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November 20-22, 1998
SECTION TWO vol 9, no. 228
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND
This weekend we celebrate a few feasts, but they pale compared to the great feast on Sunday - the SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING. After the Thirty-third Friday in Ordinary Time, we observe the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Sunday, even though it is superseded by the Solemnity of Christ the King - the Final Sunday of the Church year before Advent - November 22nd is the traditional feast of the patron saint of musicians, singers , poets and songwriters - Saint Cecilia, virgin and martyr, with Monday being the final Monday in Ordinary Time and the trilogy of feasts of Pope Saint Clement I, martyr, Saint Columban, Irish abbot and missionary, and Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro, Mexican martyred priest. For the liturgies, readings, meditations and vignettes on the above feasts for this weekend, click on LITURGY
Friday, November 20, 1998
First Reading: Revelation/Apocalpyse 10: 8-11
Psalms: Psalm 119: 14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131
Gospel Reading: Luke 19: 45-48
Saturday, November 21, 1998
First Reading: Revelation/Apocalpyse 5: 1-10
Psalms: Psalm 149: 1-6, 9 and Revelation/Apocalypse 5: 10
Gospel Reading: Luke 19: 41-44
PRESENTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
This feast, established by Pope Gregory XI in 1372 honors the Blessed Virgin Mary, the "daughter of Zion" who was so faithful to the Jewish faith she was raised in. This feast commemorates when Mary's parents Saint Anne and Saint Joachim presented their precious daughter at the age of three in the temple of Jerusalem where she studied for several years. Even at the tender age of three Our Lady was expressing her fiat to God by her obedience to her parents and submitting totally to the tutelage of priests of the temple. This special chosen one who would become the New Covenant "temple of the Lord" first had to learn the Old Covenant temple of the Lord. All these things prepared her better for her role as the Mother of God, Mediatrix of all graces, Co-redemptrix and Advocate. It was vital for her first to be a willing pupil so she could, as a dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, teach the Father's Divine Son all the Almighty wanted imparted. This feast was first celebrated in 543 by the Eastern Church on the occasion of the dedication of the basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary built in Jerusalem. This was subsequently destroyed by the Turks (Persians) about seventy years in 614. Exactly a century after Pope Gregory XI declared it a feast, Pope Sixtus IV extended it to the universal Church in 1472 to be celebrated on the twenty first of November each year.
SUNDAY, November 22, 1998
First Reading: 2 Samuel 5: 1-3
Psalms: Psalm 122: 1-5
Second Reading: Colossians 1: 12-20
Gospel Reading: Luke 23: 35-43
SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING
This feast fittingly climaxes the Church's liturgical year on the last Sunday before Advent. A relatively new feast, Pope Pius XI established it be celebrated on the last Sunday in October. It was changed after Vatican II to transplant the 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time, a fitting time to celebrate the apex of all we strive for - Jesus Christ, our Spiritual King - the Lord and Giver of life, Maker of law, the supreme judge and ruling Authority in the minds, wills and hearts of all mankind. Jesus began His public ministry by announcing in Mark 1: 14, "the kingdom of God is at hand" and just before His crucifixion affirmed to the high priests His rightful title as King of Heaven and earth, "you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of Heaven." By celebrating this feast on the final Sunday of the liturgical year we are paying homage to our Sovereign King as His subjects in fulfilling the words of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary in Luke 1:32-33, "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of David His father, and He shall be King over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end." The cycle is completed with this feast which leads into a new year with the First Sunday of Advent and preparation for His coming. A time to prepare for Christ the King, Whom as a little child the three kings bowed down to, as we should always as His loyal, humble and obedient servants.
Consecration to Christ the King
Christ, Jesus, I acknowledge You as King of the universe. All that has been made has been created for You. Make full use of Your rights over me.
Divine Heart of Jesus, I offer You my poor efforts so that all hearts may acknowledge Your sacred Royalty and the Kingdom of Your peace may be established throughout the entire universe. Amen.
The Solemnity of Christ the King supersedes today's normal feast, the Feast of the Virgin Martyr Saint Cecilia:
FEAST OF SAINT CECILIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR
Born into a Patrician family in Rome and raised a Christian, Saint Cecilia still was afforded all the luxury of a family of wealth in pagan Rome. Though she had disgarded this way of life,l vowing herself to virginity, her father thought otherwise and forced her to marry a young pagan man by the name of Valerian. During the pagan nuptial ceremony songs of merriment and sensuality were played, but Cecilia didn't hear it for her heart was dedicated to God alone and that was her song as the Acts of of St. Cecilia proclaim, "While instruments were playing (at her wedding feast) profane music, Cecilia sang rather to God in her heart." Because of this she has been chosen patron saint of music and musicians. On their wedding night Cecilia disclosed her vow to her new husband and rather than going into a rage, Valerian, who loved her dearly, was converted by a vision of St. Cecilia's guardian angel and forever honored her vow of virginity, not consummating their marriage. He became so enraptured with Christianity that he converted his brother Tiburtius. Both dedicated their lives to carrying for the survivors of loved ones who had been martyred as well as burying the martyrs. Caught by the Roman guards burying the martyrs they were arrested by the prefect Almachius who ordered them to sacrifice to the gods. When they refused both Valerian and Tiburtius were beheaded along with Saint Maximus who was converted on the spot, so impressed by their faith and determination. When Cecilia brought the three bodies back to her villa along the Appian Way to be buried there, she, too, was arrested. The guards tried to suffocate her in her room, but she miraculously survived. When brought before the prefect, Almachius tried to dissuade her from her ideals as he did with her husband, but Cecilia would have nothing to do with the world, the flesh and the devil. He then ordered that she also be decapitated, but the executioner bungled the job and Cecilia was not killed instantly, but rather lingered in pain for three days before expiring around September 16, 235. Dates vary among historians, some placing it as early as 230, others 250 but research shows Valerian, Tiburtius, and Maximus died during the end of the reign of the Roman Emperor Alexander who ruled between 222 and 235. Therefore the most accurate date would be 235. Commemoration of St. Cecilia began in the 600's after they discovered facts about her inscribed on the walls of the catacomb of Saint Callistus. Pope Paschal I dedicated the basilica of St. Cecilia in Trastevere in Rome in 824 where he transfered her relics and commissioned a mosaic depicting Cecilia standing between Valerian and Tiburtius.
Monday, November 23, 1998
Monday November 23:
Thirty-fourth Monday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of Pope Saint Clement I, martyr and
Feast of Saint Columban, Irish abbot and missionary andFeast of Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro, priest, religious and martyr
Green, red or white vestments
First Reading: Revelation/Apocalpyse 14: 1-5
Psalms: Psalm 24: 1-6
Gospel Reading: Luke 21: 1-4
November 23: SAINT CLEMENT I, Pope and Martyr
The third successor of Saint Peter, and fourth pope Pope Saint Clement I was elected pontiff in 88 AD. He ruled the See of Rome for most of the last decade of the First Century. During that time he restored the Sacrament of Confirmation as St. Peter had instructed. He also is the one who assigned the popular phrase "Amen" which means "so be it" at the end of all prayers. Clement authored many letters, specifically to the Corinthians in which he capsulized the role of the Church in rebuking schism, "They who are great," he wrote, "cannot yet subsist without those that are little, nor the little without the great. In our body, the head without the feet is nothing, neither the feet without the head. And the smallest members of our body are useful and necessary to the whole." Fearing his influence, the Roman Emperor Trajan had Cement exiled to the Crimea. There the Holy Father converted so many that the enraged Emperor had him carted out to sea and there, with an anchor tied around his neck, cast into the depths of the Mediterranean. He has been venerated ever since the end of the 4th Century in the basilica of St. Clement in Rome.
November 23: SAINT COLUMBAN, Abbot and Missionary
Born in West Leinster, Ireland around 540, Saint Columban was a product of the fruits of Saint Patrick's missionary efforts. Though Columban's mother objected to his entering the monastery at Bango, he did, becoming a monk. With 12 other monks he was sent to evangelize France in 585, then still called Gaul. Five years later Columban was given land to contruct a monastery at Annegray and followed that with two more houses in Luxeuil and Fontaines. Soon after he had followers through most of Western Europe who built like monasteries in upper France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. With the number of monks swelling to well over 250, St. Columban penned a Rule for the monks in addition to a guide for confessors called a Penitentiary. Because of his origins, Columban installed Celtic usages in the monastery which he defended as exempt from the bishop's jurisdiction. Angered by this, the bishops expelled him from France in 603 after Columban had written Pope Saint Gregory the Great defending his position against the impositions placed on him by the Gallican bishops. He settled in Burgundy in the south part of France but was soon banished from there along with all his monks because he refused to act as celebrant for King Theodoric II who would not give up his concubines. Returning to Ireland by sea, Columban was shipwrecked and was offered refuge by King Theodebert II of Neustria, where he went to Metz, east of Paris in Northern France evangelizing the Alemanni around the area of Bregenz. All was going well until his old nemesis Theodoric waged war on Theodebert and captured the land. Columban again had to flee, this time going east through Switzerland and south through the Italian Alps where he was welcomed by Milanese King Agilulf who was an Arian Lombard. Soon after Columban founded the monastery of Bobbio in the Lombard mountains south of Milan and just north of Genoa near the Mediterranean. There he wrote the Monastic Rule, and many treatises against the Arian heresy. Bobbio became one of the great monasteries of that time period, a center of culture for learning and spirituality. Columban died on November 23, 615 at the age of 72. In 1969, Pope Paul VI proclaimed his feast be celebrated in the Roman Calendar on November 23rd.
November 23: BLESSED MIGUEL AGUSTIN PRO, Presbyter and Martyr
Venerated throughout Mexico, Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro was a Jesuit priest who was martyred during the Church persecutions early in this century. Born in the shadow of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1891, Miguel entered the Jesuit seminary. Throughout his life Miguel was a victim soul, suffering much in reparation for others. He suffered particularly severe stomach ailments. While in the Mexican novitiate in 1911, revolution broke out and by 1914 the Jesuits feared for their lives. Miguel, along with many of his colleagues, were sent first to Laredo, Texas to continue their studies, then to California. They were then sent by the Provincial to Nicaragua, but were soon called to Spain. In his final year of studies, as a deacon, Miguel was assigned to Belgium where he was ordained in 1925. He was reassigned to his beloved Mexico City but within a month the Mexican regime banned all public worship. In secret Father Pro ministered to the faithful, always staying a step ahead of the government spies. However, in November 1927 a car which had been previously owned by one of Miguel's brothers was seen tossing a bomb toward Mexican President Calles' car along Paseo de la Reforma. Needless to say all the Pro brothers were arrested and a kangaroo court condemned them to a firing squad. The youngest brother, at the eleventh hour, was granted a reprieve and exiled to the U.S. Miguel and his other brother were not so fortunate and they were both marched into the courtyard on November 23, 1927. There, as the government rifles were aimed at the two men, Father Miguel stretched out his arms wide proclaiming in a loud, clear voice: "Viva Cristo Rey!" which in English means "Long live Christ the King!" Shots rang out and within seconds Miguel had joined the long list of martyrs. Three years later a campaign for his beatification was begun. He is still waiting canonization. With his devotion to "Cristo Rey" it is fitting that he is honored the day after the Solemnity of Christ the King.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Catholic World News Service
Pro-lifers dig in for battle in Louisiana as Bishops overwhelmingly pass stricter measures at NCCB Conference
A battle is brewing in bayou country as the pro-aborts take aim at the home state of the new pro-life Republican House Speaker Bob Livingston: Louisiana as they challenge the partial-birth abortion ban that has passed in 28 states but has been challenged in 20 with the delta state being the latest. Meanwhile, in Washington D. C. the bishops followed through on the stricter measures we carried in this section in Thursday's issue regarding more clout from the bishops' office that would curtail Catholic politicians that did not toe the line on Catholic doctrine. For more, click on Pro-life.
LOUISIANA ABORTION DEFINITION CHALLENGED IN COURT
US BISHOPS URGE CATHOLIC POLITICIANS TO DEFEND LIFE
NEW ORLEANS (CWNews.com) - Pro-abortion groups began a
court challenge on Thursday against a new Louisiana law
that defines partial-birth abortion as any procedure in
which a living unborn child is partially delivered before
he is killed.
Opponents said defining a fetus as a living baby as soon as
it enters the birth canal could potentially outlaw every
abortion. "It comes down to how you decide when pregnancy
ends and when birth begins," said Assistant Attorney
General Roy Mongrue, who was to defend the law in federal
The crux of the argument is the US Supreme Court's decision
in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that women have a right to
abortion in the first two-thirds of pregnancy, when the
child cannot survive outside the womb. Mongrue said he will
argue that once the fetus is outside the womb and in the
birth canal, its stage of development is irrelevant -- it's
Twenty-eight states have passed laws banning partial-birth
abortions, but courts have overturned nine of those laws,
in most cases saying that the law is too vague and could
ban all abortions. Only in eight states have the laws
remained on the books without challenge.
Meanwhile, the National Conference of
Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC for their biannual
meeting urged Catholic politicians on Wednesday to support
the dignity of all human life, not just in their personal
beliefs but in their official duties.
The bishops approved a statement 217 to 30 with one of the
strongest pro-life declarations ever made by the
conference. First, they urged all Catholics to vote for
pro-life candidates running for public office, and then
told Catholic politicians that agreeing with the Church's
teachings on poverty, housing, and health care does not
exempt them from the necessity to protect life. Being
"right" on those issues "can never excuse a wrong choice
regarding direct attacks on innocent human life," they said.
Some bishops worried that telling politicians how to vote
could create a backlash against the Church. "Any statement
that tells people how to vote will be ill-received by
Catholic and non-Catholic alike," said Bishop Howard
Hubbard of Albany, New York. "If a Catholic officeholder
changes his position on life issues of abortion or the
death penalty ... he or she could well be accused by
political opponents of caving in to the dictates of the
church, a tool of the bishops," Bishop Hubbard said. "We
should trust people ... to cast their votes."
In other business on Wednesday, the bishops also discussed
proposed standards for Catholic colleges and universities
which would require presidents of those institutions to
take an oath of fidelity to the Church and require
theologians to receive permission from local bishops to
teach. The standards would also urge the schools to recruit
faithful Catholics as faculty.
"Meet me in St. Louie" is Pope's message to Bill Clinton
When the Pope and Bill Clinton last met in Denver in August 1993, it poured rain - much like tears from Heaven over the culture of death policies Clinton had set in motion. Five and a half years later they will once again meet - this time in St. Louis, Missouri on January 26, 1999 as the Holy Father will touch down for 30 some hours enroute from closing the Synod of the Americas in Mexico City. This time we strongly feel His Holiness will pull no punches in chastising the president for the amoral aura that has permeated this country and Clinton's promotion of the culture of death. We suspect the Pope will also appeal to the US directly to forgive debts and lift the life-threatening embargo on Iraq. For more, click on Papal showdown with Clinton
POPE TO MEET WITH CLINTON DURING US VISIT
VATICAN CITY (CWNews.com) - The Vatican and the White House
both announced on Wednesday that President Bill Clinton will
have a private meeting with Pope John Paul II in January
during the Holy Father's visit to the St. Louis.
The Pontiff, during his trip January 22-28, will first
visit Mexico City where he will officially receive the
results of the Synod for the Americas which took place last
year and will journey to St. Louis on January 26.
After meeting with Clinton at an Air National Guard hangar
at the St. Louis airport, the Holy Father will speak with
sick children from Cardinal Glennon's Children's Hospital,
and the next day will deliver a homily at a morning Mass at
St. Louis' Trans-World Dome. He heads home to Rome later
that evening on an overnight flight.
Pope asserts "sin" can easily be taken out of "cinema" if filmmakers dedicate their efforts to what God wants
Speaking to a group representing cinema and arts at a Vatican conference organized by the joint Pontifical Councils for Culture and for Social Communication, the Holy Father urged that film can be an expression of the age and express what is good about the human experience. Sin and vices so often depicted wouldn not need to be an integral part of movies if the filmmakers would strive to develop a "new humanism" that would be"a mirror of the human soul which is
constantly searching for God." The Pope expressed that film is an excellent medium for educating and conveying the "eternal message of life" to generations who are geered to the visual. For more, click on faith in film.
FILM CAN BE ARTISTIC EXPRESSION OF THE AGE, POPE SAYS
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II today received
participants in an international conference on cinema and art, and
told them that film can be "a particular artistic expression for the
The Pope made his remark at an audience for participants in a
conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the
Pontifical Council for Social Communications. The conference is
designed to address the ethical, spiritual, and cultural issues involved
in the world of cinema.
The Holy Father said that the arts, insofar as they "make life rich and
open to the beauty and truth of God," constitute a central concern for
the Church. Films can have an educational influence, he said, and can
be "a fascinating instrument for transmitting the eternal message of
life" to a modern audience. At a time when technological
developments have given the medium remarkable new capabilities,
he said, films could contribute to the development of a "new
humanism," by acting as "a mirror of the human soul which is
constantly searching for God."
Holy See seeks relief from all debts for hurricane-ravaged Central American countries as Church oversees distributing relief supplies
Following up the Pope's plea last week to prosperous nations to forgive the debts of third world countries by the year 2000, but especially now for those Central American countries so ravaged by Hurricane Mitch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace issed an appeal that all debts due from Honduras and Nicaragua be forgiven. Meanwhile, the Bishops in Honduras continue to head efforts to distribute relief supplies to the most needy while the Bishops of Nicaragua urged their government to be fair in its distribution and not exploit others for political gain. For more, click on Hurricane Mitch
VATICAN ASKS CANCELLATION OF MITCH VICTIMS' DEBTS
AS HONDURAN BISHOPS ACCEPT ROLE IN DELIVERING RELIEF SUPPLIES
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- In a new public appeal to the developed
nations, issued by the Vatican press office today, the Pontifical
Council for Justice and Peace has asked for the cancellation of debts
owed by the nations suffering from the effects of hurricane Mitch.
In a statement signed by Archbishop Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van
Thuan, the president of the dicastery, the Council pointed out that
the storm had not only caused thousands of deaths, but also the
destruction of crops, roads, bridges, and infrastructure, especially in
Honduras and Nicaragua. The result will be devastating to the
nations' economies, the Council observed, and "calls into question the
capacity of these countries, which are already among the most
impoverished in the world, to cope with the debt payments."
The situation calls for "a new gesture" from creditor nations in
response to "an immense human tragedy," the Vatican document
says. In order to help "programs for sustainable reconstruction" in
the devastated region, the Pontifical Council salutes nations which
have announced the cancellation of debts, and urged other nations to
imitate that gesture.
Meanwhile, in those ravaged Central American countries the Catholic Church of
Honduras has accepted -- "as a challenge and a vote of
confidence" -- the role of supervising the delivery of
relief supplies to the victims of Hurricane Mitch.
After a meeting with government representatives and leaders
of major relief operations, the Catholic Church agreed to
administer the distribution of food, medicine, and other
supplies within the relief camps that have been opened
around the country to accommodate families left homeless by
the storm. The Church will supervise the relief operations
for a period of one month. As in the case of Nicaragua,
officials indicated that the Church had been asked to
fulfill that role in order to avoid any questions of
political corruption in the relief operations.
In Managua, the Nicaraguan bishops' conference
issued a stern statement condemning any effort to use the
tragic consequences of the hurricane as an occasion for
gaining political advantage. The bishops' statement noted
"with great sorrow" that some local political authorities
were impeding relief efforts, apparently fearful that the
entry of donors from outside the region might undercut
their own privileged standing. Others, the bishops
suggested, were seeking to use the relief operation as a
base for political or even religious proselytism. The
bishops' statement rejected such efforts, as well as "the
language of division and intrigue."
For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site. CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
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November 20-22, 1998 volume 9, no. 228 DAILY CATHOLIC