Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lost on a rainy night, a nun stumbles across a monastery and requests shelter there. Fortunately, she’s just in time for dinner and was treated to the best fish and chips she had ever tasted.
After dinner, she went into the kitchen to thank the chefs. She was met by two of the brothers.

The first one says, “Hello, I am Brother Michael, and this is Brother Charles.”

“I’m very pleased to meet you,” replies the nun. “I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful dinner. The fish and chips were the best I’ve ever had. Out of curiosity, who cooked what?”

Brother Charles replied, “Well, I’m the fish friar.”

She turned to the other Brother and said, “Then you must be…?”

“Yes, I’m afraid so — I am the chip monk.”

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Catholic Parish choir singer Susan Boyle becomes overnight sensation

Susan Boyle performing on Britain's Got TalentLondon, England, Apr 17, 2009 / 03:11 am (CNA).- A middle-aged Scottish woman who sang in her Catholic parish’s choir for decades has become an internet sensation after a stunning performance on a British talent show. Susan Boyle, 47, appeared on the show Britain’s Got Talent before judges and a live audience skeptical of her ambition, her age and her plain appearance.

The audience laughed derisively when she said she wanted to follow the example of West End star singer Elaine Paige.

However, Boyle’s rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical Les Miserables won over the crowd and the judges.

Her performance was broadcast on April 11, the day before Easter. A video of her performance posted on YouTube on the same day had received more than 13 million views as of Thursday afternoon.

Boyle, reportedly a devoted Catholic from Blackburn in West Lothian, was born with a learning disability but dreamed of becoming a professional singer, the Times Online says.

She credits her mother for advancing her musical education.

“I was always musical - yelling when I was a baby, singing into a brush and singing in the shower,” she told Deadline Scotland.

“It was my mum who got me into singing properly - she knew I had to do something with my voice because she knew I was talented.

“She was the one that pushed me into joining a choir all those years ago, when I was about 12. I remember she told me to start with the choir and just see where it took me,” she added, saying it was hard to believe her success.

Boyle limited her singing to church choir and karaoke in order to care for her aging mother, the Times says. She stopped singing after her mother died two years ago.

“I thought I would take a break - it seemed appropriate,” she told the Times.

Boyle, one of eight siblings, has never married and claims she has never been kissed.

Discussing the Britain’s Got Talent audience’s initial hostility, she said “Modern society is too quick to judge people on their appearances.”

“There is not much you can do about it; it is the way they think; it is the way they are. But maybe this could teach them a lesson, or set an example.”

According to the Washington Post, Boyle received a standing ovation at her parish’s Easter Sunday Mass.

"We let out a wee bit of a cheer for her. We are quite proud of her," Boyle's parish priest, the Rev. Ryszard Holuka, said in a telephone interview. He described Boyle as a "quiet soul."

"At gatherings and anniversary parties, she'd stand up and give a song," he said. "She never flaunted her voice; this is the first time it's been publicly recognized."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dolan Joins N.Y. Marriage Fight

Posted by Tom McFeely

Thursday, April 16, 2009 1:23 PM

In one of his first actions as the Archbishop of New York, Archbishop Timothy Dolan has joined with the state’s other bishops in opposing a state bill that would legalize same-sex “marriage.”

The bill was introduced today by New York Gov. David Paterson.

The following is the text of an April 16 statement opposing the bill, released by the New York State Catholic Conference:

In light of Gov. David Paterson’s introduction today of a bill that would redefine in New York State the historic understanding of marriage as being between one man and one woman, the New York State Catholic Conference points again to a statement from the Bishops of New York State from June 2008. The Conference calls on the legislature to defeat this proposal, for which there is no compelling state interest and which will weaken rather than strengthen the institution of marriage, which is so important to a stable society. Following are selections from the Bishops’ 2008 statement. The full statement is attached.

“Marriage always has been, is now and always will be a union of one man and one woman in an enduring bond. This is consistent with natural law, and should be obvious to all, no matter what their religion, or even if they have no religion at all…”

“To be clear, the state’s historic recognition of marriage is based on the biological fact that the physical union of a man and a woman tends to lead to children. Common sense and empirical evidence tell us that children’s welfare is best served in most cases by their being reared in a stable home with their mother and father…Encouraging marriage between a man and a woman, therefore, serves the state’s interests…On the other hand, there is no compelling state interest in granting legal recognition to same-sex relationships. The simple fact that two people have a committed relationship is not a reason for the state to confer upon it the status of marriage…”

“Marriage and family have worked well throughout history to promote the common good. ‘Same-sex marriage’ furthers a societal disconnect between procreation and marriage while promoting the notion that a nontraditional family structure serves a child as well as a traditional one. We are confident history will judge this notion harshly…”

“Our Church teaches, and we affirm, that we must treat our homosexual sisters and brothers with dignity and love, as we would all God’s children. Indeed, the Catechism of the Catholic Church warns that any form of prejudice and hatred — ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ — against homosexual people should be avoided.”

The Catholic Conference represents New York State’s Bishops in matters of public policy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

10 Ways to Know He Rose

1. The testimony of the texts. It is significant that Scripture, Tradition and the Church thereafter all agree that Christ rose. That kind of unanimity of witness is rare — and meaningful.

2. The testimony of the Twelve. If the apostles were making up a religion, they were making themselves look really bad in the process. In the Gospels, cowardly apostles flee in fear and embarrassment; they even greet the news of the Resurrection with doubt, at first. Says the Catechism: “The hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles’ faith (or credulity) will not hold up” (No. 644).

3. Transformation of Saul. St. Paul went from persecutor to believer after seeing Christ alive.

4. No early Church debate. The early Church debated many fundamentals, but not the Resurrection.

5. Centuries of martyrs. Christians, from the Church’s first days to our own day, have been willing to die for their conviction that Christ rose from the dead. For them, the Resurrection wasn’t a sweet dream that they indulged in, but a hard reality they suffered and died for.

6. Diverse sources. Gospel writers included different details and material from different sources — all of which agreed on the fact of the Resurrection.

7. Eyewitnesses. St. Paul spoke of how Christ appeared, alive, to 500 at once. If it weren’t true, he couldn’t make that claim so soon after the event occurred.

8. Non-Christian historical accounts. Tacitus and Josephus mention Christ and describe how Christians endured torture when simply renouncing him would end it.

9. Not dead again. Other resurrections are mentioned in the Bible — chiefly Lazarus — but of these, Christ’s is unique in that it is never suggested that he died again.

10. Rise of a historical religion. Christianity spread and grew, even though, as St. Paul told Christians from the beginning, and here in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain.”