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Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts

The Institute on Religious Life is pleased to announce that it will host a regional conference in Southern California on the topic “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts: The Sacred Liturgy and Consecrated Life.”

The event will take place on Saturday, January 28, 2012 at Sts. Peter and Paul parish in Wilmington, California. Speakers include Fr. Brian Mullady, O.P. and Rt. Rev. Eugene Hayes, O. Praem., abbot of St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, California.

As the Church embraces the revised edition of the Roman Missal, it is good to be reminded that “an indispensable means of effectively sustaining communion with Christ is assuredly the Sacred Liturgy” (Bl. John Paul II, Vita Consecrata, no. 95).

This year’s regional meeting will offer reflections on the vital importance of the Sacred Liturgy in the Church’s life and mission, with special emphasis on how Divine Worship relates to the consecrated life in the living out of the evangelical counsels and serving the needs of others.

Everyone—clergy, religious and laity—is welcome to attend this day of spiritual renewal, reflection and affirmation of the consecrated life.

For more information or to register, click here.

Blogfest at the Vatican

Irish Dominican Father Gerard Dunne was one of the 150 bloggers from around the world invited to the meeting of bloggers at the Vatican this week. Check out the complete list of bloggers in attendance here. Good to see that Whispers in the Loggia, Catholic Mom, and the American Papist, among others, were represented.

This conference is just one further indication that the Holy See is really trying to put the new means of social communication at the service of the new evangelization.

For more coverage of the event, click here.

Vatican Hosts Conference for Bloggers

The Pontifical Councils for Culture and Social Communications are organizing a gather of Catholic bloggers in Rome on Monday, May 2, 2011, the day after Pope John Paul II’s beatification.

 The aim of the meeting is to allow for a dialogue between bloggers and Church representatives, to listen to the experiences of those who are actively involved in this arena, and to achieve a greater understanding of the needs of the blogging community. The meeting will also allow for a presentation of some Church initiatives to engage the new media technologies, both in Rome and at the local level.

The first panel of presenters will consist of five bloggers, representing five different language groups.  Simultaneous translation will be provided in Italian, English, French, Polish and Spanish.

The second panel will draw on people involved in the Church’s communications outreach, such as Fr. Lombardi from the Vatican press office, who will speak of their experiences in working with new media and initiatives aimed at ensuring an effective engagement by the Church with bloggers.

The meeting is taking place on the day after the beatification of Pope John Paul II in order to take advantage of the presence in Rome of many bloggers. Those who wish to attend need to apply by email and send a link to their blog. As space is limited to 150 seats, those who are interested should apply now. 

This upcoming conference serves to reinforce the importance of this year’s National Meeting of the Institute on Religious Life, which is devoted to the subject of utilizing the new media–including blogging!–for the new evangelization. The National Meeting will be held on April 29-May 1, 2011 at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois. For more information and/or to register for the event, click here.

Courtesy of Vatican Radio.

Evangelizing the New Generations

Let’s once again unite our prayers this month with those of Pope Benedict XVI. Here are the Holy Father’s intentions for April 2011, as published by the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Evangelizing the New Generations.  That through its compelling preaching of the Gospel, the Church may give young people new reasons for life and hope.
  • Missionary Expansion.  That by proclamation of the Gospel and the witness of their lives, missionaries may bring Christ to those who do not yet know Him.

All of us have a role to play in the evangelistic, missionary activity of the Church, and a great way to start is by praying for these intentions each day.

Also, It just so happens that the national meeting of the Institute on Religious Life at the end of the month is focusing on the theme of using the new media for the new evangelization, as proclaiming Christ to a new generation is the perennial mission of the Church.

I hope you can join us for this fantastic conference. I’m especially interested in hearing the presentation by Tom Peterson, the founder of Catholics Come Home, one of the most dynamic “new evangelization” programs in the Church today.

Priests on Facebook?

Today I thought I would give a plug to an excellent, new Catholic website called Catholic Lane. There are already several interesting items archived at the vocations page, including a series of testimonies entitled, “The JPII Generation Tells Its Story” and a thought-provoking four-part series entitled, “Reflections on Latin and the Catholic Church’s Memory and Identity.”

The article that really caught my attention, though, is the one entitled, “What Do You Think: Is Facebook a Place for Priests?”–a topic that I’ve often wondered about myself.

The author, Thomas A. Flynn, a seminarian with the Legionaries for Christ, is not on Facebook himself, but even-handedly sets forth both the pros and cons–some of which I think would apply to religious and laity as well. Check it out here.

While on the subject of the use of new technology by priests and religious, I encourage readers to consider attending this year’s national meeting of the Institute on Religious Life, April 30-May 1 in Mundelein, Illinois. The theme is “Go Make Disciples,” and the conference will focus on how best to utilize the new media in the new evangelization. For more information or to register now for the event, click here.

From Adoration to Evangelization

“In order to evangelize the world, we need experts in celebration, adoration, and contemplation of the Holy Eucharist” (Pope John Paul II).

“From Adoration to Evangelization” is the theme of a major International Conference on Eucharistic Adoration to take place June 20-24, 2011 in Rome.

Organized by the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist, a new community founded by Bishop Dominique Rey of Frejus-Toulon, France in 2007, Adoratio 2011 brings together a wide range of international speakers, including six prominent Cardinals, among them Cardinals Francis Arinze and Raymond Burke.

“We must regain the ability to adore Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist if we are to bring the men and women of the twenty-first century to faith in Jesus Christ. This is one of the key themes of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI,” Bishop Rey emphasized, “which is why we are taking this initiative.”

This event has particular significance for vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life. Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, noted in a letter earlier this month to Bishop Rey that Eucharistic adoration is “an effective means toward promoting the sanctification of the clergy, reparation for sin, and vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life.”

“With courage, we must ask the Lord to send forth new laborers into the harvest,” Cardinal Piacenza affirmed. He urged that “in every diocese there should be at least one church, chapel, or shrine set aside for perpetual adoration of the Eucharist, specifically for the intention of the promotion of new vocations and the sanctification of the clergy.”

Cardinal Piacenza expressed his hope to conference organizers that bishops, priests, and religious would consider attending the Eucharistic adoration conference.  “A renewed sense of devotion to Christ in the Eucharist,” he said, “can only enrich every aspect of the Church’s life and mission in the world.”

Go Make Disciples

The Institute on Religious Life cordially invites you to attend its annual regional conference this coming Saturday at the Franciscan Prayer Center in Independence, Missouri. This year’s theme is “Go Make Disciples: The Consecrated Life and the New Evangelization.”

Pope John Paul II devoted the last twenty years of his pontificate calling for a “new evangelization,” a call now taken up by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, who has even made the “new evangelization” the subject of the next worldwide Synod of Bishops. 

Yet do we really understand what this “new evangelization” is all about?

The glossary to the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines “evangelization” as “the proclamation of Christ and His Gospel by word and the testimony of life, in fulfillment of Christ’s demand.” In short, it involves putting people in touch with the person of Jesus Christ.

The new evangelization must not degenerate into mere activism, be it social or political. Rather, it must be rooted in our desire to allow Christ to transform us. Therefore, it requires learning once again to direct our gaze upon the face of Christ, the one Savior of the world.

This year’s regional meeting will offer reflections on Christ’s command to “Go Make Disciples,” with special emphasis on how it relates to the consecrated life. Everyone is welcome to attend this day of spiritual
renewal, reflection, and affirmation of the consecrated life. I will be there and look forward to seeing many of you!