July 3, 2015

Positivity: You’re Not Alone

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:32 am

From CatholicVote.org:

July 2, 2015

Positivity: Meet Father Salvatore, the young priest whose life moved the Pope

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Trani, Italy:

Jul 1, 2015 / 12:02 am

The life of Father Salvatore Mellone, who died on Monday, was moving to thousands of people. He was to have at least two more years of seminary when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but by special permission and the blessing of Pope Francis, he was ordained nevertheless.

Fr. Mellone, who died June 29 at the age of 38, had been a priest of the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie for two and a half months. With his failing health, he was able to say Mass daily, baptize a child, and console the other sick persons at his hospital.

Two days before his April 16 ordination Fr. Mellone received a phone call from Pope Francis. “The first blessing that you’ll give as a priest, you’ll give to me. Salvatore, I’m with you. You ‘ll be ordained and you’ll celebrate Mass,” the Pope assured him over the phone.

At his ordination, Fr. Mellone said, “Today I feel myself carried on the shoulders of Christ; and as a priest I’ll wear the stole with Christ, for the salvation of the world. Moreover, to celebrate just one Eucharist, for me will be a real participation in the priesthood of Christ.”

Fr. Mellone’s funeral Mass was said June 30 by Archbishop Giovanni Battista Pichierri of Trani at Most Holy Cross parish, where the priest was ordained.

A statement from the Trani archdiocese shortly after the priest’s death noted that he had a recurrent expression for “the many people who came to visit him over the last few months: ‘to be a priest is beautiful.’”

“Despite his illness, he always warmly embraced everyone who came to see him. He listened to what everyone had to say. He consoled everyone.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 1, 2015

Positivity: CARRIER UNVEILS INNOVATIVE SOLUTION TO PRESERVE MICHELANGELO’S FRESCOES IN THE SISTINE CHAPEL

Filed under: Business Moves,Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

This is from October of last year. I became aware of it by reading Michelle Malkin’s June 24 column:

VATICAN CITY

State-of-the-art heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system highlighted at Vatican Museums cultural heritage event

Carrier announced Wednesday the completed installation of an innovative heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) solution for the Sistine Chapel, developed to help preserve Michelangelo’s masterpieces against deterioration caused by increasing numbers of visitors.

The new Carrier HVAC system design will be presented over the next two days to an international audience specializing in cultural heritage preservation at a Vatican Museums event, “The Sistine Chapel 20 Years Later: New Breath, New Light,” in Rome. Carrier, the world’s leader in high-technology heating, ventilating and air-conditioning solutions, is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

The new system uses two Carrier AquaForce® 30XWV water-cooled chillers with Greenspeed® intelligence, each with 580 kilowatts of capacity. It leverages specially designed software and components, as well as patented, energy-saving technologies to maintain optimal climate conditions for the protection of the paintings within the chapel. An intelligent system of controls, linked with an advanced video application from UTC Building & Industrial Systems, enables the HVAC system to anticipate visitor levels and adjust its performance intuitively. The new system delivers twice the efficiency and three times the capacity of the former system, which was built and installed by Carrier in the early 1990s. To ensure the smooth operation of the new system, the Vatican has chosen to enter into a five-year maintenance contract with Carrier Distribution Italy SpA.

“Our aim now is not restoration, but conservation. This is why we have chosen Carrier, because a masterpiece like the Sistine Chapel needs a comparable masterpiece of technology,” said Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums.

The company’s expert global team of AdvanTE3C engineers developed the solution, working in close collaboration with the Vatican’s technical teams and using leading-edge computer modeling and simulation techniques. The engineering team overcame several challenges to meet the chapel’s unique requirements. The system carefully manages the flow, humidity, quality and temperature of the air; maintains sound at “church-quiet” levels; is virtually invisible to visitors; and uses pre-existing duct openings in a protected, historic landmark setting. It was also designed to be adaptable to future needs.

“Supporting the Vatican with our advanced technologies to preserve the extraordinary heritage of the Sistine Chapel was a remarkable opportunity,” said Geraud Darnis, President and CEO, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “We put our world-class engineering and design resources into this project and are exceptionally proud of the outcome.”

In 1993, Carrier designed and installed the Sistine Chapel’s first air-conditioning system to accommodate a maximum load of 700 simultaneous visitors. Today, with daily visitor traffic of approximately 20,000 people, the new system is designed to accommodate up to 2,000 visitors at one time in nearly any weather condition. …

Go here for the rest of the company’s press release.

June 30, 2015

Positivity: Father Flanagan founded Boys Town. Will he be recognized as a saint?

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Omaha:

Jun 23, 2015 / 04:58 pm

The case for the sainthood of Servant of God Edward Flanagan, the priest who founded Nebraska’s famous Boys Town community for orphans and other boys, is now headed to Rome.

“More than being just a humanitarian, he was a man driven by his love for Jesus Christ to care for children who were forgotten and abused,” said Omar Gutierrez of the Archdiocese of Omaha. “He is a great model for the priesthood and for what Catholic social teaching looks like in the real world.”

Gutierrez, who served as notary for the diocesan tribunal investigating the priest’s sainthood cause, said he was particularly struck by the stories of past Boys Town residents, now elderly men, who knew Father Flanagan.

“I have had World War II veterans weep in front of me as they recall what Fr. Flanagan did for them when they were just boys,” he told CNA June 22.

“I have witnessed in a unique way the amazing power of fatherhood.”

The Omaha archdiocese closed the diocesan phase of the investigation with a June 18 Mass at Omaha’s St. Cecilia Cathedral, with Archbishop George Lucas as celebrant.

The final documents produced by the diocesan tribunal were signed and stamped. Two copies of the tribunal’s report were packaged and sealed with wax, stamped with the archdiocesan seal. The apostolic nuncio will take the package to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The congregation can recommend whether Pope Francis should declare Fr. Flanagan to have demonstrated heroic virtue and to declare him “venerable,” an important step on the path to beatification or canonization.

Father Flanagan helped at least 10,000 boys at Boys Town in his lifetime, and his influence extended around the world. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 29, 2015

Positivity: Modern martyrs should inspire US Christians, archbishop says

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Baltimore:

Jun 22, 2015 / 04:11 pm

The plight of persecuted religious believers overseas should inspire American Catholics and others to continue their defense of religious freedom at home, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore said.

“What solidarity we should have with these believers. We should be inspired by their courage and renewed in our resolve not to let religious freedom in our country be compromised by degrees until it all but disappears from our society,” the archbishop said.

“They are the ones who teach us about God’s precious gift of religious freedom,” he said in a June 21 homily. “No matter how great the threat to life and property, these believers exercise that God-given freedom which no tyrant can eradicate – the freedom to bear witness to one’s faith even at the cost of one’s life.”

U.S. religious freedom challenges are not the same magnitude as outright persecution facing Christians in other countries, he said, but U.S. Christians are nevertheless “in the same boat.”

Archbishop Lori’s homily came during Mass at Baltimore’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. About 1,000 people attended the Mass, which launched the U.S. bishops’ third Fortnight for Freedom event.

Archbishop Lori heads the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom committee.

“We seek the freedom to bear witness to Christ’s love, not just in church but in our service to the wider community through works of justice and charity, education, social services, and health care,” the archbishop said, echoing the 2015 campaign’s theme “Freedom to Bear Witness.”

The event, from June 21-July 4, coincides with the feasts of saints including Thomas More and John Fisher. It is intended to raise awareness about threats to religious freedom in the U.S. and about the need for religious freedom protections like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 28, 2015

MSNBC’s Hayes Apologizes For Falsely Stating O’Reilly’s Confederate Flag Position

This item is only worthy of note because it’s about an apparently genuine apology from a leftist — something rarely seen from the “I’m sorry you were offended” crowd — and because the chances are that very few have actually seen the apology.

Early last week, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes claimed that Bill O’Reilly had asserted, as if it was the Fox News host’s opinion, that the Confederate flag “represents the bravery of Confederates who fought in the Civil War.” Of course, that isn’t what O’Reilly said, and O’Reilly called Hayes out:

(more…)

Positivity: Thousands gather in Rome to support the family, oppose gender theory

Filed under: Activism,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

From :

Jun 24, 2015 / 12:04 am

A pro-family demonstration drew hundreds of thousands of participants to Rome on Saturday, where the rally gathered those opposed to the introduction of gender ideology in Italian schools and to a bill which would expand the rights of those in civil unions.

“We want to bear witness to the beauty of the family,” said Vincenzo and Sara, addressing the June 20 rally. “All of our children have been born of a mother and a father.”

The couple have 11 children, and they emphasized that “parents are the ones called in the first place to educate our children, and the school cannot take away that sacred right from us.”

The demonstration took place in the piazza in front of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and drew a crowd whose estimates range from 300,000 to 1 million. Participants came from across Italy, despite short notice – the event having been announced only June 2.

Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register also noted that the demonstration “had only tacit support from the Italian bishops’ conference.” Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, sent a message of support for the event.

It was organized by “Defend our Children” to call for the rejection of a bill in the Italian parliament which would grant same-sex couples in civil unions many of the rights afforded to married couples. More generally, the rally intended to reaffirm parents’ right to educate their children, and to oppose gender theory in Italy’s schools and parliament.

Speakers outlined the key elements of this proposed legislation, and explained how the attendant gender theory has already been introduced in many of the country’s schools. Gender theory or ideology is the notion that one’s ‘gender’ is chosen and need not correspond with one’s biological sex.

Gianfranco Amato, president of Jurists for Life and one of the organizers, called for an end to gender theory in the schools, calling it a “drift toward totalitarianism that tends to impose by law the dictatorship of a single way of thinking.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 27, 2015

Positivity: Fellow Cincinnati police officers say fallen policeman Sonny Kim inspired them

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Cincinnati:

4:45 PM, Jun 23, 2015

Tributes to Officer Sonny Kim continue to grow at Cincinnati Police District 2 in Hyde Park.

Officers like Charles Zopfi continue their duties, but with a heavy heart for the man he knew for many years — a man that everybody seemed to like.

“I know it’s been said numerous times that he was the best of us,” Zopfi said. “Sonny really was. That’s a testament to who he was. Sonny was truly one of those people that was the best in all of us, and if the rest of us can be half the person he was, I think we’d all be in a better place.

Kim, 48, a husband and father of three boys, was shot to death while responding to a call of a gunman acting erratically Friday morning.

Police said Kim’s shooter, 21-year-old Trepierre Hummons, called 911 at 9:03 a.m. to report a black man in his early 20s “walking around, getting belligerent with a gun” at the corner of Whetsel Avenue and Roe Street in Madisonville. They said he called again a few minutes later.

Kim was the first officer on the scene at 9:19 a.m. Hummons opened fire on him moments later, Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell said. Both men died in the encounter.

As Officer Michael Winstead worked a detail Tuesday in Madisonville, his badge was draped in black tape for Kim, whom he knew 15 years.

“He was a good spirit, and we kind of bonded very quick being spiritual men, and we just had a good time together,” Winstead said. “As our relationship grew, our bond grew.”

There’s something about Kim that will stick with Winstead forever.

“We spoke spiritually a lot, and it causes you to grow to help others, and that’s what Sonny did — he gave you inspiration and he inspired you,” Winstead said.

Capt. Jeff Butler said he has no doubt Kim took the express lane through the pearly gates. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 26, 2015

Positivity: The Dignity of Charleston …

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Jonah Goldberg’s June 24 column at National Review:

“Lots of folks expected us to do something strange and break out in a riot. Well, they just don’t know us,” the Reverend Norvel Goff told the packed, multiracial congregation of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., on Sunday. It was the first service since the horrific slaughter of nine innocent souls by a racist fanatic.

Not being a Christian, I can only marvel at the dignity and courage of the victims’ relatives who forgave the shooter. If I could ever manage such a thing, it would probably take me decades. It took them little more than a day.

Less shocking, but almost as uplifting, was the conduct of the broader Charleston community, which has been unified and dignified, despite the expectations of some in the media — and the accused gunman, who had singled out Charleston because of its success at racial integration. And this points to Goff being right, not just about Charleston but about the South in general.

There are few subjects that ignite more casual, uninformed bigotry and condescension from elites in this nation than Dixie. “Practically the whole region has rejected nearly everything that’s good about this country and has become just one big nuclear waste site of choleric, and extremely racialized, resentment,” the Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky wrote last year.

How then to explain the tens of thousands of South Carolinians, white and black, marching in unity across the Ravenel Bridge on Sunday night? Did the city bus in decent Northerners? …

Answer: No.

Go here for the rest of Goldberg’s column.

June 25, 2015

Positivity: Carrie Underwood’s Husband Mike Fisher on His Christian Faith

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From the Political Insider in mid-June:

Mike Fisher is the star of the Nashville Predators hockey team. But he might be better known as the husband of Country superstar Carrie Underwood. He married the American Idol star a few years ago, and they have started a family together.

We know how profoundly Christian Carrie Underwood is (see here and here). She makes no apologies for standing up for traditional values, which is very difficult to do as a pop star. Carrie Underwood is a true patriot, but did you know her husband is too?

Fisher sat down and went on record to describe how his faith changed his life. He accepted Jesus at a young age thanks to being raised in a Christian home, and he credits his belief in Jesus Christ to his success in hockey.

Fisher noted that after playing hockey for a few years, he was acting like a “good Christian” but his life was still a mess. That all changed when he opened the Bible at a Bible Study. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 24, 2015

Positivity: The Race to Grace

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council:

une 23, 2015

Somewhere in Charleston, a deeply embittered 21-year-old is sitting in a dark cell replaying scenes from the courtroom over in his mind. For the killer who hoped to incite a nation with his bloody rampage, things didn’t exactly work out as planned. The nine lives he sacrificed in God’s house, offerings to a centuries-old race war, did more to quell the tension than spark it. In the end, violence was met by a force much stronger: forgiveness.

Sitting across from the shooter at his bond hearing, no one would have blamed the families for lashing out in anger. Instead, one by one, racked by grief, they offered an unexpected gift — grace. “I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you,” one daughter said through her tears. “We have no room for hating, so we have to forgive.”

What the gunman sowed in evil, the church repaid in love. Where other cities would have set cars on fire, Charleston set faith ablaze. Led by the families suffering most, the world no longer sees hate but a picture of the One who overcame it. “The killer set out to defile a sacred place and ended up showing why it is sacred,” wrote Michael Gerson. “These victims and their families have shown what it means to be followers of Christ.”

It was a powerful moment for a nation in distress. Even the New York Times was confounded by the compassion extended amidst so much cruelty. The sense of wonderment spread across newspapers — until forgiveness became the story. “It was as if the Bible study had never ended,” one reporter explained, “as one after another, victims’ family members offered lessons in forgiveness, testaments to a faith that is not compromised by violence or grief.” …

Go here for the rest of Perkins’ post.

June 23, 2015

Positivity: In Charleston, thousands join hands to show solidarity, mourn ‘Emanuel Nine’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Charleston, where crowd estimates were in the 15,000-20,000 range:

June 21 at 11:40 PM

Charlestonians continued to seek healing late Sunday night, as musicians shook tambourines, choirs bellowed mournful tunes and South Carolina jazz legend George Kinney played “My Buddy” in honor of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney and the rest of the “Emanuel Nine,” who were fatally shot after Bible study in a church basement.

“Our seed is more powerful than a bullet,” the Rev. William Swinton Jr. told a crowd gathered for a benefit concert at Ebenezer AME church. “The funds will be used as a scholarship to help young people fight racism and all the evil things of society through education. They will look back and know that we did something more than cried.”

The Rev. Melanie Conner of the Charleston NAACP told the crowd that she knew many of those who were killed at Emanuel AME church during a racially motivated massacre in the fellowship hall Wednesday night.

“Their living and dying will not be in vain. What man meant for evil, God turned it around,” she said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 22, 2015

Quote of the Day: Booker T. Washington, and the Quote’s Application to Charleston

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 2:19 pm

Someone reminded me of the following quote this morning:

“I am afraid that there is a certain class of race problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.”

~ Booker T. Washington ~

Sadly, these “race problem solvers,” now more aptly known as race hustlers, do make a living. But I should note, to their everlasting credit, that the good people of Charleston, South Carolina have refused to aid and abet them.

Within hours of the Charleston massacre Tuesday night (i.e., about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning), Al Sharpton announced that he would be traveling there.

Given that he tweeted that he was back in New York before 7 a.m. on Thursday in time for a morning interview, it seems that Sharpton left Charleston sometime Wednesday evening, and probably didn’t spend more than about 12 hours there.

Another person suggested that Sharpton turned tail because he was told in no uncertain terms that his presence was not helpful. Though you’ll never see anyone admit that, that seems about right.

My tipster’s belief is further supported by, among other things, the remarkable stories of forgiveness and the huge crowd, estimated at 20,000, which attended the “Bridge for Peace Unity Chain” on Sunday.

God bless Charleston, which is showing the nation how to respond.

Positivity: Top US bishops unwavering in support of traditional marriage ahead of Synod

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

From St. Louis:

Jun 17, 2015 / 03:04 am

In their spring general assembly held last week, just four months before the Synod on the Family in Rome, top U.S. bishops took a united stand in support of marriage and family life as the Church has always understood it.

“We need to be more effective in our communication of the meaning of marriage as one man and one woman, on married couples’ call to be open to life, and on the dignity and responsibility of the vocation of marriage,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. bishop’s conference, told the assembly June 11.

An incorrectly translated relatio document, as well as skewed media coverage and news of the “Kasper proposal” during last year’s Extraordinary Synod led to confusion among some Catholics about the purpose and practical effects of the Synod on the Family.

This year, speculation and anticipation about the outcome of the synod has been rampant, causing Pope Francis himself to call for more prayer and less “gossip” about the upcoming meeting.

In an interview with CNA, Archbishop Kurtz said that while he is glad that there is so much excitement leading up to the synod, he would ask Catholics to become students of the process of the synod in order to best understand what is happening.

“I tell anyone who asks: please read the materials, because the work of the synod will be based on how we ended the last synod,” he said. “If someone really wants to follow the process, they really need to become students of that.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York told EWTN News Nightly he sees many reasons to hope that the upcoming synod will be just what the Church needs in terms of better serving married couples and families. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 21, 2015

Positivity: Charleston Church Victims’ Families Forgive Suspect in Court

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Charleston:

They forgave him. They advised him to repent for his sins, and asked for God’s mercy on his soul. One even told Dylann Storm Roof to repent and confess, and “you’ll be OK.”

Relatives of the nine people shot down during a Bible study session inside their historic black church confronted the 21-year-old suspect Friday during his initial hearing. They described their pain and anger, but also spoke of love.

“I forgive you, my family forgives you,” said Anthony Thompson, whose relative Myra Thompson was killed. “We would like you to take this opportunity to repent. … Do that and you’ll be better off than you are right now.”

Roof was ordered held until a bond is set on murder charges. He appeared by video from the county jail, looking somber in a striped jumpsuit and speaking only briefly in response to the judge’s questions.

The victims included the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a state senator who doubled as the church’s lead pastor, and eight others who played multiple roles in their families and communities: ministers and coaches, teachers and a librarian, counselors and choir singers and the elderly sexton who made sure the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was kept clean.

A police affidavit released Friday accused Roof of shooting all nine multiple times, and making a “racially inflammatory statement” as he stood over an unnamed survivor.

The families are determined not to respond in kind, said Alana Simmons, who lost her grandfather, the Rev. Daniel Simmons.

“Although my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of hate, this is proof – everyone’s plea for your soul is proof they lived in love and their legacies will live in love, so hate won’t win,” she said. “And I just want to thank the court for making sure that hate doesn’t win.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.