December 19-21, 1997   vol 8, no.56

     SECTION TWO     
To print out SECTION ONE, click here

"God bless us all everyone"

      Those were the words of Tiny Tim Cratchit in Dicken's classic "Christmas Carol" and we echo the same words as we celebrate the liturgy on the final weekend before His birthday. The Readings for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday are all included in this issue. Also, the Nine Day Christmas Novena continues with the fourth, fifth and sixth day:


"O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry."
(Add an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be)


"O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death."
(Add an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be)


"O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!"
(Add an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be)

FRIDAY, December 19, 1997

SATURDAY, December 20, 1997

"The Pickwick Papers"

      Though the Instructions handed down by the Holy See last month on curbing abuses of the lay role in assisting the priest are not called "The Pickwick Papers" after another of Dicken's novels, many radicals are calling his document from all members of the curia (a first in the history of the Vatican!) - the "Picky Papers" because their agenda of watering down the liturgy has been exposed by the Holy See with these explicit instructions. As we near the completion of bringing you this complete document, we present the twenty first installment of these instructions with PRACTICAL PROVISIONS Article 12 Leading the Celebration at Funerals. Click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS

INSTRUCTION on Certain Questions regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest

Twenty-first installment: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 12
Leading the Celebrations at Funerals

In the present circumstances of growing dechristianization and of abandonment of religious practice, death and the time of obsequies can be one of the most opportune pastoral moments in which the ordained minister can meet with the non-practising members of the faithful.

It is thus desirable that Priests and Deacons, even at some sacrifice to themselves, should preside personally at funeral rites in accordance with local custom, so as to pray for the dead and be close to their families, thus availing of an opportunity for appropriate evangelization.

The non-ordained faithful may lead the ecclesiastical obsequies provided that there is a true absence of sacred ministers and that they adhere to the prescribed liturgical norms. (111) Those so deputed should be well prepared both doctrinally and liturgically. NEXT ISSUE: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 13 Necessary Selection and Adequate Formation


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

December 19, 1997

      Blessed Mother, the Baby stirs in your womb and you smile, knowing how near Heaven is to all the earth. You desired to share your joy with all, but kept silent, knowing the time had not yet come. Blessed Mother, through your intercession help us in these final days before the Feast of Christmas, to ponder in our hearts all of God's benevolence for us, and to proclaim proudly His Name and that we are His children in every aspect of our lives.

December 20, 1997

      Heavenly Father, the angels trembled in anticipation of the great event which was but a few days away. You beheld your servants Joseph and Mary, and knew the difficulties they faced, and would face. Yet Your grace sheltered them, and You led them along the sure path. Help us to walk in the sure way which is always Your Way, that we may arrive at the Heavenly Bethlehem to adore the tiny Good Shepherd.

December 21, 1997

      Dear Mother of God, the day is almost upon us and somehow we have not done all that we intended through this novena . Yet we renew again this day our desire to be one with Jesus. We desire to be present at the stable in Bethlehem, there to kneel and offer homage and praise with you and St. Joseph, interced for us, obtaining these graces of which we are not worthy, but of which we trust in God's love and mercy. Take us by the hand and help us walk beside you and Joseph as you set out from Nazareth on the road to Bethlehem.

NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



      VATICAN (CWN) -- Pope John Paul II has officially approved declarations that attest to the "heroic virtue" of Padre Pio and of Sister Therese de Saint-Augustin, a Carmelite nun better known today as the daughter of King Louis XV of France.

      The Congregation for the Causes of Saints today announced 15 new decrees, of which five announce the recognition of a miracle attributed to a "venerable servant of God," and ten indicate that candidates for beatification have been found to have shown "heroic virtue." These decrees were formally promulgated in the Pope's presence this morning.

      Among those in whose lives the Congregation found evidence of "heroic virtue," the best known was Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, the famous Capuchin monk and stigmatist. Born in 1887 as Francesco Forgione, he attained worldwide fame as a confessor at the Capuchin monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo; thousands of pilgrims flocked to the site, and many reported miraculous apparitions or cures. He died in 1968.

      The decree that a candidate for sainthood lived a life of "heroic virtue" clears the way for beatification. The next step would be the approval of a miracle attributed to the intercession of this "servant of God." Once a miracle is approved, the Pope may schedule a date for beatification.


      RIO DE JANEIRO (CWN) - A retired doctor on Wednesday convinced an 11-year-old girl and her parents not to go ahead with a court-approved abortion one day after a judge ruled that she was eligible for one under the law because she had been raped.

      The unidentified girl was allegedly raped by a 38-year-old farm worker in her hometown four months ago, and her parents petitioned the court one month ago to allow the abortion, causing an uproar in the media between opponents and supporters of abortion. A judge ruled on Tuesday that the abortion could proceed, but news reports on Wednesday said the anonymous retired obstetrician visited the girl's parents and changed their minds with the help of their local priest.

      The doctor and the parents then traveled to Rio de Janeiro where the girl was in the hospital preparing for the abortion the next day and stopped the abortion from taking place.


      VATICAN CITY (CWN) - US blues singer B.B. King gave his most beloved possession to Pope John Paul on Thursday to celebrate his upcoming his appearance at the 5th annual Vatican Christmas concert on Friday.

      King, 72, one of the most famous blues artists in the genre's history, presented his electric guitar "Lucille" which he has played for more than 50 years to the Holy Father at a special audience for the singers and musicians performing at the concert. Other artists attending the audience included Italian pop star Massimo Ranieri, Italian actress Monica Vitti, Portuguese folk group Madredeus, and members of the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra.

      The Holy Father thanked King for his gift and wished him a Merry Christmas. King said before the audience, "Meeting the Pope will be a very emotional experience for me."

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

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


"Hold fast to instruction, never let her go; keep her, for she is your life."

Proverbs 4: 13

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

Click here to return to SECTION ONE, or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue of the Daily CATHOLIC.

December 19-21, 1997 volume 8, no. 56         DAILY CATHOLIC

December 1997