Bishop Sheen, Fatima, and the Conscience of the West

I never got to watch Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen when I was growing up. I think I’d only heard about him and I’d seen photos of him. Sometime around my conversion (give or take a few years) I saw his program, Life is Worth Living, on EWTN and realized what I’d been missing. (Video of Bishop Sheen below, links at the end of this post.)

Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal, 100 year anniversary. Free wallpaper from WallPaperCave.

At that time I still didn’t now what to make of Marian apparitions and it would be some years before I would dip my toe in the water. But now that I have, one apparition in particular means a lot to me. In Catholic-speak I would say I have devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. This talk by Archbishop Sheen will go some way in revealing why I like him so much and why Fatima means so much to me and not just me but countless others. And to the world, whether it knows it or not. Especially now.

Continue reading “Bishop Sheen, Fatima, and the Conscience of the West”

School of Darkness, Marxism Behind the Scenes

A sobering and chilling inside look at the workings of the Communist Party USA in the early to mid 20th century

School of Darkness, by Dr. Bella Dodd, is a thoroughly riveting account of a young girl who was born into a nominally Catholic family and hungered for meaning and direction, only to get sucked into the empty, destructive, and ultimately self-destructive, Communist path. The Party chewed her up and spit her out when she began to realize that it was not what it pretended to be. She dared to ask questions, which was unforgivable. Bella Dodd was a true believer in the Cause for many years only to realize that she had given her life to a phantasm. Nothing about Communism is real. Except its aim of total domination and its resulting (and inevitable) soul-crushing despair. But the Lord is always searching for His lost sheep and no one is beyond the reach of His helping hand. (Links to the ebook and to the Angelico Press edition at the end of this post.)

Bella was living in a “world of men who were determined to create new types of human beings who would conform to the blueprint of the world they confidently expected to control.” (Page 162. See note below for more.)

After immersing myself in that tale of unions, violence, and strikes, delusions and deceits, nihilism and other things I’m not used to, I felt shaken and sad. Glad that Bella’s story ended well. (Imagine receiving instruction in the faith from–oh, wait. If you don’t already know, I don’t want to spoil it for you.) Sad that so many thousands, tens of thousands–who knows how many?–were and will be so profoundly misled. But my study of this nightmarish cult of the collective has had one good result: my studies of the apparitions at Fatima have received new energy and urgency. I am more convinced than ever that Fatima holds the key to defeating Marxism. And that the only remedy for godlessness is God Himself. (I’d like to take credit for that wonderful line, but I think I read it recently. I’ll let you know when I track down the source.)

Update: Silly me! The line is from School of Darkness, though not the way I wrote it. Here’s the proper quote with context.

 “Those devoted to progressive education and to preparing youth to live in the “new socialist world” are abstractly sure of what they want, but they seem not to know that they work with human beings. Aside from teaching that children must learn to get along with other children, no moral or natural law standards are set. There is no word about how our children are to find the right order of harmonious living. I, too, had to learn by hard experience that you cannot cure a sick soul with more buildings or more playgrounds. These are important, but they are not enough. Abraham Lincoln, schooled in a one-room log cabin, received from education what all the athletic fields and laboratories cannot give. All his speeches reflected his love for his Creator. He knew that God is the cure for godlessness.” Bella Dodd, School of Darkness, end of page 136.

Much more on this and related subjects in the works.

Dodd, Bella (2014-12-16). School of Darkness. The Kindle edition I quoted from is no longer listed on the Amazon site. Here are two other links for the book.

School of Darkness: Paperback. (Amazon affiliate link: I may make a small commission at no cost to you if you buy the book using my link. Thank you for helping support the site and to spread the word about the threat to the Church.)

School of Darkness: ebook in various formats at

Please keep Jennifer Fulwiler and family in your prayers!

Please keep Jennifer in your prayersJust read that Jennifer Fulwiler is having some health problems and that she is asking for prayers, so I thought I’d pass this along. For those who don’t know, Jen is a former atheist who converted to the Catholic Church and was received in 2007. Since then she’s made quite the name for herself and she has become one of my favorite Catholic bloggers and speakers. Please keep her and her family in your prayers. (Please keep me in your prayers, too, I need all the help I can get!) Thank you and peace be with you.

Welcome Conversion Diary readers! As you’ve probably heard, Jen is in hospital with bilateral pulmonary embolisms. Please keep her in your prayers! She’s currently awaiting test results and in the process of making treatment decisions but I know she plans on updating you all soon!

Blogger calls for his fellow atheists to take over Catholic Answers Live radio show

Just found this post while searching for a particular Catholic Answers Live radio show to download and thought it was…interesting. It’s by someone using the name “DanielDonuts” on one of Richard Dawkins’ “content and discussion” forums at richarddawkinsDOTnet/discussions/644049-catholic-answers-live-with-sean-faircloth

I think it is time for atheists to take over this show:

Yesterday they had a show called Deconstructing Atheism.

Sean Faircloth called in and for quite some time debated a so-called former atheist turned Catholic named Edward Feser. On an almost daily basis this radio show spews hatred towards atheists – yesterday, for example, by saying that “sin darkens the intellect and makes you stupid”, i.e. implying that atheists are only atheists because of our “sin”. And Feser called RD a “loud mouth ignoramous”.

Every day this show could be inundated with atheist callers. Their phone number is 1-888-31TRUTH, they are on every weekday from 6-8 pm EST.

Continue reading “Blogger calls for his fellow atheists to take over Catholic Answers Live radio show”

Free thoughts on (not so) Freethought

I read this quote from the New Testament on the Freedom From Religion Foundation* website ( tonight:

Even Jesus Was** Against School Prayer “Thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men…” “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.” – Matt. 6:5-6. [Quoted from url:

Seems the Freethought folks are actually implying that Jesus would be on their side on the issue of freedom from prayer in schools. Continue reading “Free thoughts on (not so) Freethought”

Man: who is he, why is he here, do we still care?

Before God revealed Himself, man sought to understand who & what he is and why he's here
Before God revealed Himself, man sought to understand who & what he is and why he's here.
I have atheist friends who tell me that religion is useles;, that while primitives may have needed it, we modern men certainly do not. To them I can only reply, “So you’ve answered it, then.”

“What?” they ask.

“The perennial question, asked by man since man began.”

“What question is that?”

“ ‘Who is man?’ ”

“Oh, that. Well, who needs to ask that any more?” Continue reading “Man: who is he, why is he here, do we still care?”

Ready to March for Life, more reviews in the works

We’re having our annual March for Life this weekend here in Birmingham (national March for Life is next weekend). I’ve been getting ready for it, ordered a sign to carry and a shirt to wear that may get here in time. If not, I’ve got others. I bought a Catholic Warrior, Defending the Faith t-shirt and a 100% Catholic t-shirt yesterday up at the EWTN gift shop. Bought a bunch of pro-life bookmarks and some signs a while back from Heritage House. My Saul Alinsky review is still in the works. I left my book bag at home today or I’d post something on it now. But I don’t want to work from memory. Suffice it to say that I’ve added more books to the reading list since the last time I posted. Added more history books and several books on evolution and atheism, including titles by Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) and Darwin (a hardback volume entitled Evolutionary Writings, containing the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.) Funny, isn’t it, how most editions these days neglect to print the full title: Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of the Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. And I finally got a copy of Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design.

Continue reading “Ready to March for Life, more reviews in the works”

Christmas cards for the ACLU, something we all can do

(Update at end of article) I just received an email from a friend. Now ordinarily I don’t do the whole forwarded email thing. I tend to delete them without looking at them. At least, I used to. But lately I’ve gotten many good ones that grabbed my eye and my attention and moved me to share them with others. The one I’m going to write about here is a case in point. You probably know that the ACLU has been working hard to remove Christianity from our public square, our public schools, and from our public lives in general. One of the ways they have tried to accomplish this is by having any reference to Christmas expunged Continue reading “Christmas cards for the ACLU, something we all can do”

The Vatican does not accept Darwinian atheistic evolution

Updated, November 2, 2020: To clarify my point about “evolution” and the word “evolution” near the end of the post.

(Disclaimer: I am not the Church, I don’t speak for the Church nor do I play one on television.) Since it came up in a comment here on the blog and since someone told one of our candidates (actually, it was an entire family!) in the RCIA class that the Church teaches evolution (and they almost dropped out of class because of it), I thought I’d address this profoundly misinformed and often misunderstood notion in a separate blog post. First, let me state clearly that the Catholic Church does not teach any form of evolution whatsoever. The Church teaches religion, not science. That said, the Church does accept that science has much to teach us human beings about the world around us and she does encourage and always has encouraged the practice of science and scientific research. Yes, that’s what I said. Always. She also insists on the honest and ethical practice of science and honest acknowledgment of the limits of scientific knowledge and competence, and that is where some scientists take exception to her having any say at all. Too bad.

Continue reading “The Vatican does not accept Darwinian atheistic evolution”

The benefits of denying the existence of God

A friend asked me a few weeks ago why some people don’t believe in God. And why people leave the Church. “If they know, if they understand what the Church is, how can they leave?” Well, I don’t know that they do know, that they do understand and that is exactly why they can leave. But let’s look a little deeper and explore the benefits of denying the existence of God. Continue reading “The benefits of denying the existence of God”

With religion removed, shouldn’t we see a rise in respect, tolerance and compassion?

I’ve just been reading about “tolerance” at a website (toleranceDOTorg) devoted to teaching children and adults to tolerate differences in others. (Well, I’m all for that. Who could be against that?) The impression I get from reading articles on the site is that hate crimes have been on the rise in the country (that’s my impression right now, I’m still looking into it), and, though “[o]nce considered a Southern phenomenon [argh!], today most hate crimes are reported in the North and West.” (Really? The media seems to be unaware of this.) In schools there seems to be the perennial problem of bullying, though now it is seen as a lack of respect for “diversity”. Tolerance is obviously what is needed. And how do they propose to teach this tolerance? Some of the ways are through homework, writing assignments, and meditation in the classroom to teach empathy. Continue reading “With religion removed, shouldn’t we see a rise in respect, tolerance and compassion?”

Letter to a Christian Nation, Review Part 2, Reflections

The following are some further reflections on the book by Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation. I have to tell you, I really don’t like spending my time re-reading this thing, it was painful enough the first time. I read it the first time because I promised my young atheist friend that I would; and I’m re-reading it now because I know some people who are waiting to read what else I’m going to write about it. (See more in an earlier post.) Continue reading “Letter to a Christian Nation, Review Part 2, Reflections”