Did you know Saint Luke was also a medical doctor and artist?

Saint Luke the Evangelist

Luke was St Paul’s beloved companion on many journeys, physician and evangelist, to whom we owe some of our most beautiful memories of Jesus and his mother.

He was born in Antioch – today’s Antakya, in Turkey – which was then the capital of the Roman province of Syria and the second city of the empire. He was a doctor by profession, and accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey into Greece. Being highly educated, Luke wrote polished, elegant Greek, and related the events he wrote about to contemporary history.

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Rest In Peace AndyP/Doria2 – a most remarkable Catholic evangelist, teacher, writer, dedicated family man … and friend.

Andrew P. Piacente
1953 – 2012

Andrea Pasquale Primo Piacente, age 58, of Yonkers died Wednesday, September 5, 2012. Andrew was born October 26, 1953, at sea, on the Italian Ocean Liner, Andrea Doria, the son of the late Pietro and Alfa (Pensa) Piacente. He was employed as a mail handler for the US Postal Service since1977. Andrew became a steward in 1979, and held various positions and performed various functions for the union during his long career, also serving as the AVP/Branch President of Westchester. He also served as the New York State Executive Board member up until his retirement in August 2012.

Andrew was a parishioner and CCD teacher at St. Eugene’s Church.

He is survived by his beloved wife Marie L. (Kanych) Piacente, his loving children Christina (Paul) Dedvukaj, Andrew (Andrea) Piacente and Adam Piacente. Devoted son of Alfa Piacente and brother of George Piacente. Cherished grandfather of Angelina and Dominic.

What isn’t mentioned in his “official” bio are the thousands of comments and letters to the editors that Andy sent to various websites and newspapers, where he never failed to express God’s honest truth about all things Catholic.

There’s also no mention of the thousands of people … Catholic and non-Catholic alike … whose lives Andy regularly touched, via email.

You see, every week, Andy would read and carefully screen hundreds of faith-related Internet articles. Many of his friends would send him their favorite picks, as well. Then, two … three … sometimes four times a week … Andy would send links to the best of those articles … along with a short personal commentary … to followers located all around the world.

This was Andy’s very own, home-grown, Catholic Information Ministry, and it’s just the type of thing the late, Blessed Pope John Paul II, as well as our current Pope Benedict XVI had in mind for their “New Evangelization”.

A quick search of the Eternal Word Television Network Q&A Forums will reveal hundreds of questions and comments from AndyP/Doria2 … as his on-line friends knew him.

Andy was also a frequent commenter and contributor to Cardinal Dolan’s Blog, and to my own, where I set up a special category, just for Andy. You can read over 200 of his hand-picked selections here.

Andy’s words and deeds defined the true meaning of the term “Church Militant” in an era where you won’t even find it mentioned in the the Catholic Catechism.

One particular Old Testament passage succinctly explains the reason for Andy’s particular mission:

My people have been silent, because they had no knowledge:
because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will reject thee,
that thou shalt not do the office of priesthood to me:
and thou hast forgotten the law of thy God,
I also will forget thy children.

(Hosea 4:6)

Andy never pushed his weight around, and as far as  I know, he never offended a soul. But Andy always managed to promote and defend the Catholic faith … and stand up for the truth … in good times and bad … with style and with grace. And Lord knows … there’s not much of that going around, these days!

The liver cancer that prematurely ended his life has left a big hole in the lives of Andy’s family, friends and many followers. I know I’ll miss him. But my Catholic faith informs me that it won’t be too long before we see him again. So for now, please join me in praying one Hail Mary for the repose of the soul of Andrea Pasquale Primo Piacente a.k.a. AndyP/Doria2 … a thoroughly nice guy, a hard worker, and a good, faithful Catholic family man … who was taken from us much to soon.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Rest in the Peace of Jesus Christ, brother!

-Doug Lawrence

5 year-old asks best-selling writer/agnostic/mom to take him to church, “To see if God’s there.”

Mary Karr was known mainly as a poet until her coming-of-age memoir, “The Liars’ Club,” became a bestseller in the 1990s. It was the vivid story of a sometimes hilarious but often brutal Texas childhood.

Karr grew up amid the hardscrabble oil fields of East Texas. Her father drank himself to death. Her mother was married seven times.

The road to faith was a long, hard climb for someone who once described herself as an “undiluted agnostic.” By her mid-thirties Karr’s life had begun to unravel. Her marriage was failing. She drank heavily, wrecked the family car, was hospitalized for an emotional breakdown. In desperation, she took a friend’s advice and reluctantly began to pray.

Karr says she still equated most organized religions with something people just did socially. Then one day she passed a Catholic church in Syracuse, New York, where she was teaching. She was struck by a banner out front. It said, “Sinners Welcome.”

I thought I had a better shot at becoming a pole dancer at 40, right, than of making it in the Catholic Church, and I think what struck me really wasn’t the grandeur of the Mass. It was the simple faith of the people. For me this whole journey was a journey into awe. I would just get these moments of quiet where there wasn’t anything. My head would just shut up, and I knew that was a good thing. And also the carnality of the church: there was a body on the cross.”

Read and/or watch the interview

Extended interview on prayer/piety/rationalism

“Prick up your ears and go to hell.”

The L.A. Times has a heartwarming story of literary giant Ray Bradbury who at 90 is not afraid to tell everyone exactly what he thinks. A gathering of admirers got an earful of Bradburyisms on the verge of his Aug 22 90th birthday celebration in Los Angeles. Bradbury railed against the “too many machines” that we surround ourselves with, lamented that we hadn’t colonized the moon by now, and said that the U.S. is in need of a revolution because “there is too much government today.”

You have to hand it to this wizened sage. He hit the nail on the head with every statement. Bradbury is so right to point out that we are losing our American soul and character.

Here are his statements as reported by the Times:

Noted atheist author and speaker Christopher Hitchens diagnosed with cancer of esophagus. (Trip to Lourdes recommended, by me.)

Author, journalist and public intellectual Christopher Hitchens announced Wednesday that he will undergo treatment for cancer of the esophagus, thereby cutting short his current book tour.

Hitchens made the announcement via a statement posted on Vanity Fair’s website, a publication for which he regularly contributes.

“I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice,” Hitchens said.

Editor’s note: Let’s all pray for Mr. Hitchens’ prompt and complete recovery … since unlike Christopher … we Christians acknowledge the fact that God is indeed great.

Part sociologist, part pit bull, all Catholic

HAMDEN – Anne Hendershott looks as though she’s ready for a game of tennis, has a smile that brightens a room, and goes straight for the jugular when she’s defending her faith in writing.

“Sometimes I wish I could be a little more subtle, but sometimes you just need to be in their face,” the conservative sociologist from Milford explained with a laugh.

During a recent chat at a Hamden coffee shop, Dr. Hendershott said she looks at many issues in light of Catholic social teaching. When she is curious about or bothered by what she sees, she writes a book or fires off articles or opinion pieces.

She writes a lot.

Read the article

George Weigel on Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor

oconnorstories

Flannery O’Connor’s relentless, faith-driven unsentimentality extended to the Church as well as to the world: “I think that the Church is the only thing that is going to make the terrible world we are coming to endurable; the only thing that makes the Church endurable is that it is somehow the body of Christ and on this we are fed. It seems to be a fact that you have to suffer as much from the Church as for it…” And this, mind you, was written in 1955—to certain Catholic minds, the high water mark of Catholic life in these United States. One can only imagine what Flannery O’Connor would say today.

Read the article

Check out O’Connor’s work at Amazon.com