Champion for Life Monsignor Kavanagh has died

Longtime pastor of St. Rose Parish in Sacramento, dies on St. Patrick’s Day at age 93

Monsignor Edward Kavanagh (image from Diocese of Sacramento)

Monsignor Edward Kavanagh, a native son of Ireland who came to Sacramento in 1948, died today of natural causes. He was 93 and passed away on St. Patrick’s Day. For nearly 60 years, Monsignor Kavanagh was pastor or in residence at St. Rose Parish in South Sacramento. During his remarkable ministry, he oversaw an orphanage, day-care center, and a school along with numerous community charities. St. Patrick’s Academy, a K-8 parochial school, continues at the site.

The Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Roman Catholic Bishop of Sacramento, issued the following statement on the news of Monsignor Kavanagh’s death:

“Monsignor Ed Kavanagh was an indomitable priestly figure, a force of nature. He cared deeply for the community, working tirelessly on behalf of the poor and children. He was an indefatigable defender of the unborn, always fighting to end the practice of abortion, because he believed all children deserve a chance. He gave his heart to the children and young people who passed through St. Patrick’s Home and Academy.

“Did you need a job? A place to live? Maybe an old car to get to that job? A few dollars for gas? Monsignor Kavanagh would always find a way.

“In all this Ed Kavanagh believed he was simply being a parish priest. His voice would frequently bellow with the words of the hymn he deeply loved, ‘When Christ shall come, With a shout of acclamation, To take me home what joy shall fill my heart, Then I shall bow in humble adoration, And there proclaim my God how great thou art.’ I am sure St. Peter and St. Patrick can already hear him coming.

Source: Champion for Life Monsignor Kavanagh has died


Prayers Needed! Mexico is the most dangerous country to be a priest

Aid to the Church in Need serves the suffering Church, including in Mexico, where priests speaking out against crime and corruption are targeted by cartels

ACCORDING to the Catholic Multimedia Center (CCM) in Mexico, that nation is the most dangerous in Latin America for priests. “For the ninth year in a row, and even though no wars are being fought on our soil, our country is the nation with the highest number of murders of priests,” said priest and journalist Father Sergio Omar Sotelo Aguilar.

Aid to the Church in Need serves the suffering Church, including in Mexico, where priests speaking out against crime and corruption are targeted by cartels
Mass in the Mexican countryside

Father Sergio Omar is a member of the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle and director of the CCM. He told us that 2017 was a disastrous year for the clergy and Church in Mexico. “Religious freedom has been completely undermined and severely threatened by organized crime in Mexico,” he charged.

He stressed that, in many cases, the death of a priest does not happen by coincidence or because of an unlucky encounter with ordinary criminals. The priest said: “In 80 percent of the cases, the murderers use a modus operandi that includes everything from defamation to extortion, abduction to torture, kidnapping to murder. Unscrupulous media then ‘explain’ or ‘justify’ the murder of a priest by spreading all sorts of rumors; they sometimes accuse the victims of being alcoholics or even child molesters.”

After the September 2016 murder of Father Alfredo López Guillén, a priest in the town of Janamuato in the Archdiocese of Morelia, the governor of the state of Michoacán, Silvano Aureoles, accused the priest of being a pedophile. The Mexican Episcopal Conference (CEM) unequivocally denounced this allegation.

The state of Michoacán, located along the Pacific coast and one of the 32 Mexican states, is burdened by a significant degree of violence because of its strategic location for drug smuggling. Local priests, who denounce drug trafficking as well as the corruption of government agencies and the police, often end up in the crosshairs of the so-called sicarios, contract killers who work for drug dealers.

Four priests were murdered in 2017. Two of them perished in the course of attempted kidnappings, the other two died during bomb attacks on the cathedral of Mexico City and the offices of the Mexican Episcopal Conference. In addition, there are hundreds of threats and cases of blackmail targeting priests and bishops, Father Sergio Omar reported; there were 884 cases in 2017 alone. Torture was involved in 80 percent of the cases in which priests were murdered. The priest describes this as a particular strategy of terror used by the drug cartels, saying: “Killing a priest also sets an example as a demonstration of power by the criminal organizations.”

Like other journalists who cover attacks on Church personnel, CCM staff have also become targets of organized crime because they are considered to be opinion leaders who have joined the fight against the drug cartels. Organized crime has become even more powerful because it has formed alliances with politicians, judges and certain circles within the police and security forces. “It causes decay in society from top to bottom,” proclaims Father Sergio Omar.

Father Sergio Omar, a former secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Communication at the CEM, describes the tactics of organized crime and the drug cartels as targeted persecution. Entire communities have left their villages and the local area after receiving threats from criminal organizations.

The CCM data on “veritable religious persecution” has just been released in book form. It is a record of the killings of pastoral workers who were murdered between 1990 and 2017: in addition to Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, the archbishop of Guadalajara, who was assassinated on May 23, 1993 at Guadalajara Airport, it also lists the names of 62 additional murder victims, 47 priests, a deacon, four religious, nine lay persons working for the Church and a Catholic journalist.

In this nation of 120 million, 80 per cent of whom are Catholic, the authorities have responded to most of the murders with complete indifference. In the last five years, 19 priests and two lay persons were murdered. Two priests are still missing.

This has to change, Father Sergio Omar said: “We cannot remain silent as the blood of thousands of Mexicans is shed. This is why we are directing an urgent appeal to the federal government of Mexico, to the authorities of the various states, and to the city governments: we want them all to guarantee that pastoral care can safely be carried out in regions beset by uncontrolled, growing violence. We cannot remain silent!”

Source: Mexico is the most dangerous country to be a priest


Here’s some excellent teaching from Bishop Rene Henry Gracida:


A regular reader of Abyssum sends this question:

The Creed that we pray after the homily says in part “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son …”.
Part of the discussion at our ritual of post Mass breakfast at Denny’s was what does “who proceeds from the Father and the Son” mean?  There was no consensus at breakfast other than “John, why don’t you ask Bishop Gracida”.

The question has been around for a long time because it pertains to our understanding a reality for which there is nothing in nature that can be referred to in describing it using human language.  The reality is the existence in God of three Persons, called by Jesus Christ: “Father”, “Son” and “Holy Spirit”.  Jesus Christ revealed to us their existence, but he did not tell us much about their relationship, especially how the relationship came to be. 

That relationship puzzled men for the first four centuries of the Christian Era, I am confident, but it did not become a problem for the Church until the heretic, Arias, began preaching that Jesus Christ was a man but not God.  The Arian Controversy was settled by the bishops of the Council of Nicea.

The Fathers of the Council struggled with how to ‘explain in, the Creed they promulgated about the God, after saying “I believe in One God…”, a profession of belief in the existence of two additional persons in God.  I am confident that they searched all the words in the Greek language for a word and finally the settled on the word paradises which is translated in English as procession.

In A Modern Catholic Dictionary Father John Hardon, S.J. (yes Elizabeth there are/were good Jesuits) writes:

PROCESSION, the origin of one from another.  A procession is said to be external when the terminus of the procession goes outside the principle or source from which it proceeds.  Thus creatures proceed by external procession from the triune God, their Primary Origin.  An internal procession is immanent; the one proceeding remains united with the one from whom he or she proceeds.  Thus the processions of the Son and the Holy Spirit are an immanent act of the Holy Trinity.  An internal, divine procession signifies the origin of a divine person from another divine person (Son from the Father), or from other divine persons (the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son) through the communication of numerically and the same divine essence.

I am not going to go into the Filioque Controversy which produced the Great Schism of the Sixth Century.  One can find a lot about it on Google.  


Pope Francis in Pietrelcina: “But do you believe that the devil exists?”

Pope Francis in Pietrelcina recalls Padre Pio’s struggle with the devil and his abandonment to God. He looks at today’s problems, and proposes to give the Nobel Prize to the elderly


Padre Pio “was strongly tormented in his innermost self and feared falling into sin, feeling assaulted by the devil”.


“But do you believe that the devil exists? Or do you think he doesn’t exist? The Pope asks, abandoning once again the prepared speech. “You are not so convinced, eh! I will tell the bishop to do catechesis. Does the devil exist or not? The faithful answer: “Yes! So the Pope continues, “And he goes, he goes aside, he puts himself inside of us, he moves us, torments us, deceives us”, he adds, citing once again the devil as he has often done in these five years of pontificate. Padre Pio “was afraid that the devil would attack him, push him to sin. In those moments – he explains, returning to the written text – he would draw lifeblood from the continuous prayer and trust that he knew how to put in the Lord: “All the ugly ghosts that the devil places in my mind disappear when I abandon myself confident in the arms of Jesus””.

Read more here:

Source: “A country that quarrels is sick and does not grow” – La Stampa

‘Work sets you free’. by DEACON CHRISTOPHER CONNELLY

”Arbeit Macht Frei” are the words that are forged into the gates of Dachau, the former concentration camp in Southern Germany that held over 4,000 priests during the terrorizing reign of the Third Reich. These words are translated into English as “Work sets you free.” It was through this gate that Jesuit Father Otto Pies left and it was through this gate that he returned disguised as a SS guard with a load of food hidden in the back of his truck.



[Wikimedia image of Fr. Pies]

In an article published in American magazine, Father William O’Malley describes how Father Pies drove into the section reserved for Catholic priests and, after unloading the food, drove out of the camp with 30 priests hidden in the back of his truck. Father Otto brought those priests to freedom and headed back to Dachau with the hope of saving more priests. Two days later as American troops were advancing to liberate the camp, German troops led thousands of prisoners including nearly 100 priests into the Alps where they perished.

Read more of this article here:

Source: Echoes. ‘Work sets you free’. Published 3/16/2018

Having Adulterous Catholics Teach Religion Violates Canon Law by Edward Peters

March 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A new policy of a close adviser of Pope Francis that offers Catholic teaching positions to those who are living in invalid and adulterous second “marriages” is contrary to the Church’s Code of Canon Law, says Edward Peters, an eminent canon lawyer licensed by the highest tribunal of the Church.

“It is nonsense to hold, as it seems an influential diocesan bishop just a few clicks from the shadows of St. Peter’s holds, that divorced-and-remarried Catholics, though ineligible for holy Communion, might nevertheless be ‘outstanding in … the witness of Christian life’ (c. 804) such that they could be ‘ideal for the teaching of the Catholic religion,’” writes Peters in a recent entry on his blog, “In the Light of the Law.”

Read more here:


Sad Times: Two more Catholic schools will close in Queens/St. Rosalia Church to be demolished too!

The Diocese of Brooklyn announced last Friday that a pair of Queens Catholic academies — Our Lady of the Angelus in Rego Park and Our Lady of Lourdes in Queens Village — will close at the end of this school year, citing financial issues.“Declining enrollment at both K-8 schools has led to severe budget deficits,” the diocese said in its announcement of the closures. “The declines are due to changing demographics.

Read more here:

And here:

Source: Two more Catholic schools will close – Queens Chronicle: Eastern/Southeast Queens News