Wednesday, May 31, 2006

First Stop: The Netherlands

Ok, people from Holland. I've been cheering for your country in the world of Soccer for a long long time. Back when I was like 8, my parents went to Holland and brought me back a shirt that said, "We Love Oranje," refering to your teams colors, displayed below by Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and ever since, I've been a fan of the oranje.
You also sport (or used to sport, rather) some of my favorite players of all time, including Kluivert, Davids, Seedorf, the De Boers, and others who aren't on the team anymore. You also have some of the sharpest looking uniforms in the world.

But I have to ask... What is wrong with you people?

Now before you even think about making a Catholic joke, I'm gonna just tell you not to bother, because this isn't funny. They are actually trying to make a political party of Pedophiles, called "The Charity, Freedom, and Diversity Party."

Now I'm happy to see that 82 percent of people in Holland oppose the party, but what is going on? You also have the most "liberal" policies on drug use and prostitution in Europe. You used to be so Catholic!

"In these years (1890's - 1940's) there was a strong community spirit and an effective social control among Dutch Catholics. The church authorities had, beside the catholic schools, a great variety of social, cultural and recreational organisations at their disposal, in order to direct the daily life and works of the Catholics. The most effective way, however, was confession. In the field of good moral sense, sexuality and married life, directions were given, and if we look at the high birth rates among Catholics we may conclude that the church was very successful in these areas." (from http://www.kdc.kun.nl/geschiedenis/ .)

Now, "The percentage of Catholics among the Dutch population was reduced from 40.4% in 1960 to 35%: only a mere 13% attends weekly mass." (also from site linked above)

I tried to find out what this 13% was up to, but couldn't find anything not in dutch.

The priesthood in the Netherlands, sadly, seems to be of very low morale. I came across this letter from JPII to the country's bishops, written in 1998. It is beautiful.

I was in Amsterdam a little over a year ago, but sadly did not get to visit the city. I had a 15 hour layover and slept pretty much the whole time in my hotel room. Still, I wish I would have visited some of the churches to see what was going on there.

Anyways, if anyone has any knowledge of anything more positive to add please do in the comments section. And on the field, I still have a soft spot for the oranje. I hope they take the group.

[UPDATE] Here is a good link. Ok, here is a good link to a blog and Podcast by a Catholic Priest from the Archdiocese of Utrecht. Thanks Adam.

World Catholic Cup

Ok, so I had this idea a while back, and I think I'm going to go through with it. I'm going to combine the Tomfoolery aspect of the blog with the Catholic part of the blog. As some of you may know, I'm a soccer guy. That being said, this is an exciting time for me because of the World Cup. There are also a lot of Catholic countries involved, so I thought to myself, why not do a few posts on the state of the church in these world cup countries? So I'm going to.

I was going to keep it themed on vocations, and talk about seminarian numbers and what countries are doing to promote vocations, but basically that would be way too hard, and I would probably need to speak a language other than english to get the full effect. There will probably be a lot of stuff about human rights abuses in here as well, but I will try to keep it positive.

I hope you like it.

But, the first thing to think about is what in the world went into creating the World Cup Logo?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Great Pope Picture

From his recent trip to Poland, while praying at a Concentration Camp:

Good Times...

Good times were had this weekend. Tomfoolery was definately on the upswing. In fact, memorial day weekend is always one of the best weekends in Bellingham, because it is our Ski to Sea weekend.

The Ski to Sea Race is a team relay race from the top of mount baker to Bellingham Bay. Here's a good picture of both of them (isn't my home town beautiful!):
Anyways, the race includes a cross country ski, a downhill ski, a run, a canoe, a roadbike, a mountain bike, and a kayak and spans over 100 miles. It ends in Olde Towne Fairhaven, where there is a ton of stuff to do. You can always plan on running into people you know. This is good, but it leads to a lot of awkwardness, and lameness, in that I have to explain to people I haven't seen in a long time why I'm going to be a priest. Some people are supportive, but some just can't figure out that a life of service and sacrifice can be completely rewarding.

Back to the Tomfoolery... Well, I guess thats really it. Nothing too specific, just a lot of fun.

On another note, I finally got my Google Analytics program, so I can see who's reading this thing. Its quite interesting. I actually have some loyal readers from England! And I have hits from Spain and Germany as well, and a whole lot from the East Coast. Its pretty rad. But it leads me to a question:

Why aren't more of you leaving comments?

I'm out.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Welp...

This makes me nervous. Someone has my password to this thing and wrote the message down below this one. Unless I blanked out and started typing in tounges or something. If anyone sees anything offensive on this, let me know by emailing me. Oh, and if anyone can translate it, let me know what that is.

Bryan

fala-me de amor

por favor vejam a novela dei-te quase tudo e um exito

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Summer Assignment

I was told a few weks ago by my vocation director that I'd be stationed in Burien Washington this summer. But it turns out I'll be somewhere else instead...

St. James Cathedral! Downtown Seattle!



I'm pretty excited to be here. My friend (who will be ordained this year) Michael did his CPE at the parish, and had a good time. I'll let you all know how well it goes.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Back in the Ham

After a couple days of nothing but driving I'm back home, safe and sound. The trip was alright. I got stuck in traffic after being on the road about two minutes, whichis never fun. But I made it to my friend Marie's place at about 11:30, and we got to catch up on everything thats been going. She's getting married in about three weeks to a great guy.

Saturday was the longest and worse day of driving. I was on the road about ten hours total. But I made it to Portland and got to hang out with my friends Cory and Jinnell. We went to a place called McFadden's, which is supposed to be an Irish Pub. I don't count it as one though. They need to do better than having an Irish flag chilling in the corner if thats what they want to be. The best part of an Irish pub experience is the Irish music you get to listen to. So having Fitty Cent and Kanye West blaring means it doesn't count in my book. But it was fun anyways.

Now I'm back, caught up on sleep, caught up on ALIAS and ready for the series finale tonight. Yeah the show went downhill a while ago, but I want to see how it ends.

Hope to see everyone around here soon.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Days of Lameness

That pretty much sums up the last few days.

First off, Goodbyes are stupid. Especially when they are probably forever, like in the case of the Ugandan seminarians who will be getting ordained this summer. I would love to go visit them one day, but you never know (the genocide going on in Uganda is even worse, some say, then the one in Darfur).

Also the Colombians will be leaving. Which is too bad because these are some really cool guys. I'll miss balling it up with them. I also just found out that the Colombian province of vincentians will no longer be sending guys here anymore, which means I can't count on a new crop of Colombians next year at all.

Another point aggravating me is that I have to pack up, and I accumulated a lot of (insert favorite synonym for poop here) in the last 8 months. Hopefully I can get out of here on time. This reminds me of Freshmen year at Nash hall when my roomate took off back to Boston and I had to clean our whole room alone. Only now I can't blame my roomate, since I didn't have one.

So Tomfoolery is definately down lately. But it should pick up. I plan to stop in San Francisco (to visit Marie and her fiance) and then in Portland (to visit Jinnell). Should be good. THen of course a bunch of time to hang in Bellingham and go visit friends and go to concerts and stuff. Speaking of...Has anyone out there heard of The Scene Aesthetic? They seem pretty rad, and they're from Sea-town.

So that it. I'd like to take a moment though to congratulate my good buddy and former fellow WWU Peer Minister Zach Mallahan and his lovely wife Cheri on the birth of their new baby, Isaac James Mallahan. Fr. Isaac sounds pretty good, huh Zach?

Please pray for me that I arrive home safely.

God Bless you all, and I'll see you back in Warshington.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Future movies

I saw this article on Fandango and thought it was interesting.

Its about current movies in progress that deal with the subject of religion. Some of them look like crap, but some of them look pretty good. There's even a sequel to Bruce Almight coming out in which Steve Carrel has to build an Ark!

And it even says that the whole Paris Hilton starring as Mother Theresa thing was a lie. Which is good.

This Music Cool is Good

That title is a huge inside joke. Sorry you didn't get it.

But there is some very cool good music coming to town soon. First off, we have one of my favorite localish bands, Late Tuesday, who will be releasing their new CD at a concert on WWU's campus next week. I will definately go, and if you're in the Bellingham area, you should go too. Their myspace link is right here. Their official website is right here. I have only listened to the 3 new songs on their Myspace page, but I'm disapointed that 2 of the 3 songs have that fake keyboard sounding deal going on that was so prevalent on their last album. But I really like 2 of the songs on there so far.

Another band coming near Bellingham is OAR (Of a Revolution...). Their official site is pretty good, but it used to be better, when you could listen to anything they've ever made for free. Now you can only hear clips, but they have a few tunes on their Myspace page. They will be playing in Seattle and Vancouver. I really want to go to their Vancouver date because the venue they'll be playing, the Commodore Ballroom is hands down one of the best places to see a show.

If anyone wants to go to any of these let me know.

Oh, and check out my former JV soccer coach and teacher Mark Wright! I'm sure this guy will be doing something around the Ham this summer as well. Here he is now:

And while I'm at it, here is my friend Kris Orlowski. I just listened to "The Bay" for the first time, and I must say its pretty good! Keep it up Kris.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

100th post!!!!!!!

Wow, is that it?

Anyways, American Papist threw this link up the other day about tonights Simpson's episode.

Here it is.

He is optimistic, but I am not so sure if I like where its heading.

Prove me wrong guys...and while your at it, make it funny again. Like season 7. That was a good one.

UPDATE: Apparently that link was a joke, or a lie, or something, that I didn't quite get. The episode tonight was not about that, but it was hilarious, and was about Christianity. It was about the debate between Evolution vs. Creationism in schools. Its was really well done, too, I thought. Check it out.

Dang....




















I knew this guy in college. He was last seen in Laos. Please visit the page his family set up here. And also please keep him in prayer. In fact, say a hail Mary right now. If you forgot the words, then here they are:


Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. amen.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Es ist Fertig...

My first year of seminary anyways. I still have a short little paper on the philosophy of Gabriel Marcel, and then a little project on Deus Caritas Est (God is Love, the first encyclical by Benedict 16). Then its just packing up and loading up the Civic and driving home back to Seattle. Its about 1200 miles, if I remember correctly.

Overall it was a good year. Next year will be different though. There will be a lot more work, and the people will be different. The 4th years will be gone, and the 2nd years will all be on internship. Coming in will be the New Men and the interns returning for Theology 3. It will be an adjustment.

I'm completely stoked on ordination. I will let you know how it was, with pictures and everything else here. While I'm at it, check this out. Its current deacon and future Seattle priest Bryan Dolejsi! One cool thing of note is that he is a national champion basketball player... In Kenya. (its a good article, but there is a typo. Paul Kaech's bio is inserted right in the middle. When you get there just skip like three paragraphs to finish Bryan's).

I think I mentioned somewhere on here that I will be placed in a parish this summer, or at least from the end of June through early August. It is in Burien, and its named after Francis of Asissi. I'll have a variety of tasks, and I will actually be closer to a lot of my buddies, which will be fun. I plan to watch World Cup matches until either it ends or I become sick of it. I'm sure the former option is more likely. I'll also hopefully take in a couple of M's games.

Anyways, I gotta get that paper finished. I'll probably have a couple more entries, but finishing up these classes is definately my priority.

Das Ende

I think this will be the end of the Western Pro-Life display controversy. Just two opinion pieces in the school's newspaper. One rather scathing critique of Tom and the Western For Life club. The other written by Tom defending the club's actions.

The first letter followed a line of reasoning I do not like. It basically assumes a lot about the members of the club and is very judgemental.

Tom's letter was pretty good. It responds to two of the main questions people are asking. 1)Why the schocking pictures? and 2) How can you compare this to genocide?

Here they are.

The next bit will be to see what happens to Mr. Zhang, the guy who vandalized the display.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

More from WWU

WWU is still talking about last weeks protest. Here are some articles from the Western Front:

An article about some students who want to place limits on displays at WWU.

An opinion piece writing to say that the above idea would be a bad idea.

And lastly, Viking Voices, which takes three random WWU folk and gets their opinion.

I'm guessing that this will be over after the next issue.

I promise there will be something more interesting on this blog in the near future, including some info about how I plan to spend my summer vacation...ok, I admit it, there won't ever be anything interesting on this blog.

Update: Check this out. Its the Livejournal link of the guy who destoryed the signs earlier. Seems like a good guy to be honest.

Friday, May 05, 2006

GAP Fallout

In the previous post, I reported that the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) was on the campus of Western Washington University, my Alma Mater. GAP argues that abortion is genocide, and uses gruesome pictures of aborted fetuses to make its case. It has been proven to be a very effective means to engage people in dialogue. Just look at all these young collegiate minds talking amongst themselves.


Here is a roundup from the Western Front:

The front page article. Quite good, I must say.

Another article about the student who trashed the display. He will be tried and will plead Not Guilty, because he thinks the display shouldn't have been allowed on campus.

There are a few letters to the editor. One of them argues that free speech does not include pictures.

And finally the official opinion of the School's newspaper. I spoke to the president of the pro-life club today, and he will write a response to this. The article said that no-constructive debate happened, which he says is false.

Overall, I will say that I'm impressed by the articles in the Front, especially the front pager. Its much better, in a charitable sort of way, then I expected. But there are a couple things that the other articles, particularly the oppinion pieces mention, that ticks me off as an alum...

First, please know that I am not sold on the means the club used to get their point across. This is not, then, meant to argue in their favor. Its simply to state some inconcistencies I see from the WWU "pro-choice" students.

...Why shouldn't the display be allolwed on campus? Why don't you want these views protected under free speech? They had warning signs out all around campus, and nobody had to see them (although I admit, depending on where your classes are, it would be tough to avoid). But why shouldn't they be allowed to have this display, or any other display that articulates their ideas? Why did people cheer when the signs were being torn down and their message was being censored?

Also, why don't the pro-choicers want this to happen? The way I see it, choice is based on information. If this information would help make an informed choice, how could it be wrong? Thus, I don't see why pro-choicers wanted these removed. I might have to write to the Western Front about this.
Feel free to make comments...I'd like to know your thoughts.

oh..and the pictures are from the Western Front and my friend Andrew. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

More Western Goodness

Check out what turned up on Life Site News!

Its my Alma Mater! How Exciting. (And my friend Andrew is in a couple of the pictures trying to stop the guy!) When I was there I don't think we could have pulled off having GAP on campus.

An excerpt:

A Western Washington University pro-life club's display was virtually destroyed by yesterday afternoon by a bare-foot male student who was photographed and videotaped as he dismantled the display. After spending more than three hours playing his guitar and observing the campus-approved display, the Asian male began to tape newspapers over one of the perimeter signs that warned students they were approaching the display.

Barefoot. Pillaging. A true Viking at heart!

Good work Western for Life! I want to hear all about it.

UPDATES: The Bellingham Herald has an article as well.

And the Western Front has one up to. This article was written prior to the demonstration.

Monday, May 01, 2006

End of an Era

The Western Front, WWU's newspaper, has a story about my beloved campus ministry. As most of you know, I was an avid participant in the ministry ever since my reversion to the faith my sophomore year of college. It existed in an "ecumenical setting." In other words, the building we spent our time in was co-owned by a Lutheran ministry and was used by a Jewish Group.

That setting is no longer. We moved out/left/were evicted, whatever you prefer. Things have been... well... not good between the Catholics and the Lutherans for a long time, with the Jews caught in the middle. The split has been in the works for a long time, but it became reality last week when we packed up and moved.

Its kind of sad. It would have been nice for it to have worked out. Yet I think the Catholics will benefit from it. As the article said, they were at maximum capacity and were restricted on when to use the building. Now they will have their own place (hopefully a nice place real soon) and the ministry will continue to grow and evangelize a very (very) secular campus.

Please pray for the students.

Is he Biased?

I was under the impression that judges were expected to interpret the law objectively, without concern for their own biases. This type of thing is argued against Catholic politicians all the time with reguard to public policy. Well it thats true, then how did this happen:

One year after the death of Terri Schiavo, the judge who ordered her feeding tube removed spoke at a right-to-die symposium; something Schiavo’s family calls a disturbing conflict of interests...


What do you think of this? What do you think most americans think about this? What would america think if a judge ruled to keep slavery legal, and then spoke at a pro-slavery conference? Or a judge ruled against abortion, then spoke at a Pro-Life event? Or against immigrants, then spoke at an anti-immigration symposium?

Just some questions. Of course since I wrote a paper on Terri and a letter to the editor on Euthanasia, it should be obvious what I think, but I'm interested in what anyone else thinks. Is this judge inconsistent?

Back in Cali...

...and recovering from my weekend back in Seattle. My talks went pretty well, but I had to make some adjustments after the first one.

Also got to spend time with my best friend and his new wife, which was great. We went over to Alki beach, a place I never really checked out, but will definately visit again.

After my third and final talk, the Pastor of Sacred Heart took me and my family out to lunch at a place called P.F Changs. The waiter brought out our drinks, and spilled a glass of Red Wine all over me. I didn't freak out or anything, I mean, its just a shirt right? It was actually kind of cool. The manager took me next door to Macy's and bought me new clothes and everything!

I got to watch the M's. I'll say it again, but this team has talent. I could see them throwing together a run like Cleveland did last year.

Anyways, I still have that theology paper to do. Its due tomorrow, so I'd better get busy. It's hard to believe at one point I was actually ahead of schedule on this thing.

St. Joseph the Worker,
pray for us.