Write In Between

Friday, March 27, 2009

Boston Catholic Mens & Women Conferences: Get your tickets!

I am happy to be working as a volunteer "behind the scenes" for the women's conference. If you live in New England, perhaps you can attend. 

 Spread the word! Check out the link above for the great line-up of speakers!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Writer's Wednesday - Avery Dulles, SJ

The term "Magisterium" designates not on the function of the official teaching but also the body of persons who carry on this function, the official teachers...

The offices of teaching, sanctifying, and ruling are closely interrelated in the Church, since all of them are exercised by the same persons with a view to the same end--the salvation of souls...

Unlike civil society, the Church is a society of faith. Its members are united by professing the same body of revealed truth, expressed in creeds and dogmas. To reject the faith of the community is to exclude oneself from the Church as a society. The teaching of the Magisterium therefore has an obligatory force resembling that of a law or precept. But the two are not the same. The ruling power calls for obedience; the Magisterium calls for free, internal assent. The ruling power speaks first of all to the will; the Magisterium, to the intellect.

In the atmosphere of contemporary liberal democratic societies, the very idea of an authoritative Magisterium provokes misgivings. People tend to think they have both the right and the duty to make up their own minds about what to believe in matters of religion. They may be willing to take advice from theologians and biblical scholars who have professional qualifications, but they balk at the idea that some body of pastors without specialized training should presume to tell them what they must believe....

The Catholic Church believes that Christ delivered his revelation to the Church as a corporate body. Having received the word of God, the Church has an inalienable responsibility to hand it on, explain it, and defend it against errors...

In establishing the Magisterium, Christ responded to a real human need...

It is logical to suppose that if God deems it important to give a revelation, he will make provision to assure its conservation. If he did not set up reliable organs of transmission, the revelation would in a few generations be partly forgotten and inextricably commingled with human speculations, as happened, for instance, in Gnosticism. The New Testament and the early Fathers attest that Jesus conferred upon his Apostles and their successors the authority to teach doctrine in his name. [Jesus] promised to remain present with the apostolic leadership to the end of time, and he conferred the Holy Spirit to assist the leadership in remaining faithful. Just as the Christians of the first century had to rely on the word of the Apostles and their fellow-workers, so the Christians of later generations must continue to rely on the living authority of those who succeed to the place of the apostles.

The authority of the Magisterium is closely linked with the structure of Christian faith as personal self-surrender to the word of God. Faith is never the mere self-assertion of believers but an acceptance by them of something received from others--in the last analysis, from God. The faithful submit to the word as something higher and more reliable than their own personal insights...

The acceptance of a faith proclaimed by a divinely commissioned witness is not, as some imagine, an abdication of person responsibility. It is, on the contrary, a preeminently free and personal act. Freedom is given to us so that we may personally seek and embrace the truth, committing ourselves to live according to it. To withhold assent from the testimony of properly authenticated witnesses to revelation would be a misuse of freedom.

---Avery Cardinal Dulles, sj, Magisterium. (2007)

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Benedict XVI announces Priestly Year

Boston Catholics watching the video link above will see familiar Cardinals at this meeting.

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Feast of the Annunciation

Interesting artistic interpretation, above.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Premio Dardos Award... just having some fun in blogdom!

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller from Long Island (my old stompin' grounds!) of The Divine Gift of Motherhood has presented me with the Premio Dardos Award. (Thanks so much!)

Premio Dardos means ‘prize darts’ in Italian and it is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.The rules are:

1) Accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person who has granted the award and a link to his/her blog.

2) Pass the award to another 7 bloggers that are worthy of this acknowledgement, remembering to contact each of them to let them know. I hereby pass this distinguished award to the following outstanding Catholic bloggers for their literary flair while sharing the treasure of our Catholic faith and culture. And so, I present the following favorite blogs, in random order, to... *drum roll*

Margaret over at Margaret in Minnesota

Dawn over at The Dawn Patrol

Lisa over at her blog at CatholicMom.com

Cardinal Sean O'Malley from the Archdiocese of Boston at Cardinal Sean's Blog

Julie over at Happy Catholic

Danielle, Rebecca, Arwen, Lisa, and Rachel, all bloggers in their right, over at Faith and Family Live! Together they are a tour de force! (I think this counts as a double win for Lisa!)

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Catholic Exchange Boots Google Ads

Long before I was a columnist and contributer over at Catholic Exchange, I was a regular reader and CE was my homepage.  I turned to it precisely because I was tired of being bombarded by secular advertising and non-family-friendly content on other internet homepages.

Catholic Exchange's senior editor Mary Kochan explains why CE has rejected Google Ads.  I encourage you to donate to Catholic Exchange as part of your Lenten almsgiving if you appreciate the articles and resources they provide for free to Catholics around the world.

Let's all try to give a little for the sake of the many. And by all means, if your means allow, send a big gift.  

"Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."  2 Cor. 9:9


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Friday, March 20, 2009

Pope John Paul II's Beatification inching forward

The National Catholic Register has this report.

All I can say is that I'm thrilled. It was the life and times and words and teaching of JPII that influenced my decision to study theology in the first place.

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Thoughts on Getting Back to Confession

Check out my latest column over at Catholic Exchange.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Website for Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston

Check out the new website of the Archdiocese of Boston. Click on the link above.

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Cardinal George Urges Catholics to Tell Administration: Keep Conscience Protections for Health Care Workers

Lately it seems that every time we turn around, there is another assault on Christian values. Yet we must not grow battle weary.

The time is now to let the Obama Administration know that you support conscience clauses for health care workers.

Cardinal George of Chicago had a half-hour meeting with President Obama this week. Details of what they talked about have not been released.  

But also this week, we see this video and web page that the Cardinal released through the US Bishops' website. The same link will enable you to send your own message in favor of keeping conscience laws in place. 

Many people in pro-life work see the reduction of conscience laws as another way of advancing abortion on demand, and forcing conscientious objectors to assist at abortions or lose their jobs.  To call the White House comment line, phone 202-456-1111.

Let your voice be heard, and pass the word!

Update: The National Catholic Register on this subject.
The National Catholic Reporter on this subject -- with good links at the bottom of the article.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Writer's Wednesday - St Patrick

When you are of Irish descent and named for St. Patrick as I am, you grow up learning to love all the stories about this wonderful saint and all the parades in his honor.  And if you are from the New York area, as I am, St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan is your favorite shrine, short of visiting the Basilicas of Rome, or say, Fatima.

But once you grow up, if you really want to know what Patrick is about, you've got to listen to his prayer.  If you want to know any saint, or if you want to know Jesus better, listen to their prayer. It tells you alot. When you know Patrick's prayer, then you "get" Patrick: Patrick the Christian, the Bishop, the priest, the man, the Saint.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Find those walking feet below and make a contribution!

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Care about Youth Ministry?

I thought this article from The Pilot about the recent Symposium on Youth Ministry held in the Archdiocese of Boston summarizes the state of youth ministry very well.

Update, 3/15/09: Be sure to read the first comment below that directs you to Catholic TV's This is the Day! Upcoming programs will feature discussions on youth ministry on March 17 and March 20. Go here for programming details.

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My Take on Forgiveness

Or rather, my take on the subject, now that I know what the Catechism teaches on it... Find it in my latest column on "Today's Catholic Woman" on forgiveness and how to let go of resentment.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Obama's new council on women and girls

Just wondering what you might think about this subject? I'm still considering the implications, but these are my questions:

Is this needed?  

Aren't there more pressing economic obligations in light of our failing/frozen economy? Do we need to spend money on this now?

Whose agenda will be behind this Council?  

Will this be another pro-choice advocacy group? When "protections" for women are mentioned (in terms of rape and domestic violence, etc.), will anyone consider protections for future women in the womb of a pregnant woman?  Will this be another venue where we protect "rights" but not people?

Will this heat-up  or tone down the so-called "mommy wars" in our society? 

Will this hurt men? Families?

Here's the Motherlode blog at the New York Times.  The discussion started yesterday. 

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Video on yesterday's Catholic Rally in CT

Catholic Fire has a video of Bishop Lori's talk at the Catholic Rally in CT to oppose Bill 1098 in the Connecticut Legislature.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Got $5? Spend it here!

'Tis the season to collect for the Avon Breast Cancer walks!

As a breast cancer survivor (12+ years now) I really appreciate the dedication of so many who have walked and pledged on my behalf over the years. If you're a woman whose had a healthy mammography this past year, why not celebrate by donating? And, natch, if you can spare more than 5 bucks, don't let me stand in the way of your generous Lenten almsgiving!

Click the link above to support my cousin, Josie, on her mega-walk with Avon. (Tell her Patty sent you.) Thanks!

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Writer's Wednesday -- St. Louis de Montfort

When Mary has stuck her roots in a soul, she produces there marvels of grace, which she alone can produce, because she alone is the fruitful Virgin who never has had, and never will have, her equal in purity and in fruitfulness.

Mary has produced, together with the Holy [Spirit], the greatest thing which has been or ever will be -- a God-Man; and she will consequently produce the greatest saints that there will be in the end of time. The formation and education of the great saints who shall come at the end of the world are reserved for her. For it is only that singular and miraculous Virgin who can produce, in union with the Holy [Spirit], singular and extraordinary things.

---St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary. (Considered to be one of the most influential books ever written about Mary.)

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The People of God sent a loud message!

This isn't over.... we will see this again in some other form, no doubt.

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CT Bishops and Churches need your help!

Those who are able, should come to the Connecticut State House in Hartford to witness the public hearing that will take place tomorrow at noon, regarding proposed bill 1098, a bill to restructure parish financial organizations.

I've written about it here.

You can read more about it from the Diocese of Bridgeport's website here. There are email addresses and phone numbers to take action and to voice your concern on that site. Please do so! It's okay if you don't live in CT. Let the CT Legislature know that America is watching, and what is being suggestion is a trampling on the First Amendment and religious liberty in America.

For a historical look at similar fights in US Catholic history, read Carl Anderson's (Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus) article here.

Here in Massachusetts, we are praying about what will happen in Connecticut tomorrow... this may be the latest tactic used in silencing the Church's voice in the public square... not just in Connecticut, but elsewhere. Stay tuned.
Update, 1:15pm EST: The hearing has been postponed. But CT Catholics are still urged to storm Hartford for a rally according to the Diocese of Bridgeport website:
The public hearing for Proposed Bill 1098 may have been postponed, but the Bill is STILL ALIVE. Our Rally in Hartford is STILL ON for Wednesday, March 11, at 10:30 a.m. For details, go here.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Hail Mary

A little teaching on my favorite little prayer, here

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bible 101

Happy to pass along this gem from Mark Shea on Catholic Exchange on how Catholics read the bible.  

Much as I love Mark's writing, allow me to direct you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church where you will find more on this subject. Go to CCC paragraphs 109-119.

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Writer's Wednesday -- St. Columbanus

The Prayer of St Columbanus (+ 615 ad)

Lord, I pray that you may be a lamp for me in the darkness. Touch my soul and kindle a fire within it, that it may burn brightly and give light to my life. Thus my body may truly become your temple, lit by your perpetual flame burning on the altar of my heart. And may the light within me shine on my brethren that it may drive away the darkness of ignorance and sin from them also. Thus together let us be lights to the world, manifesting the bright beauty of your gospel to all around us.
----St. Columbanus, Irish Monk and Missionary

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Word on Fire

Check out Word on Fire's newest movie The Catholicism Project in the side bar.  Or go to the website here.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Writer's Wednesday - St Patrick

This comes a day late and a dollar short for St. Patrick's day, but I'm going with it anyway.

When you are of Irish descent, named after St. Patrick as I am, you pay attention to the stories of St. Patrick when you are a little. And you come to really love a good St. Patty's Day parade, even if you could never stomach green beer or corned beef and cabbage.

Then when you are not so little, and looking a little deeper into the life and times of Patrick, the Christian, the Bishop, the Priest, the Saint, you come across his prayer, and then, and only then, you "get" Patrick.

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