If you know what “lavatory” means then you already know where this is going!

By Matt C. Abbott

As National Catholic Sisters Week (March 8–14) comes to a close, I offer the following short memoir, written by Kenneth M. Weinig for the current issue of The Remnant Catholic newspaper. Thanks to Michael J. Matt, editor of The Remnant, for giving me permission to publish Mr. Weinig’s touching story in this column. Click here to visit the newspaper’s website.

Thank you, Sister Mary St. Roger!

By Kenneth M. Weinig

My first grade in public school had been rather boring, but I loved the weekly Catechism classes in my parish conducted by a smiling nun who put colored stars next to every question in the Baltimore Catechism I got right, which were many, thanks to the motivation by my Catholic grandmother, who lived with us, and by my Protestant mother, too. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, I had thought, to have such a wonderful teacher like this every day!

In September of 1950, my wish came true: I was overjoyed to enter the second grade at Our Lady of Loreto School in Hempstead, N.Y. My teacher was Sister Mary St. Roger, a cautious smiler. An early reader – thanks also to my mother – I expected to be placed in the Bluebirds, the highest group, but I was disappointed to be seated with the Robins. Oh, well, at least I wasn’t with the dumb Canaries. Later, I learned that mom had conferred with Sister, and they had agreed to give me a conservative placement, since I had come from a public school; better to promote than demote. Soon, I proved worthy of Bluebird membership but was glad they didn’t group for mathematics! As I write this, I am looking up at a shelf on which sits a small, blue ceramic lamb, given to me by Sister for winning a class spelling bee.

Text and photos

Editor’s note: A Catholic school system without these dedicated sisters and the Catholic culture they lived, breathed and constantly promoted, by their every word and deed, is just another private school with a religious ed curriculum “tacked -on”.

It’s also important to note that many of the teaching sisters routinely managed class sizes of fifty children or more.

The pre-Vatican II Catholic school system was a constantly visible, beautiful sign of God’s grace, in action. As such, it fit in very well with the Catholic parishes of the time.

Of course, it wasn’t perfect. But it was close!

Other Self-Absorbed Promethean Neopelagians seem to agree!  What say you?

Matt C. Abbott column: ‘Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves’

Matt C. Abbott
October 12, 2012

Below is the introduction to the book Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves, edited by Helen M. Alvaré, an associate professor of law at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. She’s also a consultor to Pope Benedict XVI’s Pontifical Council for the Laity, a consultant for ABC News, and the chair of the Conscience Protection Task Force at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J.Thanks to Professor Alvaré and Our Sunday Visitor for allowing me to reprint this excerpt in my column.
Click here to order a copy of Breaking Through.


Helen M. Alvaré

So I’m sitting in the chair at the hair salon getting my hair cut by a stylist I’ve known for a long time, when his friend walks in and sits beside us. My stylist brags to his friend: “Helen here just came back from Pope Benedict’s first Mass. She went over as part of the U.S. delegation.” His friend doesn’t miss a beat: “I’m so sorry,” he says. “I hear this guy is terrible on the whole woman thing.” I do miss a beat, but then I’m ready: “Wow,” I say in a dangerously silky voice, “you’re amazing.” The friend is not getting it. “What?” he replies. I repeat, “You’re amazing. I don’t know three people who have read everything Pope Benedict has said about women, but apparently you have….”

All right, so this isn’t the nicest way to make a point. But it has the virtue of being true. Vast numbers of people have made up their minds about all sorts of things pertaining to the Catholic Church without reading or listening to actual Catholic sources. This is ridiculously true when the subject turns to women in the Catholic Church. Observers can’t seem to decide whether Catholic women are mouthpieces for a celibate male hierarchy, unthinkingly clinging to home and hearth, or card-carrying feminists who, if they knew what was good for them, would leave the Church, shaking its ancient dust off their sneakers, or pumps, or whatever-the-hell shoes they felt like wearing that day.

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Catholic clergy clash over home schooling

Although I wasn’t home-schooled, I fully support parents who are in a position to do so. Thus, I’m perplexed and disappointed in remarks made by Catholic author Father Peter M.J. Stravinskas in a recently-posted article on the website of Our Sunday Visitor.

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About that bishop who won’t let Michael Voris speak in his diocese…

First …
from the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania website …
the statement … (which is very short on specifics)

The Diocese of Scranton has determined that Mr. Voris will not be allowed to speak in a Diocesan or parish facility. After these engagements were scheduled, the Diocese became aware of concerns about this individual’s views regarding other religious groups. In videos posted on the Internet, Mr. Voris makes comments that certainly can be interpreted as being insensitive to people of other faiths. The Catholic Church teaches us to respect all people, regardless of their faith tradition.

Although the Diocese shares Mr. Voris’ support of efforts to protect human life, his extreme positions on other faiths are not appropriate and therefore the Diocese cannot host him.

Editor’s note: I’ve been watching Mr. Voris’ daily videos for quite some time, and I’ve heard Mr. Voris speak in person, as well. The man speaks the truth, as very few others do, these days. It would be nice if the bishop would enlighten us as to exactly what he finds offensive. Perhaps the bishop’s former post as an ecumenical leader gives him some special insights, that he might care to share with the rest of us.

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And more

Former Scranton bishop’s mysterious resignation

Matt C. Abbott’s latest column

‘Cleansing Fire’: Islam, diversity, and anti-Christian sentiment

By Matt C. Abbott

In past columns — here, here and here — I reprinted substantial excerpts from Catholic attorney and scholar Peter B. Kelly’s “factional” novel Cleansing Fire. Kelly was friends with the late Father Charles Fiore, who died of natural causes in 2003, and Father Alfred Kunz, whose 1998 murder remains unsolved. (Although there’s been no arrest in the case, investigators reportedly have at least one person of interest who they’ve been monitoring for the last several years.) Both priests were traditional and were all too aware of the corruption in the Church.

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Matt C. Abbott’s first column of the New Year

In light of the news that abortions in Illinois are at a 10-year high — click here for the depressing story — for those who reside in the Chicago area, I wanted to reprint the following (edited) item from my parish bulletin regarding The Women’s Center:

    ‘January 22 marks the 37th anniversary of the legalization of abortion which has resulted in the death of nearly 52 million innocent unborn babies in this country — one every 30 seconds. Legalization of abortion was promoted as supposedly a rare procedure. We can only estimate how many women have undergone tremendous suffering because of their abortions. The Women’s Center is a pregnancy resource center which has saved approximately 33,000 babies and their mothers from the pain of abortion in our 25 years of service. We offer them a choice other than abortion and provide counseling, material assistance, friendship and prayer support.

    ‘Volunteers are needed Monday through Saturday to organize and sort clothing donations. For more information, please call 773-794-1313.

    ‘We desperately need a used cargo van in good working condition.

    ‘We need diapers in sizes newborn, 4, 5 and 6. If you can organize a diaper-drive, perhaps as a service project for Scouts, Confirmation, service hours, etc., please call Peg at 773-794-3292 (for more information on diaper-drives only).

    ‘We also need new layette items, infant sleepers, crib sheets, bumper pads, new clothing for infants (newborn to 9 months) and winter coats and boots (especially for children). Due to space limitations, at this time we cannot accept any other clothes.

    ‘We need 7 baby cribs, odd crib parts for repairs, 3 toddler beds, infant car seats, 4 bouncers, 5 pack-and-plays, 7 strollers, 3 changing tables and 6 baby swings. It will be a great help if you can deliver these to us. For our address, or if a pick-up is needed, please call us at 773-794-1313.’

On a political note, I want to give a plug to Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski. Adam is staunchly pro-life, as are two of his sisters, Elizabeth and Nell, both of whom I’m fortunate to know.

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