Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holy Innocents ... THEN & NOW

Today we mark the first martyrs of the Church .. the Holy Innocents that were ripped from their mother's arms and slaughtered for a king's pride. Certainly we know that satan was at the core of the pride that angered Herod to the point of murder from the fear of losing his place and prestige. I have never given birth, but I cannot IMAGINE what a horror it would be to have my child either killed in my arms or torn from my grasp and slaughtered. GOD HAVE MERCY! These Little Ones ... these precious little souls snuffed out in a most cruel and unjust manner. And not just the newborns were enough for Herod ... to be SURE, he decreed that all be murdered up to 2 years! These are the first martyrs of our Faith.

They, of course, didn't know they would be glorifying the Real King. And I am sure that for all this time they have been serving, praising and adoring our Triune God. Another thing that seems so obvious is the terror and lamenting of the mothers. Especially because they suffered in vain. They knew not that the Messiah was among them. They didn't even have hope of once again seeing their beloved children and their pain wasn't united to the Passion of the Cross. The suffering that is not united to the Passion of Jesus and offered for the Intentions of the Trinity and souls, must be the most horrific suffering of all ... maybe that's why hell is so horrific.

All this terror from a selfish, prideful tyrant that was afraid of losing his authority. All from ambition came this cruelty and horror. Not wanting anything changed from the way it was. Not letting anything get in the way of his way of life or how he lived and what he did. Is this so unlike today really? Do we not sacrifice the Holy Innocents all over again by the MILLIONS in ABORTIONS EVERY DAY? Yes we have made some strides in closing the mills down, through rigorous efforts, minds and hearts are being changed .. but so much more needs to be done. At the very least .. THE VERY LEAST ... we can all offer a rosary daily to end this massacre once and for all.

Is abortion all that much different than what was done by Herod? Were the little ones not hacked and torn then as well? I cannot NOT think of the millions of aborted BABIES when I think of the Holy Innocents .. but in my eyes and my heart they are ALL HOLY INNOCENTS, none of which had a choice to live, to grow in holiness or bring others to Jesus by their example. Please pray in a special way today for ALL the Holy Innnocents, then and NOW and those yet to be. Please make an effort to pray daily to end abortions and do what you can physically and financially to further the effort!
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
"Holy little precious souls
you who's blood the Savior owns
torn from life in arms or wombs
pray for us left here in gloom."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Wishes 2011

"... For unto us a Child is born ... unto us a Son is given .... "
You all are in my daliy 3pm's for your needs and the needs of those your loved ones. I just wanted to take a moment to say how very grateful I am for all that's been shared among us this past year and all that will continue to be shared. The support, prayers, encouragements, smiles, laughter and tears!

My wish for us all is that when our eyes fall on the image of that little Babe in the manger, our most Loving Father, in the Holy Name of Jesus and by the Power of the Holy Spirit will set our hearts on fire anew with the most precious Gifts of Faith, Hope and Love.
May we live each day for HIM, helping each other advance in holiness as we consciously make an effort to set aside the things of the world that are passing away anyway. Let us look at each other with the same love and affection as we do the Christ Child ... remembering whatsoever we do to the least of our brethren, we do unto Him!

I would ask 3 things of all who's eyes
fall on this message:
1. When you awaken in the morning, let your first thought be to offer everything that day in union with His Holy Passion for the Intentions of the Trinity and all of heaven. (Thoughts, words, deeds, breaths, heartbeats, steps, utterances, joys, sorrows, tears, actions, reactions, blinks of your eyes and even failings, God can make ANYTHING good!)
2. At 3pm if you can't pray the little Chaplet of Divine Mercy, just hold the intention in your heart asking God to have mercy on yourself and the whole world and beg Him to EMPTY PURGATORY INTO HEAVEN DAILY by merit of the Perfect Passion of Jesus during this Divine Mercy Hour.

3. When you go to sleep at night (and whenever you think of it actually), ask God in His mercy and goodness, to please grant the grace of perfect contrition to all those that step into eternity .. that they may, with their last conscious thought or dying breath, beg His mercy and embrace His Love! (That all be saved and none be lost!)
This is what I challenge you to do ... I BEG of you to do this! 

I wish you all the most blessed and significant Christmastime ever. May almighty God shower you with His most choice blessings. May our humble, compassionate and blessed Mother take your concerns to her beloved Son and tuck them near His Sacred Heart interceding for our temporal needs and our spiritual necessities. And may the patient and tireless angels shelter, comfort and guide you, keeping your feet firmly planted on the path that leads to heaven and our Glorious Triune God!


Merry Christmas

Solemnity of Christmas
On December 25, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Christmas, a holy day of obligation. Of all the Christian feasts, Christmas is perhaps the most beloved and the most popular. On Christmas we celebrate the temporal birth of the Lord Jesus Christ two thousand years ago. We celebrate his eternal birth from the Father in the splendors of the Godhead. But we celebrate also a third birth of Our Lord, the birth for which Advent has been particularly preparing us, the birth which occurs every Christmas- it is the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Church, his birth in those who are the members of the Body of Christ, so his birth in the souls of each of us here, and in the souls of all throughout the world, who receive him on this day having confessed their sins and opened their hearts in faith and love.

On Christmas, let us adore Jesus in the Eucharist. Let us adore Him through frequent visits to Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament in our tabernacles (ALL YEAR LONG). Let us adore Him at that real mystical Bethlehem which is His Eucharistic Presence. So as with the ears of our spirit we hear the angels’ voices on Christmas, let our voices, in the joy of our hearts, blend with theirs:
Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Messages & Blessings

A blessed Christmas to you. Here is a video that FatherJason Worthley produced with some of his priest friends, sharing their Christmas greetings and blessings. 
Please share this with your friends. God bless you all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas Prayer

By Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father,
Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
That we may share in the song of the angels,
The gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing
which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning
make us happy to be Thy children,
And Christmas evening bring us to our beds
with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven,
for Jesus’ sake.

Investigation concludes on alleged Fulton Sheen miracle

A Dec. 11 Mass in Peoria, Ill. marked the official conclusion of an investigation tribunal into an alleged miracle that many attribute to the intercession of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Since Sept. 7, the tribunal has looked into the alleged miraculous healing of James Fulton Engstrom – a one-year-old born without a pulse last year – whose parents credit his survival to the late archbishop.

The Mass, open to members of the public, was held at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, where Archbishop Sheen was as an altar server when he as a boy.
Official tribunal documents were sealed at the Mass by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria and Monsignor Stanley Deptula. Msgr. Deptula is the executive director of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, which is the official promoter of the archbishop’s cause for sainthood.
The documents will now be shipped to the Vatican for consideration.

If the alleged miracle is approved by the Pope, U.S. Catholics could witness the first ever beatification on American soil in the Diocese of Peoria, said the foundation.
On Sept. 16, 2010, Bonnie Engstrom and her husband Travis prayed fervently to Archbishop Sheen after she delivered a stillborn son.

The baby, whom they named James Fulton after the archbishop, had no pulse for 61 minutes after he was born.

As doctors prepared to declare the time of death, however, his heart started beating. Although the physicians predicted serious medical problems, James Fulton is now a happy, healthy one-year-old.

In addition to serving as an auxiliary bishop of New York and bishop of Rochester, Archbishop Sheen was best known for his weekly radio broadcast, “The Catholic Hour,” and his later weekly television program, “Life is Worth Living.”

The archbishop died in 1979 and his cause for sainthood was opened in 2002.
A second approved miracle will be necessary before Archbishop Sheen – currently called a Servant of God – will be declared a saint.

By Michelle Bauman (EWTN News/CNA)

Friday, December 16, 2011


Born in 931, St. Adelaide was the daughter of Rudolph of Burgundy. Still a child she was betrothed for political reasons to Lothair of Provence, heir of King Hugh of Italy. Hugh married Adelaide's widowed mother. At the age of sixteen she married Lothair, now Icing of Italy, and a daughter, Emma, was born of the marriage. It was an unhappy union but a short one, for in 950 Lothair died. His successor, Berengar, imprisoned her when Adelaide refused to marry his son. After four months' confinement she escaped in August 951, and when that same year the German Emperor Otto appeared in Italy and proposed marriage, she accepted. Four children were born to them, the future Otto II and three daughters, two of whom became nuns. A revolt led by Ludolf, Otto's son by his first marriage, was crushed. It would appear to have been Adelaide's influence which encouraged, if it did not inspire, Otto's policy of close collaboration with the church. During a sojourn of six years in Italy Otto and Adelaide received the imperial crown from John XII. When her husband was succeeded in 973 by their son Otto II, Adelaide for some years exercised a powerful influence. Later, however, her daughter-in-law, the Byzantine princess Theophano, turned her husband against his mother, and she was driven from court. Finally a reconciliation was effected, and in 983 Otto appointed her his viceroy in Italy.

He died the same year, and the new emperor, Otto III, still a minor, was entrusted to the joint regency of his mother and grandmother. Theophano was able once again to oust Adelaide from power and the court. Her death in 991 restored the regency to Adelaide. She was assisted by St. Willigis, bishop of Mainz. In 995 Otto came of age, and Adelaide was free to devote herself exclusively to pious works, notably the foundation or restoration of religious houses. She had long entertained close relations with Cluny, then the center of the movement for ecclesiastical reform and in particular with its abbots St. Majolus and St. Odilo. On her way to Burgundy to support her nephew Rudolph III against rebellion, she died at a monastery she had founded at Seltz. She had constantly devoted herself to the service of the church and peace, and to the empire as guardian of both; she also interested herself in the conversion of the Slavs. She was thus a principal agent—almost an embodiment—of the work of the Catholic church during the dark ages in the construction of the religion-culture of western Europe. Her feast is kept in many German dioceses.

Feastday: December 16

Monday, December 12, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe


On December 12 we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Virgin Mary appeared to humble native American,Juan Diego, on December 9, 1531 in Tepeyac Hill, a hill northwest of what is now Mexico City. She identified herself as the Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth. The signs -- of the roses, of the uncle miraculously cured of a deadly illness, and especially of her beautiful image called tilma on Juan's mantle -- convinced the people there was something to be considered in Christianity. Within a short time, six million Native Mexicans had themselves baptized as Christians. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe which was imprinted on the tima, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years shows no sign of decay 475 years later and still defies all scientific explanations of its origin.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is God's very special gift to America at the very beginning of the New World. It was a very special way through which Divine Providence started the incarnation of the gospel in the New World. God would not allow the gospel to become an instrument of colonization and through Guadalupe would assure that the gospel would continue to heal, liberate and unite all peoples of this hemisphere. This new unity of peoples will be America's true gift toward the formation of a real world community.

Please pray a special rosary today for
the protection of the unborn!

Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe for the Unborn
Prayer for Husbands and Wives
Prayer for Our Lady of Guadalupe
Morning Offering
Short Prayer for Our Lady of Guadalupe

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Battlebeads Updates & Gift Giving Ideas

Hi folks, I know I don't write much here for sales stuff .. I like to keep it mostly world news, eschatology and building up the Faith. But every now and again, I like to call your attention to gift giving ideas that include the much needed prayer for the Country, the USA Chaplet.
This is an easy chaplet and the long version takes about 11 minutes, but there's also a short version with just one group rather than the 5 for just $5! It's Christmastime once again and I'm hoping some of you consider gifts that will keep on giving throughout the year and bringing souls closer to the Two Hearts!

You can look over to the right on the slide show to get an idea of my work. Please keep in mind that special custom orders are my specialty! ;) Rosaries, Chaplets, religious jewelry and now even secular/regular jewelry is available.

I have some very nice necklaces and sets available ... I have crystals, precious gems and stones, quartz, Czech druks, corals, aventurine, onyx, lapis ... just about anything you can want! There's keyrings, beverage markers, pocket decades, peace wheels, rosary trees, bracelets, rings, necklaces, eye glass leashes, zipper pulls, lanyards for cell phones or any of your devices ... just SO MUCH to choose from! :)

I received some very nicely tumbled semi precious stones that are ready to be made into necklaces already set w/sterling silver bales. Your choice of chain, cord, voil, leather or what have you!

After a long search, I also have located the mystery bars that incorporate all 20 mysteries of the Holy Rosary. These are placed as Pater's or Our Father beads and they tell what set of mysteries are to be said on any given day and also names the mysteries for that particular group. These are not plastic, they are engraved metal and will not wear out easily at all! They work with any beads of course, but I've fond many folks like the Job's Tears beads with these bars.

So, if you have an inclination to help hearts grow nearer to the Two Hearts, please give Battlebeads a try, whether you purchase something already made or would like to design something spectacular together .. just let me know! "I always do my best to accommodate requests!" And I just LOVE to put smiles on faces!
My warmest and sincerest wishes for a Blessed, joyous and peaceful Christmastime to you and all you hold dear ... and may the New Year be especially kind to us all!

Just can't help m'self here folks ....... 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Immaculate Conception and The Divine Mercy


The Divine Mercy devotion is one of the fastest growing “spiritualities” among Catholics today. With the canonization of St. Faustina and the establishment of the second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday, the Church officially recognized the urgent need in the world to practice the core elements of the devotion: imploring mercy, trusting Jesus, and being merciful through the practice of both the corporal and the spiritual works of mercy. This is undeniably a great gift for our times!

Jesus Christ is The Divine Mercy; the Immaculate Conception is the created masterpiece of The Divine Mercy. Outside of the gift of the Savior Himself, both in the Incarnation and in the Eucharist, the greatest manifestation of Divine Mercy that God has given to the world is the Immaculate Conception. How can this be? This is so due to the fact that the privilege of the Immaculate Conception is a pure gift flowing from God’s goodness.

For example, in all the other aspects of the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Divine Motherhood, Perpetual Virginity, Queenship, etc) she fully participated in the acquisition of the graces required for that particular role. From her virginal motherhood to her assumption into heaven, she fully participated with God’s saving plan. However, the Immaculate Conception is the sole gift that she neither merited nor acquired by participation. Thus, this gift is solely dependent upon Divine Mercy.

The Immaculate Conception is the prevenient grace that explains why we call Mary the “cause of our salvation”. The causal dimension of the Immaculate Conception can be seen when we consider that this unique act of mercy given to Mary both prepares the way for, and will make her able to cooperate with, Jesus, The Divine Mercy Incarnate, who has come to save mankind.

In a similar way, the Immaculate Conception can also be understood as the “cause of creation”. God initiated creation, allowing for its fall, because He planned to spiritually renew and elevate all creation according to the pattern of the Immaculate Conception; thus, the Immaculate Conception is not an after-thought but, rather, the instrument through which God sees the world. It is as though the Immaculate Conception were a set of bifocals given to us by Divine Mercy so that we can come to see both creation and salvation as God sees them.

Saints such as Maximilian Kolbe have pondered the intimate relationship between the Divine Mercy and the Immaculate Conception and concluded that the relationship is so mysterious that its brightness overwhelms the intellect. These two mysteries are so intimately connected that it will take a whole host of saintly theologians, mystics and scholars to unveil the wonder. Just as the mystery of the Trinity is that which sheds light on all things, so the mystery of the Immaculate Conception is that which sheds light on the mystery of both creation and redemption.

by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Archbishop Wenski: “The President Should Honor His Pledge”

Archbishop Wenski: Reveals Long List of How President
Obama’s “Promises Are Not Being Kept”

This is a “frontal assault”

“This is Unacceptable”
Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Miami Archdiocese

In May 2009, President Obama gave the commencement address at Notre Dame University and received an honorary degree. That Notre Dame would confer an honorary degree on an elected official who advances abortion rights in contradiction to Catholic teaching caused no small controversy among many Catholics throughout the United States.

Those who supported Notre Dame felt vindicated, however, when in his speech the president promised to “honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion,” stating that his administration would provide “sensible” protections for those who wanted no involvement in the procedure. This would presumably include healthcare providers, social-service providers, and consumers who might otherwise have to pay through their healthcare plans for other people’s abortions.

Obama later reiterated this position to Catholic newspaper editors, stating that he would make such protections “robust.”

Fast forward to late 2011, and the record shows that the president’s promises are not being kept. In fact, it seems that pro-life Catholics such as Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak and the Catholic Health Association’s Sister Carol Keenan — who trusted the administration’s position that abortion was not part of the healthcare bill — along with Notre Dame’s leadership have been played by the president.

His administration is running roughshod over conscience protection provisions long part of the law that find their justification in the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion, a foundational human right. It is one thing for an administration to support and promote an agenda; it is quite another to force those who disagree with it to violate their moral and religious principles.

The long line of evidence is disturbing. As a first step, the administration reversed earlier regulations enforcing federal conscience laws, stating instead that it would pursue the same goals by educational outreach on rights of conscience.

In the final healthcare bill passed in March 2010, traditional protections for conscience rights were omitted; instead, a provision was included that would subjugate conscience rights to federal and state “emergency” service laws. In other words, any abortion declared an “emergency” (broadly defined) by a government requires a health-care provider’s full cooperation, regardless of his or her views on the matter.

Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a rule which will require almost all health plans to include coverage for sterilization and contraception — including abortifacient drugs. This will force almost all employers — including Catholic organizations — to pay for such procedures, regardless of any moral objections. HHS seemingly wants to regard fertility as a disease — and elective abortion subsidized by the taxpayer as healthcare.

The most recent frontal assault on conscience rights has come in the form of federal contracts and grant announcements, which have begun to require grantees to help provide all legally permissible family planning and obstetric/gynecological services, regardless of the provider. A large number of grants under the State Department’s AIDS program, for example, now require “integration” with family planning and “reproductive health” services, ignoring the conscience clause the program’s authorizing statute passed by Congress.

When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently said it could not meet a similar requirement inserted into an HHS grant announcement for services to human trafficking victims, and pointed out that the requirement violates existing federal conscience laws, its funding was discontinued — hurting victims of human trafficking since few if any other entities have the track record and nationwide capacity to serve them.

Catholic social and healthcare providers — the largest private network in the nation — are at risk of being left out of all federal programs, despite their well-earned reputation for providing superlative service to the American public. In effect, the Obama administration is telling these Catholic providers to surrender their conscience rights and their Catholic ethos or shut their doors.

Regardless of one’s position on the morality of abortion, we — and elected officials on both sides of the aisle — should be concerned with these developments. If religious and conscience rights of some Americans can be violated by the government, everyone else’s rights are also in jeopardy.

This is unacceptable, for it undermines our nation’s promise of “freedom and justice for all.” The president should honor his pledges to U.S. Catholics — and other Americans — and instruct his agencies to reverse course and protect conscience rights.

BY Archbishop Thomas Wenski 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena begins today - November 28 – December 7


O God,  who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son, we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain, so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession,  to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ,  Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

First, recite the Prayer to the Immaculate Conception. Then, recite the appropriate prayer of each of the nine days.

Recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin.

How Do YOU Spell * M-A-R-T-I-A-L *** L-A-W * ????

Senators Demand the Military Lock Up American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window

While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.
Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard is part of a “battlefield” and if any president can send the military anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.
The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night’s Republican debate. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.
The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.
I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?
The answer on why now is nothing more than election season politics. The White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act are harmful and counterproductive. The White House has even threatened a veto. But Senate politics has propelled this bad legislation to the Senate floor.
But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.
In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”
The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed through the Senate, the Udall Amendment deletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the politics out and put American values back in.
In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.

The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown. That is an extreme position that will forever change our country.
Now is the time to stop this bad idea. 
Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Revised Revisions at Mass

For Catholics in their 50s and older, the changes to the English text of the Mass that will be introduced this weekend will seem comfortably familiar, church leaders said.
"The revised Roman Missal restores the beauty and poetry of the language, and uses words that we are familiar with," said Brian Wallace, spokesman for Bishop William Lori of the Bridgeport Diocese.

The Missal is the book of prayers, chants and Scripture readings used in celebrating the Roman Catholic Mass. The revision that will be put into use in all U.S. parishes for the first Sunday in Advent, the start of the liturgical year, is the first since 1970.
"Some people don't like change, but this is nothing to be nervous about," said Nicholas Genovese, a deacon at St. Agnes Church in Milford. "This will help us to pray better, and if you think about the change from Latin to English in the 1970s, some people were upset then, but those changes are accepted now."

The new translation adheres more closely to the Latin, so that "and also with you" becomes "and also with your spirit." Instead of saying "Christ was born to the Virgin Mary," the verb in the Creed has been changed to "incarnated," and where Catholics now say Christ died, the new phrasing is he "suffered death."
"What had been a proclamation is becoming an acclamation," Genovese said. "It will now be a prayer to Jesus, rather than a statement about him. In the same way `We believe' becomes `I believe,' which is a more exact translation of the Latin word `credo' and an assertion of personal faith."

There are many more changes for the priest than for the congregation, said the Rev. William J. Killeen, a priest who serves several parishes in the Archdiocese of Hartford.
"The words that are being changed are being changed to make them more precise and to better conform to Scripture," he said.

After the Second Vatican Council in the late 1960s ordered that Mass be said in the local language, an English translation was quickly prepared and introduced. But in the short time frame required, some of the nuance and subtlety was lost, Killeen said during a recent homily. Work on the third edition of the Missal, which will be used beginning with vigil Masses on Saturday, began in 2006, and it received Vatican approval last year. New music is being written for the revised Mass that will be introduced over the next few months, Genovese said.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, of the Hartford Archdiocese, said in a letter to area Catholics that he has no doubt the changes will find favor quickly. "Please do not be nervous or upset," Mansell wrote. "There is no change in the ritual. The language, however, is closer to the Latin and takes us back 40 years to the way that we used to celebrate. It deepens our prayers. It lifts our souls; there is more wonder and awe conveyed in this edition."
Wallace said Fairfield County parishes are at different levels of preparedness, but the overall reception to the changes has been very positive. Some churches will have laminated cards in the pews this weekend showing the old and new texts, with the changes highlighted in bold, he said.

Reach Frank Juliano at 203-520-6986 or Follow him at or

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

As we give thanks for all of God's many blessings, let us thank Him for everything we've ever received since the moment of our conception. For our lives, our dear parents, our guardian angels, the gifts of Faith, Hope and Love and all that we're called to become for one another.

Let's not forget to also pray for those many who are under attack from the fiery darts of the evil one and those sick in hospitals, along with those that care for them and hold them dear; may God's Will be done in all!

Remember too those that are living with serious and long term diseases and treatments and the anguish of Alzheimer's for all involved. Forget not the homeless, poor, imprisoned, the unborn and the elderly. Remember especially all the lonely, particularly those youngest and oldest that feel alone, forgotten, fearful, unloved and useless .. may the Lord send His angles to comfort them and give them hope; may they know His awesome love and mercy!

In addition to the above, all Christians should give thanks that we're all one in the Body of Christ by virtue of our Baptism and share priceless gift of His Love, Mercy and Grace according to our stations in life. Catholics especially should not be ignorant of the Treasure of the FULLNESS OF FAITH, the 7 Sacraments and the precious Gift of His True and Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, fulfilling His promise to remain with us until the end of times.

Let not any of us Christians forget to give thanks for our most blessed and Immaculate Mother who was given to us all by Jesus at the foot of the Cross .. she tirelessly intercedes for us all begging mercy and help in all our endeavors and afflictions.

Last but not least ... don't forget to thank God for the communion of saints ... that multitude of Church Triumphant, Militant and Suffering that we can also call on for help and intercession. Perhaps there's still time too to offer a little something for those less fortunate at your local shelter or favorite charity to provide a meal for those that would otherwise have nothing.

After you've done all this ... you're ready to enjoy your dinner. Blessings on all who read this and on all those they hold dear.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mother Cabrini

The Migrants' Saint

In the midst of all the votes and conversations -- not to mention an increased public voice of late of advocacy for the rights of immigrants -- only one reminder came that today's the feast of the first American saint: the Italian-born Frances Xavier Cabrini, whose work was concentrated to the last century's boom of new arrivals in New York and Chicago.
Refused admission to the religious order which had educated her to be a teacher, she began charitable work at the House of Providence Orphanage in Cadogno, Italy. In September 1877, she made her vows there and took the religious habit.

When the bishop closed the orphanage in 1880, he named Frances prioress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Seven young women from the orphanage joined with her.

Since her early childhood in Italy, Frances had wanted to be a missionary in China but, at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, Frances went west instead of east. She traveled with six sisters to New York City to work with the thousands of Italian immigrants living there.

She found disappointment and difficulties with every step. When she arrived in New York City, the house intended to be her first orphanage in the United States was not available. The archbishop advised her to return to Italy. But Frances, truly a valiant woman, departed from the archbishop’s residence all the more determined to establish that orphanage. And she succeeded.

In 35 years Frances Xavier Cabrini founded 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. Seeing great need among Italian immigrants who were losing their faith, she organized schools and adult education classes.

As a child, she was always frightened of water, unable to overcome her fear of drowning. Yet, despite this fear, she traveled across the Atlantic Ocean more than 30 times. [In 1917], she died of malaria in her own Columbus Hospital in Chicago.
After her canonization in 1946, "Mother Cabrini" was named patroness of immigrants by the Holy See.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Our Blessed Mother to Bless Apparition Viewers Online - Nov. 17th

Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic’s apparition on November 17 in the Cathedral of Vienna will be live-streamed. According to Ivan, the Virgin Mary will bless all online viewers who pray along and follow the apparition, as if they had been physically present. Religious items brought next to the computer will also be blessed.

A six-digit number of people from all over the world will be praying in front of their computers when Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic’s apparition on November 17 in Vienna, Austria, is being live-streamed in English and Spanish by MaryTV, and in German by Kathnet.
Visionaries Ivan Dragicevic & Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti
in the Cathedral of Vienna on September 23rd 2010.
Transmission will begin at 4 pm local time (GMT +1), equaling 10 am EST. The Rosary will be prayed from about 5 pm local time (11 am EST) before Ivan’s apparition at 5.40 (11.40 am EST).
MaryTV had 398,546 online viewers when Ivan last visited the Viennese Cathedral, on September 23rd 2010 along with fellow visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti. Many were attracted by two unique charactereristics of the live-streamed apparitions. These two characteristics first surfaced when MaryTV streamed Ivan’s apparitions from Medjugorje on six consecutive days in July and August 2010:

Denis and Cathy Nolan praying the Rosary on MaryTV's
roof in Medjugorje, early August 2010. Photo: MaryTV

“Ivan told us that those connected through the internet are prayed over by Our Lady the same as those kneeling right next to him during the apparition. And the religious items they have with them that they would like Our Lady to bless are blessed the same as the religious items placed right in front of her during the apparition” MaryTV President Denis Nolan recalls.
This unusual grace will be bestowed once more on November 17, and expectations are big at MaryTV. Recently, an introduction to the live-stream by chief technical engineer Tom Matasso made way for a strong experience for MaryTV message commentator Cathy Nolan:

“Tom was describing how the live feed would go out to the whole world via the internet, and in a moment I had a flash of insight about it.  I could see how Our Lady would be able to look at and bless and touch her children all over the world in one moment, through the internet. “
“It was like lightening going out to the whole world bringing the graces of conversion, healing, blessing, and love.  I am convinced this will be a powerful moment for Our Lady” Cathy Nolan tells in a news update to MaryTV subscribers.
The Mass after Ivan’s apparition will be presided over by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. Last year the Cardinal welcomed the two Medjugorje visionaries:
“Dear Marija, dear Ivan, thank you – first of all – that you came!  Thank you that you came again! Thank you for your service across so many years, for your work, for your service of being messengers of Our Lady.  You bring us – children of this world, children of humanity – her love and her presence and may God pay you back one hundred fold for what you are doing tirelessly!” Cardinal Schönborn said.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn welcoming the
visionaries to Vienna during last year's event
According to Ivan, the message given by the Virgin Mary last year in Vienna echoed the Cardinal’s emphasis on missionary work. The Virgin’s replacement of her usual farewell greeting “Thank you for having responded to my call” with  “Thank you that you will pray with me” also made the message stand out:

‘Thank you, dear children, that you have accepted my messages, that you live my messages. Thank you, dear children, that you will be my missionaries, my apostles, who will bring the message out into the world. Thank you, dear children, that you will be the carriers of the good news, of the beautiful news, of the happy news.  Thank you that you will pray with me.”
MaryTV urges all to spread the news of the live-stream on November 17 via e-mail address books, on social media and in other ways perceived to be effective. Local media might be interested if many people watch the apparition together.

I realize that Medjugorje is not Church approved yet and in fact there are many that are negatively disposed .. however, one cannot discount the conversions and Confessions and increased Faith that has come out of it either. I suppose my attitude is guarded optimism as I personally know several folks that have gone, some more than once and 2 of them being nuns. We must also not forget that although our Lady has come to us many times to strengthen, guide and heal, that Jesus, Himself, IS TRULY PRESENT in every Tabernacle in the world. For the longest time I've been begging folks to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle! He waits for us 24/7 and we spend more time planning our leisure activities than thinking of He Who gave us LIFE and on Whom we depend for our very next BREATH! We DO need to have more reverence, respect and resolve to receive Holy Communion more worthily than most of us do and to make time to visit Jesus in the Tabernacle every chance we get! Why do we live here like it's the ONLY THING that's REAL and consider that ETERNITY perhaps doesn't exist??? WHY do we have it all backwards? How loving and merciful is our Triune God to put UP with us all this time!!!!  Those of you who aren't disabled and can visit the Tabernacles ... GO!!! But I for one will be by the computer during this apparition with hope and love in my heart ... and FAITH ... lots of FAITH!!!! 

Here is the schedule for November 17, 2011:

4:00 PM Vienna (10:00 AM USA-EST): Testimonies, including Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder of MARY's MEALS
5:00 PM Vienna (11:00 AM USA-EST): Ivan's Testimony
6:00 PM Vienna (12:00 PM USA-EST): Rosary
6:40 PM Vienna (12:40 PM USA-EST): Apparition
7:00 PM Vienna (1:00 PM USA-EST): Holy Mass - Presider and Homilist, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn
8:00 PM Vienna (2:00 PM USA-EST): Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
9:00 PM Vienna (3:00 PM USA-EST): Adoration ends

Thursday, November 10, 2011

LIsten Always With Obedience, Trust, and Awareness!!

Pope Benedict XVI: The Law Of God Is The Center Of Life!

In his general audience this morning Benedict XVI focused his catechesis on Psalm 119, the longest of the Psalms, constructed as an acrostic in which each stanza begins with one of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Its subject matter is “the Torah of the Lord; that is, His Law, a term which in its broadest and most complete definition comprehends teaching, instruction and life guidance. The Torah is revelation, it is the Word of God which is addressed to man and which arouses his response of faithful obedience and generous love”, the Pope said.

“The Psalmist’s faithfulness arises from listening to the Word, from keeping it in his heart, meditating upon it and loving it, like Mary who ‘treasured in her heart’ the words addressed to her, the marvellous events in which God revealed Himself and asked for her response of faith”, he explained. The Psalmist describes those who walk in the Law of the Lord as blessed, and indeed “Mary is blessed because she bore the Saviour in her womb, but above all because she accepted God’s annunciation and treasured His Word attentively and lovingly”.

Psalm 119 is constructed around this Word of life and blessing. Its central theme is the Word and the Law, and its verses are replete with synonyms thereof such as “precepts, decrees, promises”, associated with verbs such as “to know, to love, to meditate, to live”, the Holy Father explained. “The entire alphabet features in the twenty-two verses of the Psalm, as does the entire vocabulary of the believer’s relationship of trust with God. We find praise, thanksgiving and trust, but also supplication and lamentation; however, all of them are pervaded by the certainty of divine grace and the power of the Word of God. Even those verses most marked by suffering and darkness remain open to hope and are permeated with faith”.

The Law of God, which is “the centre of life”, must be “listened to with obedience but not servility, with filial trust and awareness. To listen to the Word is to have a personal encounter with the Lord of life. … The fulfilment of the Law is to follow Jesus“. Thus Psalm 119 “guides us towards the Gospel”, the Pope explained. In this context he focused particularly on verse 57: “The Lord is my portion; I promise to keep your words”.
“The term ‘portion’”, he explained, “evokes the partition of the Promised Land among the tribes of Israel, when the Levites were given no part of the territory because their ‘portion’ was the Lord Himself. … These verses are also important for us today, especially for priests, who are called to live from the Lord and from His Word alone, with no other guarantees, no other wealth, and having Him as their one source of true life. It is in this light that we can understand the free choice of celibacy for the Kingdom of heaven, which must be rediscovered in all its beauty and power.

“These verses are also important for the faithful, the People of God who belong only to Him”, the Pope added in conclusion. “They are called to experience the radical nature of the Gospel, to be witnesses of the life brought by Christ, the new and definitive ‘High Priest’ Who offered Himself in sacrifice for the salvation of the world. The Lord and His Word are our ‘land’ in which to live in communion and joy”.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All Souls Day - Don't Forget Family, Friends and those You Hold Dear!

I think like many things, we take purgatory for granted. We know it's a 'shoe-in' for Heaven, so we perhaps don't think of it as severely as we ought. Before delving into the painful aspects, let's think about the souls awaiting the pearly gates.
Firstly, they cannot pray for themselves.

Once you die, you cannot gain any more graces, indulgences or do any penance to expiate your sins or the punishment they deserve. Once we leave this world and step into eternity, that's it. I believe we can still pray for others, but not ourselves.

When we die ... that moment, we come face to Face with the Lord. Imagine the total JOY at beholding such LOVE, PEACE & MERCY .. and then having to turn away to wait in a place apart from Him. That in and of itself HAS to be a horrific torture. Then we have the actual cleansing part of purgatory because no unclean thing will enter heaven. I won't get into much about how awful this is .. suffice it to say that we really should do all we can while on earth in the way of behavior, penance, prayer and indulgences to keep ourselves as well as our loved ones OUT OF THERE if at all possible.

I realize it's not pleasant to think of our loved ones in purgatory. But if we permit ourselves to become too complacent and not think of it as seriously as we should, well we're not doing ourselves or our loved ones any justice or any good. We must NEVER forget the souls in purgatory!

My dear mother taught me from a little girl, before I even entered school (and I say it STILL, 60 yrs later) "All for the honor and glory of God and the suffering souls in purgatory." Said in the morning upon awakening, you offer everything that day for God and the souls. I always pray for them when I pass a cemetery and I'm always asking for their relief and release.

During my daily 3pm's, I pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and one of my many petitions is for the pain and suffering of the souls in purgatory to be combined with the Perfect & Holy Passions of Jesus, His True Presence in the Tabernacle in the Holy Eucharist and the graces and benefits from all the Masses that day to EMPTY PURGATORY INTO HEAVEN daily during that MERCY HOUR ... and ESPECIALLY those in purgatory that have NO ONE TO PRAY FOR THEM!

If no other day, please take a moment today to join me in this request at 3PM. Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with me today. If you can't pray the whole chaplet (only takes about 10 minutes), at least at 3PM, just look up to heaven and beg God's Mercy on yourselves, your loved ones and the world, alive and dead.

Don't forget .. the Church is comprised of 3 levels: The Church Triumphant (in heaven), the Church Militant (on earth) and the Church Suffering (in purgatory) .. we are ALL ONE in the Body of Christ.
Do NOT let the world and it's deceptions which are all passing away very quickly rob you of your eternal salvation. The evil one knows how much shorter his time is now and is pulling out all the stops to gain as many souls in the pit with him as he possibly can. We've read the end of the book .. we know WHO wins ... but let's try to get there as UNSCATHED as possible .. and that includes as little time in purgatory as we can. DO ALL YOU CAN WHILE ON THIS EARTH TO HELP THOSE IN PURGATORY NOW AND YOURSELVES. Remember too all those from other denominations that don't even BELIEVE in purgatory .. those poor folks have no hope of help from their loved ones ... we must pray for them!!!!! Don't take indulgences lightly or something from the past that isn't effectual anymore ... they are most efficacious and we SO need them today! 

And as often as you can, pray the prayer of St. Gertrude to release 1,000 souls with each recitation:  
“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

What's REALLY Important? ..... The Eucharist, Rosary & Confession

Bishop Slattery
Bishop Edward Slattery
Bishop Edward Slattery, 71, was born and raised in Chicago. He attended the archdiocese’s Mundelein Seminary and was ordained a priest in 1966. He served in Chicago parishes and was active with the Catholic Church Extension Society, which funds the American home missions. You’ve made public statements about problems with the liturgy. What changes would you like to see?

I would like to see the liturgy become what Vatican II intended it to be. That’s not something that can happen overnight. The bishops who were the fathers of the council from the United States came home and made changes too quickly. They shouldn’t have viewed the old liturgy, what we call the Tridentine Mass or Missal of Pope John XXIII, as something that needed to be fixed. Nothing was broken. There was an attitude that we had to implement Vatican II in a way that radically affects the liturgy.

What we lost in a short period of time was continuity. The new liturgy should be clearly identifiable as the liturgy of the pre-Vatican II Church. Changes, like turning the altar around, were too sudden and too radical. There is nothing in the Vatican II documents that justifies such changes. We’ve always had Mass facing the people as well as Mass ad orientem [“to the east,” with priest and people facing the same direction]. However, Mass ad orientem was the norm. These changes did not come from Vatican II.

Also, it was not a wise decision to do away with Latin in the Mass. How that happened, I don’t know; but the fathers of the Council never intended us to drop Latin. They wanted us to hold on to it and, at the same time, to make room for the vernacular, primarily so that the people could understand the Scriptures.

Are there spiritual practices you recommend?

We have to return to the Rosary.
Pope John Paul II said that when we pray the Rosary, we see the life of Christ through the eyes of his mother, Mary. And there’s no better way to look at Christ than through the eyes of Mary. The Rosary is a tried and true means of doing that. I encourage every Catholic to pray the Rosary every day. Praying the Rosary takes us through the major mysteries of our faith, especially now since John Paul has given us the five Luminous Mysteries.

I also advise a return to confession. When I say this, I don’t mean to do this in some sort of laborious, burdensome way, but rather as a form of prayer. Pray before you examine your conscience, and allow the Lord to tell you what your sins are. He loves you, and he will tell you a lot about yourself. He will help you see yourself in contrast with his infinite love for you. You will begin to see the gap between his love for you and your love for Him. And when you experience that gap, it will help you become more generous and more apt to recognize and admit your sins in confession.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day

The Solemnity of All Saints Day and All Souls Day are celebrated on November 1 and 2, respectively. On All Saints Day, the church celebrates all the saints: canonized or beatified, and the multitude of those who are in heaven enjoying the beatific vision that are only known to God. This day should inspire us with tremendous hope as the saints who have gone before us to the heavenly home call on us to follow them.

The Solemnity of All Saints Day and All Souls Day are celebrated on November 1 and 2, respectively. On All Saints Day, the church celebrates all the saints: canonized or beatified, and the multitude of those who are in heaven enjoying the beatific vision that are only known to God. This day should inspire us with tremendous hope as the saints who have gone before us to the heavenly home call on us to follow them.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

My Jesus, by the sorrows Thou didst suffer in Thine agony in the Garden, in Thy scourging and crowning with thorns, in the way to Calvary, in Thy crucifixion and death, have mercy on the souls in purgatory, and especially on those that are most forsaken; do Thou deliver them from the dire torments they endure; call them and admit them to Thy most sweet embrace in paradise. Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal rest, etc.

By Thy resurrection from the dead, O Christ, death no longer hath dominion over those who die in holiness. So, we beseech Thee, give rest to Thy servants in Thy sanctuary and in Abraham's bosom. Grant it to those, who from Adam until now have adored Thee with purity, to our fathers and brothers, to our kinsmen and friends, to all men who have lived by faith and passed on their road to Thee, by a thousand ways, and in all conditions, and make them worthy of the heavenly kingdom. Byzantine Liturgy

The psalmist is crying out here from the depression that grips him because of his sense of sin. He tells God that no man could be forgiven should strict justice be demanded; but, since God is forgiving and merciful, the psalmist (Israel) will hope for redemption from iniquities. We, who know the mercy of God far better than the g Israelites, may pray this psalm with even greater trust in God. The Church uses this psalm in the liturgy as her official prayer for the souls in Purgatory. Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my, voice! Let Your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication: If You, O Lord, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand? But with You is forgiveness, that You may be revered. I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in His word. My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn. More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord, For with the Lord is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption; And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities. Psalm 130

This psalm is a marvelous act of contrition, confession, and supplication by a repentant sinner. It was composed by David after his sin with Bethsabee. In reparation David promises to lead others back to God by telling them of the ways of divine justice. Instead of offering God an external sacrifice which he knows He will not accept, he offers instead the sacrifice of a contrite and humble heart, a sacrifice that will always be most pleasing in the eyes of God. Have mercy on me, 0 God, in Your goodness; in the greatness of Your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: "Against You only have I sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight"-- That You may be justified in Your sentence, vindicated when You condemn. Indeed, in guilt was I born, and in sin my mother conceived me; Behold, You are pleased with sincerity of heart, and in my inmost being You teach me wisdom. Cleanse me of sin with hyssop, that I may be purified; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness; the bones You have crushed shall rejoice. Turn away Your face from my sins, and blot out all my guilt. A clean heart create for me, 0 God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from Your presence, and Your holy spirit take not from me. Give me back the joy of Your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall return to You. Free me from blood guilt, 0 God, my saving God; then my tongue shall revel in Your justice. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim Your praise. For You are not pleased with sacrifices; should I offer a holocaust, You would not accept it. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a heart contrite and humbled, 0 God, You will not spurn. Be bountiful, O Lord, to Sion in Your kindness by rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem; Then shall You be pleased with due sacrifices, burnt offerings and holocausts; then shall they offer up bullocks on Your altar. Psalm 50

O Lord, who art ever merciful and bounteous with Thy gifts, look down upon the suffering souls in purgatory. Remember not their offenses and negligences, but be mindful of Thy loving mercy, which is from all eternity. Cleanse them of their sins and fulfill their ardent desires that they may be made worthy to behold Thee face to face in Thy glory. May they soon be united with Thee and hear those blessed words which will call them to their heavenly home: "Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

For more information on the All Saints and All Souls Day, please click on the following links:

November Devotion: The Holy Souls in Purgatory
Litany of the Saints
Little Litany of the Holy Souls
Prayer for a Happy Death
Daily Acceptance of Death
Visiting a Cemetery on All Souls Day, Memorial Day, or on the Anniversary of Death or Burial
Out of the Depths - De Profundis
Dies Irae, Dies Illa

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wisconsin Shrine Approved as First U.S. Marian Apparition Site

The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help receives the decree from Bishop of Green BayFollowing a two-year formal inquiry, Bishop David Rickin of the Diocese of Green Bay issued a decree with "moral certainty" that the events, apparition and locutions given to a young Belgian immigrant woman were approved. Adele Brise claimed to have received three visits from the Virgin Mary in October of 1859.
On October 9, 1859, a year after the Marian apparitions at Lourdes, France; Mary, the Queen of Heaven is alleged to have appeared three separate times in Northeastern Wisconsin to Adele Brise. (Recreated in the image above.)
On 10/9/1859, a year after the Marian apparitions at
Lourdes, France; Mary, the Queen of Heaven is
alleged to have appeared 3 separate times in
Northeastern Wisconsin to Adele Brise.
(Recreated in above image.)

During October of 1859 the Virgin Mary is alleged to have appeared to a young Belgian immigrant woman, Adele Brise, on three occasions in Champion, Wisconsin. Since that time faithful pilgrims have continuously visited the chapel which stands of the site of those appearances.

On Wednesday, December 8, which is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Most Reverend David Rickin, Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, decreed with "moral certainty" that the events, apparitions and locutions given to Adele Brise in October of 1859 do exhibit the substance of supernatural character, and approved these apparitions as worthy of belief (although not obligatory) by the Christian faithful.

This historic decree concerning the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is a first for the United States, where no other appearances have been validated. Two alleged apparitions in the US that were examined by the Church and formally declared to be false are Necedah, Wisconsin and Bayside, New York.

An apparition is an appearance of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary or one of the Saints. An appearance may include a message for the person who sees the apparition.

There are 11 approved sites in the world in addition to Our Lady of Good Help. Probably the most well-known apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary are Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico in 1531; Lourdes, France in 1858; and Fatima, Portugal in 1917.

During each of the three apparitions near Champion (then Robinsonville), Wisconsin, a lady in shining white clothes appeared to Adele. The third time she identified herself as "the Queen of Heaven who prays for the conversion of sinners."

She went on to tell the 28 year-old woman, who lived with her family on a small homestead in northern part of the state, "I wish you to do the same."

The Virgin Mary then gave her a mission for evangelization and catechesis: "Gather the children in this wild country, and teach them what they should know for salvation . Go and fear nothing. I will help you."

Before moving to America with her family about four years earlier, Adele had intended to become a nun and later went on to become a Third Order Franciscan after the apparition.

She fully embraced the mission she had been given and traveled throughout the state, which was still mostly unsettled, giving religious instruction to children and adults. At that time there was a severe lack of priests and attending Mass often involved a laborious journey.

She also established a Catholic school and a community of Franciscan women near the Shrine.

Six years prior to Sister Adele's death in 1896, her adopted hometown of Robinsonville, Wisconsin renamed itself after the Belgian town of Champion. She had requested the change in honor of a childhood promise she had made to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would enter a Belgian religious order in that region.

Since the 1859 appearances, bishops of the Diocese of Green Bay have been supportive of the apparition account and the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, which was erected on the site, as a place of prayer and pilgrimage. However, none had made a official declaration.

While no one can actually prove a supernatural occurrence, there are other factors that can be considered. The Church judges apparitions on the basis of their consistency with Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the teachings of the Church, any subsequent spiritual benefits in the lives of people, and whether there is anything in the life of the seer that detracts from the credibility of the account.

A decree with moral certainty approves apparitions as worthy of belief by the Christian faithful; however, there is no obligation for belief implied in the approval.

On January 9, 2009 Bishop Rickin opened a formal investigation of the apparition and appointed a team of experts to conduct the study. The formal decree came after just under two years of examination.

While some may think that the Holy See or a conference of bishops makes such decrees, the Bishop is the one responsible for judging the authenticity of apparitions that are said to have occurred in his Diocese.

Bishop Ricken told the Catholic News Agency (CNA) that Sister Adele's own life was among the most convincing testimonies to the validity of the apparition. Rather than calling attention to herself or the apparitions, she had humbly devoted the rest of her life to fulfilling the instructions she had received.

"She went all over this area, and visited the homes that were scattered far and wide," Bishop Ricken said, recounting the sister's Franciscan spirit of humble simplicity. "She walked most of the time, and she'd spend several days with the children teaching them the catechism and talking with the parents about their faith."

"She really had an evangelistic spirit and lived that out, not just immediately after the message, but her whole life long."

Bishop Ricken went on to tell CNA that the simplicity and clarity of Mary's message also testified to the truth of the apparitions. Her instructions to Sister Adele were "simple, but very much loaded with the main message of the Gospel and with the teachings of the Church."

The bishop also recalled discovering "countless stories of answered prayers," including reports of "what many call miracles," among those who had visited the shrine to seeking intercession from Our Lady of Good Help.

The formal declaration from Bishop Rickin can be read here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blessed Pope John Paul II 1st official Feastday!

The Church celebrates the first memorial for Blessed Pope John Paul II today. (May 18, 1920 - April 2, 2005)
Oct. 22, 1978, was the day he was installed as Pope and the date chosen for his feast.

He was born Karol Józef Wojtyłla in a small Polish town called Wadowice, the youngest of three children. His mother died when he was eight and he moved to Krakow with his father. In his young adulthood, he had a passion for acting and the theater, both performing and writing. The Nazi invasion of Poland changed everyone's lives and after his father's death he felt a calling for the priesthood. Much of his study was done in secret for at times he had to hide from the occupying German army but this increased his resolve. He was ordained November 1, 1946 in Krakow and sent to study theology in Rome where he earned a doctorate in sacred theology. He was appointed Archbishop of Krakow in 1964. He was elected Pope on October 16, 1978 and served until his death on April 2, 2005. His writings and his life had a major effect on the Catholic Church and the world. He wrote about theology, social issues and the dignity of women and upheld the traditional values of the Church. He was the most traveled Pope in history and attracted large crowds wherever he visited. He inspired the Solidarity movement in Poland which would lead to the fall of Communism in the Soviet Union. He made a particular effort to identify with the young people in the Church and established World Youth Day in 1984. He also tried to heal the differences between the major religions by finding common ground between them. He was wounded in an assassination attempt in 1981 and later forgave the gunman. He was one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. His last words were, "Let me depart to the house of the Father." He was Beatified on May 1, 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Vatican Radio today offered two tributes to the Polish Pontiff.
The first focused on the Holy Father's prayer life. It was an interview from the archives with Cardinal Roberto Tucci, who organized many of the Pontiff's trips abroad.
The second tribute focused on the Pope's personality, drawing from the personal experiences of papal biographer George Weigel and Vatican reporter John Allen.
Weigel described the Polish Pontiff as "relentlessly curious," and said he was constantly looking ahead -- that there was nothing "nostalgic" about his personality. This trait, however, Weigel characterized as a reflection of the Holy Father's Christian faith: "He really believed that Providence was at work in history and therefore he wanted to know what was going on because that allowed him insights into how the divine will was working itself out in perhaps surprising ways at this moment in time."
Allen, for his part, shared an insight into the Pope's capacity as a communicator, when the Holy Father was able to put him at ease during their first personal interview.

Why not offer a rosary today, asking for his intercession and in thanks for all he worked for?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BRAVO Msgr Biebel!

October Musings from the Rector’s desk… October 16, 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Cathedral Family and friends,

The current issue of FAITH Life covered our Holy Father’s teaching during his visit to Germany. He was clearly concerned about the weakening of the Faith there and the fact that only 31% of his own country considered themselves Catholic. His words tell the reason why. “God is increasingly being driven out of our society…Are we to yield to the pressure of secularization, and become modern by watering down the faith?”

As a senior priest and pastor I share his concern that we are losing our sense of identity as Catholics. For many, being Catholic means “Catholic lite”, just another adjective we use about ourselves like our political party or nationality, that surfaces now and then when needed or convenient, but hardly the core of our daily life and personality.

Allow me to mention a few examples. Then let me offer some suggestions that both you and I can follow to light the fire anew if it is flickering.

Just recently we had our annual Eucharistic Sunday. Even though we had information in the bulletin, on our website, a school broadcast to the homes of all our students, a homily or two mentioning it, response was not significant: some loyal members of the Cathedral Women’s Council were here, a few school families with their children, in all, hardly more than ten or fifteen worshippers at any one of the five hours the Blessed Sacrament was honored.

In years past, we had three whole days of Adoration of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament! When I was young, FORTY HOURS was a highpoint in our year in the parish. Four altar servers were assigned to every half hour in church. Moms and Dads would send the children to church right after supper to save seats for them so they could attend the evening devotions. I can’t imagine that today. As a seminarian at Gannon, we often attended the novena devotions at St. Patrick’s that were so crowded, that services were repeated twice each Monday evening. That was then, but would Catholics attend in those numbers now? And at night??

There was a time when a Catholic person would never pass a church without going in to make a “visit”. Everyone had a medal or scapular on. Men always had a Rosary in their pocket, every Catholic woman had one in her purse. And they were used for prayer, not around our necks for good luck. Week nights we gathered around the radio to pray the Family Rosary broadcast from St. Mark’s Seminary. (Little did I realize that I would be staffing that same program as a seminarian there a few years later.) Meatless Fridays distinguished us from others.

After decades of religious bigotry, we lived our Catholic lives proudly and openly. People knew who the Catholics were. And WE knew who and what we were! Proudly, too.

Today, Sunday is fast becoming just another day. Family worship at Mass, the family Sunday dinner and all the special touches that made the Lord’s Day holy are almost foreign to us. We find Catholics slipping in to the shortest Saturday evening Mass, so they can have Sunday for themselves. Or even more frequently, families lose their parish identity by going anywhere Mass is convenient and over in the shortest time. Just to get it in!

Every Sunday, as I read the paper, I find it discouraging as a pastor to read the wedding page and see young men and women from traditional Catholic families being married at the beach, or at a hotel or resort, in non-Catholic church. I read obituaries of Catholics burying their departed without a prayer or without a Mass of Christian Burial. What is happening? Have we become THAT secularized that our most significant moments in life do not need the Lord?

Are we forfeiting our sense of being truly Catholic by shopping at the malls or stores on Sunday? Do sports dominate our weekends? Do we lose ourselves among the several million others, watching what was once a game for high school kids that has become desperately important, and those who play it skillfully get paid forty more times than the President of the United States? We protect ourselves with busy-ness, grooming and security- blanket electronics. The media have made the trivial important, and the important things of life, trivial. But, are we more at peace with ourselves, secure in our relationships, content with those we love, at home in the world? Are we numb from entertaining ourselves?

So what can we do? Well, think deeply and pray deeply to truly BE WHO WE ARE! Recently the bishops of England and Wales have reintroduced obligatory meatless Fridays. Do we need such external reminders to shape us up again? Perhaps. But, if we really trace our worldliness and restlessness, our fascination with things of sense, down to their roots, maybe we will rightly conclude that only GOD can satisfy us. The revisions in our worship at Mass can call us to think and pray more deeply in our worship. We could be on the edge of new discovery of our life with God IF we get beyond the words, to the MYSTERY OF FAITH.

God is calling us, now, and every day of our lives, to conclude that Jesus was right when he said: “Without me, you can do nothing.” Everything YOU and I can do to lead others to prayer and worship, whether toddlers or senior citizens, is strengthening us all as the Church. So, don’t be too busy to seek out the sacred, to talk about it and use the printed word, the Internet and all the means we have today to discover and share God’s life and love.

With Him, all things are possible. The truth of Christ is ours to embrace and live. We need to invite others to “Come Home” to the Church, but we have to know our way around our Home as well! We are Catholic: convicted, dedicated and alive with the Spirit. It is our LIFE! Let’s not give our life and treasure away to dedicate our energy and time to what is not eternal!

Peace to you, and blessings,

Msgr. William E. Biebel, Rector, St. Peter Cathedral, Erie, Pa.

Please share this with all you know and take a moment to encourage the Monsignor who rightly cares more for the Fullness of Truth than for popular opinion! Drop him a line and tell him so and keep him in your daily prayers!