November 28-30, 1997 vol 8,
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'Tis the season for giving!
One nun who has her head on straight as well as her holy habit is Sister Mary Lucy Astuto, a traditional religious who realizes the vitality and virtueality of her vocation. In her weekly column GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER she reminds us of the precious gift we have in our supreme pontiff and how, with Christmas just around the corner, we can reciprocate with a special gift for him. Click on A Gift for the Holy Father
A Gift for the Holy Father
Before writing an article, I always ask God to let me know what it is about which He wants me to write. On this occasion after praying, what came to my mind clearly was to write about the Holy Father and what each of us can do in the way of a Christmas gift for Him.
Our Lady of Medjugorje said that Jesus let her pick this Pope for our times and that she had been preparing him for the Papacy all of his life. I believe that! I believe that our present Holy Father, John Paul II, is the greatest Pope of this century and perhaps the greatest ever (after St. Peter maybe). Not only is he a man of great Faith and prayer, he is a tireless
worker in the defense and protection of the authentic Catholic Faith, yet he is under great duress and suffering. Not only does he suffer physical ailments, Parkinson’s disease as
well as the results of his being shot many years ago, but he also endures the psychological duress of being hated and rejected by his very own. Just like Jesus.
Still he remains faithful and provides the Christ-like leadership this age needs; and still he labors with strong will and Faith, though so many oppose him and are angry because he
won’t bend God’s Word and Law to suit the world’s desire to sin.
Our Holy Father is a living martyr. Living FAITHFULLY day after day in spite of opposition, in spite of great suffering from various sources is a TRUE martyrdom. It may be bloodless, but it requires the courage and fortitude of the greatest of saints to persevere faithfully.
Faithful Catholic leadership is more difficult than ever because the news media has taken up
Catholic-bashing. Our Holy Father often gets the full brunt of this, which source has to be the diabolic seeking to destroy him and the Church. The gates of hell want to prevail against the Church , striking at the "Shepherd" in hopes that the sheep will be scattered.
All Catholics during this Advent Season should prepare a gift to give our Holy Father for Christmas. That gift should be conscientious and daily prayerful support for him. Oh, I know! Most of us may pray for him every day, but I mean a more intense and earnest gift of prayer.
Decide now what that might be. It should be something extra, over and above
what you usually do. Maybe a daily rosary just for him or at least a decade just for him. Maybe five Our Father's, Hail Mary's and Glory Be’s, daily, just for him.
He works and suffers for the Church (that’s us) every day. He is human, also. We must support him better with our prayers. He may never know us personally; he may never know
our particular names on this earth, but God does.
What better gift to give Our Holy Father than love expressed through earnest
prayer from our hearts. That’s the kind of present that scores with God and merits for us in the way it really counts. Please decide and persevere. God bless you!
No matter what you call it, call it right!
One of the biggest problems with miscommunication within liturgical circles and among the faithful is the terminology of duties and observances. The Instruction on the Role of the Laity in Assisting the Priests, issued by the Vatican on November 13, helps to clarify many misnoners. We continue our daily installments of this entire 37-page document with the tenth installment, beginning the PRACTICAL PROVISIONS with Article 1 entitled Need for an Appropriate Terminology. Click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS
THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS
on the role of the Laity
INSTRUCTION on Certain Questions regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest
Tenth installment: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 1
Need for an Appropriate Terminology
In his address to participants at the Symposium on "Collaboration of the Lay Faithful
with the Priestly Ministry", the Holy Father emphasised the need to clarify and distinguish
the various meanings which have accrued to the term "ministry" in theological and
(53: Cf. John Paul II, Discourse at the Symposium on the "The Participation of the Lay Faithful in the Priestly Ministry" (22 April 1994), n. 3 L'Osservatore Romano, English Language Edition, 11 May 1994.)
§ 1. "For some time now, it has been customary to use the word ministries not only for
the officia (officies) and non-ordained (functions) munera exercised by Pastors in virtue
of the sacrament of Orders, but also for those exercised by the lay faithful in virtue of
their baptismal priesthood. The terminological question becomes even more complex
and delicate when all the faithful are recognized as having the possibility of supplying-by
official deputation given by the Pastors-certain functions more proper to clerics, which,
nevertheless, do not require the character of Orders. It must be admitted that the
language becomes doubtful, confused, and hence not helpful for expressing the doctrine
of the faith whenever the difference 'of essence and not merely of degree' between the
baptismal priesthood and the ordained priesthood is in any way obscured".(54)
§ 2. "In some cases, the extension of the term "ministry" to the munera belonging to the
lay faithful has been permitted by the fact that the latter, to their own degree, are a
participation in the one priesthood of Christ. The officia temporarily entrusted to them,
however, are exclusively the result of a deputation by the Church. Only with constant
reference to the one source, the 'ministry of Christ' (...) may the term ministry be applied
to a certain extent and without ambiguity to the lay faithful: that is, without it being
perceived and lived as an undue aspiration to the ordained ministry or as a progressive
erosion of its specific nature.
In this original sense the term ministry (servitium) expresses only the work by which the
Church's members continue the mission and ministry of Christ within her and the whole
world. However, when the term is distinguished from and compared with the various
munera and officia, then it should be clearly noted that only in virtue of sacred ordination
does the work obtain that full, univocal meaning that tradition has attributed to it." (55)
§ 3. The non-ordained faithful may be generically designated "extraordinary ministers"
when deputed by competent authority to discharge, solely by way of supply, those offices
mentioned in Canon 230, § 3(56)
(56: Cf. Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law, Response (1 June 1988): AAS 80 (1988), p. 1373.)
and in Canons 943 and 1112. Naturally, the concrete term may be applied to those to whom functions are canonically entrusted e.g. catechists, acolytes, lectors etc.
Temporary deputation for liturgical purposes - mentioned in Canon 230, § 2 - does
not confer any special or permanent title on the non-ordained faithful.(57)
(57: Cf. Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Response (11 July 1992): AAS 86 (1994), pp. 541-542. Any ceremony associated with the deputation of the non-ordained as collaborators in the ministry of clerics, must not have any semblance to the ceremony of sacred ordination, nor may such ceremony have a form analogous to that of the conferral of lector or acolyte.)
It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as "pastor", "chaplain",
"coordinator", " moderator" or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and
that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or Priest.(58)
(58: Such examples should include all those linguistic expressions: which in languages of the various countries, are similar or equal and indicate a directive role of leadership or such vicarious activity.)
NEXT ISSUE: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 2
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
ADVENT NOVENA PRAYER
With the First Sunday of Advent we begin Daily Advent Prayers in preparation for the Coming of Emanuel. Also on this "New Year's Eve" when we celebrate the observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday, it is the beginning of a nine day novena leading up to her solemn feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8. For the Advent prayers, Click on ADVENT NOVENA PRAYERS
ADVENT NOVENA PRAYER
O Triune Divinity, we come to you through the intercession of Blessed Mary, ever-Virgin, and St. Joseph, her chaste, holy spouse. In this season of Advent we desire to obtain the grace of purity of intention, that through our obedience to Your Heavenly Will, we, too, can transform our poor, miserable lives into the resplendent stable at Bethlehem where You Only-begotten Son was born.
Through the intercession of Mary, and all the hosts of Heaven, we beseech You, through the merits gained for us by Jesus Christ, Your Only-begotten Son, to help us convert our hearts, to live the messages of Your Mother, and to ardently beseech You to bring about the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart now, that the Reign of the Sacred Heart might be upon the world.
Heavenly Father, we trust in Your goodness and beseech You to hear us, not because of our worthiness, but because of our willingness to be Your little children who kneel in adoration to their God. Come, let us adore Him!
PRAYER for December 1: First Sunday of Advent
Heavenly Mother, we ask you to help us now to begin our preparation to welcome your Divine Son Jesus Christ into our midst. We offer to Jesus through your intercession our every thought, word and deed throughout these days, that we may participate in this sublime mystery of our salvation. Help us, Mary, to be obedient, humble children, hearts aflame with Love as anticipate the birth of Love Itself!
Saints be praised, sure n' begorrah, Ireland 'tis a safer place today!
Thanks to the countless prayers of this tiny emerald isle and the good conduct of the IRA and Protestants in Northern Ireland, British authorities are convinced peace can be achieved - thus pulling their troops out of the Catholic areas in the western section of Belfast. Click on Belfast to read more.
BRITAIN ENDS PATROLS IN CATHOLIC BELFAST
BELFAST, Northern Ireland (CWN) - The British government
announced on Tuesday that since the truce with IRA
guerillas seems to be holding, British army patrols will no
longer conduct daylight patrols in Catholic areas of West
The army patrols were escorting local police forces on foot
patrols, but the need for the escort has decreased because
of the ongoing truce, according to police spokesmen.
Military sources said the escorted patrols would continue
at night. Protestant rioters set eight vehicles on fire in
pro-British neighborhoods near West Belfast on Tuesday, but
spokesmen deny any link with the end of patrols, and said it
was likely a protest at the arrest of a well-known
Protestant supporter of British rule.
The IRA and other Catholic and Protestant guerilla groups
have maintained an uneasy truce since July as multi-party
peace talks have continued. Britain transferred 250
paratroopers back to England last week, the first reduction
in army strength since July. In recent weeks, Irish
republican politicians have accused Britain of being slow
to scale down military activity and thus fuelling
frustrations among pro-Irish Catholics.
Poles apart come together in Solidarity at the Vatican
The newly elected prime minister of Poland, whose victory was assured by the Catholic vote, was warmly accepted by fellow countryman Pope John Paul II on Thursday in a show of support for the solidarity program in Poland which is seeking to reunite the masses, beginning with a better relationship with the Holy See. Click on Poland to read more.
POPE MEETS NEW POLISH LEADER
VATICAN (CWN) -- Pope John Paul II today received Jerzy Buzek, the
new Polish prime minister, in a private audience. Buzek, who won his
post after the triumph of a coalition led by Solidarity in the latest
national elections, had chosen to make a stop at the Vatican his first
official international visit.
The Vatican press agency characterized the Polish leader's visit as "a
gesture of great courtesy," explaining that the prime minister had
requested an early meeting with the Holy Father, "for whom he has
great admiration and esteem"-- so that he could clear the way for
further international appearances.
The Vatican added only that the discussions were held "in a very
cordial climate," and involved "themes of mutual interest."
Parents in Mexico say "no" to scum TV
Backed by the President of Mexico, a strong contingent of pro-family organizations have succeeded in affecting viewing in the Mexico City area by pressuring Mexican television networks to cancel questionable programming. Click on Parents to read more.
MEXICAN PARENTS WIN "TV WAR" AGAINST BROADCASTERS
MEXICO CITY (CWN) - The Federation of Parents in Mexico
have been successful in their campaign against two violent
television series broadcast by the country's most popular
The tension, dubbed by the local press as the "TV war,"
ended when both Televisa and Azteca TV agreed to cancel
"Ciudad Desnuda" (Naked City) and "Fuera de la Ley"
(Outlaw), respectively. Both series featured live
recordings taken with hidden cameras of activity in the
Mexico City, but focused mainly on murders, bribes, rape,
and prostitution. Several family organizations started an
intense campaign against the series, which rated among the
most successful on Mexican TV.
Initially, the broadcasters reacted by claiming their right
to free information and saying that both were newsworthy
programs that help bring justice and order to the city.
Nevertheless, the Federation of Parents attracted other
organizations that agreed to start a boycott against the
broadcasters. The pro-family organizations finally received
the support of President Ernesto Zedillo, who also
criticized the programs publicly.
Both Azteca TV and Televisa announced the cancellation of
the programs, and promised to review the contents of two
other programs, which have also been mentioned by the
Federation of Parents as "offensive."
Medjugorje Monthly Message
November 25th Message
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
PROVERB OF THE DAY
Virtue is the benchmark of Vocations
"The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but He loves the man who pursues virtue."
Proverbs 15: 9
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November 28-30, 1997 volume 8, no. 41   DAILY CATHOLIC