Saturday, June 06, 2009


Never Forget

Friday, June 05, 2009


Susan G. Komen Foundation

The Susan G. Komen Foundation's Race for the Cure is this weekend in Washington, D.C. As a prelude to the Race, Fox News did a segment this afternoon with the founder of Susan G. Komen, Nancy Brinker. Nancy's sister was Susan G. Komen, who died of breast cancer in 1980. Nancy promised her sister before she died that she would spend her life in eradicating the scourge of breast cancer. It's a very touching story. The problem is that Susan G. Komen also supports abortion. Susan G. Komen affiliates have given grants worth several hundred thousand dollars per year to Planned Parenthood clinics. Also, Susan G. Komen refuses to recognize that there may be a link between abortion and breast cancer, listing abortion as one of the things that do not cause breast cancer. Encouraging people to donate to help research to cure breast cancer is one thing - but people deserve to know that their money may be going to support abortion as well.

I've never done so before, but I wrote the following letter to Martha McCallum, the Fox News host who conducted the interview with Nancy Brinker:

Dear Martha,

I watched your segment with Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker with interest. As a woman with great interest in women's issues (I'm currently working toward a Master's degree in Systematic Theological Studies with an emphasis on understanding the Catholic Church's teachings on the feminine) I would love to support this initiative. However, a perusal of various organizations which are supported by Susan G. Komen brings up a very disturbing connection between the organization and Planned Parenthood clinics. Many clinics have receives thousands of dollars in grants from Susan G. Komen. Furthermore, Susan G. Komen refuses to acknowledge at least the possibility that abortion is a contributor to breast cancer. Several studies, including the 2004 study of a leading cancer epidemiologist, Janet Daling, who is pro-choice, show a link between abortion and breast cancer. I am aware that there are studies which also show no link between breast cancer and abortion, but the existence of the studies which do show such a link indicate to me that there should be more research in this area, not less, and more acknowledgments of at least the possibility that abortion could be a factor in breast cancer. This St. Louis Archdiocesan Letter lays out the objections to Susan G. Komen which I have discussed above.

I bring these facts to your attention because I believe that people who may be inclined to donate to Susan G. Komen deserve to know that their money may actually be going to Planned Parenthood clinics. I pray that Susan G. Komen will sever connections with Planned Parenthood and focus strictly on research for curing cancer. If they do so, I will be happy to put my money behind their efforts.


Now Playing

Being a huge classic movie fan, I've been wanting to order TCM's monthly movie guide for years, mostly because of the Classic Movie Crossword in each issue. Today, my first issue arrived. I can't wait to test my movie knowledge! Somebody find me a pencil!

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Thursday, April 23, 2009


Catie's Wish

Catie O'Brien died on January 25th of this year, but she left behind two precious gifts. Her dying wish was for friends and family to raise enough money to cover all of the operating costs for St. Jude Hospital for one day each year in her name, preferably on her birthday, April 23rd. That amounts to a $1.4 million donation. Though her family only had a few months to raise the money this year, they had $1.96 million to present to the hospital today, Catie's birthday.

But, Catie wished to take care of the spiritual needs of her friends at St. Jude's as well as their physical ones. Unable to find a patron saint of pediatric cancer, Catie told her parents that she wanted to someday be that saint.

I pray that Catie gets both her wishes.

To donate:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
In Memory of Catie O'Brien, Code #21824409
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105

The Arlington Catholic Herald has a beautiful story about Catie.


Bishop Conlon of Steubenville issues an invitation to Friday Abstinence

Though it may seem a trivial thing, the loss of Friday Abstinence in the American Church has had profound effects. As Amy Welborn once observed in a letter to First Things about the post-Vatican II era: "The transformation, in less than a decade, is staggering. The most concrete symbol of this feeling is something seemingly minor but actually not: the abandonment of the Friday abstinence. Something that Catholics had been taught was deeply expressive of both individual and corporate Catholic identity was simply dropped." Losing this symbol of Catholic identity meant that other markers of Catholic identity were viewed as variable as well. In Chapter 3 of her 1970 book, Natural Symbols, anthropologist Mary Douglas explored the phenomenon of the Bog Irish in London and linked their loss of identity and assimilation into London's secular culture to the abolishing of the Friday abstinence observing that though abolishing the obligation was done with the well-meant expectation that Catholics would thereby be freed to continue their penances with greater choice, the opposite happened. Douglas wrote, "To take away one symbol that meant something is no guarantee that the spirit of charity will flow in its place." In fact its loss played a role in severing individual Catholics from identification with the group.

All this is by way of introduction to the letter by Bishop Conlon of Steubenville to his flock inviting them to return to Friday abstinence. He states:

... The resumption of year-round abstinence in the Diocese of Steubenville will begin after this coming Easter, one week after Good Friday (April 17). Although the practice will not be a requirement of law, and failing to keep it will not constitute a sin, I hope every one who is old enough to receive Holy Communion and well enough to come to church will take it seriously. Our parishes, schools and organizations should provide meatless food at their Friday activities.

Though Bishop Conlon still leaves Friday abstinence in the realm of the optional, I hope that his invitation to return to this ancient tradition will be a start of reminding Catholics what was lost when we moved from corporate penance to individual choice. As Eamon Duffy writes in this wonderful essay from First Things, "There are no quick fixes: tradition cannot be rebuilt to a neat program and by orders from Rome. Our shared past can only be excavated by shared endeavor, by a painful and constant process of reeducation and rediscovery; in that process, we start from where we are, not where we wish we had stayed." Bishop Conlon has made a wonderful start toward "reeducation and rediscovery."

h/t to Thomas Peters at American Papist


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


R.I.P. Dr. Thomas Dillon

I just found out that Dr. Thomas Dillon, the President of Thomas Aquinas College in California and whose children went to high school with me, was killed today in a car accident in Ireland. The following is posted on TAC's website:

On Wednesday, April 15, 2009, Dr. Thomas E. Dillon, the president of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California, was killed in an automobile accident in Ireland, where he was traveling with his wife, Terri, on behalf of the college. Mrs. Dillon was only slightly injured and is hospitalized for the time being. Family members and a representative of the College are en route to Ireland to bring Mrs. Dillon back to California and to accompany Dr. Dillon’s body.

A rosary was said and Mass offered for the repose of Dr. Dillon’s soul at 3:00 p.m. today in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel. Information concerning funeral arrangements will be posted at a later time.

Please pray for the happy repose of Dr. Dillon’s soul, and for the consolation of his family.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


ND Student Response

Notre Dame's decision to host President Barack Obama, who in the short time he has been in office has already enacted several Presidential orders which attack the dignity of life, including rescinding the Mexico City Policy, lifting the restriction of federal dollars being spent for embryonic stem cell research, and removing conscience protections, has far reaching and serious consequences. As America's most notable Catholic University, her example has the ability, like few others, to make a clear statement to the larger American culture of Catholicism's defense of the dignity of life. Instead Notre Dame has chosen to give a platform to the most pro-choice man to ever occupy the office of President of the United States. Though Fr. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame has tried to separate honoring Barack Obama the pro-choice politician from honoring Barack Obama the leader who has inspired "hope" in so many, the truth is that a person is a whole and cannot be so sub-divided. The minds of many across America, Catholic and non-Catholic, will not remember Fr. Jenkins' careful parsing. Instead, they will only remember the picture of the staunchly pro-choice Barack Obama standing at the podium of the most famously Catholic university in America. If a picture says a thousand words, those are words that can never be revoked.

Notre Dame student groups have issued a press release in response to the news released last Friday that President Barack Obama will be the commencement speaker and receive an honorary law degree at the graduation ceremonies in May. The following groups are co-signers of this statement:

Notre Dame Right to Life
The Irish Rover Student Newspaper
Notre Dame College Republicans
The University of Notre Dame Anscombe Society
Notre Dame Identity Project
Militia of the Immaculata
Children of Mary
Orestes Brownson Council
Notre Dame Law School Right to Life
Notre Dame Law St Thomas More Society
The Federalist Society at Notre Dame Law School

Also, here is the statement released by Bishop John D'Arcy, the bishop of Fort Wayne, Indiana, the diocese in which Notre Dame is located. Bishop D'Arcy has decided that he cannot attend the Notre Dame graduation ceremonies.

And, the Cardinal Newman Society petition continues gathering signatures. As of this moment it has collected almost 150,000 signatures.


Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving!

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Catholic Cuisine

If you're looking for the perfect recipe to celebrate any feast day, look no further than this blog, Catholic Cuisine.



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What I'm Reading
  • Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam
  • The Cost of Choice
  • What I've Finished
  • The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde
  • The Faithful Departed
  • Cover Her Face
  • Joy in the Morning
  • Gaudy Night
  • Behind the Screen: Hollywood Insiders on Faith, Film, and Culture