Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hawaii's Interfaith Celebration of St. Damien

Close Up
Father Damien Relic
Iolani PalaceTomorrow, All Saints Day will be a big day for Saint Damien as we celebrate with ourl newly ordained saints from the islands. As you can see by the photos taken today, both the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace and Iolani Palace are getting all decked out for tomorrow's celebration.

It will begin with the celebration of Holy Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu. It is where Father Damien de Veuster was ordained a priest.

There will be a prelude concert at Iolani Palace by the Royal Hawaiian Band from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

The Procession from the Cathedral to Iolani Palace will begin at 1:00 p.m. (following the conclusion of the Mass). The participants in the procession include the brothers and sisters of the Sacred Hearts Congregation, Bishop Larry Silva of the Honolulu Diocese, Cardinal Danneels and 13 visiting bishops from California!

From 2:00 p.m. to 2:55 p.m. there will be notable speakers such as Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, Bishop Silva, Lt. Governor James "Duke" Aiona, plus dignitaries from other churches.

At 2:55 p.m. there will be a private procession to the palace's throne room.

The Men of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I will then carry the relic to the nearby statue of Queen Lili'uokalani. If you remember, it was Queen Lili'uokalani who visited Father Damien and who was instrumental in having Father Damien receive the honor of the Order of Kalakaua.

The procession will then proceed to the statue of Father Damien in front of the Capital.

Young people carrying the relic of St. Damien will t hen process back to the Cathedral.

Sources: various news items, including those from The Honolulu Advertiser

Friday, October 30, 2009

Feast of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
The other day I posted about humble porters who were very holy and saintly. Today October 30th is the feast day of one of them.

The following is from an article written by another holy man, Father John Hardon, S.J.:
...The first thing that strikes us about St. Alphonsus Rodriguez is the fact that he had an extraordinary devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and specifically under the title of her Immaculate Conception, mind you, this was over 250 years before the Immaculate was defined. He did everything in his power to urge his fellow Jesuits, everyone that he met, to invoke Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and that, by the way, not only more than two centuries before the definition, as you may know, not a few very learned writers not only did not accept Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, but wrote theological treatises denying it, including you know who, St. Thomas Aquinas. You can be embarrassed, Aquinas would be embarrassed now...Read it in its entirety here

Saintly Porters- Updated List

Saint Nuno de Braganza of Portugal
Updated: A big mahalo to Brother André Marie for telling me about Saint Nuno de Braganza of Portugal. He was another holy porter. Source

Is it just a coincidence that the lowly duty as a porter held by certain religious, produces holy saints?

1. Father Solanus Casey

Venerable Father Solanus CaseyPicture source and good article

2. Blessed Andre Bessette

Blessed Andre BessettePicture source and good article

3. Saint Faustina

Sister FaustinaPicture Source

4. Saint Padre Pio

Padre Pio

5. St. Alphonsus Rodriguez

"...after six months was sent to the recently-founded college at Majorca, where he remained in the humble position of porter for forty-six years..."

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
Can you think of any other saint who was once a doorkeeper?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Martyr who refused to remove crucifixes from hospital to be honored Oct. 29

Bl. Maria RestituaPhoto Source Catholic Fire.
On Thursday, Catholics will celebrate the feast day of Helen Kafka, better known as Blessed Maria Restituta. Working as a nurse in the 1940s, she was ordered by the Gestapo to remove crucifixes she had placed in several hospital rooms and was sentenced to death. Pope John Paul II beatified her on June 21, 1998.

Helen Kafka was born in 1894 to a shoemaker and grew up in Vienna, Austria. At the age of 20, she decided to join the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity and took the name Restituta after an early Church martyr.
Read the rest here

See also Catholic Fire's Feast of Blessed Maria Restituta - Martyr

N.Y. Archbishop Timothy Dolan Hopes To Follow In Footsteps of Archbishop Sheen and Cardinal O'Connor


For Information, Please Contact:

Oct. 27, 2009

Michelle Johnson

Director of Communications

EWTN Global Catholic Network

5817 Old Leeds Road
Irondale, Alabama 35210-2198 USA

(205) 795-5769 – Office

(205) 441-6248 ­– Cell

(205) 795-5781 – Fax

N.Y. Archbishop Timothy Dolan Hopes To Follow In

Footsteps of Archbishop Sheen and Cardinal O’Connor

Irondale, AL (EWTN) – In an exclusive interview on “The World Over Live,” New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan told EWTN Host Raymond Arroyo that he hopes to communicate with New Yorkers and the world much like his predecessors, Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Cardinal John O’Connor.

Arroyo noted that Cardinal O’Connor treated every homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as a state of the national address, commenting on the practical things with which people are wrestling. Archbishop Dolan acknowledged that fact as well the decision of his immediate predecessor, Cardinal Edward Egan, to concentrate his “indefatigable” energies on the parishes.

While Archbishop Dolan will visit the parishes in his archdiocese on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, he will celebrate the 10:15 a.m. Mass on Sundays at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as well as daily Mass at 7:30 a.m., which will be carried on radio and television.

“I have chosen to go back to the Cardinal O’Connor way,” Archbishop Dolan said. “I’m not doing that to make this a bully pulpit or to attract attention…but I do think it’s probably a valued part of being the Archbishop of New York – that you would recognize, realistically, that you do have a good pulpit and people are going to listen to what you say. We’re not ashamed of the Gospel, we’re never ashamed of the teachings of the Church, and any way you can get that out, bring it on!”

Archbishop Dolan, who was born in 1950, said he had the opportunity to meet Archbishop Sheen several times, but he really became interested in him while doing graduate work on the history of the Church in the U.S.

“My professor, John Tracy Ellis, used to say: ‘There’s never been anybody who’s been able to communicate the timeless truths of the Catholic religion to a very timely culture, namely the United States, like Fulton Sheen – without diluting any of the essentials of our Catholic Faith. He was able to present it in an eminently attractive way and that has always inspired me. …

“I would never pretend to be like him. …I would never pretend to have his culture and bearing, but I would have to say that he’s an inspiration to me… to bring the immutable truths of the Catholic Faith to a very changing culture and society.”

To view the entire interview, please go to and scroll down to “The World Over” under either “Archived Video” or “Archived Audio.”

EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 28th year, is available in over 150 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.


USCCB President Cardinal Francis George to Guest on EWTN's "The World Over" Friday, Oct. 30

Don’t miss Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, at 8 p.m. ET, Friday, Oct. 30, on EWTN’s “The World Over Live” with Host Raymond Arroyo. He will discuss the “new atheism” and the necessity of the church creating a “new culture” to compete with growing secularism; repairing the Church’s perceived loss of credibility in the wake of Notre Dame scandal, the Kennedy funeral and the clergy sex abuse crisis; Christian/Muslim dialogue; Pope Benedict’s outreach to the Anglican community – and much more.

Michelle Laque Johnson
Director of Communications
EWTN Global Catholic Network
5817 Old Leeds Road
Irondale, Alabama 35210
(205) 795-5769 (office)
(205) 441-6248 (cell)
(205) 271-2920 (fax) (email)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rules of Engagement for Catholics on the Internet

This is something everyone should read.

Read them here

H/T Deacon Greg

Book Review - Herald of the Fatima Apparitions: John Haffert

John M. Haffert
I am finishing up a new book on the life Mr. John M. Haffert. But I did not want to wait any longer to review this fine biography. For those of you who are not familiar with his name, he is the co-founder, along with Monsignor Harold Colgan, of the Blue Army now the World Apostolate of Fatima.

Monsignor ColganPicture Source

This biography was written by Edna McGrew, a New Jersey based writer.

The main reason I was eager to read Ms. McGrew's new book was because as co-founder of the international World Apostolate of Fatima, John M. Haffert is a very important person for our fledgling World Apostolate of Fatima Honolulu Diocesan Division and because as a long time member of the WAF, I wanted to know everything I could learn about the man behind this renowned apostolate dedicated to our Lady of Fatima.

The book started off with an introduction to the apparitions in Fatima, and some personal background on John Haffert. The first chapter has John Haffert newly married to a lovely woman by the name of Anne.

"...they and their small estate are right out of F. Scott Fitzgerald's stories of the famed gold coast along New York's side of the Long Island Sound..."

But the similarity ends there because this young man was a very devout Catholic, husband, family man and God definitely had plans for him.

It was amazing to find out that a man whose name is almost synonymous with Fatima, was not familiar with the apparitions at Fatima in the very beginning.

I should mention that in order to familiarize herself fully with the subject of her book, Ms. McGrew did extensive research, read almost all, if not all of Mr. Haffert's books (he was very prolific) and conducted interviews.

The result was a very interesting, hard to put down book. I must confess to reading it every single day, before Holy Mass.

Ms. McGrew did not sugar-coat or canonize Mr. Haffert for the reader. No, she presented him as a real, human being who had struggles, faults, just like the rest of us. Yet, this man was a very holy man. His entire life was dedicated to God and His blessed Mother, whether through the Scapular of Mount Carmel or Our Lady of Fatima and the Blue Army pledges, he was determined to enlist more and more people in our Lady's growing army. It was the only way to fight the evils that assailed the world from the beginning of time. He took very seriously the idea that the Rosary and the Brown Scapular were weapons people everywhere, (and not only Catholics) could successfully use against the devil and his demons.

One of my favorite chapters is found almost at the end of the book. It is entitled "Power Players".

I am reluctant to share much on it for fear of spoiling the chapter for you but I know you will enjoy reading the following.

"John believed in the power of prayer and the need for power players. He was convinced that his Marian Apostolate would succeed only through the power of many prayerful individuals. He writes: "I had to find saints. And I made a conscious effort to do so. I cultivated the acquaintances of devout people."
Bl. Mother Teresa
Well, one power player was none other than Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta!
"When Mother Teresa heard of the Blue Army, she and all the members of her community, became early members. Not only did she visit the Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Washington, NJ but she also gave lectures there.

To this day , her community regularly visits the Blue Army Shrine in Washington, NJ.

In addition, Mother Teresa's spiritual director and one of her principal confessors was the late Fr. John Hardon, S.J. whose canonization process has recently been introduced. He spent hundreds of hours giving conferences to the members of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. In addition, for many years, Fr. Hardon was a chaplain of the World Apostolate of Fatima, Blue Army." (Bold emphasis is mine)

Fr. John HardonWell, how do you like that? I was so excited when I read this part, I think I interrupted my mom's prayers in Church to show this part to her.

The power player that I really was ecstatic to read about was none other than Saint Padre Pio.

Padre Pio and Our Lady
..."John (Haffert) relates that Padre Pio was asked by one of his celebrated spiritual children, the Marquesa Boschi, whether it was a good idea to join the Blue Army. Padre Pio replied: 'This is not only an act of prayer -- it is also an apostleship. What better thing could you do?' John goes on to say that many people wanted to be Padre Pio's 'spiritual child'. But he did not accept all who asked because Padre Pio had promised: 'I shall stand at the gates of Paradise and shall not enter until all my spiritual children have entered.'

One day Msgr. Colgan asked Padre Pio if he would accept members of the Blue Army as his spiritual children. Padre Pio agreed but he stipulated: 'that they behave well.'

John and Msgr. Colgan interpreted this to mean that the Blue Army members should live up to their commitment. John considered Padre Pio to be the 'spiritual Father' of the Blue Army because of this promises that he made."
So you can see why I was so excited and ecstatic at reading about Padre Pio, the Blue Army Shrine and being his spiritual child!

Well, I think I had better let you read the rest of the book for yourselves.

I truly and highly recommend this wonderful book to everyone but especially those who are members of the Mary's Blue Army and those contemplating becoming a member.

The book is available at the following: Infinity Publishing toll free at (877)-289-2665. You can also order the book and/or get more information at their website: here

Also, you can find more information and read excerpts from John Haffert's biography on Edna McGrew's website:

Miracle of the Sun Reported at Blue Army Shrine

OLOF Photo Source: Loci Lenar

The World Apostolate of Fatima (USA) in cooperation with EWTN, televised a worldwide prayer service on Sunday, October 18, 2009 for the sanctity of life and peace. It was estimated that millions of viewers would tune in and join with prayer on this special occasion.

Well over a thousand visitors came to celebrate by joining together in prayer at The Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. The shrine is located on the grounds of the World Apostolate of Fatima in Washington, New Jersey.
Loci has all the details plus photos! Thanks Loci.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pray for Priests who Have Lost their Natural Mothers

Our Lady of the Eucharist

I thought this was a fantastic idea!

Our condolences to Monsignor Georg Ganswein on the loss of his beloved mother. May she rest in peace.

This November: Pray for the Souls of Departed Priests


From Fr. Z

Pray for the souls of priests.

First, remember that you can gain indulgences on All Souls and the days following.

Second, 5 November is a first Thursday. You can gain a plenary indulgence during this year for Priests.

Third, would it not be a good idea in this Year for Priests, during the week after All Souls, for this 1st Thursday, to pray in a special way for the souls of deceased priests?

May I recommend that you bring this up with your parish priests, who might make pulpit announcements this Sunday?

If you are a blogger, would you post something on this?

Would you recommend this to your prayer groups, friends and family?

God Came First for Eduardo Verástegui

Eduardo Verástegui
They call him the Mexican Brad Pitt. But unlike his American counterpart, who famously rejected a Southern Baptist upbringing, Eduardo Verastegui chose to sacrifice a glittering film career after rediscovering his Catholic faith.

Once a Calvin Klein model who smouldered bare-chested opposite J-Lo in a music video, and starred in Hollywood movies, Verastegui's brooding looks and aquamarine eyes attracted thousands of (invariably screaming) female fans.

Today, the 35-year-old actor is a daily Mass-goer, committed to abstaining from sex before marriage, who flies to Darfur to help the starving, provides financial help for women considering abortions and organises house-building missions in Mexico.

Read the rest here

H/T Sue Cifelli

Forgiveness - Sister Genevieve Uwamariya, a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda

Notre Dame de Namur Sister Genevieve Uwamariya, a survivor of the genocide in Rwanda, told the synod that her life was changed through the work of a Catholic women's group called the Ladies of Divine Mercy.
Read it here

H/T to Sue Cifelli

Eucharistic Miracle in Sokolka

Eucharistic Jesus
Read it here

H/T to Sue Cifelli

Monday, October 26, 2009

Update on the Blue Chapel - Dominican Nuns

On occasion I receive emails and comments requesting an update on the Dominican Nuns in Union City, NJ. One of the Dominican Nuns in Summit, NJ was kind enough to provide the following update with her novice mistress' permission:
I asked my novice mistress about the nuns at Union City, and yes, they are all out of the monastery now, although the monastery has not "officially" been closed yet. Of the sisters that had remained there, one went to our Dominican monastery in the Bronx and the others now reside at the nursing home run by the Caldwell Dominican sisters on the campus of Caldwell College.
Thank you very much Sister D.!

Reiki and Yoga

Too many Catholics think there is nothing wrong with a Catholic practicing yoga or Reiki. They should read this article:
If you listen to the gurus and yogis; the practices of yoga, Reiki, centering prayer, transcendental meditation and all similar methods lead to experiences of self-fulfilment or enlightenment.

Unfortunately, many people today think yoga and Reiki are something that is compatible with Christian doctrine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even though in many communities, "Christian" yoga and Reiki may be used, it is contrary to what the First Commandment teaches us. They instruct us to go down to the level of human realizations that are man-made and not from God. This is very dangerous.

The Catechism teaches us that "all practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion." No. 2117

Also, the Church cites idolatry as being against the First Commandment, saying: "Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons." The New Age ideology promotes self-divinization in many forms.
Read the rest here: Reiki and Yoga

H/T to Sue Cifelli

Spiritual Warfare: The Occult Has Demonic Influence

St. Michael by Giordano
St. Michael by Giordano
Picture Source
By Bishop Donald Montrose, D.D.

By the "occult," we are speaking of some supra-human or supernatural
influence that is not from God. We commonly associate the occult with that
which has demonic influence.

In the United States today the occult has become much more popular than it was twenty years ago. Today, there is popular Satanic music, Satanic street gangs, an increase in Satanic worship, a more widespread use of the
horoscope and study of the signs of the zodiac, and Satanic games that can
be purchased. In spite of this, many people do not take the occult seriously.
They laugh off the notion of the Power of Evil as actually being a part of the
"real" world in which we live.

I do believe that demonic influence is very real and that it constitutes a
dangerous threat to our spiritual well-being. What is written here is, at best,
a brief summary of a reality that I have no desire to spend much time
exploring. My purpose is simply to give you enough knowledge to be able to
at least suspect the presence of the occult so that you can avoid it
Read the rest here

H/T Sue Cifelli

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blessed Andre Bessette - One Step Closer to Canonization

Bl. Andre Bessette
A Vatican decision has moved Montreal's Brother Andre one step closer to being canonized.
The Theological Commission for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican accepted unanimously on Saturday the healing powers of Brother Andre, a pious porter at College Notre Dame who went on to found St. Joseph's basilica. He has been credited with healing the sick, the lame and the blind.

A commission of cardinals and bishops will now begin to study the suitability of extending devotion to Brother Andre throughout the Universal Church, the final step before the cause for canonization goes to Pope Benedict XVI.
Montreal's Brother Andre step closer to sainthood

H/T Sue Cifelli

Priesthood Sunday

Blessed Mother and Priest

I want to wish all our beloved priests a very happy and blessed Priesthood Sunday. You will all be especially remembered in my prayers today.

Prayer for Priests

O my Jesus, I beg You on behalf of the whole Church:
Grant it love and light of Your Spirit,
and give Power to the words of priests
so that hardened hearts might be brought
to repentance and return to You, O Lord.

Lord, give us holy priests;
You Yourself maintain them in holiness.
O Divine and Great High Priests,
may the power of your mercy accompany them
everywhere and protect them
from the devil's traps and snares which are
continually being set for the souls of priests.
May the power of Your mercy, O lord, shatter
and bring to naught all that might
tarnish the sanctity of priests for You can do all things.

(Diary of St. Maria Faustina, 1052)