Too Hot To Paddle

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I’ve got some bad news:  I’m cancelling the Chicot Canoe Trip scheduled for next Wednesday, July 8.

It is simply too hot.  It’s not just that it will be hot for us in the canoes; we could probably handle that.

More importantly, it will be too hot for the wildlife we expect to see.  None of the turtles, alligators, snakes, birds, frogs, etc., will be out and about.  We’ll simply be paddling for exercise.

So, we’ll just have to reschedule it for later this year – either late September or early October.

Meanwhile, you can check out the Calendar of Events for up-coming activities.  On Saturday, July 11, we’ll have Movie Night.  I’ll put up the movie poll next week.

Activities in July are light because I’m on vacation the last two weeks of the month.  When I get back, we’ll look at some stuff for August and September.

Posted in activities, Announcements | Leave a comment

“The New Catholic Manliness” at Sancte Pater blog

I just read a great article that I have to share with you.

The article, “The New Catholic Manliness“, can be found at a wonderful blog, Sancte Pater.

The article explores the idea that not too long ago, the Church became dominated by the feminine sense of spirituality.  Now, however, there is a return a more masculine spirituality.

I, for one, welcome this return.  There is a dearth of vocations to the priesthood, and I believe this is related to the decline of a true masculine spirituality.  More than that, I believe that in the last half of the 1900s, there was subversive emphasis on the feminine.  If a return to a more masculine spirituality helps increase vocations to the priesthood, I welcome it.

Here’s a taste of the article.  I encourage you to read the whole thing.

Not all these effects, as we shall see, have been bad. But one of the worst has been a subjugation of traditional masculine virtue: the concept of distinctly and properly manly Catholicism repressed, stigmatized, covered up, or otherwise forgotten for lack of practice. And the more “feminized” Catholicism thus became — the more its pews became recognized as the province of wives, children, and the effete — the more likely were men and their post-pubescent sons to stay away. All of this is making today’s Church, according to Leon Podles, author of The Church Impotent, “essentially a women’s club with some male officers.”

In many instances, Monsignor Swetland and Bolster both insist, there was a genuine correction in order, a worthy contribution from the “feminine” perspective to be made. But it all went too far, and quickly. (Consider as a parallel how the revolutionary affirmation-based child-rearing philosophy of Dr. Spock morphed into the coddling excesses of the baby boomers.) Suddenly a generation of men — both lay and clergy — that not long before had finally been able to admit that it was “okay to cry” became the Phil Donahue Generation: limp caricatures of sensitivity. Fathers — of families and of souls — lost their authoritative voice, or abandoned their responsibilities to seek self-fulfillment. Meanwhile, catechists, newly unchained from dry and rote formulas, soon reduced the content of the Faith, as Bolster puts it, to “Jesus loves you, now let’s make a collage.”

Bollman sees his ministry as part of a larger wave. “There’s definitely something going on here,” he says. Throughout the Church, “God is awakening in more men the desire to be real men.” This means making sacrifices, being “willing to pay the price to do the right thing.” In order to make such a sacrifice a man must “draw on all his masculine strength,” Bollman says, and in so doing he steers clear of the two extremes of false manhood that are “deadly to male participation in the Church”: the “wimpish Christianity” that presents neither challenge nor reward, and the machismo that keeps proud men off their knees.

Perhaps above all else, this new breed of seminarian has a fundamentally different orientation toward the Church, a posture that is decidedly husbandly. “The priests we’re forming now,” says Monsignor Swetland, “their mission is to love, cherish, and protect their Bride the Church. Whereas so many priests and seminarians of my generation, they wanted to change the Church.” This doesn’t mean that these men are blind to the Church’s faults and failings; however, they view those troubles in the larger context of a “battle to fight on her behalf.” This spirit of spousal fidelity, combined with a healthy accent on God’s transcendence (whereas the feminine approach, Monsignor Rohlfs muses, “tends to accentuate His immanence”), has the added effect of sealing these young priests with a deep and trustworthy orthodoxy.

In practice, this means a return to teaching hard or “crunchy” doctrine, a return to transcendence, a return to the fullness of Christian mysteries. Not, Bolster stresses, a return to the days of rote catechesis, but rather a new approach that “corrects current imbalances” without being merely reactionary. Thus, for example, in teaching Christology Jesus will still be “our friend” — as CCD children drew on their felt banners in the Seventies — but He will also be presented “as our God and Creator and Judge of the universe,” with fully divine and human natures united in the Second Person of the Trinity. A lesson on the four marks of the Church will include the translation of “catholic” as “universal,” and therefore welcoming of all, but now to be followed by emphasis on evangelization and penance rather than on cheery inclusivism.

 These excerpts demand a closer reading of the whole article, and I encourage you to do so.  The blog, Sancte Pater, by the way, is great, too.

Posted in Culture, Elements of Faith | 1 Comment

Watch Steubenville South Live On-line

 If you’re interested in Steubenville South, but couldn’t make it this weekend, you’re in luck!

The Dioscese of Alexandria has created a live webcast of the conference.

Go to the Steubenville South website to watch it live.  Just click the “Play” symbol on the player.

Here’s the schedule:

  • 6:30 P.M. – 10:00 P.M. Friday: Opening Session
  • 9:20 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. Saturday: Morning Session & Mass
  • 1:15 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. Saturday: Entertainment & Colliseum Workshops
  • 6:30 P.M. – 10:00 P.M. Saturday: Praise & Worship, Evening Session, Keynote & Eucharistic Procession, and Wrap Up
  • 8:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. Sunday: Morning Session, Prayer, Empowerment, Announcements, and Celebration of Mass
  • Posted in activities, Announcements, Praise & Worship Music, Prayer | 1 Comment

    Did I become a father at conception?

    The following 30-second commercial asks a very important question:  “If I became a father at conception, then when did the life of my child begin?”  It is an interesting conundrum that President Obama has managed to work himself into.  I  think that it’s a great question.

    Here’s the background to the clip from Catholic News Agency:

    The 30-second television ad begins with a clip of Obama’s Father’s Day speech at a Chicago church in which the Illinois senator discussed the problem of absent black fathers. “We need fathers to recognize that responsibility doesn’t just end at conception,” he says in the clip.

    Sen. Obama has voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, which would have protected from infanticide those children who survive abortion attempts. He has also promised to pass the Freedom of Choice Act, which FRC Action says would “annihilate” every single state law limiting or regulating abortion, including the federal ban on partial birth abortion.  …

    Nammo said the FRC would like to see Obama acknowledge that life begins at conception and that fatherhood entails responsibility to the unborn. Further, the Family Research Council hopes Obama will renounce his support for taxpayer funding of abortions.

    The man in the video clip is none other than Tony Perkins, a former state representative from Baton Rouge.  These days, Tony is a rising star among evangelical Christian leaders.  He currently serves as the president of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian think-tank and public policy foundation (founded by James Dobson).

    Hat tip to New Advent, which linked to the video and story at American Papist (great blog, by the way).

    Posted in Culture, pro-life | 1 Comment

    Sign Up For Mudbugs Football Next Week

    I’ve extended the deadline to sign up to go to Lafayette to watch the Acadiana Mudbugs indoor football game.

    If you want to go to watch the Mudbugs, let me know by Thursday, June 25.

    VPCYG will go to Lafayette to watch the Acadiana Mudbugs indoor football team on Monday, June 29.  The tickets will be $16.50 (+ tax) with your student ID.

    We’ll leave Ville Platte at about 3:30 pm from the Sacred Heart parking lot.  We’ll go to the Acadiana Mall to shop and eat.  (But, we might tailgate at the arena.  Maybe.  We’ll see.)

    The game will be at 7 pm at the Blackham Coliseum.  The Mudbugs play the Austin Turfcats.  I don’t know yet what time we’ll be back.

    The Mudbugs are part of the Southern Indoor Football League.  Right now, the Lake Charles Swashbucklers lead the league with a 6-1 record.  The Turfcats are second (5-1); and the Mudbugs are third (4-3).

    The Mudbugs have a Ville Platte connection:  Derek Landry, former quarterback of the Ville Platte High Bulldogs, is the team’s defensive coordinator.  (As a cool sidenote — I taught Derek as a freshman and sophomore at VPHS.)

    The head coach is former New Orleans Saints quarterback John Fourcade(As a cool sidenote — I was taught by Fourcade’s mom, and his dad was my principal, at Carencro Elementary.)

    If you want to come, you must let me know NO LATER THAN Thursday, June 25.  I’ve got to arrange transportation.  Let me know by calling me; or by leaving your name in the combox for this post.

    Check out the Calendar of Events for more activities, including the Chicot Canoe Trip.

    Posted in activities, Announcements, entertainment, Feasts and Solemnities | 1 Comment

    June 2009 Ice Skating Photos

    I’ve added the the photos from our June 19 trip to the mall and ice skating.

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    To see photos from other activities, click here.

    Posted in activities, fun & games | Leave a comment

    Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

    Just one day after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Church celebrates the love and devotion to Him modeled by His mother (and ours).  Today is the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    From the reading of today’s Gospel (Lk 2:41-51) for the Memorial Mass:

    And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the solemn day of the pasch. And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, and having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. And thinking that he was in the company, they came a day’s journey, and sought him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance. And not finding him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking him.

    And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his wisdom and his answers. And seeing him, they wondered. And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said to them: How is it that you sought me? Did you not know, that I must be about my father’s business? And they understood not the word that he spoke unto them.

    And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And his mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.

    I’m embarassed to say that I will not be doing a more informational post about this memorial; but, I’ve badly mismanaged my time, and I’m pressed for time. 

    Let me just give a small reflection on these words:  Jesus spoke a word to Mary (and St. Joseph) that “they understood not”.  However, rather than throw up her hands and say, “This doesn’t make any sense to me.  I guess I’ll never know what he means, so I’ll just live how I want”; rather than do that, Mary “kept these words in her heart.” 

    May we follow the model of the Blessed Virgin.  In this world today, when it can be confusing to even hear the Word of God, let alone understand it, may we nevertheless continue to ponder it in our Hearts, waiting for the Holy Spirit to inspire us to wisdom and understanding.

    Instead, I’ll just provide some solid links for reading more about this memorial:

    Posted in Bible, Elements of Faith, Feasts and Solemnities, Prayer, Saints | 2 Comments