Saturday, August 31, 2013

For prayer and reflection for this Sunday's Gospel!!!


O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed,
deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,

From the fear of being humiliated,
deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
That in the opinion of the world,
others may increase, and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should.

Our first Saint for September; 7th Century founder in the Benedictine tradition

St. Giles, Abbot

St. Giles, Abbot
St. Giles, Abbot
Feastday: September 1
Patron of beggars; blacksmiths; breast cancer; breast feeding; cancer patients; disabled people; Edinburgh (Scotland); epilepsy; fear of night; noctiphobics; forests; hermits; horses; lepers; mental illness; outcasts; poor peoples; rams; spur makers; sterility
650 - 710

St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - September 1
St. Giles is said to have been a seventh century Athenian of noble birth. His piety and learning made him so conspicuous and an object of such admiration in his own country that, dreading praise and longing for a hidden life, he left his home and sailed for France. At first he took up his abode in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone river, afterward near the river Gard, and, finally, in the diocese of Nimes.
He spend many years in solitude conversing only with God. The fame of his miracles became so great that his reputation spread throughout France. He was highly esteemed by the French king, but he could not be prevailed upon to forsake his solitude. He admitted several disciples, however, to share it with him. He founded a monastery, and established an excellent discipline therein. In succeeding ages it embraced the rule of St. Benedict. St. Giles died probably in the beginning of the eighth century, about the year 724.

September is upon us; here are Pope Francis' prayer intentions

Pope Francis

Two hundred sixty-six Successor to Peter, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, Patriarch of the West, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church,    Servant of the Servants of God.

Monthly Prayer Intentions

                     Value of Silence. That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.
Persecuted Christians. That Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world may by their witness be prophets of Christ's love.

In case you haven't heard or seen the latest: Obama wants military action against Syria but will seek Congressional approval

Obama to seek congressional approval on Syria

President speaks in White House Rose Garden

 UPDATED 1:10 PM CDT Aug 31, 2013                          
Crisis in Syria


Crisis in Syria
WASHINGTON —President Barack Obama said he has decided that the United States should take military action against Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack.
But Obama said he will seek congressional authorization for the use of force. He said congressional leadership plans to hold a debate and a vote as soon as Congress comes back in September.
Obama said he has the authority to act on his own, but believes it is important for the country to have a debate.
Military action would be in response to a chemical weapons attack the U.S. says Syrian President Bashar Assad's government carried out against civilians. The U.S. says more than 1,400 Syrians were killed in that attack last week.

Read more:

What Pope Francis has said concerning the conflict in Syria

Pope Francis, Jordan king say dialogue is 'only option' in Syria conflict

Pope Francis and Jordan's King Abdullah II reaffirmed that dialogue is the "only option" to end the conflict in Syria, just as the United States and its European allies consider launching a military strike against the regime of President Bashar Assad.
The two leaders met for the first time Thursday at the Vatican. The pontiff and the king, accompanied by his wife, Queen Rania, talked in private for 20 minutes.
According to an official Vatican statement, during the meeting "special attention" was given to Syria's "tragic situation."
Talks of a possible Western military intervention in the Syrian crisis intensified after reports of a chemical weapons attack against civilians in Damascus last week.
President Obama told PBS' "Newshour" that he was convinced the attack had been carried out by the forces of Assad but said no decision had been made about action against Syria.
During their Thursday meeting, according to the statement, Francis and Abdullah reaffirmed that dialogue between among all Syrians, with international support: "is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence that every day causes the loss of so many human lives, especially amongst the helpless civilian population."
The Catholic church has been following with concern the radicalization of Syria's civil war. The country hosts a sizable Christian minority, which has mostly sided with Assad during the two-year long conflict.
In an interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Maroun Lahham, the vicar for Jordan of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said he hoped the "world's 'bigs'" would "make peace instead of war and find a peaceful solution."
Other Syrian Catholic leaders have been even more vocal in condemning a possible Western intervention.
Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo told Vatican Radio that military action risked sparking a "world war." Syriac Patriarch Youssef III Younan went as far as to accuse Western powers of arming the rebels and stoking sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite muslims.
Assad is a member of the minority Alawite sect with links to Shiite Islam, while most rebels are Sunni, with a growing prominence of Islamist groups with ties to al-Qaida.
Since the beginning of the Syria conflict, neighboring Jordan has seen the influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees. It fears Western intervention will bring more instability to the region.
The country, with its small but dynamic Christian minority, has also been actively promoting Christian-Mulsim dialogue in recent years. Early next month, King Abdullah will host a conference on the role of Christians in the Middle East in Amman, Jordan's capital.
The issue is deeply felt at the Vatican, which fears that the rise of Islamist movements fueled by the Arab Spring revolutions will threaten the survival of the millenia-old Christian communities in the region.

Powerful words to always remember

“Each small meanness, each thoughtless expression of hatred, each envious and bitter act, regardless of how petty, can inspire others, and is therefore the seed that ultimately produces evil fruit, poisoning people whom you have never met and never will. All human lives are so profoundly and intricately entwined – those dead, those living, those generations yet to come – that the fate of all is the fate of each, and the hope of humanity rests in every heart and in every pair of hands.” ~Dean Koontz

Seen this afternoon at the Anchoress

Pope Francis taps Archbishop Parolin for Secretary of State

Pope names veteran diplomat Vatican Secretary of State

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Pietro Parolin, 58, a longtime official in the Vatican secretariat of state and nuncio in Venezuela since 2009, to be his secretary of state.
Although Pope Francis has not been afraid to break with convention during his brief pontificate, the appointment of a seasoned member of the diplomatic corps signals a return to a longstanding tradition.
On Oct. 15 Archbishop Parolin will succeed Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, 78, who came to the post in 2006 after serving as archbishop of Genoa, Italy.
The secretary of state is the pope’s closest collaborator, coordinating the work of the entire Roman Curia, overseeing the operation of the Vatican press office and newspaper, coordinating the preparation and publication of papal documents, and supervising the work of Vatican nuncios both in their relations with the Catholic communities in individual countries and with their governments.
However, in discussions about the reform and the reorganization of the curia, many observers have mentioned the possibility of the secretary of state’s role changing as well. Because it is so broad — covering the internal workings of the Vatican, international church affairs and foreign relations — Cardinal Bertone often was blamed, at least by the press, when things went wrong during Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate.
Archbishop Parolin was born Jan. 17, 1955, in Schiavon, Italy, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1980. He studied at the Vatican diplomatic academy and in 1986 began working at Vatican embassies, serving in Nigeria and in Mexico before moving to the offices of the Vatican Secretariat of State. He was named undersecretary for foreign relations in 2002.
Archbishop Parolin greeting well-wishers at the end of Mass in 2009. Pope Benedict XVI had just ordained him a bishop. (CNS/Paul Haring)
Archbishop Parolin greeting well-wishers at the end of Mass in 2009. Pope Benedict XVI had just ordained him a bishop. (CNS/Paul Haring)
For years, Archbishop Parolin led Vatican delegations to Vietnam each year to discuss church-state issues with the country’s communist government, a process that that eventually led to Vietnam’s acceptance of a non-resident papal representative to the country. The move is seen as a step toward establishing full diplomatic relations.
While at the Vatican, Archbishop Parolin also represented the Vatican at a variety of international conferences on climate change, on human trafficking and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including leading the Vatican delegation to the 2007 Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Md.
At a press conference in 2006, Archbishop Parolin said Vatican nuncios and papal representatives play an important role “in defending the human being” and in strengthening the local churches, especially in regions where Christians face poverty, discrimination or other hardships.
The Vatican’s presence around the world through its nuncios shows people that the church and the pope are always near, that Christians — no matter how small their numbers — are not alone in the world, he said.
In the current Vatican organizational framework, the secretary of state is the pope’s closest collaborator, the one who traditionally made sure that the pope’s policies and priorities became concrete in the work of Vatican offices. The secretary usually has been very close to the pope and meets with him often.
When Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal Bertone secretary of state in 2006 it was a reunion of sorts. Then-archbishop Bertone had been secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for seven years when its prefect was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
The appointment raised some eyebrows because most of the time — although not always — the position was held by a prelate who had come up through the ranks of the Vatican diplomatic corps. Cardinal Bertone had a background as a Salesian pastor, an archbishop and as a Vatican official dealing with doctrinal matters.
While Cardinal Bertone had never worked in the Vatican’s diplomatic sector, he had been employed as a type of roving troubleshooter: He flew to Havana in 2005 for talks with Cuban President Fidel Castro; in 2002, he was charged with trying to convince then-Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo to give up the idea of marriage and reconcile with the pope; and he met with a Fatima visionary, Carmelite Sister Lucia dos Santos, when he coordinated the publication of the third secret of Fatima in 2000, another delicate task.
In a series of interviews before taking over the helm at the Secretariat of State, Cardinal Bertone made it clear he was not coming to the job with his own agenda. As he put it in one interview, the secretary of state should above all be “a man loyal to the pope,” someone who executes the pope’s projects and not his own.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Bishop and martyr of the Spanish Civil War; beatified by BL Pope JPII

Bl. Diego Ventaja Milan

Bl. Diego Ventaja Milan
Bl. Diego Ventaja Milan
Feastday: August 31
1880 - 1936
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

Diego Milan was a Spanish priest, bishop of Almería (1935-6), murdered at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, a victim of religious persecution.
Born in Ohanes on July 22, 1880. His training in the Sacromonte Church culminated in the Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned a doctorate in philosophy and theology. Granada again rejoined the Sacromonte, first as chaplain and professor and four years later, as a canon. On July 16, 1935 was installed as bishop of Almeria.
On July 24, 1936 was forced to leave the Episcopal Palace and soon after was killed along with Manuel Medina Olmos, bishop of Guadix, and priests and Second Torcuato Perez Arce.

The strong Catholic faith of LSU Tiger kicker James Hairston; Geaux Tigers!

LSU Tiger kicker deepens faith, gains family through team

>>Thanks to Opinionated Catholic

LSU Tigers football team kicker James Hairston has had the thrill of kicking off for his team, hearing fans yell “Geaux Tigers” and taking in the craziness that happens in Tiger Stadium. This humble member of St. Jude Church in Baton Rouge who is from Dallas, focused on the topics of family, faith and football as he talked to the church’s confirmation candidates on Feb. 24 about God’s simple command: “Be still and know that I am God.”
page 5 jamesmassPScolor.tif James Hairston, left, spends time after Mass with Ben Domingue, second from right, his parents, Raymond and Nancy Domingue and Stephen Rivers, back, before LSU played Clemson at the Chick-Fil-A-Bowl in Atlanta. Photo provided by Ben Domingue

Through football, Hairston learned that small things make a big difference. His said his mother, Cheryl, taught him the fundamentals of love and to love the Catholic faith. “She nurtured my faith,” said Hairston.
Witnessing his mother’s courageous 18-month battle against melanoma and dealing with the grief following her death also increased Hairston’s faith and taught him that, “you can bounce back and continue.”
With the passing of his mother, Hairston said his relationship with the Blessed Mother deepened. He said one night while lying on the floor of his father’s room, he looked up at the ceiling and prayed, “Mary, I want you to be my mother.” His faith blossomed.
“She’s very real. She’s a real mother,” Hairston said.
The Blessed Virgin guided Hairston to LSU, where he developed a family-type relationship with his team.
Last October Hairston inspired his teammates to defeat South Carolina and keep their chances for a national championship alive when he talked about the loss of his mother and how he considered them his family. Particularly guiding him are athletic trainers Andy Barker, also a member of St. Jude; Jack Marucci, a member of St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge; Shelly Mullenix; and special teams coach Thomas McGaughey.
Hairston is also especially close to LSU center Ben Domingue, a senior, from Lafayette. Domingue said Hairston challenges him to grow in his faith and to see that the Blessed Mother points the way to her son, Jesus. Domingue, a member of Christ the King Church and Student Center at LSU, said of Hairston, “I’ll never forget when James and I finally made that connection that we were brothers in the Catholic faith. It grew from us talking about Mass, and confession times, to the center of the faith in Christ. We not only spoke about the faith more and more, but we then started to pray together before games and then James started attending my Bible studies, where he always was there fully and gave his everything in the studies.”
Domingue, who plans to become a missionary when he graduates and has made a two-year commitment through Fellowship of Catholic University Students, added, “James’ biggest challenge to me, I think, has been for me to live it out … not just in some aspects but in every aspect. He challenges me with his dedication to his family, kicking and school work that I need to live what I preach in every aspect. He has been such a blessing, and I’ve learned so much from him.”
Hairston told the St. Jude youth having faith in Jesus will calm their worries about their future.
“Things are going to be okay, even if they don’t work out the way you want them to,” Hairston stated. “You have a choice to respond in faith.”
When Hairston was in high school, he wondered about where he should attend college, whom he should marry and whether to pursue a football career. “There was a lot going on,” Hairston said.
He said he was excited to come to LSU and that it’s cool to play football with Stephen Rivers, whose brother, Philip, is a quarterback for the San Diego Chargers. Stephen Rivers, who is also a member of Christ the King, is a close friend of Hairston and Domingue and belongs to their Bible study group.
Hairston urged the confirmation candidates during Lent to “set goals and make them big” as a Catholic, referring to the Beatitudes as they do so.
Finding quiet time with God is essential for a vital faith life, stated Hairston. He wakes up early and uses breaks between classes to pray and meditate. He added social media can distract one from prayer, but it can also be used creatively for quiet reflection. He said after playing a boisterous game, he seeks time alone with the Lord.
“Be still and know that I am God,” Hairston repeated.

Prayers needed; we continue to gun down our children in New Orleans

Here is a link to the big story in New Orleans early this morning, the gunning down on the streets of this city of a 13 month old baby.  God have mercy on us.  This happens here way too often.  Gun play and murder is commonplace in New Orleans:

Let's redouble our prayer efforts: 


Capitalism and the Church

Read the Catechism in a Year image
Read the Catechism in a Year
The Seventh Commandment: You shall not steal.

What is the Church's stance on capitalism or the free-market economy?
Any form of capitalism that is not embedded in an established system of law runs the risk of detaching itself from the common good and becoming a mere means for individuals to make profits. The Church rejects that decisively. On the other hand, she supports a free-market system which is at the service of man, prevents monopolies, and ensures that all are supplied with employment and vitally necessary goods.
Catholic social teaching evaluates all societal arrangements according to whether they serve the common good (common good), which means: to the extent that they enable "men, families, and associations more adequately and readily [to] attain their own perfection" (Second Vatican Council, GS). This is also true of commerce, which in the first place should be at the service of man. (YOUCAT question 442)

Dig Deeper: CCC section (2426) and other references here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Founder of Little Sisters of the Poor; canonized by Bl Pope JPII

St. Jeanne Jugan

St. Jeanne Jugan
St. Jeanne Jugan
Feastday: August 30
1792 - 1879
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

Jeanne Jugan was born on October 25, 1792 in a small fishing village of Brittany, France. She was the sixth of the eight children of Joseph and Marie Jugan. When she was three and a half, her father was lost at sea. Her mother struggled for years to keep the family together in their one room earthen-floored cottage. When Jeanne was about 16, she became the kitchen maid of the Viscountess de la Choue, a kind-hearted Christian woman, who took her on visits to the sick and the poor on and around her estate. Jeanne learned by example, the meaning of truly Christian charity and a refinement of manners not customary among those of the peasant class. When she was about 25, Jeanne took a job in the crowded hospital in the town of Saint Servan. After six years of devoted toil at the hospital, she was so worn out that she had to leave this work. She went to work for a good Christian woman named Mlle. Lecoq. Daily, the two women spent hours in prayer, and they assisted at Mass. They also instructed the town's children in their catechism. They also cared for the poor and other unfortunates until the elderly woman died. In 1837, the forty-five year old Jeanne and a seventy-two year old woman named Francoise Aubert rented part of a humble cottage. They were joined by Virginie Tredaniel, a seventeen year old orphan and the three formed a community of prayer. They taught catechism and assisted the poor. Whatever they had left over from their earnings, they gave to the poor. At age 47, with the approval of Francoise and Virginie, Jeanne turned her attention to the most pitiful of the poor-abandoned old ladies. In 1839, she brought home a blind widow named Anne Chauvin. Jeanne gave up her own bed to provide sleeping quarters for their guest. Henceforth, she was to share intimately in the sufferings of the poor, even physically, considering herself one of them. This characteristic is expressed in the name that eventually developed for Jeanne's charitable work: The Little Sisters of the Poor. As the number of guests grew, so also did her little community. Jeanne wrote a somple rule for them and herself. Putting aside personal pride, theLittle Sisters daily went out door to door asking for food, clothing and money. In 1879 Jeanne was eighty-seven. At this time the community she had founded had 2,400 Little Sisters and had spread across Europe and across the Ocean. Toward the end of August, she was given the Last Sacraments. Her last words were, "O Mary, my dear Mother, come to me. You know I love you and how I long to see You!" After her peaceful death, Jeanne was buried in the graveyard at the motherhouse. She was beatified in Rome on October 3, 1982.

Archbishop of New Orleans remembers Katrina and Isaac; praises and offers hope to the people

Aymond praises New Orleanians' resilience and hope in recovering from Hurricanes Katrina, Isaac

John Pope, | The Times-Picayune By John Pope, | The Times-Picayune   

on August 29, 2013 at 12:06 PM
Archbishop Gregory Aymond issued this statement Thursday (Aug. 29) to mark the anniversaries of Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac:
"Eight years ago today, our city and our region was forever changed as Katrina's flood waters poured into our streets and our homes. Then, last year as things had seemed to somewhat settle into a new normal, Hurricane Isaac sent more water into our communities with devastating effects. To those still experiencing the pains of rebirth, especially from Isaac, our affectionate prayers are with you. Some might say we are a region condemned by our location, but my experience is that these flood waters have given birth to new life and a new sense of pride in our city and this region we call home.
"The people of the Archdiocese of New Orleans are truly a people of hope. The last 10 years have been difficult: from Katrina to Gustav and Ike to Isaac and an oil spill in between, but the people, the families, in the communities most impacted should serve as an inspiration to many. Their resilience and their determination to never give up hope is a lesson for those that come after us.
"I like to think this determination and this spirit of hope and generosity is born out of the strong faith and family values of the people in our region. We are blessed to live here where people help and support one another and where family is still treasured as one's most valuable possession.
The storms we have endured have made us realize what is most important: God, faith, family and friends. These waters that seemed so destructive have given us the opportunity to renew ourselves, much like the waters of Baptism. I pray we are never faced with such destruction and suffering again, but I know God is faithful. The people of New Orleans are proof of that."

Pride in family, a glass of wime and daily Mass: the secret to longevity

Mandeville resident celebrates 103rd birthday

Photo by Missie Noel - Posed to celebrate her 103rd birthday are, center, Carmelite Hubert o fMandeville and her daughters Lynnette Soules of Slidell, left, and Letty Jane Clark of Metairie.
Photo by Missie Noel - Posed to celebrate her 103rd birthday are, center, Carmelite Hubert o fMandeville and her daughters Lynnette Soules of Slidell, left, and Letty Jane Clark of Metairie.

Not too many north shore individuals will ever have the honor of seeing personal birthday wishes displayed on the famous Mandeville Saia’s Market cow.
“You have to be over 100 years old to be on the cow!” exclaims Mandeville centenarian Carmelite Hubert.
Hubert turned 103 on Aug. 25. For more than 40 years, she has lived and volunteered in Mandeville, living in the same home that she and her husband built in the ’70s.
Her daughters, Lynnette Soules, of Abita Springs, and Letty Jane Clark, of Metairie, are proud to share the many accomplishments of their mother. In addition to her two daughters, Carmelite has three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
“We sure hope we have our mother’s genes,” Soules said. There are a few secrets to her longevity that include pride in family, a glass of wine and daily Mass.
“She loves to drink a glass of red wine each day, and swears that is her health secret. She’s so active and loves her extended family, including grandson and Hall of Fame first baseman, Will Clark,” Soules said.
Her mother also still has a valid driver’s license, and drove around town running errands until she was 100.
Hubert attended Mass daily at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church until recently and was a past president of the Altar Society at the church.
“I used to sew, launder, iron and alter all of the vestments and altar cloths,” she said.
“We had such a great group of ladies that would clean the church every Monday and then gather at the Country Kitchen to have coffee and visit. They always had to put us in the back of the restaurant because we would talk too much,” she said with a laugh.
Hubert loves traveling, as well. She and her daughters have traveled throughout the world, including a 32-day European cruise when she was 99.
“I always have to show people my I.D. in order to prove that I am over 100 years old. No one ever believes me,” she said.
When asked the secret to living such a long and active life, this mother, grandmother and now great-grandmother shares that it’s important to have the right mental attitude.
“I’ve always told my children to choose your attitude, and everything will always be fine.”

Post Katrina: the birth of Most Holy Trinity Parish

8 years later many of us can reflect that out of Katrina's destruction has come some amazing blessings.  For me, my very ministry at Most Holy Trinity Parish is a result of Hurricane Katrina.  In 2006, responding to the amazing shift in population from one side of the lake to the other, the Archdiocese of New Orleans established Most Holy Trinity Parish.  It truly was a response to a need as many of the Catholic Churches on the north shore of the lake were overwhelmed by worshippers.

Most Holy Trinity was assigned a pastor who had built a parish from the ground up before, Fr. Rodney Bourg.  Because the hurricane made early planning frantic, the new parish wandered a little bit in those early years.  As a congregation they would meet in locations that technically were inside boundaries of other Catholic parishes.  MHT settled for some time in a senior living facility in Mandeville known as Roquette Lodge.  Once a more stable "temporary" facility was found, a former retail storefront that housed the famous Mr. Fish, a pet store, the new parish family began to grow.  Today, MHT still finds this temporary facility her home, although construction for the new church has finally begun.  Unfortunately, the timetable for moving in to a 900 seat state of the art beautiful church is still 24 months away.  Still, our newest parish has over 1,000 registered families, offers daily mass and 4 Sunday masses including the vigil, has a robust CCD program and currently has about 2 dozen active ministries.

I was assigned to join the MHT family in 2011 after having served as a Permanent Deacon at my home parish, 10 miles north in Abita Springs at St. Jane de Chantal Parish.  Now having been at MHT for over 2 years I have been kept quite busy and our needs have resulted in an additional Permanent Deacon, Charlie Swift, assigned to us.  We are busy; a true stewardship parish and one that stays busy all week long!

Amazingly, despite our existence, we have not been much help to all our neighboring Catholic parishes as they too remain robust and full.  What a good problem.  The north shore of New Orleans is a great place to be Catholic because we are big, active and faithful!

It's such a blessing to hear the stories and the happiness of so many people who took the brunt of Katrina in New Orleans, St. Bernard, Slidell and rejoice today in their new life across the lake and their new "church family" at MHT!  And for me personally, I guess you could say my very service for the Archdiocese of New Orleans at MHT is a result of Katrina. 

So today we remember those who lost lives and lost lifestyles and careers to a devastating killer storm, but we can, now 8 years later celebrate our blessings like Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church and Parish!

The Church supports democracy

Read the Catechism in a Year image
Read the Catechism in a Year
The Seventh Commandment: You shall not steal.

How did the Church's social teaching develop?
The Church supports democracy, because of all political systems it offers the best conditions for achieving equality before the law and safeguarding human rights. In order to do that, however, democracy must be more than mere majority rule. True democracy is possible only in a State ruled by law that recognizes the fundamental God given rights of all and defends them, if necessary, even against the will of the majority. [1922]
History teaches that even democracy offers no absolute protection from violations of human dignity and human rights. It always runs the risk of becoming a tyranny of the majority over a minority. Democracy depends on preconditions that it cannot guarantee in and of itself. That is why Christians in particular must make sure that the values indispensable to a democracy are not undermined. (YOUCAT question 441)

Dig Deeper: CCC section (2422-2425) and other references here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Feast day of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

Beheading of St. John The Baptist

St. John The Baptist
Feast Day: August 29
Born / Died: Around the same time as Jesus
St. John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus. His mother was St. Elizabeth and his father was Zechariah. The first chapter of Luke's Gospel tells of the wonderful event of John's birth. John preached a baptism of repentance, preparing people for the Messiah. He baptized Jesus in the Jordan River and watched with quiet joy as the Lord's public ministry began. John encouraged his own disciples to follow Jesus. He knew that Jesus' fame would grow, while his would fade away. In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, St. John the Baptist calls himself a voice crying in the desert to make straight the path of the Lord. He invited people to get ready, to prepare themselves to recognize the Messiah. His message is the same to each of us today. King Herod and his wife refused to obey God. They wanted to make their own rules for their lives. So St. John the Baptist told them what they were doing was wrong. Because he was honest and would not agree to do wrong, it made Herod's wife angry and she asked her husband for the head of John the Baptist. Yet John would have had it no other way. He would not remain silent while sin and injustice were happening. He asked people to be sorry for their sins, obey God and be His friend as true happiness comes only from God. Mark's Gospel, chapter 6:14-29, tells of the cruel death of John the Baptist. What suffering John agreed to bear for teaching the truth.

A day on the calendar; 2 hurricanes; devastation; recovery

Tonight many of us in southeast Louisiana are remembering the anniversary of two land falling hurricanes: the 2005 major storm we know as Katrina and the category 1 Isaac from just last year that surprised many.  I've written about Katrina many times and we are feeling her sting less and less with each passing year.  Just the fact that it has been 8 years and New Orleans has come back so strong is amazing.  But there are those whose lives were forever changed; almost 1,900 folks died in this killer storm, many businesses and homes never came back, and thousands upon thousands relocated to new towns and communities to start fresh.  The lessons learned from Katrina have made our area safer and helped, in many ways when Isaac came ashore just one year ago.

The unpredictable nature of storms, even a category 1 like Isaac, brought surprising and unexpected flooding in communities such as Braithwaite, Slidell, Mandeville, Madisonville and Lacombe.  2 people did die in flood waters and one community is a virtual ghost town 365 days later.

So far in 2013 we have had a nice break.  Even though anything can happen and change occurs rapidly, we have managed to miss out on any storms.  Predictions seem to indicate that we will remain safe for at least another week or so.  It is still vitally important to be vigilant and prepared. 

For us southeast Louisiana Catholics we pray very fervently through Our Lady of Prompt Succor for her motherly protection and intercession for our safety.  We will continue to do so until hurricane season goes away in November.  We can remember last year how late in the season Sandy visited the east coast.

Please join all of us in prayer that everyone, everywhere be protected from the devastation of hurricanes and other destructive weather phenomena as well.

Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us!

KC Founder Fr. Michael J McGivney on the road to Sainthood

Father Michael McGivney’s Cause for Canonization Advances   

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is investigating a possible miracle attributed to the intercession of the founder of the Knights of Columbus.

08/28/2013 Comments (1)                                                                                                                 
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The cause for sainthood for Father Michael McGivney, a parish priest in Connecticut who founded the Knights of Columbus, has taken another official step forward.
At the fraternal organization’s 131st Supreme Convention in San Antonio earlier this month, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson reported “there is good news concerning Father McGivney’s cause. A possible miracle attributed to his intercession is now under investigation in Rome.”
If the miracle is approved, Father McGivney would be beatified and receive the title of “Blessed.”
“If he were beatified now, he would be the first United States-born parish priest to be beatified,” noted Brian Caulfield, the vice postulator for Father McGivney’s cause for canonization.
Explaining the process for this new step, Caulfield said, “We were investigating at the diocesan level, and that investigation has been completed. All the documentation was delivered to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican in March.”
He noted that there were no initial objections to the documentation, and the Vatican congregation is moving forward with its role. “It is now in the early stages of investigation there,” Caulfield said.
 “The Vatican is now gathering a medical commission to study the possible miracle and determine if it is beyond medical explanation.”
If the commission approves, “then it goes to a theological commission, which will decide whether to send a recommendation to the Holy Father for approval,” Caulfield said. “Then this would be the miracle for the declaration for the beatification.”
At the Vatican, the steps for Father McGivney’s cause are being handled by the postulator, Andrea Ambrosi. He works closely with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and has completed many causes brought from more than 40 countries.
Along with serving as postulator for Father McGivney’s cause, Ambrosi is postulator for several more candidates’ causes, including Blessed Pope John XXIII, Blessed John Henry Newman, Venerable  Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Fathers Augustus Tolton, Emil Kapaun and Patrick Peyton, each designated a “Servant of God.”
In December 2011, Caulfield was appointed vice postulator to succeed Dominican Father Gabriel O’Donnell, the initial vice postulator when Father McGivney’s cause officially opened in the Archdiocese of Hartford, Conn., in 1997. Father O’Donnell, now an administrator at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, remains director of the Father McGivney Guild, the official source of information on his life and cause for canonization.

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"I have a dream" Dr. Martin Luther King 50 years later

Remembering 50 years later:

May we continue to fight against racism and for freedom and true social justice

Catholics and Politics

← Back to List Read the Catechism in a Year
Read the Catechism in a Year image
Read the Catechism in a Year
The Seventh Commandment: You shall not steal.

Are Christians obliged to become involved in politics and society?
It is a special duty of the Christian laity people to become involved in politics, society, and commerce in the spirit of the Gospel: in charity, truth, and justice. Catholic social teaching offers them clear guidance in this endeavor. [2442]
Partisan political activity is, however, incompatible with the ministry of bishops, priests, and religious, who must be of service to everyone. (YOUCAT question 440)

Dig Deeper: CCC section (2442) and other references here. (NOTE: We will cover the sections that we skipped here in upcoming days)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

From a life of wild excess; he bacame a Priest, Bishop, powerful writer and teacher; one of the greatest Saints of the Church

St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo
St. Augustine of Hippo
Feastday: August 28
Patron of brewers
Died: 430

St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his conversion from a former life of loose living, which included parties, entertainment, and worldly ambitions. His complete turnaround and conversion has been an inspiration to many who struggle with a particular vice or habit they long to break.

This famous son of St. Monica was born in Africa and spent many years of his life in wicked living and in false beliefs. Though he was one of the most intelligent men who ever lived and though he had been brought up a Christian, his sins of impurity and his pride darkened his mind so much, that he could not see or understand the Divine Truth anymore. Through the prayers of his holy mother and the marvelous preaching of St. Ambrose, Augustine finally became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Yet he did not become a Christian then, because he thought he could never live a pure life. One day, however, he heard about two men who had suddenly been converted on reading the life of St. Antony, and he felt terrible ashamed of himself. "What are we doing?" he cried to his friend Alipius. "Unlearned people are taking Heaven by force, while we, with all our knowledge, are so cowardly that we keep rolling around in the mud of our sins!"
Full of bitter sorrow, Augustine flung himself out into the garden and cried out to God, "How long more, O Lord? Why does not this hour put an end to my sins?" Just then he heard a child singing, "Take up and read!" Thinking that God intended him to hear those words, he picked up the book of the Letters of St. Paul, and read the first passage his gaze fell on. It was just what Augustine needed, for in it, St. Paul says to put away all impurity and to live in imitation of Jesus. That did it! From then on, Augustine began a new life.
He was baptized, became a priest, a bishop, a famous Catholic writer, Founder of religious priests, and one of the greatest saints that ever lived. He became very devout and charitable, too. On the wall of his room he had the following sentence written in large letters: "Here we do not speak evil of anyone." St. Augustine overcame strong heresies, practiced great poverty and supported the poor, preached very often and prayed with great fervor right up until his death. "Too late have I loved You!" he once cried to God, but with his holy life he certainly made up for the sins he committed before his conversion. His feast day is August 28th.

Catholic Charities still on the job 1 year after Isaac; when the media leaves so do most; Catholic Charities still there

One year later, LaPlace woman gets Isaac repairs

Updated: Aug 27, 2013
One year later, LaPlace woman gets Isaac repairs
One year later, LaPlace woman gets Isaac repairs

LaPlace, La. -
This week marks a year since Hurricane Isaac brought unprecedented flooding and misery to parts of south Louisiana. Some victims have seen little in the way of recovery since the storm.

Brenda Ola finally is getting some flooring done this week. She's been walking on cement floors since Isaac. Ola has only had sheet rock a couple of months.

"The studs looked great compared to mildew. We lived in a tarped bedroom and a tarped bathroom," she said looking around the bare house.

Ola is disabled. When Isaac's storm surge gave St. John Parish a wake-up call, she was already struggling. She didn't have flood insurance, because she thought she was in a no-flood zone.

Recovery seemed impossible until Catholic Charities called her one day, having retrieved her name from an Isaac recovery group's list,

Toni Wright of Catholic Charities leads the Archdiocese Hurricane Isaac Recovery Assistance. It administers help from FEMA and community- and faith-based groups.

"We estimate right now 30 percent of our client base live in unsafe dwellings. Mold is rampant in homes, and roofs are still leaking. We're serving 1,250 families right now, with a wait list of 1,200," Wright said.

Now crews are completing Ola's tile installation. Alfredo Narvaez has been working with Ola directly. He saw the home a couple of months ago before anything was done.

"The natural inclination is to say Isaac is last year's headline, but the disaster happens in a matter of days. The recovery takes weeks, months, sometimes years," he said.

"A church group came from Iowa and they did the roof. Then a crew came and sheet-rocked, and another crew painted," Ola said.
It has been a group effort in giving for a woman who has weathered the storm too long.

Catholic Charities is asking for any Isaac victims who still need assistance to contact them. They also want donations of used furniture for people still struggling to recover.  For more information, go online to  

Hurricane Isaac one year later destroyed a small La. town; do we remember?

One Year Later: Braithwaite Silenced By Storm

Rachel Bazile is back in Braithwaite. She’s maintaining the vacant home Hurricane Isaac ripped apart a year ago.
“How can I come back and put money in this house knowing that at any second another hurricane or little tropical disturbance can come and take it all away from me,” says Bazile.
The community that Bazile says was once tight knit no longer exists. Now sidewalks are covered by overgrown grass, blown out windows expose gutted walls, signs warn looters, snakes invade, and the pitter patter of children at the playground has been silenced.
“Driving into the neighborhood you bring back the memories of when everything was alive, and then once you get in here you realize that those homes are empty,” Bazile says, “That’s when it really starts to hit you.”
Russell Wilson lives two miles away in St. Bernard Parish. His daughter lost her home in Braithwaite, and now he’s working on getting the electricity back up and running inside a storage shed.
“You can look around, I mean no one in this community is coming back,” says Wilson, “It’s about a 24 foot wall and that made all difference in the world, you know?”
The flood wall kept residents in St. Bernard dry. On the other side in Plaquemines Parish many residents feel duped by parish leaders.
President Billy Nungesser says his goal is to bring levee protection to all in the parish, saying they’re working on a levee on the east bank, but they’ll need three to five years without a major storm to get the job done. Nungesser says 75% of residents who lived on the east bank and flooded during Isaac aren’t coming back. In Braithwaite residents say only one has returned.
Bazile says her heart is in Plaquemines, but without flood protection she won’t return.

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Fr. Dwight compelled to compare Joel Osteen and Pope Francis; provacative!

Joel Osteen and Pope Francis

Joel Osteen the prosperity preacher from Houston has just moved up from his $2m mansion to a $10m mansion. Here’s the news.
This is one of the things that tickle me about American Protestantism. These are the folks who have traditionally beat the Catholics with a big stick about the Pope living in a palace surrounded by rich art works.
The other thing is the way Protestants will beat up on Catholics for having a highly exalted infallible leader who is treated like a celebrity. Duh. The problem with them is not that they don’t have a Pope, but that they have 30,000 popes. Every pastor a pope, and Pope Osteen is just one among many.
So Pope Francis lives in a modest suite in a functional hostel while Pope Joel lives in a palace in Houston. Even when the popes lived in the apostolic palace they only lived in a comparatively modest apartment in the palace, and all that art? It’s history and heritage. He doesn’t own it. It belongs to the world–witness the crowds who come and go talking of Michelangelo.
But who am I to judge? They say Joel Osteen makes all his loot from sale of his books and calendars and self help T-shirts. He’s welcome to it I guess, and who knows, he might live like a prince of the Church on a fraction of his takings. He might give 90% of his wealth to the poor. So live and let live and let God be the judge.
But when it comes to appearances, when it comes to the one who seems to live the life of apostolic simplicity– Pope Francis wins.
For that matter, he wins with the gospel he’s preaching too. The American prosperity gospel is a false gospel. It’s no surprise that Osteen’s church doesn’t have a cross in it. Neither does the gospel he’s preaching.
Just thought…are there any photoshoppers out there who can send me a pic of Osteen being carried around in the seda gestatoria?

More on Catholic social teaching

Read the Catechism in a Year image
Read the Catechism in a Year
The Seventh Commandment: You shall not steal.

How did the Church's social teaching develop?
Catholic social teaching was a response to the economic problems of the nineteenth century. Whereas industrialization had led to an increase in prosperity, the ones who profited from it were primarily factory owners, while many people sank into poverty as laborers with practically no rights. From this experience Communism drew the conclusion that there was an irreconcilable opposition between labor and capital, which must be decided by class war. The Church, in contrast, advocated a just balance between the interests of the laborers and those of the factory owners.
The Church recommended that not only a few but everyone should benefit from the prosperity recently made possible by industrialization and competition. She therefore supported the development of labor unions and advocated protecting laborers from exploitation through legislation and government assurances and insuring them and their families against sickness and emergencies. (YOUCAT question 439)

Dig Deeper: CCC section (2421) and other references here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A patient prayerful mother and a Saint

St. Monica
St. Monica
St. Monica
Feastday: August 27
Patron of Wives and Abuse Victims
Died: 387

St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa, who was much older than she, and although generous, was also violent tempered. His mother Lived with them and was equally difficult, which proved a constant challenge to St. Monica. She had three children; Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Through her patience and prayers, she was able to convert her husband and his mother to the Catholic faith in 370. He died a year later. Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious Life. St. Augustine was much more difficult, as she had to pray for him for 17 years, begging the prayers of priests who, for a while, tried to avoid her because of her persistence at this seemingly hopeless endeavor. One priest did console her by saying, "it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish." This thought, coupled with a vision that she had received strengthened her. St. Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose in 387. St. Monica died later that same year, on the way back to Africa from Rome in the Italian town of Ostia.