DAILY CATHOLIC   THANKSGIVING WEEK   November 25-29, 1998   vol. 9, no. 231

CATHOLIC PewPOINT

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For all of this and much, much more, we give Thee thanks!

      Looking back over the past year there is so much to be thankful for as we observe the second-to-last Thanksgiving Day until the next millennium when, we strongly believe the Blessed Virgin Mary's Immaculate Heart will have triumphed as she has promised from Fatima on. Call this column today a list as we chronicle in no particular order so many of the gifts God has given all of us in thanking Him...

  • ...for the twenty-year pontificate of Pope John Paul II, the first non Italian sovereign pontiff since the sixteenth century and all this great Vicar of Christ has accomplished.
  • ...for the pending canonization this coming January at the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City of Blessed Juan Diego.
  • ...for Father David O'Connell, C.M., the new president of the Catholic University of America for not hesitating in taking the Pope's Oath of Fidelity in declaring that CUA will be Catholic to the core! Also to another institution of higher learning - Franciscan University of Steubenville for awarding their prestigious Porvello Medal to ninety-nine year-old Sister Peter Claver Fahy, MSBT in honoring her for over seventy years of service for Jesus.
  • ...for the Islam guerrilla rebels in the Filipino mountains who, after holding kidnapped Italian missionary priest Father Luciano Benedetti for nine weeks, released him safe and sound last week.
  • ...for those wise people within the Vatican who are quietly collecting miracle stories surrounding Pope John Paul II for his eventual cause for beatification and canonization after his death.
  • ...for Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Raphael I Bidavid and Latin-rite Bishop Paul Dahdah, both of Baghdad, for alerting the world that Saddam Hussein does not represent the Iraqi people and that the embargos against Iraq do in no way hinder their despot leader but greatly cripples the people with millions starving to death. It makes one slower to advocate bombing Iraq for those people are innocent. We've always been for the idea of pitting Saddam and Bill Clinton in a closed-cage death match refereed by WCW cronies Jesse "the Body" Ventura, Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman who are also locked in!
  • ...for the Honduras and Nicaraguan bishops who are heading relief efforts to fairly distribute supplies to the most needy victims of Hurricane Mitch. Kudos also to France and Cuba for immediately forgiving past debts of those hurricane-ravaged countries; and gratitude to all the generous and caring souls who opened their hearts, cupboards, closets and checkbooks to help the less fortunate whether it was a hurricane, earthquake, flood, tidal wave, mudslide, drought, volcanic activity, or freezing temperatures. It showed the true spirit of man as God intended!
  • ...for Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Holy Father's staunchest supporter who was recently elevated to Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals.
  • ...for the defeat of the assisted suicide bill in Michigan, largely through the efforts of Cardinal Thomas Maida and the Catholic groundswell against this culture of death referendum; and for the defeat of pro-abortion Catholic candidates, specifically Carol Mosely Braun in Illinois who triggered the ire of pro-lifers in Chicago and she paid the price. Now more should face that same stiff ultimatum with the release of a strong statement that enforces stricter measures on Catholic politicians regarding pro-life issues.
  • ...for the Vatican clearing up the misconceptions over the Inquisition which has been so unfairly maligned over the years.
  • ...for the increase in vocations and conversions in third world countries, specifically India, Africa, the Philippines and Korea.
  • ...for Father Glotario Emer of Columbia who is waging a campaign to bring back reverence and the proper decorum to God's house by refusing Holy Communion to anyone dressed in a way that would tempt someone and be an occasion of sin. We need more like him to bring back the reverence and restore the sacred.
  • ...for dioceses like the Brazilian Archdiocese which donated land to homeless families in the true spirit of the Gospel.
  • ...for the canonization of Saint Edith Stein in recognition of her Catholic conversion while still recognizing her Jewish roots; and for so many both Christian and Jew who have rallied to the defense of the saintly Pope Pius XII to offset radical Israeli plans to derail his canonization process. They tried to do the same in Croatia, but the Holy Father dismissed these and carried out his beatification of Cardinal Alojzie Stepinac.
  • ...for Congress wisely delaying the appointment of avowed homosexual James C. Hormel as ambassador of Luxembourg, a country that is 98% Roman Catholic.
  • ...for the tenth anniversary of the Pope's Ecclesia Dei in which he extolled Latin and asked that it not be dismissed and now stands as a reminder to the bishops to make the Tridentine Mass more readily available in all dioceses for those who yearn for the traditions they were raised on.
  • ...for the new encyclical Fides et Ratio on Faith and Reason to combat philosophical pessimism.
  • ...for Bishop Geoffrey Mayne in Australia who stood up to the liberal element known as the Australian group for Ordination of Catholic Women, suspending the leader from the sacraments while in Rochester another radical modernist and feminist was dismissed from her position at a parish and ordered not to partake in any parish activities.
  • ...for all the plaudits finally coming to the author of Humanae Vitae - Pope Paul VI who was so badly maligned and ignored by Catholics who thought he was out of touch just as many liberals think our present Holy Father is out of touch. As the latter has proved he is very much in touch and recent evidence proves so was the humble, conservative Cardinal from Brescia, Italy who became the 262nd successor of Peter. Incidentally, the rejection of this powerful encyclical on the procreation and sacredness of life coincided with the decline of the moral compass in America.
  • ...for Archbishop Charles Chaput for his no nonsense approach and excellent pastorals defending the Church's teachings, especially his "Of human life" which revisited Humane Vitae in a way more Americans could understand.
  • ...for all the cloistered nuns and monks around the world who devote their lives to prayer for the rest of the Church Militant.
  • ...for the Spanish and Portuguese Parliaments for defeating the legalization of abortion and homosexual referendums, and for the United States Congress holding back any abortion funding for UN programs much to the dismay of satan's leading advocate for the culture of death - amoralist Bill Clinton.
  • ...for the plethora of Eucharistic miracles around the globe and the annual miracle of Saint Januarius in Naples in which the saint's blood liquifies each year on his feastday in September.
  • ...for the exoneration of Naples' current Cardinal Michele Giordano who was harassed by authorities on trumped up charges of racketerring and mafia connections.
  • ...for the Motu Proprio releases of Ad Tuendam Fidum which closes loopholes for theological dissent and the Church's apology for any part they failed to play in the Holocaust in "We remember. A reflection on the Shoah" - both Motu Proprios revealed the merciful and just soul of the Church.
  • ...for Colonel Pius Segmuller, the 46-year old new commander of the Swiss Guard and Colonel Roland Buchs, the Pope's interim appointment before Segmuller's promotion, for restoring morale within the elite Vatican corps after the tragic shooting deaths of commander-elect Alois Estermann, his wife and another Swiss guard, purportedly the murderer although the jury is still out in light of a possible conspiracy to blackmail the Swiss Guard corps.
  • ...for the opportunity for two million to view up close the glass-encased Shroud of Turin after it had almost been destroyed a few years earlier in a fire.
  • ...for the record donation of 107 million plus accrued by the Catholic fraternal Knights of Columbus for worthwhile charities throughout the world and for the fact 50 million hours of service were collectively put in by Knights everywhere.
  • ...for the successful Bishops Synods of America, Asia and Oceania and for the ad limina visits, mandated every seven years, for the United States bishops to ensure they will adhere to papal directives; also for the many new bishops and 20 new cardinals selected this past year, the majority of which are in total accord with the conservative nature of the Pope, thus ensuring a continuance of the orthodox after he is gone. Most notable are new red hats Cardinal Francis E. George, OMI of Chicago and former archbishop of Denver Cardinal James Francis Stafford, now president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
  • ...for the Holy Father's Apostolic Letters Apostolos Suos regulating bishops conferences to ensure they are in union with Rome and Dies Domini in which the Pope emphasized the Sabbath and what activities are appropriate.
  • ...for the manifestation of the fruits from the Holy Father's landmark visit last January to Cuba which has opened the door for dialog between the Church and the restrictive Cuban government headed by Fidel Castro who has softened due to the openness and trust of Pope John Paul II.
  • ...for the possibilities that the Holy Father will travel to the Holy Land in the Jubilee year of 2000 having been extended invitations by Yassir Arafat to visit Palestine in which Bethlehem is situated and by the mayor of Jerusalem. The Vicar of Christ has also been extended an invitation to visit Iraq and travel to Ur, birthplace of Abraham in November 1999.
  • ...for many bishops speaking out against sex, violence and sensationalist tabloid television programming that has contributed to so many offenses against God and greatly weakened the moral fiber of America.
  • ...for the Catholic League of Civil and Religious Rights who, headed by William Donohue as the watchdog for the organization, has stood at the forefront in trying to effect a changing attitude towards Catholics who have been bashed and misrepresented in many prime time shows and, in particular, the docudrama about liberal priests - "Nothing Sacred" which Donohue played a major role in getting ABC to finally remove from the air.
  • ...for Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications who recommended that the media employ religious specialists in order to portray the truth when reporting on Church matters.
  • ...for the complete remission of prostate cancer in Cardinal Roger Mahony who has been much more quiet in his attacks against Mother Angelica and the conservative element of the Church since this ordeal.
  • ...for the miraculous healing of Mother Angelica who had been crippled with braces for years.
  • ...for the reconciliation of Father Tissa Balasuriya, the Sri Lankan Oblate who had been excommunicated for a year for his controversial and heretical work on the Blessed Virgin Mary and human liberation; thanks to the intercession and mediation of Father Tom Singer, OMI Fr. Tissa returned to the fold.
  • ...for the conversion of Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" in Roe vs. Wade. Repentant of her past, she now wants to become a Catholic.
  • ...for the Holy Father's intercession with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in preventing bombing of Iraq.
  • ...for the only living Fatima visionary Sister Lucia for stating publicly this year that John Paul II staved off nuclear war by consecrating Russia in 1984.
  • ...the Irish Peace Treaty on Good Friday that hopefully, despite isolated bombings, will bring a lasting peace, calm and understanding to Northern Ireland.
  • ...for closure to the Dallas Diocese pedophile scandal that the media had a field day with. Hopefully the Holy Father will appoint a new bishop who will clean up that liberal chancery which, with the exception of one conservative crying in the wilderness of the plains of northern Texas, is now over-populated with women administrators.
  • ...for Cardinal Schoenborn of Vienna for rescuing a fractured Church in Austria in the aftermath of the scandal of the previous cardinal and dissidents who challenged the Pope.
  • ...for our Polish Pope joining the ranks of the Screenwriters Guild with his screenplay "Brother of Our God" which was produced and is eligible for foreign awards in the spring.
  • ...for over 150,000 lay leaders gathering together in St. Peter's Square on the Feast of Pentecost.
  • ...for another new order of priests - the Society of St. John which was founded specifically to nurture those who want the Latin Mass and presents a possible refuge for those who are no longer in communion with Holy Mother Church as members of Archbishop Marcel Lefebrve's Society of St. Pius X.
  • ...for the renowned Vatican Choir who performed at Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, California on the occasion of the Mission's bicentennial celebration in June, the first time this esteemed 500 year-old choir had ever performed outside of Europe.
  • ...for the record enrollment of Catholic schools in the United States and the increased enrollment in solid, traditional Catholic home school curriculums who stress obedience to the Magisterium.
  • ...for Father Paul Marx, OSB and all he accomplished as founder of Human Life International before passing the baton to new president Father Richard Welch, C.S.s.R.
  • ...for the first miracle reported and verified in the cause for the beatification of Mother Teresa.
  • ...for the special retreat held for 3,000 priests worldwide at Guadalupe this past summer.
  • ...and for the selfless missionaries, nuns, priests and lay people who gave their lives this past year as martyrs for their faith all over the world. Like the blood of the early Christian martyrs, their deaths will provide the seeds of faith for generations to come.

      Finally, we give thanks to God for this ministry and the opportunity to reach as many souls as possible through this medium known as the DAILY CATHOLIC. We are thankful for the hundreds of thousands who have clicked on this year with well over a million and a half hits in 1998. We are thankful to be living in these times foretold in Sacred Scripture, a time that we believe we will witness the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart which will usher in the glorious era of peace - the Reign of the Sacred Heart, Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the New Pentecost, the Age of Heavenly Enlightenment. We are thankful for our health, family, friends, our spiritual director Father Al Svobodny, OMI, and our parish family and the priests we have known and been nourished by. We are thankful for the trials and tribulations God has sent our way in strengthening our resolve to carry our cross as He wishes, offering it all up for His honor and glory. Most of all we are thankful for our faith which is so precious to us...and should be to you as well. For all of this and much, much more, we give Thee thanks!

Michael Cain, editor