Archive | September, 2012

Deer sightings early in the bow season, but still nothing tagged

September 26, 2012

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I am a week and a half into the Minnesota bow hunting season, and there has been action aplenty. Unfortunately, I have yet to fill a tag. On opening day (Sept. 15), I had four deer come in, and got a shot at a small buck I grunted in. I was using a lighted nock and it looked like it went over the deer’s back, so I didn’t bother to check for blood.

That was a mistake. The next day, I went to clean the mud off of the broadhead and found clear signs that I not only hit the deer, but the arrow passed through. I know I hit the deer high, but there’s at least a chance I may have clipped the top of a lung, which is all it takes to kill the deer. But, I’ll never know.

Then, just this past Sunday, I went out for the third time and had a doe and fawn come out of a thicket on a trail 25 yards from my stand. I had cleared a nice shooting lane in it, and she stopped right in the middle broadside. I put my 20-yard pin on her and released the arrow. With my lighted nock, I saw it flying right at the deer, then heard that telltale whack as it hit the deer.

Looked like it went into the vitals, but the arrow did not pass through. I saw the lighted nock moving through the brush as the doe ran away. I waited a half hour, then got down and started looking for blood. I went about 40-50 yards before finally finding it. There was a nice blood trail at first, then it got lighter and finally disappeared. I zig zagged all over looking for blood or the deer, but didn’t find either. I spent a good two to three hours looking, but nothing.

I don’t understand what happened. I thought the shot looked good. But, I guess without a pass through, you don’t get much blood. I shot a Rage 2-blade broadhead, but now I’m thinking this is not the right broadhead for me. I only have a draw weight of 56 pounds, and I think you need at least 60 or more to get good penetration. So, I’ll probably try a different head. One thing I like about mechanicals is they fly the same as your field points. I know with fixed blades you generally have to adjust your sights because they will fly differently  than your field points. I do have a set of three Ulmer Edge mechanical broadheads I would like to try. They are slimmer than the Rage, have a smaller cutting diamter, and have blades that pivot when they hit bone, all of which should help penetration.

At this point, I’m really struggling with bow hunting because I really don’t like the idea of hitting animals and not recovering them. What’s even harder is thinking I may have killed two deer and not tagged either one of them. I wish I knew exactly what I could do to prevent this from happening again. Both shots this year were of deer standing still broadside, which is the shot you’re hoping for. I waited on both deer until I got the right shot, then I took it. I don’t know what else I can do. I guess, for starters, I’ll try to find a broadhead that works better for me.

There’s lots of time left in the bow season, so I’m hoping I can fix this problem and eventually tag my first archery deer!

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A Joke (But if it comes to this it’s not funny)

September 24, 2012

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This came my way from our pastor’s file. Someone handed it to him…

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A scene in City Hall in San Francisco:

Judge: “Next!”

“Good morning, we want to apply for a marriage license.”

Judge: “Tim and Jim Jones?”

“Yes. We are brothers.”

Judge: “Brothers? You can’t get married.”

“Why not? Aren’t you giving marriage licenses to same gender couples?”

Judge: “Yes, thousands. but we haven’t had any siblings. That’s incest!”

“Incest? No, we are not gay.”

Judge: “Not gay? Then why do you want to get married?”

“For the financial benefits, of course. And we do love each other. Besides, we don’t have any other prospects.”

Judge: “But we’re issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who’ve been denied equal protection under the law. If you are not gay, you can get married to a woman.”

“Wait just a minute. A gay man has the same right to marry a woman as I have. But just because I’m straight doesn’t mean I want to marry a woman. I want to marry Jim.”

“And I want to marry Tim. Are you going to discriminate against us just because we are not gay?”

Judge: “All right. All right. I’ll give you your license. Next.”

“Hi. We are here to get married.”

Judge: “Names?”

“John Smith, Jane James, Robert Green and June Johnson.”

Judge: “Who wants to marry whom?”

“We all want to marry each other.”

Judge: “But there are four of you?”

“That’s right. You see, we’re all bisexual. I love Jane and Robert, Jane loves me and June, June loves Robert and Jane, and Robert loves June and me. All of us getting married together is the only way that we can express our sexual preferences in a marital relationship.”

Judge: “But we’ve only been granting licenses to gay and lesbian couples.”

“So you’re discriminating against bisexuals!”

Judge: “No, it’s just that, well…the traditional idea of marriage is that it’ s just for couples.”

“Since when are you standing on tradition?”

Judge: “Well, I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere.”

“Who says? There’s no logical reason to limit marriage to couples. The more the better. Besides, we demand our rights! The mayor says the constitution guarantees equal protection under the law. Give us a marriage license!”

Judge: “All right. All right. Next.”

“Hello. I’d like a marriage license.”

Judge: “In what name?”

“David Deets.”

Judge: “And the other man?”

“That’s all. I want to marry myself.”

Judge: “Marry yourself? What do you mean?”

“Well, my psychiatrist says I have dual personalities, so I want to marry the two together. Maybe I can file a joint income-tax return.”

Judge: “That does it! I quit! You people are making a mockery of marriage!”

 

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“Remember who brought you to the dance!”

September 18, 2012

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Remember who brought you to the dance!

We have all heard it; “I believe in God but I don’t go in for religion” or “I don’t need church to have a relationship with Jesus” or “Who needs the Church anyway?”

We as Catholics have to respond to these statements and occasionally it seems difficult to come up with the reasons why we need the institution of the Church. It seems especially difficult when we have been confronted with a militant church lady, political pastor, an unorganized youth minister or decisions made by the church that affect us like closing or merging of our parish or dealing with the politics of the marriage amendment. It is at times like these that we may ask ourselves why we need the bureaucracy at all. I, myself, work for the Archdiocese Central Corporation and it can sometimes feel more like an institution than a community of people united to serve God and others.

I recently spent an evening with a few friends discussing our varying opinions on the stance of the church on different issues. We have all felt some frustration on some level with the bureaucracy and politics of the “Church” from the local parish all the way to the Vatican.

Then, we received a phone call about a member of our parish who was hurt in an accident. There was nothing we could do but pray. So there, amongst our wine glasses and appetizers we prayed together as a community of people united to serve God and others. It would seem that this was “church” not the building on the hill, not the Cathedral in St. Paul, not even the Vatican.

We are a faith of and/also not either/or.

Then it occurred to me that Yes, the church is this group of friends spontaneously praying for one another and/also the institution of the Church. Without the institution of the Church, capital “C”, the church of us praying together wouldn’t have happened. What brought us together as friends is our faith, what taught us how to pray is the Catechism, CCD classes and our Catholic schools, what taught us the value of prayer at all and the idea that prayer even means anything is the institution of the Church – capitol “C”. Without the bureaucracy, doctrine and dogma i.e.; without the institution – we wouldn’t have had our faith handed down to us for over 2000 years.

So, if you ever feel like the church is just an institution and you are tempted to leave, tempted to stay at home on Sunday morning, tempted to say “I believe in God, but not formalized religion,” or if you ever want to just give up on the dogma, doctrine and doo doo that we sometimes see as the Church– just remember who brought you to the dance.

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Marriage: 1 Man and 1 Woman

September 17, 2012

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On November 6 we vote to uphold traditional marriage. Our church is supporting efforts to pass a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Many people–including this blogger– are praying for the graces needed to foster, strengthen and support faith-filled, holy marriages and families. And I know that when it comes time to fill in my ballot for the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment, I will mark “Yes” with an affirmative stroke in order to promote the well-being of children and the common good. (Remember: a non-vote is a NO vote. Dinner guests at our home recently had a hard time believing this fact.)

We are blessed to have Fr. Michael Creagan as our pastor at The Church of Saint Joseph in West St. Paul. He granted me permission to share with you one of his bulletin articles on this subject. Father touches on some important points and pulled a lot of his information from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Please pass this on.

Marriage: 1 Man and 1 Woman

by Fr. Michael Creagan

In the past few years there has been a move to change the laws concerning the definition of marriage. These laws have been changed in countries such as the Netherlands and Canada (and in some parts of the U.S.A) to allow marriage between same-sex couples. The movement away from the traditional teaching on marriage can also easily open the doors for a variety of other relationships including polygamy. Canada is already experiencing the effects from its unfortunate decision.

The definition of marriage has quickly become a topic of discussion in our culture. The Catholic Church continues to teach that marriage is only between one man and one woman. It is important for us to have a brief understanding of this teaching. From time to time we may be involved in a discussion with someone who does not understand our teaching, and it is up to us to offer a clear answer delivered with great patience and charity. Sacred Scripture is filled with teachings and images concerning marriage between one man and one woman. This brief column does not present enough space to examine each of them, but I think most are familiar with these biblical teachings. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 1639 and following) speaks of the natural structure of human sexuality that makes a man and woman complementary partners for the transmission of human life. Husband and wife are called to give themselves totally to each other in their masculinity and femininity (CCC1643). They are equal human beings, but different as man and woman fulfilling each other through this natural difference. This unique complementarity makes possible the conjugal bond that is the core of marriage. It is true some couples struggle with infertility or other issues, but the intent and beauty of this complementary gift are still present. A union of two men or two women can never allow for this conjugal gift and, therefore, it is wrong to equate it with marriage.

Some people may think, Well, that is okay for the Catholic Church, but what is wrong with changing the laws? The USCCB wrote:

“Across times, cultures, and very different religious beliefs, marriage is the foundation of the family. The family in turn is the basic unit of society. Thus, marriage is a personal relationship with public significance. Marriage is the fundamental pattern for male-female relationships. It contributes to society because it models the way in which women and men live interdependently and commit, for the whole life, to seek the good of each other. The marital union also provides the best conditions for raising children: namely the stable, loving relationship of a mother and father present only in marriage. It is true that some single parents have nobly and beautifully provided for their children, but the normative situation remains the best. The state rightly recognizes this relationship of husband and wife in marriage as a public institution in its laws because it makes an essential contribution to the common good.”

The teaching on marriage between one man and one woman is not meant to discriminate against anyone, rather, it is meant to uphold marriage in its fullness and for the common good. What are we to do as Catholics? First we must pray for a great understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman. Sometimes we may be called to patiently and charitably witness our faith in conversations. Other times we may be called to vote in support of marriage or encourage candidates to defend the definition of marriage as one man and one woman. Married couples themselves will be the best of teachers through their faithful witness. This is not an easy topic to understand. It requires a comprehension of both scriptural teaching and an understanding of natural law. The new Catechism of the Catholic Church is a great resource. Current speakers such at Dr. Janet Smith have also offered helpful information.  For further information on this teaching visit the USCCB website at http://foryourmarriage.org/marriage-resources/why-marriage-matters/

St. Joseph, pray for us! ~Fr. Michael Creagan

(Blogger’s note: Thanks to Father Creagan for sharing this article. If readers would like more information, visit this site: http://www.mncc.org/advocacy-areas/marriage-and-family/marriage-amendment/ And for an article written by Archbishop Nienstedt on the subject see http://thecatholicspirit.com/that-they-may-all-be-one/marriage-speaking-the-truth-with-love/.)

 

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Getting ready for bow hunting opener

September 11, 2012

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With the Minnesota archery deer hunting opener set for this Saturday, I have been working to get all things ready.

I put up a stand on a good looking spot near Red Wing, then got another set up on a metro property that I hunted last year. Due to a complicated problem, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to hunt the property this year. But, things got resolved within the last week, so I went back out and put up a stand.

Looks like the weather will be nice this weekend, though a bit warm. Saturday should be good because it will still be cool in the morning from the day before, plus winds will be light and from the south/southwest.

That is perfect for my metro stand. The cool temps and light winds should have deer moving. I am hoping things happen early, as I will head to the Archdiocesan Youth Day in the afternoon. Hopefully, by then, there will be a deer at the butcher shop!

I have been practicing with my bow diligently throughout the last year, and I feel ready and confident. Based on my stand setup relative to the deer trails, my shots should be within 25 yards, which is my comfortable range.

I have shot with my practice broadheads and am good to go there. Plus, I will use lighted nocks, both to be able to find my arrows after the shot and, hopefully, see where they hit the deer. A double-lung pass through is my goal. That should make for a quick and easy recovery.

My hope is a deer will present a good shot, and I won’t get too shaky when I draw and can settle the pin in the vital area.

That wasn’t a problem last year, although I think I should have been a bit more deliberate in executing the shot. It’s not like a gun where you simply put the crosshairs on the deer and pull the trigger. You have to make sure everything is lined up and steady.

I hope and pray I can draw on a deer this weekend!

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St. Clare of Assisi, Virgin and Religious

September 8, 2012

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St. Clare was born in Assisi, Italy, the same hometown as St. Francis, in 1193, twelve years after Francis was born.  Both came from upper class, wealthy families.

When Clare was 18 she listened to a Lenten sermon preached by St. Francis, and she was so moved that on Palm Sunday evening, 1212, she left family and friends to be a religious sister.  Her hair was cut.  She gave up her possessions for a sackcloth robe and a life of simplicity.  At first she went to a Benedictine convent where she received her formation in religious life.

Francis invited Clare to return to Assisi to live in a small house near the San Damiano church, and joined by a number of other women from local families, she took up residence in 1213.  Two years later Francis appointed Clare as the abbess or the religious superior of the new community, a role that she reluctantly accepted, and she lived inside the convent for forty years.  Her sister Agnes entered at the age of 15, and her mother Hortulana, widowed, and her sister Beatrice followed sometime later.

Clare embraced a rigorous, austere life.  The nuns were supported by the work they did inside the convent and donations brought from the outside.  They observed a strict fast every day except Sundays and Christmas.  They abstained from meat entirely.  At night they slept on the ground, while during the day they wore no shoes, socks, or sandals, and observed major silence, forgoing conversation for hours at a time.  As a penitential practice, Clare wore a hair shirt, a coarse, bristly, abrasive undergarment, an aggravating irritant to her skin, and during Lent she lived on bread and water alone.

Both Francis and the bishop viewed these practices as too harsh and asked Clare to soften them.  Not only did Clare comply, but she asked the other sisters to moderate also.

Clare was deeply saddened by the death of Francis in 1226.  She lived another 27 years, most of them in poor health, often confined to bed.  When she was able to work, she sewed altar linens and vestments in her room.  She spent much time in prayer, and she had a special devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist.

Two great miracles are credited to Clare.  The city of Assisi was attacked twice.  Because of her reputation for sanctity, the townsfolk carried her on a mat to the city walls along with a pyx that contained the Blessed Sacrament.  In each case the hostile forces retreated, both attributed to her intercession and the miraculous power of Christ.

Clare founded the Order of the Poor Ladies, now known as the Poor Clares.  She was the first woman to write a Rule of Life that was formally approved by the Church.  Their special charisms are intense prayer, both private and communal; radical poverty and simplicity; as well as cloistered living in a residence secluded from the public.

Clare died in 1253 and was canonized two years later by Pope Alexander IV.  She is the patron saint of embroiderers, and in 1958 Pope Pius XII named her the patron saint of television.

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Cardinal Dolan’s prayer at the Democratic National Convention

September 7, 2012

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A very brave man!

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, is my hero. He more or less went into the lion’s den and delivered a pro-life and pro-family prayer. Aren’t we blessed to have him leading the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)? I have a feeling the vulnerable, and all of us, may be safer with him at the bow guiding us through the rough, unpredictable waters of these times. Let us pray that the ears, hearts and souls of the convention-goers were open to his evangelization.

My favorite parts of his prayer were:

“Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask Your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected.”

And:

“Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see Your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile,”

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For USCCB articles on Cardinal Dolan click here.

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Most popular stories of August 2012

September 4, 2012

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Bishop Blair offers a reality check 3,841

Gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit 1,037

Marriage: Speaking the truth with love 939

Parish Festivals – Fall 2012 564

Sprinter leaves disability in the dust 448

Leading With Faith – 2012 409

Dance studio owner encourages students to use God-given gifts 361

‘Elegate’ challenges young people to take faith to higher level 355

Religious freedom and the equality of women 294

Does your Catholic school have these 9 defining characteristics? 288

Enthusiasm runs high as youth day approaches 285

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