Archbishop Coakley at Fortnight for Freedom Mass: Time to rally our people

By Brianna Osborne

“We as a Church and a nation begin what is, unfortunately, becoming an annual observance,” said Archbishop Paul Coakley at the Mass opening the Fortnight for Freedom in the archdiocese, on Friday, June 21, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

“Unfortunately, I say, because conditions since the first Fortnight have not improved. Indeed, they have deteriorated,” the archbishop continued.

In his homily, the archbishop listed the threats to religious liberty that have developed over the past year. This month, the Supreme Court is expected to announce its rulings regarding the constitutionality of two laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman. As this issue goes to press, the Supreme Court justices have not yet announced their decisions.


Catholic Church of Oklahoma to become major sponsor of St. Gregory’s University

By Sooner Catholic Staff

SHAWNEE (June 28, 2013) – The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa will become major sponsors of Saint Gregory’s University in Shawnee for the first time since the school was established in 1875.

At a June 28 signing ceremony in Saint Gregory’s Abbey Church, Archbishop Paul Coakley of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, Bishop Edward Slattery of the Diocese of Tulsa, Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen of Saint Gregory’s University and Father Don Wolf, chairman of the board of directors of Saint Gregory’s, signed a memorandum of agreement that indicates the four leaders’ shared intention to sponsor the school.

Archbishop Coakley said it was important to create the optimal conditions for Saint Gregory’s continued success.


Totus Tuus of Oklahoma team members find joy and satisfaction in the service of others

By Michael Kietzman

This summer, parish youth all over Oklahoma will experience a total immersion of faith, courtesy of a specially trained team of young Catholic men and women.

The Totus Tuus of Oklahoma leadership team – a group of college-aged Catholics, including seminarians, from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa – will present weeklong, Gospel-centered retreats for elementary- and high-school-aged children at parishes throughout the state, including in Ada, Alva, Chickasha, Enid, Hennessey, Ponca City, Shawnee and Oklahoma City.

Totus Tuus is a Catholic youth program dedicated to sharing the Gospel and promoting the Catholic faith through catechesis, evangelization, Christian witness and Eucharistic worship, according to the program website.


Saint Gregory’s Abbey to host summer retreats

St. Gregory’s Abbey, Shawnee, Okla., announces its summer retreat program for 2013.  On the weekend of July 5 to July 7, Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen will lead the reflections “The Incarnation of Love – Holiness  in the Rule of Saint Benedict.”  On the weekend of July 26 to July 28, Father Charles Buckley will share with retreatants the spirituality of Saint Francis de Sales.

Abbot Lawrence explains his topic in this way: “The Second Vatican Council emphasized that all baptized persons are called to a life of holiness.  But often we are still left with the question of what constitutes holiness and how one can arrive at holiness.  So I will look at how Saint Benedict brings holiness from the Scriptures and the realm of theory into the reality of daily life as the embodiment of love.”


Newly ordained priest to serve as chaplain of Bishop McGuinness

By Anamaría Scaperlanda Biddick

The newest priest of the Archdiocese, Father Brian Buettner, ordained yesterday, June 29, 2013, will begin his priesthood as chaplain of Bishop McGuinness High School and Associate Pastor at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  As Associate Pastor at the Cathedral, Father Buettner will also have duties to Corpus Christi Parish in Oklahoma City and Saint Robert Bellarmine in Jones.

As chaplain of Bishop McGuinness, Father Buettner will provide the sacraments for the school community, aid in planning retreats and visit classes.

Principal David Morton said he is excited about Father Buettner’s assignment.


Daily Mass attendees find peace, friendship and fulfillment in daily Communion

By J.E. Helm

Betty Kierl is 92 years old and needs a walker to get to the 7:30 a.m. Mass at Saint Francis of Assisi in Oklahoma City.

She brought 10 children into the world, has 29 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.  One of her daughters drops her off and another one picks her up.

Kierl says she comes to daily Mass because she “simply can’t function without being here.”


Father Stanley answers atheists

By Brianna Osborne

EDMOND – Father Cory Stanley, parochial vicar of Saint Monica Parish, presented a defense of Christian beliefs, “Answering Atheist Friends,” Saturday, June 15, at the Saint Monica Parish Hall. One of the parish’s adult faith enrichment events, it took place after the 5 p.m. Mass, with sandwiches, salad and potluck dessert.

In his brief talk, Father Stanley mentioned a few points about the existence of God that any Catholic may discuss with atheist friends. Father Stanley based his talk on the book “The Godless Delusion,” by Catholic apologists Patrick Madrid and Kenneth Hensley, and the lectures and talks of Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft.


Catholic Foundation grants scholarships to Catholic summer camp

Scholarships enable six recipients to attend OLOG

The Catholic Foundation of Oklahoma has awarded summer camp scholarships to six Catholic youth in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to enable them to attend Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Youth Camp, the summer camp of the archdiocese.

“The Foundation’s Board of Directors is thrilled to be able to award these scholarships,” said Dr. Charles Lawrence, president of the Foundation. “We believe that it is vital for as many Catholic youth in the archdiocese as possible to be able to attend the summer camp. We echo and support the camp’s mission to nurture positive Catholic values in our youth.”

Aaron Dolney of Saint Andrew Church in Moore, Toni Fidel of Our Lady’s Cathedral in Oklahoma City, Jacob Jackson of Saint Joseph Church in Blackwell, Sami Marshall-Dunn of Saint John the Baptist Church in Edmond, Brandon Serrano of Holy Cross Church in Madill and Brittany Zink of Saint Joseph Church in Blackwell all will benefit from various CFO scholarships to attend camp.


Catholic females find their voice in grassroots movement

Breaking Through: Catholic Women Speak for Themselves by Helen Alvaré (Our Sunday Visitor, 2012)

Reviewed by Anamaría Scaperlanda Biddick

During the congressional hearings on religious liberty and the Department of Health and Human Services so-called “contraception mandate,” Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) asked of the proponents of religious liberty, “Where are the women?”

George Mason law professor Helen Alvaré answered in an open letter to President Barack Obama opposing the mandate.  The letter, cosigned by Catholic Voices USA director Kim Daniels, sparked a grassroots movement.  Within three months, nearly 30,000 women had added their signatures to the letter, which spread from woman to woman.  Women organized rallies, wrote letters to their senators and representatives, and created YouTube videos to convey their concern that religious liberty is taking a backseat to an ill-construed notion of sexual freedom—not to mention an ill-construed understanding of health, the body and health care.


No Dante, Dan Brown again displays antagonism toward Catholicism in Inferno

Inferno by Dan Brown (Doubleday, 2013, $16.19 on

Reviewed by J.E. Helm

Dan Brown’s latest book, Inferno (published in May) instantly leapt to the No. 1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List.  It was issued in 13 languages and has received high praise from The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal as well as the Times. Plans are in the works for a film version of the book, and it will no doubt earn millions for Brown as did his previously most successful book, The Da Vinci Code.

None of Brown’s works have won any literary prizes, and neither will this one. This is popular fiction, plain and simple. It is, admittedly, a thriller of a detective story.  Light reading, it can be polished off poolside in a day or so. While it is an impressive 461 pages, every chapter ends with the remainder of its page left blank, and there are 104 chapters and an epilogue. With more conventional  pagination, the text would fill a little less than 400 pages. The chapters are quite short and easy to read; most are three to four pages with only a few as long as eight pages. Causing the reader to think that Inferno is a substantial  work when really it isn’t is but one of the many ways that Brown manipulates his readers.