Archives for September 2010

Saint Gregory the Great

This posting from A Catholic Mom in Hawaii honors the feast of Saint Gregory the Great, which was yesterday. This article was very well written and is about one of my favorite patron saints. Saint Gregory was Pope from 590 to 604 and led a great life.

“”Dearly beloved, it is fitting that we should follow Him in our hearts to where we believe He has ascended in His body. Let us flee earthly desires. Let nothing here below delight us who have a Father in heaven.

We must consider very carefully that He who was mild at His ascent will be terrible at His return. He will demand from us with great strictness whatever He has commanded of us with gentleness. Le no one take lightly the time of repentance granted us, let no one neglect to have concern for himself while he can do so, because our Redeemer will come with great strictness in proportion to the great patience e has shown us before the judgment.

Reflect on these things, my friends, constantly turn them over in your minds. The disturbance of things may still be driving your hearts to and fro, but fix the anchor of your hope now in your eternal home.

Establish your mind’s attention in the true light. We have heard that the Lord has ascended into Heaven.

Let our belief be the subject of our meditation.

If the weakness of our body still holds us here, let us follow hi by the footsteps of our love.

He who gave us our desire will not fail us, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit God for ever and ever. Amen.

September 2010 Issue of Magnificat, Vol. 12, No.7” – “Feast of St. Gregory the Great”, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii

New US Stamp to Feature Mother Teresa

“Following the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mother Teresa on August 26, the United States Postal Service is honoring her with a new 44 cent stamp. It was issued in a special ceremony today at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

Postmaster General John Potter dedicated the stamp Sunday along with other officials from both the postal service and the Catholic Church, including the Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Auxiliary Bishop of Washington Barry Knestout, Monsignor Walter Rossi of the national shrine, and Sister Leticia, MC, provincial superior of the Missionaries of Charity.

During the ceremony, Potter explained that it is important for the government agency to “focus attention on subjects our country regards with respect and affection, and that is certainly true of Mother Teresa, who believed so deeply in the innate worth and dignity of humankind and worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor, sick, orphaned and dying.”

The postmaster added that he is “very proud” for the U.S. to be “honoring Mother Teresa with such a lasting memorial.” Collectible first-day postmark editions of the new stamp will be available directly through the U.S. Postal Service.

Mother Teresa died in 1997, and was beatified by the Church as “Blessed Teresa of Calcutta” in 2003. Born in Albania, she founded the Missionaries of Charity in India in the late 1940s, where she resolved to work among the “poorest of the poor” for the rest of her life. The Missionaries of Charity have continued her mission among the sick and destitute in India, and now serve those in extreme need in countries throughout the world.

Blessed Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and was made an honorary citizen of the U.S. in 1996, as an acknowledgment of her remarkable and persistent efforts to relieve the suffering of the very poor.

Although she was appreciative of these honors, and spoke highly of many values expressed in America’s founding documents,  Mother Teresa also directed blunt criticism toward the materialism and “spiritual poverty” of Western countries, conditions which she believed led to a particular and systematic neglect of the unborn and the elderly.

Prior to receiving her honorary American citizenship, she  summed up her message to America in her letter to the Supreme Court:

“I have no new teaching for America. I seek only to recall you to faithfulness to what you once taught the world. Your nation was founded on the proposition—very old as a moral precept, but startling and innovative as a political insight—that human life is a gift of immeasurable worth, and that it deserves, always and everywhere, to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.”

Mother Teresa also addressed a public letter to the Supreme Court on the subject of abortion, which she described as an “infinitely tragic and destructive departure” the American vision of human rights.

Today the work of the Missionaries of Charity in the U.S. have focused particularly on outreach to those suffering from AIDS, and mothers who are facing challenging pregnancies.” – “New US Stamp Honors Mother Teresa, Admirer and Critic of American Society”, Catholic News Agency

I found this posting about Mother Teresa on Catholic News Agency earlier today. The postmaster general and the rest of the postal service has released a new stamp dedicated to Mother Teresa. The stamp is a 44 cent make and is being released to the recent celebration of Mother Teresa’s 100 birthday. It is good to see people are recognizing the great Catholic life of the this almost certain saint.

Reconciliation Will be Celebrated for Mexico’s Bicentennial

I previously wrote about Mexico saying the rosary for it’s 200th Anniversary, but today I found this article on EWTN. This story is about bishops of the Catholic Church who are also suggesting that Mexican citizen try and attend Reconciliation on this day as well. I am glad to see religious aspects of celebration for this country’s bicentennial. It would be nice to see other countries follow in the foot steps of Mexico.

“The Bishops’ Conference of Mexico has released a pastoral letter for the country’s bicentennial celebrations in which they call on the nation to maintain its Catholic roots and seek reconciliation as the key to confronting social problems.

The 72-page letter is divided into three parts, focusing first on Mexico’s past and the role the faith has played in forging the nation’s identity and history, then stressing the country’s need for policies that prioritize the “legitimate yearning for freedom and justice.”

The third section underscores the duty Mexicans have to be “the protagonists of events and not mere spectators.” The bishops proposed three fundamental priorities for the continued development of the country: an all-out attack on poverty, quality and comprehensive education for all, and a sustained effort to bring about reconciliation, unity and integration to all components of society.

The bishops stressed that the well being of the country demands that all “doors be closed to the temptation to resort to violence, which only causes death, backsliding and destruction.” “To those who seek to sow a state of fear and death through illicit and criminal activities, putting everything that we have achieved throughout our history at risk, … we must say that the real Mexican society repudiates them and the Church calls them to a conversion back to the paths of justice and good.”

“Mexico is a great nation with a providential history and vocation,” the bishops said in conclusion. “It is a country that has been blessed by God” and should continue along that path.” – “Bishop Propose Reconciliation As Key to Celebrating Mexico’s Bicentennial” , EWTN

Advice from Pope Benedict XVI

“At the closing of a summer seminar for his former students, the Holy Father urged gratitude for the Eucharist, remarking that the Sacrament shows how “God’s style” is different than man’s, given the human tendency to give “only to those who will give us something back.”

The Pope’s former students gathered in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo between Aug. 27-30 for their annual seminar, which is often referred to as the “Ratzinger Schulerkreis.” According to Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano (LOR), the theme of this year’s encounter focused on the Second Vatican Council. This year’s gathering drew the participation of 40 priests, professors, religious and lay people.

LOR reported that the topic of the four-day seminar was chosen by the Pope himself from among several options proposed by the association of his former theology students. Also selected by the Pope was the main speaker, Archbishop Kurt Koch, the recently appointed replacement for Cardinal Walter Kasper as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Archbishop Koch’s addresses to the group examined “The Second Vatican Council between tradition and innovation” and “Sacrosanctum concilium and the post-Conciliar reform of the liturgy.”

Pope Benedict was present at the meeting hall, located near the Castel Gandolfo town center, for several events on the schedule. After Archbishop Koch’s Friday and Saturday sessions, the Pope participated in discussions. On Sunday morning, he presided over Mass for his former students and joined them for breakfast.

“At the end of today’s Gospel,” the Pope said during his homily on Sunday, “the Lord makes us see how, in reality, we continue to live like the pagans do. We extend invitations only to those who can invite us. We give only to those who can give back.”

“But God’s style is different,” he said, adding that “we experience it in the Eucharist.”

“He invites us to His table, us, who have nothing to give Him,” the Holy Father continued. “During this event of the Eucharist, let’s let ourselves be touched above all by gratitude for the fact that God exists, that, despite our having nothing to give Him and being full of sins, He invites us to His table and wants to sit with us.”

“But,” the Pontiff noted, “we also want to be touched by guilt for being so slightly detached from the pagan style, for living so slightly the newness, God’s style.”

“And because of this,” the Holy Father concluded, “let’s start Mass by asking for forgiveness: a forgiveness that will change us, that will really make us similar to God, in His resemblance.”” – “Holy Father Closes ‘Summer School’ Urging Gratitude for God’s Forgiveness”, EWTN

It is good to see Pope Benedict teaching groups of mixed audiences about how to become closer with God. He has students, priests, bishops, and lay people all listening to him as equals. This is a beautiful thing and I am glad to see it happening. His main point of God giving to those who have nothing to return is an extremely valuable lesson that people should really take to heart more often. After reading it I know that I certainly am going to try to be more generous to others today.

Priest to Run Marathon in Denver

A Catholic priest from Colorado is going to be running in a marathon solely for prayers. That’s right, a team of members from a local parish will be running in a Denver based marathon in October. These guys only want people to say prayers for the vocation of priesthood. This is an absolutely amazing thing to see, and it is quite unique as well if you ask me. I think this is such a wonderful thing that is being done, and hopefully the prayers are heard and the Denver area finds more priests.

“A priest in the Archdiocese of Denver is launching an effort to increase prayers for vocations during the city’s upcoming marathon next month, telling CNA that there is a “great need” for vocations and that many young men and women in society “are not responding to the call.”

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon, which will be held on Oct. 17, draws thousands of participants to Colorado’s capital city each year, many of whom run to raise funds for specific causes. Rather than asking for financial pledges, however, Fr. Jim Crisman – director of vocations for the Denver archdiocese – is having runners ask for prayer pledges in the time leading up to the race.

Athletes who have signed up for the Run4Vocations initiative will run in the marathon as part of a relay team. They are asking the faithful to pledge prayers for an increase in vocations to Holy Orders and Consecrated Life within the archdiocese.

“There is a great need in the Archdiocese of Denver for more priests,” Fr. Crisman told CNA in an e-mail on Tuesday. “Additionally there is a great need for more men and women in Consecrated vocations.”

“Today we are witnessing a generous response by many of our young men and women to the Lord’s call to a supernatural vocation,” he wrote. “Even so, there are more who are being called and not responding to the call.”

When asked how many new students have entered the burgeoning Denver seminary, Fr. Crisman said that the “final count for the year is not yet in, but we have about 75 men in formation for the Archdiocese of Denver this year.”

“Archbishop Chaput ordained 5 men last spring and we accepted a dozen new men this fall,” he added. “Things are going well but the need keeps growing.”

Fr. Crisman said that individuals wishing to participate in the event can visit the website …

“When they click on the ‘RUN’ tab at the top of the page, and choose the ‘PRAYER PLEDGES’ button they will be taken to a page where they can register their prayer pledges and join us in asking the Lord for an increase in vocations to Holy Orders and Consecrated Life,” he explained.

In addition, the priest noted, “the page also shows some of the runners involved and gives a short bio on each.” Fr. Crisman remarked to CNA, “we would love to have supporters at the event both cheering and praying. If anyone would like to join the growing list of runners we would welcome that as well.”

When asked what served as his inspiration for starting the Run4Vocations effort, Fr. Crisman explained that the Archdiocese of Washington has a similar program.

“A college friend of mine has run in a marathon there for years raising money for their vocations office,” he said. “Seeing the opportunity to get people more involved in supporting vocations and raising prayer support for our vocation candidates made me begin this program here in Denver.”” – “Denver Priest Plans to Run for Vocations at Upcoming Marathon”, EWTN

September Prayer Intentions from the Pope

“Pope Benedict’s general prayer intention for September is: “That in less developed parts of the world the proclamation of the Word of God may renew people’s hearts, encouraging them to work actively toward authentic social progress”.

His mission intention is: “That by opening our hearts to love we may put an end to the numerous wars and conflicts which continue to bloody our world”.”-“Benedict XVI’s Prayer Intentions for September”, EWTN

This concise statement sums up what Pope Benedict thinks would make the world a better place during the month of September. While these things won’t happen over the course of just a month, I think it is important that everybody keep the Pope’s intention at heart. If we just think with this mentality it can start making the first move towards a better tomorrow. I was glad that EWTN took the time to post this statement made by Pope Benedict XVI.