In the matter of the insoluble problem of Boko Haram, Father Calloway reported that our Blessed Lord Jesus appeared to Nigerian Bishop Oliver Doeme, holding a sword, Jesus said, three times, "Boko Haram is gone," upon taking the sword, it mystically became a rosary.
The Roots of the Present Crisis
Douglas Farrow, Professor of Christian thought and holder of the Kennedy Smith Chair in Catholic Studies at McGill University, Montreal; given in Rome, on April 22, 2017
It is not too much to speak of a crisis in the Church today, a crisis in several dimensions. There is a crisis of morality. There is a crisis of doctrine. There is a crisis of authority. There is a crisis of unity.
True, such crises are more common than some like to think. Perhaps the closest analog, however, comes from the sixteenth century. Half a millennium ago, the fathers of Trent had to defend the sacraments governing confession, communion, and conjugality from coordinated, if somewhat chaotic, attacks. The same three sacraments are threatened again today. They had to defend the Church’s unity and authority against the Protestant principle – against the inevitably divisive claim that the meaning of holy scripture could be determined independently of tradition and without accountability before the entire Church. That too is necessary today. They had to weed out persistent abuses both in the sacramental life and in the governance of the Church, while striving to recover a unified vision of Christian existence in which justification and sanctification, freedom and obedience, hold together. This also is urgently required in our own time.
From the Grand Knight
I would like to first of all, take this opportunity again Father Stanley to welcome you to Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish (PBVM). I have no doubt that you are going to bring the parish great Administrative and Spiritual Leadership. I, the Knights of Columbus, and the Squires Circle look forward to being able to work with you, to work for you, as we work towards meeting the same goals, challenges and objectives for and with the parishioners of our fine parish here at PBVM. Father Michael J McGivney’s had four Principles for the Knights of Columbus, Charity, Unity, Fraternalism and Patriotism … so with you, the parishioners, the children of PBVM school, the staff of the church and the school, the many ministries of the church, the Knights of Columbus and the Squires, may we all continue to strive to build our faith based around these and have collaborative partnerships focusing around these four pillars of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.
I would also like to say Thank you to Father Stanley for excepting the offer of becoming our Chaplain of the PBVM Council 15693 and the Squires Circle. We look forward to having you as our Chaplain. We look forward to your spiritual leadership, your advisement, your faith and to work with you as we continue to strengthen the faith of all here at PBVM.
Deacon Lawrence, I also say Thank you to you for excepting the offer to assist Father Stanley with becoming our Spiritual Advisor, to help lead our great Council and Squires with our faith and spiritual needs. Between both of you, I am sure that the Spiritual Leadership will far exceed our expectations.
I will remind both of you that the Council meetings are the second Tuesday of each month, starting at 7 pm. The Squires Circle meeting have been meeting once a month in the middle of the month, but SK Miguel Acosta has informed me that this might be changing, so there will be more information to follow on this once a change has been made. The Squires are planning their next investiture for August 14, to bring in new members.
In Mary’s name we pray
SK Richard Westerfeld
PBVM Council 15693
Independence Day Homily
We join with the rest of our brothers and sisters (over 300 Million) in celebrating Independence Day. I am happy and thankful that you come here today to celebrate the Holy Eucharist with us as we give praise and thanks God for the gift of freedom, freedom not just from foreign control but also freedom from sin.
The fourth of July is a day of parades, political speeches, fireworks and back yard barbecues, etc. But most of all it is a day of celebrating our Independence; an independence which was won and is maintained by the sacrifice of many lives. We are celebrating an Independence that is not absolute. Adam, the first man, thought that he had Absolute Independence and we are still suffering from the effects of it. Only God has Absolute Independence.
Our Independence is rooted in our Dependence on God. We are contingent, dependent beings. An independent creature is an intrinsic impossibility. Not even God can create an intrinsic impossibility. God can create a square and God can create a circle but not even God can create a squared circle. It is an intrinsic impossibility. That is why the First Commandment is also the greatest Commandment (You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind). Only if we are completely dependent on God we can enjoy freedom. Either we are dependent on God or we will be dependent on some creatures.
Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, Diocese of Patterson
The city of Damascus in Syria claims the title of being the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city. The Hyksos, the Aramaeans, the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Muslims, the Mamelukes, the Ottomans and the French have all left their imprint on this ancient city. Today, in the midst of a protracted civil war in Syria, its citizens cling to their normal routine in the shadow of Roman ruins and along the alleyways of the souks.
For Christians, the very name “Damascus” conjures up the memory of the conversion of St. Paul. On his way to this city to persecute Christians, the Risen Lord appeared to Paul. How appropriate that this same city would recently host the leading patriarchs of the Middle East who wished to face head on today’s brutal persecution of Christians.
The loss of religious freedom is leading to a “bloodless” persecution in the United States, Supreme Chaplain, Archbishop William E. Lori warned last month at the ceremonial opening of the new graduate school at Divine Mercy University, an expansion of the Virginia-based Institute for Psychological Sciences.
Archbishop Lori implored Catholic institutions to stand strong amidst ongoing challenges to religious liberty. The newly-enlarged University integrates Catholic philosophy with modern psychology in order to train mental health professionals in fidelity to the teaching of the Catholic Church.
The Archbishop warned that “bloodless” and “polite” persecution manifests itself in public schools, courts, laws, and “policies that seek to manage and put limits on religion.”
“Massive peer pressure via the social media that affects the thinking and decisions of young people [and] the more localized disapproval of our sophisticated friends,” also contribute to this persecution, according to Archbishop Lori.