Thursday, June 25, 2009

God, What Would You Do Without Me?

I'm a tad frustrated with bureaucracy of the Catholic Church. "Tad" may be an understatement. But the Church is a reflection of God Almighty. So, my frustration is with God, actually.

While explaining my latest frustration, to my loveliness (Pam, my wife) I let out with a joking exclamation, throwing my hands into the air: "God!? What would you do without me?"

We laughed.

Then, I thought that my whining would be a great title of a book or a blog. Imagine all the funny, self-deprecating things you would write about... even in the words of historical figures. We could start with creation, and why did it take billions of years to create the universe? Bureaucracy no doubt. It's tough getting billions upon billions of electrons lined up to make a clump of coal, let alone a fusion-fired star. Probably harder than herding cats.

Then Pam said, "How about 'ARROGANCE IN UNIFORM'. That's good. Finally she said to me, as I stood in the hall starring at the floor thinking, just outside the bathroom where she was curling her hair -- "Don't calm down, get going!"

So, I came in here to write this.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What a Way to Go!

Germaine, in her role as Mother Teresa in a skit at Fr. Perrone's 30th Anniversary celebration from Diane M. Korzeniewski's Grotto website. (Not used with permission, but I think Diane won't mind.)

If you're going to die in a car accident, Germaine shows us how. She was the elderly, diligent, hardworking, and street smart housekeeper for Fr. Perrone at the Assumption Grotto rectory. At the end of her day of ministry to a house full of priests and staff, she was crossing Gratiot to catch a bus. She was struck by a speeding car that one witness pegged at 90 mph. She unconscious instantly. Probably felt no pain. Witnesses say she was knocked out of her tennis shoes. As PROVIDENCE would have it, at that very instant, Fr. Perrone, Fr. Bustamonte, and Fr. White were entering a car (to go to the wake for the mother of Grotto blogger Diane M. Korzeniewski) in the rectory parking lot a few dozen feet away. Someone came to them yelling that there at been an accident and they were needed. They ran to the street and found the lady that they loved so much, near death, unconscious, her heart still beating. While Fr. Bustamonte held the oil, Fr. Perrone, in shock, administered Germaine her last rites, and some other prayers of forgiveness that one parishioner said guaranteed her entrance to the pearly gates. Now, I know these three holy priests, and I gotta tell you: I cannot imagine a better way to go, if you're going to go in an accident. Imagine, your life is full -- being the housekeeper of the Church of the living God -- you're struck by something, you don't know what, no pain, no suffering, and instantly 3 priests are kneeling over you in the street ensuring your eternal reward. What a way to go! You can pray for Germaine, but I KNOW Germaine is praying for us and the continual, effectual, ministry of those priests, who are still in shock.

Here is post from Diane about Germaine.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More IVF Problems

This just in from the London Times.

U.K. Woman Aborts Other Mother's Last Embryo

A mother desperate to have a second child has told how she lost her last IVF embryo when the U.K. National Health Service implanted it into the wrong patient.

When the other woman found out that the embryo was not hers, she aborted it.

Details of the blunder raise fresh questions about the way IVF clinics are regulated.

The Sunday Times has previously revealed that women undergoing fertility treatment have had their eggs fertilized with the wrong sperm.

Deborah, the woman who lost her chance of another baby, is so traumatized by the error that she is reluctant to risk further IVF to have a longed-for sibling for her son, Jamie, 6.

Because Deborah is 40 her prospects of having another child with her boyfriend, Paul, 38, are slim and diminishing.

Deborah, who does not want to disclose her surname, said: “I will never forget the moment the hospital broke the news to us. Initially, the hospital told me there had been an accident in the lab and that the embryo had been damaged. I thought that someone had, perhaps, dropped the embryo dish.

“I remember thinking: ‘That’s our last hope gone – we will never have another child.’ I left the hospital feeling totally shell-shocked.

“When we went back to the hospital two days later and we were told the truth about my embryo being given to someone else I was so angry.”

Full Story Here

Help us tell the truth of IVF with our television drama, Tiger's Hope.

Friday, June 12, 2009


for Catholic Pro-Life Television Movie

http://www.ninevehscrossing.comDear Friends,

WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW to complete the funding of this project and give it the "Green Light." It is a UNIQUE Pro-Life television drama planned for production very soon. We have accounted for 60% of the $250K budget, which leaves us with only $100K. Can you or someone you know meet that (tax deductible) difference by the end of June? If so, please call now, or visit our Contribution Page, so we can properly plan production.

Call either Rory Hoipkemier, Life Justice-Catholic Charities, Diocese of Lansing at 517-342-1469. or myself, Stan Williams, SWC Films at 248-344-4423 Ext. 5. Or visit the Contribution Page at

Inspired by a suggestion from Professor & Pro-Life Advocate Janet Smith, the Diocese of Lansing (under Bishop Earl Boyea's guidance) submitted and received from Our Sunday Visitor a grant to do a video on the physical and moral dangers of IN VITRO fertilization. Quickly we realized that to change society's mind-set a simple documentary was only going to be watched by the "choir." So, we took the high road and have been developing a 30 min drama with original music and top notch actors.


"The script is quite moving and sensitive... cannot wait to see it on film."
(Dr. Thomas Hilgers, The Pope Paul VI Institute)

"A powerful drama portraying the Godly truth of the sacredness of human life from its very beginnings." (Dr. Ray Guarendi)

"Tiger's Hope is profoundly moving and captivating drama of life and love."
(Fr. Mike Lubinsky, Augusta, GA.)

Others have called the script: "A BEAUTIFUL STORY" -- "EMOTIONALLY ENGAGING" and "I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN."

You can read all about the project at TIGERSHOPE.COM, and even download and read the script. (UN = tiger, PW = naturallaw)

Targeted at Catholics and other Christians the project will reveal the full truth of natural law and the Church's teaching about IVF. The DVD will be captioned, subtitled in different languages, and distributed to high schools, seminaries, and pro-life organizations around the world.

Your help is needed this month to fund this project and also let others know about it by forwarding this email.

As Catholics, we are called to learn our faith and to be ready to share it with everyone. This film presents an important message that needs to be shared.

Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D.
Co-Executive Producer, Writer, & Director
SWC Films

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Presentation of Jesus in the Temple Luke 2:22ff

An Ignatian Repetition.


Hundreds of pilgrims mill around the marble columns of the Temple.

An OLD MAN rounds a pillar and nearly tumbles over an OLD WOMAN resting on the ground.

OLD MAN (M:) (with an uncanny knack for English vernacular)
Good Grief! Why don't you go home for a change?

OLD WOMAN (W:) (looking up and wondering if the subtitles are working)
For the same reason you come everyday to clean the floor with those oversized robes. Who do you think you are, a priest?

M: They keep my feet warm.

W: Well you might get some thicker sandels, or try wearing socks.

M: Socks? What are...

W: (interrupting) In time, in time. Don't push it.

M: You just can't let a guy go in peace, can you?

W: Well, if you weren't so politically correct I'd get out from under your misogynistic feet.

M: Mis-ongen... what?

W: All you think about is being Jewish!

M: What's wrong with that?

W: Some of us aren't Jewish?

M: You're not, Jewish? But you've been here for as long as I've been coming to Temple. You never leave the place, what'd...

W: I didn't say I wasn't Jewish, but do you think all these pilgrims that you're cleaning up after are Jews? Look at that guy over there with the pug face. No nose at all. Where do suppose he's from? And the family... there, by on the steps to the portico. The guy's at least in his 4th decade and still no hair. Why are they here?

M: I... I.... guess. I don't know!

W: Of course you don't. That's because you're just too Jewish for your own good. They're here for the same reason you and I suffer from Temple addiction. Today could be the day. They don't want to miss it either. They come in here to pray, and experience the presence of God.

M: But how could they... they're.... goya -- they are all that is not of Israel.

W: Well, like I've been saying...and even though you're tripping over them, and you're picking up their trash day after day, you don't get it. He's coming for them, too.

M: I still don't believe it. Why would God care about the gentiles and their filthy habits. Look here's another hamburger wrapper just lying on the ground. (The Old Man stabs it with a pointed stick, and then slides it into a trash bag slung over his shoulder. )

W: That was mine.

M: Sun's finally up.

W: He's coming as a light to them, too. See how the sun warms their feet as well as your own?

The Old Man looks around the temple as the early morning sun stirs the pilgrims who have spent the night on the ground. It is warm. It is light. And it falls upon the just and the unjust, the Jews and the Gentiles alike.

M: I just don't believe it.

W: It's not up to you.

As his eyes drift across the crowd toward the entrance steps his eyes notice that several people are moving toward a couple and a young child that have just entered. The sun cuts through the columns like a stage's follow spot and lands on the mother and small child she carries. The man has a worn cloth bag of belongings over his shoulder and a couple of birds wrapped in a net. He seem surprised at how people are looking at them, their eyes following every step. But the young mother smiles to herself, eyes cast down, at the child's face still hidden in the wrap.

W: What is it?

The Old Man is silent. He just gazes at the family as they come up the steps, through the crowd, toward where and the his old lady friend have been bickering and debating future history.

M: They're coming over here.

The woman gets up, slowly, in an aged way, and looks toward the bustle.

She squints in the bright light that now encircles the family... yes, like a halo, as corny as that may sound.

W: That's her. They've been talking about her for weeks now. A young girl, a virgin even, who had a baby in the middle of the night. Her husband's much older. Yes, I'm sure. Those people near them stirring? Those are families from Bethlehem, see the blue dye of their rucksacks. They match the mother's. That's her, Simeon.

Simeon just stares. He can't help but notice that others, the Gentiles that have come to the Temple, not as worshipers, but messy tourists that make his job cleaning up the place more difficult, are being drawn to the young family, who are now almost upon them.

SIMEON: Anna, what should I do?

ANNA: I've always said you pray out loud better than the high priest. Go for it.

Simeon steps forward, into the path of the young mother. The woman's husband is a little more agile and intervenes with his walking stick to protect the mother and her child. But the Simeon's eyes are on the woman, and then the baby. And the mother, after glancing into Simeon's eyes recognizes something special. She looks up at her husband and smiles, who drops his stick.

Then, almost as if it was for thousands of years, she unwraps the child, and hands him to the Simeon's waiting embrace. Anna stands nearby, knowing what is about to happen; she knows this old coot. He may be prejudice against the Gentiles, but he loves God more than most. What a great priest he would have made. But, now... this moment, may make up for some of that.

Simeon takes the child, almost kneels in the process, but then thinks again, and instead holds the child slightly aloft, turns toward the sun, and a throng of people that have gathered. The pug faced man, and the hairless man and his family are standing right in front of him... and all eyes are on the child that Simeon holds so firmly but reverently aloft.

SIMEON: (every word counts as he unblinkingly prays):
Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared...
He glances at the many faces from many nations.
...which you have prepared in the sight of all the peoples, a light...
Then he catches Anna's eyes, as the diminutive old woman gazes up at the child.
...a light for revelation to the Gentiles...
Anna smiles.
...and glory for your people Israel.
There is a hush over the gathering as Simeon so carefully gives the baby back to his mother, an astonished look on her face and her husband's.

SIMEON (to the mother):
Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted. And you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
And he backs away.

The old woman thinks to herself: Not bad. Yes, he wold have made a great priest, listening to confessions, atoning for sins. But then, someone has to pick up the garbage.

Monday, June 1, 2009

"Imprimatur" Granted for New Book

We are thrilled to announce that the book we've been working on for two years, WHAT CATHOLICS REALLY BELIEVE, has just received Detroit Archbishop Vigneron's Approval for Publication. This is a big deal.

The terms "Nihil Obstat" and "Imprimatur" is old least the words are, according to a 2004 USCCB guideline. The fancy new phrase used by American bishops is now: "Permission to Publish." Makes sense, at least I understand what it means. But I wanted to acknowldge the work of Dr. Robert Fastiggi, who acted as censor on the project.

WHAT CATHOLICS REALLY BELIEVE will be a new book based on the video series of the same name featuring Dr. Ray Guarendi, Fr. Kevin Fete, with an answer guide written by David Armstrong. Yours truly was the book's editor, question writer, and manager. Here's a picture of what the cover will look like.

When will it be out? Well, that depends when we can get all the pictures in place and finalize the layout. We had wanted to get it to printing this summer so it would be ready for RCIA this fall, but we're way behind that schedule right now, unless I'm able to spend the next 30 days finishing the layout. But our movie project, Tiger's Hope, is on the front burner, so the book's probably going to be delayed.

Several years ago the diocese couldn't give us an Imprimatur for the video series (not according to Canon Law), so we worked on the book... so, essentially both are now doctrinally approved. Same censor, too. Thanks. Dr. Fastiggi.

The letter reads:

In accord with canon 827.3 of the Code of Canon Law, I, the Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, hereby grant my approval to publish the book, WHAT CATHOLICS REALLY BELIEVE, Dispelling the Misrepresentations and Misunderstandings of Historic Christianity with Scripture and Tradition, by Ray Guarendi, Ph.D., Reverend Kevin Fete, with Answer guide by David Armstrong."

Notice of this rescript is to be included in the book, as follows:

Ecclesiastical approval for publiation was granted by The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, May 20, 2009, in accord with cannon 827.3 of the Code of Canon Law.

Given in Detroit, Michigan, on the Feast of St. Bernadine of Siena, this twentieth day of May, in the year ofour Lord, two thousand. nine.

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit.