December 16, 1997   vol 8, no.53

     SECTION TWO     
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For the Advent Novena Prayer and all prayers up until today, click on ADVENT Novena Prayers

December 16, 1997

      Blessed Mother, we can not be sure just when the journey began for you and St. Joseph to Bethlehem. You had so little that you had to take with you. It was difficult to travel in those days. Through your intercession, help us to remember that we offer so little sacrifice to God, and that we could give Him so much more by surrendering the luxuries of this life in anticipation of the glories of the next.

Song of Advent

     The Liturgy of Advent presents a veritable chorus of harmonious prayers and preparation for the glorious solemnity of Christ's birth. The nine day novena leading up to Christmas begins today with the first prayer: FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS NOVENA: "O Shepherd that rulest Israel, Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep, come to guide and comfort us. (Add an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be) For today's Liturgy for Late Advent, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

Medjugorje Monthly Message for November 25th

    Dear children: Today I invite you to comprehend your Christian vocation. Little children, I led and am leading you through this time of grace, that you may become conscious of your Christian vocation. Holy martyrs died witnessing: I am a Christian and love God over everything. Little children, today also I invite you to rejoice and be joyful Christians, responsible and conscious that God called you in a special way to be joyfully extended hands toward those who do not believe, and that through the example of your life, they may receive faith and love for God. Therefore, pray, pray, pray that your heart may open and be sensitive for the Word of God. Thank you for having responded to my call!
For more on Medjugorje, Click on MEDJUGORJE

NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



      MEXICO CITY (CWN) - Monsignor Ramon Ortiz, rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, said on Sunday that "Mexico is ready for a papal visit," after learning that the Synod for the Americas in Rome recommended that Pope John Paul announce his post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation at the basilica.

      "We only hope the Apostolic Exhortation could be ready by July, 1998, so the Pope's visit to the Basilica could coincide with the Third World Meeting of Catholic Priests," said Monsignor Ortiz. The meeting, which will gather more than 5,000 priests from around the world, will take place from July 7 to 12 at the Guadalupe Basilica.

      If the Holy Father accepts the Synod's proposal, Mexico would receive its fourth visit from the present pontiff. Pope John Paul visited Mexico in January 1979, May 1990, and August 1993. Mexicans celebrated the 466th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary to Blessed Juan Diego on Friday. Between 3.5 to 4.5 million pilgrims converged on the basilica dedicated to the patroness of the Americas as they do every year.


     VATICAN (CWN) -- The Vatican today is anticipating a welcome change in policy by the Cuban government: a decision to make Christmas a legal holiday, for the first time since 1969. While no official announcement to that effect has been made in Havana, sources at the Vatican have already proclaimed their "satisfaction and recognition" over the coming announcement.

      The December 13 edition of Juvendud Rebelde, a Communist Party publication in Cuba, reported that Fidel Castro had made the decision to reinstate the Christmas holiday in response to a request from Pope John Paul II. The publication said that Castro was making the gesture-- for one year only-- as a sign of welcome to the Pope, who will visit Cuba in January.

      According to Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino of Havana, the Holy Father had asked Castro to restore the holiday during a private conversation in Rome last year.

      Christmas is widely celebrated in Cuba, but the government-- which still embraces an official ideology of atheism-- has made December 25 a normal day of work.


      BELFAST (CWN) - A group of masked men attacked a Catholic church in Londonderry in Northern Ireland on Friday sparking a weekend of violence between Catholics and Protestants.

      The men wielding sticks caused extensive damage to the building but no one was injured, police said. On Saturday, a Catholic mob responded to a pro-British march by the Protestant Apprentice Boys by throwing thousands of gasoline bombs, burning several buildings and many vehicles. The violence was the worst in the province since the Irish Republican Army declared a unilateral ceasefire in its guerilla war last July.

      A police spokesman said the city had returned to an uneasy calm on Sunday morning after a full-night of rioting and that 13 arrests had been made, five policemen had been injured, and an 11-year-old boy was in the hospital after being hit by rock. None of the Friday night vandals were captured by police.

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"The wicked man steps into a snare, but the just man runs on joyfully, singing and rejoicing."

Proverbs 29: 6

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

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December 16, 1997 volume 8, no. 53         DAILY CATHOLIC

December 1997