The Pontifical College Josephinum: Forming Renaissance Priests for the 21st Century

June 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

I’m happy and grateful to say that this is where I did my studies in philosophy (B.Phil.) and theology (M.A.). The Pontifical College Josephinum is a great school, and it’s getting even better, as you’ll see from this video. Any of you young men who are contemplating the diocesan priesthood should ask your bishop if he’d consider sending you to the Josephinum for your seminary formation. You (and he) won’t regret it.

Turning the table on atheists

June 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog






Here’s the text of my recent interview with the Catholic news service ZENIT on the question: What would happen if Christians turned the tables on atheists and challenged them on their belief that God doesn’t exist?

This is the premise of the book The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism, written by Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley (Our Sunday Visitor), in which the internal contradictions of a non-belief in God, as well as the various incoherencies in the atheistic worldview, are exposed.

According to Madrid, “atheists are not accustomed to Christians subjecting atheism to a rigorous critique on its own merits. This is why our primary goal was to take a different approach by providing a philosophical critique of atheism itself.”

Madrid is the author or editor of 16 books, the director of the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College, the publisher of Envoy Magazine, and host of the Thursday edition of EWTN Radio’s “Open Line” broadcast (3-5 p.m. ET). In this 2-part interview … Madrid discusses the primary goals of writing The Godless Delusion, as well as the precarious foundations of the naturalistic morality of atheism.

ZENIT: As you state in your book, atheists have been around for years, but there have also been various Catholic and Protestant responses to atheism. What is unique about your approach to atheism and your understanding of atheists?

MADRID: Given that other Catholic books have already decisively refuted atheism’s major arguments against God, when Kenneth Hensley and I began outlining chapters for The Godless Delusion, we knew it wasn’t necessary for us to write the same sort of book (three superb examples of which are: The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism, by Edward Feser, Handbook of Catholic Apologetics, by Jesuit Father Ronald Tacelli and Peter Kreeft, and Theology and Sanity, by Frank Sheed).

Atheists are accustomed to being the aggressor when engaging Christians. They attack and Christians defend. But atheists are not accustomed to having the tables turned, and to defend atheist principles. They are not accustomed to Christians subjecting atheism to a rigorous critique on its own merits.

This is why our primary goal was to take a different approach by providing a philosophical critique of atheism itself — one that would highlight its internal contradictions and incoherencies and demonstrate what we believe to be the atheist worldview’s abject inability to account for various immaterial realities we all know and experience, e.g., love, knowledge, goodness, evil, self-awareness, memory, human rights, etc.

Second, we wanted to subject atheism to a strictly rational, philosophical critique that would not rely on evidence for the existence of God found in divine revelation: Christ, Scripture, the Church, miracles, etc. Those things are, of course, rejected out of hand by atheists as wholly irrelevant and inadmissible, so we felt it would be useful for our readers to understand how to critique and refute atheism without ever having to engage in directly proving the existence of God.

At the outset of the book, we specify a premise with which all atheists would agree: Either God exists or he does not exist. There is no possibility of a third option. Thus, if it can be conclusively proven that God does not exist, then atheism is true and we should all become atheists. The corollary is equally true: If atheism itself is false, then by default, God must exist. In The Godless Delusion, our fundamental goal is to demonstrate that God must exist, but only indirectly, by showing that atheism is false. (continue reading)

Watch Sam Klemke go 35 years back in time

June 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

This is clever and very far sighted. You’ll see an interesting transformation of this man as he regresses from the present day back to 1976. Actually, in some ways he changes quite a bit. In other ways, hardly at all. In any case, this is an interesting way of looking at the last 35 years. P.S. I found it noteworthy that one of the folks who commented on this video at Youtube told the author that watching this video brought home to him the fact that “my life was flying by” and it was enough of an encouragement/inspiration to him that he quit doing drugs. If nothing else, the video can at least remind us that “Tempus fugit. Memento mori.” I mean that in a good way 😉

2 Franciscan brothers, who are also twin brothers, die on same day at age 92

June 3, 2011 by  
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Brother Julian Reister and his twin brother, Brother Adrian Reister died of old age on Wednesday at a hospital in St. Petersberg, Florida. They both were professed friars in the Franciscan order for over 65 years. “They became known as accomplished artisans who expressed their talents as gardeners and woodworkers, turning out tables and cabinets from their workshop in the garage of St. Bonaventure’s Franciscan Friary,” one news source says of them.

May perpetual light shine upon them, O Lord, and may their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through Your mercy, rest in peace. Amen.

From the moment of their birth in Buffalo 92 years ago, twin brothers Julian and Adrian Riester rarely left each other’s side.

They played together, went to school together, as young men traveled cross-country together — and, in their 20s, joined the Franciscan order together.

And on Wednesday, after 65 years as identical twins wearing the identical brown robes of the Franciscans — mostly at St. Bonaventure University — Brother Julian Riester and Brother Adrian Riester died together at St. Anthony Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Julian died Wednesday morning, followed by Adrian in the evening. Those who knew the Riesters best say they are not surprised at all.

“If ever there is a confirmation that God favored them, this is it,” said their cousin and close friend Michael Riester of Buffalo. “They weren’t even separated for 12 hours.”

The biological brothers were also religious brothers, committed to the monastic life of Franciscan friars, not as priests but in roles as physical laborers.

During two stints at St. Bonaventure, from 1951 to 1956 and from 1973 to 2009, “the twins” were a common sight strolling in lockstep across campus — or, in later years after a few “incidents” resulted in loss of their driver’s licenses, on identical bicycles wearing identical helmets. . . .

(continue reading)

My EWTN “Book Mark” interview about “150 Bible Verses Every Catholic Should Know”

June 1, 2011 by  
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Here’s a discussion I had with Doug Keck a couple of years ago regarding my book 150 Bible Verses Every Catholic Should Know. As time permits, I’ll try to post all the other “Book Marks” interviews I’ve done.