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Archive for Wednesday, February 17, 2010

For St. John students, it’s no mystery how Ash Wednesday ashes prepared

The Rev. John Schmeidler ignites some palm fronds in front of school children from St. John Catholic School, 1208 Ky. The palms, which were used in last year’s Palm Sunday services, were burned to make ashes for today’s Ash Wednesday services.

The Rev. John Schmeidler ignites some palm fronds in front of school children from St. John Catholic School, 1208 Ky. The palms, which were used in last year’s Palm Sunday services, were burned to make ashes for today’s Ash Wednesday services.

February 17, 2010

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St. John's Catholic School preps for Ash Wednesday

Students at St. John's Catholic school got a first-hand look at how ashes are prepared for Ash Wednesday. Enlarge video

Students at St. John Catholic School oohed and ahhed Tuesday in front of a fiery cauldron in the school’s parking lot, as the Rev. John Schmeidler prepared to light palms.

“Is everybody ready?” Schmeidler asked.

“Yeah!” yelled the children.

Ashes from the palms, which were used at last year’s Palm Sunday service, will be used today during Ash Wednesday services. Today is the first day of Lent, which runs through Saturday, April 3 — the day before Easter.

Alexander Miller, 10, a student who’s new to the school, was impressed by the burning of the palms.

“It was pretty exciting,” Alexander said.

This was the second year that Schmeidler invited students to watch the palm burning.

“I used to do this every year by myself and I would go out and burn it, and then someone was just asking, ‘Where do the ashes come from?’ I thought ‘Oh, this would be good for the kids to know,’” he said. “They just enjoy it and they get to see, recognize where the ashes come from.”

Schmeidler planned to sift the ashes, and today will use them to mark the foreheads of parishioners during Ash Wednesday services.

He said the intent of the service is “to remind them of the sign of repentance” and about “finding ways in our own lives that we strayed from God and now we want to come back and be in his presence more.”

Comments

Stuart Evans 4 years, 1 month ago

why do folks assume that morality only comes from religious experience?

Understanding the world around you, and how it came about is an amazing thing. giving up on trying to understand and placing "faith" in a creator is a huge waste of human intelligence. I wonder how much more advanced our civilization would be if we weren't held back at every opportunity by religious zealots. that's why I don't think children should be subjected to this foolishness.

go ahead, have your 6,000 year old earth. have your "dinosaur bones were put there to test our faith". have your burkas and resounding cowtows. Believe in an invisible man in the sky. do what you want. I'm just saying that it's all ridiculous and you're not helping anyone but your own delusional self.

by the way, there's a teapot in orbit around the sun, and the teapot demands that we all pay heed to it every single day. no less than 3 times. and an extra time on Wednesday and Sunday. and also, you have to wear a funny hat and not drink coffee on the 3rd Tuesday of any month that begins with the letter J.

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rtwngr 4 years, 1 month ago

ahimsa: No, I have not read Pope Benedict's criticism of the movie Avatar. Paganism, loosely defined, is the worship of nature too and I am sure the Holy See disagrees with it. You still insist that the Church teaches girls that they are "less" than boys. That is absolutely untrue. Nowhere in the Cathecism of the Roman Catholic Church does it teach that women are "less" than men or subservient in any way. You are attempting to perpetuate an unsubstantiated accusation. To say, "This is what happened to me," is anecdotal evidence and proves nothing.

The world needs the Church now, in the 21st century, more than ever! The reason we have engaged in this conversation is because God is calling you back. This is the season of repentance and forgiveness. Maybe He is asking you to forgive His church for causing your pain.

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denak 4 years, 2 months ago

I went through 12 years of Catholic Schooling and was never once told that I was less than a male. In fact, name one other religion out there that has women as "Doctors of the Church."

As for indoctinating children, thank God. Lets see what beliefs I was indoctrinated with:

-The belief that all human beings are worthy of life and that that life is worth perserving. -The belief in social justice. ..that we,human beings, have a moral, legal and societal obligation...to speak out against the oppression and maltreatment of other human beings. -To serve other people...that we are put on this Earth, not simply to please ourselves...but to serve other people.

What horrible things to teach a child......our children would be much, much better off if we just taught them that they are the center of the world and that they have no obligation to others.

Dena

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ahimsa 4 years, 2 months ago

Did you read that Pope Benedict criticized the movie Avatar because it promotes the worship of nature? How ridiculous! And, as far as catholic indoctrination--I will never understand why parents would send their daughters to a church that teaches women are less than men. You can say whatever you want about Mary, Mother of Jesus, being honored, etc., but that does not negate the fact that little girls are taught implicitly from day one that they are less than the boys. It stinks! Especially in the 21st century!!

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rtwngr 4 years, 2 months ago

ahimsa: You claim understanding but your rebuttal is full of hate and pain. I am sorry for the pain that you have suffered at the hands of some in the Church. The Roman Catholic Church is imperfect. It is a human church with humans involved. Scriptures tell us that in the kingdom of God there is both wheat and chaff. Wheat being good and chaff being bad.

You accuse the Vatican of malfeasance with the assets it controls. How privy are you to the expenditures of the Vatican? You accuse the Church and me, by association, of being woman haters. Women are revered in the Church. If a woman takes birth control, receives an abortion, or shouts at the priest during mass, she is not excommunicated or barred from returning to church. Mary, the Mother of God, is honored like no man, other than Christ, in the Church.

Your facts on what was discussed between Archbishop Naumann and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius are incorrect as well. He asked her not to present herself for communion. He never withheld or threatened to withhold communion from her. Gov. Sebelius corroborated everything that was made public knowledge.

The problem lies with what you think the Church and God should be. God is not interested in what we think God should be. Through scripture and the apostolic tradition of the Church, God reveals himself to us. We are called to forgiveness, love, and repentance. God asks that we come to him with humility. That we be patient with others. We are asked to love those that would disagree with us. Thank you for your plea to God for mercy on me. I will ask the same for you.

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ahimsa 4 years, 2 months ago

@rtwngr: you said, "ahimsa, it is easy to see why you would hate something you clearly do not understand. Today is the first day of Lent in our church. Why don't you come and find the love that Christ has waiting for you. All you have to do is come back to Him."

I clearly do understand, and that is why I chose to leave a long time ago. I don't think the catholic religion represents what the Master Jesus Christ was all about. If it did, the vatican could use its assets to help the poor and needy instead of aggrandizing itself. And Pope Benedict...yuck!!! Who would want to follow a religion with him at the top? BTW, I'm not an atheist. May Mother God have mercy on you and all you women haters!

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brother_cumulus 4 years, 2 months ago

"GOOD TO SEE SOME TRADITION SOME TIMES WE FORGET WHERE W E CAME FROM"

Are you referring to the dust that Adam was created from or Adam's rib in which Eve was created from. Either way, think about that for a while. Think about how much of your life you're wasting believing in this systematic brainwashing.

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txron 4 years, 2 months ago

GOOD TO SEE SOME TRADITION SOME TIMES WE FORGET WHERE W E CAME FROM

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rtwngr 4 years, 2 months ago

ahimsa, it is easy to see why you would hate something you clearly do not understand. Today is the first day of Lent in our church. Why don't you come and find the love that Christ has waiting for you. All you have to do is come back to Him.

To all the rest of the atheists on this blog: Children need a moral foundation to develop a well formed conscience. If all things are relative, then why can't we take what we want, kill whom we want, and do as we please. Don't give me the argument of a well ordered society because that is crap.

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BorderRuffian 4 years, 2 months ago

What a shame Larryville seems filled with people who have so learned to hate that they condemn other people's religion. It is as if their faith - their "hates" - have become their gods.

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couranna1 4 years, 2 months ago

We don't need no {holy} water let the m**fr burn, burn m**fr burn

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75x55 4 years, 2 months ago

"I think it's a shame that children are indoctrinated into these belief systems."

All education is indoctrination - so, what's your point? Oh, it's not what you would like them indoctrinated with. Sometimes it's annoying not being in charge of the world, eh?

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jehovah_bob 4 years, 2 months ago

I always thought the ashes represented heretics burned at the stake.

Hmm, you learn something new everyday.

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Esq2eB 4 years, 2 months ago

It's funny how atheists can be so hollier than thou.

AreUNorml, If you have children, or when you have children, do/will you let them go to the church of their choosing? Will you let them explore all religions and if they so choose, join and follow one religously? Will you yourself take them to church when they are young to see if they enjoy it? Or will you try and indoctrinate them into your way of thinking, i.e. raise them how you think they should be raised...that is until the light of the real world is shined upon them.

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commonsense 4 years, 2 months ago

Funny. I have never once condemned an atheist, muslim, buddhist, etc. Freedom of religion in America is an amazing thing.

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makeshift 4 years, 2 months ago

AreUNorml, why don't you stop whining on blogs and actually contribute to society.

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Tex 4 years, 2 months ago

"well, a persons individual choice to belong to any faith is just that. an individual choice. I don't see that children are given that choice. They are pulled or pushed along until the little rays of light from the outside world cast great shadows on what they've been taught. What's really disturbing is that people will push their common sense aside and continue with the charade to please their family or avoid being shunned.

I personally don't care what fairy tales a person believes in. What I care about is the way that those personal beliefs inundate our society and the "morality" that many faith based groups try to push on the rest of us."

Newsflash: children aren't (or at least shouldn't be) given a choice about a lot of, if not most, things that are essential for health, happiness and survival. When you get older, you can decide whether or not you want to brush your teeth regularly, look both ways before crossing the street, eat healthy foods, etc. If one has religious beliefs that are fundamental to his or her approach to living, it is natural that he/she/they would pass these beliefs on to their children.

And it clearly does bother you that other people have beliefs that do not coincide with yours, or you wouldn't deride them as "fairy tales."

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KansasPerson 4 years, 2 months ago

Sheesh, who left the hater bag open?

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 2 months ago

well, a persons individual choice to belong to any faith is just that. an individual choice. I don't see that children are given that choice. They are pulled or pushed along until the little rays of light from the outside world cast great shadows on what they've been taught. What's really disturbing is that people will push their common sense aside and continue with the charade to please their family or avoid being shunned.

I personally don't care what fairy tales a person believes in. What I care about is the way that those personal beliefs inundate our society and the "morality" that many faith based groups try to push on the rest of us.

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Paul R Getto 4 years, 2 months ago

Interesting comments here. I tend to agree religion relies on early indoctrination and children should be kept free of prejudice until they are old enough to rationally choose what they will believe. Religion, if any, should be an adult choice. The ashes are a nice reminder that we are all part of our mother and will return there later to help feed the next generations. Everyone needs to relax and take a deep breath. We won't do away with the religious expression any time soon, and there is an argument the third chimp is programmed for a spiritual existence. Like Zeus, Thor and many others, the current skygods will eventually go out of fashion. The three common skygods from the desert tribes originated only 125 or so grandfathers ago. A mere 200,000 or so grandfathers back, we were Australopithecus afarensis. I wonder if they had gods then?

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ahimsa 4 years, 2 months ago

As a recovering catholic having been raised in this misogynistic, patriarchal, life-denying institution, it took me a long time to overcome the indoctrination. I just don't understand how people who practice birth control, are pro-choice, and who view women as spiritually equal to men can remain in such a women-hating institution. My best analysis is that those types of catholics (and there are many--remember Kathleen Sebelius was being targeted by a bishop saying she should be denied communion) are staying to please their families and are more influenced by the cultural element of religion than a true belief in the catholic church's patriarchal, misogynistic teachings. No offense to any members--this is just my experience. Oh, and you church leaders--I am not a "wayward" catholic; I am an ex-catholic. I never chose catholicism as a child and I denied it as a young adult.

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bigdave 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm just mad that Rev. John didn't invite me to the BBQ!!

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parrotuya 4 years, 2 months ago

Don't much care for religion, but Father John is a hands-on guy. Listening him sing German beer songs at Oktoberfest is a riot!

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Mariposa 4 years, 2 months ago

AreUNorml Oh, come on, now! Can't you see this story for what it is, a chance for the children to be involved in their faith. Since your decision to be an atheist does not bother me, why should my decision to be part of a faith bother you? Think about this. Anne Rice returned to the church. Gandalf warned Frodo not to stray from the path, and see what happened to Frodo when he did. To many, faith is the foundation of the house of life that you start to build the moment you are conceived.

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cowboy 4 years, 2 months ago

Having been a catholic educated kid , 12 years worth , educated children a well aware of the "holes" in theology early on. The benefit is the rest of the influence , discipline , solid curriculum , attention , things that are missing in the public school system.

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zettapixel 4 years, 2 months ago

AreUNormal... any smart child, even if indoctrinated, will eventually come to his or her own conclusions regarding religion and spiritual beliefs. Some will stick to the beliefs of their parents... some won't.

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 2 months ago

I think it's a shame that children are indoctrinated into these belief systems. too young to reach conclusions for themselves, they are forced (yes forced) to believe what their parents believe.
What I don't understand is how childhood fantasies like Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, monsters, etc. easily slip from our reality, while the fantastic tales of the bible stick with most people their entire lives.

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d_prowess 4 years, 2 months ago

I am not a St. John parishioner, but the few experiences I have had there seem to always leave me impressed, particularly when it comes to Rev. Schmeidler. This is just another example of him doing things that seem much more engaging and informative for young people than what I remember when growing up. Keep up the good work!

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fromashestoinfinity 4 years, 2 months ago

It's neat that he's getting children involved in their belief system.

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