Friday, November 28, 2014

Minnesota Archdiocese Sues Insurance Companies for Coverage

The Associated Press reported at Insurance Journal.
"The complaint, filed in federal court, says the carriers provided liability coverage to the archdiocese going back to the late 1940s through 1986, but have not agreed yet to contribute toward a broad settlement that it’s now trying to reach in over two dozen lawsuits and numerous other claims filed by people who say they were sexually abused by priests.
"Lauren Lonergan, an attorney for the archdiocese, said she would not go as far as saying the insurance companies are refusing to pay. But she said there are 'a lot of complicated coverage issues' on which they haven’t agreed."
See Matt's earlier post St. Paul & Minn. Arch. cuts 20% of 2015 budget, staff reductions.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

TM: 6 Amazing Catholic Thanksgiving Facts You Need to Know

When you’re sitting down for that wonderful feast on Thursday, here are 6 interesting Catholic Thanksgiving Facts you can share with your family. Print them out and read them aloud over some pumpkin (or pecan) pie!

Your history teacher probably forgot to teach you that Squanto, the native American hero of the Pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving was Catholic. And your history textbooks probably wrongly told you that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Protestant pilgrims of Massachusetts in 1621. Not so. There was the Catholic Thanksgiving of 1565 in Florida and another Catholic Thanksgiving of 1589 in Texas. Read on for 6 Amazing Catholic Thanksgiving Facts…

1. Squanto, the beloved hero of Thanksgiving at Plymouth Rock, was Catholic! (Here’s my short video on how Catholic Squanto saved Thanksgiving.) Squanto had been enslaved by the English but he was freed by Spanish Franciscans. Squanto thus received baptism and became a Catholic. So it was a baptized Catholic Native American who orchestrated what became known as Thanksgiving. Please take a moment to watch the video below as I explain the story behind the first Thanksgiving and what a group of Franciscan friars did to make it happen.
continue at Taylor Marshall 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Child finally gets to receive his First Communion....

St. Paul & Minn. Arch. cuts 20% of 2015 budget, staff reductions

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Chancery Corporation has cut nearly $5 million in expenses, almost 20 percent of the Fiscal Year 2015 operating budget, in order to forge sustainable operations. That included the elimination of 11 positions in the Chancery offices.

Archdiocesan leadership worked with department heads to develop a plan to determine where reductions would be made. Archbishop John Nienstedt approved the plan last week.

The archdiocese’s Chancery Corporation is made up of 10 departments with approximately 160 staff members.

At an Oct. 16 meeting for all staff members, Vicar General Father Charles Lachowitzer said departments will reorder their services in a way that provides “the greatest value to the mission of the archdiocese and of proved benefit to our parishes.” He said the outcome won’t directly affect the budgets of parishes, Catholic schools and other local Catholic entities, which are separately incorporated and have their own budgets.
continue at The Catholic Spirit

Some background


HT Ray... I've got to convince him to start blogging again.  

Guest Post: An important analogy regarding the choices of Catholic administrators

The following is a guest op-ed submitted to The Badger Catholic.

"What Would You Think About This Situation?"

---An important analogy, by a friend of St. Francis and St. Clare  

A Catholic elementary school in Wisconsin recently accepted a male teacher, whose reputation revealed that he was apparently a good teacher and recognized in his field. He also taught in Minnesota at a public school which was nationally respected, and there he was quite admired by his colleagues.

One day, it came to the attention of some of the parents who have children attending the local Catholic elementary school that this teacher had been involved in tragic cases of pedophilia and pederasty in the Minnesota public school.  It seems that on a number of occasions this teacher had sexually assaulted a few of the children he taught, and had even admitted to these brutal acts against his students.

Therefore, the families in Wisconsin rightly decided to take their grave concerns to the Catholic school administration. The administrators listened, but decided that since the offenses did not happen at their school, but only over in Minnesota at the public school, this teacher was free to continue to teach at their location.

When the shocked families appealed to the founding religious order who originally started the school, the religious sisters similarly replied that the assaults of children did not actually ever happen at their Catholic schools.

The families who were now very worried about the situation approached the local church.  After talking with various churchmen, it was determined by them that so long as the teacher promised not to abuse children or encourage the sexual abuse of minors at the Catholic elementary school, this teacher in question would be permitted to retain his privileges and would be authorized to continue teaching at the Wisconsin Catholic school, provided he give his word to abide by Catholic moral teaching while on school premises.

Allouez parish group makes prayer a priority

Photo: Sam Lucero
ALLOUEZ — When you walk into the day chapel at St. Matthew Church on a Tuesday evening, it seems at first to be more like a family gathering for Thanksgiving. There are warm hugs and welcoming handshakes; small talk about sports, the weather or a recent illness. But then there’s a peace that descends on the chapel as the prayer service begins.

The rosary or evening prayer group is led by any one of the members who begins by asking for prayer intentions for parish and family members, along with prayers of praise and thanksgiving. Jim Ball, one of the original members of the prayer group, leads the rosary but others chime in as well to lead a decade. The rosary is followed by the Mother of Perpetual Help Devotions and then closes with evening prayer.

This group of anywhere from 10 to 20 parishioners has been meeting since the Lenten season in 1999. Tom Schumacher, a 58-year parishioner and one of the group’s charter members, explains, “At the beginning, we had Stations of the Cross and said the rosary. When Lent was over we wanted to do something different. So we added the Mother of Perpetual Help Devotions and then evening prayer, which is a compilation of inspired prayers. The format is consistent every Tuesday and lasts about 30 minutes.”
continue at The Compass

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

President of St. Norbert's College responds to invite to Gloria Steinem

A reader sent the response they got from St. Norbert's College in regards to the invitation to Gloria Steinem.
Dear x,

I want to thank you for your note about Gloria Steinem and St. Norbert College. I very much appreciate your perspective and that you took time to share it, especially given your connection to SNC. As we have heard, many people share your view and your disappointment. Many others -- even some who self-identify as ardently pro-life -- feel just the opposite. They have told us they think it is good that we have speakers across the ideological spectrum on campus.

I won't go into great detail here, as it's not my purpose to change anyone's mind about convictions that are so deeply held. But I will just say this: We are indeed a Catholic college -- Catholic, yes, but also a college. Too many people, especially in situations like this one, overlook that salient second point. As a college we are literally in the business of ideas. We are not in the business of suppressing them. We trust and expect our students to listen to many perspectives and use their critical thinking to formulate their own positions; that is what it means to be an educated person. Indeed, twice before Ms. Steinem has been on the SNC campus (admittedly, some years ago), and we all seem to have survived -- and I would argue thrived.

Several years ago when the shoe was on the other foot -- when Cardinal George of Chicago made several observations about the gay community that many people (me included, frankly) found hurtful and offensive -- we did not rescind our invitation to him to be that spring's commencement speaker, despite the demands of many hundreds, or even thousands, of people that we do so. That is not how we operate.

Just one final point, for clarification. Ms. Steinem is not making a "speech" or presentation per se. She is here at the invitation of her good friend, the author and social critic bell hooks, who in turn is a good friend of St. Norbert College and who will be in residence on our campus next spring. They have conducted these public "conversations" before, and in the ones I have seen, the issue of abortion has not even arisen. The discussion essentially involves two influential people in our culture looking back over half a century of change in the roles, opportunities and achievements of American women.

Again, thank you for taking time to write, but please note that this will be the final communication from me on this topic.


Thomas Kunkel
St. Norbert College

Bucks Coach Jason Kidd provides and distributes turkey dinners at Milwaukee House of Peace

This is timely as Steve and I were just discussing the NBA....

PK: God, Family & The Green Bay Packers

Thanksgiving is a time in the United States where families come together to give thanks to God, catch up with relatives….and watch NFL Football. This is actually good, provided that these three things are put in the right order. As the legendary Packers head coach Vince Lombardi would always say, “Think of only three things: your God, your family and the Green Bay Packers-in that order.”

Lombardi hit it right on the nail with that line and it shouldn’t be surprising. He was instilled with religious and family values from an early age, growing up in a large Italian-Catholic family in an immigrant neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Bread for the Family, Bread for the Priest

Vincent Lombardi was the oldest of five children, while his mother (Matilda Izzo) belonged to a clan of twelve brothers and sisters. The Lombardi’s would spend a lot of time with the Izzos, especially on Sundays. After attending Mass, the two families would get together and share in a traditional Italian feast, which lasted the entire day.
continue at Philip Kosloski

Tolkien on self-realization

Racine parishioners bid farewell to Cristo Rey parish

Parishioners said goodbye Sunday, Nov. 23, to a place that has been spiritual home to many of Racine’s Latino Catholics for more than 30 years.

The final masses were held Sunday at Cristo Rey Parish, 801 College Ave., including a packed 10:30 a.m. Mass attended by Cristo Rey parishioners and some from St. Patrick’s Church, 1100 Erie St., with whose congregation Cristo Rey is being merged.

Next Sunday will conclude the yearlong process of the merger, when Cristo Rey parishioners will march from their church building and make their way to St. Patrick’s, where they will be welcomed by Archbishop Jerome Listecki, the spiritual leader of the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

It will also mark coming full circle for Cristo Rey, which was born out of St. Patrick’s. Eloy Contreras, parish council president for Cristo Rey, said that due in part to feeling, at times, unwelcome at St. Patrick’s, which in the late 1970s only had a small Hispanic membership, congregants there went about setting up a spiritual Hispanic community center across Douglas Avenue from St. Patrick’s. In 1979, a new parish was formed, first holding Masses at St. Patrick’s before acquiring and moving to the former St. Mary’s Church in 1983. When members left for their new church, a symbolic procession took place, Contreras said. Next Sunday’s procession will be a spiritual homecoming, Contreras said.
continue at Racine Journal Times

Monday, November 24, 2014

Speaking of unbelievable catches...

This catch last night captured the attention of NFL fans everywhere.  (it takes Chris and especially Al a bit to realize how incredible it was).

Deadspin reminds us of some other amazing catches in NFL history, one which should bring a smile to most of our faces...

Side note, why does the NFL not encourage embedding of their videos (I tried to use the video of of They get to put their own ads in. I don't understand the old dinosaur media mentality.