DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     May 21-23, 1999     vol. 10, no. 99


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Friday, May 21, 1999

    Friday, May 21:
    Seventh Friday of Easter and
    Feast of Saint Eugene de Mazenod, bishop and religious founder

    White vestments

      First Reading: Acts 25: 13-21
      Psalms: Psalm 103: 1-2, 11-12, 19-20
      Gospel Reading: John 21: 15-19


         Canonized by Pope John Paul II on December 3, 1995 Saint Eugene de Mazenod was the Bishop of Marseilles and founder of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the same order which claims the new head of the Chicago archdiocese Cardinal Francis George, OMI and this ministry's Spiritual Director Father Al Svobodny, OMI. Eugene DeMazenod was born into aristocracy in 1782 in Aix-en-Provence and as a youth wandered around Europe. At age 20 he returned to France to try to recoup his family fortune without success. In 1807 he experienced a second conversion and began acing as a dedicated lay person, helping the poor. This ministry drew him closer to the priesthood and he was ordained a priest, returning to Aix with a deep desire to minister to the downtrodden and God's neediest children. The work was overwhelming and near death, he turned to a group of priests to help in a community. Regaining his strength he led this community of like-minded priests through the countryside, drawing up the Rule of Life for the eventual order he would found. Though he wanted to be a missionary first, he realized that by accepting the appointment of bishop he could save his fledgling order of Missionary Oblates. True to God's promise, Eugene became Bishop of Marseilles and Superior General of the Oblates and within a few years the new congregation grew at a rapid rate with missionaries sent from France to Canada, the U.S., other parts of Europe, Africa, Australia and the Philippines. In 1861 Eugene died at the age of 79 with his heart afire with love of the Crucified Christ armed with the weapons of the mission cross and rosary in his hands he left this temporal life with the name of Mary on his lips.

Saturday, May 22, 1999

      First Reading: Acts 28: 16-20, 30-31
      Psalms: Psalm 11: 4-5, 7
      Gospel Reading: John 21: 20-25

SUNDAY, May 23, 1999

      First Reading: Acts 2: 1-11
      Psalms: Psalm 104: 1, 24, 29-31, 34
      Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 3-7, 12-13
      Gospel Reading: John 20: 19-23


          The Solemn Feast of Pentecost is regarded as the "Birthday of the Church" for the Holy Spirit began His perpetual presence with Holy Mother Church at this occasion recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. In Acts 2:38, Saint Peter reminds us of this new Covenant when he says, "You must reform and be baptized, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that your sins may be forgiven; then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." The passages in 1 Corinthians 3: 16; 6: 9-20, Romans 5:5; 8: 26-27; and 2 Thessalonians 2: 13-14 show us how it is only through the Holy Spirit that we can profit by and fulfill the necessary duties that pave the way to salvation in the Church. The name Pentecost is derived from the fact that it is celebrated 50 days after Easter, ten days after the Ascension. Originally the name, whose etimology comes from the Greek pentekoste, was attributed to the Jewish Feast of Weeks which occurred 50 days after the Passover. With the New Covenant Pentecost was forever associated with the Descent of the Holy Spirit in Christ's chosen Church.

Monday, May 24, 1999

      First Reading: Sirach 17: 24-29
      Psalms: Psalm 32: 1-2, 5-7, 11
      Gospel Reading: Mark 10: 17-27

May 21-23, 1999       volume 10, no. 99


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