November 3, 1997   vol 8, no.22

Section One - Monday Features

Still working out the bugs in first few days of publishing

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Today we celebrate feast of Saint Martin de Porres

   Read more about this special saint as well as preparing for Daily Mass tomorrow when we celebrate the feast of Saint Charles Borromeo. The readings and biographies of these saints can be found by Clicking on LITURGY.

Monday, November 3

Monday, November 3:
Thirty-first Monday in Ordinary Time and
           Feast of Saint Martin de Porres, religious

Saint Martin de Porres

Born on November 9, 1579 in Lima, Peru Saint Martin de Porres was brought into this world illegitimately by a black unmarried Panamanian slave woman Anna who had been impregnated by Spanish landowner John de Porres. Martin would not let his illegitimate birth deter him from following God's Will, which was to become a Dominican lay brother at the Rosary Convent in Lima in 1603. There, where he had first entered in 1594 at the age of 15, he became a contemporary and close friend of Saint Rose of Lima, Saint Turibius, Saint John Macias, and Saint Francis Solano. His mother had made sure Martin had a firm rooting in Catholicism and had hoped he would become a pharmacist or a surgeon, but his concern and love for the poor beckoned him to forego that career in favor of caring for hundreds of thousands of sick and black slaves who were brought to Lima in chains. His reputation as a holy man, healer and mystic, as well as his tremendous efforts in helping the downtrodden made him legend in Lima and throughout South America. He was gifted with the supernatural gifts of bilocation and aerial flights and had knock-down fights literally with the devil, but he would never give in. He gained his strength from spending all his free time before the Blessed Sacrament just as another holy person did during this century as the "Saint of the Gutters" - Mother Teresa. At the age of 60, Martin contracted the fatal fever and died at the Dominican's Rosary Convent on November 3, 1639. His death was mourned throughout the land as the patron of social justice. His deeds were officially recognized in 1962, when Pope John Paul XXIII declared Blessed Martin the charitable a saint, proclaiming him patron saint of interracial justice. For the prayer of the day, see the front page underPrayer & Devotion

Tuesday, November 4, 1997

Tuesday, November 4:
Feast of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop

Saint Charles Borromeo

Born into the influential de Medici family in 1538 at the height of the Protestant Revolution, Saint Charles Borromeo went on to become one of Holy Mother Church's staunchest defenders and one of the authors of the last session of the Council of Trent. He is venerated today as the Patron Saint of Seminarians and Catechists for Charles was always interested in the formation of seminarians and the need for all youth to understand their faith. He spoke from first-hand experience for a vocation was planted early in Charles' life and he was given the Clerical Tonsure at only 12 years old, then sent to the Benedictine Abbey of Saints Gratian and Felinus in Arona, Italy to complete his studies before receiving his doctorate in canon and civil law at the early age of 21 from the prestigious University of Pavia in 1559. Three years later he was ordained a priest and immediately called to Rome by Pope Pius IV who was the brother of Charles' mother Margaret de Medici. There he helped oversee the last stages of the Council of Trent, drawing up documents and guidelines for the liturgy of the faith. Almost immediately Charles was appointed Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan by his uncle Pope Pius IV. Before taking possession of the Diocese, he finished overseeing the catechism, breviary and missal called for by the Council of Trent. He remained in Rome until Pius IV died in 1565 and then, with permission from the new pontiff Pope Saint Pius V, returned to Milan to serve as Head of that See for the next 18 years. In 1566 he instituted in the Diocese of Trent a model See for that episcopate had been without a residen bishop for over 80 years. This became the model for all dioceses throughout Italy and beyond. He went to great lengths to install guidelines to enhance devotion and reverence, while improving morals and manners of the clergy and laity alike for both branches of the Church had fallen into a rut and apathy and amoralism ruled. Charles streamlined Diocesan operations and established seminaries so the clergy would not only be well-educated, but properly formed. To help implement this, he invited the Jesuits back into his Diocese for they had been banished in the past. He then founded the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for the religious instruction of children everywhere. CCD remains today the benchmark for educating the youth to the faith throughout the world. As if Charles wasn't busy enough, he increased the aid to the poor, earmarking more Diocesan funds to assist the needy as well as establishing hospitals and hospices to tend to those who had fallen victim to the plague in 1576. So enraptured was he with the Christ's Gospel of the poor that he gave away all he had, wearing only an old patched cloak instead of the rich robes of a Cardinal. He also lent episcopal encouragement and guidance to the English missionaries by sending learned men to the English college at Douay in bringing the Bible up to date, in particular the Old Testament in the proper translation of the Latin Vulgate into English. Today the Douay-Rheims Version remains the benchmark for all Biblical translations though, unfortunately, newer versions have swayed from the true meanings of the words conveyed in the Douay-Rheims Version. Charles held eleven diocesan synods and six provincial councils during his tenure as well as founding an order of secular priests in 1578 - the Oblates of St. Charles, as they are known today, though when he founded the society it was the Oblates of St. Augustine. In addition to all this, he spoke tirelessly and ceaselessly against the dangers of Protestantism and encouraged lapsed Catholics to return to the fold. Naturally, when one is striving to do God's Will, satan will do all he can to confuse and mess up the good works by attacking the subject. This happened to Charles and he aroused much enmity in the Milan Senate over his wide-wielding power throughout the city and region. Though the Spanish dominated Lombardy, Charles fended off all efforts to allow the Spanish Inquisition in Milan. At the same time Protestantism was making great inroads in England where the Catholic Restoration which Mary Tudor had installed was being eroded by Queen Elizabeth; in France and the Netherlands religious wars were breaking out. Meanwhile in Milan St. Charles ruled with a velvet glove, kind and loving, but firm on maintaining all the Catholic Church teaches. Still, his enemies pressed on. Often times attempts were made to imprison the Archbishop of Milan, but each time he was exonerated by the Holy Father and King Philip II. There was even an attempted assassination on his life by a fanatic Humiliati priest Jerome Donati Farina because Charles had insisted that the Humiliati Order be reformed. Despite political machinations within the Milan government, Charles held his ground, excommunicating those who refused to obey and was subsequently upheld by higher authorities. When the plague broke out in 1576 Charles commandeered the clergy and religious to care for the afflicted. Because of the long two-year epidemic and the many who had died, the Diocese ran up a tremendous debt that took centuries to make up. In 1583 Charles, as an apostolic visitor in Switzerland - heart of the Reformation - preached feverishly against Protestantism and the spread of of witchcraft and sorcery. Though Charles had great power and influence, he used it humbly as a servant of the Church instilling a great reverence for the Blessed Sacrament and a love for all Holy Mother Church taught in his life-long mission to reform his beloved Church of the evils and abuses that had ravaged the clergy for so many years and spawned the Protestant Revolution. Charles was often seen in public procession, clutching his Crucifix with a noose around his neck as a sign of public penance, emphasizing the fact to all that all men are sinners and only through the One, True Church Jesus Christ founded can we be saved. Though he was only 46, the burdens of his duties and the aftermath of the plague took its toll on this dynamic saint who had personally attempted to feed over 60,000 people daily. Thus, Charles passed on to his Heavenly reward on November 4, 1584 in Milan.


    The Prayer for today is taken from the beginning of today's Holy Mass in honor of St. Martin de Porres:

Lord, You led Martin de Porres by a life of humility to eternal glory. May we follow his example and be exalted with him in the kingdom of Heaven. Amen.

All Roads lead to Rome!

    We kick off our Site of the Day with the top Catholic site worldwide: the Vatican Web Site. For a review of this site click on Site of the Day to see all the Holy See offers in many different languages.
    To begin our daily series on Catholic "Sites of the Day" we start at the top with the official site of the Pope - the Vatican City Site at the simple URL:

In keeping with the universal Church the site offers universal languages, promoting six different languages - English, Italian, Spanish, French, Polish and German. However, often times it is only available in English and Italian. Sorry, no Latin! In addition, many recent features are available only in Italian so it isn't updated as soon as most would prefer.

The site has been on-line for two years now and received a major renovation a year and a half ago when the Monks of the Desert in New Mexico, who specialize in web design, were asked to overhaul the Vatican site pages. They came up with a subdued parchment look with the photos and logos blending into the pages that gives a clean, uncluttered look to it. Especially handy is the file folder-style tabs at the top which allows the browser to look through six categories: the Popes (which include John Paul II, John Paul I, Pope Paul VI, and John XXIII and their major works plus biographies and histories of these four pontiffs); the Roman Curia (which categorizes the various Congregations and their background); Jubilee 2000 (which is a basic sketch of the preparations for the millennium and doesn't offer as much as many other sites on the activities and purpose of Jubilee 2000); Archives (which delves into past documents and current ones, but, like Jubilee 2000, doesn't offer the variety or quantity that other sites we will feature in future issues do); Vatican Museums (which are all text and only feature the artists and pales in comparison to such sites as Christus Rex or EWTN in this area); and News Service. This last one is probably the best feature of the Vatican City site because it furnishes up-to-yesterday's activities of the Pope including his audiences and appointments. They have a special Vatican Information Service bureau that charges $400. a year for subscription to this service and that is quite expensive for the normal browser. Probably the biggest breakthrough is that they offer highlights of the English version of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano on-line and it can be downloaded in pdf. file if the browser has room. Presently the October 29th edition is on-line so it is timely. This is a big bonus rather than waiting a week or more for the printed edition to arrive each week...not to mention costs!!! There is no e-mail posted for the Pope, but you can e-mail the editor of L'Osservatore Romano at We doubt, however, that it will get to his holiness. That is the only e-mail for the site. When the site was first introduced they offered an e-mail address to send Christmas wishes to Pope John Paul II, but that was disconnected in early 1996.

On the minus side, it takes a while to download the site considering it has so few photos and very little color. While the background is subdued and fits with the historic image of the Holy See, the logos and graphics embossed on it take considerable time to appear. There are also times the back button will not work and you have to back your way out by reversing your steps. For being the high-profile official web site for the Holy See, it is disappointing compared to so many other Roman Catholic web sites who provide so much more. Therefore, on a scale of one to ten Hail Mary's, we're giving Five Hail Mary's.

When you think about it in your mind, It's all a matter of Heart!

Father Stephen Valenta, the respected Conventual Franciscan puts his heart and soul into his column Heart to Hearts Talk. His column this week continues his thought pattern on the importance of being a person as he takes us on a logical tour from the head to the heart. Click on "The Journey from the Head to the Heart to climb aboard for incredible journey of learning how to pray and live a more fruitful and holier life.

How to Pray with the Heart - Part Six: The Journey from the Head to the Heart

byFather Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv.

    In the past installments we have established that God has blessed each one of us with personhood. This means that each one of us, being made to the image and likeness of God, has been endowed with a soul with which we are capable of thought and of performing ordinary acts of life with freedom. The mind (intellect) makes it possible for us to fulfill one of the purposes of life as given to us by our Creator, namely, to know God. With the heart (will) we are able to fulfill the ultimate purpose of being, that of giving service to God.

    God made us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him, and to be happy with Him for all eternity. In order for us to achieve our final purpose, eternal happiness, it is required of us to give service to our God. We cannot truly serve God until and unless we have a love for Him. We cannot hope to love Him unless we get to know Him first. From this it can be seen that it is a forward and upward climb. Our final destiny cannot be attained until we take that climb step by step.

    The mind is that which can and will take within itself anything that is presented to it by way of the five bodily senses, that of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. It responds to whatever stimulus sets itself before it. This means that although the mind has been given primarily to know God, it is free to seek to know and to know about others. It can occupy itself with objects which in no way have anything to do with God. A person can spend the entire lifetime making use of his or her mind without ever giving God a single thought. It is also true that one can make use of one's will without ever giving God a smidgen of love. It goes without saying that in the final analysis of one's life on this earth, a person can be of service to objects and/or persons without in any way doing something in the service of his or her God. A person can go through life in a way that when all is said and done, he/she in no way accomplishes the purpose set for his or her purpose on earth.

    Unfortunately, most people of our day are making use of their mind for purposes other than to get to know God. They are locked into a culture wherein the mind is king, if not at times, considered even as a god unto itself. This is the reason why the moral life of our day is at such a low ebb. Much of the world is not giving service to God, why, because it does not see Him as loveable. He is not seen as loveable because He is not presented as loveable by the mind. There is in our day a mass deviation from course. Objects other than God are continuously presented to the will by the mind as being of greater value than God. A variety of gods are held in focus and offered as priorities in the pursuit of happiness.

    The mind is a marvelous invention. The Creator is to be given credit for His ingenuity. There is nothing like it that man himself can ever come up with in making use of his own creative powers. If the mind is considered in and for itself, it sets before its users an obstacle to the achievement of his happiness. It was never created to be a creation unto itself. It was created for only one purpose, to serve as a means to an end, the end being to assist man to get to know his Creator and to discover His loveable qualities.

    Next week, I will delve further into the mind-set of the mind and how this gift from God was intended to be used when he created man.
To review Father Valenta's previous columns in this series, go to Archives beginning with the August 18, 1997 issue of A CALL TO PEACE: volume 8, no. 16.

Catechism Capsules on a Daily Basis

    Catechism Capsules is a new feature that will highlight a paragraph from the relatively new Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as the old Baltimore Catechism which is still relevant today. While the Catechism continues to be the best seller, too often once it's brought home, it only collects dust. We're going to shake off the dust and give readers a very small dose to digest each day of the week. Click on Catechism Capsules to help usher in this new feature Monday through Friday. It's vital for all Catholics to better understand our faith and the importance of living our lives to the fullest as good Catholics. Today's topic: Justice.


    To commemorate the feast of Saint Martin de Porres, the patron saint of interracial justice for saving countless slaves from death by his merciful works and loving charity, we bring you a few capsules on Justice and the right to life in both the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and the old Baltimore Catechism.

No. 1807, page 444 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:

Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the "virtue of religion." Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the hrmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. "You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor." (68) "Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven." (69).

From the Baltimore Catechism No. 3; Benziger Brothers, Inc and Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. Nos. 1273, 1277, and 1280 Pages 286-288

Q: What are we commanded by the Fifth Commandment?
A: We are commanded by the fifth Commandment to live in peace and union with our neighbor, to respect his rights, to seek his spiritual and bodily welfare, and to take proper care of our own life and health.

Q: What is forbidden by the Fifth Commandment?
A: The Fifth Commandment forbids all wilful murder, fighting, anger, hatred, revenge, and bad example.

Q: Why are fighting, anger, hatred and revenge forbidden by the Fifth Commandment?
A: Fighting, anger, hatred and revenge are forbidden by the fifth commandment because they are sinful in themselves and may lead to murder. The commandments forbid not only whatever violates them, but also whatever may lead to their violation.

Holy Father's Apostolic Letter sets the issue of women priests to rest

Today, in the eleventh installment of the Layperson's Guide to Pope John Paul II's Teaching on the Role of Women, we see very clearly how the Pope reasons and affirms the male-only priesthood in his Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem expertly analyzed by Dr. Joseph Bagiackas, an expert at understanding the Holy Father's mind-set. To share this mind-set, Click on The Vicar of Christ Speaks.

A Lay Person's Guide to Pope John Paul II's Teaching on the Role of Women

by Dr. Joseph Bagiackas

on the Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem

To review, see INTRODUCTION

eleventh installment: VI. The Church as the Bride of Christ

The All Male Priesthood

   In the overall context of the discussion of Christ's masculine role as Bridegroom, it is now possible to understand why Christ appointed only males to be Apostles. "In the calling of only men as His Apostles, Christ acted in a completely free and sovereign manner" (p.88). This means that He was not worried about the cultural attitude toward women when He established His policy of only having males as priests. Furthermore, "Since Christ, in instituting the Eucharist, linked it in such an explicit way to the priestly service of the Apostles, it is legitimate to conclude that He thereby wished to express the relationship between man and woman, between what is feminine and what is masculine. It is a relationship willed by God both in the mystery of creation and in the mystery of Redemption. It is the Eucharist that above all expresses the redemptive act of Christ the Bridegroom toward the Church the Bride. This is clear and unambiguous when the sacramental ministry of the Eucharist, in which the priest acts 'in persona Christi', is performed by a man (p. 89).

   If a woman were to consecrate the bread and wine, the effectiveness of the Eucharist would be obscured. In making this point, Pope John Paul II is confirming the teaching of Pope Paul VI on this matter in the Declaration Inter Insigniores of 1976.

   The Pope then makes some other points which are answers to questions about the all male priesthood. The Church must not be viewed as a democracy, or in another way that is against her nature. Being a priest is not like being elected to office. Neither does having women priests depend on the "vote" of Catholics. The ministerial priesthood is different from the general priesthood of all Catholics. But it is a service, not a power position. The Church has a hierarchical structure. Its leaders are not appointed by the people, but by other leaders under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But in the order of holiness, Mary, a woman, is first, not Peter or the Pope. Through the ages, many great women have arisen and given leadership in the Church in spite of society's discrimination against women.

   Next week: The conclusion of Pope John Paul II's Teaching on the Role of Women. To review the rest of this series, go to Archives beginning with the June 23, 1997 issue of A CALL TO PEACE: volume 8, no. 12.

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November 3, 1997 volume 8, no. 22         DAILY CATHOLIC

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