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Volume 3, Issue 115

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  • John N. Lupia
    ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS Volume 3, Issue 115 FRIDAY 13 June 2003 Feast of St. Anthony of Padua * * * WEAR THE BROWN SCAPULAR OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL AND PRAY
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 12, 2003
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      Volume 3, Issue 115
      FRIDAY 13 June 2003

      Feast of St. Anthony of Padua

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      * * *

      • John Paul II Tells Why He's Traveled So Much
      • Jordan's King Sends a Message to Pope
      • Revised Euro Text Still Omits Mention of Christianity
      • Ugandan Rebels Putting Catholic Missions Under Siege
      • Christians in Kashmir Targeted and Accused of Forcing Conversions
      • Cardinal Stafford on the Eucharistic Face of Christ
      • East Timor President Receives "Path to Peace" Award

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      John Paul II Tells Why He's Traveled So Much

      "I Heard the Echo of Jesus' Command: 'Go Into All the World'"

      VATICAN CITY, JUNE 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II says his propensity for travel began with an inspiration he felt at the very start of his almost 25-year pontificate.

      "Right from the day I was elected as Bishop of Rome, Oct. 16, 1978, with special intensity and urgency I heard the echo of Jesus' command: 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all of creation,'" the Pope told a gathering today at the Vatican.

      "I thus felt the duty to imitate the Apostle Peter who 'went here and there among them all' to confirm and consolidate the vitality of the Church in fidelity to the Word and in service to the truth; to tell everyone that the Church loves them, that the Pope loves them and, likewise, to receive from them the encouragement and example of their goodness, of their faith," he added.

      The Holy Father received some 200 people who have collaborated in his 100 international trips. Among the guests were officials of the Vatican Secretariat of State, the Italian Transport Minister, directors of Alitalia airlines, Swiss Guards, and journalists who have covered the 100 papal trips abroad.

      The festive atmosphere was underlined by an orchestra of young religious, Legionaries of Christ, who played the most typical songs of the countries visited by John Paul II.

      "Through your work you have allowed the Pope to go and meet the men and women of our time in the everyday places where they live," John Paul II told his guests. "You have helped him in his ministry as an itinerant missionary, anxious to proclaim to everyone the word of salvation."

      The Holy Father stressed that his trips allow him to carry out "a specific exercise of the ministry proper to the Successor of Peter, that is, 'the perpetual and visible principle and foundation of unity in faith and in communion.'"

      "In all my trips, I have felt like a pilgrim visiting that special shrine known as God's People," he said. "In these shrines I have been able to contemplate the face of Christ, both disfigured as on the cross or resplendent in light as on Easter morning."

      At the same time, John Paul II stressed the importance of sharing with bishops their problems and joys, of meeting the faithful, especially young people, "and knowing more closely the life of Christian communities on diverse continents."

      The Pope also mentioned his meetings with the faithful of other churches and ecclesial communities, and the followers of Judaism, Islam and other religions.

      "The great multicolor assemblies of the People of God, gathered for eucharistic celebrations, remain impressed in my memory and on my heart as the most meaningful and most moving memories of my visits," he said.

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      Jordan's King Sends a Message to Pope

      VATICAN CITY, JUNE 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II received a message from King Abdullah of Jordan, which was handed to the Pope personally by Jordanian Foreign Affairs Minister Marwan Muasher.

      The Vatican press office gave no details on today's papal audience with the Jordanian envoy. The audience was held at a critical time in the relaunching of Mideast peace talks.

      The king's message addresses "the situation in the region," according to the Jordanian news agency Petra.

      Muasher also met with Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican secretary for relations with states, to discuss "means of stepping up efforts to find a just and lasting solution to crises facing the region," Petra said.

      On Tuesday, Muasher was in Bahrain, where he attended a meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers entrusted with following up on Arab summit resolutions, including efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli crisis, Agence France-Presse reported.

      Last week, Jordan was host for a summit between U.S. President George W. Bush and the Israeli and Palestinian Prime Ministers, who both pledged to implement the peace blueprint.

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      Revised Euro Text Still Omits Mention of Christianity

      Bishops' Official Says Draft Shows Ignorance

      BRUSSELS, Belgium, JUNE 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The revised draft of a European Constitution's preamble is an improvement, but it still doesn't respond "to the expectations of the Christian churches," says a Catholic official.

      Monsignor Aldo Giordano, secretary-general of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences, made that evaluation of the new draft issued Tuesday by the Presidium of the European Convention.

      Unlike an earlier draft, the latest redaction does not mention the Greek and Roman civilizations and the philosophical currents of the Enlightenment as part of the heritage of the Old World. Neither does it mention the Christian roots of Europe.

      The new text of the preamble refers, explicitly, to "inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, which, always present in its heritage, has embedded within the life of society its perception of the central role of the human person and his inviolable and inalienable rights, and of respect for law."

      "One gets the impression," Monsignor Giordano told Vatican Radio today, "that the text has improved, because by eliminating the phrase that referred to the roots of Europe -- the Greco-Roman civilization, the spiritual impulse, and the Enlightenment -- the crude historical error, of not mentioning Christianity, is avoided."

      "Naturally, the fact is considered positive that the word 'religion' is present in the text," he said. "Hence, we are satisfied with the step taken, but we expect another."

      "Seeing the will to listen, which this improvement indicates, we hope that the European Constitution will not seek a consensus on the minimum, because I think that Europe and history have arrived at a moment in which a real leap in quality is needed," the monsignor continued.

      "A clear reference to the Judeo-Christian roots will allow Europe to become a new point of reference for the whole of humanity," he said.

      In Monsignor Giordano's opinion, the fact that this reference is eluded is linked, deep down, to ignorance of what it would mean to mention God or Christianity.

      "There is ignorance, but not just in some sectors," he said. "Perhaps there is quite widespread ignorance among Christians. This debate is an invitation to go deeper into the richness of our faith.

      "If we, as Christians, take advantage of this occasion to go deeper into the gift we have received, we will certainly make a contribution to Europe."

      On Friday, the plenary assembly of the Convention is expected to come to an agreement on the final text of the first part of the Constitution, which will be presented next week at the summit in Greece.

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      Ugandan Rebels Putting Catholic Missions Under Siege

      Refugees Starving, Says Agency Director

      KITGUM, Uganda, JUNE 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The rebel Lord's Resistance Army is now targeting Catholic churches and missions.

      The director of the Misna missionary agency, who over the last few days has been in the Catholic mission of Kitgum, says the civilian population in Uganda is suffering under LRA violence.

      "The situation is desperate because the principal inhabited centers are virtually surrounded by rebels, and the rural areas are infested by these 'olum' -- 'grass,' as the LRA guerrillas are called in the Acholi language," Father Giulio Albanese told Vatican Radio.

      The people's food situation is equally worrying, given that provisions "came basically by land until recently; now, aid arrives only by air, and there are many locations that are practically isolated, where people are literally dying of hunger," he added.

      In less than a week, the LRA has attacked four missions in the north: Omiya-Anyma, Opit, Madi Opei and Alito, the priest said. During the assault on Alito the guerrillas held Father Alex Ojera hostage along with 50 other people.

      To Father Ojera, who was subsequently released together with 15 other hostages, the rebels signaled that they were ready to negotiate, but only if they dealt directly with President Yoweri Museveni.

      Nahaman Ojwe, the top civil authority of the Kitgum district, said that the Acholi region, devastated by constant LRA attacks, is living in a "desperate humanitarian situation," the Misna agency reported last weekend.

      Out of a population of 281,000, some 250,000 are now homeless. People are living in 18 refugee camps in the district under extremely precarious conditions, according to data reported by Ojwe.

      Some 200 soldiers have been deployed from Kampala to protect Kitgum. The soldiers work in cooperation with the civil authorities, but their presence must be intensified to guarantee the security of inhabited areas, Ojwe said.

      According to international observers, in 17 years of conflict at least 20,000 civilians and as many children have been kidnapped and enslaved or enrolled by force in the guerrillas' ranks, L'Osservatore Romano reported Sunday.

      Led by Joseph Kony, the LRA struggles against the government to create a state based on the observance of alleged biblical concepts.

      Father Albanese described Kony as a "mad visionary" whose "creed is of a syncretist type, where there is a bit of everything: elements of Christianity, Islam and also animism."

      "Unfortunately, the kidnapped children are forced to kill, often even under the effect of drugs," the priest lamented.

      Between Sudan and Uganda, the men of the LRA number 5,000, although some sources estimate the total at half this figure. In any case, Ojwe said the rebels are well organized. Recent reports say they now have antipersonnel mines.

      "We need the solidarity of the international community in close cooperation with the government of Kampala," Nahaman Ojwe said. He expressed appreciation for the work of the missionaries and the private-group personnel in the area, "because to work here means to constantly risk one's life."

      The Italian episcopal conference says the time has arrived for an urgent "international pronouncement" over Uganda, the SIR agency reported recently.

      "The episcopal commission for the Evangelization of Peoples and Cooperation Among the Churches makes its own the appeal of missionaries working in the northern region of Uganda, that there be no further delay to an international pronouncement that will open the way for effective actions of humanitarian aid and credible actions of peace," said a statement issued by the Italian episcopate.

      The commission appealed to the media to give "precise and objective information on all that happens in the region," and it called on the Italian government to express its concern before international institutions. It also asked the ecclesial community to pray "for peace and concord."

      * * *

      Christians in Kashmir Targeted and Accused of Forcing Conversions

      Bishop Says Some Fear a Sort of Religious "Propaganda" Under Way

      JAMMU, India, JUNE 12, 2003 (ZENIT.org-Fides).- Christians in Kashmir are on edge about recent violence in this border region.

      "We fear for the future," said Bishop Peter Celestine Elampassery of Jammu-Srinager in Indian Kashmir. "Christianity has been present in Kashmir for 200 years and has never had any difficulty with Muslims or Hindus."

      Yet, "today in Kashmir there are many new Christian groups that are very active in missionary work," he said. "These are causing alarm among Hindu and Muslim people and also the local authorities, who fear a sort of 'Christian propaganda.' This has broken the existing harmony and explains the episodes of violence in recent times."

      The local press has reported rumors of thousands of conversions by the new Christian groups.

      In May a number of schools were attacked: St Luke's at Anantang, run by a Protestant group, and Good Shepherd School in Pulwama, run by the Mill Hill missionaries.

      Kashmir is at the center of a quarrel connected with the Muslim secessionist movement, which has generated a 50-year conflict resulting in more than 70,000 killed.

      "For Kashmir, our hopes for peace depend on an improvement in relations between India and Pakistan," Bishop Elampassery explained. The people have had enough of the war, but on both sides, India and Pakistan, militant groups are very active, he said.

      * * *

      Cardinal Stafford on the Eucharistic Face of Christ

      Addresses New Graduates of Thomas Aquinas College

      SANTA PAULA, California, JUNE 12, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Here are excerpts from the homily delivered by Cardinal James Francis Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, at the commencement Mass of Thomas Aquinas College on May 17.

      Homily at Thomas Aquinas College
      J. Francis Cardinal Stafford

      "The Founding Document of Thomas Aquinas College," written in 1969, states that "the proper satisfaction of wonder is knowledge of causes. But causes are of two sorts: a cause may simply be primary within some particular order, or it may be primary without qualification, a cause of causes. Knowledge of the latter is called wisdom; the science which treats of first causes in the light of the natural capacity of human reason is metaphysics, which may be called wisdom only with the qualification 'human'; the science which studies God in the light of what He has revealed about Himself is wisdom without qualification." Your years at this college have been a search for wisdom without qualification.

      Your concluding days here culminate in the celebration of the Eucharist. It is right and just that you should do so. For the Eucharist is the origin and summit of the search for Wisdom.

      The Gospel of St. John presents Jesus, the Word of God, as Wisdom who has come to all peoples, who reveals truth to them and who gives life to them. The Prologue of the same Gospel culls various strains from the Prophetic and Wisdom literature of the Old Testament so to present Jesus as the Incarnate Word, the Wisdom of God. He is the living interpreter of God. He discloses in his words and deeds the one God who is wisdom and absolute love.

      Today's Gospel illustrates that truth. We stand astonished before the claim of Jesus. In response to the question of the Apostle Philip, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied," Jesus says "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father." This is not a statement qualified in any way by Jesus. Nor is it a claim based upon hearing Jesus. We do not attain "wisdom without qualification" by simply listening to his words.

      Jesus speaks of seeing, of contemplating his face. Then one begins to comprehend his unqualified claim, "He who has seen me has seen the Father." Seeing Jesus, contemplating his face, observing his deeds, these are required. Seeing Jesus in the flesh is equivalent to seeing the heavenly Father.

      No other has ever made such a claim. The disciple trembles before this reality. "What are you saying Lord?" one is tempted to ask. Isn't such an unqualified assertion of divine self-identity scandalous? Thus, Jesus became a stumbling block to many. Christian revelation, unique among religions, proclaims that the unsurpassable goal of the ways of God is through the flesh of one man, Jesus of Nazareth.

      It is even more than that. The way to God is through the mortality of the flesh of Jesus. "My flesh is food indeed and my blood is drink indeed," he said. His flesh is eucharistic, nuptial; it is the flesh of the primordial holocaust; it is his flesh that is raised from the dead by the Spirit of holiness. It is through human flesh that God reveals the deepest kenotic mysteries of his life. God, in his Trinitarian essence, is self-surrender and love. We attain this wisdom only through the Word made flesh.

      That should not come as a surprise to us. Catholic piety has always been very much rooted in the physical: in wine and water, in bread and scented oil, in the human body created as male or female. Patristic and medieval piety and theology are elaborations of the opening of the First Letter of St. John in which the "flesh" of Christ is the exclusive and absolute source of revelation.

      "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life -- the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us -- that which we have seen and heard we proclaim to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and the fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete" (1 John 1:1-4).

      The Logos, the Word made flesh, discloses the inner life and mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. This has been the burden of the tutors at this college in all their dialogues with you over the years. They have desired to share this Trinitarian fellowship with you so that their joy may be complete.

      While in this college, you have discovered this physical contact with Christ through your experience of the living Church, which is the body of Christ. Through living, walking, laughing, suffering, studying and praying together with others the life, suffering and death of Jesus in the flesh has been again made manifest.

      Why and how? The answer is because you have been a eucharistic community at Thomas Aquinas College. St. Paul teaches, "The bread which we break, is it not a communion in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body. For we all partake of the one bread" (1 Corinthians 10:16-17).

      St. John's letter speaks also of fellowship. This academic community has offered "koinonia" to you in and through the eucharistic flesh of Jesus. You have come into contact with the wounded sensibilities of others during these years of intense study and friendships and thus have been tested on Christ's identity with his disciples. "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40).

      This Catholic college is supremely a eucharistic community. The Spirit of the Risen Lord has made known to you a wondrous sense that, even though the blunders, hypocrisies, jealousies and even malice of your personal and collective histories have scattered and divided at times the children of Adam here, Christ's mercy has "gathered up the fragments from every side, forged them into the fire of love and welded into one what had been broken" (St. Augustine).

      During your years here, you have seen the face of Christ in one another, in your tutors, in the administrators, and in other staff. The Eucharist has revealed Christ's face in their faces. For, as St. John Chrysostom teaches: In the Eucharist "we are mutually joined to one another and together united with Christ."

      The eucharistic face of Christ has taught you that the problem of life is not simply the problem of suffering. It is that, but it is more. The whole of the problem of life and its violence and its sinfulness finds ample leg-room within the revelation of redemptive pardon and forgiveness.

      The eucharistic community is the Holy Spirit's greatest pedagogue. These eucharistic years here have shown that, despite all human sinfulness and perverse cunning, you can still believe that human nature is one and good and overflowing with possibilities. God's love has revealed to you that human existence is unified and comprehensive. For much can be forgiven among those who have "loved much" (Luke 7:47).

      * * *


      This is a new feature column that will appear in Roman Catholic News regularly. It is only fitting that this column is launched on the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua since we honor him as the patron saint of things that are lost to be found and rediscovered.

      Current Catholic news of Church activity is the contemporary dimension and expression of the Good News put into action in our day by the Pope, Holy See, clergy and laity throughout the world. Catholic news at its best reflects the enlightened comprehension of the Gospel and the efficacious dialogue of its texts in the Catholic mind as it is reflected and asserted by proactive measures by faithful witnesses to Christ today.

      In the spirit of Vatican II, the renewal initiated by the Holy Spirit calls us to a deeper dialogue with the Sacred Scriptures. In the best tradition of Western monasticism this has been accomplished through the ancient art of Lectio Divina.

      This scope and focus of this column will be to discuss the nature of Lectio Divina and to offer helpful suggestions how you can incorporate its practice into your daily lives.

      To begin our study of this ancient monastic art we shall daily discuss a book on this subject written by Rev. Michael Casey, Sacred Reading. The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina. (Liguori, MO : Liguori/Triumph, 1996). 151 p.; ISBN : 0-89243-891-6. Michael Casey is a Cistercian monk and prior of Tarrawarra Abbey, Victoria, Australia.

      Due to space limitations for our daily publication by Yahoo it will be a brief reflection on this subject as space allows.

      Most of what we have already said above is contained in the Preface of Fr. Casey’s book. (v-viii). Fr. Casey has the intuitive hunch that Vatican II was influenced by the writings of Dom Columba Marmion (1858-1923), abbot of Maredsous, Belgium. (vi). The reforms of Vatican II brought a deeper appreciation of Western monasticism, not only within the monastic tradition, but to the Church at large. It inspired a rediscovery of Lectio Divina and its role in prayer and contemplation. (vii). Reading ecclesiastical texts allows us to find the message of Sacred Scripture. Reading ancient authors helps us “toward more effective living in the present” by embracing the past. (viii). For, after all, the Church is “Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

      * * *

      East Timor President Receives "Path to Peace" Award

      Xanana Gusmao Cited for Role in Nation's Reconciliation

      NEW YORK, JUNE 12, 2003 (ZENIT.org-Fides).- President Xanana Gusmao of East Timor received the Path to Peace award for his role in the process of peace and reconciliation in the former Indonesian province.

      The award is promoted by the Holy See's mission at the United Nations. Among those scheduled to attend the award ceremony was Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations.

      On May 20, East Timor marked the first anniversary of its independence. The country is engaged in "national dialogue" on justice and reconciliation, at which Gusmao is personally present.

      The dialogue involves members of Parliament, socio-political groups, representatives of the Catholic Church, and a U.N. Mission of Support established by the Security Council for a 10-year period to assist with the shift of administration from the United Nations to East Timor authorities.

      "Through dialogue, we learn to forgive crimes of the past, we strengthen national unity, and help the progress of democracy," said Father Jose Antonio Da Costa, vicar of the Diocese of Dili.

      "The Church supports constructive dialogue because its helps people understand one another," he said. "A wrong impression or attitude can threaten harmony, stability, justice and peace."

      East Timor's reconciliation process is difficult and slow because some people supported the pro-Indonesia militia which engaged in massacres following the referendum vote for secession from Jakarta in August 1999. Suspects in the massacres are now being tried by a Special Court of Justice.

      Even today, many East Timor people who fled to West Timor, still under Jakarta's control, refuse to return for fear of being lynched or of suffering other forms of retaliation.

      With 95% of the population declared Catholics, East Timor is the most Catholic nation in Asia. It has more than 665,000 Catholics in the Dili and Baucau dioceses.

      The award presented to Xanana Gusmao is sponsored by the Path to Peace Foundation, established in 1991 and presided over by Archbishop Celestino Migliore. The foundation aims to spread a message of universal peace. It distributes information and documentation on initiatives undertaken by the Pope and Catholic organizations to build peace and justice.

      Past winners of the award include Corazon Aquino, Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein, and Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha.
      * * *


      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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      Then once inside click on

      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
      Fax: 03 80 96 25 29
      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."

      * * *
      Copyright 2003 by John N. Lupia
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