The Power of One

June 29, 2006

By the time Fr. Peter arrived in 1993, the church was virtually in total disrepair. Dark, dreary and empty–the physical condition of the church in many ways represented the spiritual state of the community. The confirmation program puttered along with only a handful of students. The financial state of the parish was miserable. The baptistry had been turned into a makeshift closet and the bells in the ancient steeple had been gone for decades.

But Fr. Peter had a vision. For one thing, he started a youth program, which involved door-to-door evangelization. He walked through the government projects and befriended the gang bangers. He passed out holy cards. He knew names, faces and families. It wasn’t safe. His family and friends feared for his life. But at 11pm at night, he was back out there night after night. He found other youth who assisted him in his ministry.

One year after he arrived, the Bishop came to confirm 200 young people.

Read the rest.

(H/T to Amy at Open Book)


It’s Carnival Time!

June 29, 2006

The latest Catholic Carnival has been kicked over in its traces.


Time to hit the books? Aquinas and More can help! 10% – 15% off all school books!

June 28, 2006

Weekly Newsletter

 

06/28/2006

 

If you haven’t seen the Didache High School series, you should take a look!

Fran Rutherford’s two-volume Greek Classics (Student Book and Teacher’s Guide) provides an ideal course for parents who homeschool high school students and for teachers of secondary education who wish to introduce their students to the great books of Western civilization, “the best that has been thought and said,” in Matthew Arnold’s famous phrase.

Latin can benefit everyone!

Prima Latina is a preparatory course for Cheryl Lowe’s Latina Christiana. It is intended for teachers with no background in Latin and was developed for children in kindergarten through third grade. The course was designed for students who are still becoming familiar with English grammar. Its goal is to teach and reinforce an understanding of the basic parts of speech while teaching beginner Latin. This provides a child a solid foundation in grammar before moving on to more advanced language and Latin skills.

Who would like to study science? Astronomy, Biology, Physics, and more!

Classic Literature, including: Huckleberry Finn, Canterbury Tales, and the Narnia books.

Of course, with any school, teachers need resources as well. We have everything a teacher could need.

Overheard at Dinner

June 26, 2006

From Margaret, 5: “I just got the thigh of the bread.”

“I think you meant the heel.”

“Andrew, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

“A daddy.”


The Dark Side of Philanthropy

June 25, 2006

Today Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world, announced plans to give away his 40 billion in wealth. On the surface this sounds great but when you read the details, it isn't so nice anymore.

Here is how the donations work. He has designated a total number of stock shares to be given to each of 5 foundations. Each year, 5% of that total will be given to the foundations until Buffet dies.

  • 10 million shares to the Gates Foundation. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, has been reluctant to admit that his foundation supports population control, but it has given millions to Planned Parenthood and to other population control groups.
  • 1million shares to the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation. This foundation, named after Buffet's wife, "primary focus is family planning, and reproductive health and rights, both domestically and internationally".
  • 350,000 shares to the Susan A Buffet Foundation. This foundation, while focusing on helping poor children and foster care programs, has also given money to Planned Parenthood in Nebraska.
  • 350,000 shares to the Howard G Buffet Foundation. This foundation focuses on conservation and environmental protection but seems to stay away from population control issues.
  • 350,000 shares to the Novo Foundation. I can't find any information on this foundation except for the information in the CNN article which states that the foundation is "focused on funding individuals and organizations working to open up education opportunities, reverse environmental degradation, uphold human rights, and improve understanding and respect among various cultures and ethnicities". "Upholding human rights" has become almost synonymous with population control these days so this seems pretty questionable as well.

And Planned Parenthood needs our tax money to stay in business? I don't think so.


15% Off All Ignatius Press Books

June 23, 2006

View our selection of over 600 books from Ignatius Press

The Ignatius Study Bible also includes Topical Essays, Word Studies and Charts. Each page also includes an easy-to-use Cross-Reference Section. Study Questions are provided for each chapter of the Gospel that can deepen your personal study of God's Holy Word. There is also an introductory essay covering questions of authorship, date, destination, structure and themes.

 Angels (And Demons)
What Do We Really Know About Them?

In response to actual questions many people have asked him about angels and demons, well-known author and philosophy professor Peter Kreeft separates fact from fantasy and myth from reality as he answers 100 common questions about these spiritual beings. Based on a very popular college course he teaches on this subject, this book responds to the incredible amount of interest in angelic beings and attempts to clear up some of the misinformation abounding in the numerous books today on what we know about these mysterious spirits.

Learn more about the thoughts of the new Pope! Books by Cardinal Ratzinger!

Exorcist Stories 

Since satanic sects, occultism, séances, fortune-tellers and astrologers are so widespread today, Father Amorth asks the question why is it so difficult today to find an exorcist, or a priest who is an expert in this field? The example and the teaching of Christ is very clear, as is the tradition of the Church. But today’s Catholics are often misinformed.

Vision Books for Youths

"A series which should be found wherever there are young Catholic readers." —Ave Maria

"The Vision Books are splendid in design and format."
—Catholic Standard and Times

"The entire series of Vision Books is recommended for solid training of youth."
—The Tablet

A pagan at only 12 and totally agnostic by 16, Chesterton had the remarkable experience of developing a personal, positive philosophy that turned out to be orthodox Christianity. Orthodoxy, his account of it all, has not lost its force as a timeless argument for the simple plausibility of traditional Christianity. C.S. Lewis and many other emerging Christian thinkers have found this book a pivotal step in their adoption of a credible Christian faith. This intellectual and spiritual autobiography of the leading 20th century essayist combines simplicity with subtlety in a model apologetic that appeals to today's generations of readers who face the same materialism and antisupernaturalism as did the "man at war with his times."

The Rosary: Chain of Hope offers us an opportunity to step back for a few minutes from the noise and din of life. In our busy modern life with its distractions and discouragements, the Rosary can be a wonderful means of prayer and an easy way to come into contact with the presence of God, Our Lady, and the saints. It is an especially good technique for growing in deeper understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The mysteries of the Rosary now take us through the whole Gospel, into the mysteries of eternal life, which are dimly but powerfully portrayed in the Book of Revelation.

Six by C.S. Lewis
Known for his graceful prose, delightful humor, refreshing logic, and solid faith, C.S. Lewis has captivated generations of readers. Lewis is considered by many to be one of the most outstanding, imaginative and thoughtful Christian writers of the 20th century. Now you can enjoy six of his best-loved works collected in this superb slip-cased set.

Set Includes:

 

  • The Great Divorce
  • A Grief Observed
  • Mere Christianity
  • Miracles
  • The Problem of Pain
  • The Screwtape Letters.
  • Will Catholics be Left Behind?

    This powerful book is a thorough Catholic critique of the popular Fundamentalist belief in the "Rapture"-the belief that Christians will be removed from earth prior to a time of Tribulation and the Second Coming. Olson, editor of Envoy magazine and a former Fundamentalist, examines the theological, historical, and Biblical basis for the "Rapture" by carefully examining "premillennial dispensationalism," the belief system behind the Left Behind books and propagated by "Biblical prophecy experts" such as Tim LaHaye and Hal Lindsey.

    Written for both the lay person and the serious student, this book combines an engaging, popular approach with detailed footnotes and exhaustive research. Beginning with the big picture, it focuses first on key concepts such as eschatology, the Parousa, "end times", the Kingdom, and the Church. Olson then exposes Fundamentalist author and Left Behind creator LaHaye's antagonism towards the Catholic Church, showing that LaHaye's many works on "Bible prophecy" are filled with attacks on Catholicism and numerous errors.


    New Store in Town

    June 22, 2006

    One of our regulars came in today and told us about a new Christian store that had opened in town so after work I went down to take a look.

    The store is about 30,000 square feet (the size of a Hobby Lobby) and has sections for gifts, books and Bibles, education, music and t-shirts and kids' stuff.

    Apart from this store there are already about five other Christian (non-Catholic) retail stores, a used Christian bookstore and Focus on the Family's massive retail center.

    In comparison, there are three Catholic stores in town. All three are between 1200 and 2000 square feet. There are about 80,000 Catholics in our city so you would think that our town could support more and larger stores but you would be wrong.

    The problem is, that in general, non-Catholic Christians seem to be a lot more interested in their faith than Catholics are. I would estimate that less than 10% of the local church-going Catholics have ever set foot in one.

    The local churches need to understand that if they are ever going to get Catholics interested in their Faith, they need to take a couple of business principles to heart.

    First, it is far easier to work with customers you have than to acquire new ones. A parish needs to first focus on those people who actually show up to church. Each week the priest or deacon has between 10 and 15 minutes to engage his congregation and challenge them to take their Faith seriously. Every week that a homily consists of platitudes and be nice to your neighbor is an opportunity lost to expose people to the richness of the Faith.

    The Faith is challenging. The Faith is dangerous. The Faith is exciting. If the homily doesn't kick people out of their Sunday delirium, the congregation will just coast through another hour of Mass and go back home to do the more important things for the week until the inconvenience of Sunday Mass comes around again.

    Second, parishes need to realize that people need something out of the ordinary at Mass. Mass is like looking through the keyhole at Heaven's gate and seeing what goes on inside. Do your Masses give this impression? Or has your pastor tried to make things so "relevant" that you leave Mass wondering why you even bothered showing up? If the Mass isn't beautiful, if the Mass doesn't raise people above the pedestrian, you can't really expect the people to treat their Faith as the most important aspect of their lives. In fact, if it doesn't lift them up, it will quickly fall lower in priority than sports, television and just about anything else that grabs people's attention today.

    Okay Father, you have 15 minutes. What are you going to do this Sunday to get people excited about their Faith?