Saturday, December 31, 2011

26 priests, religious, lay pastoral workers slain in 2011 : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

26 priests, religious, lay pastoral workers slain in 2011 : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Friday, December 30, 2011

POPE BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JANUARY 2012



BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JANUARY 2012

VATICAN CITY, 30 DEC 2011 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for January 2012 is: "That the victims of natural disasters may receive the spiritual and material comfort they need to rebuild their lives".

His mission intention is: "That the dedication of Christians to peace may bear witness to the name of Christ before all men and women of good will".
BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/VIS 20111230 (70)



You can find more information at: www.visnews.org

The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Thursday, December 29, 2011

FOR Marriage 1 - (Video from the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte)

First in a series of videos by the Bishops of North Carolina explaining the position of the Catholic Church in support FOR the marriage amendment. Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte presents this video.

Nun Famous For Kissing Elvis Prays For Miracle | Fox News

The following excerpt is from Fox News:



  • Dolores Hart, who walked away from Hollywood stardom in 1963 to become a nun in rural Bethlehem, Conn., now finds herself back in the spotlight. But this time it's all about serving the King of Kings, not smooching the King of Rock and Roll.
  • The former brass factory that houses Mother Dolores and about 40 other nuns cloistered at the Abbey of Regina Laudis needs millions of dollars in renovations to meet fire and safety codes, add an elevator and make handicap accessibility upgrades.


Read more:



Nun Famous For Kissing Elvis Prays For Miracle | Fox News

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

CNS STORY: N.J. nurses don't have to assist in abortion in new hospital agreement



The following excerpt is from the Catholic News Service:

  • A group of 12 nurses who sued the University Hospital in Newark over a policy requiring them to care for patients before and after abortions can no longer be compelled to assist in these procedures, under an agreement reached in federal court.


Click the link below to read the entire article:


CNS STORY: N.J. nurses don't have to assist in abortion in new hospital agreement

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Novena-- Day 9





Today is day 9, the last day of The Christmas Novena.


Don't forget to pray for all intentions by clicking here.


A Merry and Blessed Christmas to all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Novena-- Day 8





Today is day 8 of The Christmas Novena.


Don't forget to pray for all intentions by clicking here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Readied To Donate Organs, 21-Year-Old Emerges From Coma - Yahoo! News

Readied To Donate Organs, 21-Year-Old Emerges From Coma - Yahoo! News

Christmas Novena-- Day 7





Today is day 7 of The Christmas Novena.


Don't forget to pray for all intentions by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

HOOSIER STATE SENATOR STANDS WITH RICK SANTORUM

HOOSIER STATE SENATOR STANDS WITH RICK SANTORUM

Christmas Novena-- Day 6





Today is day 6 of The Christmas Novena.


Don't forget to post your intentions by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Novena-- Day 5





Today is day 5 of The Christmas Novena.


Don't forget to post your intentions by clicking here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Novena-- Day 4





Today is day 4 of The Christmas Novena.


Don't forget to post your intentions by clicking here.

Now You Can Search Faith of the Fathers Blogs


I have started adding a search box on the top of the right hand sidebar of each of the blog pages. It is powered by Google, and will allow readers to search for blog posts, or topics on each page of Faith of the Fathers blogs.

It will search the page you are on for topics related to just that page, such as follows. Let's say you are on "Daily Mass Readings" and you are curious as to what dates Psalms 100 appears in the daily readings. You type in Psalms 100, and you get the results with the dates going back to 2006.

Currently, the search box is here on the main blog page, and is also on : Daily Mass Readings, Pope Benedict XVI, Approved Apparitions, The Early Church Fathers, and Saint Quote of the Day.

I will be adding it to more as time permits.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Novena-- Day 3





Today is day 3 of The Christmas Novena.


Don't forget to post your intentions by clicking here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Faith of the Fathers Blogs Posts For 12/16/2011



On Daily Mass Readings

Readings for December 16, 2011

Isaiah 56: 1 - 3, 6 - 8
Psalms 67: 2 - 3, 5, 7 - 8
John 5: 33 - 36

On Saint Quote of the Day

Saint Francis of Paola

On Favorite Prayers And Scripture

PRAYERS FOR A NOVENA FROM THE 16TH TO THE 24TH OF DECEMBER

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Prayer For The United States



Almighty God, 
bless our nation
and make it true 
to the ideas of freedom and justice
and brotherhood for all who make it great.

Guard us from war,
from fire and wind,
from compromise, fear, confusion.

Be close to our president and our statesmen; 
give them vision and courage, 
as they ponder decisions affecting peace 
and the future of the world.

Make me more deeply aware of my heritage; 
realizing not only my rights 
but also my duties 
and responsibilities as a citizen.

Make this great land 
and all its people 
know clearly Your will,
that they may fulfill 
the destiny ordained for us 
in the salvation of the nations, 
and the restoring of all things in Christ. 

Amen 

Monday, December 12, 2011

The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : Santorum Understands Something the Other Republicans Don't

Just read the excerpt from The American Spectator article on Rick Santorum to see one of the many reasons I support Rick Santorum for President of the United States:


  • More or less alone among the Republican candidates, Santorum has consistently highlighted the ways in which government policies make it harder for families to navigate the economy. Most of the others have focused solely on the ways that, for instance, the tax code makes it harder for corporations to find success and remain internationally competitive. Taxes, regulations, and other policies, though, don't just shape the business climate. They also affect households in countless ways.

Click on the link below to read the whole article at The American Spectator:

The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : Santorum Understands Something the Other Republicans Don't

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Santorum ‘Fact-Checks’ CNN on Obama’s ‘Appeasement’

The following excerpt is from Big Peace. You can go there to read the entire article and watch the video of Rick Santorum standing up to another Obama Apologist. Here is the excerpt:


This Sunday morning, on CNN’s State of the Union, Candy Crowley attempted to “fact-check” Sen. Rick Santorum for his statement to the Republican Jewish Coalition on Dec. 7 that President Barack Obama had pursued a foreign policy of “appeasement.”

Her apparent intent–as with other so-called “fact-checking” efforts–was to attack what has been, and remains, an accurate and effective summary of Obama’s approach to hostile regimes.

Crowley must have thought she had Santorum cornered. After all, President Obama’s stern response to Santorum on Dec. 8 had provided a frisson of delight to liberals like Chris Matthews of MSNBC, who declared: “President Obama’s fierce defense against Republican charges of appeasement proves once again that if you underestimate this president, you may do so at your peril.”

But Santorum stood his ground–and then some.


Santorum ‘Fact-Checks’ CNN on Obama’s ‘Appeasement’

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Suggested Reading



The following post is an excerpt from "Too Smart For The Church?" which originally appearred on our blog "Spiritual Warfare" on February 7, 2006.

There are many traps, dangers, and pitfalls that we as Christians must face in our daily lives. Events happen to us that are often out of our control. Sickness, accidents, natural catastrophes, even financial difficulties or hardship are often beyond our control, or not due to a self-inflicted cause. Yet, there is one trap that we must be on guard for, and that we must not allow ourselves to fall into our spiritual growth. That trap is, when we begin to think that we have all the answers regarding our faith, and that there is nothing more that we can learn.

To read more click here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Easy Gift Buying...Gift Cards!


Everyone knows someone (or several someone's), whom you just can't seem to find the right gift for. Whether it's the boss, junior's teacher, or a friend or relative, there are some people who are difficult to buy for, or you are not sure what to get them.

The best and easiest way to handle this dilemma, is to simply buy a gift card or gift certificate. They can be purchased in amounts from $10 to $100 or more. That way, the person receiving the gift card can then redeem it for whatever he or she wants. Problem solved, and everybody is happy.

Some of the companies and organizations who's ads I have here, offer gift cards. I will list them below:

First, from Mystic Monk Coffee. are gift cards available in amounts from $15 to $100. The recipient can choose some outstanding coffees and teas from the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming, and you can help the monks in raising the money they need to build their monastery.

If you know someone who loves books...or music...or movies....or anything else Barnes and Noble offers, then their gift card is just what the doctor ordered.

icon
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There are also some great books, movies, gifts and more available at The Catholic Company . They have 2 available, The Catholic Company Gift Card [$25.00 Gift Card] and  The Catholic Company Gift Card [$50.00 Gift Card] .

You can also send by email a gift certificate to Zazzle in amounts from $25 to $100.

And, last but not least, you can also send by email E-Gift Cards to The History Channel web store, in amounts from $10 - $100.

Immaculate Conception Novena -- Day 9

iImmaculate Conception Novena

Today is the last day of the of the Immaculate Conception Novena.

If you have had any prayers answered, you can click here to post your experiences.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena -- Day 8

iImmaculate Conception Novena


Today is day 8 of the Immaculate Conception Novena.

There are over 7,000 people who are praying the Immaculate Conception Novena.

Don't forget to read and pray for the intentions of the whole community by clicking here.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena -- Day 7

iImmaculate Conception Novena


Today is day 7 of the Immaculate Conception Novena.

There are over 7,000 people who are praying the Immaculate Conception Novena.

Don't forget to read and pray for the intentions of the whole community by clicking here.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Merry Xmas To You And Yours!



Yes, you read that right. Merry Xmas to you and yours.

“What is with this guy” you're wondering. “Does he realize what he is doing? Here he has a bunch of Catholic blogs and is saying 'Xmas'! Doesn't he realize what he is saying?”

Yes, I sure do!

A lot of people...most people in fact... tend to get very upset when they see the term "Xmas".

Xmas? How dare they take Christ out of Christmas, and call it Xmas. After all, Christmas is derived from Christ's Mass, and calling it Xmas is just a blatant attempt to demean what Christmas means. They already want to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”...and now they want to make their attack complete by writing “Merry Xmas”? Well, I for one am not standing idly by while these secular humanists and their anti-Christian cohorts....

Whoa there....slow down and take a couple of deep breaths. While you're taking your deep breaths I'll give you a little information so you can get your drawers (that means underwear to you people not from the country) out of a wad....so to speak.

The term Xmas is virtually as old as Christianity itself, and actually comes from classical Greek. The Roman letter “X” in our alphabet is similar to the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, “Christos”, which translates as "Christ". The "mas" part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for "Mass". So, the word “Christmas” is actually derived from the Old English “Cristes mæsse”, literally meaning Mass of Christ.

“Xmas” (sometimes pronounced éksməss) is, and was a very common abbreviation of the word “Christmas”. So there is a very common misconception that the word “Xmas” is a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition of Christmas by taking Christ out of Christmas. This is just not the case for the term historically speaking.

According to the “Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage” the early use of Xmas dates back to 1551. Further, it (Merriam-Webster) states that X, Xp, and Xt, all derived from the Greek name, have all been used to stand for Christ- in other words besides Xmas. "Xpen" (1485), "Xpian" (1598), and "Xtian" (1845, 1915, 1940), all meaning "Christian", "Xstened" (1685-86) "christened" and "Xtianity" (1634, 1811, 1966) "Christianity".


Also, you can find the “X” being used in the ancient Christian fish symbol, or “Icthys”, as “ΙΧΘΥΣ”, which is an acronym for “Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior”.  


The labarum, more often called the Chi-Rho, was rendered by taking the first 2 Greek letters of the name Christ (Χριστός), the "X" (Chi) the "P" (Rho), and is a symbol used in Catholic, Orthodox, and many Protestant Christian churches as a symbol for Christ. 

In a good deal of ancient Christian art, “x” and “xp” are used as abbreviations for Christ's name, as well as in many icons and ancient manuscripts of the New Testament.

The use of the term “Xmas” in place of Christmas was also used in letters from Lord Byron (1811), Lewis Carroll (1864) and Oliver Wendell Holmes (1923), in which Merriam-Webster's opines was indicative of “well-educated Englishmen who knew their Greek”.

So, I hope this helps.

I am not going to try to tell you that “Xmas” is not used by those who are trying to offend, as I am sure in some cases that it is intended so. Just remember the next time you see “Xmas”, they are still saying Christmas...and still honoring the name of Christ, even though they may not realize it.

Now, you do know it.

So, Merry Xmas to you and yours!


Immaculate Conception Novena -- Day 6

iImmaculate Conception Novena


Today is day 6 of the Immaculate Conception Novena.

There are over 7,000 people who are praying the Immaculate Conception Novena.

Don't forget to read and pray for the intentions of the whole community by clicking here.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena -- Day 5

Immaculate Conception Novena


Today is day 5 of the Immaculate Conception Novena.

There are about 7,000 people who are joining us in praying the Immaculate Conception Novena.

Don't forget to read and pray for the intentions of the whole community by clicking here.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena -- Day 4

Immaculate Conception Novena


Today is day 4 of the Immaculate Conception Novena.

There are about 7,000 people who are joining us in praying the Immaculate Conception Novena.

Don't forget to read and pray for the intentions of the whole community by clicking here.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena -- Day 3

Immaculate Conception Novena


Today is day 3 of the Immaculate Conception Novena.

There are about 7,000 people who are joining us in praying the Immaculate Conception Novena.

Don't forget to post your intentions and read and pray for the intentions of the whole community by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

POPE BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR DECEMBER 2011



VATICAN CITY, 30 NOV 2011 (VIS) - Benedict's general prayer intention for December is: "That all peoples may grow in harmony and peace through mutual understanding and respect".

  His mission intention is: "That children and young people may be messengers of the Gospel and that they may be respected and preserved from all violence and exploitation".
BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/                 VIS 20111130 (70)




You can find more information at: www.visnews.org

The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Immaculate Conception Novena -- Day 2




John-Paul from Pray More Novena's reports that since yesterday, another 452 people have joined in praying the Immaculate Conception Novena. That is over 7,000 people now participating!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena -- Day 1

Immaculate Conception Novena


Today is the first day of the Immaculate Conception Novena.

There are about 6,800 people who are joining us in praying the Immaculate Conception Novena.

Don't forget to post your intentions and read and pray for the intentions of the whole community by clicking here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena Starts November 29, 2011

Immaculate Conception Novena


Starting November 29th, I am joining over 6,000 Catholics to pray the Immaculate Conception Novena.

With so many faithful Catholics around the world praying this novena, I thought you’d like to join too.

Do you have any special petitions to bring to Mary?

You can sign up for handy email reminders to get the the novena prayers here: Immaculate Conception Novena.

Let’s get all the Catholics we know to pray this novena together for the Immaculate Conception!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

From The Vatican Website

Thanks to Lisa Graas for sharing this. I had never seen this, but you can go to the website of The Holy See and take a virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel.

Click here to go to the page, and enjoy the music as well.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Times Are Tough

Steve Smith

Yes, times are tough. As if that's something we didn't all know already.  

It has especially hit home with me recently, as my hours at work are a long way from being full time now. I barely get 32-33 hours a week at my job, and my pay rate is not as much as it was.

I know that this is a dilemma being faced by many families and individuals around the country and around the world. I have cut back expenses everywhere I can, and don't know where else I can cut back. It's a good thing my internet is free... thanks to my landlady allowing me wireless access to her internet connection. That's all that allows me to continue these blogs.

So I am asking for your prayers for myself, and for the economic difficulties faced by so many others in these difficult times.

Thank you in advance.

May God Bless you and Our Lady keep you in her care!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Missal Moment #7

This is the final video about the new english language translation of the Roman Missal from the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blog | Marriage Unique for a Reason

Blog | Marriage Unique for a Reason

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Catholic News Herald - Archbishop Donoghue, former Charlotte bishop, dies at 83; funeral plans set - Local Catholic News from the Diocese of Charlotte

Archbishop Emeritus John Francis Donoghue, the fifth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta until retirement in 2004 and the second bishop of Charlotte from 1984 to 1993, passed into eternal glory Nov. 11, 2011. He was 83.

Catholic News Herald - Archbishop Donoghue, former Charlotte bishop, dies at 83; funeral plans set - Local Catholic News from the Diocese of Charlotte

Friday, November 11, 2011

Georgia Supreme Court Hearing Assisted Suicide Law Challenge | LifeNews.com

Georgia Supreme Court Hearing Assisted Suicide Law Challenge | LifeNews.com

Court orders New York to allow ‘Choose Life’ license plates | LifeSiteNews.com


  • "A federal court ruled Tuesday that the state of New York violated the First Amendment when it rejected a pro-adoption group’s application to sponsor a “Choose Life” specialty license plate as part of a state program."


Read more by clicking below:


Court orders New York to allow ‘Choose Life’ license plates | LifeSiteNews.com

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Bishops blast Catholic governor's role in abortion award ceremony :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The following are excerpts from the Catholic News Agency article by Benjamin Mann:

  • The Illinois bishops, including Chicago's Cardinal Archbishop Francis E. George and Springfield's Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, quoted a 1994 statement of Blessed John Paul II in their reaction to Governor Quinn's involvement.
  • The late Pope, they recalled, “asked in his 'Letter to Families,' 'How can one morally accept laws that permit the killing of a human being not yet born, but already alive in the mother's womb?'”
  • “Governor Quinn not only accepts these laws,” the bishops stated, “he promotes them and publicly presents awards to their advocates.”
  • “This approach is irreconcilable with any honest profession of the Catholic faith.”
Click the link below to read the entire article:


Bishops blast Catholic governor's role in abortion award ceremony :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

POPE BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR NOVEMBER



VATICAN CITY, 31 OCT 2011 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for November is: "That the Eastern Catholic Churches and their venerable traditions may be known and esteemed as a spiritual treasure for the whole Church".

His mission intention is: "That the African continent may find strength in Christ to pursue justice and reconciliation as set forth by the second Synod of African Bishops".
BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/ VIS 20111031 (80)

You can find more information at: www.visnews.org

The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blessed Chiara “Luce” Badano (1971-1990)

Read this wonderful story about this young lady. An excerpt follows:

  • Pope Benedict XVI beatified Chiara “Luce” Badano on Sept. 25, 2010, just 20 years after her death. That should not surprise us, for she modeled a joyful, down-to-earth holiness much like that of Blessed Pier-Giorgio Frassati, another young saint.


Please click the link below to read the entire article:

Blessed Chiara “Luce” Badano (1971-1990)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The National Shrine of Saint Jude



As most of you know from following this blog, today is day nine of our novena to Saint Jude, my patron saint.

Some may not be aware however, that there is The National Shrine of Saint Jude in Chicago, Illinois. The National Shrine of Saint Jude was founded in 1929 by the Claretian Missionaries. The Shrine along with the Saint Jude League has the purpose of bringing together devotees to Saint Jude.

You can visit the website of The National Shrine of Saint Jude by clicking here. You can also post a prayer petition at the Shrine by clicking here or by posting it on The National Shrine of Saint Jude Facebook page by clicking here.

Thank you Saint Jude for prayers answered.

Day 9 -- Saint Jude Novena

St. Jude Novena

Today is the 9th and final day of our Novena to Saint Jude.

Please go to "Pray More Novenas" where you can get the daily prayers for this novena as well as find the intentions of others praying this novena with us.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 8 -- Saint Jude Novena

St. Jude Novena

Today is the 8th day of the Novena to Saint Jude.

Please go to "Pray More Novenas" where you can get the daily prayers for this novena as well as find the intentions of others praying this novena with us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 7 -- Saint Jude Novena

St. Jude Novena

Today is the 7th day of the Novena to Saint Jude.

Please go to "Pray More Novenas" where you can get the daily prayers for this novena as well as find the intentions of others praying this novena with us.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 6 -- Saint Jude Novena

St. Jude Novena

Today is day 6 of the Novena to Saint Jude.

Please go to "Pray More Novenas" where you can get the daily prayers for this novena as well as find the intentions of others praying this novena with us.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 5 -- Saint Jude Novena

St. Jude Novena

Today is the fifth day of the Novena to Saint Jude.

Please go to "Pray More Novenas" where you can get the daily prayers for this novena as well as find the intentions of others praying this novena with us.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Novena to Saint Jude -- Day 4

St. Jude Novena

Just a reminder that today is the fourth day of the Novena to Saint Jude.

Once again you can go to "Pray More Novenas" where you can get the daily prayers for this novena as well as find the intentions of others praying this novena with us.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 3 -- The Novena to Saint Jude

St. Jude Novena


Today is day 3 of the Novena to Saint Jude.

Please join us, and the thousands of Catholics participating from around the world in this novena to the Apsotle and martye Saint Jude Thaddeus.

You may go to "Pray More Novenas" where you can get the daily prayers for this novena. Also, when you look at the comments when you scroll down, there you will find the various intentions being prayed for. You can add your intentions there and include the intentions of others in your prayer.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Missal Moment #6: Bowing during the Creed

A video about the new english language translation of the Roman Missal from the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Day 2-- The Novena to Saint Jude

Saint Jude Novena

Just a reminder that today is day 2 of the Novena to Saint Jude, the Patron of desperate situations and impossible causes.

You can go to "Pray More Novenas" where you will find the daily prayers for this novena as well as the intentions of others praying this novena.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Saint Jude Novena--Day 1



Today is the day that we begin the Novena to Saint Jude, the Patron of impossible causes and desperate situations.

You can go to Pray More Novena's to find the prayers for each day, read the over 740 intentions posted for the novena, and to add your own intentions, by clicking here.

Please join us in this novena to the Apostle and martyr, Saint Jude Thaddeus.

Monday, October 17, 2011

POPE BENEDICT XVI : APOSTOLIC LETTER "MOTU PROPRIO DATA", "PORTA FIDEI"



VATICAN CITY, 17 OCT 2011 (VIS) - Made public today was "Porta fidei", the Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" with which Benedict XVI proclaims a "Year of Faith", to begin on 11 October 2012, fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II, and due to end on 24 November 2013, Feast of Christ the King. Extracts from the English-language version of the Letter are given below:

"The 'door of faith' is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into His Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace".

"Ever since the start of my ministry as Successor of Peter, I have spoken of the need to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ. ... Whereas in the past it was possible to recognise a unitary cultural matrix, broadly accepted in its appeal to the content of the faith and the values inspired by it, today this no longer seems to be the case in large swathes of society, because of a profound crisis of faith that has affected many people".

"In the light of all this, I have decided to announce a Year of Faith. It will begin on 11 October 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II, and it will end on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on 24 November 2013. The starting date of 11 October 2012 also marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a text promulgated by my Predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, with a view to illustrating for all the faithful the power and beauty of the faith".

"Moreover, the theme of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that I have convoked for October 2012 is 'The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith'. This will be a good opportunity to usher the whole Church into a time of particular reflection and rediscovery of the faith. It is not the first time that the Church has been called to celebrate a Year of Faith. My venerable Predecessor the Servant of God Paul VI announced one in 1967. ... It concluded with the Credo of the People of God, intended to show how much the essential content that for centuries has formed the heritage of all believers needs to be confirmed, understood and explored ever anew, so as to bear consistent witness in historical circumstances very different from those of the past".

"It seemed to me that timing the launch of the Year of Faith to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II would provide a good opportunity to help people understand that the texts bequeathed by the Council Fathers. ... I would also like to emphasise strongly what I had occasion to say concerning the Council a few months after my election as Successor of Peter: 'if we interpret and implement it guided by a right hermeneutic, it can be and can become increasingly powerful for the ever necessary renewal of the Church'.

"The renewal of the Church is also achieved through the witness offered by the lives of believers: by their very existence in the world, Christians are called to radiate the word of truth that the Lord Jesus has left us. The Council itself, in the Dogmatic Constitution 'Lumen Gentium', said this: ... the Church ... clasping sinners to her bosom, is at once holy and always in need of purification".

The Year of Faith, from this perspective, is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the world. In the mystery of His death and resurrection, God has revealed in its fullness the Love that saves and calls us to conversion of life through the forgiveness of sins. For St. Paul, this Love ushers us into a new life. ... Through faith, this new life shapes the whole of human existence according to the radical new reality of the resurrection. ... 'Faith working through love' becomes a new criterion of understanding and action that changes the whole of man's life".

"Through His love, Jesus Christ attracts to Himself the people of every generation: in every age He convokes the Church, entrusting her with the proclamation of the Gospel by a mandate that is ever new. Today too, there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to new evangelisation in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith. In rediscovering His love day by day, the missionary commitment of believers attains force and vigour that can never fade away. Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy".

"Only through believing, then, does faith grow and become stronger; there is no other possibility for possessing certitude with regard to one's life apart from self-abandonment, in a continuous crescendo, into the hands of a love that seems to grow constantly because it has its origin in God".

"We want to celebrate this Year in a worthy and fruitful manner. Reflection on the faith will have to be intensified, so as to help all believers in Christ to acquire a more conscious and vigorous adherence to the Gospel, especially at a time of profound change such as humanity is currently experiencing. We will have the opportunity to profess our faith in the Risen Lord in our cathedrals and in the churches of the whole world; in our homes and among our families, so that everyone may feel a strong need to know better and to transmit to future generations the faith of all times. Religious communities as well as parish communities, and all ecclesial bodies old and new, are to find a way, during this Year, to make a public profession of the Credo.

"We want this Year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope. It will also be a good opportunity to intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist, which is 'the summit towards which the activity of the Church is directed; ... and also the source from which all its power flows.' At the same time, we make it our prayer that believers' witness of life may grow in credibility. To rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived and prayed, and to reflect on the act of faith, is a task that every believer must make his own, especially in the course of this Year".

"A Christian may never think of belief as a private act. Faith is choosing to stand with the Lord so as to live with Him. This 'standing with Him' points towards an understanding of the reasons for believing. Faith, precisely because it is a free act, also demands social responsibility for what one believes. ... Profession of faith is an act both personal and communitarian. It is the Church that is the primary subject of faith. In the faith of the Christian community, each individual receives Baptism, an effective sign of entry into the people of believers in order to obtain salvation".

"Evidently, knowledge of the content of faith is essential for giving one's own assent, that is to say for adhering fully with intellect and will to what the Church proposes. Knowledge of faith opens a door into the fullness of the saving mystery revealed by God. The giving of assent implies that, when we believe, we freely accept the whole mystery of faith, because the guarantor of its truth is God who reveals Himself and allows us to know His mystery of love.

"On the other hand, we must not forget that in our cultural context, very many people, while not claiming to have the gift of faith, are nevertheless sincerely searching for the ultimate meaning and definitive truth of their lives and of the world. This search is an authentic 'preamble' to the faith, because it guides people onto the path that leads to the mystery of God. Human reason, in fact, bears within itself a demand for 'what is perennially valid and lasting'. This demand constitutes a permanent summons, indelibly written into the human heart, to set out to find the One Whom we would not be seeking had He not already set out to meet us. To this encounter, faith invites us and it opens us in fullness.

"In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of Vatican Council II. ... It is in this sense that that the Year of Faith will have to see a concerted effort to rediscover and study the fundamental content of the faith that receives its systematic and organic synthesis in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. ... The Catechism provides a permanent record of the many ways in which the Church has meditated on the faith and made progress in doctrine so as to offer certitude to believers in their lives of faith".

"In this Year, then, the Catechism of the Catholic Church will serve as a tool providing real support for the faith, especially for those concerned with the formation of Christians, so crucial in our cultural context. To this end, I have invited the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, by agreement with the competent Dicasteries of the Holy See, to draw up a note, providing the Church and individual believers with some guidelines on how to live this Year of Faith in the most effective and appropriate ways, at the service of belief and evangelisation.

"To a greater extent than in the past, faith is now being subjected to a series of questions arising from a changed mentality which, especially today, limits the field of rational certainties to that of scientific and technological discoveries. Nevertheless, the Church has never been afraid of demonstrating that there cannot be any conflict between faith and genuine science, because both, albeit via different routes, tend towards the truth.

"One thing that will be of decisive importance in this Year is retracing the history of our faith, marked as it is by the unfathomable mystery of the interweaving of holiness and sin. While the former highlights the great contribution that men and women have made to the growth and development of the community through the witness of their lives, the latter must provoke in each person a sincere and continuing work of conversion in order to experience the mercy of the Father which is held out to everyone".

"The Year of Faith will also be a good opportunity to intensify the witness of charity. ... Faith and charity each require the other, in such a way that each allows the other to set out along its respective path. Indeed, many Christians dedicate their lives with love to those who are lonely, marginalised or excluded, as to those who are the first with a claim on our attention and the most important for us to support, because it is in them that the reflection of Christ's own face is seen. Through faith, we can recognise the face of the risen Lord in those who ask for our love".

"Having reached the end of his life, St. Paul asks his disciple Timothy to 'aim at faith' with the same constancy as when he was a boy. We hear this invitation directed to each of us, that none of us grow lazy in the faith. It is the lifelong companion that makes it possible to perceive, ever anew, the marvels that God works for us. Intent on gathering the signs of the times in the present of history, faith commits every one of us to become a living sign of the presence of the Risen Lord in the world. What the world is in particular need of today is the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life, life without end".
LIT/ VIS 20111017 (2100)

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saint Jude Novena Starts October 19, 2011

St. Jude Novena


Beginning Wednesday, October 19, 2011, Faith of the Fathers blogs will be joining "Pray More Novena's" and 5,000 Catholics from around the world in praying a Saint Jude Novena.

For those of you who may not know, Saint Jude is my Patron Saint, and I am extremely happy to be participating in this novena (nine days of prayer) to such a wonderful Apostle, martyr, and powerful intercessor.

Saint Jude (also known as Jude of James and Judas Thaddeus) was a blood relative of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and one of the Twelve Apostles. He was the brother of Saint James the Lesser, and a nephew of Mary and Joseph.

Saint Jude is the patron of lost or impossible causes, desperate situations, forgotten causes, hospitals, hospital workers, and the diocese of Saint Petersburg, Florida.

His patronage of lost or impossible causes derives from the confusion by many early Christians between the names of Jude and the traitor Judas Iscariot. Failing to grasp the difference between the names they never prayed for Saint Jude's help, so devotion to him became something of a lost cause.

So, we invite you to join us, as well as thousands of others in praying the Saint Jude Novena beginning October 19. I will be posting daily reminders here to join the novena in concert with "Pray More Novena's".

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