Here in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati today (Nov. 3) is the Solemnity of the Dedication of Saint Peter in Chains Cathedral, so St. Martin de Porres gets bumped off the calendar.

Fr. Jason Williams, the young parochial vicar at St. Cecilia, has been catechetically promoting it this week as the capstone to a “Triduum” that began Tuesday with All Saints Day and continued Wednesday with the Solemnity of All Souls:

“The past three days give us a great opportunity to celebrate the Communion of Saints.  On Tuesday, All Saints Day, we honored the ‘Church Triumphant,’ the saints in heaven;  yesterday, All Souls Day, we prayed for the ‘Church Suffering,’ the souls in purgatory; and today, the Dedication of Saint Peter in Chains Cathedral, we recognize the ‘Church Militant,’ those of us here on earth and here in Cincinnati who stay true to the Faith and bring Christ to the world.”

Catechetical pro-tips here and here.

And here’s what the students and baby-boomers of Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel learned over the weekend from Ken Overberg, S.J., about the Sunday readings:

  1. “Social justice is the concern of religion”; not a concern mind you, but the concern.
  2. The capitalized term “Reign of God” is casually slipped into the text, a sure reference to the dissentient theology which goes by that name and that was described and debunked by Pope Benedict in his now classic work Jesus of Nazareth.
  3. Early “puzzled” Christians fabricated much of the content that follows the parable of the unjust steward in Luke’s Gospel.
  4. The First Letter to Timothy was “not actually written by Paul, but by an unknown author probably in the second century.”

That is all.

Here’s what I learned from Ken Overberg, S.J., in his recent homily delivered to the students and baby boomers of Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel:

  1. “Our gospels are not exact histories or biographies.”
  2. “At least three layers make up the gospels: the words and deeds of Jesus, later
    remembering and interpreting the life of Jesus (some preached, some written), and still later in new contexts the written gospels.”
  3. “As best as we can tell, Jesus did not share” Luke’s “view” of salvation.
  4.  The purpose of suffering presented in the Letter to the Hebrews “contradicts Jesus’ image of God.”

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:


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.

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