21 July 2011

Archbishop Dolan blogs on Jesus' call to "Come Stay with Me"

Archbishop Dolan in his blog, The Gospel in the Digital Age, writes on the fruits of Eucharistic Adoration.

The Church is renowned for all that we do - Catholic charities, health care, schools, youth work, love, service, and evangelization - and rightly so.

But what we do must flow from who we are - people of faith, prayer, adoration, our hearts on fire with our Lord, our best friend, the way, the truth, and the life.

If what we do does not spring from who we are, we are listless and ineffective.

When the first disciples asked Jesus about following Him, He did not say, "Come do a bunch of stuff with me."  Nope - He invited them to "Come, stay with me!"  Eucharistic adoration is a great way to answer that invitation.

Archbishop Dolan blogs on Jesus' call to "Come Stay with Me"

Archbishop Dolan in his blog, The Gospel in the Digital Age, writes on the fruits of Eucharistic Adoration.

The Church is renowned for all that we do - Catholic charities, health care, schools, youth work, love, service, and evangelization - and rightly so.

But what we do must flow from who we are - people of faith, prayer, adoration, our hearts on fire with our Lord, our best friend, the way, the truth, and the life.

If what we do does not spring from who we are, we are listless and ineffective.

When the first disciples asked Jesus about following Him, He did not say, "Come do a bunch of stuff with me."  Nope - He invited them to "Come, stay with me!"  Eucharistic adoration is a great way to answer that invitation.

13 July 2011

Bishop Aquila's Case for Earlier Reception of Sacrament of Confirmation

Bishop Aquila of Fargo has made a compelling argument for moving the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation to coincide with First Communion.
Turning to the present administration of the sacrament, Bishop Aquila questioned whether the common placement of confirmation in late adolescence treats it as “a reward, or worse, as something earned or deserved for attendance and work in a parish catechetical program.”

“Should the fear of not receiving a sacrament ever be used as a means to keep a young person involved in the life of the Church? Should the gift and strengthening of the Holy Spirit be denied young persons in their most formative years?” he asked.

Bishop Aquila also wondered whether the special attention and length of preparation given to confirmation makes many perceive it to be more important than baptism and the Eucharist.

The view that confirmation is a way for young people to make a personal commitment to their faith “distorts” the sacrament, he said.

“Confirmation is not marked by a choice to believe or not believe in the Catholic faith. Rather, as disciples, we are chosen by God to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, to be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit generously bestowed by God, and we are called to cooperate with that grace,” he explained.

Confirmation confers a gift of the Holy Spirit that is ordered to “the life of worship,” the bishop said while summarizing Catholic thought. It helps the person achieve a “more perfect integration” into the body of Christ. This helps us understand how confirmation is ordered to the Eucharist.

In this light, it appears “odd” to have someone participate in the Eucharistic life of the Church if he or she has not received “the seal of the Holy Spirit, which perfects the personal bond with the community.”

While some have said that maturity is necessary for the sacrament, the bishop said that children can be mature spiritually.

“If they are mature enough to receive the Eucharist, the crown of the sacraments, are they not mature enough to receive a sacrament that is ordered to it?” he asked.

“I have found the third-graders to be most receptive to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and their childlike trust and wonder is beautiful to behold. Many times their ability to see the truth and have complete trust in God is strikingly better than our own. It allows for a deeper receptivity of the graces of the sacrament.”

By contrast, he said, too many young adults have regressed spiritually into a state of indifference or despondence towards God.

He suggested that restoring the order of the sacraments of initiation will aid the local community in forming effective catechesis which acknowledges growth in faith as a lifelong process.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/bishop-aquila-confirmation-should-be-received-before-first-communion#ixzz1RzpoKbXV

I'm surprised that Bishop Aquila remains in Fargo. I met him on a retreat he gave a couple years ago and he is wonderful. No doubt he will one day move on to a much larger Diocese.

Bishop Aquila's Case for Earlier Reception of Sacrament of Confirmation

Bishop Aquila of Fargo has made a compelling argument for moving the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation to coincide with First Communion.
Turning to the present administration of the sacrament, Bishop Aquila questioned whether the common placement of confirmation in late adolescence treats it as “a reward, or worse, as something earned or deserved for attendance and work in a parish catechetical program.”

“Should the fear of not receiving a sacrament ever be used as a means to keep a young person involved in the life of the Church? Should the gift and strengthening of the Holy Spirit be denied young persons in their most formative years?” he asked.

Bishop Aquila also wondered whether the special attention and length of preparation given to confirmation makes many perceive it to be more important than baptism and the Eucharist.

The view that confirmation is a way for young people to make a personal commitment to their faith “distorts” the sacrament, he said.

“Confirmation is not marked by a choice to believe or not believe in the Catholic faith. Rather, as disciples, we are chosen by God to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit, to be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit generously bestowed by God, and we are called to cooperate with that grace,” he explained.

Confirmation confers a gift of the Holy Spirit that is ordered to “the life of worship,” the bishop said while summarizing Catholic thought. It helps the person achieve a “more perfect integration” into the body of Christ. This helps us understand how confirmation is ordered to the Eucharist.

In this light, it appears “odd” to have someone participate in the Eucharistic life of the Church if he or she has not received “the seal of the Holy Spirit, which perfects the personal bond with the community.”

While some have said that maturity is necessary for the sacrament, the bishop said that children can be mature spiritually.

“If they are mature enough to receive the Eucharist, the crown of the sacraments, are they not mature enough to receive a sacrament that is ordered to it?” he asked.

“I have found the third-graders to be most receptive to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and their childlike trust and wonder is beautiful to behold. Many times their ability to see the truth and have complete trust in God is strikingly better than our own. It allows for a deeper receptivity of the graces of the sacrament.”

By contrast, he said, too many young adults have regressed spiritually into a state of indifference or despondence towards God.

He suggested that restoring the order of the sacraments of initiation will aid the local community in forming effective catechesis which acknowledges growth in faith as a lifelong process.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/bishop-aquila-confirmation-should-be-received-before-first-communion#ixzz1RzpoKbXV

I'm surprised that Bishop Aquila remains in Fargo. I met him on a retreat he gave a couple years ago and he is wonderful. No doubt he will one day move on to a much larger Diocese.

11 July 2011

Memorial of Blessed David Gonson - Martyr of the Order of Malta

Sir David Gonson was a member of an English naval family who was received into the Order at the English Auberge in Malta on 20 October 1533. He served on the ships of the Order in the Mediterranean until 1540 when he returned to England. Henry VIII had suppressed the Order in his kingdom by an Act of Parliament of 10 May 1540. David Gunston was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1540 and was condemned to death by an Act of Parliament in 1541 for denying the authority of the King in spiritual matters. He was hanged, drawn and quartered at St. Thomas' Waterings, Southwark on 12 July 1541. Pius XI declared him Blessed on 15 December 1929.

Prayer:

O God, who made of blessed David a notable champion of the Catholic faith whose martyrdom shed glory on our Order, grant that he may stimulate us to defend the unity of your holy Church. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(From: The Missal with readings of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes, & of Malta, London 1997)

Memorial of Blessed David Gonson - Martyr of the Order of Malta

Sir David Gonson was a member of an English naval family who was received into the Order at the English Auberge in Malta on 20 October 1533. He served on the ships of the Order in the Mediterranean until 1540 when he returned to England. Henry VIII had suppressed the Order in his kingdom by an Act of Parliament of 10 May 1540. David Gunston was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1540 and was condemned to death by an Act of Parliament in 1541 for denying the authority of the King in spiritual matters. He was hanged, drawn and quartered at St. Thomas' Waterings, Southwark on 12 July 1541. Pius XI declared him Blessed on 15 December 1929.

Prayer:

O God, who made of blessed David a notable champion of the Catholic faith whose martyrdom shed glory on our Order, grant that he may stimulate us to defend the unity of your holy Church. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(From: The Missal with readings of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes, & of Malta, London 1997)

10 July 2011

SMOM - Western Assoc. Medical Clinics

Rome, 09/06/2011 From the Order of Malta website in Rome.

The Western Association of the Order of Malta in the United States provides medical care free-of-charge for California’s uninsured poor and sick, who come to its two medical clinics, one in Los Angeles and the other in Oakland (near San Francisco).  In the State of California, over 6.6 million people are without healthcare insurance – a rate higher than in any other state in America.  As a result, many patients have received no medical care for months.

Patients often come to the Order’s clinics having lost their jobs, and therefore their healthcare insurance, and so are unable to afford the treatment needed.  The clinics identify unmet medical needs, providing direct medical care when possible, and facilitate referrals to appropriate cooperating medical and social agencies.  The only criteria required for admission is to be without medical insurance.

The Order of Malta Los Angeles Clinic was established in 1980 and serves approximately 1,300 patients per year. The Order of Malta Northern California Clinic in Oakland, since opening in October, 2008, has provided over 8,500 free doctor’s visits.  The two clinics are staffed by volunteer physicians and nurses who together have knowledge of English, Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog (spoken by over one million people in America).  Where possible, medical practitioners try to prescribe generic drugs that will cost patients no more than US$5.

Both clinics offer physical examinations, mammograms, laboratory testing, x-rays, electrocardiograms, ultrasounds and immunisation.  Patients come to the clinics suffering from chronic medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol and asthma.  The care centres provide immunisations for tetanus and influenza and tuberculosis skin testing.

Following her first visit to the clinic with her family, Californian resident Lauren said: “This place is great.  It’s a very professionally run, shiny, clean, quiet and helpful doctor’s office for people who can’t afford to pay”.

SMOM - Western Assoc. Medical Clinics

Rome, 09/06/2011 From the Order of Malta website in Rome.

The Western Association of the Order of Malta in the United States provides medical care free-of-charge for California’s uninsured poor and sick, who come to its two medical clinics, one in Los Angeles and the other in Oakland (near San Francisco).  In the State of California, over 6.6 million people are without healthcare insurance – a rate higher than in any other state in America.  As a result, many patients have received no medical care for months.

Patients often come to the Order’s clinics having lost their jobs, and therefore their healthcare insurance, and so are unable to afford the treatment needed.  The clinics identify unmet medical needs, providing direct medical care when possible, and facilitate referrals to appropriate cooperating medical and social agencies.  The only criteria required for admission is to be without medical insurance.

The Order of Malta Los Angeles Clinic was established in 1980 and serves approximately 1,300 patients per year. The Order of Malta Northern California Clinic in Oakland, since opening in October, 2008, has provided over 8,500 free doctor’s visits.  The two clinics are staffed by volunteer physicians and nurses who together have knowledge of English, Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog (spoken by over one million people in America).  Where possible, medical practitioners try to prescribe generic drugs that will cost patients no more than US$5.

Both clinics offer physical examinations, mammograms, laboratory testing, x-rays, electrocardiograms, ultrasounds and immunisation.  Patients come to the clinics suffering from chronic medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol and asthma.  The care centres provide immunisations for tetanus and influenza and tuberculosis skin testing.

Following her first visit to the clinic with her family, Californian resident Lauren said: “This place is great.  It’s a very professionally run, shiny, clean, quiet and helpful doctor’s office for people who can’t afford to pay”.

08 July 2011

Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue July 8th

Adrian Fortescue was born around 1480, the son of Sir John Fortescue of Punsborne, Hertfordshire (England). He was made a Knight of the Bath in 1503 and was high in the favour of King Henry VIII, taking part in the Wars of England against France in 1513 and 1523. His personal piety is attested by his Book of Hours which survives with devotional maxims in his own hand. As a cousin of Anne Boleyn, he was present when she was crowned as Queen in 1533. Sir Adrian was twice married and had seven children. He became a confrater of the Dominicans of Oxford in 1533. In 1539 he was attainted of High Treason without trial, by an Act of Parliament which condemned fifty persons opposed to Henry VIII's ecclesiastical policies. Adrian Fortescue was beheaded on Tower Hill, London on Wednesday 9 July 1539, together with the Venerable Sir Thomas Dingley, a Knight of the Order.

The Order of St. John of Jerusalem has considered Sir Adrian as a martyr and has promoted devotion to him at least since the early seventeenth century as a member of the Order although it is believed that he was actually a "Donat" and never an actual Knight of the Order. Leo XIII declared him Blessed on 13 May 1895. His Book of Hours was recently presented to the Grand Priory of England by his descendants.

Prayer:

O God, since all things are within your power, grant through the prayers of blessed Adrian, your martyr, that we who keep his feast today may become stronger in the love of your name and hold to your holy Church even at the cost of our lives. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(From: The Missal with readings of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes, & of Malta, London 1997)

Note too the maxims of Bl. Adrian on the left side of the blog.

Memorial of Blessed Adrian Fortescue July 8th

Adrian Fortescue was born around 1480, the son of Sir John Fortescue of Punsborne, Hertfordshire (England). He was made a Knight of the Bath in 1503 and was high in the favour of King Henry VIII, taking part in the Wars of England against France in 1513 and 1523. His personal piety is attested by his Book of Hours which survives with devotional maxims in his own hand. As a cousin of Anne Boleyn, he was present when she was crowned as Queen in 1533. Sir Adrian was twice married and had seven children. He became a confrater of the Dominicans of Oxford in 1533. In 1539 he was attainted of High Treason without trial, by an Act of Parliament which condemned fifty persons opposed to Henry VIII's ecclesiastical policies. Adrian Fortescue was beheaded on Tower Hill, London on Wednesday 9 July 1539, together with the Venerable Sir Thomas Dingley, a Knight of the Order.

The Order of St. John of Jerusalem has considered Sir Adrian as a martyr and has promoted devotion to him at least since the early seventeenth century as a member of the Order although it is believed that he was actually a "Donat" and never an actual Knight of the Order. Leo XIII declared him Blessed on 13 May 1895. His Book of Hours was recently presented to the Grand Priory of England by his descendants.

Prayer:

O God, since all things are within your power, grant through the prayers of blessed Adrian, your martyr, that we who keep his feast today may become stronger in the love of your name and hold to your holy Church even at the cost of our lives. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(From: The Missal with readings of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes, & of Malta, London 1997)

Note too the maxims of Bl. Adrian on the left side of the blog.

04 July 2011

American's owe much for their independence to the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. Here is some interesting history from an article by David Lindsay in Malta.
Tomorrow, 4 July, the United States of America marks Independence Day but few here in Malta are perhaps aware of the fact that the Knights of the Order of St John and a number of Maltese had played a concerted role in the American Revolutionary War − on the American side of the equation. It is a little known fact that some 1,800 Maltese and Knights of the Order had enlisted in the French Navy to help the fledgling United States in its War of Independence. And, thanks to their seafaring acumen, the Maltese and the Knights, in fact, proved to be a critical element in ending the war with an American victory.

In 1781, with the help of the Maltese sailors, the French Navy defeated the British in the Battle of the Chesapeake. With the defeat, the British were unable to regroup or supply their troops. Consequently, and as a result of the victory at Chesapeake Bay, the American army forced the British surrender and the end of the war. This and other priceless lore on the early relationship between the United States and Malta had been extensively researched by the late Dr Paul Cassar who, in 1976 on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of American Independence, had published his findings in the book Early Relations between Malta and the United States of America.

Such was America’s gratitude toward Malta for its assistance in its fight for freedom that American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin himself reserved a special award of America’s first medal, the Libertas Americana, to Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan. In 1783, in his capacity as Ambassador to France, Franklin designed and minted the medal and gave all but one medal to French officials and members of the US Congress. The only Libertas Americana medal given to another foreign official was that presented by Franklin to Grand Master de Rohan. Franklin had sent the medal to Grand Master de Rohan to specifically thank him for his support in the revolution and, in the accompanying letter, Franklin had written, “I have the honour to address to Your Eminent Highness the medal which I have lately had struck. It is an Homage of gratitude, my Lord, which is due to the interest you have taken in our cause; and we no less owe it to your virtues and to your eminent highness wise administration of government.” Franklin had also asked that the Grand Master allow American ships to come to Maltese ports. Grand Master de Rohan had replied positively to the effect that, “This monument of American liberty has a distinguished place in my cabinet. Whenever chance or commerce shall lead any of your citizens or their vessels into the ports of my island, I shall receive them with the greatest welcome.” The correspondence marked the beginning of US-Maltese diplomatic relations, and an American diplomatic presence in Malta was established in 1796. Unfortunately, Franklin’s original letter and the Libertas Americana medal awarded to Grand Master de Rohan have both been lost, despite a number of thorough searches made in the National Archives in Valletta. Luckily, the original letter from Grand Master de Rohan to Franklin still exists and is located at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia.
American's owe much for their independence to the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. Here is some interesting history from an article by David Lindsay in Malta.
Tomorrow, 4 July, the United States of America marks Independence Day but few here in Malta are perhaps aware of the fact that the Knights of the Order of St John and a number of Maltese had played a concerted role in the American Revolutionary War − on the American side of the equation. It is a little known fact that some 1,800 Maltese and Knights of the Order had enlisted in the French Navy to help the fledgling United States in its War of Independence. And, thanks to their seafaring acumen, the Maltese and the Knights, in fact, proved to be a critical element in ending the war with an American victory.

In 1781, with the help of the Maltese sailors, the French Navy defeated the British in the Battle of the Chesapeake. With the defeat, the British were unable to regroup or supply their troops. Consequently, and as a result of the victory at Chesapeake Bay, the American army forced the British surrender and the end of the war. This and other priceless lore on the early relationship between the United States and Malta had been extensively researched by the late Dr Paul Cassar who, in 1976 on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of American Independence, had published his findings in the book Early Relations between Malta and the United States of America.

Such was America’s gratitude toward Malta for its assistance in its fight for freedom that American Founding Father Benjamin Franklin himself reserved a special award of America’s first medal, the Libertas Americana, to Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan. In 1783, in his capacity as Ambassador to France, Franklin designed and minted the medal and gave all but one medal to French officials and members of the US Congress. The only Libertas Americana medal given to another foreign official was that presented by Franklin to Grand Master de Rohan. Franklin had sent the medal to Grand Master de Rohan to specifically thank him for his support in the revolution and, in the accompanying letter, Franklin had written, “I have the honour to address to Your Eminent Highness the medal which I have lately had struck. It is an Homage of gratitude, my Lord, which is due to the interest you have taken in our cause; and we no less owe it to your virtues and to your eminent highness wise administration of government.” Franklin had also asked that the Grand Master allow American ships to come to Maltese ports. Grand Master de Rohan had replied positively to the effect that, “This monument of American liberty has a distinguished place in my cabinet. Whenever chance or commerce shall lead any of your citizens or their vessels into the ports of my island, I shall receive them with the greatest welcome.” The correspondence marked the beginning of US-Maltese diplomatic relations, and an American diplomatic presence in Malta was established in 1796. Unfortunately, Franklin’s original letter and the Libertas Americana medal awarded to Grand Master de Rohan have both been lost, despite a number of thorough searches made in the National Archives in Valletta. Luckily, the original letter from Grand Master de Rohan to Franklin still exists and is located at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia.

Funeral Mass of Fra Freddy

My confrere over at the blog of the Conventual Church of St. John of Jerusalem has posted on the funeral of Fra Freddy last week in Edinburgh. There is also a report on the pilgrimage to Chartres from this year as well as a great picture of Fra Freddy on an earlier pilgrimage carrying the liquid sustenance for lunch. I'm sorry I missed out on that.

01 July 2011

Pope Speaks on the Corruption of Food as a Speculative Commodity



From CNA/EWTN comes this news story earlier today: Fr. McNabb would have applauded this speech given to the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Pope Benedict issued strong words on Friday against financial speculators spiking food prices and pointed to family-run farms as a way to help stave off world hunger.

“Nourishment is a factor which touches on the fundamental right to life,” the Pope said.

“How can we remain silent before the fact that food has become the object of speculation and is tied to the movements of financial markets which, lacking clear rules and moral principles, seem fixated on the single objective of profit?”

St. Nicasius - Martyr of the Order of Malta

Today in the Order of Malta we remember St. Nicasius who was martyred.

One of the Kameti family (who were later known as de Burgo), he was born in Sicily in the twelfth century. He became a knight of the Order of St. John, fought as one of the defenders at the siege of Acre in Palestine and was captured and beheaded there in 1187 with many others, including, it is said, his brother Ferrandino.

Prayer:

O God, every year you give us joy in the commemoration of your martyr, blessed Nicasius: grant that through his prayers and example the companions of our Order may grow in faith and always follow you with all their hearts. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(From: The Missal with readings of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes, & of Malta, London 1997)
All that is known of Saint Nicaise, a martyr Knight, is that he lived shortly after the Blessed Gerland. His picture, painted in several churches (in Saint Dominic of Palermo, Saint Catherine dell'Olivella - not far from the altar of the Madonna of Itria - Saint Mary of Miracles, in Palermo, as well as in Saint John Decapitated, in Valletta, Malta) goes to show that we are not speaking of a myth but of a martyr of our Order.

Under the effigy of Saint Nicaise, drawn on a column of Saint Dominic of Palermo, can be read this inscription, bearing witness to a popular belief:
" S. Nicasius Martyr et Miles Domini nostri Jesu Christi, multas in collo habuit glandulas et imperavit a Domino nostro Jesu Christo ut quicumque nomen suum supra se portaverit, glandulae ei nocere non poterint. Amen".
Therefore, our Knight was either scrofulous or suffered from scrofula as a consequence of his tortures. He will guard us from scrofula from his high place in heaven, on one simple condition: if our "glands" worry us or trouble our children, let us write with confidence the name of Saint Nicaise and let us wear it on us or put it in the clothing of the patient; the holy martyr will indeed know how to cure the disease he knew.

And if our curiosity impels us to know more about his life, with Frà Bosio I shall tell you to act in such a way that "we shall be worthy of knowing what he has done ... in Heaven".
(From: Ducaud-Bourget, Msgr. François: The Spiritual Heritage of The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Vatican 1958)

Thanks to Father Gerard of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gerard which is the South African Relief Organization of the Order of Malta for his original posting of this information.

Disclaimer

This blog and the opinions are all my own and in no way imply the endorsement from any organization. Nor does a recommendation of another blog or web site imply my agreement or endorsement of everything found on their site.