Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil and his wife
icons of self-help
Dr. Phillip McGraw is a PhD holding self-help guru who is extremely popular.  Here he is counseling youngsters.   He's being a father to these "brats".  He's gentle and calm but consistent and firm.

Dr. Phil with 5th Degree Nadia Suleman
on this show, Dr. Phil confronted Suleman
with the moral issues of IVF
People either love or hate Dr. Phil.  I have a personal liking for the guy, but my husband can't stand watching his show.  I like how he tells people truths that they need to hear in order to be better and more tolerable people.  He helps people become the people they really want to be.  Unfortunately, Dr. Phil serves the roll of confessor for the guests on his show.  Human beings have a need for confession, counsel, redemption, and a fresh start.  The only place to get this is in the sacrament of confession, but millions turn to people like Dr. Phil instead.  While Dr. Phil can give excellent confession, counsel, and a fresh start, he cannot give redemption.  Only Christ can do that.

It is my fervent prayer that people will discover the joy of confession.  Hey, let's start with those who are practicing Catholics.  If you haven't been to confession in a while, GO.  It's amazing how a tongue-tied, awkward priests can become eloquent and give the true words of Jesus to a penitent.  HE really works through priests.  Come home to the forgiving arms of Jesus.  Go to confession this week!

3 Degrees

Dr. Phil and his wife Robin were on Robert Schuller's Hour of Power.
Second Degree, Dr. Robert Schuller is a member of The Reformed Church in America.  It is the oldest Protestant denomination in the United States.  Dr. Schuller always seemed like a denomination unto himself.  He doesn't sound like a Calvinist, does he?

First Degree, Billy Graham has appeared on The Hour of Power several times.  Here is one where he espouses the same sentiment as Schuller.  They speak as pastors for a Universal Church.  Are they reletivists?  Unitarians at heart?  Or is this Christian love?
Pope John Paul II and Billy Graham in 1981

Friday, June 24, 2011

James "Whitey" Bulger

James (Whitey) Bulger and his girlfriend
Apprehended at last!

Third degree, Jack Nicholson played the character modeled after Whitey Bulger in  the 2006 film that finally won Marin Scorsese the Best Director Oscar, The Departed.  Here is a clip of a documentary about the connection of the Hollywood film to the real-life Bulger.  
Here is the official trailer for The Departed and some fun clips from the movie.  THERE IS STRONG LANGUAGE AND EXTREME VIOLENCE IN THIS FILM.  I had a pretty vivid nightmare last night about running into Whitey Bulger last night.  You see, when he first moved to California, I was living there, just a few miles from him, down the beach!

Mr. Nicholson also played the main character in Stanley Kubrick's 1980 master horror movie of Stephen King's novel, "The Shining".

Stephen King is two degrees from Blessed John Paul II as we learned in the post that bears his name.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sam Giancana, The Godfather

, The Godfather
There are good fathers, and there are godfathers.  Vito Corleone was modeled after fourth degree, Sam Giancana and other mob bosses.  He died 36 years ago today.  Here is part 3 of a 4 part series on Mr. Giancana, it shows his connection to Frank Sinatra, Jack Kennedy, and many more.

Giancana was closely associated with Frank Sinatra.  Giancana helped resurrect Sinatra's career by arranging Sinatra to appear in various night clubs along the Las Vegas Strip in the 1950s.  Sinatra favored The Sands, as it was the only hotel his good friend, Sammy Davis Jr., a black man, could stay.  The following documentary is a wonderful ride through the making of the original Oceans 11.  Get some popcorn popped, pour yourself a tasty beverage, and enjoy!
Watch more free documentaries
President Kennedy met Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI.  Here is a clip of Kennedy meeting Paul VI.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Andy Griffith

Andy Griffith, iconic widowed father
in the popular fiction TV series, The Andy Griffith Show
 from the 60s
is 4 Degrees from
Pope John Paul II

Third degree, Don Knotts starred with Andy in the show

Ron Howard (middle) with Don Knotts and Andy Griffith
Ron Howard directed "Apollo 13", the movie story about the near-failed
mission to the moon.  
Pope Paul VI lead prayers for the Apollo 13 crew when they were in crisis.
He also met President Kennedy, who also received the astronauts after
their safe landing back on earth.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Robert Young

4 Degrees
Born to an Irish immigrant father, one can only assume that Robert Young, the "father who knew best", was Catholic.  Here he is in a clip from the series that made him famous, Father Knows Best.

He began his career in silent films, doing bit parts.  One of his first talkies was in the Charlie Chan film,  "Black Camel."

Third degree, James Brolin starred with Young in the 1970s series, Marcus Welby MD.

James Brohlin as Ronald Reagan
Brolin played Ronald Reagan in the TV adaptation of the book, The Reagans, by second degree, Anne Edwards.  I was unable to find video of that TV movie, but I do have a link to the author discussing her book on CSPAN.   Read the book by clicking here.
First Degree, Ronald Reagan is a paternal figure for many Americans.  He was a fine president and, by all accounts, a great person with an impressive intellect.  He had a warm and wise way about him, the kind of manner we wish all our grandfathers possessed.

Two fathers sharing thoughts
The Reagans and Blessed John Paul II in The Vatican
A sense of humor in Reagan
A sense of humor in John Paul 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Three Tenors

Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, and Luciano Pavarotti 
Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, and Luciano Pavarotti were the three greatest tenor voices of their generation. In 1990, as I sipped celebratory beer in a German pub after the World Cup victory, we watched this historic performance.

The tenors laughed and sang their way through the evening.  The power of their song was felt by me in Germany and is still felt by all who hear them sing.

Placido Domingo: 1 Degree
My personal favorite was Spanish singer, Placido Domingo.  A devout Catholic, Mr. Domingo made an album inspired by the writings of Blessed John Paul II.  Here is a Reuter's film about the album.  This album also gets Josh Groban, Vanessa Williams, and others into "first degree" status.

Jose Carreras: 1 Degree
Catalan, Jose Carreras is a dynamo.  He sang at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II in celebration of the Jubliee year, 2000.  The video of that concert is available on Netflix, but not for purchase.  Here is Carreras singing from Puccini's "Turandot."

Luciano Pavarotti: 1 Degree
Although Domingo was my favorite, Pavarotti is the one who is most like me.  He loved the opposite sex, a good meal, a good laugh, and a good bottle of wine.  Mr. Pavarotti was all about pleasure and joy.  I wish I had his musical accumin, but we definitely shared a personality!  Here he is singing for Blessed John Paul II when he visited the United States in 1979.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Anthony Griffith

4 Degrees

Fourth Degree, Anthony Griffith was on
Third Degree, Johnny Carson's show.  So was
Robert Kennedy who met
Pope Pius XII.
Pope John Paul II is 4 popes removed from Pius XII.

Anthony Griffith - Baptist
JokesJoke of the DayFunny Jokes

Anthony Griffith is not a Catholic, but his love and care for his daughter will touch your heart.  Listen to this ONLY IF you are in a place where you can cry.  Pray for those who have a child in the hospital.  May God bless the soul of Anthony Griffith's little girl.  God bless all the great fathers out there!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Name that Bishop

Since our bishops are called "fathers" and it's the month of fathers, let's have a quiz, Name that Bishop!  These men are all bishops in North America.  This is a first on the blog.  Let's see how you respond.

Note: The quotes below are made up by me, not the Bishops.  They are therefore NOT subject to point awarding for Fantasy Bishball.

Scoring:  (1 correct) You keep abreast of what's going on in our culture at least knowing the most influential bishop in your area of the country.
(2-4 correct) You probably are trying to be a practicing Catholic, go to confession a few times a year, mass each Sunday.  Great job!
(5-8 correct) You either play Fantasy Bishball or you are really into apologetics.  You might want to get out more, see a movie, maybe loosen up.
(9-10 correct) You are a bishop.  I hope you enjoyed the quiz, Your Excellency!

Answer location at the end of the post!

"I'm the most famous bishop in America.  I'm jolly but shrewd.  I was featured on 60 Minutes a few months ago.  Who am I?"

"If a pro-choice politician tried to receive communion from me, I'd kick him a mile high!  I'm also wise to the Atheistic message of Philip Pullman's Golden Compass movie.  Some of my seminarians do the podcast, Catholic Stuff You Should Know.  Who am I?" 

"I got quite a bit of flack over Christmas when I ended a hospital's 115 year affiliation as a Catholic Hospital because investigation showed that it performed abortions.  I did the investigating myself and am very saddened that I had to officially excommunicate the abortionist.  Who am I?"

"I bet you thought that Catholics tended to be white.  Well, did you know that a very black Cardinal was short-listed for pope at the last election.  It's true, millions of Catholics are black, and that's just in the United States!  I should know, I'm chairman of the USCCB's Committee on African-American Catholics."

"I was head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops when the sex abuse scandal escalated.  Under my leadership, we drafted and implemented the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. It was tough, but we'll make it through as a family.  Who am I?"

"I have the most diverse Catholic flock on the United States.  I'm lactose intollerant and praise God that tequila is not a dairy product.  My initial degree was in business, so I never shy away from financial issues.  I live in a sunny state, but love the Green Bay Packers.  Who am I?"

"I had a word with Patrick Kennedy when he professed untruths about Catholicism and Catholic life.  I'm very adamant in defense of marriage as it has always been defined in The Catholic Church.  I don't care who I have to stand up to for Christ, I say what needs saying and I say it with firmness and love.  Who am I?"

"I've served in the Roman Curia, I've battled cancer, and yet I have the strength to encourage my diocese to accept Pope John Paul II's initiative for new media.  I have worked with my Mormon brothers and sisters on issues we both support.  Together we stand against pornography, poverty, and for marriage.  Who am I?"

"I'm American, but not from the United States.  After Vatican II, I became a frequent contributer to Communio, a theological journal.  I have spent my career as Archbishop fighting the relativism that plagues our society.  While I'm a Bishop Emeritus, I've only been so less than a year.  I still write for and defend the faith in English and French.  Who am I?"

"When I took my vows I thought I'd be a quiet monk serving in a poor village in Africa at this stage of my life. Instead I'm known as 'The Blogging Cardinal' and the Vatican sends me all over the world to help heal the wounds of clergy sexual abuse.  I just got back from Rome where I served at the Beatification of Blessed John Paul II.  That was a great joy for me.  Who am I?"

  Good luck!

Answers are in the comments on the Archbishop Fulton Sheen post.  Peek if you must.