November 2012

The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s always reliable Dan Horn reports on the AOC’s alliance with Catholics Come Home and their new $200K advertising campaign:

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati will soon launch one of its most ambitious efforts yet to bring wayward Catholics back into the fold.

The new campaign will use television – a purveyor of secular culture often blamed for distracting the faithful – to reach Catholics who have drifted from the faith.

The church plans to air more than 1,700 TV commercials in Cincinnati, Dayton and Lima from Dec. 14 to Jan. 20, a media blitz that is expected to reach millions of viewers in the 19-county archdiocese. At least eight different ads will run, including those featuring testimonials from Catholics who returned to the faith and others that focus on the church’s history and accomplishments.

Church officials say the goal is to reverse a decades-long trend of declining attendance at Sunday Mass and to increase enthusiasm among those who already attend.

“It reaches people where they are – in front of the television,” said Michael Vanderburgh, director of the archdiocese’s stewardship department. “It reminds them of their heritage as Catholics.”

The commercials, dubbed “evangomercials,” are produced by Catholics Come Home, an Atlanta-based nonprofit dedicated to evangelizing for the faith. The group has produced similar campaigns for 33 dioceses and says they boost Mass attendance by an average of 10 percent.

The archdiocese’s campaign will cost more than $200,000 in ad buys, which already is covered by a special collection parishes took up during Mass earlier this year.

It’s nice to see a local story on the Church that doesn’t include a representative from SNAP sniffing that it’s “too little, too late” or that the money could be better spent on plaintiffs and their attorneys. In the last decade alone, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati lost 90,000 Catholics. To put that figure in perspective, it’s like having the entire Diocese of Covington disappear. Kudos to Archbishop Schnurr for recognizing that after 30+ years of lazy, insular, dissentient Catholicism, a new approach is needed. You can read the AOC’s announcement of their Nov. 28 press conference here.

You can buy the Kindle version of Frs. Rumble and Caty’s three-volume classic of Catholic apologetics, Radio Replies, for $0.99 on Amazon. Unlike many cheap deals for the Kindle, it’s formatted and type-set very well. There’s also a preface from Archbishop Fulton Sheen, which begins with these famous words:

There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing. …

And lest you think a preconciliar resource from the middle of the twentieth century has no bearing on the challenges of the twenty-first, here is +Sheen a few paragraphs later:

If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hated. My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh. If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world. Look for the Church that is hated by the world as Christ was hated by the world. Look for the Church that is accused of being behind the times, as our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned.

“Today is the Feast of Christ the King — what is its significance?”

“It’s the end of the Church’s calendar.”

“Right. The new one begins next Sunday with Advent. What does it mean substantively?”

“That Jesus is … Lord of all.”

“That’s right. Do you know why it was instituted?”

“Um, no.”

“In 1925, dangerous ‘isms’ were on the rise in Europe — fascism and communism, specifically. The promoters of these movements said the state, and not God, was owed the highest allegiance. Pope Pius XI promulgated a feast day to remind us that Jesus is our true king. Does that make sense?”


“Do you think we still need that reminder?”

“Of course.”

“‘Of course’ is right. In the last election, one party adopted the slogan ‘government is the only thing we all belong to,’ which sounds a lot like what was said by believers in those ‘isms.’ It was wrong then, and it’s wrong now.”

For Fr. Martin Fox’s “right and just” take on this wonderful feast, which we heard this morning about twenty minutes after the exchange above, go here.

While it’s nice to see Advent written about in a secular outlet like the Cincinnati Enquirer, it seems to fall under the same editorial policy that covers Church teaching on abortion: It can only be mentioned if “balanced” by other topics with tenuous or forced connections to the subject matter. In the case of abortion, that means the death penalty, just war, and “torture”; in the case of Advent, that means Hanukkah, the Islamic new year, some sort of Hindu festival, and — wait for it — Kwanzaa:

The Christian season of Advent, just beginning, has travelers following a star. The Jewish tradition of Hanukkah is a remembrance of the miracle of light marked by candles. The Islamic new year began earlier this month with the first sighting of a crescent moon after a period of lunar darkness. A festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists just passed. The African-American tradition of Kwanzaa, coming at the end of the year, uses as a central tradition the lighting of seven candles.

You’ve got to love it when Moslem protesters in Egypt mouth the same cant about our history that the average Catholic or university student does. From this morning’s Wall Street Journal:

“People have lost faith in him. Anyone who takes such immature decisions can do anything to us, like establish a religious state similar to the dark ages in Europe,” said one protester in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

A half-dozen years ago, Harry Crocker stood this sort of thinking on its head in an aptly named essay “Monasteries and Madrassas: Five Myths About Christianity, Islam, and the Middle Ages”:

Myth Four: Medieval politics were despotic.

Similarly, medieval politics were neither crude and ignorant, nor totalitarian and despotic. Far from it; the Middle Ages — from the start — practiced separation (and conflict) between church and state. It was the Reformation, the desire of the state to absorb the Church, that combined church and state with the creation of state churches. Medieval politics supported a wide dispersion of power, which is what feudalism was, and why England’s nobles — led by the Catholic archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton — were able to hold King John accountable with the Magna Carta. Medieval man believed in the great hierarchy of society, where every man and woman had rights and responsibilities and was individually responsible before God.

Medieval man was never threatened by totalitarianism. A totalitarian state was not even possible until the Reformation abolished the Church as a check on state power. Before that, feudalism preserved an extreme form of federalism, where even city-states (like Italy’s merchant republics) flourished. In the Middle Ages, not only could a merchant launch his own business, but twelve-year-old enthusiasts could launch their own Crusade (the Children’s Crusade), and a failed crusader like St. Francis could launch his own religious movement. The Middle Ages might be torn by war, conquests, political rivalries, knightly jostlings, and wars against the Albigensian heretics or the Muslim infidels. But politically, the Middle Ages were, if anything, a time when the dispersal of secular power was closer to anarchy than despotism, and the Church was generally on the side of political — if not religious — libertarianism in order to protect itself from ambitious monarchs and princes.

I found this on Holy Souls Hermitage  the blog of a modern day hermit, Father George David Byers. Why I always find these things late is beyond me.

the story is written by Father Gordon MacRae of  These Stone Walls , someone else we need to know about, his confinement a travesty, his coping with it an example of Catholic stoicism and faith

The REAL First Thanksgiving in America: Think Catholic

long version with explanation and background

“Squanto was a man who in the end gave thanks despite the wreckage wrought by the betrayals of others because he learned not to confuse his journey with his destination. He was a man who owed nothing to the Mayflower Pilgrims, but owed his life and freedom to the very Catholic Church the Pilgrims came here to be rid of. It is the most ironic of tales, and some have found it a worthy addition to their Thanksgiving traditions.”


One of the better ideas I’ve seen in recent months is the Freestore Foodbank‘s new “Check-out Hunger” coupon campaign at Kroger, which allows shoppers to make an impulse donation at the checkout line. You simply tear off a slip of paper marked with $1, $3, or $5 contribution levels and the amount is added to your bill — simple and effective. You can “like” it on fb if that’s your thing:

Please join us in the fight against hunger this holiday season. Making an impact is simple; it’s as easy as donating during your next trip to the grocery store. Just look for the Check-Hunger coupons at the cash register at your neighborhood Kroger. The cashier will add the amount you select to your purchase. Every dollar you donate goes toward helping to provide our neighbors in need with food, clothing, housing assistance, transportation and other life necessities.

Check-Out Hunger coupons are available at your Kroger store through the New Year. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

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