Faith in Action Blog
… about another alumna sister!
Sarah Kaiser (’02) made her first profession of vows in the Carmel of Our Mother of Mercy and St. Joseph, Alexandria, S.D., on July 26, the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne. Her name in religion is Sr. Anne Therese of the Child Jesus.
Sr. Anne Therese requests prayers for perseverance in her vocation and promises to return the favor.
The latest news from Rosie Grimm (’10): “My cancer is growing, and I can tell it’s interfering with the use of my left arm,” she writes. As a result, she has had to leave her clinical trial, and is starting a new chemotherapy treatment. She was also hospitalized today due to severe pain, and she has insurance issues that need to be resolved. “Please pray about that and for me to have the energy to do the things I should do. At the moment I’m pretty wiped out.”
Her sister Wendy-Irene Zepeda (’99) writes:
“We’ll be praying specially for her in the Rosary Novena [from the Feast of the Assumption to the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7]. If you can join in, even with just a decade or an Our Father and Hail Mary, that would great. (And we’ll be praying with you for your intentions, as well. Many, many thanks for your prayers. I don’t know what we’d do without them.”
Please join us in prayer!
Less than a year after entering the postulancy for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Elisabeth Sedler (’09) formally entered the novitiate on August 1, 2013. Along with 15 other women, Miss Sedler — now Sr. Juan Jose — received the Dominican habit at the community’s motherhouse in Ann Arbor, Mich. She takes her religious name from St. Juan Diego and Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio, a 14-year-old Christero martyr. Sr. Juan Jose is the fourth alumna of the College to join the Sisters of Mary, whose superior general, Mother Mary Assumpta Long, O.P., was the College’s 2012 Commencement Speaker.
From Rosie’s mother, Rose Grimm (’76):
“We have just had some less than good news — Rosie’s latest scans show that the tumors in her lungs have grown slightly (although not spread anywhere else). She is not experiencing any symptoms from this, but it means that she may not be able to stay on her present clinical trial. She will be still in the trial for the next six weeks, and if there is no change for the better, we will move on to some other form of treatment.
“Could you please be praying for some good and speedy change for the better? This clinical trial has previously had some very good effects for Rosie.
Thanks so much.
Meanwhile, one of Rosie’s sisters, Wendy-Irene Zepeda (’99) has requested that friends say the following prayer to Our Lady of Lovely Surprises for Rosie:
Dear Mother Mary, God gave you the loveliest of surprises, Himself coming as man for our salvation; and through you He gave this surprise to the world. At Cana, you showed us how you love to imitate God by giving us lovely surprises through your intercession. Mother, we long for lovely surprises, especially in this matter...; please send us those which please you. Give us every helpful sweetness to draw us to Your Son. Amen.
Please keep praying. Thank you!
In December, the family of Loraine (Ivers ‘81) Hoonhout invited friends to join them in praying to Servant of God Frank Duff (founder of the Legion of Mary) for healing in Mrs. Hoonhount’s struggle with cancer. By God’s grace, those many prayers have borne good fruit! Mrs. Hoonhout writes:
“Great news. My UCLA hematologist/oncologist said that my cancer is stable, and the blood work looks good. I’m tolerating the oral chemo regimen and monthly shots regimen well. This comes after extensive testing and reversing his Feb/March 2013 prognosis of possibly a year or two. Also, I was able to dodge back surgery in December due to robotic exterior radiation.
“Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Your letters, calls, prayers, Masses, sacrifices, gifts, and outpouring of tremendous love has made this journey so much more easy. Your gift of love has drawn me closer to the Tremendous Lover, Healer, and our ultimate source of all happiness, beauty, goodness, truth and peace.”
With grateful affection,
Thanks be to God!
A professor of political science at Northern Illinois University, Dr. S. Adam Seagrave (’05) has published an article in The Public Discourse, arguing that Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species fails the “eye test.” That is, he says, elements of the theory of evolution contradict what we can perceive with our own eyes. Dr. Seagrave writes:
“Darwin is clearly aware — and bothered by the fact — that his theory of evolution through natural selection is not only unsupported by, but actually contradicts, the reports given to us through our senses, as well as the ‘common sense’ we gain from these reports over time. So he argues, in response, that this common sense is founded on mere ‘imagination’ rather than ‘reason,’ and with a Kantian determination he asks that we repress our ‘empirical’ impressions in favor of our abstract theoretical convictions.
“Yet why, we can ask, should we trust Darwin’s theory more than our own eyes? As persuasively as this theory explains many phenomena of nature and archeological discoveries, is its acceptance worth having to admit that the world is actually nothing like our experience of it? If a theory that the earth rests on the shell of a giant sea turtle explained enough phenomena, would it similarly command our assent?”
That article, perhaps not surprisingly, generated some controversy, leading Dr. Seagrave to issue a follow-up:
“The sort of ‘eye test’ I have in mind, and which I believe poses an underappreciated challenge to Darwinian evolutionary theory, involves much more than simply ‘looking’ or physically seeing; it is, rather, precisely what Aristotle describes as ‘the originative source of scientific knowledge’ in his Posterior Analytics. According to Aristotle, all scientific knowledge must build upon previous knowledge, leading to the problem of knowledge’s ultimate origin. This origin lies, according to Aristotle, in a process of induction or intuition whereby sense impressions become memories, and memories become ‘experience.’
“This experience is defined by abstraction — we human beings experience the world in terms of stable and defined universal concepts, and these concepts in turn form the building blocks of all subsequent knowledge. Our experience in this special Aristotelian sense, for example, tells us that elephants are different in kind from human beings, and not in degree, however large this degree may be. Our experience, on its own and apart from whatever scientific education we may possess, tells us that human beings are separated from elephants by rationality — not by millions of years of differential development.”
Meanwhile, one of Dr. Seagrave’s classmates, Greg Pfundstein (’05), has also published a story in The Public Discourse, based on a recent comment from kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart. Miss Smart remarked that, when she was sexually abused, she thought her life had “no value” — because one of her teachers had once compared those who were no longer virgins to a “chewed-up piece of gum.” That recollection quickly inspired a rash of denunciations of school-based abstinence programs from a wide range of critics, including some Christian conservatives, who argued that such programs present a warped, even dehumanizing, image of sexuality.
Not so fast, says Mr. Pfundstein. A board member of the National Abstinence Education Association (as well as the president of the Chiaroscuro Foundation), Mr. Pfundstein has co-authored an article for The Public Discourse, in which he argues that the sort of messages that Miss Smart received are not representative of most Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) programs:
“While no one can vouch for every abstinence program that has been used by well-intentioned presenters over the last two decades, we can confidently say that the sort of demeaning messages received by Smart and others are outside the mainstream of state-of-the-art abstinence-education programs.
“Perhaps most relevant to the current controversy is the fact that the SRA approach is the only one that believes in ‘another chance’ for any individual who has made unhealthy decisions in the past. Far from being ‘used up,’ teens are given renewed hope for starting over. ‘Renewed abstinence’ is an articulated goal of SRA programs, and there is some evidence that it is easier to get young people to choose renewed abstinence than to get them to use condoms.”
On Saturday, Rev. Nathaniel Drogin, O. Praem. (’01), received the Sacrament of Holy Orders at Mission Basilica in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Fr. Drogin is the College’s 59th alumni priest, and the fifth at St. Michael’s Abbey in Orange, Calif., where four other alumni are currently seminarians or novices. Ordaining Fr. Drogin was the Bishop of Orange, the Most Rev. Kevin Vann, J.D., D.D., who will serve as the speaker at the College’s Convocation exercises on August 26. Numerous members of the Thomas Aquinas College community were on hand for the joyous occasion, including President Michael F. McLean and his wife, Lynda.
God be praised!
Wonderful news from the mother of Maria Forshaw (’07):
Maria Forshaw (’07) was clothed with the habit of a Discalced Carmelite novice at a ceremony on June 8 at the Carmel of St. Joseph in St. Louis County, Missouri. Having spent a year as a postulant, she took the name of Sr. Maria Battista of the Lamb of God. Her college classmates will not be surprised to hear that she is deeply involved in music-making for the convent, as a singer and an organist. Before entering the cloister, Maria spent several years working as a tutor of school-age children and as a singer.
One year ago Sunday, Rev. Francis Marotti (’07) received the Sacrament of Holy Orders, making him Thomas Aquinas College’s 58th ordained priest. This weekend, Fr. Marotti will celebrate the first anniversary of his priesthood in the Diocese of Kalamazoo (Mich.), where he serves as the pastoral vicar of St. Philip Catholic Church.
To commemorate the occasion, the Battle Creek Enquirer recently published a profile of Fr. Marotti, accompanied by the above video. In the profile, Fr. Marotti talks about how his first year in the priesthood entailed greater responsibility than he had anticipated, because his pastor fell ill. “People really helped out, and it helped me grow in my priesthood pretty quickly,” he explains. “I think when the Lord puts you in a place, He gives you the grace to do it.”
The young priest also describes how he successfully lobbied for an additional responsibility — teaching high school theology — which he will begin in the fall. “I just really like to teach,” he says. “People are really hungry to learn a lot. There’s a lot they don’t get and a lot they disagree with, and the more you can present it to them, the better it is. The more I can do that, I’m happy.”
The College has received the following urgent prayer request from Monica (Chavez ’92) Stoutz:
Eric (’93), my husband, has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I won’t go into details, but the cancer is advanced.… Eric and I both want God to bring great good out of our situation. Visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, caring for widows and orphans, these things are a blessing to all in the Body of Christ.
We ask that you continue to pray for our eight children, as they learn to carry this burden. Thank you for giving them as much normalcy as possible. We have not asked for the intercession of a particular saint for a miracle. We have always had a devotion to St Joseph, but have not felt prompted by the Holy Spirit toward any holy man or woman. Should God grant us a miracle, we would accept it with gratitude and wonder and awe.
We have much to be thankful for. We know grace is supporting us now. God is so good.
Please join us in praying for Eric’s health and peace of mind, for Monica’s strength, and for the well-being of their dear children.
Prayer to Saint Joseph for Fathers
by Bl. John XXIII
Saint Joseph, guardian of Jesus and chaste husband of Mary, you passed your life in loving fulfillment of duty. You supported the holy family of Nazareth with the work of your hands. Kindly protect those who trustingly come to you. You know their aspirations, their hardships, their hopes. They look to you because they know you will understand and protect them. You too knew trial, labor and weariness. But amid the worries of material life, your soul was full of deep peace and sang out in true joy through intimacy with God's Son entrusted to you and with Mary, his tender Mother. Assure those you protect that they do not labor alone. Teach them to find Jesus near them and to watch over Him faithfully as you have done. Amen.