Monday, February 28, 2005

Update on Pope's Condition

From the Vatican Information Service:

"The Holy Father's post-operative phase is taking place without complications.

"His general condition and biological parameters continue to be good.

"The Holy Father is eating regularly, spends some hours in an armchair and has begun exercises to rehabilitate breathing and phonation.

"The next communique will be on Thursday, March 3."

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Pope Appears at Window, Blesses Crowrd

From ABC News: Pope Appears at Window; Aide Says Blessing for Him:

A weak Pope John Paul made a surprise appearance at his hospital window Sunday, reassuring Catholics around the world as an aide miles away at the Vatican presided for the first time at his weekly blessing.

Looking stiff and awkward, the 84-year-old Pope waved twice from the 10th floor window of the Gemelli hospital before aides wheeled his chair away.

He appeared for about two minutes with the windows closed and made the sign of the cross toward a small group of people below, some of whom broke into tears when they saw him.

The Angelus prayer usually takes place wherever the Pope is at noon Sunday. For John Paul to be elsewhere was a first in a 26-year-old papacy.

Still, the sight of the Pope, weak as he was, comforted the faithful. It was the first time he has been seen in public since he was rushed to hospital Thursday morning with acute breathing problems that necessitated a tracheotomy.

"I saw his hand raised. I'm telling you, I had faith. I'd been praying he'd come. The world still needs this Pope. I hope we'll see much more of him in the future," said Laura Tosti, an Italian waiting outside, her eyes welling up with tears. Minutes before the Pope appeared at the window, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri read his address for him in St. Peter's Square and delivered a blessing that he stressed was "in the name of the Holy Father."

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

From The Prayer of St. Ephrem:

"[The Prayer of St. Ephrem is taken in the Byzantine Church during the Liturgy of the Presanctified (Liturgy of Pope St. Gregory the Great, taken by both Catholic and Orthodox alike during this period), during all services of the Divine Office during Lent and at various other times during the day - recommended at morning, noon, evening - upon arising and before retiring for the night.]

{Making a prostration}

O LORD, Master of my life, grant that I may not be infected with the spirit of slothfulness and inquisitiveness, with the spirit of ambition and vain talking.

{Making a prostration}

Grant instead to me, your servant, the spirit of purity and of humility, the spirit of patience and neighborly love.

{Making a third prostration}

O Lord and King, grant me the grace of being aware of my sins and of not thinking evil of those of my brethren.

For you are blessed, now and ever, and forever.


Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings, You have power over life and death. You know what is secret and hidden, and neither our thoughts nor our feelings are concealed from You. Cure me of duplicity; I have done evil before You. Now my life declines from day to day and my sins increase. O Lord, God of souls and bodies, You know the extreme frailty of my soul and my flesh. Grant me strength in my weakness, O Lord, and sustain me in my misery. Give me a grateful soul that I may never cease to recall Your benefits, O Lord most bountiful. Be not mindful of my many sins, but forgive me all my misdeeds. O Lord, disdain not my prayer - the prayer of a wretched sinner; sustain me with Your grace until the end, that it may protect me as in the past. It is Your grace which has taught me wisdom; blessed are they who follow her ways, for they shall receive the crown of glory. In spite of my unworthiness, I praise You and I glorify You, O Lord, for Your mercy to me is without limit. You have been my help and my protection. May the name of Your majesty be praised forever. To you, our God, be glory. Amen."

Pope Will Live ...according to prophetic stone

From Herald Sun: Stone carving says Pope will live [26feb05]:

"A STONE carving in one of Rome's biggest cathedrals may know what millions of Catholics around the world have been fretting about for the past two days: Will Pope John Paul II survive his latest health crisis?

The carved marble monument to Pope Sylvester II, who ruled the Catholic church 1000 years ago, is said to moisten when the death of a pontiff is imminent.

Today, a priest touched the carving in Rome's Basilica of Saint John Lateran and confirmed it was dry - good news for the Pope, who underwent throat surgery yesterday after being rushed to hospital with breathing problems."

Friday, February 25, 2005

Vision of Saint John Bosco and Pope John Paul II

Thanks to www.gospa.orgfor posting this:

"In a vision, the Lord showed St. John Bosco the dangers threatening the Church. He saw the Church, Ship of Peter, surrounded by a loyal flotilla, locked in mortal combat with superior forces which repeatedly brought it to the edge of annihilation. At a crucial moment, the Holy Father fell mortally wounded. The enemy, sensing victory, closed in for the kill.

Suddenly two columns surged from the depths of the ocean. One was surmounted by a monstrance holding the Blessed Sacrament-:'Salvation of Believers;' the other by a statue of Mary Immaculate - 'The Help of Christians.'

The sight of the columns and the election of a new Pope caused the enemy to unleash a last blistering attack to prevent the Pontiff from anchoring the Church between the two pillars. The assailant's plan failed, and their attack turned into a rout and total disaster.

The Pope and his faithful defenders found safety anchored between the two columns. The winds subsided and the sea grew calm. The victory was complete."

Now think to two things that Pope John Paul II has done since the year 2000: given us new mysteries of the rosary and reawakened devotion to Mary in the process and written a beautiful encyclical on the Eucharist and declared a Year of the Eucharist. This will be his lasting legacy!

Pope-"What have they done to me?"

I've heard from a few people I know in Rome who claim that they have talked to "inside" people who are very close to the pope who've said in hushed tones "this is the end." Having said that I doubt they know what they are talking about--only God knows when the "end" of any of us will occur.

From Yahoo! News - Pope Breathing Unassisted, Advised Not to Speak:

"Navarro-Valls said that when he awoke from surgery the Pope asked for paper and wrote jokingly: 'What have they done to me.'

He also scribbled his Latin motto 'Totus Tuus,' (totally yours), a phrase about his devotion to the Mother of God. "

Blasphemy on Network Television

I didn't see this, but I think Donohue is being a little too forgiving with the priest in question. Even though to the viewer these "real life" episodes can seem natural--there is nothing natural about the lighting and television cameras that follow these people around. Why would a priest allow this at a funeral in the first place? Why wouldn't he take the time to educate himself on the characters and nature of the program? How would he not recognize a "host" from a cracker?

From CATHOLIC LEAGUE for Religious and Civil Rights:

"During the February 22 episode of the NBC-TV sitcom, "Committed," two non-Catholics are mistakenly given Holy Communion at a Catholic funeral Mass. Nate, who is Jewish, and Bowie, a Protestant, don't know what to do with the Eucharist, so they make several failed attempts to get rid of it. For example, they try slipping it into the pocket of a priest, dropping it on a tray of cheese and crackers, etc.

At one point, the priest, who is portrayed as not knowing the difference between the Host and a cracker, goes to grab the "cracker" from a tray of appetizers; he initially balks when he discovers that it is the last one. Then he changes his mind, saying, "Oh, what the hell." By far the most offensive scene occurs when Nate and Bowie accidentally flush what they think is the Host down the toilet. "

Meanwhile on the Anglican Front--Schism

From Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Church faces schism today:

"The worldwide Anglican communion was heading for an unprecedented schism last night as its member churches in the US and Canada were asked to withdraw from intercommunal gatherings following the rift over homosexuality.

In a six-page communique, issued late last night following earlier leaks to the Guardian and other newspapers, the primates of the 78 million-strong Anglican church, attending a meeting in Northern Ireland, agreed to call upon the US and Canadian churches to withdraw voluntarily for at least three years.

Their representatives will not be invited to church meetings for that period. It was unclear whether the churches will be offered a form of associate or lesser status in the communion in the meantime.

The statement said that 'in order to recognise "

Vatican Satement on Pope John Paul's Health

From Reuters AlertNet - Vatican statement on Pope John Paul's health:

"'The Holy Father spent a night of tranquil rest. This morning he ate breakfast with a good appetite.

The post-operative situation continues regularly.

He is breathing on his own and cardio-circulatory conditions remain good.

Upon the advice of his doctors, the Pope must not speak for several days so as to favour the recovery of the functions of the larynx.

A new medical bulletin is not foreseen until next Monday, February 28 at 1230 p.m. (1130 GMT)'"

Surprise Sale Displaces Small Catholic Parish

Sad to hear, I've been to mass there...

From Surprise sale displaces small Catholic parish:

"Startled church members got only three weeks notice to get out.

'It was just out of the blue -- the church has been sold!' recalled Art Donegan, a member at the Catholic Church of the Holy Apostles who scrambled to rescue religious icons from the bulldozer.

"On the last day, it was announced from the altar that we were not to come back."

The decision to sell the 38-acre church property off Hypoluxo Road west of Military Trail to housing developer Ansca Homes came from a bishop of the New Jersey-based Byzantine rite, which owned the property.

"Holy Apostles is no longer a parish," explained The Rev. Glen Pothier, a priest in the Roman Catholic Church's larger and better-known Latin rite. "The parish has been dissolved."

Pothier is a canon lawyer at the Palm Beach Diocese, which has no jurisdiction over the local Byzantine rite. But because Pothier has been substituting at Mass since the last Holy Apostles priest died three years ago, he jumped in to help the elderly church members of mostly Hungarian, Ukrainian and Russian descent find a temporary location for church services after their ouster.


Fr. Rob Headed to Florida

To be with the Schindlers...from Thrown Back:

"As I mentioned last week, I am travelling to Florida. This trip started out as an ordinary visit to see my Mom in Orlando, with a visit to the Schindlers 'on the side'. Now, obviously, I've changed my plans around so as to be with the Schindlers as much as possible. I'll be arriving, perhaps by Providence, just in time for the moment of decision Friday.

I'll be there, on hand with Bob & Mary when the hearing is held. I'll be there, on the 'front line', with those keeping vigil for Terri. And I'll keep you posted as to further developments. "

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Pope May Have Bacterial Pneumonia

From IOL: Pope may have bacterial pneumonia says doctor:

"Ailing Pope John Paul II was rushed to hospital for the second time in a month today and a medical expert suggested he is suffering from bacterial pneumonia -- a serious illness in an 84-year-old man.

A Vatican official said John Paul had the same symptoms of the breathing crisis that sent him to Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic on February 1 but that a medical bulletin would not be released until tomorrow

Medical experts who have not examined the Pope but are familiar with elderly Parkinson's disease patients said his symptoms appeared to be consistent with pneumonia."

Doctor's Consider Tracheotomy for Pope

From AFP - The News / wire stories:

"Doctors treating Pope John Paul II at Rome's Gemelli hospital were consulting whether to perform a tracheotomy on the 84-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church to relieve his breathing difficulties, Italy's ANSA news agency reported.

Doctors treating the pope, who was readmitted to hospital early Thursday, were 'evaluating' whether he should undergo the surgical procedure, which creates a temporary opening in the windpipe to relieve breathing problems, the agency said.

'A tracheotomy runs a serious risk of infection. An aperture is opened in the throat, but by doing this, the throat's natural filter is eliminated,' Professor Giovanni d'Urso, an Italian respiratory specialist, told RAI state television.

RAI, citing unnamed medical sources, earlier reported that the pope -- who suffers from Parkinson's disease -- was breathing with the aid of an oxygen mask. "

In Schiavo Case State of Florida Seeks Delay to Probe Abuse Allegations


From In Schiavo Case, Gov. Bush Seeks Delay to Probe Abuse Allegations (

"The administration of Gov. Jeb Bush, already forcefully rebuked by the Florida Supreme Court for trying to override judicial orders and block the removal of a brain-damaged woman's feeding tubes, launched itself back into the case Wednesday by asking for a delay to investigate abuse allegations.

The surprise request by Florida's Department of Children and Families to intervene in the case of Terri Schiavo stirred an already emotional atmosphere. A woman broke with courtroom decorum and called out 'Amen' when an attorney for Schiavo's parents, who are trying to stop her husband from removing the feeding tubes, announced in Pinellas County Circuit Court that the department has asked for a delay. "

Pope John Paul II Rushed to the Hospital

I had an intuition this morning while running--where the words "Pope John Paul" came to me. About twenty minutes later in my car on the way to work I heard this news...

From Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Pope John Paul II Rushed to the Hospital:

"Pope John Paul II was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance Thursday suffering from a relapse of the flu, a fever and congestion, the Vatican said, a day after the pontiff made his longest public appearance since being discharged from the clinic two weeks ago.

A Vatican official said on condition of anonymity that the 84-year-old pontiff had the same symptoms of the breathing crisis that sent him to Gemelli Polyclinic on Feb. 1.

The Vatican said the pope was taken to the clinic at 10:45 a.m. It played down the seriousness of the hospitalization, saying a patient of the pope's age is always at risk from the flu. Officials speaking on condition of anonymity said the pope had a fever and congestion. "

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Continue to Pray for Terri

What I've noticed is how one sided the press reports her condition and the whole issue as "right to die" when in reality it is "right to live."

The parents should have been given "guardian" status over her years ago, the husband clearly has moved on with his life and has left her a long time ago. His inability to give custody of her to the parents seems criminal to me.

From ABC News: Schiavo Husband, Parents to Argue in Court:

"On Wednesday, Greer is to hear the latest arguments from Schiavo's parents that their son-in-law, Michael, is not fit to be his wife's guardian.

George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney, said, 'as soon as he's legally authorized, he will discontinue artificial life support.' It would likely take several days for Terri Schiavo to die if the tube is pulled.

Doctors have ruled that Terri Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state with no hope for recovery, and would live no more than a week or two without getting food and water through the tube inserted into her abdomen.

Her parents have countered with other medical opinions that the 41-year-old woman who appears to cry, laugh and react to her family might improve with rehabilitation. "

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Emergency Stay Issued

Small victory, continue to pray...

From Yahoo! News - Emergency Stay Issued in Right-To-Die Case:

"The case of a severely brain-damaged woman remained locked in a legal stalemate Tuesday after an appeals court cleared the way for her husband to remove her feeding tube only to see a judge promptly block the removal for at least another day. "

Founder of Communion and Liberation Dies

From the VIS:

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, early this afternoon, released a declaration to journalists stating: "The funeral of Msgr. Luigi Giussani, founder of the ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation, who died this morning, will take place on Thursday, February 24 at 3 p.m. in the Duomo of Milan. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will preside at the Mass in the name of the Holy Father.

Prayers Needed for Terri Schiavo

Pray for a miracle!

From Tampabay: Schiavo case: 11th hour, again:

" A lawyer for Terri Schiavo's husband said Monday the feeding tube that has kept the brain-damaged woman alive for 15 years will be removed at 1 p.m. today - unless a court stops him.

But after a chaotic round of legal jousting Monday, the only certainty by day's end was uncertainty, and no one knows if a court will step in to prevent an act that could end Schiavo's life within two weeks.

David Gibbs III, an attorney representing Schiavo's parents, said he is still optimistic he will find a way to thwart efforts to end Schiavo's life and saw no need for the courts to rush to do it.

Bob and Mary Schindler have 'watched many miracles occur on behalf of their daughter, Terri,' Gibbs said. 'They continue to pray that there will be another miracle. ... We don't need to rush to Terri's death.'"

Dark Secrets of Abuse in Toledo


"The search of the decrepit, wood structure last year was a sign the investigation of the Rev. Gerald Robinson was moving beyond a murder case.

No longer was the probe focusing solely on the man accused of killing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, but was expanding into a new direction: accusations that children were molested and raped by priests in ritual services.

For the past year, police have embarked on one of the most unusual investigations in the department's history, spurred by leads emerging after the priest's arrest in April for the killing in the Mercy Hospital chapel more than 24 years ago.

They have looked for evidence in church attics and basements and have consulted with religious experts on subversive groups and church history. They have even interviewed the founder of a secret fraternity whose members dressed in nuns' clothing."

Monday, February 21, 2005

The National Catholic Register

Thanks to the The National Catholic Register:

"Weekly Book Pick: For launching into Lent, Clare Siobhan recommends The Power of the Cross: Applying the Passion of Christ to Your Life by Michael Dubruiel."

Be A Part of Father Benedict Live Audience...

From Father Benedict at the CFR Site:

"Can I encourage you this Lent to read the bible, especially the New Testament? There are a couple of very good books out to help you read the bible. The one I'm using on EWTN is the Everything Bible by Fr. John Trigilio and Fr. Kenneth Brighenti. It will guide you very well through the reading of the bible and it is written not just for Catholics but for all Christians. There is another very good book called The How To Book of the Bible by Karl Schultz published by Our Sunday Visitor. Both books are easily available and not expensive. If you wish to order them you can order them through the EWTN Religious Catalogue. If you have a chance I'd be grateful if you called in some afternoon or evening to be part of our EWTN broadcast and ask questions on the air. If you live very close to St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers you can get hold of June, my secretary at 914-632-3743 and she will let you know when you could sit in as one of the members of the audience. We don't have a large audience but they're always very bright and cheerful if you've had a chance to look at our program. God bless and please keep this work in your prayers."

The Lavender Mafia

A new Michael S. Rose book coming in 2006...from Hollywood, real-life euthanasia:

"Spence Publishing announced it had acquired the rights to publish Michael S. Rose's The Lavender Mafia, according to a report in 'Publishers Marketplace.' Author of Goodbye! Good Men, Michael S. Rose's The Lavender Mafia is an account of the inner workings of a far-reaching network of gay clerics and their allies in the Catholic Church that has promoted its own, intimidated its enemies, and paved the way for the current sex abuse scandals. Spence Publishing has set spring of 2006 as the release date."

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Make an Effort to Save Terri Schiavo

Tons of emial contacts, ways that you can help found here...THIS MAY BE OUR LAST CHANCE TO SAVE TERRI! PLEASE HELP!. Take a moment to do something!

Plus pray!

I would ask the special intercession of Virginia Cyr who I have written about on this blog. Solanus Casey and Fulton Sheen.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Wake of a Future Saint

Old Testament of Orthodox Study Bible to be Released

From Blogodoxy: For Those Of You Into Bible-Reading...:

"The long-awaited Old Testament translation of the Orthodox Study Bible is coming out this summer (July I believe). This includes the Apocryphal books, and will be added to the Psalms and New Testament to make it complete. These translations are coming from the Septuagint, which was the Greek version that was in use during Christ's time, rather than from the Masoretic Hebrew texts that date from the 9th century A.D, which the King James and other English versions are translated from.

Pope Saddened by Death of Sr. Lucia

From Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome:

" The news of Sister Lucia's death, the last living witness of the Virgin Mary's apparitions in Fatima, Portugal, is 'very sad' for John Paul II, says a Vatican prefect.

'We know very well the profound friendship that existed' between the nun and the Pope, said Portuguese Cardinal Jos? Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes, in a report by the Catholic agency Ecclesia. The Holy Father is currently on a spiritual retreat at the Vatican.

The cardinal was commenting on the nun's death, which occurred Sunday in the convent of Coimbra. Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart was 97.

'They met several times, and for John Paul II they were always moments of great spirituality,' the cardinal said. 'The Pope has always said that the Virgin Mary saved him from the attack in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981. And Fatima and the little shepherds have a very special place in his heart.' "

Monday, February 14, 2005

St Valentine remembered

BBC News | UK | St Valentine remembered:

"But friars at the church of Blessed St John Duns Scotus in Glasgow's Gorbals area have held a special Valentine's service on Sunday, putting on display what are thought to be the martyr's bones.

And they are hoping the relics could help make Glasgow Europe's city of love.

The remains spent more than a century in a side aisle of St Francis' Church, Glasgow and for the last six years they were kept in a wooden casket in a cardboard box, on a wardrobe in a nearby chapel house.

The Franciscan friars were asked in 1868 to look after the remains by a French family who had owned other religious relics.

Confusion surrounds exactly who St Valentine was. According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia, at least three Saint Valentines are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of 14 February. One is described as a priest at Rome, another as a Bishop of Interamna (now Terni in Italy) and the other lived and died in Africa."

A Great Sermon on Stewardship

By Gregory Nazianzen

From Universalis: Office of Readings:

"Recognise to whom you owe the fact that you exist, that you breathe, that you understand, that you are wise, and, above all, that you know God and hope for the kingdom of heaven and the vision of glory, now darkly as in a mirror but then with greater fullness and purity. You have been made a son of God, co-heir with Christ. Where did you get all this, and from whom?

Let me turn to what is of less importance: the visible world around us. What benefactor has enabled you to look out upon the beauty of the sky, the sun in its course, the circle of the moon, the countless number of stars, with the harmony and order that are theirs, like the music of a harp? Who has blessed you with rain, with the art of husbandry, with different kinds of food, with the arts, with houses, with laws, with states, with a life of humanity and culture, with friendship and the easy familiarity of kinship?

Who has given you dominion over animals, those that are tame and those that provide you with food? Who has made you lord and master of everything on earth? In short, who has endowed you with all that makes man superior to all other living creatures?

Is it not God who asks you now in your turn to show yourself generous above all other creatures and for the sake of all other creatures? Because we have received from him so many wonderful gifts, will we not be ashamed to refuse him this one thing only, our generosity? Though he is God and Lord he is not afraid to be known as our Father. Shall we for our part repudiate those who are our kith and kin?

Brethren and friends, let us never allow ourselves to misuse what has been given us by God's gift. If we do, we shall hear Saint Peter say: Be ashamed of yourselves for holding on to what belongs to someone else. Resolve to imitate God's justice, and no one will be poor."

Father Benedict on the Pope's Example

From CFR Page:

"There is hardly a single leader still on the scene who was within office when Pope John Paul became pope. He still takes his apostolic mandate as central, providential call for himself and he accepts this heavy cross to bear.

Each one of us has our cross. For some it's not so heavy, but it will be. Everyone sooner or later goes to Calvary and some people go several times. The important thing is not to look for a cross, but to carry the one you are given, not to become impatient, not to become bitter, not to say why me. Look at your life, you have a cross, you probably have several of them. Don't spend your time lamenting the fact that you have them, but pick them up and carry them. You might be tempted to say anything but this. That's a bad idea. Say, this is what I was given. The way to get better is to get better and the way to carry the cross is to pick it up and carry it. That's the only way that makes sense. Right now in the church we have this magnificent symbol of courage, faith, dedication and complete reliance on God. Who cares what any of the members of the peanut gallery have to say? They should be brought to silence by the shadow of this great and holy man carrying his cross."

St. Louis Archbishop "There is going to be a persecution..."

From St. Louis Archbishop Warns of Upcoming "Persecution" over Abortion and Homosexuality:

" In an interview with, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said that as Catholics continue to speak out on life and family issues they will face persecution. "There is going to be a persecution with regard to this, that's clear," said the Archbishop.

The media has painted the St. Louis church leader as a mean-spirited bully, yet in person he is soft-spoken and kind with a keen sense of the truth and an urgency to convey it for the salvation of souls. Rather than using high-sounding platitudes which coast over the heads of many, Archbishop Burke speaks plainly the teaching of the Church on matters of central importance, without fear of being labeled politically incorrect."

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Thanks to All at Fatima Retreat House in Indianapolis

Thanks to all who attended the retreat I presented at Fatima Retreat House this weekend. A group of very special people, all intent on growing spiritually and the prayer together empowered me. The retreat staff was great too providing us with a great environment for special time with God.

Given the fact that Sister Lucia, one of the original Fatima seers died on the last day of the retreat--being at Fatima and praying the rosary in front of the image of Our Lady of Fatima will be something that I will remember for a long time.

The Children of Fatima--Sister Lucia Dies

From CBC News: Witness to Fatima apparition dies at 97:

"The young Portuguese girl who witnessed several apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the town of Fatima back in 1917 has died at the age of 97, reported Portuguese media Sunday.

Sister Lucia Marto, a Roman Catholic nun, had been ill for several months. She died at the Convent of Carmelita near Lisbon, say radio reports.

She and her two cousins, Jacinta and Francisco, claimed that Mary appeared before them on six occasions predicting major world events such as world wars and the 1981 attempted assassination of Pope John Paul."

Friday, February 11, 2005

Less Violent "Passion" to Hit Theaters for Holy Week This Year

From Gibson softens 'Passion' for Easter release. 11/02/2005. ABC News Online:

"Mel Gibson will release a new, low-violence version of his 2004 mega-hit The Passion of the Christ next month, Daily Variety reports.

The star, dubbed Hollywood's most powerful figure since the huge success of the low-budget, graphically gory film, is trimming five to six minutes of violent scenes ahead of the film's March 11 reappearance on United States screens.

The original film raked in $474 million in its North American run that began on Ash Wednesday one year ago.

But Gibson noted that many people had avoided the film because of its grisly portrayal of Jesus Christ being tortured by Roman troops.

'There has been quite a demand by the religious community to bring [the film] back for Easter,' Bruce Davey, Gibson's partner at Icon Productions, told Variety.

'And there has been a lot of discussion about the violence. Mel wanted to try and accommodate those people by making a version that is softer and gentler.

The film, The Passion Recut, will be beamed onto 500 to 750 screens by distributor Newmarket Films, Variety said, adding that the new versions would not be lumbered with an audience age restriction.

The new less violent version of the film goes easier on the brutal details of the last days of Christ."

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Forty Days of Lent

Sunday's do count, in fact the first "traditional" day of Lent is the First Sunday of Lent--forty days later is Holy Thursday which is still a Lenten day until sundown.

From Another View of What Lent Means:

"When does Lent begin and end?

The observation of Lent begins on the first Sunday after Ash Wednesday (the first day we are sure to gather together), and ends at sundown, Holy Thursday, although the season starts on Ash Wednesday. So strictly speaking, what we call Lent is more than 40 days. Please see the documents quoted above for more information."

Lent 2005 Vatican Site

Lent 2005 - The Holy See

Pope to Leave Hospital Today

From Yahoo! News - Vatican: Pope to Leave Hospital Today:

"Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the 84-year-old pontiff was 'cured' of the breathing crisis that led to his urgent hospitalization Feb. 1 at Rome's Gemelli Polyclinic and that his general condition was continuing to improve.

Navarro-Valls said a battery of tests including a CT scan had 'excluded other pathologies,' meaning it ruled out any new illnesses.

He said John Paul would return later Thursday to his apartment in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, which would coincide with a traditional Lenten period of spiritual reflection for the pontiff with no public ceremonies. That way, he could try to regain strength before Easter without having to cancel anything. "

Thanks to All Who Visited Us Yesterday in South Bend

Mirror of Justice

Holy Whapping

In Pectore

A New Aid for Those Wishing to Pray the Office

As yet unreleased aid to praying the office. I haven't seen a copy yet but it looks interesting. For your consideration:

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

The Sign of the Cross

It is a mark that you will frequently see today. Made of ashes, traced on the foreheads of countless Christians.

In the old horror movies it was the instrument that could recoil the most hideous monster--the cross.

A year ago the movie that depicted its origin, though wildly popular was largely viewed as a horror movie.

Yes the cross is something that when faced alone, without the hope that has at its foundation Jesus is a very scary symbol.

"Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return"...that is unless you "repent and believe the good news."

What is this good news? What is it that turns this mark of execution into a sign by which we can conquer?

Years ago I encountered a young woman dying of cancer clutching a large crucifix to herself, holding on to it for dear life. She was joyful. "There is power here," she told me.

As you walk around bearing the mark of the cross on your forehead today reflect on her words. Think of how you confront the horrors of life. Have you repented yet, had that change of mind to see the world you live in differently than those not marked with the sign?

Believe and experience the power....

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

A Pre-Lent Message from Father Groeschel

From Untitled Document:

"Unfortunately Lent has come by bad times. Some people hardly know it's Lent and don't manage even to do the very minor fasting that the Church requires on Fridays and a few other days. May I suggest to you that you pick out something really to do for Lent? I'd like to excuse myself this year because I'm sort of just staying alive and that's been quite a chore, however I'm not going to excuse myself and I'm going to pick out some secret little penance that I don't like and do it while I'm recovering.

A wonderful Carmelite sister of Alhambra, California, Sister Mary Anastasia, was a great person for marvelous quotations. She had a superb sense of humor and when she died at 94, her community put out a little book of her wise sayings. One of them is, "if it doesn't sting, it's not a sacrifice". So in Lent if you give up meat on certain evenings, don't move to lobster thermador. A penance must sting and the more it stings the beautiful Easter you will have and the better you will be prepared for the big Easter at the end of time."

Pro-Life Advocates Will Head to Florida if Terri Schiavo Threatened

From Pro-Life Advocates Will Head to Florida if Terri Schiavo Threatened:

"Several pro-life groups say they plan to flood Florida with activists should a local judge set aside the stay that is in place prohibiting Terri Schiavo's estranged husband from starving her to death. Judge George Greer could decide as early as Monday whether to lift the stay.

Should he do that, the pro-life groups will bring 'scores of people' to the state to 'pray, lobby and peacefully intervene on Terri's behalf.'

Organizers don't say what kind of specific actions they will take to protect Terri, but they hope the combined campaign will place a renewed focus on the disabled woman's plight.

'This campaign will shine a spotlight on the barbaric manner in which Terri is being treated and hopefully shock the conscience of our nation so it never happens again,' says Dr. Gary Cass, executive director of Reclaiming America.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said he hoped 'people will come to Florida from across the nation to save Terri's life and work to ensure that no one will have to endure this kind of punishment and torture again.'"

Monday, February 7, 2005

Pope's Blessing 'probably recorded'

Vatican denies it.

From The Australian: Pope's blessing 'probably recorded' [February 07, 2005]:

"THE words of Pope John Paul II's Angelus blessing today were 'probably recorded' after his voice faltered when he started to deliver the traditional blessing from his hospital window, Italian media reported.

In an exercise designed to show the Pope was recovering from the severe breathing difficulties and throat infection that caused him to be hospitalised last week, the Vatican appears to have resorted to a tape as the pontiff seemed to choke on the first few words of his blessing.

TV station Sky Italia said in a report the Pope's brief blessing was 'probably recorded'.

There was no immediate response from the Vatican."

Sunday, February 6, 2005

Lent Begins This Wednesday...

My book--The Power of the Cross is a Lenten devotional. For those of you within driving distance of Indy I'm offering a retreat this upcoming weekend:

At the Fatima Retreat House in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 11-13, 2005

'The Power of the Cross' Lenten Retreat

with Author Michael Dubruiel

This retreat is aimed at applying the passion Of Christ to your everyday life. Learn God's unique Purpose and mission for you, how to overcome the evil that you have suffered at the hands of others, to find God' presence in difficult times, and to discover the keys to unleashing the power of the cross in your life.

Registration Friday @ 6:30 pm until Sunday 1:00 pm Cost of retreat is $145.00 which includes program, materials, meals and overnight accommodations. $50.00 deposit is required at registration. "

If you live in a different part of the country, Indianapolis has Southwest, ATA, Independence Air all flying into their airport--all at incredibly low, low rates!

The book can be viewed here:

A young woman dying of a terminal illness and abandoned by her family is filled with unspeakable joy.

What is her secret?

Discover what she knew and what it means for you in The Power of the Cross!

Pope Gives Blessing from Hospital Window

From MSNBC - Despite crisis, pope vows to continue mission

Speaking with difficulty, Pope John Paul II appeared on Sunday at his hospital window for the first time since taking ill and said through an aide that he was still “serving the Church and all humanity.”

The 84-year-old Pope, rushed to hospital last Tuesday with breathing problems, made a brief appearance from the window of his 10th floor suite in Rome’s Gemelli hospital

At the end of a message read by an aide, the pope delivered his blessing in a voice that was faint, hoarse and cracking. He then made the sign of the cross.

At the start he was wheeled to the window while seated and wore his traditional white cassock and skullcap. His face looked red and his eyes distant as he waved slowly to the faithful.

Pope was 'near death'

From | Pope was 'near death' (07-02-2005):

"THE Pope was just 10 minutes from death when he was rushed to hospital last week, a report has revealed.

The Pope's condition was far graver than his spokesman let on, according to the US magazine Inside the Vatican due out this week.

He twice refused to be taken to hospital by a helicopter, the report said.

The Pope 'shook his head decisively' after his powerful personal aide, Bishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, first suggested he go to hospital and then refused a second request from his doctor, Renato Buzzonetti."

Saturday, February 5, 2005

Archbishop of St. Louis Supports Schiavo Parents

I wonder why their own bishop hasn't made his voice heard in this matter more forcibly?

From Catholic News Agency

The archbishop of St. Louis issued this call to prayer and recounted his experience at the National March for Life in the latest issue of the diocesan newspaper, the St. Louis Review.

Prior to the march, the archbishop met with the parents and two siblings of Terri Schindler-Schiavo, the Florida woman who has been severely mentally and physically disabled for more than a decade. She lives free of life support but is fed through a tube.

Her husband, Michael Schiavo, has sought a court’s permission to terminate the nutrition treatment that has been keeping her alive, while her parents have fought to continue treatment.

“I was most edified by their strong faith and their tireless efforts to provide for their daughter and sister,” wrote Archbishop Burke. “Our commitment to foster the respect for human life must be total and without apology.”

“Given the gravity of the attack on innocent and defenseless human life in our nation, we must pray daily for the victims of abortion and for those who promote and provide procured abortion,” he wrote in his column titled Praying and Marching for Life.

Friday, February 4, 2005

Arga Writes Letter to Pope in Hospital

Wishing him a recovery, thanking him for revealing the third secret of Fatima and warning of the end of the world.

From - Pontiff's 1981 attacker offers cryptic wishes for his recovery:

"In a brief, handwritten letter in Italian, Agca wished the pope well.

But he also made apocalyptic references, referring to the end of the world.

'You and I suffer for the realization of a universal divine plan,' Agca said. 'I wish you a speedy recovery.'

Agca also thanked the pope for revealing the so-called 'third secret' of Fatima in 2000, a 1917 vision of a pope struck down by bullets and arrows but spared from death.

'I thank you for having revealed on May 13 the third secret of Fatima. Dear Pope, now you have to confirm the Divine Truth that we are at the end of the world,' Agca wrote.

'This is the last generation of humanity on planet Earth. Only like this will God give you health and miraculous strength for the coming years,' the letter says."

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Thanks to Sean Gallagher at The Criterion of the Pub...

From Criterion Online Edition

By Sean Gallagher

Michael Dubruiel, an author and editor who lives in Fort Wayne, Ind., will lead a retreat titled “The Power of the Cross” on Feb. 11-13 at Our Lady of Fatima Retreat House in Indianapolis.

The author of a new book with the same title, Dubruiel recently discussed his hopes for the retreat.

“Every retreat is an opportunity for people to grow closer to God,” he said. “I hope that those making a retreat will find time on the weekend to see how God has been working in their lives up until now, and that this insight will open them to placing their trust and hope in God in the way that Jesus modeled for us both in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross.”