MONDAY    January 17, 2000   vol. 11, no. 11   SECTION TWO

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SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Appreciating the Precious Gift of Our Faith: Ephesians
  • COLLEGE OF CARDINALS collection: Cardinal Corrado Ursi
  • Daily LITURGY
  • Daily WORD
  • Events this Weekend in Church History
  • Simply SHEEN

  • Appreciation of the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians

        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, concentrating on the Books of the New Testament with today bringing you the introduction to the Apostle Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. For the eighty-ninth installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

    installment 89: Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians

        "This Epistle was written by Saint Paul towards the close of his first imprisonment in Rome, in the year 63 A.D. It was brought to its destination in Asia Minor by Tychicus, who also carried with him the Epistle to the Colossians. He was accompanied by Onesimus bearing the Epistle to Philemon.

        In spite of this traditional title it is uncertain to whom St. Paul originally addressed this Epistle. Either it was indeed written to the Ephesians, as was commonly believed from the end of the second century A.D. and indicated by the presence of the words "at Ephesus" (1, 1) in most MSS; or it is to be identified with the Epistle mentioned in Col. 4, 16, which St. Paul wrote to the Christians of Laodicea, a town not far from Colossae and Ephesus; or, finally, it may have been written, not to any one community in particular, but as a sort of circular letter to the various Christian communities in that part of Asia Minor in which Ephesus and Colossae are situated.

        Ephesus, then the chief city of western Asia Minor, had been evangelized by St. Paul about 53-56 A.D. Soon afterwards the important town of Laodicea, about a hundred miles to the east, had received Christianity from some Ephesian Christians. The great majority of converts in all this territory were from among the pagan Gentiles, Jews forming only a small minority.

        Very similar in theme and language to the Epistle to the Colossians, but much more abstract, profound and systematic, this Epistle's central thought is the Church regarded as the Mystical Body of Christ, through which God pours out the divine life of grace in most generous fashion to its members, the Christians, in and through its head, Jesus Christ. The spiritual, organic unity of its members with Christ and with one another is emphasized as the basic principle of the life of the myustical body. Then comes exhortation to lead the new life that befits those incorporated into the sublime unity of the mystical body."

    Tomorrow: Philippians

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    91 year-old Italian-born Cardinal Corrado Ursi, Archbishop-emeritus of Naples, is one of the oldest red

        We continue with this special series introducing you to the Princes of the Church. Our one-hundred-forty-fifth red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order is 91 year-old Cardinal Corrado Ursi, who resigned in 1987 after 21 years as Archbishop of Naples. He was elevated to the cardinalate during the Consistory of June 26, 1967 by Pope Paul VI. For more on Cardinal Corrado Ursi, see COLLEGE OF CARDINALS

    146.   Cardinal Corrado Ursi

          The last of the Italian cardinals we cover alphabetically is 91 year-old Cardinal Corrado Ursi who is also one of the oldest red-hats. He was born on July 26, 1908 in Andria, Italy during the early years of the pontificate of Pope Saint Pius X. During the First World War, he discerned a vocation to the priesthood and entered the minor seminary in Andria, then completed his major seminary training at the Pontifical Regional Seminary in Molfetta becoming a priest on July 25, 1931 at the age of 23. He was assigned to the faculty of his alma mater Molfetta seminary and shortly thereafter was appointed Vice-Rector of the major Pontifical seminary. Several years later he was promoted to Rector, a post he held until 1951 when Pope Pius XII named him Bishop of Nardo. His success record at the regional seminary was phenomenal, being responsible for the fulfillment of the ordination of 400 of his students over two decades. The Holy Father ordained him and installed Bishop Ursi himself on September 30, 1951. After ten years in this post, Pope John XXIII promoted him to Archbishop of Acerenza on November 30, 1961. Five years later, Pope Paul VI made him the Archbishop of Naples on May 23, 1966.

          A year after that Paul VI named Archbishop Ursi on June 26, 1967, his second Consistory, bestowing on him the titular church of St. Callistus. He gained his fame as shepherd in Naples, setting as one of his main goals to assist the poor, homeless and downtrodden. Often he would leave his quarters, don a regular black cassock, and venture into the streets to be and comfort the poor, the abandoned children of the streets, and those who had so little hope. During his twenty years as head of the See of Naples he brought hope to so many. A month shy of his twentieth anniversary in Naples, he resigned his position as Archbishop of Naples because of age, living in retirement to this day at Via Capodimonte 13 in Naples.

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        Today is the Feast of the abbot and hermit Saint Antony of Egypt while tomorrow we return to Ordinary Time with the Second Tuesday in Ordinary Time For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and the profile on this saint, see DAILY LITURGY.

    Monday, January 17, 2000

      Monday January 17:
      Feast of Saint Antony of Egypt, Abbot
      Martin Luther King, Jr.

      White vestments

        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

    Tuesday, January 18, 2000

      Tuesday January 18:
      Second Tuesday in Ordinary Time
      Beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
      Green vestments

        First Reading: 1 Samuel 16: 1-13
        Psalms: Psalm 89: 20-22, 27-28
        Gospel Reading: Mark 2: 23-28

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        "And Jesus said to them, 'Can the wedding guests fast as long as the Bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the Bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the Bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.'"

    Mark 2: 19-20

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    Events that happened today in Church History

        Today 496 years ago in 1504 one of the great Pontiffs was born when Michele Ghislieri came into this world in Bosco, Italy. He would go on to become Pope Saint Pius V who would enact the reforms of Trent and set the Barque of Peter on a steady course for the next several centuries. 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 17:

    • 356 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Antony of Egypt, hermit and abbot who was born near Memphis in Egypt and died on Mout Kolzim at the age of 105. For more, see DAILY LITURGY.

    • 420 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Sabinus, Bishop of Piacenza and disciple of Saint Ambrose. In fact, Sabinus was known as Ambrose' "ghost writer," editing many of his writings.

    • 1501 A.D.
    • Cesare Borgia makes a triumphant entry into Rome from his conquests in Romagna which the Italians cheer, but the rest of Europe is leary of the favor Pope Alexander VI has bestowed on this man who does not have the Church in his best interest. The greed, graph, nepotism and Alexander's tawdry affair with his mistress Lucretia Borgia contribute to the growing unrest of dissenters who want reform in the Church.

    • 1504 A.D.
    • Birth of Michele Ghislieri in Bosco, Italy. This shepherd of sheep would become one of the greatest shepherds of men, first as a Dominican and then cardinal and then as Pope Saint Pius V. He would turn the papacy around within eighty years of the shambles Alexander VI had left it. He would choose Pius in honor of Pope Pius III who was the pontiff when he was born on this date in 1504. This great Pope of the Counter-Reformation would live to be 68 years-old and be canonized by Pope Clement XI, the last Pope to be canonized until Pope Saint Pius X.

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    A name means nothing if the intent is wrong!

        They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

    "There is much money given away, but little of it is used for the soul. Some give it away in order to have their name glorified on the door of a hospital or a university. Men who have had very little education are conspicuous for endowing libraries that they might create the impression of being learned, which they are not."

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    January 17, 2000     volume 11, no. 11
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