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547Volume 3, Issue 151

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  • John N. Lupia
    Aug 3, 2003
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      Volume 3, Issue 151
      MONDAY 4 August 2003

      Feast of St. John Vianney, Priest

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      • Miracle of the Snow to Be Commemorated at St. Mary Major
      • Bishop Wilton D. Gregory Welcomes Vatican's Document on Homosexual Unions
      • Why Has The Holy See Written a Document Against Homosexual Unions?
      • New Bishops for the Diocese of Brooklyn, Houma-Thibodaux, and Charlotte
      • Defender of Indian's Rights, Mother Laura Might Soon Be Beatified
      • 9th Anniversary of Independent Cuban Review "Vitral"

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      Miracle of the Snow to Be Commemorated at St. Mary Major

      "Liberian" Basilica Will Be Inundated with Flowers on Tuesday

      VATICAN CITY, AUGUST 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The patriarchal basilica of St. Mary Major will be "inundated" with white petals on Tuesday, August 5, solemn feast of St. Mary of the Snows.

      The celebration recalls the dedication of the basilica and the famous "miracle of snow," which occurred on August 5, 358 A.D. when snow fell on this little Roman hill of the Esquiline, one of Rome's famous seven hills. It was taken as an extraordinary sign -- August is a hot and humid month in Rome-- of the Virgin's invitation to construct a church in her honor.

      According to tradition, on the night of August 5 the Virgin appeared amid the snow to Pope Liberius and patrician Giovanni and his wife. A century later, the Council of Ephesus (431) declared Mary Most Holy Mother of God, and Pope Sixtus III ordered that the basilica be constructed in her honor. The icon of Mary Salvation of the Roman People ("Salus Populi Romani") is venerated in the basilica.

      St. Mary Major is also known as the Liberian Basilica, named after Pope Liberius, as well as the Spanish Basilica, because the gold-covered roof was a fruit of the Spanish conquest of America. The basilica will hold a solemn Pontifical Mass, officiated by Cardinal Carlo Furno, archpriest of the basilica, followed by the Second Vespers for next Tuesday. There will be a rain of flowers in both celebrations.

      The festivities will include the participation of the venerable liberian musical chapel, directed by maestro Valenti Miserachs Grau, president of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.

      A number of events, conferences, visits and liturgical celebrations, will begin on August 3, to celebrate the occasion, which this year is of particular interest as it is the Year of the Rosary.

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      Bishop Wilton D. Gregory Welcomes Vatican's Document on Homosexual Unions

      Statement of the USCCB President on "Considerations" Document

      WASHIGTON, AUGUST 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Here is the statement of Bishop Gregory D. Wilton, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on the Vatican's new document "Considerations" concerning homosexual unions. The statement was published Thursday.

      Statement by Bishop Wilton D. Gregory

      I welcome the document issued today by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - "Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons." These considerations are intended to re-express the Church's teachings about the unique character of marriage and its place and role in society. Drawing on the teachings of natural law and the history of cultural traditions, as well as the constant teaching of the Church, the document recognizes marriage as a life-long covenant between a man and a woman. It affirms that by their mutual commitment to one another and by their openness to cooperating in God's act of creation, a husband and wife bring forth the family as the foundation of society and culture. The truth of marriage is beautifully and properly characterized as a caring and loving relation between a husband and a wife who fulfill themselves as persons by complementing one another in domestic life and in the natural creation of new life.

      In affirming the teaching which has been consistent in law for centuries, the "Considerations" opposes the legalization of homosexual unions and the granting to such relationships the legal equivalence of marriage. With the purpose of protecting the common good and preserving the family, the document affirms, "There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family."

      The document goes on to note the danger of establishing a legal equivalence between marriage and homosexual relationships as has happened both in Europe and in North America. This equivalence not only weakens the unique meaning of marriage; it also weakens the role of law itself by forcing the law to violate the truth of marriage and family as the natural foundation of society and culture. Although the majority in the recent Supreme Court decision, Lawrence vs. Texas, was careful to make clear that this case did not involve the question of whether the government must formally recognize homosexual relationships, the tone of the decision gave reason to be concerned.

      At the same time that these "Considerations" testify to the uniqueness of marriage they also continue to teach clearly about the respect due homosexual persons and condemn all forms of unjust discrimination, harassment or abuse toward men and women with homosexual tendencies. Citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the document affirms that they "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity." Moral truth, the document states, is contradicted "both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons."

      Because there is an effort underway in many places to legalize homosexual unions, the "Considerations" draws out the implications for Catholics as they engage the society in which they live. Catholics must refrain from "any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application" of laws that give the legal status and rights belonging to marriage to homosexual unions. Catholic politicians, in particular, must oppose such laws when they are proposed. Where such laws exist, if they cannot be completely repealed, Catholic politicians may act in accord with the principles stated in Pope John Paul II's encyclical Evangelium Vitae (1995) and support proposals aimed at limiting the harmful effects of such laws, as long as the legislator's own absolute personal opposition to these laws is clear and apparent to all.

      Given both the truth and the beauty of the Church's teaching on marriage, I urge all Catholics and all men and women of good will to give the most serious and thoughtful attention to these "Considerations." Because the human intellect is naturally drawn to the truth, as the human heart is drawn by nature to the good, I am confident that many a careful reader will see the wisdom of what is proposed in this document, including many who may think otherwise at first.

      [This statement can be found at the USCCB Web page: http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2003/03-158.htm%5d

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      Why Has The Holy See Written a Document Against Homosexual Unions?

      Secretary of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Responds

      VATICAN CITY, AUGUST 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Why has the Holy See published a document, clearly articulating its negative ethical judgment on those laws that give legal recognition to homosexual unions?

      Salesian Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and, together with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, signatory of the document, answered the question in this interview with Vatican Radio.

      The document "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons," of a "doctrinal character," was published by the Holy See on Thursday.

      Q: What are the essential points of the document?

      Archbishop Amato: There are three. First of all, there is a reaffirmation of the essential characteristics of matrimony, which is founded on the complementarity of the sexes. This is a natural truth, confirmed by revelation, so that man and woman can have that communion of persons, through which they participate in a special way in God's creative work, receiving and educating new lives. There is no principle whatsoever to assimilate or establish analogies between homosexual unions and God's plan for matrimony and the family. Matrimony is holy, while homosexual relations are in contrast to the natural law and are intrinsically disordered.

      Q: But, with this document, isn't there a risk of discriminating against homosexual persons?

      Archbishop Amato: The Church respects men and women with homosexual tendencies, and invites them to live according the law of the Lord, in chastity. It must be kept in mind, however, that the homosexual inclination in itself is objectively disordered and that homosexual practices are grave sins against chastity.

      Q: What were the other two points mentioned?

      Archbishop Amato: The second point affects the attitudes that must be assumed given these homosexual unions. The civil authorities adopt three attitudes: of tolerance, of legal recognition, or of genuine comparison with matrimony as such, including the possibility of adoption. In face of a policy of tolerance, the Catholic faithful is called to affirm the immoral character of this phenomenon, requesting that the State circumscribe it with limits which will not endanger the fabric of society and will not expose youth to an erroneous conception of sexuality and matrimony. However, in face of the legal recognition or comparison with heterosexual matrimony, there is a duty to oppose in a clear and motivated manner, even claiming the right to objection of conscience.

      Q: How is this clear rejection justified?

      Archbishop Amato: This is the third point of the document, which offers the arguments of rational order, biological and anthropological order, social order, and juridical order which justify the Catholics' rejection.

      Right reason cannot justify a law that is not in keeping with the natural moral law: if it does so, the State no longer fulfills its duty to defend matrimony, an essential institution for the common good.

      One thing is a homosexual union as a private phenomenon, and quite another its legal recognition, as a model of social life, which would devalue the matrimonial institution and cloud the perception of some fundamental moral values. Moreover, in homosexual unions, the biological and anthropological conditions of matrimony and the family are missing.

      As regards the hypothesis of the integration of children in homosexual unions, such an adoption would be violent for the children, as it would deprive them of a proper environment for their full human development. From the social point of view, it would change the concept of matrimony, with its task of procreation and education and would cause great harm to the common good, especially if its incidence in the social fabric increases. Lastly, speaking juridically, married couples guarantee the order of generations and, therefore, are of eminent public interest. This is not so in the case of homosexual couples.

      Q: What should be, concretely, the attitude of Catholic politicians in this respect?

      Archbishop Amato: Faced with a first draft law favorable to this recognition, the Catholic parliamentarian has the moral duty to express his disagreement clearly and publicly, voting against it. A vote in favor would be a gravely immoral act.

      In face of a law that is already in force, he must make known his opposition. If it is not possible to abrogate the law, he could mobilize and support proposals directed to limiting the harm of such a law and decrease the negative effects at the level of public culture and morality, on the condition that his opposition to laws of this type is clear and avoids the danger of scandal.

      This is a principle expressed in the encyclical "Evangelium Vitae" (1995).The leading cultures of the world have always given great institutional recognition not so much to friendship between persons as to matrimony and the family, a condition of stable life favorable to the common good: procreation, survival of society, education, and socialization of children.

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      New Bishops for the Diocese of Brooklyn, Houma-Thibodaux, and Charlotte

      VATICAN CITY, AUGUST 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Pope John Paul II appointed three new bishops today to fill vacancies in the dioceses of Brooklyn, New York; Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

      After accepting the resignation of Bishop Thomas V. Daily of Brooklyn, the Holy Father and appointed Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Camden as his successor.

      The Pope also appointed Bishop Sam G. Jacobs of Alexandria, Louisiana, as bishop of the diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. He succeeds Bishop Michael Jarrell, who was transferred to Lafayette, Louisiana, on November 8, 2002.

      Father Peter J. Jugis, currently judicial vicar of the diocese of Charlotte, and pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Monroe, has been appointed as bishop of Charlotte. Bishop-elect Jugis succeeds Bishop William G. Curlin, who resigned November 10, 2002.

      The news was published today by the Holy See's Press Office.

      Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio was born in Newark, June 16, 1944. He studied at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Newark, Seton Hall University, the archdiocesan seminary in Darlington, and Rutgers University, where he earned a degree in public administration.

      Ordained a priest of the Newark Archdiocese on May 30, 1970, he was parochial vicar of St. Nicholas in Jersey City from 1970-1976, director of the archdiocesan office of Migration from 1976-1984, and pastor of Holy Rosary, Jersey City, from 1984-1986.

      From 1986-1991, Bishop DiMarzio was executive director of Migration and Refugee Services of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the largest private refugee resettlement agency in the country. Later he served as chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Migration Committee, which oversees the work of that agency.

      Bishop emeritus Thomas V. Daily was born on September 23, 1927, in Belmont, Massachusetts. He studied at St. John's Seminary, Brighton, and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, January 10, 1952. He was appointed titular bishop of Bladia and auxiliary bishop of Boston on December 31, 1974.

      On July 17 1984, he was named bishop of Palm Beach, FL, on July 17, 1984. Bishop Daily was later appointed bishop of Brooklyn on February 20, 1990.

      The diocese of Brooklyn comprises Kings and Queens Counties in the State of New York. Its Catholic population of 1,824,642 (in a total population of 4,689,802) includes one of the largest concentrations of diverse immigrant communities in the country.

      The new bishop of Houma-Thibodaux, Sam G. Jacobs, was born in Greenwood, Michigan, March 4, 1938. He studied at the Catholic University of America where he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees, and was ordained a priest of the diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, on June 6, 1964.

      Bishop Jacobs was appointed bishop of Alexandria on July 11, 1989, and ordained on August 24, 1989.

      The diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, established June 5, 1977, comprises the parishes of Lafourche, Terrebonne, and parts of St. Mary and Jefferson. It has a Catholic population of 126,000 in a total population of 202,000. Bishop Jacobs will be the third bishop in the 26-year history of the diocese.

      Peter J. Jugis, bishop-elect of Charlotte, was born there on March 3, 1957. He attended the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, where he earned a degree in business administration in 1978.

      After beginning studies for the priesthood, he was sent to the North American College in Rome and studied theology at the Gregorian University. He was ordained a priest by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Basilica on June 12, 1983. He received the JCL in Canon Law from the Gregorian in 1984, and a doctorate in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in 1992.

      Bishop-elect Jugis was appointed director of the Diocesan Tribunal and judicial vicar in 1997 and appointed pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in 2002.

      The diocese of Charlotte, established in 1972, includes the 46 western counties of the State of North Carolina. It has a Catholic population of about 135,000 in a total population of over four million.

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      Defender of Indian's Rights, Mother Laura Might Soon Be Beatified

      Colombian Nun Evangelized Indians of Uraba and Sarare Jungles

      VATICAN CITY, AUGUST 1, 2003 (ZENIT.org).- Colombian Mother Laura of St. Catherine of Sienna, a nun who "became an Indian with the Indians to win them all for Christ," might become a blessed.

      The Holy See officially recognized a miracle attributed to her intercession on July 7, opening the doors to beatification. Speaking before John Paul II, Cardinal Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints said: "In her youth she was dedicated to teaching, but her real aspiration was to take the Gospel to the Indians of her land."

      The miracle took place in 1994, when an 86-year old woman suffering from cancer of the uterus was cured, allowing her to live a healthy life for nearly ten more years.

      Laura Montoya y Upegui was born on May 26, 1874 in Jerico, Colombia. She received her academic formation at the Holy Spirit School of Amalfi and a school in Medellín.

      In addition to teaching, which she carried out with care and devotion, Mother Laura was distinguished for her missionary aptitudes, an endeavor she engaged in with intelligence, courage, and enthusiasm.

      Inspired always by the missionary ideal, she catechized the Indians of the Uraba and Sarare jungles.

      Her first missionary trip was in 1908. She founded the "Works of the Indians" and the Congregation of Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and St. Catherine of Sienna.

      She organized a group of young women in the service of God and of the neediest in 1914, giving life to a congregation that over the years spread to several countries of Latin America, among them, Venezuela.

      A defender of the Indians' rights and symbol of a strong woman, Mother Laura died in Medellín on October 21, 1949. She is considered an exemplary figure in Colombia's religious history. The heroic virtues of this Servant of God were recognized in 1991.

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      9th Anniversary of Independent Cuban Review "Vitral"

      Its Director, Member of a Vatican Council, Has Been Punished by the Government

      PINAR DEL RIO (CUBA), AUGUST 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- "Vitral," meaning stained glass window, one of the few independent Cuban magazines celebrates its 9th anniversary, despite its director's punishment by the government.

      The review, of a socio-cultural character, was created by the Center of Civic and Religious Formation of the Diocese of Pinar del Rio, on June 3, 1994, to form Cubans as free and responsible individuals able to participate in a more just and democratic society.

      The publication, sponsored by Bishop Jose Siro Gonzalez Bacallao, has an editorial council headed by layman Dagoberto Valdez Hernandez of Pinar del Rio, member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. An agronomist, for the past 7 years Valdez Hernandez has been punished by the government and sent to work with a brigade collecting royal palm fibrous tissue.

      The other members of the Editorial Council are: Maria del Carmen Gora, Roberto Perez, Ernesto Ortiz, P. Oscar Galceran, and Father Manuel H. De Cespedes, its ecclesiastical adviser.

      "But those who really get it out are the collaborators who write for it and the subscribers throughout Cuba, more than half of whom are not committed Catholics. This encourages us and fills us with hope. Without them "Vitral" would have disappeared through inanition," Valdes explained to ZENIT.

      "Both the Center and its magazine are of Catholic inspiration; they are based on the Social Doctrine of the Church, and are also inspired in the pedagogical and ethical work of Father Felix Varela, founder of our nationality; and in the philosophy of communitarian personalism of Emmanuel Mounier, and the integral humanism of Jacques Maritain," Valdes explained.

      The Center, which he also directs, resulted "from an analysis of the reality of the Cuban people presented by the bishops in the year 1991, in which the Cuban's situation was summarized as being that of a depersonalized being, that is, uprooted, and discouraged."

      "And on the other hand, the observation of the dismantling of the democratic fiber of the civil society which did not allow for the existence of instances, and autonomous organizations and institutions to guarantee a real atmosphere for democracy," he recalled.

      In addition to the several thousand copies that circulate in the Island and its Web page, "Vitral" has started a news service through e-mail. To subscribe, see Web page: http://www.vitral.org

      To contact the Editorial Staff or to send a message of solidarity, use e-mail obipinar@..., inserting in the "Subject" section: FOR VITRAL.

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      The sixth section of Chapter 2 is entitled: “The Liturgy, School of Meditation”. Fr. Boyer shows the liturgy facilitates understanding Scripture as all reflexive of Christ. The Church continues the role of Christ on the road to Emmaus through the liturgy to reveal how all the Sacred Scriptures refer to Christ. This is an elaboration on the allegorical sense of Scripture which we must develop an awareness of in lectio divina.

      The liturgy gives us three prayers that help facilitate this assimilation: (1) the responsorial prayer; (2) personal silent prayer; (3) the collect prayer.

      Responsorial Prayer:

      The Church continues the ancient Jewish practice of the responsorial prayer. This prayer is a sacred song of celebration where God is glorified and adored. The text is one from Sacred Scripture since God knows how He is to be properly praised and adored. The prayer is from God Himself and recalls St. Paul’s instruction: “We do not know what we ought to ask of God. The Spirit Himself comes to the aid of our weakness and intercedes in us. (Rom 8:26).

      The responsorial prayers are drawn from the Psalm and scriptural canticles. “It is He Who takes the initiative in speaking to us. It is he alone, again, Who can create in our heart the response that His Word expects from us.” (41). God Himself has given us the gift to pray to Him as we ought.

      “The contemplation of this gift, a contemplation which cannot remain detached from what it contemplates, a contemplation which prostrates us in grateful adoration only to lift us up at once into a pure gladness wholly open to, wholly given over to Him Who has given us everything --- such a contemplation is at the heart of a faith that is truly living. The Word is not truly welcomed for what it is, by a true faith, except when the prayer that welcomes it, that adheres to it, takes on this character.” (42).

      Louis Boyer, Cong. Orat., Introduction to Spirituality. Translated by Mary Perkins Ryan. (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1961).

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      1. HOW TO USE LINKS -- RealPlayer

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      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text

      Biblica Online

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      Monks of Adoration:

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      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

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      Our Father Movie

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      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 1)

      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 2)

      Need a Miracle?

      Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili (1892-1985)


      The Mama Gili Guild was established several years ago to gather, collect, and publish information on Dolores Immacolata Gili (1892-1985) for an investigation into her cause as a Servant of God, as well as to promote her cause and to perpetuate her cult by directing prayer groups assembled in her honor. It has continuously enjoyed the ecclesiastical approval of Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, and the Most Reverend John Joseph Myers, Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.

      Call or write today regarding favors granted through the intercession of Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili, or, for more information about the cause of her investigation for canonization to:

      Rev. Dante DiGirolamo, Director
      Mama Gili Guild
      P. O. Box 455
      Kearny, New Jersey 07032
      Phone (973) 412-1170
      Fax (973) 412-7011

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      The Benedictine monks of Abbaye Saint-Joseph de Clairval mail a free monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it. Also free of charge are: the tract about the divinity of Jesus Christ; tract about the Truths of the Catholic Religion; scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with explanatory notice; the promises of the Sacred Heart; the mysteries of the Rosary.

      Sample Newsletter

      Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval


      Phone.: 03 80 96 22 31
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      Email: <englishspoken@...> or <stjoseph.flavigny@...>


      10. Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ. English Trans. Online

      Thomas a Kempis, De Imitatione Christi. Latin Text Online

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      When the Eucharistic host is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you the crucified Body of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in reparation for all the sins committed against you and for the conversion and salvation of the whole world."

      When the Eucharistic chalice is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you the precious Blood of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in reparation for all the sins committed against you and for the conversion and salvation of the whole world."

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      "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16

      "Keep close to the Mother of God as if you were the child Jesus clinging to her robes while walking down a dusty and busy crowded street and you'll always be safe."

      * * *

      To gain access to all of the Roman Catholic News archives go to the URL:

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