November 13, 1997   vol 8, no.30

SECTION ONE Text of Today's Issue - to print out SECTION TWO, Click here.

Learning our 3 R's

      Long before there was PS 151 or the NEA or PTA's, there were teachers who truly cared about instilling values in their charges such as Respect, Reverence and Right. One of these was Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini whose feast we celebrate today. Back in the days of the one-room school houses and great sacrifices to send their children to school, Mother Cabrini roamed the streets of America's largest cities and the plains of the midwest all the way to the Rocky Mountains, establishing schools and planting the fruits of vocations and solid citizenship in the country wherever she went. Her story is detailed in today's Liturgy. Just click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

Thursday, November 13: Feast of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

Thursday, November 13:
Feast of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin, Religious Founder, Educator and Missionary

   This pioneering educator and missionary Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, better known to all her followers as Mother Cabrini is one of our most modern saints and yet the first American citizen to be canonized a saint. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII on June 7, 1947, only 30 years after her death in Chicago, Illinois in 1917. On November 13, 1950 the Holy Father proclaimed Mother Cabrini "Patroness of Immigrants." Maria Francesca, as she was christened at baptism, was born prematurely on July 15, 1850 as the youngest of 13 children to Augustine and Stella Oldini Cabrini at Sant' Angelo Lodigiano in Italy. She had always had the inborn desire to do something special for God. Though she was on her way to becoming a school teacher, her parents both died in 1868 and she decided to become a nun. After two communities turned her down, the bishop of her diocese Msgr. Serrati asked her to take over a poorly run orphanage in Codogno, Italy which was called House of Providence. Naturally resentment arose from the original foundress Antonia Tondini and the tension-filled conflict caused the bishop of Todi to shut it down. But he realized Frances' zeal and talents and invited her to found a religious organization of nuns devoted to teaching young girls. With seven other young women, Francis remodeled an abandoned Franciscan friary which served as the mother house for the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart which the bishop approved in 1880. Vocations became plentiful and soon the order had spread to Milan, Rome and other parts of Italy. Soon word reached across the sea. Realizing the need to minister to the Italians who had immigrated to the United States, the bishop of New York Archbishop Corrigan invited Mother Cabrini to come to America to help the immigrants. She accepted and arrived at the portals of Ellis Island in 1889. For the next 27 years she would establish numerous schools, hospitals, convents and orphanages throughout the vast United States from New York to Denver despite great obstacles. In 1907 her congregation received papal approval. Two years later she became an American citizen. America was definitely the better for it as the Church grew rapidly through the works of those inspired by this Italian saint. Mother Cabrini founded over 65 charitable organizations and houses for the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. While still alive she was able to obtain countless special favors through her prayerful intercession. Many accounts of spiritual phenomena accompanied Mother Cabrini. One such account relates to her founding a house just outside of Denver in what is today Golden, Colorado. Surveying the hilly and rocky land above Denver, the owner sold it to her dirt-cheap so-to-speak because there was no water on the land and nothing would grow there. This did not daunt the staunch saint. She took her wooden staff and trekking up the hill, poked at the earth and water gushed forth where it still flows freely today. Returning to Chicago, she fell ill and died on December 22 in the same year as the Fatima apparitions of 1917. Many who come to America's shores from all over the world invoke the intercession of Mother Cabrini today who is considered the "Patroness of Immigrants" as Pope Pius XII declared on November 13, 1950 when he established her feast day for the Church in the United States.

Friday, November 14:

Thirty-second Friday in Ordinary Time, November 14:

     The example and exemplification she left us and how far we've strayed from those ideals is the special topic of Cyndi Cain's perspective on education. Click on PEWPOINT Too to read how far the school system has declined.

Pewpoint Too

Mother Cabrini: The Essence of Education

       Education is a word frequently debated, liberally funded by government and states, debunked by many, yet without doubt of absolute necessity.

      Perhaps the most important question that should be raised is the definition of the term "necessity" as regards education.

     As thinking people who have minds capable of thought process that lead to decision that leads to actions accompanied by words and feelings, it is not a bright scenario to think of generations of people growing up lacking the skills to make decisions, follow them through, etc., if they are ignorant of their own capabilities, etc.

     However, there is more to education than the mere academic nature of it which instructs the person (primarily children) in the skills of reading, writing, thinking, math, science, history and the like. These are all find, for they can develop the mind, which is accord with God’s Will. However, knowledge that is not given parameters, that is not without instruction of its own is to provide any person who enters an academic institution to find him or her self in a situation which leads to an unbridled thirst for all knowledge, even if that knowledge is harmful to the self, to others, to society as a whole.

     What parameters, then, should there be on the role of and purpose of education in a society. Is the nature of education merely to develop the mind, not caring whether the consequences of acquired knowledge are beneficial to the whole, or the individual? If care for society as a whole and a person individually is part of the entire education process, then careful thought must be given as to where the boundaries are to be laid, where the institution of education operation as a whole, and the individuals engaged in education either as instructors or learners realize and accept that the boundaries are there to protect, rather than hinder. There are certain minds that are, after a period of primary instruction, education, more than capable of going beyond the boundaries into greater depths of knowledge, understanding, implementation, etc. This is not for all, as is God’s Will, not man’s. The self-imposed boundaries are to benefit society, to benefit all of mankind, not to become a form of tyranny.

     We argue incessantly in this country about separation of church and state, which puts education and the knowledge it offers out there as a grab bag for any and all, without any guidelines, perimeters, boundaries, or the like. We make education a god, and put the God who gave us the absolute right and necessity to educate out of the picture, when He is the very One who is the boundary, the safeguard, the guidepost beyond which we do not venture lest we enter into dangerous waters that might lead us to the abyss.

     Do we educate today in order to teach our children, all children, to live according to a Supreme Authority, God, who has given us the necessary means for life, and for eternal life? Or, do we merely teach our children the techniques of survival in a materialistic world, teaching them from preschool on to compete, to grab for the brass ring and who care who gets trampled on in the process? Are we turning out generations of truly ignorant geniuses, who can definitely read, write, compute complex math problems, program computers, develop satellites, etc., but generations of children who haven’t a clue how to disseminate the information they read, who don’t care whether the end result of their work is good, as long as they benefit from it. Generations who think only of their own good, of more and more ease, more and more money, speed in technology, etc., and give not one thought to the Author of All Life and All Knowledge.

     Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is dangerous. Knowledge in search of God, for God, seeing Him and searching for Him in this knowledge brings the fruits that we need, both for our earthly existence, and more importantly, for our home with God for all eternity in Heaven.

     What good does it behoove a man if he gain the whole world, but lose his immortal soul?

     Christ spoke these words to us in the Gospel. Are we to deny them, for the sake of convenience. It’s easier to send the kids out the door, whether to public of private school, and entrust their education to others because we’re very, very busy holding down one, two or three jobs to pay the bills…which might include tuition if the school is private.

     Private schools offer excellence in academics and frequently tout that they are Bible-based, Christian based, Catholic-based, or whatever, when, in reality, they go for the same grab-bag of federal funds that the public schools get, provided said schools follow the secular agenda set down by the federal and state governments.

     Mother Cabrini was a missionary. But she was also a teacher in her own way, and a very good one. She did not possess degrees after her name. She did not attend conference after conference on the psychological development of the child, the environment of the child, and all the other excuses we throw around today as a reason for more state and federal funding. Rather, she tackled the instruction of adults and children with one aim: To teach them of God, who had given them the earth and all its wonders for their use. She taught them basics, and brought them to a self-awareness of their intrinsic worth through the grace of God, their Father. She did not bother with fancy things that might have speeded up the academic courses. That the person could read, write, comprehend and in that reading, writing and comprehension come to the realization, however gradual, that he/she was a child of God, meant for Heaven, and that it was God’s Will that the earthly life be spent in doing good for the benefit of all, would not be lost in the clutter, confusion, poverty, anxiety and concerns of the day.

     Yes, we have progressed tremendous in technology since Mother Cabrini worked among the people. We have things she may not have even dreamed of. But she did what we talk about, and she did it simply. She educated the people she encountered in a way far superior to the education that is offered today. She taught the people of her world how to love God, to love themselves and their neighbor as they loved themselves, and added the basics of reading, writing, etc., to that foundation.

     We’ve left God out. We’ve taken the foundation out of education and replaced it with a weak substitute…ourselves, as if we were god and all-knowing. Knowledge without God is useless. Knowledge from God and for God is without limit—for He directs and guides and does not make mistakes. Maybe it’s time we took education back to its roots, and stopped trying to become so sophisticated we wipe ourselves off the face of the earth by our arrogance and our ignorance.

Cyndi Cain

The Collapse of Camelot

     The decline of education is tied to the decline of America morally which began in the 1960's and coincided with the beginning of turmoil inside Holy Mother Church in the immediate aftermath of the Second Vatican Council. This collapse and the end of the age of innocence is chronicled in this week's feature series entitled WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM? We present the forty eighth installment of this on-going mega-series on the state of the Church today, as we sound the twenty second clarion this year in a wake-up call to all Catholics to beware of the false prophets in the American Church. Click on Camelot Collapses

Wake-up Call to all Catholics the twenty second clarion

installment forty eight

Beware of False Prophets in the American Church - part nine

   What happened to the wonderful honeymoon the Church and Hollywood had in the thirties, forties, and fifties? That is where we left off in the last installment. The establishment in Hollywood which consisted of strong Jewish movie moguls, the Italian element of power, and the Irish influence began dying off; a new-age mentality swept into the celluloid world and with it an ammoral ambiance that would permeate every American bone. The last hurrah was the election of the first Catholic president in the history of this country. Governor Al Smith, a worthy candidate in the thirties, had run for the office, but his Catholic Faith proved a stumbling block to the prejudiced voters of America and he failed in his attempt. Some thirty years later another Catholic, engineered - many say "manipulated" - by the Tammany Hall forces forged by Joseph P. Kennedy, was swept into office in one of the closest elections on record when Joe's son John F. Kennedy was elected in the fall of 1960. Camelot had come to Pennsylvania Avenue and Catholics everywhere did non-Catholics as well. But the kingdom came crashing down on November 22, 1960 on a slight incline leading out of downtown Dallas when a bullet ended the life of JFK...a bullet that would implode on society the world over for never again would things be the same. Earlier that same year another John had been taken from us - Pope John XXIII - a simple, roly poly Pope who had endeared himself to millions and won the hearts of the world. With these two icons gone, the world recessed.

     On the heels of their deaths, both left legacies that would forever haunt generations to come. JFK left the policies of Roosevelt, which he cleaned up, in the incapable hands of Lyndon Baines Johnson who plummetted the United States into the most bitter and hated war in American history - a war without a cause which divided the country not seen since the Civil War. The respect that had been attributed to authority of every kind began to erode quickly. Police forces were mocked by rebelling students; soldiers who had been cheered and loved during World War II and the Korean War, were now hated and despised - looked on as the enemy; politicians from the mayor to president were scorned and ridiculed by the people and the media. And in the Church, where once Catholics accepted everything the Magisterium imparted, this cancer of rebellion began to take its toll. Young liberals within the Church began calling for change and they looked to the Second Vatican Council, convened by Pope John before his death, as the answer. They even rallied sympathizing cardinals and non-Catholic experts to their side, encouraging a more "ecumenical" approach to the Council for one specific purpose: If they left everything to the Magisterium of the Church, they reasoned nothing would be changed drastically; but if they were able to enlist non-Catholics in the process along with such radicals as Hans Kung and that ilk, they might be able to not only persuade the old guard towards change but also effect a new regime within the Church by shaming the Church into not being more ecumenical, more "with-it" in these modern times we live. Every radical organization came out of the woodwork demanding to be part of this "Ecumenical" Council. It was a PR nightmare for many in the Vatican curia who had never faced this kind of pressure before. Sadly, some caved, forgetting that these Councils are not dictated by the whims of the public, but rather the needs of the Church and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in determining and fulfilling God's Will.

     For three years this Council continued, on and off, and when it convened on December 8, 1965 - the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, many did not realize that almost everything had remained in tact. Some things had been changed to accommodate the faithful regarding culture, streamlining and clarification. Fortunately, most of the bishops, cardinals and priests taking part had relied on the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the traditions of Holy Mother Church. Unfortunately, there were still too many radical prelates, clerics and liberal lay leaders who railed that the Church did not go far enough and damn the Council, they'd do it their own way. But to openly rebel would have been suicide on their part. The faithful would rise up as one and point to "obedience to the Pope and the Magisterium" and they'd be drummed out of the Church, losing any effectiveness they would have had. No, a different tactic had to be taken. That scheme was to infiltrate the media and chosen liberal Church lay leaders at the diocesan and parish levels, planting the idea that whatever they mandated did not come from them but from the Council Fathers at Vatican II. By the time the truth came out, it would be too late. Oh, how right they were! They started slowly, realizing too much on the plate would make fervent Catholics suspicious. The culture of Catholics is to be obedient and so they played on that aspect, claiming "the Church has changed this so now you must do it this way, or believe this." Catholics everywhere trusted these pastors and lay leaders were being honest and if they said it, then it had to have come from the Pope himself. We know that sounds ridiculous, but that's basically how Catholics felt three decades ago. Trust was the watchword, and it was violated to the enth degree by those who were plotting their own agendas. Look back on the way changes in the Church evolved and if we knew then what we know today, would we have allowed these things to happen in and to our precious Church? No way! This gives cause to also better understand victims of pedophilia back in those days. Unsuspecting altar boys - back when boys were the only ones who served at Mass - most often strived to serve as ideal Catholic young men, spurred on by their parents and priests. As confusing as the teen years are mentally and physically, they're even more pandemonious pscyhologically and this is what pedophile priests and liberal agenda manipulators played on: the psyches. Laying the guilt trip on Catholics, especially the young ones if they didn't comply with the "personal" wishes of someone who could effect their lives. Things that were not right were now suddenly okay? Mores and ritual changed too fast and disallusionment set in. Is it any wonder so many - including priests and nuns - left the Church shortly after Vatican II? Sadly good religious also left. Confusion reigned and their roles became foreign to what they had been called to do in their vocations. Young abused boys, growing into men, lived with the guilt in a state of quandary, despair and loss of self-respect, afraid to reveal the traumatic to anyone for fear of rejection, ridicule and scorn. As more and more truths became evident as to the crimes committed against these youths and the scandal accompanying it, more and more the pedastal Catholic clerics had been placed on during the first part of the twentieth century began to crumble. The collapse of Camelot was complete.

How the pedastal crumbled and how liberal theologians, Hollywood, and the media influenced the masses while radicals worked behind the scenes at the parish level in the 70's will be the topic next week as we expose the false prophets in the American Church in this on-going megaseries.

To review all past installments of this on-going series, go to Archives beginning with the inaugural A CALL TO PEACE internet issue in January 1996. volume 7, no. 1.

      Today's prayer is a simple one that elevates the accomplishments in education and caring love which Mother Cabrini exhibited to all she met. The prayer is taken from the Opening Prayer for today's Holy Mass. Your assignment, class, learn it. You don't after to memorize it, but know its meaning.

God our Father, You called Frances Xavier Cabrini from Italy to serve the immigrants of America. By her example teach us concern for the stranger, the sick and the frustrated. By her prayers help us to see Christ in all the men and women we meet.

November 13, 1997 volume 8, no. 30         DAILY CATHOLIC

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