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WEDNESDAY      March 31, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 63

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

On the Way to Calvary

      For the Lenten Way of the Cross, click on either the graphics Daily Way of the Cross or the text-only Daily Way of the Cross or the Meditative Lessons on the Way to Calvary

Events Today in Church History

      On this date in 1495, the notorious Pope Alexander VI, in an effort to thwart the advancing threats of France's King Charles VIII aligned with other nations to form the "Holy League" which covered Charles' flanks and forced the French monarch to retreat from Naples. The cause of Charles' wrath was the growing abuses by Alexander of nepotism in which the pontiff appointed his ally Alfonso II, as king of Naples in defiance of Charles. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for March 31:

There is no light unless the Son shines in us

      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".

"Our greatest days are ahead, though in between intervenes the purging, where we will learn that as the rays cannot survive without the sun, so neither can we prosper without God. This hope can be translated into victory in either of two ways: by prayerfully reawakening our hearts, or by being brought within an inch of disaster, until from the depths of our insufficiency we cry out to the goodness of God."

March 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

    Dear children! I call you to prayer with the heart. In a special way, little children, I call you to pray for conversion of sinners, for those who pierce my heart and the heart of my Son Jesus with the sword of hatred and daily blasphemies. Let us pray, little children, for all those who do not desire to come to know the love of God, even though they are in the Church. Let us pray that they convert, so that the Church may resurrect in love. Only with love and prayer, little children, can you live this time which is given to you for conversion. Place God in the first place, then the risen Jesus will become your friend. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE

The Final Words

      Today we skip ahead to bring you the Meditative Lesson #22 "IT IS CONSUMATED!" - the climactic chapter of Our Lord's Passion and Death. Tomorrow we will bring you the Blessed Mother's Meditation on this chapter. These words by Jesus "It is consummated!" or "It is finished! preceded the words "Father, into Your hands I commend My Spirit." before the Son of Man expired on the Cross. At that moment the earth was rent asunder and all knew He was truly the Messiah. These meditative lessons, imparted by Our Lady to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart during Lent of 1993, are meant to inspire and prompt a greater understanding of the season of Lent, especially during Holy Week on the eve of the Easter Triduum, and help us all prepare for His Passion and Death, and ultimately the glorious Resurrection. For part one of Lesson 22, click on "IT IS CONSUMMATED!"

Meditative Lesson 22:


part one

     Dear Father, How much I am made to see my absolute wretchedness. How profound my weakness. How I long to embrace Him, my Beloved Savior. How often I have turned away! But now I come running. He is there. It is not too late. The world must do the same. Time is running out. All must come to Jesus Crucified to behold Him as the King of Kings.
"They are multiplied above the hairs of my head who hate me without cause. My enemies are grown strong who have wrongfully persecuted me; then did I pay that which I took not away."
Psalms 68: 5

FINAL INSTALLMENT: Part two: Our Lady's Meditation on "IT IS CONSUMMATED!"

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      VATICAN ( -- The Vatican's Secretary of State has summoned 20 ambassadors-- representing the nations that are members of NATO and of the UN Security Council-- for a special March 30 meeting to discuss the situation in Kosovo and the prospects for a peaceful solution.

      Cardinal Angelo Sodano has also met with the Yugoslavian ambassador, Dojcilo Maslovaric. The prospects for that conversation were clouded by the appearance of an interview with Maslovaric, appearing in the Italian daily Il Messaggero. In that interview, the Serbian envoy was quoted as saying, "We will resist to the finish." Maslovaric also said that Serbian forces were "protecting Europe from some NATO directors," and charged that NATO's offensive against the Yugoslav republic is a violation of international law. "It is right that we should defend ourselves," he concluded.

      Meanwhile Pope John Paul II met with Italian President Luigi Scalfaro, in another Vatican effort to stimulate peace talks. Il Messaggero reported that the Pontiff and the Italian president agreed that the United Nations should take a central role in peace efforts, and that European nations should become active in seeking a negotiated solution. The Holy Father had emphasized the same message during an earlier meeting with Didier Opertti, the Uruguayan diplomat who now serves as president of the UN's General Assembly.

      In yet another related development, the Vatican is expecting to receive a personal message to Pope John Paul from the Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle. The message will be conveyed to the Vatican Secretariat of State on March 31 by a delegation of Russian envoys. While awaiting news of that message, the Italian press has noted the public statement issued by Patriarch Pavle on March 29, in which the Orthodox leader told a Yugoslavian television audience that "all the countries of the world" should unite in an effort to stop the NATO air strikes. Patriarch Pavle also called on Serbian authorities to join in the pursuit of a negotiated peace.

      Finally, Belgrade's Archbishop Frank Perko professed his "great confidence" in the Vatican's diplomatic efforts, as well as in the efforts of Russian Prime Minister Primakov. The Belgrade archbishop noted that the Serbian media had shown a "lively appreciation" of the diplomatic efforts by the Holy See. "We cannot favor the war," Archbishop Perko said; "But the massacres in Kosovo must also stop."

      In a related story, ethnic Albanian Catholics in Zagreb, Croatia said on Monday they had received reports of attacks on Catholics in Kosovo, including an unconfirmed assault on worshippers in a church.

      Father Ndue Ballabani, head of an Albanian Catholic mission in Croatia, said he had received reports from the city of Pec where Serbs allegedly locked about 80 churchgoers in the Catholic church where they had gathered to pray and seek shelter on Sunday. The Serbs then took them to an unknown location while ordering the priest to stay behind. The majority of Serbs are Orthodox Christians and majority of the ethnic Albanian Kosovars are Muslim, although a significant minority of Albanians are Catholic. and the Fides Vatican missionary news service reported on Monday that monks in the city of Djakovica were evicted from the monastery by Serb troops whose barracks had been bombed in NATO attacks on Friday. Several of the monks are still missing.


      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II met with nearly 4,000 university students and professors affiliated with Opus Dei in a March 30 audience.

      The Pope's visitors, who represented 60 different countries and at least 400 different institutions of higher education, were in Rome for an annual conference sponsored by Opus Dei on the theme: "solidarity and citizenship."

      In his remarks to the group, the Holy Father observed that Christian citizens have an obligation to make known "the love and freedom of Christ" within "all aspects of modern life." In that effort, he continued, the first step involves a struggle "within the hearts of men," to eliminate "everything that separates them from God and distances them from their brothers and sisters." The Pope said that Christian solidarity is a "spiritual attitude," explaining: "Justice needs a soul, and that soul is charity."


      SAN FRANCISCO ( - The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights on Monday called for a boycott by Catholics groups of the city of San Francisco because the city has given permission for a homosexual activist group that dresses as nuns to hold street party on Easter Sunday.

      The league took out a half-page in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper that called on Catholic organizations to not hold meetings in the city unless the group chose another day for its party. "Let's face it, we're not going to bring San Francisco to its knees," league President William Donohue said. "In the long run, we hope Catholics will awaken from their slumber and realize it's late in the day if they want to fight for their rights."

      The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a group of mostly homosexual men who dress as nuns and mock the Catholic Church which holds that living a homosexual lifestyle is a grave sin. The group is holding a twentieth anniversary celebration on Sunday in the city's Castro district, including a "gay" Jesus contest. In the past, the group mocked Pope John Paul II's 1987 visit to the city and held a "Condom Savior Mass."

      The Archdiocese of San Francisco has protested to the city government because it issued a permit for the street party to be held on Easter, one of the holiest days of the year. After Mayor Willie Brown asked the Board of Supervisors to reconsider the permit, they voted Monday night 9-2 to uphold the permit.


      ROME, 30 (NE) Within the frame of the celebration for the XIV World Youth Day Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, had an encounter over the weekend with the youth of the Archdiocese of Chieti-Vasto, Italy. Presiding over the Eucharistic Celebration, the American Cardinal recalled the Pope's message for that day, urging the young people to be coherent with the gift of Baptism.

      Cardinal Stafford pointed out the necessity of understanding one's own identity as disciple of Christ, called to participate from the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. "Dear Young people: you are baptized in the name of Jesus. You are a new creation. Your life is different to that of those that still live in the old creature", he affirmed.

      The Cardinal also requested the youth to reject the countless offers that come from the culture of death, reminding them that they, through Baptism, have been called to a new life. Upon concluding his homily, Cardinal Stafford exhorted the youth to meditate "on the mysteries of their initiation in the event of the Paschal Mystery of Jesus", as a preparation for the World Youth Day of the year 2000.

      Meanwhile in Nairobi, Kenya, Catholic World News reported that Catholics youths in Kenya rallied on Sunday to protest a new campaign by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to promote condom use to prevent AIDS.

      Archbishop David Mucheke of Nyeri said the youths reject "the liberalization of morality as advocated by some NGOs who are pushing for the legalization of decadent sexual behavior." The youths also called for the teaching of morality and the message of abstinence to curb the spread of the killer disease.

      The youth rally came during the celebration of the 14th World Youth Day on Palm Sunday.

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.


Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church

Opus Dei


      Today, with the Opus Dei Annual Conference in Rome, we feature the official OPUS DEI web site. From the information above in Catholic Canvas, it should pique your interest to learn more about this admirable Personal Prelature of the Holy See.

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

March 31, 1999 volume 10, no. 63   DAILY CATHOLIC