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Sunday, December 31, 2017
A Year with the Church Fathers
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As we prepare to welcome 2018 and begin a new year, I am going to personally try to devote more time to spiritual reading this year.  I saw this book, A Year with the Church Fathers, on Angelus Press and think it is an excellent way to incorporate disciplined and fruitful spiritual reading into the routine.  Please consider this book



In A Year with the Church Fathers, popular Patristics expert Mike Aquilina gathers the wisest, most practical teachings and exhortations from the Fathers of the Church, and presents them in a format perfect for daily meditation and inspiration. The Fathers were the immediate inheritors of the riches of the Apostolic Age, and their intimacy with the revelation of Jesus Christ is beautifully evident throughout their theological and pastoral writings: a profound patrimony that is ours to read and cherish and profit from.

Learn to humbly accept correction from St. Clement of Rome. Let Tertullian teach you how to clear your mind before prayer. Read St. Gregory the Great and deepen your love for the Eucharist. Do you suffer from pain or illness? St. John Chrysostom's counsels will refresh you. Do you have trouble curbing your appetite for food and other fleshly things? St. John Cassian will teach you the true way to moderation and self-control.

A Year with the Church Fathers is different from a study guide, and more than a collection of pious passages. It is a year-long retreat that in just a few minutes every day will lead you on a cycle of contemplation, prayer, resolution, and spiritual growth that is guaranteed to bring you closer to God and His truth. From the Church Fathers we should expect nothing less.

Beautiful gift edition, with two- tone ultra soft cover, ribbon marker, and designed interior pages.
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Friday, December 29, 2017
Examination of Conscience for Priests
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H/T Fr. Peter Carota

1. “It is for their sakes that I sanctify myself, so that they, too, may be sanctified by the truth” (Jn 17:19).

Do I really take holiness seriously in my priesthood? Am I convinced that the success of my priestly ministry comes from God and that, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, I have to identify myself with Christ and give my life for the salvation of the world?

2. “This is my body” (Mt 26:26).

Is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the centre of my spiritual life? Do I prepare well to offer Holy Mass? Do I devoutly offer the Holy Mass? Do I make an act of thanksgiving after Mass? Is the Mass the centre of my day in giving thanks and praise to God for his blessings? Do I have recourse to his goodness? Do I make reparation for my sins and for those of all mankind?


3. “Zeal for your house consumes me” (Jn 2:17).

Do I celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the rites and rubrics established by the Church? Do I celebrate Holy Mass with a right intention and according to the approved liturgical books? Am I attentive to the Blessed Sacrament conserved in the tabernacle and careful to renew it periodically? Do I pay due attention to the sacred vessels and ensure their purification and conservation? Do I wear the dignified, sacred vestments prescribed by the Church? Am I conscious that I act in persona Christi Capitis ?

4. “Remain in my love” (Jn 15:9).

Do I enjoy being in the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, in meditation and in silent adoration? Am I faithful to the daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament? Is the tabernacle my true treasure?

5. “Explain the parable to us” (Mt 13:36).

Do I carefully make a daily meditation and try to overcome all distractions which separate me from God? Do I seek illumination from the Lord whom I pray? Do I assiduously meditate on the Sacred Scriptures? Do I carefully say my habitual prayers? Do I prepare my homily and preach the truth even though I will be persecuted for it.

6. “It is necessary “pray always and without tiring” (Lk 18:1)

Do I pray all the hours of the Breviary every day in an dignified, attentive and devout manner? Am I faithful to my commitment to Christ in this important aspect of my priesthood, praying in the name of the entire Church?

7. “Come and follow me” (Mt 19:21).

Is the Lord Jesus Christ the true love of my life? Do I joyfully observe my commitment to love before God in celibate continence? Do I give in to impure thoughts, desires or actions? Do I indulge in improper conversation? Do I look at pornography? Have I allowed myself to be in the proximate occasion of sin against chastity? Do I observe custody of the eyes? Have I been prudent in my dealings with the various categories of persons? Does my life represent for the faithful a true witness to the fact that holy purity is possible, fruitful and joyful?  Do I offer Holy Mass in Mortal Sin?

8. “ Who are you?” (Jn 1:20).

In my daily life, am I weak, lazy or indolent? Do my conversations conform to a sense of the natural and supernatural that a priest should have? Am I careful to ensure that there are no elements of vanity or superficiality in my life? Are all my actions consistent with my priestly state? Do I wear the cassock or clerics? Can people see by my clothing I am a priest?

9. “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Mt. 8:20).

Do I love Christian poverty? Does my heart belong to God? Am I spiritually detached from everything else? Am I prepared to make sacrifices to better serve God? Am I prepared to give up my comforts, personal plans, and legitimate contacts, for God? Do I possess superfluous things? Do I make unnecessary expenditure or am I taken over by consumerism? Do I use my free time so as to be close to God remembering that I am always a priest – even at these times of rest or vacation? Do I waste time on Facebook, the web, watching movies or TV?

10. “You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to mere children” (Mt 11:25).

Am I guilty of the sins of pride: spiritual difficulties, susceptibility, irritation, unwillingness to forgive, tendencies to despondency, etc.? Do I ask God to give me the virtue of humility?

11. “And there flowed out blood and water” (Jn 19:34).

Am I convinced that when I act “in the person of Christ” that I am directly involved with the same Body of Christ, the Church? Can I sincerely say that I love the Church? Can I sincerely say that I strive with joy for her growth? Am I concerned for her interests, those of all her members and for the whole human race? Is Jesus Christ really my King I obey?

12. “You are Peter” (Mt 16:18).

Nihil sine Episcopo – nothing without the Bishop – was a saying of St Ignatius of Antioch. Are these words at the root of my ministry? Do I receive orders, counsels or correction from my Ordinary with docility? Do I pray often for the Holy Father? Am I in full communion with the Church’s teachings?

13. “Love one another” (Jn 13:34).

Have I been charitable in dealing with my brother priests? Does my egoism leave me indifferent to them? Have I criticised my brother priests? Have I supported those who are morally or physically ill? Am I committed to fraternal action so that no one is ever left alone? Do I treat all my brother priests and all of the laity with the charity and patience of Christ?

14. “I am the way, the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6).

Is my knowledge of the teaching of the Church as comprehensive as it should be? Do I assimilate and transmit her teachings? Am I conscious that to teach something contrary to the Magisterium, solemn or ordinary, is gravely abusive and causes damage to the faithful?  Do I withhold Catholic teachings out of fear of people getting angry and leaving the parish?  Do I let people dress immodestly?  Am I a priest who pleases people rather than pleasing God?

15. “Go and sin no more” (Jn 8:11).

Proclamation of the Word leads the faithful to the Sacraments. Do I regularly go to Confession? Do I confess my sins in accordance with my state of life and because of the sacred things with which I am involved? Do I generously offer times for the Sacrament of Penance? Am I available to the faithful for spiritual direction and do I set particular times aside for this purpose? Do I carefully prepare to instruct in catechesis? Do I preach with zeal and with the love of God? Do I make sure my parish’s catechism is Catholic doctrine?

16. “He called those to himself whom he willed and these went with him” (Mk 3:13).

Am I careful to promote vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life? Do I promote a greater awareness of the universal call to holiness among the faithful? Do I encourage the faithful to pray for vocations and for the sanctification of the clergy?

17. “The Man came not to be served but to serve” (Mt 20:28).

Have I sought to devote myself to others and serve them every day according to the demands of the Gospel? Do I give witness to the Lord’s charity by good works? Do I see the presence of Christ in the my Crosses and do I see in them the triumph of love? Is my daily activity marked by a spirit of service? Do I consider the exercise of my authority as a form of service?

18. “I thirst” (Jn 19:28).

Have I prayed and generously made sacrifices for the good of the conversion of the souls entrusted to my care by God? Do I discharge my pastoral duties? Am I solicitous for the salvation and sanctification of Holy Souls?

19. “Behold your son. Behold your mother” (Jn 19: 26-27).

Do I entrust myself completely to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Priests, with love and so to be able to love all the more her son Jesus Christ? Do I practice Marian devotion? Do I say the Rosary every day? Do I have recourse to her maternal intercession in my struggles with the devil, concupiscence, purity, and the world?

20. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:44).

Am I solicitous in assisting and in administering the sacraments to the dying? In my personal meditation, in catechesis and in my preaching, do I give consideration to the Church’s teaching on the 4 Last Things (Death, Judgement, Heaven or Hell)? Do I ask for the grace of my own final perseverance? Do I ask the faithful to do likewise? Do I make frequent and devout suffrage for the souls in Purgatory?
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Monday, December 25, 2017
Indulgences for Praying the Divine Office on Christmas Day
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Lest we forget the spiritual treasures of the Church and the importance Holy Mother Church places on this Sacred day of our Lord's Nativity, here is a reminder of what is contained in the Raccolta.  Let us seek to pray the Divine Office on Christmas and join the Church in triumphant joy:


In order to increase the devotion of all faithful Christians towards the feast of the birthday of our Divine Saviour Jesus Christ, and that they may celebrate it with spiritual profit to their souls, Pope Sixtus V., by his brief, Ut fidelium devotio, dated Oct. 22, 1586, granted the following Indulgences, viz.:

i. The indulgence of 100 years to all those who, being truly penitent, having Confessed and Communicated, shall recite the Divine Office on that day, or assist in person in any church where Matins and Lauds are said;

ii. One hundred years indulgence for the Mass, and the same for first and second Vespers;

iii. The indulgence of forty years for each of the hours of Prime, Tierce, Sext, None, and Compline.

Image: The Nativity by Greg Olsen
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Sunday, December 24, 2017
Humility is the Only Way to Heaven
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"On Pride" by St. John Vianney:

Pride is an untrue opinion of ourselves, an untrue idea of what we are not.

The proud man is always disparaging himself, that people may praise him the more. The more the proud man lowers himself, the more he seeks to raise his miserable nothingness. He relates what he has done, and what he has not done; he feeds his imagination with what has been said in praise of him, and seeks by all possible means for more; he is never satisfied with praise See, my children, if you only show some little displeasure against a man given up to self-love, he gets angry, and accuses you of ignorance or injustice towards him. . . . My children, we are in reality only what we are in the eyes of God, and nothing more. Is it not quite clear and evident that we are nothing, that we can do nothing, that we are very miserable? Can we lose sight of our sins, and cease to humble ourselves?

If we were to consider well what we are, humility would be easy to us, and the demon of pride would no longer have any room in our heart. See, our days are like grass--like the grass which now flourishes in the meadows, and will presently be withered; like an ear of corn which is fresh only for a moment, and is parched by the sun. In fact, my children, today we are full of life, full of health; and tomorrow, death will perhaps come to reap us and mow us down, as you reap your corn and mow your meadows. . . . Whatever appears vigorous, whatever shines, whatever is beautiful, is of short duration. . . . The glory of this world, youth, honours, riches, all pass away quickly, as quickly as the flower of grass, as the flower of the field. . . . Let us reflect that so we shall one day be reduced to dust; that we shall be thrown into the fire like dry grass, if we do not fear the good God.

Good Christians know this very well, my children; therefore they do not occupy themselves with their body; they despise the affairs of this world; they consider only their soul and how to unite it to God. Can we be proud in the face of the examples of lowliness, of humiliations, that Our Lord has given us, and is still giving us every day? Jesus Christ came upon earth, became incarnate, was born poor, lived in poverty, died on a gibbet, between two thieves. . . . He instituted an admirable Sacrament, in which He communicates Himself to us under the Eucharistic veil; and in this Sacrament He undergoes the most extraordinary humiliations. Residing continually in our tabernacles, He is deserted, misunderstood by ungrateful men; and yet He continues to love us, to serve us in the Sacrament of the Altar.

O my children! what an example of humiliation does the good Jesus give us! Behold Him on the Cross to which our sins have fastened Him; behold Him: He calls us, and says to us, "Come to Me, and learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart. " How well the saints understood this invitation, my children! Therefore, they all sought humiliations and sufferings. After their example, then, let us not be afraid of being humbled and despised. Saint John of God, at the beginning of his conversion, counterfeited madness, ran about the streets, and was followed by the populace, who threw stones at him; he always came in covered with mud and with blood. He was shut up as a madman; the most violent remedies were employed to cure him of his pretended illness; and he bore it all in the spirit of penance, and in expiation of his past sins. The good God, my children, does not require of us extraordinary things. He wills that we should be gentle, humble, and modest; then we shall always be pleasing to Him; we shall be like little children; and He will grant us the grace to come to Him and to enjoy the happiness of the saints.

Read more on St. John Vianney 
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Saturday, December 23, 2017
2018 Patron Saint of the Year Devotion
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(Jan 14 - The devotion is now closed for the year.  Thank you for all who participated.  This devotion takes a lot of time to administer so I thank you in advance for your prayers, participation, and donations.  Please remember to invoke your patron saint often this year.  And remember to make truly Catholic resolutions)

(Jan 8 - 1:20 PM: Next Round of Results are in.  Table at the bottom of this post is updated)

(Jan 1st - 12:12 PM: RESULTS ARE IN. SCROLL DOWN).  You may still enter but upcoming drawings will only be occurring on Sundays for the next few weeks.

I am very pleased to again be a facilitator for the Patron Saint of the Year Devotion.  I have been part of this annual tradition since 2006 and have helped coordinate devotions for hundreds of families.  It is my pleasure to now be part of the 2018 Patron Saint of the Year Devotion.

SPONSOR: This Devotion is being sponsored this year by CatechismClass.com.  Whether you are looking for godparent preparation courses, Sacramental preparation for your children, or just to better learn the Faith as an adult, CatechismClass.com has courses for all ages and walks of life.  Check out CatechismClass.com's affordable programs and make it a resolution in 2018 to learn and live the Faith better than ever before.

You can read about the past devotions at the following posts:
Again, I would like to take a few minutes to explain the devotion.

When will the saints be drawn?  This year I will start the drawing of saints on the Octave Day of Christmas after the morning's Solemn High Mass and after the recitation of both the Veni Creator Spiritus and the Litany of Saints.  Drawings will occur as the Litany of Saints are again recited.  That means results will likely be posted in the early afternoon (US Central Time) on January 1st.

How do I enter?  Just add the names of everyone (you and your family) that you want included in the drawing in the comment box below.  DO NOT also email them to me.  Please leave all entries here in the comment box.

This year, saints will be posted here after the drawing is complete.


What is the Saint for the Year Devotion? Here is my post on this from years past to clarify the matter. This is from the person that draws all of the saints. I don't draw the saints. I will merely pass on your name or screenname to her so that she will draw a saint for you. Also, I will pass on the name of any of your family or friends that would like to participate. This isn't superstition. St. Faustina did the same thing!

Last year hundreds of people received saints to be their special patron, and there were miraculous connections. It was truly amazing. We pray that this year the Holy Ghost will again work so that all participants receive a saint that they will be able to pray to for aid throughout the entire year:
Saint for the Year
I want to tell you about the practice of picking a saint at random to be your “holy protector” for the year. Actually, the saint is the one who chooses us though. The tradition of letting a saint “pick you,” is not a new one. St. Faustina wrote about it in her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul. The excerpt is below.

“There is a custom among us of drawing by lot, on New Year's Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole year. In the morning during meditation, there arose within me a secret desire that the Eucharistic Jesus be my special Patron for this year also, as in the past. But, hiding this desire from my Beloved, I spoke to Him about everything else but that. When we came to refectory for breakfast, we blessed ourselves and began drawing our patrons. When I approached the holy cards on which the names of the patrons were written, without hesitation I took one, but I didn't read the name immediately as I wanted to mortify myself for a few minutes. Suddenly, I heard a voice in my soul: ‘I am your patron. Read.’ I looked at once at the inscription and read, ‘Patron for the Year 1935 - the Most Blessed Eucharist.’ My heart leapt with joy, and I slipped quietly away from the sisters and went for a short visit before the Blessed Sacrament, where I poured out my heart. But Jesus sweetly admonished me that I should be at that moment together with the sisters. I went immediately in obedience to the rule.”Excerpt from Divine Mercy in My Soul, the Diary of St. Faustina"

I have a container full of names ... I will be glad to pick out the name for you and send you the name if you prefer. I am so excited by my saint(s) ... I already picked mine. Well, I should say that they picked me ... I have Saints Marcus and Marcellianus ... they are twin brothers who were sent to prison before their death. St. Sebastian visited them continually in prison and helped keep their faith alive. They are buried near St. Felix and are specifically honored in Spain.

OK now ... here are a couple of immediate ironies in regard to these saints ... I have a SPECIAL place in my heart for twins! As a child, I LOVED reading the story about St. Sebastian. I had a children's book of saints and I think I wore out the pages on St. Sebastian! Felix is my grandfather's name! Silvia, our exchange student, is from Spain! I am so excited to have these two saints to walk through 2006 with me! I'm looking forward as to where and how they will intercede for me.
Please pass this message on through your blogs and/or email distribution lists, letting all of the Catholic Blogsphere have the chance to participate.

So, please leave it below in the comment box when you ask to participate. If you wish to remain anonymous, please leave your initials instead of your name.  Anonymous requests without names or initials will NOT be part of the drawing.  Do not add the same request more than once.  If your comment is posted below, it will count.

Note: DO NOT email me your entries.  Leave all submissions here in the comments box.

So, comment below and pass this message on throughout the entire Catholic Blogsphere!

Support

I handle the planning, marketing, and drawing for this devotion each year without any cost. Please take a minute and if you are a supporter of this devotion, please consider leaving us a free will donation. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps me continue working on this devotion and spreading it further and it helps keep A Catholic Life online.

paypal.me/MPlese

Results

I am pleased to announce the results of this year's drawing which took place after Mass, the chanting of the Veni Sanctae Spiritus, and during the Litany of the Saints.  It is my hope that you will pray to your special patron this year, remember them on their feastday, and invoke their intercession.   

As mentioned in my post on the devotion, this takes up considerable time for me each year so thank you for those who have (or will) donate a small donation (even $10.00) for all of the time involved.  It is appreciated!

I have previously posted the Prayer to Venerate Any Saint, which you may use for your saint listed below.

Please join me in praying the Litany of Saints and asking for a holy 2018 for all of us.  For my own listing of the saints, please click here to learn more about the saints.


Name Saint
Christine MacLeod St. Jean-Charles Cornay
Josemaria Lazaro Errazuriz-Forgione St. John Nepomucene Neumann
Paddy318 St. Frumentius
Tim W St. Torpes of Pisa
Peter D St. Patroclus of Troyes
Andrew D St. Anthony of Egypt
Max D St. Barnabas
James D St. Goneri of Brittany
Francis D St. Athanasius
Michael D Blessed Chiara Badano
Nicholas D St. Slyvester
Dominic D St. Orontius of Lecce
Nathan B St. Theodosius of Antioch
Mason C St. Magnus of Fossombrone
Griffin C St. Faustinus
Elijah C St. Maurice of Carnoet
Lisa B Blessed John of Vercelli
Alma R St. Basil the Great
John R St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi
Valerie V St. Paul the First Hermit
Olindo V St. Isaac the Presbyter
Katherine V St. Gertrude the Great
Marje J St. Alexis Falconieri
Ian J St. Baldwin of Rieti
Michelle C Blessed Simon
Michelle C's Husband St. Isabelle of France
Stephen L St. Dogmael of Wales
Theresa (Terry) St. Emilien of Nantes
John Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta
Joseph St. Adelelmus of Flanders
Katie Blessed Innocent V
Katharine O'Brien Blessed Josefa Naval Girbes
Laura P St. Philip the Apostle
Maverick C St. Bede the Venerable
Laura L St. Noel Chabanel
Julie T St. Joseph, the Foster Father of Jesus
William T St. William of Ebelholt
Scott T Pope St. Sixtus II
Blake T Pope St. Pius X
Ruth S St. Salvius of Amiens
Fran T St. Odo of Cluny
Cathleen St. Dominic of Silos
Cindy Blessed Guillaume-Nicolas-Louis Leclerq
Dustin Blessed Sebastian Maggi
Lila Blessed Peter of Castello
Hailey St. Andeolus of Smyrna
Jenna S St. Ambrose
Heidi M Blessed Gonsalvo
Harry Tucci Jr St. Rosius of Campania
Isabella Tucci St. Sebastian of Aparicio
Janine D St. Catherine of Genoa
K. St. Rose of Lima
Flikie St. Estelle
Ben (38) St. Frances Cabrini
Jannie (36) St. Isabelle of France
Felicity (7) Blessed Jane of Orvieto
Sarah (4) St. Titus
Veronica (7 mo) St. Dogmael of Wales
Anna B St. Ansgar
Lynn K St. Catherine of Genoa
Linda S St. Maurice
Edward Blessed Jane of Orvieto
Trinity Lynn St. Ezekiel Moreno y Dias
Trinity James St. Dominic Savio
Deisre St. Quintus the Thaumaturge
Nathan St. Jeanne de Lestonnac
Autumn Blessed Augustine Novello
Dacotah Blessed Maria Assunta Pallotta
Jill St. Honoratus of Arles
Dana St. Augustin Schoeffler
Michael St. Julio Alvarez Mendoza
Madeline Pope St. Anicetus
Mary St. Maurice of Carnoet
Barry M Family St. Colette of Corbie
Samuel M St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi
Aleksandra G Blessed Gonsalvo
Julie R St. Cecilia
Carolyn Clark Blessed Aimo
Joseph Clark St. Lawrence
Kathryn Hoey Blessed Gonsalvo
Paige S Blessed Augustine Kazotic
Shirley S St. Cacius (2nd Century Martyr)
Joseph V St. Simon the Apostle
Joanne L St. Andrew the Catechist
Mary SPI St. Stanislaus Kostka
Samuel Our Lady of Fatima
Kelly St. Ambrose
Rileigh St. Polycarp
Diane L St. Albert of Montecorvino
Jennifer St. Anthony Zaccaria
Kilian Blessed Anthony Neyrot
Dominik St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
Justus St. Julian the Hospitaller
Talitha St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland
Silas Blessed Anthony of Pavonio
Sioban Milne St. Conon, Bishop of the Isle of Man
Emily Milne St. Nonno of Porto Romano
Katie Milne St. John Vianney
Ian Milne St. Guirec
Lili V. Blessed Peter Higgins
Allen V. St. Severinus
Lucia V. St. Jeanne de Lestonnac
Colleen C. St. Stephen the First Martyr
Mary C St. Bernard of Thiron
Cathy Boyle St. Crispina
William St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
Matthew St. William of Pontoise
Richard St. Jeanne de Lestonnac
Olindo St. Venant de Viviers
M.H St. Ioannes Pak Hu-jae
H.B Blessed James of Varazze
Madalena Blessed Marguerite Robin
Tracy I  St. Conon, Bishop of the Isle of Man
Teshia I  Blessed Margaret of Savoy
Christian I  St. Adelaide of Italy
Jagear I  St. Catherine Laboure
Kathy Wilcox St. Martin of Tours
DS St. Apollonius the Apologetic
KM St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier
SL St. Ignatius of Loyola
CL St. Ezekiel Moreno y Dias
Jim St. Martin of Tours
Rebecca St. Leo the Great
John Blessed Benedict XI
Kathy Blessed Julia Rodzinska
Mary Blessed Josefa Naval Girbes
Adam Blessed Ann of the Angels
David Blessed Peter Ruffia
Mary Anne Our Lady of Prompt Succor
Jane Blessed Aaron of Cracow
Thomas St. Paternus of Auch
Daniel St. Hitto of Saint-Gall
Lucy St. Helladius
Peter St. Wenceslaus
Claire St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Lily Blessed Peter of Castello
Suzie St. Nazarius of Rome
Luke Blessed Margaret of Castello
Linda Hildreth St. John Vianney
Dorothy C St. John Eudes
Lucy Espinoza St. John Baptist de la Salle
Magdiel St. Jean-Charles Cornay
James B St. Martha
Michelle B St. Cecilia
Craig J Blessed William Andleby
Andrew J St. Adelin of Seez
Christopher J St. Jean-Baptiste de la Salle
Frank B St. Guaugericus
Mark L St. Eusebius of Laodicea
Helen B St. Bridget of Sweden
jmr1979 St. Rose of Lima
Terry L Blessed John of Fiesole
Lisa L St. Vitus
Laura Vill St. Jean-Baptiste de la Salle
Angelo Velas St. Martina
Maryann​ Sym.
Jeffrey D
St. Jeanne-Marie de Maille
St. Frederick of Liege
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Friday, December 22, 2017
Pope St. Pius X on the Priest: Holiness Becometh Thy House
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"It is with great fear that one must approach this high dignity, and care must be taken that those chosen for it are recommended by heavenly wisdom, blameless life and sustained observance of justice . . . Let the fragrance of your life be a joy to the Church of Christ, so that by your preaching and example you may build up the house, that is, the family of God." Above all the Church stresses the solemn words: Imitate that which you handle, an injunction which fully agrees with the command of St. Paul: That we may present every man perfect in Jesus Christ.

Since this is the mind of the Church on the life of a priest, one cannot be surprised at the complete unanimity of the Fathers and Doctors on this matter; it might indeed be thought that they are guilty of exaggeration, but a careful examination will lead to the conclusion that they taught nothing that was not entirely true and correct. Their teaching can be summarized thus: there should be as much difference between the priest and any other upright man as there is between heaven and earth; consequently, the priest must see to it that his life is free not merely from grave faults but even from the slightest faults. The Council of Trent made the teaching of these venerable men its own when it warned clerics to avoid" even venial faults which in their case would be very grave."These faults are grave, not in themselves, but in relation to the one who commits them; for to him, even more than to the sacred edifice, are applicable the words: Holiness becometh thy house.
Saint Pius X
Exhortation Haerent Animo
August 4, 1908
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Sunday, December 17, 2017
The Theology of Religious Vocations
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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007EA09K/ref=as_li_ss_til?tag=acatlif-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=B0007EA09K&adid=1GYE8JCEGB8NJWBKN1ES&
Here's the still-unsurpassed guide to discernment, grounded in the theology of Aquinas. On the question of religious vocation, all are agreed: A candidate must be called by God. But how God calls, and how one knows He has called, are questions that receive widely differing answers. Errors are costly: A false vocation can harm both the Church and the man or woman who was not truly called. A vocation missed means a life's full potential unrealized and perhaps an incalculable loss to souls.

Which is why this book by Fr. Edward Farrell, OP, received such high praise from reviewers, educators and pastors alike when it first appeared in 1952. Father Farrell's aims:

1) to lay down practical, workable principles, as immediately proximate to action as possible, which can be used profitably by confessors and spiritual directors in their task of guiding prospective candidates for the religious state; and 2) to order, crystallize, and make explicit a body of Thomistic doctrine on religious vocation.

In fact, Fr. Farrell succeeded in doing even more: As several reviewers pointed out, his guidebook was no less indispensable to young men and women considering religious life, and their parents, than to pastors and counselors. The reason? Sound advice and reliable answers on topics like:
- Three principal signs of a religious vocation
- Nine secondary signs
- Step-by-step, how the candidate should examine his qualifications and suitability for religious life, and then decide
- Four material factors that establish the suitability of a person for the religious life
- What role does individual nature play in the determination of a vocation? What qualities or characteristics does God bestow upon His favored children?
- Two indispensable conditions of divine vocation and the personal habits and dispositions that contribute to them
- Four basic human qualities that any prospective candidate for the religious life should have
- Inward impediments to the religious life; e.g., sensuality and spiritual sloth and their remedies
- Six factors that contribute to religious vocation by positively influencing the exercise of virtues indispensable to it
- The family's role in vocation. Dangerous attitudes that grow like weeds even in the minds of good, Catholic parents, according to Pope Pius XI
- The role of priests, and other special influences
- Guidelines for priests in preaching and counseling about vocations; Is God's call something internal, a grace infused into the soul? Or external, an invitation of a legitimate superior to embrace the religious life?
- What is the internal call St. Thomas speaks of? Just as important: What is it not? Why is it necessary? How may it be discerned? St. Thomas' specific, practical norms on the nature and discernment of vocation
- Two principles of Thomistic teaching on grace and predestination that apply specifically to the question of vocation
- Religious vocation defined with theological precision, stripped of the confusions and ambiguities of popular usage
- The one statement of Our Lord which contains an epitome of Catholic doctrine on the nature of the religious state and its relation to the common Christian life
- The virtue of religion: how it supplies the power that carries the candidate across the threshold of a new life
- The virtue of magnanimity: how it functions as the special and proper cause of the intensity of the act of devotion which is religious vocation
- The virtue that will always be found wherever a vigorous religious life prevails, supplying to religious the fullness of heart and courage necessary to keep them plodding along the great and difficult road to perfection
- Why greatness is inseparable from the religious life
- How the essence of the religious state is found in the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience
- How one can cultivate the seeds of religious vocation
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Saturday, December 16, 2017
Devotion of the 3 Hail Marys
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One of the greatest means of salvation and one of the surest signs of predestination, is unquestionably, the devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin. All the holy doctors of the Church are unanimous in saying with St. Alphonsus of Liguori: "A devout servant of Mary shall never perish." The chief thing is to persevere faithfully until death in this devotion.

Numerous examples show how agreeable the three Hail Marys Devotion is to the Divine Mother and what special graces it draws, during life and at the hour of death, on those who never omit it for a single day.

This practice was revealed to St. Melchtilde (13th century) while she was beseeching Our Blessed Mother to assist her in her hour of death. Our Lady appeared to her and said: "I will, certainly. But I also want you to say three special Hail Marys to me every day.

"The first Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Father, Whose omnipotence raised my soul so high above every other creature that after God I have the greatest power in heaven and on earth. In the hour of your death I will use that power of God the Father to keep any hostile power far from you. "The second Hail Mary will be said in honor of the Son of God Who communicated His inscrutable wisdom to me. In the hour of your death I will fill your soul with the light of that wisdom so that all the darkness of ignorance and error will be dispelled.

"The third Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Holy Ghost Who filled my soul with the sweetness of His love and tenderness and mercy. In your last hour I will then change the bitterness of death into divine sweetness and delight."

Our Blessed Mother also revealed to St. Gertrude the Great: "To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Marys, I will appear at the hour of death in a splendor so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with heavenly consolation."

St. Leonard of Port Maurice, the celebrated missionary, had the Three Hail Marys recited morning and evening in honor of Mary Immaculate, to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins during the day or night; moreover he promised in a special manner eternal salvation to all those who proved constantly faithful to this practice. He gave this devotion of Three Hail Marys as a penance in the confessional, especially for those who were struggling with sins of impurity.

Practice: Recite morning and evening, three Hail Marys in honor of the three great privileges bestowed upon Our Blessed Mother by the most Blessed Trinity with this invocation at the end: for the morning: "O my Mother preserve me from mortal sin during this day." For the evening: "O my Mother preserve me from mortal sin during this night."

(Pope St. Pius X gave his Apostolic Blessing to this practice and the devotion was raised to an Archconfraternity by Pope Benedict XV.)

The Hail Mary: Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Prayer Cards and the Source of this information can be found at OLRL.
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Friday, December 15, 2017
Aspirations of a Poor Sinner to The Christ Child
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Oh Divine Infant who dids't deign to be born of The Holy Virgin, in these last days, have pity upon me an idler and a sinner in whom Thou shal't find nothing but guile.

Oh Divine Infant, Who by Thy Divine Birth illuminated the whole world, of The Father's Wisdom, have pity upon me an idler and a sinner in whom Thou shal't find nothing but guile.

Oh Divine Infant Who did'st by Thy Infancy take upon Thyself humanity and did'st extol it, have pity upon me an idler and a sinner in whom Thou shal't find nothing but guile.

Oh Divine Infant Whose Smile illuminates the countenance of the broken-hearted, have pity upon me an idler and a sinner. Amen.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017
The Franciscan Third Order of the Society of St. Pius X
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The following information (even where not directly quoted) was taken primarily from Chapters 2-5 of the Handbook of the Third Order Secular of St. Francis of Assisi (out of print), by Basil Gummerman, O.F.M. Cap. Patterson, NJ: St. Anthony’s Guild, 1947.

What is the Third Order of St. Francis?

The Third Order Secular of St. Francis is an ecclesiastical association of the laity, originally founded by St. Francis of Assisi. It is a state of perfection for persons living in the world. The religious strive after perfection by observing the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and live in community according to their Rule, whereas the members of the Third Order Secular live in the spirit of the vows in fraternal unity according their own separate Rule (Ch. 2, Third Order Handbook).
 
Pope Leo XIII explained that while all the Franciscan Orders are ordered to the perfection of their members, unlike the first two Franciscan Orders, “open to few…the Third Order… is accommodated to the many” (Constitution Misericors Filius). Even so, the Third Order is not indiscriminately open to all, and there are times of probation (i.e., the postulancy & novitiate), before one may be professed for life in the Order.

What is the purpose of the Third Order?

The purpose of secular Third Orders in the Church is the same as that of religious orders and congregations: they promote Christian perfection. And St. Francis had no other end in view when he established his Third Order. It is easily understood, then, that “the first essential duty of Franciscan Tertiaries [Third Order members] is the striving after perfection by faithfully observing the Rule” (Ch. 3, T.O. Handbook).
 
Pope St. Pius X proclaimed that the purpose of the Third Order of St. Francis consists in this: “that its members put into everyday practice the precepts of Gospel perfection and serve as models of Christian life for the imitation of others” (Tertium Franciscalium Ordinem, September 8, 1912).
 

What is the spirit of the Franciscan Order?

Every religious order has its specific spirit. It is the founder who, with his particular ideals, outstanding virtues, and activities gives his order its spirit. In St. Francis we see seraphic love, extreme poverty, deep humility, great penance and a chivalrous life according to the Gospel. Yet, how can one concisely express his spirit? Perhaps the best way is to say that his spirit consists in living out fully, the whole Gospel—not only its commands, but also its precepts, ideals and implications. As his first biographer, Thomas of Celano wrote:
 
He was the man with the evangelical vocation in truth and in faith the servant of the Gospel…His supreme desire, his ardent wish and his highest principle was to observe the Gospel in all things and above all things (Ch. 3, T.O. Handbook).
 
While other founders concentrated on one or the other characteristics of Christ such as zeal for souls or love of prayer, St. Francis concentrated on imitating Christ, the Divine Model as He is pictured in the Gospel. Thus, “St. Francis approached God through the Sacred Humanity of Christ. This is the Gospel way, the way best adapted to human nature” (Ch. 3, T.O. Handbook). From this we see the reason for Francis’s great devotion to the Babe in the Manger, the Man of Sorrows upon the Cross, as well as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Pope Pius XI has stated that in no other saint have the image of Christ and the ideal of the Gospel been more faithfully and strikingly expressed than in Francis who has been justly styled “the second Christ” (Encyclicals Auspicato, Sacra Propediem, Rite Expiatis).
 
To acquire the Franciscan spirit Tertiaries are called to:
 
frequently fix their attention on Jesus Christ and endeavor to copy one trait after the other according to their station in life. Prayerful reading of the Gospel and regular meditation will fill their minds with Jesus so as to enkindle love for Him in their hearts, and move their wills to imitate Him. Observance of the letter and spirit of the Rule will detach them from the world and self and awaken a longing and a taste for intimate communion with Jesus (Ch. 3, T.O. Handbook).

Advantages of the Third Order

Following the spirit and letter of the Rule, members of the Third Order of St. Francis find “a safe refuge in a sinful world and an excellent nursery of the choicest virtues.” “By its wise restrictions and abundant graces the Third Order provides a security akin to that of the cloister.” Thus, the Tertiary vocation “is a great grace, approximating the call to religious life” (Ch. 5, T.O. Handbook). The various apostolates of the Third Order gives the Tertiary many opportunities to merit through the works of mercy.
  
The Tertiary has more help in the spiritual life than the rest of the faithful. Besides the Rule, so wisely constructed for those who seek holiness of life while living in this sinful world, he also has the “glorious examples of the holy Franciscans to guide him,” and he has claim to a special share in the good works of the Three Orders that will support his efforts. Furthermore, in those places where the Third Order is already established, he has the advantage of “novice instructions and monthly conferences to unfold the beauty and value, the means and obstacles of the spiritual life, and to explain the application of the spirit of St. Francis to modern everyday life” (Ch. 5, T.O. Handbook). And, being in fraternal union with other Tertiaries who hold the same lofty Franciscan ideals is a priceless assistance providing joy and strength to persevere in this holy way of life.
 
All Tertiaries have the great privilege and duty of joining in the Public Prayer of the Church—the Divine Office. With the clergy and religious throughout the world, they become ambassadors of the Church, to officially offer praise to God in the name of all humanity. Yet, because the laity must live in the busy world, holy Church, wise mother that she is, has given her Tertiary children the choice of a much simpler office suited to their station in life known as the Office of the Paters or the Seraphic Office. This option makes it possible for persons of virtually any station in life to faithfully pray the daily office.
 
There are also, throughout the year, eight Franciscan feasts in which Tertiaries can gain plenary indulgences.
 

The fruit of the Third Order

The Third Order of St. Francis has done so much good over the centuries both in the sanctification of souls and in the building up of Christian society that many Popes have been moved to sing its praises. The number Franciscan Tertiaries now listed as Saints or Blesseds is enormous. As to its effect in the social sphere, Pope Pius XI stated:
A most wholesome change in society began to take shape, the new Order founded by Francis spreading far and wide among the peoples of Christendom and gaining in its members, while moral purity followed in the wake of the practice of penance. …There was a beautiful, glorious revival of the choicest virtues in civil life. In fine the face of the earth was renewed” (Rite Expiatis).

Conditions for Entry to the Third Order of St. Francis under the Friars Minor Capuchin of Traditional Observance of Morgon, France:

  1. Candidates must be above the age of fourteen, in good character, peace-loving, and above all of tried fidelity in the practice of the Catholic Faith and in loyalty to the Roman Church and the Apostolic See. They must be in accord with the doctrinal position of the Capuchin Fathers of Morgon, France and the Priestly Society of St. Pius X.
  2. Married women may not be received without the husband’s knowledge and consent, unless their confessor judges otherwise.
  3. One must not belong to another Third Order.
  4. Church law mandates that candidates undertake at least one year of novitiate before making their profession (the Capuchins of Morgon require 1½ years). At profession the candidates promise to observe the Rule for the rest of their lives.

A Synopsis of the Third Order Rule

  • Simplicity and modesty in dress.
  • Keeping away from dances and shows which savor of license and avoiding all forms of dissipation.
  • Temperance in eating and drinking.
  • Fasting and abstinence on particular days.
  • Monthly Confession and Holy Communion.
  • Praying daily one of three Offices approved by the Church.
  • Making a last will and testament.
  • Leading others by setting a good example.
  • Maintaining charity towards others.
  • Refraining from taking unnecessary oaths and using indecent language.
  • Attending Mass daily when possible and attending the monthly meetings.
  • Contributing to a common fund for the needs of poor members and for the dignity of worship.
  • Visiting sick members.
  • Praying for deceased members.

Helpful information for those seeking to join the traditional Third Order of St. Francis

Directed by the traditional Capuchin Franciscans of Morgon, France
 
I. About Tertiary Life: Postulancy, Novitiate (habit, novice meetings), Profession, and Rule
 
A. POSTULANCY: Ordinarily, where there are established Fraternities of the Third Order, there is a postulancy period of at least 3 months for those seeking entrance. “Postulants shall be briefly instructed in Christian doctrine, in the life of our holy Father Francis, and in the Third Order” (Const. Art. 12). Where there is no fraternity (as would be the case here), candidates enter as Isolated Tertiaries and the postulancy period is waved. At the end of the postulancy, “those who have been found suitable shall be admitted to the novitiate of the fraternity by the Director on the advice of the Council” (Const. Art. 15).
 
B. NOVITIATE: According to the Rule (and Church law) the novitiate must last at least one full and uninterrupted year. Because of the current difficult circumstances, the Capuchins of Morgon have extended the length of the novitiate for all their Third Order novices to 18 months.
  1. The Novitiate begins with a clothing ceremony in which the candidate receives the habit of the Third Order: A large brown scapular and a cord with 5 (or 3) knots—both worn under one’s clothing. One chooses a new name on this day.
  2. The purpose of this time of probation is two-fold: 1) To give the novices the opportunity to test their strength and perseverance. 2) To enable the fraternity to ascertain their fitness.
  3. Besides the usual monthly meetings of the Society that they are required to attend, there are Novice Instruction meetings (also usually held once a month). It is of utmost importance that the Novices attend all the NI’s. The NI’s are intended “to prepare the novices that they may afterwards dedicate themselves to God by profession, with a full realization of their obligations” (Const. Art. 20). In these Instructions the novice will learn about the life and spirit of St. Francis, the nature, purpose and history of the Third Order, the regulations of the Holy Rule, and how to attain perfection while living in the tumult of the world. They will also learn the works of piety, charity and of the apostolates of Tertiary life.
  4. Towards the end of the novitiate the Director, if he thinks fit, shall test the knowledge and intentions of the novices, and seek the advice of the Council as to whether they are worthy of being admitted to profession” (Const. Art. 23).
C. PROFESSION:Profession in the Third Order is a solemn religious act whereby one of the faithful, moved by divine grace, dedicates himself to God, promising to observe the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the world, by living according to the commandments of God and the Rule of our holy Father Francis….” Those who profess are not bound by vows but by a promise, which is not binding under pain of sin. Profession is for life.
 
II. Preliminary requirements
 
A. From the Rule Ch. 1§1: “Only those may be received as members who have completed their 14th year, and are of good character, peace-loving, and above all of tried fidelity in the practice of the Catholic Faith and in loyalty to the Roman Church and the Apostolic See.”
 
B. From the Rule Ch. 1§2: “Married women may not be received without the husband’s knowledge and consent, unless their confessor judges otherwise.”
 
C. Const. Art. 11: “Since the continual growth of the Third Order should be in holiness rather than in numbers, careful inquiry shall be made whether candidates are fit for entry into the Order, according to the conditions laid down in the Rule and these Constitutions. Those are fit for membership, who, called by divine grace, desire to dedicate themselves to God in a special way in the world; that is, wish to be pleasing to God and to be of service to the Church and to human society according to the spirit of St. Francis.”
 
D. Further Requirements
  1. Required by the traditional Capuchins of Morgon, France: Candidates must be “in accord with the doctrinal position of the Capuchin Fathers of Morgon and the priests of the Society of St. Pius X in the present religious combat.”
  2. One must not already be a member of another Third Order (only with a special indult may one belong to two Third Orders [Const. Art. 13]). It is possible—under the proper conditions—to switch from one order to another.
  3. One must have decided to combat the spirit of the world, to respect the rules of Christian modesty in dress (Pope Benedict XV called the Tertiary sisters to be “an object lesson of holy modesty to other matrons and maidens), to master one’s language and as to avoid gossip and vain quarrels."
  4. One must be ready to follow the formation program for the postulancy and the novitiate, and to participate at the regular (monthly) meetings of the Fraternity (except in the case of a major impediment). Note: As noted above, ordinarily, where there are established Fraternities of the Third Order, there is a 3-month postulancy period for those seeking entrance. Where there is no fraternity (as would be the case here), the postulancy period is waved.
III. How to apply:
 
A. Be sure that you SATISFY THE PRELIMINARY CONDITIONS for becoming a Franciscan Tertiary.
 
B. FIND A PRIEST who is familiar with you (your director, confessor, pastor or one who has been any of these in the past).
 
C. ASK THIS PRIEST to write a letter recommending you to the Third Order. This letter is to be addressed and sent to:
 
Rev. Jacques Emily
St. Aloysius Gonzaga Retreat House
19101 Bear Creek Road
Los Gatos, CA 95033
(or the current Director of the Franciscan Third Order)
 
D. GIVE THIS PRIEST a copy of the letter entitled: “TO BECOME A FRANCISCAN TERTIARY,” which is signed and sealed by the Capuchins of Morgon. This letter lists the required dispositions of a candidate to the Third Order, and thus it gives the priest a guide for determining whether or not the petitioner is fit. He will need to have this before he can write a letter of recommendation.
 
E. INVESTITURE: After this, Fr. Emily may pay a visit (if there are a good number) for the investiture ceremony in which the candidates receive the habit and are enrolled as novices. If Fr. Emily does not come to conduct the ceremony himself, he will give faculties to your local priest to conduct the ceremonies.

Contact Information for the traditional Third Order of St. Francis

Rev. Jacques Emily, SSPX (USA Director)
St. Aloysius Gonzaga Retreat House
PO Box 1379 
Los Gatos, CA 95031-1379
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Sunday, December 10, 2017
Commemoration of Pope St. Melchiades
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): December 10

As we continue to celebrate the Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we come upon today's saint: Pope St. Melchiades, who is celebrated on December 10th in the Universal Calendar of Saints.

Pope Melchiades, who was called by St. Augustine an excellent man, a true son of peace, and a true father of Christians, suffered severe persecution under Maximian. He survived, however, to see Constantine establish toleration of Christianity in 313 A.D., and died peacefully the following year.

Some of his writings have been preserved and they only underscore the truths of the Catholic Faith on the Sacraments.  For example, the following comes down to us through St. Thomas Aquinas attributed to Pope St. Melchiades:
"The Holy Ghost, Who comes down on the waters of Baptism bearing salvation in His flight, bestows at the font, the fullness of innocence; but in Confirmation He confers an increase of grace. In Baptism we are born again unto life; after Baptism we are strengthened" - Pope Melchiades (~311 A.D.) (From STh., III q.72 a.1 resp.) 

Collect:

O Eternal Shepherd, who appointed blessed Melchiades shepherd of the whole Church, let the prayers of this martyr and supreme pontiff move You to look with favor upon Your flock and to keep it under Your continual protection. Through our Lord . . .

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Saturday, December 9, 2017
Brothers Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel (EREMITAE CARMELI)
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In South America is a lesser known Order of Carmelites entirely devoted to serving the Lord and the Church through the ancient traditions and Liturgy of the Carmelite Order.  The Brothers Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel (EREMITAE CARMELI) are certainly worth considering for those attached to the Carmelite Spirituality.  And even for those not considering this vocation, please say a prayer now for all members of this order.

The Brothers Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel is a Roman Catholic Religious Order that is in full communion with the Holy See and is under the authority and support of His Excellency Bishop Heinz Wilhelm Steckling of the Diocese of Ciudad Del Este, Paraguay.  The hermits live the strict observance according to the Primitive Carmelite Rule and exclusively celebrate the traditional liturgy according to the ancient Carmelite Rite.  This Order, Fratres Eremitae Beatae Mariae Virginis de Monte Carmelo, was originally founded by the Discalced Carmelite Blessed Francisco Palau in 1860 as a revival of the primitive charism, spirit, life, and discipline of the ancient Carmelite Hermits: a return to a life which St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross sought.  Having suffered from the secular persecutions in Spain and the Spanish Civil War in 1936 the community died.  However, by grace and divine providence, the Order was revived in Brazil in 2000 and is growing in Paraguay, Brazil, and abroad.

The life of a Carmelite Hermit is a continuous act of love and worship of Almighty God, aimed at perfection of Christian Charity and the fruition of the grace of Christian Baptism.  "This is the will of God, your sancitfication" (1 Thessalonians 4:3).  God created us, and from Him we receive ourselves, in order that we might receive the Gift of Himself.  God gives us Himself in Christ: it brings great glory to Him freely to receive His Gift to us.  A soul united to God in the transforming union is a "Praise of Glory" (Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity; cf. Ephesians 1:6,12) and becomes a living spring of potent, saving grace for the Church and the world.  Through this divine love and union, the Carmelite life also glorifies the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Flower of Carmel, as the hermit lives in communion with her who received the Lord in her heart and soul, as well as in her body and her immaculate womb.  Like Mary, the Carmelite Hermits serve the Church through the love and adoration of God; furthermore, they efficaciously contribute to the transformation and salvation of the world through prayer and intercession night and day, penance, writings, and the apostolic works of the Brother Priests.  Like St. Elias, the love of God, in a contemplative mode, and the love of neighbor, in a prophetic mode, determine the form of their lives.  Faithfully lived with Mary, the Carmelite hermit lives, as a baptized Christian, in time and on earth—through Grace and Mystery in faith, hope, and charity—the life of the Blessed in eternal Glory in Heaven, through Jesus Christ our Heavenly Lord, the Creator of all and the Author of Grace: in the soul of His faithful Carmelite who is conformed to the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Christ's Kingdom comes among men...even now.


The Daily Weekday Schedule of Members of this Order:

  • 00:00 Midnight – Rise, Invitatorium (in Choir),Matutinum (in Cell)
  • 05:00 – Rise, One Hour of Meditation and Mental Prayer (in Cell or in Choir, according to individual with permission)
  • 06:00 – Angelus, Laudes (in Choir)
  • 06:30 – Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Conventual Mass in Church) followed by Thanksgiving and Prima (in Choir)
  • 08:45 – Tertia (in Cell)
  • Outside of days and times of fasting there is a small, simple breakfast (Individual)
  • 09:00 – Work (according to the vocation and ability of each Brother, including intellectual work and study, for those called to it, or priestly apostolic works for the Brother Priests)
  • 12:00 – Angelus, Sexta (in Cell)
  • 13:00 – End of work, Nona (in Cell)
  • 14:00 – Meal, Rest (During desert days and days of retreat the meal is taken in the Cell)
  • 15:00 – Bell for Prayer on the Passion of Our Lord
  • 16:00 – Vesperae (in Choir) (17:00 during summer)
  • On Sundays and Solemnities there is community recreation
  • 17:00 – One Hour of Meditation and Mental Prayer (in Cell)
  • 18:00 – Angelus, Completorium (19:00 during summer)
  • During days and times of fasting there is a small Collation; outside of days and times of fastingand there is a small, simple dinner  (Individual)
  • Personal Prayer (individual)
  • Retire for the night
Thanks to Fr. Peter Carota for making me aware of this order a few years ago.  Please say a prayer for his soul now.
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Thursday, December 7, 2017
Saint Thomas Aquinas House of Studies: Traditional Community in Detroit
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May all things be restored in Christ in a world that has forgotten Him, and even in a Church that undergoes its own Passion.  The only way to restore Order to society is to restore Christian Civilization.  And this can only occur when our Church is again restored to its former glory and men are willing to lay down their lives for the fullness of the One, True Faith.

May God bless this new community.  Click here for more information

Purpose 
The call of Pope Benedict XVI for a robust rediscovery of the traditional Latin liturgy and consecrated life is at the heart of our foundation, a cause which finds renewed urgency under the reign of Pope Francis.  We lead a vowed life of common prayer totally immersed in the traditional Latin rite and the traditional expression of the Catholic Faith. 
We assist our local diocese in caring for Catholics who are devoted to the old liturgy as well as help others to discover its great strength and beauty.  Our mission of prayer seeks to bring back to the Faith lukewarm and fallen-away Catholics as well as to convert non-Catholics to the One True Faith. 
Common Prayer 
Our community begins its day in Grand Silence, which does not end until after the chanting of Prime (our morning prayer) to ensure a spirit of recollection.  The community daily assists at the traditional Latin Mass either at the parish or in our House chapel, and also chants Vespers and Compline daily according to the ancient Roman rite. 
Brothers who are not bound to recite the full Divine Office are encouraged to recite the remainder of the day's prayers from the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Other traditional prayers are interspersed throughout the day. The old Roman meal blessing is chanted in full at common meals. The Angelus is prayed in Latin, chanted on feasts of Our Lady. Chanted Vespers of the Dead is often added to Vespers of the day. 
Brothers are also expected to pray at least five decades of the Holy Rosary each day and to devote themselves daily to meditation. 
Labor 
Our community ministers at Mother of Divine Mercy Parish in Detroit teaching catechism and training altarboys to serve at the Traditional Latin Mass.  The community also has engaged in door-to-door inner city evangelization and catechetical home visitation.  Brothers, who wish to discern the priesthood, enroll in priestly studies at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Seminary at Orchard Lake.

Regarding their canonical status:
Our community at St. Thomas Aquinas House is privileged to enjoy the official endorsement of the Archbishop of Detroit as a non-juridical private association of men under formal ecclesiastical review by the Archdiocese of Detroit.   The Archbishop has granted us his full permission to live our religious life according to the Statutes we have submitted to him, to call our community ‘Catholic,’ and to take private vows of religion. 
The proposed name for our community is  ‘Canons Regular of St. Thomas Aquinas,’ though this is not yet official.  We  began our discernment in August 2012 at the invitation of Bishop Francis Reiss, one of the auxiliary bishops and vicar general, and with the generous help of the local Office for Consecrated Life.  We aspire to become a priory ‘sui iuris’ of diocesan rite which will pray and offer ministry totally devoted to the extraordinary (old Latin) form of the Roman liturgy, thus placing us also within the purview of the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei.’ 
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