April 2012

After some thought, (for me a time consuming effort), I have a question brought on by Fr Fox’s comment to a previous post chastising us for little respect to Sisters. I will yield the fact that the Sisters are consecrated persons, brides of Christ if you will, However some of the brides seem to have forgotten their “husband”.  As evidence I post these blog links from Fr Z, just what respect exactly do we owe these Sisters, I am asking out of  concern.



I also recommend


the slow descent into relativism and humanism.


BTW when I refer to polyester nightmares, I am referring to a particular “sister” that had a wardrobe of ill fitting polyester pantsuits that did her no favors and made her look silly, then she would speak and confirm it. Had this annoying practiced of announcing the priest as “presenter” at our engaged encounter and later when we worked at one. Totally threw me for a loop. Really, when I look at how far some orders have fallen it is frightening, and then the collection comes for their retirement.

another note

In a recent article ,which I can no longer find back, it was stated that the average age of Sisters belonging to the LCWR is 70 or so,  it seems they are dying anyway.

Now some one help me, the same story listed the second largest group that represents sisters, seems to be more orthodox membership, quite  a bit younger and growing, any help?

I do make it a practice when seeing a Sister or group of Sisters in habits to go over and thank them, God Bless then for their dedication and witness to the faith, and the same for a Priest in a cassock, such a sight for sore eyes




This morning’s Cincinnati Enquirer reports that a first-ever study of archdiocesan schools revealed a $15 million deficit, closed mainly by dollars from parish reserves. The story lists some of the remedies under consideration:

Catholic leaders for more than a year have been grappling with a variety of strategies to improve Catholic schools’ outlook. Among options under discussion:

• Creating ways all parishes – not just those with schools – can support Catholic education.

• Directing new funds to financial aid and scholarships, rather than to specific schools or parishes.

• Arming parishes with information so they can set tuition low enough to attract more students.

“We’re facing some new challenges,” said Jim Rigg, superintendent of the 113 schools and 42,200 students in the archdiocese. “It may become a crisis if we don’t implement some type of strategic vision for the future.”

Allow me suggest a fourth strategy: tithing. It worked wonders in Wichita.

Ten bucks says you won’t hear anything close to that at Xavier University’s new series on Catholic Social Teaching:

This series, led by local Catholic experts, will examine today’s complex issues and the relevance of Catholic social teaching to educate and stimulate respectful dialogue this election year on current social, economic and political issues.

There is an outstanding article in the Winter-Spring Issue of The Latin Mass Magazine, “Altar Cards: Humble Work Horses of the Altar,” describing the invaluable work of Mary Popp, founder and Executive Director of the Society for the Preservation of Roman Catholic Heritage (SPORCH) up in Dayton. An important part of Mary’s work has been to preserve, re-master and distribute TLM altar cards. She even has an exhibition of them! From the article:

Once an altar card set is at hand, Mary then “works her magic”…..There are always brown spots, stains,, and holes to be repaired. First she preserves the original intact, then re-masters and revitalizes as copy to be reproduced and used in the Latin Mass today. Producing new cards with historical integrity is a formidable task. Each word, line, and illuminated letter is scrutinized for errors or missing parts…Mary has to create a new alphabet to match the handwriting and then produce a complementary missing altar card that matches the first in lettering, style, and art work. The average revitalizing effort takes over 80-90 hours per card…

Part of Mary’s magic is the Sacred Artist Heritage Association she is helping to form in Dayton, Ohio…Benefactors are needed who will help furnish parishes, missions , and priests, new to the Latin Mass or who are simply too poor, with altar cards. Other benefactors are needed to help search for these antique altar cards around the world…

 The article was written by John Staggenborg, who attends Holy Family Catholic Church in Dayton, an AoC parish staffed by the FSSP. Kudos and heartfelt thanks to both Mary and John.

The website for the LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious) is down. Down like a clown with a frown. Don’t know if it got hacked, if the server got hammered by interested people looking it up, if somebody didn’t pay the ISP bill, or if the bishops ordered it taken down… but it’s down.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity still have copies on their website of the last few LCWR newsletters, including the one mentioning Barbara Marx Hubbard as the main speaker for their next conference. (Fr. Z filled us in on just how crazed, non-Catholic, and opposed to Catholicism this woman is.) Scroll down to read them.

Man, must be nice to be so steeped in holy poverty as to have a color newsletter. (I’m okay with color newsletters for giving out to donors, because that’s marketing. Sending out professional newsletters that only go to other religious orders, I don’t see the point.) An aesthetically fluffy newsletter, at that.

UPDATE: CatholicBuckeye says it’s back up, but their site certificate is outdated. So you’ll get a warning, but it should be safe to click through. (I think they have a site certificate because of the member login section mentioned in their newsletters.)

Despite a lot of fighting against it by Julienne alumnae over the last few years, the city of Dayton has started to demolish the old Julienne High School building. The Dayton Daily News has a photo gallery.

Julienne High School, a girl’s high school run by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, was originally founded in 1886 as “Notre Dame Academy,” in a building right across the street from Emmanuel Parish. Enrollment got to be so big that, in 1927, the sisters built Julienne High School over in the Five Oaks area. Girls from all over the Dayton area attended, including some non-Catholics.

But then Vatican II and the Seventies’ bad economy hit, and the Five Oaks area was on the edge of dangerous. So enrollment plunged drastically from the big baby boomer days. Julienne High School merged with Chaminade High School (a boys’ high school run by the Marianists) back in 1973. Chaminade actually was founded to use the old Notre Dame Academy building, so in a way Julienne was just coming home.

Julienne High School’s building was sold to a Christian school group, which eventually sold to Dayton Schools, which never did do anything much with it. I imagine they will be either selling the property or building something new there. Either way, a big part of history is gone.

Here’s the website for Chaminade Julienne High School (aka CJ).

Please pray for the man, Joseph Ratzinger, on this the 7th anniversary of his coronation as Pope Benedict XVI.  May his shoulders continue to have the strength to carry Holy Mother Church.

Prayers for the Holy Father

V. Let us pray for our Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI.

R. The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him to be blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.

Our Father, Hail Mary

Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant, Pope Benedict XVI, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving-kindness, in the way of eternal salvation; that, of thy gift, he may ever desire that which is pleasing unto thee and may accomplish it with all his might. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.


In light of the USCCB’s recent criticism of Representative Paul Ryan’s new budget plan, it’s important to remind the faithful that the conference, like all episcopal conferences, has no authority whatsoever over doctrinal matters. It is an administrative body designed to help individual bishops care for their flocks. As I’ve written before, Archbishop Pilarczyk once likened the USCCB to “a league of independent grocers.” When it does good work, e.g., defending religious liberty from Obama’s healthcare machinations, it deserves our praise. When it deviates into taking decisions over matters where faithful Catholics may disagree, e.g., prescribing the proper level of federal taxation and spending, it deserves our polite consideration and nothing more.

Rep. Paul Ryan has dismissed the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops’ recent criticism of the House budget plan, of which he was the chief architect.

“These are not all the Catholic bishops, and we just respectfully disagree,” he said.

Don Clemmer, assistant director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, responded that “bishops who chair USCCB committees are elected by their fellow bishops to represent all of the US bishops on key issues at the national level.”

“The letters on the budget were written by bishops serving in this capacity,” Clemmer added.

From the 1921 history of the archdiocese of Cincinnati, on pp. 119-120.

A Cincinnati priest describes a frontier missionary trip:

“I have received several invitations from large societies of Methodists and other Sectaries to go and preach the Gospel to them. They have discovered that they have been deceived and led into error, especially with regard to our religion, and they are anxious to learn the truth. They have offered to pay the expense of my journey; and I hope to run over a hundred leagues of circumference of this country during the course of the summer.

“Our mode of conducting these missions may perhaps interest you. These establishments are composed of families amounting sometimes to the number of one or two hundreds, living in forests, across which they have opened a passage through the trees. Their cabins are made of the trunks of trees covered with boards. They principally live upon pork, bread made with Indian corn, and water. In some places the population consists of forty or fifty houses, situated here and there; but there is generally a sort of town-house, which serves both for a church, a school, and the general rendezvous of their meetings.

“When a missionary arrives, the news soon spreads about. Messengers are immediately sent in different directions, and it is astonishing with what rapidity they proceed, for before sunset whole crowds assemble round the spot where the missionary has taken up his abode; and they will absolutely receive some instruction before they retire, and if the priest were strong enough, they would willingly hear him till midnight.

“He then fixes a time to receive them the next day; and if there are any Catholics among them, he also appoints the hour for Mass; afterwards he hears confessions and baptizes the children; he then explains the Mass, and preaches again until noon for one or two hours, and does the same in the evening, when time permits; and if there is neither a house or barn large enough, he preaches in the open air, and mounts the trunk of a tree or a palisade, and harangues the people until he is fatigued.

“But they are not satisfied with this; several accompany him upon the road, propose their doubts, ask questions, and when they are convinced, demand baptism. We instruct them at the time, as much as possible, and leave among them some Catechisms, if we are able to procure any. After three or four visits, we receive them into the bosom of the Catholic Church.”

A few pages later, we hear how the Cincinnati priests eagerly agreed to minister to African-Americans from Protestant backgrounds, whom many white Protestant ministers in Cincinnati refused to see.

I wondered where they took all those pictures of Archbishop Alter with his Irish wolfhound.

Here’s Laurel Court, an old mansion built by the guy who ran Champion Paper, bought after WWII by the archdiocese, and then sold to Mr. LaRosa (of LaRosa’s Pizza?)

Old article from Cincinnati Magazine describing the restoration work by Mr. LaRosa.

It’s gone through a few different owners since then.

Next Page »