Wednesday, December 30, 2009

YEAR FOR PRIESTS - Looking for Stories on How Priest Helped You Grow in Your Faith, etc.

ConsagracionSource
Pope Benedict XVI has begun a “Year for Priests,” starting in June 2009 and ending in August 2010. In the first half of 2010, St. Anthony Messenger magazine will publish an article based on stories submitted to this blog.

Your story could address a question such as: Do you have a story about how a priest has helped you grow in your faith? Challenged you in some way? Strengthened your faith?

Please keep your submission to 250 words.
The Year for Priests

H/T Melissa C.

The Dark Night of a Priestly Soul

Persecuted Priests
...Seven years ago today, on December 29, 2002, a brother priest in my diocese took his own life. Father Richard Lower was 57 years old. He was a popular and very gifted – and giving – priest and human being. Father Lower had served Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New London, New Hampshire for the previous thirteen years, and he was much beloved by his parish family.

There was a lot that happened in Father Lower’s personal life over the preceding year. He had undergone his sixth painful back surgery. Then he developed septicemia for which he was hospitalized again. Father Lower’s mother died that November. These factors, and likely others that are unknown, left Father Lower physically, emotionally, and spiritually bereft to face the newest terror that was to enter his life two days after Christmas seven years ago...
Please take the time to read the rest of Father Gordon MacRae's post about the tragedy that befell another persecuted priest, over at Priests in Crisis

Monday, December 28, 2009

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Massacre of the Holy Innocents
Massacre of the Holy Innocents by Daniele Volterra

Source

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day - Meditation

Sacred Heart Church
Today I will strive to show special joy and goodness in my relations with others, especially with my family. I will look for an extra way to make each of them happy today.

Regnum Christi Daily Meditation

Merry Christmas!

Stainded Glass
Photo by Esther G.

From my family to yours, a very blessed and Merry Christmas
Everyone!

The Three Masses of Christmas

The Nativity

THE THREE MASSES OF CHRISTMAS

Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

Our feast of Christmas came from a pagan observance which was Christianized. It is a pagan festival revisited. The first mention of the celebration of the Lord’s nativity in a liturgical calendar appears in the fourth century. This was the baptism of the pagan festival of the invincible sun (sol invictus), an observance introduced in 274 by the Emperor Aurelius (270-275), and celebrated in Rome on December 25, the winter solstice. The “Sun of Justice” (Mal 3:20) came as “the light of the world” (Jn 8:12) to vanquish darkness and to triumph over sin and death.

As the Christianization of the winter solstice, observed in Egypt and in Arabia on January 6, developed into the feast of the Epiphany, it became a major feast of the East. To counteract certain pagan myths, Epiphany, which means “showing forth” or “manifestation,” placed emphasis on the baptism of Jesus and his mission, and on the revelation of his glory at Cana? Gradually the feast of Epiphany spread to the entire West in the fourth century, and the East adopted the feast of Christmas about the same time.

In the fourth century at Rome the celebration of Christmas was a rather ordinary Mass celebrated by the pope. The Mass was similar to our present Mass at Dawn, and proclaimed the prologue of John’s Gospel. To refute and oppose the Arian heresy rampant at that time, the Mass affirmed and celebrated the Word made flesh. This Christmas Mass was clearly Christological and dogmatic in character, and in 360 mentioned the adoration of the magi and the massacre of the innocent children of Bethlehem.

At Bethlehem a night Mass was celebrated for Epiphany in the grotto of the Lord’s birth. Beginning in the fifth century a night Mass was celebrated in Rome also, but it was the Mass of Christmas and not that of Epiphany. The pope celebrated the night Mass at the Church of St. Mary Major, built after the Council of Ephesus. Wood from a crèche was displayed in one of the basilica’s chapels, and the Mass celebrated there became known as the Mass ad praesepe, that is, near the crèche. Since the account of Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem was read from the Gospel of Luke, the theme of this celebration was historical.

The Greek (Byzantine) colony in Rome celebrated December 25 too. They assembled at the Church of St. Anastasia (Holy Resurrection). To respect the Byzantines the pope celebrated Mass with them in the morning before going to St. Peter’s Basilica. In that Mass the gospel reading was the announcement of the good news to the shepherds found in Luke’s Gospel.

This is how the three Masses of Christmas originated. The pope and the faithful celebrated Mass at night at St. Mary Major, at dawn at St. Anastasia, and during the day at St. Peter.


- Used with permission.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Santa Claus and Christmas

Kneeling Santa
Photo by Esther G.

One of my favorite Christmas statues is the one of our Kneeling Santa. I love the way Santa kneels down so reverentially before the New Born King with his hat by his side.

Please read the story over at Les Femmes - In Defense of Santa Claus

Monday, December 21, 2009

YEAR FOR PRIESTS - Blessed Seelos

Blessed Seelos
"I was ordained a Priest on December 22, 1844. Let us celebrate my 165th anniversary.
Give thanks to God and I'll intercede for you in a powerful way."


O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer,
let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in Your sight.
I offer praise to You for the grace You have bestowed
on Your humble missionary, Father Francis Xavier Seelos
May I have the same joyful vigor
that Father Seelos possessed during his earthly life
to love You deeply and live faithfully Your gospel.
Amen. (mention your intentions here)


additional prayers and information: HERE

Thank you Mary Jane.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Popes Pius XII, John Paul II declared 'venerable'

Pope Pius XII
JPII
The Congregation also proclaimed the heroic virtue of nine others, who now qualify for the title "Venerable" and may be beatified with the approval of a miracle:

1.Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) (1876-1958)
2. Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) (1920-2005)
Read the rest here

Praying the Rosary


H/T toPadre Steve

Meditation on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary has often been a source of trouble for me. I would recite the Hail Marys very quickly. I often rushed to get my obligation of saying the rosary out of the way and over with for the day. I actually thought that as long as I fulfilled this obligation, Mary would be pleased with my efforts. How wrong I was and not only was I wrong, I was robbing myself of the beauty of actually meditating and contemplating on the life of Christ.

With the grace of God, I am now finally able to not only meditate on each of the 20 mysteries of the Holy Rosary, but I actually look forward to seeing where my meditations would lead me.

This accomplishment did not come easily though. It was more of a "baby-step" attempt on my part and a conscious effort not to let my mind wander on anything but on each particular mystery.

It started with the Joyful Mysteries, the first of all the mysteries. The First Joyful Mystery is the Annunciation. On each and every bead of that decade, I would think and apply one word to describe part of the Mystery of the Annunciation. For example, on each of those ten beads I would apply some of the following words: 1. maiden, 2. room 3. angel 4. surprise 5. announcement 6. wonderment 7. Holy Spirit 8. Emmanuel 9. Obedience 10. Fiat

After a while of focusing on the mysteries in this child-like manner, my mind and heart now can visualize the place where each mystery is occuring. Dialogues, feelings, surroundings are easier for me to think about and thus I am now meditating much better. For an even deeper meditation, I try to pray the rosary with my eyes closed. However, when I pray the Holy Rosary in front of the Blessed Sacrament as is usually the case before daily Mass, I love to "gaze on the loveliness of the Lord"

"...That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple."
Source

For me, meditation on the Holy Rosary is still a work in progress. I thank the Blessed Mother for obtaining this grace for me.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

Count Your Blessings
1. Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.
2. Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.
3. Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.
You can read the rest here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

YEAR FOR PRIESTS: Movie Recommendations

Year for Priests
Photo by Esther G.

My family and I recently watched two movies which I would highly recommend for this Year of the Priest.

Keys to the KingdomThe first movie we watched was The Keys of the Kingdom starring Gregory Peck.

The Cardinal The second movie we watched was The Cardinal starring Tom Tryon. Note: I was wracking my brain trying to remember from where I had heard of Tom Tryon. Turns out his name was familiar to me, not as an actor, but as a writer.

Both of these movies followed the priestly vocation of two priests. One was a Scottish priest and one was an American priest from Boston. Both stories were based on novels.

Although, the two priests were from very different backgrounds, their dedication to the priesthood and to Holy Mother Church were inspirational. I would think it would be hard for a boy or young man to watch these movies and not be moved by these role models to the priesthood.

Now, these two movies were not your average priest movies of the 40's and 50's, such as the likes of Spencer Tracy's Father Flanagan of Boy's Town or Bing Crosby's Father O'Malley in Going My Way and the Bells of St. Mary.

These two movies really delved deep down into the priests' core to portray them not only as real men but true persona Christi. The Cardinal was directed by Otto Preminger. For those of you familiar with his work, you know he is not afraid to tackle controversial subjects or areas.

I hope you are able to watch these magnificent movies. In order for you two watch and to enjoy them as my family and I did, I will abstain from sharing too much of the details.

I can almost promise that neither one of these movies will disappoint you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More on Dying to Self from Saint Louis de Montfort

Our Lady and St. Louis de Montfort
"...in order to empty ourselves of self, we must die daily to ourselves.

This involves our renouncing what the powers of the soul and the senses of the body incline us to do. We must see as if we did not see, hear as if we did not hear and use the things of this world as if we did not use them.

This is what St. Paul calls 'dying daily'.

Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain and does not bear any good fruit.

If we do not die to self and if our holiest devotions do not lead us to this necessary and fruitful death, we shall not bear fruit of any worth and our devotions will cease to be profitable. All our good works will be tainted by self-love and self-will so that our greatest sacrifices and our best actions will be unacceptable to God.

Consequently when we come to die we shall find ourselves devoid of virtue and merit and discover that we do not possess even one spark of that pure love which God shares with only those who have died to themselves and whose life is hidden with Jesus Christ in him."


- True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Prayer to the Blessed Mother of God: for Dying to Self

Jesus and Mary

Hail, white lily of the bright and ever-peaceful Trinity! Hail, blossoming rose of everlasting beauty! Hail, illustrious Queen of heaven, flowing with unspeakable delights, O Virgin Mary.

Of you, O blessed one, did Jesus Christ, King of heaven, brightness of his Father's glory, will to be born, and by your milk to be fed. You did wrap him in swaddling bands; carry him in your arms; cherish him in your bosom; cover him with embraces and kisses. May he vouchsafe, by your intercession, to feed my soul with his inflowing graces.

O my special Advocate, turn your merciful eyes upon me. Obtain for me by your prayers the full remission of my sins, perfect self-denial and mortification. Obtain for me a heart pure, meek, full of kindness for others, and wounded by the love of your most sweet Son. Obtain for me true freedom and detachment of spirit, that my Lord Jesus Christ himself may find in me peace of joy.

I venerate you; I call upon you; I offer to you, to increase your joy, the Heart of your son only Son, and I beg of you lovingly to help and comfort me during the whole time of my exile here below, and especially at the hour of my death. Amen.
- Blosius the Venerable - Magnificat 2009 December issue.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Tribute to Father Fox

Father Fox
As you known by now, Father Robert J. Fox, passed away on Thanksgiving Day. There is a lovely tribute to Father over at The Spiritual Motherhood for Priests Blog

Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Mural

Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Mural



My friend Mary Ann S. shared this email with you and I am in turn am sharing it with all of you here:
This is a photo and a link from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. This picture is mural on the side of there Franciscan monastery in the South Bronx in NYC. This photo is bringing healing to city in dire need of healing. You can make donations to the site listed below to create more murals around the city which are helping create revenue for women considering abortions.
-----

Hi Everyone,


I am excited to tell you about a prayerful project currently in the works!
Imagine murals of Our Lady of Guadalupe all over NYC ! First the Friars of the Renewal did it on the side of one of their friaries, and now we are looking to have her watch over one of our Good Counsel Homes. By adopting a space to honor or memorialize someone you love (only $12) , you also be bringing her presence to the city while helping homeless expectant mothers choose life for their unborn children. Your prayers and intentions will be placed in our chapel and with the Franciscan Friars for the Renewal for perpetual remembrance.

Please check it out here Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Mural

You can view the image in the attachment above…there is no doubt her presence has changed neighborhoods and brought many graces !
Please spread the word!




Adopt your space in Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Mural

Enroll your prayer intentions, or in honor or memory of a loved one, as a Perpetual Remembrance in Our Lady of Guadalupe Prayer Mural

Unite your prayers with Our Lady of Guadalupe for the protection of abandoned pregnant women choosing life for their unborn children. With an offering of $12 your prayer intentions will be united with the prayerful remembrance of each child of the 1.2 million children lost each year to abortion.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Our Lady of Guadalupe - Queen of the Americans

OLOG
Know for certain, least of my sons, that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God through whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, the Master of heaven and earth.

It is my earnest wish that a temple be built here to my honor. Here I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to people.

I am your merciful mother, the merciful mother of all of you who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who seek me, of those who have confidence in me.

Here I will hear their weeping, their sorrow, and will remedy, and alleviate all their multiple sufferings, necessities and misfortunes.

Words of Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego on December 9, 1531.
From a prayer card.

CONSECRATION TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

OLOG
By HLI Founder, Rev. Paul Marx, OSB

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ever Virgin, mother of the True God, Woman clothed with the Sun, I totally consecrate myself to you and to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

In humility, through this consecration, I receive you, Virgin of Guadalupe, into every moment of my life and every fiber of my being. I am assured that God has chosen you for me and I recall what the Angel of the Lord told St. Joseph: "Do no be afraid to take Mary to yourself because what is in her is of the Holy Spirit." [Mt. 1:20]

Holy Archangel Gabriel who presented to us the beauty and virtues of Mary’s should [Lk. 1:26-35] obtain for me the grace to imitate these virtues and, by my example, to show others how to live, how to love, how to sacrifice and how to die.

As I receive you, Queen and Mother of the Americas, I desire, with your help, to grow in my relationship with you, a relationship which was confirmed by your Divine Son as He hung dying on the cross when He said to you His Holy and Sorrowful Mother, "Woman, behold your Son!" And to St. John, his beloved disciple, "Son, behold your Mother!" [Jn. 19:26-27]

I consecrate to you, Protectress of the Unborn, my work of protecting the sacredness of all human life from conception to natural death; my work in spreading the Good News; and my work in renewing and protecting the sanctity of the family. I ask for the special protection of the Infant Jesus, of you His Mother, and of St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

I implore you, Queen of the Angels, to send St. Michael and the other angels to defend us in our battle against Satan and all of the evil spirits in this present darkness. [Eph. 6:12]

In reparation I will pray and sacrifice. Please pray for us who seek refuge in you, for the conversion of poor sinners who offend you and for the salvation of all souls!

I promise to keep ever before me your instructions at the Wedding Feast at Cana, Do whatever He tells you." [Jn. 2:5] In doing so I will be loyal and obedient to the Pope, your first son on earth. I am sure in my consecration to you that you will lead me on a safe and sure path to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Holy Mother of God, save us through the Flame of Love of your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart! Send forth the grace from your Flame of Love to the whole human race now and at the hour of our death. Send forth your Spouse, the Holy Spirit, to bring us the New Pentecost and the fire of His Divine Love to renew the face of the earth.

O Mother of Mercy, let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world the infinite power of merciful love! May it put an end to evil. May it transform consciences. May your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of faith, hope and love. May Christ the King reign over us, our families, cities, states, nations and the whole of humanity.

O clement, O loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary, hear our pleas and accept this cry from our hearts!

Dear Lady of Guadalupe, I conclude my consecration to you with the message you gave to Blessed Juan Diego in Mexico on Tepeyac Hill in 1531 hereby accepting it also as a message from you to me.

Know for certain that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God. Here I will show and offer all my love, my compassion, my help and protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows and will remedy and alleviate their suffering, necessities and misfortunes… Listen and let it penetrate your heart… Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexations, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?

Mary Our Blessed Mother! Pray for us!

H/T Sue Cifelli

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Anti-Church violence worsens in Congo

ACN-USA News

12/9/2009
Anti-Church violence worsens in Congo



The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo is in shock after the brutal killing of a priest and a nun in two separate attacks.

Father Daniel Cizimya Nakamaga, 51, was shot in the head in the early hours of Sunday, December 6th, when gunman broke into the presbytery of Kabare, 9 miles outside Bukavu, a city in the east of the country.

Less than 48 hours later, again just north of Bukavu, attackers struck at a Trappist monastery, killing Sister Denise Kahambu.

A third person died when police trying to catch the killers opened fire on a car containing three potential suspects who were driving through the area late at night.

The killings bring to a head a growing wave of violence and tension in the region, directed – at least in part – at Christians.

In a message received by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Monsignor Pierre Bulambo, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Bukavu, said, “The archdiocese has fallen victim to an act of barbarism.”

He added, “The people have been traumatized and are very afraid. The Congolese are fed up of crying and dying.”

Describing the killing of Fr. Cizimya, the vicar general went on to describe how armed men stormed the presbytery in Kabare, eventually smashing a window to get inside.

The attackers made for Fr. Cizimya’s room, but when he tried to close the door to keep them out, they fired two shots at his head, killing him instantly.

Msgr. Bulambo continued, saying, “We admire the bravery and compassion of the people of Kabare in support of their departed priest. How they have responded is an example to everyone.”

In a report sent to ACN, Fr. Bunyakiri Crispin, Rector of St. Pius X Seminary, Murhesa, 15 miles outside Bukavu, described responding to an emergency cry for help from the nearby Trappist monastery, where Sr. Denise had just been shot.

He reported that witnesses described how Sr. Denise, who was guest mistress at the monastery, was suddenly confronted by three strangers. She tried to escape but was shot dead.

Fr. Crispin said that her body was discovered “lying in a pool of blood.” He added, “A woman who was one of the guests said she heard shouting and then saw an armed man running towards her but she shut herself in her room.”

Another woman, who works at the monastery, described how the attackers demanded money from her. When she refused the attacker fired a gun at her but missed.

The rest of the nuns – who eventually phoned him for help – took shelter in the monastery dormitory, sitting on the floor in case shots were fired through the windows.

Fr. Crispin said, “The whole time, the Sisters prayed the rosary and sang Psalm 129, the De Profundis, for Sr. Denise and the whole community.”

Msgr. Bulambo reported that police were continuing their inquiries but added that two of the suspects in the car that came under police fire were able to escape. He went on to hint at possible collusion between security staff officials and the attackers.

Msgr. Bulambo said that the incidents were the latest in a series of attacks on Church communities in the Bukavu area. Fr. Crispin stated that this was the fourth time the Trappist nuns had been attacked since 1996.

Describing the Church as “in the eye of the storm,” Msgr. Bulambo recalled that two months ago two priests in Ciherano were “imprisoned like rats” by attackers who set fire to their presbytery. A few days later, a group of students were robbed. At about the same time a hospital in Mukongola was burgled.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), which last year gave over $3.1 million to help persecuted and other suffering Christians in DR Congo, has reacted with deep concern to the killings, which come shortly after a project assessment trip to the region.

The charity gives major support to the Bukavu-based Daughters of the Resurrection, a religious order co-founded by ACN founder Fr. Werenfried van Straaten. The Daughters’ Mother House is located less than two miles from the Trappist Monastery.


Editor’s Notes:

Your browser may not support display of this image.

Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.

For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384. Aid to the Church in Need

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Book Review - Soul Within a Peach

Book Cover

"My name is Florence. I am a child of God. I do God's will."

Although this book was written about and by a Catholic woman born and raised in Hawaii , I would not have known about it if it were not for one of my dear friends now deceased whose book I now own.

Soul Within a Peach is about the life, especially the spiritual life of Florence Sau Kin. It was ghost-written by her spiritual son Fr. Francis Chun, a Catholic priest in Milwaukee .

In the beginning Florence talks about her life as a child. She was born in Hawaii to Chinese parents and raised a Buddhist. The way she relates her difficult early childhood is reminiscent of the old tragic Chinese novels and films. It is more a story of old China than it is about someone in Hawaii, even before Statehood.

Even as a young child, many people, especially members of her own family took advantage of young Florence.

"I never realized how hard my life was as a child and teenager until I began writing this book for God. My suffering in life began in childhood and continued throughout my life. Suffering has made me a strong woman, brought me closer to God, and taught me His spiritual lessons, which I want to share with you."

I will share one incident here to illustrate what little Florence had to endure at the hands of a family member. One of her father's sisters had a very sick husband. He was admitted to the hospital's tuberculosis ward. Since this aunt did not have any children of her own, she asked Florence's parents to let Florence keep her company. Amazingly, Florence's parents acquiesced to such a request and she ended up living with the aunt from ages five to eight.

."..The Chinese children of my generation were taught to obey without questioning. My time spent with my aunt was work. She made me do the dishes, dust the furniture and go on my knees to clean the wooden floor around the Chinese rugs with a dust pan and brush. If she found a dust speck, she made me dust everything again. She never allowed me to go out to play with the neighbors' children. Sometimes she punished me without reason by not giving me supper. The Chinese children of my generation were taught to obey without questioning, and God had made my soul an obedient one. So I learned to obey at a young age."

Later, this same aunt without Florence's prior knowledge or consent, would take Florence to China to live for a few years. The aunt somehow convinced Florence's parents to again part with their daughter.

Florence, obedient child of God, accepted these hardships early in life. These experience helped form her spiritually little by little.

It was while living in China that a medium revealed to Florence that she had "sin kwat" or saintly bones.

Florence explains that "Sin Kwat, saintly bones, can have two Chinese meanings: that the spirit of a saint has been reincarnated in the form of this person; or that this person is saintly herself."

No need to explain that it is sinful for Catholics to believe in fortunetellers, reincarnation, etc. but at the time, Florence as a Buddhist as aforesaid and this is what she remembered.

The years went on and she met a man who ultimately, but not through the best of situations became her husband. Her husband and his family were Catholic. He graduated from St. Louis School in Honolulu. Even though her married life was also a struggle and very difficult because of her husband and his family, it led her to the Catholic Church.

Florence had only a second grade education. Yet more importantly, she had great wisdom, a gift from the Holy Spirit, with whom she had a special relationship with, and much common sense. Throughout the book, Florence often refers to the "inner voice" speaking to her.

She was a kind woman who was dedicated to her husband, children, the stereotypically mean and unjust mother-in-law and everyone who asked for her help. Many times people sullied her reputation or took advantage of her open-handed and openhearted generosity.

Yet, each bad episode she took as a learning experience. She offered her sufferings to God and was always obedient to Him. She did not care how much she suffered as long as she did not offend God.

As I mentioned earlier, Florence had a ghostwriter because she lost her eyesight later in life. Father Chun did a very good job of writing the book without losing Florence's spirit of playfulness and child-like quality. Many times in the book I would laugh at incidents Florence shares. Many times too I wanted to smack some sense into Florence especially when she permitted others to take advantage of her kindness.

Whenever Florence shares a moment where she was hurt or suffered from someone's inconsiderateness, she shares a lesson for the reader.

To share an example, Florence was a big promoter of the Home Enthronement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey, a Sacred Hearts priest and member of the same order as Saint Damien, originated that devotion. She wanted everyone whom she helped enthrone their home, to spread the devotion to others.
"...I later learned that Dora never spread the Enthronement to other homes according to our agreement and plan. Through the years I've learned that many people perform religious acts to gain respect and praise for themselves instead of doing them to honor and praise God. When you take part in religious ceremonies, be sure to do so to give due thanks, honor and glory to God, and not for selfish reasons.

Many of us don't share our spiritual blessing with others. A true Christian life is a life of sharing, so we shouldn't keep good things just for ourselves. I tried to s hare the many blessings of the Enthronement with others because it was one of the greatest blessings I received from God. Having it in our home deepened our faith and reliance on God. If we welcome God into our homes ad hearts with love and gratitude, we will experience His presence and love in a special way through many special blessings."
I also found this book very interesting because of the places Florence described are all around my new hometown of Honolulu. She mentions certain churches, streets, etc. that are all very familiar to me.

It is sad that Florence passed away in 2000 before her book was published. I now wonder if I may have attended Mass or a Catholic function with her. I have asked a few people I know if they knew her but so far, I have to yet meet anyone who knew this amazingly simple yet saintly woman. I know my son's now deceased Godmother probably knew her since they both raised their families close by or the friend whose book I now have. But right now it is too late to ask them.

If you would like to obtain this book, be sure to check out Amazon.com. My mother read the book before me and she could not put it down. She bought two copies from Amazon and each one cost under $5.00 with shipping and handling.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Mary Immaculate Conception

"...Oh my Mother, how ashamed I feel in your presence, weighted down as I am with faults!

You are most pure and immaculate from the moment in eternity when you were conceived in the mind of God. Have pity on me! May one compassionate look of yours revive me, purify me, and lift me up to God; raising me from the filth of this world that I may go to him who created me, who regenerated me in Holy Baptism, giving me back my white stole of innocence that original sin had so defiled.

Dear Mother, make me love him!

Pour into my heart that love that burned in yours for him. Even though I be clothed in misery, I revere the mystery of your Immaculate Conception, and I ardently wish that through it you may purify my heart so that I may love your God and my God.

Cleanse my mind that it may reach up to him and contemplate him and adore him in spirit and in truth. Purify my body that I too may be a tabernacle for him and be less unworthy of possessing him when he deigns to come to me in Holy Communion.
Amen".

- Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

December 2009 Issue Magnificat

Monday, December 07, 2009

New Website Added to Sidebar - Catholic Heroes

I think I'd better just share Ivan's entire email with you:
Hi Friends,

Christmas is around the corner and we realize how difficult it can be to pause and reflect with your family and children about the true spirit of Christmas. To make it easier for you, we created an attractive online storybook on the life of Saint Nicholas. It is fun, colorful and inspirational!

Discover the real story behind the Santa Claus legend through this FREE attractive online storybook!

Catholic Heroes of the Faith presents the life story of Saint Nicholas, a young, wealthy boy who after becoming an orphan found joy in serving the most needy.

Born in Turkey to a wealthy and devoted Christian family, Nicholas’ faith was challenged with the sudden death of his parents.

Struggling in his loss, Nicholas soon discovered great joy when he began using his inherited wealth as a means to alleviate the hardships in the lives of others less fortunate. Moved by a profound love for Christ and the poor, Nicholas distributed his inheritance among the needy, the sick, and the suffering. Thus Nicholas soon became known as the joyful giver of gifts!

Make this holiday season a special occasion as you enjoy the web-based story of this great Catholic hero and let your lives be challenged by his example of joyful generosity! And don’t forget your friends! Help us promote this inspirational resource by posting our link on your blog. We thank you in advance.

Merry Christmas!


More About "Catholic Heroes of the Faith"
Catholic Heroes of the Faith is an animated series, geared primarily to children 8-12 years of age, which presents true-life accounts of outstanding early church heroes of the Catholic faith. “The Story of Saint Perpetua” is the inaugural episode of the series. When kids see what God can do through a person devoted to His will and purposes, they too may want to demonstrate an unswerving commitment to Christ and His Church.

For more info visit Catholic Heroes of the Faith


Ivan Leon
Communications Director
Herald Entertainment
3001 S. Hardin Blvd.
Ste. 110 #333
McKinney, TX 75070
214-417-5641
media@catholicheroesofthefaith.com

Connect with Us

Catholic Heroes of the Faith
Facebook.com/catholicheroes
Twitter: @catholicheroes
YouTube.com/catholicheroes

Endorsements

“The scriptwriters did their homework well, and have produced a story with a high degree of historical accuracy. The artwork is also of a consistently high quality. The richness of the colors and the vividness of the character drawings are at times reminiscent of The Prince of Egypt and other Hollywood productions." Carl Sommers - Catholic Educator and Author

“Well done and quite inspirational! I was very impressed indeed, both with the historical accuracy of the content and with the entertainment value.” Rod Bennett - Author of "Four Witnesses: The Early Church in Her Own Words."

Catholic Heroes of the Faith is an extraordinary and exciting effort to bring the faith alive for children and the young-at-heart alike. It’s professional, polished, well-written, engaging and inspirational. My 8-year-old LOVED ‘St. Perpetua.’" Al Kresta - President and CEO of Ave Maria Radio, Host of “Kresta in the Afternoon”

Saturday, December 05, 2009

On Our Repentance and God's Infinite Mercy

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
The Sorrow of the Student

There lived in the great city of Paris a young student who had committed many sins. God gave him the grace of sincere repentance. He went to the monastery of St. Victor in that city, and asked to be conducted to the Father Superior. As soon as he had entered the room he fell down at the feet of the priest, and began to make his Confession. But he had scarcely uttered a few words when he stopped. His sorrow was so great, and his tears so abundant, and his signs so continuous that he could not utter another word.

"Perhaps, my child." said the Father to him, "if you were to write down your sins on a piece of paper, you would be better able to confess them"

The student did this, and, going to a tablet wrote down the sins he had committed, and then returned to the priest.

As soon as he began to read them his tears again choked him, and he could not pronounce a word. The Confessor asked him to give him the paper, that he might know the sins he had committed. He gave it to him. But as there arose in his mind certain doubts about some things that were written there, he asked the permission of the penitent to go to the Father Abbot to obtain his advice.

This permission the penitent gave very willingly, and the Confessor went to the Abbot with the paper in his hand.

Having unfolded it, he was surprised to find that there was no writing on it at all. "This is most strange," he said. "A few moments ago I read his whole confession written on this paper."

They both examined the paper, and there was not the least mark or letter on it. It was pure and white. Then they knew that God had been pleased to show by this wonder that He had blotted out the sins from the man's soul, as He had blotted them from the paper they held in their hands.

- The Catechism in Examples by Rev. D. Chisholm
NAS Letter December 2009

On the Sufferings of the Souls in Purgatory

Holy Souls and Our Lady
A Voice in the Garden

One evening the venerable Stanislaus of Poland was saying the Rosary in the garden attached to his monastery. Suddenly he heard beside him sounds of grief and wailing. He looked on all sides but saw nothing. He cried out: "Who is moaning so piteously, and where are you, that I may come to your assistance?" Still there was no answer, and the said sounds continued as before.

Stanislaus began to think that this must be a temptation of Satan to put distractions in his mind at his prayer; so, making the sign of the Cross, he aid: "I command you, in the Name of Jesus Christ, to tell me what you want."

Then he heard these words: "I am a soul from Purgatory, condemned by the justice of God to suffer unutterable sufferings. Oh that I were able to let the living know the awful punishments with which God punishes sin when the soul has left the body. If Christians knew it, even in part only, they would have a horror even for the smallest sin.

"Go and tell everyone what I have just revealed to you," continued the suffering soul, "for God has sent me to ask you to do it. Tell them that the smallest faults are punished in Purgatory with intense sufferings, and that everything they have not blotted out by penance on earth must be satisfied for in these terrible flames."
NAS Letter December 2009

Our Lady of Sorrows

Sorrowful Heart of Mary
Mary's Greatest Sufferings:

What caused Mary the greatest pain was to see that by her presence and her sorrow she was increasing the suffering of her son. "The grief which filled Mary's heart," says St. Bernard, " flowed like a torrent into the heart of Jesus and aggravated His martyrdom to such an extent that on the cross Jesus suffered more from compassion for His Mother than from His own torments." Speaking in the name of our Blessed Lady, St. Bernard says: "I stood with my eyes fixed on Him, and His on me, and He was more sorry for me than for Himself." And then speaking of Mary beside her dying Son, he says: "She stood there dying, without being able to die."
Nocturnal Adoration Letter December 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

Reminder - Hour of Grace - Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Immaculate Conception

THE REQUEST OF OUR BLESSED MOTHER FOR THE HOUR OF GRACE

Day and time of the Hour of Grace - December 8th Feast of the Immaculate Conception

- to begin at 12 noon and to continue until 1 pm (one full hour of prayer)

- During this hour the person making the 'Hour of Grace' either at home or in the Church must put away all distractions. (Donot answer the telephone, or answer any doors, or do anything but totally concentrate on your union with God during this Special H our of Grace).

- Begin the Hour of Grace by praying three times the 51st Psalm with outstretched arms

- The remainder of the Hour of Grace may be spent in silent prayer before God meditating upon the Passion of Jesus, praying the Holy Rosary, praising God in your own way or by using favorite prayers, singing hymns, meditating upon other Psalms, etc.

You can read more about the Hour of Grace HERE

Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe for Life

OLOG
Dear Blog Readers and Visitors, I hope you join in praying this Novena for Life. Thank you Ian for letting me know:
Hey Esther! Can you post this up? The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is coming up soon and I think it is vital that people do the Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe for the pro-life cause...

Look below:

As the battle to rid our society of all forms of the culture of death (abortion, contraception, embryo stem cell research, euthanasia, etc.), let us continue to pray without ceasing, that life be respected from conception to natural death.

You are invited to pray the Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The prayers are not long. It is very easy to do. Invite all ministries (youth ministries, young adult ministries, prayer groups, Eucharistic ministries, priests, religious, all laity) to do this Novena. Do it together as a group. As all of you know, the prayers and intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, are very powerful. Our Lady of Guadalupe is known as the patroness of the unborn. It is encouraged to look up more information on Our Lady of Guadalupe and the many miracles that occurred.
Here is a website:

You can download and distribute this novena to everyone. Like I said, encourage your families and more groups to do this Novena. This Novena was compiled together by the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. You can download it and print it from the link below:

NOVENA PRAYERS CAN BE FOUND BELOW ON LINK BELOW

here

Like I said...PRAY ANYWHERE YOU LIKE.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, PRAY FOR US!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Fr. Fox's last television interview on EWTN

Father Fox
EWTN Favorite Fr. Robert J. Fox, who died Nov. 26, gave his last television interview to EWTN’s Doug Keck, host of “Bookmark.” This interview, in which Fr. Fox discusses his last literary works, will air at 1 p.m. ET, Thursday, Dec. 3, and will encore at 11:30 p.m. ET, Friday, Dec. 4. Father Fox, who is best known as director of the national Fatima Family Apostolate and Youth for Fatima pilgrimages, as well as editor of the Immaculate Heart Messenger, spoke to Keck about the books, “Mary Teaches the Faith at Fatima,” “Eucharist: Heaven and Earth Unite,” and his children’s book, “Fox in a Box.”

Thanks Gus F.

10 Ways to Honor CHRIST Publicly This Christmas

Christ in Christmas

The following is from America Needs Fatima:

1. Never use the "H" words

2. Decorate your lawn and home

3. Send Christmas cards

4. Share a Christmas meditation

5. Organize a Public Square Nativity Scene

6. Plan a Eucharistic adoration

7. Visit the sick

8. Prepare yourself

9. Write Christmas cards to our troops

10. Don’t let secularists purge Christmas from the Public Square



1. Never use the “H” words:

Never say “Happy Holidays.” The secular term means nothing and only serves to erase the memory of Christ from Christmas and the Holy Season we celebrate.

Avoid “X-Mas” too. Wherever you go, wish others Merry Christmas: at the supermarket, on the phone, in e-mails. You’ll be surprised. Many will appreciate your conviction.

Warning: A few may not appreciate it. Don’t let it bother you. Say a prayer for them.

2. Decorate your lawn and home:

Hang beautiful Christmas ornaments from your doors and windows. Pick up some large poster board and markers at the bookstore and make signs that read, for example, “Just Say Merry Christmas!” Write with big clear letters. Tape one sign to your window facing out for everyone to see. Place another on your door. Encourage your friends to do the same.

3. Send Christmas cards:

Send a Christmas card with a religious message to your friends. Mention that you will pray for them. You can also send a card to your town mayor or elected representative. Also, look for an opportunity to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about Christmas. Letters receive avid and wide readership. Try it.

4. Share a Christmas meditation:

The message is ready to go. Just download and print this inspiring reflection (To download, you need Adobe Reader, available for free here.)

A Christmas Meditation by the Holy Crib

Give the flyer to your friends and family. Include it in your Christmas cards. Post it on bulletin boards or wherever people will read it. Share it far and wide.

5. Organize a Public Square Nativity Scene:

Set up a Nativity scene in your town square or in a visible public place. Invite your friends to help. Be creative. Sing traditional Christmas carols like Silent Night. Pray the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary as a group. Meet for refreshments afterwards. Talk about the meaning of Christmas. Keep it simple.

For legal help in case you face opposition, please contact the Alliance Defense Fund. They are quick and effective free help. Phone: 1-800-TELL-ADF. Fax: 480-444-0025. Website: www.alliancedefensefund.org

6. Plan a Eucharistic adoration:

Find an Adoration Chapel near you, ask your friends to join you for a holy hour before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in honor of Christmas. Mark your calendar for a convenient time. Evenings are best. After your holy hour, go out for dinner, or get a good cup of coffee or hot cider and have a discussion about the significance of Christmas.

Click here to find a chapel near you.

7. Visit the sick:

Those suffering in hospitals and nursing homes faintly remember the joy of Christmas. Illness, pain and loneliness overwhelm them. It is a work of mercy to visit the sick. You can bring them Christmas cheer. Your local nursing home likely welcomes visitors. Take something to give away; for example, Miraculous Medals. Everyone likes them. To order free Miraculous Medals, call 1-888-317-5571.

8. Prepare yourself:

Advent prepares us to celebrate the Birth of Our Lord worthily. We should erect a throne in our souls to receive the King of kings. For that reason, it is an excellent time to make a good Confession before Christmas and make sacrifices. For example, give up watching TV or surfing the Internet.

9. Write Christmas cards to our troops:

Thank them for their sacrifice and service. Show them your support. Wish the troops a blessed Christmas and tell them you will remember them in your prayers or thoughts during Midnight Mass. Remind them people back home appreciate the military.

Click here to send a message to the troops.

10. Don’t let secularists purge Christmas from the Public Square:

Christmas is vehemently opposed by secularist groups such as the ACLU, Freedom From Religion, and Americans United For Separation of Church and State. If these pressure groups had their way, nativity scenes, Christian Christmas carols, and religious symbols would be swept from the public square.

So we Catholics should take the initiative and set up Nativity Scenes on public property all across America. The Supreme Court has decided that we have this right.

Matt Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, explains:

“In contrast to a publicly sponsored nativity scene on public property, a privately sponsored nativity scene on public property does not need a secular symbol to be constitutional. For example, some towns allow private citizens to put up signs or displays on public property. In that case, if a church sponsors a nativity scene on public property, there is no requirement that a secular symbol be placed within the context. The requirement of the secular symbol only arises when a nativity scene is sponsored by the government. To avoid any confusion, the privately sponsored nativity scene should probably have a sign acknowledging the private sponsorship.”

Full text here

For complete details on Nativity scenes in Public Places: Click here



Pass it on: If you care about preserving the spirit of Christmas, click here to forward this article to your e-mail list of friends and family.

Violence threatens dialogue in the Philippines

ACN-USA News

12/2/2009
Violence threatens dialogue in the Philippines



A leading expert in dialogue with Islam in the Philippines has warned that the attacks which killed nearly 60 people will exacerbate religious tensions in a region increasingly infiltrated by fundamentalists.

Father Sebastiano D’Ambra said it was crucial to re-double efforts aimed at inter-faith cooperation in the troubled island of Mindanao after massacres on Monday, November 23rd, claimed the lives of at least 57 people.

Although the killings are widely seen as political, taking place ahead of elections in May, Fr. D’Ambra indicated that they are part of a breakdown in inter-faith relations in an island conscious of unique status within the Philippines as a mainly Muslim region.

The Italian priest’s comments also follow the kidnapping in Mindanao of Irish missionary Fr. Michael Sinnott, who was released earlier in November after a month in captivity.

Fr. D’Ambra is the founder of an inter-faith initiative called the Silsilah Movement and has worked on religious cooperation in the region for almost 30 years. He said that relations with Muslims have declined sharply since the 1960s.

Speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), which supports the work of the Silsilah movement, he said, “Religious dialogue today is becoming more and more complicated because of the influence of groups which do not encourage dialogue between Christians and Muslims.”

The priest had come to Europe in order to take part in a conference in Frankfurt, Germany, examining Christianity in Asia. He added: “Before the 1970s, there was a traditional way of living Islam in this region. Relations between Christians and Muslims were quite good, but for many reasons there has been a deterioration.”

Referring to the “infiltration” of extremists, he said, “We have seen the spread of Wahabi [extremist Sunni Islam].”

Also referring to the rise of Muslim insurgency groups including the Abu Sayyaf, he said, “The decline of Muslim-Christian relations is already serious and will get more serious unless the political situation improves, and, in the context of killings like those [on Monday], I do not see that happening soon.”

Fr. D’Ambra did insist that the Silsilah movement and other work towards better Muslim-Christian relations could yet succeed, despite the setbacks.

Set up 25 years ago, the movement creates opportunities for inter-faith cooperation centering on the 14-acre Harmony Village in Zamboanga city, which comprises an institute for religious dialogue, a training center, activities for young people from different religions as well as both a chapel and a mosque.

Fr. D’Ambra wants to expand Silsilah’s work with a media center that will prepare materials for television and radio and promote religious peace initiatives and inter-faith advocacy initiatives aimed at tackling exploitation by employers. One such program involves lobbying to stop a mining company from working in an area that risks cutting off a crucial water supply to villagers.

He said, “The Silsilah movement is working very hard. We have to be convinced of our work for dialogue. If our efforts are to work, they have to be sustainable.”

The priest added, “We have to remember that there are many groups in Mindanao who work for dialogue. Indeed most groups have a peaceful approach.”


With picture of Father Sebastiano D’Ambra


Editor’s Notes:

Your browser may not support display of this image.

Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.

For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384. Aid to the Church in Need

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Father Gordon's New Spiritual Communion Page

St. Stephen
Photo by Esther G.


Some people, including yours truly wanted to join in Spiritual Communion with Father Gordon MacRae when he celebrates Mass in his cell. If you have been reading the posts I have shared here you will remember that it is only recently that Father has that privilege to do so. In light of the interest shown, Father's blessed helpers have created a page for Spiritual Communion. You can leave prayer requests at Father's blog.
We encourage you to join us in a weekly Holy Hour. If you’re able, your Holy Hour may coincide with a weekly opportunity that Fr. MacRae has to celebrate Mass in private in his cell. The weekly Mass is celebrated each Sunday between 11 pm and midnight Eastern Standard Time.

We included a New Hampshire clock on the Spiritual Communion page. If you’re unable to join us in prayer at that time, please consider an hour in prayer with us at some other time.
Please visit Father's blog for more details.

Please spread the word.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Novena - Immaculate Conception Begins Today

Immaculate Conception
Thanks to Mary Jane for sharing this Novena

ADVENT - Season of Anticipation

First Week of AdventPhoto by Esther G.

By Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.


The season of Advent has a twofold character, a double meaning. Advent prepares us for Christmas, the celebration of Christ’s first coming to us. And it also reminds us to direct our minds and hearts to be prepared for Christ’s second coming at the end of time.

In Christian usage the word “advent” (adventus) has a special liturgical significance, but the origin of the word is pagan.

At the time of Jesus’ birth the pagans observed a manifestation of their pagan divinity that came to dwell in its temple at a certain time each year. This pagan feast was called advent, and it marked an anniversary of the return of their pagan god to the temple. During this special time the temple was open. Ordinarily the temple was closed.

In the days of the Roman emperor, advent also celebrated the coming of the emperor.

The word “advent” was suitable to describe the coming of the Son of God in the temple of his flesh. Gradually the use of this word was limited to describe the coming of the Lord. This advent, the coming of the Lord and the anniversary of his birth, replaced the advent and birth of the unvanquished sun of the winter solstice. This use of the word “advent” gained prominence during the reign of the Emperor Constantine (306-337). To grant tolerance to all religions and to allow the open practice of Christianity, he issued the Edict of Milan in 313. As Christian feasts were adopted and celebrated, pagan festivals were soon replaced and forgotten.

The ancient idea of advent underlies the prayers of Advent that call forth the coming of the Lord, often with the same image of the temple.

Now Advent signals a time to prepare for Christmas, the celebration of the first coming of the Lord. But the prayer texts and Scripture readings of the Sunday Masses and the Liturgy of the Hours give ample attention to the second coming of the Lord to which we look forward.

In reality the three distinct accents of the Liturgy of the Advent season are defined by the three comings of the Lord: yesterday, at Bethlehem, when the Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary; today, in our world, where he is incarnate in the Church, in the sacraments, and in the faithful baptized into grace; tomorrow, when he returns in glory.

This, then, is the rich meaning of Advent. From the beginning of the liturgical year we celebrate the whole panorama of the mystery of salvation history.

The variety of this season is not only desirable, it is truly appropriate because Advent is oriented toward the one who has come once for all, who is coming, and who will come.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent 2009 - Reminder from the Late Father Robert Fox

Father Fox
The following is from an older post I shared a while back which Father Fox had written for his blog:
Thanksgiving is Not the Beginning of the Christmas Season!

THANKSGIVING is a great family feast and time to thank God for His many blessings. But it is NOT the beginning of the liturgical Christmas season.

In fact the Christmas season for the Church and all devout Catholics does not begin until Christmas Eve. THEN IT CONTINUES THROUGH EPIPHANY, Jan. 6, 2008 this year, unto the Baptism of Christ; then back into Ordinary time for a few weeks - until Lent. Advent ( begins evening of Dec. 1 this year ) and is the time to prepare during 4 weeks for the CHRISTMAS SEASON, the birth of Jesus Christ; the Incarnation. A SPIRITUALLY AWESOME TIME.

Let us celebrate THE GREAT CHRISTIAN FEASTS AND SEASONS WITH THE CHURCH in our domestic churches, our families. Follow the Church; not the commercial world and consumerism. Prepare for Christ’s birthday during Advent, day by day FOR 4 WEEKS.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Resquiat in Pacem Father Robert J. Fox

Father Robert Fox
Well known Marian priest Father Robert J. Fox sadly passed away on Thanksgiving Day. The following is from the Fatima Family Apostolate International website:
FATHER ROBERT J. FOX FOUNDER OF FATIMA FAMILY APOSTOLATE HAS PASSED AWAY

Father Robert J. Fox passed away at his home on Thanksgiving day at 12:45 P.M. He died a peaceful and happy death. He was anointed the night before and he also offered Mass. A wake service will be held at the Shrine of The Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville Alabama. The body will arrive at 3:00 P.M. and the rosary at 7:00 P.M. His burial will be in Alexandria South Dakota at St. Mary of Mercy Catholic Church. Please check this site for more information for more funeral details.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord
and may Your perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace. Amen.

As far as I can remember, Father Fox has taken many groups of pilgrims, especially young people on pilgrimages to Fatima. Up to fairly recently, I was enjoying Father's writing on his blog.

Thanks to Betty and Therese for sharing the news with me yesterday.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mark Your Calendars: Hawaii March for Life

March for Life
January 22, 2010, 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Hawaii State Capitol
37th annual March for Life

Come join hundreds of pastors, religious leaders, youth, church elders, friends and neighbors at this exciting event to show your respect for human life.

Music for the event will be provided by local musicians Malia Lee and Leon Siu

This year luminaries will be made available by the Pearson Foundation, A Place for Women and the Aloha Pregnancy Care and Counseling Centers. For a $5 donation, you can purchase a luminary that will be displayed in memory of someone whose life was touched by abortion - or for a child's life snuffed out by abortion.

To order luminaries, please contact:
Ruth Prinzivalli, Pearson Foundation, (808) 942-0328
Alana Ammons, Aloha Pregnancy Care and Counseling Centers, (808) 234-SAFE
Sue Skinner, A Place for Women, (808) 678-3991

We need volunteers! To assist with this event, contact Hawaii Right to Life. Mahalo!


March for Life sponsored by:
Hawaii Right to Life
81 S. Hotel St., Ste. 200B, Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 585-8205 | hrtlprolife@yahoo.com

Hawaii Family Forum / Hawaii Catholic Conference
6301 Pali Hwy, Kaneohe, HI 96744
(808) 203-6704 | info@hawaiifamilyforum.org

Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey and Home Enthronement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Father Mateo CrawleyFather Mateo Crawley-Boevey, was born in Peru to an English father and a Peruvian mother. He was a priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the same order to which Saint Damien was a member. It is only recently that I am discovering the beautiful writings of Father Mateo which are really enriching my spiritual life, especially when it comes to love of Jesus, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.

To those of you who have had your homes enthroned to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, you have Father Mateo to thank for this devotion.
Animated by the desire to make the promises of the St Margaret Mary better known, Fr. Mateo conceived the idea of drawing families closer to Jesus, the king of love, by placing the image of His Sacred Heart in a place of honor in the home, thus bringing the family's life into intimate relation with Him.
September 25, 1914
Act of Consecration at Paray-le-Monial

Sacred Heart of Jesus, supreme love of my life, I consecrate myself today in a spirit of perfect abandonment to your divine love. Through the most pure hands of Mary, and little Therese, I return to you the treasures of nature and grace which in Your infinite mercy You have given me in such abundance. I give back to You, well beloved Spouse, the supernatural merits of my Masses, of my sacrifices and of my apostolate. I offer them to You for the triumph of Your adorable Heart. Even more: if my friends or relatives pray for me after death, well beloved Jesus, accept these prayers and suffrages as Your own treasure to be given to souls; I am willing to stay in your Purgatory until the end of time if by this You would be glorified in Your Eucharist and in families consecrated to You. Grant, Jesus, that I no longer live, that my life be the glorification of your victorious Heart.

In your great mercy, deign to accept me as an oblation of love in order to enkindle in priests the fire of Your love and zeal for Your divine Heart. At the same time I place in that wound which must be my paradise in eternity, the solemn promise to carry on in every way and in every place the apostolate of Your divine Heart. Oh yes, I consecrate myself to glorify Him, to extend His reign, to enthrone Him in souls, in families and in all movements: and this, at the price of my blood, were it necessary. May the Virgin Mary, Margaret Mary, St. John and the little Therese make my poor offering worthy of acceptance.

Adveniat Regnum Tuum!


Sacred Heart of Jesus

Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Home


Preliminary Steps before the Ceremony

1. Learn what it is and how important it is. See Founder of the Enthronement and Apostle of the Sacred Heart Father Mateo

2. Set a date for the Enthronement in agreement with the Pastor. It is desirable to have a priest preside at the ceremony, but it is not essential to gain the indulgences. For serious reasons, the father, or someone else may preside and lead the prayers. In any case, please consult the appropriate parish priest.

3. If possible, assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and offer it that morning for the reign of the Sacred Heart in your home, and as an act of love and reparation to the Sacred Heart. The entire family should try to receive Communion at this Mass, or at another Mass.

4. Obtain as beautiful a picture or statue of the Sacred Heart as possible. If you already have a picture, use that one. [Suitable pictures may be obtained reasonably at a local Catholic shop or on the web.]

5. Below the place of honor reserved for the statue or picture, prepare a "throne" or "altar," that is to say, a table [or perhaps the mantelpiece] covered with a white cloth, beautifully decorated with flowers and candles. The picture or statue should be placed on a small table near this "throne" before the ceremony.

6. Invite your relatives and friends to be present; thus you will already begin to be an "apostle of the Sacred Heart." Have a family party after the ceremony, with a special treat for the children, who, of, course, should be present at the ceremony ---- even the smallest.

7. Make this day one of the outstanding events of the family life ---- one long to be remembered. The greater the solemnity, the better and celebrate the anniversary of the Enthronement each year with a reaffirmation of your commitment to the Sacred Heart.

Note: Even though your home has been consecrated to the Sacred Heart, you may still have the Enthronement, as the two are not the same.
The rest of the Enthronement details can be found here. I encourage you to print it out and read it with your family and if you have not already done so, make every effort to have your home enthroned.

Lastly, to those of you who spend an hour in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, I highly recommend Father Mateo's books such as Holy Hour. You will surely gain much insight by using his meditations and reflections during Adoration.

To learn more about Father Mateo's life, please check out this Special Centennial Tribute to Father Mateo found here.

OFFICIAL - Holy Communion on the Tongue Cannot be Denied Because of H1N1

Holy Communion on the TonguePrayer Source

According to the The Catholic Knight a Catholic cannot be denied communion on the tongue for fear of swine flu.

Document

A few weeks ago at the St. Damien's Mass celebration at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, I was denied Holy Communion on the tongue by one of the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. She stared straight ahead, poised to place the Consecrated Host in my hands. She did this even though I prompted her to place The Consecrated Host on my tongue. I finally let her place the Consecrated Host in my hands because we were holding up the Communion line. My mother who was right behind me found herself in the same position so she slipped into the line with the priest and waited until he gave her Holy Communion on the tongue.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy ThanksgivingI want to wish you all a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day Address by President Abraham Lincoln

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State
Source

Thank you Father Gordy for this at the Thanksgiving Vigil Mass.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Hero!

Bishop TobinPicture Source

Remember those Who Grieve this Thanksgiving

Thanks
This is the first Thanksgiving without my father. My mother is sad. My entire family will really miss my dad's presence tomorrow. I am very grateful for my friend Alexandra for sharing Father Austin Fleming's post about praying for those who grieve and to Father Fleming for the prayer and post:
Dear God,

There is an empty chair at our table,
an ache in our hearts
and tears on our faces.

We may try to shield one another
from the grief we bear
but we cannot hide it from you.

The absence of (name/names)
shadows this day
and clouds our homecoming.

Open our eyes and our hearts
to the healing rays
of the light of your presence.

Assure us, Lord, that those we miss
have a place at your table
and a home in your heart.

Open our hearts to joy
in the memories of the love
we shared with (name/names).

Help us to remember and tell the stories
that make present the past
and those we have lost.

Teach us to lean on one another
and on you, Lord,
for the strength we need at this time.

Give us quiet moments
with you, with our thoughts,
with our memories and prayers.

Be with us, Lord,
and hold us in your arms
as you hold those we miss.

This is the day you have made, Lord:
help us to rejoice in it
and in the promise of your peace.

Let us pray in the words Jesus gave us,
Our Father...