Saturday, May 02, 2009

Reminder - First Saturday

Immaculate Heart of Mary

The desire for a First Saturday devotion revealed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three children at Fatima in 1917. On December 10, 1925, the Virgin revealed more details about the devotion to Sister Lucia, the only seer still alive and at that time a cloistered nun. From that time, the devotion has spread throughout the world on the day (Saturday) that the Church has traditionally honored the Blessed Virgin. There is no distinct confraternity/association for this devotion, though many apostolates incorporate it into their devotional program.


To establish devotion (in accordance with God's wishes) to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and to make reparation for...

1. Attacks upon the reality of Mary's Immaculate Conception

2. Attacks against her the reality of Mary's Perpetual Virginity

3. Attacks upon Mary's Divine Maternity and the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all mankind

4. Those who try to publicly implant in children's hearts indifference, contempt and hatred for Immaculate Mary

5. For those who insult Mary directly in her sacred images.


The devotion involves the following practices on five consecutive first Saturdays with the specific intention of making reparation for the offenses (above) against the Blessed Virgin.

1. Go to Confession (within 8 days before or after the first Saturday)

2. Receive Holy Communion

3. Recite five decades of the Rosary*

4. "Keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on fifteen mysteries of the Rosary" (separate from the Rosary itself)*

(*Preferably done in the presence of the Lord in the Tabernacle or at Exposition)


1. The Virgin Mary's assistance at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation for those who practice the devotion.

2. Salvation of souls and peace as a result of promoting of the Devotion to the Immaculate Heart.


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Guide to Confession with Examination of Conscience, Including Duties of Particular States of Life

Since Saturdays are traditionally the day set aside for the Sacrament of Reconcilation, I wanted to share excerpts from a very helpful little book entitled Confession: Its Fruitful Practice with an Examination of Conscience by The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and published by Tan Books

With every sin there is a twofold evil:

- The guilt

- The offense against God

5 Things Necessary for a Good Confession:

- Examination of conscience

- Contrition

- Purpose of Amendment

- Confession and Absolution

- Satisfaction: The penance that must be performed in expiation of the temporal punishment due to sin.

Making a good confession begins with a thorough examination of conscience and what better aids than the following:

The Ten Commandments.

1. I am the Lord, thy God: though shalt not have strange gods before Me.

2. Though shalt not take the Name of the Lord, thy God, in vain.

3. Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day (Sunday).

4. Honor thy Father and thy Mother.

5. Thou shalt not kill. (This includes also injury to the soul, and charitableness).

6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

7. Thou shalt not steal.

8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.

The Six Precepts of the Church:

1. To attend Mass and to abstain from servile work on all Sundays and Holydays of obligation.

2. To fast and abstain from meat on the days appointed by the church.

3. To confess one's sins at least once a year.

4. To receive worthily the Blessed Eucharist at Easter Time or within the time appointed.

5. To contribute to the support of the Church.

6. Not to marry persons within the forbidden degrees of kindred or otherwise prohibited by the Church; not to solemnize the marriage at the forbidden times, in general, to observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage.

The Seven Capital Sins:

1. Pride

2. Covetousness

3. Lust

4. Anger

5. Gluttony

6. Envy

7. Sloth

Examination of Conscience based on Duties of Particular States of Life:

For Married Persons:

Have I:

- Lived in peace and union?

- Given cause for jealousy?

- Observed the laws of purity according to the married state?

- Misused the holy state of matrimony?

- Given scandal by angry disputes?

- Forsaken my partner and lived separately without just cause?

- Neglected my duties of support or care for my children and household?

For Parents:

Have I:

- Neglected the religious training of my children?

- Failed to sen them to good Catholic schools when I could have done so?

- Sent them to a school where their Catholic faith or morals would be endangered?

- Neglected to watch over the company they keep?

- They things they read?

- The shows they watch?

- Given them scandal by cursing, quarreling, or in other ways?

- Failed to correct them?

- Selfishly interfered with the vocation of a son or daughter?

For Employers:

Have I:

- Failed to afford those who work under me opportunities to discharge their religious duties?

- Ordered them to do anything wrong?

- To be dishonest, cheat, etc.?

- Have I paid unjust wages?

For Public Officials:

Have I:

- Been faithful and exact in the discharge of my duties?

- Betrayed the public interest through fear of others' opinion, from desire for popularity, or for political or financial interest?

- Sacrificed the rights of any individual?

- Allowed crime and disorder to go unpunished? In what way, and how often?

- Have I directly or indirectly received bribes?

- Allowed myself to be influenced in the administration of justice or offical duties by promises or threats?

- Been guilty of embezzlement of public funds?

- Enriched myself or friends by unjust contracts?

- Applied my official power for revenge?

- Unjustly favored friends?

For Physicians:

Have I:

- Undertaken the care of persons seriously ill without sufficient knowledge or experience?

- Rashly hazarded dangerous remedies?

- Made needless expense?

- Intentionally taken the life of an unborn child?

- Assisted, approved of, or advised anyone to do so?

- Performed or advised forbidden operations, e.g. sterilizations?

- Given prescriptions for contraceptives or abortifacient "contraceptives"?

- Cooperated in others' doing so?

- Failed to warn those in danger of death in time for them to receive the Sacraments?

- Through neglect, allowed infants to die without Baptism?

- Taken the life of any patient, or avoided taking the ordinary means to preserve the life of any patient?

For Lawyers:

Have I:

- Advocated the claims which I knew were unjust?

- Sustained an unjust defense?

- Did I thereby obtain an unjust decision?

- Have I injured the just cause of a client by treachery, gross ignorance, want of study, neglect?

- Obtained false affidavits by artifice?

- Practiced deceit in drawing up wills, deeds, etc.?

Corporal and Spiritual Acts of Mercy:

- Have I failed to relieve the temporal and spiritual necessities of others when it was in my power to do so? Did I do what I could to assist them in poverty, sickness, old age, or any spiritual need?

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Father Damien's Canonization Pilgrimage Tour

Blessed Damien
Our Lady of Peace Hawaii invites you to join Fr. Vince Inghilterra, F.S.D. on a Pilgrimage to Italy for the Canonization of Blessed Damien of Molokai and Blessed Jeanne Jugan Foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

October 4th to October 21st, 2009

$2884 per person from Honolulu

With group coordinator Renee Kathe

Sample Day by Day Itinerary

Oct 4th Honolulu to Rome

Oct 5th Enroute

Oct 6th Arrive in Rome - Transfer Rome Airport to Assisi

Oct 7th Half day walking tour of Assisi

Oct 8th Optional trip to Sienna or Cascia or free day for exploration and reflection

Oct 9th Assisi - Orvieto - Rome

Oct 10th Full day sightseeing in Rome - AM Vatican Museums; PM Christian Rome

Oct 11th Vatican Transfers to and from Canonization ceremony

Oct 12th - Rome - Monte Casino - San Giovanni Rotondo

Oct 13th AM Monte S' Angelo PM San Giovanni Rotondo

Oct 14th San Giovanni Rotondo to visit Holy Face of Manoppello - Rome airport flight to Dubrovnik

Oct 15th - 20th Medjugorje

Oct 20th Split Frankfurt

Oct 21st Frankfurt - Honolulu
Fr. Vince
For more information visit Pilgrimages - Fr. Inghilterra

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Reminder - First Friday

Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Margaret Mary A.













This devotion consists in attending Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion in reparation for those who do not receive Our Lord, who do not love Him and who wound Him by their sinful lives.

"I promise you, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in my disgrace, nor without receiving their Sacraments, My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

-----Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

Catholic Tradition

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Devotion to Mary, The Mother of God in the Month of May

Our Lady
The month of May is traditionally dedicated to the Mother of God and our blessed Mother Mary.

It must please God immensely when we show honor and devotion to His dear mother.

The following are some Marian devotions which are some of my family's favorites:

- Pray the Holy Rosary daily, especially with your family. What better way to reflect on the life of Christ through scripture, than through the 20 mysteries of the Holy Rosary.

- Recitation of the Regina Coeli during Eastertide and the The Angelus, the rest of the year. These prayers are traditionally recited at 6:00 A.M., 12 noon and 6:00 P.M.

- Being enrolled and wearing the Our Lady of Mount Carmel's Brown Scapular

- First Saturday Devotions

In particular the following are two good ways of honoring our Blessed Mother during the month of May:

- May Crowning

- Mary's Garden

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St. Joseph the Worker

St. Joseph the Worker

We pray to St. Joseph for all those in need:

- of employment;

- for those who are employed, for their employment security;

- for husbands and fathers who are the providers of their families;

- for those in danger of losing their homes;

- for those who need to sell their home, that they may receive a fair price;

- for those who need to buy a home;

- for those who are dying;

- for the Universal Church;

- for those named Joseph

O Saint Joseph, assist those who need your intercession. Amen.

The following prayer is from Daily Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

Glorious Saint Joseph,
pattern of all who are devoted to toil,
obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance,
in order thereby to atone for my many sins;
to work conscientiously, putting devotion to duty
before my own inclinations;
to work with thankfulness and joy,
deeming it an honor to employ and to develop,
by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God;
to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience,
without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties;
to work, above all, with pure intention
and with a spirit of detachment from self,
having always before my eyes the hour of death
and the accounting which I must then render
of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone,
and of my empty pride in success,
which is so fatal to the work of God.
All for Jesus,
all through Mary,
all in imitation of thee,
O Blessed Joseph!
This shall be my motto in life and in death.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Photos of 2009 Spring New Products Show Mission

Ann and Orrin
Ann and Orrin

Bl. Damien
Our soon to be saint from Hawaii

Fr. Vince Inghilterra
Fr. Vince Inghilterra

The Group
The Group

Statue of Our Lady of Fatima who accompanied the group on their Mission

OLOP Banner
Our Lady of Peace Prayer Group Hawaii Banner

OLOPAnn, Rose and Fr.Vince
Ann, Rose and Fr. Vince Inghilterra

My friend Ann of Our Lady of Peace Prayer Group Hawaii shared some photos of the groups recent "mission" at the Spring New Products Show in Honolulu.

Also, stay posted for info on the upcoming 2nd Marian Conference.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Grand Maxim of the Saints

Tulips from my parents' home

"Give pleasure to God, and die."

-The Holy Eucharist by St. Alphonsus de Liguori

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Priests for Life's Father Pavone Coming to Hawaii

Fr. Frank Pavone
Talk story with internationally renowned prolife leader Father Frank Pavone, proceeds to benefit Hawaii Right to Life.

Dinner on September 20, 5:30pm at Hale Koa, Honolulu.

$50 per person; table sponsorships available.

Contact Deacon Kin Borja at 224.0696 or 455.7888 or

Related link: Priests for Life

Hawaii Right to Life's Talk Story with Father Frank Pavone

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Santa Teresa de Avila's Maxims

St. Teresa of Avila
The following are from Catholic-Pages
Saint Teresa of Avila fought "the good fight". To help her fulfill her desire to become a Saint she followed "maxims" which helped remind her what she must do according to Catholic moral doctrines.

"MAXIM - A concise formulation of some fundamental principle or rule of conduct"

Below are the "maxims of St. Teresa". Those who are religious can follow these at face value since they pertain especially to those who are in the "state of perfection" in the religious life. For those whose vocation is single or married in the world, they can determine how to apply these in there own state in life. Virtue is the mean between two extremes. It takes desire, prayer and effort to follow these according to ones state in life without going to extremes by excess or defect. For instance, when we look at #3 "Let thy words be few in the midst of many", we realize that a salesman or politician must know how to speak-out when practicing his business without failing to follow it to some degree at other times when he is not acting officially.

1. Untilled ground, however rich, will bring forth thistles and thorns; so. also, the mind of man.

2. Speak well of all that is spiritual, such as religious, priests, and hermits.

3. Let thy words be few when in the midst of many.

4. Be modest in all thy words and works.

5. Never be obstinate, especially in things of no moment.

6. In speaking to others be always calm and cheerful.

7. Never make a jest of anything.

8. Never rebuke any one but with discretion, and humility, and self-abasement.

9. Bend thyself to the temper of whomever is speaking to thee: be merry with the mirthful, sorrowful with the sad: in a word, make thyself all things to all, to gain all.

10. Never say anything thou hast not well considered and earnestly commended to our Lord, that nothing may be spoken which shall be displeasing unto Him.

11. Never defend thyself unless there be very good reasons for it.

12. Never mention anything concerning thyself which men account praiseworthy, such as learning, goodness, birth, unless with a hope of going good thereby, and then let it be done with humility, remembering that these are gifts of God.

13. Never exaggerate, but utter thy mind in simplicity.

14. In all talking and conversation let something be always said of spiritual things, and so shall all idle words and evil-speaking be avoided.

15. Never assert anything without being first assured of it.

16. Never come forward to give thine own opinion about anything unless asked to do so, or charity requires it.

17. When any one is speaking of spiritual things do thou listen humbly and like a learner, and take to thyself the good that is spoken.

18. Make known to thy superior and confessor all thy temptations, imperfections, and dislikes, that he may give thee counsel and help thee to overcome them.

19. Do not stay out of thy cell, nor go forth from it without cause, and when thou goest forth beg of God the grace not to offend him.

20. Never eat or drink except at the usual times, and then give earnest thanks to God.

21. Do all thou doest as if thou didst really see His Majesty: a soul makes great gains thereby.

22. Never listen to, or say, evil of any one except of thyself, and when that gives thee pleasure thou art making great progress.

23. Whatever thou doest, offer it up to God, and pray it may be for His honor and glory.

24. In thy mirth refrain from immoderate laughter, and let it be humble, modest, kindly, and edifying.

25. Imagine thyself always to be the servant of all, and look upon all as if they were Christ our Lord in person; and so shalt thou do Him honor and reverence.

26. Be ever ready to perform the duties of obedience, as if Jesus, in the person oft he prior or superior, had laid His commands upon thee.

27. In all thy actions, and at every hour, examine thy conscience; and, having discerned thy faults, strive, by the help of God, to amend them, and by this way thou shalt attain to perfection.

28. Do not think of the faults of others, but of what is good in them and faulty in thyself.

29. Desire earnestly always to suffer for God in every thing and on every occasion.

30. Offer thyself unto God fifty times a day, and that with great fervor and longing after God.

31. Call to mind continually throughout the day the matter of the morning meditation: be very careful herein, for it will do thee much good.

32. Lay up carefully what our Lord may say to thee, and act upon the desires He may have filled thee with in prayer.

33. Always avoid singularity to the utmost of thy power, for it does great harm in a community.

34. Read often the rules and constitutions of the order, and observe in sincerity.

35. In all created things discern the providence and wisdom of God, and in all things give Him thanks.

36. Withhold thy heart from all things: seek God, and thou shalt find Him.

37. Do not show signs of devotion outwardly when thou hast none within, but thou mayest lawfully hide the want thereof.

38. Let not thine inward devotion be visible unless in great necessity: St. Francis and St. Bernard used to say, "My secret is mine."

39. Never complain of the food, whether it be well or ill dressed; remembering the gall and vinegar of Jesus Christ.

40. Speak to no one at table, and lift not thine eyes to another.

41. Think of the table of heaven, and of the food thereon - God Himself: think of the guests, the angels: lift up thine eyes to that table, longing for it.

42. In the presence of thy superior - thou art to see Jesus Christ in him - utter not a word that is not necessary, and that with great reverence.

43. Never do anything that thou canst not do in the presence of all.

44. Do not compare one person with another: it is a hateful thing to do.

45. When rebuked for anything receive the rebuke with inward and outward humility, and pray to God for the person who gives the rebuke.

46. When one superior bids thee do a certain thing, do not say that another superior has given a contrary order; but obey in what thou art commanded, and consider that the intentions of all are good.

47. Be not curious about matters that do not concern thee; never speak of them, and do not ask about them.

48. Keep in mind they past life and present lukewarmness, to bewail them, and what is still wanting to thee for thy going into heaven, that thou mayest live in fear, which is a source of great blessings.

49. What those in the house bid thee do, do always, unless it be against obedience; and answer them humbly and gently.

50. Ask for nothing particular in the way of food or raiment, unless there be great need.

51. Never cease to humble and mortify thyself in all things, even unto death.

52. Habitually make many acts of love, for they set the soul on fire and make it gentle.

53. Make acts of all the other virtues.

54. Offer every thing to the Father Everlasting, in union with the merits of His Son Jesus Christ.

55. Be kind to all and severe to thyself.

56. On the days kept in honor of the saints consider their virtues, and beg the like of God.

57. Be very exact every night in thy examination of conscience.

58. The morning of communion remember in thy prayer that thou art about to receive God, notwithstanding thy wretchedness; and in thy prayer at night that thou hast received Him.

59. Never when in authority rebuke any one in anger, but only when anger has passed away; and so shall the rebuke bring forth good fruit.

60. Strive earnestly after perfection and devotion, and by the help thereof thou shalt do all things.

61. Exercise thyself much in the fear of our Lord, for that will make the soul contrite and humble.

62. Consider seriously how quickly people change, and how little trust is to be had in them; and cleave fast unto God, who changeth not.

63. As to the affairs of thy soul, labor to have a confessor who is spiritual and learned, make them known unto him, and abide by his judgment throughout.

64. Each time of communion beg some gift of God, by the compassion wherewith He has entered thy poor soul.

65. Though thou hast recourse to many saints as thine intercessors, go specially to St. Joseph, for he has great power with God.

66. In time of sorrow and of trouble cease not from the good works of prayer and penance which thou art in the habit of doing, for Satan is striving to make thee uneasy, and then to abandon them; on the contrary, do thou apply thyself thereunto more earnestly than before, and thou shalt see quickly our Lord will come to thy succor.

67. Never make thy temptations and imperfections known to those in the community whose progress is the least, for that will hurt thyself and the others, but only to those most advanced in perfection.

68. Remember that thou hast but one soul; that thou canst die but once; that thou hast but one life, which is short, and peculiar to thyself; that there is but one blessedness, and that for ever; and thou wilt despise many things.

69. Let thy desire be the vision of God, thy fear the loss of Him, thy sorrow His absence, and thy joy in that which may take thee to Him; and thy life shall be in great peace.

Thank you to Sue for sharing them.

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Feast Day - St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine of Siena

Prayer of St. Catherine of Siena

O God,
how inestimable and most sweet is the union
You have effected with human beings!
You have splendidly shown Your ineffable Love
through many graces and benefits heaped on creatures, and
especially through the benefit of the Incarnation of your Son; that is,
the grace of seeing the Highest One come down to the lowest-
which is our humanity.

Rightly should human pride be abashed on seeing God
so abashed in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
who was that sweet field in which was sown the seed of the Word Incarnate,
the Son of God.
Truly, most dear Father,
in this blessed and sweet field of Mary
God grafted this Word in her flesh
like the seed that is cast on the ground,
which by virtue of the sun’s heat germinates and
brings forth flowers and fruits,
while the pod remains in the earth.

This is what God truly did,
by virtue of the heat and
the fire of the Divine Love that He had for the human race,
casting the seed of His Word in the field of Mary.
O blessed and dear Mary,
you have given us the flower of the sweet Jesus.

Prayer Source

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Feast Day of St. Louis de Montfort

St. Louis de Montfort

St. Louis De Montfort's Prayer to Jesus

O most loving Jesus,
deign to let me pour forth my gratitude before Thee,
for the grace Thou hast bestowed upon me
in giving me to Thy holy Mother
through the devotion of Holy Bondage,
that she may be my advocate in the presence of Thy majesty
and my support in my extreme misery.
Alas, O Lord! I am so wretched that without this dear Mother
I should be certainly lost.
Yes, Mary is necessary for me at Thy side and
everywhere that she may appease Thy just wrath,
because I have so often offended Thee;
that she may save me from the eternal punishment of Thy justice,
which I deserve;
that she may contemplate Thee,
speak to Thee,
pray to Thee,
approach Thee and please Thee;
that she may help me to save my soul and the souls of others;
in short, Mary is necessary for me that I may always do Thy holy will and
seek Thy greater glory in all things.
Ah, would that I could proclaim throughout the whole world
the mercy that Thou hast shown to me!
Would that everyone might know I should be already damned,
were it not for Mary!
Would that I might offer worthy thanksgiving for so great a blessing!
Mary is in me.
Oh, what a treasure!
Oh, what a consolation!
And shall I not be entirely hers?
Oh, what ingratitude!
My dear Saviour, send me death rather than such a calamity,
for I would rather die than live without belonging entirely to Mary.
With St. John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross,
I have taken her a thousand times for my own and
as many times have given myself to her;
but if I have not yet done it as Thou, dear Jesus, dost wish,
I now renew this offering as Thou dost desire me to renew it.
And if Thou seest in my soul or my body anything that
does not belong to this august princess,
I pray Thee to take it and cast it far from me,
for whatever in me does not belong to Mary is unworthy of Thee.

O Holy Spirit,
grant me all these graces.
Plant in my soul the Tree of true Life,
which is Mary;
cultivate it and
tend it so that it may grow and
blossom and
bring forth the fruit of life in abundance.

O Holy Spirit,
give me great devotion to Mary,
Thy faithful spouse;
give me great confidence in her maternal heart and
an abiding refuge in her mercy,
so that by her Thou mayest truly form in me Jesus Christ,
great and mighty, unto the fullness of His perfect age.

Prayer Source

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Monday, April 27, 2009

From the American Papist: Mary Ann Glendon Refuses the Notre Dame Laetare Medal

You can read Mrs. Glendon's letter over at Thomas' blog

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Photos of the Legionaires of Christ Appreciation Evening

Tappan Zee
View from the Tappan Zee Bridge

Arrival at the Legionaries of Christ home

Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Chapel
The Chapel

Holy Communion
Holy Communion

Final Blessing
The Final Blessing

Fr. Patrick
Fr. Patrick entertaining us with an amusing story about the Brother Standing next to him

The Cake

Our Evening's Entertainers

Thanks to our Blessed Mother, St. Anthony and my sister, my digital camera was returned to my waiting hands.

The photos of my family will be posted over at Facebook

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Letter to the Editor - Questions for Elected Officials

I'd like to share my brother in law's letter to the Editor of the Bergen Record.
Questions for elected officials

I encourage The Record to print the following questions, which all good citizens should be asking of their elected leaders:

* Why is the Obama administration releasing CIA notes about interrogation tactics when the release only plays into the hands of those trying to kill us?

* Why does the administration refuse to call Muslim extremists bent on our destruction "terrorists" but encourages the Department of Homeland Security to consider those Americans with opposing political views potential terrorists? This sounds like a revival of Richard Nixon's enemies list.

* Why does President Obama constantly criticize the United States whenever he travels abroad? He seems embarrassed by this country. Do you share this embarrassment? If you don't, then why aren't you speaking out against him?

* Do you believe that the federal government should control the banking industry, the automotive industry, the financial services industry, the housing industry, the health care industry, educational institutions and any other industry that receives federal money?

* Do you believe that the federal government should set salaries and bonus policy in the private sector?

* What section of the U.S. Constitution justifies the federal government's unprecedented actions, both domestically and internationally? If the powers the president is now exercising are not found in the Constitution, what are they based on?
It was slightly edited. The following is the part that was edited out:

* Do you favor the federal government using tax dollars to fund abortion both in the U.S. and abroad and to support embryo-destroying stem cell research?

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Three Degrees of Piety - Divine Wisdom

Holy SpiritPicture Source

Of the three listed, the last one is the perfect one:

1. To listen to God with humble submission.

2. To act in Him and by Him with persevering fidelity.

3. To obtain the necessary light and unction with which to inspire others the love of Wisdom that will lead them to eternal life.

- from the Love of Eternal Wisdom by St. Louis de Montfort

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Being Appreciated by the Legionaries of Christ

Some members of my family and I spent a delightful evening with the Legionaries of Christ in Thornwood, NY. We had been invited to their annual Appreciation Mass and Dinner.

Thornwood, NY is in beautiful Westchester County. The drive over the Tappan Zee Bridge was in itself worth the trip.

The Legionaries are now in the old IBM facility which is not only huge but beautifully situated on over 200 acres of ground.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the brothers. These young men are all happy, friendly and filled with joy. We were made to feel at home immediately. We chatted with several of them prior to Mass. Confession was also made available to those of us who wanted to partake of this important and necessary sacrament.

Mass was held in their chapel.

The Mass was one of the most beautiful ones I have ever attended. The rector, Fr. Javier Castro, L.C. was the main celebrant and with him were approximately 5 or 6 co-celebrants.

This was the first time I had attended the celebration of the Holy Mass where it was celebrated in both English and Latin. Thanks to Magnificat, we followed along easily.

The brothers also formed the choir of heavenly voices raised to Heaven with Easter hymns.

At Holy Communion, we were able to receive the Body of Christ on our kneels. That was the second time that day that my mom and I received Holy Communion on our knees. The first was at daily Mass at St. Stephens, Paterson that morning.

God's presence is strongly felt in that place.

Afterward, we were attended a short talk by Fr. John Conner, L.C. about he missionary work of the fathers and brothers. We also watched a short film regarding their mission. There was also a brief question and answer period with Fr. John Conner, L.C. and Fr. John B. who was in the film we had watched. I learned a lot about their mission, Regnum Christ (you may be familiar with them from the daily resolutions I post here) and vocations to the priesthood.

Then it was off to dinner. I didn't know what to expect but I was thinking a buffet style dinner, etc. was in store.

Not so. We entered a beautiful dining room with the table set for company. A brother sat with each table to keep us company while we ate. We sat with Brother Daniel, one of the brothers who had previously been to my parent's home a year or so earlier.

While some of the brothers chatted with the guests, the rest of the brothers served us dinner. They were gracious and well-mannered young men. My sister and I felt a little uncomfortable having them cater to us. We wanted to make them sit down and relax.

The dinner was exceptionally delicious and prepared by one of the brothers from Italy.

Toward the end of the dinner, some of the brothers entertained us with song and music. They even wrote and sang to us a song of appreciation put to Billy Joel's For the Longest Time.

The evening went so quickly and I'm sure it was because we were having so much fun. We laughed so much with Brother Daniel, Father Patrick (the pastor of my mom's church and good friend of the Legionaries)and the other brothers.

We met several brothers from Mexico and of course, that reminded us to pray for the people of Mexico during this difficult time. One of the brothers from Mexico was also one of the brothers who was serving us. I invited Brother Eloin to sit near us and we chatted together the rest of the evening.

One moment that touched me was when Fr. Castro stood up to thank us. He briefly referred to the scandal involving the Legion's founder. He poignantly added that during difficult times, you know who your friends are. It was clear that this scandal deeply hurt these men and they have truly been suffering through this cross they have to bear.

I asked Brother Daniel why there were no Legionaries in Hawaii. He acknowledged their weren't but being a true missioner, he didn't hesitate at all to volunteer to be the first Legionnaire in Hawaii ;-) In fact, many of them jumped at that chance...wonder why. Ha ha.

We truly felt appreciated that evening. But in reality, we have a lot to be grateful to these young men of God. I hope you keep them in your prayers as they keep us in theirs.

If you are wondering why I am not posting photos, it is because although I took many photos last evening, this morning, I couldn't find my digital camera. I am asking St. Anthony and the Blessed Mother to help me find my camera.

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