Sep 5, 2008

How do You Return to the Church?

Many Catholics have fallen away from believing in and practicing their faith during the past 40 years. More and more are finding their way back home, but some wonder how difficult it is to return and what procedures must be followed.

Several years ago I listened to Jack Cashill give a public speech in which he talked about returning to the Catholic Church after an absence of many years. He described meeting a good priest at a reception and learning what it would take to return to the faith of his fathers.

Does anyone know the simple answer the priest gave him? Hint: it takes only about fifteen minutes, and afterwards, the reinstated Catholic knows he is far more favored and blessed by God than the long-time faithful Catholic in the next pew.

Answer: The only thing that is necessary to return to grace and truth in the Catholic faith is to go to confession, which means to be sorrowful for your sins, admit your sins to a priest, and do the penance that the priest gives you. Is it difficult to remember sins committed over 10, 30, and even 50 years ago? Not too bad if all you have to do is answer the priest's questions. Jack said the priest who admitted him back in the Church and heard his confession simply asked him how many times he had committed particular sins.

Priests know how difficult it is for a person to confess their sins after an extended time because memory fails and there may be embarrassment. That is why the priest asked Jack Cashill how many times he had committed a particular sin. The audience laughed with humble self-awareness when he admitted "about 1,300 times, Father!"

I'd like to personally welcome home all our lost brothers and sisters. I know you've been through hell during your time away from the City of God [St. Augustine].

Sep 3, 2008

Do You See the Difference?

Thanks to Michelle Malkin for this observation.

Learning the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass

The Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has been training many priests during the past year to offer the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass. I've been wondering about the results, and found a good example. A favorite blogger and science-fiction author and new Catholic (Easter 2008), John C. Wright, identified a particularly good sermon and I was curious about the homilist:
One Fr. John De Celles [STL], speaking in Old St. Mary's Church this weekend, delivered a homily to rebuke Nancy Pelosi, who publically offered a gross distortion of the Catholic teaching on aborticide. It is, if you will, the modern version of St. John the Baptist rebuking Herod, another figure who saw nothing wrong in slaying innocent children.
Wright noted that the entire sermon given on Labor Day weekend has been posted on the web. I read it and am very impressed. So who is Fr. John De Celles whose sermons are so good that one will be picked up and reprinted by the well-respected National Review magazine?

The current Bulletin of St. Mary's Church reports that Fr. De Celles now offers the old Latin Mass in Alexandria, VA:
You may recall that last summer Father attended a week-long seminar to learn how to say this Mass. He attended another seminar this summer to both review the rubrics of the Traditional Mass and to focus on the High Mass. In addition he put a lot of time and energy into preparing for [offering the Extraordinary Form on] August 15th.

Those efforts paid off in many ways. We expected some people would attend the evening Mass on the 15th simply because it fit their schedule. We did realize a few might have had no idea this would be the Traditional Mass despite weeks of announcing that it would be. And we thought a number would attend because it was a sung High Mass.

We estimate that there were 600 people here that night. The overwhelming response was a positive one, actually an extremely positive one, which was wonderful to hear. It provided, as we hoped, an opportunity for parishioners to experience the beauty of the “Old Mass.”
The FSSP priests are seeing a lot of good results from their training other priests to offer the old Latin Mass. In addition, I've noted over the years that the best prepared homilies seem to come from priests who are favorable to the old Mass.

Sep 1, 2008

Todd Palin--American Manhood at its Best

What's the story behind the Alaska governor with an approval rating of 89 to 93 percent? A good part of it has to be her husband, Todd Palin, who is discussed in ALASKA magazine of February 2008. Here are a few quotes from the cover story, "Palin's Way," by Melissa DeVaughn on "America's Hottest Governor."
It's her favorite room [kitchen] in the large but unpretentious home her husband, Todd, designed and built five years ago.... Todd's floatplane is docked just a hundred yards away [on Lake Lucille] at the edge of the neatly mown lawn....Having such a high-powered wife does not faze Todd, who refers to himself jokingly as the "First Dude."

While Sarah does the work of governor, Todd remains the quintessential Alaska man. He stays busy with his week-on, week-off job with British Petroleum on the North Slope. He's also one of the state's best snowmachiners, and has won the grueling 2,000-mile Tesoro Iron Dog race four times. In the summer, Todd fishes a commercial site in Bristol Bay and spends time flying his airplane, a hobby he has enjoyed for 20 years.

Having his wife become governor changed the Palin household, he said, but not in a monumental way. "Her schedule dictates my schedule, but with her being mayor for so many years, we were already used to it," he said. "The kids are very adaptable. There are thousands of Alaska families that adapt, whether you're a contract guy who's gone for the summer season, a sloper or in the military, we have a lot of families who don't have the 9-to-5 schedule."

On this day, Todd Palin is preparing to change into work clothes and help oversee construction of a community playground in Juneau. As First Dude, he is a champion of vocational education for Alaska students. "I'm a product of on-the-job training that was offered to me in 1989. And growing up in the high schools that I attended, we had great shops, mechanic shops and carpenter shops. In recent years, that has not been a high priority, but that is coming back. So I've told the commissioner of labor, 'Wherever you can use me in that role, I am there for you'."

"My slope job has provided for my family," he said. "when an opportunity is given to an individual, it is what that person does with it that matters. As I travel the state, that's a big concern, getting kids motivated. I am meeting kids that can't read a tape measure or just don't want to work, so it's the same message wherever we go. Step out. Once you step out and are given an opportunity, you can change a life"

Todd's family is spread from Bristol Bay to Homer.... when [daughter] Bristol revealed she spent $20 on leg waxing--'That was supposed to be gas money,' Todd Palin said disapprovingly [and Sarah Palin concurred!]
So what I learned about Todd Palin is that he is at least as good an individual as Sarah Palin--likely even better as he is a very strong and loving husband and father! The governor of Alaska seems to know that too, as she introduced Todd to the country as "the man she admires the most in this world."

Here are some other things I've found out about Todd Mitchell Palin in searching the web:
Personally I applaud Todd Palin for being the best example of American manhood that I can imagine.