May 31, 2019

Friday (Moderated) Open Thread (053119)

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Positivity: 7 priests ordained in 7 years — What’s the ‘secret sauce’ at this Ohio parish?

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Hudson, Ohio:

May 26, 2019 / 04:52 pm

Starting in 2013, and every year since for the past seven years, one young man from the parish of St. Mary’s in Hudson, Ohio, has been ordained a priest of Jesus Christ for the Catholic Church.

It’s a rarity in the Catholic Church in the United States to have that many priests coming from one place in such a short time span. The timing of it all was something that could have only been orchestrated by God, said Fr. Ryan Mann, one of the “seven in seven” priests, who was ordained in 2014.

Between staggered entrances to seminary after high school, college, or the start of a career, and some of the men dropping out of seminary for a year or two only to come back, “the seven in seven could not have been orchestrated ahead of time,” Mann told CNA.

CNA spoke with three of the “seven in seven” priests to find out what it is about St. Mary’s parish that is fostering so many vocations.

‘The first fool’ – Seminarians and priests as role models

Before the seven, there was Fr. Stephen Flynn, a priest from St. Mary’s who was ordained in 2008.

He “got the ball rolling” among the young men at St. Mary’s, Mann said.

“Once the ball got rolling, it was easier to call this guy and say, ‘Hey what’s it like?’ or if he was home in the summertime you can see – ‘Is he weird? Oh he’s normal, oh good, I can be normal and do this,’” he said.

“In many ways he was kind of the first fool who went to seminary” and had the courage to make the leap, added Fr. Patrick Schultz, a priest from St. Mary’s who was ordained in 2016.

Schultz said that, starting with Flynn, the seminarians from St. Mary’s would return to the parish on their breaks from seminary and spend a lot of time with the youth group, which allowed other young men to get to know seminarians on a personal level.

“When you talk about the ‘secret sauce’, I think it’s the fact that…you get one seminarian, and you make him as visible as possible to demystify what being a seminarian is,” he said.

“That’s how you create a culture of vocations. It helps you see that there’s such a thing as discerning priesthood – when you’re signing up for seminary, it’s not signing up to be a priest, you’re discerning priesthood.”

Additionally, he said, the formation that seminarians receive help them not only to become holier, but to become more fully human and more fully alive, which is helpful for others to see who are considering a vocation.

“So you enjoy life, you love movies, you love bonfires, you love chips and salsa, you love watching Nacho Libre – you’re not just this cloistered off, speaking in Latin, far-removed ethereal person,” he said.

Fr. Rich Samide, a priest from St. Mary’s who was ordained in 2018, told CNA it “helped immensely” in his discernment to know someone who had already gone to seminary.

“Seminary was not some unknown place with unknown men studying for priesthood. I knew that if I went to seminary, I would already know several of the seminarians,” he said.

“They were real to me, and made the idea of going to seminary real. I knew them as men who had normal interests, and diverse personalities. I could see that I could flourish as a seminarian, and as a priest, through their example.”

Each priest that CNA spoke with mentioned the example of happy and holy priests who were already at the parish – in particular, Fr. Damian Ference, who served as parochial vicar at St. Mary’s parish for several years. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

May 30, 2019

Thursday (Moderated) Open Thread (053019)

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Positivity: Former airline pilot appointed to lead diocese of Saginaw, MI

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Vatican City:

May 24, 2019 / 04:53 am

Pope Francis Friday named Bishop Robert D. Gruss of Rapid City, South Dakota, the next bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan.

In Saginaw, Gruss succeeds Bishop Joseph Robert Cistone, who died Oct. 16, 2018 at the age of 69, after a battle with lung cancer. Bishop Walter A. Hurley, bishop emeritus of Grand Rapids, has overseen the administration of the diocese since Cistone’s death.

Gruss, 63, was bishop of Rapid City since 2011, where he led 25,000 Catholics across an area of around 43,000 square miles. In March 2019, the bishop announced the diocese would be celebrating a “Year of the Eucharist” beginning June 23.

A native of Arkansas, he was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa in 1994, after a career as a commercial airline pilot and aviation instructor.

During his seminary formation, Gruss was a student at the Pontifical North American College in Rome (PNAC), studying sacred theology. He also received a master’s degree in spiritual theology.

He was the vice rector and director of human formation at the PNAC from 2007 to 2010, before returning to serve as pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport, Iowa.

In 2017, as the bishop of Rapid City, Gruss opened the cause for canonization of Nicholas Black Elk, a Lakota medicine man turned Catholic catechist who died in 1950. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

May 29, 2019

Wednesday (Moderated) Open Thread (052919)

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Positivity: Pro-life activist conceived in rape addresses Alabama abortion law

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

May 23, 2019 / 01:00 pm

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey recently signed the Human Life Protection Act into law. The legislation would make performing or attempting to perform an abortion a felony in the state.

The bill permits exceptions if the life of the mother is at risk, but controversially makes no exception for victims of rape or incest.

In an interview which aired on May 23 on EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, attorney and pro-life speaker Rebecca Kiessling said that she applauds Alabama for refusing to make such exceptions because they dehumanize people like her.

Kiessling is the founder and president of Save the 1, a pro-life advocacy group dedicated to supporting the rights of unborn children conceived in rape or incest, or with disabilities. She told Pro-Life Weekly host Catherine Hadro that she was conceived when her biological mother was abducted at knifepoint and raped, and that she owes her birth to abortion having been illegal at the time.

Adopted at birth, Kiessling met her biological mother for the first time when she was 19 years old. While her birth mother “was happy to meet me,” Kiessling said her mother told her that she would have had an abortion if the procedure had been legal at the time.

“She said, ‘it should have been my right,’” Kiessling said.

But, Kiessling said, her mother has since undergone a change of heart, and the pair are now both “thankful that we were protected by Michigan law at the time.”

Asked about the Alabama law and its lack of a rape exception, Kiessling said state Rep. Terri Collins, who introduced the bill, was defending the lives of people like her.

“He really went to bat for us,” Kiessling said, while noting that the rhetoric around the debate had been distressing for her and others like her.

“It really hurts when our people group are under attack,” Kiessling said, adding that Save the 1 has eight hundred members who were either conceived in rape or became mothers after rape. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

May 28, 2019

Tuesday (Moderated) Open Thread (052819)

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Positivity: Archbishop Broglio — Service to nation is faithful to the commandment to love

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

May 27, 2019 / 03:01 am

Ahead of Memorial Day in the United States, the Archbishop of Military Services commended fallen soldiers and emphasized sacrificial love.

“Certainly those we honor today served the Nation and put their lives in peril without knowing everyone they were serving: whether they were good or bad. They simply served all,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio said during a homily at a Mass said May 19 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.

“Does not authentic service to the Nation also express fidelity to the commandment of love? It is recognition of that service that beckons us this afternoon.”

The 25th Annual Memorial Mass was attended by active military members, veterans, and their families.

“The sacrifice of the military also pushes us forward in the quest for a lasting peace. It is impossible to look at the faces of young men and women committed to bearing arms in service of the Nation and not shudder at the tragedy of losing even one young life.”

Archbishop Broglio said the powerful message of love in the Gospel is rooted in the death and resurrection of Christ. This concrete action of love drew the disciples together and pushed them to evangelize the whole world.

“The supreme moment of glorification is the passion, death, and Resurrection of the Lord, considered as the hour in St. John’s Gospel. Not exactly what we consider when we think of glory. Jesus recognizes this moment as the highlight and purpose of His mission,” he said.

“The love of the Risen One pushed the apostolic community out of its comfort zone into new horizons,” he further added.
It is the obligation of Catholics to emulate this love and self-gift, he said, noting that acts of charity make Christ present to the giver. This strength, he said, must come from the sacraments, especially Holy Communion.

The archbishop further added that love is not a gift to be withheld from certain people but it is for everyone. He pointed to the example of Christ, who washed Judas’ feet even with the knowledge of the discple’s betrayal. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

May 27, 2019

Monday (Moderated) Open Thread (052719)

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Positivity: From Decoration Day to Memorial Day, An American Tradition for Nearly 150 Years

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:55 am

From the American Battle Monuments Commission (HT Twitchy):

Memorial Day–the federal holiday in which we honor our veterans and remember those who died while in the armed services–originated in the aftermath of the Civil War. On both sides of that conflict, north and south, families and brothers-in-arms of the fallen came together in grassroots commemorations to lay flowers on the graves of the dead, in honor of their sacrifice. This day of remembrance was initially known as Decoration Day.

The national observance of Decoration Day, in part, is traced to an order by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan, the commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a fraternal organization of Civil War Union veterans. On May 5, 1868, Logan instructed members of the GAR that:

The 30th Day of May, 1868 is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in the defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.

Over the years, the meaning of Decoration Day evolved, gradually expanding from a commemoration of Civil War dead, into a day to honor fallen members of the American armed forces from all wars. In 1888, an American diplomatic delegation to Mexico visited Mexico City National Cemetery on Decoration Day. The delegation laid flowers at the Soldiers’ monument marking the graves of American troops who died in the Mexican war, in one of the earliest observances at a site that would eventually be maintained by the ABMC.

As the meaning of Decoration Day evolved, so did the name. By the late 19th century, many Americans were using the term Memorial Day.

In May 1918, as thousands of American troops were fighting in France during World War I, the U.S. Army held Memorial Day ceremonies in the temporary cemeteries throughout the country. The following year, President Woodrow Wilson gave a Memorial Day address in Suresnes American Cemetery outside of Paris, which in time would become one of eight permanent overseas World War I military cemeteries administered by ABMC.

During World War II, temporary cemeteries were once again established in combat zones, and were the settings of Memorial Day ceremonies. These observances would continue after the war ended, as the temporary burial grounds were consolidated into the 14 permanent overseas American cemeteries created for the interment of World War II dead.

For many years, Memorial Day commemorations both domestically and overseas took place on May 30. In 1968 Congress passed, and President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This legislation established the observance of Memorial Day on the last Monday in May.

Every year, during Memorial Day weekend, ceremonies in each of the 25 ABMC cemeteries honor the more than 200,000 individuals commemorated in these sites. Each headstone is decorated with a small American flag, and the flag of the corresponding host nation. Speakers and honor guards pay homage to those who fell. These ceremonies, rooted in nearly 150 years of tradition, ensure that the United States will never forget those who died in the armed forces, far from family, home, and the country for which they served.

May 26, 2019

Sunday (Moderated) Open Thread (052619)

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Positivity: Cop Shot in Line of Duty Can’t Walk Daughter Down Aisle at Wedding, So Fellow Officer Stands In

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From California:

Published May 18, 2019 at 10:36am

California Highway Patrol Officer Jake Steel got a unique request this month that led to an experience not many get to have. As an officer, he has seen all sorts of things, but in May someone contacted him with an unusual plea.

There was a young woman getting married nearby who was missing one element of her dream wedding: Her father.

Carrie Ann, the mother of the bride, called and ended up connecting with Steel, asking if there was someone who could step in and cover for the bride’s father. The reason they needed a stand-in was heartbreaking.

Mike Kralicek, father of bride Amanda Rabe, was a former police officer himself. He was shot while working years ago, and he was left with major health issues including migraines so bad they would make him black out.

He was planning to attend his daughter’s wedding in California, but when he got to the airport in Idaho the TSA wouldn’t approve him.

“It’s normal for him,” Rabe said, referring to her father’s condition, during an interview with KTXL. “We’re very used to it, TSA wasn’t.”

Now Rabe had no one to walk her down the aisle, and no one to dance with during that all-important father-daughter dance. But then there was Steel, and he obliged.

“Her magic day they planned for her father to be there,” he said. “It was years in the making and they were saying in the last minute he couldn’t make it and they needed somebody to stand in for him.

“A very proud moment. Just knowing I’m there to help somebody out at their magic moment in time.”

Rabe told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, that she found out about Steel just an hour before the ceremony, but she was so grateful for his help.

That wasn’t the only thing that made Steel’s presence special. He knew exactly what it was like to miss a father, as he’d lost his own — who also worked for CHP — as a teenager.

“He also knows exactly how that feels to have his dad miss his special moments,” Rabe recalled, according to KTXL.

“It was wonderful to have him there,” she said. “I don’t think words can ever describe having somebody just completely wrap you in their love and share that moment with you.”

After the wedding, Rabe posted the story online.

“This man you see in this photo, he is an amazing, selfless and kind man,” she posted. She wrote about how Steel walked her down the aisle and danced with her, and how it was all beautiful and she could sense the joy. “This man…is not my dad.”

“My dad and mom were unable to attend after not being allowed on the plane after my dad who has a spinal cord injury after being shot in the line of duty 14 years ago had a medical issue causing him to be unable to board a plane.”

“So this man who was called to answer a desperate request….selflessly offered to stand in for my daddy. He brought his beautiful daughter and handsome son to attend my wedding.”

“When you look at a law enforcement family-it’s like an iceberg,” she continued. “The visible portion…and the hidden portion that holds it all together. This is my family. This man is my family. And his daughter is my sister. And his son is my brother. They banded together to make sure my dads brother could escort me in my time of need.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

May 25, 2019

Saturday (Moderated) Open Thread (052519)

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Positivity: Heroic Football Coach Wrestles Gunman to the Ground Before Any Students Are Injured

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Portland, Oregon:

Published May 18, 2019 at 9:19am

Students and parents at Parkrose High School in Portland, Oregon, credit a former Oregon Ducks football player, now the head football and track coach at their school, for tackling an armed gunman on campus.

A male student brought a shotgun into the school on May 17 and was quickly confronted by a staff member who tackled him to the ground before police could arrive, according to KPTV.

“He comes in and he has a trench coat on and he has the gun in bare sight,” Parkrose senior Alexa Pope said.

BREAKING: we’ve just confirmed Keanon Lowe – the head football coach at Parkrose High – is the man who tackled the suspect with a gun on the school campus today. Incredible resolution to a very scary situation and SO MANY people thankful for this man and what he did. @fox12oregon

Police did not immediately identify the gunman or the staff member who stopped him from unleashing a potential shooting attack on the student body.

But students and parents at the school have confirmed that the heroic staff member was football and track coach Keanon Lowe.

Lowe was a wide receiver for four years at the University of Oregon and played football at Jesuit High School, where he was named Defensive Player of the Year, The Oregonian reported.

Former Oregon Duck @KeanonLowe, now Parkrose HS football coach, wrestles suspect to ground amid report of armed gunman near school

Lowe reportedly tackled the gunman to the ground and prevented him from firing the weapon.

The gunman has been charged with possessing a gun in a public building, attempting to discharge a firearm at a school, reckless endangerment and possession of a loaded firearm in a public place, KOIN reported.

The teenager had been displaying some very troubling behavior at school, including telling another student that he had tried on multiple attempts to take his own life.

Reporters from KOIN spoke with Lowe’s mother, who said that her son was just glad to be in the right place at the right time.

Students expressed heartfelt gratitude and respect for Lowe, who probably just made the most important tackle of his life. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

May 24, 2019

Friday (Moderated) Open Thread (052419)

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