Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for January 2015

Vatican City, 30 December 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for January 2015 is: “That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal”.

You can find more information at:
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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Saint Pope Clement I- Early Church Father

Saint Pope Clement I

Saint Pope Clement I is also known as Clement of Rome. There are differing views as to exactly when and where he was born. The general agreement is that he may have been a freed man from a Roman household. He is generally considered by the Roman Catholic Church to be one of the Greek Fathers and an Apostolic Father. He was the third successor to Peter as Pope, after Linus and Anacletus (Cletus), and writings from other Early Fathers including those of St. Irenaeus, Origen, and St. Jerome, to name a few, say that Clement was baptised by Peter. He was also a contemporary of Paul, and one of the early writers in speaking of Clement, said that "the preaching of the Apostles still rang in his ears".

The one thing that gives us more knowledge about Clement than the first two sucessors of Peter, is Clements "Epistle to the Corinthians", a letter he wrote to the "sojourning Church in Corinth from the sojourning Church in Rome", in regard to a schism happening there. The date of the letter is believed to have been around 96 A.D. His name does not appear in the letter nor did he direct the letter to a bishop at Corinth, but, the letter seems to have been generally intended for all in the Church at Corinth. Clements Epistle, is also the first evidence of papal correction to a Church outside of Rome. The letter he wrote was so highly regarded by the Church at Corinth, that a decade or so later, the bishop in Corinth in a letter to Rome, mentions that the letter from Clement was read at their assemblies. Indeed, this letter was also included in the early Bibles of many of the eastern Churches, before the canon was established in the Latin Vulgate.

Read more by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hard Times Again

As some may know, my hours have been cut at work yet again. Earlier this year than in previous years. Only getting 26-32 hours a week, and I make less than $10.00 an hour.

I heat with an old electric furnace which not only is on it's last legs, but when I just now got home, is no longer working. It runs but no warm air, so apparently the blower is gone.

I have a high power bill once again, and since the rules for getting heating assistance and power bill assistance have changed, I no longer qualify for any help.

So once again, I would be extremely grateful for any assistance my readers might be able to provide.

I am going to be $183.00 short on the power bill (which must be paid by December 22, 2014), and it's going to take another $125.00 to buy a kerosene heater to get me by until such a time as I can get the furnace repaired.

I hate doing this, but I have nowhere else to turn, but to God and my blog's readers.

So thank you for your prayers and any other assistance you can provide.

God bless you all, and Our Lady keep you in her care.

Urgent Prayer Request -- Please Read -- UPDATED

UPDATE 12/15/2014

Just got very good news from my "daughter" Jackie. Everything is fine and she says that the "baby is perfect and moving around like crazy ". Thanks to all for your prayers! God is good!


*       *       *       *       *       *       *       

Jackie R., a young lady I work with, has essentially "adopted" me as her dad, and really thinks of me in that way.

Jackie is about 3 months pregnant. Well, this evening, she called me at work from the hospital. She was bleeding and was taken to the emergency room.

The good news is, that the baby seems to be OK at this point. They were able to detect it's heartbeat. However, Jackie has to really take it easy until she can see her doctor on Monday, so that they can try to determine what is taking place.

I was the first person she called to tell what was going on, and she asked me to pray for her and the baby, and she asked me to ask my friends and family to also pray for them. Please also pray for her husband, as I know he is also worried. Jackie tries to play "cool and tough" but I could hear the fear in her voice.

So, I am asking all of you. Family...friends...acquaintances... both near and far... to please pray for Jackie, her husband and their little one.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (From Goffine's Devout Instructions)

December 8
On this and the following eight days the Church celebrates, with particular solemnity, the immaculate conception of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary, who, from all eternity, was chosen to be the daughter of the heavenly Father, the spouse of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of the divine Redeemer, and, by consequence, the queen of angels and of men. The consideration of these prerogatives convinced the most enlightened fathers and teachers of the Catholic Church that she was conceived immaculate, that is, without original sin. It is very remarkable that among the shining hosts of saints who have, in every century, adorned the Church no one wrote against this belief, while we find it confirmed by the decisions of the holy fathers from the earliest times. Pope Pius IX, forced, as it were, by the faith and devotion of the faithful throughout the world, finally, on 8 December 1854, sanctioned, as a dogma of faith falling within the infallible rule of Catholic traditions, this admirable prerogative of the Blessed Virgin. It is, therefore, now no longer, as fomerly, a pious belief, but an article of the faith, that Mary, like the purest morning light which precedes the rising of the most brilliant sun, was, from the first instant of her conception, free from original sin.

Read more by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Need Stocking Stuffer Gifts?

So, the Christmas season is upon us, and I have a few ideas to help you out with your gift giving from Mystic Monk Coffee. Gifts especially for the coffee lovers among your family, friends, and co-workers.

Have stockings to stuff at work of for family? Then consider Mystic Monk Coffee’s Sampler Packs. They have their “9 Monks Sampler Pack” available in four different combinations of 2 oz. Samples of their fine coffee.

First is the Extra Dark sampler pack which has 3 each of Mystic Monk Blend, Midnight Vigils Blend, and Hermits Bold Blend.

Then there is the Flavored sampler pack which has 3 each of Carmel, Royal Rum Pecan, and Hazelnut.

Next we have the Medium Roast sampler which has 3 each of Cowboy Blend, Colombian Medium Roast, and Decaf. Arabica.

Finally, there is the Variety sampler, which gives you one each of the coffees listed in the sampler packs above.

Of course, if you have a large office, or a large number of family and friends to whom you want to give a small gift, you can always go for the 30 Pack Sampler, which gives you the following 2 oz. Samplers: 4 x Mystic Monk Blend, 4 x Midnight Vigils Blend, 4 x Hermits' Bold Blend, 3 x Cowboy Blend, 3 x Medium Colombian, 3 x Decaffeinated Arabica, 3 x Hazelnut, 3 x Royal Rum Pecan, and 3 x Carmel.

Now, if you are like me, and can't decide what someone else would like, you can always take the easy route, and give your recipients a Mystic Monk Coffee Gift Card. Then they can choose what they like from the selection of Mystic Monk Coffee, tea, drinkware, religious gifts, and more.

Gift cards are available in $15, $25, $50, $75, and $100 amounts for your convenience.

Your purchase from Mystic Monk Coffee helps to support the monastery of the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming and this blogger.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for December 2014

Vatican City, 1 December 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for December is: “That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That parents may be true evangelisers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith”.

You can find more information at:
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

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Holidays Are Sneaking Up On Us

Just a reminder to continue your support of the Carmelite Monks of Wyoming by making your purchases of Mystic Monk Coffee.

Many of their holiday favorites are now available, including Jingle Bell Java, Christmas Blend, Thanksgiving Blend, Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, and more. Many varieties are also available in the single serve Monk Shots for those of you who have single serve machines from companies like Keurig ® K-Cup®, Breville ®, Mr. Coffee ®  and Cuisinart ®.

If you aren't sure what someone would like, you can always purchase a Mystic Monk Gift Card available in amounts from $15.00 - $100.00 (select the gift card value you want from the drop down menu there). Then you'll know your family, friends, and colleagues will get exactly what they like.

They also have a good assortment of drinkware that includes ceramic mugs, glass cups, travel mugs, and holiday drinkware.

Also, please visit my blog's store "Faith of the Fathers Catholic Gifts" and check out the Holidays section for cards and posters, with many featuring the art work of James Tissot.

If you'd like to just see the Holidays Section, just click the link below.

Thank you all for following and reading Faith of the Fathers blogs!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Saint Josaphat Kuncevyc, Bishop and Martyr

Saint Josaphat Kuncevyc

Saint Josaphat Kuncevyc (also known as John Kunsevich; Josaphat of Polotsk; Jozofat Kuncewicz) was born in 1580 at Volodymyr, Lithuania as John Kuncevyc. His father was a municipal counselor and his mother was known for her piety. John was raised in the Orthodox Ruthenian Church. On November 23, 1595, in the Union of Brest, the Ruthenian Orthodox Church united with the Church of Rome. John trained as a merchant's apprentice at Vilna, was offered partnership in the business, and marriage to his partner's daughter. He felt a call to the religious life, and declined both.

Read more by clickinghere..

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for November 2014

Vatican City, 31 October 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for November is: “That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors”.

You can find more information at:
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

Monday, October 27, 2014 | Cardinal Burke sets record straight regarding major misrepresentation in earlier interview

The following excerpts are from

The following is a press release from Dignitatis Humanae Institute, whose word I trust implicitly. It is sad that BuzzFeed has caused such confusion on this matter with their misquote of Cardinal Burke. Pray for them.

Rome, 27 October 2014 — The Dignitatis Humanae Institute very much regrets having to take this unprecedented action to highlight an injustice done by a certain news organisation against Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, the President of its Advisory Board.

The DHI was approached by BuzzFeed to arrange an interview with Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signature, which it willingly did. This is the now-notorious interview in which Cardinal Burke accused Pope Francis of having harmed the Church. Only the Cardinal never said any such thing.

Here is what Cardinal Burke actually said:

I can’t speak for the pope and I can’t say what his position is on this, but the lack of clarity about the matter has certainly done a lot of harm.”

What BuzzFeed reported:

According to my understanding of the church’s teaching and discipline, no, it wouldn’t be correct,” Burke said, saying the pope had “done a lot of harm” by not stating “openly what his position is.”

Read more by clicking below: | Cardinal Burke sets record straight regarding major misrepresentation in earlier interview

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sacred Tradition: Is It Really From the Apostles?


In an earlier comment some time back, a person asked the following question:

Can you explain why the Catholic Church claims that the doctrines of Sacred Tradition were handed down from the apostles when there appears to be no record of it?”

Now, I don’t know why this is a common thought among many people, but, there are records of the Sacred Traditions having been handed down from the apostles, and the evidence for such is found in the writings of the early ecclesiastic writers and the Early Church Fathers.

We must realize and understand, that it was the apostles who first spread the Christian faith throughout the world. Jesus Christ had chosen the Twelve Apostles as we learn from the sixth chapter of The Gospel According To Saint Luke:

12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and he passed the whole night in the prayer of God. 13 And when day was come, he called unto him his disciples; and he chose twelve of them (whom also he named apostles). 14 Simon, whom he surnamed Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alpheus, and Simon who is called Zelotes, 16 And Jude, the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, who was the traitor.

So Jesus chose the Twelve, and later He ordained them as we can see from the ninth chapter of The Gospel According To Saint Luke:

1 Then calling together the twelve apostles, he gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. ...6 And going out, they went about through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

Jesus also instructed the Twelve to spread the good news of His Kingdom as we see in the first chapter of The Acts of the Apostles:

6 They therefore who were come together, asked him, saying: Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 But he said to them: It is not for you to know the times or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power: 8 But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.

So, the Apostles followed the commandment of the Lord, and went throughout the “uttermost part of the earth” and led many people to Christ and established churches throughout the known world. From Asia Minor to Northern Africa to Europe the faith was spread, by the Twelve and then by their disciples and followers whom they ordained as deacons, bishops, and presbyters. The Sacred Tradition was most definitely handed down by the Apostles, and we must remember that what the churches established by them, taught by them, and handed down through their successors, were the oral traditions that they received as well as written traditions.

We know that the Apostles went to various regions of the then known world (from both Holy Scriptures and from the traditions of those areas), such as follows:

Saint Andrew - Asia Minor, Greece, and possibly in areas of modern Russia and Poland.
Saint Bartholomew - Asia Minor, Ethiopia, India and Armenia.
Saint James the Greater - Samaria, Judea, and Spain.
Saint John - Asia Minor, Jerusalem, Samaria, Ephesus
Saint Jude - Syria, Mesopotamia, and Persia
Saint Matthias - Judea, Cappadocia, Egypt and Ethiopia.
Saint Matthew - Palestine, Ethiopia
Saint Philip - Greece and Asia Minor.
Saint Simon the Zealot - Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iberia
Saint Simon Peter - Palestine, Syria, and Rome
Saint Thomas - Parthia (western Asia), Persia and India
Saint Paul - Greece, Syria, Palestine, Asia Minor, Rome, and Spain

We also know, that in the early Church, there was a disagreement on the date for celebrating Easter. It seems that the eastern Church celebrated Easter according to the Jewish date for celebrating the Passover, which was the fourteenth day of the Jewish month Nisan, regardless of what day of the week it fell on. Several Early Church Fathers (Saint Polycarp for one) defended their choice of that date, saying that it was the tradition handed down to them by the Apostles.

Following are some of the things written by the Early Church Fathers, other ecclesiastical writers of the early Church, and firstly from some of the Epistles of Saint Paul:

Saint Paul the Apostle:
I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you (1 Cor. 11:2)

So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15)

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us (2 Thess. 3:6).

Pope Saint Clement I from his Epistle to the Corinthians: 
The Apostles preached to us the Gospel received from Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ was God's Ambassador. Christ, in other words, comes with a message from God, and the Apostles with a message from Christ. Both these orderly arrangements, therefore, originate from the will of God. And so, after receiving their instructions and being fully assured through the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as confirmed in faith by the word of God, they went forth, equipped with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, to preach the good news that the Kingdom of God was close at hand. From land to land, accordingly, and from city to city they preached, and from among their earliest converts appointed men whom they had tested by the Spirit to act as bishops and deacons for the future believers. And this was no innovation, for, a long time before the Scripture had spoken about bishops and deacons; for somewhere it says: I will establish their overseers in observance of the law and their ministers in fidelity.

Our Apostles, too, were given to understand by our Lord Jesus Christ that the office of the bishop would give rise to intrigues. For this reason, equipped as they were with perfect foreknowledge, they appointed the men mentioned before, and afterwards laid down a rule once for all to this effect: when these men die, other approved men shall succeed to their sacred ministry. Consequently, we deem it an injustice to eject from the sacred ministry the persons who were appointed either by them, or later, with the consent of the whole Church, by other men in high repute and have ministered to the flock of Christ faultlessly, humbly, quietly and unselfishly, and have moreover, over a long period of time, earned the esteem of all. Indeed, it will be no small sin for us if we oust men who have irreproachably and piously offered the sacrifices proper to the episcopate. Happy the presbyters who have before now completed life's journey and taken their departure in mature age and laden with fruit! They, surely, do not have to fear that anyone will dislodge them from the place built for them. Yes, we see that you removed some, their good conduct notwithstanding, from the sacred ministry on which their faultless discharge had shed luster.

It is our duty, then, my brethren, to follow examples such as these. For the Scripture says: Follow the saints for such as follow them shall be sanctified. And again, in another passage, it says: With an innocent man Thou wilt be innocent and with an elect Thou wilt be elect, and with one perverted Thou wilt deal perversely. Let us, therefore, associate with the innocent and law-abiding; these are God's elect.

These items below come from Saint Jerome’s “Lives of Illustrious Men” :

Saint Quadratus the bishop of Athens:

Quadratus, disciple of the apostles, after Publius bishop of Athens had been crowned with martyrdom on account of his faith in Christ, was substituted in his place, and by his faith and industry gathered the church scattered by reason of its great fear. And when Hadrian passed the winter at Athens to witness the Eleusinian mysteries and was initiated into almost all the sacred mysteries of Greece, those who hated the Christians took opportunity without instructions from the Emperor to harass the believers. At this time he presented to Hadrian a work composed in behalf of our religion, indispensable, full of sound argument and faith and worthy of the apostolic teaching. In which, illustrating the antiquity of his period, he says that he has seen many who, oppressed by various ills, were healed by the Lord in Judea as well as some who had been raised from the dead.

Pantaenus the philosopher:

Pantaenus, a philosopher of the stoic school, according to some old Alexandrian custom, where, from the time of Mark the evangelist the ecclesiastics were always doctors, was of so great prudence and erudition both in scripture and secular literature that, on the request of the legates of that nation, he was sent to India by Demetrius bishop of Alexandria, where he found that Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, had preached the advent of the Lord Jesus according to the gospel of Matthew, and on his return to Alexandria he brought this with him written in Hebrew characters.


Papias [A.D. 120], who is now mentioned by us, affirms that he received the sayings of the apostles from those who accompanied them, and he, moreover, asserts that he heard in person Aristion and the presbyter John. Accordingly, he mentions them frequently by name, and in his writings gives their traditions [concerning Jesus]. . . . [There are] other passages of his in which he relates some miraculous deeds, stating that he acquired the knowledge of them from tradition" (fragment in Eusebius, Church History 3:39 [A.D. 312]).

The remainder here come from the writings of just a few more of the Early Church Fathers and Ecclesiastical writers:

Eusebius of Caesarea

At that time [A.D. 150] there flourished in the Church Hegesippus, whom we know from what has gone before, and Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, and another bishop, Pinytus of Crete, and besides these, Philip, and Apollinarius, and Melito, and Musanus, and Modestus, and, finally, Irenaeus. From them has come down to us in writing, the sound and orthodox faith received from tradition" (Church History 4:21).

Saint Irenaeus

"As I said before, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although she is disseminated throughout the whole world, yet guarded it, as if she occupied but one house. She likewise believes these things just as if she had but one soul and one and the same heart; and harmoniously she proclaims them and teaches them and hands them down, as if she possessed but one mouth. For, while the languages of the world are diverse, nevertheless, the authority of the tradition is one and the same" (Against Heresies 1:10:2 [A.D. 189]).

"That is why it is surely necessary to avoid them [heretics], while cherishing with the utmost diligence the things pertaining to the Church, and to lay hold of the tradition of truth. . . . What if the apostles had not in fact left writings to us? Would it not be necessary to follow the order of tradition, which was handed down to those to whom they entrusted the churches?"

"It is possible, then, for everyone in every church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the apostles which has been made known throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the apostles and their successors to our own times—men who neither knew nor taught anything like these heretics rave about.

"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles.

"With this church, because of its superior origin, all churches must agree—that is, all the faithful in the whole world—and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition".

Clement of Alexandria

"Well, they preserving the tradition of the blessed doctrine derived directly from the holy apostles, Peter, James, John, and Paul, the sons receiving it from the father (but few were like the fathers), came by God’s will to us also to deposit those ancestral and apostolic seeds. And well I know that they will exult; I do not mean delighted with this tribute, but solely on account of the preservation of the truth, according as they delivered it. For such a sketch as this, will, I think, be agreeable to a soul desirous of preserving from loss the blessed tradition" (Miscellanies 1:1 [A.D. 208]).

"Although there are many who believe that they themselves hold to the teachings of Christ, there are yet some among them who think differently from their predecessors. The teaching of the Church has indeed been handed down through an order of succession from the apostles and remains in the churches even to the present time. That alone is to be believed as the truth which is in no way at variance with ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition" (The Fundamental Doctrines 1:2 [A.D. 225]).

Cyprian of Carthage
"The Church is one, and as she is one, cannot be both within and without. For if she is with Novatian, she was not with [Pope] Cornelius. But if she was with Cornelius, who succeeded the bishop Fabian by lawful ordination, and whom, beside the honor of the priesthood the Lord glorified also with martyrdom, Novatian is not in the Church; nor can he be reckoned as a bishop, who, succeeding to no one, and despising the evangelical and apostolic tradition, sprang from himself. For he who has not been ordained in the Church can neither have nor hold to the Church in any way" (Letters 75:3 [A.D. 253]).

"Again we write, again keeping to the apostolic traditions, we remind each other when we come together for prayer; and keeping the feast in common, with one mouth we truly give thanks to the Lord. Thus giving thanks unto him, and being followers of the saints, ‘we shall make our praise in the Lord all the day,’ as the psalmist says. So, when we rightly keep the feast, we shall be counted worthy of that joy which is in heaven" (Festal Letters 2:7 [A.D. 330]).

"But you are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from apostolic tradition, and frequently accursed envy has wished to unsettle it, but has not been able".

Basil the Great
"Of the dogmas and messages preserved in the Church, some we possess from written teaching and others we receive from the tradition of the apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety, both are of the same force. No one will contradict any of these, no one, at any rate, who is even moderately versed in matters ecclesiastical. Indeed, were we to try to reject unwritten customs as having no great authority, we would unwittingly injure the gospel in its vitals; or rather, we would reduce [Christian] message to a mere term" (The Holy Spirit 27:66 [A.D. 375]).

Epiphanius of Salamis
"It is needful also to make use of tradition, for not everything can be gotten from sacred Scripture. The holy apostles handed down some things in the scriptures, other things in tradition" (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 61:6 [A.D. 375]).

"The custom [of not rebaptizing converts] . . . may be supposed to have had its origin in apostolic tradition, just as there are many things which are observed by the whole Church, and therefore are fairly held to have been enjoined by the apostles, which yet are not mentioned in their writings" (On Baptism, Against the Donatists 5:23[31] [A.D. 400]).

"But the admonition that he [Cyprian] gives us, ‘that we should go back to the fountain, that is, to apostolic tradition, and thence turn the channel of truth to our times,’ is most excellent, and should be followed without hesitation" (ibid., 5:26[37]).

"But in regard to those observances which we carefully attend and which the whole world keeps, and which derive not from Scripture but from Tradition, we are given to understand that they are recommended and ordained to be kept, either by the apostles themselves or by plenary [ecumenical] councils, the authority of which is quite vital in the Church" (Letter to Januarius [A.D. 400]).

John Chrysostom
"[Paul commands,] ‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word or by our letter’ [2 Thess. 2:15]. From this it is clear that they did not hand down everything by letter, but there is much also that was not written. Like that which was written, the unwritten too is worthy of belief. So let us regard the tradition of the Church also as worthy of belief. Is it a tradition? Seek no further" (Homilies on Second Thessalonians [A.D. 402]).

Vincent of Lerins
"With great zeal and closest attention, therefore, I frequently inquired of many men, eminent for their holiness and doctrine, how I might, in a concise and, so to speak, general and ordinary way, distinguish the truth of the Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical depravity.

"I received almost always the same answer from all of them—that if I or anyone else wanted to expose the frauds and escape the snares of the heretics who rise up, and to remain intact and in sound faith, it would be necessary, with the help of the Lord, to fortify that faith in a twofold manner: first, of course, by the authority of divine law [Scripture] and then by the tradition of the Catholic Church.

"Here, perhaps, someone may ask: ‘If the canon of the scriptures be perfect and in itself more than suffices for everything, why is it necessary that the authority of ecclesiastical interpretation be joined to it?’ Because, quite plainly, sacred Scripture, by reason of its own depth, is not accepted by everyone as having one and the same meaning. . . .

"Thus, because of so many distortions of such various errors, it is highly necessary that the line of prophetic and apostolic interpretation be directed in accord with the norm of the ecclesiastical and Catholic meaning" (The Notebooks [A.D. 434]).

Pope Agatho
"The holy Church of God . . . has been established upon the firm rock of this Church of blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles, which by his grace and guardianship remains free from all error, [and possesses that faith that] the whole number of rulers and priests, of the clergy and of the people, unanimously should confess and preach with us as the true declaration of the apostolic tradition, in order to please God and to save their own souls" (Letter read at fourth session of III Constantinople [A.D. 680]).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Priests Race to Save Manuscripts From Jihadists in Iraq

The following excerpts are from

As fighters from the Islamic State group rampage across northern Syria and Iraq, a group of priests are racing against time to save what's left of the region's Christian heritage. Dominican Order priests have already managed to get many precious artifacts and manuscripts safely to Erbil in Kurdistan.

Reports of massacres and beheadings of Christians and other minority groups have scared thousands into fleeing the jihadists' advance. In a region regarded as the cradle of civilization, it's no surprise that the rapid advance of the militant fighters has alarmed those looking to preserve the region's heritage.

The Dominican Order [also known as the Order of Preachers] - a Roman Catholic religious order founded 800 years ago - has deep roots among Christian communities in northern Iraq. For decades, Najeeb Michaeel - an Iraqi priest belonging to the Order - has worked to collect and preserve precious manuscripts. Now with the rise of the Islamic State group, his work has become all the more important.

Read more by clicking below:
Priests Race to Save Manuscripts From Jihadists in Iraq

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Reports of the Small Groups (Synod)

NOTE: In the piece below from the Vatican Information Service, please be aware that the reports from the Small Groups of the Synod, are all on one page, each in it's respective language. Therefore, if you only speak English (like me), and you want to read the other reports it would be necessary to use a translation service such as google translate to read what each language group (French, English, Spanish, and Italian) does contain.

Reports of the Small Groups

Vatican City, 16 October 2014 (VIS) – The texts of the reports by the twelve Small Groups (Gallicus A and B, French; Anglicus A, B and C, English; Italicus A, B and C, Italian; Hibericus A and B, Spanish) of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, presented this morning during the twelfth General Congregation, may be consulted on the Holy See Press Office Bulletin web page, at:

You can find more information at:
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 | Synod 2014: Can Sin Be Holy?


The following excerpts are from my good friend and fellow Catholic blogger, Lisa Graas at

At Renew America, Father James Farfaglia says that he now thinks it is a “plausible possibility” that Pope Benedict XVI was forced out by the gay lobby. I have long accepted it as a plausible possibility, but we just don’t know that for sure. Father also says “We are back to the days of the Arian heresy.” After all, we have bishops at the Vatican claiming that sin, even grave sin, can be a means of holiness.

Yesterday, I was heartened by Cardinal Napier’s remarks at the Vatican press conference. Today, I am disheartened by Archbishop Kurtz’s remarks at today’s press conference. Michael Voris refers to them as “non-answers.”

Cardinal Kasper leads the news at Catholic Herald, as I write, with his claim that a “growing majority” of Synod fathers support Communion for those divorced and remarried. My heart breaks at the suggestion. How can one blog a broken heart? How can one blog tears? One cannot. You must trust that I have both.

Sin is not a means of holiness. It is a separation from God.

Some people are arguing that no one should be denied at least the opportunity for Communion, as if some people are being denied the opportunity. The problem is that some people believe that sex is more important than salvation. Some people are not willing to abstain from sex in order to be saved by our Lord. As a celibate, divorced Catholic, I think they’re crazy to choose sex over Jesus. What is crazier, however, is that there are bishops who are siding with them.

I can only wonder if those bishops are not celibate. Why else but a failure in their own celibacy would they fail to understand that celibacy is not only possible but is spiritually transformative? If you have tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord, why would you deter people from presenting themselves in their wedding garment at His banquet?

Read more by clicking below: | Synod 2014: Can Sin Be Holy?

Monday, October 13, 2014


Snickering Monk? It's Not What You Think!

One of the things I like in life is humor. I enjoy it immensely. After all, with a face like mine, you better learn what humor is and how to laugh really fast.

So, the good monks of The Carmelite Monks of Wyoming, who offer their great varieties of Mystic Monk Coffee, have shown that they also enjoy a little humor with the name of their flavored coffee, Snickering Monk Candy Bar Coffee. (I can somehow imagine a group of snickering monks in a corner by themselves.)

They describe Snickering Monk as:

"Rich chocolate, roasted peanuts and sweet caramel, combined with the finest 100% Arabica coffee make the Snickering Monk Candy Bar a coffee to remember. Add warm cream and sweeten for a delectable fall treat!"

The Snickering Monk is available in regular ground and whole bean, and in ground decaffeinated.

They also have available their Thanksgiving Blend well in time for the cooler weather.

It is described as follows:

"Initial grapefruit impressions give way and open up to panoramic complexity; The malt, dark chocolate, cloves and charred cedar notes quickly gain momentum and surge into an expansive and full-bodied aftertaste that slowly retires, leaving traces of caramel, vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. Versatile enough to be served with or without cream, this complex blend is the perfect accompaniment to any dessert."

The Thanksgiving Blend is available in regular ground and whole bean only.

So you may want to give one of both of these coffees a try.

Don't forget, they also have Monk Shots available in several varieties for those of you with single serve machines, and they have 15 varieties available in 5 Pound Bags for parishes and offices/

Either way, when you purchase Mystic Monk Coffee, your purchase helps to support the monastery of The Carmelite Monks of Wyoming.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for October 2014

Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for October is: “That Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world”.

You can find more information at: 
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


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