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Notes from 2009. My second year on Friday duty. Time passes quickly!

December 18

  • Today's readings.
  • "O Antiphons."
  • Report on Theology on Tap at Coles on Wednesday (I hit the trifecta: "Miracle Monday," "Gauging Galileo" on Wednesday, "Faith and Reason Friday" today).
  • Heaven and Hell revisited (John from Niagara Falls): no one is in Heaven against their will; no one is in Hell against their will. Podcast? Dumb slideshow (no animations) on [1].
  • "The Trouble with Christ." The two Advents of the Christ: the first Advent in humility and suffering; the second Advent in glory.
  • Last week's calls:
    • Gwen from Rochester: Her cousin's family fell away from the Church years ago and now the cousin is getting remarried. Her family is divided on whether how to treat the marriage (go to it, etc.). How does a Catholic respond?
    • Rick from Grand Island: Called a couple weeks ago when Fr. asked him to do HW on Threshold of Hope. Calling to question Fr. about a quote Pope John Paul II made about Eternal Damnation.
    • John from Niagara Falls: Called a few weeks back about his brother who hadn't baptized his kids. The reason his brother doesn't go to Church is one son has Cerebral Palsy and the brother has a drinking problem.
    • Margaret from Hamburg: Question on original sin.
    • Will from North Carolina: Thanks for reference - accepted to Franciscan University.

December 11

  • Theology on Tap on Wednesday, December 16: "Galileo: Rude, Arrogant, and Almost Entirely Wrong." Coles, 1104 Elmwood Avenue. 7:30 PM. Come early for dinner! No cover charge, free parking.
  • Today's readings.
  • Pope St. Damasus I (born ~304; became pope in 366; died December 11, 384). Started St. Jerome on revision of the gospels, which, in turn, led to the Vulgate. Catholic Encyclopedia. Wikipedia. Canon of the OT and NT. Council of Rome, 382.
  • Last week's calls:
    • Polly from Tonawanda: She also wanted to ask If Father read St. Faustina and what he thought of her.
    • Brendan in Amherst: How was Jewish society run if there wasn't a King. Did it become a theocracy?
    • Josh from South Buffalo: Has a friend who doesn't share the same beliefs on conception. What can Josh say to his friend? His friend claims that the embryo is not a human until there's brain activity.
    • David from Lackawana: Wanted to ask if the United Hebrew Kingdom broke up during King Solomon's reign.
    • John from Niagara Falls: His Faith has been dwindling. He was wondering if Fr. had any advice.

December 4

  • Advent: Adventism, messianic expectations, apocalypticism, millenialism--"The End is Near!"

November 20

  • Announcements: tomorrow's pro-life Mass at St. Rose of Lima, 500 Parker Ave., Parkside & Parker Avenues (8:00 AM, followed by rosary and procession); Theology on Tap on December 16: "Galileo: Rude, Arrogant, and Almost Entirely Wrong."
  • Ps. 91.
  • Today's readings.
  • Sunday: The Solemnity of Christ, the King. "The trouble with 'Christ.'"
  • Last week's topics:
    • Leftover: How should parents deal with horror movies and the general cultivation of sin in today's entertainment media?
    • "All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God" (Wis 13:1).
    • St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.
    • A great intrigue movie name: The Galileo Affair.
    • Father Moleski: International Priest of Mystery: "It's an action movie. It needs Father on a zip line. We'll make up a in-movie context for it later."
    • Barbara from Kenmore: Wants to talk about the Muslim doctor who shot the soldiers at Fort Hood. The talk shows are describing him as a Muslim first, and she thinks people should put their faith first.
    • Rick from Grand Island: On Culture Talks: The Pope made a statement that there is a hell, but can't be sure there are people there.
    • Barbara from Rochester: What is your view on the book The Shack. And if Father is in the mood, could he sing 'Be not Afraid' because he has such a beautiful voice and she'd love to hear it on the ride home.
    • Walter from Wheatfield: Has a 'funny story' His company brought an Aluminium cross 30' tall. Felt God's help making very difficult welds on the brackets attached to the aluminum.
    • Mina from South Wales: Wants Father to talk more about Harry Potter. Two of her 18 grandchildren loved it but have not done well in college.
    • MMORPG: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. Inspired by Lord of the Rings--a thoroughly Catholic work of fiction.
    • Will from North Carolina: Comment about supernatural stuff. Wants an opinion on aliens.
    • Pat from Tonawanda: Comment on Mina's complaint about Harry Potter. His children loved the book and have done well in school.

November 13

  • Thanks to all of our benefactors and friends.
  • Today's readings.
  • St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.
  • Leftover question from October 30: How should parents deal with our culture's fascination with the occult? Horror movies, vampires, ghost stories ...
    • Related e-mail question from Kevin in Buffalo: "What do you think of this article on St. Januarius? It seems that very few Catholics today investigate and verify miracles (for acceptance or dismissal), leaving it almost entirely up to atheists. Outside of canonization procedures, of course, but those aren't really public."
  • E-mail question from Peter in Buffalo: Louise Akers argues for women's ordination at CTA.
  • Other questions asked and answered, sort of, on October 30:
    • Mike from Webster: Question in regards to donating organs.
    • Peg from Facebook: God bless you Fr. Marty Moleski. Thank you for your sacrifice - Keeping you in my prayers always!
    • Emily from Facebook: Can father share about his favorite saint - who and why?
    • John from Webster: Wonders if Father will talk about All Saints' & All Souls' Day.
    • Rick from Buffalo: Wants to make a comment to Father about St. Joseph, and then ask a ? about his mother who is concerned with medical treatment that she can/cannot refuse.
    • Mike from Buffalo: Correction: Says what Father meant was a Proxy, not a Living Will." Says Living Will's are bad according to Fr. Frank Pavone because the Doctors can interpret how they like.
    • Cathy from Buffalo: 11 yo grandson asks, 'What if you threw yourself in front of a bullet or a car to save someone, but you knew you'd die as a result. Is that alright?
    • John from Wilson: Curious as to what's the difference between psychics and prophets
    • John from Webster: In regards to Families and judgements going to seances and the demonic movies like Saw, the Grudge, etc. What's the line between entertainment and demonic?

November 6

October 30

  • Feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, SJ, and Blessed Dominic Collins, SJ, martyr of Ireland.
  • Today's readings.
  • Report on talk at Canisius College last week by Mitch Pacwa.
  • Peter from Syracuse: "Catholics" backing same-sex marriage in Maine.
  • Possibility of new dispensation for Anglicans within the Latin rite (ordination of married men in the Roman Catholic tradition).
  • From last week:
    • A donor from Rochester gets upset when I spend time complaining about the phones not working. She wants nothing but unadulterated brilliance.
    • Bonnie from Springville: A friend heard on a secular station that the Mass is changing this weekend?
    • Mike from Webster: Did Jesus's family have the paschal lamb before He went public
    • Andy from Buffalo: Question about the Book of Rev. Teaches 8th graders and they have lots of questions about the end of the world. What does he tell them
    • Terry from the Falls: Not on the line, just wanted to pass along - Wonder if the first person who called was referring to Fr. Mitch coming this weekend.
    • Andrew from Facebook: Taking into consideration the existence of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the seemingly inherent mix of good and evil within the created people, moving through Adam and Eve up to... the first murder involving Kane and Abel. I've been pondering what I want to call the origin of good and evil. I'm curious as to the Catholic churches position on whether there is simply a universal existence of good and evil or if what is good and evil is essentially set for us by God? To me is seem that is simply and interesting question without any real effect on us because if we believe in God we accept that everything He does is for our best interests no matter the reasoning.
    • Barbara from Rochester: Request that before the end of the broadcast, Father has such a beautiful singing voice, could he sing Be Not Afraid?
    • Joseph from Buffalo: Can Angels read minds? and what are the consequences if the devil can do that also do that too?
    • Scott from Rochester: He needs the readings from Monday, Thursday, Friday

October 23

Rev. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
Director, Ignatius Productions
"Faith and Reason"

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009 • 7:30 PM
Montante Cultural Center
Co-Sponsored with the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture

Father Mitch Pacwa S.J. is the founder and director of Ignatius Productions, a Catholic media production apostolate whose mission is to teach people the scriptures, to educate Catholics about their Faith, and to promote unity and understanding within the mystical body of Christ. Father Pacwa received his BA in philosophy and theology from the University of Detroit, summa cum laude. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1976 with the Society of Jesus and then continued his studies, earning a master of divinity and S.T.B. from the Jesuit School of Theology of Loyola University and the Master of Arts, and PhD in Old Testament from Vanderbilt University.

Father Pacwa has taught at the high school, university, and seminary levels. Being a well-known biblical scholar, he has lectured at hundreds of conferences and churches around the world, and has appeared and hosted international radio and television programs. He is best known for his appearances on EWTN, as well as his podcasts through Ignatius Productions on such subjects as Christianity in the Middle East, Christian-Islamic relations, liturgy, poetics, and the New Age movement.

  • Trip report from Gina?
  • Question from Jean from Alden: Should I let my 16-year-old daughter attend a party at which one of the mothers will act as a psychic?
    • Parenting question, general principle of ethics: "Virtue is the mean between extremes" (Aristotle, Confucius, the Buddah). Prudential judgments (prudence is a cardinal virtue). Balance in the spiritual life. Mary's question from a few weeks ago raised these same issues: there is no clear-cut law for parents to guide them in making decisions like this. Parents are confronted on a daily basis with the question of how much freedom to give their children and how to discipline when (not if!) the children disobey. As children grow up, parents need to let them exercise more and more freedom--even freedom to sin or to make mistakes!
    • Psychics, seances, tarot cards, astrology, and the like are all seen as violations of the First Commandment: "I am the LORD, your God; you shall have no other gods before me."
  • Link from Kevin from Buffalo: "Do whatever He tells you"--a joint statement from the Evangelical/Catholic dialogue.
  • Last week: replay of "Why do they hate us?" History of Islam.
  • From two weeks ago--discussion of Acts 2, 10, 15--"The Christian de-literalization of the Old Testament."
    • Note to myself: "The Father and I are one." Many wrong ways to interpret that verse.
    • Scott from Rochester: Wanted a synopsis of the Gospel for Tuesday - Today.
    • Diane from Rochester: When we pray, why don't say please?
    • Rick from Grand Island: Why do languages go dead?
    • Tom from Webster regarding Acts' prohibition of the use of 'strangled animals': Why does Acts tell Gentiles not to eat the blood of animals, but we do anyways?

October 16: staff away ...

... so no show!

October 9

  • Feast of St. Denis and Companions (d. 258 AD) and St. John Leonardi, founder of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) and author of a very popular catechism.
  • Today's readings.
  • From last week:
    • Betty's question: Does God need the angels? Wouldn't the existence of angels take glory away from God?
    • Elaine from New York: wants to warn father that "The Office" with Ricky Gervais is explicit.
    • Andrew on Facebook: I was wondering you think there could be any connections between the "personal gods" and angels that people and families would ask for help from in the early and pre-Judaism times? I ask this because of the discussion of guardian angels on ...the show yesterday. My source for hearing about this was the book God: A Biography in case you wanted to know.
    • Live guest: The guy that was in for the bumper stickers just called. He was thrilled that he could call, but didn't realize this was the actual call-in show and hadn't prepared any questions as a result.
    • Off the air: How was the discussion night last Friday?
    • Mary from Rochester: Question on how prayer works and why sometimes it doesn't work.
    • Fr Mark Noonan from Tonwanda: How close are the angels to us? "All the way to Heaven is Heaven" (St. Catherine of Sienna as interpreted by Dorothy Day)

October 2

  • Feast of our Guardian Angels. Wikipedia; Catholic Encyclopedia; Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  • Today's readings.
  • From last week:
    • Teresa Tomeo's presentation--anyone want to share what they heard?
    • Marylin: Would Teresa comment on what she would be important to say to a group of girls?
    • Paullette from Spencerport: Best way to get her books into the hands of young women?
    • Estel from Rochester: Question regarding Catholic Connection episode where the caller was asking about life issues. She'd like to know how to get a copy of a pre-recorded show.
    • Paul from Kenmore: Wants advice in re: to being overwhelmed as a parent with risks the internet poses for kids.

September 25

  • Special guest: Teresa Tomeo. She is speaking tomorrow date, time, location: ?
  • Today's readings.
  • From last week:
    • Jean from Batavia: The official prayer for Year of the Priests.
    • Jean from Rochester: Priest told her she could recieve communion at Protestant church.
    • Mary Lou from Corfu: Question about National Geographic special 'The girl who cried blood.'
    • Cecil from Buffalo: Why don't other churches believe in Mary like we do?
    • Roger from Pavilion: With Swine Flu going around, feels guilty about keeping kids home.
    • Mary from Clarence: Wants to understand better 'The end doesn't justfy the means.' I wish I had said more about what we mean by 'justify.' The basic principle of ethis is to do good and avoid evil; the steps we take to reach a goal (the means we use to get to an end) have to be good in themselves; we never may do evil in order to do good. Doing good is good; doing evil is always evil. So a good goal cannot turn a bad thing into a good thing.
    • Diane from Rochester: Was handed a strange-looking Host last week.

September 18

  • Next week we will have a special guest on the line: Teresa Tomeo. She is coming to Buffalo on date, to give a talk; location: ?
  • Today's readings. "Love of money is the root of all evils" (1 Tim 6:10).
  • From last week:
    • Thoughts on 9/11: Why do they hate us?
    • Kathleen Rochester. Mentioning a book called 'Catholic Prophecies of the end time.' On war between Muslims and Christians. Saying we should pray the rosary (a la OLV/Battle of Lepanto).
    • Robert. Buffalo. Comment - Because Abraham favoured Issac of Ishmael--related to his own personal experience.
    • Question for next time: What books would be good to learn more about the history of the Family Feud: The Children of Abraham? I have two handouts available on my college website.

September 11

  • Thoughts on 9/11: Why do they hate us?
  • Today's readings.
  • From last week:
    • Norm from Buffalo: comment on loss of goodness and a world that accepts evil as good
    • Kathy Rochester ny as a preist what do you think of the 12 steps, in AA
    • Ben Buffalo when in purgatory do you know you will be saved eventually.
    • Michael from facebook: This has been a great program. The Holy Spirit is showing Himself through Father Moleski and the callers. I thank God for our priest. Just as we need women to bring life into the world,we need out priest to bring us the Eucharist! Thank you station of the cross. God is Mercy.

September 4

  • Today's readings.
  • From last week:
    • Person and work of the Holy Spirit.
    • Just one call ... No e-mail, no wall, no tweets!

August 28

  • Today's readings.
  • Memorial of Saint Augustine, bishop and doctor of the Church.
  • From last week:
    • Robert from Buffalo: liked Azariah's prayer. Wanted to talk about serious sin. (Not able to put his call on the air. Do we have a delay line and kill button?)
    • Barbara from Kenmore: Final blessing with relics at St. Michael's seems like "gilding the lilly."
    • Mike from Buffalo: enjoyed the Mass at the Corapi conference.
    • Sophie from Elma: comments on the conference. Liked seeing all of the priests and deacons at the Mass.
    • Call: Who was the Deacon of the Eucharist?
    • 75 priests and deacons.
    • Jerry, e-mail: Happy Birthday Father! Hi Gina!
    • Tom from Williamsville, e-mail: Go to an ordination or the Chrism Mass at the cathedral on Tuesday of Holy Week to see a lot of priests at Mass.
    • Dolores from Clarence: Happy birthday! Talked about Auriesville and Fordham.

August 21

  • Today's readings.
  • Feast of Pope St. Pius X.
  • My 57th birthday (born in 1952).
  • Time to talk about sabbatical possibilities.
  • Suggested topic for callers: What did you think of the Corapi Conference last Saturday?
Gina's first show as the permanent moderator?

Last week's calls

  • Local Catholic blogs:
  • Billy from Buffalo: what about Communion services?
  • E-mail question (no name): Did Paul throw consecrated bread overboard (Acts 27:35-38)?
  • Sean from Ontario: Couldn't be confirmed because his wife is uncertain about baptizing and raising the children as Catholics.
  • Don from Toronto (!): Recordings of Fr. Corapi's talks? Question about the Resurrection.
  • Kevin from Buffalo: Any info on people looking to study theology academically?

August 14

  • Today's readings.
  • Memorial of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, priest and martyr: "He was canonized by the Catholic Church as Saint Maximilian Kolbe on 10 October 1982 by Pope John Paul II, and declared a martyr of charity. He is the patron saint of drug addicts, political prisoners, families, journalists, prisoners, amateur radio and the pro-life movement. Pope John Paul II declared him "The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century."
Last show with Jim Havens as the permanent moderator?

Mt 19:3-12

No divorce in the New Covenant

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”

He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”

Jesus is not a biblical literalist

They said to him, “Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful = "me epi porneia")
and marries another commits adultery.”

Celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven

His disciples said to him,
“If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry.”

He answered, “Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

Last week's questions

Benny. Aurora. A few weeks ago you mentioned that "Life is a theatre of freedom." He tuned in late but was fascinated and would like to know what you meant. 

Amy from Facebook Must you receive communion on the same day you seek a plenary indulgence or can it be from communion you received days prior? Thanks! 

Marsha. West Seneca. She would like help on how to explain Mary as the Mother of God to a non-Catholic. Is it in Scripture? 

The Council of Ephesus decreed in 431 that Mary is Theotokos 

Susanne. Rochester. Can you give your thoughts on what the New Jerusalem will be like? 

Tom, Williamsville 
Email:  If, God forbid, a priest is in mortal sin and is celebrating Mass, does that in any way affect or negate the transubstantiation of the host into the Body and Blood of our Lord? 

Just something that I always wondered, 

With you in Christ, 

(4:53 PM) studio-b: ex opere operato 

August 7

  • Today's readings.
  • Feast of Sixtus and companions. "Pope Sixtus II or Pope Saint Sixtus II was Pope from August 30, 257 to August 6, 258. He died as a martyr during the persecution by Emperor Valerian. ... Pope Sixtus II was one of the first victims of this persecution, being beheaded on August 6. He was martyred along with six deacons—Januarius, Vincentius, Magnus, Stephanus, Felicissimus and Agapitus" (Eons).
  • Feast of St. Cajetan: "Saint Cajetan's feast day is celebrated on August 7. He is known as the patron saint of the unemployed, gamblers, job seekers and good fortune" (Wikipedia).
  • From last week:
    • Jim from Niagara Falls: What is the significance of the crosses made on the forehead, lips, and heart just before the reading of the gospel?
    • Michael from Rochester: How to deal with leftover guilt from past sins? Led to discussion of trust in God's perfect mercy. After the show, I had a call from Scott that brought up the topic of the sin of presumption. Since I know that God is merciful, may I plan to sin, knowing that I can then go to confession and get absolution? Another example of the principle of prudence--"virtue is the mean between extremes."
    • Jenne from Facebook: OK to have toys in church for small children?
    • Should a divorced Methodist man get married to a Roman Catholic woman in the Methodist church because "they will accept anyone"? Would that marriage then be accepted by the Catholic Church?

July 31

July 24

  • Today's readings. Counting the commandments.
  • Last week's questions:
    • Rainy day faith: "The joy of the Lord is my strength."
    • Gloria from Rochester: "What does dogmatic mean?" "Dogmatic baptism"?
    • Brian from Niagara Falls: Green scapular, prayers for his mother.
    • Kevin from Buffalo: Ideas for Friday penance (prayer, alms, fasting).
    • "For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."
    • Nancy from Buffalo: Several questions about marrying a non-Catholic Christian.

July 17

  • Today's readings.
  • Last week's questions:
    • Kevin from Buffalo: Opinion on plasticized bodes?
    • Sam from Buffalo: Why does the Apostle's Creed say, "He descended into hell"? We got into a discussion about Heaven and Hell being spiritual states, not physical locations.
    • Phil from Medina: Why do bad things happen to good people?
    • Susan from Buffalo: Asked how to make her first confession as a Catholic. See notes on Precepts of the Church below.
    • Kathy from Canadaigua: Should she attend her nephew's non-Catholic wedding ceremony?
    • Nancy from Buffalo: Is looking at pornography a sin?

General principle for interpreting canon law (Church law)

  • Heremeneutics: the branch of philosophy that deals with how we interpret what others have said; the art or science of interpretation; methods of interpretation. "Biblical exegesis" would be one form of hermeneutics.
  • The Code of Canon Law

By the laws (canons) of the Church, the most liberal interpretation of the laws (canons) are required. If something is not strictly and explicitly prohibited, it is not prohibited. The laws must be interpreted in favor of human freedom. Guidelines:

    • "Only those laws must be considered invalidating or disqualifying which expressly establish that an act is null or that a person is affected" (Can 10).
    • "Laws, even invalidating and disqualifying ones, do not oblige when there is a doubt about the law. When there is a doubt about a fact, however, ordinaries can dispense from laws provided that, if it concerns a reserved dispensation, the authority to whom it is reserved usually grants it" (Can 14).
    • "Laws which establish a penalty, restrict the free exercise of rights, or contain an exception from the law are subject to strict interpretation" (Can 18). In other words, such canons apply only to those cases to which they apply explicitly--we may not reason from them analogously to create penalties, restrictions, or exceptions in cases not explicitly covered by the canons.

Precepts of the Church

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

  • 2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:
  • 2042 The first precept ("You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor") requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days.
  • The second precept ("You shall confess your sins at least once a year") ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism's work of conversion and forgiveness.
  • The third precept ("You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season") guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord's Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.
  • 2043 The fourth precept ("You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church") ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.
  • The fifth precept ("You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church") means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.

The Sunday obligation

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

  • 2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass." "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day."
  • 2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor. Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.

July 10

Retrospective--what in tarnation has been going on?

  • July 3: we weren't here. All talk; no live calls.
    • "You are a priest forever of the order of Mechisedek."
    • Assenting vs. Dissenting Catholics. People who say, "I am a Catholic, but I disagree with what the Church teaches about {some doctrine or other}" are not Catholics at all, but heretics and Protestants.
      • Heretics "pick and choose." They keep part of the tradition and throw away other parts.
      • Protestants are "protesters." They protest the teaching authority of the Church and act on "personal judgment" rather than accepting the judgment (doctrine) of the Church. Assenting Catholics should be repenting Catholics.
      • "Catholic buts" are really undercover Protestants. Instead of leaving the Church, they are rebelling against it from within.
    • June 26: I wasn't here. I was in Chicago for a conference on Jesuit education.
    • June 19: last regular show.
      • Roger from Batavia called to defend Paul's view that "the love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:9-10).
      • Talked about the demise of "Culture Gauge Live."
      • Karen from Wilcox: Sacred Heart medal and scapular medals.
      • Nathanael (12 years old): tensions between his Mom and his aunt.
      • Nancy from Rochester: asked about "In consolation, ever to be sober; in desolation, never to despair" (John Henry Newman, sermon, "Second Spring").
      • Kevin from Buffalo: pointers for a good confession?
      • Scott: review the readings, please.
      • Roy from Rochester: lightning while saying the rosary. Was it a sign from God?

June 12


  • Readings of the day. Today's saying from St. Paul is taken from the first reading. The second reading is from the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:27-32):
    • What is and is not the sin of lust.
    • The Church's commitment to Jesus' teaching against divorce.
    • The nature of annulments.
    • Catholics who have a civil divorce and who are living chastely as a single person may take communion.
  • E-mail from John B. in Rochester: * "I appreciate your ministry on the radio. I look forward to your time slot on Friday afternoons. The content is very engaging and your picking the host entertaining (that poor, poor host). The 'lectures' remind me of my days in high school and college."
  • Followups from last week:
    • Question from John in Tonawanda about attending Hellenic festival (see next section on "The Hellenic Church."
    • Mike in Olean (does he have his own radio show?): May a Roman Catholic attend Mass and receive the Eucharist in Orthodox territory.
    • The Feast of the Assumption is not a holyday of obligation in the Buffalo diocese this year.
    • Mary in Lancaster, Marie in Dansville, and Barbara in Kenmore: Comments on modest clothing in church during the summer months. Rick, the station manager (?) gave me an invitation from the Monastery of the Little Flower of Jesus that says, "We ask that all who attend be modestly dressed, as is proper in the House of God."

The Hellenic Church

The Hellenic Church was founded by the Synod of Nauplia in 1833.

It is the Orthodox Church of Greece, independent of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Highest authority: a Synod of bishops.

The King of Greece is the chief governor in external matters.

June 5

May 29

May 22

  • Readings of the day.
  • Ascension Thursday.
  • Novena of the Holy Spirit.
  • Happy Easter!
  • See us on facebook. Go to http:facebook.com and search for "The Station of the Cross."
  • Let your mind be renewed? transformed? ...

May 8

Feast of St. Joseph the Worker (last week's starter topic)

"The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955, coinciding with the observance of International Labor Day or May Day, which was instituted in 1889 in recognition of the basic rights of workers.

"Pope John Paul II said, 'The Church regards St. Joseph as the patron of workers ecause of his hard manual labor to provide for his family. His solemnity is an occasion to reflect on the importance of work in the life of man, the family, and the community.'

"The Vatican Council II said, 'Human activity derives from man and is ordered to man. To become a source of blessing and holiness, work should be offered to God, according to the motto of St. Benedict: “Ora et Labora,” or “pray and work.”'" (Manilla Bulletin Publishing Company).

For this week

Leo XIII Rerum novarum "On capital and labor."
1931 Pius XI Quadragesimo anno "On the reconstruction of the social order."
1961 John XXIII Mater et Magistra "On Christianity and social progress."
1963 John XXIII Pacem in terris "On establishing universal peace in truth, justice, charity, and liberty."
1967 Paul VI Populorum progressio "On the development of peoples."
1971 Paul VI Octogesima adveniens "A call to action."
1981 John Paul II Laborem exercens "On human work."
1987 John Paul II Sollicitudo rei socialis "On the Twentieth Anniversary of Populorum Progressio."
1991 John Paul II Centesimus annus "The hundredth anniversary of Rerum novarum."
  • Janice Schlau, Prosit Restaurant, 5428 Main Street, Williamsville, 14221. 716-633-8975.

April 24

  • Why did Jesus have to suffer?
    • To overturn the whole history of human sin.
    • His self-sacrifice on the Cross is an action of God and man: Priest, Victim, Altar of Sacrifice. He sums up "the whole of the Law and the Prophets." "I have come not to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for the multitudes" (Mk 10:45).
  • Why do we have to suffer?
    • God allows freedom and therefore tolerates sin that causes innocent suffering because the gift of freedom makes us like God. To protect His children from moral evil, God would have to make us all into robots. We would cease to be like God (Gen 1:27-28) and would be "things" rather than persons.
    • God gives nature fixed laws that do not vary with the presence of humans so that we can know the consequences of our actions and have the dignity of being able to choose good and avoid evil. But the foreseen and accepted side-effect of a universe that operates impersonally is that natural disasters can and do injure innocent bystanders: hurricanes, tornadoes, fire, flood, famine, disease, birth defects, etc. If the law of the universe was that no humans could be harmed by natural causes, humans could do anything they wanted with impunity. There would never be any evil consequences to human actions and therefore there would be no freedom to choose between good and evil.
  • Why does God allow us to suffer desolation? There can be many reasons:
    • Because we have sinned and deserve to suffer the consequences of breaking our relationship with God.
    • Because we have become attached to the pleasure of God's company and love the good feelings more than we love God.
    • Because we have become confused about who is God and who is not.
    • Because we are stuck at one level of spiritual growth and need to be pruned (Jn 15?).
    • Because the Father wants to place us with the Son in glory: "Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer so as to enter into His glory?" (Emmaus, Lk). "And when I am lifted up, I will draw all men to me" (Jn). The great saints whose desolation is known to us were closest to Jesus in their suffering--when they felt furthest from Him.
  • Note well:
    • We are not good people just because we feel good.
    • We are not bad people just because we feel bad.
    • Bad feelings can come from good decisions (Jesus' Agony in the Garden) and good feelings can come from bad decisions (there is some kind of pleasure, however small and corrupt it may be, in every sinful act).
    • Sin is not in feelings. Sin is in our actions--our choices. Distinguish between temptation and sin!

April 3

  • Readings of the day: "You, a man, are making yourself God."
  • Small things: sometimes matter, sometimes don't.

From last two weeks

  • Jay from Buffalo Any recommendations for resources against the new athiest movement? (I.e. Dawkins?)
  • George from Buffalo, bible question - in Rev. 6:5-6 Lamb breaking seals - 4th seal - take of the barley and wheat, do not touch olive oil and wine?
  • Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins' Case Against God, by Dr. Ben Wiker and Dr. Scott Hahn
  • Mary from car in Amherst, wondering if there is a historical connection in Poland btwn Divine Mercy VS. Solidarity Labor Mvmt there?
  • Gabriel from E Amherst...Evolution/Intell Design...Bishop Sheen comment regarding this?
  • Science: theology and philosophy as sciences vs. our modern and limited meaning of "science."
  • Ask Rick about Divine Mercy and Solidarity Movement.
  • Polly from Buffalo, wants encourage one another with different spiritual attacks going on (Notre Dame).
  • Anna from Rochester, question regarding father's name, first or last to be used?
  • Mary from Rochester, wants to agree with father about marriage/divorce
  • Not on line - Nancy from Buffalo, what do recovering alcoholic priests do when they have to drink the wine/Precious Blood?

March 20

  • Readings of the day: Law of love.
  • John B. from Webster asked last week, "Why do people die?"
    • Chesterton Society in Rochester
      • Conference: last Saturday in September (September 26). Dale Ahlquist, Joseph Pearce, Tom Howard, and others.
      • We meet THIRD THURSDAYS of the month at 3497 East Ave. at 7:30 (except summer). Our current book: Tremendous Trifles.

March 13

  • Readings of the day: Joseph sold into slavery by his brothers; the parable of the wicked tenants.
  • First e-mail from John B.:
A couple of Fridays ago, a caller asked you "why there is evil in 
the world" and "why does God allow evil to happen?"

Your answer had two parts:  #1 dealt with the fact the mankind had 
free will to make choices and bear the consequences or blessings of 
those decisions.

#2 dealt with natural disasters or accidents that were independent 
of free choice ... could you elaborate on today's show if you don't 
get this e-mail too late?  I did not get the chance to hear your 

I am the family apologist.  My family asks me questions regarding 
our Catholic faith and Church teaching.  I try to immerse myself in 
the gift of catholic radio (WHIC) & EWTN, daily mass, the catechism, 
and Catholic websites... for a deeper love and understanding of our 

Thanks for your time.  God bless you and your ministry.

I promise no more questions regarding the 'mandatum' (sp??)!!!  LOL!


John B. (from Webster)
  • Second e-mail from John B.:
I appreciate your discussions on church history and tradition (i.e. 
origins of 'Lent' and 'Easter').
The earlier starting time seems to be working out for me as I try to 
leave work around 4pm.
Recently, an acquaintance of mine lost a close relative.  She asked 
me 'why do people die?'.  Two answers that blurted out from me 
immediately were: 1)  'the wages of sin are death' and 2) that 
mankind in his/ her arrogance, pride, and rebellion cannot become 
like God because of disobedience... items you touched upon.
And finally, I am trying to do a little research for you.  I 
remember you mentioning on the radio you liked to read G.K. 
Chesterton.  There is a local Chesterton chapter in Rochester 
somewhere.  They have been holding an annual Chesterton workshop 
(lectures/ discussions, etc) at my alma mater, St. John Fisher 
College.  If you are interested in any of this information, I can 
forward it to you.  There is probably a section that meets in 
Buffalo as well.

March 6

February 6

January 30

  • Readings for Friday in the third week in Ordinary Time.
  • From last week:
    • Mike, Rochester: Are there other St. Michael's other than the famous one?
    • Russell, Batavia: Has A couple additional Michaels for Sainthood.
    • Carmen, Henrietta: Agrees with sad situation with the Funding for abortion. Wants to know if there are female named angels.
    • Rick from Norm's World: Blessed Michael Sopocko was just beatified.
    • Kathrine, Byron: Wants to know if it is ever in vain to say God bless America. Will God always hear our prayer?
    • Ann, Orchard Park: How can she explain Heaven to her son since it is a state and not a place?
    • Amanuel, Rochester, e-mail: There are so many instances of the topic of slavery in the Bible (both the Old and New), and the manner with which this topic is dealt presents a major difficulty to many (myself included), especially African American believers (for an obvious reason). What is your take on the topic of slavery in the bible specifically in terms of how it was understood then and now? I am looking at these texts in particular: Eph 6:5ff; Col 3:22; 1 Tim 6:1-2.

January 23

Last week's calls

  • Rochester pro-life day.
  • Brian from Niagara Falls asked for a prayer.
  • Leo from Rochester: should we boycott pro-abortion corporations? Life Decisions International. http:www.fightpp.org/
  • Ann from East Aurora: Immaculate Conception had a FOCA discussion.
  • Jim from Buffalo: Is there any way to know if someone he has been praying for a long time has been released from Purgatory?
  • Paula from Rochester: Krispy Kreme Donuts--"Freedom of Choice Donut".
  • Ty from Rochester - why is there not a First Sunday in Ordinary time?

January 16

January 9, 2009

What's been going on?


  • 21: I think I was in Chicago for the AAR.
  • 28: Thanksgiving. Pre-recorded or other taped show? Did Jim and I do Romans that week?


  • 5: Jim and I (I think).
  • 12: Jim and Fr. Dino Lorenzetti. I was giving a test that day.
  • 19: Gina and I did a prerecorded show on Romans--kind of a followup to what Jim and I did earlier. Snowstorm. I had gone to New York City for Avery Dulles' funeral and got back into town ahead of the storm early on Friday morning.
  • 26: Christmas story--radio drama.


  • 2: "Best of."
  • 9: Today. Recuperating from lunch with WLOF staff and friends. Too much food, not enough speeches.

Topics from December 5

  • John from Lakeview had a question on the history of St. Nicholas and the secularization of Christmas. (I subsequently learned that Belgian children write their parents letters and receive presents on New Year's Day. They don't exchange presents on Christmas Day.)
  • Gerald from Rochester sent an e-mail asking about whether the persons of the Trinity are "distinct ways of being" or "ways of God's prearranged set." He seemed to be separating the being of God the Father from the being of the Son and Spirit. Or he was a modalist. Hard to tell from such a short e-mail.
  • Diane from Rochester: Do the persons of the blessed trinity worship each other? (Jesus definitely praised the Father when the disciples reported the success of their missions and maybe just before He raised Lazarus from the dead.)
  • Ed from Rochester had a question on the use of a Greek work in an advent booklet. I think we lost Ed and didn't get his question on the air.
  • Emmanuel from Rochester: Question on an author who describes the Trinity in a music scenario.
  • Dan from Akron: Question on the different language in the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed.

For January 9, 2009

  • Give a shout out to Ms. Precious Debose, who has been taking care of Jesuits at Loyola Hall for more than 10 years. She is the longest serving employee on our kitchen staff and helps to create a very cheerful environment in the dining room.
  • Readings of the Day. "I do will it. Be healed."
  • Christmas Season ends on Sunday--Baptism of the Lord.
  • Finishing my first year as the Friday priest. My first Friday show was January 11, 2008. Happy anniversary to me and thanks to all of our first-year callers!