Friday, June 26, 2015

The Supreme Court v. Reality

The American Supreme Court has repeated the error of Roe v. Wade: they have overruled tens of millions of citizens and have forced a non-reality upon an unwilling populace. And, like Roe v. Wade, the action guarantees ongoing conflict.

But God is writing straight with crooked lines. Many Catholics have left the faith, and the culture of the West needs to be Evangelized. Catholicism is about reality. Catholicism is Reality. By allowing the ongoing cultural embrace of non-reality, God is opening up an avenue for us to reach our brothers and sisters. As a non-Catholic cleric said "we must offer our views until the time comes when our friends and neighbours, their doctrines broken on the anvil of reality, are humbled enough to listen."

We have often referred to same-sex ‘marriage’ as ‘counterfeit marriage.’ That's insufficient. To counterfeit a thing requires a belief in the thing’s reality. We live in a time when our so-called ‘elites’ believe that reality itself is defined by the perceiver. Theirs may be the first culture in history using solipsism as a guiding principle.

It is suggestive that same-sex 'marriage' coincided with the waning of marriage to an unprecedented low point. The people who believe that same-sex 'marriage' exists do because they no longer believe in marriage.

It is also suggestive that same-sex ‘marriage’ coincided with the popularization of ‘virtual reality.’ Although the term only became widely used with the coming of computers, it was actually coined by the influential (and mentally ill) French dramatist Antonin Artaud in 1938. For Artaud, “imagination was reality.” Sound familiar?


This man imagines he’s a woman:

















This woman imagines she’s black:


















These guys imagine they’re married:


















Our 'elites' accept these things as true. Normal people don't. If they weren’t so destructive, one could almost feel for the LGBT activists. Their ‘victory’ required the redefinition of reality, but they’re not the only ones who can play that game. Look at those pictures: all you can do is laugh.

Same-sex ‘marriages’ themselves will have little import: only a small portion of the 3% of Americans who are same-sex attracted will choose to avail themselves of it. The problem of course is the warping of society as misguided people try to twist others into accommodating the false reality

For us lay Christians, our job as always is to defend and preach reality, which is Christ: the Logos--the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

For our hierarchy, as Archbishop Cordileone has said, their job is to remain true to Christ, and above all to protect the reality of the faith from the heretics who are attempting to redefine it. That’s why his leadership in trying to re-Catholicize our schools is so important. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Archbishop Cordileone: Our duty is to speak the truth on marriage



What a blessing it is to be living in the Archdiocese of San Francisco under Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone! I feel like I am with Athanasius: one man and the truth against all the powers of the world.


Here is an excerpt from His Excellency's speech to his brother bishops at last week's USCCB meeting, as reported by LifeSiteNews:

"If the US Supreme Court decides to redefine marriage in the next couple weeks it will not stop the nation’s bishops from proclaiming the truth, says the archbishop serving as point man on the issue.
'Regardless of what happens at the end of this month, nothing the court says can change what marriage truly is and we will continue to promote and defend it,' said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman for the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
The archbishop quoted Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to illustrate the point for his fellow bishops at their Spring Assembly earlier this month in St. Louis.
'Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me,' said Archbishop Cordileone. 'The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie.'
'We may have to suffer this lie about marriage in the law,' he continued, 'but we must not participate in it or keep silent about it.'
He suggested to his fellow bishops that the faithful can offer up small hardships in this regard for the Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere who are being killed and exiled for the faith.
The archbishop knows something about taking heat for the Catholic faith, with the attacks on him over the last several months for working to strengthen the Church’s identity in San Francisco Catholic high schools. His fellow bishops applauded him fervently at the end of his presentation after USCCB President Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz thanked him for his courageous leadership for the Church."

It is a strange but good experience for me as a man born in America to learn the age-old message of the Church, that any country, no matter how good, can never completely be our home. We've been historically spoiled by living in America because it has been so wonderful--so much so that it almost became a religion of its own. Our home is Holy Mother Church.

Bless the Archbishop!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

"We are running the real risk of leaving no place for God in our celebrations"



A beautiful and important piece by Cardinal Robert Sarah.

The translation is from Rorate Caeli. The opening paragraphs are reproduced below. What a marvelous understanding His Eminence shows of the Liturgy is about.







THE SILENT ACTION OF THE HEART

Cardinal Robert Sarah
L'Osservatore Romano
June 12, 2015
[Exclusive Rorate translation by Contributor Francesca Romana]

Fifty years after its promulgation by Pope Paul VI will the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy from the Second Vatican Council be read? “Sacrosanctum concilium “ is not de facto a simple catalogue of reform “recipes” but a real “magna carta” of every liturgical action.

With it, the ecumenical council gives us a magisterial lesson in method. Indeed, far from being content with a disciplinary and exterior approach, the council wants to make us reflect on what the liturgy is in its essence. The practice of the Church always comes from what She receives and contemplates in Revelation. Pastoral care cannot be disconnected from doctrine.

In the Church, “that which comes from action is ordered to contemplation” (cfr. n. 2). The Council’s Constitution invites us to rediscover the Trinitarian origin of the liturgical action. Indeed, the Council establishes continuity between the mission of Christ the Redeemer and the liturgical mission of the Church. “Just as Christ was sent by His Father, so also He sent the Apostles” so that “by means of sacrifice and sacraments, around which the entire liturgical life revolves” they accomplish ”the work of salvation”. (n.6).

Actuating the liturgy is therefore nothing other than actuating the work of Christ. The liturgy in its essence is “actio Christi”. [It is]the “work of Christ the Lord in redeeming mankind and giving perfect glory to God.” (n.5) It is He who is the great Priest, the true subject, the true actor in the liturgy (n.7). If this vital principle is not accepted in faith, there is the risk of making the liturgy into a human work, a self-celebration of the community....
We run the real risk of leaving no space for God in our celebrations. We risk the temptation of the Hebrews in the desert. They attempted to create worship according to their own stature and measure, [but] let us not forget they ended up prostrate before the idol of the Golden Calf."
Emphasis added.

Read the whole thing. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Archbishop Family Support Day Picnic!

Wow! What a joy-filled expression of support for Archbishop Cordileone! Our article about the picnic is over at Catholic World Report, and here are a selection of pictures from Lisa Hamrick, the Latin Mass Society of San Francisco, and Catholic San Francisco. First, here's some shots of the Mass at the Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi:






The picnic began at 11:30. Lots of kids, families, religious, and all-around faithful Catholics:

 



San Francisco's beloved Bishop Emeritus Ignatius Wang goes for cookies:

Fearless Fr. Joseph Fessio of Ignatius Press gives a blessing:


 All generations were there:
 


Giants fans, too!


Meeka from Saints Peter and Paul with Tough Guy. Tough Guy's wearing blue in solidarity!

Me with the Saints Peter and Paul banner.











Entertainment provided by the Mariachi Juvenil de San pablo:


When the Archbishop arrived, he was immediatly surrounded by supporters.
 Eva Muntean, the Picnic organizer said "He's like a rock start!"




His Excellency enjoyed the Mariachis, too
 



With pro-life hero the Rev. Walter Hoye:



 Everybody wanted pictures!





 Many generations: 




Lots of games for the kids. A race is about to start!

Mommy's a Mariachi musician:



Faithful old-timers:


As always, the SFPD did a great job. Here they are getting well-deserved thanks. 




Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Latin Mass Added to Archbishop Family Support Day!

More Games, Excitement at Family Picnic

On Saturday May 16 Catholics from all over the Archdiocese of San Francisco will gather at the city’s Sue Bierman Park to express support for their fighting Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. The archbishop has come under fire from politicians, media, LGBT activists, and teachers and students at Catholic Schools for his insistence that the high schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco be faithful to the entire teaching of the church. The commonsensical insistence ran afoul of LGBT activist in and out of the church, to whom Catholic teaching on marriage, sexuality, and sodomy is unacceptable.

Support for the Archbishop, and the event, has grown beyond the picnic itself. Last week it was announced that the picnic will be preceded by a Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form at San Francisco’s namesake church, the Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, at Columbus and Vallejo Street. The Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 AM by Canon Olivier Meney of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The Shrine of St. Francis is a 15 minute walk from the picnic site.

As support for the Family Support Picnic has grown, necessitating a move to Sue Bierman Park to accommodate the existing crowds, organizers have increased the attractions—especially for kids. There will be balloons emblazoned with the head of a lion and the Archbishop’s name “Cordileone” which translates as “heart of a lion.” Games for the kids with prizes, include sack races, three-legged races, hula hoops, egg and spoon races, and bean bag tossing. Organizers are also bringing 400 rosaries to be given out, along with instruction books in English and Spanish on how to pray the rosary.

The picnic will begin at 11:00 AM. Attendees must bring their own food, or patronize the food vendors that surround Sue Bierman Park, but non-alcoholic drinks will be provided as supplies last. Entertainment will be provided by a mariachi band.

To learn more, download flyers in English, Spanish, and Chinese, or to sign a petition supporting the Archbishop visit: http://www.sfcatholics.org/

Thursday, May 7, 2015

“For Love Alone” Documentary to Screen in SF & LA May 15 & 16

“An invaluable resource in promoting vocations”

In the months of May and June there will be a traveling screening throughout the United States and Canada of the documentary film For Love Alone. For Love Alone, a joint production of the Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious and Grassroots Films “highlights the lives of women religious throughout the United States and emphasizes the great rewards and trials of dedicating one’s life to God.”

As of this writing, For Love Alone has screened at the Wake Up the World Rally in Toronto, Canada on May 3: At St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia on May 4, at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary, in Boynton Beach, FL on May 5; at Texas A&M in College Station, TX on May 6; and at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver, CO on May 7.

The film has met with an enthusiastic response, and if it is anything like Grassroots Films’ acclaimed priestly vocations video Fishers of Men, that is not surprising:

After seeing the film at Toronto’s Wake Up the World Rally, Anishka S. said: "Many of us have not grown up or ever met nuns. This film gave us the perfect exposure to what the consecrated life is like. What a beautiful insight!"

Following the Boynton Beach screening, Msgr. David Toups, the Rector of St. Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary said "For me this film speaks to the complementarity of our vocations as priests and religious. Our calls are meant to be mutually inspiring...this film makes me want to be a better priest." 

First year theology student Anthony Cavaliere, of the Diocese of Tallahassee, agreed: "I feel that this film captured the essence of consecrated life here in own back yard. I was very impressed by the honesty of the film, and the ways that is showed the beautiful simplicity that the sisters embody in their daily life and ministry. I know that this film will be an invaluable resource in promoting vocations. The joy that this film brings is very contagious."

Upcoming screenings will be at Catholic Underground in New York on Saturday, May 9; at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN on May 11; at the Archdiocesan Office of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, Canada on May 12; at the Archdiocese of Portland, OR on May 14; at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Franciscio on May 15; at Catholic Underground of Los Angeles on May 16, and at the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, NE on July 12.

The San Francisco screening will be at the St. Francis Room of St. Mary’s Cathedral on Friday, May 15 at 7:00 PM. The showing will be preceded by Eucharistic Adoration in the Cathedral at 6:00 PM. A number of the Sisters whose orders are profiled in the film will be in attendance to answer questions.

The Los Angeles screening will be on Saturday, May 16 at 7:00 PM at Catholic Underground at 8634 Holloway Dr, West Hollywood, California 90069. The Sisters will also be in attendance at the screening.

The Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious was founded in 1992. Its history webpage describes its mission “In the spring of 1992, eighty major superiors of women religious from across the United States, under the guidance of Cardinal James Hickey, supported a petition to the Holy Father for the approval of a second conference or council of women religious in the United States. On June 13th the permission was granted and the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) was canonically erected.” 

While it is perhaps too strong to say that the CMSWR was founded in opposition to the liberal Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the fact that he eighty major superiors saw a need for a second conference is suggestive, to say the least. What is certain is that many of the fastest growing (and youngest) orders of women religious are affiliated with the CMSWR, attracted by its greater emphasis on prayer, and religious community. Wikipedia writes: “According to the 2009 Study on Recent Vocations by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, the average median age of nuns and sisters in CMSWR institutes was 60, compared with 74 for those in LCWR; among those joining CMSWR institutes only 15% were over 40, compared with 56% for LCWR institutes; 43% of the CMSWR institutes had at least 5 novices, compared with 9% of the LCWR institutes. “

To learn more about the San Francisco screening, visit:

To learn more about the Los Angeles screening, visit:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Marin Catholic Sisters Walk out on GLSEN Propaganda

Sisters Won’t Compromise on Faith, or Responsibility to Students

God bless 'em! On April 21, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that five members of the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist walked out of their classrooms last Friday rather than tolerate pro-LGBT literature in their classrooms.

Left (Sister Miriam leading students at Walk for Life West Coast, 2014)




The Chronicle reported (via SF Sentinel):

 “The five members of the Dominican Sisters of Mary order exited their classrooms Friday as students began handing out flyers at the Kentfield school promoting a nationwide Day of Silence.
At issue was Friday’s annual Day of Silence, promoted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network — whose corporate sponsors include McDonald’s, Target, Disney/ABC, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Google and the NBA. It bills itself as a group of ‘students, parents, and teachers that tries to effect positive change in schools,’ but the nuns at Marin Catholic High see it as anti-Catholic.
The school declined to participate in the Day of Silence. Instead, a morning prayer was read over the school’s PA system ‘to acknowledge and pray for students everywhere who have the experience of being ostracized, marginalized or silenced by bullying,’ school officials wrote in their letter.
‘Our intention was not to take part in a Day of Silence, but rather take a moment in the morning to pray together as a school community,’ the letter to parents said.
Unfortunately, the administrators said, the school’s message was ‘compromised and misinterpreted’ the night before when it was linked on Facebook to the campaign by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, ‘an activist group with which we are not affiliated.’
When some Marin Catholic High students began handing out Day of Silence-related stickers and flyers on campus Friday morning, the five nuns felt ‘felt compromised, offended and uncomfortable,’ Sister Clare Marie, one of the teachers, later wrote in a lengthy e-mail to her students.
She said the sisters ‘do not support bigotry or any kind of prejudice,’ but that they were compelled to act out against an event promoted by a group that ‘believes actively in promoting homosexuality in all classrooms, K-12.’
Her e-mail also accused the group’s members of speaking out ‘against Christians who do not share their views’ and handing out materials that ‘say that any church which teaches homosexuality is sinful is an ‘oppressor’ and should be opposed….”

The Chronicle continued “Kari Hudnell, a spokeswoman for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, denied that the group ‘actively promoted’ homosexuality in the classroom.”

The content of the GLSEN webpage proves that the Marin Catholic Sisters are right and Ms. Hudnell is wrong. Hudnell’s statement denying “that the group ‘actively promoted’ homosexuality in the classroom” is directly contradicted by her own organization’s webpage, which says:

“We accomplish our goals by working in hallways across the country -- from Congress and the Department of Education to schools and district offices in your community -- to improve school climate and champion LGBT issues in K-12 education.

The GLSEN mission statement elaborates further: “Since homophobia and heterosexism undermine a healthy school climate, we work to educate teachers, students and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike.”

“Hetrosexism” is the LGBT term for the proposition that normal sexuality is superior to sodomy. A “healthy school climate,” for GLSEN, is one where sodomy is celebrated as something good.

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are one of the fastest growing, and youngest, orders of women religious in the country. Founded by four Sisters in 1997, it currently has over 120 members. The average age at entry is 21.

The walkout clarified that the endgame of the battle between the Catholic Church, as personified by the Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, and the champions of “gay rights” can be distilled into one single issue: is sodomy to be celebrated in Catholic schools and Churches or not?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

SF’s 1% Comes out against Archbishop Cordileone--Millionaires Urge Pope Francis to Remove Faithful Shepherd


On Wednesday, April 15, the San Francisco Chronicle reported “Prominent Catholics call on pope to oust S.F. archbishop.” The column began “In an unprecedented move, more than 100 prominent Roman Catholic donors and church members signed a full-page ad running Thursday in The Chronicle that calls on Pope Francis to replace San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for fostering “an atmosphere of division and intolerance.”

Full-page weekday ads in the Chronicle cost $60,889, according to published information on the Nationwide Newspaper Advertising website. A 2013 article in SF Weekly confirmed the astronomical cost, reporting full-page ads in the Chronicle range $59,000 to $92,000. The advertisers may have bought more than the ad, or the Chronicle decided to throw in a bonus: photo #6 of 13 accompanying the Chronicle’s story was captioned “Archbishop. Your shocking intolerance, homophobia and sexual dread are not much threat at all anymore, and are actually increasingly quaint”:



The ad objected, among other things, to the Archbishop’s new initiative to keep Catholic schools Catholic, his defense of natural marriage, and his appointment of Fr. Joseph Illo as pastor of San Francisco’s Star of the Sea Church.

The Archdiocese responded to the ad, calling it “a misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, a misrepresentation of the nature of the teacher contract, and a misrepresentation of the spirit of the archbishop. The greatest misrepresentation of all is that the signers presume to speak for 'the Catholic Community of San Francisco.’

The Chronicle’s breathless report that “more than 100” persons signed the ad is reminiscent of their recent report that “over 100” people attended a March meeting opposing Star of the Sea’s pastor Fr. Joseph Illo. The Chronicle did not report that on Palm Sunday more than five times as many parishioners signed petitions of support of Fr. Illo.

The Archdiocese’s point “The greatest misrepresentation of all is that the signers presume to speak for 'the Catholic Community of San Francisco” is accurate. As the Chronicle story, the cost of the ad, and the names of many of the signatories indicate, the ad far over-represents the “1%”, wealthy and politically connected, which, in San Francisco, can mean only leftist and liberal.

Signatories included Brian Cahill, past executive Director of Catholic Charities. It was under Cahill’s tenure that Catholic Charities embarked on the disastrous partnership with Family Builders by Adoption, who described themselves as “about the gayest adoption agency in the country.” That partnership contractually obligated Catholic Charities to “Increasing the number of children adopted by Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) adults” --deliberately placing children in situations that would deprive them of a mother or father. That dissolution of that partnership was announced in 2008 and Cahill was gone soon after.

Signatories also included former political consultant and President of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities Clint Reilly, and his current wife Janet. As a political consultant Clint Reilly ran campaigns for pro-abortion, pro-same sex “marriage” politicians Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and Nancy Pelosi, among others. He is now an extremely wealthy real estate mogul. As far back as 2004 an article in the SF Weekly mentioned “Reilly’s estimated $100 million fortune.” During her failed 2006 campaign for the Assembly, Janet Reilly “announced support for same-sex marriage and adoption by LGBT couples” according to the Bay Area Reporter. She also supports abortion rights and has been a regular at NARAL Pro-Choice America’s annual “Power of Choice” luncheons, appearing there in 2010, 2011, and 2014.

Another signatory, attorney Frank Pitre, a partner in Cotchett, Pitre, & McCarthy, told the Chronicle: “It seems he (Cordileone) is going in a direction that is completely opposite where Pope Francis is going and creating an atmosphere of complete intolerance.” It is hard to believe that a capable attorney such as Mr. Pitre is not misunderstanding Pope Francis, as it were deliberately. He chooses to ignore Pope Francis’s description of same-sex “marriage” as “a move from the father of lies” and of being part of the “ideological colonization” that attempts the destruction of the family. Ironically, Mr. Pitre’s statement came on the same day the Holy Father made headlines worldwide for blasting “gender theory.”

Another signatory was Larry Nibbi, from Nibbi Brothers Construction, one of the largest general contractors in San Francisco. In 2014, Nibbi had revenue of $199 million, according to Engineering News-Record annual report on the country’s top 400 contractors.

Another signatory is Terence Coleman, a partner in the law firm Pillsbury and Coleman (although the ad gives his affiliation as with the firm’s former name, Pillsbury & Lebvinson), with offices in San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica pyramid. His bio on P & C’s webpage says Mr. Coleman “was named a Northern California ‘Super Lawyer’ in 2006 through 2014.”

The wealthy, with honorable exceptions, have never been very fond of the Church, for obvious reasons—even when they are by birth “Catholic.” Jesus Christ himself said “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” We must pray for the wealthy, for they are subject to greater temptations, and with the ability to indulge them. Jesus also said “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

UPDATE: The Chronicle pulled the caption to the picture of Archbishop Cordileone, which we have screenshotted, above.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Nice! Pizzeria that Defended Marriage Re-opens--$842,000 Richer

The American people repudiate the twisted elites and stand by marriage. Faithful Americans donated $842,000 (!) to the O'Connor's, owners of Memories Pizza in Indiana.



From FoxNews:
A northern Indiana pizzeria that closed after its owner supported Indiana's religious objections law has reopened.

Memories Pizza owner Kevin O'Connor says he reopened about 4 p.m. Thursday. He says that within an hour, all eight tables were filled and six people were waiting for carryout orders. There were no protests as of 7 p.m.

O'Connor faced criticism after he and his daughter, Crystal, said they would never deny service to a gay customer but would decline to cater a same-sex wedding because it would conflict with their Christian beliefs. Protests led them to close the Walkerton pizzeria about 20 miles southwest of South Bend.

O'Connor says he'll use some of his share of more than $842,000 raised online to make improvements. He also plans to donate to charity.
Nice to see!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

 
 
Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems;
Christ, who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw, wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, who is living,
The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;
bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;
to Galilee he goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Fr. Illo’s Parishioners Step Up

Supporters at Star of the Sea far outnumber opposition.
(An edited version of this story appeared in today's California Catholic Daily.)

On Thursday, March 26, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on a meeting at San Francisco’s Star of the Sea Parish. The meeting was between a group of parents and press and Star of the Sea's pastor, Fr. Joseph Illo, and parochial vicar, Fr. Patrick Driscoll. The article, titled “Parents ask S.F. Archdiocese to remove school’s leaders” began “In an emotional and at times angry meeting with representatives from the Archdiocese of San Francisco, more than 100 parents of Star of the Sea School children pleaded Wednesday night for the controversial leaders of their school’s church to be removed from their posts.” The brouhaha stemmed from Fr. Illo’s “boy’s only” policy for altar servers.

On March 29, Palm Sunday, parishioners at Star of the Sea responded. They overwhelmingly endorsed their pastor and parochial vicar. At all the Palm Sunday Masses, concerned parishioners collected signatures in support of Fr. Illo and Fr. Driscoll. Total signatories to the petition of support numbered nearly 500, which more than quadruples the number of the parents, press, and others who attended the March meeting, it far exceeds the total number of the parents of students at Star of the Sea. According to the school’s website, the student body consists of 233 children from 185 families, 42% of whom identify as Catholic. The signatures supporting Fr. Illo and Fr. Driscoll will be presented to Archbishop Cordileone this week. It is unlikely that the overwhelming show of support will make the pages of the Chronicle.

By quantifiable measures, Illo appears to be revitalizing the parish. He has certainly kept it in the news. Star of the Sea has not only met its Assessment for the 2015 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal in slightly over one week (something few, if any other parishes in the Archdiocese have done) it has exceeded the assessment. The Oratory of St. Philip Neri, which is hosted at the parish, has two seminarians studying for the priesthood—again, something few if any other parishes in the Archdiocese can say. The parish has been host to a number of parish missions with well-known priests. As CalCatholic reported, from March 1-3, Star of the Sea hosted noted Mariologist Msgr. Arthur Calkins for a three day parish mission. In June of 2014, the church hosted Father Paul Nicholson who has been “given the ecclesiastical office of Missionary Preacher” by his Bishop, Ronald Peter Fabbro CSB, of London, Ontario. Nicholson’s mission was on “The Eucharist: the Source and Summit of Catholic Life.” But as Fr. Illo has written, (see: ‘Sitting in an empty church’ CalCatholic, November 17, 2014) Catholicism in San Francisco’s Richmond District (and the city as a whole) seems to be dying. But that problem is not unique to Star of the Sea, it exits nationwide, and Illo, at least, faces the situation publicly.

Nor do the priests neglect the more homey side of the faith—what some people mean by the word ‘pastoral’. Fr. Illo has started a monthly parish barbecue open to all. The girls of the school are engaged in an ongoing project to collect toiletries for the elderly at the nearby St. Anne’s Home for the elderly, run by the Little Sisters of the Poor. On Palm Sunday, when the petition signature gatherers were waiting for Masses to end, they congregated in the school’s playground and parking lot, at tables hosted by the parish’s Legion of Mary. The tables are there each week, and the older ladies of the Legion provide coffee, donuts, and Chinese pork buns. After Masses ended Frs. Driscoll and Illo were in the parking lot, mingling with parishioners, and fulfilling requests. Fr. Driscoll went into the rectory and returned fully vested, carrying the aspergillum, to bless one family’s car and a lady parishioner’s dog.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Enemies of Archbishop Cordileone betray Bishop McElroy, fellow Priests

A week to the day before Holy Thursday, a priest or priests from the Archdiocese of San Francisco seems hellbent (we hope the term does not become literally true) on following Judas rather than Jesus.

Yesterday, the National Catholic Reporter published the confidential minutes of a "mid-February" meeting of the Council of Priests of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The Reporter "obtained a copy of the minutes from an anonymous priest."

The priest who gave the minutes to the Reporter not only violated the confidentiality of his fellow priests at the meeting, but also that of Bishop Robert McElroy, who was there also.

The minutes appeared under the byline of the Reporter's Dan Morris-Young, who has authored a recent series of articles attacking the new policy of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, which is designed to restore fidelity to the Catholic Church in the high schools of the Archdiocese.

The portions of the minutes the Reporter published dealt with Fr. Joseph Illo at Star of the Sea. One of the commenters to the story said:

"I've heard from several friends now about the parish where the pastor introduced the Archdiocesan Appeal a few weeks ago by noting that it's as likely to be successful 'as selling signed LA Dodgers photos to SF Giants fans.' Many people I know gave $1 to support our pastors' 'percentage contributing' targets, but no more."

Well, that certainly isn't Fr. Illo's parish. About a month into the Archbishop's (not 'Archdiocesan') Annual Appeal, Fr. Illo's parish has already exceeded their assessment, and a usually well-informed person told me they have exceeded it by about 25%.