For now we want to share with you some of the upgrades made during our first hiatus this summer. If you've noticed, we have begun listing links by category in our expanding PORTS O' CALL Links section and divided them by various "decks" on the good ship S.S. DAILY CATHOLIC with each deck named after a title of the Blessed Mother: Advocate Deck, CoRedemptrix Deck, Mediatrix Deck, Queen of Peace Deck and Mystical Rose Deck. We have also been able to add all the Dioceses, Archdioceses and Sees in union with Rome in the United States on the CoRedemptrix Deck. We feel it will be much easier to look up a source and find the category you are looking for and access that link. Because of the number of links and limited space on each deck we are just listing the site with no description attached for that took up way too many bytes on the server. We have also completed the archive file of our on-going megaseries on the Church Today entitled WHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM? so now you can review over 100 installments in archives from the inaugural installment in November 1997 through installment 106. The same holds true for all Sister Mary Lucy Astuto's columns GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER Sister has been with us since 1991 and we know how much readers look forward to her simple, concise and inspirational words each Friday. We hope eventually to do the same for all our features and columns. Presently you can read all of Pat Ludwa's columns at VIEW FROM THE PEW and past editorials for this year at CATHOLIC PewPOINT. The same holds true for our humorous/thought-provoking feature each Wednesday dubbed FOOD FOR THOUGHT APPETEASERS and our newest series 2000 YEAR VOYAGE ON THE BARQUE OF PETER. In addition, each Prince of the Church is added to the archive list at COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION as we continue that series on all the cardinals. We can now also offer 82 installments of THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH with only the first 24 installments not yet on-line. The disks where they were stored were damaged and therefore we must retype them all so that will take considerable time. The same thing happened to the majority of our installments for another mega-series - AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS so that will also take additional time to upload. We also will eventually put the 100 Meditative Lessons from THE HIDDEN WAY in archives as well as the 632 Messages in "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU...". For now however, you can order both books and have it all at your fingertips at BOOKS by either credit card or mailing to the address on the form. There are other articles and special features we'll be putting on other archive files for easier, faster retrieval for all. As always this is a major time-consuming project so please be patient.
Speaking of patience, yours is about to be rewarded beginning in today's issue with the debut of the countdown of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. Today we feature the 100th person selected by you - our loyal readers. The response was truly overwhelming. Over a three-month period of time we received a total of 23,455 votes nominating 728 different candidates for "Top 100 Catholics of the 20th Century" consideration. The top five vote-getters garnered 9,477 with the top ten registering a total 13,470 and the top twenty-five totaling 18,085 or 77% of the entire vote. The Top 100 chosen received 21,603 votes with those 628 candidates not making the list receiving 8% of the vote. The amazing thing is we're still receiving over 100 votes on a daily basis even though the polls were closed on July 4th.
Caliber-wise in the final tally, DAILY CATHOLIC readers made excellent choices and, as you will see over the next four months, there's a good balance throughout the century list. Eight of the nine Roman Pontiffs of this century made the list except for Pope John Paul I whose pontificate lasted only one month. There are five Saints and six Blesseds as well as seven whose cause for Beatification has been introduced to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The voters selected fifteen cardinals, seven bishops, nineteen priests, seven nuns and two lay brothers. The laity is well represented with four entertainers, four politicians, six renowned secular authors, and numerous dynamic Marian luminaries that have proved their worth through the fruits they have produced by their efforts. Education checks in with several who made the list in all aspects of scholastics including two university presidents. The pro-life movement also has several organizers who made the list as well as well-known leaders of various Catholic non-profit organizations and institutions dedicated to upholding the truths of the Church.
After prayer and deliberation, we made some adjustments in those eligible for the list. To give you an idea, Cyndi received numerous votes for her role as the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart and was humbled by the voters' accolades but she respectfully withdrew her name from consideration and her reasons prompted us to withdraw all visionaries, seers, locutionists and messengers from the list except for the Church-approved Fatima visionaries. The rationale for the editor's decision was reached in order to avoid any kind of controversy and taking into consideration that those receiving private revelation should not be known for their accomplishments but for merely being the vehicle to disseminate messages as their fiat to God. After all, too often the message is missed because people place too much emphasis on the messenger. That is not God's intent. We have also eliminated anyone who is not Catholic or was not considered in good standing with the Church. In all, we have endeavored to keep it as free from tampering as possible, but we have made sure that everyone of the candidates selected are loyal to the Magisterium of the Church and the teachings, doctrines and dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. Some are liberal, many, many moderate, and there are several who are conservative.
In short, the list mirrors the tastes of DAILY CATHOLIC readers with an excellent mix of Catholic men and women from all walks of life from almost every period of this century. We take great satisfaction with the final selection of the Top 100 Catholics of the Twentieth Century according to the readers' vote. You will see the results in each issue as we reveal the 100 Top Catholics in a countdown that will culminate with the top ten in December. To assist us in biographies of these top 100 Catholics, we have enlisted the generous contributions of Tracy Dowling and Pat Ludwa to help us write various vignettes on some of the winning candidates. The suspense should build as we countdown to the number one Top Catholic between 1900 and 1999 - the person receiving the most votes which you'll find out in December. Until then, we're going to keep you on pins and needles and so, on the Feast of that great mystic Saint Bridget of Sweden who received the 15 promises, we promise an enjoyable run through the Top 100 Catholics as you, the voters, chose. Again, we're going to keep everything as secret as possible revealing the list one by one. And so now, start your inquisitive engines and let the countdown begin!
Pittsburgh is heavily populated by many Catholic ethnic nationalities such as the Polish, Irish and Italians to name just a few cultures and thus is a cradle of many generations of Catholics. One of those homegrown Catholics is Bishop Wuerl who was born in the hilltop community of Mount Washington in Pittsburgh on November 12, 1940. Receiving the full scope of Catholic parochial education at St. Mary of the Mount Parish, he enrolled in the Diocese's minor seminary and then matriculated to Catholic University in Washington D.C. and then the North American College in Rome. He was ordained on December 17, 1966 in Pittsburgh where he was assigned various pastoral, teaching and administrative duties as well as returning to school at the North American College and receiving his Doctorate in Theology from the Angelicum in Rome in 1974. After twenty years as a priest Pope John Paul II not only named him titular Bishop of Rosemarkie and Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle, but personally installed Bishop Wuerl in ceremonies at St. Peter's in Rome on January 6, 1986. After two years under the controversial liberal Bishop Raymond G. Hunthausen in Seattle, the Holy Father brought Bishop Wuerl home to the city of his birth naming him the eleventh Bishop of Pittsburgh on February 12, 1988. He was installed on the Solemnity of the Annunciation a month and a half later.
Throughout his tenure he has been very active in the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, serving as chairman of the Bishop's Committee on Health Care Issues and the Church. In addition, he serves on boards of various prestigious organizations such as two of his alma maters the Catholic University of America and the North American College in Rome plus the Extra Mile Education Foundation. He has been honored by numerous awards including the coveted Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from the National Catholic Education Association as well as plaudits from the American Red Cross and the National Conference of Christian and Jews. Throughout his episcopacy he has emphasized open dialogue with leaders of all faiths and cultures which has endeared him to the people of southwestern Pennsylvania.
Our Lady of Medjugorje once said: “Everything you have is a gift from God.” I think of that often as I drive “my” little 5 year-old Nissan Sentra around. It’s very reliable, rides well for a small car, and of course, as Our Lady said ... is a gift from God.
I thank God for the window air conditioning unit. But I’ve always preferred heat to cold ... guess it’s because I’m of Mediterranean descent. I just don’t like the winter cold.
Everytime it gets very hot outside, I think of Sr. Mary Daniel, RSM. She was my English teacher when I was in high school. Old St. Mary’s High in Omaha was several stories high. On windy days the Sisters who slept on the top floors could feel the building sway. But, of course, in those days there was no air conditioning. So when it was hot outside, we were hotter yet in the classrooms.
We girls tried to be ingenious. We made fans out of our notebook paper to fan ourselves. Imagine what it was like to be a teacher in front of 30 girls all fanning themselves with white notebook paper. If we all could have been in unison, it might not have been so bad, but for dear Sr. Mary Daniel, it was bothersome, annoying, and unappreciated.
What she told us to make us stop, I shall never forget. She said: “Now girls, stop fanning yourselves. If you were dead, you’d be hotter yet.”
Of course, we stopped the fanning, grinned a bit, and considered the fact that she well could have been correct. Hopefully purgatory, not the other place!
Sr. Mary Daniel died not too long ago. She had to be close to 90. To the end she maintained her Irish love for her red hair which she helped along with a bit of dye.
So hot weather is a good time to consider what spending eternity would be like in the “flames” of hell. There’s no air conditioning there. There’s no notebook paper to fan oneself. And very likely there is no Sr. Mary Daniel to tell souls not to fan themselves. Wouldn’t do any good anyhow! The fanning might just “fan” the flames.
So as we experience the air conditioning and thank God for it as a gift, let’s pray for ourselves and all others that we not suffer the eternal flames of hell and even escape stopping off at purgatory. It is possible with the grace of God.
Stay cool! God bless you!
In his nineteenth year as shepherd of the island diocese, he was elected President of the newly-formed Indian Ocean Episcopal Conference. His Holiness Pope John Paul II honored him by elevating him to the cardinalate in the Pope's fourth Consistory of June 28, 1988. Cardinal Margeot received the titular church of St. Gabriel the Archangel all'Acqua Traversa. Five years later, because of his age, he retired as active Bishop of Port-Louis on February 15, 1993 when he had reached 77. Now 83 he remains Bishop emeritus of Port-Louis and resides in retirement at Eveche, rue 13 Msgr. Gonin, Port-Louis on the isle of Mauritius.
Mauritius' Catholic population of 288,000 comprises a quarter of the population whose primary language is English. It is an island republic in the Indian Ocean roughly 500 miles east of Madagascar. The faith was brought there by the Vincentian missionaries in 1722 and the capital city of Port-Louis was created a vicariate in 1819 and in 1847 during the early pontificate of Pope Pius IX. Port-Louis has long been a "jumping-off point" for missionaries heading to Madagascar, South Africa and Australia and so the faith has always been fairly strong there nurturing a home-grown prelate in Cardinal Margeot who is no longer eligible for participation in the Conclave membership because of his age.
Death of Saint Bridget of Sweden, mystic who spent most of her later life in Rome. For more on this mystic, see THIS WEEKEND'S LITURGY.
Turkish invasions force Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to abandon his crusade against the Protestants, thus agreeing to a peace treaty and depriving Pope Clement VII of the clout to rid the Protestant Reformation.
Birth of Giovanni Francesco Albani in Urbino, Italy. He would go on to become a cardinal and the 243rd successor of Peter as Pope Clement XI in which he waited seven days before accepting his nomination to make sure it was legitimate. A man of great culture and a lover of the arts, he enriched the Vatican Library and concluded the 16th Jubilee in 1700.
The Second Crusade arrives at the edge of Damascus in the Holy Land.
The Battle of Bahr As-Saghir results in the defeat of the efforts of the Fifth Crusade.
The Catholic Queen Mary, Queen of Scots is forced to abdicate her throne, opening Scotland to Protestantism.
Death of Saint Christopher, legendary saint from Lycia who ferried a child across a swollen river, saving him from drowning. The child then revealed that He was Jesus. Our Lord conveyed to Christopher, which means "Christ bearer," that the reason the "child" became so heavy was because Christopher was carrying the "weight of the world on his shoulders" and he did it willingly and was rewarded. Though having been demoted in Church liturgy, Saint Christopher is still commonly known as the "Patron Saint of Travelers."
Fall of the Latin Church in Romania at the hands of Michael VIII of Constantinople.
Conversion of the Protestant King Henry IV of France to Catholicism as the French return to the Church. Upon his conversion, the monarch is quoted as proclaiming, "Paris is worth a Mass!"