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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Is wagering a sin?

A joint press release from the Archdioceses of New York and Philadelphia reports that Archbishop Timothy Dolan will send Archbishop of Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali a dozen bagels if the Philadelphia Phillies win. If the New York Yankees win, Cardinal Rigali will send a box of Tastykake pastries to New York.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Feast of St. Helena, August 18


St. Helena was the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, who declared Catholicism the official religion of the Empire. He banned many pagan practices with the maxim "Cesset superstitio; sacrificiorum aboleatur insania" (Let superstition cease; let the folly of sacrifices be abolished).

St. Helena's sarcophagus is in the Vatican Museum.

The picture is the Arch of Constantine in Rome, as seen from the Coliseum.
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Feast of St. Clare, August 11


St. Clare was a friend of St. Francis of Assisi, and founder of the order known as the Poor Clares.

St. Clare:

1) Wore a course brown habit tied with a cord.
2) Didn't wear shoes.
3) Lived in a poor house.
4) Kept silent most of the time.
5) Is the patron saint for those with eye problems.
5) Ate no meat.

Hey! Miley Cyrus doesn't eat meat either!
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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Feast of St. Dominic, August 8

Yes, that Dominic!

"The Singing Nun" was a Dominican nun who recorded "Dominique" to raise money for the order.

The original order founded by St. Dominic was the Order of Preachers and became known as the Dominicans after his death. St Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers - not because he had a telescope, but because when he was baptized his mother, Blessed Joan of Aza, saw a star on his chest.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


From the UK's Tech Herald:

"More pointedly, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has said social networking destinations such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo place a focus on forging potentially delicate “transient relationships” that can cause suicidal tendencies when and if they fracture.

The Church also said social networks place far too much emphasis and importance on how many friends a user can amass as opposed to the actual quality of any resulting friendships."

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Feast of St. Peter in Chains, August 1

Herod Agrippa had already martyred St. James, and St. Peter was to be next. As St. Peter slept in his prison cell, chained and guarded, an angel appeared. The angel told St. Peter to get up, put on his cloak and sandals, and follow him (although it might have been her). As St. Peter did so the chains fell away and the two of them walked past the guards and out of prison.

And that made me think of Aretha Franklin...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

St. Augustine versus Pelagius


A re-enactment.
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Feast of St. Innocent I, July 28

St. Innocent I became pope in 401, succeeding Pope St. Anastasius I. It was during the rise of Pelagianism, which caused the bishops of Africa to send him a decree condemning this heresy. Innocent affirmed the decrees, prompting St. Augustine to say,

"Roma locuta, causa finitus".

Rome has spoken, the matter is ended.

Pelagianists believed that mortal sin didn't exist and that man could achieve moral perfection without the aid of divine grace.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Feast of St. Liborius, July 23


Bishop of LeMans, France and the patron saint of Paderborn, Germany.

The church is St. Liborius, located in either Steger or St. Libory, Il.(depending on what part of the internets you are in). They have a very nice website here, which says the church is called "The Cathedral of the Prairie".

It's also the home parish of our very own Jeanne Brazinski Wacker (I'm pretty sure)!

If only I was in Paderborn..."The city celebrates his feast on July 23 followed by a week of “Liborifest” with procession through the city, Masses and other festivities."
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Feast of St. Theophilus, July 22


An admiral in the Byzantine fleet in the late 6th century, he was captured by Muslims and spent a year in jail before he was executed for not converting to Islam.

Before he became an admiral, Theophilus was a successful thistle sifter, but while sifting a sieve full of unsifted thistle thrust three thousand thistle through the thick of his thumb.

His advice? "See that thou, in sifting a sieve full of unsifted thistles,
thrust not three thousand thistles through the thick of thy thumb.

Success to the successful thistle sifter!"
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Feast of St. Zoticus, July 21


Italian bishop, he was martyred during the reign of Septimius Severus (183-211 A.D.) for resisting the heretical movement of the Montanists.Who were the montanists? I don't know - I tried to read about them here but gave up trying to understand it.

Zoticus was called "Zots" by his friends.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Feast Day of the Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne, July 17

Bastille Day was Tuesday, the day when the French celebrate the start of the French Revolution. The fate of the Carmelite Nuns of Compiegne shows why it's a stupid idea.

The nuns were discalced Carmelites living in a convent in Compiegne. The Revolutionary government shut the convent down, so the sisters moved to another convent and continued to practice their beliefs. Arrested and brought to Paris, they were sent to the guillotine (16 of them in total) - where they sang "Salve Regina" until the end.

The French writer Denis Diderot wrote, "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." Although the quote predates the French Revolution, it sums up what the revolution hoped to achieve.

Discalced - without shoes.

The video is from an opera called "Les Dialogues des Carmelites by Francis Pulenc.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Feast of Blessed Kateri Takakwitha, July 14


Blessed Kateri Takakwitha was born in 1656 to a Catholic Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father in New York. Her mother died when Kateri was 4 years old, and the smallpox that killed her mother ravaged Kateri's face. After she was baptized at the age of 20 she would rise every day and wait for the chapel to open at 4AM and would stay in the chapel until the last Mass was said.

Kateri died at the age of 24.

The portrait was painted by Father Chaucetiere sometime between 1682 and 1693.

She is called "The Lily of the Mohawks", even though I would think that "Lily of the ALgonquin" would probably be more accurate.

HEY! THIS IS MY 600TH POST! My fir st post was November 10, 2006. If my math is right, that means I've averaged about 18 posts per month.
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Feast of St. Dogfan, July 12, 2009

Although they are both Welsh, St. Dogfan is not related to St. Bodfan (June 2).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Beware Presidents Bearing Gifts


The President of the United States of America came bearing gifts to Pope Benedict. Some press reports say it's a stole worn by St. John Neumann - but that's not accurate. When the shrine where St. Neumann is entombed was renovated in the 1980's, they dressed his remains in polyester Gothic-style garments. Last year, Bishop Rigali instructed the clothes be switched to Roman-style vestments (the kind St. Neumann actually wore). The stole was the polyester one.

So the stole is a third-class relic. A first class relic is usually the physical remains of a saint. A second class relic is something that the saint wore or used (say, a crucifix). A third rate relic is something that has touched a first or second class relic.

It's the thought that counts!
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The Obamas Meet the Pope


Look, I don't know much about fashion... but what is that the First Lady is wearing? Is that a belt? Did someone die? Did she think she was meeting an Imam?

It's a mystery.
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Saturday, July 04, 2009

A Sing-along!

The Saint Song! 100 of them!


Happy Independence Day!

Nice video.

Although I have a quibble with "God Bless The U.S.A.". The singer says he's "proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free". Then he says that it's our brave men and women who fought and died for our country that gave us that right.

No. As Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, "We are endowed by OUR CREATOR with certain inalienable rights."

Friday, July 03, 2009

Feast of St. Byblig, July 3

A Welsh holy man, he was also known as Biblig, Pebliq, and Pibliq.

Patron Saint of bad Scrabble hands.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Feast of St. Otto of Bamburg, July 2


St. Otto was a chancellor under King Henry IV, who then appointed him as bishop to Bamburg. Otto refused consecration until given the thumbs up by Pope Paschal II. King Boleslav III asked him to become a missionary to Pomerania which he did, converting many of the locals.

St. Otto is the patron saint of those bitten by yappy little dog-like creatures.
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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Feast of Blessed Junipero Serra, July 1


Blessed Serra founded missionaries named San Diego, San Luis Abispo, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Clara, and San Francisco. Sound familiar? They should.

He was a Spaniard, but came to Mexico City as a teacher. He eventually became a missionary who converted the native Indians. He convinced the converts of his holiness by pounding his chest with a stone during sermons, whipping himself until he bled, putting lit torches on his chest, and wearing heavy shirts lined with sharp wire.

There's gotta be an easier way.
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I don't have one. But I may GET one!

FIVE New American Archbishops!


From left to right: Archbishops Timothy Dolan of New York, Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, RObert Carlson of St. Louis, George Lucas of Omaha, and Allen Vigneron of Detroit.

All within a year. Good, Catholic men all. Way to go, Pope Benedict!
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Catholics for Obama, Part XV

A most EXCELLENT question!

53% of Catholics voted for Obama.

Is He a Saint?


Father Emil Kapaun's story is a compelling one. He is currently a Servant of God (the very first step on the path to sainthood, before Venerated).

Read this story, and you tell me...

He would be the THIRD American born saint. Can you name the other two?
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Feast of St. Moloc, June 25


It turns out that it's not just the Irish saints who have multiple names. St. Moloc (or Lugaidh, or Movanus, or Molluog, or Murlach) was a Scotsman who was educated under St. Brendan (he of the voyage) in Ireland. He became a bishop and missionary.

So what's with the photo?

St. Moloc is venerated in Argyll, Scotland.

Deborah Kerr (the one on the right) was BORN in Argyll.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Feast of St. Harvey, June 17


St. Harvey was a blind abbot of the 12th century.

Jimmy Stewart, who may have been a little hard of hearing, must have heard he was a "rabbit".
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Confessional

From the American Papist:

A guy goes into the confessional box. He notices on one side a fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap. On the other wall is a dazzling array of the finest Cuban cigars. Then the priest comes in.

"Father, forgive me, for it's been a very long time since I've been to confession, but I must first admit that the confessional box is much more inviting these days."

The priest replies "Get out. You're on my side."

Feast of Blessed Guy, June 16

Blessed Guy Vignotelli was a Franciscan who received his Franciscan habit from St. Francis himself.

One more miracle will make the Blessed Guy the Saint Guy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Feast of St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church


St. Anthony decided to become a Franciscan (he was an Augustinian) after the headless and mutilated bodies of Sts. Bernard, Peter, Otho, Accursius, and Adjutus were brought to his monastary. They had been killed in North Africa by some cult or other - Baptists? Seventh Day Adventists? Mormons? It'll come to me...

Anyway, he was known for his preaching (he was called the "Hammer of the Heretics"). Once while preaching and realizing no one was listening, he went and preached to the fishes. Above is an actual photo!

Over 300 years after his death, his body was exhumed and his body had decomposed - EXCEPT for his tongue!

St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost articles (physical things, not mental).
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St. Isidore the Farmer, Pray for Us

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Feast of St. Petroc, June 4


Petroc was a Welsh monk and hermit. He is one of the patron saints of Cornwall, Wales. He may be the patron saint of quarrymen but that is unconfirmed.
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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Patron Saint of Equestrians


Sister Mary Martha was asked why St. Anne is the Patron Saint of equestrians and the Sister responds:

"Here is what we actually know about St. Anne: Mary had a mother who had a name.

Here is what we don't know about St. Anne: anything."

Sister suggests Joan of Arc or St. Martin de Caballero (AKA Martin de Tours).

Read the rest here, and try not to laugh when you read the part about Charles Bronson. I dare you!
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Feast of St. Bodfan, June 2


Bodfan was witness to something called a natural inundation of Beaumaris Bay in Wales (7th Century) and it made him a believer.

The photo is of Beaumaris Castle, on which construction began in 1295.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Catholics for Obama, Part XXIII

"WASHINGTON (AP) — A Hispanic Roman Catholic theologian who advised Barack Obama's presidential campaign is the Obama administration's choice to serve as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

The White House announced Wednesday it plans to nominate Miguel H. Diaz, an associate professor of theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minn., for the post.

Diaz, 45, a Cuban-American, was a member of the Obama campaign's Catholic advisory board. Diaz was among 26 Catholics who signed a statement supporting the nomination of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic whose support for abortion rights was criticized by conservative Catholics."

Apparently, only "Conservative" Catholics are against abortion.

And by the way...Diaz received his PhD from Notre Dame.

53% of Catholics voted for Obama.

What a Catholic Priestess Looks Like


From NBC:

A reporter for a small newspaper was forcibly removed from a press area near Air Force One shortly before President Barack Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport to depart California early Thursday.

...She said she asked a Secret Service agent to give the president her letter, but he refused and referred her to a White House staffer. Lee said she refused to give the staffer the letter.

"I said, 'I'll take my chances if (the president) comes by here,'" said Lee, who identified herself as a Roman Catholic priestess who lives in Anaheim, Calif. "He became annoyed that I wouldn't give him the letter."

Lee, who was wearing what she described as a cassock, said she protested when she was asked to leave.

Photo via
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Catholics for Obama, Part XXII

From the National Review:

LOPEZ: You seemed to make very clear that Catholic voters collaborated with evil when they voted for Obama. If you’re Catholic and did, do you have to confess this now that Mexico City, embryo-destructive funding, among other things, have happened?

ARCHBISHOP BURKE: If a Catholic knowingly and deliberately votes for a person who is in favor of the most grievous violations of the natural moral law, then he has formally cooperated in a grave evil and must confess his serious sin. Since President Obama clearly announced, during the election campaign, his anti-life and anti-family agenda, a Catholic who knew his agenda regarding, for example, procured abortion, embryonic-stem-cell research, and same-sex marriage, could not have voted for him with a clear conscience.

53% of Catholics voted for Obama, without a clear conscience.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Father Williams meets Sister Anastasia

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Coincidence? I think NOT!

My friend, Walter Cherrick, used to be the owner of Gamm's Shoe Store in Anna.

Today is the feast day of Saint Walter AND Blessed Matthew Gam.

Since Walter is Jewish, I'm going to say...yes. Coincidence. On the other hand....

Panic at the Altar!

In Milwaukee:

"Thousands of children will be making their first Communions in Catholic churches across the region this weekend, their first opportunity to partake in what Catholics believe is the body and blood of Christ.

But the ceremonies may not go off exactly as planned for some, as churches consider suspending the communal cup for sacramental wine, along with other precautions to stem the spread of the swine flu."

I wonder if its ever been proven that anyone, anywhere has caught the flu or a cold from sharing a chalice. My guess - no.

That being said, I am all for using the swine flu panic to get rid of this:

"Some Catholic congregations in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties had already begun making liturgical changes, such as... omitting the handshake of peace or suggesting alternative ways to offer the greeting."

And may I add holding hands during the Our Father.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Father Corapi Has Something to say about Notre Dame

As previously mentioned, Barack Obama has been invited the give receive an honorary degree and deliver the commencement speech at Notre Dame University. Here's Fr. Corapi's take:

Bravo to the Bishops who have spoken out against this travesty, and shame on those who haven't. Except for our Bishop Braxton, who I'm sure has a good reason for keeping quiet.

Feast of St. Stanislaus May 8


St. Stanislaus became Bishop of Crakow, Poland in 1072AD. He got in trouble when he condemned the behavior of King Boleslaus the Bold, and backed it up by stopping Mass whenever the King showed up at the cathedral.

So Boleslaus the Bold killed Stanislaus - while he was saying Mass at a chapel outside of town.

Bold, indeed.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Feast of St. Pollio, April 28

From Catholic Online:

"Martyr. Pollio was a member of the Christian community of Cybalae, Pannonia, a province on the Danube, serving as a lector. He was put to death during the persecution launched by Emperor Diocletian. "

There is no St. Swineflu.

I checked.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Patron Saints of Sailors, Part I


Who is the patron saint of sailors? it appears there are several.

First up - St. Francis of Paula. Francis was a hermit, but also the founder of the Franciscan Order of Minims.

How did a hermit end up being associated with sailors? Probably because of this:

"In 1464 Francis wanted to cross the Straits of Messina to reach Sicily, but a boatman refused to take him. Francis laid his cloak on the water, tied one end to his staff to make a sail, and sailed across with his companions. Franz Liszt wrote a piece of music inspired by the incident."
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