Sunday, October 31, 2010

Didn't I by Montgomery Gentry

The “Positio” of Fr Augusto Arribat presented

The following comes from the Salesian News Agency:

On 20 October the Postulator General Fr Pierluigi Cameroni officially lodged with the Chancellery of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints the “Positio” of the Servant of God  Fr Augusto Arribat, a Salesian priest (17 December 1879 – 19 March 1963). The “Positio”, the dossier which demonstrates the heroicity of the life and of the virtues and the reputation for holiness of the Servant of God is a volume of 737 pages.

This brings to a conclusion a long process begun in 1995 by the Postulator  General of the time  Fr Pasquale Liberatore with the official launching of the cause. The diocesan enquiry was opened at the Curia of Fréjus-Toulon on 18 March 1995 and ended on 2 May 2002. After the consignment of the Acts to the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, Fr Morand Wirth, Vice Postulator from the beginning of the Cause, carried out the demanding work of drawing up the “Positio”, under the guidance of the Reporters of the Cause, Mons. José Luis Gutierrez and Fr Cristoforo Bove, O.F.M. Conv., and the then Postulator General Fr Enrico dal Covolo.

Joseph August Arribat was born on 17 December 1879 at Trédou (Rouergue). The poverty of the family forced  the young  August to begin middle school studies at the Salesian Oratory in Marseille only when he was  18 years of age. Because of the political situation at the beginning of the century he began his Salesian life in Italy and received the cassock from  Blessed  Michael Rua. Having returned to France he began like all his confreres his active Salesian life in an almost clandestine manner, first in Marseille and then at La Navarre.

He was ordained priest in 1912. During the first world war he was called up and served as a stretcher bearer. At the end of the war  Fr Arribat continued his hard work at  La Navarre until 1926 when he went to Nice and stayed there until 1931. In 1931 he began his service as Rector at La Navarre and at the same time was in charge of the parish of  Saint Isidor in the valley of Sauvebonne. His parishioners would call him "The Saint of the Valleys."

After three years he was sent to Morges, in the Canton of Vaud, in Switzerland. He then received three successive mandates of six years each, first at Millau, then at Villemur and finally at Thonon in the diocese of Annecy. The most dangerous and grace-filled period was probably his appointment at Villemur during he second world war. Open and smiling, this Son of Don Bosco turned no one away. While his slim build and his asceticism recalled  the Curé of Ars, his smile and his sweetness were certainly those of a  Salesian. "He was the most spontaneous man in the world" a witness said. Having returned to La Navarre in 1953, Fr Arribat stayed there until his death on 19 March 1963.

An Unexpected Meeting

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Small Town Southern Man by Alan Jackson

Fr. Robert Barron asks Who is Jesus and What Makes Him Unique?

"Old School" New Orleans

I love this. If you are from the Big Easy you will love this!

Friday, October 29, 2010


I found this at Deacon Greg's site.  Very well done!

Vietnames Man Adopts 80 Children To Save Them From Abortion

Please pray for this man and for his mission to save the lives of babies.  The following comes from the Catholic Key:

What it says. And he makes $180 a month. He also rescues the bodies of aborted children from clinics and buries them in a cemetery he's built. There are 9,000 children buried there. And he’s Catholic.
The man raises the children as his own, but will return them to the mothers if they want them back. There is much amazing about this story, but what struck me is that the news report is entirely respectful.
When I googled this man, I found that his story made the rounds in 2008. I didn’t see it – apologies if you did. Much more can be found out about him in this 2008 report. Now watch this amazing video.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fr. Robert Barron and Mike Leonard discuss Highlights of Catholic Teaching

Nanny of the Month

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Troubadour by George Strait

George Strait is just about as good as it gets. This song is one of his best! Country music is amazing!

Father Robert Barron on One More Empty Church

Ann Arbor Dominican sisters to buy John Paul II Center in DC

The following comes from the CNA:

To accommodate their rapidly growing community, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist announced today that they will purchase the financially beleaguered John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. near the Catholic University of America.

The center, which was the brainchild of the now retired Archbishop of Detroit, Cardinal Adam Maida, has been beset by numerous financial difficulties over the years. Intended to be a museum and Catholic intellectual hub, the center borrowed heavily from the Archdiocese of Detroit, owing them $40 million as of 2006, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Ann Arbor sisters have had a different problem as they’ve been unable to build facilities fast enough to house new members.

In an e-mail announcement on Oct. 26, the Dominican order wrote that their community “welcomed 22 aspirants in August of this year – a gift from the Lord that continues to call us to ongoing discernment of how to provide for the formation and education of the young women seeking to enter religious life.”
“In order to plan and care accordingly for these vocations, the Dominican Sisters of Mary,” the community is “in the inspection phase of a purchase and sale agreement to buy a building at 3900 Harewood Road, known to many as the JPII Cultural Center, near the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.”

“It is our hope to use this building as a House of Studies for the continuing education and formation of our Sisters.”

The Dominican sisters made headlines in February, when they made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show – fielding questions regarding their vocation and discernment, their vows of poverty and chastity, and their life in community. Sister Maria Guadalupe Hallee, Director of Mission Advancement for the sisters, told CNA last March that since the show, almost all the feedback the sisters have received has been overwhelmingly positive.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pontiff Announces New Evangelization Synod

The following comes from the Zenit site:

Benedict XVI announced today the theme for the next general assembly of the Synod of Bishops: The new evangelization.

The Pope made the announcement today at the closing Mass of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, and repeated it before praying the Angelus at midday with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.

The next Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held in 2012, and will be dedicated to the theme "The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith," the Pontiff said.

Noting that today marked not only the end of the Mideast synod, which considered the theme "Communion and Witness," but also World Mission Sunday, which considered the theme "The Building of Ecclesial Communion is the Key to Mission," the Holy Father called attention to the similarities between the themes.

"Both invite us to look upon the Church as a mystery of communion that, by its nature, is destined for the whole person, and to all people," he said.

Quoting Pope Paul VI, he added, "The Church exists to evangelize, that is to say, to preach and to teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, to perpetuate the sacrifice of Christ in the Holy Mass, which is the memorial of his death and of his glorious resurrection."

"The missionary task," Benedict XVI reflected, "is not to bring about revolution in the world but to transfigure it, drawing power from Jesus Christ who 'convokes us at the table of his Word and Eucharist, to taste the gift of his Presence, to form ourselves in his school and live more and more consciously united to him, Master and Lord.'"

Fr. Robert Barron comments on St. Thomas More and the Bishop of Rome

His belief that no lay ruler has jurisdiction over the Church of Christ cost Thomas More his life.

Beheaded on Tower Hill, London, July 6, 1535, he steadfastly refused to approve Henry VIII’s divorce and remarriage and establishment of the Church of England.

Described as “a man for all seasons,” More was a literary scholar, eminent lawyer, gentleman, father of four children and chancellor of England. An intensely spiritual man, he would not support the king’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. Nor would he acknowledge Henry as supreme head of the Church in England, breaking with Rome and denying the pope as head.

More was committed to the Tower of London to await trial for treason: not swearing to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy. Upon conviction, More declared he had all the councils of Christendom and not just the council of one realm to support him in the decision of his conscience.

Read more here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beloved by Tenth Avenue North

William F. Buckley Jr.'s Faith and Politics

In William F. Buckley Jr., Reason contributor Jeremy Lott delves into the famed public intellectual's life, politics and Catholicism. From the founding of National Review to his opposition to civil rights legislation to his embrace of pot legalization, Lott details how Buckley's religion hugely shaped his political principles.

Lott, the author The Warm Bucket Brigade (a history of the vice presidency) and In Defense of Hypocrisy, sat down with Nick Gillespie to discuss Catholicism, communism, and Buckley's late-life rebranding of himself as a "libertarian journalist."

They also talked about Lott's new gig as editor of the website,, a just-launched sister site to the immensely popular and influential

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Immense Spaces of Mission

Long-jailed Vietnamese cardinal set on path to sainthood

The following comes from the CNA:

The cause for the canonization of Cardinal François-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan was officially opened in Rome this week. The cardinal, who suffered for years in Vietnamese prisons without trial, was exiled from his homeland and is remembered for never losing hope.

The diocesan phase of Cardinal Van Thuan's canonization cause was inaugurated on Oct. 22 at Rome's Lateran Palace. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar of Rome, was on hand. So too was Cardinal Peter Kodwa Turkson, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace which Cardinal Van Thuan once led.

Cardinal Vallini remembered the Vietnamese prelate as a "witness of hope."

Fr. Van Thuan was highly respected in his homeland. He worked in a number of roles including prison and hospital chaplain, seminary professor and rector before becoming the Bishop of Nha Trang, Vietnam in 1967. Through his direct involvement, in his eight years as bishop there the seminaries in the diocese more than tripled their enrollment.

Elected by Pope Paul VI as the coadjutor Archbishop of Saigon in 1975, he was subsequently jailed for "having plotted with the Vatican and the imperialists against the communist revolution." He spent a total of 13 years imprisoned in North Vietnamese jails without ever receiving a trial. He was in solitary confinement for nine of them.

During this time, his hope was buoyed through the Eucharistic celebration, through which he transformed his cells into veritable chapels. Using breadcrumbs and wine, smuggled in under the guise of stomach medicine, he consecrated the bread and wine in the palm of his hand into the Body and Blood of Christ. He was also able to fashion a pectoral cross out of wood that hung from his neck by a chain made of bits of wire.

His imprisonment, John Paul II recalled in the year 2000, serves to "reinforce in us the consoling certainty that when everything around us and maybe within us falls apart, Christ remains our unfailing support."

Archbishop Van Thuan was released in 1988, but after making a trip to Rome in 1991 he was not allowed to return home. He continued to work to build up the Vietnamese Church from Eternal City and in 1994 he entered the Roman Curia under appointment by John Paul II as the vice president of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace. In 1998, he was named the council's president. He was created cardinal in Feb. 2001 and died in Sept. 2002.

Little more than eight years after his death, on Oct. 22 celebrations for Servant of God Van Thuan's cause for canonization were opened with a suffrage Mass celebrated by Cardinal Turkson. Following the Eucharistic celebration was the third edition of the Van Thuan Awards and the official opening of the cause. An artistic show inspired by the late-cardinal called "Witness of Hope" was performed later that evening.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

You by Britt Nicole

New Blog: Check out "The Ax"

One of my Salesian friends (Fr. Tom Provenzano, SDB) has a new blog that he has been working on and I encourage you to stop by for a visit.  You can offer your condolences for the Yankee loss!

The Call We Have Received

The following comes from Bishop Etienne's site:
This week’s first readings are taken from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. This is undoubtedly one of my favorites of Paul’s epistles. I chose my own episcopal motto from this epistle: Ephesians 4:15: Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ.If we had a goal of reading some of St. Paul’s epistles every day, we would have a great reminder of the life that is ours in Jesus Christ, and the power and grace that flow from that relationship. Rooted in that reality, today, St. Paul reminds us to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

The longer I live, the more deeply aware I am that my entire life is a gift from God through Jesus Christ. I grow daily in my gratitude for the magnitude of that gift, and the life of holiness through baptism, priesthood, and now the episcopacy to which I am called. St. Paul earlier in this letter to the Ephesians recalls more of this mystery and beauty:

…be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (3:14-19)

Such is the beauty of the life to which we are called! Live life to the full, my friends! Live life in Christ!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Joy Unspeakable by Todd Agnew

Fr. Robert Barron comments on Eucharistic Adoration

Evangelist, Evangelize, Evangelization

The following comes from the Truth in Love site of Bishop Paul Etienne:  

In keeping with yesterday’s feast of St. Luke, I’d like to offer a few thoughts regarding the New Evangelization.  If you pay any attention to the statements and teachings of the Pope’s, one of the common themes of both the late Pope John Paul II and our present Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI is that of a New Evangelization.
Recently, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington wrote a pastoral letter on the New Evangelization.  It is very well written, and helpful in understanding what this New Evangelization means, and offers practical means of implementation.  Read Here.
Fundamentally, the New Evangelization is a call to every believer to come to a deeper awareness of the personal relationship they are called to in the person of Jesus Christ.  Secondly, flowing from this vibrant relationship with Christ, each member of the Church is to find ways to speak of the significance of this relationship with Christ to others.  Each of us are called to “proclaim the Good News” of Jesus Christ and the salvation He won for us to others.
The Psalm from yesterday’s feast says it well:  Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.  (Psalm 145)  I believe this is what the renewal of the Church requires of us.  Each of us are called by Christ to be His friends.  Each of us are called to nurture this relationship with Christ, and allow everything in our life to flow from this source of relationship and redemption.
The Gospel yesterday also has a basic insight into the “place” of beginning the New Evangelization.  Into whatever house you enter, say “Peace to this household.”  (Luke 10)  Jesus gives us the model of the New Evangelization.  He called individuals one by one; he entered into personal relationships.  He proclaimed the love of God to individuals, in homes, communities, territories, and it continued to spread from their from those whom He encountered. 
Today, we celebrate the feast of the North American Martyrs; Saints John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, and their companions.  These were some of the early missionaries, evangelists if you will, who gave their lives proclaiming Jesus Christ to the Native Americans and early settlers of our country.  Their love for Christ was so strong, they left their homelands to proclaim His Good News so that others may share not only in their joy, but in the salvation won for us by Christ.
Let us follow the example of the many saints and martyrs.  Let us heed the words of our Holy Fathers.  Let us grow in our love for Christ, and proclaim Him afresh and anew to the world.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Only You Can Save by Chris Sligh

The Three Churches of the Irish Channel in New Orleans

You have to check out the beautiful story of some of New Orleans great Irish Channel Churches here.  Hat tip to Opinionated Catholic on this one!

Poor Clare Desert Monastery: Dreams to Reality!

The dreams of some young Poor Clare Sisters is coming to reality! Check out the video and follow their building progress here. Here are some of their own reflections:

We've all heard the saying: "Can't see the forest through the tree." Well, I believe this is how this whole construction project has been for us. Last year, when construction began, at least a few of us would head out to Tonopah to check things out. Stone by stone, we saw the form of a chapel begin. The year flew by and progress continued. As the months went on, our treks out to Tonopah became more and more frequent and the progress seemed to go more and more quickly. The reality of it all though has sunk in more slowly than the actual construction! :)

It wasn't until the cleaning crew came in at the beginning of this week to 'shine' everything up that it really hit me: OUR DREAM HAS TURNED INTO A REALITY - through the grace of God, the generosity of His children, and the hard work of many wonderful people.

Each step of this journey has been STEEPED in prayer - as is evident in the final product which is more beautiful than we dared to dream. Enjoy this video update below. We are still several months away from being able to have the Chapel consecrated (will keep you up to date on that) - as we await the completion of the pews and a few other interior appointments. But those months will fly by - as this past year has...and soon enough this beautiful chapel will be a place of prayer for the people of Phoenix! We look forward to that day as well!

Pope Benedict: Elizabeth of Hungary a model for those in authority

The following comes from the CNA:

In his weekly general audience Oct. 20, the Pope said that St. Elizabeth of Hungary, a daughter of royalty, should be a model for all who hold authority in society.

Elizabeth was born in 1207, the daughter of Hungary’s King Andrew II. Yet her privileged upbringing never led her to compromise her faith or lord her position above her subjects, Pope Benedict XVI said.

She "behaved before God as she behaved towards her subjects," he said, calling her "a true example for everyone who holds positions of leadership.”

"The exercise of authority at all levels, must be practiced as a service to justice and charity, in the constant search for the common good," the Pope said.

Elizabeth managed to develop a "sincere love" for her husband Ludwig despite the fact the their union was arranged for political reasons when she was very young. It was at his death that she dedicated herself fully to the care of the poor, bringing herself closer to them in her relationship with the religious order, the Franciscan Friars Minor.

She helped to found a Franciscan hospital in the town of Marburg, Germany and from there served the poor until her own death at the young age of 24. St. Elizabeth was canonized just four years after her death.

In Elizabeth, the Pope said, "we see how faith and friendship with Christ, create a sense of justice, of universal equality, of the rights of others, and foment love and charity. From this charity comes hope, the certainty that we are loved by Christ, that the love of Christ awaits us, thus making us capable of imitating Christ and of seeing Him in others."

The Holy Father prayed that Elizabeth's "dedication to the poor and needy inspire in us the same love for Christ in our neighbor."

The Pope’s teaching on Elizabeth is the seventh in a series of weekly reflections that he has been offering on the holy women of Church history. The series began with the Pope’s general audience Sept. 1.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How He Loves Us by David Crowder

K-LOVE - David Crowder "How He Loves" LIVE from K-LOVE Radio on Vimeo.

Archbishop Angelo Amato, SDB named a Cardinal!

The following comes from the Salesian News Agency:    Abp. Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, will be made Cardinal by Benedict XVI at the next consistory, which the Holy Father today scheduled for November 20, 2010.

“With joy I now announce that next November 20 I will hold a consistory in which I will nominate new members of the College of Cardinals. The cardinals have the responsibility of assisting the successor of the Apostle Peter in carrying out his mission as the principle and perpetual, visible foundation of the unity of the faith and of communion in the Church” (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 18). With these words, at the end of his customary Wednesday audience the Holy Father announced the elevation of 24 prelates at the next consistory.

Abp. Angelo Amato, currently Prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints and titular archbishop of Sila, headed the roster which the Pope announced, which he ended by stating: “The list of the new cardinals reflects the universality of the Church; they, in fact, come from various parts of the world and are involved in different responsibilities of service to the Holy See or of direct contact with the People of God as fathers and pastors of the particular Churches.”

Abp. Amato has been a Salesian priest since 1967, and was ordained archbishop of Sila on Jan. 6, 2003, by Pope John Paul II himself. After serving as secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he was named prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints on July 9, 2008.

Archbishop Chaput urges believers to find 'new spirit of knighthood'

The following comes from the EWTN site:

Addressing the faithful of three Canadian dioceses on Oct. 16, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver emphasized the importance of historical awareness for contemporary Christians. An accurate and faithful view of the past, he said, should inspire the faithful toward "an ideal of knighthood" that remains relevant today.
The Oct. 15 – 17 conference titled, “Faith in the Public Square: A Prophetic Conference,” is taking place in Victoria, British Columbia.

"The way we remember history conditions how we think and choose," Archbishop Chaput observed. He went on to describe how politicized distortions of history have caused many Catholics to dismiss, or simply ignore, many achievements of their forerunners in faith.

Archbishop Chaput pointed to "the standard modern criticism of the Crusades and the medieval Church," a "product of Protestant and Enlightenment resentment for the Catholic heritage of Europe."

Even many serious scholars, he said, tend to clear away proper context and objectivity, in order to dismiss the Church's historic achievements and read modern agendas into the past. The reality of the medieval Church, the archbishop pointed out, differs sharply from popular conceptions.

Quoting the 20th century German theologian Romano Guardini, the prelate said that "the medieval achievement ... stands with the loftiest moments of human history." Christians today, he indicated, must know and value their own history -- both for the sake of the inspiration and cautions it can provide, and to avoid being cowed by misrepresentations of complex events such as the Crusades.

While affirming that believers today should "acknowledge and repent of the sins committed by Catholics in the past," Archbishop Chaput spoke of an equal need to remember "the greatness of Catholic witness and the Church's transformative role throughout history." He then encouraged the faithful to seek inspiration for the Church's contemporary mission in these great achievements.

The Archbishop of Denver also noted that Catholics who examine their own history honestly, have the duty of “calling others, outside the Church, to the same self-examination and honesty," including adherents of other religions, whose convictions must be respectfully questioned.

He offered the example of Islam, noting that two different concepts of "jihad” – a spiritual "war" against oneself, on the one hand, and a violent struggle for domination on the other -- comprise one "basic element" of the religion. "Both forms of jihad can be legitimate in Muslim thought," he noted, as both "draw their authority from the very beginnings of Islam."

Turning his attention to the thoughts of St. Augustine, Archbishop Chaput drew a contrast between the ideology of political jihad, which aims for an earthly theocracy, and Augustine's notion of the "City of God," which emerges only at the end of human history and cannot be established on earth.

He offered Augustine's insights into human nature and history as "the 'Catholic' tools for judging the nations of man, including our own," and for putting the importance of public affairs into the proper perspective in light of eternity.

On the one hand, "Augustine believed that no perfect society and no perfect justice are possible because all human efforts are compromised by sin." Human imperfection and finitude, however, did not cause the saint to despair: "He also knew that the virtue of charity draws men into society and therefore inevitably into public affairs."

The prelate reflected that even as political winds change, human nature remains the same, as does the Christian vocation, "to follow Jesus Christ faithfully, and in following Jesus, to defend Christ's Church and to serve her people."

Invoking the spiritual militancy of the Jesuits' founder St. Ignatius Loyola, Archbishop Chaput went on to state that "the Catholic ideal of knighthood" was not a relic, but a necessary and living outgrowth of perennial truths. "The essence of Christian knighthood remains the same," he announced, describing it as "sacrificial service rooted in a living Catholic faith."

"A new 'spirit of knighthood' is what we urgently need now," he announced. "Unselfish, tireless, devoted disciples willing to face derision and persecution for Jesus Christ."

Pope Benedict: The Future Needs Priests

The following comes from the site:

In a letter to seminarians, Benedict XVI affirmed that the priesthood is not something of the past, but is needed for the future, as people will always need ministers to bring them to God.

In the message published today, but which was written for the end of the Year for Priests, which ended in June, the Pope recalled a conversation he had with a military commander in 1944, after being drafted for the service.

The Pontiff recounted: "The company commander asked each of us what we planned to do in the future. I answered that I wanted to become a Catholic priest.

"The lieutenant replied: 'Then you ought to look for something else. In the new Germany priests are no longer needed.'

"I knew that this 'new Germany' was already coming to an end, and that, after the enormous devastation which that madness had brought upon the country, priests would be needed more than ever."

The Holy Father noted that "many people nowadays also think that the Catholic priesthood is not a 'job' for the future, but one that belongs more to the past."

Yet, he added, "people will always have need of God, even in an age marked by technical mastery of the world and globalization."

"Where people no longer perceive God, life grows empty; nothing is ever enough," Benedict XVI observed. "People then seek escape in euphoria and violence; these are the very things that increasingly threaten young people."

He affirmed, "God is alive, and he needs people to serve him and bring him to others."

"It does make sense to become a priest," the Pope asserted. "The world needs priests, pastors, today, tomorrow and always, until the end of time."

Men of God

The Pontiff outlined several elements that are important in the life of a seminarian. He stressed the need for them to be men of God, to live their relationship with Christ centered on the Eucharist, and to frequent the sacrament of penance.

The Holy Father urged the seminarians to "retain an appreciation for popular piety" as "one of the Church's great treasures."

He underlined the importance of study, "to understand and appreciate the internal structure of the faith as a whole, so that it can become a response to people's questions."

Benedict XVI highlighted the need for growth toward human maturity in the years of preparation for the priesthood, especially "the integration of sexuality into the whole personality."

"Recently we have seen with great dismay that some priests disfigured their ministry by sexually abusing children and young people," he noted. "Instead of guiding people to greater human maturity and setting them an example, their abusive behavior caused great damage for which we feel profound shame and regret."

"As a result of all this," the Pope stated, "many people, perhaps even some of you, might ask whether it is good to become a priest; whether the choice of celibacy makes any sense as a truly human way of life."

He continued: "Yet even the most reprehensible abuse cannot discredit the priestly mission, which remains great and pure.

"Thank God, all of us know exemplary priests, men shaped by their faith, who bear witness that one can attain to an authentic, pure and mature humanity in this state and specifically in the life of celibacy."

"Admittedly, what has happened should make us all the more watchful and attentive," the Pontiff said, "precisely in order to examine ourselves earnestly, before God, as we make our way towards priesthood, so as to understand whether this is his will for me."

The Holy Father added, "It is an essential part of your journey to practice the fundamental human virtues, with your gaze fixed on the God who has revealed himself in Christ, and to let yourselves be purified by him ever anew."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Miners: Faith Is Most Powerful Survival Tool

The Holy Father's Letter to Seminarians

Dear Seminarians,

When in December 1944 I was drafted for military service, the company commander asked each of us what we planned to do in the future. I answered that I wanted to become a Catholic priest. The lieutenant replied: "Then you ought to look for something else. In the new Germany priests are no longer needed". I knew that this "new Germany" was already coming to an end, and that, after the enormous devastation which that madness had brought upon the country, priests would be needed more than ever. Today the situation is completely changed. In different ways, though, many people nowadays also think that the Catholic priesthood is not a "job" for the future, but one that belongs more to the past. You, dear friends, have decided to enter the seminary and to prepare for priestly ministry in the Catholic Church in spite of such opinions and objections. You have done a good thing. Because people will always have need of God, even in an age marked by technical mastery of the world and globalization: they will always need the God who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ, the God who gathers us together in the universal Church in order to learn with him and through him life’s true meaning and in order to uphold and apply the standards of true humanity. Where people no longer perceive God, life grows empty; nothing is ever enough. People then seek escape in euphoria and violence; these are the very things that increasingly threaten young people. God is alive. He has created every one of us and he knows us all. He is so great that he has time for the little things in our lives: "Every hair of your head is numbered". God is alive, and he needs people to serve him and bring him to others. It does makes sense to become a priest: the world needs priests, pastors, today, tomorrow and always, until the end of time.

The seminary is a community journeying towards priestly ministry. I have said something very important here: one does not become a priest on one’s own. The "community of disciples" is essential, the fellowship of those who desire to serve the greater Church. In this letter I would like to point out – thinking back to my own time in the seminary – several elements which I consider important for these years of your journeying.

1. Anyone who wishes to become a priest must be first and foremost a "man of God", to use the expression of Saint Paul (1 Tim 6:11). For us God is not some abstract hypothesis; he is not some stranger who left the scene after the "big bang". God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ. In the face of Jesus Christ we see the face of God. In his words we hear God himself speaking to us. It follows that the most important thing in our path towards priesthood and during the whole of our priestly lives is our personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ. The priest is not the leader of a sort of association whose membership he tries to maintain and expand. He is God’s messenger to his people. He wants to lead them to God and in this way to foster authentic communion between all men and women. That is why it is so important, dear friends, that you learn to live in constant intimacy with God. When the Lord tells us to "pray constantly", he is obviously not asking us to recite endless prayers, but urging us never to lose our inner closeness to God. Praying means growing in this intimacy. So it is important that our day should begin and end with prayer; that we listen to God as the Scriptures are read; that we share with him our desires and our hopes, our joys and our troubles, our failures and our thanks for all his blessings, and thus keep him ever before us as the point of reference for our lives. In this way we grow aware of our failings and learn to improve, but we also come to appreciate all the beauty and goodness which we daily take for granted and so we grow in gratitude. With gratitude comes joy for the fact that God is close to us and that we can serve him.

2. For us God is not simply Word. In the sacraments he gives himself to us in person, through physical realities. At the heart of our relationship with God and our way of life is the Eucharist. Celebrating it devoutly, and thus encountering Christ personally, should be the centre of all our days. In Saint Cyprian’s interpretation of the Gospel prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread", he says among other things that "our" bread – the bread which we receive as Christians in the Church – is the Eucharistic Lord himself. In this petition of the Our Father, then, we pray that he may daily give us "our" bread; and that it may always nourish our lives; that the Risen Christ, who gives himself to us in the Eucharist, may truly shape the whole of our lives by the radiance of his divine love. The proper celebration of the Eucharist involves knowing, understanding and loving the Church’s liturgy in its concrete form. In the liturgy we pray with the faithful of every age – the past, the present and the future are joined in one great chorus of prayer. As I can state from personal experience, it is inspiring to learn how it all developed, what a great experience of faith is reflected in the structure of the Mass, and how it has been shaped by the prayer of many generations.

3. The sacrament of Penance is also important. It teaches me to see myself as God sees me, and it forces me to be honest with myself. It leads me to humility. The Curé of Ars once said: "You think it makes no sense to be absolved today, because you know that tomorrow you will commit the same sins over again. Yet," he continues, "God instantly forgets tomorrow’s sins in order to give you his grace today." Even when we have to struggle continually with the same failings, it is important to resist the coarsening of our souls and the indifference which would simply accept that this is the way we are. It is important to keep pressing forward, without scrupulosity, in the grateful awareness that God forgives us ever anew – yet also without the indifference that might lead us to abandon altogether the struggle for holiness and self-improvement. Moreover, by letting myself be forgiven, I learn to forgive others. In recognizing my own weakness, I grow more tolerant and understanding of the failings of my neighbour.

4. I urge you to retain an appreciation for popular piety, which is different in every culture yet always remains very similar, for the human heart is ultimately one and the same. Certainly, popular piety tends towards the irrational, and can at times be somewhat superficial. Yet it would be quite wrong to dismiss it. Through that piety, the faith has entered human hearts and become part of the common patrimony of sentiments and customs, shaping the life and emotions of the community. Popular piety is thus one of the Church’s great treasures. The faith has taken on flesh and blood. Certainly popular piety always needs to be purified and refocused, yet it is worthy of our love and it truly makes us into the "People of God".

5. Above all, your time in the seminary is also a time of study. The Christian faith has an essentially rational and intellectual dimension. Were it to lack that dimension, it would not be itself. Paul speaks of a "standard of teaching" to which we were entrusted in Baptism (Rom 6:17). All of you know the words of Saint Peter which the medieval theologians saw as the justification for a rational and scientific theology: "Always be ready to make your defence to anyone who demands from you an ‘accounting’ (logos) for the hope that is in you" (1 Pet 3:15). Learning how to make such a defence is one of the primary responsibilities of your years in the seminary. I can only plead with you: Be committed to your studies! Take advantage of your years of study! You will not regret it. Certainly, the subjects which you are studying can often seem far removed from the practice of the Christian life and the pastoral ministry. Yet it is completely mistaken to start questioning their practical value by asking: Will this be helpful to me in the future? Will it be practically or pastorally useful? The point is not simply to learn evidently useful things, but to understand and appreciate the internal structure of the faith as a whole, so that it can become a response to people’s questions, which on the surface change from one generation to another yet ultimately remain the same. For this reason it is important to move beyond the changing questions of the moment in order to grasp the real questions, and so to understand how the answers are real answers. It is important to have a thorough knowledge of sacred Scripture as a whole, in its unity as the Old and the New Testaments: the shaping of texts, their literary characteristics, the process by which they came to form the canon of sacred books, their dynamic inner unity, a unity which may not be immediately apparent but which in fact gives the individual texts their full meaning. It is important to be familiar with the Fathers and the great Councils in which the Church appropriated, through faith-filled reflection, the essential statements of Scripture. I could easily go on. What we call dogmatic theology is the understanding of the individual contents of the faith in their unity, indeed, in their ultimate simplicity: each single element is, in the end, only an unfolding of our faith in the one God who has revealed himself to us and continues to do so. I do not need to point out the importance of knowing the essential issues of moral theology and Catholic social teaching. The importance nowadays of ecumenical theology, and of a knowledge of the different Christian communities, is obvious; as is the need for a basic introduction to the great religions, to say nothing of philosophy: the understanding of that human process of questioning and searching to which faith seeks to respond. But you should also learn to understand and – dare I say it – to love canon law, appreciating how necessary it is and valuing its practical applications: a society without law would be a society without rights. Law is the condition of love. I will not go on with this list, but I simply say once more: love the study of theology and carry it out in the clear realization that theology is anchored in the living community of the Church, which, with her authority, is not the antithesis of theological science but its presupposition. Cut off from the believing Church, theology would cease to be itself and instead it would become a medley of different disciplines lacking inner unity.

6. Your years in the seminary should also be a time of growth towards human maturity. It is important for the priest, who is called to accompany others through the journey of life up to the threshold of death, to have the right balance of heart and mind, reason and feeling, body and soul, and to be humanly integrated. To the theological virtues the Christian tradition has always joined the cardinal virtues derived from human experience and philosophy, and, more generally, from the sound ethical tradition of humanity. Paul makes this point this very clearly to the Philippians: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (4:8). This also involves the integration of sexuality into the whole personality. Sexuality is a gift of the Creator yet it is also a task which relates to a person’s growth towards human maturity. When it is not integrated within the person, sexuality becomes banal and destructive. Today we can see many examples of this in our society. Recently we have seen with great dismay that some priests disfigured their ministry by sexually abusing children and young people. Instead of guiding people to greater human maturity and setting them an example, their abusive behaviour caused great damage for which we feel profound shame and regret. As a result of all this, many people, perhaps even some of you, might ask whether it is good to become a priest; whether the choice of celibacy makes any sense as a truly human way of life. Yet even the most reprehensible abuse cannot discredit the priestly mission, which remains great and pure. Thank God, all of us know exemplary priests, men shaped by their faith, who bear witness that one can attain to an authentic, pure and mature humanity in this state and specifically in the life of celibacy. Admittedly, what has happened should make us all the more watchful and attentive, precisely in order to examine ourselves earnestly, before God, as we make our way towards priesthood, so as to understand whether this is his will for me. It is the responsibility of your confessor and your superiors to accompany you and help you along this path of discernment. It is an essential part of your journey to practise the fundamental human virtues, with your gaze fixed on the God who has revealed himself in Christ, and to let yourselves be purified by him ever anew.

7. The origins of a priestly vocation are nowadays more varied and disparate than in the past. Today the decision to become a priest often takes shape after one has already entered upon a secular profession. Often it grows within the Communities, particularly within the Movements, which favour a communal encounter with Christ and his Church, spiritual experiences and joy in the service of the faith. It also matures in very personal encounters with the nobility and the wretchedness of human existence. As a result, candidates for the priesthood often live on very different spiritual continents. It can be difficult to recognize the common elements of one’s future mandate and its spiritual path. For this very reason, the seminary is important as a community which advances above and beyond differences of spirituality. The Movements are a magnificent thing. You know how much I esteem them and love them as a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. Yet they must be evaluated by their openness to what is truly Catholic, to the life of the whole Church of Christ, which for all her variety still remains one. The seminary is a time when you learn with one another and from one another. In community life, which can at times be difficult, you should learn generosity and tolerance, not only bearing with, but also enriching one another, so that each of you will be able to contribute his own gifts to the whole, even as all serve the same Church, the same Lord. This school of tolerance, indeed, of mutual acceptance and mutual understanding in the unity of Christ’s Body, is an important part of your years in the seminary.

Dear seminarians, with these few lines I have wanted to let you know how often I think of you, especially in these difficult times, and how close I am to you in prayer. Please pray for me, that I may exercise my ministry well, as long as the Lord may wish. I entrust your journey of preparation for priesthood to the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy, whose home was a school of goodness and of grace. May Almighty God bless you all, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

From the Vatican, 18 October 2010, the Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist.

Yours devotedly in the Lord,


The Power of Love

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fidelity; Loyalty

The following comes from Bishop Paul D. Etienne's page:

Today is the feast of St. Luke, Evangelist. There is a marvelous depiction of his loyalty to St. Paul represented in the courtyard of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome. (Picture to the left) The scene recalls the Scripture passage of 2 Timothy, 4: 11 where St. Paul writes: Demas has deserted me for love of this life and gone to Thessalonika, Crescens has gone to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia; only Luke is with me.

If you look closely enough in this picture, you can see a statue of Luke in the far right corner of the courtyard. There are three other pillars for statues in the other three corners…all remain empty to depict Luke’s loyalty.

Obviously, Luke was loyal not only to St. Paul, but above all to Christ. He learned much from traveling with and listenting to the Great Apostle to the gentiles, and grew in his own faith and love for Christ. He then shared this love and faith in the Gospel he wrote, along with writing the Acts of the Apostles.

We, too, are called to grow in our love for Christ. We are called to such fidelity and loyalty to Christ. We, too, have our own gifts to share with others for the spread of the same faith. How will you share this faith today?

Pope Benedict: six newest saints show faith can still be found

The following comes from the CNA:

Pope Benedict celebrated Sunday’s canonization Mass of the six newest saints in the Church as a “feast of holiness.” Alluding to the day’s Gospel readings, he declared that their prayerful lives are “shining examples” and proof that faith still can be found on earth.

The Vatican estimated attendance in St. Peter's Square at 50,000 as Pope Benedict XVI recognized the holiness and heroic virtue of six Catholics. In the Rite of Canonization, the Holy Father declared as saints Fr. Stanislaw Soltys, Br. Andre Bessette, Sr. Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria Y Barriola, Sr. Mary Of The Cross (Mary MacKillop), Sr. Giulia Salzano and Sr. Battista Camilla da Varano.

During his homily at the Mass, the Pope spoke of the celebration as a renewal of "the feast of holiness." Referring to Sunday's Gospel message in that context, he said that its "fundamental teaching" is "the need to always pray ceaselessly."

Pope Benedict noted that although the faithful might at times consider prayer tiresome and ineffective, being tempted to use human means to reach their goals, the Lord underscores the importance of prayer as in the parable in the Gospel reading.

In the passage from St. Luke, Jesus tells the story of the widow who must appeal to a dishonest judge to obtain justice. With persistence, she succeeds despite his contempt for her. The Lord asks how much more God will answer those who pray if this judge was convinced by the prayer of the widow.

"God in fact is generosity personified," said the Pope, "he is merciful, and therefore he is always willing to listen to prayers. Therefore we must never despair, but always persist in prayer."

He added that the Gospel reading’s concluding question of whether Jesus will find faith when he returns is an inspiration to an increase in faith, which is "essential as the basis for prayerful behavior.”

The pontiff said the six new saints offered for veneration sought to be such an inspiration.

Remembering each of the new saints, he paused particularly on Spain's St. Candida Maria de Jesus to answer that final question of the Gospel passage. Today, he explained, one can see "with relief and conviction" that there is faith on earth in the contemplation of figures such as her.

Known for her commitment to prayer, in 1871 St. Candida founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus in Salamanca, Spain to teach children and assist women. The order continues to function in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Pope Benedict gave thanks to God for the gift of holiness "which shines in the Church and is visible today on the faces of these our brothers and sisters." Noting Jesus' invitation for all to follow Him to obtain eternal life, he exhorted the faithful to be "drawn by these shining examples ... guided by their teachings, so that our existence might be a canticle of praise to God.

"Let the Virgin Mary and the intercession of the six new saints whom we venerate with joy today obtain for us this grace," he asked.

Before praying the Angelus at the end of Mass, he referred again to Mary "whom God put at the center of the great assembly of the saints.

"To her," he said, "we entrust all of the Church, so that, illuminated by their example and sustained by their intercession, she may walk with an ever new impulse towards the homeland of Heaven."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Voices by Chris Young

Let's GEAUX Saints!!!

I am praying my Saints can get back on track today!

Archbishop Chaput: Young people losing moral vocabulary

The following comes from the CNA:

Addressing a conference in British Columbia, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver asserted that Catholics today have failed to transmit the faith to the next generation, which has resulted in young people losing their “moral vocabulary.”

The Denver prelate made his remarks on Oct. 15 at the “Faith in the Public Square” seminar sponsored by the Diocese of Victoria. He opened his speech with a reference to Shirley Jackson’s famed short story “The Lottery.”

Jackson’s story – set in rural 1940s America – features the tale of a small town that gathers every year to implore an unnamed force to grant a good corn harvest the people. Each year, town members draw a piece of paper from a wooden box to see who will be chosen for human sacrifice. A young mother ends up drawing the ominous black slip and is stoned to death by the community as part of the annual ritual.

Reflecting on Jackson’s piece, Archbishop Chaput cited professor Kay Haugaard’s analysis on how young people in academia in decades past would react passionately to the tale with intense classroom debate and discussion.

“She said that in the early 1970s, students who read the story voiced shock and indignation,” Archbishop Chaput noted. “The tale led to vivid conversations on big topics – the meaning of sacrifice and tradition; the dangers of group-think and blind allegiance to leaders; the demands of conscience and the consequences of cowardice.”

“Sometime in the mid-1990s, however, reactions began to change,” he said.

“Haugaard described one classroom discussion that – to me – was more disturbing than the story itself. The students had nothing to say except that the story bored them. So Haugaard asked them what they thought about the villagers ritually sacrificing one of their own for the sake of the harvest.”

“One student, speaking in quite rational tones, argued that many cultures have traditions of human sacrifice,” the archbishop continued. “Another said that the stoning might have been part of ‘a religion of long standing,’ and therefore acceptable and understandable.”

Another student brought up the idea of “multicultural sensitivity,” saying she learned in school that if “it’s a part of a person’s culture, we are taught not to judge.”

“I thought of Haugaard’s experience with 'The Lottery' as I got ready for this brief talk,” the prelate explained.

“Our culture is doing catechesis every day. It works like water dripping on a stone, eroding people’s moral and religious sensibilities, and leaving a hole where their convictions used to be.”

“Haugaard’s experience,” he added, “teaches us that it took less than a generation for this catechesis to produce a group of young adults who were unable to take a moral stand against the ritual murder of a young woman.”

“Not because they were cowards. But because they lost their moral vocabulary.”

“Christians in my country and yours – and throughout the West, generally – have done a terrible job of transmitting our faith to our own children and to the culture at large,” Archbishop Chaput remarked.

“Instead of changing the culture around us, we Christians have allowed ourselves to be changed by the culture. We’ve compromised too cheaply. We’ve hungered after assimilating and fitting in. And in the process, we’ve been bleached out and absorbed by the culture we were sent to make holy.”

“We need to confess that, and we need to fix it,” he asserted. “For too many of us, Christianity is not a filial relationship with the living God, but a habit and an inheritance. We’ve become tepid in our beliefs and naive about the world. We’ve lost our evangelical zeal. And we’ve failed in passing on our faith to the next generation.”

Renewing Catholic catechesis then, Archbishop Chaput added, “has little to do with techniques, or theories, or programs, or resources.”

“The central issue is whether we ourselves really do believe. Catechesis is not a profession. It’s a dimension of discipleship. If we’re Christians, we’re each of us called to be teachers and missionaries.”

However, the Denver prelate noted, “we can’t share what we don’t have.”

“If we’re embarrassed about Church teachings, or if we disagree with them, or if we’ve decided that they’re just too hard to live by, or too hard to explain, then we’ve already defeated ourselves.”

“We need to really believe what we claim to believe,” he stressed. “We need to stop calling ourselves ‘Catholic’ if we don’t stand with the Church in her teachings – all of them.”

In his concluding remarks, Archbishop Chaput added that “if we really are Catholic, or at least if we want to be, then we need to act like it with obedience and zeal and a fire for Jesus Christ in our hearts.”

“God gave us the faith in order to share it. This takes courage. It takes a deliberate dismantling of our own vanity. When we do that, the Church is strong. When we don’t, she grows weak. It’s that simple.”

Pray Tirelessly

Saturday, October 16, 2010

If Today Was Your Last Day by Nickelback

Nickelback - If Today Was Your Last Day from Nickelback on Vimeo.

Pope Benedict to Raise Six to Sainthood

The following comes from the CNA:

This coming Sunday Pope Benedict XVI will raise six Catholics, all consecrated religious, to the ranks of sainthood. The canonizations will take place in a ceremony presided over by the Holy Father in St. Peter's Square on Sunday. In keeping with tradition, the facade of St. Peter's Basilica will be draped with gigantic banners featuring depictions of the new saints.

The six come from five nations. Polish Fr. Stanislaw Soltys of the Order of Canons Regular of the Lateran, Canadian Br. Andre Bessette of the Congregation of the Holy Cross and Italian Poor Clare Sr. Camilla Battista Varano are among them.

These three will be joined by three foundresses of orders during the same ceremony. Spanish Sr. Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola of the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus; Australian Sr. Mary of the Cross MacKillop of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart; and Italian Sr. Giulia Salzano of the Catechist Sisters of the Sacred Heart, will also be canonized.
On Oct. 17, after prayers, hymns and the reading of short texts written by the six, the Holy Father will preside over their Rite of Canonization.

The rite includes the reading of the official biographies of each, the recitation of prayers, the litany of the saints, and finally, the Pope pronouncing the formula of canonization, thereby declaring them saints.
Mass will follow the rite, with hundreds of cardinals, bishops and priests, representatives of the causes for canonization of each, and thousands of faithful in attendance.

A number of Australian flags were already present in St. Peter's Square during Wednesday's general audience, showing a formidable presence even from the distant island continent, which will receive its first saint.

Celebrations will be held on Sunday in Melbourne, the city of her birth, and also in Sydney. An outdoor Mass will be celebrated in the town of Penola, where she worked to educate poor young people and founded the religious congregation.

There is also great excitement for the canonization of Canada's Blessed Andre Bessette, a humble and compassionate brother of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal. He was known for his strong devotion to St. Joseph, which he shared with many poor and sick people.

3 Reasons Obama's Education Vision Deserves an F

Blessed Brother Andrè, to become first male Canadian saint

Father Hugh Cleary and Brother John Paige discuss the upcoming canonization of one of their own.

They are members of the Congregation of Holy Cross, a Catholic order founded in 1837. The order has 1,500 members, half are priests and the other half brothers.

In this hallway inside the generalate, are pictures of members who are on their way to canonization.

And this statue is of their first member who will become a saint. His name is Blessed Brother Andrè Bessette.

Brother John Paige
Vicar General, Congregation of Holy Cross
“It’s wonderful to have our first saint and he was also our first member beatified. So it’s very important for Holy Cross, but it’s also very important for the Church in Canada.”

Blessed Brother Andrè will become Canada’s first male saint.

He was born in a poor family on August 9 in 1854 near Montreal. Without a formal education, he was barely able to read or write.

Brother John Paige
Vicar General, Congregation of Holy Cross
“So it’s kind of amazing that one who the world would consider quite inadequate, poor health, no education, very poor, quite disadvantaged, would in fact have this gift of prayer which was recognized by his parish priest and then that was the recommendation for keeping him as a member of our congregation.”

He joined the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1874. While serving as a porter at a university in Montreal he began healing the sick and earned the name ‘Miracle Man of Montreal.’

Father Cleary heard a first hand account of a miraculous healing. A professor told him, that when he was a young boy, his newborn sister had a brain tumor.

Father Hugh Cleary
Superior General, Congregation of Holy Cross
“There was no medical hope for her so his mother brought her up to visit Brother Andre. He simply put his hand on the infant’s head and said she would be alright and that was all. Sure enough the tumor disappeared, almost immediately.”

In 1982, Blessed Brother Andrè was beatified by Pope John Paul II. He will be proclaimed a saint on October 17.

Both Father Cleary and Brother Paige are making special plans for the celebration. Father Cleary will return to Rome for the special day and Brother Paige will celebrate in Montreal where there will be a celebration with fireworks and a concert.

In the meantime, reminders of Blessed Brother Andrè’s compassion and faith fill their Holy Cross generalate in Rome. Blessed Brother Andrè, a man of simple means with a gift of healing and prayer.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pray need: possible assassination attempt on Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez, SDB

Please pray for the safety of Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, SDB.  The following comes from the Salesian News Agency:

ANS has received from the private office of Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga the news that there has been a possible assassination attempt against  the Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, based on the fact that on 10 October, a fragment of a bullet was found in his study.

Fr. Carlosmagno Núñez, Chancellor of the Archdiocese, was given the task of communicating the news to the media and he added that all the possible strategies to allow the Cardinal to continue his pastoral work in safety were being examined. Their concern now, naturally, is that of protecting the life of the Cardinal, while the matter is being examined by the investigating authorities. Attempts at reconstructing events by the police are based on the finding of a fragment of a bullet found in the Cardinal’s study and some broken windows through which presumably the bullet entered.

The Chancellor told the media that in the last month two attempts had been made against the Cardinal, so that he is now under constant police protection. At the same time,  the radical positions taken by the Cardinal regarding the defence of the disadvantaged  and his convictions based on the Documents of the Social Teaching of the Church are well-known.

For the clergy and for the Church in general this is a time of uncertainty because of these attacks on such a committed leader and pastor as Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga; and yet as Fr. Núñez repeated “the voice of the Church cannot in any way be silenced”.