Fonticulus Fides

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I tried, really...

I tried to transfer my Chicago-born-and-bred affection for the Cubs to the White Sox for just one night, but it didn't happen. I wanted the guys swarm the field and spray each other with champagne and hand the trophy from one to another, and my reaction was only, "Eh."


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More priests per person...

If you want it, then you either have to devote yourself to praying for vocations and doing whatever it takes to help more men find their calling to the priesthood OR you can just move to Lincoln, Nebraska, where we have a reported one priest for every 737 Catholics. Story from Catholic News Agency. They refer to the University of Nebraska campus paper, but the diocean paper ran this news two or three months ago.

The only thing I have to add is this: not only do we have a great number of priests in our Diocese, they are the most enthusiastic and orthodox bunch of guys you'd ever want to meet. Bishop Bruskewitz must take extra care to 'father' the priests of this Diocese to keep them encouraged and focussed, prevent burn-out, etc. I've met a lot of priests since I started working for the diocean paper last May, and I've been incredibly impressed with each one of them! I also interviewed seven seminarians at St. Gregory the Great last August, and they are a fine bunch -- they very much treat each other like brothers and spend hours each day devoted in prayer, taking nightly Rosary Walks together for example. We are blessed indeed!

I'm serious about y'all moving to Lincoln if you want more priests, an Orthodox diocese, fantastic Catholic schools that are very affordable (we pay $400 annual tuition; the parish next to us charges only $150!) and a friend like Sparki ready and waiting for you. And if you don't mind being a bit underemployed and dealing with a city council that has a long record of stupid decisions regarding street repair...


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Defeat of the Spam-Bots...

Okay, I think I might have solved the problem with the icky spam-bots. But it means a little more hassle for my three or four readers out there. From now on, if/when you comment, you'll get a word box and you have to type in the word you see in order to post. Sorry for the hassle, but I think we'll all be much happier than if we were reading about enlarging body parts or what not.

If you're having the same trouble and you are on Blogger, go to "settings" and then "comments" and opt "Yes" on the option to have a word box.


Monday, October 24, 2005


How do you stop the icky spam-bots who have been filling my comments boxes with silly (and sometimes icky) sales messages?


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

And you thought it was the other way around...

The recently deceased M. Scott Peck maintained that mental illness is rooted in the practice of avoiding suffering. has an interesting Wall Street Journal article up on Peck's theory. Go take a look.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Good bit on one of the key issues of debate.

Amy Welborn has an excerpt and a link. I imagine the discussion there will be really good, too.


Monday, October 17, 2005

Why I love the Pope...

Read this Catholic News Service story on the Pope's answers to children as they posed questions to him last Saturday.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Toddler Antics

Ever see that commmercial where the dad is bathing one twin while talking to his mother on the phone? The other twin is brushing his teeth, and Dad gives the bathtub brother the cell to say hi to grandma. Bathtub twin throws it in the toilet, tooth-brushing twin pulls the lever and woosh! There goes Daddy's cell phone.

Ever think, "No way...a cell phone won't go down a toilet like that!"

Yeah, it will.

Our little Lola managed to flush cousin M's cell phone down our toilet yesterday morning. And unfortunately, we only have one toilet, so it was a Very Big Deal in multiple ways. My brother-in-law, God bless him, has moved back to town and came over after work last night to dismantle the toilet and fish the cell phone out. He even thinks it may still work, because the battery chamber was dry and he managed to get it to vibrate. We'll see. We don't have the $200+ to replace it, obviously.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

On Seminaries and Scandals

Take a minute to read this very good editorial on the sexual abuse scandals in the Church, the current visitation of seminaries in progress and how the U.S. media basically gets the whole thing wrong.


Friday, October 07, 2005

Where not to go for parenting advice

This story is supposed to be about how Dr. James Dobson has gone from parenting expert to political-force-to-be-reckoned-with. But there is enough in it that good people should wonder why the man is considered a parenting expert at all. Excerpt taken from a phone call made to his "ministry" by a distraught young mother:

"I don't know where else to go," one young mother told social worker Sarah Helus, breaking down as she described her headstrong 3-year-old.

"I've tried spanking him with a switch like Dr. Dobson says, but it hasn't been effective," the mother said. "I've tried explaining to him that Mommy and Daddy make mistakes too and we all have to ask Christ's forgiveness. Nothing works. And I just lose it."

As her son howled in the background, the woman said she had read three of Dobson's parenting books, including "The Strong-Willed Child," several times. They hadn't much helped, but she hadn't lost faith. She begged for a few minutes to ask Dobson how, precisely, she should respond if her son throws a fit in Wal-Mart.

Look, lady, you're almost certainly not reading my blog, but here's some REAL advice for you.

You've been trying "The Strong-Willed Child" approach and it's not working. SO STOP. Get rid of the switches, because they are just turning your son away from you even more. He doesn't respect you, because you're following Dr. Dobson's approach to punish hitting with hitting. It doesn't make sense. And fortunately, you have a little guy who is bright enough to figure it out.

If has a melt-down at Wal-Mart, calmly pick him up and get him out of there. Take him home. Don't worry about the cart full of stuff -- there are people paid to restock that stuff. And then work on preventing melt-downs in the future. Don't take him when he's hungry. Don't take him when he's tired. Don't take him if he's easily bored and you expect him to ride strapped into a car seat for 20 minutes, then strapped in a cart for an hour while you shop, then strapped in a car seat for another 20 minutes on the way home. Let him walk and help you get stuff off the shelves and put it in the cart (my three-year-old loves to do that). If that doesn't work, WalMart and other similar situations must be too over-stimulating for him at this age. So go alone when Daddy is home to care for the kids. And you shouldn't be shopping at WalMart anyway, because they sell cheap, shoddy goods made at slave-labor wages and put honest local proprieters out of business, but that's another post.

Instead of immediately reaching for the switch when he misbehaves, take a second to look at the situation from his perspective. Is he bored? Frustrated? Unable to verbalize what he wants to say? Trying to get your attention? Hungry? Sleepy? Do you expect too much of him? Do you expect to little of him?

Listen my friend, my peer -- Dobson has it all wrong. He thinks children are depraved in ever sense. He thinks you have to beat the evil out of them and then replace it with "good" -- but he defines "good children" as mindless idiots who do as they are told. Those are the kinds of kids who fall for peer pressure later. Those are the kind of kids who believe the biology teacher who tells them that the human fetus isn't a person. Those are the kind of kids who believe the philosophy professor who says there is no God. Those are the kind of kids who have learned to quench the natural goodness God has given them -- the ability to be creative, to think independently, to courageously try new things.

Dobson has no use for the creative, intellegent, courageous child. He calls them brats. He coaches parents to switch those kids by telling them how he trained his DOG. Yeah, that's right. Dobson's parenting techniques are straight out of dog obedience school. I remember one passage in particular about him beating his dog with a rolled-up newspaper every night until she went to bed on command. And that, he says, is how you "discipline" children! Why, he even says that a child who cries for "too long" after being switched needs to be switched AGAIN because their crying is disobedient! As if pain was not a legitimate cause for tears.

Your son is only three. He's a bright little guy, it sounds like. Even Dr. Dobson admits that the kids with the strongest wills are the brightest of the bunch. What you need to do is stop looking at this precious child as though he has been cursed. His personality is a gift from God. You job is not to beat that out of him. Your job is to help him shape it to it's fullest advantages and learn to overcome the pitfalls that may accompany it.

Parenting isn't easy -- I think we all have to agree on that point. But you make it harder on yourself when you reject the GOOD that God has given your child, simply because some quack wrote a one-size-fits-all book on parenting. There IS no one-size-fits-all.


P.S. If Dr. Dobson or any of his staff stumbles across this blog and reads this post, I would be more than happy to welcome comments.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A teen and her baby desperately need your prayers

I have been in contact with a 14-year-old girl through the Internet who is sexually active. She wanted to know whether or not to tell her mom. I advised her to and made a strong case to stop the sexual activity. Oddly enough, she kept talking to me, even through the time of her mom finding out. I'm also talking to her mom, though not as often.

Last night, this girl took a home pregnancy test and it came up positive. She's cutting school today and some friends of hers are taking her and her boyfriend across state lines to a "friendly judge" who will allow her to get an abortion without parental notification. My hands are tied -- I don't know how to reach her mom faster than e-mail. I tried that -- I let the mom know that something was wrong and that the girl has a ride across state lines in the morning. I'm hoping the girl will confess the reason why herself. But I'm about to send a second message to make sure the mom knows she has a grandchild whose life is on the line today.

Please pray.


UPDATE: Since she was classified as a run-away, the state troopers went looking for her. The found her approaching an abortion clinic, with judges orders in hand. So, the baby's life has been saved. Hopefully, with prayer, everything will be put to rights again. The girl's mom is a terrific lady who is really devoted to her daughter and the baby on the way. They still need prayer, but I think things will work out.

Monday, October 03, 2005

I'm just so MAD!

Somebody stole our double-stroller off our porch.

We have one of those old-fashioned porches with the rail all around and only an opening in front of the front door. We also have a big, black scary-looking dog. And we've never had anything else stolen from our house, porch or yard. Well, I guess temptation was too much for somebody, and our double-stroller is gone.

I'm mad because taking the girls for a walk around the zoo was one of our favorite things to do. I haven't been able to take them for over a week because they are just now getting over the flu and before that I had some very busy days. But now it's gone. I thought my husband had put it away some days ago, and he though I had...who knows exactly when it was stolen.

Filed a police report. Not that we have any hope.

Oh, and if you know somebody who suddenly turns up with an older Graco double stroller, white frame, navy cloth (either polka-dotted or striped with white, depending on the location), tell them DO NOT FOLD IT UP. Because once it is folded, it's almost impossible to get it to latch open properly again. Which is why I hadn't put it away and was storing it on our porch until the weather turned too cold for walks.