Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nov. 24 - Feast of the 117 Martyrs of VietNam

If the stories of the martyrs are your thing, click on this link for the history of the Vietnamese (and Spanish) martyrs whose feast day we celebrate today.

New Evangelization in Judaism?

Give credit where credit is due.

YouTube has a video which gives a "rappin' reply" for Jewish singles that answers the question, "Why should a Jew seek first and foremost to marry another Jew?"

No, I'm not saying Catholics should rap (it wouldn't be pretty if I had to do it), but here's to being imaginative in using the current media to convey a religious belief.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Solemnity of Christ the King

I took this picture this morning between Masses. It's the center window in the apse, just above the reredos. Between Masses, with the sanctuary area darkened, the candles draw peoples' eyes to the image of Christ the King. Sweet.

And on November 22, nonetheless!

[Thanks to Fr. Bernie Healey for bringing this to my attention.]

Today's Providence Journal reports that Bishop Thomas Tobin, after reflecting on Canon 915 (which says that "Those who ... obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."), has decreed that Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy should not be admitted to Holy Communion because of his advocacy of abortion rights in his 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congressman Kennedy was informed of this decision by Bp. Tobin, and did what you or I would do: ran to the media. When asked in a phone interview about how he felt about being a Roman Catholic that is barred from receiving the Eucharist, said he has "personal feelings of disappointment". I'm sure the reporter must've broken his pencil at that moment, otherwise we'd have heard the Congressman's comments about shame, sorrow, his need for prayer, Confession, and a copy of Evangelium Vitae. The Congressman's soul could not be reached for comment.

Pray for Bishop Tobin, who is about to face the full fury of the mainstream media.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Great quote/thought of the day

This was part of the 2nd reading of today's Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours, from St. John Eudes:

"He desires to perfect the mystery of his incarnation and birth by forming himself in us and being reborn in our souls through the blessed sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist."

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lo, I've got Roses E'er Blooming!

I know, it's not Advent yet, but still this is pretty neat.

I was walking back from the church, where I was trying to take pictures of the stained glass windows while they're being backlit by the sun. While walking back, I took these shots of our Blessed Mother garden. Here we are in the middle of November, and I've got rosebuds ready to pop and an Easter Lily about to bloom.

Also, I realized that I'm not going to get the sharp pictures I want with my digital camera, but here are a few of the better pics I took of the stained glass.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pretty Neat

A friend of mind sent this to me. Click this link to experience a 365 degree tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Dean on St. Martin's Day

As is becoming my habit, I apologize for not writing on the blog for over a week. The truth is that, since I've been made administrator of St. Lawrence, time seems to go faster than it ever has before in my life. Wake up, clean up, say some prayers, say Mass, have some coffee, do some work, [POW] it's noon. Have some lunch, do some more work, [POW] CCD is going on! I'm not sure if it means I've got more to do now or if I was doing less before. But even in the busy-ness, it it certainly exciting and fulfilling.

Now, the plot thickens: As of this past week, I am now the Dean (also technically and canonically called the "Vicar Forane"- though Canon 553 also uses the term "Archpriest", wouldn't that be fun?) of the Raritan Bay Deanery of the Diocese of Metuchen. How about some terms:
  • A "Deanery" is a group of parishes in a diocese that are in proximity to each other. The twelve parishes of the Raritan Bay Deanery are located in Old Bridge, Parlin, South Amboy, South River, Sayreville, and of course Laurence Harbor.
  • Within every Deanery, the Bishop selects a Priest to be the Dean. In my diocese, we are named to a three year term, though this term doesn't prevent the Bishop from removing the Dean from office for a just cause.
So what does a Dean do? That part I'm still learning, but it comes down to this: If you check out Canon Law (specifically Canons 553-555), you'll see most of the duties revolve around providing support to Priests in the Deanery: Supporting them in their work, in their vocations, in their continuing education, and at the times of sickness and even upon their death.

Now for the shameless trappings of office. There aren't many. One is a title. As a Dean, I go from "Reverend" to "Very Reverend". But since I'm too much of a cheapskate to buy new business cards or stationary, that won't be seen all that much. The other are the initials, "V.F.", which can go after my name, but again, I'm cheap, and honestly I don't ever use the other initials I can use after my name for my academic degrees. Finally, on the heraldic front, as long as I'm Dean I go from two tassles to four (sounds almost like something you'd attribute to an aging stripper, doesn't it?) on my coat of arms. That I was able to get, thanks to my pal and heraldic source of all information, Fr. Guy Selvester, who designed my coat of arms last year as a "10th anniversary of ordination" gift.

This appointment was a total surprise to me, and I'm thankful to my Bishop for the honor. I'm also honored by the response I've received from the Priests of my Deanery (we had our monthly get together last Monday). I hope I serve you well.

Ok, just one time:

Very Rev. Jonathan S. Toborowsky, V.F., M.A., M.Div.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sacred Heart T shirts at Old Navy

If you have a teenager who wouldn't be caught dead shopping at a Catholic gift shop, check out what Old Navy has for sale for the Christm--, I mean, "Holiday" season.

It is part of their collection of "Men's Heraldic Graphic Tees", and item number #734840 if you want to order it online. The shirt is $15.00.

Archbishop Sheen once said that it seemed that everything Catholics "drop" as irrelevant in today's society, the world picks up and uses themselves. How right he was! I wonder if this shirt would be identified in a public school as conveying a religious message?

UPDATE: I went to a local Old Navy yesterday to buy the shirt, and they're on sale for only $8 each! Buy a bunch of them and sell them for $10 each as a fundraiser! Imagine what their corporate bigwigs would think if they saw this particular design sell like crazy? Might it get them to put out other designs that get the attention of Catholics?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Italian laundry symbols

Attention Young Fogey clergy and sacristans:

If you're like me, you've bought vestments in Rome, some of which can be laundered in the washing machine. I found a LINK which explains what the symbols on the inside tags mean.