The First

Monday, March 9, AD 2009


James K. Polk, President of the United States, had a problem.  The year was 1846 and the US was at war with Mexico, a Catholic nation.  A large fraction of the American army was Catholic, usually fairly recent Irish immigrants.  Mexican propaganda portrayed the war as a wicked onlslaught by Protestants against a Catholic people and appealed to Catholics in the US army to desert to them, promising them land and a position in the Mexican army.  Some troops took them up on their offer, with deserters eventually forming the San Patricios Battalion and fighting for Mexico during the war.  To stem such desertions, Polk wanted to appoint Catholic chaplains to the US Army.  Although Catholic chaplains had served informally in prior American wars, none had served officially in that capacity.  To remedy that, Polk had a quiet private meeting with Archbishop John Hughes of New York.  While Dagger John suspected Polk’s political motivations, he agreed to recommend two priests to serve as chaplains:  Father Anthony Rey, vice-president of Georgetown and a Jesuit, and Father John McElroy, also a Jesuit, who went on to found Boston College and who will be the subject of a future post.

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6 Responses to The First

  • Thank God for folks like that.

  • What would Ignatius, the former soldier who gave it all up, have to say about the choice of ‘his’ men for such an expedition?

  • Probably nothing since Jesuits were serving as military chaplains during the lifetime of Saint Ignatius. Google Nicholas Bobadilla and James Lainez.

  • Oh, and although I can’t find it online, Saint Ignatius wrote a long letter of advice to Emperor Charles V in which he encouraged him to launch a naval offensive against the Turks in order to stop their raids on the costs of Christian nations.

  • By the Catholic Encyclopedia, it seems he approached the life of a saint as a logical extension of his life as an officer.

    So far Ignatius had shown none but the ordinary virtues of the Spanish officer. His dangers and sufferings has doubtless done much to purge his soul, but there was no idea yet of remodelling his life on any higher ideals. Then, in order to divert the weary hours of convalescence, he asked for the romances of chivalry, his favourite reading, but there were none in the castle, and instead they brought him the lives of Christ and of the saints, and he read them in the same quasi-competitive spirit with which he read the achievements of knights and warriors. “Suppose I were to rival this saint in fasting, that one in endurance, that other in pilgrimages.” He would then wander off into thoughts of chivalry, and service to fair ladies, especially to one of high rank, whose name is unknown. Then all of a sudden, he became conscious that the after-effect of these dreams was to make him dry and dissatisfied, while the ideas of falling into rank among the saints braced and strengthened him, and left him full of joy and peace. Next it dawned on him that the former ideas were of the world, the latter God-sent; finally, worldly thoughts began to lose their hold, while heavenly ones grew clearer and dearer. One night as he lay awake, pondering these new lights, “he saw clearly”, so says his autobiography, “the image of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus”, at whose sight for a notable time he felt a reassuring sweetness, which eventually left him with such a loathing of his past sins, and especially for those of the flesh, that every unclean imagination seemed blotted out from his soul, and never again was there the least consent to any carnal thought. His conversion was now complete. Everyone noticed that he would speak of nothing but spiritual things, and his elder brother begged him not to take any rash or extreme resolution, which might compromise the honour of their family.

    Please pardon the extensive cut-and-paste!

  • Betsy,

    not to pile on, but, the mission of those priests was not military but spiritual.

What's This Doing On American Catholic?

Saturday, March 7, AD 2009

Something for the weekend.  I have always loved the Internationale, while detesting almost everything about the old Soviet Union (the government, not the people who suffered under it), Marxism in all its meretricious manifestations and all Communist states.  The video above is filled with the type of agit\prop scenes that bored to tears Soviet citizens for generations.   My love for the Internationale extends only to the tune and not to the lyrics which I find banal beyond belief.  Good tune-hideous nightmarish movement, that had succeeded in killing a bit under 150,000,000 human beings as of 2006.

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6 Responses to What's This Doing On American Catholic?

Second Thoughts

Friday, March 6, AD 2009


Hmmm.  David Brooks and Christopher Buckley, both of whom supported Obama last year are now having second thoughts.  The indispensable Iowahawk supplies the laugh track these two geniuses require.

Update I:  Brooks has now had third thoughts.  Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  The value of the support of weather-vanes like Buckley and Brooks is summed up by the comment of Winston Churchill on hearing that Italy had declared war on the Allies:   “Seems only fair.  We had them last time.”

Update II:  Buckley says he would still vote for Obama.  The money quote:  “Maybe I’m obtuse.”

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2 Responses to Second Thoughts

  • As for the third thoughts, I’d be highly comforted, too, if I just went by those assuring statements from the administration. However, I don’t think it is overly cynical to doubt both the effectiveness of those statements, if they are made honestly, or even the honesty of those statements. I lean towards doubt on effectiveness; I think that Obama and his ilk mean well, but that’s hardly soothing.

  • The Brooks and Buckley self deceptions and revelations strike me as fulfilling the dictum that, “You have to be terribly smart to be this stupid.”

    Reading Brooks’ latest piece, I noted especially, “The White House folks didn’t say this, but I got the impression they’d be willing to raise taxes on the bottom 95 percent.” It strikes me, actually, that their very reassurances give credence to Ross Douthat’s suggestion that the Obama budget consists of a sort of reverse “starve the beast” approach — in which Obama hopes to get people hooked on a higher baseline of government services before the great fiscal reckoning when we realize we need to either cut spending or raise taxes. The idea being: If he can get people hooked on broad programs now without figuring out how to pay for them, he can then push through the “necessary” tax increases to pay for them later.

Sister Colonel Doctor Dede

Thursday, March 5, AD 2009


Hattip to A Catholic Mom in Hawaii.  Here is a fascinating article which ran in the Washington Times on January 25, 2009, about Deirdre Byrne, who is a Sister of the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart, she has not yet taken her final vows, an Army surgeon with the rank of Colonel, and a Doctor for the poor.  The article is fantastic, although the author incorrectly reported Colonel Dede’s rank as Captain rather than Colonel, and any summary by me would not do it justice.  Read it if you want to be inspired to do good.

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One Response to Sister Colonel Doctor Dede

  • Such magnificent work and thanks to Don and Catholic Ma for resurrecting this article. Indicates that 95 per percent of what we think and write and talk about is so much blahblahblah. While those like Sister Colonel Yes Ma’am Dede are busy about their Father’s business. Almost too awesome to assimilate.

Obamanomics, or How Low Will the Dow Go!

Wednesday, March 4, AD 2009


As Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit notes here, since the passage of the Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009, erroneously referred to as the Stimulus Bill,  the Dow has lost over 1400 points.  Since the election of President Obama, the Dow has lost over 2700 points as detailed here.  However, in the midst of the greatest Bear market in a generation, our President has financial advice for us:  Buy stocks!

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19 Responses to Obamanomics, or How Low Will the Dow Go!

  • Very well authored and understood!

    I favor President Obama’s Stimulus plan, as you can see by my recent posting:

    And sure hope it works for all Americans, everywhere!

  • Out of curiosity, I wonder how many of our readers do plan on buying stocks in the near future?

    I’ve been thinking about it. (Of course, I’ve also been thinking about stockpiling gold, so my investment strategies are a bit diversified).

  • Much pain is being felt by people in their late 50’s who could have done well had they opted out of the 401 stocks into the safety of principal feature of such plans….about two years ago. Now they have lost half of their life’s retirement savings. Had leveraged shorting etf’s been available to 401 people, they would still be hurting but would be better off than they are. IRA people (retirement accounts in IRA plans…not left over Irish radicals) can use leveraged short ETF’s. The 401 options need a lot of tweaking after this in the bylaws. They fix inexperienced people into the long direction which is chaos when a down market comes. Do a hundred year chart at big charts using .spx for the broader market and you will see that people whose stocks went down during the depression, took 25 years to come up to their peak again. Hopefully this time being different will be much quicker than that. But the carelessly bandied about canard of the past decades: “the market always comes back”…. executed some older folk who stayed long…..trusting in that….. as the market went down.

  • Hmm, not that I’m fan of the Prez and his stimulus plan which is obscenely laden with pork and counterproductive spending, but I think his promoted investment in the stock market is a good thing – or could/should be. The market is sensitive to confidence and fear. You want to tank the market for sure, have the nations executive and financial leaders say that the market is in horrible shape and recommend everyone bail out of it. On the flip side, try to instill some confidence and (genuine) hope, that we will work our way out of this, but part of that is to behave in a manner that looks to the future.

    I’m not saying that I think we’ve hit the bottom – I have no idea. And I’m not saying that if everyone started investing more heavily in the market it still won’t tank and bust the nation further. I just know that if the only way to help the market to recover is to build some confidence. I’ll give the Prez credit on that front because the M.O. of his party is usually to peddle fear which always makes things worse.

  • Tom,

    what exactly do you like about the stimulus bill that is mostly void of the key stimulating measures that are universally agreed to? tax cuts, and infrastructure projects?

    Community organizing is not infrastructure, steelworkers will not retool to become social workers and pre-school teachers.

  • I did go ahead and crank up my 401k contributions a few percent back in January, on the theory that the stock market is low enough that it’s a “bargain” to buy more now. I also started buying my company’s stock again for the first time in a couple years — it’s bottomed out at roughly the cost of lunch per share and I think the company’s essentially sound so I figure it’ll go up eventually.

    However, being 30, I have a lot of years for the buying-at-the-low behavior to pay off. I don’t know if I’d be doing it if I expected to need that money within the next five years.

  • I’m with Rick as far as not knowing how far the market will drop, but I also am of the same mind as Black Adder is on Gold. I haven’t made any decisions at all, but I’m eyeballing high risk mutuals the closer the stock market approaches 4-5000.

  • Sold almost all I had in August so avoided big losses (took some losses.) Have all my contributions on hold as of this month. Will watch how the market will go in next couple and decide on restarting contributions. Think 5000 is not unreasonable. Will wait until sure bottom is hit before considering reinvesting. No need to buy now if stocks are still overpriced.

    My big concern is long-term. The stimulus plan may actually improve the economy somewhat in the short-term (next year.) My concern is for the long-term which the plan may impair. Thus my doubt in investing for the long-term.

  • I had been doing some volatility trading with indexes, but (fortunately) got out last week. Not sure if I’ll go back in anytime soon. I think stepping up the 401k contributions is probably a good idea long term, though.

  • “I think stepping up the 401k contributions is probably a good idea long term, though.”

    The problem is probably. It is probably good if you’re thirty. If your in your fifties I’m not so sure.

  • John Henry,

    It is in my humble opinion that what you’re doing is exactly what I do to during times like these. I increase my contributions when the market slides because when the market does rebound you’ll have many more shares in your 401k that will drastically increase your bottom line.

  • There is a lesson here for all the 30 year olds and 40 year olds vis a vis their 401’s…when they age into retirement. As one gets into their 50’s, one must be way cautious and seeking more safety.
    The other more adventurous lesson is to put something in IRA’s alongside a 401 which would have helped you even now….because IRA’s permit short ETF’s meaning ETF’s (bought exactly like stocks) that do the opposite of the market. The market goes down;they go up.

    When a dark period comes with systemic warnings on the whole economic system being given weekly on the nightly business news, the IRA pensioner can load up on vehicles like QID which does 2 times the inverse of the Nasdaq. As the market tanks, QID goes up and depending on the principal, it can prevent one’s whole total from doing anything negative or positive if one watches it as one can with IRA’s on the internet at places like Fidelity. Since it does 2 times the inverse, it takes less money in the IRA to counterbalance the 401 regular stocks but it needs watching because the short vehicles lose their advertised leverage when things are very bad so that a 2X’s can become something less than that in efficacy.

    It is not perfectly easy…otherwise no hedge funds would be down since they employ this technique…but many of them are down half what the market is down and hedge funds have the added burden in dealing with so much stock, that they are not as nimble as an IRA person in this area. There are short only hedge funds that are up 90% in this time period.

    Laws for 401’s should make something like the Prudent Bear Fund available: it is a Mutual Fund that is always short….goes up when the market goes down.

  • I guess this all presupposes what the Obama plan will do to the economy long-term. By this I mean for the next ten to twenty years. Will the plan make the American economy (and the stock market) grow much more slowly? If so, will we not see the historical 8% returns on stock investments (as I understand them to have been.) Or will they be significantly less? If significantly less, what would be a better investment especially if one is still not a youngster and a 4% return on an investment may not yield much in ten or fifteen years.

  • As one gets into their 50’s, one must be way cautious and seeking more safety.

    It’s a very good point. I turn 30 later this year, and so I can accept a higher level of risk. It may be a very bad idea to step up 401k contributions into the market if you plan to retire in the next five years. Even for younger people, the Japanese stock market is a pretty stark reminder that markets don’t always continue upward.

  • Bill,

    I completely agree. I probably should have put a caveat to my earlier posting concerning investing in high risk mutuals, but while you’re still in your 30s and 40s.

  • In the 80’s Japan was the economic miracle. John Henry’s link above shows how things can change. The general rule for the American Stock Market has been to hang in there. In the long-term things will turn out just fine.

    However, is Obama’s economics making the future of the American Stock Market look more like the current Japanese one?

  • Obama’s anti-capitalist rhetoric has driven the market further down. The economic slowdown may have started with President Bush, but Obama is pushing this economic slowdown into a disasterous depression.

  • The question for long-term investment then is will this (possible) depression transition into sluggish, European style growth? If so, will the conventional wisdom about long-term investing hold? Or if one is already in their 40’s it might not be advantageous to invest but if one is in their 20’s and young 30’s perhaps so?

  • Another thought on “how low can it go.” They’re talking 4000! Do I hear 3?

8 Responses to President What’s His Name

  • Good stuff. You can add Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton as the two other presidents that have been impeached (albeit that Nixon will be looked upon more favorable than Clinton in the years to come).

    I couldn’t find this movie on Netflix. This must be a real obscure film to boot.

  • What I do think is that with a political master like Lincoln at the helm Reconstruction would not have been quite the disaster it turned out to be. The Radical Republicans could not have run rough shod over Lincoln, a hero in the eyes of rank and file Republicans, as they did Johnson.

    Exactly. Johnson’s pigheadedness was a stark contrast to Lincoln’s masterful ability to deal with various egos. Who knows how Reconstruction would have fared under Lincoln (I’ve always thought of doing a “history” book on Lincoln’s second term based on the supposition that he survived), but I tend to think it would not have been such a disaster.

    And thanks for the extended biography. I usually only think of Johnson the president, but his greater body of work shows that he was a truly remarkable man.

    And Tito: Nixon was never impeached. He resigned before Congress was able to do so, though undoubtedly he would have been impeached had he continued in office.

  • Paul,

    That’s right about Nixon, it completely slipped my mind.

    So it’s just Clinton and Johnson.

  • It is indeed interesting that Andrew Johnston sort of brings us full circle as to the leadership of the SOuth and North and their views toward Catholics. Johnston’s counterpart ( VP Stephens also was very firendly to Catholics and fought tthe Know Nothings). In fact as to Stephens in a great bit of irony in Louisiana his Catholic Priest Nephew is buried right next to fellow Jesuit Priest Father Sherman who was son of the famous Gerneral Sherman.

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Sebelius for HHS-Fitting

Monday, March 2, AD 2009


Hattip to Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia who has done yeoman work in keeping his eye on Sebelius.  It is fitting that President Obama, the most pro-abort president in our nation’s history, has nominated for Secretary of  Health and Human Services, the most pro-abort governor in our nation, Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius.

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8 Responses to Sebelius for HHS-Fitting

Ladder to Heaven

Sunday, March 1, AD 2009


Joseph Verbis Lafleur was born into a large Cajun family in Ville Platte Louisiana on January 24, 1912.  From early childhood his ambition was to be a priest.  Entering Saint Joseph’s Minor Seminary in Saint Benedict, Louisiana he quickly became noted for his good humor, quick wit and athletic prowess.  He also had a marked interest in French military history and would recite the last words of Marshal Michel Ney before his execution by the restored Bourbons after the Hundred Days:  “Come see how a soldier dies in battle, but he dies not.”

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11 Responses to Ladder to Heaven

The Hot Asphalt

Saturday, February 28, AD 2009

Something for the weekend.  For a wonder I am posting an Irish song about something other than rebellion against the British!  The incomparable Wolfe Tones singing The Hot Asphalt.  I trust this song will be appreciated by all who have ever worked on a road crew or who have ever had a family member who worked on a road crew.  It is tough work, necessary work, and, until this song, unsung work.  Here is another set of lyrics for the song.

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National Bankruptcy

Friday, February 27, AD 2009

I have referred to the “Stimulus” bill as the Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009 here, here, here, here, here, and here.  Now we have Senator Judd Gregg (R., N.H.), the man who Obama wanted to be Commerce Secretary, confirm what should be obvious to everyone:  we are on the road to national bankruptcy.  Heaven knows this problem didn’t start with President Obama.  However, his misguided policy of multi-trillion dollar annual deficits will push us over the brink into national insolvency.  We are in for very tough economic times for a very long period.

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21 Responses to National Bankruptcy

  • He is just bound and determined to see it through. Not aware that he was simply doing the bidding of Capitol Hill Democratic leaders. Who no doubt have been discussing this prospect since the 1994 GOP upset. Possibly since 1965, the Great Society Year. Maybe a recurring conversations in cloakrooms since 1933. In many ways, the future of the Death Party has been stuffed into the oversized sausage that is Porkapalooza. The ultimate expression of reward for friends, punishment for enemies, development of projects to raise mosquitos or other such bosh. So we watch as city after city sponsors tea parties- in reaction to last week’s rant by CNBC’s Rick Santelli. Who received a less than charitable response by White House Head Spinmeister Robert Gibbs. Which has clearly made him fearful for his safety. No matter. Funny how invocations to patriotism resemble that for the future of the Church. Something about the tree of liberty watered with Type O- good and bad guys alike. Much weirdness to come. Watch and pray that you may not enter into total meltdown.

  • “Much weirdness to come.”

    Gerard, unfortunately I think that is an accurate prediction. We are in for very turbulent times.

  • Fortunately I pulled most of my money out of the market in August. Have now put a stop on contributions to mutual fund, etc pending the outcome of the next couple of months. Looking at investing in a 12 gauge as eyes not so good anymore.

  • It bears repeating that, because one can’t argue the counterfactual, Obama is most likely going to emerge from this recession smelling like a rose. If the stimulus works (doubtful), he takes credit. If it doesn’t, then we simply have a longer and deeper recession, and he takes credit for it “not being as bad as it could’ve been.” Business cycle downturns have a way of correcting themselves even when governments bungle policy badly, and output is likely to trend upward on his watch in any event. I don’t have the link, but Megan McArdle has argued this point before (contrasting the Argentine and Japanese experiences).

    If the issue here is that the nation will be insolvent because of the unsustainability of entitlement spending, then that’s another matter that’s been on the table for some time — wholly apart from the stimulus package. Everyone sees that train wreck coming, but it’s hard to pin that on any political party because neither one wants to be the one to incur the wrath of AARP.

  • Judd Gregg seems to have had some seriously shady business dealings, which were the real reason behind his removal of himself from the confirmation process.

  • Now, now, Mark. It’s true that many of Obama’s high profile appointments have turned out to be tax cheats or to have had shady backgrounds, but we can’t judge everyone Obama appoints that way. Sen. Gregg may be a perfectly honest fellow even though he did have the misfortune to be nominated by Obama.

  • And with Katrina Jindal and Mr. Steele heading up the GOP, how long can Obama hope to remain president?

    Well…maybe with enemies like them, Obama will need no friends.

  • I think this is what Mr. DeFrancisis is referring to:

    Politicians fattening their private wealth this way is appalling. Imagine how many will have immense opportunities to do just this through the Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009 and all the other debt bombs that Congress will pass this year. It also says nothing good about Obama’s staff work that this factoid, presumably, was not known to them. Interesting that the AP unleashed this story after Gregg dropped out of consideration for Commere Secretary and began to attack Obama’s economic policies. Of course none of this detracts from Gregg’s correct observation that the nation is headed toward bankruptcy.

  • Thank you Mr. McClarey.

    I am still waiting for more of your “Compare and Contrast” musical pieces, btw. It is a great series.

  • And with Katrina Jindal and Mr. Steele heading up the GOP, how long can Obama hope to remain president?

    If the operative word is “hope” I would assume the answer is “eight years”.

    I’d agree with Donald that Sen. Gregg’s dealings here are greedy and unethical — though he’d hardly have stood out from Obama’s other nominations in that regard.

    How exactly you consider Gov. Jindal to have been responsible for the Katrina debacle, however, escapes me. It was disgust with how the Democratic governor handled Katrina that brought Jindal into office.

  • News hit today that he fabricated the Katrina story in his minority response to Obama’s speech.

    That was my reference.

  • Mark:

    Seriously, where do you get your news? Do you just read left-wing blogs in order to form your opinion? The report that Jindall “fabricated” the story has been exposed as a lie, and here it is 24 hours later and you’re still repeating.

    Get out of your little cocoon and join the rest of us here in the real world.

  • Paul.

    Pot. Kettle. Black

  • Just out from the Times-Picayune …

    Louisiana’s transportation department plans to request federal dollars for a New Orleans to Baton Rouge passenger rail service from the same pot of railroad money in the president’s economic stimulus package that Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized as unnecessary pork on national television Tuesday night.

  • Mark:

    I know you are but what am I is just about the level of comment I have come to expect from you. It really is pointless in engaging in debate with someone who can’t rise above the level of soundbite.

  • Paul,

    You engage Rush in your own typical analysis. A sea of such words deserves nothing more.

  • I was going to write something serious and analytical in reply but…

    This last exchange just reminded me why I probably should give up blogging for Lent right now. Even reading Catholic blogs gets me worked up, depressed, confused, and obsessed with showing off my infinite wisdom and compassion to those poor benighted souls of the blogosphere.

    “Lord, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men (or women), crooked, grasping, adulterous, spendthrift Obamaniac liberal Democrats (or heartless, right wing, sore loser Republicans, depending on your point of view)…”

  • The stimulus needed: In his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Benedict concluded his homily by asking that Lent, “marked by more frequent contact with the Word of God, by more intense prayer, and by a severe and penitential lifestyle, be a stimulus to convert and to love our brothers and sisters, especially the poor and needy.”

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4 Responses to Chickenheart

  • …what could be more American than that?

    What – the chicken, or the Australian?

    Actually, the Aussies have available a lot of roast chicken in the State of Victoria – and wombat, and kangaroo, and beef etc etc.
    Our closest neighbours have suffered the worst bushfires in their history – thousands of homes destroyed, 230 odd people burnt to death. The fires started on Sat. 14th. Feb, and are still burning, despite being brought under control. But there is still a 1000 km. front of partially controlled fires, and their weather this weekend is going to be hot – up to 42 deg C – with hot dry nrtherly winds which could reignite the fires.

    They are in need of our prayers. My cousin who moved from Victoria recently to New South Wales, has lost several friends to the fires.

  • They have my prayers Don. I have read about the fires and they are horrifying.

  • Salvidor Dali lives!

    And yes, the weather down there is … frightening.

  • Don the Kiwi,

    Your friends have my prayers as well.

Archbishop Chaput on Caesar

Thursday, February 26, AD 2009


Archbishop Chaput gave a remarkable address in Toronto on Monday.  Here is the address with comments by me interspersed:

I want to do three things with my time tonight. First, Father Rosica asked me to talk about some of the themes from my book, “Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life.” I’m happy to do that. Second, I want to talk about some of the lessons we can draw from the recent U.S. election. And third, I want to talk about the meaning of hope.

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19 Responses to Archbishop Chaput on Caesar

Sermon 39

Wednesday, February 25, AD 2009


Pope Saint Leo the Great on Lent:

I.  The Benefits of Abstinence Shown by the Example of the Hebrews.

II.  Use Lent to Vanquish the Enemy, and Be Thus Preparing for Eastertide.

III.  Fights are Necessary to Prove Our Faith.

IV.  The Christian’s Armour is Both for Defence and for Attack.

V.  Abstinence Not Only from Food But from Other Evil Desires, Especially from Wrath, is Required in Lent.

VI.  The Right Use of Lent Will Lead to a Happy Participation in Easter.

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7 Responses to Bishop Jenky and the Looters

  • I also agree with the Bishop. I moved from Peoria 11 years ago and have always appreciated the Bishops of Peoria. I now live in Greenbay WI and I hope and pray that our Bishop has the spine and strength to stand up like this great Bishop.

  • Greenbay, huh? That would Bishop David Ricken, correct? He was the Bishop of The Diocese of Wyoming until being reassigned to Wisconsin, and he did an amazing job with our state. He started the Wyoming Catholic College, cleaned up a lot of parishes, implement a slew of useful programs. He’s a great man. I think he has the spine and the strength.

  • Bravo to Don’s shepherd. Hit all the right notes. Won’t be rattled by the equivalent of Race Hustlers who want a few more bucks out of diocesan coffers- like lawyers, right Don hint hint? Going thru a trauma as this in our own parish. Assistant Pastor suspended because of accusation of abuse going back to mid 90s. When he passed police background check with flying colors. Will only watch and wait for events to proceed and not pass judgment. But seems like our Melchizadeks should exchange Roman collars for bullseyes in standard clothing. Oh Don don’t get too comfortable about your fine bishop. Might be musical chairs underway with selection of Archbishop Dolan of Milwaukee to preside over the see of New York. Maybe your guy as replacement in Brew Town? Hmm.

  • Wouldn’t be at all surprised Gerard. The problem with having a good bishop is that often times they are sent on to bigger things.

  • So I know New York, Wyoming and Wisconsin, so where’s Peoria?

    Just a dumb question from an equally dumb Kiwi 😉

  • Don, my knowledge of New Zealand geography would not stand up to much close inspection. Peoria is about 131 miles southwest of Chicago. Here is a link to a map.

    A familiar expression in this country is “Will it play in Peoria?” In vaudeville days entertainers would often try out acts in small locales like Peoria before moving on to the big cities. Now the expression means: will something that is popular in urban centers be accepted in the rest of the country.

  • Wow. He really said it all there without being one-sided. He admitted the Church has had a problem but really nailed it when he said the scandal was being abused by those who seek to hurt the Church. Thanks.

3 Responses to American History Sign Off

Pope Leo XIII On America and George Washington

Sunday, February 22, AD 2009

 pope-leo-xiiigeorge-washingonHattip to commenter Blackadder who brought this to my attention in a post on Vox Nova last year.  On the 277th birthday of George Washington, it is appropriate to recall these words of Pope Leo in regard to the Father of our Country:

“Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seems to be an evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church. And not without cause; for without morality the State cannot endure-a truth which that illustrious citizen of yours, whom We have just mentioned, with a keenness of insight worthy of his genius and statesmanship perceived and proclaimed. But the best and strongest support of morality is religion.”

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3 Responses to Illinois Deserves a Medal!