Tag Archives: Holy Rosary

Court allows boy to return to school wearing rosary!

Raymond’s mother wants him to wear his rosary…

Via the Portland Examiner:

A federal district court in New York has granted the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) request  for 13-year-old Raymond Hosier to return to class.  You may remember, last month, Raymond was suspended indefinitely for wearing a Rosary to school.

Today, the court directed the school to allow Raymond to return to school wearing his Rosary.

Earlier today, the ACLJ filed a lawsuit against the school district for violating Raymond’s civil rights.  Along with that lawsuit, the ACLJ made the request a request for the court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) – urging the court to declare the school’s dress code policy unconstitutional and immediately permit the 7th grader to return to school wearing the Rosary.

Get the rest of the story here…


Evangelizing Jesus…

The subject around here this week was children, and especially today:

–On the phone with my mother on her birthday, I noted, “ I’m appalled at the low-level of Catholic faith formation…” Her reply, “Well, the parents don’t know anything either…”

–On the Internet I read the story of a young woman describing her Catholic upbringing, saying, “I had grown up surrounded by the faith of my parents — studied it in school, practiced it at home and at church, and accepted it at face value. I never questioned it — it wasn’t a faith that was my own…”

–This same young girl is now a teacher and youth minister at a prominent all girls Catholic High School who describes her faith today:

“I will be the first to admit, and sometimes quite vocally, that there are many teachings, practices, and attitudes within the Catholic tradition that I don’t agree with. There are times when I’m not just disappointed by this Church, but I’m angered and wounded, and find myself pondering the questions I’m so often asked by others: “Why do you stay?” or, “How can you teach this?”

And the circle perpetuates.

On the drive to my confirmation class this afternoon I realized I was tired. Exhausted, really… Thoughts on our need for true evangelization soon turned into realizations of my own ineffectiveness this year teaching the faith at home and religious ed. at church. There was a contradiction between the Joyful mysteries and my heart as I drove along praying my rosary.

Before class began I noticed a young Asian boy sitting across the table from me. His family is new to the parish, and I didn’t know much about him, In fact, I thought he was a new student, or visitor. I observed him as he talked with the DRE next to me. There was something special about him. The way he talked reminded me of one of my sons. “You seem to be very intelligent to me.” I said. He just looked at me. “What’s your name?” I asked. (I’ll call him Jesus here…) “Jesus”, I said, “how well do you know the faith?” “Faith?” He replied. There was some silence for a bit, and looking back up at me we launched into this conversation:

Jesus: “My mother is dead.”

Jesus: “My father shot my mother and killed her, and he’s in jail.

Me: “That must have really hurt your little heart Jesus, huh?”

Jesus: “Yea.”

Me: “I know how you feel, I lost my father when I was young. That hurt my heart too.”

Jesus: “My mother told me that I shouldn’t cry for her.”

Me: “Oh, no, Jesus, it’s okay to cry. You loved her right? It’s a good thing to cry.”

Jesus: “I did.”

Me: “Did your mother have faith?”

Jesus: “What?”

Me: “Did your mother believe in God?”

Jesus: “Oh yes, she told me that her spirit would be looking over me.”

Me: “Do you pray for your mother, Jesus?”

Me: “You know, that’s why it’s good to know your faith.” To know God exists.” “Before I had faith I didn’t believe, to me my father was just, well, gone, that was that, the end; I wasn’t aware that we have souls. That my father had a soul which was with God, and at the end of time God will reunite–as with each of us–our souls to our bodies.” “And we shall be like Jesus.” “You know Jesus rose from the dead, and His body is glorified.” “We shall be like that.”

Me: “But you can help your mother through your prayers, now.” “We don’t know the state of our parents souls, she may be in heaven already, or in purgatory, which is why it’s always good to pray for our parents.”

Jesus: “What’s purgatory?”

Me: “Jesus, it’s like a cleansing fire of God’s love.” God is a pure spirit, and He cleanses us before entering into heaven.”

Jesus: “I hurt my ankle playing basketball at school today!”

Me: “You like to play basketball, Jesus?” “Me too!” And I showed him a knot on my ankle from twisting it playing.

Jesus: “I played baseball too!”

Me: “You’re kidding me, right?” “I played baseball as a kid too.”

Me: “What team?”

Jesus: “The Astros.”

Me: “Astros, huh? I played on the Angels.”

Jesus: “Sometimes I get real angry.”

Me: “Really?”

Jesus: “Yea.” “Really angry.”

Me: “That’s when you need to pray hard Jesus.”

Me: “Hey, we should get together and play some basketball together.”

Jesus: “Can you shoot 3’s still?”

Me: “Yea, I still can.” “Well… at least for the time being.”

These are the children we’ve heard about…


Archbishop Chaput on Lepanto: Some lessons from history for the month of October

Battle of Lepanto_1571
Battle of Lepanto 1571

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,

And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;

There is laughter like the fountains in the face that all men feared,

It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,

It curls the blood red crescent, the crescent of his lips,

For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.

By Arch bishop Chaput

These lines open one of the great poems of English literature, G.K. Chesterton’s Lepanto. On Oct. 7, 1571—exactly 438 years ago today—outnumbered Christian naval forces of the Holy League, including Spain, Venice, Genoa, Savoy, the Papal States and the Knights of Malta, defeated a Muslim war fleet threatening Italy and seeking to expand Turkish power into the western Mediterranean.

Fought off the coast of western Greece near the Muslim naval base of Lepanto, the battle is one of history’s decisive naval encounters. Turkish armed expansion in Europe would continue for more than a century. But Turkish naval power never recovered. Lepanto was a turning point. It helped secure the Christian roots and free societies of the modern Europe we know today.

Moreover, Lepanto can’t be reduced to a clash of commercial interests. It was clearly a contest of beliefs; of very different ideas about God, the human person and the meaning of human society. For the Ottoman Turks, conquests in Europe were an expression of Islamic jihad. Conquered peoples were pressed to convert. If they didn’t, they paid a heavy price in discrimination or outright persecution. As for the Holy League, the name speaks for itself. Modern secular, post-national thinkers may look back dismissively on the religious struggles for the identity of Western civilization, but the free ground they stand on was won with the blood of Christian believers. The history of Europe, and therefore of our own nation, could easily have been very different. It wasn’t. Lepanto is one of the reasons.

In the weeks leading up to the battle, Pope Pius V asked faithful Christians to pray a simple, popular Marian prayer for the Christian fleet’s crews and for the success of the Christian cause—the rosary. He prayed it himself in Rome on Oct. 7 as the battle commenced on the water hundreds of miles away. In the decades after Lepanto, in gratitude for Mary’s intercession, Oct. 7 came to be celebrated universally in the Catholic world as the Feast of the Holy Rosary (and also Our Lady of Victory). So it remains today, and rightly so.

More than four centuries later, we live in a different world. Europe seems intent on repudiating its Christian soul and accomplishing what armed conquest could never do: euthanizing itself spiritually and demographically. If Islam is now the rising religion in many European states, it’s not because of jihad. It’s because secular Europe has created a moral vacuum, a spiritual dead zone in its heart, that cannot sustain life or create hope in the future. That dead zone must be filled by something, because people cannot live without faith in a meaning higher than themselves.

America is not Europe. Not yet. But to borrow a thought from the sociologist Peter Berger, we are a deeply, historically, religious people led by a much less religious leadership and opinion-shaping class. The undercurrent of distaste for religious faith can now be found every day in our entertainment, our news media, our universities and even among our public officials.

America is not Europe, and 2009 is not 1571. We live in a nation of laws. We enjoy freedom of assembly, worship and speech. As Catholics we seek reconciliation with fellow Christians and cooperation, where possible, with anyone of good will. But the lessons of history are worth remembering. No piece of paper, not even the Constitution, really guarantees our right to practice our Christian faith.

That right to religious freedom has to be earned and asserted and defended—publicly and vigorously—by every new generation of Christian citizens. That means you and me. And as the record has already shown, there is no better source of strength in that work than the rosary.

G.K. Chesterton’s “Lepanto,” with explanatory notes and commentary edited by Dale Ahlquist, is available from Ignatius Press.