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Showing posts from October, 2011

Catholics and Halloween

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A quote from this article on Halloween's Catholic Origins probably sums up what I have been thinking and "talking" about lately on social networks and with people I know, (and just yesterday on Radyo Veritas, when I was interviewed because of this article on CBCP News about our homeschool group's All Saints' Day celebration on November 4):


"Let's not focus on werewolves, witches, goblins or other evil characters but maybe other virtuous people or heroes," he said. "If not saints, then have them dress up as a fireman or football player or G.I. Joe. There are a lot of good figures in our secular culture worth emulating."


In fact, I highly recommend all Catholic parents to read the complete article here, along with the other thought-provoking, inspiring articles about Catholics and Halloween below:
Should Catholics celebrate Halloween?
Christians and Halloween: Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

At the end of the day, Jesus reminds us that we…

Celebrating All Saints Day

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All of my previous posts and pictures about All Saints Day/Halloween can be found via my del.icio.us links here.

Some Christian blogs and even some Catholic forums have been vacillating about whether or not it is right to celebrate Halloween. My answer to that is absolutely it's okay to celebrate! as long as you understand exactly what it is that you are celebrating! There is really no historical connection between the setting of this feast to November 1 (naturally placing the Eve to October 31), and the Pagan Celebration of Samhain other than Pope Boniface moved the feast to the same time of year when Samhain is celebrated. But I like to look at it another way. The change of seasons and the harvest are gifts from God, even if the ancient Celts didn't quite see it that way, and as the scriptures say, "Test everything. Hold on to the good," and Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever…

'The greatest among you must be your servant'. Sunday Reflections, 31st Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A

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An Israeli soldier wearing phylacteries (tefillin), on his forehead and on his left arm, while praying. Readings
Gospel Matthew 23:1-12 (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Addressing the people and his disciples Jesus said, 'The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do what they tell you and listen to what they say; but do not be guided by what they do: since they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them? Not they! Everything they do is done to attract attention, like wearing broader phylacteries and longer tassels like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted obsequiously in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi.

'You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have…

Rick Santorum: Family

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Dancin' with Geoffrey Chaucer During Eighth Period

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It's been quite a week. Nothing is wrong. It's just been a week filled with work and more work, then parenting and housekeeping and hardly anytime to sleep or to think. And so by the time today rolled in, I was bone tired.

My high school juniors, who take a yearlong course in British Literature, have moved on from the Anglo-Saxon Era into the Middle Ages. We're reading Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. So, given the week and the subject matter, don't you think it makes sense during the last class on the last day of a long week to dance?

Read more here...

Trusting your instincts

In ‘A Landscape with dragons’, Michael O’Brien writes about children knowing whether something (or someone) is good or bad.Their little souls are still sensitive, whereas we adults have taught ourselves to disregard that awareness.Perhaps the world or our busyness drowns out the voice of our guardian angel who is prompting us to steer clear of a certain person, to turn off a particular movie, or to not try to drive home in a heavy snow storm.O`Brien advises parents to not scoff when children talk about monsters under the bed, because doing so teaches them to distrust their own discernment.Good discernment is so important in living a Godly life.Just as our conscience must be formed, our morality developed, our code of ethics established, so our ability to discern needs to grow in strength and maturity.That discernment is a gift we all have, men and women both. There is a lot of emphasis on `women`s intuition` but men have it, too.The inherent differences between men and women means the…

Watch The Young Nuns

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Tonight the program is airing in the UK and hopefully we'll get to see it online here in the U.S.

From The Anchoress:

Speaking of encouraging our children to serve the church, the BBC is looking at the slow but steadily-increasing numbers of young women investigating the consecrated life:


Catherine describes herself as “a girly girl” who loves to be pampered. She has also wanted to be a nun since she was four years old.

Like many of her contemporaries, the 25-year-old has spent the last few years travelling, partying and studying for a degree in languages at King’s College in London.

She also worked as a model, but for her it was an unfulfilling experience and left her thinking again about devoting her life to God.

“I went to castings, they always wanted me to do catwalk shows,” she says. “I remember after my first professional paid show, going home and feeling really empty. Feeling like ‘is that it’? ‘That’s not great as I thought it would be’.

“I love people and I love having a…

The Tea at Trianon Forum

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Please visit the new Tea at Trianon Forum. It will be a place to discuss the same topics we discuss on my blog, but in more detail. Anyone can join. On the forum people will be able to introduce topics for discussion. Comments will be posted immediately, without having to wait for me to moderate them. Members will be able to post links and pictures and make block quotes, which is so much easier for trying to get one's point across.

There are three main rules: 1. Be polite. 2. Be polite. 3. Be polite. The forum is for ladies and gentlemen. If you are not a lady or a gentleman then it is not the forum for you. Courtesy must be observed at all times. Members are asked to refrain from personal attacks, sarcasm, slanderous remarks about ANYONE and general snarkiness. While questions and inquiries are welcome, any attacks upon the Catholic Church or the Pope will be deleted immediately. We also ask that our guests stay on topic. Off topic comments will be subject …

'Greater Love: Richie Fernando SJ', a joy-filled Filipino missionary

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I haven't been able to post for more than a week as I was giving an eight-day directed retreat to eight sisters of the Missionaries of Charity near Manila. While I had some access to the internet it was rather slow.
I had intended to make a post here on the murder of Fr Fausto Tentorio PIME, a 59-year-old Italian priest, in the Diocese of Kidapawan, Mindanao, on Monday 17 October. I will save that post for a later date. As I was looking for a video about Father Fausto I came across one about Brother Richard Michael 'Richie' Fernando SJ, a Filipino Jesuit scholastic who died while trying to prevent a troubled and disabled young man in Cambodia from throwing a grenade. That was in 1996 - on 17 October. Father Fausto gave his life exactly 15 years later.
I remember the mixture of sorrow and pride I felt when I read of the death of Brother Richie, pride as a missionary in the Philippines that a young Filipino seminarian had given his life so spontaneously in order to save the …

Some thoughts on bearing fruit and losing loved ones

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From the blog of my friend Dr Gerard Nadal,  Coming Home 
Note: It’s been two weeks like no other. Yesterday we had the funeral mass and burial of Jon in Warwick, NY. We also had the memorial for Kortney and Sophy in Virginia.

Today, on the Lord’s Day, we rest.
Tomorrow, all will return to our lives and a new normal, a phase of healing and living the rest of our lives marked indelibly by the searing events of the past two weeks. As we keep the Blythe, Gordon, and Scharfenberger families in our prayers. 
Here’s Deacon Kandra:
By a happy coincidence, this gospel touches on a theme that was so vital to Pope John Paul. In the parable, a tree is given one more chance to bring forth good fruit. The gardener gives it that chance; he offers it the gift of mercy. John Paul, you’ll remember, was beatified on the Feast of Divine Mercy. In fact, the opening prayer for this mass begins, “Oh God, who are rich in mercy…”
My take on loss and bearing good fruit Today we bid farewell to Sr John Baptist SCRC, …

Celebrate the Feast of Blessed John Paul II with a new DVD series

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Review of John Paul II; The Man, The Pope, and His Message By Alberto Michelini Leticia Velasquez Catholic Media Review. Volume 8 I Am Your Voice: The Pope on Human Rights Catholics have long enjoyed the work of papal videographer, Alberto Michelini. Now under a special arrangement with the Vatican, what was formerly available on video has been converted to a four DVD set containing five hours of dramatic documentary footage, organized by topic into ten 30 minute films. Each film focuses on a different aspect of the pontificate of Blessed John Paul; including youth, children, the poor, the family, Marian devotion, historic events, a day in the papal apartments, and the working world. The series is available in English, French, and Spanish.The companion website wwwjohpaulseries.comfor this DVD set has free downloads of companion discussion guides for leaders and participants for each volume with tools for group discussion. This makes this series an ideal tool for teachers to use in Cathol…

My Clenched Fists

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Here is a prayer by Henri Nouwen.  It speaks deeply to me because, much as I’d like to deny it, most often I do stand before God with clenched fists.


Dear God,
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands? Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me. And what you want to give me is love,
unconditional, everlasting love. Amen.