Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thank you for your interest in the position as pastoral musician at St. Pius X. After talking to Bookkeeper Floy Roy, Sr. Bernadette and Deacon King, we evaluate and finalized that we can take you and offer you the job.
May you have a thanksgiving day and God's love in every endeavors that you are heading.
So, I sent a letter of acceptance. Because I then went back to my room and got off the web, I didn't see the followup letter: again, cut/paste job here:
> Dear Steve,>> Thank you for your interest in the position as pastoral musician at St.> Pius X. After talking to Bookkeeper Floy Roy, Sr. Bernadette and Deacon
> King, we have evaluated and finalized that we cannot take you and offer you the
> job. This was given after prayer and discernment. We had offer the job to other candidate who came for the interview..>
> May you have a thanksgiving day and God's love in every endeavors that you> are heading.>>> God bless,>
So I should be??????
God is in charge....
Dear Turkeys;And just think, within my last three weeks as a Schwan's salesman I could have gone bowling with the truck on several occasions. But no, I resisted all temptations to mow down clusters of wild turkeys who wander (and I do mean "wander") the streets and yards of various towns in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts in groups of anywhere from six to as many as twenty. I mean, these gab-birds just walk through yards and streets like it's nothing. At least deer try to run when they see a moving vehicle. The biggest group I encountered had to be in Weymouth, Massachusetts, where there was a group of 20 turkeys just simply making off like a tourist attraction. DAMN IT, THEY COULD HAVE BEEN A FREE THANKSGIVING DINNER!
I am sorry God made you inferior and flightless. Therefore it is your plight to suffer the fate of being devoured by millions of Americans tomorrow. I apologize in advance for the ravenous way in which myself, my family, and the citizens of this nation will masticate your tender juicy golden browned carcass.
But no, I was nice. Instead I was fired last Monday for simply refusing a Saturday. Just as well, as I start a new job either Thursday or Friday of next week. I won't be selling anything, but I will be delivering parcels, at least until Christmas Eve. The hours will be a hell of a lot better than what I endured for Schwan's. At least I can come home in time to eat supper with my family, as opposed to leaving once my kids leave for school and getting home once everyone (including my wife) is in bed, which is exactly the hours I was keeping at Schwan's.
Hope your Thanksgiving was a great one. Mine was. My daughter Jessica cooked her first Thanksgiving dinner, and it was to die for. She did really well, and it reflected on my wife perfectly. She taught her well! ;)
BMP (the proud dad)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Click here for story and video from WLNE-TV Channel 6 (Providence, RI) in relation to this post. Of course, they spelled my frickin' name wrong in the caption as I appear with 22 seconds left in the video. My name is BRIAN, not BRAIN - I don't have one! (tee hee!) Although after seeing this video, one might think I actually have one after all. ;)
PS: (UPDATE): Better still, just watch below (Channel 6)
And below (Channel 10)
"The Bishop is absolutely right!"
"To receive Holy Communion, you must be in the state of grace."
"If you favor abortion, you're not in the state of grace."
Below is the latest from the Providence Journal. Enjoy!
PS: GO BISHOP TOBIN!
WASHINGTON — Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has forbidden Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy to receive the Roman Catholic sacrament of Holy Communion because of his advocacy of abortion rights, the Rhode Island Democrat said Friday.
“The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion,” Kennedy said in a telephone interview.
Kennedy said the bishop had explained the penalty by telling him “that I am not a good practicing Catholic because of the positions that I’ve taken as a public official,” particularly on abortion. He declined to say when or how Bishop Tobin told him not to take the sacrament. And he declined to say whether he has obeyed the bishop’s injunction.
Bishop Tobin, through a spokesman, declined to address the question of whether he had told Kennedy not to receive Communion. But the bishop’s office moved quickly to cast doubt on Kennedy’s related assertion about instructions to the priests of Rhode Island.
“Bishop Tobin has never addressed matters relative to public officials receiving Holy Communion with pastors of the diocese,” spokesman Michael K. Guilfoyle said in an e-mailed statement.
This latest exchange between Bishop Tobin and Kennedy, the only remaining public official in the nation’s most prominent Catholic family, escalates their heated public debate over how the eight-term congressman’s work for abortion rights bears on his standing in the church.
Their dispute comes against the backdrop of the national debate about whether U.S. taxpayers should subsidize abortions in the new health-care system that President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress have labored for months to create.
The episode adds another volatile element to a highly emotional dispute that has complicated Mr. Obama’s pursuit of his top legislative priority.
For Catholics, the debate could scarcely be more visceral. The church holds that abortion is a taking of human life that is intrinsically evil. Exclusion from the Holy Eucharist — bread that the faithful believe to have been transformed into the body of Christ — is a rare and serious penalty to impose on any Catholic.
Over the past few weeks, Kennedy and Bishop Tobin have shown glimpses of their dealings in piecemeal fashion, revealing only a sketchy picture of the congressman’s status as a member of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.
In an October interview about the opposition of the nation’s bishops to any health-care overhaul that did not include a strict ban on federal subsidies for abortion, Kennedy called into question the “pro-life” credentials of the churchmen. Health care for millions of uninsured is at stake, he said. Bishop Tobin shot back with a sharply worded statement, noting that the bishops are staunch and longtime supporters of reforming the health-care system. He said, however, that the bishops will not support a health-care bill that fails to include a ban on taxpayer subsidy of the procedure.
The exchange, via open letters and interviews, has continued, with Bishop Tobin pointedly suggesting that “obstinate” opposition to church doctrine on abortion should cause a Catholic public official to reconsider his membership in the church.
On Friday, in response to questions from a reporter, Kennedy asserted that Bishop Tobin had told him not to receive Communion. But like the bishop, Kennedy withheld key details about their discussions.
Asked how he reacted as a Catholic, Kennedy would say only that he has “personal feelings of disappointment” about the matter, but he declined to elaborate.
For his part, the bishop declined to be interviewed. Spokesman Guilfoyle said in an e-mail: “Bishop Tobin has nothing more to add to the current discussion for the time being. Any previous correspondence or conversations between the Bishop and the congressman is still considered private at this time.”
While the teachings of the church and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are clear on abortion, there is much disagreement on the issue of whether Catholic legislators should be penalized for action contrary to the doctrine.
“The vast majority of bishops don’t want people denied Communion” over the abortion issue, said Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit scholar at the Woodstock Theological Center in Washington. “But the problem is, every time an individual bishop does it — especially if the public official has a high-profile name like Kennedy — it’s going to make headlines across the country and every bishop is going to suffer because of it,” Father Reese said.
Because every bishop has wide latitude in his own diocese, the controversy between Kennedy and Bishop Tobin is likely to be greeted with silence from other bishops — even if most would disagree with action to deny Communion to a Catholic legislator, according to Father Reese.
“We don’t comment on the individual actions of bishops because they are authoritative in their own dioceses,” said Deirdre McQuade, of the bishops conference, when asked about the exchanges between Kennedy and Bishop Tobin.
For the policy of the bishops conference, McQuade referred to a 2006 writing on how a Catholic maintains his or her worthiness to take Communion. If a Catholic were “knowingly and obstinately to repudiate ... definitive teaching on moral issues,” the document says in part, then receiving Communion “would not accord with the nature of the Eucharistic celebration, so that he or she should refrain.”
Orders by bishops to deny Communion to Catholic public officials are very unusual but not unprecedented. In 2003, another prominent Catholic Democrat with a mixed voting record on abortion, Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, was admonished not to take Communion in his congressional district by Bishop Raymond Burke of LaCrosse.
Spokeswoman McQuade said the bishops conference could not give a count of how many times bishops have actually denied Communion to government officials. But a review of news accounts of the past two decades suggests that public impositions of the penalty are very uncommon. These are among the high-profile instances in contemporaneous news stories: a Sacramento bishop told Gray Davis not to take Communion when he was Democratic governor of California in 2003; in 2004, then-Gov. James McGreevey, of New Jersey, complied with the admonitions of three of the state’s bishops that he not take Communion.
Scholar Reese said the bishops have debated in previous years the issue of whether they should step beyond such appeals to the individual Catholic’s conscience. The context for the debate was the 2004 presidential candidacy of Sen. John F. Kerry, a Catholic Democrat from Massachusetts who supports abortion rights. Father Reese said fewer than 20 bishops supported a policy of denying Communion to such officials.
Early in that presidential campaign, Burke, who had become archbishop of St. Louis, told reporters that if Kerry were to approach him at a Mass in Missouri, “I would have to admonish him not to present himself for Communion.”
Last month, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Burke to the Vatican’s Congregation of Bishops, a powerful body that helps the pontiff to select the world’s bishops. He also sits on the highest court of Catholic canon law.
According to the National Catholic Reporter, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, once urged Catholic officials who support abortion rights to refrain from Communion. But the newspaper said Cardinal O’Malley did not order Boston priests to deny them the sacrament. Kerry and the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Patrick Kennedy’s father and another supporter of abortion rights) both received Communion at Cardinal O’Malley’s installation as archbishop in 2003.
In 2004, a large majority of bishops “tried to persuade the minority not to do this — using Communion as a weapon,” Father Reese said, but the conference could not come to a consensus view on the issue.
Father Reese stressed that withholding Communion is not as grave a penalty as excommunication, which separates a Catholic from all the sacraments. If a bishop denies Communion to a Catholic, he or she “is still a Catholic,” Father Reese said. Indeed, he said “it would take a canon lawyer” to say whether a Catholic denied Communion in his own diocese would be free to receive Communion elsewhere.
Friday, November 20, 2009
I DO have a favorite Kennedy.
Is it Ted?
Is it Patrick?
Is it even Bobby or Jack?
Nope. Although thankfully abortion was still illegal in their days.
Yup - it's TOM Kennedy. Here he is above as he hosts one of my favorite 1970's game shows, Whew!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
And Remember, too, that Brian MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST... did I say MUST MUST MUST MUST.... return to the bench soon and very soon (move over, Andre) and assist with the reform of the reform!!!
From Without a Doubt, the bi-weekly column by Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, as published in the Rhode Island Catholic.
The big question will be: How will Congressman Kennedy reply? Will his cronies do what Rudy Guliani's cronies did, that is, try to sick the IRS on the Most Reverend Bishop? Thankfully, those kind of childish games don't stop Bishop Tobin from teaching the truth.
Again, GO BISHOP!
Enjoy the article.
Dear Congressman Kennedy:
“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” (Congressman Patrick Kennedy)
Since our recent correspondence has been rather public, I hope you don’t mind if I share a few reflections about your practice of the faith in this public forum. I usually wouldn’t do that – that is speak about someone’s faith in a public setting – but in our well-documented exchange of letters about health care and abortion, it has emerged as an issue. I also share these words publicly with the thought that they might be instructive to other Catholics, including those in prominent positions of leadership.
For the moment I’d like to set aside the discussion of health care reform, as important and relevant as it is, and focus on one statement contained in your letter of October 29, 2009, in which you write, “The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” That sentence certainly caught my attention and deserves a public response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s true. And it raises an important question: What does it mean to be a Catholic?
“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” Well, in fact, Congressman, in a way it does. Although I wouldn’t choose those particular words, when someone rejects the teachings of the Church, especially on a grave matter, a life-and-death issue like abortion, it certainly does diminish their ecclesial communion, their unity with the Church. This principle is based on the Sacred Scripture and Tradition of the Church and is made more explicit in recent documents.
For example, the “Code of Canon Law” says, “Lay persons are bound by an obligation and possess the right to acquire a knowledge of Christian doctrine adapted to their capacity and condition so that they can live in accord with that doctrine.” (Canon 229, #1)
The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” says this: “Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles, ‘He who hears you, hears me,’ the faithful receive with docility the teaching and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.” (#87)
Or consider this statement of the Church: “It would be a mistake to confuse the proper autonomy exercised by Catholics in political life with the claim of a principle that prescinds from the moral and social teaching of the Church.” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2002)
There’s lots of canonical and theological verbiage there, Congressman, but what it means is that if you don’t accept the teachings of the Church your communion with the Church is flawed, or in your own words, makes you “less of a Catholic.”
But let’s get down to a more practical question; let’s approach it this way: What does it mean, really, to be a Catholic? After all, being a Catholic has to mean something, right?
Well, in simple terms – and here I refer only to those more visible, structural elements of Church membership – being a Catholic means that you’re part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on essential matters of faith and morals; that you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish; that you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly; that you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially.
Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic requirements of being a Catholic, so let me ask: Do you accept the teachings of the Church on essential matters of faith and morals, including our stance on abortion? Do you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish? Do you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly? Do you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially?
In your letter you say that you “embrace your faith.” Terrific. But if you don’t fulfill the basic requirements of membership, what is it exactly that makes you a Catholic? Your baptism as an infant? Your family ties? Your cultural heritage?
Your letter also says that your faith “acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity.” Absolutely true. But in confronting your rejection of the Church’s teaching, we’re not dealing just with “an imperfect humanity” – as we do when we wrestle with sins such as anger, pride, greed, impurity or dishonesty. We all struggle with those things, and often fail.
Your rejection of the Church’s teaching on abortion falls into a different category – it’s a deliberate and obstinate act of the will; a conscious decision that you’ve re-affirmed on many occasions. Sorry, you can’t chalk it up to an “imperfect humanity.” Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church.
Congressman Kennedy, I write these words not to embarrass you or to judge the state of your conscience or soul. That’s ultimately between you and God. But your description of your relationship with the Church is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance. It’s not too late for you to repair your relationship with the Church, redeem your public image, and emerge as an authentic “profile in courage,” especially by defending the sanctity of human life for all people, including unborn children. And if I can ever be of assistance as you travel the road of faith, I would be honored and happy to do so.
Thomas J. Tobin
Bishop of Providence
Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Abuse of any person by any other person for any reason is a SIN, people. When priests do it - well (I'm not talking about the sex), they deserve to be caned.
Enough for now..... I'm on a tirade - my dear wife's siblings have been acting as though they were spawned in some primordial grease hole. And their father is not even cold in the grave.
May all of us honor the memory of the meek, lowly, the great, the strong, the honorable.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
He was surrounded by his dear wife, Bette, with whom he had been married 66 years. Also surrounding him were four of his six children, including the one who truly loved him for the person he was and not the money he might leave them: my wife.
The funeral will be held tomorrow, November 2, the solemnity of All Souls' in the calendar of the One True Church. As I said in the header....ecclesiastical humor and Justice. But also said tongue-in-cheek. He loved Reformation and singing the metrical, rhythmical version of ein' Feste Burg ist Unser Gott. I love singing In Paradisum, deducant te angeli.
So tomorrow at the funeral, when another organist is playing (the "other" children....remember them....), at the conclusion of the liturgy, I'll be chanting away in my heart of hearts and feeble mind, the only piece that's really important: In Paradisum....
Unfortunately, but for Katie's sake, I'm going to be sitting with the family - not in the back, where I'd prefer to be. Keeping my wife comforted and happy are important to my own comfort and happiness.....
I'm thinking that some of the other hymns which might be sung tomorrow will be Oh, Worship the King (Hanover), Beautiful Savior (St. Elisabeth). There will probably be others, but I only saw the list from a distance (don't show it to the organist in the family, you know....)
I'm thrilled that the Colonel's earthly journey has ended. It was long. He was unusually healthy, had an active life, was kind and generous almost all the time (he was human, after all!). He showed his kids what it was to be a Christian gentleman. None of the boys ever caught on to that. None of the girls, except Katie, were able to translate that to Christian woman. Their mother, as well, has always given incredible examples of this way of life. As with their father, the kids, save Katie, have learned nothing from their mother, either. Katie and I will miss him incredibly.
I will also miss the great challenge of sitting next to him in the pew and following his version of the bass line of any hymn we were singing. His notes and rhythms were also good - but rarely were the ones in the hymnal. He was a true Lutheran.
After he finishes talking with Jesus and Martin Luther, I'm sure that they'll send him off to see Peter, who will in turn say, let me introduce you to our Mother - her name is Mary.
Requiescat in Pacem, Herr Colonel. Enjoy eternity 'round the throne!