Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Prayers for heart attack victims

My mom passed 30 days ago. Her heart was tired. Tonight I hear that her sister has had a heart attack. So we sit and pray.

In the church there are two Patron Saints for Heart Ailments:
St John of God and
Saint Teresa of Avila.

So let us ask the intercession of these good people who are part of our ONE church... alive in the Church Triumphant

Dearest Saint Teresa, Our father in heaven has blessed you with joy in your heart after the pain of it being pierced by His mighty Spear. Touch our Sister who has herself experienced pain in her heart. Intercede for her and for her family.

Take our prayers to the feet of our Father in Heaven, that she may be restored to health and proclaim the joy of your love.

We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen

Now we ask the intercession of Saint John of God:

Dear Convert, after a sinful life, through the power of God's holy Word you learned to love your fellow human beings. Self-sacrificing, you founded the Society of Hospital Brothers. No wonder the Church made you the patron of patients, nurses and Heart patients. That is why we confidently have recourse to you. Please give assistance to Kathleen, and teach us to be kind like you.

God, You filled St. John with the spirit of compassion. Grant that by practicing works of charity we may deserve to be numbered among the elect in Your Kingdom. Amen.

We also ask God the son for intercession:

Merciful Jesus, during Your life on earth You showed great concern for the sick and the infirm. Have compassion now on those who are suffering from heart disease. Grant them a healing of mind and body and restore their strength and spirit. Comfort them with the knowledge that we are praying for them, and give them peace with a sense of Your Presence. Amen.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Nicola Girasoli new Nuncio to Trinidad

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed His Excellency Archbishop Nicola Girasoli the new Apostolic Nuncio to the region.

The announcement was made December 21 by Fr Daniele Liessi, Chargé d’Affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature. Archbishop Girasoli will be the papal representative to countries of the Antilles Episcopal Conference, which includes Antigua and Barbuda, Suriname, Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, and Trinidad & Tobago.

He replaces US-born Archbishop Thomas E Gullickson, who was appointed Papal Nuncio to Ukraine in July. One of Archbishop Gullickson’s last acts was to preach the homily at the rededication of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in St George’s, Grenada.

According to his curriculum vitae, Archbishop Girasoli was born July 21, 1957 in Bari, Italy. He is the titular Archbishop of Egnazia Appula. Ordained a priest on June 15, 1980, with incardination in the diocese of Ruvo di Puglia, he possesses a Doctorate in Canon Law and has been in the diplomatic service of the Holy See since May 10, 1985.

After serving in the papal representations in Indonesia and Australia, he served in the Section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State in the Vatican.

Thereafter he completed assignments in the Nunciatures in Hungary, Belgium, the USA, and Argentina.

His first assignment as Head of Mission was on January 24, 2006, as Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia, and Malawi.

Archbishop Girasoli speaks fluent English, French and Spanish, besides his mother tongue, Italian.

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Nicola Girasoli arrives in Trinidad January 16.

taken from aecrc.org

Friday, 27 January 2012

Verna St Rose VS Stephen Cadiz

I like Verna St Rose Greaves. She has guts. She is not afraid. She answers to a higher call.

The debate on how to reclasify murder so that the death penalty could be better handed down goes on in Trinidad. But out of that debate two voices from the governing party make their say.

Minister of Trade, Steven Cadiz, says he is against the death penalty but had a responibility to his political party. Well, I understand what he is saying. Many of us are/were in jobs where we did something that the boss wanted us to do that would not be considered good practise or christian. We will pray for you Mr Cadiz that you may act as your God desires you to. We know you are a good man.

The other voice was that of Verna St Rose- Greaves. I knew another St Rose once. Mr St Rose was the principal of the Diego MArtin Boys Roman Catholic Primary School many many years ago when I was a student there... but i digress. Verna, says outright that she is against the death penalty. NO NO NO. .... No death penalty..... and she would not be supporting any legislation that encourages or supports it.

Well, God bless you Verna. You are what new politics are about.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

American President Roosevelt Visits Caribbean Island of Trinidad

Several US Presidents have graced the shores of Trinidad. However, besides Barack Obama, I don't think any songs were made of any of these Presidents other than Franklin D Roosevelt.

In November 1936 US President Franklin D Roosevelt stopped in Trinidad en route to South America. He stopped once more in December on his way back to the USA. He must have liked the island as he passed through en route to Casablanca. The route to Casablanca was full of stops. In Casablanca (Morroco) he would meet with Winston Churchill (the British PM). He made a fourth stop in Trinidad on his way back from Casablanca.

The song below is a calypso giving honour to that US President and his visit to the shores of Trinidad. Calypso music then was topical, funny, and dance-able.

The singer is called "Atilla the Hun" but his real name was Raymond Quevedo. He began singing calypso in 1911. He took calypso to the United States of America for the first time in 1934. The song is called ROOSEVELT IN TRINIDAD.

According to Wiki: the song was written by Fitz MacLean and popularized by Attila the Hun (Raymond Quevedo) to commemorate U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1936 trip to Trinidad.As part of Attila and his band's repertoire in New York City during the 1930s and 1940s, it brought increased popularity to the genre. Roosevelt had become a calypso fan in 1934 following the band's performances in New York City during 1934. The song was covered by Ry Cooder in his 1971 album Into the Purple Valley, Van Dyke Parks in his 1972 album Discover America, and performed in local skits.


when roosevelt came to the land of the hummingbird shouts of welcome were heard
when Roosevelt came to the land of the hummingbird shouts of welcome were heard
His visit to the island is bound to be, an epoch in local history
Definitely marking the new era, between trinidad in america

And so the ... and jubilation, was evidenced by desire for elation
Friendship for the u.s.a. was shown and from his house the stars and the stripes were flown
Port of Spain opened the gate to the president of the united states
In fact everybody was glad, to welcome roosevelt to trinidad

We are privileged to see the democratic, president of the great republic
With his charming and genial personality, and his wonderful urbanity
We were struck by his modest style, and we were intrigued by the famous roosevelt smile
No wonder why everybody was glad, at the great honour shown Trinidad

Now we understand that the president has just been, on a visit to brazil and to the argentine
With Mr. Cordell Hull in attendance, where they took part in a peace conference
To stop war and atrocity, and make the world safe for democracy
The greatest event in the century, in the interest of suffering humanity

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Is there a patron saint for Lotto?

You know. We Catholics like Patron Saints. We should also be very lucky with the Lotto since we have saints to help us win. Or do we? The will of God must take precedent. Also we must be mindful that God provides and that the love of money is the root of evil. Having said this let me show what my internet research has revealed in reference to a Patron Saint of Lotto.

SAINT CAJETAN:Well there is a patron Saint for Gamblers. Saint Cajetan (1480-1547) was an italian heir to great wealth. With his own money, and help from others, Cayetano formed a consortium, a bank of sorts, and extended loans to his parishioners, offering an alternative to the usury and high interest loans of the cutthroat bankers. Cayetano opened pawnshops, where he extended low, or no interest rate, loans. Cayetano, always among his flock, became known as the Patron Saint of Gamblers. His parishioners would bet Cayetano a rosary or blessed candle, that he would not do some special favor for them. If they lost the bet, if Cayetano did do that something special for them, and he often did, they would have to pay up. The usual pay-up: they had say their rosaries. Tales of his humility were limitless. He had a special ability to care, and be compassionate.

SAINT MATTHEW: Now, Saint Matthew is the Patron Saint of Money. He was a tax collector. but he gave up his lavish lifestyle to follow Christ.

SAINT PANTELEON: In Italy, Pantaleon supposedly gives favourable lottery numbers in dreams. Pantaleon converted his father, upon whose death he came into possession of a large fortune. He freed his slaves and, distributing his wealth among the poor, developed a great reputation in Nicomedia. A phial containing some of his blood was long preserved at Ravello. On the feast day of the saint, the blood was said to become fluid and to bubble.

Saint Eligius was also knoiwn as Eloi or Eloy. Eigius took advantage of this royal favor to obtain alms for the poor, and to ransom captive Romans, Gauls, Bretons, Moors, and especially Saxons, who were arriving daily at the slave market in Marseille. He is not the patron saint of anything to do with money. He is the Patron Saint of Goldsmiths.

You know there is one more thing to be mindful of......
neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Was Saint Eligius instrumental to winning the Lotto?

I came across an interesting story. It is a New york court case from 1984: Pando v. Fernandez.

WIKI: Christopher Pando, a deeply religious minor, sought to impose a constructive trust on the proceeds of a winning $2.8 million (21 annual payments; no cash option) ticket that he purchased with Dasyi Fernandez’s money. Pando alleged that Mrs. Fernandez agreed to share the prize money equally with him if he prayed to a saint to cause the numbers he picked for her to be the winning numbers. At the time that Pando purchased the ticket, Mrs. Fernandez was 38 and the mother of three children on welfare. Christopher Pando was 16 (too young to buy lottery tickets) and was a friend of her son. Mrs. Fernandez denied that she ever asked Pando to buy the tickets or pick the numbers, and also denied the fact that she offered to share.

And who did the young Chris ask for intercession? St. Eleggua of course. Well the problem is that Eleggua is an Orisha name. The Closest saint name to Eleggua is Eligius.

The story and history of Saint Eligius. Eligius, a goldsmith at Paris, was commissioned by King Clotaire to make a throne. With the gold and precious stones given him he made two. Struck by his rare honesty, the king gave him an appointment at court, and demanded an oath of fidelity sworn upon holy relics; but Eligius prayed with tears to be excused, for fear of failing in reverence to the relics of the Saints. On entering the court he fortified himself against its seductions by many austerities and continual ejaculatory prayers. He had a marvellous zeal for the redemption of captives, and for their deliverance would sell his jewels, his food, his clothes, and his very shoes, once by his prayers breaking their chains and opening their prisons. His great delight was in making rich shrines for relics. His striking virtue caused him, a layman and a goldsmith, to be made Bishop of Noyon, and his sanctity in this holy office was remarkable. He possessed the gifts of miracles and prophecy, and died in 665. His feast day is December 1st.

Saint Eligius was also knoiwn as Eloi or Eloy.


REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother;
to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

The actual author of the Memorare is unknown. It has been traditionally attributed to the abbot St. Bernard of Clairvaux from the 12th century. This is possibly because it was championed by another Bernard, the French priest Claude Bernard, who used it extensively in his ministry to the poor and to prisoners (including some quite hardened criminals!) in the 17th century.


-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --

The word Desiderata is latin, and it's Latin meaning is "The things wanted, needed, or necessary." The word is plural. It's singular noun form is Desiderium.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

footprints in the sand

Footprints in the sand - Mary Stevenson

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord, "You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you."

THE US REPUBLICAN RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE 2012 - The faith of the candidates

The next United States presidential election will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Presidential elections occur quadrennially or every four years (the count beginning with the year 1792). It is held on the first tuesday following a monday - that is, no earlier than November 2nd and no later than November 8th.

Barack Obama (from the Democratic Party) intends to run for a second term, but the eyes of America and the world is on the Republican Party campaign - to see who his challenger will be for the elections.

As of January 22nd there are four people vying to be the Republics choice for the Presidential election.: Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

The 2012 Republican National Convention, in which delegates of the Republican Party will choose the party's nominees for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States, will be held during the week of August 27, 2012, in Tampa, Florida at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. A candidate must accumulate 1,144 delegate votes to win. So far the running is:

Mitt Romney - 31
Newt Gingrich - 26
Ron Paul - 10
Rick Santorum - 8

So Mitt Romney is clearly in the lead. So what do we know about these peoples faith:

MITT ROMNEY: Mitt is a practicing Mormon. His faith is not separate from his life. His biography tells the story of a man who's father was governor and who lived his life as a mormon, even in politics. Wikipedia notes "Mitt served as a Mormon missionary in France. He received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University, and thereafter earned Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration joint degrees from Harvard's law and business schools. Very active in his church, he served as ward bishop and later stake president in his area. He ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, losing to incumbent Ted Kennedy. Romney organized and steered the 2002 Winter Olympics as head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and helped turn the troubled games into a financial success. In his church life (as a Pastor) Romney tried to balance the conservative dogma insisted upon by the church leadership in Utah with the desire by some Massachusetts members to have a more flexible application of doctrine. He agreed with some modest requests from the liberal women's group Exponent II for changes in the way the church dealt with women, but clashed with women who he felt were departing too much from doctrine. In particular, he counseled women not to have abortions except in the rare cases allowed by LDS doctrine, and also in accordance with doctrine encouraged prospective mothers to give up children for adoption when a successful marriage was not present. Romney later said that the years spent as pastor gave him direct exposure to people struggling in economically difficult circumstances different from his own affluent upbringing, and empathy for those going through problematic family situations." His worth is between 20 to 100 million US dollars.

NEWT GINGRICH: According to Wikipedia "Gingrich was raised a Lutheran. In graduate school he was a Southern Baptist, and he converted to Catholicism on March 29, 2009, (the faith of his third wife Callista Bisek). He said "over the course of several years, I gradually became Catholic and then decided one day to accept the faith I had already come to embrace." The moment when he decided to officially become a Catholic was when he saw Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to the United States in 2008: "Catching a glimpse of Pope Benedict that day, I was struck by the happiness and peacefulness he exuded. The joyful and radiating presence of the Holy Father was a moment of confirmation about the many things I had been thinking and experiencing for several years."Gingrich has stated that he has developed a greater appreciation for the role of faith in public life following his conversion, and believes that the United States has become too secular. At a 2011 appearance in Columbus, Ohio, he said, "In America, religious belief is being challenged by a cultural elite trying to create a secularized America, in which God is driven out of public life." In 2007, Gingrich authored a book, Rediscovering God in America, arguing that the Founding Fathers actively intended the new republic to not only allow, but encourage, religious expression in the public square. In a 2011 interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Gingrich addressed his past infidelities by saying, "There's no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate." In December 2011, after the group Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government requested that he sign their so-called "Marriage Vow", Gingrich sent a lengthy written response. It included his pledge to "uphold personal fidelity to my spouse"."

RON PAUL: There is not much about Ron Pauls Faith other than what he says on his website when he decided to run for President: "My faith is a deeply private issue to me, and I don’t speak on it in great detail during my speeches because I want to avoid any appearance of exploiting it for political gain. Let me be very clear here: I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, and I endeavor every day to follow Him in all I do and in every position I advocate. It is God Who gave us life. As He is free, so are those He created in His image. Our rights to life and liberty are inalienable." Ron Paul is a Christian (baptist).

RICK SANTORUM is a Catholic. The following is from WIKI - "In 2003, Santorum and fellow Republicans heard from Hillel, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Zionist Organization of America about combating anti-Semitism in American colleges. Santorum drafted language on "ideological diversity," which Race & Class magazine suggested was tantamount to "policing thought." Inside Higher Ed suggested that he was pandering to David Horowitz and had no deep-seated position on the legislation. Santorum added a provision to the 2001 No Child Left Behind bill that would have promoted the questioning of the theory of evolution in public school science classes and required the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative. The bill, with the Santorum Amendment included, passed the Senate 91-8 and was hailed as a victory by intelligent design theory promoters. In an interview with the National Catholic Reporter, Santorum said that the distinction between private religious conviction and public responsibility, espoused by President John F. Kennedy, had caused "great harm in America." All of us have heard people say, 'I privately am against abortion, homosexual marriage, stem cell research, cloning. But who am I to decide that it's not right for somebody else?' It sounds good, but it is the corruption of freedom of conscience. In his 2005 book, It Takes a Family, Santorum advocates for a more family values-oriented society centered on monogamous, heterosexual relationships, marriage, and child-raising. He says he is pro-life; yet opponents have labelled him a counterfeit conservative pointing to his votes that continued the federal funding of Planned Parenthood. He opposes same-sex marriage saying the American public and their elected officials should decide on these "incredibly important moral issues", rather than the Supreme Court, which consists of "nine unelected, unaccountable judges.”

So of the four I would choose Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich. I am anxious to see how it plays out.... and I won't let the daily show's anti republican stand bother me.

writing for the catholic news.

I read the Gospel Meditation column in the Port of Spain Archdiocese weekly newspaper today. I get it's point. It is well written. still, I preferred last weeks article to this weeks. Good Job Helena Allum. Having written that column on the past I know how it can be challenging to write. There are days when I can't think of what to publish in this blog. Other days, I know what I want to say but it's not coming out in an interesting way.

The trick in everything is to let go and let God. With writing, it will feed the person who God wants it to feed, when He wants it to feed them. Others may be critical, but "who vex loss". It was never for them anyway.

On many occasions I read the Catholic Newspaper with the expectation that I will be fed in some small way... and I am usually not disappointed. The format is fixed and well put together, but I believe that there should be more news. There is so much news from around the world that is Catholic, and not just clerical news: News of Catholics achieving good and fighting for their rights to practice the faith, News of modern day martyrs, news of politicians passing laws that cause the church to revisit how it operates in different ministries. We are ONE Church, We need to know about these things so that we can support our Brethren and challenge our Politicians to challenge those politicians. We need opinion pieces to put the news in perspective (besides the Editorial)

Still, perhaps what I am suggesting is not the purpose of our newspaper. Perhaps it fulfills it's mandate. God bless those who labour in the vineyard to produce it every week. God Bless all who support it. We would surely miss it if it wasn't there.

The Ninth Archbishop sends his love.

The Archdiocese of Port of Spain has a letter posted from the Ninth Archbishop: Edward Gilberte. It is dated Thursday, 12th January 2012. and headed "Wonderful memories - A brief farewell message from Archbishop Gilbert"

My Sisters and Brothers,

As we all know, sickness eventually affects everyone. On August 30 I had a severe gall bladder attack from which I never fully recovered. I was nauseous and weak with a consequent weight loss that lasted for the next four months. My condition affected my ability to serve the Archdiocese in ministry. It became clear that my gall bladder was not my only medical problem. Eventually, my doctor here in Trinidad sent me to the USA for treatment. The medical problem was definitively identified in New York and two surgeries were scheduled immediately at the New York University Medical School Hospital. Thank God both surgeries were successful.

The surgeries and the immediate recovery process took so much time that I reached the retirement age of 75 while I was out of the Archdiocese. Consequently, I missed the closure events that were planned for December including the installation of my successor, Archbishop Joseph Harris. Since I am still recovering from surgery and I tire quickly, I asked my successor that nothing special be scheduled now due to my health. I informed him that my wonderful memories of the Archdiocese would be my celebration. I assured him I would make every effort to return to the Archdiocese when the restoration of the Cathedral was completed.

The closure events would have provided me with the opportunity to thank the people of the Archdiocese for their collaboration over the last ten years. While history will judge the effectiveness of what was done during my ministry as Archbishop, the response of the people to the invitation to become involved in the process of building the future of the Archdiocese is a memory to be cherished forever and one that should always be a source of hope.

I want to thank my principal collaborators: the priests and permanent deacons, the members of religious communities, those who belong to the associations of Christ’s faithful, the men and women who served as department heads and the chancery staff which provided professional service to all who asked for assistance.

I am especially grateful to all the people (the majority of the Archdiocese) who serve the Lord and build the Church through family life, the parish system, the school system and in specialised ministries.

I assure everyone of my ongoing prayer that God’s plan for the Archdiocese and the Nation will be eventually fulfilled and that a spirit of justice, love and peace will grow in Trinidad and Tobago.

Most Reverend Edward J. Gilbert CSsR

Archbishop Emeritus

Archdiocese of Port of Spain

Come back and visit us your grace (#9). You'll still be Archbishop (in our hearts)in this archdiocese. We thanks you for your service. God Bless you!

bugs bunny: the new format

I sat and watched the new Bugs Bunny show the other day. Actually it's called the Looney Tunes show. It's not slapstick comedy. It's situation comedy. Enjoyable to all demographics, including adults. Bugs isn't being chased by Porky or Yosemite Sam. Neither is Daffy Duck. Bugs and Daffy share a house. Bugs got his money from inventing the carrot peeler. Daffy is obnoxious. He always was. That has not changed. Bugs seems somewhat sophisticated. Go figure!

Did you know that bugs and daffy first came to life in the short films of "Porky's Duck Hunt" (1937) and "Porky's Hare Hunt" (1938) They have been around for 75 years. Wow!

Did you know that Bugs (well the show) won an Academy Award for "Knighty Knight Bugs" (1958)- best animated short film. There were two previous nominations: A Wild Hare (1940); Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt (1941).

I cannot discuss Bugs without discussing his voice, or that of Mel Blanc. A jew who changed his name from Blank to Blanc, he voiced over 1000 cartoon characters. He did bugs, porkey, Pepe le Pew, foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam, Captain caveman, TWeety, Woody Woodpecker, Barney Ruble, Mr Spacely (the Jetsons), Heathcliff,... and the list goes on. These days bugs' voice is done by someone else. But you don't notice the difference.

I like the Looney Tunes Bugs, and the Looney Tunes Show. It is good family viewing.

I will end with the note that's on Mel Blanc's gravestone, and a favourite line of bugs....

"That's all folks"

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Well the letter below was sent out on January 12th 2012 concerning same sex marraige. it makes for interesting reading:

Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together
An Open Letter from Religious Leaders in the United States to All Americans
Released January 12, 2012

Dear Friends:

The promotion and protection of marriage — the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife — is a matter of the common good and serves the wellbeing of the couple, of children, of civil society and all people. The meaning and value of marriage precedes and transcends any particular society, government, or religious community. It is a universal good and the foundational institution of all societies. It is bound up with the nature of the human person as male and female, and with the essential task of bearing and nurturing children.

As religious leaders across a wide variety of faith communities, we join together to affirm that marriage in its true definition must be protected for its own sake and for the good of society. We also recognize the grave consequences of altering this definition. One of these consequences—the interference with the religious freedom of those who continue to affirm the true definition of “marriage”—warrants special attention within our faith communities and throughout society as a whole. For this reason, we come together with one voice in this letter.

Some posit that the principal threat to religious freedom posed by same-sex “marriage” is the possibility of government’s forcing religious ministers to preside over such “weddings,” on pain of civil or criminal liability. While we cannot rule out this possibility entirely, we believe that the First Amendment creates a very high bar to such attempts.

Instead, we believe the most urgent peril is this: forcing or pressuring both individuals and religious organizations — throughout their operations, well beyond religious ceremonies — to treat same-sex sexual conduct as the moral equivalent of marital sexual conduct. There is no doubt that the many people and groups whose moral and religious convictions forbid same-sex sexual conduct will resist the compulsion of the law, and church-state conflicts will result.

These conflicts bear serious consequences. They will arise in a broad range of legal contexts, because altering the civil definition of “marriage” does not change one law, but hundreds, even thousands, at once. By a single stroke, every law where rights depend on marital status — such as employment discrimination, employment benefits, adoption, education, healthcare, elder care, housing, property, and taxation — will change so that same-sex sexual relationships must be treated as if they were marriage. That requirement, in turn, will apply to religious people and groups in the ordinary course of their many private or public occupations and ministries—including running schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other housing facilities, providing adoption and counseling services, and many others.
So, for example, religious adoption services that place children exclusively with married couples would be required by law to place children with persons of the same sex who are civilly “married.” Religious marriage counselors would be denied their professional accreditation for refusing to provide counseling in support of same-sex “married” relationships. Religious employers who provide special health benefits to married employees would be required by law to extend those benefits to same-sex “spouses.” Religious employers would also face lawsuits for taking any adverse employment action — no matter how modest — against an employee for the public act of obtaining a civil “marriage” with a member of the same sex. This is not idle speculation, as these sorts of situations have already come to pass.

Even where religious people and groups succeed in avoiding civil liability in cases like these, they would face other government sanctions—the targeted withdrawal of government co-operation, grants, or other enefits. or example, in New Jersey, the state cancelled the tax-exempt status of a Methodist-run boardwalk pavilion used for religious services because the religious organization would not host a same-sex “wedding” there. San Francisco dropped its $3.5 million in social service contracts with the Salvation Army because it refused to recognize same-sex “domestic partnerships” in its employee benefits policies. Similarly, Portland, Maine, required Catholic Charities to extend spousal employee benefits to same-sex “domestic
partners” as a condition of receiving city housing and community development funds.
In short, the refusal of these religious organizations to treat a same-sex sexual relationship as if it were a marriage marked them and their members as bigots, subjecting them to the full arsenal of government punishments and pressures reserved for racists. These punishments will only grow more frequent and more
severe if civil “marriage” is redefined in additional jurisdictions. For then, government will compel special recognition of relationships that we the undersigned religious leaders and the communities of faith that we represent cannot, in conscience, affirm. Because law and government not only coerce and incentivize but
also teach, these sanctions would lend greater moral legitimacy to private efforts to punish those who defend marriage.

Therefore, we encourage all people of good will to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and to consider carefully the far-reaching consequences for the religious freedom of all Americans if marriage is redefined. We especially urge those entrusted with the public good to support laws that
uphold the time-honored definition of marriage, and so avoid threatening the religious freedom of countless institutions and citizens in this country. Marriage and religious freedom are both deeply woven into the fabric of this nation.
May we all work together to strengthen and preserve the unique meaning of marriage and the precious gift of religious freedom.

Sincerely Yours:

Rev. Leith Anderson
National Association of Evangelicals

Johann Christoph Arnold
Senior Pastor
Bruderhof Communities

Randall A. Bach
Open Bible Churches

Dr. Gary M. Benedict
The Christian and Missionary Alliance

The Rev. John F. Bradosky
North American Lutheran Church

Glenn Burris, Jr.
The Foursquare Church

Bishop H. David Burton
Presiding Bishop
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Dr. Ronald W. Carpenter, Sr.
Presiding Bishop
International Pentecostal Holiness Church

Rabbi Abba Cohen
Vice President for Federal Affairs
Washington Director
Agudath Israel of America

Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone
Bishop of Oakland
USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage

Nathan J. Diament
Executive Director for Public Policy
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations
of America

Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Dr. Barrett Duke
Vice President for Public Policy and Research
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The Most Rev. Robert Duncan
Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh

Rev. Jim Eschenbrenner
Executive Pastor
General Council of Christian Union Churches

Dr. William J. Hamel
Evangelical Free Church of America

Rev. Dr. Ron Hamilton
Conference Minister
Conservative Congregational Christian Conference

Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

John Hopler
Great Commission Churches

Dr. Bill Hossler
Missionary Church, Inc.

Clyde M. Hughes
General Overseer
International Pentecostal Church of Christ

Rev. Kenneth D. Hunn
Executive Director
The Brethren Church

David W. Kendall
Free Methodist Church USA

Dr. Richard Land
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Most Rev. William E. Lori
Bishop of Bridgeport
Chairman USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty

Dr. Jo Anne Lyon
Chair Board of General Superintendents
The Wesleyan Church

James W. Murray
Executive Director
General Association of General Baptists

Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades
Bishop of Ft. Wayne - South Bend
Chairman USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth

Commissioner William A. Roberts
National Commander
The Salvation Army

Rocky Rocholl
Fellowship of Evangelical Churches

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

David T. Roller
Free Methodist Church USA

Matthew A. Thomas
Free Methodist Church USA

Dr. Joseph Tkach
President & Pastor General
Grace Communion International

Berten A. Waggoner
National Director
Vineyard USA

W. Phillip Whipple
United Brethren in Christ Church, USA

Dr. John P. Williams, Jr.
Regional Director
Evangelical Friends Church, North America

David P. Wilson
General Secretary
Church of the Nazarene

Dr. George O. Wood
General Superintendent
Assemblies of God

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Google celebrates Catholic priest

I saw the above google image on January 11th 2012 and clicked on it. It celebratesthe 347th birthday of Nicholas Steno. WHo? you may ask... well let's hear what Wiki says about this man.

Nicolas Steno (11 January 1638 – 5 December 1686} was a Danish Catholic bishop and scientist who pioneered in both anatomy and geology. By 1659, Steno had decided not to accept a statement as true simply because it was written in a book, but rather to rely on his own research. He is considered one of the founders of modern stratigraphy and, together with James Hutton, the founder of modern geology.Pope John Paul II beatified Steno in 1988.

Steno's law of constant angles, states that the angles between corresponding faces on crystals are the same for all specimens of the same mineral, a fundamental breakthrough that formed the basis of all subsequent inquiries into crystal structure.

After his death in 1686, Steno was venerated as a saint in the diocese of Hildesheim. Steno's piety and virtue have been evaluated with a view to an eventual canonization. His canonization process was begun in Osnabrück in 1938. In 1953 his corpse was exhumed, and reburied in the Capella Stenoniana, but without the missing skull. The Italian state donated a fourth-century Christian sarcophagus that had been found in the river Arno. In 1988 he was declared "beatus" — the third of four steps to being declared a saint — by Pope John Paul II. He is thus now called by Catholics Blessed Nicolas Steno. His feast day is 5 December.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Of Kings and Treasure

One rainy day I stopped by this beautiful little catholic store on Morne Cocoa road in Chrystal Stream. The lady there showed me a gift box of usable Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Today’s Gospel identifies these items as being among the treasures of the Magi. The box came with a legend associated with Jesus’ receiving of these gifts.

I don’t know where it originated, but the legend states that the Magi or wise men were actually Kings. This is found nowhere in the Gospels. In fact the bible does not even identify the quantity as three.

The Gold was supposedly given by Melchior, a king of Arabia. He was the oldest of the three Kings. Gold was given to our Lord because he is King here on earth.

The Frankincense was given by Balthasar, a king from Saba (present day Yemen). Frankincense is resin or dried sap of the Boswellia tree. This tree has grown on the craggy slopes of the Arabian Sea for thousands of years. In ancient times Frankincense was equally as precious as gold. It was used in Holy ceremonies, and was given to show that Jesus was High Priest (in the order of Melchizadeck) and God.

Myrrh is also a resin. It is used as incense. It is native to Somalia and Ethiopia, however in ancient times the finest Myrrh came from southern Arabia. The Myrrh was a gift from Caspar, a king from Tarsus (modern day Turkey). Myrrh was used in anointing oil and was also used in funeral rites. It is said to have been given as a sign of the death Jesus was destined to save the world by.

Now, whatever the source or story surrounding the birth of Jesus, there is something that we must remember: His birth was foretold and was accompanied by great signs. No regular persons birth would be as such. It is the heralding of the King of kings.

He is the real treasure.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

a fun poem

I Never

I never put my things away.
I never dust my room.
I never fix the things I break.
I never use a broom.
I never take the garbage out.
I never buy the food.
I never get embarrassed
when a person sees me nude.
I never clean the table tops.
I never scrub the floors.
I never turn the TV off.
I never lock the doors.
I never wash the dinner plates.
I never say a word.
I never knew that life would be
so easy for a bird!

Friday, 6 January 2012

The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet by Guy Wetmore Carryl

Today I am feeling for something light, fun and whimsical. The only thing that comes to mind is the following poem:

The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet

by Guy Wetmore Carryl

Little Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet,
(Which never occurred to the rest of us)
And, as ’twas a June day, and just about noonday,
She wanted to eat -- like the best of us:
Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say
It is wholesome and people grow fat on it.
The spot being lonely, the lady not only
Discovered the tuffet, but sat on it.

A rivulet gabbled beside her and babbled,
As rivulets always are thought to do,
And dragon flies sported around and cavorted,
As poets say dragon flies ought to do;
When, glancing aside for a moment, she spied
A horrible sight that brought fear to her,
A hideous spider was sitting beside her,
And most unavoidably near to her!

Albeit unsightly, this creature politely
Said, "Madam, I earnestly vow to you,
I’m penitent that I did not bring my hat. I
Should otherwise certainly bow to you."
Though anxious to please, he was so ill at ease
That he lost all sense of propriety,
And grew so inept that he clumsily stept
In her plate -- which is barred in Society.

This curious error completed her terror;
She shuddered, and growing much paler, not
Only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet
Which doubled him up in a sailor knot.
It should be explained that at this he was pained;
He cried, "I have vexed you, no doubt of it!
Your fist’s like a truncheon." "You’re still in my luncheon,"
Was all that she answered. "Get out of it!"

And THE MORAL is this: Be it madam or miss
To whom you have something to say,
You are only absurd when you get in the curd
But you’re rude when you get in the whey!