Friday, June 24, 2005

"The Death of Terri Schiavo" Now Online

My article "The Death of Terri Schiavo", which appeared in the May issue of Catholic World Report, is now available online.

In this article, I describe and analyze the events and circumstances surrounding Terri's tragic death, and uncover some information you may not have seen before, such as:
Judge Greer took it upon himself to decide which tests Terri could or could not have, prompting one attorney to say that the judge "practiced quite a bit of medicine" in Terri's case.

Terri's death did not take place in quite the manner which the mainstream media reported.

I also explained, almost two months before the autopsy results came out, why the contention that "Terri was bulimic" was nonsense.

Terri's death, like much of the information concerning her condition while alive, was the object of spin and outright disinformation. In this Catholic World Report article, I try to unpack the distortions and give you the truth.

Some Pictures of My New Parish

Last week I posted the news that, at the end of the month, I will be leaving St. Joseph parish in St. Joseph, Michigan, where I have been an Associate Pastor since my ordination four years ago. I will be moving to St. Stanislaus parish in Dorr, Michigan, to become Pastor there.

I've made a couple of trips up there, to meet people and get acquainted, and to start moving my stuff up there. On the last trip, I tooks some photos of St. Stanislaus, and its mission, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Watson, MI. It was an overcast day, so I couldn't get any good exterior shots of the churches, but I got some good interiors.

Here's the interior of St. Stanislaus:

As you can see, it's a lovely little church. It seats about 200 people, I'd guess. It still has all the statues and the high altar. It's all been very well taken care of, too. And, yes, that is a communion rail up there in the sanctuary! This picture was taken while Eucharistic Adoration was going on. It's certainly a good sign that the parish has regular adoration.

A close-up of the Sanctuary

Here's a picture of the mission church, Sacred Heart in Watson, Michigan:

Again, this church is another little gem. The stained-glass windows in Sacred Heart are particularly lovely.

The Sanctuary at Sacred Heart Catholic Church

I've been blessed with two beautiful churches. I'm grateful that no "up-to-date" liturgical consultant ever got his hands on these churches to "renovate" them. I begin as Pastor on June 29 - next Wednesday. Pray for me!

A Sign That You Need A Life...

I was at the doctor's office the other day (just routine stuff - nothing to worry about), and while I was waiting I cast about for something to read. My choices seemed to be between Good Housekeeping, some sort of car magazine, and People.

Since I was just looking for mind-occupying fluff, I chose People. This issue had a big story about Katie Holmes and her sveng - oops, I mean her fiance, Tom Cruise. Now, I had heard various bits about their supposed whirlwind romance, and the questions about whether Katie would become a scientologist, etc. Apparently there's also a big debate about whether their romance is real or just a publicity stunt for Cruise's latest movie. I guess fans want the artificial, shallow, and contrived-for-the cameras lives of their Hollywood stars to nonetheless sparkle with real romance.

But what flummoxed me was in the "Letters" section of the magazine. Some woman had written about a Cruise - Holmes story from a previous issue. This reader was outraged that anyone could suggest that Tom and Katie's romance could be anything less than authentic. And she wrote something to the effect that "Tom has always been a genuine man with great integrity".

Now, I have nothing against Tom Cruise. I've seen a few of his movies. For all I know he may be a man of great integrity. Though, to be honest, I kind of doubt it - a man of integrity doesn't divorce his wife (or drive her to divorce) because she doesn't want to join his goofy made-up religion.

But I thought, concerning the letter-writer, "how could you know he's a 'man of integrity'? How could you possibly know?" I'm sure the woman doesn't personally know Tom Cruise. And short of personal knowledge, there is no way we can make such statements about a person. So how can she make such a statement? Well, obviously, she feels like she knows Cruise. Note how she refers to him as "Tom", as though he was her friend.

But, of course, she doesn't know him at all. She knows the movies he's made, and whatever image he and his publicists choose to project. And, unfortunately, she, like so many others, have made celebrity and glitz some sort of alternate reality.

So here, based on this incident, I offer my
Three Signs That You Need A Life:

1. You follow, and know the details, of the amorous lives of Tom and Katie (or Brad & Jennifer/ Angelina) etc.

2. You subscribe to People magazine.

And, the most dramatic sign of all:

3. You actually take the time to write a letter to People magazine.