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Sunday, October 31, 2010
Franciscan Vocation Discernment Retreat
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Leslie Hammond Gonia, a Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Postulant, invites you to a Franciscan Vocation Discernment Retreat Nov. 12-14, 2010 in Manitowoc, WI. Consider Feb. 25-27 or May 20-22, 2011.

A weekend is two days or two-and-a-half if you count Friday evening. Often, in this fast paced world, our weekends go by quickly and we might not even remember what we did. However, a well-spent weekend might leave us feeling fulfilled.


Lake Michigan becomes Discernment Place

A weekend spent on a Vocation Discernment Retreat with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity (click on link to register on-line) is almost guaranteed to be a fulfilling weekend, and it is a guarantee that a weekend spent on a retreat with these Franciscan Sisters will not go by unnoticed.

Franciscan Discernment Retreat

Each retreat has a different focus. As a result each retreat provides different spiritual gifts. Discernment retreats with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity provide opportunities to receive the sacraments, pray, enjoy bonfires, hike, share with other young woman, with the Sisters, and spend time with young women in religious formation. I also feel that the retreats are very peaceful and a wonderful time to step away from “normal life”. We need to take some time to breathe and to let the Holy Spirit work in our lives in whatever way He chooses.

To read more, please click here.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI Names 24 New Cardinals, including 4 Americans
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After this consistory, the total number of cardinals will be 203, of which 121 are electors (less than 80 years old).

The new cardinals who qualify as electors are:

-- Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes



-- Patriarch Antonios Naguib of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt


-- Archbishop Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum (on the right)


-- Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls

-- Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, major penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary

-- Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature



-- Archbishop Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

-- Archbishop Paolo Sardi, vice chamberlain of Apostolic Chamber

-- Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy

-- Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See

-- Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture

-- Archbishop Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, retired archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia

-- Archbishop Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, retired archbishop of Quito, Ecuador

-- Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

-- Archbishop Paolo Romeo of Palermo, Italy

-- Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington

-- Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, Brazil

-- Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz of Warsaw, Poland

-- Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don of Colombo, Sri Lanka

-- Archbishop Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany

As well, the Pontiff elevated to the dignity of cardinal two prelates and two priests, who are over the age of 80 and are thus non-electors, for their "generosity and dedication in the service of the Church." These include:

-- Archbishop José Manuel Estepa Llaurens, retired archbishop of Spain's military

-- Bishop Elio Sgreccia, former president of the Pontifical Academy for Life

-- Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, former president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences

-- Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci, former director of the Pontifical Choir
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary 2010 Video
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Slideshow of photos taken during the Solemn High Mass to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Titular Feast of the parish church in Blackfen.
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Rev. John Berg celebrates Mass at Church of St. William of York
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The Very Rev John Berg, Superior General of the Fraternity of St Peter, was in Reading today to celebrate Mass at the church of St William of York, and bless the house occupied by the two Fraternity priests based there. This has recently been given canonical status as a FSSP residence by the local ordinary, Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth.

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Images are from the Flickr Photostream of Joseph Shaw.
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Friday, October 15, 2010
Upcoming Canonization of Br. Andre
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Zenit Reports:
A celebration of Catholicism in Canada is perhaps the best way to describe the events leading up to the canonization of Blessed Brother André Bessett on Sunday at St. Peter's in Rome.

As many as 5,000 Canadian Catholics are making the pilgrimage to Rome to attend the proclamation of Brother André as Canada's first native-born male saint, according to Eric Durocher, coordinator for English Pastoral Services for the Archdiocese of Montreal.

Additionally, the Archdiocese of Montreal has organized several events for the pilgrims that have chosen to celebrate the canonization of Brother André in the city where he served for most of his ministry.

St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, which was founded by Brother André in 1904, will be the central focus for activities before and during the canonization ceremonies. An all night prayer vigil will be held at the Oratory; uniting pilgrims in Rome and in Canada in prayerful reflection and celebration of Brother André’s spiritual life and heritage.

Throughout the overnight vigil, activities are planned in conjunction with the Congregation of the Holy Cross Fathers, the community to which St. André belonged, and the Archdiocese of Montreal. The events of the vigil will begin with a Lucenarium (candlelight prayer) followed with presentations of lectures on the life of Brother André by groups with which he was closely associated.

Night prayer in the style of the Monastery of Taizé is followed with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the celebration of lauds (morning prayer), and finally a procession from the tomb of Brother André to the Basilica of St. Joseph.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Pontifical Mass said by Bishop Perry on Pontifical Mass the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in New York City
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Here are some photos from that Mass via Traditional + Catholicism Pictures.




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Pope Benedict XVI Adds Tiara Back to Papal Coat of Arms
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Rome Reports states:

The papal crest that hangs from Benedict XVI window is sporting a new design this week. That was before and this is now. We still don't know if the changes are definitive or if it's just one version of the papal coat of arms.

The exterior is inspired by Pope Barberini's crest, which is found on the canopy or baldacchino of Saint Peter's main altar.

The main difference compared to the prior is the comeback of the papal triple crown, which highlights governmental function of the Pope.

A symbol present in all the papal crests of the last century, including that of Pope John Paul the second.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010
Why Our Lord Gave the Evangelical Counsels
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FromThe Three Ages of the Interior Lifeby Rev Fr Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.

Christ and the Rich Young Man

Christ said to the rich young man mentioned in St Matthew’s Gospel: “If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. And come, follow Me.” The Evangelist adds: “When the young man had heard this word, he went away sad, for he had great possessions.” (St Matthew 19:21)

The effective practice of the three evangelical counsels (i.e. the vow of poverty, chastity and obedience) is not obligatory nor is it indispensable to reach the perfection toward which we must all tend, but it is a most suitable means more surely and rapidly to reach the end and not run the danger of stopping halfway.

We have said that a soul cannot reach perfection without having the spirit of the counsels, or the spirit of detachment. Now, it is difficult truly to have this spirit without the effective practice of this detachment, which seemed too hard to the rich young man. Sanctity can be attained in the married state, as we see from the lives of St Clotilde, St Louis, and Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, but it is more difficult and more rare to reach it by this common road.

It is not easy to have the spirit of detachment in regard to worldly goods, permitted pleasures, and our own will, if, in reality, we do not effectively detach ourselves from them. The Christian who lives in the world is often exposed to excessive absorption and preoccupation about a situation to be acquired or maintained for himself and his family. He is also in danger of forgetting to some extent that he must advance toward another life, another fatherland, and that to reach it, something is needed quite different from the understanding of worldly affairs: in other words, the help of God, which should be sought through prayer, and the fruit of grace, which is merit.

In family life he is also inclined to dwell on affections in which he finds a legitimate satisfaction for his need of loving. He is also led to forget that he must above all things love God with his whole heart, with his whole soul, with all his strength, and with his whole mind. Frequently charity is not in him a living flame which rises toward God while vivifying all other affections; instead, it is like a burning coal which slowly dies out under the ashes. This explains the ease with which a number of these Christians sin, scarcely reflecting that their sin is an infidelity to the divine friendship, which should be the most profound sentiment in their hearts.

Lastly, the Christian living in the world is often exposed to doing his own will, side by side, so to speak, with the will of God. After giving a few moments to prayer on Sundays and weekdays, he may organize his life from the simple, natural point of view in accordance with his reason which is more or less deformed by self-love and the prejudices or conventions of his environment. Then faith seems at times reduced to a number of sacred truths that have been memorized, but have not become truths of life. The understanding is then too much preoccupied with earthly interests, sometimes with diversions; should difficulties demanding great moral energy arise, the spirit of faith is often found wanting. The great truths about the future life, about the helps that come to us from Christ, remain practically inefficacious, like distant truths that have never been assimilated and are lost in the depths of the heavens. Practical faith is lacking then, a faith that would cause the light of the mysteries of salvation to descend into the midst of the difficulties of daily life.

Such are evidently the dangers which the Christian encounters when he does not seek to practice effectively the evangelical counsels in the measure possible to him. If he fails in this matter, he will go astray and fall progressively into three moral maladies radically opposed to the three counsels.

St John speaks of these evils when he says: “For all that is in the world (or according to its spirit) is the concupiscence of the flesh and the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world.” They are three purulent wounds which ravage souls and bring death to them by turning them away from God.

Banishment of our First Parents from Eden

These three moral wounds appeared in the world after the sin of the first man and our repeated personal sins. To understand their gravity, we should recall the fact that they replace in many souls the triple harmony that existed in the state of original justice. It is this triple harmony that Christ wishes precisely to re-establish by the three evangelical counsels. Originally, on the first day of creation there was perfect harmony between God and the soul, between the soul and the body, between the body of man and exterior goods. Harmony existed between God and the soul, since it is created to know God, to love Him, to serve Him, and by this means to obtain eternal life.

The first man, who was created in “the state of sanctity and original justice,” was a contemplative who conversed familiarly with God, as we read in the first chapters of Genesis. His soul found its principal nourishment in divine things, “a little less than the angels.” (Psalms 8:6). In the light of God, he considered all things, and he obeyed the Lord.

From this superior harmony came that which existed between the soul and the body, which was made to serve the soul. Since the soul was perfectly subordinated to God, it had dominion over its body. The passions or movements of the sensible appetites followed with docility the direction of right reason enlightened by faith and the impelling force of the will vivified by charity.

Finally, there was harmony between the body and exterior goods. The earth produced its fruits spontaneously without the necessity of being worked painfully; the animals were docile, or at least did no harm to man, who had received dominion over them.

Sin disturbed this triple harmony by destroying the highest of the three; it introduced the triple disorder, called by St. John “the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life.”

Lucifer: "I will not serve."

Man revolted against the law of God; and the human soul, thenceforth inclined to pride, has often repeated: “I will not serve.” The soul has ceased to nourish itself with divine truth, and instead conceives its own narrow, false, ever-changing, little ideas. It wished to make for itself its own truths and principles, and to direct itself alone, limiting as far as possible the authority of God, instead of receiving from Him the salutary direction which alone leads to true life. Refusing to submit to the dominion of God, the soul has lost control over its body and its passions, which were made to obey the reason and will. What is more, the soul has often made itself the slave of the body, of its lower instincts: this is the concupiscence of the flesh. Many people so far forget their divine destiny as to be occupied from morning to night with their bodies, which become their idols. Their passions reign as masters; the soul becomes their slave, for passions that are antithetic, love, jealousy, anger, hatred, follow each other in the soul in spite of it. Instead of directing these passions, the soul is carried away by them as by wild horses which no longer know the bit.

Finally, the body, instead of making use of exterior goods, becomes their slave; it overtaxes itself at times to obtain an abundance of these exterior goods. It surrounds itself with useless luxury, to the detriment of the poor who are hungry. It must have all that glitters and makes a man seem important: this is the concupiscence of the eyes. After accumulating a fortune, many men are wholly absorbed in the care of maintaining and increasing it. Slaves to their business, they never find time to pray, to read a page of the Gospel, to feed their souls. They settle down here on earth as if they were going to stay here always, with hardly any concern for their salvation.

This triple slavery, which replaces the original triple harmony, is order overthrown. Christ came to restore the order that had been destroyed; with this end in view, He gave us the three evangelical counsels.

The three virtues of poverty, chastity, and obedience are called religious or holy virtues because they are subordinated to the virtue of religion, which renders to God the worship that is due Him. By reason of its object, the worship due to the Lord, the virtue of religion is the first of the moral virtues; it takes its place immediately after the three theological virtues and infused prudence which directs it. It offers to God the acts of the three religious virtues of poverty, chastity, and obedience. To make certain of not turning back, the religious binds himself by the three corresponding vows, a triple engagement or promise to practice these three virtues, first for a time, then until death, following the example of Christ, who was obedient “unto death, even to the death of the cross.”

As the Savior offered Himself, the religious offers himself also in union with Him, giving his entire life as an oblation or sacrifice. Since the religious ought to offer everything, – exterior goods, body, heart, will, personal judgment – this sacrifice, if well made and not revoked as time goes on, truly deserves the title of holocaust. It ought to be lived daily in an ever more intimate manner; then it obtains the hundredfold promised by the Savior, who declared: “Amen, I say to you, there is no man who hath left house or brethren or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for My sake and for the gospel, who shall not receive a hundred times as much, now in this time, houses and brethren and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come, life everlasting.” (St Mark 10:29)
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Thursday, October 7, 2010
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
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Some beautiful images from Mass in Toronto.
Editor Note: These images are no longer available.
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Tridentine Mass and Catholic Tradition
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A beautiful video of Catholic Tradition alive.
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Friday, October 1, 2010
Find the Perfect Christmas Cards and Invitations
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Summer flew by and it sure feels like the Fall is doing the same, which means the most wonderful time of the year will be here before you know it.  One of my favorite parts of the Holiday Season (and there sure are a lot of favorites) are all the wonderful Christmas cards from friends and family coming in the mail.  It makes going out to the mailbox so much more exciting!  Receiving special holiday wishes from friends and family close and far just seems to put the holiday spirit in the air.  And I love lining the mantle above the fireplace with all the Season’s Greetings, watching them grow in number as it gets closer and closer to Christmas.

I was introduced to Storkie.com last year, and am excited to share with you information about their unique holiday cards.  Storkie is committed to providing high quality, affordable stationery with a customer experience that is quite simply fantastic. Their website allows you to make all sorts of customizations to your cards, and they make it easy!  From classic to contemporary, Storkie has it all.  Most orders ship out in just 1-2 days, so even if you are a procrastinator, you can still get your Christmas cards in the mail on time.  And their professional typesetters review every order to make sure everything is perfect.  If you’d like to see a proof before they print your order, no problem – that option is free!

One of the coolest things about Storkie’s Christmas photo cards is that you can personalize graphics in addition to all of the text, fonts, colors.  Their innovative Dynamic Designs let you choose from different design and color combinations.  So creating something unique that matches your style is easy and fun! Below is their fun snow globe Christmas cards personalized in 3 totally different ways: from snowmen to polar bears to penguins, and blue to green to red.
If you prefer classic Christmas greeting cards for your holiday sentiments, Storkie has a wonderful selection of cards that feature gorgeous embossing and raised lettering printing, all still at affordable prices (all under $2).

Go check out Storkie’s wonderful selection of unique Christmas cards and find the perfect Season’s Greetings to send to your friends, family, and colleagues.  Also keep them in mind for your other Christian stationery needs, including Christening invitations, First Communion invitations, and Confirmation invitations.

Get excited, it may be October, but it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas!!!
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