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RIP, Bishop Morlino, servant of Christ

Bishop Robert MorlinoA lion for Christ has died. RIP Bishop Robert Morlino.

As someone who once had the pleasure of meeting Bishop Morlino and who, living in the diocese next door to his, greatly admired the incredible things he accomplished– things that prove good bishops can turn back the tide of heterodoxy — this news has greatly saddened me.

For what His Grace did and accomplished in his diocese was remarkable given that, when he was appointed to it, was the proverbial train wreck to end all train wrecks. It was so bad, it was “legion,” and I use that word advisedly.

Despite vociferous, full-throated opposition from those who want to remake the Catholic Church in the image of man and the age, he directed the Church in the Diocese of Madison in the direction of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, he did so by following the example of the total faithfulness and witness for her Son given by Our Lord’s Blessed Mother. He was a true servant of the servants of Christ.

However, I am less sad that this “good and faithful servant” has died Continue reading

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Beer Review: Great Divide’s Yeti series

I’m always attracted to great, different microbrews, especially if they’re new to me, and even more if they’re stouts (although I usually drink the ubiquitous and seemingly de rigeur IPAs). This is what prompted me to once try what is now my gold standard, North Coast Brewing Company’s “Rasputin” imperial Russian stout.

So when I stopped into my local beer distributor earlier this week, I was intrigued by a brewery that seems to not only simply feature a stout or two on its list of crafted beers but to specialize in them. My curiosity was aroused.

On sale was a triangular three-pack of 1 pint, 6 fl. ounce bottles of different stouts called the “Yeti” series by Great Divide Brewing Company out of Denver. It also featured a free metal coffee cup, perfect for enjoying one’s brew.

I’ve only had two so far, the chai-spiced and the imperial stouts (I’ve still to try the oatmeal stouts), but for the moment, I’m convinced I made a very good purchase. Indeed, as I wrote this, I was enjoying a refreshing quaff of the chai-spiced variety, an excellent writing companion. And for what it was worth, I drank it at room temperature. It suffered nothing from being “warm.”

I find it very hard to find a good stout. They tend, it seems to me, to be made for the drinker with a pilsner palate or whose taste buds tend toward lagers. That is they’re light, not very full bodied, etc., and lack that robust taste one finds in, say, the aforementioned Imperial Russian Stout from North Coast Brewing (which, sadly, is harder to find these days).

Definitely not the case here. GDBC’s stouts are not overpowering, but they are decidedly and pleasingly flavorful. And flavor is a great thing, especially when you’re spending $24 for three (albeit large) bottles.

What is more, they do not have the typical high ABV (alcohol by volume).

The only downside: My bottles were out of date by a year (not that you could tell by the taste).

Drink you next time!

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A Conversation I Never Wanted to Have

Possibly proving that good can come out evil, the garbage happening with Judge Kavanaugh forced me to have a conversation with my adolescent daughter I never envisioned happening. However … and God forbid, PLEASE!, that this ever happens … if she should ever find herself the victim of a sexual assault, I hope she will now be better situated to deal with it in a way that will increase both her credibility and that justice will come to the person who attacks her.

If she is ever sexually assaulted (or assaulted in any way), she should do each of the following:

  1. Get immediate medical attention. Don’t shower, don’t wash, don’t douche (I didn’t say that part, but it should factor in), don’t collect $200, just pass “Go,” and get to a doctor, Urgent Care facility, or hospital. That way medical experts there can collect scientific evidence that will help convict the perpetrator if police ever catch him or her.
  2. Go to the police. “How?” she asked. Have a friend or family call, call 911, ask the medical personnel, stop a cop, make the police station your first stop on the way home. Do whatever you have to do, but make sure you give them a written statement. That way a public record is extant, and thereby no confusion exists that later calls into doubt the date, the time, or the fact that such an assault happened. But, I heavily stressed, don’t ever file a false report for any reason. To do so, I told her, “would be evil, about the worst thing you could ever do outside of murder.” Because you would then be murdering someone’s good name and reputation.
  3. Tell friends and family. Tell them. Let them know. Yes, you’re embarrassed. Yes, you’re ashamed. Yes, you’re feeling emotional pain. Yes, you’re afraid. However, do it anyway. By doing so, you now have hopefully credible people who can vouch for you should your recollections ever be called into question.
  4. Journal about your experience. A diary is not a public record. It does, however, provide additional written evidence that can be shown to authorities at a later time that will help bolster that X happened on Y date in Z place, and this is how it went down.

None of this will guarantee that someone will get arrested. None of this will guarantee a conviction. It will not even guarantee that people will believe you, especially if the accused has a reputation of good standing within his or her community.

What it will do, though, is to increase the chances that good people will believe you, that your accusations will result in an arrest, and that this arrest will result in a conviction. Why? Because you will have created an evidentiary trail that others can follow.

After all, what is the biggest problem with the charges against Brett Kavanaugh? No such evidentiary trail exists. This is why I and countless millions of others refuse to believe the dark charges that scum are attempting to use to paint over the canvas of brilliant colors that is the rest of the Judge’s life. They have no hard details of date, time, and corroborating witnesses. In fact, no one has backed up a single charge made by these people.

So if this sort of thing does happen to anyone — again, please, God forbid — then doing the above creates a better chance that people will receive a victim’s charges with credence and support.

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Church News, Saints Stories

Promulgation of the Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

On 6 March 2018, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.DB., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the Congregation to promulgate the Decrees concerning:

– the miracle, attributed to the intercession of Blessed Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini), Supreme Pontiff; born in Concesio, Italy, on 26 September 1897 and died in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, on 6 August 1978;

– the miracle, attributed to the intercession of Blessed Oscar Arnolfo Romero Galdámez, archbishop of San Salvador; born in Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador, on 15 August 1917 and killed in San Salvador, El Salvador, on 24 March 1980;

– the miracle, attributed to the intercession of Blessed Francesco Spinelli, diocesan priest; founder of the Institute of the Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament, born in Milan, Italy, on 14 April 1853 and died in Rivolta d’Adda, Italy, on 6 February 1913;

– the miracle, attributed to the intercession of Blessed Vincenzo Romano, diocesan priest; born in Torre del Greco, Italy, on 3 June 1751 and died there on 20 December 1831;

– the miracle, attributed to the intercession of Blessed Maria Katharina Kasper, founder of the Institute of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ; born on 26 May 1820 in Dernbach, Germany, and died there on 2 February 1898;

– the miracle, attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God María Felicia of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament (née María Felicia Guggiari Echeverría), professed nun of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites; born in Villarica, Paraguay on 12 January 1925, and died in Asunción, Paraguay, on 28 April 1959;

– the martyrdom of the Servant of God Anna Kolesárová, layperson; born in Vysoká nad Uhom, Slovakia, on 14 July 1928 and killed there in hatred of the faith on 22 November 1944;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Bernardo Łubieński, professed priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer; born in Guzów, Poland, on 9 December 1846 and died in Warszawa, Poland, on 10 September 1933;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Cecilio Maria Cortinovis (né Antonio Pietro), professed religious of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin; born in Nespello, Italy, on 7 November 1885 and died in Bergamo, Italy, on 10 April 1984;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Giustina Schiapparoli, founder of the Congregation of the Benedictine Sisters of Divine Providence of Voghera; born in Castel San Giovanni, Italy, on 19 July 1819 and died in Voghera, Italy, on 20 November 1877;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Maria Schiapparoli, founder of the Congregation of the Benedictine Sisters of Divine Providence of Voghera; born in Castel San Giovanni, Italy, on 19 April 1815 and died in Vespolate, Italy, on 2 May 1882;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Maria Antonella Bordoni, layperson, of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, founder of the Lay Fraternity of the Little Daughters of the Mother of God, now Little Daughters of the Mother of God; born on 13 October 1916 in Arezzo, Italy, and died in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, on 16 January 1978;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Alessandra Sabattini, layperson; born on 19 August 1961 in Riccione, Italy, and died in Bologna, Italy on 2 May 1984.

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History, Spiritual Reflections, This and That

Give Us Beauty in the Liturgy … PLEASE

This article appeared in Crisis magazine today, and it calls for restoring chant and polyphony in the Liturgy as a way of building up the faithful. Typically, however, you only find this in the extraordinary form of the Mass, which makes use of the 1962, pre-Second Vatican Council missal.

That said, please, please do this if you have it in your power to make it happen where you are.

The importance of good liturgical music (contemporary Christian music does not count or even begin to suffice) cannot be understated. Continue reading

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Spiritual Reflections

My Lenten Sacrifice

For Lent, I’m giving up complaining.
Not about the political order. When that is not working, we have to raise our voices.
Instead, I’m talking about things such as, “This isn’t hot enough for me.” “Why have they moved everything around in this store?! I can’t find my precious bottle of dish detergent!” “That person is a true jerk to me, and I don’t like them.” See the common thread here? Complaining often leads us to place an unhealthy emphasis on “me.” And that is pride. And pride is the root of most if not all sin. So if I want to give up sin, which should a 24/7/365 endeavor, then I must give up pride. And to give up pride, I have to give up the things that tend me toward pride.

Continue reading

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History, Saints Stories

Algerian Martyr: Sr. Odette Prévost

Sr. Odette Prévost of the Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart lost her life for Christ on November 10, 1995. She was the last female of the modern Algerian martyrs to lose their lives.

She was born on July 17, 1932, in Oger, France. After graduation from school, she worked as a school teacher for three years before entering the Little Sisters of the Sacred heart in 1953, taking her final vows in 1959.

First sent to Morocco and then back to France, her order finally stationed her in Algiers in 1968. There, too, she taught students, typically the poorest of the poor.

Sr. Odette spent her nights helping young children with their homework.

Sister would make homemade yogurt so the local children would have “enough protein to grow.” In addition to her free tutoring, she played games with them. Because of this, there “was always a gang of them in the kitchen.”

Days before she died, she asked an Algerian Christian friend for a kiss goodbye. The friend, laughing, said, “‘No, I’ll come back tomorrow.’ She said, ‘Tomorrow might be too late.’”

Encouraged to leave Algeria, she refused “so as ‘to resist through solidarity’ the enveloping violence and chaos to show through their presence that ‘one can live fraternally with difference.’”

Benedictine Father Martin McGee writes, “Odette purposely decided to remain in Algeria in order ‘to be Christ’s own presence.’ She understood her decision to stay in light of the Eucharist–Jesus’ self-offering on our behalf.” In this light, her death on a Friday while on her way to the holy sacrifice of the Mass is fitting.

 

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