Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ordination to the Priesthood (Phillip Bogacki)

At the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Phillip Bogacki will be ordained to the priesthood on Friday, August 1, at 7 p.m. Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan will preside at the ordination, which will be held at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

Wisconsin State Fair 2008

starts tomorrow. For the illustration for its reports in last Sunday's paper,
Dan Williams' design received honorable mention in the MIAD student design contest, sponsored by the Journal Sentinel.

Poll shows Obama's trip didn't change race

Alexander Mooney at CNN's Political Ticker

(via Althouse)

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Married Catholic priest and wife getting ready for move to Pewaukee area

Tom Heinen follows up last Saturday's report (see this earlier post) at his Articles of Faith weblog. What positions might Father Michael Scheip take as a married minister who converted and was then ordained? Besides associate pastor at a parish,
...Archbishop Dolan also is considering other possible ministries for Scheip that range from teaching in a Catholic school to assisting married couples at the Metropolitan Tribunal, an archdiocesan court that deals primarily with requests for marriage annulments, archdiocesan spokeswoman Julie Wolf said today
.
What about parish pastor, now or eventually?
The late Pope John Paul II created an exception in 1980 that allows married Protestant ministers who have converted to Roman Catholicism from various denominations to become priests. They function as priests, including assisting in parishes, but cannot be parish pastors, Wolf said.

What was his former denomination?
he was a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Why the move here?
because [Fr. Scheip's wife Mary] Mercurio was promoted to human resources director for KHS USA, a packaging machinery company with its headquarters in Waukesha.

The mission has a Church

more than the other way around. That was the buried lede in Bishop William Callahan's homily as the main celebrant at last Sunday's Mass for the 70th Anniversary of St. Alphonsus Church, Greendale.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

All the Answers

Charles Van Doren on The quiz-show scandals—and the aftermath, The New Yorker, July 28, 2008

(via The Great Ideas)

Diachronic apostolicity

Adoremus Bulletin, July-August 2008, reports Bishops Debate and Vote on Missal Texts at the USCCB meeting last month. The debate was on the English translation of the Proper of the Seasons, the second of twelve segments of the latest revision of the Roman Missal. From Friday Morning, June 13,
Bishop Richard Sklba ... I understand the need for faithful translations. It’s obviously an expression of diachronic apostolicity in the Church. We need to be in contact with the Tradition. And I understand the value of translations that are shared through the various subgroups of a linguistic family, because that’s an expression of our Catholicity. But this is also, as others have said, a case of oral communication and proclamation. And if I have difficulty understanding the text when I read it, I’m just wondering how it’s possible to pray it in the context of worship.

In case John and Mary Catholic are reading, "Diachronic ... is a technical term for something happening over time. ...". Of the several meanings of "Apostolicity," the intended meaning here appears to be "Of, relating to, or derived from the teaching or practice of the 12 Apostles."

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Shelf-Possessed

James Campbell, in last Sunday's New York Times, reviews Books: A Memoir, by Larry McMurtry. Mr. McMurtry is best known as an author, but next best as operator of the Booked Up used book stores in Archer City, Texas.
McMurtry, who has turned Archer City, Tex., where he grew up, into a “book town” and helped give it a public library, is a genuine bookman — a reader as much as a collector...

The used book dealers I talk with often got into the business because they enjoyed reading and thought they could be bookmen. Then they find the business leaves them no time for reading.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee faces lawsuit for fraud in sex abuse case

Marie Rohde reported in the July 25, 2008 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
A man who says he was sexually abused in a state school by a Catholic priest with a history of earlier misconduct has filed a fraud lawsuit seeking damages from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Donald Marshall alleges that while a student at Lincoln Hills School in the 1970s he was sexually abused by Father Lawrence Murphy. Numerous such allegations had also been made against Fr. Murphy by students at St. John's School for the Deaf, where Murphy worked for 24 years.
The church, the lawsuit contends, "affirmatively represented to minor children and their families" that Murphy did not have a history of molesting children when officials knew otherwise and failed to warn others.

Murphy and Cousins are both long dead. The only lawsuit brought while both were alive was dismissed. (see this earlier post)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How spam was sprung (on you)

Joni Moths Mueller in Marquette Magazine, Summer 2008, on the recent 40th anniversary of the first spam, sent by Gary Thuerk (Bus. Ad. 1965) to promote the Digital Equipment Corp. DECSYSTEM 20 computer in May 1978.

(The first Spam luncheon meat was produced by Jay Hormel in 1937.)

Newest parish to celebrate 10th anniversary

Karen Mahoney reports Special to "Your" Milwaukee Catholic Herald in anticipation of today's celebration at St. Anne Church in Pleasant Prarie.
...the congregation was named in honor of the century-old St. Anne Parish in Milwaukee that had recently shuttered its doors.

Pleasant Prarie was and is a fast-growing community west of Kenosha. As I recall, this St. Anne's is actually a revival of the closed parish, which happens to be where I was baptised.

The accompanying photo illustrates what seems to be a liturgical innovation in these parts, Baptism by semi-immersion. There was such a baptism recently at St. Al's. The rite involves dunking the naked infant three times up to her waist. There might be more to it than that, but that's all I could see. We were given no explanation, so I don't know if it's valid [or licit], but there's no denying its cuteness.


P.S. In our time, baptism of infants by semi-immersion could convey the washing away of the diaper rash of original sin.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Archdiocese of Milwaukee to get its first married priest

Tom Heinen reported in the July 26, 2008 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As of this writing, there's nothing on the Archdiocese of Milwaukee or Milwaukee Catholic Herald websites but our Archbishop did supply the Journal Sentinel with this Q & A: How married clergy become priests.
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan asked his priests and deacons this week which of them would be willing to accept the man - a former Lutheran minister - as an associate pastor at their parish.

It would seem this priest thinks there's such a significant difference that he gave up his career as a Lutheran minister to become a Catholic.

That being the case, a good assignment might be St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Waterford. It's pastor, Father Eugene Doda, has a letter in the July 10, 2008 Milwaukee Catholic Herald (print only), that includes this.
My mother was born and raised in the Lutheran church and was forced to convert to Catholicism in order to marry my father.

Meaning by "forced", apparently, that she had to make a decision. That's part of a prelude to an extended critique of Church teaching on contraception. Father Doda closes by quoting Luke 12:46,
Woe to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to teach them.

Which raises the question of what his parish teaches the students in its school and Christian Formation program. If his letter contradicts what's taught, Father Doda is undermining the work of his own parish. If his letter is what is taught, the parish undermines the work of the whole Archdiocese.


Update: Archbishop Dolan's Q&A cites Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, the Encyclical of Pope Paul VI On the Celibacy of the Priest.

(via Dad29)


P.S. Fr. Doda is using a variation of the my-poor-mother argument used by Father Ken Smits, OFM Cap., at the February 25, 2006 meeting of the local chapter of Voice of the Faithful (see this earlier post).

Friday, July 25, 2008

Abba Yabba Dabba Do!

Jesus and the Dinosaurs

(via comment by vbspurs at Althouse)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mayor wants Python film ban ended

Carl Yapp of BBC News reported that Sue Jones-Davies, Mayor of Aberystwyth, Wales, is advocating that the town repeal the legislation it enacted in 1979 against showing the film The Life of Brian, in which she played Judith Iscariot.

(via Shark and Shepherd)

Marvelous mighty mortgage

In the From the Pastor’s Desk column in the July 13, 2008 St. Al's parish bulletin he writes,
Thanks, too, for your continued financial support. This enables our parish to do marvelous works and mighty deeds.

At St. Al's, this kind of flattery is usually soon followed by a reminder that the parish has some trouble paying its bills. In this case, it follows immediately.
We have finalized the re-financing of our $2.6 million dollar debt. We will pay 6.45% for the next 20 years. This brings our monthly payments to a manageable amount.

Or, to put it another way, the original plan for shorter term financing with periodic debt-reduction campaigns turned out to be unmanageable. To the question What would my loan payments be? Yahoo's calculator replied
Your estimated monthly payments are $19,308.44 and you will pay $2,034,026 in interest over the life of the loan.

The annual payments total $231,700. The parish currently budgets expecting $1,365,000 in regular donations, mostly through the "weekly envelope". Assuming the refinancing will mean, more or less, adding the mortgage payment to this, the total required becomes $1,596,000 (about 17% more, a total of $133,000 per month or $30,700 per week).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Name and Form

Paul Niedermeyer at The Truth About Cars with General Motors Death Watch 189

What's in a name, and a name change?
The [planned 2010 Chevrolet] Cruze will be the recipient of the eightieth name that GM has used on one of its mid-sized or smaller sedans since 1968.

Why 1968? It's the year Toyota introduced the Corolla.

Excommunicated St. Louis priest stresses truth over obedience

Tom Heinen in last Saturday's religion ghetto of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interviewed Father Marek Bozek of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Father Marek is to speak tonight at a Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) meeting at Calvary Lutheran Church in Brookfield. His talk is titled “The Odyssey of Joseph the Dreamer: A Reflection on Those Who Care to Dream”. It appears that his, and VOTF's, dream is to be Protestants.
Q: Your reasoning?

A: In the Catholic theology, obedience is very, very high up in their so-called hierarchy of values. ...

I appreciate his candor in referring to things Catholic as "their".

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has its own Q&A.

More at Dad29.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Some Guidelines for Service

This column by Father Ronald Rolhieser, OMI, ran in "our" Milwaukee Catholic Herald June 26, 2008. His first guideline,
Be beyond ideology, be both post-liberal and post-conservative

That kind of statement has in recent decades marked someone as a liberal. (see this earlier post)

What is meant by St. Al’s?

In the From the Pastor’s Desk column in the July 6, 2008 parish bulletin he writes,
Recently, I asked myself, “What is meant by St. Al’s? Is it the pastor? Is it the deacons? Is it the pastoral staff? Is it the parish council? Is it the group of dedicated committee members and other volunteers?”

Alas, it's the bureaucracy formed when you put them all together.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Election Season Provides Opportunity for "Faithful Citizenship"

This July 10, 2008 Eye on the Capitol Wisconsin Catholic Conference press release by John Huebscher, its Executive Director, looks ahead to the fall general election. Among the election year resource it references are the June 2008 editions of WCC Guidelines for Church Involvement in Electoral Politics Long Version and Short Version.

Packing up and moving on: Life's journeys

This "Herald of Hope" column by Bishop Richard J. Sklba appeared in the July 10, 2008 issue of "our" Milwaukee Catholic Herald. He was in the midst of packing up to move his office from one wing of the Archdiocesan headquarters building to another.
This time I was chagrined to discover a few letters still unanswered because they were initially simply too important for a hasty answer; so they were put aside for a more favorable moment and for the leisurely, thoughtful response which they deserved but never received.

It might have been better for him to leave that out. It brings to mind accounts that he did not return phone calls to people reporting ongoing sexual abuse of children by a priest and did not follow up on promised calls to victims.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Keeping it Catholic

Joni Moths Mueller in Marquette Magazine, Summer 2008, on the Faculty Seminar on Catholic Higher Education
These students are also teachers — Marquette teachers. Bringing them together like this was inspired by Carey’s desire to create an opportunity for young faculty to learn what it means to teach at a Catholic, Jesuit university. The semester is devoted to a study of issues confronting Catholic education, including mission, academic freedom, Catholic identity, and the difference between non-Catholic vs. Catholic traditions in higher education. [Dr. Patrick] Carey hopes the teachers come to understand why faith and learning are interconnected and why Pope John Paul II wrote that Catholic universities are “born from the heart of the church.”

Quoting the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities by Pope John Paul II.
“When I came up with a new course a couple years ago, I had to justify how it would fit Marquette’s mission statement and the core curriculum,” says Father Mueller [Rev. Joseph Mueller, S.J., assistant professor of theology]. “I went to the mission statement and connected every part of the course to it. Then I went through the preamble of the core in the same way. When I submitted the course description I was told, ‘This is exemplary. We wish everyone did this.’ That’s a small but not insignificant reaction; it says this university’s mission statement is operative.”

But barely, at least judging by the "We wish everyone did this."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Challenging ... Challenges

The Rev. Neil J. Roy reviews A Challenging Reform: Realizing the Vision of the Liturgical Renewal, 1963-1979 (2007), by Archbishop Piero Marini, in Adoremus Bulletin, June 2008. From a quote from the book,
...The Congregation for Rites, instituted in 1588 to safeguard the Tridentine liturgy, existed for almost four centuries. However, the Congregation for Divine Worship, instituted to implement the liturgy of the Second Vatican Council, lasted for a mere six years. ... (156-157)

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Stritch buys Cousins Center

Brian T. Olszewski reported at "our" Milwaukee Catholic Herald's website. It was posted Monday, July 14, 2008, at 3:11 p.m., as "Breaking News" in advance of the Herald's usual publication date. This was the day before the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the sale in its print edition. (see this earlier post)

Since the Herald posts between print editions so rarely, there's not much reason to check its site between issue dates. There would be a reason if they spread out posting articles online so that there was new content every day. This might also ease the transition if the Herald has to phase out its print edition.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dismissal of lawsuit against two Catholic dioceses upheld

Marie Rohde reports in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on the Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision in Hornback v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Allegations against our Archdioces included,
Claims of sexual abuse were brought to the attention of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee long before Kazmarek went to Kentucky. Church officials promised two dozen of the victims’ parents “that [Gary] Kazmarek would be sent to a treatment center and that he would never have contact with children again,” according to the complaint, and “pleaded with parents to not report Kazmarek’s crimes to the police.” Instead, he was allowed to leave Milwaukee quietly and work in other schools.

Even if not the basis for a lawsuit, our Archdiocese is "paying damages" in other ways when its people are convinced of the truth of these allegations.

The Hidden Hand Behind Bad Catholic Music

A reader suggested this article by J. A. Tucker at Catholic Culture on Oregon Catholic Press.
The truth is that no one is happy with the state of Catholic liturgical music — least of all musicians — and the OCP is a big part of the problem. So, what can you do? Step 1 is to get rid of the liturgical planning guides and use an old Scripture index to select good hymns that have stood the test of time (if you absolutely must continue to use the OCP's materials). Step 2 is to rein in the liturgical managers and explain to them that the Eucharist, and not music, is the reason people show up to Mass Sunday after Sunday.

You might recall, on the other hand, we've been told at St. Al's that Sunday Mass would be dull and uninspiring without the choir.
Step 3 is to get rid of the OCP hymnals and replace them with Adoremus or Collegeville or something from GIA (no, none of these is perfect, but they are all an oasis by comparison).

To be fair, even the OCP hymnals we use at St. Al's contain an Order of Worhip that follows the GIRM, unlike the parish liturgy.


Update: from his "That Was the Year that Was" (1965)


Lyrics here.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

For Catholics, an On-Air Mix of Sacred and Silly

Paul Vitello in Sunday's New York Times on Lino Rulli and "The Catholic Guy" show on The Catholic Channel at Sirius Satellite Radio.
At other times, callers are asked less historical questions: Is it possible for men and women to be just friends? (Catholic Guy: No. “Guys are pigs.”) Does using the word “chaste” put people off? (Guy: “Chaste just sounds so Amish-Catholic. ...")

In case you were thinking of setting Rulli up with Dawn Eden.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Man seeks defrocking of ex-Wisconsin priest

From Regional News Briefs in the July 15, 2008 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A Massachusetts man who says a priest sexually abused him 22 years ago in Franklin is calling on the Vatican to defrock the priest.

Bill Nash, 41, said he hoped to deliver a letter to Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan on Monday, petitioning the Vatican to defrock Father James Tully.

Nash made a similar appeal to the Diocese of Springfield, Mass., in June, according to news reports.

(See Ashfield Man Pushes for Laicization of Xavarian Priest, by Father Bill Pomerleau, reposted at Bishop Accountability, June 25, 2008)
Tully worked at a number of Milwaukee nursing homes and at area parishes in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge in 1992 related to other complaints of abuse. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says Tully is living in Vicenza, Italy, with a religious order known as the Xaverian Missionary Fathers.

Nash said he was studying to be a priest when he was abused in 1986. He said he received a $75,000 settlement from the Xaverians in 2005.

Why Franklin? Presumably because that's the site of the order's Community at Xavier Knoll.

Cardinal Stritch University to buy Cousins Center

Tom Heinen reports in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Cousins Center was constructed as a high school seminary at 3501 S. Lake Drive in 1963. It closed as a preparatory seminary at the end of the 1979-’80 school year, and the archdiocesan central offices moved there in 1983.

It was eventually renamed for former Archbishop William Cousins, who was archbishop when it was built.
The archdiocese had been trying to sell the property, partly to pay off a $4.6 million loan that helped pay its $8.25 million portion of a nearly $17 million settlement of 10 sexual abuse lawsuits in California in 2006.

(See this earlier post) Most of that abuse was committed by a priest who Archbishop Cousins allowed to move to California, giving what the California courts later found to be inadequate warning to the receiving bishop of the priest's history of sexual abuse here.


Update: Stritch purchase of Cousins Center would impact St. Francis, by Tom Heinen at Articles of Faith

Hiking trail through Israel's north follows in footsteps of Jesus

The Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran this feature by Laurie Copans of the Associated Press.
Since the trail is not yet marked, travelers can hire a tour guide, download GPS coordinates from Jesustrail.com or pick up trail maps at tourist sites.

The Jesus Trail website includes a Four Day Itinerary.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Word of God as lived and taught by the church

This June 12, 2008 "Herald of Hope" column in "our" Milwaukee Catholic Herald was by Bishop Richard J. Sklba. It's a critique of what he calls "literalistic" biblical interpretation by converts from Calvinism. For all the claimed problems in their approach, Bishop Sklba never literally says any of their conclusions are contrary to Church teaching.

P.S.

For your protection, by Diogenes at Off the Record

Lead Us Not Into Temptation, by Dad29

Catholics and the Bible. by Becky Schwantes, at Young Adult Catholics (Call to Action)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Support for water innovation rated tepid

John Schmid reported in todays' Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
The Milwaukee area’s ambition to become the Silicon Valley of water technology will get a cold shower Monday from experts who warn that the region so far lacks the research funding, entrepreneurial spirit and academic support to become a major player in the global water business.

Might have been factors in not hanging on to "Beer Capital" and "Machine Shop of the World".

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Friday, July 11, 2008

The finest men on the planet

This column by the Washington Post's Carolyn Hax ran in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

S.G. writes,
I am almost 50 and have been dating, by all accounts (especially mine), one of the finest men on the planet for three years. ...

She elaborates.
He's a churchgoing Catholic, very successful, thrifty, a doormat for his kids and an overthinker.

Diocese's financial picture brightens

Not Milwaukee's, it's that of the Archdiocese of Boston, reports Michael Paulson in today's Boston Globe.
But the archdiocese continues to face huge financial challenges, particularly in its pension fund for retired and disabled clergy, which covers about 800 active and retired priests and is underfunded by $110 million.

Milwaukee's might be fully funded, but I can't tell from the 2006-2007 Financial Statements.

(via Diogenes at Off the Record)


Update: A reader interprets Note 12's Adoption of Recognition Provision of FASB Statement No. 158 on Page 16 to include the Priests' Pension Plan. That would mean our Archdiocese's various pension plans, including the priests', were overaccrued by about $4.5 million. With the change, this amount became an unrestricted asset.

Electronic Papyrus: The Digital Book, Unfurled

Anne Eisenberg in The New York Times, July 6, 2008
One new mobile device, the Readius, designed mainly for reading books, magazines, newspapers and mail, is the size of a standard cellphone. Flip it open, though, and a screen tucked within the housing opens to a 5-inch diagonal display. The screen looks just like a liquid crystal display, but can bend so flexibly that it can wrap around a finger.

Maker Polymer Vision's website for the Readius claims,
With Readius you can enjoy paper-like reading comfort on the move. You can read eBooks and news in the airport, train station, park, and even on the beach. You have no need to carry 3-4 books with you on business trips or on holidays anymore. With Readius, you can carry your whole private library of eBooks in your pocket and read all your favorite eContent for a week without having to re-charge the battery.

Additionally, you can get your personally selected news "as-it-happens", because Readius offers you instant worldwide access through the high speed 3.5G network. ...

If that means its a reader and wireless service package, I suspect the pricing will keep me from buying.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Census figures show Milwaukee population is steady

Bill Glauber and Grant Smitt report in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,
...Milwaukee's population bleeding from its 1960s heyday has stopped.

Milwaukee's population was 741,324 in 1960 and is estimated at 602,191 now.

The accompanying graphic on Population gains and losses in Wisconsin says that here in suburban Franklin the population has increased by an estimated 5,516 or 18.7% between 2000 and 2007.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is named the new Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay

Announced today, effective August 28, 2008.

(via Daniel Suhr at The Triumvirate)


Update: New Green Bay bishop has broad background, by Tom Heinen at Articles of Faith

Cathedral Square may get historic makeover

Mary Louise Schumacher’s Art City column in Sunday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on a proposal for a replica of Milwaukee's original 1836 courthouse at what long was Courthouse Square.
The idea is to restore the city’s first public space, Milwaukee’s unrivaled heart for generations...

The current courthouse is twelve blocks west, in what is, or was, called the Civic Center. It's location is one factor in Milwaukee not now having an unrivaled heart.

The "square" is on a rectangular block, now a park called "Cathedral Square". The plan would create a literal square of grass and walkways to the south of the courthouse replica, and plant trees around it on the northern balance of the block. The portico of the new structure would be extended for staging the musical performance series now held in the park.

One purpose of the trees proposed for the northern part of the block is "setting the square apart from Kilbourn Ave." In architectural criticism, one person's "setting apart" can be another's "turning its back". While the grove of trees makes sense in creating the square, no mention is made of how this fits with a past vision for Kilbourn Avenue. It was long ago widened into a broad boulevard with various civic and cultural buildings were built along it, starting a few blocks west of the old square.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

U.S. bishops give new translation thumbs-down

David Gibson at dotCommonweal reported the U.S. Bishops announcement that the proposed new translation of the Proper of the Seasons for the revised Missal fell short of the votes required for approval.
No word (at least in the official communique) of the vote tally.

Perhaps the exact totals are ineffable ["the ineff word" for readers in the Diocese of Erie].


Update: Fun with Dick and Jane Catholic, by Jeff Miller at The Curt Jester

(via Dad29)

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Neighbors no longer ask, 'Where's St. Catherine's?'

Brian T. Olszewski reported in "our" Milwaukee Catholic Herald. When Father John "Jack" Kern arrived as pastor in 2004, he found that people in the neighborhood often didn't know St. Catherine's existed. That lead to what he calls the parish's evangelization effort.
"It opened my mind to the fact that we have to let the draw bridge down over the moat, leave the castle and get out into the community. That was the beginning of our 'Knock, Knock' ministry - not as proselytizers but as neighbors."

The parish is in District 12 and its latest Archdiocesan statistics show for St. Catherine's:
Registered Members: 2005 484; 2006 583;
Average Mass attendance: 2005 202 (42%); 2006 187 (32%);

This doesn't look like the basis for an argument against "proslytizing". A neighbor could drop in at Sunday Mass, see 187 people in the 530 available seats, and still ask "Where's St. Catherine's?"

Monday, July 7, 2008

Consultant files rebuttal in county suit over pension scandal

Steve Schultze reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sunday on Mercer, Inc.'s filings in its defense in Milwaukee County's lawsuit against it. Mercer had acted as actuarial consultant in the county pension revisions that included the disastrously expensive "backdrop" provision.
Milwaukee County has paid out about $134 million in backdrop pension benefits since 2001, county records show. The county has estimated its overall costs linked to the 2000-’01 benefit package and other pension enhancements at $600 million ...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

American Energy Policy, Asleep at the Spigot

Nelson D. Schwartz's report in today's New York Times included the bi-partisan opposition to increased Corporate Average Fuel Economy [CAFE] standards for vehicles in 1990. Those voting against included Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jesse Helms (R-NC). The article originally said,
Mr. Levin and Mr. Helms didn't return calls for comment.

The online version now has this correction.
An article today in Sunday Business about missed opportunities to reduce America’s dependence on imported oil refers to a 1990 effort by Senator Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina, to block higher mileage requirements for vehicles and notes that Mr. Helms did not return calls seeking comment. The section went to press on Thursday, before Mr. Helms’s death Friday morning.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Saving Seminary Woods: 70 acres in St. Francis may be on endangered list

John Gurda in tomorrow's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Seminary Woods is 70 pristine acres of forest and wildflowers adjoining St. Francis Seminary on Milwaukee’s south lakefront.

It sits between the Seminary and the Cousins Center, the former minor seminary, then Archdiocesan headquarters.
the sex abuse scandal and its related costs have all the appearances of a bottomless pit. The Cousins Center is already on the block, and the Woods could ultimately suffer the same fate.

So there's an effort underway to purchase and preserve the property.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Attacking" McCain’s Military Record

Zachary Roth at Campaign Desk
Why should it be out of bounds for Democrats to argue that McCain’s particular military experience has done little to prepare him for the decisions he’ll have to make as president?

As long as they don't do it while wearing a PT-109 tie clasp.

(see this earlier post)

Merrill says GM bankruptcy possible

That's Merrill Lynch.
Credit option contracts on the Chicago Board Options Exchange that would pay out if GM or Ford default before September 2012 ticked higher. The contracts, which remain lightly traded, point to a roughly 73-percent default risk for GM and a 69-percent risk for Ford over that period.

(via The Truth About Cars)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Powell Doctorin'

AOL News captions this photo
President Bush, left, meets with U.S.A. Freedom Corp volunteer Robbie Powell after arriving at Adams Field on Tuesday, July 1, 2008 in Little Rock, Ark. Powell gave the President a bracelet in memory of his friend Ben Patterson who passed away after being diagnosed with Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation.

For a different caption, see the post at Democracy in America.

How I hate the word "vibrant"

Rod Dreher at CrunchyCon,
... Whaddaya know, I just checked the Stuff White People Like website to see if "vibrant" turned up, and it does, in the comments under the Gentrification entry. ...