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October 1-3, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 187
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION THREE and SECTION FOUR and SECTION ONE
It's the little things that count!
In her column this week, Sister Mary Lucy Astuto talks about her "little sister" - the great Doctor of the Church Saint Therese of Lisieux whose feast we celebrate with the Church on Friday. Sister shows how hidden she was in life and how visible she has become after her death, touching countless hearts through her little, hidden ways and striving for holiness like few before her or since have tried to do. Sister Lucy reminds us of her intercessory power in Heaven and not to forget this wonderful saint. For her column this weekend, My Little Sister Therese, click on GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
MY LITTLE SISTER THERESE
On October 1, we celebrate the Feast of the Little Flower, St. Therese of
the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. That is her full name as a Religious Carmelite.
I was named after the Little Flower. At my Baptism on April 7, 1940, my
parents named me Teresa Marie and named the Little Flower as my Patroness.
I must confess that as a child I did not have much devotion to the Little
Flower. Actually, I didn't like her very much. Don't ask me why ... she certainly did not do anything
to me to warrant my disliking her. But since love is based on knowledge, I think I can attribute my not
liking her to my ignorance and stupidity. (I humbly ask her forgiveness now for not giving her signs of
affection and appreciation for so many years.)
But time and learning helps to wane disagreeableness, or at least it
would be a good thing, if it would. As an adult, I have traveled to so many places, visited so many
churches and convents, and have seen a statue of the Little Flower everywhere I go. That little Sister, so
quiet and unobtrusive in life on earth, is all over the place today. One cannot help but think of her when
she seems to be around every corner somehow, somewhere.
I call her "My little sister!" I have two reasons for doing so. First
of all, I am older than she. Therese died at the age of 24. I am more than twice her age at present.
Also, I weigh more than she did. From photos of her which I have seen, and because she died of the ravaging
disease of tuberculosis, Therese was not a physical heavyweight. I am! Therefore, I think I have
reason again, to call her "My little sister!"
That's how I pray to her now. I often call upon her with that name!
She had said before she died that she would spend her Heaven doing good on earth. I try to help her keep
her promise by keeping her busy answering my prayers.
The Little Flower's life and holiness is a reason for hope for all of
us. Therese never did great things that were apparent to the society in which she lived. She was not
known by thousands of people. She was never on television or radio. She was never a public figure. So how
did she achieve such great holiness?
Therese became a great saint by doing little things with great love for
God. Whether she washed clothes, swept the floor, sewed or counseled her novices, she did them
with GREAT LOVE for God.
She saved many souls that way. That is why Pope Pius XII named her
Patroness of the Missions though she never left her cloistered convent even once to visit any mission
Happy Feast Day, my little sister! As you are my patroness, I claim your
special attention and protection. Please obtain a special grace for everyone who reads this
Peace and good will to all! God bless you.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is integral to the Holy Father and all Catholics
We continue with this special series introducing you to the Princes of the Church. Our one-hundred-fifth red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order, is 72 year-old Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and probably the most visible cardinal in the world today. He was elevated to the cardinalate by Pope Paul VI during the Pope's final Consistory of June 27, 1977. For more on Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
105. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Probably no cardinal is more well known today than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, considered by so many the next in charge at the Vatican. The truth is, he is not the second in charge. That would be the Secretariat of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano but because of Cardinal Ratzinger's constant exposure by the media and his intricate involvement in papal documents and pronouncements he is seen as the Pope's right-hand man because he is rightfull the custodian of the faithfulness of the Dogmas and Doctrines of the Church.
He was born in Marktl am Inn, Germany on April 16, 1927 and ordained a priest on June 29, 1951 at the age of 24. An exemplary student during his minor and major seminary days, he showed from the beginning of his priestly life the great mind God had gifted him with. This first came to light during his post-graduate studies in Rome with his thesis "People and House of God in Saint Augustine's Doctrine of the Church" which drew raves from professors and students alike in 1953.
He became an even more familiar name in Vatican circles when, at only 35 years-old, he was appointed advisor for Cardinal Joseph Frings from Cologne at Vatican II. His involvement in the Council gave him new insight as to what the Council Fathers were really trying to do compared to the abuses that evolved after the Council. After the Second Vatican Council concluded he returned to Germany where he resumed teaching at several German universities, being named a member of the International Theological Commission by Paul VI and accepting a position at the University of Regensburg as Professor of Dogmatic Theology from 1969 until March 24, 1977 when the Pope elevated him to the episcopal ranks, making him Archbishop of Munich-Freising. He was installed two months later on May 28, 1977. A month later he was honored again by the Holy Father when Paul VI named him in his final Consistory of June 27, 1977. Receiving the cardinalate, Cardinal Ratzinger was given the titular church of St. Mary of Consolation in Tiburtina.
On November 25, 1981 Pope John Paul II summoned Cardinal Ratzinger to the Vatican where he announced that he would become the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, probably the one Sacred Congregation closest and dearest to this Pope's heart. Cardinal Ratzinger resigned his position as Archbishop on February 15, 1982 and returned permanently to the Holy See where he took up residence and set about supervising this most important curial office. He was named President of the Biblical and Tehological Commission shortly thereafter and has had his pulse on a plethora of congregations and Pontifical Councils with membership in the Second Section of the Secretariat of State, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and the Congregation for Catholic Education as well as the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Pontifical Council for Culture plus the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
When he received his red-hat he was only 50 years-old and still a relatively young 54 years-old when promoted to Prefect. Many considered him papal material but he has grown older along with the Pope who is only seven years older than Cardinal Ratzinger. It would seem this "second Pope" as many have termed Cardinal Ratzinger was the perfect choice by John Paul II to perpetuate his strong catechetical teaching and policies that fry liberals because of the staunch conservative element at the top in the Holy Father and Cardinal Ratzinger, the man entrusted with enforcing the Dogmas and Doctrines of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Events this weekend in Church History
On Sunday we remember the 102nd anniversary of the birth of Giovanni Montini in Breschia, Italy on October 2, 1897. He would go on to become cardinal and Archbishop of Milan before being elected the 263rd successor of Peter on June 21, 1963 as Pope Paul VI and bring Vatican II to its conclusion in 1965. He died on August 6, 1978 after a fifteen-year papacy that saw, in his own words, "satan enter the sanctuary." For other events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history this weekend, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for October 1:
Feast of Saint Theresa of Lisieux
Death of Pope Saint Damasus, 37th successor of Peter who was born in Spain and served for 18 years. He was a learned Pope who authorized the singing of the psalms by alternate choirs (Ambrosian Rite) instituted by Saint Ambrose. He also instroduced the use of the Hebrew term "Alleluia" into the Mass. In addition he had the Scriptures translated from Hebrew.
Birth of Saint Remigius, Bishop of Rheims and confessor. He was the son of Saint Celina and he is considered the "Apostle of the Franks." He died at Rheims on January 13, 530.
Death of Saint Bavo, monk and hermit who is known as the patron saint of Flanders.
Death of Pope Boniface IX, 203rd successor of Peter, whose papacy lasted 15 years. During this time he failed to settle the question of the schism since the second Avignon antipope refused any form of reconciliation.
Death of Don Juan of Austria at the age of 31 who had been so successful in turning the Turks back in the landmark Battle of Lepanto which marked the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary proclaimed by Pope Saint Pius V.
Pope John Paul II beatifies Niceforo de Jesus y Maria (Vicente Diez Tejerina) and 25 Companions martyred in Spain, Lorenzo Salvia, Gertrude Caterina Comensoli, and Francisca Ana Cirer Carbonell.
Historical Events in Church Annals for October 2:
Feast of the Guardian Angels
Death of Saint Finbar, Irish-born monk and first Archbishop of County Cork. Accounts claim that for two solid weeks following his death the sun did not set - shining brightly on the emerald isle.
Death of Pope Lucius III, 171st successor of Peter. His pontificate lasted four years during which time he put together a constitution, exhorting all those in authority to suppress heresy by force of arms, having himself been forced to take refuge in Verona because of riots which had broken out in his own territories prompted by heretics.
Death of Saint Sergius of Radonezh, Russian abbot who founded 40 monasteries throughout Russia who died at the age of 77.
Christopher Columbus sets sail for America on his second voyage, increasing his fleet substantially from the three ships Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.
Vasco de Balboa reaches the Pacific Ocean, planting the seeds of the faith with the Indians on the west coast through his entourage which included a few Franciscan missionaries.
Death of Pope Clement VII, 219th successor of Peter who was embroiled in the backlash of the Protestant Reformation. He was unable to curb the bitter struggle between Catholics and the Lutherans of the Reform. He excommunicated Henry VIII of which the consequences was the persecution of Catholics and confiscation of lands and property in England.
Death of Cardinal John Ireland first Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul, Minnesota. It was Cardinal Ireland who authorized the building of the grand Basilica in St. Paul across from the Capitol Building.
Historical Events in Church Annals for October 3:
Death of Saint Nilus of Rossano Italian Abbot in southern Italy.
Beheading of hundreds of Crusaders by Sultan Bajezid including the noble French Catholic Knights De Philippe of Bar, Odard de Chasseron, and Jean de Vienne.
Birth of Giovanni Montini in Brescia, Italy. He would go on to become a Cardinal and bring the Second Vatican Council to its conclusion as Pope Paul VI. It was Paul who allowed clerical dress other than the cassock to be worn. Sadly this has been abused by the religious where today there is little semblance to religious garb. Paul's papacy lasted 15 years.
Pope John XXIII issues his third encyclical Grata recordatio on the Rosary, prayer for the Church and missions. It also dealt with international and social problems.
COUNTDOWN TO THE JUBILEE:
Double Jeopardy doubles up on competition
Top Ten Films for the fourth week of September
Tommy Lee Jones' latest thriller rocketed to the top in the first week of its release to easily outdistance and double up on last week's box office champ "Blue Streak". Those were the only two films this past week in double figures as the remaining eight showed an anemic return including Robin William's latest "Jakob the Liar" which finished a pitiful eighth. To show how weak the field is, "Star Wars" in its 19th week still finished 12th, having already garnered nearly $425 million to date. For the Top Ten reviews for the fourth week of September prepared by the NCCB, click on MOVIES AND MORALS
TOP TEN MOVIES
FOR THE FOURTH WEEK OF SEPTEMBER
1. DOUBLE JEOPARDY
$23.2 million in one week:
Because of some violence, a shadowy sexual encounter, and intermittent
profanity and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The
Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "Double Jeopardy" is a sleek
thriller in which probation officer Tommy Lee Jones chases parolee Ashley Judd across country to prevent her from murdering the two-timing husband who framed her. The straightforward
fugitive story maintains suspense without relying solely on the expected revenge motive.
2. BLUE STREAK
$12.5 million last week/ $37 million in two weeks:
Because of its justification of a major crime, some violence, coarse sexual
references, occasional profanity and an instance of rough language, the U.S. Catholic
Conference classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America
rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for
children under 13. "Blue Streak" is a routine action-comedy in which thief Martin Lawrence passes himself off as an LAPD detective in order to get access to headquarters where he's stashed a 17 million-dollar diamond. Numerous cliches and Lawrence's comic mugging don't
improve a movie where the thief is seen as a hero who deserves his instant millionaire status
after escaping with police complicity.
3. THE SIXTH SENSE
$11.2 million last week/ $213.3 million in seven weeks:
Because of gory violence, a menaced child and coarse language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. "The Sixth Sense" is a clunky psychological thriller in which child psychologist Bruce Willis tries to help a shaky 8-year-old who keeps seeing dead people walking around, though matters ultimately are not what they seem. The story's vague assumptions and boring situations are suddenly thrown into an entirely new light by a twist ending, though few will find the "surprise" worth waiting for.
4. FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME
$6.4 million last week/ $23 million in two weeks:
For Love of the Game -- Because of an implicit sexual affair, angry outbursts, some course language and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III --adults.
The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that
some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. "For Love of the Game" follows aging
pitcher Kevin Costner on the mound at the close of the baseball season as he confronts not only the batters but himself, pondering his future with the club, his all-consuming passion to excel in
the sport, and the loss of the woman he loves (played by Kelly Preston) because she feels
unneeded. The pitcher's thoughts are shown in flashbacks which mirror mounting tension in the
stadium as batter after batter is retired along the way to a possible perfect game -- with equally
satisfying results for both baseball fans and romantics.
5. AMERICAN BEAUTY
$5.9 million last week/ $7.5 million in two weeks:
No review available yet.
$4.7 million last week/ $40.6 million in three weeks:
Because of its exploitative use of religion with an anti-Catholic flavor, frequent
violence involving the stigmata and demonic attacks, a shadowy sexual encounter, occasional
profanity and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is O -- morally
offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "Stigmata" is a
schlocky horror tale in which a priest (played by Gabriel Bryne) sent by the Vatican to investigate reports of stigmata-like wounds on the wrists of Pittsburgh hairdresser Patricia Arquette turns to protecting her from demonic forces and a psychotic Cardinal behind a Vatican plot to suppress a supposed "lost Gospel" that would undermine the revelancy of the Catholic Church. The
nonsensical plot juggles sexual innuendo as the priest is drawn to the young woman with violent
scenes confusing the stigmata with demonic possession as well as the absurd conspiracy plot
that a misleading epilogue suggests is truth rather than fiction.
7. STIR OF ECHOES
$2.3 million last week/ $15.6 million in three weeks:
Because of some violence, a shadowy sexual encounter, brief nudity and
recurring profanity and rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III --
adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "Stir of Echoes" is a
ghost story in which a family man Kevin Bacon starts having violent hallucinations about a
vanished teen and becomes obsessed with locating her body on his property. While Bacon's
character is sympathetic the villains are obvious in this minimally suspenseful thriller.
8. JAKOB THE LIAR
$2.1 million in one week:
Because of some violence, suicides and an implied pre-marital relationship the
U.S. Catholic Conference, classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of
America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate
for children under 13. In "Jakob the Liar," Robin Williams brings hope to despairing fellow Jews fearful of being shipped from their Polish ghetto to Nazi concentration camps by pretending he hears BBC radio reports that Russian liberators are almost at hand. Although well intended, the
tragicomedy strains for poignancy amidst bouncy music, forced humor and a halting pace.
$1.9 million in one week:
Because of its depiction of sexual fantasies with nudity, a character's prior drug
addiction, some rough language and minimal profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification
is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. "Mumford" is a quirky tale of a bogus psychologist (played by Loren Dean) whose talent for listening actually
spurs his smalltown patients to have insights into their own problems while he struggles with the
ethics of becoming romantically involved with an especially vulnerable patient (played by Hope
Davis). The gentle ensemble comedy is sweet but slight in exploring a well-meaning quack who
eventually comes to terms with his own shortcomings in a responsible way.
10. RUNAWAY BRIDE
$1.6 million last week/ $146.6 million in nine weeks:
Because of very discreet sexual innuendo and minimal profanity, the
U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association
of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. In "Runaway Bride" cynical
big-city reporter Richard Gere comes to a small town to do an exposť on bride-to-be
Julia Roberts, who has left several previous suitors at the altar, only to find he wants to
replace the groom at the imminent ceremony. With Roberts luminous in her role, the
feel-good romantic comedy, though predictable, brims with warmth and charm.
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October 1-3, 1999 volume 10, no. 187 DAILY CATHOLIC