Two years ago when the new young pastor of St. Anthony di Padua Church in Fitchburg Massachusetts was forced out of the parish by a letter writing campaign by some individuals in the parish that somehow convinced the Bishop to move the young priest despite the lack of any wrongdoing I wrote a list of who the biggest losers were. this was number 7:
St. Anthony’s School: Our Elementary School will be trading a young dynamic priest, who was the chaplain of the Fitchburg Fire Department. A priest from the video game, email and cell phone era for a priest in his 60’s. Boy that’s going to be a draw for young families choosing between the catholic schools in the area. And hey, if parents if you have a choice between enrolling your kid in a Catholic school where the parish is divided or a school where it is not, where are you going to go?
Saint Anthony School will close after the end of this school year, Rev. Leo-Paul LeBlanc said Tuesday.
Citing decreased enrollment, LeBlanc said the elementary and middle school will not reopen next fall after 66 years educating members of the city’s Catholic community.
“The numbers of enrolled students simply cannot support the financial responsibilities that would be necessary to operate and provide a quality education we have prided ourselves on for our students,” LeBlanc wrote in a letter sent to parents on Tuesday.
Amazingly the article at the Sentinal and Enterprise has absolutly no mention of the turmoil that turned a school that five years ago had waiting lists and was raising funds for an expansion into one where parents don’t want to send their kids and to put it off to fewer nuns and rising costs is disengunious at best. The parish has shot itself in the foot and in so doing has thrown away the hard work of our father and grandfathers who had a lot less that us but managed to build a parish and a school for their kids.
As longtime readers might know my radio show DaTechGuy on DaRadio ended three years ago and since last year it has been replaced by a podcast titled DaTechGuy off DaRadio which is still carried online by the 405media , emailed to subscribers when it’s done and available on this site (usually by Wednesday) by clicking on the fedora in the upper right corner.
What you might not know is two years ago I recorded a pilot series (under my own name Peter Ingemi) for WQPH 89.3 Catholic Radio on prayer called Your Prayer Intentions where I talk prayer and scripture and then pray.
This week I was informed by WQPH that they have decided to pick up the series and will be airing the already recorded and airing them Saturdays starting this weekend, consequently they will be wanting me to record new episodes as soon as practicable.
So keep an ear open for WQPH 89.3 on Saturdays and Catch Your Prayer Intentions and if you HAVE a prayer intention that you’d like me to pray for either on the air or off, email me here at prayerrequests at DaTechGuyblog dot com and I will include said intentions in my prayers during the show. If you have prayer intentions and do not want them aired but still want them prayed for make sure that is noted in your email.
As the naem of the show implies this show is all about souls and the church, there will be nothing political about it, but don’t worry, if you are looking for our insightful commentary concerning the events of the week DaTechGuy off DaRadio will still be carrying on with two hours of talk and thought for you to enjoy.
The media myths surrounding the Vietnam War continue to shape U.S. policy in Asia and throughout the world.
As I recently wandered through Vietnam, particularly the area near the DMZ, or the demilitarized zone that separated North and South Vietnam, I couldn’t help but think how media narratives had changed the course of the war and Vietnam’s history. Here are some important facts that must be understood.
First, the 1968 Tet Offensive was a huge military defeat for the Communists.
Second, CBS anchor Walter Cronkite had little to do with the decisions to wind down U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
Third, the “napalm girl”—a memorable photograph during the war–had nothing to do with U.S. forces.
Finally, after more than 40 years of Communist rule, the people of Vietnam are not better off.
Vietnam veteran James Willbanks, a noted military historian, provides an interesting analysis of the Tet Offensive, particularly in Hue, the former royal capital of Vietnam.
Tet, the lunar New Year began on Jan. 31, 1968, when Communist forces attacked multiple locales, including Hue, which was geographically situated in South Vietnam but close to the border with North Vietnam. By the time the battle of Hue ended a month later, more than 40 percent of the buildings were damaged and more than 100,000 people were homeless. More important, the North Vietnamese had lost the battle but had executed nearly 3,000 people with ties to the South Vietnamese government. For more background, see http://www.historynet.com/tet-what-really-happened-at-hue.htm
All told, the Tet Offensive was a massive failure for the Communists. The change from guerrilla tactics to frontal assaults against the U.S. and South Vietnamese military, resulted in only minimal gains. Moreover, the Communists lost nearly a quarter of its battle-ready troops.
What happened, however, was an onslaught of news reports and photos that showed, among other things, the U.S. embassy in Saigon under assault. It made little difference that the Marines had successfully fought back, and the U.S. military recaptured all the territory and more.
The Communists were described as despondent because of the failure of Tet. But the PR started to roll in that the Communists had effectively taken the battle to the Americans and the South Vietnamese Army. Then the so-called “Cronkite moment” happened. CBS anchor Cronkite said during a news broadcast on February 27, 1968, that “we have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds.” He added, “We are mired in a stalemate that could only be ended by negotiation, not victory.”
As my friend and colleague, W. Joseph Campbell, notes in his excellent book, “Getting It Wrong,” Cronkite had little influence on Johnson’s thinking. “In the days and weeks after the Cronkite program, Johnson was adamant in defending his Vietnam policy. On multiple occasions during that time, the president in effect brushed aside Cronkite’s downbeat assessment and sought to rally support for the war effort. At a time when Cronkite’s views should have been most potent, the president remained openly and tenaciously hawkish on the war.” For more, see https://mediamythalert.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/after-cronkite-moment-lbj-doubled-down-on-viet-policy/
But the Communists had won the PR battle–often based on media myths–as Americans turned against the war, and LBJ’s confidantes followed the public’s view.
Campbell also makes short shrift of the claim that the U.S. military was responsible for the “napalm girl” attack. Associated Press photographer Nick Ut took one of the most memorable photographs of the Vietnam War — the image of a 9-year-old girl screaming in terror as she fled from a misdirected napalm attack. The AP said the famous photo, taken June 8, 1972, “communicated the horrors of the Vietnam War in a way words could never describe, helping to end one of the most divisive wars in American history.”
But the plane was from the South Vietnam military and flown by a South Vietnamese pilot.
Some excellent reporting occurred during the Vietnam War, but what seems to stick in the American psyche about Tet, Cronkite and the napalm photo are mostly wrong—media myths like many we see today.
Finally, Vietnam is a mess. When your currency is valued at 22,000 dong to the dollar, you’ve got problems. People openly complain about the lack of full-time jobs except in the government. In 2011, Nguyen Phu Trong was appointed secretary general of the Communist Party. He served as the party’s chief ideologue before. That doesn’t bode well for solving the problems of the country.
A personal note: As the only American on board a trip to the DMZ, I tried to counter the propaganda of the guide, a committed Communist, about the information she was providing. But the other members of the tour–Brits, Canadians, French and Vietnamese–had already embraced the myths even though most of them were in their 20s and 30s.
Moreover, I had a wonderful time seeing the historic sites of Hue and Hoi An, a lovely town south of Danang, in central Vietnam. I met many courteous and friendly people during my visit. The attitude toward me as an American was mostly curiosity and certainly not condemnation. I stopped by a Catholic church—the religion that remains that of an estimated 20 percent of the population–and the members greeted me with enthusiasm. I wish the people, not the government, well.
Two years ago in July after over 50 years I left St. Anthony Di Padua Parish in Fitchburg Massachusetts for a different parish. This was not lightly done, my parents were married there, I and all my brothers and sisters were baptized there, we all went to the parish school, we all received our first communion there, I was married there, my sons went to the school and I am a charter member of the Knights of Columbus council there and I retain that membership along with membership of the Madonna Della Cava society at that parish.
Last night I attended a meeting of the Madonna Della Cava society to plan this years festival and at the meeting found out that hot on the heels of the news that our Parish School was dropping grades 4-8 and replacing them with preschool, St. Anthony’s was about to get their 4th pastor since 2014. In short, the turmoil that caused me to leave the parish continues unabated.
I wrote about the causes of these nonsensical self inflicted wounds in June of 2015 but rather than rehash the past it it time to answer the only question on the floor that matters: What can be done to end it?
I have heard various secular suggestions about fundraising and attempt to attract people and while I have no objection to these plans nor would I discourage any of them I think we are forgetting that the root of of why people join a church.
It’s not secular, there are plenty of secular clubs with active social calendars and many private schools with excellent programs to educate the young.
No the solution is spiritual, it’s a matter of faith, people join a parish to deepen their faith and grow close to Christ and send their kids to a Catholic school to increase their faith and provide a moral center. St. Anthony’s wants to attract faithful Catholics back to the parish they need a solution based on faith because the battle that is being lost in the parish is a spiritual one and unless that spiritual enemy is checked they are lost. What’s needed is a spiritual plan of action!
When they came to the crowd a man approached, knelt down before him, and said, “Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me.” Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured.
Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?”
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.” (Emphasis Mine)
So prayer and fasting is the answer, but what prayer and what fasting?
Lucky for us Catholics there is an obvious choice for a prayer to counter the works of the Devil, the Rosary. Furthermore there is an obvious decade to offer provided to us by St. John Paul II the 3rd Luminous mystery The Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven. For what is the function of a Catholic Church or a Catholic School but to proclaim the Kingdom to those who attend?
As for fasting there is another obvious choice provided via one of the parish patriots the Madonna Della Cava. There is a traditional devotion usually done at age 13 where one make a vow to abstain from meat on Wednesday’s for life in honor of the Madonna Della Cava. It’s been practiced in my family dating back to at least the 19th century. My mother took the vow at age 13 (1937) and kept it through her life, Both of my sons took the vow at 13 and while I was decades late to join I am in my 13th year of this weekly fast from meat in honor of La Madonna Della Cava.
So for those looking to do something about the state of affairs at St. Anthony’s Parish I humbly offer the following suggestions in the form of a Vow to Our Lady.
A perpetual vow to pray the 3rd Luminous mystery daily (this would be in addition to any such prayers already made).
A perpetual vow to abstain from meat on Wednesdays in honor of La Madonna Della Cava.
Both of these vows should be made for the intention of St. Anthony’s Parish that God may bless it and preserve it.
These would be individual vows for parishioners to make, they could be declared publicly or made privately as for a public collective effort I would suggest that at the end of every mass celebrated at the Parish the following prayer be offered:
Oh God of mercy, as we reach out to those seeking you, send your Holy Spirit on this parish to renew us in faith. Help us to spread the good news of the Gospel by loving words and caring deeds so that those who have drifted away may be drawn to your church and follow the way of your son Jesus, who is the Way the Truth and the Light. We make our prayer through Jesus our Lord. Amen.
A Catholic Church and a Catholic School should be all about the power of faith in God and the necessity of prayer to him. I submit and suggest this is an excellent opportunity to actively follow the path Christ himself as suggested and have faith in that path.
There are many things that we can do in response to the Press/Democrat/Liberal Jihad on the Trump administration.
We can treat Democrats in the same way they do Trump and hold them to the same legal standards (special prosecutors at the drop of a hat , massive protests whenever they try to speak, lawsuits whenever possible ) in the hopes that being on the receiving end of Democrat treatment might cause them to temper their behavior in the same way that directly confronting Antifa in Berkeley suddenly caused the university and the city to decide enforcing the law was a good idea.
But if you claim Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular there is one avenue that we need to be active on in terms of defending this administration.
We need to be praying for this president and his administration on a daily basis, asking God to protect and inspire it toward his will, because as St. Paul noted we are fighting against more than earthly powers and if we are to prevail we need to make this fight on all fronts.
For myself as part of my daily 2 hour prayer routine I offer the 3rd Sorrowful mystery the Crowning with Thorns for President Trump and this administration. It is an appropriate choice not only because of the treatment of said administration by the press which takes joy in their attempts to inflict pain and humiliation on it but because “contempt of the world” that is, contempt for what the desires and pressures of the world when serving God is the traditional intention in St. Louis De Montfort famous volume on praying the Rosary.
There are some who might discount such an action as many people think of their Christian faith as a social club that meets on Sundays.
But if you actually believe in the truth of Christianity and in what Christ actually said this is not only logical and rational but necessary if we want things to improve.
So if you are a Catholic (or even if you are not) I invite you to join me in this daily devotion for the sake of this administration and by extension for our common country.
I’m not old enough to remember Vatican II. As I grew up, I sometimes heard people talk about a “Latin Mass,” but I never attended one until well after I graduated college. That’s when I started teaching Catechism at our local church, and in order to make sure I could answer 9th grader questions, I researched a lot before each class.
I found a cool mixture of tradition and reverence at the Tridentine Mass. I grew up with the Novus Ordo, but I attend both the Tridentine Mass and Novus Ordo, depending on what makes the most sense for my family at the time. I’ve even gone to Eastern Rite churches when I travel. To me, the Mass was always about the miracle: the transubstantiation of bread into the Body of Christ.
Sadly, I feel alone in thinking this way. A storm brews inside the Catholic Church. On one side are the so-called “traditionalists,” who treat the Novus Ordo as heresy. The other side has the “progressives,” who believe the Church needs to modernize for the 21st century.
I get caught in the middle of this storm. My in-laws never attended my wedding because I wasn’t “Catholic enough” (read: attends the Novus Ordo). I bristle when people complain about “rad trads,” and then tell me they are OK with artificial birth control and abortion. It’s aggravating, and unfortunately I have few friends that I pleasantly converse with about my Catholic faith.
But this whole debate is really a fallacy, because being Catholic has absolutely nothing to do with what language the Mass is said in. I’ve met wonderful people on both sides of this debate, and it greatly bothers me that people spend their time vilifying others with all the evil that already exists in the world.
For so-called traditionalists (or “rad trads,” or whatever other silly titles they have), your blanket judgement of people that attend a Mass in vernacular is ridiculous. Jesus didn’t give us a rigid Mass structure, he gave us guidance and the Church built a Mass, which has evolved over time, even before the Tridentine Mass came into existence. So don’t lecture me how you are the original Mass, unless you want to roll back to saying the Mass in Aramaic.
For so-called progressives, I’m even more dismayed. So little is expected of us as Catholics: weekly Mass, regular Confession, follow basic Church teachings, pray regularly and teach your kids about the faith. When you consider that in many places you can’t attend Church without risk of death, these requirements are a small price to pay for salvation. Yet over the past month here at my local church I’ve seen:
A bulletin announcement for parents picking up kids from Catechism, asking them to please attend Mass with their kids.
A lasy in front of me at Mass constantly checking Facebook on her phone during Mass.
People regularly showing up late to Mass and leaving early (get an alarm clock perhaps?).
Folks coming into the pew in front of me while I’m praying and talking loudly.
People shaming a mother for bringing her kids to Mass when they make one tiny peep of noise…sadly, the same loud people that interrupted my prayer earlier.
And I’m not trying to call out my local Church, because I’ve seen similar things elsewhere.
For both sides, you all are being played by an atheist-minded media hell-bent on tearing the Church apart from the inside. This media gleefullyaltersquotesfrom Pope Francis to get peopleriled up. It dramatizes Church business like the Synod of Bishops on the Family. I think I spend more time proving that what the media says is wrong to people than I do talking about how much I love the Church.
And that is the problem. We’ve become so focused on hating each other we often forget that the Church is supposed to bring people together, to help us overcome the daily temptation to sin, and to be our supernatural support structure. We’re so busy arguing about who is better that we forget to see the good in others. We’ve been corrupted by the world around us, rather than changing the world for the better.
I encourage you to change the status quo. If you’ve never attended a Tridentine Mass, find one and go. Same for Novus Ordo. Talk to those Catholics after Mass. Volunteer to teach Catechism and build young adults who are strong in their faith and knowledge of the Church. Turn off your phone and pray peacefully on Sunday. Set a good example, not just at Church, but whenever you walk out into the world.
Be that light to the world that Jesus wanted us to be.
This post represents the views of the author and not the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.
The final day of Fr. Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life’s visit to Boston sponsored by WQPH and Prayers for life was the biggest.
He spent the morning with the little sisters of the poor before heading over to the Our Lady Queen of the Universe Shrine in Boston run by the sons of Divine Providence across from the Don Orione House.
It is an impressive shrine that both overlooks Boston and air airport from the top of the hill which is marked by a huge statue of our lady and a high tower overlooking the city
Before Father arrived to celebrate the 4:30 the assembled pilgrims took confession for Divine Mercy Sunday. After mass they assembled downstairs for Dinner where Fr. gave the blessing
and gave his final speech of the trip
I recorded it in two parts
I also managed to get a 2nd interview with Fr Emanuel whose 1st interview was cut off
and here are some assorted clips from the day
After dinner and the speech the party processed to the ground where there was a procession with the Pro-Life image of divine mercy (the wind did not play ball as it kept the candles unlit).
After the Rosary was complete a most unexpected twist took place.
The tower has been closed to the public for a full decade due to the need for repairs but we were informed that Fr. and the image of Divine mercy would be allowed to go to the top to bless and consecrate the city. We where however unable to enter through the front door as none of the keys were working.
So we made our way to an elevator that reached the tower that was normally locked out.
It was a tight fit with the image and the photographers and Fr Imbarrato
but we eventually made it to the top of the tower overlooking the city and Fr. prayed the consecration.
This brought an official end to the visit and Fr. Imbarrato sat for a final interview when it was all done.
There is one interesting footnote, both Mary Ann Harold and Fr. Imbarrato got a sense during the prayers that it was the desire of Our Lord and Lady to restore the Shrine. At the time it was built Boston was a faithful Catholic City and Massachusetts was a State known for it’s faith, as the Shrine has fallen into disrepair so has the faith of the city and the abominations that have come out of the state to affect the entire country and the world are too numerous to mention here.
So while I as always hope you might kick in a few buck to DaTipJar to make up for the cost of days of work missed and my time perhaps it might be a better use of your funds to raise the funds necessary to make this shrine what it once was, and perhaps help make Boston the city of faith it once was too.
All of this is paid for by you. If you think taking two days off without pay and covering Fr Imbarrato in Medford, Fitchburg and Boston (twice) is worthwhile and would like to help me make up the costs, pay our writers and make our annual goal consider subscribing and become (if you wish) a listed as a Friend of DaTechguy blog
Remember all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.
And of course if you want to give a one shot hit (and help pay DaWife’s medical bills) you can hit DaTipJar
If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.
Full disclosure: I struggle with sin to the point where both today and yesterday when this post was written I had to skip communion at daily Mass because I need confession.
There are a lot of reasons to think that Stephen’s Colbert’s vulgar rant against Trump was a bad idea.
First of all it’s cheap comedy, it takes no effort to make a vulgar joke. 2nd of all it’s demeaning to a major network to be this crude on their primary late-night show. Third of all it’s is disrespectful to the office of the presidency and an example the decay of our culture.
For me it’s something quite different
One thing about Stephen Colbert is he is a very public Catholic, here is him going Catholic with Patrica Heaton:
And here is one with America Magazine
Full disclosure I’m not big on America Magazine
He also has been known to publicly invite people, famous people back to the faith.
Or put simply he is a very public Catholic who wears his faith on his sleeve.
And that’s why that vulgar Trump joke is so bad.
He didn’t just do something wrong and beneath him but did it as a known very public member of the faith, even worse he didn’t have the courage to say to his writers: “You know I think this crosses the line and as a public Catholic I shouldn’t do it.” That cowardice is the worst of vices as it drives people, even devout people to sin more than anything else. Cowardice, the unwillingness call out sin, invariably leads to something worse.
Now it’s true that a private sin, like my own are no better than public one and can be even more dangerous in the sense that the lack of public embarrassment makes it easier to repeat and harder to fight and the plank in your own eye argument is not an unfair one.
But to do something like this in public brings disrepute on the faith itself.
Some people think Colbert should be fired.
I think it’s an excellent opportunity to display repentance and the importance of sacramental confession and show that whatever ones sins if you are willing to go to confession repent and work to do better, you can start over. As the Pope said
God never tires of offering His forgiveness each time we ask for it.