By Fr. George Welzbacher
October 30, 2011
In the aftermath of our commemoration last Saturday afternoon and evening of this parish's century and a quarter of service to Our Lord Jesus Christ many a word of thanks is due. First of all our parish offers humble thanks to our Archbishop, John Nienstedt, for taking time from a heavily burdened schedule to preside it our celebratory Mass and to provide words of wisdom md encouragement in his homily. Thanks go as well to all of you who prayerfully attended the anniversary Mass on Saturday afternoon. The devotion that our Congregation characteristically shows was very much in evidence last Saturday, a visible sign of the soul's inward loyalty to Christ. Under the direction of our new choir director, Stephen Schmall, assisted by Charlotte Lawson at the organ, our choir shone with a special festive glory at last Saturday's Mass, building on the tradition established over many years by Mary Smisek. And on Sunday morning Deacon Ron Smisek's Schola Cantorum provided a soothing postlude to our festivities with the dignity and other-worldly spirituality of the ancient Gregorian Chant. Our small but devout corps of altar boys rose easily to the challenge of adapting their ordinary service to the requirements of a Mass at which the Archbishop was the principal celebrant, and our always reliable ushers discharged once again their important duty of welcoming visitors and ensuring a proper decorum for our worship service. The Knights of Columbus added their distinctive pomp and pageantry to our liturgy as well. And Jane Sadowski saw to it that the floral arrangements in the sanctuary were appropriately sumptuous.
After the Mass the ladies of the parish, under the direction of Anna Kolb, outdid themselves in providing a splendid cornucopia of food-the phrase "pot-luck supper" just doesn't do it justice-with much variety and abundance, and Jane Sadowski's striking floral centerpiece lent an additional touch of elegance to the Archbishop's table.
Finally very high praise is owed to our trustee, Greg Cosimini, assisted by Martha Praska and others, for the splendid commemorative booklet that was assembled under their supervision with such astonishing speed, polish and precision. It's a first-rate production! And it will find an honored place in the homes of our parishioners for years to come.
To one and all, my humble praise and heartfelt thanks! May God keep you always in his Holy Love!
* * * * *In my brief words of welcome from the pulpit to Archbishop Nienstedt I took note of the courage he has shown on more than one occasion as our chief shepherd in defending sacred truth and practice against the powerful forces currently conspiring on both the national and state level to bring about a radically secularized public culture. The focus of the Archbishop's most recent taking up of arms is the battle to maintain the status of marriage as that of a committed relationship between one man and one woman. Much more will be said in in this column on this topic in coming days and in many another vehicle that provides a voice for the defense of moral truths. But may I bring to your attention here an advance warning about the tactics already used in the recent public battle in California on behalf of the traditional understanding of marriage, tactics with which the defenders of traditional marriage will surely be faced in the battle now shaping up here in Minnesota. May I present for your consideration Katherine Kersten's column from the October 23rd edition of the Star Tribune.
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By: Katherine Kersten
From: The Star Tribune of October 23, 2011
A block thrown through a home window. Cars vandalized. Hate-filled anonymous phone calls at home and at work. Swastikas scrawled on houses of worship. Physical assaults. Dismissal from employment because of political views.
Are these examples of retaliation against civil-rights activists in the South in 1954? Attempts by an authoritarian government to quash dissent?
No, this is the sort of intimidation that Americans who support marriage as the union of a man and woman can face today. Persecution of opponents is becoming a tool of the trade for some gay-marriage activists, who-ironically--seem to view themselves as beacons of TOLERANCE.
Now the groundwork for such intimidation is being laid in Minnesota. In an early skirmish in the battle over the marriage amendment, which will be on the ballot in 2012, the state Campaign Finance board has issued a ruling that could require a nonprofit organization to disclose the identity of supporters if that organization contributes to the Marriage-amendment campaign.
The board's ruling BREAKS with the interpretation of the law in other recent amendment campaigns, and is an attempt to change the rules in midstream. As a result, Minnesotans who believe that gay people have a right to live as they wish, but who oppose redefining marriage, may find their civil rights, livelihoods or safety THREATENED if they dare to oppose what's becoming politically correct orthodoxy.
The people of California can tell you where disclosure rules can lead. Each of the incidents I opened this column with occurred there during the 2008 debate over Proposition 8, the state's marriage amendment.
Ask the restaurant manager who was forced to resign after her $100 donation triggered a street protest and a boycott of her establishment. Ask the dentist who lost patients, the family-owned creamery that endured protests and retaliation, or the lawn sign distributor and the elderly lady who were assaulted as they peacefully expressed their views.
These days, however, harassment and reprisals aren't confined to election season. In North Carolina in June, 2011, for example, corporate leadership consultant and motivational speaker Frank Turek was fired by Bank of America after someone there learned he had written a book opposing same-sex marriage.
In Turek's words, "I was googled, I was outed, I was fired for being somebody who has a traditional marriage viewpoint."
North Carolina defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, as do 43 other states. Citizens there support one man/one woman marriage by 61 percent to 34 percent. Yet you can still lose your job in North Carolina for publicly daring to cross the new Diversity Ayatollahs.
Given this reality, we need an organization to defend Americans who face reprisals merely because they exercise their fundamental civil rights. Now we have it: the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance (Marriage ADA), whose spokesperson, Maggie Gallagher, is a cofounder of the National Organization for Marriage.
Marriage ADA exists to protect and defend people like Turek. These people could include the school guidance counselor whose counseling license activists sought to revoke after he appeared in a television ad for one man/one woman marriage during a ballot referendum in Maine Or the wedding photographer who was sued and ordered to pay a nearly $7,000 fine for declining to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony in New Mexico. Or the couple in Vermont who declined to host a same-sex wedding reception at their inn because of their Christian faith.
Marriage ADA's larger mission is to fight back against the attempt of media, entertainment and political elites to convince the rest of society that belief in marriage as a male/female institution - the form it has taken across the world and throughout history - is equivalent to racial bigotry.
This out-and-out falsehood is having a chilling effect in workplaces across the country. For example, if you work for a large corporation-even in a "one man/one woman" marriage state like Minnesota-you may face uncomfortable pushback at your job if you voice your support for traditional marriage. If you donate to a group supporting gay marriage, of course, you face no such penalty. America's need for Marriage ADA should open our eyes to the increasing Orwellian situation we face. It's becoming an act of civic courage - as speaking out against Jim Crow in the South once was - to support marriage as a bedrock male/female social institution, and to state your belief that children need a mother AND a father.
This raises a troubling question: If gay marriage supporters can intimidate and silence their opponents while one man/one woman marriage remains the norm, to what authoritarian extremes will they go IF same-sex marriage becomes the LAW of the land?
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