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Readings for December 18

December 5th, 2011 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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2 Samuel 7:l-5, 8b-12, 14a,16; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38

During Advent I have been listening to Handel’s Messiah. The solemn words and glorious music express the wonder of the coming into our world of the Lord, the Son of God.

The word-picture of Gabriel’s announcement to Mary and her response, as we hear them in the Gospel of Luke, are incredible in their meaning, but very low-key as they are expressed. No trumpets, no chorus, no Hallelujahs. Read more »

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Learn to pray more deeply during Advent

December 2nd, 2011 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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In our more reflective moments we sense the importance of prayer; yet, we struggle to pray. Sustained, deep prayer doesn’t come easy for us. Why?

First of all, we struggle to make time for prayer. Prayer doesn’t accomplish anything practical for us, it’s a waste of time in terms of tending to the pressures and tasks of daily life, and so we hesitate to go there. Coupled with this, we find it hard to trust that prayer actually works and brings about something real in our lives. Beyond that, we struggle to concentrate when we try to pray. Once we do settle in to pray, we soon feel ourselves overwhelmed by daydreams, unfinished conversations, half-forgotten melodies, heartaches, agendas, and the impending tasks that face us as soon as we get up from our place of prayer. Read more »

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Readings for December 11

December 1st, 2011 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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Third Sunday in Advent

1 Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11; 1 Thesalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

Advent is the season of hope. How often have you heard this statement and what exactly does it mean for you? Hope is defined as the emotional state which promotes the belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life. However there is a difference between this secular definition and the virtue of hope because hope, as with all virtues, arises from the will. It goes beyond an emotional state to utilize our freedom of choice. Read more »

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Scripture commentary for Sunday, Dec. 4

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Readings for December 4

Second Sunday in Advent

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; 2 Peter 3:8-14;  Mark 1:1-8

Today’s Gospel describes the ministry of St. John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ. Jesus will later describe John as a “light, which burned brightly.” Jesus Christ is himself the light of the world, which the darkness can never overcome. While there are many things to be concerned about in our modern world, Advent is a season of hope, as we prepare for the birth of the savior, the source of all our hope. This hope is not blind optimism, but something much deeper and stronger, the theological virtue of hope.

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Vatican Letter: Pope’s critique of global economic system resurfaces in Africa

November 23rd, 2011 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — A few minutes after landing in Africa, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a stern warning against the “unconditional surrender to the law of the market or that of finance” in Africa and throughout the global economic system.

His words were immediately seized upon by those wondering where the German pope stood on a recent Vatican document that proposed the creation of a world political authority to regulate financial markets and rein in the “inequalities and distortions of capitalist development.”

In short, it seemed the pope was speaking the same language as the document’s authors. Read more »

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Call for the protection of religious liberty

October 27th, 2011 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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The following is the prepared text of the Red Mass homily Msgr. Ronny E. Jenkins, general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, delivered Oct. 3 at St. Ann’s Church in Wilmington to members of the St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Wilmington. The society’s members are lawyers, judges and other legal professionals in the diocese. As reported in the Oct. 14 issue of The Dialog, Msgr. Jenkins calls for attorneys to be “prophets of the law” at a time of increasing threats to religious liberty in the United States.

Bishop Malooly, brother priests, deacons, honorable members of the judiciary, distinguished members of the bar, honored guests, brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus,

The great Prophet and lawgiver of the Old Testament, Moses, declares to the people in the Book of Deuteronomy: “Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving to you.” (Deuteronomy 16:20). Read more »

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Changes in the words at Mass are a good thing

October 27th, 2011 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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The Dialog has been reporting in a series of stories this year on preparations for changes in the English-language translation of the Mass coming on the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27. The following is Father Peter J. Daly’s view on the new translation, based on the new Roman Missal.

By Father Peter J. Daly

After all the “sturm und drang” (“storm and stress”) of the past few years, the changes in some of the words at Mass will probably turn out to be a good thing. Here is why.

First, they will make us pay more attention to the celebration of the Mass, at least for a while.

Second, they will make us talk about the history and the development of the Mass.

Third, they will be a better sign of the unity of the church, at least in the Mass of the Roman rite.

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Prayers to Our Lady Queen of Peace

October 27th, 2011 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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The following is the prepared text of the homily Bishop Malooly gave at the Oct. 22 Mass at Holy Spirit Church in New Castle during the biennial Marian pilgrimage. As reported in this week’s issue of The Dialog, the bishop spoke to diocesan pilgrims of three things for which we should pray to Mary.

Our pilgrimage director, Msgr. Joseph F. Rebman, shared some of the following reflections with me.

Because of her close personal connection with her Son, the “Prince of Peace” our Lady has been increasingly venerated as “Queen of Peace.” In the calendars of particular churches and some religious institutes there is a memorial of her as “Queen of Peace.” It is worth recalling that Benedict XV in 1917, while a terrible World War I was raging, ordered that the invocation “Queen of Peace” should be added to the Litany of Loreto. Read more »

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October is the month of the Rosary

October 14th, 2011 Posted in Catechetical Corner Tags: , , ,

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The New Missal: Mass has continually evolved over its 2,000 year history

October 14th, 2011 Posted in Catechetical Corner

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By Dennis Sadowski

Catholic News Service

 

When the third edition of the English-language version of the Roman Missal is implemented at Advent, it will mark the continuing evolution of the eucharistic liturgy that began in the earliest days of the church.

The most recent changes — which more closely reflect “Liturgiam Authenticam” (“The Authentic Liturgy”), the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments’ 2001 document on liturgical translations — are unlikely to be the last, liturgists agree.

From Aramaic to Greek to Latin to vernacular language after the Second Vatican Council, the Mass has evolved over 2,000 years in an effort to help worshippers appreciate the mystery that is God.

“It’s not the changing that’s abnormal. It’s not changing that’s abnormal,” said Jesuit Father John Baldovin, professor of historical and liturgical theology at Boston College, who explores the history of the missal and the new English translation in a video series on the National Jesuit News website.

The first eucharistic prayer is seen on a page from a copy of the new Roman Missal in English published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. New missals are on the way to parishes throughout the United States for use beginning the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec) (Sept. 16, 2011)

“People may find it interesting that this has developed over centuries. It isn’t something dropped out of the sky at Vatican II, but it has a history,” said Christina Ronzio, director of the Office for Worship in the Cleveland Diocese.

“What it does is it establishes continuity of that tradition of the church,” she said.

The Missal of Pius V appeared seven years after the Council of Trent concluded its work in 1563, implementing the council’s call for uniformity in liturgical books. The council met in 25 sessions in three periods beginning in 1545. By its conclusion the council codified the celebration of Mass and defined teaching on Scripture and tradition, original sin, justification, the sacraments and the veneration of saints.

The council allowed religious orders that had their own liturgical rites in place for more than 200 years — among them the Dominicans and the Franciscans — to continue using their own missal. Those missals continue in use today with updated translations approved by the Vatican.

In part, credit the development of the printing press for the missal’s introduction in the 16th century, said Father Richard Hilgartner, executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat on Divine Worship.

Until the late 16th century, holy books were reproduced by hand by monks, making widespread distribution of sacred texts impractical.

Long before the first missal was promulgated, a desire for consistency in worship began to emerge. Some Mass prayers can be traced to the third century, said Rita Thiron, director of the Office of Worship in the Diocese of Lansing, Mich., citing the second eucharistic prayer, which dates to about 215.

By the seventh and eighth centuries the sharing of prayer texts became more common, Father Hilgartner said. Sacramentaries also were assembled, the most notable being the Old Gelasian Sacramentary in the seventh and eighth centuries and the Gregorian Sacramentary in the late eighth century.

At the same time, Latin was becoming the language of the church. Father Daniel Merz, associate director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Divine Worship, explained that the use of Latin took several hundred years to emerge, beginning in the third century; by the 10th century it was widespread.

“But even in Rome it’s interesting that the first several hundred years you can see there was this concern to have the language be in the language of the people,” he said.

After the Council of Trent it would be more than four centuries before the Roman Mass saw significant changes. Even though several popes granted concessions to missionaries to allow Mass to be celebrated in local languages to aid in evangelization — including Iroquoian for the Jesuits in 1773 near modern-day Montreal — Mass changed little until Vatican II.

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