Tuesday, September 2, 2014

REMINDER. Saturday, September 6th, First Saturday Devotion for Reparation of Blessed Virgin Mary.

 Archbishop Sample Consecrated the Archdiocese of Portland to Our Lady of Fatima.  Let's join him this Saturday. 

Join the Archdiocese of Portland on these Saturdays- July 5,  
Aug. 2, Sept. 6, Oct. 4 and Nov. 1, 2014.

These are suggested, but any five will bless our soul.
The Faithful are asked to:

1. Receive Holy Communion

2. Go to Confession within eight (8) days after receiving Holy Communion.
3. Pray the Rosary
4. Meditate for 15 minutes on a mystery of the Rosary.

All of these actions should be offered for the Intention of making Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Blessed Mother promised that for those who do this on the First Saturday of five consecutive months, she will assist them at the Hour of Death with all the Graces necessary for Salvation.

Five - First Saturday Devotions to Mary? Why?

He explained that it was because of five kinds of offenses and blasphemies against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, namely:

1. blasphemies against her Immaculate Conception,
2. against her perpetual virginity,
3. against the divine and spiritual maternity of Mary,
4. blasphemies involving the rejection and dishonoring of her images,
5. and the neglect of implanting in the hearts of children a knowledge and love of this Immaculate Mother.

(A holy card of Our Lady of Fatima in the home will remind us of this Consecration of our Archdiocese.)

Monday, September 1, 2014

"Edict still on hold for Catholic schools". Bishop Vasa, truly loving Santa Rosa students.


Like the Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese itself, the teachers of St. Vincent de Paul High School seem to be backing away from a controversial contract clause suggested by Bishop Robert Vasa in 2013. 

That spring, Bishop Vasa proposed a “morals addendum” for Catholic school teacher contracts, which would have required educators to sign a document stating that they personally accept Catholic doctrine in order to keep their jobs. 

Teachers at St. Vincent de Paul High School who spoke to the Argus-Courier last year said they felt the new contract would force teachers to adopt traditional Catholic beliefs as their own.

The addendum would have required teachers to believe, among other things, that contraception, abortion, homosexual marriage and euthanasia are “modern errors” that “gravely offend human dignity.” (VOCAL highlighted text)

With many local teachers opposed to the addendum, there was a sense of relief when Bishop Vasa decided to postpone the edict until the spring of 2015, giving teachers time to find work elsewhere if they didn’t agree with its terms.

With a prolonged timeline and a shifted focus on religious education programs, it seems that the “morals addendum” is out of sight and out of mind for the time being.

Brian O’Neel, communications director for the Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese, said he did not know when the edict would next be discussed with teachers. 

“There is no intention to not do this,” O’Neel said. “It will happen at some point, it’s just not going to happen this academic year. We don’t have a definite timeline.” 

O’Neel said last year’s effort to enact the addendum was surrounded with confusion over what Bishop Vasa was asking of teachers. Vasa spoke to teachers from Santa Rosa, in an effort to explain why Catholic teachings cannot “be left up to a person’s own discretion.” 

“(Bishop Vasa) quickly understood that he had to do a little preparatory work first, so that is still where we stand,” O’Neel said. “He is continuing to speak with educators and administrators so that the groundwork is laid.” 

In the meantime, other diocese across the country, such as the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Oakland, are adopting similar contract language for teachers. As of May, the revised contracts out of Cincinnati forbid practices such as extramarital sex, a gay “lifestyle” and abortions. 

That same month, it was reported that several teachers quit their jobs at Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High School because of contract language dictating that in their personal lives they must “promote behavior in conformity with the teaching of the Roman Catholic faith in matters of faith and morals.” 

O’Neel speculated that the implementation of the new contracts elsewhere may be due to other bishops across the country recognizing “where culture and society are heading.” 

“They understand that steps need to be taken in order to safeguard the integrity of how the faith is presented and passed on in our parochial schools,” he said. 

O’Neel said the Santa Rosa diocese is focusing on religious education, and currently has a joint effort with the St. Vincent parish to offer educational programs. 

(Contact Allison Jarrell at allison.jarrell@argus courier.com)

Friday, August 29, 2014

La Raza Out of Catholic Campaign for Human Development.(a good thing) CCHD Recipients Still Lopsided for Same-Sex Marriage.(a bad thing)

A local nonprofit that works on behalf of immigrant workers said Tuesday it refused to cut ties to another Latino group that supports same-sex marriage, cost it a $75,000 grant from a Roman Catholic organization.

The Voz Workers' Rights Education Project, a Northeast Portland group that connects Latino immigrants with jobs, said it was a finalist for a top grant from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. But last month, the group said, the conference told it to sever ties with the National Council of La Raza, one of the nation's leading Latino rights groups, because the council advocates same-sex marriage.

"Our board felt like what they were asking us to do was take a position on marriage equality," said Ranfis Villatoro, Voz's development director. Voz has never taken a public stance on the issue, he said, although it does offer services to gay and lesbian couples. Therefore, the board voted last month to reject the grant.

The grant would have been a significant chunk of the nonprofit's $310,000 annual budget.

"By making this decision, we run the risk of decreasing staff size and decreasing hours," Villatoro said.

The group mostly helps male Latino immigrants who are struggling to find work in Portland, Villatoro said, including some who are undocumented or have criminal backgrounds.

An official in the Conference of Catholic Bishops' Washington, D.C., office who said his name was Tony but declined to spell his last name, said he didn't have enough information to comment. Calls to the local office in Portland were not returned as of Tuesday evening.

The Catholic group is a leading proponent of national immigration reform and has urged Congress to adopt a new legal path to citizenship. Most recently, the group has called on President Barack Obama to allow a flood of unaccompanied minors to remain in the U.S.

Aside from same-sex marriage, La Raza has many of the same beliefs. The group routinely lobbies for a variety of national issues, including comprehensive immigration reform.

La Raza announced its support for same-sex marriage in 2012, around the same time as Obama and the NAACP. On the local level, it provides training and resources for nonprofits to help Latino immigrants.

"They're kind of multifaceted, technical assistants if you will," said Victor Merced, executive director of Hacienda, a Northeast Portland-based nonprofit that helps provide housing for low-income Latino families. "They're very powerful."
( http://www.archdpdx.org/newsrel/2013/jun13/CCHD_grants.html  VOCAL notes Hacienda CDC was also apast  recipient of CCHD part of the Office of Justice and Peace. )

Hacienda also receives grant money from the Catholic Bishops group, Merced said, and leaders from the local chapter recently questioned him on Hacienda's relationship with La Raza. Once he explained that La Raza does not require affiliates to agree with its political ideology, the questions stopped.
Leaders from the local chapter seemed embarrassed that they had to ask in the first place, he said.
Voz, on the other hand, was dealing with leaders at the national level.

Now, Voz plans to hold a news conference at its work center on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Wednesday with leaders of Oregon AFL-CIOBasic Rights Oregon and other civil and immigrant rights' groups who have come out in support of Voz.

"They have made a really tough decision to uphold their values of justice and equality," said Jeana Frazzini, the executive director of Basic Rights Oregon. So far, Basic Rights has received nearly $10,000 in pledges from LGBT groups to support Voz.

"We're very concerned," said Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain. "That work center is about some of the lowest-paid workers in the state that, for a number of reasons, can be taken advantage of."

Voz, founded in 2000, has received two grants from the Catholic organization before. It was unclear what led to the conference's decision.

"I just don't see how this litmus test is going to be helpful going forward," Merced said. "It's just kind of ridiculous."

-- Ian K. Kullgren



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Archdiocesan Office of Justice and Peace Promoting Balanced Advocacy?

Matt Cato
Matt Cato
VOCAL Reminder:  Pope Francis: Abortion is an “Unspeakable Crime,” Right to Life is Central Human Right

The Office of Life, Justice and Peace doesn't have Life in it.  We need to have a balance.
National Right to Life: U.S. Senate Democrats launch push for “the most radical pro-abortion bill ever considered by Congress”  The unborn need a voice as well as an increase in the Federal Minimum Wage does.

From Catholic Sentinel:

The Archdiocese of Portland’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace has been urging Catholics to contact federal lawmakers on certain issues during the summer legislative recess, which ends Sept. 7.

An email sent out earlier this summer by office director Matt Cato asked recipients to seek humane action on the unaccompanied migrant child crisis. The office also asked Catholics to push for an increase in the Federal Minimum Wage. On local matters, the office is seeking support for a voter referendum that allows Oregon Drivers’ Cards for undocumented immigrants.

The Catholic Church is advocating on behalf of increased protections for migrant children and their families who are arriving in the United States.

“The poor and the vulnerable hold a special place both in Scripture and in the Catholic moral tradition,” the email said. “Throughout his mission Jesus held children in particular in high regard. We have a special obligation to ensure that children are given the protection and support due to them.”

Regarding the driver’s card debate, the office said: “The Catholic Church holds the values of welcoming the stranger, supporting families, and respecting the innate dignity and rights of all people very highly.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

Common Core’s Growing Unpopularity

Common Core’s Growing Unpopularity

by Phyllis Schlafly
August 13, 2014
The highly acclaimed school standards called Common Core are becoming so unpopular that they may soon be politically untouchable. The critics are piling on from Glenn Beck to the Wall Street Journal, with senior academics and activist parents in between.
The latest is a detailed criticism of the mathematics standards by a prize-winning math professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Marina Ratner. It is refreshing that her criticisms are very specific and include examples of assignments that parents can see are ridiculous.

Professor Ratner was alerted to the stupidity of Common Core by looking at the homework assigned to her grandson in 6th grade Berkeley middle school. Fractions are taught by having the kids draw pictures of everything such as 6 divided by 8, and 4 divided by 2/7, and also by creating fictional stories for such things as 2/3 divided by 3/4. A student who gives the correct answer right away and doesn’t draw a picture or make up a story loses points.
Ms. Ratner concluded that Common Core is making simple math concepts “artificially intricate and complex with the pretense of being deeper, while the actual content taught was primitive.” The bottom line is that Common Core is inferior to the current good California standards, and the $15.8 billion spent nationally to develop and adopt Common Core was a gigantic waste.
College ready? That’s another deceit. Math experts are saying that Common Core standards are not preparing students for colleges to which most parents aspire to send their children.
The Common Core History Standards have just become available. Real scholars say they are a “stealthy” plan to teach kids a leftwing curriculum.
Scholar Stanley Kurtz says that the new plan for teaching American History is spelled out in the SAT college entrance and Advanced Placement exams. They pitch out “traditional emphasis on America’s founders and the principles of constitutional government” in favor of a leftist “emphasis on race, gender, class, ethnicity.”
According to Kurtz, “James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and the other founders are largely left out of the new test unless they are “presented as examples of conflict and identity by class, gender, race, ethnicity, etc.” The text of the new AP U.S. History exam has been closely guarded, revealed only to a few certified AP U.S. History teachers who are sworn to secrecy.
Parents who are attentive to their children’s studies and homework have been up in arms against Common Core for many months. Now Common Core has become such a big issue that it’s beginning to bring the politicians into line with what the public is demanding.
Indiana was the first state to show the political power of the anti-Common Core movement. The activist moms defeated a superintendent of education and several legislators on this issue.
Oklahoma made the biggest splash when the state legislature voted to repeal the state’s earlier endorsement of Common Core. The governor signed the repeal, but the unelected state board of education impudently filed suit to nullify the repeal, and then the Oklahoma state supreme court wisely upheld the elected legislature’s repeal.
South Carolina’s Governor signed a bill repealing that state’s commitment to Common Core. North Carolina’s Governor signed a more modest bill authorizing the state school board to tweak the standards.
The state of Texas, under Governor Rick Perry, was smart enough to be one of the five states that never signed on to Common Core in the first place. But now the pressure is on to force Texas to use the new AP U.S. History Exam anyway, and Texans claim that is illegal under state law.
Louisiana was one of the original 45 states that endorsed Common Core before the standards were even written. But one day Governor Bobby Jindal actually read his son’s Common Core math homework, was shocked, and then issued an executive order to block its implementation in Louisiana.
Two more Governors have just seen the light and turned against Common Core. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced that he wants the state legislature to repeal the standards when it reconvenes in January, and Governor Gary Herbert of Utah ordered his attorney general to conduct a review of the controversial standards.
Hoping to line up the support of teachers, the Gates Foundation education chief is now urging states to wait two years before using Common Core tests to make decisions about teacher performance.
Like many do-gooders, Bill Gates is obsessed with the problem of inequality. However, Common Core’s way of trying to overcome inequality is by dumbing down all U.S. students and pretending, like the Lake Wobegon kids, that all children are above average.
Reacting to the growing opposition to Common Core, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the biggest money bag for Common Core, is now urging states to have a two-year moratorium on all states and school districts about to make any high-stakes decisions based on tests aligned to the new standards.