Pope Benedict points to St. Monica as example of ‘holy parent’

August 31, 2009

.- At Sunday’s Angelus prayer in the courtyard of Castel Gandolfo’s apostolic palace, Pope Benedict XVI recalled the previous week’s liturgical memorial of St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine of Hippo and model and patron of Christian mothers.

“Much is recounted about her in her son’s autobiography ‘The Confessions,’ a masterpiece among the most read works of all time,” Pope Benedict said. “There, we understand that St. Augustine imbibed the name of Jesus with maternal milk and was educated in the Christian religion by his mother, the principles of which remained impressed on him even in the years of spiritual and moral wavering.”

Monica, Benedict XVI explained, never stopped praying for her son and his conversion and she had the consolation of seeing him return to the faith and receiving baptism. The Pope added, “God heard the prayers of this holy mother, to whom the Bishop of Tagaste said: ‘It is impossible that a child of so many tears should go lost.’ In truth, St. Augustine does not only convert, but decides to embrace the monastic life and back in Africa, and himself establishes a community of monks.”

“The final spiritual conversations between him and his mother in the quiet of a house in Ostia, in anticipation of departure for Africa, are moving and edifying,” the Holy Father explained. “By then St. Monica had become for this her child ‘more than a mother, the source of his Christianity.’ Her lone desire had been for years the conversion of Augustine, who then was positively oriented toward a life of consecration to God’s service.”

She could only die content, the Pontiff said, on August 27, 387, 56 years old, after having asked her children to not worry about her burial, but to remember her, where ever they were, at the altar of the Lord. St. Augustine repeated that his mother had “twice given birth” to him.

Pope Benedict continued: “The history of Christendom has numerous examples of holy parents and authentic Christian families, who accompanied the life of generous priests and pastors of the Church.”
He recounted Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianen, who both came from families of saints, and spouses Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi and Maria Corsini, who lived from the end of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century and were beatified by Pope John Paul II in October 2001 on the twentieth anniversary of his Apostolic Exhortation “Familiaris consortio.”

“This document,” the Pope expounded, “in addition to illustrating the value of marriage and the responsibilities of the family, calls spouses to a particular task on the way of holiness that, drawing grace and strength from the Sacrament of Matrimony, they follow their entire life.”

“When spouses dedicate themselves generously to the education of children, guiding them and orienting them to discover the design of God’s love, they prepare that fertile spiritual terrain where vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life spring and mature.

Pope Benedict concluded his Angelus message by asking the faithful to seek the intercession of St. John Mary Vianney and the Blessed Virgin Mary in this Year for Priests.
Addressing English-speaking pilgrims and visitors after the Angelus, he singled out the first year seminarians from the Pontifical North American College.
“May your time here at Castel Gandolfo and in Rome deepen your integral understanding of our faith and strengthen in you the desire to be consistent in word and deed, following the heart and mind of our Lord. Upon each of you present and your families, I invoke God’s blessing of peace and joy!”

Pope has no plans to reverse Vatican II reforms, says Cardinal Bertone

August 31, 2009

.- The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said this week that the reports of supposed plans to roll back changes to the Church’s liturgy that began with the Second Vatican Council “are pure fabrication.”

In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, the cardinal was asked about the “reservations” or “fears” of some who think the Holy Father is going “against” Vatican II, when the reality is actually the opposite.

In order to understand Benedict XVI’s manner of governing the Church, Cardinal Bertone explained, one has to consider his own personal history as a protagonist in the conciliar and post-conciliar Church. Other items to note are: his inaugural speech as Pope, his speech to the Roman Curia on December 22, 2005 and the changes he has personally called for, enacted and patiently explained.

Cardinal Bertone noted several key points of the Council that the Pope has constantly promoted, including fostering “a more understanding relationship with the Orthodox and Eastern Churches” and entering into dialogue with Judaism and Islam. These efforts, the cardinal said, have been met with responses unseen up to now.

After noting the positive relationship the Pope has with the bishops, Cardinal Bertone said that when it comes to the reform of the Church, “Benedict XVI has called us back to the source of the Word of God, to the evangelical law and the heart of the Church’s life: Jesus, who we know, love, adore and imitate.”

The Vatican’s Secretary of State also pointed out that the Pope has given the Church a great gift with his book “Jesus of Nazareth,” in which he reminded us that his desire is “to make Christ the heart of the world.”

Cardinal Bertone noted the tendency in the secular media to ascribe to the Pope, or to the Vatican, the responsibility for everything that happens in the Church or that is said by any member of the local Churches, institutions or ecclesial groups, “and this is not right.”

It would be more accurate, he said, to attribute to each person responsibility for his or her own actions or words, “especially when they patently contradict the teachings and example of the Pope.”

The way that the media covers such cases depends on reporters and media professionals having good intentions and a love for the truth, Bertone observed.

The Butter Dish

August 31, 2009

- by Megan

You can tell a lot about a family by looking at their butter dish.

If it’s crystal… no kids.

If it matches the plates… maybe one child, or at least a newborn.

If it is chipped and/or mis-matched or does not have the top… probably a few children.

If there is no butter dish, only a small dessert plate, and the contents are mashed beyond buttery recognition… you are at my house.


My mother is a genius in the realm of butter dishes.

She has a metal one.

Completely lightweight, sporting a classy black handle, this butter dish is indestructible. And when I opened it that first evening, the butter was smooth and unblemished. How lovely! I couldn’t wait to sink my knife in and spread it’s goodness all over our french bread.

Fast forward a few days.

Madly dashing around the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on a meal for the masses, I opened the butter dish and my heart sank. Gone were the smooth edges, the firm corners, the anything-that-remotely-resembles a stick of butter. In it’s place was a big messy mosh of creamy yellow. With lots of bagel bits mixed in. The culprit was clearly my ten year old. He had been scarfing down bagels since we arrived, and his buttering skills had not improved a whit.

I sighed a Mama-sigh and wondered to myself if I would ever possess a smooth wedge of butter again.

I thought about my parents, and how they would once again have smooth butter, but -alas- not until after we leave…. and could I even salvage what was left and make it presentable for the table?

And then my Mom walked in the door, home from work. The grand kids surrounded her and hugged her, calling out to the various siblings and relatives…

Grandma’s home! Grandma’s home!

The four year old danced and twirled, my seven year old jumped up and down. And my Mom’s tired face broke into a grin. She hugged me and surveyed the dinner plans while the kids regaled her with stories from the day. A young babe was placed into her arms for a fervent snuggle, and a glass of wine was poured…

I cleaned up the butter in the dish that night, adding half of another stick to make it look decent. But I didn’t begrudge the messiness. It’s another way these children thrust themselves into our lives. The mastery of spreading butter neatly will come another day. For now, they have a more important task.

They teach us to look beyond the mess and the noise. To wonder at the mundane and the beautiful. To notice their handiwork, even in the butter, and realize that you will miss these days. These days when even your butter dish tells the story of the crazy love and joy that is your life.

Megan is an independent contributor to MetroCatholic publications. She publishes the blog Life in a Nutshell under the Pseudonym “Nutmeg”.  She describes herself as a Catholic Mama who can be found most days with her hair in a bandana, bare feet on the floor, teaching her 5 little peanuts.

Pope Accepts Resignation Of Scranton Bishops

August 31, 2009

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph F. Martino from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, for health reasons. The decision was announced August 31, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

The pope has also accepted the resignation of Bishop John M. Dougherty, until now Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, who has served past the mandatory retirement age for bishops. Cardinal Justin F. Rigali of Philadelphia, the Metropolitan Archbishop, has been appointed Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Scranton.

Joseph F. Martino was born in Philadelphia, May 1, 1946. He studied at the North American College in Rome and earned a sacred theology licentiate (S.T.L.) degree at the Gregorian University there. He was ordained a priest for the Philadelphia archdiocese on December 18, 1970 and was named Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia on January 24, 1996. He was appointed bishop of Scranton on July 25, 2003.

John M. Dougherty was born in Scranton April 29, 1932. He studied at the University of Notre Dame where he earned an M.A. and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, where he obtained a Sacred Theology Licentiate (S.T.L.). He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Scranton on June 15, 1957 and was named auxiliary bishop of Scranton on February 7, 1995.

The diocese of Scranton was established in 1868 and comprises 11 counties in northeastern Pennsylvania.  It has a Catholic population of 325,243, 30 per cent of the area’s for a total population of 1,090,779.

Family’s Statement on Passing of Father of Terri Schiavo, Robert Schindler Sr

August 31, 2009

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (MetroCatholic) - The family of Robert Schindler, Sr. releases the following statement:
Robert S. Schindler, Sr., of Gulfport, Florida, father of the late Terri Schindler Schiavo, passed away August 29, 2009 from heart failure at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Robert fought valiantly to save the life of his brain-injured daughter Terri in the landmark right to life case that culminated in her imposed death by court-ordered starvation and thirst on March 31, 2005. After Terri’s death, along with his wife Mary, daughter Suzanne (Schindler) Vitadamo and son Bobby Schindler, he founded the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation in St. Petersburg dedicated to supporting other families faced with the same need to fight for the rights of their disabled or otherwise vulnerable loved ones.
Robert was born in Philadelphia on October 23, 1937 and was 71 years of age.  Proceeded in death by his daughter Theresa Schindler.  He is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Suzanne Vitadamo (Michael), son Bobby Schindler and granddaughter Alexandra.
A Mass of Christian burial with visitation preceding will be scheduled to take place in Philadelphia, PA. Times and location will be announced at a later date.
Memorials may be made to the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, 5562 Central Avenue, Suite 2, Saint Petersburg, FL 33707, phone (727) 490-7603.

Thomas More Society of Chicago Files Brief for New York State Catholic Conference in Defense of Traditional Marriage

August 31, 2009

CHICAGO, IL (MetroCatholic) -  This week the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, ordered that the Chicago-based Thomas More Society could file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the New York State Catholic Conference to defend traditional marriage in the case of Kenneth Lewis v. New York State Department of Civil Service. The central issue is whether New York state should recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages that have been lawfully entered into in another state. The brief argues that recognition of same-sex marriages, which would undermine a natural and social institution, is not required by New York precedents governing recognition of out-of-state marriages.

“A lower court said that New York state can recognize an out-of-state same-sex marriage, which does not make sense. A marriage that violates the public policy of New York state should not be recognized, regardless of where it was entered into, period,” said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel for the Thomas More Society in Chicago. “This lower court decision was nothing less than an aberrant departure from the governing law. New York’s Court of Appeals has already handed down a definitive ruling in 2006 that the state’s public policy, as set forth in its Domestic Relations Law, clearly provides that the state prohibits marriage between members of the same sex. Furthermore, under New York state law, the state is not required to recognize out-of-state marriages that could not be legally performed in New York state.”

“The Catholic bishops of New York state have consistently supported efforts to defend the institution of marriage from those who would redefine it as something other than what it has always been - the enduring union of one man and one woman, ordered for the procreation of children and the mutual support of the husband and wife,” said Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the NYS Catholic Conference. “The New York State Court of Appeals has previously ruled that state law defines marriage in this way, and that the state has a legitimate interest in prohibiting so-called ’same-sex marriage.’”


About the Thomas More Society
The Thomas More Society is a public interest law firm that counsels and defends those who work to protect innocent human life, defends those who proclaim faith-based values in our nation’s public square, and strives to protect the institution of marriage as a union of man and woman formed to beget, bear and nurture new human lives. For more information, please visit:

Dr. Alveda King Remembers Sen. Edward Kennedy

August 31, 2009

ATLANTA, GA (MetroCatholic) -  Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., today reflected on the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy.
“The Ted Kennedy I want to remember is the man who, before he embraced the pro-abortion cause, was like his dearly departed sister Eunice, who was pro-life. Senator Kennedy once compassionately and consistently fought for civil rights. In 1971, he wrote that every human being, wanted or unwanted, had the right to be born. He later changed his position and supported and even sponsored pro-abortion legislation.  There were many tragedies in the Senator’s life, but to me, one of the worst is that he stopped supporting the civil rights of those in the womb.”
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, stated, “I recall the visit Dr. King and I made to the Senator’s office last year, during which we quoted abortionists about decapitating children and asked if that was what the Senator meant by the word abortion. Sadly, we got no clear answer.  We join in prayer for God’s forgiveness for all who tolerate this violence.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.

August 31, 2009 - Daily Mass Readings

August 31, 2009

Monday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
1 Thes 4:13-18

And we will not have you ignorant brethren, concerning them that are asleep, that you be not sorrowful, even as others who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again: even so them who have slept through Jesus, will God bring with him. For this we say unto you in the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them who have slept. For the Lord himself shall come down from heaven with commandment and with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God: and the dead who are in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ, into the air: and so shall we be always with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort ye one another with these words.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 96:1 and 3, 4-5, 11-12, 13

R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle:
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Declare his glory among the Gentiles:
his wonders among all people.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
For the Lord is great, and exceedingly to be praised:
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils:
but the Lord made the heavens.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad,
let the sea be moved, and the fulness thereof:
The fields and all things that are in them shall be joyful.
Then shall all the trees of the woods rejoice
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
before the face of the Lord, because he cometh:
because he cometh to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with justice,
and the people with his truth.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Lk 4:16-30

And he came to Nazareth, where he was brought up: and he went into the synagogue, according to his custom, on the sabbath day: and he rose up to read. And the book of Isaias the prophet was delivered unto him. And as he unfolded the book, he found the place where it was written:

The spirit of the Lord is upon me. Wherefore he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the contrite of heart, To preach deliverance to the captives and sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of reward.

And when he had folded the book, he restored it to the minister and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them: This day is fulfilled this scripture in your ears.
And all gave testimony to him. And they wondered at the words of grace that proceeded from his mouth. And they said: Is not this the son of Joseph? And he said to them: Doubtless you will say to me this similitude: Physician, heal thyself. As great things as we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in thy own country. And he said: Amen I say to you that no prophet is accepted in his own country.
In truth I say to You, there were many widows in the days of Elias in Israel, when heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there was a great famine throughout all the earth. And to none of them was Elias sent, but to Sarepta of Sidon, to a widow woman. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, hearing these things, were filled with anger. And they rose up and thrust him out of the city: and they brought him to the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them, went his way.


The readings on this site are not official for the Mass of Roman Rite of the Catholic Church in the USA, but are from The Challoner Douay Rheims version of the Sacred Bible, a source free from copyright and entirely in the public domain.

The Challoner Douay Rheims version was prepared by Bishop Richard Challoner, about A.D. 1749-1752, by revising the original Douay Rheims version and by comparing it to the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible.

Official Readings of the Liturgy at – http://www.usccb.org/nab/today

Pro-life Group to Oppose Tax-Funded Abortion at Congressional Send-off, Los Angeles

August 28, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA (MetroCatholic) -  Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, a Southern California based pro-life group, will be present at the Congressional Send-off Rally on Thursday, September 3rd at 6:00PM in Los Angeles. The event, which is currently scheduled to take place at Cornfield Park in China Town, is meant to communicate constituents wishes about health care reform to their congressmen who are leaving from their recess.

“Abortion is not healthcare,” Charles Cox, a representative of Survivors stated emphatically. “No health care reform bill has any business mandating that we should pay for abortion.”

Obama’s health care reform bill, HR 3200, has come under fire by pro-life groups who feel that abortion should not be funded by tax dollars. Additionally, the bill will allow for elective abortion to be required coverage for all Americans, and has no clause to protect the Conscience Rights of physicians who believe that by performing abortions they would be violating their Hippocratic oath.

“To date, 80% of all hospitals do not generally provide abortions,” stated Timmerie Millington, a volunteer with Survivors. “Any public option should be sure to protect the Conscience Rights of all health care providers.”

Additionally, the group points out that a recent Zogby poll showed 71% of those asked oppose tax-funding for abortion.

Cox said, “When our elected officials in congress leave for DC, we want them to know that their constituents do not want this bill as is. We want a guarantee that our congressmen will vote ‘no’ on any bill that does not specifically exclude abortion.”

Superior General of Sisters of Life to be Featured in Interview on CatholicTV

August 28, 2009

WATERTOWN, MA (MetroCatholic) - On Tuesday, September 1st, the Superior General of the Sisters of Life, Mother Agnes Mary Donovan will be featured in a live interview on the CatholicTV talk show “This is the Day”. Mother Agnes is a licensed clinical psychologist and a certified school psychologist. Mother Agnes has a PhD in psychology from the University of North Carolina. She will discuss the book she co-authored called “The Foundations of Religious Life: Revisiting the Vision”. George Weigel, author of “Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II” called Mother Agnes’ book “essential reading for all those, whatever their vocation, who take seriously the universal call to holiness.”

CatholicTV is a nationally-broadcasted television network headquartered near Boston. CatholicTV streams its broadcast simultaneously, 24 hours a day at www.CatholicTV.com  
The Sisters of Life is a contemplative / active religious community of women founded in 1991 by John Cardinal O’Connor for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life. In addition to the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the Sisters of Life are also consecrated under a special, fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life.

The book “The Foundations of Religious Life: Revisiting the Vision” consists of essays written by six religious sisters representing five different orders. The topics they address are: religious consecration, the spousal bond, the threefold response to the vows, communion in community, and mission.

Also on the talk show “This is the Day” on September 1st will be Matthew Boerke, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah. Matthew recently worked at a large Catholic youth camp in Brighton, UT. “The purpose of the camp was to build Catholic community,” said Matthew in an interview with “Intermountain Catholic”.

These guests can be seen on Tuesday, September 1st live at 10:30AM (EST) on CatholicTV where available (rebroadcast at 8PM). The show will also be streamed simultaneously at www.CatholicTV.com and will be available on the site’s archives starting Tuesday night. All videos at the website are viewable in full-screen. Paste this URL into your browser in order to access the “This is the Day” video archives. http://www.CatholicTV.org/shows/default.aspx?seriesID=72  

About CatholicTV:
CatholicTV provides family-friendly, religious, news, and educational programming 24 hours daily. Founded over 50 years ago, CatholicTV is available in selected areas on cable in the United States and Canada, via Sky Angel and online via a live stream anytime, everywhere at the station’s web site www.CatholicTV.com . Father Robert Reed, a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, is the Director of CatholicTV. Click here to paste this into your browser to find out how to watch CatholicTV where you live: http://www.CatholicTV.org/schedule/where-to-watch.aspx

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