Archives for July 2010

Nuns of Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation Sign to Decca Records

This story was way too awesome to not share with everybody. A group of nuns who do not even leave the confines of their own convent have signed to a major record label. I personally would never expect this to happen, but the nuns do have a point. If their music helps people and brings them happiness and peace, why would they not share their talents with the world. I think it is great that religious music can still sign to a label that produces pop music acts and other mainstream music.

“The nuns hope the album will help people ‘find peace’

An order of Benedictine nuns has signed a major record deal with the company behind Lady Gaga, it has been revealed.

The Nuns of the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation, from France, won a global search of more than 70 convents across Europe, the US and Africa.

The reclusive order, based near Avignon, were deemed to have the finest Gregorian Chant singers.

They have signed a deal with Decca Records, part of Universal Music, which counts Lady Gaga and U2 among its acts.

The nuns’ ancient order dates back to the 6th Century and they follow a tradition of leading a hidden life behind closed doors.

The Reverend Mother Abbess said: “We never sought this, it came looking for us.

“At first we were worried it would affect our cloistered life, so we asked St Joseph in prayer. Our prayers were answered, and we thought that this album would be a good thing if it touches people’s lives and helps them find peace.”

The nuns are self-sufficient and include a plumber, an engineer, an electrician, a silk-weaver and a dental assistant.

But their strict rules meant that even Decca Records managing director Dickon Stainer was unable to enter their home to congratulate them.” – “Major Record Deal for Reclusive Benedictine Nuns”, BBC News

500 Days of Prayer to Proceed the Global Day of Prayer in London

I saw this on Christian Today and I have to say I think it is an awesome idea. Instead of just having one national day of prayer in September of 2011, the Global Day of Prayer in London has set up 500 days of prayer before the date in 2011. You can never have too many days in a row of prayer so I think this is wonderful. Getting churches and Christians from all over the globe to participate in this only makes it that much more special too!

“Global Day of Prayer London is partnering with Celebration for the Nations, a gathering of worshippers in Wales from the nations touched by the 1904 Welsh Revival, to launch 500 days of prayer for the nation.

At the Celebration for the Nations event in London this Sunday, GDOP London will call on Christians from across the nation to join the prayer chain in the lead up to a national day of prayer at Wembley Stadium September 2011.

“We are excited that the praying community of the South Koreans have created a platform for us to launch this 500 days of prayer,” said GDOP London Convener Jonathan Oloyede.

He added: “That connection of Africans and British and Caribbean and South Korean intercessors coming together is prophetically exciting and culturally very powerful. We can’t overemphasise the sense of unity with cultures from all around the world and the Commonwealth coming together for such a time as this.

“August 1 will see the beginning of a chain of non-stop 24 hour prayers of believers from every walk of life coming together in unity for the manifestation of the Kingdom of God in these Isles.”” – “GDOP London to Launch 500 Days of Prayer for Nation”, Christian Today

Saint Ignatius of Loyola to be Honored

“On July 31, the Universal Church will mark the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The Spanish saint is known for founding the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits, as well as for creating the “Spiritual Exercises” often used today for retreats and individual discernment.

St. Ignatius was born into a noble family in 1491 in Guipuzcoa, Spain. He served as a page in the Spanish court of Ferdinand and Isabella.

He then became a soldier in the Spanish army and wounded his leg during the siege of Pamplona in 1521. During his recuperation, he read “Lives of the Saints.” The experience led him to undergo a profound conversion, and he dedicated himself to the Catholic faith.

After making a general confession in a monastery in Montserrat, St. Ignatius proceeded to spend almost a year in solitude. He wrote his famous “Spiritual Exercises” and then made a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land, where he worked to convert Muslims.

St. Ignatius returned to complete his studies in Spain and then France, where he received his theology degree. While many held him in contempt because of his holy lifestyle, his wisdom and virtue attracted some followers, and the Society of Jesus was born.

The Society was approved by Pope Paul III in 1540, and it grew rapidly. St. Ignatius remained in Rome, where he governed the Society and became friends with St. Philip Neri.

St. Ignatius died peacefully on July 31, 1556. He was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622.” – “Universal Church to Honor Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola”, Catholic News Agency

I was very excited to see that the Universal Church will be honoring Saint Ignatius of Loyola on the 31st. Amongst many great deeds he did during his life, his finest was the creation of the Jesuits who are still around today in large numbers. If Saint Ignatius of Loyola is your favorite patron saint you should probably get yourself a nice patron saint medal to wear every day!

Catholic Latinos Strive for a Better Future

“Members of the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders gathered this weekend at St. Malo Retreat and Conference Center near Denver, Colo. to evaluate their first four years of existence and set new, ambitious goals for their future growth.

CALL was founded in Denver in 2006, under the auspices of Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., and by then Auxiliary Bishop Jose H. Gomez. Archbishop Gomez was recently appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles.

The CALL annual members meeting opened on Friday evening, July 23, with a greeting from Archbishop Chaput.

“In my 22 years as a bishop, being part of CALL has been – and still is – one of the important and enjoyable tasks I’ve had,” the Archbishop of Denver wrote. “The leadership of Archbishop Gomez has been outstanding; without his vision and guidance, CALL would not exist.”

“CALL is now poised to play an even more effective role in mobilizing Latino Catholic leaders and renewing American society with the values of family, faith, hard work and moral character,” Archbishop Chaput’s greeting concluded.

“The idea of CALL is very simple,” Archbishop Gomez explained during the first working session. “There is a need to reach out to Latinos that have been successful, because of the growing importance of Latinos in the Catholic Church and in the country.”” – “Catholic Latino Leaders Set Ambitious Goals for Future”, Catholic News Agency

This article from Catholic News Agency was a good read and quite interesting as well. You can check out the full article by clicking here. I found it interesting how little Americans actually care about Latino culture and what Latinos are all about. They are an important part of every day life in America now, and are on the way to no longer being a minority. People should take the time to try and understand more about them and their culture, and I think that the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders is headed in the right direction to getting more people to recognize their culture and accept it as a part of a new American culture.

Prayer is a Good Escape from Loneliness

This was a very cool post that I found over on Catholic News Agency. I like that fact that I can never be alone due to the Our Father. It has always been a favorite prayer of mine to say, and after reading this article I like it even more. Prayer is always a way to escape from loneliness and I think that more people should realize that. God is always there to be a friend if you want him in your life. This post reminded me of that so I thought I would share it with everybody.

“The “Our Father” helps us to confront the difficulties in our lives, said the Holy Father on Sunday. In reciting the prayer, we never find ourselves alone as our voices are “intertwined with that of the Church.”

This Sunday’s Angelus took place amidst the festive atmosphere of Castel Gandolfo’s “Sagra delle pesche,” an annual festival celebrating the local peach production. For the occasion, the Holy Father was presented with a basket of local white peaches which were blessed at a nearby parish, shortly before the Angelus.

During his catechesis, the Pope reflected on Sunday’s Gospel from Luke in which Jesus is asked by the disciples to teach them how to pray. To this, Benedict XVI said, “Jesus does not make objections, He does not speak of strange or esoteric formulas, but with great simplicity He says: ‘When you are praying, say, “Father…,’ and he taught the Our Father, taking it from his own prayer, with which he addressed God, his Father.”

We learn these words from St. Matthew’s Gospel from the time we are young, he pointed out. “They imprint themselves in our memory, mold our lives, they accompany us up to our last breath. They reveal that we are not already completely children of God, but we must become them and be them … through our ever deeper communion with Jesus.

“Being children becomes the equivalent of following Christ,” he said, quoting a passage from the first “Jesus of Nazareth” book.

The Our Father prayer “takes and also expresses” our human and spiritual needs, he explained, alluding to the phrase “Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins.”

The Pontiff noted that this “is not an ‘asking’ to satisfy one’s own wishes, as much rather as gaining from it friendship with God, who – as the Gospel says – “will give the Holy Spirit to those that ask it of him.” – “Through the ‘Our Father’ We are Never Alone Teaches Pope Benedict”, Catholic News Agency

Communion for Pets?

“St. Peter’s Anglican Church has long been known as an open and inclusive place.

So open, it seems, they won’t turn anyone away. Not even a dog.

That’s how a blessed canine ended up receiving communion from interim priest Rev. Marguerite Rea during a morning service the last Sunday in June.

According to those in attendance at the historical church at 188 Carlton St. in downtown Toronto, it was a spontaneous gesture, one intended to make both the dog and its owner – a first timer at the church — feel welcomed. But at least one parishioner saw the act as an affront to the rules and regulations of the Anglican Church. He filed a complaint with the reverend and with the Anglican Diocese of Toronto about the incident – and has since left the church.

“I wrote back to the parishioner that it is not the policy of the Anglican Church to give communion to animals,” said Bishop Patrick Yu, the area bishop of York-Scarborough responsible for St. Peter’s, who received the complaint in early July. “I can see why people would be offended. It is a strange and shocking thing, and I have never heard of it happening before.” – “Can a Dog Receive Communion?”, The Star

This article was literally one of the most stunning things I have ever read in my life. I thought it was a joke at first, but it seems that it actually happened. Hopefully something this sacrilegious never happens again, even if it was in the Anglican Church it is still the Body and Blood of Christ. That is not something that animals get to receive. I don’t see how this could be allowed under any circumstances really.

College Student Raising Money Through Exercise

This article from Catholic News Agency was so inspiring to read about. Sylvan Pinto is a hero that should be getting recognition for the great things he is doing for people in need. This young man is biking and running some ridiculous distances, which in itself is impressive. He is doing them to raise money for very admirable causes too though and that is what makes his story so special. I hope that sharing this with you brings you as much happiness and it did to me. Just hearing about this made my day better.

“Sylvan Pinto IV biked 301 miles from West Newton, Pa., to Washington, D.C., biked 15 miles on another trip and ran 37 miles to help Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg defray medical costs for people in need.

A parishioner of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Greenburg, Pa., Pinto contacted Catholic Charities when he was 16 and a sophomore at Hempfield Area High School.

An avid runner, Pinto, now 20, wanted to “put a reason behind running” and help others. He got the idea after reading the book, “Ultramarathon Man,” about a man who helped save people’s lives by running. The runner logged 200 miles to help pay for a liver transplant for one person and a heart transplant for another.

“It made me think I could do something to help people. I figured I could do it on my own, but it wouldn’t be as special if I didn’t help someone,” said Pinto, an elementary education major who will be a junior this fall at Robert Morris University, Moon Township.

Pinto is on RMU’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams.

Pinto’s first run was 22 miles for families in Greensburg and Johnstown. The Greensburg family’s youngest son, 17 months old at the time and deaf, needed cochlear implants. Pinto raised $2,500, all of which went to defray medical costs.

He also raised the same amount for the Johnstown family, whose 8-year-old child was born with childhood arthritis, and for a girl in Indiana who needed reconstructive facial surgery after being in a vehicle accident when she was 5 years old.

When he biked to Washington this past May 22-26, he raised $2,500 for a 13-year-old and his father from Indian Head. In 2009, the 13-year-old was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer that attacks the muscle and bone connection tissue. Later that year, his father was diagnosed with diffuse large b-cell lymphoma, an aggressive and fast-growing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” – “Pennsylvania College Student Runs and Bikes to Help Those in Need”, Catholic News Agency

Vatican Will be Opening Library Once Again

“After being closed for three years for restructuring and restoration, the Apostolic Vatican Library will reopen on September 20. The renewed facilities will provide easier access to the wealth of information it houses.

The announcement of the reopening originally came from the prefect of the Vatican library, Msgr. Cesare Pasini, last December, but through the Vatican Radio airwaves on Sunday, he refreshed the anticipation for the occasion.

He explained in an interview that having the library closed for the last three years has permitted “so many works” to be carried out which will shortly be available for the benefit of scholars. It will be easier to move in the library, he said, and access to the contents of the library will be made easier through “more refined computerized services.”

The Vatican library maintains more than one million printed books, over 150,000 manuscript volumes, hundreds of thousands of coins and medals, and around 70,000 prints and engravings.” – “Apostolic Vatican Library to Reopen this Fall”, Catholic News Agency

This post over on Catholic News Agency was pretty cool to read about. It looks like closing the library for a few years will pay off in the long run. It will be more organized, more complete, and overall just better by the sounds of this article. Seems like everything is becoming more technologically inclined these days, even the Vatican and old Church documents that are from ages ago. The fact that the majority of these sources will be electronic now is amazing and will without a doubt be of much use.

Goodbyes Are Said to Father Ramon Salas Cacho

This was a sad story to read about on Catholic News Agency. Such a fine priest and man, Father Ramon Salas Cacho was cut down in his prime. Car accidents terrify me and I hate even reading about them. From what I have been gathering Father Ramon was an exceptional man and he was loved by many. Let’s all keep Father Ramon and his family and parish in our prayers over the next few days.

“Coadjutor Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has written a letter bidding farewell to Fr. Ramon Salas Cacho, an exemplary priest who tragically died in a car accident on July 9. In his letter, the archbishop expressed his sympathy and hope in God, praising the courageous testimony of Fr. Salas and the priest’s total commitment to his mission.

“For those who have faith, we know, as St. Paul says, that everything happens for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28). There are events in our lives, however, episodes that remind us that accepting this truth is not always easy,” the archbishop wrote. “One of them has been the departure to Eternal Life of a priest friend, whose entire life was an affirmation of the Year of Priests we have just brought to a close: Fr. Ramon Salas Cacho, who completed his journey among us on July 9.”

“Ramon, how are you?’ I would often ask him each time I had the chance to visit Mexico City,” the archbishop continued in his letter. “‘Will you come with me to the Villa to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe?’ I would invariably ask him. And the generosity of his response was equally invariable: ‘Absolutely! I’ll pick you up at the airport and we’ll go pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe.’”

“The last time we were together at the feet of Our Lady, he turned to me with his usually spiritual joy and said, ‘It’s so great to pray with Our Lady of Guadalupe’,” the prelate recalled.

“His more than 25 years of priesthood were marked by a profound life of prayer, the devout celebration of the Holy Eucharist and untiring attention to the spiritual needs of so many men and women who came to him to be reconciled with God through the sacrament of Confession or to seek out counsel and wisdom through spiritual direction,” Archbishop Gomez noted.” – “Archbishop Gomez Gives Moving Farewell to Priest Killed in Car Accident”, Catholic News Agency

Father Stanley Rother May be Canonized a Saint

“The archdiocesan phase of Fr. Stanley Rother’s cause for canonization came to a close in a Mass this week at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Oklahoma City. The local archbishop expressed his conviction during the homily that the missionary is both a martyr and a saint.

Fr. Rother spent 13 years in Guatemala as a parish priest in Santiago Atitlan, a small town caught up in the country’s civil war in the 1970s and 80s. Aware that his life was in danger he returned to Oklahoma in Jan. 1981, but went back to Guatemala months later after recognizing that his heart was with the people.

He was assassinated on July 28, 1981 by three men who broke into the mission rectory.

Fr. Rother’s cause for canonization was initiated in Oct. 2006 when Archbishop of Oklahoma City, Most Rev. Eusebius J. Beltran, commissioned a committee to collect information about his life and the circumstances that led to his death. He also contracted a canon lawyer, Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, to act as postulator in Rome.

To make beatification possible, the postulator must now prove to the Vatican congregation for saints that Fr. Rother was killed solely for his faith, that his death was violent and that he accepted such a death for the faith.” – “Canonization cause for Murdered Oklahoma Priest Moves to Rome”, Catholic News Agency

After reading this over on Catholic News Agency, there is no doubt in my mind that Father Rother should be canonized. He gave all that he had to Guatemala and its people and he died trying to help them and their faith as Christians. Hopefully whoever makes the final decision on this matter sees eye to eye with me. No matter what I will forever remember Father Rother as a great man and a saint in my heart even if the attempts to have him canonized fail. He deserves respect from everybody, and we could all take a lesson away from the great deeds Father Rother did while he was alive.