Archives for January 2016

Elsewhere: what do saints fear?


Msgr. Charles Pope posed this intriguing question recently on his blog (aside: Msgr. Pope is a regular contributor to New Evangelists Monthly and is among the very best Catholic bloggers anywhere, IMHO).

OK, saints have the beatific vision and are beyond the fears we experience. Perhaps the question would be better phrased “what do the most ‘saintly’ people fear the most?” It could be the injustice of violence. Maybe it is the struggles of the poor. The desperation of those fleeing war is a possibility. Even mundane things like our pedestrian worries and concerns could be shared through their love for us.

Nope. None of the above.

The saints know better. Those, be they trivial or severe, are all earthly concerns. While valid, they pale in the scope of eternity.

The saints fear for bad Catholics.

Msgr. Pope recounts the words of St. Bernadette. Here is the context followed by the quote (from Fr. Rene Larentin’s book Bernadette Speaks. A Life of St. Bernadette Soubirous in Her Own Words):

Napoleon III had surrendered to the Prussians, bringing on the disaster. The Mother General put the sisters at the disposition of the Ministry of War. A field hospital was installed [at the convent for the retreating and battered troops] …   Military uniforms mingled with the black and white silhouettes in the courtyard and corridors of the Motherhouse …   the sick and the wounded were [all about] the convent. Twenty-five novices were sent to communities in the south and the postulants were sent home to their families. The Prussians were coming and all the area was on alert …   Cannons were installed on the inner terrace of the motherhouse and in the novitiate gardens …   On the night of October 24, 1870 …   a strange phenomenon appeared in the sky. The horizon was all ablaze …   you might have thought it was a sea of blood …   [but it was] an aurora borealis …   a very impressive display …   The Prussians were at the borders.

[And here is the question posed to our saint, who was considered by many to be a visionary]:

“The Prussians are at our gates. Don’t they inspire you with terror?”


“So there is nothing to fear then?”

“I fear only bad Catholics.”

“Do you fear nothing else?”

“No, nothing.”

A conquering army was approaching the motherhouse / field hospital. They were not inclined to be kind. The remaining sisters had taken the precautions they could, but they would be futile. As the inevitable was about to be realized, bad Catholics was Sr. Bernadette’s true fear.

Read Msgr. Pope’s comments in his full piece: What Do Saints Fear?.

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #191)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: The latest issue of New Evangelists Monthly awaits your perusal. The annual March for Life is almost here. A child at the brink of death is saved by the intercession of her guardian angel and the Communion of Saints. A woman remembers her child on her wedding day. A desperate father saves his son from premature organ harvesting. Burglars star in a restaurant’s new TV ad. Secular Christmas classics re-imagined in light of contemporary headlines.

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New Evangelists Monthly

Issue #37, January 2016, of New Evangelists Monthly is ready for your enjoyment! Scores of faithful Catholic bloggers have contributed their very best pieces from December. Contributing authors this month include:
Fr. Stephen Morris, Stephen Korsman, Virginia Lieto, Ellen Kolb, Dave Wanat, Susan Fox, David Wong, Edwin Rodrigues, Ellen Gable Hrkach, David Cooney, Fr. Ben Hadrich, Devin Rose, Jamie Jo, Shannon Vandaveer, Melanie Jean Juneau, Allen Hebert, Nancy Shuman, Chris Capolino, Fr. Errol Fernandes, Dn. Scott Dodge, Melissa Overmyer, Larry Peterson, Robert Collins, Kathleen Laplante, Carolyn Astfalk, David Torkington, W.L. Grayson, Bartimaeus Timeo, John Schroeder, Mike Landry, Birgit Jones, John Donaghy, Vinny Carr, Suzanne Carl, Eric Johnston, Leslie Klinger, John Russell, Matthew Plese, James Milliken, Brian Mullins, Debbie Gaudino, Tony Agnesi, Fr. Tucker Cordani, Michael Seagriff, Laura Pearl, Rich Maffeo, Lianna Mueller, Barbara Hosbach, Margaret Felice, Fr. Adrian Danker, Rae Stabosz, Denise Hunnell, Brian Gill, Kathryn Cooper, Monica McConkey, Kirby Hoberg, Lyn Mettler, Erin Cupp, Joseph Shaw, Matthew Coffin, Justin Soutar, Dn. Greg Horton, Tom Perna, Drusilla, Rita Buettner, Rose O’Donnell, Adam DeVille, Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, Reese Cumming, Msgr. Charles Pope, Rick Becker, Elizabeth Reardon, Alexandrina Brant, Jeff Walker, Frank Rega, Fr. Juan Velez and Jennifer James.

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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The 2016 March for Life is just 2 weeks away – January 22, 2016.

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The flu can be deadly for the young and old. It is not just a bad cold. 4 year old Gemma Botelho almost died. Thanks to her guardian angel (nudging her parents to choose the emergency room) and through the intercession of the Communion of Saints, she survived. It is a miracle, but not an unexplainable one!

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Some weddings are bitter-sweat, such as that of Amanda Freebird. Two years ago her 6 year old daughter Azalee died from cancer. Amanda wanted, in some way, to include Azalee and photographer Ashley Frantz did just that in a touching image. The story is at People.

Composite Wedding Picture

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George Pickering III is a happy, healthy young man working with his dad in a small electrical engineering business and in building a new house.

Last year this time, a Texas hospital decided the time was right to harvest his organs. George was terminal with no hope for recovery. His dad disagreed, but there was nothing he could legally do to stop them. Legally, he could do nothing. The story is here.

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Frijoles & Frescas was burglarized a week before Christmas. They decided to fight back, turning their surveillance video into this commercial:

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Finally, as my wrap-up to the Christmas season, I present these secular stories…   updated.

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

New Evangelists Monthly – January 2016, Issue #37

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2015

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you – oracle of the LORD – plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.

I will sprinkle clean water over you to make you clean; from all your impurities and from all your idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you so that you walk in my statutes, observe my ordinances, and keep them.

Be still before the LORD; wait for him. Do not be provoked by the prosperous, nor by malicious schemers. Refrain from anger; abandon wrath; do not be provoked; it brings only harm. Those who do evil will be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD will inherit the earth.

Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.