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March 4, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 44
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
We are the clay. Let God form us the way He intends.
Just as we carried the 1998 address of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Conv. to the Mile Hi Congress last year, so also we bring you this year's in which he states that the Catholic faithful need to take the form of faithful, obedient disciples for as he states - "Either we form society, or society will form us." Archbishop Chaput is one of the leading new orthodox shepherds who sets the tone of loyalty and adherence to the faith and, among many experts, is one of the leading American candidates for the cardinalate in the next Consistory. For the first of four installments of the Archbishop's address Forming Disciples for the Third Millennium, click on MITERS THAT MATTER
Forming Disciples for the Third Millennium
Mile Hi Congress, 1999
by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Part One of Four
In organizing my thoughts for today, I came across an article in the February 21 New York Times. I'd like to share it with you, because it offers a good context for our discussion this morning. It's entitled, "The Far Right Sees the Dawn of the Moral Minority," and it talks about the anger and despair felt by many Washington conservatives in the wake of President Clinton's impeachment acquittal.
Here's a sampling.
William Bennett, the former secretary of education, is quoted as claiming that ordinary Americans "are complicit in [the president's] corruption."
Sen. Paul Smith of New Hampshire says that "the president's acquittal is a sad commentary on the prevailing values in America."
And Paul Weyrich, the man who invented the name Moral Majority for Jerry Falwell's crusading organization, is even more bleak. "I no longer believe that there is a moral majority," he says, and "I do not believe that a majority of Americans actually shares our values." Mr. Weyrich goes on to warn that ". . . we have to look at what we can do to separate ourselves from this hostile culture" because we have "probably lost the culture war."
Now, I didn't come here today to talk about politics, the president's sins or conservative bafflement with American voters. I can understand the frustration of these men, and The New York Times should be embarrassed for lumping them all together in the so-called far right. But I also don't share the alarm of these men and I certainly don't believe that separating ourselves from current American culture would solve anything. On the contrary: It would make matters worse. We can not be leaven in society if we remove ourselves from the recipe.
The Times article is still useful, though, in one important way: It reminds us that traditional Christian faith the kind of faith you and I were raised on may be less and less of a force in our society in the decades ahead. Christians may in fact be the "moral minority" in the not so distant future. And that has very big implications for how we preach Jesus Christ and teach the Catholic faith. Fifty years ago, we could count on our culture reinforcing, or at least reflecting, our religious beliefs. We no longer have that luxury. And 50 years from now, the world will be even more drastically different.
Remember that last February, at this same Mile Hi Congress, we talked about how all of us parents, priests, bishops and educators share one vital role in the Church. We are teachers. That's our mandate as believers. Those are the exact words I used. I want to repeat them now, and underline them: We are teachers.
Like never before in American history, we need to be people rooted in the Church and faithful to her teachings. In an age of confusion, the Church is our only reliable guide. If today's political environment shows us anything, it's that public character and private virtue are disappearing from the vocabulary of civic life. And if the stock market continues to rise if our economic success goes on indefinitely it could stay that way. But human beings are better than that. Our children deserve more than that. And it's our job to form them in the truth which will make them genuinely free.
We can't do that apart from the Church. It's our job to be missionaries and witnesses of God's presence to our children; to our spouses; to our coworkers and friends; and to the elected officials who represent us through the ballot box. We haven't done that well enough, or we wouldn't find ourselves where we are today. Either we form society, or society will form us. The human heart needs to worship something. It's our deepest hunger. Either we will form our children as disciples of Jesus Christ, the Son of the true God. Or they will choose other gods to take His place and the marketplace is full of them. This is why each one of us makes such a vital difference. The future depends on God. But God acts through us to touch the souls of our young people and the soul of the next century. That is what's at stake in our lifetimes.
NEXT INSTALLMENT: Section Two.
"Pray for unity of mind and heart. Speak very little. Pray much."
Those words from the Blessed Mother to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart in October 1993 at the Shrine of Betania reinforce Our Lady's messages in Medjugorje as well as Betania and everywhere else throughout the world. Blessed Mary asks us to abandon our wills to the Divine Will and be obedient to God and His Vicar on earth. She also reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice - the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which she points out "should and must absorb your whole being." For Messages #419 and #420 in late September 1993, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."
Messages 419 and 420
Message Four Hundred-nineteen, October 10, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(While praying at the Grotto in Betania)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I bless you.
O! I await my children. Tell all who come to come in faith, in abandonment to the Will of God, and in love, my presence shall be made known. But this is only permitted to strengthen faith.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should and must absorb your whole being. Let nothing distract you. Yes, I am always present at every Mass where I adore my Divine Son truly present in the Eucharist.
Therefore, come in peace and allow my Motherly love to bring you closer to my Divine Son.
I am here. I await. I call each of you by name.
I love and bless you. Thank you for loving my Son!
Message Four Hundred-twenty, October 12, 1993
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)
(Feast of Our Lady of Pilar at Zaragoza)
Beloved Hidden Flower, I am with you. You have been obedient to the Will of God. Therefore, fear nothing. Commend all to my Divine Son and be at peace.
How I long with all Motherly affection to touch every heart, to renew faith, hope and love for God. I desire to bring all my children to my Son. My efforts are ceaseless, and I beg before God's Throne for Divine Mercy.
I, your Mother, call all my little ones to holiness. Be pure of heart, of mind, of body! Obey God's commands; be obedient to my Divine Son's Vicar, Pope John Paul II. Then you are able to receive great graces and the Holy Spirit leads you, enlightens and teaches you.
Dear children, look only at my Divine Son. Pick up your cross willingly and follow Him. You need not fear, for God is strength to those who seek Him and love Him.
Pray for unity of mind and heart. Speak very little. Pray much.
I love and bless you, my children. Thank you for responding to my Call!
Today is the Second Thursday of Lent and the optional feast of Saint Casimir, Prince and Patron Saint of Poland. Tomorrow is the Second Friday of Lent, FIRST FRIDAY of March and World Day of Prayer. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignette of St. Casimir, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Thursday, March 4, 1999
Thursday March 4:
Lenten Weekday and
Optional Feast of Saint Casimir, Prince and Patron Saint of Lithuania and Poland
Purple or violet vestments
First Reading: Jeremiah 17: 5-10
Psalms: Psalm 1: 1-4, 6; 40: 5
Gospel Reading: Luke 16: 19-31
Optional Feast of Saint Casimir, Prince and Patron Saint of Lithuania and Poland
The patron saint of Poland was a saintly young prince named Saint Casimir. He was known for his virginal chastity
and for truly living what he preached for the 26 years he lived on this earth. Born in 1458 into nobility, his mother Elizabeth of Austria raised him in the True Faith. At 13 he was elected King of Hungary in hopes of toppling the rival king Matthias Corvino. However, through Casimir's prayers, peace and compromise were reached and the Hungarians were reconciled with Corvino. This enabled Casimir to abdicate the throne and devote his life to prayer as he preferred over the life of royalty. Yet while his father was in Lithuania, Casimir was again promoted - this time to the office of regent in Poland. Though he preferred a more contemplative lifestyle, he accepted this office with dignity and despite his youth, showed wisdom beyond his years in administering with great prudence and virtue. Casimir nurtured a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, dedicating his life to her and turning down an offer of marriage to the daughter of the German Emperor Henry III. In 1843 Casimir was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Lithuania and shortly after that contracted the fatal disease of tuberculosis, passing on to his Heavenly reward on March 4, 1484 at the young age of 26 in the court of Grodno. Amid great grief and pomp the Polish people honored him, burying him under the altar in the Chapel of Our Lady in the castle of Vilna. He was canonized 37 years later in 1521 by Pope Leo X, but it wasn't until 1602 that the Poles and Lithuanians realized Casimir had been made a saint since the original bull never reached Poland since Leo's successor Pope Hadrian VI had assumed Leo X had sent it and therefore did not follow-up. As it were, Leo died before he could dispatch the original bull and it was lost in the shuffle. Once it was discovered, Pope Clement VIII took care of officially notifying the Polish people by reissuing the papal bull. Almost immediately the Polish King Sigismund III began erecting a chapel honoring Casimir in Vilna and it was completed by his successor King Wladislaus IV.
Friday, March 5, 1999
Friday March 5:
Lenten Weekday and
FIRST FRIDAY plus World Day of Prayer
Purple or violet vestments
First Reading: Genesis 37: 2-4, 12-13, 17-28
Psalms: Psalm 105: 5, 16-21
Gospel Reading: Matthew 21: 33-43, 45-46
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's prayer is the Opening Prayer commemorating Saint Casimir:
All-powerful God, to serve You is to reign: by the prayers of St. Casimir, help us to serve You in holiness and justice.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Search for Postulator for Mother Teresa's cause now in hands of Calcutta's Archbishop who seeks Sister Nirmala's help
The task of recommending a postulator to coordinate the canonization process of Mother Teresa has fallen to Sister Nirmala, Mother's successor as head of the Missionaries of Charity. This responsibility, asked by Calcutta's shepherd Archbishop Henry D'Souza, is one Sister accepts willingly for the nuns are overjoyed that their founder's cause for sainthood has been expedited. For more, click on Appointing a Postulator.
MOTHER TERESA ORDER WELCOMES PAPAL DISPENSATION
CALCUTTA (CWNews.com) - Mother Teresa's Missionaries of
Charity said on Tuesday that they welcomed Popr John Paul
II's waiver of the requirement for a five-year waiting
period before the cause for her canonization could begin.
Archbishop Henry D'Souza of Calcutta announced earlier this
week that the Holy Father had given permission last December
for the diocese to begin its part in opening the
investigation that could lead to Mother Teresa's
canonization. The archbishop has said he is seeking the
advice of the Nobel laureate's successor, Sister Nirmala,
on the appointment of a postulator.
The postulator's role is to report on the facts of the
potential saint's life, giving examples of exceptional
holiness, and to also report on indications of miracles in
which she was involved. One certified miracle is needed for
beatification and a second is required for canonization.
Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997 after serving first
the poor of Calcutta, then the poor of India, and finally
poor people throughout the world for over four decades.
Defend human life in all its stages Pope and Ireland's prelate urge as Japan takes note, banning birth control pill
The Holy Father reiterated his call for American Catholics to get involved politically in the cause of the culture of life through a special letter to Baltimore's Archbishop William Keeler who is heading up a pro-life conference. Meanwhile, in Dublin Archbishop Desmond Connell reinforced Pope Paul VI's often rejected encyclical Humanae vitae blaming that rejection on a dulling of the conscience and an acceptance of abortion and contraception that has demeaned mankind. In Japan, government authorities are conscious of this and have once again outlawed birth control distribution there. For more, click on Defend life
POPE CALLS FOR AMERICAN PRO-LIFE INVOLVEMENT WHILE
DUBLIN ARCHBISHOP SPEAKS OUT ON HUMANAE VITAE AND
JAPAN AGAIN REFUSES APPROVAL OF BIRTH CONTROL PILL
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- In a letter addressed to Cardinal William
Keeler of Baltimore, Pope John Paul II has said that Christians should
be active in educational and political efforts to defend human life.
The Pope's message, directed toward a pro-life conference meeting
under Cardinal Keeler's leadership, stressed the special challenge
involved in pro-life work in the United States. America is "fertile
soil" for such work, the Pontiff said. He called for "generous and
constant efforts" to overcome the dominance of a "culture of death,"
and exhorted Catholics to make their voices heard in the nation's
In a related story out of Ireland, the archbishop of Dublin said on
Tuesday that the acceptance of contraception has lead to a
general moral decline in society and opened up the doors to
Archbishop Desmond Connell addressed the Life Society in
St. Patrick's College, Maynooth on the topic of the 30th
anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical "Humanae Vitae."
The archbishop acknowledged that the Church's opposition to
artificial means of regulating births has tested the faith
of many, "even of many who want to believe." But he added
that contraception is the key all of sexual morality.
"Acceptance of contraception has encouraged such
resentment of new life in the womb as to create blindness
to the injustice of abortion," he said.
Ireland is one of the last countries in Europe to continue
to ban almost all abortions, while restrictions on both
contraception and abortion have been under assault by
groups that wish to liberalize the country's laws.
Meanwhile in Japan, the Japanese government on Wednesday
again refused to approve the birth control pill for
distribution in the country, citing fears of side-effects
and unwanted effects on society.
The Health Ministry's Central Pharmaceutical Affairs
Council last considered an application to allow the sale of
birth control pills in 1992. The country does allow doctors
to prescribe high- and medium-dose pills for medical
disorders, but has not approved low-dosages for
Some groups have criticized the Health Ministry for
promoting a double standard because the impotence drug
Viagra received approval after just six months of
consideration. However, supporters of the ban on the birth
control pill said Viagra is different because it treats a
medical disorder whereas pregnancy is not a disease or
Vatican and pro-life congressmen take on UN's hidden agenda
As the UN stubbornly forges onward in its agenda to promote the culture of death throughout the world, representatives of the Vatican and US Congress are not going to sit idly by and let them get away with it, decrying the confusing language doublespeak being bandied about by the UN which camouflages their true intent. The complaints against the UN are that they are too intent on preventing birth rather than promoting women's health which should have nothing to do with abortion. Meanwhile pro-life congressmen are bracing for another standoff with Bill Clinton this year over overseas abortion funding in the question of America's payment to the UN. For more, click on UN unsettled.
VATICAN INTERVENTION AT UN TALKS ON WOMEN
WHILE CONGRESS TO CONTINUE PRO-LIFE LINKAGE FOR UN DUES
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- At a UN conference on women's health,
the Holy See has observed that the Catholic Church operates 985
different national organizations dedicated to the promotion of
women's health and welfare.
Speaking on behalf of the Holy See at a New York meeting of the UN's
commission on the status of women, Ellen Lukas underlined the
concern of the Church for the welfare of women. At the same time,
she expressed serious reservations about the "ambiguous language"
used in some UN circles, including the references to "reproductive
health" and "gender." The term "reproductive health" has frequently
been interpreted as a call for legal abortion; "gender" is commonly
used to suggest that the male and female roles (and sexual
preferences) should be interchangeable.
Lukas charged that in the aftermath of the Beijing conference on the
status of women, UN efforts to promote "reproductive health" have
dominated the efforts of international bodies, while serious diseases
such a tuberculosis, tropical fevers, and AIDS have not been
addressed. She pointed out that 17.3 million people die of these
diseases every year in the developing countries, although cures are
The Vatican delegate also said that the Holy See is fully committed to
support efforts to ensure that women have adequate health care
during pregnancy and childbirth. And she reiterated the Church
stand in favor of responsible parenthood, emphasizing that natural
family planning allows couples to space the births of their children.
Finally, Lukas noted with concern that UN efforts to promote the
welfare of women have focused primarily on the professional world.
She argued that similar efforts should be undertaken to provide help
for women who dedicate themselves to raising their children at
home, and for aged women
Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., the New Jersey congressman
who stood at the center of an effort to block payment of US
back dues to the United Nations over funding of population
control programs said on Tuesday that he expects to
continue the impasse this year.
Republican Rep. Chris Smith said he has been assured by
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, and Majority
Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, that the House of
Representatives would continue to refuse to pass a bill
authorizing payment of $1.6 billion to the UN. President
Bill Clinton has said he would veto any bill that included
a ban on funding of population control programs overseas,
even if that bill include the UN payment.
The UN has threatened the US that if the payment is not
made it may lose certain voting rights, although the
Security Council seat is not at stake. On Tuesday, Rep.
Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, and Rep. Constance Morella,
R-Maryland, introduced legislation to restore funding to
the UN Population Fund, cut off by Congress last year. The
bill would provide $25 million for year 2000 and $35
million for 2001 to use in programs that critics say
promote contraception, sterilization, and abortion, even
misleading women as to the effects of their participation.
Two Cardinals from Spain's largest cities elected President and Vice President of Spanish Bishops' Conference
Wednesday the Spanish Bishops' Conference elected the Archbishop of Madrid and the Archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco and Cardinal Ricardo Maria Gordo Carles respectively, to head that organization for the next three years. Cardinal Ruoco just received his red-hat a little over a year ago in the last Consistory of February 21, 1998. Cardinal Carles received his cardinalate on November 26, 1994. For more, click on Spanish shepherds.
NEW PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT OF SPANISH BISHOP'S CONFERENCE ELECTED
MADRID, 3 (NE) Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco, Archbishop of
Madrid, was elected yesterday new President of the Spanish
Bishop's Conference. Also, Cardinal Ricard Marķa Carles,
Archbishop of Barcelona, was named vice-president of the Spanish
episcopate. Both Cardinals, as well as the rest elected for the
different directive offices, will carry out their service for a
three-year term, ending year 2002.
In a press conference after the election, Cardinal Rouco pointed
out that his duties in the Archdioceses of Madrid on one hand,
and those of the Episcopal Conference on the other, convey no
small amount of difficulties. Nevertheless he affirmed that he
was prepared to adopt the responsibility "with a supernatural
and serving spirit." He highlighted as well that a key challenge
for the Church in Spain throughout the next years would be to
fight secularism in society.
Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church:
In today's news there is a story of Archbishop Henry D'Souza of Calcutta, who made the original request to the Holy Father to expedite Mother Teresa's canonization process, asking Sister Nirmala for her advice on who he should appoint as "Postulator" in the cause of the "Saint of the Gutters." The word "Postulator" derives its etimology from the Latin postulare which means "to ask." That is the purpose of the position used for seeking out information on the life of a saint in question, and asking about purported miracles and researching these accounts to determine if they are credible enough to submit to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. In a sense the "Postulator" serves as a private detective or, if you will, a file clerk gathering a plethora of material and sorting through it, sifting out all the excess before filing a concise report that will weigh heavily in how the Congregation heads will treat the case and how fast the process will go. The more clarity and proofs of miracles, the faster a person can be processed for beatification and canonization. Webster's defines the word "Postulate" as a position claimed or basis of argument laid dow as well known or too plain to require proof; a self-evident truth. That is what a "Postulator" seeks - truth. The same root is where we get the word "Postulant" which applies to those who apply for a vocation to the religious life, most often used in reference to women. The postulant presents a request, asking to be admitted to an order and in this case the "postulators" are her superiors who watch the candidate closely to make sure she is qualified to continue on to the novitiate in the next step of religious life. (sources: Cabinet of Catholic Information, Duggan Publishing Co.; Webster's Dictionary, G.&C. Merriam Co.)
SITE OF THE DAY
With Mother Teresa so much in the news this week because of the Holy Father's waiving the five-year stipulation for beginning the process of canonization, we want to share with you a special site dedicated to this "Saint of the Gutters" who was truly a living saint. The site is MOTHER TERESA: THE PATH OF LOVE maintained by a dedicated soul named Jiannette who also offers the Path of Love Catholic Webring. It is well worth your while to check this site out for everything you want to know about this soon-to-be saint of the Church.
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
March 4, 1999 volume 10, no. 44 DAILY CATHOLIC