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April 27, 1998             SECTION ONE              vol 9, no. 81

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St. Louis blues turn to cheers!

     The Vatican announced late last week what everyone already knew, that John Paul II will formally close the American Synod of Bishops in Mexico City at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in January 1999. But what few knew was that the Holy Father will make a special visit to the U.S. during the same trip and the blessed recipient will be the faithful of St. Louis, Missouri where the Pope will be welcomed by Archbishop Justin F. Rigali who was handpicked by the supreme pontiff as his personal choice for that archdiocese. With the announcement and the recent deaths of a few cardinals eligible for the College of Cardinals, speculation increases that the next red hat from the U.S. could very well be Rigali, a traditional giant in the heartland of America. For more, click on Holy Father St. Louie-bound


      VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Vatican today confirmed that Pope John Paul II will travel to Mexico City in January 1999. He will also make a short visit in St. Louis, Missouri.

      The Pope's visit to Mexico from January 22 to 25 will furnish the occasion for the formal promulgation of the apostolic exhortation concluding the special Synod of Bishops for the Americas, which was held at the Vatican late last year.

      The Pope's visit to St. Louis will be his first stop in that city.

April 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message for

     Dear children! Today I call you, through prayer, to open yourselves to God as a flower opens itself to the rays of the morning sun. Little children, do not be afraid. I am with you and I intercede before God for each of you so that your heart receives the gift of conversion. Only in this way, little children, will you comprehend the importance of grace in these times and God will become nearer to you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE


     Today is the 207th anniversary of the birthday of Samuel F. Morse, inventor of the world-renowned Morse Code which came into such prominence during World War I and World War II as a vital U.S. military communications mode. It was during World War II that millions of Jews were slain at the Auschwitz Death Camp in Poland. They have questioned the Church's involvement and role in coming to their aid and, through the Vatican document "We Remember. A Reflection on the Shoah", the Holy Father and Cardinal Edward Isdry Cassady, author of the document answer these concerns with the Vatican document. For the fourth and final installment, click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS

We Remember. A Reflection on the Shoah

fourth and final installment:

From the Vatican, 12 March 1998.



V. Looking together to a common future

      Looking to the future of relations between Jews and Christians, in the first place we appeal to our Catholic brothers and sisters to renew the awareness of the Hebrew roots of their faith. We ask them to keep in mind that Jesus was a descendant of David; that the Virgin Mary and the Apostles belonged to the Jewish people; that the Church draws sustenance from the root of that good olive tree on to which have been grafted the wild olive branches of the Gentiles (cf. Rom 11:17-24); that the Jews are our dearly beloved brothers, indeed in a certain sense they are "our elder brothers".(21)

      At the end of this Millennium the Catholic Church desires to express her deep sorrow for the failures of her sons and daughters in every age. This is an act of repentance (teshuva), since, as members of the Church, we are linked to the sins as well as the merits of all her children. The Church approaches with deep respect and great compassion the experience of extermination, the Shoah, suffered by the Jewish people during World War II. It is not a matter of mere words, but indeed of binding commitment. "We would risk causing the victims of the most atrocious deaths to die again if we do not have an ardent desire for justice, if we do not commit ourselves to ensure that evil does not prevail over good as it did for millions of the children of the Jewish people ... Humanity cannot permit all that to happen again".(22)

      We pray that our sorrow for the tragedy which the Jewish people has suffered in our century will lead to a new relationship with the Jewish people. We wish to turn awareness of past sins into a firm resolve to build a new future in which there will be no more anti-Judaism among Christians or anti-Christian sentiment among Jews, but rather a shared mutual respect, as befits those who adore the one Creator and Lord and have a common father in faith, Abraham.

      Finally, we invite all men and women of good will to reflect deeply on the significance of the Shoah. The victims from their graves, and the survivors through the vivid testimony of what they have suffered, have become a loud voice calling the attention of all of humanity. To remember this terrible experience is to become fully conscious of the salutary warning it entails: the spoiled seeds of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism must never again be allowed to take root in any human heart.


Out with the Old, in with the New

      That is what the Holy Spirit can do for each one of us - shedding the ego of the old person, and taking on the humility of the new person - as Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. explains in his talk today as he continues his take on Zero Resistance, Zero Ego Drive in his column about "How to Pray with the Heart." To find out more, click on HEARTS TO HEART TALK

How to Pray with the Heart

column thirty: Zero Resistance, Zero Ego Drive

      There is a problem that arises in all of us at one time or another regarding our inconsistence in behavior. If I have been baptized, if I have been confirmed, if the Holy Spirit dwells within me, how come I still experience an ego drive in many actions. How come I find myself resisting grace, resisting the Spirit, and resisting Mary? It is the "old man" hanging on and trying to co-exist with the "new man". It is the fact that we live in the world of which Satan has taken hold. It is that fact that though the mind knows the Truth, the heart has not yet chosen or chosen only half-heartedly, to implement It into its daily life.

      For most of us it is a lifelong task to whittle away at resisting the Holy Spirit and with His help to melt down our ego drive. Some days we gain, some days we lose ground. It is for this reason that Jesus tells us that the "one who persevers to the end will be saved." (Matt. 10:22).

      We could help ourselves in this struggle between the "old and new man" within us if we would allow ourselves to nurture the experience of surrender within our heart. From the start to surrender to things like the weather, the habits of spouses, the wrinkles on our face, and the like. We can then graduate to the experience of surrender to our limitations, to our daily crosses, to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The final and the highest form of surrender is the surrender we experience when we surrender to the Holy Spirit even our need to be in continued surrender to Him in all that He wishes to do in us, with us and through us, that is when we consecrate our life in its entirety to Him, that He and only He would become the source of power within us.

      Impossible? No really. Difficult? Yes. Let us remember that heaven is a reward for work done. Putting forth energy is quite necessary. However, to realize that even the putting forth of energy must in itself be prompted by the Spirit. We are to become totally dependent upon Him even in our prayer to become totally dependent upon Him. It is He Who is the Source of all life, all grace, all energy directed towards spiritual development.

      Our Blessed Mother is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Loving spouses as these two are, always work together. As Mary’s little children, we need no ego power to approach Her in our need to surrender more and more willingly and more and more completely to the Holy Spirit. In her request that we consecrate ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart, she has a deeper request, that we consecrate ourselves to Her Son’s Sacred Heart and still a deeper request that we consecrate ourselves to Her Spouse, the Holy Spirit. Putting ourselves completely into His care, will be reassuring that the day can come and for many, it will come when much of our day and at time, most of our day, will be spent I zero resistance and zero ego power in following through on the wishes of the Holy Spirit and His Spouse, our Mother.

Events this day in Church History

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

Historical Events in Church Annals for April 27:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
provided by Catholic World News Service



      KIGALI, Rwanda (CWNews.com) - Twenty-two people were executed by firing squads in Rwanda on Thursday, the first death sentences carried out in retaliation of the 1994 ethnic genocide despite pleas from Pope John Paul II and international human rights groups for clemency.

      The executions of the 20 men and one woman took place in five cities in locations where massacres of an estimated 500,000 Tutsis were carried out by extremist Hutus following the collapse of the government in 1994. In Kigali, the convicts were tied to posts, black sacks draped over their heads and white bands marked with targets bound to their chests. After a minutes-long pause during which the crowd jeered angrily, blue-uniformed police officers shot them one by one from a distance of less than a yard.

      At least 330 people have been tried in Rwanda for genocide and 116 have been convicted and sentenced to death, including two Catholic priests this week. One-third of those tried have been convicted and sentenced to life in prison, 20 were acquitted and the rest received sentences of varying lengths. More than 125,000 people are awaiting trial.

      Many international groups and persons including Amnesty International and the United States, as well as the Holy Father, called for mercy and clemency in order to let real healing begin without revenge-inspired retribution.

      Pope John Paul II today expressed sorrow over the executions carried out in Rwanda and in the United States where 3 convicted killers were put to death on April 22.

      The Pope had appealed for clemency for the prisoners in Rwanda, and had intervened with Texas Governor George bush Jr, seeking a stay of execution for Joseph Cannon, who was put to death there.

      Pope John Paul has made no secret of his personal opposition to capital punishment, and his strong stand has led to a change in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which now states that while capital punishment may be morally justifiable, in practice it should not be used in the modern developed world.


      WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The US Senate narrowly passed a plan to create tax-free savings accounts for school expenses which would allow parents to save money for private school tuition, but President Bill Clinton has already vowed to veto the bill.

      The bill was passed by 56-43 with only a few Republicans and Democrats crossing over party lines. The measure also includes amendments which oppose creating federal math and reading tests and ends the Education Department's control over some spending programs. Supporters said the bill was intended to return control of education to states, local school districts, and parents. "What we have here is a choice between the status quo and people who want to empower parents to have more of a role in the education of their children," said Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire.

      The measure's co-sponsors said the tax-free savings accounts are a modest way to help working and poor families meet school expenses and find alternatives to dangerous or substandard public schools. The bill must now be reconciled with a House-passed version.


      DERVENTA, Bosnia-Herzegovina (CWNews.com) - Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo and a group of Croatian Catholic pilgrims were attacked last Thursday and held hostage for six hours in Derventa, a town in the Serbian-controlled part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

      The cardinal's secretary received a head injury, inflicted by a thrown stone, and four other pilgrims, refugees who lived in Derventa before the 1992-95 civil war, sustained injuries. The group was visiting their hometown to which they still cannot return, and wanted to at least visit the remains of the church and graveyards and celebrate Mass, a spokesman said.

      Cardinal Puljic and the group of around 600 pilgrims arrived to Derventa at 11:30 am in by buses and private cars, and proceeded to clean the graveyard beside the destroyed church, where the cardinal was scheduled to celebrate Mass. Instead, a crowd of 1,500 Serbian attacked the group, throwing stones and eggs and hurling curses and insults. An explosive device was thrown into the crypt where Cardinal Puljic and around 100 pilgrims sought shelter, but luckily only the ignitor exploded. The crowd also tried to set the crypt on fire, but was stopped by the local police.

      The international police forces were not able to control the crowd and had to retreat to their headquarters. After six hours as hostages in the crypt, the pilgrims were saved by the SFOR troops of the UN. Cardinal Puljic was taken by SFOR forces to Sarajevo. Rescued pilgrims were escorted out of Serbian-controlled territories in special reinforced buses at which a couple of fire bombs were thrown. A number of the pilgrims' private vehicles were stolen by Serbian civilians and one bus was destroyed, police said.

      Auxiliary Bishop Pero Sudar of Sarajevo said that the first pilgrimage of exiled Croats to Derventa had all the necessary permits, including written permission of the Government of Republika Srpska -- the Serbian part of the Bosnia-Hercegovina federation.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT:To subscribe to Catholic World News Service, available daily by e-mail, click here .


     Today is observed as a Weekday in Easter before the Church celebrates five consecutive days of commemorating six stellar saints. For the liturgy, readings, and meditations for today and tomorrow's Mass celebrating the feasts of both Saint Peter Chanel and Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.

Monday, April 27, 1998

Tuesday, April 28, 1998

Tuesday, April 28:
Tuesday in the Third Week of Easter and
Feast of Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Religious Missionary Martyr and Feast of Saint Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort, Priest, Writer and Religious Founder


Tomorrow begins a series of five consecutive days that features six stellar saints of the Church. In honor of that, we feature the Preface from All Saints

     Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give You thanks. Today we keep the festival of Your holy city, the Heavenly Jerusalem, our mother. Around Your throne the saints, our brothers and sisters, sing Your praise for ever. Their glory fills us with joy, and their communion with us in Your Church gives us inspiration and strength, as we hasten on our pilgrimage of faith, eager to meet them.


"Truthful lips endure forever, the lying tongue, for only a moment."

Proverbs 12: 19

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

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Apri1 27, 1998 volume 9, no. 81   DAILY CATHOLIC