Monthly Archives: October 2009

Time out at Wheeling Jesuit

Wheeling Jesuit U. can’t find enough candidates for the president’s job and is regrouping.

“They need time,” said a spokeswoman.

The search committee had its first meeting Aug. 31 (to replace Rev. Julio Giulietti SJ, who’d been fired Aug. 5 after two years on the job). 

The board chairman, William Fisher, had predicted finding someone by Jan. 1.  They began with 35 applicants, none of them Jesuit, chose seven for interviews, picked two of these to visit campus and meet staff and students.

Not enough, said the spokeswoman.  “They want to re-evaluate their next step.”

“The process . . . takes time,” said Fisher, who works for the bishop of Wheeling as financial officer.  “We want to . . . do this right.” 

They are halting the search, apparently surprised at how hard it is.  “The difficulties hiring somebody at that level are enormous,” said the spokeswoman. 

It’s an investment

The news from New Jersey:

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine (D) has personally furnished $22.6 million of the total of $24.1 million existing in his re-election campaign’s coffers — more than 90% of the total — according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

Which is what I call putting your mouth where your money is.

(HT: Instapundit)

Ascension Democrats in Oak Park

Oak Parker Susan Jordan describes “a bizarre round of communications” after she discovered that Democrat Party operatives were behind a health care forum at Ascension Catholic Church.

She called the Archdiocesan Respect Life Office to make sure she had church policy right as regards “issue advocacy” on church property, then called the Ascension parishioner friend, Kathleen Masters, who had alerted her to the event, set for Sept. 20.  Jordan is a member of another Oak Park parish, St. Edmund.  She had been interested and had perused the flyer and found that its co-sponsors included Obama’s Organizing for America and the Democratic Party of Oak Park.

She thought it was a mistake, since the forum was set for the all-purpose, much-used and in-demand Pine Room at Ascension.  That’s when the “bizarre round” began, a two-week process.

She told Masters what the Respect Life office had told her.  Masters told her pastor, Fr. Larry McNally, who agreed it had to be a mistake.  The event had to be non-partisan, he said.  The mistake would be corrected.

But it wasn’t.  A revised version of the flyer had the same sponsors, a week before the event.  New flyers were produced not quite two days before the event — “sanitized,” said Jordan, who

later learned that the Democratic Party of Oak Park had paid for nearly 1,000 fliers (clearly stating the political co-sponsorship) that were widely distributed throughout Oak Park in the weeks prior to the event.

And the panel was stacked:

The panel of doctors included Dr. David Scheiner, touted as “President Obama’s personal physician for 21 years.”  . . . . Each of the four panelists promoted only . . . single payer/universal healthcare. This was . . . a political rally masquerading as a parish forum.

Discussion was controlled:

Attendees were required to write questions on cards and present them to volunteers for submission to the moderator; absolutely no direct questions or comments from the audience.

A question about taxpayer funding of abortion provoked the forum’s “most glaring moment.”

Dr. Scheiner responded that “abortion is an issue that has been debated for decades; it really should not be part of the conversation on healthcare reform.”

His answer was greeted with “enthusiastic applause.”  The pastor, Fr. McNally, said nothing.  Neither did Rev. Richard Hynes, Director of the archdiocesan Department of Evangelization, Catechesis, and Worship, say anything.

(McNally made a similar statement from the pulpit during the 2004 presidential election, also eliciting applause, during mass.)

Jordan “sat in amazement.”

[T]he round of communications in the weeks prior to the event included a promise by Father McNally to the Archdiocesan Respect Life Office that he would “clearly address the pro-life issues in his opening remarks.”

He didn’t, she said, instead mentioning the bishops’ policy on health care and saying copies were available at the back of the hall.

Abortion was a no-go zone, but panel members

frequently mentioned the number of deaths attributed to the lack of health insurance, as reported by a recent study in the American Journal of Public Health by Harvard researchers. That number is estimated at 45,000 deaths per year-or . . . “an unnecessary death . . . every 12 minutes.”

Jordan comments:

Contrast that figure with the estimated 1,200,000 unnecessary deaths that occur every year from abortion: over 3,515 per day, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

She heard she had been fingered by McNally:

On the day of the event, I received an e-mail [from an ally, a mole?] informing me that the Chancery had received a communication from Father McNally indicating his concern that I was “behind an effort to be disruptive to Ascension’s planned talk … relating to healthcare reform … one of Cardinal George’s Cabinet members has even been told to attend the event as a mediator.”

She assumed the mediator was Fr. Hynes, the evangelization director, and not the armed cop who was also present, but Hynes remained silent.

Overhearing talk of hate mail sent to Fr. McNally, she ran over what she had said in the previous weeks.

I had said I would invite “every pro-life doctor I knew” to the forum: again, with the (false) expectation that this would be a true forum — welcoming a range of viewpoints.

Several did come.  Dr. Christopher Clardy walked out after the first five minutes; he called her later to say “what a waste of time” it was, “a political rally on church property!” 

Dr. George Dietz was there, wearing a pro-life button.  His written question for the panel was refused. 

And Dr. Robert Dolehide was there with his wife Eileen, who asked about putting pro-life materials on the table at the back of the parish hall. She was told to “get [her] own table.”

Fr. McNally had an entirely different view of the whole business.  He told Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest he was pleased with the forum and “would do it over again.” 

“I thought it was very fair. I didn’t feel we were promoting anything other than answering questions from folks.  I thought it was very good.  I really did.  I thought, boy, this turned out to be terrific.  It was just an emotional two hours.  It was a very positive experience.” 

Moreover, he said he “was already in the process of removing the political groups as sponsors before the archdiocese got involved” and blamed Jordan’s parish for interfering:

“If St. Edmund’s would have kindly called me, I would have told them that, instead of running downtown, which really annoyed me,” McNally said. “It was all taken care of behind the scenes. I just wish their pro-life committee would have just called me. I would have said that we’re fixing that. I’m really just frustrated she didn’t call me because I would have told her that, you know, things were being corrected.”

Catholics and ACORN in Chicago

Can’t we Catholics all get along?  Or get things straight? 

In the October 23, 2009 issue of the Catholic New World, there is an article entitled: “Local CCHD [Catholic Campaign for Human Development] effort address concerns over ACORN,” a statement was made that the leaders of Catholic Citizens of Illinois have said they will not boycott the campaign this year. This is not true.

Catholic Citizens is a conservative group.  The New World is published by the archdiocese, giver of money to ACORN, the heavily besmirched organization of community organizations on the Alinsky model.  Cath Citizens have opposed this giving, having hosted and heard out the man from the Capital Research Center, which keeps track of who gives what to whom.

Capital Research Center analyzes organizations that promote the growth of government and identifies viable private alternatives to government regulatory and entitlement programs.

Cath Citizens also pay attention to what’s found by Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, “a Catholic grass-roots organizing ministry dedicated to truth and action” that foreswears creation of “faceless political power and revolution,” arguing that “all true power comes from God alone.”  They seek instead “to instill the fearless hope that comes from walking in light and truth.”

I spell this out, or let them do so, because it emphasizes the central, in my view, critique of Alinskyism, with its embracing of the power principle and its making success depend on the enemy’s reaction. 

Monsignor Robert Fox in Harlem in the 60s also rejected the social ju-jitsu that Alinsky promoted (and sold to assorted Catholic prelates), instead urging parishioners to take back mean streets with candle-light processions.  (I wrote about it for my employer, Ave Maria Magazine, in 1968.)  “The people, yes” was his implied motto, but as people assert their freedom, not as they force others to comply.

At issue now is whether Catholic Citizens will boycott the Catholic Campaign, as it did last year, over issues related to ACORN.  The local campaign director, Rey [sic] Flores, says they will not, according to the New World.

Wrong-o, says Cath Citizens head woman Mary Anne Hackett: “This is not true.”

Meeting with Flores and the archdiocese’s head man for Peace and Justice, Hackett and three Cath Citizens board members (she and two others? not clear)

reiterated [their] position that the name of the CCHD had been irreparably damaged by recent revelations of donations to ACORN, [its] community organizing which in some cases had involved pro-abortion groups, and [its involvement in] voter fraud in over 12 states and that we are unable to support it [CCHD] as it presently operates.

They would cooperate, but “No promise [of support] was made by the members of Catholic Citizens who were present at the meeting.”

Oops.  Back to the drawing board for Rey Flores and — who knows? — the New World too.  At least the latter has to do something — run a skinback or stand its ground one way or another. 

The writer may have been (inadvertently) misled by Flores, but it’s important that she and her newspaper get this straight — online right now and in a week or so when their next hard copy comes out.

Wheeling Jesuit alum raises the NASA issue

A Wheeling Jesuit U. alum has posted an open letter to the Towson MD-based Maryland provincial, Rev. James Shea, SJ, complaining about “the myopic arrogance of the oligarchy temporarily occupying the president’s office and permanently occupying the dual boards” of the university.

Their arrogance “has caused these scandals to explode throughout the blogosphere, newspapers, television, and talk-radio,” says Michael J. Fahy. “WJU’s public image created by the current regime, on a scale of 1 to 10, has been zero.”

He cites three issues, asking Fr. Shea to:

Remove the accused homosexual predator [trustee Rev. Thomas Gleeson, SJ] . . . . Reinstate the president [the ousted Rev. Julio Giulietti SJ] . . . . Restore accountability to the NASA program by requiring full disclosure of [interim President] Davitt McAteer’s oversight of the NASA debacle.

The third issue has been largely in the background since Giulietti was removed from office Aug. 6, but was a looming presence nonetheless, as noted in a lengthy Inside Higher Education report of Sept 8.

When Father Giulietti was fired, it was reasonable for outsiders to assume that a critical report from NASA on the university’s administration of federal funds might have had something to do with it.

The report, issued August 3,

suggested that NASA grant officers had failed to recognize the university’s double billing and other accounting errors on the order of $4 million.

Fahy smells a rat in the timing:

Immediately preceding the initial board action against Julio Giulietti, NASA issued an audit report highly critical of WJU. That timing cannot be dismissed as merely coincidental!

He apparently wants to say that the firing was timed to follow the NASA report, rather than the other way around, though his letter is

 murky on the point — in which case the Sept. 8 Inside Higher Ed piece makes or implies the same point.

[I]f the trustees who ousted Father Gulietti [sic] were upset about the NASA report, their selection of McAteer as acting president is puzzling. As university vice president, McAteer had oversight of the NASA projects, according to board members.

A month earlier Inside Higher Ed quoted from the report:

An audit by NASA’s inspector general has found that the U.S. space agency “inappropriately approved, obligated, and partially expended” more than $4-million in costs incurred at Wheeling Jesuit University, in West Virginia. As a result of the audit, the agency has agreed to renegotiate the rates it pays Wheeling Jesuit to run a center for encouraging the transfer of technologies between NASA and private industry.

Fahy wants “full disclosure of Davitt McAteer’s oversight of the NASA debacle.”

Hope sprang yesterday

Yesterday was bad-news day at Chi Trib, as noted.  But it was good-news day in pulpits throughout the world, wherever the so-called common lectionary is followed.  Link is to RC bishops’ site.  Vanderbilt Divinity Library has it too, if organized less for worship than for study.

It was definitely feel-good time in Christian churches — at least in those who did not veer off into discussions of health care and the like.

The often dreadful and dread-inspiring Jeremiah quotes the Lord:

Shout with joy for Jacob,
exult at the head of the nations;
proclaim your praise and say:
The LORD has delivered his people,
the remnant of Israel.

. . . .

They departed in tears,
but I will console them and guide them;
I will lead them to brooks of water,
on a level road, so that none shall stumble.

As one who has stumbled badly — down stairs, on sidewalk, off bicycle — I respond to that with some gratification.

“The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy” is the repeated theme of the “responsorial Psalm,” with memorable phrases such as:

Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.

And

Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.

Ah that carrying sheaves — bundles of newly reaped grain — as in the old Protestant hymn:

Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

With then, of course, the titular refrain:

Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves,

Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves

And in the letter to Hebrews, a kind word for the priest, “himself beset by weakness,” as we have become painfully aware in recent years:

He is able to deal patiently with the ignorant and erring,
for he himself is beset by weakness
and so, for this reason, must make sin offerings for himself
as well as for the people.

Finally, Mark’s account of the miracle worker at work:

Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”

Shut up, they told him, but he kept yelling, “”Son of David, have pity on me.”

“Call him,” Jesus told them.  He jumped up and came up.  “I want to see,” he said.

Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.

Well, we’d all like to see things clearly, I’d say, if only to clear up the question on the minds of us all, “What the hell is going on here?”

The whole business is a case of hope we can believe in.

Don’t slam the door, leave the lights on

Sun-Times front-pager, dominating it, is about former heavyweight champ Ernie Terrell bailing out of Roseland.

“You can’t live here and be safe anymore,” Terrell said. “Me and my wife, I guess we gotta get outta here.”

Terrell:

Ernie Terrell

Case of black flight succeeding the much more publicized white variety of 40 years ago.  Leave it to the writer, who in his lede says:

Do you know who lives on this block? Ernie Terrell. The heavyweight champion. Right there in that bungalow.

That’s the pitch a Roseland Realtor would give house hunters checking out the 11100 block of Parnell in the early ’70s — back when white people couldn’t flee to the suburbs fast enough. [italics added]

White people fleeing, we know about that, having heard it often enough.  But blacks were moving into Roseland then, en masse

The Terrells

were the first black family on the block. In just a few years, the entire neighborhood went from an enclave of Dutch and Italian families to 99 percent black folks.

Whites flee, blacks “move in.”  Whoa.  Blacks were fleeing too, as Terrell is fleeing now.  Thus it has ever been.

How newspapers do so well

Opened my Chi Trib on this Sunday morning, feast of Christ the King, being the last Sunday in October (apparently no more: bishops’s site calls it only “Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time in ordinary time,” making it prosaic as all get-out), and found another sad, sad story about people for whom THINGS ARE NOT WORKING OUT. 

Trib offers such on a regular basis and has been doing so for a long time.  Editors have a penchant for such things.  Their idea of a grabber headline is a sad, sad story.  Why is this?

A safe home. A good job. Stability for their children after years on the run from death threats and the mayhem of war — that is what the Iraqi refugees envisioned when told they were coming to America.

Instead, one family is assigned an apartment on Chicago’s North Side so full of cockroaches and filth they couldn’t stay the night.

A veterinarian from southern Iraq relies on relatives in Karbala to pay his rent in Chicago, upending the traditional immigrant experience.

An Iraqi mother of three, unable to pay her rent with her husband still in the Middle East, finds little help warding off the predatory advances of male acquaintances offering assistance.

Iraqi mother of three:

Iraqi mother

Stop, stop, enough already!  On to the sports page!  Those who enjoy beating themselves up, keep reading!

Later:

Reader D: Take heart, JB — the Feast of Christ the King will be celebrated Nov. 22, 2009. Apparently something was revised in 1969 and the last Sunday in October is not the feast day any more. Gershwin abides even today: “No, no, they can’t take that away from me.”

Reader B:  the iraqi story leaves me somewhat spechless.  don’t know what to make of it. so many aspects..  am sharing it with others however. –b

Ed.: If the careful reader does not know what to make of it, it’s a busted story (as a play is busted on the f-ball field).  Focus, people!

In union there is no showing the door

This fellow got a public service award from Harvard, his alma mater, and this is how he talks at that citadel of progressivism:

Extended school days and mandatory summer classes are required if the achievement gap is going to close, said [Geoffrey Canada]. Teachers need to be paid top salaries, and the ones who don’t perform need to be shown the door, he said, of the crop of “lousy” teachers who too often populate schools in urban and poor areas. In addition, school administrators and officials must be held accountable. [italics added]

In the audience was Robert Coles, famed psychiatrist and author, after whom the award and accompanying “Call of Service” lecture is named.

Canada here:

Teachers-G_ Canada_edited

How showing the door to non-performing teachers sits with the unions is an important and easily answered question.

 

 

Coming to your street

Something really scary here.

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