June 2012

I forgot to say that I went over to Wright State University a week ago, and got a good look at the new Catholic chapel (St. John Bosco’s) that’s under construction. They’ve put up most of the outside.

It actually looks better in real life than it did in the architectural drawings, mostly because they’ve retained a huge amount of the trees and woodsy undergrowth around the edges of the site. So the very very straight walls are softened, and the wooden outside blends into the landscape. The woods also screen out the dorms and other surrounding  structures a bit, without actually blocking the view or providing security problems. The trees looked in fairly good shape, not too stressed out by all this crazy weather and by the construction.

The modernist bell tower also looks a lot more attractive than in the drawings, and the university gardens and arbor across the path from the new chapel contribute to making it seem like a little island of peace on the main pathway from all the dorms further back and down the hill.

So yeah, I hope to be pleasantly surprised by how this works out.

(Sorry I’ve got no pictures.)

Here’s the latest post from a blog for the new chapel. Lots of construction pictures, but they’re taken from the west side, the other side of the building from what I was looking at. It looks a lot more bare, naturally, since that’s the side where there wasn’t woods to preserve. I think it was a lot farther along by the time I saw it, though.

Archbishop Sheen is being declared a Venerable! This of course means that he’s been declared to have demonstrated “heroic virtue.”

Congratulations to Rochester and Peoria and all their people, and to that lady who was naming her kid Fulton!

Congrats, Rich!

Venerable Fulton Sheen, pray for us!

UPDATE: How it played in Peoria. 🙂

A negative-ish take from a Rochester newspaper. The other news sources in Rochester don’t seem to have covered the story yet.

I happened to be up at UD’s main library today, and saw a book called The Mind of an Archbishop, by Archbishop Alter. It was a collection of various articles and speeches turned into a book for his Golden Jubilee as a priest, in 1960.

It was incredibly relevant to our Fortnight For Freedom, because a good chunk of it dealt with issues of church and state, and with explaining and defending the Church’s stand on marriage, abortion, birth control, and the like.

This book was copyright to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, so maybe they should think about reprinting it as an inexpensive ebook, or putting chunks of it in the archdiocesan newspaper.

Anyway, here’s some samples from it:

“….the general attitude of society continues to be that… religion… should be restricted to the bounds of private life, or perhaps even banished to a kind of underground… Far from being a negligible element in our civilization, as the modern secular world is inclined to think, religion… can be ignored only at the cost of the complete subversion of the social order and the widespread collapse of our historical culture. Religion is, in short, the very basis of our culture and civilization…

“Our civilization is not something that just happened… As Christian truth advances, society improves. As Christian truth retreats, society falls first into confusion and then into decay. The inner spirit, the driving force… of our culture and civilization… has no other foundation than the Christian Gospel.”

Here’s another good bit:

“Christ… had come to regenerate human society, and in consequence, it was fitting that He should begin His ministry where society begins. Because society begins with the family, and the family begins with marriage, His first task was to sanctify the marriage bond.

“…At present the Christian tradition, as regards marriage and the family, is under attack. As faith has declined, a secular attitude towards marriage and the Christian code of domestic ethics has grown. Purely human laws are being substituted for divine law…”

And here’s something that sounds familiar:

“In November 1959, the Catholic Bishops of the United States issued a joint statement on artificial birth control. Ever since the publication of the Bishops’ statement, there has been a running commentary in the press on the question…

“To keep the record straight, certain facts must be borne in mind. The first of these is that the Catholic Bishops did not take the initiative in precipitating this controversy. Their statement was issued only after a sequence of events…

“That same week in which the Catholic Bishops were meeting in Washington, the Planned Parenthood Association held a national conference in New York City, in the course of which Bishop James A. Pike of the Episcopal Church… stated that the Catholic Church would no doubt, in the course of time, modify its own ethical position on artificial birth control… the Catholic Bishops… considered that a statement was mandatory on their part to avoid any further doubt about the Church’s position.

“…they want to change the laws… When we as Catholics enter a protest against this effort, by a strange twist of logic, we are the ones who are accused of wanting to impose our particular convictions as a norm of conduct on others… they should not force their convictions on us. It is the Planned Parenthood Association and their supporters who want to change the existing order of things.

“…Children are not a disease like cholera to be extirpated….”



Last weekend, the Cincinnati Enquirer quoted archdiocesan Social Action office director Tony Stieritz, speaking on Archbishop Schnurr’s behalf, as calling Obama’s lawless executive order on immigration a “welcome development.” We discussed it here. The Archdiocese now seeks to walk back the dog, claiming incredulously that Mr. Stieritz’s unambiguous comment was “taken out of context.” Archbishop Schnurr then distances himself from the order: “What the Bishops’ Conference and what I support is comprehensive immigration reform, and immigration reform that is permanent. What president Obama’s decision has done is neither permanent nor is it comprehensive.” A more likely explanation for the disparity between this statement and last weekend’s story is that Mr. Stieritz once again shot from the lip and embarrassed His Excellency. (The USCCB has no such qualms, and offers its full-throated support for the order, calling it “an important action.”) While it comes as a comfort that Archbishop Schnurr has the good sense to disassociate himself from Obama’s election-year maneuvering, one can hope that at some point soon this episcopate is slightly more organized than a monkey dung fight at the zoo.

The Acton Institute’s Fr. Robert Sirico, a man I am privileged to call a friend and spiritual mentor, has written an important new book, Defending the Free Market, just in time to rebut the nonsense you’re likely to see from the Chancery from now until Nov. 6. Here’s a review from David Paul Deavel:

It’s important to note two things about the religious aspect of this book. The first is that in contrast to Catholics on the left who imply that Democratic budgets (when Democrats actually produce them) are the natural outgrowth of the Nicene Creed, Sirico is not claiming a dogmatic status for any particular belief about free markets; he is only noting congruities between faith and free-market reasoning. Second, though very recognizably from a Catholic priest, his arguments are generally based on reason, and, where specifically theological, they are often Biblical and ecumenically accessible not only to other Christians but also to Jews.

But there is a whiff of the Baltimore Catechism in the book’s very structure. Each chapter begins with a question and an answer that summarize the chapter’s argument. Chapter 5 begins thus:

Q: Maybe socialism doesn’t work, but at least it’s idealistic. Capitalism may be the system that produces the most material wealth. But doesn’t laissez-faire mean capitulating to people’s baser instincts — just giving in to the notion that people are really motivated by nothing other than greed?

The questions are generally believable; I have been challenged with most of them in nearly identical wording. The short answers and the excursuses that follow are equally good. To the question above, Sirico gives a lucid explanation of what Adam Smith meant when he described capitalism as turning avaricious impulses to social goods: In a socialist system, the only option for the greedy is becoming “a thief or a cream-skimming government insider”; in a free economy, “the most efficient way for those people to pursue their disproportionate love of wealth is generally to subordinate themselves to the service of others” and start a useful business. Each chapter ends with a short list of further readings about the topics at hand.

Don’t know why I neglected to post this earlier, you still have Sunday, this is a huge festival, 20 some organizations combined us this as their fundraiser

Come on up to the Maria Stein Countryfest ,see how the far north of the diocese of Cincinnati parties,

Sunday includes the Pilgrimage from St John  the Baptist church to the Shrine of the Holy Relics.

also the famous Tractor Square Dancers, the Shrine and Museum is open

Totally free entertainment beginning with the featured act of Cavallo Equestrian Arts and also, the nationally known Country Fest Tractor Square Dancers. Additional features include Antique Tractor Pulls, Lawn Mower Demolition Derby,  Mini-Indy race, Chainsaw wood carving, Rides, Punt – Pass – Kick Competition, Volleyball, Bean Bag, 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament, Diaper Derby, and 5k Run. The festival plays music for all ages throughout the weekend, and has plenty of food to satisfy everyone’s palate, plus a petting zoo, games, rides, and fun for all.

From last year, this years theme is entertainers, Kiss, Justin Beeber and Dolly Parton, the costumes are funny, bunch of local farmers hamming it up, they know no shame

view from the outside of the music tent  on Sunday night last year, we draw a crowd


You’ll find me somewhere frying hamburgers or having a beer

See Ya


This week’s sign the apacolypse is upon us…


PS- There are so many twisted quotes from the article I couldn’t make up my mind when coming up with a title for this post.  I almost titled it, “and one day over drinks we clinked glasses and launched a family” or “If only every life decision was so easy” etc…

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