Last week I saw a story about Muslims demanding prayer breaks during work

Outraged Muslims are reportedly planning a May 1 demonstration at the Amazon headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

The company is under fire after several Muslim security guards demanded time and space to pray five times a day, while on the job.

The guards contend in a lawsuit filed this week that the subcontractor who employs them does not appropriately accommodate their faith and retaliates against those who speak out..

Now I have no problem with people worshiping God as they see fit (as long as killing me and oppressing others is not a part of that worship) but it seems to me we are forgetting something that Amazon had better take into consideration before they make any deal.

It had better include us Catholics.

We pray too and if followers of Islam are given specific prayer breaks there are specific time that Catholics will need as well.

The Angelus

This is prayed three times a day 6 AM, 6 PM and Noon. It is a very short set of prayers that devout Catholics pray daily. It’s also why you hear Church bells at 6 AM, 6 PM and Noon. If Our Muslim brothers are given prayer times then Naturally we Catholics will need to pause work to pray the angelus as well.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Yesterday was the feast of Divine Mercy but at 3 PM every day we are called upon to recall Christ’s Boundless mercy at the hour of his Crucifixion.

The Chaplet takes about 10-15 minutes max (I generally can pray it in 5 or less). The details of the prayer, propagated by St. Faustina and St. Pope John Paul II are here.

The Divine office:

This is a series of prayers that Priests are expected to make daily but many lay people pray it as well. There are a series of prayers and reading such people pray daily. Details here..

So Amazon while I have no problem if you choose to allow devout Muslims to worship God as they see fit on the job if these Devout Muslims are accommodated surely these devout Catholics certainly need to be accommodated as well.

Because if they’re not then obviously that would be discrimination on the basis of religion and I’m sure you at Amazon, particularly those of you in the Amazon legal department, would hate for that to be the case.

Exit Question. I don’t claim expertise on all the various protestant denominations out there but if you dear reader belong to a denomination that has a regular daily prayer routine surely you need to be accommodated as well, don’t you?


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Olimometer 2.52

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Fr Imbarrato and the Lord

On Saturday afternoon drivers on Main Street in Fitchburg Massachusetts saw a sight they had likely not seen before.

Fr Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for Life and sometimes EWTN personality was in Fitchburg from New Mexico for the 2nd of three days in Massachusetts invited by WQPH 89.3 FM. Both Friday and Sunday would involve events and dinners in the Boston area but after a breakfast in Medford the rest of Saturday belonged to Fitchburg and it was an active one

He would celebrate daily mass at St. Bernards Parish at St. Camillus Church at noon, he would be the guest of honor at a lunch at Slattery’s. He would celebrate the Divine Mercy Vigil mass at the now closed Madonna of the Holy Rosary and would hear so many confessions that evening that it would delay the Dinner at that’s church’s hall and his speech there.

But the Highlight of the day and indeed his trip was to come at 2:30 when he would lead that most Catholic and most rare of events at least around here, a Eucharistic Procession where the Holy Eucharistic the actual Body blood soul and divinity of Christ would be actually be carried in full display along the street.

It was three years ago that I had covered a Eucharistic Procession from MIT to Harvard in response to the Satanic Black Mass. Saturday’s event would not be as dramatic but the target was just as evil, the Planned Parenthood location in Fitchburg which services the Worcester location to facilitate the murder and dismemberment of pre-born babies for financial gain.

at 2:30 a small crowd gathered at the old City hall including a contingent from the Knights of Columbus council #15962 St. Anthony of Padua Chapter Fr Imbarrato in full regalia held the Monstrance containing the host and began the prayers of adoration. And led by a banner calling for Rosaries to be prayed for America and an image of Divine Mercy with two angels cradling victims of abortion Fr. and the Crowd began to process from City Hall to Planned Parenthood.

In addition to this video a second person was streaming the procession live to Fr. Imbarrato’s facebook page where 2000 people watched and prayed live with us as we marched down the street praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday.

There were many curious reactions as the procession continued. A young girl at Espresso’s Pizza took pictures or videos with her camera as we passed. Drivers down main street slowed as they watched us, some visibly surprised at the sight of the blessed sacrament and the event drew curious looks from an art gallery where a small event was taking place at the same time.

It took about 11 minutes for the crowd of 70-80 accompanied unseen by the two thousand plus on the life stream to get to the planned parenthood location across from the parking lot where I had parked.

Unlike previous events there was no sign of counter protestors nor was there any sign of the press which was odd as fliers for the event had been distributed in the area for months. There was also a distinct lack of various people either passing by or driving by throwing the odd insult at the praying and protesting crowd. Whether it was due to the presence of the blessed sacrament or not I leave it for you to say, but there were at least two people who joined the crowd in prayer as they finished the Divine Mercy Chaplet and went to the Rosary.

Through it all Fr. Imbarrato stood there holding the Monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament before the Planned Parenthood site not reacting to the cars passing by, some beeping horns in support, some just staring, nor at the passers by from the young black man who took some video on his phone, to the fellow staring as he walked back to his apartment carrying this takeout from Fitchburg Jade to the Spanish Woman who looked at the sacrament and the praying and nodded in acknowledgement and approval.

Oddly there was no activity at the location itself. On previous Saturdays during protests there would be people at the location but it seemed empty and barren. Perhaps they had left early, perhaps it was a slow day but either way there was nobody entering or leaving under the visage of Christ.

At it neared 4 pm Fr. prayed the final prayers of Adoration and the host was covered and people began dispersing. Some to their homes, others to Madonna of the Holy Rosary for the next set of events which will be covered in later posts but I’ll leave you with this note.

Just under five hours later at Holy Rosary Church near the end of his talk. He informed the crowd that the number of people who had so far watched the video of the procession still available on his facebook page was in the tens of thousands. It’s worth noting that the entire population of Fitchburg is only about 40,000 souls and it remains to be seen how long it will take the number of viewers online to eclipse that figure.

But even if not a single other person watches it, this was one of the most significant Catholic events ever held in Fitchburg.  Eucharistic processions are not common these days and one led by a national leader of the prolife moment in Fitchburg is rarer still.

It’s fitting that as people gather from all over the nation in Massachusetts at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in the southwest part of the state it serves as a reminder of just how much we need mercy for.

A photo gallery follows


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

…remember this:

Priests are, every day, under assault from Satan. God’s grace sustains and strengthens us, but temptations are real. Priests are weak human beings.

And the advice Fr. Z gives concerning this priest in particular is spot on.

Whether this priest struggles with doubts of faith, laziness, pride – or he was appallingly poorly trained – does not matter: pray for him.

I think people don’t realize the burden a Priest takes on, he commits to shepherd his flock toward the light and away from the darkness, to discern all sorts of problems that individuals and families might have, to comfort the sick and dying, to give affirmation and correction.  To be a voice speaking the truth, however unpopular,  to people who don’t want to hear it both in society and within his own parish with the goal of saving souls

If he is a pastor he also has to do this while running essentially a business, paying the bills, acting in accordance to local rules and regulations.

That’s in addition to his duties of praying the daily office, saying multiple masses and being there to be a source of the sacraments to all who need them while following the rules of Canon law.

He has to do this while facing criticism either specific criticism directed at him from inside his parish (as you can’t please everybody) or the general critiques against the church from the culture that hates the Church and a world that hates the church as it hated Christ and what he teaches.

Not only does he have to deal with all of this attacks in the light of Christ’s instruction to love one’s enemies and pray for those who persecute him, but he has to do this while taking care not to lose his own soul to the various temptations that he is hit with.  There is no greater target of the efforts of hell that a priest, who is hit with  not only the normal temptations that every man faces, but specific ones that target the clergy such as spiritual pride that are woven with care because the Devil knows that when a priest falls from grace he can take many of the faithful with him.

All of this is done on a pittance of pay that most people wouldn’t even think of taking for a 40 hour job, let alone what they get.

The wonder to me isn’t that a tiny percentage of the priests go off the reservation, either via sin, or scandal, the wonder is that the rest of them manage to hang on.

 

This week the Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted a workshop called “Biological Extinction: How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend.”  If you read the declaration on the workshop, or look at the workshop agenda, or read any of the articles linked on the Vatican’s website, it doesn’t seem controversial at all, and fits nicely with the role of the Church around the world.

And then…fake news!

The Pope has urged us to have fewer children! claims Life Site News.

I’m not buying it, for a lot of reasons:

  1. There is NO direct quote from the Pope.  Couldn’t find it in the article, couldn’t find it on Vatican.va.
  2. It doesn’t jive with what he’s said earlier: Large Families are a gift to society.
  3. It doesn’t fit with the narrative of the workshop, which was focused on economic inequality, maintaining biodiversity and proper use of the Earth’s resources.

Nothing actually written by the workshop seemed out of line with the Catholic Church.  If someone would like to comment and prove otherwise, please be my guest, I will gladly post again admitting I missed something.

The Pope needs to realize he has a fake news problem, and it’s hurting his Church.  For reference, see the contrast between the media’s portrayal of Pope Benedict’s comments on homosexuality and Pope Francis’ comments.  Despite saying almost the same thing, Benedict’s were largely ignored, while Francis’ comments were seen as changing fundamental Church doctrine.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The media is using fake news to rip apart the Catholic Church from the inside.  By misquoting Pope Francis, it makes traditional-thinking Catholics think he’s extremely liberal, and it reinforces their wrong belief that Vatican II should be completely rejected.  For Catholics who grew up after the 1960s, the media’s portrayal makes it look like it’s OK to accept ideas that are actually heretical (and ideas they have been pushing for some time now).  For those of us in the middle, who like tradition but also try to understand the spirit of the Catechism, we get marginalized by both sides, and the media simply tries to overwhelm us with volume to silence our voices.

It’s nasty.  As a military planner, this is the sort of thing I would want to do to my adversaries.  The media are using fake news to tear down the Catholic Church in a way that could cause almost all persons to turn away from teaching and towards what makes us comfortable.  We would do well to reject it and focus on understanding our Catechism and why we believe what we believe.


The post represents the views of the author alone, and does not represent the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.

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So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, 19 and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.

Matthew 6:31-34

National Harbor Sun 6:50 AM

I’m mostly packed and well rested getting the full 6 hours of sleep having held a short version of DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court at 8 PM so I could get upstairs and be packed and ready for the shuttle to the airport at 9:30 but more important than the sleep is waking up reassured.

As some of you might know this CPAC trip was completely unexpected just one month ago what you might not know is that on Last Sunday this odd story took one more unexpected twist.

Valery had been unable to sleep and when I came downstairs she was in great pain requiring a trip to the ER.  Seven hours later we left with a diagnosis of a bad gall bladder that had to come out, the doctor set up a meeting with the surgeon for Wednesday and said both work that morning was no prob and CPAC also looked good as this was routine.

When I got home from work Monday Morning after work and mass Valery was up, she had slept well due to the prescriptions but was planning to contact our personal physician to ill him and our insurance in so I did some packing then hit the sack.

By the time I had woken up her pain was back and our doctor had called seeing the ultrasounds etc and said he wanted her in the ER not in Leominster but at St. Vincent’s in Worcester that evening.  The determination was she needed the surgery this week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday.

My wife and sons insisted that CPAC should go on, I had not been here for the last two years and my oldest assured me he could handle things here, after all the surgery is routine.  He had even managed to find my cell phone missing for 5 months (with a holy card & relic of St. Maximilian Kolbe on it)

So to CPAC I went arriving Tuesday, still worried but sure things would work out.  Tuesday evening we talked and Val was tired by OK.  Wednesday the surgery took place in the evening and everyone was reassuring me.  Thursday I was told there was some minor complications but again NBD.  Friday during a call Valery insisted I shouldn’t blame myself for not being there which given the situation I found odd but things went on normally and I found myself holding the Midnight court till 5 Am when I headed up to the room to sleep.

Saturday Val asked if I could get home quicker than the train could take me so I called my brother Dominic and asked him if he could get me at the airport instead.

At this point the story turns because my Sicilian brother violates the 1st rule of being Sicilian, he talked.

Apparently his son the nurse had visited my wife in the Hospital as he lives near, he knew the actual situation rather than what I had been told and mentioned it to his father who assumed I knew just how serious and non routine the complications and the prognosis for my wife was.

I was crushed but there was nothing to do.  By this time it was nearly noon, I was flying out in 24 hours and the added expense to try and get home that evening would simply add weight to a financial burden which was the least of my worries.  So I went downstairs camera in hand and carried on, getting several good interviews and appearing on a radio show to talk about TBS’s and Samantha Bee people’s attempted shenanigans with me before heading back to the room.

This displayed one of the few disadvantages of the sleep arrangement my friends were all there when I got the news and had been sympathetic and when I returned to the room Cynthia (A conservative Lesbian) continued to be, but I desperately needed to be alone.

Leaving my laptop behind I walked down to the BBQ place, where I had eaten each day (the Brisket is excellent) and asked for a seat out of people’s sight it was after 3 pm by now and the lunch crowd was gone so it was pretty easy to achieve this.  I removed the hat and put the monopod & camera aside and ate considering all the unpleasant futures that might be ahead.

At this point Evan Sayet came by and noticed me and saw immediately something was wrong.  I told him of my troubles, that helped a bit and by the time I left I was feeling a little better, but only a little.

As I re-entered the hotel Senator Santorum was trying to head for the door.  (To no avail as every single person wanted to shake his hand and take a picture, he was most accommodating to them all) I asked for an interview (uploaded later) and as he is very devout asked him to pray for my wife.

It was in that hall that I heard somebody say there was a Mass downstairs.

Now I had asked the EWTN folk if they knew of a priest saying daily mass days ago and had tweeted looking for a priest to no avail.  As soon as I had my interview I dashed downstairs asking a staff member if they knew about a mass.  I checked all over the bottom floor, no sign of any such thing.

So I headed up the 1st escalator and right across from the media registration desk I was intercepted by old friend Rob Whittermore saw me and directed to where the mass would be.

There were 30 chairs set up before a table, the priest had not arrived yet, and people were sitting in silent prayer.  The priest, a young man entered and started setting up when I realized nobody had Holy Water to bless themselves.  I had given away all the four large bottles I brought with me but remembered the small one in my suit pocket and proceeded to go from person to person to allow them to bless themselves as the priest vested himself.

He introduced himself as Fr. Bjorn Lomborg (not the skeptical environmentalist the one from the catholic radio show Morning Glory) and the sacrifice of the mass began.

It was a great comfort to me.  The first reading (Is 49:14-15) addressed my feelings.

Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
my LORD has forgotten me.”
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.

The Psalm (62) and response reminded me of what to do

Rest in God alone, my soul.

But it was the Gospel for the day, Matthew 6:24-34 that hit me exactly where I was living at the moment

Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?

I was worrying about the future that worry wasn’t going to do any good.

So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’or ‘What are we to wear?’

The best case scenarios running through my head all involved the return of debt far beyond what had been expected from the hospital stay.  This reminded me how foolish I was being

Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.

This brought to mind the message of divine mercy:  Jesus I trust in You.

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

It was exactly what I needed when I needed to hear it and Fr.’s sermon built on that.

Just before Holy Communion Fr. dispensed us from the communion fast as most of us didn’t know about the mass but it was not until after the mass was over that Robert mentioned we had been part of a historic moment.

It was the 1st Catholic Mass ever celebrated at CPAC

It had never occurred to me that in all the decades that CPAC had been around that mass had never been celebrated. This was something that needed an interview and Fr. Lomborg graciously consented to do one on audio

As I headed back to the room, I considered how unlikely this all was.

I managed to attended the first mass ever at CPAC, celebrated by a priest who is regularly broadcast on our local EWTN station 89.3 WQPH Shirley/Fitchburg that I do volunteer media for and even scored an interview with the priest for the station.

Moreover I found the mass completely by accident, and the readings directly addressed all of my turmoil running though me exactly at the time when I most needed it.

Just about 14 hours ago Stacy & I had a back and forth with a 20-year-old man who was doubting the reliability of scripture and of his own faith. Perhaps the day will come when, at the time he most needs it, the tapestry that the Spirit weaves when be there to catch him as he’s ready to be crushed by the rocks as he falls and God will stretch out his hand saying “Do not be afraid”.

And he will be able to answer with the same feeling that I had going back to my room, my worries gone:

Jesus I trust in you!

Update: Linked at Canon212.com thanks


DaTechGuy at CPAC 2017 (all videos not blogged about yet here). Be aware that due to the sheer volume of videos to upload if I interviewed you it might be days before you see it here

2/25
Voices at CPAC 2017 Two Rons and a Patricia
Voices of the Cannoli deprived at CPAC 2017 Scottie Neil Hughes
Voices at CPAC 2017 Evan Sayet A Deplorable Mind before and after
DaTechguy Meets Students TBS & Fake news at Donald Trump’s CPAC 2017 Speech
Voices of CPAC 2017 Author Matt Margolis On DaTechGuy’s Midnight Court

2/24
Voices of CPAC 2017 Tom Wenzel of EWTN & Alberto Calamaro of Radio Maria
The Media Narrative Hunt at CPAC
Voices of CPAC 2017 Donald Trump Single lines from CPAC speech as he makes them
Voices of CPAC 2017 the Indefatigable Kira Innis

2/23
Voices of Cpac 2017 Steve & Shen, Ed Morrissey of Hotair and a Kellyanne Conway Cannoli Story
Voices of CPAC 2017 Radio Row Sharon Angle & Rick Trader Daria Novak & Frank Vernuccio
CPAC 2017 Photos & Brief videos from the Sean Hannity Taping

Voices at CPAC 2017 Advocates: Melissa of Able Americans, Matt of American Majority
Voices at CPAC 2017 Yvonne (from almost #NeverTrump to Evangelical Coordinator) & Michael
Voices of CPAC 2017 Joe on Life behind the Berlin Wall

2/22

Voices at CPAC 2017 Liz a Cook County Republican (and Kasich delegate)
CPAC 2017 First Interviews Theresa an Attendee and Rob Eno of Conservative Review

2/21
Some Quick pre-cpac video and thoughts

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

There is plenty more from CPAC coming over the next couple of weeks, but what is also going to be coming are a lot of hospital bills and debt from work that both my wife and I are going to be missing because of this.

If you are able and inclined to help mitigate them I’d ask you to consider hitting DaTipJar




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If you are not in the position to hit DaTipJar We will be very happy to accept your prayers.

Now that I have school-aged children, I spend more time every time we move analyzing school districts.  A friend of mine that lives where we are moving to next sends both their kids to Catholic elementary school, to the tune of about 9,000 dollars.  Although I choked when I heard the cost, it didn’t surprise me too much.  In Georgia, we ended up sending our oldest kid to kindergarten at the local Baptist school, which cost 150/month, instead of the Catholic school, which would have cost 650/month.

Hate to say it, but the Baptists got it right.

Catholic schools are too expensive for most people in a one-earner family.  So we face the choice of either having both parents work, living paycheck to paycheck, or sending our kids to public school.  Public schools don’t have the best track record of being friendly to Catholics, which means the parent staying at home has to spend a considerable amount of time educating the kids in the faith.

From PewResearchCenter.org

Given that too many parents don’t have a good understanding of the faith as it is, we’ve just setup a system that allows our kids to be plucked away from the Church.

I think we’re missing the mark on Catholic education.  If we want a future generation, we should be educating our young parents in the faith.  Poor understanding of the faith creates kids with a weak understanding of what they believe in, which sets them up to be lead astray in high school and college.

School choice is going to help as well.  I think a large part of the negative reaction to Betsy DeVos is because she threatens to break the stranglehold of public elementary and middle schools, a stranglehold that has been contributing to an increasingly non-religious world.

Our future generation is caught in an education setup that is pushing them to leave the church. We would be wise to recognize that.

I was very happy to find that the Catholic faith was well represented at CPAC 2017 I spoke to Tom Wenzel of EWTN.

I asked them if they know of a priest who might be saying mass perhaps next year they can bring one to do so.

Full disclosure I’m associated with WQPH 89.3 FM radio an EWTN affiliate as a volunteer.

After talking with EWTN I ran into Alberto Calamaro of Radio Maria a Spanish Language Catholic station.

I think the rise of Catholic media will be a great blessing for both CPAC and the country.


DaTechGuy at CPAC 2017 (all videos not blogged about yet here). Be aware that due to the sheer volume of videos to upload if I interviewed you it might be days before you see it here

2/24
The Media Narrative Hunt at CPAC
Voices of CPAC 2017 Donald Trump Single lines from CPAC speech as he makes them
Voices of CPAC 2017 the Indefatigable Kira Innis

2/23
Voices of Cpac 2017 Steve & Shen, Ed Morrissey of Hotair and a Kellyanne Conway Cannoli Story
Voices of CPAC 2017 Radio Row Sharon Angle & Rick Trader Daria Novak & Frank Vernuccio
CPAC 2017 Photos & Brief videos from the Sean Hannity Taping

Voices at CPAC 2017 Advocates: Melissa of Able Americans, Matt of American Majority
Voices at CPAC 2017 Yvonne (from almost #NeverTrump to Evangelical Coordinator) & Michael
Voices of CPAC 2017 Joe on Life behind the Berlin Wall

2/22

Voices at CPAC 2017 Liz a Cook County Republican (and Kasich delegate)
CPAC 2017 First Interviews Theresa an Attendee and Rob Eno of Conservative Review

2/21
Some Quick pre-cpac video and thoughts

2016 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

If you like the work I have done at CPAC and wish to support it (along with paying for the ER & Surgery bills for DaWife’s illness that our insurance doesn’t anymore (thanks Democrats and Obamacare!) please consider hitting DaTipJar




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Remember all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


Choose a Subscription level



St. Peter’s Church, New York, NY

Please do not be misled by the dishonest anti-Christian media or by urban legends about New Yorkers and New York’s Catholics; see for yourself who these people really are and what they do…

The Roman Catholic Parish of St Peter has a history of nearly a quarter of a millennium in Lower Manhattan and is home to the Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton; Mother Seton is our first American-born Catholic Saint. Saint Peter’s Church is the oldest parish in New York City. This is a true American Roman Catholic Church, that pre-dates the American Revolution, and its community is truly a reflection of what it really means to be New Yorkers.

Here is their Mission:

We are the Roman Catholic parish of St. Peter’s – Our Lady of the Rosary, encompassing
St. Peter’s Church, Our Lady of the Rosary (the Seton Shrine) and St. Joseph’s Chapel
(The Catholic Memorial at Ground Zero).

We are the first Catholic parish in New York State (est. 1785) but our legacy in Lower Manhattan pre-dates the American Revolution. The parish has served as a safe haven both in the past for needy immigrants and more recently for victims and rescue personnel in the wake of 9/11, without regard to religion. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and the Venerable Pierre Toussaint, who performed many works of charity in this parish, inspire us to a tradition of service to the residents, the many people who work in the area, and the multitude of visitors who come from around the world. We strive to serve our neighborhood in that spirit, with welcome and compassion for all because we are all children of God.

The Church is located just a street away from The World Trade Center, which was attacked by islamic terrorists on February 26, 1993, and, again on September 11, 2001. Via the St. Peter’s website, here is their story about what happened on both occasions:

  • “Prior to September 11th we were accustomed to look at the Twin Towers as the symbol of America’s strength and power in the world of trade, commerce and finance.  But as those buildings turned to dust before our eyes, we came to look to each other to see where our true strength and power lie.  Our true strength was in all those acts of compassion, those deeds of generosity and self-sacrifice that were performed that day and in the days, weeks and months afterward.”    

    – Fr Kevin Madigan

     

    WE WILL NEVER FORGET

    The World Trade Center cast a shadow over the Church of St Peter’s, a street away.  The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 profoundly affected our parish and without a doubt made us stronger and more connected.  Here is an account of how we opened our home and hearts at our three places of worship and how faith helped to resurrect downtown in New York City after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

    ST PETER’S CHURCH AND 9/11 TIMELINE

    At 8:45am, the impact of the first plane hit the first World Trade Center and shook St Peter’s Church with a violence that caused the parish secretary, Patricia Ruggiero, to scream.  She ran outside and took a look at the enormous gash surrounded by flames and billowing smoke. Rushing back inside she called out to the pastor, Reverend Kevin Madigan, that the plane had hit the building.  Fr Madigan looked out the window and saw the almost instantaneous response of fire engines and ambulances, and he hurried out to find out where the wounded were. At 9:03am, Fr Madigan was speaking with the police when the second plane crashed into the South Tower. Debris blew everywhere from the second impact; many larger pieces were on fire.
    “I remember seeing a wheel of the plane fly over my head”, Fr Madigan told American Catholic Magazine.

    Fr Madigan rushed back to St. Peter’s to make sure the staff got to safety and then returned to the street.  He met the Assistant Fire Chaplain and started walking southbound on Church Street when the South Tower began to collapse at 9:59am. Thinking quickly, Fr Madigan led the assistant chaplain down into the nearby subway station where they took temporary shelter with transit police officers and emerged safely after some of the dust had settled.

    When Fr Madigan returned to St Peter’s, he found out the landing gear of one of the airplanes had pierced the roof.

    STAGING GROUND FOR 9/11 RESCUE AND RECOVERY

    Roman Catholics were the most represented faith group of those lost in the attacks.  The parish can’t be certain of all the members of the parish who were lost, since many don’t register but we do know that a lector at St Peter’s and a parishioner at the mission of St Joseph’s Chapel were killed on that day.  After 9/11 far fewer were coming to weekday morning and lunch hour Masses because the roughly 50,000 workers in the towers had to work in new locations

    During these operations, Fr Madigan celebrated Mass, heard Confession and provided pastoral care to rescue workers and those allowed to enter the area.  The church was open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for the workers until the end of October 2001 when martial law was lifted and workers returned to work downtown.

    The doors of St Peter’s stayed open to America’s heroes, and the church transformed into a relief supply station. “We were the first place they were bringing all the emergency equipment. Everything was in disarray,” Fr Kevin Madigan stated. “Supplies were piled six feet high all over the pews, bandages, gas masks, boots, hoses and cans of food for the workers and the volunteers, many of whom were sleeping in the pews on bedrolls.”

    FATHER MYCHAL JUDGE

    Father Mychal Judge OFM, the beloved chaplain of the New York Fire Department, was early to the scene of the disaster, giving absolution and prayers for the wounded and dying.  Late that morning, he was in the North Tower lobby surrounded by rescue workers when the South Tower collapsed.  The force of the building falling on itself blew cement dust and debris at speeds estimated to be 100mph. The impact of the implosion was so violent that parts of the compromised North Tower building fell.  Obscured by the cloud of dust, it was only after the incident that the men nearby saw that Fr Judge had been struck down and killed.  Fr Kevin M. Smith, another fire chaplain from Patchogue, NY blessed the body on curb.  Eventually his body was carried by two firemen, an FDNY medical technician, a police lieutenant and a civilian bystander into St. Peter’s and laid in front of the altar.  Fr Fussner, a priest at St. Peter’s Church noticed that Fr. Judge’s neck was swollen and appeared to be broken.  Resting on the marble, Fr Judge’s body was covered in a white cloth with a fresh stole from sacristy on top and his chaplain’s badge and helmet resting on his chest.  Fr Fussner added that the firemen pulled two of the candles close to either side of his body and a Franciscan friar later pointed out that the resulting pose resembled a bas-relief sculpture of Christ immediately behind the body.  At around 2pm, two Franciscan friars from Fr Judge’s residence carried his body to a fire station across from his residence.

    Fr. Mychal gave the following sermon at a Mass for New York City Firefighters at Engine 73, Ladder 42, Bronx, NY on September 10, 2001:

    You do what God has called you to do. You get on that ring, you go out and do the job. No matter how big the call, no matter how small, you have no idea of what God is calling you to, but God needs you. He needs me. He needs all of us. God needs us to keep supporting each other, to be kind to each other, to love each other.
    We love this job, we all do. What a blessing it is! It’s a difficult, difficult job, but God calls you to do it, and indeed, He gives you a love for it so that a difficult job will be well done.
    Isn’t God wonderful?! Isn’t He good to you, to each one of you, and to me? Turn to God each day — put your faith, your trust, your hope and your life in His hands. He’ll take care of you, and you’ll have a good life. And this firehouse will be a great blessing to this neighborhood and to this city. Amen.

    WORLD TRADE CENTER CROSS

    Two days after the 9-11 attacks, Ground Zero looked and felt like hell on earth.  The ground was scorched, the air held the odor of incinerated building material and felt heavy with the weight of thousands of departed souls.  Long shadows of autumn sun and lights erected to illuminate the wreckage gave the area an amber glow.  Police, firemen, first responders and many volunteers began to search the rubble for a few survivors and scarce remains.  Many of the men who flocked to the site to volunteer were experienced hands that knew how to cut steel and move rubble so the search could continue and the area cleared.

    (Frank Sileccia found the World Trade Center Cross)
    A volunteer construction worker named Frank Silecchia discovered the cross in a carved out area of the pile in the lower core of Building 6.  There he spotted a cross made of steel standing upright.  Fused to one side of the cross was large piece of melted metal that resembled a rumpled cloth which brought to mind the cross and shroud of resurrected Christ.  Frank Silecchia fell to his knees as did many who came to see it later.  Firefighter John Picarello described what he saw in a story published by Christian Broadcast News: “Just the way the sun shone down…it looked like an amphitheater with benches.”  Believers and non-believers came and bowed their heads or knelt.  Many of them came back again and again over the course of eight months to reflect, worship and hope.  Mayor Giuliani remarked that the cross, “kept a lot of people going”, especially those directly involved in the recovery efforts.
    Ten days after the cross was found, Frank Silecchia took Fr Brian Jordan, OFM, a Franciscan priest, to see what he thought was a revelation:  that God had not abandoned us.  Fr Jordan saw it as a sign.  Some time later the men were concerned that in the reconstruction efforts the cross might be taken away to a storage facility or destroyed, so Fr Jordan contacted the mayor’s office.  Mayor Rudolph Giuliani replied quickly that, ‘we will keep that cross as a reminder of God’s love for all of us’.
    Fr Jordan then reached out to Fr Madigan who agreed to host the cross. In October 2006, a group of about 150 workers from the site, relatives of those killed in the attack and onlookers watched over as volunteer workers labored to move the 6,000-lb steel cross three streets and set it down outdoors on the side of the Church at Barclay and Church streets.  People from all over the world and all faiths came to see the cross.  In 2011, the relic, borne of the terrible events of 9-11, was lifted by a crane, loaded onto a truck and taken to its current location at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

    TRIBUTE CROSS

    On August 11, 2011, a new custom cross was installed to stand in the same place on the side of St. Peter’s.  The modern sculpture commissioned by the Archdiocese of New York, was made by artist Jon Krawczyk.  Crafted in Malibu, California, the cross was transported through sixteen states to reach New York.  On the journey, many stopped the artist to inquire about the cross and share a moment of reflection over the events of 9-11.  The “Tribute Cross”, as it is now called, represents the resurrection of the neighborhood.

    ST JOSEPH’S CHAPEL BECAME A FEMA COMMAND STATION

    On September 11, the cloud of dust and ash from the imploding World Trade Center towers also engulfed St Joseph’s Chapel. During the week of the disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated the chapel as a command station.  The Chapel and its furnishings were a great help to the rescue effort and even altar cloths were used as temporary bandages.  Following the rescue operations, the chapel became a temporary sanctuary where construction workers, police offers and firefighters could come to eat, email their families, talk with spiritual counselors and rest from the physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting work at Ground Zero.  The priests of St. Joseph’s continued to celebrate Mass in a gym nearby..

    After opening her arms to so many, the chapel interior suffered extensive damage.  The pulpit, pews and chairs, which were moved outside, were destroyed in a rainstorm.   After a degree of normalcy resumed in the downtown Battery Park City neighborhood, the idea for a Catholic Memorial was brought up in discussions about the need for a renovation. The initial thought was to express the journey of grief and healing the parish had taken as a faith community.  But as we clarified our vision through discussion and prayer, we determined to create a memorial that would respond in a broader way to the event from a Catholic perspective.  The memorial also affirmed our belief that life is stronger than death and love is stronger than hate.

    Fundraising commenced and the Mission of St Joseph’s Chapel received the support of Cardinal Edward M. Egan and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.  In a letter, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani wrote, “St Joseph’s Chapel in Battery Park City is creating a Catholic Memorial at Ground Zero to honor those who were lost, and pay tribute to those who responded with such heroism and bravery in the face of mortal danger.”  (Read full letters written by Cardinal Egan, Mayor Giuliani and Fr Madigan.)

    Fr Madigan and a committee of parish leaders commissioned artwork to honor the heroes of 9/11 for “their bravery, sacrifice and love.”  (Details about Catholic Memorial artwork.)

    In May 2005, Cardinal Edward M. Egan held a ceremony to bless the refurbished St Joseph’s Chapel.  Cardinal Egan remarked that, “the memorial affirms the presence of God in a place that has tested the faith of many.”   The completed Catholic Memorial at Ground Zero honors those who died, those who performed heroic and selfless acts on that day, and all of us who survived to bear witness.  The memorial compliments the 9-11 National Memorial and gives visitors an opportunity for prayer and reflection in a quiet sanctuary.


    OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY REACHES OUT TO BRETHREN

    After September 11, 2001, Our Lady of the Rosary held a memorial service for the sixty-seven British and twenty-four Canadian citizens who died in the World Trade Center attack. The church kept its doors open and, for seven Sundays, hosted the services of Trinity Episcopal Church. Trinity had to shut its doors until they were assured the historic building was structurally sound.  Two months later when Trinity held a ceremony at their reopening, they thanked
    Fr Peter Meehan, the pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary and Seton Shrine, for the generosity.

    THE FIRST ATTACK IN 1993

    February 26, 1993, a truck loaded with bombs, parked in a public garage below the North Tower of the World Trade Center and exploded.  Terrorists set of the powerful homemade bomb by way of a twenty-foot fuse.  The blast killed six innocent civilians.  The bomb was powerful enough to create a 200 by 100 foot hole in the building.  Approximately a thousand office workers suffered smoke inhalation injuries.  One hundred and twenty four of those injured were rescue personnel.  Seventeen kindergarteners were trapped when the electrical power line was knocked out and one woman in labor was airlifted out of the area to a hospital.

    The terrorists intended for the North Tower to come crashing down and topple the South Tower. Seven men have been convicted for their role in the attack but only six have been caught.

    Many have forgotten the first truck bombing of the World Trade Center in the wake of 9/11.  A son of a victim in the attacks, Stephen Knapp Jr., is quoted in the New York Times:  “It started on Feb. 26, it played out on 9/11, and it is still going on now.”

    Our Parish has not forgotten.  Every February, the families and friends of people who died and those who were injured, hold a memorial Mass at St. Peter’s Church.


  • This account of what transpired on September 11, 2001 and in the aftermath of the attacks has been prepared by parish volunteers.  The research and fact checking continues and will soon include further quotes from our clergy.

May God continue to bless St. Peter’s Church, parish, and people, and may the Good Lord forever bless New York, America, and you as well.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla of the Resistance at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals – including Siberian Husky Dalmatian Lab Puppies and their parents. Zilla is a proud New Yorker and a parishioner of Saint Denis Church in New York’s Hudson Valley

See also by Zilla at DaTechGuyBlog:

Remembering Saint Scholastica

This last week I asked everyone to pray for Rebecca, my youngest daughter. She had gone in for open heart surgery on Wednesday to repair an Atrial Septal Defect. The surgery was fairly routine (at least, as far as open heart surgery is concerned), and considering that Yale New-Haven was performing the surgery, we couldn’t have had a better team. But as you know from that same post, she wasn’t recovering well.

On Monday, I went to work, only to get called back to the hospital. My wife and I arrived and consulted with the surgeons, who said Rebecca had gone into heart block, where the heart doesn’t pump well and blood flow is sluggish. They wanted to install a temporary pacemaker so that her heart would keep working, and the surgeons were very hopeful that she would heal out of it. We agreed, and they wheeled her down to surgery.

Thirty minutes later, the nurse came up and said we needed to go downstairs. We were rushed to surgery, where the doctor came in and said Rebecca had gone into cardiac arrest after anethesia. He asked if I wanted to continue compressions or put her on bypass. Either way, she had a high chance of death. I told him “You walk into that room and make the best damn medical decision, and I’ll stand by you.”

Rebecca’s heart recovered on its own. Pacing wires were placed. The Code Blue paging stopped. We went back to recovery, and the local priest came in and performed an emergency Confirmation. The surgeon told us she was critical, but stable. We cleared our Tuesday schedule and drove home, an hour away from Yale, scared, but confident that things would work out.

We pulled into our driveway and called the hospital. They told us to come back. We made it back at 10 pm. I walked in and the heart rate monitor was reading zero. The doctor had his stethoscope on Rebecca’s chest, looked at me, and shook his head.  I clutched her tiny hand, desperately hoping she would squeeze, but that movement never came.  I spent the next hours cradling Rebecca in my arms and crying.

Everyone was in shock. We had the best team of pediatric heart surgeons, cardiologists, NICU and PICU nurses that you could assemble in America.  Rebecca had been recovering.  Her echocardiograms had all been good.  The pacing wires had been firing.  Everything should have worked.  It was like the A Team of cardiology teams was on her side.  They simply don’t lose people, certainly not kids like Rebecca.  But as the head surgeon later told us, “One minute she was fine, the next she was in arrest and would not come back.”

The next few days made me wonder, “Why?”  I’m used to death.  As a Naval officer, I know that I willingly place my life on the line for others.  I work with other members that do the same thing.  I’m OK with that. But Rebecca?  She was just a 7 month old kid.  She spent too much time hooked up to tubes and wires.  She didn’t deserve that.  Honestly, as a Catholic, it depressed me.  It didn’t seem fair.

So we started planning a funeral.  And a wake.  And a reception.  We filled out forms.  We called people and sent emails.  And all of a sudden, I realized that I had missed the point.

Rebecca’s death wasn’t about her. It was about everyone else.

It was about the Yale New-Haven team.  The team of doctors, nurses and surgeons that saw us choose life, saw us pray over Rebecca, and watched her emergency Baptism and Confirmation.  Many of them didn’t share our beliefs on abortion and life.  Some of them do now.  Rebecca had tons of people from Yale that came to visit her even when she wasn’t in their ward or on their floor.  I spied on many a nurse and doctor playing with her and making faces to make her smile.  She touched their lives like no one else could.  Rebecca’s death was about that team.

It was about the Down Syndrome community.  It dawned on us when the Eastern Connecticut Down Syndrome group set up a Go Fund Me page that netted over 1,000 dollars in less than a day.  Rebecca was born with Down Syndrome, and the Down Syndrome community in the northeast mobilized to support us.  So many people that we had never met, or only met briefly, were praying for her.  It brought them together.  Rebecca’s death was about that community.

It was about my Navy command.  My Assistant Officer in Charge told my Sailors the next morning what had happened.  Almost immediately, my Sailors and their families began reaching out, asking what they could do to help.  They didn’t have to.  There are plenty of Navy resources, and often the going assumption is that Navy Officers have it all figured out.  But as one Sailor put it in a text message, “He’s our Officer in Charge, and he always helps us. I want to help him.”  Many of the Sailors had only ever seen Rebecca at the occasional family event, yet they wanted to help.  Our Navy team grew closer.  Rebecca’s death was about my Sailors and their families.

It was about people who lacked faith.  People we didn’t know were suddenly reaching out to my wife.  They said that Rebecca brought them to church and they were praying when they hadn’t done so in years.  A friend of my wife that is a very vocal atheist asked people openly on Facebook to pray for Rebecca.  No clauses in her request.  No “If you believe” or “keep her in your thoughts” disclaimers.  She made a genuine request for prayers.  Rebecca’s death was about her.

It was about our family.  I was honestly frightened about the thought of raising a kid that might live with me forever.  It made me do a lot of research and talk to people.  After meeting people from all walks of life who loved people with Down Syndrome, and seeing kids and adults with Down Syndrome do well in life (even swim the English Channel!), I realized that all life matters, even the ones that we view as disabled.  My kids learned to love Rebecca, despite her being very different from other babies.  Or perhaps, it was because she was so different that they cared even more.  Rebecca’s death was about us.

I realized that I made a mistake.  I focused on Rebecca’s pain.  I watched her cry when she was stuck with needles.  I watched her struggle to finish a bottle because her heart wasn’t strong enough to breast feed.  It made me sad, but what I didn’t realize was that she was changing everyone around her.  My focus on her pain blinded me to how she was an instrument to change those around her.

Many of us spend a large part of our adult lives influencing, or trying to influence, those around us.  We read books, we devise arguments, we make PowerPoint presentations, and we argue on Facebook.  And yet here I had a little girl, not even a year old, who came into my life and changed everyone around her, including people she never met.  Her broken heart was changing those with hardened hearts.

She did it without words, without slides, and without a social media account.

It truly was never about her.  It was always about us, about making us better.  And even though it took her death for me to realize it, I’m glad that I did.

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18: 1-5


Rebecca will be buried on Tuesday, with a wake on Monday.  If you are in the Eastern Connecticut area, you are welcome to stop by.  Please follow the link for details.


This post represents the views of the author and does not represent the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.

I know this post is very VERY late but a lot has been going on and given my CPAC 2017 trip is in 10 days it’s a good preview of the type of interviews etc you might see.

St Bernard’s Abby

The next day we were up very VERY early as a new batch of pilgrims were due at St. Bernard’s monastery so we departed right after breakfast and said our goodbyes to the monks.  Our old bus driver was doing good as we headed back to Castle Miguel and Mother Angelica’s monastery.

As before I spent a majority of my time holding religious items, rosaries, medals etc, to Mother Angelica’s tomb and praying a hail mary. These would be given away to people by WQPH once we got back up north. While others took free time to visit other locations at the site.

Around noontime we were back on the bus for a special lunch, we were off to Stonebridge Farms which while primarily a wedding venue opens it’s restaurant which offers a gigantic buffet of southern food one day a week.

I interviewed one of the family members who work there

We spent quite a while there, with a party as large as ours it took some time. I took advantage of it setting up my laptop in a corner to charge my laptop and try to upload some of the stuff I shot while we were eating.

When we got back to Mother Angelica’s monastery we had more free time in the area, here is a quick overview of the area

the doors of the cloister
One of the things we got a glimpse of were the visitor rooms where the cloistered nuns on very rare occasions will receive visitors. basically there is a metal grille and seats on opposite sides one on the nuns side and one on the public side where people can see each other and speak.

Ceiling of the Priest’s retreat chapel
One of the things that was really impressive to me was the Priest’s retreat building. Normally a group like ourselves would not have access but our two priests were staying there and it was decided that we would have our daily mass in the chapel of the retreat building around 5 pm.

Our guide Micha who had led us through the Eucharistic Center talked about what he described as a “man cave for religious” a statement that was highly accurate

To say the altar was impressive is the understatement of the year

Priest’s retreat chapel

It was quite a place for a mass and to participate as the congregation for a mass in that location was

Rosary cupcakes
for me one of the highlights of the trip. When the mass was over we headed back to the main reception area at Casa Miguel where we were celebrating the birthday of our lady. (Because I needed to use the facilities I actually missed the bus and had to leg it back) there was a rosary made of cupcakes and a cake and we gathered together before a planned evening procession.

Grotto at night
The procession itself was to a grotto and prayer area behind the Eucharistic center. It became very much a candlelight procession as we didn’t get to it till after dark. This complicated things a bit as we had a lot of elderly people and the path was a bit hard for them at the end of a day. However we said our prayers and prayed our Rosary with Gusto

That ended the day, there had been alternative lodging for us who had been staying at St. Benedict’s abbey. I and a fellow member of my Knight’s of Columbus council ended up

One of the guest cabins
in the furnished basement of one of the guest cabins that one of the other pilgrims had rented right down the street from Casa Miguel. It is a very convenient place for pilgrims and one of the only times on such a trip that I didn’t sleep in a consecrated place. But Jeff was an interesting and excellent roommate and while I knew of him from council meetings we had a chance to talk and occasionally saw each other at daily mass we had the chance to actually get to chat before hitting the sack for our final half day before flying out.