Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Advent Reflection

This first Advent Sunday we reflect on the coming of Christ in our world and on His second coming at the end of our own lives and at the end time.
So Advent is God coming to us and our coming to Him.
I sit in the chapel looking out toward White Pine Road and imagine in my mind two groups of people marching
toward each other on the road.
One group is Christ and all our beloved dead who already made it to the other side and our group, the Church, going toward Christ  and  His group.
Along the way we we get distracted with events, parties, sports, shopping and leave the road for a time.
We are called back this Advent to get serious about the journey.
What doesn't help us,  give it away, for in the end we will have to give it all away.  But we give it away only  for the great prize - peace and final bliss forever.
Let us pray for each other this Advent. 

Advent Day 1 - Our Tainted Offering

 By Father Robert Baron
Advent Day 1 - Our Tainted Offering

We all know that Lent is a penitential season, a time when Christians get in touch with their sins. But Advent has a penitential dimension, too. It is the season in which we prepare for the coming of the Savior, and we don't need a Savior unless we're deeply convinced there is something to be saved from.

Our first reading at Mass today, from the end of the book of the prophet Isaiah, affirms this with a whole series of images describing our sinful condition.

For example, we hear this wonderful and terrible line: "All our good deeds are like polluted rags; we have all withered like leaves, and our guilt carries us away like the wind."

When we have become deeply aware of our sin, we know that we can cling to nothing in ourselves, that everything we offer is, to some degree, tainted and impure. We can't show our cultural, professional, and personal accomplishments to God as though they are enough to save us.

But the moment we realize that fact, we move into the Advent spirit, desperately craving a Savior. We become ready for the last image from today's reading: "Yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you are the potter: we are all the work of your hands."

Today, let us prepare ourselves for the potter to come.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

1st Sunday in Advent

(A biblical reflection on THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT [Year B], 30 November 2014)
Gospel Reading: Mark 13:33-37
First Reading: Isaiah 63:16-17,19;64:1,3-8; Psalms: Psalm 80:2-3,15-16,18-19; Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
KESIAPSIAGAAN - LUK 12 35-40The Scripture Text
“Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Watch therefore – for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning – lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Watch.” (Mark 13:33-37 RSV)
Once upon a time, God, the infinite, eternal and all powerful One, came down to meet us on the dusty roads of human life. In the flesh of Jesus Christ, God walked with us through our light and darkness, our joys and sorrows, our solitude and relationships. Scripture writers called it the “fullness of time”. Things would never be the same again.
In Jesus Christ, God spoke to us in the human language that we can understand. His life warmly portrays God’s love and concern for us. And yet the story is not complete. The journey stretches on until we fully share in Christ’s glorification. That will be at the completion of life’s journey. For the moment we are a people on the way.
Advent is a time of waiting and watching. It is a very special time for Christians. It opens the Church’s year by picking up the theme of our journey towards Christ who is coming back to meet us. We are not like wandering nomads who have no sure purpose or definite direction. We have the pilgrim’s destiny with God. We travel forward on a road of unknown length until Christ will come again.
pppas0594The focus of the first Sunday of Advent is on the Second Coming of Christ. The parable of the doorkeeper speaks of the master who will come back to the servants. The message for the servants is twofold: “Be on your guard and stay awake” ...... watch and pray.
One task of the doorkeeper’s employment is to keep out unwanted visitors and intruders. Here the parable is a moral warning not to open up our doors to the ways of sin. Each passing day we are to watch with the vigilant eye of the sentry to prevent any intrusions of the enemy.
The unexamined life is a city with no sentries on its walls. Anybody who is serious about living a spiritual life is advised to undertake a daily reflection on our situation. This means more than counting up the number of our faults. It involves an honesty about what motivates us in the things we do.
We are sometimes surprised when we recognize that some exemplary deeds are done out of very subtle, selfish motivation. We may be doing the right things only to be praised or at least recognized as virtuous, to impress others, or as part of a self-seeking bargain with God. In daily reflection we guard against the intrusions of selfishness in our motivation.
The second task to the doorkeeper is to open up promptly to all who have the right to enter. Applied to the spiritual life, this means a spirit of prayerfulness or sensitivity to God. The sensitive soul is awake with all the longing of the lover for the approaching footsteps of the beloved. But what is He line, this God-who-comes? In today’s first reading Isaiah uses three very appealing names for God ... our Father, our Redeemer and the potter.
pppas0250God is the Father who has created us with the potential to share in the divine life. God is the Redeemer who continues to pay the price of liberating us from slavery to incomplete forms of life. He offers us life to the full. And God is the potter who is ever crafting our lives anew. The present clay may be messy and, in our view, without meaningful form or beauty. But the divine craftsman can mould and fashion an amazing masterpiece in the twinkling of an eye.
The God who is coming back the road to meet us wants to lift us up as His children, wants to liberate us and fashion us anew.
Do not think of the Second Coming as so distant and unknown as to be irrelevant to the hurly-burly of today’s living. If we are spiritually vigilant and alert then the future will draw us forward towards God. Our hope will energize us by supporting us when we are weak and encouraging us to persevere.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we believe that our lives are on a journey towards our heavenly Father who is reaching back to us this day and every day. So, we will be on our guard lest the ways of sin enslave our thoughts. We will also watch in prayer, be vigilant and alert to the daily visitations of the Holy Spirit to our souls. Praised be the name of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Jakarta, 27 November 2014
A Christian Pilgrim

Friday, November 28, 2014

Advent - Sunday November 30,2014


Here are some brief notes for a Advent reflection from Father Raymond Brown
A Coming Christ in Advent    
 Cheat Sheets of Notes
Saint Matthew account of the genealogy of Jesus contains the
essential theology of the
Old Testament
New Testament
for the whole Church
  • Orthodox
  • roman Catholic
  • Protestant

Brown says Ulrich Zwingli preached it back in the time of the Reformation.
It is the idea of Salvation by Grace.
The genealogy of Jesus is lopsided
  • Abraham begets Isaac
  • No mention of Ishmael who is a victim here
  • Isaac begets Jacob- not a word about Esau-whom Jacob stole his  birthright.
  • Jacob begets Judah -why is  Judah mentioned and not the good and extraordinary Joseph.
Matthew shows God does not necessarily select the most deserving person.  It is Salvation by Grace.




Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day 2014 November 27

Thanksgiving image
Thanksgiving Proclamation
Issued by President George Washington on October 3, 1789
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and-Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
- George Washington

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday November 25- Sister Donna's Milestone Celebration

Our Sister Donna celebrated twenty-five years as a Poor Clare in our Monastery.
 The Celebration was simple but elegant and she chose to celebrate it with just her family of Sisters here.
Friar John Franles OFM from Brant Beach, NJ was the celebrant and joined us for our Dinner and the unwrapping of Sister Donna's gifts.  Father John gave Sister Donna a whimsical snowman which all the Sisters enjoyed seeing.
Sister Donna chose Paul's letter to the Colossians about practical suggestions on how to live a Christian life and the passage from the Gospel of John about God is love.
Our Sister Etta was the cook and the meal was very delicious.
Many more years as a Poor Clare , Sister Donna.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving Thanks

So much to give thanks to the Lord.
We give thanks always to God
for the
 God of Justice
who gives us
what we deserve
We give thanks to
the God of Mercy
who gives us
what we don't deserve
and to
the god of Love
who gives us
more than we deserve.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday, 23 November 2014 A biblical reflection on the SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING

(A biblical reflection on the SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING – Sunday, 23 November 2014
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:31-46
First Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-12,15-17; Psalms: Psalm 23:1-3,5-6; Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-26,28
“When the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and He will place the sheep at His right hand, but the goats at the left. Then the King will say to those at His right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see Thee a stranger and welcome Thee, or naked and clothe Thee? And when did we see Thee sick or in prison and visit Thee? And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Then He will say to those at His left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to Thee? Then He will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to Me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46 RSV)
gb-23What does a shepherd have in common with a king? Very little, it would seem. One is a poor, solitary country herdsman, and the other a powerful national ruler. These occupations come together, however, in two of the greatest figures in the Bible. First, there is David, the humble shepherd who was plucked from his sheepfold and anointed to rule as king over Israel. Then, there is Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, who called Himself “the good shepherd” (John 10:11).
Before we celebrate Jesus as the sovereign King enthroned at the right hand of the Father. We also look forward to His further glorification after the Last Judgment. At that time, people from every nation under heaven will acknowledge His sovereignty and rejoice in His power. Jesus’ Kingdom has no end! The whole world will be silent before Him and His judgments. He is the magnificent, unequivocal king of glory and ruler of all creation!
Yet even in His role as king, Jesus tends His flock as a shepherd (Matthew 25:32). This is just what God promised ages earlier: “I Myself will be the shepherd of My sheep” (Ezekiel 34:15). Jesus, our compassionate shepherd king, does not want to see His sheep left unattended or in need. He Himself wants to bind up our wounds and lead us gently to His home.
Jesus’ roles as a king ruling with great authority and a shepherd filled with gentle compassion are not contradictions or mutually exclusive. They are one and the same thing! Jesus is King precisely because He rules with compassion. It is His very compassion and mercy that make Him King and ruler of all creation. There is no other who compares to Him, and no other who deserves our worship. Given these characteristics of Christ the King, what else can we do but bow down before Him? What else can we do but let Him lead us with His rod and His staff? Let us gratefully declare with David, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want”!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I adore You as my King! I am thankful that You protect me, care for me, and hear me when I call You. Grant me Your goodness and mercy all the days of my life. May I dwell with You in Your Kingdom forever! Amen.
Bandung, West Java, 21 November 2014
A Christian Pilgrim
achristianpilgrim | November 23, 2014 at 12:10 am | Tags: CHRIST THE KING, JESUS CHRIST | Categories: BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS 2014 | URL:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holy Name Postulants Visit the Monastery November 17 Monday

The Holy Name Postulants and their Director , Friar Ron Pecci OFM,
visited our Monastery November 17, 2014.
The Friars came for the Eucharistic Liturgy, dinner and after, the sharing of their vocation stories. 
Fria Ron took the picture and that is why he is not in it.
May God give these young mean joy and perseverance in their vocation.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A biblical reflection on the 33rd ORDINARY SUNDAY, 16 November 2014)

(A biblical reflection on the 33rd ORDINARY SUNDAY, 16 November 2014)
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:14-30
First Reading: Proverbs 31:10-13,19-20,30-31; Psalms: Psalm 128:1-5; Second Reading: 1Thessalonians 5:1-6
“For is will be as when a man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talent made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’ (Matthew 25:14-30 RSV).
In the parable of the talents (silver pieces), Jesus warns us that we must of our own will use the gifts of God wisely, if we are to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In this parable, as in so many others, He insists that is God’s property we are using, and it remains God’s property. He has given a variety of talents and the good things of life to His creatures, things of greater and lesser values, to greater and lesser degrees. This the parable expresses in terms of money, over which each servant is merely the administrator. The Master strictly charges them to use his goods wisely and bear abundant fruit.
When their time is up and the Master returns, he demands an account from each. Those who have allowed God’s work to be done through them are rewarded. They shall be judges and leaders in God’s Kingdom. “Well done!” he says, “Since you were reliable in a small matter, I will put you in charge of greater affairs. Come, share your Master’s joy.”
It is a strong reminder that we cannot take God’s gifts and use them only for our pleasure. The good things of life are not merely our own, to do with as we please. They must be used well in the service of God and our neighbor. This is another parable in which Jesus warns us about the abuse of riches. Unless we develop a deep charity, a spirit of sharing, a generosity with what God has given us, we shall meet the fate of the foolish man who put his silver pieces or talents in the ground, and did not use them for the glory of God.
Only those who make a lot of room for God and their neighbor, using the good things God has given, only these will be worthy of any reward.
Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for all the gifts You have given me. Help me to be aware of these gifts, that I may surrender them to You and use them cheerfully and generously to build up Your Kingdom. Amen.
Jakarta, 14 November 2014
A Christian Pilgrim

Night Prayer

Keep watch,dear Lord,with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.  Tend the sick, Lord Christ;  give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous;
 and all for your love's sake.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

By Friar Casey - Cardinal Differences

New post on Breaking In The Habit

Cardinal Differences

by friarcasey
While these two men are unquestionably Catholic, they have very different visions for the life of the Church
While these two men have very different visions for the life of the Church, they are unquestionably Catholic
It was quite a remarkable week at the Catholic University of America. In what we were told was "completely coincidental," two different (and I mean different) Cardinals found their way onto campus to give lectures about the Church. On Monday, Gerhard Cardinal Müller, the prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), gave a lecture to the public, and on Tuesday prayed evening prayer and gave a lecture before a private audience of seminarians. On Thursday, Walter Cardinal Kasper received a medal for "Excellence in Scholarship and Leadership in Religious Studies" from the Catholic University of America and gave a lecture entitled, "Theological Background of the Ecclesiological Ecumenical Vision of Pope Francis."
For those not up on the latest gossip--I mean news--within the Vatican regarding the Synod on the Family, this is quite a coupling of Cardinals to have speak in one week. Both men have been the center of attention of media personnel, and many have caricatured these men against one another as theological and political enemies, one being the progressive in favor of doctrinal change, the other the conservative defending the faith against heresy. While there is some truth to this, as they appear to have taken different stances on a couple of key issues, it seems to me to be a gross oversimplification of the issues and an attempt to create schism where no schism exists. These men hold different points of view regarding the life of the Church, sure, but they are also very Catholic in doing so.
Of the two, Müller's was certainly the drier of the lectures. Being the prefect of the CDF, one did not expect him to present anything revolutionary or controversial. Added to that, language was definitely a barrier, meaning that his entire lecture and even much of the question-and-answer session, was read from prewritten statements. As far as presentation goes, I have to admit, I struggled to stay awake.
At the same time, though, it was a really worthwhile experience. Attended by and geared toward seminarians alone, the whole evening was a pretty inspiring event. While the Franciscans (OFM) and the Dominicans appeared to be the only religious in attendance (ahem... Carmelites, Capuchins, TORs, Conventuals, Paulists...), there were hundreds of seminarians in attendance, all students at CUA. That was pretty amazing to see. Vocations to religious life and the priesthood are by no means where they need to be, but it's clear that there has been a small resurgence in numbers over the past five to ten years. Müller took notice of this, but seemed to indicate that quality is more important than quantity. Encouraging us to embrace the process of growth and conversion, he told us that seminary and formation were not simply, "I believe ze English term is 'hoops to jump troo.'" We must always ground ourselves in faith, and recognize our journey in the life of the Eucharistic celebration. With the mass as our foundation, seminary and formation is not the step before we get to where we're going, but rather the experience of Christ right now on our journey of faith.
As an added "bonus" to the night, Cardinal Müller shook each of our hands, took a group picture, and invited us to tour the Saint John Paul II exhibit recently opened. (More about this experience at the end.)
But as worthwhile as our evening with Cardinal Müller was, it pales in comparison to Cardinal Kasper's lecture. Let's just say that the man was candid, casual, and full of joy with the current pope. Francis, he said, is Jesuit to the core (not a Franciscan in disguise.) Unlike his predecessor who exercised faith from the standpoint of his intellect and theory, Francis' faith is rooted in experience and defined by practical measures. Distinctly South American, he exemplifies a method of theology found in the liberation theologians: see, judge, act. Unlike the liberation theologians, however, the Gospel is not primarily a message of liberation, but rather joy, and joy cannot be contained. It is God's mercy that defines the Gospel, not law. As such, social justice is not some far off ideal we seek, but rather "the minimum amount of mercy" required by all. The Gospel requires more than just the minimum, more than just "what is due." It requires mercy.
Through this lens, he described, Francis' understanding of the Church is straight out of the Second Vatican Council, even if he never mentions it. "He doesn't mention Vatican II a lot. The reason for this is not that he doesn't agree with it, it's that that he has embodied it so completely in himself." For Francis, the Church should not be like a business in which the CEO dictates the mission and the heads of each department work towards pleasing the boss, guided by strict laws and protocols; the Church is not a top-down institution with the pope as the sole source and authority of truth, dictating doctrine for everyone to follow. The Church is the people of God, the messianic people, the sensus fidei, and he wants full participation from everyone, particularly the laity. Just as the outwardly written "doctrines" are secondary to the inward gifts of the Holy Spirit through the Gospel, the Magisterium is there, not to impose burdens on the people, but to listen to and serve the people of God. When the Church becomes self-centered, failing to move to the peripheries of society and Church out of fear, the joy of the Gospel does not get communicated. (I've intended to write a post about Francis, and maybe I'll get there, but can I just go on record to say that I love this guy?)
It's here, I guess, that the reflective piece of this post begins, and the true purpose of writing comes out. Having listened to two Cardinals with very different tones this week, and having spent a lot of time in conversation about the differences between the papacies of John Paul II and Francis, (not to mention the fact that there were two people protesting outside of one of the lectures!) I cannot help but recognize that each of these men is truly Catholic in his theology and understanding of Church, even if I prefer one over another. I think Cardinal Kasper's very candid opening line of his lecture expresses what I want to say: "For some of you, the papacy of Francis is a spring of new life, a great warmth after a winter that has lasted for many years; for others of you, it is an unwelcome cold spell that has caused you to grab your coat and pray for a short winter." This is not a new phenomenon, nor does it indicate that we are headed towards schism. To have a different perspective on Church, and thus, to be disappointed with the Church's leadership at a given time, does not make someone a good or bad Catholic. As I walked around the John Paul II exhibit, I couldn't help but be inspired by the many wonderful things he did and the great man of prayer that he always was; at the same time, I couldn't help but remember that his understanding of Church and style of leadership were far from my own, and that he did a lot to undo the reforms put in place by the Second Vatican Council that really define my own theology. And that's okay.
You see, we live in a pluralistic world, and like it or not, worship in a pluralistic Church. Having now taken classes in Church history, history of theology, history of the sacraments, foundations of moral theology, and social ethics, it's clear to me that there has never been time in which everyone in the Church believed and acted the same way, even among the greatest of theologians. (Look at Saint Bonaventure and Saint Thomas Aquinas: contemporaries and doctors of the Church, they represent a Church moving in opposing directions. Look at East and West: truly faithful people that agree on every important dogmatic statement (minus one word that we added later...), both drawing their lineage all the way back to Jesus, and yet are very different in thought and practice.) While the experience of God's revelation in Christ is unchanging, the way we understand that revelation and live it out develops over time. Just because we may have different opinions about theology and Church organization does not mean that one is right and one is wrong, it simply means, as Kasper said, "The totality of God cannot fit into one human perspective." Instead of calling for Schism or name-calling among the people of faith, instead of a theology of arrogance that claims to know all that there is about the infinite, let us treat one another with humility of heart and joy for the Gospel, and do as St. Paul tells us: "Test everything; retain what is good."

Wednesday November 12 -And One Leper returned to give thanks. Today's Gospel Reading

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thought for tonight.

Let us pray for all our Veterans, living and deceased. Thank you for your service to us and for us.


Veterans’ service honored with parades, concerts — and prayer

by Julie Asher
Stained-glass window in Boston Catholic church. (CNS photo?Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot)
(CNS photo/Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot)
Today, on Veterans’ Day, our nation's 19.6 million veterans will be honored with numerous concerts, including one in Washington this evening, as well as many parades and picnics. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services suggests one more way to honor these men and women for their service: With prayer.
"Veterans Day invites us to pause for a moment and reflect on the lives of men and women who respond and responded to the needs of our nation," he said in a statement. "As it is November, a month dedicated to prayers for the dead, we remember many members of the Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice or who died of natural causes later in life.
“However, we cannot forget those who continue to suffer the effects of their wounds either in mind or in body. They carry the reminders of their commitment and their past with them always. We pray for them, too, and we ask the Lord to give them consolation and healing," he said.
“The occasion is also propitious to remember the families who mourn the loss of a loved one or who support a disabled Veteran. We pray and offer them our support.”
Last Wednesday, the headquarters of the U.S. military archdiocese in Washington was officially named the "Edwin Cardinal O'Brien Pastoral Center."
Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, a former archbishop of Baltimore who is grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, was the U.S. military archbishop from 1997 to 2007. Archbishop Broglio, his successor, and the cardinal led a brief service and the unveiling of a sign bearing his name over the front door of the pastoral center. The brief service was attended by dozens of archdiocesan clergy, staff and supporters.
Then-Archbishop O’Brien headed the military archdiocese in 2005 when it acquired what was a seminary owned and operated by the Society of the Divine Word. He oversaw a major, two-year renovation of the five-story building -- with a loan from the Knights of Columbus. In 2007, with completely refurbished office space, the archdiocese moved in and for the first time could consolidate all of its operations in one location. The chapel has been outfitted with pews, an altar, tabernacle and other elements re-purposed from closed churches in Cleveland. A special room has been set aside to honor Father Vincent Capodanno, known as the "Grunt Padre." He died in Vietnam Sept. 4, 1967.
Father Capodanno, a Maryknoll priest and Navy chaplain, died in Operation Swift in the Thang Binh district of the Que Son Valley. He went among the wounded and dying, giving last rites. Wounded in the face and hand, he went to help a wounded corpsman only yards from an enemy machine gun and was killed. He is considered "one of the great military chaplains.
His canonization cause was officially opened in 2002. In 2004, the initial documentation for the cause was submitted to the Vatican's Congregation for Saints' Causes. In 2006, Father Capodanno, a native of Staten Island, N.Y., was declared a "servant of God."
Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien blesses newly named headquarters of U.S. military archdiocese in Washington. (CNS photo/Julie Asher)
Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien blesses headquarters of U.S. military archdiocese in Washington. (CNS photo/Julie Asher)
Cardinal O'Brien, in remarks Nov. 5, said the headquarters of the military archdiocese "gives us a solid and permanent identity as a church of Christ in the Catholic tradition. It’s an announcement to all who would pass by -- the message that I always tried, and I think all our chaplains do -- is to convey, especially to our young people: there’s no contrast between a person of faith and a member of the military. There's no opposition.
"I always use the brief story of the good Samaritan going down the road and came upon a man who was half-dead, and he took care of him, put him on his donkey, brought him to a hotel, and so forth," the cardinal continued. "But two others had passed by before that. And they did nothing. My thought was ‘what if this good Samaritan was coming by and the man was being pelted half to death?’ Did he have a right to step back and say, ‘I’ll become a good Samaritan in about 10 minutes when the fight is over?’ Or did he have a right and an obligation to step in and do what had to be done, and only what had to be done, to put an end to that aggression? "
He concluded: "To be a member of the military is to have the potential of a wonderful vocation. One enters a service. Christ defined himself as one who came to serve, and not to be served.”
Julie Asher | November 11, 2014 at 11:18 am | Categories: CNS, military | URL:

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sister Claire Andre's Funeral Mass, November 7, 2014

Sister Claire Andre's Funeral Mass was  November 7th, 2014.
Sister Claire died November 4th.
Claire did  all her programs for her Wake Service
And Eucharistic Mass back in April, 2014.
At the Wake service Claire had asked Friar Jim Moore  OFM Conventual to share his memories of her and then she asked him to open  it up to the people attending and several did share their memories of her.
Sister Claire had asked Friar Justin Biase OFM Conventual
to be main celebrant,
Friar Andre Cirino OFM, homilist,
1st Reading , Friar David Moczulski OFM,
2nd Reading Claire's niece, Loren Rossi,
Gospel ,Friar Russell Governale OFM Conventual
and Sister Frances Vass to read the Communion Meditation.
John Gagliardi , Claire's youngest brother, gave the eulogy.
May God alone be given glory and praise.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

All Souls Day - To pray for our beloved Dead November 2


(A biblical reflection on the COMMEMORATION OF ALL SOULS – Sunday, 2 November 2014
Gospel Reading: John 6:37-40
First Reading: 2Maccabees 12:43-46; Psalms: Psalm 130:1-8; Second Reading: 1Corinthians 15:12-34
The Scripture Text
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me; and him who comes to Me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me; and this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:37-40 RSV)

This is one of those special days where we get two outpourings of grace at once. Traditionally, All Souls Day is set aside to pray for those in Purgatory. Drawing from Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the Church has taught that everyone who dies in God’s grace but is not yet perfectly purified undergoes a final purification. These are the ones who “will be saved, but only as through fire” (1Corinthians 3:15; see also the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1030-1032). Similarly, various figures in the Old Testament “made atonement for the dead that they might be delivered from their sin” (2Maccabees 12:42). So this is the first outpouring. Today is a day to recall and intercede for those who are on the threshold of heaven.
What’s the second outpouring? Today is also a day to celebrate the firmness of our salvation. In baptism our old life was buried with Christ, and we have risen with Him into a whole new life. God does not want Jesus to lose anyone (John 6:39). Does this mean that now that we’re baptized we can sin all we want? Of course not! God hasn’t withdrawn His commandments. Common sense should tell us, as the Scriptures do (Mark 1:4,15; 16:16), that baptism must be accompanied by belief and repentance.
Today, God wants His love to so pierce our hearts that we would never want to offend Him or hurt anyone else. As we come to understand that we were lost in sin and that Jesus offered Himself up for us, we will want to imitate Him. Jesus’ love for us will move us to purify ourselves of every vestige of sin, every attitude that resists His words and His ways. Our outlook on ourselves and on the world will change, and we will become more and more like Jesus.
Why would we even want to wait for Purgatory? God is calling us to maturity – here and now – to receive all the gifts He wants to give us. He wants to empower us to build His Kingdom and spread His Gospel. By His grace we can change the world. Let’s do it!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the bread of life that came down from heaven to bring us life. Nourish and strengthen us so that we might love as You love and in the end be welcomed into the beauty and wonder of Your Kingdom. Amen.
Jakarta, 1 November 2014 [ALL SAINTS DAY]

A Christian Pilgrim

achristianpilgrim | November 2, 2014 at 12:46 am | Tags: ALL SOULS DAY, PURGATORY | Categories: BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS 2014 | URL:

All Saints Day November 1

(A biblical reflection on the SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS – 1 November 2014
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
First Reading: Revelation 7:2-4,9-14; Psalms: Psalm 24:1-6; Second Reading: 1John 3:1-3
The Scripture Text
Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and when He sat down His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
“Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:1-12 RSV)

In its wisdom, the Church has established feast days that allow us to come together as family and celebrate who we are as the people of God. All Saints Day is one of these special days – a day when we remember those who have gone before us in faith.
The “saints” we celebrate today are not just the martyrs and exceptionally holy people recognized by the Church as canonized saints. Today we celebrate the “holy ones” described in the New Testament as those who believe in Jesus and follow Him. For example, Saint Paul referred to the Christians in Corinth as “those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2). Likewise, he called the Ephesians “the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 1:1). In other words, we are celebrating our own high calling and destiny! We all are invited to belong to the “144.000” mentioned in the Book of Revelation (Rev 7:4). This is not a limiting number, but a symbol of the fullness of all the people gathered into God’s Kingdom.
For thousands of years, countless people have spent their lives in love, service, and intercession. Numbered among them is the elderly woman in our Christian community who spends hours praying for others, the parish volunteer who gives free time to teach children about Jesus, and the religious sister who has given her life for the care of the sick and infirm. The list goes on and on.
In His “Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus taught the way to sainthood: total trust in God, meekness, hungering for righteousness, being merciful, seeking peace. We can live heaven on earth as we follow in Jesus’ footsteps day after day. The way is hard at times because it means setting aside our own desires. But whenever Jesus calls us to die to ourselves, He gives us His power and leads us to His victory. Each of us can be saints!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, at my baptism You filled me with the Holy Spirit. By this Spirit, help me to devote my life to living the Beatitudes. I praise you for calling me to share Your life forever. Amen.
Jakarta, 31 October 2014
A Christian Pilgrim

achristianpilgrim | November 1, 2014 at 12:06 am | Tags: ALL SAINTS DAY | Categories: BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS 2014, SAINTS WE LOVE | URL:

Pope Francis visits Sister in Umbria