The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: No. 150, July 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

 Lampstand E Letter,

Crime Fighting & Criminal Rehabilitation

There is a new article from the Wall Street Journal noting the beneficial impact of cognitive behavioral therapy and targeted police work which makes several good points.

Here is an excerpt.

“Hospital emergency rooms run on the principle of triage. Patients with life-threatening injuries get immediate attention, while those in less grave danger wait their turn. Doctors and nurses routinely treat deadly gunshot and stab wounds first—but as a society, we don’t do the same for urban violence.

“Since Sept. 11, 2001, hundreds of Americans have died in terrorist attacks and mass shootings, but more than 100,000 have perished on the streets of our cities. Urban violence accounts for most murders in the U.S., but politicians focus on everything except the violence itself, instead issuing sweeping calls to ban guns, legalize drugs or end poverty.

“In a 2016 paper, my colleague Christopher Winship and I analyzed reviews of more than 1,400 studies on anti-violence programs around the world. We discovered that urban violence is sticky, meaning that it tends to cluster among a surprisingly small number of people and places. In New Orleans, for instance, a tiny network of less than 1% of the city’s population accounted for more than half of its lethal incidents between Jan. 1, 2010, and March 31, 2014. In Boston, more than 70% of all shootings between 1980 and 2008 were concentrated in less than 5% of the city’s geography. In almost every city, a few “hot people” and “hot spots” are responsible for the vast majority of deadly violence; the key to addressing the problem is to pay close attention to them.

The surprising good news is that if we focus on urban violence, we can have peace in our streets in a matter of years, without waiting for sweeping new laws or massive budget hikes. Targeted programs can produce transformative results.

“Consider Oakland, Calif., where analysts in 2012-13 reviewed 18 months of homicide data and discovered that only some 400 individuals—about 0.1% of Oakland’s population—were at the highest risk for violence at any particular time.

“Knowing this, a group of community members, social-service providers and law-enforcement officials began meeting in small groups with these individuals, telling them that their community wanted them to stay alive and keep out of prison but that the shooting had to stop. These interveners followed up by providing life coaching, job training, educational opportunities and other forms of assistance, along with narrowly targeted investigations, arrests and prosecutions for those who persisted in committing violent offenses. Last year, independent evaluators from Northeastern University determined that the initiative—called Oakland Ceasefire—had cut the homicide rate in the city nearly in half since 2012, when the effort was launched.

“Oakland Ceasefire is modeled on Operation Ceasefire, a 1990s Boston police initiative also known as the Group Violence Reduction Strategy. The approach was credited at the time with reducing youth homicides in Boston by more than 60% in just two years. It has since lowered group-related or total homicides in Indianapolis, New Haven and Cincinnati by more than a third.

A 2018 paper in the journal Criminology & Public Policy found that the strategy has produced positive results in all of the 12 cases where it has been rigorously studied. Each time, partnerships between the police and the community confronted those at the highest risk of violence with a double message of empathy and accountability—saying, in effect, “We are here to help you. If you won’t let us, we are here to stop you.”

“In Chicago, the “Becoming a Man” program run by the nonprofit Youth Guidance combines sports, training in the values of responsible manhood, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help at-risk young men achieve their full potential. Between 2009 and 2015, researchers from the University of Chicago pored over data to identify almost 5,000 middle- and high-school students in some of the city’s toughest schools who were missing or flunking classes, being suspended or getting held back. Once a week, these young men were excused from classes to participate in group CBT counseling sessions. For one group of 2,740 students, arrests for violent crime fell by 44% after one year; for a second group of 2,064, violent arrests were reduced by 50% after two years, according to a 2017 study in the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

“Cognitive behavioral therapy has been used for decades to help patients with addiction, anxiety and depression, but applying it to criminality and violence is new—and promising. The premise: If flawed thinking leads to aggressive or antisocial behavior, then changing that thinking can prevent it. A systematic review by the Campbell Collaboration, a social-science research group, indicates that CBT treatment can reduce criminal recidivism by as much as 50%, especially for the few individuals most likely to commit a crime.

“Another promising approach can be seen in Camden, N.J., once ranked as the country’s most dangerous city. In 2013, the overwhelmed police department was disbanded and rebuilt. Since then, Camden’s police have reduced violence while building trust—embracing community engagement, conflict de-escalation and a “scoop and go” policy that requires officers to drive gunshot victims to the hospital themselves if an ambulance will take too long. In a major cultural shift, Camden’s cops are focused on being “guardians, not warriors” to better serve their community. In 2012, the city suffered 67 murders, an all-time high; last year, there were 22—less than a third of the 2012 total.”

Retrieved July 7. 2019 from https://www.wsj.com/articles/to-reduce-the-bloodshed-in-u-s-cities-focus-on-the-violence-itself-11562171994

____________________

David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: No. 149, June 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter:

No. 149, June 16, 2019

Magisterial Teaching, Slavery & Women Priests

The Church uses the narrative of the unchangeable nature of magisterial teaching to deny women the priesthood, but magisterial teaching has been changed often, notably concerning slavery, which these excellent articles (Part I & Part II so far) by Katy Grimes at Women in Theology note.

It’s embarrassing that someone has to remind our Church of her own history.

Part I

“I tell my students that the Catholic church used to think about slavery the same way most of us think about incarceration today: it’s good as long as long as the person deserves it.

“Put another way, earlier magisterial judgments about slavery were not an all or nothing affair. Just as we today believe it is wrong to imprison an innocent person, so magisterial authorities thought it was wrong to enslave an individual without just cause.

“But, just as our collective outrage at unjust incarceration does not automatically indicate support for prison abolition, so magisterial condemnations of certain instances of enslavement did not evidence opposition to slavery itself.

“For most of the church’s history, the magisterium asked not whether slavery itself was wrong, but when and under what circumstances it was right.

“Augustine, for example, thought that slavery was a just punishment for original sin. Original sin brought slavery into the world because it brought disobedience in too. Enslaved people earned their fate due to their disobedience.

“But while we would blame slavery on the sinfulness of slave masters, Augustine blamed it to the sins of enslaved people themselves.

“For Augustine, slavery was theological in another sense. He argued that, although Jewish people had descended from the free woman Sarah “in the flesh,” they were still slaves due to their spiritual attachment to the Old Testament.

“And, even though they lacked a servile attachment to the Old Testament, Augustine’s pagan Arab contemporaries were slaves too (136-137). As the descendants of Abraham’s enslaved concubine Hagar, they had inherited their servile status through not the spirit, but the flesh.

“Christians of course were free in both senses.

“What about Aquinas? Modern interpreters often point to his belief that slavery was unnatural as evidence that Aquinas somehow opposed slavery.

“But this misinterprets his work. As used in reference to slavery, the term “unnatural” did not operate as a category of moral condemnation. He deemed slavery unnatural only in the sense that it was not a part of God’s original plan for creation.”

Retrieved June 9, 2019 from https://womenintheology.org/2019/06/09/catholic-teaching-changes-slavery-part-i/

Part II

“Magisterial authorities would continue to endorse real world practices of slavery throughout the medieval era.

“In this vein, magisterial authorities recognized four legitimate reasons-then called “titles”-for which one person could enslave another:

“1.As punishment for a capital crime.

“2.As a result of capture on the battlefield while fighting an unjust war.

“3.As repayment for debt.

“4.Through purchase from a slave trader who acquired the slave legitimately.

“5.In the case of the centuries’ long battle between Christian and Muslim kingdoms for control of the Iberian peninsula: for being a foreign Muslim.

“These titles may seem random and arbitrary to us, but each followed the logic of slavery.

“Enemy soldiers and capital convicts alike both deserved death but were mercifully allowed to live. Since they lived because of their masters, they therefore lived for them. Put another way, a master owned a slave’s life because a slave owed him her life.

“What about the Muslims? More than simply generic religious bigotry positioned them as especially enslaveable. Purportedly descended from apostate Christians, they were engaged in theological rebellion simply by existing. They were theologically what enemy soldiers and capital convicts were sociopolitically.

“Informed by this traditional Catholic teaching about slavery, in the fifteenth century, Pope Alexander VI gave all of Africa to Portugal and America to Spain with the explicit command to enslave all those who didn’t bow down to Iberian authority.”

Retrieved June 9, 2019 from https://womenintheology.org/2019/06/09/catholic-teaching-changes-slavery-part-ii/

 

Lampstand E-Letter: No. 148, May 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

Lampstand E Letter: Delancey Street Foundation & Homeboy Industries

Both are truly outstanding rehabilitation programs, and the core of each of their work is entrepreneurial.

Delancey Street was started by ex-felon John Maher in 1971, and their story is online.

An excerpt from their story:

“In 1971 Delancey Street began with 4 residents, a thousand dollar loan, and a dream to develop a new model to turn around the lives of people in poverty, substance abusers, former felons, and others who have hit bottom, by empowering the people with the problems to become the solution.

“We began by taking residents into a small apartment in San Francisco, run by an ex-felon, John Maher, a visionary, fiery orator and charismatic leader. Rather than following the traditional non-profit model of hiring a staff and procuring funding, we chose instead to follow an extended family model. Those of us who could work did traditional jobs and contributed our salaries. (Mimi Silbert, for example, had a doctorate in Criminology and had numerous consulting, teaching and other professional experiences. She worked and contributed her salary.) Everyone did something to contribute to our community. Someone who could cook became our “head chef”. Someone who knew how to hold a hammer became the “head of construction”. Whoever could read tutored those who could not. We pooled our talents and our funds and within 2 years, we purchased our first building and had 80 residents, all learning, teaching and helping each other.

“The first home we bought was the former Russian Consulate located in San Francisco’s poshest neighborhood, Pacific Heights. It was also our first “Not In My Backyard” battle. Our two young pro bono attorneys, Mike Berger (who incorporated our organization in 1971, and Danny Weinstein (now a retired Judge and founder of JAMS – The Resolution Experts) formulated innovative legal arguments; Maher developed brilliant political strategies; Silbert brought residents around to neighbors to volunteer services. We knew that neighbors were worried that crime would go up and property values would go down because we were in the neighborhood. So we patrolled the neighborhood and crime went down; our construction department renovated the mansion to ensure that property values would go up. Residents like Abe Irizarry (then a “graduate” of every prison in California and Mexican Mafia gang member, now our Vice president and Maitre’ D’ of our restaurant), and Joanne Mancuso (then an addict and now a college instructor and a trainer for the judiciary in the federal court in computer programs), and Mike Boris (then a heroin addict, now a Certified Public Accountant), sold raffle tickets where the most coveted prize was the promise “not to move next door to you”. Slowly the neighborhood battle was being won by being good neighbors, by solid legal arguments and political negotiation, by humor and by the good will of everyone involved. Dianne Feinstein, our neighbor in Pacific Heights, then a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was the first key vote in our favor. By 1977, the battle was finally settled. When we moved from Pacific Heights to our newly self-built home on the waterfront (almost 20 years later), our Pacific Heights neighbors reported they were upset to see us leave.”

Retrieved May 9, 2019 from http://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org/ourstory.php

Homeboy Industries started in 1988, led by Jesuit priest Fr. Gregory Boyle and their story is also online.

An excerpt from their story:

“What began in 1988 as a way of improving the lives of former gang members in East Los Angeles has evolved into the largest gang intervention, rehab and re-entry program in the world.

“Each year we welcome thousands of people through our doors seeking to transform their lives. Whether joining our 18-month employment and re-entry program or seeking discrete services such as tattoo removal or substance abuse resources. Our clients are embraced by a community of kinship and offered a variety of free wraparound services to facilitate healing and growth. In addition to serving almost 7,000 members of the immediate Los Angeles community in 2018, our flagship 18-month employment and re-entry program was offered to over 400 men and women.

“History

“In 1986, when Homeboy Industries’ founder, Gregory Boyle became pastor of Dolores Mission Church, it was the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles. The parish included Aliso Village and Pico Gardens, then the largest public housing projects west of the Mississippi. They also had the highest concentration of gang activity. That was saying something, given Los Angeles’ reputation as the gang capital of the world.

“At the time, law enforcement tactics of suppression and criminal justice policies of mass incarceration were the prevailing means to deal with gang violence. But where others only saw criminals, Father Greg saw people in need of help. Today, Homeboy Industries is the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world, welcoming thousands through our doors each year.”

Retrieved May 9, 2019 from https://homeboyindustries.org/our-story/about-homeboy/

I am partial to each, Delancey Street because it was developed and started by a former criminal, John Maher, who, sadly, died (obituary here) https://www.nytimes.com/1988/12/06/obituaries/john-maher-48-dies-helped-drug-addicts.html and his former partner, who still runs it.

She is a good leader as this excerpt from their website notes:

“The dynamic force behind Delancey Street is its President & CEO, Dr. Mimi Halper Silbert. Although she does not share the same background as her fellow residents, she lives at Delancey Street and abides by its rules.”

Retrieved May 9, 2019 from http://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org/president.php

Homeboy Industries because it was developed and started by a Catholic priest, who still runs it with major input from transformed criminals who are part of the organization.

Fr. Greg is pretty awesome as this excerpt notes:

“Father Greg is the author of the 2010 New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. His 2017 book is the Los Angeles Times-bestseller Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship.

“He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, the White House named Father Boyle a Champion of Change. He received the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal, the oldest honor given to American Catholics.”

Retrieved May 9, 2019 from https://homeboyindustries.org/our-story/father-greg/

Heartening to know that there is good work being done out there by transformed criminals and Catholics.

Lampstand E-Letter: 4/16/19, Mary, Mother of God, High Priest

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

Lampstand E Letter,

Mary, Mother of God, High Priest

I have believed for some time that women becoming priests in the Catholic Church was a natural result of Christ’s teaching and this new book, Mary and Early Christian Women: Hidden Leadership by Ally Kateusz (read about her here http://allykateusz.com/ ) for me, finalizes the argument; women were priests in the early Church, and Mary was essentially, a high priest.

An excerpt.

“Further suggesting the importance of women in the liturgy during the early Christian era, women, and only women, were depicted in the liturgical procession to the altar table at the most holy site in Christendom, the Anastasis Church built over Jesus’s empty sepulcher in Jerusalem. By comparison, through the end of Theodora and Justinian’s reign in 565, to my knowledge, no art has survived that depicts a Christian man without a woman at an altar table in any church.17 Instead, iconographic and textual evidence supports the claim that from the beginning of the Christian era, women—both alone and with men—stood at the table and officiated the blessing, the agape, the offering, the Eucharist, the sacrifice, the Body and Blood, whatever their community called it.

“These women church leaders formed a continuous line from the first recorded church mothers, the leaders of the New Testament house assemblies, almost all of which were attributed to women—the houses of Chloe, Nympha, Apphia, Priscilla, Lydia, and Mary the mother of Mark. These women church leaders also followed in the footsteps of Phoebe, Prisca, Mary, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, Julia, Euodia, Syntyche, Dorcas, Damarias, Rufus’s mother, Nereus’s sister, the apostle named Junia, and other women apostles. Their Jewish foremothers were their models: Mary the mother of Jesus, Elizabeth the mother of John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, Anna the prophet, Martha, Joanna, Susanna, Salome, and many more women leaders in Judea, Israel, and the diaspora.

“The overarching goal of this study was to demonstrate how our false imagination of the past impedes our interpretation of ancient artifacts that depicted Christian women as ministerial and Eucharistic leaders. The past is political. Therein lies its power. Therein lies why it has been censored. When such evidence exists, no church can exclude women from its leadership and remain true to its origins.

“Be submissive like the Virgin.” What a horrible lie to tell a girl. How many times has it been told to how many little girls? How many little boys have heard the same aberrant teaching about how a girl should behave?

“Would my friend’s submission to a violent man have happened if her priest had taught the girls about the early Christian Mary? Would the abuse have happened if she had grown up seeing both a woman and a man celebrating the Eucharist? It was for little girls that I did this research.”

Retrieved April 5, 2019 from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-11111-3_8

Mary as High Priest

Another excerpt from the book.

“Jesus’s Mother Versus 1 Timothy

“The authors of the Six Book narrative and 1 Timothy also had opposing views on gender roles for women. According to the Six Books author, Mary acted in direct conflict with the type of gendered rules specified in 1 Timothy. Perhaps most telling is a scene that takes place when Mary is about to die. The twelve male apostles—the original eleven plus the apostle Paul —return from their missions around the Mediterranean to see her one last time in Jerusalem. When they arrive, they gather around her. Mary lifts her holy hands and leads the prayer:

And when my Lady Mary heard these things from the Apostles she stretched out her hands to heaven and prayed, saying, “I worship and praise and sing and laud that I am not a mockery to the nations of the Gentiles … and I will praise His gracious name for ever and ever. And I cannot glorify His grace sufficiently; that He hath sent His holy disciples to me.” And after Mary had prayed, the Apostles set forth the censer of incense, and knelt with their faces down and prayed.”

“The entire passage is in opposition to the rules in 1 Timothy—Mary raises her arms to pray, speaks the prayer, and has authority over men. The final line states that after Mary raised her arms and praised God, the men prostrated themselves. This describes Mary much as Sirach 50:19–21 describes the Temple high priest: raising hands, praising God, and then the people prostrating themselves.”

Retrieved April 15, 2019 from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-11111-3_4

The complete book is Online at https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-11111-3

Daily Practice, Praying the Rosary

Praying the rosary daily—for me initially, the five decade form, but once I learned better, the traditional 15 decade rosary is now the rosary I pray daily—is the most powerful work that can be done to support the Church and an apostolate; something I firmly believe and something that has been part of suggested daily practice since the beginning of this apostolate.

St. Montfort says about the Rosary: “Almighty God has given it to you because He wants you to use it as a means to convert the most hardened sinners and the most obstinate heretics.” (p. 7) St. Louis Mary De Montfort (First published in the 18th Century, English Translation 1954). The Secret of the Rosary. North River Press: New York.

There is no more effective weapon to use in the conversion of criminals than the Rosary, and if you are involved in an apostolate helping in the conversion of criminals it would behoove you to pray it daily, the full 15 decades, as St. Montfort wrote:.

FIRST ROSE: PRAYERS

THE ROSARY is made up of two things: mental prayer and vocal prayer. In the Holy Rosary mental prayer is none other than meditation of the chief mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ and if His Blessed Mother. Vocal prayer consists in saying fifteen decades of the Hail Mary, each decade headed by an Our Father, while at the same time meditation on and contemplating the fifteen principal virtues which Jesus and Mary practised in the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

In the first five decades we must honor the five Joyous Mysteries and meditate on them; in the second five decades the Sorrowful Mysteries and in the third group of five, the Glorious Mysteries. So the Rosary is a blessed blending of mental and vocal prayer by which we honor and learn to imitate the mysteries and the virtues of the life, death, passion and glory of Jesus and Mary. (Ibid. p. 16)

And Fatima resulted in one addition, as the Catholic Tradition website (which also has The Secret of the Rosary complete online) notes:

Web Master’s Note:

St. Louis de Montfort wrote this classic work before Our Lady of Fatima came from Heaven. Tradition has set the form for the Rosary, and man ought not to change it. However, Our Lady may, since she gave it to St. Dominic, the Rosary is hers. When she came to Fatima she gave the three children and us through them, the Decade Prayer, to be recited:

DECADE PRAYER

(To be said after the Glory Be at the end of each decade of the Rosary)

O MY JESUS, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of Hell,

lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy.

(Retrieved February 25, 2019 from http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary1.htm

 

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: Catholic Nuns & Desert Mothers

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

Catholic Nuns & Desert Mothers

The subjugation of women is the greatest wrong in history and something the Catholic Church, sadly but unmistakably, shares much responsibility.

From the beginning, when Adam’s unneeded rib was required to create a woman, through Aquinas—whose work in almost every other case is monumental—women have been marginalized, oppressed and discounted.

The importance Catholic Nuns and Desert Mothers played in the early life of the Church was very deep and still misunderstood; but the marvelous book, Sisters in Arms, by Jo Ann Kay McNamara, addresses it like no other I have read; a must read for anyone interested in the history of women religious in the Catholic Church.

Here is a quote:

“Thus, by the time the Roman Empire was crumbling in the west, women who had escaped the confinement of the gender system by renouncing sexual activity were again restricted to the wife-to-widow cycle in the institutional life of the church. Married to clergymen or partnered with them in separate living spaces, women were distinctly subordinate to the control of the episcopacy. As brides of Christ, they had to submit to the strictures that bound other wives. But their husband was, after all, in heaven and they enjoyed special prestige when dealing with his stewards. Jerome encouraged Paula to make the most of her dignity as God’s mother-in-law. This was not enough for Paula, or for Jerome either. As the fifth century opened, they joined the growing exodus of Christians who sought a return to the apostolic life in the desert. There were Christians, as there always would be, who looked back to the old radical days and still sought the transformative powers of the virgin life as exemplified by the Letter to the Galatians. Women as well as men, seeking a higher order of perfection, fled to the deserts beyond the Roman cities. There they submitted their bodies to the discipline, ascesis, that would transform them into contenders for a new martyr’s crown. There, still, the vision of Perpetua, whose heroism made her a man, lured her sisters forward.” (pp. 59-60)

Jo Ann Kay McNamara. (1996). Sisters in Arms: Catholic Nuns through Two Millennia. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts & London, England.

And, the entire first chapter is online, thanks to the Washington Post; here is an excerpt:

“Chapter One: The Apostolic Life

“The women of Galilee were the first Christians. They came up to Jerusalem with Jesus and stayed with him in the bitter hours of his death. They buried him and later announced to the other disciples who were hiding from the Romans that the tomb was empty. One woman testified that she had spoken to him, earning the title Apostle to the Apostles. Having come to believe that their teacher was God himself, who had voluntarily taken a human body to redeem humanity with his own suffering and death, they determined to pursue fulfillment of his mission. Their earthly future was bleak. Jesus’ legacy was nothing but a share in his suffering. But they believed that compassion, participating in his sacrifice through imitation, would earn them a place in his eternal kingdom. To that end, they were prepared to take up arms against the empire of this world.

“We know some names: Mary, Jesus’ mother, and her sister Mary, Clopas’s wife; Mary of Magdala, Joanna, the wife of Chuzah, and Susanna, a trio from whom Jesus had exorcised demons; Salome and Mary, the mother of the sons of Zebedee. They were childless widows and separated wives. One had lived for a dozen years with a flow of blood, presumably a menstrual disorder that made her unclean to her Jewish community. Tradition named her Berenice or Veronica. There were other women too, though we do not know whether they were part of the group who followed Jesus to the cross. The Samaritan woman, who confided with shame that she was living with a man who was not her husband, was the first apostle Jesus sent to proclaim him as Messiah. Mary of Bethany, who sat among the apostles listening to Jesus after he refused to send her off to the kitchen, and her busy sister, the practical Martha, provided hospitality for his disciples out of affection for the master. Finally, there was the nameless woman taken in adultery and the Canaanite woman who begged for her child’s cure as if for crumbs from a rich man’s table.

“The women of the gospel had no social identity, though we know that some were rich. They had fallen or leapt through the cracks in a dying order. They lived at a crossroads, a Janus time, that gave simultaneous birth to the Roman Empire and to the Christian religion. The men who should have anchored them to their society had apparently cast them adrift. For centuries, Rome had been engaged in the systematic conquest of the Mediterranean world, engulfing its diverse polities and sapping the power of their oligarchies. In general, these polities shared a sociopolitical model: the mass of people were ordered and supervised by a ruling class of “fathers” who headed great families of cadets, women, children, and slaves. In addition, the fathers controlled diverse groupings of dependents and clients. In contrast, the simpler unions of humbler people were barely recognized by the empire as marriage at all. The fathers’ public life and their family responsibilities were thus mutually dependent. As Rome undermined their public power, they also lost the ability and even the will to protect their private domain from outside intervention. The final victim of this unifying conquest was the Roman Republic itself. “

Retrieved March 10, 2019 from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/sistersinarms.htm

We can help our Church by praying the traditional Rosary: “When the Virgin Mary asked us at Fatima to pray the Rosary every day, she was not asking for five decades. She was asking for fifteen. When Our Lady says “Pray the Rosary,” she is speaking of what has been termed her Psalter, a word referring to the Book of Psalms, which contains one hundred and fifty Psalms of David. From the time of St. Dominic, “Mary’s Psalter” was the 150 Hail Marys. In 1569 St. Pope Pius V, himself a Dominican, issued an apostolic letter establishing the fifteen-decades as the official Church-authorized Rosary.” (Retrieved March 14, 2019 from https://traditioninaction.org/religious/d013rp15Decades_Stretenovic.html )

____________________

David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation

Post Office Box 254794   Sacramento, CA 95865-4794

Website: https://davidhlukenbill.wordpress.com/

Blog: www.cathliceye.wordpress.com

E-Mail: Dlukenbill@msn.com

With Peter to Christ through Mary

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: No. 145, February 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

E Letter: Toxic Liberation Theology

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Pope Saint John Paul II wrote definitively on liberation theology in two documents:

1984: INSTRUCTION ON CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE “THEOLOGY OF LIBERATION” http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19840806_theology-liberation_en.html

1986: INSTRUCTION ON CHRISTIAN FREEDOM AND LIBERATION http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19860322_freedom-liberation_en.html

In a new book published in 2018, the author, in writing about the decisive Theologies in the Americas conference in Detroit in 1975, noted the driving narrative—still prevalent, and advanced, I am sad to say—of those attending.

“There was a sense in which liberation theology, perceived as a Latin American import, became shorthand for a great many socio-political grievances. Global oppression tied to systems of domination within the United States worked as an overarching theme. The situation in the United States existed in a dialectical process with Latin America and the Third World. Change, the organizers believed, “demands the dismantling of the center” that dominated the American hemisphere through its political, economic, and cultural power. Latin Americans hoped to present their theology, often an abstraction in the North American debate, and challenge U.S. theologians to address oppression within their own borders. North American advocates spoke of “unmasking the demonic structures of autonomous power” obscured by the ideology of efficient markets and the “military-industrial complex.” They observed that the United States was experiencing inequality within its borders and exploiting foreign people for the advantage of an elite class. Only as a compliant middle class gained consciousness of the systems of domination and acquired a “view from below” could they join the oppressed and realize their full humanity. The agenda addressed the need to awaken the religious imagination of the middle classes, which provided the bulk of legitimation to an oppressive order.” (pp. 239-240)

Lilian Calles Barger. (2018). The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology. Oxford University Press: New York.

The root of liberation theology is the political ideology of Marxism, as noted by Cardinal Ratzinger:

“The present Instruction has a much more limited and precise purpose: to draw the attention of pastors, theologians, and all the faithful to the deviations, and risks of deviation, damaging to the faith and to Christian living, that are brought about by certain forms of liberation theology which use, in an insufficiently critical manner, concepts borrowed from various currents of Marxist thought.”

Retrieved February 8, 2019 from http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19840806_theology-liberation_en.html

Marxist thought is alive and well in America today and our faith is the worse for it.

Please pray the rosary—the full 15 decades Our Lady called for, as this article notes https://traditioninaction.org/religious/d013rp15Decades_Stretenovic.html —for the Church; and try praying it the way St. Louis de Montfort (a Saint of the Rosary) suggests in his book, True Devotion to Mary; full prayers here: http://www.philomena.org/rosarydemontford.asp

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter, No. 144, January 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

Teilhard, O’Connor, & the Church

This book review by Flannery O’Connor of Jesuit Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s Divine Milieu published in The Bulletin, February 4, 1961, noted:

“Where is the Catholic as passionately vowed by conviction and not by convention to spreading the hopes of the Incarnation as are many humanitarians to spreading the dream of the new city?” Teilhard asks this question toward the end of the Divine Milieu, the second of his books to be published in America. It is a question depressing to answer today when the sense of expectation has largely disappeared from our religion. No writer of the last few centuries is more capable of restoring that sense to the Christian world than Teilhard, whose work is both scientific and profoundly Pauline.

“Teilhard, who was a Jesuit and a paleontologist, was not allowed by his order to publish but was permitted to continue his work and was sent to China, the best place for its continuance. There he played a major role in the discovery of Pekin man and wrote the books which are being published now after his death and which will probably have the effect of giving a new face to Christian spirituality. The first of Teilhard’s books to be published here, The Phenomena of Man, is scientific and traces the development of man through the chemical, biological and reflective stages of life. This second volume is religious and puts the first in proper focus. They should be read together for the first volume is liable to seem heretical without the second and the second insubstantial without the first. It is doubtful if any Christian of this century can be fully aware of his religion until he has reseen it in the cosmic light which Teilhard has cast upon it.” (p. 161)

The Divine Milieu, P. Teilhard de Chardin, Harpers, 1960. 139 pp. $3. Reviewed by Flannery O’ Connor. Reprinted in the book: Flannery O’ Connor: Her Life, Library and Book Reviews. Studies in Women and Religion. Lorine M. Getz. (1980). The Edwin Mellon Press: New York.

The outstanding insight—which I share completely—that leapt out to me is in the final sentence: “It is doubtful if any Christian of this century can be fully aware of his religion until he has reseen it in the cosmic light which Teilhard has cast upon it.”

The cosmic light Teilhard so brilliantly shined was that of the compatibility of evolutionary science and Catholic spirituality.

And had the Church embraced his work rather than forbidding him from publishing it, what changes might have occurred in relation to the women in the Church and the other personal identity issues involved in gender, marriage, and children, that could have negated some of the horrors that evolved through the sexual abuse scandals still plaguing Catholicism.

I believe that at some point—perhaps far into the future—the Church will recognize the treasure that is Teilhard’s teaching and he will become a saint and a Doctor of the Church.

I just found out that there is a move to accomplish this, a petition to ask Pope Francis to make Fr. Teilhard a Doctor of the Church, at https://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/declare-pierre-teilhard-de-chardin-s-j-a-doctor-of-the-roman-catholic-church

Please pray the rosary—the full 15 decades as Our Lady called for, as this article notes https://traditioninaction.org/religious/d013rp15Decades_Stretenovic.html —for the Church.

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter #143

Christmas Reflections on the Apostolate

It has now been a little over 15 years that I have been involved in this work and I can surely say that it has remained a tonic for my spiritual life and a focus for spiritual practice; though the scandals of the Church during this period has, on one hand, shaken my connection to the visible Church, but on the other, it has strengthened it to the invisible.

It has also reaffirmed my belief that much of the work of our apostolate involves revealing the evil of Marx *(embracing secularism and Western politics) and the good of Mary (embracing holiness and Western theology.

One central element of Mary’s presence at Fatima in 1917 was the outgrowth of Marxism that created the revolution leading to Russian Communism (1917), and in calling for the consecration of Russia by the Pope and the bishops of the world—not yet done over one hundred years later, which still is incomprehensible to me—because the Holy Queen Mother knew the horrors Russian Communism was to unleash upon the world, which, because the Consecration was not done, did occur.

Marxism underlies Communism which spreads in modern times the ancient lie that reality is the measure of human work; while Mary serves as the founding stone of Catholicism and the ancient image of her feet crushing the head of the serpent reminds us that the battle between good and evil has already been won by the earthly ministry of her son who set forth the earthly movement that resulted in our universal Church that had for centuries been held in the capable—but private—hands of Israel as so well-articulated in the Old Testament.

The evil of Communism continues to reveal itself for the satanic vessel it is, as does the work of Satan within the Church creating monsters who scandalize our children and devastate the trust and warmth of the Church community driving so many away; yet we prevail, as was promised.

Working on the apostolate, whether it is the daily blog or other writings, such as this, keeps me working within the Church, digging deeper into her treasure house of knowledge and sanctity.

So much of this work is happenstance.

I watched Brideshead Revisited again recently and began exploring the author of the book from which the movie came, Evelyn Waugh, and came across his essay: Converted to Rome, Why it has Happened to Me, which led to obtaining the book of his essays which contained it, The Essays, Articles and Reviews of Evelyn Waugh; which also contained the marvelous essay he published in 1949: The American Epoch in the Catholic Church.

Here is an excerpt from the Converted to Rome essay, written in 1930:

“It seems to me that in the present phase of European history the essential issue is no longer between Catholicism, on one side, and Protestantism, on the other, but between Christianity and Chaos. It is much the same situation as existed in the early Middle Ages. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries conflicting social and political forces rendered irreconcilable the division between two great groups of Christian thought. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the choice before any educated European was between Christianity, in whatever form it was presented to him in the circumstances of his upbringing, and on the other side, a polite and highly attractive skepticism. So great, indeed, was the inherited subconscious power of Christianity that it was nearly two centuries before the real nature of this loss of faith became apparent.

“Today we can see it on all sides as the active negation of all that western culture has stood for. Civilization—and by this I do not mean talking cinemas and tinned food, nor even surgery and hygienic houses, but the whole moral and artistic organization of Europe—has not in itself the power of survival. It came into being through Christianity, and without it has no significance or power to command allegiance. The loss of faith in Christianity, and the consequential lack of confidence in moral and social standards have become embodied in the ideal of a materialistic, mechanized state, already existent in Russia and rapidly spreading south and west. It is no longer possible, as it was in the time of Gibbon, to accept the benefits of civilization and at the same time deny the supernatural basis upon which it rests. As the issues become clearer, the polite sceptic and with him that purely fictitious figure, the happy hedonist, will disappear.” (pp. 103-104) Converted to Rome: Why it has happened to me (pp. 103-105) The Essays, Articles and Reviews of Evelyn Waugh. (1983). Methuen London Ltd.: Great Britain.

And of course, history soon proved him so right as Nazism and Communism conquered and crushed the rudderless Europe, still struggling to find its way after years of occupation; though Mary warned about and provided the solution at Fatima.

Have a Wonderful Christmas Everyone and a Very Happy New Year.

____________________

David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation

Post Office Box 254794   Sacramento, CA 95865-4794

Website: https://davidhlukenbill.wordpress.com/

Blog: www.cathliceye.wordpress.com

E-Mail: Dlukenbill@msn.com

With Peter to Christ through Mary

 

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter, No. 142, November 16, 2018

True Conversion

In reading a wonderful book by Rachel Fulton (Now writing under her married name Rachel Fulton Brown), I read this paragraph relevant to Lampstand, where she is writing about the Real Presence in the Eucharist in the conversion of the Saxons, and the key Lampstand related point I have noted in bold:

“To understand why, it will be necessary to consider not only the Frankish program for the conversion of the Saxons but also the contemporary reform of the Frankish liturgy and the corollary effort to instruct the laity (the “people of God”) in its significance. Above all, however, it will be necessary to consider in some depth the process of conversion itself. As we shall see, for Augustine and his readers among the Frankish clergy like Paschasius, who were concerned with the instruction of the “people,” conversion was to be understood as a process not only of instruction but of translation. In this context, Paschasius’s representation of the body and blood as historically present was an attempt to translate the written history of the Incarnation into a spoken history of the Word-made-flesh. The gap that made this translation necessary had as much to do with differences between Saxon and Frankish perceptions of history as it did with any arguable differences between “oral” and “literate” tradition. The Frankish clergy were conscious of this gap, and they were also convinced that they knew how best to overcome it: as they saw it, real translation could be effected only in a moment of sympathy, the potential convert or catechumen becoming capable of understanding and learning from the missionary only from the moment that the missionary adapted his speech to the understanding of the catechumen. Whether or not it was usual (or possible) to realize this moment in practice, the effort to do so was paradigmatic for Paschasius’s attempt to make sense of the Eucharist for Warin’s Saxon novices, and it was fundamental to his conception of the efficacy of the sacrament as a moment of translation at which God became flesh in order to adapt his divinity to the understanding and experience of human beings, making of them through the Eucharist one flesh with his own (in Christo naturaliter unum corpus)’ (p. 16)

Rachel Fulton. (2002). From Judgment to Passion: Devotion to Christ & the Virgin Mary, 800-1200. Columbia University Press: New York.

In response to “the missionary adapted his speech to the understanding of the catechumen. Whether or not it was usual (or possible) to realize this moment in practice”, yes, this is the basis of the Lampstand mission and we believe effective transformative ministry to criminals is only possible when developed and presented by a transformed criminal.

We see the failure of the traditional approach at our rehabilitation failure page at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/ where we find that some programs actually made the problem worse.

Why so much failure? Because they generally operate from the wrong idea—that crime is caused by social conditions—while it is individual choice which drives criminality; well described throughout Catholic teaching on sin.

____________________

David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation

Post Office Box 254794   Sacramento, CA 95865-4794

Website: https://davidhlukenbill.wordpress.com/

Blog: www.cathliceye.wordpress.com

E-Mail: Dlukenbill@msn.com

With Peter to Christ through Mary