Tuesday, October 31, 2006
This week: All Saints and All Souls Day, Indulgences

Today is the Eve of All Saints Day (Halloween), and tomorrow is the 1st Class Feast of All Saints, a Holy Day of Obligation for many countries. So, please remember to attend Holy Mass tomorrow. Failure to attend Mass without a good reason is a mortal sin.

Also, there are many indulgences available starting tomorrow, and some apply only to the souls in purgatory. Help the suffering souls! Gain indulgences for them. Please see the follow posts for important information concerning the approaching holy days, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
Monday, October 30, 2006
"The Monastery": Episode 2

So, last night at 9 PM Central Time, I sat down and watched episode 2 of "The Monastery" on TLC. I was disappointed. Over the summer I spent a few days in retreat with Benedictine monks, and found it such a spiritual oasis. "The Monastery" doesn't portray the true serenity of a monastery. Plus, it would have been much better if the reality-TV quality was greatly reduced. It would definitely have made a good 1-2 hour documentary instead of a reality TV series drawn out over the course of several weeks.

I was also ashamed at the conduct of some of the men when they actually stole liquor from the monks. Plus Jon's "lapsed-Catholic Syndrome" is annoying honestly. He grew up in the Faith and just because he's seen disaster as a pandemic and the like, he feels that God doesn't exist. Preposterous! All of the disasters in the world result from our sins. God is good. And Jon said the Psalms portray God as vengeful. Again, preposterous! Some of the psalms talk about God's rightful judgments, but many of them talk about God's wonder and beauty. Look to the very often cited Psalm 23: "The Lord is my Shepherd". In the words of St. John: "God is love" (1 John 4:8).

It's not a very good program.
Saints Behaving Badly Book Review

I have just finished reading Saints Behaving Badly: The Cutthroats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and Devil-Worshippers Who Became Saints by Thomas J. Craughwell. The book was sent to me a few weeks before its release as a galley in order for me to review for Double Day Publishing. I have been extraordinarily busy these past few months, so I have finally just finished the book.

When I did have a chance to read the book, it went very quickly. I overall enjoyed the book. Each chapter was on a different saint, and the book went into great detail on the saint's sinful life before his/her conversion. It illustrates true accounts of the power of conversion over the centuries. The only thing I would have liked to see better in the book was a basic definition of a saint. A saint is someone that is now in Heaven, and I would have liked that to be more clearly stated.

So, if you'd like to learn more about the sinful lives of saints like St. Francis of Assisi, St. Patrick, Venerable Matt Talbot, St. Olga, St. Christopher, and many others before their conversions, this is your book! I have to admit that it was a good read and overall a very good book.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Election Day Novena

Today is the beginning of the Election Day Novena, which lasts until November 6th. Please join me in praying this.

Our Father. . .
Hail Mary. . .
Glory be. . .

Lord, into your hands do we commend our country during this time of election. Be with those who vote, be with those who work the polling stations, be with those who count the votes, certify the elections, and all who are involved with the process. Lord, we pray that in our choosing, we may reflect your choice and that our country be in your hands, now and forever, Amen.

O Most gracious Virgin Mary, beloved Mother of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, intercede with him for us that we be granted the favor which we petition for so earnestly in this novena…O Mother of the Word Incarnate, we feel animated with confidence that your prayers in our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. O Glorious Mother of God, in memory of your joyous Immaculate Conception, hear our prayers and obtain for us our petitions.

- that the hand our Our Father guide our country during this upcoming election,

- that those who would disrupt and disturb the heritage of freedom and truth be restrained,

- that the hand of God guide, direct and determine our leaders this election cycle and always.

O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will. Amen.

St. Thomas More, adorer of Christ’s Passion, who put prayer before all else, devoted husband and father, defender of the Church, perfect model of friendship, impervious to all bribery, committed to the common good, who reverenced civil and Divine law, civil judge of unimpeachable integrity patron of those who hold public office, pray for us now at this critical time of election, where so much is at stake, where the lives of the unborn and those most vulnerable hang in the balance, where the lives of the downtrodden and defenseless against the terrorist are most at risk. Pray for us, St. Thomas More, martyr for the truth, that with this election, we may draw ever closer to the way God would have our country governed.

Little Souls, children unborn, holy innocents, ripped from your mothers’ wombs and now in the hand of our loving Lord, pray for us now, that the election may go to the one most likely to help stem the holocaust of souls of the most vulnerable, the one most likely to be the champion of life and set our nation on the right track.

Transalpine Redemptorists Video

I found this wonderful 17-minute video posted on Fifty Sophomoric Summers. It is about the Transapline Redemptorists in Scotland.

Nicaragua Votes to Ban All Abortions

I am very pleased to write that Nicaragua has just voted to make abortions illegal in all instances. While instances of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is threatened are horrible, the child NEVER deserves to die. The child deserves a chance at life!

From LifeNews:
The national legislature in Nicaragua approved a measure today [October 26, 2006] that would prohibit abortions in all circumstances. It would make the country's abortion law stronger than other pro-life nations in South America and put it on par with 34 nations that make abortions always illegal. Unlike pro-life laws in the United States, the measure puts in place prison sentences for women, who are normally considered a second victim in an abortion. The bill mandates sentences of six to 30 years in prison for women who undergo an abortion and for anyone who does an abortion. Fifty-nine lamakers voted for the new abortion ban, nine abstained from voting and another 29 legislators did not attend the vote. The legislation now heads to President Enrique Bolanos for his signature. He initially requested the bill and is expected to sign it soon. Current law in Nicaragua prohibits most abortions but allows them in cases of rape or incest and when the mother's life is directly at risk from the pregnancy...

Prayer to end abortion:

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life, And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters. I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son. I am ready to do my part in ending abortion. Today I commit myself Never to be silent, Never to be passive, Never to be forgetful of the unborn. I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, And never to stop defending life Until all my brothers and sisters are protected, And our nation once again becomes A nation with liberty and justice Not just for some, but for all, Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

Prayer Source: Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
Words of Inspiration: October 29, 2006

I wonder if protestants like Martin Luther heard of this quotation?

“If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.” (St. Augustine)
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Sts. Jude and Simon

Feast (1969 Calendar): October 28
Double of the II Class (1955 Calendar): October 28

Today is the Feastday of Sts. Simon and Jude Thaddaeus, Apostles, who both preached the Gospel in Mesopotamia and Persia. St. Jude is the author of a short Epistle in the New Testament.

St. Jude Thaddaeus was the son of Cleophas and the woman named Mary who stood with the Blessed Virgin Mary at the foot of the Cross as Our Lord was redeeming the world. St. Jude is the brother of St. James the Lesser. St. Jude is reported to also be a relative to Jesus. He was a preacher in Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia with St. Simon the Apostle. He also is remembered as a Healer and Exorcist, who could exorcise pagan idols, causing the demons to flee and the statues to crumble.

Like all of the other 11 faithful Apostles except St. John the Evangelist, St. Jude was martyred. He was beaten with a club and beheaded. His relics are in the Vatican. However there is kept a relic of the arm of St. Jude in Chicago, Illinois.

For more on the lives of all the Apostles, pick up a copy of "The Twelve: Lives and Legends of the Apostles" on paperback or as part of the online course on the Apostles, which includes a Certificate of Completion.

Patronage: desperate situations; forgotten causes; hospital workers; hospitals; impossible causes; lost causes, diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida

St. Simon called Simon the Cananaean or Simon the Zealot was also an apostle of Jesus Christ. Not much is known about him outside of the account in the New Testament. He did evangelize with St. Jude in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and several places claim to have been the site of his martyrdom.

Patronage: curriers; sawmen; sawyers; tanners


O God, Who, through Thy blessed Apostles Simon and Jude, hast brought us to the knowledge of Thy name, grant that we may celebrate their everlasting glory by advancing in good works, and that we may advance in good works by celebrating their glory. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Updates on my life

I really enjoy blogging about the Catholic Church, but at times I feel it is necessary to post something more about myself to make this blog more personal. So, I wanted to update my readers. So far my application to enter the seminary is going extremely well. In just a few weeks I will be going on a vacation and visiting another seminary in a different state. I will certainly be posting on this when I return. I would appreciate your prayers.

But, most importantly, I ask for all of your prayers for a family member of mine. In the past I have turned to my blog readers for prayers, and I was astonished each time by the great amount of support. And, my prayers have always been answered when I posted them on this website. I thank you so much for offering up your prayers for my own intentions. If you ever need prayers, please feel free to ask me.

Right now, though, I ask you to pray for a family member of mine. This person will be going to a simple surgery next month and will undergo some examinations. Please pray that my family member doesn't have any serious conditions like cancer. Please pray the the Lord heals and blesses this person.

I thank you so very much for your prayers!
A Prayer for November

This wonderful prayer was emailed to me by a faithful reader of this blog. Remember, November is dedicated to the Holy Souls, and please realize there are many indulgences available in November:


Grant, O Lord, that my own heart may be
touched, as yours is, at the passing of
all souls into eternal life.

In great confidence, I pray for all my
friends and loved ones who are no
longer here on this journey of faith.

When I am sad at the death of those
who were close to me, may my sadness
be firmly supported by my faith that life
is merely changed not ended, that those
I love are still with me though unseen.

May You, Lord Jesus Christ, welcome
me and all those for whom I pray, into
eternal life at the moment pleasing
to You.

Saint Therese, intercede for me.

Saint Therese, strengthen my faith.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Light a Virtual Candle

I highly suggest visiting Gratefulness.org and lighting a virtual prayer candle. As a webmaster, I can create my custom entrance page so that all of my readers will be able to see the same message. So, please visit the website by clicking on the image above.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Indulgences for the Rosary Explained

An indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, of which the guilt has already been forgiven (through Confession). It is not permission to sin nor a pardon of any future sins. Indulgences don’t forgive sins because it only removes the temporal punishment of forgiven sins. It does not remove the possibility of lapses into sin.

A universal indulgence is granted anywhere in the world while a local indulgence applies to only a specific place or area. A perpetual indulgence is one that may be gained at any time while a temporary indulgence only is available for certain times, for example, like certain indulgences for the Holy Souls in November.

A plenary indulgence is the complete remission of the temporal punishment of sin. Temporal punishments only “cancel out” a certain amount, of which only God knows. If more temporal punishment remains, more indulgences or time in purgatory (which is also biblical) is required in order to reach the perfection of Heaven. I highly suggest that you read The Raccolta: A Listing of Indulgences if you are looking for specific prayers.

Please also realize that many older documents like holy cards and prayer books would have a certain length of time printed on them. For example, a prayer could say it is a 300 day partial indulgence. However, realize that time does not exist in purgatory or Heaven or hell. The Church has never taught that if such a prayer was said, the person would get 300 days off of purgatory time. An indulgence is only reduced as God sees fit. In order to clarify this very complicated matter, the Church just stopped putting a length of time on partial indulgences following Vatican II in 1969. The dates corresponded only to early Church practices. Since it was so misunderstood, it was changed to allow people to understand it better.

For an indulgence to be granted, a person must be in the state of grace by the completion of the indulgence. The person must also want to gain the indulgence. Conditions for plenary indulgences are more difficult; the individual also must go through Sacramental Confession and Eucharist within seven days as well as saying prayers for the Pope (Apostles Creed, 1 Our Father, and any other prayers). The person must also relinquish all attaches to all sins – even venial sins. If a person does not meet the plenary criteria but meets the criteria for a partial indulgence, the individual will obtain the partial indulgence. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day unless the person is in danger of death.

Indulgences for the Rosary:

Plenary: Prayed privately or in common before the Blessed Sacrament (exposed or in the Tabernacle)

Partial: Praying using a blessed Rosary

Plenary: Prayed in Church, family group, or religious community. Prayed vocally and all five decades continuously. One must meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary. If it is publicly recited, the mysteries must be recited.

Remember to pray for the deceased. We can gain indulgences not for a living person but rather for a deceased person!
Vatican: EM's Should not Purify the Sacred Vessels

I just saw an extraordinary minister purify the sacred vessels after Communion at Mass a few weeks ago. I didn't approve of it, so I'm really glad to hear this news from the Vatican.  Let's hope and work for an end in the Novus Ordo of these abominations

The Vatican has instructed the Catholic bishops of the US to discontinue the practice of allowing extraordinary Eucharistic ministers to assist with the purification of chalices after Communion

Bishop Trautman reminded his fellow bishops that the use of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist is intended "exclusively for those instances where there are not enough ordinary ministers to distribute Holy Communion."
Source: CWNews
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
"The Monastery"

I'm sure most of my readers remember "God or the Girl" - the A&E reality documentary about four men deciding whether to enter the priesthood. After reading updates following the documentary, all of them have decided not to enter as of the moment.

Well, if you liked it, you'll like this (probably)...

TLC has come out with "The Monastery", which is about five men spending 40 days at the desert Monastery Our Lady of the Desert in New Mexico. However, I honestly don't think they could have picked a set of people more likely never to enter a monastery. I'm doubtful, but hopeful, these people will truly find Christ in this monastery. It premeries on October 22nd at 10 PM ET/PT.


I didn't watch the first episode because I forgot about it. But, it appears other blogs agree with me. In the comments at Lamland, Willa writes: "I nearly threw a pillow at the screen when the Marine amputee (Alex?) refused to make a show of respect at Mass and then said he wouldn't even go through the motions until he knew exactly what it was all about."

Blog Reviews of the First Episode:

  1. LAMland: "Unlike God or the Girl, it's very artificial in every possible way...right now I'm tempted to give this one two big thumbs down."
  2. Thresing Grain: "My favorite moment: Brother Rodrigo's conversation about the Virgin Mother--the question-'was the Virgin-really a virgin?' (I paraphrase here) He so lovingly spoke of his mother-stating she was 'his mother' and you don't speak or blaspheme her at all. You could see the love on his face and hear the tone of love in his voice. He got the point across to the men. You could hear a pin drop when he was speaking with them. And there were other moments. I recommend viewing this program and ask that prayers be offered for the success of the Holy Spirit."
  3. Against all Heresies: "It seems that a majority of the participants are atheists, agnostics or malcontents who engage the monks in debate about "women rights and gay rights". How tiresome and completely predictable."
My Reviews of following episodes:
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Wal-Mart and Gay Rights?

Update (November 21, 2006) from AFA.net:

Thank Walmart which has announced it "will no longer make corporate contributions to support or oppose controversial issues unless they directly relate to their ability to serve their customers" .

Update (November 9, 2006) from AFA.net:

In a show of support to help homosexuals legalize same-sex marriage, Wal-Mart has agreed to automatically donate 5% of online sales directly to the Washington DC Community Center for Gay, Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender People. The cash donation will come from online purchases made at Wal-Mart through the homosexual group's Web site. This move follows Wal-Mart's joining the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and agreeing to give generous financial help to that organization also.

Every purchase made online for books, music, videos, clothing and accessories, children's clothing and toys, and electronics at the site will automatically send 5% of the sales to the CCBLBT People. The agreement is an indication that Wal-Mart is totally committed to supporting the homosexual movement.

Wal-Mart also gave a generous cash donation to the Northwest Arkansas Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center, helping to provide a place where homosexuals can come together to "socialize."

Many observers feel it would have been a wise business decision for Wal-Mart to remain neutral in the cultural battle over homosexual marriage. But this was an ideological decision by Wal-Mart - not a business decision.
From AFA.net:

When Wal-Mart announced their support for the homosexual agenda a few weeks ago, they meant what they said. You will remember that Wal-Mart asked for, and received, permission to join the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). The company announced they were giving two large grants to NGLCC. The world's largest retailer was rewarded with a position on the board of NGLCC. Wal-Mart also announced they would give preference to homosexual-owned businesses in purchasing products.

Justin Nelson, president of NGLCC, said he expects Wal-Mart to use its influence to pressure suppliers like P&G, Johnson & Johnson, and Gillette to give homosexual businesses preferential treatment. Wal-Mart is also working on a plan to provide domestic-partnership benefits to homsexual employee "partners." The NGLCC is a leading promoter of homosexual marriage.

A quick search of Wal-Mart's website turned up the following number of items for sale:

Gay - 1148
Lesbian - 468
Transgender - 40
Bisexual - 38
Gay Marriage - 26
Monday, October 23, 2006
Pope Benedict XVI Visits Pontifical Lateran University

On October 23, 2006, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI visited the Pontifical Lateran University for the opening of the Academic Year for the Ecclesiastic Universities. Catholic News Agency reports:

Following a Mass celebrated to mark the beginning of the Roman academic year, Pope Benedict XVI offered a few words of reflection for students and faculty of the Pontifical Universities and Athanea of Rome. The Holy Father encouraged the students gathered to strengthen their spiritual life and to be prepared to receive the truth which, he noted, comes from God and not from a popular consensus.

The Holy Father noted the tremendous diversity of nations from which the Pontifical students originate. “At the start of this new academic year,” Pope Benedict said, “we praise the Lord for this special community of professors and students, which declares so eloquently the universality and the unity of the Catholic Church. A community still even more beautiful because it principally addresses the youth, giving them the opportunity to enter into and engage in institutions of high cultural and theological values, and offering at the same time, the possibility of enriching pastoral and ecclesiastic experiences.”

The Pope insisted that the Pontifical institutions should focus on, “the important priority of spiritual life and the need for concern, along with cultural growth, for a balanced human development and a deep religious and ascetic formation.”

“Those who want to be a friend of Jesus and to become an authentic disciple, whether seminarian, priest, religious, or layman, can cultivate an intimate friendship with Him in meditation and in prayer,” the Pope insisted.
Pope Benedict XVI said something we can all learn to take to heart: ".... an education in silence and contemplation...is necessary to be able to listen with the heart to God who speaks. Only if they proceed from the silence of contemplation can our words have a certain value and usefulness and not fall into the inflation of the world's speeches which seek the consensus of public opinion. "

Image Source: REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli (Vatican)
2nd Image Source: AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho
Words of Inspiration: October 23, 2006

"If we want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it" (Mother Teresa)
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Man sees Jesus in the Eucharistic Host

Andy Petty was only in the Catholic Eucharist Adoration chapel at the request of his fiance. He had been a member of the Worldwide Church of God, which, for 30 of the 40 years he had been attending, taught that the Catholic Church and the Pope were the antichrist. They also taught that Jesus had short hair, not long hair and a beard.

So, when he looked up at the host (which he still thought of as a "cracker") in the monstrance that day and saw a man with a beard, he literally looked around to see where it was being projected from. He couldn't find any evidence of projection equipment and his fiance said she didn't see "the man with the beard" in the host.

Miraculously, his pastor told him it was a gift from God and encouraged him to convert to Catholicism, which he did. He now attends Eucharist Adoration once a week with his wife.Eucharist Adoration is open to anyone, of any faith.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Behold the Heart of Jesus!

"Behold this heart, which has loved men so much, that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify to them its love and in return i receive from the greater number nothing but ingratitude by reason of their irreverence and sacrileges and by the coldness and contempt which they show me in this sacrament of love. But what i feel the most keenly is that it is hearts which are consecrated to me that treat me like this. Therefore, i ask of you that the friday after the octave of corpus christi be set apart for a special feast to honor my heart, by receiving holy communion on that day and making reparation to it by a solemn act in order to make amends for the indignities which it has received during the time it has been exposed on the altars. I promise you that my heart shall expand itself to shed in abundance the influence of its divine love upon those who shall likewise honor it and cause it to be honored"

(Jesus' Words to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque)
Pray the Rosary for the Pope

Please post this graphic on your blog and let your readers know that they can post it on their blogs too! Fellow friends in Christ, between November 28th and December 1st Pope Benedict XVI will be journeying to Turkey. At this time in history, the Holy Father desperately needs our prayers. And the Rosary has been called the most powerful prayer after the Mass. At Fatima, Mary asked all mankind to "say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of [World War I]." And, concerning herself, she said, "I am the Lady of the Rosary."

Start praying the Rosary for the Pope today! I will frequently post reminders about this on my blog for the next month.
NBC will not show Madonna's "Crucifixion"

Deo Gratis! (Thanks be to God!)

I just read on Catholic Fire that NBC will not be showing the part of Madonna's Confessions tour when she is hanging on the Cross. It is a mockery of Jesus Christ's Crucifixion!

Catholic League's Bill Donahue said the following:

“NBC did the right thing, but the fact that it did not say why the offensive part of Madonna’s concert was cut shows cowardice. What NBC should have done is to admit that since it refused to air the Danish cartoons that Muslims objected to earlier in the year, it felt obliged not to treat Christians in a discriminatory manner. On September 20, I wrote to NBC chief Bob Wright making this point.

“Pressure politics were at work, too. On September 29, a letter was sent to Bob Wright by Brent Bozell, president of the Parents Television Council, and me, warning him that we would boycott one of the sponsors of the Madonna concert if the ‘Mock Crucifixion’ part were not excised; we would decide via a conference call the next day which sponsor would receive our Christmas present. In addition to the Catholic League and the Parents Television Council, the following groups said they would join the boycott: American Family Association, Morley Institute, Christian Film and Television Commission, Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, Traditional Values Coalition and Women Influencing the Nation.

“Congratulations to all these groups, and most especially to Don Wildmon’s American Family Association for being out in front on this issue.”
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Praying the Rosary for Pope Benedict XVI

Fellow friends in Christ, between November 28th and December 1st the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, will be visiting Turkey. At this time in history, the Holy Father desperately needs our prayers. And the Rosary has been called the most powerful prayer after the Mass. At Fatima, Mary asked all mankind to "say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and the end of [World War I]." And, concerning herself, she said, "I am the Lady of the Rosary."

So, please I will be posting a few days before his trip all the way through December 1st. I will be posting how to pray the Rosary as well as posting the mysteries for that day. Please join me in spreading news around other Catholic blogs! Please participate!

Also, feel free to display the graphic above on your blogs. I created it for that reason. I got this idea from the suggestion of Argent by the Tiber.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
A Prayer for the Sick

O Lord Jesus Christ, who during your brief life on earth went about doing good to all men and women, be merciful to me in this my hour of special need.

Divine Healer, your tender heart was ever moved at the sight of pain and affliction. I beg of you, if it be your holy will, to help me regain my strength. Send forth healing to all who suffer, whether in mind or body. Grant to each of us that peace of mind which you alone can give.

Father in heaven, I thank you for all the good things that you have bestowed upon me, especially for the precious gift of life. Thank you for having so loved the world that you sent us your Son, Jesus Christ, who died for our salvation.

Jesus, my savior and friend, grant to all people the blessings of good health both in mind and body. Help us to do your will in all things. Give us strength to love and heal one another, ever remembering your words, "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto Me."

Recommended Reading: Saints for the Sick: Heavenly Help for Those Who Suffer

A Beautiful Restoration: Sacred Heart Chuch in Peoria

Fr. Gonzales of Fifty Sophomoric Summers posted a beautiful before/after photos of a restoration of a Catholic Church.  This is from Sacred Heart Church in Peoria, Illinois.  It is really promises to see such wonderful restorations taking place.  They've added onto the church, making room for new confessionals, among other things; new mosaics and stained glass are being installed, as well as a new organ.



Truly now a dwelling more appropriate in which our Lord and Savior may dwell.
Feastday of St. Luke

Today is the Feastday of St. Luke, patron of physicians and writer of the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke.


Most charming and saintly Physician, you were animated by the heavenly Spirit of love. In faithfully detailing the humanity of Jesus, you also showed his divinity and his genuine compassion for all human beings. Inspire our physicians with your professionalism and with the divine compassion for their patients. Enable them to cure the ills of both body and spirit that afflict so many in our day. Amen.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Prayer for the Most Forgotten Soul

O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Body and Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus, which He Himself on the night before His Passion gave as meat and drink to His beloved Apostles and bequeathed to His Holy Church to be the perpetual Sacrifice and lifegiving nourishment of His faithful people, deliver the souls in purgatory, but most of all, that soul which was most devoted to this Mystery of infinite love, in order that it may praise Thee therefore, together with thy Divine Son and the Holy Spirit in Thy glory forever. Amen.
Humility by Father Cajetan

In Paradise there are many saints who never gave alms on earth: their poverty justified them. There are many saints who never mortified their bodies by fasting or wearing hair-shirts: their bodily infirmities excused them. There are many saints, too, who were not virgins: their vocation was otherwise.

But in Paradise there is no saint who was not humble. God banished angels from heaven for their pride; therefore how can we pretend to enter therein if we do not keep ourselves in a state of humility? To be humble is to be truthful before God, for what is humility but a recognition of ourselves as totally dependent on Him? Saint Vincent de Paul said: "The reason God is such a great lover of humility is that He is a great lover of truth. Humility is, in fact, truth, while pride is nothing but lying."

From Humility of Heart by Father Cajetan
Monday, October 16, 2006
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): October 16
Double (1955 Calendar): October 17

Today the Church celebrates and remembers the life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, who spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Born July 22, 1647, at L'Hautecourt, Burgundy, France, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was healed from rheumatic fever, a crippling disorder, at a young age by a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. During her suffering, she developed an intimate relationship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist. In the vision, Our Lady prompted St. Margaret to give her life to God. In 1671 after receiving a vision of Christ's Scourging, she entered the Order of the Visitation.

Beginning on December 27, 1673, through 1675, Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque asking her to receive Him in Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month and to meditate on His passion from 11:00 PM to 12:00 midnight each Thursday. He also revealed to her twelve promises for all who are devoted to His Sacred Heart; he asked for a Feast of the Sacred Heart to be instituted in the liturgical calendar of the Church.

Yet, St. Margaret Mary would suffer much for the sake of the Sacred Heart. She was immediately rebuffed by Mother de Saumaise, her superior. She finally won over Mother de Saumaise, but theologians and members of her community would not believe the validity of the apparitions.

In 1675, St. Margaret Mary met St. Claude la Colombière, a newly ordained priest who was the Superior of a group of Jesuits in Burgundy. St. Claude would serve as her confessor for many years. He would specifically assist St. Margaret Mary in spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart before he was sent to England to serve as the confessor to the Duchess of York.

Finally in 1683 Mother Melin was elected Superior of the Community, and Margaret Mary was made her assistant. St. Margaret Mary would even become the Novice Mistress. In 1686 the convent began to privately observe the Feast of the Sacred Heart. Two years later a chapel was built at the Paray-le-Monial in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Following this, several nearby convents would begin to observe the feast. It was not until after her death on October 17, 1690, that the Feast of the Sacred Heart was approved for specific dioceses by Pope Clement XIII in 1765. Pope Pius IX would extend the Feast of the Sacred Heart to the entire Church in 1856, and in 1899 Pope Leo XIII finally dedicated the whole world to the Sacred Heart.

St. Margaret Mary was finally canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. In 1928, Pope Pius XI upheld the Church's position regarding the credibility behind her visions of Jesus Christ. 

Fr. Pierre Duverger in "Devotion to the Sacred Heart" summarizes the lasting importance of St. Margaret Mary:
What was lacking in the devotion to the Sacred Heart before the time of St. Margaret Mary? 
Before St. Margaret Mary, this devotion was practiced not only by a few privileged souls, such as St. Gertrude and St. Catherine of Siena, but also, thanks to St. John Eudes, by a large part of the Christian people. What, then, was lacking? 
First of all, the spirit of the devotion was perfected. Until this time those devoted to the Sacred Heart had chiefly rendered praise and thanksgiving to Him. 
There was no emphasis on reparation.  
It was, however, our Lord’s desire that we realize how unknown is His love and make reparation. Recognition of the infinite tenderness of the Divine Love is important, but it is of equal import to make reparation for the sins of the world. 
Of course fervent souls had already thought of this. But in a time where the Faith was weakening and the Divine Love was increasingly disregarded and insulted, it became important to emphasize reparation. It was Margaret Mary’s mission to draw the attention of loving souls toward this aspect of the devotion and to inspire souls to reparation, inviting them to turn to the forgotten and scorned Love.

Her body is incorruptible

For more information on the 12 promises and devotion to the Sacred Heart, see my post: Devotion to the Sacred Heart.


O Lord Jesus Christ, Who to the blessed virgin Margaret Mary didst in a wondrous manner reveal the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart: by her merits grant, that loving Thee after her example in all things and above all things, we may obtain an abode in Thy Heart forevermore. Who livest and reignest.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Canonization of Mother Guerin and three others!

It is with great jubilation that the Church celebrates the canonization of four blesseds, thereby declaring them saints. Such a declaration ensures that the four are in Heaven today interceding for mankind. For more information on basics of the Church's teaching on saints, see my posts What is a Catholic Saint and how does one become one?, Why pray to saints?, and Are saints even alive?

Today the universal Church rejoices as it declares that Mother Theodore Guerin, Rafael Guizar Valencia, Rosa Venerini, and Filippo Smaldone are in Heaven! Hallelujah!

(Photo Source: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Rafael Guizar Valencia (April 26, 1878 - June 6, 1938) was the Catholic bishop of Veracruz, who cared for the wounded and dying in Mexico's Revolution between 1910-1917.

On April 26, 1878, he was born to Prudenzio Guizar and Natividad Valencia, wealthy and pious landowners in Mexico. In 1901 he was ordained a priest, and he founded the Congregation of Missionaries of Our Lady of Hope in 1903. Rafael Valencia traveled throughout Mexico on missions. In 1911, the persecution of the Church began in Mexico.

Fr. Valencia's missions were stopped and his congregation was disbanded. He started a Catholic magazine in Mexico City, which was quickly shut down by the government of Mexico. In order to continue his ministry, he disguised himself as a traveling merchant to minister to the poor and preach to them. He was shot several times by soldiers and condemned to death.

Fr. Valencia escaped to the United States and later to Guatemala, where he sent a year preaching missions. From 1917 to 1919, Raphael Guizar Valencia preached in Cuba. On August 1, 1919, he was named bishop of Veracruz-Jalapa, Mexico. Fr. Valencia continued; his missionary work in Colombia at that time, but he finally returned to Veracruz, Mexico on January 4, 1920.

The government persecution of the Church in Mexico increased. The diocese's seminary was shut down, so Bishop Valencia transfered his students to Mexcio City so to learn properly. He was a saintly man and cared especially for his diocese's seminary.

In 1931 Governor Tejada of Veracruz decreed that there could only be one priest per 100,000 Catholics. Bishop Raphael responded by closing all churhces in his diocese in protest. Tejeda ordered that Raphael be shot on sight, so Raphael went straight to the governor's palace and walked into his office. Fearing the uprising if he killed Bishop Valencia, the death sentence was revoked. Raphael spent the rest of his life fighting to continue the work of the Church in the face of the government opposition. He died of natural causes on June 6, 1938.

In 1950, his body was exhumed and found to be incorruptible - it had not decayed at all according to witnesses. From henceforth, he shall be known as Saint Rafael Guizar Valencia!

(Photo Source: Vatican)

Filippo Smaldone (July 27, 1848 - June 4, 1923) was born in Naples, Italy. While still in the seminary, Filippo Smaldone worked extensively with deaf-mutes in Naples, Italy. In 1871, he was ordained. While working with plague victims, he contracted the disease too, but he was miraculously cured through the intervention of Mother Mary under the title of Our Lady of Pompei.

At one point, Fr. Smaldone was depressed over the frustration of his mute students, so he asked to give up his teaching and instead work in the foreign missions; his spiritual advisor convinced him to stay. In March 1885, with the aid of Father Lorenzo Apicelia and several nuns he had trained, a school for deaf-mutes was at last founded by Fr. Smaldone in Lecce, Italy. The school would become the foundation of the motherhouse of the Congregation of the Salesian Sisters of the Sacred Hearts.

Father Filippo soon expanded the work of his schools to include not only the mute but also the blind, orphaned, as well as abandoned children. He also founded the Eucharistic League of Priest Adorers and Eucharistic Leage of Women Adorers and was the Superior of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Saint Francis de Sales. On June 4, 1923, he died due to a combination of diabetes and a heart condition. From henceforth, he shall be known as Saint Filippo Smaldone!

(Photo Source: Vatican)

Rosa Venerini (February 9, 1656 - May 7, 1729) entered a convent after the death of her finace. When her father died, she returned home to care for her mother. At this time, Rosa Venerini started to invite neighborhood women to pray the rosary in her home. Her had little religious education, so she began to teach them. Rosa's spiritual director, Jesuit Father Ignatius Martinelli, convinced her that she was called to be a teacher instead of a contemplative nun.

With two of her friends, she opened a free pre-school for girls in 1685, and in 1692, Cardinal Barbarigo asked her to oversee training of teachers in his diocese of Montefiascone. Rosa organized schools in many parts of Italy, including Rome, and by the time of her death there were 40 schools under her direction. She frequently met opposition and some of the teachers were shot at with bows and their houses were burned. But, she was not swayed from her ministry. She was a friend and co-worker with Saint Lucia Filippini.

Today, the so-called Venerini Sisters work with Italian immigrants in the United States and elsewhere. Rosa Venerini died on May 7, 1728, in Rome. From henceforth, she shall be known as Saint Rosa Venerini!

Mother Theodore Guerin (October 2, 1798 - May 14, 1856) is an American saint. She joined Sisters of Providence at Ruillé-sur-Loir, France on 18 August 1823, and she was sent to the diocese of Vincennes, Indiana, USA on October 22, 1840. Along with five other sisters, she established the Academy of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods on July 4, 1841, at Terre Haute, Indiana, which was the first Catholic women's liberal-arts college in the United States. She estalished several schools throughout the Midwest as well as an orphanage for girls and one for boys in Vincennes, Indiana.

On May 14, 1856, Mother Guerin died at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, of natural causes. She is buried at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, USA. Her canonization miracle involved the cure of a non-Catholic Sisters of Providence employee. From henceforth she shall be known as Saint Mother Guerin!

Let us thank God for these wonderful saints!!! May they intercede for all humanity! Rejoicing, we pray the Te Deum:

O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all
Thou sitest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy
Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.

V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!
R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.

V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.

V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.

V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
R. O Lord, in Thee I have put my trust; let me never be put to shame.
Help Catholic Wikipedia

If you like the concept of user-generated content that is monitored for correctness as is the case with Wikipedia, then I will suggest that you help out the Catholic Wikipedia Project.  Join the project and start clarifying and expanding upon articles concerning the Catholic Faith.
The Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco

I have just recently joined the Yahoo Group: Catholic Book Subscriptions. We have just started to read "The Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco". Every few days another segment is sent out, so it is very easy to keep up with the reading. We are now on part three, and I am absolutely loving it.

This book is a collection of forty of Saint John Bosco's dreams. Each entry is several pages long captures in vivid detail the experience of this saint as he dreamt. These entries demonstrate the remarkable insight that John Bosco had into the depths of his own soul and the souls of those around him. He often used these striking personal and prophetic dreams to instruct and guide his students and colleagues. It is as if he could read the consciences of others through his dreams. This book gives the reader a glimpse into the life of a truly remarkable man.

Read it here!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Tridentine Vespers Video

This video is the Magnificant being sung during Solemn Tridentine Vespers.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun

On October 13, 1917, Mary appeared again to the three children and said, "I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes." By then there were thousands of witnesses.

Mary also said, "Do not offend the Lord our God anymore, because He is already so much offended."

At that, the Miracle of the Sun was witnessed by 70,000 people as it danced in the sky, changed colors, and was hurled towards earth as if to destroy it. It is truly an amazing miracle and a proof of the Truth of the Catholic Faith.

The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared later in 1929 to Sister Lucia as well to request the First Saturday Devotion.  Read more on the apparitions in Fatima.
Ukrainian Catholic Seminarians and Priests Evangelizing Soldiers

This is a very positive story, and in our negative world, positive stories are, I believe, extremely important. Remember, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church is part of the Universal Catholic Church.

From Catholic News Agency:
Konigstein, Oct. 13, 2006 (CNA) - Fr. Bohdan Prach, rector of Holy Spirit Seminary in Lviv, Ukraine, said his seminarians have had great success in their efforts to evangelize men and women serving in the armed forces of Ukraine.

Prach said the pastoral work of many of Holy Sprit Seminary’s 220 seminarians involves outreach and evangelization in the Ukranian Army. “There are already young priests serving military units in Lviv and Western Ukraine. As a result, the atmosphere in the army has considerably improved,” Fr. Prach said.”

“Also, there are many adult baptisms which come as a fruit of these catechetical efforts,” he added.

Military service is compulsory in Ukraine, thus a large number of Ukrainian young people can be reached through such spiritual support of the military.

The rector made his comments on a recent visit to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) headquarters in Königstein, Germany. Fr. Prach was visiting to thank the international aid organization for their support, which has helped with the construction and upkeep of his seminary’s physical plant as well as with the formation of its seminarians, he said.

“ACN and its benefactors are indeed our most outstanding friends,” Prach said.
Orthodox Priest Murdered in Mosul

From the International Herald Tribune:
Relatives of an Orthodox priest who was kidnapped and found beheaded three days later said Thursday that his captors had demanded his church condemn the pope's recent comments about Islam and pay a US$350,000 (€280,000) ransom.

More than 500 people attended a memorial service Thursday for Father Amer Iskender in the northern city of Mosul after his decapitated body was found Wednesday evening in an industrial area of the city.

Iskender was a priest at the St. Ephrem Orthodox church in Mosul.

"He was a good man and we all shed tears for him," said Eman Saaur, a 45-year-old schoolteacher who said she attended Iskender's church regularly. "He was a man of peace."

Relatives, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said the unidentified group that seized Iskender on Sunday had demanded a ransom and that his church condemn a statement made by Pope Benedict XVI last month that ignited a wave anger throughout the Muslim world.

Before Iskender was kidnapped, his relatives said, the church already had put up signs condemning the statement and calling for good relations between Christians and Muslims. The message was posted again, they said, after the priest's kidnappers made their demand.

"It was a tragedy," said Hazim Shaaiya, 60, who had come to the memorial service to pay respects. "Father Amer Iskender was a peaceful, kind religious man."

Please say a prayer for this priest. Indeed, he died the death all followers of Christ are supposed to die: "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 15:13). And who better to lay down your life for than for Our King and Lord, who died for our sins and forgives us each time in Confession.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Motivational Poster

My entry into the Inspirational, Motivational Poster contest:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
St. John Chrysostom on the Holy Eucharist

"This Fountain [of the Holy Eucharist] is a fountain of light, shedding abundant rays of truth. And beside it the angelic powers from on high have taken their stand, gazing on the beauty of its streams, since they perceive more clearly than we the power of what lies before us and its unapproachable dazzling rays"

(St. John Chrysostom)
Breaking News: Pope to Sign Universal Indult on the Traditional (Tridentine) Latin Mass


A Headline in today's Times Online reads: "Pope set to bring back Latin Mass that divided the Church"! The article also states: "The new indult would permit any priest to introduce the Tridentine Mass to his church, anywhere in the world, unless his bishop has explicitly forbidden it in writing. [which we now know is not possible for the bishop to forbid the Mass]"

THE Pope is taking steps to revive the ancient tradition of the Latin Tridentine Mass in Catholic churches worldwide, according to sources in Rome.
Pope Benedict XVI is understood to have signed a universal indult — or permission — for priests to celebrate again the Mass used throughout the Church for nearly 1,500 years. The indult could be published in the next few weeks, sources told The Times.

Use of the Tridentine Mass, parts of which date from the time of St Gregory in the 6th century and which takes its name from the 16th-century Council of Trent, was restricted by most bishops after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

Update (2010):By now if you have followed any news on Catholicism you will see a proliferation in the Mass of All Times that has resulted from this released indult in 2007.  See the posts below for information on what has happened.
  1. Posts on the Traditional Latin Mass
  2. Indult is called Summorum Pontificum
  3. Summorum Pontificum Released!
  4. 2 Year Anniversary of Indult: What Has Happened Since Then
Monday, October 9, 2006
St. Denis

Optional Memorial (1969 Calendar): October 9
Commemoration (1962 Calendar): October 9
Commemoration (1954 Calendar): October 9

Today the Church remembers St. Denis, bishop and martyr and companions, martyrs. St. Denis was born in Italy. And, in 250 he was sent to France with six other missionary bishops by Pope St. Fabian. St. Denis became the first bishop of Paris. Because of his success, he angered the pagans and was imprisoned by the Roman governor. He was beheaded on the highest hill in France (the Montmartre) in 258 with the priest Rusticus and the deacon Eleutherius at Catulliacum, now Saint-Denis.

One of the many legends about his torture and death was that his body carried his severed head some distance from his execution site. During that walk, he continued to preach! This was a miracle of God. St. Denis is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, who were invoked especially in the Middle Ages against the Black Plague. Saint Genevieve built a basilica over his grave, which is the burial site of French Kings. His feast was added to the Roman Calendar in 1568 by Pope Saint Pius V, though it had been celebrated since 800 AD.

Patron: against frenzy; against strife; headaches; against diabolical possession; France; Paris, France.

Symbols: beheaded bishop carrying his head — sometimes a vine growing over his neck; mitered head in his hand or on book; white chasuble; tree or stake; sword; Our Lord with chalice and host.


O God, You sent Rusticus and Eleutherius to join blessed Denis in preaching Your glorious name to the pagans, and on this day You so strengthened this martyr bishop in virtue that he was able to endure martyrdom courageously. May we follow the example of Your saints for love of You and spurn the pleasures of the world, without fearing to face any of its trials. Through our Lord . . .
1 Peter 4:13-14

Dearly Beloved: Rejoice in the measure that you share Christ’s sufferings. When his glory is revealed, you will rejoice exultantly. Happy are you when you are insulted for the sake of Christ, for then God’s Spirit in its glory has come to rest on you.
Photos of St. Padre Pio

An amazing photograph was emailed to me of St. Padre Pio. In the email, there was also this link to the photo's source: http://www.franciscan-archive.org/padrepio/Adamic-Archive-6.htm  Some of those photos are here:

Be sure to check out my post dedicated to St. Padre Pio and watch a video of him saying Mass! And see my post dedicated to the many miracles of St. Padre Pio.


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