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April 17-19, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 75


     This weekend, even though we are in Easter time and the liturgy is geared for Paschaltide, we celebrate on Sunday DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY. For the liturgy, meditations and readings for Friday, Saturday, and Monday, click on LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND

Friday, April 17, 1998

Saturday, April 18, 1998

Sunday, April 19, 1998

Monday, April 20, 1998

Events this weekend in Church History

     For events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history this weekend, click on ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME

Historical Events in Church Annals for April 17:

Historical Events in Church Annals for April 18:

Historical Events in Church Annals for April 19:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant


      VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- If Pope John Paul II had not intervened, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan might never have made his personal trip to Iraq, during which he concluded an agreement that staved off the threat of new warfare in the Persian Gulf. That was the report of Archbishop Renato Martino, the permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations.

      At a Vatican press conference today, Archbishop Martino said that the Holy Father's influence may have been decisive in persuading Annan to undertake his negotiating mission. The Vatican diplomat said that he had found the UN official very doubtful about the prospects for such a mission, until he received energetic support from the Pope. From that point forward, he said, the Annan mission was fixed on the UN schedule.

      Since returning from his successful trip, Archbishop Martino reported, Annan has often thanked the Holy See's representative for the expression of Vatican support. Annan has said that the power of prayer is often underestimated, and given the Pope credit for making the trip possible.

      In a related story Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the chief foreign-policy official at the Vatican, fears a new setback for peace in the Middle East, and believes that Pope John Paul II cannot visit the Holy Land under current circumstances, because his trip might be interpreted as "sanctioning situations of international injustice."

      In conjunction with a press conference held in Rome to introduce a new book consisting of all Vatican interventions at the United Nations, Archbishop Tauran-- the Holy See's Secretary for Relations with States-- told an Italian radio interviewer that he is increasingly worried by the Middle East.

      "The Pope and his collaborators are watching all evolution of the political situation in the Middle East with a great deal of concern," the archbishop said. "Personally, I fear some dramatic developments." He went on to say that frustrations were building among both Palestinians and Israelis, who are impatient for some concrete results. "There is a danger that those frustrations will produce irrational reactions," he observed.

      Asked whether the Holy Father is likely to fulfill his ambition to visit the Holy Land during the year 2000, Archbishop Tauran said that question posed "a great dilemma." By going to the Middle East, he said, the Pope could act as a symbol of peace and reconciliation. On the other hand, his appearance there might be taken to signal approval for the current political situation-- which the Holy See considers unacceptable. For that reason, the archbishop said, at the moment such a trip would be impossible. "Two years from now, we will see what has developed," he concluded.


      VUKOVAR, Bosnia (CWNews.com) - "Death to the Pope and Tudjman" read newly painted graffiti on the pavement in front of the Croatian Ss. Phillip and Jacob Catholic church at the Franciscan monastery in Vukovar, Bosnia, referring to Pope John Paul II and Bosnian President Alfredo Tudjman, as Serbian extremists took steps to intimidate returning refugees.

      Other vandalism included damage to the tomb of the family of Count Eltz with the bodies being desecrated and more graffiti painted on the walls inside the church, explicitly warning Croats not to offend Serbians. Local police have started an investigation, but no suspects have yet been identified, but said Serbian extremists are the top suspects. Franciscan friar Brother Ante Perkovic said the tomb has been tampered with before.

      The church itself was heavily damaged during fighting between Serbs and Croats in 1991, and while it is not in regular use, it has received pilgrims everyday since mid-January when the eastern part of Croatia was handed over under full Croatian sovereignty, previously being governed by the UN. The church in Vukovar was a well-chosen target because Vukovar symbolizes Croatian resistance to Serbians, and was the most heavily damaged Croatian town during the civil war.

      The Independent Democratic Serbian Party and Common Council of Enclaves from Eastern Croatia issued a joint statement condemning the desecration, stating: "It is obviously another in the series of horrific events, which is ... a direct attack on everything done in accomplished for establishing trust and inter-ethnic tolerance." The Serbian party said the attack was "a premeditated action of extremists which, no matter their ethnicity, deserve condemnation by all wanting to create a normal life for the region."


      BEIJING (CWNews.com) - Two Catholics priests have been detained by Chinese Communist authorities in a northern province, according to a US-based Catholic group on Thursday.

      Father Shi Wende was arrested on March 14 and Father Lu Genyou was detained on April 5, both while they were preparing to celebrate Mass in private homes, the Cardinal Kung Foundation of Stamford, Connecticut announced. The priests were members of the underground Catholic Church which remains loyal to the papacy and the doctrines of the Church. China's Communist government only allows the practice of the faith according to the state-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association which eschews contact with the Church Universal and Catholic doctrines. Members of underground churches have been sentenced to long terms in prison or labor camps, often without due process or trial.

      Local officials in Hebei province denied any knowledge of the arrests, but the foundation said the two cases were "signs of irrefutable continuous religious persecution" in China. The group said the arrests called into question China's commitment to a dialogue with the United States on religious freedom, and its resolve to implement the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.


      BELFAST (CWNews.com) - A majority of pro-republican Catholics and pro-unionist Protestants in Northern Ireland plan to vote in favor of an historic peace agreement that would try to end decades of violence in elections in May, according to polls published on Thursday.

      The first opinion polls after the agreement was reached during multi-party peace talks on Good Friday show that 73 percent of voters in Northern Ireland and 61 percent in the Irish Republic plan to vote "yes" on May 22. The survey commissioned by the Irish Times of Dublin also said 56 percent of people in Northern Ireland saw the agreement as having a reasonable chance of bringing a lasting peace.

      David Trimble of the Ulster Unionist Party, the largest pro-British party in the province, said he planned to campaign for approval of the plan despite efforts by extremists on both sides to scuttle the accord. Trimble said a decision by the Orange Order, a Protestant traditionalist group, not to support the deal for now did not necessarily represent a blow to hopes for its approval in the referendum. "This is not a rejection," he said on Wednesday after the Orange Order movement asked for clarification of the accord, especially on plans to release guerrilla prisoners early and reform the overwhelmingly Protestant police force.

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Featured is the Eighth and Ninth Days of the NOVENA OF DIVINE MERCY.

     We complete the Novena of Divine Mercy with the Eighth and Ninth Days before DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY this weekend. This Novena was imparted to Blessed Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun of the 1930's who is known as the "Apostle of Mercy."

For the eighth day of the Novena and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, click onDIVINE MERCY NOVENA


     Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your Justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your Mercy may be celebrated.

      Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your Mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

It is greatly recommended the above novena intentions and prayers be said together with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
(All material taken from Divine Mercy Devotions, copyright Marians of the Immaculate Conception)

For the ninth day of the Novena and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, click onDIVINE MERCY NOVENA

NINTH DAY OF THE NOVENA OF DIVINE MERCY: Easter Saturday, April 18, 1998

     Most Merciful Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure Love let these tepid souls, who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your Mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your Love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your Power.

      Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your Mercy. Amen

It is greatly recommended the above novena intentions and prayers be said together with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
(All material taken from Divine Mercy Devotions, copyright Marians of the Immaculate Conception)


      Devotion to Divine Mercy is conveyed through the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as Jesus imparted to Blessed Sister Faustina Kowalska when He relayed, as recorded in her diary "Divine Mercy in my soul", "Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you (1541)...Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death (687)...When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the Merciful Savior (1541)...Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My Infinite Mercy (687)...Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will. (1731).

      Following is the formula for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, prayed on the regular beads of the Rosary. It is most appropriate to pray it at 3 o'clock in the afternoon which is the "Hour of Great Mercy" as Jesus said to Blessed Faustina: At three o'clock, implore My Mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the Hour of Great Mercy...In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (1320).

      It is recommended to offer each decade to the wounds of Christ, such as the first decade in reparation for the wound in HIs Right Hand; the second decade in reparation for the wound in His Left Hand, the third decade in reparation for the wounds in His Sacred Feet; the fourth decade in reparation for the wounds in His Head in which the Crown of Thorns crushed His Sacred Skull; and the fifth decade in reparation for the wound in His side in which Blood and Water gushed forth as a Font of Mercy for all generations.

      The Novena to Divine Mercy, which Jesus asked Blessed Faustina to begin on Good Friday, 1937 is for nine days from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter) which is the Feast of Divine Mercy. Jesus told her, By this Novena [of Chaplets and particular intention each day] I will grant every possible grace to souls. (796).

Medjugorje Monthly Message for March 25th

   Dear children! Also today I call you to fasting and renunciation. Little children, renounce that which hinders you from being closer to Jesus. In a special way I call you: Pray, because only through prayer will you be able to overcome your will and discover the will of God even in the smallest things. By your daily life, little children, you will become an example and witness that you live for Jesus or against Him and His will. Little children, I desire that you become apostles of love. By loving, little children, it will be recognized that you are mine. Thank you for having responded to my call. For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE


"He who conceals his sins prospers not, but he who confesses and forsakes them obtains mercy."

Proverbs 28: 13

For all other standard features, articles and columns, click on Archives

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Apri1 17-19, 1998 volume 9, no. 75         DAILY CATHOLIC