Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Benedict XVI on Gabriele case: "increasing conjecture, amplified by the communications media, which is entirely gratuitous, goes beyond the facts"

THE POPE: DESPITE THE WEAKNESS OF MAN, THE LORD WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT HIS CHURCH

Vatican City, 30 May 2012 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, the Holy Father made some remarks concerning recent developments in the Vatican.

"The events of recent days involving the Curia and my collaborators have brought sadness to my heart. However, I have never lost my firm certainty that, despite the weakness of man, despite difficulties and trials, the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit and the Lord will ensure she never lacks the help she needs to support her on her journey.

"Nonetheless there has been increasing conjecture, amplified by the communications media, which is entirely gratuitous, goes beyond the facts and presents a completely unrealistic image of the Holy See. Thus, I wish to reiterate my trust and encouragement to my closest collaborators and to all those people who every day, in silent faithfulness and with a spirit of sacrifice, help me carry out my ministry".

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Don Ivan Martini, 65, dies in second Modena earthquake, crushed salvaging statue in earthquake-damaged parish church

A country priest's only possession is his church. It does not matter if it is not a part of the history of architecture, if it does not include major masterpieces. Every statue, every piece, is, as it were, a part of town. Father Ivan Martini, 65, for nine years parish priest in Rovereto, one of the towns of the lowlands of Modena most affected by [today's] earthquake, died this morning in his collapsed church. ...
Don Ivan loved his church, and all that was inside it. The parish church of Santa Caterina had been damaged and had been condemned following the previous earthquake, but a search was needed in order to remove some objects that had been left inside. Therefore, this morning, joined by two firemen, he entered the church to try to salvage some statues, in particular one of the Virgin of which many of his parishioners were especially fond. This is where the strong quake found him. Don Ivan was hit by the fall of a stone or of a beam, and he could not escape. The two firemen who were with him were unharmed and were able to return to safety. Rovereto, then, in the midst of so many structural damages, cries for its only victim, its parish priest, loved by the town.

Source: ANSA.

Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church in Waldorf unveils new statue of patroness


Staff photo by ANGELA BRECK The Rev. Alain Colliou, left, the pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Waldorf, offers a prayer Sunday at the unveiling of a statue of Mary.



Wednesday, May. 23, 2012
Church unveils statue of Mary

Staff photo by ANGELA BRECK Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Waldorf unveils Sunday a statue of Mary. Bishop Barry Knestout, auxiliary bishop of Archdicese of Washington, attended the ceremony and led the procession outside for the dedication of the statue.

Staff photo by ANGELA BRECK Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Waldorf unveils a statue of Mary on Sunday.
Staff photo by ANGELA BRECK The Rev. Alain Colliou, left, the pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Waldorf, offers a prayer Sunday at the unveiling of a statue of Mary.

After a nine-month wait, Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Waldorf unveiled its new statue of Mary in time for the observance of the feast day of the church’s patron saint.

Usually observed on May 24, the feast day for Our Lady Help of Christians was May 20.

“It was a very long project,” said the Rev. Alain Colliou, the church’s pastor. “I think it was very moving because it had been so long. When the statue was unveiled, she was so beautiful. ... People were in awe.”

The unveiling ceremony began with a celebratory mass at 11:30 a.m. Bishop Barry Knestout, auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C., attended the ceremony and led the procession outside for the dedication of the statue. The ceremony concluded with a luncheon.

“There was a sense of joy and unity in the parish,” Colliou said. “It was an effort by the whole parish. We’re honored to have had the bishop here, and the most important thing to me was seeing the community together.”

LINDSAY RENNER
Southern Maryland News

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Communion In The Hand Is A Failure



By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

At our recent celebration of the occasion of First Holy Communion for our young people, I spoke to them about the love of their parents. When they were born, I told them, it wasn’t enough for their parents to simply look at them, or to be with them. A parent’s love for a child is so overwhelming and so powerful that he or she immediately reaches for the most passionate expression of love they can muster which is a kiss.

We tell our children quite rightly and often that God loves them more than anyone else possibly can, that God’s love is greater than any hu­man love. In his writings on the Eucharist, the Holy Father Benedict XVI likens the love of God for us in the Eucharist to giving us a kiss. If this be the case, then reception of the Eucharist in the hand is like giving the Lord a handshake when what He offered was a kiss. We all know what it means when someone refuses a kiss and responds instead with a hand­shake and it doesn’t mean a return of the affection offered.

For this and other reasons, I have come to believe that chief among the indults which have abysmally failed to improve Catholic faith and life as promised is this one which touches upon the central act of wor­ship: the permission to replace with Communion in the hand the normal, universal, and noble custom of receiving the Most Holy Eucharist on the tongue while kneeling.

If the liturgy is given so that we might grow in adoration and love of Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist, then the abuses that I and others have seen which have resulted from the handling of the Eucharist by the faithful are responsible for encouraging not only a diminishment of love for the Eucharistic Lord but even scandal and sacrilege as well. How this disaster is supposed to improve upon the worship of the people of God I cannot say.

This indult, a special permission granted at the insistence of bishops in office years ago, is one among the other indults which have rendered many celebrations of the Catholic liturgy both unrecognizable from what came before as handed down in the Church from Christ and the apostles and also unrecognizable from the many church services offered by other ecclesial bodies who deny and attack Catholic teaching. In many cases, the indults have served only to distract from the primary purpose of the Sacrifice of the Mass: to meet, know, and love Jesus Christ.

In what way has reception of Communion in the hand served to deep­en reverence or inculcate a more profound belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist? For over 40 years we have tried over and over again to explain the proper method for receiving Communion, the bow replacing kneeling and reception in the hand replacing receiving on the tongue.

Repeated instructions have failed to result in any deep or lasting change in behavior as the proposed practice as permitted by the indult has de­generated into a procession no different from that to receive the sacra­mentals of ashes. The communicants in many cases simply march for­ward and stand before the priest or other minister and sometimes hold out one hand like they are getting a handout, “ pop” the Body of the Lord into their mouths in a movement very much failing to reflect the sense that they are receiving One who is not ordinary food, and return to their pews. The indult is too difficult for our faithful and so it is simply not done properly.

There will always be those who have faith strong enough to survive any liturgical changes and who will respectfully adapt to any innovation simply because they would cooperate with anything the Church asks of them. This same group would happily have retained the noble cus­tom of reception on the tongue if they had been left happily enough alone.

The answer to this disaster appears to be what many priests are now doing. They introduce all first communicants to the noble custom, use the practice for the celebration of First Holy Communion, and offer to all the people of God at every celebration of Holy Mass those things necessary for kneeling and receiving on the tongue in the kneeler and a server with paten.

We are saved by grace through faith in the One we receive really, tru­ly, and substantially in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist. The manner in which we receive Him affects our faith either for good or ill. Offering the option of receiving on the tongue while kneeling encourag­es those who wish to express the greatest love and reverence for the Lord truly present and invites others to do the same.

+ + + ( Visit Meeting Christ in the Liturgy at mcitl.blogspot.com for teach­ings from the Catechism of the Catholic Church paired with the Scrip­tures of Holy Mass for every day of the week. Fr. Cusick blogs at APriestLife.blogspot.com and you can e- mail him at mcitl.blogspot.com@gmail.com).

This article was published in The Wanderer Newspaper.

Cardinal Dolan: "White House is strangling Catholic Church"

Friday, May 25, 2012

Visit PreserveReligiousFreedom.org now

On May 21, the Archdiocese of Washington led an action in federal court to challenge the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) unprecedented mandate that dramatically redefines religious ministry and requires religious organizations to provide coverage for drugs and services in direct conflict with their religious beliefs. Three affiliated organizations of the archdiocese and The Catholic University of America joined in this action, which was one of 12 lawsuits led nationwide, on behalf of 43 separate Catholic institutions.

The archdiocese’s complaint, accessible at www.preservereligiousfreedom.org, maintains that the HHS mandate violates the First Amendment and federal law by forcing religious organizations to sacrifice their beliefs in order to be able to continue their mission of serving all people in need. Specifically, the suit stems from the mandate’s new definition of what constitutes a religious organization. Contrary to long-standing precedent, the law exempts from the mandate only those religious institutions that primarily serve and employ individuals of their own faith. The work of Mother Teresa, Catholic Charities, our schools, and hospitals, which serve all—Catholic and non-Catholic alike—is indeed religious and an expression of our Catholic faith. Under the mandate, however, these organizations and ministries do not qualify as religious and are not eligible for the exemption. The HHS mandate forces these organizations to act in direct violation of their Catholic beliefs or face crippling fines.

+ This lawsuit is about the First Amendment, religious freedom and our ability to serve the public.

+ This lawsuit does not challenge women’s right to access to contraception or any employer’s right to provide and pay for it.

+ This lawsuit does challenge the government’s claim that it can force the Church to provide drugs and procedures that violate our religious beliefs.

What can you do?

- Get the facts.

- Pray for the protection of religious freedom.

- Speak up and share this with others.

Visit:
www.preservereligiousfreedom.org

New Vatican doc on authentic Marian apparitions: laying groundwork for a ruling soon on Medjugorge?

The Vatican has taken the helm on the investigation of the alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorge. Does this new document regarding the norms for authentification of alleged apparitions lay the groundwork for the results of the Vatican's work on the subject?

Vatican Outlines Virgin Mary Sighting Rules To Evaluate Authenticity

Religion News Service | By Posted: Updated: 05/23/2012 4:47 pm


Virgin Mary Sightings

The Vatican has published rules to evaluate the authenticity of the dozens of apparitions of the Virgin Mary reported each year.

The “Norms Regarding the Manner of Proceeding in the Discernment of Presumed Apparitions or Revelations” have been in use since 1978, but until now had been available only in Latin, never officially published and only circulated among bishops and specialists.

The Vatican document has now been translated into English and other languages to aid bishops in the “difficult task of discerning presumed apparitions, revelations, messages or ... extraordinary phenomena of presumed supernatural origin,” Cardinal William Levada, the head of the Vatican doctrinal office, wrote in a companion letter last December that was published only recently on the Vatican website.

The norms mandate that the local bishop must conduct a “serious investigation” to ascertain, with “at least great probability,” whether the Marian apparition effectively took place.

The rules also require an evaluation of the “personal qualities” of the alleged seer, including his or her “psychological equilibrium,” “rectitude of moral life” and “docility towards Ecclesiastical Authority.” The contents of the “revelation” must be “immune” from theological error, and the apparition must bear “abundant... spiritual fruit,” such as conversions.

The authenticity of the vision should be rejected if, among other factors, the alleged seer shows “psychological disorder” or “evidence of a search for profit."

In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed a high-level commission to evaluate the authenticity of the controversial Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia, which have been attracting tens of thousands of pilgrims for years despite opposition from local bishops.

Monday, May 21, 2012

"Facebook Fast" on May 22 - May 23 for Year of Faith and Religious Freedom

Facebook users are invited to participate in a worlwide fast from usage of the popular networking site from midnight EST on Tuesday, May 22 to midnight May 23 for two intentions: for success in the fight to preserve religious freedom and as a gift for the Holy Father's intentions in regard to the upcoming Year of Faith which begins in October.

Moral Mondays. Marriage: "It’s Not Just About Love"

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK


It’s not just about love; marriage is also about sex.

In the current culture war over the redefinition of marriage, usually the first thing someone who defends such a redefinition will say is, “ It’s about love,” and will then commence to quote Christ’s teaching about loving God and neighbor.

If the redefinition effort over marriage was only about love, we wouldn’t be talking about marriage, would we? Two men who share the love of friendship, or two women who share the same, do not pursue marriage. They are content to be called friends, and so they are.

The Church insists that marriage is about sex. When an engaged cou­ple meet with a priest in order to prepare for their eventual wedding cer­emony, the priest questions them about those elements necessary for a valid and licit union. One of the questions he asks regards their physical ability to engage in the marital act, this for the reason that the marital act is necessary for the consummation of the bond of Matrimony. If the intention or the capacity for sex is lacking, the couple cannot be sacra­mentally married.

Usually in the course of conversing with those who oppose the Church’s teaching that marriage can be validly, licitly contracted only between one man and one woman, a typical tactic is to switch positions in the midst of the discussion and insist that “ it’s about love” between two men and two women, and “ not just about sex.” This ploy is resorted to in the attempt to expose the one who supports Christian teaching as a heartless, cruel monster who is standing in the way of two people who simply want to love one another.

Again, if it’s only about love and not about sex, why is “ marriage” necessary? If the plea is that legal protections are necessary for these friends, then there is no point to the argument as there are already perti­nent laws in place.

This back and forth and flip- flopping with those who support the re­definition of marriage exposes the purely emotional basis of the argu­ments. Usually one finds that the person who opposes the Church’s teach­ing on marriage has a son or daughter who experiences same- sex attrac­tion, and who self- describes as “ gay,” thus enlisting in the labeling nec­essary for being co- opted into the social- change movement and “ comes out.” All of this is designed to decisively preclude any hope of healing or change in the same- sex compulsion, which is an absolute anathema to the “ gay” movement.

Parents are inveigled into believing the labeling is necessary for their child’s happiness. Then comes the next step which is to change all the rules in order to accommodate the whims of the child who now not only wants to act on the same- sex attraction, but go a further step and en­shrine the condition in a permanent social status. And what else do you then attempt to call it but “ marriage”?

God the Father did not change the rules of sin and redemption for His own Son Jesus Christ who went to His death on the cross to win us the graces necessary to overcome temptation and sin and thus cooperate with God’s plan for our holiness. God did not change the rules for His own Son and yet parents everywhere are now demanding He do so for their children.

Christianity is about love by everyone for everyone. Church teaching on persons with same- sex attraction makes this clear.

“ The number of men and women who have deep- seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual con­dition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition” (
Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2358).

The Church insists — as does God who both founded the Church and instituted marriage in the creation of man and woman — that mar­riage is indeed about sex. If proponents of the redefinition of mar­riage are insisting their cause is not about sex, then they just lost the argument.

+ + + ( Visit Meeting Christ in the Liturgy at mcitl. blogspot. com for teach­ings from the
Catechism of the Catholic Church paired with the Scrip­tures of Holy Mass for every day of the week. Fr. Cusick blogs at APriestLife. blogspot. com and you can e- mail him at mcitl. blog spot. .)

This article appeared in a recent issue of The Wanderer Catholic Newspaper, more information about which can be obtained at this link.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Archbishop Broglio to Celebrate Memorial Mass This Sunday at National Shrine

Service held to honor military members, living and dead

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) will celebrate its 18th annual Memorial Mass at 4:30 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, May 20 in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., will serve as principal celebrant and homilist, with more than 25 priests and deacons concelebrating in the Upper Church.

The opening procession will follow a 15-minute musical prelude beginning at 4:15 p.m. Archbishop Broglio said: “As always, during this celebration service, members of the United States armed forces who died for their country will be remembered in that most perfect prayer. The living, both active-duty and veterans, will also be included, and we encourage their participation as well as that of their families. We especially hope that some of the patients currently at Walter Reed and Bethesda Medical Centers will take part in this solemn celebration.”

The Memorial Mass is open to the public. More than 550 are expected to participate.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is located at 400 Michigan Avenue, Northeast in Washington, D.C.

Catholic Standard Editorial on Georgetown and Sebelius: "Academic Freedom and Ecclesial Communion"

In response to requests for clarification on The Washington Post editorial (May 16, 2012) and continuing coverage of the presence of the Secretary of Health and Human Services at Georgetown University’s commencement events, we recognize the need to highlight that The Washington Post missed the point.

What this discussion is all about is not academic freedom, university autonomy or disinviting speakers. While The Washington Post assumes all of this, none of the above is the issue.

When it was announced that Secretary Sebelius was invited to speak at Georgetown University, a Catholic university sponsored by the Society of Jesus, the university stated that Sebelius was among those “who will provide inspiration for our students as they envision more clearly the impact they can make in the world.” There was considerable negative reaction to this decision.

When the controversy surfaced, the archdiocese chose to refrain from any comment until Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, personally could meet with the Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus and separately with the president of the university. It is the responsibility of the archbishop to relate to both the provincial superior and the president of the
university in matters that affect the life of the Church in this archdiocese. While the archbishop does not engage in the internal affairs of governance of the Society of Jesus or Georgetown University, in Church teaching and law he is obliged to relate to both communities as they exercise public ministry as a part of the life of the Catholic Church.

After hearing both parties, the archdiocese requested only one thing. It asked that since the university presents itself as both Jesuit and Catholic that the leadership of the Society of Jesus and the president of the university simply state publicly that Secretary Sebelius’ positions do not represent the views and values of Georgetown University.

With this suggestion, academic freedom, the free exchange of ideas including those that reflect Catholic teaching would be present, and the perceived challenge to the Conference of Bishops would have been clarified.

The archdiocese never asked Georgetown to rescind its invitation. All that the archdiocese proposed – and did not require – was a statement, by those who represent to the public and to the Church both the Jesuit and Catholic character of the university, that the
commencement event speaker does not speak for or represent the values of Georgetown University.

Georgetown University as a Catholic university does have a relationship and a responsibility to the archbishop. This is true because it exercises its activities in the context of the overall mission of the Catholic Church.

Admittedly, ecclesial relationships that respect and deal with various levels of responsibility and autonomy in the Church are not always readily understood by secular media. However, if the press chooses to weigh in on such matters, they should be much better informed. Unfortunately, The Washington Post editorial and continuing coverage of this issue clearly miss the point.

ARCHDIOCESE OF WASHINGTON • MAY 19, 2012 • REPRINTED FROM WEBSITE, WWW.CATHSTAN.ORG

Sun Editorial on Archbishop Lori, Archdiocese Wildly Misleading

On the day Archbishop Lori was installed as archbishop of Baltimore, The Baltimore Sun editorial board welcomed him with a lazy piece of journalism.

A May 16 editorial cited the archbishop’s religious liberty fight and said the Sun “would not presume to instruct the new archbishop” on his focus, while doing exactly that during the next few paragraphs.
The editorial said, “we hope these issues will not be the defining ones of his tenure here,” and said he would find great poverty outside the walls of the Baltimore Basilica. The editorial went on to say that the church, under Archbishop Lori’s predecessors, made substantial effort to address poverty, but that the needs “outstrip those efforts.”
The editorial then went on to say that the House of Representatives was going to make cuts detrimental to the poor and elderly and the archdiocese hadn’t released a statement about it.
The editorial asked, “Has the church lost interest in helping the least powerful in our community?”
No, and all it took was a simple Google search and some interest by the Sun’s reporters in the Maryland Catholic Conference to find out the opposite.
The MCC, the lobbying arm of Maryland’s bishops, spent considerable energy during the last few months fighting for the Maryland General Assembly to pass a budget that protected the most vulnerable. It’s as if the Sun ignored what the church was doing in its own backyard to fight for governmental protection of safety net programs.
If the Sun ever questioned whether the Archdiocese of Baltimore cared about those in need, all it needed to do was have a reporter walk a few blocks to Our Daily Bread, Christopher’s Place Employment Academy, My Sister’s Place Women’s Center and Beans & Bread Center and see the extraordinary things happening thanks to the Catholic Church.
If that’s not good enough, maybe one of the editorial board members could walk outside the Sun building and across the street to see the community of St. Ignatius on Calvert Street. Parishioners there make meals for the poor, help people recovering from surgeries and offer retreats for homeless men among many ministries.
What other religion is doing one-third of what the Catholic Church is doing in Baltimore? What other religion has taken upon itself to educate millions of inner-city youths in schools, while making huge financial sacrifices in the process? The church doesn’t have to operate schools. It does so because it believes it should.
Rather than criticizing the archdiocese for its efforts and occasional closures, maybe it should be thankful that there is a religion making the effort in the city in the first place. The church’s efforts are saving the state and Baltimore millions of dollars every year by educating poor children.
If the Sun is worried about Archbishop Lori’s priorities, they should have sent a reporter to Our Daily Bread May 17, as the new shepherd of Baltimore’s Catholics was serving Baltimore’s poor a hot meal on his first day.
But, they didn’t. Here's what they missed.

Pray for our Military on Armed Forces Day


ARMED FORCES DAY


KEEPING AMERICA STRONG AND SECURE
United in Purpose - Steadfast in Service
Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Prayer For Our Military

Almighty God
We stand before you in supplication,
Asking Your Divine mercy and protection,
To envelop with Your invincible armor,
Our loved ones in all branches of the military service.

Give them courage and strength
Against all enemies,
Both spiritual and physical,
And hasten their safe journey,
Back to their homes and families.

If it be Your Holy Will
That they be gathered to Your bosom,
With the eternal vanguard of the saints,
Let their journey to Your everlasting arms
Be swift and painless,
Where they may stand in honor and glory,
Praising You for all eternity.

Amen.


For more info on observance of Armed Forces Day visit Department of Defense site by clicking on this link.

Friday, May 18, 2012

"Ascendit Deus in jubilatione": Solemn High Mass for Ascension at St Benedict Church in Chesapeake, Va

Introitus: "Viri Galilaei, quid admiramini aspicientes in caelum? alleluja: quemadmodum vidistis eum ascendentem in caelum, ita veniet, alleluja, alleluja, alleluja. Ps 46,2 Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus: jubilate Deo in voce exsultationis. Gloria Patri. Viri Galilaei."

"Introibo ad altare Dei"

"Ab illobenedicaris, in Cujus honore cremaberis."

"Dominus in Sina in sancto, ascendens in altum, captivam duxit captivitatem. Alleluja. He took captivity captive..."

In God's work of our salvation being and doing are always in harmony through His love, for He loves and is love eternally and perfectly. Christ's work of ascending to the Father is for our sake, that we may learn and live the truth that being is more important than doing. He takes captivity captive through His death and resurrection, granting us the gift of freedom through the forgiveness of our sins.

As our Holy Father Benedict XVI reminds us, the new thing revealed by the mystery of His ascension is that now our humanity, in Christ, has "an eternal place in God".

"Hoc est enim Corpus Meum."

" ... and gave gifts to men": above all Himself, the perfect gift, in the Most Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, in which He is truly present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

"Ecce, Agnus Dei"

"Ite, Missa est."

Sincere thanks to Rev Fathers Neal and Peter, FSSP, for their fraternal kindness and hospitality and to the choir for the beautiful sounds of praise they lifted up to Almighty God for His greater glory and to the Lord's faithful people, the families of St Benedict's Church, among them a number of large families I had the pleasure to meet.

Ascension to Pentecost: Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts



FOREWORD

The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.

To be recited daily during the Novena

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

The following links go to the prayers proper to each day of the novena which are offered in addition to the preceding Act of Consecration and Prayer for the Seven Gifts:

The following on the same page; page down for days two and three:
First Day
Second Day
Third Day

The following on the same page; page down for days five through seven:
Fourth Day
Fifth Day
Sixth Day
Seventh Day

The following on the same page; page down for day nine:
Eighth Day
Ninth Day



1912 Holy Spirit Fathers

Read more at EWTN.com
Ascension to Pentecost: Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts

FOREWORD

The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.

To be recited daily during the Novena

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Your purity, the unerring keenness of Your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the Strength and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light, and listen to Your voice, and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You, by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart, I implore You, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.

PRAYER FOR THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

The following links go to the prayers proper to each day of the novena which are offered in addition to the preceding Act of Consecration and Prayer for the Seven Gifts:

The following on the same page; page down for days two and three:
First Day
Second Day
Third Day

The following on the same page; page down for days five through seven:
Fourth Day
Fifth Day
Sixth Day
Seventh Day

The following on the same page; page down for day nine:
Eighth Day
Ninth Day



1912 Holy Spirit Fathers

Read more at EWTN.com

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Judge Napolitano and George Weigel at Archbishop Lori Installation in Baltimore Today

George Weigel, center, chats with Father DeAscanis, right, pastor of Saint Agnes Church in Catonsville after the installation Mass for the new Archbishop of Baltimore, His Excellency William Lori
Blog author with Judge Andrew Napolitano


Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity receive a blessing from His Excellency William Lori, the new Archbishop, after the installation Mass today at the Cathedral of Mary, Our Queen, in Baltimore.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Benetton Issues Retraction for Unlawful Use of Pope's Image

UNLAWFUL USE OF POPE'S IMAGE: BENETTON RETRACTION

Vatican City, 15 May 2012 (VIS) - This morning a note from the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., was issued on the conclusion of the legal conflict between the Holy See and the Benetton Group, due to its unlawful use of Pope Benedict XVI's image in the "Unhate" ad campaign.

"Last Friday," reads the communique, "the Benetton Group published a note ... reaffirming its 'regret for having offended His Holiness Benedict XVI and believers', and assuring that it 'guarantees and maintains that all photographic images of the Holy Father have been retracted from commercial distribution and promises not to use the image of the Holy Father in the future without authorization from the Holy See'". It ends with stating that "the Benetton Group will use its resources to stop the further use of the image by third parties on internet sites and in other places".

"The communique of the Benetton Group," emphasizes Fr. Lombardi, "represents the conclusion, based on an agreed settlement, of the conflict between the lawyers of the Holy See ... and those of the Benetton Group, a conflict that took place, as announced, and has been open until now. The Benetton Group recognizes therefore ... that the Pope's image must be respected".

"The Holy See did not seek monetary compensation. Nevertheless, moral compensation in recognition of the abuse committed has been sought as well as affirming the desire to defend, even by legal means, the Pope's image. In place of monetary compensation it has asked and received from the Benetton Group an act of generosity, effective even if limited, toward one of the Church's charitable activities".

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Prayer of Blessing for Mothers


O God,
author and sustainer of human life,
from your goodness your servant N. has received the joy of becoming a mother.
Graciously accept our thanks
and give ear to our prayers:
defend this mother and child (and her children) from every evil,
be their companion along their pathway through life,
and welcome them one day
into the joys of your eternal home.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

The Catholic Standard on WaPo hatemongering: "Responding with love to a hate-filled ad"

TheWashington Post runs an ad campaign promoting its newspaper with the slogan, “If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.” More and more, that slogan seems appropriate when analyzing the declining editorial and advertising standards of that once-great paper.

At a time when readership and subscriptions to the print editions of newspapers are at an all-time low, TheWashington Post on May 8 ran a full page ad on page 5 of its front section, not for a department store, but from a group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation. More than one million Catholics live in the Washington metropolitan area, and those who still read
TheWashington Post opened their paper that morning and were “treated” to a viciously anti-Catholic screed titled “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church.”

Interestingly, the full page paid advertisement, for which the Post must have received thousands of dollars, was not labeled as an ad. Subtitled as an “open letter to ‘liberal’ and ‘nominal’ Catholics,” the ad included numerous canards and false, malicious statements from beginning to end, and it concluded by encouraging Catholics to “Please, Exit En Mass.” A similar ad from the same group recently ran in The New York Times, who subsequently declined to run a comparable ad attacking the beliefs of Islam. But for The New York Times and The Washington Post, it’s fair game to attack the Catholic Church and its beliefs with a hateful ad filled with distortions, a cartoonish attack that in fact had a cartoon on top of the ad.

The ad’s main target of attack is the U.S. Catholic bishops’ principled defense of religious liberty. The ad frames the issue as a “war against women’s right to contraception.” Wrong. Contraception is legal in our country and is widely available at a low cost. What the nation’s Catholic bishops are objecting to is the unprecedented attempt by the Obama Administration to force religious institutions like Catholic hospitals, universities and social service agencies to violate the teachings of their faith and provide employees with health insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization procedures. For the first time, our government, through its HHS mandate, has declared that when we care for the sick and feed the hungry we aren’t really practicing “religion” at all. That is why the bishops are standing united to defend our first freedom and urging the nation’s Catholics to join them in this battle.

The ad calls on people to leave the Catholic Church because of the sexual abuse crisis, but it does not mention how the Church has confronted the tragedy of abuse by adopting a zero tolerance policy toward abusers and by enacting child protection policies across the country. The abuse and neglect of children is a societal problem affecting people of all religions, all backgrounds and occupations, and most often occurring within families. Still, child abuse is distortedly presented in this ad and in the media as if it occurs only in the Catholic Church. The day before, The Washington Post published an editorial attacking the Catholic Church’s “passivity” on the issue, and cited for its evidence the case of a Jesuit priest in Chicago presented with credible complaints of abuse in the 1990s. But The Washington Post in its edition the next day reported on two Montgomery County public school workers accused of recent incidents of child sexual abuse, with no accompanying editorial chastising the public school system for its “passivity” on the issue.

Also, the ad in The Washington Post criticizes the Catholic Church for its opposition to abortion, embryonic stem cell research and same-sex marriage. In a culture of death, the Catholic Church stands for the dignity of human life in all its stages, from conception to natural death. The Catholic Church stands against efforts to redefine marriage, recognizing that marriage between one man and one woman has been the foundation of society for thousands of years.

The Post ad also blames the Catholic Church for causing the world’s poverty and misery because of its opposition to artificial birth control. With its teaching and its charitable outreach, the Catholic Church works to lift up the dignity of the world’s people. Around the world, the Catholic Church helps lift people out of poverty and suffering through its educational, health care and social service programs, which are the largest non-governmental providers of that help. Every day, those Catholic Church programs bring Christ’s love and hope to people in our community and our world, but those stories don’t often appear in the pages of The Washington Post.

The kinds of lies that this ad presents have been hurled at the Catholic Church since the first disciples went out to the ends of the earth to teach people the Good News of Jesus. Today, as we carry out the work of the New Evangelization, that work of knowing, loving and serving Christ is entrusted to us. We Catholics should pray for the people who produce such hateful ads, and for those who are misled by them. When confronted with hate, we as a family of faith must continue to live out Christ’s Gospel of Life and Love, to carry out the mission of building Christ’s kingdom in our world today.

(The Catholic Standard Newspaper.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cardinal Dolan: President Obama's Remarks on Marriage 'Deeply Saddening'

May 9, 2012

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement:

President Obama’s comments today in support of the redefinition of marriage are deeply saddening. As I stated in my public letter to the President on September 20, 2011, the Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better. Unfortunately, President Obama’s words today are not surprising since they follow upon various actions already taken by his Administration that erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage. I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. May we all work to promote and protect marriage and by so doing serve the true good of all persons.

http://usccb.org/news/2012/cardinal-dolan-president-obama-remarks-on-marriage-deeply-saddening.cfm

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Camouflage" Catholics: modernist camp under attack by youthful Traditionalist counter-reformation?


Attacks from without but also betrayal from within tears at the fabric of the Church. "Camouflage" Catholics are called out by Bishop George Leo Thomas of the Diocese of Helena: "the lukewarm spirit is an enemy of the Church".

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