Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pope Restores Sacred Music


This is great news!

ROMA, June 27, 2006 – Step by step, Benedict XVI is impressing a new form and a new style on the governance of the universal Church.

Recent days were marked by the announcement of a change in the secretary of state: from Angelo Sodano to Tarcisio Bertone.

But another event orchestrated by pope Joseph Ratzinger is of no less importance: the concert conducted in the Sistine Chapel, on Saturday, June 24, by maestro monsignor Domenico Bartolucci.

With this concert, Benedict XVI has symbolically restored the Sistine Chapel to its true maestro. Because the famous chapel is not only the sacred place decorated with the frescoes of Michelangelo, it also gives the name to the choir that for centuries has accompanied the pontifical liturgies.

Maestro Bartolucci was named the “perpetual” director, the director for life, of the Sistine Chapel by Pius XII in 1959. Under this and later popes, he was an outstanding interpreter of the liturgical music founded upon Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. But after a long period of opposition, in 1997 he was dismissed and replaced by a choirmaster thought to be more fitting for the “popular” music dear to John Paul II.

Read More.

Pope Bestows Pallium on Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

Pope Benedict XVI bestows the pallium, or a woollen shawl, on Archbiship George Niederauer, during a mass inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Thursday, June 29, 2006. The Pope bestowed the pallium on 27 metropolitan archbishops from around the world, to symbolize their bond with the Vatican. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

Veneration of the two great Apostles, Peter and Paul, has its roots in the very foundations of the Church. They are the solid rock on which the Church is built. They are at the origin of her faith and will forever remain her protectors and her guides. To them Rome owes her true greatness, for it was under God's providential guidance that they were led to make the capital of the Empire, sanctified by their martyrdom, the center of the Christian world whence should radiate the preaching of the Gospel.

St. Peter suffered martyrdom under Nero, in A.D. 66 or 67. He was buried on the hill of the Vatican where recent excavations have revealed his tomb on the very site of the basilica of St. Peter's. St. Paul was beheaded in the via Ostia on the spot where now stands the basilica bearing his name. Down the centuries Christian people in their thousands have gone on pilgrimage to the tombs of these Apostles. In the second and third centuries the Roman Church already stood pre-eminent by reason of her apostolicity, the infallible truth of her teaching and her two great figures, Sts. Peter and Paul.

A plenary indulgence may be gained today by anyone who makes devout use of a religious article blessed by a bishop and who also recites any approved profession of faith (e.g. the Apostles Creed), as long as the usual conditions are satisfied.

(Catholic Culture)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Pope Receives an Invitation to the Philippines

President invites Pope Benedict XVI to visit the Philippines

President Arroyo met His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican Monday, bringing news of the abolition of the death penalty in the Philippines.

It was the first time the President met the new Pope, who was installed after the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2005.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said Mrs. Arroyo’s meeting with the Pope reaffirms the special ties between the Philippines and the Vatican, which had strengthened over time during the papacy of John Paul II.

He said part of Mrs. Arroyo’s agenda during her audience with the Pope was to extend the country’s invitation for His Holiness to make a state visit to Manila.

The Philippines is the third-largest Catholic country in the world and the largest in Asia.
In her departure statement, Mrs. Arroyo said her decision to sign the bill abolishing the death penalty was “the best pasalubong [gift]” she could offer to the Pope.

“For the first time, I am going to have an audience with Pope Benedict XVI [at the] Vatican, and I will convey to him the support of the entire Filipino nation to his papacy. I also want to thank Congress for giving me the chance to bring to him the best gift our country can give: the abolition of the death penalty,” the President said.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sacred Heart Be My Love


Sacred Heart Act of Consecration Prayer by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

I, ( your name. . .), give myself and consecrate to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ my person and my life, my actions, pains, and sufferings, so that I may be unwilling to make use of any part of my being save to honor, love, and glorify the Sacred Heart.

This is my unchanging purpose, namely, to be all His, and to do all things for the love of Him, at the same time renouncing with all my heart whatever is displeasing to Him.

I therefore take Thee, O Sacred Heart, to be the only object of my love, the guardian of my life, my assurance of salvation, the remedy of my weakness and inconstancy, the atonement for all the faults of my life and my sure refuge at the hour of death.

Be then, O Heart of goodness, my justification before God Thy Father, and turn away from me the strokes of His righteous anger. O Heart of love, I put all my confidence in Thee, for I fear everything from my own wickedness and frailty; but I hope for all things from Thy goodness and bounty.

Do Thou consume in me all that can displease Thee or resist Thy holy will. Let Thy pure love imprint Thee so deeply upon my heart that I shall nevermore be able to forget Thee or to be separated from Thee. May I obtain from all Thy loving kindness the grace of having my name written in Thee, for in Thee I desire to place all my happiness and all my glory, living and dying in true bondage to Thee.

Read Pope Pius XI encyclical on Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Read Pope Pius XII encyclical "Haurietis Aquas" on Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Read Pope Benedict's XVI address on the 50th anniversary of papal letter "Haurietis Aquas"

Image from here.

Monday, June 19, 2006



Please pray for my brother and his family. Their family is experiencing a very difficult situation and prayers are very much appreciated. Thank you.

Lord God, from you every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.
Father, you are Love and Life. Through your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman, and through the Holy Spirit, fountain of divine charity, grant that every family on earth may become for each successive generation a true shrine of life and love. Grant that your grace may guide the thoughts and actions of husbands and wives for the good of their families and of all the families in the world. Grant that the young may find in the family solid support for their human dignity and for their growth in truth and love. Grant that love, strengthened by the grace of the sacrament of marriage, may prove mightier than all the weakness and trials through which our families sometimes pass. Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that the Church may fruitfully carry outher worldwide mission in the family and through the family. Through Christ our Lord, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life for ever and ever. Amen.

John Paul II

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Nine Day Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus


This Novena will stay on the top post for nine days.


How to Pray the Novena

This novena is to help you prepare for the Feast of the Sacred Heart on Friday, 23 June. You may pray the novena privately, or with others.

Remember that Jesus is there with you as you pray, and that real prayer is always from the heart. Read the scripture slowly. Try to imagine the gospel scene. Speak to Jesus about anything that strikes you. The meditat-ion is to help you find things to talk to Jesus about.

Jesus was 'like us in all things but sin. He experienced the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows that are the lot of every human being. In these days, you might try to spend 10-15 minutes meeting Jesus in the joys and sorrows of his life on earth. End with the Novena Prayer each day with.

Novena Prayer

Lord Jesus, your Sacred Heart is always open in love to each of us, and especially when we are suffering. To all who come to you seeking your help, you show your compassion and your healing power. You care for us when we are lost, sympathize with us in loneliness and comfort us in mourning. You are closest to us when we are weakest. You reach out your hand to us when we stumble and have most need of your help. I ask you to listen to my prayer during this novena, and grant what I ask (make your request silently). But if what I ask is not for my own good and that of
others, grant me always what is best, that I may build up your Kingdom of love in our world. Amen.

First Day (14 June): Jesus is found in the Temple
'Three days later they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers And he said to them, "Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"'

Meditation: Jesus loved to pray to his beloved Father. It was natural for him to be in this place of worship and to forget time, as he engaged with the teachers in their discussions. To worship and love God is natural to our human souls, for it is our destiny and our only way to reach total joy and happiness.

Prayer: God our Father, if we really knew your love, beauty and goodness we would never stop wanting to adore and praise you. Help us to come closer to you in this novena through Jesus your Son. Sacred Heart of Jesus, help us to experience your love.

Second Day (15 June): Jesus in the happy home in Nazareth
: 'He went down with them and came to Nazareth... And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature and in favour with God and with people' (Lk.2:51-52).

Meditation: The hidden years, as they are called, pass swiftly in that holiest of hoines. Mary watches her Son at play and as he masters new skills in Joseph's workshop. In that home of love and prayer there is great peace and joy.

Prayer: Jesus, help us to realise that our homes, too, can be havens of peace and prayer, and that our human lives are given to us so that we may grow in love and holiness.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, teach us to welcome you into our homes.

Third Day (16 June): Jesus is rejected by his own townspeople
Scripture: 'He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up... They sprang to their feet and hussled him out of the town' (Lk.4:l6,29).

Meditation: How he must have looked forward to sharing his Good News with those he had grown up with, and to curing their sick! Their hardness of heart must have been a bitter disappointment to him. They even tried to 'throw him off the cliff' (v.29).

Prayer: Lord, how often do we too have our hopes dashed, and we feel rejected. Help us to accept these hurts and to pray for those who, in their blindness, wound us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, help us to forgive others.

Fourth Day (17 June): Jesus goes to a wedding feast in Cana
' And they ran out of wine... The mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine"' (In.2:3).

Meditation: The wedding of family friends is always an occasion of joy. Jesus , closeness to his mother is clearly shown by the way she simply makes known to him the situation. It was a joy for him to answer his mother's request and to help the young couple.

Prayer: Lord, we know that you always hear every prayer and petition, and that in your wisdom and love for us you know what is best for us. Let your will, not ours, be done. Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place all our trust in you.

Fifth Day (18 June): Jesus wept over Jerusalem
' As he drew near and came i sight of the city, he shed tears over it an said, "If you too had only recognised o this day the way to peace"' (Lk.19:4l).

Meditation: Jesus foresees the siege an destruction of Jerusalem and the sufferin that will come upon its people. The con passionate heart of Jesus is deeply move by human suffering. Through our war and hatreds we cause so much unnecessary suffering. Only by accepting Jesus and his message can we change our world

Prayer: Lord, our sins are always self inflicted wounds. In your love for us, it is this that causes you most sorrow. Lord open the eyes of our minds and hearts to accept your love. Sacred fleart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Day Six (19 June): Jesus rejoices with his disciples
Scripture: 'Jesus said, 'I bless you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children"' (Lk.10.2l).

Meditation: We need the trusting attitude of little children to know God. Only by accepting the truth of own frailty and dependence on God can we be open to the God of truth as he reveals himself to us.

Prayer: Lord, you found joy in whatever pleased your Father. Help us to recognise our true littleness and frailty, which lead to real humility, so that we can receive th gift of faith. Sacred Heart of Jesus, strengthen our weak faith

Seventh Day (20 June): Jesus is betrayed
Scripture: 'Jesus said, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of man with a kiss?"' (Lk.22:48).

Meditation: Judas had been specially chosen by Jesus, and had been his constant companion for the past three years. Because of this, his treachery was a cause of even deeper sorrow for Jesus. When someone close to us rejects our love, it is felt all the more keenly.

Prayer: Lord, you experienced all of our human pain except the wounds of sin. Give us the courage to forgive anyone who injures us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Eighth Day (21 June): Jesus visits his friends in Bethany
' A woman named Martha wel- comed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord's feet and listened to him speaking' (Lk.10:38-39).

Meditation: Bethany was just two miles from Jerusalem, and it is clear from the gospels that Jesus loved to go there. He was received in this home with great love and faith, and they became very close friends.

Prayer: Jesus, you call each of us to grow in intimate friendship with you during our life on earth. May we come to know you better and find joy in the time that we set aside for you in prayer each day. Sacred Heart of Jesus, teach us to meet you in prayet:

Ninth Day (22 June): Jesus enters his passion
Scripture: 'He said to them, "my soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here and stay awake with me"' (Mt.26:37-38).

Meditation: Human suffering can be very lonely, for no one but God and ourselves really knows what our pain is like. Jesus asked for the company of his closest friends, but they fell asleep. In his passion, Jesus entered into our human suffering and changed it through his resurrection. Now, by accepting our sufferings and uniting them with Christ's, we can be brought closer to God.

Prayer: Lord, your suffering was real human suffering, and you freely accepted it out of love for us. Ease our sufferings. Give us the courage to accept what we cannot change and to unite it to your sufferings, so that we can be caught up in the glory of your resurrection. Sacred Heart of Jesus, strengthen us by your dying and rising.

Circle of Prayer

Feast of Corpus Christi


Catechism of the Catholic Church - The Eucharist §§ 1322 - 1419

1324 The Eucharist is "source and summit of the Christian life." "The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."

1325 "The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God's action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit."

1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic Celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.

1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: "Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking."

Corpus Christi

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist, paralleling Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) commemorating Our Lord's institution of the Eucharist. Corpus Christ was introduced in the late 13th century to encourage the faithful give special honor to the institution of the Holy Eucharist to the Blessed Sacrament. The official title of this Solemnity was changed in 1970 to The Body and Blood of Christ (Latin: Sollemnitas Sanctissimi Corporis et Sanguinis Christi); and it is still on the Roman Missal’s official Calendar for the universal Church on Thursday after Trinity Sunday; however, where it is not a day of obligation (as in the United States) it is usually celebrated on the Sunday following Trinity Sunday.

Corpus Christi became a mandatory feast in the Roman Church in 1312. But nearly a century earlier, Saint Juliana of Mont Cornillon, promoted a feast to honor the Blessed Sacrament. From early age Juliana, who became an Augustinian nun in Liége, France, in 1206, had a great veneration for the Blessed Sacrament, and longed for a special feast in its honor. She had a vision of the Church under the appearance of the full moon having one dark spot, which signified the absence of such a solemnity. She made known her ideas to the Bishop of Liége, Robert de Thorete, to the Dominican Hugh who later became cardinal legate in the Netherlands, and to Jacques Panaléon, at the time Archdeacon of Liége and who later became Pope Urban IV. Bishop Robert de Thorete ordered that the feast be celebrated in his diocese.

Pope Urban IV later published the Bull Transiturus (September 8, 1264), in which, after having extolled the love of Our Savior as expressed in the Holy Eucharist, ordered the annual celebration of Corpus Christi on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. More than four decades later, Pope Clement V published a new decree which embodied Urban IV's decree and ordered the adoption of the feast at the General Council of Vienna (1311). Pope John XXII, successor of Clement V, urged this observance.
The processions on Corpus Christi to honor

the Holy Eucharist were not mentioned in the decrees, but had become a principal feature of the feast's celebration by the faithfl, and became a tradition throughout Europe. These processions were endowed with indulgences by Popes Martin V and Eugene IV.

(Principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition, )

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thank you St. Anthony!


St. Anthony has done it again! He has never failed me. I say this not to tempt him but to acknowledge his goodness to me and to testify to you that he is a powerful saint of God who helps those who go to him in faith and trust.

Okay, here's my testimony.

Last night, I lost my Dominican Cross! I was so sad because this was so much a part of me and it had hung around my neck since I made my first profession as a Third Order Dominican. My brother said, "Don't worry, St. Anthony's feast day is tomorrow". This consoled me very much because now I could run to my dear saint for help. I stopped worrying and started to ask him to help me find my cross. I told him I trusted his help whether or not I would ever find it again. I traced back my steps to recall where I may have lost it and remembered that I was at a department store fitting room. I suspected the chord that hung around my neck broke off and the cross fell on the floor.

Today, after saying the prayer to St. Anthony (the one I posted earlier), I called the department store's lost and found office and they said that they had not seen a cross. I was connected to the department where I was fitting on clothes and described to the lady on the phone a description of the cross. She said, "I'm holding the cross in my hand right now but the chord is gone." I said, "I care only about the cross, I can replace the chord". I was so happy and thanked St. Anthony by saying three Hail Mary's in honor of his glorious name.

Later this afternoon, a man came into the office and was turning in a bunch of keys which were left in the restroom and someone turned them in. I realized that the keys were mine! I didn't even realize they were missing. Again, I thanked my dear heavenly friend St. Anthony and offered another three Hail Mary's in his honor.

As a tribute to my heavenly friend, dearest saint and Doctor of the Church, here is a brief history of one of the greatest preachers of all time!

Brief history of St. Anthony

Saint Anthony was canonized less than one year after his death.

There is perhaps no more loved and admired saint in the Catholic Church than Saint Anthony of Padua, a Doctor of the Church. Though his work was in Italy, he was born in Portugal. He first joined the Augustinian Order and then left it and joined the Franciscan Order in 1221, when he was 26 years old. The reason he became a Franciscan was because of the death of the five Franciscan protomartyrs -- St. Bernard, St. Peter, St. Otho, St. Accursius, and St. Adjutus -- who shed their blood for the Catholic Faith in the year 1220, in Morocco, in North Africa, and whose headless and mutilated bodies had been brought to St. Anthony’s monastery on their way back for burial. St. Anthony became a Franciscan in the hope of shedding his own blood and becoming a martyr. He lived only ten years after joining the Franciscan Order.

So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, so that the most unlettered and innocent might understand it, that he was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946. Saint Anthony was only 36 years old when he died. He is called the “hammer of the Heretics” His great protection against their lies and deceits in the matter of Christian doctrine was to utter, simply and innocently, the Holy Name of Mary. When St. Anthony of Padua found he was preaching the true Gospel of the Catholic Church to heretics who would not listen to him, he then went out and preached it to the fishes. This was not, as liberals and naturalists are trying to say, for the instruction of the fishes, but rather for the glory of God, the delight of the angels, and the easing of his own heart. St. Anthony wanted to profess the Catholic Faith with his mind and his heart, at every moment.

He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus, to whom He miraculously appeared, and is commonly referred to today as the "finder of lost articles." Upon exhumation, some 336 years after his death, his body was found to be corrupted, yet his tongue was totally incorrupt, so perfect were the teachings that had been formed upon it.

Catholic Online

St. Anthony of Padua


One of my favorite saints is St. Anthony of Padua. He has helped me countless of times when I have lost personal items. I trust his help and no matter what the outcome of my request has been, I always thank him for his intercession by saying three Hail Mary's for his glorious name.

Prayer to Saint Anthony the Wonder-Worker

Saint Anthony, perfect imitator of Jesus, who received from God the special power of restoring lost things, grant that I may find {mention your petition} which has been lost. As least restore to me peace and tranquility of mind, the loss of which has afflicted me even more than my material loss. To this favor I ask another of you: that I may always remain in possession of the true good that is God. Let me rather lose all things than lose God, my supreme good. Let me never suffer the loss of my greatest treasure, eternal life with God. Amen.

Prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua

Glorious Saint Anthony, my friend and special protector, I come to you with full confidence in my present necessity. In your overflowing generosity you hear all those who turn to you. Your influence before the throne of God is so effective that the Lord readily grants great favors at your request. Please listen to my humble petition in spite of my unworthiness and sinfulness. Consider only your great and constant love for Jesus and Mary, and my desire for their glory and mercy. I beg you to obtain for me the grace I so greatly need, if it be God's will and for the good of my soul. I place this earnest petition in the care of the little mission children so that they may present it to you along their innocent prayers. Bless me, powerful Saint Anthony, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Read more about St. Anthony here.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Litany to the Blessed Trinity


Antiphon: Blessed be the holy Trinity and undivided Unity: we will give glory to Him, because He hath shown His mercy to us.

V. O Lord our Lord, how wonderful is Thy Name in all the earth!

R. O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God!

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Blessed Trinity, hear us.
Adorable Unity, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Father, from Whom are all things, Have mercy on us.
Son, through Whom are all things, Have mercy on us.
Holy Ghost, in Whom are all things, Have mercy on us.
Holy and undivided Trinity, Have mercy on us.
Father everlasting, Have mercy on us.
Only-begotten Son of the Father, Have mercy on us.
Spirit Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, Have mercy on us.
Co-eternal Majesty of Three Divine Persons, Have mercy on us.
Father, the Creator, Have mercy on us.
Son, the Redeemer, Have mercy on us.
Holy Ghost, the Comforter, Have mercy on us.
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts, Have mercy on us.
Who art, Who wast, and Who art to come, Have mercy on us.
God, Most High, Who inhabitest eternity, Have mercy on us.
To Whom alone are due all honor and glory, Have mercy on us.
Who alone doest great wonders, Have mercy on us.
Power infinite, Have mercy on us.
Wisdom incomprehensible, Have mercy on us.
Love unspeakable, Have mercy on us.

Be merciful.Spare us, O Holy Trinity.
Be merciful.Graciously hear us, O Holy Trinity.

From all evil, Deliver us, O Holy Trinity.
From all sin, O Holy Trinity.
From all pride, O Holy Trinity.
From all love of riches, O Holy Trinity.
From all uncleanness, O Holy Trinity.
From all sloth, O Holy Trinity.
From all inordinate affection, O Holy Trinity.
From all envy and malice, O Holy Trinity.
From all anger and impatience, O Holy Trinity.
From every thought, word, and deed, contrary to Thy holy law, O Holy Trinity.
From Thy everlasting malediction, O Holy Trinity.

Through Thy almighty power, O Holy Trinity.
Through Thy plenteous loving kindness, O Holy Trinity.
Through the exceeding treasure of Thy goodness and love, O Holy Trinity.
Through the depths of Thy wisdom and knowledge, O Holy Trinity.
Through all Thy unspeakable perfections, O Holy Trinity.

We sinners, Beseech Thee, hear us.
That we may ever serve Thee alone, We beseech Thee, hear us.

That we may worship Thee in spirit and in truth, We beseech Thee, hear us.
That we may love Thee with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength, We beseech Thee, hear us.
That, for Thy sake, we may love our neighbor as ourselves, We beseech Thee, hear us.
That we may faithfully keep Thy holy commandments, We beseech Thee, hear us.
That we may never defile our bodies and souls with sin, We beseech Thee, hear us.
That we may go from grace to grace, and from virtue to virtue, We beseech Thee, hear us.
That we may finally enjoy the sight of Thee in glory, We beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to hear us, We beseech Thee, hear us.

O blessed Trinity,We beseech Thee, deliver us.
O blessed Trinity,We beseech Thee, save us.
O blessed Trinity,Have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.Lord, have mercy.

Our Father (silently). Hail, Mary (silently).

V. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
R. And worthy to be praised, and glorious, and highly exalted forever.

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, Who hast granted Thy servants in the confession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of an Eternal Trinity, and in the power of Thy majesty to adore a Unity: we beseech Thee that by the strength of this faith we may be defended from all adversity. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Catholic Culture

World Cup


The World Cup began June 9th in Germany. My family has been watching football (or what we call soccer here) since my childhood so there's a lot of interest in the household. Here's the complete schedule.

In the meantime, Church officials have something to say. A Vatican official denounces prostitution at the World Cup. Meantime, a Cardinal who is an avid soccer fan says that the World Cup should promote reconciliation among nations and respect for common moral principles.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006



Please pray for my friend Christie who passed away suddenly last week. She was only in her late twenties. It was ten years ago in August that at seventeen years of age, she represented our parish's youth for the World Youth Day in 1997 in France. I was serving as youth minister at the time and it was a great blessing to have accompanied her to that trip. We had a great time and I feel that part of the memory of that special event died as well. I also ask for your prayers for her family.

The theme for WYD 1997 was "Master, Where are you staying? Come and you will see" (John 1 38-39)", which seems now so appropriate --- Christie has now gone to see where the Master is staying.

As a tribute to Christie, I present to you the Pope's message for WYD 1997.

Short clip of Pope John Paul's arrival in Paris for WYD '97

Dear Young People!

I come to you with joy to continue the dialogue, already long, whose fabric we are weaving together on the occasion of the World Youth Day. In communion with the whole people of God on the journey towards the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, I want to invite you this year to fix your eyes on Jesus, Teacher and Lord of life, with the help of the words recalled in John'sGospel: "Teacher, where are you staying? Come and see" (cf. 1:38-39).

In all the local Churches, during the coming months, you will be meeting together to reflect, with your Pastors, on these words of the Gospel. Then, in August 1997, together with many of you, we will have the experience of the XII World Youth Day, celebrated at international level in Paris, at the heart of the continent of Europe.

In that metropolis, for centuries a crossroads for peoples, for art and culture, the young people of France are already preparing, enthusiastically, to welcome their young contemporaries from every corner of the planet.

Following the Holy Year Cross, the people of the younger generations who believe in Christ will, once again, become aliving icon of the Church in her pilgrimage along the roads of the world. Meeting in prayer and reflection, in the dialogue that unites beyond all difference of language and race, in the sharing of ideals, problems and hopes, these young people will experience living the reality promised by Jesus: "Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Mt 18:20).2.

Youth of the whole world, it is along the paths of daily life that you can meet the Lord! Do you remember how the disciples, hurrying to the banks of the Jordan to listen to the last of the great prophets, John the Baptist, saw Jesus of Nazareth pointed out to them as the Messiah, the Lamb of God? Out of curiosity they decided to follow Him at a distance. They were shy almost and embarrassed, until, turning round, He asked them: "What do you seek? So began the dialogue that would give rise to the adventure of John, Andrew, Simon Peter" and the other apostles (cf.Jn 1:29-51).In this concrete and surprising encounter, described in a few, essential words, we find the origin of every journey in faith.

It is Jesus who takes the initiative. When we have to do with Him, the question is always turned upside down: from questioners, we become questioned; searchers, we discover that we are sought; He, indeed, has always loved us first (cf. 1Jn 4:10). This is the fundamental dimension of the encounter: we are not dealing with something, but with Someone, with the Living One. Christians are not the disciples of a system of philosophy: they are men and women who, in faith, have experienced the encounter with Christ (cf. 1Jn 1:1-4).

We are living in an era of great changes: the rapid decline of ideologies that seemed to promise along resistance to the wear and tear of time; the tracing out on the planet of new confines and frontiers. Humanity often finds itself uncertain, bewildered and anxious (cf. Mt 9:36). But the word of God knows no decline; throughout history and among changing events, it remains firm and gives light (cf. Mt 24:35).

The faith of the Church is founded on Jesus Christ, the one Saviour of the world, yesterday and today and for ever (cf. Heb 13:8). It gives Christ as reference for an answer to the questions rising up from the human heart in face of the mysteryof life and death. Only from Christ, indeed, can there be answers that do not deceive nor disappoint.When my thoughts go back to your words, spoken during the unforgettable encounters I have had the joy of experiencing with you on my apostolic journeys to every part of the world, I seem to read in them, with vital urgency, the very question of the disciples: "Teacher, where are you staying?" See that you are able to listen again, in the silence of prayer, to Jesus' answer: "Come and see".

Dear young people, like the first disciples, follow Jesus! Do not be afraid to draw near to Him, to cross the threshold of his dwelling, to speak with Him, face to face, as you talk with a friend (cf. Ex 33:11). Do not be afraid of the new life He is offering. He Himself makes it possible for you to receive that life and practise it, with the help of his grace and the gift of his Spirit. It is true: Jesus is a demanding friend. He points to lofty goals; he asks us to go out of ourselves in order to meet Him, entrusting to Him our whole life : "Whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it" (Mk 8:35).

The proposal may seem difficult, and, insome cases, frightening. But – I ask you – is it better to be resigned to a life without ideals, to a world made in our image and likeness, or rather, generously to seek truth, goodness, justice, working for a world that reflects the beauty of God, even at the cost of facing the trials it may involve?Break down the barriers of superficiality and fear! Recognizing that you are new men and women, regenerated by the grace of Baptism, talk with Jesus in prayer and while listening to the Word; experience the joy of reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance; receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist; welcome and serve Him in your brothers and sisters.

You will discover the truth about yourselves and your inner unity, and you will find a Thou who gives the cure for anxieties, for nightmares and for the unbridled subjectivism that leaves you no peace. Come and see. You will meet Jesus where men and women are suffering and hoping: in the little villages, scattered across the continents and seemingly on the fringe of history, as Nazareth was when God sent his Angel to Mary; in the huge metropolises, where millions of human beings live often as strangers. In reality, every human being is a fellow citizen of Christ.Jesus is living next to you, in the brothers and sisters with whom you share your daily existence.

His visage is that of the poorest, of the marginalized who, not infrequently, are victims of an unjust model of development, in which profit is given first place and the human being is made a means rather than an end. Jesus' dwelling is wherever a human person is suffering because rights are denied, hopes betrayed, anxieties ignored. There, in the midst of humankind, is the dwelling of Christ, who asks you to dry every tear in his name, and to remind whoever feels lonely that no one whose hope is placed in Him is ever alone (cf. Mt 25:31-46).5. Jesus dwells among those who call on Him without having known Him; among those who, after beginning to know Him, have lost Him through no fault of their own; among those who seek Him in sincerity of heart, while coming from different cultural and religious contexts (cf. Lumen Gentium, 16).

As disciples and friends of Jesus, become agents of dialogue and collaboration with those who believe in a God who rules the universe with infinite love; be ambassadors of the Messiah you have found and known in his dwelling, the Church, so that many more young people of your age may be able to follow in his footsteps; their way lighted by your fraternal charity and by the joy in your eyes that have contemplated Christ.Jesus dwells among the men and women «honoured with the name of Christian» (cf. Lumen Gentium, 15 ).

All are able to meet Him in the Scriptures, in prayer and in service of their neighbours. On the eve of the third millennium, it is becoming every day a more urgent duty to repair the scandal of the division among Christians, strengthening unity through dialogue, prayer in common and witness. It is not a matter of ignoring differences and problems in the detachment of a lukewarm relativism; that would be like covering the wound without healing it, with the risk of interrupting the journey before reaching the goal of full communion. On the contrary, it is a matter of working – under the guidance of the Holy Spirit – with a view to effective reconciliation, trusting in the efficacy of Jesus' prayer on the eve of his passion : Father, that they may be one even as we are one (cf. Jn 17:22).

The more you cling to Jesus the more capable you will become of being close to one another; and insofar as you make concrete gestures of reconciliation you will enter into the intimacy of his love. Jesus dwells especially in your parishes, in the communities in which you live, in the associations and ecclesial movements to which you belong, as well as in many contemporary forms of grouping and apostolate at the service of the new evangelization. This rich variety of charisms is a benefit for the whole Church, and an encouragement for every believer to place his or her capacities at the service of the one Lord, fount of salvation for all humankind.6. Jesus is the Word of the Father (cf. Jn 1:1), gift to humankind, to reveal the face of God, and to give a meaning and goal to their uncertain steps. God who «spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets in many and various ways, has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world» (Heb 1:1-2).

His word is not an imposition, unhinging the doors of conscience; it is a persuasive voice, a free gift that, if it is to have a saving effect in each one's concrete existence, calls for an attitude of readiness and responsibility, a pure heart and a free mind.In your groups, dear young people, multiply the occasions for hearing and studying the word of the Lord, especially through the lectio divina. You will discover the secrets of the Heart of God and will derive profit for discerning situations and transforming reality.

Guided by Holy Scripture, you will be able to recognize the Lord's presence in your daily life; and even the desert» can then become a garden, where it is possible for the creature to talk familiarly with the Creator: When I am reading divine Scripture, God walks again in the earthly Paradise (St. Ambrose, Epistle 49,3).7. Jesus lives among us in the Eucharist, the supreme fulfilment of his real presence, a presence that is contemporary with the history of humankind. Amidst the uncertainties and distractions of daily life, imitate the disciples on their way to Emmaus; like them, say to the Risen One, revealed in the act of breaking the bread: Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent (Lk 24:29). Call out to Jesus to remain with you always along the many roads to Emmaus of our time. May He be your strength, your point of reference, your enduring hope.

May the Eucharistic Bread, dear young people, never be lacking on the tables of your existence. And may you draw from this Bread the strength to bear witness to the faith!Around the Eucharistic table the harmonious unity of the Church is realized and made manifest; the mystery of missionary communion, in which all feel that they are children, sisters and brothers, without any exclusion or difference from race, language, age, social situation or culture. Dear young people, make your generous and responsible contribution to the constant building up of the Church as a family, a place of dialogue and mutual acceptance, a space of peace, mercy and pardon.8. Enlightened by the Word and strengthened by the Bread of the Eucharist, dear young people, you are called to be credible witnesses to the Gospel of Christ, who makes all things new.But how are you to be recognized as true disciples of Christ? By the fact that you have love for one another (Jn 13:35) after the example of his love: a love that is freely given, infinitely patient and denied to no one (cf. 1Cor 13:4-7).

Fidelity to the new commandment will be the guarantee that you are consistent with respect to what you are proclaiming. This is the great «novelty» which can amaze a world that, unfortunately, is still torn and divided by violent conflicts that at times are clearly evident, at times subtle and hidden. In this world you are called to live fraternally, not as a utopia but as a real possibility; in this society you are called, as true missionaries of Christ, to build the civilization of love.9. On 30 September 1997 will occur the centenary of the death of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Hers is a figure that, in her own country, cannot fail to draw the attention of a great many young pilgrims; Thérèse, precisely, is a young Saint, and her message today is simple and suggestive, brimming over with amazement and gratitude: God is Love; every person is loved by God, who expects to be welcomed and loved by each one.

This is a message, young people of today, that you are called to receive and to shout aloud to those of your own age : Man is loved by God! This very simple yet profound proclamation is owed to humanity by the Church (cf. Christifideles Laici, 34 ). From the youth of Theresa of the Child Jesus spring forth her enthusiasm for the Lord, the intensity of her love, the realistic daring of her great projects. The charm of her holiness is confirmation that God grants in abundance, even to the young, the treasures of his wisdom. Walk with her the humble and simple way of Christian maturity, at the school of the Gospel. Stay with her in the «heart» of the Church, living radically the option for Christ.

Dear young people, in the house where Jesus dwells meet the most sweet presence of the Mother. It is in Mary's womb that the Word was made flesh. Accepting the role assigned to her in the plan of salvation, the Virgin became a model for every disciple of Christ.I entrust to Her the preparation and the celebration of the XII World Youth Day, together with the hopes and expectations of the young people who, with Her, are repeating in every corner of the planet: Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word (cf. Lk 1:38); and who are going to meet Jesus, to stay with Him, ready then to proclaim to theircontemporaries, as did the Apostles: «We have found the Messiah!» (Jn 1:41).

With this message I cordially greet each one of you and, accompanying you with my prayer, I bless you.From Castel Gandolfo, 15 August 1996, Solemnity of the Assumption into Heaven of theBlessed Virgin Mary.

WYD Catholic Net

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Pentecost Sunday


The Difference the Holy Spirit Makes

Fifty-three days ago, the apostles were all gathered together in the Upper Room. Jesus washed their feet and instructed them about true service. He gave them his body and blood for the first time. He ordained them priests so that through them, He could give us that same body and blood. He prayed for them to His Father, prayed that they might be one, that the Father would protect them from the Evil one, that they might be consecrated in the truth, and that all those who would hear the Gospel through their lips might be one, too. But what happened when they left the room? They all went out and abandoned the Lord — right after Mass, right after receiving the Lord Jesus within, right after their priestly ordination! Judas sold Jesus, valuing him less than thirty pieces of silver. All eleven apostles ran away from the garden terrified. Peter, for whom the Lord had prayed personally, denied even knowing Jesus. All but St. John were still hiding the next day as Love personified was being tortured and killed upon a Cross. Jesus had prepared them for three years about what would happen to Him and what they were called to do, but none of that preparation, none of Jesus' prayers, not even the sacrament of the Eucharist, sufficed to keep them faithful. Something was missing.

Today we see the Apostles return to the same Upper Room. Jesus has ascended to heaven, and so the apostles huddle around his mother for nine days to learn from her about Jesus, to learn from her how to pray, to learn from her how to say yes to God. This time they leave the Upper Room and begin to preach the Gospel fearlessly. Three thousand people were converted that first day. The same apostles who had scattered like frightened children in the Garden were now gathering God's children together for Christ. The same Peter who denied even knowing Jesus in order to keep himself warm by the courtyard fire, was now on fire confessing that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of the Living God. The disciples who were too ashamed to appear at the foot of the Cross now boldly and proudly proclaimed God's love seen by Christ's death on that Cross. What was different? Surely Mary's example had helped them. Doubtless the resurrection of Jesus from the dead had filled them with joy and given them a certain confidence. But what could have made these people turn from chickens to shepherds, from cowards to willing martyrs, so soon? The answer is what and whom we celebrate today: the Holy Spirit.

On Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit worked a miracle in each of the apostles, and through them, in the whole Church. As the apostles were huddled together around Mary in the Upper Room fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead, suddenly from heaven there was the sound like the rush of a driving wind that filled the entire upper room. Tongues of fire came down and rested upon each of them and all were filled with the Holy Spirit. THIS was the difference. They received the Holy Spirit's help boldly to proclaim Jesus. The Holy Spirit came down upon them as tongues of fire — tongues because they were to speak, fire because they were to speak with the passion of burning love. And they responded. Jesus had promised that the Holy Spirit he would send would teach them all things, lead them to all truth, remind them of everything he had taught them, and prove the world wrong about sin, holiness and judgment. Then, moved by the Holy Spirit, they began to fulfill this mission. The Acts of the Apostles had begun.

Read more here of Fr. Landry's homily.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Pope Meets With Ecclesial Movements

A joyous crowd of 400,000 people attended a meeting with Benedict XVI. The Pope called all to mission and recommended defence of life and of creation.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – True life, freedom and unity, which bring mission, defence of the weak, of justice and of nature: these are gifts of the Spirit and what springs from them: Benedict XVI evoked them and recommended them to movements and new ecclesial communities. The vespers of the vigil of Pentecost saw around 400,000 members of ecclesial movements from around the world in St. Peter’s Square: there were psalms, hymns and meditations, but also joy, shouting and arms raised to heaven, scarves, hats and flags waving. Benedict XVI, who desired to have this second global meeting after the “foundation” one on 30 May 1998 with John Paul II, passed not only through St Peter’s Square, but also through Via Conciliazione in an open vehicle; everywhere was packed with youth, families and children. Few people probably noticed, but for the first time, the pope was not flanked by Camillo Cibin, the mythical head of Vatican Security, the commendatore, the white-haired man whose image besides four popes had become a common sight. He retired today, aged 80.

On the vigil of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit and his actions were at the heart of reflections of representatives of the movements of the Focolare, of St Egidio, of Neocatechumens, of Communion and Liberation. Their reflections before the pope’s speech were interspersed with psalms. All recalled John Paul II, as Benedict XVI also did; he repeated the invitation to “open the doors to Christ”, with which the former pope launched his long pontificate.

But “who or what is the Holy Spirit? How can we recognize him? In what way do we approach Him and how does He approach us? What are his works?” asked Benedict XVI, who developed his meditation along these themes.

Read more.

Charity: Soul of The Mission


The Holy Father's theme for World Mission Sunday to be celebrated in October 2006 is "Charity Soul of The Mission.

The Holy Father emphasizes the fact that "to be missionaries means to love God with all one's being, to the point of giving, if necessary, one's life for Him. How many priests, religious and lay people, even in our own time, have rendered the supreme witness of love through martyrdom!"

He adds: "To be missionaries is to attend, like the Good Samaritan, to everyone's needs, especially those of the poorest and most needy, because those who love with Christ's heart do not seek their own interest, but only the glory of the Father and the good of others. This is the secret of the apostolic fruitfulness of missionary work, which cuts across frontiers and cultures, reaches people and spreads even to the confines of the world."

The Pope concludes his Message by asking that World Mission Day "be an occasion to better understand that the witness of love, the soul of the mission, concerns everyone. ... Alongside those who are on the front line ... of evangelization - and here my thoughts go out to missionaries - there are many others, children, young people and adults, who with prayer and cooperation contribute in various ways to spreading the Kingdom of God on earth. The hope is that, with everyone's contribution, this shared participation may grow ever more."

Holy Spirit Novena: Ninth Day


NINTH DAY (Saturday, Vigil of Pentecost)

Thou, on those who evermore Thee confess and Thee Adore, in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend; Give Them Comfort when they die; Give them Life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.


Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.
Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Image from

Friday, June 02, 2006

Holy Spirit Novena: Eighth Day

EIGHTH DAY (Friday, 7th Week of Easter)

Bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray!

The Gift of Wisdom

Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written "all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: "Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.


Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.
Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.
Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Image from here.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Pope's Gratitude To The Virgin Mary


Here's and excerpt:

At the Shrine of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, he said, "I understood how much our celestial Protectress accompanies her children's journey, and does not disregard supplications addressed to her with humility and faith. Once again, together with you, I wish to thank her for having accompanied me during my visit to the dear land of Poland. I also wish to express my gratitude to Mary for her support in my daily service to the Church. I know I can rely on her help in all situations, indeed I know that she, with maternal intuition, meets all her children's needs and intervenes effectively in their support."

More here

Pope's Intentions For June 2006


General: That Christian families may lovingly welcome every child who comes into existence and surround the sick and the aged, who need care and assistance, with affection.

Missionary: That Pastors and the Christian faithful may consider inter-religious dialogue and the work of acculturation of the Gospel as a daily service to promote the cause of the evangelization of Peoples.

Holy Spirit Novena: Seventh Day


SEVENTH DAY (Thursday, 7th Week of Easter)

Heal our wounds--our strength renews; On our dryness pour Thy dew, Wash the stains of guilt away.

The Gift of Counsel

The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth."


Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.
Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.
Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Image from here
+ Consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary + Click to play "REGINA CAELI"

Apostolic Blessing by Pope Benedict XVI

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