You may not agree with the Catholic Church on birth control…

Posted by John Benko - July 31st, 2013

You may not agree with the Catholic Church’s view on birth control, but surely you believe in science. Look at these two articles on the dangers (for women) and the strange correlation with dementia (for men) with our modern methods of birth control.

http://www.myfemininemind.com/2012/07/things-your-doctor-may-not-have-told_25.html?m=1 for dangers to women using birth control.

http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2007/02/vasectomy.html for keeping up with the research on the correlation between vasectomy and non-Alzheimer dementias.

When you’ve read through that, then you might want to look into the natural alternatives to artificial birth control methods. http://www.1flesh.org/group/the-solution/

We Moderns function on the assumption that birth control and abortion are new, an evolution of science and social thought and that The Church simply can’t keep up. Let me assure you that the only thing our modern age has done with the birth control industry is to mainstream and legitimize it. A woman’s body has long been rendered more convenient by chemically and surgically crippling a healthy, functioning system of her body (because, really, abstaining for three days or so a month is beyond the pale). The irony of the oxymoron of sterile sex is lost on those who want to reduce the mind-blowing entirety of sex to mere orgasm.

But, hey, it’s only a blog. You don’t like it, don’t read up on it. Take your Class 1 Carcinogen, sweetheart, and quit complaining about those nasty little side effects, will you?


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The Catholic Defender: Pope Francis on Homosexuality

Posted by John Benko - July 31st, 2013

Recently, as Pope Francis was flying from Brazil after a victorious World Youth Day week event, he was asked a question on homosexuality.

The Pope responded saying, “The problem is not having this orientation, it is lobbying,” he said. “That’s the most serious problem I think.
“If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”

The media’s take went on all the major news outlets reporting that the Pope was changing the Church’s position.  When I first heard this the first thing I was thinking was “why”? Why say something that the media would certainly take out of context?

This is how the media reacts wanting to make the news.  Remember the media’s response to Pope John Paul II when he spoke on evolution? It was like evolution had become an accepted theory in the Catholic Church.  There is the difference between Macro and Micro evolution but that was not reported by the media.

The liberals and modernist had a field day causing confusion on the truth of what the Pope really was saying and what the Catholic Church really maintains.

The liberal media ran with the story with an agenda to further the aims of liberalism and modernism.

Was the six days of creation an actual 24 hour day, or is this a process that took thousands of years?   That is a great question and the Pope basically said that as a Catholic, either perspective would not change the biblical text or the truth based there.

Why are environments around the world different? What are American men generally larger than men from other societies?  That is a great question!

What about the animal world, what impact does cross breeding have? These are all good questions that speak to the positive changes in society.  This is known as “Micro” evolution and this is the basis of Pope John Paul II’s statement on evolution.

We know that diet, cross breeding, environment does play of role in how people are different.  The theory of Macro evolution and Orthodox Christianity will not be able to agree on major points and foundations of belief’s.

Consider what Pope Francis was saying on Homosexuality.  The Liberal media is doing it again.  They are running an agenda to cause confusion.  I want to break this down on what the Pope was saying. 

 Pope Francis said, “The problem is not having this orientation, it is lobbying,” he said. “That’s the most serious problem I think.

 The Pope is not saying anything new here.  The Catholic Catechism (2358) states, “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible.  The inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.  They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.  Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.  These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition”.  

This is the foundation from which Pope Francis was speaking from.  Jesus says something I think is important to this discussion.  Jesus states, “Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever can accept this ought to accept it”.  Matthew 19:12) 

Notice that Jesus recognized that some are born incapable of marriage.  Jesus would not accept “Gay Marriage”.  The Catholic Catechism (2359) continues, “Homosexual persons are called to chastity.  By virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

Homosexual persons are called to chastity and  holiness.  So when the Pope says that the problem is not having “this orientation” the problem is lobbying for it.  That is to justify the acts of homosexuality which is the agenda of the liberal progressive.  St. Paul warns about this saying, “Although they know the just decree of God that all who PRACTICE such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them”.  (Romans 1:32)

I have seen this reported on the news and the majority of the news are left leaning liberals who welcome progressive change.   The Pope continued saying, If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”

Again, this can only be understood from the Catholic Catechism that is outlined specifically that homosexual persons are to be treated with respect.  They are not to be discriminated against.  That is not to endorse a sinful lifestyle.  It is not reducing a sin to a personal right.  It is a recognition that people have this inclination and who are we to judge a disorder? To judge an inclination? We are to be compassionate to all people.

If a homosexual is seeking the Lord with good will, we are to welcome them into the Church.  Before writing this article, I stumbled on a “Gay” Catholic Priest who is hoping that this will encourage more priests to come out of the closet.  This is very dangerous.  The Gay Agenda is to gain acceptance in every part of society.  The Catholic Church stands in the way of this agenda.

A Priest who is encouraging other priests to participate in homosexual sexual encounters is a scandal that cries out to heaven.  The Virgin Mary warns that more souls go to hell because of the sins of the flesh than any other reason.  There is a blindness to this by those who have a terrible agenda.

Saint John Eudes said that when God is angry with His people, He sends them bad priests as a chastisement.  Here is what he wrote in his book, The Priest, His Dignity and Obligations:

“The most evident mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clergy who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than charity and affection of devoted shepherds …


“When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, ‘Return O ye revolting children … and I will give you pastors according to My own heart’. (Jer. 3:14,15) Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge upon the people in consequence of sin.”

O Jesus, our great High Priest, hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priests.  Give them a deep faith, a bright and firm hope and a burning love which will ever increase in the course of their priestly life.
In their loneliness, comfort them.  In their sorrows, strengthen them.  In their frustrations, point out to them that it is through suffering that the soul is purified, and show them that they are needed by the Church; they are needed by souls; they are needed for the work of redemption.


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The Catholic Defender: The Importance of Training

Posted by John Benko - July 29th, 2013

It was early 1985 while I was at Basic Training Fort Jackson, South Carolina, my Platoon was shown a movie of how the Russian Army trained.

It was to show us how our counterparts trained compared to our training. After the movie, we were invited by the Drill Sergeant to ask questions. I raised my hand and got permission to speak.

I said, “Drill Sergeant, I do not have a question, but more of a comment”. I said, “It was interesting to watch how the Russians trained, but there is a major reason I preferred this uniform that I am wearing as opposed to the uniform that they wear.”

“This uniform defends the right to freedom of religion, while our counterparts would think nothing of taking a club and beat up old men, women, and children for hiding in a barn praying to God.”

With that people all around began to cheer. The Drill Sergeant was taken back as he was not expecting such a response.

After about 30-40 seconds of everyone busting lose with cheers and applause, the Drill Sergeant got his composure and gave that look and as fast as everyone erupted, it got very quiet very quickly.

In this picture, I am standing second to the Right.  Notice the old Viet Nam steel pot helmets!  This was definitely old school Basic Training.

There is a culture war taking place in our Country and if we do not stand up for our rights we will lose this liberty.  Just look at what this present Administration has done to the Military the past 4 years.

Pope Pius XII gave a stern warning concerning the attack on the Faith and the family in the last half of the 20th century and beyond.

He said that for a Christian to be a true Christian you would have to be a living martyr.

The attacks on the family and our Faith will be that strong. We need to get back down on our knees and intercede for America. It is not too late.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “and if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land”.
 
Right now we need it as the Secularists have gained the Judicial power using Court Judges to usurp the will of the American People. They are legislating from the bench pushing Secular Humanism and Socialism. We have serious issues today.

I went to Catholic School (St. John Le Lande) most of my grade school years, they didn’t train me for these kinds of problems. People are losing their faith in a secular environment. We need to get back to the basics.

St. Peter instructs us to “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame” (1 Peter 3:15-16).

A common question asked of me is: “Did Jesus have brothers according to Catholic teaching and what is your opinion of the Bible and what it says?” 

The Gospel of Mark, 6:3, tells us that Jesus was the Son of Mary, “and the brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon. And are not his sisters here with us?”

Looking at this off hand, it does not look good for the home team. Why the apparent contradiction?

On 12 August 1994, I was listening to Dr. James Dobson of “Focus on the Family” on WNJK Christian Radio.

One of his guests addressed himself as a former Catholic who basically left the Church because he read the bible and found Jesus had brothers.

He felt that the Catholic Church was going against the bible. How many times have I heard that? He could not cope with what he believed the bible was stating and what he was raised to believe.

I sat listening to this and realized a lot of people have gone astray with this issue. I felt that if only I could have reached him before he became solidified in his apostasy, I might have been able to share with him the truth of the scripture.

The breakdown begins with a language barrier, and social differences in the way society has changed.

In the days of Jesus, it was common for close relatives to be part of a family structure. First cousins were regarded as “brothers” and “sisters”.

The translation from Greek into English does not explain this. The word “brother” is used in English several times in the New Testament, and only some were literal brothers like James and John.

Peter and Andrew were also brothers. However, in Greek, the original meaning could infer to cousins, friends, and countrymen.

The word “brother” is mentioned over 340 times in the bible. When St. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:23, he says,
“Peace be to the brother,...” which refers to all who love the Lord.

Take the case of Mark 6:3 and the “brothers of the Lord”, James, John, Judas, and Simon.

When compared to Mark 16:40, these brothers can be identified with the help of John 19:25 as the Son’s of Mary the wife of Clopas, who is identified by John as the sister to the Mother of Jesus.  Hence, “first cousin“!

Things are looking better for the home team. Another peace of evidence I will submit, take John 19:26, Jesus states, “When Jesus saw his Mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his Mother, ‘Woman, behold your Son. Then he said to the disciple, behold your Mother.’ And from that hor the disciple took her into his home”. 

There are two point I want to make:

1. If Jesus would have had brothers, according to Jewish Tradition, Mary would have stayed with the next eldest brother.

2. Traditionally, John is considered by the Church to be the youngest disciple and most capable for this job in view of the missionary activity the Apostle took.

His role of ‘Bishop’ would not have been an advantage for Mary if she would have had other sons. Consequently, the followers of the Apostles such as St Ignatius of Antioch, St. Poly-carp, St. Ireneous of Lyons echoed Mary as “Mother of the Church”.

It is well established from the writing of the Saints throughout the ages of the Church that Mary remained ‘ever virgin”. Some monk in the Middle Ages did not discover this teaching, but it has been handed down from the beginning.

I believe that current attempts to raise this issue of brothers of the Lord, are derived in closer observation, an attack on Mary. The teachings on Mary such as the Assumption, Coronation for example. None of the first Protestants rejected Mary or the teaching concerning him.

Later when the bible became the sole rule of their faith, and this not explicitly defined, the outcome is obvious. The Catholic Church must be faithful to that Apostolic Tradition which helps keep God’s revelation in His word unchanging.

The issues facing the Catholic Church in the United States today, from the Secularist and the Extreme Protestant, are very similar in an unholy alliance. St. Jude states, “I now feel a need to write to encourage you to contend for the Faith that was once for all handed down to the holy ones. Let us work towards understanding growing in knowledge, using wisdom to trust God in His faithfulness to His word. We need to cooperate with His will.

It is important that Catholics train in the art of apologetics so that as a Church, we can improve our personal witness.  If a trainer can teach a dog new tricks as in this video, maybe we can learn from this.  I must warn you, this is really cute.


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The Catholic Defender: Atheists attack Military Chaplains

Posted by John Benko - July 29th, 2013

“A Christian chaplain in the military is being officially censored for engaging in free speech, and anti-Christian activists are demanding he be punished.”

Article by Ken Klukowski (24 July 2013) on BreitBart. 

“Military Censors Christian Chaplain, Atheists call for punishment.  Chaplain’s Corner.
Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes is a Christian chaplain currently serving in the U.S. Air Force. He is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. As an ordained clergyman whose duties are to provide religious instruction and spiritual counseling, he has a page on the base’s website called “

Reyes recently wrote an essay entitled, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II.” This common saying is attributed to a Catholic priest in World War II, made famous when “I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives. In battle, they learned a great truth that there are no atheists in the foxholes.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower said during a 1954 speech:

As reported by Fox News’s Todd Starnes, when Reyes referenced this famous line in his essay, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) contacted the base commander, Col. Brian Duffy, demanding he take action on Reyes’s “anti-secular diatribe.”

MRFF’s letter says that by Reyes’s “use of the bigoted, religious supremacist phrase, ‘no atheists in foxholes,’ he defiles the dignity of service members.” They accuse him of violating military regulations.

My legal research on this issue uncovered no regulation prohibiting Reyes’ speech, which looks like expression protected by the free speech and religious freedom provisions of the First Amendment. Military leaders did not respond to Fox’s inquiries asking the Air Force to identify any such rules.
Nonetheless, only five hours after MRFF’s complaint, the essay was removed from the website. Duffy has profusely apologized to MRFF for not stopping this religious leader from sharing religious thoughts.

But this response—which again appears to be a violation of Reyes’s First Amendment rights—is insufficient for MRFF. They said, “Faith based hate, is hate all the same,” and, “Lt. Col. Reyes must be appropriately punished.” (Emphasis added).

So MRFF is saying that the coercive power of government must be used to punish a military officer, who is also an ordained Christian minister, for making ordinary religious references consistent with his faith.

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council—one of the leaders of a new religious liberty coalition for the military—responded, “A chaplain has been censored for expressing his beliefs about the role of faith in the lives of service members… Why do we have chaplains if they aren’t allowed to fulfill that purpose?”

MRFF is activist Mikey Weinstein’s organization. He called observant Christians “fundamentalist monsters” seeking to impose a “reign of theocratic terror,” and he described sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military as an act of “spiritual rape” that makes believers “enemies of the Constitution” who are committing an act of “sedition and treason” against this nation.

The Obama-Hagel Defense Department and Air Force have met with Weinstein and MRFF over a period of four years and recently told Congress that there are no problems with suppressing religious speech in the military. However, because this growing wave of anti-Christian extremism has been exposed to the public, the U.S. House has inserted new religious liberty protections for military members in pending legislation.

President Obama threatens to veto the legislation. Reyes’s story makes it more likely that Congress will stand its ground and fight to protect the religious liberty of him and countless others in the military, as those service members continue risking their lives to fight for all Americans.
Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is senior fellow for religious liberty at the Family Research Council and on faculty at Liberty University School of Law. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.”

This article speaks for itself, but it is important that we pray for this country.  This is why it is important to vote for the right administration to lead our Country.  We are reaping what we sow.  There is still time to turn things around, but the time clock keeps ticking tic toc tic toc…

Wake up America!


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The Catholic Defender: The Hell There Is

Posted by John Benko - July 29th, 2013

Did you know that Jesus spoke more about hell than he did about heaven?

Why do you think that is?

Jesus came to save the sinners and set the captives free, he wants the repentance of the sinner, not their condemnation.

Consider Revelation 21:8, “But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

How important is that? The Virgin Mary at Fatima after giving the Children of Fatima a vision of Hell (13 July 1917), told them: “You see Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If they do what I will tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace… But if they do not stop offending God… He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.”

St. Peter instructs us to “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings”. 

 Pope Pius XII warned the world in 1950 that to be a true Christian beginning in the later half of the 20th Century they would have to live as “Living Martyrs” because the attack on the family will be so severe, because people will be greatly affected by their environment. 

It is time that Catholics stand up and cast their nets into the deep to bring in a great catch..  Pope Francis is calling for us to stand up and be counted.   1 Timothy 4:1 says, “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions…” That maybe so, but we are called to take the gospel to all the nations.  We will ultimately win the war because the war is already won.  

Jesus won the war, but the battle rages for souls and the devil knows his time is short.  We are to be vigilant, “Concerning times and seasons, brothers, you have no need for anything to be written to you.  For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.  When people are saying, ‘Peace and security,’ then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

We are to stand for justice to right the wrongs of society.  The Church must be that moral compass that people can respond to Jesus through.  Jesus sent the Catholic Church to go to all the world as one voice to pick up the wounded, to heal them, to love them.  There is a lot of walking wounded out there.

On July 9, 2013 on the Ross and Margie Show (The Roundtable) Deepertruth aired the show “Answering scandal with personal holiness”.  That is really the answer! Let our example in doing the will of God in our lives speak loudly.  

2 Corinthians 6:14 states, “Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers.  For what partnership do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What accord has Christ with Beliar? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said: ‘I will live with them and move among them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.”

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 states, “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people, not at all referring to the immoral of this world or the greedy and the robbers or idolaters; for you would have to leave the world.  But I now write to you not to associate with anyone named a brother, if he is innoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person.  For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within? God will judge those outside.  Purge the evil person from your midst.”

 Pope Pius XII once wrote, “It is often said almost with passive resignation that fashions reflect the customs of a people. But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either to be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization.” 

 Little Jacita of Fatima said, “Fashions will much offend our Lord. People who serve God should not follow the fashions”. Jacinta also said, “The sins which cause most souls to go to hell are the sins of the flesh”.

We are to pray for those who are choosing to live in sin.  Remember the Virgin Mary’s warning: “You see Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”

 That is key, let us first place God number one in our lives and everything else will fall in place.  God is one that we can place our trust.  Put on the whole Armour of God, frequent the Sacraments, Go to Mass, pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy as well as all prayers of the Church.  We have lots of them.  Get to know your bible, don’t let it draw dust!


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*BEST OF DTB #264* The Catholic Defender: St. John La Lande

Posted by John Benko - July 28th, 2013

Recently, I was visiting family near Kansas City Missouri and so while I was there, I drove to Blue Springs Missouri to visit my old Catholic School that I attended in the 1960′s.

Schools out for the summer, but fortunately there were some people there that I was able to talk with and see the growth of the school.

The School really looks great and the Parish continues to grow.  This particular day there was a photographer taking pictures for the Parish directory.

As I walked around, I remembered who St. John La Lande was.  It was the summer of 1636 when French Jesuit missionary Father Isaac Jogues saw North America, the rock cliff of Quebec, for the first time from the sea.

Now, nearly 10 years later, Father Jogues was back to Quebec.  Standing right there besides him was 18 year old, St. John La Lande, who was very aware of the torture Father Jogues endured at the hands of the Mohawks in Quebec just 4 years earlier.

Fr. Jogues, John La Lande, and three Indians set out by canoe from Quebec on September 27, 1646 for the Mohawk village of Ossemenon.

Two of the Huron Indians accompanying the missionaries abandoned the party upon hearing that the Mohawks were once again on the warpath.

Once the missionaries had landed they were captured, stripped, beaten, and taken to the village where on October 17 strips of flesh were cut from Fr. Jogues’ neck and arms.

The natives blamed a chest of religious articles which Fr. Jogues had left in the village on a previous visit for an epidemic which had caused them to lose their corn crop.

While recovering from the wounds, Fr. Jogues was invited to a feast in one of the Indian lodges. As he entered the lodge he was struck by a tomahawk and killed.

He was then decapitated, and his body was dragged through the village.  John La Lande was held in another lodge and advised to remain inside.

However, intent on finding Fr. Jogues’ body, La Lande left the lodge and was tomahawked to death on October 19, 1646 by an Indian guard who had been set to watch the lodge.

Both Fr. Jogues and John La Lande were beatified by Pope Pius XI on June 21, 1925 and canonized on June 29, 1930. John La Lande’s feast day is October 19, the day he was martyred.

Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

How appropriate that this School is named for a young person who gave his life as an enduring witness for the Lord.

This picture is exactly as I remembered the School when I was here beginning in 1963.  It was interesting to note that the Parish School is celebrating their 50th anniversary since being established.

The celebration is set for 21 August 2013 beginning with a five mile fun run followed by Mass.  Then there will have a barbecue.  “We are spreading the word to former students, priests and nuns who were teachers when the school opened to get as many of them to come as possible,”  “We even have one family who has had children and grandchildren attend since the school opened. We are all very excited to celebrate the history of our school and where it will go in the future.”

I remember this painting when I was here at St. John La Lande so long ago!  I’ll never forget the Priests and lay volunteers who gave of themselves to make a difference in our lives growing up.  That is so important.  I treasure the opportunity to have played ball as a youth there.  Basketball, track, and football were important.  I played baseball locally through the Little League program in Blue Springs.  My Mother sacrificed a great deal for my Brother and I so that we would get a good Catholic education. 
I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet and talk about the old days with some of the Parishioners taking pictures and staff members.  
Some of the statues were still here and that really was interesting to see.  They have built a new Church since when I was here.  I learned that some of the Nuns who were our teachers still lived in the area.   That was really interesting to me, but today the School is primarily run by civilians, lay people.  The days of the Nuns teaching here is a thing of the past.  I must of stayed there for nearly three hours talking to people and looking at the school.  There have been a lot of changes over the years, but there was enough of the old school that I was able to recognize so much of it. 
I would encourage you to consider sending your children to a Catholic School near you to give this kind of foundation.  “It is He whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” Colossians 1:28

The Catholic Defender: Secretariat

Posted by John Benko - July 25th, 2013

“Do you give the horse his strength, and endow his neck with splendor? Do you make the steed to quiver while his thunderous snorting spreads terror? He jubilantly paws the plain and rushes in his might against the weapons.” (Job 39″19-21)

I was raised on a farm growing up in Southern Missouri and I will always treasure those high school years.  I was responsible for the animals ensuring that they were all taken care of.

My Brother and I loved to ride our horses and that was a great foundation my Mother gave us. 

This week, I was given an opportunity to write a paper for extra credit.  One of the stories I was given was to watch the movie “Secretariat” which is a 2010 picture on the true story of Secretariat, the race horse.

I bought the movie from HEB and I watched it the same night.  I was so hit by the power of the story.  My Confirmation name is St. Francis of Assisi which says something to why I have a heart for animals.

The story begins with a courageous woman, Penny Chenery Tweedy who held onto a vision instilled by her parents.  Great leaders sometimes are those who are ordinary people given extra ordinary challenges.

I was deeply impressed with the strength of Mrs. Tweedy who ultimately put together a great team to train Secretariat.  The scene builds in 1973 when Secretariat won the Triple Crown for the first time in 27 years.  To this day, no horse has come close to the record of Secretariat.

Watching the movie really took me back, I remember the story when it was happening, but I was not really that interested in horse racing so it was something I was aware of but it was not something I followed specifically.

 Mrs. Tweedy went against the odds, she was opposed by her husband and brother who did not share her vision.  She also was going against a traditionally male environment so this was totally a ground breaking effort.  Her parents both past away giving Mrs. Tweedy responsibility for the horses and she took that and ran with it.

Diane Lane does a great job in playing the role of Mrs. Penny Tweedy, watching the YouTube highlights of the original footage, I thought she really did play the role well.  It was very believable.

I fully recommend this movie produced by Disney as a family film.  Movies like this we should be supporting, there was no foul language, no nudity, nothing that I noticed objectionable at all.  It is given a PG rating so I recommend it as the story is truly inspiring.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 states, “Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win.  Every athlete exercises discipline in every way.  They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.  Thus I do not run aimlessly, I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing.  No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified”.

I was really saddened to learn that Secretariat was put to sleep due to laminitis, an inflammation of the tissue that bonds the horse’s bone to the inner wall of the hoof.  This will cause great pain and horses are put to sleep because they will not recover from it.

Does God follow horse racing? I guess we can ask that question on just about any sport, I do love the way that St. Paul ties sports into his writings.  I think it is safe to say that because God loves you so much, He is interested in you.  He is interested in horse racing as it might concern you.

I will say the same thing about football, basketball, baseball, any other valid sport.  I do not believe the Lord cares about the heavy betting behind a lot of this, so always be moderate in any of that.

I am greatly inspired by stories of great courage; Secretariat is an amazing story of faith, hope, trust, commitment, and endurance.


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The Catholic Defender: To Whom Shall We Go

Posted by John Benko - July 23rd, 2013

Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” The Lord was reacting to the many who were formerly following him. When Jesus is speaking to “the Twelve”, he is speaking to the whole Church. St. Peter’s response is the million dollar question! “To whom shall we go”? With all the voices out in the public square competing for position in the heart and mind of people, St. Peter clearly defines Jesus: “You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

It’s interesting that it was also St. Peter speaking for the “Twelve“, the whole Church, identifying who Jesus is. Jesus asked his disiples “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” The response was varied, “some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” It was St. Peter who came out saying, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

It is important to understand who Jesus is because he is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Jesus has the words of eternal life!

St. John put it this way, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” He was in the beginning with God… And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus Said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” This is what St. Peter and the Apostles came to believe through following the Lord and witnessing his public miracles. Jesus changed the water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana in Galilee and revealed his glory, “and his disciples began to believe in him”.

Of the works of Jesus, St. John writes, “It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. There are many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world contain the books that would be written.”

I want to come back to St. Peter’s question, “To whom shall we go”? What does this mean? Can we know where to find this truth?

At the Trial of Sir THOMAS MORE Knight, Lord Chancellor of England, for High- Treason in denying; King Henry VIII’s act of Supremecy, May 7, 1535. St. Thomas said:

” Who presently made Answer in these words: For as much as, my Lords, this Indictment is grounded upon an Act of Parliament, directly repugnant ,to the Laws of God and his Holy Church, the Supreme Government of which, or of any part thereof, no Temporal Person may by any Law presume to take upon him, being what right belongs to the See of Rome, which by special Prerogative was granted by the Mouth of our Savior Christ himself to St. Peter, and the Bishops of Rome his Successors only, whilst he lived, and was personally present here on Earth: it is therefore, amongst Catholic Christians, insufficient in Law, to charge any Christian to obey it. And in order to the proof of his Assertion, he declared among other things, that whereas this Kingdom alone being but one Member, and a small part of the Church, was not to make a particular Law disagreeing with the general Law of Christ’s universal Catholic Church, no more than the City of London, being but one Member in respect to the whole Kingdom, might enact a Law against an Act of Parliament, to be binding to the whole Realm: so he shewed farther, That Law was ,even contrary to the Laws and Statutes of the Kingdom yet unrepealed, as might evidently be seen by Magna Charta, wherein are these Words; Ecclesia Anglicana libera sit, & habet omnia jura integra, & libertates suas illcesas: And it is contrary also to that sacred Oath which the King’s Majesty himself, and every other Christian Prince, always take with great Solemnity, at their Coronations.”

So great was Sir Thomas’s Zeal, that he further alleged, that it was worse in the Kingdom of England becasue of their rebellion. St. Thomas More believed Obedience to the See of Rome was likened to any Child to do to his natural Parent: for, as St. Paul said to the Corinthians, I have regenerated you, my Children, in Christ; so might that worthy Pope of Rome, St. Gregory the Great, say of us Englishmen, Ye are my Children, because I have given you everlasting Salvation: for by St. Augustine and his followers, his immediate Messengers, England first received the Christian faith, which is a far higher and better Inheritance than any carnal Sather can leave to his Children; for a. Son is only by generation, we are by Regeneration made the spiritual Children of Christ and the Pope.”

St. Thomas More was put to death because he would not renounce Jesus Christ before any court of man. Of the Church that Christ founded, Isaiah wrote, “No weapon fashioned against you shall prevail; every tongue you shall prove false that launches an accusation against you. This is the lot of the sevants of the Lord, their vindication from me, says the Lord.”

Because of King Henry’s persecution of the Catholic Faith, bringing Protestantism into England, a massive persecution of the Church took place between 1534 until 1829. Also, other denominations grew out of the Protestant movement such as the various Baptist groups, the Methodist and through the King James Bible, they influenced much of the Protestant world.

St. Paul writes, “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

This is the answer to St. Peter’s question, “To Whom shall we go!” We are to go to His Church, the Catholic Church. The Church St. Paul referred to as the “pillar and foundation of truth.”

God’s grace is imparted upon the world through the Lord Jesus Christ’s Church. St. Paul writes, “Because of this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles–if, as I suppose, you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was GIVEN TO ME for your benefit, namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly earlier.” The Apostles became the arbitors of Grace, transmitting this grace through the Sacraments.

This is why the Lord chose the Apostles and commissioned them to go to all the nations. St. Paul himself received this grace states, “Of this I became a minister by the gift of God’s grace that was granted me in accord with the excercise of his power. To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for all what the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things, so that manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.”

What are the “riches of Christ?” What is the “mystery hidden from ages past?” It is the fulfillment of the new Covenant promised through the Prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:31-34), it is the sign the people who first abandoned Christ asked for (John 6:30).

Jesus Christ is the sign come down from heaven, he is the “Bread of Life” who comes to us at every Eucharist. Jesus is present to you each and every Communion. When the Priest elevates the host proclaiming “the Body of Christ“, by saying “Amen”, we answer St. Peter’s question, “To whom shall we go”! To go to Him who has called us, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed”. Amen!


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Best of DTB #266 The Catholic Defender: We Have An Altar

Posted by John Benko - July 20th, 2013

“Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.  It is good to have our hearts strengthened by grace and not by foods, which do not benefit those who live by them.  We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.  The bodies of the animals whose blood the high priest brings into the sanctuary as a sin offering are burned outside the camp.  Therefore, Jesus also suffered outside the gate, to consecrate the people by his own blood.  Let us then go to him outside the camp, bearing the reproach that he bore.  For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the one that is to come.  Through him then let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.” (Hebrew 13:9-15)

In the Catholic Church there is a continual offering taking place all over the world as one voice.  What a powerful truth this is.  St. Paul asks this question: “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.” (1 Corinthians 10:16-17)

St Paul then will reference the altar of the Lord stating, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons.  You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons.  Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger? Are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10:21)

If we are to analyze St. Paul’s description of the Altar, something very extra-ordinary is taking place on the Altar.  Something holy is taking place.  God’s presence is made manifest with the consecration of the Eucharist, “Do this in memory of me.” 

This happens at every Mass in every nation and the Lord’s voice is being heard in the face of all the enemies of God who seek to eradicate His image on earth.  But they will not succeed.  This past week
a little girl (Yasmin Gomes) was born prematurely at 2.6 pounds this month and stopped breathing soon after and they declared her dead and issued a death certificate

The Mother, Jenifer Gomes da Silva said, “My world crashed down right then. It was the most desperate moment when all my dreams were snatched away.” (Brazilian media)

Yasmin was pronounced dead by doctors after unsuccessful attempts to bring the child back.  A nurse Ana Claudia Oliveira, asked hospital officials to send the baby’s body to a local Catholic church instead of the hospital morgue.  Ms. Oliveira told International Business Times “I can assure you, the child was dead. Her pupils didn’t respond to light. All her signs pointed to the complete absence of life.” “I saw it with my own eyes. She was blue all over, completely dead.”


The Child Yasmin was dressed in a burial gown when Church authorities placed the baby’s body on  altar. Three hours later, the baby came alive.  That is the most amazing thing.  A miracle takes place on the Altar every Mass, this is unique because this is a visible transformation from death into life.

 Yasmin’s Grandmother, Elza Silva, was on her way to the chapel to transfer the baby back to the hospital to the morgue when she saw the miracle take place.  She states, “At first I couldn’t believe it, we couldn’t accept that it could happen.  Then we saw that she was breathing.  We hugged each other and started to shout, ‘she’s alive, she’s alive.”

Doctor Aurelia Filipak stated that what happened he had not seen in his 20 years of medical practice.  Everyone involved believed this to be a miracle. 

When Pope John Paul II went to New Orleans in 2000, he wanted to go to a Church that had not been vested so security quickly went to the Church before the Pope was to arrive.  They brought dogs into the Church to ensure that there were no bombs or anybody that would be a threat to the Pope.  Once inside the Church, the police officers were shocked to see the dogs reacting at the tabernacle that there was a human body present.  What a sign that the police officers were able to see.  It is important that we also see the value of the Altar of the Lord.


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Deepertruth Presents Sister Mary Teresita

Posted by John Benko - July 18th, 2013

Sister Mary Teresita, of Ad Gentes, will appear on Deepertruth this Thursday, 18 July, 2013 at 8:00 Eastern, 7:00 Central.  You can listen here:

 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/deeper-truth/2013/07/19/deepertruth-sister-mary-teresita-from-nigeria

(The following is taken from a pamphlet that I was given by Sister Mary Teresita at near Kansas City at Divine Mercy Parish)

Ad Gentes is a religious community of avowed women and men committed to participate in the liturgical life of the Church as agents of Evangelization.  We share a communal life in the model of the early Church where the body of Believers was united in heart and soul (Acts 4:32).

We are inspired by the words of Jesus to echo in our world today: “Go therefore, make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:10).

The community was founded in 2003, through a response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, by Father Vitalis Ejike Anyanke, a priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha Nebraska, USA.

Ad Gentes Missionaries are committed to the total development of human persons.  The life of the community is characterized by Eucharistic Celebration, Study of the Scriptures, Pastoral Ministries, and a life lived in Humility and Generosity.

We are guided by our constitution and we subscribe to the ancient rule of St. Augustine.  We adopted the thoughts expressed in the writings of St. Augustine as a clear source of inspiration for appreciating the Gospel values.

What Ad Gentes does:

Finding ways to work with at risk youths

Serving the pastoral needs of rural and inner city communities, immigrants, and refugees

Continuing the work of evangelization among African-American communities

Serving as Parish Catechist and religious Education Teachers

Promoting literacy in challenged communities and providing alternative educational and skills acquisition programs for school dropouts

We provide services through ministry of education and home healthcare services for the elderly and homebound

Youth enhancement program

Community development

Facilitating dialogue in troubled areas, creating oasis of hope

Inter-religious and cultural dialogue, especially among Christians and other faiths

We hope you see the urgency in this mission and necessity to be part of this impassioned missionary journey.

We are embarking on various capital projects to further provide services on Women’s Health, Literacy Program and Skills Acquisition Training Center and would need your generous support towards these projects.  You can also designate your help to specific projects.

We are in the process of building a medical center in Jankasa Nigeria.

Your gift of prayers cannot be measured in material terms.  We need your prayers.  You are surely in our prayers and daily remembrance at the Holy Mass.

Our Patron Blessed Seelos:

Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.SS.R (1819-1867) lived a heroic and miraculous life, coming to be known as the “Cheerful Ascetic.” A Redemptorist priest, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in the Solemn Jubilee Year 2000.  Father Seelos possessed great mystical gifts due to his intense prayer life.  His dedication to ministry with cheerful holiness makes him still an outstanding model for clergy, religious and laity alike.  As an itinerant preacher and lifelong friend of the poor and destitute, Seelos was a spiritual father to tens of thousands.  Despite his early death at age 48, so profound was his missionary zeal that sickness, persecution, and even the upheaval caused by civil war could not stop him.


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