I wanted to bring flowers to church today for St. Patrick. I didn’t have time to pick them up before Mass so I went to a nearby store right after Mass, but by the time I returned, the church doors were locked. How I long for the good old days when churches remained open all day.

I brought the flowers home to bring to Mass tomorrow. I didn’t want St. Patrick to wait till then, so I sought out my grandfather’s funeral prayer card that I recalled had an image of St. Patrick and I placed it on the table next to the flowers. I decided to pray for the happy repose of my grandfather’s soul. I started to pray a Hail Mary, but the prayer on the back of the card caught my attention, so I prayed that instead. I hope people pray for my soul when I pass.

prayer card back

prayer card front

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death. 


I pray at Holy Mass for all of my deceased loved ones and beseech God that if any of them are not as yet with Him in heaven, He extend further mercy upon them by diminishing the severity and duration of their purification and raise their souls to heaven as soon as possible.

From C-FAM:

Dear Colleague,

Hillary Clinton was at it again. She was at the UN this week for International Women’s Day calling for a right to abortion and that development cannot happen without it. What nonsense. And global leaders know it. Hillary lost at Cairo twenty years ago and she’s going to lose this time, too.

We also report on our old friends the Girl Scouts who under the aegis of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts held a no-adults meeting at the UN Commission on the Status of Women and asked the opinions of the girls on the development agenda. Guess what? They really didn’t’ want to know the opinions of pro-life girls! Pro-life girls were bullied and shunned by WAGGGS leaders. And the US Girl Scouts give these folks more than a million dollars a year.

Spread the word.

Yours sincerely,

Austin Ruse

Hillary Clinton Says Women Cannot Progress Without Reproductive Rights

By Stefano Gennarini, J.D.

NEW YORK, March 14 (C-FAM) Twenty years after the Clintons failed to get countries to declare a right to abortion, Mrs. Clinton told a posh UN crowd that humanity cannot advance without reproductive rights.

“You cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development without safeguarding women’s reproductive health or rights,” she declared. Clinton is adamant that reproductive health includes abortion.

Read more

Conservative Girls Shunned at World Girl Scouts UN Meeting

By Wendy Wright

NEW YORK, March 14 (C-FAM) Who speaks for youth? Catholic teens are wondering after participating in a Girl Scouts meeting to collect young women’s opinions on the new goals that will steer UN policy – and billions of dollars in aid – for years to come.

“We were just a ‘means to an end,’” said one young lady. “All they wanted was for us to validate their point.”

Read more

The pastor of Sweden’s largest non-denominational megachurch has announced that he is entering the Roman Catholic Church. (HT Patheos)

From http://www.ulfekman.org/default.aspx?idStructure=16641:

Pastor Ulf Ekman to be accepted into the Catholic Church

During our last Sunday service, pastor Ulf Ekman shared the news that he and his wife Birgitta will be received into the Catholic Church. A process of many years of prayer and reflection led to this decision.

During the last ten years, Ulf and Birgitta have had contact with catholics and catholic faith, mostly internationally but also in Sweden. This has made them reflect more on the catholic faith and on the spiritual life they have seen in their catholic brothers and sisters.

- For Birgitta and me, this has been a slow process were we have gone from discovering new things, to appreciating what we have discovered, to approach and even learn from our fellow Christians, Ulf Ekman says.

- We have seen a great love for Jesus and a sound theology, founded on the Bible and classic dogma. We have experienced the richness of sacramental life. We have seen the logic in having a solid structure for priesthood, that keeps the faith of the church and passes it on from one generation to the next. We have met an ethical and moral strength and consistency that dare to face up to the general opinion, and a kindness towards the poor and the weak. And, last but not least, we have come in contact with representatives for millions of charismatic Catholics and we have seen their living faith, Ulf Ekman explains.

- All this has been both attractive and challenging. It really challenged our protestant prejudices, and we realized that we in many cases did not have any basis for our criticism of them. We needed to know the Catholic faith better. This led us to the realize that it was actually Jesus Christ who led us to unite with the Catholic Church, Ulf Ekman says.

Ulf and Birgitta Ekman emphazises that this is about a personal journey.

- It has not been our agenda to lead Word of Life in this direction, or to collectively unite the church with the Catholic Church. That would be unreasonable.

In his speech to the church this Sunday, Ulf Ekman stressed that this step was not going from something, but more importantly going towards something else.

- We love the church that we have been a part of building and serving for the last thirty years, and we could never be anything but grateful for the time we have had together, but we have felt a clear calling from the Lord to take this new step. Now, when we do so, we are convinced that the Word of Life church is in good hands and will keep prospering and bear fruit in it’s on vision.

  • Watch the video from the March 9 service at Word of Life Church.  Mr. Ekman’s specific comments about Catholicism begin at the 25:00 mark.


If you’ve followed this blog over the past few years, you might have discerned that The Gabriel Project is my favorite ministry. I just added a post category for The Gabriel Project and as of this date there are nineteen posts included.

How could anyone be more important than a child, even while still within his or her mother’s womb? How can we not assist a child-bearing mother in need?

The latest offering I have about this awesome ministry is a video clip from the Archbishop of San Francisco’s 2014 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. The Gabriel Project segment begins at 1:24 and ends at 4:56 minutes (three and a half minutes of your time). If you want to skip the brief intro, click here, otherwise click on the video image below.

The Gabriel Project is a national parish-based pregnancy assistance resource. It is unique among other resources within the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s boundaries and is the only Catholic ministry among them. Our concerns go beyond being assured that a child’s life has been spared or that a mom has been provided with initial baby items. A Gabriel Project parish’s concerns go beyond serving its own parishioners and its parish’s boundaries. We seek to serve all pregnant mothers in need regardless of their personal situation, the size of their family, their age or their baby’s gestational stage.

I have attempted to express my sentiments in these regards with the following writings:

I could never tire of expounding on the magnificence of service this ministry offers to pregnant mothers in need – in the Name of Christ Jesus, through Whom all life is created.

I have been so blessed to be able to participate in this special ministry, thanks be to God.

Gabriel Project Information Center

Previously on Taking Life, Love and Faith Seriously:

*Traditional Roman Rite Mass

*Heaven on Earth Amidst a Non-believing Culture

*Blessed Thanksgiving

*Benedict XVI Put Liturgy Front and Center

by Mornac at Roate Caeli:

Cardinal Dolan, in this age, it is keeping the faith that deserves a “Bravo”

For those who may not have heard of it, Courage is a spiritual support group aimed at helping Catholic men and women to live in accordance with the Catholic Church’s pastoral teaching on homosexuality. It was founded in 1980 by Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s predecessor as Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Terence Cooke, who placed it under the direction of Father John Harvey, OSFS.

In the ensuing years, from its New York foundation, Courage has established approximately fifty chapters throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. In 1994, the Pontifical Council for the Family (under what was apparently a more “judgmental” pontificate) gave its support to the apostolate “for helping homosexual persons to live in accordance with the laws of God and the teaching of His Church.”

A brief perusal of the Courage website will reveal two things. The first is the magnitude of the cross borne by our same-sex attracted brothers and sisters who wish to live their lives in accordance with God’s will. In these days when secular society is doing everything in its power to push such persons out of the closet and into a sinful state, when what the Vatican document on seminary admission mentioned as “the so-called ‘gay culture’” is dominant, one can only imagine how heavy their burden has become. The second thing one sees is the outstretched hand of the Church and its promise to stand by the afflicted for the duration of their temporal lives with spiritual direction, the Sacraments, and both pastoral and fatherly support.

The Catechism tells us that same-sex-attracted persons “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.” I’ve yet to see a better example of this teaching being applied than the way it is by Courage. As they explain in their excellent “coming out” article, this action has a specific purpose of strict self-identification that prevents psychological growth (including Christian maturity) and advertising availability and belonging to an unchaste community:

The pro-gay movement in fact prepares young people very thoroughly for this step of coming out, for this is a key moment. It’s a rite of passage into a large, enthusiastic, and seemingly attractive movement, and this is how one joins that community and that movement.
“Coming out” serves a double purpose for the person who decides to take that step:
1. Psychological and social identification with the homosexual life by going public, an act of self-labeling which effectively blocks other possibilities for growth.
2. The delivery of a challenge to those who might question that life. The person delivering the challenge adopts a victim posture, when actually he or she is very much on the offensive. “Coming out” is at the same time an act of vulnerability and an act of aggressiveness.
Anything More?
Yes. You must come out too…as a Roman Catholic! (Unlocking the Coming Out Trap)
I have to wonder how it felt for members of Courage – especially those in Cardinal Dolan’s archdiocese, where the movement was born – when they heard His Eminence confront the news of a University of Missouri football star’s decision to “come out” as “gay” with the festive and celebratory expressions of “Good for him” and “Bravo.” Why, with the myriad “difficulties they may encounter from their condition,” does the Cardinal feel the need to add what amounts to blatant derision of their daily struggle to move beyond this reductionist and self-congratulatory self-labeling, imposed by the “pro-gay movement” and their cultural enforcers, coming from the lips of a shepherd? I think it’s time for His Eminence to step forward and hold up as the true exampleall of those afflicted with same-sex-attraction who struggle day in and day out to live in a state of holiness in spite of their condition and refusing reductionist self-labeling and say to these people, “Bravo. Good for you!”
Cardinal Dolan can’t have it both ways. The clock is running. He and his brother bishops are going to have to pick a horse and ride it.

Cardinal Dolan says “Bravo!”

by New Catholic at Roate Caeli

Who am I to judge?” makes a triumphant entry in the American subset of the College of Cardinals, in an interview granted to the highest-rated political debate program on US television, to be broadcast tomorrow:

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York praised University of Missouri football star Michael Sam for coming out as gay, saying he would not judge the athlete for his sexual orientation. “Good for him,” Dolan said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” airing Sunday.
“I would have no sense of judgment on him,” Dolan continued. “God bless ya. I don’t think, look, the same Bible that tells us, that teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, ‘Bravo.’” [Source]
OK, then. Naturally, the Cardinal did not have to say anything at all regarding a specific individual, even if asked. But silence and discretion are one thing, explicitly refusing moral discernment is another, and raising such refusal to the status of “good” and “bravo” is quite noteworthy for a Prince of the Church, because it is in itself a moral judgment, a positive moral judgment.

It is quite easy to see that no moral debate in which the Catholic Church takes part, of any kind and on any level, can ever anymore advance even one inch if the parameters become simply an isolated reading of “not judging” – and much less if “not judging” is elevated to the positive judgment of “good” and “bravo.” Politicians quote a pontiff when casting immoral votes, and what can the Church say, from now on, on any legal matter (that presupposes a moral order)? It can always be used to stop any social debate. What can poor pastors and vicars say regarding any sin, even personally to a parishioner, when the isolated presentation of “no sense of judgment” becomes normative? Or even regarding, for instance, an inclination that our judgmental Catechism of the Catholic Church defines as “objectively disordered” (regardless of the practice or not of the “intrinsically disordered” acts attached to it)?

And if you do not like this post, who are you to judge us?…

[Op-ed update: Cardinal Dolan, in this age, it is keeping the faith that deserves a "Bravo".]

(March 1, 2014)

“If you are worried about a parent or loved one living alone, you can trust A Place for Mom to help you,” is the reassuring message on the nationally televised commercial for A Place for Mom — a Seattle based company which is the largest senior care referral service in the country.

Until last week, few people knew that referrals offered by A Place for Mom included those to Compassion and Choices — the national leader in the movement to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide.

On February 26, 2014, A Place for Mom blog, titled “The Importance of End-of-Life Planning” was posted. It described the assisted-suicide group  as “an advocacy organization for excellent patient-centered, end-of-life care and expanded choice for the terminally ill.”

The glowing description was followed by a lengthy interview with the organization’s state director. who explained that C and C’s volunteers are present at the time a patient takes life-ending medication.

After public attention was drawn to the entanglement of A Place for Mom and assisted-suicide facilitators, the blog was removed from the senior referral service’s web site.  But not before one woman who had previously planned to contact A Place for Mom observed, “It’s shocking that what seemed to offer such caring and kindness could be so deadly.  If I used their services for my mother, the place for her could well be the grave.”


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