Pastor's Page
By Fr. George Welzbacher
April 17, 2011

At the beginning of this, the most solemn week of the year, the Church asks us to focus our hearts and minds on the sufferings and death of Our Lord, on His battle with Satan for the souls of men.  Let's make this truly a Holy week with some special works of penance and with fervent prayer, in the earnest hope that all the suffering that Christ endured for you and for me will NOT have been in vain. St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians (2:12) admonishes us to work out our salvation "with fear and trembling", just as he acknowledged to his Corinthian converts (I Corinthians 9:27) that he himself felt the need to chastise his body to bring it under subjection, lest "after preaching to others", he himself might become "a castaway". If so stalwart a warrior as St. Paul did not consider his salvation "a sure thing", so much the less can we. Hell is real. Hell is eternal. Once that door slams, that's it! It STAYS shut. FOREVER. That is why the Son of God was willing to drink to the dregs His cup of pain-to give us the vision and the strength that we must have if we are not to end up on the wrong side at the judgment.

In this holiest of weeks let us also make use of the Sacrament of Christ's mercy, the Sacrament of Penance, so that our souls can be what He wants them to be: a throne where He reigns. Additional hours for confessions have been scheduled here at St. John's this week. (Consult the Holy Week Schedule printed in this bulletin). I urge you to avail yourselves of this opportunity-for the restoration of grace, if need be, and certainly for an increase of holiness, an increase of devotion and love.
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Christ's Church will always be subject to hatred, ridicule and persecution, even as Christ Himself found His healing love regularly so requited. If those who love the darkness are, if anything, rather more numerous than those who love the light (Matthew 7:14), and if hatred of the light of Christ is the immediate consequence of allegiance to the dark side, (John 3: 19-20), such persistence in vehement opposition to the Church of Christ is not in the least surprising. But what insults Christ more outrageously than the enmity of enemies is the treachery of "friends". May I share with you here a recent example of each.
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Macy's Offends Catholics
Catholic League
March 31, 2011

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on how Macy's department store is offending Catholics:

Why Macy's would want to pick a fight with Catholics during the Lenten season is not known, but that it has is certain. Here's the background.

This weekend [i.e., April 2nd and 3rd], Showtime will begin airing a series, "The Borgias," a corrupt Spanish family, one of whose members became pope. Everyone, including devout Catholics, agrees this is a sordid episode in Catholic history. That Macy's has chosen to celebrate this ugly chapter is another matter altogether.

On the 7th Avenue side of Macy's [flagship] Herald Square store (between 34th and 35th Street), there is a large window display of mannequins dressed as the pope, bishops, et al. In plain letters it says, "The Borgias: The Original Crime Family"; it advertises the season premiere, with the Showtime logo off to the side.

On Tuesday, Catholic League vice president Bernadette Brady called one of Macy's media managers, Alyssa Bendetson, registering our concerns, as well as those of our members who contacted us; she was also sent a copy of our release from March 18 on the series. She pledged to get back to us with a response. It is now obvious that Macy's is taking this matter lightly.

The series was written by an atheist who hates the Catholic Church, Neil Jordan. Macy's knows this. We are approaching the heart of the Easter season, yet Macy's has decided that offending Catholics is worth the risk. We'll see.
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"An Impressive Array of Guest speakers"
California Catholic Daily
April 4, 2011

Caroline Kennedy scheduled to speak at Dominican University of California.

Caroline Kennedy, a self-described Catholic who favors 'abortion rights' and same-sex 'marriage,' has been invited to speak next week at Dominican University of California in San Rafael. Kennedy is also an opponent of parental notification in cases when a minor seeks an abortion.

The school's website says Kennedy, "daughter of the 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy, tops an impressive array of guest speakers for the Institute for Leadership Studies' 2011 Spring Lecture Series in Angelico Hall at Dominican University of California."

"The Institute for Leadership Studies is a center for leadership development at Dominican to help students, faculty, staff and community leaders become better leaders," says an entry on the university website. "it seeks to facilitate positive individual, organizational and societal change, engaged citizenship and socially responsible leadership."

Kennedy is scheduled to speak at Angelico Hall on the Dominican campus at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13. Admission to Kennedy's talk is $35.

In a series of questions posed by the New York Times in 2008 when Kennedy was seeking to be appointed to the US Senate seat being vacated by Hilary Clinton, Kennedy made clear her positions on key moral questions - and her answers were anything but in conformity with Catholic moral teachings.

Here is a portion of the Dec. 20, 2008 New York Times Q&A:

Q. Does she support state or federal legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage?
A. Caroline supports full equality and marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.

Q. Would she oppose legislation that would require minors to notify a parent before obtaining an abortion?
A. Caroline believes that young women facing unwanted pregnancies should have the advice of caring adults, but this should not be required by law.

Q. Does she support any state or federal restrictions on late-term abortions?
A. Caroline supports Roe v. Wade, which prohibits third-trimester abortions except when the life or health of the mother is at risk.

Kennedy later withdrew her name from consideration for the Senate seat. She had earlier joined her uncle, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-MA, in endorsing Barack Obama in his presidential primary race against Clinton. After Obama won the Democratic nomination, she campaigned for Obama in key states.

Kennedy's appearance at Dominican University would appear to be a violation of a directive from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in its 2004 statement Catholics in Political Life, which said in part: "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should NOT honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should NOT be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.

However, there may be some question whether Dominican University is, technically, a "Catholic institution." Its own homepage describes Dominican as "an independent university of Catholic heritage." The university was founded in 1890 by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, and is located in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
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