Sunday, January 31, 2010

L'Angelus to Play in Napa

A great opportunity for our friends in the Bay Area.

The famous band L'Angelus from Louisiana will be in the Bay Area soon and they will be making a stop at St. Appolinaris Church in Napa. They will be perfoming on Sunday, February 14 at 7:30 PM. L'Angelus combines Cajun, Celtic, folk and rock influences into a sound that is a deep expression of their Catholic faith.

The National Catholic Register says:

“The music of L’Angelus celebrates a commitment to family life… They manifest this commitment in their infectiously joyous performances.”

St. Apollinaris Church Hall is located at 3700 Lassen Street in Napa. Tickets are $10. For more information, call (707) 257-2555.

To learn more about L'Angelus, go here.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Salesians in Haiti

As of Jan. 26, the Salesians in Haiti are providing shelter to about 13,500 Haitians left homeless from the earthquake (approximately 6,500 in Carrefour-Thorland and 7,000 in Pétion-Ville). This doesn’t count what the FMAs (Salesian Sisters) are doing at their schools. Survivors are finding shelter in the limited number of facilities which remain standing, in makeshift tents, or in one of the more than 800 tents have been distributed by the Salesians. Currently, staff at the Salesian Missions headquarters in New Rochelle is working to secure an additional 2,000 six-man tents for distribution to the homeless.

In a true show and spirit of cooperation and solidarity, the Salesians in Germany and Austria are sending two 40-foot containers with 1,600 “schools in a box” kits, enough for 72,000 students. This is in preparation for makeshift schools (when deemed appropriate). Prior to the earthquake, Salesian Missions (N.R.) funded schools to these children. Every effort is being made to re-establish this as soon as possible, as well as attend to the more urgent, life-saving needs.

On Jan. 27 the Sandals Foundation has pledged $35,000 to Salesian Missions for its Haiti Relief Efforts (details to come). After consultation with the SDBs of Haiti, the Emergency Response Team expects to carry out an assessment and identification of needs in the areas of water and sanitation infrastructure that can be turned into “shelf projects” for financing.

Fr. Joseph Simon, SDB, is receiving direct assistance in the form of a 40-kw generator for the street children program in Pétion-Ville.
Transition from emergency relief to reconstruction is expected to begin shortly after the flow of food assistance begins to normalize, which in turn is expected to happen a week or so after 40-foot containers of food assistance and other needed relief emergency items donated by Cross International begin to arrive in Santo Domingo for repacking and transport to Port-au-Prince. In the meantime, a continued food assistance bridge is in full swing with foodstuffs being purchased in the Dominican Republic.

Associazione Missioni Don Bosco from Turin has offered to defray the cost of buying and delivering some 2,000 urgently needed tents for Port-au-Prince. Salesian Missions (N.R.) is trying to find them; it’s a large number to find in stock.

Around the Web

What's "Settled Science" is that Climategate proponents are not, shall we say, honest.

Homoactivists try to get 96-ear old man thrown off Oakland Theater Board for his defense of marriage. And they wonder why they keep losing.

Homeschooling family from Germany granted asylum in the US. Good news!

Friday, January 29, 2010

See, We Told You So: Same-sex "Marriage" is Counterfeit Marriage

Fidelity? Monogamy? Don't be ridiculous!

From yesterday's online New York Times:

"As the trial phase of the constitutional battle to overturn the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage concludes in federal court, gay nuptials are portrayed by opponents as an effort to rewrite the traditional rules of matrimony. Quietly, outside of the news media and courtroom spotlight, many gay couples are doing just that, according to groundbreaking new research.

A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution.

New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.
. . . .

None of this is news in the gay community, but few will speak publicly about it. Of the dozen people in open relationships contacted for this column, no one would agree to use his or her full name, citing privacy concerns. They also worried that discussing the subject could undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage."

Professor Ralph McInerny Goes Home

The great Professor Ralph McInenrny of Notre Dame University has gone home to the Lord. He was a stawart and tireless champion of the Church, and of true Catholic education. The Church, and more especially his beloved Notre Dame, will miss his presence.

May he rest in peace!

Support CBS for Airing Tim Tebow Ad


Catholic Vote has a petition, too. Tom Peters has details and a link to the petition.

"It still amazes me how vicious pro-abortion advocates can be, especially when they don’t get their way, or sense that their “cause” is being threatened in a serious way.

For all their talk about respect of mothers, of choice, and of differences of opinions, none of those things apply to actual pro-life people."

From LifeSiteNews:

"Pro-life forces are responding swiftly to the fierce pro-abortion campaign that is being waged against Focus on the Family’s pro-life ad featuring football superstar Tim Tebow, which is set to air on CBS during the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

In the past few days, pro-abortion groups have generated over 120,000 letters to CBS, NFL, and Super Bowl advertising executives, asking that they scrap the ad, which has yet to be unveiled. Other pro-abortion organizations have generated thousands more.

In response, a petition was launched today by LSN, whereby pro-lifers can express support to CBS for its decision to air the ad, and exhort the network not to cave to pressure to drop the ad. The names of those who sign the petition will be forwarded on to CBS executives.

(To sign the petition, click here)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Artists For Life! Great Music Video from the Walk For Life

I love it!

It's called "Inheritance" from a hiphop band called "Shadow of the Locust."

The artists are Wut Metaphysical, Prefekt, and Calmplex. Photography by Deloto.

Tons more interesting stuff at the Walk for Life West Coast Media Blog.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Heisman Trophy Winner Who Almost Wasn’t

The career of University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is one of legend. Not only did he win the Heisman Trophy, college football's highest honor, as a sophomore, he was in the running for it during his junior and senior years as well. He led the Gators to two national championships and has displayed honor and integrity at every turn.

But all of his accomplishments and all of his success could have been wiped out completely had Tim's mother Pam Tebow not chosen life. During a mission trip, an infection led doctors to recommend that Pam Tebow have an abortion to avoid the risk of her own death during childbirth. She chose life, and now her story will be told in the form of a Super Bowl ad. Rather than celebrating the ad as a "success" story, some so-called women's groups are blasting the ad and urging CBS to ban it. …Bobby Eberle

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SF Supervisors Table Vote on Church's $21 Million+ Tax Assessment

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors were scheduled to vote on the Transfer Tax Reassessment against the Archdiocese at 3:00 PM today, but the votes were tabled.

The Archdiocese is challenging the reassessment, which amounts to over $21 million, including penalties and taxes, on the grounds that it was just a shift of properties within the Archdiocesan umbrella--as I understand it, no new owners, nothing was sold.

But the city, which has a history of hostility toward the church, maintains otherwise. This case is being watched by nonprofits nationwide.

From todays meeting transcribed while I listened:

President David Chiu: "Supervisor Dufty, these are your items."

Supervisor Dufty then moved to table the items: " ..table these items while we await the report of the Transfer Tax Review Board. Wait for completion of the secondary report"

President Chiu then tabled the two items, numbers 39 & 40 on today's agenda.

So these are now "Supervisor Dufty's items." That makes sense. Our last post on this subject included transcripts and video of Supervisor's meetings that showed Dufty was amending the relevant law with the Church in mind.

We've point out before that Supervisor Dufty is a homoactivist politician, and one of the signatories of Resolution 168-06, which called the Church "hateful," etc. That resolution resulted in a lawsuit against the city by San Francisco Catholics, which is currently being heard in Federal Court. We point out again that he was the consultant to Catholic Charities in the disastrous adoptions "compromise" which resulted in Catholic Charities supplying funding/staffing to Family Builders by Adoption who were required by contract to "increasing the number of GLBT adoptions."

Hardly the man to take ownership of this issue if you think the Church deserves a fair hearing.

UPDATE: They may vote on this later today.

Michael Savage on Press Bias: Walk "should have been national news!"

For the best account of what it is like at the Walk for Life West Coast, and press bias, listen & watch this YouTube clip by the famous radio host Michael Savage:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Prop 8 "Trial" and the Common Good

Jack Smith at The Catholic Key had a long informative post Thursday about the Proposition 8 “trial.” We haven’t commented on the issue much, or even followed it, because it seems to be mostly a propagandistic exercise in narcissism. The "trial" has the same relationship to a real trial as same-sex "marriage" has to real marriage.

Proposition 8 was never about gay people, it was about the common good of society. The attempt by homosexualist activists to deny self-government to the people of California through the ruling of one judge just proves the point: they are more interested in themselves than in the common good.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Walk for Life West Coast Pictures/News

Can be found over at the Walk for Life West Coast Media blog.

It just keep's growing and growing. This was the biggest Walk for Life West Coast ever:

Some early pix and news coverage are up already.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Contribute to the Walk for Life West Coast!

If the following is copied and pasted into another blog, please make sure it is copied in it's entirety:

"Text Support Life to 20222 - you may donate up to five times.

A one-time donation of $5 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Messaging and Data Rates May Apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of Walk for Life West Coast by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at

You can unsubscribe at any time by replying STOP to short code 20222; Reply HELP to 20222 for help."

300,000 at March for Life in Washington!

God Bless 'em!

Here's a screenshot from the Virtual March for Life, where you can follow the March live.

Sunshine Expected at Tomorrow's Walk for Life

For all the info on tomorrow's Walk, visit

Thursday, January 21, 2010

SF Hits Archdiocese for $7.3 Million More: But Was Law Changed with Church in Mind?

On Tuesday, January 26, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on the transfer-tax assessment levied by the city of San Francisco against the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Now, in addition to the $14.4 million in taxes, the city is gunning for a $5 million delinquent penalty and $2.3 million in interest. I don’t think there’s much doubt on the outcome, although the case will end up being decided in Federal Court. Background posts on the issue are here, and here.

I've been trying to get a copy of the report on the case from the Controller’s office for more than a month. Today, I learned that it was finally finished earlier this week, but is now being revised. The finalized report is scheduled to be released on Monday, January 25, one day before the Supervisors meeting/vote on January 26.


I’ve always been struck by the coincidence that just as the dispute between the city and the Archdiocese was taking place, the relevant law was being modified by the Board of Supervisors.

A timeline:

April, 2008: the Archdiocese reorganized, and met with the Assessor’s office about the reorganization.

November 18, 2008: Ordinance 081450 is introduced. The Board of Supervisors’ synopsis reads:

“Real Property Transfer Tax - Change of delinquency date; substitution of references to current laws; conform partnership rule to state law changes; elimination of tax stamp provision and Transfer Tax Review Board]

Ordinance amending Sections 1106, 1108, 1108.4,1115, 1115.1 and 1115.3 and deleting Sections 1109, and 1115.2 of Business and Tax Regulations Code to (1) change delinquency date; (2) replace references to prior bankruptcy, income tax, with references to current laws; (3) conform rule for partnership interest transfers to state law changes; (4) eliminate regarding documentary tax stamps; and (5) eliminate Transfer Tax Board of Review and references to that Board. Supervisor presented.RECEIVED AND ASSIGNED to Government Audit and Oversight Committee.”

Ordinance 081450 then began its journey through the legislative process. From the minutes of the Supervisors’ meetings:

December 9, 2008: 081450 “Continued on first reading.” Vote: unanimous.

December 16, 2008: 081450 “Passed on First reading.” Voting “no”: Alioto-Pier, Chu, Dufty.

January 6, 2009: 081450 is item #22 on the agenda. San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ meetings are videotaped, and there are also published captions from the video. The video and captions are not always complete, however. Before the January 6 vote Supervisor Bevan Dufty spoke. Because there are no captions for this segment, a transcription from video is below. But readers should also watch the video by going here then scrolling down to 1/6/09, and selecting "video." The transcripted exchange begins at 13:10 into the video.

Supervisor Dufty--signatory to Resolution 168-06; welcomed speaker at Most Holy Redeemer Church; consultant to Catholic Charities during the Family Builders by Adoption fiasco; Chair of the Honorary Committee Honoring Nancy Pelosi at the Archdiocesan partner the San Francisco Organizing Project--is out for blood:

Supervisor Dufty: I wonder if the controller could maybe speak about what that process will be for them. Cause your office will be involved in any appeals prior to enacting this ordinance.

Controller: Existing law, Supervisor, provides for the appeals process to go to the Transfer Tax Review Board, which is a three-person body, that’s myself, the Treasurer, and the Director of Property for the City. So that’s the existing process that any existing appeals would proceed through if the appellant so desired and this process would remove that process going forward.

Dufty: Do you have any recollection or knowledge of the last time this process was invoked?

Controller: I believe there was one small appeal filed last year and that was the first appeal in many years.

Dufty: And I guess, do you mind stating for the record, I guess there is a major appeal which has been filed with the city which is the basis of these questions.

Controller: There is an appeal filed in the middle of December (2008) by the Catholic Church contesting the Assessor’s opinion that a recent transfer of their properties, of all their properties in San Francisco are subject to a transfer tax.

Dufty: And I guess I just want to state I did vote against this legislation and I will continue to do so. I am concerned about changing the process at this stage and feel for my purposes I would like further consideration and discussion of this given the significance of this particular case which I think is in the range of $3-15,000,000 to the city and so I am concerned about changing a process which has not been utilized for many years and all of a sudden there is a proposal to not only change the process but we have a pending case that I am encouraged to hear will be handled under the existing system.

January 6, 2009: 081450 “Finally Passed.” Voting “no”: Alioto-Pier, Campos, Chu, Dufty.

January 6, 2009: 081450 “Previous vote rescinded.” Voting “no”: Daly, Maxwell.

January 6, 2009: 081450 “Finally Passed.” Vote: unanimous

January 13, 2009: Ordinance 081450 comes before the Board of Supervisors again. Before the vote (Item 7 on the agenda) Supervisor Dufty addressed the Board. This meeting did have the the video captioning. Here it is, from, (with capitalization, etc. cleaned up):

Supervisor Dufty: Thank you, Mr. President. We had a meeting on Monday that Supervisor Elsbernd and myself participated in with the city assessor and the city attorney to talk about concerns that had come up with respect to this legislation. I'm anticipating that language is going to be delivered shortly from the city attorneys office that reflects the discussion there and an agreement to continue for a sunset period for four years the existing property transfer tax, appeal board mechanism with the city controller but recognizing the -- that claims with respect to property transfer tax disputes would be filed with the city attorney's office and understanding furthermore that in the event of discrepancies of 25,000 or more or disagreements that exceed 25,000, that those would be brought before the Board of Supervisors. So colleagues I recognize we have a short agenda but I wondered if perhaps we could defer this item and bring it up after roll call or public comment or at some point prior to the special order when the amendment is delivered.

At 1:25:56 in the video, Ordinance 081450 reappears.

Board President Chiu: Back to item 7, which has already been called, Supervisor Dufty I understand you have an amendment.

Supervisor Dufty: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you. This has been distributed to our colleagues and I talked outside and asked the deputy city attorney to reflect for a moment and outline the changes made here and indicate again that these were discussed between the city attorney and the city assessor and they have come to agreement on these changes and that they would both support this legislation if amended. Deputy city attorneys Adams, would you like to walk us through.

City Attorney Adams: This proposed amendment has been prepared as a result of the discussions that you have described and the difference really in this document versus the prior document that is in your packet and before you last time is that the tax or transfer tax review board rather than being eliminated outright would be phased out so there would be a sunset and the tax board would remain operative until January1st of 2013 at which time it would then be eliminated.

Dufty: Also requires taxpayers who get a refund to record a document to show they paid a reduced property transfer tax.

I'd like to move this as an amendment. Motion, seconded by Supervisor Mirkarimi. Can we move this without objection? So moved.”

January 13, 2009: 081450 “Passed on First Reading as Amended.” Vote: unanimous.

January 27, 2009: 081450 “Finally Passed.” Vote: unanimous.

February 5, 2009: o81450 approved by Mayor Gavin Newsom

Ordinance 081450 as amended and finally passed can be read here. I leave it to lawyers to decipher how the amendments affect the Archdiocese’s case, but I don’t see how anyone can watch the video of the Supervisor in action without concluding that he amended Ordinance 081450 with the Church in mind.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

San Francisco & Paris Pro-Life "Sister Cities"

Speaking as a born and raised San Franciscan, what an honor!

Above is the wonderful banner created by our brothers and sisters in Paris for the Sixth Annual Marche Pour le Respect de la Vie. And Saturday's Sixth Annual Walk for Life West Coast will be graced by the presence of M. Paul Ginoux-Defermont, one of the organizers of the Paris Marche.

To paraphrase the great Reverend Clenard Childress, who will be speaking at the Walk on Saturday, when you see something like this, "That's a new day!"

Sunday, January 17, 2010

More Photos from the Paris "Marche Pour le Respect de la Vie"

Our friends Dolores Meehan and Cathleen Gilles sent us these photos from Paris:

Marching down one of the beautiful Parisian boulevards.

People as far as the eye can see.

There was even a banner for the sister Walks: San Francisco & Paris! It's just like the SF Walk: people of every race, age, & nationality, three different languages just in this picture.
Like Paul tells us today: there are many gifts but one spirit!

There's our dear friend Cathleen Gilles on the left. She's a burst of energy wherever she goes!

The good Fathers from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter were there.

The future of the pro-life movement: young people!

These kids are from Poland!

A couple of little Frenchmen. God bless 'em!

And let us never forgot those who have come before us.
Dolores Meehan said: "The energy of the young people was unreal and the old people were astounded and so moved - they too are the heros from the movement when no one would listen."

God bless her!
UPDATE: Here's some video from the Marche website that gives a good idea of the size of the crowd. And the Marche website had so much traffic the server crashed! That's a good sign, but pray for the poor webmaster!

Marche for Life! in Paris

Photo Courtesy Novopress.

France's Novopress called today's Marche Pour le Respect de la Vie a huge success and estimated that at least 18,000 persons were there. They also reported that, in what appears to be a sign of change in attitude from the French Church, this years Marche:

"...has received the support of twenty-six bishops, including Bishop Aillet, Bishop of Bayonne, Msgr Kratz , bishop of Strasbourg, Monsignor Castet, bishop of Lucon, Archbishop Cattenoz, bishop of Avignon, Bishop Poulain, Bishop of Perigueux, and even Archbishop Barbarin, Cardinal-Archbishop of Lyon and Primate of the Gauls."

Novopress also reported that one Archbishop, Dominique Lebrun, bishop of Saint-Etienne, who is the former pastor of the Basilica Saint-Denis and member of the Communications Committee of the Conference of Bishops of France, attended the Marche.

San Franciscans Dolores Meehan and Cathleen Gilles were there. Dolores, co-founder of the SF "Walk for Life West Coast" gave the keynote speech at the rally preceding the Marche.

Before the rally and Marche, the two women attended a prayer vigil at St. Francis Xavier Church. They presented a letter of pro-life solidarity from our good Archbishop George Niederauer to Andre Armand Cardinal Vingt-Trois, the Archbishop of Paris. His Eminence was unable to attend, but they delivered the letter to Monsigneur Chauvet, the Vicar General, who was at the prayer vigil

Dolores had only a minute to talk. She told us:

"It was a massive crowd--probably 20-25,000. It was especially wonderful to see so many young people. Some musicians affiliated with the Marche have composed a song just for the Marche. They had a sound truck playing it the whole way. It was great to see the young people dancing as they marched!"

What a great idea! You can listen here.

Here's the video inviting people to Marche--I like it!

LA MARCHE POUR LA VIE 2010 (bande annonce)
Uploaded by makovideo. - Watch the latest news videos.

Posted by Gibbons J Cooney

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Obama's Fuzzy Math

Ok, class... today's lesson will be on mathematics. No moans and groans from the audience, please. This is an exciting, "new" math. We'll call it Obama's Fuzzy Math or OFM.

OFM is quite fascinating. In most math problems if you subtract from a number, the result is a smaller number. But not with OFM. Using Obama's system, as more people lose their jobs -- hundreds of thousands every month -- the number of jobs created or saved (whatever that means) has actually gone up. It's the new subtraction. But, of course, it doesn't add up.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Health Care and the Massachsetts Senate Race

Democratic Senatorial candidate Martha Coakley on Obamacare and conscience protection:

"You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room."

The audio is below.

American opposition to Obamacare is so great that Republican Scott Brown has a chance to be elected Senator from Massachusetts. Current polls show him up by 4 points. And even in Massachusetts a majority of citizens oppose Obamacare.


There's evidence of multi-million-dollar fraud: Planned Parenthood affiliates illegally marked up the cost of birth control drugs while going to the government for reimbursement -- which means tens of millions of dollars of over-billing, at taxpayer expense.

That's out of YOUR POCKET AND MINE. No one should be permitted to use the public treasury for profit. The ACLJ is not standing by idly as it represents a former Planned Parenthood employee who blew the whistle on this outrageous fraud.

There is serious danger that the Obama Healthcare Bill will include abortion support,
with its added millions of dollars to assist Planned Parenthood.

Time to make our voice heard!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Archbishop Niederauer Teaches It!

Today, His Excellency responded to Nancy Pelosi's crazy statement of December 21, 2009. Pelosi was asked about her disagreements with the United States Catholic bishops concerning Church teaching. Speaker Pelosi replied, in part:

“I practically mourn this difference of opinion because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that we are all endowed with a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And that women should have the opportunity to exercise their free will.”

The Archbishop reponded, in part:

"Embodied in that statement are some fundamental misconceptions about Catholic teaching on human freedom. These misconceptions are widespread both within the Catholic community and beyond....

However, human freedom does not legitimate bad moral choices, nor does it justify a stance that all moral choices are good if they are free: “The exercise of freedom does not imply a right to say or do everything.” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1740)...

While we deeply respect the freedom of our fellow citizens, we nevertheless are profoundly convinced that free will cannot be cited as justification for society to allow moral choices that strike at the most fundamental rights of others. Such a choice is abortion, which constitutes the taking of innocent human life, and cannot be justified by any Catholic notion of freedom."

It's obvious, but (to paraphrase Eric Voegelin) with someone as confused as Pelosi it becomes necessary to elaborate the obvious.

His Excellency's full statement can be found here.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

"It is ESCR researchers who have politicized science and stood in the way of real progress"

That's the conclusion of an editorial in today's "Investor's Business Daily"

"Five years after a budget-busting $3 billion was allocated to embryonic stem cell research, there have been no cures, no therapies and little progress. So supporters are embracing research they once opposed....

Five years later, ESCR has failed to deliver and backers of Prop 71 are admitting failure. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state agency created to, as some have put it, restore science to its rightful place, is diverting funds from ESCR to research that has produced actual therapies and treatments: adult stem cell research."

Longtime readers of "A Shepherd's Voice" know that's a mantra we've been chanting since this blog began, and in the Saints Peter and Paul parish bulletin before that. We admit we've fallen behind of late, but that's because there are so many amazing stories of treatment with adult stem-cells we just can't keep up.

For a rundown of our posts on this subject, click here.

And you can always visit our friend Don Margolis, whom we have called "The Best Stem Cell Blog" for more. Don follows all the latest adult stem-cell news, and has made it his life's work. God bless him!

Salesians Hard Hit in Haiti

A report from earlier today from the Agenzia Info Salesiana:

“We have been hit very hard,” says Fr Ducange Sylvain, appointed the new Superior of the “Blessed Philip Rinaldi” Vice Province of Haiti last December, referring to the situation of the Salesians.

In a short and dramatic communication Fr Sylvain gives a picture of the situation a few hours after the earthquake measuring 7.0 on the scale, which struck Haiti yesterday afternoon local time

The house of Port-Au-Prince Enam and the foundations nearby the “Saint John Bosco” Institute such as the Work of the Little Schools of Father Bonhem, entrusted to the Salesians, and the “Lakay”, suffered the greatest damage in the city. The Salesians from the centre are injured. Brother Sanon died under the ruins and sadly over 200 pupils are still buried there.

The Provincial House and that of Fleuriot, both in Port-Au-Prince, have been severely damaged; two young Salesians in formation who were at the university are still missing.
At the house of Carrefour-Thorland a part of the building and the reception centre collapsed but the Salesians are safe. At Gressier class-rooms collapsed.

At Petion-Ville the buildings suffered serious damage.

Fr Harold Bernard has been rescued from the ruins alive.

“It is a very difficult situation,” Fr Ducange Sylvain concludes. The emergency rescue services and the Salesians themselves are concentrating on trying to pull survivors from the rubble, in particular the more than 200 pupils at Port-Au-Prince Enam. Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot, the archbishop of Port-Au-Prince, died under the rubble."

The previous post has the CRS link, where you can help.

"Total Devastation"

The situation in Haiti is catastrophic. According to news reports, there are thousands of casualties. The Archbishop of Port-au-Prince is one of the victims, as are many Catholic clergy.

From the Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns of the Archdiocese of San Francisco:

How to Help:

Donate via phone: 1-877-HELP-CRS
Donate online:
Write a check:

Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, Maryland 21203-7090
Memo portion of check: Haiti Earthquake

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pro-Life Hero Walter Hoye Speaks at Marin Catholic High School

A nice story from today's California Catholic Daily:

"I like how he linked abortion and slavery”
Rev. Walter Hoye gets warm reception at Marin Catholic High

"Marin Catholic, a college preparatory high school sponsored by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, invited Reverend Walter Hoye to speak to the faculty and student body on January 7, 2010. Rev. Hoye was welcomed to speak in the new Pope John Paul II Student Center by the President of Marin Catholic, Father Thomas A. Daly, who teaches Senior Apologetics to a class of 88. Prior to Rev. Hoye's talk, all students read a copy of the letter he wrote while he was in jail....

Ryan Mayer, Theology teacher, and leader of the Respect Life Club which marches every year in the Walk for Life stated, "Too often in the classroom, the abortion issue remains an 'academic exercise.' Rev. Hoye made it real by sharing his experiences. He walks the walk! We hope this will increase the turnout at the Walk for Life."

God Bless Fr. Daly for hosting Walter and Lori Hoye!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Climate Change?

VERONA, Italy, JAN. 10, 2010 ( The 2010 edition of the traditional Papal message for the World Day of Peace, presented [Dec. 15] by Cardinal Renato Martino, was much anticipated.

In the countries of north-central Europe, and especially in Germany, Benedict XVI's encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" was the object of severe criticism, precisely in regard to the question of the environment, and particularly with regard to climate change.

So it was logical to look forward to the message for this year's World Day of Peace dedicated to the theme "If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation."Benedict XVI did not miss the opportunity to restate his teaching and, thus, probably upsetting once again all those who tend to weigh down ideological themes with excessive ideological burdens.

The central point of the message is, in my opinion, a passage from paragraph 13, where the Pope says that "a correct understanding of the relationship between man and the environment will not end by absolutizing nature or by considering it more important than the human person.

"The Church, he continues, expresses misgivings "about notions of the environment inspired by ecocentrism and biocentrism," because it eliminates the difference between man and other living things, favoring an "egalitarian vision of the 'dignity' of all living creatures.

"This thus gives rise to a new pantheism with neo-pagan accents which "would see the source of man's salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms." According to the Church, man has "the role of a steward and administrator," a role which he must not abuse nor abdicate. "In the same way, the opposite position, which would absolutize technology and human power, results in a grave assault not only on nature, but also on human dignity itself.

"Benedict XVI does not deny that environmental questions have an impact on poverty, nor that they demand a profound rethinking of the model of development, nor that they imply a consideration of the importance of a greater moderation, but he re-proposes the conviction that if there is not a rethinking of humanity about itself, and if it does not return to see in nature a discourse about us (it is precisely "creation" and not a pile of stones) it will not succeed in acquiring a new moral responsibility even before it works out a new politics.Both those who do not value material nature and those who respect it more than man as if it were something divine in itself, in the end do not read the message and do not gain wisdom. Fundamentally, both are narrowly technical attitudes.
By Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tom Peters Moves to "Catholic Vote Action"

The fine young man, whom we (and everybody else in the Catholic blogosphere) are always referencing, has teamed up with Catholic Vote Action.

Here's one of their great "healthcare" spots":

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Counterfeit "Marriage" Stopped in New Jersey

The defense of marriage continues!

From the New York Times:

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey's state Senate has defeated a bill to legalize gay marriage, leaving it unlikely the state will have a gay marriage law in the very near future.

The bill needed 21 votes to pass; only 14 senators approved the measure Thursday.

Gay rights advocates had pushed hard to get the bill passed before Jan. 19, when Republican Chris Christie becomes governor. Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine promised to sign the bill if approved by the Legislature but Christie has said he would veto it.

New Jersey offers civil unions that grant the legal rights of marriage to gay couples. Five states -- Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont -- allow gay marriage."

Good news!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Walk For Life West Coast Teleconference/Web Simulcast

In preparation for the 2010 Walk For Life West Coast, the event's organizers have scheduled a teleconference/web simulcast for Tuesday, January 12 at 8 PM PST. The teleconference will last about an hour, is totally free, and will include Lila Rose of Live Action; Abby Johnson, the Former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director; David Bereit, of 4o Days For Life; and Eva Muntean of the Walk for Life West Coast. You must register to participate, and can do so by going here.

Here's the message from the Walk for Life:

Dear West Coast Pro-Life Friends,

You are invited to participate in a one-time-only teleconference and web simulcast featuring prominent national pro-life leaders who will share the latest news from the front lines of the pro-life movement, and reveal all the exciting details about the upcoming Walk for Life West Coast.

It's absolutely FREE to participate, and during the live 1-hour teleconference and web simulcast, you will hear from several of the inspirational leaders and heroes who will be speaking at the Walk for Life, including...

LILA ROSE, Live Action

Lila Rose is a student activist at UCLA who founded Live Action, a student-led organization that uses "new media" to educate and mobilize both local and national audiences to demand accountability from the abortion industry and human rights for the pre-born.

ABBY JOHNSON, Former Planned Parenthood Director

2008 Planned Parenthood "employee of the year," abortion center director Abby Johnson, experienced a conversion as a 40 Days for Life was held outside her office and resigned her job after witnessing an abortion by ultrasound. She has since become a powerful and articulate pro-life advocate.

DAVID BEREIT, 40 Days for Life

David is the national director of 40 Days for Life, a pro-life initiative made up of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigils outside abortion facilities, and grassroots outreach. Since 2007, 40 Days for Life has mobilized 300,000 people in 282 cities across all 50 states and several other countries.

EVA MUNTEAN, Walk for Life West Coast

Eva serves as co-chair of the Walk for Life West Coast, and during the call will be sharing how you can help make history January 23rd by joining with tens of thousands of pro-lifers on the streets of San Francisco to proclaim "women deserve better than abortion."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

San Francisco Versus the Church UPDATE

Rick DelVecchio reports today in Catholic San Francisco in the Resolution 168-06 case. For those unaware, two San Francisco Catholics (Valerie Meehan and Richard Sonnenshein) are suing the City of San Francisco over the Board of Supervisors unaimous issuing of a March 21, 2006 resolution calling the Church "hateful," etc. The case is currently before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The plaintiffs are represented by the Thomas More Law Center.

From Mr. DeVecchio's report:

"In oral argument Dec. 16, San Francisco deputy city attorney Vince Chhabria said that the key question in determining the resolution’s constitutionality under the establishment clause is whether the city has a secular stake in stating its opinion on its own adoption policies.

Judge Sidney Thomas indicated that he was sympathetic with that view, noting that the city had a contract with Catholic Charities to place children with adoptive parents. "If we were to take the inflammatory language out, you still have a contract," he said.

Judge Andrew Kleinfeld was critical of the city's argument, cutting off Chhabria as the attorney began to state his position. “That seems like a very distorted approach,” Kleinfeld said. “Just speaking on a religious subject -- the Supreme Court has told us over and over again that all it takes is an indication of endorsement or counter-endorsement,” he said.

Chhabria responded that government may speak about a religious matter as long as the primary effect is not to become entangled with, or inhibit, religion.

“We don’t question plaintiffs’ assertion that they were disturbed by the resolution,” he said. “Many people are offended by ‘In God We Trust,’ but that doesn’t violate the establishment clause. What I think is mistaken is that being offended violates the establishment clause.”

Judge M. Margaret McKeown said the criticisms in the resolution taken together show a “level of insensitivity.” She asked Chhabria if the impact is not to effectively condemn the beliefs of the Catholic Church.

Chhabria disagreed, saying the language was intended to express disagreement on a matter that had a significant impact on the well-being of San Franciscans. The supervisors spoke loudly because they were reacting to interference in a vital matter, he said.

Kleinfeld responded: “If I were Catholic, my guess is I would be really offended. I can’t accept the premise that it’s not directed at a particular church.”

Chief Judge Alex Kocinski then asked Chabbria: “The city is telling a religious organization how to practice its religion. Do you agree with me to some extent?”

Chhabria said he agreed.

“Is that permitted under the establishment clause?” the chief judge pressed.

Chhabria said he believes it is permissible under some circumstances.

Kocinski then asked, “How is it different than if the city told the synagogues to tell the Jews not to eat pork?”

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

One of my Favorite SF Churches: The Chapel of the Carmelite Monastery

The intersection of Parker Avenue and Fulton Street is not the most pleasant place in San Francisco. Fulton is a busy east/west thoroughfare, while the proximity to USF guarantees plenty of traffic on Parker. The location, high on the southern slope of Lone Mountain, is generally windy. To the west a long slow slope falls to the ocean, 3 miles away. The southwest corner of the intersection is dominated by a hospital. On the southeast corner is USF Law School. On the northeast corner bulks St. Ignatius--the largest church in San Francisco

On the northwest corner, set back a little from the street, and overshadowed by the surrounding structures, is the Chapel of the Carmelite Monastery of Cristo Rey. The façade is of stonework. Low, wide steps lead to the entryway. Pillars on each side of the large wooden doors support an arch surmounted by Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The imagery on the pillars from bottom to top winds through Adam and Eve, grapes, wheat, a crown, and finally, the cross.

The chapel nave is quiet. The interior design is neoclassical --very orderly. The floors are rough stone and brick, with some marble; the walls gray; the chairs wooden and vertical. There are few statues: a lovely Shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe on your immediate left as you enter, and a St. Joseph and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on the right wall of the nave. But the quietness just magnifies the overwhelming fact of the chapel. The moment you enter, your attention is forced to the sanctuary.

The altar and tabernacle are enclosed within an ornate baldachinno. Behind the altar, above the tabernacle, is an explosive gilded depiction of Christ in Glory. The contrast between the nave and sanctuary is extreme, even violent. The designers of this chapel insisted: your attention belongs here. As a matter of aesthetics, the depiction of Our Lord may be too large for its surrounding space, but the very size compels the visitor to gaze at the altarpiece, and hence at the tabernacle right in front of it. There is no doubt about what this chapel considers important. I find the the chapel an especially helpful place to pray.

The chapel is open daily from 7AM to 4:30PM. Only one Mass is celebrated every day, at 7:00 AM.
Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Professor Arkes on Obamacare and the Demise of the Pro-Life Democrat

From his column today over at "The Catholic Thing" :

"The pro-life votes among the Republicans will hold. Not so for the pro-life Democrats: they will be subject to all of the pressures that emanate from a party fiercely pro-abortion – and in power. Benefits will be dangled to buy them off, and threats may be made to deprive them forevermore of projects and funds for their districts. And so, the pro-life Democrats are melting away. But their demise was foretold by the logic they accepted in remaining in the party. They had to absorb the notion that the rightness of abortion could not be challenged in principle, that the protection of nascent life would always be a peripheral concern, always giving way to something more pressing. And the pro-lifers who keep voting to sustain them in that position have had to talk themselves into the same moral confusion."

Friday, January 1, 2010

Despite that Dispensation....

Father Z, the California Catholic Daily, and the Catholic Caveman have all commented on the California Bishops' dispensing their flocks from attending Mass today--the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God--which is a Holy Day of Obligation.

Heaven knows why the Bishops do this. The California Catholic Daily said this:

“It’s nothing really sinister,” a former priest of the Los Angeles archdiocese told California Catholic Daily. "It’s really pretty mundane – for the convenience of the lay people.”

Well, the literary critic Guy Davenport called the idea of convenience "one of the strangest and tackiest ideas ever conceived by mankind," and he was right.

I'm happy to say that despite the dispensation there were many people in the pews at SS. Peter and Paul this morning.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney