Saturday, November 09, 2013

This looks like a worthy event from the folks at FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic university students), click on the link below for more info:

FOCUS New Evangelization Prayer Breakfast
Friday, November 15th, 2013
:30 a.m. Mass & Rosary
8:30-10:00 a.m. Breakfast & Program
$55 per person
$35 for Young Professionals
$15 for Students, Religious & Clergy

 Church of Our Savior | Mass
59 Park Avenue | New York, NY 10016
Union League Club | Breakfast
37 East 38th Avenue | New York, NY 10016

Emcee:  Fr. Jonathan Morris

Father Jonathan Morris is the Program Director of The Catholic Channel on SiriusXM, 129 and the Campus Minister at Columbia University. He also serves as an analyst for the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel and Wall Street Journal. He has authored several books including: The Promise: God's Purpose and Plan for When Life Hurts and “God Wants You Happy: from self-help to God’s Help; in addition he will release next year “A Soul at Peace: Making The Serenity Prayer a Way of Life.” He is a priest in residence at Corpus Christi parish in Manhattan and serves as Chaplain to “The Christophers.”

Keynote Speaker:   Fr. Robert Spitzer
A Catholic priest in the Jesuit order, serves as the President of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith and the Spitzer Center. He was President of Gonzaga University from 1998-2009 and significantly increased the programs and curricula. He has made multiple media appearances on Larry King Live, the Today Show, The History Channel, and multiple nationally syndicated radio programs. He has published 5 books, and is currently writing three, The Grand Designer: The Evidence for Creation in Modern Physics; Personal Happiness; and Jesus-Emmanuel: A Philosopher Examines the Evidence for Jesus. Fr. Spitzer also has a rewarding career in teaching, won numerous academic awards and founded seven national institutes.

Them Bones, Them Bones

"For the first time and to coincide with the end of the Year of Faith, the Vatican is to put on public display the relics of St. Peter. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, announced the Vatican’s plans in a Nov. 8 article in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.


"The tomb of St. Peter is located in the Vatican necropolis – the so-called ‘Scavi’ – under the main altar of the Vatican basilica. It was excavated in the 1940s and after detailed testing, Pope Paul VI verified them as St. Peter's relics. The ‘Scavi Tour’ has long been a very popular attraction at the Vatican. The bones of St. Peter have always been kept in the grotto of the basilica and never placed on public display."

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Pope meeting Putin, could help mend Catholic-Orthodox relations

"(Reuters) - Pope Francis will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 25, an encounter that could help mend strained relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church.
Russian-Vatican relations have been fraught since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, with Moscow accusing the Roman Catholic Church of trying to poach believers from the Russian Orthodox Church, a charge the Vatican denies.
But Putin is the first Kremlin leader since the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution to publicly profess religious faith - to the Orthodox church - and has several times advocated ending the long feud between the two major Christian churches.
Putin and the pope will hold their first meeting on November 25, a Vatican spokesman said on Thursday."

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

New Bishop of Rochester, New York = Salvatore R. Matano

Bishop Salvatore Matano has been named the new Bishop of Rochester

Congratulations to our long suffering neighbors to the north!  The Diocese of Rochester has had terrible leadership for decades (see the blog Cleansing Fire for all the gory details) and now they will finally have some new hope for better times.  Now, if the capitol area can get new leadership, upstate will really be looking up. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Reverend Msgr. Lawrence F. Ballweg, 97


I saw on the website of the DRVC that this priest died at the age of 97.  I had never heard of him and was intrigued by his long life, so I googled.  It turns out that he was the priest who testified at the hearings looking into the behavior of the IRS back in 1997.  This was the hearing regarding the IRS' treatment of citizens, not the IRS's treatment of certain non profit groups that was exposed recently.  My favorite quote (I highlighted it below) from Father is from this Chicago Tribune article:  Traumatized By The Irs - 

"They're phantoms," testified Rev. Lawrence Ballweg, a Catholic priest who dealt with the IRS while administering the trust established by his now-deceased mother to benefit the poor. "Nobody ever signs anything."
The IRS threatened to seize his bank account, car and other property before Ballweg straightened out what should have been a simple error. "They made no effort to help me at all," he said. "If I had treated people like that when I was a pastor, my pews would have been empty."

The Power of the Religious Habit: A True Story

"Even though she is barely five feet tall, Sister Z drew everyone's attention when she entered the large visiting room of Greensville Prison.  It was as if a rock star had arrived.  All eyes were drawn to her, and each person's face held a slightly different expression.  Some quickly looked away as if ashamed, others smiled, and some kept staring like little children.  I suppose this is similar to what we will experience at the final judgment when we see Christ, face-to-face, instead of hidden in his representatives here on earth. 

 Their reaction was due to one small detail:  Sister Z wore her religious habit.  It is ironic that many nuns have given up their traditional habit in order to be more conformed to the world.  Perhaps, they have rejected the habit to stress their individuality, but God saves a community of people, not just individuals.  From the looks on people's faces that day in the visiting room, it was evident that Sister Z's habit conveyed to them something of the reality of the Incarnation, of the human linked to the divine, the subjective to the objective, the deeply personal to the institutional.  The habit suggested that she was grafted onto the Vine, the supernatural cause of all natural beauty, natural life, and natural power. 

Sister Z herself says that her habit is a daily reminder of her vow to God."

Read the rest to see the 'ordinary little miracle' that occurred.

How the First Christians Changed the World (and What We Can Learn from Them)

A small snip from this article by Fr.Michael Giesler that describes the unique community of early Christians:

"Above all, the early followers of Christ showed an understanding and kindness to one another and to non-Christians that astounded the ancient world—a world often constructed on power, money, and cruelty. Though there were noble pagans who believed in personal discipline and stoic acceptance of adversity, their virtue was based on human efforts alone and often led to a feeling of sterility and helplessness.

But Christian fortitude had a twofold source. First, Christians were aware of the grace that came to them from baptism, a grace which made them children of God and gave them a power not dependent on human efforts or lineage (cf. John 1:12). Second, they shared the conviction that no Christian was isolated from another and that all of them—whether rich or poor, noble or slave, educated or uneducated—were equally loved and valued by Jesus Christ. Together the communities formed what the Catholic Church would later call the Mystical Body of Christ, in which each member, no matter how small, had an important contribution to make." 

Monday, November 04, 2013

Year of Faith Lecture Series

The final speaker in the Year of Faith Lecture Series:

His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Sunday, November 24, 2013
at 4:30 PM

"Year of Faith and the New Evangelization" 
Timothy Cardinal Dolan is the Archbishop of New York and is currently the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He holds a License in Sacred Theology from the University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome and a Doctorate in American Church History from The Catholic University of America. Cardinal Dolan has also served as the Rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Louis and the Archbishop of Milwaukee. He is the author of numerous books, including Priests for the Third Millennium and True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty.

Magnificat - Hymns to the Mother of God From East & West

An Evening of Sacred Song
St. Jean Baptiste Church
184 East 76th St.

Monday, November 25, 2013 at 7:30 PM
Tickets - $25

Choirs from two local theological schools representing Eastern and Western Christendom will jointly present an a cappella concert titled “Magnificat: Hymns to the Mother of God from the East and West” on Monday evening, November 25, 2013, 7:30 pm, at St. Jean Baptiste Church, 184 East 76th Street, New York City. The Male Choir from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, of the Orthodox Church in America, will join with a Schola from St. Joseph's Seminary (Dunwoodie) of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, in praise of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, who holds a place of honor in both traditions.
Music selections from the Orthodox tradition for the concert will illustrate the Eastern Church’s feasts dedicated to the Theotokos (Greek for “Mother of God”), while music from the Roman Catholic tradition will include time-honored hymns of laudation to the Virgin Mary, taken from ancient chant and from the classical period up until modern times, such as O Sanctissima by Beethoven (1770–1827) and Ave Maria by Biebl (1906–2001).

Tickets are $25 for general seating, and may be purchased online. Limited tickets will be available at the door one hour prior to the concert.

‘Lady Alice’: Philosopher Alice von Hildebrand Honored by Pope Francis

I was extremely pleased to find this article:

"Cardinal Burke invested von Hildebrand as a Dame Grand Cross of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great, an honor Pope Francis bestowed on her Sept. 19. The investiture took place during a dinner at A CLUB in midtown Manhattan. The affair marked von Hildebrand’s 90th birthday and was held by the Dietrich von Hildebrand Legacy Project, which seeks to disseminate the work of the German Catholic philosopher of the same name. Since Von Hildebrand's death in 1977, Alice von Hildebrand has devoted her life and work to promoting his thought.
Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Vatican Signatura – the highest judicial body in the Church – said in a keynote address that both Dietrich von Hildebrand, a professor at Fordham University, and his wife, who taught philosophy for 37 years at Hunter College in New York, faithfully carried out the role of Catholic educators in engendering in students the “listening heart” that leads one to the fullness of truth in the Catholic faith."