alicia: October 2005 Archives

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
You are 'programming in QBASIC'. This programming language (of which the acronym stands for 'Quick Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code'), which is so primitive that it cannot easily be used for any purpose involving the Internet nor even sound, was current more than a decade ago.

You are independent, in a good way. When something which you need cannot be found, you make it yourself. In writing and in talking with people, you value clarity and precision; your friends may not realize how important that is. When necessary, you are prepared to be a mediator in conflicts between your friends.
You are very rational, and you think of things in terms of logic and common sense. Unfortunately, your emotionally unstable friends may be put off by your devotion to logic; they may even accuse you of pedantry and insensitivity.
Your problem is that programming in QBASIC has been obsolete for a long time.

Bishop Baker's pastoral letter on TOTB


Our Bodies
(warning - it's a PDF file)
link via dev

take heed, be not faithless

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A few weeks ago, I got tired of not being able to pull out the Bible and look things up quickly. I eventually need to get one for my palm, but I haven't found a readable Catholic version yet to download. So I bought a Catholic RSV with small print on bible paper, flexibly bound, and keep it in my purse now. It comes in handy.

Today at Mass, the first reading was from the book of Malachi. In his homily, father talked about the irony that today is one in which we are supposed to celebrate and support our priests, and the first reading is all about admonishing priests who are faithless and greedy. Anyhow, I took a few minutes later on to read the entire book of Malachi (easily done, it's only 4 chapters) and what struck me particularly was the segment below.
Malachi chapter 2 (RSV)
[13] And this again you do. You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor at your hand.
[14] You ask, "Why does he not?" Because the LORD was witness to the covenant between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.
[15] Has not the one God made and sustained for us the spirit of life? And what does he desire? Godly offspring. So take heed to yourselves, and let none be faithless to the wife of his youth.
[16] "For I hate divorce, says the LORD the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless.

What does God desire? Godly offspring.
It hit me really hard.
How does this happen? "Take heed to yourselve, and do not be faithless".
So often, the scriptures use the image of adultery as an image of how the children of Israel were faithless to their God. It seems to me that there is also a parallel here to the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 5 and the message of Ephesians 5.
I was mulling over Malachi 2 a little more, later today. It is a prophetic book, and I think that we can see in our culture the rejection of bearing offspring (because if you don't have any, how can they become Godly) and the widespread acceptance of infidelity and divorce. And what has happened? We are no longer offering the sacrifice that God desires. As mentioned in the first chapter of Malachi, we are offering the diseased and malformed to God, not the perfection and the first fruits.
A humble and contrite heart He will not refuse. Thank God! But I think that it becomes so easy to presume upon the forgiveness of God, and we fail to be truly contrite. I know that I have been guilty of this.
I hear in this scripture (as in Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.")the message that I really need to give from my substance, from myself, and not just from the extras.
As my husband would say, sometimes God needs to smack me upside with a 2 by 4.

your tax dollars at work


As a CNM, I get a lot of interesting emails. One was advising me of a potential employment opportunity - well remunarated to be sure - working in sub-Saharan Africa.
I looked around the net to find the full job posting.
Senior Technical Advisor, USAID
Repositioning Family Planning: In response to the growing concern about the state of family planning (FP) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), PRH and the Africa Bureau are supporting an initiative to reinvigorate interest in family planning and to reposition it as a critical component of reproductive health programs as well as of national and international development agendas.Repositioning Family Planning is a multi-lateral initiative to mobilize commitment and strengthen family planning in SSA. The objectives of the initiative are to strengthen the environment for family planning and to support scale-up or expansion of proven approaches to increase voluntary contraceptive use.

Consider Humanae Vitae 17:
Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.
Are we there?

attention canadian bloggers


adventures in plumbing

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love my husband? I had no idea when we got married that he would be useful as well as decorative in so many ways!
Friday night,after dinner, he noticed that the cupboard under the kitchen sink was close to being afloat. He looked it over and decided that the problem was most likely a leak in the hand help sprayer thingie. I hauled all the stuff out from under the sink and put it on a rug on the kitchen floor to dry. We told dear daughter not to touch the sprayer thingie and went to bed.
Saturday we got up and left for our already scheduled attendance at the diocesan Respect Life conference. (good stuff). We got home, and he immediately started looking at the plumbing to see what kind of sprayer thingie to get to replace the leaky one.
He was out the door on the way to the hardware store when I poured a little water directly down the drain and heard the sound of water hitting wood - looked down to see a cascade coming out of the drain pipe. Called him on the cell to say "Come back home, you will probably need to get some more parts". The drain pipe was totally rotted out.
To make a long story a little shorter, after two trips to the hardware store, we now have several new bits of kitchen plumbing completely installed and working well.
He also tore out the rotted wood shelving from under the sink, and once the floorboards are dry enough, he will nail down a new bit of plywood on the cabinet floor. Have you ever had the fun of removing plywood layer by layer? It is amazing what total saturation with water does to otherwise well behaved wood......
Anyhow, as he was working on this bit of home maintenance, I was thinking about how much in time and money it would have been to get a plumber out on a Saturday - and how I probably would have had to replace not just the flooring of the cabinet but the whole cabinet (which would have meant taking out the sink and rewiring the garbage disposal).
God really blessed me when he sent this man into my life!
Now, I am not totally incompetent, and I have been known to replace pipes in my day. But I am so blessed in having a husband who is not only able but willing to tackle this kind of everyday chore.
And I want to say so in public~

go read this - now!


Love in the time of combat

My husband found this on Rebecca's blog and told me I had to stop everything and read it. He was right. Be sure to also read the comments. The original entry is 4500 words, so give yourself some time.

I knew from a very young age that the most important thing for me was to be a mommy. I refused to date guys who didn't like children - and it was easy to test the guys. I simply brought them to my house and asked them to keep an eye on a sibling or two.

I knew that there were other things I would be called to - but motherhood was #1. I don't wear make-up, don't buy fancy shoes, don't understand 'fashion' at all. But I still managed to find a man to marry who, after 31 years plus, still keeps me warm at night. Not bad, not bad at all.

seasonal affective disorder

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I've had this for years, I know what I need to do to deal with it and I mostly do OK. It does slow down my productivity, so I have to make choices about what to do and when. It's annoying and frustrating. I have full spectrum light bulbs near just about every place I hang out indoors, and my desks both at home and at the office face windows, where I can get what little sunlight there might be.
The problems come in when I let myself get overloaded and overcommitted. If I don't get enough sleep, I am truly toast. And my profession is one that leads to regular bouts of interrupted sleep. I do need to learn when to say no - as well as learning to set my priorities properly.
Thanks for all your concern, and the prayers as well. Today, the sun is shining. I got a reasonable night's sleep on call as the patient of the day had her baby during office hours instead of the more usual wee hours. It was a good birth and baby is doing well, mom and baby will be on their way home soon.
Now I am going to get off the computer and get my house partially cleaned up. I'm thinking of tackling the floors and the stovetop...Maybe that will count as a little exercise.

it's not even winter yet

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so why do I not feel so good already?
I don't want to turn this into a self-pitying complaint, but I do want to say that it has been a struggle the last few days to get anything accomplished without a lot of real effort. I realize that I have it really good compared to the rest of the world right now, and I am going to try to keep saying Thank You to God for all the good stuff with which I have been blessed.
Let me count a few of the ways - in no particular order.
A husband who truly loves me, enough that at 10 PM he will make a fast food run because I'm too tired to cook (after we get home from an event).
Winning tickets to a concert by just happening to be caller #5 with the answer to the trivia question. (What band was Richard Thompson in just before he went solo) And - having a husband just crazy enough that he was willing to drive to Somerville on a Monday night to hear Richard Thompson perform.
Some truly wonderful priests who are faithful and loving and brave enough to call us all to responsibility.
A great co-teacher for my group of kids in confirmation one.
A great bunch of kids in our small group.
A lifework that I truly love, despite my issues with some of the conditions of employment.
Six wonderful children.
My cursillo community, my blog friends, my email list friends, and the theology of the body class I've been attending.
A roof over my head, food on the table, and the Eucharist readily available.
What more could I ask for in terms of material wealth?

Truth, what is truth?

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The NY Times considers a feminist mythology (that the church executed millions of 'witches', including midwives) and finds that the truth is rather different.

In a search for historical roots and moral legitimacy, some feminists and many adherents of neopagan or goddess-centered religious movements like Wicca have elaborated a founding mythology in which witches and witch hunts have a central role. Witches, they claim, were folk healers, spiritual guides and the underground survivors of a pre-Christian matriarchal cult. By the hundreds of thousands, even the millions, they were the victims of a ruthless campaign that church authorities waged throughout the Middle Ages and early modern centuries to stamp out this rival, pagan religion.

Professor Behringer traced the estimate of nine million victims back to wild projections made by an 18th-century anticlerical from 20 files of witch trials. The figure worked its way into 19th-century texts, was taken up by Protestant polemicists during the anti-Catholic Kulturkampf in Germany, then adopted by the early 20th-century German neopagan movement and, eventually, by anti-Christian Nazi propagandists. In the United States, the nine million figure appeared in the 1978 book "Gyn/Ecology" by the influential feminist theoretician Mary Daly, who picked it up from a 19th-century American feminist, Matilda Gage.

This is WAYYYY overdue

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We'll all keep praying!
Cardinal Newman on the path to beatification
BBC's coverage
Father Paul Chavasse, the Provost of Birmingham Oratory, which was founded by Newman in 1848, said that a deacon in the Diocese of Boston in the United States had testified that he had recovered from a spinal disease after praying to Cardinal Newman. “At last we have a miracle cure,” he said.

I'm sure that Quenta Narwenian is dancing with glee!

Bell's Palsy

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described and illustrated
I had this about 10 years ago. Fortunately, it was duing the 6 weeks I spent in Oklahoma as a midwifery student, so my husband and kids were spared the worst of how bad I looked.

some days

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I wish that I could blog from work.
Miss Kate sent me this link. (registration required)
The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have
It is so exactly on target that I wanted to put the link up as soon as I saw it - but I couldn't. However, I see that many other bloggers picked up the ball and ran with it.

The question that I haven't heard answered by the pro-choice folk is this one.
At what point does the right to abort become a duty to abort?
I greatly fear that the predominant ethos in our culture has become utility. Time and money seem to trump all other values. I was explaining to a group recently that part of the reason docs throw birth control pills at just about every 'female complaint' is that they do offer great symptom relief, and don't require careful or painstaking detective work to get to the root of the problem. When a doc has the office manager reminding him or her that it takes seeing 3 or more patients an hour just to cover overhead, said doc is not going to be highly motivated to take 30 or 40 minutes getting into long discussions.

congratulation to aisling

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on her new baby.
Aaralyn Elizabeth made her entrance Thursday 10/13 at 9:45 PM.
7 pounds, 13 ounces 20 inches long
and cute as a button!
I wish I could have been there.

cat haiku/Author Unknown

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If you can't relate to this, your cat might be dead.

You never feed me.
Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.
That will sure show you.

You must scratch me there!
Yes, above my tail!
Behold, elevator butt.

The rule for today:
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.

In deep sleep hear sound
cat vomit hairball somewhere
will find in morning.

Grace personified.
I leap into the window.
I meant to do that.

Blur of motion, then
silence, me, a paper bag.
What is so funny?

The mighty hunter
Returns with gifts of plump birds
your foot just squashed one.

You're always typing.
Well, let's see you ignore my
sitting on your hands.

My small cardboard box.
You cannot see me if I
can just hide my head.

Terrible battle.
I fought for hours. Come and see!
What's a 'term paper?'

Small brave carnivores
Kill pine cones and mosquitoes,
Fear vacuum cleaner

I want to be close
to you. Can I fit my head
inside your armpit?

Wanna go outside.
Oh, poop! Help! I got outside!
Let me back inside!

Oh no! Big One
has been trapped by newspaper!
Cat to the rescue!

Humans are so strange.
Mine lies still in bed, then screams;
My claws are not that sharp.

back later!

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I'm in the midst of updating my PCOS talk. Tomorrow I will be presenting PCOS 101 to a meeting of the local medical assistants group. Power point away!
Let me know if you want a copy of the outline.
Given that I have to leave for choir rehearsal in less than an hour, I better get back to the coal mines. Slaving over a hot computer....

so true!

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lots of good stuff here

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Gloria Olivae

Priest in the Phillipines blogs away!
I have been told that the Bishops in the Phillipines have encouraged all in the hierarchy to blog as a means of evangelization. May God bless all of them!

girly stuff fertility etc site


If you can help Birgitta, please contact her directly - contact information is at the end of her request.
I have decided to undertake my research for the fall semseter on VBAC. I am arguing that failing to provide VBAC is unethical, infringes on a woman's autonomy, and can even put her at unnecessary risk, etc.
I have been given permission to use anecdotal evidence as proof of the lack of availability in cities, rural areas etc. I will NOT use anyone's name in my paper.

Would those of you who have been denied VBAC mind emailing me with
the location where you were denied VBAC and the name of the hospital or health care system as well?
Also, could you let me know who delivered you (i.e., MD, CNM, no one, etc) and where you ultimately delivered (i.e. at home, hospital, hospital after ambulance transport).

If there is anything else you'd like to share, please do!

Warmest Regards, Birgitta
Birgitta N. Sujdak Mackiewicz, MA
Graduate Assistant
Center for Health Care Ethics
St. Louis University
221 North Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103-2006

From a book well worth reading in its entirety, which I did once but never got around to blogging.

Dallas based friends

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Please weigh in on this one. It's ok to put a copy of what you send to KERA in my comments box.

How weird can it get?


Ananova - Musical breast implants

A variation on the number of the beast?

news from New Zealand

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just found site of interest


an interesting contrast


The minor child is this story essentially died because he did not get an urgent surgical procedure because he did not have a parent present. No one thought it important to take him across state lines to a state with more lenient laws on parental consent. No one thought that he needed an attorney or a judge to protect his right to have this (in this case) life-saving procedure performed. The legal requirement for parental consent (and payment?) was met. And due to the delay, a relatively minor condition festered until it became fatal.
'A torrent of tears'

One reason why

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I have serious reservations about some prenatal screening.
Study: Negativity Often Tied to Down Syndrome Diagnoses

I am required to offer all the screening that is available. What many moms don't know is that they are not required to have every test that is available.

a doula blog!



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from Crowhill Weblog

(picture moved to extended entry)

You are related to longshoremen or teamsters. When people make jokes about nuns and rulers, you don't laugh; you get that "thousand yard stare" instead.

See you at the next Knights of Columbus social.

Provided by

Are You A Cultural Catholic?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm not competent to blog on this one


but maybe some of my readers might want to try.
Lost Budgie Blog: Islamist Terrorists: Dying to Get Laid

announcements from NH RTL


Saturday, November 12th (11AM to 2PM)
Grace Ministries International
263 Rte 125
Brentwood, NH 03833
presents "Operation Outcry, Silent No More." Speaker will be Allan Parker of the Justice Foundation which represents both Norma McCovery formerly "Roe" of Roe v. Wade and Sandra Casno of Dove vs. Bolton, the landmark cases "legalizing" abortion on demand.

Also speaking will be Kelly Roy who is NH State Leader for Operation Outcry. She is a post-aborted woman and will share her testimony of how abortion devastated her life and how God healed her.

Donation of $15/pp advance or $25/pp at the door -- lunch included. Call Grace Ministries at 642-7848 or email.

Saturday, January 14th the New Hampshire Right to Life Committee will host the annual "March for Life" in Concord. Information: 626-7950 or email.

I have to say, it takes warm coats, gloves, and determination to march through town in a New Hampshire January.

did you ever wonder

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how some trolls find some blogs?
It is interesting to me. I can go and post on all kinds of topics and get one, maybe two, comments - usually from my faithful readers. Then I post something from the news media about NFP or contraception or such like, and all of a sudden I get somewhat (ahem) 'interesting' comments from persons who I have never heard from before. Of course, these same commenters rarely leave a legitimate email address or webpage.
I do try to put up interesting content just before I go into my peri-call blog hibernation (wherein I am usually too busy to even get on-line, let alone put together content!).
Still, it could be worse, I guess. I could be Mark Shea or Amy Welborn.
BTW - could one of you who is on aol contact me privately? I have heard that there is a way to check the identity of an aol user, but that it is only available to members.

It's in the news

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A new study suggests that couples who use natural family planning methods have sex just as often as couples who use other contraceptive methods -- they just time it differently. Natural family planning methods enable women to identify the days of their cycle when they are most fertile. If they don't want to become pregnant, couples should avoid unprotected sex during these fertile days. "Because those who use natural family planning methods need to avoid unprotected sex for several days each month, many people believe that these methods require great self control. This is simply not the case," said Victoria Jennings, director of Georgetown University's Institute for Reproductive Health, which conducted the study. "This study confirms that couples using natural family planning have intercourse just as frequently as couples using other methods." The researchers found that couples who use natural family planning methods to prevent pregnancy engage in more frequent sex before and after the fertile time and have less sex during fertile days. The findings are published in the online edition of the Journal of Biosocial Science and will be published in an upcoming print edition. "It's important that the health care community let women know that these methods are available, growing in popularity, and that users continue to be satisfied with them. If couples using fertility awareness-based family planning methods were having less sex, this would probably not be the case," said Dr. Marcos Arevalo, one of the study's authors.

In search of perfection?

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Both Elena and ukok blogged about a baby whoser parents were Advised to abort.

The couple refused, and the experts were wrong.

Prenatal testing, just as every other test, has an error rate - in both directions.

He's right - I do appreciate

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this story

Of course, my medical mind wants even more information!

There are some cancers whose progress is monitored by hormonal assays. For example, choriocarcinoma is followed by checking levels of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin - the pregnancy hormone looked for in pregnancy tests. Another cancer marker that is followed with blood tests is Alpha Feto-Protein - and this is also a chemical that is measured in a very common genetic test during pregnancy.

For me, the icing on the cake of this story would have been if the baby's cord blood had been used to further treat mom's cancer. It has happened.

NH flood news

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quiz time again

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via ukok and julie d.

I've learned that I need to move some of these off the main page, or else they slow up the loading and screw up the formatting.

New Hampshire flooding

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I don't know how many of you have heard, but parts of New Hampshire are underwater. We are personally OK. Right now, on NHPR's morning show, there is a person from the Keene area who tells about how local bloggers were putting up home-shot video and very local news reports. Compared to the rest of the world disasters, this is very small fish. However, it has been a lesson, I think, for local types and will probably help the authorities to fine tune preparations for the inevitable events.

When I left home Saturday morning to drive the 42 miles to work, the rain was coming down in sheets. I called home to warn my daughter to leave early and drive carefully to go to her SAT session. Driving back home Sunday morning I couold see how all the rivers were very high, but I didn't realize quite the full extent for a while. Before Mass, there was a teacher meeting for all the confirmation teachers, and we could see what initially looked like a puddle on the lawn - it turned out to be flooding that almost submerged the chain link fence at the property edge. The basement of the religious education building was apparently completely flooded. Don't know about the church basement, though.
New Hampshire rivers are extensively dammed, as they were the main sources of power for the mills back in the day. Dams also have some benefit for flood control, but if the dam is breached, all hell can break loose.
I count my blessings that our house is on relatively high ground. I hope that those most affected by this and the other natural disasters will be aided and comforted by those of us who haven't yet been hit. I think about the floods in South America, the earthquake and aftershocks in Pakistan, the continuing aftermath of Katrina, Rita, and the tsunami.
The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike.
Lord, Have Mercy.

Our Lady of the Rosary

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Today is the feast of our Lady of the Rosary - also know as Our Lady of Victory. The story goes that a great victory, and the preservation of Europe against the invading Muslim armies, was won at Lepanto through the intercession of Our Lady and the praying of the rosary.

Today is also the birthday of my youngest child. She turned 17. She invited over lots of her friends for dinner and cake. I made the dinner, she made the cake. Dinner was bean tacos (with shrimps available to those who so desired). Cake - she made her favorite recipe - the 1-2-3-4 cake from the Joy of Cooking, filled it with strawberry jam, and frosted it with citrus buttercream.

2 days ago was her next elder sister's birthday - 22 years old. It's been more than a year now since I've seen her. She lives on the other coast and it just hasn't worked to get together. Soon, sometime soon, I hope. Had I been aware of the feast of the rosary when she was born, I would probably have added "Rose" to her name.

If you have a chance, could you pray for my two opals?

I hereby offer to you a poem by G.K.Chesterton

my name is

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The TOTB has some answers for the questions the writer poses here.

Link via Julie D.

The 1918 flu virus is resurrected


Article from Today's Nature journal.

Wash your hands!


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Among my other recent activities (that have been seriously cutting into my blogging time) is a series in a local parish on the Theology of the Body. We have been using a Christopher West DVD "Created and Redeemed" and accompanying workbook. Tonight was class 5 of the 8 week series.
The format is pretty simple - watch the video for an hour, discuss the questions in our small group at the table, and then listen to Father further explain the answers to the questions for about 40 minutes. Father Paul has only been a priest for 6 years - he had a conversion of life after a pilgrimage to a well-known Marian shrine, and I guess he could be called a "late vocation". (I prefer to call it a "God's Time" vocation). So he has real life experience, including a grown son.
Tonight things got really interesting during Father Paul's presentation of the topic - there were a couple of items that some of the group just didn't get. In particular, there was one item about how it is theologically impossible for women to be Priests (capitalized to differentiate the ordained priesthood from the 'priesthood of the faithful')given the meaning of priesthood and how the priest is an icon of (in personae) Christ. Funny thing, even in my most radical 'feminist' days, I had no trouble understanding the reasons why only men are ordained Priests.
The other hot topic item was the difference between NFP and contraception. This will be covered in more detail in lesson seven. I'm not quite sure that father gets that there is flak out there on this topic from both the contraceptors and the extreme providentialists - should be interesting as we continue.

Please keep the class in your prayers. One participant was overheard to say "I just don't get it. Maybe I'll just stop coming."

I know that this is a tough topic, but I think it is one of the more important gifts that JP2 left us. I am having a wonderful time just dipping my toetips into it.

They are trying to blog over at

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But they don't have comments!

The author is speaking on EWTN right now!


Swimming With Scapulars: True Confessions Of A Young Catholic

and, he strongly recommends Catholic blogs as a great faith resource!
it was on St Joseph radio presents
hope that they rerun it later

Catechetics et al

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Yesterday was Scott Hahn, and it was magnificent to hear him speak. It was also wonderful to be in a room full of other believing and practicing Catholics. God has sent me some wonderful opportunities lately - Patrick Madrid last week, Scott Hahn yesterday, and at the end of the month, Father Tad. I love the opportunities I've been given lately for adult catechesis - I really have been blessed.

I needed and still need the reinforcement. Today was the opening 'retreat' (4 hour session) for confirmation one, for which I volunteered to be an 'adult facilitator'. John will be doing likewise for the second year of the program. He has already gone through the two years once, and I decided to bite the bullet and volunteer. It looks to be interesting. We have just under 50 kids in the first year, and I have been assigned to a small group of ten of them, and this group will be together for the length of the program.

Today there was a focus on why bother with religious education, why bother with religion at all, how is this relevant to life as a teenager? I think that this is an important question, but I hope that as we go along we will be able to give these kids not just questions but answers - and answers that will not only make sense but (more importantly) be true. I don't want to be part of a catechesis that cheats kids out of their Catholic heritage. I'm worried that we will end up focusing more on feelings and not getting into facts. I will continue to keep praying...

One of the books that sold out at the Scott Hahn talk was this gem. I wish so much that we were using this as a textbook! We are using the Catholic Youth Bible. I just wish that we had the time and the funds to get into more depth. I can tell that there are a lot of foundational stuff that these kids don't have well established, even the ones who are in the Catholic HS and who are taking an organized theology class on a daily basis.

I was the age these kids are when I started to really search for God in my life. Fourteen is a rough age even in the best of times.

Please add us to your prayer list.

according to Jesse Romero

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"Men like the Gospel with testosterone - Death, Judgment, Hell and Heaven"
"The Catholic Faith is an all or nothing deal"
heard on EWTN.

can you help a friend?


Dear Alicia
We are in the very beginnings of preparations to hold a diocesan wide NFP awareness weekend for the Hispanic Ministers of Youth and Marriage here in Phoenix. The idea was brought forth to have a few stories read (or shared in print, don't know yet) to the audience, about couples that found the true meaning of responsible parenthood once they began to use NFP.

I am in charge of collecting the witness of as many couples as I can. Would any of you be interested in writing a couple of paragraphs for that purpose?

The main idea should be "what does responsible parenthood mean to me/us (the couple)?" and "what made me/us change to NFP and keeps me/us there?" Only two paragraphs are needed.

Please let me know if you would like your name to be acknowledged in the story you sent, or if I need to credit you with any phrase or idea(s) and I will be more than happy to do it. Your paragraph of course, will be translated into Spanish (unless you are able to write it in Spanish yourself!)
Thank you
Armida Escarcega
Please, send your story directly to Armida, not to me!

my kid's wish list


Real Journalism


Operation Eden
one man's photos and essays, of a very small town in Mississippi, after Katrina.

One of the things that I remember about surviving a major natural disaster is all the stuff that never makes it to the national (or even regional) media. Stuff that, none the less, is important to those who live in the area.

After the 1994 Northridge quake, some Marriage Encounter friends of ours were without running water for a couple of months. They lived in the neighborhood known as Granada Hills, just above the site where a gas main exploded in the middle of a residential street. They were lucky, their house was relatively intact and was habitable. But for months, they hauled in bottled water for drinking, and flushed their toilets with buckets of water from their swimming pool, and used buckets of the same water to rinse off with, water their plants, etc. They were lucky, and they knew it, because they had a safe place to live and were only minorly inconvenienced.

I knew of families who lived in tent cities in the public parks for weeks or months. Many of our neighbors ended up bringing extended family whose homes were demolished into their own homes, which were only somewhat damaged. We ended up giving away some of our bottled water to neighbors and to total strangers. We were blessed, and we knew it.

It's been 11 plus years since the quake - and most of the time I don't even think about it much. But I think that Katrina has been giving me some PTSD - I've been having flashbacks at the oddest times. One cannot live through a major event like this and not be unscarred.

I hope and pray that the survivors of Katrina will get the help that they need to become whole again, both in environment, mind, body, and soul.

As suggested by Mark Windsor

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Typology Test
My results
Basic Description
Pro-government Conservatives:
stand out for their strong religious faith and conservative views on many social and cultural issues. They also express broad support for a social safety net, which sets them apart from the other two core Republican groups. While backing George W. Bush by roughly six-to-one, this group has one of the lowest incomes levels in the typology. Pro-Government Conservatives are skeptical about the effectiveness of the marketplace, favoring government regulation to protect the public interest, and government assistance for the needy.

via Flos Carmeli


Like General McClellan, you're smart enough to know what tactical decisions to make. However, the problem with McClellan is that he could never sprout the balls to act on his information, and in the end, that's why Geoge McClellan is only a sidenote in the history books.



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by alicia in October 2005.

alicia: September 2005 is the previous archive.

alicia: November 2005 is the next archive.

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