November 26 at 8:00 pm and 28th at 7:30 am–FIFTY SHADES OF GRACE NOT GREY: FINDING PURE LOVE IN A PORNIFIED WORLD: A discussion of Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s letter: “Bought With A Price”, the impact of pornography on EWTN’s The Catholic View for Women.
Dating is difficult, especially if you’re looking for a serious relationship and not just a casual hook-up. If you or someone you love is hoping to get married and stay married, get this CD set for yourself or as a Christmas gift for a friend. Find it here.
Do you prefer turning pages? We’ve got you covered. Get the book here.
Pst! There’s also a digital read-only version for only $4.99 here! But don’t tell anyone!
Some churches provide donuts after Mass for parishioners to munch while they mingle. This is a great bribery tool for parents who want their children to behave well at church. One son drew his Mother’s attention to his folded hands during Mass, saying “Look, Mom, donut hands!”
And here’s a little something from a friend of mine who teaches religion. This is CLASSIC!
I had my students do a journal entry for Isaac when he was going to be sacrificed by Abraham. Here is the end of one girl’s entry:
“….We sacrificed a ram instead. Then we went home, and as we were walking, my father said to me, more
Have you ever taken a picture of someone right as they sneezed? Those pictures never turn out well. And sometimes when we talk, we say something we didn’t actually mean; it didn’t come out right. Sometimes we’re just having an off day and speak or act more harshly than we normally would. If your spouse does something out of the ordinary, in a hurtful way, he or she may just be having an off day. Give him or her some space and time, and think of that incident as the moment when he or she sneezed as the picture snapped. Throw the photo, and the incident, out of your mind.
Here is a unique way to help the Ruth Institute. If you have stock that has appreciated in value, you may be able to donate it to the Ruth Institute and receive great tax advantages for doing so. The general idea is that when you donate appreciated stock to a charitable organization, you can write off the stock on Schedule A at the market value, and you don’t have to pay capital gains on the gain (neither does the charity). For example, according to the Wall Street Journal:
You also can give appreciated stock to charity. If you’ve held it for more than one year you may take a charitable tax deduction for the market value of the stock, and neither you nor the charity has to pay capital-gains taxes when the stock is sold. The combination can result in a bigger deduction (and more tax savings) for you and a bigger gift for the charity than if you sell the stock, pay the taxes, and donate the net proceeds.
Sandra Block at Kiplinger.com has this to say about it:
If you’re in a charitable mood, consider donating appreciated securities – stocks or mutual funds — instead of cash. When you give $1,000 in cash, you get to deduct $1,000, and that saves you $250 in the 25% bracket. (Any state-income-tax savings are gravy.)
But let’s say you have $1,000 worth of mutual fund shares that you bought more than a year ago for $500. If you sell the shares, you’ll owe $75 in tax on the profit, even at the preferential 15% capital-gains rate. But if you donate the shares, the charity gets the full $1,000 (it doesn’t have to pay tax on the profit when it sells), you avoid the $75 tax bill, and you still get to deduct the full grand. It’s a win-win-win situation.
For those who would like a more concrete example, Wells Fargo Advisors has a chart with examples from two different tax brackets. Click here to see it.
If this sounds like something you would like to do: first, speak to your tax advisor about it to make sure this fits with your tax and other financial goals. After doing so, call our office at (760) 295-9278 for more information. Thank you!
My Latest, over at MercatorNet. November 19, 2014
The recent two-week-long synod on the family in the Vatican has been an on-going source of headlines around the world, and not just in Catholic media. After a year of reflection, it will resume next year. In the meantime, many critics are claiming that it is impossible to reconcile traditional Catholic teachings on sexuality with 21st century compassion. Jennifer Roback Morse sees things differently.
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My husband I attended a marriage preparation retreat in a small town in central California a few weeks ago. We were by far the oldest people there. The retreat was developed by an order of priests who are very orthodox in their teaching about marriage, family and human sexuality.
They do not soft-pedal anything. They do not cut corners. In fact in the small-group breakout sessions, one of the young couples said “this is not the easiest place in town to get married.” All the other young couples in the group nodded in agreement. “But this is my parish. This is where I was baptized. We wanted to get married here.”
So I feel confident when I say that these priests are holding the line on orthodoxy. Over the course of the weekend, the presenters told their personal faith journey. Almost all of the presenters at this conference had had some significant irregularity in their marriage situations.
What I saw was the Church “welcoming sinners.”
One couple recounted their journey from civil marriage to sacramental marriage. Their priest asked that they live together “as brother and sister” in the months leading up to the con-validation of their marriage in the Church.
For the uninitiated, this means: they had already been married civilly for some time and had children. One party had become Catholic. They Read more…
In a recent article, Holly Griggs Spall observes that women on the Pill have many potential problems to deal with, including health concerns, problems with relationships, psychological side-effects and more. She complains that a lack of feminism is the problem.
Why is it that we hear most about the side effects of the pill that directly impact men? It could be because science lacks
feminism. … In science, as in – one might say grandiosely – life, female hormones are seen as a hindrance.
Who the heck is Holly Griggs Spall, you might ask, and why am I only hearing about her just now?
Before I answer that, I would like to suggest a different answer to the question she poses. While I agree that society generally does see female hormones as a hindrance, I don’t believe women need more “feminism.”
What women really need is to contest the current understanding of “feminism.” In principle, “feminism” could mean any set of ideas and policies that promote the betterment and interests of women. A “feminist” could be anyone who advocates or works for the improvement in the lives of women.
Such an understanding of feminism is broad enough to include all kinds of people, male or female. It could include men or women who Read more…
I have received many responses to my somewhat tongue in cheek article last week, “Mom’s Home,” imploring my fellow Conservative Catholics to stop disrespecting the Pope. The responses were all over the map. I thought it would be well to offer a window into my strategic thinking. This post should help you understand what I’m trying to do. Although I am largely speaking with my fellow Catholics, the proper response to Pope Francis concerns everyone who cares about the future of marriage and family.
Let us begin with what we know, and reason from there to what tactics make sense.
What we know about the Catholic Church:
- The office of the Papacy is bigger than any man who occupies it.
- The Pope will not change the doctrine: he does not have the authority to change doctrine.
- However, he can change the practices surrounding the implementation or promulgation of the doctrine on marriage, divorce and the family that serve it more or less well.
- The Pope can err on prudential matters, and frequently does. For instance, the track record of Vatican diplomacy over the centuries is not particularly stellar.
What we know about this particular pope:
- The Pope knows he does not have the authority to change Catholic doctrine.
- He is charming and exuberant and spontaneous. Many people love him and find him attractive.
- He loves Jesus and hates the devil.
- He is not executing his teaching office regarding marriage as well as the world needs him to, and certainly not as well as his remarkable predecessors. If the students are confused, the teacher is not performing well.
- He has left room for interpretation on some points, and has not clarified some issues.
- We do not know what he is thinking or planning by this lack of clarity. He may have some wise hidden plan. He may have some nefarious hidden plan. He may just be careless. The fact is, we do not know.
What we know about the advocates of the Sexual Revolution: Read more…
Base your self-worth on the knowledge that you are beloved by God. Don’t let a momentary exchange define who you are and how much you like yourself.
According to the Catholic News Agency, “the Vatican is hosting a colloquium seeking to find ‘new and creative language to speak to people where they are.’ This is according to Helen Alvaré, professor of law at George Mason University, and communications liaison for the Humanum Colloquium, which will run from Nov. 17-19 at the Vatican.”
I have a couple of predictions about this event. My predictions are based on the full title of the event, as well as my knowledge of the participants.
The full title of the event is: “An International Interreligious Colloquium on The Complementarity of Man and Woman.” Sexual complementarity is not a topic that marriage re-definers call attention to. Ever.
Here is my take on the participants:
- Helen Alvare, the communications liaison referenced above, is simply an outstanding spokeswomen for the authentically Catholic view of marriage, family and human sexuality.
- I am acquainted with many of the speakers. The line-up includes pro-marriage faith leaders from across the religious spectrum.
One of them, Ignacio Ibarzábal, is the Executive Director of Grupo Sólido, an Argentine pro-marriage organization founded by young adults. A number of their members have attended Ruth Institute events over the years. I have the highest respect for Ignacio and his group. Read more…