A Catholic Blog for Lovers


A celebration of beauty, truth, and goodness, and, of course, love...and perhaps a little nastiness

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Saturday, September 25, 2004
 
O'Malley working to resolve protests over parish closings

SUDBURY -- Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley has quietly begun addressing a burgeoning revolt among Catholic parishioners trying to block closing of their local churches, holding private meetings with priests from the protesting parishes and sending a priest and a nun for a second time as emissaries to a Weymouth parish where a sit-in is in its fourth week, church officials said..."


 
U.S. Health Plans Include One With Catholic Tenets

The Bush administration has broken new ground in its "faith-based" initiative, this time by offering federal employees a Catholic health plan that specifically excludes payment for contraceptives, abortion, sterilization and artificial insemination..."


 
Today in Christian history

September 25, 1555: The Peace of Augsburg is signed after the defeat of Emperor Charles V's forces by Protestant princes in Germany (1552). The official recognition of the Lutheran church in Germany, the agreement signified the dissolution of both political unity in Germany and the medieval unity of Christendom.

September 25, 1789: Congress amends The U.S. Constitution to prohibit establishment of a state church or governmental interference with the free exercise of religion.


Friday, September 24, 2004
 
Some Catholic Stats for USA

Not sure of the source but I they were sent to me by a pastor to post on his parish website:

Catholic population 67,259,768 - up 850,000 over the 66,407,702 reported in 2003.

Catholics continue as 23 percent of US population.

Priests declined slightly from 44,487 last year to 44,212 this year; 14,729 religious - 29,483 diocesan.

Permanent deacons up from 14,106 last year to 14,693 this year.

Religious brothers 5, 504 - 64 fewer than last year. Religious sisters 71,468, down 3, 212 from last year.

544 new ordinations to the priesthood - up from 449 the previous year.

19,431 parishes, down 53 from last year, 2,910 missions, down 78 from last year.

583 Catholic hospitals served nearly 84 million patients; 376 other Catholic health care centers served nearly 4.3 million patients. Nearly 21.3 million people served by 2, 6969 Catholic social service centers.

In Catholic education:

The 232 colleges and universities enrolled 747,060 students, down about 2,500 from the previous year.

The 787 diocesan and parish high schools and 560 private high schools had a total of 680,323 students, down about 6,3000 from the year before. There were 37 fewer diocesan and parish grade schools, down 285 from the previous year, and they served 1,796,275 students -a drop of almost 77,000 from the year before. Private grade schools dropped from 369 to 365 and 95,742 students, about 2,800 fewer than the previous year.

The number of students in religious education rose. At the high school level there were 771,730, about 4,000 more than the previous year. At the elementary level there were 3,612,510, almost 30,000 more than the year before.

Despite the overall 3.2 percent enrollment decline in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, the number of Catholic school teachers rose 5.2 percent. The 2003 directory reported 171,814 teachers but the 2004 figure was 180,881, an increase of more than 9,000.

Lay teachers, who number nearly 170,000, or 91 percent of the teaching force, accounted for more than 8,000 of the additional teachers reported.

Number of teaching priests, brothers, sisters and scholastics-Jesuits in training-all increased–have been generally in decline for at least three decades.

There were 196 more priests in teaching (from 1,596 to 1,792), 174 more brothers (from 1,021 to 1,195), 482 more sisters (from 7,389 to 7,871) and 24 more scholastics (from 33 to 57).

During 2003 there were 985,141 infant baptisms, down about 20,000; 896,670 first Communions, down about 1,000; 645,426 Confirmations, up about 8,000; and 232,060 Marriages, down almost 10,000.

Of interest: 30 percent diocesan priests listed as retired, sick or on leave.


 
Beached

Stuck in the sand in Ocean City


Our view for three hot hours as we awaited a towtruck - at least we had an oceanside view!

Back from a wonderful few days in Ocean City, Maryland. Our accomodations surprised us; since we paid only $39 per night we expected a sort of "dive." Not so. It turned out to be one of our very best rooms yet. Spacious, bright, large bathroom, and a balcony right by the pool.

Took a trip, of course, to the boardwalk and that is always fun for me. I have known "OC" for many years and have come to love it. I say it this way: "Ocean City is everything I hate in a beach - and I LOVE it!" It seems quintessential Maryland to me.

We did, however, have a little "set back". Following signs for "handicap access" to the beach we wound up on a road that led to the beach itself. We were thrilled. Until we realized we were stuck in the sand!!!! We misread the sign, of course. So we waited for 3 hot hours in the car (Father Michael was able to get into the ocean, thankfully). AAA sent the wrong vehicle and then there was some mix up after that. Finally the right towing truck came and we had to shell out $200 cash!!! We were not told about that minor detail. Well, as it turned out a supervisor did listen to the tapes and called Father Michael just as we were going home and said that it is clear from those tapes that we were not informed of the cash payment and thus he would send us a reimbursement consideration form. Here's hoping that we recoup that loss (we pride ourselves on our economy travels).

But there was, as usual, a silver lining. I relearned again how good most people are. I can't say how many came up to us and asked if they could get us water, sodas, ice. (And we took some up on the offers since I was so dry). Others tried to help us but didn't have the right vehicle to pull it off. (If we realized we would be paying $200 we would have found some way to get out with some help!). People are so good.

It was another excellent trip. The food (seafood) was great and I the tunnel cake I had on the boardwalk was truly awesome. So good to be in an old familiar setting again, with loads of memories. And to enjoy it today.


 
Today in Christian history

September 24, 787: The Second Council of Nicea convoked by Empress Irene in collaboration with Pope Hadrian 1. The council condemned iconoclasm. The Catholic Church usually considers this as the seventh of the 21 ecumenical councils; the Eastern Orthodox churches usually consider this the last of the ecumenical councils.

September 24, 1757: Jonathan Edwards, perhaps America's most brilliant Protestant theologian and a father of American revivalism, becomes president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton). He served as president until his death in 1758.

September 24, 1794: Russian Orthodox priest-monk Father Juvenaly, his brother Stephen, and eight other monks arrive at Kodiak Island, Alaska. After two years of ministry, the team had led 12,000 Alaskans to embrace the gospel. Juvenaly then extended his mission to the mainland, where he was reportedly martyred in 1796.

September 24, 1988: Rev. Barbara Harris, a black woman priest, was raised to be the first woman bishop in the Episcopal Church in America. She became suffragan bishop of Massachusetts.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004
 
Paris Pilgrimage


Venerating Our Lady of Chartres.

Lots of photos on one page - let me know if you have trouble downloading, OK? Hope you enjoy; it really was MAGNIFIQUE!

P.S. To repeat what might get easily lost in the post below entitled "Fire":

I am going away for 2 nights in Ocean City, Maryland. The off season rates were irresistible! And yet most of the boardwalk and ocean side establishments should be open! And, glory to God, the weather forecast is for mostly sunny days. My life: how rough and difficult it is! :-)


Monday, September 20, 2004
 
Fixed...

I think, I hope.... alleluia! Able to access my website now. Let's hope it's fixed and back up and running as usual.


 
Fire in downtown Baltimore

Finally got through to my server's people and found out the trouble: a fire hit down town Baltimore where they are located and the web service is down and will be until, they estimate, about 9 PM tonight. Sorry for any inconvenience. It disrupted my own work plans. I am going away tomorrow for 2 nights in Ocean City, Maryland. The off season rates were irresistible! And yet most of the boardwalk and ocean side establishments should be open! And, glory to God, the weather forecast is for mostly sunny days. My life: how rough and difficult it is! :-)


 
Photos

It looks like most of the photos on my blog are not showing up! It seems the server on which I have my website (and my photos stored) is down now. Hope it's back up before too long. Can't contact them to find out what's up.


 
Today in Christian history

September 20, 451: The Romans stopped Attilla the Hun at Châlon-sur-Marne.

September 20, 1378: The Great Schism in the Catholic Church began. It was touched off when Gregory XI died, shortly after returning the papal seat from Avignon, in France, to Rome. Continuing for nearly 40 years (until 1417), the Schism at one point produced three concurrent popes.

September 20, 1870: The Papal States came under the control of Italian troops, completing the unification of Italy.

September 20, 1902: Swiss medical doctor, Catholic convert, mystic, stigmatist, Adrienne von Speyr was born. She was a collaborator of Hans Urs von Balthasar's and he considered her books more important than his own.


Sunday, September 19, 2004

 
Today in Christian history

September 19, 821: Theodulf, poet, scholar, secretary of education, and bishop of Orleans during Charlemagne's reign is buried. He wrote hymns, among which his best remembered is "Gloria Laus et Honor" or "All Glory, Laud and Honor / To thee Redeemer King."

September 19, 163: The Metaphysical poet George Herbert was ordained a priest of the Church of England. His poetry is suffused by his faith and his poems are still known and loved.

September 19, 1737: Maryland patriot Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born on this day in 1737. He was the last surviving signer when he died in 1832. "The Carroll House" in which he was born has recently been restored. This house was given to the Redemptorists by the granddaughters of Charles Carroll.


A sketch of the Carroll House in its setting amidst Saint Mary's Parish, Annapolis, Maryland


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