Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Calendars, Appointments and taking off the rear view mirror

My granny, Sarahmae Mergler, always had a calendar on her desk in the back room of  42 West Siebenthaler Ave. She was a mother of 5 daughters and a son. She was a teacher before she retired and always had some neat pens and markers on her desk as well. The calendar was always dead center of the blotter on her desk. And we knew we could use the fun markers, but don't touch the calendar.

My mom, Jean Kavanaugh, lived by the calendar. She even would schedule out meals for the whole week. And if Monday said meatloaf, that was FOR SURE what would be served that night.

And so, it is that I too use a calendar, day to day and usually hour to hour. Raising six children and working part time and running a household has a lot of details to be managed. For the last 20 years or so, I have always used a paper, month at a time calendar. And when the year is up, I have saved them in my desk at our Propeller shop, where I work.

About a year ago, I went to a Google calendar on my phone and computer desktop. It beeps a reminder at every appointment. It keeps me on track for all the balls I am juggling. It is how I live now.

Yesterday, cleaning out my desk at work, I found calendars from my early working days at Arthur Andersen, calendars from the mid 1990s when the oldest children were young and I had to arrange babysitters. Calendars up til 2010 that made sure I arrived on time, with the right kids on the right day for the right events.

I think I kept all them partially to show that what I was doing was important, that it had value, that it counted for something. Also, they represented memories of trips we took, parties we hosted and ordinary life- a beautiful, ordinary life.

Then suddenly, I threw them all out. I think in a way I was saying to myself "take off the rear view mirror." Don't look back, but look to the future. The last, for which the first was made.

Trying to declutter, and detach. It is Lent after all. As Christians we know that every day is a "gift" from God, that is why we call it the "present." His mercies are new every morning. Let's resolve today and each day, to live today and only today. Remember the past and look forward to the glorious future God has awaiting for us. And set your Google calendar to beep each day to remind you to pray and thank God for all the time He has given us.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Musselmans' Homemade Applesauce

peel and core apples
People always ask us if we are related to Musselman brand applesauce, and we are not. But how fun is this, when the Musselmans make their own applesauce?

 4 lg. apples
 Pan (with lid)
 3/4 c. water
 1/4 c. sugar (white or brown)
 Several shakes cinnamon

cut and put in pot
cook 15-20 minutes
Done and Yum!
Cut apples in small pieces and take out the middle. Put the
cut up apples into a pan with 1/4 cup sugar and a few shakes
of cinnamon and the water. Cover the pan with the lid and
cook at medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes then let the
apples, cool and mash the apples with fork or potato masher.

As  a kid my mom made applesauce. I remember doing so at my grandparents house on 42 West Siebenthaler in Dayton, OH.  I had to get in touch with my aunts and uncle for details.

Uncle Mark Mergler from VA writies:

 "We used a Folly Food Mill.  The apples were cored and cut into quarters, stems and seeds removed, and placed into a large pot with a minimum of water; "to see but not to cover".  The water and apples were set to a slow boil until softened and let to cool somewhat.  Then placed into the mill.  The mill was placed over a large glass mixing bowl, the crank was turned and sauce came out the bottom.  Add whatever sugar or spices you want.  It was good either warm or cold.  I liked the skins that remained in the food mill.  This is much better apple sauce than comes from the super market. And you know what's in it. I have Folly and your question prompts me to get it out and use it."

Auntie Martha Gardner from MI writes: "Tool was called a Foley Food Mill. When I make applesauce - I mash in ripe bananas (no sugar added) and plenty of cinnamon and leave it really chunky with skins."

Aunt Ann who lives in OH (and who is slow to respond because her computer is still on dial up-haha) reports:
Yes, it is called a Foley Food Mill. The nice thing about it is that you don’t have to peel the apples before cooking; they are kept back by the food mill, when you grind the cooked apples. Actually, the most important part is that you use the King of Applesauce apples for this and that is Transparent apples. You probably will not find them at the store. They will likely be at a farmer’s market etc. They really are the best for applesauce, combining sweet & tart in the correct combination. We bought a Foley Food Mill when we were first married & when I can get some Transparent apples, I make us a batch. Sibs-if you remember that apple tree in the back yard-the one that never “ripened”- that was a Transparent. They stay green colored, even when mature. Not too much water, a pinch of salt & that’s it. Cinnamon to taste when you eat.
Have a great spring

Aunt Sarah from OH writes: 
We have 4 different apple "sticks" planted in the yard. We decided to grow as much of our food as possible in the yard because of the high amounts of chemicals used the ones  which are sold at the grocery. Thanks for the timely reminder!

The Feast of the Annunciation

Annunciation by Fra Angelico 1433-1434
Today is the Feast of the Annunciation. The feast is usually celebrated March 25, but when it falls on a Sunday it is moved to Monday. The Feast day marks the day that the angel Gabriel came to Mary and asked her to be the mother of God. The church has set this date 9 months before Christmas, December 25. 

The Angelus is a prayer traditionally said at 6 am, noon and 6 pm. Drawing from St Luke's gospel, we revisit the blessed day when Mary gave her yes.

Today renew your yes to God and His will in your life.

The Angelus:
Fresco of San Marco in Florence, by Fra Angelico 1438-45
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen. 
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 
Hail Mary . . . 
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 
Hail Mary . . . 
The Annunciation by Fra Angelico 1440-42

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

The Hail Mary is made up of two primary scriptures:

"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Lk 1:28)
 "Blessed are you among women,
 and blessed is the fruit of your womb"
(Lk 1:42)

Read more:

Monday, March 19, 2012



On March 23, thousands of faithful citizens will gather 
in prayer and public witness in cities and towns all 
across the  United States to oppose the HHS Mandate

Let’s make our voices heard right here in St. Petersburg
Rally for Religious Freedom
Friday, March 23, Noon to 3 p.m.
4th Street North & 22nd Ave North

What is the HHS Mandate?
In January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a mandate requiring all employer health plans to include free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of any moral or religious objections. Catholic universities and hospitals will be forced by the federal government to provide services that directly contradict Church teaching.
The HHS Mandate is an unprecedented assault on religious freedom and must be opposed!
The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom is a joint project of the Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.


Feast of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Joseph does not have one recorded word in Holy Scripture. However, his silence speaks loudly. He consistently DID the will of God.

Although May 1st is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, I love this prayer for today's feast as well. As the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster father of Jesus, Joseph had to work hard to provide for all the needs of the family. We all have work that we need to do each day, and we do well to start our day with this prayer. 

The kids and I say this prayer in the car on the way to school after our morning offering.  My favorite part of this prayer is in bold. May I always have death before my eyes and the account which I must render. This is living life with the end in mind. 

"Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations; to gratefully and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor the gifts I have received from God, to work methodically, peacefully, and in moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from it through weariness or difficulty to work; above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness, having unceasingly before my eyes death and the account I have to render of time lost, talents unused, good not done, and vain complacency in success, so baneful to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all to imitate thee, O patriarch St. Joseph! This shall be my motto for life and eternity." - Pope Pius IX

On a light note, my young 20 something friend, Elliot shares that he and his friends in college used to say: "In the spirit of St. Joseph, we must 'date up' always." Aka, date and marry a woman that is way more impressive than ourselves in just about every category. Ha! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lenten Pretzels

This weekend Bob made a big bunch of dough. We had pizza and rolls and pretzels. Pretzels are a great food for Lent.  
roll out the dough and make them into pretzel shape
Boil them in water with baking soda

From The pretzel has a deep spiritual meaning for Lent. In fact, it was the ancient Christian Lenten bread as far back as the fourth century. In the old Roman Empire, the faithful kept a very strict fast all through Lent: no milk, no butter, no cheese, no eggs, no cream and no meat. They made small breads of water, flour and salt, to remind themselves that Lent was a time of prayer. They shaped these breads in the form of crossed arms for in those days they crossed their arms over the breast while praying. Therefore they called the breads "little arms" (bracellae). From this Latin word, the Germanic people later coined the term "pretzel."
Bake them and enjoy!
We dipped them in hot mustard as a spicy treat.   For a great recipe for Soft Pretzelsclick HERE. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St Patrick's Day, John's Birthday, Green Eggs

As a Kavanaugh, I have always loved celebrating the Feast of St. Patrick and my Irish heritage. Our second son John was born on St. Patrick's Day 18 years ago! In the nursery on the day he was born, the nurses put a little green knitted cap on him-emerald green. He has always had a "green" birthday and this year is no exception.
Eggs Goldenrod is one of our family's favorite breakfast foods. So today, with a little food coloring, it is Green Eggs Goldenrod!

First, hard boil at least 4 eggs. 

Eggs goldenrod starts off with a white sauce. 2 T butter and 2 T flour. Melt in a pan on the stove. Once melted, add a little salt and a cup of milk. Heat on medium until thick and bubbly, stirring often.  Add in the hard boiled eggs, chopped up. We usually add some shredded cheddar cheese too. 

For a Musselman size family of 7 or 8 double or even triple the recipe. If you make too much, it keeps well a day in the fridge and warms up easy in the microwave.

On St Patty's day, add green food coloring. 
Spoon over toast for a yummy breakfast!

The Breastplate of Saint Patrick

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.
I arise today through the strength of Christ with His Baptism,
through the strength of His Crucifixion with His Burial,
through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom.
I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim
in obedience of Angels, in the service of the Archangels,
in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets,
in preachings of Apostles, in faiths of Confessors,
in innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men.
I arise today, through the strength of Heaven:
light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendour of Fire,
speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea,
stability of Earth, firmness of Rock.
I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to secure me:
against snares of devils, against temptations of vices,
against inclinations of nature, against everyone who
shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.
I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):
against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul, against incantations of false prophets,
against black laws of heathenry,
against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry,
against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul.
Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning,
against drowning, against wounding,
so that there may come abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.
Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Priest by Michael S. Rose

My sister recently shared a fantastic book with me, titled Priest, by Michael S. Rose. Published in 2003 in the midst of the huge priestly scandal, this book profiles 10 amazing priests. Each priest has his own special charism or mission.

I couldn't agree more with this review by Karl Maurer:

Never before in the history of the Catholic Church has the role of the priest come under greater scrutiny and critique. Even faithful Catholics have fallen under the spells of the dissenters peddling bogus `solutions' like married clergy, an end to priestly celibacy, and women priests.

Rather than resorting to `chapter and verse', Rose communicates the virtuous institution of the priesthood by telling the stories of ten faithful priests who are living examples of holiness, sacrifice, and love of God. In the process, Rose presents an enormously inspiring book that is easy to read and clearly communicates the fact that the Catholic Church is well outfitted with men of courage and conviction.
In contrast to the cackling of the media and dissenters, Rose believes the problem is not with the institution of the priesthood. Rose writes, "the problem is more often than not a failure of young (priests) to hear and faithfully answer their calling; a failure of seminaries and bishops to form and educate their future priests properly; a failure of the ordained to focus on the duties of their state in life; and a failure of the laity to offer the proper spiritual and moral support for their pastoral leaders."
In `Priest' you will meet Father Albert Lauer, who admits that he "did not receive God's fullest blessing because I stifled the Holy Spirit in my life." Lauer overcomes this with a devotion to Mary, and goes on to observe miraculous cures, conversions and holiness borne of his humble submission to God as a faithful priest.

 Father C. John McCloskey III began his priestly career in the pagan wilderness of Princeton University, and is now based in Washington DC. McCloskey is an intellectual giant who puts Christ's message into such a compelling form that he has converted hundreds to the faith, including the notorious abortionist Bernard Nathanson. Father Myron Effing has literally rebuilt the Catholic faith in Russia. Father Patrick Rohen served as a chaplain in Desert Storm. Father James Gould built a simple formula for achieving extraordinary vocations in Arlington, Virginia.
One of the most incredible profiles is that of Father William Hinds and his ministry in drug and violence infested Cali, Columbia before taking over as pastor in a small Kentucky parish now well-known for its orthodoxy. Ministering to real people with painfully real problems, and doing so with grace and faith, is portrayed in the story of Father Timothy Vaverek. The story of Father James Mary Sullivan reveals the depth and innovation of the Dominican preaching order. Father Sullivan started Generation Christ to confront the secular Generation X mentality and nourish the spirituality of young Catholics.
Father Paul Berschied founded a side walk counseling group called Helpers of God's Precious Infants. His story stresses the importance of obedience to God and the teachings of the Catholic Church. "A priest must remain united with the Church regarding her morals and her doctrines," he explains. "A failure in this area is what can begin to lead a priest into a loss of personal identity in terms of who he is and what he is to do. This, then, begins the rather vicious cycle of a priest turning within himself and oftentimes developing personal problems that are more often today referred to as `inappropriate behaviors.' The life of a priest must be a constant turning outwards, as was the life of Christ in His public ministry. Even when Christ went to pray in private, He was in essence turning out and looking toward the Father. Christ did not go into Himself to find Himself, but rather to His Father, with whom He is one."
The priests in these stories are holy men, to be sure, but the majority of them came from holy families. Catholicism that is taken seriously in the heart is manifest in the routines of a Catholic home. It's more than just Mass on Sunday and Rosary in the evening, but in the minute to minute and hour to hour interactions that build up holiness in the members of the family. God knows it's not easy, especially with children around, but God's grace is there for all those who ask for it.
If the Church suffers for a lack of priests today, it is probably due more to the fact that the average Catholic family has succumbed to a lifestyle defined by our secular pagan culture rather than by the Catholic faith. The fact that most of the priests in Rose's book came from holy families is no coincidence. As Catholic adults, the first step we can all take to resolving the vocations crisis is to make our own homes incubators of vocations.
We also see from Rose's book that the priesthood is not the problem. Lack of faith and dissent from Church teachings are the problem. In diocese after diocese in the United States, orthodoxy to Catholic teaching is emerging as the primary factor for success in vocations. In those parishes and dioceses where orthodoxy is practiced, the fruits are clearly visible in vibrant Catholic communities where vocations are valued and fostered.
What also becomes clear after reading `Priest' is that the job requires fortitude, fitness, and mental toughness. Being a good priest, now and the next day, is extremely challenging. It's not a job for wimps, it's a job for warriors, but as hard as the work may be, it comes with eternal benefits. This is a timely reminder that the majority of priests are good, holy men, dedicated to God, and to serving their fellow man.

Friday, March 9, 2012

It's not about contraception, It's about conscience and Religious Freedom

I will stand all day with the Catholic Church on her teaching on contraception. But the problem with the HHS mandate and ObamaCare actually has nothing to do with contraception. It has everything to do with whether government can impose it's belief and take away religious liberty.

The mandate, as it stands now, violates the Constitution, specifically the first amendment, and that should make EVERYONE upset. This is not a Catholic issue. It is an American issue. Join the movement at

Fr. Barron's thoughts on Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving

This video has real, concrete, positive ideas that you can use TODAY.

St Frances of Rome

Woodcut by Paul Bonelli
This quote from St Frances is one of my favorite go-to quotes when I need to keep my own priorities in order. Today let us love God, our husbands and our children, as we go about the business of keeping house, preparing meals and loving.
  Says Frances of Rome: “It is most laudable in a married woman to be devout, but she must never forget that she is a housewife. And sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping” (Butler’s Lives of the Saints).
Frances's life (1384-1440) combines aspects of secular and religious life. A devoted and loving wife, she longed for a lifestyle of prayer and service, so she organized a group of women to minister to the needs of Rome's poor.
Born of wealthy parents, Frances found herself attracted to the religious life during her youth. But her parents objected and a young nobleman was selected to be her husband.

As she became acquainted with her new relatives, Frances soon discovered that the wife of her husband’s brother also wished to live a life of service and prayer. So the two, Frances and Vannozza, set out together—with their husbands’ blessings—to help the poor.
Frances fell ill for a time, but this apparently only deepened her commitment to the suffering people she met. The years passed, and Frances gave birth to two sons and a daughter. With the new responsibilities of family life, the young mother turned her attention more to the needs of her own household.

The family flourished under Frances’s care, but within a few years a great plague began to sweep across Italy. It struck Rome with devastating cruelty and left Frances’s second son dead. In an effort to help alleviate some of the suffering, Frances used all her money and sold her possessions to buy whatever the sick might possibly need. When all the resources had been exhausted, Frances and Vannozza went door to door begging. Later, Frances’s daughter died, and the saint opened a section of her house as a hospital.

Frances became more and more convinced that this way of life was so necessary for the world, and it was not long before she requested and was given permission to found a society of women bound by no vows. They simply offered themselves to God and to the service of the poor. Once the society was established, Frances chose not to live at the community residence, but rather at home with her husband. She did this for seven years, until her husband passed away, and then came to live the remainder of her life with the society—serving the poorest of the poor.
(This entry appears in the print edition of Saint of the Day.)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Like a Tree Planted by Streams of Living Water

 Today's first reading and responsorial psalm are two of my favorites. We all need the deep roots from living water to grow. Close your eyes and take your mind to that favorite tree next to a river or stream and praise God for the blessings in your life.


Thursday of the Second Week in Lent 
Lectionary: 233

Reading 1 Jer 17:5-10

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.

More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 And 6

R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.

R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so, the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Saints Perpetua and Felicity

“When my father in his affection for me was trying to turn me from my purpose by arguments and thus weaken my faith, I said to him, ‘Do you see this vessel—waterpot or whatever it may be? Can it be called by any other name than what it is?’ ‘No,’ he replied. ‘So also I cannot call myself by any other name than what I am—a Christian.’”

So writes Perpetua, young, beautiful, well-educated, a noblewoman of Carthage, mother of an infant son and chronicler of the persecution of the Christians by Emperor Septimius Severus. The account of Perpetua written in Latin is one of the earliest pieces of writing by a Christian woman.

Despite threats of persecution and death, Perpetua, Felicity (a slavewoman and expectant mother)  refused to renounce their Christian faith. For their unwillingness, all were sent to the public games in the amphitheater. There, Perpetua and Felicity were beheaded.

Perpetua’s mother was a Christian and her father a pagan. He continually pleaded with her to deny her faith. She refused and was imprisoned at 22.In her diary, Perpetua describes her period of captivity: “What a day of horror! Terrible heat, owing to the crowds! Rough treatment by the soldiers! To crown all, I was tormented with anxiety for my baby.... Such anxieties I suffered for many days, but I obtained leave for my baby to remain in the prison with me, and being relieved of my trouble and anxiety for him, I at once recovered my health, and my prison became a palace to me and I would rather have been there than anywhere else.”

Felicity gave birth to a girl a few days before the games commenced.

Perpetua’s record of her trial and imprisonment ends the day before the games. “Of what was done in the games themselves, let him write who will.” The diary was finished by an eyewitness.
Perpetua, unwilling to renounce Christianity, comforted her father in his grief over her decision, “It shall happen as God shall choose, for assuredly we depend not on our own power but on the power of God.“
(This entry appears in the print edition of Saint of the Day.)
These two saints are patrons of new mothers. Today do something special for someone who is pregnant, nursing or has young children. Make a meal or even a simple treat like muffins or cookies. Offer to babysit for an hour or two, so the mom can get a nap or do errands.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cardinal Dolan's 7-point Evangelization Plan

Just hours before being elevated to Cardinal, New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan addressed the College of Cardinals and offered seven pointers on evangelization for reflection.
Zenit News is reporting that Cardinal Dolan was selected by the Pope to give this address because he hails from New York City, the “capital of secular culture.” Dolan acknowledged this secularization of the culture, and offered a “creative strategy of evangelization” of which there are seven main planks.

First, we must work to keep the quest for God alive by always remembering that even those who boast of their secularism have an innate longing for the divine.
“New York, without denying its dramatic evidence of graphic secularism – is also a very religious city,” Dolan said. “There one finds, even among groups usually identified as materialistic — the media, entertainment, business, politics, artists, writers — an undeniable openness to the divine.”
Second, “Be not afraid.”  We should be confident in our message, which comes from Jesus Christ, but without giving way to triumphalism, which is the belief that our work is done and we have triumphed.
“Confident, yes! Triumphant, never! What keeps us from the swagger and arrogance of triumphalism is a recognition of what Pope Paul VI taught in Evangelii Nuntiandi: the Church herself needs evangelization!” Dolan reminded. “This gives us humility as we confess that Nemo dat quod not habet, that the Church has a deep need for the interior conversion that is at the marrow of the call to evangelization.”
Third, we need to know that the new evangelization is not about presenting a doctrine or belief-system, but a Person, whose name is Jesus.  The invitation which is implicit in the New Evangelization “is not to a doctrine but to know, love, and serve — not a something, but a Someone,” Dolan said.
Fourth, because Jesus is the Truth, evangelization is linked to catechesis.
“True enough, the New Evangelization is urgent because secularism has often choked the seed of faith,” Dolan said. “but that choking was sadly made easy because so many believers really had no adequate knowledge or grasp of the wisdom, beauty, and coherence of the Truth. Cardinal George Pell has observed that ‘it’s not so much that our people have lost their faith, but that they barely had it to begin with; and, if they did, it was so vapid that it was easily taken away’.”
Fifth, we need to be joyful evangelizers. “The New Evangelization is accomplished with a smile, not a frown!” he said.
Sixth, the New Evangelization is about love.
“In New York, the heart of the most hardened secularist softens when visiting one of our inner-city Catholic schools. When one of our benefactors, who described himself as an agnostic, asked Sister Michelle why, at her age, with painful arthritic knees, she continued to serve at one of these struggling but excellent poor schools, she answered, ‘Because God loves me, and I love Him, and I want these children to discover this love’.”
Lastly, the new Evangelization is about martryrdom. All Christians are called to be ready to suffer and die for Jesus. “It was Pope Paul VI who noted wisely that people today learn more from ‘witness than from words,’ and the supreme witness is martyrdom. Sadly, today we have martyrs in abundance.”
He went on to tell the story a young man in New York who told him that he returned to the Catholic faith of his childhood, after reading the story of The Monks of Tibhirine, which is about Trappists who were martyred in Algeria fifteen years ago.
“While we cry for today’s martyrs; while we love them, pray with and for them; while we vigorously advocate on their behalf; we are also very proud of them, brag about them, and trumpet their supreme witness to the world. They spark the missio ad gentes and New Evangelization.”
He closed his address by thanking the Holy Father and his fellow Cardinals for “my primitive Italian.”
“When Cardinal Bertone asked me to give this address in Italian, I worried, because I speak Italian like a child. But, then I recalled, that, as a newly-ordained parish priest, my first pastor said to me as I went over to school to teach the six-year old children their catechism, ‘Now we’ll see if all your theology sunk in, and if you can speak of the faith like a child.’
“And maybe that’s a fitting place to conclude: we need to speak again as a child the eternal truth, beauty, and simplicity of Jesus and His Church.”
 Reprinted with permission from Women of Grace (R) Breaking News at