27 June 2008

Gov. Schwarzenegger commits to 20 daily rosaries to help pass health care plan

San Diego, June 27 (CNA).-Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke to a meeting of the Catholic Healthcare Association (CHA) in San Diego on Monday on the topic of healthcare reform, pledging to pray "twenty rosaries every day" if that is what is necessary to have the California legislature pass his health care plan.
Governor Schwarzenegger, who was introduced by former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, addressed the CHA audience to congratulate Lloyd Dean's assumption of the association's chairmanship, the California Catholic Daily reports.
The governor said he was excited that Dean had become CHA chairman, praising his "tremendous work" in California as leader of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW).
"And, man, he's an action hero, I can tell you that," said Schwarzenegger, a former action movie star, who said Dean had balanced the deeply troubled finances of CHW after only two years.
Lloyd Dean, the governor said, had helped assemble "an unprecedented and historic coalition of hospitals, doctors, insurers, patients' groups, business groups, and labor groups" to support Schwarzenegger's health care plan, which he said is based upon shared responsibility among employers, healthcare providers, insurers, individuals, and government.
Schwarzenegger said that California's uninsured population is a "moral crisis," saying 6.7 Californians are uninsured, including one million children.
The governor said he can implement his health care program with the help of CHA members.
"And I know that, with your help, we can do it," he said. "And even if it takes praying 20 rosaries every day, I will be on my knees praying the 20 rosaries – but we are going to get the job done!"

23 June 2008

More on the Congress...

From one of our amazing speakers - Steve Ray!

Click Here!

What an awesome weekend!

22 June 2008

Catholics turn out in droves for Eucharist

By Nancy Badertscher
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/22/08

Nearby parking lots were overflowing, and the corridors of the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park were jammed Saturday as about 30,000 Roman Catholics gathered for the second and final day of the 13th Eucharistic Congress.

The two days of teaching, preaching, music and worship were a hallmark event for the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the 750,000 Catholics who attend its 100 missions and churches.

John Mbuinga, a lifelong Catholic who lives in Decatur, was attending for the first time and was glad to be with others who share his devotion to the Eucharist, Mass and the Virgin Mary. "We [Catholics] don't make a big noise, but we have big numbers," he said.

Started by the archdiocese in 1996, the congress seeks to ensure that Catholics don't lose their respect for the Eucharist, an ecclesiastic term for Holy Communion.

The theme of this year's event, which brought together converts, so-called cradle Catholics, scholars and clergy, was, "I Am the Living Bread." Programs were offered to participants in multiple languages, a recognition of the church's growing diversity.

On the issues facing the Catholic Church and all faiths in America, Helen M. Alvare said, "A big challenge is the marriage and family crisis —- not just because it's internal, but it's also external to the United States. It has what I call tentacles.

"Without a solid marriage and family culture, society really is in big trouble," said Alvare, an associate professor at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va. "And particularly among the poor and among immigrants, their marriage and family life is falling apart at a faster rate than people with more money.

"It's not just a sex issue. It's not a 'This is where you follow Catholic doctrine' issue. It's more, are you going to be able to fulfill the meaning and purpose of your life, which is loving care for other persons who are given to you? And are we going to be able to build a strong society, not just for Catholics, but for the whole country?"

Tom Peterson, president of the nonprofit organization Catholics Come Home, said, "The biggest problem facing the Church, and Christianity in general, is the world doesn't think we need God. We have become too smart for our own britches.

"We believe with our intellect and our money, we can do what we want. We are happy. We are wealthy, and we don't need God. Isn't that the same as the original sin of Adam and Eve, where through our pride we become our own gods?" Peterson asked.

"I think it's very important that not only Catholics, but the larger Christian community as a whole, focus on becoming more humble, praying for humility and praying to know and do God's will," he said. "We don't know what we're missing.

"So many people are starving for Jesus in their life. They just don't know they're starving for it. They've been deceived. The world has gotten in their face, and it's distracted them. But they know they're not happy down deep. As St. Augustine said: 'Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.'"

Thousands of Atlanta Catholics Gather in Celebration

Last Edited: Saturday, 21 Jun 2008, 10:49 PM EDT
Created: Saturday, 21 Jun 2008, 10:49 PM EDT

ATLANTA (MyFox Atlanta) – Metro Atlanta Catholics celebrated a spiritual recharge Saturday after the Atlanta Archdiocese's annual Eucharistic Congress.

Atlanta Catholics were also rejoicing over their numbers while dealing with changing times.

Church leaders said this weekend's events meant good news as they pointed to huge turnouts, which keep getting bigger and more diverse.

Two days of enthusiastic celebration weren't enough to overwhelm Catholics like Terry Fontaine of McDonough.

"Seeing the body of Christ come in and people realizing what it all means, it's just amazing," Fontaine said.

Leaders of the Archdiocese of Atlanta were also rejoicing over the numbers. They reported that over 30,000 people attended the 13th annual Eucharistic Congress, a sign of a following that has become robust in Georgia, but one that is also changing.

"Other dioceses in the North, they are shrinking. The numbers are less now, but we are growing," said Monsignor Luis Zaramaia, Vicar General Archdiocese of Atlanta.

A series of talks and meetings were set up for the metro area's growing population of Spanish and Vietnamese speakers and was very conscious of the concentration of young people.

"I really felt a connection there, even though I am a teen," said Anna Fontaine.

The celebration will continue Sunday after the congress wraps and the Catholic New Media celebration will focus on the role new media is playing in faith.

"There's hundreds of blogs. There's hundreds of Catholic podcasts and there's this huge community," said Greg Willits of Starquest Production Network.

Catholic leaders said they are getting a big boost from the area's large immigrant population and from Catholics who have simply relocated from other states into Georgia.

This story content provided by FOX 5 Atlanta WAGA

15 June 2008

Tim Russert rest in peace...

By Wolf Blitzer

It was back in April when Pope Benedict XVI came to Washington. The Rev. David O'Connell, the president of The Catholic University of America, was hosting the pope for a large meeting with bishops.

In April, Tim Russert, right, was a guest of Pope Benedict XVI, along with Wolf Blitzer, at left in blue tie.

Before that meeting, the Vatican said O'Connell could invite 10 guests to a small session with Benedict. Tim Russert and I were the only journalists on that special guest list. We were both thrilled, but Tim, a devout Catholic with deep roots in the Church, was very excited.

While we were waiting for the pope to arrive, he was like a little boy. He had his rosaries in his hand, ready for the pope to bless them. This was not the Tim Russert whom we all saw and admired as he grilled presidents, prime ministers, kings and mere politicians. When the pope finally approached him, he could barely utter a word. This was a special moment, and he knew it.

For those of us who knew him for a long time, we certainly could appreciate what he was enjoying. His roots in Buffalo, New York, were deep and very humble. His dad, "Big Russ," was a sanitation worker who had often worked two shifts to make ends meet. Russert knew where he was coming from, and as a result never complained about his own hard work for NBC News.

The same passion that he brought to covering politics and to his religious faith, he also brought to sports. He loved the Washington Wizards and the Washington Nationals, but he really loved the Buffalo Bills. How often would he end "Meet the Press" with the words "Go Bills." All of us Bills fans had to endure four straight Super Bowl losses in the early 1990s, but few suffered as deeply as Tim. We often spoke about those days. I think he remembered every play of every game.

He was a unique talent and a wonderful man. I feel especially sad that he died during this Father's Day weekend. It was such a special time for him, given his close relationship with Luke, his son, who just graduated from Boston College, and with "Big Russ."

We will miss him. My deepest condolences to Luke, Big Russ, his wife, Marueen, and his entire family.

14 June 2008

Catholic Facebook Launched

CATHOLIC church leader Cardinal George Pell is looking for new friends.

The Sydney archbishop today launched a global Catholic social networking website based on the models of MySpace and Facebook.

Xt3.com - representing "Christ in the third millennium" - aims to connect young Catholics before, during and after next month's World Youth Day (WYD) in Sydney.

Cardinal Pell showed off his personal Xt3.com page to WYD participants and media.

He admitted to being a latecomer to the internet but said there was a need for the church to have a serious web presence.

"Whatever about my ignorance on this area (the internet), it's more than balanced by my recognition of its importance, and my determination that representatives of the church be actively presented in this area," Cardinal Pell said.

He said the site had given him a fresh perspective on the internet.

One of the site's founders, Robert Toone, said Xt3.com could also provide a useful tool for dialogue between faiths - one of the stated aims of Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming visit to Australia.

"I think it's a wonderful opportunity to break down some of the barriers that may exist," he said.

WYD co-ordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher also highlighted this potential.

"All sorts of young people will come in and out of this site ... they won't necessarily be Catholics or high-octane Catholics," he said.

"I'm pleased too that I have been persuaded to come online," he said.

"Of course, I invite you all to come online and become one of my friends."

Via The Australian.