Requiescat In Pace: Judge Joseph Wapner

Sunday, February 26, AD 2017



Judge Joseph Wapner, the frequently testy judge of The People’s Court, has died at age 97.  A trial judge for 20 years in California, after his retirement he became the first television judge.  Unlike many of the “judges” who followed him, Wapner based his rulings on sound legal principles.  He also had a real judge’s usual testiness with ill prepared litigants.  Married for 70 years to his wife, he was an Army combat veteran of the Pacific in World War II where he served as a Lieutenant and earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.  May the Great Judge give him a merciful ruling.



Continue reading...

Requiescat In Pace: William Peter Blatty

Saturday, January 14, AD 2017


William Peter Blatty died this week at age 89.  He had a long career as a screenwriter and an author.  Despite his multiple marriages, his latest in 1983 and which would last to his death, Blatty remained a Catholic and in the latter part of his life a fervent one.  Best known as the author of The Exorcist Blatty often complained that the work was misunderstood.  He viewed its themes as being that there is a God and that the universe has a happy ending.  Most recently, he spearheaded a drive to have the Vatican find that Georgetown University, his alma mater, was in violation of its papal charter.  The Vatican in 2014 stated that the petition sent in by Blatty was well founded and then promptly did nothing.



“There it lies, I think, Damien … possession; not in wars, as some tend to believe; not so much; and very rarely in extraordinary interventions such as here … this girl … this poor child. No, I tend to see possession most often in the little things, Damien: in the senseless, petty spites and misunderstandings; the cruel and cutting word that leaps unbidden to the tongue between friends. Between lovers. Between husbands and wives. Enough of these and we have no need of Satan to manage our wars; these we manage for ourselves … for ourselves.”

William Peter Blatty, Father Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist


Continue reading...

9 Responses to Requiescat In Pace: William Peter Blatty

  • A very depressing movie. In the end Satan wins, two dead priests and the family rejects God.

  • “In the end Satan wins, two dead priests and the family rejects God”

    All isn’t always as it seems….Satan never wins.

  • It showed the devil as ugly and evil; priests as having power through Christ; and was rebuke to the “oh so sophisticated” brand of post-conciliar Catholicism which was embarrassed by the devil (Fr. Damien and the piano-playing socialite Jesuit priest were dismissive of the idea of possession), it took an old-school Jebbie to come along and show the modern cynical priest the truth. I think it’s a great modern parable of faith vs. worldly unbelief.

  • Neither read the movie nor saw the book. RIP. Ora pro nobis.

    I have read “Possessed,” a 1993 book by Thomas B. Allen which recounts the true story behind “The Exorcist.” I thought it was good.

  • In the comic section of our Sunday paper, my favorite section, Opus once ordered two thousand nine hundred and sixty two Salad Shooters from Ronco. That’s the type of person who sits terrified thru demon-involved Glitterati assembly=line ( I can’t think of any more adjectives ) movies. Timothy R.

  • As a definitely naive youth attending St Louis University in the last 1970’s, one of the Jesuits one day pointed out to me the now-venerable but still quite impressive-looking Fr. William S. Bowdern, SJ, (d. Apr 25, 1983) as “The Exorcist” (principal exorcist) of the now-perhaps near-legendary 1949 “St Louis Case”. What stayed with me about Fr. Bowdern —whether I had known or not that he was “The Exorcist” —was that he conveyed a rare sense of great spiritual gravity about him, even the impression in his appearance of being of greater-than-average-height (even though he probably was only about 5′ 11″ or so) and great bearing in his slender frame, also an ascetic and profound gravity about him on the occasions I saw him outside Jesuit Hall at SLU, or at St Francis Xavier “College Church” on the campus, the latter a neo-Irish Gothic structure on the campus, at the rectory of which the exorcisms were conducted during the several months of exorcizing “Roland Doe” (one of the AKA’s of the possessed boy that was brought to the St Louis University Jesuits for help).

    I have only been around a few extraordinary Catholic priests in my life that had a “presence” that got your attention: Fr. Bowdern was one that I will never forget.

  • And I guess I have to say that I never bother to see the movie “The Exorcist” because I was pretty well-informed by some primary sources then among the St. Louis University Jesuits, who [then] were an impressive lot, about “the real exorcist” and the real case. One of the then-scholastics who were burly enough to hold down the boy (one on each limb) and were sometimes tossed flying by him, said that people don’t realize how exhausting exorcisms are—they go on for weeks, months, even into years—just about every evening (when things were quieter and the rectory door could be locked to keep matters away from ordinary typical daily parish business). It was physically and mentally exhausting, and just when things would calm down, the boredom would be ignited by a few minutes of extraordinary terror.

    However, the good side did win in the end, according to the real witnesses, unlike the contradictory outcome of the movie.

  • As to “reader’s” comment above regarding the book by Thomas B. Allen (“Possessed”), I would not consider his “take” on the matter as credible: he has an [atheist] axe to grind, I believe, and doesn’t think there could be anything supernatural going on in the St Louis –or any–Case. Allen interviewed the few still-living individuals, including Fr. Walter Halloran (d. 2005), a burly ex-football player who helped to hold down the boy—but Fr. Halloran was diffident with Allen about concluding anything supernatural occurred. However,that was typical, in my view, for Fr. Halloran.

    [ Fr. Halloran reportedly said, “No, I can’t go on record, I never made an absolute statement about the things because I didn’t feel I was qualified.” That was perfect for Allen’s pre-established rationalist atheist narrative. Those who cant admit the possibility of God and a warfare with a personal evil will always be confirmed in their pre-conceived results. Congratulations.]

  • And the Lord lamented, “My people perish from lack of knowledge”. Hosea 4:6 Timothy R.

Requiescat In Pace: William Christopher

Tuesday, January 3, AD 2017

“But I’m not Catholic Father.”

“None of us are perfect my son!”

Father John Patrick Mulcahy to a patient in an episode of the MASH television show.


During my misspent youth I wasted too many hours watching the old MASH sitcom set during the Korean War in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.  I really didn’t even like the show, especially after Alan Alda transformed the character of Hawkeye Pierce into an insufferable liberal know it all, but back in the seventies television loomed larger than it does now, being about the only home electronic entertainment available, and as long as people were awake the TV sets were on.  One part of the show that I did like was the character of Father John Patrick Mulcahy, the unit chaplain, played by actor William Christopher who passed away on New Years Eve.  I was annoyed that Mulcahy didn’t get more screen time and that he sometimes came across as something of a weak sister, not at all like the actual priests I knew who had served as chaplains in the military.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts has done some digging about Christopher and his battle to give a more realistic treatment to the priest he portrayed:



As if 2016 needed one more victim, only hours before the year ended, William Christopher died.  To fans of the TV series MASH, he was the quintessential television padre.

It’s worth noting that Christopher was also an early advocate for autism.  This came from his own child’s condition.  Dustin Hoffman stayed with him to research his role in Rain Man.

As an actor, Mr. Christopher didn’t often revisit the TV series that made him famous.  Part of it was the frustration he had as an actor.  He replaced the original actor for the part of Fr. Mulcahy because, according to the producers, Christopher had a ‘quirky’ way about him.  Initially he was a sideline character, a third tier without being listed on the opening credits.

As an actor, and as a person with bills to pay, he wanted his character to be more.  He researched by going to local Catholic churches and talking to army chaplains.  He did what he could to make his character, a Catholic chaplain, more believable.  But his main adversaries were Alan Alda and the writers.  Being generally non-religious and dismissive, if not outright hostile, toward religion, the writers had nothing to give to the character Christopher played.

In the interviews he did give over the years, he talked about the struggles he had making the role three dimensional.  A big obstacle was in openly non-religious Alda.  During development of the series, Alda came to play a bigger and bigger role in the show’s creative direction.  During that time, Alda came up with the character of Dr. Sidney Freedman, an army psychiatrist who would help unpack some of the psychological traumas of war.

Christopher protested.  That’s what a chaplain is for.  Alda and the writers didn’t listen.  They couldn’t conceive of a religious figure being anything other than fodder for jokes.  The low point for Christopher came early on.  In a particular episode, the camp was alerted to Major Margaret Houlihan’s tent, only to find her and Frank Burns together.  The running gag was that they were having an ongoing affair they believed was secret, when everyone knew.  Fr. Mulcahy , however, was supposed to show up and deliver the line: “What could they be doing in there?”

Christopher howled.  He said it was almost degrading to think an army chaplain, or anyone, would be so stupid.  The writers stood their ground.  They insisted he deliver the line.  Christopher acquiesced, but at shooting time, he added an eye roll.  If you see the episode, you see him do it.  In other words, the good chaplain knew darn well what they were doing.  It was a big turning point according to Christopher.  He realized he played a religious character surrounded by writers and producers who had nothing but contempt for religion.

Over the years, he fought to get more meaningful stories.  Finally, they agreed to center more on his character.  In one episode, he and corporal O’Reilly had to bring a seriously wounded soldier back from the front line aid station.  On the way, the soldier began choking because his tongue had swollen.  Using the radio, the surgeons guided Fr. Mulcahy through an improvised tracheotomy.  Good, but not good enough. As Christopher said, it could have been anyone, and it had nothing to do with the religious nature of his role.

Finally he began to get his way.  As the later episodes became less comedy and more drama, he used that fact to get roles delving into the spiritual, and his own character’s ability to minister accordingly.  The role of Sidney Freedman diminished in later years as Christopher demonstrated that psychological training is part and parcel for chaplains in the army.  They didn’t have to call Seoul for counseling and psychological help, they had someone there already.

But he didn’t try to make his character into a superman.  He looked at the flaws that come with religious service as well.  The later episodes aren’t usually considered the best, being heavy handed and preachy.  But there are some gems, especially where developing the characters of Fr. Mulcahy or Charles Winchester are concerned.

In one, Fr. Mulcahy is all aflutter.  His superior, Cardinal Reardon, is in the country on inspection.  Mulcahy fears that he is irrelevant in the camp, and that the camp is awash in decadence and immorality.  This is driven home by several scenes showing everyone acting as they will, without considering Mulcahy ‘s dilemma.

Meanwhile, a young Patrick Swayze plays a soldier who has just been told he has leukemia.  Alda’s character Hawkeye is devastated by having to deliver the news.  The day comes and Mulcahy’s superior arrives, only to find gambling, sleeping around, tomfoolery and licentiousness of all types, much to the chagrin of Mulcahy and camp commander Colonel Potter. Mulcahy storms into the mess tent and sits by Hawkeye, letting loose his frustration about how unfairly he’s being treated.  Nobody in the camp cares about what he is going through!  Hawkeye only politely listens.  Getting no response, Mulcahy lashes out at Hawkeye for being so dismissive.  That’s when Hawkeye explains the leukemia situation.

The morning then comes for the big service.  Everyone is going to hear Cardinal Reardon, but Fr. Mulcahy is supposed to introduce him.  The entire camp turns out in a show of support.  They do care after all.  But no Mulcahy.  Panicking, they look around and find him, sitting at the edge of Patrick Swayzes’ bed, the two comforting each other.  Mulcahy is unshaven and still in his bathrobe.  Quickly they rush to the mess tent where everyone, including the cardinal, is gathered.

What follows is one of the greatest sermons I’ve ever seen in any fictional account of religion, ever.

Continue reading...

14 Responses to Requiescat In Pace: William Christopher

  • I never liked Mash’s liberalism in general, or Alan Alda specifically. Mike Farrell was interviewed on FOX concerning the Trump election. What idiocy! Please tell me why we should care what these actors and actresses think or believe? Really! Let them stay in California and let California secede from the Union and go to Mexico.

  • The early episodes of MASH were the most enjoyable. Col. Blake, Trapper, who are both gone now, Col. Flagg..when Larry Gelbart was a writer….those were funny.
    Alda could not contain his insufferable leftism and some of the later seasons are almost unwatchable.

  • Thanks for this article. Fascinating. Mulcahy was a bit of a soft character, but unfailingly human and decent. The earliest look behind the scenes at a clergyman’s life on TV that I recall, and they didn’t make him a hypocrite (unlike practically every other authority figure on the show).

  • Of interest to you Don is that one of his son’s also had Autism.

  • I really didn’t even like the show, especially after Alan Alda transformed the character of Hawkeye Pierce into an insufferable liberal know it all,

    Supposedly, Richard Hornberger, who’d written the original novel, was disgusted with what Alda had done to his character. The character was autobiographical to a degree. In my circle, people of a certain age who enjoyed the program as entertainment made it a point to remark on the degree to which Alda’s Hawkeye was an anachronism.

  • Hornberger was a conservative Republican and despised the show.

  • I liked the Father; he was nice.
    Heck, even Alda’s character did some worthwhile stuff– it taught me to never be impressed with guys who act like that, even if everyone else is acting like they walk on water, they’re poison.

  • I didn’t say this here, because it was about one of the best characters on the show. But my boys, after watching MASH for the first time, remarked that it was the meanest, most immoral show they had seen. They said the doctors were bullies cubed. They terrorized and intimidated, they lied and threatened and used their medical knowledge to scare people and blackmail them. The show also – and I loved this – has its priorities wrong. My oldest said that the doctors on MASH talked about the United States the way that the prisoners in Hogan’s Heroes talked about the Nazis. I think that’s what makes Christopher’s portrayal that much more meaningful. It stands in such stark contrast to so much of the surrounding show.

  • If my memory serves me, Alan Alda graduated from Fordham university in the Bronx. He was educated by Jesuits. Now if that doesn’t explain his liberal elitism, nothing does.

  • I never thought of the show as being about the Korean War. I mean, the show was obviously set in Korea, I know, but it was an open secret that they were really talking about Vietnam. Now, think about those innocent villagers they always depicted, the ones who didn’t care who won but just wanted everyone to stop bombing their villages. Some of them ended up in North Korea, the worst slave state in the world, with rates of malnutrition that would make Africa blush. Others ended up in South Korea, with the 11th largest economy in the world and the first country with fully high-speed internet. Suddenly war doesn’t seem so pointless.

  • agree Pinky- “Some of them ended up in North Korea, the worst slave state in the world, with rates of malnutrition that would make Africa blush. Others ended up in South Korea, with the 11th largest economy in the world and the first country with fully high-speed internet. Suddenly war doesn’t seem so pointless.”

  • RoK- one of the few places where “republic” in the name doesn’t mean “horrific dictatorship,” and makers of really good budget vehicles.

  • The liberal blather was pretty much limited to the Hawkeye character (abetted, to some degree, by the BJ character). (Mike Farrell in mundane life is a Hollywood liberal without a trace of ironic detachment). I wonder to what extent the other actors playing supporting parts tangled with the writers the way you describe Wm. Christopher doing.

17 Responses to Debbie Reynolds: Requiescat In Pace

Requiescat In Pace: Phyllis Schlafly

Monday, September 5, AD 2016



It hardly seems possible.  Phyllis Schlafly has died at age 92.  Mother of six, she had a superb intellect and a will of steel.  A  devout Catholic, she saw through contemporary feminism to the fundamentally nihilist philosophy it is, and led the successful fight against the Equal Rights Amendment.  One of the key founders of modern conservatism, she was a true force of nature.  I met her when she was giving a speech at the U of I on the day Reagan was shot.  Along with other student conservatives I helped provide security against a leftist mob that cheered the shooting of Reagan.  They attempted, and failed, to shout Schlafly  down, who remained calm and indomitable in a very dicey situation, gave her speech, and took questions from the audience, batting away with ease the insulting sallies of her leftist interlocutors.  If all conservative men had half her courage, this country would be in much better shape.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Requiescat In Pace: Phyllis Schlafly

  • How true the last comment regarding conservative me. RIP Phyllis Schlafly.

  • The woman was a dynamo, and from a very young age.

    IIRC, she was on the founding staff of the American Enterprise Institute in 1943, and likely the last survivor.

    Toles and others lampooned her capsule arguments against the Equal Rights Amendment, contending these were lurid fantasies and forensic tricks. Subsequent events revealed she was prescient bar on one point: appellate courts enacted parody law without the aid of the Equal Rights Amendment by repurposing the 14th Amendment. She understood the appellate judiciary and the law professoriate better than they understood themselves, and could explain those insights to ordinary women and mobilize them accordingly.

  • Could any two woman lawyers have been more different than Schlafly and Clinton! What a wonderful role model for women Phyllis Schlafly was and continues to be.

  • Actually, her academic and professional accomplishments are good examples for females AND males.

  • Indeed CAM. An inspiring life for all of us.

  • What would the death of a conservative be without leftists celebrating?

    Two things: these people are not random oddballs in their basements. A number of them have salaried (or at least per diem) positions as opinion journalists writing under their own names. The other is that the smart money says they’re like Orwell’s Julia: they know when to cheer and when to boo and that’s it.

Justice Antonin Scalia: Requiescat in Pace

Saturday, February 13, AD 2016

23 Responses to Justice Antonin Scalia: Requiescat in Pace

  • I hope Justice Scalia goes straight to heaven. But I fear that that godless man of sin and depravity occupying the White House will nominate a baby murdering, sodomy sanctifying replacement.

  • Which is why the Republicans in the Senate must refuse to act on anyone he nominates to the Court.

  • “Which is why the Republicans in the Senate must refuse to act on anyone he nominates to the Court.”

    With Mitch McConnell in charge, I wouldn’t hold out much hope for that.

  • “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., indicated the Senate will not move on an Obama nomination.

    “The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President,” he said in a statement.”

  • Well, that’s good news. Let’s hope he sticks to it. I. the event the next President is a democrat and republicans keep,control of the Senate, they need to do some Borking of their own.

  • The Supreme Court has now become a front and center issue for this campaign. The Republic debate tonight should be interesting. I bet Scalia’s name will be mentioned over and over again.

  • I was nice enough to follow one lefty on twitter and I had to block him after he openly hoped Thomas was next. Pure evil.

  • “I was nice enough to follow one lefty on twitter and I had to block him after he openly hoped Thomas was next. Pure evil.”

    But sadly, it is not surprising.

  • God has abandoned us. Like Israel in the Old Testament, God was our champion but we rejected him and He has stepped back, as if to say “you think you got this? Well, OK, but I warn you, Man without God is a stupid, petty, and viscious creature.”

    Scalia has been a champion of the Republic. He and Thomas were the only sure non-Statists on the bench and now that mean-spirited, petty, stupid, short-sighted bastard pretender in the Oval Office gets to turn the Supreme Court into a purely rubber-stamp arm of the Emperor… Just in time for the immigration DAPA case to cement a president’s authority to ignore Congress and wright law.

    I don’t curse often but damn! This is a VERY bad day for the Republic and the convenience of it all is suspicious. If I wasn’t a religious man, I’d be looking at conspiracy.

  • Take my advice — from experience — and avoid Mark Shea like the plague right now. Unless you REALLY want to ruin your Lent by experiencing extreme hatred for another human being.

  • Catholics should organize and demand an autopsy. I don’t trust this administration one bit or the Democratic Party that has sided with every anti God issue their is. The shift in the Supreme Court to a majority anti-God and anti Constitution would be the end of the United States as the founders created.

  • “There” not “their.”

  • During a vacancy, what happens if the Supreme Court is tied 4-4?
    In Scotland, the decision goes against the judge in the chair. In France, the decision below is affirmed.

  • Saw an article arguing that in quite a number of cases, the SC not taking up stuff for the next year actually benefits the President. I imagine that, at best, the President could hope to get a centrist and/or someone without a record or stated views that would cause controversy through the Senate. And if the Dems win both the Presidency and the Senate, the Court will definitely end up big time liberal.

    Doesn’t it then potentially benifit Republicans and conservatism in general more to have another centrist on the Court?

  • Donald R McClarey replied to my question, “The French rule.”

    Thank you for that.

  • There are no such things as “centrists”, in the Supreme Court or anywhere else.

  • Call it….more committed to “excentricities of each case” to quote West Wing. Maybe not fully committed to either living document or orginalist positions, potentially taking positions that lean towards either side depending on moment. Or even just having some views on one side and some from the other.

  • Thinking of the most important of the cases coming up, the immigration case RE: DAPA, it isn’t really about immigration at all, it is really about executive power: “is the Executive Branch an equal power to the other two, the first among equals, or are the other two subordinate to it?”

    Without Scalia, the Court will aim for “first among equals,” which, in essence and due to a non-functioning, partisan legislature, is no longer a Republic.

    Without Scalia, Thomas stands alone, Kennedy, ever anxious to be the lap-boy for the winning side, will write a decision that cements Presidential power over law.

  • A sad day indeed. The man was a lion, and forged anew and vitalized the old principle that the Court was designed to be the least dangerous branch because it merely was to decide cases according to the original public meaning of legal texts, not import subjective social views into the Constitution.

    Better yet, Scalia was a good Catholic, and could be regularly found at Old St. Mary’s at 5th and H in D.C., worshiping at the traditional Latin Mass he loved. Among his large group of children is an extremely bright and orthodox priest in the Arlington diocese, whom I once witnessed preach a beautiful and theologically penetrating homily on Our Lady… without notes and seemingly off the cuff.

    We can’t it say it often enough to the Left, which will prattle about the dire urgency of having a ninth justice appointed quickly– the role of the Senate is “advice and consent” and that we do not consent to whichever activist lawyer Obama intends to nominate.

  • How appropriate that a just man bear the title “Justice”. May he rest in peace, and may his successor be as faithful.
    Apocalypse 2:17 comes to mind: “To him that overcometh, I will give the hidden manna, and will give him a white counter, and in the counter, a new name written, which no man knoweth, but he that receiveth it.”

  • It was announced that the President will not attend Scalia’s funeral. Asked what he had to do that was so pressing, Wormtongue declined to say.

    Perhaps the Emperor thinks sitting in a Cathedral, under the unblinking eyes of the mural of Christ in Majesty, at the National Shrine, would be an unpleasant experience.

  • Maybe it’s the Holy Water. Asperges Apprehension?

Requiescat in Pace: Chris Bissey

Friday, August 28, AD 2015

Chris and Family

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”

John 11:25

My secretary and office manager Chris Bissey passed away in the early hours of this morning, age 51, ending her over two years fight against cancer.  I have seen many a valiant fight against cancer in my life, including that of my mother who died at 48 on Easter Sunday 1984, but never a braver one than that fought by Chris.  Throughout her ordeal her spirit was ever unbroken, she usually cheering up those around her.  She was bright and optimistic, just as she had been throughout her life.  She worked up until Wednesday of this week, telling the Grim Reaper that she had tasks to attend to and he could just wait until she was ready.

She worked for me for thirty years.  I called her my secret weapon.  If I needed a hearing scheduled and she was told that it was impossible, she would get it scheduled anyway.  Astonished Judges often asked me how I managed to get a hearing set before them on a date when they said no more settings.  I replied that it was by black magic, black magic that went by the name of Chris Bissey.  She routinely did the impossible for me, imposing order on hundreds of open files, typing up my endless documents at lightning speed, making friends among courthouse staffs and charming all who came into my office and called on the phone.  It was a rare week when I did not receive at least one compliment in regard to Chris.

She was much more to me however than a secretary.  She was also a good friend.  Over the years we looked out for each other and helped each other through our triumphs and our tragedies.  Outside of my immediate family, no person was closer to me than Chris.

Continue reading...

35 Responses to Requiescat in Pace: Chris Bissey

Requiescat in Pace: Tom Magliozzi

Sunday, November 16, AD 2014


For decades I enjoyed the antics of the two hosts of Car Talk on NPR.  Having zero interest in the technical aspects of motor vehicles, I would often listen to the hilarious advice they gave to their callers as I drove my family to destinations on Saturday morning.  “Click and Clack” added to family hilarity over the years and for that I am duly thankful.  Half the team died earlier this month:


Tom Magliozzi, half of the “Click and Clack” team of brothers who hosted NPR’s “Car Talk” radio show, died Monday. He was 77.

NPR reported the death Monday afternoon. The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease, the radio network said.

In a statement, his brother Ray remembered a jovial partner.


“We can be happy he lived the life he wanted to live; goofing off a lot, talking to you guys every week, and primarily, laughing his ass off,” he said.

For more than 25 years, “Car Talk” has been one of NPR’s most popular shows, a laid-back free-for-all that’s only occasionally about cars. The brothers stopped doing original broadcasts two years ago, but archival material has kept their laughter on the air.

A typical show featured Tom Magliozzi and Ray, 12 years his junior, taking questions from listeners about whether it was appropriate to buy a BMW roadster for a teenager, how to get the smell of a dead mouse out of an air-conditioning vent and whether relationships were worth pursuing with a partner who owned an old rattletrap.

Tom Magliozzi had an old rattletrap himself, a 1963 Dodge Dart that was a constant source of fun for both brothers.

In fact, most things were sources of fun for the brothers, whose uproarious laughter frequently punctuated the show.

“His laugh is the working definition of infectious laughter,” Doug Berman, the longtime producer of “Car Talk,” told NPR. “Before I ever met him, I heard him, and it wasn’t on the air.”

“Car Talk” debuted in 1977 on Boston radio station WBUR. NPR picked it up in 1987. The show was drawing about 4 million listeners at the time the brothers stopped making original broadcasts in 2012. The network said in a statement that it continues to be a top-rated show.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Requiescat in Pace: Tom Magliozzi

  • May the Perpetual Light shine upon him. Alzheimer’s is a terrible thing to die from. My grandfather had senile dementia for more than two years when he died – a different condition but one that robbed him of his sense of self.

    I prefer not to work on cars at all, having had lemons, rustbuckets and POSs with four wheels, but I loved the shows on Velocity where old classic cars and muscle cars are restored and brought to life. Almost every little boy loves cars at some point in his life. I loved cars as a little boy. My favorite toy was a dump truck, and I wish I still had it. I have a Wyandotte gasoline truck that was my dad’s as a boy.
    Most grow out of this fascination when they discover music, girls, electronic gadgets, etc. but a few still love cars all their lives.

  • Hopefully Car Talk repeats will continue to run for many more years. Listening to their infectious laughter set the tone for the day. If I had listened to Click and Clack my first year in college, perhaps I wouldn’t have paid a garage for 6 plugs when they tuned up my 4 cylinder TR3.

  • “Why you should never listen to your father when it comes to cars” brings fond memories of my dearly departed father who when I was still wet behind the ears advised me not to buy that ’31 Model A coupe for $175.00 or that ’30 Reo Flying Cloud sedan for not much more. He said regarding the Reo, “It’s ossified”. Dad was wrong only viewed through that rear-view mirror of life that filters out the plethora of realities that attend our lives. Dad was right but how I wish I had that Reo up on blocks in a dry, heated and mouse-free garage for the past fifty-seven years.

  • W.P. Walsh,
    I looked up the REO’s history. The Flying Cloud was a cool car. Wish I still had that ’62 Triumph I co-owned with my brother. Before he sold it in the ’80s he took it by the fellow we had bought it from so the former owner and his wife could take one last ride in their courting car. I wish I had the TR3 with it’s hand crank, trunk key, and side curtains though my ER MD brother now claims it was a dangerous car. Also held onto my grandparent’s red & black 2 door ’52 Buick, but where to garage it when we were heading to the Philipines for 3 years?
    My ensign car, a ’72 MGB we left in the North Is. BOQ parking for the junior pilots to drive when on temp duty stateside. When our sons were teens they were bitten by the old car bug. I went with them to junk yards (only when the temp was below freezing) and helped carry out windshields, fenders, bumpers,etc. from vintage cars. The oldest son sold his ’39 Pontiac and other rolling stock; only a ’62 Caddy convertible is left. For our 25th anniversary my husband presented me with a ’72 MGB. This month was our 38th and the MG is now for sale. Living on a farm is not a place for a sports car. Good memories, but there are seasons for everything.

Peter O’Toole: Requiescat In Pace

Sunday, December 15, AD 2013



Perhaps the foremost actor of his time, Peter O’Toole died yesterday.  As indicated by the video clip above from For Greater Glory, O’Toole never lost his skill before the camera.  He catapulted to fame in Lawrence of Arabia in 1962 in the eponymous role of T.E. Lawrence.

His portrayal of Lawrence was the archetype for many other O’Toole roles:  intense, a bit of humor, nervous and more than a little mad.


Continue reading...

2 Responses to Peter O’Toole: Requiescat In Pace

  • R.I.P. Peter O’Toole. Great actor who aged well before the camera. Those small but critical roles in his last years are amongst my favorites.

  • Thanks for posting this. He is a baptized Catholic and we always hope that even those who profess of loss or lack of faith, will nonetheless receive the mercy and love of our God.

    A prayer from psalm 85:7,8 for him:

    Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
    Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.

Kenneth Minogue: Requiescat In Pace

Sunday, June 30, AD 2013



In a field dominated by the most complete rubbish imaginable, Political Science, Kenneth Minogue was a voice of reason:

Olympianism is the characteristic belief system of today’s secularist, and it has itself many of the features of a religion. For one thing, the fusion of political conviction and moral superiority into a single package resembles the way in which religions (outside liberal states) constitute comprehensive ways of life supplying all that is necessary (in the eyes of believers) for salvation. Again, the religions with which we are familiar are monotheistic and refer everything to a single center. In traditional religions, this is usually God; with Olympianism, it is society, understood ultimately as including the whole of humanity. And Olympianism, like many religions, is keen to proselytize. Its characteristic mode of missionary activity is journalism and the media.

If Olympianism has the character of a religion, as I am suggesting, there would be no mystery about its hostility to Christianity. Real religions (by contrast with test-tube religions such as ecumenism) don’t much like each other; they are, after all, competitors. Olympianism, however, is in the interesting position of being a kind of religion which does not recognize itself as such, and indeed claims a cognitive superiority to religion in general. But there is a deeper reason why the spread of Olympianism may be measured by the degree of Christophobia. It is that Olympianism is an imperial project which can only be hindered by the association between Christianity and the West.

Continue reading...

Lawrence Charles McClarey: Requiescat In Pace

Sunday, May 19, AD 2013


Larry McClarey


My beloved son, Lawrence Charles McClarey, passed away of a seizure last night.  I found him this morning at 6:15 AM when I attempted to rouse him for the “Daddy Readings” that he and I had done daily since he was a small boy.  Larry had autism, an infectious smile, and was a continual joy to all who knew him.  Once he attained puberty he began having seizures, not uncommon in autism, and I gave him seizure medication daily.  He lived for 21 years on this earth and he was the light of this world for myself and his mother, my bride.  On this dark day I am comforted by the knowledge that even now he is beholding the Beatific Vision.  He lived in love and now he will stand forever before Love Incarnate.  Please pray for the repose of his soul.  I will resume blogging sometime after Memorial Day.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Continue reading...

133 Responses to Lawrence Charles McClarey: Requiescat In Pace

  • Keeping you all in mind.

  • I am so sorry to hear it.

    He (now with the angels and Saints) and you are in my prayers.

  • Don: I will be remembering your son as well as all who loved him at the altar this morning.

  • So sorry for your loss. Lux aeterna.

  • Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

  • Oh my, Don. I’m so sorry. Crying for you. My family will prayer yours and the repose of your beloved lad.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. May the Holy Spirit bring you comfort on this day and the difficult days to come.

  • I’m not a regular commenter, but I just wanted to add my voice to the condolences today. As a father, I can’t imagine anything more terrible. I will dedicate evening prayer to him today.

  • Just logged in and saw this… so sorry to hear of your loss. I, too, cannot imagine anything worse. No matter how long or how briefly your child is on this earth, it hurts to lose him. I will add him and your family to my prayers.

  • So sorry for your loss. There are no words that can quiet your grief right now nor should there be. Try to rest in the arms of the Lord and know that the “angels are leading him into paradise”. Blessings and prayer for you and yours. Jeanne

  • We are very sorry for your loss Don and will keep you in our prayers.

  • I am so very sorry to read about your loss, Mr. McClarey. I’ll remember
    you and your family at Mass today.

  • I’m so sorry for you loss; I will pray for your family, and the repose of Lawrence’s soul.

  • Mr. McClarey, my deepest condolences to you and your family.

  • I am saddened to hear of your irreparable loss, and will pray to Almighty God for the repose of your beloved son.

  • A Mass for you Mr. McClarey and your family.

  • I’ll be praying for him.

  • I am so very sorry for your loss. I pray that God will hold you and your wife in the palm of His hand these next months. Be assured of my prayers for all of you.

  • May he rest in God’s peace that will never end and may your family experience the comfort of the Holy Spirit!

    — a mother of an autistic son

  • I am sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

  • Oh Don, so heartbreaking, your love is beautiful. We will remember your family in our prayers tonight.

  • I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your son. God grant him eternal rest. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • I’m sorry. I can’t even start to find words.

  • Don, I am so sorry to read this.

    Prayers offered for the repose of his soul, and for you and your family.

  • The way I see it Don, God has allowed you and your bride to exchanged a son on earth for an Angel in heaven.

  • Lord have mercy, a severe mercy in your time of great grief.

  • Few of us will be fortunate enough to share daily “Daddy Readings” with our children at 21. A good son. Our family will keep your family in our prayers.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Shocked and saddened, brother Don. Not much else I can say……..

  • I am sorry for your loss, Donald. I shall pray for the repose of your son’s soul, and for the Holy Spirit – the Comforter who descended on the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary on Pentecost Sunday so long ago – to bring comfort to you, your wife and all of your family.

  • I am very sorry indeed. May God receive Larry’s soul and send His peace to comfort yours and your family’s.

  • I am so very sorry for the grief you must be overwhelmed with. But, such a blessing he has been to you, and you have been to him and in turn to others, like yours truly.

    I am driving to see most of my children this coming weekend, from here in New York to Chesapeake, Virginia and Cary, North Carolina. I will, within minutes of this post, text each of my children asking them to pray for each of the McClarey’s. On my trip I will have some alone time on the road to pray for all of you. I know it is scant comfort but, Don, you are such a good man. He was blessed, so, to have a father like you. Now, you have a son, in the presence of God, who will intercede for you.

    Knowing that God asks you to bear what he knows you can and no more, draw consolation from how much He must care for you, to know, such as this, that his willing servant, Don and your wife and other children will be grateful for the blessing that Larry has been in their loves, but willing to have the faith to know that he is, now, in the best place he can be.

    For me, my heart breaks for you, your wife and children and I will offer the pain from my own separation from our children, as, selfishly ,mine is only the pain of distance and the pain from my, still broken, marriage for your consolation, as God sees fit to use it.

    God be with each of you.

  • I offer you my condolences, and I will pray for his soul and your family’s consolation during Adoration tonight. May God bless him and you.

  • So sorry to hear this Don. My thoughts and prayers are with you. On this day of celebrating Pentecost, I’m sure the Holy Spirit accompanied his soul to heaven.
    As Mary had to bury her son, she will have her mantle wrapped around you and Cathy and your other children – parents are not supposed to bury their children; but your boy was very special to you, and to our Eternal Father.

    May his entry into the company of the angels and saints, in the presence of our loving God bring blessing on you and all who are dear to you.

  • You have my sympathy and my prayers.

  • “Yes, Lord.” Very difficult words to say. May God bless you and your family with peace and consolation. May your beautiful boy rest in His arms.

  • Pingback: Pope Francis and the Holy Spirit - BIG PULPIT
  • I offer you my sincere condolences. I cannot imagine the pain of this loss. Thank you for sharing with us here, so that we who read this blog may pray with you and your family.

  • There is a very beautiful Gaelic hymn called “Ag Criost an Siol” and I thought of it right away when I read your sad news about the death of your dear boy. Here it is, for your comfort and your consolaton:

    Christ’s is the seed
    Christ’s is the Harvest
    Into God’s barn
    May we be brought.

    Christ’s is the sea
    Christ’s is the fish
    In the nets of God
    May we be caught.

    From birth to age
    and from age to death,
    May your two arms, O
    be around us.

    From Death to the end
    Not the end but a
    In the Paradise of
    May we be.

    If you want to hear this sung, and it is most beautiful, you can find it on Youtube. The three Irish priests have a lovely version of it. It always gives me a sense of God’s presence and His peace. May this Presence and Peace be with you and your wife this week while you say your difficult good-bye to your son.

  • Thank you for all the kind words and prayers my friends. They help. My wife and I will be making the funeral arrangements today, and the funeral Mass for Larry will be on Thursday. He was to have graduated on Friday from High School with his sister. Larry will be remembered at the Commencement. This is a hard week for the McClarey family, but I am consoled by memories of my boy and the thought that he is in a far better place where we all pray to be one day.

  • Your family is in our prayers.
    Peace be with you.

  • What a lovely hymn, Susan! I just got done listening to it on YouTube:

    Thanks so much for all the prayers & kind thoughts, everyone!

  • Prayers going up.

  • So very sorry for your loss. May the Holy Spirit hold you in His arms through this.

  • Goodness. Christ is the victor. Your son’s autism ended early on the Lord’s Day, the Day of Pentecost.
    I pray also for your daughter at this time of her commencement, knowing that all of our lives are inextricable from our siblings and nearest family – our beloved ones who have gone before us in time, and those whose lives are yet to come.
    God is with you. May the sufferings offered by your son and your family redound to the blessing of all families in this vale of tears and joys.

  • Blessed repose and eternal memory for the servant of God, Lawrence. May God grant you His healing & peace at this difficult time. You & your family are in my prayers! ICXC+NIKA

  • +Pax+

    I will remember the happy repose of the soul of your son in my Mass this morning
    Now you are blessed to be a father who has a son who will intercede in loving prayer more for you than by the love which you and your bride lavished on him.

    Pie Iesu Domine,
    Dona eis requiem.
    Pie Iesu Domine,
    Dona eis requiem.
    Pie Iesu Domine,
    Dona eis requiem sempiternam.

    The Rev. R.J. McDonald

  • Don, I am so sorry. I’ll be hugging my autistic teen, Michael, extra hard when he comes home from school today. Prayers for you and your family.

  • I’m am sorry for your loss. God be with you and your family.

  • I will add my prayer to the thousands I am sure are already being offered. May God Bless you and all your family.

  • Don, I’m sorry to hear about the death of your son from a seizure. My mother’s oldest sister had two children who suffered from horrific epileptic seizures that basically destroyed their minds. They had to be institutionalized for their entire lives, because there was no way my aunt and uncle could take care of them at home. You were blessed in that your son could be at home, in spite of his illness. May God give you all his love and comfort in the trying days to come.

  • Don,

    My prayers are with you and your family on this sad day. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your son. Since finding TAC some years ago I have found a home of like minded people. In someways I feel a kinship here. I tearfully ask God to bless you and family through this tough time. God Speed.


  • Dear Don and Catherine:
    What a shock to open your usually upbeat blog and to learn the sad news . My first reaction was to again question why bad things happen to good people. The two consolations are that you have 21 years of memories to draw upon during which he touched many lives and that he went directly to heaven where he was welcomed on the momentous feast of Pentecost.
    God Bless you and your family during the difficult days ahead. Know that many of us whom you have touched are supporting you through our prayers.

  • Please let me add my condolences to those above. At 6:15 this morning (7:15 EST) I was just getting out of Mass where the prayers of the faithful usually include a petition for my 8 year old granddaughter who is in her 4th year of fighting neuroblastoma and has been in the pediatric ICU for 9 days. We thought we lost her last Saturday, so perhaps watching my son and daughter-in-law I begin to have a hint at your sense of loss.

    The essence of our faith is the conviction that he has gone on to a better existence. I hope that you can find some comfort there.

    Steve Winkeljohn

  • Don, so sorry for your loss, prayers for you and yours at our house tonight. Sounds like you have a family saint interceding for you in heaven.

  • Oh, Don, I am so sorry for your family’s loss. You all will be in my prayers.

  • My twin autistic sons, one who just graduated from high school this weekend and will attend college in the fall, are the glory of my life. The other suffers from seizures as did Lawrence. We live the life, Don, and you have our full understanding and sympathy. I will pray for Lawrence.

  • I’m so sorry. Your family will be in my prayers.

  • Don and Catherine,

    My prayers and thoughts are with you at this difficult time. As a father myself, I can only imagine the loss you are feeling.

    Larry will also be in my prayers and I will mention his name at my Bible Study group. He will be in all our prayers.

  • I’m so sorry, Don.

    You’ll be in our prayers.

  • My prayers are with you for comfort in this time of sorrow. May Our Lady of Sorrows be with you, and may she ever so lovingly lead Lawrence into eternal beatitude with Our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • I am so sorry for your loss, Donald.
    We who are blessed by God’s special children are more aware of the thin veil which separates heaven and earth. May Lawrence who is now enjoying the arms of Christ around him, intercede for you in your time of need.

  • May Mary hold him in her arms. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this time of grief.

  • Mr. McClarey,
    Lawrence, you and your wife, and family are in my prayers.

  • I’m so very sorry for your loss!

  • Don, I’m am very sorry to read of your lose. I cannot imagine the grief you are feeling now.

  • My heartfelt condelenses my friend. May he rest in the peace of our great Lord. I will pray 🙂

  • I’ll pray for him and you. God bless you.

  • Dear Mr. McClarey,
    your family will be in our prayers ~
    God Bless…

  • My prayers are with you

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. I will pray for you and for your family and for the repose of Lawrence’s soul.

  • Oh, no. I am so very, very sorry, Don. All of you will be in my prayers.

  • Just found this blog entry. I am not a crying man, but you have my eyes watering Don. My wife and I are celebrating our first child, a daughter. While we experience the joy of welcoming, Lawrence’s story is a reminder of a sadness of equal depth we must share when we say goodbye for now. I will be praying for you and your family. May all of you find peace in these times. Lawrence has. RIP my brother Lawrence.

  • A candle shall be lit and a prayer said before the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Holy Innocents, a church most appropriate for your son.

  • Prayers. Intentions will be included in my Rosary.

  • I am truly sorry for your loss. May you find comfort in days and years to come in sweet memories.

  • I followed a link a fellow Midwest Conservative Journal reader posted there. I am so very sorry to hear this news. May God receive your son, and may you and your family be comforted with the sure promise that you will see his smile again, since he has gone before you to see God face to face.

  • My condolences to you and your wife, Donald. You will be in my prayers.

  • There are no words, brother. A whole lot of us will be praying for you.

  • This says it better than anything I can say:

  • Thank you again my friends for your kind comments and prayers. We have made all the funeral arrangements for Larry and we have been overwhelmed by the condolences and generosity of the people of Dwight, Illinois. When I feel up to blogging after this sad week, I will have a post in remembrance of my son, whose life was a blessing from his first day to his last for me and my wife and his brother and sister.

  • Don and Catherine,

    My condolences to you & your family. May Our Lord bless you each day with joyful memories of your beautiful son and may he rest in peace. Holy Mary, pray for us.

  • So sorry for your loss, Donald.
    You & your family are in our prayers.

  • Prayers for you all, going up.

  • A loss so complete, a child. I will hold you all in prayer, and I look forward to reading the rememberance of Larry that you said you are planning to put up. Let us get to know the personality of that friendly face in the photo.

  • I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. My sons are autistic too – these innocents all belong to God in a special way. May He comfort you in your sorrow.

  • I found the news through Chris over at TheMCJ. I am so very sorry for your loss and am praying for your son and all of you during this terrible time.

  • My sincere condolences on the loss of your boy. I have a great nephew who is autistic & a sister who died in her sleep from a seizure. I will remember all of you in my rosary tonight. God bless & sustain you.

  • I’m very sorry for your loss. I lost my mother Saturday so I share your sorrow. Yet we all know we are going to lose our parents at some point, it is not that way with our children. I pray for you and for him and will continue to do so. Let light perpetual shine upon him, may the Holy Spirit comfort you and give you some measure of peace. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

  • May God gather you all in His loving arms, comforting you as He watches over you.

  • Please be assured of my prayers for you and your family in this time of tragedy. Memory eternal!

  • Please accept my sincere condolences. May our Lord be with you.

  • Amy and I give you our condolences and prayers…

  • Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescat in pace! Memorare for those who grieve him.

  • Mr. McClarey, the Church grieves and prays with you and your family. Thanks be to God for Lawrence; precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

  • God rest his soul and peace to his family.

  • May the Lord grant +Lawrence blessed repose and eternal memory!

  • Your son and family are in our family’s prayers. May God give you peace and comfort.

  • So sorry for your loss. His picture simply radiates love and joy. May God bless and comfort you and your family and may your son rest in peace.

  • So sorry to hear this. My prayers are with your son and with your whole family.

  • “Eyes will close, but You, unsleeping,
    Watch by our side;
    Death may come: in Love’s safe keeping
    Still we abide.”

    My deepest condolences to you, your wife and all family members. May Larry rest in peace, in Love’s safe keeping.

    et cum spiritu tuo

  • Dear McClarey family,
    I am sending my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your precious son, Larry. I, too, am the mom of a child with autism. You will be in my prayers.
    Love in Christ from Georgia,

  • Don, I will keep your beloved son and your family in my prayers. I’m so sorry.

  • Saints of God, come to his aid; hasten to greet him, angels of the Lord; receive his soul, and present him to God the Most High.

  • So sorry to hear of your loss. It is really tragic when a parent has to bury a child.

    May he rest in peace; may light perpetual shine upon him.

    My prayers are with you and your wife in this time of grief and sorrow.

  • God’s peace be with you and your wife. God’s Peace.

  • May he rest in peace, and rise in glory!

  • My condolences. I, too, have an autistic son, and while not faced with the developments your Larry had at puberty, we do rejoice in the unique and very personal perspective on love our son brings. Autistic and Down Syndrome kids are gifts from God. We humbly count ourselves blessed that we were deemed worthy of ours. I hope you can take some comfort in how Larry brought Christ to your family during his too-short time in this world.

    St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for us.

  • Don,

    Anglican and. Missouri Synod prayer ascending for Lawrence, may he ever rest in the bosom of God’s peace, And may you and your family find consolation in the sweet presence of the Holy Ghost. We will look forward to your remembrance

    Chip Johnson+

  • I will keep you and your family in my prayers and will ask the Poor Clares I correspond with to do the same.

  • May he rest in peace. My deepest condolences.

  • Mr. McClarey I am so sorry for your loss. May the angels guide your son Lawrence into heaven. May the Holy Spirit come upon you and your family and give you consolation in this dark hour. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

  • God bless you and your family and give you healing and strength and may your son thru the mercy and love of God rest in His peace forever.

  • Don, so very sorry for your loss. I will have my Carmelite Community pray for Lawrence and for your family. God Bless.

  • Thank you my friends for your prayers and kind remarks. They have helped quite a bit in this tough time. We just went over to the funeral parlor and saw Larry’s body. The mortician had done a good job, but it was obvious that this was a mere shell. This makes it all easier for me as I accept that Larry truly is gone and his soul is in Heaven. Tomorrow is the visitation at Saint Pat’s and then the funeral mass on Thursday. My wife and kids have been towers of strength in this ordeal. I am lost in thoughts of Larry and I pray to God for the courage to accept that I will never see my son again in this vale of tears.

  • Donald.
    Lawrence has perfect sight and he smiles an endless brightness knowing that you and your family will come home…through the valley of tears to the highest mount where no tears of sadness are shed.
    Peace Donald and happiness!

  • Donald, I’m very sorry for your loss. I’m sure he is in Heaven now…

  • My words are inadequate, but please accept my condolences and a prayer for you, your family and your son.

  • As others have posted, “Let light perpetual shine upon him.” Lawrence is in God’s embrace, the very place that Jesus has been preparing for him.
    I’m praying for you.

  • Just saw this. No words can comfort you, but I will pray that God’s mercy will. And of course I will pray that your son is enjoying the glories of heaven this very hour.

  • We feel our strength depleted at times, but actually somehow we are strengthened. Hope! Faith! Love!

    God is Sovereign.

  • We just finished burying Larry. At his funeral mass I felt a strange sense of happiness sweep over me. I felt the presence of my son and realized in my heart, as I had known all along in my head, that he was in Heaven. A very rough day, but we are coming to terms with the earthly loss of him, even as we rejoice that he has reached the eternal destination we all yearn for.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. I will remember all of you at the Altar. May St Joseph comfort and console you, and help you to continue to find consolation in the promise of the Resurrection.
    -Fr Wilson

  • In your posts and through your grief, I read Hope. Thank you and God’s eternal blessing on your son and your family.

  • The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be said for Lawrence Charles McClarey. Another Mass will be said for the Donald McClarey Family at the Consolata Missionaries in Somerset, New Jersey.
    May God keep you.

  • The shock and anguish of losing a child is something I can only imagine, but that is terror enough. The reality must be well nigh unbearable. Even faith to move mountains isn’t armor against the bitterest griefs: Jesus of Nazareth learned that at Gethsemane, and his Father had to endure His Son’s human suffering.

    You have my deepest sympathies.

  • Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether ASD is explained more by rare mutations, or by rare combinations of common genetic variants.;*^;

    All the best

Patty Andrews: Requiescat in Pace

Thursday, January 31, AD 2013

The last of the Andrews Sisters, Patty Andrews, died yesterday at 94.  The daughters of a Greek immigrant and a Norwegian-American mother in Minnesota, the Andrews Sisters were an amazingly successful singing act, selling over 75 million records.  They were also ardent patriots.

During World War II the Andrews Sisters tirelessly performed for the USO stateside and in Africa and Italy.  They were enormously effective at selling war bonds with their rendition of Irving Berlin’s Any Bonds Today.  They helped found The Hollywood Canteen and donated their time to perform there, a memorable pleasant stopping off point for sailors, marines, soldiers and airmen on their way to the hell of war in the Pacific.  When they were entertaining troops they often would pick three servicemen at random to dine with them after the show.  Performing so frequently on Armed Forces Radio, they were designated the Sweethearts of the Armed Forces Radio Service.  They recorded millions of V-Disks for distribution of their songs to the troops. 

Continue reading...

5 Responses to Patty Andrews: Requiescat in Pace

Robert Bork: Requiescat in Pace

Wednesday, December 19, AD 2012


If the Constitution is law, then presumably its meaning, like that of all other law, is the meaning the lawmakers were understood to have intended.  If the Constitution is law, then presumably, like all other law, the meaning the lawmakers intended is as binding upon judges as it is upon legislatures and executives.  There is no other sense in which the Constitution can be what article VI proclaims it to be: “Law….” This means, of course, that a judge, no matter on what court he sits, may never create new
constitutional rights or destroy old ones.  Any time he does so, he violates not
only the limits to his own authority but, and for that reason, also violates the
rights of the legislature and the people….the philosophy of original
understanding is thus a necessary inference from the structure of government apparent on the face of the Constitution.

Robert Bork


Robert Bork, one of the titans of American Law, has died.  The foremost expert on anti-trust,  and a champion of originalism in regard to the Constitution, Bork was appointed by President Reagan to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  In 1987 he was nominated by Reagan for the Supreme Court.  In a campaign of lies and personal vilification spearheaded, fittingly enough, by Senator Edward M. Kennedy his nomination was defeated.  If he had been confirmed, Roe v. Wade would now be merely a bitter memory. 

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Robert Bork: Requiescat in Pace

  • In 1987 he was nominated by Reagan for the Supreme Court. In a campaign of lies and personal vilification spearheaded, fittingly enough, by Senator Edward M. Kennedy his nomination was defeated.

    And left-wing Catholics, who still lionize Kennedy while carping about the GOP doing nothing about abortion, will fail to appreciate why they aren’t taken seriously.

  • i think part of the problem the originalist case encounters is that a lot of Americans, not just liberals, think that if something is considered an injustice (large or small) but isn’t being democratically overturned, the Supreme Court has some kind of duty to expedite that.

    plus people talk about checking the “tyranny of the majority” as if that’s the main function of the courts, as opposed to just one function.

  • May he rest in peace.

    From today’s WSJ: “The Wisdom of Robert Bork.”

    “. . . the Warren Court, was the redistribution of society’s wealth, prestige and political power. […] routinely voted against business litigants whatever the legal context. . . . even those who approve, . . . conclude that Justice Douglas’s politics were also his law.”

    On activist judges: “That activism prevails in those courts, even though . . . elected judges, suggests either . . . public is ill-informed about the shift in power from democratic institutions to authoritarian bodies or . . . general weariness with democracy and the endless struggles it entails.”

    “Their Will Be Done,” July 5, 2005

    “Once the justices depart . . . from the original understanding of the principles of the Constitution, they lack any guidance other than their own attempts at moral philosophy, a task for which they have not even minimal skills. Yet when it rules in the name of the Constitution, whether it rules truly or not, the Court is the most powerful branch of government in domestic policy. The combination of absolute power, disdain for the historic Constitution, and philosophical incompetence is lethal.

    “The Court’s philosophy reflects, or rather embodies and advances, the liberationist spirit of our times. In moral matters, each man is a separate sovereignty. In its insistence on radical personal autonomy, the Court assaults what remains of our stock of common moral beliefs. That is all the more insidious because the public and the media take these spurious constitutional rulings as not merely legal conclusions but moral teachings supposedly incarnate in our most sacred civic document.”

    Robert Bork will not suffer the evil times that are “in the offing.”

Neil Armstrong: Requiescat in Pace

Saturday, August 25, AD 2012

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.

Statement of the Armstrong Family



The first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, died today at 82.  He served as a naval fighter pilot in Korea, flying 78 combat missions.  A test pilot after the war, his feats in that field were legendary, combining strong engineering ability, cold courage and preternatural flight skills.  He was accepted into the astronaut program in 1962.  On July 20, 1969, in the middle of the night in Central Illinois, he set foot on the moon.  My father and I, like most of the country, were riveted to the television screen as we watched a turning point in the history of humanity.  He intended to say, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”  It came out:  “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Godspeed Mr. Armstrong on the journey you have just embarked upon.

Continue reading...

8 Responses to Neil Armstrong: Requiescat in Pace

John Keegan: Requiescat in Pace

Friday, August 3, AD 2012

“Now tell us what ’twas all about,

“Young Peterkin, he cries;

And little Wilhelmine looks up

With wonder-waiting eyes;

“Now tell us all about the war,

And what they fought each other for.”

“It was the English,” Kaspar cried,

“Who put the French to rout;

But what they fought each other for

I could not well make out;

But everybody said,” quoth he,

“That ’twas a famous victory.”

Robert Southey, The Battle of Blenheim

One of my favorite military historians died today, John Keegan.  A Brit, Keegan wrote with skill about the history of war, and never forgot the human element, as he demonstrated in his magisterial The Face of  Battle, which looked at conflict through the ages from the point of view of the common soldiers at the sharp end of the spear.

He firmly believed that different nations viewed military history from different perspectives depending upon how they had fared in their recent wars:


It is really only in the English-speaking countries, whose land campaigns, with the exception of those of the American Civil War, have all been waged outside the national territory, that military history has been able to acquire the status of a humane study with a wide, general readership among informed minds. The reasons for that are obvious; our defeats have never threatened our national survival, our wars in consequence have never deeply divided our countries (Vietnam may — but probably will not — prove a lasting exception) and we have never therefore demanded scapegoats or Titans. In that vein, it is significant that the only cult general in the English-speaking world — Robert E Lee — was the paladin of its only component community ever to suffer military catastrophe, the Confederacy.


For the privileged majority of our world, land warfare during the last hundred and fifty years — the period which coincides with the emergence of modern historical scholarship — has been in the last resort a spectator activity. Hence our demand for, and pleasure in, well-written and intelligent commentary. Hence too our limited conception of military-historical controversy… It does not comprehend questions about whether or not, by better military judgment, we might still govern ourselves from our national capital — as it does for the Germans; whether or not we might have avoided four years of foreign occupation — as it does for the French; whether or not we might have saved the lives of 20 millions of our fellow countrymen — as it does for the Russians. Had we to face questions like that, were military history not for us a success story, our military historiography would doubtless bear all the marks of circumscription, over-technicality, bombast, personal vilification, narrow xenophobia and inelegant style which, separately or in combination, disfigure — to our eyes — the work of French, German and Russian writers.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to John Keegan: Requiescat in Pace

  • I find Maj-Gen J F C Fuller one of the most stimulating military historians.

    Liddell Hart is also well worth reading

  • I loved the Keegan’s book The Penguin Book of War: Great Military Writings. Keegan taught me what is war. After that, I managed to publish about terrorism.
    I will buy the book you mentioned: The Face of Battle

    He was really great. Requiescat in Pace.

    May God give peace for his family.

    Pedro Erik

  • The Penguin Book and other Keegan’s book (The History of Warfare) can provide a very good idea of “all about the war”

  • I have always been a history buff;especially military history. My critique of books on History is always viewed from my experiences as a platoon leader in Vietnam and Cambodia. Thucydides was a soldier and described the dirt and grime of warfare with realistic perceptions. John Keegan unfortunately was medically unable to serve in the military.This probably led to his interest in military history and his appointment to Sandhurst. British historians always seem to have a bias when writing history involving their own nation which is probably the only way they can survive academically there; John Keegan maybe less so. I have writen my own book about my experiences before during and after Vietnam;more so for my children and posterity than any profit. As A Catholic I will pray for the soul of John Keegan, as I do for the near one hundred men who lost their lives in my infantry company in Vietnam and Cambodia during combat there
    Stephen J. Candela M.D. F.A,A.O.S.

  • “British historians always seem to have a bias when writing history involving their own nation which is probably the only way they can survive academically there”. I’m not sure what you mean by this. There is a tradition of individualism in English historical writing which can be off-putting to Americans. Undergraduates are encouraged to write essays which develop a strong argument which then serves as a springboard for discussion, rather than ‘objective’ minor dissertations with copious footnotes. Military historians are not afraid to be revisionist, even iconoclastic when it comes to myth-busting. In the 1960s John Terraine set about demolishing a whole raft of myths regarding the 1914-18 War which had become ingrained in the public imagination since the 1930s and which owed not a little to the skewed interpretation of Liddell Hart and others. Terraine may have overstated his case but a later generation of Great War historians has largely agreed with him. Sadly the myths persist.

    For the Second War, Correlli Barnett debunked the Montgomery myth and then turned his attention to the interwar and postwar periods. His masterly and devastating analysis of government failings has upset politicians of the Left (for his criticism of the post-war Welfare State) and the Right (for his ridiculing of the idea that Britain could sustain a world-power role in the post-war era). Yes, he’s controversial, polemical even, but that’s not the same as being biased.

  • Pingback: Victor Davis Hanson Remembers Gore Vidal and John Keegan | The American Catholic

Chuck Colson: Requiescat in Pace

Saturday, April 21, AD 2012

Chuck Colson died today at age 80.  A former self described Nixon hatchet man, he went to prison for his involvement in Watergate.  He underwent a religious conversion and turned his life around.  After his release from prison he founded Prison Fellowship, an organization that has won accolades for its work in bringing the gospel to men and women incarcerated.  He was ever a tireless voice for the unborn and the handicapped, as the video above indicates.  In a time of easy cynicism and fashionable atheism, Colson’s conversion was a reminder of the power of the grace of God for those who humbly repent and accept it.  The world is poorer by his passing.  May God grant him mercy and the Beatific Vision.

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Chuck Colson: Requiescat in Pace

  • Pingback: Chuck Colson: Requiescat in Pace | The American Catholic | OmisLog - Beta
  • I thought so much of Chuck Colson and gained so much from his “Break Point” commentary.
    He is such a great example of how our lives can change when we turn wholly to God… he took his energy and intelligence and put it to work! plus he helped so many others in their own turn around.. his life is really a study in Hope and Love

  • I have long been an admirer and supporter of Colson and his Prison Fellowship ministry. His books exploring church-state and church-society issues, such as “Kingdoms in Conflict” and “Loving God” are outstanding and though written from an Evangelical point of view, contain many positive references to the Catholic Church. One of his books (can’t remember which one offhand) includes the story of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe. Truth be told, he was one of several prominent Protestants that I would not have been surprised to have seen “jump the Tiber” eventually. (I believe his wife was Catholic.) May perpetual light shine upon him….

  • The world is poorer by his passing. May God grant him mercy and the Beatific Vision.

  • Pingback: chuck colson earth day television kulturkampg ecology |
  • I always enjoyed listening to Colson. He clearly had a deeper appreciation for the Church Fathers and Councils than many other Protestants, and I too always had the feeling that he was close to conversion.

    May God have mercy on him and may we all meet happily in heaven.

21 Responses to Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011 AD, Requiescat In Pace

  • Well, Christopher Hitchens now knows that there IS a God and His name is Jesus Christ – a bit too late. That’s what is so sad. Of coruse there will be those who will say, “Maybe he did a death bed confession – you can’t judge.” True, I can’t. But the number of people he misled with his atheism is not insignificant. So no, I can’t say, “Requiescat in pace” precisely because I don’t know that he did make a death bed confession to repent of his life-long atheism. That being said, no, I don’t hope he’s in hell (let’s not get ridiculous).

  • I agree with almost everything you said Paul. Though my best guess would be that he believed after death before judgement and is now in Purgatory. But that is for God, not for us to determine.

  • I think Dante would’ve put him in limbo.

    It’s really amazing how respected he is. Nobody was more critical of the Church yet you were certain he wasn’t motivated by malice or political bias. He didn’t take cheap shots.

  • ‘[H]he believed after death before judgement and is now in Purgatory.”

    Come again?

    If you reject God in this life, do not acknowledge your bad acts to be sins and, so, can’t ask for mercy, how is it that you get a second pass at it in Purgatory? (I’m not trying to be difficult. I really don’t get the line of reasoning you’ve applied.)

    Taken out to its logical conclusion, virtually everyone would be saved for, having died, they would be fully cognizant of God’s greatness and the meaning of “eternity.” Who would choose Satan then?

  • RR – Similar question: Why Limbo?

    Again, we aren’t talking about one who hadn’t hear the Good News or was, to the best of my knowledge, cut off from the Truth by forces beyond his control (mental illness, etc.). That sounds like a rejection of God and, so, if unrepented in this life, the kind of act that damns the soul.

  • G-Veg,

    I think you have an opportunity immediately after you die to believe in Jesus.

    That or I got faulty Divine Mercy information.

  • Then only one in an angel’s position is doomed?

    Satan and the angels who chose him over God are doomed. They rejected God even though they saw Him. We can’t experience Him with our senses and, so, lack the certainty of the angels.

    If we retain free will after our death, surely we would choose God. Who, after all, seeing even a glimpse of heaven and hell would choose hell? If it is correct that we can make a post-mortem choice to be with God, there really isn’t much point in struggling with belief in this life. We can just acknowledge that believing without seeing is hard and we’ll wait until we are certain to believe.

    What would be the point of sacrifice and fidelity to the Church’s teachings in this life if we get to wait until we have direct, personal knowledge of Him to choose to be with Him?

  • Well, I am sorry that he died from cancer, never a good way to go as I know from the experience of dear relatives. When I consider the talent that Hitchens had as a writer, and how he used it, and the bitterness and bile that suffused much of what he wrote, this scene from the movie Papillon comes to mind:

  • Tito,

    I hope you have the Divine Mercy thing correct – and I wonder if, even now, someone were to do a Divine Mercy chaplet for him if it would help? God doesn’t live constrained within our concept of time…so, perhaps someone should do it for Mr. Hitchens?

  • If we retain free will after our death, surely we would choose God. Who, after all, seeing even a glimpse of heaven and hell would choose hell? If it is correct that we can make a post-mortem choice to be with God, there really isn’t much point in struggling with belief in this life.

    Well, as with your example of Satan and his angels, clearly some being see God as He is and still rebel against him.

    Further, it seems to me that if one has become accustomed, in this life, to rejecting God or at least holding Him at arm’s length, and to preferring one’s own will to any other, one would be a lot less likely to fully and unconditionally embrace God in such a “last chance” situation. Whenever we sin, we increase our attachment to sin, and our preference of our own will over God’s will. So it seems to me that even if we assumed that there is such a “last chance” opportunity for souls, when faced with God, that one would be far worse off if one had eschewed belief all through life than if one had subjected oneself to God all through life.

  • I read the last article of Mr Hitchen at 2012 Vanity Fair issue entitled “Trial of the Will”. I thought he might be debating between spiritual will and his personal belief. before he passed on. I wonder when he started believing as atheist. He came from an anglican family in England. In fact, his brother has encourage him to come back to anglican faith just after Mr. Hitchen was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. All we have to do is to pray for his soul.

  • As for the angels that rebelled, they have perfect knowledge, so once they made a choice, they never changed their minds.

    So those that rebelled, did so with complete knowledge of Heaven, so they are truly demons in all sense of the word.

    As for the Divine Mercy and visions of St. Faustina, I may have mis-heard or misunderstood what was told to me, but the person that explained God’s Divine Mercy is that right before judgement we are given the opportunity(ies) to believe in God and ask for forgiveness.

    Again, if I am misunderstanding this concept I plead mea culpa.

  • As for anyone having a second chance immediately afte death, Hebrews 9:27-28 states:

    And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.


    This would appear to obviate any second chances once we pass from this life. As for me, I will be happy to making as far as Purgatory and I certainly hope someone prays the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for me once I die! It certainly can’t hurt!

  • Lord have mercy!

    I’m thinking (dangerous or farcical) Mr. Hitchens needs to apologize to Blessed Mother Teresa when he sees her.

    Pray for the living and the dead.

  • It’s interesting that the right is more respectful of this leftist than the left who never forgave him for his unapologetic support for the Iraq war.

  • Of course I have no idea of the state of the soul in question, but….

    Don’t you need to believe in hell to choose it? Would it be the default position to fall to Satan rather than land in God’s hands if you don’t have any genuine concept of either?

    Did Bl. Mother Teresa just step forward to intercede for Mr. Hitchens at a critical moment in time, when Satan gets his last best chance to grab a soul?

    A Divine Mercy chaplet definitely can’t hurt. Jesus, help.

  • Suz,

    While I am no theologian, my understanding is that a soul has to choose hell – knowingly and firmly – in order to go there. I guess, in this case, the deciding factor would be the level of ignorance on the part of Mr. Hitchens…did he really just not know (and never honestly think over) the concept of God? Or did he just resolutely refuse to believe because it would have forced him off some of his views? We won’t know, of course, until we get to the life of the world to come…but as has been noted, a Divine Mercy chaplet certainly can’t hurt.

  • I want to set aside the question of whether any particular person made a last minute conversion. Our faith includes the possibility that, up until the moment of death, Man can choose God. It doesn’t sound right though that one has to choose hell to spend eternity there. It also doesn’t sound right to say that one can die in rebellion, spend time in purgatory, then enjoy an eternity with God.

    If our purpose is to learn to love and serve God in this life so that we can spend eternity basking in His presence in the next, it seems to me that one can only choose or reject God when Free Will is ours, i.e. whenwe are alive.

    Angels are different because they share a higher spiritual state. “To those to whom more is given, more is expected.” Since the angels received a nearly complete knowledge of God at their creation, they are expected to entirely love and serve God from the outset. Their rejection of God carries a greater censure precisely because they have no excuse.

    As I understand the Church’s teaching, one who dies in a state of ignorance – say, for example, a boy in Afghanistan who has not heard the Good News but dies in a state of Grace – may go straight to heaven. Since less knowledge was given to him, less is expected of him. This is very different from, foe example, the Stephen Hawkins the scientist. He was given a first rate mind that clearly sees deeper into the work of God in the universe than most and was raised as a Christian. Absent a recantation of the prideful choices of unbelief and leading others to reject God, he must be doomed.

    As I understand it, praying for the dead isn’t an attempt to alter God’s judgment, we beg for God, through His various means, to intercede while the subject of our prayers are alive. Since we cannot know what happens in those last moments, we are praying that they convert in the last.

    Surely someone here can set me straight if I have it wrong. I am not so well versed as to be confident in my answer and want to be set right.

  • None of us know whether he repented or not on his deathbed, lets hope he did.

    But lets put this to rest this notion of having any sort of choice after death. Going to the source…. The Catechism of the Catholic Church

    CCC 1022
    Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgement that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification or immediately,- or immediate and everlasting damnation.

    Also here:

    CCC 1864
    “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven”. There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberity refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.

    Much more from the Catechism, I encourage any of you unsure about this to look up judgement and death and see what the Church says on these topics.

    So let’s pray he had a conversion of heart on his death bed. Even a little peep of remorse and repentence before his last breath would save him. Otherwise, once you die you get no second chances.