Friday, January 30, 2009

Celebration of 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation to be opened shortly

The members of the Society of Saint Francis de Sales, known as the Salesians, are preparing to begin the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of their foundation.

Officially started on December 18, 1859, in Turin by Fr. John Bosco, a priest of the Turin archdiocese, the Salesian Congregation today is present in 129 countries with 16,092 members (10,669 priests, 2,025 brothers, 2,765 clerical students, 515 novices, 118 bishops of whom 5 are cardinals: Cardinals Bertone, Farina, Obando, Rodriguez, and Zen).

The anniversary recalls the meeting on December 18, 1859, in Don Bosco’s room at the Oratory of Saint Francis de Sales in Valdocco, at that time a slum neighborhood of Turin, where 18 young men, as recorded in the minutes of the event, decided “to form a society or congregation with the aim of promoting the glory of God and the salvation of souls, especially of those most in need of instruction and education, while providing the members with mutual help toward their own sanctification.”

The Rector Major of the Salesians, Fr. Pascual Chavez Villanueva, in his letter regarding the 150th anniversary addressed to all the Salesians in the world, called 2009 “a year of grace” that ought to help the sons of Don Bosco remember their origins and the goal toward which they are called.

A large number of events are planned in the 93 provinces of the Society. The year of celebration will officially begin on January 31, the liturgical feast of Don Bosco. On that occasion Fr. Chavez will preside at Mass in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians at Valdocco. During the Mass, which will be broadcast live on Telepace at 6:10 p.m. (GMT+1), in streaming, the ninth successor of Don Bosco will give his traditional message to the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement around the world. On the same day the publication is expected of “Project Europe” of the Salesian Congregation. In response to the new challenges that the Old World is presenting to religious life, to the education and formation of the young, the Salesians are re-launching their presence in Europe.

This ”year of grace” will be marked by other special dates and events:
May 25: celebration of the feast of Mary Help of Christians, principal patroness of the Salesian Family;
· June 24, Don Bosco’s traditional name day, feast of the Rector Major;
· August 16, Don Bosco’s birthday;
· December 18: all the Salesians in the world will be invited to renew their religious profession.
An outstanding event will be the pilgrimage of the casket containing relics of Don Bosco, which will visit the various countries where the Salesians are present. The long journey will begin in July this year in Chile and will come to an end in 2015, the bicentennial year of Don Bosco’s birth.

Rich Mullins: Credo

This is a great song from the late, great Rich Mullins!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Benedict XVI: Remission of excommunication an act of mercy

I miss the flawed Presidents!

I really, really, really agree with the Anchoress on this one!

Exponential Times!

I found this at Patrick Madrid's site and I found it to be actually pretty amazing... and disturbing!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Trace Adkins - Muddy Water

The Holy Father on Youtube!

Have  you checked out the Vatican on Youtube yet?  Check it out!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Benedict XVI : in the media, a voice in service of peace

I think that the purpose of a communications tool like this one is to help build up a large family that knows no borders. One in which, with its variety of cultures and languages, all people are brothers and sisters. In this way they represent a force for peace. My wish to all those who are listening to me right now is that they may feel truly involved in this great dialogue of truth. As we know, in the world of communications, contrasting voices make themselves heard as well. Thats why its all the more important that this voice exists, a voice that really puts itself at the service of the truth, of Christ, and thus serves peace and reconciliation in the world.

God is good: The Sandias of New Mexico

The Sandias (1of7) from New Mexico PBS on Vimeo.
“If we want to be spiritual, then, let us first of all live our lives. Let us not fear the responsibilities and the inevitable distractions of the work appointed for us by the will of God. Let us embrace reality and thus find ourselves immersed in the life-giving will and wisdom of God which surrounds us everywhere." - Thomas Merton - from Thoughts in Solitude

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Update: Pope Benedict encourages young people to use technology for evangelization!

The following comes from the Catholic News Service:

Pope Benedict XVI asked young Catholics to use their computers, Facebook accounts, blogs and Internet video posts to share with their peers the joy of faith in Christ.

"Be sure to announce the Gospel to your contemporaries with enthusiasm," the pope told young people in his message for the 2009 celebration of World Communications Day.

"Human hearts are yearning for a world where love endures, where gifts are shared, where unity is built, where freedom finds meaning in truth and where identity is found in respectful communion," said Pope Benedict's message, which was released at the Vatican Jan. 23.

The theme for the 2009 World Communications Day, which will be celebrated May 24 in most dioceses, is "New Technologies, New Relationships: Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship."

Releasing the message -- which included e-mailing it directly to 100,000 young Catholics around the world and asking them to forward it or post it on their Web sites -- the Vatican also announced that it would take a further step into the digital age by making video of the pope available on YouTube, a video-sharing Web site.

In his message, Pope Benedict said that if used creatively and correctly new computer technologies can help people meet the human longing to connect with others and share the search for goodness, beauty and truth.

Of course, he said, people must "avoid the sharing of words and images that are degrading of human beings, that promote hatred and intolerance, that debase the goodness and intimacy of human sexuality or that exploit the weak and vulnerable."

And praising the way young people use the Internet to form and maintain friendships, he also cautioned against trivializing friendship by not forming real, face-to-face relationships.

"It would be sad if our desire to sustain and develop online friendships were to be at the cost of our availability to engage with our families, our neighbors and those we meet in the daily reality of our places of work, education and recreation," Pope Benedict said.

"If the desire for virtual connectedness becomes obsessive, it may in fact function to isolate individuals from real social interaction while also disrupting the patterns of rest, silence and reflection that are necessary for healthy human development," the pope said.

Still, Pope Benedict said, new technologies have an "extraordinary potential" to bring people together, to help them share information, to rally them to work for good causes and to educate.

"They respond to a fundamental desire of people to communicate and to relate to each other," he said.

"When we find ourselves drawn toward other people, when we want to know more about them and make ourselves known to them, we are responding to God's call -- a call that is imprinted in our nature as beings created in the image and likeness of God, the God of communication and communion," Pope Benedict said.

Much of the pope's message was addressed to the "digital generation," to young people who have grown up using computers and cellular phones, e-mail and text messaging.

He asked them "to bring the witness of their faith to the digital world" and to write openly about the joys of faith when they write their profiles on social-networking sites or blogs.

The first step in evangelization is to understand the culture in which the Gospel will be proclaimed, he said, and young Catholics are the ones who have that understanding of their peers and of the Internet culture they use to communicate.

"You know their fears and their hopes, their aspirations and their disappointments," the pope told young Catholics. "The greatest gift you can give to them is to share with them the good news of a God who became man, who suffered, died and rose again to save all people."

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, told reporters Jan. 23 that the message was distinctive for the sense of trust and openness it showed toward new technologies and for the fact that it was addressed primarily to young Catholics.

Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the council, said people who have grown up with computer technology "and integrated it naturally into their lifestyles" communicate, learn, get information and engage in political and social activities differently than people over 40 years old, the so-called "digital immigrants."

But, he said, young people and anyone else using the new technologies need to be careful about the content they are generating, sharing or drawing to the attention of others.

"We are all aware of the risks of news forms of cyberbullying and abusive postings that have emerged in recent years," he said.

Pope lifts excommunications of Lefebvrite bishops

Below is the story on the lifting of the excommunication from CNS. You can also learn more on the subject from Fr. Z here and here. Let's continue to pray for unity in the Church!

Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunication of four bishops ordained against papal orders in 1988 by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The move was considered a major concession to the archbishop's traditionalist followers.

The Vatican said the decree removing the excommunication, signed Jan. 21 and made public three days later, marked an important step toward full communion with the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1970.

It said some questions remain unresolved with the society, including its future status and that of its priests, and that these issues would be the subject of further talks.

"The Holy Father was motivated in this decision by the hope that complete reconciliation and full communion may be reached as soon as possible," a Vatican statement said.

The head of the society, Bishop Bernard Fellay, had requested the removal of the excommunication in a letter Dec. 15. Bishop Fellay wrote that he and the three other bishops illicitly ordained in 1988 were determined to remain Catholic, and accepted the teachings of Pope Benedict "with filial spirit."

The Vatican said the pope had responded positively to the request in order to promote "the unity in charity of the universal church and succeed in removing the scandal of division."

The decree removing the excommunications, issued by the Congregation for Bishops, underlined the hope that this step would be followed by full communion, and that all members of the Society of St. Pius X would demonstrate "true fidelity and true acknowledgment of the Magisterium and the authority of the pope."

The move came after one of the illicitly ordained bishops, British-born Bishop Richard Williamson, provoked Jewish protests with assertions that the Holocaust was exaggerated and that no Jews died in Nazi gas chambers. He spoke in a TV interview recorded last November but aired in mid-January.

The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said emphatically that the Vatican did not share Bishop Williamson's views, but that it was a completely separate issue from the lifting of the excommunication.

"Saying a person is not excommunicated is not the same as saying one shares all his ideas or statements," Father Lombardi said.

The removal of the excommunication was a key condition of the Society of St. Pius X in its on-again, off-again talks with the Vatican over reconciliation. The pope in 2007 granted another of the society's requests, widening the possibility for use of the Tridentine rite, the form of Mass used before the Second Vatican Council.

Archbishop Lefebvre rejected several important teachings of the Second Vatican Council, including those related to religious liberty, ecumenism and liturgy. The Vatican statements did not mention the council's teachings, and Father Lombardi had no comment on whether the society was asked to adhere to them.

The Vatican action came the day before the 50th anniversary of Pope John XXIII's announcement of the Second Vatican Council. Father Lombardi said it would be wrong to see the lifting of the excommunication as a rejection of Vatican II.

"On the contrary, I think it is a beautiful thing that the council is no longer considered an element of division, but as an element in which every member of the church can meet," he said.

In addition to Bishops Fellay and Williamson, the decree removed the excommunication for French Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais and Argentine Bishop Alphonso de Galarreta. The Vatican said in 1988 that Archbishop Lefebvre and the bishops he ordained had incurred automatic excommunication for defying papal orders against the ordination.

Feast of the day: Conversion of St. Paul

Today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul! As we continue in the Year of St. Paul it is most important to mark this day with a special remembrance of this holy, courageous apostle. Here is the first reading of the day from the Acts of the Apostles:

I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamali-el, educated according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as you all are this day. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as the high priest and the whole council of elders bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brethren, and I journeyed to Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.

"As I made my journey and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?' And I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' And He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.' Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the One who was speaking to me. And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.' And when I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.

"And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight.' And in that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, 'The God of our fathers appointed you to know His will, to see the Just One and to hear a voice from His mouth; for you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.'

Friday, January 23, 2009

Is the Mother of God appearing in Malta?

This is something I had not heard of before, but there are alleged apparitions happening in Malta! We have to pray for discernment in all of these kinds of things, but it is important to reflect on what the grace of God might be doing there. Here is a site with more information. Here is the official English website. For more videos you can click here.

Angelik, is a visionary and stigmatist from a small island called Malta who since the 21st of April, 2006 has been seeing the Mother of God to whom she gives her messages. Angelik also suffers the pain of the stigmata.

This Video shows how everthing started when a statue of the Immaculate Conception wept tears of blood in his house on 23rd January 2006.

A narration on the chronological facts that occurred on Borg in-Nadur Hill at Birzebbuga in Malta.

What is the Main Message of the Mother of God in these apparitions?

What is she asking from us, her children?

The Early Apparitions...

The following comes from a facebook page:

Since 2006, the Virgin Mary has been appearing in Malta to a certain Anglik Caruana on a hill known as "Borg in-Nadur' in Birzebbuga, presenting herself as the Queen of Peace of Family and asking for an urgent conversion in families. She has been insisting for us to intercede, in particular for five countries, namely: Iran, Russia, America, China and Australia.

With her motherly love, in a series of apparitions which still occur to this day, (every Wednesday on a weekly basis), Mary gives a message to the world which can be summed up in five main points: prayer from the heart, fasting, reconciliation with God and with our neighbour, conversion and peace, especially by means of praying the rosary, in particular for families to overcome the forces of evil.

The centrality of the apparitions is the Eucharist, and this is reflected, in paritulcar, in a prayer which she gave to Angelik: "Holy Trinity we adore you, My God My God we love you in the most blessed Sacrament', - an echo of the same prayer she had given to the children of Fatima a century ago.

These apparitions are being followed by the Church thanks to two priests. An international team of established psychologists is also involved to investigate this case from a psychological/ paranormal viewpoint.

The website of the Spiritual Director of Angelik, Fr. Hayden Williams, OFM, can be found here.

Volition: A movie with a soul

Volition TRAILER : The Doorpost Film Project from The Doorpost Film Project on Vimeo.
"The act of making a choice. Sometimes the choice of inaction has consequences stronger than we could ever imagine. Throughout history, men have been faced with difficult choices in a world that makes it easy for them to conform. This film explores the hope that lies behind every decision made in the face of adversity; the hope that is buried in the heart of those that look beyond themselves and see something bigger worth fighting for."
To learn more about this project please click here.

The Call to Fatima on Fox News!

This film tells the story of the apparitions of Our Lady to the three children at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. It is based on Sister Lucia's books Memoirs I and Memoirs II.

This interview and story on Fox was very well done. Enjoy the 2007 interview from Fox News on the premiere of "The Call to Fatima"!

Irish Vocation Video: You will be my witnesses!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just One Judge

Find more videos like this on Catholic Mountain

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Brenden Foster: "Follow your dreams!"

This 11 year old had a lot to offer us in his short life. May he rest in peace!

Everyone Has a Right to Life!

Saint of the day: Agnes of Rome

Today is the Feast of St. Agnes! This young girl was gifted with extraordinary faith and courage! She is a model of holiness that we can surely use in our own day as purity is so often attacked. The following is from Catholic Online:

St. Agnes was a Roman girl who was only thirteen years old when she suffered martyrdom for her Faith. Agnes had made a promise, a promise to God never to stain her purity. Her love for the Lord was very great and she hated sin even more than death! Since she was very beautiful, many young men wished to marry Agnes, but she would always say, "Jesus Christ is my only Spouse."

Procop, the Governor's son, became very angry when she refused him. He had tried to win her for his wife with rich gifts and promises, but the beautiful young girl kept saying, "I am already promised to the Lord of the Universe. He is more splendid than the sun and the stars, and He has said He will never leave me!" In great anger, Procop accused her of being a Christian and brought her to his father, the Governor. The Governor promised Agnes wonderful gifts if she would only deny God, but Agnes refused. He tried to change her mind by putting her in chains, but her lovely face shone with joy. Next he sent her to a place of sin, but an Angel protected her. At last, she was condemned to death. Even the pagans cried to see such a young and beautiful girl going to death. Yet, Agnes was as happy as a bride on her wedding day. She did not pay attention to those who begged her to save herself. "I would offend my Spouse," she said, "if I were to try to please you. He chose me first and He shall have me!" Then she prayed and bowed her head for the death-stroke of the sword.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Youth for Truth"

Life is amazing!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Priests should encourage recovery of Sacrament of Reconciliation!

The following comes from CNA and I couldn't agree more! Confession is such a key to any meaningful spiritual life!

The Vatican congregation in charge of overseeing the Sacrament of Reconciliation as well as the granting of indulgences has just finished a conference in Rome. The aim of the meeting was help people recover “the joy of the personal experience of the mercy of God” and to encourage priests to make this a priority.

According to the L’Osservatore Romano, the event which took place January 13 and 14 was, in the words of the head of the Apostolic Penitentary, Cardinal Francis Stafford, an occasion “to offer to the men and women of today, immersed in a post-modern culture, the opportunity to reflect profoundly on their interior life and ask God for forgiveness for the ‘abuse of power’ that is in their hands.”

“Our objective,” he said, “is to reflect deeply on the pastoral meaning of our Tribunal and why the Church, in her wisdom, created this tribunal of mercy. My hope is that the answer has been clear in these two days of meeting and conversation.”

The Vatican newspaper also quoted Manlio Sodi of the Salesian Pontifical University, who led a round-table discussing during the Symposium and said the issue of penitential services and general confessions, which are more common in North America, are “rites that fundamentally alter the very foundations of the personal act of Confession.”

“It is a practice that poses enormous problems. If the rite of Penance were observed and taught instead, the faithful would not be misguided,” Sodi explained.

L’Osservatore Romano also pointed out that the “traditional rite of Confession underscores the aspect of liberation which divine mercy freely offers to the penitent who wishes to be reconciled with God.”

OBAMA'S NEW NEW DEAL: As bad as the old New Deal

Nobel laureate economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says he wants President-elect Barack Obama to enact "something like a new New Deal." Historian Douglas Brinkley has said that Obama could come to office with a "sweeping legislative agenda which will be Johnson-like or New Deal-like." An aide close to Obama told New York magazine that "A lot of people around Barack are reading books about FDR's first hundred days."

On the cusp of a deep economic recession, and with a staggering amount of bailout money being offered to struggling industries, pundits and political advisers are advocating that the incoming Obama administration construct a new New Deal.

But is the popular narrative about the old New Deal—that Keynesian economics and top-down planning rescued America from the Great Depression—accurate?'s Michael C. Moynihan talks to UCLA economist Lee Ohanian, who argues in work written with colleague Harold Cole, that the New Deal's massive intervention into the economy actually prolonged the economic crisis by seven years.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Marine Corp Cool!

The Church has to advertise vocations as effectively as the Marine Corp advertises themselves!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Irish Spirit: Only 2 Months to St. Pat's!

It's only 2 months to St. Patrick's Day! Here is a bit of Irish joy for you!

Saint of the day: Anthony of the Desert

Today is the feast of St. Anthony of the Desert! This great man is considered the Father of monastic life. Here was a man who lived the Gospel message and called others to do the same! The following comes from the Magnificat website: Saint Anthony was born in the year 251, in Upper Egypt. Hearing at Mass the words, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor,” he gave away all his vast possessions — staying only to see that his sister’s education was completed — and retired into the desert. He then begged an aged hermit to teach him the spiritual life, and he also visited various solitaries, undertaking to copy the principal virtue of each.

To serve God more perfectly, Anthony immured himself in a ruin, building up the door so that none could enter. Here the devils assaulted him furiously, appearing as various monsters, and even wounding him severely; but his courage never failed, and he overcame them all by confidence in God and by the sign of the cross. One night, while Anthony was in his solitude, many devils scourged him so terribly that he lay as if dead. A friend found him in this condition, and believing him dead carried him home. But when Anthony came to himself he persuaded his friend to take him back, in spite of his wounds, to his solitude. Here, prostrate from weakness, he defied the devils, saying, “I fear you not; you cannot separate me from the love of Christ.” After more vain assaults the devils fled, and Christ appeared to Anthony in His glory.

Saint Anthony’s only food was bread and water, which he never tasted before sunset, and sometimes only once in two, three, or four days. He wore sackcloth and sheepskin, and he often knelt in prayer from sunset to sunrise.

His admirers became so many and so insistent that he was eventually persuaded to found two monasteries for them and to give them a rule of life. These were the first monasteries ever to be founded, and Saint Anthony is, therefore, the father of cenobites of monks. In 311 he went to Alexandria to take part in the Arian controversy and to comfort those who were being persecuted by Maximinus. This visit lasted for a few days only, after which he retired into a solitude even more remote so that he might cut himself off completely from his admirers. When he was over ninety, he was commanded by God in a vision to search the desert for Saint Paul the Hermit. He is said to have survived until the age of a hundred and five, when he died peacefully in a cave on Mount Kolzim near the Red Sea. Saint Athanasius, his biographer, says that the mere knowledge of how Saint Anthony lived is a good guide to virtue.

To learn more about St. Anthony check out the Patron Saints Index!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Taizé prints a million Bibles for China!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Miracle on the Hudson!

A US Airways plane crashed into the frigid Hudson River on Thursday afternoon after striking a bird that disabled two engines, sending 150 on board scrambling onto rescue boats, authorities say. No deaths or serious injuries were immediately reported.

To read more please click here!


Diocesan seminaries in the United States are generally healthy, concluded a letter from the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education after an apostolic visitation to review centers of priestly formation.

The letter was released this week by the U.S. bishops' conference. It was directed to cardinals, bishops, major superiors, and all those responsible for diocesan seminaries and religious houses of priestly formation in the United States.

To read the whole Zenit story please click here.

Scientists left baffled as mysterious columns of coloured light appear in the night skies

These images are amazing... and unexplainable!


Here are some interesting insights into the needs of teenage boys:

Being the parent of an adolescent boy is legendary for its difficulty. But according to one priest who acts as a spiritual director and confessor for high school boys, just keeping in mind seven points can make for a better relationship with adolescent sons.

Father Michael Sliney suggests the following seven necessities for parents of adolescent boys:
1. Clear guidelines with reasonable consequences from a unified front; cutting slack but also holding boys accountable for their actions.
2. Reasonable explanations for the criteria, guidelines and decisions made by parents.
3. Avoiding hyper-analysis of boys' emotions and states of mind: avoiding "taking their temperature" too often.
4. Unconditional love with an emphasis on character and effort more than outcome: Encourage boys to live up to their potential while having reasonable expectations. To love them regardless of whether they make it into Harvard or become a star quarterback.
5. Authenticity, faith and fidelity should be reflected in parent's lifestyles.
6. Qualities of a dad: Manliness, temperance, making significant time for family, putting aside work, and being a reliable source of guidance.
7. Qualities of a mom: Emotional stability, selflessness, loving service and extreme patience.
In this interview with ZENIT, Father Sliney takes a deeper look at the seven points.

To read the entire interview on this topic please click here for the Zenit site.

Frati Minori Rinnovati

The Friars Minor Renewed are Franciscans founded in Palermo, Italy 1972. They are a renewal of the Capuchin charism, of contemplative prayer, radical joyful poverty, penance and evangelical preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Living in poverty on the outskirts of Corleone and Naples, Italy, and who are also on the outskirts of Palermo, Sicily.
Their main Friary is in Corleone,Sicily. (they also have missions in Columbia and Africa).
MotherHouse (write in Italiano,or Français,Espagnol or simple english) to:

Frati Minori Rinnovati
Eremo san Bernardo
90034 Corleone,Italy
(Sicily )

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Our Lady of Soufanieh

I came across this story and the news of this visionary recently online and was so impressed! I think God blesses the Church with all of these outpourings of the Spirit for a reason. I pray we are paying attention and renewing our faith and transforming our lives! This comes from the Soufanieh page:

Since November 1982, a simple home in the Christian neighborhood of Soufanieh in Damascus, Syria, has been the centre of a series of remarkable supernatural phenomena, which continue happening to this day.

On November 22, 1982, Mary Kourbet Al-Akhras, known as Myrna, was praying at the bedside of her sister-in-law Layla, who was seriously ill. An Orthodox and a Moslem woman were praying along with her.
Suddenly Myrna felt that her body was shivering as if some force was coming out from inside her. The Moslem woman, Mayada Kowzaly, then noticed a strange light radiating from Myrna's hands, and a moment after, an oily substance, which seemed to flow right out of her skin. Mayada shouted at her to look at her hands. But Myrna was utterly confused and couldn't comprehend what was happening or what to do. Mayada then quickly told her to put her hands on her sister-in-law. And to everyone's amazement and joy, the sick woman instantly felt better and after a while her illness miraculously disappeared altogether.

In the evening Myrna was picked up by her husband, Nicolas. The women excitedly told him what had happened, but Nicolas was rather skeptical and didn't really know what to make of it. The phenomenon occurred again on November 25 and Myrna's mother was cured in the same manner.

On November 27, 1982, a three-inch tall picture of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child in a cheap plastic frame began exuding oil. It flowed out from the bottom of the image and onto the floor next to Nicolas and Myrna's bed. When oil also began appearing on Myrna's hands, Nicholas decided to call all his relatives to come and witness what was happening.

Everyone came and they all began praying together. Within the first hour, four large dishes full of oil extruded from the Icon. Suddenly all sound began to disappear, like a vacuum, from Myrna's ears and soon she could hear nothing at all. She then heard a woman's soft voice, as if it came from inside a seashell, saying: "Do not be frightened. I am with you. Open the doors and do not deprive anyone from seeing me. Light a candle for me".

Monday, January 12, 2009

U2: How Long To Sing This Song

A new U2 album is due to hit the shelves late next month!  Very cool!

Economic Prophet

Peter Schiff seems to be a real economic prophet! He was exactly right about what was going to happen in the economy. He has been predicting our current mess for a few years now. Listen carefully to his understanding of our coming economic trouble. Let's pray common sense prevails!

Check out the reaction of other economic experts to Peter Schiff:

Hat tip to Patrick Madrid for posting these videos!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pope Benedict: True worship is when man becomes the glory of God!

True worship is expressed by man when he becomes, with his entire self, the Glory of God. Benedict XVI reiterated this in today's General Audience catechesis, speaking again of St. Paul and taking into consideration some of the texts in which the Apostle analyzes the meaning of sacrifices offered to God. Following St. Paul, the Holy Father observed, we know that the Apostle of the Gospel is a true priest and makes his entire life a sacrifice to honor God.

The goal of missionary activity is that people be united in Christ and that the world become the glory of God. The gift of Christ includes the attraction of all to full communion in His Body, to unite the world. Only in communion with Christ, one with God, the world becomes what we wish it to be: a mirror of Divine Love.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

National Vocation Awareness Week!

The following comes from the Catholic News Agency:

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced that the Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week from January 11 to January 17.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, said the week is a chance for parishes across the country “to highlight the gift of vocations in the church through prayer and education.”

“As a church, we recognize the need to safeguard and promote this gift,” he added.

Father James Steffes, the USCCB’s executive director of the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations, added: “This week reminds us that it is our responsibility to pray for vocations and to invite young people to consider a call to ordained ministry and consecrated life.

“The church needs to help young people hear the Lord in prayer, so they can recognize him in their lives.”

National Vocation Awareness Week began in 1976 and originally began on the 28th Sunday of the year. In 1997, the observance was moved to coincide with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, celebrated on January 11.

Remembering John Paul II

This film portrays the highlights of John Paul II pontificate. Arias and religious hymns performed by Andrea Bocelli.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Romanian Hermits and Anchorites: Humility, humility, and again humility!

The richness of our faith still astounds me sometimes! I came across this video at the Crescat blog and was so impressed. Who knew there were still people living these kinds of religious lives today. The monk (or hermit, or anchorite) in the video has some wonderful things to say about prayer. Here is a general definition of this kind of life:

Anchorite (male)/anchoress (female), (adj. anchoritic; from the Greek ἀναχωρέω anachōreō, signifying "to withdraw", "to depart into the rural countryside"), denotes someone who, for religious reasons, withdraws from secular society so as to be able to lead an intensely prayer-oriented, ascetic and, circumstances permitting, Eucharist-focused life. As a result, anchorites are usually considered to be a type of religious hermit,[1] although there are distinctions in their historical development and theology.

The anchoritic life is one of the earliest forms of Christian monastic living. Popularly it is perhaps best-known from the surviving archeological and literary evidence of its existence in medieval England.

In the Roman Catholic Church today it is one of the "Other Forms of Consecrated Life" and governed by the same norms as the consecrated eremitic life (The Code of Canon Law 1983, canon 603).

Thank God for these holy people lifting up the world in prayer! To learn more about hermits and their life click here.

Completely Christ's!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, Rest in Peace

The following sad news comes from the editor of First Things:

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus slipped away today, January 8, shortly before 10 o’clock, at the age of seventy-two. He never recovered from the weakness that sent him to the hospital the day after Christmas, caused by a series of side effects from the cancer he was suffering. He lost consciousness Tuesday evening after a collapse in his heart rate, and the next day, in the company of friends, he died.

My tears are not for him—for he knew, all his life, that his Redeemer lives, and he has now been gathered by the Lord in whom he trusted.

I weep, rather for all the rest of us. As a priest, as a writer, as a public leader in so many struggles, and as a friend, no one can take his place. The fabric of life has been torn by his death, and it will not be repaired, for those of us who knew him, until that time when everything is mended and all our tears are wiped away.

Funeral arrangements are still being planned; more information about the funeral will be made public shortly. Please accept our thanks for all your prayers and good wishes.

In Deepest Sorrow,

Joseph Bottum
First Things

Francis Xavier Seelos Day in Louisiana!

On October 5, 2008, the Governor of Louisiana issued a proclamation to commemorate the 141st anniversary of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos’ death in New Orleans:

“I, Bobby Jindal, Governor of the State of Louisiana, do hereby proclaim October 5, 2008 as Father Seelos Day in the State of Louisiana.” The proclamation, with the Governor’s actual signature, attests that “Father Seelos worked tirelessly to comfort those afflicted by the New Orleans yellow fever epidemic of 1867, until he himself was struck down by the disease and died on October 4, 1867." It further notes that the sacred remains of this revered Redemptorist missionary “rest in the national shrine at St. Mary’s Assumption Church.”

"Seelos, Tireless Intercessor" on EWTN

Saturday, January 10 8:00PM EST (7:00 PM CST)

Sunday, January 11 2:00 AM EST (1:00 AM CST)

Thursday, January 15 1:00 PM EST (12:00 PM CST)

Find out more about this holy priest at!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Benedict XVI on Epiphany: "Jesus is the center of the universe"

Jesus is a star even more central for the entire universe than the sun. He is the center of the universe and of history, because in Him, the Author and His work are united without confusion." Benedict XVI stated this in this morning's homily celebrating Epiphany, emphasizing that Divine love, incarnated in Christ, is "the fundamental and universal law of creation."

In reference to this year 2009, dedicated to astronomy, the Holy Father analyzed the symbol of the star which guided the Magi (probably astronomers) to Jesus, recalling that the universe is not ruled by a blind force, obedient to a simply material dynamic. Rather, since the beginning, there is the will of God the Father; thus men are not slaves to the elements of the cosmos, but are free to relate to it according to the creative liberty of God. Even today "in face of the great social and economic crisis that torments humanity, in front of the hatred and destructive violence that does not cease to bloody many regions of the earth", the hope of believers in the risen Christ, to Whom "all power in heaven and on earth has been given", never fails.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Celebrations to mark 100th birthday of ‘Rosary priest’ Father Peyton

The following comes from CNA:

Celebrations are being held to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Servant of God Fr. Patrick Peyton, CSC, the “Rosary priest” who popularized the phrase “The family that prays together, stays together.”

Father Peyton was born in County Mayo, Ireland on January 9, 1909. Later, upon becoming a priest, he devoted 51 years of ministry to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Rosary and to families. He conducted 40 Rosary rallies worldwide, drawing 28 million people, and produced more than 600 radio and television programs which featured hundreds of Hollywood stars.

Holy Cross Family Ministries, based in Easton, Massachusetts, has launched a year-long celebration of Father Peyton’s life based on the theme “Honor his memory. Continue his mission.”

The group encourages families to pray the family Rosary in their homes during a Novena from January 1 to January 9.

Holy Cross Family Ministries’ offices in more than 17 countries are observing the Novena and are conducting many public activities during 2009, including Holy Hours, Rosary rallies, Masses and gala celebrations. A statue of the priest will be erected in Ireland, while a Telethon in the Philippines will allow people to phone in their personal commitments to say the family Rosary.

In the United States, the Father Peyton Center in Easton, Massachusetts will hold an hour of prayer in its chapel at 9 a.m. on the ninth of every month during 2009. An outdoor Rosary prayer rally will be held on June 6 in the adjacent Stonehill College stadium.

The organization Family Rosary in Albany, New York will celebrate a Mass on January 9 at Christ the King Church. It will also hold a public Rosary in June at the grotto at the Vincentian Institute where Father Peyton was first assigned as a priest and where he began Family Rosary in 1942.

In Hollywood, Family Theater Productions will mark Father Moreau/Father Peyton Day on January 11, joining Father Peyton’s commemoration with the feast of Blessed Basil Moreau, CSC, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Family Theater Productions has offered biographical programs on Father Peyton and some programs created by the priest himself to Catholic television outlets in the U.S. and Canada. Several outlets, including Catholic TV in Boston; Catholic Television Network in Detroit; and Instructional Television in New York have committed to broadcast the programs in 2009.

Most of Holy Cross Family Ministries’ international offices will conduct the “Try Prayer! It Works!” contest for K-12 students, who may submit artwork poetry, and essays reflecting the theme “The family that prays together, stays together.”

"Father Peyton's most sacred insight, the goal toward which his whole fascinating life was directed, was to encourage families to come together daily to pray the Rosary. He saw so many benefits to this simple practice," Holy Cross Father John Phalen, CSC, president of Holy Cross Family Ministries, said in a press release. "Let 2009 be a year of strengthening the family through the family Rosary!"

Father Phalen has invited families to pray the novena of Rosaries for “world peace and any particular petitions dear to the hearts of your family members” and to pray for Father Peyton’s beatification at the end of their Rosary.

Feast of the Epiphany

Monday, January 5, 2009

God is Good: Time Gone By and The Happy Man

time gone by from todd mathews on Vimeo.

THE HAPPY MAN by G.K. Chesterton

To teach the grey earth like a child,
To bid the heavens repent,
I only ask from Fate the gift
Of one man well content.

Him will I find: though when in vain
I search the feast and mart,
The fading flowers of liberty,
The painted masks of art.

I only find him at the last,
On one old hill where nod
Golgotha's ghastly trinity--
Three persons and one God.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My life is my vocation!

A Video from the Clear Creek Monastery on current status of project and appeal for donations to complete the new church.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ave Maria from "Going My Way"

A Christmas of Lights in Bethlehem

Christmas festivities began in Bethlehem with the lighting of the Christmas tree in the square of the Basilica of the Nativity; a special moment that gathered the civil authorities, such as the mayor and governor, and the local community.

The appeal for peace was the main theme of speeches. "Once again Bethlehem delivers her message to humanity, a message of peace, tolerance and positive coexistence."

Then followed the countdown to the illumination of the lights in Arabic. From the main square the lights spread throughout the entire city, where Christian symbols blend with decorated trees in the midst of mosques, illuminating the cold night in Bethlehem. Of course, there is a manger of light, complete with camels and sheep. The Gloria in Excelsis Deo could not be left out, for here it was sung by the angels.

On the main road of the small city, a Santa Claus appears to the delight of children. Even in the darkest and saddest part of town, near the wall that encloses the city, in an almost forgotten shop, colorful lights announce that Christmas has come.

All this festivity is for its most illustrious citizen, Baby Jesus, who possesses light of his own. At the Cultural Centre of Bethlehem, he attracts both children and adults, and even differences between religions are set aside, for his love is for everyone.