Postage for Pakistan and other parts of the planet

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Diary 8 et le fin.

We were praying the family Rosary on Monday night and at 8:40 p.m., the power went out.

My wife had suggested everyone sleep downstairs. She had a concern that a tree would crash on the house and crush one and all. She was right, of course: Sleeping in the great room would have been more secure, but I wanted to sleep in my own bed. However, by the time bedtime rolled around (amazingly how quickly that happened for the kids without their being able to watch TV), mia sposa had moved everyone back upstairs. With the exception of the better half, everyone slept like a baby.

Then around 11:54 a.m., as my oldest son was stoking the fire in the great room's stove, the power returned. Both of us actually said, "Darn." We were getting used to living like this and enjoying the peace and quiet that not having electricity brings. I was about to suggest breaking out a board game or two (unheard of, let me assure you).

Electricity brought with it running water, desires for baths, desires to cook things on a normal stove, and the desire to just plain get back to the way things were prior to 8:40 the night before.

Our damage hasn't been as bad as those closer to the coast. Still, we do have a few road closures nearby. Then again, what are road closures compared to utter destruction and lack of power for up to two weeks.


The whole process made me see how close we are to living like a Third World country. For 12+ hours, we lived without lights, heat (except that which came from the wood burning stove), and water. We were well stocked on all fronts, including propane, makeshift toilet facilities and such. Nonetheless, we weren't much better off than someone in the upper poverty level, lower middle class from somewhere in Latin America or Africa, etc.

The important thing, however, is that we were all together. We were dry. We were reasonably warm. We had food and water, and we were healthy. Nothing bad happened to us. No huge branches crushed or even hit our cars/house/etc. No broken windows. No evacuations. No nothing. We really are so blessed.

Deo gratias.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Diary 7

Nice nap ... It was ended by what sounds like a wind tunnel revving up to do so some serious business. It's almost like a ghost moaning.

The rain hasn't grown, however. It hasn't stopped, either.

Nothing compared to what is happening in Atlantic City. No storm -- hurricane or no -- has ever hit that metropolis like this in recorded history.

Lights out in parts of New Jersey, and south Philly also reports winds picking up.

Hurricane Diary 6

All this rain and grey weather and drop in barometric pressure, etc., is making me sleepy. A hurricane gives one a great excuse to take a nap, and I think that's just what I'll do.

Hurricane Diary 5 - My first one-one-one dance with Sandy

So as I wrote previously, the old window sill in the dining room was taking on water and had nowhere to put it. As a result, the water was pooling and then leaking through the moulding and dripping down the drywall in rivulets and through the base board to who knows where? And to who knows what end?

At first we tried putting a towel there. This was a great albeit temporary sandbagging treatment. However, it had the disadvantage on a day when the low will dip to 42 degrees Fahrenheit or so of making it impossible to close the window tightly. As a result, the dining room was getting colder by the minute.
Down in the dusty basement, there were several storm windows. I brought up several sizes and having ascertained which one was correct, tried putting it in. Something is wrong with the track into which it fits, so it wouldn't go down. No matter what I tried, that storm window just wouldn't go down.

Finally, I remembered my drill out in the newly opened garage (thanks Mr. Long Blong Haired Locksmith Guy). I got it out, got out a brand new drill bit that could cut through aluminum, and began drilling holes at the bottom of the sill.

Water began draining down, the window was closed, the room began to warm, and I was soaked because the only way to access the proper angle to do what I did was to attack the problem from outside the house. 'Would I get electrocuted?' I wondered more than once. I didn't think I had much freedom to worry about that at the moment, since when the rain began deluging the house, we could have a much bigger problem than rivulets. At the least, I hoped I was preventing future mold spores from growing in a house that was already more than musty in several places when we moved in.

For a while, I was worried: Would the drill bit go through? I was pressing on it and nothing but a lot of noise was happening. Finally, I realized less is more. I just gave it steady -- not hard -- pressure and ... voila ... the bit went through, the holes appeared, and the water drained. I was a hero to my wife. Yay!

Anyway, so far so good. Who knows what's next? I don't know. I don't care. All I know is I'm warm and dry, out of wet clothes. It's the simple things, the common sense things that not only get us through times of adversity but through life in general, things like warmth and dryness. I have that. What else do I need in the moment? Deo gratias.

Hurricane Diary 4

They're now calling it "a hybrid ... NorEaster with tropical overtones."

The locksmith had to come out in the rain to open our garage, for which we thought we had keys. It is where all of our wood for the storm is should we lose power and thus the ability to heat the home (we have a wood burning heater in the house).

The rain is still heavy. Same with the winds.

But now they're saying the winds will be between 55-60 mph in this area. That's an increase from 48-51 mph.

Poor locksmith. He just got done, and when I shook his hand, they were bone cold, his sweatshirt looked rather wet, and his long blond locks looked the same. I hope he doesn't catch cold.

Storm drains are backing up, even though crews and residents are trying to keep them free from leaves or debris.

One tree fell over in the last big storm (just a normal ol' rain storm). Since then, it has rested on a fully upright tree next to it at about a 45 degree angle. Both so far have withstood the winds, but it will be very interesting to see whether they'll go down. Although I have to note, they're not waving nearly as bad as the free standing ones. Those still wave like happy hands, although intermittently. Still, how long can a tree can handle that sort of stress. Do you?

Hurricane Diary 3

As I stepped into the shower (the last for a while if we lose power), the rain was coming down in sheets. However, it was coming straight down (i.e., not accompanied by significant winds). The center of the cell/storm/hurricane (whatever we're calling it now for our purposes here about an hour west of Philadelphia) is due to pass directly over us, and we are due to see the eye of the storm, as well. That should be in several hours.

They're posting mandatory evactuations from low-lying areas in several towns and all coastal cities.

However, they're not saying "hurricane" on the news anymore. "Very heavy rain," "this storm," "very windy," but not "hurricane."

The moment of truth will be between 8pm-1am EDT. That's when it's due to hit the shore. And before, it'd been travelling at 13 mph. Now it is moving at 18 mph. I-95 is closed going southbound, and several other major thoroughfares are closed as well. Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, where my fourth oldest and I went this summer, is seeing some wicked storm surging. Fences along the boardwalk are floating in the sea, and it wasn't supposed to reach as high as it is "yet." It was supposed to be several hours from now.

One of the old windows that the landlords didn't replace in this 1841 parsonage has already leaked. We now have a towel there to keep water out.

For the time being, however, we're dry, fed, warm, and have electricity. Deo gratias.

Hurricane Diary 2

The winds have definitely picked up. When I last hit "publish," the winds had picked up and there was more steady rain.

Now the rain is harder, there are rivulets going down our drive way, and the very tall walnut trees on the back edge of our property, it's as if they're waving at us. Vigorously waving at us.

My wife is telling me, "Go to the ATM. Get money." We have some cash on hand, but I'm listening to the television report on Ch. 3, and they keep repeating almost like a mantra, "Don't go out unless you really have to." I'm thinking, 'We have cheques. Let's use those if need be.'

What do you think?

Hurricane Diary 1

It's my first hurricane. I've experienced and lived through several earthquake, the same with tornadoes. Thanks be to God, I've never experienced any ill effects from either.

Tornadoes are awesome, in the traditional sense of being awe inspiring. Earthquakes can be ... no, are freaky. Yes, it's kinda fun to ride the ground like a wave. Nevertheless, going to sleep is difficult for a while, at least going to sleep without a slight (and sometimes not so slight) worry.

So I've been interested to see how an hurricane unfolds. After all, you expect a hurricane. Earthquakes, tornadoes, they just happen. Sometimes you get a tornado warning, but it can just happen out of nowhere.

Hurricanes, I've learned, build slowly. Yesterday, a misting started early in the morning, followed by a slightly windy drizzle. Sometimes the wind didn't build at all. It was dead. It made me wonder if everything was just a false alarm.

Still last night, it was rainy, but it was just rain. Now the rain is heavier, the winds alternately breezy to decidedly more gusty. Let's see what this brings. News is reporting 32 miles-per-hour in Philadelphia and 41 across the river in Camden. Good sized winds.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Feast of St. Evaristus

Happy St. Evaristus' Day. St. Evaristus was the son of a Greek Jew from Bethlehem and the sixth pope. He is buried in the Vatican grottoes near St. Peter, the first pope. By assigning churches to each priest of Rome and establishing a "board" (for lack of a better term) of seven deacons to serve as key advisors, Evaristus set in motion factors that would later lead to creation of the College of Cardinals. He was beheaded for Christ on 25 October 108, around the same time as St. Ignatius of Antioch. (The latter was a disciple of John the Evangelist and is best known for being the first to call the Church "Catholic." In his Letter to the Smyrneans, Ignatius gives some of the earliest evidence that the early Christians believed the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ and not just a symbol of Jesus.)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

This is possibly a game changer in the Catholic world

There are three reasons why this venture is really one to watch:

1) It gives people a reliably Catholic alternative to outlets such as, which carries questionable material. Yes, other online outlets do this, as well, but none have the value added features that this does.
2) It provides financially strapped parishes, apostolates, parochial schools, etc. a new revenue stream
3) It gives Catholics of all stripes access to orthodox, faithful catechetical materials and for free. Won't that dampen sales?! you gasp. No, because a reading Catholic is a voracious, contagious Catholic. He/she will acquire an insatiable need to know more and will spread that passion and fervor to others.

What do you think?

FOR RELEASE October 22, 2012
CONTACT: DJ Venne, Jr.
PHONE: (847) 658-2949

Illinois Company Launches Catholic Alternative to
Algonquin, IL—An Illinois group announced this week that it has launched Parish WebStore, LLC (PWS), which a number of people are already calling the Catholic alternative to
Its creators say that PWS not only features a full range of products—DVDs, CDs and mp3s, jewelry, sacramental gifts, books and e-books by authors such as Dr Scott Hahn, Steve Ray, Fr. Robert Barron, and others, but it also has a wide array of user-friendly catechetical materials geared toward reaching deeper into the pew. These include resources that help solve people’s real needs, including addictions, marital help, healing, parenting, and financial advice from a reliably Catholic perspective.
Company officials say PWS does all of this because they want to provide both a trustworthy, Catholic alternative to huge online secular retailers, while at the same time financially supporting formation efforts of parishes, beginning with the Year of Faith called by Pope Benedict XVI in order to accomplish the New Evangelization.
"Our mission is really three-fold," explains PWS President Doug Venne, Sr. "First, and most importantly, the spiritual mission is to reach deep into the pews to draw people closer to Christ and to further the Church’s mission of evangelization."
"Second, it is to be unifying, Catholic, and evangelistic. We benefit and support resellers, parishes, vendors, and content providers involved in Catholic ministry who in the past have functioned fairly independently. "Third, Parish WebStore provides parishes a needed ongoing income stream because the company contributes 12 percent of every parishioner’s purchase back to parishes and other Catholic organizations that place a PWS link on their websites." P
WS is trying to accomplish something special by bringing together all Catholic ministries that share a mutual desire to reach people with the gospel. For example, a benefit to Catholic stores is the ability to expand their product offerings to include items they don't stock, like e-books, MP3s, and more.
"We need to work together to have a stronger impace and voice, and by doing so, I know we will be more effective," says Venne.
PWS connects Catholics to a wide variety of educational and spiritually-enriching products, information, and resources through a trusted, all-inclusive website for Catholic products that completely supports the Church’s mission. Many Catholics are not aware of all the reliable Catholic information that exists. For example, an Internet search for "Jesus" or "Mary" will yield information from Catholic and non-Catholic sources. This makes it difficult for some parishioners to determine what is from a Catholic perspective and what is not. PWS enables seekers to avoid having to guess what resources accurately reflect Catholic teaching.

"After viewing the Parish WebStore site, I was excited to see how this will be an incredible resource to reach parishioners wherever they are on their faith journey," says Fr. Christopher DiTomo of the Diocese of Rockford.

PWS currently works with many top vendors such as Our Sunday Visitor, Ignatius Press, Nelson Gifts and Malhame, as well as many smaller vendors including Illuminated Ink and Holy Heroes. Future plans include additional products, content, links, support for Religious Orders, expanded video content, and much more.

"Building a strong network with many Catholic organizations in order to inflame more hearts than ever is the ultimate goal of PWS," says Venne.

 Parish WebStore, LLC is a Catholic online resource and retail store which provides a wide array of faith-filled goods and resources, and further promotes the Church’s call to evangelization by all of its members. For more information or to sign up, contact us at 847-658-2949 or or visit us at

Monday, October 8, 2012

Helping brick and mortar bookstores keep their doors open

Bookstore owners: Want to survive in an e-commerce world?

Here's what large publisher Prentice Hall Books says:
The overall costs of doing business on the Web—including the costs of technology, site design and maintenance, and warehouses for fulfillment—are no lower than the costs faced by the most efficient brick and mortar stores. The start-up costs can be staggering. Attempting to achieve profitability by raising prices has often led to large customer defections. From the e-commerce merchant’s perspective, the “e” in e-commerce does not stand for “easy.”
Key word? "Efficient." Being in it for the ministry and because you love the Lord is not enough. If you want to keep those doors open, you must have business savvy. It's not hard to get, so get it, because you're not serving anyone, much less the Lord, if you don't keep the lights on and the bills paid.

We'll visit this issue again in the near future. It's important. If bookstores don't survive, great publishers won't survive. The publishing world will become increasingly Darwinian (titles will have to have a more immediate apparent viability than has increasingly been the case). That means worthy books that might otherwise have gotten a nod won't even be considered. Thinks of how impoverishing that would be.

And the most important consideration? No one at or Barnes & Noble, etc., is going to a) care or b) have the slightest clue about how to answer a potential convert's question. Bookstore owners do. They provide a safe haven for people. The world will be poorer without them. We need to keep them open.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Taking bets here on the SSPX

So this is where things stand with the Society of St. Pius X.

How long, then, until the Society's official position becomes that of sede vacantist? After all, that is the position of many of its members and adherents (members being priests and religious, adherents being those who attend their chapels). Indeed, knowing their history as well as I do, it has always surprised me that this was not declared their official position long ago.

After all, why not? They're already in schism. They treat the Chair of Peter as though it is empty, since they have not since their founding followed any directive of a single Pope. The way they treat the Chair is the way Clint Eastwood treated the empty chair next to him on the stage during the 2012 Republican National Convention.

For instance, when Paul VI told them not to ordain their first class of seminarians, they did. When John Paul II told them not to consecrate a bishop without their consent, they didn't just consecrate one bishop, they consecrated four (it was out of "necessity," they said, which was not their judgment to make, but the Pope's; and if the sede is not vacante, they would have, being the good Catholics they claimed to be). They furiously thumbed their noses at him.

They picked apart Bl. John Paul's encyclical Veritatis Splendor, as if it was some heretical document. They lambasted him for kissing a Koran (which I didn't like, either) worse than Jack Chick, James McCarthy, or John MacArthur have ever done in their worst "the Catholic 'Church' is the Whore of Babylon and the Pope the Antichrist" moments.

I doubt one in 725 SSPX chapels and less than 1 in 100,000 of its adherents pray the Luminous Mysteries created by JP2. It's cynical speculation, I grant, but I challenge someone to prove to me otherwise. I know my SSPX relatives don't. (They don't know what they are missing.)

Upon the ascension of Benedict XVI to the papal throne, they openly called his late 1960s book, Introduction to Christianity heretical. When the Holy Father changed the 1962 Missal's Good Friday prayer regarding the Jews, they refused to implement it, and have not done so yet.

The rest of their disobediences and living an autonomous, "I [do] it 'My Waaayyyyy'" ecclesial life are a matter of open record. So when will their de facto sede vacantism become de iure?

Let's take bets, OK? I say within two-and-a-half years, their superior, Bishop Fellay, will reluctantly deduce and announce that this is the Society's official position. "Gosh, I hate to come to this conclusion, but I have to admit -- we as a priestly fraternity have to admit -- that we can come to no other conclusion than this: That the Chair of Peter is empty, and has been since the death of His Holiness Pius XII of blessed memory. For no true pope would allow the heresies we have seen since 1958 to become part of the fabric of God's Holy Church."

Of course, that would mean that Matthew 16:18-20 shows Jesus didn't know what He was talking about. Oh, no, wait: They, the SSPX, are the faithful remnant. So the gates of hell, in their telling haven't prevailed! Ahhh. It all becomes clear.

Yes, I'm being snide and cynical. Sorry. Their blindness and hypocrisy drive me to distraction. They are the modern day Pharisees. Truly. The analogy is perfect.

Anyway, again, I say 2.5 years. Anyone have a different guess?

If you believe, you will see the glory of God

How often do we say we believe God can do miracles, and yet deep down in our hearts, there is this aching, deeply suspicious cavernous, even dark space there that puts qualifiers on that professed belief?

I ask this because, getting confessional here, I am in the midst of two novenas. Perhaps not surprisingly, the intentions slightly overlap one another, as though just in case one doesn't do it, I've a back up plan.

But God doesn't need back up plans, does He? He is, after all, God. He is the uncreated Creator, the first cause, the unmovable mover Who is without beginning or end. He is the sole Absolute Being, everything else being contingent on His love for its existence. He can do anything. So why the doubt?

Could it be it's as much worry that comes from a pride that says, "I want the prayer to read 'My will be done,' not 'Thy will be done.' I want what I want. 'I want it all,' to quote Freddie Mercury, the late lead singer of the rock band Queen, 'and I want it now.' God may not give that to me. Ergo, it logically follows that I cannot trust Him. But, hey! I have faith He can move mountains. I am a man/woman of faith! Amen! Alleluia!"

I don't know. Or maybe I do know, and I simply don't want to admit it.

This affliction is not confined to us poor, miserable non-saints, either. It appears to affect even the greatest of saints. It is said, for instance, that as Padre Pio's father Grazio Forgione was dying, he asked his son to get God to grant him a miracle so that he could go on living. Padre Pio refused, saying something to the effect of, "God never answers my prayers." (I'm sorry; I can neither recall nor find the source for this.)

Recall that this man received answers to untold numbers of prayers on behalf of others. He was a wonder (i.e., miracle) worker in his own time. And yet he told his own father as that man lay dying, "God never answers my prayers." In other words, "God never answers my own prayers ... my prayers for me." Why? Was there some small doubt about whether God would grant them? Maybe not, but ... well, maybe so. Padre Pio wasn't divine. He was human, too. Exceptionally holy, to be sure, but human and a sinner in need of forgiveness, even so.

I muse on this because just this morning, God gave me a little nudge toward thinking in this direction.

I'd recently picked up a copy of the July 2012 issue of Serenity, the magazine of the Little Sisters of the Poor, and only opened it this morning while looking for something to read at breakfast. The first article shared the title of this post and reads as follows (I wish it was online so you could see the whole thing, but I'm sharing the relevant parts):
John Paul II once said that the saving power of God is manifested when signs and miracles are performed through the intercession "of saints, of devout people" -- just as the first of Jesus' signs at Cana of Galilee was worked through the intercession of His mother. Miracles remind us that through the saving power of Christ, the human person is destined for glory. But they undoubtedly raise questions of faith: Are we ready to believe that God acts so directly in our lives? This was the question posed by Sister Marie Simon-Pierre Normand and her superior, Sister Marie Thomas Fabre, as they addressed the annual conference of Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, May 1-2, 2012, sharing the story of Sister Marie Simon-Pierre's miraculous cure through the intercession of none other than Blessed John Paul II himself.

"He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Mt 13:58). These sad words reveal how much Jesus linked faith with his proclamation of the Kingdom. Where He was met with unbelief, Jesus was unable to perform the signs and miracles that defined His mission. But among those who believed, anything was possible -- as He told Martha when He raised her brother Lazarus from the dead: "Did I not tell you that if you believe you would see the glory of God?" (Jn 11:40)
So we go in sorta half-heartedly believing God can answer prayers, but how much does our doubt make us like those who went away empty "because of their unbelief"? God can act in spite of that inherent doubt, for sure, but how often should He? You can argue both ways: A) If He answers prayers in spite of our doubt, we'll have less inclination to doubt, but B) If He answers prayers in spite of our doubt, part of us will still always doubt, and we will never learn to wholly rely on and trust in Him.

"Be not afraid. For with God, all things are possible." "Trust in and give thanks to the Lord for He is good, and His mercy endures forever." "For I have a plan for you, says the Lord, a plan for welfare and not for evil."

Banish the distrust, I tell myself. Step into the light of faith, of trust, of acceptance that no matter what happens, God's good will is being done, and that He will provide, for He knows what we cannot know, He sees what we cannot see, His ways are not our ways, His plans not our plans. And who knows better? He Who is eternal, or we who are contingent, but temporary beings, tiny specks on the road of time as it marches toward its completion in eternity?

Thank You, Lord. Thank You. Thank You for answering my prayers, even when that answer is no.


Saints News for September

John Paul I’s paperwork is in the pipeline 

This October 17, 12 days from now, would have been the one-hundredth birthday of Pope John Paul I. It is also the date on which his beatification cause will submit the positio or position paper, which, according to Catholic News Service, “includes a biography, an analysis of the candidate’s writings and summaries of testimony offered by people who knew him. A positio usually runs to several thousand pages.” 

Prior to becoming the Supreme Pontiff, he was known as Albino Cardinal Luciani, and he was the patriarch of Venice. After the death of Pope Paul VI, his fellow cardinals named him Pope and he chose the name John Paul, signaling that he wanted to carry on both his predecessors’ legacies. However, he died of a heart attack after 33 days.
Then in 2003, his cause for beatification was formally opened, and to keep Pope Benedict up to date on things, the postulators of Pope Luciani’s cause met with the Pope on September 26. Two days later was the thirty-fourth anniversary of his death. And for those who are interested and live in the New York City area, there will be a Pope John Paul I Conference the weekend of October 12 in Queens, NY, and registration closes on Sunday, October 7. To find out more go to 

Fox trot and tango for Tolton

If you are in the Chicago area and have the evening of Friday, October 19 open, there will be the first annual “Gala for the Cause of Sainthood of Father Augustus Tolton.” The fund raiser for Fr. Tolton’s beatification will feature a silent auction, the Seton Academy Jazz Ensemble, a DJ, and dancing. For more information, go to

The Church has a new “French-bred” Blessed

On Sunday, September 23, the Church gained a new blessed when Angelo Cardinal Amato beatified Fr. Louis Brisson in the packed Troyes cathedral, which featured the French Interior Minister Manuel Valls. In fact, there were so many people wanting to get in, that they had to play the ceremony on a huge television screen outside the cathedral.  

Brisson was born in 1817 and was an only child whom his parents and his pastor homeschooled. Sometime while he was young, he decided to enter the seminary, and in 1840 at age 23, he received holy orders.  

Not long after his ordination, Venerable Mother Marie de Sales Chappuis put her eye on him and decided that he should start an order of priests that would do the sorts of things St. Francis de Sales did, preaching, evangelizing, apologetics, and that sort of thing. But Fr. Brisson’s reaction was basically, “Whoa, back off. I just want to be a priest, you know? I’m just getting used to this priest business, I’m only 23, and you’re asking me to start an order? 

But Mother Marie de Sales was very persistent and so, dragging his feet, he established the order. And when he wasn’t busy founding this order and teaching at a nearby junior seminary, he was building an astronomical clock used at the motherhouse of the order for women religious he founded, the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales in Troyes. 

Slowly, the Holy Spirit opened his heart to the city’s poor, and he established homes for them where could have a warm place to live, food to eat, and good Catholic catechesis. He also established similar homes for young women of working age so that they wouldn’t need to find work in the so-called oldest profession.  

A 1905 law resulted in many religious orders being kicked out of their houses. So it was that the orders founded by Fr. Louis Brisson moved their headquarters to Rome. By this point, however, Father was 88 years old, and he decided to retire. Three years later, he died on February 2, 1908, at age 91.  

The miracle that put him in the category of the beatified involved a young Ecuadorian boy whose foot was mangled and crushed. The women’s religious order founded by Fr. Brisson is in Ecuador, and the sisters there knew the boy. So they prayed for Father’s intercession, and the boy’s foot was completely healed. God be praised for His workings through the saints! How it shows forth His awesome glory! 

Kenyan Cardinal beatification candidate gets a new campaign team 

The beatification cause for the Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga of Kenya has a new postulator and vice postulator. Dr. Waldery Hilgeman, a canon lawyer who is considered an expert on the Vatican’s court system, is the new postulator, and he’ll handle the Rome end of the beatification effort. Br. Reginald Cruz lives in Kenya, and he’ll handle the heavy lifting there.  

What’s the difference between a vice postulator and a postulator? The postulator’s job is to handle the cause once it gets to Rome once all the work on the diocesan end finishes. Br. Reginald represents the postulator in Kenya and manages the local end of things, getting out prayer cards, interviewing those who knew the Servant of God, and that sort of thing.  

So who was the Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga? Born in 1923 and the son of a chief, he became convinced that it was his being a son of God that was the most important. When he encountered Christ, it changed his life on a dime, and all he wanted to do from that point was to serve his Lord. It wasn’t a coincidence, therefore, that he served Mass day in high school.  

Ordained at age 27 in 1950, he went on to serve the Church for 53 years, 28 of those as the cardinal archbishop of Nairobi, capital of Kenya. When Bl. John Paul II was planning to consecrate the world to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, it was at the same time he was recuperating from his assassination attempt. So he put Cardinal Otunga in charge of the efforts. Both men participated as young bishops at Vatican II.  

In a part of the world where men often join the priesthood to raise their standard of living, His Eminence never used his clerical status to better his own condition but instead to serve God by serving His people, especially the poor.  

As an online biography puts it, “At the end of his life he had no house, no car, no possessions nor a nice bed. He was a great listener; A man of peace and joy but a true warrior of the spirit. Soft spoken but at war with evil and the structures of sin; [he was a] great promoter of the dignity of man, of life, of the family.”

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

About the Feast of the Holy (aka, Guardian) Angels

Happy Feast of the Guardian Angels. Know the Bible believing basis for this? If not, see Matt 18:1-10 (especially v. 10; the rest is for context).

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Silence that Preceded China’s Great Leap into Famine

The Silence that Preceded China’s Great Leap into Famine. I'm sharing this because a) it's historically interesting and b) because of that whole, "Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it," thing.

If you don't know anything about it, the "Great Leap Forward" was an attempt by communist China's founder Mao Tsedung to take China from a backwards, Third World nation into one that was on par with England. It ended with the death by starvation of untold millions of people. Was Mao sad about this? No. His basic attitude was, China has so many people, she can afford to lose a few.

Anyway, the article's a good reminder that people who talk about tolerance must practice what they preach. Otherwise, how are they any better than Mao and his ilk? At the very least, there is a greater danger they will drift in his direction.

Also, notice how the communist leadership took exactly the wrong lesson from "The 100 Flowers" campaign. The discontent was so wide and deep, shouldn't they have tried to correct some of the things about which people were complaining?

Anyway, read on, and I hope you enjoy!

This week in Church history

On this day in 1674, Bl. Francois de Montmorency-Laval was named the first bishop in North America when Clement X made him bishop of Quebec.

October 2 is the eighty-fourth anniversary of the founding of Opus Dei by St. Josemaria Escriva.

October 4 is thirty-fourth anniversary of the funeral of the Servant of God Pope John Paul I.

And October 5 is the thirty-third anniversary of the first visit to the White House by a Pope, when Bl. John Paul II went to have a chat with President Jimmy Carter there.

Thanks to our friends at the National Post, a Canadian newspaper, from whom this information came.