“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

Ten years after Pope John Paul II declared him a Servant of God, Pope Benedict XVI promulgated a decree June 28 declaring Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen “Venerable.”

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/archbishop-fulton-j.-sheen-declared-venerable/#ixzz1zH7eRwkD

Next Stop Beatification, which currently has the first alleged miracle for his cause. A baby who was named after the Archbishop was born lifeless near Sheen's hometown and  had no pulse for 61 minutes then came back to life after prayers asking for the intercession from the prelate.

Knowing Archbishop's Sheen flair for the dramatic, I thought there must be some significance in the 61 number in the miracle. Why not 56 minutes, or 67 minutes, etc...

Here is my thought:

Mark 6:1 starts talking about Christ returning to his hometown and goes on to say all that heard him preach were astonished.

This apparent miracle at the hospital took place in Peoria, Sheen's home town, the "all that heard him preached were astonished" defines Sheen's life.

Mark continues:
"From whence hath this [man] these things? and what wisdom [is] this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?" "The answer is," as Archbishop Sheen liked to say, that all of these things and this mighty work is coming through Sheen's intercession at the throne of Christ to confirm his path to sainthood.

Maybe the Irishman in the Archbishop is having a little fun with us.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

At Calvary Christ Was Not Invisible...

Indifference By G. A. Studdert-Kennedy

When Jesus came to Golgatha,
They hanged Him on a tree,
They drove great nails through hands and feet,
And made a Calvary.

They crowned Him with a crown of thorns,
Red were His wounds and deep,
For those were crude and cruel days,
And human flesh was cheap !

When Jesus came to [your home town]
They simply passed Him by,
They never hurt a hair of Him,
They only let Him die;

For men have grown more tender,
And they would not give Him pain,
They only just passed down the street,
And left Him in the rain.

Still Jesus cried, "Forgive them,
For they know not what they do!"
And still it rained the winter rain
That drenched Him through and through;

The crowd went home and left the streets,
Without a soul to see,
and Jesus crouched against a wall
and cried for Calvary.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Archbishop Sheen Checking In; Baby with No Pulse for 61 Minutes Perfectly OK

Sheen's Intercession Saved Their Baby
Born lifeless and without a pulse for 61 minutes, following prayers to the Servant of God, little James Fulton had a pulse:

By MARIANNE MEDLIN via the National Catholic Register:

“It had been a healthy pregnancy; it was a healthy labor. Everything was good,” Bonnie recalled.

But what the couple and attending midwife and birth assistant did not know was that there was a knot in James’ umbilical chord which tightened while he was descending the birth canal.
Her son, at 9 lbs. 10 oz., was a stillborn.

“I have a memory of repeating Sheen’s name, in my head, not out loud, but just kind of saying over and over again ‘Fulton Sheen, Fulton Sheen’ while they were still doing CPR,” she said.
Bonnie’s husband also baptized the baby James Fulton — “the name we had agreed upon” — before he was rushed to the St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Ill. During the transport to the hospital, a friend who had attended the birth called others to pray, with some of them invoking Sheen’s name as well.

...But at the hospital, a full 61 minutes after he was born and while doctors were preparing to declare the time of death, James Fulton suddenly had a pulse.

Although the medical team was stunned, they refrained from being optimistic, and simply told Bonnie’s husband that the baby had a heartbeat; but that was all they could say.

“My husband interpreted that as ‘He’s alive, but just for now,’” Bonnie recalled.

Doctors expected James Fulton to die within the week, or, at the very least, be on a ventilator or feeding tube — blind and strapped into a wheelchair — for the rest of his short life.

What happened in the following days, however, was nothing short of extraordinary.

...“There were people from all over the world who emailed me and left comments on my blog saying, ‘We’re praying for your son, and we are asking for Sheen’s intercession,’” Bonnie said. “It was really powerful and humbling.”

Within a week of his birth, doctors were shocked to find that James Fulton was breathing on his own.

“Everyone was just amazed by that — that wasn’t supposed to happen,” his mom said.

And day by day, after all of his vital organs were seen to be functioning properly, it became more apparent that little James Fulton was going to be just fine. "

Blogger Note: Apparently, Baby James Fulton, Life is Worth Living :) ...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Best of VCR: John Paul II: A Beatified Pope

As the current political and financial situation of our great country seems to be very dim, I would like to reflect on a man up a balcony thirty years ago today who instructed us to "Be Not Afraid…"

As I am sure we can agree, God has a master plan for all of us. I think one of the greatest gifts from the life of this great Pope was that it assured and reminded us that God has a master plan for our "little lives" because we saw God’s master plan for Pope John Paul II’s majestic life so clearly. It is easier to see paint on the canvas when there are broad strokes rather than thin lines.

I heard many years back, and wish I could quote the source, maybe George Weigel, that it was very against the tradition of the Papacy to have a Pope call himself, the first. And yet in 1978, when Albino Luciani was elected Pope John Paul I, it happened. This unique situation in 2,000 years of Church history and the use of the Roman numeral was not a pointless effort because it foreshadowed a second to come. It was God’s plan to have Karol Wojtyla in the Papacy at that time as seen by how he called Pope John Paul I home after less than two months. Looking back, the first designation makes all the sense in the world now as we now know who was coming. For those trivia buffs out there, Wojtyla’s first instinct was to be called Pope Stanislaw, or Pope Stanley, to honor a very significant Polish saint and bishop of Krakow. He reconsidered and took the name John Paul.

When they announce "Habemus Papam", or Latin for "We Have a Pope!," on that night in St. Peter’s square the announcement of the non-Italian sounding name, "VOY-TEE-WHA." brought confusion and polite applause from the crowd in the courtyard. I often think he in his life went from polite applause that October night to 4,000,000 people coming to his Mass in the Philippines 15 years later. What an impactful life!

The two most incredible events that I have seen in my forty years of life, were both tied to this great man. One was the week of his funeral and viewing. The non-ending lines of mourners went on day, after day, after day. I remember telling a friend, the scene felt more like of a funeral for a beloved King, not a humble priest. I also vividly see as I write this post the page-flipping Bible on his plain wood casket during his funeral and the Cardinals holding on to their birettas/hats. A great wind was present at his funeral, a sign of the Holy Spirit.

The second most incredible world moment of my life was the week when the Berlin Wall came down. To see East-Germans sitting on top of the wall and swinging sledgehammers is an image that no one can ever forget. They were not breaking into tiny bits a structure, they swung their hammers thinking about smashing an evil regime and an ideology into tiny bits. An oppressive government collapsed and people were free.

Many do not know a story about John Paul that lead to this moment. When the Polish Solidarity movement was about to be crushed by Soviet tanks, John Paul II communicated with the secretary of the Soviet Communist party stating that if there was any Soviet aggression against the Poles, he would resign the Papacy and stand on the front lines with his people. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when the Kremlin received that word. This was not a political ploy, he was dead serious. He would resign the Papacy and stand with his people. It is somewhat of a global PR nightmare to run down a defenseless Pope in a tank. The Russians hands were tied and they continued to lose their control of Poland. As a historical note, the Kremlin feared the senior Cardinal of Poland, Stefan WyszyƄski, much more than Karol Wojtyla when they were Cardinals. They felt Wojtyla was less of a threat and could be reasoned with when comparing the two Polish Cardinals. I read a comment that was made within the Kremlin after Wojtyla's election, saying at least it was not Wyszynski. They could not have been more wrong.

I will finish this reflection with VCR friend Fr. Owens Kearns’ statement after the passing of John Paul II. He was a guest on a cable news network and was asked by the commentator what was the greatest achievement of this Pope’s life was. So many thoughts riffled through me head: defeating Communism, his encyclicals, the "Culture of Life" movement he established. Fr. Owen surpassed my thoughts. He said, paraphrasing, "The example he gave us of life’s beauty and value in its fading days, the way he accepted his suffering and died with grace." I was speechless and stunned. This was also more poignant because Terri Schiavo's life was being seen as having no value at the same moment down in Florida.

I think many parents have many things they want to teach their children. Being honest, how to play Sports, finances, relationships, family history, cooking, etc… Don’t ever under estimate the learning opportunity we can gift wrap to our children as they witness us meet our most difficult trials in our lives with grace, acceptance and Faith; offering everything up. John Paul,a spiritual parent to us, did not under estimate this teaching opportunity.

John Paul the Great, Pray for Us!

Monday, April 25, 2011

There was a Heart: Msgr. James McDonald

I have been on a prolonged hiatus from blogging, involved in some other pressing Catholic endeavours. But will all the discouragement that the news of Fr. Euteneuer and the allegations of Fr. Corapi have brought to me, I felt the absolute urge to post this sermon from VCR hero, Msgr. James McDonald.

Msgr. McDonald is giving a sermon in the presence of the relic of the actual heart of St. Jean Vianney, patron of priests. The church is filled with priesst, seminarians and religious people.

It was such a pick up for me listening to his words. As the saying goes, Msgr. McDonald is absolutely convincing because he is absolutely convinced.

Say a prayer for my favorite prelate today after listening to his talk - that Christ will keep him in good health. And say a prayer for our beloved priesthood.

Click here for the Sermon.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Quarter Century of Catholic, Pro-Life Leadership in New York City

Archbishop Timothy Dolan met the problem and the occasion head on Thursday holding a press conference to address a report released by the NYC Department of Health that stated a horrific statistic that 41% of all pregnancies in the 5 burroughs of NYC end in an abortion:

"For the first time in my happy twenty-one months as a New Yorker, I am embarrassed to be a member of a cherished community I now — usually with a lot of pride — call home.

That 41% of New York babies are aborted — a percentage even higher in the Bronx, and among our African-American babies in the womb — is downright chilling.

This New York community is rightly celebrated for its warm welcome to immigrants, for its hospitality, sense of embrace and inclusion, and gritty sensitivity for those in need.

But we are tragically letting down the tiniest, most fragile and vulnerable: the little baby in the womb.

We have to do more than shiver over these chilling statistics!

I invite all to come together to make abortion rare, a goal even those who work to expand the abortion license tell us they share.

A quarter century ago, Cardinal John O’Connor publicly stated: “Any woman who is pregnant and in need can come to the Church and we will help you,” a pledge Cardinal Egan, and now I, reaffirm. Through our Catholic charities, our adoption services, our lobbying on behalf of pregnant women and mothers of infants, our support for life-giving alternatives to the decision all call tragic — abortion, — in our education of youth for healthy, responsible, virtuous sexual behavior, our health care, — we have done our best to keep that promise, … and these haunting statistics only prod us to keep at it.

Mother Teresa remarked that the worst poverty was to take the life of a baby so we could live, as we want. New York does not deserve the gravestone, “Abortion capital of the world.” Our boast is the Statue of Liberty, not the “Grim Reaper.”

Bravo, Archbishop, thank you for your leadership.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Benedict the Compassionate

Benedict, the Intellectual? Yes, But Benedict, the Compassionate also, as shown here in this clip of him traveling to the Gemelli Polyclinico Hospital to visit children in the pediatric ward and the neonatal intensive care unit.

It is a side of our Holy Father that should be showcased much more. Think of what this meant to the Catholic Faithful parents at this hospital who were exhausted and discouraged.

Htip Creative Minority via Al Kresta

Monday, December 20, 2010

Their 2010 Christmas Wish!

Belle Chasse Primary School students and brothers Blake, Caleb and Zack Champagne got their Christmas wishes fulfilled at their school’s holiday play. Santa Claus disrobed at the assembly and turned out to be their Daddy, Lt. Col. Brian Champagne; home one week early from his second tour in Iraq.

A very uplifting story. Visit the story and video here.

We are so appreciative of all the sacrifices our military families makes to keep us safe.

God's speed and protection to them all!

-Voice in the Crowd

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My 2010 Christmas Wish!

If given a one Christmas wish this year, many would quickly reply that they wished for world peace, or an end to world hunger, or even an end to the suffering in the world. While these are definitely the most noble Christmas wishes and surely at the top of the list, my Christmas wish this year would be something a little more achievable and possibly more impactful.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mount Angel, Oregon, features a nomadic nativity scene that travels throughout their town serving as a reminder to all that witness it what the true meaning of Christmas is. Volunteers dress up as the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, mount a live donkey and quietly spend the weeks of Advent walking around the town heading to their final destination, the Church (see the accompanying picture as they cross paths with a pedestrian.)

Can you imagine that you are immersed in your morning: stopped at a red light, news radio blaring, wresting with your coffee cup lid, planning the mental checklist of your busy day and suddenly these two with their donkey pass in the crosswalk in front of your car? Can you imagine how this visual would stop you cold and force you to pause and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas right there and then?

My Christmas wish this year would be to hire these two volunteers, and their donkey, for an Advent walk that would stop at all the major cities up and down the east coast from Boston to Miami.

Can you imagine, these two quietly walking through the college campuses of Boston, where college vices and secular intellectualism are worshiped as gods? This sight would cause these collegians to stop in their tracks and take inventory of their lives - - as this scene would portray the selflessness, purity and humility that these two unschooled participants had during that first Christmas.

What about these two stopping traffic on the “Canyon of Heroes,” slowly making their way down to Wall St. in New York City? Can you imagine the financiers and traders with their thousand dollar suites and Montblanc watches taking their thumbs off their Blackberries when they see these two pausing on their journey in their worn clothes? These two not even having a roof over their heads, not to mention a beachfront vacation home to speak of? It would force these financial brokers who worship money as their god to acknowledge how fleeting and meaningless all their wealth really is.

How about having these two proceed through the shopping mall parking lots in New Jersey? Where people literally stampede each other to death before dawn for the sole purpose of getting a large, flat screen at a discount price. These shoppers would be forced to witness these vagabonds not owning a single possession and, in doing so, would crush these people’s god of materialism.

Can you imagine the scene of these two slowly making their way down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.? This simple, small, endearing visual would even steal the tourists away from the massive monument structures in our nation's Capitol. The hollowmen, power brokers who slither there would be forced to see in this image that their god of political, man-made power will, as Archbishop Sheen says, “…end in its own destruction.”

And finally imagine this very plain, unassuming couple making their way through the beautiful, jet set people of Miami Beach. Where everyone spends all their time and money to prevent any undesirable change to their appearance; but then go completely opposite by spending fortunes on the cutting edge of fashion with their Gucci wardrobes to constantly change their external appearances with each passing fad. This unfashionable pair would force these "pretty" masses to recognize the absolute truth of that first Christmas -- and how this bedrock revelation is not only in fashion today, but an unchanging truth that will last through eternity. Their gods of beauty and image would not survive this beautiful image.

And through these travels, I would even have these two stop and knock at random house doors along their journeys and to ask, “My Son was not welcomed anywhere in this world 2,000 years ago, is He welcomed in your home today -- or do you have too many other of these gods occupying your home?”

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas to all my readers!

May we all come to a deeper appreciation of the true meaning of Christmas!

-Voice in the Crowd

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Iraqi Catholic Martyrs: "But The Cross Lives!"

With so much of the media running every horrible story they can dig up about any former priest these days, here is a story that you will not see in the mainstream media. It is an eyewitness account of the al Qaeda massacre at Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church in Baghdad on October 31st, and how their priest carried themselves in their final moments. These priest were only 32 and 27 years old:

"...While I was on the ground I saw Don [Father] Tha'er trying to defend the altar servers: he embraced them and covered them with his cassock, to protect them, as if he wanted to hide them. One of the men attacked him, trying to beat him to his knees, but he resisted and remained standing, in the end the terrorist killed him. I could hear the cries of the people in the church, terribly afraid, when at one point I heard a voice, I do not know who he was shouting to the terrorists: 'We die, we die, okay. But the cross lives. Whoever it was, was immediately killed."

...Don Tha'er, the priest who celebrated the Mass, died because he wanted to save the children. Don Wassim with, who at the time of the attack was in the confessional, tried to talk with the terrorists to convince them to let the people and children go, and take only the two of them
[the priests] as hostages. They offered their lives. Don Wassim, when he made to leave the altar and approach the terrorists he was shot by one of them. The last sentence of Don Tha'er, who died before the eyes of his mother [who survived and is now recovering in France], was: "Jesus, into thy hands I commend my spirit."

I would suggest you read this article to appreciate what our fellow Catholics go through in different locations around the world. We should never complain about how long a Homily is again.

May the angels lead them to paradise... Please say a prayer now for all these martyrs.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Pepsi Refresh Project & Our Secular Society

I came across the Pepsi Refresh Project the other day. The project, sponsored by Pepsi, allows people to enter a worthy cause on Pepsi's web site, then Web site visitors can vote for the best causes. Upon conclusion of the voting, Pepsi awards money - up to $250,000- to the most supported causes.

I thought the top leaders/choices at each dollar award level was a striking commentary on our society:

1) Rescue Animals from Cruelty
2) Stop Healthy Animals from Being Fed Antibiotics
3) Teach Hip Hop and Respect to Inner City Youths
4) Provide Dogs in Shelters with Comfort Items

Now, I am not saying that helpless animals don't deserve or need our help to save them from ongoing abuses, but three out of the four programs that our country currently believes is the best use for these financial awards does not relieve any aspect of human suffering. The other deals with teaching Hip Hop music.

Such a commentary on our nation.

By way of comparison, and to illustrate my point, these causes are beating programs that would work towards the end of human trafficking and one that would help babies with Cystic Fibrosis.

I thought over the past day or so what was responsible for this anti-human sentiment. Was it the belief that animals can't help themselves and people can? I believe this answer would not be at the true, underlying, subconscious root cause of this mindset. Babies with Cystic Fibrosis can't help themselves either, so that is not it.

I came to the conclusion that this anti-human sentiment is embedded in our society becoming more and more secular by the year. If we are all made in God's divine image, turning away from the priority of helping our fellow humans first has to coincide with turning away from God in our society, whatever the reasons these voters may give.

We all know people who are vegetarians and cite their lifestyle comes from a belief in not harming defenseless animals, or PETA members who subscribe to the same doctrine. For the most part, the vegetarians and PETA members I know personally have no problem with abortion, or even late-term abortions. I think the same rationale can be used here whether they acknowledge this mindset or not.

How many times has a pro euthanasia person argued with you, "Well they put animals out of their pain, don't humans deserve at least the same?" They are arguing actually humans should be brought down to the level of animals, although they think in their mind that humans should be raised at least to the level of animals. Same mindset again, Secularism 101.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pope John Paul II: Nine Days that Changed the World

I finally viewed Newt Gingrich's Nine Days that Changed the World, the story of John Paul II's victorious return to Poland after being elevated to the Papacy. The DVD is beautifully done with stunning, never-seen-before footage.

It is hard for Americans to understand this history-altering event from the inside. A bad day for most Americans is an unexpected $500 car repair bill. Our Polish brethren lived through Nazi occupation which resulted in the death of 5.5-6 million Poles, and the dark, soul-crushing, brutal regime of Communism after this carnage. Their suffering can not be comprehended by Westerners.

This documentary gives you that glimpse from the inside where in June of 1979, 12 million Poles (1/3 the population) greeted John Paul in person as their conquering hero and their national hope.

George Weigel summed up the trip saying that by the second day of this nine day trip, the Polish people had a new de facto leader of their county; the Holy Father had overtaken the government and eclipsed the fear it held on the people. Communism was headed to the "ash heap of history."

I can not emphasize enough that this is a DVD that every Catholic household should own. It should be viewed by your children and grandchildren to understand the greatness of Pope John Paul II, the unparalleled influence of the Papacy and the effect that the power of the absolute truths of Catholicism can have when preached and recognized.

Amazon apparently does not sell this DVD. I would go directly to the DVD's official website and secure this masterpiece for yourself and your family. Click here for the Nine Days Web site. Here is a little sample of this great DVD:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Decision Points: George W. Bush and Catholicism - Part II

It has been a great week for the Office of President of the United States. While promoting his memoirs, President George Bush threw the proverbial gauntlet down showing how the Office of the Presidency should carry itself. With attacks on his Presidency coming almost weekly over the past two years from his passing-the-blame successor, the former President stayed above the fray and reminded the world of the core character he possesses as he remained silent despite opportunist microphones in front of him all week. This, in Bush's way, drew a stronger comparison, and answered any charges, of the present administration more definitively than any written comment or spoken word could have.

In May of 2008, I wrote a post that received a good amount of traffic calling George W. Bush the second Catholic U.S. President with a question mark. Cracking open his memoirs have led me to the feeling again that he is a closet Catholic or a future convert.

On page 113 of Decision Points, Bush writes, "I did feel a responsibility to voice my pro-life convictions and lead the country toward what Pope John Paul II called a culture of life." Interesting, no? He could have gone with a more Protestant statement saying his sense of responsibility came from sacred scripture, or his personal relationship with God, but he surprisingly quotes a Pontiff. Moreover (it is very subtle but when you notice it is very telling and impactful), he aligns his personal views with that of a Pontiff, and the Pontiff's moral teaching. Martin Luther must be rolling over in his grave.

A few pages later, Bush pens that during a private meeting with John Paul he expressed to the Vicar of Christ, "I thanked him for his example of principled leadership. I explained [to the Holy Father] that the Catholic Church's steadfast support of life provided a firm moral foundation on which pro-life politicians like me could take a stand on." An Episcopalian standing on a Catholic foundation? Why can't he stand on the Episcopalian foundation? Again, he is lining himself with the moral teachings of the Magisterium more than his own religion.

Now for the grand finale. Bush remembers the last moments of the funeral Mass of John Paul II that he personally attended, " [The pallbearers] turned to face the crowd and lifted the coffin for the last time. As they did, the clouds parted and the sun shined through onto the simple wooden [coffin]." An Episcopalian believing God shone His favor on a life of Pontiff? Henry VIII is now rolling over in his grave and disturbing multiple wives.

Before everything is said and done, President Bush might very well close his eyes as the second Catholic President.

Blogger Note: It is important in understanding this post to read the evidence I laid out in the original post here. When these two posts are taken together, Bush converting is a much more clearer reality.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Notre Dame Loses vs. the Big Ten with Obama

CatholicCulture.org reports that the University of Notre Dame's annual donations fell off the cliff in the year ending 2009; dropping over $120 million dollars.

CC.org references in passing that honoring of the most militant, pro-abortion politician in America with a Humanitarian Award might have had some effect on donations. Ya' think???

The site then states, "The decline in donations largely coincided with the late-2000s recession, which officially began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009."

Oh really... let's see how the recession has affected some other big universities in the same region to test this theory. The below list shows: specific, similar-size universities; how much their donations went up or down in 2009 versus the previous year; and the percentage increase or decrease over the previous year:

Penn State University: +$4.8 Million (+2.7 percent)
Ohio State University: -$3.4 Million (-.14 percent - less than 1%)
Michigan State University: $-5.4 million (-4.2 percent)
University of Michigan: -$70 million million (-21 percent)
The University of Notre Dame: -$120 million (-35 percent)

If Notre Dame's decline in donations were due to the economy, other university declines would have been similar. As you can see, some of the universities' donations were actually up during this time frame.

If donations were affected by a lousy football season - I can hear this argument out there -, the donations to Michigan (who had a record of 3-9 that year) would have fallen much more than Notre Dame's (7-6). Notre Dame's donations for the year were $50 million worse than Michigan's.

I think the fallout from this decision is obvious with the above comparison. You can't offend the essence of an organization without major fallout.

People of Notre Dame, I am proud of you for not supporting this farce with your hard-earned money! I wrote this post to honor you.

The sad part is that Notre Dame did not lose this money for its beliefs, it lost this money for President Rev. John Jenkins' beliefs.

Htip to the bro's at CMR: