“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

September 15, 2009

What do you make of this unusual cloud I saw today?

Today, at about 4:45 p.m. ET, while on my daily 5-mile walk, I had just finished praying the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel at the conclusion of praying the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary. I tucked my rosary into my pocket, wiped the sweat from my brow, and I looked up to the heavens. This is what I saw in the sky above me . . .

(Taken by Patrick Madrid with an iPhone, approximately 10 seconds apart, on September 15th, Our Lady of Sorrows, at about 4:45 p.m. ET, in central Ohio.)

Is Using A Minotaur To Gore Detainees A Form Of Torture?

Perhaps some who've been defending the moral propriety of torture in the comments section of one of my
recent posts about the subject might think so. Hard to say. What do you think?

13 Things a Burglar Doesn't Want You to Know

The information for this comes from crime experts and convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky. Here’s what a burglar won’t tell you:

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love the flowers — they tell me you have taste, and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door — understandable. But I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters — don’t take me up on it.

10. I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. However, I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

12. I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. You can also buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a television.


Is Waterboarding a Sin?

That's one of the questions which came up on my "Open Line" radio show yesterday. I thought you might find interesting the 8-minute discussion about this issue that I had with the caller. I don't think he got the answer he was hoping for. What are your thoughts on this issue? (Click the picture to launch the audio.)

A New Guide to America's Faithful Catholic Colleges

New Guide Recommends Faithful Catholic Colleges

Entire Contents of Guide Available as a Free Online Resource for Catholic Families

Manassas, Va.—Today The Cardinal Newman Society published a new, second edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, a unique resource for parents and students seeking a faithful Catholic education.

This comprehensive Guide recommends 21 colleges and universities in the United States plus eight international, online and unique programs based on the strength of their Catholic identity. In addition, the Guide includes several essays to help families better understand the search for a strong Catholic college.

The culmination of four years of research and hundreds of interviews, this edition of The Newman Guide builds substantially on the successful first edition which was published on All Saints Day in 2007. All told more than 8,000 copies of that edition were distributed to Catholic leaders and families.

“When we published the original Newman Guide in 2007 we did not know what to expect, but we found that families were eagerly searching for help in identifying Catholic colleges that truly embrace their Catholic mission in all facets of campus life,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society and one of the editors of the second edition of the Guide.

“The mission of The Cardinal Newman Society is to help renew Catholic higher education, and we can think of no better way to do that than by offering this edition of The Newman Guide as a book but also as a free online resource. We are doing this so that as many Catholic families as possible are able to learn about the quality academics and faithful campus life available at the recommended colleges,” said Reilly.

Every college or program recommended in the Guide includes a complete profile that examines academics, governance, spiritual life, student activities, and residence life. New additions to this edition’s profiles are a letter to families from each college president as well as information on financial aid packages.

The online version of the college profiles include additional campus pictures and videos, open house and other event details, as well as a form to request admissions or financial aid information directly from the college.

The recommended Catholic colleges are:

§ Aquinas College, Nashville, Tenn.

§ Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, Fla.

§ Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, N.C.

§ Benedictine College, Atchison, Kan.

§ The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

§ Christendom College, Front Royal, Va.

§ The College of Saint Thomas More, Fort Worth, Tex.

§ DeSales University, Center Valley, Pa.

§ Franciscan University of Steubenville, Steubenville, Oh.

§ Holy Apostles College & Seminary, Cromwell, Conn.

§ John Paul the Great Catholic University, San Diego, Calif.

§ Magdalen College, Warner, N.H.

§ Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Md.

§ Providence College, Providence, R.I.

§ St. Gregory’s University, Shawnee, Okla.

§ Southern Catholic College, Dawsonville, Ga.

§ Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, Calif.

§ The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Merrimack, N.H.

§ University of Dallas, Irving, Tex.

§ University of St. Thomas, Houston, Tex.

§ Wyoming Catholic College, Lander, Wyo.

A new section in this edition of The Newman Guide recommends international, online and unique Catholic colleges and programs to help provide options to families looking for non-traditional ways to obtain a faithful Catholic education.

The recommended international, online and unique programs are:

§ Angelicum Great Books Program, online

§ Campion College, Old Toongabbie, Australia

§ Catholic Distance University, online

§ Our Lady of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Tex.

§ Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, Barry’s Bay, Ontario, Canada

§ Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (“the Angelicum”), Rome, Italy

§ Redeemer Pacific University, Langley, British Columbia, Canada

§ St. Bede’s Hall, Oxford, England

In addition to the recommended college profiles, The Newman Guide includes several essays to help families put the search for a Catholic college in context.

The essays are:

§ A foreword by Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.,
co-chairman of The Cardinal Newman Society’s National Advisory Board

§ “The Status of Catholic Higher Education,” by Patrick J. Reilly,
president of The Cardinal Newman Society

§ “Finding God on a Catholic Campus,” by Father C. John McCloskey, Ill,
a well-known spiritual advisor and college chaplain

§ “Why Study Philosophy and Theology,” by Dr. Peter Kreeft,
a well-respected author and professor

§ “The Value of a Catholic Education,” by Eileen Cubanski,
founder and executive director of the National Association of
Private, Catholic and Independent Schools

§ “Can You Afford a Catholic Education,” by Phil Lenahan,
president of Veritas Financial Ministries and
Our Sunday Visitor columnist

§ What’s Catholic About Campus Living,” by Kathryn Jean Lopez,
editor-at-large of National Review Online and a frequent writer on Catholic issues

A study of the first edition’s recommended colleges by The Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education found that these institutions were not just faithful to their Catholic missions, but were generally also more affordable than other Catholic and private colleges and universities. That study is available online at CatholicHigherEd.org.

“If last spring’s Notre Dame scandal highlighted that there is still a long way to go to renew Catholic higher education, the colleges recommended in The Newman Guide are a prime example of how it is possible to have a quality academic program while remaining strongly Catholic,” said Tom Mead, executive vice president of The Cardinal Newman Society and one of The Newman Guide’s editors.

“As a Catholic father concerned with helping my children get to Heaven, I am personally grateful that there are so many options for a faithful, liberal arts education at the Newman Guide colleges. Our great hope in publishing this edition of the Guide is that tens of thousands of Catholic families will be introduced to these campuses where strong Catholic identity is a priority.”

The complete Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College is available at TheNewmanGuide.com.

Founded in 1993, The Cardinal Newman Society is dedicated to renewing and strengthening Catholic identity at Catholic colleges and universities. The Society focuses its work on assisting students, school officials and alumni; urging fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church; and researching activities both on campus and in the classroom. The Society is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization supported by more than 20,000 individuals. More than 367,000 individuals signed its 2009 petition concerning the Notre Dame commencement scandal.

In addition to publishing The Newman Guide, the Society houses The Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education which provides research and analysis on strengthening Catholic higher education. The Society promotes Catholic values on life and sexual ethics on campuses through its Love & Responsibility Program and also operates a Campus Speaker Monitoring Project to support the guidelines the U.S. bishops have established to prohibit Catholic institutions from giving opponents of Catholic teachings honors or platforms for their views. Additionally, the Society promotes Eucharistic Adoration and is the national coordinator for the display of the Vatican’s International Exposition The Eucharistic Miracles of the World on college campuses.