Catholic Advocacy Day in Virginia

Assembly at Catholic Advocacy Day

Assembly at Catholic Advocacy Day

Hundreds of Catholics from across the Commonwealth of Virginia assembled today in Richmond to advocate for many concerns facing Catholic citizens.  Our parish, The Church of the Incarnation, organized a bus to take 31 people from our community to go and lobby our causes to our delegates.  We were joined and supported by the two Virginia Bishops, Bishop Paul Loverde (Arlington Diocese) & Bishop Francis DiLorenzo (Richmond Diocese).  There are many issues before the State Assembly this year of concern including:

  • Respect for Life (Abortion & Death Penalty)
  • Social Justice (Immigration, poverty)
  • Family Life and Education (Marriage)
  • Religious Freedom

There are currently 700,000 Catholics in Virginia and can be a strong voice in Richmond if everyone participates in faithful citizenship.  The Virginia Catholic Conference has a great website detailing all the bills and issues before the State Assembly.  If you sign up for their e-mail you will be alerted to important issues for Catholics in Virginia.  They also use a great system called CapWiz that offers citizens a great way to lobby their legislators for these important issues.  All you need to do is register one time and you will be given form letter e-mails about each issue that you can edit or add information and send with the click of a button with little effort.  Please help with a little of your time to make a BIG difference (Links below).

Meeting with Delegate David Toscano

Meeting with Delegate David Toscano

 

Meeting with Senator Creigh Deeds

Meeting with Senator Creigh Deeds

Bishop Francis DiLorenzo today put out a press release about concerns that the US Department of Health and Human Services will be requiring Catholic employers to provide health services of sterilization, abortion, and contraception.  Bishop DiLorenzo is very concerned about religious freedom.  The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have offered a response and have a webpage regarding the HHS Mandate:  US Bishops Webpage for HHS Mandate

Bishop Francis DiLorenzo

Bishop Francis DiLorenzo

Bishop Paul Loverde

Bishop Paul Loverde

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mass at Saint Peters for Catholic Advocacy Day

Mass at Saint Peters for Catholic Advocacy Day

LINKS:

Virginia Catholic Conference

List of current issues and bills from Virginia Catholic Conference

Faithful Citizenship (USCCB)

Richmond Sunlight (Resource for bills before Virginia General Assembly)

Diocese of Richmond

Diocese of Arlington

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Institute of Catholic Culture

Institute of Catholic Culture

The Institute of Catholic Culture is a great new organization dedicated to bringing some of the best speakers to share their knowledge and experience in matters of Catholic Faith and Teachings.  The Institute of Catholic Culture was founded in 2006 by Rev. Franklyn McAfee, S.T.D., and Deacon Sabatino Carnazzo, M.A., as an educational outreach project within the Office of Evangelization at Saint John the Beloved Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia. From its inception in 2006, the Institute has offered weekly seminars in Catholic history, philosophy and theology, with a strong emphasis on the study of Sacred Scripture.  The ICC has grown in popularity in the Washington, DC area and is now expanding its reach on the internet and though distribution of audio CDs from its prestigious speakers.

Fr. Robert Spitzer presentation at St. Anthony's in Falls Church, VA

Fr. Robert Spitzer presentation at St. Anthony’s in Falls Church, VA

I recently attended my first presentation with Fr. Robert Spitzer, who was presenting information about his book Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues.  This presentation was recorded on audio as well as broadcast LIVE on the internet.  ICC hope to offer the video presentations of their speakers on-line at a future date.  ICC currently offers many CDs from its speakers over the past six years for the modest donation of $3.00 or on-line for FREE.  Deacon Sabatino Carnazzo is a dynamic leader of this group, and has assembled a large number of volunteers to make this a inspiring organization that is bringing some of the best and brightest speakers to the public for FREE lectures.

Deacon Sabatino Carnazzo, Founding Exec. Director of ICC

Deacon Sabatino Carnazzo, Founding Exec. Director of ICC

There are many great speakers that the ICC has had over its six years including:  Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. (Founder, Ignatius Productions), Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R. (Founder, Franciscan Friars of the Renewal), Dr. Robert Moynihan, Ph.D. (Founder, Inside the Vatican Magazine), Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, S.T.D. (President, Christendom College), Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. (Founder, Ignatius Press), and Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., PhD. (President of Magis Institute).  Fr. Groeschel said about the ICC, “The Institute of Catholic Culture is a burning fire of hope, and a safe haven where the saving truths of the Catholic Faith are being taught with clarity!  I urge all who wish to know Jesus Christ and to meet His bride, the Catholic Church, to attend the educational and cultural programs offered by the institute.”

Video of Deacon Sabatino Carnazzo with Fr. Benedict Groeschel on EWTN’s Sunday Night Live:

I urge you to check out this great organization and to help donate funds to them if you are able to contribute.

LINKS

Institute of Catholic Culture (website)

ICC Media Library

Call To Holiness Blog about ICC Presentation with Fr. Robert Spitzer

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Ten Universal Principles

Ten Universal Principles

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was honored to attend a talk on Janaury 21st by Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D., who has recently authored a great book entitled Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues (Ignatius Press).  Father Spitzer received his Doctorate of Philosophy from the Catholic University of America and is a world-renowned scholar, author, and lecturer, who went on to serve as President of Gonzaga University, and founded seven major national institutes, and helped produce a number of television series for EWTN.  Father Spitzer currently heads the Magis Institute, an organization dedicated to public education on the relationship among the disciplines of physics, philosophy, reason, and faith, and the Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership, which works with corporations, individuals and nonprofit organizations in the area of ethics education.  Father Spitzer gave a great speech this weekend at St. Anthony’s Parish in Falls Church, Virginia to a packed house of over 200 people sponsored by the Institute of Catholic Culture.  In the crowd were many people from the Washington DC area, as well as people from around the country in town for the March for Life.

Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.

Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.

Father Spitzer’s book demonstrates that there are Ten Universal Principles that are secular, and for a secular culture.  I listened also to a talk that Father Spitzer had with Cardinal-elect Timothy Dolan on XM Satellite Radio-Catholic Channel, in which he said that a society will not thrive if it is missing any one of these essential principles.  Father Spitzer elegantly shows in his book that these ten principles are needed to help make the case for right to life, death penalty, poverty, marriage, and immigration issues that are close to the heart of Christians and Catholics, but also apply to all societies.  Father Spitzer brings to life many examples in history that help make his point.  He makes excellent references to compare the Dred Scott Decision with the Roe v. Wade Decision, and the need for personhood to be established by the courts and also using modern science and genetics.  He notes that both Supreme Court decision violated all ten principles.  This book is a must-read for all people concerned about making our world a better place to live with each other for prosperity, peace, goodness, liberty, and faith.  This book offers the best arguments for the pro-life movement, death penalty, and making a good society using many philosophers, theologians, and scientists throughout history to make his case.  If you want to be able to make your point about these important subjects in conversation with peers and acquaintances, then you must know this book.

The Ten Universal Principles:

I. Principles of Reason

1) The Principle of Complete Explanation (Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle) The best opinion or theory is the one that explains the most data.

2) The Principle of Noncontradiction (Plato and Aristotle) Valid opinions or theories have no internal contradictions

3) The Principle of Objective Evidence (Plato and Aristotle) Nonarbitrary opinions or theories are based upon publicly verifiable evidence

II. Principles of Ethics

4) The Principle of Nonmaleficence (Jesus, Moses, and worldwide religious traditions) Aviod unnecessary harms; if a harm is unavoidable, minimize it.  Silver Rule:  Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you.

5) The Principle of Consistent Ends and Means (Saint Augustine)  The end does not justify the means.

6) The Principle of Full Human Potential (Las Casas)  Every human being (or group of human beings) deserves to be valued according to the full level of human development, not according to the level of development currently achieved.

III. Principles of Justice and Natural Rights

7) The Principle of Natural Rights (Suarez, Locke, Jefferson, and Paine)  All human beings possess in themselves (by virtue of their existence alone) the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property ownership; no government gives these rights, and no government can take them away.

8) The Principle of the Fundamentality of Rights (Suarez, Locke, and Jefferson) The more fundamental right is the one which is necessary for the possibility of the other; where there is conflict, we should resolve in favor of the more fundamental right.

9) The Principle of the Limits to Freedom (Locke and Montesquieu) One person’s (or group’s) freedoms cannot impose undue burdens upon other persons (or groups).

IV. Fundamental Principle of Identity and Culture

10) The Principle of Beneficence (Jesus) Aim at optimal contribution to others and society.  The Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Father Spitzer’s Principles and & Culture Curriculum DVD trailer & Cosmic Origins DVD trailer:

LINKS

Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues (Ignatius Press) (Amazon)

Healing The Culture (Changing the Way People Look at Life)

Magis Institute

Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership

Institute of Catholic Culture

March for Life

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Christian Unity Week

Christian Unity Cross

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the week of prayer for Christian Unity (January 15-22, 2012).  Fr. James F. Loughran, S.A. writes for American Catholic, “It started in 1908, at Graymoor, in Garrison, New York, a small group of Franciscans in the Episcopal Church, led by Father Paul Wattson and Mother Lurana White—cofounders of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement—began the annual observance of a Church Unity Octave, eight days of prayer specifically for the “reunion” of the Church, from January 18 to 25.

It was the contention of their Society of the Atonement, and several other Anglicans, that the Church of England and all Anglicans (Episcopalians) should regain their Catholic identities and seek “reunion” of some kind with the Bishop of Rome. They felt that all the other churches, communities and denominations should pray for reunion with Rome, and, in turn, Rome should pray for these other Christians to seek reunion with her. The Society of the Atonement found its answer for unity with Rome by entering into full communion in 1909.”

Today the prayers for Christian Unity are shared among the Roman Catholics, Eastern and Orthodox Catholics, Protestants, and all Christian Faiths.  It amazes me that there are now 38,000 denominations of Christians.  I am not sure that Jesus had in mind that his church would have so many divisions.  Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor Blessed Pope John Paul II have began work to help unify the Christian Faiths.

Pope Benedict XVI & Bishop Rowan Williams

Pope Benedict XVI & Bishop Rowan Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would urge you to consider signing a petition to ask all the Christian leaders agree on having Easter Celebrated on the same day on earth.  This would show Christian Unity, and help heal the divisions among Christians.  Thanks to Father Rodrick Vonhogen for turning my attention to this petition that can be signed at www.onedate.org

OneDate.org

www.onedate.org

I am praying for more Christian Unity this year and years ahead, and I hope we all find Joy and Peace and a love of Christ together.

LINKS

American Catholic – Christian Unity

Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute

One Date (sign petition for One Date for Easter)

Vatican Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

List of World’s Christian Denominations (Wikipedia)

 

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CatholicVote.org

CatholicVote

 

 

CatholicVote.org is a great new website that offers resources and information to help advocate for Catholic issues on life, education, faith, marriage, and social justice.  It offers  videos, blogs, contact info, and resources to rally the Catholic voters and make a strong voice in America.  CatholicVote also uses the social media including Facebook, You Tube, and Twitter.

CatholicVote App

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CatholicVote now offers the power of its website as a mobile App for the iPhone and Droid platforms.

Catholic Activism In Your Hands

“CatholicVote is lay movement, foremost, of committed Catholics who are passionate about living out the truths proclaimed by Christ and His Church in the modern world. CatholicVote is also a community of patriotic Americans who believe our nation’s founding principles are good and true, and worth fighting for. Using the latest techonology, Catholic Vote Mobile will help mobilize and unify the Catholic voting community.”  Help spread the word about this useful resource.

Following is a great You Tube video about the gains made in 2011:

Top Ten Reasons for Hope – 2011 (You Tube Video)

LINKS

CatholicVote Website

CatholicVote App (iPhone & Droid)

Previous Blog about Faithful Citizenship

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The Catholicism Series

Catholicism Series

Come and see a special new series and see Catholicism in a new light!  If you live in Central Virginia, you should definitely come to see this great documentary about the Catholic Faith.  My parish, The Church of the Incarnation, is inviting the entire community to come see this important project.  There will be FREE childcare and a coffeehouse at each showing.  This has been showing on 80 PBS TV stations across America, but none of the Virginia PBS stations picked it up.  Each episode is about a theme in Catholicism and does not need to be seen in order, so don’t feel obligated to see them all–BUT you are welcome to come to every viewing.  We hope that Catholics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, other faiths, and non-believers will all come and take something meaningful away from this experience.

Father Robert Barron has travelled the globe over the past five years to film the many places and cultures of the Catholic Faith.  It shows the beauty, goodness, history, and truth of Catholicism in amazing High Definition.  Preview below and at www.catholicismseries.com

January 11 – Episode 1 Amazed & Afraid: Revelation that God Become Man

January 25 – Episode 2 Happy We Are: The Teachings of Jesus

February 8 – Episode 3 The Ineffable Mystery of God

March 7 – Episode 4 Mary, The Mother of God

March 21 – Episode 5 Peter, Paul and the Missionary Adventure

April 4 – Episode 6 The Mystical Union of Christ and the Church

April 18 – Episode 7 The Mystery of the Church’s Sacrament and Worship

May 2 – Episode 8 The Communion of Saints

May 16 – Episode 9 Prayer and the Life of the Spirit

May 30 – Episode 10 World Without End: The Last Things

EVERYONE in the community is welcome !!

“This is the most important media project in the history of the Catholic Church in America. A stimulating and compelling exploration of the spiritual, moral, and intellectual riches of the Catholic world. “ -George Weigel, Biographer of Blessed John Paul II

Church of the Incarnation

 

 

1465 Incarnation Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22901

(434) 973-4381

LINKS

Catholicism Series

Word On Fire Website

Word On Fire Key (More clips of Catholicism & Faith Clips & Fr. Barron’s You Tube videos)

Church of the Incarnation

 

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New Evangelizers

New Evangelizers

Happy New Year!  This is a promising new year ahead and even more so with the start of a new website called New Evangelizers.  Greg & Jennifer Willits from Georgia have been hard at work for many years in many forms of Catholic New Media.  They first started the Rosary Army in 2003 to show people how to make their own twine-knotted Rosaries, and help spread the faith through this simple prayer and gift to others.  They then started podcasting about Catholic family life and this grew into a collaboration with Father Vonhogen to start the Star Quest Production Network (SQPN).  Greg & Jennifer are now heard on Sirius/XM Radio with their show on The Catholic Channel called Catholics Next Door.  They now have six separate ministries that are now combined into this one website to promote what both Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have called on all faithful — to help with The New Evangelization.  This website offers you great ideas and offers great items to give away to help promote The Catholic Faith.

Fr. Roderick Vonhogen & Greg Willits

Fr. Roderick Vonhogen & Greg Willits at 2011 CNMC

I first met both Father Roderick Vonhogen and Greg Willits this past October at the annual Catholic New Media Conference in Kansas City.  They are both full of energy and ideas and it is no wonder they have both become power-houses in Catholic New Media.  Greg & Jennifer Willits are an amazing couple as they live a busy life raising five children and have worked very hard to start six meaningful ministries.

New Evangelizers brings SIX ministries together under one roof:

New Evangelizers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) New Evangelizers – New Evangelizers provides free tools and resources to help Catholics know their faith, live their faith, and share their faith more effectively to empower them to take leading roles in the New Evangelization and encourage others to do the same.

Rosary Army

2) Rosary Army – The Rosary Army was started in 2003 and has grown into a national aspostolate that has made and given away thousands of Rosaries.  My local Secular Franciscan Order has recently begun to make our own Crown Rosaries to pray and give away.  The materials are easy and inexpensive to get from suppliers on the website, and the handouts and videos make them easy to produce.  Pictured below is the first Franciscan Crown Rosary made by one of our members.  Note the Franciscan Rosary has seven decades and also two additional Hail Marys to represent the 72 years that Mary lived on earth.  Guide for praying a Franciscan Crown Rosary.

Crown Rosary

7-Decade Franciscan Crown Rosary

Catholics Next Door

3) Catholics Next Door – Is a great radio show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio from 1-4pm on the weekdays and highlights on the weekends.  Greg and Jennifer have a lively show with guests, call-ins, and games with listeners who are funny,  friendly, and inspirational to their audience.

That Catholic Show

4) That Catholic Show – This is a DVD series that offers a light-hearted catechism in video  form hosted by Jennifer Willits.  There are currently nine episodes available on a FREE DVD and more available for evangelization with FREE shipping.  Check out their latest video below about the New Evangelization.

Total Consecration

5) Total Consecration – The Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary is a 33-Day faith-filled experience started by Saint Louis-Marie Grognion de Montfort.   I can attest that this is a wonderful set of prayers with the daily rosary that will bring you closer to your faith.  I also wrote about this in a previous blog Our Lady of the Rosary.

Promote Catholicism

6) Promote Catholicism – Greg Willits began a Facebook Page last year requesting that people send in their favorite Catholic New Media.  It was a huge success that produced a comprehensive list including:  290 blogs, 88 podcasts, 199 websites, 77 facebook pages, 42 print and/or online magazines and news sources, 43 Apps, 171 books, 26 companies, 30 music sites and/or musicians, 57 channels/stations/shows, and 75 additional miscellanea including cool Catholic folks to follow on Twitter, cool Catholic things to see on Youtube and other assorted Catholic coolness.   Greg is tentatively scheduled to have another Promote Catholicism Day on March 15, 2012 which should make this list grow even larger.  At least one larger, as my blog did not start until May 2011 and I definitely be submitting the Call To Holiness Blog.

Congratulations to Greg & Jennifer Willits and all the New Evangelizing Team for putting together a great resource that will help many faithful to heed the call to holiness and new evangelization.  I pray that all six ministries will bear fruit for years to come.

LINKS

New Evangelizers website

Promote Catholicism 2011 Listings

Sirius/XM Radio Catholic Channel website

Star Quest Production Network (SQPN)

 

 

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