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Showing posts from July, 2009

Incredible Priests

Do you know an incredible priest ? In honor of the "Year for Priests," The Catholic Company has a video contest to honor those priests who've made a difference in your life or community. There will be monthly winners through May 2010, leading up to a Grand Prize winner who will receive a $500 shopping spree at The Company Company and an 8-day trip to Rome! It's easy to nominate your incredible priest. Just submit a 2-3 minute video via youtube stating why this priest is incredible to you. See all the rules and details on this contest at their site, Incredible Priests . What a great way to honor the special priest in your community!

Help Me Pray Today

Help Me Pray Today , is a wonderful book that "helps" children learn to pray through simple rhyming prayers. Natalie Friedl, the author, has paired a short bible verse with each prayer representing a theme, such as Gratitude, Respect and Obedience. Equally wonderful to the prayers, are the accompanying illustrations. They are contemporary and juvenile without being too young for an older "kid" or adult to enjoy. I heard about this adorable book from a great Catholic Mom podcast, Catholic Moments . In the podcast, Ms. Friedl explained to Lisa Hendey how the prayers were rhymes she developed with her own children to introduce them to praying at any time throughout the day. After discovering how well they remembered the rhymes and loved the prayers, it came together as a book to spread the joy of simple prayers with other families. When the book came in the mail this week, the kids and I read it and instantly loved it. My 7 yr old decided right away that her favori

Healthcare

Yes, Healthcare. Again. First, let’s agree that the current system is flawed. That individuals and families for whatever reason may not have the opportunity to be covered by a private health insurance plan. Perhaps they have lost their job. Perhaps they are self-employed and choose not to purchase a plan. Perhaps they are hedging their bets that paying for preventive and minor illness care out-of-pocket is cheaper in the long run than paying the per month per person expense; gambling that they won’t need drastic emergency coverage. Do we really think the nationalized government healthcare plan before the U.S. House of Representatives is the solution?? Really? Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) on the Joint Economic Committee created this chart to show the flow of bureaucracy. You’ve probably seen it before, but have you tried to read it? That’s okay. Neither have most of your Congressmen. In fact, Democrats have banned members of Congress from using the chart . Rep. John Carter (another

Catholic Foodie

Lisa & I met Jeff of Catholic Foodie at the Catholic New Media Conference last month. I've subscribed to his podcasts and listened to him describe a few of his yummy recipes in that smooth N'awlins accent. Recently he posted about a Zatarain's Jambalaya Throwdown contest, though he admitted he's never cooked with their product, perferring to invent his own creation. However, he did give away five Jamabalaya kits to lucky commenters. And I won. So Sunday night, I treated my family to my own Jambalaya creation using Zatarain's (low sodium) box mix as the base. Yes, I entered the recipe into the contest, though I doubt I'll get any notice. While I'm quite handy in the kitchen, I'm not particularly well known for stunning creations. I'll post the recipe when it's confirmed that I didn't win since posting in advance would actually disqualify me if I was being considered. (Yes, I read the rules.) But here is a sneak peek at our yumm

Stellan

This is not going to be a well-written post. I can barely find the words to type right now, but wanted to ask you all to pray with me for God's will to be done for Stellan and the McK. family during this struggle. The internet is a funny thing connecting people all over the world remotely. Through the internet people are able to come together to share their lives through Tweet, Facebook, Blogs, Ning, Plurk, podcasts, vidcasts, YouTube, and probably a dozen other sites and ways I've never heard of that will be all the rage next week. And in an odd way, we connect with the people we follow. We feel as though we are - in some small way - a part of their lives. For people like MckMama , I think perhaps we are. MckMama is the mother of four "Many Small Children," the most ...well-known... is Stellan. He was supposed to die in utero and never be born at all, but through God's grace he was miraculously born alive. While his life has been a struggle with hospitaliza

Do you flockNote?

Shelly and I have been fans of Matt Warner's blog, Fallible Blogma , for some time, but only discovered his other creation, flockNote , in the Spring. It is a great new, easy way to connect to your parish, diocese, and others in your Catholic community. Did I mention that it's free? There are two ways to "use" flockNote . As a leader in the Catholic community, you can send notes to your entire flock – or just a specific group – without the frustrating job of managing multiple mailing lists by email. As a member, you can get the latest news and information from the groups you care about – through the website, email, txt message, and more. My "feeds" on flockNote subscribe me to blog posts by Fallible Blogma , CatholicFoodie , daily readings, notes from my Diocese and so many more. According to Matt, there are some great new updates to flockNote coming this Fall, including iPhone and FaceBook apps, tags, direct messaging, widgets and Twitter integ

Which one am I?

I receive the daily readings in my morning email courtesy of Flocknote . Today's first reading is very well known; Exodus 20:1-17, the Ten Commandments. The Gospel gave me pause this morning. It's another parable and I've been thinking about it very hard. Matthew 13:18-23 Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You are to hear the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the evil one comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the man who received the seed on the edge of the path. The one who received it on patches of rock is the man who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy. But he has no root in him, he does not last; let some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, and he falls away at once. The one who received the seed in thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this world and the lure of riches choke the word and so he produces nothing. And the one who received the seed in

The Best Healthcare in the World

Houston is extremely fortunate to be the home of the Texas Medical Center . Created out of competition to be the best and chartered by the State of Texas in 1945, the TMC now consists of 47 member institutions in an area approximately the size of the city of Chicago. These 47 institutions (23 public, 24 private) are dedicated to the highest standards of patient care, research, and education. Included are 13 renowned hospitals and two specialty institutions, two medical schools, four nursing schools, and schools of dentistry, public health, pharmacy, and virtually all health-related careers. TMC institutions created one of the first (and still the largest) air ambulance services, developed an inter-institutional transplant program, and performs more heart surgeries than anywhere else in the world. In addition to the 72,000 employees, of which 15,400 are physicians, scientists, and researchers, the TMC hosts 33,000 students and manages 11,600 volunteers. You may have heard of a few of

Real Men Pray the Rosary

Arriving early to Mass this past Sunday, I noticed a man about my father's age praying the Rosary. It immediately brought to mind David and Valerie Calvillo , a couple I met at the CNMC in San Antonio last month, who founded a new online community titled Real Men Pray the Rosary . David & Valerie started this non-profit to promote the beneficial blessings of praying the Rosary to all Christians, and to create a place where people could study the mysteries / history of the Rosary, read and share experiences of how the Rosary can impact people’s lives in a modern world, and be a unifying experience for communities and families alike. Like many, my primary experience with the Rosary is at funerals. Now, it is the moment in funerals that I look forward to the most. Despite our sadness and grief, there is such a calming peace that flows through me when we unite as a family to pray the Rosary. My first experience with a Rosary outside of a funeral was about nine years ago. The Ita

July 20, 1969

I live in NASA territory, working with NASA historical records. So it will be an understatement when I say that there is no escaping the immense significance of today in our country's history. July 20, 1969. Men from our planet Earth walked on the moon . For how many millions of years has man looked to the stars... to the heavens ... and wondered how God sees us. We choose to go to the moon in this decade....not because they are easy, but because they are hard. When President Kennedy said these words in September 1962, NASA had sent only four men into space. Al Shepard & Gus Grissom had each taken a 15 minute up/down flight. John Glenn had orbited the earth three times taking just under five hours with Scott Carpenter duplicating the flight a few months later. Imagine if one of the Wright Brothers had stood on the sands at Kitty Hawk and said, I think we should fly across the Atlantic Ocean before the end of this decade. But we never paused long enough to doubt we

Catholics in Congress

Were you aware that 26% of the U.S. Senators identify themselves as Catholic as do more than 30% of the U.S. Representatives? That's 161 elected Catholics in the U.S. Congress . In addition, five of the sitting eight Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court identify themselves as Catholic. If President Obama's choice to fill the vacancy, Judge Sotomayor, is confirmed, then the ratio will rise to six of the nine are Catholic. In June of 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, issued "Catholics in Political Life" to assist those elected officials in bringing together their faith and policy choices. The focus of that statement was the sacredness of human life, as taught since the Church's founding. The entire document can be read here, Catholics in Political Life , or an easier to read version here, reprint . It states in part, "Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Those

Life: Imagine the Potential (3)

As we are preparing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission to the moon, CatholicVote.org has prepared another inspirational, memorable commercial celebrating Life. We are especially pleased to see that this ad will be running on television here in Houston for the next several weeks. "In anticipation of the 40th Anniversary this Monday, CatholicVote.org is preparing to launch web ads across the Internet to promote their new commercial. This historic anniversary is a perfect opportunity to show America, and the world, the power of every human life." Please help them spread the word and the amazing message. Life: Imagine the Potential .

Books, Books, and more Books

My nightstand has been taken over by books! I was laughing with Nick from The Catholic Company at the CNMC about how I couldn't buy anymore books right now because I have so many to read. Then he was laughing when he saw me walking around with a stack of new Patrick Madrid books at the Celebration. It's an addiction. Shhh, don't tell anyone. And, I just bought two more this week that I can't wait to read. What's in my stack I'm either currently reading or to be read, you ask? I found this last one in my car for times when I'm sitting in the dreaded carpool lines... Since I haven't started all of these books yet, I can't endorse or recommend them. How about, as I finish each book, I'll write a short review to post here? It will be my own 12 step plan (without the 12 steps) to help my book addiction. Oh, and let's keep this between us. I've made fun of my sister for years over her own book addict

Amazon Kindle

Of Sound Mind and Spirit is now available on Amazon Kindle !

Summer Faith Adventure

If you're like me, you just realized that half of Summer is over already and your “to-do list” is still a mile long. Did you forget to sign up the kids for VBS at the church? Don't fret, it is not too late to sign up for a free online VBS for the kids - Summer Faith Adventure. It is from the same great people who brought you Advent Adventure and Lenten Adventure. Sign up on their website, Holy Heroes , choose a week, and you receive "5 daily emails full of short videos, activities, prayers, songs, all-new coloring pages, quizzes, and puzzles, everything you need to have a summer camp in your own home or backyard." The last week for the Adventure is not until August 3rd! My kids and I really enjoyed their last two adventures and are looking forward to participating in this one starting Monday. But don't take our word for it, check out their really cute promotional video.

House Committee Votes to Lift Ban on Public Funding of Abortion in DC

Did you see this headline? NARAL Pro-Choice America Praises House Committee for Voting to Lift D.C. Abortion Ban You might be hard pressed to find this reported in the MSM... President Obama called for a repeal of the Dornan Amendment in his proposed budget and last month, the house subcommittee approved it. The Dornan Amendment is a provision in effect for most of the last 20 years that prohibits both federal and local funds from being used for abortions in the District of Columbia. Due to this drastic change allowing public funds to pay for abortions in D.C., pro-life members from both parties of the House Appropriations Committee put forth an amendment to the Budget which would have reinstated the Dornan Amendment. Late Tuesday night, a bipartisan vote struck down the Amendment, thus allowing public funding of abortion in D.C. in alignment with the President's wishes. There is only one more slight chance of stopping this change before it is permanently added to the fede

Obama meets Pope Benedict

As I sat reading about President Obama's upcoming meeting with Pope Benedict this Friday, I reflected on what could come out of their talk. Of all the topics to be discussed, it is assumed the Pope will speak to him about Life. Will it do any good? I found myself sitting, silently asking in prayer for a conversion of heart for President and Mrs. Obama on Life. As I chided myself for asking for a miracle, my prayer changed to simply ask for God's will to be done in that meeting. As I finished and turned back to my computer to read more news, I ran across a story on the SuzyB blog that directly addressed my feeling of despair in my prayer for conversion. "Even the staunchest of pro-abortion activists can have a change of heart. Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” from Roe v. Wade became pro-life after seeing a fetal development poster in 1995. Bernard Nathanson, an abortionist and one of the founders of National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (now known as NARAL Pro

Perspective

At the Catholic New Media Conference, I found myself pondering perspectives, or how one views things in relative importance. Andrew Walter, Director of Media Relations for the Knights of Columbus, introduced a new service provided by the KoC called Headline Bistro . You may have noticed that Lisa added the feed to the right sidebar on our blog last week. Headline Bistro, launched in August 2008, is not only a daily news aggregator, but also provides original articles and commentary on current events and social trends of importance. During the session it opened my eyes to how I can view the world and its news from a new perspective. How all our news can be seen through our faith if you just shift your perspective. Headline Bistro also reminds me that we are not alone in our faith and our view of the world. Pay attention to the headlines on the right side of our blog. You might be surprised at what you learn.

Not news?

Did you attend a Tea Party this weekend? While Lisa and I couldn't be at one, we were watching for news coverage. A search for news articles on the Houston tea party held downtown at Discovery Green yields a few blog reports. Dustin Sachs reports on Examiner.com that "Thousands of people showed up in the sweltering heat to rally support for their ideals and express their displeasure." A Houston Chronicle "Reader" blogger (ie: " reader offering her own perspective on a subject that interests her. The posts and opinions are her own and are not edited by the Chronicle .") called TexasSparkle did liveblogging and posted photos from the Houston tea party. The only news in our local newspaper, the Houston Chronicle , highlights Sen. Cornyn being boo-ed in Austin. I'm really concerned about the reporters and editors out there today. They write, "From Gilmer and Lufkin in East Texas to McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley, hundreds of people gat

When a Pope Meets a President

In anticipation of President Obama's meeting with Pope Benedict XVI next week, the USCCB Media blog has produced a very helpful list of all previous meetings between sitting U.S. Presidents and the Holy Father. USCCB Media Blog: When a Pope Meets a President I found it particularly interesting that no U.S. President met the Pope in the 19th century allowing Woodrow Wilson to be the first in 1919. What was the context for not meeting before 1919? Was it uncommon for heads of state to meet the Pope or just in the U.S.? Kennedy's Catholicism was a great concern during the 1960 election, with speculation that if elected the Vatican could hold power over the president. Consider now that President Reagan and President Clinton each met with the Pope four times, and President G.W. Bush met with him six times. I pray that this upcoming meeting leads to God's will being done in our country.

Centennial

Today marks the centennial of our family's arrival in the United States from Sicily. Little Grandma with her two-year old daughter arrived at Ellis Island on July 1, 1909 after a long and difficult twelve-day journey. They departed Sicily via Naples on the Duca di Genova , June 19, 1909 leaving behind Little Grandma's parents and three sisters. Her husband had arrived in Houston sixteen months earlier, joining his Uncle. Little Grandma's trip didn't end with her arrival at Ellis Island. She and the baby were detained for two weeks, unable to continue to Houston. The reason listed on the Detained Passenger List was rather common for the time: L.P.C. (Likely to become a public charge) – a young woman with little money traveling with a child and no one to meet her at the port. Little Grandpa had to take a ship from Galveston to New York to claim his wife and child. They were released on July 14, 1909 at 2:45 p.m. following a Special Inquiry Hearing. Little Grandma &a