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Living Our Faith: Mysticism

June 23rd, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized

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A statue of St. Joseph is seen in Rome. An angel "appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you'" (Mt 2:13). Was this a mystical experience? The Gospel's assurance is that Joseph experienced an intimate connection between his family and God. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A statue of St. Joseph is seen in Rome. An angel “appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you'” (Mt 2:13). Was this a mystical experience? The Gospel’s assurance is that Joseph experienced an intimate connection between his family and God. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

 

 

 

Pope Francis defines a mystic as one who “experiences the intimate connection between God and all beings.”

The Catholic tradition boasts great saints who were mystics, including St. Joan of Arc, St. Teresa of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen.

How do we reconcile mystical experiences today in an age of skepticism?

If God is in all things, and intimately involved in our lives, then perhaps we are all called to be mystics on some level.

           

Saint of the Day: Joseph Cafasso

June 23rd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Joseph Cafasso

Feast Day: June 23

Born in Italy’s Piedmont region, Joseph studied at a seminary near Turin. He was ordained a diocesan priest in 1833, and continued studies in

St. Joseph Cafasso (Wikimedia Commons PD/USA)

St. Joseph Cafasso (Wikimedia Commons PD/USA)

theology at the Institute of St. Francis in Turin. Despite having a twisted spine, Joseph became a popular lecturer at the institute and in 1848 its rector. He was a wise mentor to his priest students, including St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesians, with whom he had an enduring friendship. He was a well-known confessor and spiritual adviser, and an advocate for prisoners, accompanying more than 60 condemned men to their public execution by hanging.

 

Military prelate asks prayers for those who perished in ship collision

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WASHINGTON — The head of the U.S. military archdiocese June 20 expressed sorrow for the lives lost in “the tragic ship collision” involving the USS Fitzgerald off the coast of Japan.

Seven sailors died aboard the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer, which collided with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel early in the morning June 17. Hours later, their bodies were found in flooded berthing compartments. Read more »

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Saints of the Day: John Fisher and Thomas More

June 22nd, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. John Fisher

Feast Day: June 22

A Yorkshire draper’s son, John was one of the “new men” of Tudor England, a distinguished scholar at Cambridge University who

St. John Fisher (CNS)

St. John Fisher (CNS)

was ordained at age 22.

Privately austere, John held several high offices: chaplain to a king’s mother, vice chancellor and chancellor of Cambridge, bishop of Rochester, counselor to Catherine of Aragon during King Henry VIII’s divorce proceedings against her.

But John steadfastly refused to accept Henry as head of the church in England, and was imprisoned.

The pope named him a cardinal, which further enraged Henry, who ordered John’s beheading.

He shares this feast with his friend and fellow martyr, Thomas More; their heads were impaled on London Bridge two weeks apart.

 

St. Thomas More

Feast Day: June 22

Born in London, Thomas studied at Oxford, married and had four children.

King Henry VIII took this brilliant lawyer into his service in 1518, knighted him and named him lord chancellor.

St. Thomas More (CNS)

St. Thomas More (CNS)

But Thomas broke with the king when he divorced Catherine of Aragon and set himself up as supreme head of the church in England.

In 1532 Thomas resigned his post, and in 1534 was arrested when he refused to take the oath to the new Act of Succession.

Imprisoned for more than a year in the Tower of London, he was convicted of treason and beheaded.

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Saint of the Week: John the Baptist

June 21st, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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Nativity of John the Baptist

Feast: June 24

St. John the Baptist, by Leonardo da Vinci (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

St. John the Baptist, by Leonardo da Vinci (Wikimedia Commons/PD/USA)

In the Gospels, John, a kinsman of Jesus through their mothers, preached repentance and baptized to prepare for the Messiah’s coming. This feast marks his exceptional birth to the aged priest Zechariah and the equally aged and barren Elizabeth. The angel Gabriel announces his birth in a vision to Zechariah, who hesitates in believing and is struck mute until eight days after John’s birth. Then, Zechariah, in a beautiful canticle that ends the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel, proclaims that John “will be called prophet of the Most High.” John’s eventual beheading is commemorated with an Aug. 29 feast. A patron saint of Canada and Jordan, John is also the patron of Florence and the Knights Hospitaller of St. John.

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Sunday Scripture readings, June 25, 2017

June 21st, 2017 Posted in Uncategorized Tags:

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June 25, Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

            Cycle A. Readings

            1) Jeremiah 20:10-13

            Psalm 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35

            2) Romans 5:12-15

            Gospel: Matthew 10:26-33

 

By mid-June, school vacation days have begun across most of the country. Breakneck schedules for families subside. During this blessed time, travel is usually on the agenda. Those of us who live where it is hot long to go to some place cool. On the other hand, those who have endured months of living in a deep freeze often plan trips to sunny realms.

No matter what direction the compass may lead us, the summer itinerary of most vacationers will include a visit to at least one historical site. Walking the same ground where our fellow human beings have been put to the test often mesmerizes us. Their past becomes part of our past, and their stories become part of our own. Read more »

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USCCB leaders decry attack outside London mosque, pray for victims

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WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Catholic bishops “unequivocally reject” acts of violence such as the attack outside a London mosque and pleaded with all people “to cease from committing or plotting to commit further acts.” Read more »

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Saint of the Day: St. Aloysius Gonzaga

June 21st, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Feast Day: June 21

Born to a noble Italian family, Aloysius served as a page in Spain and Italy. His father opposed a religious vocation, planning

Notre Dame Abbey Beaugency, France

St. Aloysius Gonzaga (CNS)

instead a military career for his oldest son. But Aloysius joined the Jesuits in Rome in 1585, taking his vows two years later. His health had been compromised by kidney disease, but he served in a Jesuit hospital opened in Rome when plague struck the city. He died of plague while ministering to the sick. St. Robert Bellarmine, his spiritual director, said the young Jesuit’s austere religious practices and penances were so extreme that others should not follow them. Canonized in 1726, Aloysius later was declared protector of young students and patron saint of Catholic youth.

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New priests follow many paths to answering call to serve God’s people

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WASHINGTON — After almost 12 years as an Episcopal priest, Deacon Jonathan Erdman entered into full communion with the Catholic Church along with his family in 2016 and a year later, he is becoming a Catholic priest.

He will be ordained a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter June 29.

This spring, 590 men entered the priesthood in dioceses throughout the United States, according to a report released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. The report is based on an annual study that the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate conducted for the USCCB. Read more »

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Saint of the Day: St. Alban

June 20th, 2017 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags:

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St. Alban

Feast Day June 20

By Catholic News Service
Believed to be Britain’s first martyr, Alban was a pagan living at Verulamium, now St. Albans. During a Roman persecution, he

St. Alban (CNS)

St. Alban (CNS)

sheltered a fleeing priest who baptized him, and was himself arrested and put to death. He is first mentioned in a fifth-century life of St. Germanus; the Venerable Bede expanded the earlier story, including a lively account of the execution by beheading and some supernatural signs that accompanied it. Successive churches, including a Benedictine abbey and an Anglican cathedral, have occupied the traditional hilltop site of the martyrdom.

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