Fanucci, Laura-color.pdf

Keep holy the commute and the car pool

Posted August 17, 2018 at 12:00 am

Our minivan is one big silver stereotype.

Granola bar wrappers on the floor. Cheerios stuck between seats. Baseball gear rolling around the back.

I’ll admit our car is overlooked; I’d never let the house get this dirty. It’s also much-maligned, as I crack jokes regularly about minivan life.

I know I’m not alone in feeling like we live in the car some days. The average American spends about an hour a day driving.

But St. Catherine of Siena said that all the way to heaven is heaven. What if our time spent driving mattered as much as our destinations?

Could our hours on

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    Why I believe in God

    Some of my favorite authors are agnostics, men and women who face life honestly and courageously without faith in a personal God. They’re stoics mostly, persons who have made peace with the fact that God may not exist and that perhaps death ends everything for us. I see this, for example, in the late James Hillman, a man whom I greatly admire and who has much to teach believers about what it means to listen to and honor the human soul.

    But

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    The unclean spirits of an increasingly secular society

    At our Sunday Masses in “ordinary time” this year we are hearing Gospel readings from St. Mark. More than the other Gospel writers, St. Mark describes Jesus campaigning against “unclean spirits.”

    He drives them out of individuals, and in one of last month’s Sunday Gospels, he sent his apostles out two by two to preach repentance, giving them “authority over unclean spirits” (Mk 6:7). We know today that illnesses are caused by bacteria and viruses and mutations of genes. These were unknown to Jesus’ audiences and to people

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    To the friends I’ve known

    Recently, reading Commonwealth magazine, I was struck by this line by Jerry Ryan, a Little Brother of Jesus: “I have lost contact with so many people who meant a lot to me at different stages of my life, people I loved dearly and really cared for and who had given me so much and made me what I am.”

    That’s so true for me and, I suspect, for most of us. People enter our lives, friendships develop, and then some of those

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    God rested. Don’t we need the same?

    This column almost made a liar out of me. 

    “I’ll write about leisure,” I decided one morning at Mass, snuggled next to a rarely calm child, soaking in the Sunday quiet. 

    A perfect topic for July’s sultry weather and summer vacations. Gentle reminders that God calls us to rest. 

    But then my work schedule picked up. So did my husband’s. House projects became emergencies; kids got sick; calendars got thrown off. 

    When I finally

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    ‘Last rites’ in a coma/ Mass attendance on holy days

    By Father Kennth Doyle

    Q  My daughter, who was 50
    years of age, became deathly ill, spent six weeks in the intensive care unit, then entered hospice to die. When death was imminent, a nurse finally found a priest to administer last rites. (It was a Jewish hospice, and they weren’t used to calling a priest.)

    By that time, my daughter was in a coma. She hadn’t been to church or to confession in I don’t know how long  although she was baptized, made first Communion, etc.

    As soon as the priest gave her the sacrament, she passed away.

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    ‘Humanae Vitae’ upholds the dignity of women

    By Danielle Van Haute

    This July 25 marks the 50th year anniversary of Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life), arguably the most widely contested encyclical in the church’s history. When the encyclical was promulgated, it was a time of change that included new possibilities and new concerns. Man was advancing in the areas of science and technology, the sexual revolution was in full swing, and contraception, in particular the birth control pill, offered the promise of solutions to problems ranging from women’s role in society, to economic disparity and the fears of population growth. It was prudent and necessary for

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    School shootings

    By Father John Catoir

    When plane hijacking became a national threat, we immediately addressed the problem by upgrading preventive measures at our airports. Ex-ray surveillance, body searches, luggage inspections were all resisted at first, but these stricter methods worked. The immediate public reaction was to complain: it’s too invasive, too time-consuming, too annoying, etc.  But now people feel safer, and the threat of hi-jackings is no longer on everyone’s mind.

    We need to do the same thing for our children, who are terrified by the mass-murders at schools. We need to upgrade our surveillance techniques.

    The problem needs

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    The soul of America is in danger

    By Father John Carville

    We worry about our children, our relatives and our friends who begin to go down a dark path in their lives.  Whether it is infidelity in marriage, dishonesty in business or addiction to alcohol or drugs, we see the light of goodness dim in their lives, and we wonder if their souls are being lost.  Our nation too has a soul, a soul that for many years has burned brightly, as expressed so beautifully on monuments like the Statue of Liberty and the Lincoln Memorial.

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled

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    Donating body to science/ Flags on the altar

    By Father Kenneth Doyle

    Q I would like to donate my remains to medical science. Does the Catholic Church approve or disapprove of this action? (Chesapeake, Virginia)

    A The Catholic Church not only allows this but encourages it. Your donation could enable doctors, nurses and medical researchers to understand the human body better and save lives in the future.

    The U.S. Catholic bishops in their policy document Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services state that Catholic health care facilities should provide the means for those who wish to donate organs and bodily tissue both for transplant

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    Mourning

    By Father Ron Rolheiser

    Our culture doesn’t give us easy permission to mourn. Its underlying ethos is that we move on quickly from loss and hurt, keep our griefs quiet, remain strong always and get on with life.

    But mourning is something that’s vital to our health, something we owe to ourselves. Without mourning our only choice is to grow hard and bitter in the face of disappointment, rejection and loss. And these will always make themselves felt.

    We have many things to mourn in life: We are forever losing people and things. Loved ones die, relationships die, friends

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    Readings at funeral Mass/ Sunday shopping

    By Father Kenneth Doyle

    Q Are there restrictions as to which scriptural readings may be used at a Catholic funeral Mass? My dad has told me that he wants St. Matthew 25:31-40 to be read when he dies. He has always liked that reading and has lived his life accordingly. Is there any reason this passage could not be used at his funeral? (Northampton, Pennsylvania)

    A The Order of Christian Funerals is the ritual book approved for Catholic funerals in the United States. In it is offered a selection of 45 different scriptural passages for the first and second readings

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    Honoring our fathers

    By Laura Fanucci

    Beer. Golf. TV. Mowing. Burping. Fishing.

    According to greeting cards in the store aisles, this is all that modern fathers care about.

    Father’s Day is clogged with lowbrow stereotypes. Dad just wants to hog the remote control, crack a few crass jokes and drink a cold one.

    He’s not nurturing, caring or involved. He’s not devoted to his wife, children or grandchildren.

    But think about the fathers you know. Chances are they defy such silly typecasting. They’re washing dishes and changing diapers. They’re sacrificing to pay for college or moving to be near grandkids.

    Many men

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    The most important way we remember Jesus

    By Father John Carville 

    On Memorial Day, a month ago, the Advocate carried an editorial about remembering the sacrifice of our fallen military. A note at the end of the editorial said that it was a yearly rewrite with some changes to bring it up to date. That was proper, the editors thought, because we must celebrate this important holiday every year to remind all Americans that “freedom is not free.”  

    The following Sunday we Catholics celebrated our yearly feast of Corpus Christi (the

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    Stirring the smoldering ashes of our faith

    By Father Ron Rolheiser

    Anyone who has ever watched a fire knows that at a point the flames subside and disappear into smoldering coals which themselves eventually cool and turn into cold, grey ash. But there’s a moment in that process, before they cool off, that the coals can be stirred so as to make them burst into flame again.  

    That’s the image St. Paul uses to encourage us to rekindle the fires of our faith when they seem to be burning low: “I

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    Strange wording in Our Father?/ Sausage on Ash Wednesday?

    Q For years I had been puzzled by the words “lead us not into temptation” in the Our Father. It always seemed to me unlikely that God would do that, and I wondered whether the phrase had been mistranslated. Now that Pope Francis has agreed that this wording is strange, I wonder if something like “leave us not in temptation but deliver us from evil” would be more correct. (Crozet, Virginia)

    A You should be credited for having seen the difficulty. (Many people, I’m afraid, have prayed the Our Father for years without reflecting on that phrase, without seeing

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    Mercy, truth, and pastoral practice

    Recently a student I’d taught decades ago made this comment to me: “It’s been more than 20 years since I took your class and I’ve forgotten most everything you taught. What I do remember from your class is that we’re supposed to always try not to make God look stupid.”

    I hope that’s true. I hope that’s something people take away from my lectures and writings because I believe that the first task of any Christian apologetics is to rescue God from

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    Robinson, Brett Guest.pdf

    Yanny vs. laurel

    Our senses often deceive us. The recent “yanny vs. laurel” debate on the internet saw those who heard the word “laurel” arguing with those who heard the word “yanny” when listening to a vocabulary.com recording of the word “laurel.”

    Very reasonable people had rather intense disagreements about what they were hearing. (I heard “laurel” and my son heard “yanny.” We simply had to agree to disagree.)

    It may seem like a trivial dispute,

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    Carville.pdf

    The church, institution or people?

    About a month ago I was at my brother’s house for a gathering of friends and relatives. After about 8 p.m., most of the guests were gone, leaving only the two of us, my sister-in-law, and a couple from out of town who are close friends to the three of us and who were spending the night. We began talking about the younger generation’s attitudes towards the Catholic faith. Before we realized it, the clock was showing midnight. Apparently parents as well as priests are very bewildered by what

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    ‘Substitute godmother’ needed?/ Response to helping beggars

    With Father Kenneth Doyle

    Q In 1995, I was godmother at the baptism of my brother’s daughter. A few years later, it turned out that I adopted her and have raised her as my own. (She is now 27.) Then, in 2010, I served as godmother for my sister’s daughter and, the following year, wound up taking custody of her as well and eventually adopting her. (She is making her first Communion this month.)

    I took my role as godmother very seriously,  sending both girls to Catholic schools,  but it seems that they’ve been “cheated” out of having godmothers.

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    My Favorite Things

    Darryl Ducote

    During the annual Spring Luncheon held recently for employees at the Catholic Life Center, Darryl Ducote, director of the Office of Marriage and Family Department for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, and Joe Bass, youth ministry project coordinator for the diocese, sang a song they had penned specially for Bishop Robert W. Muench. The song was sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from the popular musical “The Sound of Music.”

     

    Joseph Bass

     

    Below is the song:

    Rich, creamy chocolate
    And seafood au gratin,
    Pasta with meatballs
    That

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    No simple solution

    By Father Jeff Bayhi
    Once again, we watch in horror as we listen to the heartbreaking details of another school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas (May 19). Long before the victims of this tragedy will be laid to rest, the theories of what the solution will be emerge, and the blame game will surface. The first will obviously be the legality of guns, the second will be ideas of providing school safety and the problem of mental illness will also be in the mix.
    Unfortunately, the reality that the lack of a safe environment exists long before our children leave home

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    Come, Holy Spirit, come! 

    By Father John Carville

    On Pentecost Sunday we sing, “Come Holy Spirit, Come,” sometimes in Latin (Veni, Creator Spiritus), asking God to send us his Spirit as he sent it upon the apostles and disciples.  The first reading from the Mass says, “All were filled with the Holy Spirit.  They began to express themselves in foreign tongues and make bold proclamation as the Spirit prompted them.”  This is the culmination of the Christ event, the fulfillment of Jesus’ mission on earth.  He promised us that he would be with us until the end of the ages,

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    The shortcomings of a digital immigrant

    Information technology and social media aren’t my mother tongue. I’m a digital immigrant. I wasn’t born into the world of information technology but migrated into it, piece-meal. I first lived in some foreign territories.  

    I was nine years old before I lived with electricity. I had seen it before; but neither our home, our school, nor our neighbors had electricity. Electricity, when I first saw it, was a huge revelation. And while I

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    Robinson, Brett Guest.pdf

    At the marketplace of culture

    Attempts to evangelize online are not wrong, but the venue is not ideal.

    When St. Paul arrived in Athens, he spent most of his time debating the philosophers and citizens in the marketplace. But then, Scripture tells us, they brought him to the Areopagus.

    The Areopagus was set aside from the noise of the marketplace. It was made up of a council of elders who heard the most important arguments regarding serious crimes and matters of

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    Doyle.pdf

    When incense is bothersome/ Giving beggars money

     On the feast of the Epiphany, I left Mass coughing and with a headache due to the large amount of incense used. I spoke to the celebrant after Mass, and he told me that the incense was part of the Mass and that I would just have to get used to it. I also talked to our pastor, but he offered no solution.  

    Again, at Easter Mass, I was not able to tolerate the incense. Because I

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    Carville.pdf

    For the love of Alfie

    Our world is getting quickly smaller as our technology gets more sophisticated and dominating. The week I am writing this has been hectic with meetings and phone calls in preparation for a seminar to be given by a panel from Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center to a class of LSU law students. The seminar will be about case studies in medical ethics with emphasis on end of life issues. Panelists will be Coletta Barrett, Vice President of Mission at OLOL, James Reagan, Senior Bioethicist at

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    Doyle.pdf

    Pope Francis and hell/ Divorced, remarried sponsor for confirmation?

    Q Did Pope Francis just say that there is no hell? (Chesapeake, Virginia)  

    A No. Pope Francis did not say that there is no hell. That misinformation comes from a March 2018 article in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. The article written by that newspaper’s co-founder and former editor, Eugenio Scalfari claimed that the pope had told Scalfari in a recent conversation that “the souls of those who are unrepentant, and thus cannot be forgiven, disappear” and that “hell does not exist; the

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    Carville.pdf

    Pope Francis’ new exhortation is a must read

    Pope Francis has just published a new exhortation on the call to holiness. Its Latin name is Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Exult). Massimo Faggioli, Roman journalist and correspondent for National Catholic Reporter, calls it the “most important magisterial text on holiness since Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium (The Constitution on the Church). That may be a stretch, but Gaudete et Exsultate is very good, a must read.

    “My modest goal,” says Pope Francis, “is to repropose the call to holiness in a

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    Rolheiser.pdf

    Moral outrage

    Moral outrage is the antithesis of morality. Yet it’s everywhere present in our world today and is everywhere rationalized on the basis of God and truth.

    We live in a world awash in moral outrage. Everywhere individuals and groups are indignant and morally outraged, sometimes violently so, by opposing individuals, groups, ideologies, moral positions, ecclesiologies, interpretations of religion, interpretations of Scripture and the like. We see this everywhere, television networks outraged at the news coverage of other networks, church groups bitterly demonizing

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