Monday, April 20, 2015

Cathoic Relief Services Executive in Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

Lepanto Institute broke this.

UPDATE: Estridge’s Facebook and LinkedIn profiles have been deleted.
Public records obtained  from the Clerk of Circuit Court for the City of Baltimore, Maryland show that Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) Vice-President of Overseas Finance is in a same-sex “marriage.”  His postings on facebook also indicate that he actively and publicly supports  same-sex “marriage.”
Estridge same-sex 1
According to Linkedin, Rick Estridge is Vice-President of Overseas Finance at Catholic Relief Services.  In his online profile, Estridge states his duties at CRS as follows:

“As Vice President of Overseas Finance, I lead the development and implementation of all overseas financial management systems, policies, processes and activities to ensure strong resource stewardship, operational efficiency, consistent financial performance, risk mitigation, and exceptional financial management across all overseas operations. I also act as the lead Finance representative of the Agency to all donors, partners and other stakeholders related to overseas financial reporting, and contract/agreement, policy and compliance matters related to overseas financial management.”
According to page 26 of this document written by CRS, Estridge was either a regional director or country representative for CRS in 2001 and has been an employee of CRS ever since.  Estridge assumed his role as Vice President of Overseas finance in April of 2013.  Prior to that, he spent four and a half years as Manager of Finance and Administration for CRS’s program called AIDSRelief, he spent two years as Senior Technical Advisor for Finance and Management in Emergencies, and five years as Director of Overseas Finance.  All told, Estridge has been working for CRS for at least fourteen years.

The Lepanto Institute applied for Estridge’s public marriage record from the City of Baltimore.  A link to the document as it arrived in the mail can be viewed by clicking here.  Below is a section of the marriage record, with key areas highlighted.

It may be coincidence, but it is worth nothing that Estridge entered into his same-sex “marriage” the same month he was promoted to a vice-presidential position at CRS.

Estridge same-sex record
In addition to being in a same-sex “marriage,” Estridge has clearly advocated for same-sex
 “marriage” on his facebook page.  To be clear that this is the same individual, here is a picture of 
Estridge on his own facebook page
.Estridge 4
 By comparing this image with that on the linkedin page, it’s clear that this is the same person.
What follows below are a series of screen-captures showing Estridge’s support and promotion of homosexuality and same-sex marriage.  This first image is taken from his “about” page on facebook, where all of the organizations he “likes” are listed.  Of note are the following, Matthew Shephard Foundation, Gay Rights, Human Rights Campaign, No H8 Campaign, and Freedom to Marry.
Estridge 6
In a facebook post by the Human Rights Campaign (which is all about same-sex marriage), Estridge thanked the four politicians mentioned “for their leadership.”In a facebook post by the Human Rights Campaign (which is all about same-sex marriage), Estridge thanked the four politicians mentioned “for their leadership.”
Estridge same-sex support 1In the next post, Estridge actually suggested sending Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern to Gitmo (a military prison that held unlawful combatants during the War on Terror), because she filed three bills against same-sex marriage and suggested that the notion that ‘homosexuality is normal and healthy’ is more dangerous to young people than terrorism is.
Estridge same-sex support 2
Bishops across the country are working hard to defend their schools and parishes against the encroachment of those openly and actively engaging in sodomitical acts.  In San Francisco, Archbishop Cordileone is fighting to preserve Catholic principles in archdiocesan high schools.  Bishop Lenon in the Diocese of Cleveland has banned teachers in his diocese whose “actions or speech” in any way support abortion, contraception, or same-sex “marriage.”  In Omaha, Nebraska, a man had lost his teaching contract renewal at a Catholic high school because of his plans to “marry” another man.  And while all of this is taking place, a man in a same-sex “marriage,” who actively advocates for same-sex “marriage” on facebook, holds a Vice-President’s position at Catholic Relief Services.

There is something very seriously wrong with that picture.

Considering that Catholic Relief Services claims to uphold Catholic moral teachings, while it is regularly caught doing the opposite, one has to wonder how many other individuals such as Rick Estridge hold high level positions at CRS.  And if other individuals such as Estridge hold high positions, how many of them are responsible for conducting the internal investigations at CRS which tend to exonerate them of any wrongdoing, even when all the facts say otherwise?

With a high level executive at CRS being involved in a same-sex “marriage,” it becomes very difficult to trust the “Catholic Identity” of the organization.  It is also very difficult to take CRS seriously as a Catholic organization, especially since this man was elevated to his vice-president’s position in the same month he was “married.”

In light of this, it is worth noting that the funding for the contraception-promoting programs implemented by CRS appear to have been conducted under the auspices of this vice-president.  This may not be the case, but it is a possibility that the bishops really should explore.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Cardinal Francis George Passed Away - We are so fortunate to have had him as our Archbishop.

Archbishop Sample was saddened to hear of the loss of his predecessor, but noted that his death came during the Easter season. “May he now rejoice ...

4/17/2015 2:35:00 PM
Cardinal George dies
The former Oregon spiritual leader is dead at age 78
Archbishop (Cardinal) Francis George, Archbishop Cornelius Power and Archbishop (Cardinal) William Levada at Archbishop George's installation Mass at St. Mary Cathedral in Portland, 1996.
Benedictine Abbot Peter Eberle, Archbishop (Cardinal) Francis George, and Father Patrick Brennan at Mount Angel Abbey.
Benedictine Abbot Peter Eberle, Archbishop (Cardinal) Francis George, and Father Patrick Brennan at Mount Angel Abbey.
+ view more photos
Cardinal George teaches to Catholic school children in Yakima, Wash.

Staff and news service reports

Cardinal Francis George, an intellectual leader in the U.S. Catholic Church for decades, died of cancer April 17 at his Chicago home. The former Archbishop of Portland was 78.

Cardinal George stepped down last year after 17 years as spiritual head of Chicago’s 2.3 million Catholics. At the time, Eleanor Franczak, a member of St. Michael Parish in Orland Park, summed up the cardinal’s tenure this way: “He was one of us. He wasn’t any better or worse, just a normal person.”

That was an assessment the cardinal probably would appreciate, despite his reputation as a preeminent scholar and defender of the faith.
“His legacy will be felt for many years to come,” said Archbishop Alexander Sample. “He was an intellectual giant in service to the Church and a man of deep faith – a true believer.”
Archbishop Sample was saddened to hear of the loss of his predecessor, but noted that his death came during the Easter season. “May he now rejoice with all the angels and saints in the Kingdom of Heaven as we now pray that he sees his Lord face to face,” said Archbishop Sample, who had a long conversation with Cardinal George earlier this year.

“I was able to express to him what an inspiration and example he has been to me as his ‘younger brother’ among the bishops,” Archbishop Sample said.

Despite being hindered by a polio limp, the young Francis George, a Chicago native, joined the Oblates of Mary and served in Africa and Asia. He became a philosophy professor and regional provincial then vicar general of his religious order.

When he was named Bishop of Yakima in 1990, he learned Spanish to better minister to the people.

He was appointed Archbishop of Portland in April 1996. He asked Oregon Catholics to teach him how to be a good bishop. In return, he promised to help them become good missionaries.

“His service was his intellect,” says Msgr. Patrick Brennan, pastor of St. Mary Cathedral in Portland and president-rector of Mount Angel Seminary during the 1990s.

“I remember his vast intelligence and sweeping views of every issue,” Msgr. Brennan says. “He would speak at the drop of a hat on anything and it was like an encyclopedia, so logical, so clear. If you had a question, he would serve you by assisting you in that way.”

Less than a year after the Portland appointment, St. John Paul II named him to fill the position in Chicago, which was left vacant by the death of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

He became an eloquent spokesman for why God and religion should be a respected part of public life. And while the nation’s bishops were struggling with clerical sexual abuse, Cardinal George insisted that zero tolerance was the only course consistent with the church’s beliefs.

As a cardinal, he offered counsel and support to three popes.

In his last years, Cardinal George suffered with cancer and spoke publicly about it. Early this year, he told a group that he was in God’s hands.

“A man of peace, tenacity and courage has been called home to the Lord,” Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich said just hours after the death.

Cardinal George is fondly remembered in Oregon.

Archbishop John Vlazny says he was somewhat intimidated when he was appointed as the successor to Cardinal George as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Portland in 1997. “But he quickly quickly and quietly gave me all the support and encouragement I would ever need.”
“He was a true brother in the college of bishops and a dedicated servant leader among God's people,” said Archbishop Vlazny. “I visited him in early February and somehow we both knew it was the last time. He was always kind and understanding in our mutual dealings. He lived and died prayerfully and courageously. A great churchman, a holy priest. Well done, your Eminence. May he rest in peace.”

“He was just about the most inspiring person I ever met,” says Anne Marie Van Dyke, an Archdiocese of Portland pastoral center staff member who worked in the building during Cardinal George’s tenure. “He had an aura about him. The first day I met him, I thought, ‘If ever we have an American pope, it could be this man.’”

Along with his intelligence came a sense of humor. Once, Van Dyke’s workmates urged her to write a poem asking the archbishop to proclaim a day off on Easter Monday. She had regrets right after sending it. Was that inappropriate for so great a man? But then came his response, also a poem, which ended, “But not this year.”

"His faithful service and knowledge of the Catholic Church were a welcome addition to our mission,” said John Limb, publisher of Oregon Catholic Press, where Cardinal George served as chairman of the board during his time in Portland. “He will be missed — in Portland, in Chicago and in the Church around the world."

“The impact that Cardinal George had on the Archdiocese of Portland far exceeds the short time he was here,” said Mary Jo Tully, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Portland. “I was always touched by how attentively he listened to the least of our worries. If it was important to us, it was important to him. From the beginning, we knew that he cared for us. His concern for us followed him to Chicago. Years after he left, he still asked about specific parishes and priests. He inquired about situations that were unresolved when he left. Those of us who worked with the Cardinal prayed for him through his battle with Cancer and today we remember him in our prayers with great affection.”

Ed Langlois, a staff member at the Catholic Sentinel, met Cardinal George at St. AndrĂ© Bessette Parish in late 1996. Langlois introduced his newborn son to the archbishop, and apologized that the infant had more hair than the bald churchman. “Being bald is the only thing that would make your son better looking,” Cardinal George responded without a pause.

The next year, when Cardinal learned that Pope John Paul II had named him as the successor to Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, he asked in surprise, “Are you sure the Holy Father has considered all the options?”

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Latest Status on Bill Diss - Legal Fight for Purity in Oregon

Here is the latest status on Bill Diss from Precious Children of Portland.  He has been fighting since 2007 for the purity of our youth and the demise of Planned Parenthood's MLK abortion mill.  Please keep him and his family in your prayers.
Bill Diss the teacher who was walked out of Benson Polytechnic High two years ago has working diligently with an attorney hired by the union and by an attorney hired by Life Legal Defense Foundation.
Bill spends many hours a week on his case and recently was deposed by the lawyer from the school district.  He had to undergo questioning for one and a half days and on April 21, 2014 he will be part of arbitration hearings where the school district and his lawyer will question different students and teachers.

Mr. Diss has requested prayers from everyone and he will be at the arbitration for six days.  Bill is now self employed and teaches home school families and works part time at the local community college.  Bill encourages all the faithful to defend the purity of our youth and lives of the preborn.


Here's more information on Bill.

Dear Friends,
Bill Diss, former Benson High School Math and Electronics teacher, lost his job approximately 3 years ago with Portland Public Schools because of Planned Parenthood.
Bill is now in the thick of litigation, and needs your prayers, especially on:
April 21, 22, 23, 24. And April 27 and 28.
He had to take 4 full days off of work / tutoring to accommodate these dates.
And he is under intense grilling for about 6 hours for 4 of the days!
Please pray that the Holy Spirit guides his thoughts and responses, and his lawyers'.
Also, he asked for prayers for the parties on the other side. We pray for mercy and justice for all involved!
Thank you so much, and may God Bless and keep you.
Theresa Ruesink
40 Days for Life Portland

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

GUEST POST on Oregon Health Authority Form and Teenagers Consent for Sterilization

This particular bill HB2678 was filed "pre-session" which means that it is one of those favored to receive extra early attention. The two sponsors are listed as Robert Nosse (D) and Michael Dembrow (D). The bill was introduced in early January and there was a public hearing Feb. 16, 2015.
No one spoke against the bill but it was highly praised by officials of Planned Parenthood, Oregon Nurses Assoc.and others.

In 2011, I became aware of a 2-page document available through the Oregon Health Authority which is a consent form for sterilization of girls and boys age 15-20. This permission paper even provides interpreters who "assist" young people in signing for sterilization. This permission sheet mentions that if the young person does not want to be sterilized, he/she will not suffer withdrawal or withholding of benefits provided by projects or programs receiving federal funds !!


Below is a portion of this consent form for 15-20 year old males to become sterilized by the Oregon Health Authority.  Thanks to Carol for the link and her connections.
Here is the link in pdf form      .

Physician's Statement
Statement of Person Obtaining Consent

"Shortly before I performed an operation upon _______________________(name of individual to be sterilized) on   _________ (date of sterilization operation), I explained to
 him/her the nature of the sterilization operation
___________________________(specify type of
 operation), the fact that it is intended to be a final
 and irreversible procedure and the discomforts,
 risks and benefits associated with it.

I counseled the individual to be sterilized that alternative
methods of birth control are available which are temporary. I explained that sterilization is different because it is permanent. I informed the individual to be sterilized that his/her consent can be withdrawn at any time and that he/she will not lose any health services or benefits provided by Federal funds.

To the best of my knowledge and belief the
individual to be sterilized is between 15-20 years
of age and appears mentally competent. He/
She knowingly and voluntarily requested to be
sterilized and appears to understand the nature and consequences of the procedure."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Archbishop Sample Visits State Capitol to Stand Up for Religious Liberty.

Archbishop Sample did something unprecedented by standing up for Religious liberty and visiting the Oregon State Capitol and welcomed by Senate Majority Leader Peter Courtney (D).   His presence was observed and inspired many that day.

Senate Bill 894 would require religious employers to provide health insurance to cover abortions.  There were only two who spoke in opposition to SB894 at the public hearing, a lobbyist for Oregon Family Council and a concerned gentleman.  Although our "dog in the fight" said he was in the audience at the hearing, he wasn't observed on tape or by those in attendance (he could have been watching on a monitor, but remember he lobbies for other organizations too. Since he still hasn't publicaly stated he is against abortion when he voted to legalize it when a legislator in 1969.) He also said he did lobbying by phone, however those "in the know" differ in opinion.  We are left to wonder.  

 However, Archbishop Sample stood up for Oregonians himself and we are thankful for that.  There are four Democrat Senators who are also standing up for Oregonian's religious freedom and a great thanks go to them.  We are grateful and humbled. 

Here is an article by Oregon Faith Report.

Religious liberty concerns over SB 894

April 1, 2015
By Oregon Faith News Note,

Senate bill would require religious employers to provide health insurance to cover abortions

If Senate Bill 894 passes, religious employers would be required to provide health insurance covering abortions for their employees. The bill does not exempt religious employers from the requirements that health insurance plans cover women’s reproductive health care, including contraception, abortion, and preconception and postpartum care. The bill also limits cost-sharing for services and drugs used to terminate pregnancy. The coverage under a health benefit plan for services or drugs used to terminate a pregnancy may not impose a co-payment or coinsurance that exceeds 10 percent of the cost of the service or drug and may not be subject to a deductible.

The bill declares that restrictions on abortion coverage interfere with a woman’s right to make personal decisions regarding her own body and negatively impact her health and well-being. Restrictions also deny her constitutionally protected right to a safe and legal medical procedure.
Those opposed to the bill, like Oregon Family Council,  argue that it forces religious organizations to violate their consciences and set aside strongly held moral values. They believe SB 894 infringes on their religious freedom.

The bill has over 30 sponsors and has been passed on to the Senate health care committee.
You can read the full text of SB 894 here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Inspirational Moment: The Titanic-A Catholic Priest-Confessions

The untold story of the Titanic’s Catholic priest who went down hearing confessions

Amidst all the tales of chivalry from the Titanic disaster there is one that’s not often told.
It is that of Fr. Thomas Byles, the Catholic priest who gave up two spots on a lifeboat in favour of offering spiritual aid to the other victims as they all went down with the “unsinkable” vessel.
A 42-year-old English convert, Fr. Byles was on his way to New York to offer the wedding Mass for his brother William. Reports suggest that he was reciting his breviary on the upper deck when the Titanic struck the iceberg in the twilight hours of Sunday, April 14th, 1912.
According to witnesses, as the ship went down the priest helped women and children get into the lifeboats, then heard confessions, gave absolution, and led passengers in reciting the Rosary.
Agnes McCoy, one of the survivors, says that as the great ship sank, Fr. Byles “stood on the deck with Catholics, Protestants and Jews kneeling around him.”
“Father Byles was saying the rosary and praying for the repose of the souls of those about to perish,” she told the New York Telegram on April 22, 1912, according to the website devoted to his memory,
In the words of the priest’s friend Fr. Patrick McKenna, “He twice refused the offer of a place in a boat, saying his duty was to stay on the ship while one soul wanted his ministrations.”
Nearly two weeks after the disaster, The Church Progress in St. Louis, Missouri wrote this moving tribute to the heroic priest:
In almost every line that has been written, and in every sentence that has been spoken, there stands boldly out above every other expression a picture of sublime heroism that will be copied into the pages of history. And well it may, for it is deserving of that honor.
But when it is, mention should be made of one whom pens and tongues have almost forgotten in their accounts of this awful sea tragedy. Among those who safely reached the land again no one seems to have been aware of his presence on the ship, but we may hope that many who meet him in a blissful eternity will praise God that Father Thomas Byles was there to administer absolution unto them.

From LifeSite News by Patrick B. Crane

Monday, April 6, 2015

HB 2678: Permits licensed nurse practitioners to sterilize sixteen-year-old males. Who went to the Public Hearing from Archdiocese?  Is the link to follow this bill.

In order to make things "even", i.e. giving males the same opportunity to make their own medical decisions.  Even having someone take them off of school grounds and get a vasectomy without their parent's or guardians knowledge. I was told that Planned Parenthood was involved.

This House Bill is sponsored by two men.   One of the men, Rep. Robert Nosse (D),"lives in SE Portland and with his husband Jim and their two children." "Rob attends St. Philip Neri Church, a progressive Catholic Church in SE Portland, where he serves on the Pastoral Council. In that role, Rob has worked to ensure all Portlanders feel welcome and affirmed, including gay Catholics."

This information is from his website when he ran for the House.

No one lobbied against this bill.  It had it's public hearing in early February with no response from the Archdiocese of Portland, no one.  It seems like a "done deal" and they keep undermining the family with no resistance.

We have to ask ourselves, does Roger Martin, who lobbies for many others, NOT want to put his reputation on line with legislators that might take "offense" at Catholic moral values?  One wonders.

Our Archbishop and new Auxiliary Bishop haven't seen anything like Oregon.

GUEST POST: 'Pizza, Cupcakes and Flowers: Where is the Catholic Church?"

I don’t particularly care for Bill O’Rielly, especially on matters involving the Catholic Church. Too often, in discussions of issues involving the Catholic Church, he acts as a disinterested moderator and fails to defend the Church. It may be just my way of looking at things but if you really believe in the Truth of the Catholic Church then why not proclaim it?

But every once in a while he gets things about the Catholic Church right. Everyone now knows about the religious freedom law that the legislatures of Indiana and Arkansas passed and sent to their governors to sign. And the governors did sign them. And then they caved. 

And we all know about a courageous young 21 year old owner of a pizza parlor in Indiana who witnessed to her faith and whose reputation and family business may be never be the same for her witness. Across the country many Protestant organizations have spoken out loudly in defense of this young woman. But there is one organization that has been missing from this national battle and O’Rielly nailed it this past week.

Where, he asked several times this week on his show, are the Bishops of the Catholic Church in America? And indeed, where are they?

Catholics are still waiting to find out where they are. I haven’t seen anything saying they all died recently or retired, so I assume they are still around in their chancelleries. But it begs the question: What in God’s name are they doing in these buildings? Do they not know the fury that is waging outside their offices?

A homosexual tsunami is washing across the country and in its path are the livelihoods of decent Christian folks who are targeted for destruction because they will not participate in homosexual weddings. And our Bishops are where? Well, they are nowhere. Silent. 

Here in the Northwest we have two nationally known cases where small business owners are facing bankruptcy and government fines for actually living out the teachings of their Christian faith. A florist and a baker. Just average people trying to make a living while testifying to their belief in their Christian faith.

Has anyone heard any statement from the Archdioceses of Oregon or Washington expressing any sympathy for these poor martyrs. Any statement condemning the government forces that are persecuting these poor folks? Yes, I said martyrs. Martyrdom is not always bloody. 

But I think I understand why the American Catholic Church is silent. Remember during the Obamacare debate the American bishops opposed abortion mandates and contraceptive coverage for religious institutions? And while things have not been settled totally it appears that they may succeed in preserving the religious freedoms of Catholic institutions.

But I have always felt something has been missing in this fight. What has been missing is a vocal concern for the plight of the average Catholic who doesn’t work for a Catholic institution. Who fights for us? Who fights for florists, bakers or pizza parlor owners? Apparently no one. The battle waged by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was not for Catholics, it was for Catholic institutions. The laity were left to their own devices. 

Has anybody in the Archdiocese of Oregon heard any public sympathy from the Chancellery for the owners of Sweet Cakes Bakery who are undergoing a literal persecution by the State of Oregon? Nothing. Silence. I’ve searched the archives of the Catholic Sentinel, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Oregon and found nothing.

Now lets think about another scenario (and trust me it is coming). The State of Oregon (or fill in your state of choice) has determined that, unless Catholic priests perform homosexual marriages, marriages performed by Catholic priests will not be civilly recognized by the State of Oregon.

My friends, you would hear a collective roar from the Chancellery that would be heard across the United States. And justly so. But a baker or a florist? One can just hear the excuses for not publicly defending such persons. “We’ve got to pick our battles carefully” “Its not the right time”. “This isn’t one we can win”.

There is something very odd going on here. Are we lay people not part of the flock also? Are our persecutions not important? Is it only when the privileged few who work in Catholic institutions have their freedoms threatened that the hierarchy begin to stir? Are only the health insurance plans of Catholic institutions important? What about the rest of us Catholics? Are our medical plans or livelihoods not important? 

And one more point: When that inevitable Oregon law is passed by the Oregon Legislature mandating priests officiate at homosexual marriages, who is going to stand up for the rights of Catholic priests? Those Protestant bakers and florists and shop owners who heard the Catholic Bishops collectively say, by their silence, “We do not know that baker or florist”?
But perhaps they will be more Christian than those who denied them. Isn’t it very interesting that this Indiana case became so public during Holy Week.

I had a dream the other night. My mind has been on this subject a lot this week. It was at the entry to Heaven. St. Peter and angels were calling out the names of those awaiting entry through the pearly gates. And the names of many of our Protestant brethren were being called and being welcomed to Paradise by Peter.

They were bakers and florists and pizza parlor owners and came from many places and organizations such as Focus on the Family or the Family Research Council. But there was one group whose line seldom seemed to move and continued to grow longer. It was the line for American Catholic Bishops.

Finally one of the Bishops called out, “Peter, Peter, why are those Protestants gaining entry to Heaven but not us. We were Bishops and Cardinals.”. Peter looked to them with deep sadness in his eyes and replied “My brothers, Our Lord says He does not know you but he knew them”. 

My friends, we must pray for our Bishops who are charged with protecting the flock. It deeply troubles me to write these words. I don’t know what these men fear from the homosexual movement. But this attack on God’s plan for men and women is gathering a momentum that can only be stopped by the Catholic Church under the leadership of its bishops. And they won’t come out of their Chancelleries and speak to us. What do they fear except the loss of the respect of men?

They won’t lose their residences if they speak out in support of Christians who will not worship Baal. They won’t starve if they speak out against the loss of our freedom to live our faith. Yes, they will be ridiculed by those who have the media and the godless politicians in their hands.

There is no doubt that Christianity is being pushed back. But it is not for a lack of numbers of lay Catholics. There are enough of us Catholics who will fight (though not as many as in the past). It is due to a lack of Bishops who will call us to battle.

If it is not important for a Bishop to speak about something then who is at fault if nothing is done? Soldiers do not lose battles or wars. Soldiers fight when called. Wars are lost when there are no generals willing to lead and fight. 

The War on Marriage is being lost because the largest religious organization in the United States will not engage the enemies of the divine institution of marriage. 

In the early fifthteenth century, France was being defeated by English armies because the royalty of France feared to fight the English. Out of a small French town came a young girl named Joan who told the King that France could defeat the English. 

After being rebuffed by the aristocracy of France, she finally raised an army herself and defeated the English. Her reward was to be burned at the stake by the embarrassed elites of France. We now know her as Joan of Arc. No one knows or cares about the names of the French nobility that scorned Joan. She is a saint.

Perhaps someday, many will know the name of a young woman in a small town in Indiana who turned the tide of morality in America. One wonders if anyone will remember the names of the Catholic hierarchy who ignored her. 

Jim Welch,

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Everlasting Man on Easter Morn.

“On the third day the friends of Christ coming at day-break to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. 

Christ as a Gardener Appearing to Mary Magdalene by Rembrandt

In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night.

What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.”

-G.K. Chesterton
The Everlasting Man

Easter Message to VOCAL Passed on to You. Happy Easter, The Lord is Risen!

Happy Easter!

Each Easter for many years I have celebrated Easter with some very dear friends and as luck sometimes has it, I have been asked to give a blessing before dinner.

Last year I realized that the youngest children really could not grasp the prayer I offered or its meaning--it was just too adult. So this year I have begun the quest for a prayer that the kids will understand. While researching that prayer I came across this little gem--although not addressing my search--is something I thought I would like to share with you. Since this season is a time to reflect on the wonder of God's love I thought you might enjoy the following Short Easter Blessing:

May the celebration of resurrected life bring new hope to your being.
May the victory over earthly death turn your eyes to the promises of heaven.
May the empty tomb help you to leave your sorrows at the foot of the cross.
So that God's hope, promises and forgiveness reign in your life forever.