Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson Named New Archbishop of St. Louis

April 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog




The wonderful, long-anticipated news is breaking this morning. And I am particularly happy about Archbishop-elect Carlson’s elevation to the See of St. Louis because he has been a long-time member of the episcopal advisory board of Envoy Magazine, the Catholic journal I publish. 


Check out this early info available at the St. Louis Catholic blog. Here’s a snippet:

The Holy See announced today that the Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw, MI, has been chosen to succeed Archbishop Raymond L. Burke as Archbishop of Saint Louis.

His Excellency until recently had not been mentioned on the usual lists of rumored candidates for the vacant See. Archbishop Carlson’s name began to be discussed in earnest after the appointment of Bishop Stika to the See at Knoxville, TN.

Archbishop Carlson, who will turn 65 in June, has been Bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw, MI since 2005. Before that he served as Bishop of Sioux Falls, SD for about ten years, and prior to that was Auxiliary Bishop of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

His Excellency’s episcopal motto is “Ante crucem nihil defensionis,” or “Before the cross there is no defense.”

Fr. John Hardon: The Strategy of the Devil in Demonic Temptations

April 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

It was divinely providential that Christ allowed Himself to be tempted by the devil at the beginning of His public ministry. He is teaching us one of the most important lessons we need to learn in life. If He, the living God in human form, was tempted by the evil spirit, then we must expect to be tempted as well. In order to imitate Christ, we must resist the devil as Christ, Himself, resisted the devil.

As St. John tells us, we are tempted from three sources: by the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world is the attractive sinful conduct of other people. The flesh is our concupiscence, the natural inclination that we now have after the fall of the human race, to follow what appeals to us even though it is displeasing to God. The devil is, in some ways, the most powerful enemy we have in the spiritual life.

If there is one thing we learn from the masters of the spiritual life it is to expect to be tempted by the evil spirit. It was the evil spirit who tempted Eve and brought on the fall of the human race. As we reflect on temptations by the devil in our own lives, we must keep in mind who the devil is. He is the evil spirit. Spirit because he is not sensibly perceptible. We cannot hear him with our bodily ears or see him with our bodily eyes. He is an evil spirit whose number is legion and who has been phenomenally successful in seducing untold numbers from their allegiance to God.

St. Ignatius has a key meditation in the Spiritual Exercises on what he calls the Two Standards. The Two Standards correspond to the two leaders in the world who are drawing people to follow them. One leader is Jesus Christ, who inspires believing Christians to dedicate themselves to the extension of His kingdom throughout the world. The other leader is Satan, who is trying to seduce people to follow him for the extension of his demonic kingdom, which, in the words of St Augustine, is the City of Man, which is in constant conflict with the kingdom of Christ. The devil knows that you get nowhere alone, you inspire others to follow you. Then you train your followers and disciples and they will carry on your work. The devil trains his followers to seduce not just people or cities, but whole nations. . . . (continue reading)

Looking for Love in China and Not Finding It

April 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog


Communist China’s “One Child Policy” isn’t just stupid, it’s extra-strength stupid, as more and more panicked Chinese parents are discovering.

It’s common knowledge that the government forces abortion on couples who cross the line and conceive more than the one child legally allotted to them. This disastrous stricture, combined with socio-economic factors, has resulted in a disproportionate number of abortions of female babies, in favor of males.

This Asian behemoth huddles in the shadow of the culture of death — a shadow that in great part it is responsible for casting — because its institutional family planning policies have turned China into one of the lonliest of all lonely hearts clubs.

Let’s start with the money quote from this article, as it points out the key reason why these Chinese parents are getting really jittery about their adult sons’ inability to find a wife:

“As a result of the one-child policy introduced in China in 1979 and a cultural predisposition for males that has lead to forced abortions and female infanticide, there is a disproportionate number of eligible young men in the country.


In the year 2000 there were 117 boys for every 100 girls – and that ratio is believed to have grown.  Worrying about your child’s marriage prospects has long been a major part of Chinese culture, but the striking statistics have compounded the issue.”

BEIJING – On Sunday afternoon thousands of people gathered near Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium for a mass blind date.

But the scene was not the usual one of young swinging singles mixing and mingling; rather, it was full of anxious parents looking for love for their still single adult children.

At the entrance a billboard with heart shaped signs gave attendees instructions: “If you are a parent of a son looking for a girlfriend, please wear a blue ribbon. If you are a parent of a daughter looking for a boyfriend, please wear a red ribbon. If you are a single, please wear a tag [saying] ‘I’m looking for you!’”

Parents strolled around hunting for different colored ribbons, striking upconversations and asking for details such as “How old is your daughter?” or “How tall is your son?” They exchanged information, complete with pictures and resumes, in the hope of finding their son or daughter the perfect spouse. . . 
(continue reading)

All Information Highways Lead to Rome

April 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

This is the true story of a young woman who abandoned the Catholic Church of her upbringing and careened through a spiritual wilderness for years. With stops at abortion, contraception and Evangelical church-hopping, she was finally guided back home to Christ’s Church and His sacraments by, of all things, the signposts on the information superhighway.

A cradle Catholic, I’d spent my early years in an Irish-American ghetto in inner-city Boston. Here, during the pious ’50s, I’d developed an awed fascination with Catholic culture. I loved its mysterious milieu: the statues, votive candles and stained glass…the Latin hymns, May processions and novenas…the dimly-lit churches filled with incense during High Mass and Benediction. I eagerly read Lives of the Saints, borrowed from the public library’s bookmobile. And like many little girls of that era, I dreamed of becoming a nun.

But after we moved to the suburbs when I was eight, the Catholic influence faded. My mom, who’d always inclined toward skepticism, gradually withdrew from parish involvement. By my teens, I too had become a skeptic. I stopped attending Mass and drifted into unreflecting agnosticism.

Then, in my late teens, something happened. After a disastrous semester at an “experimental” college, I was living at home, listlessly looking for a job. On weekend nights, my hippie friends and I hung out at a “coffeehouse” sponsored by the local Congregational church. Soon several friends invited me to a Bible study at the home of a local lady who’d helped organize the coffeehouse. I had nothing better to do, so I tagged along. In the weeks that followed, as we plowed through the Synoptic Gospels, I found myself powerfully attracted to Jesus.

I argued, balked, objected; but I kept coming back for more. Finally, our hostess took us for an overnight trip to a Christian coffeehouse in western Massachusetts. There, when the youth ministers asked if I was ready to receive Jesus, I surprised myself by saying yes. The next morning, on the trip back home, I felt elated, freed. I knew little about the faith I’d just embraced, but I did know I’d passed a turning point. Everything seemed fresh and new.

A few months later, when I returned to college, I discovered that some of my classmates had also “accepted Jesus.” But after flirting with Pentecostalism, these friends had hankered for a richer, more liturgical tradition. Now they were attending a local “high church” Episcopal parish. Under their influence, I too journeyed from Fundamentalism to Anglicanism — and eventually back to Catholicism. . . . (continue reading)

It’s Game Time. Are You Ready to Help Fight the Good Fight?

April 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Consider these dismal realities we face today:  The “Notre Dame Scandal,” FOCA, rampant moral relativism, militant atheism, anti-Catholic attacks in the media, apathetic and confused Catholics . . . The list of such contemporary problems is a long one. 

If the above challenges bother you as much as they bother me — and I personally believe that they should bother each and every committed Catholic — then I have no doubt that you’d like to do something to help correct the serious problems they represent.

You want to help spread the Truth of Jesus Christ far and wide. You want the Truth to shine even more brightly into this present darkness that is steadily enveloping our world.

Well, now there is a simple, highly effective way for you can join me and many other dedicated Catholics in becoming part of the solution: You can become a member of
the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College — a vibrant, thoroughly Catholic apostolate dedicated to the promotion of Truth to the modern world. . . . please click the banner to see how you can help . . .

Join Patrick Madrid

It's Game Time. Are You Ready to Help Fight the Good Fight?

April 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Consider these dismal realities we face today:  The “Notre Dame Scandal,” FOCA, rampant moral relativism, militant atheism, anti-Catholic attacks in the media, apathetic and confused Catholics . . . The list of such contemporary problems is a long one. 

If the above challenges bother you as much as they bother me — and I personally believe that they should bother each and every committed Catholic — then I have no doubt that you’d like to do something to help correct the serious problems they represent.

You want to help spread the Truth of Jesus Christ far and wide. You want the Truth to shine even more brightly into this present darkness that is steadily enveloping our world.

Well, now there is a simple, highly effective way for you can join me and many other dedicated Catholics in becoming part of the solution: You can become a member of
the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College — a vibrant, thoroughly Catholic apostolate dedicated to the promotion of Truth to the modern world. . . . please click the banner to see how you can help . . .

Join Patrick Madrid

Are You A Bad Samaritan?

April 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

We all know the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37.  But have you ever considered what it means to be a bad samaritan?


A bad Samaritan is one who sees the needs of others and, whether because of laziness, greed, prejudice, pride or some other failing, refuses to help. A bad Samaritan recognizes that he can and should act to help someone out of a predicament but he stifles the voice of his conscience, that’s telling him to do something. A bad Samaritan is the embodiment of one who, by his refusal to act on behalf of another, commits sins of omission. In the Confiteor prayer at Mass, we tell publicly proclaim:
 
I confess to Almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault.
In my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and what I have failed to do . . .” (continue reading)

There was not a dry eye in the room as these women spoke from the heart

April 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog


My son Timothy, coordinator of the Bethesda Healing Ministry, writes about a recent training session for Catholic seminarians who, when they become priests, want to more effectively counsel and minister to women who have had abortions.

Formation Day on October 4th, which included talks and presentations on topics related to post-abortion ministry, mass, testimonies from several women who have gone through the healing journey with Bethesda and now serve as Companions for others, and a panel discussion with Q&A. Theresa Shively, the Companion Coordinator for Bethesda, facilitated the day’s events and Fr Dean Mathewson, Bethesda’s Ministry Chaplain, offered advice to the seminarians on how they might incorporate these ideas into their priestly ministry in the future, teaching them how to approach and handle pastoral situations with the heart of Christ, and how to make sure the mercy of God does in fact reach souls. These were priests and future priests once more listening to the heart of Christ.

Nowhere was this more evident than when the Companions gave their testimonies. These women shared with everyone present their heart-rending stories of having made the sorrowful decision to abort their babies, the subsequent grief it caused them, and the effect it had on their lives. They spoke of the painful period – often years — when they struggled and grieved until they finally came to rediscover the love and forgiveness of God. They summoned the courage to start on the difficult journey of healing. They sought to come home to be made whole, to be forgiven. And they were.

 
There was not a dry eye in the room as these women spoke from the heart.
 
Afterward, one seminarian commented, “Now I know what my priesthood is for; now I know what it’s all about.” His classmates nearby all agreed and voiced similar sentiments. (continue reading)

NB: If you’d like to be in touch with Tim about this vital apostolate (timothymadrid at gmail dot com),visit  http://bethesdahealing.org.


A Catholic Kid Asked Me, "Will there be Internet in Heaven?"

April 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Here’s a snippet from a call I took yesterday on my “Open Line” radio show. Samuel, a precocious 11 year old, asks an interesting question, and I’m not sure my answer was all that satisfying to him . . .

Listen:



To subscribe to my Thursday show as a podcast, just copy the URL below into your preferred podcasting tool software (e.g.  iTunes, Juice, Odeo, Winamp, etc.), and you’ll automatically receive this podcast each time it’s published:

http://www.ewtn.com/rss/ol_thursday.xml


What can BROWN Do For You? Here’s what:

April 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Some of the coeducational denizens of Brown University have sunk a little deeper into the mire of ridiculousness and irrelevance. Observe the university’s Undergraduate Council of Students’ new manifesto condemning the institution’s recognition of Columbus Day. And here is a snippet from a news report about it:

“Hundreds of Brown students had asked the Providence, R.I. school to stop observing Columbus Day, saying Christopher Columbus’s violent treatment of Native Americans he encountered was inconsistent with Brown’s values. . . .” (continue reading)


When you get over your headache from reading that, you may want to avail yourself of some anti-venom for this latest round of anti-Columbus silliness, which can be obtained here, here, and here.

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