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<><+++TOTALLY CATHOLIC E-ZINE+++><>
November Issue, 1997
Welcome to Totally Catholic E-zine, the newest Email magazine designed
specifically for traditional Roman Catholics. This forum will provide
informative articles and commentary on issues related to the One True Faith.
UPDATE (4/27/98)T.C.E. is no longer available in the e-mail format.
+++++++++One Saint's Intercession++++++++++++
We have four boys, and the third down the line is Andrew; he was five in
1996. For three years, we had been watching the growth of a tumor in Andrew's
penis. As it grew larger and he began to experience pain, we were referred
to Cardinal Glennon Children's hospital in St. Louis.
We were very happy to have a good Catholic doctor who seemed very concerned
yet determined to take care of it. His name was Dr. Steinhardt. He told us
he would need a month to research the condition, as it was not something he
was accustomed to, even as a Pediatric Urologist. We trusted him and left it
in God's hands.
The surgery date arrived, and we had been prayerfully awaiting the
outcome. As I sat in the O.R. waiting room, I was thumbing through some back
issues of Catholic Digest. I found an interesting story about a little boy
who was comatose and was not expected to live. His parents were puzzled to
find a St. John Neumann medal attached to the boy's pillow. Even with
extensive questioning of the nurses who took care of him, they never found
out who placed the medal there. After a while they took it as a sign, and
just left it there. Then one day, a picture of a young boy was found taped
haphazardly to the wall across from the sick boy's bed. Oddly, it was right
at the level of a child. Again, the parents and staff were puzzled. The
picture remained, and meanwhile the parents had begun to invoke the help of
St. John Neumann. One day, the boy miraculously awoke, and upon seeing the
picture, exclaimed, " He came to visit me while I was sleeping!" Imagine the
parent's surprise when they learned it was a photo of St. John Neumann as a
This story stayed with me, and I began wishing inwardly, that I had a medal
or relic of St. John Neumann, or even just a holy card. Of course, with
Andrew still in surgery, it was impossible to get one at that point. I
resigned myself to that fact and began chatting with the nun who took care of
the O.R. phone. Soon we were notified that Andrew was coming out of surgery.
I went to his side, and Dr. Steinhardt pulled me aside and told me that it
had been worse than they had originally thought, that is, they had to remove
more penile tissue than they had expected to. He also told me
that Andrew would be sent home in a cast of sorts, and would need to wear a
catheter for a week. We still didn't know if the tumor was cancerous or not.
We would find out in a day or so.
As Andrew lay in his recovery bed, I prayed a Divine Mercy Chaplet
silently. It was three o'clock. My husband Mike had stepped out to the coffee
shop for a few minutes. As I finished the prayer, Andrew woke up, and tears
began streaming down his face. I asked him if he was in pain, since the
doctor had warned me that the catheter would cause painful contractions for
some time. Andrew said no, his eyes were just watering. His bravery made me
want to cry.
I took his hand and held it, whispering words of reassurement. Soon Mike
returned to the room, and reaching into his pocket, he said to me, " Oh, by
the way, hon, as I was down there sipping my coffee, I picked up a Catholic
Digest, and look what fell out?" In his hand was a St. John Neumann holy card,
containing a third class relic, still wrapped in cellophane! I cried. Mike was puzzled
at my reaction, since he knew nothing of my silentprayer request. This was our
answer to prayer, that everything was certainly in God's hands and His will would be done. All those months, so many prayers, seem to culminate in this moment. I knew it would be okay.
We learned later that the tumor was benign, and Andrew made a full
recovery. They were not able to remove the whole mass, but he is as normal
as his three brothers. We thank God for his merciful love. And we thank Him for sending us Dr. Steinhardt, who possesses such great knowledge and skill.
If you need any medical records verifying this story, or would like a picture
of Andrew, anything, please let us know! In Christ, Kelly and Michael Hudson
( firstname.lastname@example.org) 88 Oakdell, Oxford, MI 48371 ( 248) 969-2174.
by Kelly Hudson
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Science on the Side of the Holy Shroud of Turin
by Michael S. Rose (email@example.com)
[this article first appeared in the Sept 1997 issue of St. Joseph Messenger]
Until 1988, most historians, artists and scientists who had studied the
Shroud of Turin considered it to be the genuine burial cloth of Jesus. Then
came a carbon-dating test which claimed to place the origin of the shroud
sometime in the 12th Century. The carbon dating was accepted without
question and all previous evidence was discarded. Critics claimed it was a
The Shroud of Turin is a 14 ½ by 3 ½ foot linen cloth that is reputed to be
the burial cloth that
covered Jesus after the crucifixion. Its geographical path throughout
history has been traced by identification of at least six pieces of pollen
only found in Jerusalem at the time of Christ, embedded in the linen. There
are also eight burn marks, four on each side, shaped like a wedge which have
appeared in icons that have been dated to the early centuries of Christianity.
In 1898, the Church in Turin, Italy, was about to relegate the Holy Shroud
to a museum. A picture was taken of the cloth for catalog purposes by
Secondo Pia. He found that the image of the Shroud was, in fact, a
photographic negative: it looks exactly like a typical negative of a black
and white photo. A medieval forger could not possibly have conceived of
producing a detailed negative, substituting lights for darkness, with all
the subtle variations involved. Historically no other picture of any
subject has ever been discovered with these same photographic qualities.
Scientists are in general agreement that they would be
unable to produce such an image with today’s technology. Because of this
photographic evidence, the Church decided to keep the Shroud in a chapel at
The image contains graphic details of death by crucifixion with anatomical
precision. This is apparent in the rivulets of human blood running from the
feet, wrists and side. The Shroud also shows clear evidence of more than
160 wounds from a severe scourging with a weighted whip, a large wound in
the side of the chest as from the thrust of a spear, and streams of blood in
the hair and on the brow from a crown of thorns which was a unique torture
invented to mock Christ. We therefore have a picture with photographic
accuracy which shows in detail the Passion of Jesus, which parallels the
Gospel accounts of the Passion in every detail.
Scientists at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs were stunned
when they placed a photograph of the face of the Shroud in a VP8
computerized image enhancer that had been designed for the Mariner Space
Program. The Shroud picture mysteriously contained encoded information
which produced an uncanny three-dimensional image. It is therefore possible
that the image of the Shroud contains X-ray information. This is not
possible with any ordinary photographic technique and certainly could not be
duplicated by a forger, medieval or contemporary.
These relief pictures reveal the existence of two small disks on the man’s
eyelids. These disks have been identified through high magnification as
coins which were minted by Pontius Pilate in Palestine between October, 28
A.D. and October, 31 A.D.
Investigators working with computers from the Viking Space Mission at the
Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California established that the image
was not made by pigments, and appears to be strictly a surface phenomenon
similar to a scorch. Because of this, scientists theorize that the image
resulted from a very brief but intense burst of radiant energy called “flash
photolysis,” of unknown origin but certainly like no other. It somehow
emanated from the body under the cloth. The Resurrected Christ is usually
pictured in just such a transcendent light. Scientists now believe the
Shroud is indeed the burial cloth of Jesus; thus it appears the picture was
formed at the very moment of the Resurrection. If the body in
the Shroud had decayed in the normal manner, or even remained in the Shroud
for more than a few days, the Shroud would have been discolored and
eventually itself have decayed.
Professor Max Frei, Director of the Scientific Laboratory of the Swiss
Police, detected and identified 48 classes of pollen on the fibers of the
Shroud. Some belong to plants, long extinct, which flourished in first
century Palestine; some to plants from Syria, Anatolia, Constantinople; some
from France and Italy. Thus, the new branch of micro-botanics, called
Palinology, has fixed the date and itinerary of the Holy Shroud in its
origins and migrations.
Carbon Dating Test
Carbon dating of the Shroud is now being reevaluated because of the many
problems that can throw the results off by thousands of years. The findings
of the 1988 carbon dating are now generally dismissed by scientists as
unreliable. It is clear that the lack of methodological rigor used during
these dating tests has resulted in its losing credibility. The scientists
who conducted the Carbon tests will not even defend their findings any
longer. Some even contend that the carbon dating tests were fraudulent from
start to finish.
Questions for our generation
The Holy Shroud presents us with two key questions to ponder: “What do
these marks show us?” and “Was the Holy Shroud meant to convince our
technological generation—the first generation with the capacity to
understand its totally unique existence?”
St Joseph Messenger
a Catholic family reader
407 Vine Street, Ste 298
Cincinnati OH 45202
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++++The Spirit of Poverty++++++
by Kevin Christensen
Two years ago I was praying the Rosary on my commute into work, as was my
practice. As I began the third Joyful Mystery, I asked the Blessed Virgin
to pray with me for understanding regarding the spirit of poverty. In the
past I had spent this time trying to be thankful for the lessons in poverty
that I've experienced or trying to figure out what exactly one does in
poverty that would be desirable. Praise Jesus! After a year and a half I
received a gift of understanding, at least for my family and our situation.
I have always understood poverty to be a punishment or at least a lesson we
are given to learn in order to make up for a past wrong doing, or to develop
some virtue. My error was viewing poverty as a negative thing. The popular
view of poverty is filth and squalor, homeless people and starving children.
Yes, those things exist, but looking at poverty in the historic sense, it
seems to me to be synonymous with simplicity.
Let's look at those whom we call saints. What did many of them have in
common besides an unadulterated love of God? Poverty. With few exceptions,
our holy brothers and sisters lived lives untainted by the desire for
worldly goods. In this respect, as well as others, they were near perfect
imitators of Christ, as we are all called to be. The saints knew that to
serve God more fully, the things of this world must take a back seat. There
were those saints that had abundant personal wealth or position, but most
used these gifts to improve the conditions of those less fortunate. We are
all called to live a life of Christ - like simplicity. Sounds like a cliche', I
know, but imagine what our lives could be like if they were uncluttered by
the material shackles by which we are now bound. What the Blessed Virgin has
helped me to see is that the Spirit of Poverty is something we can and
should "acquire" by distancing ourselves from material belongings. By distancing, I don't mean
that everyone should get rid of everything they own, the Lord obviously
intends some in this world to have more abundant material possessions than
others, but our belongings shouldn't be allowed a higher place in our lives
than they deserve. Like the old saying goes, there can come a point where
we don't have things, but things have us.
Many times in the past I have held a newly acquired possession in my hands
and felt a burning desire to share the fact with someone. Very seldom did I
have the same desire to share some aspect of my growth in faith. Looking
back, there were many years when I didn't really even have a faith to speak
of. Oh, I went to Mass ...or maybe I went fishing, depending on the
weather. In my case, my failure to see and therefore understand my faith was
due to gluttony. At that time I counted fifteen hobbies that I actively
pursued. Each hobby required "things" with which to pursue them, lots of things.
At that point in time, my hobbies and possessions had become spiritual
cataracts, not totally blinding me to my faith but most certainly clouding
my vision. I quite simply had no spare time for God. It was at this time I
felt a need to whittle down my hobbies to a mere...four, or five. This
"surgery" wasn't for spiritual reasons. I felt that with fewer hobbies I
would have more time and then be able to perfect my skills in the hobbies I
kept. The Lord at this time did bless me with spare time, but with it a
desire to study the Word and my Faith. Having discovered how it works, I
have ever since continued to pare down my possessions, and in doing so have
acquired more and more time. In my case, I had to get rid of these things.
There were just so many distractions and intrusions into my life that there
was no time left for scripture study, prayer, or even quiet time with the
To paraphrase the Documents of Vatican ll (chap 7 art. 238), 'the saints
show us by example, a safe path in this world by which we can arrive at a
perfect union with Christ'. For me, simplicity, from this perspective then,
is not just a 90's kind of fad, something I'll seek after I've "made it' in
this world -- it is a mandate from Almighty God. We are called to follow the
example of Christ, and Christ lived a simple life. We can, too.
Simplicity is more a state of mind than a state of being. As with so many
other things in this world, there can and will be many different expressions
of this gift from our Lord. May the Lord bless you as you seek His will, in
Kevin, with of his wife Carla, and daughter Chantry publish "Full of Grace",
a simpleliving newsletter with a Catholic perspective. They pursue the simple life
on a 40 acre homestead in North Central Montana. To receive a sample of
their newsletter send $2.00 to Full of Grace, P.O. Box 457, Valier, MT 59486.
++++++++On Discerning Marian Apparitions - Guidelines++++++++++
by Maria Compton-Hernandez, T.C.E. Editor
The explosion of modern day Marian Apparitions seems to indicate that we are living in
a most crucial time in our history. While I do tend to believe some of the reported apparitoins
are real, common sense and scripture warns us that there must be many false ones going on
as well. Even during the time of St. Bernadette's approved apparitions at Lourdes hundreds of
'copycat apparitoins' popped up all over Europe. A book by the late William Reck, former head of The Riehle Foundation, shed great light
on this whole discernment process for me. The book is entitled "Dear Marian Movement - Let God be
God" and is available for a $6 donation from the non-profit Riehle Foundation.
Here is a brief synopsis of some of the general guidelines for discerning Marian Apparitions
as discussed by Mr. Reck in his excellent book:
Some of the criteria to determine authenticity of an alleged seer/apparition he includes are:
* Manifest error as to the fact or facts presented
*Immoral or other sinful actions by the seer or persons involved.
*Evident seeking of financial advantage
*Lack of humility, obedience to the Church, and in turn, seeking fame or publicity.
*Any form of mental illness or psychosis.
Some RED FLAGS we should be aware of when reading messages:
*Messages that oppose priests, bishops, and aspects of Church doctrine or liturgies. Included are those that claim to introduce new doctrines, or additional revelation to be added to Scripture
* Messages that seem to be based on sensationalism, with too much purification and chastisement references....Messages that suggest Our Lady or Our Lord are calling us names, threatening us, putting down our faith and efforts....
*Messages that specifically address politicians, important dignitaries, or that give economic and social advice, including philosophy, commerce and elections.
*Messages that specifically identify third parties (other visionaries) and either condemn them or endorse them...
*Messages that promote the visionary by providing indications of power, status, profit, position, publicity, promoting pride instead of humility.
*Messages that appoint people to positions in certain ministries or that give people certain titles and authority.
* Messages that seem to indicate the end of God's Mercy and that Jesus' salvific mission was a failure.
* Messages that create confusion and dissention within their own circle, parish, prayer group, etc...
*Messages that show consistenct contradictions...ie. one message saying, 'Go spend all your time with your children', while the next page says, "Spend all your time with me, Only I am important."
* Messages that promote new devotions and such an abundance of prayer so as to make your normal day impossible.
*Messages that seem to be overly stressing the publication of books, distribution of messages, regardless of what position the Church might take. Messages that indicate the publication of a book is the most important, not the seeking of a spiritual advisor or the blessing of the Church.
*Messages that are too caught up in outside interests: books, films, buy land, build a refuge center, a new community, move here, go there, start this organization, etc....
*Messages that add new dimensions to Jesus and Mary - where they seem more interested in their own accomplishments than the promotion of God. Such as their announcements of "My books, My farm, My house, My ministry, authority power"...etc....making it appear that Jesus and Mary are more interested in building up an earthly impire.
*Any message that seems likely to strip a visionary of humility and obedience and replace it with ego and power.
*Coupling apparition sites and events to specific messages. There may be a need to stay away from those that seem to have a message from Jesus or Mary for every single decision and action that happens.
*Messages that are geared toward prophecies of doom and destruction, suggesting dates or places, but are repeatedly wrong. Many times they cover the fact that their prophecy didn't happen by a later message saying that the predicted event was postponed due to much prayer and fasting, etc...conveniently making it easy to explain away why their prophecy didn't occur.
I found all this to be really helpful to me in working through some of the confusion out there.
If you'd like more information, you may wish to order the book and read the entire and more
thorough explanations yourself.
Here you are guaranteed to receive a major credit card!
+++++On "Nothing Sacred" ++++++
By Robert Siml
I'm not sure how many of the T.C.E. readers are aware of the Catholic League's
fight against Disney/ABC's anti-Catholic series "Nothing Sacred."
Here are some of the comments that the president of the Catholic League,
William A. Donohue, made after reviewing the pilot:
"It's nothing sacred alright - it's a frontal assault on Roman
"Here's what's in store. Father Ray tells his parishioners that
it's time to "call a moratorium on the sins of the flesh," informing them that the
Church's teachings on abortion, promiscuity, homosexuality
and contraception can be ignored. He boasts that he will no
longer be a "sexual traffic cop" and advises those who want such
a priest to go elsewhere. He also tells a girl in the confession that she
has to make up her own mind about abortion."
"The leading priest, Father Ray, .... thinks of his vocation as
merely a job, admits that he isn't sure of the existence of God, violates his
duty as a confessor and rejects the Church's teachings on
sexuality. But he loves the homeless, ponders a love affair with an old flame
and tells his adversaries to `go fax yourself.' Quite naturally
those Catholics who accept the teachings of the Magisterium are portrayed as cold-hearted,
selfish,and tyrannical persons.
"There are two major objections to `Nothing Sacred': a) the show
promotes the most positive stereotype of Catholics who dissent from Church
teachings while fostering the most negative stereo type of those
who remain loyal to the Church and b) the show deliberately denigrates the official
teachings of the Church by unfavorably contrasting them to the trendy positions
of dissent Catholics."
"This Disney/ABC show is nothing more than a political statement
against the Catholic Church. The goal is to put a positive spin on
Catholic priests who prefer Hollywood's libertine vision of sexuality to the moral
teachingsof the Church. This propaganda is fodder for dissenting catholics
and anti-Catholic bigots alike."
In effect, Disney/ABC have declared a political propaganda war against
the Catholic Church. If you doubt that, here's what the writers have to
"One of our goals is to subvert people's expectations as to the
nature of a priest's or nun's life in the contemporary world."
"(My aim) is to create dialogue where not very much exists."
So clearly, the writer is being disingenuous. He wants to cause
dissention within the Church.
It's also interesting that Michael Eisner publicly claims that the pilot
was reviewed favorably by five priests, yet refuses to release the names,
addresses, or phone numbers. Clearly Disney/ABC has sought out only
liberal priests, if any at all.
What's truly frightening to me, are companies like Disney/ABC, which are
willing to destroy their corporate image to push their own moral and
political agenda. In fact, Walt Disney's daughter has come out publicly
against the direction that Michael Eisner is taking the Disney
The Catholic League is the organization that defends our Catholic religious and civil rights. They publish a monthly newsletter called the "Catalyst." T.C.E. readers may be shocked to find how
much anti-Catholicism is really out there.
The Catholic League has called for a petition drive against Disney/ABC
and boycott of the sponsors of the program. The response has been
spectacular. Ovaltine, Dairy Queen, Mutual of Omaha and Telecom*USA have announced
that they will no longer advertise on the ABC show, "Nothing Sacred."
There are now 23 companies that have pulled sponsorship of the program.
As the famous quote goes: "The only thing it takes for evil to flourish
is for good men to stand by and do nothing." I know everyone is busy,
but now is a good time to defend your faith. First, The Catholic League
is asking that we circulate petitions and then send them back to the
league so they can drop the whole thing on Michael Eisner's doorstep. If
you don't have copies of the petition you can make your own up or write
your own letter of protest. Besides mentioning the series "Nothing
Sacred" for all of it's anti-Catholicism, it wouldn't hurt to mention
Disney's movie "Priest" for an anti-Catholic portrayal of priests, and
the sitcom "Ellen" for promoting homosexual behavior. Letters and
petitions can be set to
1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10126-1444
Secondly, follow through with the boycott and let the sponsors know why.
I talk to lackadaisical Catholics all the time who feel they can't change
the world or simply not buying a manufacturer's products is enough.
A very traditional Catholic statement is: "Every man can make a
difference and every man should try."
Visit The Catholic League website to find the latest sponsors of "Nothing Sacred".
Go to Page 2 of this issue....
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