Tuesday, January 31, 2012

POPE'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR FEBRUARY

VATICAN CITY, 31 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for February is: "That all peoples may have access to water and other resources needed for daily life".

His mission intention is: "That the Lord may sustain the efforts of health workers assisting the sick and elderly in the world's poorest regions".

From VIS 20120131 (70)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chili and More

Bishop's Lenten Appeal

The theme for the 2012 Bishop's Lenten Appeal is Love One Another with the Heart of Christ!
Please respond generously to the Bishop Loverde's appeal with a generous contribution to assist the vital programs that support those in need in our diocese.

Feast of Saint Blaise

Friday, February 3 is the Feast of Saint Blaise. Traditional blessing of the throats will take place after all Masses at Sacred Heart and Saint Bridget's on that day.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Renewal of Faith

This morning in the Vatican the Holy Father received participants in the plenary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "As we know", he said in his remarks to them, "We are facing a profound crisis of faith, a loss of a religious sense which represents one of the greatest challenges for the Church today. The renewal of faith must, then, be a priority for the entire Church in our time.”

This is closely associated with the question of Christian unity, and the Holy Father turned to consideration of certain doctrinal issues related to the Church's ecumenical journey. "Today", he said, "we see the many good fruits that have emerged from ecumenical dialogue. Yet we must also recognise that the risks of indifference and of false Irenicism*, completely alien to the mindset of Vatican Council II, require us to be vigilant. Such indifference is caused by the increasingly widespread opinion that truth is not accessible to man and that, therefore, we must limit ourselves to finding rules to improve this world. In this scenario, faith comes to be replaced by a shallow-rooted moralism. By contrast, the core of true ecumenism is faith, in which man encounters the truth revealed in the Word of God. Without faith the entire ecumenical movement would be reduced to a kind of 'social contract' to which we adhere out of shared interests. The logic of Vatican Council II was quite different", holding that "the sincere search for the full unity of all Christians is a dynamic process animated by the Word of God".

Benedict XVI also said: "In our dialogues we cannot overlook the great moral questions about human life, the family, sexuality, bioethics, freedom, justice and peace. It is important to speak on these issues with a single voice, drawing on the fundamentals contained in Scripture and in living tradition. ... By defending the fundamental values of the great tradition of the Church, we defend man and we defend the creation".
From VIS 20120127 (190)

*(According to Wikipedia irenicism derives from the Greek eirene meaning peace. It is a concept opposed to polemicsm or war-like argumentation.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Papal Liturgical Celebrations

VATICAN CITY, 26 JAN 2012 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today published the calendar of celebrations due to be presided by the Holy Father from February through April.

FEBRUARY
Thursday 2: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Consecrated Life. At 5.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Vespers with members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life.
Saturday 18: At 10.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, ordinary public consistory for the creation of new cardinals and for the vote on a number of causes of canonisation.
Sunday 19: Solemnity of the Cathedra of St. Peter. At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Mass with new cardinals.
Wednesday 22: Ash Wednesday. At 4.30 p.m. in the basilica of Sant'Anselmo, "statio" and penitential procession. At 5 p.m. in the basilica of Santa Sabina, blessing and imposition of the ashes.
Sunday 26: First Sunday of Lent. At 6 p.m. in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, beginning of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.

MARCH
Saturday 3: At 9 a.m. in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel, conclusion of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.
Sunday 4: Second Sunday of Lent. At 9.30 a.m., Mass in the Roman parish of "San Giovanni Battista de La Salle al Torrino".
Saturday 10: At 5.30 p.m., Vespers in the basilica of San Gregorio al Celio for the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Friday 23 to Thursday 29: Apostolic trip to Mexico and Cuba.

APRIL
Sunday 1. Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. At 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, blessing of palms, procession and Mass.
Thursday 5. Holy Thursday. At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Chrism Mass. At 5.30 p.m. in the basilica of St. John Lateran, beginning of the Easter Triduum with the Mass of the Last Supper.
Friday 6. Good Friday. At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of the Lord's Passion. At 9.15 p.m. at the Colosseum, Way of the Cross.
Saturday 7. Holy Saturday. At 9 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Easter vigil.
Sunday 8. Easter Sunday. Mass in St. Peter's Square at 10.15 a.m. At midday, from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.

From/ VIS 20120126 (390)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Loverde Speaks on HHS Contraceptive Mandate

On Tuesday, Archbishop Loverde spoke out about the decision by the Department of Health and Human Services to require Catholic hospitals, charitable organizations, colleges and other Church-affiliated entities,to cover sterilizations and artificial contraception, in insurance plans. The Archbishop characterized the new mandate as a direct attack against religious liberty and a radical break with the liberties that have underpinned our nation since its founding.

“I am absolutely convinced that an unprecedented and very dangerous line has been crossed that goes to the heart of the freedom of religion, and that this action does intolerable violence to our First Amendment rights. Catholic hospitals, charitable organizations, colleges and other Church-affiliated entities, as well as individual Catholic employers who seek to follow their consciences in the provision of healthcare to their employees, will be required to cover sterilizations and artificial contraception, including abortifacients, in insurance plans, violating the clear teachings of the Church. The meager religious exemption grudgingly allowed by the Obama Administration is structured so narrowly that any Church institution that serves a considerable number of non-Catholics would not be protected, directly harming our various ministries throughout the community."

Last Sunday, an editorial in the Washington also condemned the HHS mandate. As the post stated:
"...the significance of the new health-care law is that the federal government will for the first time require all employers to provide insurance coverage for their workers — in other words, to spend their own money to help underwrite this coverage — or, in many cases, to pay a penalty. In this circumstance, requiring a religiously affiliated employer to spend its own money in a way that violates its religious principles does not make an adequate accommodation for those deeply held views. Having recognized the principle of a religious exemption, the administration should have expanded it. "

Monday, January 23, 2012

CHRISTIAN UNITY, A GIFT OF GOD AND A DAILY TASK

VATICAN CITY, 22 JAN 2012 - The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which runs from 18 to 25 January, was the theme for the Pope's reflections before praying the Angelus this morning, as he invited the faithful "to join the prayer which Jesus addressed to the Father on the eve of His Passion: 'That they may all be one, so that the world may believe'".
The theme of the texts for this year's Week of Prayer has been taken from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians: "We will all be changed by the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ". The Pope explained how "we are all called to see Christ's victory over sin and death - that is, His Resurrection - as an event which radically transforms those who believe in Him and opens their way to incorruptible and immortal life. Recognising and welcoming the transforming power of faith in Jesus Christ supports Christians in their search for full unity among themselves".
Benedict XVI affirmed that "our search for unity will be realistic if change first comes about within us, if we let God act, if we allow ourselves to be transformed in the image of Christ, if we enter into new life in Christ Who is the true victory. The visible unity of all Christians always comes from on high, from God; it requires humility to recognize our weakness and to accept the gift. However, to use a phrase often repeated by Blessed Pope John Paul II, each gift is also a task. And so the unity that comes from God requires a daily commitment on our part to open ourselves to one another in charity. ... The time we dedicate to prayer for the full communion of Christ's disciples will give us a deeper understanding of how we will be transformed by His victory, by the power of His Resurrection".
In concluding the Pope recalled how the Week of Prayer will conclude this Wednesday with the celebration of Vespers in the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls for the Feast of the Conversion of the Apostle Paul. The event will be attended by representatives from other Churches and Christian communities, he said, "and together we will renew our prayer to the Lord, source of unity".

After the Angelus prayer, Benedict XVI expressed his best wishes for a happy New Year to countries in the Far East which are celebrating the new lunar year. "In the present global economic and social crisis, my hope for those peoples is that the new year may be marked by justice and peace, and bring relief to the suffering. My particular wish is that the young, with their enthusiasm and ideals, may offer a new hope to the world".

From
Vatican Information Service 20120123 (470)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

March for Life

On Monday, January 23, the annual March for Life will take place in Washington D.C. Catholics and other faith communities will join in a peaceful and visible expression of the sacredness of human life.

The Opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life will be broadcast Sunday by EWTN from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 6:30PM ET.

Sunday is the last day to sign up for buses to Washington to join with the marchers. The buses for the March will leave Sacred Heart after the 8:30 AM Mass on Monday

United with the marchers, many Catholics will join in in prayer during the hours of the march. The Legion of Mary will be praying the Rosary during the hour of the March at Sacred Heart Church.
All are invited to participate.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN AMERICA

VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2012 - Today in the Vatican Benedict XVI received a group of prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Regions 4 and 6), at the end of their "ad limina" visit.

Extracts from his English-language remarks to them follow.

"...[i]t is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realise the grave threats to the Church's public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. ...Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. ...

[w]e see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-a-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would de-legitimise the Church's participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society...."
Source: Vatican Information Service

Friday, January 13, 2012

FEAST OF ST. ANTHONY ABBOT IN THE VATICAN

Here is an item of particular interest to the farmers of Clarke county.
 VATICAN CITY, 13 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Tuesday 17 January is the Feast of St. Anthony Abbot, patron of livestock farmers and protector of animals. As in other years, the Italian Association of Livestock Farmers (AIA) will hold its traditional exhibition of farm animals in front of St. Peter's Square. Mass for the farmers and their families will be celebrated in the Vatican Basilica at 11 a.m., followed by a procession of horses in Via della Conciliazione. Finally, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Peter's in the Vatican, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City and president of the Fabric of St. Peter's, will impart a blessing upon those present. It is expected that, as in previous years, many Roman citizens will come with their pets to attend the event.
.../                                                                                                      VIS 20120113 (150)

Monday, January 09, 2012

HOLY FATHER'S ANNUAL ADDRESS TO THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS

VATICAN CITY, 9 JAN 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Sala Regia of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Pope Benedict pronounced his traditional annual address to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. Before making his remarks, the Pope was greeted by Alejandro Emilio Valladares Lanza of Honduras, dean of the diplomatic corps, then received the greetings of the ambassadors as a whole formulated in a speech delivered by Jean-Claude Michel of the Principality of Monaco, vice dean.

  The Holy See currently maintains full diplomatic relations with 179 States, to which must be added the European Union and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. It also has relations of a special nature with the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

  Furthermore, the Holy See has observer-State status at the United Nations, as well as being a member of seven organisations and agencies of the UN system, observer in eight others, and member or observer in five regional organisations.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

BENEDICT XVI NAMES TWENTY-TWO NEW CARDINALS

VATICAN CITY, 6 JAN 2012 (VIS) - "It is with great joy that I announce my intention to hold a concistory on 18 February, in which I will appoint twenty-two new members of the College of Cardinals". With these words, addressed to faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus, Benedict XVI today announced the fourth consistory of his pontificate.

  "As is well known, cardinals have the task of helping Peter's Successor carry out his mission to confirm people in the faith and to be the source and foundation of the Church's unity and communion". The new cardinals "come from various parts of the world and perform various ministries in the service of the Holy See, in direct contact with the faithful as fathers and pastors of particular Churches".

 Eighteen of the new cardinals, being under the age of eighty, will be electors. They include

Archbishop Edwin Frederick O'Brien, pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan of New York, U.S.A.

Archbishop Thomas Christopher Collins of Toronto, Canada and

Bishop John Tong Hon of Hong Kong, China.  

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

POPE'S APOSTOLIC TRIP TO MEXICO AND CUBA

VATICAN CITY, 3 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday the episcopal conferences of Mexico and Cuba published separate press communiques announcing details of Benedict XVI's forthcoming visit to those countries, due to take place from 23 to 28 March. The Holy Father had expressed his intention to make an apostolic trip to Mexico and Cuba during a Mass celebrated in the Vatican Basilica on 12 December, Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of Latin America.