Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Little girl, I say to you, arise!"

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Issue Date: June 28, 2009

BURNING QUESTION: Why say the Rosary at funerals?
FEATURED BLOG: "When God Chooses One, It Is Always to Bless All"
VOCATION NEWS: Film Encourages Women To Consider Sisterhood
PASTORAL HISPANA: Fuimos creados para la inmortalidad

Dear Friends, In this Sunday's Readings, Jesus accompanies two people to cross over from sickness to health, from death to life, from doubt to faith and to deeper faith. Our Discussion Questions will guide you in your bible study sessions with your family, friends and church group.

Today's first reading is from the Book of Wisdom. Fr. Joseph Pellegrino tells us that the passage is tremendously important, addressing some of our deepest questions: “Why does Death exist?” and “Did God make death?” Fr. John Foley, SJ then adds that the First Reading says, “God did not make death.” Alright, he inquires, but where did it come from then? Fr. Phil Bloom preaches that Sunday's Scripture readings warn about the power of evil which can twist the beauty of God's creation. But Jesus promises the triumph of goodness.

Gathered in His name, Fr. Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B. says, we pray that in our moment of affliction, we too will hear his words, "Do not be afraid; just have faith." Fr. Ron Rolheiser explains why sometimes our prayers don’t seem to be heard by God. And Fr. Orly Sapuay, MS preaches that Faith is a conviction that with God, anything is possible. And Faith will one day give way to sight. We will no longer need faith when we behold God and see Him face to face.

Fr. James Gilhooley makes us realize that a large number of Christ's miracles are centered about women. He discusses with amazement the large part women play in the Gospels. Then Father Cusick tells us that these miraculous events in the Readings are signs only of something far more marvelous: eternal life. Fr. Thomas Rosica reminds us that Jesus continues today to resurrect our dead young people to life. He does so with his word, and also by sending them his disciples who, repeat his cry: "Young man, young woman, arise! Live again! Love again! You are loved!"

Finally, Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio reminds us that like the Jews of Jesus' day, He is present to us in the Eucharist. But if the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of this supernatural miracle worker, why we don’t see more healing, miracles, and sanctification going on in the lives of communicants?

YEAR OF PRIESTS. It started last week on June 19, 2009. But why have a Year for Priests? A Vatican Spokesman noted the Vatican's objectives. We have them here. And in a conversation from Rome, Robert Moynihan quotes a Vatican monsignor, "When God Chooses One, It Is Always to Bless All." Plus in a related Vocations story, a new DVD is encouraging devout Catholic women to become nuns. Wordnet TV's Sister Pat Phillips, who produced the 30-minute documentary titled "Jesus Calls Women," is hoping to reverse the decline in the number of women who choose to become nuns.

CATHOLIC NEWS. From the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI is urging priests to not become resigned to empty confessionals, but to help people rediscover the beauty of the sacrament by deepening their understanding of the Eucharist. In another address, he also assured the youth, especially the unemployed,that the Church will not abandon them. He is asking them in turn to not abandon the Church. And as we close the Year of St. Paul next week, the Benedictine abbot at the Pauline basilica in Rome published a review of the writings of St. Paul saying they elaborate what happens when someone falls hopelessly in love with Christ.

And from the US Bishop's meeting last week in San Antonio TX, Catholics are urged to develop a higher respect for Worker Rights. The Bishops issued a document that outlines ways to bring special doctrine to the workplace. They also expressed support for the actions of the local Bishop who found himself in the spotlight when the University of Notre Dame invited Barack Obama to speak at their commencement last month.

GREED & MARRIAGE. The Seven Deadly Sins are revisited and we focus on one: Greed. Some readers might dispute the idea of linking Greed to gambling because we now call gambling an “entertainment,” sometimes, regrettably, an “addiction.” But almost never, anymore, a sin or vice. We are reminded that such blindness is Greed’s characteristic signature. On another topic, a survey reported that Catholic couples who undergo marriage preparation based on the teachings of the Church are drastically more likely to agree to abstain until marriage.

STORIES OF HOPE. Bo Sanchez returns this week with three realities we need to understand on "How To Become A Superstar." And in a very inspiring story, the Buzzard, the Bat and the Bumble Bee reminds us how in many ways, we are like them. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up!

DADDY-TIME AND LINGERING COUGHS. You've been coughing for weeks. How do you know if it's just a hard-to-shake cold or something more serious? Here are 8 possible culprits. And finally a new poll show that fewer fathers want to be stay-at-home dads. Consider these five tips to increase "daddy-time" with your kids.

Another eventful day in our Catholic World. Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?"

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Issue Date: June 21, 2009

FEATURED BLOG: Is missing Sunday Mass a mortal sin?
PASTORAL HISPANA: Jesús es el unico que puede calmar nuestras tormentas

Dear Friends,

he fear of a storm at sea was too much for Jesus' disciples in the Sunday’s Gospel reading. Many of them were fishermen. But they were still terrorized when they saw the storm coming. Our Discussion Questions this week will help you at your bible study sessions with your family, friends and church group. This Sunday is also Fathers Day.

CALMING THE STORM. The Readings show us a Lord who stills the wind and the waves. And not only on the Lake of Galilee, explains Fr. Alex McAllister, but Jesus also calms the wind and waves in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Fr. Joseph Pellegrino adds that the fear that the disciples had is the exact fear that we all have when we are confronted with a crisis. Fr. Thomas Rosica explains that besides indicating Christ's divine power over nature, the calming of the story suggests His power over evil. While Fr. Phil Bloom gives us his bottom line: God allows storms for a purpose - the salvation of souls; Jesus calms storms.

THE STRUGGLE TO TRUST. Fr. Orly Sapuay, MS once concluded a funeral mass with the words “See you in heaven,” when someone added almost immediately, “but not too soon!” Everyone wants to get to heaven but nobody wants to die. Faith is given by God, says Father Cusick, precisely to sustain our weakness by divine power through the difficulties life will bring. And perhaps the most important thing we ever need to learn, according to Fr. Ron Rolheiser is this: It is safe to trust and love!

HAVING FAITH. Why are Jesus and God so bent on finding faith and trust in us? Because, explains Fr. John Foley, S. J, faith and trust are like openings that allow God’s love to enter us. Fr. Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B. observes how we may be tempted to respond that we do indeed have faith for we can say “Amen” to all the statements of the Creed. He says that is an important kind of faith but it is not as real and personal as the faith that God wants us to have.

Fr. James Gilhooley can only imagine what the apostle Mark was telling the early Christian church members when they were going through a rough patch, "We've been down this road before. If you think you got it bad, you should have been in the boat that night." And this is the same leasson gleamed in this inspirational story we call "Can You Sleep While the Wind Blows?" And for those who struggle with their marriages, Lenora Grimaud shares her personal perspective "On the Brink of Divorce."

HAPPY FATHERS DAY. Many world religions throughout the ages have professed belief in one God. So, what sets Christianity apart from the rest of the world religions? Jesus taught us this prayer - Our Father, Who Art in Heaven - but what does it mean when we call God "Our Father?"

Fathers play a unique role in helping children develop a living faith. So, to celebrate all fathers this Sunday, we give you "An Ode to Fathers." Let's give them their due on Fathers Day starting with these ideas on "How to Really Celebrate Fathers Day." And we discuss the unique role fathers play in helping children develop a living faith. Plus this one reminder ytto all dads out there: "Any man can be a Father. But it takes a special person to be called Dad."

SACRED HEART. Today, June 19, 2009, Friday, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Just what is this celebration all about? We explain it here. It is a practice that is so entrenched in Catholic devotional life, that many have developed misconceptions about it. Like the the time Paul Dion found out that there are a lot of people out there who are convinced that they are required to attend Mass on the First Friday of the month. And, as we have announced in the previous weeks, the Vatican has chosen this date to launch the "Year of the Priest" to ready the Church for a renewal.

CATHOLIC NEWS. "Religion, Ethics and the Market" was the topic Grand Knight Carl Anderson tackled when he talked Moral Responsibility as the key to economic recovery. So can things get better? Pope Benedict XVI assures us it will when he noted last week how the corpus Christi Feast speaks of Divine Love. He also exhorted all to remember that Revelation should penetrate every culture and the truths of salvation should be expressed by every language of the world. Finally, word has come to us that the PBS national board has voted to ban all new religious programming in its network and affiliate stations, including "Mass for Shut-in." This is a major setback for religious media in America.

It's always encouraging to see stories of people like rocker Lenny Kravitz who have re-discovered Jesus Christ and have taken the first steps to improving his life based upon our Lord's teachings. Check out the interview. And finally, if you're struggling like many in this tough jobs market, we found a pleasant surprise: Jobs that pay in the six figures. Check them out.

Another eventful week in our Catholic world. Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Take it; this is my body."

Catholic Living Today with
Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ
(CorpusChristiB) Issue Date: June 14, 2009

BURNING QUESTION: Do you believe the Real Presence in the Eucharist?
FEATURED BLOG: New Life in Christ: What it looks like, what it demands.
RECONCILIATION NEWS: Chinese Christians call for forgiveness for Tiananmen
PASTORAL HISPANA: Beber su Sangre y Comer su Cuerpo es un Milagro de Amor

Dear Friends, This Sunday is Corpus Christi Sunday and the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. If there is any one Catholic doctrine that people have choked on over the centuries, it has to be transubstantiation – the teaching that, during the Mass, bread and wine become the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Our Discussion Questions can help guide you through your bible study sessions this Sunday with your family, friends of church group.

"THIS IS MY BODY." Catholics don’t just go to church on Sunday like other Christians. We go to Mass. Some regard it as a sacrifice and others as a fellowship meal and still others as “the real presence.” So what is it, really? Marcellino D'Ambrosio explains. And it is one truth then, Fr. John Foley, S. J. says, that prompts many un-Catechized to offer this indelicate Question: "Why are you eating someone’s body and drinking his blood?"

The Eucharist, is not just one of the seven Sacraments. Fr. Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B. reminds us. It is the supreme Christian Sacrament and it is presented as such in all the Gospels. At the Mass, Fr. Alex McAllister tells us, we are united with the Last Supper and there on the altar - just as there in the Upper Room - we receive the body and blood of Christ in the form of bread and wine. In the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, Fr. Orly Sapuay, MS preaches, we are incorporated into the very life of God, and the sacramental banquet becomes the Bond of love and unity.

OUR COMMUNION. Most often we refer to the Eucharist as "communion". But according to Fr. Joseph Pellegrino, we should understand that the communal aspect of the Eucharist is far more than a group of people sharing a meal. Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen tells those in Church who truly want to participate in the Eucharist that they are invited to remember all the blessings they have received from God - such as the Creation, the Redemption, and the Heaven that the Lord promises us as our inheritance.

Fr. Phil Bloom offers an apology on behalf of all priests to their parishioners if they feel they have not received enough for their priests in terms of material token, time and attention. But he reminds us all that the best thing by far that they have done for us, "is to give you the Body and Blood of Christ." And that, adds Father Cusick, is the one thing that is most necessary - Jesus Christ truly present in the Eucharist. So at many of our churches this week, Will you spend one hour with our Lord Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration?

Finally, Fr. Richard Neilson tells us that St. Peter Julian Eymard, the devotion to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart are in fact one thing, inseparable — devotion to the mystery of Christ's human and divine love. As we are all reminded by the US Bishops that every Catholic should consider how to more worthily receive the Eucharist. Here's the document: "Happy Are Those Who Are Called To His Supper: On Preparing To Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist.”

VATICAN NEWS. Reflecting on this week's celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi, Pope Benedicts tells Catholics to use it as a chance to grow in love for Jesus in the Eucharist. The Pope also reflected on the teachings of the 9th century thinker John Scotus Erigena saying, "since faith and reason come from the same source -- divine wisdom -- authority should never contradict truth."

YEAR OF THE PRIESTS. And with The Year of the Priests set to launch in about a week, expect to hear more about this topic from the Vatican. The president of the U.S. episcopal conference said this week that although the priesthood has recently undergone a "purification," the coming celebration gives the Church an opportunity to rediscover what its all about. And this just in - US Catholics are growing in numbers! The 2009 Official Catholic Directory statistics report that there are one million more Catholics in the United States than the previous year. Catholics now officially compose 22% of the US population.

MORALITY IN OUR SECULAR WORLD. While lamenting the moral decay around us, Dwight Longenecker offered a ray of hope. The Catholic Church is the only worldwide religious institution which even attempts a coherent, intelligent and cohesive moral framework which applies to the whole of humanity. It is an authority; a rock in the midst of the shifting sands of our present moral morass. From Denver, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. delivers this speech, "New Life in Christ: What it looks like, what it demands."

Aneel Aranha discusses one of the seven deadly sins: Avarice - the self-serving and inordinate love of and desire for money, wealth, power, food, or other possessions. It's most appropriate in light of a US survey a few years ago that revealed what some people were willing to do for money, $10,000,000 to be exact. Out of every hundred people in the US, there are seven who would be willing to kill you, a total stranger, for money.

DIGITAL CATHOLIC. Sr. Rose Pacatte, FSP, executive director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies told an audience in San Francisco that the Church must adapt to the digital world toreach the youth. She added the this most sage advise whendealing with the different media products and messages our youth should be exposed to: "Control is for a moment. Conversation is for a lifetime." And here's a neat little gadget. A Catholic mans has combined faith, high-tech savvy to invent new Bible format. "God on the Go" is the entire New American Bible - approved by the US Bishops - in a small and handy USB flash drive.

STORIES OF HOPE. "I wish you enough." That's what someone overheard a mother and daughter say in their last moments together at the airport as they hugged at the security gate. It's a very inspiring story. But here's one that's even more inspiring. What does a dying priest do when he's unexpectedly facing the final days of his life? In A dying priest's journey, he tells his parish members, "I'm a teacher, and this is a teachable moment."

SWINE FLU & THE NBA FINALS. How do you know when swine flu has turned serious? Doctores from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention explained what flu warning signs warrant urgent medical attention - for adults and children. And if you're cheering for your favorite team in the 2009 NBA Finals, you're not alone. The word is that Catholic leaders in Los Angeles and Orlando have made a friendly wager. Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony gets three key lime pies, four pounds of fresh shrimp and a bottle of oxygen (a jab at Los Angeles' poor air quality) from Orlando Bishop Thomas Wenski, who would receive a case of wine should the Magic take the series.

In the interest of editorial integrity, I'm not telling you who I'm rooting for. But I won't be disappointed if the shiny NBA Championship trophy that's raised at the end of the series reflected some hues of purple and gold.

Another event-filled week in our Catholic World.

Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

Twitter us at
Click Here to view any of our previous weeks' issues
Click Here to receive a FREE SUBSCRIPTION to this weekly email

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit"

Issue Date: June 7, 2009
Trinity Sunday (TrinityB)

BURNING QUESTION: What's the meaning of the Sign of the Cross?
FEATURED BLOG: Is the Holy Trinity Still Relevant?
PASTORAL HISPANA: La Trinidad, el misterio de Dios que amor y comunión

Dear Friends,

The Masses from Holy Week till now have been rich with central images from our faith. If you have not noticed it, they are also revealing to us of the Holy Trinity. For the past Sundays, we have been celebrating a God-event, a deed done by God. Easter Sunday, then Ascension Sunday, followed by Pentecost Sunday. Trinity Sunday is something very unique. This Sunday we celebrate not a God-event but God Himself - the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Use our Discussion Questions to guide your bible study sessions this coming week.

Jehovah'S Witnesses attack it and The Da Vinci Code sought to undermine the doctrine. But what exactly does The Trinity mean? Is The Holy Trinity still relevant today? Dr. Marcellino d'Ambrosio defends it in the context of today's world. Much like early church father St. Athanasius defended it in the 4th century when "Arians" questioned its doctrine in a major challenge that almost split the early church. His sermon focused on "Trinity: Three Persons, One Creative, Energizing Reality."

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen tells us the Trinity is a proclamation of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Father Cusick supports this notion when he explains that the whole edifice of Christian faith, all that we believe about God fully revealed in Jesus Christ, stands or falls on the cornerstone of Christ's Resurrection. Fr. Campion P. Gavaler continues with his declaration that the good news we hear proclaimed on Trinity Sunday is that Jesus the Risen Lord wants us to share divine life with him in the oneness of intimate, familial love with his Father and Holy Spirit.

In the Holy Trinity, Fr. Alex McAllister says, the "Solidarity and Unity of Our Church" is evident. For Christians, according to Fr. Thomas Rosica, the Trinity is the primary symbol of a community that is held together by containing diversity within itself. In the Trinity, we are drawn into the mystery of communion and community in God. Fr. Orly Sapuay, MS tells us that we are to spend our lives living out that Trinity with all others in the world. It's a daunting task filled with grace and power.

Within the Mystery of the Trinity, Fr. Joseph Pelligrino preaches, dwells the wonderful belief that God is both close to us and beyond us, Intimate and Transcendent. And Fr. Phil Bloom shares with us his Bottom line, "Mary can help us realize the purpose of our existence: to enter an eternal relationship with God - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."

PRAYER & CONFESSION. In a world that wants to exclude it, there is a resurgence of prayer. In the vision of Benedict XVI, praying to God is not a part, but rather the whole of man's vocation. Additionally, he proposes that the way to live an authentic life is by leaving moments for God, as much during work as during vacation. And in our internet-wrapped world, it's easy to fall into the trap that surfing prayer rooms is really enough. The Vatican's Fr. Lombardi warns we could actually be getting nowhere with online religiosity. "Read, study," Father Lombardi urges. "It is not enough to surf and click and zap, or copy and paste endlessly."

We also take a look at the Vatican-lamented decline in the use of Confession among Catholics and reflect on several key truths about the Sacrament. Confession is not about how much God loves you but about how much you love God. Confession is our chance to apologize for those sins that have damaged our relationship with God. God does not need our apologies, our repentance, or our penance. We do.

CATHOLIC NEWS. The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-life Activities, denounced the killing of abortion provider Doctor George Tiller. "Such killing is the opposite of everything we stand for, and everything we want our culture to stand for: respect for the life of each and every human being from its beginning to its natural end." From Central America, A Vatican prelate encouraged all Christians to welcome immigrants, saying it is an inevitable part of the Church's Missionary Vocation. From the Vatican, the Congregation for the Clergy announced that the "The Year for Priests" will be inaugurated by Pope Benedict on June 19, 2009.

OUR YOUTH. True to his teaching form, the Pope engaged in another direct question-and-answer session without reading prepared texts. This time he spent the session with children aged 8-10. There were seven questions and he gave simple but profound answers. Check it out here. And in an interview with the Communications Director for Madrid 2011, it seems the 2011 World Youth Day will be much like its precedents -- "a party that the Holy Father convokes." But pull out your iPhones because the role that social networking will play in the event is sure to give it a special flair.

STORIES OF HOPE. In July 2006, a short 3-minute movie was launched on the Internet called The Dash. Since then, over 40 million people from around the world have watched it and it has inspired many to ask that all important question, "Are my priorities where they should be?" Bo Sanchez is back this week with another wonderful article, "How You Can Harvest More Blessings." And we bring you the story of the world-record-breaking oldest primary school student, a Kenyan great-grandfather who was baptized after he learned to read the Bible.

BANK FEES & RETIREMENT. The upheaval in today’s economy is forcing banks to find new ways to strengthen their bottom lines—and much of that effort is coming at your expense. We offer you seven ways to keep their hands out of your pockets. And if you're considering retirement in these rough times, here's a thought. Articles abound on the subject of volunteering during this tough economy. However, volunteer service commitments are not just reserved anymore for young people just graduating from college or looking to earn their GED. There's opportunities available for the retireables as well.

Another event filled week in our Catholic World. Have a great and blessed Holy Trinity week.

Keep the Faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

Twitter us at
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