Friday, December 29, 2006

The Rocky Movie

I’ve just seen the new ‘Rocky Balboa’( movie last night. Now I’m not a big Sylvester Stallone fan, though I do like his first, First Blood’ movie as well as his first, ‘Rocky’ movie. The rest of his sequels don’t, in my opinion, earn a rental fee from me.

I’ve been hearing a lot about this new Rocky movie, both from friends and movie reviews online. Surprisingly they have been rather positive. So I had to go see for myself.

The wife and I skeptically purchased our tickets and found a nicely located stadium seat. These new theaters are all high tech, with great sound systems and “rocking chair” stadium seats, but I still miss the old style theaters with red velvet seats, balcony seating, and curtains that would draw open at the start of the first of the double features. These don’t exist anymore. The old Egyptian Theater in Hollywood as well as the Chinese Theater use to have them although I’m not sure they do now a days.

Anyways, about the Rocky movie. I was rather pleased!

It’s message of “you have to take what life gives and be able to pick yourself up and keep on going” was opposite to what society seems to be saying today. At one point in the movie, Rocky is having a conversation with his son, who doesn’t seem to have the ‘guts’ that his famous father has. Rocky tells him that ‘life is not kind at times and it can be challenging’ (obviously, Rocky’s dialogue is much more colorful and, well only Rocky can make it work). He tells his son to quite blaming others for his life challenges and to move forward. In Catholic terms, ‘Carry your crosses, trust in God and follow his plan in life for you, wherever it my leads’.

I’m not going to spoil the movie, but yes it does have the final fight sequence. It won’t win any academy awards, but it’s a good movie that goes back to its roots in the original Rocky movie.

A must see movie…Yeeeeeo Adrian!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

West Coast Walk for Life - 2007

Wow, Here's an event that falls in line with my last post on the 'Holy Innocents'. Something we West Coasties can start out the new year with.

The West Coast Walk for Life 2007 (thanks insidescoop )


Our purpose is to establish a new West Coast tradition of celebrating life.

We call for solidarity among women and all people of good will in affirming human life.

Our mission is to change the perceptions of a society that thinks abortion is an answer.

Abortion does violence to women and to their children, both physically and emotionally.

It harms women and men; it divides families and society.

Women--and all people--deserve better than abortion.

Our mission in establishing the Walk for Life West Coast is to shed light on all issues of life, but particularly to change hearts hurt by the violence of abortion. Life is the best and only good choice!


On January 20, 2007, to be a vocal and visual message that people of the West Coast stand for life.

Reach out to women harmed by abortion.

Inform society of the damage done to women by abortion. Join us as we walk along San Francisco's waterfront, a great example of natural and manmade beauty, as we demonstrate for that most beautiful gift--life!

We call upon all people of good will to join us!

Visit their website for details San Francisco to boot!

Mark your Calendars for January 20, 2007

Mega-Trends, "The Upside Down Church"

Over at Jimmy Akins blog (JA needs your help -Dec 27th) there's an interesting piece on mega-trends and there affects on the Church today. John Allen from NCR is putting together a new book entitled "The Upside Down Church".

My next book is titled "The Upside Down Church," a sort of sneak preview of Catholic history in the 21st century. I outline a series of mega-trends which I believe are turning the church on its head, especially with respect to the dominant paradigms in the 40-plus years since the close of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). In order for that analysis to hold water, however, I have to identify these mega-trends correctly.

By "mega-trend," I mean a deep impulse shaping Catholic thought and life at the universal level, a sort of "tectonic plate" whose shifts lie beneath the fault lines and upheavals of the present. I have in mind not single issues, but currents of history which cause some issues to rise in importance and others to fall. A mega-trend, by the way, does not have to be specifically Catholic, but rather something that affects Catholicism in a significant way. For example, the rise of Islam, especially its more radical forms, certainly belongs on the list.

My request is this: Read this list, and ponder it. Are there major forces I've neglected? Are there items here that don't belong? Does this list correspond with your own sense of what's happening in the church?

The items on his list (in summary form and no particular order) are:

The North/South Shift
The Quest for Catholic Identity
The Rise of Islam
The Movements
The Biotech Revolution
The Wireless World
The Wojtyla Revolution
Polarization and Its Discontents
The Sexual Abuse Crisis

Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs

Today's Gospel reading is from Mt 2:13-18. This is Matthew's account of the Joseph's flight into Egypt and the slaughter of the innocent children of Bethlehem by Herod.

As I read today's Gospel, I couldn't help but be reminded of the Midnight Mass I attended. How joyous the Mass was. The Blessing of the Manger and the statue of the baby Jesus by the priest to commemorate the birth of Our Lord in Bethlehem.

I was also thinking about Christmas Morning and all the excited children opening up their gifts around the tree. My kids are grown adults but I still get the warm fuzzy feeling as we celebrate around the Christmas tree.

What a stark difference from just a few day's ago to the tragedy that befell the children of Bethlehem. We can be shocked about the innocent martyrs of that time. Yet we have a similar tragedy that happens everyday.

The innocent victims of Abortion. The equivalent of the number of victims of 9/11 are taken from us everyday. We shield ourselves by saying it's the law, but some how I can imagine King Herod proclaiming the same thing as he commanded the soldiers to their horrible task.

For those that have seen Mel Gibson's new movie, the word violence is an understatement. "How could a community live under such conditions of murder and sacrifice?", we may ask ourselves. Yet a closer look at our own life styles may be a sobering affair. Immigration, euthanasia, abortion, terrorism, the list goes on.

This new year we all make honorable resolutions; exercise more, eat better, go to confession more etc.. I make the same ones.

But I'm also making one that I think we should all at least think about. A resolution to do more to end this abortion madness. Maybe to pray at a local abortion clinic with some fellow parishioners or pro-life group. Maybe be more conscience of the government members we vote into office. And, yes definitely more prayer.

Today as we remember the innocent lives lost by that callous command of Herod, lets pray for the innocent lives lost today. By beginning there, solutions to the other social issues will reveal themselves.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

'62 L.A. Dodgers

A good friend from my parish, Jimmy Governale, emailed me the other day. If you're in the LA area you may be familiar with his voice. He is the morning show on KKLA 99.5, an L.A. Christian radio station. Jimmy-G to his on-the-air friends and listeners.

Jimmy was recently in the news (L.A Times - He uncovers a rare gem and shares it with the artist ). Jimmy uncovered a rare recording his uncle, Dave Fantz made, who was 14 years old at the time. The "recording is of word-painter extraordinaire Vin Scully's over-the-air description of the final inning of the Dodgers' 5-0 victory over the New York Mets on June 30, 1962, at Dodger Stadium, the only known surviving audio account of the first of Sandy Koufax's four no-hitters."

Jimmy cleaned up the old recording and could have easily made a nice profit on eBay, however his good christian heart lead him in another direction.

"It was a real special recording and one of the first things that came to my mind was, 'I really want Vin Scully to hear this,' " he said. "In the back of my mind, I thought, 'One of these days I've got to mail this to Vin Scully.' " But he didn't realize it was a rarity until about five years ago, when he contacted Cooperstown and was told the Hall of Fame did not have a copy....

Read the rest of the story.

Monday, December 25, 2006


Merry Christmas to all from the West Coast Catholic

Our Lord Jesus Christ is Born

WCC +<><

Friday, December 22, 2006

Miracle: Once I was Blind...Now I can See

Mother Theodore Guerin - Sisters of Providence

I found this story on one of the news sites "Blind man now sees 20-20 --is is a miracle?"

It's a short video on a gentleman named Phil Mccord from Valparaiso, Indiana. Phil was legally blind with 2800 vision in one eye and 21,000 vision in the other. 2200 is what's excepted as legally blind.

Phil had already under gone surgery to correct one of his eyes, but the other one could only be corrected with very risky surgery. Surgery that, if it failed could leave him totally blind in that eye.

Then, Phil, a Baptist by faith, almost strolled past the Church of the Immaculate Conception on that January morning in 2001. He heard organ music echo in the hallway. It sounded peaceful. It sounded joyous. It sounded like a reason to go inside. He sat in a pew near the altar, not exactly to pray but to have an informal chat with God.
"God, you've probably heard about my eye problems," McCord said. "Of course, you have. You're God. Well, anyway . . ."

Phil offered up a prayer to Mother Theodore Guerin who was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI this past Sunday

"If you have God's ear," Phil McCord told her in 2001, "I would appreciate it."

"When he looked in a mirror the day after his church chats, to see if he needed a shave, he had a hard time explaining what he saw.
The chronic droopiness and redness in his right eye was gone, the swelling, too.
"That's odd," he thought.
He told his wife, Debbie, a nurse. She asked: Can you see out of it any better?
Not completely, he replied.
Then, it isn't restored, she said.
Wishful thinking, he figured.
But he went back to his doctor, the one who'd scheduled the cornea transplant. The doctor looked into McCord's eye and said, "Hmmm."
McCord asked: "Hmmm, what?"
Your eye is better, the doctor told him. You don't need surgery.
"I beg your pardon?" McCord replied.
The doctor asked what specialist McCord had visited and what he'd done to help his eye.
"I said a prayer," McCord told him.
Well, the doctor said, whatever you did worked."

Miracles; for some, no explanation is possible, for other's none is necessary.

As for Phil, his life and faith are deeper and more fulfilling. Cured as a Baptist, he has chosen to convert to Catholicism.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Guarding Angel...

A skydiver who had both parachutes fail during a 15,000 ft (4,000m) jump was spared death by the prickly branches of a blackberry bush.
Michael Holmes, 25, from Jersey, went into a spin when his main parachute became tangled during a two mile drop over Taupo, in New Zealand.

Repeat after me:

Angel of God, my Guardian dear,To whom God's love commits me here,Ever this day be at my sideTo light and guard, to rule and guide.
At the end of this story is a short list of "Lucky Escapes", although I don't think Luck had anything to do with it.
Lucky escapes
* Flight Sergeant Nicholas Alkemade survived a fall estimated to have been 18,000ft during the Second World War by landing in a heavy snowdrift. He had leapt from a blazing Lancaster bomber

* In 1972 Vesna Vulovic, a Yugoslav air stewardess, fell 10,160 metres (33,000ft) without a parachute, and lived after a DC9 passenger jet blew up over the former Czechoslovakia. She landed in woodland

* In 1993 New Zealander Klint Freemantle, 22, plunged 3,000 feet into a 3ft-deep duck pond. He emerged almost without a scratch

* The French parachutist Didier Dahran survived after being sucked into a cyclone that sent him spinning up to 25,000ft in 1993. He was in the air for two hours

Venezuelan Archbishop Hugo Chavez

(Fr. Jonathan - Fox News)

According to media reports coming out of Latin America, President Chavez is considering a proposal that would establish him as the high priest of his own form of evangelical Christianity, convert his cabinet members into bishops of a lower rank, and submit church activities to the civil and military power of his government.

Wow, Archbishop Hugo Chavez. Does that sound scary or what. The sound of this sounds so ridiculous that it may actually become true. With the past antics of Chavez (his U.N. speech come to mind) and his thirst for power and world recognition, I believe that he would attempt such a bold move. Plus considering the source, well, let’s just say Fr. Jonathan is a beacon of light for the MSM.

It is still unclear who is behind the proposal. Publicly, it has taken the form of a petition by leaders of “Centro Cristiano de Salvación” (Christian Center of Salvation). The association claims to represent 17,000 evangelical churches and 5,000,000 Venezuelans. Their request is simple: make their denomination the country’s official religion, teach it in all public schools and pay the pastors from government coffers. In turn, they will make Chavez their head bishop and promise to submit absolutely to his authority.

Mmmm, kind of like good’ol Henry the VIII. Where’s Thomas Moore when you need him.

Some call the Venezuelan leader “El Loco,”…

That’s an understatement.

… but if these reports are true, President Chavez deserves more credit. He may be crazy, but he’s not dumb. He promised the world that his recent re-election would launch the second phase of his so-called “Bolivarian Socialist Revolution” and he is now keeping his promise.

My greatest fear is the Venezuelan Catholics which is 90% of the population. The historical Comparison to early England in the early 1500’s is an eye opener.

(Henry VIII)
…Henry VIII had been developing a serious interest in politics, and he could brook no superior in whatever sphere he wished to shine. He began to adopt a more critical attitude towards Wolsey's policy, foreign and domestic; and to give ear to the murmurs against the cardinal and his ecclesiastical rule. Parliament had been kept at arm's length since 1515 lest it should attack the church; but Wolsey's expensive foreign policy rendered recourse to parliamentary subsidies indispensable. When it met in 1523 it refused Wolsey's demands, and forced loans were the result which increased the cardinal's unpopularity. Nor did success abroad now blunt the edge of domestic discontent. His fate, however, was sealed by his failure to obtain a divorce for Henry VIII from the papal court….

And we all know from history what the out come came to be.

Compare this… (Henry VIII article)
…it was Henry VIII's intention to convert the mass into a communion service. An opportunist to the last, he would readily have sacrificed any theological convictions he may have had in the interests of national uniformity….

To this… (Chavez article)
When I went to Venezuela last February to do commentary for Fox News about a large religious procession sponsored by the Catholic Church, it was clear Mr. Chavez was uncomfortable with the strength of the country’s traditional piety and how that the piety links its people to a higher, spiritual power and an international organization. Organizers of that event pledged more than 1,000,000 people would process peacefully in the streets of Barquisimeto. The crowds easily surpassed the official estimation.
On that festive day I saw Venezuelans proud to be Venezuelans. For a moment they could put aside political and social uncertainty and unite around faith.

I also saw the shrewd attempts of President Chavez to link himself to the success of the procession and manipulate the religious message into a purely nationalistic one of which he was the lone star. Hours before the procession, he interrupted all television and radio programming so he could deliver without competition his media message. He sent military jets to fly over the crowds with an impressive air-show of military might. He paid thousands of “volunteers” to wear government shirts and pass out free water bottles and pro-Chavez literature.

While human rights groups have always expressed concern for the long-term viability of religious liberty under a Chavez administration, until now, a wide range of denominations has been free to worship and operate
independently of government control.

Chavez’s obvious plan to be the dominant influence in the Southern Hemisphere my or may not follow this path, but the signs of caution are in the wind. And the good people of the south may not be the only one’s who would suffer the consequences of such a storm.
Storm clouds know no borders…

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas in the Media

I found this a rather interesting read, about the cover pieces on the local magazine racks. You may have seen them in line at the checkout stand of Von's or Ralph's or any other store.

Anyway, here one with the morning coffee..

Baby X-ray-ed at LAX

This is bizarre...and kind of scary

A woman going through security at Los Angeles International Airport put her month-old grandson into a plastic bin intended for carry-on items and slid it into an X-ray machine.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

God 10th on list

I heard the results of a survey given in England for the annual Kids Day, on the radio driving home tonight.

Being a celebrity is the 'best thing in the world' say children.

Children under 10 think being a celebrity is the "very best thing in the world" but do not think quite as much of God, a survey has revealed.

The poll of just under 1,500 youngsters ranked "God" as their tenth favourite thing in the world, with celebrity, "good looks" and being rich at one, two and three respectively.

I guess we shouldn't wonder where this line of thinking comes from. It seems that's the main message in today's media. We have TV shows like America's Top Model, The Bachelor, American Idol. Today's society caters to the celebrity. We see Snoop Dog, beating the rap after being pulled over by police.

It's hard as a parent, not knowing wheather to keep your kid from being over exposed to such non-sense or maybe taking the approach of exposing them, with the hope of guiding them through this stuff with a firm explanation as to why 'this and that' should be avoided at all cost.

Just over three quarters of the youngsters said they would probably marry later in life, although 21 per cent gave a definite "No".

Most of them want to have children with most opting for one or two.

Careers first, sounds like the path to take according to today's standards of success.

Chimay Beer..

Michael over at Evangelical Catholicism sparked my interest onto this topic. His post "The many faces of B16" shows the Holy Father posing with a glass of beer.

This picture reminded me of a recent visit I made to a website which features the Trappists Monks of the Abbey of Scourmont, in Belgium. These monks make the famous Chimay Beer, made to support their Monastery. None of these my knowledge, have bungee jumped :-) ..see previous post

Anyway, I thought the history of this award winning beer pretty interesting and I thought I'd share it with you...

...the beer is pretty good as well... for those beer connoisseurs.

San Mateo, Bungee Jumping 88yrs old

I read this posting about Sister Clarice Lolich who is over 88 years old and has quite a thirst for "experiences".

"Lolich is a nun with the Community of the Holy Spirit, a Catholic order she and 15 other sisters created when they left the more restrictive Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose in 1970.
It was within this new community that she was able to do something unusual for a nun — work outside of the order. For years she was employed by NASA and broke the stereotype of what people typically associate with nuns. In her 70s, she bungee-jumped, and skydived on her 80th birthday — her third time.
At 88, Lolich's wonder of spirituality and nature continues. She said she has had a full life, yet she pushes forward, hungry for more experiences. She is a recent survivor of stomach cancer, and credits prayer as her driving force.
"When people praise me for what I do, I recognize that it is God who works in me," Lolich said."

Okey, Sister's experiences are very admirable, although after reading the article, I'm still perplexed as to what her Order's mission actually is. Maybe I've missed something.

It appears she left the Order (which she entered under her own free will) to found an Order less restrictive. I'm okey with that I guess. Perhaps the Dominican order wasn't in God's plan for her, but just what does the "Community Of the Holy Spirit" do? ... and in San Mateo no less. That's a pretty nice neighborhood.

"In 1976, she became an education specialist for NASA at the Ames Research Center, Moffett Field in Mountain View. For six years, Lolich traveled alone in a white work van filled with moon rocks, space suits and models of spacecraft, visiting school assemblies and classroom programs.
After that, she visited inner city schools for NASA's headquarters in Washington, D.C., for another six years.
Now, she volunteers for NASA Ames at its Educator Resource Center, participates with Habitat for Humanity, and teaches spirituality and space science at the Elmwood Detention Center for Women.
Her friend Tom Clausen said she can approach just about anybody on various topics because of her passion to expand her own knowledge of the universe.
"She has this great respect for what the holiness of God has shown in the creation," he said. Clausen is the director of elementary and secondary Education for NASA Ames. "She reflects her wonderment in these things, and it fits together so perfectly."

So... what does her order do? I don't mean that facetiously, I really would like to know.

Ahhh, here we go. I found this profile of Sister Clarice Lolich

Science teacher to grade school students. That pretty cool. She also travels quite a bit.

In her lifetime of teaching science, and seeking to bring the wonder and opportunity of learning to people in various walks of life, Lolich has traveled the world and earned many awards. She has been named Aerospace Education's Teacher Educator of the Year by the American Society for Aerospace Education; earned the Special Recognition Award from NASA's Urban Community Enrichment Program; was given the Aviation Educator of the Year Award by the California Association of Aeronautics Educators; and received NASA's Lifetime Achievement Award from the Aerospace Education Services Program. Last but not least, the Commonwealth of Kentucky commissioned her Honorable Kentucky Colonel. She has traveled to war-torn Bosnia and helped bring some sanity to children not able to go to school, living in refugee camps. She has been to Antarctica, and is looking forward to her trip in July to Tex Mallaqia, in Puebla, Mexico, where she will teach 60 children for two weeks about planets, math and science. She says the most important part of her teaching is "the hands-on experiences."

Of course with this self molded community of nuns, comes some reflections of change in the church.

"She also wants to see change in the Catholic Church.

oh oh... here we go.

"I want the church to be relevant," said Lolich who still has close ties with the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. "I want priests to be allowed to marry if they wish, I want women priests, and bishops selected by the people. I may not see those happen, but I think it will be possible that you will. "


Penance Service

Last night we had a penance service at our parish. I'd estimate between 400 & 500 came to confession, with 20 priest in attendance. What a sight...

Before I went to bed, I had a change to peruse my copy of Scott Hahn's book "Lord Have Mercy".

A short read by very inspirational...

Monday, December 18, 2006

B16: Christmas Presents

Jimmy Akin over at....well... Jimmy Akin (B16 On Christmas Presents), comments on some B16 thoughts on Christmas and gift giving.

Most of us are on the throws of gathering those last gift in time for Christmas Day. Let's all try (including myself) to concentrate more on who's birthday it really is.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 17, 2006


This disturbing report from San Diego at the Parish of the Good Shepard Catholic Church in Mira Mesa. A Statue of Our Lord "was painted with obscenities, pentagrams and swastikas. Officials said the vandalism occurred sometime early on Thursday morning.

Police said Alix Rolland, 20, was arrested Wednesday just before 10 a.m. and faces a charge of felony vandalism. Investigators said he confessed to " using a permanent ink marker to cause about $30,000 to $40,000 in damage to a statue."
(Read more)


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Peter Kreeft - Digest

Carl Colson of "Inside Scoop" has put together a group of selected morsels from the Peter Kreeft collection. Read, read, to your hearts content!

"Selections from Peter Kreeft"

If that's not enough, here's his website: Peter Kreeft


St. Paul's Tomb

I think this is so cool. Finding St. Paul's actual tomb. That fact seems so substantial in verifying the early church. St. Paul, the apostle to the gentiles.

I wonder if at some time in the future if the Vatican decides to open the tomb, they find the beheaded remains of this precious saint. I wonder what the inpact this would be to the world.

I'm being a little hopeful here and a bit optomistic about the impact...I know

CNA reports:
Offering a press conference at the Vatican yesterday the Archpriest of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archeologist, Giorgio Filippi, and basilica official, Pier Carlo Visconti, revealed the results of an ongoing archeological undertaking at the famous basilica. Filippi said that archeological investigations which have taken place over the last four years uncovered the apse of the original basilica built by the Emperor Constantine in the early part of the fourth century. “On the floor of this building, under the papal altar,” he said, “we found that great sarcophagus of which all trace had been lost, considered since the time of Theodosius to be the tomb of St. Paul.”

CWN reports:

Rome, Dec. 6, 2006 ( - An Italian archeologist has uncovered the tomb of St. Paul, underneath the altar of the Roman basilica of St. Paul-outside-the-Walls.

Archeologist Giorgio Filippi confirmed that his team has completed excavations around the altar of the ancient basilica, discovering the sarcophagus located there.

St. Paul-outside-the-Walls was built in 390, on the site of St. Paul’s tomb. The sarcophagus was visible until the 19th century, when the basilica was destroyed by fire and rebuilt, with the new altar on top of the site where the old crypt was located. In 2002, the Vatican authorized an archeological dig to recover the tomb of St. Paul and make it available to the public for veneration.


Rosary Bowl

Let's see, there's the Orange Bowl, the Hula Bowl, the Rose Bowl. How many have heard of the Rosary Bowl?

The Los Angeles Diocese Newspaper 'The Tidings' announced this past week, next years Rosary at the Rose Bowl set for May 19, 2007

"The largest outdoor celebration of the Rosary in Southern California in nearly 50 years will take place at the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, on May 19, 2007, Holy Cross Family Ministries announced this week.
"A World at Prayer Is a World at Peace: A Rosary Celebration, The Rosary Bowl" will take place between 6-9 p.m. and is free and open to the public."

Mark your calendars.

Holocaust Conference

I came home yesterday evening to my son watching one of his favorite movies “The Pianist” with Adrien Brody and Thomas Kretschmannn which won Best Actor and Best Screenplay.

The heart ache and struggles of the leading character clarifies the horrors of this moment in history. One that makes most everyone ask to themselves “ Why…how could this happen?”

I say most because evidently there are those today that would state “Never happened….it’s a myth!” As I’m sure many have heard/read, Iran just hosted a conference that questions if this event ever happened at all. 6 million Jews and millions of Catholics and Nazi resisters perished . We can’t forget the countless soldiers lost in WWII, fighting this madness as well.

The Vatican today weighed in on Iran’s conference for Holocaust deniers.
I really want to know who would attend such a conference. I think their names should be listed in every newspaper and on as many websites. The TV and Cable news mentioned the story, but I don’t remember anyone listing the attendee’s names? It seems the news of this just came and went…

Our Lady of Guadalupe, 475th Anniversary

To day is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12th. As a kid (and still today) I use to marvel at the mere thought of cloak of Juan, with the image of Mary on it, and the fact that one can still see this same cloak (serape) if one was to visit Mexico today. Maybe it’s because it’s so close to where I live, I mean in comparison to say Fatima or Medjugorje or even Lourdes. The visions of Mary have always inspired me.

If you have young ones at home you’ve got to introduce them to these apparitions via bed time readings.

Over at Catholic Exchange, Mark Armstrong has an interesting perspective on this feast day with a comparison to Mel Gibson’s movie.

This feast day is perfect timing with the Nativity Story Movie now playing at theaters. I think it’s great to see this movie allow viewers a chance to ponder Mary’s role in history (especially salvation history). This article by Pet Vere, JCL asks our non-Catholic Christian brothers and sister to do a like more pondering: “Open to Life: Asking Protestants to Ponder Mary”

You can read this thought process undergoing at Mark Roberts website. Mark is one of my favorite non-Catholic sites. He’s a pastor of a local church here in So. Cal.; he’s reviewing the Nativity Story from a Christian (non-Catholic) view point.

What Month, first the Immaculate Conception, then the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. What a lead in to the Birth of Our Lord.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Milingo Re-Mix

Boy this guy just keeps digging himself deeper and deeper. The bad part is that his dragging many with him.

"Milingo, 76, installed four married men as Roman Catholic bishops in September, including Peter Paul Brennan of New York and Patrick Trujillo of Newark. Milingo was later excommunicated by the Vatican, and Pope Benedict XVI followed that decision by convening a summit that reaffirmed mandatory celibacy for clergy."

Crisis Article

I read this article in the latest issue of Crisis Magazine, entitled "The Pope and the Phrophet".

Thought it might be a good read for you today.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Catholic Podcasts

I don't know how much podcasting is a part of peoples lives. Sometimes I hear/read that it's on the rise and sometimes I hear/read that it's going nowhere.

I rather like it myself, and I have a few of my favorites posted on this site. My iPod is full of music of course, but it's also chalked full of books on tape, purchased from places like It's also full of tapes and CD's series form outstanding Catholic Apologists and debates. I have some good bible studies on the New and Old Testaments.

Because my time (as I'm sure is like most people) is very limited, and though I love reading ( I usually have at least three books, going...which take me forever to read) finding reading time can be scarce. That's where my iPod (a gift from my wife) comes in handy.

I also try to keep up with a few of my favorite podcasts. One of these is created by Father Roderick of; He broadcasts from the Netherlands. You can also find him on his original podcast the Catholic Insider.

There are a few Catholic Podcasts on this site and all are pretty good. My favorite is the " The Daily Breakfast with Fr. Roderick". It's about a 30 to 40 minute show. It starts with an song selection from a webfree, podsafe online source and quickly goes on to highlight maybe an "In the news" topic, a "Sound tour" of a trip to Rome or such. It's very light hearted and kind of refreshing and fun.

The show is geared toward listeners of all ages and faiths. It's not heavy on Church doctrine though it does have a segment which highlights a particular Catholic teaching that an emailer has asked about or one Father has selected as a point of interest.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Illuminated Manuscript

The J. P. Getty Museum in Los Angeles is a spectacular place to visit. The grounds alone, with it's gardens, the majestic Archetecture

and of course it's valuble treasure of art makes this place a must see, if you visit So. Calif. .

Presently, there is an exhibition now showing through January 7, 2007 that I plan to visit shortly. It's entitled "The Gospels in Medieval Manuscript Illumination"

I'm really looking forward to viewing some of these manuscripts. This made an impression on me the last time I visited. It makes one appreciate the efforts of the early Monks and scribes who preserved the Bible over the centuries before the advent of the press.
I'll report back on what I see...

A day in California....

Ahhhh....Southern California; the freeways, the sun shine, the freeways, the ocean and mountains....did I mention the freeways?

I travel a hundred miles everyday, to and from work. Including what ever else I use my car for, I putting on maybe 25 to 30 thousand a year milage.

Woow baby...

You know us California drivers don't think twice about zipping up to Santa Barbara one weekend, and I've often said to the wife, " Let's have dinner... in San Diego this Saturday", which is about 3 hours away. Two hours if I play the odds with the CHP (California Highway Patrol)

Anyway, the odds finally caught up to me yesterday morning on my way to work. At 5:30am believe it or not there is quite a bit of traffic on the roads. I think I read somewhere that most accidents happen closest to home. Well I believe this now.

I had a "fender bender" right in the middle of the second decade of the Glorious Mysteries. Well, my day went down hill from there but I managed to get thru it and back home in one piece. I called the dreaded insurance company and my car is in the repair shop this morning.

The other shoe just dropped a few minutes ago. I just got off the phone with the insurance agent, who informed me that this accident will be consider MY FAULT and the my RATES may be ADJUSTED.

(This is not my car...)

I hate that term "..MAY BE ADJUSTED". I sounds like something so positive or advantageous. Why don't they just say "YOUR RATES ARE GOING UP!" I haven't been in an accident in about 10 years, and that one wasn't my fault.

I thought about "ADJUSTING" my story to the agent about how I saw the accident happening...But that wouldn't be very Christ emulating.

I have a polygraph test I take every 5 years for a security clearance I have at work. I compare this to confession...without the graces. Three hours later the security agent told me I pasted the test...and that I was being too honest during the questioning.

Isn't that what we're suppose to be? Honest?

Side Note: (For those of you who are familiar with the Movie "The Falcon and the Snowman" with Timothy Hutton...well let's just say a work in that same building.

Boy do I need cheering up. I thought I'd say a Rosary during lunch time and check a few of my favorite blogs.

When, what do you know, Michael & Katerina over at Evangelical Catholicism gave me a kind mention.

Thanks guys that really made my day.

Thank you Jesus for all your daliy graces and blessings. I am trully grateful.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Oath Of Office

I read this article rather late. It was posted early last week but I didn't get to it until this weekend.

"America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on" by Dennis Prager of

It make some good points which I tend to agree with. Briefly, "Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran."

Why should we care what book he takes his oath by? Some would point put forth the argument that "Because we have a free society, that entitles one to be free to do as one pleases." Including things like, burning the flag, placing Mary's image in a vat of urine (freedom of art). Even free to place classified documents for everyone to see in the newspaper (NY Times - 1st amendment freedom).

Some would use the "Intolerant" ("Don’t' you feel guilty?") argument. Nobody wants to be labeled intolerant. One might as well wear a cow bell around ones neck.

"Clang, Clang, intolerant person approaching! Clang, Clang, bigot, keep away"

About a week ago our parish had a guest speaker. An Inman from one of the local Mosques was invited to do a short presentation on Islam. Followed by a Q/A session.

Okay, I thought this a pretty good idea. After about an hour of the Inman explaining some of the structure of the Islam faith, it's prayer structure, it's values of peace and tolerance of those outside the faith, we proceeded on to the Q/A.

It was only inevitable that the questions would fall in line with what today's headlines read. The first question was asked, "If Islam is a peaceful religion, why do we see such violence in the name of Islam today?"

The Inman (who by the way was accompanied by a very large bodyguard) was quick to answer that "True Islam is a peaceful religion" question.

"Does Islam teach that Jesus is God or just a good prophet?" This was an elderly lady who posed the question.

The third question was asked by an elderly gentleman whose question was rather lengthy and not very concise, but it centered on "Why didn't more moderate Muslims voice there contempt for the violence of those Muslims who are mistakenly misinterpreting the Koran?"

Well, that was it. One of our priests in attendance quickly put an end to that line of questioning. It wasn't being tolerant. I guess the questions were not polite enough. That poor elderly man with the last question made a bee-line for the side door, having been reprimanded by the priest.

Cow bell time.

Anyway, now we are going to witness the first swearing in of a U.S. Congressman using a Koran instead of the Bible.

"When all elected officials take their oaths of office with their hands on the very same book, they all affirm that some unifying value system underlies American civilization. If Keith Ellison is allowed to change that, he will be doing more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11. It is hard to believe that this is the legacy most Muslim Americans want to bequeath to America. But if it is, it is not only Europe that is in trouble."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oh no! Not Shamu...

Story out of my backyard. San Diego news reports Shamu the Killer Whale attacked his trainer at Seaword.

My family and I were there this summer at Seaworld. Basically it's a must to arrive early in order to see the scheduled shows. The shows are awesome, however I guess just like you and I will wake up and say "Look, I just don't feel like going to work today!" and we stay home.

It looks like Shamu just had one of those days. Hopefully the trainer is not seriously injured. I can just imagine the children in the audience. Not an easy thing for a parent to explain.

Hopefully things will get back to normal. It's a nice day visit and if you top that off with dinner at "Old Town" for some good Mexican food, it makes for a day...or weekend.

More Nativity...

Just viewed a short video on CNN about the leading actress, Keisha Castle-Hughes who plays Mary in the movie, being pregnant. The interviewer, CNN's Sibila Vargas, made the comparison of the actress being "pregnant out of wedlock" the same as Mary being "pregnant out of wedlock."

What is the interviewer trying to say? That being pregnant out of wedlock is no big deal?

Let me see if I have this right:

1. Mary the Mother of God is pregnant out of wedlock; that's acceptable.
2. The actress, who played Mary, is pregnant out of wedlock: that's acceptable.

3. Therefore: It's acceptable to be pregnant out of wedlock

Doesn't hold water for me. First of all Mary's pregnancy was not the product of fornication.
The director even tried to make a further comparison of Keisha's boy friend and father of the child, is a carpenter too, just like St. Joseph. What a coincidence!

Oh brother, the twists and turns.

The movie shown at the Vatican is said to be very well done and I plan on seeing the movie myself.

Keisha is also to be commended on the decision to keep the baby. It's when the MSM steps in and adds their two cents.

It never adds up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Papal Coverage...

Great link to all Papal Coverage at "Against the Grain"

Thanks to Michael of Evangelical Catholic

WCC +<><

Chicago and the Nativity Story Movie

"...the city of Chicago to ban advertisements for "The Nativity Story" movie from a local Christmas festival, fearing they might offend non-Christians."
(Read more...)

More political correctness. When in doubt, ban anything Christian.

Galatians 5:13

The quote from B16 during his speech.

5:13. For you, brethren, have been called unto liberty. Only make not liberty an occasion to the flesh: but by charity of the spirit serve one another.

Also his continual call for genuine dialogue between all parties, religious, secular and/or otherwise. This will, in my opinion be know as his main message of his visit. It will continue tomorrow with his meeting with Bartholomew I.

I must say that Msgr. Robert Stern gave some great insight in his analysis of the moment. EWTN seems to be the only source on TV, however I'm sure there will be many Op-Eds tomorrow.

Much more coverage and analysis from my favorite blogs and websites. I'll pass on the links...

The Visit...

I was able to listen to the coverage of Benedict's first day of his visit on EWTN on my Satellite radio on my way home this evening. The coverage by Raymond Arroyo and Msgr. was well done. The good Msgr.'s review of he History of Turkey was most interesting. I plan on following up with a study on this history.

As I now type this post, the Pope is meeting with the Diplomatic Corps. The meetings and ceremonial itinerary seem a little tense. B16 has kept his silence and only speaking when necessary.

...I'll be right back his now speaking

Monday, November 27, 2006

B16 in Turkey

Here's the Holy Father itinerary as posted on the Vatican Website..

In God We Trust

This is a disappointing story. It appears the new presidential dollar will be making it's appearance in February of 2007 and it will have a significant change. The motto, "In God We Trust" will be relegated to very small print around the outer rim of the the coin.

This seems like a "so what" moment, however I can't help but feel a chipping away at our Christian heritage in this country. Europe has done this over the years until recently the EU refused to make any references to their Christian roots in the New Constitution.

I seem to remember a certain story about a certain frog in a certain boiling pot of water...

Death of a Spy

This story gives me the hebee jebees. This whole spy thing I know has been going around for a long time but it still sends a shiver down my spine when I read about it. Kind of makes me think twice about how safe we really are in today’s society.

What the heck is polonium-210? I had to look into this deeper. Evidently this stuff is pretty hard to get a hold of. According to this link "One ton of uranium ore contains only about 100 micrograms (0.0001 grams) of polonium"

"Polonium-210 is a very strong emitter of alpha particles. A single gram of polonium-210 creates 140 Watts of heat energy and is being considered as a lightweight heat source for thermoelectric power for spacecraft. Polonium-210 has a half-life of 138.39 days."

Kind of makes one think twice about ordering the spicy tuna roll. The London Metropolitan Police have ruled this a suspicious death rather than murder.

What the.....?!

"The ex-spy was moved to intensive care last week after his hair fell out, his throat became swollen and his immune and nervous systems suffered severe damage."

What a horrible way to die. And to think they haven't ruled out that Litvinenko may have poisoned himself.

Rest in peace Alex. May God have mercy on your soul.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Turkey after Turkey

I've been thinking about B16's visit to Turkey this Thanksgiving. News outlets are gearing up for the next News Headline and they seem to be centering on the Pope's travels to Turkey.

This article, "Pope Death Threats Put Turkey On High."
in the UK Telegraph is one of many more to come. The Times Magazine cover last week wasn't very amusing either.

"Turkey's religious-affairs minister has announced that during his visit next week, Pope Benedict XVI should declare that Islam is a religion of peace."

Truth is B16's middle name.

"Ali Bardakoglu told the Reuters news agency that the Pope should make it clear that violence is caused by "fallible and misguided humans," not religious beliefs."

That sounds familiar. Didn't B16 already say that in his speech at Regensburg?

Benedict's meeting with Bartholomew could be very fruitful. Benedicts leanings toward a more Traditional approach seems to have hit a pleasant cord with the Eastern Church.
(Read Here)

This next article kind of surprised first.
"Sales of a controversial Turkish novel about a conspiracy to kill Pope Benedict XVI are soaring ahead of the pontiff's historic visit to Turkey next week, reported AKI.

“The Plot against the Pope”, by Yuvel Kaya, has Opus Dei, a subversive Masonic lodge, and the CIA colluding to make the Pontiff's murder a pretext for a U.S. attack against Iran."

Thank you Dan Brown for your inspiration...

It would be so easy to canel the trip, however B16 and JPII are an inspiration to all.

"Do not be afraid..."