Friday, September 15, 2006

The Parousian Guard Announced

Resisting the temptation of having formal officeholders following a president or chairman model, we are proud to announce the Parousian Guard, our student leadership at LSU for 2006: chiefly Tobias Danna, Ryan Hallford, Emily Byers, Liz Johnson, Juliette Lapeyrouse, and Philip de Mahy. Father Bryce Sibley will continue to serve as our spiritual advisor. Please pray for our leaders as they continue to shine the light of Truth to the university.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

JPII's Intercession for Beth Reed

The Parousians are continuing to pray for Beth Reed, our 22 year old friend and pentecostal convert who has been suffering from tumors on her brain and near her spine which have caused her to lose her hearing and much of her motor skills. Her husband Joey called me last night with a glimmer of hope. Beth was not raised with a deep love for Pope John Paul II, and her motivations for converting were not centered on his writings or life of holiness. She respected him, but only for the very little she knew about him. On Monday night Beth had a dream where she and Joey were invited to sit at a banquet table next to the late Holy Father. She told him what was wrong and what she was scared of, and he promised to pray for her. This is the first time she has ever dreamt of him. Just a dream or a small consolation, we don't know. But Joey is asking that when we pray for Beth, that we offer our prayers through the intercession of John Paul the Great.

"Mary: Immaculate and Ever-Virgin" Class Tonight

"Mary: Immaculate and Ever-Virgin" will be presented by Father Chris Romaine at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Denham Springs tonight at 7pm. The class is a survey of Marian Doctrine and a vision of Mary’s place in the Mystery of the Church as depicted in the paintings of the great masters of art. We will meet at Christ the King and leave as soon as the evening mass lets out (6:30ish, but we will be gone by 6:35.) Look for Luke Ordogne, Caleb Bernacchio, and Toby Danna.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Column From Emily Byers Tackles Genocide in Darfur

Sudanese genocide is our problem - Opinion

Parousian Emily Byers continues to advocate the personalist ethic of defending the dignity of human life in the pages of the Daily Reveille, this time in regards to the crisis in Sudan.

Apologist/ Catholic Blogger Mark Shea Recognizes Parousians Again, and an Introduction to the Parousians for All Our New Visitors

Catholic and Enjoying It!

A day after Mark Shea picked up Parousian Emily Byers' strong pro-life apologetic, the popular Catholic cyberculture guru links to the Parousian homepage offering the following words:

"Check out the Parousians!

No, they are not from the planet Parousia.

No, they are not from the capital of France.

They are gung ho young Catholics and a sign of hope for our world."

We know people pay attention to Mark Shea, and we will try to live up to his confidence in us as a sign for hope. For the newcomers viewing our blog for the first time, we are a fledgling philosophical and literary society for Catholics geared to viewing the culture through the eyes of The Faith. In the next month, original pieces from several Parousians will be posted on the blog. We are unofficially present at LSU, trying to work out the details of becoming an academic club but maintaining our Catholic identity. We are currently attempting to launch other chapters at colleges in Louisiana, and hopefully at more universities down the road. Part of our vision is to distribute a smart magazine exploring the ideas we discuss at college campuses across the country. Feel free to contact us if you can help us (we are poor colege students with a big and worthy vision) or if we can help you (start a group, anything, just ask).

Many thanks to Mark Shea for plugging our little Parousians. Father Bryce Sibley's retired blog used to champion the efforts of the faithful at LSU. It is good to have another friend in the Catholic blogosphere.

Below is the text from our first post. If you want to get a feel for who we are, please read on:

"In January of 2006, eight LSU students began to discuss the ideas that really matter. All loyal Catholics with a desire to learn, we leaned on each other's background in disciplines across the liberal arts and sciences to seek a comprehensive worldview where the faith and the culture met head-on, hoping to know the times and what we ought to do. A sort of informal philosophical and literary circle emerged, much akin to the Inklings, except perhaps in the way of brilliance. May the reader judge with charity. Still, we persisted. The Parousians were born, and this blog will contain our ponderings and pontifications. Please forgive us for thinking out loud, but at least there are some in this wayward generation who still choose to think.

Why choose the Parousians as our moniker? The Parousia is the Greek word for arrival, and all of us are at least hoping to get there. In extended Christian circles, it refers to the second coming. While we are not expecting the apocalypse in our lifetime, we figure we best be ready for it anyway. God has His way of bringing down the proud, and it reminds us to be humble. Kings and kingdoms fall, and one day each of us will be judged. And "Lord, come quickly" should be every Christian's prayer. More specific to our circle, the Catholic sees the Parousia at the moment of consecration when the bread and wine become the Body and the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus arrives everyday in the flesh. It is this sacramental view of life that teaches us how to see our culture.

Our heroes include the Chesterbelloc and the Inklings; St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine and St. Therese; Walker Percy and Flannery O'Connor; Thomas Merton and Fulton Sheen; Dorothy Day and Russell Kirk; Cardinal Newman, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Alasdair MacIntyre, Wendell Barry, Eric Voegelin, Whit Stillman; Jim Stoner,LSU political theory and constitutional law professor, and Chris Baglow, theology professor at Holy Cross in New Orleans; the writers at Godspy; Father James Schall, Father Clifton Hill, Father Jason Labbe, and Father Bryce Sibley, as well as any other priest or religious who cares enough to write us or come hang out with us; Mother Teresa; Popes John XXIII, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. Our heroes are more talented than us, and they have already made the world a better place. Please bear with us as we attempt to imitate them."

The Catholic Church in Tanzania Presented by LSU Swahili Professor

LSU Swahili professor Deo Tungaraza will speak with the Parousians this Sunday night about the similarities and differences in Catholic life in his native Tanzania and the United States, with thoughts on devotional practices and university life. The meeting will be at 8 pm at Ryan Hallford's house (4463 Tupello St). All are invited to attend.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Popular Catholic Blogger Links to Emily Byers' Pro-Life Column

Catholic and Enjoying It!

Mark Shea's blog is the first stop in cybersurfing for many Catholics, getting an average of 2711 hits a day. Shea links to Parousian Emily Byers' defense of the sanctity of human life with the title "Hope for the Future." Thanks to Mark Shea for supporting Emily. We encourage all our friends to frequent his blog.

Incidentally, a link to the Parousians blog was found on the comments beneath the link to Emily's column. For all who are new to The Parousian Post, thank you for visiting. Emily Byers' column will be posted on the website regularly, as will the responses in the letters page to her column. We hope to have more features in the coming weeks, but we are still very much a work in progress. Please keep us in your prayers.

Update on Beth Reed

Beth has been moved to Shreveport where she will have surgery to remove one of her brain tumors next week. Her husband Joey tells me that since she has been bedridden and deaf, she has spent her quiet time praying for the people praying for her. Please continue to keep this 22 year old convert in your prayers.

Invitation from Angela Miceli

Political Science Instructor and Parousian Angela Miceli invites students to join the St. Paul Apologetics group at St. Agnes Catholic Church downtown. Meetings are on Saturdays from 11:30 am to 1 pm. The group moves through the catechism article by article weekly.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Thanks to Everybody Who Posted on Emily Byers' Column

Argument for Plan B has many flaws - Opinion

Thanks to everybody for rallying around our own Emily Byers' outstanding pro-life apologetic in the Reveille. If you have not read the column yet, or if you would like to join the chorus of praise for such a stellar effort, then follow the link above. Stay tuned for more Emily Byers on Wednesdays throughout the fall semester.

Tobias Danna's Response to Grace Juneau's Letter

Letters to the Editor - Opinion

Parousian Tobias Danna's response to Grace Juneau's attack on Emily Byers' column was published in Friday's Reveille. Danna's letter unedited for space appears below:

In her column "Argument for Plan B has many flaws," Emily Byers offered a logical case to reconsider Plan B distribution and abortion in general. Grace Juneau, an intelligent and successful college debater, challenged Ms. Byers' rhetoric in a fashion worthy of a final speech in an elimination round. As a former college debater for Southeastern Louisiana University, I appreciate Ms. Juneau's bravado - I often tried similar tactics when I knew I was losing an argument on my case's key points. Knowing that this is not a game of academic forensics, but a real life battle to persuade hearts and minds lest serious personal and social devastation occur (advocates on both sides of the issue predict this if the other side prevails), let me offer my evaluation of the merits of the two arguments.

Ms. Byers' argument that life begins at fertilization is simple text book biology. The zygote is the beginning stage of human life, and not the separated sperm and egg. Ms. Juneau offers a reductio ad absurdam argument that by Ms. Byers' argument, masturbation is also the destruction of human life because sperm are potential life. What she misses is that Ms. Byers is not addressing the merits of preserving potential life, but life that already exists - a living human being at the earliest stage of life. Sperm is not human life, as humans (including zygotes) have 46 chromosomes and sperm only have 23. Zygotes grow, take in nutrition, have cellular activity, and sperm do not. Some of the college co-eds Ms. Juneau refers to are surely not the most hygienic folks, but I am willing to bet none of them ever discovered a baby in a sock or rag after putting off cleaning for too long.

Likewise, zygotes have their own unique DNA which is other than that of the mother's, indicating a person other than the mother. The question then becomes does anyone have the right to do whatever she chooses with her child's body. Of course, this is intolerable. Laws concerning the liberty for any woman's uterus should have the same boundaries as the laws concerning Susan Smith's hands: do whatever you want with them, but society cannot allow you to kill other people for the sake of your convenience.

If this was a college debate round, Ms. Juneau would lose for several reasons. She does not clash with Ms. Byers' main points, but dances around them. She does not provide a solution for the main question Ms. Byers asked and answered, namely when does life begin. Finally, she opens herself up to a moral critique, as she dismisses the Nazi comparisons when Plan B proponents are using the same rationale of ignoring the dignity of human life that they found inconvenient. An experienced debater like Ms. Juneau knows when the facts aren't there, you still have to fight out the debate for your side relying on your sophistry.

But this issue is too important to both sides for it to be dictated by emotionally driven arguments rather than truth. The fundamental question, answered many times but dismissed by a society that finds the truth too hard, is still does life begin at fertilization, and if not, then when.

Tobias Danna
Sr., Political Theory

Masturbation is Murder Misrepresentation


LSU debater Grace Juneau "rebuts" Emily Byers' opposition to abortion in the Reveille. This is actually a common pro-abortion argument.