22 May 2013
Coming the same day as yet another adherent of the “religion of peace” practices Islam’s unique approach to ecumenism, this time in London with a machete, St. Cecilia Church in Oakley offers “A Catholic’s Guide to Islam” tonight at the 20th Century Theater:
21 May 2013
Posted by Rich under Uncategorized 1 Comment
Time was, newly minted or younger priests would head for the far reaches of the diocese, e.g., the fabled Northern Hinterland, upon ordination or when they were eligible to serve as parish pastors. So it’s a welcome development that two rock-solid men will be serving close to home. Last weekend, it was announced that Fr. Martin Fox, parochial vicar for St. Rose on Eastern Avenue and archdiocesan director of priestly formation, will become pastoral administrator for historic Holy Cross-Immaculata in Mt. Adams, and Fr. Jon-Paul Bevak will serve in the same capacity for the similarly historic Old St. Mary’s in Over-the-Rhine. (A pastoral administrator is a pastor without a set or specific term.) The optimist in me wants to see this as a sign of a healthier diocese and a less meddlesome chancery, while the … realist sees a diocese running out of priestly options. In any event, congratulations to Frs. Fox and Bevak.
19 May 2013
My better half gave me Messages of Glory: the Narrative Art of Roman Catholicism for my birthday last week. Locally produced, it’s a coffee table book chock full of Robert A. Flischel’s photographs from Catholic churches around Greater Cincinnati. I opened it randomly this afternoon and came to a snapshot of a stained glass image of a sunflower from St. Aloysius Church, Elmwood Place. “The sunflower turns its face to the sun, symbolizing adoration,” the caption reads. Coincidentally, I had planted a few dozen “Mammoth Russian” sunflower seeds earlier in the day. No picture from St. Al’s is available online, but here’s what should be turning up in my yard later this summer:
17 May 2013
Ask yourself whether you could transform a “worship space” into a conference room in less than five minutes.
– St. John Baptist De La Salle Chapel at Cincinnati’s La Salle High School
12 May 2013
Lost in the shuffle of Pope Benedict’s announcement of his abdication last February was his declaration that the Martyrs of Otranto would be canonized, an event which took place this morning. In 1480, over 800 courageous Catholic men from southern Italy, led by Antonio Primaldi, were beheaded by Moslem invaders for refusing to renounce the Faith and convert to Islam. In so resisting, they arguably saved Rome and even Europe, as the invaders were an exploratory raiding party sent by Mehmed II of Turkey to test the mettle of the resident Italians. Unfortunately, Pope Francis’s canonization homily gives them relatively short shrift — no mention is made of who did the actual “martyring,” for example — but curious readers can find the full story in a 2008 piece for Catholic Answers magazine penned by Matthew Bunson, my favorite Catholic popular historian. Here are his closing paragraphs:
The martyrs of Otranto were not forgotten by the people who returned to Apulia after the fighting was over. The bones of the martyrs were gathered up, placed in reliquaries, and installed in a chapel just off the main altar in the restored cathedral. Some of the relics were also sent to the church of Santa Caterina in Formello at Naples.
On October 5, 1980, Pope John Paul II visited Otranto and said Mass in honor of the martyrs in the cathedral. Twenty-six years later, in July 2006, Pope Benedict XVI gave his formal approval for the promulgation of a decree by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints that the Martyrs of Otranto were killed out of “hatred for the faith” (in odium fidei) in Otranto on August 14, 1480. This was the formal recognition that they were martyrs.
In speaking of the sufferings of the martyrs of Otranto, Pope John Paul II touched upon the challenges of martyrdom for Christ, but he also stressed the example of the 800 to modern Christians, especially those enduring hardships and sufferings in hostile lands where persecutions and even death are commonplace. He declared,
Many confessors and disciples of Christ have passed through this test in the course of history. The Martyrs of Otranto passed through it 500 years ago. The martyrs of this century have passed and are passing through it today, martyrs who are unappreciated, otherwise little known, and who are found in places far away from us. [author translation]
11 May 2013
Pope Francis’s approach to the liturgy has been the source of curiosity and concern for many Catholics, especially since the very questionable foot-washing episode last Holy Thursday. Now the National Catholic Register runs the most thoughtful piece on this topic to date and it should encourage those of us experiencing at least a little trepidation during the past two months. The author, Alejandro Bermudez, explains that Latin America is rife with serious liturgical abuses and shows how then-Archbishop Begoglio dealt with Marxist villero priests in Buenos Aires. Here’s a snippet:
The difference was that Cardinal Bergoglio embraced the priests and their ministry. He would visit them in the shanty towns, send them to rest if they were tired and replace them himself at their parish for a few days. He would personally take care of them if they were in bed sick — essentially, he looked after their particular needs.
The only time he removed a villero priest from a shanty town was to protect him from a local drug lord who sent death threats.
And with the same fatherly solicitude that he used to care for his priests, the archbishop requested that they return to wearing clerics; refrain from using “batata” (an Argentinean sweet potato) instead of unleavened bread to celebrate Mass; and use songs from Catholic songbooks rather than political or secular songs.
Most often, he used persuasion with his pastors to transform the liturgical abuses in Buenos Aires, but also, in the words of a fellow Jesuit, “he never flinched when tough measures were required.”
With the process of secularization and stiffer selection criteria applied to priestly vocations, the number of seminarians dropped during Cardinal Bergoglio’s years as archbishop. But friends and foes agree that the quality of the celebration and preaching dramatically improved in the archdiocese.
8 May 2013
Here’s one for your “How to Evangelize” file:
The 20th Century Theater is on Oakley’s busy town square, a neighborhood bustling with new businesses and young adults.
‘Love the provocative, boxing-style poster.