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VIEW FROM THE PEW
Vol 5 No. 2
Dedicated to St. Joseph By & For Santa Clara Valley Catholics 
Mar/Apr, 1998 
Editor - Jane Anderson 
Publisher - Marc Crotty 


 

Mother Angelica at war
 
  Roger Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles has declared war on Mother Angelica, owner and operator of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), located in Birmingham, Ala.
  Mother Angelica isnít just any old television magnate. Sheís a Franciscan nun who heads an order dedicated to printing and televising the Word of God.
  Apparently God is on Mother Angelicaís side because she experienced a miraculous healing before a TV audience of millions on Jan. 28. After 40 years spent in leg and back braces, she shed her crutches. She said she hadnít been praying for a cure; she just felt "heat" in her ankles while praying the rosary with an Italian mystic. After a few uneasy steps, she executed a little jig in front of her studio audience.
  It may take another miracle to turn aside the wrath of a cardinal scorned. Mahony is filing a complaint to the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life and to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Rome. His complaint alleges that EWTN broadcasts damage the "positive work being done in the Church."
  The flap started on Nov. 18, when Mother Angelica criticized Mahonyís pastoral letter for relegating the Real Presence of Jesus in the eucharistic elements of bread and wine to a footnote. She called on Catholics in the Los Angeles archdiocese to practice "zero obedience." 
  Mahony was livid. He demanded an on-air apology Ė which Mother Angelica gave. She apologized for urging Catholics to be disobedient, but she also kept emphasizing that Mahonyís pastoral just left her "confused." And she went over the confusions point-by-point. 
  It was one of Mother Angelicaís "priceless" hours. She has had others. When the Pope came to Denver and was subjected to the Stations of the Cross, featuring a woman actor as Christ, Mother Angelica was doing the on-air "color" for the prayer service. Mother went ballistic. She said the appearance of a woman as Christ was no accident, but a calculated attempt by liberals and feminists to undermine the teaching of the Church.
  When she returned to her order near Birmingham, she called her nuns together and ordered them back into their old, traditional habits. She told them that even the small compromises on religious garb had opened the door to big heresies. 
  On the air, she devoted a whole program to the incident in Denver and to her change of garb. 
  Fortunately, Mother Angelica has the support of her own bishop, David Foley of Birmingham. Mahony asked that Motherís apology be written by Foley and aired four times, but no such apology occurred. Instead, Mother wrote her own Ė and left Mahony seething even more over her "confusions."
  Mahony is consulting canonists to determine what options he has to discipline Mother Angelica, including removing her as manager from her TV network and putting U.S. bishops in charge. (This plan would be less-than-wise: The bishops already tried to run their own network and it bombed. Apparently, people werenít interested in tuning in for liberal pap).
  Mahony explained that the problem with Mother Angelica goes beyond her criticizing him. "Itís about how the network operates and to whom it is accountable," said Mahony spokesman, Fr. Gregory Coiro, to the National Catholic Reporter on Jan. 30.
  Mother Angelica had previously angered some bishops by refusing to invite a liberal bishop to her studios as requested. (She only presents programming she considers orthodox and true to the Pope and Magisterium). One of them asked her who she thought she was, refusing a bishop. She replied: "I own the network." The bishop responded with the rejoinder that maybe he could do something about that. And she reportedly said: "Iíd blow it up before I handed it over to you."
  Mother Angelica is definitely not a wimp.
  She is also a loyal Catholic. She believes in the One, True Church. She dedicates her life to prayer and evangelization. She is totally trustworthy in what she presents and teaches. 

Can Mahony say that?

Here are some of the people to contact:

Bernardin Cardinal Gantin (Your Eminence)
Cardinal Prefect
Sacred Congregation for Bishops
Piazza Pio XII
10, 00193, Rome, Italy 

The Most Rev. Anthony M. Pilla (Your Excellency)
President, National Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th Street NE
Washington, DC 10017-1194

The Most Rev. David Foley (Your Excellency)
Bishop of Birmingham
P.O. Box 12047
Birmingham, AL 35202

Mother Angelica
Eternal Word Broadcasting Network
5817 Old Leeds Road
Birmingham, AL 35202

Mother Angelica Schedules April 4-5 Bay Area visit

Mother Angelica will be appearing at the Catholic Family Conference April 4-5 at the Oakland Convention Center.

Appearing with Mother Angelica in the program, "The Holy Spirit - the Familyís Hope for the Future," will be Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., Fr. John Corapi, journalist Joanna Bogle and Jesse Romero.

For more information call (626) 859-0940 or FAX (626) 858-9331.

 

How other religious orders have lost the battle
 
  Where have all the sisters gone? Before 1965, they were the backbone of the Church: educating, nursing, doing spiritual and social work.
  Then came Vatican II, the "spirit" of Vatican II and "renewal." Today the number of women religious has plummeted Ė and the ones who are left are often unrecognizable in appearance or lifestyle. 
  Many live alone or in pairs and eschew "womenís work." They get higher degrees and seek high-class administrative jobs. Some havenít the time to do their daily office or even check in regularly for prayer at their mother house.
  Itís no wonder that many of these "new" nuns wind up with husbands instead of vocations. They trot around the country giving lectures on womenís ordination, taking seminars on "the goddess within" and leading the upwardly mobile life of a career woman. Why not marry the CEO?
  Still, the transition from Mother Teresa to married nun is baffling to Catholics in the pew. How did it happen? The new book, Sisters in Crisis, the Tragic Unraveling of Womenís Religious Communities, (Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., Huntington, Ind. 46750), by Catholic journalist Ann Carey, maps the decline.
  The book is not an easy read. It is written like a doctoral dissertation, replete with dates and names and broken promises. But we need to know what happened Ė because itís happening again, right now, to Catholic life in the parishes.
  
Hereís the scenario:
1. A culture in upheaval, the turbulent Ď60s. Women religious were not immune to feminism;
2. The need for reforms, for example, the need to better educate women religious for their roles as teachers, nurses, etc. Directives for reform were not clear, however, and experimentation was "an invitation to disaster."
3. Overwork and under-appreciation of women religious; 
4. Liberal leadership fails to communicate directives from Rome or even directives from the local bishop;
5. The idea that "lived experience" is more valid for defining religious life than authority from the Church;
6. Two organizations, Sister Formation Conference (now called Religious Formation Conference) and Conference of Major Religious Superiors of Womenís Institutes (today called Leadership Conference of Women Religious), headed by women with definite change-oriented agendas. Sisters who didnít like the changes kept their mouths shut rather than be disloyal, old-fashioned or shunned;
7. Sistersí Survey, a 25-year project directed by Sister Marie August Neal, a sociologist. "One sister who completed the survey observed that if sisters werenít already dissatisfied with religious life before the survey, there were plenty of suggestions in the survey to promote dissatisfaction, including questioning the value of the vows, the authority of superiors, some doctrinal teachings of the Church and the very significance of religious life;"
8. New Age programs, including enneagrams, goddess-worship, Zen and other forms of meditation, Mathew Fox Ė all were promoted and all pulled sisters away from the teachings of the Church;
9. Dissent at Catholic universities;
10. Elimination of mothers-in-charge at many religious orders. Gerrymandering of votes to put liberals in positions of decision-making;
11. 60 percent moving out of mother house to pursue direct-action careers. Parochial schools forced to hire lay teachers; hospitals forced to hire lay personnel;
12. Older nuns left with no one to support them in old age.
     Sisters numbered 180,000 in the United States in 1965. Today there is only a remnant of that number left Ė and many of the remnant are too old to work. The younger sisters often work at jobs that are paid by the secular community, for example, social work. A few work actively to "renew" the Church, for example, Sister Maureen Fiedler, who is the national coordinator of the We Are Church referendum (which failed to gather much support).
   "Through these various groups, the most visible and vocal sisters have professed a vision of the Catholic Church and of religious life that is in sharp contrast to actual Church teaching and to the desire of the majority of women religious to use their feminine gifts to build up the Church. Additionally, these high-profile sisters have shown their disdain for Church authority and for the reputation of their own religious institutes. They have made it clear they have a great deal to tell the Church, but the Church has nothing of value to tell them.
   "The victims in this scenario are the older sisters who spent decades building up the parochial school system and dedicating their lives to God. One such sister who has been in religious life for 50 years writes:

"The present turbulent time in the Church is a challenge to everyone, but what is it like to go through it as an older religious? I can tell you, from experience, that it is both a time of martyrdom and a time of faith. . . One of historyís turmoil periods hit us in the 1960s. . . strange formation programs began to emerge . . . In the 30 years that followed 1960, all hell broke loose in some congregations. Questionable elections were held, and carefully controlled processes were used to give the stamp of legality to decisions which were totally unacceptable to the majority of Sisters . . . 
"(Older religious) are beginning to network among themselves, not only in their own congregations, but with other congregations who may be experiencing the same problems."

   The future, author Carey says, will probably involve "refounding" religious congregations with constitutions that follow the rule of the order and with personnel willing to follow the rule.
   Now, how does the demise of women religious relate to what is happening to Catholic life in many dioceses?
   Look around. The culture is in turmoil. One night of television viewing supports the fact. The crime statistics, the suicide rate, the number of babies born out of wedlock Ė all attest to a culture in crisis.
   Liberals and feminists are running parishes and dioceses, carefully guarding their turfs and making the rules for people who might object but who are ridiculed if they do. 
   Change-oriented priests and bishops have adopted the "lived experience" approach to morality and doctrine. They have bought into the notion of the "lay-run church." In the push to be politically correct, they have turned over much of their turf to female administrators for "diversity." And in the desire to be modern, they have downgraded Confession, celibacy, morality, Church tradition, practices and rules. 
   The door is ajar. Women religious went first. Priests are headed that way, too. Itís no surprise the laity is demanding the restoration of the locks.

 
VIEW FROM THE PEW
By and For Santa Clara Valley Catholics 
Publisher Editor - Marc S. Crotty 
Editor - Jane Anderson 
Publication committee - Doug Zeitz 
Contributing Editor -  Art Brew
Web site: http://www.hooked.net/users/racox/view.htm

VIEW FROM THE PEW is published by an association of Catholic laity in the Diocese of San Jose, Calif.  Suggested donation is $10. Any donation gladly accepted but is not tax deductible. For all inquiries, and Letters to the Editor, please write to: Box 700084, San Jose, CA 95170-0084, e-mail: ander@concentric.net or fax (408) 362-0277.

© 1998 View from the Pew ó Articles may be copied, provided due credit is given to VFTP

Viewís statement of purpose

   The View from the Pew is published bi-monthly and distributed by subscription and direct delivery in the Diocese of San Jose.
The purpose of the View is to praise God, document Modernist abuses, and praise orthodox courage.
   We praise priests and bishops who uphold the word of God, who accept the authority of His Church, who teach the infallibility of the Magisterium acting through the Holy Spirit and who courageously administer their parishes and dioceses during a historical period that vilifies their efforts.
   We praise lay people who accept the authority of the Church and live out their vocations in life according to Godís plan, in the service of God and neighbor.

 

.


& Book Review &

Where is homeschooling going?   How high is up?

The Future of Homeschooling
Regnery Publishing co.
224 pp. $16.95

  Up, up and up, says Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association and author of numerous books on homeschooling.
   His latest book, The Future of Home Schooling, A New Direction for Christian Home Education," begins with all the facts and figures on home education vs. public education. If you do reports or write a newsletter, this information would be essential.
   The main thrust of the book, however, is that a classical education Ė the Great Books Ė is the future of homeschooling.
   "We have already embraced the right methology . . . In the next five to ten years, I believe that tens of thousands of home schooling families will embrace the balance of Patrick Henryís education by adopting the intellectual rigors, emphasis on logic and presentation skills, and world-view training that comprise classical education."
   Why is a classical education so important? Dorothy L. Sayers, the "patron saint" of classical education believed that a classical education prepared men and women how to learn for themselves and, ultimately, how to think for themselves. Fritz Hinrich is another advocate of classical education, and he is the headmaster of the San Diego-based Escondido Tutorial program, which makes courses available online to homeschoolers across the nation.
   Farris predicts that more online instruction will become available and will include: 1) core curricula aids for homeschooling parents; 2) "coaches" on call or online; 3) An American studies curriculum; 4) High-tech foreign language instruction; and 5) Debate teams through support groups.
   Another provocative idea is that middle school Ė what we generally call seventh and eighth grade Ė is a waste of time. "Itís largely a review period. Farris says: "Public school education takes too long . . Examine any seventh or eighth grade math book. You will find the majority of the work to be nothing more than additional problems to relearn mathematical skills taught in the fifth and sixth grades." American history is taught in the eighth grade, then repeated in the 11th. "The real purpose of junior high, I have been told, is to provide an intellectually less stimulating time so that the child can negotiate the emotional turmoil of puberty."
   Farris believes that preparing children for apprenticeships at 15 and 16 is appropriate after rigorous classical training. His organization is starting a series of apprenticeship programs, beginning with journalism. He intends to purchase a newspaper or wire service and prepare young men and women for Christian careers in journalism. And then he intends to do the same for congressional aides, law and business. In this way, he intends to prepare students for the world of work Ė and to change the country by putting Christian men and women in positions of influence.
   Farris thinks that states will become much more accepting of homeschooling and will even embrace homeschool students. For example, he thinks public schools will open their doors to homeschoolers on their athletic teams and in their choir groups. The reason: They will want kids who excel, behave Ė and increase their allotments.
   The book includes a chart of all statesí education requirements and their roadblocks. There are also lists of homeschool organizations and support groups.


 

(*& íRound the Dioceses (*&

Going gently into that good night is Godís option

   From the Homiletic and Pastoral Review, one of the best Catholic publications on the market (P.O. box 591810, San Francisco, CA 94159-1810, $26 a year), comes a chilling story of euthanasia from a practicing nurse.
   Mary Therese Helmueller, R.N., details stories of people who have been "put out of their misery" when they were not terminal. She says that many doctors and nurses speak openly about their desire to practice euthanasia. And many of them go ahead and do it.
   The way it works is this: An elderly or disabled person is brought in with a serious, but not necessarily terminal, problem. The patient is given sedatives that make it difficult to awaken the patient. Under the medication, they appear comatose. Medical staff tries to get permission from the family for a "no code" status Ė that is, do not resuscitate. Lethal doses of narcotics may be administered to kill pain and, incidentally, hasten death, shorten the hospital stay and lower expenses. The family may be all in favor of this.
   During the sedated period, the patient has been deprived of food and drink and may be on the edge of dehydration or starvation. If he is transferred to a hospice without tubal feeding or intravenous fluids, he may die in transit or soon after entering, especially if food and drink are denied "in the interest of the patient."
   Helmueller says she has seen this scenario in action repeatedly in her 15 years of working in intensive care and emergency. And she advises people to: 1) Stay out of hospitals if possible; 2) Donít fill out "living wills." They become excuses for medical personnel to hasten your demise; 3) Relatives should never agree to a "no code." A loved one could be getting "set up" for quick exit. "Itís time to wake up! Euthanasia is here! We will be responsible to Almighty God for doing nothing. You have escaped death from abortion, but you are all being targeted for euthanasia!"

A LITTLE SEX GAME

   A publication called Houstonís Flying Column (P.O. box 35851, Houston, Texas, 77235-5851, $25 a year) in the Galveston-Houston Diocese quotes a parochial school mother whose third-grade child is taking a New Creation sexuality course as part of the regular curriculum. She says the children invented a game of tag in which the boys were "the sperms" and the girls were "the eggs." The sperms chased the eggs and those that were caught became mommies.
   The mother was concerned and attended the certification sessions for New Creation, offered by two women, one of which had made the news already because she got into a fight with Catholic parents over her notion that fornication is not a sin. "Telling children that premarital sex is across-the-board a sin is judgmental," she said. The mother had other problems with the program, including the fact that boys and girls would not be separated for the instruction. When she and the Flying Column editor complained, they were told the program was being evaluated.

TEEN MASSES LOSE SOULS

   And here is some food for thought about teen Masses. A young woman from Sugar Land, Texas, wrote Flying Column that Sunday Mass was a time of real family togetherness when she and her sister were growing up as teenagers. By the time her two youngest sisters were getting ready for confirmation, however, their parish required teens to attend the Teen Mass, which featured an electric guitar band and drums. The parents felt totally out of place in this rock-concert atmosphere and decided to attend their regular Mass. The younger girls attended the Teen Mass with their friends. It was a real groovy Mass. At the Kiss of Peace, bedlam would break out, with kids running all over the Church to flirt, check out their clothes and greet friends.
   This is what happened: "Instead of building closer relationships with parents and siblings during these years, the aura of Teen Mass took away our last bastion together. Without this support, the faith of our family has suffered. One of my siblings has left the Church and another married a non-Catholic . . . the excitement of the Teen Mass has left them with a void when they attend a (regular) Catholic Mass. Many of my sistersí friends have left the Church or no longer practice their faith. The "teen group" was touted as the most active and largest in town and around the country. From among those who attended, one young man has become a priest. He is spending his vocation setting up teen programs in other parishes. Let us hope that these problems do not bring their detrimental effects to other families and to the faith of teenagers across the country."
   View from the Pew has attended the Teen Mass at St. Maria Goretti in San Jose and has this comment: All True! The Mass was more club meeting than Mass. And the club meeting was held right in the middle of the Mass after the priestís homily. Kids trooped up to the altar for the Consecration to "hang out." And all bedlam broke loose at the Kiss of Peace, too. The music was loud and anything but sacred.
   The point of the Mass for teenagers Ė and everyone else Ė is to praise, adore and thank God. When the music stops, will these kids stay in the Church? Pastors should pray about this question.

REWARDS FOR WRONG DOING

From e-mail that all suffering Catholics should connect with: rfreeman@interaccess.com comes this complaint out of Chicago:
   "The majority of our parishes ask for and obtain twice-yearly permission for general absolution, which is given to packed churches. Naturally, confession is almost dead. The pastor of our largest parish did it (general absolution) Ė and the punishment descended from on high . . . He was named a bishop and will be consecrated on Feb. 2.
   "Richard Freeman comments that the tables have been turned for the righteous. Priests with fidelity to tradition are often rewarded with persecution; priests with fidelity to the world are often reward with advancement. But "the truth has the power to cut through all their lies like Alexanderís sword through the Gordian knot. The Christ Child and the True Faith are, in the end, irresistible."
   Amen.

* Letters to the Editor *

Manners, please!
Dear Editor:
   Just received my (Jan.-Feb.) issue of the View. I thought there were several really good pieces in it, but I particularly want to commend you on the issue of manners in the Church. I really wish that the Valley Catholic would run something similar and that pastors would at least occasionally touch on it. There is so much excessive talking in Church Ė to me that is such a blatant offense and can really hinder the atmosphere, which should be conducive to prayer. I am also amazed when I see people chewing gum in Mass. What are they thinking?
   On the other hand, I was surprised that there was a criticism of the Italian way of blessing oneself, which ends with making a cross of the finger and thumb and kissing it. While it is nothing I do, I have always thought it was very respectful and saw nothing offensive in it. I was also surprised at the criticism of the folks who close their eyes during the Consecration. I have been guilty of this myself, but am certainly not pondering my nose! Actually, sometimes it can be so distracting if there is a cute toddler facing me or something out of the ordinary right in front of me, that I am in a more prayerful state if I close my eyes but listen intently. I often picture Jesus at the Last Supper during the Consecration.
   In any event, I think it would be most helpful for the leaders (of the Church) to give some gentle reminders on these points. I think it was a big plus that you ran the piece and hope it will provoke some good efforts in parishes. 

M.H.,Los Gatos

Bishop is wrong!
Dear Editor:
   You wrote in the View: "We strongly disagree with Bishop DuMaineís interpretation that the Holy Fatherís intent (in allowing some indult Tridentine Masses) was solely to console older Catholics and to exclude the younger generation."
   In fact, the bishop is wrong and he knows it! The traditional Mass was never abrogated, let alone "disallowed." Cardinal Stickler stated recently that a special commission had been formed by the Pope in the late í80s and was asked to determine if the traditional Mass was abrogated AND whether a priest needed his bishopís permission to offer that Mass Ė and the answer was a resounding No! There is no document that came out of the proceedings of Vatican Council II that gave a mandate to the Church to create another Mass an suppress the Mass then in use for centuries.

Richard Cox,Los Gatos

Renewals, renewals
Dear Editor:
   Sorry to be so late on renewal. You are doing a GREAT job! However, Iím sure you realize you would not make brownie points if you ever submitted a resume to the local chancery. You would be labeled "judgmental" no matter how justified a critique may be. Thanks again for your efforts.

C.B.W., Los Gatos

Be a peacemaker
Dear Editor:
   The provocative rag you publish is not following Christís teachings any more than liberal Catholics. The Lord said: "Blessed are the peacemakers . . ." and your testimonial is promoting the conflict in your own heart.
   I tell you, if you wish to bring healing to the Church, publish a prayer(ful) newsletter that tells of your efforts in organizing holy hours and novenas and rosary devotionals at the "impure" churches.
   I canít wait to join your efforts as I am fully ready to "pray ceaselessly" as the Blessed Lord instructed.

Iss-a-das (servant of the Lord)

Editorís reply: 
   Faith plus works. You are so right. However, we do not agree that pointing out wrongs is not an appropriate "work." The Church is in this fix because we stayed silent too long. The only noisy people were the ones who were discouraging rosaries and novenas and still laugh at folks who wear scapulars and attend prayers at abortion mills.
   The personnel at View from the Pew are not without their service to the Church in other areas, we hasten to point out. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, please e-mail us for CCD classes, choir groups, perpetual adoration, weekly public rosaries, anti-abortion events. We either organize or participate in all of these. If you have ideas about introducing orthodox practices into the "impure" churches where the noisy, liberal elite has already pushed them out, please send your ideas our way.

A big boost
Dear Editor:
   Just wanted you to know that View from the Pew gives a boost to many outside your diocese who are undergoing similar sufferings. I have been following the Church and its decline in the Western states for 15 years. The trends are mostly along the lines of your current situation. Fortunately the faithful, although small in number, are as rock solid as the Holy Father.
   There seems to be a new boldness to the dissenters; you have probably noticed the organized attack on the Faithful, accusing them for all the conflict in the Church, coupled with the unbridled air of innovation and open defiance against Rome. 
   It is my opinion that the lines were drawn a long time ago and the attack is now going to be full force. there will be very dark days ahead, God give us the grace. Keep up the good work.

David and Donna Burke,
Boise, Idaho 

Itís global, folks
Dear Editor:
   I am the editor of the only Roman Catholic periodical in Sweden and Scandinavia. I have just looked through your homepage Ė congratulations! The problems without "bishops" seems to be the same the world over God bless from Sweden and M.R. 
   P.S. San Jose Sharks are the best NHL team.

Mikael Rosen,
Sweden

Editorís Reply: Yeees!


A View from the pulpit: ĎDo somethingí

By a priest in the San Jose Diocese

Todayís Gospel (John 2:1-12) about the marriage feast at Cana is one of the most humanly appealing stories about Jesus. To see his interest and concern for the young married couple is something I believe we all appreciate. There is also a warm humanness about the fact that Mary, his mother, apparently refused to take "no" for an answer from Jesus. And yet, there seems to be something deeper about the Gospel, something very significant underlying the charming narrative.
   We have a hint that there is something more here than just a story, for St. John apparently takes it for granted that his readers know that the water became wine. He really does not emphasize the miracle at all. Everyone knew, in Johnís estimation, that Jesus had worked a miracle. Johnís point was that the whole episode was a sign, a sign of the Church. Johnís thinking is a little complex, but it is worth going into.
   It is noteworthy that the event that the event takes place at a wedding feast. The Old Testament pictured the people of Israel as the spouse of God, and saw in a wedding feast a symbol of the Messianic age. We heard an example of this imagery in Isaiah 62:1-5. "As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so shall God rejoice in you. "St. Paul, in accord with this same symbol, spoke of the Church, the new Israel, as the Bride of Christ. And so, it appears that St. John used the wedding feast to show that he wished to say something about the Church.
   Next, we must notice the prominence of Mary in the story. The Vatican Council has re-emphasized an old, favorite idea of the early writers that Mary is a sign of the people in the Church. In a sense, she sums up in her person the whole human race as called to follow Christ. This is why Jesus addressed her with a term that strikes us as strange for a son to use, "woman." That word is rich in biblical connotation. It recalls the first woman, Eve, whose name means "mother of all the living." Mary as the new Eve is the new mother of all the living, and so represents all of mankind. At Cana, Jesus stated that his hour had not yet come. Mary, in effect, told Him that we wanted His hour to come. The word "hour" meant his death and resurrection, the great mystery whereby He would gain our salvation. When Jesus worked His first miracle at the implicit request of Mary, He was beginning that whole series of events that would inevitably lead to His death and resurrection.
   By His death and resurrection, Jesus was to form the new people of God, the Church. As Jesus changed the water into a fuller and richer liquid, that of wine, so he was going to change the old Jewish religion into the fuller and richer religion of Christianity. The choice wine kept until late in the history of the human race is Christianity, and we are the ones who enjoy it.
   Yes, we are the ones who benefit by the Church, but the Church is not something we simply enjoy. It is not merely a source of goodness for us, as we sit back and drink its pleasant wine. Notice in the Gospel story that, though Jesus worked the miracle by His power alone, he did so in cooperation with others: with Mary, the headwaiter, and his assistants. And so in the Church, each one of us has his job to do in cooperation with Christ.
   St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, is also talking about the Church. He tells us that in the Church there are many and varied functions which different people perform. The Church is not just the Pope and the bishops. All of us together make up the Church, and each one of us must do his share for the good of the whole Church.
   Today there is a lot of criticism of the Church. Some people are disillusioned and unhappy because they feel the Church is not helping them. Others say that the Church does not have any impact on society. Still others maintain that the Church has lost its character of holiness. We certainly have the right to criticize the Church. However, if we choose to complain we had better remember whom we are complaining about. We are complaining about ourselves, for we are the Church. It is not honest or valid to step back and look at the Church as something apart from ourselves, any more than we can step back from and complain about an infected finger as if it were not part of us. We are the Church. What the Church is today largely depends on what kind of people we are.
   Sometime after their wedding day, a young couple comes to realize that marriage is more than something you enjoy. It is something that both husband and wife have to work at because marriage is what they make of it. And so it is with the Church. The Church today will largely be what we make it. Christ is doing his part. Are we doing ours?


Irish eyes still smiling over St. Patrick

(An imaginative story based on historical fact)
By D. Smith

   Brian was ahead. Patrick was coming up fast and Carole was far behind. All were on their fastest horses. The hot wind was blowing in their faces.
   Their families owned estates and much of the land along the Severn River in what is today called England. They had been playmates since they were small children. They often played seamen: building rafts and poling out to the islands.
   Now they were teenagers who raced their horses along the river bank and into the shallow water where the soft sand bars created small islands. But one day something was wrong. It was the dreaded Irish pirates raiding the British estates along the river. They often kidnapped young people and ransomed them back to their families for gold. If they could not get ransom, they sold the children in Ireland as slaves.
   Carole saw the boat now and tried to turn her horse around in the water to head back to land. The pirates were almost upon her. Patrick began to shout at the pirates, "Youíre all cowards." The pirates became angry. They altered their course and turned the boat away from Carole and toward the boys.
   The pirates threw a fishermanís net over Brian and began to pull him into the boat. Patrick saw something black coming up behind him and then he felt the blow from the heavy oar.
   When Patrick awoke, he was colder than he had ever been. He tried to press his hands to his head to ease the pain but could not move his arms. He could tell that he was on a ship and that it was almost dark. He called out, "Brian, where are you?" Someone heard him and came across from the other side of the boat.
   "Olan said to let him know when Ďhis majestyí wakes up," said the voice. "Olan doesnít like the way this brat wrecked our surprise raid. Olan has something for him, haw, haw, haw!"
   Patrick figured that Olan must be the leader. There was the noise of heavy boots crossing the deck.
   "While I am making up my mind, what to do with you. Iím going to teach you not to interfere in other peopleís business." With that, Olan slapped Patrickís face so hard his ears rang; he fell unconscious. When he woke up, everything hurt. His ears rang; he had a terrible head ache; he was so scared, hungry and tired that he wept softly to himself. 
   After a brief moment, he was aware Brian was trying to put moist bread into Patrickís mouth. Brian whispered to Patrick and told him how he convinced the cook to give him some bread "for the boy on deck." Brian told Patrick that Olan decided to sell them in Ireland.After they reached land, Olan handed Patrick and Brian over to his partner Kernac. Kernac marched Patrick and Brian and 15 other unfortunate people into western Ireland where there was no laws against slavery. Kernac and his slavers rode their horses beside the prisoners (who were roped together on short leashes neck to neck). Kernac prodded this tired and sad group through the countryside and sold them off along the way like animals to labor for their new masters.
   Kernac sold Patrick, Brian and two others to a sheep rancher named Fergus. Fergus had a wife named Bridgit. She had been kidnapped from her Irish village when she was a young girl. She worked for a cruel master until she became a young woman. She did not love Fergus, but she consented to marry him so that she wouldnít be sold off to a worse master. She had an unhappy life with Fergus but resigned herself to try to be a good wife and mother. She liked Patrick and Brian, and would send Patrick to hide in the woods whenever Kernac came visiting. She knew Patrick had to get away or Kernac would catch him some day and hurt him. She began to hide scraps of food for Patrickís escape.
   Patrick had never been a very religious boy. While he knew the doctrine of his Catholic faith, he had been rather bored with the whole thing. However, since his abduction, he felt so hopeless and alone. He missed his family and hoped that they survived the attack. He prayed for his family members and for their good health. His religion began to mean something to him.
   Patrick found he was always lonely. He asked Our Lady to help him to get home someday. He would pray, "Beautiful Lady, please ask Our Lord, Jesus, to help me escape. I am so lonely and hungry, and I freeze at night." He waited and waited for her to help him. Nothing happened. Little by little, day after day he began to realize that God was not going to work a miracle for him.
   He would have to do the best he could. It took him awhile to understand Godís real answer to his prayers. It came to him one night while he was praying Our Ladyís rosary. Patrick felt particularly close to Our Lord that night. He suddenly realized it didnít matter if he remained a slave or escaped. What really mattered was that he could pray to Jesus and Mary at any time, any place. Through prayer, he could always be with his Lord. He said to Jesus,, "Lord, if it is your will, please help Brian and I return to our homes; however, they will be done." As soon as Patrick gave his trust to God, he knew that God had answered his prayers. A great peace came over him.
   Without realizing it, Patrick developed a profound prayer habit that stayed with him for the rest of his life.
   One day Bridgit gave the boys the sack of food she had been saving. With a hug she told them to run away. "I would run away too, if I didnít have my children to care for. God willing, I can escape with them when they are older." 
   The boys decided to divide up the last of the food and split up to be less easily noticed. They promised each other they would rejoin their families in England no matter how long it took, and they would remain the best of friends forever. 
   Patrick walked the roads at night and slept in the woods during the day, working for food and shelter and avoid marauding bands of outlaws and slavers. It took Patrick what seemed like forever to get to the Irish Sea. Once there, he was able to convince a seaman he could work for him as a clerk. His training in Latin was going to pay off! He agreed to keep the seamanís accounts for six months in exchange for free passage away from Ireland.
   Eventually, Patrick and Brian both made it back to England and were united with their families. After much discussion and prayer, the two boys decided to enter the priesthood. and return to Ireland to convert the heathen.
   And thus began Saint Patrickís new adventures in Ireland, during which he taught Christ and fought slavery, launching the movement that would see that practice end.


 
J Bright Views J

Day of Prayer and Fasting
   A national day of prayer and fasting has been set for Aug. 1, 1998.
   The Christian Law Institute has drafted a resolution, urging all Christians to meditate, attend church, avoid all unnecessary work, fast, refrain from ordinary pleasures, maintain silence, repent, give to the poor, ask for forgiveness in reparations for the sins of our country.
   Another day of prayer is planned for Aug. 1, 1999. Organizers say to ignore the lack of coverage in the media. "Only God can solve our problems."
   For more information, call Christian Law Institute, Box 205, David City, Neb., 68632 or phone (402) 367-377.

Ghana is looking for some good books 
   The Rev. Peter Amoah of St. Peterís Regional Seminary in Cape Coast, Ghana, writes that he is a deacon and a seminarian and needs materials that are not available in his country. 
   In particular, he wants The Book of Blessings and NIV Compact Concordance by John R. Kohlenserger III. But he also needs materials to assist children and adults in catechism classes and materials to assist couples who are preparing for marriage. 
   Anyone with books or materials to share or advice should contact View from the Pew, P.O. Box 70084, San Jose, CA 95170-0084 or e-mail mailto:ander@concentric.net

L Dim views L

Masses going to the dogs
   National Public Radio had an interview with the pastor of a Catholic Church in New York State. Seems this pastor takes pride that his is the only parish that allows parishioners to bring their dogs to Mass. "Dogs are a great comfort to people," he said. "Itís wonderful for them to bring their dogs with them to Church." He even blesses the dogs when they follow their masters to Communion.

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   You havenít heard anything yet! At St. Albert the Great in Belleville, Ill., the priestís dog joins him in the processional, waiting in the first row with a parishioner until the end of Mass. 
   Itís only a matter of time before the pet will be incorporated in the liturgy. After all, the dog is one of Godís creatures. They call this "tolerance run amuk."