Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Bishop's Visit

The Bishop came to our parish today. I think he was an imposter. He never once moved diagonally.

Thanks to another member of Catholic Answers Forum's Water Cooler.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fr Damien role is ‘uplifting’ – actor

One of Hawaii's most well known saint is Blessed Damien of Molokai. He was portrayed by actor David Wenham a few years ago. In an article dated June 30, 2002, I found on The Catholic Weekly, the actor shares his feelings on portraying this saint.

Compassion, love and an unbreakable human spirit attracted David Wenham to “a life-changing experience”, portraying Fr Damien, the leper priest of Molokai. Damir Govorcin spoke to the actor.

David Wenham will never forget the leper colony of Molokai in Hawaii.
“Seeing people with no hands, no skin and no thumbs … it was a life changing experience,” says the award-winning Sydney actor.

Three years ago he took on what is arguably the most challenging assignment of his career, playing the role of the Belgian Catholic missionary Fr Damien, who volunteered in 1873 for a calling that was to cost him his life – serving as priest to the community of lepers on the island of Molokai.

David Wenham portrays the priest in Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (released nationally in June), an extraordinary journey into a remarkable man’s life.

For 15 years, Fr Damien almost single-handedly administered treatment and love to sufferers of what is now known as Hansen’s Disease, while fighting continual battles with government and church organisations.

He won some battles and lost some, including his own battle with leprosy, to which he finally succumbed in 1888.

David was drawn to the project by the compassion, love and unbreakable human spirit of the story.

In preparation he had to learn to speak with a Flemish accent – for which he has been applauded – and spend countless hours of research into the life of Fr Damien.

“Playing this role is very dear to me and has affected me on a personal level,” the actor says.
“Leprosy has a stigma about it, but being around these wonderful people was an uplifting experience.

“They are the most joyous people … there’s not a hint of bitterness about them.”

During his 4½ months on Molokai he developed a close bond with the locals, both on and off screen. Many of them still suffer the effects of the disease and, at first, wanted nothing to do with the film. But, after the cast and crew earned their trust, they agreed that their remarkable stories should be told. Indeed, many of them appear in the film.

Despite the debilitating disease, David says, the locals still embrace life.

And they left an indelible mark on his own.

“Being with the patients is an experience I will never forget,” he says.

“After what they have had to endure, that they can still be upbeat about life is just amazing.”

David says the film has taught him to be tolerant of others.

“This story may have happened 150 years ago, but it’s not dissimilar to what’s happening in our country,” he says, alluding to the plight of refugees.

“It’s dangerous what is going on at this moment.
“We as a society have to learn to be more compassionate and tolerant.”

David, 36, says he drew inspiration from his parents, who instilled in him strong Catholic values.
He says his father, Bill, has worked as a volunteer for the St Vincent de Paul Society for many years.

“I know how much their faith means to my parents and I have nothing but enormous love for them,” he says.

“My father spends many hours helping the less fortunate; that inspires me to be a better person.”

David enjoys a deserved reputation as a gifted actor on both stage and screen.
He stunned audiences and critics alike with his performance as a rapist and murderer in the 1991 Griffin Theatre production of The Boys – and, later, in the movie version – and as the chillingly crazy firebug Doug in the stage and movie versions of Louis Nowra’s play Cosi.
He has starred or featured in such films as Moulin Rouge, The Bank, Dark City, Greenkeeping, Idiot Box and Better than Sex.

He set women’s hearts racing as the lovable Diver Dan in the ABC TV hit series Sea Change.

And his star is tipped to shine internationally with his role as Faramir in the second and third movies in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

But of all his films, David ranks Fr Damien as the most satisfying role of his career.

And his two biggest fans, his parents, have already given him a big thumbs-up.

“Finally I have done a movie both my parents can watch,” he jokes.

“My parents are my role models and I’m just thrilled that they loved the film.”

Another attraction for him to play the role of Fr Damien (born Joseph de Veuster) was the opportunity to share the big screen with a stellar cast including the likes of Peter O’Toole, Leo McKern, Sam Neill, Derek Jacobi and Kris Kristofferson.

“Having a superb cast to work alongside only enhanced the whole experience,” David says. “It was a wonderful learning experience working with a legend like Peter O’Toole.”

JPII Quote

As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the world in which we live.- Pope John Paul II

Holy Souls - Anointing the dying - Apostolic Pardon

With our own parents getting older and friends passing away expectantly, I was fortunate enough to come across the following:

Why it is important to call for a priest early on to administer the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick to a loved one who is near death?

Here are some of the most important reasons :

1. The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick takes away all mortal and venial sins, even if the person is unconscious. To hear the person's last confession and to provide them with the Viaticum ( Holy Eucharist ), prepares them for their journey to Our Lord. In addition, the apostolic pardon takes away any temporal punishment(purgatory time) that remains for the soul. Apostolic Pardon: (to be given by a priest only): " By the authority granted me by the Holy See, I hereby grant you full pardon and remission of all your sins: In the Name of the Father + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

2. The devil at the time of death tempts the soul to despair by accusing it of its sins. Among other reasons, Our Lord instituted the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to drive him away at this time.

3. To restore the dying person to health. Although this is not a primary reason for the last sacrament, God sometimes allows a dying person to become fully recovered after receiving this sacrament, when the healing of the body is of spiritual benefit to the soul.

4. To save the soul of a person who is estranged from God by being in an unrepentant state of mortal sin. I have personal knowledge of such a case where a priest was called in to administer the last sacrament,where the dying person became repentant as a result of prayers from his family, especially the recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

5.To give the dying person the courage and strength to withstand their sufferings, knowing that they are fully prepared to meet Our Divine Savior. If a person is unconscious or apparently dead, should you call the priest?Yes ! The priest will administer a conditional anointing which will take away all mortal and venial sins, and if he gives the apostolic pardon, all purgatory time will be removed. Theologians differ as to when exactly the soul departs. Many teach that the soul remains for several hours in the vicinity of its body and can be conditionally anointed and given the apostolic pardon during this time.
Please register your souls and prayer requests for perpetual masses at:

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Promises - Divine Mercy Sunday

The following is an excerpt from St. Faustina's Diary:

A Special Promise of Mercy

Our Lord's promise to grant complete forgiveness of sins and punishment on the Feast of Mercy is recorded three times in the Diary of Saint Faustina, each time in a slightly different way:

"I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy" (1109).

"Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment" (300).

"The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment" (699).

Prayer for Trust in Jesus

This prayer is very appropriate during the week we prepare for Divine Mercy Sunday.

O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and
helplessness, give us the sense of Your presence, Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust in Your protecting love and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for, living close to You, we shall see
Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things. -

St. Ignatius of Loyola

Monday, April 17, 2006

Look at the Crucifix

I have a elderly priest...Fr. Edwin Duffy. He always says that if you want to learn to be patient...Look at the Crucifix. Well, this following prayer reminded me of him.

If you would like to know God ... Look at the crucifix.
If you would like to love God ... Look at the crucifix.
If you want to serve God ... Look at the crucifix.
f you wonder what you are worth ... Look at the crucifix.
If you wonder how much God loves you ... Look at the crucifix.I
f you want to know the need for self-denial and sacrifice ... Look at the crucifix.
If you wonder how much you should forgive others ... Look at the crucifix.
If you wonder how much you should do for others ... Look at the crucifix.
If you wonder how much your faith demands ... of you in humility, poverty, charity in every virtue ... Look at the crucifix.
If you want to know what unselfishness and generosity are ... Look at the crucifix.
If you wonder how far your own unselfishness should go to bring others to Christ ... Look at the crucifix.
If you wish to live well ... Look at the crucifix.
If you wish to die well ... Look at the crucifix.
When was the last time you really thought about how much suffering Jesus went through for you?
Next time you think your pain and suffering is too much to bear ...Look at the
crucifix and say: JESUS UNDERSTANDS!

Regina Coeli


While searching for the Regina Coeli prayers, I came across this interesing Catholic site maintained by a Hebrew Catholic. Take a moment to check it out.

Regina coeli, laetare, alleluia: Quia quem
meruisti portare, alleluia. Resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia. Ora pro nobis
Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,
R. Quia
surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus: Deus qui per resurrectionem
Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta,
quaesumus, ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia
vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
R. Amen.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

17th Century Nun's Prayer

I am not sure of the source but this is good advice!

Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older And someday will be old.

Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. 

Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. 

With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, But thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; Give me wings to get to the point! 

Seal my lips of my aches and pains - they are increasing and the love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. 

Keep me reasonably sweet; but know that I do not want to be a saint just yet - Some of them are so hard to live with. 

Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.


How to Live Without Guile

Christian brethren, if there be times in store for the already afflicted Church of Jesus Christ, in the midst of which, with fear and trembling, we, her children, are to work out our salvation, to whom can we turn with more confidence than to His "divine" Mother whom the Church has never invoked in vain...

But what will prayer, alms, fasting, even the life-giving sacraments avail, if we listen not to the warning of Our Savior; if we do not avoid the occasions of sin? "He that loves the danger shall perish in it" (Eccl 3:27) is a maxim of Our Redeemer which no change of fashion can affect; a gracious admonition which should never be absent from our thoughts; above all in times and circumstances like the present. Fly, therefore, from all evil company...

Frequent the church and not the taverns. Banish from your homes dangerous books, the bane of purity in every age, the scourge of modern society. Watch over the children whom God has confided to you...

And since the Church in the United States has solemnly chosen the Mother of Our Lord as its special patroness and protector, setting apart the Feast of her Immaculate Conception to be our national festival, ...first devoutly learn, and then teach your children from their earliest ears, to cultivate true, filial piety towards her, letting no day pass without respecting the Archangel's salutation.

St. John Neumann