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nancyann Deren IOLA
 
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Reply Sun 18 Jun, 2006 07:53 am
New Catholic Mass translation OK'd
Vatican wants wording in liturgy closer to Latin version

Thursday, June 15, 2006; Posted: 11:24 p.m. EDT (03:24 GMT)


Bishop Donald Trautman: "The most significant liturgical action to come before this body for many years."
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Bishops debate Mass changes. (1:07)
CHANGES AT A GLANCE
A look at some of the changes to the Mass approved by U.S. Catholic bishops Thursday.

• The exchanges between priest and parishioners that now go "The Lord be with you" / "And also with you" would become "The Lord be with you" / "And with your spirit."

• The Act of Penitence, in which parishioners now confess aloud that they have sinned "through my own fault" would include the lines "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."

• In the Nicene Creed, the opening words "We believe" would become "I believe."

• Early in the Eucharistic Prayer, "Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might" would become "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts."

• Before Communion, the prayer "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you" would become "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof."


-- The Associated PressRELATED
• U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
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Manage Alerts | What Is This? LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- The nation's Roman Catholic bishops signed off Thursday on a new English translation for the Mass that would change prayers ingrained in the memories of millions of American parishioners.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted at its biannual meeting for a new translation after a brief but vigorous debate over several small changes in wording.

The 173-29 vote on the Order of the Mass was aimed at satisfying Vatican calls for a translation closer to the Latin version.

Before Mass changes at the parish level, the Americans' version must go to offices in the Holy See for final approval. The bishops' leader on the issue said that process could take years.

"Without a doubt, this is the most significant liturgical action to come before this body for many years," said Bishop Donald Trautman, chairman of the conference's Committee on Liturgy.

"It will take some adapting, but it is not earth-shattering when you think of the changes we went through 40 years ago," he said, referring to the Second Vatican Council, where the Latin Mass was replaced by the vernacular languages in each country.

The new translation alters the wording of key texts spoken by Catholics during worship, including the Nicene Creed, the Gloria, the Penitential Rite, the Sanctus and Communion.

Some have worried about changing a fundamental rite of worship that is so much a part of Catholic identity, especially now.

Mass attendance has been declining and the priest shortage has left a growing number of churches without a resident cleric.

Bishops and parishioners have been battling over the closure of old churches and schools, and the prelates have been trying to rebuild trust in their leadership after the clergy sex abuse crisis.

Before the meeting, the Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University and a Jesuit priest, said the new Mass would "cause chaos and real problems and the people who are going to be at the brunt end of it are the poor priests in the parishes."

Trautman, from Erie, Pennsylvania, acknowledged the adjustment could be difficult.

"I think we all recognize that our priests are overburdened now and stretched thin," he said.

"We do believe, however, that this is important for the worship life of the Church. These texts are presenting a new richness that we haven't seen in the past so that will have to be the driving force."

Minor changes to the wording of many portions of the Mass will be obvious to Catholics.

The repeated exchanges "The Lord be with you" / "And also with you" between a priest and his congregation, for example, become "The Lord be with you" / "And with your spirit" in the updated version.

The prayer said before Communion would become "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof," instead of "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you."

Survey results released by the conference's Committee on Liturgy last November found that U.S. bishops were split over whether the changes were necessary, but in the end the proposal won more than the 168 votes it needed for approval.

Some bishops said the changes would deepen lay people's understanding of Catholicism and Scripture. They said priests could use the changes to spark a discussion of the liturgical reasoning behind them, including citing biblical stories and the Latin version.

"All these changes should require ... a certain amount of explanation and allow the people who are using them to grow in faith and not remain where they are," said Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb of Mobile, Alabama.

Bishops debated for about 20 minutes on a variety of wording changes, some pitting the familiar against the new. A proposal to change the words of the Nicene Creed from "one in being" to "consubstantial," which is closer to the Latin, failed.

Roman Catholic bishops in Australia, England, Scotland and Wales have already approved translations with at most only slight differences, said Monsignor James. P. Moroney, who leads the liturgy office for the bishops' conference.

On another subject, retiring Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has been leading the bishops' task force on Catholics in public life, announced that a new ad hoc group will serve as a liaison between the bishops' conference and Catholic politicians.

He also said the task force had met with Catholic Democrats and Republicans privately to discuss how to best merge their religious beliefs and their politics.

Catholic politicians' duty to adhere to church teachings -- particularly Catholicism's anti-abortion stance -- was a hot-button issue in the 2004 campaign when John Kerry, a Catholic who supports abortion rights, was the Democratic presidential nominee.
0 Replies
 
nancyann Deren IOLA
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jun, 2006 07:58 am
June 25th, 2006
by
Larry Gillick, S.J.
Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
12th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Job 38:1, 8-11
Psalm 107:23-24, 25-26, 28-29, 30-31
2 Corinthians 5:14-17
Mark 4:35-41
Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer





PRE-PRAYERING

We prepare for the liturgy this week which returns us to "Ordinary Time" by living through the storms and questions which storms provoke. We will pray for a greater respect for God and to be kept safe in God's love. Life presents us with storms through which we struggle to find God's care.

We can pray with our inner storms as well, whose waves ebb and flow through our minds and hearts. They can bring us to our knees, which can be a praying-place or a fleeing-place. However those waves beat upon us or beat us up, during the calm times, God will encourage us to keep faithful.

REFLECTION

We hear in today's First Reading from Job, the beginning of God's defense and cross-examination. In the several chapters preceding the one from which we hear today, Job has been presenting his case and has argued, complained, whined about his being unjustly punished or treated poorly by God. His three friends have tried their best to assist his preparation for the court-appearance.

Job has lost everything - family, home, wealth - because of a kind of deal the devil has made with God. The devil has seen Job in a praiseful relationship with God, but the devil assures God that if Job were to lose everything, he - Job - would be singing a different song. Would Job stay faithful if all his worldly goods were taken away? God agrees to the testing of Job and poor Job does everything, but deny God; he does have many questions and frustrations.

God hears enough of Job's "empty-headed", but heart-felt protests. What we hear are the opening statements from God's side which are meant to win Job to life and not defeat him to death.

God's voice comes from out of a tempest which is a biblical symbol for God's power. The basic line of God's defense is that Job does not know much about what God has been doing since the foundation of the world. Where was Job when the sea, the mighty waters, were put in their places? Job's arguments are like the waves which have their force, but will find stillness from their proud raging at the foot, the shore, of God's designs. If one reads on through the remainder of the book, one would find comfort and judge God caring and faithful.

The Gospel is the last story of a parable-full chapter from Mark. Seeds falling on various types of ground, a lamp's being lighted and put on a post, a little mustard seed's growing into a tall bush: these are little indicators of what the "kingdom of God" is about. These parables are meant for those who can hear them and live them to be strengthened for the living.

Our Gospel pictures a boat with Jesus in the back sleeping and a huge storm's arising. The "faithful" (or are they?) wake Jesus who calms the winds and waves and their fears. He then asks them about whether they have yet attained faith in Him.

The boatmen sigh in relief and wonder. Their verbalizing their awe is a statement of faith in which they see that Jesus is Lord of even the earth. They will see often that He has domination over evil spirits, the devil and sin itself. The community for which this Gospel is written is struggling to live the implications of Jesus' teachings and His project of returning this world to the kingship of God. The waves which are rocking their boat are caused by their being faithful to what they believe.

From the early days of Jesus, He was causing waves. Because of Him, Mary and Joseph had to flee with Him into Egypt. Jesus made trouble with His hearers as He spoke of the new ways of relating with God and with life. He bothered the political leaders by confronting Roman authority. He was always asking His listeners to choose one way or another, putting them in conflict with themselves and with others, including family members.

Jesus once said that He came into this world to bring about division not satisfaction. Though this Gospel is centered on the conflict between believers and those opposed to believing, it is also a picture of our own divisions and or choices we make, because of our invitations to follow Him. Once we let Him in our personal boat, there are personal storms within ourselves, as we have seen with Job. Staying faithful to Him and His ways is an up and down, wave-like undulation. At times we delight in our being charitable, generous, forgiving, even suffering. At other times, the storm is resolved by our storming out of conflicts, resentfully retracting ourselves from assisting others, and or, jumping ship and swimming away from the whole situation.

Jesus did not shame or walk out of the boat and across the waters, shaking the spray off His feet in disgust. He seemed to them to be sleeping and inattentive to their struggles. He asked them simply about the source of their being terrified. The simple answer is that they were a human group fearful of losing everything, like Job, and especially their lives. This is healthy, this fearfulness and faith does not take away our human fears immediately. Prayer does not resolve our fears, but our fears can become our prayer. The storms do not abate when we fall on our knees or face or backside.

We wait often to see the calm, the dawn, the pot of gold, but we struggle to keep turning to Him in the company of believers. These are not like Job's three friends who have it all figured out. Our companions are those who have experienced their own storms of faith and living that faith within the waves of fears and doubts. They are those who are remaining in the Boat and surrounding us at the Table of the Ship Captain.

"The eyes of all look to you, O Lord, and you give them food in due season." Psalm 145: 15


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nancyann Deren IOLA
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2006 07:17 am
July 2nd, 2006
by
Larry Gillick, S.J.
Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
13th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
Mark 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35b-43
Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer





PRE-PRAYERING

We here in North America are celebrating holidays of independence this weekend. Canada remembers its becoming a self-governing dominion and the United States of America recalls its declaring self-rule independence from Britain. These were both a long time ago and the years can dim the sense of excitement experienced before our times.

We prepare to celebrate our independence from the dominion of darkness and death. We celebrate in the Eucharist our freedom from the demands of our own self-ruling ourselves and others. Each nation has had to find its identity through many struggles. We recall the saving events of Jesus' life, death and resurrection.

We can pray these days with the little experiences of our being saved and healed from the deaths of our spirits. We can pray with the excitement of living as freed people of God's family.

REFLECTION

Any time we read from the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Scriptures, we listen softly and slowly to each word, as we would listen to a good poem. Many subjects are pondered in its pages of the sage's thoughts. The writings relate life's experiences to the designs of the creating God. There are few direct answers to the many of life's questions. There are provocative promptings to our coming personally to a more familiar relationship with this same God of mystery.

The question addressed in this section from which we hear today, from the Book of Wisdom, is about death and the presence of evil in the God-created world. It is difficult to find a satisfactory answer to our many questions in this tension between God's creative love and the destructive works of evil. The opening verse is a strong statement which gets our attention, but heightens the tension, "If God is so good, why is there such suffering and death?" There are several "faith-statements" inserted, but no easy answers.

Envy is the work of the devil and it leads to death for those who experience its deadly fruit. The spirit of this reading rests on the belief that God creates good, Evil is envious of that goodness and those who live in that tension between gratitude and envy make a choice. God respects human freedom to make the decision for dependence and domination, or freedom and life.

The Gospel has two sections; a story within a story, but both sections form one strong statement. Jesus has the power to heal. We saw last week that Jesus had the power to calm the winds and the waves. The apostles came to Him in their desperate need. In this week's Gospel reading, two persons come in similar conditions of fearful need. Jairus's daughter is sick. While Jesus and the crowd are on their way to Jairus' house, a woman who is ill and desperate for a cure, reaches out to touch his clothing.

Jesus continues His walk to cure Jairus' daughter, but on the journey a report arrives that she is already dead. Storms, illness, and now death have become the tension for His loving, calming touch. Despite the objections of the grieving crowd and the laughter of derision when He tells them that the girl is not dead, but sleeping, Jesus enters the house, prays a healing word, announces His wish for her to "arise" which she does. These three scenes begin the long display within Mark's Gospel, that Jesus is Lord of all creation and His dominion is for the living of life more freely as it was originally created.

Jesus is doing His work of bringing life back to real life. Jairus and the woman with an illness, both come to Jesus in conditions of body and spirit which they both wish were different. One has a sick daughter, one is sick herself, but both would rather meet Jesus as spectators to some other kind of event or healing of some body other than theirs. Jesus loves them the way He finds them, but loves them also enough not to leave them the way He has found them. We have then, the usual Jesus presentation displayed in Mark's Gospel. Jesus is Lord of heaven and all is subject to Him on earth; its powers of religious office and human sickness.

Jairus is a synagogue official and he comes in his need from within the synagogue to reach out to Jesus. The woman has a hemorrhage which according to the Book of Leviticus,(15, 19-30) renders her impure ritually and relationally. Jesus meets them both and credits them for their faith in Him. All were "astounded" at the physical healing, but Jesus came to heal creation from the domination of evil in its deeper forms. Jesus is not a spectacle meant to astound, but bring about the "arise" from the inner pains of spirit and soul.

Jesus is our revolution, our declaration for independence from darkness, and domination from the purely physical. Our celebration of faith is the remembering who we are by His touch. His domination of us is freeing us to arise, live real lives, as the little girl did, by walking around again. We have our impurities, our deadlinesses and our faith in Him Who came to give His Life for us and to us.

"O bless the Lord, my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name." Ps. 103, 1


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nancyann Deren IOLA
 
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Reply Sun 2 Jul, 2006 07:19 am
U.S. dioceses facing financial squeeze, foundation leader says


PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- Catholic dioceses in the United States "appear to be running through their reserves at an alarming rate," Francis J. Butler, president of Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, told the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management June 29. The round table, a gathering of more than 200 top Catholic executives in business, finance, law, philanthropy, academia, nonprofits and church institutions, including a dozen bishops, met in Philadelphia to discuss ways to improve the church's fundraising and financial management and reporting practices. Butler said he recently interviewed financial officers of several dioceses he considered "fairly typical and well-managed. The findings are striking," he said. "In the past eight years one archdiocese experienced a 47 percent decline in unrestricted net assets, whose value is probably the best barometer of financial health," he said. "This amounts to (a) decline of a whopping $16 million a year."




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Education summit looks at school closings, future


BOSTON (CNS) -- Catholic school educators and administrators took a close look at the challenges facing Catholic schools today, particularly school closings, during a June 23-25 summit at Boston College. The three-day session, co-sponsored by the college, the National Catholic Educational Association and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, focused on new initiatives to improve Catholic schools such as restructuring school systems to meet changing demographics and finding new ways to raise funds. The annual summit, called SPICE, for Selected Programs for Improving Catholic Education, typically highlights programs that work so other educators may replicate or adapt them in their dioceses. Jesuit Father Joseph O'Keefe, dean of the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, said the hope for Catholic schools was summed up in the words of Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, who attended a Catholic school as a non-Catholic and was led to enter the church through his education. "It brought home the great treasure that these schools are and how important these schools can be in the lives of kids," Father O'Keefe told The Pilot, Boston's archdiocesan newspaper.




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U.S. Catholic population up, most other church data down


WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. Catholic population rose by more than a million last year, but the church registered declines in Catholic school enrollments and in sacramental practice, according to figures in the 2006 Official Catholic Directory. The 2,043-page tome, also known as the Kenedy Directory after its New Jersey publishers' imprint, came out at the end of June. It lists all ordained U.S. Catholic clergy, parishes, missions, schools, hospitals and other institutions. It also gives statistical data on the church by diocese and nationally. Its national figures include data from Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, and U.S. territories overseas such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam. Based on annual reports submitted by each diocese, the directory is supposed to be a snapshot of what the church looked like on Jan. 1, 2006. The Catholic population rose about 1.3 million last year, to 69,135,254, the directory said.




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Maryland bishops ask court to affirm state ban on same-sex marriage


BALTIMORE (CNS) -- The Maryland Catholic Conference is asking the state's highest court to overturn a lower court ruling that said it was unconstitutional to limit marriage to a man and a woman. The conference -- representing the archbishops of Washington and Baltimore and the bishop of Wilmington, Del., whose dioceses all include parts of Maryland -- filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Maryland Court of Appeals June 26. In a Jan. 20 ruling, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdock said the state's current ban on same-sex marriage violates the Maryland Declaration of Rights because it "discriminates, based on gender, against a suspect class and is not narrowly tailored to serve any compelling governmental interests." The judge stayed her own ruling pending the outcome of an appeal filed by Joseph Curran Jr., Maryland's attorney general. The Maryland Catholic Conference brief was in support of Curran's appeal.




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Helping faith-based, community groups help those they know best


WASHINGTON (CNS) -- It all started with seven members of Hope of Glory Church, a nondenominational Christian congregation in Gretna, La., who met in late 2000 to talk about how to help the ailing community where most of them had grown up. The Hope Center that was born in those meetings is now a thriving, community-based nonprofit organization, offering job assistance to dozens of local residents. Despite the job-market adjustments needed after the terrorist attacks in 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it is about to start a construction training program to help fill a critical need in the New Orleans area. The Hope Center also is one of the success stories touted by the Department of Labor, which awarded $4 million in grants to 55 faith-based and community organizations June 28. The Gretna center received a $24,220 grant last year and $74,030 in the latest round of funding. All the funded organizations "are committed to serving the hardest-to-serve," including the homeless, those with limited English, the chronically unemployed, welfare recipients, high school dropouts and former prisoners, said Jedd Medefind, director of the Labor Department's Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.




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Catholic family's foundation in San Antonio helps those in need


SAN ANTONIO (CNS) -- In the making of distilled spirits, there is the tradition of the "angel's share" -- a portion that evaporates as part of the natural distilling process. In San Antonio, a family has taken this concept to heart in their efforts to meet small but urgent needs in the community. Three years ago, the family anonymously founded a nonprofit Archangel Foundation to help individuals in need. They selected Roberto Pina as the executive director, based on his 25 years of work in various church ministries. Pina said the family that set up the foundation had discussed during a vacation the many blessings they had received and felt it was time that they gave something back to the community. They decided that even with their limited resources they should try to help others. "You always think of philanthropists as having the millions to give," said Pina. He described what this family has attempted as an experiment in microphilanthropy, because the family had hundreds of dollars to donate instead of millions. Since its founding, the foundation has met seemingly small needs, but all have been a matter of urgency for the recipients of funds. All assistance is given on a one-time basis.




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New natural family planning program aims to attract iPod generation


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CNS) -- The Couple to Couple League unveiled its updated natural family planning program and materials during its June 25-28 convention at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. The organization hopes the changes will appeal to a younger audience accustomed to colorful media presentations, iPods and the Internet and young people who want simpler rules to follow for natural family planning, said the league's executive director, Andy Alderson, in a telephone interview with the Arkansas Catholic, Little Rock diocesan newspaper, from his office in Cincinnati. "We have really tried to add some spice," he said. The materials include a new DVD presentation for users, Web-based training for teachers and users and a new book. The materials incorporate Pope John Paul II's teaching on the theology of the body. In addition, the number of required classes has been reduced from four to three to address couples' busy schedules, Alderson said. The new program will be available to new participants in October.




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WORLD



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Cardinal: Those involved in stem-cell research face excommunication


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Female egg donors, doctors and researchers involved in the destruction of embryos for stem-cell studies can face excommunication, said the head of the Vatican's family council. Because embryonic stem-cell research involves the destruction of a human embryo and therefore human life, "it is the same thing" as abortion and similarly entails excommunication, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, said in a recent magazine interview. Italy's leading Catholic magazine, Famiglia Cristiana, published the interview with the Colombian cardinal in its July 2 issue, released June 28. "To destroy the embryo is equivalent to an abortion," he said, "and the excommunication applies to the woman, the doctors, the researchers who eliminate embryos."




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Vatican says documents from Pius XI's papacy to be available Sept. 18


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has authorized the Vatican Secret Archives to make available to researchers all the documentation from the pre-World War II pontificate of Pope Pius XI. The documents of the 1922-1939 pontificate -- documents held in a variety of Vatican archives, including those of the Secretariat of State and the Vatican Secret Archives -- will be available to scholars beginning Sept. 18, said a statement published June 30 by the Vatican. In 2002, Pope John Paul II ordered the archives to begin preparing the material, particularly with a view to responding to requests for information about Vatican diplomatic contacts with Germany after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933. In addition, he authorized the archives to make available to scholars the material from Pope Pius' pontificate that dealt directly with Vatican-German relations.




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Do not forget: Book aims to dispel unease after pope's Birkenau talk


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Amid lingering questions and even disappointment about Pope Benedict XVI's remarks at the Nazis' Birkenau death camp, the Vatican has published a book that attempts to place the speech in a wider context. The book, "Rouse Yourself! Do Not Forget Mankind, Your Creature," was released in Italian June 27, and an English edition is being prepared. The title is a line from the German-born pope's May 28 speech at the death camp in Poland, a speech that focused on the theological question of where was God when the Nazis were exterminating 6 million Jews and hundreds of thousands of other innocent people. While both Christian and Jewish scholars acknowledged the theological importance of the question, many of them expressed surprise and even criticism that the pope did not focus more on the question: Where were the Christians -- particularly German Catholics -- and other people of good will? In addition, some were puzzled that the pope did not use the occasion to condemn anti-Semitism.




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Priest says Gaza residents are used to living in difficult conditions


JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip are so used to living under difficult conditions that the latest Israeli bombings and border closings do not make much difference in their lives, said a Gaza parish priest. "It's not worse than it has been. We are so accustomed to what has happened before we don't see any difference. We have been living like this, but nobody spoke about it. Now people are speaking about it," said Father Manuel Musallam of Holy Family Parish in Gaza City. In a telephone interview with Catholic News Service June 30, Father Musallam said the Israeli bombing of Gaza's only power plant has left people with only about four to six hours of electricity per day, and lack of electricity affects the water pumps. The parish church and school have been able to use a generator for additional electricity, but not everyone has a generator, he said. "Neighbors around the school ask for one hour of electricity to pull the water up to the roofs," said the priest. "If there is a sick person in need of electricity, we give (it to) them."




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PEOPLE



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Soldier's death should not lead to 'unholy rage,' bishop says


BROWNSVILLE, Texas (CNS) -- The death of Army Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, the U.S. soldier captured and brutalized in Iraq, should not lead people to feel "unholy rage and anger," said Bishop Raymundo J. Pena of Brownsville during the June 28 funeral Mass for the soldier. During the bilingual Mass at the Brownsville Event Center, the bishop told hundreds of mourners that reacting with anger "would only dishonor Kristian's very name and Kristian himself." He said, "At this moment, we must, as he did, reach for the ideal: to work for peace and an end to conflict wherever we may find it -- at home, on the streets or even in a foreign land." The 23-year-old soldier, the son of a Mexican immigrant, was one of three U.S. Army soldiers who died after a June 16 insurgent attack at the checkpoint they were guarding. Menchaca and another soldier, Pfc. Thomas Tucker from Madras, Ore., were missing for three days before their mutilated bodies were found booby-trapped with explosives. The third soldier, Spc. David J. Babineau from Springfield, Mass., died in the initial attack.




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Community of missionary nuns launches new Web on their life, ministry


PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- The Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary in Philadelphia have created the Web site www.holyrosarysisters.org about their life and ministry to help others understand what it is like to be a missionary living and working with the poor around the world. "One cannot express the joy we feel in working alongside the people of God in so many wonderful cultures," said Sister Monica Devine, the congregational leader. "The Holy Spirit guides all of us as we come together in good works responding to the diverse needs of many. It is wonderful to know we can share our spiritual journey with so many others on the Internet." The community was begun by eight women in 1924 to help women and children in Nigeria. Today it has 380 members working in 15 countries in the Americas, Africa and Europe. They opened a new mission in Liberia to aid refugees.




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Pakistani archbishop says bias against Christians has increased


WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Discrimination against Christians and the desecration of church buildings in Pakistan have increased in the past year, said Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, Pakistan. Archbishop Saldanha told Catholic News Service June 27 that the "common people" are biased against Christians, who are often the poorest and least-educated people in Pakistan. Christians have become "quite unpopular with the radical Muslims" since the strategic partnership of Pakistan and the United States to fight terrorism, the archbishop said. "We thought we would be good, get some sort of aid" from the partnership, but "it certainly has made it worse" when the increased anti-Christian sentiment is taken into account, said the archbishop. Pakistani church leaders often have said that many Muslims equate Christianity with Western societies. Archbishop Saldanha spoke with CNS in Washington during a two-week trip to the United States.




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0 Replies
 
nancyann Deren IOLA
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Aug, 2006 10:34 am
Daily Reflection
August 1st, 2006
by
Deb Fortina
Academic Affairs
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori
Jeremiah 14:17-22
Psalm 79:8, 9, 11 and 13
Matthew 13:36-43


Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Jeremiah 14: 17-22 "…Among the nations' idols is there any that gives rain? Or can the mere heavens send showers? Is it not you alone, O LORD, our God, to whom we look? You alone have done all these things."

Psalm 79: 8, 9, 11 & 13 "Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low...."

Matthew 13: 36-43 "…The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.…"

Saint Alphonsus Liguori - (1696 - 1787). Alphonsus gave up the practice of law for apostolic activity, eventually becoming a priest and later at the age of 66 becoming the Bishop of "Sant' Agata dei Goti, a diocese of thirty thousand souls in a state of religious decay". (Butler's Lives of the Saints, pg. 356) His contributions to the Faith are many and led him to be called a Doctor of the Church. He founded the Redemptorist congregation, known for their work among the popular missions for peasants in rural areas. His moral theology concentrated on the practical and concrete problems of pastors and confessors. He suffered much towards the end of his life with rheumatic pains, which caused a bend in his neck, rubbing a raw sore on his chest. He experienced 18 months of a "dark night" when his faith and virtue were challenged on every level, while intermittently experiencing relief during periods of experiencing ecstasies.

Whether you believe in God because of Love, or you believe in God because of His great power and ability, today's readings have something for all of us.

Today's reading from the Book of Jeremiah was written for us today. It is so easy to really like this prophet; his writing so reveals his heart. Jeremiah is said to be a type and model of Jesus Christ. The reading guide section of the Catholic Study Bible points out the many ways his life runs parallel to the life of Jesus. While it appears Jeremiah is lamenting to the Lord for relief from a long draught, he also mentions their pitiful conditions from war. Jeremiah speaks of "her incurable wound" (Jer 14:17) and later he writes, "We wait for peace, to no avail; for a time of healing, but terror comes instead. (Jer 14:19) Our incurable wound is our human condition. We all move to levels of autonomy and independence from our God; eventually to find ourselves lost, running back in need of a Savior. The stories throughout the history of humankind depict this forward and backward movement towards and away from God. Where are we at today? Our world isn't any different today. We suffer from the long lasting effects of natural disasters; many people suffering because of droughts, fires, floods as well as the man-made disasters of war. O Lord, we are suffering. So, Jeremiah, our prophet is interceding for us today. We've listened to false prophets to think we won't suffer from following false gods. We keep discovering that we need God as much today, as the people did 600 years before the birth of Christ. Today, Jeremiah is doing the work of trying to bring us back to the Lord. Feed the hungry, care for the sick, hold up the downtrodden…we have many opportunities to reach out to people today. The holy Father Pope Benedict XVI asked us all to pray last Sunday for peace in the world. Please take a moment to join your prayers with many others and ask for a peaceful end to the many conflicts.

In the Gospel reading in Matthew, Jesus uses the planting story to tell the crowd that the Son of Man plants good seeds. His field is the world, the good seed represents the children of the Kingdom and the weeds are the children of the Evil One, which are sown by our enemy the Devil. Some people don't want to believe that the fires of hell exist, but Jesus says "the Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth…Whoever has ears ought to hear." (Matthew 13: 41-43)

"Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low." (Psalm 79:8)
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0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Aug, 2006 10:35 am
Hi, nancyann.
0 Replies
 
nancyann Deren IOLA
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Aug, 2006 10:39 am
We just finished a week's retreat--all of the Annunciationists in the USA. We had it in Boston this year. Two made their perpetual vows. I renewed for two years with the intention to make them perpetually at the end of the two tears, God will if I am accepted into the Institute. There is a process we all must go through.

We had conferences, three a day, mass and a holy hour a day, freee time in between. Many toured Boston. I didn't have to as I am a Bostonian. I put my feet up and relaxed.

Enjoy the warm weather of the summer.

Nancyann, IOLA
0 Replies
 
nancyann Deren IOLA
 
  0  
Reply Tue 8 Aug, 2006 01:08 pm
Daily Reflection
August 6th, 2006
by
Larry Gillick, S.J.
Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 9
2 Peter 1:16-19
Mark 9:2-10


Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer


PRE-PRAYERING

We interrupt Ordinary Time with a most extraordinary celebration. Liturgically we skip the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time to celebrate the Eucharist which itself is the blessing of the ordinary in an extraordinary embrace. We move towards this feast aware that the One God of all is the God of our all, our oneness.

We pray as well with the experiences of God's being close to us at times and with those times of ordinary on-the-level walking around. The Eucharist itself can become "usual" and as spiritually tasteless as the species of bread itself. We pray with the faithful sense, that God is more intimate to us than we are to ourselves. There is no distance of space or relationship between God and us. We pray to sense more often the experiences of Transfiguration in our lives.

REFLECTION

Our First Reading is a continuation of the prophet Daniel's night dreams and vision. Earlier in the chapter from which our verses are taken, the prophet has four visions of an eagle, and three wild animals who are all vicious and represent historical kings of Israel's history.

We hear a vision about the Ancient One in a royal setting. A second, Son of Man, is coronated, installed, or commissioned to receive dominion, power and an ever-lasting kingship.

This vision is to encourage the people of Israel that there is coming a time when Israel will again be the People of God and this people will be a kingdom dedicated to the service of the Holy and Ancient One's servant. Prophetic fires, clouds and numerous servants of the Ancient One set the stage for quite a royal display. Daniel knew the history of Israel and how foreign kings had dominated their lands and customs. Something extraordinary was going to be revealed if they only kept faith. This faith would include both relying on their past as guided by God and their future as a continuation of God's faithfulness.

REFLECTION

Earlier in Mark's Gospel, from which we also hear today, Jesus went with His disciples to a lonely place where they could be alone. Two weeks ago we heard how their retreat was interrupted by a large crowd upon whom Jesus had compassion and eventually fed them. Today's Gospel is a picture of Jesus and three disciples going up to an other lonely place.

The Transfiguration of Jesus is a "more-than-meets-the-eye" experience. There is more to the human person of Jesus; there is divinity. The miracles of feeding and curing are in themselves forms of this same transfiguring. These gestures are signs, but rather physical and though miraculous they attract people's attention to Jesus as a human prophet. This Transfiguration in the presence of His disciples announces less of the physical Jesus and more of the transphysical or divine. "Now you don't see Him and now you do." The cloud has been a biblical symbol of the presence of the divine and Mark uses this to announce the presence of the eternal God surrounding the earthly presence of Jesus. The three apostles were being invited to go beyond what they thought they knew to this new way of knowing. They knew what they had experienced, but they did not know what they were being called to believe.

Peter wishes to encapsulate the experience by building three booths, putting on locks, throwing away the keys and living out the personal experience of what had happened. There was something new being offered and retrenching, seeking the security of privacy, and having more of these delightful, exciting, and ratifying experiences, all would be natural and safe. Instead, Jesus, because He did not come to be alone, did not come to be safe, and did not come to be "figured out" urged them back down to live on the level.

Jesus is moving steadily toward His being figured on the cross and this "figuring out" is His destiny and dignity. He invites the Apostles to keep to themselves all they had seen and heard until the "glorfiguration". They kept His word, but they formed a support-group to discuss what all this was going to mean.

Good things do happen in solitude. Jesus often met persons in their individuality. The apostles were frightened at the intensity of this intimacy Jesus was offering them. They were fearful of the unknown and what else was going to be asked of them. I intend to be very careful with what I write next.

The human and divine natures of Jesus in the One Person is a tremendous mystery. Through His human instrumentality He did His wonderful deeds among humans. His divinity was present constantly and accompanied all His gestures. In the Transfiguration, His divinity met the humanity of the apostles more clearly and closely. Here's the careful part. In our cultic prayer, our liturgies, Jesus in His One Person with two Natures, meets us as well. There is a part of us that participates in God's nature! Yup! Both our humanity and that sharing in His divinity, are met and embrace. Our tendencies are to gravitate toward our humanity's being met and comforted, but we retrench from our divinity's being met. We cannot understand that participation, that kind of life within us and so we let it go. We love what we can understand and deny, or neglect the mystical or frighteningly beyond our limited minds.

We, like the apostles, want to form small groups to discuss so we can understand. This is obviously very good. However, we are urged to go into ourselves as well, into our own booth, our blessed solitude, to allow there to be some "transing", some encountering between the real and total Jesus and the real and total us. It is real, even when we cannot figure it all out. We, like the apostles, will wonder if personal prayer, intimate moments between the mysterious God and the mysterious me, is true or just fantasy. The Apostles relaxed their human demanding, and Jesus walked the closer with them back to the other forms of the real.

"When Christ is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3,2
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0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Aug, 2006 04:50 pm
Nancyann, you need to contact the Help Desk in order to get your user name changed (the comma will be problematic in the new Able2Know). Click "Contact Us" at the bottom of any page and follow the directions on the left.

Thank you.
0 Replies
 
paldo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Nov, 2015 09:28 pm
@nancyann Deren IOLA,
nancuann deren,
thank you again for greater insight and a deep penetration into ones heart. txs, al.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Nov, 2015 01:35 am
@paldo,
Nancy has not posted in nearly a decade. You might be able to reach her by PM.
Let us know. We would be interested in how things turned out for her.
0 Replies
 
 

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