March 26, 2002

Knowing her to be my mother
only by virtue of her holiness
for if she were a sinner
she would pick and choose.
But she chooses all to mother
as her son chooses all to save.
Confident only in her holiness
I gaze upon Purity;
for the fruit of her perfection
is her perfection's source.
St.Therese of Liseux struggled with the fact that she had
never committed a mortal sin, distraught at feeling she wasn't as dependent
on God as someone who HAD committed a mortal sin. Amazing.

Le' Difference btwn Mary & Eve
Eve disobeyed God and consumed fruit, Mary obeyed God
and bore fruit.

March 13, 2002

"Excessive confidence in the ability to understand the
will of God, is irreverent because it fails to recognize human
limitations. Reverence means understanding the difference
between the human and the divine. " -
Paul Woodruff

"We shall say no more, 'Our god,' to the work of our hands." Hosea 14:7

March 11, 2002
My results (I would've preferred more Aquinas):
1.  Augustine   (100%)  Click here for info
2.  Aquinas   (75%)  Click here for info
3.  Spinoza   (63%)  Click here for info
4.  Ockham   (57%)  Click here for info
5.  Plato   (54%)  Click here for info
6.  Mill   (45%)  Click here for info
7.  Sartre   (43%)  Click here for info
8.  Kant   (42%)  Click here for info
9.  Rand   (41%)  Click here for info
From EWTN's Philosophy maven:
"I get along with St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas very well. St. Augustine is very concrete. After all, he wrote an autobiography. Anyway, he never held that man is totally corrupt. At the same time Augustine is a realist when it comes to human nature. He believes that man is a sinner, not a very popular position today." - Richard Geraghty
Received this email on the St. Margaret mystery:
Our patron saint officially is St. Margaret of Cortona,
although she is not the saint the parish founders had
in mind in the beginning, nor is she the St. Margaret
who appears in the Stained Glass Window. How did the
mix-up happen? The Italian families who emigrated
to the United States from Pettorano sul Gizio wanted to
dedicate the parish church and the parish itself to the
St. Margaret they knew as the patron saint of their home
town (which would actually be St. Margaret of Antioch).
They simply knew her as St. Margaret. Presumably,
when asked which St Margaret she was, the founders of the
church could not say. Bishop Hartley, who was aware
of several St. Margarets, apparently concluded that the
patron saint of Pettorano sul Gizio would have to be
St. Margaret of Cortona, since she was an Italian.
The Parish was named St. Margaret of Cortona, but the
window and the statue of St. Margaret that is carried in
the Festival Procession are both St.Margaret of Antioch.
The Feast day of St. Margaret of Antioch is July 20,
hence, our parish festival is the last weekend of July.
The feast day of St. Margaret of Cortona is on February 22.
The mix up was never corrected, thus our parish which
should have been named St. Margaret of Antioch, is
actually called St. Margaret of Cortona.
There is a picture of St. Margaret of Cortona that was
brought back from Cortona Italy in 2001, in the Vestibule
of the church, and the statue directly in front of the church
is of St. Margaret of Cortona, who dedicated
her life to prayer and penance.
Many of my mother's ancestors immigrated from Ireland during the height
of Irish immigration - the 1840s. Similarly, my great-grandmother on my
father's side immigrated from Germany during the height of German
immigration - the 1880s. Our Irish forebears left because of the potato
famine - why did she leave?

The name "Hatti" is very rare among German surnames, but the Old High
German spelling of Hatti, "Hesse" is common. Why she was "Hatti" and not
"Hesse" isn't clear, but to begin the story of our ancestor we begin with
the fall of Troy in 677. The Assyrians migrated out of Anatolia
northwest up the Danube into Europe. Roman annals within a few centuries
were filled with the name Chatti, or Hatti, which later was changed to
"Hesse". The people of Hatti were numerous in the current areas of
Hesse-Darmstadt, Hesse-Kassel, and Hesse-Humburg, which happen to be in
southwest Germany, about 100 miles north of Baden-Baden, the reputed
birthplace of Amelia. Fifty years before Amelia's birth, an Anastasia
Hatti was baptized at the Gamshurst Catholic Church in Baden, Baden.
Could she be a great aunt of Amelia's? (See here and here. )

We don't know Amelia's parents birthdates, so they might've been
somewhere between young children or older teens when the German
Revolution hit Baden, not far from the romantic Black Forest and Rhine
River. It was the year 1848, and riots broke out in the streets and for
months 'the monarchies of central Europe looked as fragile as a house of
cards'. Poor harvests, which drove the price of bread sky high, was the
proximate cause. Germany was just a collection of states then and was
not yet a nation and Catholics were only about a quarter of the
population. The mighty Prussian state in the north of Germany began
exercising its power, and in the year Amelia was born Prussia and Austria
won a war against Denmark and gained the northern territories of

In 1866, when Amelia was two years old, Prussia looked south and declared
war on her state. Baden was quickly swallowed up in what was called the
"Six Weeks War". The German nation now existed in theory if not in fact;
that would come five years later when Wilhelm was crowned and Otto von
Bismarck was made the Prime Minister. Bismarck disliked the recently
formed Catholic political party known as the "Centre Party". "He
objected to the existence of a religious party because it seemed to stand
for allegiance to an authority other than the national state," said one
biographer, and considered Catholics a "separatist" group and, along with
social liberals & Jews, as 'enemies of the Reich'. He attempted to end
parochial education, expelled the Jesuit order and deported many clergy,
but ended up uniting Catholics even more strongly and by 1880 Bismarck
had had enough. The hatred of these laws (known as the "Kulturkampf")
was still felt over the nation, especially in the southern Catholic state
of Baden, when Amelia was sixteen and about to emigrate. The religious
situation didn't give many Catholics a reason to stay. And Germany's
economy at that time was weak at best. The reason most Germans immigrated
then was due to this economic situation, especially when compared to the
United States. It was made worse in part because of very high birthrates.
Germany was by far the youngest country in Europe, and there were too
many mouths to feed on most farms and not enough of an industrial base
yet. Southwest German inheritance laws forced parents to divide their
farms equally among their children, which quickly resulted in properties
too small to live on. America looked pretty attractive.

Amelia must not have been too hung up on her Germanness. Or maybe she
got tired of waiting for a Prince Wilhelm. Unlike most of her fellow
immigrants, she would marry outside her nationality - to an Englishman
(or Irishman?) named James H. Smith. Eleven long years passed in
America before she married at the age of 27, which at that time was very
long in the tooth. (I think it's far too young).
Ohio is debating whether to teach evolution and/or intelligent design in schools.
Historically, I think that both sides in the school debate have reason to be defensive.
The scientific side has ample evidence of religious blindness going back
to the Scopes trial. But what is less known is that the religious side
also has good reason to be on the defensive. As Thomas Dubay points out
in his book, "Faith and Certitude': "members of the secular academe are
assumed to be free to think and say and publish just what they wish. Not
so. Scholars must hew the officially accepted line in their fields or
they are consigned to the sidelines by their peers who organize
convention programs and publish journals....The eminent physicist and
astronomer Robert Jastrow finds strange the reaction of scientific minds
to the accumulating evidence that the universe did begin with the 'big
bang'. 'All recent evidence points to this scenario', says Jastrow, 'but
scientists are unhappy with it. It turns out that the man of science
reacts as the rest of us do when our beliefs conflict with the evidence.
We paper it over with meaningless phrases.'"