Thursday, December 31, 2009

Repo man

Because money market accounts pay around a half per cent interest, Franklin seeks investment alternative to boost return.
Franklin Finance Director Cal Patterson said Wednesday that he is recommending the Small Business Administration repurchase agreement, or SBA repo, because it has a higher interest rate and is guaranteed by the federal government.

The anticipated interest rate is 1.65%. I assume the City is seeking minimal risk and usually a higher rate reflects higher risk of some kind.


What do you do when you're branded...

Our Archdiocese of Milwaukee has revamped its website. Sometimes that indicates rebranding is underway.

P.S. Also on the rebranding front, Milwaukee's WISN-TV reports the local chapter of SNAP "is calling for the resignation or firing of auxiliary bishop Richard Sklba" and "They also want bishop Listecki to rename the Weakland Center at the cathedral."
"We're here today to say to Archbishop Listecki, 'take your first 100 days and do a couple things to get this Weakland-Sklba era behind us,'" said SNAP's Peter Isley.

WTMJ-TV's report concluded "It's unlikely Bishop Listecki will take any action against Sklba."


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Amy Pawlak, cub reporter

Her new gig is Milwaukee-area Catholic reporter for the Examiner. She welcomes news tips and suggested topics.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In other words

Those plotting against us seek not only to undermine our security, but also the open society and the values that we cherish as Americans. --President Barack Obama December 28, 2009

They hate our freedoms... --President George W. Bush September 20, 2001

Recovery of the Sacred

Adoremus Bulletin has occasionally republished chapters from the book Recovery of the Sacred, by James Hitchcock, as follows:

Chapter One The Liturgical Revolution (November 2009)

Chapter Four The Loss of History (June 2006)

Chapter Seven The Reformed Liturgy (April 1996)

The book was published in a revised edition as Reforming the Reformed Liturgy (1995), but both editions are now out of print.


Monday, December 28, 2009

How to set up a new computer

Rob Pegoraro in the Washington Post December 20, 2009
There's a reason computer stores sell concierge services to set up your new machine...

(via JSOnline)

Growing Latino Catholic population said to challenge, energize church

Beth Griffin of Catholic News Service reported on "Becoming Latino: The Transformation of U.S. Catholicism", a December 9th forum sponsored by the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University.
The U.S. bishops support integration as a way to receive people of different cultures into the church, rather than assimilation, which is dehumanizing and racist, the speakers said.

Wouldn't most Catholics in the U.S. be the product of assimilation? Yet our bishops don't say we, and they, are dehumanized.
"Ours is truly an immigrant church," Lugo [Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life] said. "If there’s a group that knows how to integrate immigrants through long practice, it’s the Roman Catholic Church."

If there's evidence that the Catholic Church in the U.S. was significantly less assimilationist than other institutions, it's not in this account.
Jesuit Father Claudio Burgaleta, coordinator of the Latin studies program at Fordham’s Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, said Latinos “are at the same time traditional and orthodox and also charismatic. These are characteristics that often don’t go together in the popular imagination."

"Popular" referring to what, real people?
"Catholics believe in the Eucharist. They believe that the bread and wine is more than bread and wine and that the Eucharist is more than simply a religious ritual," he said.

Sounds more like what Lutherans believe.
Msgr. Arturo Banuelas, pastor of St. Pius X Parish in El Paso, Texas, said comparisons of Latinos to groups who emigrated from other continents are misleading.

"Unlike other ethnic groups who lost many of their cultural traditions and language, we have not lost touch with our roots," he said, as evidenced by the "dominant use of Spanish in our homes."

Meaning bi-lingualism? If that's what the bishops mean by integration, then they ought to be very clear about it. Of course, that supposedly vital distinction between integration and assimilation seems to be not so clear.
Father Banuelas said, "Pastoral practice has to go beyond assimilationist attempts to integrate Latinos into mainstream USA or efforts to stop the wave of Catholics from becoming Protestant."

Hard to believe Latinos don't want to assimilate into mainstream USA but do want to become Protestant.
He also said Latinos want Catholic Church leaders to speak Spanish and address issues such as the needs of the rising Latino middle class...

Perhaps discussing in Spanish the social advancement benefit of English.

(via Milwaukee Catholic Herald)


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reading Rat 'Race' on Broadway, review of 'Race', by David Mamet

Lenten Letters (Alexander Solzhenitsyn)

Problems with 'Holmes' seem elementary, by Duane Dudek, review of 'Holmes', directed by Guy Ritchie

Stendhal in Parma, Italy, by Adam Begley

Reading Rat: Recommended reading by these authors.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our Lady of Grace Media Info for Archbishop Listecki's Installation on 1/4/10 "The application deadline for credentials is December 28, 2009."

Trinity Academy, fifth anniversary celebration of the dedication of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, Mass celebrated by Father Francis "Rocky" Hoffman, Senior Director of Mission, Programming, and Development for Relevant Radio, January 8, 2010 2:00 p.m., followed by Forty Hours of Eucharistic Adoration

The Archbishop's Catholic Schools Dinner January 14, 2010. "Please respond by January 1, 2010."


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sausage, with by-products

To most Americans, the conference process is an enigma, rarely taught in history or civics lessons. Even the "School House Rock" classic animated step-by-step primer, "I'm Just a Bill," skipped over the conference committee's role. --David Lightman and William Douglas

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Arguing to death

many Athenians detected an underlying arrogance in Socratic irony. Socrates thus resembled, say, the wiser-than-thou and often manipulative comedian-commentators Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in today’s America. Those who agreed with him found him funny and enlightening. The rest found him merely condescending. --The Economist

Stritch in time

Our Archdiocesan weekly reports that district president of Wells Fargo Bank’s southeastern Wisconsin retail and business banking operations Kent Bergemann named interim president at Cardinal Stritch. The position was open, as the Herald reported last week, when Helen Sobehart, Stritch president submits resignation.
Bergemann is treasurer and finance committee chair for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee...

Bringing in someone with a financial background indicates financial problems at Cardinal Stritch University, reinforced by bringing him in but not saying that's why.

P.S. A stitch for Stritch: Sujata Sachdeva, the Koss executive accused of embezzling more than $4.5 million, "is on the board of trustees of Cardinal Stritch University", among other local organizations.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tea for two

Today's left and right anti-Reid activists have a common enemy in corporatism, the easy alliance between Big Government and entrenched, favored too-big-to-fail businesses (Aetna, AIG .... ) that threatens to give us all the inequality of capitalism with all the dynamic innovation and accountability of socialism. --Mickey Kaus


Concentrating on the core business

Our Archdiocesan weekly reports that deputy director James M. Brennan named Charities’ interim director. The position was open, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had reported, after Hannah Dugan, Catholic Charities executive director resigns.
He assured that Dugan’s determined work for the disadvantaged will continue.

"First of all, our staff this past year and for the past couple of years has refocused its work on the poor," he said. "That focus will continue."

It had been focused elsewhere?
Anne Marie Wick, president of the Catholic Charities board, told your Catholic Herald that she and another board member had asked to meet with Dugan on Dec. 10 but not about Dugan’s role with the agency.

Sounds like that was because there wasn't going to be any.
“Hannah communicated to us that she had prayed about this,” Wick said. “She tendered her resignation.”

Mr. Brennan returns to the issue of focus.
“This is the transition that will allow us to focus on our mission at Catholic Charities, and focus on our work to the clients being served by Catholic Charities. The rest will be handled very well,” he added.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Bastogne Christmas card

22 December 1944

To the German Commander:


The American Commander

Listecki owned land with pal who swindled

Daniel Bice, in his No Quarter column on Milwaukee's Archbishop-designate in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, claims
here's something that few know about the guy:

The few who know being anyone who's read the guy's Wikipedia entry, which said,
In 2004 it was revealed that Bishop Listecki had earlier purchased a vacation condominium with friends, one of whom was Dr. Dennis Composto, who plead guilty in 2006 of stealing money from the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Archdiocese of Chicago issued statements in 2004 and 2006 that Bishop Listecki had cooperated fully with the investigation, and was cleared of any wrongdoing. Composto died early in 2007. [footnotes omitted]

That's not really a scoop to report what's already in an encyclopedia.


He admits, we deny

Our Archdiocesan weekly informs subscribers
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee responded to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s article regarding the former archbishop’s shredding of copies of sex abuse reports in a Dec. 4 e-mail addressed to pastors, parish directors and diocesan priests.

The Journal Sentinel article was picked up by local TV and radio, so I wonder why there was no response directed to local media. The email says only copies were shredded, not originals. See Better shred than read
The information comes from a 1993 deposition in which Archbishop Weakland admitted destroying copies of the reports in his office.

If the Catholic Herald was convinced there's no problem, I would have suggested "disclosed" rather than "admitted".


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Reading Rat Lessons from "The Leopard": Is Europe becoming too accustomed to genteel decline? by "Charlemagne"

Prudence, by Randall Munroe (via Matthew at The Shrine of Holy Whapping)

He Was No Wilsonian, by Beverly Gage, review of Woodrow Wilson: A Biography, by John Milton Cooper Jr.

Reading Rat: Recommended reading by these authors.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our Lady of Grace Believer tells tale of basilica: Businesswoman changes job to support landmark of her south-side youth, by Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (on Susan Rabe, "first full-time executive director of the St. Josaphat Basilica Foundation")

Carols help with lessons of the season, by Mary-Liz Shaw, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Festival of Lessons and Carols starts at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at 914 E. Knapp St." St. Paul's Episcopal Church. See Welcome Timothy J. Benson

Auxiliary Bishops Callahan and Sklba to Celebrate Christmas Masses

How December 25 Became Christmas by Andrew McGowan, Biblical Arhaeology Review (via Prayer & Worship)


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Need gifts for New Year's or any other upcoming holiday?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Some are cool to idea that Earth is warming

Local psychotherapist Philip Chard takes up climate change skepticism in his December 15, 2009 column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Recent polls show at least one-third of us don't believe our world is warming, and that percentage appears to be rising. ...

Three factors make this possible: (1) lack of social proximity, (2) diminished scientific literacy and (3) direct personal experience.

He leaves out (4) suspicion of the hard sell.

St. James pastor speaks out against new English translation of Mass

Janet I. Tu, Seattle Times, December 15, 1969 2009

(via James Martin, S.J. at In All Things)

See What If We['d] Said, 'Wait'?


More crisis for fewer Catholics

Bruce Murphy's December 8, 2009 Milwaukee Magazine column includes an item "More Crisis for Catholics". (His "More" refers back to the magazine's earlier article Catholics In Crisis.)
The introduction of new Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki seemed to offer hope for the Catholic archdiocese. The Chicago native and La Crosse bishop was described as an easygoing people person and a fine storyteller. Most importantly, he was the first Polish leader in a community that has long had a huge population of Polish Catholics.

That long-standing grievance got recurring cursory unsympathetic treatment in Archbishop Weakland's memoir.
But the shine has come off quickly. The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests has charged that Listecki’s diocese of La Crosse has the highest percentage of priests cleared of child sexual abuse allegations of any Catholic diocese in the United States, six times the national average.

That frames the issue a bit oddly. If it's an extreme situation, I'd expect there'd be more information about specific cases from aggrieved complainants. No one, I assume, is advocating some euphemized quota.
When asked about this by Wisconsin Public Radio, Listecki replied that he didn’t have enough time left in his tenure to address the question, and besides, it was the holiday season.

Which makes sense substantively. He couldn't do a systemic review in his last month as Bishop, it makes sense for his successor to decide whether to review the process since he'll be the one presiding over it, and a Bishop is, presumably, busier than usual in his official capacity this time of year. From a public relations standpoint, though, he came across as if he was going to be too busy with shopping and Christmas lights. Looking ahead, we can expect either evidence that he's getting media training, or an end to interviews.
Next came the revelation that former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland had routinely shredded copies of weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests. He made this statement in formerly sealed testimony turned over to the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office last week. Weakland testified that he didn’t want to keep the documents in his office.

See Better shred than read.
The day after this bombshell hit, the archdiocese sent a memo with "talking points" to priests and parish directors saying that Weakland was shredding "copies of reports," not the originals. So he kept the originals around but just tore up the copies? That seems a little hard to believe.

The commenters to my just-referenced post note that if only copies were shredded this is not a case of destroying evidence. Mr. Murphy alludes to the residual point, that it seems desirable that the Archbishop would make provision to keep the copy at least until discussing it with the Vicar who prepared it. To get a copy to read, shred, and then try to remember seems mindlessly bureaucratic, at best.

Again, I hope that our Archdiocese didn't literally label this memo "talking points". But if not, then someone else, SNAP perhaps, got that pre-emptive spin put on it.
The never-ending clergy abuse crisis – and the nagging sense that the archdiocese never quite comes clean about it – has taken a toll.

I've heard that soon after his arrival Archbishop Dolan was urged to personally review all the abuse files, and I have not seen any report that he has. Archbishop Weakland testified that he did not discuss abuse cases with Archbishop Dolan, or with Archbishop Cousins for that matter. If there were good reasons for those decisions, I don't recall hearing them.
One sign I’ve reported before is that attendance at weekly Mass has dropped from 270,000 to 165,000 in about a decade. More bad news comes from a just-released annual statistical supplement to the Milwaukee Catholic Herald, which shows the total Catholic population dropped from 681,781 to 643,775.

See Milwaukee Catholics down 38,000 in 2009. I've long had the impression hardly anyone on the payroll cares.
Why these declines? "I’d be at a loss to comment on any specific reason," says archdiocesan spokeswoman Julie Wolf. "If you’re looking for me to say it’s due to the clergy abuse crisis, I don’t think I can say that. The Pew Research shows that all church attendance [at all denominations] is down."

I get responses like that at my parish, too. They'll respond that something is a widespread problem, which somehow means no one in any particular place should be trying to figure out what to do about it.
Even if the clergy abuse crisis hasn’t contributed to the decline in numbers, it certainly makes it harder for the archdiocese to recoup its losses.

Given the demographics, maybe our clergy and staff plan to ride the death spriral into retirement.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Next Ice Age Delayed by Global Warming, Study Says

Christine Dell'Amore, National Geographic News, September 3, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Three rules of crisis management

Rule No. 1: Don't wait.
Rule No. 2: Don't run from the truth.
Rule No. 3: Don't hide.

Tiger flubs crisis management 101
, commentary by Rachel Beck, Associated Press (via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

What If We['d] Said, 'Wait'?

Rev. Michael J. Ryan inadvertently explains where the implementation of the liturgical reform went wrong back in the 1960s.
What if pastors, pastoral councils, liturgical commissions and presbyteral councils were to appeal to their bishops for a time of reflection and consultation on the translations and on the process whereby they will be given to the people? ...

What if, before implementing the new translations, we do some “market testing?” What if each region of bishops were to designate certain places where the new translations would receive a trial run: urban parishes and rural parishes, affluent parishes and poor parishes, large, multicultural parishes and small parishes, religious communities and college campuses? What if for the space of one full liturgical year the new translations were used in these designated communities, with carefully planned catechesis and thorough, honest evaluation? Wouldn’t such an experiment yield valuable information for both the translators and the bishops? And wouldn’t such an experiment make it much easier to implement the translations when they are ready?
Father Ryan is proposing a year of market testing for changes to a forty-year-old liturgy. By that standard, the earlier changes to a four-hundred-year-old liturgy needed a decade of market testing. Instead there were run-throughs for selected small groups in the papal apartments on January 11, 12, and 13, 1968, see The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975, by Annibale Bugnini, pp. 359-383. As I've noted before, Archbishop Weakland literally called those three small demonstrations the test marketing of the revised liturgy.

Here in Milwaukee, three months was alloted to prepare for the transition to the postconciliar liturgy. By that standard, the upcoming revision would get a week and a half.

Update: Dad29 on The Dissent Lives in Milwaukee


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Not in pink, but a bit in the red

Our pastor explains in his column in today's bulletin,
Today is the Third Sunday of Advent. It is traditionally called Gaudate Sunday from the Latin word "Gaudate," which means REJOICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In some parishes, the priest wears a dusty-rose or even pinkish vestment to signify a change in emphasis of the readings.

That includes our parish, except for our pastor who has an aversion to wearing that color. At Mass this morning he wore purple, the deacon wore rose.

He also reported
Today, we also announce the results of our FAITH IN OUR FUTURE CAMPAIGN. Even though we did NOT achieve our goal of 1.5 million, we did achieve gifts of $1,275,595.

which brought out his conformist side.
To those who have still not made a pledge, I ask you to do so now. Even if you cannot indicate an amount at this time, please return a card so we know you are walking with us with FAITH IN OUR FUTURE.


Reading Rat John Ashbery, Toying With Words, by Helen Vendler, review of 'Planisphere: New Poems', by John Ashbery

T.S. Eliot’s 100th Anniversary, video of address by Russell Kirk at Hillsdale College, June 26, 1988

A Christmas Rewrite, as Dickens Edits Dickens, by Alison Leigh Cowan (via Althouse)

St. Augustine and The Onion on Unrepentant Sociopaths (Also Known As "Children"), by Joe Carter

Justifying Paul, by Gary Culpepper, review of 'Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision', by N.T. Wright

Also of interest: 60 second recap (via Meghan Duke at First Thoughts)


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Our Lady of Grace Bishop Sklba will Celebrate Mass for the Winter Solstice at Congregation of the Great Spirit, December 19, 2009 10:00 a.m.

Creative and Liberating Liturgies Workshop Facilitated by Victoria Rue, Ph.D. "Learning Goals: ... To offer theatre skills that can be utilized in creative and liberating liturgies such as characterization, improvisation, monologue writing." Today, you missed it. (via Modern Commentaries)

Catholic Charities executive director resigns, by Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Catholic Charities has struggled financially over the past decade, losing nearly $1.8 million, posting annual deficits between 2000 and 2005, according to its federal 990s." The executive director was the uncommunicative Hannah Dugan.

Season for tzedakah giving, by Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "The [7 foot] Bayshore Menorah will be lighted, as part of a Hanukkah celebration, at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, after a parade of 80 vehicles with rooftop menorahs through downtown and the North Shore."

Senate abortion vote called 'grave mistake', by Nancy Frazier O'Brien, Catholic News Service. "'Even our opponents claim they do not support federal funding for elective abortions and they want current restrictions to apply,' he [Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities] said. 'The way to settle this often misleading debate is simply, clearly and explicitly to apply Hyde restrictions to all the federal funds in this legislation.'"

Stritch president submits resignation, Milwaukee Catholic Herald staff. “In the past year, I have had to make many difficult decisions, so typical of a major transition during very tough economic times ... there are different leaders for different times, and the time is right for new leadership.” In this case, the different time is since last year.

Vocalist at Sacred Heart, Dec. 17, by Milwaukee Catholic Herald staff. Tatiana, at Sacred Heart Church in West Milwaukee.

Head of archdiocese schools faces drunken driving charge, by Crocker Stephenson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He said he was returning from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting."

Racine minister elected new ELCA bishop, by Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "'I've had the privilege of going into a lot of churches as an assistant to the bishop,' he [Rev. Jeff Barrow] said, 'and I see a lot more life than I do death.'"

Prayer with an Infallible Guarantee, by Ron Rolheiser, OMI. Paradox: How we fulfill Christ's promise to us to answers our prayers. Literary reference: C.S. Lewis. (via Milwaukee Catholic Herald)


Friday, December 11, 2009

“Seal the Deal”

Remarks to the Global Environment Forum by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, August 11, 2009, UN News Centre
Please use this “Seal the Deal” as widely as possible, as much as you can. We must seal the deal in Copenhagen for the future of humanity.

We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet.

(via Drudge Report)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Better shred than read

The recent report that Weakland shredded copies of sex abuse reports, documents say doesn't surprise me. The Washington Post reported in 2002 that our Archdiocese had insisted that documents produced in connection with a lawsuit be shredded "because they showed how much money it had spent on treatment, litigation and settlements related to sex abuse".

Our Archdiocese now reports those amounts, but the leadership doesn't make it easy to believe their hearts aren't still with the shredder.

Update: The following are being referred to as the Archdiocese's "talking points" in response to the story. (via SNAP)
December 4, 2009

Dear Pastors, Parish Directors and Diocesan Priests,

We are providing you with some information that may be helpful should any of your parishioners have questions about the article that appeared in this morning’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about Archbishop Emeritus Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B.

The article stated that Archbishop Weakland, during his tenure as Archbishop of Milwaukee, routinely shredded “weekly reports about sexual abuse by priests.”

Here are some facts you may want to share to set the record straight:
- What was referred to in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, as being shredded, were copies of reports, not originals.
- The Milwaukee District Attorney, E. Michael McCann, reviewed all documents related to clergy sexual abuse in 2003.
- If the current Milwaukee County District Attorney would like to review the cases again, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee would support that decision.
- The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has kept its promises and remains committed to working proactively toward resolution of any issues brought to us by victims/survivors of sexual abuse as a minor by diocesan clergy.
- Most importantly, there is no clergy member with a substantiated report of sexual abuse of a minor in public ministry in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Julie Wolf
Communications Office


Monday, December 7, 2009

Blaming the frame for the picture

Michael Sean Winters complains "The estate tax has been unhappily, but effectively, dubbed the 'death tax' by Republicans." His thesis is "The Democrats are simply not as good as their counterparts at finding catchy ways to describe their legislative proposals." He might have a point, judging by his attempt, "let’s call it the level playing field tax".

See Gulling the Voters.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Reading Rat Voters Choose Flannery O’Connor in National Book Award Poll, by Dave Itzkoff, The New York Times, November 19, 2009, 10:41 am (via Kerry Weber at In All Things)

The Public Square column, by Richard John Neuhaus, 'While We’re At It', First Things, January 2008, quotes Clive James on Walter Benjamin, "Part of his sad fate has been to have his name bandied about the intellectual world without very many of its inhabitants being quite sure why, apart from the vague idea that he was a literary critic who somehow got beyond literary criticism: he got up into the realm of theory, where critics rank as philosophers if they are hard enough to read."

Saul Alinsky and Jacques Maritain: A Spiritual Paternity, by Hierothee, December 1, 2009 @ 2:57 PM (via Dad29)

Slavery’s Constitution, by David Luhrssen, Shepherd Express, August 17,2009, review of 'Slavery’s Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification', by David Waldstreicher

Also of interest: The Six Greatest Fantasy Novels of All Time, by Lev Grossman, Techland, November 24, 2009 (via Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy)


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Deciduous Jesus

'My God, My God,
why have you forsaken rakin' me?'

The return of the Crucifix full-time at my parish church meets the theme of the Autumn sanctuary decoration.


Our Lady of Grace Weasel Journalism (Margaret O'Brien Steinfels bitching about John Allen at dotCommonweal.)

Liturgical Pioneers, Pastoral Musicians and Liturgists (weblog post in memory of those who made liturgy what it is today.) (via Prayer & Worship )

Health Care Bill Does Not Unfairly Restrict Abortions Letter to the Editors of the Wisconsin State Journal and Capital Times from Kim Wadas, Associate Director, Education & Health Care, Wisconsin Catholic Conference

A Site Worth Visiting, by Kerry Weber, In All Things. "Prior to a Dec. 9 Mass on the 30th anniversary of Sheen’s death, visitors to the cathedral [St. Patrick's, New York] will have a chance to prayerfully visit the crypt beneath the main altar. The crypt will be open between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., and Mass in the cathedral will begin at 5:30 p.m. The Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, and members of Sheen’s family are expected to attend."

Listecki says he felt call to priesthood at early age, by Tom Kertscher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (No mention of playing Mass with mashed Wonder Bread hosts.)

December 2009 Newsletter, Catholics United for the Faith, Milwaukee Chapter. "Congratulations to Emeritus Bishop John W. Yanta, Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, who has accepted the Chapter’s Msgr. Alphonse S. Popek Award for 2010."

Annual Education Fund Dinner and Auction, Wisconsin Right to Life, Thursday, April 29, 2010, Midwest Airlines Center. Special Guest Speaker: Senator Rick Santorum

Stupak Amendment Preserves Long-standing Protections, Eye on the Capitol, November 18, 2009, by Kim Wadas, Associate Director, Education & Health Care, Wisconsin Catholic Conference


Friday, December 4, 2009

Snark launch, photo from 45th Range Squadron, 45th Space Wing, Patrick Air Force Base Don’t call me a liturgist--a liturgist tells somebody when to start playing the guitars. --Rev. Robert Taft, S.J.

Over the span of decades, Wisconsin has become a national embarrassment, as drivers with six, seven, and eight DUI arrests continue killing citizens on our roads. For generations, the Legislature does nothing (in fact, in some areas of the state, driving with a beer cozy in one hand is part of the road test at the DMV.) --Christian Schneider

Recently, it’s become popular to believe that when a zombie loses its head, it dies. With today’s resignation of Fritz Henderson, the reanimated corpse of General Motors is testing that theory. --Edward Niedermeyer

What might be the results of an old media, or Newspaper bailout? Well, FTC Chair Jon Leibowitz's wife would likely stay employed, for one. --Dan Riehl (via InstaPundit)

Bishop Murray has learned well from his American brothers. Asked to explain why so many people think the Irish hierarchy engaged in a conspiracy of silence, he replies that "it's worth saying that the report also says that communication at that level was poor, in other words the individual auxiliary bishops did not know." Ah, yes: faulty record-keeping; poor internal communication. Sound familiar? There's more: "I would say that I hope we are all on a learning curve." --Diogenes

...there are two ways to deal with scientific illiteracy: take a long, hard look at the forces that repel so many from science, or throw up your hands and write people off as fools.

Michael Specter, a science and public health writer for The New Yorker, shows little interest in the first approach in his pugnacious new book, Denialism... --Darshak Sanghavi

...[Robert Wright's] Afghan anti-terror strategy eventually boils down to, in effect, 'Hey, we'll catch Al Qaeda's nukes when they arrive here in shipping containers.' --Mickey Kaus

(... a country may need to forget the disappointment that followed its last bout of euphoria before it succumbs to it again. It may be a decade or two before many people can believe in another New Jerusalem.) --"Bagehot"


You can't be worth more than many sparrows without breaking eggs

Chrystina Head of Milwaukee's Fox 6 television reported that
In a news conference Young Catholics for Choice announced that it has partnered with Wisconsin based Family Planning Health Services to come up with the ads that advocate having the morning after pill on hand even before you need it.

This is about "better sex" ... according to the recruiting flyer. And that "having the morning after pill on hand even before you need it" recalls George Carlin: "Available in the six-pack, the sex-pack, and the handy shack-pack for you weekenders!"

(via Catholic Wintertime In Milwaukee)


Catholic group’s abortion rights ads conflict with church’s stance, by Pat Simonaitis, Marquette Tribune (via American Paptist)

Archbishop-Designate Listecki - NEWS RELEASE Re Young Catholics for Choice 12-15-09 (via Dad29)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Like giving candy to a baby

This morning's paper reports on a proposal for free distribution of condoms to high school students in the Milwaukee Public Schools.
The School Board's Innovation/School Reform Committee will take up the issue at its meeting on Tuesday.

Terry Falk, vice chairman of the committee, said the proposal is not about "handing out condoms like candy."

For the MPS regulations on handing out candy, see:
    Administrative Procedures of the Milwaukee Public Schools
        4.07 Student Nutrition & Wellness Procedures (July 26, 2006)
            (4) Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New project to study faith in a secular age

Back in my day, Roman Catholics made a virtue of critical thinking. --Tom Foley

Catholic University of America has launched a 15-month study into faith in a secular age, Patricia Zapor of Catholic News Service reported. The November 19, 2009 launch included a presentation by Charles Taylor, author of A Secular Age (2007) and winner of the 2007 Templeton Prize.
Today, Taylor sees a society where people fall into categories of "seekers" or "dwellers."

Seekers he defines as those who don't want to be told by others what to believe. In a religious context, this may mean that they're people who are willing to be part of a religious tradition or who are looking to reconnect with a faith, said Taylor.

As Father McLean [Oblate Father George F. McLean, president of the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy and director of Catholic University's Center for the Study of Culture and Values] described Taylor's work, dwellers are those who want things decided for them, those who are inclined to commit to "things which are true and old."

I rather doubt these categories resulted from people categorizing themselves as either wanting or not wanting to be told by others what to believe, or wanting or not wanting things decided for them.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Our Greatest Churches

H. Russell Zimmermann writes in the November 2007 issue of Milwaukee Magazine on his picks for Milwaukee's 25 most beautiful and historically significant churches. Among them is St. John's Cathedral, with this concluding caveat.
In 2002, another major project was announced as “a glorious renovation” of the interior. The modernist design was derided as “a theater-in-the-round” and “too Protestant” by detractors. To me, the shockingly mismatched interior is a mistake. The archdiocese's most beloved edifice deserves a meaningful restoration to its original, richly ornamented interior.

I'm way ahead of him, having in 1997 "Received a thank you letter from the Very Rev. John H. Endejan for my contribution to the Cathedral Preservation Foundation."