April 11, 2000
volume 11, no. 72
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CATHOLIC PewPOINT editorial for Tuesday, April 11, 2000
That scriptural passage fits in so well with the various ailments and computer glitches that assailed the entire family last week. Besides the walking pneumonia of yours truly, this editor's bride Cyndi had a biopsy done on her jaw and an infection occurred from the stitches. On top of that certain financial resources for this ministry were strained further when fees were immensely increased, thus tightening the belt even further. Out of both a willingness to sacrifice and necessity, Lent is a perfect time to accustom oneself to bread and water! But, as we all know, when God closes one door, He always opens another. That door opened up late last week in an area we least expected.
Our family has a special prayer we say daily: "Oh Triune Divinity, we will believe whatever You want us to believe; we will do whatever You want us to believe; we will go wherever You want us to go...all for the Love of You so that we may listen to the Father, love with the Son, and live in the Spirit." Little did we know the Triune Divinity was heading us toward the former Soviet Union. No, we're not physically going there, but, as of yesterday we can now reach the heart of Russia for yesterday marked the debut of our first issue entirely in Russian. Talk about a challenge!
All weekend we worked on a special DailyCATHOLIC masthead for the good people of Russia and officially launched the new Russian issue at noon Pacific Daylight Time yesterday. But none of this would have been possible without two special angels from Britain who contacted us early last week. We're talking of Paul Knight and his lovely Lithuanian wife Solveiga. Paul, from Lymington England, is webmaster for the Catholic Media Network under the Dominican Sisters of St. Joseph. It was right around the Optional Feast of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. It is no coincidence that Paul also is the cyber director for Saint Isidore's Cyber Church. It is also interesting that St. Isidore is the assigned patron saint of the Internet, not that he was around before good ol' Al Gore invented it!
We consider the Knights contacting us a true sign from above and further fulfillment of both what the Blessed Virgin Mary asked at Fatima and what the Holy Father has requested in evangelizing. We really never thought for a moment we would be offering a Russian version of the DailyCATHOLIC before any other language since our goal has always been to publish in Spanish next. But God works in strange and wondrous ways and we accept the turn of events He has fashioned.
Several years ago we first heard about the need to evangelize in Russia and the Ukraine from visionary Josef Terelya. Then, this past fall we had the privilege of talking extensively with Father Robert J. Fox, one of the featured Top 100 Catholics. He is the respected priest who founded the Fatima Family Apostolate and whetted our appetite further for reaching into Russia. Several years ago Rosemary Turton of the 101 Foundation, another Top 100 Catholic of the Century, sponsored a very special World Peace Flight Pilgrimage that took the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima to Red Square in Moscow in the shadow of the Kremlin. We had so wanted to join that journey, but finances were not available to fund the trip for us. Now, through His wisdom and grace we are able to penetrate the former Iron Curtain not just once, but each and every day thanks to wonderful people like Paul and Solveiga Knight who are translating the English text into Russian for us.
It is in that spirit of evangelistic unity and prayer from all that Russia will be converted as Our Lady has asked so many times. We can remember attending a special seminar at the University of Notre Dame in the mid nineties and listening to Bishop Paolo Hnilica, S.J.. He told us how, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation in 1984, he literally stole into the Kremlin his Mass sacramentary hidden between the Russian national paper Pravda which means "truth" in Russian. Truer words were never spoken for what is more truth than the Word and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? There, in a small room in the bowels of the Kremlin, he secretly celebrated Holy Mass. At the very same moment Pope John Paul II was consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Rome, Bishop Hnilica did the same in Moscow. He had gone to Russia under specific instructions by the Vicar of Christ. At that time it was not possible to make it public in Russia. Even today the situation is still sticky. Though communism has fallen apart, the state and the Russian Orthodox Church still hold sway over the people and Catholics are still stymied. We can only pray that, with the advent of the DailyCATHOLIC now reaching all of Russia in their native tongue, we can play a small part in Our Lady's request for the conversion of Russia.
We do know this: "In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph." She assured this at Fatima in 1917 and today, just a little over a month away from His Holiness traveling again to the Cova and this most hallowed shrine in Portugal to beatify two of the Fatima seers who the Mother of God chose to appear to, the message of Fatima comes through clearer than ever. It was Premier Josef Stalin when told that the greatest threat to the state in Russia was the Holy See. The former communist leader snidely remarked, "Why fear, they have no army." Little did he realize the massive force the Church has in Mary's little army and the power of the Rosary - a weapon no modern technology can match. And, as of yesterday, besides prayers, we have launched a new salvo into Russia with the debut of the Russian version in hopeful prayer that God and His Blessed Mother will bless our endeavor in being a small part of enveloping Russia with the Heavenly mantle of grace. We will be printing special various articles in upcoming issues on Our Lady's progress in reaching into Russia.
There have been many movies and books done about Russia. Some that come to mind are "The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming" and we would like to hope and pray that could be paraphrased to "The Russians are coming to grace" for this new endeavor is truly a manifestation of Our Lord's words "My grace is sufficient for thee, for strength is made perfect in weakness" and in our weakness we rely on Him for the fortitude and perseverance to fulfill this mission into Russia. Of the movie names, what best expresses the sentiments here at the DailyCATHOLIC is one of the first James Bond movies. No, it is not "Dr. No" for "no" is not an alternative, not when you say "yes" to Our Lady. Therefore, we bond ourselves to the Russian people with this endeavor for the theme of the new Russian version of the DailyCATHOLIC is: To Russia with love...God's love!
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