Thursday, March 31, 2011

Today's Office of Readings: On Prayer (Tertullian)


A man prays at the Altar of the Blessed Mother at Assumption Grotto
on the 150th Anniversary of the Lourdes Apparitions in 2008

Before I get to the topic at hand, I just want to remind you about the Friday "Monastic Supper" during Lent which includes a talk by Fr. Perrone at 6:00.  I audio from last Friday's talk, which was on the Blessed Mother since it was the Solemnity of the Annunciation.  I have to edit it and upload it.  You can listen to the first talk Father gave in this post, with more information about the Monastic Suppers in Lent at Grotto. 

Also take note that next Sunday, we have the family of Terry Schiavo coming to Assumption Grotto (April 10th), to talk on "Overcoming Suffering".

I regret that I have not had much time for posting, but some other things have taken priority - like... getting my taxes done, bills, and a few other things.

From today's Office of Readings in the Divine Office is a beautiful discussion on prayer. 

From the treatise On Prayer by Tertullian, priest
The spiritual offering of prayer


Prayer is the offering in spirit that has done away with the sacrifices of old. What good do I receive from the multiplicity of your sacrifices? asks God. I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams, and I do not want the fat of lambs and the blood of bulls and goats. Who has asked for these from your hands?


What God has asked for we learn from the Gospel. The hour will come, he says, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. God is a spirit, and so he looks for worshipers who are like himself.


We are true worshipers and true priests. We pray in spirit, and so offer in spirit the sacrifice of prayer. Prayer is an offering that belongs to God and is acceptable to him: it is the offering he has asked for, the offering he planned as his own.


We must dedicate this offering with our whole heart, we must fatten it on faith, tend it by truth, keep it unblemished through innocence and clean through chastity, and crown it with love. We must escort it to the altar of God in a procession of good works to the sound of psalms and hymns. Then it will gain for us all that we ask of God.


Since God asks for prayer offered in spirit and in truth, how can he deny anything to this kind of prayer? How great is the evidence of its power, as we read and hear and believe.


Of old, prayer was able to rescue from fire and beasts and hunger, even before it received its perfection from Christ. How much greater then is the power of Christian prayer. No longer does prayer bring an angel of comfort to the heart of a fiery furnace, or close up the mouths of lions, or transport to the hungry food from the fields. No longer does it remove all sense of pain by the grace it wins for others. But it gives the armor of patience to those who suffer, who feel pain, who are distressed. It strengthens the power of grace, so that faith may know what it is gaining from the Lord, and understand what it is suffering for the name of God.


In the past prayer was able to bring down punishment, rout armies, withhold the blessing of rain. Now, however, the prayer of the just turns aside the whole anger of God, keeps vigil for its enemies, pleads for persecutors. Is it any wonder that it can call down water from heaven when it could obtain fire from heaven as well? Prayer is the one thing that can conquer God. But Christ has willed that it should work no evil, and has given it all power over good.


Its only art is to call back the souls of the dead from the very journey into death, to give strength to the weak, to heal the sick, to exorcise the possessed, to open prison cells, to free the innocent from their chains. Prayer cleanses from sin, drives away temptations, stamps out persecutions, comforts the fainthearted, gives new strength to the courageous, brings travelers safely home, calms the waves, confounds robbers, feeds the poor, overrules the rich, lifts up the fallen, supports those who are falling, sustains those who stand firm.


All the angels pray. Every creature prays. Cattle and wild beasts pray and bend the knee. As they come from their barns and caves they look out to heaven and call out, lifting up their spirit in their own fashion. The birds too rise and lift themselves up to heaven: they open out their wings, instead of hands, in the form of a cross, and give voice to what seems to be a prayer.


What more need be said on the duty of prayer? Even the Lord himself prayed. To him be honor and power for ever and ever. Amen.
To learn more about the Divine Office and to pray it online, visit DivineOffice.org




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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Family of Terry Schiavo coming to Grotto (April 10) - Topic: Overcoming Suffering



The family of Terry Schiavo is coming to metro Detroit.  On April 9th, they will hold a conference following the 5:00pm Holy Mass at Our Lady of Refuge in Orchard Lake, and on April 10th, they will come to Assumption Grotto to speak after the Noon Mass

I suppose this is a good time to point out that Assumption Grotto offers barbequed hot dogs, hamburgers and sauages following the 9:30am and Noon Masses most weekends, along with the usual coffee and donuts (we make it a point to socialize after Mass so we aren't tempted to do it in Church!)

Scroll down on this page for details: http://assumptiongrotto.com/pastor.htm [please email me at TeDeumBlog (at) gmail (dot) com if you do not find the flyer by scrolling down on that page - it may change over when the next bulletin is released]

Here are some closeups of the flyer for now:









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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Introit for Third Sunday in Lent (1962 Missal): Oculi mei semper ad Dóminum





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Friday, March 25, 2011

St. Ambrose on the Blessed Virgin Mary


Annunciation (circa 1644) by Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674)
- Read about the painting and artist here -

"And the Word was made flesh..."

Todays is the Solemnity of the Annunciation.  As I pondered what to say about this feast day, I went browsing through the Fathers of the Church at New Advent's magnificent online collection.  I decided to look at what St. Ambrose had to say about Mary.  This is from Concerning Virgins - Book II, Chaper 2.


7. The first thing which kindles ardour in learning is the greatness of the teacher. What is greater than the Mother of God? What more glorious than she whom Glory Itself chose? What more chaste than she who bore a body without contact with another body? For why should I speak of her other virtues? She was a virgin not only in body but also in mind, who stained the sincerity of its disposition by no guile, who was humble in heart, grave in speech, prudent in mind, sparing of words, studious in reading, resting her hope not on uncertain riches, but on the prayer of the poor, intent on work, modest in discourse; wont to seek not man but God as the judge of her thoughts, to injure no one, to have goodwill towards all, to rise up before her elders, not to envy her equals, to avoid boastfulness, to follow reason, to love virtue. When did she pain her parents even by a look? When did she disagree with her neighbours? When did she despise the lowly? When did she avoid the needy? Being wont only to go to such gatherings of men as mercy would not blush at, nor modesty pass by. There was nothing gloomy in her eyes, nothing forward in her words, nothing unseemly in her acts, there was not a silly movement, nor unrestrained step, nor was her voice petulant, that the very appearance of her outward being might be the image of her soul, the representation of what is approved. For a well-ordered house ought to be recognized on the very threshold, and should show at the very first entrance that no darkness is hidden within, as our soul hindered by no restraints of the body may shine abroad like a lamp placed within.


8. Why should I detail her spareness of food, her abundance of services— the one abounding beyond nature, the other almost insufficient for nature? And there were no seasons of slackness, but days of fasting, one upon the other. And if ever the desire for refreshment came, her food was generally what came to hand, taken to keep off death, not to minister to comfort. Necessity before inclination caused her to sleep, and yet when her body was sleeping her soul was awake, and often in sleep either went again through what had been read, or went on with what had been interrupted by sleep, or carried out what had been designed, or foresaw what was to be carried out.


9. She was unaccustomed to go from home, except for divine service, and this with parents or kinsfolk. Busy in private at home, accompanied by others abroad, yet with no better guardian than herself, as she, inspiring respect by her gait and address, progressed not so much by the motion of her feet as by step upon step of virtue. But though the Virgin had other persons who were protectors of her body, she alone guarded her character; she can learn many points if she be her own teacher, who possesses the perfection of all virtues, for whatever she did is a lesson. Mary attended to everything as though she were warned by many, and fulfilled every obligation of virtue as though she were teaching rather than learning.


10. Such has the Evangelist shown her, such did the angel find her, such did the Holy Spirit choose her. Why delay about details? How her parents loved her, strangers praised her, how worthy she was that the Son of God should be born of her. She, when the angel entered, was found at home in privacy, without a companion, that no one might interrupt her attention or disturb her; and she did not desire any women as companions, who had the companionship of good thoughts. Moreover, she seemed to herself to be less alone when she was alone. For how should she be alone, who had with her so many books, so many archangels, so many prophets?


11. And so, too, when Gabriel visited her, Luke 1:28 did he find her, and Mary trembled, being disturbed, as though at the form of a man, but on hearing his name recognized him as one not unknown to her. And so she was a stranger as to men, but not as to the angel; that we might know that her ears were modest and her eyes bashful. Then when saluted she kept silence, and when addressed she answered, and she whose feelings were first troubled afterwards promised obedience.
Something I always ponder is the whole notion that God created each of us with a free will.  Mary was no exception.  She used her free will to say, "yes" to what was asked of her through the Angel Gabriel. 

We are often asked by our guardian angels to do much simpler things.  It may be that thought that comes to mind to visit someone who is lonely, or to give money to others in much greater need, to go to Confession, or to take time out of your day to go to Church and pray for others - here on earth, and in purgatory. 

There is something else I would like to toss out here.  Notice that St. Ambrose said that she was first troubled after being addressed.  Surely this was because she did not understand how this could be - a natural reaction.  Yet, even without understanding, she gave her fiat.

People often make the mistake of thinking that they do not need to assent to a particular teaching if they do not understand.  This is backwards.  It is easy to accept those things that we do understand, but it takes faith to say "yes" to those things we do not. 

May the Blessed Virgin Mary make us docile in spirit and obedient to the will of God.

********************
Reminder: Fr. Perrone will be talking at 6:00pm in the Grotto gym for the second Monastic Supper. Doors open at 4:00pm and it runs until 6:30.  Stations of the Cross follow at 7:00pm to allow for Eucharistic fast, then Mass begins right after (about 7:20-25).  While it is a feast day, and we are not obligated to abstain from meat, nothing prevents us from still making some small sacrifice since it is Lent, even if it is only for one meal.  See my post here, with audio from the last talk.



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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lenten Monastic Suppers with talks by Fr. Perrone (Audio)

The first Lenten Monastic Supper, sponsored by the Grotto Knights of Columbus was a success.  The doors opened at 4:00 and they served until 6:30pm.  Rather than the traditional fish fry, the Knights offered three choices of soups, along with bread, cheese, fruit and a drink.  It is $8 and features a reflection by Grotto's pastor, Fr. Eduard Perrone.  There was no Monastic Supper this past Friday because the gym was being set up for the St. Joseph's Dinner.  Remaining dates:  March 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22 (no reflection on the 22).

AUDIO (FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT)
We have audio (pardon the echo), and I offer it below.  I regret not getting this into a podcast form.  For now, it is available for listening on the web. 

First, Father explains the rationale for having "Monastic Suppers".  He fully expects people to be eating while he talks, but asks for meditative silence.

The subject of the first talk is self-control.  Either "be controlled" or "be in control".  He talks about penitential acts - something often cast aside in favor of more positive things.  St. Paul says that you must put to death what is earthly in you.  What did he mean by that? Father Perrone explains.





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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Photopost: Annual St. Joseph Dinner at Assumption Grotto


Each year, on the Sunday closest to St. Joseph's feast day, we have a grand celebration for the beloved saint at Assumption Grotto through the generosity and hardwork of the Romano family and volunteers.  It's a long-standing tradition of the parish.  We had our dinner following the Noon Mass this past Sunday.  This post features photos. 

You may notice in some shots, in the center of the gym is what appears to be a display with something missing.  Well, that something is a large statue of St. Joseph which unfortunately broke.  There was a statue and even though it was small, we know just how big St. Joseph is.












Unfortunately, I had only one lens with me that did not permit me to get a broad shot. Fortunately, aspiring photographer and parishioner, Christopher Rochon, had his camera and sent me a few shots to post.









LENTEN MONASTIC SUPPER RESUMES THIS FRIDAY


I do have audio of Fr. Perrone's talk from the first "Lenten Monastic Supper" which took place on the first Friday in Lent.  It's too late for me to post on it tonight, so hopefully, I can get it posted tomorrow. 

Because of work taking place to set up for St. Josephs in the gym, there was no Monastic Supper for the 2nd Friday in Lent.  It resumes this Friday.

Do consider coming this Friday for a real change-up on meatless Fridays with our Monastic Supper.  It features a choice of 3 different kinds of soup, 4 nice slices of cheese, bread, fruit and a drink.  As Fr. Perrone explained in his first talk, he fully expects people to be eating while he is offering his reflection, just as is done in monasteries when readings take place during meal times.  It opens, I believe, at 4:30pm and the talk takes place at 6:00.  To allow time for the Eucharistic fast, Father moved the Stations of the Cross to the 7:00pm timeslot, and pushed Mass back after that (about 7:20-25). 

Watch for a post on the audio.


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Who's the guilty party?

No.... this is not what you think.  Lighten up!

With a veil-tip to Deacon Greg Kandra on this video which he used as reminder about getting to Confession during Lent.


I have more posts coming, hopefully before night's end including photos from the annual St. Joseph's dinner at Grotto, and by the grace of God (and permission of Fr. Perrone, audio his excellent talk at the first Lenten Monastic Supper. Stay tuned...



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New Auxiliary Bishops for Detroit!

The long wait for auxiliary bishops is finally over for Detroit with the appointment of Msgr. Donald Hanchon and Fr. Michael Byrnes - both from this archdiocese - to the posts.   That gives us four bishops: Archbishop Vigneron, Bishop Reiss, and on May 5th, these two men.

I must get off to work, so I'll pass along what is on the AoD's website for now.  Also, I do not really know either of them so I can't offer anything beyond what is here.  Please keep these men and all the priests of our archdiocese in your prayers.  May the Holy Spirit guide them and the Blessed Mother protect them.


From the Archdiocese of Detroit:

Pope Benedict XVI has named two local priests, Monsignor Donald Hanchon and Father Michael Byrnes, to be auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Detroit. Bishop-designates Hanchon and Byrnes will be ordained as the archdiocese's 26th and 27th auxiliary bishops, respectively, on May 5 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. Auxiliary bishops aid the archbishop in the pastoral care of the archdiocese.
Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron will introduce both men at 11:30 a.m. today at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. In their roles as bishops, Bishop-designate Hanchon will retain his administrative responsibilities for the parishes and priests of the Central Region. Bishop-designate Byrnes will assume administrative responsibilities for the Northeast Region beginning July 1.

"It's a great blessing for the archdiocese to have auxiliary bishops to lead two of the pastoral regions, as well as to perform other pastoral duties inherent in a bishop's role," Archbishop Vigneron said. "Certainly it's an honor for a priest to be selected for this level of responsibility. More than an honor, it's about new capacity for sharing Christ with others."

Bishop-designate Donald Hanchon

Bishop-designate Hanchon, 63, was born in Jackson, attended St. Mary grade school in Wayne and Sacred Heart Seminary High School in Detroit. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary, St. John's Provincial Seminary, University of Notre Dame, and University of Detroit, and was ordained a priest Oct. 19, 1974 at St. Mary Church in Wayne by Bishop Joseph Imesch. He has spent his priesthood serving at a number of parishes in Detroit, Monroe, Warren and Port Huron. He has been pastor of Holy Redeemer in Detroit since 1999 and in 2009 was named episcopal vicar for the archdiocese's Central Region. He also has taught at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and has served as archdiocesan coordinator for Hispanic ministries.


"I renew my confidence in God's grace, and humbly accede to the Holy Father's wish to appoint me as a bishop to work under Archbishop Vigneron in the service of the people of the Archdiocese of Detroit," said Bishop-designate Hanchon. "I promise obedience because I believe that the God who began this good work in me all those years ago will indeed bring it to fulfillment. I thank Archbishop Vigneron for his trust in me, and his joyful encouragement to serve."

Bishop-designate Michael Byrnes
Bishop-designate Byrnes, 52, was born in Detroit and went to St. Mary of Redford grade school and Detroit Catholic Central High School, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from the University of Michigan. He began ministerial work in campus ministry at Eastern Michigan University, became involved in the Charismatic Renewal, and entered Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 1990. He was ordained a priest May 25, 1996, by Cardinal Adam Maida at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. He later received a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He has taught at the seminary and ministered at parishes. He has been vice rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary and pastor of Presentation/Our Lady of Victory Parish in Detroit since 2004.

"I am honored that the Holy Father and Archbishop Vigneron have such confidence in me to make this appointment. I will do my best not to let them down," said Bishop-designate Byrnes. "I love being a priest of Jesus Christ, and I have loved my work helping young men discern and prepare for the priesthood, and as the pastor of Presentation/Our Lady of Victory Parish to enable the ministry of administrator Deacon Hubert Sanders. Archbishop Vigneron mentioned to me that my assignment as auxiliary bishop will entail 'helping parishes and helping priests.' I place my trust in God's providence that these experiences, along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, will help me to do that."

In the Detroit archdiocese, Bishop-designates Hanchon and Byrnes join Auxiliary Bishop Francis Reiss and retired Auxiliary Bishops Moses Anderson, SSE, and Thomas Gumbleton. Archbishop Allen Vigneron serves as chief shepherd for the 1.4 million Catholics who reside in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Lapeer and St. Clair Counties.

The Michigan Catholic online has more information.




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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saint Bernadine of Siena on St. Joseph (Feast Day)

St. Joseph Statue at Assumption Grotto in Detroit


From Today's Office of Readings on this Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary are the words of St. Bernadine of Siena, priest:

There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favor chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfill the task at hand.

This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: Good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your Lord.

What then is Joseph’s position in the whole Church of Christ? Is he not a man chosen and set apart? Through him and, yes, under him, Christ was fittingly and honorably introduced into the world. Holy Church in its entirety is indebted to the Virgin Mother because through her it was judged worthy to receive Christ. But after her we undoubtedly owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.

In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close. He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfillment. What the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms.

Obviously, Christ does not now deny to Joseph that intimacy, reverence and very high honor which he gave him on earth, as a son to his father. Rather we must say that in heaven Christ completes and perfects all that he gave at Nazareth.

Now we can see how the last summoning words of the Lord appropriately apply to Saint Joseph: Enter into the joy of your Lord. In fact, although the joy of eternal happiness enters into the soul of a man, the Lord preferred to say to Joseph: Enter into joy. His intention was that the words should have a hidden spiritual meaning for us. They convey not only that this holy man possesses an inward joy, but also that it surrounds him and engulfs him like an infinite abyss.

Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster-child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. Amen.




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Friday, March 18, 2011

Unemployed electrical worker, father, turns down job to build Planned Parenthood clinic


Standing on principle and faith, Tim Roach turns down a much needed job. 

The Catholic Spirit, the official publication of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has an interesting story about an unemployed worker who was offered a job. His hopes went up, but when he heard it was a Planned Parenthood clinic, he turned it down before he could blink. 

Tom Peters blogs on this, and on another worker whose conscience would not permit him to accept an offered job for similar reasons.



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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Strong Words on Vassula Ryden by Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (Eastern Orthodox)

Vassula Ryden has been a controversial figure in Catholic circles and in the Orthodox Church, as well.  It seems the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople offered strong words in an announcment.  We have a translation of the original Greek decree from Orthodox Christian blogger John Sanidopolous (and a veil-tip to Rorate-Caeli and Luke Coppen of the UK Catholic Herald).  It reads, in part (link added for clarity):

In this spirit, and for the beneficial protection of our pious Orthodox plenitude from dangerous spiritual confusion, who do not know well matters underlying the risk of delusion, rejects from the Mother Church Vasiliki Paraskevis Pentaki - Ryden, widely known as "Vassula", and her organization founded under the title "True Life In God" which rashly and frivolously proposes teachings based on the supposed "direct dialogue between her and the Founder of the Church Jesus Christ our Lord", and those conquered by her and the supporters of "True Life In God", which deviate arbitrarily from the God-given teaching of the Church, but also scandalize the Orthodox phronema of pious believers.



Hence, we call upon the proponents of these unacceptable innovations and the supporters who maintain them, who henceforth are not admitted to ecclesiastical communion, not only to not be involved in the pastoral work of the local Holy Metropolis, but also to not preach their novel teachings, to prevent the appropriate sanctions under the Holy Canons.


We express, lastly, the profound sorrow of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the acts of nine - fortunately few - clergy of the Orthodox Church to be found at talks of the said "Vassula" and give to her a "certificate of Orthodoxy."


At the Patriarchate, the 16th of March 2011
Of the Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod
Translated by John Sanidopoulos
Not an ounce of ambiguity - the kind that results in "loop-hole justifications" to persist.
Richard Chonak opines, after extracting something interesting from the Holy See's 1995 notification:

So it's good to see that Mrs. Ryden has fostered Christian unity: she has brought the Holy See and the Patriarch of Constantinople together to condemn her heresies!
Indeed!



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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

US Navy Video Footage - Relief Delivery in Japan

USS Rondald Reagan in a 2008 photo

As the world watches the tense situation concerning the nuclear plant in Fukushima, the task of getting things into hard hit areas for survivors continues. Last night reports out of Japan were saying that the 50 brave souls - dubbed the "faceless 50" - who were working to contain the threat, were pulled out due to high radiation levels. This morning, I heard a report those levels had gone down enough for them to go back.  Concerns have caused somewhat of an exodus even from Tokyo.

People stuck in the red zone, who may be trapped yet, face not only the bitter cold and a snow storm, but the threat of radiation exposure. Those who could not evacuate were told to stay indoors. Yet, if there is no running water, no food, no heat - how can they not go outdoors?  Personal stories of survival and death are emerging. The task of identifying the dead, very difficult.

I am in awe watching video footage of the calm demeanor among the Japanese people in the face of grief over lost loved ones, the loss of homes, and the horror of what they likely witnessed. Photos of stores, with the front enclosure missing, are untouched by looters who so often scramble to empty them at such times, if not for survival, then for opportunity to make a buck. No such thing in Japan. We are witnessing a stoic people, standing in long lines for mere basics, patiently. In contrast to the chaos we so often see during such devastation, politeness and integrity for most seems unconditional even during circumstances where panic and survival instinct would otherwise cause the to be cast aside. They offer all of us much to reflect on and how we would act.

Here is video footage by the US Navy taken during one delivery mission.



Our Lady of Akita, intercede for these people.


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Monday, March 14, 2011

"Baby Joseph" headed to US with help of Priests for Life and Catholic Hospital in Missouri

Fr. Frank Pavone and father of "Baby Joseph", Moe Maraachli

Just a reminder: We are in the middle of the Novena to St. Joseph and here is a worthy prayer intention

From Priests for Life:

STATEN ISLAND, March 14, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Under cover of darkness, Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, arrived in Ontario, Canada, Sunday night to rescue Baby Joseph Maraachli from the London Health Sciences Centre. For two weeks, doctors at the hospital in London, Ontario, have been delaying the baby's transfer to a hospital where efforts to save his life will not be officially labeled "futile."


"I knew, after this dragged on day after day, that I needed to be here myself to get Baby Joseph to safety," said Father Pavone. "He needs to be in a hospital that cherishes life over the bottom line. After around-the-clock negotiations, this really became a race against time." Father Pavone was accompanied by Priests for Life staff, who were there to assure the transfer proceeded smoothly.

Baby Joseph and his father, Moe Maraachli, were flown with Father Pavone to SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis, Mo., on a specially equipped air ambulance provided by Michigan-based Kalitta Charters, and sponsored and paid for by the New York City-based Priests for Life.

"If there is a chance this boy can live, we have to explore every option," said Father Pavone, who was to arrive back home in New York earlier today after weekend speaking engagements in Cleveland. Instead, he flew to Detroit and then on to Canada, vowing not to leave the country until he had Baby Joseph and his father with him.

"Priests for Life staff toiled through the night for many nights, working in concert with dozens of people to make this possible," Father Pavone said of the nighttime rescue mission. "Now that we have won the battle against the medical bureaucracy in Canada, the real work of saving Baby Joseph can begin."
Continue reading at Priests for Life, and see pics/links to more coverage...

Fox News is also reporting on this: EXCLUSIVE: 'Baby Joseph' Gets Second Chance at Life in U.S.





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Second Explosion at crippled Japanese Nuclear plant...

Frame frozen from video of a second explosion at the Fukushima plant in Japan

I have found a pretty good news service called "Russia Today", which features broadcasts on YouTube.... in English. They seem to be uploading video news ahead of some of the cable news networks, who probably want to have it on air first. Here is the update from overnight in Japan.


EDIT: Here are more videos just uploaded...






From Associated Press
SOMA, Japan – The second hydrogen explosion in three days rocked a stricken Japanese nuclear plant Monday, sending a massive cloud of smoke into the air and injuring 11 workers. Hours later, the U.S. said it had shifted its offshore forces away from the plant after detecting low levels of radiation.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was about 100 miles (160 kilometers) offshore when it detected the radiation, which U.S. officials said was about the same as one month's normal exposure to natural background radiation in the environment.

[snip]

More than 180,000 people have evacuated the area in recent days, and up to 160 may have been exposed to radiation — pouring misery onto those already devastated by the twin disasters.

While Japan has aggressively prepared for years for major earthquakes, reinforcing buildings and running drills, the impact of the tsunami — which came so quickly that not many people managed to flee to higher ground — was immense.

By Monday, officials were clearly overwhelmed by the scale of the crisis, with millions of people having spent three nights without electricity, water, food or heat in near-freezing temperatures.

Officials in one devastated town said they were running out of body bags.

Another report says there is a 70% chance of a magnitude 7 or higher aftershock in the coming days, which poses even greater risks for the nuclear plant situation and ongoing survival crisis said to be the worst Japan has experienced since the end of World War II.


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Sunday, March 13, 2011

What are you reading for Lent?



I would imagine some of you are reading the Holy Father's Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection.  I want to read this, but had decided over a month ago that I would read, The Science of the Cross by Edith Stein.  Perhaps I will have time for both. 

I am going to continue to post during Lent, but I will reduce my posting to allow for more spiritual reading and prayer. 

Are you planning to read some spiritual works for Lent?  If so, what are you reading now?


LENTCAzT's by Father Z
Just a reminder, that Father Z is making daily podcasts during Lent, with each being about 5 minutes.  You can listen on computer or on a podcast device. 





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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Containment Building at Japanese Nuclear Plant Explodes - Please Pray

AP Photo/NHK TV

Watching the images on cable news just leaves me in awe of nature, and humbled before the words of Our Lord, that we know not the hour of our death.  More video and pictures are coming out of Japan that is just breathtaking.  I have embedded several in this post.

This ought to move us all to provide support in the form of donations and prayer. The Archdiocese of Detroit has set up a page where you can donate (will go to Catholic Relief Service). There are so many threats still facing these people. Please consider visiting an Adoration chapel, praying a Rosary, offering Mass intentions that the ongoing threats against life abate, most especially those concerning the nuclear plants.  As we approach the Feast of St. Joseph, consider joining in the Novena and offering intentions for the people of Japan. Reader John-Paul sent a link to his Novena site.




It's not enough that they are dealing with a damaging, 8.9 magnitude earthquake. A tsunami in the aftermath wiped out some 1000 miles. One town of 9500 people is missing; several trains, one of them a high-speed "bullet train" capable of holding several hundred is gone. A ship is missing. Countless cars, houses, buildings and boats are seen being carried away at very high speeds by water.

It's still not enough. Two nuclear plants were affected. Japanese were working to cool off a nuclear reactor after shutting it down and the containment building just exploded, now increasing the threat of a meltdown (think Chernobyl). Some in the area are already experiencing radiation sickness. Authorities are handing out iodine to help with radiation exposure (should help prevent thyroid cancer down the road). There are conflicting "expert opinions" as to the current situation and the potential dangers. Here is a video report:




The worst is probably yet to come. In addition to radiation concerns for years or generations to come, some are stranded, without fresh water. It's cold in Japan yet, still dipping down into freezing temperatures at night and reaching about 45-55F. There is no power. Some will die of dehydration, others from waterborne illness, others from lack of medical attention or needed medications.

Dozens of coastal cities around the world braced for tsunami's and while there was damage as seen in Crescent City, California (2nd video below). I've wondered about other countries as well.





Please pray for all affected. 




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Monday, March 7, 2011

Fridays in Lent at Grotto: Monastic Supper with Reflections by Fr. Perrone


A photo of a 2008 Cotillion at Assumption Grotto - a popular event at the parish on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday

I will get to the Monastic Meals which will take place on Fridays in Lent in a moment.  First, I'll tell you about "Fat Tuesday" and Ash Wednesday at Grotto.


FAT TUESDAY COTILLION

Each year, Grotto-goers look forward to the "Fat Tuesday Cotillion".  Even if you don't dance, it's fun just to watch.  Many dress up in costumes of a by-gone era.  Those attending are asked to come dressed in a little more formal attire.  There is no need to don costumes, just don't come in blue jeans.  From the Grotto News:

Fat Tuesday, March 8th, in the gym. Music , traditional reels, old dance tunes of the Colonies and line dances from the late 1700’s to mid 1800’s. Refreshments 6:30 p.m., dancing commences at 7:00 p.m. with the Grand March. Tickets $7.00 available in advance or at the door. Bring your favorite Hors D’Oeuvre or finger food and Pazki to pass. Beverages will be provided.
I can't make it again this year.  I've gone once to watch and photograph and it was quite fun.  The band provides instructions on what to do in each number, so you do not need to even know how to dance to participate.


ASH WEDNESDAY

Also in the Grotto News:
Mass schedule for this coming Ash Wednesday: Masses will be at 7:30 a.m.; Noon and 7:00 p.m. (Ashes are imposed before Mass; so, do get here early.) 
Now I will answer about those things you might be pondering.  The Wednesday evening Mass is in the Extraordinary Form.  Wednesdays are choir rehearsal nights and we always start Ash Wednesday in the loft for Mass.  So, there will be some music fitting for the occasion. If you do not have a Missal - you may want to print this out:  http://mysite.verizon.net/missale/ashwed.html


MONASTIC MEALS; LENTEN REFLECTION BY FR. PERRONE

Fr. Perrone explains a change for Fridays during Lent at Grotto:
This year our parish is doing something new to replace the nearly ubiquitous practice of the Friday Fish Fry. The Knights of Columbus, ever valorous, have proposed that we offer a monastic meal (menu: soup [several choices - dk], cheese, fruit and beverage) on the Fridays of Lent–on all Fridays except one, you will note, while your pastor delivers talks to the diners at 6:00 This is truly something that one may yet find in monasteries where, during the meals, monks eat in silence while a lector reads from some religious book. In our case, I will be giving talks, in a manner somewhat freer than the decorum for Mass sermons would allow, to stir a greater piety and to cause–it be hoped– the movement of the mind to ascend to considerations worthy of this season of self reform. Now here is something for everybody who comes here on the Fridays of Lent. To accommodate those participating in the monastic meals and to allow for the Eucharistic fast, I am transposing the usual order of the services in church (Fridays of Lent only): at 7:00 p.m. there will first be the Stations of the Cross followed by Mass. In this way, the requirements both of digestion and fasting will be satisfied.

Unfortunately, I don't have my bulletin at the moment and cannot print out the dates.  I will get them.  If someone reading has the flyer that was stuffed in the bulletin last week, please drop those dates into my combox (including the one Friday that there will not be a meal).  You may email me, as well.

I'll see if we can get the PDF of the flyer sent to Grotto webmaster.

You have to admit, this "Monastic Meal" with a reflection by the pastor is a pretty cool idea.  I'm also glad that the Stations of the Cross will precede Mass.  It was always a problem with people inhaling their fish so they could go to evening Mass.  Most stayed for the Stations which take about 15 minutes, give or take a few. 

MORE ON LENT FROM FR. PERRONE

Read Fr. Perrone's column in preparation for Lent where he addresses fasting, abstinence, and more (the column continues on the 3rd page of the PDF)


FATHER Z OFFERS DAILY "LENTCAzT'S"

Father has his first audio clip up (about 5 minutes).  He is posting daily during Lent and began with a pre-lent meditation for Shrove Tuesday.  Visit his homepage daily where you can listen online to his daily podcasts.  You can also subscribe, as I do, to listen on your iPod or other device.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

A snowfall, a dog.... and a shovel - LOL

I've been dog-sitting.  The li'l rat-terrier - Wilson - isn't quite a year old yet.  He wants to play 25 hours out of a 24 hour day. Evertyhing is a toy - including the snowshovel, as I discovered this morning. 

Blogger is uploading it sideways for some reason.    It appears proper in my video folder.  It was taken on my iPhone holding it horizontally. 


video



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Friday, March 4, 2011

Poulenc Organ Concerto at Kirk in the Hills - Fr. Perrone Conducting



This Sunday, Assumption Grotto's pastor, Fr. Eduard Perrone, will be conducting the Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at Kirk in the Hills. 

You can read more at the website, which is where you must also purchase tickets.  They are "will call", so you purchase online, print out your receipt and take it with you to the door. 

http://www.detroitsymphonymusicians.org/upcomingevents.html

Fr. Perrone offered his opinion on the DSO musicians strike in last week's Grotto News, which you can read here: http://content.seekandfind.com/bulletins/14/0696/20110227B.pdf



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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fr. Z offers some thoughts on Vol 2 of Pope Benedict's "Jesus of Nazareth"


Soon to be released is the second volume of Pope Benedict's, "Jesus of Nazareth".  It should be available on March 10th. 

Fr.  Z has a copy of the book, sent to him by the publisher and he offers an initial post on it.  Note the "part 1" so stay tuned...

Go read: REVIEW: Some thoughts about the Pope’s new book – part I

Pre-order/order here: Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection.  There is also a Kindle Edition.


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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Medjugorje visionaries, public events, and pastoral care....

Vicka Mijatovic - alleged visionary of Medjugorje reaches into a crowd that
numbered about 2000 during her visit to the RDS in Dublin.
Photo: Alan Betson/Irish Times

Retired University of Montreal researcher, Louis Bélanger, is a man who has been studying the phenomena at Medjugorje since the mid-80's. 

Louis has a thought-provoking post up, with text and information I had not previously seen.  He shares the closing recommendation in a report from 1986 by an international team of psychiatrists and medical doctors concerning the Medjugorje visionaries.

Bélanger points out that pastoral personnel in Medjugorje ignored those recommendations, and Fr. Rene Laurentin publicly countered them.  I pondered:  How can a theologian, without medical or psychiatric background dismiss or counter something that does not fall within his competence?  Yet, he did exactly this in his book, "The Apparitions at Medjugorje Prolonged" (1987).  I have a copy of the book and see the quote pulled by Louis. Further, he has an excellent quote by Pope John Paul II where he discouraged the very kind of argument that Laurentin put forth.

Just about all books which are favorable to authenticity of Medjugorje, reference the works of Fr. Laurentin, yet he has proven to be an unreliable source on the subject of Medjugorje.  That's not a matter of opinion, but simple objectivity in the face of facts (carefully read the links below). 

I will leave you to read the post at Louis' website containing the information mentioned above.  Here is the post.  Reference links are added below it.

If you want to read more about scientific testing, you can find some interesting items at the website of Italian researcher, Marco Corvaglia, who has translated much of his work into English. 


I am closing comments on this post and asking that you comment directly in the post made by Louis Bélanger 




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This Saturday: Holy Trinity Apostolate's Pre-Lenten Symposium with Bishop Sample


HOLY TRINITY APOSTOLATE’S 14th Annual Pre-Lenten Symposium

MYSTERIUM FIDEI…Pope Paul VI Mystery of Faith

Saturday, March 5, 2011
8 AM – 4 PM
Ss. Cyril & Methodius Slovak Catholic Church
41233 Ryan Rd.
Sterling Heights, MI 48314

HOLY MASS: The Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample – “Heroic Virtue in the Life and Ministry of the Servant of God, Frederic Baraga” From Rome: Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Sarno – Vatican Official; Father Andrew Apostoli; Fr. Robert T. McDermott; Brother Richard Merling and Sister Maria Inviolata.
Master of Ceremonies: Vic Faust WXYZ Action News.

The HOLY TRINITY APOSTOLATE will have the Holy Priest Stoles of the Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Servant of God, Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., Venerable Solanus Casey and Servant of God, Bishop Frederic Baraga near the altar, on display, at the 14th Annual Lenten Symposium on March 5, 2011. As of Saturday, we received the news that we will have the Holy Stole of Venerable, John Paul II. Please don’t miss the opportunity to hear about their lives and venerate the Holy Priest Stoles of the Saints-To-Be! Email: barbaramm@sbcglobal.net Website: http://www.holytrinityapostolate.com/

Registration: 7 AM – HOLY MASS - 8 AM; Closing/Benediction 4 PM; No Charge for Seminarians. Confessions throughout the Symposium; Includes Lunch if Pre-Registered. Check Payable: Holy Trinity Apostolate; P.O. Box 7095; Sterling Heights, MI 48311-7095. Cost: $40 per person ($45 at the Door): Information: Donna 586.268.8814



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Perpetual Mass Society (Canons Regular of St. John Cantius)


Please visit the webpage the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius has for their Perpetual Mass Society




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