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November 20, 2014

The loss of a friend...

My family and I lost a dear friend today that I have known since the day he was born.  Kevin was the son of my mother's best friend, as such we grew up together, sharing holidays, summer vacations and 'play dates'.  Kevin was the baby of his family and is survived by two older brothers and his father.

Sadly, his mother died on this exact date back in 1998 due to brain cancer.  An already hard date for his family and friends just got that much harder.

"Neighbors in Meriden watched in horror late Wednesday night as a house went up in flames with a man inside.
Witnesses said they ran to help, but they couldn't get to 40-year-old Kevin Appell, who was trapped on the second floor of the home, in time to save his life."

Read more:
WFSB 3 Connecticut

Besides hearing horrifying news that Kevin was dead, what has been even more horrifying for all of us who loved him, is that people could hear him screaming "Help me! Help me!" and no one could get him out.  He did not die quietly in his sleep unaware of the fire.  He was panicked and trying desperately to get out, but could not.

We are all in a state of shock and deep sorrow over his death.

Prayers for his soul and his family would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Kevin I will always remember you with a smile.  You were one of the few people who could make me laugh until I hurt, bringing tears of pure laughter to my face. I can't imagine you not still in our lives. You leave a huge void in the world, we will miss you all the days of our lives.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

November 15, 2014

About what Michael Voris said yesterday...

   On Friday (November 14, 2014) Michael Voris’ “The Vortex” (entitled The Razor’s Edge) was once again devoted to clarifying their position on Pope Francis and the fear running rampant among the faithful because of what is and isn’t coming out of the Vatican.

I am assuming (perhaps wrongly), this Vortex was done because the faithful are still contacting Church Militant TV with their concerns about the Pope and their possible confusion over where exactly Church Militant TV stands on the too often controversial hot topic of Pope Francis and the direction of the Catholic Church under his pontificate.

Here is "The Razor's Edge" from The Vortex: 

I listened to and read this episode of The Vortex over a half a dozen times – I do that quite often with what Church Militant TV produces because I respect them and want to make sure I am clearly hearing exactly what is being said- or in some cases NOT said. 

In “The Razor’s Edge” Voris gives his opinion of only two opposing sides of Catholics (the traditional leaning group who are running in fear over what Pope Francis says, does and seems to allow with his blessing) and the “Church of Nice” crowd- who refuse to admit anything is wrong at all.  Overall, Voris makes excellent points with what he says, my point in writing this is more with what he didn't say and about another side of opposing Catholics who don't fit in the groups he mentions.

Voris says:
“As of now, a careful middle seems to be being carved out – indeed, NEEDS to be carved out - amidst the flurry of hysterical responses from both extremes of the Catholic world – those angry mean-spirited Catholics who populate the ranks of so-called traditionalists – but, and this is VERY IMPORTANT – do NOT, repeat do NOT speak for the vast majority of faithful Catholics – even though they think and act like they do – AND on the other end of the spectrum – those Catholics who simply refuse to report on anything troubling – like recent affairs at the Synod, sugarcoating everything.
Battle lines have been drawn between a subset of traditional-minded Catholics who write and publish venomous screeds against the Pope, and those who pretend Rome is nothing else than a valley of lilies where everything is perfectly fine – denying the reality of what Bishop Athanasius Schneider has rightfully termed – the fourth great crisis in the life of the Church.
Both sides are wrong in their reactions because they each fail to take into account the DIFFERING damage they inflict on various individual Catholics.  Neither approach is – quite frankly “catholic”, meaning universal enough.”

Here I disagree with Voris in two respects.  Yes both sides mentioned are causing damage- though I think the damage they are causing is rather low.  Admittedly, I could be completely wrong on this.  I am sure the folks at Church Militant TV pay far more attention to many of these groups than I do.  

Yet, there is another opposing side of Catholics Voris failed to mention. 

Catholics who are not in the least bit tempted by the "subset of traditional minded Catholics who write and publish venomous screeds against the Pope" to leave the Church or the Church of Nice Catholics who bury their heads in the sand.

There are Catholics who believe the Pope is a legitimate valid pope, though not a very good one- so far at least (we still hold out hope things will improve).

Why do we feel this way?  Because we believe it is Pope Francis himself causing the MOST damage - not the hardcore traditionalists or even the Church of Nice crowd- though it is Pope Francis himself to strengthens the Church of Nice crowd when he says things like "Who am I to judge?".
It is Pope Francis’ OWN WORDS AND ACTIONS that are panicking people.  The hardcore traditionalists have been beating their drums for decades and the “Church of Nice” crowd has remained silent on anything and everything for just as long.

The difference now is, the Pope himself.  

Suddenly, the Church of Nice crowd have a pope leading their way to more progressive points of view INSIDE the Church (look at Cardinal Dolan and the upcoming St. Patrick's Day Parade- this is another direct effect of our current Pope on the Church).

The Pope’s words and actions are now lining up with many of the warnings the hardcore traditionalists have been warning about for decades. It's causing some Catholics to contemplate whether or not these hardcore traditionalists are right or not (their not).

So the Pope himself is sending people into the arms of religious groups OUTSIDE the Church.

That is the problem that *I* see and I believe the Vortex has not (and probably will not) address.

Voris has always made it very clear, that he and the folks at Church Militant TV have a deep concern over a SINGLE Catholic leaving the Church because of any sort of confusion or fear. 

Because of this Christian concern, Church Militant TV does their best to tread carefully in what they say and do.

That is commendable and why I have such respect for them.

This Vortex was no different in that respect.  Voris again reiterates the need to STAY IN THE CHURCH regardless of what we see and hear.

I agree completely- though I am very vocal in my distrust of our current Pope (see my sidebar for more on that- specifically those entitled "My Issues with Pope Francis: Part I and II").

One problem is, it is natural human nature to RUN when we feel fear and panic.  Most of us like our comfort zones and get very antsy when we are pushed out of it.

Sadly, Pope Francis IS pushing us out of our comfort zones- and not in any good way that I can see (I truly hope that perhaps one day I see things differently, because I don’t like the fact that I dislike and distrust my own Pope).  The result is fear and panic and for some a hasty exodus from Christ's Holy Catholic Church to something that LOOKS like what they believe is Christ's Holy Catholic Church.

I was not raised a “cradle Catholic”.  I came from outside the Church and personally KNOW how being on the outside has little to offer compare to the fullness of being inside the Church.  There is no man on earth, pope or not, who would make me look outside the Church for anything.  There is only ONE Church that Jesus Christ created on earth- there is no other.  In the words of our first Pope, St. Peter “To whom shall we go?” (John 6:68)

To whom indeed?  There is nowhere else to go.  Hold fast to what Jesus has given us, don’t allow fear to chase you from where our Lord wants you to be.  

We have a “flight or fight” instinct, yet right now too many are in full “flight” mode.  Stop.  Fight back that fear with the trust in our Lord.  He has not abandoned us- he won’t.  It is us who are abandoning Him when we leave His Holy Catholic Church for anything else.

I get it.  

Faithful Catholics are seeking comfort, stability and that homey feeling the Church used to give us, but is too often these days lacking.  I feel it too, but I won’t give in to it by abandoning the gift of the Holy Catholic Church from Christ to us because I don’t particular like who the current Pope is.  It is MY problem to get over those fears.  It is MY cross to carry, not dump on the ground and go running for something outside the Church that gives me the “warm fuzzies”.  I belonged to the “warm fuzzy” Protestant denominations once upon a time, and I left that for a good reason.  There is no substance to those “warm fuzzies”, the true substance is with staying inside the Catholic Church no matter what.  Don’t be shaken.  Stand firm and trust in Jesus.  Period.

Voris goes on to say:
“This is the position of ChurchMilitant.TV.  We have never said the Pope, or more importantly his prudential decisions or misstatements or off the cuff personal thoughts are beyond the realm of critique.  What we consider simply out of bounds is the name-calling, Pope-bashing response of SOME, important distinction there – SOME, a few, in the more traditional minded crowd.
Here’s the bottom line.  Unless he is speaking directly on a question of faith or morals and makes it binding on all the faithful, whatever the pope says, or for that fact, ANY pope says, or sometimes doesn’t say, carries with it no guarantee of infallibility whatsoever.
THAT is why there exists a reserved set of circumstances in the first place for him to speak infallibly.  If he isn’t speaking in that very narrow set of circumstances, then it shouldn’t be regarded as infallible.”

Personally, I think Voris is dead wrong here.  

The “bottom line” isn’t about the Pope speaking infallibly – the entire world would know if the Pope was speaking infallibly- that would be clear news.  

The “bottom line” in my opinion is “WHO is driving people into a panic so awful that they are abandoning the Catholic Church for 'hardcore traditionalist' groups outside the Church?”  

In my opinion that is Pope Francis himself.  

It’s never (at least in my mind) been about infallible teaching…it’s been about the words and actions of this Pope.  

The ripple effect of “who am I to judge” and washing Muslim women’s feet during Holy week and horrible interviews and his removal of orthodox Bishops from positions inside the Church only to replace them with liberals and so on.  These actions speak VOLUMES to the “bottom line” problem Catholic laity are suffering now and it all points back to Pope Francis himself.

Pope Francis is the author of this storm we are all trying to weather.

With each news day more panic and fear is poured out to the faithful by way of off the cuff comments, liberal priests or heretical speaking Bishops.  See it for what it is…the Church is under attack.  This isn’t new or news.  But it is troubling- especially when the terror rippling across the world is seen as coming from the Vatican.

When our Holy Father FAILS to comfort his children (and let’s face it Pope Francis himself is too often the epicenter of the problems) the fear grows.

We want a Vicar on earth who will comfort us against the storms, not a Vicar who IS the storm.

The problem with that way of thinking is that good and bad Vicars come and go.  It would be WONDERFUL to again have a Vicar of Christ who kept us in our comfort zone, where we felt safe and protected against the evils in the world.  Pope Benedict did that for me.  And because he did, I naively thought ALL popes did that.  I was wrong.  Our comfort should be in our Lord himself.  Jesus sent the Great Comforter to us who will protect His Church against ALL the storms –inside and outside the Church.

Stop running OUT of the Church seeking the Comforter, you won’t find Him there.  He is INSIDE the Church- in Her Truth and official Teachings.  Find your comfort in the ONLY place it truly exists, inside the Holy Catholic Church with Jesus Christ himself.   You won’t find that anywhere else. On that, Michael Voris and I will always agree.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

October 29, 2014

Priest: "I am coming out for gay equality because its what Jesus would do."

Openly gay priest, Fr. Gary Meier of the archdiocese of St. Louis speaks out for gay equality but refuses to tell homosexuals that homosexual ACTS are a mortal sin that will lead to eternal damnation.  

He has written books for gay rights and has begun his own gay rights activist outreach program called "Rising Voices of Faith" - don't be fooled, the Catholic Faith is nonexistent in this program.

Father Meier rejects Catholic teaching on homosexuality in favor of Pew polls.

No really...Here is what Father Meier states on his website:


Got that?  

This Catholic priest is teaching that a mortal sin is "a gift from God".

When Pope Francis said "Who am I to judge?" back in 2013, Father Meier said;

"At the very least, perhaps now others will follow the Pope’s lead and be a little less judgmental themselves.  If the only good that comes out of the Pope’s statement is that others will be less judgmental, than that would be a great place to start. For years, members of the LGBT community have been judged and told that they are disordered; that they have a disease like alcoholism; that they are defective in some way; that they are wrong when they should be right, that they are unfit and unworthy of ordination – and today, our Pope seems to be opening the door for what I hope will lead to a conversation about homosexuality in our church.  LGBT Catholics who have come to the church looking for love and acceptance have instead found an atmosphere of silence and shame.  And it’s not just the gay population who suffers, it is all those who have accepted a member of their family and all of those who have allied as friends.  They too have been silenced and shamed, ostracized by a church teaching and hierarchal positioning that will not allow us to support, love, nurture and foster positive gay relationships in our church I am optimistic, that our Pope’s comments can lead to greater love and acceptance of the LGBT community.  And at the same time, I am cautious – cautious that the change in tone and attitude represented by the Pope’s statement will not lead to a change in theology and doctrine which so desperately needs to change." 

Got that?  Another Catholic priest wants theology and Church doctrine to CHANGE so that what God calls mortal sin (homosexual acts) can be redefined as "love" and then allow Catholics (clergy and laity) to "support, love, nurture and foster positive gay relationships in our church."

"positive gay relationships"?

Are those anything like "positive adulterous relationships"?  How about "positive fornicating relationships"?

Where (if at all) do progressive liberals in the Church STOP attempting to redefine sin?  As if God made a mistake and now, after more than two thousand years of the Catholic Church He has decided to fix this teaching so that what was once mortal sin is now 'love'.  

Ridiculous and blasphemous at the same time!

I just can't understand how a priest (presumably well educated) can read Catholic doctrine, the catechism, the Saints, Papal Bulls, encyclicals etc. and yet still come out with this heretical drivel.

That these priests SEEM to believe what they are saying is the most baffling part of it for me.  How can *I*, a mere member of the laity- without the extensive theological education our priests have- see what is wrong with this sort of thinking, and they so oblivious?

Father Meier continues his harmful heretical rhetoric with assorted non-approved gay website links on his "Rising Voices of Faith" website.

But perhaps even more harmful and damaging is Father Gary Meier's personal website where he offers his services to guide and counsel people in HIS beliefs rather than the Church's official teachings.  He also offers to do speaking engagements to spread his heretical beliefs to others.

Why is this allowed?

Does the Bishop approve?

Does Father Meier have the SILENT approval of the Archdiocese of St. Louis?

Looks that way since nothing has been said about Father Meier's personal website offering his services or his gay activist outreach program.

As a matter of fact the only thing the Archdiocese has said has been about Meier's gay book.  

Does that mean they have no problem with his doing speaking engagements and guiding others in his beliefs that oppose Catholic teaching?

Again, it would seem so.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

Catechism on homosexuality:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, 141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.


October 28, 2014

EWTN Press Release: National Catholic Register Grows

National Catholic Newspaper
Reports Unprecedented Circulation Gains

The National Catholic Register Grows Paid Circulation by 71% in Three Years

Irondale, Ala., October 27, 2014 — The National Catholic Register continues to defy the challenges of the newspaper publishing industry, reporting a 71% increase in circulation since February 2011. In this three-year timeframe — under the management of its owner EWTN Global Catholic Network — circulation rose from 22,825 subscribers to today’s 39,041subscribers. The gains in circulation for 2014 alone have included nearly 4,000 new subscribers.
These consistent and record gains for the largest and one of the oldest Catholic newspapers in the U.S. can be attributed to a comprehensive blend of factors, including timely and trustworthy reporting, solid editorial content, inspirational features, and expanded marketing efforts.
Online web traffic to has also increased from 294,886 to 903,557 in the same three-year time period — a 206% growth. Recently, the National Catholic Register’s Facebook page surpassed 100,000 likes, and the publication also reaches digital readers via its new mobile site, iPhone/iPad and Android apps, and Kindle. Finally, the organization also produces Register Radio, a weekly radio show that airs on EWTN’s Global Radio Network.
“The Register is experiencing a wonderful, prolonged period of growth that speaks to our ability to deliver thorough news coverage that resonates truth,” said Michael P. Warsaw, EWTN’s chairman and chief executive officer and publisher of the National Catholic Register. “It’s exciting to see both long-time and new readers respond to our efforts with the enthusiasm and loyal support that is fueling our growth.”
“Our media organization — with a staff of only 16 full-time employees — continues to meet the needs of our audience — in print, online and via Register Radio,” notes Editor in Chief, Jeanette De Melo. “Our print and digital subscription numbers, as well as overall website and new media traffic, continue to climb, as we reach Catholics in the many varied ways they seek their news today.”
The award-winning National Catholic Register ( provides its readers with timely news reporting from across the United States, the Vatican, and around the world. As the newspaper of record for the Catholic Church in America, the Register and its online presence,, have become America’s most complete and faithful Catholic news source. It is published bi-weekly, 26 issues per year. The National Catholic Register also produces Register Radio, a weekly program that airs on EWTN’s radio network.

EWTN Global Catholic Network is available in more than 230 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website, electronic and print news services, and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.

October 26, 2014

Upcoming Catholic Events in Connecticut

The parish Music Committee
of St. Mary's Church
5 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, Connecticut
 will sponsor a lecture/workshop 
presented by Muriel Maharidge, DMA
Singing Gregorian Chant
 Come experience the sublime beauty of Gregorian chant and discover the unique qualities that make it especially suited to sacred liturgy. 
 Monday, October 27 at 7:00 in the Parish Hall


The St John's Bible exhibit at the KofC Museum (New Haven) closes on November 2.     DON'T miss this exhibit!!!


Fr. Chris Cleary to Address Needs of the Caregiver in Nov. 8
Retreat for Health Care Professionals

West Hartford, Conn. – Are you a nurse or other health care professional whose job it is to take care of people? Professional caregivers are special individuals who give of themselves selflessly, but who gives to them?  How are they nurtured and sustained?  How do they manage the stress, worry, and flat-out exhaustion to which their challenging roles so often give rise?

Fr. Chris Cleary, a Passionist priest and former cardiac intensive care nurse, will explore the delicate balance between caring for yourself and caring for others in a daylong retreat for health care professionals titled “Care for the Caregiver:  A Day of Spiritual and Physical Renewal.”The retreat takes place on Saturday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Holy Family Retreat Center in West Hartford. 

“I’m hoping this will be a small oasis for health care providers, a place where they can be nurtured,” said Fr. Chris. “We’ll look at how they can cultivate resilience amid the many challenges they face, and we’ll examine practices that will enable them to serve others in a way that is spiritually sustainable and life-giving.”

In additional to his nursing experience, Fr. Chris has worked in retreat ministry, spiritual direction, training in religious formation, and youth ministry.  He holds a B.S. in nursing from Widener College and a Master in Divinity degree from the Catholic Theological Union. 

The retreat will include inspirational talks, dialogue, yoga, and free time to rest. Healing arts therapies will be available at an additional cost. The offering to attend is $65 and includes lunch. Holy Family Retreat Center is located at 303 Tunxis Road in West Hartford.  For more information and to register, call 860-760-9705 or visit


Contributor: Paul A. Zalonski
Catholic Connecticut
255 Foxon Hill Road
East Haven, CT 06513-1216 USA
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***Paul is the Catholic Events Contributor for Connecticut Catholic Corner***

October 24, 2014

Catholic nun sings Madonna's "Like a virgin" song...

Good grief, what was she thinking?

Music video by Sister Cristina performing Like A Virgin. (C) 2014 Universal Music Italia Srl

QuoteIn an interview with the Catholic daily Avvenire this week, Sister Cristina explained why she picked Like a Virgin as one of the tracks on her album, which will be released next month."I chose it myself, without any desire to provoke or cause a scandal. By reading the text, without letting yourself be influenced by previous [interpretations], you discover that it is a song about the ability of love to renew people, to redeem them from their past. And that’s how I wanted to interpret it."
Original Madonna lyrics (Sister Cristina removed the BLUE parts in her version)

"Like A Virgin"

I made it through the wilderness
Somehow I made it through
Didn't know how lost I was
Until I found you

I was beat incomplete
I'd been had, I was sad and blue
But you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel
Shiny and new


Like a virgin
Touched for the very first time
Like a virgin
When your heart beats [after first time, "With your heartbeat"]
Next to mine

Gonna give you all my love, boy
My fear is fading fast
Been saving it all for you
'Cause only love can last

You're so fine and you're mine
Make me strong, yeah you make me bold
Oh your love thawed out
Yeah, your love thawed out
What was scared and cold


Oooh, oooh, oooh

You're so fine and you're mine
I'll be yours 'till the end of time
'Cause you made me feel
Yeah, you made me feel
I've nothing to hide


Like a virgin, ooh, ooh
Like a virgin
Feels so good inside
When you hold me, and your heart beats, and you love me

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Ooh, baby
Can't you hear my heart beat
For the very first time?


In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


October 23, 2014

Good cause, but glad they're not my neighbors...

This is not only a really good Halloween house light display, its also a great opportunity to give to charity.  They are accepting donations for children with Down Syndrome - specifically for Gigi's Playhouse.

Youtube quote:
Published on Oct 5, 2014Thomas Halloween 2014, Conan Doyle Rd, Naperville IL. 96 LOR Channels
Donations are being collected for Gigi's Playhouse this year. Come out and see the light show and donate, or donate here:

Gigi's Playhouse...

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner



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