Your must reads for today (and more from yesterday)Predicted libellous liberal backlash against new Pope begins
A solid summary of the nastiest flagellations going on in the press about the election of a man who stands for TRUTH
.Pontifications: Who wears the Halo of Hatred?
- the backlash isn't limited to one groupMusings of an Expagan: Catholic Reaction - Lets Study
- funny ... a must seeWhy They Ran by Peggy Noonan
- excellent ... a must readEmotional Converts by Patty BondsUK: Shock! New Pope a CatholicEBay moves to end Eucharist auction
- but go read why ... Cancel your accounts with EBay, half.com and PayPal. Why some matters of religious doctrine won’t change
- someone in the press who gets itBenedict's landslide the biggest in history
- "no less than 90 and possibly 107 of the maximum 115 votes"UPDATE: New Pope condemns Spain gay bill
- "Pope Benedict XVI has responded firmly
to the first challenge of his papacy by condemning a Spanish government bill allowing marriage between homosexuals." --- Europe matters to this Pope ... expect more of thisIf the NYT had covered the Main Event
- NICE parody ...
People I have met online started Catacombers
which has a (forum)
Catacombers is a Catholic apostolate supporting Catholic artists in the creation of works that enhance faithfulness to the Church, its teachings and leadership, and reverence in Catholic liturgical worship. We wish to encourage our Catholic brethren attending and serving at standard Catholic parishes to use their time and talents to restore His House (per St. Francis of Assisi) making it more orthodox, liturgically sound, and respectful of the ancient ways of the Christian church.
Artists, writers and musicians: Please support this apostolate by getting involved.
See Land of the Free of the Land
- Michael, if you are reading this, use trackback. It is a way cool feature and it makes people come read your blog. Not that anyone reads mine ... :)
This, for some reason, reminds me of a discussion that my wife got into with a friend of hers from eastern Europe. In the discussion she essentially said that America had no culture. One can clearly see, however, that it does. We have baseball, country music and a strong jazz heritage (and interestingly enough for the electronic music fan, we have Detroit and techno/house) just to name a few. That said, look what Europe does with some aspects of our culture. They tend to not be fond of baseball or football (not the soccer variety) ...but they have taken "house" and jazz to another level thus really assimilating it as part of a more global culture than something distinctly American. Nobody would really associate Detroit techno with America unless they just simply knew something about the history behind it. They would lump it in with things those weirdo Eurpoeans do ...
Country music is still all American though ... nobody outside of the US gets it.
Its like the cult of oblong meats in Germany and the legion of fancy skirts in Scotland ... we are hard pressed to "get it" over here but it is part of their culture and willl likely remain with those cultures for quite some time, if not forever.
I guess one could argue the point that at one time England wasn't England. It was also a place that people migrated to for some reason or another. Today it is England. Time will pass. Countries will change. Economies will change. Other places will become as enticing a place to be as the United States. People will move there. There will be a core however that remains in the United States. This has become and will continue to become America. No matter how global we become, culture still happens for odd reasons that happens to remain regional and national.
OK, for at least 5.5 months I won't have much of an excuse for not blogging on a fairly regular basis ... I finally have the home network set up so that gives me access to actually blog ... I won't reveal the embarassing situation with why it took me 2.5 hours to set up a simple router. All I have to say is DOLT!!!
Rumble, rumble, rumble .... or is it the sounds of spring?
OK, tonight I am going to be bringing home a DSL/router, which means I can ACTUALLY get online from home for the first time in months. I, of course, missed commenting quite possibly the most interesting month and a half of being Catholic that there has been in quite a while. Notice there is very little on Terry Schiavo, the death of JP2, the election of B16. It is all quite overwhelming for me to try and catch up on now ...
I do want to mention one quite extraordinary side effect of the events of recent weeks. EVERYONE has a take on the Catholic Church now. Fox News was virtually a 24-7 Catholic apologetics forum in the days following the death of John Paull II. Non-Catholics were calling EWTN in droves genuinely asking questions. People are curious about this Catholic thing and on more than one occasion the coverage given the Church has caused people to see the faith for what it REALLY is and not the caricature that is portrayed by so many intending on leading people away from the Church. I even heard on at least occasions of conversions based SOLELY on the coverage (an Anglican caller and a Baptist organist caller).
Since the death of JP2, Steve Ray's forum
has been flooded with two groups. Catholics with re-ignited fervor for the faith and hit and run anti-Catholics who post the usual weak apologetic fare and head off with little or no substantial defense of their claims. It is the best of both worlds. You have reluctant Catholics who want to be excited about their faith watching arguments that have always haunted them get substantially answered. One can only hope that this gives them reason to follow the path where it leads; to understanding that the Catholic faith IS very much biblical, historical and logical. There are answers to the tough questions and there is little excuse for the new posters who choose to stay. They will get their answers from seasoned defenders of the faith.
Thats why I keep going back ... it used to be that Catholics knowing their faith was a novelty. It gets better and better every day. Soon it will be the norm. The "new springtime" that JP2 always spoke of could very well be realized in the pontificate of Benedict XVI. The rolling snowball is reaching avalanche proportions ...
Things you need to read today ... The Curt Jester: Now with B16!
- in his classic humorous style ... enjoy!!!Crush the Benedict XVI was a Nazi sympathizer nonsense
before it gets legs like so many lies about the Church and its leaders
comments later ... I must admit ... I am shocked, joyed and overwhelmed at what took place today. I am sure there are liberal Catholics everywhere wondering what their next step needs to be.
Apparently you can't even get to Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club ... wonder why? :)
Our month of total and complete hell has come to an end
We watched the Incredibles last night. We all slept in our usual places and I came in to work knowing where I am going to be headed AFTER work.
Net damage ...
$500 cell phone bill
$600 gas bill
old house note AND rent for an apartment
$1200 in repairs to old house
moving, deposits etc ...
I will relay my story in a later post ... its been a bad month. I have much in the way of suffering to offer up ... Time for us to review redemptive suffering and why this facet of Catholicism answers one of the toughest questions posed to all religious.
Add the Eucharist to the List of Items Prohibited for Sale on EBay
Add the Eucharist to the List of Items Prohibited for Sale on EBay
Still super busy but I thought I would put this up real quick. Signatures coming in fast ... add yours to it.
Better yet ... back up your signature with ACTION
... http://pages.ebay.com/help/account/clos ... unt.html#5
<-- if you have an ebay account, this is how you cancel it.
Rate of adult conversions to the US Church
From Sherry Weddell of St. Catherine of Siena Institute
shamelessly lifted from Mark Shea
From my research of the past week (while re-writing a portion of Making Disciples, Equipping Apostles;
I'd like to add this bit of reality about adult conversions to the US Church:
in 1960, the pre-Vatican II height: 145,000 adults entered
in 1975, the nadir: 75,000 adults centered
Under JPII, the trend has completely reversed itself. Since 1994:
23,000 more adults have entered the Church every year than did in 1960:
An average 163,000 adults every year between 1994 and 2003. That's 1.635 million adult converts in only ten years.
If adult converts to Catholicism from those 10 years alone were a denomination, we would be the 16th largest in America, right behind the Episcopalians and ahead of the Churches of Christ and the Greek Orthodox.
And I will make this prediction. This week of incredibly powerful coverage of the Pope's life, faith, impact and the endless interviews with believing Catholics is going to be the catalyst of the spiritual awakening of millions around the world. I'm betting on a significant jump in adult converts on Easter, 2006 and an increase in priestly and religious vocations in the next two years.
God bless you, John Paul the Great. We owe you so much!
Likely won't comment later due to time constraints but in short, I see the same thing happening and I totally agree with the prediction. The Holy Spirit is moving in a big way.
With gratitude (and apologies) to C. S. Lewis.
Moving over the next month and a half
OK, life has proven difficult on the personal front for about the last 3 days. We are in the process of selling our house and there is much that needs to be done before closing which is supposed to happen on March 30. Anyway, then closing on our new home isn't scheduled until April 26. That leaves us living it on the run.
Anyway, I will try to blog as time permits but it is going to be rough the next month or so.
Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed
Restoration of Byzantine-style Catholic Church
Restoration of Byzantine-style Catholic church
The 1995 fire had been set by a Des Moines man consumed with hatred over the Catholic church's stands on homosexuality, masturbation and abortion.
But ironically, the people trying to bring the old church back to life found themselves at odds with people from their own diocese and their own parish council - people who thought it would be more sensible to take the $3.9 million insurance settlement, build a more modest $3 million church to replace it, and have cash left over. ... She's one of the many who believe that the Catholic leadership should have renovated the old structure "instead of building this other barn out here, as we call it."
Reading stuff like this is painful. One person left the Church over this. I am glad efforts are being made, but it is truly sad that the parish leadership chose otherwise. Our parish currently worships in a typical 70's building and after donations to build a new "more traditional" church failed to come in, the parish decided to go with a scaled down church and "keep the look of the old church" ... trust me, there is no look to it. Who deliberately chooses ugly or economical or time sensitive? It used to take decades to build churches. Sacrifices were made and time was usually one of them. Now we find ourselves motivated by deadlines and cost cutting ...
And in other recent news, we have folks wanting to run churches like Wal-Mart.
I have to keep telling myself that places like this
still exist but I am having to wonder how long they will when such flippant attitudes towards restoring them or building anything new to compare seem so rampant.
The gates will not prevail ... the gates will not prevail ... the gates will not prevail.
The Da Vinci Code: Why all the fuss?
Vatican Crusade Against "Da Vinci Code"? Hardly
via Ad Majorem Dei GloriamInsight Scoop 2004: TDVC "Expert": "It's ONLY a novel!"
A thought or two: Yesterday I took the time to count the number of articles from a Google search on "Catholic Church". The most cited story was about The DaVinci Code which I find most perplexing given that it isn't like the Pope ordered a full scale battle to rid the world of the novel. The press, however, has treated it this way. I have to agree with Carl at Insight Scoop ... Have your pick ... either "It's just a novel" or it "raises some serious questions about the origins of Christianity" ...
Catholic stories that the Da Vinci Code "smackdown"
1. UK Cardinal encourages voters to include abortion when casting their vote
2. Legal haggle over population laws in the Phillipines (lawmakers accused bishops of lying)
3. The Pope's health is improving
Also note that a close second in number of stories was about a lay group looking to help the Church better run itself ... Can we see the priority in the press about the Church?
Yeah .... its just a novel.
Pope: Communion to be Reserved to Those Who Know they Have Not Committed Mortal Sin
via Unam SanctumPurse snatchers finding victims in local Catholic churches
I knew it struck me as odd that few women were leaving their purses in the pews this past Sunday ... Don't read this column backwards!Michael J. Gaynor: THE "PRACTICING CATHOLIC" PRETENSE AND THE TRUTHNot enough "feminine"; too much "feminine". Which is it?
Didn't Chesterton point this out about all Catholic truths? One side says a doctrine isn't enough of (A) and another side says that it isn't enough of (NOT A) .. I think it was in Orthodoxy ... Response to a Lutheran about NFP
I mentioned this a few days ago and said that it was one of the best responses I have seen to the charge that NFP is essentially "Catholic birth control" ... Of course, my other favorite is "what? You don't know the difference between having sex and not having sex?"Genes, Intelligence, & ReligionBlessed Sacrament Rescued as Cathedral Burned
via Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
Alice Von Hildebrand: Reclaim the Supernatural
Reclaim the supernatural
via A Saintly Salmagundi
The sublime vocation of the priesthood is a calling to give oneself totally and completely to Christ: to understand how great a privilege it is to be his servant, to do his will, to represent the Holy One at the altar, to give absolution to the sinners in His name. To become a priest because one comes from a modest background, and the priesthood is a sure way of ascending in the social scale, is an unworthy motive. Any wise spiritual director would turn down such “vocations.”
Alas, ambition is deeply rooted in one’s fallen nature, and it is a sheer illusion to believe that because one has a calling to the priesthood, one is ipso facto, liberated from this shackle. There are priests who hope to become a monsignor — a step that will possibly lead to being consecrated a bishop, and a bishop can potentially become a cardinal. The lives of saints testify to the fact that the true servants of God shun honors, and when they are offered to them, either turn them down (let us think of Don Bosco), or accept them under the cross. When the Holy Pius X was elected, — something which he dreaded — he said; “I accept under the cross.”
See the key elements here ... sacrifice and humility ...
So What’s Wrong with Rock Music? (updated)
So What’s Wrong with Rock Music?
But as the sub-genres grow “harder” or “heavier” or more “metal”, the danger signals increase, not only because of the more frequent evil associations, as noted above, but because of certain elements in the music itself. Man creative as imitation of God the Creator
The first of these elements is distortion. While no sound is intrinsically immoral, and even distortion has its place in making a thematic point or portraying a particular mood, distortion is a staple of hard rock, which seems to delight in perverting and making ugly sounds that would otherwise have far more musical merit. Here the music mirrors the moral distortions with which it is so often associated.
The second element is the sheer volume of sound. Just as harder forms of rock almost never present a sweet passage without following it with the inevitable angry distortion, so also they rarely present a soft passage without following it will an ear-splitting (and ear-damaging) wall of sound. At a certain point of volume, all sounds become mere noise. True, apart from concerts, one can listen at lower volumes, but these electronically-generated sounds are built, as it were, for high volume, and the suggestion of electronic noise is very often present no matter what the playback volume. It has been suggested, and I think with reason, that there is an almost drug-like aspect to this immersion in a physically-damaging volume of sound.
The third element is the perversion of the human voice. Again, in fairness it must be noted that nearly every genre of music (with the possible except of folk) is defined in part by its peculiar shaping of the human voice. Whether we are listening to opera or country, there is a characteristic shifting of the voice for use in a predictable instrumental way. However, in hard rock music with male singers, the nearly universal and deliberate distortion of the voice into a toneless shout or growl suggests again a perversion of human characteristics and values. This trend reaches its nadir in the self-evidently and deliberately ugly sound of the “death voice” in certain Satanic and near-Satanic genres.
-- from John Paul II's Letter to Artists
None can sense more deeply than you artists, ingenious creators of beauty that you are, something of the pathos with which God at the dawn of creation looked upon the work of his hands. A glimmer of that feeling has shone so often in your eyes when—like the artists of every age—captivated by the hidden power of sounds and words, colours and shapes, you have admired the work of your inspiration, sensing in it some echo of the mystery of creation with which God, the sole creator of all things, has wished in some way to associate you.
In these things we appreciate the gifts of God, for the people of God … but why do I like certain things … Beautiful Sounds vs. Ugly Sounds
I think it is difficult to quantify what makes beautiful sound vs. ugly sound but I think that there is a generalization that can be made based on the type of music that meets the high standard that is considered preferable for liturgy. Chant holds the highest place, in terms of music, for the liturgy, followed by vocal pieces accompanied by instrumentation to finally that of performances containing solely instrumentation. Consider a hierarchy developed around the idea of connectivity to the voice/human ability to express and the genres typically associated with them.
Classical/Voice: The human voice – As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes “that first and most perfect of instruments, the work of God Himself”
Classical symphonic/ Classic Jazz / Folk: Instruments requiring intimate human interaction – strings, brass, guitars, piano
Light Rock/Rock/Contemporary Jazz: instruments masking intimate human action – guitars run through effects (delay)
Rock/Electronic: Instruments most lacking in intimate human interaction – drum machines, samplers, sequencers, tape loops, DJ work.
Naturally in liturgy one can see a relationship between what is preferable in mass and what is least preferable. The level of division from the perfect instrument, us, is what further divides the medium from God. Still, that doesn’t explain why I like what is essentially the MOST removed from instrumentation best suited for mass. But if it is not necessarily compatible with mass, is it compatible with the Christian life at all? I believe so and let me explain why. The elements higher up the chain are intimately spiritual. They emphasize the emotional aspects of humanity. One only needs hear the pain of a tragic opera or the passion of a violin soloist to understand this. The elements lower down the chain, while removed some from the deep spiritual aspects tend to emphasize the logical qualities of us, and as images of Him, God. Drum machines are meticulously manipulated to create complex and highly intricate and logical patterns. They appeal to the mathematical, the philosophical, and the logical. They appeal to the St. Thomas Aquinas in all of us. While possibly lesser in pure terms, we still have an emphasis on a particular aspect of humanity. We also have a glimpse into a deep concept of the logical aspect of absolute truth from an angle that is difficult to achieve with more classical instrumentation. Composition vs. Improvisation
A similar hierarchy can be developed for composition style. Consider the following:
Classical: composed music
Folk, Rock: composed with some improvisation
Jazz: Primarily improvised music
Composed music appeals to the logical in us. Improvised music appeals to the emotional in us, a more human side … but a side created by God. Jazz can provoke us to consider better the human nature of Christ and thus lead us directly into deep contemplation of the mystery of the Incarnation itself.
There are many more ways this can be broken down all of which are intriguing and fascinating ways to use the gift of music to appreciate deep truths of the faith. All express different areas of His glory and emphasize different aspects of the faith. These things can, and should, be used to Glorify Him. Talent, even in grossly secular music is a glory to God as it is a gift from Him. Talent ordered towards the divine draws us into the mysteries of the faith. Talent ordered towards the world thrusts us into the desires of the world. Such is the power of music to touch us. The key is developing a solid level of discernment by study of the truth. A song that is composed to the altar of worldly virtue is going to reveal itself, if not explicitly, in the choice of phrases and combined instrumentation. Our job as Christians is not to eliminate genres of music as wholly un-Godly to be avoided by the faithful. Rather, we are to engage the culture and baptize its elements to Christ in order to bring the world to a full realization of Christ and His love for us. This is the Catholic way.
St. Blogs Parish Hall and Google/Yahoo news search RSS feeds
Canada: Analysis Finds Canadian 'Catholic New Times' Newspaper Anything But 'Catholic'
Lifesite: Analysis Finds Canadian 'Catholic New Times' Newspaper Anything But 'Catholic'
Motivated by the current controversy surrounding the political attempt to redefine Canadian law to include same-sex marriages, and the CNT's explicit support of this attempt, Fr. De Valk asks the question of whether this contradiction of Church teaching was an anomaly for the editorial board at CNT. The result is a comprehensive and systematic examination of the philosophical and political premises that have motivated CNT editors and contributors since its inception 27 years ago to its direct support of same-sex marriage beginning in the fall of 2003 when then Prime Minister Jean Chretien declined to challenge the Supreme Court's June ruling.
Available in parishes and Catholic school libraries across the country, CNT's reporting on social justice issues is well known. Fr. de Valk himself wrote "Some of these articles I read with much interest, others less so, but in general I thought the topics were worthwhile and interesting." However, on the critical moral and doctrinal issues, especially those surrounding homosexuality, the priesthood and abortion, Fr. de Valk emphatically states "This is no longer a Catholic paper." Actually, it never was.
I am shocked it took 27 years to figure this out. News flash!!!!
Dissent 27 years ago breeds dissent today.
Judge says, judge rules, court decides ...
I am sick of reading headlines that start like this .... Republic? Vaguely. How much control over important things do we have any more? When will we get to decide again?
I know some folks who favor a monarchy. At least in that case I have the assurance that me not being in control is part of the system. There is at least honesty. You are king ... you make the laws. I deal.
In this country my not being in control is done in the name of my consent, yet completely without it. Sigh ...
Around the world in 8 ways (update)
"More people use Christian Media Than Attend Church"
If you are reading my blog (you likely aren’t) and you fall into this category …Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant … Go to Church spotty. Bowling Balls Come in Different Scents
- I guess the even more amusing thing was that this was a TOP HEADLINE
from the AP today. Hail, Mary - on growing Protestant devotion to Mary
I am seeing this more and more. It started right around the time of The Passion of the Christ. Christianity Today had an article on this same thing and from what I gathered there has been some soul searching in Protestant corners precisely because the movie emphasized what had to have been a quite intense relationship between Christ and His Mother. It is also quite obvious that the reformers, particularly Luther, held very Catholic beliefs regarding the Blessed Virgin. I have heard of Protestant rosary sites and even seen Protestants defending Catholic Marian beliefs against the extreme word play employed by the fiercest anti-Catholic apologists. I pray this continues. After all, Mary has a tendency to lead people to her Son. Marian dogma is actually amongst the most beautiful of all the teachings of the Church. Every one of them reveals a masterful plan by God and emphasizes a glorious truth about our Lord. She truly does lead us to Him. Everybody (do do doo do do) Everybody
- NEW Homestar Runner poster!!!
The description mentions something about being the envy of your dorm. I knew I had never really gotten over being in college. Ahhh.. Dorm stories. Another endless supply of blogging material ... Philippines - Legislators to bishops: Stop lying on population
- I wish it would have been made clear exactly what "lies" the bishops supposedly told. I mean, what am I supposed to make of this?
We have vague accusations of lies.
We have some vague information about letters, text messages and the like received.
The article NEVER claimed they were from the bishops.
The only bishop cited affirmed a Church teaching.
It seems to me that this article serves one purpose. Making the reader assume the accusation is true. The bishops do not need lies to fight the population police. The truth stands well enough on its own. My guess is that the teachings of the Church are being emphasized. If so, then support for such a measure should be lacking … more: CBCP says Church failed to educate flock on abortion
Vague is becoming less so ... The "lies" apparently seem to revolve around the definition of abortion.Catholic Group to Promote Church Overhaul
On bishop appointments, the roundtable recommended that a committee of the U.S. hierarchy work with human resources experts to improve the process by clearly defining qualifications, adding face-to-face interviews with candidates and encouraging "well-informed nominations" from priests and lay parishioners.
Actually, I am all for it if the qualifications include
Willingness to heavily promote unpopular teachings,
Willingness to excommunicate dangerous heterodox lay members and clergy and
Willingness to support rampant fundraising to gut modern flying saucer churches and fill them with relics, statues, art, candles and other items to re-establish a solid link to the rich history of the faith.
I have a sneaking suspicion that they do not. I am starting to think that the typical American deification of Democracy should be considered a new heresy. We seem to think that we have found some good ideas ... capitalism, democracy ... that need to be applied to God. "Hey God ... got a problem with that adultery bit”. I really think that Americans have a lot to get over when going through the continuous conversion process of becoming Catholic. It is hard to give up the idea that your voice is important even when you KNOW that His voice contradicts yours and requires submission on your part. Americans are not used to submitting to authority … we normally have a say. News flash … God doesn’t work that way. UK: Cardinal tells Catholics to reject Labour over abortion
Another sign. Another year that will go by where the left will ignore the obvious. The trend everywhere is towards conservatism. ITS ABORTION STUPID
To carry over from my tornado blurb yesterday, there is a Slight chance of tornadoes today in northern Florida and southern Georgia. See more in the Mar-14-2005 1300 UTC Day 1 Convective Outlook.
Continuing on that ... Storm Prediction Center Severe Thunderstorm Watch 50
Samurai, tornado season, dissent ... lots of chaos today
Did you realize that nothing in the Church is ever settled?
I admit it. I got bent out of shape this morning. I read an article and then went to mass. I spent most of the drive there venting to my wife about it. I decided not to comment after mass preferring to nap instead ... Seems though that the Curt Jester
saved me the time commenting on this "Whose Church is this"
mess anyway and thus thankfully avoiding an occasion for sin. Seems its a glorious and wonderful thing to be a dissenter in the eyes of some. I'm too new a Catholic to take this type of thing in stride. I seek humility and acceptance of this matter and I pray that my hope in His promise that the gates of hell will not prevail is enough to get me through the day. Thanks for saying what needed to be said Jeff. (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam also comments) FYI, this is what they are upset about
having to sign. A superb requirement
in my opinion. I wish all bishops were willing to go out on a limb like this in order to ensure that the teachings of the Church are taught
rather than undermined. The Dusty Choir Loft: The Last Samurai and it's liturgical relevance
I love Samurai films. Now I can feel like one of the Seven Samurai when I experience bad liturgy. Kurosawa anyone?Tornadoes
The real start of tornado season is soon to be upon us which means I will be glued to various web sites and be tempted to get satellite TV again just to watch coverage of major outbreaks as they happen. I am a severe weather enthusiast. I own Tornado Video Classics 1-3
(thanks to my wonderful wife who realizes this need to see the awesome fury of nature) ... I have always had dreams about tornadoes. I would say that I have about 10-15 dreams a year and they are quite frightening and often times very graphic. Still, that does not hinder my interest in them. In fact, it likely fuels my interest in them.
I am thankful that there are others who are interested in them because in the last several years there has been an increase in the lead time often given to those in the path of these destructive monsters. I am convinced that the events in Oklahoma City on May 3, 1999 (see especially Storm A)
would have been far worse if not for the incredible coverage given to the tornado. The gravity of the situation was well documented, in real time, for the entire community to see and have full knowledge AS THINGS WERE HAPPENING. Still, over 40 people died.
What tornadoes truly bring to realization for me is that there are some things that are well outside of our control. If you are in the path of an F5 and not underground, there is little you can do that will ensure your being alive after the storm passes. It is almost a certain death sentence. I got my first real understanding of that by reading accounts of the Jarrel F5
just outside of Austin Texas. You cannot begin to comprehend the damage that occurred until you hear some of the incredible accounts of the storm. Foundations were wiped clean. The earth was extracted to a depth of 18" in some places and I have read accounts where evidence of cars that were known to be in the neighborhood at the time could not be found. Video of the 1995 Pampa TX (Windows Media)
and ... another (Windows Media)
... the debris in this one is incredible. In the TVC videos, they slow this down and show that there are SUV's roatating around the funnel about 80 feet off the ground.
We found a gem of a church today (St. Joseph Co-Cathedral - Thibodeaux, Louisiana)
Another entry in the race for most beautiful church in south Louisiana.
This morning I decided that a semi-long trek down to Thibodeaux, Louisiana (pop ~ 15,000) in order to catch my alma mater play a baseball game was in order. It was an excuse to get outside on a gorgeous day and to see how my children would respond to a laid back sporting event. We had to leave the game after a mere 3-innings but on the way out of town I caught a glimpse of a church out the corner of my eye that required investigation. When we arrived, mass was ending. We walked through the door and this is what we saw:
The name of the church is St. Joseph Co-Cathedral. (dicoese page) (home page)
A full collection of photographs can be found here
Another fascinating feature of this church is a relic from a second century martyr named St. Valerie of Milan.
I would also like to reference a post that Fr. Bryce Sibley made about St. Elizabeth's in Paincourtville, LA
... looks like another day will require another trip down the bayou.
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Opus Dei monk confirms ...
The European Union is a Catholic plot to impose Catholicism on Protestant Britain. (bettnet)
One Catholic in the room ... foil hats. These kids know something you don't.
(once again ... NOTE - for the uniformed ... there is no such thing as an Opus Dei Monk)