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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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6 Responses to Chuck Colson: Requiescat in Pace

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

Warren H. Carroll, Requiescat in Pace

Monday, July 18, AD 2011

Warren H. Carroll died yesterday at age 79.  Founder of Christendom College, he earned a BA from Bates College and an MA and Phd in history from Columbia.  He converted to the Faith in 1968 and thereafter fought a tireless battle in defense of the Faith.  The author of a number of popular histories regarding events in Church history, his most significant scholarly work was his five volume History of Christendom.  I highly recommend the first four volumes.  (The fifth volume was written after he had a debilitating stroke and basically is largely a rehash of earlier writings on the events surrounding the French Revolution and is not up to the high standard of the first four volumes.)  He never pretended to objectivity:  his histories were always written from a strongly Catholic  point of view.  However, his scholarship was usually of a high order and he demonstrated a complete command of the historical literature involved in the subjects he wrote about.  His notes and annotated bibliography in the History of Christendom are a joy to read for any lover of history.  I will miss him.  May he now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.


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Susannah York of ‘A Man For All Seasons’, Requiescat In Pace

Sunday, January 16, AD 2011

Susannah York succumbed to cancer this past Friday at the age of 72.

She is best remembered for portraying Saint Thomas More‘s daughter, Margaret More, in what is arguably the greatest Catholic film of all time, A Man For All Seasons.

She was very beautiful and enchanting and her role as Margaret More captured the essences of an integrated Catholic life that is an excellent example for laypeople everywhere today.

The following clip is that of the King paying his Lord Chancellor, Saint Thomas More, a visit on his estate.  The King encounters More’s family and is introduced to More’s daughter, Margaret, at the :45 mark of the clip.  They engage in conversation at the 1:32 mark of the clip.  The entire 10 minutes should be viewed to really enjoy her performance and appreciate the film itself:

Here is the trailer to that magnificent Catholic film, A Man For All Seasons:

Post script:  I was unable to find out if Susannah York was a Catholic or not, but her portrayal of Margaret More is a fine example of living a Catholic life.

Cross-posted at Gulf Coast Catholic.

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Robert Byrd, Requiescat In Pace

Monday, June 28, AD 2010

Kristina Peterson of the Dow Jones Newswires writes for the Wall Street Journal this synopsis of Robert Byrd’s life:

Robert Byrd, the 92-year-old West Virginia Democrat who served in the U.S. Senate for 51 years, died Monday.

A spokesman for the family, Jesse Jacobs, said Mr. Byrd died peacefully at about 3 a.m. at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va. His health had been failing for several years.

A master of Senate procedures and orator whose Stentorian tones aimed to evoke the roots of the republic (if not Rome), Mr. Byrd served longer, voted more frequently, and probably used the arcane Senate rules to more effect any previous denizen of the nation’s senior legislative house.

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4 Responses to Robert Byrd, Requiescat In Pace

  • Mortuis nil nisi bonum, for today at any rate.

  • I pray that he’s in the company of the angels and the saints rejoicing in the eternal peace of God — the end that I a poor sinner hope to share in as well.

    I’m glad this post is not what I saw on LifeNews (i.e. “Pro-Abortion Senator Robert Byrd Dies”); I couldn’t fathom how there is absolutely no condolences, no mention of prayer or best wishes to his family or loved ones. The entire piece focuses on how pro-abortion he was, how many seats the Democrats now have, and how the Governor of West Virginia doesn’t know yet (the man died this morning, sheesh) who is going to replace Byrd with.

    I’m obviously pro-life, but respect and prayer for the dead should be embraced.

  • Eric,

    I agree.

    Hence why I chose the WSJ article instead of some others.

  • Prayer for the dead, yes. Silence in the presence of those who loved him, yes. Respect for a man like Byrd, too much to demand…

Polish President, Top Brass, Die in Plane Crash Over Russia

Saturday, April 10, AD 2010

The London Daily Telegraph is reporting that Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, the Polish army chief, and most of the Polish political elite and their wives perished in a plane crash over Russia.

“It clipped the tops of the trees, crashed down and broke into pieces,” Mr. Sergei Antufiev reported of the Polish plane carrying President Lech Kaczynski how it crashed.  “There were no survivors.” Polish state news agency PAP reported the same.

In the case of a president’s death, the speaker of the lower chamber of parliament, Bronislaw Komorowski, takes over as head of state, Mr Komorowski’s assistant Jerzy Smolinski told Reuters.

Poland declared a week of national mourning as shocked citizens flocked to lay flowers and light candles outside the seat of government.

Notable Catholic blogger Damian Thompson, understanding the Polish people’s propensity for conspiracy theories, is speculating that many will begin blaming a cabal of Russian agencies for this tragic accident.

Let us keep those that have died and the grieving Polish people in our prayers.

For more breaking news of the tragic death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski click here.

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11 Responses to Polish President, Top Brass, Die in Plane Crash Over Russia

  • A terrible tragedy for a great people:

    May their souls rest in peace.

  • Amen to that, Donald.

  • “…and make eternal Light to shine upon them.”

  • It’s also worth mentioning that Bishop Tadeusz Ploski, the head of the military ordinate in Poland, also perished in the crash.

  • “A terrible tragedy for a great people.”

    Indeed. I recall my mom (who passed away recently) remarking when Pope John Paul II was elected, that if any nation deserved to have a pope of its own, it was Poland, whose people had steadfastly kept their faith under communism all the while Italians were ELECTING communists to public office.

    We should remember them tomorrow on Divine Mercy Sunday — a feast we owe to two Poles, St. Faustina Kowalska and Pope John Paul II.

  • …Shoot, I’m not prone to conspiracy theories and this sounds like the opening for a really, really bad conspiracy movie.

    Poland is “less developed”?

  • This is quite a shock – hadn’t heard of this till I came onto the blog.
    No doubt it’ll be all over the TV news in half an hour.

    Thanks for that youtube clip Don.

    I recall my father speaking very highly of the Polish soldiers during the Italian Campaign in WW2 when Kiwis and Poles, together with Canadians, South Africans and Gurkas fought together. When I was a lad, I knew several of dad’s friends who fought in the NZ squadrons in the RAF who also spoke very highly of the Poles. Only trouble was, they couldn’t carry on a conversation with them. (language) 😉

  • ace,

    You’re deranged.

  • Ace’s comment has now entered the Trash dimension Don! For the Poles Don, they rightly thought they were fighting a Crusade druing World War II.

  • It was reported that one of the three original leaders of Solidarity movement was on that plane also. I remember the first or second strike (1980) a priest came to speak to our prayer group rode up on his motorcycle with a bumper sticker Proud to be Polish. These events gave us such hope.

  • Ah, I have been busy with other matters and haven’t been online – but these deaths have greatly saddened me. I’m half Polish and my late mother was both very devout and very proud of her Polish heritage. Playing the comparison game is odious, but if Ireland was misruled by Britain for centuries, consider the lot of poor Poland, with not one, but two powerful and ruthless neighbors – Russia and Germany – to contend with. It was my hope, after Communism fell (much credit to the Pope and the brave men and women of Solidarity)that Poland’s story would finally be a happy one. This tragedy, coming on top of so many others in Polish history – well, my heart and prayers go out to those people.

    But the silver lining is that democracy in Poland is strong. Unlike many in the West, they are not a people who take their freedom for granted.

John Murtha, 1932 to 2010 Anno Domini, Requiescat In Pace

Monday, February 8, AD 2010

John Patrick “Jack” Murtha, Jr. died Wednesday morning at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA, after complications from gallbladder surgery. Murtha was 77.[1]

Congressman Murtha was a Democrat with a relatively populist economic outlook, and is generally much more socially conservative than most other House Democrats. He is opposed to abortion, consistently receiving a 0% rating from NARAL and 70% rating from National Right to Life Committee; however, he supports embryonic stem cell research. He generally opposes gun control, earning an A from the National Rifle Association.  Murtha was also one of the few Democrats in Congress to vote against the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 and also one of the few Democrats to vote in favor of medical malpractice tort reform.[2]

May he rest in peace.


[1] Fox News entry by Chad Pergram.

[2] Wikipedia entry for John Murtha, Political Views

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Ralph McInerny, Requiescat in pace

Friday, January 29, AD 2010

Hattip to Jay Anderson at Pro EcclesiaRalph McInerny, scholar, professor, teacher, philosopher, expert on Medieval philosophy in general and Saint Thomas Aquinas in particular,  novelist who wrote the brilliant  Father Dowling mysteries, and, above all, a loyal son of the Church, has died.  The world has lost a scholar of the first order, and a gentleman of the first kindness.  He will be missed.  May he even now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.

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5 Responses to Ralph McInerny, Requiescat in pace

  • Another giant passes …

    “May he even now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.”


  • My only acquaintance with his work has been through the internet. One thing I’ve noticed missing from accolades concerning him is the fact that he saw the value of the internet for his discipline and made use of it.

  • Professor McInerny taught Notre Dame students to
    value truth and reflect it by their lives. May he
    rest in peace.

  • Impressive that he passed the day after the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. A great Heavenly gift I think.

  • This is the first I’ve heard of his death. I can’t believe the mainstream media made little or no mention of it, even if only for his creation of the Father Dowling character, which resulted in a popular TV series. I ordered his Ancient and Medieval Philosophy course on DVD for personal enrichment. He was an advocate for purity in Catholic doctrine, of which there are too few. He will indeed be missed.

Port-au-Prince Earthquake: Archbishop Killed, Cathedral Destroyed

Wednesday, January 13, AD 2010

Vatican Radio and the Catholic News Agency report that Archbishop Serge Miot was among the many victims of yesterday’s earthquake.

According to the brief report, his body was found in the rubble of the archbishop’s office. They also reported that the Vicar General, Msgr. Benoit, was still missing.

According to the Vatican’s Fides news agency, Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Auza was reported as saying:

“Port-au-Prince is totally devastated. The cathedral, the Archbishop’s Office, all of the big churches, all of the seminaries have been reduced to rubble. The same luck for the Ministry buildings, the Presidential Palace, the schools. The Parish Priest of the Cathedral, who was spared, told me that the archbishop of Port-au-Prince would have died under the rubble, together with hundreds of seminarians and priests that are under the ruins.”

The historic cathedral of Port-au-Prince, an 18th century building, has collapsed, as have many other church’s through the city.

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Funeral and Repast for Father Hinds Today

Saturday, October 31, AD 2009

Father Edward Hinds

The funeral for Father Edward “Ed” Hinds will be celebrated today, Saturday, October 31,  A.D. 2009 at  10:00am.  The Mass will be the Rite of Christian Burial and simulcast live int he Saint Patrick Parish Center Gym, East/West Rooms, and Cafeteria.  Additional audio will be provided outside.

This will be followed by a private burial.

The Repast will be at 11:30am at the Corpus Christi Parish Center, 234 Southern Boulevard, Chatham, New Jersey.


Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of the Diocese of Paterson where Saint Patrick’s at Chatham is located had these moving words to say concerning the death of Fr. Hinds titled, A Life Cut Short: The Mystery of Evil:

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My Reaction to the Shooting of Jim Pouillon

Monday, September 14, AD 2009

It has already been confirmed that Jim Pouillon was shot to death for his pro-life views.

Jim Pouillon was a pro-lifer advocate that would stand outside of abortion mills hoping in turning away women from killing their unborn children.  He wore leg braces, was dependent on an oxygen tank, and was a “wonderful, Christian, peaceful man.” as described by close friend Cal Zastrow.

Jim Pouillon was also a Catholic and was remembered by his parish priest, Father John Fain of Saint Paul Church in Owosso, Michigan as “a good Christian and a faithful Catholic.

For self-disclosure I am very active in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in the pro-life movement.  One of the many activities that I participate in is peaceful prayer in front of Planned Parenthood.  So when I heard of the shooting I was deeply shocked at the news.

Even more shocking was the reaction in the secular world, particularly from the political extreme left as this example displays from the notorious Huffington Post:

“…with the way the fake news pundits will run with this one, we might as well get a good laugh out of it now.”

Though what was most disturbing at all was what emanated from various dissident Catholics and blogs when they began smearing the pro-life movement immediately after the attack by claiming that many pro-lifers are violent.

What can we do?

Pray for them.

Follow Jim Pouillon’s example of peaceful protest and prayer.  As our Lord and Savior told us, close the door behind us and pray in private.

Ora pro nobis.

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15 Responses to My Reaction to the Shooting of Jim Pouillon

  • I have no respect for Catholics who hate the pro-life movement, with whatever flaws it may have, more than abortion itself.

    But pray for them, we must. Nice post.

  • Joe

    It is not a hate for the pro-life movement to say it needs to be reformed; it is love for it that this is said.

  • Joe, you’re exactly right. Absolutely no respect for those Catholics who have nothing but evil to say about the pro-life movement while they, themselves, try to pass off support for legalized abortion as merely “incidental” to the overall greater good of a particular policy agenda.

    Henry, with all due respect, I have a hard time believing that your co-blogger’s recent criticism of the pro-life movement is out of “love” for the movement; rather, on the basis of his track record, I’d say his attack on pro-lifers is the purely politcal “not my tribe” stuff we’ve come to expect from him.

  • Joe,

    Thank you.

    Prayer has certainly been one of the main catalysts towards my reversion to our beautiful Catholic faith.

  • Henry,

    It certainly doesn’t have to be hate, but it can certainly take that form.

    I don’t see these criticisms ever being made in a spirit of charity, in a spirit of recognition of the basic good that the pro-life movement does in spite of its flaws.

    I don’t see half or even a quarter of the angry effort expended upon the flaws of the pro-life movement ever directed at the actual practice of abortion.

    Love does not exclude, and often demands, criticism. But it also requires, well, love.

  • Joe

    “I don’t see these criticisms being made in the spirit of charity.” Why not? Is it because you don’t want to do so? The problem is that people are so self-centered today, they can’t handle criticism? Seriously, when the point is to show “self-contradiction of the movement with its proclaimed motive” by someone who says “I support the motive,” it clearly is an issue of charity. Only those who are unwilling for self-examination and confession will find this problematic.

  • Secondly, “angry effort”– is it angry? Again, the hermeneutic used to reject the criticism is indicative of the problem. “Oh they are just angry.”

    Thirdly, perhaps the reason why the focus is with the pro-life movement is again because it is people who are pro-life who want the movement to be such? As Jesus said, until you correct yourself, don’t go correcting others. Perhaps this will help explain why that is a focus for some, without it being “hate” or “anger.”

  • Henry,

    Be very careful how you insult people’s intelligence.

    Your hate of the pro-life movement is tolerated so as to be an example of what to look for when faced with evil.

    So watch it with your uncharitable comments.

  • The problem is that people are so self-centered today, they can’t handle criticism?

    Only those who are unwilling for self-examination and confession will find this problematic.

    Again, the hermeneutic used to reject the criticism is indicative of the problem. “Oh they are just angry.”

    It’s utterly amazing how much of what Henry spews could apply in spades to himself, espcially the last point. I mean, didn’t we just have an entire pair of threads dedicated to the proposition that certain pro-lifers are motivated by anger? So what happens when confronted with an argument that his co-blogger might be motivated by anger? He scowls back at the accuser in a manner that indicates that he just might be “so self-centered” that he “can’t handle criticism?” Maybe it’s time for some of that self-examination and confession.

  • “Why not? Is it because you don’t want to do so?”

    Of course, Henry. You got me. You exposed my secret, hidden motives. Congratulations.

    Could it be because I simply do not see it? Is that a possibility?

    “The problem is that people are so self-centered today, they can’t handle criticism”

    That can be a problem, yes. But there is criticism, and there is attack. How do you think one Christian pro-life advocate ought to criticize another? What would be your rules of engagement? I’m sure if you were to list them, we would agree.

    In practice, however, some people default to more anger towards the tactics of the pro-life movement than abortion itself, as if abortion really were just some “issue” on which one has no possible justification for becoming passionate about.

    “when the point is to show “self-contradiction of the movement with its proclaimed motive”

    Yes, I am familiar with the type of criticism that is intended to “show” – that is, to hold up for ridicule and reinforce what the critics already believe (all sides are guilty of this). How about the type of criticism that is intended to actually achieve something?

    “Oh they are just angry.”

    Uncharitable would be another word. Though I don’t suppose you or your friends have ever used the word “angry” to describe pro-lifers.

    For my part, I believe anger is a perfectly legitimate and valid thing to feel – over abortion. Certainly not over graphic signs which remind us that abortion is not a nice, clean, spotless procedure.

    That said, I do not take “anger” as a sign of irrationality, stupidity, or invalidity – I question why it is directed at one thing instead of another. So it isn’t that you are “just angry” – it is that some people appear to be angry over the WRONG THING.

    “As Jesus said, until you correct yourself, don’t go correcting others.”

    Sound advice.

  • Tito,

    I don’t think it’s accurate to say that Henry hates the pro-life movement — it’s more that Henry thinks that the pro-life movement should be exactly like him, and he considers it untrue to itself to the extent that it’s not like him.

    Since it’s not much like him, this leaves him disliking most of it.

    But I’m sure that he does honestly believe himself to be strongly pro-life — even if his actions may at times seem to us to be in contradiction to that.

  • Darwin,

    Well said.

    I should use you as my proofreader to more accurately convey my thoughts.

  • “As Jesus said, until you correct yourself, don’t go correcting others. Perhaps this will help explain why that is a focus for some, without it being “hate” or “anger.””

    Actually, Henry’s point is valid to the extent that yes, I have believed, who am I to correct others, if I am a Sinner.

    Yet, at the same time and not to correct any other posters here, this is why we have the Holy See, this is why we follow the Traditions of the Church along with Scripture but it is not Sola Scriptura. The Right to life has been important enough for the Holy Father to address with regards to heads of state as we knew so with Obama. Rome says it! And that’s all I need to know.

    I may not be saying this in the best way possible but I think everyone can understand the gist of it.

    And I’ll keep this short, above Joe uses the correct words in saying “One pro life Christian advocate” and this is correct, as many Christians, Jews are pro life. I believe it is against the tenants of Buddhism and other faiths as well.

    Those acting rashly are real needles in a haystack.

  • That website is a nice site, I compliment you.

    This is another thing, let’s not be violent but know the enemy well.

    This is no big deal but one night I was reading on the web from some pro-abortion agency something about “Remember to avoid the crisis pregnancy centers, they are often run by Christians”: words to this effect, maybe not as harsh but still awful. Just like some of the stories one can hear about abortion mill workers getting commissions if they are able to sell a business. Know how bad these people can be as well!!

    Visit like or the more radical site . I do know of other Christians say from visiting forums (one guy in there is like close to the real radicals of the Pro Life movement but it is mostly talk) and some Christians have that attitude of extending out the olive branch and how awful at times, pro-lifers can be. I’ve certainly seen those kinds of positions before.

  • You people all! Get so involved in a conversation but reading the quote from the Huffington Post and I do not know the whole context nor will search for it, that is an outrage.

    It was an outrage about the story of the blogger there that confessed to stealing McCain Palin signs out of yards and he was a professor at a college but not from the area, he was from far away from Northfield (he was a Professor for Carlton or St. Olaf Lutheran Colleges, not sure) Minnesota where he did these deeds. I thought it was the worst.

Secularists Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy

Friday, August 28, AD 2009

9 Responses to Secularists Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy

Edward Kennedy, 1932-2009 AD, Requiescat In Pace

Wednesday, August 26, AD 2009

Ted Kennedy

[Update at the bottom of this post as of 8-26-2009 4:38 pm CST]

Edward Moore Kennedy, known as Ted Kennedy, passed away late last night in Hyannis Port after a battle with brain cancer at the age of 77.

A brief statement was released from his family:

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,”

Requiescat in pace Teddy.

Elizabeth Scalia, a.k.a. The Anchoress, has an in-depth look at Ted Kennedy’s life titled, Ted Kennedy, Healthcare & Purgatory.

Update I:   For reactions around the Catholic world click here.

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22 Responses to Edward Kennedy, 1932-2009 AD, Requiescat In Pace

Bob Novak, May the Perpetual Light Shine Upon You

Tuesday, August 18, AD 2009

Robert Novak

Catholic convert Robert Novak died today.  He was many things:  a fellow University of Illinois alum, a devoted family man married to his beloved wife for 47 years, and a hard bitten journalist with a nose for news unrivaled in the business.  Novak was a conservative, but he never let his politics get in the way of a story.  Always staunchly pro-life, and respectful of Catholicism, his embrace of the Faith a decade ago came as little surprise to me.  I never met him, but I will sorely miss his presence in the public square.  May he  now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.

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5 Responses to Bob Novak, May the Perpetual Light Shine Upon You

Karen Novak, 1938-2009

Wednesday, August 12, AD 2009

Joseph Bottum @ First Things, relays the sad news:

Karen Novak slipped away this morning—a great artist, a good friend, the beloved wife of Michael Novak, and convivial presence at so many of our events.

You can find some of her artwork described on her website. But even they don’t capture her fun, her spirit, or how much we will miss her.

Please keep Michael Novak and his family in your prayers.

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One Response to Karen Novak, 1938-2009