Sunday, November 15, 2020
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
I do vote regularly and I vote based on the issues, on a candidate’s observable moral character and values, on what a candidate and his/her party's platform actually stands for, on a candidate’s record of service and past voting on issues, etc. This sometimes makes voting very difficult, considering most candidates without a major party affiliation probably do not have the money or political clout necessary to run a campaign that is actually able to win. Is choosing the lesser of two evils—a position in which we may find ourselves all too often—ever the optimal moral position to be in? However, in this 2020 election, the battle lines seem eminently clear to me.
- Enough with the negative campaigning and political mudslinging! If you are going to run a political ad, tell me what you are going to do, not how bad your opponent is! I suppose that negative campaigns must produce a greater result, or they would not be used by so many. But I am truly sick of them! My hope is that there will be a backlash against those proponents of the negative campaigns and that your efforts will backfire.
- Stop lying to the people! Personally, I do not want continually to be told what you are going to do simply to pacify me or to get my vote. If I do not see results or I see broken promises time and again, you simply will not get my vote again. Period. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!
- If you are elected to public office, do your jobs! We have a political system that was intended to have a check and balance system. Deliver me from a plethora of executive orders, from activist judges, from a congress that does not do what it is actually elected to do—continually stuck in political gridlock from partisan loyalties rather than the good of the constituents. Deliver me from all abuses of political power, in whatever form they may appear!
- If you do not vote or fail to become informed on the issues, you have no one to blame but yourself! I hope and pray that when they interview people on various TV shows, the people are not as ignorant about social and political matters as they make them out to be. If they really are, God help our country!
- Dear news media: please report the news and not continually slant it to meet your own political objectives! Is there such a thing as objective journalism anymore? Does everything have to be seen through a political pundit’s eyes? We are intelligent enough to make good decisions if the facts are actually presented and propaganda is not spewed forth continually.
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
"So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones [saints] and members of the household of God. . . ." (Eph. 2:19)
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Throughout history, politics and religion have started wars. Therefore, I generally tend to avoid certain subjects that evoke strong feelings, especially when I am trying to have a peaceful meal, or when I am in mixed company (and I am not sure of one’s religious background or political leanings). I attempt to keep matters civil and usually have a live and let live attitude toward issues that I see as non-essential or less-important.
Regarding politics, currently we are preparing for another presidential election and I think that many, if not most, people have already made up their minds concerning how they will vote. What I particularly worry about are those who are not informed of the issues (and their various implications) and people who base their decisions on reasons such as a candidate’s likeability or popularity instead of more substantive reasons. What also intrigues me is those who will vote for a particular candidate solely because of party affiliation. (I once again state emphatically that I have never sold my soul to any particular political party and I base my vote on the substantive issues, while considering a candidate’s moral character, belief system, voting record, etc.)
Certain issues should be of utmost importance for Catholics (and, in fact, for all people with faith in God as creator). Where does a candidate’s party stand on abortion, euthanasia (assisted suicide), traditional marriage, freedom of worship, socialism/Marxism, parent’s rights regarding the education of their children, etc.? How one values every human life from conception onward should never be minimized or made equivalent to some lesser issue.
A candidate’s honesty and integrity need scrutiny. Will the candidate’s political positions reflect the biblical values and principles that have guided civilization from its earliest days? What does the person’s past track record tell us about future decision making? Is political correctness more important than moral truth?
Regarding religion, I believe that my Catholic faith should guide how I do all things in life. A properly formed conscience should assist me in my decision making. This means that my faith, properly articulated and understood, needs to guide and inform my vote.
We have seen biblical examples of those who have stood up to kings and rulers on principle—being anything but politically correct—and were not afraid to speak the truth regardless of personal consequence. Notable is St. John the Baptist who objected to King Herod’s choice of wife and was ultimately beheaded because of his unwavering stance (see Mk. 6: 14-29). Our parish patron, St. Thomas More, was also beheaded for standing up to King Henry VIII on principle.
America’s future is going to be shaped by those we choose to represent us in public office—especially the office of President. I suggest that we become informed of the issues, learn about the candidates from their own words and current/past actions (and not just what the PC media wants us to hear about them.) Read the democratic and republican party platforms. They are very revealing.
What worries me is that my singular vote, which I intend to take the time to make prayerfully and intelligently, can be nullified by someone else’s uninformed vote or by a vote that is motivated by a less-than-altruistic political or social agenda.
Monday, October 12, 2020
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Many of the onlookers were terrified that the sun would crash down upon them. Then, as the sun returned to normal, each person in the crowd realized that they were completely dry despite being soaked from the rain just minutes before.
While the “Miracle of the Sun” was seen and experienced by so many, the miracle more importantly is certainly meant to draw attention to the message: prayer (especially the Holy Rosary), penance and conversion. It seems that Our Lady, as a most-loving spiritual mother of us all, tries to warn us and to lead humanity back to her Son, Jesus.
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
After showing us an example of her unselfish love by helping her relative Elizabeth who was also with child (Visitation), she gave birth miraculously to Our Lord in the humble surroundings of
These mysteries of our faith (as well as many others) are found in the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary--meditations which are meant to have us reflect on some of most important aspects of our faith. Together with wearing the Brown Scapular (of
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
The religious education of our children is a very important concern of mine. With Catechetical Sunday upon us (September 20, 2020), I think it is good to reflect on the faith of our children and young adults.
What is frustrating to religious education teachers, to priests and to others involved with the religious education of youth is the “disconnect” often present when it comes to formal religious instruction and to living out the faith on a daily basis. Too often, in so many of my former parishes, students were dropped off for class but were not present in church for Mass on a regular weekly basis. Let’s face facts. We inevitably do not see anywhere near the same number of children at Mass as we may see registered for and coming to religious education classes. Their absence is even more apparent during times like summer vacation and especially now during this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
What do we do? An hour or two of religious education each week for several months each year is not and has never been an adequate solution. The Church has said continually that parents are the first educators of their children when it comes to religious faith and practice. When we bring a new life into the world we realize that we have to feed, clothe, and educate our children. We want the best for them if we love them. Hopefully we realize that we are also responsible for an immortal soul and the eternal salvation of a person as well. We cannot leave this responsibility to chance in an often amoral--if not immoral--world.
Do I teach my children to pray and pray with them at various times daily? Do I read Bible stories to them or teach them what Jesus said and did? Do I take them to confession and show them (by my own example) that the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is important? Outside of these extenuating circumstances, do I normally take them to Mass weekly? Do my children understand that Jesus is truly present in the Most Holy Eucharist?
What has been said for students in religious education programs is also true for our students who attend a Catholic school. There must be a connection with the local parish, with weekly Mass attendance and with the everyday living out of the Catholic faith.
I have been a priest long enough (over three decades) to see the rapid decline of those who actively participate in the faith life of their parish. (I also understand there may be multiple reasons for this.) Unfortunately, however, each subsequent generation seems to know less and less about even some of the essential teachings of the Catholic faith. This should be troubling for all believers.
I always welcome your ideas and suggestions concerning how we can continue to close this gap and have our young people more active and involved in the life of the Church.
Fr. Ed Namiotka
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Monday, August 24, 2020
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Years ago, I was informed and educated about ad hominem attacks in class during my college seminary days. In such an attack, the person himself or herself would be ridiculed or demoralized, instead of focusing on the person’s position or argument. The issue would get pushed aside in favor of trashing the person.
Let me tell you I love a good debate. I can also become extremely passionate about my point of view. However, what is happening too often today is a shutting out of opinions (and even sometimes hiding or distorting facts) with which a person or group of people may disagree. It happens on social media frequently. Sometimes a person may be defriended or doxed as a result of a controversial or politically unpopular point of view. A “cancel culture” has resurfaced in our society where, according to the New York Post we find “the phenomenon of promoting the ‘canceling’ of people, brands and even shows and movies due to what some consider to be offensive or problematic remarks or ideologies.”
Unfortunately, people can sometimes be unwilling to listen to each other and to hear each other’s opinions or thoughts. In general, people deserve a hearing. Everyone needs some time and attention at some point. In doing so, however, we should be respectful of appropriate times, places and topics of conversation. Sadly, I have found some people also may have hidden agendas, ulterior motives or even sinister intentions.
While I may disagree with another person or persons, I do believe people generally have a right to be heard. Wanting people to be completely silenced, censored or cancelled is as dangerous as letting free speech go unchecked, go unchallenged or to morph into violence and looting. In the entire process, there needs to be some checks and balances. We need both mutual respect and law and order in a civilized society.
Obviously, God gave us two qualities that have us resemble Him: intelligence and free will. We can think and reflect or we can rush to judgment. We can react and confront immediately or we can walk away. We can choose to listen or can turn someone off. How we act or react will always be our choice. No matter the choice, it needs to be done civilly and respectfully.
With the election season upon us once again, sadly I suspect that there will be more polarization within our society. Ad hominem attacks will come out. Some people will shout others down. Protests of some sort will inevitably occur. Some may stir up civil unrest. I cannot wait! . . . Not!
May I suggest that we all take a good look at traditional Church teaching, party platforms, a candidate’s past performance (usually a good indicator of future possibilities) and remain civil towards one another.
Here is something else to consider:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. (Mt. 5: 43-45)
Fr. Ed Namiotka
Monday, August 17, 2020
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
As I began a new calendar year annually, I customarily entrusted and consecrated my parish family (wherever I have been pastor) to the care of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Rather than waiting until the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on New Year’s Day, I have decided to make this consecration on the evening of August 15th (the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary). I give this parish and all of you, its parishioners, over to the loving care of the Mother of God. I can think of no better way to begin my time as pastor here.
In addition, the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, now in the sanctuary, will be officially blessed. My sincere thanks to all who made this statue possible.
Why not take the time to entrust your individual families to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s maternal care as well? Parents, you can (and should) pray for your children and families at home daily. Here is a prayer of consecration to help:
of Consecration of the Familyto the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Oh, Mother Most Pure, we come to You as a family and consecrate ourselves to your most Immaculate Heart.
We come to You as a family and place our trust in Your powerful intercession.
Oh, Dearest Mother Mary, teach us as a mother teaches her children, for our souls are soiled and our prayers are weak because of our sinful hearts.
Here we are Dearest Mother, ready to respond to You and follow Your way, for Your way leads us to the heart of Your Son, Jesus.
We are ready to be cleansed and purified.
Come then Virgin Most Pure, and embrace us with Your motherly mantle.
Make our hearts whiter than snow and as pure as a spring of fresh water.
Teach us to pray, so that our prayers may become more beautiful than the singing of the birds at the break of dawn.
Dear Mother Mary, we entrust to Your Immaculate Heart of hearts, our family and our entire future.
Lead us all to our
homeland which is Heaven.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
My Masses and prayers are continually offered for your spiritual well-being. Please remember me as well so that I have the graces necessary to live up to my responsibility as your pastor.