Boinkie's Blog


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

film of the week


not pc, so rarely seen nowadays, but I met a German priest who was tortured and jailed in China after the communist takeover, so such things did go on.

Of course, one is still waiting for a film to show the great famine caused by the Great leap forward...must be PC...must be PC....

or maybe film Red Azelea, about the students used to push the cultural revolution and then exiled into rural areas...
Of course, if they wanted it "fair and balanced" they could just make Wild Swans into a miniseries.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Religion news of the week

It's now Cardinal Tagle.

Ironically, the BBC doesn't notice that a lot of Catholics live outside of Europe: BBC headline shurgs it off as appointing "non European" Cardinals (even though one of them is a Yank, three others are from the Anglosphere, including Tagle who is Archbishop of Manila, which traditionally has a Cardinal in charge )...

By adding six non-Europeans to the number of 114 cardinal electors, the Pope has slightly shifted the geographical demographic of the body which will ultimately choose his successor, though Europeans still make up the majority, at 51%.
As my mom used to say: The British invented racism.


FYI: The local bishops pooh poohed that the world will end on Dec 21.

“Why should we feel afraid of meeting our Creator? Somebody who is not sinful would be ready to face God anytime,” he said.
“This is why we should start to repent and convert just as we are being called to do especially during the season of Advent to prepare ourselves not only for Christ’s first coming in his birth, but also for his return,” he added.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

......the NYTimes has an article on the devestation of the New York City area Breezy Point, and the Madonna that survived.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

group think

Via NotDeadYet:

Janis identified eight symptoms that put a group of individuals at risk for falling into groupthink:
  1. Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
  2. Rationalising warnings that might challenge the group’s assumptions.
  3. Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
  4. Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, disfigured, impotent, or stupid.
  5. Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of “disloyalty”.
  6. Self censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
  7. Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
  8. Mindguards — self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.
NDY is talking about bioethics manipulation by those who think cripples are useless eaters (to put it bluntly) but it also seems to apply to any group.

One of the problems with groupthink is that when it is pushed by the MSM, the public ends up losing it's moral vocabulary to be able to discuss things, to recognize nuance, or even to recognize reality if it disagrees with the meme.

So the meme on gay marriage, divorce, faithfulness in marriage,abortion, euthanasia and killing cripples is now being pushed to silence those who dare to question the meme. 


Friday, November 16, 2012

Uncynical me

I'm posting too much negative stuff here, so let's have a positive, albeit sad, story.

It's the story of Tommy.

if you ever saw the movie "LaStrada", there is a quick glimpse of a retarded child with a huge head. I can't remember why it is in the film, which is sad enough without it:: probably for shock value.

But when I worked at a retarded institution, we had one such child, actually a man: Tommy.

The story begins, or rather ends, with some snooty outside inspectors asking where the staff and a lot of the "clients" had gone. They were supposed to check on them, and they weren't there. How dare they!

So we directed them to the side ward, where they walked into a room full of people, many of whom were crying.

The institution was holding Tommy's memorial service.

One by one, the staff (and a few of the clients) got up and gave a talk about what Tommy meant to them: About how his cheerfulness in suffering gave them a lesson in courage, how his friendliness helped them to do their very difficult job, and how they loved him...

After a day or two, Tommy no longer was a "client" with hydrocephalus who looked like a monster, but a childlike man who gave them love and hope. And they loved him back.

Then the service ended, with a hymn frowned on by the politically correct, but loved by our staff because it said what they were trying to say:

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible Tells me so
Little ones to him belong
They are weak, but he is strong.

Yes, the self important ethicists will say Tommy doesn't meet the criteria for personhood, and the modern doctors will advise mothers to abort such children, and in the Netherlands, they will even be killed rather than given surgery if they are accidentally born.

Tommy's life probably cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars, but was his life meaningless? Many who are rich and famous will not have so many friends who would mourn their passing and remember him.

Medical background:

Tommy had a meningomyelocoel, and developed hydrocephalus after the doctors removed the sac on his spine that was the unclosed backbone and underdeveloped end of his spinal cord. As a result of this congenital problem, his legs (and bladder) were paralyzed. But like many of these children, a malformation of the base of his skull resulted in water not draining from the ventricles of the brain, and he developed hydrocephalus.

Like most children who were retarded, he was placed at birth into a nursing home by his parents: probably at the doctor's advice, because of the stresses of having to care for such a child, as was the practice in the 1950's.

After awhile, his brain drainage blocked or was removed (for infection). His parents were told he would probably die, so no furthur surgery was advised or done. The parents assumed he died and went on with their lives...until he was about age 12, when most of the nursing homes for chronically ill/retarded children were closed, and they were notified on where to place their child.

The parents were aghast: And even more aghast when they saw him, with his huge head and semi paralyzed body. They first denied it was their son, but then accepted the horror and arranged for him to be placed into a state institution for his care.

And then the horrified and guilty parents blocked him out and went on with their lives. They never came to see him, probably thinking he was a "vegetable" and it didn't matter.

Ah, but Tommy was not a "vegatable". He was a very nice boy, cooperative and cheerful, who could talk at a two year old level. Perhaps nowadays, with better care, he would have been able to read and write, and function at the level of a six year old: Moderately retarded and crippled, but able to participate in life.

In our institution, they tried to arrange furthur surgery, but the doctors said it would be too risky. And alas because of his medical problem, he was placed in a ward with the profoundly (infant level) retarded: Too often the moderately retarded were either in group homes by then, or had behavior problems and might hurt him.

So he was literally spoiled by the staff, who became his family.

Yet, as he aged, he started to develop the complications of his bladder (azotemia and kidney stones with infections) and since he didn't move around much, every chest infection was life threatening
We knew he was dying, and again contacted the family for a new "do not resusitate" order: Not because Tommy was retarded, but because if his heart stopped it would be from his kidney failure or from his body too weak to breathe...and indeed he was hospitalized twice that year but pulled through.

That winter, we had an epidemic of "mycoplasm pneumonia" (often called "walking pneumonia" because it is mild). But for someone whose muscles were weak, it was serious. And so one day I was called to see Tommy, and he told me "I'm"...

And this time, we knew he wasn't going to make it: His body was warn out and he no longer was fighting to stay alive. So the administration approved for the staff to take turns with him at his bedside so he wouldn't be alone.

Presumably Tommy is in heaven, and when I despair that my sins are too much for forgiveness, I remember Tommy, (and the others) who I cared for, and figure he will be there to help me sneak into heaven, along with the "meek and mild Jesus" who
 "loves the little children of the world
Be they yellow black or white
They are precious in his sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world."

Cynical me

The Anchoress has a sympathetic nuanced take on a recent maternal death in Ireland that is cynically being used to push legalized abortion.

FYI: The treatment of premature ruptured membranes is usually watchful waiting.

But my question: Why so much back pain? Was she in labor? If so, you don't remove the child, you let her deliver it.

Renal infection? Then why no antibiotics?

And why did the family start insisting early in the case to abort the child? Because she had "back pain"? Nonsense. the treatment of back pain is pain medicine.

My cynical take: She did a self abortion but the docs missed it...wonder if they found the catheter at the autopsy. We saw many cases similar to this before Roe V Wade.

Alternative scenerio: her husband beat her, causing abruptio placenta (which unlike ordinary premature ruptured membranes is painful). And that might also have caused her back pain.

Or maybe the husband's story is indeed true, but as a doc it doesn't make sense for her to have so much back pain and insist that the child be aborted ...several days BEFORE the infection began.

related link: AAFP article on how to care for premature rupture of the membranes:
The majority of patients will deliver within one week when preterm PROM occurs before 24 weeks’ gestation, with an average latency period of six days.15 Many infants who are delivered after previable rupture of the fetal membranes suffer from numerous long-term problems including chronic lung disease, developmental and neurologic abnormalities, hydrocephalus, and cerebral palsy. Previable rupture of membranes also can lead to Potter’s syndrome, which results in pressure deformities of the limbs and face and pulmonary hypoplasia. The incidence of this syndrome is related to the gestational age at which rupture occurs and to the level of oligohydramnios. Fifty percent of infants with rupture at 19 weeks’ gestation or earlier are affected by Potter’s syndrome, whereas 25 percent born at 22 weeks’ and 10 percent after 26 weeks’ gestation are affected.32 Patients should be counseled about the outcomes and benefits and risks of expectant management, which may not continue long enough to deliver a baby that will survive normally.
Physicians caring for patients with preterm PROM before viability may wish to obtain consultation with a perinatologist or neonatologist. Such patients, if they are stable, may benefit from transport to a tertiary facility. Home management of patients with preterm PROM is controversial. A study33 of patients with preterm PROM randomized to home versus hospital management revealed that only 18 percent of patients met criteria for safe home management. Bed rest at home before viability (i.e., approximately 24 weeks’ gestation) may be acceptable for patients without evidence of infection or active labor, although they must receive precise education about symptoms of infection and preterm labor, and physicians should consider consultation with experts familiar with home management of preterm PROM. Consider readmission to the hospital for these patients after 24 weeks’ gestation to allow for close fetal and maternal monitoring.


so why the back pain?????

and why, if this was a "wanted pregnancy", did both she and her husband (at least that is the husband's story) insist the doctors remove/abort their wanted child? Most mothers would have been more desperate to save their baby, not to kill it, if it had a chance for life. Which is why I am cynical that there is probably a lot more to the story than is being reported.

But here, according to the husband's story, they both wanted the child to be aborted, even though it was not medically indicated.

Why? Because mom was having "back pain"? That is not a medical indication for inducing labor...and why was their first impulse to insist the doctors abort the child, not try to save it?

I should add that to remove the child by a hysterotomy (Caesarian section) is risky to the mom: If there is an infection, it spread the infection to her if you do a caesarian section. But removing it from below often means dismembering the child, since the bones are formed by 17 weeks. And complications of this include perforation of the uterus (either by instruments or by stiff fetal parts punching a hole in the uterus), and cervical trauma (resulting in all later pregnancies miscarrying from incompetent cervix.)

Even with a dead fetus, we prefer to let it deliver spontaneously for these reasons.

Indeed, one could argue that the reason for the death was the Caesarian section of a now infected uterus spreading the infection through her body. Why didn't they induce labor instead? Presumably they tried, but it failed.

In other words, there is a lot more to the story than is being reported...

I'm still thinking about what was causing the severe back pain in this woman, (the story insists the family wanted a second trimester abortion not because they wanted to kill  their child, but because of her severe pain).
so what causes severe back pain in the second trimester?

Contractions? But Premature rupture of the membranes is usually painless.

Kidney infection? Then she should have been on antibiotics and treated for this (a common cause of premature labor). Kidney stones? severe pain, but on and off suggests the problem.

An ovarian cyst, maybe one that ruptured or was bleeding? I've seen these missed quite a bit, and another problem could have been a twisted ovarian cyst. If so, it would have been found at exploratory surgery, and maybe the docs were hesitant to operate (again malpractice).

Another cause could have been a ruptured appendix, missed because the appendix moves upward with the growing uterus. Again, malpractice for missing it.

One problem is not that docs refused to do an abortion but that they refused to do exploratory surgery. I've seen all of these problems, so they can't be that rare.

Doing an abortion was not medically indicated (maybe socially desired, but that's another problem)

All I can figure out is that the doctors missed what was causing the pain, the cause of the pain caused the threatened miscarriage, and the sepsis was either from the cause of the pain or from the prolonged ruptured membranes.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Eugenics redux

Wesley Smith discusses the new Eugenics movement:

An article written in the Chronicle of Higher Education urges us to embrace the “eugenic impulse,” as “something that everyone capable of rational thought and possessed of a humanitarian, communitarian spirit would enjoin willingly.” Oh, it’s true, he says, the old version went astray. But why gain wisdom from that? All we need to do is tweak it. From his conclusion:
The eugenic impulse drives us to eliminate disease, to live longer and healthier, with greater intelligence and a better adjustment to the conditions of society. It arises whenever the humanitarian desire for happiness and social betterment combines with an emphasis on heredity as the essence of human nature. It is the aim of control, the denial of fatalism, the rejection of chance. The dream of engineering ourselves, of reducing suffering now and forever.
It is Utopian. It lacks proper humility. Yes, we should strive to mitigate suffering and heal disease–but with the understanding that we are incapable of eliminating it. Otherwise, we fall into the Edenic ends, justifies the oppressive means mentality–as we did before...
The question is not one of whether there ought to be such an impulse, whether it should be called eugenics, or even whether biomedicine ought to focus so much on genetics. These things just are. And besides, the health benefits, the intellectual thrill, and the profits of genetic biomedicine are too great for us to do otherwise. Resistance would be ill-advised and futile.
Resistance is necessary to human liberty and essential to avoiding tyranny.
His very last point:
And above all, how do we know when we know enough to control our own evolution?
so why is Eugenics so dangerous? Because they are always talking about why they should do something to someone else.

YOU are imperfect, so we will abort you, or contracept you out of existence.

That is why the Philippines is being pushed to pass an RH bill that is so broad that it will punish any medical person who advises against contraception. That is why I am asked almost daily to pay for medicine for babies and sick people, who cannot afford simple generic antibiotics, but the government will plan to pay for free contraception for every one. That is why we will be pushing free contraception on everyone at a time when one third of women in the Philippines deliver without a trained birth attendent (and many can't afford the "free" ones because they demand a bribe).

It's like when we were in Africa: Every village had a "pill lady", but until we got a grant for well building, many villages had no wells, and women often had to walk a mile or two to fetch water from a polluted river during the dry season.

The problem with eugenics is the idea that the "best" person is the one with the most money, the highest IQ, and the strongest body.

I think of it as the "Durant rule", because one of my history books is the Durant series, that stresses that the great men and women are the ones most important in world history.

In contrast, if there is a God, then maybe he sees things differently. Everything happens for a reason, and every thing has a purpose. Yes, we are called to help the sick and increase the ability of people to live a life above destitution, but the eugenics impulse only uses this as an excuse to remake humanity in their own image, where supermen are in charge, and may be the rest of us are seen as useless eaters, not people of dignity.

Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch watchmaker who was jailed for hiding Jews during WWII, had done church volunteer work with the mentally retarded, to teach them religion. Once, a Nazi saw her in the park with the children, showing them God's nature, and asked why she wasted her time trying to teach imbicils about God. Her answer was that, in God's eyes, the soul of one of these children is just as valuable as the highest most powerful person.

The Jews have the idea that there are ten righteous men who keep God from destroying the world. (This refers to the story of Abraham, who bargained with God's messangers to try to save Sodom and Gomorrah: Would you destroy them if these villages had 50 good people? And the angels said okay. If we find 50 good people we won't destroy the villages....and then he bargains them down to 10 righteous men. alas, the angels only find five, so they warn them to flee and zap the villages).

The ones who keep the world from being destroyed-- or destroying itself--- may not be the Bill Gates or Obamas, but a village housewife in Zimbabwe that you never heard of, who cares for the children of her brother who died from HIV. Or it might be a nurse from Pampanga who gives up her dream to have a family so that her salary from working in Saudi will fund the school fees for her siblings. Or it might be the Native American who becomes a deacon because there is no priest in his town.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012



I haven't watched it yet, but the Martin Sheen film Gospa is on line at youtube.

Culture war stuff

Blackfive talked to some rural white folks in Ohio and found they were not planning to vote because they were disenchanted with government, figuring both parties would do their thing no matter what.

Then there is the "horror" that Catholics voted 50 percent for Obama even though Obama is being sued by the Catholics for making them support contraception/abortion.

Well, all I can say about this is the dirty little secret is that Romney is Obama lite: Romney care also required contraceptive coverage and mandated Catholic hospitals (and docs) give out the abortion causing morning after pill.

Similarly, when a lesbian judge mandated gay marriage, Romney's response was nothing. He did not help grass roots groups to stop the law.

Of course, I am a filipino now, so what does that mean?

Obama care means lots of old fashioned docs retiring, so lots of Pinoy docs will find jobs.

But it also means more harassment from the US if we don't pass the RH Bill. Right now, a senator who dared to quote a speech has been openly accused of plagerism. Joe Biden plagerized, no problem, but this guy is pro life.

So lots of liberal money in this.

Ironically at the same time, it means that Obama might send the USNavy to Subic, but they will stand around not doing anything. So the Philippines, which traditionally depended on the US to defend our borders and the local shipping lanes/fishing area inside our Economic zone, now has to buy weapons, especially ships and planes. So PNoy just bought French planes and arranged to buy ships etc. from Canada.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Russia blames the US election on godless communism

No, not quite. But MariaElena links to a Russian post that echoes Solzienetzen's criticism of PC America.

From the Russian paper Pravda (of all places):
The Democrats and Republicans are notorious for wanting to stay in power. Their worshipers get their education from TV and their friends. In the future, after it becomes obvious that their plan failed, these "useful idiots" will still blame Bush for the economy, overlook Obama as they overlooked Clinton's mistakes or think their vote counts and they actually have freedom while approving of wars overseas. Such people are the product of America's decaying society whose reality has been warped by drugs and other selfish pleasures. America has gradually become worse from the drugs, rock and roll of the 60′s and 70′s to the drugs and rap music of today. The communists won while Americans smoked pot. 
The alienation of God in society began in the classroom. Today, blasphemies can easily be seen on TV and the cinema. Hollywood portrays the sane as the insane. The abnormal and perverted as normal. The unborn babies are seen as nothing. The silent holocaust continues. Is it any wonder America is in trouble?
The economy destroyed by white collar crimes were done by men of immoral character. They are not personally responsible for all of America's failings but are a symptom of America's spiritual illness most commonly referred to in previous centuries as "sin". This is the connection that most fail to see. Where there is no God there is chaos....
When Alexander Solzhenitsyn came to America he warned the US in the 70′s:
"Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. It is considered to be part of freedom and theoretically counter-balanced by the young people's right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil" (speech to Harvard 1978).
 The American press laughed at him and turned a deaf ear at his observations of America's immorality and materialism. Solzhenitsyn also warned long ago of today's socialism:
"A number of such critics turn to socialism, which is a false and dangerous current."
The danger is already here and the situation is much, much worse. Thus, Obama can try putting duct tape on a sinking ship but only when most Americans turn to God will the storm subside. Only then will America be able to fix the problem.

in a related item: The press is gloating against the Republicans, saying that they need to now become moderate and approve of abortion, drugs, and amnesty for illegal immigrants, but the real problem is that the presence of Reagan and the Bush presidency didn't make a bit of difference in the moral level: it was as if they were exploiting morality to get elected and then ignoring it.

Which is why Grim writes this:

My re-enactment group that we camped out with at the Highland Games includes a lot of rural, blue-collar whites. We had a political discussion one of the nights, and I got the sense that most of them weren't going to vote.

It wasn't because they were satisfied with their government. It was because they believed that Obama was evil, but the Republicans were corrupt, and the system was wholly rigged against them. They saw no benefit to voting or engaging in the political process at all.

They didn't believe things could be changed for the better, saw no one they identified with for whom they could vote, and generally have come to regard the government as a pack of thieves -- both parties.

So they have checked out of our political system. They wanted all the way out, but as close as they can get is to shut down the TV and radio, handle their business cash-only or on the internet, and just try not to be part of it all anymore.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

ByeBye Bishops

USCCB (catholic bishops spokesman) Sister Walsh says the bishops will go from confrontation to cooperation.

Because it worked so well in the past that few catholic were aware that the bishops said anything bad about voting in a president who approves post birth abortions and actively used his front groups to promote anti catholic "reformers" as equal to the bishops.

a more realistic view is on Father Schall's essay:

We may need to be preparing for more direct persecution for religious doctrines and prudential norms. The state in effect has now consolidated its responsibility for all aspects of our lives from before conception to “helping” us to the cemeteries as expeditiously and conveniently as possible.  The Church will be deeply divided; those who voted for the president will now claim that they have been “protecting” the Church all along. But, in exchange, the Church will need to “downplay” (read, stop) its strident opposition to the now widely approved “rights” that justify these actions.  It will only be necessary on a few outmoded doctrines about sex to change things. In any case, those who gets any assistance from the state must conform to all the laws and mandates of the state, including ones that go against objective standards or subjective conscience. 

he also notes;
Some even think that Robert Hugh Benson’s 1907 novel, The Lord of the World, describes what next to expect. 
 What is unrolling in front of our eyes is the scenerio prophecized by the late David Wilkerson many years ago. Wilkerson stopped giving popular "crusades" after being given a book on the Christian life after a talk, and took a year off to pray.

What will happen next is persecution, slowly then snowballing.

He also predicted the sexual downfall of church leaders, and the downfall of Catholics because of the church bureaurcracy. As a protestant, he also lamented that the born again Catholics will revert to rules and old traditions. I see that occuring now, with good catholics who stress their type of devotions instead of love of Jesus as the cornerstone for their lives...uh fellahs, Mary leads us to Jesus, the Latin Mass was too often meaningless, and a lot of the pious rule keeping meant the rules were more important than the essence of giving our life to God. Yet I still love receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, and the rosary does lead me to think of Jesus (if prayed properly, one prays at three levels).

But if we are bringing up prophecies another one strikes my mind: That the Philippines will bring the revival of the church. When I first heard of it back in the 1970's, I thought it was crazy, but now, with ten percent of our population all over the world, it does make sense.

Oh well : I am old, but God is in control...

now if we only could get our waterpump fixed so I can get a good night sleep maybe I won't be so paranoid...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
– St. Teresa of Avila

what will be the result of the US elections?

I suspect Obama's helpers will try to push a schism in the Catholic church in the US, as they are pressuring the weakened Catholic church in Europe to schism and become modern. Will they succeed? I don't know.

A culture of death is coming, where churches will be called homophobic and anti woman if they dare preach the gospel, where church institutions will be ordered by law to follow the "regulations" of an unelected official in the HHS and cooperate with abortion, and where doctors and all hospitals will be ordered to give out abortion pills and suicide pills by these same unelected officials, and where doctors and hospitals will be ordered not to treat patients if their QALY is low.

so expect Christian and Catholic institutions to shut down in the near future.

So what about the poor? Well, government will take that over.

Ah, but we old folks will get our care, right? Yeah: Wonder why no one in the press noticed the cut in medicare payment for doctors, money that is to be diverted to pay for the newfangled insurance for the uninsured...

Of course, the real problems will be economic collapse.

Lolo promised me that if I came here to the Philippines, we have fields, so I will always have rice to eat. He lived through the depression and WWII, so he knows what he is talking about.

Of course the US election also means PNoy will continue to pressured to push mandatory birth control on our people, and the Pope has already warned our bishops to expect "scandals" to try to undermine the church's opposition to the PC sexual revolution of abortion, contraception and divorce being pushed on us by the US and UN.

Of course, despite the military's move to the East, the dirty little secret is that China isn't afraid of Obama, so I expect they will be pushing us around in the next ten years, taking over our economy.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

saint Kateri, by Mrs Gay Caswell

all saints day

Father L. posted this tapestry, from the Los Angeles cathedral.

the full tapestries are available at this link.

almost like a Catholic trivia contest.
if you go to this link, and click on the individual panel, you will see that they are all with names.

Kim Taegon, the first Korean priest, was a martyr, as was his father...unlike other Asian countries, Catholicism was brought back by Korean converts, and was spread by laypeople...he studied at one time in Bulacan...

St. Agnes is a 12 year old Roman girl who was martyred in the ancient persecutions of the Christians.

John Neuman was a missionary to the US and bishop of Philadelphia. He was humble and worked with the poor: he even learned Gaelic to hear the confessions of the poor Irish who came over during the potato famine.

Bede is the famous historian of England, aka "Venerable Bede", and Alphonsus is best known for his books on holiness.

Most of us would recognize Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and good Pope John...

It is a comfort to some of us who suffer from "the dark night" that she managed to do her good deeds cheerfully despite doubts that it made any difference in the world or that there actually was a deity who approved. 

Pope John is beloved by all Catholics: During the war, he arranged for some Jewish kids to get out of Bulgaria by faking baptismal certificates for them (without doing the baptizing).

Bartholomew is one of the Apostles, and Bruno is a medieval bishop.

But if you are a scientist, thank St. Anselm: who insisted faith and science/logic was compatible, because both sought for truth...

Here we have two theologians, Bernadine and Thomas.
John of God was a soldier who suffered a "nervous breakdown", and after he recovered, worked with the poor and sick of his native country, Spain.

But Mother Katherine Drexel is another saint from Philadelphia: She was an heiress from a rich family (her step-cousin  is Jackie Kennedy)  who traveled around the US and saw the need for schools in the deep south and on the "reservations" for Native Americans. When she went to the pope to ask for him to send some sisters, he told her to do it, so she founded an order that set up decent schools for these neglected groups.

The Osage Tribe council chamber's historiacal mural has her and another local sister in it, along with others, mainly those of the tribe of their history.

And Father Kolbe ran a magazine in Poland and was killed by the Nazis for opposing them and their murderous regieme.

more tapestries here...

John Bosco worked with street kids in the cities of Italy
Francis de Sales is best known for his books instructing ordinary folks how to be holy in their lives.

this one includes Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Pinoy saint: He got into trouble with the law and found a job helping the Jesuits...who took him along to Japan.  But when the shogun turned on the Christians, he refused to give up his faith and so is a martyr.

Joseph Vaz was from Goa, 
and of course John is the apostle and traditionally shown as a young man, even though he died when he was very old, because he was just a kid when he started to follow Jesus.

Mother Duchesne was another missionary to the US (this one french). Although she never had the opportunity to teach, she did work with them at the end of her life, and given a name of the one who prayed always.


and the Catholic samurai Paul Miki and the young Louis Ibakaki made it, as did the Mexican joking priest Manuel Pro.

For the rest of us, we have the "little Therese", who was a nun but is popular among ordinary folks because she pointed out that we couldn't all be martyrs and missionaries, so our way to God was the "little way" of doing every little thing out of love of God.

In the film La Vie En Rose, the streetwaif who later was known as Piaf became blind while living in her grandmother's brothel. The hookers actually got together and made a pilgrimage to Theresa's grave to ask for a miracle to get her sight back, which she later did...and one of the themes of the film was that for Piaf, she didn't know or care about religion but she did see Therese as someone merciful who cared for her.

sometimes the "old schticks" as our cook in Africa Sister Agnetis called them. keep people from church and God by their uppity rules and by looking down on the rest of us. So the idea that our friends who have died, our relatives who went before us, and the saints, are up there "beyond the veil" and still care for us is a comforting thought...