Saturday, May 27, 2006

A May Crowning in Hawaii

May Crowning
May Crowning 2
(Photos by Joey Gefroh)

Today at our parish church, our family, along with many other people, attended one of the loveliest May Crownings we have had the privilege of attending.

Thanks to the Legion of Mary, we were able to honor our Blessed Mother during the month dedicated to her, in a beautiful and heartwarming way.

Our blessed Mother must have been quite pleased with the beautiful music, songs as well as the Holy Rosary in which five decades were led by different groups of adults and children. The ceremony ended with a closing prayer by the Rev. Edwin J. Duffy, who has a great devotion to the Blessed Mother.

The top photo is the procession into the church with the statue of Our Lady.

The bottom photo is the statue of Our Lady after she was crowned with flowers and leis by all the people present.

A Letter from America's Religious Leaders in Defense of Marriage

Religious Coalition for Marriage

Thanks to Ric of Catholic Republicans for sharing this with us.

A Letter from America's Religious Leaders in Defense of Marriage

Throughout America, the institution of marriage is suffering. As leaders in our nation's religious communities, we cannot sit idly by. It is our duty to speak. And so across the lines of theological division, we have united to affirm, in one voice, the following:

For millennia our societies have recognized the union of a man and a woman in the bond of marriage. Cross-culturally virtually every known human society understands marriage as a union of male and female. As such marriage is a universal, natural, covenantal union of a man and a woman intended for personal love, support and fulfillment, and the bearing and rearing of children. Sanctioned by and ordained of God, marriage both precedes and sustains civil society.

Marriage is particularly important for the rearing of children as they flourish best under the long term care and nurture of their father and mother. For this and other reasons, when marriage is entered into and gotten out of lightly, when it is no longer the boundary of sexual activity, or when it is allowed to be radically redefined, a host of personal and civic ills can be expected to follow. Such a point has always been stressed by the world's great monotheistic religious traditions and is, today, increasingly confirmed by impeccable social science research.

Long concerned with rates of divorce, out-of-wedlock births, and absentee fathers, we have recently watched with extreme alarm the growing trend of some courts to make marriage something it is not: an elastic concept able to accommodate almost any individual preference. This does not so much modify or even weaken marriage as abolish it. The danger this betokens for family life and a general condition of social justice and ordered liberty is hard to overestimate.

Therefore, we take the unprecedented stand of uniting to call for a constitutional amendment to establish a uniform national definition of marriage as the exclusive union of one man and one woman. We are convinced that this is the only measure that will adequately protect marriage from those who would circumvent the legislative process and force a redefinition of it on the whole of our society. We encourage all citizens of good will across the country to step forward boldly and exercise their right to work through our constitutionally established democratic procedures to amend the Constitution to include a national definition of marriage. We hereby announce our support for S.J. Res.1, the Marriage Protection Amendment.

May God bless all marriages and all those who labor to protect the sanctity and promote the goodness of marriage throughout this nation.

Signed,

The Right Reverend Keith L. Ackerman, SSC
Episcopal Bishop of Quincy, IL

Daniel Akin, Ph.D.
President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

The Right Reverend Peter H. Beckwith
Episcopal Bishop of Springfield, IL

Bishop Charles E. Blake
First Assistant Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ (COGIC)

Bishop Wellington Boone
Founder and Sr. Bishop, Fellowship of International Churches

The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Denver, CO

Charles W. Colson
Founder and Chairman, Prison Fellowship

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America
Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America

James C. Dobson, Ph.D.
Founder and Chairman, Focus on the Family

David Dockery, Ph.D.
President, Union University, Jackson, Tennessee
Chairman, Board of Directors, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities

The Right Reverend Robert Duncan
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, PA
Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network

His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan
Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, NY

His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, OMI
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago, IL

Timothy George, Th.D.
Dean, Beeson Divinity School of Samford University
Executive Editor of Christianity Today

The Most Reverend Jose H. Gomez
Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Antonio, TX

The Reverend Ted Haggard
President, National Association of Evangelicals

The Reverend Dr. Jack W. Hayford
President, The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
Founder/Chancellor, The King's College and Seminary
Pastor Emeritus, The Church On The Way

The Most Blessed Herman
Archbishop of Washington and New York
Primate, The Orthodox Church in America

The Right Reverend John W. Howe
Episcopal Bishop of Central Florida

Bishop Harry R. Jackson
Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church, Lanham, MD
President, High Impact Leadership Coalition

His Eminence William Cardinal Keeler
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Baltimore, MD

The Reverend Dr. D. James Kennedy
Chancellor, Knox Theological Seminary, Fort Lauderdale, FL

The Reverend Dr. Gerald B. Kieschnick
President, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Dr. Richard Land
President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention

Rabbi Daniel Lapin
President, Toward Tradition

Steve W. Lemke, Ph.D.
Provost, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

The Reverend Dr. Peter A. Lillback
Senior Pastor, Proclamation Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, PA
President, Westminster Theological Seminary

The Reverend Herbert H. Lusk, II
Senior Pastor, Greater Exodus Baptist Church
President & CEO, People For People, Inc

His Eminence Roger Cardinal Mahony
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, CA

His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Detroit, MI

Most Reverend Richard J. Malone
Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland, ME

His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, DC

The Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino
Roman Catholic Bishop of Madison, WI

The Most Reverend John Myers
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Newark, NJ

The Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kansas City, KS

Elder Russell M. Nelson
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Reverend Richard John Neuhaus
Editor in chief of FIRST THINGS

The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Roman Catholic Bishop of New Ulm, MN

Rabbi David Novak
J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies,
Professor of the Study of Religion and Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto
Visiting Professor of Religion, Princeton University (2006)

The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted
Roman Catholic Bishop of Phoenix, AZ

His Eminence Sean Patrick Cardinal O'Malley, O.F.M., Cap.
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston, MA

The Reverend William Owens
President, Coalition of African-American Pastors

Rev. Dr. Luciano Padilla, Jr.
Senior Pastor, Bay Ridge Christian Center, Brooklyn, NY

Dr. Paige Patterson
President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia, PA

The Reverend Eugene F. Rivers, III
Founder and President, The Seymour Institute for Advanced Christian Studies

The Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, Jr.
President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
National Hispanic Association of Evangelicals

The Most Reverend Michael J. Sheridan,br> Roman Catholic Bishop of Colorado Springs, CO

Rabbi Meir Soloveichik
Associate Rabbi, Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun of Manhattan, NY

The Most Reverend John G. Vlazny
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland, OR

The Reverend Dr. Rick Warren
Founding Pastor, The Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA
Author, The Purpose-Driven Life

Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb
Executive Vice President, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

The Reverend David Welch
Executive Director, U.S. Pastor Council

The Most Reverend John W. Yanta
Roman Catholic Bishop of Amarillo, TX

Malcolm B. Yarnell, III, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Theological Research
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Institutional affiliations are provided for purposes of identification only.

Friday, May 26, 2006

FR ROBERT ALTIER: COMMUNION IN THE HAND (A must read!!)

Shared by Sue of Catholic Community

"The Church is very clear in Her documents that she desires that we would
receive Holy Communion on the tongue and not in the hand."

Monday September 10, 2001 Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Colossians 1:24-2:3) Gospel (St. Luke 6:6-11)

FATHER ROBERT ALTIER:

In the first reading today Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Colossians, talks
about how, in Christ, is hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge. This is
because He is almighty God; He is the Creator of the universe; He is the Savior
of the world; He is God, absolute and perfect. Saint Paul says at the beginning
of the reading that he makes up in his flesh for what is lacking in the
suffering of Christ, for the sake of Christ's body, the Church.

In Christ, now, there is no suffering, but only in the Mystical Body. But there
is one place, which I would like to address this morning, where I believe that
Our Lord is truly grieved. I want to challenge you in that area: That is, the
manner by which we receive Holy Communion.

The Church is very clear in Her documents that she desires that we would receive
Holy Communion on the tongue and not in the hand.

The bishops of America, as well as a few other countries in the world, have
allowed Communion in the hand as a dispensation. But the Church is very, very
clear that She does not want us receiving Communion in the hand.

Let me explain a little as to why. First of all, to receive is something that is
passive. The priest takes Holy Communion because the priest is the one who
offers the Victim in sacrifice. Therefore, the one who offers the Victim must
also take part in that Victim. But the people of God are to receive Holy
Communion. To take the Host from your hand and put It into your own mouth is to
take Communion, not to receive Communion; and so it is an active thing, not a
passive thing. The Lord desires to give Himself to you as a gift, not to be
taken by you. We need to be very careful that we do not lose the symbolism of
what is happening in the Blessed Sacrament.

Also, if you will notice, during Mass after the Consecration, my fingers remain
together because of the particles of the Host that are there. When we take Holy
Communion in the hand, there are particles of Our Lord that are on our hands and
on our fingers. That is why, after Communion, the priest will purify his fingers
- because of the particles of the Host. But how often the people of God, after
receiving Holy Communion, simply brush the particles onto the ground and walk on
Our Lord. Or they put their hands in their pockets, and Our Lord is right there
on their clothing. The abuses that this opens them up to are very grave. Not
that anyone is intentionally doing that, but I think it is something that we
need to consider exceedingly carefully.

What I always tell people is that you can look forward to the Day of Judgment
and ask yourself how you intend to approach Our Lord, because He is your Judge.
The same Lord you approach in Holy Communion is the same One you will approach
on the Day of Judgment. Do you assume that you will put your hand out to Our
Blessed Lord on the Day of Judgment?

Is your view of judgment that you will shake Our Lord's hand and tell Him how
wonderful it is to see Him? Or is your view that you will do great reverence to
Our Blessed Lord? My view is that I will be flat on my face - not shaking His
hand.

We do not put out our hand to God. Scripture says that God holds us in the palm
of His hand. We should not be holding God in the palm of ours. He created us; He
made us in His image and likeness. He is the Creator; we are the creature. We
must approach Him with the greatest reverence, the greatest respect.

If we simply look at the fruit that has been borne by Holy Communion being taken
in the hand, it is not good: the loss of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament,
the familiarity.

Thankfully it is not happening here, but go to most churches and ask yourself if
you see people praying before Mass or if they are chatting, goofing around, and
talking.

We have lost the reverence for the Real Presence because Jesus is just "our
buddy" when we put our hand out to Him; He is not our God when we do that. So we
need to be very careful.

But beyond that, we can look also at what has happened spiritually to the people
of God. Since we have been receiving Communion in the hand, we have lost sight
of the idea of going to Confession, of our own sinfulness, of the reverence we
must have for Our Lord. We have made Communion so easy a thing and so nonchalant
a thing that people have lost that sense of reverence, of awe, and of respect in
the Presence of Our Lord.

I challenge you to think very seriously about this issue. The bishops, like I
say, have allowed it; it is not a sin if you receive Holy Communion in the hand.
In some places in the early Church they did that; Saint Justin talks about it.
But the Church stopped it because of the abuses against the Blessed Sacrament
that were occurring. I ask you to really pray about that.

Look at Jesus in the Eucharist and ask yourself, "Do I really, truly believe
that this is God? That this is my Creator and my Redeemer? How, then, do I
desire to approach Him?" I really believe, if you pray that through, that there
is only one conclusion to which you can come.

Then, I beg you, do not remain silent about it. Tell your friends. Tell your
family. Bring that word to others because all those good people out there, I do
not think that they are willfully trying to do anything that would grieve Our
Lord; they are doing what they have been told to do.

But again, look at what has happened in the last forty years of this particular
practice and ask yourself if the fruit it has borne has been good. Obviously,
you love Our Lord: You are here at daily Mass; you are here every morning. The
love of Our Lord is evident in you. Bring that love of Jesus out from here. The
love that is in your heart, proclaim it to others and ask them in the same way
to consider their actions toward Our Lord.

Let us bring the reverence to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament back so that we
can give Him fitting worship and praise because He is God, in whom all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge are contained.

* This text was transcribed from the audio recording with minimal editing.
Desert Voice

Thursday, May 25, 2006

REMINDER - Holy Spirit Novena Begins Friday

Holy Spirit Graphic Used with Permission
Jesus' Fish Net


Hi Friends:

Just a friendly reminder that the Novena to the Holy Spirit begins on Mary 26th and ends June 3rd. This year Pentecost is on June 4th.

The entire Novena can be found here:

EWTN Holy Spirit Novena

Dearest Holy Spirit, confiding in Your deep, personal love for me, I am making this novena for the following request. If it be Your Holy Will to grant it: (mention your request).

Teach me, Divine Spirit, to know and seek my last end; grant me the holy fear of God; grant me true contrition and patience. Do not let me fall into sin. Give me an increase of faith, hope and charity, and bring forth in my soul, all the virtues proper to my state in life. Make me a faithful disciple of Jesus and an obedient child of the Church. Give me efficacious grace sufficient to keep the Commandments and to receive the Sacraments worthily. Give me the four Cardinal Virtues, Your Seven Gifts, Your Twelve Fruits. Raise me to perfection in the state of life to which You have called me and lead me through a happy death to everlasting life. I ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen....From May 2006 ETWN Family Newsletter.

God bless,
Esther

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Having Kids Sends a Message, Says Pope

home
From Zenit

Benedict XVI Challenges Families

VATICAN CITY, MAY 14, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Families can testify to the value of life by having children, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope delivered that message Saturday to participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The three-day assembly in Rome ended that same day.

The Holy Father said that Christian families have the challenge to attest with their lives that procreation is the fruit of love, since a person is not simply merchandise.

"The historic moment we are living calls for Christian families to attest with courageous coherence that procreation is the fruit of love," said the Pontiff.

"Such a testimony will be a stimulus for politicians and lawmakers to safeguard the rights of the family," he affirmed.

Benedict XVI mentioned several attacks against marriage and the family. He noted, for instance, that several countries legally recognize "de facto unions," which, while "rejecting the obligations of marriage, seek to enjoy equivalent rights."

The Holy Father continued: "At times, moreover, attempts are being made to come to a new definition of marriage to legalize homosexual unions, also attributing to them the right of adoption of children."

However, the Pontiff said, "the unity and firmness of families helps society to breathe authentic human values and to be open to the Gospel."

Hope

Families also give optimism to contemporary societies that suffer the so-called demographic winter "with the consequent progressive aging of the population," the Pope said.

"At times it seems families are besieged by fear in face of life, paternity and maternity," Benedict XVI continued. "It is necessary to give back confidence to them so that they can continue to fulfill their noble mission of procreation in love."

The Pope also indicated signs of hope: "Thanks be to God, especially among young people, many are rediscovering the value of chastity, which appears increasingly as a sure guarantee of authentic love."
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