"God put obvious limitations on our intelligence, but none whatsoever on our stupidity."
This quote is most often attributed to Fr Corapi, and I may be wrong, but I believe Archbishop Sheen used it first. In any case it is amazing to me that I know so little about these two holy Men of God....................and yet they know so much about me.
The "Theology of the Donkey." Try to remember what a donkey is like — now that so few of them are left. Not an old, stubborn, vicious one that would give you a kick when you least expected, but a young one with his ears up like antennae. He lives on a meagre diet, is hardworking and has a quick, cheerful trot. There are hundreds of animals more beautiful, more deft and strong. But it was a donkey Christ chose when he presented himself to the people as king in response to their acclamation. For Jesus has no time for calculations, for astuteness, for the cruelty of cold hearts, for attractive but empty beauty. What he likes is the cheerfulness of a young heart, a simple step, a natural voice, clean eyes, attention to his affectionate word of advice. That is how he reigns in the soul. Christ is Passing By, 181
To me, it seems, it is best to be the young donkey that is cheerful, not the crabby jacka*s that I usually am.
In the Fall of 2010, for the first time ever, First Things will release its own college rankings and guide. As many of you will know from experience, picking the right college is a difficult and trying process, especially for parents and students concerned not only with academic quality but with spiritual and religious formation.
Among the many college guides and rankings, none offers students and parents adequate insight into how schools stack up in relation to matters of faith, religious practice, religious and political bias in the classroom, support for religious groups, and the relations of faith to the actual currents in contemporary student life. Most of them touch on religion, but not at the depth religiously committed parents and students need.
In preparing this issue, First Things has been conducting ground-breaking research, and now we’re asking our readers for your insights. The Students of Faith Survey, for current students and recent graduates, will help us polish our research on the religious currents in academia today.
If you’re a member of the classes of 2010 to 2013, please fill out the form. If not, please send the link to to your college age children, acquaintances, recent grads, and children of your friends. If you are a college minister, chaplain, or have any organizational relation to college students and recent graduates, we’d be grateful if you would pass this message on to them and encourage them to participate. If you have a website, we’d be grateful if you’d post the link and encourage your readers to fill out the survey.
The more responses we get, and the wider the diversity of students and schools represented, the more helpful will be the information we can provide. Help us learn about what it is really like in academia for students of faith, so that we can help future classes of college students work through one of the most important decisions in their lives.
The following is the homily preached by Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., Monday during the Prayer Vigil and Eucharistic Adoration at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia. Over 900 young people took part in this prayer vigil which included veneration of the body of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Patron of World Youth Days. Frassati’s mortal remains were brought to Sydney from Turin, Italy for World Youth Day 2008 in Australia.
Dear Wanda, niece of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati,
What an honour and privilege it is to be here with you this evening in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia! Led by the young adults of Canada’s Catholic Christian Outreach [CCO], one of our nation’s outstanding movements for Catholic university students, we have gathered together to adore Jesus, gift of God for the life of the world. And young people of the entire world have also come here, to pray around the mortal remains of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati during World Youth Day 2008.
We have just listened to the blueprint for Christianity in that magnificent text of the Beatitudes from Matthew’s Gospel [5:1-12]. The Beatitudes in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount are a recipe for extreme holiness. Every crisis that the Church faces, every crisis that the world faces, is a crisis of holiness and a crisis of saints.
If there was ever an age when young men and women needed authentic heroes, it is our age. The Church understands that the saints and blesseds, their prayers, their lives, are for people on earth; that sainthood, as an earthly honor, is not coveted by the saints or blesseds themselves.
What was so unique and special about Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati? He was born in 1901, at the turn of the last century in Turin, Italy. July 4, 2008 marked the 83rd anniversary of Pier Giorgio Frassati’s entry into eternal life. Athletic, full of life, always surrounded by friends, whom he inspired with his life, Pier Giorgio chose not to become a priest or religious, preferring to give witness to the Gospel as a lay person. He never founded a religious order or started a new ecclesial movement. He led no armies, nor was he elected to public office. Death came even before he could complete his university degree (the degree was awarded to him posthumously in 2001.) He never had a chance to begin a career; in fact, he hadn’t even worked out for sure what his vocation in life would be. He was simply a young man who was in love with his family and friends, in love with the mountains and the sea, but especially in love with God.
Through World Youth Days, Pier Giorgio Frassati has become a special patron to millions of young people around the world, and most especially to the movement “Catholic Christian Outreach” in Canada.
Let us consider three highlights of this young Blessed’s life that combined in a remarkable way political activism, solidarity, work for social justice, piety and devotion, humanity and goodness, holiness and ordinariness, faith and life.
Pier Giorgio’s Devotional Life and Love of the Eucharist
Pier Giorgio Frassati developed a deep spiritual life which he never hesitated to share with his friends. His friends remember him saying: “To live without faith, without a heritage to defend, without battling constantly for truth, is not to live, but to ‘plod along’; we must never just ‘plod along.’ ”
The Eucharist and the Blessed Mother were the two poles of his world of prayer. He felt a strong mysterious urge to be near the Blessed Sacrament. He followed Him in the processions, took part enthusiastically in the Eucharistic Congresses, but above everything he loved to spend long hours in nocturnal adoration. And his joy was so much greater when he managed to bring in front of the Blessed Sacrament, his friends, young people he knew, and the poor he looked after. During some Eucharistic vigils, the face of Pier Giorgio would be transfigured with joy and consolation at seeing hundreds of young men and women who were coming to communion.
His spiritual life, like ours, was based on the sacraments. But he went beyond simply doing what is “required”: Sunday Mass, the perfunctory confession before Christmas and/or Easter, and perhaps a small Lenten penance like giving up candy.
The Rosary, the Liturgy of the Hours, Lectio Divina and annual retreats were as much a part of his life as skiing, mountain-climbing or cycling. His life of prayer was his “daily bread,” as it should be for anyone who desires to become a saint. He was an athlete, and he knew well that in order to “reach the goal,” as he was fond of saying, he had to push himself beyond the ordinary if he wanted to be a champion.
In a letter he wrote [July 29, 1923] to the Members of “Catholic Youth” of Pollone, the mountain town north of Turin, Pier Giorgio said:
“…I urge you with all the strength of my soul to approach the Eucharistic Table as often as possible. Feed on this Bread of the Angels from which you will draw the strength to fight inner struggles, the struggles against passions and against all adversities, because Jesus Christ has promised to those who feed themselves with the most Holy Eucharist, eternal life and the necessary graces to obtain it.
And when you become totally consumed by this Eucharistic Fire, then you will be able to thank with greater awareness the Lord God who has called you to be part of his flock and you will enjoy that peace which those who are happy according to the world have never tasted. Because true happiness, young people, does not consist in the pleasures of the world and in earthly things, but in peace of conscience which we can have only if we are pure in heart and in mind.”
These words demonstrate a remarkable spiritual maturity and love for the Eucharist, especially considering the fact that they were coming from a young man who was only twenty-two years old.
Pier Giorgio’s respect for life and sense of social justice
In his own life and times, Pier Giorgio dealt with some of our own contemporary problems and struggles. His love of God and his tremendous sense of human solidarity bonded him with the poor, the needy, the sick, the hungry and the homeless. Frassati had a tremendous respect for human life: all life, from the earliest moments to the final moments. He was constantly defending life wherever it was diminished and under siege.
At the age of 17, in 1918, he joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society and dedicated much of his spare time to serving the sick and the needy, caring for orphans, and assisting the demobilized servicemen returning from World War I. What little he did have, Pier Giorgio gave to help the poor, even using his bus fare for charity and then running home to be on time for meals. The poor and the suffering were his masters, and he was literally their servant, which he considered a privilege. He often sacrificed vacations at the Frassati summer home in Pollone because, as he said, “If everybody leaves Turin, who will take care of the poor?”
Pier Giorgio loved the poor. It was not simply a matter of giving something to the lonely, the poor, the sick – but rather, giving his whole self. He saw Jesus in them and to a friend who asked him how he could bear to enter the dirty and smelly places where the poor lived, he answered: “Remember always that it is to Jesus that you go: I see a special light that we do not have around the, sick, the poor, the unfortunate.”
A German news reporter who observed Frassati at the Italian Embassy wrote, “One night in Berlin, with the temperature at twelve degrees below zero, he gave his overcoat to a poor old man shivering in the cold. His father, the Ambassador scolded him, and he replied simply and matter-of-factly, ‘But you see, Papa, it was cold.’”
In that same letter written to the Members of “Catholic Youth” of Pollone, Pier Giorgio urged his peers with these words:
“The Apostle St. Paul says, “The charity of Christ needs us,” and without this fire, which little by little must destroy our personality so that our heart beats only for the sorrows of others, we would not be Christians, much less Catholics.
Finally there is the apostolate of persuasion. This is one of the most beautiful and necessary. Young people, approach your colleagues at work who live their lives away from the Church and spend their free time not in healthy pastimes, but in vices. Persuade those unfortunate people to follow the ways of God, strewn with many thorns, but also many roses.
But if every one of you were to possess these gifts to the highest degree, and did not have the spirit of sacrifice in abundance, you would not be a good Catholic. We must sacrifice everything for everything: our ambitions, indeed our entire selves, for the cause of the Faith.”
Beneath the smiling exterior of the restless young man was concealed the amazing life of a mystic. Love for Jesus motivated his actions.
Pier Giorgio’s suffering and death
Just before receiving his university degree in mining engineering, he contracted poliomyelitis, which doctors later speculated he caught from the sick for whom he cared. His sickness was not understood. His parents, totally taken up by the agony, death and burial of his grandmother, had not even suspected the paralysis. Two days before the end, his mother kept on scolding him for not helping her in difficult moments.
Not even in those desperate final days could he ever forget his closest friends, the poor. While lying on his death bed he wanted the usual material assistance to be brought to them. It was Friday, the day he visited them. On July 3, 1925, a day before his death, his hand already paralyzed from polio, Pier Giorgio asked his sister Luciana to take a small packet from his jacket and with a semi-paralyzed hand he wrote the following note to Grimaldi: “Here are the injections for Converso. The pawn ticket is Sappa’s. I had forgotten it; renew it on my behalf”.
We know that Pier Giorgio wanted to see Jesus so much that he used to say: “The day of my death will be the most beautiful day of my life”. Pier Giorgio’s sacrifice was fulfilled at seven o’clock in the evening of July 4, 1925. His funeral was a triumph. The streets of Turin were lined with a multitude of mourners who were unknown to his family: clergy and students, and the poor and the needy whom he had served so unselfishly for seven years. God gave Pier Giorgio all the external attributes that could have led him to make the wrong choices: a wealthy family, very good looks, manhood, health, being the only heir of a powerful family. But Pier Giorgio listened to the invitation of Christ: “Come and follow me.” He anticipated by at least 50 years the Church’s understanding and new direction on the role of the laity.
In beatifying Frassati alone in St. Peter’s Square on May 20, 1990, Pope John Paul II described Pier Giorgio as the “man of the eight Beatitudes” and said in his homily:
“By his example he proclaims that a life lived in Christ’s Spirit, the Spirit of the Beatitudes, is “blessed”, and that only the person who becomes a “man or woman of the Beatitudes” can succeed in communicating love and peace to others. He repeats that it is really worth giving up everything to serve the Lord. He testifies that holiness is possible for everyone, and that only the revolution of charity can enkindle the hope of a better future in the hearts of people. …He left this world rather young, but he made a mark upon our entire century, and not only on our century.”
Tonight, together with the Servant of God, John Paul II, the young mountain climber of Pollone stands at the window of the Father’s house and smiles upon us, as he intercedes for us and for the young people of the world who have come to Sydney to discover the Lord and his holy ones in the vast Communion of Saints and community of the Church. Let me conclude by speaking for a few moments directly to Pier Giorgio on your behalf.
Carissimo Pier Giorgio,
I never had the privilege of meeting you in life. Whoever has met you knows that in your eyes, in your gestures and in your actions, you always carried a little piece of heaven. You shared that with those who knew you in your lifetime, and now with those of us who have known you for the past century.
Since 1925 when you left this earth to return to the house of your father, you have continued your work on our behalf “dall’alto”, from above! In your lifetime you never had the privilege of coming to a World Youth Day. You have watched them from afar, and blessed them with countless graces.
For many years your mortal body remained hidden in the family tomb in Pollone, and then placed in a dark corner of Turin’s Cathedral. Many who visited didn’t even know you were there! I was one of those visitors several years ago. I simply couldn’t find where they had laid you to rest! Such a powerful witness and light must never be hidden, but held up for imitation and inspiration.
We Catholic Christians believe that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, the instrument of God’s work, the frame of God’s house in our midst. And we know, with St. Paul, that “if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling — if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden, because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” [II Corinthians 5:2-4]
Your presence among us this evening, both from your vantage point at the window of the Father’s home in heaven and through your mortal remains in this Cathedral, witnesses to your mortality that has been swallowed up by new life. Pier Giorgio, you almost didn’t make it to Sydney! Thank God that the Church in Australia, with the help of the Holy Spirit, prevailed over all those forces which tried to prevent you from attending your first World Youth Day down under!
As we venerate your mortal remains, we give thanks to the Lord Jesus who gave you life, inspiration, strength, hope and the crown of glory. As we reflect on your youthfulness, your simplicity, your beauty, goodness and humanity, we recognize the call given to each of us: to be men and women of the Beatitudes.
Thank you, Pier Giorgio, for listening to Jesus’ words and making them your own. Your example has moved me and hundreds of thousands of others to translate the Beatitudes into Good News with our very lives. Be with us on this great expedition to heaven!
Pier Giorgio, help us to strive for simple hearts, attentive to the needs of others, and friendships based on that pact which knows no earthly boundaries or limits of time: union in prayer. If we do not know the road, and if we often abandon the path, show us the way “verso l’alto” upward to heaven!
If by being superficial we have not put in our knapsack all that we need for the climb, and if we never lift up our gaze because we do not want to take the first demanding steps to set ourselves on the way, show us the way “verso l’alto” upward to heaven!
If we lack the strength to overcome the most difficult passes, and if we have the strength, but prefer to use it to turn back, show us the way “verso l’alto” upward to heaven!
If we never pause to be nourished by the bread of eternal life, and if we do not quench our thirst from the fountain of prayer, show us the way “verso l’alto” upward to heaven!
When we do not know how to contemplate the beauty of the gifts we have received, and when we do not know how to offer ourselves for others, show us the way “verso l’alto” upward to heaven!
If we have committed many sins, show us the way “verso l’alto” upward to heaven!
If we lost hope, show us the way “verso l’alto” upward to heaven!
Three years ago, at the opening ceremonies for World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, Germany, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the throng of young people from the entire world:
“Dear young people, the Church needs genuine witnesses for the new evangelization: men and women whose lives have been transformed by meeting with Jesus, men and women who are capable of communicating this experience to others. The Church needs saints. All are called to holiness, and holy people alone can renew humanity. Many have gone before us along this path of Gospel heroism, and I urge you to turn often to them to pray for their intercession.”
That is why we have gathered together tonight in this great Cathedral down under! May all the young people who have journeyed to Sydney, and those of us who have been young for a while, find in Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati what Jesus’ Sermon on a Galilean hillside really meant.
Pray for us, Pier Giorgio Frassati. Show us the way “verso l’alto”, upward to heaven and deep in to the heart of God. Teach us how to be Saints for the Church and for the world!
I have a prayer request for all who read. To discern, know, and have the courage to do God's Will. If we start the Novena today, and finish before 0730am on Tuesday - well, that would be ideal. I have chosen a Novena to St. Josemaria Escriva, for a number of reasons. (My novena choices are usually between St. Josemaria and St. Joseph, and I believe I hit up St. Joseph last time.) But hey, if you want to do both feel free.
For those who are intimidated by Humanae Vitae, a great primer is Dr. Janet Smith's Contraception, Why Not? This link will take you to a page where you can read the text of her talk or listen to it in MP3 version.
A little taste -
Consequences of Artificial Methods
17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.
Limits to Man's Power
Consequently, unless we are willing that the responsibility of procreating life should be left to the arbitrary decision of men, we must accept that there are certain limits, beyond which it is wrong to go, to the power of man over his own body and its natural functions—limits, let it be said, which no one, whether as a private individual or as a public authority, can lawfully exceed. These limits are expressly imposed because of the reverence due to the whole human organism and its natural functions, in the light of the principles We stated earlier, and in accordance with a correct understanding of the "principle of totality" enunciated by Our predecessor Pope Pius XII. (21)
And a what does the above lead to? The Drift..............any guesses why?
I have decided to start a frequent post entitled (you guessed it) "Things every guy should know how to do"
You may say, "I will never use something like that" but, I do believe if we are to be complete physically, spiritually, and emotionally, we need to know basic skills - in all areas. You don't need to be an expert, but you should have a basic idea of things out of your comfort area. Things could include tying knots, having a sense of direction, knowing how to change a tire, etc, etc. And you would be surprised how many men don't know basic skills. I would say especially to fathers - we must know these skills to pass them on to our children. I knew of a teen that didn't know how to shovel his car out of the snow when he was stuck! Yeah, so the first installment - how to tie a harness around yourself. "When the heck am I going to use this" is a fair question, my answer is hopefully never, but in the event you need to save a child who has fallen below you, or lock into a tree, or whatever here it is. PS - These are things they teach Boy Scouts too. If they know it, we as men, should know it.
Hasty Harness - Used frequently in the Fire service to make an attachment point around yourself. Can be used with webbing or rope.
HT - I have seen this type of list before, this is just a personal spin on it. So, to whom ever thought of it....good job.
Here is what happens when the Church militant is used as intended.
God’s Power Working Through His Priests
Submitted by James on Fri, 07/16/2010 - 7:53pm
Rockford Pro-LifeGod’s Power Working Through Seven Priests Saves Two Lives At Rockford Abortion Mill praying from Fr. Thomas Euteneuer's New Book, Exorcism and the Church Militant, Priests In Rockford play a major role in the saving of two children's lives.
Rockford, IL July 16, 2010 - Before the Northern Illinois Women's Center opened on Friday morning to end the lives of children in the womb,four Catholic Priests firmly stationed themselves at all four corners around the abortion mill and began praying the powerful prayers of the Church found in Fr. Thomas Euteneuer's book Exorcism and the Church Militant.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12
Almost immediately upon the Priests' beginning their prayers in unison, the landlord of the abortion business came out of the building like a shot. He wandered back and forth around the parking lot. Then he roamed the sidewalks, calling the Priests and pro-lifers names. It certainly seemed that while the Priests were surrounding the abortion mill with prayer, the landlord, who is well-known for his dislike of the Christian religion and Catholic Priests, could not stand to be inside the building. A large group of pro-lifers, both Catholic and Protestant, were also praying on the sidewalks in front of the mill this morning. Included in this group was a courageous woman who had had an abortion in this mill a few years ago and now publicly testifies to the horrific experience she had in this place.
Throughout the morning three more Catholic Priests came to pray the Rosary.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer 29:11
Then it began. One mother who was bitterly weeping when she entered the mill parking lot had a change of heart and left with her baby alive and well. When a sidewalk counselor showed her a picture of a child in the womb about her baby's age, her tears turned to joy.
Another mother was picked up by a friend before the abortionist arrived, and the young woman driver shouted out to all the pro-lifers,
"She didn't do it!" The young mother was offered a baby shower.
Two more women left the mill without having time to have abortions. They did not stop to talk so we don't know for sure what happened. We do know they were gone before the abortionist arrived.
A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression. Proverbs 29:22
This seemed to infuriate the abortion mill landlord even more. After the Priests finished their prayers at the four corners of the building, the landlord re-entered the mill to broadcast over his public address system his vicious comments directed toward the Priests and Christians on the sidewalk. The Priests who came to pray the Rosary were not distracted by the amplified sound of these verbal assaults. The abortionist arrived and gave the finger to the Priests and people as he sped into his little parking garage. You do have to hand it to the abortionist. When he drives into the mill to kill babies he covers his face with one hand (guess he's not too proud of his chosen profession) and can give the finger with the other - he must steer with his knees for a few seconds. The abortion mill landlord also put up a few new hate signs (two using the F.... word) directed toward Priests and people.
That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. John 1:9
The presence of God, brought by these faithful Priests and people, seemed to be felt by all at this abortion mill this morning. From the abortionist covering his face as he drove into the mill parking lot while giving the finger-- to the landlord who seemed visibly shaken as he put up vicious hated-filled signs and rambled incoherently over his public address system-- to the two or more children's lives saved----God's Hand was at work.
I will heal their defection, I will love them freely. Hos 14:5
On Wednesday of this week there were an estimated fourteen abortions at the mill. Today with the prayers of the Church being faithfully recited, the number of abortions was estimated at seven. With seven Priests praying for life at the mill today, could it be that seven children's lives were saved? And will each of the seven children who were killed inside the mill have a spiritual Father for all eternity? Add to this two mothers who confirmed they chose life and two more who left before the abortionist even arrived.
I have been very fortunate to know many Priests who stand up for Life in all stages, in season and out of season. I remember hearing a homily one Sunday in which a good Priest friend preached on the horrors of Abortion from the pulpit, it was VERY inspiring. Can you guess what happened to him..............for the remainder of his time at this parish, he was no longer allowed to preach. What a shame it is when Priests have the courage to do what is right and just and then are beaten down by those with greater authority. To the Priests in Illinois (and all throughout the world who stand up for what is right)- THANK YOU for being a witness to life, for using the prayers of the Church for healing and most especially for putting yourself on the line for criticism and abuse by those who fear what they do not understand.
Saint Luke Ch 17  Doth he thank that servant, for doing the things which he commanded him?  I think not. So you also, when you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which we ought to do.
Below you will find a VERY abbreviated timeline of Bishop Bruskewitz's life. The Southern Nebraska Register, the diocesan newspaper, ran a great article earlier this month.
Born in Milwaukee on September 6, 1935, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz attended St. Wenceslaus parochial school in Milwaukee, and then attended St. Lawrence Seminary at Mount Calvary, Wisconsin, St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Pontifical North American College and the Gregorian University in Rome.
He was ordained a priest on July 17, 1960, in Rome, at the Church of the Twelve Apostles by Cardinal Traglia, the Vicar General of Rome. He served as an assistant pastor in parishes near Milwaukee, and then did graduate work at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he received a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology in 1969. He taught for a very brief time at St. Francis Seminary, and then worked in the Congregation for Catholic Education, a department of the Holy See, in Rome, for eleven years. Bishop Bruskewitz was named a Monsignor in 1976 and elevated to be a Prelate of Honor 1980. In 1980, he became the pastor of Saint Bernard Parish in a suburb of Milwaukee, and in 1992, was named the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. He was consecrated a bishop and installed in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ in Lincoln, on May 13, 1992.
As Bishop of Lincoln in 1995, he inaugurated a year of reflection, teaching and adoration of our Eucharistic Lord by promoting parish prayers and days of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, a diocesan pilgrimage to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and the year culminating in a Eucharistic Congress Mass with approximately 5000 people in attendance. This was a year of preparation for the Diocesan Synod of 1996. The Diocesan Synod, in which the entire Diocese participated, had a reflective, prayerful focus on all aspects of diocesan life.
The sponsorship of the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital was assumed by the Diocese to preserve its local ownership and the Catholic nature of this well-known rehabilitation facility. Two new parishes have begun as well as two new Catholic elementary schools and additional building projects to keep up the parishes and schools. Paul VI Heights was built in Lincoln to provide affordable housing in the promotion of family life for those with poor or moderate incomes. A new college seminary, Saint Gregory the Great Seminary opened in the Diocese in 1998. Among other events, Bishop Bruskewitz greeted the arrival of a group of Carmelite nuns in the diocese, and in 2000, he welcomed the opening of Our Lady of Guadeloupe Seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, as well as the arrival of a group of men religious following the Cistercian Rule. Priestly and religious vocations, Catholic education, Catholic health care, and Catholic social services are some of the many areas of diocesan life that continue to be promoted by Bishop Bruskewitz.
Congatulation to Bishop Bruskewitz on 50 years as a Priest for Our Lord. Thank you for your years of service, faithfulness to the truth, and a generosity to those whom you serve. And, just from me, thank you for being so open to the Traditional Latin Mass and your support of the Fraternity here in Lincoln.
Bishop Bruskewitz will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical Mass on July 16th at 5:30 p.m. You are invited to attend or send your intentions to the Carmelites at 9300 W. Agnew, Valparaiso, NE 68065
Happy Feast Day to the wonderful Sisters at the Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. (And all Carmelites throughout the world.)
As I have had to work every other day since the Novena started I have only been able to hear Mass at that same frequency. What an uplifting experience to hear the Sisters sing, chant, and raise their voices to the Heavens. Thank God we have these devoted Sister to pray for us.
In late 2009, Sr. Margaret McBride, an administrator at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, authorized the abortion of a member of the Diocese of Phoenix thereby incurring automatic excommunication ( Latae sententiae) from the Catholic Church by virtue of Canon Law 1398.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, in responding to this grave situation and obeying the Canon Law to which every Catholic is bound, publicly affirmed the excommunication — unleashing unabated anti-Catholic sentiment and the vitriol of the secular news media and dissident Catholic groups.
The individuals signing this letter pledge their support for Bishop Olmsted’s faithful defense of Church teaching to accomplish his primary task — the salvation of souls in his diocese — which includes the souls of Sr. Margaret McBride, the preborn child whose death Sr. McBride authorized, the child’s parents, and any other individuals involved.
Bishop Olmsted reminds us that a unique and unrepeatable preborn baby is at the center of this tragic case and his or her murder strikes at the very core of the Gospel of life and the call of Jesus to see His face in those less fortunate.
The more I read and listen to lately I am convinced that our Bishops do indeed have one of the most difficult "jobs" in the world. Shepard the souls that belong to the Lord - quite the task. Like biological fathers, they are responsible for what is entrusted to them. They have much on their plates. We may wonder why they are soooooooooooooooooooooo silent regarding matters of Faith and Morals nowadays, and I can only offer one of MANY possibilities. The laity not praying enough for their courage, fortitude, sincerity, peace, and on and on and on. Surely they need to be held accountable for their deafening silence on soooooooooooooooooooooo many issues that have cause scandal, hurt, damage - both physically and mentally to countless numbers, to the state of the Catholic Church in America. However, before we head hunt the Bishops we must pray for them so as to be as Christ like as possible when we set out to call them to be worthy of their Office. Thanks to my wife for pointing out to me that you can't just complain about things without having even more time in prayer for the folks you have in mind. Don't misunderstand me, I have no problem calling a spade a spade - we are, after all, a "justified by works, no just faith" kinda people. We can't just sit around, hold hands, sing a Haugen tune and hope all will clear itself up. We must act. We must hold others accountable to Truth. We must not cower, hoping others will do something. But first we must check ourselves, motives, and dirty laundry. By all means call our Bishops to greatness and holiness, but first, pray for them. Everyday. Sacrifice. Pray some more. Sacrifice. Pray some more. Then act.
P.S. A BIG thank you to the Bishops who take the devil head on everyday. God Bless you, we are behind you.
Not long ago, I blogged about Fr. Quinn Mann and Catholic Youth Expeditions. While bouncing around today, I happened upon Fr. Q's blog and (relatively new) Vocations video - nice job Padre. Here it is.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25 E5 MEN
HUSBANDS FASTING FOR THEIR WIVES
The e5 Man fasts for his bride to imitate Jesus as described by Saint Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 5 (for which e5 is named). Fasting is eating only bread and water.
Jesus made a bodily sacrifice on the cross for His Bride the Church to present her to God the Father "without spot or wrinkle." (Eph 5:27) By fasting for our earthly bride and joining our sufferings to Christ's we intercede for grace for our brides. At the same time our act of bodily love in union with Christ accelerates our own conversion.
By making this sacrifice for the women in our lives we live out the essence of the gospel through a very particular act of self denial. To lay down one's body out of love for another is the central message of the gospel.
NOT ONLY FOR MARRIED MEN
Membership is not limited to married men. For single men, their fast may be dedicated to their future bride. For widowers or those unlikely to get married, the beneficiary of their fasts may be for a deceased wife, a daughter, a sister, or a granddaughter, or any other women in great need. For the consecrated celibate man the benefit of their fast can be for the benefit of the community they serve or for consecrated celibate women.
Except for medical reasons, the minimum requirements to be an e5 Man are that you:
1. Be a baptized Christian man.
2. Register with e5. Register as an e5 Man. Click here.
3. Fast on plain bread and water at least one day a month for your bride for her spiritual growth and healing - preferably on the first Wednesday of the month.
ADDITIONAL INTENTIONS OF THE E5 MAN
The intentions of the e5 also include:
1. All the other e5 Men's brides or primary intention.
2. For all the e5 Women registered with us.
3. For all women sinned against by men.
4. For the petitions sent to us by women for women.
5. And in general for all women.
Many e5 Men choose to fast more than once a month and often choose other beneficiaries for those days such as sisters, mothers, or friends. See e5 Special Forces.
The Boy walked in the house the other day and said he made a rainbow, and wanted me to take a picture. I walked outside and found him playing in the water.........he looked like he was preparing to attack a fire - Yeah Boy. Another proud Daddy moment.
"Toward the Heights"............
A common phrase used to describe Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati's life. Bl. Pier Giorgio saw life as a way to always reach the top - whether it be climbing the Mountains of Europe or, more importantly, reaching the heights in his Spiritual Life as well.
May the man of Beatitudes pray for us that we may have the same drive and desire to serve Our Lord as we serve others.