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THURSDAY      February 11, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 29

To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE

DAILY LITURGY: Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

141 years after Our Lady appeared near the sewers along the Gave River, Lourdes has become a global cleansing center for healing

      Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 141st anniversary of the first apparition in this city in southern France where the Mother of God appeared to Saint Bernadette and confirmed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Tomorrow is the Fifth Friday in Ordinary Time. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignette on this feast, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Thursday, February 11, 1999

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Friday, February 12, 1999


      Today's prayer is the Collect for today's Mass celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes:

God of mercy, we celebrate the feast of Mary, the sinless Mother of God. May her prayers help us to rise above our human weakness.


Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church: Holy Water

January 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

    Dear children! I again invite you to prayer. You have no excuse to work more because nature still lies in deep sleep. Open yourselves in prayer. Renew prayer in your families. Put Holy Scripture in a visible place in your families, read it, reflect on it and learn how God loves His people. His love shows itself also in present times because He sends me to call you upon the path of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call.

For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II used his regular Wednesday public audience on February 10 to reflect on his recent trip to Mexico and the United States.

      Speaking in a raspy voice-- the only visible after-effect of a bout with the flu-- the Holy Father said that the trip "was in a certain sense a great appeal to America-- to welcome the Gospel of life and of the family, to reject all forms of violence against the human person, of whatever kind, from conception until natural death."

      The Pope said that his goal was to help establish a culture of life which could "unite freedom and truth" in fight against the culture of death. He listed a number of the particular struggles in that overall battle: the fight against abortion, euthanasia, "the useless resort to the death penalty," racism, child abuse, drug abuse, the traffic in arms, and environmental destruction.


      GUATEMALA CITY ( - A priest accused of killing a Guatemalan bishop in 1998 was denied bail by the judge presiding over the investigation on Tuesday.

      Prosecutors in the case had requested the bail for Father Mario Orantes Najera, following calls by the Catholic Church and human rights campaigners for his release. Critics contend that Father Orantes was charged in the murder of Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera on flimsy evidence, and that not enough attention has been paid to possibility that the murder was politically motivated.

      Bishop Gerardi was murdered at the home he shared with Father Orantes on April 26, 1988 -- two days after he released a report that blamed most of the deaths in the country's 36-year civil war on the military. Prosecutor Adolfo Rosales Rodas said the Church had promised that Father Orantes would show up for trial, but Judge Henry Monroy said bail was not available to homicide suspects. His trial is set to begin next week.


      KIEV ( - The president of Ukraine on Wednesday formally issued an invitation to Pope John Paul II to visit the former Soviet republic, following reports that a visit was planned for late this year.

      "The Ukrainian president has invited the Pope to visit Ukraine," presidential spokesman Olexander Martynenko said. "All other issues regarding the visit will be discussed together with services of the Vatican." The invitation by President Leonid Kuchma was personally handed to the Holy Father by Prime Minister Valery Pustovoitenko on a recent visit to the Vatican, he said.

      On Monday, the chairman of the government's religious affairs committee had said he expected the Holy Father would visit the mainly Orthodox country in November or December of this year. Depending on the timing of a proposed visit to Romania, the papal visit to Ukraine would be the first visit by a pontiff to a primarily Orthodox country.


      VATICAN ( -- Speaking at a special UN conference on world population being held this week at the Hague, the head of a Vatican delegation strongly protested efforts to abandon the set agenda and launch aggressive new family-planning efforts.

      Msgr. Frank Dewane, an official of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, spoke on February 10 on behalf of the Holy See. The meeting at the Hague is intended to follow up on the results of the UN's special conference on world population, held in Cairo in 1994.

      Msgr. Dewane complained that in appraising the results of that Cairo conference, UN officials had placed very little importance on the themes of education and the reduction of poverty-- efforts which had won universal approval from the delegates in Cairo. The Vatican delegate also pointed out that educational efforts had received little funding, while efforts to secure "reproductive health" were lavishly subsidized.

      The Vatican insists that efforts to promote "reproductive health" should emphasize education. But UN efforts, Msgr. Dewane noted, had included promotion of contraception-- including the abortifacient "morning-after" pill-- and abortion. He charged that some UN delegates are still seeking to establish an international "right" to legalized abortion-- an effort which was rejected by the Cairo conference.

      Msgr. Dewane also deplored the use of forced sterilization as a method of population control. He pointed out that the Cairo conference flatly condemned all forms of coercion in government family-planning programs.

For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.


     In honor of today's Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes we feature the official site for Lourdes at the OFFICIAL SITE FOR OUR LADY OF LOURDES jointly operated by the city of Lourdes and the good folks at the Sanctuary of Lourdes. It also contains information on the visionary Saint Bernadette Soubirous.

Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.

February 11, 1999 volume 10, no. 29   DAILY CATHOLIC