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Volume 4, Issue 220

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  • John N. Lupia
    ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS Volume 4, Issue 220 MONDAY 6 December 2004 Monday of the Second Week of Advent * * * WEAR THE BROWN SCAPULAR OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 26, 2004
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      Volume 4, Issue 220

      MONDAY 6 December 2004

      Monday of the Second Week of Advent

      * * *


      * * *

      . Pope Invites Faithful to Celebrate a Marian Anniversary
      . Catholics' Public Life Can't Be Split From Faith, Warns Pope
      . Church Differs in Structure From Civil Society, Says Pope
      . Full Religious Freedom Hard to Find, Says Vatican Official
      . Salesians Analyzing How to Deal With Europe
      . Israelis and Palestinians Aim to Promote Pilgrimages
      . Mariology, in a Historical Perspective

      * * *

      Pope Invites Faithful to Celebrate a Marian Anniversary
      Plans to Preside Over Mass on Solemnity of Immaculate Conception

      VATICAN CITY, DEC. 5, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II invited Catholics worldwide to join in the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of a key Marian dogma.

      The Pope announced today from the window of his study that on Wednesday he will preside at a solemn Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, "where in 1854 my venerable predecessor, Blessed Pius IX, proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception."

      "In this way, we will honor the 'Tota Pulchra' [All Beautiful], she whom God chose as Mother of his Only-Begotten Son," he added, when addressing thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray the midday Angelus, on a rainy day.

      "Later, as every year, I will go to Piazza di Spagna for the traditional tribute to the Immaculate Conception," the Pope said in a clear voice.

      "I invite you all, dear Romans and pilgrims, to join me in this act of filial veneration of our heavenly Mother," he concluded.

      The origin of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception is found in Christian writings of the first centuries. The feast was already celebrated in the West toward the 10th century. It was introduced in the universal calendar by Pope Sixtus IV in 1476.

      After a long debate among theologians, Franciscan John Duns Scotus (1266-1308) coined the theological key to understand the dogma, stating that Mary was preserved from original sin in anticipation of the merits of Christ. Pope Pius IX defined the dogma with the bull "Ineffabilis Deus."

      In commemoration of this anniversary, last Aug. 14-15 John Paul II visited the Marian shrine of Lourdes in France. When the Blessed Virgin appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 she announced that she was the "Immaculate Conception."

      In the context of the celebrations taking place in Rome, the 21st International Mariological Congress is being held through Wednesday at the Lateran University on the theme "Mary of Nazareth Welcomes the Son of God in History." Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, is presiding at the congress on behalf of the Holy Father.

      On Tuesday a concert will be held in honor of the Immaculate Conception in Paul VI Hall.

      * * *

      Catholics' Public Life Can't Be Split From Faith, Warns Pope
      But He Respects Church-State Separation

      VATICAN CITY, DEC. 5, 2004 (Zenit.org).- While acknowledging the "legitimate separation of church and state," John Paul II says there should be no division between the faith of Catholics and their professional, political and cultural life.

      The Pope explained this when receiving a group of U.S. bishops from the ecclesiastical provinces of Louisville, Mobile and New Orleans, during their five-yearly visit to Rome.

      The Holy Father said that "each bishop is called to acknowledge the essential and irreplaceable role of the laity in the Church's mission and to enable them to carry out their proper apostolate."

      Catholics in social and public life must be "encouraged to combine the two harmoniously, recognizing that in every temporal affair they are to be guided by their Christian conscience, since there is no human activity -- even of the temporal order -- that can be withdrawn from God's dominion," he said.

      "A clear and authoritative reaffirmation of these fundamental principles of the lay apostolate will help to overcome the serious pastoral problems created by a growing failure to understand the Church's binding obligation to remind the faithful of their duty in conscience to act in accordance with her authoritative teaching," John Paul II continued.

      "There is urgent need for a comprehensive catechesis on the lay apostolate which will necessarily highlight the importance of a properly formed conscience, the intrinsic relationship between freedom and moral truth, and the grave duty incumbent upon each Christian to work to renew and perfect the temporal order in accordance with the values of God's Kingdom," the Pope indicated.

      "While fully respecting the legitimate separation of church and state in American life, such a catechesis must also make clear that for the faithful Christian there can be no separation between the faith which is to be believed and put into practice and a commitment to full and responsible participation in professional, political and cultural life," he added.

      After this analysis, the Holy Father gave the American bishops two pieces of advice.

      First, he said, "given the importance of these issues for the life and mission of the Church in your country, I would encourage you to consider the inculcation of the doctrinal and moral principles underlying the lay apostolate as essential to your ministry as teachers and shepherds of the Church in America."

      Second, "I also invite you to discern, in consultation with members of the laity outstanding for their fidelity, knowledge and prudence, the most effective ways of promoting catechesis and clearsighted reflection on this important area of the Church's social teaching."

      * * *

      Church Differs in Structure From Civil Society, Says Pope
      Meets U.S. Bishops From Provinces of Louisville, Mobile and New Orleans

      VATICAN CITY, DEC. 5, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II reminded bishops and Catholics of the United States that the Church does not have the same categories and structures as civil society.

      For the Pope, the key to genuine cooperation between the laity and their pastors, particularly the bishops, is in the word "communion."

      This is the answer the Holy Father gave Saturday to the prelates of the ecclesiastical provinces of Louisville, Mobile and New Orleans in the address he delivered to them on the occasion of their five-yearly visit to the Vatican.

      "An appreciation of the distinct gifts and apostolate of the laity will naturally lead to a strengthened commitment to fostering among the laity a sense of shared responsibility for the life and mission of the Church," John Paul II said.

      "In stressing the need for a theology and spirituality of communion and mission for the renewal of ecclesial life, I have pointed to the importance of making our own the ancient pastoral wisdom which, without prejudice to their authority, encouraged pastors to listen more widely to the People of God," he said, recalling the proposal in No. 45 of his apostolic letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte."

      "Certainly this will involve a conscious effort on the part of each bishop to develop, within his particular Church, structures of communion and participation which make it possible, without prejudice to his personal responsibility for decisions he is called to make by virtue of his apostolic authority, to listen to the Spirit who lives and speaks in the faithful," the Pope said.

      "More importantly, it calls for the cultivation, in every aspect of ecclesial life, of a spirit of communion grounded in the supernatural 'sensus fidei' and the rich variety of charisms and missions which the Holy Spirit pours out upon the whole body of the baptized in order to build them up in unity and fidelity to the word of God," the Holy Father continued.

      "An understanding of cooperation and shared responsibility which is firmly rooted in the principles of a sound ecclesiology," he added, "will ensure a genuine and fruitful collaboration between the Church's pastors and the lay faithful, without the danger of distorting this relationship by the uncritical importation of categories and structures drawn from secular life."

      * * *

      Full Religious Freedom Hard to Find, Says Vatican Official
      Conclusion of Archbishop Lajolo, Secretary for Relations With States

      ROME, DEC. 5, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo says that for the Holy See, no country in the world complies fully with religious freedom.

      The Vatican secretary for relations with states came to this conclusion when addressing a conference on religious freedom, held Friday at the Gregorian University, at the initiative of the U.S. Embassy.

      "Is there a state in which the Church can say that religious freedom is so fully realized that she, with the freedom which is distinctively hers -- the 'libertas Ecclesiae' -- finds herself perfectly at ease?" the prelate asked.

      "If the answer is to be exact or precise, it should be negative. Even in states in which the right to religious freedom is taken very seriously and in which the Church can say that she is reasonably satisfied, there is always something which does not adequately respond to her needs," he said.

      "In one country, for example, the specific nature of some of its fundamental institutions is not recognized," the archbishop said. "In another, there is no due recognition of canonical marriage; in another, the educational system does not sufficiently respect the right of parents and even less of the Church.

      "In yet another, the economic system does not take into account the properly social ends of the institutions of the Church. In these countries, notwithstanding this or that particular limitation, the Church nevertheless can say that it enjoys almost always sufficient freedom, equal to that of other religious confessions."

      "And it knows how to accept certain limitations, fully cognizant of its 'pilgrim' nature, 'in statu viae' as a companion with and sympathetic toward each 'homo viator' who seeks, consciously or not, the face of God," the prelate said.

      However, the "'libertas Ecclesiae,' its intrinsic freedom, is in each case stronger than any possible limitation that can be imposed upon it, because it derives from the mandate of Christ and has the deep and vast breath of the Spirit," Archbishop Lajolo concluded. "It is the freedom of that love which dwells in it -- ever ancient and ever new -- for the human person, who is the living image of God."

      * * *

      Salesians Analyzing How to Deal With Europe
      Rector Major Senses an Anti-Catholic Secularism

      VATICAN CITY, DEC. 5, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II greeted the Salesian superiors who are currently gathered to study the challenges in Europe facing their religious family and the Church.

      Before taking leave of the pilgrims gathered today in St. Peter's Square, the Pope, speaking from the window of his study, greeted the Salesian inspectors of Europe, who attended the midday Angelus with their rector major, Father Pascual Chávez.

      "Beloved, through you my thoughts go to all the Salesian family, which I bless from my heart," the Holy Father said.

      Last Wednesday, the rector major opened the meeting of the Salesian provincials of Europe.

      In his address, Father Chávez explained that the meeting aimed, in part, to exam the social, political, economic, cultural and religious situation of Europe in order to recognize and respond to current challenges, the Salesian International News Agency reported.

      The rector major presented an analysis of the current situation of Europe. He said that, after the deep wounds of World War II, the continent had wanted to turn a fresh page under the inspiration of the "founding fathers of the new Europe," so as to establish a different land: "reconciled, united, free, democratic and mutually supportive, while respecting the autonomy of each country."

      Father Chávez went on to point out some negative aspects: the lack of a clear definition of what Europe is, and the rise of moral relativism.

      "The greatest concern is the conviction that behind the current anti-Catholic secularism there is the idea that humanism and Christianity are mutually exclusive," he said. "Even more, that between Catholic Christianity and the principles to be found in Europe as an institution there is a fundamental incompatibility."

      Some negative elements result from this, he said, such as "the irrelevance of the Church, the breakdown of the family, a break in the link between the transmission of the faith and of values, a rejection of everything Catholic."

      Father Chávez then focused on the biblical icon of the foundation of the Church of Antioch, which faced the need to welcome and evangelize the uncircumcised, the pagans.

      According to Father Chávez, there are affinities between the Church of Antioch and today's Church in Europe: They are communities in which there is a variety of peoples, languages, cultures, races, but always a community of individuals in which are found "problems of a disciplinary and doctrinal nature."

      Like Barnabas with the Christians of Antioch, "we are gathered here together, to identify the real situation of the new Europe, to take up the challenges it presents, to weigh up the resources available, in order to establish the nature and the place of a future Salesian presence."

      The rector major encouraged the Salesians to overcome all pessimism and to assume the Gospel approach of hope to continue the work of evangelization and education.

      "The faith, the Gospel, the Salesian charism are a patrimony that we must hand on since they are a gift from God to the Church and to the young," he said. "It is my hope that we can come out from this historic meeting convinced that we indeed have a future."

      * * *

      Israelis and Palestinians Aim to Promote Pilgrimages

      JERUSALEM, DEC. 5, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Israeli and Palestinian officials signed a joint statement to announce that they will collaborate in promoting pilgrimages and tourism to the Holy Land.

      In the text, signed by Gideon Ezra, Israel's minister of tourism, and Mitri Abu Aita, Palestinian minister of tourism and antiquities, they thank the Pope for his efforts in this respect.

      The statement was a result of a meeting both ministers held Nov. 24. It explains "that tourism is not only a major economic force, and an important tool for nations' prosperity, but also a means of bringing peace and building bridges of confidence between peoples of the Middle East."

      The ministries of tourism say they "will take effective measures to assure the safe and smooth passage of pilgrims and tourists visiting Israel and Palestinian areas, and will provide appropriate atmosphere for the private sector in both sides in terms of traffic to assure the best services for tourists and pilgrims to the Holy Land."

      Both ministers appreciate "very much the address of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the General Assembly of the Italian bishops, calling upon them to organize pilgrimages to the Holy Land."

      * * *

      Mariology, in a Historical Perspective
      Interview With Father Paul Haffner, Professor and Author

      ROME, DEC. 5, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The modern world's difficulty in accepting the dogma of the Immaculate Conception is a fruit of the many false and incomplete philosophies it lives with, says a theologian.

      Father Paul Haffner, a theology professor at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, made that point in an interview with ZENIT.

      The London native, whose book "The Mystery of Mary" was recently published by Gracewing in Great Britain, and Hillenbrand Books in the United States, shared some insights with ZENIT.

      Q: Why did you feel it was necessary to write a book on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception?

      Father Haffner: The book is not only on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This book is published to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the definition, by Pope Blessed Pius IX, of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady.

      In this book I have tried to offer a clear, structured overview of theology and doctrine concerning Mary, within a historical perspective. It is the author's conviction that the foundation for fruitful devotion to the Mother of God starts from sound doctrine based in Scripture and Tradition, and is nurtured by good theology.

      Q: Why did Pius IX decide to proclaim the dogma?

      Father Haffner: In 1849, Pope Blessed Pius IX consulted the bishops regarding the faith of the Church concerning the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and also whether a dogmatic definition in this regard would be opportune.

      The response was affirmative on both counts, and so, on December 8, 1854, Blessed Pius IX solemnly defined the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Pope proclaimed a doctrine which had been believed by the Church in one form or other since the earliest times.

      Q: How does your book develop the topic, and what are the salient aspects that you will like to emphasize to readers?

      Father Haffner: The book goes in thematic order. In the first chapter, I outlined the basic scheme of what constitutes Mariology, not in isolation but in relation to other forms of theological enquiry.

      The second chapter works through the contribution of sacred Scripture -- in the Old Testament forms of prefiguration and prophecy, and then the New Testament fulfillment and witness are proposed in Chapter 3.

      The succeeding chapters examine each of the fundamental doctrines that the Church teaches about Our Lady.

      Chapter 4 develops the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and other truths dealing with Our Lady as being full of grace.

      The fifth chapter looks at Mary as Mother of God, the central dogma of Mariology. The various dimensions of the perpetual Virginity of Mary are elaborated in the sixth chapter.

      Mary's discipleship, a relatively recent theological acquisition, is examined in the seventh chapter, and this forms the basis for a discussion of her special and active participation in the Redemption.

      Chapter 8 illustrates the end of Mary's earthly life and her glorious assumption, body and soul, into the glory of heaven.

      The ninth and final chapter elaborates Mary's continuing Motherhood in the Church, in which she is the Mediatrix of all graces. In this year of the Eucharist, there is also a special focus on Mary's relation to the Eucharistic Christ.

      Q: It is difficult for the modern world to understand the meaning of the dogma, and it is even more complicated in regard to the Virgin Mary. How would you explain it to the young people of today?

      Father Haffner: The difficulty lies with the modern world, and the fact that it is the heir to many false and incomplete philosophies.

      In fact, the mystery of Mary illustrates and reveals not only the Mystery of Christ, but also the deepest yearnings and aspirations of human existence. The fact of her Immaculate Conception and sinless life, for example, shows us that God's salvation really has had an impact, since e preserved her from sin. She is thus a ray of light in a darkened world.

      Also, the definition of Mary's assumption took place in 1950, and this was of great historical significance. It took place in the middle of a century when the sacredness of the human body was denied theoretically and practically at many levels.

      In the first half of the 20th century it was denied politically in the totalitarian systems of Marxism and Nazism, which denied the sacredness of the body in theory, and in the slaughter of millions in the gulags and concentration camps.

      In the second half of the 20th century, the assault on the sacredness of the human body was taken a step further through the massacre of untold millions through abortion and euthanasia, and also through sacrilegious experiments carried out on embryos -- to say nothing of genetic engineering and attempts to clone the human being.

      All of this is counterbalanced by the Church's affirmation that Our Lady was assumed "body" and soul to the glory of heaven. The Church, which believes in the resurrection of the body, believes that this same body has been created in the image and likeness of God, and is called to a supernatural destiny in Christ.

      Q: What is the relationship between Mary and ecumenical dialogue?

      Father Haffner: I have often treated ecumenical questions concerning Our Lady in this work.

      While there is considerable agreement between Catholics and Orthodox on Mariology, it is heartening that there is also growing appreciation of Mary in Reformed circles.

      Indeed, one Reformed theologian, whom I have cited in Chapter 7, John Macquarrie, writes: "It is Mary who has come to symbolize that perfect harmony between the divine will and the human response, so that it is she who gives meaning to the _expression Co-Redemptrix."1

      Mary is also Mediatrix for the angels, as Eastern theology has often pointed out. Mary, being nearest to God, is the only one worthy of receiving all of the grace of the Holy Spirit.

      St. Gregory Palamas pointed out the importance of the Theotokos after her departure from this world: "To the degree that she is closer to God than all those who have drawn close to him, by so much has the Theotokos been deemed worthy of greater audience. I do not speak of men alone, but also of the angelic hierarchies themselves."2


      1 J. Macquarrie, "Mary for All Christians," (London: Collins, 1990), p. 113.

      2 St. Gregory Palamas, "A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary," (Homily 37).

      * * *


      CHAPTER FOUR: A NEW PACKAGING (pages 31-45)

      This chapter is on Fr. Pennington's simple method of performing lectio. It consists of two subsections: (1) Lectio Divina, and (2) Liturgy of the Hours.

      Fr. Pennington begins by introducing the subject of simplified prayer forms of meditation. He illustrates this by explaining the simple method of praying the Rosary while reflecting on the salvific acts of Jesus in the mysteries. Just as the Rosary meditations are easy to pray and perform in meditation so too is lectio.

      1. Lectio Divina (pages 32-41).

      In order to set the appropriate spiritual mood and context for successful lectio the Bible we own should not be treated as an ordinary object, but rather, as a sacred one. Fr. Pennington suggests that we do not simply place the Bible on a shelf or desk but enthrone the Bible in our home. He provides a simple rite for enthroning the Bible in Appendix three (pages 152-153).

      At lectio time "pick up our book with reverence." . . . "Reflect on the wonder of the Divine Reality, present here in his Word in this book in our hands. And we turn to the Holy Spirit. . . So we ask the Holy Spirit, who inspired these texts and who abides within us as a teacher, to make them now a living communication with the Lord, to help us to understand all that the Lord now wants to communicate to us." (33).

      Fr. Pennington explains that the method he is presenting is taken from a book of spiritual practices dating from 1132. The method involves the entrance to lectio as a liturgy involving the ceremony of picking up the Bible, kissing it, kneeling on our knees in prayer, calling on the Holy Spirit and reading the first words on our knees before sitting down to read further. "Such an elaborate liturgy might not suit us well today in our lives, but it probably would help us to have some little ritual of our own for coming into the Divine Presence and invoking the aid of the Spirit." (34).

      Rev. M. Basil Pennington, OCSO, Lectio Divina. Renewing the Ancient
      Practice of Praying the Scriptures. (Crossroad, NY, 1998) ISBN 0-8245-
      1779-2 (hardcover); ISBN 0-8245-1736-9 (paperback).

      * * *


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      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text
      <http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/120604.htm> (English)

      <http://www.alingilalyawmi.org> (Arabic)

      Biblica Online

      * * *




      Monks of Adoration:

      * * *

      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

      * * *



      Our Father Movie

      * * *


      * * *


      Color Photograph of Mama Gili, Biography and Prayers

      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-
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      well as to promote her cause and toperpetuate her cult by directing
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      Call or write today regarding favors granted through the intercession
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      Rev. Dante DiGirolamo, Director
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      P. O. Box 455
      Kearny, New Jersey 07032
      Phone (973) 412-1170
      Fax (973) 412-7011

      * * *


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

      Thomas a Kempis, De Imitatione Christi. Latin Text Online

      * * *


      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."

      * * *


      "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."

      * * *

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