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A Note From Fr. David Konderla

A note from Fr. David Konderla,Pastor & Director of Campus Ministry:Well, it is that time of year when some of you leave St. Mary’s for winter break and others graduate to become Apostles for the Church and world as we say here at St. Mary’s.I must…

SNL Does Christmas Mass

This is really funny, because it is true.

Seven Things I Wish My Pastor Knew About My Homosexuality

A very thought-provoking article. Here is a snip:

Over thirty years have passed since same-sex attraction rushed up from deep within my twelve-year-old frame. This attraction was unbidden and unwanted, yet simultaneously forceful and compelling.

As a Christian, the conflict between my sexuality and my faith would become the deepest and most intense of my life. Now in my forties, I’ve gone from being closeted to openly lesbian to celibate to heterosexually married. The fact that I need to qualify my marital union as a heterosexual one reveals how much the cultural landscape has changed in that time—just as much as my own personal landscape has, though in very different ways.

During my upbringing, I heard a few fiery sermons on homosexuality. These days, I hear declarations of love instead. They make me shout for joy. Amen! It always should have been so! At the same time, however, many pastors have begun accompanying this love with an eschewal of Biblical sexual morality as oppressive, unreasonable, or unkind. Hence, loving homosexual persons also comes to entail affirming and encouraging them in same-sex sexual relationships and behaviors.

Although I appreciate the desire to act in love, this isn’t the genuine love that people like me need. Love me better than that!
Continue Reading.

This article describes well the goals and path of the Courage ministry. If you are a student at Texas A&M or Blinne and want to learn more about the Courage ministry at St. Marys Catholic Center, contact Fr. David Konderla via our website.

Why Torture Is NEVER Acceptable

The facts about the USA using torture on terrorists is now becoming news and as expected, there are many arguing the practice of using torture is not only needed, but morally good.

Be that as it may, the Catholic Church is very clear – torture is never acceptable. We hear the counter argument – terrorists have a bomb and we might be able to find out where it is before they kill a lot of people AND we know they are evil and have killed before! But, we are not supposed to act like they do and we don’t determine if something is morally ok by the end alone. Evil means can not be justified by good ends, and when we talk about torture – the good ends (getting information which might save lives) never can justify evil means (torture).

Torture – as the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us:

2297 Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity.

It goes on to say:

2298 In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

Benedict XVI – says this about torture:

Public authorities must be ever vigilant in this task, eschewing any means of punishment or correction that either undermine or debase the human dignity of prisoners. In this regard, I reiterate that the prohibition against torture “cannot be contravened under any circumstances”

The Pope was quoting the Compendium of Social Doctrine when he gave the quote above. Here is what the fuller quote says, in context:

In carrying out investigations, the regulation against the use of torture, even in the case of serious crimes, must be strictly observed: “Christ’s disciple refuses every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify and in which the dignity of man is as much debased in his torturer as in the torturer’s victim”. International juridical instruments concerning human rights correctly indicate a prohibition against torture as a principle which cannot be contravened under any circumstances.

Now, I know that there are several Catholic writers, theologians and others who blur the distinctions between what constitutes torture and what doesn’t. Violence (moral or physical) is the key here, as the Catechism defines torture. This is a moral absolute and the game of “what if” doesn’t do justice to the situation, because we cannot justify the means by the ends. If we are truly pro-life, then we must be so in all cases, not just abortion and related issues.

If the means do justify the ends, then we have become consequentialists and our basing our morality off of the theory that is founded on utilitarianism and relativism. This is dangerous water to be treading in. What kind of people have we become when we sink to the level of torture? Is this what America ought to condone? Are we not better than this?

Maybe one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th Century can bring it home for us, when he says:

“Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.” – G.K. Chesterton

35 Promises Of God

The Bible contains numerous promises that God makes to His people. Below you will find the top 35 promises God makes to His people. If you have a favorite which was missed, please comment.

35 Promises of God
  1. “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
    -Ps 50:15
  2. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
    -Proverbs 3:5-6
  3. “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
    -Jer 29:11
  4. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
    -Matt 11:28-29
  5. “He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
    -Is 40:29-31
  6. “God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
    -Phil 4:19
  7. “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
    -Matt 6:31-33
  8. “Those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.”
    -Proverbs 1:33
  9. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
    -John 14:27
  10. “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
    -Rom 10:9
  11. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
    -John 8:36
  12. “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”
    -1 Cor 10:13
  13. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
    -James 4:7
  14. “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.”
    -Ps 34:17
  15. “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”
    -Is 41:10
  16. “Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
    -Ex 20:12
  17. “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.”
    -Ex 14:14
  18. “Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.”
    -Proverbs 22:6
  19. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.”
    -Ps 23:4
  20. “So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
    -Luke 11:9-13
  21. “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
    -Is 54:10
  22. “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
    -Josh 1:9
  23. “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.”
    -John 14:13-16
  24. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
    -Acts 1:8
  25. “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
    -Ps 32:8
  26. “If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.”
    -James 1:5
  27. “And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
    -1 John 5:14
  28. “Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.”
    -James 5:14-15
  29. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”
    -John 3:16
  30. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    -Romans 8:38-39
  31. “Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”
    -Deut 31:6
  32. “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away”
    -John 6:37
  33. “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
    - John 11:25-26
  34. “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
    -Ps 84:11
  35. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
    -Ps 37:4

FURTHER READING:
**3 Myths About Catholics & The Bible
**Why Catholic Bibles Have More Books Than Protestant Bibles
**50 Uplifting Bible Verses

Putting the FUN in FUNERAL

A little Friday fun and laughter for you:

Advent = War is Coming!

When we view a nativity scene, we generally think of a peaceful scene. Many think of the baby born to a virgin in a manger and the star which rests above. There are peaceful animals, a humble St. Joseph, and scared shepherds.But, something is missing.I…

Aggie Catholic Deacon Wins Fight Against Contraception Mandate!

Deacon Greg Hall is an Aggie Catholic and a member of our Leadership Council here at St. Mary’s. He also happens to be the hero who figured out how to save the Chilean miners who were trapped in a mine in 2010. His company filed suit against the Obama Administration and was granted an immediate permanent injunction. The press release is below:

November 26, 2014
St. Joseph, Minnesota

The U.S District Court for the District of Minnesota issued a permanent injunction in the case of Rev. Mr. (Deacon) Gregory E. Hall and American Mfg Company v. Sylvia M. Burwell, et al. This is the first Minnesota federal decision that grants a permanent injunction to a for-profit company that challenged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandated insurance coverage for abortifacients, sterilization, birth control, and related counseling.

In April 2013, Deacon Hall and the company obtained a preliminary injunction that remained in place until the permanent injunction was issued. On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court, in the matter of Hobby Lobby Stores, held that small closely held companies may assert rights under the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA). In light of the Hobby Lobby decision, the Department of Justice stipulated to the order that prohibits the HHS from enforcing the mandate insurance coverage against Deacon Hall and AMC.

Deacon Hall is the sole owner of AMC, which is located in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and currently has less than 50 employees. The company manufactures pumps and equipment used world-wide in the drilling and mining industries.

Deacon Hall is an ordained deacon for the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. Hall commenced his lawsuit to prevent the federal government from forcing the company’s group health insurance plan to provide cost-free coverage for products and services that violate his deeply held religious beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church. The permanent injunction will allow AMC to continue to provide health insurance without the threat of penalties for non-compliance.

In early 2013, Deacon Hall was among the early parties to challenge the government’s federal requirements. There are now over 100 lawsuits nationwide, and the courts are beginning to issue permanent injunctions. Deacon Hall’s case is unique in being the only one brought by an ordained minister who owns and manages a secular company. The other parties challenging the government are religious entities, such as the Archdiocese of Washington, religious-affiliated entities, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, and lay business persons with seriously held religious beliefs, such Hobby Lobby Stores.

Deacon Hall responds: “I hope that the results that we were able to achieve will encourage others to follow the dictates of their religious beliefs and stand up and assert their fundamental and legal rights.”

The case is Rev. Mr. (Deacon) Gregory E. Hall, et al, V. Sylvia M. Burwell, et al., Case No. 13-CV-00295 (JRT/LIB). The Order was signed by U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim. Deacon Hall was represented by Erick Kaardal with Mohrman, Kaardal and Erickson, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and by Thomas E. Mathews with Hughes Mathews Greer, St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Why Marriage is so Very Important In Culture & Civil Society

Humanum is an international interreligious colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman, hosted at the Vatican. As part of the gathering, they released some AMAZING videos.The sixth (and unfortunately final – I want them to continue) video in the…

The Challenge & Hope for a New Generation

Humanum is an international interreligious colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman, hosted at the Vatican. As part of the gathering, they released some AMAZING videos.The fifth video in the series is below; it is on the hope that comes from …

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