Monday, April 30, 2012

Memorare for May

Bishop Finn from the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph, is urging people to pray the Memorare for the month of May, for his special intentions.  

Why not?  The Memorare is my St. Mary's Women's Club special prayer.  I can add this one prayer after my daily Rosary.  On this site is a form to be filled out, if you want to join those praying.  The Bishop is aiming for a million Memorares.


The Memorare
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Amen.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Video Preaching Against HHS Mandate

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/xiDAeIkEX9E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

It's short.  Watch and see and hear.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Human Dignity Not Debatable

       This is a picture of a Rosary held between hands of two protesters during a vigil opposing Arizona's Immigration Law at the state capital, April 24, 2012.  Whenever I hear of the problems of immigration I always send up a prayer of thanksgiving for my "illegal" grandparents.  My maternal grandmother lied about being 18, and my maternal grandmother just walked through the Canadian woods and never turned back. 

    My Lithuanian grandmother became a citizen and only learned enough English to pass the test, and then forgot it.  I remember her signing official documents with an "X".  I don't remember whether or not Mémé was a citizen.  We didn't discuss politics.  

   Hence I enjoyed reading Archbishop Jose Gomez article in the Washington Post.  He thinks Arizona's law is unAmerican, anti-family, and  threaten to remove humanitarian considerations from our immigration system altogether. This would be a tragedy for the individuals subject to these laws, but also for all Americans.

Archbishop Jose Gomez is the Archbishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Migration.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Can a Wrong be Right?

The Bible has it's stories about a "wrong" that was committed and God made it right.  Think of the crucifixion, or Joseph and his brothers, Jacob, Peter, etc.

Well, wrap your head around the story of the theft of St. Mark's body from Alexandria.  That's what's depicted in the picture.

Around the year 828 a group of Venetian merchants arrived at the sanctuary of Alexandria with the intention of transporting the relics of the saint, by whatever means, to the nascent city of Venice. Outstanding among these men were Buono da Malamocco and Rustico da Torcello. They learnt from the monk Staurazio and the priest Theodore, custodians of the sanctuary, that it risked being destroyed by the Arab governor of Alexandria who had decided to use marble and columns from the Christian churches to build a palace in the ancient city of Babylon. To console them the merchants offered to take them back to Venice together with the body of Mark.

Having overcome the resistance of the two religious men the evangelist's body was replaced by the nearby body of the martyr Saint Claudia and the relics loaded aboard ship, concealed in wicker baskets and protected by cabbage leaves and pork, the latter frowned upon by the Islamic religion. At the moment of departure an intense odour came from the sanctuary of St. Mark and spread throughout the town. All the inhabitants of Alexandria ran to the sacred place to see what had happened. Assured that Mark's body was still in its place, tricked by the substitution, they returned quietly to their homes. On passing the customs barrier the two Venetian merchants reported their goods with the fateful words "kanzir, kanzir" (pig), and were thus cleared by the excisemen who held their noses in disgust at the idea of pork.

The voyage to Venice was full of adventure, an apparition of the saint to the sleepy sailors even saving them from shipwreck.
On 31st January 828 the body of St. Mark was deposited at the Port of Olivolo, welcomed by the local bishop and the Doge Giustiniano Particiaco. The relics were first placed in a corner of the Ducal Palace to await building of the new basilica that was to house them. So Mark, already patron saint of Alexandria, now became patron saint of Venice.
   

© 2004 - Procuratoria di San Marco Venezia

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Br. Labre

Now I get it.  I was talking to Br. Labre, last night and I didn't understand his name.  I thought he was saying La Bra, or Labera, or Laberae, or L'Abre.  Finally, I realized that since he is a Little Brothers of Saint Francis, who ministers to the homeless, his name might be associated with homelessness.  Voila,

St. Benedict Joseph Labre – Patron Saint of the Homeless

The Little Brothers strive to live the Holy Gospel among the poorest of the poor in prayer and presence.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read all About It!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LsWHpXJHmQo

Do you see the hand of God in this?  I do.  Imagine if Cardinal Dolan is # 1, then his influence on the government's Health and Human Services Mandate could break it. Let us pray.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weight Loss Site

Slim Kicker is a new site.  It seems to have everything.  You can track your food and its nutritional value, as you log it in.  There's support--even an online group!  Check it out.

Sorry, But NO

My non-Catholics friends are usually hurt because we Catholics ask them not to receive the Eucharist with us.  When actually, it would be the other way around, if they did partake of the Eucharist.  We Catholics would be offended.  It is because non-Catholics don't believe that it is truly the Body and Blood of Jesus; so they don't appreciate the sacrament.  If they did, they'd be Catholics.
It's like my granddaughter who fried my computer, last week.  She didn't get what a computer is, how important it is--it's job, what it means to me.  She touched it because she felt hurt that I said she couldn't.

I was reminded of this when I read the Second Reading, in the Office of Readings, for the Third Sunday of Easter.  Saint Justin, martyr (Cap. 66-67: PG 6, 427-431) in talking about the celebration of the Eucharist:

     No one may share the Eucharist with us unless he believes that what we teach is true, unless he is washed in the regenerating waters of baptism for the remission of his sins, and unless he lives in accordance with the principles given us by Christ.
     We do not consume the Eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving.
    The apostles, in their recollections, which are called gospels, handed down to us what Jesus commanded them to do.  They tell us that he took bread, gave thanks and said: Do this in memory of me.  This is my body.  In the same way he took the cup, he gave thanks and said: This is my blood.  The Lord gave this command to them alone.  Ever since then we have constantly reminded one another of these things.  


As you read, the Church has always taught this.  It is not a new idea, or fancy of priests.  It has always been so.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wine Tasting


St. Mary's Women's Club had a wine tasting. Everyone enjoyed themselves. Lorie and Bruce Hurst hosted the event. We had Chardonnay with mac and cheese. Pinot Noir went with chocolate chip cookies. Dessert was apple crisp and cantaloupe with Cabernay Sauvignon. Everything was topped off with brownies made with Pinot Noir.


Need I say, I'm well satiated.


These wines were from HandCraft winery.  Excellent.  The recipes were good, too.  


Something funny happened during the wine tasting.  Since we all had brought our own glasses to the event, I just brought an old one.  It happened to be from 2005, when I visited the Horton Vineyards, in VA.  Now, picture this.  Here we are enjoying our glasses of wine and I pick up my glass and read, There is evil in every berry of grape ~ Koran.


Ah....another good reason I'm glad I'm Catholic.


After a few more sips, I see that the other side of the glass has something else written on it.  One barrel of wine can work more miracles than a church full of saints ~Italian Proverb.


Maybe it was the wine, but like we say on Face Book:  ROFLOL!  Because you see, St. Mary's is an Italian parish.  




Remember and Vote in November


Ba-a-a-a-c-c-k


I'm back in the saddle again. My granddaughter pressed (I don't know what)the wrong key, or something on my keyboard, and I was out of circulation. My computer was in "pause mode." I didn't know what had happened. Lucky I'm Catholic. I believe in forgiveness and mercy. All is forgiven, now let's "move on."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

With Money You Can Buy Anything



With Money You Can Buy Anything, is a mentality that is so wrong, it is evil. Sister Eugenia Bonetti is passionate about the fight against human trafficking. For years, she has dedicated her time and energy to helping victims of human trafficking. More importantly, however, is to break this vicious cycle.

“First of all to change the mentality, the mind that with money you can buy anything you want and that is really what you have to change in the culture", said Sr. Eugenia Bonetti. Watch this video for more.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stand Strong for Conscience Protections in Health Care


Our country's bishops have asked Catholics to pay attention. One of our basic rights are about to be taken away. One of our First Amendment Rights is threatened. The right to practice our religion is in jeopardy.

Don't let the media dupe you. You will see and hear that the Bishops don't want their employees to have contraceptives. You'll hear that the Catholic Church doesn't care about women's health. These claims are so ludicrous that they're not even worthy of consideration. Who takes care of women better than Catholic Hospitals, Catholic Shelters, Catholic Homes for Unwed Mothers, Catholic Clinics, Catholic Medical Centers, Catholic Colleges, Catholic religious institutions, Catholic Charities, etc? Pleeeze.

The talk shows, newspapers, bloggers, radio hosts, magazines, are off focus. Don't get into a debate with them. They'll draw you off the subject. They don't get it. They don't see what's happening here. They miss the point.

This is all about Catholics wanting to practice their religion. We are not forcing other people to believe as we do---we just want the same respect. Do not force Catholics to go against their consciences.

After all, the Amish do not have health insurance. That's permitted. Christian Scientists want to heal by prayer alone. The new health care reform law respects that. Quakers and others that object to war are excused. The government respects the principle of conscientious objecting.
Can't Catholics be respected? Is freedom of conscience for all Americans -- except Catholics?

Catholics are not the only ones concerned about this. Thinking people from all religions and no religion, and all walks of life have spoken against this Department of Health and Human Services health insurance plan that would require all private health insurance to provide coverage for sterilization and contraception. This HHS plan goes against the Catholic conscience.

Protestant and orthodox Jewish leaders join in opposition to HHS contraceptive mandate. I quote from the Becket fund for religious liberty.

Today, more than 40 non-Catholic religious organizations including Protestant-affiliated colleges, National Association of Evangelicals, Focus on the Family, Assemblies of God, Northwest Nazarene University, and Eastern Mennonite University, sent a letter to the White House demanding religious protection against the newly issued HHS contraceptive mandate.


“We write not in opposition to Catholic leaders and organizations. We write in solidarity.” Says the coalition letter. “Leaders of other faiths are also deeply troubled by and opposed to the mandate and the narrow exemption.”

In a letter sent December 21, 2011, the group expressed deep concern about the contraceptive provision in the Health and Human Services mandates, which includes the most narrow “religious employer” qualifications excluding protection of most-faith based organizations.

“We are all deeply concerned about the narrow exemption, including proposals made to expand it while still leaving unprotected many faith-based organizations.” The letter continues, “We believe that the Federal government is obligated by the First Amendment to accommodate the religious convictions of faith-based organizations of all kinds, Catholic and non-Catholic.”


Jewish deja-vu?

You better believe you should pay attention. If the rights of Catholics' conscience protections are taken away, what's next?

This is not about the Catholic Church wanting to force anybody to do anything! Au contraire, it's about the federal government forcing Catholics to act against their own beliefs.

Let us pray.

O GOD OUR CREATOR,

from your provident hand we have received

our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

You have called us as your people and given us

the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,

and your Son, Jesus Christ.

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,

you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,

bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel

to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.

Give us the strength of mind and heart

to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;

give us courage in making our voices heard

on behalf of the rights of your Church

and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,

a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters

gathered in your Church

in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,

so that, with every trial withstood

and every danger overcome—

for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,

and all who come after us—

this great land will always be “one nation, under God,

indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Copyright © 2012, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Union of the two Mary's


Picture this. Fr. Lataste explains his idea to Mother Henri-Dominique. She gasps. Her eyes widen. With a long intake of breath, she asks, "Moi?"

She is being asked to begin a congregation, not just be a humble member of an existing one. She had thought she was entering an established community. But... but...but it didn't even exist! It was just an idea of Father Lataste's.

"C'est impossible. "

Nothing is impossible with God. She was open to prayer. Father Lataste suggested that she pray for three days in front of the crucifix.

Three days of meditating on the suffering of Christ. She had some experience of suffering. The women she wished to work among, certainly experienced suffering. She did wish to unite herself to this suffering.

Then a vision appeared before her. Why had she not seen this before? There, at the foot of the cross, were the two Mary's. Our Blessed Mother was there in all her pure virginity. Beside her was the other Mary, in all her fallen nature.

...at the same time light shone in my--up to that point--troubled and hesitant soul; in an instant all my objections faded away. But at the same time, I experienced in my very depths the feeling of an abandonment which was to weigh on me, as upon the dying Savior, in order to succeed in bringing about the union of fallen souls and faithful souls. I experienced the anguish of heart of a mother who senses the unhappiness of an abandonment to which she and her children would be vowed.

Mother Henri-Dominique did not refuse. She accepted the Will of God. And the story of the Dominican Sisters of Bethany begins...

Source: Life of the Reverend Mother Henri Dominique, Foundress and Prioress General of the Dominican Congregation of Saint Magdalene of Bethany, by Monsignor Altmayer, O.P.

Billy Collins



April is national poetry month. Billy Collins is one of my favorites.

Don't you think prayer/poetry is a good way to start the day?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pornchai's Plea


If you don't follow the blog These Stone Walls, you should. The author is an incarcerated priest, Father Gordon Macrae. Recently, he posts abut Pornchai Moontri. Pornchai lived in Thailand until he was 11. He never went to school there, so he doesn't know how to read and write in Thai. He doesn't remember how to speak Thai, for that matter. But there's a good possibility that he may be deported there--not knowing anybody, nor having a prospects of employment, nor a place to live...the basic necessities. He doesn't know the language, anymore.

Can anyone help him?

Pornchai Moontri is incarcerated also. Please read his story, especially about his conversion. It would be ideal if some Thai religious affiliated group took him under their wing. He needs contacts to help him in Thailand, if and when he's deported. He speaks English well. He can read English and write, but he's much more fluent in math. He is excellent with his hands. He loves to do detailed carpentry. This schooner is an example of his work. He makes ships, boxes, statues, etc., and sells them. He really would be an asset, any where.

Any ideas, suggestions, or offer of help, please contact http://www.thesestonewalls.com/contact/

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mother Henri-Dominique Berthier, O. P.


You know how crazy I am about Pere Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P., well he wouldn't be where he is today (becoming beatified June 3, 2012), were it not for Mother Henri-Dominique. She's the one who helped him.

Like myself, and many others, she fell in love with Pere Lataste's idea of a religious contemplative order, made up of ex-prisoners. Others who hadn't been in prison could join also, but being in prison, or not, no one could tell who was which. So Mother Henri-Dominique left her order, Presentation of Tours, to join the Dominicans.

It happened so fast. The Superior of the Sisters of the Presentation of Tours demanded their habit back. The Dominicans of Cette, France, immediately (two hours after her arrival), gave her the Dominican Habit. Undoubtedly, so Mother Henri-Dominique wouldn't feel so naked.

Their reasoning is important. The reason the Dominican Sisters of Cette put their habit on Mother Henri-Dominique so quickly was due to the fact that she belonged to the Third Order of St. Dominic. Yes! It seems that at that time, many religious privately made vows to the Third Order of St. Dominic. That title of tertiary was sufficient to authorize a Dominican habit. Also, the Provincial Prior, Pere Saudreau upheld the validity of Mother Henri-Dominique taking the habit.

It makes me wonder if belonging to the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic would be a ticket to the fast lane to heaven. Well, why not? If belonging to LFSD can get Mother Henri-Dominique clothes, just imagine what it'll do when St. Dominic sees us waiting in line at the pearly gate.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Another Example of Married Saints


Not quite saints, yet. The process of Beatification began in 2001. This couple is my generation. They lived in my times, my culture, my world. But their lives are so Christian. If they aren't saints, then no one can merit sainthood.

Marcello Inguscio was born in 1934. Anna Maria Ritter was born in 1938. He was Catholic; she was Waldensian. Both were musicians and interested in helping the sick. They met studying music and were reacquainted in a slum in Catania. They prayed together and dedicated themselves to volunteer work among the sick and elderly.

When they decided to marry, Marcello and Anna made an agreement. Marcello studied Protestant theology and Anna, Catholicism. Anna fell in love with the Eucharist. They married in 1968. Forty of their wedding guests were handicapped. And the newlyweds spent their wedding reception feeding the handicapped.

When they set up their house, it had a chapel, which became the ecclesial community Mission Church-World. The couple had two daughters, Marietta and Lucia. The girls thought it was normal to always have sick people as guests. Volunteership wasn't a hobby; it was a lifestyle.

Anna died of cancer in 1986. Marcello died of a heart attack in 1996. The Missione Chiesa-Mondo continues their work.

h/t Fr. Kevin Kraft, O.P. for his work on The lives of well married saints and holy people

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Always Assume the Presence of Grace

It’s Easter morning, and I was distressed. I went to the tomb and Jesus wasn’t there.

Literally.

I’m referring to what happened to me in the sacristry. I was at 7:30 Mass and a man with his daughter approached me and asked what to do about his daughter receiving Communion and her celiac disease. I explained about the celiac wafers we have on hand and that Father would come shortly and talk to him. Father did come and I noticed that the man didn’t see him. He was still waiting for the priest.

I looked around the room and saw the problem. Do you know that there were three, 3, yes, three priests in the sacristry, and not one of them was in a Roman collar! So the man and his daughter were still waiting.

“Irked” describes my feelings. I bet the Protestant ministers were in Roman collars. But our Catholic priests were in civies. It’s Easter! Even the Walmart people were dressed in their best!

I was not in the proper mood to worship. Then, when Communion time came, I was shocked to see an acquaintance go up and receive the Eucharist. I know her to be virulently anti-Catholic. Her husband grew up Catholic, but married to her, he fell away. I have seen him for a month or so, at Sunday Mass—alone. But this morning, there she was, too.

I felt my blood pressure rise up, but I realized that I was not in the proper attitude to receive, myself, and went into prayer. By the grace of God, my attitude changed. I then saw two old friends, who had stopped going to church, in line to receive. And I also saw a slew of people, who I didn’t even know were Catholic, in the Communion line.

And I thought this was a good thing.

As Père Lataste would say, « J’ai vu des choses merveilleuses. »

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

eLumenate Introduces Father Lataste


eLumenate is a supplement to the Lay Dominican newsletter, eLumen. The Spring issue is devoted to my spiritual hero, Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P.

Pere Lataste is going to be beatified on June 3rd. I am blessed to be going. Of course, I'll blog about the entire pilgrimage. Until then, you can read about Pere Lataste here.

He's noted for founding the Dominican Sisters of Bethany, along with Mother Henri-Dominique, O.P. He'll be beatified as the Apostle of Prisons because the Dominican Sisters of Bethany accept ex-prisoners. In fact, they have a "rule of discretion," which forbids questions and discussing a sister's background. There is no past in Bethany, only the present and future hope.

One of the best articles in this particular eLumenate, was written by a "cloistered brother" in New Jersey. He explained Latastian Spirituality.

"The spirituality of Pere Marie Jean-Joseph Lataste, O.P. upholds the dignity and humanity of those deprived of liberty. It also promotes a Christian response of the faithful to the poor and disenfranchised in a way the pre-dates and illuminates the social doctrine of the Church. Latastian spirituality is Dominican spirituality.

Pere Lataste's spirituality was informed by his Dominican vocation, nourished by the Christocentric mystery of the Paschal Lamb, and expressed in inclusivity and social concern."

Throughout the entire issue, is some nice art work. Also courtesy of a "cloistered brother."

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vote for the Archbishop


Go over to Time Magazine's site and vote for Cardinal Archbishop Timothy Dolan to be considered influential. There's a poll there tallying votes for whom should be considered. So if you think the President of USCCB, the Archbishop of New York, former Bishop of Milwaukee, and the author of numerous books is influential enough, go vote for him.