Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sister David Ennis, CSA

30 October 1926 - 12 January 2010

Sister David Ennis was principal at my elementary school beginning in 1991. I began pre-school in the fall of 1993. She ended her time there at the end of my sixth grade year in the spring of 2001. She has left a permanent impression on my life, the growth of my faith, and my devotion.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Sister David (Norma) Ennis, 83, died on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010, at Nazareth Center where she resided.

In Beloit, Wis., the day before Halloween, Oct. 30, 1926, James "Arthur" and Vera Ennis, along with their son, Patrick, welcomed a daughter into the world and named her Norma.

Her childhood years were spent in Beloit where she attended Brother Dutton School, and first met the Sisters of St. Agnes, her teachers. After her graduation from Brother Dutton in 1941, the Ennis family moved to Detroit, Mich. But Norma had been impressed by her teachers and returned to her Wisconsin roots by entering the Congregation in Fond du Lac in 1944.

Later, her brother Pat's family would join her, working with the Sisters on the farm east of town.

On Aug. 15, 1947, Norma made her first profession of vows as Sister David, the name she had received as a novice.

Assigned as a teacher in the tiny town of Nanty Glo, Pa., she began what would be more than a half-century as an educator and principal in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Illinois, and New York. Over the years, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Marian College (now Marian University) of Fond du Lac; a Bachelor of Science degree in library science from St. Catherine's College in St. Paul, Minn.; and a Master of Education degree in administration and supervision from Siena Heights in Adrian, Mich. Sister David successfully taught every grade from three through eight, but said she was "most comfortable" with seventh and eighth-graders.

Nearly 25 years of teaching were followed by more than 25 years as principal, the majority of those years in Fond du Lac where she served as principal in all the Catholic elementary schools except St. Louis. In 1991, 40 years after her graduation from Brother Dutton, Sister David returned to Beloit as principal of St. Peter's School. When she needed to lighten her load, she remained in education by serving as librarian at St. John the Baptist School in Jefferson, Wis.

Firm and competent as a teacher and efficient as an administrator, she leaves a lasting legacy on many of those students and colleagues who knew her over the last half of the 20th Century. Whatever her accomplishments, Sister David credited the Congregation with her success because of the many opportunities provided for spiritual and intellectual growth.

Although her ministry was education, Sister David was first, last, and always a woman religious.

Her loyalty as a member of the Congregation is equaled by the loyal and close friends she has made. For her family to whom she has remained close, she is an inspiration and a mentor to many. Her younger sister, who followed her into religious life though in a different community, found in her a model from whom she learned integrity, honesty, faithfulness, and fairness over the years. Sister David was a woman of principle and integrity; strong in the face of challenges, she faced her final illnesses in the past five years with courage, determination and dignity — and always with gratitude for any act of kindness shown her. A woman who often laughed at herself and joked with her friends about wanting to be always in control of herself and of situations, Sister David finally and peacefully gave over that control to the God who called her home last Tuesday.

Sister David is survived by a sister, Sister Mary Ann Ennis, OP, of Jefferson, Wis.; a sister-in-law, Eva Ennis of Fond du Lac; many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews; and the Sisters of St. Agnes with whom she lived, prayed, and ministered.

Preceding her in death were her parents, James "Arthur" and Vera Noonan Ennis; two brothers: James (Jr.) Ennis, who died as an infant, and James "Pat" Ennis; and one sister: Rosemary Ennis, who also died as an infant.

•Visitation: Visitation for Sister David will be held on Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Nazareth Court and Center, 375 Gillett St. Fond du Lac. A prayer service will be held there at 11 a.m.

•Services: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Jan. 15 at 1:30 p.m. in the St. Francis Home Chapel, 33 Everett St., Fond du Lac. Father Tom Coyle will preside. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Springs Cemetery.

Memorials can be directed to the Sisters of St. Agnes Development Office, 320 County Road K, Fond du Lac, WI, 54935.

The Sisters of St. Agnes are grateful to the nurses and staff of Nazareth Court and Center and of Hospice Hope for their care of Sister David in her retirement years.

Zacherl Funeral Home of Fond du Lac is serving the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Agnes. Additional information is available at

FIRC: Office for the Dead, 15 January 2010

Haitian Earthquake

On the 12 January 2010 about 5pm local time, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck 10 miles from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. The nation, 80% of whose citizens live below the poverty line, has suffered horrible damage and destruction as well as an ever rising death toll.

At his Wednesday audience on 13 January, the Holy Father gave a plea for emergency help and the generosity of people all around the globe. He has pledged the assistance of the Vatican. Archbishop Serge Miot lost his life in the earthquake. He was found in the rubble of his office early on the morning of the 13 January.

Besides financial generosity, please offer fasts, sacrifices, and prayers for those who have died and those who are beginning to recover.

FIRC: Office for the Dead, 14 January 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Reform of the Reform and other stories


The Reform of the Reform begins at the Vatican
Msgr. Guido Marini, chief liturgist to the Holy Father, endorses the "reform of the reform" of the liturgy according to an article by Catholic News Service. In trying to unify the plethora of liturgical opinions and consequently controversies that have plagued a Church working to correctly interpret the Second Vatican Council, the Holy Father stresses continuity between the past and the present. He also calls for adoration as the central focus in music, vessels, etc. The Holy Father has made it the norm in papal liturgies for those receiving from the Holy Father to receive kneeling on the tongue, promoting this sense of adoration.
Source: Catholic News Service article by Father Matthew Gamber

JPII Gunman to be Released
Mahmet Ali Agca, the gunman who attempted to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, will be released from prison 18 January after serving time in Turkey for a murder two years previous to the Holy Father's near-assassination. He is reported to be seeking a movie and two book deals upon his release.
Source: Fox News

40 entries complete
When I began to blog again, I promised myself 40 entries. The article of 8 January 2010 marked the 40th entry. The objectives I stated at the beginning have been modified and changed but one thing remains consistent. All is for the glorification of God! It is perhaps needless to say, but I will continue to write. I look forward to writing about all I learn and discover as I pursue Jesus Christ in Rome, so near to the Heart of the Catholic Church. Thank you for reading. I will be praying for you. We are United in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Youth Group Promotes Error

Bishop Thomas G. Doran of the Diocese of Rockford along with Monsignor David D. Kagan, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, released a statement regarding the error promoted by a youth group, "Young Catholics for Choice". The statement was published in the Friday 8 January 2010 issue of The Observer, the Catholic newspaper for the Diocese of Rockford.

December 21, 2009

My Dear Friends in Christ,

It has been reported to me that an organization calling itself "Young Catholics for Choice" has recently entered into collaboration with some of the family planning services in the State of Wisconsin. Through items placed in the secular media in advertising and in other ways, "Young Catholics for Choice" is attempting to convey the message that Catholics can disregard church teaching regarding conception, abortion and human sexuality in general and remain Catholics in good standing.

This is the egregious error of many Catholics in political life who are unfaithful to the Church and who purport to remain Catholics while deserting the moral teaching of Christ and the Church. Sadly, examples of this kind of conduct are not far to seek even for us in the Midwest.

This message of "Young Catholics for Choice" and of unfaithful Catholic politicians could not be further from the truth. People can call themselves by whatever name they wish, but it is the duty of the Bishops of the Church to state clearly, unequivocally and unambiguously that by professing and disseminating views in grave contradiction to Catholic teaching, members of organizations like "Young Catholics for Choice" in fact disown their Catholic heritage, tragically placing themselves outside that communion with the Church to which they are called. We pray that they may repent of their errors and renounce opinions which are contrary to the Catholic faith which they claim to profess.

The Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran, D.D., J.C.D.
Bishop of Rockford

The Reverend Monsignor David D. Kagan, J.C.L.
Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"...the buck stops with me."

This new "Newsreel" feature is a summary of news that has recently caught my attention. The title of the feature refers to the segments that appeared before films in movie theatres in the first half of the twentieth century, a major source of news for the people of the era. My opinions, where applicable, have been written in plain text and italicised.

The President comments on attacks
President Barack Obama gave a press conference to address the results of inquiry and investigation regarding the recent terrorist attacks and attempts on our nation, especially the Christmas Day attempt on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. He commented that a plan is in motion to improve communication between intelligence agencies and avoid further mistakes. Among these comments he said, "We are at war with Al Qaeda."

Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secretary, led a press conference with Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, among others. Helen Thomas, a member of the White House Press Corps, asked among other things, why Al Qaeda wishes to attack us. The government officials tap danced around the issue.
Source: Fox News

Benedict XVI encourages youth in vocations
At the Thanksgiving Vespers December 31st at St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged vocations among the youth, that they should not be afraid of living out God's will for their lives. The 25th anniversary of World Youth Day will be celebrated 25 March 2010.
Source: EWTN

New Jersey defeats gay marriage bill
The New Jersey Senate defeated the gay marriage bill on 7 January. Supporters of the bill worked to push the bill through before Republican Governor-elect Chris Christie takes office 19 January. Outgoing Governor Jeff Corzine vowed to sign the bill while Governor-elect Chris Christie will veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
Source: Fox News

Feast of the Baptism of the Lord this Sunday
This Sunday the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The conclusion of Vespers that day marks the end of Christmastide. Pope Benedict XVI, continuing in tradition, will celebrate Mass and the Sacrament of Baptism in the Sistine Chapel this Sunday. EWTN will broadcast the Mass at 3am CT with an encore at 11am CT.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Proclamation of the Date of Easter on Epiphany

Dear brothers and sisters, the glory of the Lord has shone upon us,
and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of his return.
Through the rhythms of times and seasons
let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation.

Let us recall the year's culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord:
his last supper, his crucifixion, his burial, and his rising, celebrated
between the evening of the 1st of April
and the evening of the 4th of April.

Each Easter - as on each Sunday -
the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed
by which Christ has for ever conquered sin and death.

From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy.
Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, will occur on the 17th of February.
The Ascension of the Lord will be commemorated on the 13th of May.
Pentecost, the joyful conclusion of the season of Easter, will be celebrated on the 23rd of May.
And this year the First Sunday of Advent will be celebrated on the 28th of November.

Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the passover of Christ
in the feast of the holy Mother of God, in the feasts of the Apostles and Saints,
and in commemoration of the faithful departed.

To Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come, Lord of time and history,
be endless praise, for ever and ever.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January Intentions of Pope Benedict XVI

The intentions of the Holy Father for January 2010:

Young People and Media. That young people may learn to use social communication media for their personal growth and in preparation to serve society. (General)

Christian Unity. That every believer in Christ may understand that unity among all Christians is necessary for effective proclamation of the Gospel. (Mission)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Catholics Come Home

Our world is crying out for Truth. Our world is looking for something concrete. The only way to stop the hurt is to sanctify our world and sanctify our lives.

Whether you used to be Catholic, are Christian, non-Christian, or even a devout practicing Catholic, visit "Catholics Come Home" and explore just what Catholicism is all about.

Welcome home.


Dioceses around the United States are participating in the Catholics Come Home campaign. In this new year, I hope to help reach out to those who want to learn more about Catholicism, misunderstand the Church, or are searching for answers in their life.