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Monday, November 28, 2016

Today in History

The Cathedral of St. Andrew, Little Rock
From the American Catholic Almanac:
In 1844, Bishop Andrew Byrne arrived in Arkansas via horseback. Waiting for him, he found one Catholic church, one Catholic school, a few Sisters of Loretto, and maybe 700 Catholics. Most of those families were remnants of the days when France and Spain governed the Arkansas territory and Catholics dominated the region. Not until after the Louisiana Purchase, in 1803, did Protestants from the American North come to Arkansas. But by November 28, 1843, when Little Rock became a diocese, the number of Arkansas’ Protestants dwarfed the number of Catholics. Little Rock’s first bishop wanted to change that. As Byrne saw it, Arkansas started off as Catholic country, and, with a little work, it could become Catholic once more. After deciding that immigration offered him the best prospects for increasing his flock, Byrne purchased 640 acres near Fort Smith, Arkansas. He then persuaded 300 men and women to leave Ireland and build a Catholic colony on the newly acquired land.
Before the Irish sailed, Byrne built the diocese’s first cathedral, the Cathedral of St. Andrew, completing it in 1845, and established St. Andrew’s College at Fort Smith in 1849. Later that same year, the colonists arrived. Unfortunately, their numbers didn’t approach 300. Some had died aboard ship and others decided to settle in St. Louis instead. Byrne recognized it as a setback, but he didn’t despair. His prospects even seemed to brighten in 1851, when the Sisters of Mercy arrived to start a school.

Bishop Byrne
It didn't end well for the bishop:

Then, the Know-Nothings got to work. In 1854, they burned down the parish Byrne built in Helena, Arkansas. Later, they tried to invalidate his land purchases in Fort Smith. After that, Byrne couldn’t convince any more Irish immigrants to join him, even though he traveled to Ireland twice to personally make the case. As the American Civil War approached and troops took over St. Andrew’s College, Byrne recognized he wouldn’t live to see his dream realized. Byrne died in 1862, leaving the work of building the Church in Arkansas to future generations.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

From One Jesuit to One Trained by Jesuits

Mass murderer and dictator Fidel Castro is dead (at last). Since he was trained as a child by Jesuits, the Pope sends his "sadness":

Pope Francis sent a telegram to Raul Castro as well, writing, "Upon receiving the sad news of the passing of your beloved brother, the honorable Fidel Castro Ruz, former president of the state council and the government of the Republic of Cuba, I express my sadness to your excellency and all family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as the government and the people in that beloved nation. At the same time, I offer my prayers for his eternal rest, and I entrust the Cuban people to the maternal intercession of Our Lady of La Caqqaridad del Cobre, patroness of that country."

I am not educated by Jesuits, but I am guessing that there will not be a lot of "rest" in Fidel's future.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Sounds Familiar

Do you have any advice on catechizing children who have an apathy for the faith, and whose family come to Mass, but that’s it there is no teaching going on in the home. The kids I teach at the church are in 5th-7th grade and don’t even know how to make the sign of the cross. I am some what demoralized by this.

Father Tim Ferguson responds:

I’m hearing this constantly – people are reluctant to get involved in teaching catechism at the parish because the kids are so uninterested/unprepared, or the parents undermine ever lesson the teacher tries to get across. I think what’s needed in many places is a shift in focus – CCD teachers need to think of themselves as evangelists – almost imagine that they’re introducing kids to the faith for the first time, and that they’re the only one’s from whom these kids will learn the faith. I think of the opening scenes of the movie “The Mission” where Fr. Gabriel goes up into the mountains to the pagans who’ve just crucified the last missionary sent to them. Yet, he doesn’t flinch, he doesn’t run away – he draws on the strength of the Holy Spirit and dives right in. We truly are in a culture that has largely shrugged off it’s Christian identity. We can no longer think of handing on the faith the way our grandparents and great grandparents did. We have to think like missionaries.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Persecutors, Quisling, Avenger, or Soldier?

Which are you? Read this article by Anthony Esolen, entitled "What Will You Do When The Persecution Comes?".
Does this remind you of anyone?

If he is a bishop, he is secretly happy to close churches and sell off their property, comforting himself with the thought that he is doing what is only necessary in hard times, and blaming the parishioners themselves for failing to bring up their children in the faith—when in point of fact he and the chancery have given them no help at all in doing so, and have usually checked them at every pass.

The 2,016 Year Losing Streak Continues

Sorry, GIRLZ

Aboard the papal plane, Nov 1, 2016 / 10:36 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During a press conference Tuesday aboard the papal plane from Sweden to Rome, Pope Francis said the issue of women priests has been clearly decided, while also clarifying the essential role of women in the Catholic Church.

“On the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the final word is clear, it was said by St. John Paul II and this remains,” Pope Francis told journalists Nov. 1.

Since the Pope can't bring himself to say it, the word is "NO".