Archives for July 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #102)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week:The latest issue of New Evangelists Monthly is complete and ready for you. Father Finigan’s A Day With Mary sermon. Pro-aborts chanting “Hail Satan.” A baby, not a choice. Abortion hurts the fathers too. Mainstream media doing all it can to block the truth. An odd Molson’s commercial.

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New Evangelists Monthly

Issue #7, July 2013, of New Evangelists Monthly is complete! Dozens of faithful Catholic bloggers have contributed their very best pieces from June. This month brought these great topics: Fr. Tim RIP, matrimony, purposefully joyful, intercession, historical evidence, Oz moments, online dating, “liberation theology,” Carmelite Saints eBook, new age Catholics, feast days, gay scouts, Marian devotion, Come O Creator, unfairness, Consuming the Word, one-car family, illustrating Genesis, Pope Francis, liberal rage, God first, Eleazar’s model, Eparch Samra, John’s birthday, strong-willed Judith, a picture book, biblical Hail Mary, children and vocation, shaking faith, restless hearts, wolves and charity, conversion, St. Banabas, laity’s mission, monastic intercession, point of Emmaus, scandalous politicians, yoke of evil, East/West Communion, Mary, monogamy, Eucharist, last lecture, hope, Don Jon, comments, a conversation, vacare in Deo, ad hominem, abuse in BSA, discernment, Bishop Folda, intentional, courage, time, evangelism, Hollywood, tongues, wingless chickens, Body and Blood, practice, God’s ways, burning ones, balance, Jesus music, redemptive suffering, all things, rosary dating, remnant, traditional Catholics, the harvest, twin evils, our vs. mine and suffering Church.

This monthly “meta-magazine” showcases faithful Catholicism from theology to family life and “everything in between.” Enjoy it now at

Read Now

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Father Timothy Finigan (a friend of Fr. Z) spoke recently at St. Anselm’s (Dartford, UK) A Day With Mary. His sermon on Our Lady touches upon modern threats to life and the family – and our Blessed Mother’s role – in a very gentle, loving way.

Father blogs at The hermeneutic of continuity.

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Texas endeavored to (1) protect innocent lives, at least once they can actually feel pain and (2) protect their mothers from butcher shop abortions. Outside the congressional chambers, pro-life people tried to drown-out the raucous pro-aborts by singing Amazing Grace.

Guess what the pro-aborts were chanting over and over? Hail Satan. They known not what they do.

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A baby, not a choice.

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Men, when you are younger and dumber, abortion may seem like a good solution to a “problem.” You may think regrets, if any, would only be with the person you “knocked-up.” Other than maybe costing a few bucks, no big deal – right?

Spotted by Matthew Archbold

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I often write about the extreme, liberal bias in the mainstream media. Blocking this ad is just another illustration of it:

Ad 20week Baby

No gore, no inflammatory language, nada. This merely shows what a human baby looks like at 20 weeks. That is, it looks like a baby because it is a baby. Obviously too “controversial.”

Of course, this goes against the culture of death’s script. They see how the picture might confuse someone to believe this is other than a clump of cells / product of conception. It might even build support for ultrasound legislation which would only confuse mothers when they see who is inside them. The newspapers who shamefully rejected this ad (USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and others) are desperate for advertisers but their radical liberal ideology must always come first. See more on this here.

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This is just…   odd. It’s a commercial for Molson’s (beer brewed in Canada):

Spotted by my friend Tom C.

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

New Evangelists Monthly – July 2013, Issue #7

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Convert Spotlight: Patty Bonds

Convert Spotlight

Patty is the daughter of a Southern Baptist pastor. As an adult she also attended a church of the Calvinist tradition. To say that her family is staunchly anti-Catholic would be an understatement! Her interest in Catholicism was no matter of rebellion, but of following the Holy Spirit. It was not an easy journey.

In Patty’s own words: “As the daughter of a Baptist minister, I grew up in a home where theology, the Bible, and an intense emphasis on ‘faith alone’ salvation was deeply woven into the fabric our family’s life. I entered adulthood firmly convinced that, as a born-again, Bible-believing Baptist Christian, I had the whole truth. Period. Catholics, I had been taught and had come to believe, most definitely did not have the truth. And nothing could have convinced me otherwise. It was us against them.”

Patty was received into the visible Church instituted directly by our Lord at the Easter Vigil in 2001. These are excerpts from her story:

I remember my mother explaining that Catholics believed they had to work their way to heaven, that they prayed to statues, and that they said the same prayers over and over like pagans. She was particularly critical of the Pope and the idea that a man on earth would claim to be the head of the Church. She said that Catholics did not think for themselves; they let the Pope think for them. They were not even allowed to read the Bible for themselves! She told me that some children throw up when they take first communion because it makes them sick to think about eating Jesus’ flesh. I could see the point. It was strange and sickening to think about eating someone’s flesh. She explained that the Pope didn’t let women decide how many children they were going to have because he wanted lots of Catholics to be born. She said that Catholic women had to have one baby after another until they were either worn out or dead. What kind of people were these Catholics anyway? How could they believe such things?

I was nervous as I approached the doors of the Church, but once inside it seemed like a normal place. There were none of the medieval pictures or statues I expected. The walls were familiar beige and the decorating was of a Southwestern flavor. The baptistery was obviously for immersion, which made me feel more at home. I sat down and tried to be calm and relaxed.

As Mass began, I realized what a fish out of water I was. Everyone knew what to do – except me. There was so much bowing and gesturing! I tried to fight the tension building up in my neck and shoulders. After some pleasant singing, we sat down and a woman reverently stepped to the podium and read a passage of Scripture. Hearing Scriptures made me feel more at ease. Just as I began to relax, the congregation stood and began singing. Then the deacon turned and bowed to the priest, who made the sign of the cross over him. He walked to the pulpit and read a passage from the gospels.

So far, I was very impressed with how scriptural everything was. Even the sermon was quite good. I didn’t understand the need for the formality and pageantry, but I could see why my friend’s faith seemed so biblical. Everything this community did revolved around scripture and prayer.

Then came the Eucharist

I had no idea how my life was about to change. Without warning, the Presence of God fell on that place. I had never felt Him as powerfully as I did at that moment. I lost touch with most of what was happening around me. I barely kept up with the liturgy. I stood there bathed in the light of His breathtaking Presence. It went on and on as each of the parishioners filed forward to receive communion.

As the Mass ended, I was speechless with joy at the Presence of God. I hugged my friend and said goodbye. I walked into the parking lot not able to feel my feet on the pavement. I prayed frantically for answers. “What was that, Lord? I have to understand this. What do I do now?” I know you want me to look into the Catholic faith, but where do I begin? I am not a theologian or a scholar. Where does an everyday person like me begin?”

His answer came back immediately and unmistakably: “Start with what draws you; start with the Eucharist.” I drove home knowing I would do just that, somehow, some way. I was excited …   and afraid.

From dwelling in their writings, I was beginning to understand the vantage point of the early Christians. It was becoming obvious that the Lord had left us a living and authoritative Tradition that eventually found expression in written form, but that it was the Tradition, written or oral, that was the Christian faith. There was no real expectation in the early Church that we would ever govern our lives and worship strictly by the writings of the Apostles and their contemporaries. The early Christians had received the faith in total as the apostolic tradition and were guarding it for all time. St. Irenaeus had no compulsion to write down what he had heard from St. Polycarp; he hid the word of God in his heart.

At this point I finally developed complete confidence in the teaching authority of the Church. I trusted those precious saints of God down through the ages who had guarded the truth and plumbed its depths to explain the mysteries of God for future generations. Oh glorious reality, that there is in this world an ultimate authority to which Jesus not only delivered the truth, but which has guarded that truth according to His promise!

At long last Holy Saturday arrived. It was a beautiful, sunny day here in Phoenix, and I could barely contain the joy of knowing that there were only hours between us and home. With the exception of a minor wardrobe problem at the last minute, the hours passed by without a hitch. My family arrived and seated themselves in the church while Esther and I stood outside with the newly lit fire. The celebrant lit the candle and we followed him into the darkened Church, bringing the light of Christ.

Vigil Mass was so beautiful. Esther and I both heard our saints invoked in the Litany of the Saints. I thanked St. Patrick for his intercession, and his testimony that opened my eyes and eventually brought me home. After the catechumens were baptized, it was time for our profession of faith. Esther and I and several others stood to declare to all those there that we believed that the Catholic Church was the true Church which Christ established to be the preserver of truth.

Moments later, we each filed to the front to pronounce our patron saint’s name and be confirmed in that name. What a joy it was to hear the priest confirm me as a Catholic in the name Patrick. I bear it proudly and with gratitude. We stood again and approached the altar.

Finally, after months of intense hunger, Esther and I received the Lord Jesus Christ on our tongues and into our beings, the way He had meant for us to receive him.

Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise!

Patty blogs at Abba’s Little Girl. The excerpts above are less than a tenth of her complete conversion story. Read it on her blog at this page. (Some may prefer this copy of her story with improved formatting.)

Marcus Grodi interviewed Patty on his popular EWTN The Journey Home show in 2002:

Play The Journey Home

Marcus followed-up with her in 2007 and discussed scripture with her in 2010:

Play 2007 Interview

Play 2010 Interview

Introducing: Convert Spotlight

Convert Spotlight

Way back in August 2010, I unveiled Convert Stories. It is a special project like New Evangelists Monthly introduced earlier this year. The idea of Convert Stories is to provide a unique database of (1) bloggers, (2) who are converts and (3) who publish their conversion stories. It fills a unique and useful niche.

The database is updated regularly and in the process, I read some really great, moving stories. Conversion Spotlight is a new meme I will use to introduce you to some of these wonderful blogging converts. Like my Elsewhere meme, you will get an introduction, a key excerpt from their story and a link to their blog. There you can read the complete story and follow their on-going journey.

This is long overdue! Often I have come across conversion stories with some combination of difficulty, humor, exhilaration, inspiration, passion, surprises – even small miracles – and thought to myself “wow”! They were then added to the Convert Stories database and I moved on. The database is great for people just discovering it since it is maintained and searchable. The problem is for you my loyal Convert Journal readers, who (quite reasonably) do not monitor the Convert Stories database for new additions and miss these great stories. Through this new meme you will be in the loop.

Not all stories can be spotlighted, but I am confident that you will enjoy those that are and find this new feature to be a good addition.

Look for the first Convert Spotlight piece this Friday. Until then, if you are not familiar with Convert Stories, head over to that page and take a look. There you will find the database, links to other great convert story sources and a good list of books by converts.

Convert Stories was conceived to provide a place for searchers interested in Catholicism to connect with others of similar backgrounds. It was featured aspect by Brandon Vogt in his book: The Church and New Media (page 50). Convert Stories is fortunate to always be among the top Google search results for “catholic converts”, “convert stories” and the like.