What I am thankful for on Thanksgiving Day and every day

November 26, 2009

032707Looking at my list from last year, it is the same this year.

While the “list” is certainly very long, I am particularly thankful for my wife and children as well as my extended family. Life’s lessons are truly learned within the family. I am thankful to be living in a country with so many wonderful freedoms and which is so bountiful. I am thankful to realize that because of those freedoms and prosperity, we have a greater responsibility to those in need. I am thankful for all of the mothers who chose to give birth to their children in a time where these little innocents are so endangered. I am thankful for all of the people who are a part of my life in any way. I know God has put them in my life and me in theirs for many reasons. Some of those I know already, some I may learn of in the future, and some I may never know, but I am equally thankful just to know that He is in control of my relationships.

I am so thankful to God, who never gave up on me, even when I had given up on myself. I am thankful that He continues to “urge” me on in difficult times. I am thankful for His Church and the Sacraments which support and sustain me. And I am thankful to know that before the foundation of the world, God knew that I would never be able to thank Him adequately enough or to repay Him for His Goodness and Mercy so He became man for me, took my place on a cross, shed His blood for me, taking upon Himself my sins, so that I might have Hope to persevere and one day be united with Him in and through Christ.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2009 – Daily Mass Readings

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

http://www.usccb.org/nab/112609.shtml

Thanksgiving Message from Bishop Farrell

November 25, 2009

Dallas, TX (MetroCatholic) - Once again we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving. As we observe this holiday, I hope we will all remember to indeed say thank you to God our Father for the many blessings he bestows upon us. To view the Bishop’s full message please click here.

Advent/Christmas Season Web Site Offers Resources For Prayer, Reflection; Has Printable Family Activity Calendar

November 25, 2009

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - For the second consecutive year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has created a Website (www.usccb.org/advent/ ) with suggestions for daily prayer, reading, reflection and action throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons.

New for this year are printable calendars in English and Spanish with a suggested family activity for each day of the Advent season, which begins November 29, and the Christmas season, which ends on January 10 with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord.

The interactive online calendars present a menu of resources for reading, prayer, reflection and action for each day of the two seasons. Many of the reflections are taken from “Following Christ,” “The Priesthood,” “Mary,” and “The Saints,” four of the collections from the Spiritual Thoughts Series by Pope Benedict XVI.   A Festival of Lesson and Carols, which is a service of Scripture and song that dates to the late 19th century, can be heard live online or downloaded for later listening.

The USCCB Advent/Christmas Web site also features a variety of scripture resources focusing on the Old Testament. Jem Sullivan, PhD., of the USCCB Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis, starts off the Advent season with a video explaining how families can enrich their faith by reading the Old Testament. Featured throughout the calendars are video clips of USCCB members and staff discussing their favorite Old Testament stories, passages and characters.

Decorating the Web site are photos of sanctuaries adorned for Advent and Christmas from across the country including the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, and photos of seasonal events from several Catholic dioceses.

Other resources on the Website include a list of recommend holiday-themed movies from the USCCB’s Film and Broadcasting office, prayers and blessings from the USCCB publication Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, and suggestions for remembering the needs of immigrants and the poor throughout the season.

The Advent/Christmas site was created by the USCCB Department of Communications with funding from the Catholic Communication Campaign.

U.S. Bishops Voice Disappointment in Abortion-Funding Provisions in Senate Health Bill, Urge Better Care for Immigrants and Affordability

November 25, 2009

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops urged the Senate to make essential changes its health reform bill in order to keep in place federal law on abortion funding and conscience protection on abortion, protect access to health care for immigrants and include strong provisions for adequate affordability.

The bishops called the Senate health care bill an “enormous disappointment” that creates new and unacceptable federal policy for funding and coverage of abortions, as well as rights of conscience. Bishop William Murphy, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Bishop John Wester voiced their wish for better health care reform legislation in a November 20 letter to the Senate. They chair the bishops’ Committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Pro-Life Activities and Migration, respectively.

The letter, which was accompanied with a fact sheet on the House Stupak Amendment (http://www.usccb.org/mr/mediatalk/StupakAmendmentFactsheet.pdf), urged Senators to improve the Senate health care bill in the key areas of affordability, immigration, federal funding and coverage of abortion and conscience rights.

According to the bishops, the bill “does not live up to President Obama’s commitment of barring the use of federal dollars for abortion and maintaining current conscience laws.” They cited an “abortion surcharge” that would force insurance purchasers to pay for other people’s abortions, provisions that would allow the HHS Secretary to mandate unlimited abortion coverage nationwide, and that the bill does not even allow for religious institutions to offer their own employees coverage that conforms to their institution’s teaching.

 “The Catholic bishops have advocated for decades for affordable and accessible health care for all, especially the poor and marginalized,” the bishops said. “The Senate bill makes great progress in covering people in our nation. However, the Senate bill would still leave over 24 million people in our nation without health insurance. This is not acceptable.”

The bishops encouraged expanding Medicaid eligibility for those living at 133 percent or lower of the federal policy level. They also urged an end to the five-year ban on legal immigrants for accessing federal health benefits programs and said that undocumented persons should not be barred from purchasing insurance plans with their own money.

 “Providing affordable and accessible health care that clearly reflects these fundamental principles is a public good, moral imperative and urgent national priority,” said the bishops.

The text of the letter can be found online at http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/2009-11-20-ltr-usccb-health-care-to-senate.pdf and in Spanish at http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/SP_1080_hc_reform_Sen_1120.pdf.

Catholic Advocacy Groups Ask for Catholic Lawmakers to be Held Accountable for Advancing Policy that Will Lead to Thousands More Abortions

November 25, 2009

Washington DC (MetroCatholic) -  On Saturday the U.S. Senate voted to send a health care bill to the floor for debate that directly threatens human life and dignity. Eighteen Catholic Democrat senators voted for the bill that includes federal funding for abortion - without their votes it would have failed.

The Catholic bishops have made the Church’s teaching abundantly clear — Catholic lawmakers “have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that contradicts humanity’s fundamental right to life.”

The pending Senate bill is fundamentally flawed. The U.S. Bishops Conference reports that not only does the Senate bill provide federal funding for plans that cover abortion but also creates an unprecedented mandatory “abortion surcharge.” This surcharge will require Catholics and other citizens who believe in the defense of innocent life to pay directly and explicitly for other people’s abortions.

Two weeks ago the U.S. House passed health care reform bill H.R. 3962, including the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, restricting taxpayer funds from covering elective abortions. Once again, there were Catholic lawmakers, 61 in all, who sought to advance the culture of death by defeating the amendment.

We ask Catholic voters and their bishops to hold accountable those Catholic lawmakers who voted against the Stupak amendment and Catholic senators who voted to advance the Senate bill with abortion funding to the floor for debate.

Catholic advocacy groups will continue to closely monitor how Catholic lawmakers treat the Senate bill and urge the eighteen Senate Democrats to follow the example of House Democrats, led by Cong. Bart Stupak, to put the faith before party loyalty.

CULTURAL PATRIMONY OF CHURCH, WORLD DAY FOR MIGRANTS

November 25, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 24 NOV 2009 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office at 11.30 a.m. on Thursday 26 November, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi and Francesco Buranelli, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, will present a press conference marking the twentieth anniversary of their dicastery.

On Friday 27 November, also in the Holy See Press Office, the presentation will take place of the Holy Father’s Message for the ninety-sixth World Day of Migrants and Refugees. The Day, due to be celebrated on 17 January 2010, has as its theme: “Underage migrants and refugees”.

Participating in Friday’s press conference will be Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, Archbishop Agostino Marchetto and Msgr. Novatus Rugambwa, respectively president, secretary and under secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

HOLY FATHER RECEIVES PRIME MINISTER OF KUWAIT

November 25, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

“Today, 23 November, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, prime minister of the State of Kuwait. The prime minister subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

“During the cordial discussions mention was made of the excellent bilateral relations, which have existed for more than forty years, between the Holy See and Kuwait. Likewise, consideration was given to certain questions of mutual interest, with particular reference to the promotion of peace and inter- religious dialogue in the Middle East. Subsequently, emphasis was given to the positive contribution that the significant Christian minority makes to Kuwaiti society, underlining the need for pastoral assistance to that community”.

BEATIFICATION OF RELIGIOUS, AID FOR CLOISTERED NUNS

November 25, 2009

VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2009 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus at midday today, the Pope recalled today’s ceremony in Nazareth, Israel, for the beatification of Sr. Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, born in Jerusalem in 1843 to a Christian family of nineteen children.

“To her”, said the Holy Father, “goes the merit of having founded a congregation formed exclusively of local women with the aim of teaching religion, combating illiteracy and improving the condition of women in that time, in the same land where Jesus Himself had exalted their dignity”.

“The beatification of such a significant female figure is of particular comfort to the Catholic community in the Holy Land, and is an invitation for them always to entrust themselves, with firm hope, to Divine Providence and to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary”, he concluded.

Benedict XVI then went on to refer to yesterday’s Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin in the Temple, which also marks “‘pro orantibus’ Day, in support of cloistered religious communities”.

He invited everyone to support such communities and publicly thanked the nuns who successively occupy the small cloistered convent founded by John Paul II in the Vatican: Poor Clares, Carmelites, Benedictines and, most recently, Visitandines.

“Your prayer, dear sisters, is very valuable for my ministry”, he told them.

November 25, 2009 – Daily Mass Readings

November 25, 2009

Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Dn 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28

Baltasar, the king, made a great feast for a thousand of his nobles: and every one drank according to his age. And being now drunk, he commanded that they should bring the vessels of gold and silver, which Nabuchodonosor, his father, had brought away out of the temple, that was in Jerusalem, that the king and his nobles, and his wives, and his concubines, might drink in them. Then were the golden and silver vessels brought, which he had brought away out of the temple that was in Jerusalem: and the king and his nobles, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised their gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, and of wood, and of stone.

In the same hour there appeared fingers, as it were of the hand of a man, writing over against the candlestick, upon the surface of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king beheld the joints of the hand that wrote. Then was the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him: and the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees struck one against the other.

Then Daniel was brought in before the king. And the king spoke, and said to him:

Art thou Daniel, of the children of the captivity of Juda, whom my father, the king, brought out of Judea? I have heard of thee, that thou hast the spirit of the gods, and excellent knowledge, and understanding, and wisdom are found in thee. And now the wise men, the magicians, have come in before me, to read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof; and they could not declare to me the meaning of this writing. But I have heard of thee, that thou canst interpret obscure things, and resolve difficult things: now if thou art able to read the writing, and to shew me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with purple, and shalt have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third prince in my kingdom.

To which Daniel made answer, and said before the king:

Thy rewards be to thyself, and the gifts of thy house give to another: but the writing I will read to thee, O king, and shew thee the interpretation thereof.

But hast lifted thyself up against the Lord of heaven: and the vessels of his house have been brought before thee: and thou, and thy nobles, and thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them: and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and of gold, and of brass, of iron, and of wood, and of stone, that neither see, nor hear, nor feel: but the God who hath thy breath in his hand, and all thy ways, thou hast not glorified. Wherefore, he hath sent the part of the hand which hath written this that is set down. And this is the writing that is written: MANE, THECEL, PHARES. And this is the interpretation of the word.

MANE: God hath numbered thy kingdom, and hath finished it.
THECEL: thou art weighed in the balance, and art found wanting.
PHARES: thy kingdom is divided, and is given to the Medes and Persians.

Responsorial Psalm
Daniel 3:62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67

R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
O ye sun and moon, bless the Lord:
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
O ye stars of heaven, bless the Lord:
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
O every shower and dew, bless ye the Lord:
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
O all ye spirits of God, bless the Lord:
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
O ye fire and heat, bless the Lord:
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
O ye cold and heat, bless the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all for ever.
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

Gospel
Lk 21:12-19

Jesus said to the crowd:
But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, dragging you before kings and governors, for my name’s sake. And it shall happen unto you for a testimony. Lay it up therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before how you shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay.
And you shall be betrayed by your parents and brethren and kinsmen and friends: and some of you they will put to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name’s sake. But a hair of your head shall not perish.
In your patience you shall possess your souls.

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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

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