Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Book Review -Spirit and Life

by Rose Rea, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.


This a beautifully illustrated book that highlights and explains the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church:  Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.


Each sacrament is explained in easy to understand prose, and supported by quotes from the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the writings of the Saints.  It also includes various stories from different persons from various perspectives, all with a love and veneration of the sacraments.  Each of these elements adds to the beauty and deep dimension of the sacraments.


This books is colorful, exquisitely illustrated and will make a lovely coffee table book or perfect gift, just interesting and long enough to hold the attention of readers of almost any age.


Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of two.



Spirit and Life



Book Review -Classic Bible Comics

Adapted by Stanley Silverstein, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.


This Bible comic book is a reprint of the 1974 Peter Pan Children's Bible Storybook. The illustrations are classic and vividly colored.  The print is very readable.  It contains twenty-three of the most loved Bible stories for children of all ages, such as David and Goliath, the Great Flood, Adam and Eve, and of course, the Nativity.


Beautifully illustrated and classic, this 80+  page book will make a charming gift for a youngster in your life.



Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of two. Classic Bible Comics



Book Review -All You Holy Women Pray for Us

by Adam and Angela Smyth, Sophia Institute Press, 2021.


This sweet little board book will make a perfect gift for a new or expectant mother, especially if she is expecting a girl.  This little book, so perfect for little hands, contains bright and cheery images of eight women saints.  This little sturdy book will make a wonderful introduction to beloved saints at an early age.

The eight women saints are St. Faustina, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Cecilia, St Kateri, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St Joan of Arc, St Josephine Bakhita, and St. Therese of Lisieux.  Each saint is drawn to captivate a small child with its bright and cheery colors and happy faces.  The poem for each is so melodic that it will soon become a favorite for any little child.


The rhyming verses are so flowing and musical, I plan to have my twins memorize them.  This is a delightful little book and I was very charmed by it.


A truly precious little book that is highly recommend.


Reviewed by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of two.


All You Holy Women Pray for us



Thursday, June 24, 2021

Nativity of St. John the Baptist

The Nativity of St. John the Baptist
It is one of the oldest feast days in the Liturgy of the Church.
The only other births the Catholic Church celebrates as a feast are our Blessed Mother's and our Lord Jesus.
Why does the Church celebrate his birth? It is because he was "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb." (Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 717) " It is also believed that Jesus sanctified him from the womb and removed his original sin.
Before John was born, the angel announced that "many would rejoice in his birth." Thus, his feast day is one of the more joyous feast in the Church calendar. In olden times, it was observed as a great holiday with much more rejoicing and celebrating than we do now. For example on the eve of his feast, many countries would light up mountains and hills with "St. John's Fires" "Scarce had the last rays of the setting sun died away, when all the world over, immense columns of flame arose from every mountain top, and in an instant every town and village and hamlet was lighted up." (Dom. P.L.. Gueranger).
"The Birth of St. John the Baptist"
Domenico Ghirlandio
1486-90
Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Wednesdays are Dedicated to St. Joseph -Prayer for the Spirit of Work

 
Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who pass their life in labor, 
obtain for me the grace tow work in a spirit of penance to atone for my many sins; 
to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my own inclinations;
to work with gratitude and joy, considering it an honor to use and develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; 
to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever recoiling before weariness or difficulties. 
Help me to work, above all, with purity of intention and with detachment from self, 
having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must render of time lost, talents wasted, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, 
which is so fatal to the work of God. 
All for Jesus, 
all for Mary, all after your example, O Patriarch Joseph! 
This shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.

New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

Thursday, March 18, 2021

ACN-USA News - Survey shows US Catholics’ growing concern about global persecution of Christians

 

THE PAPAL VISIT TO IRAQ put the spotlight on Christian persecution in the Middle East, as a new poll shows American Catholics expressing growing concern about Christian persecution around the world.

 

Fifty-seven percent of US Catholics believe that the persecution of Christians around the world is “very severe,” up from 41 percent a year ago; and 67 percent say they are “very concerned” about the issue.

 

Almost 50 percent of US Catholics believe that half or more of religiously based attacks around the world are directed at Christians; they identify China as the country where Christians are most severely persecuted, followed by North Korea and Pakistan.

 

The fourth annual nationwide poll examining the views of US Catholics on the global persecution of Christians was conducted in February 2021 by McLaughlin & Associates for Aid to the Church in Need-USA (ACNUSA). The survey aimed to measure:

 

  • The extent to which American Catholics are aware of Christian persecution around the world.
  • The countries and regions where they consider Christians most severely persecuted.
  • Specific measures and policies they want the US and other Western governments to pursue.
  • The extent to which they feel that the Pope, their bishops, and their parishes are making the issue of Christian persecution a priority.
  • Actions they believe they can and should take themselves.

 

Yet, despite their awareness of Christian persecution around the world, US Catholics are not well informed of the horrific instances of persecution, such as in Pakistan, in 2020, where 1,000 primarily Christian under-age girls were abducted and threatened to be forcibly converted to Islam; in China, Mass-goers are subject to digital surveillance; in Nigeria, nearly 3,500 Christians were killed for their faith in 2020, and in North Korea, being a Christian can carry the death penalty.

 

The survey reveals that fifty-two percent of US Catholics say that Pope Francis is “very engaged” on the issue of the persecution of Christians—up from 47 percent a year ago; 30 percent think their local bishop is “very engaged” and 28 percent believe their parish is very involved with the issue.

“It is heartening that, compared to a year ago, significantly more US Catholics say that Christian persecution around the world is very grave and that the issue has become a matter of concern to more faithful. They also want both their Church and their government to step up efforts to do more to combat the issue,” said George Marlin, ACNUSA chairman.

 

Most importantly, “The poll shows the great need to inform the public regarding specific instances of Christian persecution; the US bishops and organizations like our own must step up our educational and informational efforts.” 

 

He concluded: “It is my hope that leaders around the world embrace the fundamental human right of religious freedom, and promote a society that respects ethnic, cultural and especially religious diversity.”

 

Survey findings can be accessed here: www.churchinneed.org/survey2021/christianpersecution

 

 

With picture of ISIS graffiti on the wall of Virgin Mary kindergarten in Bashiqa, northern Iraq (© ACN)

 

 

Editor’s Notes:

 


 

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, 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, over 40 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 fax 718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

 

Friday, March 05, 2021

ACN-USA News - Iraq - Pope to receive symbolic stole

 

THE HOLY FATHER WILL VISIT AL-TAHIRA CHURCH Sunday, March 7in Qaraqosh, the town in northern Iraq also known as Baghdeda or Bakhdida. Father Yako Ammar, the parish priest of Al-Tahira, explains to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), which supported the restoration of the church which had been badly damaged by ISIS, the symbolism of the stole Pope Francis will receive at Al-Tahira.

 

The stole is entirely handmade from the fabric woven by Khaya Bakter, a local artisan, in the traditional colors of Qaraqosh, black and purple. Gorjia Kapo, a mother of two sons and a daughter, was then entrusted with the task of embroidering and decorating the stole. Her family has lived in Qaraqosh for many generations, but in 2014 they had to flee because of ISIS. Now she and her family have returned and decided to stay to rebuild the town and resume its traditions. One of Gorjia's sons decided to become a priest and was ordained a year ago.

 

“On one side of the stole is the Lord’s prayer in our language, Syriac, which comes from Aramaic, the original language of Jesus. On the other side is the Hail Mary,” says Father Ammar, who designed the stole.

 

“The crosses at the two ends of the stole are the crosses of Al-Tahira church, the same crosses as inside the church that were destroyed by ISIS during its occupation of the Nineveh Plains. These crosses are now the symbol of a new life. As the stole is a very symbolic ornament for us priests, Gorjia has also included bread and wine in the embroidery, the symbols of the Eucharistic mystery,” explains Father Ammar.

 

The Iraqi priest ordered two stoles to be presented to the Pope in Qaraqosh: the one made by Gorjia, as a symbol of the Christians who decided to stay in Qaraqosh despite all the difficulties, and one made by Iman Qasab, a Christian from Qaraqosh who had to-- give up her roots and culture to emigrate to Canada during the terrorist occupation. The latter stole is decorated with a palm tree, the symbol of Iraq, which also appears in the logo of the Pope's visit.

 

Both fates—of those who have returned and stayed on despite many hardships, as well as of those who had to leave their homeland—dare part of this city, and both kinds of sufferings will be represented in the gift to Pope Francis.

 

—Maria Lozano

 

 

With picture of Khaya Bakter weaving one of the stoles (© ACN)

 

 

Editor’s Notes:

 


 

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, 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, over 40 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 fax 718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Lent - The Golden Rules of Detachment by St. John of the Cross

 The soul must always be inclined:

1.  not to the easiest thing but the hardest;

2.  not to the tastiest thing but the most insipid;

3.  not to the thing that gives the greatest pleasure but to those that give the least;

4.  not to the restful things but to painful ones;

5.  not to consolation but to desolation;

6.  not to more but to less;

7.  not to the highest and dearest but to the lowest and most despised;

8.  not to the desire for something but to have no desires.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Lent - An Examination of Conscience by Father Bill Casey

1.  Is there something I can do to get closer to God?

2.  Is there something I can do to know God better and to love Him more?

3.  Is there some way I can increase my desire for prayer?

4.  Is there some way I can rekindle that fire of divine love that might have gone out of my life?

5.  Is there some way I can rid myself of the spiritual mediocrity, the spiritual indifference that I find myself in so much of the time?

6.  Is there something I can give up?

7.  Is there anything in my life right now that is not pleasing to Almighty God?

8.  Is there some sin that I am holding on to?

9.  Is there some habitual sin that is separating my heart from God's graces?

10.  Is there something I need to confess?

11.  Am I crucifying Our Lord all over again by living in my sins?

12.  Well?  Is there?


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Lent - Guidance from the Apostles from the Ten Commandments

 The Didache: An Instruction of the Lord Given to the Heathen by the Twelve Apostles

Source:  The Treasury of Catholic Wisdom by Father John A. Hardon, S.J.

"My child:

1.  Shun evil of any kind and everything resembling it.

2.  Do not be prone to anger for anger leads to murder.  Do not be fanatical, not quarrelsome, not hot-tempered; for all these things beget murder.

3.  Do not be lustful, for lust leads to fornication.  Do not be foul-mouthed or give free rein to your eyes; for all these things beget adultery.

4.  My child, do not be an augur, because it leads to idolatry.  Do not be an enchanter, not an astrologer, not an expiator, and do not wish to see 9and hear) these things for they all beget idolatry.

5.  Do not be a liar, for lying leads to theft.  Do not be a lover of money, or a vain pretender.  All these things beget thievery.

6.  Do not be a grumbler, because it leads to blasphemy; or self-willed, or evil-minded.  All these things beget blasphemy.

 On the contrary, be:

7.   gentle (for the gentle will inherit the land).

8.  Be long-suffering, and merciful, and guileless, and quiet, and good, and with trembling treasure forever the instructions you have received.

9.  Do not carry your head high, or open your heart to presumption.  Do not be on  intimate terms with the mighty, but associate with holy and lowly fold.

10.  Accept as blessings the casualties that befall you assured that nothing happens without God."