Friday, September 30, 2011

Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons

The Mass in all its glory!

The following comes from
Literature professor and translator Anthony Esolen has written what could be called a doorway to the new translation of the Roman Missal.
A commentary by Esolen can be found in the Magnificat Roman Missal Companion, a 200-page booklet that costs less than $4, and that offers a profoundly insightful introduction to the prayers the faithful are about to have on our lips, and hopefully, in our hearts.
As the new translation is set for implementation in less than two months, ZENIT spoke with Esolen about his insights into the new translation and how we can better understand the reasons behind the changes.
ZENIT: To serve as introduction, why did Magnificat pick you to give a commentary on the new translation?
Esolen: That's a good question. I said to them, "I'm not a professional theologian!" But they wanted instead someone whom they could trust to speak about the beauty and the subtlety of the sacred poetry that the prayers of the Mass are. I've spent my adult life, after all, reading and teaching poetry, from the ancient world through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to modern times. I've also worked a great deal as a translator myself, rendering poetry from Latin, Italian, and Anglo Saxon into English poetry. That work includes editions of Lucretius' De Rerum Natura, Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata, and the three volumes of Dante's Divine Comedy. I'm also somewhat conversant in New Testament Greek and in Hebrew. So I suppose those considerations helped to determine the choice.
ZENIT: You suggest that a translator is hired to be humble, regardless of what he's translating. Explain this and how it applies to the liturgy.
Esolen: The translator, I believe, must adopt as his motto the words of St. John the Baptist, referring to Jesus: "He must increase, and I must decrease." It wasn't my job, when I was translating Dante, to intrude my personality into the poem. It was rather my job to bring out Dante's personality, his concerns, his acerbic wit, his devotion, his passions.
Now if this is true of what Dante called his "sacred poem," it is all the more true of the liturgy. Here, we must consider the words of the Mass not simply as the work of excellent human poets, but as a gift of God, mediated through the Church, to his people. At all costs, then, the translator must wish to render the words of the Mass with precision and power, respecting the literal and figurative meaning, the poetic and rhetorical form, and the beauty of the original. For instance, it is not the job of the translator to omit words simply because they strike him as too redolent of the Church rather than of the street corner -- to translate words such as "sacratissimam" and "sancte" and "venerabiles" as simply nothing. It is a sin against the whole community, thus to impose one's individual taste.
ZENIT: People have complained that the sentences in the new translation are unwieldy, with many phrases strung together. You defend this practice. Why?
Esolen: I do not defend unwieldy sentences. This complaint has as its basis one sentence in the first Eucharistic Prayer, which is long and complex in the Latin, and now also in the English. What I defend are well-constructed sentences, as elements of oral poetry. All the old prayers are so constructed. When you break up those sentences into three or four separate sentences, the effect is to be disjointed; the essential relations between words and images and Scriptural allusions are lost. These phrases are not "strung together." Anyone who makes that allegation has a wholly mistaken, and I may say a childish, understanding of the Latin. 
For example, one of the prayers for the Feast of the Holy Family is built upon the image of the "domus," the house or home. We consider first the home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and we pray that we will imitate them in our own homes -- in "domesticis virtutibus," which the translators happily render as "the virtues of family life" -- so that we may enjoy the glories of the house of God. To translate that three-part prayer, which is one tightly constructed sentence, into a three-part prayer in one tight English sentence, is not to "string phrases together," but to reflect artistic unity by artistic unity.
ZENIT: You also offer three defenses for preferring a literal translation of the Latin. One of those you describe as "unlocking the figurative meaning beneath." Could you give an example?
Esolen: Every translator of poetry knows that the choice is not between the literal and the figurative, but between a loose or general rendering and one that is both literal and therefore sensitive to the figurative meaning also. It is a constant concern. Take the word occurrentes in the collect for the First Sunday of Advent. The loose paraphrase from 1973 merely grasps for the general idea behind the text, that Jesus will meet an "eager welcome" when he comes again. But the literal, concrete meaning of the word is rich in Scriptural allusion. The root of the word comes from the verb currere, to run. If we keep the notion of running in mind, we recall -- as the prayer intends us to recall -- the parable of the five wise virgins, their lamps filled with oil, who ran forth to meet the bridegroom as he came. The translators have now rendered the line in such a way as to bring out both the literal and the figurative meaning, and thus also the Scriptural allusion: We pray to the Father for "the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ." That's what I call a translation. The other was a paraphrase.
ZENIT: You frequently note the vast difference that comes with a seemingly slight change in wording. For example, in the Creed, we will express faith in God, creator of all that is "visible and invisible," which you say is quite different than "seen and unseen." How so?
Esolen: The 1973 text was often deaf to the precise meanings of English words. It wasn't simply that the paraphrasers misconstrued the Latin. They misconstrued the English also, or they were not paying close attention to the English. The example above is a case in point. The Latin visibilium et invisibilium is not the same as visorum et insivorum. When we say "seen and unseen" in English, we mean those things we happen to see and those things we happen not to see. So, for instance, I have not seen a certain planet in the heavens, nor have I seen the mother of St. Peter, or the stone rolled before the tomb where Jesus was buried. But all those things are visible, provided there be someone at hand to see them. When we declare that the Father is the creator of all things visible and invisible, we are affirming the existence of things that no one can see with the eyes of the body, unless God chooses to make them manifest: angels, for instance; but also such immaterial objects as the moral law. 
ZENIT: How would you suggest using this commentary?
Esolen: The Mass must increase, and I must decrease! I'd read the commentary as a way of becoming familiar with the beauties and the subtleties of the text -- as if walking through a doorway -- and then I would put the commentary aside and meditate upon the prayers of the Mass themselves in all their glory.

Fr. Robert Barron comments on Pope Benedict's visit to Germany

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Everything Glorious by David Crowder Band

Everything Glorious (Legendado) - David Crowder Band from lynckon on Vimeo.

The New Translation of the Roman Missal: Facts vs Misconceptions

Archbishop Philip Hannan, Rest in Peace

The following comes from the NOLA site:

Philip Matthew Hannan, the archbishop who built an ever-widening network of services for the poor during nearly a quarter-century as the pastor of nearly a half-million New Orleans’ Catholics, died Thursday at 3 a.m. at Chateau de Notre Dame, the Archdiocese of New Orleans said. He was 98.

Archbishop Hannan died on the 46th anniversary of his appointment to New Orleans.

Archbishop Hannan "truly made New Orleans his home. This was his parish and his archdiocese, and it had no boundaries,' Archbishop Gregory Aymond said in a statement.

At his death, Archbishop Hannan was the senior archbishop or bishop in the American hierarchy, and the third oldest, behind retired Archbishop Peter Gerety of Newark, 99, and retired Bishop Joseph McLaughlin of Buffalo, 98.

Archbishop Hannan enjoyed a long and robust public retirement well into his 90s. But though free of major chronic illness, he became more frail year by year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This is Your Life by Francesca Battistelli

The Lord Will Never Abandon His Vineyard

The following comes from

We are back in the vineyard again this week, immersed in another of Matthew's complex Gospel parables. Jesus told these parables in answer to the question: "What is the kingdom of God like?" His parables are short narratives that combine realistic details from first-century Palestinian life in little villages with details that are foreign to the ways that things happen in daily life.
Today's Gospel parable is often called the parable of the wicked tenants. Like last week's parable of the two sons and next week's parable of the royal wedding feast (33-46), today's story is clearly one of judgment at the center of Jesus' threefold response to the religious leaders who are putting his authority to the test (23-27). 
In the Old Testament, "vineyard" or "vine" is often used as a metaphor for God's people. The vineyard figures frequently in Jesus' parables, setting the stage for the Kingdom of God to take root and the drama of salvation to unfold. The work in the vineyard is hard labor; patience is essential, and wages are unpredictable as we saw in a previous gospel parable (Mathew 20). The vineyard can also be a dangerous place to work. Scuffles between workers can erupt (Mark 9:33), and violence may erupt as we see in today's story (Matthew 21:33-43).
A story of violence and want
The combination of a symbol of peace and plenty of today's parable with a story of violence and want is part of what makes today's Gospel story so powerful. A closer look at it helps us understand the harsh reality of people's lives in Jesus' day.
The estate of the landlord would have housed between 50 to 70 people, mostly slaves or servants. The most trusted servants would have had significant responsibilities. The landlord's servants did not hesitate to "lord it over" those in his charge (28). In early fall, when the harvest was ready, the landlord sent out a succession of his workers to collect the rent. The landlord would not go out himself to collect the rent. On the contrary, landlords protected themselves, their families and their considerable possessions in fortified tower-residences. 
The people of Jesus' day were also all too familiar with the violence the story portrays. When the landlord sent his son to collect the rent, the tenants said: "This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours." What remains very odd is that the tenants would repeatedly mistreat and even kill the one sent to them without any reprisal by the vineyard owner. In interpreting parables, the glimpse into the kingdom of God often comes to us through the strange details that are not the way things are in life around us then or now.
The vineyard is Israel and the landowner is God
Today's parable is not just an allegory of hot-headed and greedy servants. Those who listened to this parable from Jesus also heard something underlying the story. Earlier they had asked Jesus about the authority he was claiming for himself. They knew he was telling the story for a reason, and this upset them. The first hearers would have recognized some familiar themes under the surface. 
The vineyard imagery invites us to look at the first reading from Isaiah 5 where the vineyard symbolizes Israel. Since the vineyard has been planted by God, it represents the gift, grace and love of God. Yet the vineyard also demands the labor of the farmer that enables it to produce grapes that yield wine. Thus it symbolizes the human response: personal effort and the fruit of good deeds.
If the vineyard refers to Israel, then the tenant farmers represent Israel's religious leaders, who despite their professed loyalty to Israel's law (Torah), refuse to give God his due by acknowledging and accepting God's mighty presence in the life and mission of John the Baptist and of Jesus of Nazareth.
When successive "prophets" are sent to the "tenants" – and killed – they heard Jesus remind them of the habit leaders had in ignoring many of the warnings the prophets had previously announced. The religious leaders were being criticized for ignoring their own God-sent messengers. This of course would lead to the reaction we see in verse 12: "Then they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away."
Matthew has transformed this allegorical parable into a rich account of salvation history. The vineyard is Israel and the landowner is God. The slaves sent to collect the produce are the prophets sent to Israel. The son whom the tenants throw out of the vineyard and kill is Jesus, who died outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem. 
The fact that the vineyard (41) is to be taken from the wicked tenants and given to others (43) does not refer to Israel but to the kingdom of God. It is not suggested that God will remove Israel's present leadership and provide it with more faithful leaders. Rather, "the kingdom of God" will be taken "from you" and given to a nation that will produce the fruits of the kingdom. The "you" addressed consists not only of the opponents mentioned in the context but of all who follow their leadership in rejecting John and Jesus. The nation to whom the kingdom will be transferred is the church. The reach of the parable extends to include the resurrection when Jesus directs his hearers (42) to the prophecy about the "stone that was rejected" that has become the "corner stone" (Psalm 118:22-23), while the final comment (43) reinforces the sense of the Church as inheritor of the kingdom removed from the original tenants.
Avoiding anti-Semitism
We must avoid an anti-Semitic reading of this parable. The first way is to hear it as a piece of prophetic invective addressed by a Jew to fellow Jews. We must focus attention not so much on what the passage has to say explicitly about Jewish leaders as to what it implies about Christians. The "others" to whom the vineyard is given over in verse 41 are accountable to the owner. They too are charged with the heavy responsibility of producing the fruits of the kingdom (43). 
The vineyard will not be destroyed
In his homily at the mass to mark the opening of the XII Synod of Bishops on "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church" on Oct. 5, 2008, Benedict XVI spoke beautifully of today's parable: "At the end, the owner of the vineyard makes a last attempt: he sends his son, convinced that they will at least listen to him. However the contrary occurs: the tenants kill him because he is the son, the heir, convinced that they can then easily come into possession of the vineyard. Therefore, faced with a jump in quality with respect to the accusation of violating social justice, which emerges from the canticle of Isaiah. Here we can clearly see how contempt for the order given by the owner is changed into scorn for him: this is not simple disobedience to a divine precept, this is the true and actual rejection of God: there appears the mystery of the Cross.
"But there is a promise in the words of Jesus: the vineyard will not be destroyed. While the landowner abandons the unfaithful tenants to their fate, he does not abandon his vineyard and he entrusts it to his faithful tenants. What this demonstrates is that, if in some areas faith weakens to the point of vanishing, there will always be other peoples ready to embrace it. This is why Jesus, as he quotes Psalm 117 (118): "The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone" (v. 22), assures us that his death will not represent the defeat of God. Having been killed, he will not remain in the tomb, but rather that which appears to be a total defeat will mark the start of a definitive victory. His dreadful passion and death on the cross will be followed by the glory of the Resurrection. The vineyard will therefore continue to produce grapes and will be leased by the landowner "to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him at the proper time" (Mt 21:41)."
The vineyard is the house of Israel
The parable of the wicked tenants reminds us once again that we cannot control God's continuous merciful outreach to others. It compels us to look at our lives, our attitudes and actions, in light of whether they are an embrace or rejection of Jesus' saving message. Rather than putting the focus on what the story says about Jewish leaders, we must ask: what does it say about us Christians? What is my vision of the kingdom of God? How am I producing a harvest for God's kingdom, in my private and in our communal lives? What does the parable say to me about my own troubled relationships with family, friends and colleagues? What does the story teach me about my inability to forgive others and forgive myself? Yes, the wicked tenants in today's Gospel do indeed try God's patience. But I do as well! How do I respond to God's boundless mercy and goodness that he offers me each day?
By Fr. Tom Rosica

How Is The New Translation Of The Mass Different?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons

Prayer Need: Archbishop Philip Hannan Weakens

philip-hannan-ted-jackson.jpgThe following comes from the NOLA site:
Retired Archbishop Philip Hannan, 98, appeared to be failing over the weekend, and the Archdiocese of New Orleans solicited prayers on his behalf. "Archbishop Hannan is not doing well, and his doctors are not optimistic. He is at Chateau de Notre Dame under a doctor's care,"Archbishop Gregory Aymond advised pastors in a brief email on Saturday.
Aymond urged pastors to solicit parishioners' prayers as well.
Hannan's brother, Jerry, flew to New Orleans to spend the weekend at Hannan's bedside.
However, Hannan reportedly rallied somewhat on Sunday and was able to take a little nourishment and communicate with visitors.
Chateau de Notre Dame is an archdiocesan health care facility for the elderly behind Notre Dame Seminary.  Hannan moved there in June from his home in Covington to receive stepped up care.
Hannan led the archiodese for 23 years, from 1965 to 1988.

Pope Benedict to Germans: Remain faithful to the Church

The following comes from the CNA:

Pope Benedict XVI has encouraged German Catholics to remain faithful to the unity of the Church. He warned that those Catholics who view the Church as a mere institution are often further from God than agnostics.

“The Church in Germany will continue to be a blessing for the entire Catholic world: if she remains faithfully united with the Successors of St. Peter and the Apostles,” the Pope said at an open-air Sept. 25 Mass in the German city of Freiburg.

Pope Benedict updated the warning of Christ that “tax collectors and harlots” were closer to God than the Pharisees, offering a version “translated into the language of our time.”

“Agnostics, who are constantly exercised by the question of God, those who long for a pure heart but suffer on account of our sin, are closer to the Kingdom of God than believers whose life of faith is ‘routine’ and who regard the Church merely as an institution, without letting their hearts be touched by faith,” said the Pope.

Sunday was Pope Benedict’s last day of his state visit to Germany. Unlike Berlin and Erfurt, his previous destinations over the past four days, Freiburg is overwhelming Catholic. This was evident in the huge numbers at this morning’s Mass, held beneath blue skies and sunshine. Concelebrating with the Pope were the bishops of Germany’s 27 dioceses.

Predicted anti-papal protests have largely failed to materialize during the four-day visit, but the Pope still seemed acutely aware of those Catholic voices in Germany who dissent from Church teaching.

“The Church in Germany will overcome the great challenges of the present and future, and it will remain a leaven in society, if the priests, consecrated men and women, and the lay faithful, in fidelity to their respective vocations, work together in unity,” he said. He added that “the baptized and confirmed, in union with their bishop,” should “lift high the torch of untarnished faith and allow it to enlighten their abundant knowledge and skills.”

This renewal of the Church in Germany will “only come about through openness to conversion and through renewed faith,” said Pope Benedict. Jesus Christ “is always close to us, especially in times of danger and radical change, his heart aches for us and he reaches out to us,” he added.

“We need to open ourselves to him so that the power of his mercy can touch our hearts. We have to be ready to abandon evil, to raise ourselves from indifference and make room for his word,” he said.

In practical terms, the Pope suggested that each person ask themselves some basic questions about their personal relationship with God in prayer, in participation at Mass, in exploring his or her faith through mediation on Sacred Scripture and through study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The papal liturgy itself was suffused with Germanic grandeur. Both the Mass settings and hymns were accompanied by a full orchestra. Meanwhile, the consecration of the Eucharist was welcomed in unison by the bell towers of local churches.

In his Angelus address immediately after the Mass, Pope Benedict held up Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a model for the Christian conversion who had said “yes” to God’s plan in her life.

"As we pray the Angelus, we may join Mary in her ‘yes,’ we may adhere trustingly to the beauty of God’s plan and to the providence that he has assigned to us in his grace,” said the Pope.

“Then God’s love will also, as it were, take flesh in our lives, becoming ever more tangible. In all our cares we need have no fear. God is good.”

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Holy by Jesus Culture

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bella Donna by The Avett Brothers

St. Padre Pio and his Movie

This is a great movie and you can order it here.

Francesco, named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, was born to Giuseppa and Grazio Forgione, peasant farmers, in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina on May 25, 1887. From his childhood, it was evident that he was a special child of God. Francesco was very devout even as a child, and at an early age felt drawn to the priesthood. He became a Capuchin novice at the age of sixteen and received the habit in 1902. Francesco was ordained to the priesthood in 1910 after seven years of study and became known as Padre Pio.

On September 20, 1918, Padre Pio was kneeling in front of a large crucifix when he received the visible marks of the crucifixion, making him the first stigmatized priest in the history of Church. The doctor who examined Padre Pio could not find any natural cause for the wounds. Upon his death in 1968, the wounds were no longer visible. In fact, there was no scaring and the skin was completely renewed. He had predicted 50 years prior that upon his death the wounds would heal. The wounds of the stigmata were not the only mystical phenomenon experienced by Padre Pio.

The blood from the stigmata had an odor described by many as similar to that of perfume or flowers, and the gift of bilocation was attributed to him. Padre Pio had the ability to read the hearts of the penitents who flocked to him for confession which he heard for ten or twelve hours per day. Padre Pio used the confessional to bring both sinners and devout souls closer to God; he would know just the right word of counsel or encouragement that was needed. Even before his death, people spoke to Padre Pio about his possible canonization. He died on September 23, 1968 at the age of eighty-one. His funeral was attended by about 100,000 people.

On June 16, 2002, over 500,000 Padre Pio devotees gathered in Rome to witness Pope John Paul II proclaim Padre Pio, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. The Padre Pio Foundation and many benefactors traveled to Rome, San Giovanni Rotondo, Pietrelcina, Piana Romana and many other holy places to celebrate Padre Pio's Canonization.

To learn more about this wonderful saint please click here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons

Pope Benedict arrives in Germany 'to speak about God'

The following comes from the CNA:

Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Germany at the beginning of a four-day state visit. At the official welcoming ceremony he told crowds that he had come back to his homeland “to meet people and to speak about God.”

“I was born in Germany. Such roots cannot be severed, nor should they be,” the Pope told reporters on his flight from Rome to Berlin’s Tegel Airport, where he was greeted by German President Christian Wulff and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He said aboard the plane that he was relaxed about those who are protesting against his visit because “that is normal in a free society.”

The Pope also fielded questions from the media on the issue of clerical abuse, suggesting that he understood why some victims may be tempted to say “this is not my church anymore.” But he explained that Church is an institution which catches both “good and bad fish.”

After being greeted at the airport, Pope Benedict was escorted to the German president’s residence at Berlin’s Bellevue Palace, where he was officially welcomed by President Wulff.

The Pope noted that in Germany, and elsewhere, there is a significant indifference to religion, with some people considering “the issue of truth as something of an obstacle” to society’s decision-making, and instead giving “priority to utilitarian considerations.”

Yet, he noted, “a binding basis for our coexistence is needed; otherwise people live in a purely individualistic way.” Religion, said the Pope, provides that and is “one of the foundations for a successful social life.”

“Freedom requires a primordial link to a higher instance. The fact that there are values which are not absolutely open to manipulation is the true guarantee of our freedom,” he said.

He suggested that such freedom “develops only in responsibility to a greater good” and “cannot be lived in the absence of relationships.” Pope Benedict explained that these necessities for freedom lead to the two key principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.

Solidarity, he explained, is our responsibility towards others, since “what I do at the expense of others is not freedom but a culpable way of acting which is harmful to others and also to myself.”

The Pope then turned to the principle of subsidiarity, which he defined as the idea that communal concerns are best addressed by at the lowest possible institutional level. This requires society to “give sufficient space for smaller structures to develop and, at the same time, must support them so that one day they will stand on their own.”

Both these principles, he said, have helped modern Germany to “become what it is today thanks to the power of freedom shaped by responsibility before God and before one another.”

He concluded by saying that he hoped his visit can “make a small contribution” towards a “profound cultural renewal” and a “rediscovery of fundamental values” which can lead to a better future for all.

Pope Benedict then had private meetings with both President Wulff and Chancellor Merkel before taking a break in his day for lunch at the city’s Catholic Academy.

Later today the Pope will speak before the German parliament, before making his way to the Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, where he will celebrate Mass before an anticipated audience of 70,000.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen credited with baby's stunning recovery

The following comes from the CNA:

Bonnie Engstrom remembers praying silently to Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen over and over again after her baby son was born lifeless and without a pulse for 61 minutes.

“I held him for a moment, he was blue and limp,” she told CNA. “I just kind of sat there in shock.”

Little James Fulton was the third child that Bonnie and her husband's planned to give birth to at home, and everything had been going perfectly in the early hours of Sept. 16, 2010.

“It had been a healthy pregnancy, it was a healthy labor, everything was good,” Bonnie recalled.

But what the couple and attending midwife and birth assistant did not know was that there was a knot in James' umbilical chord which tightened while he was descending the birth canal.

Her son, 9 lbs. 10 oz., was a stillborn.

Bonnie held her motionless baby for a few brief moments before he was quickly taken away for CPR while an ambulance was called.

“I have a memory of repeating Sheen's name, in my head, not out loud, but just kind of saying over and over again 'Fulton Sheen, Fulton Sheen' while they were still doing CPR,” she said.

Bonnie's husband also baptized the baby James Fulton—“the name we had agreed upon”—before he was rushed to the St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. During the transport to the hospital, a friend who had attended the birth called others to pray, with some of them invoking Sheen's name as well.

“The intercession for my son with Archbishop Sheen began when I was still pregnant with him,” she explained. “We knew that we were going to name him after Fulton Sheen and so I was praying to him and asking him to watch out for my son to be his kind of patron.”

In the ambulance, paramedics gave the baby two doses of epinephrine to try to restart his heart, “and neither one of those worked,” Bonnie said.

But at the hospital, a full 61 minutes after he was born and while doctors were preparing to declare the time of death, James Fulton suddenly had a pulse.

Although the medical team was stunned, they refrained from being optimistic and simply told Bonnie's husband that the baby had a heartbeat, but that was all they could say.

“My husband interpreted that as 'he's alive, but just for now,'” Bonnie recalled.

Doctors expected James Fulton to die within the week, or at the very least, be on a ventilator or feeding tube—blind and strapped into a wheelchair—for the rest of his short life.

What happened in the following days, however, was nothing short of extraordinary.

“Two days after he was born, we had a Mass and a Holy Hour at the cathedral where Sheen was ordained, and we prayed the intercessory prayer asking for Sheen's prayers that James would be completely healed,” Bonnie said.

The Engstrom family was surprised to be surrounded by over a hundred people gathered together with them at Mass that day.

“People I didn't even know—friends of friends, or they saw it on Facebook and they came.”

Over the next few days, friends and strangers alike held Holy Hours at Newman centers and parishes across the U.S. Multiple Protestant churches also participated in prayer chains.

“There were people from all over the world who e-mailed me and left comments on my blog saying 'we're praying for your son and we are asking for Sheen's intercession,'” Bonnie said. “It was really powerful and humbling.”

Within a week of his birth, doctors were shocked to find that James Fulton was breathing on his own.

“Everyone was just amazed by that—that wasn't supposed to happen.”

And day by day, after all of his vital organs were seen to be functioning properly, it became more apparent that little James Fulton was going to be just fine.

“Definitely by the time we were discharged,” and when the baby was seven weeks old, “the doctors and nurses were already pretty impressed with how far he had come,” she said.

When the follow-up MRI came in three months later in December 2010, the medical team was extremely pleased by what they saw.

James Fulton, a normal, happy little boy, celebrated his first birthday on September 16, 2011.

The Engstrom's were recently sworn into a tribunal of inquiry where members of Bishop Sheen's cause for beatification and canonization will investigate the alleged healing.

At a Sept. 7 ceremony at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel in Peoria, the family was joined by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, Dr. Andrea Ambrosi—postulator for Archbishop Sheen’s cause—and members of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation board.

“Because my family believes that James was healed in part because of the intercession of Sheen, there is now an investigation into whether or not this is a real miracle,” Bonnie said. “We don't know what's going to happen, but they are investigating for the beatification.”

Archbishop Sheen died in 1979 and his cause for sainthood was officially opened in 2002. He is presently referred to as a “Servant of God.” The next major step toward being declared a saint would be his beatification by the Pope.

Investigators are also evaluating the case of a 72-year-old Illinois woman who recovered from major complications during lung surgery after her husband prayed for the late archbishop's intercession.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Agnus Dei by Jotta A

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pope Benedict calls families to New Evangelization

The following comes from

Families who are living for Christ are among the protagonists in the Church's mission to bring about a new evangelization, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope affirmed this today before praying the midday Angelus with crowds gathered at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.
Reflecting on the passage from Philippians in today's liturgy, the Holy Father noted how the letter was written around the year 50 A.D., and therein was already a complete synthesis of the mystery of Christ: "incarnation, 'kenosis,' that is, humiliation unto death on the cross, and glorification."
"This mystery itself became one with the life of the Apostle Paul, who wrote this letter while he was in prison, awaiting a sentence of life or death," the Holy Father explained. "He writes: 'For me to live is Christ and die is gain.' It is a new sense of life, of human existence, that consists in living communion with the living Jesus Christ."
This communion, the Pontiff said, is not with a mere historical figure, "but with a man in whom God dwells personally."
"His death and resurrection are the Good News that, starting from Jerusalem, is destined to reach all people and nations, and to transform all cultures from within, opening them to the fundamental truth: God is love; he became man in Jesus and with his sacrifice he ransomed humanity from slavery to evil, giving it a trustworthy hope."
Benedict XVI proposed that today "we live in an epoch of new evangelization."
"The protagonists of this mission," he said, "are the men and women who, like St. Paul, can say: 'For me to live is Christ' -- persons, families, communities, who decide to work in the vineyard of the Lord, according to the image of this Sunday's Gospel. Humble and generous workers, who do not ask any other recompense than participating in the mission of Jesus and the Church."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford and Sons

Bishop Sam Jacobs Evangelizes in the Street

I found this at the Opinionated Catholic:

This is a short clip of Evangelization Director Tim Bogan & Bishop Sam Jacobs preaching the Gospel on the courthouse steps downtown Houma, LA.  The Diocese of Houma – Thibodaux sponsored this New Evangelization outreach called, “Ignite” on Saturday September 17, 2011.

H/T to the Universal Difference site.

Fr. Robert Barron on The Two Minus One Pregnancy

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What Life Would Be Like by Big Daddy Weave

Big Daddy Weave - Very Time I Breathe from Ro marin on Vimeo.

Catholicism by Fr. Robert Barron

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Revelation by Third Day

Thirdy Day - Revelation from Ro marin on Vimeo.

Friday, September 16, 2011

One by Hillsong

One - Hillsong Opener 2008 from Ro marin on Vimeo.

St. Dominic Savio's Vision and the Conversion of England

I posted this last year as we were praying for the Holy Father's visit to England.  We might recall an experience of St. Dominic Savio who prayed for the conversion of England.  In 1857 St. John Bosco related to Blessed Pius IX a vision had by St. Dominic Savio:

'One morning, while I was doing my thanksgiving after Holy Communion, I was taken by a strong distraction. It seemed that I was on a very vast flat land surface, full of people surrounded by thick darkness. They were walking, but did so as though they had lost their way and could not see where they set their feet. Someone beside me said, "This region is England."

'Then I saw the Supreme Pontiff, Pius IX. He was dressed in a majestic fashion, carrying in his hands a splendorous light, and advancing amidst the multitude of people. As He advanced, the darkness gradually disappeared and the people were bathed with so much light that it seemed noon time.

'The friend said, "This light is the Catholic Religion, which must illuminate England." '
Pius IX said to Don Bosco: "This narration confirms in me my determination to work without rest in favor of England, which is already the object of all my solicitudes."

(From the Biographical Memiors of St. John Bosco)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Cave by Mumford and Sons

Pope Benedict on Psalm 22: How to turn pain into hope

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Altissimo. Changes in pace. A timelapse short film from Patryk Kizny on Vimeo.

Archbishop Dolan: On 9/11, God had the last word

The following comes from

Although it wasn't easy to see in the moment, the side of darkness did not prevail in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 11, 2001, says the Archbishop of New York.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan, speaking at the memorial Mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, affirmed that the reality is that God had the last word.
"There is an intense battle that is being waged in the human heart," the archbishop began. "It’s that battle, that war, that is going on in the human soul that gives rise to all the violence, and battles and wars that we see outside. You and I are aware of that tension deep within.
"It’s a battle between sin and grace, between darkness and light. It’s a war where evil is against good, where death is versus life, lies versus truth, pride against humility, selfishness against selflessness, revenge versus mercy, hate versus love, Satan versus Almighty God."
"Now a decade ago," he continued, "at about this very moment, throughout the United States, throughout the world, and especially in this our beloved community, it seemed that the side of darkness had conquered, as innocent people perished, as valiant rescuers rushed to their aid, as families were fractured, and as a nation seemed on the ground.
"And yet what I propose at our Mass this Sunday morning, on this tenth anniversary of that day, is that as a matter of fact the side of light actually triumphed, as temptations to despair, fearful panic, revenge, and dread gave way to such things as rescue, recovery, rebuilding, outreach, and resilience.
"The side of the angels, not of the demons, conquered. Good Friday became Easter Sunday. And once again God has the last word."
"Perhaps what gives us most consolation would be our young people, our children," Archbishop Dolan added. He noted the numbers of children of firefighters who lost their fathers in 9/11, and who now want to become firefighters and rescue workers. The prelate also mention one young man whose father died in 9/11, and who is studying to become a priest.
"They are living examples of the fact that God alone has the last word," he said.
St. Peter's
Archbishop Dolan and his predecessor, Cardinal Edward Egan, also presided at a Mass in the afternoon at St. Peter's Church, located a block from the World Trade Center site. The Church had been damaged on 9/11 from the debris falling from the towers.
Cardinal Egan delivered the homily, noting that 10 years ago, "We were taken by surprise. We were shocked. We were wounded. We were grievously wounded. Evil had had its moment of triumph in Lower Manhattan."
"This is, therefore, an anniversary that stings and sears the soul," he said. "It thrusts us back into an experience of infamy such as none of us would ever have imagined.
"Thousands of good and decent citizens of Greater New York were brutally murdered. An ugly chasm was dug into the heart of our City; and in the hearts of countless mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, wives and husbands, children and grandchildren, friends and co-workers, there even now aches the nagging pain of loss for persons dearly loved and sorely needed."
"All the same," the cardinal continued, "from the crime of 9/11, we have learned a powerful lesson that we must never let slip from our memories. It is simply this. When truly challenged, the best of us forget ourselves and become men and women for others, men and women who march into harm’s way for others, men and women who are even willing to give up their lives for others."
He explained: "In a bustling, competitive metropolis like ours, the citizenry can become quite self-absorbed. 'If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,' we sing; and 'making it' is understood to require focus -- focus largely on ourselves.
"Thus, in our strivings and struggles, we can seem to be a people insensitive to the needs of others, a people who take little note of the weak, the frightened, and the hurting. And this is what many thought of us, until that dreadful morning when the terrorists came to do us harm."
"Then we learned -- perhaps even to our own surprise -- that within the hearts of the best of us there resides a goodness that is incredibly selfless," said Cardinal Egan. "We learned that, when summoned by great events, we become in great numbers remarkably committed to the well-being of others, even total strangers. We become a strong people, a courageous people, a noble people – a people for others."

Hallelujah by Jotta A and Michely Manuely

Saint of the day: John Chrysostom

The following comes from the site:

St. John, named Chrysostom (golden-mouthed) on account of his eloquence, came into the world of Christian parents, about the year 344, in the city of Antioch. His mother, at the age of 20, was a model of virtue. He studied rhetoric under Libanius, a pagan, the most famous orator of the age.

In 374, he began to lead the life of an anchorite in the mountains near Antioch, but in 386 the poor state of his health forced him to return to Antioch, where he was ordained a priest.

In 398, he was elevated to the See of Constantinople and became one of the greatest lights of the Church. But he had enemies in high places and some were ecclesiastics, not the least being Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, who repented of this before he died. His most powerful enemy, however, was the empress Eudoxia, who was offended by the apostolic freedom of his discourses. Several accusations were brought against him in a pseudo-council, and he was sent into exile.

In the midst of his sufferings, like the apostle, St. Paul, whom he so greatly admired, he found the greatest peace and happiness. He had the consolation of knowing that the Pope remained his friend, and did for him what lay in his power. His enemies were not satisfied with the sufferings he had already endured, and they banished him still further, to Pythius, at the very extremity of the Empire. He died on his way there on September 14, 407.

Monday, September 12, 2011

You are my God by Tony Melendez

On Sept. 11, Pope Benedict asks world leaders to reject violence and hatred

The following comes from the CNA:

At the midday recitation of the Angelus, Pope Benedict marked the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with a call for a rejection of violence and for a “Eucharistic spirituality” that rejects indifference towards others.

“I invite the leaders of nations and men of good will to always refuse violence as the solution to problems, to resist the temptation toward hatred and to work in society, inspired by the principles of solidarity, justice and peace,” he said.

He entrusted the attacks’ victims and their families to “the Lord of Life.”

The Pope also wrote a Sept. 11 letter to the U.S. bishops’ conference president Archbishop Timothy Dolan saying that terrorism cannot be justified under any circumstances.

“Every human life is precious in God's sight and no effort should be spared in the attempt to promote throughout the world a genuine respect for the inalienable rights and dignity of individuals and peoples everywhere,” he said.

Pope Benedict delivered his Angelus message at a shipyard in the Adriatic port of Ancona, where he presided at the conclusion of the 25th Italian National Eucharistic Congress. An estimated 100,000 people attended Sunday Mass with the Pope, Vatican Radio reports.

The Pope’s homily at Sunday Mass reflected on the congress’ theme “The Eucharist for Everyday Life.”

In giving himself daily in the Eucharist, he explained, God offers “the path to avoid indifference to the fate of our brothers and sisters, to enter the same logic of love and (the) gift of sacrifice of the Cross.”

“Those who know how to kneel before the Eucharist, those who receive the body of Christ cannot fail to be attentive, in the unfolding of the day, to situations unworthy of man and (to) know firsthand how to bend over the needy, how to break bread with the hungry, how to share water with the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned.”

He praised a “Eucharistic spirituality” as an antidote to “individualism and selfishness.” This spirituality leads to the rediscovery of gratuity and the centrality of relationships, especiall our relationship with God.

“Man is incapable of giving life by himself. He can only be understood starting from God. It is our relationship with Him that gives consistency to our humanity and makes our lives good and right,” the Pope commented.

Pope Presents Eucharist as Solution to Social Woes

The following comes from

A person who can kneel before the Eucharist and receive Christ in Communion must be attentive to the needs of his neighbor and ready to share his goods with others, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope affirmed this today when he presented the Eucharist as the key to a person-centered social development. He was speaking at the closing Mass of Italy's 25th National Eucharistic Congress.

"A Eucharistic spirituality is a real antidote to individualism and egoism that often characterize daily life," the Holy Father stated.

He proposed that responsibility in community life is born from the Eucharist, such that the poor, sick and needy are placed at the center of social development.

"To be nourished by Christ is the way not to remain foreign and indifferent to the fortunes of our brothers, but to enter into the very logic of love and of gift," the Pope said.

"He who is able to kneel before the Eucharist, who receives the Lord's body cannot fail to be attentive, in the ordinary course of the days, to situations unworthy of man, and is able to bend down personally to attend to need, is able to break his bread with the hungry, share water with the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned," he continued.

Spiritual worship

Benedict XVI proposed a Eucharistic spirituality as an antidote to individualism, saying that it leads to giving relationships a central role in life, beginning with family relationships.

A Eucharistic spirituality, he continued, is also at the heart of a Church community that overcomes divisions.

Referring to the problem of unemployment, the Pope also affirmed that a Eucharistic spirituality is "a way to restore dignity to man's days and, hence, to his work."

A Eucharistic spirituality is also an aid in approaching those who are weak, he said, remembering that the "different forms of human fragility" do not diminish the "value of the person," but call for "closeness, acceptance and help."

"There is nothing that is genuinely human," the Pontiff stated, "that does not find in the Eucharist the right way to live it in fullness: Hence, daily life becomes the place of spiritual worship, to live the primacy of God in all circumstances, within a relationship with Christ and as an offering to the Father."

Sunday, September 11, 2011

U2 Super Bowl halftime show 2002 - 9/11 tribute

He Knows My Name

Pope Benedict recalls 9/11 and condemns violence in God's name

The following comes from Reuters:

Pope Benedict on Saturday condemned violence in God's name, but said that 10 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the world still had much to do to address the grievances that can give rise to acts of terrorism.

"Once again, it must be unequivocally stated that no circumstances can ever justify acts terrorism," he said in a letter to New York's archbishop, Timothy Dolan, who is also head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Recalling what he called the "brutal assault" on the United States, the pope said: "The tragedy of that day is compounded by the perpetrators' claim to be acting in God's name."

"Every human life is precious in God's sight and no effort should be spared in the attempt to promote throughout the world a genuine respect for the inalienable rights and dignity of individuals and peoples everywhere," he said.

Benedict, who visited Ground Zero in New York during his trip to the United States in 2008, commended Americans "for their resilience in moving forward with hope and confidence", but said the root causes of violence still had to be addressed.

"It is my fervent prayer that a firm commitment to justice and a global culture of solidarity will help rid the world of the grievances that so often give rise to acts of violence and will create the conditions for greater peace and prosperity, offering a brighter and more secure future," he said.

"Evil is real, and so is courage."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9 11 and the Clergy

The Mayor of New York has decided that their will be no Clergy allowed to participate in the 10th anniversary events at Ground Zero tomorrow. Thankfully there was lots of Clergy participation 10 years ago. The Anchoress has some good things to say in this regard. Here is a good quote from Fr. James Martin:

. . .excluding clergy from the official public memory of the day is almost willfully ahistorical. The clergy were a significant part of the events surrounding the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, particularly in New York. To begin with, they were among the first groups to respond to the disaster at Ground Zero, with priests, ministers and rabbis on the ground . . e . since the 11th.) . . . Clergy from a variety of traditions provided guidance, comfort and solace for those seeking answers in the face of the death of loved ones, or simply in the face of tragedy. Religious organizations spearheaded charitable efforts both in New York and elswewhere. But most of all, the witness of the clergy on that day was embodied by Fr. Mychal Judge, O.F.M., who sacrificed his life in service to others. Fr. Judge, the Franciscan priest and New York City fire chaplain who was killed after racing into one of the burning towers to minister to firefighters, is listed as the first official casualty of the attacks on the World Trade Center: “Victim 0001.”

A New Cathedral for the South!

The following comes from the CNA:

The Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina plans to build a new 2,000-seat cathedral, dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge announced Sept.7.

The announcement is a “monumental and historic moment in the life of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh and the state of North Carolina,” the bishop said.

The proposed cathedral campus is on a 39-acre tract of land adjacent to Western Boulevard and Centennial Parkway. The property is a remnant of 400 acres purchased in 1897 by Fr. Thomas F. Price, the “Tar Heel Apostle” who was the first native North Carolinian to be ordained a Catholic priest. He established an orphanage on the site called the Nazareth Community.

Bishop Burbidge said that the planned cathedral’s name commemorates the name of the chapel Fr. Price established at the site.

“It is fitting that the name of our new cathedral is the Holy Name of Jesus,” he remarked.

The location presently hosts the Catholic Center administration building and a smaller office building.

The diocese has contracted with the Washington, D.C. architect James McCrery to develop the cathedral design and to propose the most effective use for planned additions and other potential developments at the site.

The conceptual design for the cathedral is classical in style. Artistic renderings for the cathedral campus also show a two-story gathering hall and a parking facility that is both above and below ground. Bishop Burbidge said that in additional to being the “mother church of the diocese,” he hopes the campus will become a cultural venue, hosting sacred music concerts and lecture series.

The estimated cost of the cathedral campus is $75 to $90 million. The diocese said the project has received $10 million in pledges from a small group of donors in a short period of time.

The Diocese of Raleigh, which covers 54 eastern counties of North Carolina, said the continuing growth of the Catholic population prompted the need for a new cathedral. Between 2000 and 2010, the Catholic population increased about 42 percent from about 152,493 to 217,125 registered Catholics. The diocese estimates at least another 200,000 Catholics, mostly of Hispanic origin, are not registered with a parish.

The diocese’s current Sacred Heart Cathedral, located two blocks from the State Capitol, only has a seating capacity for 320 people, making it one of the smallest in the country.

After the new cathedral is dedicated, Sacred Heart Church will be “retained and honored” as the first cathedral of the diocese. It will continue to serve as “a vibrant part of the sacramental life of the diocese,” the diocese said.

Bishop Burbidge anticipates that the groundbreaking for the new Cathedral Campus will take place in mid-2013.

The Diocese of Raleigh has created a website for the new cathedral at

Fr. Robert Barron comments on September 11, 2001: Anger and Forgiveness

Friday, September 9, 2011

Motion of Mercy by Francesca Battistelli

Pope Benedict: God is present during 'times of darkness'

The following comes from the CNA:

Pope Benedict XVI told pilgrims in St. Peter's Square that they should look to the Bible's third psalm to recall that God is near “even in times of difficulty, problems, and darkness.”

“In the Psalmist's lament,” Pope Benedict observed in his September 7 general audience, “each of us may recognize those feelings of pain and bitterness, accompanied by faith in God, which, according the biblical narrative, David experienced as he fled from his city.”

Pope Benedict presided over the Wednesday general audience at the Vatican before returning to Castel Gandolfo, his summer vacation residence.

His discussion of Psalm 3 served as the beginning of his treatment of the Psalms – which he called “the book of prayer par excellence” – as part of his continuing series of lessons on “the school of prayer.”

Psalm 3, Pope Benedict recalled, comes from “one of the most dramatic episodes” in the life of King David, to whom the Church has traditionally ascribed the entire book of Psalms. It represents David's cry for help after his son Absalom usurped his throne, forcing David to flee from Jerusalem in fear.

The incident prompts David to exlaim: “How many are my foes, Lord! How many rise against me! How many say of me, 'God will not save that one.'”

David's persecutors, Pope Benedict noted, not only threaten his life, but “also seek to break his bond with God and to undermine the faith of their victim by insinuating that the Lord cannot intervene.”

Their aggression against “the central core of the Psalmist's being” subjects David to one of the most serious temptations a believer can suffer, “the temptation of losing faith and trust in the closeness of God.”

But the author of Psalm 3 also recalls that God is “a shield around me,” and declares: “Whenever I cried out to the Lord, I was answered from the holy mountain … I do not fear, then, thousands of people arrayed against me on every side.”

“By praying this Psalm,” Pope Benedict told the crowd of pilgrims, “we share the sentiments of the Psalmist: a just but persecuted figure which would later be fulfilled in Jesus. In pain, danger and the bitterness of misunderstanding and offense, the words of this Psalm open our hearts to the comforting certainty of faith.”

“God is always close, even in times of difficulty, problems and darkness,” the Pope taught. “He listens, responds and saves.” David's cry of desperation, then, is also “an act of faith in God's closeness and His willingness to listen.”

Pope Benedict explained that the third psalm, like the entirety of the Old Testament, points to Jesus' experience of suffering, death, and final deliverance.

Through the words of this psalm, Christians can learn to “recognize (God's) presence and accept his ways, like David during his humiliating flight from his son Absalom … and, finally and fully, like the Lord Jesus on Golgotha.”

When darkness and pain arrive, the ability to recognize God's presence makes an immense difference, as it did when Christ died in circumstances that seemed to have no redeeming value.

“In the eyes of the unrighteous it appeared that God did not intervene and that his son died,” the Pope said. “But for believers it was at that precise moment that true glory was manifested and definitive salvation achieved.”

“May the Lord give us faith,” Pope Benedict concluded. “May he come in aid of our weakness and help us to pray in moments of anguish, in the painful nights of doubt and the long days of pain, abandoning ourselves trustingly to him – our shield and our glory.”