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Holy Father honors Our Lady on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Replacing his regular Wednesday Papal Audience with an Angelus message for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Holy Father placed a special wreath at the base of the soaring statue of the Immaculate Conception in the Spanish Steps section of Rome and asked the Virgin, whose statue was constructed shortly after Pope Pius IX declared the Immaculate Conception dogma in 1854, to cross the threshold of the new millennium her children with when he officially opens the Holy Door on Christmas Eve. For more, click on Feast of the Immaculate Conception activities
Six man panel of Jews and Catholics to begin studying Vatican archives during World War II to satisfy questions of all
In order to appease those who still have questions regarding Pope Pius XII during World War II and his helping the Jews, they should have their answer sometime in the near future but it won't be until after a panel of three Catholic scholars and three Jewish scholars pour through volumes and volumes of sealed archives during the era of the Second World War in the Vatican vaults. Father Pierre Blet, who has perused all the archives, assures the panel they won't find anything new. Only time and hours of study will tell. For more, click on Vatican archives.
Pope talks of the transition of the Diocese of Macao into Chinese mainland hands, sees it as an opportunity to open the door to talks with Beijing in hopes an agreement can be reached
With the transfer of Macao to mainland China just over one week away, the Holy Father expressed confidence that this island, which was the portal for evangelization of China back from 1575 on, will open new doors to evangelization and reconciliation with the Chinese government in allowing more religious freedom for the underground Church in China which only recognizes the Patriotic Chinese Catholic church, a sect not in union with Rome. He held out hope that this Christian stronghold, colonized by the Portuguese will be able to continue their Catholic traditions. For more, click on Transfer of Macao.
Busy day for His Holiness in calling for solidarity in the Mideast and with the Lutheran Church
The day after the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception the Pope was back at work, busier than ever by meeting in the morning with members of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine celebrating the 50th anniversary since its founding by Pope Pius XII in 1949 to assure peace in the Mideast for all and to alleviate the suffering of the people there. That same morning the Holy Father met with Lutheran Federation representatives, expressing his prayers and hopes that some day all may be one. He singled out the Lutherans' joint participation with Catholics in some events of Jubilee 2000 including Church Unity Week and events to commemorate martyrs of this century. For more, click on Busy day for Vicar of Christ
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Are loyal Catholics being hung out to dry by the liberal liturgists?
In today's editorial, we point out how the Church is seriously reconsidering returning to a more traditional liturgy because more and more the Holy See can see how loyal Catholics are being hung out to dry by liberal liturgists who are all wet when it comes to Catholic liturgical practices. For the hymns, liturgical practices and emphasis on the Liturgy of the Word over the Liturgy of the Eucharist are void of tradition and a Catholic identity. The Vatican has expressed concern that our liturgy has become too ordinary because Ordinary Time has become synonomous with mediocrity and liturgical practices with no rhyme or reason, and no melody to the hymns sung practically non-stop and off-key during the Mass. For the editorial, We've come a long way, baby; the wrong way! see CATHOLIC PewPOINT
The Power of the Rosary through the Message of Medjugorje
In her column this week, Sister Mary Lucy Astuto resumes relating a story from a friend who experienced conversion through God's providence and His Blessed Mother's secret weapon - the Rosary. It all began in Medjugorje after her dear friend Kathy, like so many other millions, had read about the "Miracle of Medjugorje" from Wayne Weible and heard the call of Our Lady to come to her special Oasis of Peace in then Yugoslavia back in 1988. Sister writes from Kathy's point of view in sharing how Kathy's heart was moved to pray with the heart for that is truly the crux in getting to the heart of the matter as Sister Lucy shows in the fourth of a multiple series. For her column this weekend, Kathy's Rosary Story part five, click on GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
The DAILY WORD
Taken from the Gospel for the Mass on the Third Sunday of Advent - Gaudete Sunday:
"He said, 'I am the voice of one crying in the desert, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as said Isaias the prophet. And they who had been sent were from among the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him, 'Why, then, dost thou baptize, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elias, nor the Prophet?' John said to them in answer, 'I baptize with water; but in the midst of you there has stood One Whom you do not know. He it is Who is to come after me, Who has been set above me, the strap of Whose sandal I am not worthy to loose.'" John 1: 23-27
Events this weekend in Church History
Friday is the 20th anniversary of the death of the greatest orator of this century, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen who took the country by storm in the fifties and early sixties with his weekly coast-to-coast program "Life is Worth Living" on network television every Sunday night when families of many faiths would gather in front of their sets to hear the simple, logical and theologically sound words of this great prelate. He was 84 years old when he died in New York City. He and his straightforward, loving but firm style has been sorely missed ever since. For other events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history this weekend, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
LITURGY FOR THE WEEKEND
This weekend we celebrate on Friday the Second Friday of Advent and the Second Saturday of Advent, shared by the Feast of Pope Saint Damasus I while on Sunday the Third Sunday of Advent or Gaudete Sunday overshadows the festive Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We begin the third week commemorating the Feast of Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr. For the liturgies, readings, meditations and vignettes on these feasts, click on WEEKEND LITURGY
Cardinal Adolfo Antonio Suarez Rivera has served as the Archbishop of the sprawling Monterrey Archdiocese in Mexico since 1983
We continue with this special series introducing you to the Princes of the Church. Our one-hundred-thirty-third red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order, is the 72 year-old Mexican prelate Cardinal Adolfo Antonio Suarez Rivera who for sixteen years has served as the Archbishop of Monterrey in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. He was elevated to the cardinalate by Pope John Paul II during the Consistory of November 26, 1994. For more on Cardinal Adolfo Antonio Suarez Rivera, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
Appreciation of the Existence of God
Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. We feature today an installment on the Existence of God. To those atheists and doubters, the lesson today provides undeniable proof that He exists. In fact, those were the first words of the Blessed Mother of God when she first appeared to the visionaries in Medjugorje on June 25, 1981: "I have come to tell you God exists." For the sixty-eighth installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
SIMPLY SHEEN: Material things cannot fill our hunger
They say a picture is worth 1000 words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminarydid so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".
"The prodigal son was seeking something good for himself - something to satisfy his hunger - when he tried to live on husks; he was wrong only in his judgment, in thinking husks as food for a man. All of us are in the same predicament as he. We are forever trying to fill our lives, our minds, our bodies, our homes with 'goods,' and we accept nothing unless it seems, at the moment, to have some good in it. But our estimates are not always correct; we may mistake an apparent for a real good, thus injuring ourselves."
"Toy Story 2" plays with competition in running away with number one again
Top Ten Films for the first week of December
There was virtually no change in the top drawing movies for the week with Buzz LIghtyear and Cowboy Woody continuing to ride high with Disney's "Toy Story 2" (the sequel to the original "Toy Story") still holding strong at number one by a wide margin, nearly tripling the latest Bond offering "The World is Not Enough," the apocalyptic violent flick "End of Days," and a scary recreation of Washington Irving's novel "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" with "Sleepy Hollow." As for the Top Ten reviews for the first week of December prepared by the NCCB, click on MOVIES AND MORALS
COUNTDOWN TO THE JUBILEE: