Friday, February 27, 2009

Like Christ, nurse aims to heal mind, body, spirit

Amy E. Rewolinski with another in the "People of Faith" series in our Archdiocesan newspaper. In addition to the many things Rick Cesar has done that are described in the article, he was on one of the St. Al's mission trips to Guatemala we took.

Rick, as I recall, also has a less serious side not reflected in the article.

[Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
January 8, 2009]

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Kingdom of God is like ...

Bishop Richard J. Sklba dishes it out to the dead in the "Herald of Hope" column in our Archdiocesan newspaper.
That Puritan culture possessed a clear sense of being chosen and free, of looking down on others as evidenced in the way they treated the Native American peoples. The embrace of God's grace was positive, but the sense of superiority was not. They possessed a strong sense of Protestant individualism, different from the communal nature of God's people found in Scripture and retained in the Catholic experience.

[Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
January 8, 2009]

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Between the Tiber and the Hudson

"Rome does not know what to do with Weakland."
--unnamed religious superior in Rome, quoted by Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B., Milwaukee Catholic Herald, May 9, 2002

What about Archbishop Dolan?
...the [New York] Times does not quite know what to do with him.
--Terry Mattingly, Get Religion, February 23, 2009

Mother never gave up dream of religious life

Amy Guckeen reported in our Archdiocesan newspaper.

Woman is raised Lutheran, converts to marry a Catholic, has a child, gets divorced, enters religious order at age 49, plans to take final vows in June.

[Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
December 18, 2008]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Times Topics: Timothy M. Dolan

His soon-to-be local paper's aggregation of articles on our current Archbishop.

We just returned today from a week overseas and since his promotion was not headline news internationally, it was news to me. Not a complete surprise, but news.

Lawrence Murphy's files given to plaintiff's attorney

Some time back, our Archdiocesan newspaper published this letter "sent by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 9 to Catholic leaders and others who minister in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee". It deals with lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by the late Father Lawrence Murphy while on the staff of the St. John's School for the Deaf.
The actions of Lawrence Murphy are nauseating, criminal, and go against everything the Church stands for.

It happens that a case alleging abuse was brought while Murphy and Archbishop Cousins were alive. After the Archbishop's deposition testimony in 1975, the case was dropped. See Staring abuse straight in the face. The Chronology posted on the Archdiocesan website indicates that in December 1993 Murphy admitted "sexual contact with students from St. John’s between 1952 and 1974."
So why do I write to you about this now?

As part of the civil litigation in this case, records of this deceased priest have been delivered to the plaintiff's attorney.

While this reads almost as if it was done to save postage, in context I get the impression our Archdiocese resisted disclosing these records, but finally was ordered to do so.
history suggests all the gory details will be published. So, get ready for more sickening stories about this horror. Although it is not fresh "news," as is clear from what I wrote above, you can still expect to "read all about it!"

Such document dumps, and talk of them, are an occasion to raise the question whether there was an opportunity for a comprehensive settlement of all the abuse claims when Archbishop Dolan arrived in 2002.

[Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
December 18, 2008]

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Group calls for end to raids, deportations

Amy Guckeen reported in our Archdiocesan newspaper
Each first Thursday of the month, participants from a variety of religious backgrounds gather for an hour in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices at 310 E. Knapp St., to remind others of what they view as the injustices terrorizing undocumented families in Wisconsin and across the nation.

So they gave the reporter the impression they're accusing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of terrorism. A bit jarring alongside that euphemism "undocumented".

[Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
December 11, 2008]

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ad Usam

Ron Rolheiser, OMI, explains one view of stewardship learned in the novitiate.
The idea was that although a book was given to you for your personal use you were never to think that you actually owned it. Real ownership lay elsewhere. You were only a steward of someone else's property.
[ ]
We get to have them, ad usam, but we should never nurse the illusion that we own them, that they are ours, that we can claim them by right.

On the other hand, one might cite library books, or rental cars, as examples of experience in the secular world showing we take better care of what we own, by right.

[November 16, 2009 column,
Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
November 27, 2008]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

'Think again!' - The Lenten challenge of intellectual conversion

Bishop Richard Sklba in the latest "Herald of Hope" column in the February 12, 2009 Milwaukee Catholic Herald
Lent is therefore also a time for intellectual conversion. That is worth some further thought. There are some errors so fundamental as to have been called heresies over the centuries.

That label is no small or casual condemnation! The word can be bandied around flippantly, and sometimes is so treated by people who do not understand the true focus of the word and its serious implications.

The ‘heresy’ of rubricism comes to mind.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Girls at University

No "Girls of the SSPX" photospread ahead, judging by Bishop Williamson's Letter of September 1, 2001. (via a reader)

See Dinoscopus.

Despite deposition, whole abuse story won't be known

A Delphic-headlined press release from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
Despite Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland's videotaped deposition that he knowingly assigned priests with a history of sexually abusing children to parishes during his time as archbishop from late 1977 until mid-2002, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee maintains that the complete picture of what occurred, in some cases more than 40 years ago, will never be known.

See Weakland moved priests, testimony shows. We are apparently meant to assume that evidence lost due to the passage of time would be much more favorable than that which is still available. See 'Mistakes were made'.

[Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
November 20, 2008]


Monday, February 16, 2009

In midst of suffering there is incredible hope

Bishop William P. Callahan in this "Herald of Hope" column in our Archdiocesan newspaper.
One of the great apostolic exhortations that came forth from the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Synod for the Laity in 1989 is called: Christifideles Laici - the Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People. It is a strong statement written by Pope John Paul II in favor of the vocation and mission of the laity. This year, of course, marks the 20th anniversary of its publication. I believe that so much of what we are trying to do with "Vision 21" and strategic pastoral planning here in the archdiocese is basically contained in the pages of this exhortation of the late great Pope John Paul II.

It might well be, but it I missed seeing it mentioned in Thoughts and Ponderings No.1, No.2 (Part – I), No.2 (Part – II), or No. 3 by Fr. Jim Connell, Vicar for Planning, or in his 2008 Vision 21 Final Recommendations to the Archbishop, June 2008, or in "I am with you all days...": Archbishop Dolan’s Response to Vision 21: the 2009 Plan for the Future, January 27, 2009.

[Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
January 22, 2009]

Old and New Struggles with the Church

Ron Rolheise, OMI, attempts to address the decline in Sunday Mass attendance. It's part of a larger trend.
It is not just church-life and parish-life that are in trouble today. Declining church attendance is paralleled everywhere: Families and neighborhoods are dissipating and breaking down as people guard their privacy and individuality more and more. Civic organizations and clubs are finding it hard to function as they once did and there is simply less of a sense of community everywhere than there once was.

He suggests that the only solution is that offered by "Carlo Carretto, the Italian spiritual writer".
Then too - where would I go? To build another church? But I could not build one without the same defects, for they are my defects.

I've heard many variations on this. There's nothing to be done about the decline in Mass attendance because it would require changing the larger society. If the context is Mass attendance, we are to assume that can't be done.

Change the context to the Church's social justice teaching and it is apparently thought that people will, somehow, assume the opposite.

[November 9, 2008 column,
Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
November 20, 2008]

Sunday, February 15, 2009

In the Spotlight: Tim in the Square

Rocco Palmo at Whispers in the Loggia uses the continuing speculation that Archbihop Dolan might be appointed Archbishop of New York to look at his approach to the Church in
any perceptions that a Dolan selection would signal a "soft" line on hot-button questions could use a bit more context.

He's sought to keep the initiative relatively quiet, but the media-friendly prelate's preferred means of interaction with public officials is a twice-yearly seminar he leads on church teaching in public life, to which all officeholders in the Milwaukee area are invited.

The Pallium Lecture series.
In speaking of the sessions behind-the-scenes, the archbishop's relished the chance to be able to dig in as a teacher and present the Magisterium both affirmatively and without the backdrop of public controversy -- but with the added coup of avoiding the misperceptions that often come with said firestorms and the coverage thereof. What's more, the practical advantage is just as beneficial, as the programs allow relationships to be built where, when difficulties do arise, tensions can be handled personally and constructively, away from the pulpit and press releases.

(via Robert P. Imbelli at dotCommonweal)

Reading Rat Vol. 2 No. 7

Also of interest:
(via Readers Read)

Defense helps MU end brief skid

Todd Rosiak reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on last night's 73-59 win over St. John's. One of my sons had bought us tickets for Valentine's Day. As an unexpected bonus, it was Al McGuire statuette night. Each fan received a miniature of the statue of Coach McGuire that stands in the campus athletic facility named in his honor.

Pre-game, George Thompson was present to join in congratulating Jerel McNeal for breaking Thompson's 40-year-old career scoring record.

The half-time trivia question was what player did McGuire call quicker than 11:15 Mass at a seaside resort. It was Dean Meminger, a member of the Marquette team that defeated St. John's for the 1970 NIT championship.

Post-game, all the history seemed lost on some young fans, who wondered what they were supposed to do with the statuette.

Friday, February 13, 2009

"What we got here is...failure to excommunicate"

An item in the February 8, 2009 St. Al's bulletin (page 2) addresses the lifting of the excommunication of the four bishops of what it calls "the Society of Pope Pius V" (meaning The Society of St. Pius X).
It might mean that this is the first step in a process whereby these "Catholics" might be once more in union with the church if they accept the teaching of the council.

If bishops who don't accept the teachings of the Second Vatican Council can be called "Catholic", can priests who don't accept Sacrosanctum Concilium 22 be called Catholic* ?

P.S. See Revisiting Vatican II


Don't fear 'end days,' but be prepared

In this "Herald of Hope" column, Archbishop Dolan uses an anecdote of which you've probably heard some variation.
St. John Bosco was once teaching a class when one of the boys asked, "Don Bosco, what would you do if you found out that the world was going to end in an hour?"

The saint replied, "I'd keep teaching this class." Not a bad answer at all. The most effective way we can prepare for the last judgment is simply by meeting the duties that daily life brings.

If I was teaching my Sunday School class and found out the world was going to end in an hour, I'd lean toward an early dismissal. And it wouldn't be to rush home and finish filling out my tax returns.

Richard John Neuhaus addressed this topic in his last item in his last While We're At It in his last The Public Square column for First Things, February 2009.
And yes, the question has occurred to me that, if I have but a little time to live, should I be spending it writing this column. I have heard it attributed to figures as various as Brother Lawrence and Martin Luther—when asked what they would do if they knew they were going to die tomorrow, they answered that they would plant a tree and say their prayers. (Luther is supposed to have added that he would quaff his favored beer.) Maybe I have, at least metaphorically, planted a few trees, and certainly I am saying my prayers.

When Father Neuhaus was here for a Pallium Lecture, Archbishop Dolan's introduction mentioned their two mutual friends. While I appreciate having that last column by Father Neuhaus, I hope he also had time for a farewell meeting with Jack and Mac.

[Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
November 20, 2008]

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Milwaukee Archbishop on the "Latin Mass"

Dad29 posted recently promulgated Guidelines for Celebration of the Extraordinary Form Liturgy at Parishes in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Every Known Photograph of Abraham Lincoln

set to three songs in this seven-minute video:

1) “Lincoln and Liberty,” an 1860 campaign song;

2) “Dixie,” some say Lincoln’s favorite tune; and

3) “Ashokan Farewell,” the moving title theme of Ken Burns’ 1990 documentary film and miniseries The Civil War.

(via Britannica)

See Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Weaseling Begins

Robert Farago with Bailout Watch 385 at The Truth About Cars, February 10, 2009
The Detroit News reports that GM and Chrysler are working furiously behind the scenes to extend the March 31 government deadline re: meeting the conditions of their $13.4b bridge loan to nowhere bailout buffet. Surprise! The American automakers’ inability to take responsibility for their actions may be true-to-form, but that doesn’t make it any less nauseating. Nor does the News’ coverage of the company’s weaseling, which put the “sick” in “sycophancy.”

Snark launch, photo from 45th Range Squadron, 45th Space Wing, Patrick Air Force Base


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


is a weblog that serves as
The home of the weekly columns of Bishop Richard Williamson, of the Society of St Pius X

(via David Gibson at dotCommonweal)

Judged by internet presence, if Bishop Williamson is a dinosaur, the typical parish around Milwaukee is in the Precambrian.

'God is pro-choice'

That was our Archdiocesan newspaper's title for a Sister's letter to the editor. In light of the election then just past, she had put it this way.
Obama may be pro-choice, but so is God.

While this might be equivocally true, by the second subsequent paragraph Sister was revealed to be a less-than-useful idiot.
Yes, abortion is the killing of an innocent human life. So is war and violent killing on the streets. I have often seen many starving babies in hospitals in Honduras and witnessed their pain. In these cases, abortion might have been the lesser of two evils, and even the most merciful alternative.

While on a parish mission trip to Guatemala, I did a rough calculation that abortion at U.S. rates there would have numerically offset the 200,000 orphans from Guatemala's civil war. And yet, somehow, that didn't lead me to Sister's conclusion that some of the kids would be better off dead.

Sister's letter drew plenty of unfavorable responses in the next issue's letters to the editor, including from her religious order's national "leadership team". The issue after that included more critical letters from readers, Sister's apology, and a mea culpa from editor Brian T. Olszewski. Referring to Church teaching on respect for human life, he said
you know that our publication adheres to and enthusiastically promotes that teaching. Through columns and stories, we re-enforce it. That's our job; more importantly, that's our mission.

Presumably that also applies to the rest of Church teaching, as well.

P.S. I've heard the paper has a website re-design in the works. Maybe it will start posting the letters feature online.

[Milwaukee Catholic Herald,
November 27, 2008,
December 4, 2008,
and December 11, 2008]

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"This is my hope. This is my prayer."

Remarks by President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, posted by Macon Phillips at The Briefing Room, which include,
There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know.

(via Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor, retroactively)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More cutbacks? At the moment this former domain name of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference displays only a placeholder.

Update: WCC pages are back up.

What would be your final message?

Marquette Magazine, Winter 2009, reports on the most recent in the University's Last Lecture Series, "Rev. Bryan Massingale, associate professor of theology, who presented 'Speaking Truth: The Challenge of Vocation and Integrity.'"
As an example, he detailed the fallout from an editorial he wrote in The Catholic Herald in 2006 that encouraged Catholics to consider voting against Wisconsin’s Defense of Marriage Act, concluding that a no vote was “the best way to respect all of our Catholic beliefs and values.”

See "Fathers" Cooper, Schramm, Mich, Massingale, and the Gays, Part One

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Poe at 200

Nick Mamatas in The Smart Set, January 6, 2009 [Warning: The following is reportedly beyond the reading comprehension standard of John and Mary Catholic, Erie, Pennsylvania.]
We get to read Poe in school not because school defangs Poe; school defangs us so that we can't sink our fangs into his stories the way he wanted us to. Poe is torn to shreds by dopey assignments forcing us to compare and contrast the cat in "The Black Cat" to the bird in "The Raven," term papers about Roderick Usher's inability to tell fantasy from reality, and endless other demands that we take the ineffable in Poe's stories and try to make them effable.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Catholic Conference Backs Increase in Minimum Wage

A January 29, 2009 Press Release announced
The Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC) has endorsed Senate Bill 1, legislation that would increase Wisconsin's minimum wage.