Archive for May, 2009


Saturday, May 30th, 2009



The Holy Spirit, who came on Pentecost, gave voice to the apostles to proclaim the truth of the Gospel. The Spirit, the Soul of the Church, continues to enable the Church to speak, and enables us to speak in our individual capacity. As Bishop Elio Sgreccia, former President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life has said, “The Church must speak out in today’s context on fundamental rights, the right to justice, the right to peace, but above all and in the first place, the right to life. If the Church did not speak, did not proclaim the truth, it would be abandoning its duty; it would be unfaithful to society, to the good of society. Therefore, its precise duty is the very liberty to intervene with word, and also with example — the example of promoting human life, of intervening for the salvation of mankind.”

Liturgical Ministry Schedule for June is now online

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Please go to the Liturgical Ministry Schedule page on the right side, and click on June, 2009.

Thank you!


Saturday, May 30th, 2009

dove-gWhere we are is the age of the Holy Spirit.  Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church because even though the Apostles were transformed by earlier events such as the institution of the Eucharist and priesthood on Maundy Thursday or their acquiring the power to forgive sins on Easter afternoon, they – and by extension, the Church – did not really come into their own until the Paraclete inspired them to burst out of their closed quarters and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. And just as Pentecost marks the birthday of the Church in the Holy Spirit, so too does the Time after Pentecost mark the life of the Church moving through the vicissitudes of history under the protection and guidance of that same Spirit. It is for this reason that the epistle readings from this season emphasize the Apostles’ advice to the burgeoning churches of the day while its Gospel readings focus on the kingdom of heaven and its justice.

Great quote from a wise woman!

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

by Dr. Alveda King

Niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.dr-alveda-king

“The great irony is that abortion has done what the Klu Klux Klan only dreamed of…. Roughly one quarter of the black population is now missing!”

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, CO: We have a duty to pray for President Obama– and to oppose him!

Monday, May 25th, 2009



“We have a duty to pray for his wisdom and for the success of his service to the common good — insofar as it is guided by right moral reasoning.  We also have the duty to oppose him when he’s wrong on foundational issues like abortion, embryonic stem cell research and similar matters.”

Most graduation speeches are a mix of piety and optimism designed to ease students smoothly into real life. The best have humor. Some genuinely inspire. But only a rare few manage to be pious, optimistic, evasive, sad and damaging all at the same time. Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, is a man of substantial intellect and ability.  This makes his introductory comments to President Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech on May 17 all the more embarrassing.

Let’s remember that the debate over President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame was never about whether he is a good or bad man. The president is clearly a sincere and able man. By his own words, religion has had a major influence in his life. We owe him the respect Scripture calls us to show all public officials. We have a duty to pray for his wisdom and for the success of his service to the common good — insofar as it is guided by right moral reasoning.

We also have the duty to oppose him when he’s wrong on foundational issues like abortion, embryonic stem cell research and similar matters. And we also have the duty to avoid prostituting our Catholic identity by appeals to phony dialogue that mask an abdication of our moral witness. Notre Dame did not merely invite the president to speak at its commencement. It also conferred an unnecessary and unearned honorary law degree on a man committed to upholding one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in our nation’s history: Roe v. Wade.

In doing so, Notre Dame ignored the U.S. bishops’ guidance in their 2004 statement, Catholics in Political Life. It ignored the concerns of Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Notre Dame’s 2009 Laetare Medal honoree – who, unlike the president, certainly did deserve her award, but finally declined it in frustration with the university’s action. It ignored appeals from the university’s local bishop, the president of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference, more than 70 other bishops, many thousands of Notre Dame alumni and hundreds of thousands of other American Catholics. Even here in Colorado, I’ve heard from too many to count.

There was no excuse – none, except intellectual vanity – for the university to persist in its course. And Father Jenkins compounded a bad original decision with evasive and disingenuous explanations to subsequently justify it.

These are hard words, but they’re deserved precisely because of Father Jenkins’ own remarks on May 17: Until now, American Catholics have indeed had “a special expectation, a special hope for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world.” For many faithful Catholics – and not just a “small but vocal group” described with such inexcusable disdain and ignorance in journals like Time magazine — that changed Sunday.

The May 17 events do have some fitting irony, though. Almost exactly 25 years ago, Notre Dame provided the forum for Gov. Mario Cuomo to outline the “Catholic” case for “pro-choice” public service. At the time, Cuomo’s speech was hailed in the media as a masterpiece of American Catholic legal and moral reasoning. In retrospect, it’s clearly adroit. It’s also, just as clearly, an illogical and intellectually shabby exercise in the manufacture of excuses. Father Jenkins’ explanations, and President Obama’s honorary degree, are a fitting national bookend to a quarter century of softening Catholic witness in Catholic higher education. Together, they’ve given the next generation of Catholic leadership all the excuses they need to baptize their personal conveniences and ignore what it really demands to be “Catholic” in the public square.

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George has suggested that Notre Dame “didn’t understand” what it means to be Catholic before these events began. He’s correct, and Notre Dame is hardly alone in its institutional confusion. That’s the heart of the matter. Notre Dame’s leadership has done a real disservice to the Church, and now seeks to ride out the criticism by treating it as an expression of fringe anger. But the damage remains, and Notre Dame’s critics are right. The most vital thing faithful Catholics can do now is to insist – by their words, actions and financial support – that institutions claiming to be “Catholic” actually live the faith with courage and consistency. If that happens, Notre Dame’s failure may yet do some unintended good. 

Bishop Finn of Kansas City, MO: President Obama’s position on abortion is irreconcilable with Catholic Church

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Bishop Finn of Kansas City, MO

KANSAS CITY, Missouri, MAY 22, 2009 – 

Although University of Notre Dame president, Fr. Jenkins, spoke hopefully about dialogue, President Barack Obama threw that desire “back in his face,” according to Bishop Robert Finn.

The Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph affirmed this Monday in an interview with the diocesan newspaper regarding the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Obama at last Sunday’s commencement ceremony.

To date, 83 prelates have publicly denounced the decision as going against 2004 guidelines set by the U.S. bishops’ conference for Catholic institutions of higher education, which state that schools should not bestow honors on individuals who “act in defiance” of the Church’s fundamental teachings.

We cannot give up working with the administration, Bishop Finn said, but “we’re fighting for our lives — literally.”

He continued: “We are attempting to protect real unborn children by the thousands. We’re fighting for the right to exercise a rightly formed conscientious difference with public policy.” 

“We shouldn’t underestimate the danger of dragging our feet in this effort, or taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. If we are not ready to make a frontal attack on the protection of conscience rights, the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, and the primacy of authentic marriage, we will lose in these areas.”  He added, “If we sit back and allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of peace and cooperation in regards to these things, then we will lose these battles and, later, wonder why.”

 The prelate commented on the commencement speech by the university president, Father John Jenkins, who employed a series of “very hard words,” such as “division, pride, contempt, demonize, anger, distort, hateful, condemn, hostility.”

 These words, he said, might be understood as a “caricature” of the bishops who spoke out against the invitation.

Bishop Finn noted that Father Jenkins’ address focused on encouraging dialogue, and to this end, it referenced Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II’s “Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” and the Second Vatican Council.

The prelate affirmed, “Dialogue is important, but the question is fairly raised, ‘May we negotiate about things that are intrinsic evils?’ and I think the answer is no.”He continued: “The bishops realize the very destructive decisions that President Obama promised to make concerning the life issues, and now has been making in connection with abortion and human embryonic stem cell research. This is serious business; it is about life and death.”

The bishop explained that the scandal of Notre Dame’s decision arises from its “potential of confusing people concerning the Catholic teaching against abortion, and on the priority of abortion among other issues of public policy.”

He noted that in the commencement address, Obama “said that the differences that we have on abortion — namely the Catholic Church’s staunch opposition to abortion and his staunch support of abortion were ‘irreconcilable.'”

 “And at that moment,” the prelate stated, “it would seem to me that the dialogue came to a screeching halt.”

“Father Jenkins’ expressed desire for dialogue, whether it was well-founded or justified, at that point got thrown back in his face,” he added.

 Bishop Finn explained: “The president shut the door on dialogue by saying that there was not going to be any change in his position on abortion and he understood that there was not going to be any change in the Church’s position on abortion.

“To me, that was the lesson of the day. I am glad that Mr. Obama was so clear.”

Although some may have seen it as a positive step that Obama spoke about “reducing unintended pregnancies,” the bishop said, “I fear” this will be through the “promotion of Planned Parenthood and contraceptive services.”

He noted the president’s support for the Prevention First Act, which is “not about abstinence education” but rather about “promoting contraception and giving Planned Parenthood a huge blank check.”

“If Catholics don’t see a problem with this,” said Bishop Finn, “then I don’t think they understand the threat it represents to the meaning of marriage, to fidelity, to chastity, to the very sanctity of human life and intimate love.”


Novena in Preparation for the Feast of Pentecost

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Tomorrow, Friday, May 22 through Saturday, May 30, the Church keeps the Novena in Preparation for the Feast of Pentecost.  The prayer we will be reciting after every Mass is listed below, and should be prayed at home by those not assisting at the daily Mass.

Please note:  There are a number of other (longer) Pentecost Novenas which can be found on the internet.  This prayer is only one of the shorter versions we have been using at Salem:





O Lord Jesus Christ Who before ascending into heaven did prom-ise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your apostles and disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that op-pose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God, and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread to displease Him in any way. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Traditional Ascension Thursday

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Altar of the Ascension, Basilica of the Rosary, Lourdes

Altar of the Ascension, Basilica of the Rosary, Lourdes



So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God (St. Mark 16:19).

This final stage stays closely linked to the first, that is, to his descent from heaven in the Incarnation. Only the one who ‘came from the Father’ can return to the Father: Christ Jesus (CCC, 661).

The Mass this evening at 7:00pm at St. Mary’s, Salem will be the Mass of the Ascension in the Extraordinary Form.

Thou art a priest for ever…

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

James K. Seiwert was ordained a priest by Archbishop Jose Gomez in San Antonio, Texas at the Cathedral of San Fernando.  Father Seiwert, a friend of the pastor and known to many parishioners of St. Mary of Salem, will offer our 10:00 am Mass on Sunday, May 24 (Fr. Seiwert’s third Mass of Thanksgiving).   Please pray for Father Seiwert as he begins his priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas.  Please pray that God will bless our diocese will many vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.

Newly-ordained Father Seiwert with Archbishop Gomez

Newly-ordained Father Seiwert with Archbishop Gomez


Newly-ordained Father Seiwert with the Priest of Salem in San Fernando Cathedral

Newly-ordained Father Seiwert with the Priest of Salem in San Fernando Cathedral


Father Seiwert during his First Mass of Thanksgiving on May 3 in San Antonio

Father Seiwert during his First Mass of Thanksgiving on May 3 in San Antonio

Congratulations, McCook Central High School Class of 2009

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

On Sunday, May 10, we honored our young parishioners who are members of the McCook Central High School Class of 2009.  Following the Mass, we had our parish May Crowning and a wonderful breakfast, sponsored by the Altar Society, in the Parish Hall.  Commencement Exercises at McCook Central High School were conducted on Saturday afternoon, May 16.

Top row, left to right: Benjamin Scheier, Nick Olinger, Beau McGregor, Darin Koch, Morgan Kirby, Brittany Hansen and Brittany Scheier.  Bottom row, left to right: Fr. Lawrence (class of 1983), Zach Hansen, Cassi Deters, Cassie Sabers, Christina Weber, Angela Hanson and Katie Lauck.  Not shown: Mel Heiberger and Danielle Johnson

2009 High School Graduates from St. Mary's Parish, Salem

2009 High School Graduates from St. Mary's Parish, Salem