The Wrestling God’s Blessing

Zenit is a wonderful news service focused on the activities of the Holy Father and other Roman officials. Sometimes, though, their headline writing is just a little off.  The latest example:

Benedict XVI Speaks of Wrestling God’s Blessing

Before this headline, I didn’t even know there was a Wrestling God or that he gave blessings!  Could this be him?


In any event, if you want to read a nice reflection on Jacob’s wrestling with God, read Zenit’s article.


Value of Life vs. Quality of Life

Last week, Deacon Jim stopped by and led a discussion about end of life issues.  It was the Church Guys’ first co-ed event and it was well-received.  It was particularly interesting having a physician as part of the discussion.  His contribution brought a new perspective to the table.

This is quite a simple, yet tricky area.  It seems like the basic principle is clear:  a Catholic is obliged to be a good steward of his or her own health, but may refuse any medical intervention that is unreasonably burdensome.  However, it is always immoral to make those decisions based on a “quality of life” calculus.

This principle seems reasonably well-defined or, at least, as well defined as the possibilities of language allow.  What I discovered, though, as I worked through some problems is that “burdensomeness” often amounted in practice to a quality of life assessment.  Take, for example, the role of financial considerations.  Deacon Jim made clear that finances were a legitimate factor in assessing burdensomeness.  But isn’t that just a different way of saying that the treatment would lower one’s standard of living (quality of life) too much?  This is why, I think, many conscientious Catholics err (if they do) in evaluating these questions.  How does one separate quality of life measures from burdensomeness, which inherently has to have an objective standard for measurement.   But there really does not appear to be any.  Maybe someone can clear it up in the comments.

Once again, let me extend a St. Francis Church Guys “thank you” to Deacon Jim for a thought provoking, interesting, and informative presentation as well as on open invitation to return whenever he wants.

St. Francis-sponsored Mass Near Germantown Abortion Clinic June 4

June 4 – St. Francis sponsored mass near Germantown Abortion Clinic SFA Facebook Friends:

On Saturday, June 4, Fr. David is saying mass at the office next to the abortion clinic in Germantown where LeRoy Cahart performs late term abortions.

Details will be in the bulletin this weekend and next. I hope you will consider attending.


Adult Faith Formation At St. Francis Of Assisi — What Would You Like To See?

Saturday morning, I was sitting with two members of our Pastoral Council.  At one point, the topic turned to adult faith formation efforts at St. Francis.  After chatting for a bit, I was asked:  “What would you do?”  The question was difficult to answer because I had never been asked and so had never given much thought to the answer.  It occurred to me to pose the question here and get some feedback as I formulate a thorough response.

Any takers?  Comments are wide open!

Event: Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue 101

What:  This workshop offers catechetical leaders and catechists an introduction to standards 9 and 13  in preparation for implementing the Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum Guide, Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization.

When:  June 10, 2011

Where:  Christ the King Parish, 2301 Colston Drive, Silver Spring, MD  20910

Info and registration:  Jose Amaya, (301) 853-5384 or

Event: A Royal Welcome — Parishes of Hospitality — June 17 & 18, 2011

Presented by Sr. Janet Schaeffler, O.P., this is for parish staff, parish councils, volunteers, parishioners, committee heads, and anyone else who is interested in learning how to make parishes of hospitality.

When:  June 17, 2011 and June 18, 2011

When:  7:30-9:00 P.M./9:00-12:00 P.M.

Contact:  Alice Noe — (301) 853-5385 for more information

Register at:

When Is Ash Wednesday 2012?

Ash Wednesday is February 22, 2012.  The Diocese of Rapid City has a very readable liturgical calendar here.