Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A real cowboy church!

St. Ann's Catholic Church, Petersville, Texas.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The media is getting better

Something has caught my eye lately. The way Christians are being portrayed in mass media appears to be improving, throughout the 2000's Christians in general were portrayed usually as either fundamentalist wackos or giant hypocrites. But just in the last year I have seen two notable exceptions.

First, is my favorite TV show, Psych. This show is smart and funny and full of pop culture references. But most noticable is the character of Gus (played by Dule Hill), not only is he the only Black lead on a prime time basic cable show, he is also one of the few (if not one of the only) Christian characters on TV.

Also on Psych, is the recurring Character of "Father Wesley" (played to perfection by Ray Wise), here is a Priest that is just a normal guy, he is not an alcoholic, or a sexually repressed psychopath.

But by far one of the best portrayals was on last years season finale of "In plain sight". This show is the story of a US Marshall who works in the witness protection program. In the season finale she is assigned a priest who witnessed two brutal murders. At first he is all to happy to give up his collar. But as the show goes on, he finds himself conflicted and looking for a "sign" from God for what he is supposed to do. In usual tv twists, the killers find him, and try to take him out before he can testify. What is the most powerful is the shows climactic scene, where after the US Marshalls have shot the killers, one reaches out for the Priest he just tried to kill, and as the man is dying, the Priest grants him, forgiveness, absolution and performs the final sacrament to the man who moments ago wanted him dead.

In the end, he returns to the priesthood and gets his sign, Mary, the US Marshall gives him a actual sign with Hebrews 7:17 written on it "You are a Priest forever....". This show was noticeable as it showed the priesthood as a vocation, not just a job. This is clearly what this man was meant to do with his life.

You can watch the full episode online at: http://www.usanetwork.com/series/inplainsight/video/fullep/

Giving up online debate.

Several years ago Dave Armstrong gave up online debate. He stated that life was too short and he had run out of patience. For the last several years I have taken part in the online debates over at CARM. At first they were edifying and enlightening, I even made some good friends there of all different theological slants. (Ric, Julie, Paul, Fr. Pomeroy). Lately though, it has just become downright nasty. Personal attacks replaced critiques, there is not a single anti-catholic myth or conspiracy theory that isn't promoted as truth.

It has brought out the worst in me on many occasions. So, after thought and prayer, I am returning to my blog to put out my thoughts.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Catholic apps for the Android Part III

Well, since my last post, some more great Catholic apps have trickled onto the Android. (and I do mean trickle). Let's take a look.

One that is not really a Catholic app, but a Christian App with Catholic content is the Bible Reader from Olivetree. This is a simple Bible Reader App that I use, it has both the Douay Rheims (free) and the NAB (not free) available it even has the Clementine Vulgate as well as the Latin (St. Jerome) Vulgate, as well as any number of other translations.

Next is the "Daily Readings" app from Aycka Soft, that is exactly what it says. It is the daily readings from the mass as well as daily reflections from Don Schwager's website. It also has the Mass prayers. Not as complete as imissal, but better than your average missal in the pews.

Then comes a pretty sparse offering called "Lectio Divina" a fairly simple app that offers the daily readings as well as the saint whose feast day it is. The downside to this app is that it appears to be merely a front for the browser. So unlike ibreviary or Scincere Prayer, it doesn't download the readings into your phone (great for those of us who place our phones in "airplane mode" during Mass.

As I said, the apps are just trickling in, hopefully we will see a burst of offerings like there is for the iphone.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

For Ellie....

UPDATE: Little Ellie went to be with our Lord at 1035 EDT Today, May she rest in peace.

I just recently found out about little Ellie Potvin. I lit a candle for her and her family at adoration last night. No 8 year old should have to suffer like this, nor should any parent have to watch. But not our will, but thy will be done Lord.

Eternal rest grant unto her o Lord and may your perpetual light shine upon her.

Read Ellies heart wrenching story at Caringbridge.org

Follow her struggle on twitter at: http://twitter.com/liftupellie

And her mother at: http://twitter.com/amypotvin

This is for you little angel, may you rest in the arms of the Lord:

Monday, May 10, 2010

The things God puts in front of us....

Something happened at church last night that has stuck with me. My family and I were sitting in the front row of the church, and when time came for communion we dutifully got up and received the blessed sacrament. As we were returning to our seats, I saw the elderly woman that was sitting at the end of our pew struggling to get up, it was then she reached for my hand, with her husband on one side of her and me on the other, we helped her to make her way up to the extraordinary minister.

Here is this woman who walks with a walker, barely able to move without help, was not going to be denied receiving our Lord in the Eucharist. How many times have we waited for God to come to us? How many times would we have been perfectly justified in just staying where we are? This woman did not have to get up, the EMHC would have gladly come to her, but she was not going to be denied. It humbled me, to this woman, receiving Christ was the only thing she wished to do. Anyone who says communion is purely symbolic, that it is nothing more than a piece of unleavened bread and a sip of wine, should have seen the determination in this woman. She was not going to be denied.

It reminded me of the story in the Bible of the woman who forced herself through the crowd just to touch the hem of Jesus' garment (Luke 8:40-48). Jesus pulled her to her feet and said "Daughter, your faith has saved you, go in peace".

I will remember that woman in my prayers, and never forget the powerful lesson she taught me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Catholic Android Apps

Never thought this would become my most popular topic, but go figure.

Since my last post, some new Catholic Android apps have come out, let's run them down.

First, the free apps.

The first one is imass, this is a reworked iphone app and very poorly done at that, it is a memory hog and while the premise is good, (daily videos of Mass at the Cathederal in New Orleans, as well as video rosaries and news), the videos are on a site not supported by android, and the news stories just take you back to the diocese website, it appears to just be an advertising platform that accesses a lot of part on your phone you don't need it to. (for example gps must be on for app to work). No link, because not worth the download

Next is a vanity app for the "4th Frog Blog", the blog of a catholic wife and mother in the midwest, not exactly my cup of tea, but if you are a fan, you can have her posts and tweets at your fingertips.

Next is a team of apps form Artur Polit, Mobile Rosary and Mobile Prayerbook, these were originally Java apps that were converted over to Android, at first, not very well, but they have since been updated and include the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, various Chaplets and other prayers. Very simple and very good apps that don't take up a lot of space.

There is a pay-for Catholic app out there now, the very popular imissal from the iphone platform. I have not seen this app at work yet, but the reviews I have read are outstanding. I may have to actually buy this one!

I will keep my eyes out and let you know as new apps come online!

Now, don't forget, there are always ways to make secular apps Catholic! Combine IP Cam viewer, with the live feed over at savior.org and you get a live feed on your phone of the Blessed Sacrament, ready for prayer wherever you are!

Or, download Worldtour and you can set your wallpaper to one of the live webcams that the Vatican City State operates of St. Peters.