Thursday, September 6, 2007


I recently posted this article to my other blog. Professionally, I am a director of manufacturing and CIP (continuous improvement process) for my company. I do a lot of work in the field of "lean manufacturing" and "six sigma." These methodologies help us solve business problems, etc. Anyhow, here is the article.

This past Sunday the readings for Roman Catholics around the world centered on the theme of humilty.

The pastor of my parish gave an excellent homily on the topic and I wanted to share some of my own thoughts as it relates to the those of us working to make things better for our companies or clients.

Let's start with some words from the Good Book itself.

My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God. What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not (Sirach 3:17-18,20).

The last sentence initially caused me difficulty since seeking solutions to problems no one has been able to solve (i.e. what lean and six sigma is all about) seems to fly in the face of the recommendation by the Old Testament writer. But after some thought I think what is really being discussed is how we, as leaders of change, should humble ourselves enough to realize that we need others to help us solve problems.

I am guilty as anyone when it comes to the idea that I can do this better than anyone so why not just do it myself. But the thing I am missing is that while this attitude may get us by in the short term I am not building a long term culture of improvement.

On a deeper, more spiritual level, this reading means that we cannot go at life alone. We need the support and assistance of a higher power. For Christians this higher power is the triune God.


Humility does not mean, as some seem to think, we should feel unworthy or weak. Instead, what it really means is that when we run a kaizen event or complete a black belt project we can, and should, celebrate our success. But this celebraton must be tempered in such a way as to say we can still do better. Interestingly enough, temperance is one of the four cardinal virtues.

Isn't it interesting how we sometimes think the philosophies of lean and six sigma are less than 100 years old... when in fact people figured this stuff out thousands of years ago. They even wrote it down in a book! How cool is that?

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Praying the Rosary - SJCK Style

I am a member of the St. Joseph's Covenant Keepers of Tarrant County. We meet every Saturday morning from 7:00 AM to 8:30 AM.

Prior to the meeting we also meet to say the Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament. It's hard to describe how awesome this is... but to help please see this slideshow.

If you are interested in attending a meeting we meet at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Keller, TX. Just email me if you want the details or visit our website.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Open Invitation to Roland S. Martin and Catholic Answers

Today CNN carried a strongly worded anti-Catholic article written by a Mr. Roland S. Martin. Mr. Martin is a former Catholic and now seems to take great joy in bashing the Church Jesus instituted 2000 years ago (Matthew 16:18).

In any event I posted a comment to Mr. Martin on his blog which is currently awaiting moderation. I am not sure it will even make it to his page. In case it doesn't, here is my official statement to him.

Mr. Martin,

I wonder if you would be open to discussing this topic publicly via a podcast or webcast with someone like Jimmy Akin, Tim Staples, or Karl Keating? They work for a Catholic apostolate called Catholic Answers.

I am sure they would be happy to discuss this topic with you in a civil manner. Please email me if you are interested. If you are interested I will reach out to the guys at Catholic Answers to see if they are also interested. I can almost guarantee they would be.

If I don’t hear from you I will assume you are not interested in publicly defending your position.

Finally, in case anyone is interested in reading the actual Vatican document Mr. Martin is referencing you can
find it here.

Peace in Christ,
Ron Pereira
CatholicReply dot com

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Who Needs Confession - Part 3

Gosh, I guess am a little slow at updating this blog. Well slow is better than never I guess.

Let's wrap this series up on confession. If you missed part 1 and part 2 please read them first.

Rather than getting all technical and sounding like a walking Catechism I wanted to keep this post as down to earth as possible tonight.

Confession is one of the greatest gifts our Lord left us. And sadly it is the one sacrament most people miss out on. I don't want to generalize or judge but I sometimes wonder if everyone walking up to communion is in the state of grace. I pray they are as receiving our Lord in the Eucharist in an unworthy manner is serious sin.

But what do we do if we fall from grace and commit mortal sin? The answer is easy. Tell God you are sorry and mean it. Don't wait until Wednesday night at 7:00 PM since that is when confessions are heard. Say it now. In fact, if you are in the state of sin as you read this please stop and close your eyes and tell God you are sorry and ask our Lady to pray for you.

Once this is out of the way you need to stop receiving communion until you reconcile yourself with the church via confession. I am here to tell you on this blog that I sin about as much as anyone and there are many times when I walk up to communion and place my finger over my mouth in order to receive a blessing.

Funny story along these lines. There was one Sunday when I was carrying my now 4 year old daughter Kileigh up to communion. When I reached the Priest I placed my finger in front of my mouth as I needed to go to confession first. After church, when we were walking to the car Kileigh asked me, "Daddy, why didn't you take the chip?" I laughed so hard I almost cried. I simply replied, "Because, baby, I need to tell Jesus I am sorry first."

So here is the deal about going to confession. If you haven't been for a long time (even 40+ years) fear not. When I came into the church I had 30 years of sin to confess! No matter how long it has been you simply need to follow a few steps to prepare.

  1. Do a thorough examination of conscious. The easiest way to do this is to think of how you may have broken any of the ten commandments.
  2. You also need to actually be sorry (have contrition) for sinning against God. If you are not sorry and simply say the words to the Priest, who sits in the person of Christ (in persona Christi), this is not a valid confession.
  3. Find out when confessions are heard or schedule a private confession.
  4. Confess your sins to the Priest.
  5. Receive absolution and any instructions from the Priest.
  6. Do pennance as prescribed by the Priest.
  7. Fight sin with all your might and pray to our Lady and St. Michael to help protect you.

Now, number 4 (confess your sins) is the tough one for many. For me, I must admit I love confession and get this amazing feeling of anxiousness before going in. But for some the minutes leading up to confession can be scary.

All you have to do when you go in to see the Priest is kneel behind the screen or in most cases you can sit face to face. I like the screen.

Then the Priest will usually start off by saying, "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Sometimes they don't.. in which case you just get on with it!

Now it's your turn.

You should start by saying, "Bless me Father for I have sinned. It's been (insert time) since my last confession."

Normally the Priest will sit silent at this point. Then you simply tell the Priest the sins you committed and in some cases how many times you committed them. If you are not sure where to start just say, "Father, it's been awhile and I am not sure where to start." Trust me they know how to help you through this.

Don't be ashamed or leave anything out. For one, it can make the confession invalid if you purposely leave sins out. For another, God already knows your sins... He just wants to hear you say your sorry to the Priest, who again sits in the person of Christ. So don't leave anything out!

Finally, I usually end my confessions with this saying. "I am sorry for these sins Father, and for any sins I may be forgetting."

Now at this point the Priest may talk to you about some things. They may not. They will then give you absolution from your sins and state your pennance. I have had all kinds of pennances... everything from take your kids to McDonald's for a special treat to saying a certain amount of Hail Mary's. Whatever the pennance is do it with a cheerful heart!

It comes down to this. Either the church is dead wrong about confession or completely right. There is no in between.

If you bet for the church and go to confession on a regular basis what harm can come of it? Even if the church is wrong about confession there can be no harm in confessing our sins.

On the other hand, what if you bet against the church and don't go to confession and the church is right. This will result in infinite loss (hell).

It's time to place your wager. Where will you lay your chips? My bet is on the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Who Needs Confession - Part 2

Tonight I will discuss part 2 of the confession series. Please read part 1 here if you haven’t already.

There are 3 things we need to understand about confession:

1) The ability to forgive sins was in fact given to men by Christ
2) Initially, Christ gave this ability to a handful of men
3) That authority is passed on to more people

Let’s start with the words of St. John to demonstrate that the ability to forgive sins was in fact given to men by Christ.

First though, let’s set the stage a bit. Jesus had been crucified and his apostles were scared stiff. Mary Magdalene learns that Jesus was not in the tomb and thus did what any good Catholic should in cases such as this – she went and told the Pope! I am not kidding; she went and told St. Peter. So our first pope and his pal St. John go to the tomb and see that it is empty… and the scripture says, “For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”

OK, now that the scene is set let’s go to the Gospel of John and read what happens next.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. (Jesus) said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained" (John 20:19-23).

The first thing Jesus says to them is peace. More specifically he uses the Hebrew word shalom, which is the deepest peace God can give someone. Jesus also clearly gives the authority to forgive sins to his disciples as we read in the last verse.

Some non Catholic bibles will actually place a footnote for these verses which say something to the extent of, “Obviously Jesus is not permitting the apostles to forgive sins since only God can forgive sins – see Mark 2:7.” If you have a non Catholic bible open up to these verses and check.

Let’s read Mark 2:7 to see if argument holds any validity. It reads, "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?"

Wow! They may be onto something… it clearly says only God can forgive sins. However, if you read Mark 2:7 carefully you will learn that the person that makes this comment is a Pharisee! In fact this Pharisee rebukes Jesus here in this verse. The absolute worst way one of our non Catholic brothers and sisters could begin their debate is to start quoting a Pharisee who rebuked the God man himself!

Now let’s examine the second point, that Christ only gave this authority to a handful of men. Let’s visit the Gospel of Matthew to help us understand this point.

In the 10th Chapter of Matthew we read, “Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness (Matthew 10:1).” So here we see how Christ gave his disciples authority over unclean spirits.

Next, let’s look at how our Lord gave St. Peter powers to bind and loose sins which is another way of saying to forgive (loose) or not forgive (bind).

“I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:18).

A few chapters later we nearly read the identical words. Only this time our Lord is giving this power to bind and loose to the other disciples. Note though how he gave this power AND the keys (Papacy) to Peter first.

“Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18).

The book of Matthew is all about authority. Again and again we see our Lord building His church. He is also setting up how He expects His church to be run once He is no longer on earth.

Now, let’s discuss the third point - that this authority to forgive sins is actually passed on to others by the apostles, even to this present day.

After Judas killed himself the disciples needed to replace him. And we read, “Then they prayed, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place" (Act 1:24, 25).

Then again in Acts we read, “They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid hands on them” (Acts 6:6).

More examples of this apostolic succession can be found in the following verses.

  • Acts 13:3
  • Acts 14:23
  • 1 Tim 4:14
  • 2 Tim 1:1

We see these examples of laying on of hands all over scripture. And the amazing thing about our Catholic Bishops, Priests, and Deacons is the fact that their apostolic succession can be traced all the way to the apostles. This also means it can also be traced all the way to Jesus himself. How cool is that!

In the third and final part of this series we will examine the specifics of this awesome sacrament. If you have not been to confession lately and are perhaps nervous or scared I hope to reduce your anxiety helping you get back to the confessional!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Power to Choose

The recent tragedy in Virginia has rocked the nation. My prayers are with victims, including the killer, as well as all involved. It is hard to fathom such a tragedy and I cannot attempt to truly understand it.

But after talking to my wife and in laws about it over coffee I wonder if we, as a nation, should really be so shocked.

Upon checking the Priests for Life website I saw the following statistic: Approximate number of babies killed by surgical abortion in the USA since January 22, 1973: 47,644,084.

That is almost 48 million babies killed in cold blood!

The left of this country, and sadly some on the right, think it is OK to choose to murder an innocent baby. Yet when some insane person chooses to shoot 32 people and himself all we talk about is how aweful it is. Aweful indeed, but so is the cold blooded murder of 48 million sweet babies. What, pray tell, is the real difference? I'll tell you the difference... the Va Tech killer may be able to blame his murder on a mental disorder. What do we as a nation have to fall back on? A women's right to choose murder? Give me a break. Wake up Rosie O'Donnell, Hillary Clinton, and even you Mr. Giuliani.

I pray God has mercy on us all.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fr. McBrien Speaks - Uh oh

If you have never heard of Fr. McBrien from Notre Dame you haven't missed much. He is the priest most talk shows bring out when they want a really nice "leftish" view of the church. How he has managed to maintain his collar is beyond me.

As my previous post explain the Vatican has spoken on limbo. If you haven't read it yet please do before reading the rest of this post.

Well shortly after reading the "real" release I came across a plethara of other news releases. Nearly everyone of them had the following quote from Mr. Heresy himself.

"If there's no limbo and we're not going to revert to St. Augustine's teaching that unbaptized infants go to hell, we're left with only one option, namely, that everyone is born in the state of grace," said the Rev. Richard McBrien, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame.

I know is must be a sin to call a priest "slow" but I can't help it. This guy just doesn't have a clue and my kids will never attend Notre Dame so long as he roams the campus.

Here is the "typical" news release about the Vatican's finding. Be sure to read the real release though as shown in my previous post.