• Our Parent-Teacher conferences are this Sunday, September 30. All students and parents (who do not live out of town) are required to attend. We begin with the freshmen at 6:00 PM; sophomores at 6:30 PM; juniors at 7:00 PM; seniors at 7:15 PM. The teachers and their respective classrooms will be posted when you arrive. Students are to be in complete uniform; they lead the conferences [new students will be instructed ahead of time how to do this].
• Our Robotics Team will have its first competition on October 6.
• On Sunday, October 14, we will have a guest speaker, Dr. Peter Kleponis, come and talk to our students and dads on the dangers of pornography. The meeting is required of all students and will begin at 7:00 PM. We heartedly encourage all dads to be present as well.
• Our next football game is Friday, October 5, at 7:00 PM, at Sage Hill High School [Sage Hill School 20402 Newport Coast Dr, Newport Coast, CA 92657].
• Our next cross country meet is: October 9, at 3:00 PM, at St. Michael’s.
The saintly Bishop Fulton Sheen once said that there are very few people in the world who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they think is the Catholic Church. One almost has to laugh when one sees folks like Dan Brown or HBO, or some other modern day bonehead making up stories about the Church just so they can then attack her. If you know any Church history, you know that there’s actually tons of true things that have happened all throughout history which they can write about or make movies about—things which actually did happen and which would provide more than enough material for several movies.
For instance: Judas Iscariot, one of the first 12 bishops of the Church, a fake, a liar, a betrayer, hands over Christ Himself to the enemy—a real inside job if there ever was one; there’s an exciting movie! Or what about some of those first Christians during the Roman persecutions who decided to renounce their faith and returned to their pagan way of life—a novel about lax Catholics. Or here’s a really good psycho thriller: Pope Stephen VI, who actually dug up the body of his predecessor, Pope Formosus, put him through a mock trial and then, finding him guilty (of course!), threw his body in the Tiber River; Pope Stephen himself was later strangled to death—intrigue at its best! How about all those priests in the 12th century who were not living their vow of celibacy; there were so many that it took a great reform led by saints like St. Norbert to make things right again. Then, of course, we have Pope Alexander VI, who had a mistress. We also have countless corrupt priests, nuns, monks, Catholic lay men and women all throughout the centuries. Plenty of lax Catholics who caused all kinds of scandals.
The list can go one and on: there have always been bad Catholics, sometimes really, really bad Catholics. But maybe those who attack the Church prefer to make up fake stories when they can actually tell the truth and have an equally interesting story. And maybe it’s because deep down they know the truth, the more important truth, that is, maybe they know what we all need to be reminded of: namely, that all that garbage, all that “dirty laundry” is not the true Church.
The Catholic Church is no more Judas Iscariot and all the betrayers from within than it is the persecutors from without. That’s not the Church.
The Church is those other faithful Apostles, true Princes of the Church. The Church is Mary Magdalene, who turned from sin and lived a life of exemplary piety. The Church is St. Lawrence, who went to his death laughing at his torturers. The Church is St. Agnes, St. Cecilia, and those thousands of early Christians who risked their life as they worshiped in the catacombs of Rome.
The Church is St. Leo the Great who stopped Attila the Hun from entering Rome. The Church is those countless nuns and monks who, during the so-called Dark Ages, kept western civilization alive in their monasteries all throughout Europe, as they educated the young, made great scientific discoveries still valid today, composed Gregorian chant, created beautiful works of art, brewed beer, and even discovered champagne—and meanwhile still lived lives of great prayer and penance in the silence of their monasteries.
The Church is Palestrina and his heavenly music. The Church is Don Juan of Austria who along with other brave men saved Christendom from the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto. The Church is Blessed Angelico who adorned his Dominican priory with the some of the most beautiful frescoes ever painted. The Church is St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi. The Church is St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. John of the Cross. The Church is St. Frances De Sales, who traveled through icy rivers to bring Holy Communion to the dying.
The Church is St. Junipero Serra and all those saintly missionaries who sacrificed their lives to bring the true Faith to this continent. The Church is those thousands of American natives who were converted by the missionaries and lived out their new faith despite great suffering and trials.
The Church is St. Maximilian Kolbe who gave his life in a concentration camp so a Jewish man could live. The Church is that same man who would later convert to the faith with his wife and family. The Church is Cardinal Mindzenty, Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X. The Church is those millions who have been tortured and killed under the Nazis and the Communists throughout the last century whose names are known only to God. The Church is Padre, Pio, Mother Theresa and all those who feed the poor, cloth the naked and care for the sick in the name of Jesus Christ.
The Church is the penitent sinner who in the shadows of the confessional quietly returns to the faith of his baptism. The Church is the Catholic mother and father who work hard each day raising their children in the Faith, staying faithful to each other and to the Commandments of God. The Church is the faithful Catholic businessman, who doesn’t cheat, steal or lie just to get ahead. The Church is the fervent priests and seminarians who, despite the attacks of enemies from within and without, continue to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel. The Church is the Blessed Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Church is every faithful Catholic who, in the midst of the current scandal, perseveres in their faith even unto death.
That is the true Catholic Church. And that Church is the true Spouse of Christ and continues to grow and become more and more beautiful with every passing day. And that Church no one hates but the devil himself.
• For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.
• For all the students and families of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
• For all faculty and staff of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.