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October 14, 1998
SECTION TWO vol 9, no. 201
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today is the Twenty-eighth Wednesday in Ordinary Time and the Feast of Pope Saint Calixtus I, Martyr while tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of Saint Teresa of Avila, Virgin, Religious and Doctor of the Church. For the readings, liturgies and meditations, and story on the above saints, click on LITURGY
Wednesday, October 14, 1998
Wednesday October 14:
Twenty-eighth Wednesday in Ordinary Timeand
Feast of Pope Saint Callixtus I, Martyr
Green or Red vestments
First Reading: Galatians 5: 18-25
Psalms: Psalm 1: 1-4, 6
Gospel Reading: Luke 11: 42-46
Feast of Pope Saint Callixtus I, Martyr
Born into slavery in Rome, Saint Callistus I or Saint Calixtus was placed in charge of a bank by his owner a Roman pagan by the name of Carpophorus. Because he was not educated he lost the bank's funds through manipulation by Jewish investors who were trying to filter the money out through devious means. Fearing he would be blamed, Callistus fled. He was captured at Porto and sentenced to the salt mines but not before he was subjected to the hand mill to join hardened slaves. Finally his creditors asked for his release so they could again use him as a ruse to pilfer more funds. Once they were successful, they again pointed the finger at Callistus who was arrested in the Synagogue trying to recover the money and prove his innocence. Again he was sentenced in 186 to the Sardinian mines, but in 199 the mistress of the Emperor Commodus, the young Marcia effected his release. Pope Saint Victor intervened on Callistus' behalf and sent him to Anzio in Italy where in 217 he was baptized and ordained by the current pope Saint Zephyriunus whom Callistus would succeed. Callistus was brought back to Rome with the Holy Father and became a friend and advisor of Zephyrinus. Back in Rome the Pope appointed Callistus procreator of the cemetery on the Appian Way which would become the Catacomb of the Popes and is today St. Callistus Cemetery where 46 Popes and over 200,000 Christians are buried. In 217 his beloved friend was martyred and Callistus became the 16th chosen in the line of Peter. However, his appointment was bitterly opposed by Saint Hippolytus who had also been a candidate for the papacy. Hippolytus set himself up as the pope, thus becoming the Church's first antipope. Callistus pronounced Latin as the official language and this further angered Hippolytus who had been born into nobility and favored Greek over Latin, considered the language of the commoners. Callistus had always clung to the needs of the poor. Those like him, who had been slaves, or non-Romans or who were poor were rejected and in turn they rejected the Greek either out of lack of formal education or their despise for what pagan Rome stood for. They, in turn, adopted Latin as a means of communication and it was quickly embraced by the Christians who were, for the most part, in and among the poor as Christ had directed. Yet insurrection was inevitable from the Greek camp. Fired up by Hippolytus, those who favored Greek objected vehemently to the abandonment of their language. It's interesting to not that only a few things of Greek such as the Kyrie Leison were retained. It was an all-out victory for Callistus and for Latin, but left scars that lasted for centuries and eventually led to a split between East and West. Though his successor St. Zephyrinus is considered the "Father of Ecclesiastical Latin", it was Callistus who decreed it the official language of the Church. As time passed, more and more Latin was incorporated into the liturgy of the Mass. It also became a possessive tongue where the Christians guarded and treasured this new speech. Callistus also reasoned that if the liturgy was conducted in Latin universally, Christians could more readily identify and participate wherever they went. From 220 to 1965 this was the rule rather than the exception. Unfortunately, today it's the exception rather than the rule. He served as pontiff for five years, eventually being driven to return to his roots of a poor slave by taking shelter in the poor and populous quarters of Rome to elude the terrible persecution of the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus who eventually caught up with him in 222. On October 14 Severus had Callistus severly beaten with clubs and his remains thrown into a well where today the church Santa Maria in Trastevere now stands.
Thursday, October 15, 1998
Thursday October 15:
Feast of Saint Teresa of Avila, Virgin, Religious and Doctor of the Church
First Reading: Ephesians 1: 1-10
Psalms: Psalm 98: 1-6
Gospel Reading: Luke 11: 47-54
Feast of Saint Teresa of Avila, Virgin, Religious and Doctor of the Church
Probably no religious reformed the Church more than the great Saint Teresa of Avila who was born of Jewish descent in Avila, Spain on October 4, 1515 as Teresa de Cepeda y de Ahumada. Teresa was educated by the Augustinian nuns but at the age of 17 she was forced to leave the convent because of ill health. Regaining her strength she succumbed for a short time to the world and the wealth of Spain which was regaling in the golden age of riches garnered from the New World and the many superb spiritual treatises emanating from Spain. Teresa, like Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Anthony, longed to become a missionary and receive the crown of martyrdom at the hands of the heathen Moors. But this faded from memory as she regained her strength and gave into vanity and the distractions of the world, the flesh and the devil. It was while reading the writings of Saint Jerome that she realized the error of her ways and sought to become a Carmelite nun at the Monastery of the Incarnation in Avila in 1535. Shortly after her profession in 1537, she again became ill and was dispatched for treatment in 1538. Two years later she returned but remained an invalid for several years. After nearly 20 years as a nun she was greatly touched by the Confessions of Saint Augustine, in particular his description of the image Ecce Homo and dedicated the rest of her life to prayer and reform of the Carmelites. During the two years of 1556 and 57 Teresa experienced mystic occurrences with visions and locutions. Because she thought this was satan mimicking Our Lord and Our Lady she was thrown into great anguish until she confided in her new spiritual advisor Saint Peter of Alcantara who convinced her they were authentic from all she had conveyed to him. The Messages from Heaven prompted her to found St. Joseph Convent in Avila despite fierce opposition and ridicule from those who derided her for founding a convent to live the strict Carmelite rule rather than the relaxed rule that was being taken advantage of and being lived in most every convent of that time. In 1567 the Prior General of the Carmelites Father Rubeo gave Teresa permission to establish other convents with the same strict rule as established at St. Joseph's. This gave rise to a bitter struggle from the calced Carmelites who feared their easy-going lifestyle was threatened by this ultra conservative upstart nun. At the General Chapter Convention at Piacenza in 1575, Fr. Rubeo was forced by the majority to place strict restrictions on Teresa's group. The bitter struggle continued for the next five years but Teresa was undaunted and prayed diligently that the Will of God would prevail in this struggle. Joining her in this tireless crusade to reform the Carmelites was a young priest John Yepes who is better known as Saint John of the Cross. With his help she founded the first monastery for men under the strict decalced rule and continued to travel throughout Spain establishing more monasteries as she continuously turned over to St. John the duties of each in the formation of the friars. This responsibility, not to mention the constant harassment and struggle for control, all contributed to the doubts and void John felt in which he wrote about in his now famous "Dark Night of the Soul". Yet, he and Teresa persevered and in 1580 Pope Gregory XIII through the encouragement of the King of Spain King Philip II officially recognized the two distinct branches of the Carmelites - Calced and Discalced and made the latter a separate province free from the influence of those who sought to discredit Teresa. During her travels and drawing from her mystical experiences, Teresa wrote her autobiography The Life in 1565, The Way of Perfection in 1573, and the work The Interior Castle in 1577 - all classics in spiritual literature. Teresa, considered one of the greatest mystics of all time, confounded many who met this saint for she was deeply spiritual and intelligent but could be as stubborn and bullheaded as they come. Add to this that she combined her highly active and political life with a love for deep contemplation which she passed on to all she met, founding 40 new foundations throughout her lifetime to totally reform the Carmelites and put the life of a religious back on the track God intended. Teresa, greatly worn by her travails, travels and trials died at Alba de Tormes in the Province of Salamanca, Spain on the evening of October 4, 1582 - the very same evening the new Gregorian calendar replaced the old Julian calendar and moved everything up ten days, thus the confusion of when Teresa died because the new calendar would have her called home to Heaven on October 14th. It was symbolic that the new had replaced the old for Teresa had replaced the stagnant, liberal lifestyle of the religious with a more dedicated and reverent contemplative way of life in keeping with the vocation they were called to; and she was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622. In 1970 Pope Paul VI honored her as the first woman to be declared a Doctor of the Church.
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
Today's Prayer is taken from the Opening Prayer of the Mass commemorating the martyrdom of Pope Saint Calixtus I:
God of Mercy, hear the prayers of Your people that we may be helped by St. Callistus, whose martyrdom we celebrate with joy
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Half a million in Chile hear Holy Father and Cardinal Sodano encourage youth to fear not
Closing the successful five-day conference in Santiago, Chile where half a million youth from North and South America had gathered was the Secretariat of State from the Vatican Cardinal Angelo Sodano who echoed the same message the Holy Father conveyed by video expressing hope and confidence in the youth and beseeching them to not be scared away by the moral teaching of the Church or the responsibilities ahead as the future leaders of the Church. Both entreated the youth to "Be not afraid" but trust in Jesus and grasp the opportunity to reach their peers who are suffering in the shallow relativism of today's society. For more, click on Warming up in Chile.
CARDINAL SODANO AND HOLY FATHER TELL AMERICAN YOUTH: "BE NOT AFRAID!"
SANTIAGO, Chile (CWNews.com) - Vatican Secretary of State
Cardinal Angelo Sodano on Sunday closed the five-day long
Gathering of Youth in the Americas by requesting young
Catholics not to fear "either Christian ideals or the moral
teaching of the Church."
During the closing Mass at Santiago's horse racetrack,
Cardinal Sodano told the nearly 500,000 youth from
throughout North and South America, "We must not fear, but
instead accept with courage the Christian ideals and live
with generosity all the moral consequences of the Gospel."
He added, "The time has arrived: this is the time to choose
Christ and leave behind any moral relativism and the lack of
The Mass, which followed a vigil that started on Saturday
evening, was the second largest gathering in Chile's
history, next to Pope John Paul II's visit in 1983. "Your
task is to go to those youth who are living a moral
relativism and the dramatic void that it produces," said
Cardinal Sodano. "This void explains the different evils
that attack today's youth: escapism, drugs, a distorted
sexuality, and the lack of a personal motivation of life,"
he added. The cardinal also exhorted youth to follow Christ
and discover "each one's own vocation, either priesthood,
consecrated life, or marriage according to God's plans."
During the vigil, a video with a message from the Pope to
the participants was broadcast, in which the Holy Father
expressed regret for not being physically present, but
assured "my spiritual presence is with all of you." He also
expressed his hope that Catholic youth will help in making
Jesus "better known, better loved and better proclaimed in
"Dear youth, let yourselves be guided by the Spirit of the
Lord. Fear not! I know that in your heart exists a strong
desire for service and solidarity," he said. "Let us work
so that from one end of the Continent to the other many
youth, following the example of so many American saints,
may be willing to leave everything for the love of Christ
and to follow him as missionaries of the Gospel! This is
the day and the moment to give Christ a total 'yes' and
build with him the new history of America," the Pope
Conyers visionary claims October 13th was Our Lady's last apparition in Georgia!
To many it might be likened to the "night the lights went out in Georgia" for Conyers visionary Nancy Fowler has long claimed that Our Loving Mother Mary's purported appearances to her in a field twenty-miles east of Atlanta would end after October 13th, the 81st anniversary of the final apparition at Fatima. Past Diocesan bishops have been skeptical that Our Lady is actually appearing to this fifty-year old mother and housewife who has been receiving messages since February 1987. Even though she personally informed the late ordinary of Atlanta Archbishop James Lyke that he had cancer, which he died of shortly after, he was not favorable to her. His successor Archbishop John Donoghue has made no formal announcement on the Conyers apparitions where hundreds of thousands have flocked, but he cautions all to discern for themselves. Reports are that Nancy will now move to Florida and out of the limelight now that the messages are completed. For more, click on Crowded in Conyers
THOUSANDS GATHER FOR PURPORTED APPARITION IN GEORGIA
CONYERS, Georgia (CWNews.com) - Thousands of Catholics
gathered on a farm in rural Georgia on Tuesday in
anticipation of a reported apparition of the Virgin Mary to
a woman who claims to have spoken with the Mother of Christ
Nancy Fowler, 47, has said that this apparition will be the
last she will receive. Over the past seven years, thousands
of believers and curious have gathered on the farm each
October 13, the anniversary of the final apparition in
Fatima, Portugal, for a special message for the world. "I
understand from Our Lady that next year will be the last of
her public messages," Fowler said last year. "His Mother
said my life will continue, but the public messages will
come to an end." Before 1994, the messages were given
Archbishop James Lyke of Atlanta has expressed caution
during the purported apparition, telling diocesan priests
that they may not celebrate Mass at the site and saying
parishes may not sponsor pilgrimages. But he did allow for
individual Catholics to continue to go there. Last year,
30,000 people showed, and local police expect between
100,000 and 150,000 this year, which would be the largest
South and Central American Church leaders want to borrow on United States' methods of tithing to tide them over
Hoping to stem the tide of poverty and continue treading the waters of church offerings, South American Church leaders are tapping into the success stories of United States Catholic Dioceses and parishes in an effort to borrow from their expertise in promoting a greater responsibility toward tithing and sharing of wealth in time, talent and treasure. With the help of the non-profit Arguidius Foundation ecclesiastical leaders have employed all the methods they can to reach financial autonomy by 2010 when half of the world's Catholic population will come from South America. For more, click on Tuning in to Time, Talent and Treasure
LATIN AMERICAN EPISCOPATES INTERESTED IN STEWARDSHIP, U.S.-STYLE
LIMA, Peru (CWNews.com) - Although Latin America will hold
half of the world's Catholics by 2010, the Church in the
region is still unable to generate the financial support to
cover her needs. But with the support of a Swiss-based
Catholic foundation, some Latin American episcopates are
willing to change that.
"Even though a large number of the population is poor,
Catholics in the region are in a condition to at least
provide for the Church's needs," Peter Robinson, the New
York-born director of the Arguidius Foundation, which has
been providing financial assistance to Latin American
episcopates since the early 1960's, said this week.
Robinson has been touring Latin American countries to
promote the creation of local campaigns aimed to generate
structures of stewardship.
The campaign aims to achieve economic autonomy for each
bishops' conference in the region with the participation of
lay Catholics, preferably local entrepreneurs. Once a
consistent stewardship project is designed and a board of
directors secures the project's efficiency, the Arguidius
Foundation commits itself to provide half the amount needed
to launch it.
So far, the episcopates of Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile
have launched their own project sponsored by Arguidius,
while Peru and Mexico have advanced the dioceses of Callao
and Torreon, respectively, as pilot projects. "Our goal is
to promote a new mentality of efficient management and
accountability that will maximize material resources, while
providing a transparency that would encourage rank and file
Catholics to give more," says Robinson. "Besides, we
believe that the culture of donation or tithing can only be
fostered with the promotion of a spirituality of sharing,
because giving to the Church is basically a spiritual
The fabric of society and family life be damned, the French legislature intent on passing cohabitation bill despite Church protests
Despite delays in the National Assembly, France's legislative branch, the Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, a socialist himself has vowed that the National Socialist Party will be in full force the next time they meet to vote on the controversial measure that would give couples - heterosexual and homosexual - living together outside of marriage the same legal rights as those who have committed to the vows of matrimony. To the chagrin of the Catholic Church and France's opposition party, the socialists are intent on ramrodding this through. If and when it does pass it will be a sad day throughout this land the Blessed Mother has visited so often and a country whose history is ripe with contributions to the Church for well over a millennium. For more, click on Moral Fabric of France fading.
FRANCE'S JOSPIN SAYS COUPLES' RIGHTS BILL WILL BE LAW
PARIS (CWNews.com) - France's Prime Minister Lionel Jospin
said on Monday that the controversial bill to give the same
legal rights to unmarried couples that married couples now
enjoy will be passed despite a setback in the National
Assembly last week.
Jospin said the ruling Socialist Party will make sure that
all of its deputies are present when the "civil solidarity
pact" (PACS) bill is resubmitted next month. The
conservative opposition took advantage of the absence of
many Socialist deputies when the bill was presented last
Friday and quickly pushed through a resolution to knock it
off the agenda. "This time, I think a majority to pass the
bill will be guaranteed. We will have lost only a few
weeks," Jospin said.
The controversial bill has been decried by opposition
parties and the Catholic Church who fear it will be disrupt
the fabric of society. Under the proposed law, unmarried
heterosexual or homosexual couples will be able to register
with the government and receive the right to file joint tax
returns, receive social welfare payments, and inherit
common property. The current version does not allow the
couples to adopt children.
For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site. CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
October 14, 1998 volume 9, no. 201 DAILY CATHOLIC