Sunday, September 30, 2007

Digest of Weekend's Posts (30 September 2007)

Sunday, 30 September
  • YUCK!

  • Saturday, 29 September
  • Michaelmas - Feast of St. Michael, 29 September

  • (Digest of Friday's Posts (28 September 2007))



    Labels: , ,

    Saturday, September 29, 2007

    Michaelmas - Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, 29 September

    Saint Michael the Archangel,
    Defend us in battle.
    Be our protection against the
    Wickedness and snares of the devil.
    May God rebuke him,
    We humbly pray.
    And do thou,
    O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
    By the Power of God,
    Cast into Hell
    Satan and all the evil spirits
    which prowl about the world,
    Seeking the ruin of souls.

    On Michaelmas two years ago, during our travels in England, Sarah, the kids, and I visited Ely Cathedral (Anglican) before going to Sarah's Great-Auntie Olive's house for dinner. While at the Cathedral, I asked the ladies who were attending the excellent gift shop whether there were any special services planned that day to commemorate Michaelmas.

    The answer:
    "Is today Michaelmas? Why yes, I suppose it is, isn't it. You know, I just don't think there's as much attention given to the old feasts as there used to be. Nowadays, Michaelmas mostly just marks the beginning of school terms."
    I just don't think there's as much attention given to the old feasts as there used to be.


    Patron Saints Index - St. Michael

    Women for Faith & Family - St. Michael and All Angels

    Variations of St. Michael Prayer

    Pictures of St. Michael

    Recipe - Michaelmas Goose with Traditional Potato & Apple Stuffing

    St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall

    ...not to be confused with ...

    Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy

    ... and certainly not with ...

    Skellig Michael, Ireland

    Labels: ,

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (28 September 2007)

  • A Sell Out on Plan B by Connecticut Bishops?

  • Toledo Area "40 Days for Life" - Hours Still Needed

  • Justice Clarence Thomas Tells 60 Minutes That Abortion Was Real Issue at His Confirmation Hearings

  • National Catholic Register: "Vetoing Children’s Health Care?"

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (27 September 2007))


    A Sell Out on Plan B by Connecticut Bishops?

    Both The Curt Jester and American Papist have the details on an Associated Press story indicating that the Connecticut Catholic Conference has reversed its position in opposition to a recent state law in agreeing to allow personnel at Catholic hospitals in Connecticut to administer emergency Plan B contraception to rape victims.

    The Hartford Courant is also reporting this story (hat tip:

    While the facts as reported are quite disturbing, it should be noted that an official statement from the Connecticut bishops has not, as of yet, been made public. So I caution against jumping to conclusions and bashing these bishops until we see something more definitive from them.

    I will, however, point out this comment that was left over at The Curt Jester:
    As a pharmacist who left retail pharmacy rather than dispense birth control pills, and now after 8 years have returned because I have a conscience clause in place such that I do NOT dispense birth control pills nor plan b because of their abortifacient properties!

    So these bishops now say the reason I put my career on the line is null?

    If it is an 'emergency' , it is okay to give high doses of birth control?

    Well, at the beginning of every week, we see young women coming in for 'emergency' contraception and it is not rape just the outcome of an immoral and permissive society that makes girls think they should be having sex outside of marriage and then 'just take care of' any little problem that might come up.

    For the bishops to cave here is serious. We continue to not be able to trust our shepherds in a general sense and they make a mockery of those who have held fast. I am ashamed of them and most disappointed.

    Maybe the conscience clauses will not be available [in the future] because the secular world can point to our bishops and say that they say these activities are okay so who are we peons to refuse?
    (emphasis added)

    The Connecticut Bishops have now issued an official statement. Thomas Peters at American Papist quotes the text of the statement and lists out reasons why he finds the statement problematic:
    ... So [to] summarize, this statement is problematic for the following reasons:

  • The medical facts regarding the abortifacient effects of Plan B are not up for debate. If administered to a woman who is ovulating Plan B may cause an abortion. Plan B itself admits its abortifacient potential on its warning label and website.
  • The Catholic Church teaches (c.f. DV #13) that contraceptives with abortifacient potential fall under the same moral category as abortion because, when acting abortifaciently, they cause the death of a human being. The United States Bishops have similarly ruled-out the use of abortifacient pills like Plan B when the women is ovulating (c.f. Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, # 36).
  • The document claims "To administer Plan B pills without an ovulation test is not an intrinsically evil act", but for the reasons already mentioned, since Plan B can act as an abortifacient in cases where the women has ovulated, it is at least gravely irresponsible to administer chemicals that could very well bring about the death of a human being.

  • Thus this statement of the CCC appears to contradict both Church teaching and USCCB directives.


    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Toledo Area "40 Days for Life" - Hours Still Needed

    I received the following email in regard to the need for additional volunteers to sign up for hours during the Toledo area 40 Days for Life:
    I just posted the hours where we need the most help-- I realize that some of you have already signed up for many shifts--and for this, I thank you profusely! I just ask you to send this information along to others so that they can see the need. If you're coming alone on your shift, would you see if you could bring someone with you? That would allow the core team to concentrate on the hours that are completely empty. If you could take a shift every week, it would quickly trim this list! ...
    Here are the hours that still need to be filled:
    We still need prayer warriors for the following shifts:

  • Sundays: AM--6, 7, 8, 9; PM: 12, 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Monday: AM--6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; PM: 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7
  • Tuesday: AM--7, 8, 9, 11; PM: 12, 3, 4, 6
  • Wednesday: AM--6, 7, 8, 9; PM: 1, 6
  • Thursday: AM--7, 8, 9; PM: 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8
  • Friday (excluding 10/5 and 10/12): AM--7, 8, 10; PM:--1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
  • Saturday: ALL DAY (except noon & 1pm on 9/ 29 & 10/20)

  • Please help us fill these hours! Get a friend and come for a 2 hour shift once a week! Tell others! Let's fill the sidewalk with our peaceful witness!

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Reminder: Toledo Area "40 Days for Life" Campaign Kicks Off Today

    40 Days for Life - Toledo

    Labels: , , , ,

    Justice Clarence Thomas Tells 60 Minutes That Abortion Was Real Issue at His Confirmation Hearings

    Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas gives his first TV interview to Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes:
    (CBS) In his first television interview, in which he discusses his childhood, his race, his rise to Supreme Court Justice and his job on the nation's highest court, Clarence Thomas says the real issue at his controversial confirmation hearings 16 years ago was abortion.

    Saying the issue was "the elephant in the room," Thomas also tells 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft that the hearings he called at the time a "high-tech lynching" harmed the country.

    Kroft's interview will be broadcast on Sunday, Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. PT.

    Thomas, whose Supreme Court positions on abortion issues have been conservative, says the confirmation hearings in which he was accused of sexual harassment by a former employee -- allegations he continues to deny -- were really about abortion. "That was the elephant in the room ... That was the issue. That is the issue that people are apparently so upset about," he tells Kroft. "[That is the issue] that you determine the composition of your Supreme Court and your entire federal judiciary, it seems now," says Thomas.

    My Comments:
    This is nothing groundbreaking. Those of us paying attention back in 1991 knew at the time that the left trumped up the Anita Hill thing in order to derail the confirmation of someone they saw as a threat to Roe v. Wade.

    But that wasn't the whole story. In addition to the perceived threat to abortion, as well as the fact that Hill's charges neatly dovetailed with the Tailhook Scandal (providing the Democtats with a convenient platform for launching their "Year of the Woman" nonsense in time for the 1992 elections), the left was also especially traumatized that the "wrong kind" of black man was being nominated to replace the liberal icon Thurgood Marshall.

    We saw the same thing when Miguel Estrada was nominated to be a federal appellate judge a few years ago, and the Democrats fought tooth and nail to kill the nomination (without, of course, ever bringing it up for a vote). The leftists knew that Estrada's nomination was merely a stepping stone to the Supreme Court, and they weren't about to sit back while someone who might turn out to be a Latino version of Clarence Thomas was being groomed for the role.

    Yes, abortion was (and continues to be) the primary motivator for the left when it comes to the Supreme Court. But do not underestimate the significance of the fact that the only sort of person the leftists hate more than conservatives is an "uppity" minority who doesn't "know his place" by daring to stray from the plantation of liberal orthodoxy.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    The Supreme Court’s Most Interesting Catholic

    Defending Justice Thomas

    Reading the Constitution Right: The Jurisprudence of Justice Clarence Thomas

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    National Catholic Register: "Vetoing Children’s Health Care?"

    The editors of National Catholic Register, writing in the September 30, 2007 issue, take on the Democrat Congress' recent mutation of the SCHIP program:

    When a Republican president vetoes a children’s health-care program, the story that plays out in many people’s minds seems straightforward and obvious. It’s a terrible shame. Such a veto is a sign that priorities are askew in Washington.

    But in the case of the president’s planned veto of the S-CHIP (the State Children’s Health Insurance Program) the “obvious” storyline is 100% wrong. In fact, this is one of those strange cases where folks at the U.S. Bishops’ Conference might actually applaud a president’s veto of a children’s health-insurance bill.

    Both the U.S. bishops and President Bush once supported the S-CHIP — but now have raised significant questions about it. That’s because a new Congress has transformed this welfare reform into a Trojan horse.

    The old version of the S-CHIP used language that appeared in the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and the Fetal Pain Act. Together, these pieces of legislation made a compelling case, in federal law, that unborn children had rights, too. The new version of the S-CHIP reverses that gain.

    The old version of the S-CHIP honored our nation’s longstanding federal policies against taxpayer-funded abortions. The new version of the S-CHIP makes an end-run around those policies.

    The old version of the S-CHIP ensured that as much of our welfare expenditures as possible actually helped serve poor children. The new version ensures that as much of our taxpayer money as currently possible goes to fund abortions.

    The old version of the S-CHIP had broad-based bipartisan support and the support of the U.S. bishops. The new version has the support of Planned Parenthood — and raised the ire of the bishops’ pro-life expert, Richard Doerflinger.

    The old version of the S-CHIP was a very good thing. The veto of the new version of the S-CHIP is a very good thing — and it shows how crucially important it is that we have a pro-life president.

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis added)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    "S-Chipping Away Pro-Life Protections?"

    Democrat Congress Proposes Massive 20,000% Increase on Cigar Tax ("for the Children")

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (27 September 2007)

  • "Doc Holliday Died a Catholic"

  • Georgetown Law School to Fund Pro-Abort Interns

  • General Pace Back in the News

  • Against the Grain on Pope Benedict's Critique of Capitalism

  • St. Vincent de Paul, Apostle of Charity

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (26 September 2007))


    "Doc Holliday Died a Catholic"

    Be sure to read Henry Karlson's excellent review of the 1993 movie "Tombstone" over at Vox Nova.

    "Tombstone" is clearly one of the better more recent films in the Western genre, and Val Kilmer's outstanding performance as Doc Holliday is definitely the primary reason to watch this flick.

    (NB: I'm not necessarily a fan of Mr. Kilmer, but I also believe he was the best Batman of the bunch.)

    "I'm your Huckleberry."

    Henry Karlson writes in the comments to this post:
    There is some debate as to whether or not he became a Catholic; there are reports which indicate a priest converted him near the time of his death (and this was used for Tombstone). I believe it, and I would not be surprised this was in part due to the influence of his cousin: according to Wikipedia (but probably true):

    Doc's cousin Melanie Holliday, who remained in correspondence with him after he moved west, became a nun as a young woman. In old age she was a revered figure among Georgia Catholics, and Margaret Mitchell acknowledged that she was the inspiration for the saintly wife Melanie Wilkes in "Gone With the Wind."
    Very interesting stuff. Thanks for contributing that information, Henry.

    Labels: , ,

    Georgetown Law School to Fund Pro-Abort Interns

    Amy Welborn has the story:
    Georgetown University Law School will now fund all student internships …no matter what the advocacy group involved.

    From the university’s student newspaper:
    Administrators at the university’s Law Center reversed earlier this month a policy prohibiting funding for students at summer internships at organizations that promote abortion rights, after a widely publicized case in the spring which drew protest from hundreds of students.

    Under the new policy, announced by Law Center Dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff in a letter published in the Law Center’s student newspaper, the university will no longer consider the mission of each organization when determining grants provided by a student-run organization to students for summer internships.

    After the incident became well-known, students from Georgetown’s Law Students for Choice circulated a petition that demanded that the Law Center alter their policy, issue an apology to Woodson and hold an open forum to discuss the issue. According to Joy Welan (LAW ’08), president of Georgetown’s Law Students for Choice, 360 students signed this petition...
    From the blog of the organization Law Students for Reproductive Justice:
    The proof is in the pudding: on-campus advocacy can get things done. And fast.

    Read the press release from the Cardinal Newman Society:
    Georgetown to Fund Abortion Advocacy

    According to stories by and the Georgetown University student newspaper The Hoya, the Georgetown law school has adopted a policy that will provide funding to law students to intern with public interest organizations regardless of their mission.

    This change in policy was apparently made to accommodate students who had previously been denied funding for abortion advocacy work with Planned Parenthood. According to The Hoya report, Joy Welan, the president of the GeorgetownLaw Center’s student group Law Students for Choice, said “We think that this compromise is fantastic news, for students who are interested in pursuing careers in reproductive rights advocacy.”

    Cardinal Newman Society Executive Vice President Tom Mead said of the abortion friendly policy, “I am absolutely stunned by Georgetown’s decision to fund abortion advocacy.

    “Since the Catholic Church teaches that abortion is always wrong, perhaps a faithful law student can get an internship with a public interest organization that will sue Georgetown for false advertising regarding its Catholic identity.”

    On behalf of its more than 20,000 members, the Cardinal Newman Society calls on Georgetown University President John DeGioia to exercise his authority as president of an institution that proudly identifies itself as a Catholic university and overturn this outrageous policy.

    Labels: , , , , ,

    General Pace Back in the News

    Both Regular Guy Paul and Terry Nelson have the details on the latest news about a fine Roman Catholic and Marine.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Harry Reid Slanders General Pace

    Brownback Sends Letter in Support of General Pace

    Joint Chiefs Chairman Calls Homosexual Acts "Immoral"

    Labels: , , , , ,

    Against the Grain on Pope Benedict's Critique of Capitalism

    Christopher Blosser has a very informative post on "Pope Benedict's Critique of Capitalism" over at Against the Grain.

    Labels: , ,

    St. Vincent de Paul, Apostle of Charity

    From Jean at Catholic Fire:
    St. Vincent de Paul was an apostle of charity, and one of the greatest French saints. He was born in Gascony (France) in 1581 to a peasant farmer. Following his studies under the Franciscans at Dax, he was ordained a priest at age 20. Five years later, he was traveling by sea when his ship was captured by Moorish pirates who carried him to Africa sold into slavery. He was freed in 1607 when he converted one of his owners to Christianity.

    When he returned to France, he became a parish priest near Paris and later, a chaplain to the galley-slaves. He founded a religious congregation of priests called the Lazarists, (who are now known as Vincentians), for missionary work. With the help of St Louise de Marillac, he founded the Sisters of Charity, who were the first congregation of women to care for the poor and sick outside of the convent. He devoted his whole life to serving the poor.

    He died in 1660 in Paris, France and was canonized by Pope Clement XII in 1737.

    St. Vincent de Paul is the patron saint of: charitable societies; horses; hospitals; hospital workers; leprosy; lost articles; prisoners; volunteers; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Vincentian Service Corps; Madagascar; diocese of Richmond, Virginia
    [ED.: I lived in the Richmond Diocese for almost 15 years and never knew that until now].

    My Comments:
    In honor of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul, the students of Norwalk Catholic School's Early Childhood Center and Elementary School have collected non-perishable food items to donate today to the local St. Vincent de Paul Society food bank. Kudos to my lovely wife Sarah for approaching the school with that idea.


    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (26 September 2007)

  • Swimmer Alert: Kennedy Says Crimes Against Homosexuals Tantamount to Terrorism

  • The Supreme Court’s Most Interesting Catholic

  • The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Baronius Press

  • What Can You Do?

  • Reminder: Toledo Area "40 Days for Life" Campaign Kicks Off Today

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (25 September 2007))


    Swimmer Alert: Kennedy Says Crimes Against Homosexuals Tantamount to Terrorism

    (Hat tip:

    As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on "hate crimes" legislation, Teddy the Swimmer expands the definition of "terrorism":
    The U.S. Senate is set to vote on two key amendments to a Defense spending bill Thursday, including one that would enshrine homosexuality in federal law.

    The hate-crimes amendment would create a new federal class of crime based on "actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity," but the underlying goal is to grant federal civil-rights status to homosexuality.

    Why is the amendment attached to a military spending bill? Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., has tried many explanations.

    "The Defense Authorization Bill is dealing with the challenges of terrorism," he said last week. "And the hate crimes issue … we're talking about domestic terrorism."

    Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, called that argument outrageous.

    "Again, we see this effort to try and link those who defend traditional morality with those in the Middle East who are blowing people up," he said on his weekly radio program. "This is outrageous. This legislation will eventually lead to Christians, and the speech that would counter homosexuality, being criminalized."

    My Comments:
    Recall what the Swimmer has said on this issue in the past.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Bush Vows to Veto Hate-Crime Expansion for Gays

    "Hate Crimes" Vote Scheduled on National Day of Prayer Angers Christians

    "Hate Crimes" Bill Moving to Full House; Seen as Effort to Silence Christians on Homosexuality

    The Swimmer on Bigotry

    Labels: , , , , ,

    The Supreme Court’s Most Interesting Catholic

    (Hat tip: Dave Hartline at Catholic Report)

    From Catholic Exchange:
    Who's the most attention-riveting member of the Supreme Court? Antonin Scalia has his fans, but for many people it's no contest: the answer is Clarence Thomas.

    Thomas's ability to command popular attention has little to do with his judicial philosophy — most Americans don't know what it is — and everything to do with his arresting demeanor and personal history. Triumphing over adversity has rarely taken such dramatic twists and turns.

    Now Justice Thomas is the subject of a new biography, Supreme Discomfort (Doubleday). Written by two African-American journalists at The Washington Post, Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher, it's no hatchet job — Merida and Fletcher are serious writers — but neither is the book as even-handed and unbiased as its authors might like to think.

    In their telling, this is the story of a conflicted, sensitive man with, in the words of their subtitle, a "divided soul." The division presumably is between Thomas's race and his conservative philosophy. That an intelligent African-American might come naturally by a conservative view of the world seems not to occur to them. (Thomas's religion — he's a practicing Roman Catholic — is discussed extensively, but at a superficial level.)

    My Comments:
    I'll repeat what I initially wrote here:
    I'm proud to say that I have met the man. I've met a number of "great" men thus far in my life, including Justice Scalia, Chief Justice Rehnquist, and Bishop Leonard Blair among others, and Justice Thomas just may be the greatest of the bunch.
    Pray for this man because of the hatred he endures simply because he believes the color of his skin shouldn't dictate the content of his character or the manner of his jurisprudence.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Defending Justice Thomas

    Reading the Constitution Right: The Jurisprudence of Justice Clarence Thomas

    Labels: , , , ,

    The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Baronius Press

    (Hat tip: Recta Ratio)

    In case anyone is contemplating a 40th birthday gift for yours truly, this will do nicely:
    The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

    Binding: Flexible cover (Blue Leather)

    Pages: 236

    $ 29.95

    This is the first ever edition that includes the complete Gregorian Chant for the Little Office – in traditional four stave notation! The music for the Little Office has never before been gathered together in one volume. For many people the Gregorian chant of the Little Office offers an introduction to the beauty of the Church’s traditional liturgical heritage. This volume will help you sing all the Hours of the Little Office.

    Our edition includes a commentary on the rubrics and ceremonial by “A Master of Novices” (which was first published in the early twentieth century), and also includes a description of the indulgences with which the recitation of the Little Office has been enriched by Holy Mother Church.

    The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a shorter form of the Divine Office in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has long been the Church’s daily liturgical prayer to Our Lady, and these hours of praise have been used by Priests, religious and the laity throughout the centuries. Lay people used to flock to the great Cathedrals to publicly recite The Little Office during the Middle Ages, and during the great persecution, when the practice of the Catholic Faith was illegal in Great Britain, Bishop Challoner commended The Little Office to his flock.

    Through its psalms, antiphons, readings, responsorials, and prayers the Little Office stresses the role Our Lady played in salvation history, and how through her fiat the divine Word took flesh in her womb and achieved salvation for us all; and how Our Lord granted her the first fruits of the general resurrection in her holy and glorious assumption.

    All Catholics are called to a consistent prayer life. For those who do not feel called to recite the Divine Office, but still wish to participate in the liturgical prayer of the Church, or for those who have a particular devotion to the holy Mother of God, there is no finer form of prayer than the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Labels: , , ,

    What Can You Do?

    Rich Leonardi has the answer.

    Labels: , , ,

    Reminder: Toledo Area "40 Days for Life" Campaign Kicks Off Today

    This is a reminder that the Toledo area 40 Days for Life campaign, taking place this fall from September 26 - November 4, officially kicks off today. Here's a portion of the email I received last night regarding Toledo's 40 Days for Life:
    In just a few short hours 40 Days for Life will begin!

    Don't forget to begin your prayers and fasting for the end to abortion tomorrow, Wed. 9/26! I will begin the Vigil after 7am Mass tomorrow morning. While it would be nice to begin earlier, I think that starting our Vigil with Our Lord is the best way--because He is the Way! Fr. Mike Dandurand will be celebrating Mass at St. Tom's--BG at 9pm for the intentions of 40DFL, and Fr. Oxley will be celebrating his Mass in Rome for the same intentions. What a great grace!

    I have been stressing the importance of maintaining a prayerful presence outside the Center for Choice during these next 40 Days, and of course, that is still of utmost urgency. Still, tonight I want to emphasize the core of what this historic effort is all about--PRAYER!! I liken it to 1 Corinthians know the passage: 'If I have.....but do not have love...' If we have all the people out there but don't have prayer, the physical presence is nothing. So...: 'Work as if everything depended on you; pray as if everything depended on God.' PRAY AND FAST!!!

    Hope to see you on Thursday at the Prayer Vigil/Kickoff Rally at 6pm at the Rosary Cathedral! Keep the core team in your prayers, will you? We're about to launch this thing--I can't wait to see it explode across America! :) ...

    (emphasis added)
    Anyone interested in participating in some way with the 40 Days for Life here in the Toledo area should go to the "Get Involved" section of the 40 Days for Life - Toledo website. Also, be sure to tell others about the 40 Days for Life campaign:
    The most powerful form of advertising in the world is word-of-mouth.

    You can help our local 40 Days for Life campaign succeed by spreading the word to everyone you know!

    Here are some simple ways you can help:
    1. Sign-up for 40 Days for Life updates and prayer requests using the form on the top right of this page. Share the e-mail updates with others.

    2. Encourage your friends, family members, co-workers, and fellow believers to visit this site where they can learn more about 40 Days for Life and discover how they can help make a lifesaving impact.

    3. Ask your church to promote and get involved in 40 Days for Life. We'll be posting some of our local flyers and materials on this page shortly to help you with that.

    4. Be excited about 40 Days for Life and ask God to give you opportunities to share that excitement with others!
    Spread the word about 40 Days for Life, and you will be helping our local campaign build momentum!
    Upcoming events during the Toledo area 40 Days for Life include:
    Sep 26, 2007 to Nov 4, 2007
    40 Days of Masses

    The following priests will celebrate a Mass each day (privately) for the intentions of 40 Days for Life: Sunday: Fr. Tad Oxley (Rome) Mondays: Fr. Monte Hoyles (St. Joseph Maumee) Tuesdays: Fr. Tad Oxley (Rome) Wednesdays: Fr. Adam Hertzfeld (Steubenville) Thursdays: Fr. Tad Oxley (Rome) Fridays: Fr. Joseph Szybka (St. Joseph Tiffin) Saturdays: Fr. Jacob Gordon (St. Patrick Heatherdowns)

    Sep 26, 2007
    9:00 PM Mass--40 Days for Life intention

    Fr. Michael Dandurand, celebrant St. Thomas More University Parish 425 Thurstin Ave. Bowling Green, OH

    Sep 27, 2007
    6:00 PM Prayer Vigil For Life Mass with Bishop Blair

    Rosary Cathedral 2561 Collingwood Blvd, Toledo, OH. Exposition of Blessed Sacrament and rosary pilgrimage to Center for Choice will follow, concluding with Benediction.

    Oct 1, 2007
    7:00 PM Mass--40 Days for Life intention

    Fr. Michael Dandurand, celebrant St. Thomas More University Parish 425 Thurstin Ave. Bowling Green, OH

    Oct 7, 2007
    11:00 AM Rosary Rally at Cathedral

    Commemorating the Patronal Feast of the Mother Church and Catholic Diocese of Toledo Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral 2535 Collingwood Boulevard, Toledo Sunday Mass at 11:00 a.m. Celebrant: Bishop Leonard P. Blair Outdoor Rosary Rally Procession following Mass on the Cathedral Campus praying the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary Refreshments following in Monsignor Bernard E. Smith Auditorium All are welcome! Telephone: 419-244-9575 (Cathedral Office)

    Oct 7, 2007
    3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Life Chain

    Monroe St. at Harvest Lane; signs at Christ the King Church, Harvest Lane from 2:30 p.m.; contact Ginny Chaudhary 419-885-3437

    Oct 9, 2007
    5:15 PM Mass--40 Days for Life intention

    Fr. Michael Dandurand, celebrant St. Thomas More University Parish 425 Thurstin Ave. Bowling Green, OH

    Oct 11, 2007
    7:00 PM Respect Life Mass--40 Days for Life Intention

    Fr. Nelson Beaver, celebrant Resurrection Parish 2600 Lexington Avenue Lexington, OH 44904

    Oct 13, 2007
    12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Fatima Rosary Rally

    Meet at the Maumee-Perrysburg bridge. (Parking available at St. Joseph Maumee.) Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries will be prayed. If you have any questions, call Frank (419) 877-5310

    Oct 17, 2007
    9:00 PM Mass--40 Days for Life intention

    Fr. Michael Dandurand, celebrant St. Thomas More University Parish 425 Thurstin Ave. Bowling Green, OH

    Oct 25, 2007
    5:15 PM Mass--40 Days for Life intention

    Fr. Michael Dandurand, celebrant St. Thomas More University Parish 425 Thurstin Ave. Bowling Green, OH

    Nov 2, 2007
    12:30 PM Mass--40 Days for Life intention

    Fr. Michael Dandurand, celebrant St. Thomas More University Parish 425 Thurstin Ave. Bowling Green, OH

    Nov 4, 2007
    3:00 PM Celebration Rally

    Be at the Rosary Cathedral gym (2561 Collingwood Blvd, Toledo, OH) by 3pm to end our 40 Days with prayer--and then we'll "break the fast"! We'll offer opportunities on how we can continue supporting our pro-life efforts. What might seem like the end is only the beginning!

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    40 Days for Life - Toledo

    Labels: , , , ,

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (25 September 2007)

  • I Know Jeffrey Smith Will Be Glad to Hear This ... "The Death of Blogs"

  • National Catholic Register: Pro-Lifers Assess Senator Casey's Voting Record

  • Miss USA: "I Don't Want to End Up Like Katie Couric"

  • Catholic Lecture Series Opens at Toledo's Corpus Christi Parish

  • Abp. Chaput on Being "Manly" and Practicing Christian Love

  • Priest Blasts "Usual Suspects" For Votes Against Pro-Life Policy

  • Hilliary! - Key Decision-Maker on Abortion During Clinton Admin with "a Nearly Religious Devotion" to Abortion Rights

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (24 September 2007))


    I Know Jeffrey Smith Will Be Glad to Hear This ...

    ... from Christianity Today:
    The Death of Blogs
    Well, some of them, anyway.

    As weblogs proliferated earlier this decade, Andy Warhol's famous aphorism was modified to read, "In the future, everyone will be famous to 15 people." Now it looks like Warhol was right after all: Thanks to widespread blog burnout, everyone will be famous to 15 people for 15 minutes.

    Tech researcher Gartner Inc. reported earlier this year that
    200 million people have given up blogging, more than twice as many as are active.

    "A lot of people have been in and out of this thing," Gartner analyst Daryl Plummer
    told reporters. "Everyone thinks they have something to say, until they're put on stage and asked to say it." Given the average lifespan of a blogger and the current growth rate of blogs, Gartner says blogging has probably peaked.

    Actually, some Christian blogs are very good. What tired bloggers are increasingly discovering, however, is that it's not necessarily the quality of their blog posts that matter. It's matching their quality with frequency.

    As conservative political blogger Glenn Reynolds told
    Wired News in 2004, "I know that if I go more than about five or six hours without posting or telling people that I'm not going to be blogging for the rest of the day, [I'll get worried messages asking,] 'You haven't posted anything in five or six hours. Are you okay?'"

    Good bloggers work like dogs," says Michael Parsons, editor of the tech site "You can't expect readers to show up unless you show up. And the Internet never closes. … Every successful blogger I've come across is the same. Eat, sleep, and drink the work. No time out; no holidays."

    That's not a recipe for healthy living, especially if you're working a day job that's not paying you to blog. When Catholic blogger Amy Welborn
    shut down Open Book in August to focus on writing books, she wrote: "I want to do good, and I want to do lasting good — the kind of good that people carry around, share, put on their bookshelves and reflect on — rather than the kind of good that sparks a momentary flash until we surf to the next website and the next and the next."

    My Comments:
    Folks, the moment it stops being a hobby and/or being fun, it's time to quit.

    As I approach my 40th birthday this weekend, I sometimes wonder how far away I am from reaching that point.


    National Catholic Register: Pro-Lifers Assess Senator Casey’s Voting Record

    From the September 30, 2007 issue of the National Catholic Register:

    WASHINGTON — Pro-lifers were concerned when Democrat candidate Bob Casey Jr. defeated incumbent U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum in last November’s contest in Pennsylvania.

    Some of their fears appeared to be confirmed earlier this month, when Sen. Casey voted for the Boxer Amendment, which would overturn President Bush’s pro-life Mexico City Policy.

    “If the Boxer Amendment, which Sen. Casey regrettably supported, was enacted, it would force the removal of family planning funds from private organizations that stick to non-abortive methods, in order to give those funds to organizations that are committed to the promotion of abortion,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee.

    The policy requires foreign nongovernmental organizations “to agree as a condition of their receipt of federal assistance for family planning activities to neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.”

    It was first announced by the Reagan Administration at a 1984 U.N. conference on population in Mexico City. Bill Clinton repealed the policy in 1993, but it was reinstated by President Bush immediately after his inauguration in January 2001.

    Pro-abortion groups despise the policy, which they call “the Global Gag Rule,” and its repeal has been a primary objective of pro-abortion Democrats since their party assumed control of Congress in January. In June, the House of Representatives passed a measure in its foreign-aid appropriations bill intended to circumvent the policy.

    Asked what Casey would say to pro-life Pennsylvanians who are puzzled or disturbed by the senator’s vote against the Mexico City Policy, Smar replied, “Senator Casey is pro-life and has consistently voted in line with those beliefs … His vote was to fund family planning services that will reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and thus reduce the number of abortions. Reducing the number of abortions is something that all Pennsylvanians should support.”

    But pro-life leaders insist that the Mexico City Policy does prevent abortions. Whenever taxpayer money is given to pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood for non-abortion “family planning” programs, pro-lifers point out, that allows those groups to spend more of the money they derive from other sources on abortion programs.

    And according to National Right to Life’s Johnson, the pro-life impact of the Mexico City Policy was acknowledged by pro-abortion lobbyists in an article published by The New York Times in the late 1980s.

    Said Johnson, “In fact, one of the pro-abortion advocacy groups said it had brought about a near-halt to the trend towards legalization of abortion in developing countries.”

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis added)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Priest Blasts "Usual Suspects" For Votes Against Pro-Life Policy

    Bob Casey Is Not His Father’s Pro-life Democrat

    USCCB Official Commends Senate Vote Against Involvement In Coercive Abortion Programs; Decries Gutting Of Mexico City Policy

    Senate Democrats (Including Allegedly "Pro Life" Bob Casey) Vote to Rescind Mexico City Policy

    Labels: , , , , , ,

    Miss USA: "I Don't Want to End Up Like Katie Couric"

    From FOXNews:
    Miss USA Rachel Smith wants to be a reporter, but she doesn't want to "end up like Katie Couric."

    "I always wanted to be a reporter — maybe some TV. Who knows? Some serious news — but some modeling, too," she said at the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network event last week, according to the New York Daily News.

    "I just don't want to end up like Katie Couric. I want people to take me seriously."


    In case anyone is thinking I removed the photos that I originally posted with this story because I believe them to be inappropriate, think again.

    The purpose of this post was to poke fun at both Miss USA and Ms. Couric, but especially at the irony of Miss USA thinking she has a snowball's chance of being "taken seriously" compared to Ms. Couric. The purpose was certainly not to titilate with what looks like a fairly innocuous pageant photo of Miss USA.

    But since the comments were starting to focus mainly on the photos and not the story itself, I decided the photos were becoming a distraction from the story.

    That's why I deleted them. If you want to see the photos, they can be viewed here.

    Labels: , , ,

    Catholic Lecture Series Opens at Toledo's Corpus Christi Parish

    From The Toledo Blade:
    The Rev. James Bacik will open the 25th Annual Fall Lecture Series at his church, Corpus Christi University Parish, with a talk at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow on "Renewing the Ordained Priesthood: Radical Solutions and Short-Term Approaches."

    The six speakers in the series, which continues each Tuesday through Oct. 30, will address the topic of "Voices for Renewal in the Church," as well as the call to discipleship for all in the 21st century.

    Father Bacik, a graduate of Oxford University, is pastor of Corpus Christi and author of a number of books, including Catholic Spirituality, Its History and Challenge.

    He said his lecture will address the way Vatican II changed the "emphasis points" of the priesthood.

    "Priests are often said to be representatives of Christ as priests, prophets, and kings or shepherds," Father Bacik said. "Vatican II put more emphasis on the pastoral role, that is the shepherding, or the overseer of the community, which changes the understanding of what a priest is all about."

    The series will continue with lectures each Tuesday through Oct. 30, starting at 5:30 p.m. in the church, 2955 Dorr St., with a question-and-answer session to follow.

    In addition to Father Bacik, the scheduled speakers are:

    • Oct. 2: Richard Gaillardetz, author, theologian, and professor of Catholic studies at the University of Toledo, speaking on "Renewing the Baptismal Priesthood: Reflections on Becoming an Adult Church."

    • Oct. 9: The Rev. James Alison, Catholic theologian and author of The Joy of Being Wrong: Original Sin through Easter Eyes, on "Taking Responsibility for Catholic Renewal: Desire, Imagination, and Institution in a Voluntary Church."

    • Oct. 16: Elizabeth Johnson, distinguished professor of systematic theology at Fordham University and author of Truly Our Sister, on "Frontiers of the Quest for the Living God."

    • Oct. 23: Peter Steinfels, religion columnist for the New York Times and co-director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture, on "Catholic Identity in a Secular Age."

    • Oct. 30: The Rev. Ronald Rolheiser, author of The Holy Longing and president, Oblate School of Theology, on "The Gospel and Secularity: Being Missionaries to Our Own Children."

    Tickets for individual lectures are $10 and series tickets for all six lectures are $25, available from Corpus Christi University Parish, 419-531-4992.
    (emphasis added)

    My Comments:
    This ought to be "interesting". I imagine the collective angst over Pope Benedict's "reform of the reform" will be palpable.

    Be sure to read Dale Price's take on the cast of characters involved in this lecture series.

    Labels: , , , ,

    Abp. Chaput on Being "Manly" and Practicing Christian Love

    (Hat tip: Rick Garnett at Mirror of Justice)

    Archbishop Charles J. Chaput at the First Things blog On the Square:
    ... Never before had a religion taught that God loved people personally and that God’s love began before the person was even born. Abortion and birth control were rampant in the Roman Empire. Christians rejected both of them from the beginning. Athenagoras, a Christian layman, explained why in an open letter he addressed to Emperor Marcus Aurelius. He said: “For we regard the very fetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care.”

    Before Christianity came on the scene, no religion had ever taught that God could be found in our neighbor. The world largely ignored the poor, the hungry, the stranger, and the imprisoned. And it still does. And yet Jesus said that we find God in our love for these least brethren of ours.

    Christian love is not weak or anesthetic. It’s an act of the will. It takes guts. It’s a deliberate submission of our selfishness to the needs of others. There’s nothing “unmanly” about it, and there’s nothing—and I mean nothing—more demanding and rewarding in the world. The heart of medieval knighthood and chivalry was the choice of a fighting man to put himself at the service of others—honoring his lord, respecting the dignity of women, protecting the weak, and defending the faith even at the cost of his own life.

    That’s your vocation. That’s what being a Christian man means. We still have those qualities in our hearts. We are not powerless in the face of today’s unbelieving civilization. We can turn this world upside down if only we’re willing to love—the kind of Christian love that is vastly more powerful than just a sugary feeling; the kind of love that converts men into something entirely new; the kind of love that bears fruit in a man’s zeal, courage, justice, mercy, and apostolic action.

    So I leave you with this: Be men who love well. Be the Catholic men God intended you to be. Be men of courage and fidelity to your God, your wives, your families, and your Church. Put your belief into practice. Do everything for the glory of God, even the little things you have to do each day. Love those who don’t love you. Love—expecting nothing in return. Love—and those you love will find Jesus, too. Love—and through your actions, God will change this world.

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis added)

    Labels: , , , , , , , ,

    Priest Blasts "Usual Suspects" For Votes Against Pro-Life Policy

    From ChristianNewsWire:
    FRONT ROYAL, Va., Sept. 24 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International, (HLI) today blasted a gang of 16 Catholic senators for their votes on an amendment to HR 2764 to overturn the Mexico City Policy instituted by President Reagan to prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from funding overseas abortions.

    "For the most part it's the usual suspects who claim to be Catholic while their consistent pro-abortion votes amount to a betrayal of the Catholic faith. We expect treachery from them," Fr. Euteneuer said. "But the great disappointment here is Robert Casey, Jr., whose late father courageously stood against the tide for life in his political party. It is disgusting to think that Casey Junior ran as a 'pro-life' candidate. He has betrayed those who voted for him on those grounds."

    "At a time when these same politicians bewail America's standing in the world they vote to export death to nations that don't want it, in violation of those nations' religious traditions. They are the new 'ugly Americans' practicing imperialism at its worst," Father Euteneuer said.

    The gang of 16 includes: Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Christopher Dodd (CT-D), Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
    (emphasis added)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Bob Casey Is Not His Father’s Pro-life Democrat

    USCCB Official Commends Senate Vote Against Involvement In Coercive Abortion Programs; Decries Gutting Of Mexico City Policy

    Senate Democrats (Including Allegedly "Pro Life" Bob Casey) Vote to Rescind Mexico City Policy

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Hilliary! - Key Decision-Maker on Abortion During Clinton Admin with "a Nearly Religious Devotion" to Abortion Rights

    (Hat tip:

    This story, which is currently highlighted on, is a little dated, but this is the first time I've seen it:
    Washington, DC ( -- New papers obtained from the Clinton Presidential Library show that former First Lady Hillary Clinton apparently was a key decision-maker during Bill Clinton's presidency on the issue of abortion. [ED.: No! Really?]

    The Clinton Archives contains a May 1993 memo from Domestic Policy Council staffer Bill Galston to President Bill Clinton, which includes a two-page discussion of the Hyde Amendment, weighing legislative tactics, public opinion and political strategy.

    It ends with President Bill Clinton’s handwritten question, “What does Hillary think?” next to the “decision” section of the memo.

    Galston was so concerned about the "highly sensitive" nature of the abortion memo that he treated it as a classified document and restricted circulation of the memo to only President Clinton, Vice President Gore and White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, the group said.

    Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “These new documents show that the Clinton White House treated abortion with corrupt cynicism and that Hillary Clinton was at the center of decision-making on the issue.”

    The Clinton archives also contain examples of what Judicial Watch calls anti-Catholic bias on the abortion issue.

    They contain an April 1, 1993 letter from Takey Crist, MD, the director of the Crist Clinic for Women abortion business in Jacksonville, North Carolina, to George Stephanopoulos as White House Communications Director. The Crist letter attacks Representative Hyde and the Catholic Church for defending all innocent human life.

    “Critics who say that paying for federally financed abortions would put taxpayers into the ‘grisly business’ of abortion are using the same scare tactics that were used back in 1976 and 1977 by Henry Hyde who has been financed and paid off by the Catholic church for years," the letter claims.

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis added)

    And in a related story:
    A new biography on Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton reveals that during her time as First Lady, Clinton participated in strange moments of imaginary conversation with a deceased Eleanor Roosevelt from the solarium atop the White House. Grove City College professor Paul Kengor’s “God and Hillary Clinton” also notes the religious devotion with which Senator Clinton advocates abortion.

    Thockmorton also extracts from the book an analysis of Clinton’s devotion to abortion. “There is no issue closer to Mrs. Clinton’s heart than abortion rights—to which she holds a nearly religious devotion—so much so that it has become a kind of political theology to the senator, equipped with its own set of apologetics.”

    “On the abortion issue, writes Thockmorton, “Kengor has provided unprecedented information on Mrs. Clinton and the root causes of her position. Interviewed several times for this book is Mrs. Clinton’s close friend and one-time OB-GYN, William F. Harrison, the nationally known Fayetteville, Arkansas abortion doctor. Harrison was very candid, and provided telling insights into Hillary’s sudden deep devotion to the cause of abortion rights by the time of Roe v. Wade, a marked moment on her political-religious path from Park Ridge Methodist to the White House.”

    The new information revealed in the book corresponds with findings last year that it was Hillary Clinton who spearheaded the pro-abortion efforts under her husband’s term in Office.

    (emphasis added)
    My Comments:
    Now, there's a whole lot of rhetoric and hyperbole in those 2 stories, but I think we all know that it hits pretty close to the mark.

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (24 September 2007)

  • Our Lady of Walsingham in the Catholic Blogosphere

  • Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham - 24 September

  • (Digest of Weekend's Posts (23 September 2007))

    In the wrackes of Walsingam
    Whom should I chuse
    But the Queene of Walsingam
    To be guide to my muse?

    ~ The Arundel Ballad

    O gracious Lady, glory of Jerusalem,
    Cypresse of Syon and Joye of Israel,
    Rose of Jericho and Star of Bethlehem,
    O glorious Lady, our asking not repel,
    In mercy all wymen ever thou dost excel,
    Therefore, blessed Lady, grant thou thy great grace
    To all that the devoutly visit in this place.

    ~ The Pynson Ballad


    Our Lady of Walsingham in the Catholic Blogosphere

    Image Source: Catholic Mom of 10

    Bethune Catholic:
    "Our Lady of Ransom/Walsingham"

    Carpe Canem:
    "Our Lady of Walsingham"

    Catholic Mom of 10 has a couple of posts:
    "Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham"

    "The new Church at Walsingham"

    East Anglia Seminarians:
    "Our Lady of Walsingham"

    "Our Lady of Walsingham [England]"

    Pro Ecclesia:
    "Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham - 24 September"

    Recta Ratio:
    "Our Lady of Walsingham"

    Roman Christendom:
    "Feast of our Lady of Walsingham"

    Roman Miscellany:
    "Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham"

    Super Duper:
    "Our Lady of Walsingham"

    Suscipe Me Domine:
    "Feast Of Our Lady Of Walsingham"

    Image Source: Roman Miscellany

    Labels: , , ,

    Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham - 24 September

    [Originally posted on 24 September 2006, and updated on 24 September 2007]

    Pilgrimage to the Land Known as "Our Lady's Dowry"

    O England great cause thou hast glad for to be
    Compared to the land of promise Sion
    To be called in every realm and region
    The Holy Land, Our Lady's Dowry ...

    Two years ago today - on the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, I was on pilgrimmage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in the picturesque village of Little Walsingham in Norfolk, East Anglia, England.

    The Blessed Virgin Mary, under her title of Our Lady of Walsingham is the patroness of England (as well as the Anderson household).

    Historical Background

    Walsingham has been a place of pilgrimage since medieval times. At one time, it was ranked among the 3 most important pilgrimage sites in Europe, along with Santiago de Compostela and Rome.

    The original Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham was founded in 1061 by Richeldis de Faverches, who was taken in spirit to Nazareth and asked by Our Lady to build a replica, in Norfolk, of the Holy House of the Annunciation. The Shrine of the Holy House stood for almost 500 years as a place of devotion to the Holy Virgin Mother of God and the Incarnation of Her Son, before it was destroyed by Henry VIII at the Reformation.

    Many barren years passed until the Slipper Chapel, a 14th century wayside pilgrim chapel just outside the village of Little Walsingham, was restored and pilgrimage to Walsingham in honor of Our Blessed Lady began once more. Originally dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, this wayside chapel had served medieval pilgrims on their way to England's Nazareth. Just as on Mount Sinai Moses took off his shoes because he was on holy ground, so pilgrims used to remove their shoes at the Slipper Chapel (hence, its name) and walk the Holy Mile into Walsingham barefoot.

    In 1934, the English Bishops named the Slipper Chapel the Roman Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady. The Slipper Chapel's first Mass since the Reformation was celebrated there on August 15, 1934, and on September 8, 1938, the Shrine was re-consecrated by the local Bishop.

    The most important image in the Chapel is the Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham.

    From the Women for Faith & Family website:
    Our Lady of Walsingham

    by Raven Wenner
    Our Lady of Walsingham Church
    Houston Texas

    In AD 2000, The Holy Father John Paul II decreed that the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, mediaeval patroness of England, and in modern times patroness of all English-speaking peoples, is now celebrated on September 24th in England. It is a solemnity for all parishes in any part of the world named for Our Lady under this title.

    Our Lady of Walsingham was formerly celebrated on March 25th, "Lady Day" (Feast of the Annunciation), but for ecumenical considerations was moved to September 24th. (September 24 in England had been the feast of Our Lady of Ransom, who was entreated for the re-conversion of England, "Our Lady's Dowery".

    The feast of Our Lady of Walsingham was celebrated for the first time on the new date in 2001. The feast of the Annunciation is increasingly celebrated as a pro-life feast, considering children in the womb; Our Lady of Walsingham's feast asks us to contemplate the joy of the Incarnation in the simple family life of the Holy Family at Nazareth. The new date and emphasis on this feast is timely considering how family life is under attack in Western culture.


    Our Lady of Walsingham

    by Joanna Bogle
    Voices' Contributing Editor

    Walsingham is England’s national shrine to Our Lady, and a major place of pilgrimage and prayer. It is in Norfolk, a few miles from the North Sea, and is a small village set in the green countryside characteristic of this corner of Britain. The shrine dates back to the 12th century, when the local lady of the manor, Richeldis, had a vision of the Holy House – the home of the Holy family at Nazareth – on this spot. For centuries, pilgrims visited here and Our Lady of Walsingham was honoured with countless processions and prayers. Springs of water – they still exist today – were said to have healing powers. A great priory drew men who devoted themselves to the religious life. At the shrine itself, the image was always surrounded by candles, flowers, and gifts left by grateful pilgrims who had knelt there in prayer.

    In the early 16th century, among those who came were the young king Henry, and his wife Catherine. They were praying that God would grant them a son. England had seen terrifying wars in an earlier generation as the houses of Lancaster and York battled out their struggle for supremacy, and now stability was needed for the new ruling house of Tudor. It was not to be. Catherine bore several children, but all died in infancy except one daughter, Mary. Henry, angry and disappointed, decided to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. He sought an annulment of his marriage through the Church, but failed to obtain it. Divorcing Catherine unilaterally, he married Anne – who by then was carrying his child – and announced himself head of the Church. The Lord Chancellor, Thomas More, and the Bishop of Rochester, John Fisher, were beheaded at the Tower of London in 1534 for refusing to affirm him in his claims, maintaining instead that only the Pope, the successor of Saint Peter, could hold that office. . Needing funds, Henry turned on the Church and crushed monasteries and priories. On the excuse of its being idolatrous, the shrine at Walsingham was destroyed and the statue burned. For some 400 years, there were no more pilgrimages, processions, or signs of devotion to Mary in this quiet village.

    The shrine was revived in the early 20th century – an Anglican vicar researched the history and re-created the Holy House in a new shrine, and a Catholic lady obtained the old “Slipper Chapel” just outside the village and this became the revived Catholic centre of devotion. Today, there are pilgrimages throughout the summer and the Catholic shrine has its own large church built of attractive local stone. Pilgrims pray and sing as they walk the “Holy Mile” – traditionally barefoot – from the village. Schools, parish groups, Catholic organisations – all come with their banners and their choirs, their sandwiches and their children, to greet Our Lady at a place which combines the pleasures of unusually beautiful countryside with an atmosphere of real devotion and joy. Some groups stay for days – a local farmer rents out fields in which large groups of young pilgrims and families can camp – and in recent years Walsingham has seen a revival of Eucharistic adoration and confession, promoted by “Youth 2000”, a major initiative of the “John Paul 11 generation”.

    When Pope John Paul visited Britain in 1982 the image of Our Lady of Walsingham was brought to London where it was the centrepiece of a major rally attended by the Holy Father. Many Catholic families, churches and schools, have copies of the image: it is an unusual one in which Mary is seen seated, as a dignified queen wearing a simple Saxon-style crown and carrying the Christ-child seated upright on her lap. Honour to Our Lady of Walsingham is linked to prayer that the people of England may once again return to the practice of the Catholic Faith: Our Lady of Walsinghan, pray for us!

    From the September 2007 issue of the Walsingham Newletter:

    ... The message of Walsingham, from the very beginning, has been the message of the Incarnation. "The Word was made Flesh and dwelt amongst us." Pilgrimage is a great way of expressing the idea that God came to share our human life, it is a sign that we are journeying ever closer to God and in this way it is sacramental. It reminds us that we can meet God in our everyday lives and not only in church. Mary, who attended to the human needs of her Son and walked with him on his journey from Galilee to Jerusalem and the cross, will join us on our journey. In relating Mary to the Eucharist Pope Benedict finishes by saying "She is the Immaculata, who receives God's gift unconditionally and is thus associated with his work of salvation. Mary of Nazareth, icon of the nascent Church, is the model for each of us, called to receive the gift that Jesus makes of himself in the Eucharist."

    ~ Noel Wynn S.M.

    From the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:

    Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham

    Also known as Virgin by the Sea, site also known as England's Nazareth

    Shrine established in 1061, priory in 1150

    Commemorated September 24

    "Let all who are in any way distressed or in need seek me there in that small house that you maintain for me at Walsingham. To all that seek me there shall be given succour."

    Until the martyrdom of St. Thomas a Becket at Canterbury in 1170, Walsingham was England's most celebrated and visited shrine. Many miracles were attributed to Our Lady of Walsingham, including one in which Kind Edward I was saved from a piece of falling masonry. There constructed shrine was recently voted England's favourite spiritual place in a poll of BBC Radio 4 listeners.

    Our Lady of Walsingham

    In 1061 Lady Richeldis de Faverches, lady of the manor near the village of Walsingham, Norfolk, England, was taken in spirit to Nazareth. There Our Lady asked her to build a replica, in Norfolk, of the Holy House where she had been born, grew up, and received the Annunciation of Christ's impending birth. She immediately did, constructing a house 23'6" by 12'10" according to the plan given her. Its fame slowly spread, and in 1150 a group of Augustinian Canons built a priory beside it. Its fame continued to grow, and for centuries it was a point of pilgrimage for all classes, the recipient of many expensive gifts.

    In 1534 Walsingham became one of the first houses to sign the Oath of Supremacy, recognizing Henry VIII as head of the Church in England. Dissenters were executed, and in 1538 the House was stripped of its valuables, its statue of the Virgin taken to London to be burned, its buildings used as farm sheds for the next three centuries.

    In 1896 Charlotte Boyd purchased the Slipper Chapel and donated it to Downside Abbey. In 1897 Pope Leo XIII re-founded the ancient shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, and pilgrimages are permitted to resume. The statue of Our Lady is enshrined in 1922 beginning an era of cooperation at the shrine between Catholics and Anglicans. In 1981 construction began on the Chapel of Reconciliation, a cooperative effort between the two confessions, and located near the shrine. The feast of Our Lady of Walsingham was reinstated in 2000.


    Walsingham Priory

    Walsingham Priory stood a few miles from the sea in the northern part of Norfolk, England. Founded in the time of Edward the Confessor, the chapel of Our Lady of Walsingham was confirmed to the Augustinian Canons a century later and enclosed within the priory. From the first this shrine of Our Lady was a famous place of pilgrimage. Hither came the faithful from all parts of England and from the continent until the destruction of the priory by Henry VIII in 1538. To this day the main road of the pilgrims through Newmarket, Brandon, and Fakenham is still called the Palmers' Way.

    Many were the gifts of lands, rents, and churches to the canons of Walsingham, and many the miracles wrought at Our Lady's shrine. Henry III came on a pilgrimage to Walsingham in 1241, Edward I in 1280 and 1296, Edward II in 1315, Henry VI in 1455, Henry VII in 1487, and Henry VIII in 1513. Erasmus in fulfilment of a vow made a pilgrimage from Cambridge in 1511, and left as his offering a set of Greek verses expressive of his piety. Thirteen years later he wrote his colloquy on pilgrimages, wherein the wealth and magnificence of Walsingham are set forth, and some of the reputed miracles rationalized.

    In 1537 while the last prior, Richard Vowell, was paying obsequious respect to Cromwell, the sub-prior Nicholas Milcham was charged with conspiring to rebel against the suppression of the lesser monasteries, and on flimsy evidence was convicted of high treason and hanged outside the priory walls. In July, 1538, Prior Vowell assented to the destruction of Walsingham Priory and assisted the king's commissioners in the removal of the figure of Our Lady, of many of the gold and silver ornaments and in the general spoliation of the shrine. For his ready compliance the prior received a pension of 100 pounds a year, a large sum in those days, while fifteen of the canons received pensions varying from 4 pounds to 6 pounds. The shrine dismantled, and the priory destroyed, its site was sold by order of Henry VIII to one Thomas Sidney for 90 pounds, and a private mansion was subsequently erected on the spot.

    The Elizabethan ballad, "A Lament for Walsingham," expresses something of what the Norfolk people felt at the loss of their glorious shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.


    More on Our Lady of Walsingham at:

    The Prayer of the Feast: Lord God, in the mystery of the Incarnation, Mary conceived your Son in her heart before she conceived Him in her womb. As we, your pilgrim people, rejoice in her patronage, grant that we also may welcome Him into our hearts, and so, like her, be made a holy house fit for His eternal dwelling. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

    Our Lady of Walsingham,
    pray for us.

    Official Shrine Site

    The Virgin by the Sea; Our Lady of Walsingham (University of Dayton)

    Patron Saints Index: Our Lady of Walsingham

    Our Lady of Walsingham (

    Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church (Anglican Use) - Houston, TX

    Orthodox Christian Society of Our Lady of Walsingham

    Fr. Finigan's Walsingham posts at The Hermeneutic of Continuity

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Our Sacred Spaces

    Catholic Cultural Heritage Images - Recta Ratio Features Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham

    A Couple More Walsingham-Related Posts By Fr. Finigan at The Hermeneutic of Continuity

    "Sinne is Where Our Ladye Sate"

    Morris Dancing at Walsingham

    Our Lady of Walsingham - 24 September

    Photos, Postcards, and Mementos of My 2005 Pilgrimage to Walsingham

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 1

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 2

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 3

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 4

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 5

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 6

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 7

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 8

    Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Walsingham - Day 9

    Some Walsingham Pilgrims Causing Consternation for Residents of Medieval Village

    Impressions of England

    Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk, England

    Labels: , , , , , , ,

    hit counter for blogger