TUESDAY    January 4, 2000   vol. 11, no. 2   SECTION ONE

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Whether it's the care of souls or designing web page layouts, there's a time to metamorphize and weed out the unnecessary

    In our first editorial for 2000, we share with you the method to our madness in redesigning the new look for the DailyCATHOLIC to fit with the new century. It's really no different with souls. For a soul to grow and be accepted as worthy it must undergo a transformation - a metamorphosis from the dark cocoon of sin to the light expansion of sanctifying grace. This is something Our Lord preached in the Gospel, Our Lady repeats in her messages of conversion throughout the world, and the Holy Father hammers home constantly with his theme of reconciliation for the Great Jubilee Year. For today's editorial Both the Pope and the DailyCATHOLIC are busy separating the wheat from the chaff! , click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT

Both the Pope and the DailyCATHOLIC are busy separating the wheat from the chaff!

Michael Cain, editor

Appreciation of the Gospel of Saint Matthew

    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. We begin today the first of the four Evangelists with the First Gospel, written by Saint Matthew, the former tax collector who went on to collect much more: souls for Our Lord. For the eightieth installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

installment 80:   The Gospel of Saint Matthew

    Saint Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus and was called to be an Apostle while sitting in the tax-collector's place at Capharnaum. Before his conversion he was a publican, i.e., a tax-collector by profession. He is to be identified with the "Levi" of Mark and Luke. His apostolic activity was at first restricted to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life. There is a tradition that points to Ethiopia as his field of labor; other traditions make mention of Parthia and Persia. It is likewise uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of marthrdom. His feast is celebrated on September 21.

    His Gospel was written to fill a sorely felt want for his fellow-countrymen, both believers and unbelievers. For the former it served as a token of his regard and as an encouragement in the trial to come, especially the danger of falling back to Judaism; for the latter it was designed to convince them that the Messiah had come in the Person of Jesus, Our Lord, in Whom all the promises of the messianic kingdom embracing all people had been fulfilled in a spiritual rather than in a carnal way: "My kingdom is not of this world." His Gospel, then, answered the question put by the disciples of Saint John the Baptist, "Art thou He Who is to come, or shall we look for another?"

    Writing for his countrymen of Palestine, St. Matthew composed his Gospel in his native Aramic, the "hebrew tongue" mentioned in the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Soon afterwards, about the time of the persecution of Herod Agrippa I in 42 A.D., he took his departure for other lands. Another tradition places the composition of his Gospel either between the time of this departure and the Council of Jerusalem, i.e., between 42 A.D. and 50 A.D., or even later. Definitely, however, the Gospel itself, depicting the Holy City with its altar and temple as still existing, and without any reference to the fulfillment of our Lord's prophecy, shows that it was written before the destruction of the city by the Romans (70 A.D.), and this internal evidence confirms the early traditions.

    The Gospel was soon translated into Greek-possibly dring the lifetime of St. Matthew or a little later; certainly before the close of the first century. The original has been lost in the course of time. The Greek text, however, is in substantial conformity with the original. St. Matthew's Gospel, then, was the only book of the New Testament written in a language other than the Greek common to the people of the Empire.

Tomorrow: The Gospel of Saint Mark

Events that happened today in Church History

    On this day 1,725 years ago in 275, Pope Saint Eutychian was elected the 27th successor of Peter. It was this Pope who ordered that a martyr's remains should be covered with the Dalmatic, the cloak worn today by deacons as a sacred vestment but then akin to the cloak worn by Roman emperors. He also was the first Sovereign Pontiff to institute the blessings of the crops for all farmers in order that they would sow an abundance for the harvest. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for January 4:

It's not too late to love Him

    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".

"The soul that has finally come to love God is worried by the thought that he has already lost so much time. Ast St. Augustine said: 'Late have I loved You, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new. Late have I loved You.' But, on the other hand, this regret is compensated for by the knowledge that it was always in the Divine plan that we should eventually come to know God."


    Today is the Feast of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious Educator while tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of Saint John Neumann, Bishop. Both saints played an integral role in the formation of Catholic education in America. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and profile on both, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Tuesday, January 4, 2000

Feast of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious founder and educator

    Considered the first American-born saint, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, known as Mother Seton, went on to found numerous schools throughout the eastern seaboard. Born Elizabeth Ann Bayley on August 28, 1774 in New York City, she was raised an Episcopalian and married William Magee Seton at the age of 20. While raising five children, Elizabeth founded the Society for the Relief of Poor Widows with Small Children when she was only 23. In 1803, having lost their income and becoming poor themselves, the family went to stay with Catholic friends in Pisa, Italy both for economic and health reasons. While there William died leaving Elizabeth a widow. Influenced by her Italian friends, she returned to New York in 1805 and converted to Catholicism. Though she was ostracized by her own family and friends, the director of St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore offered her the opportunity to open a school in that city. At the age of 35 she, along with four other widows, founded the Sisters of St. Joseph and began a Catholic school in Emmitsburg, Maryland exclusively for poor kids who could not afford tuition. The new nuns' rule was approved by Archbishop John Carroll of Baltimore in 1812 and a year later, having been elected Mother Superior, Mother Seton took vows with eighteen others on July 19, 1813. It officially signaled the beginning of the Order of the Sisters of Charity in America, the first religious society formed in the United States and patterned after the rule of Saint Vincent de Paul. Mother Seton not only opened schools, training teachers herself, but also wrote most of the textbooks for the children. When she died on January 4, 1821 in Emmitsburg, there were already 20 communities and schools established. Pope John XXIII beatified her in 1963 and his successor Pope Paul VI canonized her in 1975 as the first American-born saint. Her legacy lives on. Founding the Catholic school concept she did signaled the advent of the Catholic parochial school system that would become the backbone of the Church in America until after Vatican II, when the new-age concept of "Total Catholic Education" spawned by satan himself, would not only infiltrate every diocese, but kill the long respected tradition of each parish and parent taking an active interest in the young Catholic leaders of tomorrow through their selfless time, talents, and treasures. In a time of great need, the sisters of every Order disappeared and the government began dictating what should and shouldn't be taught; the very reason Mother Seton began her schools in the first place, so that Catholicism would be at the root of any education. Ironically, loyal Catholics, when faced with today's alternatives have turned back to the very way Mother Seton herself was first educated - at home, through home schooling where the parents take total charge of their children as the Church teaches. Maybe it is no coincidence that the leader in Catholic home schooling today is called the Mother Seton Home Study!

Wednesday, January 5, 2000

Feast of Saint John Neumann, Bishop and Religious Educator

    The practice of Forty Hours Devotion in the United States can be attributed to a Czechoslovakian in the nineteenth century who came to our shores to become a Redemptorist priest and foster Catholic schools and education throughout the U.S.A. This man was Saint John Neumann, born on March 28, 1811 and ordained in 1936. In 1852 he was appointed bishop of Philadelphia where he worked tirelessy to establish the Catholic school system in America. He labored especially with European immigrants in mind. He spoke twelve languages fluently and wrote numerous books and two catechisms as well as a Bible History for the students. His was a life of firsts, becoming the first Redemptorist to make his profession in America and the first bishop from America to be ordained a saint. He died on January 5, 1860 just as the Civil War was breaking out, but he was not forgotten and his legacy has served many a college student through the years with almost each college campus throughout the country providing a Catholic oasis for the students known as "Neumann clubs." He was ordained in 1977 by Pope Paul VI.


    "And He took the five loaves and the two fishes and, looking up to Heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before the people; and the two fishes He divided among them all. And all ate and were satisfied. "
Mark 6: 41-42

December 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

    Dear children! This is the time of grace. Little children, today in a special way with little Jesus, Whom I hold in my embrace, I am giving you the possibility to decide for peace.Through your 'yes' for peace and your decision for God, a new possibility for peace is opened. Only in this way, little children, this century will be for you a time of peace and well-being. Therefore, put little newborn Jesus in the first place in your life and He will lead you on the way of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call.

For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE

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January 4, 2000     volume 11, no. 2
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