Friday, July 29, 2005

Thank You Note Friday (Filed under: Cantor-worthy blogs)

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And the advent wreath award goes to...

Every Friday, I am going to list all the blogs and bloggers who have linked to and/or written about stories posted on this blog during the week. On Fridays that I don't have thank yous to make, I will simply share my latest advent wreath making techniques. Enjoy.

So, here are this week's cantor-worthy blogs.

Technically Unsophisticated: Core's blog has a little bit of this and a little bit of that; he's got computer info mixed with current events, religious news and humor. He's a young guy, traumatized over the loss of some facial hair.

Happy Catholic: She's happy. She's Catholic. She's the Happy Catholic. And you thought Katie Couric was spunky. You were wrong.

The Curt Jester:The things this man does with Photoshop. If he had been around during Martin Luther's time, he could have ended that whole indulgences flap with one post.

The Anchoress: She's not a nun, but she could be. Even when a commenter totally disagrees with her - or is downright rude - she manages to respond in a charitable way. She's a good sport, that Anchoress.

The Pope: Yes, the Pope digs my blog. Is there something wrong with that?

American Digest: Gerard is a photographer and quite a talented one. Would he consider taking photos of some of my advent wreaths? Perhaps his people could talk to my people.

Musings of a Discerning Woman
Once upon a time there was a little girl who grew up and wanted to be a nun. That girl's name is Susan. Susan has a blog. Yesterday was Susan's birthday. Everyone wish Susan a happy birthday. The end. Wasn't that a beautiful story?

One Bread, One Body: G'day, blogger Jeff,
how are things Down Under, mate? I bet you get sick of dumb questions like this? I bet you guys don't even say mate, do you? Do you?

Papa Familias: His title's Latin; his blog is green. He likes baseball and his family. Papa Familias! Papa Familias! (Everybody, Papa Familias! Hey!)

OK, if you have written about a post you have seen at and I have left you out, please trackback me, so I can declare you cantor-worthy.

God bless, Maureen Martin

* Blogs listed in my thank you notes do not necessarily reflect my views or opinions, or the way I would state my views and/or opinions. However, some might.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Man Gets Birthday Wish, Church Ceases to Exist

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Birthday Cake Becomes Catalyst for Change

NEWARK, N.J. -- When John Holland closed his eyes, made a wish and blew out the 46 candles on the birthday cake his wife made him, he had no idea how badly the rest of his day would go.

In just a matter of hours, classical works by Homer, Ovid and Vergil disintegrated, Europe was overun by Moors and is now under a theocratic dictatorship, works by Michaelangelo and other artists vanished, the slave trade resurrected, his wife ceased to be, and 2000 years of unsaid prayers went unanswered.

He said he wished the Catholic Church never existed.

"That afternoon,I was reading the last page of the Aeneid when all the words vanished off the pages, and the book just crumbled to pieces," said Holland, a general medical practitioner. Words weren't the only thing to disappear. Apparently, the letter "J" was also a casualty of the birthday wish gone awry. "I'm known as Ohn now," he said.

Following the birthday wish, Holland's home and land morphed into an apartment building that is property of McDonald's Hamburgers. The fast-food restaurant, now based in China, leases apartments to Newark residents. "The golden arches shine in my bedroom at night and keep me up," he said. "All my clothes have Coca-Cola logos on them."

According to Holland, it is a good thing he has the Coca-cola clothes. The birthday wish left the planet without hospitals or universities, so he has a minimum-wage position as a street sweeper.

"The worst part of it, besides not knowing where my wife is, is that I can't find any cappuchino anywhere. This was definitely a big mistake," Ohn said.

Monday, July 25, 2005

People Across Country Clamor for Pope's OK on Contraception

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Pope Benedict XVI

NASHVILLE - According to a new poll, when it comes to issues such as marital fidelity, abortion, materialism and euthansia,the majority of Americans don't believe Pope Benedict XVI has any knowledge or authority, yet 90 percent said it would make "a huge difference" in their lives and in the world if the pontiff would bless the use of birth control.

"It just sickens me that there are men in Africa who are sleeping around on their wives, and they won't use condoms because it is against Church teaching," said Callie McIntyre, a receptionist with Marlen & Associates Advertising Agency in Nashville, Tenn. "All the Pope has to do is lift this silly restriction, and encourage the use of condoms, and the men would listen to him."

McIntyre, who is not Catholic, added that hearing the Pope say it is OK for her to use birth control wouldjust make her "feel better."

Karen Hartman, an interior designer for Huffman House in Atlanta, agreed that the Pope needed to "move in that direction." "There are women in my neighborhood who are lugging around two or three children. It's just sick. It's time the Church encouraged the pill," she said. "I've only got one child, and it has allowed me and my husband to do what we want to, to travel, to buy things."

Hartman admits that for awhile her son "whined" about wanting a little brother. "We got him an X-box, though, and he hasn't mentioned it since," she said.

Among those non-Catholics who believe the Pope needs to encourage the use of birth control is Michael Andrews, president of Food Basket, an organization that is based in New York City and helps the poor. "I think the whole problem began with Jesus," he said.

"There were crude forms of birth control back in his day, but he didn't encourage men and women to use it. Instead of distributing loaves and fishes, he should have been educating the poor and lame people about having fewer children. Plus, being who he was, he could have created something very effective for people at that time."

Andrews' organization is unique in that it doesn't feed or clothe the poor, but instead, encourages them to use birth control and provides it, free. Andrews is currently writing his own version of the gospels in which Jesus distributes condoms. "Yes, it's an anachronism, but it's one that has come," he said. "And the poor people we deal with in Third World countries would believe it and do it."

Carl Bamberg, a director of religious education at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lexington, Ky., said the Pope's blessing on birth control would be a huge relief to the majority of people in his parish. "They are all using contraceptives anyway,why not say it is OK? Then again, most people around here drive luxury cars and vacation at expensive resorts every summer. Maybe they aren't listening to all that stuff about rich men not entering Heaven. Are you listening, Pope Benedict? We need to update Church teaching."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Town Hopes Local Man Will Be Canonized

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MARBLE, COLO. -- When Felix Sommers, 58, died of a massive heart attack at Morton's Coffee Shop Monday morning, his waitress, Enid Phillips, wrapped up his half-eaten cheeseburger and sold it on e-bay for $15.

"He was a great man," said Phillips, a lifelong Marble resident. "I think he is going to be a big saint in the Catholic Church one day. I thought I had to save the leftovers for posterity. The really weird part is that when I picked up his plate, I saw a face in it."

Miracles, healings and good works tend to highlight Sommers' life. In 1990, Sommers formed the Catholic family lay apostolate, Fidelity, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to provide spiritual study materials to families. As the popular lay apostolate grew, Sommers made the decision to have the organization lobby against legislation and entities deemed harmful to the family.

As the apostolate expanded in scope, Sommers made the difficult decision to divorce his wife,Maggie, and relocate the ministry to Colorado, in order to devote more time to it.

"He said he hated to abandon those kids and leave Maggie," said Ron Sterling, acting director of Fidelity. "But after a few hours, he snapped out of it, and got down to the business the Lord had called him to."

Sommers' two children from his first marriage currently live in Albuquerque. His son Will, 25, the lead singer in a popular local band called Fester, said he is coping adequately enough with his father's death. "Yeah, people seem to like my father a lot," Will said. "When I was a kid, he would call and write letters from time to time. He would talk to me about Jesus and stuff, but I never got into all that religion crap."

His daughter, Wendy, who works as a dancer at Black Tie Gentleman's Club in Albuquerque, said she never felt she lived up to her father's religious reputation. "I always worried I disappointed him because I wasn't all into God like he was. I hope I wasn't too much of an embarrassment to him."

"He was really religious," said Bob Snelling, owner of Snelling Printing and Sommers' employer for two months during the 1990s. "He would work on religious pamphlets on the job and such. One time, I got on to him about it and he told me that he had received a vision from St. Teresa of Avila the night before, telling him to work on the pamphlet. Let's just say I was a little afraid to talk to him about things after that."

Fellow parishoners at Our Lady of the Mountains say they also noticed Sommers' holiness. "Oh, he was such a spiritual man," Regina Gutenberg said. "It just touched me how at mass, during the consecration, he would pray a Rosary on one hand, and a Divine Mercy Chaplet on the other. He was such a multitasking master. I could barely keep my eyes on what the priest was doing because it was such a joy to watch Felix."

After a few years in Marble, Sommers was able to obtain an anullment from his first wife, remarry, and adopt a couple of children from Tanzania. "He has such a heart for children and anybody who is in trouble and needs help," said Glenda, his second wife, who serves as office manager for Fidelity. "

In fact, townspeople called Sommers the Don Quixote saint because of his commitment to root out injustice. "When one young man cut in line during confession, Felix was so incensed, he knocked him to the ground and splashed holy water in his face," said Gutenberg. "We were amazed at his pluck."

Some of those involved with Fidelity have spearheaded a group, which will promote his cause for canonization. Recently, the office received a letter from Earl Morton from Las Vegas, Nevada, who claims a headache he had miraculously went away, after he received the burger he bought off of ebay. Fidelity is hoping they can document another miracle for the Vatican to "help speed up the process."

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Chesterton's Ghost Appears, Suggests Fans Find "Other Interests"

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Chesterton urged Griffin to do "anything."

LONDON -- A London book buyer got the shock of his life yesterday when the ghost of G.K. Chesterton appeared to him and joked that he wished his fans would 'get lives.'

"I was in The Bookstop, buying a copy of Orthodoxy when a man touched me on the shoulder and commended me for being a good Distributist and shopping locally," said Jack Griffin, a history teacher at St. Margaret Clitherow High School. "When I turned around, I saw this enormous fellow, smoking a cigar and laughing. He told me to stop shaking and not try to impress him with any 'inverted platitudes,' because unfortunately, 'he had heard them all already.'"

According to Griffin, the ghost and acclaimed writer said he has access to new books, magazines and the Internet in Heaven, but is sent to Earth to "check things out," from time to time.

Griffin and Chesterton had a 45-minute chat, in which the latter told him about Heaven, saints he's friends with, and his desire that his fans would quit trying to out-Chesterton each other.

"He is really tired of reading Chestertonian platitudes and proverbs," said Griffin. "He is tired of fans dressing like him, imitating him, talking about how brilliant he is. He said the last straw was when someone named his dog after him."

"He told me that 'it's one thing to inspire people like Michael Collins, Gandhi, C.S. Lewis and Martin Luther King, but quite another to inspire a generation of Catholics under-50 to be plain annoying.'"

Of Collins, et al, Chesterton told Griffin, "They were inspired and they did something. I'd prefer you not be inspired and do anything."

Chesterton joked that while his friends Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton led lives that convinced people to help the poor and commune with God, that he, Flannery O'Connor and Walker Percy were quickly becoming the patron saints of people 'who just read all the time.'

Chesterton's parting words to Griffin were to enjoy life and strive for eternal life. "He wouldn't give me any hints on the end of the world, but reminded me there would be a happy ending."

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Catholic Apologists Injured Following Game of Uncle

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No Fun on the Farm

PADUCAH, KY. -- Andy Donovan and John Wade, two well-known Protestant-turned-Catholic-apologists, were arrested Thursday night following a game of uncle that went horribly awry on Wade's farm in Paducah, Kentucky.

Earlier in the evening, Donovan the author of Catholic By the Grace of God, and Wade author of I'm Catholic and I'm Right, began debating papal issues, before it ultimately led to a fight.

"Andy was pulling John's nose, and John was biting Andy's leg," said Wade's wife, Michelle. "Andy kept yelling, "'Say Uncle! Say Uncle! Tell me I'm Scott Hahn-worthy' It was awful."

According to Michelle Donovan, the two best-selling authors were debating what it means to follow the Pope in matters of 'faith and morals.' The two discussed whether or not it was morally licit to listen to the rockgroup Rush now since Pope Benedict XVI, back when he was cardinal, said that rock music is the complete antithesis of Christian faith in the redemption. The two also debated whether or not it was permissible now to watch football on Sunday, since the former Pope who wrote an encyclical about the sabbath, John Paul II, was dead.

"John kept turning up the song "Tom Sawyer" on his boom box louder and louder, which was kind of hard to believe since he was upside down, biting my husband's leg at the same time," said Karla Donovan. "It was all very disturbing. I guess they won't be working on their apologetics and evangelization blog together anymore."

After police were called, Donovan was taken to the hospital for a tetanus shot. Wade suffered only superficial injuries. After an overnight stay in the county jail, Donovan and Wade were released. Both men declined to be interviewed.

Morris Daniels, who lives and farms up the road from Wade, said the noise was so loud, he came by to see if the family was OK. "There was blood everywhere. I thought there had been a cockfight."

Daniels said the reason for the fight mystifies him. "I don't know what either Pope believed, but it seems like neither one would approve of beating the stuffing out of somebody. That's just my opinion, though."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Parishoners Blame Hand Puppet for Priest's Lackluster Homily

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Uninspired Homilist

LITTLE ROCK -- Fr. James McLaughlin's idea to incorporate a hand puppet routine into his homily to "kick things up a notch" was met with yawns and blank stares from parishoners at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Little Rock, Ark.

"Fr. Jim is a nice guy and all, but that puppet didn't inspire me to change in any way,"
said Mark McCormack, an adjuster for Allstate Insurance. "And the puppet didn't answer any of the nagging questions I have about my faith. I still can't explain the Trinity."

Debbie Sibowski, a stock clerk for Winn-Dixie, said she has heard better homilies. "The puppet gyrated
a lot and it was distracting. Not only that, he talked in a really squeaky voice that gave me an uneasy feeling. I just wanted it to end."

Fr. McLaughlin made the decision to use the hand puppet in his homily as he was heading out the door of the rectory
for mass. "I hadn't thought of anything to talk about for my homily yet, when that sock puppet I used for Vacation Bible School came to my mind," he said. "At the time, it seemed like a real attention getter, a great idea. Who uses a sock puppet in a homily?"

He soon learned there was a reason for the rare usage.

"People just stared at me," McLaughlin said. "They didn't warm up to the puppet at all. I can't say I am not disappointed."

"I just wondered if he bought it at a yard sale or something," asked Kristine Rutler, a homeschool mom and CCD
instructor. "Aren't we worth more than a 25-cent-sock puppet? I bet at the cathedral they would at least use a marionette."

Timothy Jarrell, age 9, agreed. "That puppet was stupid. I don't think I want to be a priest when I grow up."

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Group Protests Catholic Church's Teachings on Moderation

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CHICAGO -- A new group has formed in order to protest the Catholic Church's centuries-long stand on eating and drinking in moderation.

Full Effect was created in Chicago, Illinois, last Tuesday with the purpose of educating the public and the Vatican about the failures and dangers of moderation. "Moderation doesn't work," said Aimee Riordan, founder and president of Full Effect. "Study after study has shown that people just want to eat and drink as much as they want. They like it."

Although only days old, the fledgling group boasts 15 members who have already started planning a trip to the Vatican. Roger Waits, a former Men's Big and Tall Clothing Store manager, said he has been waiting for a group like this to form for a long time. "You mean to tell me that if there is a plate of cookies sitting in front of me that the Vatican expects me to only eat a couple and then stop?" asked Waits, who was painting signs for the march. "Well, I can't stop, and I want the Catholic Church to give me another alternative."

Buttons and t-shirts featuring the slogans: "There's No Shame in a Fifth Helping" and"Food is Love" have been created for members for the event.

Riordan and her group said they are concerned about the rising rate of obesity and obsesity-related ailments in the West, particularly in America. Riordan said obesity can be directly tied to the Church's failed stand on moderation.

"The antiquated idea that people should be able to control themselves should have died with St. Thomas Aquinas in the Middle Ages, yet the Pope expects people in the year 2005 to live like this," said Riordan.

Riordan and her group are lobbying the Vatican to try to persuade the Pope to reverse the Church's stand on moderation and bless alternative methods of weight control such as diet pills, Syrup of Ipecac use, stomach stapling, liposuction and gastric bypass surgery.

"It would mean a lot to millions of people if the Pope would not only put his blessing on these options, but encourage the people to use them," said Riordan. "No one should go to Krispy Kreme without a bottle of Syrup of Ipecac for afterward. It is the responsible thing to do, and people need to be encouraged to do it."

Molly Stevens, a freelance graphic artist, said she is optimistic about the organization and its goals."It will be great when one day people can go for that 7th piece of pizza and not feel guilty about it, or worry about the consequences."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Today, I'm British. No Joke.

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And my Irish side is totally OK with that.

Our prayers are with you.

This idea was stolen from Tom at The Donegal Express

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Header Worthy of an Advent Wreath Maker

I'd like everyone to give a virtual round of applause to Lisa Sabin over at Elegant Webscapes. She redesigned my header and I must say it is indeed cantor-worthy (I am hoping that through my blog I can popularize hip, new sayings like "cantor-worthy.") Anyway, I found an ad for Lisa's design services over at the Truth Laid Bear. She is great to work with and the price is right, so if you ever want some blog design work done, drop her an email. BTW, she has her own blog, too. The question is, though, can she design an advent wreath?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Church Endorses Marriage Between Pets and Owners

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Pets Now Dating Material

The United Methodist Episcopal Church became the first church denomination in the country to approve a resolution endorsing marriages between pets and owners, July 4.

The resolution calls on the denomination to consider wedding policies that do not discriminate against couples in which one of them has "fur, feather, fins or gills."

"There is nothing wrong with loving someone, even if that someone is a dog or cat," said Rev. Marci Himmelstein of the 1st United Methodist Episcopal Church in Bangor, Maine. "Who are we to deny someone the opportunity to give and receive love? Who am I to tell someone who they can love?"

Himmelstein says response to the resolution has been overwhelmingly positive, and expects the church will be booked for numerous weddings over the upcoming months. Roughly 90 percent of the Church's synod voted to approve the resolution.

Patti Monger, who teaches Vacation Bible School at the church in Bangor, said she is delighted by the Church's resolution. "I am in love with my fish. There, I said it. I am no longer ashamed, because this is no longer the love that dares not speak its name," she said.

Monger said she and her fantail goldfish, Oscar, are planning a spring wedding, with Rev. Himmelstein officiating. "We want to have kids, definitely. Or fish," Monger said. "With technological advances, there is no telling what we will come up with!"

Church usher Bob Johnson, who was recently jilted by his live-in fiancee, said this new resolution gives him the freedom to explore other options. "There's always been something special between me and my cat, Duchess. She was there for me when Danielle left, and who knows? Maybe she is the one."

Some religious and ethical leaders have questioned whether a pet can really "consent" to a marriage with a human being. This where Pete Fisher, a self-titled "Pet Whisperer" comes in. "I talk to the dog or cat, interact with him or her," he said. "I toss balls to him, pet him, ask him questions, such as do you love your owner? Could you envision yourself in a loving, committed relationship with your owner? Are you ready for marriage? If the dog wags his tail and has that little spring in his step and gleam in his eye, I know he is up for commitment."

"Let freedom - and wedding bells ring - for people and the pets they love!" United Methodist Episcopal Church president Roy Joiner stated in a news release.

Phil Whitfield said he has never been so proud to be a member of the United Methodist Episcopal Church as he is today. "I know one little German Shepherd puppy who is about to get an impressive engagement collar when I get home," he said.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Woman Finds Ann Coulter Doll Preferable to Real Thing

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Wharton's favorite columnist

In shocking turn of events, an Iowa woman has grown more fond of her Ann Coulter doll than of the actual Constitutional lawyer-turned-columinist.

"I bought the doll because I liked Ann's columns in Jewish World Review," said Patti Wharton, a receptionist at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Des Moines, Iowa. "But after watching her on TV a few times, though, I've decided I think I like the doll better."

Wharton said there were several factors that led to this stunning sea change. "The doll is a lot quieter, and makes better points when she does talk," said Wharton. "I think the doll has a better grasp of facts, too."

She said she has contemplated buying a Bill O'Reilly doll, but is afraid of what the consequences could be.

Striving to be a Higher Being