Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound

November 2, 2009 2 comments

Planned Parenthood Director Quits After Watching Abortion on Ultrasound
Check out this article at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,571215,00.html

Here are some quotes:

Johnson said she became disillusioned with her job after her bosses pressured her for months to increase profits by performing more and more abortions, which cost patients between $505 and $695.

“Every meeting that we had was, ‘We don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough money — we’ve got to keep these abortions coming,'” Johnson told FoxNews.com. “It’s a very lucrative business and that’s why they want to increase numbers.”

But Johnson said her bosses told her to change her “priorities” and focus on abortions, which she said made money for the office at a time when the recession has left them hurting.

“For them there’s not a lot of money in education,” she said. “There’s as not as much money in family planning as there is abortion.”

Check out this article at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,571215,00.html

CCD 7th: Like Jesus + Holy + All Saints (day 7)

November 1, 2009 Leave a comment

Today in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we …

(PRAYER) “Confirmation discipline” story … our actions can reveal our thoughts, feelings & desires

[story] “Crying over Jesus” story

Jesus shares our struggles

  • single Mom,
  • step-Father dies as teen,
  • lost in Temple,
  • discovering His real Heavenly Father,
  • tempted by Satan (3 times),
  • rejected in hometown,
  • apostles = motley crew of friends,
  • false allegations,
  • denied by Peter,
  • tortured,
  • tempted to deny “himself,”
  • abandoned by friends,
  • suffering for other’s sins,
  • resurrected

3 closest APOSTLES (= “to be sent”):

  • Peter “Rock,” fisherman, first Pope, Simon
  • John, youngest, “beloved,” given to Mary,
  • James, bro of Matthew (tax collector)

Hallowed = Holy = “to be set apart”

Nov 1 = All Saints’ Day

Nov 2 = All Souls’ Day

Pop Quiz, questions 1-5 (Catholic traditions, Pastor, parish ministries)

HOMEWORK: Catch up on overdue homework assignments …

  1. prayer quiz,
  2. both journal assignments, &
  3. “Pop Quiz” handout (do with parents)

CCD hs: Confirmation Commitment Mass (with Fr Whyte) (day 6)

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, our high school Confirmation class had a Mass in celebration of their Confirmation Commitment this year.  At one point during Mass, the teens presented Fr Whyte (pastor) with a contract involving their understanding and responsibilities in preparing this year for the sacrament of Confirmation.  It was signed & presented by both teen and parents.

In preparing for Confirmation, I will …

  • attend Mass on Sundays & holy days
  • attend & participate in class
  • pray regularly
  • –assume more responsibility for my own faith
  • –be involved & journal my Christian service
  • –attend any additional activities
  • ask for help from the Blessed Trinity, my family, my sponsor and my friends

CCD hs: Reconciliation catechesis (by Fr Chris Bartos) (day 5)

October 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, our high school Confirmation class was asked to help greet, usher & lector for a sacramental catechesis for those preparing for the sacrament of Reconciliation.  It was a prayer service mixed with catechesis by Fr Chris Bartos.  Even though about 10 of our kids are also preparing for Reconciliation, their “service” to the parish community is an experience of their “call to service” as they prepare this year to Confirm their faith with their parish family at St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church.

St Max LIFE TEEN

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Went to Mass at St Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines, FL for their evening LIFE TEEN Mass.

Here is a picture of the teens gathered in front of the alter during consecration.  I know the picture is dark.  During consecration, all the lights are dimmed except the lights over the alter.

Lively homilies and lively music.  — Too much drums … my ears are still ringing.

CCD 7th: Hats + 3 Birthdays + Vocations (day 5)

October 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we discussed our unique identities, our stages in life, vocations, marriage and closed with the story of St Agatha.  Lots of interaction and discussion, full of the Lord’s blessings!

3 BIRTHDAYS … each begins a new life

  • Physical B-day … start earthly life
  • Baptism B-day … start Christian spiritual life
  • Death B-day … start our heavenly life

Who Am I? (back page of journal)

  • –Birth name, Nick names, “Hats” (our roles)
  • Spiritual names? What does God call you?
    • (we’ll find out as we try different prayers)

VOCATION = “a call” by God to holiness

  • Primary” Vocation
    • –“to be a beloved child to our heavenly Father”
  • State of Life” Vocationwhich one?
    • Single, Consecrated Single
    • Married (husband/father, wife/mother)
    • Religious sister or brother
    • Priesthood (clergy, deacon)
  • Service” Vocation … career, ministry, etc.

Sacrament of Marriage … purpose is …

  • Pro-create (open to children),
  • Educate (evangelize your Catholic children)
  • Holy Mate (get your spouse to heaven!)

St Agatha (3rd century virgin martyr) a beautiful young girl who consecrated herself to Jesus and resisted the advances of a nobleman. He imprisoned & tortured her (even cut off her breasts), but she stayed faithful to God.  Died in prison. Feast on Feb 5. Patron of breast, nurses, (bell-makers & bakers – due to statue plater).

CCD hs: Faith + Vocations + St Teresa of Avila (day 4)

October 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Opening prayer song reflection, (live crowd) “Amazing Grace” by Paul Oakley

[Book QUIZ] on Chapter 1 (Faith)

St Teresa of Avila – (16th century mystic Carmelite religious sister, feast Oct 15) as a teen she lost interest in her faith, instead falling in love with boys & chivalry, mother died as a teen, placed in monastery, love of God rekindled, suffered repeated serious illnesses, struggled with prayer, experienced mystical visions of Christ, raptures (joyful unions with God), taught on prayer, “doctor of the Church” (influential writings).

VOCATION = “a call” by God to holiness

Primary” Vocation … “to be a beloved child to our heavenly Father”

State of Life” Vocation

  • Single, Consecrated Single
  • Married (husband/father, wife/mother)
  • Religious sister or brother
  • Priesthood (clergy)

Service” Vocation … career, ministry, etc.

CCD 7th: Prayer quiz + Lies + Prayerful Heart (day 4)

October 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we had a Prayer Quiz #1 (Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Apostle’s Creed, Act of Contrition, & other)

Then we played an “get-to-know you” game called “2 Truths / 1 Lie”

We reviewed A.R.R.R.

We spoke on VIRTUES: Faith + Hope + Love

  • Even demons believe in God, but don’t have LOVE  (the greatest virtue)

From virtues, we discussed DISCERNING Spirits in prayer as we look at the “Big 3” (thoughts + feelings + desires)

  • 3 SPIRITS: God’s Spirit — My Spirit — Evil Spirit
  • if GOD … we GROW in faith + hope + love
  • if EVIL … any virtue DROPS

CHRISTIAN HEART (levels of my personhood)  — I kept this a lot simpler in class (they are still 7th graders)

  • BODY, (surface, 5 senses, Level 1)
    • –easily affected by weather, sleep, food, tone
  • MIND, (psychological, attitudes, Level 2)
    • –affected by family, culture, DNA, prejudices, life experiences  (Pleasure /Pain Principle)
  • SPIRIT, (spiritual, the “deep Big 3”, Level 3)
  • –thoughts + feelings + desires + imagination
  • –the place the Holy Spirit dwells in us
  • Consolation … peace, loved, joy, hope, zeal, trust, courage, contentment, sadness for sin.
  • Desolation … anxiety, loneliness, sadness, boredom, fear, discourage, restlessness, etc.

HOMEWORK: After 3 times of personal prayer, journal a letter to God after each.

CCD hs: God Positions + St Francis of Assisi (day 3)

October 6, 2009 4 comments

z_CCD-book-Path-Through-CatholicismToday, in our high school Confirmation class, Jose covered much of Chapter 1: Light of Faith.  We discussed a story about Tommy, an “atheist in residence,” who wasn’t sure if he’d ever find God.  A priest assured him, “I don’t think you’ll ever find God.  But I’m certain that God will find you.”  It wasn’t until years later when Tommy developed cancer that his quest for God became more fervent.  We realized in times of desperate need, Tommy was looking for a “quick fix” — not for a God to love.  Unless he reached out to God in love, his faith would be short-lived and his spiritual growth negligible.  God is not a 911 number that you call in emergencies.  When we’re lost, how does God find us? God finds us in the sense that God does not give up on us.  Rather, God continually graces us to open our hearts to him as Tommy finally did.

091006-2021-CCD-St-Francis-poster-1We also clarified, with a chalkboard matching activity, the various “God Positions” that people choose:

  • Atheist = denies there is a God
  • Agnostic = doesn’t deny or affirm God
  • Theist = affirms a personal God
  • Deist = affirms impersonal God
  • Monotheist = affirms only one God
  • Polytheist = affirms many gods

We also had a couple guys (Andy & Principe) introduce themselves and their assigned Saint to present.  The pair presented St Francis of Assisi on a awesome display board.

ASSIGNMENTS: handout + read Chapters 1 & 2 + be ready for quiz

chocolate chip cake

091005-1951_chocolate-chip-cakeChocolate Chip Cakeone of Mom’s masterpieces!

CCD 7th: Prayer sharing + A.R.R.R (day 3)

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we opened with some personal journaling time while listening the the Doxology prayer sung 2 different ways.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Amen.

First, (soft) “Doxology” by Nicole Nordeman

Then (rock) “Doxology” by David Crowder Band

After prayer, we took turns sharing our decorated binder covers with a collage of “ME” … likes, interests, family, pictures, sports, hobbies, etc.

Then we took turn sharing our experiences with praying the Doxology prayer over the past couple of weeks.  Some great stories!

[PRAYER] When your spending time in personal prayer with the Lord, here’s a good outline to follow  . . . .

A.R.R.R.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE –- How’s my life right now? Pay attention to your thought + feelings + desires (“the Big 3”).
  • RELATE -– Tell God about ALL “3” honestly.
  • RECEIVE -– Quiet your mind, focus on God, & listen to “the Big 3.”  (Discern spirits)
  • RESPOND -– do what you NEED to do

When you have something to talk to the Lord about, process your “Big 3” with this model.

HOMEWORK:

(1) study 5 Catholc Prayers for written Prayer Quiz:

  1. Lord’s Prayer (pg 305 of our text book),
  2. Hail Mary (pg 305),
  3. Apostle’s Creed (pg 305),
  4. Act of Contrition (pg 306),
  5. and any other formal prayer (of your choice)

Antonio Banderas, a Jesuit priest?

September 29, 2009 1 comment

090929_movie-The-Body-2001-Antonio-Banderas-as-Jesuit-priestRented a movie called “The Body” (2001) that I don’t remembering hearing about.  It has Antonio Banderas playing a Jesuit priest, investigating a crucified body found by an archeologist in Jerusalem.  In the spirit of religious conspiracy fiction like The Da Vinci Code (2006), it explores the ramifications of finding the buried body of Jesus for Christianity and Palestinian-Israeli relations.

It could have had a better developed storyline.  It ended too suddenly.  But I especially like the interaction between the Jesuit priest (Banderas) and the Dominican priest.  Personally, I thought the faith of the more mystical Dominican would withstand the challenge.

– Interesting movie.  Banderas was a pretty convincing Jesuit. 🙂

CCD hs: Catholic pop quiz + Saints assignments (day 2)

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

In our high school Confirmation class (at St Mark’s), Jose & I gave a POP Quiz with 23 questions to see what our kids know to better gauge how much to review.  I didn’t expect much, and wasn’t disappointed.  After introductions and time to fill it out, we went over the first 10 questions in large group discussion.  Here are some of the questions:

  1. How many Catholic friends do you have?  (ranged from none to 12 to 1,000 to many)
  2. What Catholic tradition do you like?  (sign of the cross, Eucharist, Holy Week, Lent, Christmas, Christmas Novena readings, )
  3. What Catholic tradition do you not understand?  (Ash Wed, Halloween)
  4. What is the name of the Pastor here?  (only 4 of 24 got it right … not good)
  5. Name 3 ministries in this parish.
  6. What prayers do we pray in the Rosary?
  7. What is the name of the current Pope?  (who’s George III?)
  8. What is the Eucharist?
  9. Why do we have confession?
  10. What do we celebrate on Good Friday?

After some discussion about the questions, we paired up kids and assigned a Saint to present, one per day, with a schedule of presentation.  Great class, quiet but very insightful discussions.  Definitely a great year of catechesis ahead!  Praise God!

ASSIGNMENTS: handouts + write 5 questions you have about your Catholic faith

CCD 7th: P.R.A.Y.S. + angels + Yom Kippur (day 2)

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, in our 7th grade pre-Confirmation class, we handed out journals & wrote on inside cover …

In my BAPTISM, I …

  • PRAISE = God for who He is … God
  • REPENT = confess + rec forgiveness + change
  • ASK = for me + other (“5 finger prayer”)
  • YIELD = be open to God’s voice
  • SHARE = my faith with others

In my CLASS, I …

  • PRAISE = encourage others
  • REPENT = take responsibility for wrongs
  • ASK = learn by asking questions
  • YIELD = respect speaker + listen
  • SHARE = contribute + respect privacy

Difference between angels + humans?

  • Angels = pure spiritual beings
  • Humans = body + spiritual beings

Yom Kippur = Jewish “day of atonement”

  • fast, no work, pray, make reparations for sins
  • “scapegoat” takes sins of the people = Jesus

HOMEWORK:
(1) Decorate Binder Cover with “ME” … on a sheet of paper, make a collage of you, your hobbies, likes, etc.

(2) do the “Doxology” prayer exercise from last week if you haven’t done it yet.

Dedication of Mary mosaic @ SJVCS

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment

090924_SJVCS-Dedication-of-Mosaic-of-Mary-02-Bishop-Wenski-and-Mgsr-Michael-CarruthersToday, at St John Vianney College Seminary, was the highly anticipated dedication of the new mosaic of Mary, the New Eve and Star of the Sea in the one of the chapel gardens around St Raphael ChapelOrlando Bishop Wenski celebrated Mass and the blessing and dedication of the new mosaic.  Artist (and seminarian) Peter Dionne (SJVCS class of 2008) was present along with friend, family and supporters of SJVCS.

Also see picture of mosaic conception through completion and prayer of consecration to Mary.

[these pictures taken by Cliff Whitty, a SJVCS seminarian]

090924_SJVCS-Dedication-of-Mosaic-of-Mary-01-Bishop-Wenski 090924_SJVCS-Dedication-of-Mosaic-of-Mary-03-blessing 090924_SJVCS-Dedication-of-Mosaic-of-Mary-04-closeup 090924_SJVCS-Dedication-of-Mosaic-of-Mary-05-artist-seminarian-Peter-Dionne

prayer of consecration to Mary

September 24, 2009 Leave a comment

† PRAYER OF CONSECRATION †

090924_icon-Mary-the-New-Eve-and-Star-of-the-SeaMost Holy Trinity, Our Father in Heaven, who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters; Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as your spouse; God the Son, who chose Mary as your Mother; in union with Mary, we adore your majesty and acknowledge your supreme, eternal dominion and authority.

Most Holy Trinity, we put St. John Vianney College Seminary into the hands of Mary Immaculate, the New Eve and Star of the Sea, in order that she may present this seminary to you. Through her we wish to thank you for the great blessings you have bestowed upon us throughout our fifty years of service. Through the intercession of Mary, have mercy on the local churches we serve. Shower wisdom upon our bishops and all who assist them in their responsibilities of governance. Bestow strength to our seminary administration, faculty, and staff. Grant protection to those here discerning the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Call forth the precious gift of many vocations to the diocesan priesthood. Through the intercession of our mother, have mercy on the sick, the poor, the refugee, the tempted, sinners–on all who are in need.

Mary, Immaculate Virgin, our mother, patroness of our land, we praise you and honor you and consecrate our seminary and ourselves to your immaculate heart. O Sorrowful and immaculate heart of Mary, pierced by the sword of sorrow prophesied by Simeon, save us from degeneration, presumption, and despair. Protect us from all harm. O sorrowful and immaculate heart of Mary, you who bore the sufferings of your son in the depths of your heart, be our advocate. Pray for us, the community of St. John Vianney College Seminary, that acting always according to the will of your divine son, we may live and die pleasing to God.  Amen.

[this prayer is especially used for today’s dedication of the new mosaic of Mary, the New Eve and Star of the Sea at SJVCS]

new mosaic of Mary, the New Eve and Star of the Sea

September 24, 2009 2 comments

090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-16-AWESOMEFor the last couple of years, Msgr Michael Carruthers (rector of SJVCS) and Peter Dionne (artist & seminarian, SJVCS class of 2008) have been working on a new mosaic to our Blessed Mother for the chapel gardens.  With today’s dedication of the new mosaic to Mary, the New Eve and Star of the Sea, here are some pictures posted by Fr Michael from mosaic conception through completion.

Wow!  Beautiful!  Surely our Lady is happy.

Also see dedication ceremony here.

Consecration prayer to Mary here.

090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-02-in-2006 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-04-sketch-by-Peter 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-06-workers-Peter-Dionne-and-Msgr-Michael-Carruthers 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-08-work-projection 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-09-mosaic-tiles-waves 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-10-mosaic-sunburst 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-11-mosaic-breath-of-God 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-12-workers-Michelle-and-Peter 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-13-install-Gustavo-and-Raphael 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-15-installing 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-19-finished 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-17-AWESOME 090924_SJVCS-Mosaic-of-Mary-18-AWESOME

CCD hs: parents orientation (day 1)

September 22, 2009 Leave a comment

A local parish, St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, needed catechists for their Religious Education program on Tuesday & Wednesday nights.  Since I go to St Mark’s for Mass occasionally & Wednesday Bible study, I guess I consider it a “2nd home parish,” so I volunteered to help.  I was paired up with Jose A., another former seminarian (3 years in Colombia), who’s very excited about our High School Confirmation class of 24 kids, so far.  Most showed up today with their parents for a large group orientation with the DRE and pastor in the church.  We got to introduce ourselves for about 20 minutes at the end.

— Even though it wasn’t really “planned,” I can already see the blessings that will come from my passion for catechesis being used on Sunday’s at my home parish with 7th graders and here on Tuesday nights with high school teens.

CCD 7th: Intro + prayer “sweet spot”

September 20, 2009 Leave a comment

YES "4 Winds Blow"Today is day 1 of Religious Education (CCD) at my parish.  I’m a catechist for 7th grade Pre-Confirmation class with my aide Donny.  We had 13 of our 17 kids today, with apparently more signing up late as we speak.  A very diverse group from “quiet” to “super-animated.”

We played a classic “get-to-know-you” icebreaker game called “Four Winds Blow.” It’s like musical chairs sitting in a circle.  The person in the middle says 3 things about themselves.  Then they say “Four winds blow to anyone …” (wearing jeans, wearing gym shoes, with blue eyes, wearing glasses, with ears, etc.)  Then everyone that fits the profile needs to get up and get another seat (at least 2 seats over) while the person in the middle tries to get a seat as well.  If you get stuck in the middle 3 time, you need to sing a song of your choice.  The “Alphabet Song” and a Spongebob song were sang.  Lots of fun for all.

I also gave a brief into to the curriculum and talked about finding our “prayer sweet spot” this year.  Using a tennis racket and baseball bat, the kids taught me about finding the “sweet spot” to get the best result out of their uses … although similar for many, everyone has their own sweet spot in the way they play sports.  Well, our prayer life is very similar.  We need to each find what works best for our own individual prayer experience in order to grow.  Some like Scripture, some the Rosary, some praise & worship, some music, some poetry, some adoration, some quiet meditation, etc.  This year, we’ll have different prayer experience in order to help find our own prayer “sweet spot.”

We wrote down the simple Doxology prayer on index cards and will use it this week as a homework prayer experience.  Everyone needs to try praying it at different time, days and ways this week.  Next Sunday, we’ll share what worked and what didn’t.

As we discussed the Doxology prayer, we asked the questions like “What is a creature?  Can a rock praise God?  What’s the difference between angels & humans?  What’s a Holy Ghost?”  — a very vocal and curious group … we’re blessed to be journeying in our faith together!

I prayed the Doxology during this post. 🙂