Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Student Tests Sister's "Modesty is Relative" Theory, Wears Swim Trunks to Mass

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J.Crew Swim Trunk Hodges Used to Prove Point

Following an argument with his sister over what she planned to wear to mass, Mike Hodges,19, donned a pair of swim trunks and attended the evening service last Sunday with his family at St. Joan of Arc Church in Marietta, Geo.

"Mandy had on this tight, low-cut, short dress, and when I told her she needed to wear more clothes, she gave me that whole 'modesty is relative' crap," said Hodges, who is a freshman majoring in philosophy at Georgia State University. "So I said, 'So it is, huh? Well, I will wear this to mass,then,' and held up a pair of swim trunks. She just looked at me like she didn't believe I would do it, so then I had to."

Although Hodges' parents said they agree with his point, they said they wish he had made it in a less conspicuous way. "It was pretty embarrassing," said Don Hodges, Mike's father, and a partner in the Sims,
Warren and Hodges law firm in Marietta. "I literally saw two people gasp when they turned around to make the sign of peace."

Fr. Tim Baranski, associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc said he noticed Hodges, but didn't say anything to him out of charity. "I didn't know if maybe he just wasn't having a bad day. Maybe he forgot to do the wash. Who knows? I am just happy to see young people at mass."

For his part, Mike says he is unrepentant. "Next time she says she can wear what she wants because modesty
is relative and girls in France walk the beaches topless, she can just think of me in my swimming trunks at mass."

Hodges' best friend, Sean Tucker, said he totally agrees with what he did. "If my friends and I want to see half-naked girls, we don't go to bars, we go to mass. Hey, there's no cover charge. But having said all that,I don't want people looking at my sister or cousins like that, but when I talk to them about it, they won't listen."

Seventeen-year-old Mandy, meanwhile, said she plans to change churches. "I am so humiliated," she said."I think I hate Mike's guts."

Hodges said he promised not to bring out the swimming trunks again until the family's trip to Jekyll Island in August. "That made mom really happy. Plus, they really keep it too cold in church for me to do that
again anytime soon."

Monday, June 27, 2005

Wal-mart Superstores to Introduce Church Services this Fall

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Starting this October, you will be able to get your tires, groceries, and hour of worship all in the same place once Wal-mart Superstores begin offering non-denominational church services on Sundays and Wednesdays.

"We are all about offering great products and services to consumers every day, and we think our new church services will give customers one more reason to shop and stay at Wal-mart," said John Fleming,vice president and chief marketing officer for Wal-mart Stores Division.

According to Fleming, the company's latest market research shows that 90 percent of Wal-mart shoppers identify themselves as Christians, and 60 percent of that group said they attend church at least once a month. As a result, Wal-mart Superstores across the country are adding chapels that seat 75 worshippers. Numerous hour-long church services will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, and one evening service will be offered on Wednesday nights. Wal-mart greeters and cashiers, who have been certified through various online theological seminaries, will be in place this fall to serve as ministers, music directors, and counselors.

Fleming said the Wal-mart chapels will offer something no traditional church can boast of: the Rollback Offering TM. "Most churches ask for 10 percent of your income," he said. "Not Wal-mart, though. With our Rollback Offering TM, you only have to give 5 percent to God each week. Wal-mart wants to be the low priceleader in every area of your life, even those areas involving God."

In the future, the Wal-mart Chapels will be available for Weddings, baptisms, and christenings. "Just imagine, you can buy that baptismal gift at a Wal-mart, attend the baptism there, then walk just a few feet and buy the entire family extra value meals at McDonald's," said Ross Hanley, a greeter and minister in training at the Wal-mart Supercenter in Nogales, N.M. "This is what America is all about.

Annie Tamor, a longtime Wal-mart customer in Valdosta, Geo., said she thinks the chapel idea is just what her community needs. "Wal-mart recently took the land my church and subdivision were located on, so this latest idea - to offer church services - just shows how much Wal-mart really cares about all of us. They want us to have low, low prices, but they want us to be able to worship, too."

Fleming said he expects to see full pews come October."We really think our customers are going to want to praise God once they see the incredible savings we have in store for them," he said.

H/T Kelo Boy

Friday, June 24, 2005

Good Taste and Intelligence Abound in the Blogosphere

Well, yet another blogger has written a glowing review of this here blog. Christina over at Confessions of a Carmel Sundae has posted a a very nice write-up. To my knowledge she is not an advent wreath maker, but nevertheless she has a number of good and important things to say.

In addition, I have added Christina and her husband to my citizen reporter list.

See, when you talk about how much you like my blog, I turn around and talk about how clever and astute you are for noticing my blog. That's what we bloggers do.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Editorial: My Cult of Choice

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Alley: Free and Clear

Did you know that you can join the Church of Scientology and be a Catholic, too? Yeah, that's what the Church of Scientology says. Cool, huh? Because, let's face it - sometimes Catholicism just isn't that personally fulfilling.

Several celebrities claim that Scientology has done amazing things for them. It helped Tom Cruise beat his dyslexia. Scientology enabled Kelly Preston to see colors more clearly (good news to millions of Americans, I'm sure!), it aided in the launch of John Travolta's career, and it enabled Kirstie Alley kick cocaine in just one auditing session. Just one!

Celebrities like Cruise, Alley and John Travolta were so impressed with what Scientology could do for them, they quit the Catholic faith (Despite the Church of Scientology's generous offer than you can do both.) Can you blame them, though? Really, why bother with all the suffering life dishes out when you can have a multi-million dollar career in TV or film, and see colors in a brighter and more phenomenal way?

Alley said she is a believer in Scientology because it helped her overcome her drug dependency. But there is one thing Scientology couldn't do for her: help her overcome her love for twinkies and ding-dongs. Yes, even Scientology has its limits. No matter how 'clear' she got, she just couldn't resist that third helping of garlic mashed potatoes. So where did she turn - back to the Catholic Church with its emphasis on moderation and self-control? Heck, no.

She turned to Jenny Craig. And she lost weight and looks great!

According to the Jenny Craig website, the ultimate goal of the program is to transition you from Jenny Craig Menus to planning your own menus, so that you can learn to shop, cook and socialize with foods. Wow!Socialize with foods! Is that a grammatical error or can I really have a deep and fulfilling relationship with that slice of pizza I am about to have?

I can learn to shop and cook the Jenny way. On the website,There is a Jenny Store, where you can buy recipe
books and audio tapes, read inspirational stories, and trade recipes. There are even meetings I can attend where I can meet with other women and talk about food and my problems with food. No wonder Kirstie is losing weight. This is amazing. I can think about food 24/7 and meet others who share my compulsion. This sounds so much more fulfilling to me than anorexia or bulimia - less lonely, too!

Believe me, if you are going to be Catholic and join a cult, wouldn't it make more sense to join Jenny Craig? At the end, you are going to look so much better. What would you rather be - clear or thin? And isn't that what life is all about - looking your best, being thin, and having money so you can flaunt it in front of others and make yourself feel superior? Of course it is! That's the Catholic American way. You can be Catholic and be extremely successful, happy and fulfilled in this life, too. Skip all that suffering stuff. That is just for saints in dusty hardback books. You need to treat yourself right, pamper yourself, and look good. That's your vocation, obviously, since you enjoy it (and of course, we are only called to things we enjoy). Cultivating virtues takes a long time, if even possible. Instead, let's find ways to throw aside the crosses that weigh us down in this life. We'll be happier we did.

Would you like to be one of my citizen journalists?

As you know, if it weren't for bloggers like me, you would never find out the truth of anything. Of course, I can't be everywhere, and need eyes and ears in other parts of the country (and the world, even!) So, if you would like to be one of my citizen journalists, drop me a line at I will include you as one of my citizen journalists. I check the blogs of my citizen journalists every day to learn what is going on in the Blogosphere, btw.

Friday, June 17, 2005

World Exclusive: Habemus Papam!

Attention fans and followers of Pope Benedict XVI: it's time to put the party hats and horns away. As it turns out, a Pope was already selected in 1998, but thanks to the Clinton-Lewinski scandal and Hurricanes Georges and Mitch, this news was lost in the shuffle, and never presented to us by the MSM. You'll be happy to know, however, that has obtained exclusive photographs from the historic day. Habemus Papam!

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The conclave met in the woods of Springdale, Wash. The white smoke! We have a Pope...and it is ...
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Rev. Father Lucian Pulvermacher, OFM CAP....Hooray! Let the partying begin!
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The imposition of hands took place in the conference room of a local Holiday Inn.
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The new Pope cracks a joke. Someone doesn't find it funny. I feel another schism coming on.
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The new Pope performs his first duty. Detailed grocery lists are a must for this new pontiff.
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The new Pope gets ready to excommunicate some chickens on his property.

You can contact the new Pope and wish him well. Here is the contact information and wording found on his website:

Papal Office of the tCC/ P.O. Box 133/ Springdale, WA 99173/USA/ Note that the acronym tCC stands for "true Catholic Church"and the lower/upper case notation is correct as shown.This is to distinguish the pope of the true Catholic Church from the imposter "pope" who presently occupies the Vatican. (editor's note: Yeah, because often times people get confused and think the Vatican is in Washington.)

You can also write him at:

H/T: True Catholic

Update: My journalistic intuition was correct. I did some research today and learned there has been a break between the new Pope and the Cardinal pictured above (Cutline: New Pope cracks joke. Not everyone is laughing.....) Check out the details at: However, I wonder what this guy has to say about it all.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Welcome to the blog!

If you googled in the words "catholic news" and stumbled onto this site by mistake....

or, if you've hit the "next blog" button on the upper right-hand side of your computer screen and are just passing through...

or, if you were looking for news about Dr. Maureen Martin and that story from March about the killer chimps , but wound up here instead - welcome!

Feel free to look around, read my profile, and make yourself at home. However, remember there comes a time when you must put aside your free will and agree with everything I say. Just letting you know.

God bless,

More Gold Stars for This Blog at AMU Life

More fine praise for this blog over here . Not only is Damian a grad student, but he knows Greek (translation=he's smart). We look forward to insightful comments from Damian on this blog. Let's hope they are all in English, though.

I feel my Technorati rating soaring.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

New Catholic Apostolate Launched in Texas

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Crescite et Multiplicamini!, a new lay apostolate was created in the basement of St. George's Catholic Church in Austin, Texas, Saturday.

The kickoff meeting of Crescite et Multiplicamini!, which is Latin for Increase and Multiply, attracted 25 people from the parish. Dom Anthony, the apostolate's founder, said he was not quite sure what the
apostolate's mission would be, but that he wanted to focus on growth, and getting the apostolates into nearby parishes.

"Can you imagine if there had been apostolates back in Jesus' day what He could have done?" asked Anthony. "It just blows my mind to think about it."

Thanks to Anthony's charismatic style, the group has already voted to start a newsletter, and has set up several committees to help members do God's will.

Mimi Tussler, a teacher at St. George's Catholic Elementary School, said she is thrilled to finally be part of an apostolate. "I am not sure what our focus should be," she said. "But, if it gets me out of the house and away from my kids a while, it's worth it."

There were even murmurs at the meeting about a possible future cause for beatification for Anthony. "Of course, he'd have to die first," said Tussler. "And, this group would have to get a lot bigger,
but I could see it happening."

National Catholic Reporter Welcomes Child Advocate Columnist to Staff, Unveils New Column for Kids

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Kids will get their faith questions answered with Sister Tomberlin's column, Millstones.

The National Catholic Reporter (NCR) welcomed Sister Mary Alice Tomberlin on board Friday as the writer of a new column for children, Millstones.

The weekly column will include topics on the minds of Catholics, aged 5-12, including faith, friendship, the arts, women's ordination, liberation theology, birth control, and gender issues.

Tomberlin, who is a member of the Sinsinawa Dominicans in Sinsinawa, Wis., has spent over 25 years as an educator and has a Phd in clinical psychology from Norwestern University.

"Young people wonder about so many things in regard to their Catholic faith," said Tomberlin. "Why am I here? Who is God? Why did He create me? Am I really a female trapped in a young man's body?'

Tom Roberts, editor of NCR, said he is delighted about the new column. "The kids are going to love
this. We are so fortunate to have Sister Mary Alice. She can really get inside the mind of a child."

Tomberlin wouldn't give any hints as to what her first column topic would be, but said she is very excited about the column. "Kids are just thirsting for information and guidance. They're angry. Why is there poverty in the world? Why are we at war? Why was Tom Reese fired from America magazine? Why is the Catholic Church allowing millions of people to die all over the world because of its stand on birth control?"

"I am not going to influence the children will my answers to these questions, though," said Tomberlin. "I am just here to bring up the provocative questions. They can supply their own answers."

Millstones kicks off the week of June 27.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Got a a Tip or Story Idea?

Then, hit me. Now, I am busy with my many Church apostolates, but I will always make time for you: my beloved readers. If you have a tip or story idea, email me at As you know, the Christian World will come to a complete standstill unless I am blogging...or teaching others to make wreaths.


Tom Cruise in the News

What happens when a nice Catholic boy and former aspirant to the priesthood leaves Catholicism for a new-and-improved religion? Why, he becomes filled with the "spirit!" Who needs the sacraments when you can, uh, feel and act like this?

So, has it taken him awhile to reach this level or perfection, or has he just been holding out on us? Click on the headline to see the spirited remix of him on "O."

H/T Hollywoodgal

Saturday, June 11, 2005

"Catholic" Apologist Matatics Gets Amnesia, Declares Self "Schismatic"

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Only hours after falling from a 12-ft ladder at his home in Pennsylvania Tuesday and suffering amnesia, one-time respected Catholic apologist Gerry Matatics denounced himself as a "schismatic."

"Who in the heck is this nutball?" Matatics purpotedly asked his wife while watching a DVD he starred in and produced, denouncing the Novus Ordo mass. When his wife informed him that he was the nutball, Matatics had to be physically restrained, but not before he threw eggs and toast at the TV screen and yelled, "Schismatic! That guy is in schism!"

Matatics, former friend of apologist Scott Hahn, and president of Biblical Foundations International, fell from a ladder while doing some caulking on his home in Dunmore. Although he suffered superficial cuts and bruises from the fall, he walked away with a severe case of amnesia. Physicians are not sure whether the condition is permanent.

In his role as president of Biblical Foundations International, Matatics declared a long list of people to be in schism, including: Apologist Scott Hahn, the entire staff of Catholic Answers, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa. He even questioned the faith of canonized saints, such as Augustine and Thomas More.

Following the outburst, Matatics was reported to be resting comfortably, and visitors were being turned away. It is not known yet whether Matatics will allow himself to run Biblical Foundation International now that his beliefs conflict with his own.

More Handclaps for This Blog at The Donegal Express

Check out the awesome review of over at The Donegal Express . Like Jordan over at Contemplating the Laundry , and the folks at Hereditas, Tom has good taste and a whole lotta sense! BTW, Tom has news about our upcoming tour. This is not to be confused with my "Blogging Patriots Tour" with my husband, Tom.

See, more and more folks in the Blogosphere are catching the fever that is Remember, nobody loves America like us bloggers!

Friday, June 10, 2005

I'm back

I hear a collective sigh of relief in the blogosphere. Yes, the advent wreath-making conference was exhausting, but I've learned some exciting new techniques involving wire ribbon....

Looks like I got a huge stack of news, mail, comments, etc., to sort through now. Maybe I should get an au pair girl to help me with the household duties (at least the ones I don't like, anyway). You people just don't realize the great public service I am providing with this blog.

While I work on my latest news offerings...don't forget to buy my books and the latest in high-fashion "Maureen Wear"!


Sunday, June 05, 2005

Blogging Hiatus

As a dutiful blogger in our Blogoshere, I thought it was important to tell you I am taking a short blogging break. Don't be afraid,though. Don't turn on your TVs, radios, or open your newspapers while I am gone. Remember: I am *the* source for news.

And please, commenters don't fight with each other and be uncharitable to one another while I am gone; that is my job. My duty is to berate you and fuss at you when you don't see things my way. Heh heh.

If you have story ideas or insightful comments, write me at

Legionaires Purchase Last Catholic Newspaper

The Legionaires of Christ have purchased "The Catholic Pundit," the last independent Catholic
newspaper in the United States.

"I tried to hold out as long as I could, even publishing it secretly in my basement," said
Stephen Vedner, who teaches English and journalism at Our Lady of Sorrow School in Akron, Ohio. "My neighbor down the street,
who is in Regnum Christi, ratted me out, though." Vedner wrote, edited and published the newspaper once a week, printing out hundreds of copies
on a five-year old laser printer, and distributing them for free at his Knights of Columbus meetings.

Vedner said he didn't want to sell the paper, but he got tired of phone calls and visits from
the Legionaires, asking him to sell. "In the end, they just wore me out."
The Legionaires currently own Our Sunday Visitor, Crisis, and National Catholic Register.
The religious group bought National Catholic Reporter, Time Magazine, The Wanderer, Catholic Mass
Magazine, and Guideposts last month.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Celebrated Lyricist Pens Hymn During Drive-Through Wait

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In less time than it took him to order a Whopper with fries, Marty Haugen wrote the lyrics and melody yesterday for a new hymn he says is his best yet.

"'Gather Us In' has always been my personal favorite, but my newest hymn,'We are the Apples of Your Eye' really speaks from my heart, and the crazy thing is the words came to me while I was waiting in line at Burger King," Haugen said.

"They say fasting heightens spiritual awareness and it had been several hours since I had eaten anything. That's the only explanation I can think of for this new song," he said.

In fact, he got so into the writing process, a woman in the car behind him had to beep her horn to prompt Haugen to move to the second window and pick up his order. "I could tell she was getting impatient with me, and for a split second I wanted to give her the finger. But then the melody and lyrics of my new hymn just kind of washed over me, saying, "Marty, God loves you. God loves her. Just get your burger and give thanks."

Haugen's new hymn features all those subjects his fans have grown to love over the years: banquets, acceptance, stars, flowers and, of course, the moon. He even managed to work in a couple of lines about his new puppy, Sparky. "This song is about me, you, God and creation. It reminds us that God really regards his entire creation, and especially us, with wonder."

Thursday, June 02, 2005

New Poll Shows Majority of Catholics Who Reject Church Teachings Refuse to Leave, but Don't Know Why

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St. Ignatius Chapel at the University of Seattle

Seventy-five percent of Catholics who say they disagree with the Church's traditional teachings on birth control, divorce and homosexuality said they aren't exactly sure why they want to remain members of the Church, but they aren't leaving, according to a new poll.

"I guess I could officially renounce my Catholicism," said Bert Tucker, a computer sales manager and usher at Church of the Good Shepherd in Tampa. "But where am I going to go? To one of those evangelical wingbat churches where the beliefs are actually enforced? No thanks."

Athough she thinks the Church is behind the times on most issues, including priestly celibacy
and women's ordination, Mary McFadden is proud of her role as RCIA instructor at the Church. "I can't remember a time when I wasn't Catholic. All my relatives are Catholic. You know, I just want other people to
experience that, you know, experience or whatever."

Her husband Bill, who is a Eucharistic minister, said he rejects the Church's teaching on the
Real Presence, among other things, and it has caused him a lot of problems. "It really bugs me when
people call me a liberal or a heretic or whatever. I'm just glad we don't live back in the days
when people really were excommunicated for holding different views. Yeah, I don't agree with the church
on 99 percent of what it teaches, but you can't make me leave. I've been told the Church isn't a democracy,but most polls show Catholics don't agree with that."

Other dissenters seem wistful. "I just identify with so much of Catholic culture, even if I don't agree with the teachings," said Krista Luntz, a sophomore studying literature at the University of Seattle, and who is opposed to the Church's teaching on birth control. "There's the music, the art, the architecture," she said while motioning to the St. Ignatius Chapel behind her. "Well, on second thought, maybe I don't really know why I am Catholic."

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Daily Kos Posters Struggle to Put "Best Spin" on "Constitutional Right"

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Although Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973, posters at Daily Kos, the country's most-heavily visited liberal blog, are still struggling to find the best "spin" for this "constitutional right."

"The country's on our side," said Kos, founder of Daily Kos, "but we need to frame this in such a way, so that everyone will accept it."

After a flurry of posts between cinnamongirl, doglover, and castrobean, it was decided the Democratic Party's best argument is: "Safe, Legal & Rare."

"There, that's it. Enough said," posted castrobean.

However, not everyone in the thread was happy. "Why rare?" asked phillyfreedom. "If this is my Constitutitional right, why am I being forced to experience restrictions?"

"Yeah," said cactusgirl. "There's nothing wrong with abortion.Why make it rare? You are just giving the Repugs something to chip away at."

Doglover then accused catcusgirl and phillyfreedom of actually thinking abortion is wrong. "Why don't you find another thread?" he asked. "Looks like you are in the wrong one. Listen, rare is a great argument, OK?"

Finally, mr.newyork posted his argument. "Well, brain surgery is not morally wrong, but it is unpleasant, so you would want that rare, right?"

After a few minutes of no response, mr.newyork posted again. "OK, you would want colonoscopies to be rare, right? They aren't morally wrong, but they are unpleasant. Even Anti-Choice people would agree with that, right? "
Cactusgirl still wasn't satisfied. "Yes, but no one is out there arguing that colonoscopies should be made rare. That's stupid."

"Look, rare sounds good. People will accept that," mr.newyork posted again.
"The way to make it rare is birth control," he added. " We need to get more birth control out there to make abortion rare."

"Hey, but the U.S. has one of the highest rates of abortion, and most people have access to birthcontrol. How is that an answer?" asked oscarfan.

"Safe, Legal & Rare. That's the argument," repeated mr.newyork.

"But, that frame doesn't work anymore," posted phillyfreedom.
"OK, well, let's just stick with legal," said cactusgirl.

"Legal? What's that going to prove to anybody. It used to be legal to own slaves in this country. What does something being legal prove?" asked anonvoter.
"Look, it's our best argument," posted Kos.
To be continued....
H/T: olympian
This is a fictional news story, but some of the arguments here are straight out of D Kos.

More Praise for this Blog!

Although I have only been slaving away at this blog for about five days, there is already more praise for it in the Blogosphere. This time, the kudos come from Hereditas magazine. Read about how great my blog is over here.

Also, don't forget to check out the "I love Maureen" gear at the link below. Again, I am going to try to figure out some way to have the proceeds go toward my apostolate!

Striving to be a Higher Being