Thursday, January 31, 2013

Friend of St Patrick, foundress, abbess & Saint

St. Brigid of Ireland

St. Brigid of Ireland
St. Brigid of Ireland
Feastday: February 1

Brigid was probably born at Faughart near Dundalk, Louth, Ireland. Her parents were baptized by St. Patrick, with whom she developed a close friendship. According to legend, her father was Dubhthach, an Irish chieftain of Lienster, and her mother, Brocca, was a slave at his court. Even as a young girl she evinced an interest for a religious life and took the veil in her youth from St. Macaille at Croghan and probably was professed by St. Mel of Armagh, who is believed to have conferred abbatial authority on her. She settled with seven of her virgins at the foot of Croghan Hill for a time and about the year 468, followed Mel to Meath. About the year 470 she founded a double monastery at Cill-Dara (Kildare) and was Abbess of the convent, the first in Ireland. The foundation developed into a center of learning and spirituality, and around it grew up the Cathedral city of Kildare. She founded a school of art at Kildare and its illuminated manuscripts became famous, notably the Book of Kildare, which was praised as one of the finest of all illuminated Irish manuscripts before its disappearance three centuries ago. Brigid was one of the most remarkable women of her times, and despite the numerous legendary, extravagant, and even fantastic miracles attributed to her, there is no doubt that her extraordinary spirituality, boundless charity, and compassion for those in distress were real. She died at Kildare on February 1. The Mary of the Gael, she is buried at Downpatrick with St. Columba and St. Patrick, with whom she is the patron of Ireland. Her name is sometimes Bridget and Bride. Her feast day is February 1.

Archdiocese of New Orleans sells properties; updates on church property post Katrina

Archdiocese sells 30 vacant, unused properties

The sealed-bid sale of vacant or unused archdiocesan properties, including two former church buildings, was successful and ultimately could net about $3 million in proceeds for parish or archdiocesan ministries, said Elizabeth Lacombe, property manager for the archdiocese.
The former Sts. Peter and Paul Church complex on Burgundy Street in Faubourg Marigny, which was closed in 2001 as a result of the “Catholic Life: 2000” planning process, was sold for $900,000, the highest sales price received for any of the 38 properties in the sealed-bid sale.
The former church, school, rectory and convent buildings at Sts. Peter and Paul were sold to a development group headed by local attorney Blake Jones, who said he hopes to continue discussions with the Faubourg Marigny Improvement Association before deciding how to repurpose the properties.
Talking to neighborhood
“I would love to have more ideas,” Jones said. “I’ve met with the neighborhood association and told them the same thing. I bought it, frankly, because I thought that an assisted-living housing arrangement for the elderly would be appropriate for the school.
“The church itself is just so incredibly gorgeous that I’m not exactly sure what the options are. I’ve looked at two or three. One is as a community center, one is to see if there is a congregation that has outgrown its present establishment, and the third would be a film studio for some of these folks that want to do movies around here.”
Other significant sales included:
A 189-acre undeveloped parcel in English Turn that Woodlands Conservancy purchased for $466,150.
A 22-acre lot at Louisiana 1085 at Interstate 12 that CBG, LLC, bought for $326,000.
– The multi-use building that served as a church and school for the former St. Simon Peter Parish, which is expected to close in a few weeks for $309,000.
A 23-acre parcel on the Lafitte-Larose Highway that sold for $193,610.
30 of 38 properties sold
Thirty of the 38 properties in the sealed-bid sale, which was coordinated by RE/MAX Commercial Brokers, either have sold or will go to closing in the next several weeks, Lacombe said.
The eight unsold properties – including the former St. Maurice Church on St. Maurice Avenue and the former Sacred Heart gym and school building on South Rendon Street (near Canal Street) – either did not receive offers acceptable to the archdiocese or the bidders could not come up with financing, Lacombe said. Those eight properties are still listed for sale.
“In good stewardship, we did not accept some of those offers in hopes of continuing to list the properties and receiving more fruitful offers,” Lacombe said.
There was a very good bid on the St. Maurice church and school, but the bidder could not come up with a financing arrangement, Lacombe said. St. David Parish has assumed the territory of St. Maurice, and the pastoral council and pastor must weigh in on any potential sale.
Unconnected with the sealed-bid sale was the sale of the former Annunciation church, rectory and parish hall, which was purchased by local businessman Julian Mutter for $296,500.
“Julian said he had no immediate plans, but it was going to be used for the community,” Lacombe said. “He is going to reach out to Annunciation Inn and the neighborhood association.”
Sealed-bid process helped
Charles Mullin, senior vice president of RE/MAX, said he was satisfied that the sealed-bid process, which creates “a sense of urgency” on the part of buyers, was able to attract serious offers.
Many of the properties were vacant land parcels that either had been donated over the years by individuals or purchased by the archdiocese for future use but were no longer needed. All purchases were subject to a clause that the new owner cannot use the property for any abortion-related purposes, including counseling, medical services or advocacy.
In the case of the sale of church properties, the proceeds will be used first to pay any debt that the former parish may have had, as well as expenses incurred in the years since Katrina for insuring and maintaining the property.
Closed churches update
Here is an update from Lacombe on church buildings closed since Katrina:
Blessed Sacrament, New Orleans: The rectory has been sold; the church is still listed for lease.
Epiphany, New Orleans: The pastoral council at Corpus Christi-Epiphany Parish is interested in a possible sale of the building.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, New Orleans: The church has been demolished, but the archdiocese will keep the property in case of future pastoral needs.
Incarnate Word, New Orleans: The school is leased to Catholic Charities for its Headstart program. The archdiocese is trying to lease the church.
Our Lady of Good Harbor, Buras: The church was demolished, but there is interest in the property because it has a boat launch.
Our Lady of Lourdes, New Orleans: Holy Rosary Academy and High School are using the school. The rectory is in decent shape. The church is shuttered.
Prince of Peace, Chalmette: The church was demolished. ARC is using the former rectory as its headquarters.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, New Orleans: The gym and two lots are up for sale.
San Pedro Pescador, Florissant: The elevated church has been sold.
St. Brigid, New Orleans: The church building and small rectory are being used for the Vietnamese community.
St. Frances Cabrini, New Orleans: The church and school were demolished to make way for Holy Cross School.
St. Francis de Sales, New Orleans: Under contract with the Ashé Cultural Center.
St. Joseph Mission, Potash: Demolished; vacant land up for sale.
St. Jude, Diamond: Demolished; leased land reverted to its previous owner.
St. Julian Eymard, New Orleans: Rectory is being used as a priests’ residence. The school has been leased by the Orleans Parish School Board. The church is closed.
St. Lawrence the Martyr, Metairie: New home of the Hispanic Apostolate.
St. Louise de Marillac, Arabi: Church and part of the school demolished. Camp Hope leases the school.
St. Mark, Chalmette: Demolished; land sold to the St. Bernard school board.
St. Maurice, New Orleans: Church, rectory, gym and school are still for sale.
St. Monica, New Orleans: Church sold to Urban Impact Ministries.
St. Nicholas of Myra, Lake St. Catherine: Rebuilt as a mission church of Resurrection of Our Lord Parish.
St. Philip the Apostle, New Orleans: Church was demolished; land is up for sale.
St. Raymond, New Orleans: Church was gutted and hosted Operation Helping Hands. Up for sale or lease.
St. Robert Bellarmine, Arabi: Vacant land up for sale.
St. Rose of Lima, New Orleans: Leased by Bayou Treme Center.
St. Simon Peter, New Orleans: Under contract for sale.
St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, New Orleans: Sold to Antioch Full Gospel Baptist Church in 2008.
Peter Finney Jr. can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Praying with the Pope for February

Can we join the Holy Father in our prayer life and pray his intentions for the month of February:


Migrant Families. That migrant families, especially the mothers, may be supported and accompanied in their difficulties.
Peace. That the peoples at war and in conflict may lead the way in building a peaceful future.

A great opportunity too as we begin Lent.  We can also offer our penances and sacrifices with these intentions of Pope Benedict!

Goodbye January and Hello February

Pretty original title for this post but once again I find myself amazed that another month flew by.  With this being the 1st month of a New Year I can only wonder if this dizzying pace will continue for all of 2013.  As a Permanent Deacon in the Church I too experience all the ups and downs of a hectic month because my ministry shares in my total being: husband, father, grandfather, bank manager and hopefully, a normal guy.

January brought some amazing challenges at work that tested me but in a way that helped me exhibit leadership and strength, inner and outer.  Unexpected exits from my banking domain left me incredibly short-handed and I've been working much longer hours than normal.  I am so thankful that I moved to this bank because even the challenges, even the busy days, even the chaotic os so much more pleasurable than the good days at the old place.  I trust that I have found my last stop in banking but one can never take anything for granted.  Now to balance this news my lovely bride of 35 years, one of the hardest working people I know, was tapped by one of the areas largest and fastest growing companies to be their accounting manager.  She will leave her job with an incredible offer and knowledge of a new adventure where she is truly wanted.  Congratulations Wendy and good luck.  I hope and pray for my wife a wonderful experience of job change that I have been enjoying for these past 6 months.

Health has been in my family experiences this month too as I currently have both a brother-in-law and mother-in-law in the hospital.  Both have serious illneses and certainly can use any prayers from my readers.  My brother-in-law goes by Don while my mother-in-law is Lynn.  While we are praying add Kathy, my sister, to the list, who lost a job in this tough economy and now is hampered from serious looking as she cares for Don.

Ministry actually settled down to a much calmer pace after the hectic December that brought 4 weddings and the ordination of 20 new brother Deacons!  I have really been enjoying the new adult faith formation program at Most Holy Trinity; an audio/workbook program on the Creed.  I have really enjoyed the lessons and the lively group discussions.  January also brought a robust return to prison ministry with two new interns from our 2015 formation class in tow.  These aspiring deacons are learning the ropes with me at Rayburn Prison.  I did have one beautiful Baptism in the past month too.  And me, and my parish family, and brother Deacons everywhere are currently involved in the necessary preps for Lent, which begins in less than 2 weeks.

How about all the excitement right now in my neck of the woods, living just north of New Orleans!!  Not only is the city alive because Mardi Gras is in full swing but we have this little party going down called the Super Bowl.  While I can't get motivated by a Ravens v 49érs matchup I can get pumped by the electricity in and around New Orleans.  She looks marvelous and is proving an incredible resiliency post-Katrina.  Remember, the Super Bowl is this Sunday and Mardi Gras Day is the 12th. Oh yes, and Lent begins the day after on the 13th!!  More on Lent in future posts.

Now January, which by the way was not that incredibly cold, is done.  As she exits stage left I say goodbye to another of my more favorite months of the year.  I still love February but I know that soon, we down this far south, are about to enter 6-7 months of heat and humidity.  So February, be kind to me.  Please be cool! 

Before I leave this post, the absolute highlight of my month, 4 consecutive Sundays with Calvin as we use skype to visit with our grandson evey week. 

Welcome to February on the abitadeacon; come along for the journey!

Names, images and symbols of the Church

Read the Catechism: Day 113

748 "Christ is the light of humanity; and it is, accordingly, the heart-felt desire of this sacred Council, being gathered together in the Holy Spirit, that, by proclaiming his Gospel to every creature, it may bring to all men that light of Christ which shines out visibly from the Church." These words open the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. By choosing this starting point, the Council demonstrates that the article of faith about the Church depends entirely on the articles concerning Christ Jesus. The Church has no other light than Christ's; according to a favorite image of the Church Fathers, the Church is like the moon, all its light reflected from the sun.
749 The article concerning the Church also depends entirely on the article about the Holy Spirit, which immediately precedes it. "Indeed, having shown that the Spirit is the source and giver of all holiness, we now confess that it is he who has endowed the Church with holiness." The Church is, in a phrase used by the Fathers, the place "where the Spirit flourishes."
750 To believe that the Church is "holy" and "catholic," and that she is "one" and "apostolic" (as the Nicene Creed adds), is inseparable from belief in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the Apostles' Creed we profess "one Holy Church" (Credo ... Ecclesiam), and not to believe in the Church, so as not to confuse God with his works and to attribute clearly to God's goodness all the gifts he has bestowed on his Church.
Paragraph1:The Church in God's Plan (751 - 780)
751 The word "Church" (Latin ecclesia, from the Greek ek-ka-lein, to "call out of") means a convocation or an assembly. It designates the assemblies of the people, usually for a religious purpose. Ekklesia is used frequently in the Greek Old Testament for the assembly of the Chosen People before God, above all for their assembly on Mount Sinai where Israel received the Law and was established by God as his holy people. By calling itself "Church," the first community of Christian believers recognized itself as heir to that assembly. In the Church, God is "calling together" his people from all the ends of the earth. The equivalent Greek term Kyriake, from which the English word Church and the German Kirche are derived, means "what belongs to the Lord."
752 In Christian usage, the word "church" designates the liturgical assembly, but also the local community or the whole universal community of believers. These three meanings are inseparable. "The Church" is the People that God gathers in the whole world. She exists in local communities and is made real as a liturgical, above all a Eucharistic, assembly. She draws her life from the word and the Body of Christ and so herself becomes Christ's Body.
Symbols of the Church
753 In Scripture, we find a host of interrelated images and figures through which Revelation speaks of the inexhaustible mystery of the Church. The images taken from the Old Testament are variations on a profound theme: the People of God. In the New Testament, all these images find a new center because Christ has become the head of this people, which henceforth is his Body. Around this center are grouped images taken "from the life of the shepherd or from cultivation of the land, from the art of building or from family life and marriage."
754 "The Church is, accordingly, a sheepfold, the sole and necessary gateway to which is Christ. It is also the flock of which God himself foretold that he would be the shepherd, and whose sheep, even though governed by human shepherds, are unfailingly nourished and led by Christ himself, the Good Shepherd and Prince of Shepherds, who gave his life for his sheep.
755 "The Church is a cultivated field, the tillage of God. On that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has been brought about and will be brought about again. That land, like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator. Yet the true vine is Christ who gives life and fruitfulness to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church remain in Christ, without whom we can do nothing.
756 "Often, too, the Church is called the building of God. The Lord compared himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the corner-stone. On this foundation the Church is built by the apostles and from it the Church receives solidity and unity. This edifice has many names to describe it: the house of God in which his family dwells; the household of God in the Spirit; the dwelling-place of God among men; and, especially, the holy temple. This temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone, is praised by the Fathers and, not without reason, is compared in the liturgy to the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. As living stones we here on earth are built into it. It is this holy city that is seen by John as it comes down out of heaven from God when the world is made anew, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
757 "The Church, further, which is called 'that Jerusalem which is above' and 'our mother', is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless lamb. It is she whom Christ 'loved and for whom he delivered himself up that he might sanctify her.' It is she whom he unites to himself by an unbreakable alliance, and whom he constantly 'nourishes and cherishes.'"
Dig deeper: Scriptural and other references for today's section here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dreamer, man of prayer and charity, Founder and Saint

St. John Bosco

St. John Bosco
St. John Bosco
Feastday: January 31
1815 - 1888

What do dreams have to with prayer? Aren't they just random images of our mind?
In 1867 Pope Pius IX was upset with John Bosco because he wouldn't take his dreams seriously enough. Nine years earlier when Pope Pius IX met with the future saint who worked with neglected boys, he learned of the dreams that John had been having since the age of nine, dreams that had revealed God's will for John's life. So Pius IX had made a request, "Write down these dreams and everything else you have told me, minutely and in their natural sense." Pius IX saw John's dreams as a legacy for those John worked with and as an inspiration for those he ministered to.
Despite Scripture evidence and Church tradition respecting dreams, John had encountered skepticism when he had his first dream at the age of nine. The young Bosco dreamed that he was in a field with a crowd of children. The children started cursing and misbehaving. John jumped into the crowd to try to stop them -- by fighting and shouting. Suddenly a man with a face filled with light appeared dressed in a white flowing mantle. The man called John over and made him leader of the boys. John was stunned at being put in charge of these unruly gang. The man said, "You will have to win these friends of yours not with blows but with gentleness and kindness." As adults, most of us would be reluctant to take on such a mission -- and nine year old John was even less pleased. "I'm just a boy," he argued, "how can you order me to do something that looks impossible." The man answered, "What seems so impossible you must achieve by being obedient and acquiring knowledge." Thenthe boys turned into the wild animals they had been acting like. The man told John that this is the field of John's life work. Once John changed and grew in humility, faithfulness, and strength, he would see a change in the children -- a change that the man now demonstrated. The wild animals suddenly turned into gentle lambs.
When John told his family about his dream, his brothers just laughed at him. Everyone had a different interpretation of what it meant: he would become a shepherd, a priest, a gang leader. His own grandmother echoed the sage advice we have heard through the years, "You mustn't pay any attention to dreams." John said, "I felt the same way about it, yet I could never get that dream out of my head."
Eventually that first dream led him to minister to poor and neglected boys, to use the love and guidance that seemed so impossible at age nine to lead them to faithful and fulfilled lives. He started out by learning how to juggle and do tricks to catch the attention of the children. Once he had their attention he would teach them and take them to Mass. It wasn't always easy -- few people wanted a crowd of loud, bedraggled boys hanging around. And he had so little money and help that people thought he was crazy. Priests who promised to help would get frustrated and leave.
Two "friends" even tried to commit him to an institution for the mentally ill. They brought a carriage and were planning to trick him into coming with him. But instead of getting in, John said, "After you" and politely let them go ahead. When his friends were in the carriage he slammed the door and told the drive to take off as fast as he could go!
Through it all he found encouragement and support through his dreams. In one dream, Mary led him into a beautiful garden. There were roses everywhere, crowding the ground with their blooms and the air with their scent. He was told to take off his shoes and walk along a path through a rose arbor. Before he had walked more than a few steps, his naked feet were cut and bleeding from the thorns. When he said he would have to wear shoes or turn back, Mary told him to put on sturdy shoes. As he stepped forward a second time, he was followed by helpers. But the walls of the arbor closed on him, the roof sank lower and the roses crept onto the path. Thorns caught at him from all around. When he pushed them aside he only got more cuts, until he was tangled in thorns. Yet those who watched said, "How lucky Don John is! His path is forever strewn with roses! He hasn't a worry in the world. No troubles at all!" Many of the helpers, who had been expecting an easy journey, turned back, but some stayed with him. Finally he climbed through the roses and thorns to find another incredible garden. A cool breeze soothed his torn skin and healed his wounds.
In his interpretation, the path was his mission, the roses were his charity to the boys, and the thorns were the distractions, the obstacles, and frustrations that would stand in his way. The message of the dream was clear to John: he must keep going, not lose faith in God or his mission, and he would come through to the place he belonged.
Often John acted on his dreams simply by sharing them, sometimes repeating them to several different individuals or groups he thought would be affected by the dream. "Let me tell you about a dream that has absorbed my mind," he would say.
The groups he most often shared with were the boys he helped -- because so many of the dreams involved them. For example, he used several dreams to remind the boys to keep to a good and moral life. In one dream he saw the boys eating bread of four kinds -- tasty rolls, ordinary bread, coarse bread, and moldy bread, which represented the state of the boys' souls. He said he would be glad to talk to any boys who wanted to know which bread they were eating and then proceeded to use the occasion to give them moral guidance.
He died in 1888, at the age of seventy-two. His work lives on in the Salesian order he founded.

Great last name!! Great inspiration

MATTHEW TALBOT: Inspiration and Hope for Alcoholics

He was not wealthy.
He was not educated.
He was not well known.
He was an alcoholic.
But Matthew Talbot is on his way to becoming a saint.
* * * * *
Matthew Talbot was born in 1856 to a poor family in the North Strand area of Dublin, Ireland—the second of twelve children. His father was a heavy drinker, as were most of his brothers.
Matthew left school at the age of 12 to work in a wine merchant’s shop. It was there he began drinking, and he continued to drink after he found work in the whiskey shops near the docks. Like many young Irish lads, Matthew Talbot frequented pubs in the city with his brothers and friends, spending all his wages and running up debts.
One night in 1884, out of money and out of credit, Talbot was unable to buy a drink. He returned home and told his mother that he was prepared to “take the pledge” (stop drinking). After sixteen years of heavy drinking, Talbot did stop that day—and he maintained his sobriety for the remaining 40 years of his life. From that time, he worked earnestly to repay all of his debts.
It is now known that the rehabilitation program he implemented incorporated the “Twelve Steps” of Alcoholics Anonymous—although these steps would not be formulated for another fifty years.
Talbot had been an indifferent Catholic during his drinking days; but in sobriety, he grew in holiness. He became a Third Order Franciscan, and he gave of what little he had to help the poor and the Church. He lived an austere life, sleeping on a plank bed with a piece of timber for a pillow. He relied on the grace which came from daily attendance at Mass, and from constant prayer.
Matthew Talbot died on his way to Mass on June 11, 1925. The medical examiner was surprised to find that Talbot had wrapped heavy penitential chains and cords around his waist, arm and legs. Word of his holiness spread quickly throughout Ireland, and the cause for his canonization was begun almost immediately.
On October 3, 1975, Pope Paul VI declared him to be Venerable (worthy of honor)—the first step along the way toward canonization. He is the patron of alcoholics.
Matt Talbot Included in a Station of the Cross
In St. Mary Magdalen Church in Media, Pennsylvania, the Stations of the Cross have been recreated by artist Robert McGovern. Each painted Station includes an image of a saint or a holy person, inspiring the faithful to greater holiness. Matthew Talbot is pictured in the Third Station (Jesus Falls the First Time).
Official Prayer for the Canonization
of Venerable Matt Talbot
“Lord, in your servant Matt Talbot you have given us a wonderful example of triumph over addiction, of devotion to duty, and of lifelong reverence of the Holy Sacrament.
May his life of prayer and penance give us courage to take up our crosses and follow in the footsteps of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Father, if it be your will that your beloved servant should be glorified by your Church, make known by your heavenly favors the power he enjoys in your sight.
We ask this through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.”

>>>>Many thanks to "Seasons of Grace" on the Patheos website 

Recapping the Holy Spirit

Read the Catechism: Day 112

742 "Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!"' (Gal 4:6).
743 From the beginning to the end of time, whenever God sends his Son, he always sends his Spirit: their mission is conjoined and inseparable.
744 In the fullness of time the Holy Spirit completes in Mary all the preparations for Christ's coming among the People of God. By the action of the Holy Spirit in her, the Father gives the world Emmanuel "God-with-us" (Mt 1:23).
745 The Son of God was consecrated as Christ (Messiah) by the anointing of the Holy Spirit at his Incarnation (cf. Ps 2:6-7).
746 By his Death and his Resurrection, Jesus is constituted in glory as Lord and Christ (cf. Acts 2:36). From his fullness, he poured out the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the Church.
747 The Holy Spirit, whom Christ the head pours out on his members, builds, animates, and sanctifies the Church. She is the sacrament of the Holy Trinity's communion with men.
Dig deeper: Scriptural and other references for today's section here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This Christian Brother Saint was canonized by Blessed John Paul II

St. Mutien-Marie Wiaux

St. Mutien-Marie Wiaux
St. Mutien-Marie Wiaux
Feastday: January 30
1841 - 1917
Canonized By: Pope John Paul II

Christian Brother praised as a model teacher. He was born the son of a blacksmith in Mellet, Belgium, in 1841. Entering the Christian Brothers, he changed his baptismal name, Louis, to Mutien. In 1859 he was assigned to St. Bertuin’s School in Maloone, where he taught for fifty-eight years. Mutien specialized in art and music. He was canonized in 1989 by Pope John Paul II.
from Wikipedia
Saint Mutien-Marie Wiaux, F.S.C., (also known as Mutien-Marie of Malonne) was a Belgian member of the Brothers of Christian Schools, who spent his life as a teacher. He is honored as a saint by the Catholic Church.


Early life

He was born Louis-Joseph Wiaux in the small village of Mellet, now part of the town of Les Bons Villers, in French-speaking Belgium, to a devoutly Catholic family. The third of six children, his father was a blacksmith, while his mother ran a café out of their house. After the joviality of evening, where customers would enjoy the beer and card games, the family would end their day by praying the rosary together.[1]
Wiaux was a gentle, obedient boy who was marked by his piety, leading his classmates to pray at their local church at the end of the school day. After he finished elementary school, he worked as an apprentice in his father's shop, where he found that he was both physically and temperamentally unfit for this career. The call to join a religious Order, meanwhile, had begun to take root in his heart, and he considered following his brother into the Society of Jesus.[2]

Christian Brother

The pastor of the town, the Abbé Sallié, however, spoke to the boy about the Brothers of the Christian Schools (commonly called the Christian Brothers), who were about to open a school in the nearby town of Gosselies. He went to meet them and was convinced that it was the way of life he wanted. He traveled to the city of Namur, where he entered the Brothers' novitiate on 7 April 1856, and received the habit that following July. At that time he was also given the religious name of Mutien-Marie ("Mutien" after the ancient Roman martyr Mucian).[2]
Mutien's deep piety and faith was evident during his novitiate year. He gained the reputation of strictly living according to the Rule of the Institute. Nonetheless, his fellow novices enjoyed his company due to his reliable sense of humor. Yet he shared later in life how one day, when he felt sad, he had gone up to the attic of the house, to find the road back to his home through the window.[2]
On 8 September 1857 Mutien left the novitiate to teach at an elementary school the Brothers ran in Chimay, followed the next year by an assignment at another of the Brother's elementary schools, the Institut Saint-Georges in Brussels.[2] In 1859 he was assigned to teach at the Institut Saint-Berthuin, a boarding school in the village of Mallone (now part of the city of Namur). He taught there for the next 58 years, until his death.[2]
At first combining teaching with the spiritual life was difficult for Mutien, and his students were known as disruptive and out of control. His performance as a teacher was judged to be so poor that his Superiors considered expelling him from their Order, a teaching one, for the good name of the school.[3] But in time, with the help of the Brother who headed the Fine Arts Department, Brother Mutien grew into an effective teacher and Prefect of discipline, known for his patience and piety. He taught music and art, a saint of sensibility not intellect. He was known within the community for being available to help with any need which arose, whether it was comforting a homesick student or going to the train station to meet a traveler unfamiliar with the city.[2] He would also teach catechism to the children of the town at the local parish church. He was known to spend whatever time he could in prayer before the tabernacle or at the grotto of Our Lady on the school grounds.[1]


Mutien-Marie enjoyed good health throughout his life, until November 1916 when he became noticeably ill and was sent to the house infirmary. He nevertheless struggled to continue sharing the community's prayer routine. On the following 26 January, despite his weakness and the bitter cold, he was found praying at the communion rail before the Brothers' first prayer service of the day. He was clearly failing and the Brother Superior suggested that he return to the infirmary. He never left it again, dying about 4:00 A.M. on 30 January 1917. He was buried two days later in the Brothers' plot in the town cemetery of Malonne.[2]
Brother Muthien's fame began to spread after his death and miracles began to be attributed to his intercession.[1]


This reputation of sanctity lead to a large number of pilgrims to Brother Mutien's grave. It reached such a degree that the decision was made to make his remains more accessible to the veneration of the public. With the opening of a process of canonization by the local diocese, his remains were moved on 11 May 1926 to a new tomb next to the parish church, right on the main street of the town.[2]
Mutien-Marie was beatified on 30 October 1977 by the Venerable Pope Paul VI. Subsequent to this, a shrine was built in his honor in 1980, and his remains were moved again, to a white marble tomb within the shrine.[2] He was canonized on 10 December 1989 by the Venerable Pope Jean Paul II.[1]
Saint Muthien-Marie's feast day is celebrated among the Brothers on 30 January.

New Orleans in all her splendor this week

Super Bowl 2013 represents a journey for New Orleans:

The following comes from

The accolades for New Orleans started flowing as soon as Super Bowl visitors hit town this week. "Just arrived in N.O. NFL can hold the Super Bowl here every year ... No better big event city for sports," Rick Gosselin, a Dallas Morning News columnist, tweeted Sunday night.

Super bowl signs008.jpgMaria Elana Oliva and Rodolfo Oliva work together with others to fold a banner as workers at Crystal Clear Imaging work with oversized printers, making the huge banners and signage at their shop in Elmwood Jan. 29. The banners are going up around New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII.
Bernie Miklasz, a sports columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who has covered the Super Bowl for three decades, said New Orleans is his top choice as host city. Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher tweeted: "Man I have a special love for New Orleans!! I love coming here."

New Orleanians love this city ferociously, and it is a point of pride that so many people elsewhere feel a similar affection. This week, though, the compliments carry greater significance. After what the city and the region have gone through over the past seven years, it is a remarkable achievement to be hosting another Super Bowl.

As Ti Martin, whose Commander's Palace restaurant underwent a $6.5 million renovation post-Katrina, told "Every now and then when you've got your nose to the grindstone, and you're just working, working, working, you've got to stop and say, 'Look at what we did.' And this is going to be another one of those moments."

It should be one of those moments for everyone who has worked to bring this community back - every homeowner who returned, every business that reopened, every civic activist who demanded better schools and government, all the volunteers who gave of their time and energy to clean up and rebuild.

And specifically for this event, thank you to Saints owner Tom Benson, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell. Super Bowl XLVII is putting New Orleans on an international stage. For anyone who is unaware, the city's renaissance will be impossible to miss.

This moment was hardly a given. A few weeks after the Saints' triumphant return to the Superdome for the 2006 season, the NFL held its fall owners meeting in New Orleans. Commissioner Goodell started the meeting with a highlight video from the Saints' victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the renovated Dome. The video featured Steve Gleason's blocked punt, Coach Sean Payton's postgame speech, in which he dedicated the game ball to the people of New Orleans, and shots of emotional fans decked out in black and gold.

"It's hard to imagine where we were a year ago," Mr. Goodell told the owners that October day. "And to see where we are now, the progress that has been made is extraordinary." It was extraordinary given that 80 percent of the city was under water after Katrina hit and the levees broke in August 2005.

Not all of the owners were persuaded, though, that New Orleans was going to be a viable city for the long-term. Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney said, "The thing that has to be determined is the business (in the city). Is that going to come back?" There also were concerns about whether the Saints could consistently sell tickets, something that had been a problem in the past.

The doubts weren't without cause. There were still blue tarps on rooftops, still thousands of houses that had been gutted but not rebuilt. And we are still rebuilding and still bear some scars.

The difference between October 2006 and today, though, is dramatic. The Saints not only have been able to sell tickets, the Superdome is sold out every year and the team has a long waiting list. And the Black and Gold's 2009 Super Bowl season was nothing short of magical.

As for New Orleans, there are more restaurants open than ever, and the city just finished upgrades to the airport and opened a new spur on the streetcar line. In 2012, tourism officials said that the city received more than a dozen national accolades. It also was recognized for its brain gain and its entrepreneurial energy.

The Super Bowl is arguably the biggest of big events. New Orleans has for years been one of the NFL's favorite sites, as evidenced by the previous nine times the city was chosen to host the game. It has been more than a decade since the game was played here, though. And, given the trauma to our region since then, it seems like longer ago than that.

This week has been more than three years in the making. The host committee, led by co-chairs James Carville and Mary Matalin, have worked countless hours and lined up a dizzying array of events. Thousands of volunteers signed up to help make our guests this week feel welcome.

Good luck to the Ravens and to the 49ers. Have a great week and a super game. We know you've worked hard to get to this moment. And so have we.
>>>>This item was first seen at the website DaMihiAnimas!

Exciting news about Baptism and Christian unity

Churches to sign historic baptism agreement in Austin


Churches to sign historic baptism agreement in Austin photo
Statesman file photo
Bishop Joe Vásquez of the Catholic Diocese of Austin says the mutual recognition of baptism is a response to Jesus’ prayer that ‘we may all be one.’
American-Statesman Staff
Leaders of U.S. Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches will sign a historic agreement Tuesday in Austin by which the two traditions will formally recognize each other’s liturgical rites of baptism.
The product of seven years of talks among five denominations, the agreement will be signed at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at a prayer service and celebration at St. Mary Cathedral. The service will be open to the public and will be part of the opening day activities of the national meeting of Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A., which will continue through Friday in Austin.
Representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Christian Reformed Church in North America, Reformed Church in America and United Church of Christ will sign the document.
“This ecumenical effort, this mutual recognition of baptism, is part of our response to Jesus’ prayer that ‘we may all be one,’ ” said Bishop Joe Vásquez of the Catholic Diocese of Austin.
Before the agreement, Protestant denominations of the Reformed Church tradition normally accepted Catholic baptisms, but the Catholic church did not always accept theirs, said the Rev. Tom Weinandy of the Catholic bishops conference in Washington.
Weinandy, who participated in the discussions that led to the agreement, said Catholics questioned the validity of baptisms if they did not invoke the names of the Trinity.
The document to be signed Tuesday says, “For our baptisms to be mutually recognized, water and the scriptural Trinitarian formula “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28: 19-20) must be used in the baptismal rite.”
The agreement confirms that baptism is the sacramental gateway into the Christian life and that it is to be conferred only once.
“We wanted to assure one another that we had common liturgical practices and a common theology to the extent that the baptism of one church would be recognized by the other churches,” Weinandy said.
Denominations also agree to keep standard baptism records.
Keeping records “becomes especially important in the Catholic Church when you have marriages between a Catholic and someone who is not of the Catholic Church,” Weinandy said. “It’s important to the other churches as well.”
A representative for the Presbyterian Church in San Antonio said it welcomed the agreement.
“We’re very much in concert with it,” said Ruben Armendariz, associate presbyter of the San Antonio-based presbytery, which includes the Austin area. “It’s a historical moment.”
Armendariz said the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has always accepted Roman Catholic baptisms and baptism administered in the name of the Trinity.
The Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A. conference will gather representatives from 36 denominations and seven organizations who will focus their talks on immigration, said the Rev. Carlos L. Malavé, the group’s executive director.
The organization was formed in 2001 as a forum for diverse denominations, some of which were estranged.
“It was a way to come together for dialogue,” Malavé said.
The group hopes to produce a public statement on immigration reform that has the agreement of all the denominations, Malavé said.

The Holy Spirit, the Church, one and undivided

Read the Catechism: Day 111

The Holy Spirit and the Church
737 The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. This joint mission henceforth brings Christ's faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may "bear much fruit."
738 Thus the Church's mission is not an addition to that of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but is its sacrament: in her whole being and in all her members, the Church is sent to announce, bear witness, make present, and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity (the topic of the next article):
All of us who have received one and the same Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit, are in a sense blended together with one another and with God. For if Christ, together with the Father's and his own Spirit, comes to dwell in each of us, though we are many, still the Spirit is one and undivided. He binds together the spirits of each and every one of us, ... and makes all appear as one in him. For just as the power of Christ's sacred flesh unites those in whom it dwells into one body, I think that in the same way the one and undivided Spirit of God, who dwells in all, leads all into spiritual unity.
739 Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ, it is Christ who, as the head of the Body, pours out the Spirit among his members to nourish, heal, and organize them in their mutual functions, to give them life, send them to bear witness, and associate them to his self-offering to the Father and to his intercession for the whole world. Through the Church's sacraments, Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body. (This will be the topic of Part Two of the Catechism.)
740 These "mighty works of God," offered to believers in the sacraments of the Church, bear their fruit in the new life in Christ, according to the Spirit. (This will be the topic of Part Three.)
741 "The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with sighs too deep for words." The Holy Spirit, the artisan of God's works, is the master of prayer. (This will be the topic of Part Four.)
Dig deeper: Scriptural and other references for today's section here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Polish virgin beatified by Pope John Paul II

Blessed Boleslava Maria Lament, January 29

blessed-boleslava-maria-lament-jan-29 Blessed Boleslava Maria Lament
Lowicz, Poland, July 3, 1862 – Bialystok, Poland, January 29, 1946
Blessed Mary Boleslava Polish Lament, virgin, grasping the signs of the times, founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Family, to promote Christian unity, to help and the last to form Christian female youth.
Roman Martyrology: In the city of Bialystok in Poland, Blessed Mary Boleslava Lament, virgin, in the midst of political upheaval founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Family to promote Christian unity, help the poor and train the girls to Christian life.
The eldest of eight children of Martin and Lucia Cyganowska Lament, Lament Boleslava, was born July 3, 1862 at Lowicz in Poland. During her childhood, she had the pain of seeing the death of her little sisters Elena and Leocadia and brother Martin, this was in a time when infant mortality decimated children, reducing the members of many families, the small Boleslava was marked irretrievably from these painful experiences.
After the elementary school and high school, she went to Warsaw, to a school of arts and crafts, where she obtained the diploma of a seamstress; she returned to Lowicz opened a tailoring business with her sister, meanwhile,she lived a life of mind, deeply linked to spirituality. And at 22, in 1884, she decided to join the Congregation of the Family of Mary, which was organized in Warsaw in secrecy, because of czarist persecution.
She was a zealous sister, who was distinguished for the gifts of prayer, meditation, seriousness and loyalty with which she worked his duties. After her novitiate and profession of simple vows, she worked as a teacher of tailoring, a teacher and educator in various houses of the congregation, scattered throughout the territory of the Russian.
But after nine years, before pronouncing her solemn vows, she had a deep crisis that did not feel more secure in her vocation in the congregation, so she went back to her home in Lowicz with the intention, as soon as possible, to enter in an enclosure, with the advice of her confessor, then opted for the works of assistance for the homeless, all of which continued even in Warsaw, when her family moved there, opened here to support a workshop for tailoring with her younger sister Mary.
Soon she was entrusted with the direction of a dormitory for the homeless, who saw her commitment to bring order in the ethics and religious life of its clients. Li was preparing to receive the sacraments, visiting the sick poor in their homes or shelters, took care of children, in 1894, yet the epidemic of cholera led by the father, full of other responsibilities, took her mother and brother Stefano, aged thirteen, who attended school in Warsaw and wanted to become a priest.
She entered the Franciscan Third Order and was then put in contact with the Capuchin friar blessed Onorato Kozminski (1829-1916), founder of several religious congregations, who were working underground, because of political events involving Poland at that time. Once again the death of her family in 1900, taking the young brother Stephen, before his coffin, Boleslava Lament promised to return to the religious life, and two years after the father Onorato did know a lady from Belarus, research Sisters of the Third Order to conduct a house and education to the Dniepr Mogilev.
Boleslava felt the urgent need to establish relationships and contacts to induce the Orthodox to meet with the Catholic Church and at the same time help the Catholic population in order to retain loyal, without giving in to difficulties that have arisen under the czarist regime, therefore, accepted in the assignment 1903 and left for Mogilev in Belarus, a town of about 40,000 inhabitants.
She lived with Leocadia Gorczynska, who directed a workshop for weaving, to teach a trade to the girls of poor families, then Boleslava Lament taken to rent a house of wood and taken to tailor a suit. With admiration for the industriousness of Boleslava, Leocadia Gorczynska decided to go and live with her, the two women joined Lucia Czechowska, at this point Boleslava began to think of founding a congregation, strictly religious, devoted apostolate among the Orthodox.
This could be implemented with the help of Jesuit Father Felice Wiercinski, who contributed directly to the foundation in 1905 the three women began the new congregation, called the “Society of St. Family “, which later changed its name to” Sisters of the Sacred Family “, for which Boleslava was the first Superior.
In the autumn of 1907, Boleslava, with the six nuns of the community of that time, moved to St. Petersburg, where she developed an extensive educational and educational activities, primarily dedicated to the young, and already in 1913 could extend its activities in Finland, and opened a college for girls to Wyborg.
In St. Petersburg she played an intense catechetical, educational and welfare in poorer neighborhoods, striving to create the conditions for a genuine social and ecumenism, to deepen mutual understanding and goodwill between the students and their families, who were different nationalities and religion.
In this context of ecumenism, she took to thinking of setting up a branch in the Congregation of Sisters of separate Eastern rite.
The life of her institution was not easy, she had to overcome the obstruction of Tsarist religious policy, then to those resulting from the First World War and persecution of the Bolsheviks, who seized power in Russia, with the ‘Revolution’ s October “of 1917, so in 1921 she was forced to leave Russia and return to Poland with the intention to resume activities at St. Petersburg, when circumstances would permit.
All this brought huge material losses, over the cancellation of her aspirations, even in Poland she found a worrying situation, the congregation lived in poverty, but Boleslava mother Lament with hergreat faith was totally entrusted to the will of God and as they were exceeded that sum of circumstances and social and political influences.
For some months, she directed the work of the sisters in Wolynia, and in 1922 founded a new house in Pomerania in the territories of Eastern Poland, where the population was poor for most of orthodox religion. Starting in 1924, she began to open other nell’archidiocesi Case of Vilna and the Diocese of Pinsk, and in 1935 became the 33 houses scattered somewhat in Poland and even in Rome.
In 1925, mother Boleslava went to Rome for papal approval of the Congregation of the “Sisters of the Holy Family”, but the practice is aground due to lack of clarity about the tasks of the sisters, divided into two branches, apostolic teaching and conduct – home of Case.
In 1935, Mother Mary Boleslava Lament, decided to renounce the post of Superior General for serious health ed’accordo with the new Superior, retired in Bialystok, where despite being elderly and seriously ill, she devoted herself to opening schools, kindergartens, hospice for women alone, a canteen for the unemployed.
The Second World War brought new difficulties to length mother Boleslava, including the Nazi threat, was forced her to change the types of activities tailored to the needs of the time. In 1941 she was struck by paralysis and devoted herself to a life of asceticism, sending valuable advice to sisters.
She died a saintly death in Bialystok on January 29, 1946, at 84 years, and her body was brought into the convent of Ratow and buried in the crypt under the church of S. Antonio.
The Congregation of the “Sisters of the Holy Family”, is widely popular in Poland, Russia, Zambia, Libya, USA and Rome.
On June 5, 1991, Maria Boleslava Lament, was proclaimed blessed by Pope John Paul II in Bialystok, during his apostolic visit to Poland.
Author: Antonio Borrelli