Saturday, August 28, 2010
The video also examines the creation of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, the religious order that administers the parish. The charism of the Canons is the restoration of the sacred art and liturgy of the Catholic Church.
I have found the liturgical experience at St. John Cantius to be incredibly uplifting and beautiful and a real boost to my spiritual life. The fact that families travel from all over the Chicago area to attend services at St. John Cantius attests to the hunger that many have for the sacred traditions of the Church.
The video can be watched here in its entirety:
Source: StoryTel Productions
Sunday, August 22, 2010
...Modesty protects the mystery of persons, as the Catechism reminds us (No. 2522). Quicker than the eye can blink, immodesty can dispel mystery in a girl. And once that mystery is dispelled, what fills the void? Will a school or a town simply stop thinking of girls? It most surely will not. Instead, it will begin to think of them in a distorted way. It will begin to think of them as objects.
Webster’s defines an object as a “tangible and visible” entity. Immodesty so funnels attention onto a girl’s “tangible” body that it dismisses the intangibles that comprise her personality and immortal soul.
Girls once admired for their beautiful eyes, smiles, compassion, dignity or grace — or perhaps how they lovingly cared for younger siblings or patiently sat with an older grandparent — are now bluntly and crudely referred to as “hot.” Is it any wonder that America has successfully bred multiple generations of anorexic, bulimic and depressed young girls, each one struggling in vain to be a perfect “object”?
The more a girl is protected from being viewed as an object, the more likely she will be viewed as a mysterious gift from heaven with hopes, joys, sorrows, talents, thoughts, feelings, likes, dislikes and a precious personality all her own. It’s only then that her soul, made in the image and likeness of God, can begin to shine through. Each girl yearns for this, whether she knows it or not, because that is the truth of who she is, and of who she was made to be.
One major offense against modesty, so widely accepted in our day, is high hemlines. High hems among women are a relatively recent development. Throughout history, it was as if women, in their wisdom, instinctively saw themselves in need of the protection modesty offered. Prior to the early 1900s, for centuries, hemlines wavered somewhere between floor length to just above the ankle. Skirts began to slowly rise about the year 1912. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
In 1912 Margaret Sanger began to actively promulgate the concept of artificial birth control. Artificial birth control removed consequence from action, and thus led men toward the indiscriminate use of women as sexual objects. Is it coincidence that the promulgation of artificial birth control is timed precisely with the onset of higher hems, which reflect that objectification?
Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae explained how artificial birth control can “open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. … A man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”
The birth control pill was fully legalized in 1965, and in 1966 skirts rose to “miniskirt” level — again linking the advancing of contraception with increasing immodesty. Presumably, if one could protect women from pregnancy through contraception, one would not need clothing for that purpose. Contraception may have “protected” some women from becoming mothers. But contraception could never do what modest clothing does so well. It could never protect women from being viewed, and treated, as objects.
Contraception has led us down a dark path where every day women now delight in being viewed as “sexy” rather than decent, dignified or attractive. It’s a disturbing path where motherhood, a most miraculous vocation, is routinely shunned. It’s a path on which ordinary women, having been objectified for so long, now freely objectify themselves...
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Four coaches have come and gone since Holtz resigned in 1996; one of them, George O'Leary, only lasted a couple days before being forced to resign when false information on his resume came to light.
Now, Brian Kelly takes the helm, with a resume of significant and long-term success at several programs. Will he be the man to "Wake up the Echoes" which have been slumbering for two decades?
I think he will. Whether or not Coach Kelly will win a national title is uncertain, but there should be every expectation that he will make Notre Dame relevant again (on the field that is). I will be surprised if Notre Dame does not become a consistent and legitimate national title contender under Coach Kelly's tutelage.
Despite being greatly disappointed by the last four coaches, I dare to be not only optimistic, but enthusiastic, about Notre Dame's prospects moving forward.
To paraphrase a favorite President of mine, who just happened to play the role Notre Dame legend George Gipp in the movie, "Knute Rockne, All American: " It is morning on Notre Dame's campus!
NBC's promo for the upcoming Notre Dame football season:
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Their latest video is called, "HOME:"
Their best known TV Ad, called "EPIC," appears below. I found this video incredibly moving the first time I saw it. The ad provided me with a powerful reminder of why I am proud to be Catholic.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Do you wonder why companies are not hiring? Michael Fleischer, president of Bogen Communications Inc., explains: (my emphasis in black)
With unemployment just under 10% and companies sitting on their cash, you would think that sooner or later job growth would take off. I think it's going to be later—much later. Here's why.
Meet Sally (not her real name; details changed to preserve privacy). Sally is a terrific employee, and she happens to be the median person in terms of base pay among the 83 people at my little company in New Jersey, where we provide audio systems for use in educational, commercial and industrial settings. She's been with us for over 15 years. She's a high school graduate with some specialized training. She makes $59,000 a year—on paper. In reality, she makes only $44,000 a year because $15,000 is taken from her thanks to various deductions and taxes, all of which form the steep, sad slope between gross and net pay.
Before that money hits her bank, it is reduced by the $2,376 she pays as her share of the medical and dental insurance that my company provides. And then the government takes its due. She pays $126 for state unemployment insurance, $149 for disability insurance and $856 for Medicare. That's the small stuff. New Jersey takes $1,893 in income taxes. The federal government gets $3,661 for Social Security and another $6,250 for income tax withholding. The roughly $13,000 taken from her by various government entities means that some 22% of her gross pay goes to Washington or Trenton. She's lucky she doesn't live in New York City, where the toll would be even higher.
Employing Sally costs plenty too. My company has to write checks for $74,000 so Sally can receive her nominal $59,000 in base pay. Health insurance is a big, added cost: While Sally pays nearly $2,400 for coverage, my company pays the rest—$9,561 for employee/spouse medical and dental. We also provide company-paid life and other insurance premiums amounting to $153. Altogether, company-paid benefits add $9,714 to the cost of employing Sally.Then the federal and state governments want a little something extra. They take $56 for federal unemployment coverage, $149 for disability insurance, $300 for workers' comp and $505 for state unemployment insurance. Finally, the feds make me pay $856 for Sally's Medicare and $3,661 for her Social Security.
When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally's pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits. Bottom line: Governments impose a 33% surtax on Sally's job each year.
Because my company has been conscripted by the government and forced to serve as a tax collector, we have lost control of a big chunk of our cost structure. Tax increases, whether cloaked as changes in unemployment or disability insurance, Medicare increases or in any other form can dramatically alter our financial situation. With government spending and deficits growing as fast as they have been, you know that more tax increases are coming—for my company, and even for Sally too.
Companies have also been pressed into serving as providers of health insurance. In a saner world, health insurance would be something that individuals buy for themselves and their families, just as they do with auto insurance. Now, adding to the insanity, there is ObamaCare.
Every year, we negotiate a renewal to our health coverage. This year, our provider demanded a 28% increase in premiums—for a lesser plan. This is in part a tax increase that the federal government has co-opted insurance providers to collect. We had never faced an increase anywhere near this large; in each of the last two years, the increase was under 10%.
To offset tax increases and steepening rises in health-insurance premiums, my company needs sustainably higher profits and sales—something unlikely in this "summer of recovery." We can't pass the additional costs onto our customers, because the market is too tight and we'd lose sales. Only governments can raise prices repeatedly and pretend there will be no consequences.
And even if the economic outlook were more encouraging, increasing revenues is always uncertain and expensive. As much as I might want to hire new salespeople, engineers and marketing staff in an effort to grow, I would be increasing my company's vulnerability to government decisions to raise taxes, to policies that make health insurance more expensive, and to the difficulties of this economic environment.
A life in business is filled with uncertainties, but I can be quite sure that every time I hire someone my obligations to the government go up. From where I sit, the government's message is unmistakable: Creating a new job carries a punishing price. Source