Tag Archives: Pope

Precipice of Persecution: Chinese authorities intervene in Vatican-approved bishop ordination

This is disturbing and frightening news:

Beijing, China, Jun 28, 2011 / 01:37 am (CNA).– The ordination of a Vatican-approved Chinese bishop has been postponed because of government pressure, while a government-backed illicit ordination of another man who lacks the Pope’s approval will go ahead.

Coadjutor Bishop-elect Joseph Sun Jigen of Handan in the northern Hebei province is presently being “looked after” by government officials in the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang, church sources told UCA News.

Public security officers took him and diocesan chancellor Fr. John Huai Jianting as soon as he completed the pre-ordination retreat on June 26 in neighboring Henan province, three days ahead of his scheduled ordination.

The two clergymen were forced into a police car. When nearing the city of Handan, Fr. Huai protested and tried to jump out. The officers then transferred him to another car and sent him back to the diocese.

The officers proceeded with the bishop-elect to Shijiazhuang.

Bishop Stephen Yang Xiangtai of Handan, 89, suffered a heart attack upon hearing the news. He is under treatment at the diocese-run Dazhong Hospital.

Nuns from a diocesan congregation have begun fasting and are in a 24-hour Eucharistic adoration to pray for the diocese.

Bishop-elect Sun is said to be in good condition at a guesthouse, but government officials are monitoring him.

The diocese has resisted Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai of Chengde, who was ordained without a papal mandate, being present at the ordination. Priests from the diocese have also insisted on reading out the papal mandate during Bishop-elect Sun’s ordination ceremony.

The government-backed Bishops’ Conference of the Church in China has not issued its approval so far.

Meanwhile, on June 29 a man will be ordained without papal approval for the Diocese of Leshan in southwestern China.

Bishop Johan Fang Xingyao of Linyi, president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, will be the main celebrant in ordaining Fr. Paul Lei Shiyin.

Bishops Peter Faing JianPing of Tangshan and Paul He Zeqing of Wanzhou will be co-consecrators.

One expert said that in a complicated Church reality where the truth is often shrouded, the Vatican must keep pushing for the rights of Christians.

John Pontifex of Aid to the Church in Need said in comments to CNA that a June 23 report showing nearly half of Chinese Catholic dioceses are without a bishop is a sign of the hard reality for Catholics there.

“Nobody quite knows fully what is going in China but we would presume this report to be reasonably reliable and it shows, again, the extent to which the state is controlling the Church in China.

“It also underlines the need for us to remain very concerned about the freedoms of the Church in China which should be allowed to govern itself and put the necessary structures in place to freely proclaim the Gospel,” he added.

The China Daily reported on June 23 that out of 97 dioceses, 44 are without bishops.

The news came as a conclusion of recent meetings of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and the Bishops Conference of the Catholic Church of China.

According to the report, Chinese bishops said that a lack of bishops has “seriously affected normal operations and church affairs at bishopless diocese(s).”

While neither the bishops’ conference nor the patriotic association is recognized by the Vatican, they are the only official voice allowed for Catholics in China in a state-controlled reality.

Association spokesman Fr. Yang Yu said they are looking to take “active and prudent” steps to address the problem.

Pontifex underlined the difficulty in knowing what the true situation is for the estimated six million Catholics in China.

“The reason we don’t know the full truth of what’s going on in China, especially as regards the Church, is that behind every apparent fact and statement lies a more complicated reality,” he said.

“The Vatican needs to continue to press consistently and clearly for rights and privileges to which the Church is entitled,” he said.

He pointed to problems that go well below the surface.

“If the official Church is being controlled in this way it begs the question as to the problems being faced by the underground Church. One can only presume that things for them are much worse.”

via Catholic News Agency

Our best reaction in this situation is to do like the nuns mentioned above are doing: fasting and adoration for the Church in China and all those who are persecuted for the sake of the Kingdom.

Remember this, persecution of the Catholic Church bodes ill for all Christians. As the Church goes, so does the remainder of Christianity – even those no in full communion her.

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Optional Memorial of St. Cyril of Alexandria, bishop and doctor

St. Cyril I, 24th Patriarch of AlexandriaSupernaturally, we are all one. We are made one body in Christ, because we are nourished by one flesh. As Christ is indivisible, we are all one in him.

St. Cyril of Alexandria

St. Cyril is one of the most important and outspoken Church Fathers. It was at the Council of Ephesus (mid-400s), in which he was presiding in the name of the Pope at the time, that it was defined that Mary is truly Theotokos, the Mother of God. This secondary infallible declaration is a result of the primary infallible declaration of the Council, which was the proclamation that Jesus is both Truly God and Truly Man.

In addition to this, St. Cyril was an ardent defender of the Real Presence and the authority of the Bishop of Rome as the visible head of the Church on Earth.


Read the Bible at Mass

First Reading: Gn 18:16-33

Abraham and the men who had visited him by the Terebinth of Mamre set out from there and looked down toward Sodom; Abraham was walking with them, to see them on their way.

The LORD reflected:

“Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, now that he is to become a great and populous nation, and all the nations of the earth are to find blessing in him? Indeed, I have singled him out that he may direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD may carry into effect for Abraham the promises he made about him.”

Then the LORD said:

“The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave, that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out.”

While the two men walked on farther toward Sodom, the LORD remained standing before Abraham. Then Abraham drew nearer to him and said:

“Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty? Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city; would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to make the innocent die with the guilty, so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike! Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?”

The LORD replied, “If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

Abraham spoke up again:

“See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes! What if there are five less than fifty innocent people? Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?”

He answered, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

But Abraham persisted, saying, “What if only forty are found there?”

He replied, “I will forbear doing it for the sake of forty.”

Then Abraham said, “Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on. What if only thirty are found there?”

He replied, “I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there.”

Still Abraham went on, “Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord, what if there are no more than twenty?”

He answered, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”

But he still persisted:

“Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?”

He replied, “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.”

The LORD departed as soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham,
and Abraham returned home.

Responsorial Psalm: 103:1b-2, 3-4, 8-9, 10-11

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. 

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. 

R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Gospel Reading: Mt 8:18-22

When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”


St. Cyril of Alexandria

St. Cyril is one of the great Greek fathers of the Church. He was chosen by divine Providence to be the shield and champion of the Church against Nestorius, who denied the unity of person in Christ. If this heresy had succeeded, Mary would not be called the Mother of God.

Excepting Sts. Athanasius and Augustine, his equal as a defender of orthodoxy, can hardly be found in the Church’s history. His greatest achievement was the successful direction of the ecumenical council at Ephesus (431), of which he was the soul (Pope Celestine had appointed him papal legate). In this council two important dogmas were defined – that there is but one person in Christ, and that Mary (in the literal sense of the word) can be called the Mother of God (Theotokos). His successful defense of the latter doctrine is his greatest title to honor.

His writings show such depth and clarity that the Greeks called him the “seal of the fathers.” He died in 444 A.D., after having been bishop for thirty-two years. In Rome, the basilica of St. Mary Major stands as a most venerable monument to the honor paid Mary at the Council of Ephesus. On the arch leading into the sanctuary important incidents in the lives of Jesus and Mary are depicted in mosaic.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

In 1881, he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII, and in 1944, on the fifteenth centenary of Cyril’s death, Pope Pius XII issued his encyclical Orientalis Ecclesiae, commemorating Cyril’s place in the history of the Church.

Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens

Patron: Alexandria; Egypt.

Symbols: Shown holding a pen; with the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus.

Things to Do:

  • Read Pope Pius XII encyclical, Orientalis Ecclesiae (On St. Cyril, Patriarch Of Alexandria).
  • Read some excerpts from the writings of St. Cyril at the Crossroads Initiative.
  • St. Cyril lived in the fifth century and combated the heresy of Nestorius, who denied the union between the humanity and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and thus, the divine motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church466) Read what the Catholic Encyclopedia says about Nestorius and Nestorianism.

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year

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    Pope Benedict XVI says Psalms “prayer book par excellence”

    AMMAN, JORDAN - MAY 09:  Pope Benedict XVI vis...

    Pope Benedict XVI referred to the Psalms as the “prayer book par excellence,” as he spoke at his weekly general audience on June 22.

    The 150 Psalms “express all human experience,” the Pope told the 10,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his Wednesday audience. Nevertheless, he continued, their diverse content can be reduced to two basic categories: petition (and/or lamentation) and praise. These two categories, he said, “intertwine and fuse together in a single song which celebrates the eternal grace of the Lord as He bows down to our frailty.”

    With those to categories, the Pope said, the Book of Psalms “teach us to pray.” Those who prayerfully recite the Psalms “speak to God with the words of God, addressing Him with the words He Himself taught us.” He pointed out that Jesus used the Psalms in his own prayers.

    The Psalms frequently offer some prefiguration of the Gospel story, the Pope observed; and they are cited often in the New Testament. Most of the Psalms are attributed to King David, who prefigured the Messiah. Pope Benedict said: “In Jesus Christ and in his paschal mystery the Psalms find their deepest meaning and prophetic fulfillment.”

    via Catholic Culture | Psalms: the ultimate book of prayer

    I do not know many who would argue against referring to the Psalms as a sort of “Cliff’s Notes” of our salvation history. Yet, I know not one Protestant who “prays” the Psalms claiming that doing so is tantamount to repetitious, vain prayer. Hogwash!

    As the Pope rightly points out, the Psalms “express all human experience” and provides for us prayers and insight for all moments of our lives. There are prayers of deliverance such as Psalm 91, which can be used in direct combat with the Enemy (obviously this does not replace the need for an exorcist in the case of possession or other more serious demonic manifestations), Psalms of healing and of praise and of prophecy.

    The Book of Psalms is the ultimate prayerbook for Christians!

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    Thoughts of Francis Turretin: Ecclesiology: the Rule of Elders

    emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keysImage via Wikipedia

    How do Scriptures describe the role of elders? There are many aspects. One on which I’ll focus in this post relates to their role as overseers and rulers. This seems to be a challenging part of the Scriptures for those living in Western democracies, in which rule of society tends to be (at least in theory) populist.

    Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

    1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

    Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

    Hebrews 13:24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.

    1 Timothy 3:4-5 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

    1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

    Romans 12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

    Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

    Cf. 1 Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    There is an important caveat:

    Mark 10:42-45
    But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: and whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

    That caveat is important. It should prevent the rulers of the church from overstepping their bounds and becoming like Rome’s hierarchy. Nevertheless, even the caveat notes that there will be leaders in the church. Christ’s leadership of the church provides a moral example for those leaders. That example is not fulfilled through a pastor ceremonially washing the feet of his sub-rulers (as Rome’s bishop does), but through rendering practical assistance, comfort, and encouragement. In understanding that his role as shepherd involves authority over the sheep, but has as its purpose the benefit of the sheep.

    -TurretinFan

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It remains quite interesting to me that the “Reformed Apologist” above pulls plenty of passages from Scripture showing the type of authority that the Church is endowed with yet attempts to “proof-text” his position with a “caveat” concerning the manner in which Gentile rulers at that time lorded over their subjects.

    However, TurretinFan’s own words call him out on his ignorance on the Church and the role played by the Pope and all of the bishops in union with him as one of the pope’s titles is “Servant of Servants.” This means that he and every other priest in the Church must, above all things, serve as Christ did. The example set forth by Our Blessed Lord is not only one of selfless service to God and neighbor but also one of authority – not as the pagans, who exercise such authority for their own desires, but as men of God who must excercise their authority to properly shepherd the flock entrusted to them.

    TurretinFan’s comments are spot on with exception to this false perception of the Church’s hierarchy. Reenacting the “washing of the feet” is more that to provide symbolism, it serves to remind both shepherd and sheep of humility, service, sacrifice, charity, etc.

    Archbishop Gomez and the New Evangelization

    I started my Facebook page, and my new Twitter account, because as a bishop I am called to be a servant of souls and a servant of the Gospel. The Church must always be where her people are. More and more, our people are on the Internet. [This is a bishop who gets it. The world is changing; we can’t simply witness to the Christian faith using the methods of the 19th century—or even the 1990’s! Those days a gone! While holding on to what is good, we also need to embrace new methods. The whole world has gone on-line—it’s time for the Church to meet them there.]
    They are using these new media and technology to build friendships and community, to express their spiritual needs, and to nourish their faith. [Well said! All three of these areas are important. And what comes first is building friendships and community. To often we want to just “nourish” people’s faith. Unfortunately, we do so in an individualist way and forget that, as humans, we are social animal!]
    I have long believed that as a Church we need to increase our pastoral presence in this digital “environment.” [Indeed, he was talking about this long before almost any one else!]
    The Church has always found ways to use new media to spread the Gospel — beginning with the printing press, then radio, television and cable, and now the Internet. [And yet we seem to have forgotten this. How many young Catholics are really going into new media with a heart to evangelize? By the way—shameless plug—if you’re interested in taking up this challenge, check out JP Catholic. We specialize in precisely this—watch this video and this one.]
    The early Christians were able to spread the Gospel so rapidly because the Roman Empire had a vast network of roads. This enabled missionaries to travel to every part of the known world to preach the good news face-to-face.
    I believe we have a similar opportunity now in the avenues opened up by the Internet.
    Pope Benedict XVI has described the world of on-line communications and social networking as a “digital continent”. [Pope Benedict is awesome.] That is a powerful image for us to reflect on.
    As the Church sends missionaries to every continent, we now need to send missionaries to proclaim the Gospel in this new digital continent also. 

    This is not only the work of bishops and priests. It is the work of everyone in the Church. We are all called to evangelize this new “continent.”
    This new continent has its own landscape, its areas of danger and unknown. The people who “live” in this continent have their own languages, customs and cultures. We have to learn all about this continent in order to evangelize it.

    The Sacred Page, run by three Biblical theology professors, recently posted an inline commentary of an article detailing the reasoning behind Archbishop Gomez’s (the Archbishop of Los Angeles, former auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Antonio) recent foray into social media.
    To repeat what the author’s of the Sacred Page wrote of this, “This is a bishop who gets it.” We Catholics, like every other Christian, are called to be evangelists by virtue of our baptism into Christ. We need to be spreading the Gospel. And the way things look nowadays, we need to be preaching the Word post-haste.
    Christians need to engage the world and “preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles…For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians (RSV) 1:23, 25). This, of course, will not make the “world” happy but the Truth, despite its power to set you free, is not always joyous at first.
    So let’s get with the program and get active in charitable evangelization.

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    Today’s Gospel: Jesus Prays for the Unity of his Church

    Gospel
    Jn 17:11b-19
    Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:
    “Holy Father, keep them in your name
    that you have given me,
    so that they may be one just as we are one.
    When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
    and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
    except the son of destruction,
    in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
    But now I am coming to you.
    I speak this in the world
    so that they may share my joy completely.
    I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
    because they do not belong to the world
    any more than I belong to the world.
    I do not ask that you take them out of the world
    but that you keep them from the Evil One.
    They do not belong to the world
    any more than I belong to the world.
    Consecrate them in the truth.
    Your word is truth.
    As you sent me into the world,
    so I sent them into the world.
    And I consecrate myself for them,
    so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”

    [INFO UPDATE] Please Support a Trip to World Youth Day 2011

    Well of course it is not for me. I am too old for World Youth Day; however, my niece isn’t.

    Yesterday I received the following request from my niece who lives in Northern California, residing in the Diocese of Monterey:

    Media_httptrustinjesu_gphmy

    Click on the image above to donate any amount. Thank you in advance and God bless.

    Dear Family and Friends:I am writing to you to invite you to help sponsor my trip to the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain. World Youth Day (WYD) is an international event that only comes around every three years and in different places in the world. Catholic youth attend this event to celebrate and grow in their faith. There will be many exciting experiences, including celebrating Mass with The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI. This will be an experience of a life time, and will undoubtedly stay with me forever. We will first go to Lourdes in Southern France, then travel down through Northern Spain for a few days before arriving in Madrid. We will have a day in Madrid for sightseeing, and then we will be off to conferences, Masses, and the rallies. I have been involved with my church for 6 years, including being a catechist for the Children’s Liturgy of the Word during mass and being a part of our youth group.

    This summer I will also be partaking in the planning and execution of an annual summer camp for teens of Madonna del Sasso Church. This ministry is an important part of my life and I know this pilgrimage will benefit not only me, but the youth in my community and everyone else around me.

    The total cost of the trip for the 30 young adults of Sacred Heart and Madonna del Sasso churches who will be travelling to WYD will be $90,000.

    The Catholic Extension has awarded us a $25,000 matching grant. Your donation is also tax deductible; you will find the Tax ID number at the end of the letter. The remaining $40,000 is being raised through various fundraisers. I would greatly appreciate your sponsorship through a donation to help me achieve my goal. Any amount would be of great help, no donation is too small or too large.

    I sincerely appreciate your consideration to sponsor me.

    Thank You for your time and prayers,

    [My Niece]

    Tax ID # 94-1658203

    This is a worthy cause from a deserving young woman. If you are able to please consider helping to make this trip possible. I know many of us are broke but even little amounts add up.

    Thank you and God bless.

    [Okay, I see that several people have viewed this post and the linked donation page. That is great because if you can’t give money prayers are free and more effective. Anyway, according to my niece the deadline is April 1st, however, she is going to verufy that with parish organizers. She also provided me some information for those who wish to donate but just not on PayPal. (Can’t say that I blame you. The way I set it up is a bit rushed and can raise some antenneas).

    If you want to donate by check, please make it out to:

    SACRED HEART CHURCH
    22 Stone Street
    Salinas, CA 93901

    And please use WYD2011 as the purpose/note in the bottom left-hand corner of the check. Thanks again and God bless.]

    [INFO UPDATE] Please Support a Trip to World Youth Day 2011

    Well of course it is not for me. I am too old for World Youth Day; however, my niece isn’t.

    Yesterday I received the following request from my niece who lives in Northern California, residing in the Diocese of Monterey:

    Donate_PayPal_WYD_2011

    Dear Family and Friends:I am writing to you to invite you to help sponsor my trip to the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain. World Youth Day (WYD) is an international event that only comes around every three years and in different places in the world. Catholic youth attend this event to celebrate and grow in their faith. There will be many exciting experiences, including celebrating Mass with The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI. This will be an experience of a life time, and will undoubtedly stay with me forever. We will first go to Lourdes in Southern France, then travel down through Northern Spain for a few days before arriving in Madrid. We will have a day in Madrid for sightseeing, and then we will be off to conferences, Masses, and the rallies. I have been involved with my church for 6 years, including being a catechist for the Children’s Liturgy of the Word during mass and being a part of our youth group.

    This summer I will also be partaking in the planning and execution of an annual summer camp for teens of Madonna del Sasso Church. This ministry is an important part of my life and I know this pilgrimage will benefit not only me, but the youth in my community and everyone else around me.

    The total cost of the trip for the 30 young adults of Sacred Heart and Madonna del Sasso churches who will be travelling to WYD will be $90,000.

    The Catholic Extension has awarded us a $25,000 matching grant. Your donation is also tax deductible; you will find the Tax ID number at the end of the letter. The remaining $40,000 is being raised through various fundraisers. I would greatly appreciate your sponsorship through a donation to help me achieve my goal. Any amount would be of great help, no donation is too small or too large.

    I sincerely appreciate your consideration to sponsor me.

    Thank You for your time and prayers,

    [My Niece]

    Tax ID # 94-1658203

    This is a worthy cause from a deserving young woman. If you are able to please consider helping to make this trip possible. I know many of us are broke but even little amounts add up.

    Thank you and God bless.

    [Okay, I see that several people have viewed this post and the linked donation page. That is great because if you can’t give money prayers are free and more effective. Anyway, according to my niece the deadline is April 1st, however, she is going to verufy that with parish organizers. She also provided me some information for those who wish to donate but just not on PayPal. (Can’t say that I blame you. The way I set it up is a bit rushed and can raise some antenneas).

    If you want to donate by check, please make it out to:

    SACRED HEART CHURCH
    22 Stone Street
    Salinas, CA 93901

    And please use WYD2011 as the purpose/note in the bottom left-hand corner of the check. Thanks again and God bless.]

    Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, apostle

    Media_httpuploadwikim_xtpgn

    Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro Perugino (1481-82) Fresco. Image via Wikipedia.

    This feast brings to mind the mission of teacher and pastor conferred by Christ on Peter, and continued in an unbroken line down to the present Pope. We celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon the Apostle, and renew our assent to the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, extended both to truths which are solemnly defined ex cathedra, and to all the acts of the ordinary Magisterium.

    The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Rome has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on 18 January, in commemoration of the day when Saint Peter held his first service in Rome. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch, commemorating his foundation of the See of Antioch, has also been long celebrated at Rome, on 22 February. At each place a chair (cathedra) was venerated which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass. One of the chairs is referred to about 600 by an Abbot Johannes who had been commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great to collect in oil from the lamps which burned at the graves of the Roman martyrs. — New Catholic Dictionary


    Daily Scripture Readings

    First Reading 1 Pt 5:1-4
    Beloved:

    I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-3a, 4, 5, 6
    R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
    Beside restful waters he leads me;
    he refreshes my soul.

    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

    Even though I walk in the dark valley
    I fear no evil; for you are at my side
    With your rod and your staff
    that give me courage.

    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

    You spread the table before me
    in the sight of my foes;
    You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.

    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

    Only goodness and kindness follow me
    all the days of my life;
    And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    for years to come.

    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

    Gospel Mt 16:13-19
    When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    Readings courtesy of the USCCB.


    Chair of St. Peter
    Since early times, the Roman Church has had a special commemoration of the primatial authority of St. Peter. As witness one of the most renowned of the Apostolic Fathers, the Roman See has always held a peculiar place in the affection and obedience of orthodox believers because of its “presiding in love” and service over all the Churches of God.

    “We shall find in the Gospel that Jesus Christ, willing to begin the mystery of unity in His Church, among all His disciples chose twelve; but that, willing to consummate the mystery of unity in the same Church, among the twelve He chose one. He called His disciples, said the Gospel; here are all; and among them He chose twelve. Here is the first separation, and the Apostles chosen. And these are the names of the twelve Apostles: the first, Simon, who is called Peter. [Mt. 10, 1-2] Here, in a second separation, St. Peter is set at the head, and called for that reason by the name of Peter, ‘which Jesus Christ,’ says St. Mark, ‘had given him,’ in order to prepare, as you will see, the work which He was proposing to raise all His building on that stone.

    “All this is yet but a beginning of the mystery of unity. Jesus Christ, in beginning it, still spoke to many: Go, preach; I send you [see Mt. 28, 19]. Now, when He would put the last hand to the mystery of unity, He speaks no longer to many: He marks out Peter personally, and by the new name which He has given him. It is One who speaks to one: Jesus Christ the Son of God to Simon son of Jonas; Jesus Christ, who is the true Stone, strong of Himself, to Simon, who is only the stone by the strength which Jesus Christ imparts to him. It is to him that Christ speaks, and in speaking acts on him, and stamps upon him His own immovableness. And I, He says, say to you, you are Peter; and, He adds, upon this rock I will build my Church, and, He concludes, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [Mt. 16, 18] To prepare him for that honor Jesus Christ, who knows that faith in Himself is the foundation of His Church, inspires Peter with a faith worthy to be the foundation of that admirable building. You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. [Mt. 16, 16] By that bold preaching of the faith he draws to himself the inviolable promise which makes him the foundation of the Church.

    “It was, then, clearly the design of Jesus Christ to put first in one alone, what afterwards He meant to put in several; but the sequence does not reverse the beginning, nor the first lose his place. That first word, Whatsoever you shall bind, said to one alone, has already ranged under his power each one of those to whom shall be said, Whatsoever you shall remit; for the promises of Jesus Christ, as well as His gift, are without repentance; and what is once given indefinitely and universally is irrevocable. Besides, that power given to several carries its restriction in its division, while power given to one alone, and over all, and without exception, carries with it plenitude, and, not having to be divided with any other, it has no bounds save those which its terms convey.”

    Excerpted from The See of St. Peter, Jacques Bossuet.

    Narrative courtesy of Catholic Culture.

    Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, apostle

    Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro...

    This feast brings to mind the mission of teacher and pastor conferred by Christ on Peter, and continued in an unbroken line down to the present Pope. We celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon the Apostle, and renew our assent to the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, extended both to truths which are solemnly defined ex cathedra, and to all the acts of the ordinary Magisterium.

    The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Rome has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on 18 January, in commemoration of the day when Saint Peter held his first service in Rome. The feast of the Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch, commemorating his foundation of the See of Antioch, has also been long celebrated at Rome, on 22 February. At each place a chair (cathedra) was venerated which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass. One of the chairs is referred to about 600 by an Abbot Johannes who had been commissioned by Pope Gregory the Great to collect in oil from the lamps which burned at the graves of the Roman martyrs. — New Catholic Dictionary


    Daily Scripture Readings

    First Reading 1 Pt 5:1-4
    Beloved:

    I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

    Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-3a, 4, 5, 6
    R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
    Beside restful waters he leads me;
    he refreshes my soul.

    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

    Even though I walk in the dark valley
    I fear no evil; for you are at my side
    With your rod and your staff
    that give me courage.

    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

    You spread the table before me
    in the sight of my foes;
    You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.

    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

    Only goodness and kindness follow me
    all the days of my life;
    And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    for years to come.

    R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

    Gospel Mt 16:13-19
    When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    Readings courtesy of the USCCB.


    Chair of St. Peter
    Since early times, the Roman Church has had a special commemoration of the primatial authority of St. Peter. As witness one of the most renowned of the Apostolic Fathers, the Roman See has always held a peculiar place in the affection and obedience of orthodox believers because of its “presiding in love” and service over all the Churches of God.

    “We shall find in the Gospel that Jesus Christ, willing to begin the mystery of unity in His Church, among all His disciples chose twelve; but that, willing to consummate the mystery of unity in the same Church, among the twelve He chose one. He called His disciples, said the Gospel; here are all; and among them He chose twelve. Here is the first separation, and the Apostles chosen. And these are the names of the twelve Apostles: the first, Simon, who is called Peter. [Mt. 10, 1-2] Here, in a second separation, St. Peter is set at the head, and called for that reason by the name of Peter, ‘which Jesus Christ,’ says St. Mark, ‘had given him,’ in order to prepare, as you will see, the work which He was proposing to raise all His building on that stone.

    “All this is yet but a beginning of the mystery of unity. Jesus Christ, in beginning it, still spoke to many: Go, preach; I send you [see Mt. 28, 19]. Now, when He would put the last hand to the mystery of unity, He speaks no longer to many: He marks out Peter personally, and by the new name which He has given him. It is One who speaks to one: Jesus Christ the Son of God to Simon son of Jonas; Jesus Christ, who is the true Stone, strong of Himself, to Simon, who is only the stone by the strength which Jesus Christ imparts to him. It is to him that Christ speaks, and in speaking acts on him, and stamps upon him His own immovableness. And I, He says, say to you, you are Peter; and, He adds, upon this rock I will build my Church, and, He concludes, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [Mt. 16, 18] To prepare him for that honor Jesus Christ, who knows that faith in Himself is the foundation of His Church, inspires Peter with a faith worthy to be the foundation of that admirable bui
    lding. You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. [Mt. 16, 16] By that bold preaching of the faith he draws to himself the inviolable promise which makes him the foundation of the Church.

    “It was, then, clearly the design of Jesus Christ to put first in one alone, what afterwards He meant to put in several; but the sequence does not reverse the beginning, nor the first lose his place. That first word, Whatsoever you shall bind, said to one alone, has already ranged under his power each one of those to whom shall be said, Whatsoever you shall remit; for the promises of Jesus Christ, as well as His gift, are without repentance; and what is once given indefinitely and universally is irrevocable. Besides, that power given to several carries its restriction in its division, while power given to one alone, and over all, and without exception, carries with it plenitude, and, not having to be divided with any other, it has no bounds save those which its terms convey.”

    Excerpted from The See of St. Peter, Jacques Bossuet.

    Narrative courtesy of Catholic Culture.