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March 2, 1998
SECTION TWO   vol 9, no. 43
Prayer is the key and the key to Prayers is here!
Today's recipient of our "Golden Chalice Award" features something we can all use during Lent - Prayer. A privately owned homepage by a webmaster with Federal credentials, he has devoted his time and energy to producing a site that provides every prayer you can imagine. For the review of Ken Merrill's webdesk.com Catholic Prayers and Passages pages, entitled If you need a prayer for the occasion, this is the place!, click on SIGNIFICANT SITE OF THE WEEK
SIGNIFICANT SITE OF THE WEEK:
If you need a prayer for the occasion, this is the place!
Lent is a time for prayer and reflection. The Blessed Mother at Medjugorje this month said, "Through prayer and your renunciation you will become more open to the gift of faith and love towards the Church and the people who around you." Our Lord has advised in Sacred Scripture to pray often. Pope John Paul II has said of prayer (which can be located on this site) "At no moment, and in no historical period, especially in an age so critical as ours, can the Church forget prayer. It is a
cry to the mercy of God in the face of manifold forms of evil which weigh upon mankind, and threaten it." This site webdesk.com Catholic Prayers and Passages, operated by Ken Morrill is somewhat of a sidelight since Ken also is webmaster for two high-visibility government web sites - one for the Department of Commerce, the other for the Department of Defense. But his first love is his hobby of providing a Catholic web site on his webdesk.com pages that offer every prayer you could think of and many you've never thought of. If it's not here, chances are the links provided will lead you to just the prayer you may be looking for. Yet, "Catholic Prayers" Page is different than other sites which list so many links and depend on other sites to provide information. Here, Ken provides prayers alphabetically by category from angels to weddings, covering the sacraments, feast days, the liturgy, illnesses, petitions, et cetera. You name the need and it is probably available. Almost every prayer prints out quickly in text form. The pages load superfast. In addition to Prayers, he also provides numerous links pages and a special page devoted to definitions, explanations and quotes from saints and leaders of the Church in "Passages" where one can find the regulations for Lent to what indulgences are received when reading Sacred Scripture. Though this section is not as thorough as the Prayers section, it does provide insight to the heart, mind and soul.
This site is not large and is quick and easy to navigate. Probably the best feature is the fact all prayers and passages print out very quickly so that people can use these prayers as needed. He is constantly adding to these and if you have a special prayer not yet on his pages, you might want to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're sure he'd appreciate being able to add it if it will help and serve as an edifying vehicle for others. We especially chose this site this week because of his content on Lent in both the Prayers and Passage pages. While it is a small site, it is edifying and helpful to all who go there for a specific prayer or passage or just want to browse. Therefore, we present our "Golden Chalice Award" to this site and confer TWO Hail Mary's to this site for loyalty to Mary's call to "Pray! Pray! Pray!"
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Renew my eagerness to work with You in building a better world, so that my friends may hear Your gospel of peace
For more devotions of Lent, click on WAY OF THE CROSS
We enter the first full week of Lent
All week we will attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the priest wearing the purple or violet vestments, even though tomorrow and Wednesday are optional feasts of saints. Such is the season of Lent which takes preference. Thus, for today and tomorrow's liturgies, readings and meditations, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY
MONDAY, March 2, 1998
First Reading: Leviticus 19: 1-2, 11-18
Psalms: Psalm 19: 8-10, 15 and John 6: 63 (Responsorial)
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25: 31-46
TUESDAY, March 3, 1998
Tuesday, March 3: Tuesday in the First Week of Lent and
Optional Memorial of Blessed Katharine Drexel, Virgin and Religious Founder
First Reading: Isaiah 55: 10-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34: 4-7, 16-19
Gospel Reading: Matthew 6: 7-15
Blessed Katharine Drexel
The same year our Blessed Mother appeared at Lourdes in France Blessed Katherine Drexel was born across the sea in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After her mother died at childbirth, Katherine was well taken care of by her wealthy banking father who later remarried a loving stepmother who loved Katherine as well. Katherine was afforded the best education money could buy and traveled extensively. The Third Plenary Council of Baltimore solicited the rich to contribute to the missions serving the Indians and Blacks in America. Because of her family's wealth, Katherine became deeply involved in this ministry which took her all the way to the Vatican and a private audience with Pope Leo XIII who convinced her to become a missionary to these people herself. Spurred on by his encouragement she entered the Pittsburgh novitiate of the Sisters of Mercy and, after solemn profession, she founded her own religious congregation of nuns in 1891 - the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. That same year her family established the Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia. Katherine took notes and dedicated to educating the Blacks and Indians, founded Xavier University in New Orleans as an all-Black college in 1915. Katherine lived through six pontiffs from Pius IX to Pius XII and it is estimated that upon her death in 1955, she had donated over 12 million dollars toward the apostolate for Blacks and Indians. She was beatified in 1988 by Pope John Paul II who set her date for observance on March 3.
Medjugorje Monthly Message for February 25th
Dear children! Also today I am with you and I, again, call all of you to come closer to me through your prayers. In a special way, I call you to renunciation in this time of grace. Little children, meditate on and live, through your little sacrifices, the Passion and Death of Jesus for each of you. Only if you come closer to Jesus will you comprehend the immeasurable love He has for each of you. Through prayer and your renunciation you will become more open to the gift of faith and love towards the Church and the people who are around you. I love and bless you. Thank you for having responded to my call! For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Ad Limina Visits begin for U.S. Bishops
The Holy Father received the first contingent of U.S. Bishops this past week and emphasized the need to be strong and vigorous in erasing doubts about doctrine and scripture, to proclaim emphatically His gospel in a land that has been spoiled by cultural decline in morals. For more, click on Ad Limina to read more.
"MORAL VALUES" NOT ENOUGH, POPE TELLS US BISHOPS
VATICAN (CWN) -- The mere effort to uphold "moral values" is not an adequate representation of the Gospel message, Pope John Paul II today cautioned a group of American bishops. It is necessary, he said,
to proclaim "Jesus Christ, the sole mediator between God and men."
The Pope today received the first group of bishops from the US to
arrive in Rome for their ad limina visit. This group, from the New
York region, will be followed by the other American bishops in a
series of ad limina visits during the coming weeks.
"Our era needs to hear the truth revealed by God, about man and
about the human condition," the Holy Father said. He asked the
bishops to undertake their mission of teaching the Gospel with vigor
and courage. "The task of a bishop is nothing other than this: to be a
convincing witness and a courageous teacher of the truth which sets
man free," he said.
Pope John Paul noted that the message of the Gospel has obvious
applications to the leading social issues of the day; he mentioned in
particular the need to restore understanding for "the dignity of the
human person." But he warned that the promotion of "moral values"
constitutes only a small part of the Christian evangelical message.
"The challenge is enormous, but this is the moment!" the Pope
insisted. He said the Catholics of the United States suffer from the
effects of a cultural climate marked by secularism and by doubt, and
urged the bishops to confront "the challenge of radical skepticism" by
boldly proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ. The modern secular
world does not have the strength to guard human freedom, he
pointed out; only the Christian truth can make men truly free.
Finally, the Pope observed that all sound theology must be firmly
founded in the Word of God. He warned against analysis of the
Scripture based on "sterile rationalism or cultural pressures," and
recommended an effort to see the Bible as the "living Word"-- as
God's gift to the Church.
Churches and Religious organizations breathe a little easier with passage of Tithing Protection Bill
In a departure from the norm, the Senate voted to uphold the rights of churches, religious and charitable organizations from being dunned for payback by allowing them to keep tithes made by persons who have declared bankruptcy. Under this new bill creditors will not be able to demand payment from those non-profit organizations. For more, click on Tithing Bill to read more.
SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES PROTECTION OF TITHES FROM BANKRUPTCY
WASHINGTON, DC (CWN) - The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill on Thursday that will protect tithes and pledges to churches made by people who declare bankruptcy from creditors.
The bill -- co-sponsored by committee chairman Sen. Orrin
Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa -- would
re-enact some of the protections for churches lost when the
Supreme Court struck down the 1993 Religious Freedom
Restoration Act. The proposal was prompted by several
recent court cases in which courts have ordered churches to
surrender gifts from donors to their creditors. "Such
judicial action seriously threatens the ability of
religious institutions not only to function but to
survive," Hatch said in a statement.
His bill would prevent federal bankruptcy judges from
forcing churches and other tax-exempt, charitable
organizations to return donations of up to 15 percent of a
debtor's gross annual income, even if donated after
bankruptcy was declared. The House is also considering a
similar bill which is being co-sponsored by more than 100
Proof that China pulled wool over eyes of U.S. Delegation
As we wrote in these pages in the last issue, while the Chinese Communist government was trying to put on its best face, more cracks are showing serious wrinkles in their credibility when it was learned that key Catholics in China were physically prohibited from meeting with the U.S. fact finding team of three religious leaders. For more, click on China coverup to read more.
LOYAL CHINESE CATHOLICS BARRED FROM US VISITORS
VATICAN (CWN) -- Representatives of the underground Catholic Church loyal to the Holy See were prevented from meeting with an
American delegation investigating religious freedom in that country, according to the Vatican news agency Fides.
Fides cited reports from independent agents in Hong Kong, who in
turn had heard from contacts on the mainland that Catholics in Hebei,
Shanghai, and Jiangxi that Catholic leaders had been stopped by
police as they attempted to reach the American visitors.
The American delegates, who traveled to China with White House
approval, included one Catholic leader (Archbishop Theodore
McCarrick of Newark), one Evangelical Protestant (Rev. Donald
Argue), and one Jew (Rabbi Arthur Schneier). They met with Ye
Xiawen, the Chinese government's chief official for religious affairs,
and presented him with a list of Chinese religious leaders who were
believed to be imprisoned by the regime. The Beijing government
stoutly denied that anyone is in jail for religious reasons.
Pope to close American Synod at Guadalupe early next year
Though no date was set, the Holy Father let it be known he is definitely accepting the American Bishops' invitation to close the Synod, begun last fall, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe early in 1999. At the same time another invitation came to the Vatican for the Pope to make a visit; this time from Turkey. For more, click on American Synod to read more.
POPE TO VISIT MEXICO EARLY IN 1999 AND TURKISH LEADER INVITES A PAPAL VISIT
VATICAN (CWN) -- Pope John Paul II will plan to visit Mexico in early 1999, according to an announcement made on Mexican national television by Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez of Guadalajara.
During the Synod of Bishops for the Americas last year, the Holy
Father was asked to come to Mexico, to the shrine of Our Lady of
Guadalupe, for the formal promulgation of the final apostolic
exhortation that will encapsulate the findings of the Synod. The
invitation was formally issued by Archbishop Norberto Rivera
Carrera of Mexico City, who was elevated to the rank of cardinal just
last week. The Pope accepted that invitation, leaving the specific
details of the trip to be determined later; the schedule will depend in
part on the Pope's progress in drafting and editing the post-synodal
The projected trip will be the fourth visit by John Paul to Mexico; he
has traveled there previously in 1979, 1990, and 1993.
Pope John Paul II has been invited by the
president of Turkey to visit that country during the Jubilee Year 2000.
President Suleiman Demirel issued his invitation earlier this month,
Turkey's ambassador to the Holy See confirmed today. There has
been no official response from the Vatican to date.
Pope John Paul II last visited Turkey in 1979. The predominantly
Muslim country is the site of numerous Christian shrines dating back
to the earliest days of the Church, including the sites of St. Paul's
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PROVERB OF THE DAY
"When the just prevail, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan."
Proverbs 29: 2
For all other standard
features, articles and
columns, click on Archives
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March 2, 1998 volume 9, no. 43   DAILY CATHOLIC