Archdiocesan Calendar

BCI was just looking at the print edition of The Pilot as well as the online version of the Archdiocesan calendar.  We noticed a few very interesting things we thought we would share in the hopes that it will help improve archdiocesan communications.

In the online version of the calendar for September (or click on picture below to expand), there are what look like a lot of excellent programs, such as First Friday Extraordinary form Mass and Young Adult social on Sept. 8, Candlelight Rosary in Hanover on Sept. 13, an Election Lecture with Brian Burch of CatholicVote on Sept 18,  an evening in honor of St. Padre Pio on Sept 25, plus many more.

But go a bit deeper and a few things strike BCI as, well, rather questionable.

For example, “Voter Lecture” at Immaculate Conception in Newburyport had as the featured speaker, Fr. Kenneth Himes, of Boston College, who, naturally, appears in his official photo in a sportcoat instead of clerics, and who criticized Catholics who opposed Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Obama back in 2009.  This Wall Street Journal column reports on how Himes said in 2009:

“There are some well-meaning people who think Notre Dame has given away its Catholic identity, because they have been caught up in the gamesmanship of American higher education, bringing in a star commencement speaker even if that means sacrificing their values, and that accounts for some of this,” said the Rev. Kenneth Himes, chairman of theology department at Boston College. “But one also has to say that there is a political game going on here, and part of that is that you demonize the people who disagree with you, you question their integrity, you challenge their character, and you brand these people as moral poison. Some people have…simply launched a crusade to bar anything from Catholic institutions that smacks of any sort of open conversation.”

Now read this 2006 Associated Press dispatch:

Nearly 100 faculty members at Boston College have signed a letter objecting to the college’s decision to award Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice an honorary degree.

The letter entitled “Condoleezza Rice Does Not Deserve a Boston College Honorary Degree,” was written by the Rev. Kenneth Himes. . . .

“On the levels of both moral principle and practical moral judgment, Secretary Rice’s approach to international affairs is in fundamental conflict with Boston College’s commitment to the values of the Catholic and Jesuit traditions and is inconsistent with the humanistic values that inspire the university’s work,” the letter said.

The Journal says, “Himes, it seems, is an expert on demonization.”

One might ask, why is the Archdiocese helping promote a talk by Fr. Himes on voting?  Is he the best person available to address questions such as, “Is it possible to vote for a candidate and still have moral reservations about some of the candidate’s views?”

Elsewhere in the calendar we see a “Safe Driving Course” in Cambridge, and “Embracing Our Journey- Your Self is a Wellspring of Hope” at the Espousal Center. Neither strikes BCI as particular Catholic in focus. There are other listings that seem similarly secular.

Meanwhile, with all of the focus now on education about why Catholics should oppose Physician Assisted Suicide, there are no calendar listings for the talks given this past week on Tuesday Sept 25 in Quincy or Thursday Sept 27 in Waltham.  A look at The Pilot Calendar for the week ahead does not say anything about the workshops coming up on Tuesday, October 2 at St. John the Evangelist, N. Chelmsford, 7-9pm, or on Wednesday, October 3 at St. Raphael, Medford, 7-9pm.  Nor does The Pilot remind us about the Town Hall meeting Cardinal O’Malley is hosting on the topic this Thursday, Oct. 3, at 8pm.  BCI wonders where the crack PR team of Terry Donilon and Rasky Baerlein are when you need them to get the word out.    The Pilot has 20,000-plus readers a week–would you not want them to all to be reminded about these events? Is it just BCI, or does anyone else see calendar listings as basic blocking and tackling?

Anyway, our closing thought here is that BCI thinks the Boston Archdiocese might want to have someone take a little closer look at the listings they allow in the calendar on the archdiocesan website and also look at how well they are getting the word out on the matters related to the November election, including the ballot questions.

We have been asked by a number of readers to report on what is happening with opposition to physician assisted suicide and are hearing from readers they are confused about the various efforts underway. We will get to that soon. In the meantime, there is an excellent column by Cardinal O’Malley in this week’s edition of The Pilot, entitled “Suicide is Always a Tragedy.”

20 Responses to Archdiocesan Calendar

  1. tryingtofigurethisout says:

    BCI… that is just good reporting on Father Himes….the simply incredible hypocrisy of the quotes leaves me speechless for the moment….I am really begining to think that Cardinal Sean is just not in touch as much as he should be with his support staff……I still believe he is a good shepard …but it is really becoming increasingly obvious that he is not being served well by those around him….The only thing i can muster up right now and still keep some semblance of christian charity is that Father Himes is an embarassment

  2. bitsnbytes says:

    That’s a good catch on Fr.Himes’ inconsistency. I wonder whether the pastor in Newburyport knows about it.

    Before faulting Donilon & co. about the absence of the DPS events: does BCI know whether the event organizers submitted them for the calendar?

    • Bitsandbytes, Thanks for the positive feedback. Regarding physician assisted suicide workshops, the series running in local parishes has been centrally organized. So, yes, the central organizer of the workshop series should have submitted calendar notices.

      Who is running the overall campaign? Rasky Baerlein.

      See this article:

      Because this is a ballot initiative, this falls under the auspices of the Mass Catholic Conference, which reports into Fr Bryan Hehir and the secretary for Communications, Terry Donilon. Terry and his brother, Tom, have been tight with Rasky in Democratic political circles for decades, since the early Joe Biden campaigns. Rasky Baerlein is the diocesan PR firm. They got Terry his job as Communications Secretary and (in a massive conflict of interest) they are managed by Terry Donilon.

      Even if there are staffers handling logistics for the parish workshops, in view of the above, BCI thinks it is reasonable to assign the ultimate responsibility and accountability for success on those at the highest leadership level running the campaign. We checked around before we posted and believe we called this one correctly. Let us know if you have reason to believe something different.

  3. Chris says:

    OT: Much of the faculty of BC is suspect. Look up the record of David Hollenbach, SJ. He supports the HHS contraceptive mandate. And Thomas Groome. He’s a “national co-chair” of “Catholics for Obama.” Then there’s Fr. James Keenan,S.J., who testified in the Mass. legislature for same-sex marriage. And “Harry” John McDargh, who is married to his male partner. These people are active in the archdiocese. They spread their brand of Catholicism and Democratic politics all over.

    (Forgot: Hollenbach also ran the campaign to dump Condelezza Rice.)

  4. Stephen says:

    Are you suggesting some sort of modernist – progressive conspiracy within the RCAB?

  5. Chris says:

    I think we should all remember that Terry Donilon is the brother of Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser. And the Obama administration is against Catholic teachings on life and death issues.

    Stephen, I guess you’re right. There is a gigantic conspiracy! Although perhaps it’s only like-minded people gathering together, like at the New York Times and the Washington Post (or so their ombudsmen claim).

    • Carol says:

      Father Himes is also coming to Ayer, MA. In the St Mary’s, Ayer bulletin : Nashoba Valley Theology on Tap…….October’s Topic will be: As we enter an election year, Fr. Ken Himes will come and give us a talk on “Catholic Conscience in an election year”.
      When: Monday, October 15 @ 7 PM — Gather; 7:30 PM — Speaker Fr. Ken Himes, Associate Professor of Theology at Boston College. Where: Nashoba Club, 14 Central Ave, Ayer.

  6. Alice Slattery says:

    Chris is telling the truth about what is going on in the Boston Archdiocese especially as reflected in the Theology Dept. at B.C. by speakers who often are invited to speak at Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese. The most scandalous situation is that “Harry” John McDargh is allowed to teach theology at B.C. and gets so much support for his efforts to develop the GLBT staff organization on campus to promulgate his beliefs that same-sex sexual behavior must be applauded by all staff and students or else they will be labeled as having committed a sin of discrimination, thus, turning truth on its head! #2357 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church states , regarding same-sex sex acts:”Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
    When I wrote to Cardinal O’Malley to ask why John McDargh was allowed to teach in the Theology Dept. at B.C., the answer I received (through his secretary Fr. Robert Kickham) was that Cardinal O’Malley has a very good relationship with Boston College. It appears to me that this relationship is based on the circumstances that Cardinal O’Malley is never to speak the truth to the head of the Theology Dept. at Boston College. I know that Fr. David Hollenbach S,J. , Fr. James Keenan S.J., and Thomas Groome are adamant defenders of the kind of “theology” that is taught by John McDargh.
    This betrayal of the truth is the same kind of truth that was being twisted that prevailed when Charles Barron was teaching at the B.C. Law School while he was deeply involved in promulgating the assisted-suicide beliefs of the Hemlock Society which has now become the Community of Caring which is behind the current effort to pass the Assisted Suicide ballot question-#2 Prescribing Medication to End Life.
    Is the failure to speak up and tell the truth about these professors a sign of the cowardice that underlies our “prestigious” academics in the Boston Archdiocese?

  7. Serviam says:

    Mark your calendars…

    Fr. George Rutler will be speaking on the “Crisis of Saints – Holiness in the Year of Faith”

    Wednesday, 10/17 @ 6:00PM
    Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Church
    270 Elliot Street
    Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464


  8. Francois Tee says:

    Another interesting Archdiocesan Calendar is the scheduled list of Archdiocesan 2nd Collections. If you get that list you’ll find that almost every single week has an Archdiocesan 2nd Collection scheduled.

  9. Marie says:


    I may be a bit off track. For reasons inexplicable, I find this particular subject/cast of characters profoundly disturbing. By omission, the element of steering, and, yes Stephen, conspiracy. Makes Massachusetts politics look like child’s play. So, who is steering the ship? Insiders or Outsiders?

  10. Stephen says:

    I believe there is one man inside, who occasionally hangs his hat in Braintree headquarters with the little people.
    Yes, Massachusetts politics IS child’s play.
    This one man orchestrates the strategy of the
    modernists, dare I say – worldwide?
    He is the man who brought the world the
    seamless garment (AKA pulling the wool over your eyes to hide truth) The just war theory (AKA war is cool, but JUST if it helps your cause) and of course essentially created USCCB (AKA The Bishop mutual admiration Castration society)

    If Obama is reelected this one Harvard strategist will be responsible for delivering the Catholic vote. And the Catholic vote will decide who the next President will be. He is a progressive modernist heretic enemy of the Faith within, he seeks and achieves near anonymity and is a one-man, church destroying think tank.

    Do I speak too harshly?
    Only time will tell.
    BCI can disclose the name of this guy if they choose, I contend that yes Marie, there is one steer-er of this barque to Hades.

  11. Stephen says:

    The Modernist political /heretical/ theological/ financial/ educational power base HQ that brought our Catholic culture to this crossroads is located here in Boston.

    Still doubt it?

    Check out what a former Boston diocese golden boy is up to.

    Did you find that Traditional Catholic Priest to re-open Star of the Sea yet? Pray hard.

    • Marie says:

      Rendered speechless. If one cannot say something nice, best not to say at all. So, I will stiffle the urge to speak. The vindictive one. Thank you for the link.

      Church remains closed (as you know). Two blogs ago topic “Reuse”: Common sense and a good shepherd would have “re-opened” for the well-being of the Catholic faithful here. Divide and conquer quite an agenda.

      Much to pray for and against.

  12. […] Interesting Things on the Boston Archdiocesan Calendar – Boston Catholic Insider […]

  13. guest says:

    Try being at Notre Dame, St. Mary’s College etc. To say “Are you suggesting some sort of modernist – progressive conspiracy within the RCAB?” is an understatement here. It is not a conspiracy, it out in broad daylight, from most of the profs, to Priests, Nuns, …

    Rabidly pro-abortion, pro-abortifacients, let’s just call it like it is, most are just open Marxists. If I hear one more prof or Priest talk about “the common good” and “social Justice” and how destroying our healthcare system is a greater good and we should ignore the (relatively) small issue of reproductive services and vote for Obama, I am going to puke! What they are saying is that women do not really matter. Young women (thinking young women anyhow) do not want to be told what to do and that is exactly what is going to happen under IPAB. Having children outside of the established “maternal and child health interconception” guidelines? We are going to tax the heck out of you. This government is going to be in the bedroom more than Sandra just-do-it Fulke!

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