Friday, November 04, 2005

Not too bad...

The new website of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Of course, the tabloid blogs are busy trying to find everything that they can possibly find wrong, but that's the type of behavior I would expect. There is room for improvement here, and I do see that there is an awful lot of content to navigate through at the new site, but the presentation seems tasteful and appealing. I'll decide how intuitive it is as I use it over the next few months. Nonetheless, I can say that this is an improvement over previous website incarnations.

I offer my judgments based on my personal experience of working with the website. When I interned at the downtown chancery office a few years ago (which was an experience I enjoyed immensely), I contributed some work to one of the previous website incarnations as well as the first website for the Los Angeles Cathedral. But things get better with time :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Rosa Parks, RIP

Rosa Parks, interviewed by Howell Raines for the book My Soul is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered (1977):
I had left my work at the men's alteration shop, a tailor shop in the Montgomery Fair department store, and as I left work, I crossed the street to a drugstore to pick up a few items instead of trying to go directly to the bus stop. And when I had finished this, I came across the street and looked for a Cleveland Avenue bus that apparently had some seats on it. At that time it was a little hard to get a seat on the bus. But when I did get to the entrance of the bus, I got in line with a number of other people who were getting on the same bus.

As I got up on the bus and walked to the seat I saw there was only one vacancy that was just back of where it was considered the white section. So this was the seat that I took, next to the aisle, and a man was sitting next to me. Across the aisle there were two women, and there were a few seats at this point in the very front of the bus that was called the white section. I went on to one stop and I didn't particularly notice who was getting on the bus, didn't particularly notice the other people getting on. And on the third stop there were some people getting on, and at this point all of the front seats were taken. Now in the beginning, at the very first stop I had got on the bus, the back of the bus was filled up with people standing in the aisle and I don't know why this one vacancy that I took was left, because there were quite a few people already standing toward the back of the bus. The third stop is when all the front seats were taken, and this one man was standing and when the driver looked around and saw he was standing, he asked the four of us, the man in the seat with me and the two women across the aisle, to let him have those front seats.

At his first request, didn't any of us move. Then he spoke again and said, "You'd better make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats." At this point, of course, the passenger who would have taken the seat hadn't said anything. In fact, he never did speak to my knowledge. When the three people, the man who was in the seat with me and the two women, stood up and moved into the aisle, I remained where I was. When the driver saw that I was still sitting there, he asked if I was going to stand up. I told him, no, I wasn't. He said, "Well, if you don't stand up, I'm going to have you arrested." I told him to go on and have me arrested.

He got off the bus and came back shortly. A few minutes later, two policemen got on the bus, and they approached me and asked if the driver had asked me to stand up, and I said yes, and they wanted to know why I didn't. I told them I didn't think I should have to stand up.... They placed me under arrest then and had me to get in the police car, and I was taken to jail.
If you're ever in Montgomery, AL, pay a visit to the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, located very close to where this historical event occurred.

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Holy Eucharist

by: Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600-1681)

HONEY in the lion's mouth,
Emblem mystical, divine,
How the sweet and strong combine;
Cloven rock for Israel's drouth;
Treasure-house of golden grain
By our Joseph laid in store,
In his brethren's famine sore
Freely to dispense again;
Dew on Gideon's snowy fleece;
Well, from bitter turned to sweet;
Shew-bread laid in order meet,
Bread whose cost doth ne'er increase,
Though no rain in April fall;
Horeb's manna freely given
Showered in white dew from heaven,
Marvelous, angelical;
Weightiest bunch of Canaan's vine;
Cake to strengthen and sustain
Through long days of desert pain;
Salem's monarch's bread and wine;--
Thou the antidote shalt be
Of my sickness and my sin,
Consolation, medicine,
Life and Sacrament to me.
More on Prop 73

Just over a week until the California special election.

Valerie Schmalz on Protect Our Daughters: Support Proposition 73:
Harlon Reeves didn't learn his 13-year-old daughter had received two coerced abortions -- or that she had been repeatedly raped by her mother's live-in boyfriend -- until Texas child protective services notified him.

This is a situation that is not confined to Texas - as a series of call-in radio interviews in California this fall show, parents whose daughters are coerced into abortions are appalled, saddened and helpless.

In the Reeves family case in Texas, the abortion clinic had contacted the state with its suspicions after performing the second abortion on the developmentally delayed young girl, who was brought to the clinic by her molester.

Reeves' story spurred passage of Texas's parental notification law in 1999, and the girl's rapist was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Reeves' daughter is now in her 20s, but Reeves, who has another young daughter, has lent his name to a friend-of-the-court brief filed by Liberty Legal Institute in support of a New Hampshire case, Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of New England, to be heard by the US Supreme Court November 30.

"It's one of those things where if just one parent would have been notified, all of this would have been exposed," said Jonathan Saenz, one of the Liberty Legal attorneys representing Reeves. "You would think if a little girl, who's 13 years old, comes in to have an abortion, something is going on. These child predators are taking advantage of a system that is broken. It is a real assault on parental rights; it's a real assault on young children."
Apparently this is what Planned Parenthood calls the emancipation of women. I, for one, intend to hold Planned Parenthood accountable.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A Year of Prayer for Priestly Vocations

From Cardinal Mahony:
The end of October brings to a close the special Year of the Eucharist proclaimed in 2004 by our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. During this Year we have focused more deeply upon the great mystery of the Eucharist, and how our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ flow to, and flow from, the Eucharist. The Catholic Church is rightfully known as the Eucharistic Church since the Eucharist is the center, font, and source of our life in Christ. Essential to the regular celebration of the Eucharist are ordained priests...

I am establishing a special Year of Prayer for Priestly Vocations beginning November 1, 2005 and continuing through October 31, 2006, and I invite all of the Catholics of the Archdiocese to join in fervent prayer that Jesus Christ will call more and more men to serve the Church as priests, and that they will respond generously to that call.
Also add to this prayer a petition for nurturing environments and for families and friends to encourage discernment of this vocation, since I know many families around here who seem to be opposed to their sons investigating priesthood and religious life.


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