Catholic Cartoon Blog

I ran across this Catholic Cartoon Blog with some “Cartoons based on happenings in the Catholic Church, or in the world at large from a Catholic viewpoint.”  — I added it to my blog roll.

Lots of comments and discussion about the Catholic Church and the world.  Check it out.

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Happy Resurrection Day!

NFP vs Contraception, 7 skits

As I was looking for videos about IPF, I ran across these short skits about the difference between Natural Family Planning (NFP) and Contraception.  These skits were used for a final project by seminarians at IPF for the course on Christian Spirituality & Sexuality.  Finding these skits is God’s Providence (a “God-incidence”) since our high school Confirmation class is asking a lot of questions about Catholic Matrimony, birth control and their Catholic identity.  — Check them out!

NFP vs Contraception #1:It’s about the relationship

Contraception, does NOT need to communicate about their fertility

NFP, (1) DOES need to communicate (which builds the relationship),
(2) doesn’t have to worry about fertility altering chemicals (that could hurt your chances of getting pregnant even when you stop taking pills,
(3) doesn’t have to worry (as much) about a “testy” wife from hormone manipulations,
(4) doesn’t have to worry about a decrease in libedo (sexual desire)

NFP vs Contraception #2, “It takes two.

NFP, (1) builds trust and imtimacy with the greater need for communication,
(2)  experience a full self-giving to each other (not holding back their fertility),
(3)  statistically, couple doing NFP stay together longer, less divorce.

NFP vs Contraception #3, “It’s natural.

Contraception introduces a couple to chemicals, while NFP is natural (the way God’s designed us), so it’s healthier.

NFP vs Contraception #4, “Know the facts.

Contraception is potrayed in the media more than NFP. 
NFP
is taught in churches around the world.  Even some Protestants practice NFP.
The facts can be lost.  www.onemoresoul.com

NFP vs Contraception #5, “Demand the whole story.

Contraception may come with divorce, abortion, infertility, and mysogyny.  The media can minimize these possibilities.
NFP may come with life-long marriage, health, love, and respect.  www.onemoresoul.com

NFP vs Contraception #6, “It’s not a tough choice.

Contraception is the answer of many to poverty in third-world nations.  Sometimes it is a prerequisite before food is sent to those countries.
NFP works when it is taught and practiced (even in third-world nations).  The only agenda is God’s design for human beings.  www.onemoresoul.com

NFP vs Contraception #7, “Know the consequences.

Contraception is recommended by doctors or ailments not related to fertility.  Just because it help one thing, does not mean it doesn’t have side-effect elsewhere.  Everyone knows it’s real purpose.
Get the facts.  www.onemoresoul.com

IPF on TV (EWTN) with Fr Gabuzda

The Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) was featured on EWTN show Sunday Night Live with host Father Benedict Groeschel.  The guests were Father Richard Gabuzda (IPF director) and Father Joe Kelly (priest of New York & IPF faculty).  They focused on the the mission of IPF and their efforts in building a Center for Priestly Spirituality.  Some great discussions and live call-in questions.  They spoke on the summer programs (that I took last summer) and how awesome the Holy Spirit has grown the mission of IPF.  I hope they post some of the show on their website or YouTube.  You can order it from EWTN, show #280.

Here is a short video about the mission of IPF that is on the IPF website and on YouTube (from 2 years ago):

Vatican praises The Simpsons

March 17, 2010 3 comments

I’m not a huge fan of The Simpsons, but I just watched a episode about Bart going to Catholic school called “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star.” [S16E21] In the classic Simpsons’ satire, Bart & Homer become Catholic while Protestant Marge tries to bring them back. WOW! A great episode to use with high school discussion groups. This episode touches on all kinds of questions about faith and religion (and there’s lots of paintball in it, too!).

I also found an article about the Vatican praising The Simpsons show.

Animated US television show, The Simpsons has gathered praise from the Roman Catholic Church for their “realistic” way of dealing with religion and spreading happiness among viewers. An article published in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano has lauded the long-running show, insisting “many today wouldn’t know how to laugh” if the series hadn’t been aired, reported Contactmusic.

The newspaper story thanked the show’s producers for depicting family patriarch Homer’s struggle with his own faith through its 20 years on the small screen. “Homer finds in God his last refuge, even though he sometimes gets His name sensationally wrong. But these are just minor mistakes, after all; the two know each other well,” the article said. The story also insisted that The Simpsons success is due to its “realistic and intelligent writing”.

The same newspaper had recently paid tribute to ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’, for highlighting the “sacrifice” needed for good to triumph over evil.

WOW! Who would think The Simpsons would be watched at the Vatican?  What next, Family Guy?

Polish Pączki Day on Fat Thursday

February 18, 2010 3 comments

I’ve never celebrated it, but apparently there is a Polish tradition called Pączki Day (pronounced POONCH-key) that is celebrated on Fat Thursday (the Thursday before Lent … which would have been last Thursday).  In the spirit of Fat Tuesday, people eat a lot of pączki before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.

A pączek (singular) is a deep-fried piece of dough shaped into a flattened sphere and filled with confiture or other sweet filling. Pączki are usually covered with powdered sugar, icing or bits of dried orange zest. Although they look like  jelly doughnuts, pączki are made from especially rich dough containing eggs, fats, sugar and sometimes milk. They feature a variety of fruit and creme fillings and can be glazed, or covered with granulated or powdered sugar. Powidła (stewed plum jam) and wild rose hip jam are traditional fillings, but many others are used as well, including strawberry, Bavarian cream, blueberry, custard, raspberry and apple.

Pączki have been known in Poland at least since the Middle Ages. Jędrzej Kitowicz has described that during the reign of August III, under the influence of French cooks who came to Poland, pączki dough was improved, so that pączki became lighter, spongier, and more resilient.

Many Polish Americans celebrate Pączki Day on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Traditionally, the reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because they were forbidden to be consumed due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent.

A great news report on Pączki Day in Hamtramck, MI.

In the large Polish community of Chicago, and other large cities across the Midwest, Pączki Day is celebrated annually by immigrants and locals alike. In Buffalo, Toledo, Cleveland, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, South Bend, and Windsor, Pączki Day is more commonly celebrated on Fat Tuesday instead of Fat Thursday. Chicago celebrates the festival on both Fat Thursday and Fat Tuesday, due to its sizable Polish population.

In Hamtramck, Michigan, an enclave of Detroit, there is an annual Pączki Day (Shrove Tuesday) Parade, which has gained a devoted following. In the greater Cleveland, Ohio area, it it wide spread through out the region, that many bakeries have people that will wait in lines for pączki on Pączki Day. The Pączki Day celebrations in some areas are even larger than many celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day.

[A “more Polish” perspective with a nice photo blog.]

I wish I knew this a couple days ago … I would have bought donuts.

Ash Wednesday POLL … take it!

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I know today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of 40 days of penitence and reflection, called Lent, to cleanse our soul by making atonement for the wrong things we have done and growing our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Since I’ve been in seminary the last 2 Ash Wednesday, I’m a little ignorant when I ask this, but … “Why are there so many people at Mass today?!?” Standing room only at the 6pm Mass I went to. Some churches even have 3 to 4+ different Mass times throughout the day.

Don’t get me wrong … it’s awesome to witness, but today isn’t even a holiday day of obligation. Why do so many Catholics feel the need to “get the ashes” today … what draws them today. Today, I even got a record number of 578 hits on this blog, with keywords like lent, fast, ashes, abstinence, & penance.

I’ve been debating possible reasons, from the supernatural movements of the soul toward God to practical whys.  Here is poll (in the sidebar of this page) with some possibilities that I hope people will be honest about.  — Please add more in comments.

What is the background on Ash Wednesday (in case you didn’t know)?

The ashes are made by burning the blessed palm fronds used on last year’s Palm Sunday and christened with Holy Water.

The marking of the forehead with a cross made of ashes reminds each of us that:

  1. Death comes to everyone
  2. We should be sad for their sins
  3. We must change ourselves for the better
  4. God made the first human being by breathing life into dust, and without God, human beings are nothing more than dust and ashes.
  5. It’s also a reminder of the mark of the cross made at baptism
  6. The cross of ashes may symbolize the way Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as atonement for sin replaces the Old Testament tradition of making burnt offerings to atone for sin.

When marking the sign of the cross on each believer’s forehead, the celebrant says, “Remember, man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” or “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” When leaving the observance, we carry the cross out into the world.

During Lent, each Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. It invites us to undertake spiritual discipline, deliberate abstinence from indulgent behavior involving food or luxuries, or finding ways to be of service to society.