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At some point when I wasn’t paying attention, Liguori Publications must have taken over the production of Franciscan Media’s notorious Catholic Updates.  Meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss.  In a new update by Xavier University’s Ken Overberg, S.J., on “Gospel Values in an Election Year,” he gives one perfunctory, don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it reference to abortion, none to the protection of marriage, and spills most of his ink on topics like the environment, income inequality, and migrations.  He also tries to channel the late Cardinal Bernardin’s discredited “consistent ethic of life” (aka the “seamless garment”) through the writings of Pope Francis.  I suppose none of this is all that surprising, given that Overberg has been riding the social justice hobbyhorse since the mid-70s.  But at this late date, who exactly are Liguori’s editors trying to persuade?  Younger Catholics don’t get their news from leaflets, and there’s nothing accessible here to anyone but purveyors of what Pope Benedict XVI called “partisan doctrine.”  But then again, it’s those purveyors who disproportionately serve as DREs, pastoral administrators, and parish apparatchiks.  Liguori must know its customers.

On Friday July 1, from 9 AM to 12:30, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is running a religious freedom event at Annunciation Parish, to spread knowledge of religious persecution going on in Lebanon and Syria, and to encourage us to fight anti-Christian stuff going on in the US. It is also designed to increase knowledge of Maronite Rite Catholicism among us Latin/Roman Rite Catholics, as well as being a nice example of cooperation between the Archdiocese and the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon (cathedral in LA).It’s all part of the Fortnight for Freedom.

The highlight of the “One Church of Mercy Conference” is a visit and speech from the Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church (under the Pope, of course!), His Beatitude Mar Bechara Peter Cardinal Rai, from Antioch.

(“Mar” is his Maronite title. Mar = Lord in Aramaic and Hebrew. It’s what you’d call a rabbi, for instance. You also see it in “Maranatha,” which means literally, “Come, Lord.” Rai is his last name, “His Beatitude” is the Vatican title for a Patriarch, and “Cardinal” is his Vatican rank.)

The day will feature a joint Lauds/Morning Prayer, a little snacktime, a joint talk about religious freedom featuring the archbishop, the Maronite eparch, various diocesan and eparchan folks, and the one and only Syro-Malabar Rite priest in Cincinnati (who’s naturally governed by yet another eparch). Then the Patriarch makes a presentation. Then there’s a Q & A.

This sounds like a really good thing to attend, and a good way to learn more about our Catholic brothers and sisters in other Rites by seeing how they live out our common Faith.

It does cost $10.00, but that’s cheaper than going all the way to Syria or Rome to meet a Patriarch. You have to register at the Archdiocese’s website.

There’s also a free event at 6 PM on July 1st: a Pontifical Divine Liturgy (ie, Mass) at St. Anthony of Padua Maronite Church. You are asked to RSVP at St. Anthony’s website (it involves a brief survey, because they want to know if you want to be on their mailing list).

There will be a banquet afterwards at 8 PM, but you have to call the parish center for details. It’s $77.00 per person. (But probably worth every penny! Lebanese banquet! Man, I wish I could go!) Probably this will be a limited seating event intended more for Maronite folks… but hey, if you’ve got the time and bucks, you might as well inquire.

 

One of my sisters-in-law, who lives in Madeira, informed me about this.

A week from tonight, March 8 at 7pm, St. Gertrude’s is hosting a talk by David Mills, “Mercy Begins in the Mind.”

I worked with David some years ago when he was editing Touchstone and later First Things. He is a very thoughtful Catholic man. If I only lived closer than 8 hours I would go to St Gertrude’s next Tuesday.

Here is the parish’s announcement:

http://www.stgertrude.org/LentenReflection2016

Will the last parishioner to leave St. Mary of Hyde Park please turn out the lights?

My territorial parish has been hemorrhaging members* for years, largely due to the lazy culture of dissent that has dominated the place since at least the 1980s.

After a shakeup of the staff a few years ago, there was some hope for a turnaround.  But as the speakers lineup for this year’s Lenten mission reveals, any sort of orthodox renewal is a long ways off.

Included in its “Mercy in Motion” Lenten series are Fr. Gene Contadino, SM, a notorious pelvic dissenter and abuser of the liturgy who maintains a personality cult among baby-boomers at East Walnut Hills’ St. Francis De Sales parish; Fr. Bill Verbryke, S.J., a Jesuit who in his homilies promotes the heresy of Modalism and refers to a “Mother” god; and Deacon Royce Winters, the race-obsessed director of the archdiocesan Office of African American Ministries who castigated a local priest in 2008 for failing to praise the then-recently elected Barack Obama in a homily to a predominantly black parish.

Save the exclusion of Fr. Ken Overberg, SJ, you couldn’t pick a worse local lineup if you tried.

Meanwhile nearby Oakley’s St. Cecilia is bursting at the seams thanks to pastor Fr. Jamie Weber’s reverent liturgies, passionate preaching, and rock-solid catechesis.  You can bet more Catholics will be making the short drive from Hyde Park in the coming weeks.

*It should go without saying that this post is in no way meant to criticize SMHP parishioners, many of whom I count as friends who have nothing to do with decisions taken by the staff and numerous parish commissions.

When the AOC makes a wise decision we should acknowledge it.

http://www.thecatholictelegraph.com/bus-trips-to-march-for-life-cancelled-but-local-activities-abound/31201

Here in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis the buses went. The bus from the local parish (along with many others) got stuck for nearly 24 hours on the Pennsylvania turnpike.

I have been to the march 8 times but haven’t been in a few years. Last year our archdiocese made some rule changes about chaperons that I disagreed with so I and my family won’t be going with them unless it gets fixed.

I’ve seen many praises for the people that “braved” the elements and participated this year. Good for them. Bad for the people in charge that never should have allowed them to be there.

I have two sons at Christendom college just 60 miles west of Washington. Christendom shuts down school for the day and sends all the students on buses to the march. Not this year. They prudently canceled. I am thankful.

I opened at random this morning our would-be confirmand’s new sacramental preparation book distributed today by our territorial parish.  On page 24 of RCL-Benziger’s Confirmation is a two-page hagiographical spread on progressive local “martyr” Dorothy Stang, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur from Dayton who was murdered ten years ago defending the jungles of South America.  To make matters worse, the publishers have the audacity to liken her to St. Anthony of the Desert, whose memorial is coincidentally on today’s date.  They dub her “the Angel of Trans-Amazonia.”

 

FWIW, we home-catechized our middle-schooler’s three older siblings for confirmation largely because of the progressive agitprop masquerading as Catholicism foisted upon the parish by the since-gone dissenting baby-boomers on staff. The parish education programs are now in generally more reliable hands, but surely we can do better than this silliness from RCL-Benziger.

Re-posting this from my Facebook page, where one commenter remarked on what a negative effect the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s nonstop fundraising abuses of the liturgy must have on those returning to the Church during and after Christmas:

So CMA Sunday is upon us in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. That means all local pastors are required by the Archbishop to play a fundraising video at Mass in place of the homily (in clear violation of liturgical norms) to benefit the Catholic Ministries Appeal. This comes on the heels of the just-concluded “One Faith, One Hope, One Love” campaign, which for four straight weeks had one Eastside parish otherwise renowned for its orthodoxy similarly replace the homily with fundraising appeals by laymen and videotaped local celebrities. Enough already! The AOC may be squeezing an extra nickel or two out of the faithful, but they are trivializing the Mass and turning the one encounter most Catholics have each week with the Gospel into a cheap shakedown. Can we please just stop?

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