Archive for the 'General interest' Category

Watch 2014 National Meeting Via Live Video Streaming

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

40thThrough the generosity of Corey and Katherine Huber of the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations, we wish to extend a special invitation to all our IRL affiliates, especially cloistered and monastic communities, and IRL friends to participate in the 2014 IRL National Meeting by viewing all the scheduled chapel events online via video streaming.

To view select portions of the National Meeting on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you can paste this link into your web browser:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrwD_SicR4hbkuvzS-zzf-w/videos?live_view=502&flow=list&view=2&sort=dd

Or you can go to the www.ReligiousLife.com home page and click on the link there.

The link will direct you to a dedicated IRL YouTube channel.

Please note that the times given below are Central Daylight Time. Check the YouTube channel for the times for your particular time zone.

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 Friday, April 25, 2014

4:00 pm        Pontifical High Mass (Extraordinary Form) celebrated by Most Rev. James Timlin

7:15 pm       Keynote Address: “Building the Civilization of Love through the Sacred Heart of Jesus,”   Dr.  Timothy O’Donnell

8:15 pm         Rosary & Benediction

 Saturday, April 26, 2014

1:30 pm       “Having Our Answers Ready: Combating the Cultural Climate of Confusion and Scorn,” Sheila Liaugminas

2:30 pm       “Our Shepherds Speak,” Panel Presentation featuring Most Rev. Robert F. Vasa  and Most Rev. James C. Timlin, moderated by Dr. Timothy O’Donnell

4:00 pm       Holy Mass, Main Chapel celebrated by Most Rev. Robert F. Vasa

 Sunday, April 27, 2014

9:00 am       “True Holiness, True Joy,” Mother M. Julie Saegaert, S.C.M.C.

10:00 am       Divine Mercy Chaplet & Relic Veneration

10:30 am       Holy Mass celebrated by Rev. Brian Mullady, O.P.


Please keep in your prayers the dear mother of Katherine Huber, Marjorie, who recently passed away. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace!

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Institute on Religious Life Launches New Website

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Revised screenThe Institute on Religious Life today launched a completely redesigned www.ReligiousLife.com. The new site is more dynamic and user friendly, houses a great resource of information, and provides expanded audio and video features.

“All of the changes are intended to convey a better sense of our mission and who we are as an organization,” said Michael D. Wick, executive director of the IRL. “We are so happy to launch our new website during the IRL’s 40th anniversary and as the Church prepares to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life which Pope Francis declared to begin this October.”

The new site was made possible by a grant from Our Sunday Visitor Institute. It was designed by Solutio Software of Cheney, Kansas.

“The site will be a great help to young Catholics who wish to know more or are considering the priestly or religious life, something very much needed in our times. And it will connect them to faithful institutes of consecrated life. The VocationSearch database is terrific for learning about the IRL’s 160-plus affiliate communities,” said M. Kathleen O’Brien, IRL director of operations. “We believe it is the premier Catholic vocations information portal—a ‘one-stop shopping’ experience for those who are sincerely discerning their vocation or seeking resources to promote and pray for vocations. From its 8-day ‘virtual’ discernment retreats, to the new Religious Life e-magazine, to vocation prayer leaflets for distribution among family, friends or parishioners, the new site offers all kinds of resources for building up the consecrated life.”

The site has in-depth reflections on the consecrated life, print and audio, including meditations by the IRL’s founder, Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., and talks given by IRL national director Fr. Thomas Nelson, O.Praem. The home page photo rotation features IRL affiliates, as well as real-time entries from the IRL’s “Vocation Blog” and a listing of scheduled events.

Young people who are serious about discernment can sign up for the free “Speak Lord” audio download of the month club or find out about upcoming “Come & See” vocation retreats. “Young people need catechesis and direction to be able to discern the Lord’s calling for their lives and the IRL wishes to provide helpful resources that will allow them to discern God’s will,” notes Father Nelson.

The Institute on Religious Life was founded in 1974 by Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. Early supporters included Bl. Mother of Calcutta and Ven. Fulton J. Sheen. Its mission is to promote and support the consecrated life as a gift to the Church and an evangelical witness to the world.

 

Men of Christ

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

menof christOn March 15, 2014, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will host a conference for men (and sons!) entitled Men of Christ. Open to men outside the archdiocese, I know personally from people who have attended the conference that it is an incredible event with inspiring speakers, fellowship, Mass, Confession and Eucharistic Adoration.

The purpose is to empower men to boldly live their Faith!

Auxiliary Bishop Donald Hying, an IRL Executive Board Member, will be the main celebrant for the 4:00 pm Mass. Other guests include:

  • Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee
  • Tom Peterson from Catholics Come Home
  • Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, who will speak on the message of Divine Mercy
  • Michael Coren – TV Host, Radio Personality, Speaker, Author
  • And others

The event will be held at the Milwaukee Theater and will begin at 9:00am (7:00 am Mass will be offered). For more details visit the website: www.Menof Christ.net.

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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions – January

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

PopeFrancisPrayingThe Holy Father’s prayer intentions for the month of January and as well as reflections by Fr. James Kubicki, S.J., National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer.

1. Universal Intention

That all may promote authentic economic development that respects the dignity of all peoples.

Pope Francis sees that the “worship of the golden calf of old (see Exodus 32: 15-34) has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money” which puts making money ahead of people. “Concealed behind this attitude is a rejection of ethics, a rejection of God. Money has to serve, not to rule!”

The universal intention this month challenges us to examine ourselves and our choices, for as the Holy Father declared: “The Pope appeals for disinterested solidarity and for a return to person-centered ethics in the world of finance and economics.”

1 Timothy 6: 6-10 The love of money is the root of all evils.

2. Evangelization Intention

That Christians of diverse denominations may walk toward the unity desired by Christ.

Because there are obvious divisions among Christians, the world has trouble believing in Jesus. Thus, part of evangelization—spreading the Gospel—is work and prayer for unity. At the Last Supper Jesus prayed to the Father that Christians “may all be one…so that the world may know” that the Father sent Him (John 17: 20-23). This unity among Christians must be visible so that the world can see and believe.

During the annual Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, we pray with Pope Francis that the Holy Spirit may make us one as Jesus and the Father are one—so that the world may believe.

James 4: 1-12 Where do the conflicts among you come from?

For Father Kubicki’s complete reflections, please visit the Apostleship of Prayer.

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The Secret Behind the Renewal of Vocations

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

renewal2A new book was issued in December which sheds light on the priestly vocation crisis and what is drawing young men to the priesthood today. Entitled: Renewal: How a New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops Is Revitalizing the Catholic Church (Encounter Books, 2013) it studies the reasons behind the past decline and the current rise in vocations.

The authors Anne Hendershott and Christopher White say that the more parishes and dioceses and religious organizations compromise “with society and the world, blurring its identity and modifying its teachings and ethics, the more it will decline.”

Ms. Hendershott said that “good and holy priests provide wonderful role models for young men who might someday consider joining the priesthood. Conversely, in some parishes—run by progressive pastoral administrators—young men are less likely to answer the call to a priesthood that has been so diminished that the priest is a visiting ‘sacramental minister’ who arrives in time to consecrate the Eucharist and play a subservient role to the female ‘pastoral administrator.’”

Equally disturbing is the role or lack thereof that Catholic Colleges play in the nurturing of vocations. Says Ms. Hendershott: “There was a time when Catholic higher education saw it as their role to nurture priestly vocations. Now, most Catholic colleges and universities seem to do what they can to inhibit them.” However orthodox schools like Franciscan University, Ave Maria, and Christendom College have bountiful vocations. At Franciscan University, the Blessed Junipero Serra Fund provides spiritual and financial support to the 50 or 60 or so young men who are discerning a vocation to the priesthood.

Mr White says that “successful dioceses are led by bishops who are unafraid to be countercultural through their defense of the dignity of all human life, their support of traditional marriage, their efforts to protect and promote religious liberty, their willingness to live faithful and celibate lives.” Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley of Boston was advised to close the seminary when he arrived 10 years ago. “Now,” says Ms. Hendershott, “there are 70 men in Boston studying to be priests, and the seminary has had to turn away candidates for lack of space.”

Both authors are optimistic about the future. Young men and women are being trained to pass on the Faith in its fullness by orthodox colleges, FOCUS, etc. “A Church that continues down this road,” says Mr. West, “will find both its pews and altars full and will be attractive to the world around it!”

For more information, read the entire article in the Catholic World Report or order the book!

 

 

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Get Ready For Your Christmas Novena!

Monday, November 25th, 2013

st andrew November 30  is the Feast Day of St. Andrew the Apostle, younger brother of St. Peter and martyr of the Church. From the Gospels we know that Andrew was a follower of St. John the Baptist and it was he who led his brother Peter to Christ, telling him, “We have found the Messiah!”(John 1:41).

Tradition tells us that St. Andrew evangelized Turkey, the fringes of Russia, Malta, Cyrpus, Greece and other lands. He was crucified in Patras, Achaia (in Greece) on an x-shaped cross and bound not nailed to it so as to suffer more. His relics (including a finger, part of the skull and his cross) were returned to the Greek Orthodox Church in Patras by the Catholic Church in 1964 and 1980. St. Andrew is the patron saint of Russia and Scotland.

saltire

The Saltire (the Scottish flag with the cross of St. Andrew)

Something new to me is that this is also the day to start the traditional novena prayer to St. Andrew, also known as the Christmas Anticipation Novena or the Christmas Novena. Unlike the typical 9-day novena, this one runs through Christmas Eve. I don’t know the origin of the prayer but it appears to be popular and powerful. The faithful are asked to recite it 15 times a day (all at once or throughout the day as you see fit!). It is a beautiful meditation focusing us on the real meaning of Christmas. Here it is:

Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment at which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayers and grant my desires (mention your request), through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

For those of you who would like to say the prayer with some meditative pictures, check out this YouTube video. The Dominican Nuns in Summit, NJ, also have a little card that you can print out.

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Thank you Faithful Men and Women

Monday, October 21st, 2013
Pope John Paul II on Mount Nebo

Pope John Paul II on Mount Nebo

Here’s a thought for the day, courtesy of Pope Francis — visit an elderly priest or religious!

At his daily Morning Mass (See Zenit for complete story) on October 18, Pope Francis called to mind three Biblical figures who endured the solitude and anguish of their older days.

First, there was Moses, “the courageous leader of the People of God” who led God’s people out of the slavery of Egypt into the Promised Land. But at the end of his life, he stands on Mount Nebo looking towards Jerusalem but he himself will not enter it.

Then, there was St. John the Baptist whose life “finished under the power of a weak, corrupt and drunken ruler who in turn was under the power of an adulteress’ jealousy and the capricious wishes of a dancer.”

Finally, there is Saint Paul who said in his second Letter to Timothy (read at Mass on Friday) (2 Tim 4:10-17)) that everyone had abandoned him yet, says the Holy Father, “the Lord was close to him and gave him the strength to complete his mission of announcing the Gospel.”

Remember the priests and religious whose active ministry might be complete but whose active prayer life and wisdom is a blessing for the world. It is also wonderful to give to the Retirement Fund for Religious appeal to help those who have insufficient funds for their care.

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The Enduring Story of the Story of Soul

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
escritoire

A drawing of St. Therese by her sister Celine

When the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux came to Chicagoland some years ago, the crowds that descended upon the Carmelite Monastery in Des Plaines were tremendous. Just to be in the presence of some of the earthly remains of this cloistered apostolic missionary inspired a lot of people to leave the comfort of home to venture out into the deep. One hundred plus years after her death, she continues to draw people to Christ.

Now there is another opportunity to venerate unique relics of this Doctor of the Church. On Thursday, September 19th, visitors to Santa Teresita, a nursing home for seniors in Duarte, California, will have the privilege of viewing the writing case of this beloved saint. St. Therese used the writing case (escritoire) to compose her spiritual masterpiece, Story of a Soul, as well as seven of her eight plays, 47 of her 62 poems, 95 of her 266 letters and 16 of her 21 prayers. It is the first time that this precious memento has left France. Also included in the display are a pen and inkwell that she used.

The tour is sponsored by the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States. The relics will be on display in St. Joseph Chapel at Santa Teresita from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on the 19th. Additional stops in escriore2September include San Antonio, Saint Louis and Metuchen, NJ. On October 1, St. Therese’s Feast day, the relics will be viewable at the Ven. Fulton J. Sheen World Mission Dinner in New York City. On October 4, they will be at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  The latter event will be broadcast live, beginning at 10 a.m., on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).

Santa Teresita is run by the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. Their home for the elderly is named not after St. Teresa of Avila, their revered patroness, but St. Therese, the Little Flower. They were founded by Venerable Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament to provide loving service to the people of God in a variety of ministries.

“The soul of each Carmelite raises herself to Christ, who is her heaven, while her shadow falls in charity upon earth doing good to all people.” – Mother Luisita

 

 

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Praying and Living For Priests

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

What are the signs that it might be time for a contemplative community to pick up roots and move to another location? How about having a witches coven, nudist colony and New Age B&B as neighbors? Or maybe a gunshot through the chapel window on Holy Saturday? A mountain lion gazing in through the window? A storm that has demolished your greenhouse? All this happened to the Handmaids of the Precious Blood in Jemez Springs, New Mexico.

Last month, the Sisters were pleased to announce their move to a new home in the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee. It is rather ironic that they have moved from traditionally Catholic land to the Protestant Bible Belt which is seeing an increasing number of Catholics. How wonderful that the people of east Tennessee will be able to see sisters in habits. This contemplative monastery is a first for the diocese. There are 18 professed sisters with several in formation.

I am happy to say that the IRL played a part in this happy marriage between the diocese and the sisters. It was at an IRL event that Mother Marietta met Bishop Richard Stika, the Bishop of Knoxville. Cardinal Raymond Burke and our Executive Director, Mike Wick, spread the word among the bishops that the sisters were contemplating a new home. At one point, they were communicating with 9 dioceses. After much discernment and prayer, the sisters were delighted to hear from Bishop Sticka who said that the diocese had been given a great gift and he was able to offer the sisters a home.

The Handmaids of the Precious Blood were founded in 1947 by Father Gerald M.C. Fitzgerald, sP, who opened his door one day to a homeless person only to discover that the man was a priest who had left the Church because of personal problems. This inspired him to found a religious order whose mission is to pray for the sanctification of all priests. Mother Marietta said, “These Sisters don’t just pray for priests, they live for them.” Their beautiful habits reflect their life of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The wine red color symbolizes the Precious Blood and the white veil symbolizes the Eucharist.

Bishop Sticka said, “Their prayers and many sacrifices as a silent proclamation of the Gospel are the very “soul and leaven” of the Church’s evangelization efforts and works of mercy. Indeed, cloistered religious are truly indispensable co-workers in the mystery of redemption.”

See the complete story in the East Tennessee Catholic.

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Altar Server 101

Monday, January 21st, 2013

The Archdiocese of Washington has posted an altar server tutorial/video on their website which is must-see viewing for any prospective altar server. I am always happy when the altar servers in our parish are invisible to me because this means they are aware of and doing their jobs without any paralysis or confusion. This video, however, says the altar servers should be doing and can be doing much more. Their demeanor, their clothes, their actions should all point to the reality taking place, namely “that what takes place on the altar is the making present of the most important moment in all of human history.”

As one of the comments pointed out, the actions and dress of the altar servers should also be a reflection of the attire and aspirations of the people in the congregation, a supreme awareness of the “Presence of God.” Remember when people dressed up for Mass? Like they were going to a wedding? The wedding feast of the Lamb.

The video makes the important point that young boys like dressing up like the priests do. The altar boy, rightly formed and trained, is having implanted in his heart a love for the priesthood and the nurturing of a possible vocation.

 

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