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Did Blessed Kateri Work a Miracle in Washington State? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 23 April 2011 14:23

A great Easter story.

The Vatican is investigating the possibility that the intercession of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha is responsible for the astonishing recover of a boy in Washington State.

In the last minute of the last game of his 2006 season, Jake cut his lip.

"I fell down and hit my lip on the base of the basketball hoop," he says.

A flesh-eating bacteria raced through his lip and devoured his face. Now 11 years old, Jake recalls the day he he died.

"I went and saw God up in heaven, and it was so beautiful I asked if I could stay. And he refused to let me stay - said my family needed me here on earth," Jake remembers.

His mother, Elsa Finkbonner, says, "That was his day in heaven, our day in hell."

Surgeons couldn't stay ahead of the fast-spreading infection.

"It got to the point where we called in a priest to give his last rites," says Jake's mother.

Here's the rest of the story. H/T Eryn Huntington

One of the joys of living just above Magnuson Park in Seattle was being to walk there in the early morning and watch the sun rise over Mt. Rainier and Lake Washington. And to see the large house on the hill above where St. Francis Cabrini had worked one of the miracles used in her canonization process.

Good Friday Bombing of Catholic Cathedral by Terrorists Thwarted PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 23 April 2011 10:55

Per the Associated Press:

A terrorist cell associated with Al Qeada planned to bomb a Catholic Cathedral outside Jakarta during Good Friday services by placing a bomb under the gas lines. Other bombs were found in bags near the cathedral entrance. Altogether 9 bombs were uncovered and defused. Incredibly, the terrorists also planned to film the explosion and resulting inferno and broadcast it.

Indonesian police uncovered and stopped the plot on Holy Thursday and arrested 20 suspects, one of whom was a TV news cameraman.

Christianity has been growing rapidly in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world. In 1910, only 1.4% of the Indonesian population was Christian. Today over 12% are Christian. Jakarta is the epicenter. When we were there in 2002, little evangelical churches filled stripmalls throughout the city.

The Portuguese brought Roman Catholicism to Indonesia in the 16th century and Dutch traders brought Protestant Christianity in the 17th century. There was some missionary effort and the Dutch Bible Society translated the Bible into Malay. However, the Dutch were primarily interested in the economic exploitation of Indonesia and forbade all missionary work among Muslim peoples until 1855.

In the 19th century, the evangelical movement in Europe mobilised new missionaries to Indonesia. Whole ethnic groups turned to Christ from their traditional religions. Nowhere else in the world has so large a Christian community been established in the midst of Islam. The 29 million Christians of Indonesia are second only to the Philippines in south-east Asia. The majority of Indonesian Christians, including Catholics, are ethnic Chinese.

Violence between Muslims splinter groups and Christians has been common for years but this would have been a dramatic escalation. Let's add the Catholics and all Christians in Indonesia to our prayers this Easter.

Governor of Texas Asks for Three Days of Prayer for Rain PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 23 April 2011 10:34

The governor of Texas has asked all Texans to pray during the three days from Good Friday to Easter Sunday for rain. Wildfires in Texas have burned 1.8 million acres, killed two fire fighters, and burned nearly 400 homes since last year. 70% of Texas is suffering from extreme drought.

How about the rest of us joining them in prayer on this Holy Saturday?

The Day That Has Made Us Greater Than We Know PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Saturday, 23 April 2011 07:02


As the time for the Easter Vigil approaches, it is a good thing to meditate on this excerpt by Blessed John Henry Newman: on the "Difficulty of Realizing Sacred Privileges"

"This is the Day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm cxviii. 24

And thus we Christians, though born in our very infancy into the kingdom of God, and chosen above all other men to be heirs of heaven and witnesses to the world, and though knowing and believing this truth entirely, yet have very great difficulty and pass many years in learning our privilege.

Not any one, of course, fully understands it;—doubtless; but we have not even a fair, practical hold of it. And here we are, even on this great Day, this Day of days, on which Christ arose from the dead,—here are we, on this very Day as infants, lying helpless and senseless on the ground, without eyes to see or heart to comprehend who we are.


Alas, that while we thus grow in knowledge in matters of time and sense, yet we remain children in knowledge of our heavenly privileges! St. Paul says, that whereas Christ is risen, He "hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." [Eph. ii. 6.] This is what we have still to learn; to know our place, position, situation as "children of God, members of Christ, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven." We are risen again, and we know it not. We begin our Catechism by confessing that we are risen, but it takes a long life to apprehend what we confess. We are like people waking from sleep, who cannot collect their thoughts at once, or understand where they are. By little and little the truth breaks upon us.

Such are we in the present world; sons of light, gradually waking to a knowledge of themselves. For this let us meditate, let us pray, let us work,—gradually to attain to a real apprehension of what we are. Thus, as time goes on, we shall gain first one thing, then another. By little and little we shall give up shadows and find the substance. Waiting on God day by day, we shall make progress day by day, and approach to the true and clear view of what He has made us to be in Christ. Year by year we shall gain something, and each Easter, as it comes, will enable us more to rejoice {100} with heart and understanding in that great salvation which Christ then accomplished.


And now, to conclude, for it is hardly befitting on this Day to speak much, when God has done His greatest work. Let us think of it and of Him. Let us rejoice in the Day which He has made, and let us be "willing in the Day of His Power."

This is Easter {103} Day. Let us say this again and again to ourselves with fear and great joy. As children say to themselves, "This is the spring," or "This is the sea," trying to grasp the thought, and not let it go; as travellers in a foreign land say, "This is that great city," or "This is that famous building," knowing it has a long history through centuries, and vexed with themselves that they know so little about it; so let us say,

This is the Day of Days, the Royal Day, the Lord's Day. This is the Day on which Christ arose from the dead; the Day which brought us salvation. It is a Day which has made us greater than we know. It is our Day of rest, the true Sabbath. Christ entered into His rest, and so do we.

The Triduum Live From Rome PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Friday, 22 April 2011 13:34

HD quality livestream broadcast of the Vatican's Triduum. The video quality is beautiful. In Italian, of course.

Faith Requires Love; Otherwise, Even as Faith, It is Dead PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 21 April 2011 19:42

A stunning excert from Pope Benedict's Holy Thursday homily that I'll be meditating on the rest of the evening and tomorrow:

Jesus also knew about guests who come to the banquet without being robed in the wedding garment – they come not to rejoice in his presence but merely out of habit, since their hearts are elsewhere. In one of his homilies Saint Gregory the Great asks: Who are these people who enter without the wedding garment? What is this garment and how does one acquire it? He replies that those who are invited and enter do in some way have faith. It is faith which opens the door to them. But they lack the wedding garment of love. Those who do not live their faith as love are not ready for the banquet and are cast out. Eucharistic communion requires faith, but faith requires love; otherwise, even as faith, it is dead.

wedding garment

From the "Renewal Begins at Home" Files PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 21 April 2011 10:30

From a interesting name-the-author exercise over at The Catholic Key blog which had a lot of us guessing and guessing wrong.

The quote in question:

“If anyone wants to have the Church changed, he must make himself the starting-point of renewal. For the critic himself is part of what the Church is suffering from. For usually his own life is not much of a recommendation for Christianity.”

The author?

Fr. Karl Rahner, SJ from Theology for Renewal: Bishops, Priests, Laity. (1964, Sheed and Ward)

Today is a Global Day of Prayer For Asia Bibi PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 15:22

Today is a global day of prayer for Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman who was convicted by a Pakistani court of blasphemy, receiving a death sentence by hanging. The Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Talseer, and Pakistan's Minority Affairs Minister, Shahbaz Batti, were both assasinated for supporting Asia Bibil. From the Fides news service:

"From the Clarisse of Lovere (Italy); the cloistered Poor Women of New York (USA); the community of Franciscans of Thu Duc, Hochiminh City (Vietnam); the diocese of Batouri (Cameroon), the Sisters of St. Joseph of Tarbes, in Brazil, the Christian communities of New Zealand; the maronites of Lebanon, to the Orthodox in Indonesia: today, April 20, 2011, community, religious institutions, associations, churches, and the faithful of all Christian denominations are praying for Asia Bibi, offering Masses, lighting candles, organizing prayer vigils, torchlight processions and Eucharistic adoration.

The initiative of a "Special Day of Prayer", launched by the "Masihi Foundation" - that intended to keep alive in the minds the suffering of a Christian woman wrongly sentenced to death in Pakistan, falsely accused of blasphemy –has seen the adherence of the five continents. "We believe in the power of prayer, that can move mountains, through the intervention of God”, said Haroon Barkat Masih, Director of the Foundation Masihi to Fides. "We believe it is important to urge the universal communion of the faithful for cases of persecution such as Asia Bibi" he explained.

Pope Benedict has appealed for clemency. Watch this short video of Bibi's husband appealing for prayer on her behalf.

For Holy Wednesday: The Hymn of Kassiani PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 14:01

Wednesday of Holy Week is called Great and Holy Wednesday in the Orthodox tradition. On the evening of Tuesday, an ancient hymn written by Kassia, a Byzantine nun, poet, and composer is traditionally sung.

The music for the hymn is slow, sorrowful and plaintive. It requires a very wide vocal range, and is considered one of the most demanding, if not the most demanding, pieces of solo Byzantine chant, and cantors take great pride in delivering it well. The faithful make a point of going to church specifically "to listen to Kassiani" that evening:

Sensing Thy divinity, O Lord, a woman of many sins

takes it upon herself to become a myrrh-bearer,

And in deep mourning brings before Thee fragrant oil

in anticipation of Thy burial; crying:

"Woe to me! For night is unto me, oestrus of lechery,

a dark and moonless erod of sin.

Receive the wellsprings of my tears,

O Thou who gatherest the waters of the oceans into clouds.

Bend to me, to the sorrows of my heart,

O Thou who bendedst down the heavens in Thy ineffable self-emptying.

I will kiss Thine immaculate feet

and dry them with the locks of my hair;

Those very feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise

and hid herself in fear.

Who shall reckon the multitude of my sins,

or the abysses of Thy judgment, O Saviour of my soul?

Do not ignore Thy handmaiden,

O Thou whose mercy is endless."

In many places in Greece, the Bridegroom Matins service of Great Tuesday is popular with prostitutes, who may not often be seen in church at other times of the year. They come in great numbers, in order to hear the Hymn of Kassiani, as the hymn is traditionally associated with the woman fallen in many sins. Enjoy this shortened, English translation.

Holy Monday PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 09:29

Enjoy this poem written just this week by Sara Silberger, a young New York mom, poet, and convert who will celebrate her first anniversary of entering the Church this week. May you and your family have a blessed Holy Week and Easter season, Sara!

Holy Monday

Isa 42:3

The next day I came as usual

to my quiet church, the early light

made bluer through the windows.

The split tips of palms lay scattered in the pews,

on the floor below our knees, browning,

thin as hairs, in spirals. When I left I knew

the pious men at my back would

cup their hands behind the candles

walk the pews and under the pews

and clear out yesterday’s ruin. This is how

peace works. This doorway once

was painted in blood; this valley covered in bones.

If I have asked for the heart of this woman

who labors in the empty church, sweeping diligently

as the blue light rises and turns gold--

if I have received this, and have suffered,

it is not for lack of understanding.
How Do You Frighten Someone Who Has Been Raised From the Dead? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 08:37

As our celebration of the Resurrection draws near, Fr. Gregory over at Koinonia asks the musical question regarding the resurrection of Lazarus:

How do you frighten someone who has been raised from the dead? I have to admit that I'd never thought about it but Ravi Zacharias has a passionate response:

Nuns of the Battlefield PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 11 April 2011 16:26

In 1924, a memorial was raised in Washington D. C. to the religious sisters from 21 different communities who served as nurses in the Civil War. 40% of the female nurses in the war were Catholic sisters.

sisters serving as civil war nurses

Catholics & the Civil War: Divided Like the Country PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 11 April 2011 15:49

And where were Catholics in the great American struggle? Divided, like the country.

Most Americans perceived abolitionism to be a Protestant phenomenon; few Catholic leaders were active in the movement. In the South, prominent bishops such as John England of Charleston attempted to walk the fine line between Rome’s increasingly vocal opposition to slavery (Pope Gregory XVI issued a ringing condemnation of the slave trade in 1839, which many read as implying denunciation of slavery itself) and the need to demonstrate loyalty to the southern culture of which they were a part.

England’s successor, Bishop Patrick Lynch, exchanged a series of published letters with Archbishop John Hughes of New York in 1861. Both men displayed their fidelity to their respective regions. Hughes was pro-union and supported emancipation. Lynch perceived the conflict to be instigated by radicals in the North, such as the “Black Republicans” who promoted racial equality and the political program of Abraham Lincoln. Bishop Martin Spalding of Louisville was one of the more forthright slavery apologists among the Catholic leadership, publishing a defense of the "peculiar institution" in 1863. In contrast, Bishop James Whelan of Tennessee, refusing to be party to secession, resigned his see and moved north.

African-American Catholics might be expected to be anti-slavery and pro-Union, but they were very few in the North and exerted little influence in the Church or the abolitionist movement. In Louisiana, however, black Catholics helped to form three regiments of Union soldiers. These Afro-Creoles were ministered to by a French-born chaplain, Claude Paschal Maistre, in direct defiance of his superior, New Orleans archbishop Jean-Marie Odin. One of these Louisiana Catholics,Andre Cailloux, was the first black soldier to die in combat.

For more on this fascinating topic, check out Catholic

Antietam: 1862 & 2007 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 11 April 2011 15:38

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