October 2013


The Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati reports that Chicago auxiliary bishop Joseph Perry, a celebrant of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass long rumored to be the next ordinary for my home Diocese of Rochester, New York, will be here next Monday to deliver a talk on Servant of God Fr. Augustus Tolton:

The latest lecture in the annual George Findley Lecture Series, sponsored by the Athenaeum of Ohio – St. Mary’s Seminary and the Office of African American Catholic Ministries, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, in the Bartlett Center on the Athenaeum’s campus in Mt. Washington. The Most Rev. Joseph Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, will present a lecture on “Father Augustus Tolton: From Slave to Priest.” Fr. Tolton has been given the title “Servant of God,” which is the first stage in the process of being canonized a saint. It means that the Holy See has carried out its own consultations to determine if there is any reason the Church should not proceed in investigating the cause for canonization.

Evidently Oct. 25-27 was “Family Weekend” at Xavier University, and this evening one visiting mom shared her observations of Mass at Bellarmine Chapel:

I did a google search for Bellarmine chapel after attending mass there this weekend at parent’s weekend. I’m sure you will not be surprised that a year later it’s business as usual. No Gloria. Some ad-libbed profession of faith done in the style of baptismal promises, but not actual baptismal promises, ad libbed Eucharistic prayers and a very dense dark wheat bread that crumbled everywhere….

A friend who once served as an altar server at Bellarmine recalls students wiping their hands on their pants to “get rid of the crumbs.”

Meanwhile, Archbishop Schnurr, who came to Cincinnati promising a laser-focus on youth ministry and outreach to young Catholics, has been nominated to be the next USCCB president.

Forgive me for being “consumed” by the goings-on at Victory Parkway.

Those of you with high school seniors know that Nov. 1 is the date when many college applications are due. Our senior will probably be monopolizing the family computer most of the weekend as a result. (Next year, our oldest will enter college and our youngest kindergarten.) Most of the schools under consideration are public universities in the Southeast. So we looked for a resource that would “rank” or at least highlight the quality of each school’s Newman Center. The Newman Connection provides basic information on most centers, especially the availability of the sacraments, which is a good measure of health. For instance, the Catholic Campus Ministry at Auburn University, a school on the short list, offers daily Mass, four Sunday Masses, Confession twice a week, and Adoration once. That’s better than most parishes! And as I mentioned earlier this year, two of our high school students are studying Newman Connection’s YouCat course. Their site is a great resource — spread the word.

Wow. Here’s an apostolate in decline. The archdiocesan-sponsored Theology on Tap program in Clifton recently hosted Ken Overberg, S.J., to address Pope Francis and “conscience.” For the uninitiated, Overberg is a heretic (a word I don’t use lightly) who routinely denies core Christological doctrines like the Atonement from the lectern at Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel. Regarding the topic of the ToT session, conscience, Overberg once asked in the pages of the Catholic Telegraph of Cincinnati “whether it is right to require celibacy of all homo5exuals” and suggested that such relationships ought to “be considered love-giving and life giving.”

Overberg was most likely asked to speak because he’s written an execrable book on conscience, which I briefly reviewed on Amazon..

I’ve written before about the orthodox renewal underway at St. Cecilia parish in nearby Oakley under the leadership of its energetic and humble pastor Fr. Jamie Weber. The Mass is reverent (with a generous dose of Latin), confession is offered daily (and greeted by lines of penitents), and its ministries to the local community active and well-staffed. Fr. Weber has also made beauty a central part of his renewal; a refurbished tabernacle that shines brilliantly in the sanctuary was step one in a full-blown restoration effort completed this year. Until now, most of my observations about its growth have been anecdotal. Last week, St. Cecilia released a summary financial report, and on the back-page is a set of statistics to show “the parish at a glance.” Here are a few highlights: since 2010 Mass attendance is up over 10% (from 738 to 814), registered families are up over 40% (from 617 to 876), the school population has grown by 36% (from 176 to 240), and baptisms by 27% (from 51 to 65). What’s more, the average Sunday collection has grown by nearly 40% (from $8,461 to $11,788). Not bad for a parish rumored to be on the brink of closure a half-dozen years ago. This is where orthodoxy leads.

Only in Cincinnati — and I mean this as a supreme compliment — would you find a priest delivering a lecture on Christology at a chili parlor.

From this week’s E-pistle newsletter of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati:

Rev. Andrew J. Umberg, M.A., S.T.L., pastor of St. William Church in West Price Hill, will present a 3 part lecture series titled “Who Do You Say That I Am?” on 3 consecutive Tuesdays at 7:00 PM at Price Hill Chili, located at 4920 Glenway Avenue.

The parish invites all to attend October 15, 22 and 29. This has proven to be a popular format as attendees may purchase food and drink during the lectures. Come and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Price Hill Chili and the and hear more about the words of Jesus as The Year of Faith comes to a close. All are welcome! For more information please contact St. William Church at …

Remember Mike Moroski? He’s the former dean of student life at Purcell Marian Catholic high school who was terminated by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for his vocal support for same sex marriage. As he was terminated, Moroski conveniently, and almost certainly contrivedly, announced his intention to run for city council. (If you live in the city, it’s been tough to forget him. His family-financed campaign signs are plentiful, and he shows up at every parish festival or public event possible.) The Enquirer is interviewing candidates about their views, and Moroski is the subject of their latest Q&A profile. Right after he asserts that streetcars are “proven economic boosters” (to choo-choo companies perhaps), he doubles down on his marriage position:

Do you support or oppose Cincinnati’s streetcar and why?

I have not wavered in my support since the streetcar was first mentioned as a viable option to grow our city’s income tax base. Cincinnati needs to grow itself out of its deficit, not cut itself down. Streetcars are proven economic boosters, and more millennials want to live in cities in which they do not have to have a car.

Would you support efforts to repeal Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage?

Not only would I support them, I would help to lead them. Marriage equality is not only a moral issue to me, it is also an economic one. Just look to New York – the state actualized $259 million in revenue in the first year that same-sex marriage was legalized. More than 200,000 people traveled to New York for same-sex wedding receptions, etc. The economic benefits would be felt (here) almost immediately. But, as I said, this is also a moral issue for me. I was terminated by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in February after 12 years of working for them because I publicly supported marriage equality. Why did I not back down? Because everyone deserves the same rights as my wife and me.

Naturally, he received his bachelors and masters degrees from Xavier University. That a man so strident in his dissent could have come to be employed by an archdiocesan institution is alarming.

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