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What’s in the Health Care Bill?

Dr. Douglas Lowry is a friend of mine. A retired Franciscan University business prof, he now develops internet search tools. Doug wants us all to become better informed about the contents of the health-care plan that’s now before the U.S. Senate. So he’s developed a free tool to search the entire bill.

To search the U.S. Senate Health Care Bill, go to:

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Vanity Post

Alicia Van Hecke at Love2Learn Blog posted a very kind profile of Yours Truly, for Catholic Speakers Month.

Primeros Cristianos ( are promoting their “exclusive interview” with the host of this blog.

The brilliant and charming Karen Edmisten displayed her brilliance and charm by posting an appreciative review of my book Fire of God’s Love: 120 Reflections on the Eucharist.

A blog called One Billion Stories posted an extremely appreciative review of my book The Mass of the Early Christians.

A discussion group at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Sherman, Texas, is reading my book Sharing Christ’s Priesthood: A Bible Study for Catholics.

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Father Ronald Lawler

I wrote about my late friend Father Ronald Lawler for Franciscan Way magazine. The text is up at the St. Paul Center’s blog. The child and the bunny in the photo are of my household.

It’s in honor of this great man that the St. Paul Center established the annual Lawler Lecture, which has showcased some of my favorite patrologists (and Father Ronald’s as well): e.g., Robert Louis Wilken and Father Thomas Weinandy.

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Sorry I’ve been so quiet. I was back in the studio with Scott Hahn to tape another 13-week series for EWTN. This one, our eighth, is based on Scott’s upcoming book Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots. I’ve now hosted more than a hundred shows for EWTN.

And, of course, by night I continue laboring at my painstaking reconstruction of the bylaws of the Q Community’s volunteer fire department. It takes its toll.

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Arms and the Blogger

Almost daily I receive requests for photos of myself in the armor of a Roman centurion.

OK, maybe not that often … maybe I’ve never received such a request. But since I have the photo, I’m posting it, along with a shot of me with Barbara Bell (author of Minimus) and the illustrious Zee Poerio of Excellence Through Classics. I don’t know the name of the other armored man.

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Free Latin Lesson Near Pittsburgh

Barbara Bell, author of the children’s book Minimus (Cambridge University Press) is visiting Pittsburgh and offering a FREE Latin lesson to kids and adults on Thursday, July 23, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Louise de Marillac Parish Center, 312 McMurray Road Pittsburgh, PA 15241. Bell is director of the Primary Latin Project and a member of the Order of the British Empire. Since Minimus the Mouse is ten years old this year, there will be cake and cookies to celebrate. The event is free, but registration is required. To register, please call 412-833-1010.

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Wedded Bliss

For Catholics, the calendar is the hermeneutical key to the Scriptures. At every Mass we hear an Old Testament reading, a Psalm, and a New Testament reading, often following a pattern of promise and fulfillment, and usually relevant in some way to the time of the season.

My beloved wife and I went to noon Mass today, as is our custom, but today we went to celebrate our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary. If I could remember the periodic table, I’d know what element is almost silver. But I don’t. In any event, I found the readings of the day thought-provoking (and funny) in light of the occasion — children of Israel becoming alarmingly numerous, enemies in one’s own household. Good thing our help is in the name of the Lord.

Today’s as good a day as any to re-publish the words of St. John Chrysostom that I used to dedicate my book The Fathers of the Church to Terri.

An intelligent, discreet, and pious young woman is worth more than all the money in the world. Tell her that you love her more than your own life, because this present life is nothing, and that your only hope is that the two of you pass through this life in such a way that, in the world to come, you will be united in perfect love.

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The World’s Liturgist

Pope Benedict XVI has named an American, Dominican Father J. Augustine DiNoia, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. Father Gus (now Archbishop-designate Gus) has been with the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2002, and before that he was the doctrine guy for the U.S. bishops. When I was doing newspaper work, he was the perfect source, peerless in clarity and brevity. When I’ve visited Rome with my friend Scott Hahn, Father Gus has always been a gracious and entertaining host. Catholic News Service tells the story of his well-deserved promotion and points us to sound files of his lectures.

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Happiness and Knowledge

My two oldest daughters are happy and they know it. Their puppet video is part of some contest. I think they get bonus points if you view their video, and they get thrilled if you comment. So make them happier still!

Eldest now tells me that the grand prize is a guitar. I wonder if it comes with headphones.

UPDATE: my daughters say an explanation is in order. Their video is actually a parody of the work of a “screamo” group. Screamo is a combination of “scream” and “emo” (from emotional, with teen connotations). This helps, I suppose. I had thought it to be an exploration in epistemology, perhaps Augustinian for its emphasis on happiness. How do we know we’re happy?