Saturday, May 09, 2009

Serious stuff.

Another priest has been attacked.
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Reverend Shaji F. Varghese, 42, Administrator of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Sinton, Texas, was stabbed several times around 8:00 a.m. Friday morning. The incident happened around 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, right after the priest finished serving mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.
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Rev. Varghese was kicked and beaten and stabbed several times after the celebration of Mass at the Parish in Sinton. He is now at Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi being evaluated and prepared for surgery. As of 11:00 a.m. this morning, Father Varghese remains unconscious. He is 42 years of age and was appointed Administrator of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Sinton on October 15, 2007. - News source.
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Remember to pray for our priests. This is the second such attack upon a priest I have heard about in a month. It makes no difference if the attacker is mentally ill or not, they seem to be motivated by hatred for the faith. In fact I would not be at all surprised if they are set off by such movies as Angels and Demons, or some other type of anti-Catholic propaganda. I'm serious.
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Link:
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H/T to Paula for the news story.
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Stuff like that.

Church people stuff.
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I ran into a friend on Easter Sunday at the Cathedral. I think I told you I was happy at the Cathedral because it was so big and I could be anonymous there. Wrong. Anyway, this very dear young lady asked if I would do some painting for the presipio (Nativity) this year. I was very happy to say yes, then she mentioned that she would like to see more than a few angels and had visions of a town scape. I still thought I could do it. She gave me her card and I said I would call her. But I forgot to.
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I saw her again on Divine Mercy Sunday - I explained I forgot, but I'd call her the next day. She said she was leaving on vacation that Wednesday, so that would be good. But I forgot again.
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Now I feel guilty. I realized I don't really want to get involved - well I wouldn't mind painting a few things, but I don't know about a whole set. Then I'm scared to get involved with church people again. It's bad enough with Adoration Wednesdays at my parish.
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I can't stand the thought of being obligated to do something - which is why I do not normally do commissions. With the Wednesday thing, I have to be there to repose the Blessed Sacrament. I have to talk with the ladies too. I stopped going to daily Mass there because I have to go down for coffee - I don't like stuff like that. I just want to go to church and pray - I don't want to be on a committee or anything.
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With the Cathedral thing I'm scared of getting involved with church people again - it happened at the Church Goods Store I worked in - all the gossip, the arguments about this or that, the criticism, the holier than thou stuff - "You are so going to hell if you watch 30 Rock!" That kind of stuff. I used to catch hell when people found out I was a big Cheers fan, then Seinfeld, then Friends. People make me crazy. I get enough of that kind of crap just blogging.
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Don't scold - I'll call my friend.
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Kill all the old people.
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I watched 20/20 last night. I would like to duct-tape John Stossel's mouth shut. He had a thing on how Medicare is wasted on the elderly. He interviewed rich old people who live in Florida, who could pay for their own medical needs but take advantage of medicare - which is their right to do. Two geezers - one a billionaire - who have studied the situation claim Medicare is a waste of money. Tell that to urban elderly who can't even afford over the counter medications. Young people who have been so accustomed to being coddled with entitlements said they think it is selfish and unfair of old people to gobble up all the Social Security that they (old people) paid into all of their lives. I'd like to take those little bastards and...
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Anyway, hang onto your walkers - euthanasia is just around the corner.
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Gay bullies - there ought to be a law.
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I got an email asking, "Dear Mr. Know-it-all, why don't you ever write about lesbian issues?" First of all, I don't like lesbians - I hate it when women try to be men - which is what female masturbation is all about, as well as artificial insemination with a turkey baster. (On the other hand, male masturbation is effeminate and indicative of a weak character. Remember how athletes used to abstain from sex? And don't forget, saints are the most manly men ever.) Besides, radical feminism and lesbianism are the same isms - they are one and the same. Just ask Anne Heche and a few other high-profile celebrities who use lesbian chic to their own advantage. (I suppose Joy Behart isn't a lesbian - but rad-feminists just aren't that much different than dikes - IMHO. LOL!)
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Have you ever read Eve Tushnet?
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Speaking about misinterpreting Theology of the Body...
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Did anyone watch Nightline the other night when Christopher West was on? Terrible editing and horrible sound bites - and I don't think much of West for agreeing to it. Yeah - there's money in Theology of the Body stuff. I told you about the novice who was involved with the spiritual director priest who convinced her that Theology of the Body liberated them to have intercourse? Anyway - the story went something like that. Amateurs - all amateurs.
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Jealousy and envy.
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I'll admit it, I was once very envious of my friend Bob because he had more degrees than I did. He graduated with honors from two colleges. He earned his first degree at Lee's Barber College, and later graduated with honors from Minneapolis College of Beauty. Then he married and had two children, runs a successful salon and lives in an upscale suburb. I'm not jealous any more however.
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Jealousy and envy is a bad thing - it starts a lot of fights. I once loved to fight.
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Well, that's about it for today folks. Have a good one.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Liar.

What? She's a liar.

Priest specialists?

Or priests with special needs?
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The celibacy issue is being raised once again because of Fr. Cutie - the whole affair sounds a bit like Dave Stone's problem when he left EWTN a while back. I understand priests are men, and like all men, they can go astray. But why does a priest's fall from grace always signal a call for an end to celibacy and an insistence on permitting married clergy, or even actively gay priests? Why is the idea of repentance and discipline scrapped in favor of lobbying for the Church to compromise regulation and Tradition? (I find it interesting that amongst those who call for a married priesthood, some would like to see women ordained as well.)
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Cutie seems to have been in favor of married priests, suggesting, "'a married priest would be just as holy' as a celibate one." (Perhaps, although I would have used 'could be as' instead of 'would be as' - but that's just me.)
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He also seemed to have created a rather specialized ministry: "I'm not the priest for the regular Catholic crowd," he told Hispanic magazine in 2007. "I made that decision a long time ago. I'm the priest for the lost sheep. Which is why I do the media thing and the press thing and the book thing."
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Charismatic and bilingual, Father Alberto is on a first-name basis with celebrities such as Gloria Estefan, Andy Garcia, Willy Chirino and Shakira, and he often presides over high-profile ceremonies in Miami's Cuban community. - Source
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I think that was part of the problem, Cutie became a celebrity himself.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Office: Dwight gave Phyllis a massage tonite...



Because she threw her back out in Michael's disco. I'm tellin' ya - one of the writers must have worked for me at one time or another.

I don't know, what do you think Adolph?

Homofascism?
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I mentioned the SA in another post last week, but some people found it disturbing. Today I found more disturbing news...
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"With the rise of an increasingly militant and even violent homosexual movement which has threatened and assaulted Christians for their opposition to their political agenda, homosexual activists in the U.S. and Europe have been increasingly accused of "homofascism."
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Now, a self-described "gay left-wing" journalist in Britain has admitted that the fascist tendency of homosexuals is far more than a conservative rhetorical trope.
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"It's time to admit something. Fascism isn't something that happens out there, a nasty habit acquired by the straight boys. It is - in part, at least - a gay thing, and it's time for non-fascist gay people to wake up and face the marching music."
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According to Hari, the homosexual tendency in Nazism is strongly reflected among fascistic Europeans today. He observes that "Dutch fascist" Pim Fortuyn was an open homosexual who spoke publicly about his sexual behavior. Jorg Haider of Austria's neo-fascist Freedom Party died while leaving a gay bar, after much media speculation about his rumored homosexual relationships. Michael Kuhnen, leader of Germany's neo-fascist movement in the 1980s, died in the early 90s of AIDS after publicly acknowledging his homosexuality. The list goes on and on, Hari says.
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Hari quotes the homosexual pornographic film-maker Bruce LaBruce, who states openly that "all gay porn today is implicitly fascist. Fascism is in our bones, because it's all about glorifying white male supremacy and fetishizing domination, cruelty, power and monstrous authority figures." - Source
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Call me vicious, but I just found this to be interesting, coming as it does from a gay journalist.
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Photo: An example of Mussolini's fascist art. “Physical culture,” as the Fascists like to call it, was an important aspect of the regime’s ideology. - Source

I crack myself up.



I was on another blog where one of the contributors offered a hypothetical scenario involving a terrorist threatening to nuke NYC. The detonation would take place when the heartbeat of an unborn infant reached a certain number - like the 200000th heartbeat or something like that. I loved all the comments - serious ethical and moral considerations were offered as to what could be done: Abort the baby or let millions die? Anyway, my suggestion was to simply evacuate the city.

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I laughed myself to sleep.
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Photo: Atomic cake.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

On complacent and apathetic Catholics.

Another bishop speaks.
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Archbishop Chaput is one of our country's 'great' bishops who understands well what is happening in our culture.
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"Archbishop Chaput said that the public witness of many American Christians is “softening,” with some groups working “very vigorously” to secularize or de-Christianize public life and popular culture.
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American Catholics have successfully fit themselves into American culture, so that “too many of us are happy with our complacency, vanity, compromises, comfort and bad formation.”
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“What’s new about our current moment is that too many Christians have made peace with that sinfulness, baptized it with the language of personal conscience, and stopped trying to convert anybody -- including themselves.”
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While a “post-Christian” society may seem similar to the world St. Paul confronted, it is in fact “much worse” because the old pagan world was ignorant of Christ, but today’s paganism involves “a specific choice against Jesus Christ.” - Source
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It seems to me "a specific choice against Jesus Christ" can be defined as apostasy.

On the lack of vocations to the contemplative life.

Fr. Blake had a very good post on the subject.

Let me explain something to you...

I have heard that some people have been "disturbed" by a couple of my posts.

Here you go: Infanticide.

"It's a dirty game"
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People who throw babies out of car windows, into dumpsters, or drown them, might get a break someday if laws such as these are passed:
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A Texas pro-abortion Democrat, Rep. Jessica Ferrar introduced the "Infanticide Bill" this week.
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It defines infanticide as:
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A person commits an offense if the person wilfully by an act or omission causes the death of a child to whom the person gave birth within the 12-month period preceding the child’s death.
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The bill says that infanticide should not be prosecuted as murder as long as:
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… at the time of the act or omission, the person’s judgment was impaired as a result of the effects of giving birth or the effects of lactation following the birth.Infanticide would become a felony, punishable by no more than two years in prison, with a minimum of 180 days, and/or a fine of no more than $10,000.
- Source
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Oh, so dads could still be charged with murder if they kill the baby. How civilized.


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Hayle, ah fells ahz juz wunz bein' dere nom-eye-name-ed!


The Cannonball Awards are going on. Vote at your own risk. (And vote every day.)

What we think we know.

Theologians tell us the devil cannot know our secret thoughts - only God can know these. But the devil can figure things out about us, and suits his temptations perfectly to our weaknesses.
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Similarly, other people cannot know our innermost secrets, although they can figure things out through natural knowledge and by deduction. For instance, I have no special occult knowledge, but it seems to me I know, just from observing behavior, when something a person does or says might be a little disingenuous. I can often tell if they have this tendency or that tendency, and on occasion, I can tell when the life they claim to be living may not be as authentic as they pretend it to be. Call it intuition or being a good judge of character, I'm convinced it is a completely natural ability many people have. I may be completely deluded too.
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Observing behavior is kind of how the devil figures things out about us as well; he is able to surmise from our behaviors, our speech, our attitudes, our weaknesses, what is deeply hidden. The temptations he assaults us with can reveal a great deal about us, both to ourselves and to the devil - especially if we fall. When we fall, the devil then knows for sure, and the cycle of temptation repeats, accelerating in severity. The devil has been doing this ever since the Fall, so he has lots of experience, which is how he deceives people so easily and frequently. But don't be misled, the devil's knowledge is greater than human knowledge, and since he is an angel, he possesses supernatural knowledge.
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Now for us, self-knowledge can be an important safeguard against the devil's wiles. Naturally, despite the fact we can figure things out about others, we are often unable to figure out ourselves. Even so, life experience, rising and falling through our weaknesses, indeed, all of our shortcomings usually result in a greater self-knowledge; although it is easier to enter that chamber through prayer and (the sacrament of) penance. Enduring temptations manfully is a penance. For the just man, as well as the sinner, temptations reveal what he is. That said, self-knowledge also informs and guards against inappropriate or dangerous associates and the occasion of sin.
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Anyway - because we have intelligence, we can sometimes figure stuff out naturally, or even 'know' something is likely to happen - although it doesn't always mean we are right. The benefit of being mistaken serves to prove we can never know another person's motives, responsibility, or culpability - God alone knows that. The lesson learned ought to be, in part, that we should never trust in our so-called "knowledge" be it of others or our self. We must trust in God alone, and abandon ourselves to His loving providence. The other lesson is that we would be better off minding our own business as well.
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However, I read a now very public story on Catholic News Agency about a well known priest who evidently had a fall from grace. I wasn't surprised... it was just a matter of time. I pray for him and for all of our priests. There is nothing else to say.
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"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord, 'my refuge,
my stronghold in whom I trust!'
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It is he who will free you from the snare
of the fowler who seeks to destroy you;
he will conceal you with his pinions
and under his wings you will find refuge." - Ps. 90


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Wow!

Sometimes I can't believe the stuff we get ourselves all upset about after I read stories like this. A man in Florida beat his girlfriend and her 3 month old baby, and then took the baby, drove to the freeway and threw the baby out of his car window, over a bridge down on the pavement below.
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When an officer asked how he could throw a baby out the window, the man responded "It's a dirty game." - Source
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Don't even speak to me.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church.

Pray very much for the Church and the Holy Father, and the Bishops and the priests in communion with him.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Waiting for the bus

Near the Arch of Constantine.
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Photo credit: S. Sanders

Making saints.

Heroic virtue.
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All Catholics are called to sanctity at Baptism - which means all of us, no matter our state in life, are called to be saints, as Christ said, "Be holy as your Heavenly Father is holy" (Matthew 5:48). Our holiness is the holiness of the Holy Trinity dwelling within us. For a person's holiness to be recognized by the Church, the person's cooperation with grace needs to have been demonstrated by heroic virtue.
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Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
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During remarks at an event marking the 800th anniversary of the Franciscan order at the Antonianum Pontifical University, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, Archbishop Angelo Amato, explained the essence of holiness and what it means when the Vatican recognizes a person's virtues as heroic.
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After recalling that the “original source of the holiness of the Church and in the Church is this Triune God,” Archbishop Amato explained what the Church is declaring when it recognizes a Servant of God's heroic virtue. Receving this recognition is one of the most important steps in the process of canonization.
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He went on to recall that St. Thomas Aquinas considered “heroic virtue as the extraordinary perfection of the rational part of the soul.” St. Thomas, he said, “explains later the relationship between the gifts of the Holy Spirit and virtue. The gifts are indispensable for the baptized to achieve their supernatural dimension. In this context, he speaks of the heroic or divine habit, which indicates a disposition towards the good that is higher than that which is common. Heroic virtue is the exercise of virtue in the eminent degree.” Afterwards, the archbishop said, “In heroic virtue the moral level that is present is above the moral level present in almost all men. - Source
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Helps and guides on the road to sanctity.
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Let me explain something here. This is what the organization Courage is all about. Similar to a third order, or possibly a pious confraternity, Courage offers men and women seeking to live a chaste and celibate life in accord with the Gospel and Catholic moral teaching, an opportunity for support and direction towards realizing their primary vocation, the call to be holy. Within that context, one is helped to practice the virtues to a heroic degree. Not all are called to Courage, but all are called to live chastely according to their state in life, guided by the commandments and the teaching of the Church. Courage helps a man or woman struggling with vice to avoid false teachings and erroneous doctrines.
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“In heroic virtue, Christ becomes visible again in our midst and the saint becomes the mirror of Christ. The saints, moreover, are true operators of the enculturation of the Gospel, not through theories elaborated at a desk, but rather by living and manifesting the sequela Christi (the following of Christ) in their own culture.” - Source
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For more information on Courage click here: http://couragerc.net/
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Art: Ven. Matt Talbot. (Source) Matt Talbot exemplified the heroic virtue of temperance. He practiced the Christian life more or less as a solitary, although he was a member of the third order of St. Francis. The spiritual combat Talbot engaged in was associated with alcoholism, which in his case demanded the renunciation of the behavior, as well as a change in lifestyle.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Walk for a cause - any cause...

It started out to be a lovely morning.
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I actually got up early and went to first Mass on Sunday morning again. I like that very much. At the early Mass the clothing police aren't up yet, so I can get by with my jeans and double t-shirt look that impresses so many of the guys at the Vet's Home.
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So anyway, I'm driving through the park district (Minnehaha Parkway) and sure enough there is another damn walk for something going on. Masses of people walking for I don't know what. With spring and summer upon us, people are always holding these walk-things, and they badger other people to give them money for it. Walk for diabetes, walk for alcoholics, walk for breast enlargements, walk for bladder control, walk for condoms, walk for obedience schools for pets, walk for HDTV, walk for this cause or that cause. Go ahead - walk - but don't ask me for money.

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And stop blocking off thoroughfares. Walker-people are so pesky.

The Cistercians in Norway

The renewal of monastic life.
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Ten years ago, Our Lady of Mississippi Abbey outside of Dubuque, Iowa made a foundation in Norway called Tautra Mariakloster. I met the abbess at Tautra many years ago while I was at New Melleray and once again when I was asked to paint an icon of the Descent Into Hell for their office of vigils. I have always admired these nuns and their fidelity to the Rule of St. Benedict. The Trappistines were actually the first to return Cistercian monasticism to Norway.
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This is how the nuns describe it on their website:
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Not very far from the ruins of a medieval Cistercian monastery, on the island of Tautra in central Norway, seven Cistercians nuns, with the help and support of countless others, have established themselves and have built a new permanent monastery. Most of the founders came from Mississippi Abbey, in Dubuque, Iowa, USA, in 1999, along with two Norwegians, one from the monastery of Wrentham (USA) and one from Laval (France). Since that time, two of the founders returned to their monasteries and a few more joined us, as well as young women who are in the process of entering our monastery from various countries. - Source
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More recently, Trappists from Citeaux have made a men's foundation at Munkeby:
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Munkeby, the "place of the monks" was the third and northernmost Norwegian monastery established by the Cistercians in the 12th century. It was located, typically, close to a river, in central Norway's Trøndelag region. Nearby were the crossroads of a trade route to Sweden, and the popular pilgrimage road from Trondheim to Stiklestad, where Saint Olav fell in battle in 1030 implanting Christianity. Munkeby was one of more than 500 Cistercian monasteries established in Europe in less than a century. Monks, during this period of spiritual enlightenment, were the primary contributors to advancements in social structure, agriculture, forestry and hydraulics.
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The new Munkeby Mariakloster - kloster is Norwegian for monastery - is being constructed over the foundations of a farmhouse in a sheltered rural environment of forest, farmland and pasture. Wood and stone will be primary building materials to blend with the natural landscape. The four founding French monks will establish their discrete presence as a contemplative monastery according to the Rule of Saint Benedict, written in the 6th century. Brother Joel (55) & Cîteaux's Prior, brothers Arnaud (31), Bruno (33) and Cyril (81), have all chosen to be part of the founding community, despite Norway's rude climate and winter darkness at latitude 63º N, not far from the arctic circle. - Source
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Some stuff to think about.
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These foundations are very important for the Catholic Church and monasticism, as well as Norway, whose people and royal family have welcomed their return with enthusiasm and support. The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance is solidly Roman Catholic and faithful to the Magisterium.
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Sadly, I came across comments on another blog dedicated to the traditional liturgy where some uber-Catholics somehow felt a need to cast aspersions upon Trappist monastic observance, liturgy, design, and to even go so far as to print detraction concerning at least one member of one of the foundations. Once again, these are the things that annoy the heck out me when it comes to some of the more sanctimonious groups of trads; detraction, calumny, elitist crap.
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I assure you, just because a monastery or parish celebrates the EF of Mass, and prays the Divine Office in Latin using Gregorian chant, does not guarantee the health of the community, nor fidelity to the Magisterium. Something lay people and secular religious must keep in mind is that monasteries, just like parishes, are populated by a diverse crowd of human beings whose opinions and practice ebbs and flows with the rhythm of life; Benedictine monastic life especially is marked by the process of ongoing conversion, seeking God alone. It is always a work in progress, individually and collectively. Lay people can expect too much of consecrated religious, while ignoring the log in their own eye.

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Photos: Top: Community of Our Lady of the Mississippi at Chapter.
Middle: Monks from Citeaux at Munkeby

National Equality Rally in Philadelphia - tis the season.



And yet gay activists claim they are not anti-family...
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"Young people ... are still subject to the beliefs and whims of their parents," Manion said. "All the stigmas are still the same." - Jennifer Manion, director of student services for the gay community at Connecticut College, speaking about eliminating homophobia "as experienced by adolescents too young to benefit from same-sex marriage or job anti-bias laws". - Source
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Art: George Tooker, "Children and Spastics".

Kenneth