Saturday, December 31, 2005

tag--i'm it

Penni tagged me with new liturgical year resolutions meme earlier this week. I'm getting around to it now, so I guess they're going to be new calendar year's resolutions.

1. I will get myself organized at work by the end of January. My secretary quit in August and I was a month without one. I am woefully behind.

2. I will continue to get to daily Mass at least twice a week (not including Sunday). I did it during Advent and it was very very good.

3. I will stay on top of my college coursework (I don't get any more extension requests).

4. I will make up the "Honey do" list my husband has asked me to do (No snarking. He really DID ask me to make one up). He got a new position with the University he works for and now he will have nights and weekends free!!!!!

5. I will not put crap into my mouth to eat because I will not gain 65 lbs. (*again*) with the new pregnancy.

If you'd like to do this one, consider yourself tagged.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

you know it can't be good

when the boy calls down from the bathroom, "Mom, I think you're going to need a Clorox wipe!"

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I loves me some firefox!

Now I have a full toolbar in Blogger. I had to try to remember all kinds of code using Safari. Mark, if any good was to come with your web design trouble, this is it!

if the Catholic Girl can't be home...

h/t to Jen P

You Belong in Rome

You're a big city girl with a small town heart
Which is why you're attracted to the romance of Rome
Strolling down picture perfect streets, cappuccino in hand
And gorgeous Italian men - could life get any better?

Only better if my own gorgeous Italian DH were with me. And we got to meet the pope.


We're supposed to get more snow this evening, before it all changes over to rain and melts the snow we got last Friday and whatever falls this evening. I am not a big fan of winter, but when it's getting on Christmas and your kids get so excited to go play in the stuff, it gets tolerable.
Picture is of sunrise in Antarctica.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Interreligious dialogue question

This is something i've been mulling for a while. Let's have at it.

Since the Roman Catholic Church is the one true Church (the only one founded by Christ Himself) and since our mission as Catholics is to go forth and make disciples of all nations, at what point during the Church's dialogue with other faiths and/or Christian denominations do we confront that? In Lumen Gentium, the Fathers write that other Christian Churches are Churches in as much as they subsist in the Catholic Church, meaning are in union with the Catholic Church. In the Gospels, Jesus tells us to spread the Good News, to makes disciples of all nations.

So, when talking with any non-Catholic, how far can the dialogue go before we say: but you're missing something big?

I know a priest of our Archdiocese who does a lot of work in this area (he got back from a 2 week trip to the Holy Land and Lebanon with his dialogue group last fall) and I haven't been able to pose it to him yet.

I think we can learn a lot from Protestants in different areas. Not the true stuff (creed, liturgy, sacraments, etc.), but the way that they run their programs, especially their outreach to kids and teens. I also think that the zeal of an evangelical Protestant and their knowledge of the Scriptures is to be admired. They aren't ashamed to talk about the "God Stuff"- how many Catholics do you know who constantly seem to say "Yes, I'm Catholic; I'm sorry?"

So, where do we start converting people? Or is the dialogue part of the conversion process (isn't this the Dominican way: Let's start from what we have in common)? Do we act in bad faith if we don't try to convert the people with whom we dialogue? Or does the conversion come through our own conviction?

Let's be kind in the comment box, please.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I turned into a real dork...

...when I met Susan from Sesame Street in Target this afternoon.

I had passed her in the aisles, but then I wound up behind her in line. This is the replay:

Me: Excuse me, but you look just like Susan from Sesame Street.

Suasn looks at me,

Me: *gasp* (whispers) You are Susan from Sesame Street!

Susan: (very sweetly) Yes, but please keep it quiet. I'd like to get out of here.

m: Of course. Wow.

S: Oh, your face is all red (gives me a hug).

m: Thank you so much for all of your work.

s: (takes my hand) Oh, you're welcome. what's your name?

m: Amy.

S: It's nice to meet you, Amy. Merry Christmas.

m: Merry Christmas.

Susan leave the register, presumably gets into her car without another 30 year old woman making an idiot out of herself over her.

m: Mom, that was Susan from Sesame Street!

Mom: Your face is all red!

m: I know! and I'm crying!

I bend down to get Primo's jacket on him,

m: Do you know who that lady was?

P: Yeah. It was Susan from Sesame Street.

m: daddy's not going to believe me when I tell him.

P: He'll believe you 'cause I saw her too!

I can't believe I cried. It probably happens to her all the time. Grown woman makes a total fool out of herself because she's there. It's just because I grew up watching Sesame Street and now my kids watch it too. I'm still glowing. Susan hugged me!!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

made up meme-ories

I saw Martha Martha do this and I thought it was fun. Now, Der Tomissar has it on his blog, and I'd be interested to see what you guys do with it. So, here it goes:


It can be anything you want–good or bad–BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you’re finished, post this paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON’T ACTUALLY remember about you.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

College mascot

My DH works for a college that has a mascot which makes me uncomfortable. It's the devil. Well, a devil. I think they chose it for the athletic dept. because of the legend of the Jersey Devil, but they're not the Jersey Devils, just the devils. And they have a kid dress up in a costume of this figure for their football and basketball games.

Now, my three readers will probably get my reasons for discomfort with this but others will not. I don't want my kids going to football games with a friendly fiend there. I think in a subconscious way that they will be desensitized to the Evil One by interacting with this kid in a cartoonish devil costume. That is simply dangerous. I don't want to freak my kids out, but I have had this discussion with Primo: There is a real devil, not the guy at daddy's football games. He doesn't like people. He wants to trick us to do things that make Jesus sad. We have to be careful about him. We have to remember that Jesus loves us all the time, even if we mess up, but we have to try real hard not to mess up.

I'm thinking about writing a letter to the president of the university. There has got to be a better mascot out there. I'm a little concerned because it is my DH's employer, but bad thing happen because good people stand aside and do nothing, right?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Took it yesterday. Seriously, if I didn't ace it, I must be a total moron. We'll see what Dr. Martin says. I'll keep you posted and thanks for the prayers!

What I mean by the total moron statement is this: Dr. Martin gave us 8 questions that could be on the mid-term in advance. If you don't go ahead and write out your essays while studying, you deserve whatever grade you get.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

TTLB Ecosystem rankings

I've been toying with adding my blog to see where I'd rank on the Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem. Thing is: I'm not sure my fragile ego could handle being a microbe for a long time. I would probably start doing things to get more traffic. Plus, I don't really need to feed my pride. I am already my biggest fan.


I have to stop going to these meetings

WARNING: the following is a rant. Proceed with caution.

My couterparts in ministry from the neighboring parishes are, as a whole, some of the most bitter women I have ever had the chance to meet (there are a few notable exceptions). I haven't met a bigger bunch of women who were more pissed off that they weren't born men.

This may be an unfair characterization. Then again, maybe not. It's my rant. I'll say what I want to.

We held the county Parish Catechetical Leaders (PCLs) meeting here today-we rotate it through different meeting sites every few months). Last time, I got my skirt in a bunch 'cause we worshipped autumn in our opening prayer. This month, we had another helping of Archbishop bashing specifically and man bashing in general.

They whined that we are unappreciated in our ministry. "If all the women who work in the Church took a 9 month sabbatical (9 months for a reason, folks), then they'd appreciate us!"

Well, ladies, not everybody appreciated Jesus when He was walking around either. Did he whine about it? NO. SUCK. IT. UP.

It all gets down to power. The bishops and priests have it, they think. These women want it. They're ticked off since they're out of the power loop. Well, ladies, you strike out again. Power is not the point.

If you're currently a priest, or a man in priestly formation, please correct me if I'm wrong. The call to the priesthood is an incredible gift from God. It is not a right. It is a gift. It is also a sacrifice. These are men who are called to give up the love of a wife, the joy of sexual intimacy, and the happieness of children of their own to care for them as they age and infirm. All for the love of Holy Mother Church and for the infinite love of Christ. This is a hard life that these men are called to. Imagine: funeral in the morning, go to graveside, baptism after lunch, wedding at 3, Mass at the old folks home at 4:30, then your Sunday vigil Mass and a full Sunday Mass schedule, plus getting called to a deathbed in the middle of the night. Who in their right mind wants that for himself or herself? These are special men who are called and given strength through their Holy Orders and by our prayers for them. say a quick prayer for our priests right now.

Can we talk about ordaining women for a second? I have talked about this before, but honestly, if Jesus wanted women to be priests, don't you think He would have called Mary, His Mother, the only sinless human being conceived besides Himself, as one of the Apostles? He defied culture and tradition regarding the treatment of women in every way during His life on Earth. Why didn't He ask Mary Magdalene to be an apostle?

I am tired of talking about this! Where is the humility here? Where is any other sort of imitation of Christ that we care called to as Christians? I am having a hard time seeing it. Suffering, sometimes at the hands of the clergy, is part of life as a Catholic in ministry. Offer it up for the good of your parish. Better: offer it up for the person whom you feel is persecuting you. Jesus suffers worse than you or I ever will. And He is innocent. We bring some of our suffering on ourselves sometimes. We sometimes deserve it. We can unite it with Christ's for the good of the whole world.

running out of steam...

That feels a little bit better. I had a lot of good thoughts when I was driving around in the car a little while ago. Naturally, when I sat at the keyboard, they all left me. I do my best philosophizing when I'm driving. *sigh*

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Blogs of Beauty Awards

I just want to thank whomever it was that nominated me as one of the bloggers you've never met whom you'd like to go get a mocha with! That really makes me feel good. I wasn't a finalist, but it really is a thrill to be nominated. Above is my cool nominee button. If someone can shoot me an email and let me know how I can put it on my sidebar, I'd be grateful.

As I said in the combox below, if you're in North Jersey and you want to go get a mocha, let me know. I'd like the chance to meet my blog friends! Plus, I live withing 5 minutes of 3 different Starbucks stores. But, then again, is there anyone in the country who doesn't live within 5 minutes of a Starbucks? Hasn't my former employer pretty much taken over the world?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving break

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His mercy endures forever. Let the House of Israel say His mercy endures forever."

So much to be thankful for. Please pray for all the 60,000 people in the Detroit, MI area who are likely to be laid off by the auto manufacturers. They may not feel like they have much to be thankful for.

I'm not going to put up any new posts for a while. I've got 10 people coming to my house for dinner Thursday and I have to clean and cook. Oh and I have a mid term to study for.

St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for me!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Not a workshop I'll be attending

A talk to be given by Dr. Michael Downey at the College on Thursday, Dec. 1 in the Lecture Hall at Caldwell College at 4:30pm on the topic: "Lay Leadership in the Church: More Than a Stopgap Measure." Dr. Downey is the Cardinal's Theologian of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Professor of Systematic Theology and Spirituality at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo. Please see the attached files for further information.

I am disinterested in this lecture on so many levels. Where do I begin?

1. I love the Order of Preachers. Dominicans have been wending their ways through my life unnoticed by me until pretty recently (dontcha love it when you finally start to connect God's dots? ...ooooohhhhhh, so that's what that is all about... ) so it hurts that much more to see that some of the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell are wacko. Please let me state in the most clear terms possible: The Sisters who run and teach at our parish school are very good and totally orthodox. I love them and I am confident that when my children attend the school they will receive the fullness of the truth of Holy Mother Church and I will be proud to call them graduates of St. John the Aposlte School. It's just that some of the others are a little off their nutter. and if Fra Lawrence leaves them off his Dominican blogroll, but he's got the cloistered Dominican nuns of Summit, NJ, you know something's gotta be wrong.

2. The theology Dept. at Caldwell leaves much to be desired in terms of their orthodoxy. I know someone who completed their Religious Education Certificate proogram there. She was not pleased and advised me not to pursue it. I didn't.

3. Um, hello, Cardinal Mahony's Theologian? Instead of attending this lecture, I will bang my head against a wall for 3 hours. I am certain that the self-injury will be much less physically painful and that it will be less of a danger to my soul.

4. Dr. Downey teaches at the Los Angeles Seminary. Hmm... No new vocations in LA. Coincidence? I THINK NOT!

Yup. The head banging sounds a lot more pleasant.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

So, did you read Swimming with Scapulars?

No? What's wrong with you? ;) Get thee to a library (or and get it, read it, then read the next paragraph.

You read it? Good. Did you know that the author, Matthew Lickona, has a blog? Did you know that someone he knows has started a "Swimming with Scapulars" online forum where you can exchange thoughts and ideas on a plethora (I've got an English degree so I know fancy words ;) ) of topics with other people who read Matthew's stuff (including Barb, the SFO mom) and Matthew himself? Don't you want to hang out for minutes on end with cool people like Barb and Matthew? I do. That's why I go to for the Swimming with Scapulars online forum. See you there!

Watched "Saving Private Ryan" again

It was the scene where Captain Miller and Private Ryan were talking about home before the big battle scene at the end.

I Turned to DH and said, "Can you imaging just sitting at home one day then the next day having to go off to a war and kill guys?"

"Yes, I can."

I sat dumbstruck for a few seconds. "That's sad."

"Well, I'm almost 30, so I don't think I'll really have to go, but I have thought about it."

I guess that's one difference (of many) between men and women. I have never thought about getting drafted because, being female, I would not get drafted. My husband had to register with Selective Service at age 18, so this is a reality for him and for every other man out there. Duh, Amy. Of course it's crossed his mind every time our country gets involved with some military action. Maybe even times when we haven't.

God bless those men and women serving our country and God bless their families that they left behind.


You scored as Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones is an archaeologist/adventurer with an unquenchable love for danger and excitement. He travels the globe in search of historical relics. He loves travel, excitement, and a good archaeological discovery. He hates Nazis and snakes, perhaps to the same degree. He always brings along his trusty whip and fedora. He's tough, cool, and dedicated. He relies on both brains and brawn to get him out of trouble and into it.

Indiana Jones




William Wallace


Lara Croft


James Bond, Agent 007


Batman, the Dark Knight


The Amazing Spider-Man


Neo, the "One"


El Zorro


Captain Jack Sparrow


The Terminator


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

h/t to Rick Lugari at Civitae Dei

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Next stop: Rome

Welcome, Donegal Express Readers!! Many thanks to Der Tomissar for the compliments he paid me in his post and for the double blogroll!

New blog on the roll

I just added Beth's Catholic Slumber Party to the blogroll. Beth is an awesome, thoughtful teen and I really enjoy her posts. She reminds me a lot of myself when I was in high school. So go read her stuff.

Monday, November 14, 2005

NFP Essay

I submitted an essay on NFP for publication in a book, but I found out it didn't get in. I'm going to publish it here, now that i know it won't be going anywhere else.

I am half of a couple that uses Natural Family Planning (NFP). Our use of NFP has not always been easy. The problems we encountered were not with the method. The problem was with us.

I was a senior at Bishop Mc Devitt High School when I first heard about NFP. Mrs. Agster had the unenviable task of teaching a classroom full of 17 and 18 year old kids in no uncertain terms that sex is a gift from God destined for marriage and that using the Pill, condoms, and all other forms of contraception were sinful, regardless of whether or not the people using them were married.

I next heard about NFP during college. My boyfriend (who is now my husband) and I took a class together called Marriage and the Family at De Sales University. Dr. Kane taught us about the different methods of NFP, outlined its efficiency vs. the Pill and condom use and gave testimony about it from his own marriage. Since I am the sort of woman who is loath to take an aspirin for a headache, the idea of taking a hormone pill derived from the urine of pregnant horse was extremely unappetizing. DH and I were sold on NFP.

When were getting married a few years later and heard more about NFP during the preparation, but we were too busy to enroll in a class on how to use it. A couple of months before the wedding, I called my best friend. Aimee and Rob used NFP, and she gave me as much detail about it as you can give in 20 minutes over the phone. She mailed me a form to order an NFP home study course.

The big book arrived a few weeks later and in all of the pre-wedding craziness, I never read it. Since DH and I weren’t living together, I was the one with the responsibility to learn about this NFP thing. Based upon the precious little I gleaned from my conversation with Aimee, I determined I was probably nor fertile during our honeymoon. But we bought a box of condoms, just in case. Trouble with that was, we really didn’t know how to put one on. I went to Catholic school, so I never learned about it in health class. Were we doing it right? Was it going to come off? It just felt too weird, physically and spiritually, so we decided not to use it. We took them on the honeymoon, but they never made it out of the suitcase.

Life happened after we returned from the honeymoon, so we did little more than skim the text. Basically, for the first two months of our marriage, we used the rhythm method, abstaining for about two weeks after my period ended. We fudged it a little in month two and one dark and stormy night we conceived our first son. The big book went back into its box and the box went under the bed.

We reaped the (in)fertility benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. But this time we got smart and signed up for a class on NFP running at our parish. The book came out from under the bed. Over four months, I charted my temperatures and cervical signals, but since I was infertile due to nursing, my charts were not really useful as practice. My fertility returned almost as soon as I thought about weaning him, and since we were inexperienced, we conceived immediately. We also miscarried almost immediately. After about four years of charting, we’ve gotten pretty good at the mechanics of charting and temperature taking, etc. We have had only the one unplanned pregnancy, even after weaning our second son from the breast.

Using NFP correctly is not easy. As a couple, we had fallen into the trap of thinking of it as Church-approved contraception, which it is not. We struggled with it when were not trying to achieve pregnancy. Because we were still pretty inexperienced and because we are not hyper-vigilant charters, we wound up abstaining for almost a month when I was weaning Bubba. My desire always peaks during my fertile phase, which was frustrating for me and for DH when we were not trying to get pregnant. Adding to this frustration, it seemed like 14 out of 28 days are in my fertile phase. We even considered sleeping in separate rooms during that time to avoid sinful sexual behavior.

Given the fact that the way we used NFP gave us about 2 weeks of abstinence when we were trying to avoid pregnancy, there was a sense of urgency on (mostly) DH’s part during the infertile phases. A “Let’s do it while we can” mentality. This led to some significant bedroom tension for us. There’s the “Why can’t he just hug me without expecting anything else?” and the “Doesn’t she understand that I love her and this is my favorite thing we do together?” and the always popular “OK. Let’s get it over with so I can go to sleep and you will leave me alone.”

It was worst when I was busy with work and the kids and DH was very busy at work, getting home at 10:00 at night. I just didn’t want to do it. I found myself withholding sex from my husband to punish him for not paying enough attention to me outside of the bedroom. “Can’t he see I’m tired?” I thought, “Why won’t he just let me go to sleep?” The Church teaches that a couple must have grave reasons to avoid conceiving another child, and we didn’t have any grave reasons. Neither does the Church teach that all Catholics should go and have 6 kids. Couples have to pray constantly about their family size and welcome new life whenever God seeks to bless them with it, not only when we seek the blessing.

The turnaround came about a year ago, when I went to confession and confessed my sin against my husband. I did some reading about the Theology of the Body and I prayed a lot. I had what I think you can call an epiphany. I realized that my marriage, and the gift of sexuality within it, was not about me. It wasn’t even about DH. Our marriage is about God. God wants to use DH, our kids, our relationship, and me to reflect His love to the world. Others should be able to look at us and see love. I guess I should have known that, having prepared for and received the Sacrament of Matrimony and all, but sometimes you just don’t hear what you ought.

A couple cannot effectively use NFP without a lot of prayer. We pray together now. We never did that before. I would always sort of shyly ask him to pray with me occasionally, but it is now part of our routine. With the help of Our Lady and St. Monica, I have been able to cheerfully (most of the time-I am NOT a saint) give myself to my husband even when I don’t feel like it-and even enjoy it! I cannot describe in how many ways our marriage has improved. I don’t feel like I’m being used anymore. DH is willing to let me simply go to sleep when I need to. We have finally figured out what we were told all the time about NFP: It is for acting with God to determine how big your family will be within your means. It’s not just for preventing pregnancy.

In spite of our fitful start with NFP, we wouldn’t go any other way. NFP has forced us to communicate better with each other. Let’s get real; if you can talk about the quantity and quality of your cervical mucus with a man, you can talk about anything with him. Can charting be a pain? Yes. I can’ t tell you how many times I have had to drag my lazy self out of bed to go check my cervix just as soon as I got comfy. Can being attentive to my sometimes obscure body signals of fertility be frustrating? Yes. Is it frustrating not to have sex whenever you feel like it? Yes! Will it kill us to offer up the inconvenience and frustration? NO. Will it make our marriage stronger? YES! The frustration and annoyance are small compared to the joy of having a husband who has a relationship with and loves ALL of me, not just one part of my body.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Happy Veteran's Day

To my brother who participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom aboard the USS Nimitz.
He's a Lieutenant in the Navy and he helped run the nuclear powered engine of the ship. Now he works in ROTC at UC Boulder. He's smart. I'm proud.

Snuck out to McDonald's

Cupholder is broken.
Coke all over the car.
Big mess.
some got on the paint of the car.
Tried to wipe it up.
only had 3 napkins.
Will that spot still have paint on it when I get back out there?
Probably not.
Why do I drink it if it eats paint?
What must it do to my body?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Got me a map

I'm keeping this on top for a few days. I'm also making it an obnoxious color so it's hard to miss.

I'd like to see where my blog friends are! It only takes a second and
Barb, Tom, and Penni are doing it too.... It will make you feel good good good good... Just click here. You can do international too, in case you're still stopping by, Fr. Mike!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Worst feeling ever

We went to a new park today and Primo went running around with these older boys, 6-8 years old, while I made sure Bubba didn't fall off the jungle gym. It seemed like he was following, but having a good time. The older boys didn't really seem to care too much for him being there, but they were playing with him. Digging rocks up out of the dirt, sword fighting with sticks, etc. Then as it was time to leave, I saw him picking up acorns and tossing them at the bigger kids. I yelled for him to stop and he didn't so I went over and told him it was time to leave. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. "I'll stop throwing things, I'll stop! I'll stop!" "No," I calmly replied, "It's time to go anyway. We have to go to the store on the way home." He threw himself on the back seat of the minivan as I closed the door. The kids were yelling, "Bye bad guy! bye bad guy!" "But No, Mommy!!!! They were throwing acorns and stuff at me and I had to get them back! I had to get them back! They were being mean to me, Mommy! I had to get them back!"

I have the most awful, sick feeling in my stomach. This is the worst way to feel: The other kids don't want to play with your kid. it makes you remember all at once every time you got picked last for a game, never got picked for a game, got made fun of, and had someone say something mean about you. And you know it's just how kids are, that he'll forget about it by the time he goes to school on Monday and gets to hang out with his friends at school, but you feel sick and angry inside. You want to yell at those boys' parents, you go over every thing you saw that day in your head: "Was it by accident that that boy hit him with a stick? Were they making fun of him? Why didn't one of them be nice to him? Why wouldn't they share their toy with him? Why didn't one of them ask his name? Why did he have to be the bad guy in all their games? Why didn't I see it and introduce him to some new kids?"

I reminded him of what Jesus said about turning the other cheek. We prayed for those boys and for Primo, asking the intercession of St. Dominic Savio, I asked him to remember how this feels so that if he ever sees kids being mean to someone else, he'll be nice to them. I also explained that sometimes big boys just don't like playing with smaller boys and somtimes they're just mean, and that it would probably be best to play with kids his own age. While we were making dinner, he told me about his plan. "Next time we go to the park, I'll teach them to fold dollars into rings, like Charlie (the retired fireman around the corner) does." Never mind that he doesn't know how to himself. If he can show them a cool trick, then they'll like him. I just smiled and nodded.

It's not going to be the last time some boys make fun of him, or just don't want to play with him, it's just the first. When I think about that this feeling must be similar to, yet a fraction of, the way Our Blessed Mother felt while watching Our Lord's Passion, it feels better knowing she knows what I'm feeling and so does He. I also feel like a time of innocence is over. He's figured out that kids can be really mean sometimes. I could throw up.

It's all about Meme

Barb tagged me for the Three meme. Let 'er rip!

Three names I go by:

Three screen names I have had:
Mrs. G

Three physical things I like about myself:
My eyes
My feet
My hands

Three physical things I don’t like about myself:
My stomach, hips, & thighs

Three parts of my heritage:
Irish (1/2)
Hungarian (1/4)
British (1/4) I am in constant conflict with myself, though the Irish side usually wins

Three things that scare me:
my husband dying
financial insecurity

Three of my everyday essentials:
An "I love you Mommy" from one or both children
Kiss from DH

Three of my favorite musical artists:
U2, Springsteen, The Beatles

Three of my favorite songs:
Brown Eyed Girl
Rosalita (Come out tonight)

Three things I want/have in a relationship:
Love--if you have that everything else comes.

Three lies and three truths in no particular order:
I'm six feet tall.
I have 6 children, 4 in heaven.
I have eaten pizza for a meal 6 times in the last 7 days.
I'm saving up for breast augmentation surgery.
My first boyfriend was a total Deadhead.
I made my kids' Halloween costumes this year.

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to me:
Eyes, mouth, tallness

Three of my favorite hobbies:
reading, counted cross-stitch, photography

Three things I want to do really badly right now:
Finish the Ben and Jerry's in the freezer
go to bed
go buy the rest of the "Chronicles of Narnia"

Three careers I’ve considered/I’m considering:
Professional Singer

Three Places I want to vacation:
Italy, Australia, Hawaii

Three kid’s names I like:
(Not including the names of my own kids)

Three things I want to do before I die:
Pilgrimage to Rome
Go back to being a stay at home mom
See at least one of my sons ordained a priest

Three ways that I am stereotypically a girl:
Always playing with my hair
Don't like to leave the house without makeup
Talk a lot

Three ways that I am stereotypically a boy:
Wear pants most of the time
Like to drive fast
Can belch on command

Three celeb crushes:
Steve Martin, John Cusack, Patrick Stewart

Three people I would like to see post this meme:
Mossa, Tomissar, Fra. Lawrence

Friday, November 04, 2005

My Thomas Aquinas Story

Tom posted a wonderful Litany of Saints for All Saints' Day which you should go read. I wanted to share my family's story related to St. Thomas Aquinas.

Our babies are not born small. Primo was 9 lbs. 6 oz and Bubba was 10 lbs 1 oz. Each also had a pretty sizable head, but I must say with all of the mother love in my heart that Bubba has the biggest head I have ever seen on a boy.

We were leaving church one day when the 80 year old priest in residence walked past us. "Whoa," he says, "Look at the head on him!" We must have looked a little surprised because he quickly followed with, "That means he's going to be smart. St. Thomas Aquinas had a big head too, you know."

My husband, my hero

Bubba got up crying at 5:00 yesterday morning. So, after I sat next to his crib a while and he went back to sleep, I returned to bed. I have not been feeling well, I started a cold 2 weeks ago which turned into an evil sinus infection on Halloween night. It was the first decent night of sleep I've gotten in a while thanks to Zithromax, finished early by the 2 year old waking up. I go back to bed to discover that Primo Giglio, the elder son, had taken the bed over completely. I squished back into my spot next to the DH and closed my eyes when I heard it:


It sounded just like somone was on my steps. I lay there, and didn't hear anything else. My mind was racing. Bubba's in the next room. No one is in our house. What if someone is in our house? What if they took the baby? I was paralyzed. If we had a phone upstairs, I would have called the cops.

I woke the DH. "Babe, I just heard a step sqeak. Like there was someone on it."

"OK." He rose from his sleep and grabbed his Maglite flashlight. I got out of bed and stood next to him. He motioned for me to go back. I said, "Please go check on Bubba. I want to make sure he's still there and OK." He goes around the corner and peeks his head in the boys' room. I hear, "Mommy? Oh, HI DADDY!" "Shhh... go back to sleep." "OK" and he laid back down. Primo wakes up, "I'm so hungry." "Daddy will bring you some thing in afew minutes, OK?" "OK, like a banana?" "No, we're out of bananas. Maybe some cookies." "Oh, great!" "Your daddy is so brave." Primo either didn't hear me, or he knows his daddy is brave beacuse he didn't reply.

Noiselessly, like a ninja, DH stands at the top of the steps. He turns on the flashlight. He goes down the stairs, checks out the house thoroughly. He returns. "There's no one here." "Good. Primo is hungry. There are some Teddy Grahams in the tin in the kitchen." "OK, I'll be right back." He returns with Teddy Grahams to the delighted chuckles of a 4-1/2 year old boy.

Last night, I must have thanked him about 20 times for going to defend his family against the invisible, nonexistent foe. He shrugged it off. "But, you were such a man. You were going to defend your family with a flashlight, then you went and procured food for your son! I'm so proud of you!" "Amy, it was Teddy Grahams and there was no one here. What would you have done?" "I would have stayed in bed and prayed there was no one here." "That probably would have been the smart thing to do."

My husband is awesome!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Free to God created me

In today's Star-Ledger there is a report of a Seton Hall university Associate Dean who was demoted for writing a letter to the editor criticizing the church's teaching about homosexuality. W. King Mott, an openly gay tenured professor, wrote the letter, signing it as an Associate Dean of the University's College of Arts and Sciences.

I used to work at Seton Hall 5 years ago, when Dr. Mott was the Director of the Freshman Studies Program. My colleagues in Admissions and I had the pleasure of meeting with him a few times in that context and he is really a very nice man. He left the University for about a year while I was there and he returned after I left. I had no idea that he was gay. I recall him being married (I could be wrong).

"Shouldn't a university be a place where this sort of conversation (about homosexuality) can happen in a good way? In a rational and coherent way?" Mott said yesterday. "That's what's important here ... A university ought to be a sanctuary for the expression of ideas, diverse ideas, contrary ideas."

University spokesman Tom White said if Mott wanted to publicly disagree with church policy, he should have done so without affiliating himself with Seton Hall's administration. "Clearly, it is inappropriate to speak against the Catholic Church or its policies as if representing Seton Hall University," White said. "If a university employee does this as Joe Q. Public, it's a different matter altogether."

Another issue which the PR people for the university seems to be avoiding, or at least not really bringing up because it's not really true at SHU, is that in a Catholic University, professors ought not discuss or espouse ideas in the classroom, or in print media, regardless of whether or not you identify yourself as a University Employee, which are contrary to Church teaching. (Anyone from Seton Hall who read Dr. Mott's letter to the editor would have known who he is.)

Catholic Colleges have a right and a grave responsibility to be CATHOLIC. Parents send their children to, and pay good money for, Catholic universities for a Catholic Education. And knowing that, there are many secular colleges and universities which would gladly hire well-qualified professors, like Dr. Mott, without caring about what they think about Church teaching.

I love Seton Hall. I think it is a fine school and I was happy while working there (I left after my first son was born to stay at home with him). I think it can improve on its Catholicity. For example, while I was there, and I do not know if this has changed (please, Lord, I hope it has) the nursing program has the students observe in abortion procedures during their student nursing. The faculty said that a student could conscientiously object without penalty and be assigned a different rotation, but what I would like to know is, why a nursing student at a Catholic university would even be offered a choice to be there during these procedures? There is no shortage of Catholic hospitals in this area, which I would hope did not offer this "service," why can't the students do their training exclusively at those hospitals?

A Catholic University ought to be an oasis for Catholic thought and ideas. Parents should not have to be worried about whether or not a particular Catholic university is really Catholic. Parents should expect that their children will still be practicing Catholics when they are graduated. People who are not Catholic should be attracted to a true Catholic University that would exude love and freedom.

What's interesting about Dr. Mott is that his entire professional academic career has been at Catholic Univeristies. I wonder why that is, especially since he thinks the Church is homophobic:
"The bottom line is, you're talking about a homophobic institution," he said last night. "The Roman Catholic Church is prima facie homophobic. The Roman Catholic Church considers me to be inherently disordered. I don't know how much more homophobic one can be."

Homophobic, eh? Well, let's see. If we go back to Genesis, we see that God created them male and female and "a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body" (Genesis 2:24). As Catholics, we believe that the way God started things out matters, and that God doesn't make mistakes. Since God ordained from the beginning of time that a man is meant for a woman and a woman is meant for a man, a person wanting to "cling to" someone of the same gender is disordered (contrary to God's created order). And acting on that desire is called sin. A sin is "humanity's rejection of God and and opposition to Him" (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 386).

Homophobia is fear of or hatred for homosexuality. There is no fear or hatred here. Let's read what the Church actually teaches about homosexuality from the Cathechism of the Catholic Church in paragraphs 2357-2359. Bold type is my emphasis: "...basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (cf. Gen 19:1-29, Rom 1:24-27, 1 Cor 6:10, 1 Tim 1:10), tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinscically disordered....

"The number of man and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite the sacrifice of the cross to the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

"Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection."

We are created in a certain way. We are called to live as God created us to, not how our sinful world would like us to be. We are called to rise above the world, not to be OF the world. Feel attracted to someone of the same gender? There are people who want to help. There is a ministry called Courage and there are therapists who will help you to overcome this attraction. You know that is not how God made you. Don't feel like you should get married? Don't think you could ever be attracted to someone of the opposite gender? Live a chaste life. And the CCC distinguishes clearly between people and acts. Love the sinner, but not the sin, remember?

I'm sorry that Dr. Mott inends to leave the University. I am more sorry that Dr. Mott has chosen to live an objectively sinful lifestyle. I am most sorry that the students at Seton Hall study at a Catholic Unversity which is not unabashedly Catholic.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Cute things my kid says

My two year old says some pretty cute things. My grandparents used to say: "Goodness gracious, St. Ignatius!" so my mom has taught it to my sons. But when the Bubba says it, it comes out (in his raspy two year old man child voice): "Goodness gwacious natious natious!"

We were in Target today and we got some Halloween candy. I asked, "What kind of candy do you like?" His reply, "In my mouth."

He is his mother's son.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Happy Un-Father's Day!

Tony at Catholic Pillow Fight posted this in rebuttal to a columnist's blog entry. It's about the importance of fathers. Ann Althouse (The aforementioned rebutted blogger) asks this in her comments:

For the kids we're talking about, the alternative is nonexistence. Are you saying that 38-year-old women who can't find suitable matches should not have children? Or that they should make dads out of unsuitable men? Talk about the real world, not just your ideal.

Tony says, and I wholeheartedly agree, that yes, nonexistence is better than an existence where your mother deliberately chose not to give you a father.

I think of my own family: Me, DH, boys, and my mom. My mom is of enromous help in my family. Without her, we would live in chaos. She cooks, cleans, does laundry, homework with my older son, everything a mother ought to be doing (for my guilt associated with this, you'll have to wait for another post). My husband works crazy hours during the school year. He is frequently on the way to work when we are waking up and he comes home after dinner. He wishes it were not so, and if the Lord is willing, he will have a new job soon.

From the previous paragraph, it might sound like my husband is dispensible in the family equation. He's not home for dinner most nights and he gets to see the kids for about 8 hours in a whole week. Surely, my and my mother's impact on their lives must be greater than his. Isn't he really interchangable with a cool uncle or a grandfather?


He is irreplacable. He is the anchor for our family. He is the head of our household. He is the pope in our domestic church. He is the man who was ordained by God to teach our boys to be men. It is a responsibility he takes very seriously. He may not be able to be home for dinner every night, but he is the MAN of the house.

I think a woman who chooses to embark on parenthood alone because she wants to be fulfilled is insane. She ought to look for fulfillment elsewhere. I cannot imagine doing this without my man. And not in a "I need a bugkiller and mousecatcher in the house" way. And not in a "Wait until your father gets home" way either (though I have said it and it is extraodrinarily effective with the elder boy). I can kill bugs and set mouse traps. I can discipline my sons. But I cannot model manhood for them. And if the Lord blesses me with a daughter, I cannot model for her the way a man ought to treat his wife. I cannot be a mom without a dad to balance me.

Gloria Steinem said that a child needs a father like a fish needs a bicycle. I think I read somewhere that as she mellowed with age, she retracted that statement somewhat. I could be wrong. But I DO know that a child needs a father like a fish needs water; like that child needs air, food, and love.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

a report from the dungeon

"The Dungeon" is how I like to affectionately refer to my office. It is located on the lower level of the parish school. There are short windows near the ceiling. Prior to a few weeks ago, it had not been painted in more than 10 years. They also did not sweep my floor or collect my trash prior to 2 weeks ago, when I finally had a hissy fit all over the maintenace foreman, not the director since he is often nowhere to be found.

There are sewage pipes that run along my ceiling. They are now leaking very slowly. Is there a plumber on the way? Interesting question. I'm not sure. I was told 20 minutes ago that the plumber that the parish usually uses is installing new toilets on the second floor and is busy with that. He's got 5 minutes to tell me that the plumber is on his way before I start to scream. Or get on the phone with someone. Or I tell the parish secretary. I am pissed off (and perhaps, ON.

There's no love for the CCD lady.

A plumber HAS been called! Perhaps he will work on it today. At any rate, I'll be working from home today, thanks!

The pipe is a rainwater pipe, not a sewage pipe as the crew here thought. The dripis from condensation on the cold pipes. Yay!!!!

Monday, October 10, 2005

More busy-ness at work this week

This is going to be a crazy week. I'm hiring a new secreatry and hoping she can start immediately. I should have called her today, even though the office was closed. i am irresponsible.

There was much posting today. There is plenty to read. I don't know if I'll be back before the weekend. I have to run my First Reconciliation Parent meetings this week and drive for a Pre-K trip to the firehouse.

Go check out SFO mom, she's new on the sidebar. She's a Secular Franciscan and she's very cool.

Pray that my new person can start tomorrow and that my meetings go OK.

Also please pray for our pastor. He was in the hospital with jaundice and should be back now on bedrest. Pray that he can rest at home in the Rectory. He's an extrememly vital 80 year-old man. Pray that we can all leave him alone if he's at the parish.

Which book of the Bible Are you?

H/T to Tony at Catholic Pillow Fight.

I'm sort of surprised that for only 5 questions, this quiz result could be so spot-on.

You Are Romans
You are Romans.

A parrot walks into a Rectory

A friend told me this absolutley true story from working in her parish rectory last week.

A man came in to see one of the priests and he brought his baby parrot with him. He parrot was just learning to talk. The man asked the priest to baptize the parrot. The priest explained that he could not baptize the parrot, but would bless the parrot. The man insisted on Baptism. The priest told him, "Unless that parrot can say the Act of Faith, I am not baptizing him!"

My friend told me: "I would teach the parrot the Act of Faith, just to see Father's reaction. That parrot can talk, you know, and it's just a matter of time before he brings the thing back to be baptized!"

My 5 Idiosyncrasies

The 5 Idiosyncrasies of Me(me)
Barb, the SFO Mom, tagged me. I'm not sure I can whittle it down to just 5. Here goes:

1. I need symmetry. For example: When I make my bed, which is not often, the medallion on the bedspread MUST be in the center of the bed. I will fuss with it, stepping from side to side over piles of laundry on the floor, until is is dead center. The craving for symmetry does NOT translate into neatness, but the piles of stuff must be of equal height. ;)

2. In a similar way, when eating candies like M&M's, I have to eat them in such a way that I chew the same number on each side of my mouth.

3. When I finish brushing my teeth, I re-brush to get all of the toothpaste out, and I must rinse and spit at least 5 times. No Joke: It takes me 5 minutes to brush my teeth.

4. I refuse to drink Pepsi. If my choices are Pepsi or thirst, I'll take thirst.

5. I eat the cookie part of a Twix bar first and then the caramel last. I also save the caramel in a Milky Way for last.


Arthur, the Angry Twin
Mark Mossa, SJ

Go Gandalf!

p>Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

I have to say I was delighted by this result!

From SFO Mom.

My further adventures in DRE-World

I went to a meeting of DREs in my county. We do this 4 times a year. We open, as we ought, with prayer. We take turns with coming up with what to pray. This time it was a Sister of St. Joseph's turn. We were, incidentally, in their convent since 4 of the DREs in the county live in this particular convent.

Would you not expect this prayer to address God at some point, especially given that he prayer leader was a sister? Unfortunately, if you read the above paragraph closely, you noticed that I was in a SSJ convent. Therefore, we worshiped autumn on Thursday. We did not give praise to God for the season of harvest. We did not give praise to God for cooler weather. We praised autmn for its autumn-ness. No mention of God. I should have known we were in trouble when she mucked around with the Sign of the Cross. Now I have to more urgent need to go to confession. This makes my heart bleed since my grandfather's sister was a SSJ of Chestnut Hill, the same as these sisters. It's probably good that Aunt Alice (That's Sr. Marie Lawrence to you) suffered from dementia in the last years of her life. She had no idea what some of the younger sisters were up to.

I am responsible for prayer at our March meeting. I am tempted to have us pray in Latin. Any good suggestions for someone like me, a total Latin Novice? I was also thinking about tapping good ol' Francis of Assisi for some reflection on God's creation, just to show how it is done.

More reasons why I won't be going back to my old OB/GYN

I posted a while back that I found a pro-life OB/GYN practice. I hadn't had my first appointment yet when I had the ectopic pregnancy, so I went to the old group. I had my 6 week follow-up today.

First, when I made the appointment 6 weeks from last Friday, I made it for October 7 at noon. I get to the office on Friday and the receptionist said. "Your appointment is for the 10th at noon." I was like, oh. my bad, until I realized I was supposed to take the Confirmation class to a tour of the Cathedral in Newark today and there was no way I would have made the appointment for today. The lady I talked to must have put it into the computer on the wrong day. To be fair, the receptionist said that they'd had a few emergencies and they couldn't even squeeze me in. ButI was OK with it since today is a holiday.

Went back there today and the nurse puts me on the scale. I am going to say here that I am overweight. I am not morbidly obese, but I can stand to lose about 40 pounds, which I am working on since I have wedding to go to soon after New Year's. I am not really sensitive about it. Mu husband likes me the way I am, though I know it is not the most healthy way to live.

But I digress. I get on the scale and the nurse says. "180. Why?" Um... because I can't stop eating? Because the only exercise I do is when I walk my kid to school? Because I'm a pig? That's why!!!! This would not bother me as much if the nurse were herself within a normal weight range for her height. Alas, she has a little junk in her trunk, too. I said. "It doesn't say that at home (It says 175) and she says, "Yes. Sometimes it comes out here a little heavy, but it's calibrated, so it's right." Oh. Excuse me. I'm going out to my car and eat a box of ho ho's right now!

She leaves and the doctor comes in. This man is my least favorite of the three doctors in the practice. He is a total space cadet. He sounds just like Casey Kasem. I'm not kidding. When you're pregnant and he measures your fundal height (The top of your uterus), he draws a little line on your belly to measure to. I have asked him to stop and he refuses. He says that some husbands like to see where it is. I say, "I'm not here for you to draw on me. Put the pen away, Casey!" He gives me the test results from a culture another doctor did. A year and a half ago.

He checks me out and I'm fine. He gives me some prenatal vitmains and advice about what to do when we get pregnant again (I'm at a higher risk to have another ectopic pregnancy now.). He leaves, I get dressed and go out to the desk. He gives me a vitamin sample and I ask him when we can try again. He advises me to wait 2 more cycles before I get pregnant again. As I am filling in the last digit on the zip code on a form they gave me, he tells me I can go to the receptionist window or the waiting room to complete the form. I tell him I am finishing it now and I'm moving along. "Great," he says. I give my paperwork to the receptionist and I leave, grateful that I will never have to be there again.

Friday, October 07, 2005

SSPX: Arch-Traditional Cafeteria Catholics? UPDATED

I find the Society of St. Pius X utterly fascinating, in a car crash sort of way. I know the SSPX is flawed (as in, schismatic), but I want to investigate it. What gets me about the SSPX is that they don't believe they are in the wrong. Then again, neither does Hans Kung.

We're not in schism, they say, because we are loyal to the Magesterium prior to the Second Vatican Council. I doubt that St. Pius X would advocate breaking with the validly elected pope over a validly called council promulgated by a validly elected pope. Nor would he advocate a bishop illicitly oradining other priests and bishops. In his ordination, a priest vows obedience to his bishop and his successors. A bishop likewise vows obedience to the Holy Father and his Succesors. I don't think that the rite includes a vow to popes gone to their glory to the exclusion of the Vicar of Christ currently on earth. And, since Archbishop LeFebvre ordained men to be bishops and priests without the authority of the pope and in fact defying a direct order from the pope, the Archbishop and the men he ordained were excommunicated. And any men those men ordained were excommunicated. And so on. On EWTN's website, you can find a document which spells out the Vatican's clear standing on this issue. The Vatican has declared the SSPX to be in schism. Unauthorized ordinations, an abuse of episcopal authority, incurs atuomatic excommunication. Just as the women who were ordained in the middle of Lake Ontario were automatically excommunicated, so too are the priests who were ordained invalidly by Archbishop LeFebvre. I'm sorry if you don't believe it because you haven't seen the memo. There is no need for a memeo. It's in Canon Law. That's one of the things that DIDN'T change with Vatican II.

We disagree with the changes made to the Church after Vatican II, they say. The Council has watered down the faith. There should not be outreach to the Protestants the way we think the council says to. Well, this could be cleared up if the folks I have communicated with from the SSPX had actually READ any of the documents from the Second Vatican Council-in Latin or in their vernacular. In no place does it suggest changing the essential truths of the faith to suit the desires of any Protestant denomination. The Real Presence must be accepted by all. The authority of the successor to Peter must be accepted by all (one of the big stumbling blocks toward reconciling the rift with the Eastern Orthodox). Did Jesus not pray that we may all be one as He and His Father are one? How is this to be accomplished if we do not talk to other Chriatians? We cnnot live our baptismal call to make disciples of all nations if we do not go out and meet the nations.

I would like to state that I think that we as a Church should place greater emphasis on reaching out to folks in the SSPX and bring them back before we reach out to, say, the Lutherans. The Lutherans might be easier to convince, though.

The definition of a Catfeteria Catholic is a person who picks and chooses Church Teaching. I think you could say the same for the SSPX.


In the Society's webpage is a page of FAQs. The FAQs basically suggest that the supression of the society was invalid. It also states:


If only the one incurring them were to suffer, then YES, that is the more perfect way to act.

If however there is a question of depriving innumerable souls of the graces they need for salvation, then NO, one cannot

So, since the SSPX feels that its role is a vital one, by providing the Tridentine Mass in its chapels, it must continue, essentially, for the greater good.

But the Tridentine Mass is available by indult from the local bishop. If there is a demand for it, the local bishop ought to grant the indult (and if he doesn't, the laity have the right and responsibility to take it up with that bishop and if they have no other recourse to take it to Rome, where one would hope that more reasonable men would prevail upon the local bishop). This basically means that the Novus Ordo, as promulgated by Pope Paul VI is the officail rite of the Roman Church. The Tridentine Rite is certainly valid, but as it is no longer the ordinary rite, there must be special permission to offer it. Some people who attend SSPX chapels have said that Pope Paul VI didn't have the right to declare the Novus Ordo to be the offical rite to the exclusion of the Tridentine Rite. They point to the promulgation of the Tridentine Rite which states, in effect, that no one should be prevented from saying this Mass. Therefore the priests do not have to ask permission to say the Tridentine Mass.

Doesn't it all boil down to pride, though?

UPDATE 2: Rocco From Whispers in the Loggia posts this about the SSPX's Bishop Williamson Answering 10 questions from an online media outlet as only Rocco can.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

a child of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia reflects

For those of you who may not know, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been under investigation by the District Attorney of the same city for priest sexual abuses and for the cover-up that went on during the tenures of John Cardinal Krol and Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua. You can check out the Philadelphia Inquirer's website to read the full report released by the DA a week or two ago and several articles about the scandal (free registration is required to view any articles).

I read as much of the DA's report as I could before I became physically ill. One of the credibly accused priests was in my high school while I was there. That's as close as my brothers and I ever came to one of those sick sick men (I hope).

What is extrememly disheartening about the whole situation is what people have said over and over again since all of this started coming out in Boston 3 years ago: the Cardinals were more interested in shielding these men, their brother priests, than in protecting any of the kids those sick men hurt.

To read tesimony from the victims is crippling: The boy who was told by the priest who molested him that his parents agreed to let the priest do these things to him for money, The boy who was being raped in the sacristy when another priest walked in on it and did NOTHING to stop it, it goes on....

Now Justin Cardinal Rigali gets to clean up the mess.

This is hard for me since I have sort of admired Cardinal Krol until now (I've been lukewarm on Bevilacqua since he ordered the closure of several high schools when I was a high schooler in the Archdiocesan Schools in the '90's). He was committed to preserving the liturgy and implemented the changes of Vatican II sensibly (some might say with an iron fist). But do you reconcile this to your idea of that man, a trusted advisor of JPII? He had to answer to God for that. And Cardinal Bevilacqua will have to as well.

It is more important than ever for us to pray for our priests. More scandal in the news = Harder for a priest to be a priest. St. John Vianney, pray for them. St. John Neumann, pray for them. St. Charles Borromeo, pray for them.

Friday, September 30, 2005

the magic trick

My elder son got a magic trick in a fast food place kids meal a while back. He was showing me the trick. I said, Amazing! How did you do it?

"Mommy, a magician never receives his magic."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The bad mother of the year award goes to....

Me. I made the elder boy cry tonight. Over baseball.

In my defense, he was extraordinarily tired. Since I live in Metro NY, I only get to watch the Phillies when they play the Mets. They were on MSG (Madison Square Garden) Network before bedtime and I wanted to watch an inning before bathtime. When we finally ironed out that the New York team was not the Yankees, even though their uniforms were grey and said "New York" on them, he said he thought he might like the Mets. I proceeded to inform my son (partly kidding) that he can be a fan of any team in MLB but three: The Red Sox, the Mets, and the Braves. He said he thought he'd like the Mets anyway. I told him no (I am responsible for his immortal soul!). My mother and I tried to get him to think about the Yankees and his favorite player, Derek Jeter. No success. A third time, the poor boy insisted he liked the Mets. I told him he couldn't.

The lower lip quivered and the waterworks began. I was mortified. I scooped him into my lap. I tried to tell him I was only kidding. Mommy was trying to be funny. "IT"S NOT FUNNY MOMMY!!!!!" he screamed into my face. I'm sorry, I said. I promise that I will love you, even if you decide that your favorite team is the Mets. After I reassured him of my love a few more times, he asked me to please change the channel. I asked him if wanted to watch the Yankees game instead. He said yes. We watched one batter and he asked to change the channel. We wound up watching "Lingo" on the Game Show Network for 10 minutes until bathtime.

He went to bath time happier. Chuck Woollery is a very soothing person.

Friday, September 23, 2005

ok, another quiz

Hat tip to Tony at Catholic Pillow Fight

I thought for sure I'd be more of a book snob....

Name the era, and you can name every artist from
it. You've got an eye for design and a knack
for feng shui. Color schemes, architecture, and
objt d'art - these are all your forts.
What people love: You're the perfect person to shop
What people hate: They have to clean their house
whenever you come over.

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

bad blogger, bad bad blogger

I know, no posts lately. My excuse is that CCD starts next week and since I have no secretary, I have been very busy. And I am tired. So to bed I go.

Viva il papa!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sadly, I do have a huge ego.

But I am working on it. HT to Barb

Your Element is Fire

Your power color: red

Your energy: hot

Your season: spring

Like a fire, you are full of power and light.
A born leader, you easily draw people toward you.
You are full of courage and usually up for anything dangerous.
You have a huge ego and love to be the center of attention.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Happy Birthday Bubba!

Today is my younger son's Birthday. He is a 2 year old picture of his daddy. He likes Elmo and imitating his big brother. His favorite thing to do is to wrestle with his daddy and big brother. He likes being read to and coloring and he can count to 10 and say the alphabet. We call him Bubba because he was a roly poly bubba chunk baby (10 lbs 1 oz! Scheduled C-Section-I did not have to push him out!) and "bubba" sounds a little bit like "Baby." He is my daredevil-he jumps down the steps and off the couch. He is a sweet little monster and we're so glad God sent him to us.

Friday, September 16, 2005

What have you done for your priests lately?

I haven't posted on the subject of "gay" priests myself before, though I have commented in a few different places over the last few months.

If you don't know, teams are visiting seminaries all over the US right now asking specific questions of the seminarians about homosexuality in their seminaries. The pope is considering a document which would ban all men who have homosexual tendencies from the seminary. All of this, and I know you will correct me if I am wrong, is in response to the scandals in our dioceses.

Will banning men who have had a same sex attraction (SSA) keep our kids safer? Will this action make our priests holier?

I think, as others like Amy Welborn (open book-see sidebar) and Tony from Catholic Pillow Fight (see sidebar), feel that there is an important distinction to make. Men who have embraced the American culturally "gay" lifestyle (having a same sex partner, one or multiple, supporting "gay marriage") have shown an unwillingness to abide by the church's teaching about sexuality and ought not be permitted to enter the seminary. There are also men who have maybe felt an attraction, have never acted upon it, perhaps have sought counseling and prayer to keep those feelings in check. These men have embraced the Church's teachings and ought not be denied entrance into a seminary.

I think you could also say that men who have had multiple female partners, who have shown no regard and/or true disdain on the church's teachings about ANYTHING really ought not to be admitted to the seminary. We've got enough problems with the laity's lack of education of or unwillingness to embrace the Church's teachings without a confused or belligerent clergy messing it up further. Some of the clergy are already messing us up--let's take care of those guys first before we think about ordaining more of the same, OK?

What makes men holier is prayer. What will make our priests holier is the laity making sacrifices for the sake of our priests and praying for them. So many of us are quick to accuse our priests. "What's the matter with those guys?" "Aren't they supposed to be better than us?" "They just don't make 'em like Monsignor so and so anymore." Well, what have you done lately for your parish priest(s)? Said a Rosary for Father lately? Did you fast for your parochial vicar who said something in his homily you disagreed with?

Served by a diocesan priest? When was the last time you asked St. John Vianney to pray for him? Did you even know that St. John Vianney was the patron saint of diocesan priests? Served by the Benedictines? Franciscans? Jesuits? Have you tried talking to St. Benedict, St. Francis, or St. Ignatius on their behalf?

My point: ALL OF US (the CHURCH) are responsible for encouraging one another to grow in holiness. Your priest is praying for you. Are you praying for him? He can't stay holy on his own. He needs the help of the Lord, but he also needs our help. Pray for the priests of your parish right now. Before you head to the comment box.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What kind of Cross are you?

HT to Der Tomissar

You are the Corpus Christi Crucifix: The cross that
bears the body of Christ is the most venerated
of all the crosses. It hangs in the most sacred
places in the world and inspires the faithful
to contemplate the suffering of Christ.

What Kind of Cross are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

More on the Matrix vocation poster

Upper Canada Catholic had a link to this Indianapolis Newspaper article for more info on that way cool Matrix vocations poster (see the awesome "Welcome to the real Church" button from Tony at Catholic Pillow Fight for a taste) . You can call the rectory at the parish of the priest pictured (yes! a real priest, not a model in the poster!) to order, but from what I understand they are on a serious backorder. But I'm getting mine for the office! Now if I can only find where to get that Gladiator poster. If anyone knows, let me know.

And can we come up with some good posters for vocations to the religious life? I'm not looking for "Charlie's Angels" nuns......but that might not be such a bad idea. Young nuns in the full habit posed like Charlie's angels. It certainly gets you talking....

I know I'm being irreverent. I do not mean to offend.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

But the Novus is the only Ordo I know

I have read on a lot of blogs, and I'll admit, I mostly read the "conservative" ones, how inferior the Mass which came out after Vatican II is to the Tridentine Mass. I am intrigued by the Tridentine Mass and I will go to one soon since I promosed Der Tomissar I would offer it for his intentions as a belated birthday gift. (As an aside, should I buy a chapel veil before I go to the indult Mass?)

I read in another blog's comment box that it is practically impossible to offer a respectful Novus Ordo Mass. To which I say, the pope does it all the time.

And I will readily admit I have been to a few NO Masses where it was questionable whether or not the Mass was valid. But I have the fortune of living in a very orthodox parish where we hear the truth from the pulpit wether we like it or not. Where Tha Mass proper is not mucked around with (Usually).

And I will say it: I like Marty Hugen's, the St. Louis Jesuits' and David Haas' music generally, though I prefer "Lift HIgh the Cross" and "Faith of Our Fathers" to "Lord of the Dance" and many other songs we sing at Mass regularly but we do sing the Sanctus and Agnus Dei in Latin and the Kyrie in Greek during Lent. And i do like "Lord, by your Cross and Resurrection..." Memorial Acclamation better than "Christ has Died..."

I guess what I'm getting at is: What is the big deal? Let's not get rude and call me stupid. I would like to be educated. Discuss.

Funny how life works

On the heels of the ectopic prgnancy comes the younger boy's second birthday party. He doesn't turn 2 for 2 more weeks, but this weekend is the only weekend that there is no Football at the DH's university, so he can be at the party.

I'm not doing as badly with the loss of this child as I did with the other 2 ( I have been pregnant 5 times), and I can think of a few reasons for that.

I sort of knew for a few days that this might be coming. The worst pain of my life which I endured on Wednesday helped me prepare, too in some weird way I don't think I could possibly explain.

And the fact that I received the Sacrament of the Sick before the surgery helpd me in a huge way. The grace I received from the Sacrament helped me deal with the fear of the surgery (there was none) and I knew that that child(ren?) would be in Paradise that day. I mourn the loss of the baby. I feel today LIke I had a C-Section, but there is no child to nurse, to kiss or cuddle. I just don't feel as depressed about it as I did the last 2 times.

I also can't help but feel like God is trying to tell me that the 2 boys He gave us is enough. I don't think it was God's will that I endure the pain or that my child died. God never willed anyone to die. You can thank Satan, and Adam and Eve for that. I believe that this preganancy could have taken if God had wanted it to. Are those divergent statements? I don't know. It's too early to make those kinds of decisions.

As for baby names, we prayed about it together and separately. I was given a boy name and DH was given a girl's. Could it have been twins? we'll pray again and I'll let you know what we come up with.

Oh, one should never post on percocet. I'm afraid I've rambled, though I have edited a bit (I know: THIS IS EDITED????)

UPDATE: I believe that we were having twins. I'm calling them Rosie and Andrew. This is NOT tragic. That just means I have 4 babies praying for me and not just 2. I can use all the grace I can get-CCD starts next week!
Viva Christo Rey!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The kid had no sense of direction

Supposed to implant himself in my uterus, but stayed in my fallopian tube.

I had emergency surgery yesterday to remove the ectopic pregnancy. My tube had ruptured and I was bleeding into my abdomen. It was pretty painful, but I am doing much better now.

The folks at the parish have been great. One of the secretaries drove me to the doctor since I started to have pain while i was there. My DH met me there. They sent me to the hospital to have an ultrasound, then to the ER for blood tests and surgery prep. No one told us anything until they said I was going to the OR and I was like, "um, WHY???" I kind of knew it must be ectopic, but no one told me until the truly wonderful ER nurse broke the news. They arranged a priest to come see me for anointing and my DH prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet with me and I was very calm going in. The surgery took about 3 hours, maybe less and I felt sore, but much better after I woke up. I got to come home last night and everything.

Prayers for the little one we lost wopuld be appreciated. It is my firm hope that he is in heaven with Our Lord right now. When we come up for the name of this little guy (we'll pray about it together tonight), we'll post it. He joins his older brother and sister, Joseph and Mary, in Heaven.

Please also pray for the folks of Louisiana and Mississippi as they get through the next several weeks until recovery can begin. Watch the benefit concert on NBC tomorrow and donate to the Red Cross or to href= ""> Catholic Charities for the hurricane recovery effort. It looks like Haiti there right now. Comment in Maureen's box to tell her how much you donated to Catholic charities. There's a contest between her and Der Tomissar to see who can raise more money.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I have been mulling...

I am a DRE in a very busy parish. we have 620 kids in our Religious ed program. I'm only responsible for the Children's catechesis and First Penance, First Communion, and Confirmation (thank God!)

But my Vocation is a wife and mother. ANd we'd like to have another child soon. And I'm very torn between my ministry and my vocation. Last week I was off being stay at home mommy again since my MOm was in Myrtle Beach. I did not want to go back to the parish yesterday.

I suppose God could make this very easy on my by having our pastor retire and having him rplaced by another priest who is in line for a pastoral job who I don't really like. But since this is not likely to happen, (though with God who knows but Him?) I'm not really sure hwat to do. I'll probably stick it out for a while. My husabnd might get a new job with a large increase that could make life easier without my income, but I want to cut back at the parish.

These were the thing swirling around in my head over the weekend (plus I had some commment box issues with someone on another blog which sent me reeling).

Anyone else feel torn between minstry and vocation? Or between work and family? How do you reconcile them? what do you do about or how do you live with the guilt and confusion?


California Prop 73

Fr. Frank Pavone writes here urging everyone in california to get informed bout Proposition 73, an abortion parental notification law on the ballot there this November. Considering that a school nurse can't give a teen an aspriin without anote from mom or dad and that a child can't go on a field trip without parental permission, it sickens me that a child can have SURGERY without her parents knowing about it. Oh, yeah, and I believe NJ is one of those "enlightened" states with no mandatory parental notification.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Crappy Day

my secretary gave her two weeks notice.

Really, what else there to say?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Indefinite hiatus

There's a lot of stuff swiriling around in my addled brain and I think I need to be in the real world for a while. Nobody's dying in Giglioland, don't worry, but I have found I need to spend more time with the people around me and less time bathed in the blue glow of the computer monitor. Maybe I'll pop by other blogs, but i think i'll stay off line for now.

God bless you and trust that you are in my prayers.
Viva Christo Rey!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Don't go to Asbury Park, NJ

Please. If more people start going, they'll ruin it for my family.

We spent the whole day there. The beach was not crowded, nor was the boardwalk. The beach is *clean*! and they are rebuilding the old boardwalk. Tags were only $4 for each adult, kids under 12 were free and parking was free (b/c it was a weekday? I dunno. I tried to feed the meter and it didn't work. Then I realized all the meters were like that!)

So, please don't go to Asbury Park. And don't tell anyone else about what I just told you. Everyone will go and it will be crowded. But then, they are trying to revitalize the town, so maybe you should plunk down some cash, bask on the clean, cheap beach (with playground onthe beach for the kiddies), and spend some moey so they can restore all of the great old architecture before it crumbles into the Atlantic.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Totally missed everything WYD

No cable = no EWTN. Plumber replacing pipes in the house for 4 days = no time to read the papers.

World Youth Day in Denver was when I was in high school (maybe college. I don't remember). I thought it would be cool to go then. Now I realize that as I approach 30, I will be too old for the next one at a time in my life when I can appreciate it.

Is World youth day wasted on the young, to paraphrase? I don't think so. There are many kids out there who are more convicted than I was at their age, and maybe more than I am now. And even if some of them went for a cool tourist experience, maybe they will remember events later in their lives that will touch them in a certain way, bringing them back, or closer, as the case may be.

ugh. I sound like I'm 75! On to the email!!

Returning from an unexpected hiatus

The cable has been out here since last Thursday, so there was no internet access either. I hope y'all didn't miss me too much. Thanks to comcast for getting us back up and running.

Happy belated birthday to Mark Mossa, whose birthday was August 19. Live long and prosper.

I'm writing an essay which I hope will be included in a compilation of essays by Catholics under 35. The editors are looking for more submissions onm a wide variety of topics. If you are a good writer and would like the chapter list, please contact me at mamagiglio(at)comcast(dot)net and I'll send you the chpater list and the contact info for one of the editors.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

TV and my kid

I have heard about studies that report that kids who watch a lot of TV are more agressive than other kids. I have to give you some anecdotal evidence to that effect.

My elder son has had no TV for the last 3 weeks for hitting my mother and me. I cannot tell you how much his behavior has improved over the last 3 weeks. He has fewer angry outburts. He doesn't hit. His attention span is longer. It's like he's a different, happier kid!

The boy is 4. He never watched more than about 2 hours a day and it was all PBS. He doesn't watch a lot of cartoons. He likes Spongebob, but he only gets to see it about once a month. After 3 weeks of none of it, he is so much more calm. I've got my sweet little boy back.

Now, both of them will get only 2 shows: Sesame Street and Zoom. That's an hour and a half att he most, assuming we get up in time for the first half hour of Sesame, which we almost never do-all we ever seem to see is Elmo's World, but that keeps the little guy happy.

I'm no scientist, or psychologist. And my little experiment is not scientific. But it seems to me that if people would stop letting their kids watch TV, there would be a lot less kids on Ritalin. As they say in Bloomfield: I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I found a pro-life OB/GYN

He was at Mass today and he spoke about a hospital in Haiti where he volunteers for 2 weeks every year. After Mass, I asked him if he ran a pro-life practice and he said yes, There are 5 (!) doctors in the practice and they deliver at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck. His office is in Englewood, which is not close to me. I was crying tears of joy when he told me it was a pro-life practice. I have found a new doctor!!!! His name is Dr. Daniel Butler and you can find his contact info thru the Holy Name Hospital website:

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Clik 4 Cathy

Click on the button on the sidebar and come back and click it some more. It will make you feel good and it won't cost you anything. Saw this first on the Donegal Express and picked up the sidebar button code from MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy via the Anchoress.

OK, the button didn't show up, but you can still go to the other excellent blogs and click there. What are you waiting for?

Prayer Request

My mom is about to leave for 2 1/2 weeks. I Ask you to please pray for her on her journey. I also ask you to pray for me while she is away. You see, Mom lives with us and her help to me while I work is immeasurable. I will be under considerably more stress as I am thrust back into the real world of working motherhood.

This time will surely make me appreciate her more. I just hope I don't get an ulcer.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, please pray for me. St. Anne, please pray for Mom.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Signum Crucis

I did the sign of the cross for the boys in Latin tonight to open up bedtime prayers. My elder son greeted it with the throaty giggle I recall overtaking me when I was young and learning something new. I tried to get him to say it with me, but it was
8:30 and he was very tired and very resistant. Maybe in the morning.

My conversion on abortion.

I feel the need to post this here. I have told this story to 8th graders and I saw some lights go on. That gives me comfort.

I used to be one of those wishy-washy Catholics who said, "I would never have an abortion, but who am I to tell someone else they can't?"

My husband and I met in college and when we were home on breaks we lived an hour and a half away from each other. WE used to see each other every weekend, so we spent a lot of time in the car. One December we were going to his parenst' house after a Christmas party with my extnded family on my mom's side. I remember we were on Route 202 north of Flemington, NJ near the Wawa when I started thinking about abortion. Well, it was really God starting a conversation. I thought, "I could never have one, but who am I to tell another woman she can't?"

The reply came: "Well, why wouldn't you have an abortion?"

"Because I believe it's a baby and I couldn't kill my baby."

"OK. Well, what if oyu see a guy holding a gun to another guy's head? Aren't you obliged to do something about it? Maybe you don't try to get the gun away, but don't you at least call the police?"

"Yes, of course I would."

"What is the differnce?"

There was suddenly no air in the car. There IS no difference between that baby whose mother is about to make a bad choice and that hostage whose captor is about to make a bad choice.

I breathed again. And then God asked me, "What are you going to do about it?"

That's the part I'm still struggling with. When asked, or when the debate comes up, I am unapologetically pro-life in all instances. I donate to pro-Life charities. I have been on the March for Life.

As I type this, the thing I realize I lack in my efforts is prayer to end abortion, to convert the hearts of women who are considering this. To pray for the doctors who perform these procedures.

Not praying enough is a flaw of mine best served dissecting in another post. I would just like to ask you, gentle reader, "What are you going to do about it?"

Monday, August 08, 2005

Miracle at church yesterday.

My elder boy participated in the Mass. And he was SOOOOOOO well-behaved. I have to say that both of our kids are usually quite good in church. We sit right up front so tha they can't get bored. I highly recommend this to my fellow parents out there. It was a tip for me from my friends Anne who has 3 kids. Put them right up front so they can see everything. And it works!

I digress. The boy and I have been talking about how he can follow along with the priest in Mass in the missalette. He's starting to read now, so he is quite interested. Well, the DH was at work on Sunday AM and went to the 7:30 Mass-we're usually at 9:00- so I sat the boy down before we left and told him that I expected him to start saying the prayers with us and to sit, stand, and kneel when appropriate. He was ok with that. We were running late, naturally, so we rushed in, sat down in the first pew and Mass began.

He followed along, started to sing the mass parts and everything. He knows the Lord's Prayer, so he prayed that with us. And he was ENGAGED. So refreshing! the younger was less well-behaved (but still good-he's not yet 2. Have to cut him some slack) but for the first time in a long time Mass was not stressful!

So one the way back to the house from the bakery (where they got 2 treats instead of just one for their excellent behavior) I asked the older boy is he felt like MAss that morning was different. He said it was-that he learned more. I am still basking in the glow from my little boy. He's getting so big. It will be time for First Holy Communion before we know it (4 years!). I know. Try to move past my dorkiness.

Disturbing Planned Parenthood Cartoon

Can someone please pull the plug on this crap??? Maybe use Bill O' Reilly of Fox News for something good and show it to him? Pray for whoever came up with this. Hat tip to the Dawn Patrol.

Update: The Curt Jester says that the offensive cartoon is down. but you can still see parts of it at the Dawn Patrol (I'll have to put in the link when I get to a PC). Click on the link in the sidebar t get to the Curt Jester. He will lead you to Dawn.

Friday, August 05, 2005

You asked for it.

Maureen reminded me that it's Friday now, so back to posting. This may be the only one today, but I think it's a good one.

Below, I posted about having gotten a letter from the Quixote Center. They are raising money to take out an ad in support of women's ordination. They are asking for donations and they will put your name on the ad (as if you are signing this open letter). In the post, I said maybe somebody should take out an ad saying, basically, "We the undersigned fully support the Roman Catholic Church in all of her Teachings."

Well, it's not letting go of me. I think this is a Divinely Inspired idea and I think we should do it. I am not going to be able to do it alone. I was hoping that maybe some good "Neo-Caths" ;) out there can help me make this a national campaign, similar to Catholic Answers' Catholic Voter Guide that went out in 2004. Wouldn't it be great to get enough people and money to put a full page ad in every major newspaper (or at least 1 of them?)?

Can you imagine the energy this could give our priests and bishops? The hope it could give to other Catholics who follow Church teaching and feel like they're the only ones? The Church in America and Europe is under attack from inside and out. This can be a tool for solidarity! Maybe there aren't more of us who believe in what the Church teaches than there are those who are "cafeteria Catholics." I'm sure that there are enough of us to surprise some people.

So, who's going to help me?