TUESDAY     February 22, 2000    vol. 11, no. 37    SECTION ONE

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SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • CATHOLIC PewPOINT editorial on the first leg of the Pope's "Jubilee Journey"
  • Michael Vincent Boyer's column: the courage of Celine Dion
  • Daily LITURGY
  • Daily WORD
  • PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH: Revelation and Science part two
  • Events that happened this day in Church History

  • Retracing Salvation History begins tomorrow when the Holy Father is guided by Genesis before making his Exodus to Egypt

       In today's editorial, we look forward to the historic Papal Pilgrimage in which His Holiness John Paul II will retrace the footsteps of biblical giants Abraham tomorrow in spirit at Paul VI before embarking for Egypt the next day and the start of a grueling "Jubilee Journey" that will take him high up Mount Sinai where he will walk and pray in the footsteps of Moses. Next month the Holy Father will set foot in the Holy Land where Our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles and disciples walked. For today's editorial The Papal Path of the Pentateuch , click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT

    The Papal Path of the Pentateuch

    Michael Cain, editor

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    By turning her back on Hollywood, Celine Dion's loyalty and love prove her heart will go on!

       Today in his probing, in-depth column, Michael Vincent Boyer, a well-respected Catholic insider expert on what's happening in the entertainment industry, brings the reader a heart-rending story on Celine Dion and how her dedication and Catholicity have rewritten the term "superstar" in many people's hearts. For his column, "Showbiz is not a life" - Celine Dion takes charge, see HOW HOLY WOULD HELP HOLLYWOOD

    What Hollywood doesn't want you to know

    "Showbiz is not a life" - Celine Dion takes charge

        'Dion felt that God was sending her a message,'
        "It's about time you do something else. It's time that you are there for each other, that you get back into reality, be with your family and friends."

        To the shock of the entertainment industry, the multi-award-winning singer Celine Dion announced recently she is putting all her professional commitments aside in order to concentrate her full attention to her family and husband Rene Angel'lil, her personal manager and later producer for the music industry's most prolific and beautiful voice. Starting at age 14, Ange'lil carefully guided the young singer through a rapidly rising period of fame and worldwide recognition. By the age of 20, Dion and Ange'lil took a new step by falling in love. "It just took us by storm," remembers Dion. The couple would eventually marry in 1994.

        Celine was born the youngest of 14 children into a good Catholic family on March 30, 1968 in Charlemagne, Quebec which is a suburb roughly thirty miles east of Montreal, Canada. From the age of five she realized a special God-given talent to sing and this translated to her brother submitting a recording to a man who ran a studio in Canada in 1980. Because she was only twelve at the time and because entertainment producers receive hundreds, if not thousands of demo tapes, Rene had not gotten around to listening. But in the persistence of "the squeaky wheel gets the grease," Celine's brother Michael followed up and pestered Rene into listening to it. Rene was so impressed and convinced of her talent and potential that he did something unheard of: he mortgaged his own home to finance her first record. The rest, as they say, is history.

        Like another foreign-born Catholic singer Dana Scallon, Celine was entered in various contests and won the Eurovision song contest in Dublin in 1988 at the age of 20. Also like Dana, Celine sung for Pope John Paul II in 1985. By the time she was in her late teens Celine had become the most successful singer in Canadian history but still had not cracked the United States market chiefly because of her limited English and French only lyrics. In order to crack this barrier, Rene arranged for her to take a year off in order to both change her image and allow her to take a crash course in English. This accomplished she reentered the scene as a big hit in the US with her first album "Where Does My Heart Beat Now." That heart was beating for her devoted and giving manager Rene and would blossom into full love in 1993. Her heart was also beating for her niece Karine who died in Celine's arms from Cystic Fibrosis after sixteen years of battling the disease. Since that time Celine has been an active and generous supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

        When God closes one door, He opens another and such was the case with Celine after losing her niece. She found her true love who had been there with her for over a decade. Fearing public reaction because of the age difference between Rene, 26 years her elder and best friend, the couple kept it a secret and also were chaste in their courtship. Finally, she could hold it in no longer and on her album "The Color of My Love" it was revealed in the lyrics, "Rene, for so many years I've kept our special dream locked away inside my heart...but now it's getting too powerful to keep inside of me...so after all these years, let me paint the truth, show how I feel, try to make you completely rea...Rene, you're the color of my love." This love was evident during the beautiful wedding at Notre Dame Cathedral on December 14, 1994 with 500 "close friends" in attendance.

        A refreshing change in the industry was the fact that her career and life were above reproach and almost all her songs touched of love. She became famous throughout the world and her hit song "My Heart Will Go On" as the love theme for the titanic hit "Titanic" put her on top of the world. For a lesser person, greed and other vices would set in with this kind of fame and fortune. But Celine was brought up with good solid Catholic virtues and family values, and because of that she went against the grain of what so many in Hollywood would do: divorce. To Celine her wedding vows were sacred and when "in sickness and in health" came into play she was ready to show her true colors for the color of her love was true.

        At the height of her career, a sudden turn of events would change Celine and Rene's lives forever. In the midst of a hectic concert tour in April of 1999, Ange'lil discovered a large lump in his throat. Doctors shortly discovered it was cancer. Dion was scheduled for a concert the night he was taken to the hospital and wanted to cancel, but her husband insisted she go on. "The rest of that night is still a blur," recalls Dion.

        But after the concert she immediately cleared her schedule from April 13th to May 7th. "I was there for him and I felt great about it," recalls Dion. According to Ange'lil, "I had 38 treatments of radiation and she came with me to every one. There is not a word that exists that can express how much I love her."

        Celine Dion decided late last year to leave behind the singing career that has resulted in 100 million records sold worldwide to be with her husband and lead "a normal life." Dion felt that God was sending her a message, "It's about time you do something else. It's time that you are there for each other, that you get back into reality, be with your family and friends." And she continued, "For everything he has given me, now I can do something for him."

        Celine Dion, a true hero who made the courageous decision to say goodbye to Hollywood. But, the voice lives on in the numerous recordings that made music in the 1990's not only beautiful, but uplifting and timeless. Because of her commitment and loyalty, her heart will go on and touch millions in a way few in the industry can. Thank God for people like Celine Dion. If only Hollywood had more of this strong character, the industry and the world would be much better off.

    Michael Vincent Boyer

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       Today is the Feast of the CHAIR OF PETER while tomorrow we commemorate the Feast of the martyred bishop Saint Polycarp. For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, see

    Tuesday, February 22, 2000

        First Reading: 1 Peter 4: 1-4
        Responsorial: Psalm 23: 1-6
        Gospel Reading: Matthew 15: 13-19

    Feast of the Chair of Peter

          This feast, designated for February 22, commemorates the first service in Rome by the first Pope in Rome - Saint Peter who established the see of Antioch. He is said to have sat on a portable chair that ultimately became the "chair of Peter" and which is a liturgical emphasis on the apostolic succession, the episcopacy within Holy Mother Church and the unbroken line of pontiffs since Peter. The chair is preserved in the Vatican with evidence of this being the authentic chair dating back to the second century. It was officially made a feast day in the Roman Calendar in 394 to coincide with the day the Romans commemorated their deceased. It was first celebrated at the old St. Peter's Basilica in Rome during the middle of the fifth century, preceded by an all night vigil with the Holy Father present. In the eighth century the Franks moved the feast to January 21 while the rest of Europe virtually ignored the feast altogether. However, at the beginning of the eleventh century it was revived and observed on February 22 where it has been fixed ever since.

          The Chair of Peter is actually three chairs; one a ceremonial portable wood chair in St. Peter's Basilica that many believe was first used by the Apostle Saint Peter to declare the Divinity of Jesus after he had arrived in Rome. That chair is located behind the main altar below the great circular window depicting the Holy Spirit. Another is built into the wall in the marble apse which is not usable but symbolic of the apostolic succession, hierarchy and authority of the Church. The third is a bronze replica by the sculptor Bernini of Peter sitting in the chair. This is located jutting out from one of the four great pillars supporting the dome and is to the right of the main altar near the entrance to the crypt below. The feast was first established by Pope Saint Mark who also instituted the Pallium and published the first Roman calendar of religious feastdays. As early as 394 there were two feasts commemorating the Chair of Peter, one celebrated on January 18 which was celebrated in France until the eight century, and the February 22nd feast focused on Peter founding the See of Antioch. In the 11th century it was extended to the universal Church, some say by Pope Saint Leo IX who transferred the feast to February 22nd, eliminating the Antioch reference because of the Eastern Schism.

    Wednesday, February 23, 2000

        First Reading: James 4: 13-17
        Responsorial: Psalm 49: 2-3, 6-11
        Gospel Reading: Mark 9: 38-40

    Feast of Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr

          Consecrated bishop of Smyrna by Saint John the Apostle, the holy Saint Polycarp staunchly defended the faith in the face of heresy, particularly Valentinianism and Marcionism. Born around 69 A.D. he dedicated his life to upholding the new Christian faith and preaching everywhere he went. Towards the end of his life when he was in his eighties, he traveled to Rome during the papacy of Pope Anicetus, the eleventh in the line of Peter. There Pope and bishop discussed a mutual date for Easter but could not come to an agreement and parted ways deciding each should celebrate it the way they had been doing it. Before he left Rome Polycarp was captured by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and thrown into prison. Refusing to sacrifice to the gods, acknowledge the divinity of Aurelius and reject his faith, Polycarp was ordered to be burned at the stake. But as they flames seared up and around him, they miraculously did not touch him. Furious, the Emperor ordered the soldiers to spear him to death. There in Rome on February 23, he gave up the ghost. Historians gage his death anywhere between 155 and 165, because of his association with Anicetus who was pontiff during those years. Many regard Polycarp as the chief link between the apostolic age, when he knew some of the apostles such as John, to the age of the great Christian Writers in Roman Asia which evolved late in the second century. They consider his Martyrium Polycarpi the first and oldest authentic example of the Acts of the Martyrs.

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    "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to thee, but My Father in Heaven. And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven."

    Matthew 17: 17-20

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    Appreciation of Revelation and Science

        Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. Today we present the second part of our catechesis on Revelation and Science in showing the compatibility between the two as God intended. For the 115th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 110: Revelation and Science part two

          As a practical demonstration that there is no contradiction between Divine Revelation and Science, we hre list some of the thousands of scientists who through the ages have been practising members of the Catholic Church and at the same time outstanding in Science. These men not only found no conflict between science and religion, but became more firm in their faith as they delved deeper into science.

          As Marconi, one of the greatest scientists of our time, delcared: "Science alone is unable to explain many things, and most of all, the greatest of mysteries-the mystery of our existence. I believe, not only as a Catholic, but also as scientist. "We do not include here the names of Catholics preeminent in navigatio, architecture, art, music or literature, limiting ourselves to natural and physical science.

          Some of the great Catholic scientists throughout history: Agricola, Albertus Magnus, Algue, Ampere, Bacon, Bartholomeus, Bayma, Beccaria, Becquerel, Behalm, Bernard, Binet, Biondo, Biot, Bolzano, Borrus, Boscovitch, Bosio, Bourgeois, Braille, and Branly.

          Caesalpinus, Caldani, Cambou, Camel, Cardan, Carnoy, Carrel, Cassini, Cassiodorus, Castelli, Cauchy, Cavaliere, Caxton, Champollion, Chevreul, Clavius, Columbo, Copernicus, Coulomb Da Vinci, De Chauliac, De Rossi, De Vico, Descartes, Divisch, Dulong, Dumas, Dwight, Echel, Endlicher, Eppe, and Eustachius.

          Fabre, Fabri, Fabricius, Fallopius, Faye, Ferrari, Fizeau, Foucault, Fraunhofer, Fresnel, Galileo, Galvani, Gassendi, Gay-Lussac, Gioja, Gordon, Gramme, Grimaldi, Guttenberg. Hauy, Heis, Helmont, Hengler, Herzog, Heude, Hilgard, and Holland.

          Jussieu, Kelly, Kircher, Laennec, Lamarck, Lancist, Laplace, Latreille, Lavoisier, LeVerrier, Linacre, Lully, Malpighi, Malus, Marconi, Mariotte, Mendel, Mersenne, Monge, Morgagni, Muller, Murphy, Murray, Nelaton, Nieuwaland, Nobili, Nollet, Ortelius, Ozaman, Pascal, Pasteur, Pelouze, Piazzi, Picard, Pitra, Plumier, Pouget, and Provancher.

          Regiomontanus, Regnault, Riccoli, Sahagun, Santorini, Scheiner, Schwann, Schwarz, Secchi, Semmelweis, Spallanzani, Steensen. Takamine, Theodoric, Tieffentaller, Toscanelli, Torricelli, Tulasne, Valentine, Vernier, Vesalius, Vieta, Volta, Waldseemuller, Wincklemann, Windle, and a host of others, too many to mention.

      Tomorrow: Angels part one

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    Events that happened this Weekend in Church History

      On this date one year ago His Holiness Pope John Paul II issued an impassioned plea for peace in Kosovo as the rumors of all-out war rumbled across the globe. The Holy Father reminded all that force ends up hurting everyone, especially innocent citizens caught in the crossfire. He called for an international forum to bring all sides together for compromise. From this time on, the Pope appointed his Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran as his chief spokesman working on it day and night in an effort to stave off the inevitable. All the Holy See said came true and now Kosovo is in ruins just as is East Timor and countless other countries. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

    Historical Events in Church Annals for February 22:

    • 121 A.D.
    • Death of the brothers Saint Faustinus and Saint Jovita, Martyred preachers from Brescia who had their heads severed from their bodies during the ruthless reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian. It was the emperor himself who ordered the decapitation when they steadfastly refused to become apostates.

    • 273 A.D.
    • Death of Saints Castulus, Lucius, Magnus and Saturninius, martyrs who were followers of Saint Valentine. They were all put to death for their faith on this date.

    • 530 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Severus of Androcca, a holy parish priest who is said to have brought back a man from death so that he could confer the last rites on him.

    • 1040 A.D.
    • Death of three Benedictine monk martyrs - Saints Sunaman, Unaman and Winaman, all nephews of Saint Sigfrid of County Wexlow. These Irish monks received their martyrdom in Sweden when they were decapitated by by pagan tribes. Their heads were tossed into the river and retrieved by their uncle.

    • 1045 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Sigfrid of Wexlow, missionary bishop who retrieved the severed heads of his three martyred nephews and used that as incentive to convert and baptize countless pagans in Sweden including King Saint Olaf. He traveled throughout Scandinavia bearing much fruit and is considered the "Apostle of Sweden."

    • 1999 A.D.
    • Just prior to beginning his one week Lenten Retreat, Pope John Paul II made a final plea for peace in Kosovo, "convinced that recourse to armed force always brings ever greater risks and deep suffering for the civilian population." True to his words that's exactly what happened.

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    February 22, 2000     volume 11, no. 37
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