Monday, March 31, 2003

It's a small world. At Collegium Musicum rehearsal tonight, I realized one of my choirmates is also from Tuba City, Pfc. Lori Piestewa's hometown. Piestewa is missing along with her colleagues from the 507th Maintenance Company. It's at times like these that the cost of war hits home in a special way. Please say a prayer for Lori, her friends and family, and all those who are missing or captured.
Thanks to Lady of Shalott for this link to a story on the Saddam Fedayeen. I don't understand how people can not be appalled at a leader who sets up his own Hitler Youth. There's also this great Steyn piece on the war and how much of a double standard is being applied.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Wow! I finally got to watch my tape from yesterday of the World Figure Skating Championships. Michelle Kwan won her 5th world title. It was an incredible, incredible performance. Michelle is known, of course, for her grace and elegance, but this performance was the BEST I have ever seen her skate. Not just grace and elegance, but ease, expression, and emotion. It's a performance MK fans are going to treasure always.
The Diocese has released 6 more names of clergy with credible accusations of child abuse -- 6 more clerics named as child abusers. One is a permanent deacon.

Update: The Diocese has issued a press release.

Happy Birthday Jeanetta!

Head on over to Jeanetta's blog and wish her a happy 21st birthday. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, good Catholic girl that she is, she answered, "Well, since I already got leopard print sheets... there isn't much more a gal could want... how about peace on earth to men of good will?" So please say a prayer for peace today in honor of J's birthday.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

I'm having some problems with my domain renewal -- my hosting service claims they didn't get payment, whereas Amex shows differently. Anyway my domain hasn't been renewed yet so mail to is bouncing -- if you need to reach me you can email me at zaft at

Friday, March 28, 2003

As if there had not already been enough silliness on the subject (as blogged on Tuesday and Thursday), a bunch of people (led by four City Council members and some radio station DJs) went up and repainted A-mountain red, white and blue. Maybe we can leave the dang thing alone for a while... sheesh!
The USAF Thunderbirds are in town this weekend for an air show at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. They've been practicing, and here at work we have a wonderful view since we are north of the air base and on the third floor, with windows facing south. They are very impressive! Earlier they were using smoke to draw hearts in the sky. It's amazing the skill and talent of these pilots, and the capabilities of their airplanes.
Here's a good article on the current state of figure skating these days -- Figure skating losing its luster. While I agree with much of it, I can't agree with those suggesting that Michelle Kwan should retire for the sake of the sport. To me she is the brightest part of the sport -- she is positive, she is talented, she is competitive, she is a positive role model, and she pushes others to do their best as well. MK can retire when she wants to (hopefully, after winning Olympic gold in 2006!).
Woo hoo! I had another letter to the editor published, this time in the Arizona Daily Wildcat. Check it out.
Not so surprisingly, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are No sweat for Wildcats. Arizona now faces Kansas on Saturday.

Bear Down Arizona!

Thursday, March 27, 2003

A nice article from National Catholic Register on Catholics in the military -- US Troops Returning to Church in Droves. Check it out, it's very encouraging. Thanks to the lovely Jeanetta for the link.
The silliness goes on... now the Tucson City Council debates "A" Mountain paint. The "A" is traditionally white, but sometimes gets painted green for St. Patrick's day (like this year) and was painted red, white and blue after 9/11. I blogged about this Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

From Slashdot, a cool story on new lens techniques -- Metaphysical Lens May Refocus Electronics. For the physicists among you, these are made from materials that don't follow the right-hand-rule! Pretty freaky stuff.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Another one of those dumb and destructive things done by protesters -- Sentinel Peak's 'A' is painted black by anti-war protesters. It cost the city $3750 to repaint it. Grrr.
Happy Feast of the Annunciation. The Knights of Columbus are observing the 2nd Annual Day of the Unborn Child.

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson remarked that "The feast of the Annunciation reminds us once again that what we have learned through science can never contradict what has been revealed to us through revelation: That the life of each human being, unique and unrepeatable, begins at the moment of his or her conception. Thus 'the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us' at the Annunciation."
A really nice article on Antonio Nagore -- The native tenor. Brian (Antonio is his middle name/stage name) went to school at UA and was getting his master's when I was an undergrad. His sister sings in our Schola at SSPP and he's cousin to another friend of mine. Small world! He really does have a terrific voice.
Here's a nice article and pictures of our new Bishop visiting Catholic schools that participated in a science fair -- A BOW TO SCIENCE.

Friday, March 21, 2003

There's a horrible strangeness in seeing a day like today, an absolutely beautiful day here in Tucson with blue skies and comfortable temperatures and soft breezes, and knowing that half a world away men are fighting and perhaps dying in a war to, in part, keep those days serene and peaceful. Pray for the troops! Pray for the innocents! Pray for victory!

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Our friends at The Onion are still at it -- Military Promises 'Huge Numbers' For Gulf War II: The Vengeance. Yes, it's not fresh, but it's still funny.
I've been reading some more from Tony Blair's speech that I blogged about yesterday. It really is terrific. Some choice excerpts:

On the UN Security Council:
... had we meant what we said in resolution 1441, the security council should have convened and condemned Iraq as in material breach.

On France's role:
The way ahead was so clear. It was for the UN to pass a second resolution setting out benchmarks for compliance; with an ultimatum that if they were ignored, action would follow.

The tragedy is that had such a resolution issued, he might just have complied. Because the only route to peace with someone like Saddam Hussein is diplomacy backed by force.

Yet the moment we proposed the benchmarks, canvassed support for an ultimatum, there was an immediate recourse to the language of the veto.

In many respects this is an argument that some blame for the war is France's by undermining the only way that might have produced disarmament. He goes on:

The truth is our patience should have been exhausted weeks and months and years ago. Even now, when if the world united and gave him an ultimatum: comply or face forcible disarmament, he might just do it, the world hesitates and in that hesitation he senses the weakness and therefore continues to defy.

He also shows that he understands the significance of September 11th better than many:

And let us recall: what was shocking about September 11 was not just the slaughter of the innocent; but the knowledge that had the terrorists been able to, there would have been not 3,000 innocent dead, but 30,000 or 300,000 and the more the suffering, the greater the terrorists' rejoicing.

On the role of the US:

There is fear of US unilateralism. People ask: do the US listen to us and our preoccupations? And there is perhaps a lack of full understanding of US preoccupations after 11th September. I know all of this. But the way to deal with it is not rivalry but partnership. Partners are not servants but neither are they rivals. I tell you what Europe should have said last September to the US. With one voice it should have said: we understand your strategic anxiety over terrorism and WMD and we will help you meet it.

And on US unilateralism:

And if our plea is for America to work with others, to be good as well as powerful allies, will our retreat make them multilateralist? Or will it not rather be the biggest impulse to unilateralism there could ever be. And what of the UN and the future of Iraq and the Middle East peace plan, devoid of our influence, stripped of our insistence?

And finally:

This is not the time to falter. This is the time for this house, not just this government or indeed this prime minister, but for this house to give a lead, to show that we will stand up for what we know to be right, to show that we will confront the tyrannies and dictatorships and terrorists who put our way of life at risk, to show at the moment of decision that we have the courage to do the right thing.
So, it's started. Not quite as I blogged about yesterday, but close. God bless our troops, and all innocent life.

Here's the text of President Bush Addresses the Nation.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Thanks to ElfGirl for this great link -- Tony Blair's speech to the House of Commons today. Check it out, it's good stuff.
So, much chatter about impending war... when will it start? What will it be like? The administration is making like they might wait a while. I really don't think so. In my estimation they're either going in at dawn Iraq time (i.e. right after the ultimatum deadline) or late Thursday night Iraq time. The nighttime is usually the right time for such things, but with a full moon there might not be much point in it. They are not, I think, going to wait around and bomb the crap out of them like in '91, for two reasons -- 1) there's too much risk of the Iraqis sabotaging oil wells and dams on the Tigris and Euphrates if we wait, and 2) we don't need to -- many of the relevant targets have already been bombed recently, and the technology advances of the last 10 years means we can hit a lot more targets in a short time.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

This new "flu" is scary -- Mystery bug hits five more nations. I keep thinking of Stephen King's The Stand whenever I read about this stuff. What with the impending war and other tensions it's just enough to get your nerves wired.
More from the "Doesn't anyone proofread anymore?" column. Check out this text from this CNN story as of 11:13 a.m. EST 3/18/03:

"'We have taken these actions because intelligence reporting indicates that while al Qaeda and those sympathetic to their cause are still a principle[sic] threat -- the principle[sic] threat -- Iraqi state agents, Iraqi surrogate groups, other regional extremist organizations and ad-hock[sic] groups or disgruntled individuals may use this time period to conduct terrorist attacks against the United States and our interests either here or abroad,' Ridge told reporters at a briefing"

More idiocy from the French. In this CNN story, the French ambassador is quoted as saying:

"'If Saddam Hussein were to use chemical and biological weapons, this would change the situation completely and immediately for the French government,' Jean-David Levitte said. "

Mssr. Levitte, how can this be? Your government would seem to believe that Iraq doesn't have such weapons. After all, we know if you believed them to have such weapons you would have supported your old ally the United States, oui?
Well, like most of you I suppose, I watched the President's address to the nation. While I don't think it was his best speech ever (I would think it's the September 20, 2001 speech), it was effective. So now we wait, and hope, and pray.

We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Cal Thomas expresses his indignation with the UN -- Change of venue?. He does have a point. If the UN, which was formed in the aftermath of the war that Hitler started, can't do any better than the League of Nations at preventing dangerous people like SH from threatening their neighbors, have we really learned as much as we thought?

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.
From Slashdot, this amusing story of Family Tech Support. Some of you will nod in agreement, others just won't understand. And the sickos among you will say "Just get a Mac!" :-)

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Music for Mass
SSPP Latin Schola
2nd Sunday in Lent, Cycle B

Prelude: (instrumental)
Gathering Song: Parce Domine (vs. 2)
Penitential Rite: Kyrie (Chant Mass)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 116 (Dominican tones)
Gospel Acclamation: (Chant, Domincan tones)
Preparation of the Gifts: Voce Mea ad Dominum Clamavi (Pius X #32)
O Bone Jesu (Palestrina, Pius X #216)
Jesu, Salvator Mundi (Pius X #215)
Holy,Holy: Sanctus (Chant Mass)
Memorial Acclamation: (Chant Mass)
Great Amen: (Chant Mass)
Our Father: (Traditional Chant)
Lamb of God: Agnus Dei (Chant Mass)
Communion: Lord of All Hopefulness (trad. Irish melody)
Recessional: This Day God Gives Me (trad. Gaelic melody)

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Doesn't anyone proofread anymore? Check out the headline on this CNN story as of 8:42 p.m. EST 3/15/03: Spears sued for breech of contact. Of course they mean breach of contract. Sheesh!
My telemarketer encounter for today....

Me: Hello!
TM: (silence, then:) Hello, I'm calling for Gordon from the American Express Small Business Network...
Me: (interrrupting) No thank you!
TM: What?
Me: No thank you!
TM: No thank you what?
Me: No thank you, sir! Bye! (hang up)

Friday, March 14, 2003

Some folks have blogged about their favorite saints and so forth. Michelle blogged last month about her favorite saints-yet-to-be-canonized. So, here's my list:

  1. Mother Teresa
  2. Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus
  3. Bl. Junipero Serra, founder of the California missions
  4. Fr. Eusebio Francisco Kino, founder of the missions of the Pimeria Alta (northern Mexico and southern Arizona)
  5. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

Who are your favorites?
Okay, this really torques me off (as we used to say). Antiwar protesters trash 9/11 memorial. The nerve!

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

I was over at Disputations (a fine blog) and I noticed his link to Apparently it's a service that will help to organize one's list of links on the side (i.e. one's blogroll). Anyone using it have any feedback?
My copy of the Gregorian Missal for Sundays came yesterday. It's very cool. I'm thinking I might be able to get our Schola to sing some of this stuff next year. Currently we chant the basic Mass parts but not the Credo or the Our Father. It also might be neat to see if we couldn't start chanting the Psalm in Latin (currently it's in English). That might take some doing, though.
Page 2 continues its new fascination and asks 10 Burning Questions for Jennie Finch.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

I'm preparing a... well, a rant :-) about the inclusion of "liturgical dance" in the Rite of Election. I'd appreciate if any of you who experienced the R of E in your diocese could leave a comment saying whether the Procession of Baptismal Symbols at your Rite was done as a dance. Thanks. I'll be sure to share my finished rant with y'all.

Lest we forget...

It's been 1.5 years since the horrors of September 11, 2001. I have not forgotten. I trust you haven't either. I hope on this day we can stop and say a prayer for those who died, and for those who mourn them, and for those whose job it is specifically to make sure it doesn't happen again. God bless them all. Here's a nice tribute.

Monday, March 10, 2003

More news on Bishop Moreno -- first, a Letter from Bishop Moreno Announcing Retirement and second, a Statement on Bishop Moreno's health. This quote is classic, and very typical:

My decision to submit my request to retire was not an easy one, because I love you.
Jim Glock, who is the Director of the City of Tucson's excellent Transportation Department, wrote this opinion piece -- Shortsighted county shortchanges city on traffic programs. It's nice to see this issue being aired, as it has been a source of concern and consternation for some time now. The Arizona Daily Star did a series on the county's mismanagement of its contracting efforts some time ago, which only added fuel to the fire. Also, many place some blame on the county's woes for the defeat of the city's attempt to raise a 1/2 cent sales tax for transportation issues, since many voters make little distinction between the city and the county, not to mention their transportation departments. I've learned a lot about this stuff during my 2 years on the Citizens Transporation Advisory Comittee.
This was reported on Slashdot. Check out Stem Cells Heal a Broken Heart. This is very encouraging because the stem cells in question were the boy's own.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

The Arizona Daily Star has had a lot of coverage of Bishop Moreno's resignation and Bishop Kicanas's accession. See Pope grants Moreno's wish, and also this look at Moreno's episcopacy, and this issue summary(love the picture!). Also Bishop Kicanas's comments on Moreno's episcopacy. Finally, a timeline of Tucson's bishops. Bishop Moreno was our first Hispanic bishop. Hopefully he won't be our last.

Also, see the Star editorial.

Friday, March 07, 2003

The Diocese of Tucson is a big place. I finally did some looking around in the Statistical Abstract of the United States and found a good comparison: Virginia. The Diocese of Tucson is almost the same size as the state of Virginia -- about 43,000 square miles. And of course Arizona is the 6th largest state. That's one reason our bishop logs so many miles.
Big news from The University of Arizona(tm). The Arizona Board of Regents has voted on a 40% tuition hike for next year -- $1K hike in tuition gets OK of regents. Not surprisingly students aren't happy, although many seem resigned to it. Check out the Arizona Daily Wildcat story.
A nice article from the Arizona Daily Wildcat on a grad student considering the Dominican order and priesthood -- Welcome to the ’hood … the Priesthood. Offhand he sounds pretty well balanced. I'm sure he'd appreciate your prayers for his vocation.
Ya gotta admire their pluck. The pastor at Tucson Community Church, a "non-denominational" church here in Tucson, is running a series of ads on the radio (maybe TV, too) talking about the importance of saving sex for marriage and how sex outside of marriage is wrong, etc. If only other churches were so bold!
Whoa! The Diocese of Tucson announces Bishop Moreno's retirement. I just saw him last Sunday at the Rite of Election. Bishop Kicanas is now the 6th Bishop of Tucson and has written a brief pastoral letter.

Bishop Moreno's episcopacy was marked by high points -- including celebrating the diocesan centennial in 1997 -- and low points -- revelations of priestly abuse and misconduct, including alleged molesters who were moved around in parishes. Still, I believe that he meant well and made honest mistakes. He is, from my estimation from having met him several times, a good and holy man. His health has not been good for several years, so his retirement isn't a shock, but it is a surprise. I wish him well and hope that with rest he may find some comfort in his illness.

Update: This from the Arizona Daily Star:

During Friday's service, Moreno spoke of two additional health problems that contributed to his decision to resign. Moreno was informed by doctors late last year that he is in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease and has prostate cancer. He was told that neither condition is life-threatening at this time, but he's been in treatment and is prayerfully optimistic.
It hasn't gotten much press, but CNN reports U.S., Russia nuke treaty ratified. This is really pretty amazing. "The pact calls on both nations to cut their strategic nuclear arsenals to 1,700 to 2,200 deployed warheads by 2012 -- down from about 6,000 for the United States and 5,500 for Russia."

It's a bit annoying for people to keep calling Bush a war-monger when he has been able to reduce the threat of nuclear war in a way that his predecessors only dreamed of.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Tucson's most eligible bachelor is getting hitched! Apparently his bride-to-be was asking Who's Lute? It's really nice to see Lute has found a bride after the loss of his wife two years ago. Also check out Star columnist Greg Hansen on UA's Pac-10 championships.

In other UA athletics news, former football coach Dick Tomey will be an assistant coach for the 49ers. Despite the cloud around him when he left, Tomey is UA's winningest (is that really a word?) coach.
The next time someone talks to you about world overpopulaton, have 'em look at this article at New Scientist. The disturbing quote is "fertility rates will be below replacement levels in three-quarters of the world by 2050".

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Music for Mass
Gordon Zaft, cantor; Marlo Nottingham, pianist
Ash Wednesday, Cycle B

Gathering Song: Amazing Grace
Responsorial Psalm: Create In Me (OCP Psalm 51)
Gospel Acclamation: Lenten Gospel Acclamation (OCP, w/verse)
Preparation of the Gifts: Hosea (OCP)
Holy,Holy: recited
Memorial Acclamation: recited
Great Amen: recited
Our Father: recited
Lamb of God: recited
Communion: Turn to Me (OCP)
Slashdot has a good discussion on how pricing is changing. It's a really cool article.
Karl has a good post on Lenten fast and abstinence.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

I've been pondering what to give up for Lent. In past years I've given up such things as french fries (more than once, boy was that hard!), caffeinated soda pop, all soda pop, and last year (or maybe the year before) I gave up sleeping late, and dragged my sorry butt to 8 a.m. Mass every day (M-F). In thinking about my life, I'm thinking this year I'm going to give up frivolous spending -- that is, books, CDs, DVDs, videos, and computer stuff. Although Lent is only 6 weeks this is probably a good start for me on simplifying my life a bit. As it is I have huge numbers of books in my "to be read" pile, and DVDs I've bought and never watched. And of course I have way too much computer stuff.
Thanks to Mark Shea for this link to Rod Dreher on Europe & War. Whether you agree with him or not, I think he definitely expresses the way a lot of people in America feel right now.
I came across a quote today that's attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted"

I'm curious about the context of this quote. Offhand it doesn't seem like the kind of thing I would expect a Baptist minister (or any Christian preacher, really) to say.

Monday, March 03, 2003

In case you hadn't noticed, today is 3/3/3 (or, if you prefer, 03/03/03).
Eeep! the Washington Times claims that Terrorists planned to attack Pearl Harbor!
Here's a really nice article from the Arizona Daily Star on the Cistercian nuns of Santa Rita Abbey -- The simple way. Also check out the Santa Rita Abbey homepage. Yes, everyone has a homepage these days.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Music for the Rite of Election
Diocese of Tucson Diocesan Chorale

Call to Worship: The Summons (John Bell)
Entrance Hymn: O Love of God/Amor de Dios (Bob Hurd)
Responsorial Psalm: Blessed are We (Jeanne Cotter)
Gospel Acclamation: Praise To You (Jennifer Anstey)
Calling of the Catechumens: Who Calls You By Name (David Haas)
Procession of the Books of the Elect: Instrumental Thy Perfect Love (John Ritter)
Song after the Act of Election: We Are Called (David Haas)
Procession of Baptismal Symbols: Instrumental The Voice of God (Jaime Cortez)
Calling of the Candidates: Called, Chosen (Claude Haynes)
Song after the Act of Recognition: You Are Mine (David Haas)
Intercessions: Tuhan dengar doa Kami (Jesse Manibusan, Misa del Mundo)
Recessional: Take The Word Of God With You (Christopher Walker)

Our diocese's Rite of Election takes place in two parts, today and next Sunday, in order to accommodate all the catechumens and candidates and their sponsors, family, etc. We have a total of approximately 400 candidates and catechumens this year for the diocese.
For those that missed it, the UA men's basketball team is once again Pac-10 champs. Go Cats! Bear Down!
Okay, this is even more amusing. I blogged the other day about Page 2's hottest female athletes. Well, Arizona's Jennie Finch won hands-down, so now Page 2 is having a Jennie Finch vs. Anna Kournikova showdown. I'm torn between loyalty to my alma mater and my longstanding obsession with AK. Eeeep! :-) So far Jennie is winning with 61% of the vote!

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Check out cartoonist's Tributes to Mr. Rogers.
Apparently Battlestar Galactica will be returning to television! The Sci-Fi channel will be showing this update to the classic TV series. I'd be really jazzed except that I don't have cable.... *sigh*