Thursday, May 24, 2012

She also knew exactly what this was all about. The next morning she woke up with, “Can we go to Mass today so I can receive Jesus again today?”

Maria Faustina receives 1st Communion

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Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 A.D. | By Stacy Trasancos

True Leadership

“The American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. Through its nearly 10,500 units located in every state and some foreign countries, the Auxiliary embodies the spirit of America that has prevailed through war and peace. Along with The American Legion, it solidly stands behind America and her ideals.

Well?

While the nation discusses and debates the attacks on religious freedom, a high school junior in Florida has put her academic reputation on the line to stand up for her faith. Margeaux Graham was selected this year to participate in a prestigious 9-day leadership event in her state’s capital. 

The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) of Florida has an annual “Girls State” program whereby the participants “learn how to participate in the functioning of their state’s government in preparation for their future roles as responsible adult citizens.” It is a “nonpartisan program that teaches young women responsible citizenship and love for God and Country. They are awarded 3 college credits and rare notoriety in the college application process.

Margeaux is a faithful Catholic. That is, she takes her obligation to attend Mass as just that — her obligation. When she inquired about nearby Catholic churches to plan where she would attend, she was told by the staff that the only opportunity any of the girls would have to participate in a Sunday service is to attend the “non-offensive”, non-denominational service offered for all at the conference. The event takes place at the University of Central Florida State University and the cathedral is nearby the campus. [see update] A member of the national American Legion even contacted the Auxiliary to arrange for a priest to celebrate Mass on campus, and this accommodation was denied.

So Margeaux took action herself. She wrote to the organizers declining the invitation, with firm resolve, unless she was allowed to attend Mass. This is her letter, reprinted with permission. Mind you, she is a high school junior.


TO: American Legion Auxiliary Unit #21
FROM: Margeaux Graham
RE: Girls State 2012
DATE: May 7, 2012

I am regretfully writing this letter to formally inform you that I will be unable to attend Florida Girls State in June. I am extremely honored that you found me worthy to represent American Legion Auxiliary unit #21 and am devastated that I cannot participate. I attended orientation on May 6, 2012 and was informed by [name private] that I would not be allowed to attend Mass on Sunday.

My faith is very important to me, as it has been to countless Americans. This country was founded on the principles of religious and personal freedom, the fundamental rights that either you or your loved ones fought to protect. It is disheartening that the Florida Girls State program is structured in such a way that it prohibits participation of young women who have a strong conviction for their religious practices.

The only opportunity to participate in a Sunday service is presented in a “non-offensive”, non-denominational service. As a Catholic Christian I find it offensive that I am not allowed to attend Mass and am perplexed as to how this service could accommodate the beliefs of other religious groups, such as Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and all Christian religions. I am disappointed to see the lack of respect for religious creed from the Florida Girls State program by limiting participants to only one religious paradigm.

Miss [name private] made it quite clear that I had to choose between my faith and Florida Girls State. I was looking forward to attending with great zeal, the knowledge, experience, and friends gained would have been invaluable. My faith has made me who I am, it has shaped me into the young woman that you chose as your delegate, for me to deny my faith would be hypocritical. Words cannot express my disappointment that the Florida Girls State program is designed to only accommodate delegates who fit into a pre-determined religious belief system or none at all.

Margeaux Graham  (for the whole article and all the comments, click here.

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Evangelicals Becoming Catholic, why?

by Steve Ray on May 24, 2012

Below is an interesting YouTube video (really audio) of an Evangelical Radio show in which two Evangelicals discuss why so many Evangelical Protestants are leaving to join the Catholic Church.

The host and guest are trying to be honest in the show entitled  “Why Evangelicals are Returning to Rome.” Although towards the end of the video they are making some statements that are historically inaccurate (about Luther and the Popes); nevertheless, their questioning tries to be honest. It is interesting that they are taking note of a large exodus. I am one of those who Crossed the Tiber to Rome.

Furthermore, this was coming from a Protestant network that is decidedly anti-Catholic.  They are willing to discuss openly what has been happening for years now (the exodus of Evangelical ordained ministers to Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches).  They also mention briefly EWTN, the program Journey Home and the moderator Marcus Grodi, a convert from Evangelical Christianity. It is obvious this is all new to them since they didn’t even know how to pronounce Marcus Grodi’s name.

The moderator Ingrid Slater asked Pastor Bob DeWay; “Let’s talk about the problem; what do you think is the seed bed (this is sort of a rhetorical question; everybody knows what a mess Evangelicalism is as a whole today doctrinally speaking).  What is setting people up for this disenchantment and the willingness to look to Roman Catholicism?”

Here are some of the Problems that Bob Deway lists, though they really have no explanation since they are blind to the real problems within Protestantism, which are things that cannot be fixed. If they were fixed they would be Catholics.
(1) The Seeker Movement took the Bible out of churches.
(2) People are not steeped in solid Bible teaching (yeah, but according to whose interpretation?).
(3) Big churches that don’t preach the Bible (who decides what should be taught??).
(4) The influx of mystical practices, contemplative prayer, the labyrinths.
(5) Seminaries that are training therapeutic practitioners rather than theologians.
(6) The idea that we have to have to justify our practices and beliefs from Scripture – according to what Luther and the other reformers – which has now been overlooked.

The moderator then mentioned a book saying, “Coming Home by Fr Peter [Eastern Rite] (I am not even going to use the term father). . . He used to head up Campus Crusade here in the Midwest” Evidently he is now heading up an organization helping Evangelical ministers come into the Eastern rite Churches.  If you want to know why he made his move from Evangelical Protestantism you can listen to the video.

For years you’d hear Evangelicals boast of the fact that their churches were filled ex-Catholics.  But in too many cases the Evangelical churches are just the exit ramp that eventually leaves them disillusioned and abandoning the faith altogether. Now the tide is changing.  Some Evangelicals seem to be oblivious to the fact of this large exodus of Evangelical ministers and lay people.

A year ago, Karl Keating of Catholic Answers Live said he believed there were now more Evangelicals or Fundamentalists leaving Protestantism to become Catholic than the other way around. Even Evangelicals admit that there are notable Protestants becoming Catholics but no notable Catholics becoming Protestants.

I could take exception to several of Pastor Bob’s statements and argue decisively against them, but that is not the point of my posting this video.

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