Napa Institute: Day 3

Last evening ended by talking long into the night over cigars and adult beverages.


With the morning we are back at it. I had a chance to break the fast this morning with Bp. Michael Barber of Oakland. He has a lot of challenges in his heavy mandate. Say a prayer for vocations for that diocese. I am confident that he will make a good impact on Oakland: he strikes you right away as sharp as a razor as well as cheerful and charming. Meeting these bishops, men such as Bps. and Archbps. Vann, Coakley, Conley, Barber, Cordileone, Smith, Vasa has been encouraging.

This morning we had a talk by Archbp. Chaput on Pope Francis and Economic Justice.  I still have to process it.


Here is a sight for sore eyes.  It doesn’t get much better than this.  Sen. Rick Santorum chatting with The Extraordinary Ordinary, Bp. Robert Morlino of Madison.


It has been a busy day (which had to include also a nap).

Tonight we have the main dinner. The speaker is to be Curtis Martin.

Today I had a chance to chat at length with several of the bishop attendees. I was also to talk again for a while – twice actually – with Sen Santorum. Also I me, finally face to face, Fr Samuel Weber, OSB, a fine teacher and liturgist, who as I write is sitting on the other side of me from Bp Vasa.

I view of Bp Vasa’s marvelous pectoral cross which has 17 relics and a piece of the Cross.


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Is Pres. Obama going to “nullify” immigration laws?

From The Weekly Standard:

GOP Senator: Obama To ‘Effectively End Immigration Enforcement’

The Obama administration is preparing to effectively “nullify” the immigration laws of the United States through an executive action, says one Republican senator. As Time reported Thursday, President Obama appears prepared to provide millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. work authorization via executive orders:

When President Obama issues executive orders on immigration in coming weeks, pro-reform activists are expecting something dramatic: temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for perhaps several million undocumented immigrants. If the activists are right, the sweeping move would upend a contentious policy fight and carry broad political consequences.

The activists met privately with the President and his aides June 30 at the White House, and say in that meeting Obama suggested he will act before the November midterm elections. They hope his decision will offer relief to a significant percentage of the estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. “He seems resolute that he’s going to go big and go soon,” says Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-reform group America’s Voice.

But Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican, says in a statement that the “temporary relief from deportation” would be a de facto ending of immigration enforcement:

It has now been extensively reported that these executive actions will likely expand his Deferred Action program (DACA) to apply to an additional 5–6 million adult illegal immigrants. The existing DACA program has been widely misunderstood. The executive action did not, as The Hill writes today, only result in ‘deferred deportations for young undocumented immigrants.’ Illegal immigrants in the interior of the U.S. have already, as a practical matter, been immune from enforcement under this Administration. DACA applies to individuals up to 30 years of age and provides actual amnesty papers, photo ID, and work permits to illegal immigrants—who can then take any job in America.

The President’s planned executive orders would expand this permitting program to another 5–6 million illegal immigrants. This would effectively end immigration enforcement in America.

Sessions goes on to urge Americans to call on their elected members of Congress to not support any bill dealing with the current border crisis that does not “block” the Obama administration’s executive actions.


Posted in Pò sì jiù, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Illegal immigrants: what to do?

I haven’t been following the news lately, because I am a) attending a conference and b) out of my usual time zones.   However, this morning I checked on Pewsitter, because it can give a good overview of most of the top stories and what different people are saying about them.

This is what I saw today.

Sorry, but…. what the heck is going on here?  What is really going on?

I’ll open the combox here, but I will have it on moderation.   Keep it pithy.  Think before posting.  Self-edit.

Posted in Cri de Coeur, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | 14 Comments



Posted in Lighter fare | 27 Comments

MIAMI: Pro-Hamas demo: “Khybar, Khybar, oh Jews, the armies of Muhammad are coming!”

From Pamela Geller via Pewsitter:

Hamas-CAIR Protest in Miami: “We Are Hamas!”, Genocidal chants “Khybar, Khybar, oh Jews, the armies of Muhammad are coming!”

Clad in the war garb of the jihad, the keffiye,h and chanting the Islamic death dirge, Khybar, Khybar, ya yahud, jaish Muhammad sayud.” The threat of Khybar is the threat of extermination harkening back to Muhammad’s annihilation of an entire tribe of Kews, the Quraya

Muslims unmasked. Mosques unmasked.

Jihad in America.


The anti-Israel protestors became increasingly hostile, to the point of invoking outrageous Islamist slogans.

In Arabic, they screamed:

“The martyr is God’s love.” This encourages one to die while committing Jihad — it is a celebration of terror attacks including suicide bombings.
“Khaybar, Khaybar Oh, Jew. Muhammad’s army will return.” This refers to a seventh-century massacre in which Muhammad’s army attacked the Jewish community of Khaybar in the Arabian Peninsula. The Jewish males who surrendered were beheaded; Muhammad and his soldiers then divided the women, children, and property. Islamists today routinely invoke this battle as a rallying cry to attack Jews.

In English, they yelled:

We are Hamas!” openly confirming support for a group officially designated a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, Japan, Jordan, and Egypt.
“We are Jihad!” thereby calling for holy war.
“Hamas kicked your ass.” That makes for an interesting contradiction: While claiming Gazans are being massacred, the group also claims to have defeated the Israel Defense Forces. Which is it?

Eventually, an Israel supporter calls out, “We’re in America, that’s where we are… we’re not Gaza over here,” a self-proclaimed Hamas fan screams back in Hebrew with an Arabic accent, “Son of a bitch” and “Go to Hell!” along with an obscene arm gesture.


Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us.

St. Lawrence of Brindisi, pray for us.

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About Pope Francis’ possible USA trip

From the Holy See:

the Holy See Press Office given today:

“Regarding visits to America, there have been several invitations that the Pope is carefully considering. The Holy Father has indicated his willingness to participate in the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September 2015 but at the present moment, there are no concrete plans or programs for any visits to the United States or Mexico. Keep in mind that we are still one year away from the Philadelphia meeting.”

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Chow Line for “Cafeteria Catholics” (heh)

From Vatican Radio:

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis made a surprise visit on Friday to the Vatican’s canteen for its employees. He turned up there unexpected shortly after noon much to everybody’s astonishment and after taking a tray and cutlery joined the line with all the employees to be served his lunch. Staff at the canteen said he ate pasta without sauce and cod served with grilled tomatoes. He ate his lunch at a long table alongside a group of various employees. Describing the papal visit as “like a thunderbolt out of the blue,” the canteen’s chef Franco Pai’ni said the Pope was introduced to the staff and others there and asked them questions about themselves and their work. Afterwards, he paid them compliments on the quality of the food, gave his blessing and took part in a group photo before leaving.

As a priest friend Fr Keyes said: Gives a new meaning to Cafeteria Catholic.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 16 Comments

Napa Institute: Day 2

I am at a breakfast sponsored by Catholic Extension. Archbp. Kurtz is taking about it. He explained that it was its goal to have church in every county in these USA. They have built over 12000 churches. They now give support for seminarians. They provide service to the poor. Last year they dispersed over $30 million.


I had a good chat with Archbp Coakley of Oklahoma City about the late great John Senior and some mutual friends. Also at the table is the local Bishop Robert Vasa, one of the friendliest fellows I’ve met in quite a while. A shot from last night.


Some fun shots.  Label of a new line of wine from Trinitas.


With Fr. Pavone. Our paths cross pretty often.


Evening refreshments.


With the great hearted Archbishop of San Francisco.


Happy Sisters… no bus in sight.


Archbp. Kurtz et aliae



After lunch out with the distinguished Fr Keyes, who does so much for the CMAA, and a distinguished canonist friend and a distinguished fellow who does important work for the NAC, I had a pastoral nap.

Now the evening events are revving up.



Supper commenced.






Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 10 Comments

Another helpful suggestion (heaven help us)

The Iranian Supreme Leader has a solution for the problem of violence in the Middle East.

From the Daily Caller:

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated on Wednesday that the only solution for the region is the destruction of Israel, and that the armed confrontation must expand beyond Gaza.

Meanwhile, revolutionary guards announced new missiles which could destroy Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

Fars News Agency, a media outlet run by the Iranian state, reported today that Khamenei addressed the conflict in Gaza in a meeting with Iranian college students.

“These crimes which are beyond imagination and show the true nature of the wolfish and child killer regime, which the only solution is its destruction,” the ayatollah declared to his audience. “However, until that time, the expansion of the armed resistance of the Palestinians of the West Bank is the only way to confront this wild regime.”


That helps, don’t you think?

Meanwhile, ISIS is being helpful in their own way, pacifying Mosul (through rape, threats, and murder), while redecorating the Cathedral of Mosul for the ancient Christian community, as a mosque.  HERE  Thanks for the help.

When will our “leaders” in the West begin to act upon the clear facts, the nature of the conflicts we also have been embroiled in?

Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us.

St. Lawrence of Brindisi, pray for us.


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Napa Institute Conference: Day 1

I arrived last night in Napa for the Napa Institute conference.  I got here, despite the interference of Pres. Obama.  I digress.

The digs are elegant, the weather, perfect.  I know quite a few people, since there is some cross over with other conferences I have attended.  This is the first time I have attended this one, thanks to the generosity of others.

Last night, I saw an advance screening of a movie with Jim Caviezel, When The Game Stands Tall.  The name is a bit odd, but it explains itself along the way.  This is a new contribution to a well-established genre, the high school football movie.  It is based on a true story of Catholic De Lasalle Highschool, not far from where I write, which had a football team winning streak of – I am not making this up – 151 games.  The coach’s desire was to bring out of all the boys a perfect effort, not necessarily a win, and, thereby, help them become men.  The movie is, in an over-arching way, formulaic – as true stories often are, you know.  Man remains the same, fallen and risen.  So, the winning team has a crisis they have to overcome and they find themselves along the way.  The coach has a crisis, and he has to figure out being both a coach and a husband and father.  There is a moment of truth (involving – yes – a football game).  Sound familiar?  It ought to.  But this movie does it well.  A week or so ago I watched a similar movie, made by Evangelicals from a big church in Georgia (US not Asia).  Same basic common themes, but will overt Evangelical “Bible only” … well… thumping… and not a little prosperity Gospel stuff tossed in for good measure.   This new movie is not overtly Catholic.  Though it is at a Catholic Highschool, there is no cleric involved.  The only church scene is in a baptist church.  Scripture verses figure a couple times, and prominently and appropriately.  You see the players at prayer twice (I think) and, that, the Lord’s Prayer.   So, this is not in-your-face Catholcism.  But, the world-view in the movie seemed Catholic to me.  The concept of the team promoted by their coach seemed to be founded on sacrificial love: seek that which is good for the other, not just for oneself.  Make a perfect effort.

I hope that, as the release date of the film comes closer, you will, in your parishes and groups, promote the film and even organize trips to the theatre as groups to see it early in its release.

We have seen some films, and pretty ones – all things considered – from Evangelicals, Facing The GiantsThey are trying to use this medium (film) to advance that which is dear to them.  Watching the credits of the Georgia football movie blew me away, as I saw dozens and dozens of people and organizations and businesses that contributed to the effort, which was, effectively, a parish initiative… to make a movie.  Get that?  Could your parish make a movie?

Here is the trailer for the new Caviezel film:

This new movie, When The Game Stands Tall, is being put out by Carmel Communications.  And, it seems, they are not allowing the let grass grow under their feet.  The music disks of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, are handled by Carmel Communications.  As they, and Carmel, have done well, they can tackle bigger projects.

Today, before the midday conference, Carmel showed us a tailer of another movie, to come out in September, The Song, which has something to do with the story of Solomon.

We have a lot of catching up to do.

Once upon a time, there was a strong positive Catholic strain in the film industry.  That went away.  It must be reclaimed.  That is why you, in a fundamental way, must choose to support Catholic films.  Make some plans.

In any event, there’s lots of food and wine – yes, wine.  Today there was a Mass with Cardinal Harvey.  Then Cardinal Levada exposed the Blessed Sacrament and had a procession.  Exposition goes on during the day, confessions are heard, there are multiple Masses, including the Extraordinary Form. No, they didn’t ask me, which was a mistake.  As I type there is a talk on Science and Faith.  Yes, I can multitask, which is a gift.

The conference schedule is pretty complicated, with overlapping streams.  You have to choose between good and good, alas, bilocation not being perfected.

I may just toss up my hands and drive around the vineyards and taste wine, which I haven’t done for many years.


Dr. Philip Jenkins Elements of Culture for a Thriving Faith

New Evangelization is a theme here. I wonder if we will hear anyone make a connection with our sacred liturgical worship. This fellow just ran down, I think, the old Mass for today. I’ll have to collar him later.



Card Levada is talking about New Evangelization.


Posted in On the road, Our Catholic Identity, REVIEWS, The Campus Telephone Pole, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged | 13 Comments