time for the abcís of ccd
By Jane Anderson
Itís that time of year again Ė fall Ė and time for ABCs and CCDs.
CCD stands for Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. The acronym "CCD" serves as a reminder that if you canít remember what something stands for, better get down to basics Ė catechism. The "domestic church" Ė parents Ė plus teacher volunteers spell survival for the Catholic Church. Priests are overworked, and the few remaining nuns have gone into social work. So, like it or not, the laity has to hold it together.
Few people feel up to the task. Faced with a squirming class of children, the CCD teacher needs to fortify himself (or herself) with some advice from those who have been there Ė and are still learning. Advice is risky because everyone is different; each teacher must discover his own technique.
Having said that, we offer this list of what NOT to do:
A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealerís showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.
As graduation day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son and told him how much he loved him.
He handed his son a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, and somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young manís name embossed in gold. Angry, he raised his voice to his father and said, With all your money, you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house.
Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but he realized his father was very old and thought perhaps he should go to him because he had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had died and had willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things. When he arrived at his fatherís house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his fatherís important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago.
With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matt.7:11, "And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in Heaven, give to those who ask Him?"
As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the car dealerís name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words "PAID IN FULL."How many times do we miss Godís blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?
Special thanks to Jerry Swift and his daughter, Laura, for sharing this story.
St. Annís Chapel doors close,will be sold to highest bidder
Palo Altoís St. Annís Chapel closed its doors Aug. 16, 1998 when the Diocese put the chapel up for sale to the highest bidder.
Interested parties include the Thomas Merton Center (a Call to Action group) and Opus Dei.
The chapel could also be sold to a non-religious party which could tear it down, along with the adjoining Norris House. However, the Norris House has been declared a historical landmark and may be harder to dispose of.
With this latest announcement, the bishop and diocesan officials apparently have lost interest in promoting a Catholic presence in that geographic area. St. Annís is just another financial asset to unload.
Just how financially bad off is our diocese, anyway?
The many faces of the priesthood
Enormous Prayers (A Journey Into The Priesthood)By Thomas Kunkel(Westview Press, 5500 Central Avenue, Boulder, Co. 80301-2877, 1998)202 pages, $25.
A former San Jose Mercury News editor has written an interesting and informative book that should appeal to Catholics of all ages.
Thomas Kunkel, who is now residing in Maryland and chairing a study on the state of the American newspaper, interviewed priests from coast to coast to learn more about their daily lives and how they manage to cope with the manifold problems of the post-Vatican II era.
Kunkel has also written for the New York Times, and The Miami Herald, as well as Mercury News. He wrote a book on the late Harold Ross of the New Yorker Magazine.
"Priests arenít gods, or even saints," Kunkel writes, "but human beings. Some are brilliant, some are dullards, and a few, as we now know, are dangerous. In this regard, they are not unlike every other segment of society. But in most regards, they remain apart literally and imaginatively, objects of our enduring curiosity. In an age without mystery, they are mystery men."
To learn more about the men who give themselves to the service of God, he interviewed 26 priests at random in places like Boston, Phoenix, Miami, Indiana and Michigan. These ranged from monastic communities to pastors in small, impoverished areas in eastern Kentucky. He found that most are seriously overworked due to the shortage of vocations and are burdened by countless administrative duties that often have little to do with the saving of souls.
Many have embraced the changes brought about since the í60s while others
cling to the Baltimore Catechism and the Latin Mass.
The College of Saint Thomas More in Fort Worth, Tex., has received accreditation to award the Bachelor of Arts degree, making the college the newest in a growing list of four-year, Catholic liberal arts colleges.
Founded in 1981, the college offers a single curriculum based upon the great texts of Western civilization and formed by the classical disciplines and study of the classical languages: Greek and Latin.
"There is a bright world of ideas, old yet ever new, represented by the Great Books of Western civilization, rooted in those questions the very answering of which defines our humanity, that provides a map for the great adventure toward goodness and happiness," James Patrick, Th.D., Provost of the college, said.
"In an age of too much information, he said, "overly abstract engagements, and loves too small, the college takes as its work the awakening of the intellect. Our students have as their focus the study of truth, images, and insights that give mankind access to the fundamental human realities, shared by all from Homer and the Old Testament to college students and modernity."As part of its curriculum, the college offers students opportunities in Rome, Oxford, and Greece. For example, the Greece Program includes study tours of sites in Greece and Asia Minor, providing the context for the works of Homer and other ancient writers.
The college is located in the University District, which is minutes from Fort Worthís downtown and cultural district. The school also has easy access to two major interstate highways and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097.
+ Letters to the
Having been a visitor and participant at Holy Mass in the Cathedral rather infrequently during the past year, I would like to offer a few personal comments and observations:
First, the uncomfortableness of a kneeler-less pew system is beyond my capability to adequately express in words . . . especially the inconvenience and sometimes disruption to adjacent worshippers. Have you and Bishop DuMaine no respect for the concerns of faithful Mass participants? Was the object of this, I suppose, deliberate omission of kneelers an attempt to create a maximum seating capacity?
Second, the visible absence of a dominant cross Ė crucifix Ė behind or central to the altar is an unfathomable and regretful act. Are we trying to attempt to recreate or imagine being in the open fields where Jesus preached? How are practicing people of God to be constantly reminded that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the reason for partaking in the Sacrament? Were funds too tight to allow for even a simple cross? At least be sensible enough to purchase and position a small cross on the altar stone . . . what a lost opportunity and seemingly deliberate affront to the Father with respect to the specific purpose of having the gift of the Sacrifice of the Mass being offered. Just for a moment, reflect upon the expenditure for the overly elaborate paintings, artwork, and the Ďspecialí altar table.
Most important, however, is the visible absence of the tabernacle . . . if it were not for the burning red candle present, who would even know what manner of worship house this is? Why hide the most precious of all gifts? You, that is your predecessors and the bishop, appear justified to freely lavish/spend the funds of the working people of the diocese to purchase/construct gifts for the embellishment of the church and then boldly display them proudly (the altar, decorations, incomplete pews, etc.) to the participants at Mass, but then, regretfully, feel fully satisfied/justified, I suppose, to literally hide the real gift to each of us, the presence of Jesus from our full view. Where is the logic to this ridiculous action? Or is it some design to have the church eventually become a non-denominational house of meeting and celebration?
Finally, when one enters this excessive place of worship, one would not even dream of being unable to discern the words spoken via the speaker system. Have you not yet realized that we are in the Valley of Technology? Kindly take the time necessary from your busy schedule to research one of the numerous firms that would be more than pleased to separate you for your funds (contributed by the very individuals attempting to hear what is being broadcast during Mass and those of us in other parishes) to remedy this gross shortfall . . . how can you allow even a single day to pass without recourse to a solution? I simply wonder, and am so very disheartened at what I have witnessed personally.
I am really embarrassed to mention some of these situations to friends and fellow parishioners . . . Just the obvious irreverence of so many people coming to Mass and not even making the attempt to genuflect or bow in reverence and recognition to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God for being in Their house. What is happening? Are you trying to attract all peoples to a non-offensive place to congregate or to force others to abandon their edifice completely? Perhaps the idea is to create just a place for passing visitors of all denominations to feel as though they fulfilled some obligation or satisfied their curiosity about what a cathedral is or even a basilica?At least I do know what Jesus promised: that the Host would be real to me regardless of the action/state of the priest or the experiments "carried out" in His name . . . I do know of some parishes, only a handful, that do afford the opportunity to worship and participate in Mass in a more sensible environment.
Thank you for your time in reading this letter. I trust that some measure of improvement develops soon; otherwise, an effective drive to purposefully cut off the flow of funds to the cathedral via assistance from Rome might send a poignant signal for proper remedies in line with the wishes of a majority of contributors.
We faded into the pews until there were
I disagree with the comment that when the powers-that-be reform the reform we can fade back into the pews from whence we came. The fact that we faded into the pews and were fat dumb and happy there is how we got into this mess in the first place. The liberals launched an all-out assault, and it took those of us who care 20 years to get it in gear and start doing something about it.
The bishops and priests only have power because we choose to listen to them. Call to Action does not listen or even pay much attention to the hierarchy, except to criticize them. They find a few supportive clerics and build from there.
I suggest that there are far more clerics that would support an orthodox position; therefore, we should be able to build a much wider and stronger base. This is essentially what Mother Angelica (of EWTN) is doing. Remember, there are bishops who are trying to get her off the air to no avail.
Your July/August 1998 issue of the View was truly bolstering to my sometime discouragement at home-schooling, especially as I am gearing up for a new year.
I worked in a Catholic school a number of years ago and was so glad that my children could attend the same school I worked in. I was so grateful they would be receiving a good Catholic education and I had a job. Everything was just perfect Ė well, for about five minutes, anyway.
Increasingly, I began to see inconsistencies in their teaching from what I believed our Church taught. Whenever I asked why, I was patronized with answers that reminded me that they were the professionals and I was just a parent.
I wrote and called the bishop and anyone else I could think of who would help me because I was sure that the Catholic school was a teaching arm of the Church and when the proper authorities were alerted to the problems, it would all be taken care of. That was the beginning of the end of my naivete. I studied and prayed and God inspired my non-Catholic husband to insist that we home-school.
We have had family problems, and we are isolated physically and spiritually, as there arenít any Catholic families in our immediate area. We travel over 30 miles to go to Church and even there, there is little understanding of what we are doing. Yet, despite everything being apparently against us, my oldest son has already spent one year in the seminary is now searching for a religious order in which he can live his vocation to the priesthood. He loves Jesus and Mary with all his heart and is a faithful son of the Church.
We have named our little school Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and one day when I was quite discouraged I found this passage in scripture that I believe God gave specially to me: "Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, that dwells apart in a woodland, in the midst of Carmel. Let them feed in Basan and Galaad, as in the days of old; as in the days when you came from the land of Egypt, show us wonderful signs." Micah 7:14-15 (New Confraternity edition).
I am writing this letter to encourage anyone else out there who lives in fear that home-schooling canít work for them because they are poor, or have no support or canít attend home-schooling conferences. United to Jesus and Mary, our source of grace, God will make things perfect in our weakness.
As our bishop has now put his imprimatur on a new Aids curriculum (nothing more than a how-to manual for homosexuals) for our Catholic schools, I am forever indebted to such a great God that protected my children from this horror.
Keep up the good work!
Itís the priest, stupid!
My wife and I just returned to the San Jose-Fremont area to visit our daughterís family who stopped going to Church altogether because they "canít find a decent parish."
We found that attending Mass in your area was most challenging except for one day at St. Josephís Mission (Fremont). The priest was a visitor from India, and his Novus Ordo Mass was beautiful . . . you could have heard a pin drop. Obviously, itís the priest!
J .F .B.
Belle Villa, IL
ĎCommunityí carries the stench of
I just glanced at your July/August issue of View from the Pew on the net. I thank you for your continued efforts.
I would just like to add the following regarding the reader who "heard Ďcommunityí mentioned 17 times at one Mass." I am getting very tired of the same thing.
At our parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago, we were told that we must stand at the Consecration of the Mass in order to "show a sense of community." I left the parish after fruitless attempts to discuss this with the pastor who would only reply that he was free to do whatever he wanted in his "faith community." This, of course, is part of the rhetoric from Call to Action, a dissenting group based in Chicago and previously supported by Cardinal Bernardin. The CTA was one of the groups whose members were excommunicated by Archbishop Bruskewitcz in Lincoln, Neb. This went on for some months before our new Cardinal, Archbishop Francis George, finally stopped this particular aberration.
Just a note on "assembly" and "community:"
From the IAF, Bishop Mahony in Los Angeles, CTA, and other dissenters, we keep hearing about an emphasis on "the assembly" as well as the "need" for "community" and "unity."In the booklet Christ Denied, Rev. P. Wickens addresses the fact that "unity" and "community" are current catchwords in the liberalís lexicon and need to be closely examined.
Since God has fashioned us as rational beings who value the meaning of words, the question must necessarily be raised: "What kind of community?" community with Christ? Unity with His Church? If there is no commitment to certain dogmas and proclivity to regard as excess baggage the primacy of the Pope, then there is no community with Christ or His Church. The early Christians understood this well. The only really salvific community consists in that union of souls under God the Father with the Church of Jesus Christ (i.e., the Roman Catholic Church) under the authority of His Vicar on earth.
Anything that would lead us away from this union, or anyone who attempts to create a bogus "community" should be brought out into the open and classified for what he is Ė a non-Catholic.
The outside is inside; the inside is
I just got my copy of the View from the Pew, and I had a couple of comments I thought that my might interest you.
The part that I really enjoyed this issue was the table inside the back cover, entitled "How Catholics Differ" which gave the various views towards the important issues we all have on our minds these days from various perspectives.
The interesting thing which applies to this and another item I will mention next, are comments made by Bishop Felley Ė head Bishop of the Pius X society residing in Switzerland, when he was here last. Following a solemn High Mass which he celebrated with five other priests, he conducted a question and answer session before a large group in the common room in the retreat center. He denied that we were separated from the Church at all, as his view of the Church is very broad, saying we had never left it. In effect he put the society right along with other religious orders such as the Jesuits, Benedictines, etc., all of which have their own bishops and clergy, churches, etc., but all of whom are in union with Rome, as he says we are. Of course he defines Rome in an eternal sense but does not dispute that the present Pope is anything other than the Pope, unlike the Sedevacantists.
That being said, there was another comment earlier in the issue reflecting upon Fr. Ottonello. He holds to the same sense and same meaning of Catholic doctrine hat has been always taught by the Church, which of course is the key to my participation with any group. But it then goes on to quote from a letter from the Latin Mass Society in Sacramento which mentions the Pius X society by name, implying that the SSPX may have a mindset that there are two churches. What I wanted to point out is that this is just not true, nor have I ever sensed this in any context with the SSPX. More specifically, the head bishop of the SSPX, Bishop Felley, explicitly denies that we think that way Ė he says that there is only one Holy Roman and Catholic Church, and we all belong to it.
While we may have reservations regarding the actions and teachings of individuals contained along with us in this single church, I am sure that this is true for many, if not almost all, differing only in which actions and which teaching are involved in our reservations. It is our freedom to do this, as long as we remain the eternal and apostolic Church of our ancestors, which we do.
C. F. W.
The outside is inside; the inside is
In response to "Other View" (View from the Pew, July/August, 1998), I would like to say the answer to this one is very simple as to who is "outside" the Church.The Holy Father has spent much time here lately explaining this very issue. He stated that all who are dissenting from Church teaching are not in full Communion with the Church. This is how we describe Protestants, and their relationship to us.
The Holy Fatherís statement would indicate to me that those of us who are trying to live and keep alive the doctrines, traditions and teachings of the church, and who follow the Holy See & Magisteriam are "inside" the Church in full Communion.
If there remains any doubt, I would recommend reading Pope John Paulís addition to Canon law and the accompanying "doctrinanate" by Joseph Cardinal Ratizinger.
The new norm ordered by the Pope in his Mato Propres, ad Tuendan Fidem (to defend the faith) should shed some light on the subject.
If all else fails, refer to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, referred to by our Holy Father as the "Blueprint" of our faith, a sure way to keep us on the right track.I want to thank View from the Pew for all you do to keep us informed, Fr. Fessio for being such a sound beacon of light for us to see. It is appreciated.
The Church "is the congregation of all baptized persons united in the same true faith, the same sacrifice, and the same sacraments, under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff and the bishops in communion with him" (My Catholic Faith, p. 102, published 1958). Catholics do not come in the flavors right or left, liberal or conservative. One is either orthodox (right teaching) or heterodox, in union with the Vicar of Christ or schismatic.
One puts oneself outside the Church through schism or heresy: "Schism is the refusal to submit to the authority of the Pope; heresy is the formal denial or doubt by a baptized person of any revealed truth of the Catholic Faith" (Ibid., pg. 152).
The modernists ("liberals" on your page) are "no longer . . . in full communion with the Catholic Church" because they dissent from the authoritative teaching of the Church. (John Paul II in Ad Tuendam Fidem [To Defend the Faith] June 30, 1998.)
Schismatics (Pius X and Pius V columns on your page) put themselves out of the Church because of their "refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2089).
We must cling to Christ and His Vicar, to orthodoxy and union, loving and obedient. Saint Ignatius of Antioch wrote regarding the Church of Rome: "For with this Church, by reason of its pre-eminence, the whole Church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord" (Adv. Haeres).
More than one reader objected to the "How Catholics Differ" chart because they did not make the distinction between an informative chart and a normative chart. Occasionally, even the View tries to inform people without preaching. With this distinction in mind, it is simply a fact that people who call themselves Catholic differ in the ways presented.
The idea for the chart did come from a similar
one prepared by a Pius X group. However, we changed the categories and the
wording to express what we felt was a more objective presentation of the
And now a word from our President
Now that President Clinton has fessed up to "an inappropriate relationship" with Monica Lewinsky, we are expected to demand closure of this episode: If the president is big enough to forgive us for demanding accountability, then, perhaps we should forgive him?
And all the while the Clintonistas have been bellowing that the Presidentís private life should be private, and public should be public, and treated accordingly.
Tell that to President Clinton, gentlemen. Itís not an argument of public versus private, itís a battle of definition.
President Clinton apparently has difficulty separating "private" from"privates" and "public" from "pubic." Perhaps the president suffers from glandular dyslexiaIf the president is sincere about "taking full responsibility," then he should resign, because taking responsibility means accepting consequences.
He has disgraced himself; he has disgraced us.
Discussing abortion with the San Jose Mercury News and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) is about as rewarding as a dip in the Pacific off Santa Cruz in mid-December. And just about as chilling.
In July, Mercury News columnist Loretta Green told her readers that "I have never believed in abortion for me personally. I believe it is a terrible solution to a personal dilemma. I believe abortion is taking a life and that life begins at conception."
So far, so good, especially when sentiments of this type appear in the secular press.But then Green adds, "I support a womanís right to thoughtfully make a decision to have an abortion, though inside, I hope most wonít. Still it was disturbing this week to see the House vote to override President Clintonís veto of a ban on late-term abortion."
She is personally opposed to abortion but is sad that Congress wants to outlaw late-term abortions which include, partial birth abortions!! Talk about convoluted thinking!
To buttress her argument, she went (big surprise) to the abortion experts Ė Planned Parenthood Ė who assured her that late-term abortions are a "smoke screen Ė itís really about banning all abortions regardless of the stage of pregnancy."
This was too much for the View. we wrote Green as follows:
Dear Ms. Green:
It was heartening to read in your Sunday, 26 July column that you are opposed to abortion because you believe that human life begins at conception Ė an opinion not often encountered in the daily press, especially the San Jose Mercury News. But it is incomprehensible to us that you can believe abortion to be wrong and yet say that the hideous partial birth procedure should be allowed. Whenever the matter of abortion comes up, why does the press immediately turn to Planned Parenthood for answers? This organization is the countryís largest provider of abortions and hardly an unbiased authority on the subject. Have you ever sought the opinions of the local pro-life community?Planned Parenthood is in the business of selling abortions and plays a major role in the disposal of 4,200 innocent babies each day in the United States. As long as the press and the public can express considerably more concern over a single beached whale on the Pacific Coast than the killing of 1.5 millions babies each year in America, we will continue to have abortions."
All quiet on the Boxer Front
The View sent Sen. Boxer, who is up for re-election this year, a list of questions along the lines of "do you approve of late-term abortions; abortions for teen-agers without parental consent; and state funding of abortions? And do you feel President Clinton has demeaned the Office of the Presidency by reasons of his many scandals and womanizing over the years?"
The letter was mailed to the senatorís Washington, D.C. office Ė no answer. A copy of the same letter was sent several weeks later to Boxerís San Francisco office on Market Street Ė no answer.
Boxer will be on a ballot near you in November. Please write in "no way."
According to ancient tradition, the precious stones assigned to these months are the sapphire (for love and repentance) and the opal (for hope and happiness of a pure life).
"The chaste generation triumphs forever." (Wis.4:2).
J Dim Views J
Down but not out (unfortunately)
Bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester, N.Y., sacked the Rev. James Callan from Corpus Christi Church for conducting gay weddings, allowing women an active role at the altar and serving Holy Communion to non-Catholics.
Actually, the liberal Clark "reassigned" Callan, and Callan
promised to do more of the same at his next parish. The really Dim View is that
1,300 people showed up at a rally to support the priest, who is in violation of
Lust now comes in a bottle! Pheromones, natureís secret weapon to attract women, can be purchased for $19.95. Money back guarantee, too. Or buy two bottles and get the third free! What a deal. No mention of the cost of sin.
Wonder what it does for mosquitoes?
CWN is coming, CWN is
Everyone to get from Church
The Catholic Womenís Network will not be hosting its annual October shindig on Catholic property this year, as has been done for the past few years. Perhaps the diocese discovered CWNís New Age leanings.
Statistics to live by
Teenagers who have abortions are at greater risk for physical side effects, according to a study printed in Right To Life News.
In a study of 50 teen mothers, less than half had normal pregnancies after the abortions. Nineteen had spontaneous abortions, six procured another abortion, one was stillborn and six infants died.
A video game to die for
A new video game called Sister Mary Lascivious features a gun-waving, scantily-clad buxom nun. An ad for the game appeared in Ultra Gameplayers, a video game magazine produced by Imagine Media.