon.

It is a Catholic Medical center with a nursing home attached. The Chapel is Catholic but the design and furnishings aren’t much to like. Really bad crucifix, strange “post it note-like” colored tabs sticking out of the wall behind the altar. But there were holy water founts, a tabernacle, statues of St Joseph and the Blessed Mother and other things Catholic. But not very conducive for meditation and prayer. Although we had to finish our Rosaries after Mass and the lights were off and a large skylight (it was a gorgeous sunny day) behind the altar backlit the cheesy crucifix so that it actually became a good place for prayer and meditation under those conditions. But it seems to me for a couple thousand, they could probably repair a lot of the problems. That’s nothing for a hospital.

The chapel seats maybe 125 or so and there were probably 100 there, maybe 25 in wheel chairs or otherwise looking to be nursing home residents.

Father, who himself wore a cassock (first time I have seen a priest in person in one for maybe 40 years), did scrounge up some cassocks and surplices for the two altar boys, but the surplices didn’t match. So it must have been difficult. They were well trained. Excellent cantor/lector who was an older woman with a great voice. He pretty much celebrated a St Agnes-style Novus Ordo Mass, wonderfully, as usual. He did have an EMHC for Holy Communion for the wheel chair people, but he handled both lines without another one. Most received, standing, on the tongue. For the first time I received a Host that had been intincted. Barely a drop of the Precious Blood. They don’t do that at St Agnes.

I didn’t see any dissidents, but “Cathy” said she saw a woman in one of the front pews acting strangely. But probably most of the dissidents have removed themselves to St Elizabeth Ann Seton parish that is probably only a couple of miles away. It is quite large and prosperous with a good pastor and adoration, etc.

I don’t know why the complaints. I speculated that he might take too long. But Mass was over in 55 minutes.

So it doesn’t seem like orthodoxy is the issue. It must be sermons where “sin” is brought up too much. But I can’t imagine that they would use that in a letter to the Archbishop. He does have a bit of a “slow” delivery that might be “off-putting”, but again, that doesn’t seem to be something that you would put in a complaint.

The choice of music wasn’t especially great but there were a couple of traditional hymns that I liked.

Frankly, all that I can think of is that the previous pastor who was in a Chicago religious order must have had a really un-orthodox style that some of them grew to like and they just didn’t like Father Altier giving them what they are supposed to get.

So they didn’t know that they weren’t getting a proper Mass before.

Being that we finished our Rosaries, as we finally left, Father was still out chatting with the last couple and so we got to spend five minutes with him. “Cathy” had taken a class from him last Spring, so he recognized her. I mentioned we were bloggers and would be promoting his Catholic TV program with Catholic Parents Online. I was dying to ask about his relationship with the Archbishop and how he can be on TV if he can’t be on radio, but I’m not that tactless.

But he seems like a pretty nice guy and we later regretted that we didn’t invite him to have brunch with us. And I think he has a bit of a sense of humor about the situation he is in.

Today is the Feast Day of St Augustine

The inimitable Amy Welborn, Queen of the Catholic Bloggers, at Open Book, and maybe all others, too, has a great post on St Augustine today:

[snip] And in the life of Augustine, we see ourselves, too - if you've not read the Confessions - at least the first 8 books - what's your excuse? There are many translations, some better than others, and several online. What is most astonishing, every time I read it, is the shock, in this book that is sixteen centuries old, of encountering life as it was and as it is. We are so absurdly cocky and sure of ourselves, that we have progressed so far and that we know so much and that we understand the human heart so much better than the ignorant ancients, but of course we do not. Read the first three chapters of Genesis, even older than the Confessions, to see that so clearly. This is why we still read the philosophers, this is why young people, centuries after Augustine lived and died, crack open his Confessions and are surprised to find themselves. . . .
[snip] Read it All

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Father Robert Altier’s Homily This Morning! Short Version

Joshua: “Israelites, who will you serve?”

Israelites: “We will serve the Lord for he is our God.”

St. Paul: "Wives
, be submissive to your husbands!”

St. Paul: "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church and serve her and as you do your own bodies!”

What St. Paul Meant: "Wives, being under the orders of your husbands, accept his love and serve him as you do your own bodies!”

Father A: Eucharist and Matrimony are the most alike of the sacraments:

Father A: The Eucharist is the Gift of the Lord’s total commitment and love to those who serve Him, nothing held back. We are all “wives” of God, who is the Bridegroom of us all.

Father A: Matrimony is the Gift of the Husband’s and Wife’s total commitment and love to each other, nothing held back.

Father Robert Altier is the chaplain at the Regina Nursing Home in Hastings, MN.

The regular Mass schedule at the Regina Nursing Home is
Monday – Saturday at 9 am
Sunday at 10 am
Confessions beginning at 3 pm on Saturdays
Address: 1175 Nininger Road, Hastings, MN

Hudson Council debating residential restrictions on sex offenders

The city of Hudson, WI, is currently considering an ordinance that would put severe restrictions on where a sexual offender may live – before a decision is made, be aware that there are two sides to the argument.

The proposed ordinance would essentially bar a registered sex offender from living anywhere in the city. It prevents offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of schools, libraries, parks and playgrounds and within 1,000 feet of school bus stops, churches and other places where children congregate.
Corrections Secretary Matt Frank was in Hudson last week and expressed concern over the type of legislation the council is considering.

Frank was proud of the fact that 88 percent of sex offenders in Wisconsin are registered. His argument is that if we know who the sex offenders are, law enforcement and neighborhoods can deal with the issue from a position of knowledge and power. He said there are 18,500 registered sex offenders in the state and the list grows by 100 each month – he believes it is best to know where these people live. [snip] Hudson Star Observer

Political Parties Becoming No Friend of Religions

Mark who blogs at the Catholic Family Campaign comments on a recent political poll:

A recent poll showed that the G.O.P is losing ground as being thought of as a friend of religion. Catholics are one group where the decline was greatest; around 14%. The Democratic party also suffers from the perception that they are no friend to religion; but that is not a new finding. This article, along with a “Moral Principles for Catholic Voters” statement released by the Kansas Catholic Bishops gave me the inspiration for this post.
[snip] Read More

Do you prefer beautiful people?

Joseph who blogs at Catholic Interest has raised a subject that I don't believe that one sees much in print. It came after reading a recent newspaper article about how tall people are smarter.

Christians naturally discriminate toward beatutful people much like everyone else. This is deep and life changing in ways perhaps stronger than racial racial or gender.

I wonder if the Bible ever spoke of human beauty in a positive sense. I don't think so. Just as the Bible never requires a person to be smart.
[snip] Read More

To Be A Bride of Christ

A book to be published this Fall is entitled "Double Crossed": Uncovering the Catholic Church's Betrayal of American Nuns. It discusses the female religious order since Vatican Two, most of which are in a state of decline. The question may need to be asked. John Paul, a newer blogger and a graduate student in Rome, who blogs at Orbis Catholicus, has another perspective on the question. His post has a link to a new website of the new St Paul, MN, missionary order, The Sisters in Jesus the Lord.

So, has the Catholic Church really been so unfair to women? Sometimes we forget that the Catholic sisters wielded more power than any other block of women in the history of our nation. They were a backbone of the nation in establishing and maintaining hundreds of primary and secondary schools, universities, orpanages, hospitals, clinics, conservatories of music, etc. Our sisters were the most educated block of women in the nation. [snip] Read More

The Other America: Poverty 44 Years Later

Sister Edith, O.S.B., who blogs at Monastic Musings, on her way back to Duluth from her short vacation stay in Colorado, stopped off at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

[snip ] I stopped at a convenience store in the town of Oglala. The Coke cooler was being stocked from a Coke truck, but the shelves were largely bare of food items. Many people live in dilapidated mobile homes; broken machinery and junked cars litter the landscape. At the Tribal Headquarters, ancient air conditioners sagged in broken window frames. The entire reservation - about the size of Connecticut - has fewer than 100 business operations, and many of those are individuals making native crafts to sell to the occasional tourist. The visible poverty was stunning.
Many of our colleges and churches sponsor trips to Haiti or Honduras or Katrina-struck communities, to help with clean-up and building projects. We do extensive fund-raising for charities in these areas, or to help the poor in our cities - the first Other America. We rarely hear about this other Other America - 40,000 people, a third of them children, living in dire poverty.
There are signs of hope. The parking lot was jammed full at the Oglala Lakota Tribal College, which graduated 179 students last year. The Lakota Fund, using models that have been effective in sparking development in under-developed nations, provides micro-loans and training in how to start and run a business -- the arts-and-crafts workers I met are probably among their clients. The Jesuit-run Red Cloud Indian School,
I only spent a day on the reservation, and returned to a clean bed in my First World lifestyle. But I cannot forget this other Other America - and I encourage you, too, to remember our brothers and sisters at Pine Ridge in any way you can. Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation
operated without federal or state funds, gives some students a high-quality education in well-equipped buildings. Roads were being repaired in several areas to improve the feasibility of economic activity. [snip] Read More

St John's Prep Abuse Victim Launches Web Site


A former St. John's Preparatory School student launched a Web site Wednesday to help molestation victims and challenged Catholic officials in a letter to defend delays in notifying potential victims.

"There are inaccuracies in Mr. (Pat) Marker's letter," said the Rev. William Skudlarek, abbey spokesman. "We will advise him of the inaccuracies in our response to him but will not engage in a media debate with him."

Marker said his Web site,, is intended to help victims feel "validated."

"This Web site has the potential to heal," Marker said.

The site contains more than 200 published articles about the clergy sex abuse scandal as it relates to the St. John's community, according to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, a national advocacy group for victims.

Marker, who was molested by a St. John's priest in 1983, resigned in protest Friday from an external review board that was formed in response to a clergy sexual abuse scandal. [snip] St Cloud Times

Benedictine Nuns in Maplewood may sell land for shelters, low-income housing

St. Paul's Monastery in Maplewood might be just a little too peaceful for the 34 Sisters of St. Benedict who live there.

Believing they aren't fully making use of their 100,000-square-foot residence, the sisters are looking into selling the monastery and some of their land and constructing a much smaller monastery for themselves on the remaining grounds.

"The first word people say when they walk in here is 'peace,' " said Jean Hartman, the monastery's finance director. "Basically, the sisters would be sharing the peace and the beauty within these walls with people who need some peace and beauty in their lives.''

That's why they have entered talks with the Tubman Family Alliance and CommonBond Communities to make over their 33 acres at Larpenteur and Century avenues.

A preliminary plan calls for Tubman, a family-violence prevention agency, to buy about 10 acres at the monastery, including the existing building. The agency would consolidate its East Side emergency shelters and other advocacy services there, Tubman spokesman Randy Schubring said. [snip] Pioneer Press

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Father Robert Altier will be on Catholic Parents OnLine TV Show next month

Terry, our Doppel Blogger from Abbey-Roads and Roaming-Catholics has a post on Father Robert Altier's upcoming TV appearance locally. People are invited to submit questions for this taped show. And Terry has provided some answers to the sample questions provided. I dare you to use them with your friends!

Fr. Robert Altier will be opening the new season for Catholic Parents Online cable television this September. He will be taking questions in the segment entitled, "Simple Answers to Tough Questions", hosted by Colleen Perfect. This ought to be a very informative program. (CPO is open to your questions, since it is a taped program you would have to submit your questions in advance, via email. If you're interested, click on this link.) [snip] Abbey-Roads

Don't miss "Catholic Parents OnLine T.V." - an award winning cable television program where we explore the issues parents face while raising their children. Tune in to Metro Cable Network (MCN) channel 6, Sundays at 9:30pm. MCN covers the 7 Metro Counties in Minnesota.

The show can also be seen on the Catholic Parents web page with either modem or broadband hookups. You can also listen to the program in an MP3 File.