FRI-SAT-SUN    January 14-16, 2000   vol. 11, no. 10   SECTION TWO

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SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Daily WORD
  • Events this Weekend in Church History
  • MOVIES & MORALS - Top 10 Films for First Week of January


        This weekend we commemorate Ordinary Time Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we also observe the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday and Sunday is the SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME and Ecumenical Sunday. For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, see DAILY LITURGY.

    Friday, January 14, 2000

    Saturday, January 15, 2000

        First Reading: 1 Samuel 9: 1-4, 17-19; 10: 1-10
        Psalms: Psalm 21: 2-7
        Gospel Reading: Mark 2: 13-17

    Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday

    SUNDAY, January 16, 2000

        First Reading: 1 Samuel 3: 3-10, 19
        Psalms: Psalm 40: 2, 4, 7-10
        Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 6: 13-15
        Gospel Reading: John 1: 35-42

    Monday, January 17, 2000

        First Reading: 1 Samuel 15: 16-23
        Psalms: Psalm 50: 8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
        Gospel Reading: Mark 2: 18-22

    Saint Antony of Egypt, Abbot and hermit

       St. Antony of Egypt was born in the middle of the 3rd Century and decided to become a mendicant hermit after hearing the Gospel reading at Mass: "If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast and give to the poor"(Matthew 19: 21). After searching for the perfect way to do this, he opted to serve God in the desert as a hermit. It was here that he was attacked by a legion of from hell as the devils physically wounded him. This happened so often that at one time even the devils thought they had beaten him to death. But his faith and perseverance won out and he grew to fear no one as he said to the avenging devils: "I fear you not; you cannot separate me from the love of Christ." Finally giving up, the legion of demons fled and Jesus Himself appeared to Antony. He was the epitome of what a poor monk should be, wearing sackcloth and sheepskin, eating only bread and water and kneeling in prayer throughout the night. It's interesting here to note how we sometimes complain about kneeling for one hour in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, or that we can't fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays as our Blessed Mother requests. St. Antony attracted countless souls who flocked to him for spiritual direction and finally, after 20 years of seclusion, he knew Our Lord was calling him to teach these eager souls so the Church would flourish in the future. Like Saint Hilary last week, St. Antony's feast has continued on the same date in the Church Calendar for any, many years

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    Events that happened this Weekend in Church History

        On Saturday 80 years ago in 1920 Cardinal John Joseph O'Connor was born in Philadelphia and went on to become a priest, head chaplain of the U.S. Military, and Archbishop of New York City as well as one of the most respected and beloved members of the College of Cardinals today. In five months the Holy Father will join him in turning 80 on May 18, 2000. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

    Historical Events in Church Annals for January 14:

    • 260 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Felix of Nola, a humble priest who did not feel worthy of being a bishop. He escaped martyrdom many times through the grace of God and sheltered many Christians, nursing them back to health. He is often depicted with a spider spinning its web for legend has it the arachnid did this quickly while the Romans were searching him out to put him to death but passed by the doorway where Felix was because of the cobweb.

    • 309 A.D.
    • Martyrdom of 38 monks at Mount Sinai, who were attacked by Syrian arabs who had a vendetta against Christians.

    • 340 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Macrina the Elder, mother of Saint Basil the Elder, and grandmother of a slew of holy offspring from Cappodocia including Saint Basil, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Macrina the Younger and Saint Peter of Sebastea. She died in Neocaesarea.

    • 552 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Datius, Bishop of Milan who, having fled from northern Italy to Constantinople during the invasion of the Ostrogoths, defended doctrinal attacks against Pope Vigilius, the 59th successor of Peter.

    • 1150 A.D.
    • Death of Blessed Amadeus of Clermont at Bonnevaux, France. This Benedictine monk and abbot founded four monasteries after studying at the famous Cluny Abbey. A rich man before his conversion, he brought 16 vassals and family members with him to Bonnevaux' Cistercian Abbey, renouncing the world.

    • 1237 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Sabas of Serbia, Abbot who was the son of Stephen I, founder of the Serbian dynasty who abdicated when Sabas was 22 and sought refuge in the monastery they founded on Mount Athos. When Sabas was 33 he returned to Serbia to settle a dispute between his two brothers and discovered his homeland was in turmoil with few knowing the faith. He thus dispatched his fellow monks as missionaries to evangelize to the masses, preserving the faith in Bulgaria where he died on this date in 1237. To this date Sabas or Sava in Serbian, is considered the patron saint of Serbia.

    Historical Events in Church Annals for January 15:

    • 250 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Secundina, a Roman maiden who was martyred for her Christianity during the persecution of the Roman emperor Decius. The soldiers guarding her were so impressed with her zeal that upon her death they converted to the faith.

    • 251 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Maximus of Nola, the bishop who ordained Saint Felix of Nola who, in turn nursed Maximus back to health when he had fled to the mountains to evade his captors.

    • 304 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Ephysius of Sardinia, patron saint of Sardinia who was martyred for his faith on the Island of Sardinia during the persecution of the Roman emperor Diocletian.

    • 342 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Paul the Hermit, the Egyptian hermit from Thebes who, to escape the persecution of Decius, retreated to the desert to become one of the first anchorites.

    • 390 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Macarius the Elder, another hermit from upper Egypt who consulted often with the great hermit Saint Antony of Egypt. One of Macarius' greatest virtues was his humility.

    • 404 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Isidore of Alexandria, who is known for his caring of the sick. He also is said to have defended the faith against Arianism. There was a fued between Isidore and Saint Jerome who leveled the charges that Isidore was an Origenist, but Isidore appealed to Saint John Chrysostom who convinced Jerome of his sincerity and innocence.

    • 450 A.D.
    • Death of Saint John Calybytes, a fifth century hermit who is considered the patron saint of the homeless.

    • 570 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Deirdre of Limerick, who, born of royal blood, gave it all up to found a convent attracting many women. She is considered the foster-mother of the Irish saints.

    • 580 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Maurus, pupil of Saint Benedict at Subiaco who Benedict molded into the ideal role model for all monks to emulate.

    • 650 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Malard, bishop of Chartres in France.

    • 708 A.D.
    • Election of Pope Sisinnius as 87th successor of Peter. While he had wanted to reinforce the walls of Rome angainst the hordes of Lombards and Saracens, he would have little time to implement this project since his pontificate would only last twenty days.

    • 710 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Bonet of Clermont, chancellor to the Frankish king who was appointed bishop and then retired to a Benedictine abbey to live out his life in prayer.

    • 764 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Ceowulf, ruler of Northumbria in England who abdicated his thrown to become a monk, financing numerous monasteries from his treasury.

    • 1208 A.D.
    • Death of Blessed Peter of Casteinau. This Benedictine monk who Pope Innocent III had appointed head Inquistor for the Albigensians was murdered by the latter while preaching a crusade with Saint Dominic.

    • 1535 A.D.
    • Disgarding his interdict from Rome, England king Henry VIII declares himself head of the Church of England, giving rise to the Anglican church and forever putting a crimp on the hopes for a Catholic British Isles.

    • 1920 A.D.
    • Birth of Cardinal John J. O'Connor in Philadelphia. He would go on to become a priest and the most influential, loyal red-hat from the United States as Archbishop of New York City. Today he celebrates his 80th birthday. Congratulations and best wishes to the good cardinal who has done so much in upholding the Sanctity of Life.

    Historical Events in Church Annals for January 16:

    • 98 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Priscilla, who is best known as providing quarters for Saint Peter to set up headquarters for the early Church in her home along the Via Salaria. In effect, her home was the first seat of Peter.

    • 309 A.D.
    • Death of Pope Saint Marcellus I, 30th successor of Peter. His pontificate began on May 27th, 308 after the throne had been vacant for four years. Because of this He had to deal with the difficult problem of pardoning those who had adjured during the persecutions. He decreed that a Council could not be held without the authorization of the Pope.

    • 429 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Honoratius of Arles, Archbishop of Arles in France and founder of numerous monasteries, most prominently on the Isle of Lerins.

    • 430 A.D.
    • Death of Saint James of Tarentaise, first bishop of Tarentaise who is considered the "Apostle of Savoy." He was a disciple of Saint Honoratus.

    • 453 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Valerius, a hermit saint who was chosen Bishop of Sorrento on the scenic bluffs overlooking the Mediterranean in southern Italy.

    • 648 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Fursa of Perrone, an early Irish monk and founder of numerous monasteries throughout the emerald isle. Also known as St. Fursey.

    • 1127 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Henry of Coquet, Danish saint who fled to the Coquet Island to escape marriage so he could devote his life to God as a hermit.

    • 1220 A.D.
    • Martyrdom of the first Franciscan martyrs dispatched by Saint Francis of Assisi to the preach the faith to the Moors in Morocco. Franciscan missionaries Accursio, Adjutus, Berard, Otto and Peter were murdered by the sultan after being beaten to a pulp by the pagan saladin.

    • 1259 A.D.
    • Death of Blessed Gonzalez of Amarante, a holy Portuguese Dominican, also known as Gonsalvo,who prophesied his death. He is said to have received many messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary and there have been miraculous accounts after his death where people have mysteriously seen him.

    • 1581 A.D.
    • Queen Elizabeth I instructs English parliament to pass laws against Catholicism which in retaliation for Pope Saint Pius V's excommunication of the English queen. Her actions caused a wider chasm between England and Holy Mother Church.

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      FONT SIZE=+3>"Stuart Little" continues as top cheese at box office for first week of the millennium

         Sony's surprise hit "Stuart Little" continues at the top of the heap garnering top box office honors for three out of four weeks. More remarkable is the staying power of "The Green Mile", which, thanks to word of mouth, is enjoying a steady run and deservedly so. For the Top Ten reviews for the first week of the third millennium, prepared by the NCCB, go to MOVIES AND MORALS

    • 1.   STUART LITTLE
        (Sony)$11.2 million last week:   $95.3 million in four weeks
            Because of scenes of menace and a few cuss words, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents.. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. "Stuart Little" is a fetching live-action fantasy in which a talking white mouse (voice of Michael J. Fox) is happily adopted as the younger son in a human family (in which Geena Davis plays the mom) only to be targeted as a meal by mean neighborhood alleycats. As loosely adapted from E. B. White's 1945 classic, the cheery tale has ample visual appeal, though purists may find the neatly happy ending a cop-out to the author's more probing tale of self-discovery.

    • 2.   THE GREEN MILE
        (Warner Brothers)$9.7 million last week/   $91.3 million in five weeks:
            Because of some violence including an horrific electrocution, occasional profanity and intermittent rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "The Green Mile" is a prison drama set in 1935 Louisana where death-row head guard Tom Hanks comes to believe in the innocence of a huge, gentle black man played superbly by Michael Clarke Duncan whose miraculous healing powers affect those around him in startling ways. Adapted from the serialized 1996 Stephen King novel, the movie is unduly long but presents affecting character studies of good and evil men with spiritual undertones and a sobering depiction of capital punishment.

        (Paramount)$9.3 million last week/   $54.2 million in three weeks:
            Because of occasional gory violence, and implied affair, discreet homosexual innuendo, fleeting full nudity and a few instances of rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "The Talented Mr. Ripley" is a disquieting melodrama set in 1958 Italy where, after befriending a rich expatriate couple (played by Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow), an impoverished young American assumes his identity and stops at nothing to keep the risky charade going. Adapted from Patricia Highsmith's 1955 novel, a chilling cautionary tale of materialism expanding to grotesque evil unfolds replete with seductive visuals and sleek performances -- but an ambiguous ending.

        (Warner Brothers)$8.8 million last week/   $59.2 million in three weeks:
            Because of much stylized violence, brutality, sexual situations, locker-room frontal nudity, drug abuse, recurring rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV - adults, with reservations.. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "Any Given Sunday" is a frenetically jumbled look at a professional football team trying to make the play-offs under veteran coach Al Pacino who puts his career on the line by starting an ailing but reliable old-timer as quarterback rather then the hotshot young maverick favored by the club's devious owner (played by Cameron Diaz). The strictly formula sports story follows the underdogs to the big game in a jazzed-up narrative with jarring scenes of physical and verbal violence on and off the field, in locker rooms, bedrooms and corporate suites, while the coach philosophizes, cajoles, screams and whispers about team unity and the game's dignity.

    • 5.   GALAXY QUEST
        (DreamWorks)$8 million last week/   $38.5 million in three weeks:
            Still no available review from the NCCB on this film as of yet, but it has received favorable reviews and is rated PG so it can't be all bad. Actually is quite funny with Tim Allen as a mock William Shatner from "Star Trek" fame.

    • 6.   TOY STORY 2
        (Walt Disney)$7.2 million last week/   $219.7 million in eight weeks:
            The U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is G -- general audiences. In "Toy Story 2" the animated adventures of toys that come to life when humans aren't around continues as cowboy Woody voiced by Tom Hanks is stolen by a greedy toy collector, sending Woody's toy buddies, led by Buzz Lightyear, the voice of Tim Allen, on a breathless rescue mission. Featuring even better animation, the briskly paced cartoon sequel is slightly less original, but zippy action scenes and gentle humor should amuse small fry and grown-ups alike.

    • 7.   MAGNOLIA
        (New Line)$5.7 million last week:   $6.6 million in four weeks
            Because of some gory violence, a brief sexual encounter with nudity, numerous sexual references, intense domestic crises, recurring rough language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV -- adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "Magnolia," an erratic, undisciplined tale, unfolds in loosely connected vignettes involving, among others, a dying media magnate (played by Jason Robards), his estranged son who's the guru of a macho cult (played by Tom Cruise), as well as a closet homosexual, a quiz show host (played by William Macy), his estranged, cokehead daughter, and a good-hearted cop. The self-indulgent film treats the odd assortment of vignettes with emotional extravagance, resulting in a hodge-podge of uninteresting characters floundering about in sudsy situations.

    continued in SECTION THREE

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    January 14, 2000     volume 11, no. 10
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