November 30, 2006
Ten years ago today I married my wife at St. Luke’s Church in Irving, TX. The Mass was glorious – we had seven servers, a full polyphonic choir, a Novus Ordo Mass in Latin with our favorite priest, Fr. James, saying Mass versus orientem.
The reception, attended by the largest gathering on both sides of our families in years, was held at the University of Dallas cafeteria. We had a live polka band (everyone should have a live band that plays music everyone can dance to) and the desserts were delicious. One of my brothers-in-law made a chocolate cake that used ground nuts for the flour. I don’t think I have ever had anything so rich in my life.
Ten years later, we can point to our eight kids (two in heaven) and say “See how much I love you?” My wife has never lost faith in me even though I frequently lose it in myself, especially trying to run a Catholic bookstore.
Happy Anniversary, Sweetie! I would do it all over again if given the chance. You are a wonderful blessing to me and all our kids.
November 25, 2006
Over the past couple of weeks I have exchanged letters with a bishop who did not like my religious education critiques or my reference to the USCCB’s Catechetical list (The List) as a magic eight ball. He took my comments as an insult directed at the bishops’ wisdom and teaching. To avoid any misunderstandings, I won’t be using that reference to The List anymore.
He also had the following comment about The List which I think is a very important point that just about everyone, including the National Catholic Register which has been running a long series on dioceses being in compliance with The List, has missed.
Placing a text or series on the approved list does not constitute an endorsement. Similar to an imprimatur, it means only that the series is in conformity with the Catechism and does not contradict it. This is a negative statement and should be understood that way.
Since I know of at least one parish that has banned the use of the Baltimore Catechism because it is not on The List and since I have never talked to anyone about The List who didn’t think that The List was either a recommendation list by the bishops or the only texts allowed for use in the Church, I thought quoting the bishop here was important.
Because The List is the lowest possible bar on which to choose a text and really doesn’t give any indication of the quality of a series, we have started a new project – Catholic Catechetical Review (www.catecheticalreview.com) This website is a wiki, meaning that anyone can add and edit the content of the site. We thought that such an open, colaborative project would be the best way to build up a body of helpful information about the various religious education programs on the market. This site is meant to point out both the good and bad points within programs and we hope will become a main stopping point for educators and parents before making a decision about the programs they choose.
If you want to help with the project, simply create an acount and start reviewing the program you are currently using.
We are in the process of building up some help files to assist you, as wiki editing is different than your standard blog or website. We are also looking for donations so that we can purchase different series and mail them to people who would like to review them. This project is part of our commitment to providing you with the best in Catholic products to assist you on your journey to Heaven.
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November 23, 2006
This week’s Catholic Herald contains a column from our bishop addressing the issue of Mass attendance. He encouraged all parents to set the example for their children by attending Mass weekly and taking their children with them. He quoted the Catechism on the subject and emphasized that not attending Mass weekly can put their souls in jeopardy.
The column isn’t up yet, but check back to the link above for the full text shortly.
November 16, 2006
I just got a notice from our health insurance company that our health insurance is going up 20% next year. For $600 of month ($7200 a year), I will have a $5,000 deductible for my family. This year, we had to pay over $5,000 in medical bills because some stuff was out of network.
Our health insurance costs have gone up 100% ($300 a month) in the last three years. Of that amount, $100 a month is because we had two more kids.
Does anyone have any suggestions (apart from giving up our kids for adoption) of where to get reasonably priced insurance? This is our greatest monthly expense after our mortgage, even more than food! If we have one semi-major injury in a year we are going to be paying over $13,000 out of pocket for medical costs for the year.
You constantly hear about how many uninsured people there are in the country but they never break it down by how many don’t want insurance, how many are really too poor and how many are average people who have to make a choice between insurance and food.
November 16, 2006
Just a last minute reminder for you . . .
If you haven’t already signed up for the Essential Classics of Catholic Spirituality pre-notification list, there’s only a few hours left until the launch. And the Essential Classics collection will only be available to people on this list. . . you won’t be able to get a hold of it any other way. The sale ends today (Thursday) at 5pm!
Here’s the link. Get on the list right now before you miss your chance:
Click Here for the special offer!