Monday, September 20, 2010

President Obama Insults African American Voters

"The last election was a changing of the guard -- now we need to guard the change," Obama said according to Yahoo News. He made this plea to Congressional Black Caucus, begging them to get the message out to their people. This is the biggest Swiss cheese campaign I have seen in a long time. I felt that this was a huge insult! He did not tell the C.B.C. what the changes were, only that they needed to be protected. Obama constantly calls for "change." His follows call for "change," but no one seems to really know what this "change" even is. Each individual can tell you the "change" that they want to see, and when you ask if that is happening they defend the president. Obama has a national campaign that allows all peoples in all places to fill in the blank. I want "_____" change! In so doing he is moving millions of people in the same direction with one over arching slogan of fame. He promises nothing to anyone, while promising the nation "change for all." I hope that people will see through this facade and let the president know that they want facts. The C.B.C. needs to send a message that their voters are intelligent and without a list of the changes made they are not going to defend it. I am certain that many of these people will be surprised when they learn that the president's "change" is different than their "change."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Witch Craft, Really Christine?

This evening I read an article, by Associated Press, on Christine O'Donnell and here admittance to "dabbling in witch craft." I am Catholic and the heart of our faith is repentance, but this article was not unveiling a long time transgression to which O'Donnell asp apologizes. It was in fact exposing an interview in which Christine laughs about the incident. The grassroots candidate who has been pushing herself in conjunction with the yes party movement is not a representative of Christianity. Moreover, joking about "witchcraft" is more than just a dishonoring to Christians. It is an overarching blasphemy before God! Furthermore, it is a slap in the face to our founding father who set this republic that we live in as "one nation under God."
Catholic Femina Speaks: We understand that many of our politicians are flawed, but cannot settle for mediocre people who do not hold to the faith of our country. Our values will never be recognized by candidates who moke us and use us. Wake-up America, and look to good people. Not the lesser of two evils....
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Animal Farm Schools"

Today I was excited to announce that my daughter had completed her pre-kindergarten program. My pediatrician, friends, and teachers praised my children's intelligence. They frequently told me how they were so far above the average, I must admit that this did boost my ego. Every parent wants to think that their child is extraordinary.
So the ambitious parent that I am, I started the search for the perfect kindergarten program for my four-year-old to give her a year advantage. I have spent time in the public schools, and observed that nothing is really taught in kindergarten except discipline. Confident that my daughter has surpassed the preliminary kindergarten level I ambitiously looked for the best first grade program. Determined not to leave a stone unturned I googled: "the best first grade program." This brought me to a Quaker school, known as the Sidwell Friend School. I read in the short bio that President Obama sends his daughters to this school, I found this odd considering the president's insistence on the greatness of our public education system, yet he places his children in a private institution. I downloaded a portion of math homework from the website, and I was shocked at the difficulty! The work that I had given my daughter did not compare... I felt deceived, weren't my children smart? They passed the pediatrician's development exams, my daughter surpasses the standard for public first grade even? Investigating deeper, I discovered that second graders, in this private school for the privileged, were completeing vin diagrams and answering questions on them! The school's lunches are organic, consisting of well-balanced meals, not at all like the poorly prepared pre-pakaged food I had seen in the public schools.
The incident reminded me of the 1947 book Animal Farm, by George Orwell... "all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." Orwell risked his life under communist scrutiny to send this message to his people. How is this happening in our country? Aren't all children worth a good education and decent food? Obviously our president doesn't think so, he praises the public school system while keeping his children away from it. As I searched for true evaluation of education I am going to keep Orwell's words in my mind. If you have children look at their work, are you being deceived? Are you a part of a movement to steal your children's future? Throw the norm to the wind ignore the standard tests, look at hard facts. Look at the education system carefully, and decide the truth for yourself. Is the public education system really seeking the good of our children, or is it a mass movement to prevent our children from real success!
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Eucharistic Ministers: How Many is too Many?

Today I had the pleasure of reading an article on the UK Telegraph about the over-use of Eucharistic Ministers in their Catholic Churches… The army of distracting lay people who mob the altar during the Agnus Dei prayer has bothered me for a long time. As a Catholic we recognize that the climax of the mass is the Transubstantiation when the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ. So the reception of Jesus is to be a holy and meaning full event… while in many churches there are so many Eucharistic ministers that parishioners find themselves seeking the shortest line rather than meditating on the mystery of Christ in the Eucharist.
The reverence due to the Eucharist is something that cannot be ignored, and well meaning grandmas and sweatshirt wearing teens who want to feel included, while not needed, is not doing anyone a favor. In my home parish we witness the communion rush; people are in such a hurry to take their Jesus and go. I firmly hold that Eucharistic ministers add to this lack of reverence. Anything worth having is worth waiting for. In our instant gratification world it is difficult to think of communion as a means of worship rather than the fast food drive thru. The over-use of Eucharistic minister’s is clear when it is obvious that given a few extra moments the priest or an additional minister could amply suffice.
Catholic Femina Speaks… So my own reaction to the army of Eucharistic ministers is to walk respectfully and reverently to the priest or deacon for communion. I am not worried about hurting anyone’s feelings; I am just trying to live out my faith fully. I understand that in the case of large crowds ministers are needed and I respect that, but I have been to daily mass with twelve people and had three of them rise to be Eucharistic ministers. This is an abuse, and I hope by my cordially passing up the convenient minister for the duly ordained priest I may due reverence to the Blessed Sacrament and make less need for the unnecessary ministers.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ave Maria University Recieves Full Accredidation!

AVE MARIA, Fla. (June 24, 2010) – The Commission on Colleges (COC) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) announced today that Ave Maria University (AMU) has officially been awarded “accredited membership” status and is now an accredited member of the COC. The announcement was made as part of the actions taken by the COC at its summer meeting held in Birmingham, Ala.
This distinction signifies that AMU meets the requirements and standards for accreditation published in the Principles of Accreditation and has been judged by its peers as worthy of membership in the Commission and Association. Membership will provide opportunities for the university to continue to grow and be eligible to further enhance and expand its programs to better serve its current and future students. SACS membership covers both the campus in Ave Maria, Fla., and the branch Latin American Campus in San Marcos, Nicaragua.
A division of the “Southern Association”, the COC accredits higher education institutions through a standardized multi-year application and review process designed to ensure that all member colleges and universities meet the requirements of the COC. The COC has awarded AMU membership and authorized the institution to grant accredited bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees.
Membership status is achieved after an institution of higher education completes both the pre-accreditation or “Candidacy” and “initial Accreditation” processes, which include: submitting an application; undergoing an internal review by members of the SACS staff; undergoing an independent third-party review by peer evaluators from COC-member institutions; being evaluated as evidencing compliance with the Core Requirements, applicable Comprehensive Standards and the Federal Requirements section of the Principles of Accreditation; and being judged by the Commission’s Compliance and Review Committee as compliant with the Principles.
AMU Founder and Chancellor, Thomas S. Monaghan, AMU President, Nicholas J. Healy and AMU Vice President for Academic Affairs, John E. Sites, received the news with excitement and appreciation.
“We have been looking forward to this day for many years,” Monaghan said. “As an institution of higher education, we set out to receive regional accreditation for the good of everyone associated with the university, and it is very gratifying to receive this recognition. I am also grateful for the cooperation and professionalism of all those at SACS who we worked with through every stage of this process. We are excited about what this means for our alumni and the entire university community, especially our students.”
Monaghan continued, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and everyone at AMU, I want to thank and congratulate all the university personnel who worked so diligently to attain this milestone; everyone from our vice president for academic affairs, who spearheaded this process, to our tremendous faculty, to each and every staff member who contributed in so many ways, it was truly a team effort and their hard work and dedication is appreciated.”
Healy noted AMU’s commitment to SACS and the process of maintaining membership throughout the coming years.
“Ave Maria pledges that it will continue to comply with all the requirements of membership and looks forward to satisfying the ongoing requirements of, and obligations to, the Southern Association,” Healy said. “We feel privileged to have earned membership in SACS, and we are anxious to launch the next steps of our development. Our future plans, like other institutions of higher learning, are to seek approval for new majors that are in demand from and important to our constituent student populations.
“This process will be governed by our desire and commitment to meet the ongoing obligations and responsibilities of membership in the Commission. We look forward to continuing to serve our current and future students with an excellent liberal arts Core Curriculum and appropriate majors, as well as taking our place in the academy as a member,” Healy concluded.
AMU currently offers 10 undergraduate majors: Biology; Classics; Economics; History; Literature; Mathematics; Music; Philosophy; Politics; and Theology. At its campus in Nicaragua, AMU also offers three degree programs in business administration, politics, and psychology. More than 90 percent of AMU full-time professors have terminal doctoral-level degrees in their specialized fields, usually the Ph.D. Additionally, AMU offers two masters degrees and a Ph.D. program in Theology.
Sites echoed the appreciation of Monaghan and Healy, saying, “I am personally grateful to the Commission on Colleges for its collegial and rigorous efforts in providing an excellent process by which AMU demonstrated the efficacy of its educational program and its commitment to the liberal arts education of our students. I want to thank every member of the two visiting committees and the COC liaison representative, as well as the entire AMU Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, for their time and expertise in making this a fruitful and constructive journey to membership.”
SACS membership will directly benefit AMU students, especially those planning on entering post-graduate programs. Though AMU has been accredited by the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) since 2008, some graduate programs accept only alumni of regionally accredited schools. SACS is one of six regional accrediting associations that accredit institutions of higher education in the United States. Membership also will impact university funding and makes AMU eligible to receive additional foundation grants and increased federal and state resources, which would allow the institution to improve and expand programs for students.
As a SACS university member, AMU will strive for continuous improvement in order to maintain accreditation. Members are reevaluated on a regular basis to ensure accreditation criteria continue to be met.

Catholic Femina Speaks: I am thrilled to announce that AMU is accreditted! They worked hard and they deserve it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Most Pro-Life Part of The Super Bowl

There was a big debate over the most pro-life moment in the Super Bowl... Tim Tebow boasted of being brave enough to star in a pro-life advertisement sponsored by Focus on the Family during Super Bowl XLIV... Soon after the Super Bowl ended speculation arose that Google's family ad showing the life of a couple, meeting, marrying in a church, and having a baby was the most pro-life part of the Super Bowl. This advertisement had a nice subtle message; it promoted normal family life. When I thought about the messages send by these promoters I was touched; but not as moved as seeing the winning quarterback forgo the usual champagne bath to cherished the moment with his one year old son Baylen and wife Brittany. I felt that this act did more than the Tebow and Google ads combined. Drew Brees won the ultimate prize of his career, and he would rather share it with his family than act crazy. He told America what was most important to him, and the message of life carrier through him unintentionally. I believe that a lot of Americans will take a step back to examine this more closely when they think about how the winning quarterback raised his baby before the Lombardi. Brees was moved to tears as he kissed his baby and relished his Super bowl win. The image of this great athlete gave Americans a reality, children will not end your life, rather they will enrich it! Life is precious.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Culpability, Responsibility, & Actual Ability...Yours, Mine, Ours???

Culpability, Responsibility, & Actual Ability.... When we stand back and think about how we are supposed to live our daily lives; these "-abilities" play a major role. When we chose to follow Christ we are culpable for our actions, that is pretty easy to understand and accept. We then take the responsibility of our own actions and we use our personal physical ability to carry out the tasks the fruits of these actions are our own.

But what about our neighbor's actions? Are we responsible or culpable for those? If we know that our neighbor is going to act sinfully to hurt himself or another person does any of the culpability (or blame) fall upon us? Yes, sometimes even though an action is brought about by another person's physical abilities we still carry the culpability. This occurs when we have knowledge of the sinful actions and ignore our responsibility to follow Christ's example "admonish the sinner." Admonishing the Sinner is a Spiritual Work of Mercy, different from judging a sinner, admonishing is aimed toward changing the sinner's heart and returning them to the mystical body of Christ. If I pray for my neighbor is that enough to remove my culpability? Not always, for example a Church needs to be built and we pray to God to help us build the new Church; materials are provided... someone still needs to be God's hands on earth and build the Church. The same can be said for admonishing the sinner, we can pray for God's wisdom and direction, and although sometimes unpleasant we must be God's hands on earth. Christ told us in John 18:36 "his kingdom is not of this world," and in the modern world it is the trend to allow all people the "don't ask, don't tell" privilege even in regards to their immortal soul. When we are looking to live as Christ, we must do so fearlessly and not follow the trends... His kingdom is not of this world and we want as many souls to enjoy paradise as possible.